Let's lead with good news: late last week President Biden signed H.R. 4445, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, a bill for which you and I agitated and a bill representing a major accomplishment of the 117th Congress. Less than half the Republican House caucus voted against the law, and the bill sailed through the Senate on a voice vote, so one might even call it a bipartisan accomplishment, though it's only a bipartisan accomplishment because an actual bipartisan coalition of Americans wanted it. This isn't just a major step forward for sexual harassment victims; it's a major step forward for those of us who want to end forced arbitration entirely. I long to live in an America where we can all get the day in court we deserve when we're wronged, and not some artificial "day in court" where the corporation usually wins.
Patrick Cockburn at Counterpunch tells us that "(t)he decision by President Vladimir Putin to put Russia’s strategic nuclear forces on high alert is even more dangerous than it looks because it is an act of desperation." True, but we're doing the right thing by not raising our own nuclear warning, because why let assholes hold the world hostage? If we do that, we're pretty much declaring that we will not defend civilization, and we'll make such a declaration over my dead body. Yes, I'm aware it may come to that if Mr. Putin winds up using his nukes. (It may not come to that at all, of course, if we're doing what I hope we're doing in Venezuela.)
In a related but important matter, our sanctions against Russia seem to be missing a lot of very rich Russians who have invested a lot of their money in Western nations. You might be tempted to nod at this information if you were an adherent of realpolitik, but note well that many of the actual targets of sanctions have hidden their money with their wealthy pals, who've invested it westward. Some folks have irresponsibly talked of giving Mr. Putin an "off-ramp"; maybe this is one plank of that ramp. But we shouldn't give assholes off-ramps. We shouldn't be adherents of realpolitik, either; it's a game for the cynical, and the cynical can only play games.
Half of Americans prefer the Biden tax plan (which really isn't that much of an improvement over what we've got) to two recently-touted Republican tax plans (which are both abominations unto the Lord). 50% doesn't sound like much, but somewhat less than 32% would get rid of the income tax (Madison Cawthorn's plan) or make poorer working families pay more taxes (Rick Scott's plan); that number doesn't map too well onto my old saw that 25% of the electorate is bat-guano insane, but I've heard plenty of non-insane people embrace insane tax plans. They're easier to convince than the nutjobs, obviously, and together we still outnumber the nutjobs, which means we should lose zero elections to nutjobs.
I fear that when our establishment media notes that Donald Trump endorsements don't necessarily win Republican primaries, they're not quite getting how a Trump endorsement is really supposed to work. I don't really blame them, I suppose. But the day a Trump endorsement matters most is the day after the primary! Look at how it helped Glenn Youngkin in Virginia -- he was able to get a Trump endorsement and then could pretend convincingly to keep him at arms' length! The ideal plan for both Republicans and Mr. Trump would be a) for someone "electable" to win the primary and b) for Mr. Trump to then endorse that candidate; at this point the Trumpholes will "know" they can "trust" these candidates no matter what they subsequently say to "appeal to the center." I'd call it a clever stratagem, except that only evil will result from it.
Finally, why is Tucker Carlson's sudden demand for Judge Jackson's LSAT scores racist, as opposed to merely partisan hackery? Look past his utter disinterest in the LSAT scores of Messrs. Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett (or, for that matter, Elena Kagan); look past, even, his own inability to get through college without being soused much of the time. He says Ketanji Brown Jackson's name is "a name that even Joe Biden has trouble pronouncing," and I would hope we would all recognize by now that making fun of a non-white person's name is a pretty standard racist attack. Even if you "don't mean anything by it."