If you've been tempted to think that the "liberal" media has really turned a corner in its coverage since the Trump Administration descended upon us, Ben Norton at FAIR will remind you that the "liberal" media, with its coverage of the passage of the Senate tax "reform" bill, still prefers to cover everything like it's a damn horserace. Lost in all the "victory" headlines are the simple facts: it's not a "tax cut" for anyone but corporations and the very rich, it'll create bigger deficits, and it'll prompt Congress to cut Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security to make up for all the "economic growth" that'll never come.
Eric Levitz at New York magazine reports that Senate Republicans seem to have accidentally killed many of their big corporate donors' favorite deductions, by retaining the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax, which just so happens to be 20%, which is exactly the same as the regular rate! Since Republicans would be trumpeting we closed corporate tax loopholes from the mountaintops if they'd done it on purpose, maybe it really is incompetence. But remember the lesson of The Bush Mobb years: incompetence is malice. And if the bill that comes out of conference puts all the corporate welfare back, then I suppose it'll be no-harm-no-foul for Mr. McConnell and his caucus.
Apparently the U.S. Supreme Court is trying to figure out a way to rule against a gay couple denied a wedding cake due to the wedding cake maker's "religious beliefs." I figured they'd just give the opinion to Justice Gorsuch and let him write whatever, but it seems Justice Kennedy, author of quite a few pro-gay rights opinions in his time, is ready to leap on the absurd idea that the Colorado statute that prevents this sort of discrimination evidences an "animus" toward religion. It doesn't: it has an animus toward discrimination, which it should. Justice Sotomayor's argument in paragraph 9, which describes the real free-association freedoms the First Amendment protects, is far more convincing.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) announces resignation after multiple allegations of sexual harassment -- though he also says he may have given folks a "false impression" that he admitted to any of them, and that a Senate ethics investigation would ultimately have cleared him. Maybe I'm too demanding, but the fact that he won't do his job and fight the accusations against him prompts me to dismiss his assertions of innocence. And while Anthony Weiner was a liberal (and an ineffectual one) only on health care, Mr. Franken has championed, and made a difference on, many issues, including forced arbitration, net neutrality, and financial regulation. Thus his fall is far more disappointing than Mr. Weiner's.
Finally, in a peripherally-related note, Trump press hack Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Mr. Trump has endorsed Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate race because having "a person who supports his agenda" is more important than the possibility that said person has sexually abused teenage girls. She also says, of course, that it's "something for the people of Alabama to decide," which raises the question of why Mr. Trump said anything at all. Why is "his agenda" important in the first place? Is that what the Founders wanted? Did they give us Senators merely so they'd rubber stamp a President's agenda?