Alex Shephard at The New Republic wonders "Why the Media Is Ignoring the Afghanistan Papers." Short answer: "everyone is to blame, which means no one has much of an interest in keeping the story alive." Somewhat longer answer: our media's thirst for partisan conflict makes coverage of "bipartisan failure" harder. Also, too, our President spews forth so much drama that "more complex stories, like the situation in Afghanistan, are often buried in favor of the political equivalent of sports sideline reporting." Mr. Shephard may be too nice to spell it out, but I also think we've become so cynical, all of us, that when we hear evidence that our government knew it was bollocksing up Afghanistan, we're proud of saying "and you're surprised?" As Americans, we deserve a better government than that, meaning we deserve actual surprise at such things.
This is really good news: the ACLU of Kansas has managed to shut down that state's notorious Interstate Crosscheck program, meaning it won't operate in the 2020 elections. That doesn't mean the ACLU has killed it dead, since it used a rather arcane argument to do so (that Interstate Crosscheck didn't keep voter data secure, of all things), and a lot of states still have previous Interstate Crosscheck databases and might use them to purge more voters. And the notorious Kris Kobach might create new purge lists himself -- though he's also running for Senate in 2020, and running a vote suppression operation while running for Senate might actually make him lose. Yes, even to a Democrat! Hell, he did it a year ago.
Ho hum, the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy studies corporate tax avoidance during the first year after the 2017 tax "reform" that dramatically cut the corporate tax rate, and finds over 350 Fortune 500 corporations paying, on average, a little over half the new 21% rate. That tax "reform" cut the tax rate (from 35% to 21%) without closing corporate tax loopholes, but that shouldn't surprise us when our nominally "liberal" politicians' position is "cut the tax rate, but close the loopholes." An actual liberal position would be "tax the corporations harder and stop giving them welfare handouts." And then you might have actual compromise in America again. Maybe even actual bipartisanship!
Scientists point to another driver of climate change: inefficient energy grids. These energy losses -- caused by (among other things) bad wiring, poor and/or corrupt management, or natural disasters -- emit almost as much carbon as heavy trucks do, which is saying something. Getting energy corporations to upgrade their infrastructure, of course, is like pulling teeth -- they always want a welfare handout or six just to do the thing they should already be doing, the thing we would simply make them do if our lawmakers didn't all have spines of jelly.
Finally, Republicans are jumping up and down about New Jersey House Rep. Jeff Van Drew's announcement that he'll switch to the Republican party shortly, but the part of America not responding to that news with "Jeff Van Who?" is probably responding "he was a Democrat?" And how precious he is, complaining that impeachment isn't "bipartisan" enough -- has he been awake the last couple of decades? I suspect he'll lose the 2020 Republican primary in New Jersey's 2nd -- he may not even come in second! -- and then a year or two later he'll imagine the Democrats are desperate enough to take him back, and he'll be wrong, all of which will make him (as Mario Cuomo might say) just another walnut in the batter of eternity.