Republicans not only censure Reps. Cheney (R-WY) and Kitzinger (R-IL) for not marching in jackboot lockstep with the party's orthodoxy in re January 6, but go so far as to slam them for participating in the House January 6 Committee and thus, in their words, participating in the "persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse," which of course aims to gaslight you into thinking that an attempted coup is jes' folks talking in the public square. They tried to walk it back, of course, but they said what they really think about "ordinary folks" protesting -- as long as they're not protesting war or police brutality or climate change, of course. But trying to impale a cop with a Blue Lives Matter flag? Running a Confederate flag through the Capitol? Looking for AOC and Nancy Pelosi so you can kill them? Too legit to quit, apparently.
Matt Stoller's piece from late last week, "Mergers Ruin Everything," is one of his best. Not only does it go deep into why the AT&T/Time-Warner merger was bad for America -- roll call! Lost jobs! Broken promises! Higher prices! Content behind paywalls! Lost TV shows like Adam Ruins Everything! -- he makes a long, long list of economic sectors where mergers have made everything bad, including lab testing (where the duopoly "slow-walked the roll-out of more COVID testing" like that's something we should just put up with), audio streaming (need I say more than "Spotify"?), and movies (where Disney's, ah, made a few moves these last few years). The lists of corporations monopolists have bought (CVS bought at least 10 big corporations over the last 30 years, many of which you'll remember) are also quite startling. I think only a fool would believe monopolies are good after reading this article. There aren't that many fools in America, but they do seem to get far too much say about everything.
Ho hum, America's richest families will likely evade over $8 trillion in taxes over the next two dozen years, if we keep Estate Tax rates where they are. The Estate Tax is yet another area in the American discourse where the American people are in one spot and all the politicians are in another one, possibly because the politicians know more rich people than the rest of us do. Unfortunately, good Americans are still susceptible to big corporate gaslighting about higher taxes on rich families, trotting out that stupid family-farms-will-die trope, even though no one has ever found a single family farm that died because of the Estate Tax, and also, you know, big ag corporations kill family farms far more efficiently than any tax hike on the rich ever could. I don't expect any part of this argument will move someone like Kyrsten Sinema, to whom appearing like a "bipartisan" "maverick" is far more important than doing the right thing.
Last week I celebrated tumbling viewership rates for cable "news" channels, and while I still don't want to get in the habit of celebrating other folks' misfortune, damn Facebook lost $230 million in value in one day last week, mostly because Facebook itself trumpeted a gaggle of bad news items, like lost profits and fewer users. I'll never view Facebook as an unqualified evil -- I've met a lot of good folks I never would have met if not for Facebook -- but it has done a lot of evil, and anyway social media should only be a place where you start getting to know people; ideally it should all be like Meetup used to be (and still is, I'm told, though hardly anyone uses it anymore), and should help people who wouldn't otherwise meet get to know each other in real time. Also, email's a far better social media tool than what we call social media today. (And hate to pile on, but we already did the metaverse; it was called Second Life. I never saw a need for it, and most folks seem to agree with me now that the novelty's worn off.)
Finally, I'd hoped to be challenged by this article entitled "Progressives Who Want Joe Rogan Off Spotify Should Be Careful What They Wish For," but, alas, no. Claims that Mr. Rogan's politics are "more complex" should remind you of a 25-years-and-counting scam run by a certain loofah-loving right-winger who only did things like criticize Ann Coulter and interview Seymour Hersh respectfully so he could claim "independence." Also, no liberals "trust" corporations to keep stupid people off the air, which is why a massive online protest against Mr. Rogan happened in the first place! And we don't have to imagine what would have happened to anti-war voices if Spotify had existed in 2002, because weblogs did exist then, and they have persisted well after mainstream media ignored them and right-wingers vilified them as "traitors." Even when the article concedes that censorship and editing aren't the same thing, it suggests that Spotify is less like an editorial board and more like the Post Office, as if radio stations were mere "mail carriers" and never had editorial duties. Finally, as for campaigns like these getting "turned on the left," that already happens -- yikes, we're in the middle of a book-burning craze! -- and if we want to win those battles, we have to organize better.