• Lunchtime Photo

    This is a splendid mariposa lily, a member of the mariposa lily family. I’m not sure where the “splendid” part comes from. I mean, it’s very nice and all, but why not violet mariposa lily or lavender mariposa lily or something like that? It’s a mystery. Still, it is lovely.

    April 20, 2019 — Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Orange County, California
  • Republicans Seem Ready to Pass Another Round of Stimulus

    Ramesh Ponnuru reports that Republicans are finally warming up to a follow-up stimulus bill:

    They think enough time has passed to ensure that they won’t have to pass expensive bill after bill before the election. They’re facing rising pressure to do something. And bad polling for Republicans up and down the ticket is concentrating minds. So it looks like they’re going to try to pass a bill next month. The most contentious issues, it seems pretty likely, will be (1) whether to scale back unemployment-insurance levels and (2) how much aid to give states and localities, and with what strings.

    That would have been my guess too. I can live with UI benefits that are scaled back from the very generous levels of the last stimulus bill, but we desperately need solid levels of assistance to states and cities. I still like my idea of using this as an opportunity to fully federalize Medicaid, which would provide about the right amount of assistance and improve Medicaid at the same time, but I don’t suppose that’s in the cards. In lieu of that, our best bet is to simply hand out large sums of money and try to keep the strings at a reasonable level.

  • It’s Time to Cancel Sports for the Rest of the Year

    How long is it going to be until we finally conclude that there should be no sports for the rest of the year? Especially college sports. The danger signs are already visible here and there, and that’s how it always starts. It will get worse before long.

    Everybody should get it through their heads that 2020 is over so they can stop wasting time on increasingly head-in-the-sand plans to reopen. Or are we just waiting for a few high-profile dead bodies first?

    The NBA took the lead on shutting down in March. Maybe they should take the lead in finally canceling the rest of their season too?

  • Secret Service Agents Quarantined After Tulsa

    The fuckwit-in-chief at his rally in Tulsa last week.Tyler Tomasello/ZUMA

    Words fail:

    Dozens of Secret Service officers and agents who were on site for President Trump’s rally in Tulsa last week were ordered to self-quarantine after two of their colleagues tested positive for the novel coronavirus, part of the fallout from Trump’s insistence on holding the mass gathering over the objections of public health officials. The Secret Service instructed employees who worked the Tulsa event to stay at home for 14 days when they returned from the weekend trip, according to two people familiar with the agency’s decision.

    When do Republicans stop defending Trump? What does it finally take?

  • The Republican Tax Cut of 2017 Was a Great Success*

    In the current issue of the magazine I have a detailed look at the 2017 Republican tax cut and what it accomplished compared to all the promises Republicans made at the time. The nickel answer is: nothing. It literally fulfilled none of their promises. Not one.

    But it did succeed at one thing they only whispered at:

    You see? Republicans do know how to construct a tax cut that does what they want it to. The thing is, you have to know what it is they really want. In 2017 they really didn’t care about putting money in the pockets of ordinary people or spurring economic growth. They just wanted to boost corporate profits and give rich people a tax cut. That was it. And they did it.

    Click here for the whole story. And then pass it along to your conservative friends. Maybe someday they’ll finally get the message that Republicans really don’t care about them unless they’re CEOs or millionaires.

    *As long as you know what they were trying to succeed at.