East Palestine, OH residents file class action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern over the now-infamous February 3 derailed train accident, the damage from which has already killed over 40,000 animals. Our EPA has already announced they’ll compel Norfolk to pay cleanup expenses, but the class action suit asks for punitive damages, plus a fund for monitoring residents’ health. Now watch the same right-wingers who’ve been trying to outlaw class action suits for years argue that we shouldn’t regulate railroads because people can just sue them when they do wrong.
Good news comes from Minnesota, where the state legislature has passed a bill (that Gov. Walz will almost certainly sign) restoring voting rights to convicted felons who are still on parole or probation. Personally I don’t think anyone should lose their voting rights – no, not even murderers or child molesters – but this bill certainly represents progress, especially for the 50,000 good Minnesotans who’ve done their time in prison. Folks who want to swing their balls about crime should just navigate away from this page. I would feel tainted by their readership.
From the “OMFG Not This Rubbish Again” file: Factcheck.org finds “limited” evidence linking acetaminophen and autism, and when you read the article you may well find “limited” to be an overstatement, not least because the authors writing about the “link” caution you against interpreting them too broadly. Anyway, “I’m anxious about modern medicine because COVID” plus “I heard vaccines cause autism” (which, I feel compelled to note again, is a lie buttressed by fabricated data) does not equal “Tylenol causes autism.” It might, however, equal “stop getting all your information from ads on social media.”
South Carolina Republicans have proposed a bill that would subject anyone getting an abortion to murder charges, and that charge could ultimately lead to a death sentence. So don’t have a miscarriage in South Carolina! Remember when they said they wouldn’t charge women with murder for having an abortion if they could make abortion illegal again? That, too, was a lie! Even if this is all just Republican-created drama, it’s still odious. Do we really want one political party in America to care only about drama?
Surprise, surprise, a large majority of Americans oppose the so-called “FAIR” Tax – 53% when pollsters describe it in broad terms, and 64% when pollsters remind them that milk, diapers, and eggs will all go up 30% in price and rich folks will benefit the most from it. I suppose right-wingers will claim people oppose the “FAIR” Tax because people fear big change, but more likely people oppose it because if it looks like dung and it smells like dung, you don’t need to put in your mouth because right-wingers say it’s meatloaf.
Finally, I’ve updated the Thieves in the Temple stylebook to retire a phrase I’ve used a lot over the last few years: “irredeemable asshole.” The second word of that formulation remains in my stylebook, for better or worse, but not as part of that phrase, for while many, many folks are well beyond my capacity to help their redemption – and that’s as it should be – I apologize for repeatedly asserting that such folks are beyond anyone’s capacity to do same. I’ll be more mindful of that in the future.