I’ve avoided looking at media coverage of QPAC because fuck those ridiculous a-holes and their goddamned cult leader. But I clicked through a CNN push alert earlier today and was pleasantly surprised at the tone of this piece by Stephen Collinson.
Collinson framed the story correctly, i.e., the ongoing threat the Persimmon Pustule poses to democracy. He called lies “lies.” And he pointed out that outlets like Fox News and other con media that carried the lie-fest live were irresponsibly helping the Pumpkin-Head ImPotentate further radicalize cultists who have already demonstrated a propensity for violence.
We’re awfully critical of the Beltway press around here, and they often deserve it. But CNN did evolve during the stump error. Not as quickly as the crisis demanded and not always in the most helpful ways, IMO. But here’s some credit where it’s due.
In other news, WaPo is reporting that senior Dems are abandoning the Plan B for a $15 minimum wage that was floated last week, i.e., to use tax penalties to force big companies to raise the current starvation wages:
Senior Democrats are abandoning a backup plan to increase the minimum wage through a corporate tax penalty, after encountering numerous practical and political challenges in drafting their proposal over the weekend, according to two people familiar with the internal deliberations…
Democrats have said they will seek to include the $15 minimum-wage proposal in a separate legislative package to be advanced later in Biden’s administration. It remained unclear how they would do so or how they would overcome the obstacles that prevented them from securing the provision in the current stimulus plan.
It sounds like it’s mostly a timing issue — the rescue package needs to be passed quickly before unemployment benefits run out this month. In a TV appearance over the weekend, Press Sec Psaki said Biden remains committed to raising the minimum wage, and they’ll be working on it in the coming days and weeks. Good.
In other other news, valued commenter Ksmiami recently reached out with an idea for body-slamming Republicans in upcoming elections. It revolves around a little-remarked-on (that I heard of, anyway) provision in the Turnip tax cuts of 2017, in which home office deductions for most W-2 employees were eliminated. Via FedWeek:
The IRS has issued a statement on an issue that has been raised by many federal employees who—like many others in the private sector—have been teleworking full-time for months: whether they can claim a home office deduction when they file their taxes next year for 2020 income.
In sum, the answer was no, regarding work related to a salaried federal position—but maybe, related to side income such as self-employment income. It says:
“The home office deduction is available to qualifying self-employed taxpayers, independent contractors and those working in the gig economy. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act suspended the business use of home deduction from 2018 through 2025 for employees. Employees who receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer are not eligible for the deduction, even if they are currently working from home.”
This might come as a nasty surprise to millions of office workers who’ve incurred business expenses while telecommuting due to the pandemic. Ksmiami speculates that Democrats could use the anti-worker change the Turnip admin embedded in the tax code against Republicans. Sounds like a good idea to me.