Ho hum, our Administration's Justice Department sues the state of California over its recently-signed net neutrality law. That's right, our "conservative" federal government is suing a state for defying its will on net neutrality, after itself defying the people's will on the very same matter. I hope the federal judges who hear this suit look at all the other lawsuits being filed over the FCC's net neutrality repeal and decide there's just no way to figure out if the Justice Department's suit has a reasonable chance at success. That's better than hoping against hope that our "conservative" Supreme Court hears this case and actually respects free speech (or even "states' rights"!).
Surprise, surprise, the IRS catches a lot fewer tax cheats after Republicans spend seven-plus years cutting its budget, which has prompted the IRS to cut its tax law enforcement workers by about a third. I make the same argument here I make about Medicare: the mere presence of fraud doesn't prove public programs are weak, but catching and punishing those fraudsters does prove those programs are strong, and politicians should stop arguing that "we're broke" all the time, particularly when aggressive enforcement can recover (by IRS estimates) at least $125 billion annually, which even our President wouldn't dare call chump change.
Michelle Nickerson and Emily S. Johnson explain why "Women Are Deeply Divided on Brett Kavanaugh." Long story short: "many women in America are -- and have always been -- driven more by political beliefs than sisterly solidarity, a trend not limited to the political right." You should read the long story, though, and get yourself an education in 20th century anti-feminist movements on the right (a subject Ms. Nickerson has written about in more detail in her book Mothers of Conservatism). Reading the long story is, in fact, a good way to inoculate yourself against that right-wing habit of positing that the exception to the rule always obliterates the rule.
In a related vein, Judith Donath explains how Mr. Kavanaugh's alleged transgressions don't "signal to his supporters that he is untrustworthy" but rather that he is "one of them." "(N)one of Kavanaugh's accusers claim that he attacked them alone" -- some buddy or group of buddies was always there, ready to cover for him as he was for them, since "(m)utual misbehavior builds trusting bonds, partners in crime." And it ain't just that he'll cover for the Republican Party if he gets to our Supreme Court, knowing, as he does, that "(t)he rules that apply to others do not apply to them" -- it's that his predicament resonates with every male (I don't think I need to gender-equivocate here) who has ever enjoyed being part of a secret club, or wanted to be.
If you find yourself anxious about confronting the Ford/Kavanaugh testimony more directly, Nathan J. Robinson is here to remind us that you only need attend their testimony to know that Mr. Kavanaugh is more likely to be lying than Ms. Ford is. Long story short: "(i)f both parties speak with passion and clarity, but one of them says many inconsistent, evasive, irrational, and false things, while the other does not, then we actually have a very good indicator of which party is telling the truth." After you confront all the lies Mr. Kavanaugh tells in his testimony, you have to wonder why he doesn't simply admit he used to drink like a fish and say he's always struggling to do better, rather than refuse, even, to admit he drank before he was 18./p>
Finally, the notorious Amazon has pledged, after considerable agitation from activists, to pay their workers a minimum of $15/hour. Again, we learn that shame works, but we also learn that folks like Jeff Bezos get the whole relationship wrong: sure, saying "(w)e listened to our critics" isn't typical CEO-speak, but "(we) decided we wanted to lead" is utter horsedoodle. Amazon didn't lead; the people who agitated for them to change their ways led. I mean, this is America, where anyone can lead, and we must celebrate those who do lead, rather than reflexively assume that our "big," "bold" "entrepreneurs" must have somehow earned the title of leader.