The exceptional greed of healthcare execs

Sometimes I don’t know whether to weep uncontrollably, laugh hysterically, or just throw up. I recently did all three when I saw another gusher of greed pouring out of corporate America. This one is especially nauseating, given today’s raging health crisis, for the culprits are major healthcare corporations! One perpetrator is Larry Merlo, CEO of our country’s largest drugstore chain, CVS. In this time of Covid-19, customers are surging into the chains 10,000 stores for everything from medications to masks. Yet, the boss has blithely left many of the pharmacies so severely understaffed that they pose a danger to public health. CVS pharmacists tell of …

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Trump judges require that ex-felons pay to vote

How nasty is the Republican Party’s massive campaign to thwart democracy? Ask the good people of Florida. This was one of only three states that permanently took away the voting rights of felons—who’d completed their punishment. In 2018, though, a whopping 65 percent of Floridians voted for a state Constitutional amendment that finally struck this malicious bit of legal ugliness from the books, thus restoring the political personhood of about a million people who’d served their time. But, led by Ron DeSantis, Florida’s right-wing goose of a Governor, the GOP demanded that an appeals court of hyper-partisan federal judges overrule 2018’s landmark vote by the …

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When the world’s on fire, what should we do?

For millions of people around the globe—especially young people—the pressing issue of our time is this: The world is on fire! On fire with climate change, creating a new and intensifying norm of deadly weather extremes that make a dystopian future a distinct possibility—constant wildfires, rising seas, desertification, global crop failures, widespread hunger, water shortages, &c. Luckily, we are a sentient species with the scientific ability to know that the chief cause of this global destruction is not angry gods, but us—specifically humankind’s massive extraction and burning of oil, gas, coal, and other fossil fuels. So, there’s a rising chorus of people shouting “Fire!” And, …

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CEO tricksters cut their pay without bleeding

Covid-19 has been a doubly-deadly disaster for millions of Americans, destroying both life and livelihoods. But one of the most heartening responses to the crisis has come from the least-expected place: Corporate executive suites. This spring, numerous CEOs made headlines by showing some class solidarity. If we’re having to wallop our workers because of a pandemic, these bosses told media interviewers, the least we can do is cut our own salaries. Yes—all in this together! Only…not really. An analytical firm looked at the books of nearly all major U.S. corporations, finding that a mere fraction had made any cuts to senior executive pay, and the …

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Trump’s bassackwards government

by Jim Hightower Gosh, our Trasher-in-chief has really been busy lately, calling Kamala Harris “nasty” and calling our post offices “a joke.” But, instead of trash-talking, shouldn’t a President be, you know, running the government? Nah…that bores him. Besides, that’s why he packed his cabinet with all those corporate lobbyists who are skilled at trying to rig our government to serve moneyed elites. Now, empowered by Trump, these special interests are our government, literally setting and running America’s economic, environmental, health, and other public policies. And what a job they’re doing—on us! Check out Andrew Wheeler, head of Trump’s EPA. He had been the top …

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Who was Smedley Darlington Butler, and why is he important?

Many Americans can’t believe that political coups are part of our country’s history—but consider from the Wall Street Putsch of 1933. Never heard of it? It was a corporate conspiracy to oust Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had just been elected president. With the Great Depression raging and millions of families financially devastated, FDR had launched several economic recovery programs to help people get back on their feet. To pay for this crucial effort, he had the audacity to raise taxes on the wealthy, and this enraged a group of Wall Street multimillionaires. Wailing that their “liberty” to grab as much wealth as possible was being …

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