Category Archives: economics

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

So let’s have some injustice links.

Yes, we’re putting immigrants in concentration camps. And the Trump administration says not giving kids baths or somewhere to sleep beside cold concrete floors is acceptable. It’s not the first time we’ve gone this route, but that’s no excuse. Points to Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez for calling a spade a spade, and not backing down when she got flak from the media (among others) that she shouldn’t say things like that.

Radley Balko, a libertarian who actually says intelligent stuff, looks at how destructive being kept in jail before trial is for the poor. So bad, they’ll plead guilty just to get out and back to their jobs. LGM adds more.

In Tennessee, Sheriff’s Detective Grayson Fritts told his church the government needs to gather up and start executing gays. Subsequently, Cracker Barrel chose not to serve his church group. Over in Alabama, Mayor Mark Chambers also advocates for killing gays.

California legislator Evan Low has introduced a non-binding resolution opposing conversion therapy and asking for compassion for gays. The religious right’s response? Lie through their teeth.

Laura Ingraham, who claims legal immigration is destroying America now says Democrats are trying to replace the white population. That’s so close to the Nazis’ “You will not replace us!” that I wonder she doesn’t come out with a swastika tat.

“The religious right showed no mercy and no charity toward these groups when it had the power to impose its will, but when it lost that power, it turned to invoking the importance of religious tolerance and pluralism in a democratic society.” Adam Serwer on how some on the right, having failed to win that way, now reject democracy.

It’s not unusual to have lawmakers skip a session to prevent a vote. But threatening violence if you’re brought back?

The Minnesota Historical Society identified one state location by its old Native American name. To some Republicans, admitting the Dakota were there first is revisionist history.

In Alabama, the new forced-birth bill makes no exception for rape victims. And guess what, the state also gives rapists visitation rights to the kids.

The Trump Administration wants to charge stores a fee for accepting food stamps.

To end on a justice note or two, Sandy Hook parents have won a couple of court victories against the liars who claim the shooting never happened. And students at one Catholic School pushed back against the administration’s arguments that harassment was the fault of female students for dressing sexy.

 

 

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Update on NC Senator Thom Tillis

Despite his record of supporting bad alternatives to Obamacare, Tillis is enthusiastically claiming  the Republican Protect Act will shield people with pre-existing conditions from being charged higher premiums. See, he cares!

Even if true, is a much, much worse deal for most of us than the post-ACA status quo. This fits with most of the Republican alternatives. And while the bill says a plan may not discriminate between people based on pre-existing conditions, the LA Times says there’s nothing to stop an insurer from offering two tiers of plans, one for healthy young people, and a pricier one for older sicker people. Which fits, too; a stock conservative solution is that if we don’t let states set minimum standards for insurance, the free market will fix everything (they are amazingly flexible on “state’s rights” when it gets in the way of big business, aren’t they?

Here’s the text, if you’re curious.

Given Tillis lies like a rug, I am not inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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My state and other links

A North Carolina school insisted female students wear skirts to “preserve chivalry and respect among young women and men.” How does that work? “Visual cues” signifying this is not a boy and should be treated accordingly. Plus blather about teen pregnancies and casual sex, which as we all know never happen when women wore skirts.

Oh, and in North Carolina, once sex starts a woman can’t change her mind. It’s a 2017 story, but online research indicates it’s still the law here.

Now for something positive from NC: the Guilford County sheriff fired a jail chaplain who thought his mission included converting inmates.

Less positive: the Supreme Court told Texas must either allow inmates to have a spiritual adviser with them in the execution chamber, regardless of faith, or ban all spiritual advisers. Texas went with option 2.

Rod Dreher bemoans kids who’d sooner play online than get physical in the sports arena. Of course he never played himself.

If women have “daddy issues” why do we mock them instead of their fathers?

Donald Trump has decided Homeland Security shouldn’t focus as much on domestic terrorism. Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Christopher Hasson, the prez has your back!

The problem with capitalism is often that capitalists suck.

Conservative Austin pastors unsurprisingly fight an ordinance that protects against firing for gender identity and sexual orientation.

How America sold out to Russian (and other) kleptocrats.

A pastor told his female parishioners God would bless them for submitting to his sexual demands. (hat tip to slacktivist).

The appeal of Satan-fearing paranoia? “Even if there isn’t a good guy, there sure as hell is a villain.” Or as Fred Clark puts it ” It was a lie that reassured them they were the good and virtuous and heroic people, distinct from and better than hundreds of thousands of their neighbors who were — in fact and, more importantly, by comparison — unspeakably vile and depraved.”

A-OC reminds us that tech companies and Big Pharma rely on government support for innovation and don’t pay much back.

In El Salvador, having a health crisis in pregnancy can get you 30 years in prison.

“But, being “not quite as bad” when it comes to gender discrimination isn’t enough for Democrats, not ever, but especially not now.” Which is to say Michigan Democrats are not doing enough.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (yep, that guy) is totally in favor of trans rights (the same way he’s concerned about the environment), but if we give them rights, couldn’t Trump declare himself the first female president?

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney thinks it’s terrible that we don’t support anti-gay discrimination in other countries. The administration is also comfortable with overseas efforts to push women into having more babies. Unsurprising given our own alt.right movement is fueled by male supremacy. And Republicans have been courting the far right overseas for a long time.

Beware! Trump claims the noise from wind turbines gives people cancer. No More Mr. Nice Blog provides some perspective (it’s a fringe theory that the noise will keep people awake, which weakens their health).

National Review‘s Graham Hillard says it seems reasonable to respect trans people’s requests about which pronouns and names to use, but we shouldn’t! “A man is a man. A woman is a woman. Let us not pretend otherwise.” Remember, it’s the people who hate LBGTQ people who are the real martyrs.

A woman in West Virginia claimed she saved her daughter from an Egyptian-immigrant kidnapper by flashing a gun. She lied about everything.

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Judging Tucker Carlson by things he says? That’s outrageous!

So as I linked to recently, alt.right-curious Tucker Carlson (who thinks its bad when women out-earn men and that women buying men dinner is disgusting) told a radio host that women like being ordered “do what you’re told” and that a statutory rapist whose willing to marry his victim shouldn’t be treated as a crook (“arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old is not the same as pulling a stranger off the street and raping her”). Given his continued sexist views (he also believes men are the oppressed sex in America) his defense that “if you want to know what I think, you can watch” lacks a little something. Right-wingers, however, have an explanation: his words are irrelevant because liberals used research to unearth his quotes! How dare they look up things Carlson said in the past! It’s like a Jedi mind trick, or that time they stole Kevin D. Williamson’s career! Liberals destroy everything! While I doubt Carlson will go down, he is at least hurting.

In other news:

It’s way too early to place bets on 2020, at least for me. I hate the fact that running for president has already started. And there’s absolutely no predicting anything at this point. Okay, I think it’ s a safe bet that if Trump doesn’t die or get impeached (and he’s not getting impeached), he’s the Republican candidate in 2020 but beyond that? But I do think there’s some truth to the argument that the media will gush over Trump a lot and that this will help him. It wouldn’t be the first time media gush has shaped the election. And we’ll also get silly commentary like this.

Anti-Islam bigot John Guandalo says it doesn’t violate the First Amendment to ban Muslims from government because Islam is not a religion. Fox News’ Jeanine Piro claims Ihlan Omar follows sharia which is unconstitutional so she can’t be in Congress. And other people think allowing her to walk around being Muslim means we’ve forgotten 9/11. I’m sure if we start showing posters with prominent white conservatives and ask why we’ve forgotten Oklahoma City, they’ll agree it’s just the same, right?

Trump can’t stand to admit to even a tiny mistake.

Why people shout racist abuse.

Reagan signed MLK Day into law, but he wasn’t a fan of King, and implied King brought it on himself by encouraging people to break the law.

Professional liar Dinesh D’Souza struggles to prove the left inspired Hitler’s genocidal views.

Oh, the horror! “Every email announcement the Federalist Society sent out met a snarky, vitriolic response by progressive students.”

Right-winger Tony Perkins demands the feds regulate PayPal because it’s too left-wing.

A feminist guide to raising boys.

The far-right in Europe isn’t very different in its sexist views from the Muslim far-right.

Why Facebook moderators supposed to moderate crazy political posts start to believe them instead. And people targeted by conspiracy theories find their lives become nightmares.

Will self-driving cars have a harder time spotting black pedestrians than white?

Successful people are often shocked when someone points out they had luck (including being born rich, born white, not growing up in an abusive home) as well as talent.

Let’s end on an upnote: two boys starting a feminist club in their all-male school.

 

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The market does not always do right by us

One of the basic libertarian axioms (at least for many of the libertarians I’ve read) is that a completely deregulated market is a sweet deal for us consumers. The market doesn’t need government to make businesses do right; they have to do right to attract customers. If they fail to give good service (or good products), we shop with someone else and they go belly-up.

Last week’s godawful flight was a reminder what a load of codswallop that is.

I like flying, but the decades since the government deregulated air flight in 1978 (not complete deregulation), it hasn’t gotten better for us consumers. If anything, the airlines thrive on making things worse, then offering extra money to upgrade. As the Consumerist blog put it, though I can’t find the link, it’s in their interest to make us miserable so we’ll upgrade. Seats are small (and could get worse), service is poor and the airlines stay solvent by not having much redundancy: if a flight gets canceled or a crew member doesn’t show, it’s often not easy to find an alternative (in fairness, there are financial reasons for that).

Or consider calling your Internet service, power company, insurer … well, pretty much anyone. Some small businesses pick up the phone; with big ones (or even slightly big ones)  it’s a tedious slog through a phone network. In one case (dealing with one of my mother’s banks), I could not find an answer in the list of “press 1 for X, 2 for Y” options.

Having human operators would be a vast improvement, but that would cost them money; much better to stick us with the wasted time we spend on the phone (Slacktivist points out that we also get the burden of handling Internet and debit card security).

In both cases, we consumers are stuck. It’s often impractical or massively inconvenient to drive out of state (to Mysticon, for instance). If we need to talk to someone on the phone, we need to talk to someone on the phone. And unless we have a boatload of alternatives, we’re stuck. So we suffer, they make more money and the shareholders/owners suck it up. Which is why I also see libertarians explaining this is the way it should be: the only people companies aren’t allowed to screw over are the owners.

Just to be fair, I’ll look at a counter-argument. The conservative flagship National Review has been a welfare case for years. They rely on donations, even to pay their legal bills in a case a few years ago. So they’re not depending on success with consumers to stay afloat. And without the pressure to compete in the marketplace we get articles like Kevin D. Williamson’s (yes, that Kevin D. Williamson. Who’s also the Kevin D. Williamson who claimed Romney was more of a man than Obama because five sons beats two daughters) explanation for why Swedish-style socialized medicine won’t work here. To wit, because Swedes are responsible, while Americans just mooch and want a handout. No, it doesn’t make any sense — but without free-market pressure, it doesn’t have to.

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The 2020 election begins now! God help us all.

As far as Politico is concerned, Elizabeth Warren is already tanking her chances. No, the secret to winning is trust to old, center-right white candidates! Or wildly popular politicians like … Paul Ryan? But women, it’s essential they be likable!

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, would like you to know that he’s very anti-Trump except where he supports him. One LGM blogger suggests, however, this is a clear sign Romney thinks the tide is turning against President Shit-Gibbon. But NMMNG says if Romney thinks that could land him the 2020 nomination he’s dreaming. But just in case, Trump’s allies are pushing harder to declare Trump the party’s pre-emptive nominee.

And Jerry Falwell Jr. assures everyone evangelicals will stick with Trump regardless of what sins he may have committed. Falwell’s excuse is that Jesus shouldn’t be setting public policy, which quite simply I think is a lie; the religious right (which was founded by his father as a political force) is all about letting their view of Jesus’ wishes define the law.

And of course there are the constant arguments that Dems won’t really be any different from Republicans if they had more power or don’t really care about stopping them. After all they could totally have stopped Kavanaugh making it to the Supreme Court if they tried. Plus arguments that if Democrats trash-talk Trump, it’s all over for them.

In other news:

Trump’s tax cut benefits rich foreign investors more than Americans who don’t own stock.

65 percent of jail inmates haven’t been convicted of anything. The majority are there because they can’t afford bail.

Deplatforming hatemongering websites or starving them of cash has been an effective tactic. Then you get someone like tech CEO Rob Monster, who made it his mission to save the hate-site Gab.

The founder and former leader of Identity Evropa has filed for bankruptcy. Not much detail at the link.

Customers without plastic keep running into problems at businesses that don’t take cash. For one thing, a number of stores don’t say this up front.

More white, right-wing terrorism: Antigovernment radical James Stachowiak calls for people to commit lone wolf terrorist acts.

Chipotle requires employees to sign arbitration agreements giving up their right to sue. Now employees are requesting arbitration and Chipotle is stalling.

Idris Elba says the only reason to worry about Me Too is if you’re guilty of harassing someone. Likewise, while many Wall Streeters now avoid meeting with women and even worry about hiring them, attorney Stephen Zweig says the solution is “try not to be an asshole.”

“Why do we think “innocent until proven guilty” is an appropriate basis for deciding who we invite into our personal, professional, or public spaces?”

“A video clip of two black people showcasing visible anger toward the president would have been played over and over again on cable news.” Hilary Clinton got crap for not playing nice with Trump at Bush the elder’s funeral.

 

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Hand-waving poverty and other links.

There’s a school of right-wing thought that as Jesus said the poor are with us always, there’s no point to helping them. We’re not going to end poverty, we may not be able to help everyone, so what’s the point?

Of course by that logic, there’s no point to paying for police. We’re not going to get rid of all crime,we’re not going to catch all criminals, so why not just give up? But people do grasp that stopping crime is a good thing, even if you don’t bat 100 percent. I dont’ think poverty’s any difference. Helping one person who can’t get medical care (the topic in the link above) does make a difference. And Jesus wasn’t saying don’t bother to help the poor because you can’t end poverty. He’s quoting an Old Testament passage, the point of which is that poverty enduring is a reason to be generous, not to just give up.

There’s a right-wing school of thought that not only is it bad to help the poor with tax dollars, it’s bad to help the poor period. Homeless shelters are bad because they give homeless people less reason to get a job and afford rent. What they need is to suffer so that they’ll have an incentive to get off their lazy asses. Because that’s the real problem, isn’t it?  A variation on this idea is that what poor people really need is not charity but jobs, so capitalism is the real charity. John Stossel, for example, wrote some years back that putting your money into a new business would do far more good than putting it into charity.

Of course that ignores that increasingly money flows to the stockholders, not to paying employees jobs they can live on (see here for more). Nine out of 10 jobs in Silicon Valley pay less than they used to. It’s worth remembering that capitalism by itself has a mixed record at best of helping out the poor and downtrodden. Wages were good in the 20th century because of unions and government support for labor rights, moving us away from the Gilded Age where the worker had no rights at all.

Nevertheless, Kevin Williamson (yes, Kevin “kill women who get abortions” Williamson) takes that ball and runs with it, and runs roughshod over Christiantiy. Sure, Jesus said that if you have two coats, you should give one to someone who doesn’t have one. But you know what? Capitalism mass-produces coats! If you open a coat factory, you can hire people, pay them well and they can afford their own coats! Besides, what if he needs food more than a coat, huh? While Williamson also acknowledges that charity is important, it feels like lip service as he gets to the important point, reassuring rich people that just by running businesses they’re making the world better.

And of course, there’s still the standard war-on-the-poor tactics: Arkansas requires Medicaid recipients report their work hours to keep coverage. But it makes it very hard for them to do so, for example only allowing online reporting.

Rep. Paul Ryan is leaving office getting plaudits for fighting the deficit. But his budgetary priorities increased it. He only cared when it justified slashing the social safety net.

Will Congress start holding banks accountable for misdeeds?

Greed is not good.

A couple of economists continue insisting that supply-side economics works. They’re wrong.

 

 

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No, feminists did not create Jordan Peterson

I’ve mentioned Jordan Peterson before — the guy who advocates “enforced monogamy” to deal with incels (he insists he only meant monogamy enforced by social pressure, which seems a dubious solution, even if that is what he meant) and that male dominance is the result of male superiority. NYT’s Bari Weiss thinks these trite sexist ideas are daring; I wonder if she’ll think the same about his recent declaration that women wearing makeup and high heels at work invite sexual harassment (sorry, don’t have a good link). And maybe they should stop wearing it to show they’re not interested in sex.

This is another old, sexist trope: women who dress too sexy should expect rape. And when it happens, they have no-one to blame but themselves. It’s as much a lie as Phyliss Schaffly’s claim that if a woman is known to be chaste, guys won’t hit on her — it’s only the sluts who get targeted (the latter was a-OK by the odious Schaffly). This involves a boatload of assumptions, such as harassment being purely about sex, and not about power, or control, or making a woman uncomfortable enough to quit. That it’s closer to a clumsy attempt to flirt rather than something like this.  That how you dress or the makeup you wear implies consent or at least invitation (even if a woman is dressing attractive to invite attention, that doesn’t mean she has to accept it from anyone). And that women wouldn’t suffer penalties if they went to work with plain, un-made-up faces — because yes, bosses have fired women for not being attractive enough. In one of the first looks-related discrimination cases, a female lawyer was denied a partnership in favor of much less successful associates. Why? She didn’t wear makeup, didn’t look good, and didn’t defer enough to men. It’s like telling women “you won’t be harassed if you come to work in a burka” — even if that was true (I doubt it is) the reaction wouldn’t be favorable.

Now Cathy Young of the libertarian (and ironically named) Reason manages to up Weiss by recycling more tropes, starting with him being feminism’s fault: “contemporary feminism’s main message to men is not one of equal partnership. Rather, it’s: Repent, abase yourself, and be an obedient feminist ally — and we still won’t trust you.” So feminists, by refusing to treat men fairly, drive them into Peterson’s arms.

Her examples? She links to what’s actually a very reasonable column by Irin Carmon pointing out that some men who position themselves as allies don’t walk the walk. No call for repentance or abasement, just stating the obvious — talk is cheap. Perhaps Young was hoping nobody would click through. She’s also playing on one of the oldest tropes, that feminists don’t want equality — visions of feminism as a female power-grab go back to the dawn of second-wave feminism and even earlier.  And as Echidne points out, there’s no evidence guys following Peterson would be open to an offer of equal partnership. Hie message isn’t equality, it’s man on top, all the way.

Young also recycles another old chestnut: feminists said it was okay to use off-color language in front of women! Then they get upset because men use off-color language in front of women! The “stub your toe” test in an early sexual harassment case covers that one well: is the off-color language something you’d say if you got out of bed in the middle of your night and stubbed your toe? Using four-letter worlds for female genitalia, the judge decided, don’t pass the test.

Feminists did not create a market for Peterson’s preachings by being unreasonable or extreme. He’s not new, he’s part of the same backlash that’s been going since the 1980s. And that backlash isn’t against feminism being extreme. It’s against feminism existing.

And as No More Mr. Nice Blog asks, if being routinely insulted turns people into right-wing extremists, why aren’t liberals extremists?

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Books are too expensive, so it’s okay to pirate them. Oh, really?

While I liked the book Brand Name Bullies, one thing that didn’t go over so well was David Bollier apparently buying into the stock anti-copyright/pro-piracy arguments (some of this is my interpretation so if I’m getting him wrong I apologize). As lots of people will create for free, do we really need copyright to have a thriving culture? If the industry would just make the price more reasonable, or release the album/book/DVD immediately, people would be happy to buy it.

I blogged about some of these arguments a couple of years back, but I’d like to take this post to argue again against the “they’re just too expensive” stance. This is the view that the price of books, or at least ebooks is too high so hey, you shouldn’t have to pay that much, so hey, you’re entitled to steal.

First off, let’s point out the obvious: some people just want their books free. Ditto music.

Second, how exactly are the people who make this argument calculating the “right” price? Are they assuming it’s the labor of putting the book in digital form — laying it out, editing it, creating a digital file? Do they consider the cost of paying for the cover, or publicity? Do they include the value of the actual story itself, because that’s why the book has, you know, words instead of just being a bunch of blank pages. And why, other than I Want It do they assume their assessment of the price is better than the author/publisher? As John Scalzi points out, even physical books of similar size and format don’t cost the same for lots of valid reasons.

To take an obvious example, the price of my self-published books is based on a)a price I think the market will accept; b)a price that gives me an adequate return on my effort. That takes into account that the online bookstores that sell the ebook (or Createspace for physical copies) take a cut; I have to set a price large enough to cover them. Believe me it’s not a substantial return, but what if it was? I’m the one who produced it, I have the right to set a price. If it’s more than the market will bear, people won’t buy it. Except the “you should have made it cheaper” people don’t accept that. They figure they should be able to get the book if they want it and not pay me anything (I’m willing to bet if I had a PayPal or Patreon they wouldn’t be contributing the “fair” price to compensate).

I have no sympathy for this crap. In the many years I did the struggling-writer shtick, I saw lots of books I couldn’t afford. I didn’t steal copies. I wouldn’t do it if I were still struggling. If it was a paper copy, would they shoplift it from Barnes & Noble if they thought it was overpriced? Or how about a restaurant — if the service takes too long (the “they don’t release it fast enough” argument), does that mean they’re entitled to steal food from the salad bar? Soft drinks cost a fraction of what they sell for, does that make it okay to steal them? Or movie tickets — lord knows those are outrageously priced, but does that justify sneaking in without paying?

One argument I see occasionally is that because digital copies are so cheap and easy to replicate, pirating one of them doesn’t hurt the way stealing something physical does. I don’t think that holds up: stealing one copy of Dan Brown’s latest from Barnes & Noble or swiping some breadsticks from Olive Garden certainly won’t cause a massive shortage. Sure, if everyone did that, it would be a problem, but that’s true of ebooks. If 100 people pirate Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast, that’s around $100 out of my pocket. That won’t leave me in the poorhouse, but it’s not nothing (and for people who aren’t two-income families, $100 could be very significant indeed).

I realize even if my readers include pro-piracy types, I’m unlikely to change anything. But still, it’s worth saying.

#SFWApro. Image courtesy of Wikimedia, from Charles Elms’ The Pirates’ Own Book.

 

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Liberals won’t date Republicans? OMG!

At least that’s the word from Washingtonian magazine: DC conservatives are very, very hurt that liberals won’t date them (despite all the Republicans in Congress and their staffers, apparently there are not enough conservatives to date in their own pool). Just because someone supports a white-supremacist president, does that mean they’re beyond the pale?

Right-winger Lisa de Pasquale thinks this is a bad idea: sure, you want someone who shares your values, but why insist on them sharing your politics? Funny, I always hear conservatives describe how their votes are driven by their values, does de Pasquale mean they were lying about that? She goes on to argues that the worst names conservative fling out are “snowflake,” whiny” and “cuck,” which ignores that “cuck” is supposed to be a vicious insult in the alt.right world (and that some conservatives throw out considerably worse—I’ve been called “traitor” a couple of times). “By contrast, those on the right are called ‘Nazis,’ ‘racists,’ ‘bigots,’ ‘sexists’ and, if NRA members, ‘part of a terrorist organization’ by left-leaning people, simply for having conservative leanings.

“Conservative leanings” may be doing a lot of work here. Did someone get called a sexist because they support lower tax rates on corporations. or because they believe women shouldn’t work outside the home or that rape victims had it coming? Both of these could be considered “conservative leanings” but some people with conservative leanings are bigots and sexists. On the far right, for example, we have enthusiasm for controlling women through rape gangs and white sharia. Georgia wants to let adoption agencies turn away gay parents. Or county clerk Kim Davis, who claims she’s a hero for refusing to marry gay couples (or let anyone in her office marry them) but believe she’s the persecuted one (this past post might be relevant). Pundit Rod Dreher thinks French anti-semite and racist Marion Le Pen is pretty awesome, though Of Course he disapproves of her more extreme views.

de Pasquale is just a variation on the time-honored theme that liberals are mean to conservatives and full of hate, unlike, say, Trump. And that campus PC (which squashes conservative voices) is out of control, whereas a right-wing news corporation expanding its propaganda reach is no big. Next thing you know, they’ll say conservative comedy isn’t funny!

Moving on from that little issue-of-the-day—

Pastor Robert Jeffries used to insist it was wrong to compromise moral standards to get the right person elected. In the age of Trump, he’s changed his mind. I’m sure he and the other court evangelicals will be thrilled when Republicans change the law to let them be openly partisan while keeping their tax exemptions. Likewise right-winger Dennis Prager believes Trump destroying liberals is so godly, Trump must be doing holy work. So does Eric Metaxas, who says Trump critics are like the Good Samaritan’s carping brother (there is no brother in that parable).

The Trump White House took the broken system for veterans’ health care and made it worse. They’re gutting consumer protections against financial scams too.

The 1 percent hate pensions because pension programs reduce their power.

The Trump era is like a reality show is a cliche, and not even a clever one.

Even the Trump White House acknowledges Obama-era regulations are cost-effective (but they ain’t changing their anti-regulation policy).

I will give points to Benny Hinn for admitting he was wrong about the prosperity gospel. And to the usual odious Mona Charen for pointing out Republican hypocrisy in talking morality while supporting Roy Moore, child molester (she was resoundingly booed at CPAC for this).

Perhaps this cover by Earl Mayan expresses my feelings best.

#SFWApro. All rights to cover image remain with current holder.

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