President Biden announces the U.S. will withdraw from Afghanistan by 9.11.21 -- really? After only 20 years? -- and naturally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) thinks such a withdrawal would be "dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous," proving, once again, that a little alliteration is a dangerous thing. Of course Sen. Graham wants us all to be cowards, clinging to military aggression in order to "keep safe" from the Middle East terrorism that said military aggression has made much, much worse. Why, it's almost like that's the whole idea! Besides, you know what keeps people safe? Stopping the rich from running roughshod over them, a principle folks like Lindsey Graham pretend not to understand.
William Rivers Pitt at TruthOut suggests there may be, ah, something else behind Sen. Manchin's repeated calls for "bipartisanship" -- namely, campaign contributions from the banksters who benefited most from the corporate tax cut of 2017 and don't want to see it go back up. To these banksters, the obvious response would be maybe there are other people in America besides you. They should count themselves lucky they're dealing with Joe Biden, who has only proposed raising the rate to 28%, and not those of us who would raise it to 55%, which is where it was in the '50s, the last decade we stopped the rich from running roughshod over us. You know, maybe we should make it so they have to deal with us.
In a related note, big corporations have started to run ads telling us we better not raise corporate taxes during an economic downturn! These clowns tell us we can't raise taxes because times are bad and then we can't raise taxes because times are good, but I think most Americans can now tell the difference between the taxes they pay and the taxes rich folks and corporations pay. And dig the Mike Pence crony who actually has the nerve to call his tax-fighting lobby the Coalition to Protect American Workers! Instead of spending $12.5 million to run ads opposing corporate tax hikes, maybe you could spend that money, oh, I don't know, safety in the workplace? You know, something that actually deals with "protection"?
In the wake of yet another Breathing-While-Black shooting by police, we are reminded that police can, in fact, pull you over in many states for hanging something from your rear-view mirror, ostensibly the "probable cause" police used to pull over Daunte Wright before shooting him dead. But I've had something hanging from my rearview for over a dozen years, and the next time I get pulled over for it will be the first. I'm pretty sure that's because I'm not Black! Naturally police say they need to be able to pull you over for hanging an air freshener from your rearview so they can investigate all the other sordid things you might be doing, which doesn't sound at all fascistic. But gosh, fellows, ever walk a beat? You know, find out what's going on in a community by talking to the people in that community? Some things we did do better in the old days. Even if you can't always quantify it on a spreadsheet.
When you hear that Republicans want to forge a "truce" between former President Trump and Senate Minority Leader McConnell, please remember that this is all drama. No Republican operatives actually care if Messrs. Trump and McConnell "get along" or whatever -- in fact, they have more of an interest, I would think, in keeping the discord going, not just because it distracts people from more nefarious doings (i.e., the wave of anti-voting bills and anti-transgender bills Republicans are forcing down good Americans' throats at the state level), but because it misleads people into thinking Republican politicians really are a very diverse group with very diverse ideas, when, fact is, they're all whining, bigoted seditionists.
Finally, in a peripherally-related note, David Frum at The Atlantic argues that Republicans might actually be screwing themselves with their vote suppression legislation. To which I would respond: we can only hope! Seriously, he does make a lot of cogent arguments, among them that suppressing mail-in voting actually hurts rural voters who trend Republican at least as much as the urban voters who trend Democratic, though I would like to see a bit more evidence (i.e., turnout rates from more than two counties in Kentucky). But Mr. Frum is absolutely right that "winning votes is better than suppressing them," which leads me to assert, again, that Democrats could make all this speculation worthless by using their power to do good things this year and next, instead of letting Joe Manchin scuttle everything by demanding that we work with Republicans who want to burn everything down.