Now Let’s Do the American Oligarchs

by Richard Eskow From President Biden’s State of the Union: “Tonight I say to the Russian oligarchs and corrupt leaders who have bilked billions of dollars off this violent regime: no more. “The U.S. Department of Justice is assembling a dedicated task force to go after the crimes of Russian oligarchs.  “We are joining with our European allies to find and seize your yachts, your luxury apartments, your private jets. We are coming for your ill-begotten gains.” With these words, the president unintentionally laid out a blueprint for responding to the American oligarchs, superpredators who dwarf their Russian counterpoints in wealth and political power. Oligarchs …

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Some Good-Ish News For a Change

A bipartisan bill passed the House last week by a vote of 342 to 92. Yeah, you read that right. Congress passed a bill, and by a very healthy margin. All 222 Democrats voted “yea” on the Postal Service Reform Act, and 120 Republicans voted “yea” with them; 92 Republicans chose instead to meet our low expectations. Among other things, H.R. 3076 “repeals the requirement that the USPS annually prepay future retirement health benefits.” That means $57 billion just got subtracted from the Postal Service’s $200 billion in liabilities. As the Washington Post opined, though, “This overhaul is not a panacea for all the Postal …

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All Will Be Well…Maybe

An unrelenting barrage of distressing news can be bad for the digestion. We have therefore prepared the following bit of good news as an apertif. Human tests may soon begin on a new technology designed to help people with paralysis regain independence through the control of computers and mobile devices. Specifically, this new device will enhance the ability of paralyzed people to “communicate more easily via text or speech synthesis, to follow their curiosity on the web, or to express their creativity through photography, art, or writing apps.” That’s just the beginning. According to Neuralink, “As our technology develops, we will be able to increase …

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Another Fortnight, Another Nightmare

Only now, after running this operation for a third of a century, do we begin to doubt the wisdom of snatching back this newspaper from its previous operators. It looked to be such fun: no corporate bosses censoring us, no timid advertisers inhibiting us—to the best of our meager abilities, we’d be free to write the news as it actually happens—a rare opportunity. That’s great, right? Uh…have you heard what’s going on out there…? Things are so scary we’re tempted to reach for the Thesaurus in search of a few comforting euphemisms; but, we forbear. [Cue the portenteous sound effects.] This fortnight finds the world …

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Still True 108 Years Later

Letting the Cat Out of the Bag “What did you tell that man just now?” “I told him to hurry.” “What right do you have to tell him to hurry?” “I pay him to hurry.” “How much do you pay him?” “Four dollars a day.” “Where do you get the money?” “I sell products.” “Who makes the products?” “He does.” “How many products does he make in a day?” “Ten dollars worth.” “Then, instead of you paying him, he pays you $6 a day to stand around and tell him to hurry.” “Well, but I own the machines.” “How did you get the machines?” “Sold …

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The Warped Politics of Inflation

by Thomas Meisenhelder The recurring mantra from Fox, the Republican Party and the mainstream media is that Joe Biden, government spending, and the rising incomes of ordinary people are responsible for our increasing inflation rate. That is incorrect and this error is preventing an effective national response to inflation. This misconception about inflation leads to policy errors similar to those made in response to the 2008 housing mortgage crisis and economic recession. Somehow the media and the politicians understood that crisis to be the result of unwise decisions by consumers and overly generous government housing policies. In other words, ordinary Americans were the problem. As …

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