Apparently Democratic politicians are having a difficult time messaging inflation hikes -- they're "kind of all over the place" when describing the causes of inflation, quite possibly because inflation has several causes, while Republicans just say "Big Gummint spending" like the demonic robots they are. But I am in a position to help! Here's what Democrats should be saying, particularly if they're at all emotionally-invested in our FTC's anti-monopoly efforts: "corporations are causing most of the inflation, by jacking up prices just because they can." You're welcome, Democrats.
Ari Paul at FAIR reminds us that "Defenses of (Joe) Rogan Aren’t About Free Speech; They’re Right-Wing Solidarity," as we would know from right-wingers' ignorance/indifference about Starbucks baristas who get fired for organizing, or the Catholic school teacher fired for twittering about her school memorializing two dead police officers. And no one's actually censoring Mr. Rogan! Censorship is something the state does; it's not something Neil Young does, and no, it's not something activists do, either. And if at-will workers can be fired for pretty much any reason, might that be a reason to support labor unions? I mean, we can't all insulate ourselves from harm by becoming obnoxious podcasters.
I applaud Amanda Marcotte at Salon for saying we ignore/belittle Marjorie Taylor Greene's drama at our own peril, and not just because I think the real Ronald Reagan was more like Phil Hartman's famously energetic and detail-oriented ass-kicker who only acted like a doddering old man for photo shoots. But I think Ms. Greene intended a joke by swapping out "Gestapo" with "gazpacho" (it's harder to say, after all); she wanted you to imagine "Nancy Pelosi's secret police" as such Birkenstock-wearing liberals they must eat gazpacho soup all the time, and switching to "goulash" for the follow-up was just icing on the cake. It's not a transcendent joke -- gazpacho may be "exotic" in America, but folks from all walks of life eat it at its birthplace on the Iberian peninsula. But it's not devoid of actual cleverness, either. Such a thing might give me hope for Ms. Greene's soul, except that I'm too old for that.
Sarah Lazare at In These Times discusses Moderna's refusal to share vaccine info with South African scientists, who have had to reverse-engineer the Moderna COVID vaccine on their own. An impressive achievement, surely, but they shouldn't have had to do it -- not just because it's cruel to let people die of a disease they don't have to die of, and not just because the longer most of the world's people don't have a vaccine the longer we're going to have to deal with COVID, but because our government should have stepped in and told Moderna you couldn't have made that vaccine without our help, so we're going to make you give South Africa the info they need. But that would be too much like, you know, not worshiping mammon. (Also, Ms. Lazare reminds us that it's racist to assume that Those Countries don't have the "resources" to make COVID vaccines. Every country has doctors, engineers, and poets.)
Finally, from the "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" file: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), quite possibly the most useless of all the useless moderates who plague our political scene today, says of recent relatively bipartisan legislation moving through Congress: "(w)hat the Democratic leaders seem to have finally realized is that in a 50-50 Senate, the only way you’re going to be able to produce any accomplishments that matter to the American people is to work across the aisle." Set aside, for a moment, that the things Democrats tried to pass without Republican help (paid family leave, Medicare drug price negotiation, higher taxes on the rich) actually remain quite popular with Americans, who would consider any of them "accomplishments that matter." Fact is, we may be seeing this burst of non-awful bipartisan legislation only because Republicans have realized that 14 years of absolute obstruction is played out, and it'd help to actually pass some bills for which they could actually take credit. The trouble with that stratagem? Democrats can more easily take credit for a functioning government if they control it. If they have the will, of course.