FDA formally approves the Pfizer COVID vaccine, which likely means more vaccine mandates from businesses and local governments. It might also mean that a few folks who've hit upon "it's not fully-approved" as a reason not to get the vaccine will get it now. But the right-wing punditoids who've been yelling about full FDA approval will just give the Lazy Susan of Bad Arguments a spin and start mouthing off about something else -- at which point it should be clear, if it's not already, that right-wingers are stirring things up (and enabling the death of tens of thousands) solely so they can get power back in 2022. What, they're going to win with their policy proposals? (In the unlikely event you're on the fence about FDA approval processes, Nicole Karlis at Salon should assuage your fears with her detailed description of how FDA approvals work. It's certainly better than watching Fox News pull its "some critics say" crap.)
Clinical psychologist Doreen Dodgen-Magee writes extensively about the problems we face fighting social media misinformation, including social media algorithms that reward drama over sobriety, the "commitment bias" that leads folks to believe noxious crap for years just because (as Bruce Bartlett might say) it's hard to turn around a cruise ship, and the illusion of "stardom" social media too often affords. I agree that "more private messages and fewer elevated comments in social media spaces, quieter conversations, and, possibly offers of voice-to-voice conversations" would work better for friends and neighbors than public shaming, but I still think we ought to shame professional jerks and their most devoted followers -- not so much for their benefit, but for the benefit of others who may not be thinking clearly enough.
Because sometimes you need to confront Teh Stupid head-on, Marissa Higgins at Daily Kos does us all a public service in discussing the Virginia elementary school teacher who quit, in a public meeting, over being told to refer to trans students by their correct pronouns. Naturally she cites her "Christian" "values," and not, say, whether kids can really know whether they're trans or not -- I don't think boys just up and say they're really girls (and vice versa) in a world where peer pressure is even worse than it used to be, but even if I'm wrong, what the fuck harm does it do to call people what they want to be called? Too often the adults create all the drama when they're supposed to be modeling a better way.
Ho hum, the Trump Administration suppressed an EPA report stating that formaldehyde causes leukemia. You'd think all the hospital environmental workers in America would want to know that! How big a deal is this? A 30-year-old EPA assessment blamed formaldehyde for more than half of all cancers caused by industrial pollutants; the suppressed 2018 report says formaldehyde is three times more carcinogenic than that. Nonetheless, the unpublished findings somehow made their way to big chemical corporate lobbies, and then got suppressed, ostensibly because it was in the "wrong format." But people hate politicians who use arcane reasons to do nothing almost as much as they hate the nakedly corrupt.
Lo and behold, the right-wing New York Post institutes a mask mandate for its employees, after spending months slamming mask mandates in general, and while you wish the Post's readers would have a V8 moment over this -- they've been telling me to do one thing, and now they're doing another! They must never have meant anything they told me! -- you know as well as I do that the Lazy Susan of Bad Arguments sure is hypnotic when it spins. Maybe a "caravan" is coming to the border! Maybe Afghan refugees are moving in next door! Maybe there are transgender folks in my bathroom! There's always something when rage is all you care about.
Finally, Democrats struck a deal on the reconciliation bill, passing the budget framework immediately while promising to schedule a vote on the "bipartisan" "infrastructure" "deal" by September 27. "Moderate" Democrats should know by now the value of promises, and I guess it's nice to see Nancy Pelosi school them in it, rather than Mitch McConnell. But they'll have to finish both bills up by September 30 thanks to budget reconciliation rules, and how hilarious it will be to see Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema or Josh Gottheimer or Henry Cuellar come up with stupid reasons to scuttle everything. At which point Democrats would doom themselves to the minority in Congress in 2022, which is dangerous, since they'd be losing the majority to avowed fascists.