An interesting sideline to yesterday's "free" trade drama: President Obama came to Capitol Hill to persuade Democrats to vote for the thing and wound up alienating them. Which means that folks who think Mr. Obama has actually been trying to sabotage the "free" trade deal will cite this event as evidence, as I'm sure they already cite his head-scratching decision to try to sell "free" trade at freaking Nike corporate headquarters as evidence. Of course, our job is the same no matter what 13-dimensional chess game he may or may not be playing: that we communicate our will to our representatives until they do it.
Elon Musk's corporations -- which include the famous electric car- and battery-maker, Tesla -- have received nearly $5 billion in state and federal subsidies. Obviously I support spending government money (i.e., our money) on more advanced technologies, but I'd prefer our government hire its own researchers and developers to accomplish that aim, rather than hand out 10-year property tax abatements (like the one SolarCity has procured for building a solar panel factory in Buffalo), which are essentially tax cuts for the rich. Loans are fine, too, though guaranteed loans are not. And Jesus Mary and Joseph it's not like Elon Musk doesn't have money.
Surprise, surprise, al Jazeera asks if the FBI has been using "no-fly" lists to coerce Muslims into informing on their communities. At least one lawsuit says yes, and with the four plaintiffs suddenly getting removed from federal no-fly lists days before their court date, you have to wonder. As Paul Craig Roberts instructed us many years ago, the no-fly list has over a million people on it, and if a million people were really that much of a threat, you'd think we'd be having major terrorist attacks, like, every day.
Speaking of fearmongering, FAIR catches the New York "liberal" media outlets suggesting that crime is worse under Tha Liberal You Love to Hate, Mayor Bill deBlasio. We learn (among so many other things!) how the New York Post was able to suggest that "You're 45% More Likely to Be Murdered in deBlasio's Manhattan" -- the number of murders in Manhattan between January 1 and the end of May of 2014 was 11, see, and for that same time period in 2015 it's 16! See? You will die 45% more times! -- than, er, in deBlasio's Manhattan of 2014, since he took office on January 1 of that year. How many murders in Manhattan under tough-on-crime guy Mayor Giuliani in 2001? 102, of course -- or about 63 more than we're on a pace for this year. Crime wave!
Finally, there's JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, suggesting that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), an outspoken critic of banksters, really doesn't understand global banking. And then Mr. Dimon patiently negotiates each and every one of her criticisms of the financial sector so you will understand why he thinks so! I kid, of course; why do work when it's easier to insult your opponents? Naturally Ms. Warren's response has received a lot of ink, but she had already pre-empted his argument back in April: "The finance guys argue that if you're never in the club, you can't understand it. But I think they have it backwards. Not being in the club means not drinking the Kool-Aid." I have only one quibble: saying they "drink Kool-Aid" might actually give them too much credit for good intentions.