Hot Air: As Always

Hillary Takes The Gloves Off

I’m glad Hillary’s coming down hard at last on D. Trump’s call to arms to the nation’s racists but she’s wrong when she says he’s the first “nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone.” As far back as 1968, Richard Nixon touted “law and order” as a code for racial intolerance He also recruited segregationist former Democrats to the GOP in his infamous “Southern Strategy.” Ronald Reagan babbled on about black welfare queens in Cadillacs. George H.W. Bush’s campaign provocateur, Lee Atwater, crafted the Willie Horton ad. For that matter, Hillary’s own husband used Sister Souljah as a racial straw (wo)man in his 1992 campaign.

And — let’s be frank — the Southern Democrats’ Jim Crow-era rhetoric was blatantly and unapologetically racist.

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Dem George Wallace Promises “Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever!”

Still, she’s right in going after Trump as she did yesterday in Reno, Nevada. The old line is, when your opponent’s drowning, throw him an anvil.

She may be going easy on his party brethren knowing she’ll have to work with the Republicans when she becomes Prez. If that’s the case, what she really means is: Look,  let’s forget about what racist dickwads you’ve been for the last 50 years and we’ll even forget my own party’s sins. But we just can’t ignore Trump’s supremacist dog whistles today. He’s way over the line. You don’t like him any better than I do. So I’ll focus all the blame on him and if you jump in this lifeboat with me, maybe we can do some work after I win the election.

She may even be thinking if she appeals to the better angels of their nature, the more rational among the Republicans may warm up to her. Me? I doubt it, but maybe it’s worth a shot.

Fair & Balanced

More on Race-gate. Corporate media is still doing that phony-baloney “balanced reporting” thing by positioning the argument as “mutual charges of racism.” That’s insane. You can no more accuse Hillary of being a racist than you can of Trump having a vagina.

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It just ain’t so no matter what he says. Ergo, don’t report it as a possibility.

Balance in journalism is good — to an extent. Further than that, it gets fetishistic and downright mendacious.

Joni & Jane Jaw On The AM Dial

Check out my Big Talk interview with Bloomington business owners Jane Kupersmith and Joni McGary (Hopscotch Coffee and Lucky Guy Bakery, respectively). It aired yesterday on WFHB‘s Daily Local News, where it’s a Thursday staple.

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Jane (L) & Joni

Keep an eye open here for the entire, mostly-unedited interview; it’ll be available after I can spare about an hour to prep and upload it.

The Good, The Bad, And The Profitable

Here’s a line from a profile of the latest celebrity greed-villain, Big Pharma CEO Heather Bresch in New York mag:

America is the only developed nation that lets drugmakers set their own prices on life-saving medications. One of the great things about this liberty-maximizing approach is that it gives pharmaceutical entrepreneurs the incentive to innovate.

Now, I detest Big Pharma’s hegemony over our life-saving drugs as much as I loathe Monsanto’s control over so much of the world’s seeds. Few things would please me more than for a Teddy Roosevelt-like prez to bust Big Pharma’s monopolies.

I take zero pleasure in being an apologist for Big Pharma — or any other corporate tyrant or arch-criminal cartel — but I feel honor-bound to point something out here. Much of this planet’s pharmaceutical research and development is indeed done on the manufacturers’ own dime. That’s how free market groupies envision things. And the truth of the matter is monolithic, Darth Vader-esque entities like Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and Actavis have indeed developed and brought to market countless innovative, desperately-needed new drugs in the last few years. My own medical travails the last few years have made clear just how thankful I ought to be that corporate profits (some, only some) have been plowed back into the lab so that chemists and microbiologists could develop drugs that actually made my life, at times, bearable.

The problem is, of course, drug R&D gets funded only when the pharmaceutical corp. has the spare cash to do so. Otherwise, a profit-making business’s first and only responsibility is to maximize the return to its shareholders. That, babies, is the law.

So, yeah, we can get all huffy about Heather Bresch’s obscene salary, especially when viewed against a backdrop of the EpiPen’s price skyrocketing while her company lobbies lawmakers to make the drug mandatory in public places. Spoon in a heavy dose of fed. gov’t largesse that helped the drug-maker develop the EpiPen in the first place and you’ve got a med with some awfully harmful side effects. That’s flat out wrong — a crime, really, against humanity. Just don’t go thinking those who work for big-money pharmaceutical firms — or even the firms themselves — all are incorrigibly evil entities. That would be cartoon thinking.

We Gotta Toughen These Kids Up *

So, the University of Chicago sent a letter to all its incoming customers this semester — oops, sorry; I meant students — informing them the U. would not be providing “trigger warnings” or “safe spaces” from now on, nor would the U. disinvite any speakers certain groups or individuals might find distasteful.

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Detail From The Letter To Incoming Freshmen

The trend over the last decade or so has been for colleges and universities to cater to the whims of its snowflake clientele in an attempt to protect the darlings from info that might hurt their feelings or speakers — including Secretaries of State and other Cabinet officials, CEOs, media wits and wags, and other hot air balloons — with whom they disagree.

Things have been getting ridiculous at any number of institutions of higher ed, so much so that the U. of C.’s letter was greeted with what seems universal approval.

Am I just missing the blowback or does everybody think the Care Bear-ization of college students has gone too far?

[MG Note: * With apologies to Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi, Goodfellas screenwriters, who penned the original line in the scene where Henry Hill, seeing a guy get shot for the first time, uses pizza parlor towels in an attempt to stanch the poor guy’s bleeding:

Tuddy Cicero: Y’know, you’re a real jerk. You wasted eight fuckin’ aprons on this guy. I dunno what the hell’s wrong with you. I gotta toughen this kid up.]

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