Rick Perlstein and Edward H. Miller at The New Republic remind us that right-wing whackjobs have always been an integral part of the right-wing counter-revolution of recent decades. Like you, I did know about a lot of the things this article discusses (the John Birch Society, R.J. Rushdoony, William F. Buckley, Jr.'s own virulent racism), but I did not know about a lot of other things that have eerie contemporary parallels. Does laetrile remind you of hydroxychloroquine? Do the Birchian "Insiders" remind you of the Trumpian "Deep State"? Do Jerry Falwell's gay child-recruitment fever dreams remind you of QAnon's child-sex ring? Does the "SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL POLICE" '70s bumper sticker remind you of today's Thin Blue Line flag? It's breathtaking, and more than a little consoling, to have all of this evidence in one place. Seriously, this is if-you-read-one-article-this-year territory here.
David Swanson reminds us why President Biden does not require a new "authorization to use military force" (or AUMF). Some folks would find most of the six reasons described herein to be "naive" -- some people are so proud of their cynicism, but cynicism is evil, and our Bible lists pride as the first of the seven deadlies -- but, really, the fact that our Constitution gives Congress, not our President, the authority to declare war should be enough. Even if it is also true that "(y)ou do not end wars by authorizing wars" and "(a)nyone who’d seen the damage done by recent wars would not authorize another goddamned thing" -- and, hate to pile on, that "(w)ar is illegal."
Sonali Kolhatkar reminds us "Why Big Pharma Shouldn’t Have Any Control Over COVID-19 Vaccines." "Because taxpayers pay for vaccine development" and "because governments have to force Big Pharma to do the right thing" are the two most obvious reasons, with "big corporations turn good people against each other" lurking underneath, as always. Ms. Kolhatkar's aptly renders the travails of "vaccine hunters" -- who often find themselves in long lines trying to score "leftover" doses -- as the "vaccine Hunger Games."
Ho hum, the New York Times slams the Brazilian "Car Wash" judicial scandal -- in which a candidate for President got thrown in jail right before an election, thus enabling the ascension of that irredeemable asshole, Jair Bolsonaro -- without examining its own shoddy reporting about the matter over the years. As with the Iraq War-era Downing Street memos -- which our "liberal" media downplayed because "everyone knew" what was in them, though everyone certainly didn't know about what was in them from "liberal" media reporting! -- now the Times claims "it has long been known" that Brazilian Judge Sergio Moro acted unethically and illegally, but you sure didn't "know" about it from the Times! That's some real Orwellian stuff, right there. (Hate to pile on, but "it has long been known"? When you use the passive voice, you might as well hang a sign around your neck saying "I am hiding something from you.")
When you confront Sen. Lindsey Graham's latest attempt to describe his relationship with Donald Trump, you wonder how anyone could spew forth such word salad and still keep getting re-elected. I mean, his rationalizations aren't just stupid, they're obviously stupid, and Ms. Levin correctly says they "sound() like someone rationalizing staying with their abuser." Of course, you probably already know why folks like Lindsey Graham keep getting re-elected: when national Democrats won't use their power for good, any gibbering idiot can get elected on the Republican ticket, and a lot of them make Lindsey Graham sound like a Mensa member, just as Lindsey Graham surely made his forebears sound a lot better back in 1994. That only means we have to stay on our elected leaders, especially now that they probably think that once this COVID relief bill passes, they won't have to work for the next two years.
Finally, Sen. Joe Manchin (D?-WV) says he won't allow Democrats to use budget reconciliation to pass an infrastructure bill, since he's sure he can get at least 10 Republicans to sign on to one and "I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying" to talk to them. He sure does enjoy being Thee One Real True and Great American President, doesn't he? But here's the real question: why would anyone want to talk to Congressional Republicans? They block even the mildest reforms, they manufacture the most absurd outrages, and hello! They just tried to overturn the 2020 election, with violence. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Republicans may have 50 Senators, but as far as I'm concerned, they have zero.