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Blue Star


By Scott Sullivan


Four-Letter Words

Now he’s done it. Heretofore I have given President Trump a pass because he does my work for me. Every day he lampoons himself.

Some in my profession gripe about newsprint tariffs, but at worst they can cost us our livelihoods. That’s a pittance compared to Trump’s tariffs on metal, driving up costs for a can of beer.

Poor Pete Coors, chair of Molson Coors Brewing Co., which also owns Miller and most other mass brands not carted in by Clydesdales. “A cold can of beer on a hot summer day is as American as it gets,” the fourth-generation brewing magnate told the Wall Street Journal. “But now that experience will cost you more.”

Note he said you, not me. MillerCoors, the firm’s U.S. business, says Trump’s trade war tactics have worsened irregularities in the aluminum market, costing it $40 million more to crank out full metal jackets for its products.

Coors puts rhetoric to his lips but won’t swallow price hikes. He will pass added costs on to customers. He isn’t too poor to pour, but at this rate I’ll be.

I am all for Making America Great Again, but how without Germany’s quintessential beverage diluted with Rocky Mountain spring water any longer?

Trump’s first target imposing tariffs in March was China for its trade practices. Canada, Mexico and the European Union received exemptions.

No more. He changed course this summer to gain leverage over Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Our two countries’ aluminum markets are closely linked.

Who’d have thought that our northern neighbors would step off their hockey ponds to high-stick us? When I’m parched for suds and worn out from saluting America’s billionaire populist heroes, hearing, “Sorry about that, eh?” on a hot summer day won’t cut it. At least there’s no tariff on Russian hackers.

What I love about politics is the first thing “outsider” businessmen do when elect-ed to public office is mess with free (ha-ha) markets.

Ideologies be damned. It’s about distribution, who gets what. I want my PAC or pork-barrel projects to be rewarded. Cut me a deal and I’ll help you get yours enacted too.

Three years ago The Green Lady, a Northside Chicago tavern, dropped MillerCoors brands to protest Pete Coors’ support of Trump. All have survived. But to thrive, you need growing markets. Here is one nowadays: hate websites.

The demise of Gab, shuttered after follower Robert Bowers gunned down 11 synagogue worshippers in Pittsburgh last month, has opened new opportunities.

Within a week, traffic at Stormfront — Alabama Klan leader Don Black’s platform, was up 45 percent. Anonymous posters there claimed the bloodshed in Pittsburgh was staged by actors. Similar rhetoric spiked at The Daily Stormer, where a headline said, “Just go, Jews. You’re not welcome.”

Hate is, of course, in beholders’ eyes. First Amendment rights enshrine lots of nonsense. Markets too are amoral. I may choose not to supply the demand white-supremacist Black does, but I’d be naïve to deny it’s there.

Love, another four-letter word, is also up for the making/taking. “We won with poorly educated. I love poorly educated,” said Trump after winning the 2016 Nevada Caucus. He knows his supporters’ intellects; Why else vote for him?

“Sorry losers and haters,” he went on, “but my IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it. Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure. It’s not your fault.”

Trump can mess with love, hate and so on. But not beer. With Coors there to intercede on behalf of us little guys, I hold hope the Free World Leader he still is funding can can the leverage game and get on with more genius things to appease us.

With luck, common sense can inoculate us to all things. Cheers!