Paul Rosenberg at Salon talks with Donald Cohen, co-author of The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back." You probably know the story pretty well by now -- how "efficiency" means "less service for you," for example -- so if you want to skip ahead to the "How We Can Fight Back" part: one, "debunk the idea that the private sector is always more efficient"; two, point out "the public things that are all around us," not just roads and streetlights, but also clean water, seat belts, and paint without lead; and three, demand more of our politicians than they're used to. My experience is they've lived so long on Easy Street they'll fold under mild pressure from the public. In the meantime, put the book on your Powell's wish list.
Surprise, surprise, Facebook is turning its "fact-checking" powers on memes and posts saying that corporate greed causes inflation. How long before water-makes-you-wet memes get similarly "fact-checked"? And while Agence France-Presse is the oldest state-owned news organ in the world, and a hell of a lot better than some of Facebook's other fact-checkers (cough The Daily Caller cough!), fact is Facebook didn't "correct" anything, but merely offered a counter-opinion and called it a fact. And now that they've done this, they're only helping to spread the corporate-greed-causes-inflation idea even more! You know, kind of like how Maus vaulted to the top of Amazon's best-seller list after that Tennessee school board banned it.
The expanded Child Tax Credit has been gone for almost two months now, and to no one's surprise, the monthly child poverty rate went from 12.1% in December to 17% in January. That's nearly 3.7 million more kids in poverty; put a face to any of them and then consider that Joe Manchin said (or, more likely, parroted what his big donors said) that people just spent their CTC money on drugs! This is just one more data point demolishing that notion -- I mean, if spending CTC money on drugs was that widespread, you wouldn't see child poverty go up almost five points in one month. When will our leaders get any better at leadership?
I'd love to think that yet another substantive investigation into the shaky ethics of Ryan Zinke while he was Secretary of the Interior could scuttle his chances of winning back a Montana House seat (Montana has two House seats now, so he wouldn't be winning back his old one per se), but Montana's state legislature has gerrymandered those two seats pretty well, and Democrats can always snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as they're so good at doing. Still, I'm old enough to remember when the appearance of corruption ended careers; how about we go back to that?
When I hear that Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) is very, very upset that Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) didn't tell him he would endorse someone else for the 2022 open Senate seat, I'm compelled to say waaaaaaah. Rep. Long's long list of complaints (and his long list of "liberal" media outlets to which he's airing these complaints) can't be a good look to Republican primary voters. But Mr. Hawley's been shrewd here -- his endorsee, Rep. Vicki Hartzler, is a stealth Trumphole, not like Eric Greitens and Mark McCloskey, who are overt Trumpholes but who also have more formerly-closeted skeletons on the rampage. Lucas Kunce could beat her, but as I've said, Democrats are so good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory they'll jam someone "safer" down the throats of good Missourians.
Finally, Pennington, NJ Starbucks worker Sara Mughal describes "How We Turned the Tables On Starbucks Union-Busters." Long story short: Starbucks workers across the land talk with each other and compare notes, and at their mandatory anti-union propaganda meetings they bring a crap-ton of questions so that even the managers get exasperated with answering after a while. They're finding out what I found out a long time ago: our opponents don't have any good arguments! And once you figure that out, the only way they can beat you is to cheat, by, oh, hypothetically now, firing workers for trumped-up wrongdoings.