Good news, everyone! The Tribune Media Group withdraws from the proposed Sinclair-Tribune merger -- and also files $1 billion lawsuit against Sinclair, alleging misconduct that precluded government approval of the merger. One is tempted, a la Sen. Truman, to just say let them kill each other. But one is also tempted to wonder if FCC Chair Ajit Pai, in demanding that a judge review Sinclair's ownership arrangements and thus effectively scuttling the merger, has made himself look better if investigators look into his own contacts with Sinclair before approving loosened UHF media ownership rules that benefited Sinclair.
From Sally Hardin at TalkPoverty we learn that our Administration's rollback of fuel efficiency standards will cost the average working family about $500 annually in fuel costs. So when you hear folks regurgitate our Administration's line that new cars will cost $2,100 to $2,700 less, keep in mind that you'll probably have your car longer than the four or five years before you start losing money. Our Administration valuing the short term over the long term; what a surprise! (But after you do that math, don't forget to heap on all the health care costs from all the added pollution we're going to have.)
Speaking of extremely surprising things, our FBI arrests U.S. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) for insider trading. Mr. Collins could be overheard on the House floor last year declaring his intention to sell off some big pharma stock the day before that corporation announced the failure of a study involving its MS drug, but if you recall that Mr. Collins bought up $2 million worth of big pharma stock shortly before writing a bill speeding up FDA consideration of drugs -- and then bought another $1 million of stock after that bill passed! -- this arrest will seem, well, doubly unsurprising.
Ipsos poll finds 43% of Republicans think our President should be able to "close news outlets engaged in bad behavior." Presumably not with a la carte cable packaging, since that would be an example of the people closing down news outlets engaged in bad behavior. The good news? When you mention specific media nemeses like the Washington Post and the New York Times, the number goes down to 23%, and since about 25% of the American electorate will sign on to any noxious program as long as it diddles their rage glands, that number might actually represent progress.
Missouri voters repeal, by a 2-1 margin, the legislature's recent "right-to-work" law. That's right, 67 percent of voters hated "right-to-work" badly enough that they came out on a primary Tuesday to defeat it. And why were they voting on the repeal on primary day, versus, you know, Election Day? Typically because right-wing voters turn out more heavily for primaries than liberals do. So the "right-to-work" forces couldn't win even when they stacked the deck. Good job, Missouri!
Finally, Democrat Danny O'Connor still trails Republican Troy Balderson by less than a percentage point in the U.S. House special election in Ohio's 12th, but while Our Glorious Elites wonder how a Republican could almost-lose a district the party has normally won by 20 points or more since 1982, I wonder if, one one hand, maybe folks aren't as mad at Republicans as they were when Conor Lamb won the PA-18 special, but on the other hand, anyone who's willing to not-STFU about health care can make a race close just about anywhere. Then again, on the other other hand, maybe a straight-talking socialist could have beaten the Republican outright, conservatism being, these days, less a matter of substance than tone.