Facebook disables a couple of researchers' accounts (including their data), suggesting their research had violated the privacy of Facebook users -- except that the researchers were studying Facebook advertisers. And when Facebook said a Federal Trade Commission rule about customer privacy necessitated the shutdown, our FTC's acting director called that insinuation "inaccurate," leading us to wonder, again, whether corporate executives really are our "best and brightest," or just have the dumb luck of operating in an economy that rewards failure and stupidity with billions of dollars. The punchline? The researchers were studying how misinformation spreads on Facebook. In that context, one might call their ban suspicious.
President Biden tells Congress to lower drug prices, and specifies letting Medicare negotiate its own drug prices as one way to do that. Now that's using the bully pulpit! If only President Obama had done this in 2009 when everyone else wanted to do it, President Biden wouldn't need to do it now. And remember: the right-wing "answer" to Medicare negotiating its own drug prices is Democrats want to control what medicines you get, an argument Democrats should be able to defeat easily if they're willing to get fierce. Of course, if they're not willing to get fierce, then they all deserve to lose all the elections.
ProPublica gives us more from their "Secret IRS Files": "How Much the Ultrawealthy Gained by Shaping Trump's 'Big, Beautiful Tax Cut.'" A mere 82 households reaped $1 billion from the 2017 tax "reform" just in the first year, and Ron Johnson's infamous "pass-through" tax cut, though supposedly for small businesses, yielded 60% of its windfalls to the top 1%, which means wealthy folks and big corporations have gotten subtler about using small businesses as a human shield. By the time you get to the notorious corporate welfare-gobbler the Bechtel Corporation and the big real estate interests who got tens of millions in windfalls, you'll be properly incensed.
Soon-to-be-former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo actually blames "cultural behavioral differences" for his misfortune, and his fellow Italian-Americans give him what-for. As one restaurant owner puts it, "We’re very affectionate people. When we do kiss, we kiss family, we kiss good friends. The only difference is I don’t stick my hand up anybody’s blouse." As an Italian-American, I can also assure you that my elders never taught me that groping was just "affection," either. And while many Americans may find "I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn" sympathetic, they'll probably have a lot of trouble seeing grabbing a woman's breasts in that softer light.
Dominion Voting Systems files $1.6 billion defamation lawsuits against right-wing news networks Newsmax and One America News (or OAN) and former Overstock CEO/Trump flunky Patrick Byrne, alleging that the news networks "manufactured, endorsed, repeated, and broadcast a series of verifiably false yet devastating lies about Dominion" and that public figures like Mr. Byrne (who seems like he's trying to out-Mike Lindell Mike Lindell, what makes people want to do that?) aided and abetted this effort. If successful, these lawsuits might actually break Newsmax and OAN, which boo-freaking-hoo. Free markets, pimps! Consequences for evil actions! Conservatives used to be about all that, right?
Finally, although potential 2022 Republican Senate candidate/Trump flunky Herschel Walker has made grim noises about "voter fraud," his own wife appears to have broken the law by voting in Georgia in 2020 despite living in Texas. The couple get a homestead tax exemption on their Texas home but not her Georgia home, and her absentee ballot arrived with a Texas postmark; none of this is a good look. I find her attempt to explain herself quite irritating, but in saner times, I might be inclined to call all of this an honest mistake on her part! People have a lot to manage in their lives, after all! Yes, even rich people! But these are not saner times -- after January 6, they have all forfeited the right to benefit of the doubt.