Josh Bivens at the Economic Policy Institute finds that higher corporate profits make up about 53% of inflation, which maps on well to Matt Stoller's "back of the envelope" calculation from earlier this year that corporate profits made up about 60%. His lengthy disquisition on why "macroeconomic overheating" isn't causing inflation is worth reading, but so is his reminder -- because we need another one! -- that the whole world is experiencing inflation, which means that no one should blame your stimulus checks.
Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times asks (because someone was going to sooner or later, I guess) "Is Elon Musk Really That Bad?" Somehow Mr. Manjoo erases the family diamond mine from Mr. Musk's "troubled childhood in South Africa," and don't we all feel fairly confident that at least 80% of good South Africans had a more troubled childhood than Mr. Musk did? And listing ways Mr. Musk could improve Twitter certainly doesn't prove he would improve Twitter, let alone that he will, or has. That whole passage about Mr. Manjoo driving a Model S in California is hysterically tone-deaf, and I'm not even sure the Tesla car itself represents a great achievement, at least not until working families can afford it, which we've been waiting for now for over a dozen years. As I recall, the Toyota Prius became budget-friendly more quickly! Anyway, Bess Levin provides a more convincing list of good reasons to dislike the guy.
Our Centers for Disease Control (or CDC) has found that about 60% of Americans -- and, quite troublingly, a larger percentage of American children -- have had COVID-19 through the end of February. Their previous finding was that about 40% of Americans had COVID through late January. This may be why we're not living through another hellish spike at the moment -- too many Americans have had the disease. Still, keep masking up for the sake of your immunocompromised friends and neighbors. They sure deserve better than the claptrap internet "influencers" have been peddling.
When I hear that Rep. Lauren Boebert (E-CO) rather strongly dislikes Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (E-GA) and doesn't want to be caught dead with her in the same room anymore, I am reminded, as I hope you are also reminded, that this is all drama, designed to distract you from what they all want to do -- which is, basically, to deny you agency in your own civilization and to make sure a very small number of elites run things, which those elites have done and will continue to do very, very badly, because they only care about themselves. Also too, everyone saw that photo of Reps. Boebert and Greene taunting President Biden during his most recent State of the Union address, so no one's going to believe any reports of a "rift."
When I heard that David Brooks had written an op-ed which concluded with the statement "Democrats are going to have to find a posture that is tough on disorder, and tough on the causes of disorder," I said this had better not go the way I think it's going to go. Reader, it did -- his complaints about crime, education, border security, "politiciz(ing) everything," and "overstimulating the economy" all miss the mark on "the causes of disorder," at least as I've been explaining them for nearly 20 years. What causes disorder in America? The greed, folly, and venality of our ruling classes, that's what. You want to get "tough on disorder," you go after polluters and financial predators, instead of lamenting that crime is up in 2021 over 2020 like we weren't all locked down in 2020.
Finally, when Beltway knuckleheads say that President Biden is trying to "to crack the Manchinema puzzle" in passing whatever part of his domestic agenda he can still get passed, I want to grab them by the lapels and scream there is no puzzle! Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema exist to foment drama, and they'll lead the rest of the caucus on until the very last minute and then snatch the football away. Best thing Democrats could do right now is cobble together a proposal based only on things they've already agreed to do, and then hold a vote on it. If these two vote against it -- and I bet they would! -- then Democrats should move on to ensuring they get more seats in Congress next term so they don't have to deal with them anymore. Yes, Democrats can increase their majorities in 2022. I mean, they're running against insurrectionist crybaby book-banners who all voted against funding the police and against tax cuts for working families.