Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) releases a bill that would cut Social Security benefits without raising revenues. So, I came up with an ad that would oppose that bill, and here's how it would look: a senior sits down to eat, until a Republican politician comes along and snatches a fifth of what's on her plate; then she goes food-shopping, and the politician takes out a fifth of what's in her cart; then she goes on a plane to visit her grandkids, and the politician tries to throw her out of the plane in mid-air, since she's only got enough money to make four-fifths of the trip! Ah, why do I bother? No weakling Democrat's going to run that ad. (BTW, when I get action alerts about what I think would aptly be called the Johnson bill, you'll get action alerts.)
Adam Serwer analyzes the evidence that Jeff Sessions fought desegregation while Alabama's U.S. Attorney, and finds it wanting. Mr. Sessions's "20 or 30" desegregation filings have become "10," and that's the first bad sign. The second? Mr. Sessions didn't bring any of this up when he was up for the federal bench in 1986, though that would certainly have been a good time to do it! The third? Lawyers and officials who actually worked on these cases hardly remember Mr. Sessions being all that involved with any of them. So now you know what to say when Trumpoids proclaim that TEH SESSIONZ IS NOT TEH RACISTZ!!!!! -- you know, besides all the racist stuff he's done and said.
Peter Dreier at The American Prospect digs deep into possible new Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's nefarious past as a serial forecloser and corporate welfare-hoarder. You heard about the former last week, but the latter -- where he got the FDIC to assume all the risks for all the bad mortgages he took on when he bought IndyMac and renamed it OneWest -- you may not have known about. Anyway, by the end, you'll think Donald Trump had it right the first time, when he said hedge-fund managers like Mr. Mnuchin "are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky," though of course he only ever said that to get people to vote for him.
Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times tells us how "Trump's Carrier Jobs Triumph Looks More Like a Sham Every Day." The hostage-taking aspect ("give us more tax cuts, or these jobs get it!") and the corporate welfare aspect (the aforementioned tax cuts, some coming right away from Indiana, the state the incoming Vice President runs) you already knew about, but you may not know it didn't save 1,100 jobs (actually 730), or that Carrier is still cutting over 1,200 jobs by moving them to Mexico or shutting down another Indiana plant. You may also not know that the aforementioned Indiana Governor who's going to be Vice President soon has handed out some $24 million in welfare handouts to corporations that then shipped nearly 4,000 jobs overseas. Again: you don't give your kids cookies as an "incentive" to do their homework, and these "incentives" don't work any better.
Finally, Jonathan Chait at New York magazine summarizes the excuses Republicans make to justify Donald Trump's apparent zeal to use the office of the President to further enrich himself. You'll read a lot of come-on-he's-not-even-in-office-yet (when Mr. Trump's conflicts of interest are obvious now, and when Rep. Chaffetz said, months ago, that they were going to investigate Hillary Clinton hard!) and from Newt Gingrich, of course, you'll get the-American-people-voted-for-this (well, 46% of them did, anyway!). Really, from Republicans, it's a whole lot of fuck-you-we-won these days. If this is going to be their attitude toward the American people, then their only hope to avoid punishment at the ballot box is another 9.11-sized terrorist attack. Think that hasn't come up in transition-team meetings?