|4:12 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Recently, some media commentators have argued that, rather than the product of a simple confrontation between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Syria and Iraq, the rise of the so-called “Islamic State” should be perceived as an eruption into those countries of Wahhabism, the only interpretation of Islam recognized as official in Saudi Arabia.
David Gardner of the Financial Times, for instance, blamed Saudi Arabia indirectly for the growth of ISIS, writing, “Jihadi extremism does present a threat to the kingdom. But in doctrinal terms it is hard to see in what way it ‘deviates’ from Wahhabi orthodoxy.” Others have implied or alleged that Saudi Arabia helps finance ISIS.
On September 30, Financial Times writers Heba Saleh in Cairo and Simeon Kerr in Dubai asserted, “in contrast to the tacit official encouragement of more liberal voices after 9/11, any debate within Saudi Arabia over the role of [Wahhabism] in fostering [ISIS] extremism has been timid and largely confined to social media.”
Yet in analyzing radical Islam, we should make distinctions, not confuse them. Looking back at Saudi Arabia’s reaction to the atrocities of September 11, 2001, we would find little public dialogue over the role of Wahhabism in the origins of al Qaeda. The Saudi monarchy and their representatives denied a linkage and discouraged investigation of it. After the U.S.-led Iraq intervention in 2003, Saudi media and websites were replete with praise for Saudi citizens who had died as terrorist combatants north of the kingdom’s border. The Saudis created an ineffective anti-terrorist “rehabilitation” program before “deporting” al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to Yemen. Later, however, the Saudis declined to support the Wahhabi Nour party that emerged in Egypt after the fall of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Saudi Arabia had begun to change in 2005 with the death of King Fahd Abd Al-Aziz and ascent to the throne of his half brother, the currently-ruling King Abdullah. Abdullah commenced a series of reforms that while small, nonetheless marked a new direction for the desert realm. In 2007, the so-called “religious police” or “morals patrols,” titled officially the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), and known among the populace as the mutawiyin (volunteers) or hai’a (commission), came under official scrutiny.
Treasury’s regulatory non-solution makes a legislative fix much more difficult to achieve.3:01 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By IKE BRANNON
Amidst the cliched rhetoric decrying “unpatriotic” companies that accompanied the Obama administration’s recent move to address corporate inversions, it was easy to miss the fact that there is relatively little of substance that can be remedied via regulation alone, even with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew stretching the limits of executive power.
That leaves us in need of a legislative fix, and as usual the Democrats have embraced an easy-to-understand and completely ineffectual solution, which is to simply tax U.S. corporations on every dollar earned, whether it is earned here or from foreign operations.
This may sounds like a logical approach but it doesn’t work. The problem it creates is that U.S. corporations will be given yet another reason to relocate their headquarters abroad, since no other countries have such a counterproductive policy. And if we were to do that, more companies would indeed move—and not just their legal domicile but their actual base of operations. As one corporate CEO remarked to me a few years ago, most companies headquartered in the U.S. are simply here because of a historic accident. The tax consequences of being based in the U.S. are not worth the benefits that come with it, compared to being elsewhere.
Actually moving a company’s headquarters out of the United States is not that unthinkable or difficult. Friends of mine who work for Caterpillar, based in my bucolic hometown of Peoria, tell me that the company regularly deals with executives who have little desire to return to HQ after doing a stint in Switzerland or Singapore. If there are substantial savings to be had from moving their physical headquarters to some major foreign city, their MBAs and senior engineers—many of whom fail to appreciate Peoria’s ineffable charm—may not put up all that much of a fuss. And what’s true for Peoria also holds for other places as well: The grandeur of life in the outer suburbs of Chicago isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be for many.
To be clear, having a U.S. headquarters is most definitely a good thing: Ask the denizens of St. Louis and Milwaukee how it affected the quality of life—as well as the number of high-paying jobs in the area—to lose the munificence of their breweries when both were acquired by foreign concerns.
We shouldn’t expect domestic companies to pay a higher tax rate than their foreign competitors and be competitive abroad. Liberal objections that the myriad tax breaks in the U.S. corporate tax code mean that the tax doesn’t make them less competitive are beside the point: If these corporations are giving up 40 cents of every additional dollar they earn, it creates a powerful reason to go elsewhere, regardless of the other tax breaks.
2:11 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A letter from a physician who practices and teaches at a medical school in New York, who introduced himself to the boss at last night’s protest of the Met's performance of the "Death of Klinghoffer."
Dear Mr. Kristol,
It was a pleasure meeting you tonight at the protest. (I was the Weekly Standard subscriber.) If you are planning to write about the protest, I would recommend the quote from a Met spokesman: "the fact that Klinghoffer grapples with the complexities of an ... act of violence..." This to me epitomizes the problem with the opera's viewpoint: there are no "complexities" to this despicable act of murder. This issue has not only affected my contemporaries but in fact, it was first brought to my attention by my sixteen year old daughter, Alex, who was so incensed by the insensitivity of the opera that she set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to protest.
Thank you once again for fighting against moral equivalence.
Ira S. Meisels, M.D.
2:00 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Louisiana Democratic senator Mary Landrieu, who's been under fire for living full-time in Washington, D.C. rather than her home state, recently told supporters that her lavish home is actually quite modest:
Ryan Lovelace writes at National Review Online:
At a campaign event in Bogalusa, La., this weekend, Landrieu called a woman up on stage to explain that the 7,300 square-foot house doesn’t qualify as a mansion, and then interrupted the woman to add that she lives next to the cleaners and her home is only 36 feet wide. “They say I live in a mansion,” Landrieu said. “It’s a townhome, which I also have a home in New Orleans.”
Landrieu reportedly lives in a 7,316 square-foot house in D.C. that boasts five bathrooms, four water heaters, and 82 fire sprinkler heads.
Landrieu appears to be heading to a runoff with Republican congressman Bill Cassidy. He currently leads Landrieu by 4.8 percentage points in a head-to-head matchup, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
1:03 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
From last week, another example of PolitiFact's incredible bias:
Now it should be obvious here that PolitiFact can't validate what the effects of a minimum wage increase are because it hasn't happened yet. Further, the context is that Grimes, who is challenging Mitch McConnell for Kentucky's Senate seat, supports a minimum wage increase, while McConnell opposes one on the grounds that the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) median estimate is that a minimum wage increase will kill 500,000 jobs and maybe as many as a million. Grimes counters that the CBO says a minimum wage increase could help a million people get above the poverty level.
Couple of points here. One, the actual figure of Americans that the CBO says will rise above the poverty level is about 900,000 not "more than a million" and PolitiFact never seems to give Republicans the benefit of the doubt when they're 10+ percent off. Two, while the CBO's estimate of 900,000 people being raised above the poverty line is a net gain that takes into account the job losses, PolitiFact doesn't say what job loss estimate the CBO is using to arrive at that figure. I presume it's the median estimate of 500,000 job losses, but how does that estimate change if we see the high end estimate of a million people losing their jobs? Again, neither PolitiFact or the CBO can predict the future. There are all kinds of second order effects of centralized economic policy that are unforseen. And it has been axiomatic among economists for decades that minimum wage increases hurt labor markets. Only recently has that consensus become undone, largely for nakedly political reasons. There's also an illustrious history of the government's financial projections being wildly wrong, not to mention the problem of CBO estimates being manipulated.
So yes, Grimes is technically telling the truth about something the CBO report says, but her dismissal of what the report says about the downside of a minimum wage increase renders her point somewhere between strictly argumentative and moot.
However, if you just glance at the headline above, you're going to walk away with the impression that 1) Grimes is telling the truth when the issue is much more complicated and 2) a minimum wage increase is a good idea if you want to help people in poverty even though that's not entirely clear and it's probably going to make half a million poor people -- or more -- worse off.
October baseball notebook.12:10 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
With the World Series opening tonight in Kansas City, the Giants are no doubt feeling their oats. They’re coming off of a three-homerun performance in their game five win over the St. Louis Cardinals, which landed them their third World Series appearance in five years. However, the Giants should be wary, for power is a fickle friend.
“Game-changers in baseball are power, speed, velocity, and defense,” says George Washington University head baseball coach Gregg Ritchie. “Then there’s also the intangible stuff—the total willingness to do anything it takes to win. It’s drive. A mentality. You see Josh Harrison play and you just know this guy has it.”
Ritchie was Harrison’s batting coach with the Pirates in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In 2013, Ritchie took the job at GW, returning to his alma mater after more than two decades in professional baseball. We played together at GW, and with the postseason upon us, I asked to get some of his thoughts on the state of the game and how it’s played at the highest level, the major leagues.
“Of all these game-changers,” says Ritchie, “the inconsistent one is power. If you have speed, you’re not losing it from at bat to at bat. If you throw 97-100, it’s the same thing. If you play good defense, it won’t go away. But you can’t hit home runs every at bat. Power is something you want, but it’s not something you can always bank on, like pitching and defense. It can’t be counted on like team fundamentals.”
It’s not that Ritchie doesn’t like power—who doesn’t like a three-run homer, like the Travis Ishikawa shot Thursday night that won it for the Giants? Power gives you an edge, but it’s unpredictable. What about the game-changers that you can actually coach, like how many times you strike out during the course of a game? According to Ritchie, it’s one of the keys to winning baseball, at any level.
“Let’s say your team strikes out on the average of four times a game,” says Ritchie, “and the opposing team strikes out seven times a game. That means you have one more inning to put the ball in play and force them to field the ball. Now imagine that over the course of a three-game series—you have three full innings more than the other team to put the ball in play and make something happen. Now let’s imagine this over the course of a season, so that the opposing team will have to play 162 more innings of defense than you.”
And what happens when you make the other team makes plays in the field? “Let’s say a team makes an error every 15 times it has to make a play,” says Ritchie. “That’s once every five innings. The more times it has to make plays because you’re putting the ball in play instead of striking out, the more errors the opposing team will make. Over 162 games, they might make ten to twelve more errors a year, which might decide three to four games. Just by putting the ball in play more often and not striking out, you might find yourself on the winning side three to four more times a year.”
11:42 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Ron Klain, the Democratic political operative tapped by President Obama to run the federal government's response to the Ebola virus outbreak, recently worked as a political adviser to Michelle Nunn, the Georgia Democrat running for the U.S. Senate. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Ron Klain starts work tomorrow as President Barack Obama’s Ebola “czar,” or point person to coordinate various agencies involved in containing the outbreak.
That means the longtime Democratic hand no longer has time to help out Michelle Nunn’s U.S. Senate bid. Klain, a former chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden and frequent debate prepper, was to lead Nunn’s preparation for her debates against Republican David Perdue, according to the infamous internal campaign memo.
We’re told that Klain did advise the campaign for a while but has more pressing matters to deal with now.
Nunn, who is running close with Republican David Perdue for the seat held by retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, has sought to distance herself from the president and national Democrats.
11:01 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Tom Harkin, the longtime Democratic senator from Iowa who is retiring at the end of the term, spoke with the New York Times about the Hawkeye State's Senate race. Harkin seems to take it as a given that Republicans will gain control of the Senate, even as his fellow Iowa Democrat, Bruce Braley, is mired in a difficult campaign to succeed him.
Currently Republican state senator Joni Ernst leads Democratic congressman Braley by two-and-a-half points. The campaign had a defining moment early in the cycle when Braley told a fundraising event with a trial lawyers' group that if Republicans took the Senate, the judiciary committee would be chaired by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley.
"A farmer from Iowa who never went to law school," Braley described Grassley on the captured video. The comments were seen by many conservatives as disparaging and seemed to confirm an image of Braley as an elitist. In the Times interview, Harkin offers what reads like a backhanded defense of Braley while confirming his belief that the GOP is likely to win the Senate majority:
Mr. Harkin seemed determined in a recent interview to prove that, conventional wisdom aside, Mr. Braley’s comment was by no means impolitic. “This may not be the time to say this,” Mr. Harkin said as he broached the topic at an Iowa coffee shop. But he could not resist picking at the scab:
“I watched it and I watched it again, and I thought, ‘What’s the hubbub about?’ He said on that tape that if the Senate goes Republican, a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school will be chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Everything he said is absolutely true. He didn’t lie. He didn’t utter a falsehood. He just said it matter of factly.
“To my way of thinking, I’d say so what’s the problem here? They said, ‘Well, he was dissing Grassley.’ How can you diss someone about which they are proud? I think Chuck Grassley is pretty proud of the fact that he didn’t go to law school and he’s going to be chairman of the Judiciary Committee — first time ever. What’s wrong with that?”
9:21 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
Eighteen months ago Britain’s Nigel Farage was a political curiosity, head of a fringe party, gadfly member of the European Parliament, an ex-commodities broker who never went to college—dismissed as a nutcase by ruling elites in London and Brussels. Today he’s being touted as a future prime minister.
“Our Nige,” as his supporters call him—personable, chatty, good-looking, beer swilling, chain-smoking—wants Britain, not the European Union, to run British affairs. To flip a quote from his hero Winston Churchill, he has none of the virtues they despise, and all of the vices they admire.
Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP officially, “kippers” to critics) has been rolling like the nascent Labour Party a century ago, which displaced the Liberals and dominated political thought until Thatcher’s time. UKIP is now 21 years old—Labour formed its first government at age 23.
In 2013’s local council elections, kippers finished third. Last May, UKIP became the first party since 1906 to out-poll Labour and the Conservatives nationwide, sweeping the European elections, gaining 24 of Britain’s 73 seats in the rubber-stamp EU legislature.
This October UKIP elected its first member of Parliament and nearly ousted a Labour member in a “safe seat.” In November it’s likely to elect another MP. It’s at 25 percent in national polls—a political tsunami suggesting UKIP may hold the balance of power after the general election next May. Their price if they get it: an immediate referendum on leaving the EU.
Farage insists he isn’t against trade or immigration—he simply wants national control back. “Right now, we have an open door to 485 million Europeans. … Iceland, with 350,000 people, has a free-trade agreement with China. You’re telling me 63 million Brits can’t do that?” He wants more trade with the “Anglosphere”: the U.S., India, and “the Commonwealth we so shamefully deserted.”
Nothing fazes Our Nige, a razor-sharp debater who blasts joyfully at the “ghastly” EU bureaucrats. The 2009 appointment of grey eminence Herman Van Rompuy as “President of Europe” was just so much red meat: Instead of a giant global figure, Farage said, “all we got was you…And I don't want to be rude, but you know, really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk.”
That earned him one of many fines, which, typically, he laughed off. “If I’m fined another 63 million times I personally will have paid the entire Euro bail-out fund.” A UKIP tea towel with Van Rompuy’s image now proclaims, “genuine Belgian damp rag.”
Now UKIP is surging on a libertarian agenda: lower taxes, an end to limitless debt and extremist environmentalism, drastic reductions in enterprise-stifling regulation, and military actions without a clue what the endgame is: “What have we to show for our support of rebels in Libya, Syria, Egypt?” he asks. “In Afghanistan and Iraq, we’re achieving, let’s be honest, nothing. I’m extremely tired of the UK joining overseas adventures where we never really think what the endgame’s going to be.”
8:40 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have made increasing the federal minimum wage one of their marquee issues during campaign appearances leading up to the 2014 elections. After pushing for an increase to $9.00/hour up through 2013, the president moved the bar up to $10.10/hour in his 2014 State of the Union Address. Now, on Monday, the White House enlisted Paul Saginaw, the co-founder of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the cause. According to Saginaw, "the right to conduct business is earned by being a good corporate citizen," which, in this case, means supporting the president's minimum wage plan:
My partner, Ari Weinzweig, and I never subscribed to the conservative economic theory of Milton Friedman, that “the business of business is business.” To us, the right to conduct business is earned by being a good corporate citizen — by producing products and delivering services responsibly, hiring responsibly, generating profits responsibly, and finally, sharing profits with those who help produce them and with the wider community from which the revenues are drawn...
For more than three decades, our successful businesses have been profitable but never by underpaying our employees or withholding benefits. In fact, my 17 partners and I have always paid wages above the federal minimum and offered company-subsidized health care and paid time off.
Saginaw takes some swipes at fellow small business restaurant owners, suggesting they are reaping excessive profits by "shorting their employees", and that now is a good time to "educate 'voters' for ethical employment practices":
I hear many in the restaurant industry say raising menu prices will result in customer loss and diminished profits, but I reject that and question the scale of those profit margins, wondering if the margins are maintained by shorting their employees. Customers have voted with their pocketbooks for locally sourced, organic, and free-range products. Now is a prime time to educate “voters” for ethical employment practices as well.
While Saginaw did not target Republicans in his post, President Obama ratcheted up his attacks against "Washington Republicans" in remarks Sunday in Maryland while promoting the minimum wage increase, telling the crowd that "you know who they’re fighting for, and it ain’t you." He said the GOP is for "millionaires" and not the "folks who clean out the bedpans and folks who make the rooms":
6:38 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago, President Obama mentioned that there are some "unpaid bills" on his desk in Chicago--which he left when moved to the White House after winning the presidential election in 2008. Here's what he said:
"One of the nice things about being home is actually that it's a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills (laughter) -- I think eventually they got paid -- but they're sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff."
But that transcript is different than the official White House version, which deletes the "unpaid bills" part:
"there’s still junk on my desk, including some -- newspapers and all kinds of stuff."
The discrepenacy was noticed by the White House pool reporters, and the correct transcript disseminated by them.
"The White House's transcript of tonight's DNC fundraiser omits the president's reference to unpaid bills being stacked up on his desk at home in Chicago. I included a partial quote in the pool report earlier, but in the interest of transparency, especially since this was a print pool only event, I'm sharing the full quote, as I transcribed and checked just now, and as it was in the transcript," a White House pool reporter noted late last night.
9:43 PM, Oct 20, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Given that the Democrats are in total disarray heading into November, it's not surprising liberal groups are making all sorts of dire warning about how it will rain brimstone when the GOP takes control of the Senate. However, this item from MoveOn.org really takes the cake:
If they seize control of the Senate this November, Republicans will use a little-known tool called “reconciliation” to get their way. Robert Reich explains in this new video from MoveOn.org. Please watch and share widely.
As you might recall, "reconciliation" was the exact same legislative process Democrats used when they couldn't get the 60 votes necessary to pass Obamacare. Thanks to reconciliation, Democrats could pass legislation with a simple majority in the Senate. (More recently, Harry Reid weakened the filibuster, making it even easier for Democrats usher through nominees by simple majority.) For sheer hypocrisy, warning that the GOP might use this allegedly obscure legislative tactic -- it was well-known in 2010! -- to steamroll the minority party is pretty hard to beat.
And how disingenuous is Robert Reich? This disingenuous:
'They have supported my agenda in Congress. … These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me.'7:04 PM, Oct 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama discussed the election and how "all" the Democrats running away from him "have supported my agenda" in an interview with Al Sharpton earlier today:
"Well, look, here's the bottom line," said Obama, "We've got a tough map. A lot of the states that are contested this time are states that I didn't win. And so some of the candidates there, you know, it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turn-out. The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. They are on the right side of minimum wage. They are on the right side of fair pay. They are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure. They're on the right side of early childhood education.
"So, this isn't about my feelings being hurt. These are folks who are strong allies and supporters of me. And I tell them, I said, you know what, you do what you need to win. I will be responsible for making sure that our voters turn up."
'It's not an outbreak or an epidemic here.'6:58 PM, Oct 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama discussed the Ebola virus in remarks at Democratic fundraiser in Chicago this evening. Ebola "has been the only story here in the United States for the last couple of weeks," Obama said.
But the commander in chief, who's called Ebola a national security threat, added, "It's not an outbreak or an epidemic here."
Obama also ticked off some of the world hotspots and said, "So you have this sense of uncertainty overseas."
He added, "And so all of this adds together to a sense on the part of folks that the institutions they rely on to apply common sense decisions and to look out for working families across the country, that those institutions aren't working the way they're supposed to."
Here's the pool report:
Fundraiser is inside a very nice rowhouse. Pool spotted a swimming pool when leaving the house. No big news but some color and fresh quotes on Ebola. Please check against transcript. And thanks to Katie Zezima for filling out the Malia and Sasha quote.
Host Barbara Manilow jokes: "you are the only person who has brought all three of my children home for a weekend" as she introduces POTUS. "We want to do what little we can to help" make sure he has a Senate that will work with him.
"When I look around I see folks who had my back very early on ... It's good to be home, especially when the weather is reasonable," he said. He's glad he was a reason to bring Manilow's kids home for the weekend and then talked briefly about his daughters. "We're starting to get to that point where Malia and Sasha are projecting out and thinking of their escape. And, you know, sometimes I start getting a little choked up when I look at them because they're growing up too fast."
Obama thanked DNC finance chair Henry Munoz for coming, noted his fashion sense and then joked, "I try a tan suit and that's like, folks go crazy." Maybe Munoz can offer him some post-presidency tips, he added.
He said that when he comes back to his house here, there's some stuff that's been sitting there since before he took office. "There's still some junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills," he said. "We always thought we'd be back every month and we'd get everything filed." But that didn't happen. Looking back at old newspaper articles, though, he's reminded of the great recession and other challenges he faced when taking office.
"Although the direct threats against us are not imminent ," they do have a "destabilizing effect we have to pay attention to," Obama said, mentioning ISIL and challenges in Iraq. Ebola "has been the only story here in the United States for the last couple of weeks. It's not an outbreak or an epidemic here."
"So far, we've only got one person dying of Ebola but people are understandably concerned in part because they've seen what's happened in Africa. This is a virulent disease and it is up to us to once again mobilize the world's community to do something about it, to make sure that not only we're helping on a humanitarian basis those countries but we're not seeing a continued epidemic and outbreak that can have a serious impact here." Obama added another concern to the list of global worries: "The situation in Ukraine and Russia's aggression, that has concerned people."
Summing it up, he said: "So you have this sense of uncertainty overseas"
3:28 PM, Oct 20, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Victorino Matus, writing for the Wall Street Journal:
Is Tito ’s Handmade Vodka really handmade? Would it taste any less good if it weren’t anymore?
Type “handmade vodka” into Google and the first two pages of results are about one brand: Tito’s Handmade Vodka from Austin, Texas. You could say the “handmade” descriptive is essential to its identity, along with small-batch, craft-distilled, folksy even. The ads and website images show founder Bert “Tito” Beveridge in jeans and a button-down, standing proudly next to his potstill, sitting atop cases of his product, or beside his faithful dogs. On the label, aside from “handmade,” are the words “Crafted in an Old Fashioned Pot Still by America’s Original Microdistillery.”
But in the summer of 2013, Forbes published “The Troubling Success Of Tito’s Handmade Vodka.” As its author Meghan Casserly explains, “Tito’s has exploded from a 16-gallon pot still in 1997 to a 26-acre operation that produced 850,000 cases last year, up 46 percent from 2011, pulling in an estimated $85 million in revenue.” She also describes “massive buildings containing ten floor-to-ceiling stills and bottling 500 cases an hour.”
So it was inevitable: On Sept. 15, lawyers representing Gary Hofmann in California filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that Tito’s “manufactured, marketed, and/or sold . . . ‘Tito’s Handmade’ Vodka to the California general public with the false representation that the Vodka was ‘handmade’ when, in actuality, the Vodka is made via a highly-mechanized process that is devoid of human hands.”
Whole thing here.
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