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Sunday, December 17, 2017
David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy — Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

Rand Paul: Libertarian, Except When He’s Not

Senator Rand Paul insists he’s a tight-fisted libertarian who cuts spending and stops waste. But look at what he has done rather than what he says.

April 11, 2015

Toxic Law: How Corporate Power And ‘Religious Freedom’ Threaten Democracy

Corporations are valuable and useful vehicles for creating wealth. But they are not and never should be political and religious actors.

April 4, 2015

Winning Against The Oligarchs

Americans can and must fight back against voter suppression, campaign finance loopholes, and other tricks from the 1 percent.

March 28, 2015
Protesters demonstrate against right-to-work laws in Madison, Wisconsin (Light Brigading via Flickr)

How The Media Enable The Anti-Worker Movement

Intentionally or not, news organizations often help the Koch brothers, ALEC, and other enemies of labor.

March 21, 2015

The Wisdom Of Steve Forbes

The Capitalist Tool explains why most Americans believe the system is rigged against them.

December 22, 2014
US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (C), and Speaker of the House John Boehner, attend a ceremony at the US Capitol, Washington, DC, December 10, 2014 (AFP/Saul Loeb)

The ‘Hunger Games’ Economy

The “cromnibus” spending bill embodies the worst qualities of our government — and our media.

December 15, 2014

It’s Not Just Ferguson – It’s All Of America

Why we need to restore police as guardians and undo the “warrior cop” mentality.

November 20, 2014

Memo To Democrats: Change Campaign Strategy Or Keep Losing

Democrats can win control of the House of Representatives, governorships and many other offices in November if they do just one thing: Stop playing politics the way the Koch brothers and other right-wing billionaires do. A surefire way to make sure Republicans stay in power is to continue pouring most campaign money into costly television […]

September 12, 2014
Watergate: Richard Nixon resigning the presidency amid Watergate scandal, August 9, 1974

What We Lost 40 Years Ago When Nixon Resigned

Four decades ago this weekend, in the living room of Jerry Ford’s high-school civics teacher, I watched on television the end of the Watergate nightmare. What we could not have known then was that we were also at the beginning of a new national nightmare, a much worse disaster that slowly erodes our Constitution, our […]

August 8, 2014

Governor Christie Embraces Theft

Embattled New Jersey governor Chris Christie has come out foursquare for wage theft. As reported Sunday by Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post, Christie met with 200 citizens at the Jersey shore last week and, regarding state worker retirement benefits, declared: “Promises were made that can’t be kept… Welcome to the real world, folks.” Tumulty […]

July 28, 2014

Heritage Tries Its Hand At News, But Forgets The Facts

The Daily Signal,  The Heritage Foundation’s online “news” website, debuted Tuesday, offering up vagaries and unverifiable assertions aplenty, but too few empirical facts and little in the way of attribution. Its first video was a publicist’s dream, a puff piece that no serious news organization would air. What appears in The Daily Signal matters because […]

June 3, 2014
Walmart, Memo Pad, National News, Taxpayers, Government Subsidies, Waltons, Taxes

Walmart On Welfare: Government Subsidies & Taxpayers For The Waltons

Imagine if Walmarts owners, the Waltons, weren’t on the dole and pulled themselves up by their own proverbial bootstraps.

April 14, 2014

NFL’s Defense Of ‘Redskins’ Falls Woefully Short

Using slurs seems a simple issue:  It is morally wrong and offensive. But to Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, “the issue is undeniably complex.” Goodell wrote those words in a very sophisticated and carefully crafted Feb. 27 letter defending the name of the football team in the nation’s capital. The National Memo has obtained a […]

March 6, 2014

Brent Bozell: Media Critic And Fraud

Far-right media critic L. Brent Bozell III is a fraud, the Romenesko blog for journalists revealed after some deft reporting last week. This unmasking should interest every centrist and progressive. Those of us who have been reading Bozell for years were deceived because, as Jim Romenesko revealed, Bozell did not write the columns bearing his byline. […]

February 17, 2014
Income Inequality

AEI Does Itself A Disservice With Obvious Lies

How many Americans think income inequality is our greatest challenge, as President Obama asserts? According to what, at least until now, has been one of the most respected pro-business research organizations in Washington, the number of Americans holding this view totals just 315. The figure of 315 comes from James Pethokoukis, a “scholar” at the American […]

February 10, 2014

National Review Is In Deep Trouble

The late William F. Buckley’s journalistic baby, National Review, is in deep legal trouble. This week it asked subscribers like me for donations to pay lawyers fending off a libel suit. Those legal bills, even before a trial it may well lose, could sink the leading right-wing journal in America, The Week says. Progressives, liberals, conservatives […]

January 31, 2014

Willful Blindness Worsens Inequality

The rich really are getting richer, while the vast majority is getting poorer. All you have to do is look at the official government data to know this. Sadly, though, most of our nationally prominent journalists, especially David Brooks of The New York Times and PBS, do not know this because they neglect to do […]

January 17, 2014
News, Newspapers

Honoring The Word Police

Let us praise copy editors — and mourn their dwindling numbers. Copy editors are to writers as nets are to trapeze artists, saving us from typos, careless mistakes and metaphors so slippery that no reader can grasp their meaning. Today’s Internet is rich with snarky observations highlighting mistakes that, until the last decade, copy editors […]

January 3, 2014

Dying Sooner: America Falls Behind On Longevity

Breaking News Alert – Longevity in America is falling behind the rest of the modern world, where universal health care is ubiquitous and paid time off for illness, child bearing and vacations are common, unlike the United States. Life expectancy at birth in America is now a year shorter than the average of 34 modern countries, while […]

November 21, 2013
hundred dollar bills money

Big Majorities Favor Progressive Tax-And-Spend Policies, Polls Show

A new poll finds clear, overwhelming public support for specific tax increases on big corporations and the rich.

November 12, 2013
NYT New York Times Donald Trump

Obamacare Penalized By Flawed Reporting In The New York Times

News flash – there is no penalty for failing to get health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. This news flash is prompted by a headline atop the front page of The New York Times Monday morning: “Talk of Penalty is Missing in Ads for Health Care.” Reporter Anemona Hartocollis […]

November 11, 2013

Job Creation: The Latest Taxpayer-Funded Scandal

Republican governors are actually creating jobs, and sometimes big-paying jobs. However, these are not jobs for you or your neighbors, but for their friends — also known as campaign donors — a new report shows. These newly created jobs do not manufacture products. They don’t even provide a service. Well, technically they do — serving […]

October 23, 2013

Same Job, Same Size Budget Equals Less Pay for Women

Hey, married men – wake up! Your working wives are getting shorted on pay and that means your family has less money than it should. A new report on pay, made public today by Guidestar USA  proves discrimination against women is pervasive. The new report compares men and women with the same positions at similarly sized […]

September 16, 2013

Failed Policy — The 401(k) Shrinks In A Growing Economy

Disturbing new evidence that government policies are propelling us toward a poorer future turns up in a first-ever government examination of retirement savings plans like 401(k)s. The report, from the Internal Revenue Service, shows that even though the economy is improving, the number of workers saving out of their paychecks for old age is shrinking. […]

September 5, 2013
payday loans

Making ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks Help Poor Borrowers

Predatory lenders are folding fast in New York State, thanks to a savvy banking regulator who takes his duty to protect the public as seriously as his duties to the financial industry — and knows how to use the law to get quick action. Nine of 35 predatory lenders closed their operations in the Empire […]

August 29, 2013