President Trump suggests he could stop funding subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, saying Congress hasn't authorized them. If he does do that -- something neither Congress nor health insurance corporations appear to want at this point -- he might wind up with his very own Hawley-Smoot tariff, and for what? To "make Democrats negotiate" without giving them a damn thing worth negotiating for? That's like creating a hostage situation and then just killing the hostage! He'd be better off funding subsidies and running Obamacare into the ground in other ways, which is I'm sure where he'll be before long.
David Dayen reminds us that the economic "populists," such as they were, have far less sway in the Trump Administration than the Goldman Sachs crowd now. Which is not a pivot to the center, as anyone who thinks about it knows! No one voted for Mr. Trump because they wanted banksters running things -- in fact, his voters expected completely the opposite. And the center isn't Where Our Glorious Elites are -- it's where most Americans are, which is, again, not with the banksters.
Alex Pareene at Fusion reminds us that airlines like United can "treat you like garbage because they're an oligopoly." "When everyone gets mad at Pepsi, Pepsi has to apologize because it is very easy to not drink Pepsi," whereas airlines "do not need to do anything to convince people to fly with them, because they all merged and consolidated until there were just four firms controlling the vast majority of domestic flights." It's not a monopoly per se, but it might as well be. All praise the new economy!
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has requested 24-7 bodyguards, possibly because he's going to fire one out of every four EPA workers. Seriously, right-wingers walk around like they have the biggest balls, and yet they need the biggest security details, paid for with our tax money, no less. You'd think there'd be a lesson in there, somewhere -- you know, like if you don't hurt people, you don't need so many goons protecting you.
Some good news out of California: the state is making so much solar power that wholesale solar prices are actually in the negative for a few hours a day. This isn't about residential customers generating so much power that utilities have to pay them -- this is about corporations that generate solar power having to pay utilities on occasion, because it's apparently cheaper to do that than to simply stop generating power. So the utilities may not die a horrible death after all. These really aren't bad problems to have, you know.
Finally, in a truly impressive display, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) says at a town hall that it's "bullcrap" that taxpayers pay his salary. He "meant" to say he pays his own way in the world and does what he does in Congress as a service, but all anyone's ever going to hear is "you said you paid for me to do this? Bullcrap!" And if he thinks he's in a safe Republican seat, he might want to talk to Lee Terry about that -- or Ron Estes.