"Corporate crises consultants" (yes, there are such creatures) have patented a formula allowing their wrongdoing clients to champion reform while simultaneously killing it.
A classic case is now unfolding around last year's derailment of a 2-mile-long Norfolk Southern freight train in East Palestine, Ohio. The community's air, soil, water and...Read more
Here's our big word of the day: Extraterritoriality.
It expresses a sketchy legal theory asserting that rulers in one state have a right to enforce their laws in another state. The most prominent use of it was in the infamous Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, requiring officials in Northern anti-slave states to capture and return escaped slaves to ...Read more
Bruce King, former governor of New Mexico, often baffled people with his convoluted use of words. Like the time he vetoed a loan shark bill he'd previously agreed to sign. "But, Governor," squealed the lenders' lobbyists, "we had your commitment!" Unfazed, King said, "Now, boys, we all know that a commitment is not a promise."
In this case, ...Read more
This plotline could have come from one of Charles Dickens' novels about upper-class depravity: "Miserly governors refuse to provide gruel for poverty-stricken ragamuffins."
Unfortunately, this is not a novel, but modern-day reality taking place in 15 states, where right-wing officeholders have scorned a federal program to provide food this ...Read more
In the 1980s, many Texans were alarmed that hordes of immigrants were fleeing Rust Belt states and pouring across the Red River to take our jobs. So, my friend Steve Fromholz recommended a big beautiful wall across our northern border to keep them out.
But Fromholz -- a popular singer-songwriter and renown political sprite -- was ahead of his...Read more
In cities all across America, an infiltration of wealthy investors, developers and bankers is driving poor and middle-class families out of their own towns.
What's at work here is the relentless financial shove of high-dollar gentrification. House by house, block by block, moneyed interests suddenly (and often secretly) buy up properties, ...Read more
Unfortunately, in the short time we homo sapiens have existed on this 4.5-billion-year-old Planet Earth, we have trashed the place. Climate change, deforestation, desertification, plastics in everything, etc.
Fortunately, though, we large-brained hominids have evolved an almost-magical resource that promises to be our salvation: Billionaires!...Read more
"Arkansas Traveler" is an old-time song of folk humor that tells of a well-heeled dandy who gets lost while traveling across the Ozark Mountains. He comes upon a backwoods farmer and shouts out: "Hey farmer, where does this road go?" Not missing a beat, the farmer says: "I've lived here all my life, stranger, and it ain't gone nowhere, yet."
"OK, boomer." That's a snarky phrase currently some use to mock 60- and-70-year-olds they consider to be cluelessly out oftouch.
Recently, however, teenagers and 20-somethings have turned that snide sentiment into a positive challenge directed at doomsayers of all ages who claim nothing can be done to stop runaway global warming: "OK, doomer,...Read more
In a song about outlaws, Woody Guthrie noted that, "Some'll rob with a six-gun / Some with a fountain pen."
Indeed, the big-money thievery in our society today is being perpetrated by the Fountain Pen Gang of corporate monopolists, Wall Street financiers and Washington lobbyists. They're trying to pull off another multibillion-dollar heist ...Read more
According to an old saying, "You can't squeeze blood from a turnip." True. But that raises this question: Who would even try squeezing blood from a turnip?
Well, metaphorically speaking, if "blood" means profit, and "turnips" are customers, airlines are eager to apply the squeeze. As are banks, credit card outfits, cable TV and internet ...Read more