Buried deep in this account of the sudden disappearance of a political cartoonist's work from the pages of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is its new editorial director, one Keith Burris, claiming that our activism against this Administration constitutes "a mania, a fever, a hissy fit by the self-anointed guardians of all that is good and enlightened in America." Setting aside that, just as "Bush derangement syndrome" more aptly described the behavior of Bush Mobb supporters, the "mania," "fever," and "hissy fits" all come from the President and his votaries: does Mr. Burris not know that this is America? In America, we are, all of us, in fact, "self-appointed guardians" of civilization. That's how America is supposed to work. It's what separates us from aristocracies, monarchies, and dictatorships. And if you think I look down on you for no good reason, your task, as an American -- as a guardian of civilization! -- is most pointedly not to whine about it. Your task is to prove me wrong, and change my mind. If you can't, you may want to consider whether that's your failing, not mine.
Our President can't stop jerking off to our low unemployment numbers, but we should remember that the "official" unemployment rate doesn't count people who've stopped looking for work, or people who work part-time but would rather work full-time. Worse, the U6 rate that supposedly counts these people -- now at 7.6%, or about twice the official unemployment rate -- may not even be that accurate! Economist Robert Pollin suggests that when you consider that the percentage of adults in the workforce is considerably lower than it was 10 years ago, the real unemployment rate could be as high as 11%. That's before you get to the fact that we don't make the money we used to, for reasons including the decline of unions and the rise of outsourcing. (Mr. Pollin also says our government needs to invest in a "Green New Deal" that creates renewable energy jobs, and of course he's right about that.)
Perhaps sensing he's under fire for avoiding meeting with his Consumer Advisory Board as mandated by law, CFPB acting director Mick Mulvaney fires all 25 members of the Consumer Advisory Board, and tells them they can't reapply, almost certainly as a prelude to packing the Board with banksters. And dig the CFPB spokeshack suggesting that the fired Advisory Board members are upset because they might lose their "taxpayer funded junkets to Washington" where they're supposedly "wined and dined by the Bureau"! I hope most Americans understand that if you cared that much about perks, you'd never go into consumer protection advocacy.
U.S. District Judge rules that our Administration cannot, in fact, deny municipalities certain law enforcement funding because they won't go beyond the law in cooperating with the Administration's efforts to find undocumented immigrants. All the Administration would have to do is get the right warrants, but ball-swingers don't do that -- instead, they tell bald lies about immigrant "crime spikes" and violate the Constitution and the law, particularly the Administrative Procedure Act. Remember the Administrative Procedure Act, because it helps prevent the Executive branch from doing whatever the fuck it likes, and it may hang a few other Executive branch initiatives (like maybe the FCC's net neutrality repeal) before too long.
Finally, we learn that advertisers have been fleeing the Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham programs at the Fox News Channel. Apparently their pro-Administration stance doesn't endear them to advertisers anymore, and I'm sure Mr. Hannity's brain-dead conspiracy theories and Ms. Ingraham's attacks on school shooting survivors don't help. In the absence of a la carte cable packaging, which would allow us to simply not pay for channels that disgust us, shaming advertisers into abandoning shows is about our best tool for bringing morality and sanity back to America.