When I hear that a majority of Americans don't know exactly what's in the Build Back Better plan, I'm inclined to say, no shit, Sherlock! The fact that Democrats allow the discussion to be all about "how much money we're going to spend" leads me to think they're all trying to tank it, not just the Manchin/Sinema/Gottheimer/Cuellar axis. I mean, if they told media outlets and their constituents "we want to lower drug prices, get everyone paid family leave, and cut taxes for working families, and we're going to pay for all of that by raising taxes on the rich and on corporations," people like Joe Manchin and Henry Cuellar would be irrelevant, because their own constituents would be raising hell with them in a way they couldn't avoid. It's sad that Democrats have forgotten how this works -- or, perhaps more precisely, "forgotten."
In a related development, four Senate Democrats say they won't back the Build Back Better Act if Joe Manchin guts all the climate change provisions in the bill. That's as it should be! Of course, no good deed goes unpunished in America, so liberals will get all the blame if this all fails, despite the fact that, again, it's been the Manchin/Sinema/Gottheimer/Cuellar axis saying "no" to things most American people want this whole time. (Also, the gas drilling corporations say we shouldn't enact a methane emissions tax because the cost "would be felt by consumers," as if said corporations have literally nothing to do with passing on that cost, and as if we should merely tolerate corporations doing immoral crap.)
Here's some good news: 20 state Attorneys General have sued to stop the DeJoy plan to cripple our Post Office, and oh boy the suit claims that Mr. DeJoy didn't follow the law in making changes to services and prices. Sound familiar? Of course it does -- it's the thing that tripped up every Trump Administration rule that died in court, which was a lot of them. You can't just do whatever you want in the Executive branch, and our Founders would spin in their graves to observe that, even if none of them could have foreseen a phenomenon such as the Administrative Procedure Act.
When I hear that Terry McAuliffe is hopping mad that the House didn't pass the "bipartisan" "infrastructure" "deal," I feel compelled to wonder why he thinks this is the hill to die on. He knows full well why it didn't pass -- because actual liberals knew if it passed, right-wing Democrats in the Senate would kill the larger Build Back Better Act -- so he indulges in hippie-punching like it's 1993. He deserves to lose -- but more to the point, Democrats deserve to lose as long as they act like cowards. (I say "act like," of course, because, as I've suggested, I think they are acting -- they want to keep things the way they are, and losing their Congressional majorities in 2022 to fascists is part of the plan.)
Lawrence Torcello at The Conversation tells us "How Columbus Day Contributes to the Cultural Erasure of Italian-Americans." You may find that counter-intuitive, particularly if you're sensitive to how badly America's treated Italian immigrants over the years (and if you know that Columbus Day observances began as a sop to ill-treated Italian-Americans), but I'm an Italian-American myself and I'd much rather celebrate Chef Boyardee Day. I'm not kidding -- everyone eats spaghetti now, only because Ettore Boiardi made it seem less foreign to large numbers of Americans. Or how about a day for Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ida Lupino, or Alan Alda?
Finally, Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post wonders "How Dumb Can a Nation Get and Still Survive?" Sympathetic as I am to his frustration over lies about masks and vaccines, I've long said it's not stupidity per se that afflicts us, but rage -- Fox News has been enraging folks en masse since at least 2002, and now they have a lot of imitators, both in media and in politics. Hate to sound like a broken record, but it'd help if Democrats would do good works with their power when they have it, lest we all witness the spectacle of a decisive number of voters actually preferring fascists to weaklings.