Our Supreme Court, citing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, unanimously rules that Muslims can sue FBI agents for monetary damages for placing them on a no-fly list as a way of coercing them into informing on other Muslims. I think the ruling is fairly narrow -- our Court didn't rule on whether folks could sue under the RFRA for injunctive relief, because our government took the original plaintiffs off the no-fly list about a year after they originally sued -- but it's still welcome. And remember what Paul Craig Roberts once said: if over a million people are on no-fly lists, why don't we have terrorist attacks every day?
More good news: after public pressure (and public likely includes you, if you read about it here), Bank of America has declared it won't fund efforts to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (or ANWR), despite our soon-to-be-ex-President's most fervent efforts. We're not, as they say, out of the woods yet -- the Office of the Comptroller has proposed a rule that might force banks to look at "individual client risk" rather than effect broad exclusionary policies, which would seem, ah, problematic -- but, again, this is a welcome development.
Given how many times I've said we should "get in our elected officials' grills" about pressing legislative matters, you may wonder if I approve of anti-mask protestors banging on the door of a Boise, ID health official's house as she was meeting to mull new COVID-related restrictions. The answer is no: folks should "get in their grills" in public, not in private; that could mean banging on the doors of their office, but not their home. Going to someone's house to intimidate them may seem "courageous," but it's actually cowardly -- if you're that sure you're right, you'll do it in front of everyone.
Surprise, surprise, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who'll face Georgia voters in a runoff race in less than a month, apparently sold his Washington, D.C. townhouse to a bankster lobbyist who had business before the Senate Banking Committee upon which Mr. Perdue sits. Their excuses are strained, as usual -- it was fair market price (although not everyone agrees about that, and another possibility would be no market price, if he didn't find another buyer), he didn't know the buyer (meaning he'd have been derelict in his duty on the Banking Committee!), and my personal favorite, the organization hasn't lobbied Mr. Perdue specifically, as if buying someone's house for $1.8 million isn't an act of lobbying itself! I'm old enough to remember when even the appearance of corruption ended careers, but in recent years I've seen too many people defy the rules and get away with it.
Finally, hot on the heels of our Supreme Court slapping down (by an apparent 7-2 margin) the Ken Paxton-led lawsuit attempting to overturn election results in four states, Texas GOP Chair Allen West suggests that maybe Texas should secede from our union. The last time Texas politicians threw a similar tantrum, in 2009, my reaction was more or less "don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya," and if I were playing *realpolitik* I might still say that, though we'd need to prepare for the fact (no, not the "possibility," the fact) that Texas would wage war on America sooner or later. But plenty of *good* people live in Texas, too -- after all, Mr. Trump only won it by 6 points, so Texas might only be one Stacey Abrams-calibre organizer away from flipping like Georgia did.