John Mauldin at Forbes announces that "The Average American Can't Save Enough to Retire" -- and that's mainly because the average American doesn't make enough money. Take that, rich boss who looks down on everyone who's not like him! I can't really fault Mr. Mauldin for talking about retirement in terms of "cruises and golf tournaments," or bills only in terms of paying off your house or car, since I imagine that's how his intended audience at Forbes thinks about these things. And perhaps some of them will get the message, however muted, that they're not paying their employees enough to have a decent-sized IRA.
Fran Quigley at TruthOut warns us that big pharma corporations are trying to deflect from their role in pricing life-saving drugs too high by nattering on about middlemen like "pharmacy benefit managers." Because what else can they do when you have them dead to rights on jacking up the price of insulin so much that some diabetics skip doses which diabetics cannot ever do? Just remember that big pharma corporations pay their executives tens of millions of dollars and report profits as high as 40%, and that the price of insulin has increased tenfold over the last 20 years, which is, to say the least, a lot faster than inflation. (Also, note that pharmacy benefit managers don't set a drug's list price.)
Buried in this account of how our President hates the idea of self-driving cars, not that he's doing anything about it, is the statement that Administration Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao faces a "challenge" to "manage safety concerns while promoting U.S. innovation." If a car isn't safe, how is it "innovative"? Are we "innovating" on the definition of safety now? To include, you know, stuff that's not safe? "Innovation" is really the worst word in the English language. You can safely decide that anyone who deploys it as an unambiguous positive is a fool.
Janine Jackson at FAIR reminds us, in the wake of the news that the Venezuelan government didn't blow up those aid convoys at all, that "Exposure of Another Pro-War Lie Doesn’t Make Media More Skeptical of Pro-War Claims." You have to wonder why our "liberal" media keep going to the same people who are always wrong about everything -- a phenomenon we've observed repeatedly, such as when folks who swore up and down that the Iraq war would be easy-peasy kept getting cited as "experts" in news reports -- but of course we already know why: because war makes big corporations money, and media outlets don't challenge money.
If you're wondering why this session's Medicare-for-All bill has fewer House Democratic supporters than last session's Medicare-for-All bill did, despite there being, you know, more Democrats in the House this session, you can take comfort in the fact that quite a few of last session's Democrats supported it because it had no chance of passing, and its chances of passing grow with the passage of time. You can take less comfort in recalling that Democrats sure do have a habit of sabotaging good ideas when they have the power to do so -- but you can take more comfort in knowing that our job isn't to elect more Democrats, but to make the politicians in power do our will.
Finally, in a related note, David Dayen reminds us that California Senator/Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris loves to celebrate her role in getting that $25 billion settlement from banksters over foreclosures, but that the settlement itself is nothing to celebrate. That goes beyond the fact that banksters were able to write that $25 billion off their taxes, and none of them went to jail, even though they obviously broke the law -- a lot of that settlement money didn't actually help anyone keep their home, though that was, ostensibly, its whole purpose. Think of that the next time someone tells you that you have to support Kamala Harris because she's "electable" or "sensible" or whatever -- in these times, these words mean "part of the problem."