Well, this was like fish in a barrel: Daily Kos diarist Hunter reminds us that Sen. McConnell lectured the world in 2005 about how "the President alone" nominates judges and "that, regardless of party, any President's judicial nominees, after full debate, deserve a simple up-or-down vote." What changed? The intellectual bankruptcy of Republicans became more and more obvious, that's what -- to the point where Presidential debates now involve shows of right-wing swordfighting and little else.
But folly over the next Supreme Court Justice isn't confined to Mr. McConnell, as Senate Judiciary Chair Charles Grassley claims that "it's been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year." He apparently constructs his timeline to exclude Justice Cardozo's confirmation in 1932, and he also apparently does not remember voting for Justice Kennedy in 1988. If he claims that circumstances were "special" that year, well, certainly Justice Scalia's death would also qualify as a "special" circumstance.
Jim Naureckas, writing at FAIR, reminds us that all this contentiousness in re the next Supreme Court justice did not start with the Robert Bork nomination. Actually, it began with the coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats that filibustered the Abe Fortas nomination (in 1968, in case Mr. Grassley's reading), followed by the Senate's rejection of President Nixon's first two decidedly lackluster nominees in that filibuster's wake.
Ho hum, another group presents a "new" model claiming that tax cuts spur economic growth -- at such a rate that their negative effects on, say, revenues and deficits can be ignored altogether. When has that ever worked again? Apparently the TAG Model not only celebrates tax cuts as a kind of "free lunch" but also declare government spending on infrastructure to be worthless. Right-wingers have long claimed that all economic production (even that of banksters!) is valuable; I guess the TAG Model "innovates" on that claim, and in a few short years it'll report that production and consumption are economically worthless and collecting debt is the only economically valuable activity.
Meanwhile, back in reality, Citizens for Tax Justice says that Sen. Sanders's Medicare-for-All tax hikes would actually increase both federal revenues and wages, at least for the bottom 95% of workers. I don't doubt that Medicare-for-All would save us all a lot of money over privately-delivered health care plans, but I'd caution against assuming that our employers would simply remit to their workers the difference between what they spend on health insurance now and what they'd spend on a single-payer plan. Indeed, corporations will probably demand that they get to keep the difference. That means the people have to pay more attention when it's time to negotiate.
Finally, Paul Buchheit, writing at Nation of Change, gives us "Five Reasons the Top Tax Rate Should Be 80%." Reason number one? "Massive Redistribution Has Occurred. Upward." If you've been reading this blog with any regularity, you'll find the other reasons familiar; the only thing Mr. Buchheit doesn't do (which he tacitly admits) is address the reasons we're in this mess in the first place -- because banksters have put all of us (and that includes other big corporations!) on a debt treadmill that gets worse and worse (making them richer and richer!) as time goes on.