File under "Well, This Sure Didn't Go Well!": when pressed by columnist Kyle Whitmire, Alabama state lawmaker can't describe exactly what it is that bothers him about critical race theory. Oh, they teach white CEOs something about themselves that isn't good, and there are "training sessions" and "reeducation camps" in some indeterminate part of the country, plus he wanted to "start a conversation" (though not participate in one, apparently!) and "(t)his is still the greatest country that's ever, ever been in the history of the world" and also he lost the link he was trying to retrieve that would have explained everything he was thinking and feeling like he's some damn teenage boy or something. Seriously, though, Mr. Whitmire's Columbo act is awe-inspiring; more journalists should imitate him.
In a bit of an anticlimax, our Supreme Court rules (by a 7-2 margin) that plaintiffs in an anti-Obamacare lawsuit don't have standing to bring the suit, since they can't prove injury. This suit aimed to topple the Affordable Care Act by saying that since Congress repealed the penalty for violating the insurance mandate, the whole thing had to go, but the majority ruling didn't get that far. Sadly, Justice Alito's dissent (joined by Justice Gorsuch) suggests that reducing the mandate penalty to $0 apparently wishes it into non-existence and thus should topple the whole law, even though the mandate is still on the books and Congress can, at least in theory, increase the penalty for defying it at any moment.
When I hear that just enough Republican Senators now approve of the "bipartisan" infrastructure plan that does about a tenth of President Biden's original proposal, I'm tempted to say sure-they-do -- once they pressure Messrs. Sanders, Markey, and Merkley to get aboard with it, suddenly one of the 10 Republican "supporters" will have a "problem" with it, and once he's appeased, another Senator will pop up with a "problem," ad nauseam. But it could be even worse than that! If this "bipartisan" bill somehow passes, whittled down to an even smaller nub than it is now, what's to prevent Joe Manchin from suddenly demanding the American Families Plan also be passed with "bipartisan" support? After all, it worked so well the first time! It'd be one thing if Democrats had asked for the sun and the moon and the stars to begin with, but of course they didn't. They deserve to lose their majorities in 2022 -- though we certainly don't deserve all the trouble that'll cause.
Now Sen. Manchin has found a bunch of voting rights initiatives he can support -- like 15 days of early voting nationwide, making Election Day a federal holiday, and automatic voter registration. Hmm, can you think of a bill the House passed that already has all of that? Why, yes, you can -- it's the For the People Act, the very same bill he said he couldn't support because it was too "partisan," and I guess that's why he didn't try to prove his point by describing which parts of the bill he found particularly "partisan"! Passing off a big chunk of the For the People Act as "ideas I could support" is pretty damn dishonest, but it looks like it'll amount to nothing now that Mob Boss Mitch has said he won't support that, either. It's what Joe Manchin deserves, even though we certainly deserve better.
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) apparently spent campaign funds to defend himself from charges of misusing campaign funds, so I guess he must be feeling confident about beating that rap! Turns out using campaign funds for your legal bills is not in and of itself against the law, but it also looks like the kind of thing that's so dirty it can topple an incumbent. In some district, anyway -- though a Democrat represented this district as recently as 2010, Republican voters now have a 21-point advantage in Mississippi's 4th, and that district doesn't even look that gerrymandered.
Finally, a bill making Juneteenth a national holiday has passed Congress almost unanimously, but that didn't prevent a dozen or so Republicans from acting like assholes about it. Rep. Massie (R-KY) suggested that good Americans might not be able to tell the difference between "Juneteenth National Independence Day," and "Independence Day," which sure isn't very libertarian of him -- libertarians think people are smart enough to run their own lives, but Mr. Massie thinks they're not smart enough to know the difference between July 4th and the holiday everyone calls "Juneteenth." Of course, he's a piker compared to Sen. Ron Johnson, who said it seemed "strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery." Try replacing "the end of slavery" with "Columbus Day" in that sentence and you might think what really gets Ron Johnson's goat is he won't have very many people to boss around today.