Is Today (Finally) Infrastructure Day?

Plus: The NYT channels The Bulwark.

I know you are dying for deep thoughts and insight about today’s infrastructure votes. But it’s Friday and I spent the whole day in bed after getting the Moderna booster shot.

So let’s start with this palate cleanser.

Karma update

Shot.

Chaser.

Backstory: Via the Wapo.

A Texas real estate agent who bragged after Jan. 6 that as a blonde White woman she would not be going to jail for joining in the assault on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob was sentenced Thursday to two months of incarceration.

It was one of the harshest penalties imposed to date on a participant in events at the Capitol who was found guilty only of a petty offense.

“For better or worse, you’ve become one of the faces of January 6,” U.S. District Judge Christopher R. Cooper of D.C. told Jenna Ryan, 50. She gained national attention by defending her conduct at the Capitol in media interviews and on Twitter. Because of that notoriety, Cooper said, people would look to her sentence as evidence of “how our country responded to what happened.”

He continued, “I think the sentence should tell them that we take it seriously, that it was an assault on our democracy . . . and that it should never happen again.”

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Is today finally Infrastructure Day? For real?

Maybe. Not really. Sort of.

As we start the day, it seems likely that (1) the House will finally pass the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill (BIF) and send it to President Biden’s desk. (2) Maybe they’ll also pass their own version of the $1.75 trillion social spending bill (BBB), which is DOA in the Senate.


Yeah, this should work.


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CRT Revisited

No space here to relitigate the issue, but this is a very useful thread from freelance journalist Rachel Cohen (I’ve unrolled it).

[W]hen Republicans like Youngkin talk about banning teaching CRT, they are saying among other things that they won't support teaching that America is fundamentally racist, that some people are inherently disadvantaged/oppressed, advantaged, oppressive.

(She links to this):

Note here he claims he supports teaching 'dark parts' of U.S. history. (does he mean it? devil's in detail of vague intimidating statutes) but should be noted that many progressives have responded to CRT attacks precisely by saying GOP wants to avoid teaching dark history.

So if you're a parent and you're hearing activists say "they want us to stop teaching about slavery and lynching and redlining" and Youngkin goes "of course we will teach about those things" — it's a different terrain.

Many have said, "but CRT isn't even taught in K-12! it's a *law school* level concept!" ...but that doesn't really hold water. and who actually thinks younger students are not capable of learning about racism being systemically embedded in society? Not me & probably not you.

A lot of this obfuscates is the real debate over how we teach about systemic racism in schools, and how much and relatedly, the question of how fundamental racism is to America's story, past and present. these are not settled questions in K12 or in academia.

[I] spent time over the summer digging into messaging guides on the left being developed to counter CRT attacks. I was sympathetic to their task, it's a hard challenge. And I’m no PR expert. But I am pretty good at detecting *avoidance* in talking points https://theintercept.com/2021/07/27/critical-race-theory-education-history.

Multiple things can be true at the same time:

'CRT' -- yes it's being used as a dog whistle, exploited as a wedge, oft misconstrued from its original scholars' vision

There's also this very real tension right now in defining how race and racism will be taught in schools.

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Et tu, NYT?

Remarkable coming from The New York Times editorial board: “Democrats Deny Political Reality at Their Own Peril.”

Familiar takeaways like “wake-up call” and “warning shot” don’t do justice here because the danger of ignoring those trends is too great. What would do justice, and what is badly needed, is an honest conversation in the Democratic Party about how to return to the moderate policies and values that fueled the blue-wave victories in 2018 and won Joe Biden the presidency in 2020.

(!)

Democrats, looking left on so many priorities and so much messaging, have lost sight of what can unite the largest number of Americans. A national Democratic Party that talks up progressive policies at the expense of bipartisan ideas, and that dwells on Donald Trump at the expense of forward-looking ideas, is at risk of becoming a marginal Democratic Party appealing only to the left.

(!)

Many in the president’s party point to Tuesday as proof that congressional Democrats need to stop their left-center squabbling and clock some legislative wins ASAP by passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a robust version of the Build Back Better plan, the larger social spending and environmental proposal. They believe this will give their candidates concrete achievements to run on next year and help re-energize their base.

But Tuesday’s results are a sign that significant parts of the electorate are feeling leery of a sharp leftward push in the party, including on priorities like Build Back Better, which have some strong provisions and some discretionary ones driving up the price tag. The concerns of more centrist Americans about a rush to spend taxpayer money, a rush to grow the government, should not be dismissed.

(!)

As our colleague Mona Charen notes:

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Quick Hits

1. “Family Values” and the GOP Class of 2022

Must-read from Amanda Carpenter in today’s Bulwark:

Herschel Walker, Eric Greitens, and Sean Parnell are all considered serious contenders to win the Republican nominations for Senate seats in, respectively, Georgia, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. Each of them has been accused of aggressively threatening and violating women in their lives.

If they win their party’s nominations, it may complicate life for the aspiring Youngkins of 2022.


2. Not My Party: Dems in Trouble—the Price of Incompetence

Tim Miller’s latest:


3. Policing for Profit Targets Low-Income People Who Can’t Afford to Fight Back

Jennifer McDonald writes in the Bulwark:

The perverse incentives that allow police and prosecutors to keep what they seize have made civil forfeiture into the behemoth it is today. But policymakers can curb these abuses by reforming state and federal forfeiture laws. To protect Americans from losing property unjustly, Congress and state legislatures must end civil forfeiture and the financial incentive that fuels it.

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Cheap Shots

You stay classy, Schlapps.


Not at all, insane, reckless, and deranged.


When you are too crazy for Newsmax.

Newsmax has pulled White House correspondent Emerald Robinson off the air following her bizarre claim that COVID vaccines contain bioluminescence that some say can be tracked by the Devil.