We begin with David Firestone
over at The New York Times, who analyzes a federal decision on early voting in Ohio:
A federal judge’s decision this morning to allow early voting in Ohio is a big victory for those who think voting should be easier and more accessible. It was also a remarkable decision in purely human terms, showing a deeply compassionate understanding of the lives of the low-income people who have been the most harmed by Republican efforts to put barriers around the ballot box.
Meanwhile, on the marriage equality
As important as the federal appeals court ruling was on Thursday declaring same-sex marriage bans in two states to be unconstitutional, the clarity and blunt reasoning behind the decision was equally momentous.
Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard Posner put the case for equality starkly. “Homosexuals are among the most stigmatized, misunderstood, and discriminated-against minorities,” he wrote. Denying them the freedom to marry imposes “continuing pain,” he said, and claims that allowing same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual unions or children, or other state interests, were “totally implausible.”
“Our pair of cases is rich in detail but ultimately straightforward to decide,” Judge Posner wrote in the decision striking down bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. “The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction — that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended — is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.”
Head below the fold for more on the day's top stories.
Joanna Weiss looks at voter apathy:
Still, there’s a difference between whining and disengaging, and it’s worthy of some thought. This is not a go-out-and-vote soapbox speech. It’s more about trying to understand one of our country’s key divides: not liberals and conservatives, but people who love politics and people who don’t.
looks at how Congress has been complicit in letting major corporations duck a fair wage and fair taxes:
When it comes to many of the tax and labor policies driving this bad PR, the firms themselves aren’t entirely at fault. I blame Washington, too.
On tax policy, Burger King would hardly be the first major corporation to opt for a tax inversion; there have been 35 such inversions since 2009, according to S&P Capital IQ’s Global Markets Intelligence research team. Burger King just happens to be one of the few to have a prominent consumer-facing business, which is probably why its planned tax dodge has drawn so much flak. [...] All of which is to say that the main target of consumer and worker agitation should not be the companies, but Congress. Congress has the power to simplify the tax code so that firms won’t invest so many resources in tax avoidance. Congress also has the power to raise the minimum wage from its pitiful level of $7.25 per hour, which would even the playing field for all companies that employ low-wage workers. The CEO of McDonald’s, in a talk last May, even acknowledged that the company would “be fine” if Congress raised the federal minimum wage for all firms, and that McDonald’s “will support legislation that moves forward.”
By all means, consumers, vote with your wallets and support businesses that treat their workers well and that you perceive to be economic “patriots.” But don’t expect these companies to change their practices until Congress makes doing so worth their while.
One thing is clear: Like so much else these days, monetary policy has become very much a partisan issue. It’s not just that talk of dollar debasement comes pretty much exclusively from the right of the political spectrum; inflation paranoia has, to a remarkable extent, become a matter of conservative political correctness, so that even economists who should know better have joined in the chorus. So we can focus the question further: Why do people on the right hate monetary expansion, even when it’s desperately needed?
On a final note, The Los Angeles Times
takes on antiabortion laws:
MMany of the regulations on abortion now cropping up in states across the country are being passed off as attempts to protect women's health. But what they are really intended to do is to continue the long-running war on women's reproductive rights that unfortunately did not end with Roe vs. Wade 40 years ago. In fact, these new laws could actually harm women's health by delaying their access to a legal, safe procedure.