Put The Blame Where It Belongs!

This morning I saw a tweet from none other than the shameful Texas Senator Ted Cruz in which, without facts or justification, he blamed President Biden and Democrats for rising prices and inflation.

I take umbrage with his laying of the blame on the very people who are trying to combat high prices and inflation.

Here are some cold, hard facts to chew on …

  • The 10 largest food companies saw their net incomes increase by $393.6 million in the first six months of 2022, while increasing shareholder handouts by $3.8 billion to a total of over $12.1 billion.
  • Prices for energy services rose 18.8% and electricity prices rose 15.2% from July 2021 to July 2022, leaving 20 million households at risk of losing electricity. Meanwhile, the five largest electricity and utility companies increased shareholder handouts by $378 million to over $6.5 billion in the first half of 2022.
  • While 18 million Americans were unable to afford prescription medications, the largest U.S. drugmakers saw profits jump by over $6 billion to $36 billion — all while boosting shareholder handouts by over $5.2 billion to $24.5 billion in the first half of 2022.
  • As housing prices increased 5.7% from July 2021 to July 2022 and rents hit “record highs,” the biggest apartment companies — Mid-America Apartments, Starwood Properties, and AvalonBay Communities — touted rent hikes to pad profits by $295.9 million while increasing shareholder handouts $33.9 million to nearly $1 billion in the first half of 2022.

And here’s what the experts have to say …

  • In a recent speech, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Lael Brainard said that reductions in massive corporate profit markups can help to bring down inflation — once again demonstrating the link between price gouging and skyrocketing costs.
  • CEO Dara Khosrowshahi admitted in a recent CNBC interview that corporations like Uber are benefiting from inflation. Because of high prices on essential goods like gas and groceries, more people are signing up to be Uber drivers. He even said, “If anything, 72% of drivers in the U.S. are saying that one of the considerations of their signing up to drive on Uber was actually inflation.”
  • In this Forbes piece, Errol Schweizer lays out how market consolidation, price gouging, and excessive CEO pay are responsible for high food prices. To bring prices down, Congress needs to address each of these drivers of inflation, rather than simply looking to the Fed to continuously hike interest rates to decrease demand and send tens of millions of people into unemployment.
  • New polling from Navigator Research shows that nearly two in three Americans support the Inflation Reduction Act. Although Americans’ still hold negative views of the economy, overall pessimism is decreasing, with Black and Hispanic Americans in particular feeling more positive about their personal finances.

Source:  Dan Crawford, The Hub Project

There can be many causes for inflation, but today the biggest cause is corporate greed.  It began with the pandemic when the already-wealthy corporate CEOs saw an opportunity, and then it was further bolstered by Russia’s war against Ukraine that disrupted supply chains, and again the corporations saw an opportunity … an excuse … to gouge consumers.  To blame President Biden, who just signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, is the epitome of ignorance at best, and a bald-faced lie at worst.  Mr. Cruz needs to do some research before he opens his mouth … but oh wait … he’s a Republican and they don’t believe in facts, only rhetoric and conspiracy theories.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 8/20

Sometimes these days I think that if I were a political cartoonist (I can’t even draw an egg properly, so no danger of that!) I would just post a black screen, or one depicting a super storm, for ‘bleak’ is the word that often comes to mind (thank you, Republicans, for the ulcer).  But this past week, there has been a bit of good news — a BFD in fact — and I was happy to see at least a couple of cartoons about that, although the rest remain rather dark humour.  At any rate, as usual, our friend TokyoSand has given us the best of the best from the internet this week.  Thank you, T.S.!

I was especially happy to see a handful of cartoonists pick up on something this week that I was sensing — namely, that the national narrative was turning around (for the better) for President Biden. Here’s those cartoons, and so much more! 

Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons!

In The Words Of Dan Rather … A BFD!

On Tuesday, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  It wasn’t everything we had hoped for, as compromises had to be made in order to get West Virginia’s Joe Manchin on board, but it was, as Dan Rather tells us, a BFD … I’ll let Dan ‘splain that one!


But Republicans fail the future (and the present)

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

President Joe Biden has signed into law a bill that is, to quote former President Barack Obama, a “BFD.” In other words, a “big deal” with a colorful adjective sandwiched in between for emphasis. It was Obama’s way of paying homage to Biden’s whispered comment (caught on mic) from back in 2010 with the passage of the Affordable Care Act.  

With apologies to decorum, Obama’s summation is warranted.

The bill is called the Inflation Reduction Act, which most economists think is an accurate description. Inflation reduction is a worthy goal, but what is even more noteworthy — rising to the level of historic — is how the legislation intends to accomplish that feat. It is a compendium of long-desired action on the part of Democrats around health care costs, taxes, and climate change (representing the most ambitious climate measures ever enacted by Congress).

The details are varied and have been covered admirably in other publications. Were they everything that most Democrats sought? No. But they were significant. Once again, a BFD.

For the sake of this column, however, let us focus less on the policy than on the politics, and specifically the fact that this bill squeaked through on a purely party-line vote. All Democrats in the House and Senate voted “yea.” All Republicans who voted (four representatives did not) voted “nay.” All of them.

Perhaps we have become inured to this unblinking partisanship. Chalk it up to cynicism, to pure party politics, to the zero-sum game that seems to rule Washington, particularly from Republicans when Democrats are in the majority. Obstruct. Delay. Obfuscate. That is the playbook. But while extreme partisanship might explain the actions, it certainly does not excuse them.

This bill aimed to tackle tough challenges, particularly climate change. And on this issue in particular the politics of our time should not be measured in some temporal tally of wins and losses for congressional seats; this is about wins and losses for the habitability of our planet.

This isn’t about four-year election cycles. It is about epochs measured in millennia.

Those are the stakes. And on this score, most prominent Republican elected officials seem eager to deny reality. And the few who don’t fall into that camp are apparently satisfied with doing nothing.

There may not be a more serious yardstick by which to measure our political era than this failure. As we have often cautioned here, the future of American democracy is at risk these days. But, let us be clear, so is the future of planet Earth. Perhaps even more so.

When I tweeted the above, I expected to get a decent response; I never expected this level of engagement, but it makes sense. Unlike the politicians, according to polls, most Americans understand the peril and want action.

In this upside-down reality, questions emerge that demand answers and accountability:

  • How can a politician who doesn’t take climate change seriously be taken seriously?
  • How can someone who fails to protect our nation from the increasing threat of natural disasters be considered a voice to heed on national security?
  • How can someone who denies this reality be considered a credible judge of the truth?

This is not a debate about policy. “How should we tackle this existential threat?” is a legitimate question on which fair minds can disagree. Should it be tax cuts for business or government regulation? Or both? A carbon tax or subsidies for new technologies? Is nuclear energy a viable option? Should we invest more in electric cars or public transportation? Let’s have a vigorous debate. Go at it. There is no monopoly on wisdom. And the country needs a strong two-party system, with a Congress of conscience on both sides of the aisle, to have such debates.

But debate whether we should do ANYTHING??? Really????

(Perhaps from the all caps and the number of question marks you can sense my feelings.)

This bill was a major step forward on addressing climate change. It’s not nearly enough. But it is something. A lot. A BFD. So say the scientists. It’s a foundation upon which to build.

But it was also a test of the seriousness of the Republican Party on the most serious of issues. It is a test they failed. All of them in Congress.

That is not political spin. It’s the truth. Just ask Mother Earth. She’s screaming out for all to hear. Maybe at some point the politicians who refuse to listen to her pleas will be forced to answer why, and not be taken seriously until they can answer in accordance with reality.

Biden and Dems are Getting Stuff Done

My blogging buddy Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has found some things to be optimistic about and I like the way he thinks. We all need to remember that amidst the dark terrain of today’s political landscape, things ARE getting done, there IS hope for our future. Thank you, Jeff … I think we all need to remember that we have a president who cares about ALL the people, not only those with money to burn!

On The Fence Voters

Contrary to my pessimism about the midterms post a while back, my attitude is beginning to change. Things are getting better in the United States of America, and we have President Joe Biden and the Democrats to thank for that.

Meanwhile, the corrupt former president awaits his fate from many investigations and probes, and his sycophantic friends in the GOP proudly stand by him. This fact reflects the stark contrast between our two political parties. One party is working for the American people—the other works for one man and a deranged group of his cult followers.

To be sure, you may not like everything Joe Biden and the Democrats are doing. Some might not think the recently passed legislation, The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), goes far enough. Perhaps you believe centrist Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema played too significant a role and whittled down the bill to something far…

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Treasonous Squirrels

As always, Clay Jones of Claytoonz manages to find humour amidst the rubble. I especially like his summation of the recently-passed Inflation Reduction Act. Thanks, Clay, for all the good work you do!


While I don’t believe the raid on Mar-a-Lago was an intentional distraction, it can serve as one. Maybe that shitty thing will distract voters from all the other shitty things Republicans do.

Maybe the revelation that Donald Trump is a traitor to this nation and only cares about himself…OK, a reminder that Donald Trump is a traitor and doesn’t care about anyone except himself will distract voters from the fact that not one Republican voted for it.

The Inflation Reduction Act won’t just decrease today’s inflation, but it will provide benefits over the next decade and beyond. In addition to reducing inflation, it will decrease healthcare costs and fight climate change. It will reduce the growth of the deficit and includes a 15 percent minimum cash tax on corporations. Called the “Amazon Tax,” it is expected to raise $222 billion over 10 years and $35 billion in 2023. Republicans hate this.

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