Here's an interesting wrinkle on the subject of tax-preparing corporations that offer "free" filing but make you jump through flaming hoops to get it: TurboTax manufacturer Intuit gets class-action lawsuit over its free-filing feature dismissed, forcing plaintiffs into arbitration -- but a Chicago law firm is paying for thousands of arbitration claims against Intuit, which will cost Intuit millions in legal fees and might force a settlement! I have to admit, that's some good aikido, there. The writer compares this tactic to "guerrilla warfare," which, after all, is how underdogs win. Didn't we learn that in Iraq? Isn't Mr. Putin about to learn that in Ukraine? By the way, Intuit also faces challenges from state prosecutors and federal regulators over allegedly forcing folks to pay for tax-filing when they could have had it for free.
After a CBS reporter foolishly laments what's happening to Ukraine because it's "relatively civilized," Zeb Larson at Teen Vogue argues that we too easily declare some nations "civilized" and others not, and thus we effectively erase whole suffering populations. I remember folks who opposed the Iraq war in the mid-2000s still describing the area as "full of savages" who had "never had peace" -- mainly out of intellectual frustration, I'd bet -- but every nation has doctors, lawyers, engineers, poets, and peacemakers, and while folks like the Taliban make it hard to see that, all you need do is talk to a handful of individuals from so-called "backward" nations and you'll never think of them as "uncivilized" again. I shudder to think that so many Americans don't even have my meager experience in this area.
When you read about Hershey's efforts to thwart an organizing drive at its Stuarts Draft, VA factory, you'll notice a lot of familiar tales -- the corporation making record profits and touting its "efficiency," its insinuation that it could be a better friend to the workers than some union ever could, its jacking up prices and blaming it on "inflation," worker complaints about a two-tiered pay system and being forced to work 72 days in a row and never seeing their family. And, of course, there's also the corporation's sudden zeal about resolving certain long-standing complaints lodged by their workers, which only proves that the threat of unionization works. I wish the Stuarts Draft workers luck in their attempt to bargain for a better work life.
Twitter bans Missouri Republican Rep./2022 Senate candidate Vicki Hartzler from its service for an anti-trans tweet, and that's bound to kick-start her campaign! Now she can tout herself as someone victimized by cancel culture, and you know how Trumpholes love their self-pity, even if it's more like Twitter was her publisher and didn't want to publish her venom anymore because it gave Twitter a bad name. If she gets the nomination -- and all the other candidates really have so many problems! -- she can keep this seat for Republicans, as long as establishment Democrats do what they do best and snuff out Lucas Kunce's campaign. Heaven forfend they nominate a candidate who can win -- and whose stance against monopoly power, particularly as it relates to defense spending, now seems awfully in tune with the zeitgeist in America.
Jesus Mary and Joseph Joe Manchin has presented a framework for a major bill "he can support," though he knows full well that other Democratic Senators oppose prescription drug pricing reform and tax hikes on the rich! Why, it's almost like he's designed this effort to fail! You know, just like the last one, which infamously ended with him declaring he couldn't even vote for his own counterproposal, this after Democrats gave him everything he wanted! I presume he wants to stretch this out to October before he finally declares he just can't support what he originally proposed, which will demoralize the Democratic base and let the fascist party formally take control of Congress. Y'all've noticed I've stopped beating the drum for Build Back Better, right? That's because we can't give this drama king any more attention.
Finally, the Arizona state Senate censures one of their number, Sen. Wendy Rogers, after she fantasized about hanging her enemies at a racist conference and called the Ukrainian President a "globalist puppet" of George Soros, "globalist" and "George Soros" being code words now for "hating Jews." Ms. Rogers, of course, remains defiant, and says the censure violates her "free speech rights," though she has no comment on whether the censure might represent her colleagues' free speech rights. Could we finally be seeing a sea change in American politics, where folks start shaming those who habitually transgress our norms and mores? I'm not hopeful. But I'll happily accept proof that I'm wrong.