Lee Hepner writes about fighting price-fixing when it’s algorithm-driven. Turns out the problem’s even worse than simply arguing that even if everyone’s using the same algorithm, is that really a monopoly? – it’s also judges who, in Mr. Hepner’s words, “create() a Catch-22: plaintiffs need to have more specific evidence of an unlawful conspiracy before they can begin the litigation discovery process to get that same evidence.” And folks who would characterize strong enforcement of the Sherman Act as “judicial activism” might want to consider that judges currently “re-writ(e) the law to provide immunity to price fixing.”
Factcheck.org evaluates “evidence” of corruption in re that payment from Jim Biden to his brother Joe Biden, finds it wanting. Trouble is that Rep. Comer (E-KY), when confronted with the notion that “Joe Biden provided a short-term, no interest loan to his brother, and that six weeks later James Biden paid that money back with money obtained in a business deal that did not involve Joe Biden,” has nothing to say in response but well, I don’t believe it, and if you’re going to prove wrongdoing, you’ve got to have more than that. It must be mere coincidence that their Presidential nominee for 2024 might well be in jail for actual corruption in not too long.
Uh oh: big corporation finds its breathing machines are defective – that, for example, they could “spew dangerous particles and fumes into the lungs of patients,” no lie – but tells its distributors to keep selling machines they have in stock. And these machines were defective to the tune of over 3,500 complaints over more than a decade! Is this what people mean by “CEOs take a lot of big risks you could never understand, so they deserve all that money”? It’s more likely evidence that corporations with subsidiaries in more than half the countries on Earth are too big to safely exist.
We’d best respond to a few Republican House Reps’ efforts to expel fellow Rep. George Santos – facing 23 federal charges as we speak – as drama. Two-thirds of our House Reps, not half-plus-one, would need to vote to expel Mr. Santos, meaning it almost certainly won’t happen, but the endangered House Reps in New York state calling for the expulsion vote will get to shield themselves from claims that they didn’t do enough about their colleague. And in the unlikely event it does happen, the Democrat who runs to replace him won’t have George Santos to kick around as a campaign issue. So, yeah, that’s all very clever, unless you insist, as I do, that cleverness benefit more than a handful of people.
New House Speaker Mike Johnson (E-LA) responds to Maine mass shooting by telling Sean Hannity that “the problem is the human heart, it’s not guns,” but note well the Biden Administration’s response: “We absolutely reject the offensive accusation that gun crime is uniquely high in the United States because of Americans’ ‘hearts.’” I mean, yeah, Mike Johnson, you did kinda say Americans’ “hearts” are worse than the hearts everywhere else on Earth, since "the human heart" doesn't cause nearly as many mass murders anywhere else on Earth. Golly, maybe Joe Biden isn’t as dumb as people think.
Finally, speaking of our new House Speaker, you may not know that Mike Johnson is an acolyte of David Freaking Barton, having said that Mr. Barton’s “work” “has had such a profound influence on me and my work and my life.” Of all the terrible things we’ve heard about Mike Johnson in the last week, this may be my least favorite – he’s an “acolyte” of the man who says the Founders said all kinds of right-wing crap but can’t document any of it? If you’re an acolyte of a snake-oil salesman, you’re either evil or a fool, neither of which recommends you for a leadership position, certainly.