Why is Mylan, owner/extorter behind the EpiPen, trying to get the EpiPen placed on a federal list of "preventive medical services"? To lower prices for the people who need it, since most folks getting those services must (per the Affordable Care Act) get them for no out-of-pocket cost? Well, not quite: as the New York Times reports, getting on that list won't hurt Mylan's profits, but would mean our government and private insurers would have to pay the cost -- meaning, ultimately, we'll all pay for it, either through taxes or higher insurance premiums. That's at least the second time Mylan's tried PR sleight-of-hand. Getting more competition for EpiPen would be a better idea; expanding Medicare to include everyone would be a better idea yet.
Health advocacy coalition finds that most of America's 25 biggest restaurant chains aren't doing anywhere near enough to get antibiotic-free meat out of their supply chains. In case you were wondering, Panera and Chipotle do the best job, with Subway and Chick-Fil-A a little behind them. McDonald's still hasn't gotten antibiotics out of its pork, though it's gotten them out of its chicken, while Dunkin Donuts has actually gone backward by changing its antibiotics mandate to a suggestion. It'd be nice to just ignore what most of the big restaurant chains do, but most Americans aren't ignoring them. At least we're getting more commitment and more action out of them, but we've got a long way to go.
ProPublica looks at Amazon's pricing algorithm, and finds it wanting. Yes, the algorithm that purports to "find the lowest price" and put it in the "buy box" usually finds that price at Amazon or at a seller who's paid for product placement, regardless of where one might actually find the lowest price. And when you drill deeper on the "more buying choices" page, Amazon tends to omit shipping costs for the same categories of sellers -- which works if you've bought Amazon Prime (and get free shipping), but is rather misleading if you don't. Naturally, Amazon's spokeshack says price isn't everything, which is what they all say when they get caught with their pants down. Also, too, the EU considers practices like these anticompetitive, which our government would, too, if it didn't defer to the corporations who give mere lip service to the notion of "competition."
Donald Trump says "our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before," adding, just in case you missed it, "ever, ever, ever." Slavery, Jim Crow -- both wiped out with one rhetorical flourish! Still, if Donald Trump wants to press his point about inner-city poverty and misery in Presidential debates -- and a lot of right-wingers would like him to! -- Hillary Clinton could respond thusly: "well, inner cities are miserable because of predatory landlords like you, Mr. Trump, who took $850 million in tax breaks from New York City over the years, who even took a grant intended for small businesses destroyed by 9.11 in order to rebuild a building that wasn't even damaged by 9.11."
Finally, Robert Reich describes a zinger he gets off on a Trump supporter. Long story short: the man supports Trump because he's a great businessman, one who could turn a $200 million family fortune into a $4.5 billion fortune, and then Mr. Reich responds, "(b)ut if he had just put that $200 million into an index fund and reinvested the dividends, he’d be worth twelve billion today." The "$850 million in tax subsidies" is a little like twisting the knife, but hey, it's true. The more ominous sign from the anecdote? The Trump supporter acknowledges that Mr. Trump is "a little bit much," which is a hell of an understatement -- and which suggests that mainstream Republicans are now pretty used to him.