Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph now Democratic “moderates” in the House want to pass a reconciliation bill without even the mild tax reforms the Senate appears to have agreed upon. Someone needs to remind Rep. Gottheimer that the only reason, and I do mean *only* reason, he's a House Rep is that many conservatives in his district found former Rep. Scott Garrett too homophobic. He could lose in 2022, and he’ll blame the liberals for it – even though those same liberals, at least in our House, are not making themselves a nuisance by advancing an alternative tax plan that would tax the rich harder. And they should!
Matt Stoller reminds us that even though President Biden’s put antitrust opponents at our FTC and DOJ, he’s put a lot of corporate-friendly folks on the courts. Since these judges will rule on antitrust cases pumped out by our FTC and DOJ, I couldn’t blame you for thinking putting solid people at our FTC and DOJ was part of a plan to mislead us into thinking things were really going to change. And when you realize that some of his other appointments (i.e., Secretaries Buttigieg and Vilsack) haven’t shown the same hunger to confront monopolies, you might feel that more acutely. Mr. Stoller won’t go that far, of course; I hope he’s right to pull his punches.
When I hear that a right-wing group in Missouri has created a “woke heat map” to target “groomers” and folks who actually believe racism is a real thing, all I can say is: assholes ruin everything. That’s before I get to the part about how right-wingers took a map of trans-friendly clinics and turned it into a tool for harassing those clinics. Remember, also, that when they talk about “grooming toddlers with sexually explicit books,” that the only thing “sexually explicit” about those books is that they include gay or trans folks at all. First time I saw that particular stratagem, a certain loofah-loving Fox News “independent” was flogging it.
Ho hum, Steve Bannon gets caught on tape characterizing Mr. Trump’s plans on Election night thusly: “at 10 or 11 o’clock Trump’s gonna walk in the Oval, tweet out, ‘I’m the winner. Game over. Suck on that,'” actual election results be damned. Well, he’s been telling good Americans to “suck on that” for decades now; why should Election Night 2020 have been any different? Given Mr. Bannon’s habits, he won’t bother saying he was taken out of context, but will merely add Mother Jones (which unearthed the tapes) to his ever-lengthening list of enemies he’ll “crush” or “destroy” or whatever.
Surprise, surprise, Amazon has handed over data from its ubiquitous/notorious Ring doorbell camera 11 times to law enforcement this year, without requiring a warrant or getting consent from Ring owners. Amazon of course says it only does so in “emergencies,” without defining what exact emergencies prompted these 11 incidents, but we all know that, as Josephine Gattuso Hendin once said, “once you cross a line, you keep crossing.” You can enable end-to-end encryption on your Ring device, though really end-to-end encryption should be the default setting, not something you have to turn on. It’s almost like they know you’re too busy to consider this issue carefully or something.
Finally, John “The Mustache of Evil” Bolton went on CNN and, as part of an attempt to prove that Mr. Trump’s January 6 actions were not part of “a carefully-planned coup d’état,” actually claimed that he personally “has helped plan coups d’état, not here, but, you know, other places.” We all knew that, of course, but still, nice to have a confession. I’m actually a little more annoyed that Mr. Bolton apparently thinks incompetence at planning a coup means you didn’t really do it (he did insist on saying “carefully-planned,” after all), and I’m tired of right-wingers pretending that stupidity mitigates or excuses evil.