PR hacks look for "normal, everyday" Arizona residents to write letters-to-the-editor supporting binding arbitration -- and when they can't find any, even in Arizona, they offer $2,000 a pop! Nice work if you have no soul! It's like even Arizona right-wingers know that binding arbitration is the way corporations keep customers and workers out of our courts, and ensure that customers and workers lose more of the cases against them than they would in our courts. Next time you hear about "crisis actors" and "paid protestors" on the left, remember that PR hacks paying people to write pro-corporate screeds is the evil that actually happens. I'm not sure why they're targeting Arizona, though -- maybe Mark Kelly's not the easiest get, but they'd probably have Kyrsten Sinema at hello.
When I read that Donald Trump has "politicized the most basic of pandemic safety measures," and that it's "as if he named Band-Aids un-American, and demanded that we bleed to show our heedless fealty," I'm tempted to respond let's not give the man any more ideas! I can all too easily imagine him saying why do we drink water anyway? Only losers drink water! Own the libs by refusing to drink any more water! And then his votaries would not only stop drinking water but demand that we gut the clean water standards that are the main reason we have any decent health care in America at all. I wish this were harder to imagine.
Ari Paul reminds us that "Right-Wing Cop-Bashing Didn't Start With Trump." You'll be reminded of the white supremacist stand-off at Ruby Ridge and the FBI raid on the Branch Davidian compound at Waco -- both of which prompted right-wingers to yell about federal cops -- and G. Gordon Liddy's repeated admonitions to his listeners to shoot federal agents in the head. All that's just from the '90s. But, yeah, everyone who proudly brandishes their I SUPPORTZ TEH POLICEZ!!!! sign has a line that can't be crossed, one that will turn them into the kind of folks who try to impale Capitol police with flagpoles. And they'll yell at you when you point out their hypocrisy, which is a hell of a thing to take to the Pearly Gates.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has spouted more unscientific nonsense about COVID than most Republicans and that's saying something, didn't bother reporting his wife's investment in a corporation producing a drug to fight COVID until 16 months after our laws required. Right at the beginning of the pandemic, too, which sure makes one suspect he had, you know, insider information. I wouldn't want to go into a re-election fight with this baggage; indeed, Richard Burr decided it wasn't worth it, and Kelly Loeffler lost in 2020. Then again, if the Democratic establishment forces another Amy McGrath-type candidate on the good citizens of Kentucky, then Rand Paul will get away with it.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (S-GA) responds to news that hospitals are filling up with COVID patients by saying "(e)veryone needs to get back down to common sense and needs to remember, we're human, we can't live forever." I'm old enough to remember when politicians ended careers by saying such things, but we live a sick, immoral, and decadent era in which a quarter of our electorate can only feel one emotion: rage. Also, her district is so gerrymandered she probably couldn't even lose to Jesus H. Christ himself. If only our House had passed a bill that could address this intractable problem! Oh, right, it did, and Joe Manchin won't let it come to a vote because bipartisanship with people like Marjorie Taylor Greene is somehow far more important.
Finally, as we confront the humiliating end to our 20-year presence in Afghanistan, I guess it's good to hear at least one "liberal" media outlet suggest that our whole adventure there was a stupid idea to begin with. $88 billion we threw away on training Afghan soldiers to fight the Taliban, and now we learn about "years of overly optimistic assessments from U.S. officials that obscured -- and in some cases, purposely hid -- evidence of deep-rooted corruption, low morale, and even 'ghost soldiers and police' who existed merely on the payrolls of the Afghan Defense and Interior Ministries." Sadly, none of this is particularly surprising, and if you thought maybe the whole point of the Afghanistan war was to bleed the taxpayers, I wouldn't blame you. And that sure wouldn't bode well for sticking around another two or 20 years to "fix things."