ProPublica finds yet another reason to hate the Trump tax "reform": it widened a loophole allowing CEOs who also own their own businesses essentially reclassify salaries as profits so they can pay less in taxes. Thus an effective top tax rate falls from 40.8% to 29.6%, which adds up at a CEO's income level. CEOs would have to justify the decrease in their salaries to our IRS -- if our IRS audits them, which hardly happens to rich folks anymore thanks to over a decade of our Congress defunding our IRS. WeatherTech CEO David MacNeil will probably regret taking ProPublica on a tour of his floor-mat empire, since he comes off like a self-centered jerk, to put it mildly.
ProPublica also tackles assert forfeiture laws in Massachusetts -- specifically, how hard it is to get your property back there even several years after the state decided not to charge you with whatever suspicion prompted them to confiscate your property in the first place. Seriously, the lengths the state goes to just to avoid giving you your property back (waiting years, putting your name in fine print along with a hundred others, demanding that you respond in court when you did nothing wrong) would be comic, if it weren't unconstitutional. If you still think drug charges are a serious enough reason to violate our Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful searches and seizures, note that Massachusetts will seize your property without a drug charge. Also, how well has that strategy worked in reducing drug addiction? By the evidence, not well at all.
Ho hum, Gov. Ron DeSantis (E-FL) pushes Regeneron treatments ahead of vaccinations as a hedge fund CEO invests millions in Regeneron and millions more in Mr. DeSantis's campaign. And when one of the few remaining Democratic state legislators points out that Mr. DeSantis is "not a full-blown anti-vaxxer" but also someone who "doesn't want to upset those who support the vaccine," you start to think he might actually be a pretty good politician. You will not, however, think he's a very good Governor, or a very good leader. The only reason Florida's seven-day moving average of new cases is under 20,000 is that Florida doesn't report every day, which would lead you to think Mr. DeSantis has something to hide.
Heard that the horse-dewormer drug ivermectin might be a "miracule cure" for COVID? Nicole Karlis at Salon explains why you should be, ah, skeptical. And when your Trumphole aunt says "but I read about it in the Wall Street Journal," you can reply that the Journal op-ed piece they read (or, more likely, heard about) was co-written by a drug industry "consultant" who worked for the corporation that created ivermectin. Also, the studies that "prove" ivermectin's effectiveness were almost absurdly small, or took place in test tubes which aren't human bodies, or retracted due to data manipulation. And I'd just leave it at that -- even Trumpholes who used to carry The Pill Book around at their jobs will go la-la-la-la when you tell them about side effects and drugs you should never mix ivermectin with.
Why oh why are we allowing the folks who started the Afghanistan War offer their opinions on its ending? There are plenty of astute observers our "liberal" media could use instead -- why, there are even folks who don't say one thing in public and another thing in private, as Gen. Petraeus and Gen. Lute have done. There is, of course, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), the only House Rep to vote against the Afghanistan War to begin with! Think she might have something interesting to say about all of that? To most of our "liberal" media's preferred voices on Afghanistan I would simply say: thank you for your input, but I think you've done enough.
Finally, Jon Schwarz at The Intercept reminds us who really "won" the Afghanistan War: big American defense contracting corporations. The biggest five defense contracting corporations in America have seen their stock returns go up almost 900 percent since 2001, while stocks generally have gone up by a bit over 500 percent, meaning the big five defense stocks did about 58% better than the stock market as a whole. All that, to put the same right-wing extremist government back in power that we were supposedly trying to dislodge when we went in almost two decades ago. Nice work if you can get it!