We start with a warning about treating politics like we treat team sports: Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress calls our President "clueless" for demanding that Apple avoid Chinese tariffs and price hikes on its products by "mak(ing) (their) products here," but he winds up defending Apple for sending parts to China for assembly because "workers there are paid much less than they would be in the United States." A lot of professional liberals won't reckon with the destruction wrought by "free" trade because our President happens to be on the right side of the issue much of the time despite being a Republican, but those of us who fight for good ideas and good policy, instead of Democratic ideas or Democratic policy, don't have this problem. And Mr. Rupar also assumes that higher costs inexorably lead to higher prices, like corporations don't routinely use the specter of "higher prices" to resist any worker wage hike or any worker safety regulation.
Another day, another study demonstrating how the Republican tax "reform" actually fattens the wallets of CEOs, not workers. This study, from our Federal Reserve, concerned the tax amnesty in the recent tax "reform," where corporations got to pay a lower tax rate on income they "repatriated" from "overseas," and it finds that, much like the 2004 tax amnesty, corporations didn't use their unearned tax break to create jobs, but to (a man does get tired of writing this) buy back stock, which delivers unearned money to shareholders and concentrates corporate decision-making power in fewer hands. Also, too, more money for stock buybacks means less money for investment in making-stuff-selling-stuff-saving-money, though doing these three things (call me old-fashioned!) actually makes economies work. (By "work," I also kinda mean "not jumping from one bubble to the next.")
The incomparable Umair Haque reminds us that it's not the "prole" who becomes a fascist but the "frustrated bourgeoisie," "(t)he one whom capitalism promised to make a capitalist -- but only did it to sell him on capitalism." My first thought, honestly, was that this point maps quite well onto the notion that it ain't the poor Middle Easterners who commit terrorism, but the middle-class Middle Easterners who watch the poor suffer. A lot of Nazi wannabes would be upset to hear how much they're like the guys who flew planes into buildings on 9.11, but not all of them. That doesn't mean the folks who aren't upset at the comparison are somehow "not racist"; it just means they admire evil.
And now from the "Blue Wave Won't Change Nothing" file: Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in line to become Speaker again if Democrats retake the House, announces she'll reimpose the "pay-go" rule for House budgets. That would be the rule the Republicans constantly ignore when it doens't suit them. Again: Democrats never get any of benefit from playing the role of "the reasonable ones," because Republicans just act crazier, the rage-added eat it up, and the "liberal" media covers the rage-addled like they're the only people in America. And if a "pay as you go" rule seems like gospel to you, then honestly account for all the times you went into debt to get ahead. You know, like those times you bought a house or took on a car loan or a college loan.
The notorious Nestlé corporation has told the Australian government that its efforts to root various forms of slavery and sexual servitude out of corporate supply chains could raise prices for consumers. Which is what, class? A manufactured hostage crisis -- don't make my suppliers stop using child labor, or the low price of your Crunch bar gets it! Then again, perhaps they were emboldened by the Australian government's apparent refusal to impose financial penalties for modern slavery practices. Give big corporations an inch, and they'll take your past, present, and future.
Finally, Robert E Gutsche Jr at The Conversation reminds us that the latest Bob Woodward book about our Administration doesn't really tell us anything new. He's right to denounce our "liberal" media for caring about little other than salacious "scoops," but I wish his call for "journalism that joins the dots of bad language, misfires, and intentional wrongdoing to larger systems of power and to individuals who can be held accountable" was a bit more specific, criticism of salacious journalism being itself a species of salacious journalism if it doesn't offer more of a roadmap out.