I almost hesitate to summarize Matt Stoller’s July 7 article about how certain big media personalities are taking money from monopolists and thus soft-pedaling their criticism thereof, because, as usual, it’s worth your time for so many other reasons. Chief among them: he reminds us that “most people chalk up shortages to Covid,” but “brittle supply chains causing a lack of critical goods preceded the pandemic,” to the point where our FDA lists hundreds of drugs we’ve been short on for almost 20 years. Empty shelves at the supermarket get all the ink, but it is admittedly much harder to see the future we don’t have (like one where doctors have been able to prescribe what their patients really need!) because monopolists control everything.
Oh boy: our IRS actually approved the notorious Family Research Council’s application to become a freaking church back in 2020, and if you’re thinking well, look who was President, well, I couldn’t blame you – except that the notorious Focus on the Family made itself into a “church” in 2016. And they’re not the only ones! We might lay this imbroglio, also, at the feet of the Republicans who have aggressively defunded our IRS for the last decade-plus on spurious pretexts, and, of course, the Democratic President who enabled all of that. Still, if this ain’t against the law, it should be. I joke about creating a religion that excludes Republicans for a reason.
Because we don’t get enough good news in the world, note well that a little over a month ago, Kazakhstan voters approved constitutional reforms that effectively end Nursultan Nazarbayev’s notorious 30-plus-year stranglehold on power there. By a 77-17 margin, too, with almost 70% turnout! The good citizens of Kazakhstan fought hard to get here, suffering greatly at the hands of Mr. Nazarbayev's successor/puppet government this past January, and they deserve our admiration. Mr. Nazarbayev seems to be taking all of that relatively well – including the possibility that some of his relatives will go to jail on corruption-related charges – which I guess means Donald Trump will call him a loser shortly, if he even knows what Kazakhstan is.
In yet another development that makes me wish we could simply saw Florida off this great nation, the state of Florida now has a law requiring students and professors at public universities to submit to questioning about their political beliefs, with the threat of losing funding if folks don’t answer or answer incorrectly. Didn’t any of these idiots grow up watching The Twilight Zone? Or did they think it was all an instruction manual? And I never, ever get tired of hearing right-wingers whine about “socialism” and “oppression” they can’t describe. Florida liberals, this is your moment – get candidates for Governor, Senator, and state legislature with some fight in them, or else you're doomed to live in Trumpville forever.
Hoo boy, Sen. Lindsey Graham (E-SC) says he'll fight a subpoena that would force him to testify before a grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the voters’ will in Georgia in 2020. He also has the nerve to say that “(i)f we open up county prosecutors being able to call every member of the Senate based on some investigation they think is good for the country we’ll ruin the place.” Of course they didn’t subpoena “every member,” just the one who called Georgia’s Secretary of State to try to get him to change the vote totals.
Finally, former Trump Administration official Peter Navarro says that Mike Pence “is guilty of treason, to at least President Trump and perhaps to this country” over his refusal to go along with Mr. Trump’s plan to steal the 2020 election. Jesus Mary and Joseph there is no such thing as “treason to the President,” as anyone with a glancing acquaintance with Article III, Section 3 of our Constitution would tell you, and anyone who voices such a ridiculous notion should move to a place he’ll find his views much more well-received, like Turkey or Russia or Saudi Arabia. But not Kazakhstan, not anymore.