Tax Cuts in a Pandemic
When Utah decided to forgo Medicaid expansion, it made the decision that ideology was more important than health. The state spurned the federal government's promise to pay 100 percent of the additional costs for the first three years and up to 90 percent of the costs by 2020. We know how that went. Citizens rose up and passed Medicaid expansion anyway. Now Attorney General Sean Reyes has joined 21 other anti-fed AGs in telling the president they don't like his damned pandemic money because the plan won't let them cut taxes. "Does it simply prohibit states from using the federal dollars to offset new tax cuts, or instead prohibit them from cutting taxes for any reason, even if those cuts were in the works before the law passed?" the AGs ask, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Well, clarification isn't a bad thing, but the red-state AGs ought to consider using taxes during the pandemic rather than cutting them.
Religion as a Weapon
Even the Deseret News found it necessary to write a story about "why" Utah Sen. Mike Lee and other Republicans are opposing the Equality Act, which updates federal civil rights law to include the LGBTQ community. Apparently, these Republicans live their daily lives in spiritual fear that they won't be able to deny housing or employment to LGBTQ people. Somehow this also means that trans women would have an advantage over biological females, although there is no such evidence. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, distilled the GOP line: "I do believe that people who want to blatantly discriminate and use religion as their weapon have gone too far. We have to have limits on what they can do. Remember: The Ku Klux Klan was not burning question marks. They were burning the cross."
No Guns for Abusers
Now on to the Violence Against Women Act, opposed by 172 House Republicans because ... violence never involves guns? The 1994 law is due to be renewed, partly because the country still does not have an Equal Rights Amendment, but that's an argument for another day. The law, if extended, would keep guns out of the hands of abusive partners, whether they were spouses or not. The Salt Lake Tribune shed more light on the abuse issue with an investigative report on landlords who systematically evict abuse victims and their families. You know, they disturbed the peace. "Too often the loss of housing can be used as a legal weapon by abusers to cow partners into submission," the Trib wrote. The New York Magazine Intelligencer called it a different kind of weapon—the religion of guns. The issue really is a religion of male supremacy.