June 13, 2022

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Awaiting the cure for high prices (Sam Ro, 6/13/22, TKer)

They often say that the cure for high prices is high prices.

The idea is that when the price for something goes up by too much, fewer people will be willing or able to pay for it. And so demand comes down, and in turn the price comes down.

But while inflation has indeed been running hot, the problem -- ironically -- is that consumers and businesses are in unusually strong financial positions. And while this may prevent any economic slowdown from becoming economic calamity, it's also a curse in that it has enabled consumers and businesses to pay the higher prices.

And so, we continue to get a lot of good news about the economy, which is unfortunately bad news for inflation.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


How the GOP stokes white fear of Black gun violence (Juan Williams, Jun. 13th, 2022, The Hill)

The GOP, an 83 percent white party, has found the villain behind its own failure to seriously grapple with gun violence. 

The bad guys are Blacks and Latinos. 

Say what? Let's listen. 

It was "two black racists [who] killed eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge" in 2016, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said at a Senate hearing last week. 

Here's Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), also trying to dilute ties between gun violence and white supremacists, identifying a New York gunman who shot at people in a subway as a "Black supremacist." 

Here's Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), at the same hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He identified an Asian woman and a Black man as the villains who threw "a Molotov cocktail into a police vehicle during the antifa riots." 

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank picked up on those senators' comments in a column last week. And they're part of a larger pattern. 

From Arizona, here is GOP Senate candidate, Blake Masters. He said the real gun problem is coming from "people in Chicago, in St. Louis, shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly." 

The core logic from these white, male, right-wing conservatives falls apart if the listener knows that mass shootings in the U.S. are overwhelmingly committed by white gunmen. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


GOP governor says Trump is 'politically, morally responsible' for Jan. 6 (Brad Dress, Jun. 12th, 2022, The Hill)

"Trump is politically, morally responsible for much of what has happened, but in terms of criminal liability, I think the committee has a long way to go to establish that," the governor said of the House select panel investigating Jan. 6. [...]

The Arkansas governor said Jan. 6 was a "costly error" for democracy and called for the Republican Party to try and understand what happened that day and learn from it.

"Republicans need to do a lot of soul searching as to what is the right thing here and what is the right thing for our democracy in the future," Hutchinson said, "and not simply adhere to the basic instincts of some of our base."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


I rallied for the survival of Israel in 1967 but now I worry about its future: The occupation has tempered my confidence in Israel's survival as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people. (Jonathan Jacoby, June 09, 2022, The Forward)

The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once warned that maintaining an occupation would lead to apartheid. In the early 1990s, I worked with Rabin to promote his vision of peace and security in my role as president of Israel Policy Forum. Rabin was a fierce warrior for Israel and the Jewish people. I don't believe he would have exploited antisemitism to counter critics of Israel, even the harshest among them. He would have challenged Israel's opponents on substance, having no patience for empty rhetoric.

Using accusations of antisemitism to stifle debate about Israel's policies is not only wrong but also short-sighted and dangerous. It diverts the debate away from the substance to whether something is -- or is not -- antisemitic. If we want to condemn opponents of Israeli policies for being antisemites, we should denounce Jordanian shopkeepers for displaying Mein Kampf in their windows and punish pro-Palestinian assaults on Jews in the U.S. as hate crimes.

Misguided accusations of antisemitism also distract from addressing actual instances of anti-Jewish bigotry. The security guard at the entrance to my synagogue is not there to protect congregants against those who want to boycott Israel. He is there to prevent another Pittsburgh, or Poway, or Colleyville. Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. in 2021 rose by 60% from the previous year, and when every perceived slight is labeled antisemitic, I believe it dilutes the very real and pressing need to better protect American Jews.

Weaponizing antisemitism also hurts Israel. Toxic environments leave no space for debate. Without an open debate about Israeli policy, the occupation will metastasize.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Fox Hosts Insist Their Anti-Semitic Attacks On Soros Aren't Anti-Semitic (Cydney Hargis, June 13 | 2022, National Memo)

Fox News has a well-established history of using thinly-veiled antisemitic attacks against Soros' political and philanthropic efforts, including an ominous warning just days ago that he is "seeking to take down America from within."

These lines of attack are derived from a centuries-old conspiracy theory that a cabal of Jews is controlling the government and the media for nefarious purposes. Most recently, it has become a favorite of white nationalists and was mentioned as an inspiration by several mass shooters. In 2018, Soros was one of several people who were targeted by a Trump supporter who mailed pipe bombs to individuals and organizations perceived to be opponents of the then-president

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Olaf Scholz gets lost in communication over war in Ukraine (HANS VON DER BURCHARD AND LAURENZ GEHRKE, June 13, 2022, Politico)

Sometimes, the issue is simply Scholz's enigmatic sentences -- the chancellor long ago earned the nickname "Scholzomat" for his mechanic, austere speaking style. 

Other times, he has been caught over-promising or changing his story. At various points, the chancellor has offered misleading claims about Germany's aid to Ukraine, given multiple accounts of why he hasn't visited Kyiv yet and shifted the timelines for important weapons deliveries. 

Most recently, Scholz raised eyebrows with the bold -- and untrue -- claim that "no one" had supplied Ukraine "on a similar scale as Germany does."

"You have to be careful that such communication doesn't come across as strange," said Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, chair of the German parliament's defense committee and a member of the Free Democrats (FDP), which governs in a coalition with Scholz's Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens. [...]

[T]he result has been that Scholz's government -- despite being a major donor for Ukraine, injecting vast sums into its own military and soon supplying Ukraine with state-of-the-art German howitzers -- is getting slammed at home and internationally. The opprobrium seems to have even had a spillover effect at the polls, with Scholz's SPD recently falling behind the Greens in a national poll for the first time in months. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


South Carolina GOP Candidate Vows To Execute McConnell And Graham For 'Treason' (Kyle Mantyla, June 13 | 2022, National Memo)

Mark Burns, an unabashed Christian nationalist MAGA pastor who is running for Congress in South Carolina, declared that if he is elected, he will reinstate the House Un-American Activities Committee so that the government can "start executing people" guilty of treason. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Head of US white supremacist group among those arrested near Idaho Pride parade (LINDSAY WHITEHURST and SAN METZ, 6/12/22, AP)

The 31 Patriot Front members were arrested with riot gear after a tipster reported seeing people loading up into a U-Haul like "a little army" at a hotel parking lot in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, police said.

Among those booked into jail on misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot was Thomas Ryan Rousseau of Grapevine, Texas, who has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the 23-year-old who founded the group after the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. No attorney was immediately listed for him and phone numbers associated with him went unanswered Sunday.