Senate Republicans refuse to even begin debate on the For the People Act, as all 50 of them filibuster a procedural motion to do so. Let the record show, then, that Republicans refused to debate on ending gerrymandering, instituting early voting, automatic voter registration, and same-day voting registration nationwide, mandating disclosure for big campaign donors, and ending the use of racist caging practices by the states. We can go ahead and assume they refused to even begin debate on these matters because they can't win debate on these matters.
Felipe da la Hoz at The Intercept describes how our Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) exacerbated the pandemic in detention centers. COVID cases went up sixfold in these camps from March to May of this year, and no it wasn't because Joe Biden "let too many refugees in," but because ICE insisted on transferring a boatload of refugees to the very Mississippi detention center where cases were exploding. You thought we'd just vaccinate them? We should, if only because they're just going to keep the pandemic going if we don't, but, yeah, ICE ain't feeling that. (To be fair, a lot of refugees aren't feeling it, either, but that's because they don't trust ICE. I wonder how that could have happened?)
Jesus Mary and Joseph another fool wants to do an "audit" of the 2020 election in a state that has already done two audits, and this time it'll be in Pennsylvania. Sen. David Argall (R-29), who chairs the State Governing Committee, now says he wants to do a fraudit because too many people have "concerns" about the election, though he doesn't know why. Here's why: their "concerns" are completely manufactured by Donald Trump and his enablers! Yikes, if I had no soul and a cadre of dunces willing to parrot my lies ad nauseam, I could cause a lot of trouble, too. Does Mr. Argall listen to those constituents of his who worry more about right-wingers killing them, I wonder? Or has gerrymandering insured he doesn't have any?
A Harvard study asks why folks are so much worse at guessing prices on The Price is Right than they were in the 1970s -- and concludes that a) inflation was much worse back then (both higher and less stable), so people paid more attention to prices, b) online commerce has desensitized us to price over the last few decades, and c) there are so, so many more products now and products can only compete so much on price. Weren't we just contemplating how Republican messaging about inflation could work? This study makes me wonder; we complain about prices going up like we've always done, but now that I think about it, we complain more when we hit unexpected expenses, which are always unwelcome, but not the slow, relentless torture of '70s inflation. I know inflation has gone up since 2011, by my sense of food prices really hasn't since then. About bedroom sets and ski trips and A NEW CAR!!!!! I have no idea.
I was impressed with Michael Gerson's piece, "I'm a Conservative Who Believes Systemic Racism is Real." "We live in an imperfect world we did not create and have duties that flow from our story" is both true and a reminder that he used to write speeches for George W. Bush, and though we don't learn much about how Mr. Gerson came to his epiphany, that's kinda the point: folks don't very often see the structures of privilege that lift them up and hold others down, and he surely went through a good chunk of his life not seeing it. I also appreciate the note that "shame culture" can be "cruel and misdirected," because I suspect too many of Mr. Gerson's ideological brethren would say shaming is always cruel, though "shame culture" is an important tool in the civilized person's toolkit. We use it so we don't use our fists or our guns.
Finally, give filibuster supporter Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) a small amount of credit for writing a fairly thorough op-ed echoing some arguments I made years ago, but she's still wrong. Are we that worried about "the minority" being heard in Congress? 50 Republican Senators currently represent less than 20% of Americans, so, frankly, "the minority" already have enough representation, and that's built into the Senate no matter which party holds the majority. And rather than tell campfire tales about Republicans simply nullifying Democrat bills whenever they get Congress back, Sen. Sinema should remember how hard it is to undo legislation once it's passed, otherwise George W. Bush could have claimed the head of Social Security in 2005 and the Trump Train would have rolled over the Affordable Care Act 12 years later. (Who stopped that from happening, by the way? Not the filibuster, but the people.) And I might more likely agree that bipartisanship is the best way to create "lasting" results, except that, ah, the other party tried to overturn the election, with violence, and it's been decades since they cared about policy anyway.