Good news, everyone! President Biden signs executive order raising the minimum wage to $15/hour for around 70,000 federal workers. This should be an easy sell for President Biden; the workers affected include firefighters and Veterans Administration housekeepers and food service workers. Then again, giving tens of millions more good Americans $15/hour should have been an easy sell for Congressional Democrats; instead, the enduring image we'll have of that effort is that of the Joker's giddy thumbs-down.
The Biden Administration has also put out an unexpectedly strong rule clamping down on surprise medical bills -- but Democrats and Republicans are joining together to try to undermine it. Bipartisanship! It still sucks! They're acting like the Biden Administration overstepped its legal authority in mandating that insurance corporations and health care providers use median in-network rates for procedures to settle billing disputes, but really they're just mad that TEH GUBMINT IZ SETTINGZ TEH PRICEZ!!!!! Some people say the words "price controls" like they're cuss words, but I bet a lot of Americans would be perfectly happy with our government forcing big corporations to lower health care prices.
Students have been walking out of their abjectly unsafe schools all over America the past few weeks, and I applaud these kids' courage, but I wish it weren't necessary. It's one thing to justify President Biden's relative inaction by pointing to "American individualism" or even the tantrums right-wingers have thrown about masks and vaccine mandates, but fact is he hasn't used all the tools the law already grants him -- you'd think he'd at least use the Defense Production Act to make masks and tests, and while I know Joe Manchin killed both expanded unemployment benefits and paid sick leave, Joe Biden could have argued for them as part of a real pandemic response. He'll wind up having done better at this than Donald Trump, but that sure ain't worth writing home about.
When I hear that the big car corporations are trying to delay Massachusetts' new right-to-repair law for a few years -- a law which would, among other things, keep the big automakers from essentially dictating to you where you can get your car fixed -- all I can say is the law already gave the big automakers two years to start complying with it, and I have to assume that the problem isn't that it's so hard to comply with the law (this is America, the can-do country, after all), but that the big corporations sat on their asses for two years and didn't even try to get ready to comply with the law, and that's something no law-and-order adherent should abide.
Senate Republicans filibustered voting rights legislation last week -- with the critical assistance of the Penguin and the Joker, who wouldn't even force Republicans to earn their filibuster by talking through it like they did in the old days -- but you wouldn't know it from all the passive voice our "liberal" media uses in its headlines. But I'll be honest: when I see our "liberal" media deciding to focus on "Democratic infighting" as if literally half of our Senate didn't block the bill, I realize that I need this reminder, too. Yeah, Manchinema is a persistent annoyance, and their careers as Senators will suffer for it, but I'll try to do a better job not simply ignoring the obstruction of Republicans, since, you know, they could just do their constituents' will and vote for the damn bills.
Finally, of course Mitch McConnell knew exactly what he was saying when he said we don't need voting rights reforms because "African-American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans." He meant for Trumpholes to hear him say Black folks aren't "real" Americans, and he also knew a lot of folks would defend him on the basis of what he obviously "meant." At some point, though, you can really only trust what folks actually say. And not for nothing, but his subsequent defenses have been lame -- anyone can say they've got Black friends, too.