Matt Stoller reminds us that monopoly power means lower wages for workers, and by "monopoly power," he doesn't just mean corporations forbidding you to work for any of their competitors; he also means typical corporate practices, like forced arbitration, non-compete clauses, and outsourcing, which give them, essentially, price-fixing power over wages. Price-fixing, of course, is quite illegal. Thus our Treasury Department reports that monopolies cost workers 15 to 25 cents on the dollar, and other academic studies tell us that workers make 20% less in this market than they would in a fully-competitive market. I think, with enough repetition, that "monopolies take food out of your mouth" would supersede "if you don't like your paycheck, just get a better job!" as an argument. Particularly in fields where you can't "just get another job" (let alone a better one).
If you've heard that most Americans favor a no-fly zone over Ukraine, David Moore at FAIR tells us why you may not want to trust such polling. When pollsters ask what a no-fly zone would actually entail -- i.e., shooting down Russian plans in Ukraine -- then the numbers look quite different (46% say no, and that answer actually beat "yes" and "I don't know"). Thus you have about one in six respondents both approving of a no-fly zone and disapproving of shooting down Russian planes in Ukraine, with almost as many respondents saying no to a no-fly zone but yes to shooting down Russian planes. Also, never trust a poll that doesn't let you say "I don't know" or "not sure" or "give me another choice because both these choices suck." Hey, a lot of people would give you any of those answers, to many difficult questions.
If you were comforting yourself with the notion that the Florida "don't say gay" bill only applies to third graders and younger, Brandon Wolf of Equality Florida will set you straight, as it were. To start with, the bill's language is of course vague enough to intimidate pretty much any teacher into silence on the matter -- even if the class does a family tree assignment and someone has two mommies on it, basically they can't discuss it in class, for fear it'll run afoul of the law. Plus, just like the Texas law that our Supreme Court should have struck down already, parent lawsuits will enforce the law, and schools can't recoup costs even if they win. And yeah, the bill also "equat(e) the existence of LGBTQ people to conversations about what happens in someone's bedroom." You'd hate to be known only for what you do in the bedroom, right? Well, gay folks still face that all the time, and they shouldn't.
Why has Attorney General Garland not indicted former President Donald Trump, according to Mark Stern at the New York Daily News? Because 98 percent of all indictments lead to plea bargaining, but Mr. Trump will most certainly not go that route, but will instead throw a massive public fit and drag the whole process through the mud, at the end of which he'll get off, because you're not likely to find a 12-person jury that doesn't have at least one Trump votary on it. All of which is likely true! And all of which is damn frustrating for those of us who have an actual love of law and order, and not just a relationship of convenience with the concept.
Sharon Zhang at TruthOut reminds us that Sen. Rick Scott's Get Skinned by the Game plan would raise taxes for working families in the bottom 40 percent income-wise by over $1,000. If you are or ever have been in that group (ahem!), then you know a thousand dollars ain't just something you can poop out, like Rick Scott can. (Hey, if he poops out tax plans, why can't he poop out money?) And, again, Democrats can run a million attack ads showing Republicans snatching thousand-dollar checks out of your hand, checks you count on getting when you do your taxes. Will they, though? Or will they wring their hands, again, over what they haven't done? (And one more time: the people who "don't owe federal income tax" still pay state income taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, and Medicare taxes, and that's not an exhaustive list.)
Finally, this may have gotten by a lot of folks, but Donald Trump announced at a "Save America" rally in Florence, SC over the weekend that, if Republicans regain the White House in 2024, "(w)e will pass critical reforms making every executive branch employee fireable by the president of the United States." Ha ha "reforms"! After all, it's not like our laws keep our President from firing people at will for good reasons. I mean, just suppose the President is a diaper-loaded brat who throws tantrums in public every single day in his life and cares only about himself and uses his office to make himself richer and hurts even his most fervent supporters. Executive branch Inspectors General, for example, could stop a lot of that, which is why he tried to fire all of them on his first or second day in office.