Steven Rosenfeld reports on Arizona Republicans' efforts to "audit" the 2020 Presidential race, and if I put "audit" in quotation marks it's because -- and stop me if you've heard this before! -- it sure seems like Republicans want unqualified people to perform this task so they'll "find" more "suspicious" activity. If by some miracle they do the audit right and don't get the result they want -- which is exactly what'll happen if they do it right! -- they'll promptly forget they even did it, and demand another one like they never did one in the first place. Hey, I thought of it, and I'm not very good at being evil.
Michelle Nijhuis writes about being "On the Frontlines of the Battle to Preserve the American West." It's a good introduction to land conservation policy in America, and it also recounts her brief 1990 encounter with the scion of the Bundy family (no, not that one), who thought keeping his cattle away from endangered tortoises was just too big a cross for him to bear. The Bundys' career since then has veered rather past "this land is my land" and more toward "if I can't have it, nobody can."
Surprise, surprise, Stockton, CA finds that giving relatively low-income folks an extra $500 a month actually prompts them to get more work. You will not have difficulty explaining this finding: if you get a little breathing room, you're more likely to consider your situation a bit more lucidly, and take calculated risks to make yourself happier, whereas if you're running to stand still, you're more likely to stay in a bad situation because you feel you have no choice. In any case, a basic income sure does sound like a better use of taxpayer money than corporate welfare.
Hard to believe, Harry, but Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) "Decided Pandemic Was Perfect Time to Buy and Not Disclose Stocks," to the tune of $120,000 or less, and while Kelly Loeffler might call that chump change, it's likely more than you or I have at our disposal. Next time someone tells you Dan Crenshaw is a "straight-talker" or something, this will remind you that he's just like all the others.
Here, at last, some polling out of Arizona that might embarrass Kyrsten Sinema, if she's capable of embarrassment: 61% of respondents say it's more important to pass good legislation than to preserve the filibuster -- including 66% of independents and 42% of Republicans -- while only 26% would keep the filibuster at the expense of the legislation. Why, that sounds like actual bipartisanship to me! And, as usual, you only find actual bipartisanship among voters, not politicians. Would it be piling on to note that you can't even sustain a filibuster with 26%? No, it would not.
In a related note, Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg says getting rid of the filibuster would be a "terrible" idea. He says forcing minorities to talk through a filibuster "would be a good way for the minority party to develop new stars and get plenty of TV coverage and the campaign donations that can come from it," but that statement ignores the simple fact that Republicans have no ideas worth hearing and talking for 72 hours in a row would expose that intellectual paucity pretty quickly, particularly in the social media era. And noting that Senators didn't filibuster all that often when they actually did have to talk their way through it actually undercuts his whole argument. I'm beginning to feel like that was a waste of time, and I suspect the good heart of anyone who wastes my time these days.
Finally, at the risk of sounding all inside-baseball, the Democratic National Campaign Committee (or DNCC) will no longer blacklist consultants who work on insurgent campaigns that challenge incumbents in primaries. Wow, this is like something winners would do! Though Rep. Jim Costa (D?-CA) sure sounds less like a winner and more like a whiner in his disagreement. "We're supposed to be a team"? Only when he wins, I guess.