Angus Roxburgh at The Guardian argues that sanctions against Russia for invading the Ukraine should target Mr. Putin's advisors, not his funders, because targeting the billionaires hasn't worked, and targeting those members of Russia's legislature or Mr. Putin's council who actually advise him -- and who "love to swan around on yachts, ski slopes and fine hotels in the west, posting pictures of themselves on Instagram" -- would hurt more. This is such a good idea you have to wonder why Western nations haven't done it already, and I shudder to think that the answer might be "because we need Vladimir Putin around to distract you from our doings."
Since Facebook is "fact-checking" the assertion that corporate greed causes a large part of inflation, here's a mainstream media report entitled "Rising Fuel Prices and Corporate Profits -- Not Wages -- Are Chiefly to Blame for Inflation." OK, they put corporate profits second, but baby steps! This is our "liberal" media, after all! But let's quote: "If higher worker pay was truly the main driver of prices, it follows that more labor-intensive service sectors of the economy would be seeing the largest jump in consumer prices. Yet the inflation picture today shows the exact opposite: price increases for goods are outstripping services by a factor of three." And if energy price hikes add only two percentage points to inflation, and labor costs add next to nothing, well, that leaves five and a half points to attribute to corporate profits.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the state's child protective services agency to investigate any child who's had any sort of "sex change" procedure as possible "child abuse." That extends only as far as hormone therapies and puberty blockers; our laws already prohibit more invasive surgical procedures, but naturally Texas is "focusing" on that, too. You know what would be really cynical? If Gov. Abbott trumpeted this order so he could survive a primary challenge against someone even further right than he -- then reminded everyone in the primary that the agency didn't actually investigate any children on this basis during the general election. See? I'm not actually a knuckle-dragging ogre like the liberals say! Except, of course, that the threat of investigation still exists, and can, in fact, be carried out if too many rage-addled right-wingers notice that "nothing's being done." If Beto O'Rourke can't prepare for that, he deserves to lose. Hey, I'm just a schmuck on the internet and I can game it out; this is his job.
Ho hum, Donald Trump's new social network, the daringly-named Truth Social, is not only suffering from technical glitches that have bloated its waitlist to 500,000 folks, but has already booted people off its network for perceived offenses despite billing itself as a "free speech" haven. Of course Mr. Trump probably looks at the waitlist and says "look at all the people who want to join!" And as I've always said, you can kick anyone you want off your privately-held network, but maybe you should slow your roll on the "free speech" pity party if you're going to do that. Hilariously, Truth Social has received a number of five-star reviews from folks who not only haven't used it, but say they're still having trouble getting on it! Maybe these folks really think the Deep State is keeping them from signing on, but you know who else reviews something without having used it? A troll. And their Personal Lord and Savior is the greatest troll of them all.
So how does a "Century-Old Small-Time Retailer" in West Virginia "Survive() Walmart," per John W. Miller at The Daily Yonder? By "realiz(ing) we’d have to sell higher quality products, put a premium on service and also develop relationships with everybody in town," per Ruttenberg's owner/manager, and yes you're "more likely to pay $100 than $25 for a pair of work boots, but they’ll last longer, and that transaction will keep money in the community and feed a relationship with the family selling you the shoe." As for "developing relationships," that's mostly about learning all your customers' names and asking how they're doing; how odd, that the solution to all the problems hyper-mechanized efficiency causes is always people.
Finally, leave it to Donald Trump to call the Russian invasion of the Ukraine "smart," in the sense that "he’s taking over a country for $2 worth of sanctions." You know, in the sense that making all that money without paying any taxes (as he has frequently been accused of doing) was also "smart," as he suggested in the second Presidential debate with Hillary Clinton in 2016. The more cynical among us probably agree with Mr. Trump, but cynicism is evil, and more to the point, let's see if the cynics call it "smart" when Mr. Putin drags down his entire regime by fighting a guerrilla war in the Ukraine for however long he stays invested in that. So proud of their "learning" in "the School of Hard Knocks," some people are. (Hate to pile on, but his bringing up the "rigged election" to Laura Ingraham provokes me to ask: if this guy was Teh Greatest President Evah, as he has so often said, how come he couldn't "rig" his own re-election? How does someone so great constantly get tripped up by his enemies?)