Blackguarded

Nice comment from one Des Johnson on David Brooks latest:

HRC has been demonized, and here I plead the use of a word common in Ireland when I was young–she has been blackguarded in the extreme for thirty years or more. David may come to admit that, but in the meantime, I suggest he has a duty to direct his comments to those of his party, yes HIS PARTY, who promise dysfunction and chaos.

Source: The Banality of Change – The New York Times

Change agent

David Brooks this morning:

If you wanted to design a personality type perfectly ill suited to be a change agent in government, you would come up with Donald Trump: solipsistic, impatient, combative, unsubtle and ignorant. If you wanted to design a personality type better suited to getting things done, you might come up with James Baker, Robert Gates or Ted Kennedy, but you might also come up with Hillary Clinton.

Source: The Banality of Change – The New York Times

Knickers in a knot 

THE office of the US trade representative is conducting its annual review of African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) beneficiaries to see if any are out of compliance with the act’s conditions. In 2015, SA was in the crosshairs for being difficult about American chicken, pork and beef. In 2016 the focus is on Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi as members of the East African Community (EAC). The problem is previously used clothing.

Source: LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: US getting its second-hand knickers in a knot | Columnists | BDlive

A Pigovian tax on sugar?

In 2015 Berkeley, California, became the first American municipality to implement a tax on sugary beverages to cut consumption. Set at about a rand a regular-sized can, the impost seems to have worked. But before the Treasury gets too excited, let’s note that the operative word here is “seems”.

Source: LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: Sugar tax debate produces no clear winners | Columnists | BDlive

An economy drugged by Big Pharma

Unchecked, the medical-industrial complex is poisoning the US economy as it sucks up an ever larger share of the nation’s wealth, using its economic muscle to buy political complaisance. The only constitutional way it can be stopped is through the election of a president who will say enough is enough, backed by strong, like-minded majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives, and, ultimately, on the supreme court.

Source: LETTER FROM WASHINGTON: Big Pharma has drugged greedy US politicians | Columnists | BDlive