From the Left



There's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly ... and Then Sam Alito

Jim Hightower on

Sam Alito is so ugly that he can't even see his ugliness.

I don't mean looks, but the deep inner ugliness of character that keeps oozing from this so-called "supreme" judge. Start with the unabashed lies he told senators to win his lifetime appointment to America's powerfully undemocratic judicial branch. Lie No. 1 was his promise not to mess with women's constitutional right to reproductive freedom. But once he put on his authoritarian black robe, he wrote the court's edict ripping that right from every woman.

Later, Alito got caught secretly accepting a freebie trip to a luxury fishing lodge, paid for by a billionaire vulture capitalist. Far from embarrassed, he haughtily asserted that as a Supreme he has no ethical duty even to report such gifts of "personal hospitality." Indeed, he's led the Supreme Court's corrupt refusal to adopt an enforceable code of ethics (which every other public office must do).

Which brings us to Alito's current flag flap, revealing a clownish show of tone-deaf arrogance. Abandoning any pretense of judicial impartiality, he's had flags flying at both his home and beach house, ostentatiously trumpeting his embrace of MAGA extremism and his opposition to President Joe Biden. How, then, can he be a fair judge of upcoming cases concerning Trump's anti-democratic power grabs?

No problem, said Alito, imperiously waving off proper demands that he remove himself from ruling on these cases. Trying to deflect a tsunami of criticism, the black-robed scoundrel resorted to the classic "gentleman's dodge": He blamed his wife. "My wife is fond of flying flags," he said, insisting that the never even noticed them flapping in front of his houses for the world to see.

That's not just ugly. It's supremely stupid.


We should pay attention to corporate America's fluctuating wordplay, for their frequent contortions of language disguise ploys to dupe, confuse and rip off us hoi polloi -- i.e., their customers.


For example, here's a mouthful that's been gaining popularity among manufacturers of food products: price pack architecture. It's a bit of gobbledygook meant to obscure the profiteering practice of -- shhhh -- ever so quietly shrinking the size and contents of their packages -- without lowering prices. Economists dubbed this "shrinkflation," but that too clearly implied gouging. Thus, corporate image-makers invented the incomprehensible nonsense phrase of PPA to cloak their anti-consumer trickery.

This convoluted codeword also allows the tricksters to brag openly about their cleverness to their Wall Street investors. Here's Coca-Cola's CEO, for example, doing corporate-speak to bankers in February: "We are leveraging our revenue growth management capabilities to tailor our offerings and price pack architecture to meet consumers' evolving needs."

English translation: Consumers will need to pay us more for less Coke. You could almost hear the bankers weep for joy over Coke's sneaky scheme to stiff its customers.

Perhaps you've wondered what big-time corporate CEOs actually do to rake in their exorbitant salaries, now averaging more than $8,000 an hour! Well, there it is: The CEO's main job is to keep workers' pay low, monopolize markets and constantly invent slick ways to squeeze another dime from each consumer's pocket.

It's not honest work, but it does pay well. Coca-Cola's CEO James Quincey, for example, hauled in $25 million in pay last year. That's 1,800 times more than the annual income of the typical Coca-Cola worker, who'll now pay more for a sip of Coke, thanks to Quincey's "price pack architecture."

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A.F. Branco David M. Hitch Al Goodwyn Dave Granlund Gary McCoy Drew Sheneman