We learn two very important things (at least!) from this anonymous author’s account (at Matt Stoller’s Substack page) of how pension funds got attached to bankster hedge funds: one, that the right-wing assault on (among other things) state budgets led pension funds to, ah, get more adventurous when pension funds really need to invest conservatively, and two, that pension funds now provide most of private equity’s money. That suggests a fix! Anyway, when you hear right-wingers yowl about how bad off pension funds are, as they’ve been doing for approximately the entire time we've had pension funds, remember that right-wing policies have only made the situation worse.
In a related note, Sen. Ron Johnson (E-WI) says Social Security “was set up improperly” because – wait for it – it didn’t invest directly in the stock market! Ugh, like the word “security” in the name means nothing! Think maybe, just maybe, the architects of Social Security might have remembered a major stock market crash just six years earlier? And less than two years before Ron Johnson first got elected, did we not have another one? And does the current Dow Jones Industrial Average not sit about 2,000 points below where it’s been for the past year? And how does he figure that index funds have increased 360% over the past eight years? Mandela Barnes had better beat Ron Johnson by 20 points.
Think it’s good news that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (or NRSC) is cutting funding to Senate races in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin? Think again. The Republican Senate candidates in these races – Blake Masters, Mehmet Oz, and (ahem!) Ron Johnson – can all pour millions of dollars of their own money into their races. I remember virtually all the big money backers pulling out of the 2016 Wisconsin Senate race involving – one more time! – Ron Johnson as national polling had Russ Feingold beating him to a pulp, and you remember how that race went. But do Democrats remember? Or care? It’s a question worth asking!
You’ve heard about how HBO Max is pulling a lot of its children’s programming (including original children’s programming!)? And laying off about one out of every seven workers? It’s a shame our “liberal” media can’t just come out and say a merger has caused this! Also, all this talk about “decluttering” a channel’s offerings is absurd, since there is literally almost no shelf space involved in storing streaming programming. Hate to pile on, but cable TV hasn’t “ballooned in cost” so much as cable TV corporations are gouging their customers – again, because they have monopoly power.
You’ll be pleased to learn that scientists have made some progress in figuring out how to actually break down PFAS chemicals (a.k.a. “forever chemicals”) so that they don’t appear in everyone’s damn bloodstream and cause cancer and chronic disease, but before your right-wing neighbor starts bellowing YOU CAN JUST BREAK IT DOWN WITH LYE!!!!! (which, ah, applies to just one class of PFAS), note well that the methods of destroying PFAS chemicals so far a) use a lot of energy and/or b) don’t scale up well, and that latter item’s important, since PFAS is, you know, everywhere. There’s also the problem of solving one problem only to create another problem, which is how we got ubiquitous PFAS chemicals in the first place.
Finally, did you know that the infamous Rep. Matt Gaetz (E-FL) actually has a primary challenger to his right? And how does that work, you ask? Here’s how: the primary challenger suggests that maybe Mr. Gaetz was the “informant” who got the FBI to go after Donald Trump! And is thus insufficiently loyal to Donald Trump, and to you, of course, but mainly to Donald Trump. If you remember how many teabaggers turned out Clinton impeachment hawks in 2010 Republican primaries, you already know this is the only way right-wingers can keep the drama going: by turning on each other. Still, it might warm my heart to one day conclude that Mr. Gaetz faced a primary challenger because he actually voted against forced arbitration back in March. Hell, Richard Lugar voted against higher bank fees in 2011 and look what happened to him the following year.