Mario Vasquez at TruthOut informs us that one out of every two dollars spent online goes to Amazon, and asks what we might do about that. No one should have half the market of anything, and Mr. Vasquez does a good job listing all the problems the Amazon monopoly causes -- from killing retail jobs in communities, depriving those communities of property taxes, and stunting the growth of community itself by putting brick-and-mortar stores out of business, all the way to its "management by stress" at its warehouses and its dragging down of good wages at the USPS and UPS through their "partnerships." All is not lost, though, as Teamster pilots at an Amazon subsidiary went on strike (only to be forced to return to work by a judge who actually referred to the "irreparable harm" that "Christmas without Amazon" would do to consumers! What a whiner!)
For those of you who've been thinking of Ohio Gov. John Kasich as a "moderate," note well that he just signed a bill prohibiting Ohio's municipalities from raising the minimum wage on their own. Because conservative! Of course, actual conservatives believe in the smallest possible community making the most important decisions affecting that community, even if today's nominal "conservatives" only believe in whatever makes their biggest donors richer. Good citizens of Ohio, it's time for another veto referendum, like the one that took down Ohio's attempt at limiting collective bargaining rights in 2011.
Adam Johnson at FAIR describes the multitudinous conflicts of interest Vox doesn't disclose. These might seem harmless -- Snap (née Snapchat) getting gushing press for its apps and hardware when both Snap and Vox share a common (and huge) investor, Hulu getting plugs from Vox when both Hulu and Vox share a common (and huge) investor -- and I'm sure someone's going to say lighten up, PR's older than Jesus, but being older than Jesus doesn't automatically make it right, and hiding the big corporations you're getting money from when you just so happen to be plugging their products isn't right, either.
Add this to the list of problems with Apple's new wireless earbuds: per Wired's Kyle Wiens, they're virtually impossible to take apart and therefore virtually impossible to recycle. The major problem is that you can't remove the battery, which is pretty essential to the recycling process (since a battery put through a machine shredder, which separates reusable parts from disposable ones, will very likely blow it up). How proud Apple must be -- they've designed ear buds that will very likely fall out of your ears if you get too much into your music, they've replaced the standard earphone jack with their own proprietary jack, and now we learn their earbuds don't even adhere to Apple's own recycling ethic! It sure seems like Apple would force you to be their kind of consumer, rather than be the consumer you are -- and that, good folks, is exactly what conservatives hate about liberals. No, really -- that's the steak; the rest is sizzle.
Sen. Ted Cruz (E-TX) says Democrats will be "history's biggest obstructionists." A few thoughts: one, we can only hope! Two, if Democrats do the people's will, which is their job, then of course they will obstruct a Republican-run government that only does the will of its biggest donors and its loudest rageheads. Three, Republicans obstructed the entire Obama Administration; weakling Democrats always wanting to reach out and find common ground surely enabled them, but Democrats have a high bar to clear before they'll ever become "history's biggest obstructionists." Four, the "liberal" media covered Republican obstructionism as if it were just part of the landscape, but I doubt they'll give Democrats the same treatment -- especially if we can all see pretty clearly that the Democrats are obstructing on the people's behalf.
Finally, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), in a moment of extreme tone-deafness, calls for a "war on drugs" to deal with the opioid addiction that's ravaging his state in particular and America generally. Does he not know that the original "war on drugs" was, by John Ehrlichmann's own admission, purposely designed to discredit anti-war and civil rights protestors? Does he not know that his own daughter runs a drug corporation that pumps out opioids? Ah, it doesn't matter -- Joe Manchin is going to lose his re-election battle in 2018 by 20 points. And if he loses to David McKinley, that'll be an improvement, not a tragedy.