Claire Kelloway at The Intercept, in a thorough report that repays re-reading, calls Tom Vilsack's apparent return as Agriculture Secretary "Everything That's Wrong With the Democratic Party." Even his one good work at the Obama USDA proves this thesis: his improved school lunch nutrition standards got relentlessly (and stupidly!) attacked by Republicans while approximately zero Democrats rushed to their defense, even though "keep our children away from junk food and thus obesity and diabetes" seems to me good politics as well as good policy. And, you know, they say Mr. Vilsack "gets" rural areas, but he's actually the kind of big ag corporatist who's been helping Democrats lose rural areas over the years, as evidenced by his being zero help in winning his home state of Iowa for Mr. Biden. Turns out rural folks' priorities differ from corporate ones, just like everywhere else on Earth.
This is an interesting result: our Supreme Court leaves in place a 10th Circuit ruling striking down that Kansas law requiring proof of citizenship before voting. Our Court has blessed bad vote suppression schemes before, but won't go out of its way to bless this one? You'll recall that this was the case Kansas's then-Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost at the District Court level so badly that the judge actually ordered him to take continuing education classes so he could argue cases less stupidly, and no judge really wants to be the first to say hey, the village idiot had a point!
I'd heard that a White House official (the director of the White House's security office, as it turns out) got COVID so bad he needed to have half his right leg amputated, which is absolutely awful, but I did not know that a friend started a GoFundMe page to help him pay his medical bills! Which makes it even worse! The GoFundMe page has raised $30,000 so far, though I can't tell if that'll cover his bills or not. In any case, it appears that our soon-to-be-gone Administration reserves the ONLYZ TEH BESTESTZ!!!!! treatment for our soon-to-be-ex-President and his closest cronies. Is it time for Medicare-for-All yet?
Doyle McManus at the Los Angeles Times says what we're all thinking: that in refusing to (in Mitch McConnell's 2016 phrase) "accept the results," our soon-to-be-ex-President has "concoct(ed) an animating cause for his post-presidency: a grievance-fueled campaign against Biden and the Democrats he accuses of stealing the election -- as well as against any Republicans who didn’t bend the rules the way he wanted." Thus he still rules the party, and if you're thinking these BS grievances over an obvious electoral loss will really animate the next generation of rage-fueled Republicans, consider that a) rage is a hell of a drug, b) Congressional Republicans will obstruct Mr. Biden the way they did Mr. Obama, and c) Democrats will largely capitulate to them, and we have learned that when all these things happen (cough 1994 2002 2010 2014 cough), any rage-fueled asshole can win an election.
Speaking of which, Texas GOP Chair Allen West responds to the controversy over his "secession" remarks the only way you'd expect -- by calling his critics "ignorant" and playing the Greg Brady Exact Words game. Did you see the word "secession"? I don't see the word "secession"! So how does he expect "law-abiding states" to "form a Union" without seceding from the one we've already got? He has no answer but to (again) resort to projection, calling the four states named in Texas's absurd lawsuit the "real perpetrators of secession," which also means, I suppose, that defying the will of Dear Leader automatically makes you a "secessionist." Long story short: waaaaaaah! And let's never speak of him again.
Finally, in a completely unexpected development, our Attorney General is leaving his post, to "spend more time with his family," we're told. But our soon-to-be-ex-President has lately screamed and yelled a lot about Mr. Barr, who said his office couldn't find significant voter fraud, and who also didn't disclose an actual investigation into Joe Biden's son Hunter (this lack of disclosure conforming with Justice Department rules). This latter item means that, in at least one respect, William Barr was a better public servant than James Comey. Of course, as usual, we're talking about the difference between a mound of dung the flies have found and a mound of dung they haven't found yet.