Sen. Sanders (I-VT), upon being told "moderate" Democrats might try to shrink the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, says "I already negotiated," adding that "(t)he truth is we need more" and "(t)his is, in my view, the minimum of what we should be spending." It's good to be reminded that when you ask for more than you want, you get more of what you want, even if Democrats like Sen. Kaine seem befuddled at how all of that is supposed to work. Now all we need to do is clog up our Reps' and Senators' phone lines so that the Manchin/Sinema/Gottheimer/Cuellar axis doesn't move the goalposts again.
Steven Rosenfeld, about as good a writer on voting rights issues as we have, notes that a lot of Republicans are starting to come out against the Arizona "fraudit" of Maricopa County votes. More important, though, is Mr. Rosenfeld's speculation that when the Cyber Ninjas finally release their report -- which they were supposed to do this week but couldn't, reportedly because three of the "fraudit" leaders got COVID -- the "fraudit" will not merely "revive debunked conspiracy theories" but "find small administrative problems 'that could be twisted into appearing to be evidence...of voter wrongdoing or voting irregularities,'" in the words of an American Oversight report. I sure am looking forward to another few months of people who never knew anything about how we count votes in 2019 breathlessly sharing every single report of a suitcase moving somewhere they didn't expect in 2020.
With our Supreme Court striking down President Biden's attempt to extend the eviction moratorium, we learn that state and local governments have distributed a mere 11% of the money the American Rescue Plan Act allotted for helping folks withstand getting evicted. State and local officials cite the possibility of fraud as a reason to go slowly, but that's a little like saying you didn't pull the baby out of the fire fast enough because you were afraid you'd break its arm. Anyway, I think state and local officials aren't going fast enough because Republicans run most states, and they want the eviction assistance program to fail, so that Joe Biden gets blamed for it right before the 2022 midterms. Hey, it's not like Republicans can run on their superior ideas!
Republicans are already trying to make the Afghanistan withdrawal and all its problems "Matter in the Midterms,", but what is the "biggest hurdle" in them accomplishing this aim? The calendar currently says 2021, that's what! Which leads one to suspect that Mr. Biden -- who thus far hasn't budged on his August 31 deadline for getting the hell out, and if a Republican was similarly unmoved by circumstances, you know they'd be calling you "traitor" for criticizing him! -- is the real political animal here. Or maybe we shouldn't give him too much credit, since he really only had a choice of two different calendar years to withdraw from Afghanistan in the first place.
Yes, that was Donald Trump's former spokeshack going on Fox News to say that "when President Trump was President, you didn't see crisis after crisis. You just didn't see it." She adds, "I shudder to think about what COVID would have been like under Joe Biden," though Joe Biden's worst day for COVID cases is still January 20, and that was still only two-thirds as bad as Donald Trump's worst day. Anyway, remember when Bush Mobbers went on TV in 2009 and said you never had a terrorist attack while George W. Bush was President, no, sir? Well, this is even worse gaslighting. But I don't think Americans have forgotten how awful the Trump Administration was, or how he did actually have "crisis after crisis," most of which he manufactured, whether through his incompetence or through his insatiable thirst for drama.
Finally, notorious former Blackwater/Xe CEO Erik Prince offers to evacuate folks out of Afghanistan -- for $6,500 a pop! You've heard by now that around half of all Americans can't scrounge together $400 in an emergency; now consider that the poverty line in Afghanistan is around $700 annually, and that a little less than half (in the Asian Development Bank's conservative estimate) of Afghans sit below that line, and you'll start to think that Mr. Prince is only trying to get two kinds of people out: 1) rich people and 2) people he can make into slave workers. No wonder people say he has no soul!