Welcome to the United States of ‘Idiocracy’

Max Boot in WaPo: “When Mike Judge’s movie “Idiocracy” came out in 2006, almost no one saw it. (The film grossed less than $500,000 at the box office.) Now everyone should see it.

“Luke Wilson plays an average Joe who is put into suspended animation and reawakens 500 years later to find himself the smartest person in America because everyone else has gotten so dumb. The No. 1 TV show features contestants being hit in their private parts; crops are watered with a sports energy drink, causing a famine; and the president is a former wrestler and porn star who curses freely and fires automatic weapons on TV.

“Is there a better prophecy of our end times? The only thing “Idiocracy” really got wrong was its timeline. It has taken just 15 years, not 500, for America to become an idiocracy. Don’t believe it? Look at our response to the coronavirus pandemic. …

“We can and should hold our leaders responsible, but ultimately, we have no one but ourselves to blame. Nobody forced so many Americans to act so recklessly — first by placing their faith in a president who doesn’t deserve it, and now in ignoring widely publicized scientific findings. We are living — and now dying — in an idiocracy of our own creation.”

Because the Republicans welcome foreign help?

The Senate will incorporate the annual intelligence policy legislation into the National Defense Authorization Act -- but only after stripping language from the intelligence bill that would have required presidential campaigns to report offers of foreign election help.

The schadenfreude is strong

After all, depriving millions of Americans of their health insurance in the middle of a pandemic is a remarkably stupid idea, even for this administration. Republicans deserve to suffer at the polls for this.

The solicitor general says a vote for the GOP tax cuts was a vote to eliminate protections for preexisting conditions.

Biden’s going to have a big to-do list

Foreign Policy: “The sorest financial cankers of the Trump era are all emanations of this contemporary world political economy: the oligarch, the tax-avoiding supercorporation, the offshore-owned luxury properties used to launder money, and the untraceable dark money circulating at home and from authoritarian states. This makes the world safe for kleptocracy and authoritarianism and harms U.S. national interests by facilitating the corruption of business and political elites at home. It is not just the place where global unfettered capitalism directly impacts the country’s national politics and security but where Democrats need to rise to the challenge. …

“The crisis of the Trump presidency has shown that the boundaries between home and abroad are no longer firm. Undermining the international financial system that empowered kleptocracy, and with it autocrats like Vladimir Putin, requires tracing dirty money through not just the Caymans and Kyiv, Ukraine, but Wilmington, Delaware, and Las Vegas. The most vital step Washington can take to fight kleptocracy is banning anonymous shell companies within the United States itself. …

“Fighting kleptocracy is at the heart of an internationalist foreign policy that recognizes that the modern world is deeply interconnected and thus national security depends on understanding and managing these gaps. A Biden administration would have the opportunity to reorient the U.S. alliance system toward these 21st-century challenges by tying U.S. domestic reform with a common set of anti-kleptocratic standards shared with the European Union and the United Kingdom. …

“The battle against kleptocracy is more than a contest over corruption or development in faraway countries. It is a vital front in the war to make the world more habitable for the global middle class, which includes America’s own long-suffering workers. A focus on kleptocracy is a first step to reconciling U.S. domestic and foreign policies and making the world more just, and safer, for Americans and others.”

A new administration can make the changes needed to break a rotten global system.

Science? We don’t need no stinking science!

“Fauci’s transgression is to base his evaluations — after decades of public service and expertise fighting HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Zika and anthrax — on facts and logic that conflict with Trump’s chosen version of reality. Fauci has long said that only the virus can decide when normal life — things such as NFL games and schools reopening, for instance — will be safe again.

“Trump has always been battling the pandemic he wants to fight, rather than the one that actually exists, with a strategy shaped mostly by his political requirements as he seeks a second term. The pandemic arrived in the US despite his insistence that it would not be a problem. Now, with 84,000 Americans dead and 1.3 million infected, Trump argues that the country has prevailed over the virus and it’s time to get back to work.”

President Donald Trump's repudiation of Dr. Anthony Fauci has long been probable. Once the trusted doctor warned of the human cost of Trump's push to quickly reopen the country, it became inevitable.

Making the swamp even swampier

“The hiring plan documents show shortened hiring timelines and suggest preference given to judges with records of rulings against immigrants. The documents also demonstrate the influence held over the board by the political leadership of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Justice Department agency that oversees the nation’s immigration court system, particularly its director, James McHenry. …

“The current hiring process appears to chip away at the role career employees play in that process, and instead amplifies that of the EOIR director and other political appointees, according to Lynch and some other experts who reviewed the changes.”

New DOJ documents show shortened hiring timelines and suggest preference given to judges with records of rulings against immigrants.