Our President pulls the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, incorrectly calling the deal "one-sided" and presuming that he'll get a "better deal" out of Iran than one that already verifies the absence of nuclear weapons development. Incomprehensibly he also seems to think this strengthens his hand with North Korea. The other five nations party to the deal have said they'll continue it (and Iran remains a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons), so it's just possible this is another meaningless ball-swinging exercise from our President. But the smarter bet would be to prepare for a PR offensive ending sometime in October with war against, ahem, regime change in Iran. This, after we all remember how regime change went in Iraq and Afghanistan!
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the stock buybacks which are the main result of Republican tax "reform" are actually good for the economy, because they "return capital to shareholders," who then "recycle() that capital through the economy." Of course, we already know that corporations were already sitting on a ton of capital they weren't "recycl(ing) through the economy," and we also know that giving a shareholder a ton of money in no way guarantees they'll actually spend it, either on jobs or cheeseburgers. Is there a lie too evil for the Foreclosure King to tell?
In a related note, Dean Baker at TruthOut gives us some hope in These Interesting Times: with stock dividend yields falling, and with so much CEO pay tied to stock options, CEOs may -- just may -- be screwing themselves out of the absurdly high salaries to which they've become accustomed! And "the sight of top management getting rich while providing mediocre returns (for shareholders) may provide sufficient motivation for shareholders to organize." Ah, but I can just see Congress passing another stupid bailout if CEOs lose too much money. We should be out in the streets if that happens.
Don Blankenship's little "Cocaine Mitch" ad (in which he infamously talks about "China people") may have aided his effort to win the Republican Senate nomination in West Virginia, but Alec MacGillis at ProPublica reminds us that when one of Mr. Blankenship's corporations spewed out a larger-than-the-Exxon-Valdez coal slurry spill that polluted the water of over 25,000 good Kentuckians back in 2000, none other than Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell was there to help him avoid taking any significant responsibility for it. Which should remind you that a lot of these "outsider" candidates are really insiders, and a lot of their "fights" are just drama. And they're not even good drama.
Finally, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman quickly resigns his position after several women accuse him of sexual assault. They call it physical abuse, he calls it "role-playing," but with his resignation a mere three hours after the New Yorker's initial report of the accusations, I guess we know which one it was. What a damn waste -- Mr. Schneiderman's resignation won't make financial predation popular or anything, but folks who do good works in the public sphere need to stop making other people's lives hell in the private sphere. I really don't care how hard that is. Anything worth doing is hard.