Biden Administration withdraws Trumphole "public charge" proposal that could have prevented three million good Americans from getting food stamps. Not a big lift, admittedly, since a federal judge first blocked the rule and then tossed it completely, but perhaps the Biden Administration thought it might be a good time to remind everyone that the American Rescue Plan (for which exactly zero Republicans voted) expanded food stamps for families of four by $100 a month. That's the kind of thing people remember come election time -- versus, you know, the 2009 Making Work Pay tax cut that was literally designed not to be noticed.
The Economic Policy Institute's Heidi Shierholz urges Republicans not to "Ignore the Evidence on 'Labor Shortages,'" and while such urging might seem like a waste of time, the rest of us, at least, can parse the evidence she offers and be reminded that a) if unemployment insurance were really "killing jobs," you wouldn't see faster job growth in low-wage professions than you do in higher-wage professions, b) wage increases in the leisure/hospitality sector come in a sector that's still so poorly-paid you couldn't reasonably expect it to drive wages sky-high anywhere else, and c) they told a similar story in the Obama era, that workers just didn't have the skills employers were looking for, but the unemployment rate ultimately went down to 3.5% before the pandemic without a national job-training program, so we know that's bunkum. Also d) why do we listen to Republicans about anything, ever?
Republicans have used the ProPublica report on wealthy folks' tax evasion -- a report buttressed by personal info apparently leaked by someone within our IRS -- to claim, just like they did in 2013, that the American people should have "trust issues" with our IRS. I guess that's one way of trying to make chicken shit into chicken salad, but even in a nation of "temporarily-embarrassed millionaires," as Will Rogers put it, most Americans have been not-rich for far too long to think our IRS is really going to leak their personal info. Republicans are either being absurdly optimistic or are gaslighting everyone -- oh, why am I bothering, of course they're gaslighting, because when you're wrong all the time and you won't fix your wrongness with better policy proposals, what else can you do?
Upon hearing, in considerably more detail than before, that "Trump-Inspired Death Threats Are Terrorizing Election Workers," all I can say is we should throw all these people making these threats in jail! No matter what their "feelings" are about the 2020 election! Wouldn't that be law and order of us? After all, it's a lot less than what they'd want to do to us, merely for speaking our minds. And I'm sick of folks in their "Fuck Your Feelings" T-shirts suddenly demanding that we attend their "feelings." The chickens really are coming home to roost in America. (Go ahead and read the whole thing, if you're in the mood to be profoundly disgusted with right-wing weaklings.)
The Kaiser Family Foundation gives us some of the reasons folks are still "vaccine-hesitant," and though some of them don't seem hard to overcome (maybe we could do something about vaccines being unavailable where some folks get their health care?), some of them also seem rather piddling (if airlines require it, you'll get it? Well, your hesitancy is clearly based on deep consideration of the issues, then!). And surprise, surprise! The "definitely not" groups consists mostly of white Republicans, though most of them are between 30 and 49, which doesn't bode well for our future.
Finally, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich declares his candidacy for 2022 U.S. Senate race for the seat currently held by Democrat Mark Kelly. As recently as late December, this would have been a major get for Republicans -- he's already won statewide twice, he toes the party line on immigration, and he's enthusiastically joined in all those useless fights over the Affordable Care Act and "religious" "freedom." But now, having been judged by Donald Trump to be not enthusiastic enough about the Arizona "fraudit," I doubt he makes it to the general election. In fact, it's entirely possible Arizona Republicans will nominate a rabid raccoon to face Sen. Kelly.