Frank Clemente at the New York Times explains why "Corporate Welfare Won't Create Jobs." Nice to have figures -- 90% of the repatriated profits from the 2004 corporate tax amnesty went not to new workers but to shareholders, cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% would result in virtually zero wage hikes or production increases, the effective tax rate for corporations in America is less than half of the statutory 35% rate so stop whining! -- but also nice to note that Donald Trump's favorite corporation, United Technologies, has committed to spending some $16 billion on stock buybacks, which not only don't create jobs, but concentrate corporate power in ever-fewer hands, which is why our government frowned upon it until the early '80s.
Doktor Zoom at Wonkette reminds us that Mr. Trump's pick for Interior Secretary, Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke, not only wants to drill everywhere but is a master of diverting good Americans' campaign contributions to mysterious sources. Also, too, anyone else think he looks like Negan from Walking Dead? He's as terrible as all the other Trump nominees; I only bring him up because he sets up a false dichotomy between clean air and clean water regulations and "energy independence." We could have both, if we'd build out a renewable energy power grid, which clearly isn't the sort of "independence" Mr. Zinke likes. (As an aside, Sen. Tester may well be breathing a sigh of relief, knowing he's now far less likely to face Mr. Zinke in his 2018 re-election bid. It'll be a short-lived sigh of relief, though, because Mr. Tester will lose regardless of his opponent.)
And speaking of Mr. Trump's terrible nominees, the incomparable David Dayen at The Nation tells us that Mr. Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, has been under investigation by the SEC since August for inaccurately valuing Exxon's oil reserves, so that shareholders don't know how well Exxon is really doing financially. Suggesting your reserves are worth more than they really are (particularly in this climate change-era, when all oil reserves may be worth a lot less!) is a pretty good way of committing fraud against your shareholders -- and becoming Secretary of State is a pretty good way of heading off any further SEC scrutiny (though, admittedly, remaking the SEC, as Mr. Trump plans to do, is another pretty good way of heading off further scrutiny). Once again, folks, it's up to us.
NPR's Morning Edition has former Homeland (sic) Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on to discuss the Trump nomination for his old job, and the conversation veers into how you should have more immigrants working farms or else you'll have $16 apples. I'm sure he wasn't being literal, but a UC/Davis researcher just so happened to find in 2011 that a 40 percent increase in farm worker wages would result in a mere 4% increase in apple prices. That's a price I'd pay, if I knew the workers were doing that much better! (I'd also prefer that the National Labor Relations Act allowed farm workers to organize, so that they could be making more money now, and corporations couldn't use the threat of immigrant workers to slash wages.)
Finally, with "fake news" being all in the news lately, Alicia Shepard at the Moyers and Company blog provides "A Savvy News Consumer’s Guide" on "How Not To Get Duped" when you read the news. The section entitled "Consider the Source" has a lot of good advice, such as avoiding sites that end in ".co" (like abcnews.com.co, not at all an ABC news site) and checking for a site's editorial standards (not everyone has them!). You may be pleased to be reminded that the very thing that makes this such a treacherous time for consuming news (that, because of the internet, lies can spread faster than ever before) is also the thing that can make it navigable (that, because of the internet, you can prove lies untrue faster than ever before).