I'd been wondering how jobs legislation would end badly, and now I know: Joe Manchin says he'll basically kill the reconciliation bill by himself if the "bipartisan" "infrastructure" "deal" "falls apart." "When one falls apart, how do you move the other one?" he asks, perhaps hoping we won't answer take everything Republicans said "no" to in one and put it in the other one. Surprise, our leaders have been playing us again; Democrats will do nothing with the power they have -- they'll even squander that massive political victory, the monthly CTC expansion check -- and in a year and a half Republicans will take back Congress, this time with candidates who come right out and say they're fascists. All because Democrats are more afraid of losing big corporate campaign donations than losing elections. (I guess you can call Joe Manchin, especially if you're a constituent. And say I know your secret, perhaps.)
Hoo boy, Ohio Republican Senate candidate/bankster/"flip-flop-flipper" J.D. Vance says maybe parents should get more votes than childless adults. And, of course, they would actually get to vote on their children's behalf! I'm actually not convinced that right-wingers are popping out more children than liberals -- everyone ain't the Duggars, after all, and naming several famous Democrats who don't have children doesn't exactly make a strong argument -- but this is the kind of thing desperate people come up with when they know they can't win arguments on the merits, or, perhaps more precisely, when they can't win vote tallies on the merits. I'm old enough to remember hearing "maybe we should only let property owners vote just like in the old days," so I don't want to hear about this bullshit again. One person, one vote, period, end of, done talking.
Wondering how Israeli corporation NSO managed to create such a nefarious slab of spyware like Pegasus? Look first to Israel's occupation of Palestine, as Yousef Munayyer at Jewish Currents does: "(w)ith an occupied and stateless population of Palestinians under its rule, to which it has granted no citizenship rights or civil liberties, Israel is free to develop, test, and perfect its surveillance technology on millions of unwilling subjects." American corporations would have different constraints, obviously -- though, ironically enough, one probable reason NSO's done so well is not only the nearly $4 billion in American taxpayer money Israel gets from our military, but the fact that Israel gets to spend more of that money on its own manufacturers than any other nation receiving American taxpayer assistance.
As Daniel Hale is about to be sentenced to up to 11 years in prison for blowing the whistle on the drone assassination program, I find myself shaking my head at our government's case against him -- he did it out of "vanity"? Seriously? Knowing his government would hunt him down and that more Americans would hate him than admire him? And hilariously, our government claims the leaks "helped ISIS" even though a former CIA official who reviewed the leaked documents said that, actually, they didn't. Mr. Hale's own words chronicle his shame at having participated in drone strikes, and all I can say is thank the Lord someone in America can still feel shame, and would repent of his sins and attempt to repair the harm they caused and continue to cause.
When I heard that Sen. Tommy Tuberville (S-AL) totally broke the law by failing to report over $1 million in stock trades, some involving corporations with business before the committees he serves on, within 45 days, I actually thought for a moment that the answer to the "stupid or evil?" question might actually have been stupid here, since this is Tommy Tuberville, after all. But then I remembered that stupid is how evil people cover themselves. Besides, even if it was stupid, it's also evil -- evil deeds don't require evil intent. Also, too, stupid is evil.
Finally, Tucker Carlson got an earful from a local resident in a Montana fishing shop, but I was most intrigued by Fox News's reaction: "Ambushing Tucker Carlson while he is in a store with his family is totally inexcusable — no public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs simply due to the intolerance of another point of view." We'll set aside the idea that we should "tolerate" lies and drama and hatred, let alone consider them just "another point of view" -- Fox News used to send Jesse Watters out to accost public figures repeatedly back in the day, and it never bothered them then. They don't like being held accountable now? What a surprise! Hey, kids: don't be like Fox News.