Good Jobs First report finds that South Carolina lost over $400 million in property taxes last year due to all the tax abatements they handed out to corporations. Always remember: tax breaks for them are, essentially, tax hikes for us, since governments still have a job to do (whether they like it or not!) and now have less money to do it. Also, too, as Paul O'Neill instructed us many years ago, corporate welfare handouts have little-if-any influence over where a corporation decides to locate or build, as we saw when public outcry over handouts for Amazon didn't actually prevent Amazon from building a new office in New York City.
I alluded to this the other day, but America unfortunately has a long history of sterilizing criminals, which is particularly upsetting when you realize we also have a long history of criminalizing dissent and otherness. Right-wingers will still try to turn this knowledge to their advantage by implying that we're making much ado about "nothing new," but saying something isn't "new" enough for your taste (or "and you're surprised?") is generally a way of avoiding saying it's wrong, and they really have no good reason to be afraid of saying so. Do they?
Jeet Heer at The Nation reminds us "Biden Republicans Are a Political Illusion." Precisely because they actually like everything about this Administration except the obnoxiousness of our President -- and they can forget his obnoxiousness once a hundred or so Federalist Society-approved judges get lifetime appointments to federal courts. Of course, if you've wondered who listens to George Will or Max Boot or James Comey anymore, or if you remember those pro-Hillary ads Republicans cut in 2016, you are not surprised by this finding.
When I'm confronted with our President saying out loud that trees "just explode" from being so dry for so long, I think, yeah, I know what he meant. But note well that whenever a Democratic Presidential nominee misspeaks one-twentieth as much as this, Republicans act like it's the end of the damn world. Why, in 2012 they made a convention slogan ("we built that"?) by wrenching an Obama utterance completely out of its context! Someone needs to remind them that hysteria isn't very becoming of conservatism. Or, more precisely, we need to keep reminding everyone else that hysteria isn't very becoming of conservatism.
In a peripherally-related note, Oregon state Senator who twice joined a Senate walkout to deny a quorum for climate change legislation watched his own home burn down due to recent wildfires -- but actually blames the anti-pollution crowd! Setting aside the tantrums too many politicians throw when anyone mentions climate change, Sen. Girod can't articulate his point very well, either, which suggests that "forest management" is just a phrase he heard that he thinks will shut people up. He'd do better to try to persuade folks -- unless, of course, he's one of these politicians who thinks persuading people is beneath him.
Finally, I know digging out the worst thing Bill Barr has said this week is a three-shovel job, but I'll try anyway: about his own Justice Department, he unfurled this truly awesome dung nugget: "(n)ame one successful organization or institution where the lowest level employees’ decisions are deemed sacrosanct, there aren’t. There aren’t any letting the most junior members set the agenda. It might be a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool, but it is no way to run a federal agency." Clearly he regards anyone other than him having a say about anything as an existential threat -- and, uh, can anyone think of a "successful organization or institution" that works pretty well when it's run from the bottom up? That's right, American democracy.