The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy runs down some of the tax-related ballot initiatives from the 2020 election. Successes? Arizona voted to raise taxes on the rich to fund education and Louisiana voted to hike taxes on oil corporations through more realistic tax assessments. Failures? Illinois voters rejected a tax hike on richer folks, and California voters rejected better property tax assessments likely leading to higher property taxes and thus better education funding, both showing us that their reputation as liberal states is somewhat unearned. These results remind us, again, that we need to better persuade more economically-minded voters to vote for their own interests -- an effort mainstream Democrats won't help, with their arrogant belief that "just teaching everyone to write code" will solve all our problems.
Another big pharma corporation, Moderna, reports excellent results on its Phase 3 clinical trials. It's easier to store than Pfizer's vaccine (though that doesn't mean it's easy to store!), but Moderna only plans to offer 20 million doses in the U.S., which means, again, that the poor won't get it. These aren't the only two vaccines in progress, though, and the more corporations come forward with good news about their vaccines, the more like a conspiracy nut our President will sound when he whines that THEYZ DELAYEDZ TEH NEWZES TO PREVENTZ MYZ GLORIOUSEZ VICTORIEZ!!!!! (If you're the winner he claims to be, of course, you should overcome whatever anyone does to you pretty easily.)
Uh oh: Pfizer's CEO apparently dumped over $5 million in stock on the very day his corporation gave us the good news in re its COVID vaccine. I mean, I might have held onto that stock if the vaccine is as good as Pfizer says it is -- unless he knows something we don't! Which, of course, would be information he wouldn't be allowed to trade on! I'm old enough to remember when the appearance of immorality would be enough to stop someone from doing something immoral, but please, right-wingers, tell us again how immorality is all about birth control and gay marriage and transgender folk.
Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito sure did work up a lather in his speech before the Federalist Society last week, and his right-wing defenders can't say well nothing he said should come as a surprise to anyone who's attended his rulings, since they've always said their judges don't impose their worldviews on their rulings! I kid, of course -- right-wingers will say whatever they think will shut you up. Could this rant against gay marriage and mask-wearing and the "right" to trample on other people's rights as long as you invoke God's name be a sign that he's getting tired of it all and might retire? He is 71, after all, and maybe he won't want to wait until 2024.
Here's a surprising announcement: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revokes a permit allowing Canadian corporation Enbridge's Line 5 fossil fuel pipelines to run underneath the straits connecting two of our Great Lakes, citing "persistent and incurable violations" by Enbridge. Now that's what law and order looks like -- if people think of law and order in terms of "protecting one-fifth of the world's fresh water" rather than "shooting unarmed black folks in the street when they brandish a cellphone," then my work on Earth will be done. And to those who would whine BUTZ WHEREZ WILLZ TEH ENURGEEZ COMEZ FROMZ!!!!, I'd say, hey, this is America, the can-do country, so just do it.
Finally, some other good news: U.S. District Court Judge invalidates our Department of Homeland Security's suspension of new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) applications, on the grounds that current acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf "was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security under the HSA (Homeland Security Act) when he issued the Wolf Memorandum." The judge also wrote that "(t)he court wishes the Government well in trying to find its way out of this self-made thicket," which is judgespeak for "how dare you waste my valuable time." (Though this may explain how Mr. Wolf found the "courage" to refuse to fire DHS's cybersecurity chief at our President's behest -- if Mr. Wolf is in his job illegally in the first place, then literally nothing he does means anything anyway.)