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Strange Benchfellow

Greed Isn’t Good
Free-market advocates have the most to lose from the latest wave of accounting scandals, the New Republic’sGregg Easterbrook writes. “Yet we’ve heard almost nothing from conservatives denouncing the revelations of widespread corporate quasi-theft. Where for example are the voices of Gary Becker of the University of Chicago or of Milton Friedman–why are the great living conservative economists silent as big business pulls the wool over the free market?” (Here’s Friedman
crowing about the Supreme Court’s school voucher decision on the op-ed page of the New York Times.) 

Bye Bye American Pie
“It is no accident that WorldCom, whose accounting fraud cost $3.8 billion, was based in Mississippi and was a generous contributor to its hard-line conservative senator, Trent Lott, minority leader in the Senate, as Ed Vulliamy reports today. Nor that Enron, whose profits were vastly overstated by accounting fiddles, was based in Texas and whose relationship with George Bush was so close,” the UK Observer’s Will Hutton writes. “The states of the Confederacy remain the heartland of the distinct brand of American conservatism that combines Christian, market and America-first fundamentalism to a unique degree, reinforced in the South by a legacy of barely submerged racism.”

Death, Juries, and Scalia
Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair’s homage to Justice Antonin Scalia.