Hey there is still a pandemic! But whatever, say Wisconsin Republicans.
On Tuesday, the GOP-controlled Senate passed a resolution that would lift Democratic Governor Tony Evers' mask mandate – the last anti-COVID measure to come into effect after months of litigation.
The Republican-controlled assembly was supposed to take up the resolution on Thursday (and almost certainly pass it), but at the last minute GOP spokesman Robin Vos decided not to take up the resolution.
But don't think for a second that this was a reasonable attack.
Rater, it's about dollars and cents.
You see, if Republicans kill Wisconsin's masked mandate, the state could lose millions of dollars in food aid during the pandemic.
Vos would like to assess potential "financial problems" that could result from the termination of the mask mandate.
In Georgia, Republican MP David Clark has repeatedly refused to be tested for COVID-19 with his colleagues in the House of Representatives.
On Tuesday, the GOP spokesman initially attempted discretion and asked an anonymous legislature to remove himself from the chamber.
When Clark did not move, the speaker had the State Troopers representative escorted twice a week for violating House testing policy and "endangering the health of our members in this chamber."
Clark has since claimed on Twitter that he would continue to decline coronavirus testing without "a basis for it".
Clark, who is white, likened his experience to that of the "Original 33," the first 33 black members of the Georgian legislature who were elected after the civil war but were "kicked out because of the color of their skin," he said.
He's ruthless, selfish, and unaware of the varying effects the pandemic has on color communities.
The House spokesman says Clark is welcome to return to the chamber once he has followed the testing guidelines.
Militia-loving Michigan Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey survived a fight with COVID-19 in late December.
We know because Shirkey decided last week to discuss his ordeal in extremely racist terms.
"The Chinese flu army has sent one of their best soldiers," Shirkey said in a television interview. "His name was Rona … He and I wrestled for nine days, but I finally pinned him down."
It's a shame that there is no xenophobia vaccine
The pro-Trump violence in the U.S. Capitol is now three weeks behind us, but the effects on state houses continue.
In Virginia, the Senate took the extraordinary step of officially reprimanding GOP Senator Amanda Chase.
The no-confidence resolution, only the second "in modern Virginia history," was passed bipartisan (24: 9, with six Republicans abstaining) on Wednesday.
The criticism was sparked by Chase's comments on the January 6th terrorist attack on the Capitol (she publicly proclaimed the riots "patriots") and explicitly accused Chase of "fueling the insurrection against the United States". and notes that "inflammatory remarks and actions by Senator Amanda F. Chase before, during, and after the events that led to the uprising … represent a failure to uphold her oath of office and conduct herself as a Senator."
But Chase has a history of "behavior that is not good".
A few years ago she publicly annoyed a police officer in the state capital about a parking lot.
She was also extremely shitty in public with the Senate clerk, calling rape victims "naive and unprepared".
In 2019, she resigned from the GOP Senate because she was angry that Republican leaders who criticized her behavior had been re-elected to lead the group.
Chase had already been exempted from her committee duties, and the criticism downgraded her to the least senior member of the Virginia Senate (with an associated reduction in employee perks … oh, she's going to be so crazy about her parking lot now).
And remember, she's running for governor.
In Arizona, two Republican lawmakers who were in the DC Capitol during the uprising have refused to respond to open requests for emails and texts sent about their trip to Washington.
On the one hand, privacy is generally a good thing.
However, these Republicans are civil servants, and Arizona courts have ruled that records of civil servants' private devices can be considered public records if those records relate to public business and the phone was used for a public purpose.
The two Republicans, Rep. Mark Finchem and then Rep. Anthony Kern, were among a group of GOP members who signed a joint resolution claiming that Congress should not accept the votes of Democratic voters in Arizona. Her trip to DC appears to be an extension of that endeavor that would make the trip – and all associated records – a "public deal."
Finchem and Kern admit they attended the anti-democracy rally that preceded the violent attack on the Capitol, but both claim they were there as "private individuals".
However, during the Capitol attack, Finchem posted a photo of a crowd on the steps of the building on social media and added a message, "What if people feel ignored and Congress refuses to acknowledge rampant fraud?"
Finchem is still a member of the State House, and Kern was a member until five days after the attack (he lost re-election but was technically still a deputy until his successor was sworn in on Jan. 11).
Q the Vote: A recurring theme in the coming weeks and months will be new voting restrictions enforced by Republicans in various states. Here's the latest:
Georgia: If a Senate bill introduced this week becomes law, voters who cast absentee ballots would have to photocopy their ID and send it to election officials TWICE (once when requesting a postal vote and again when returning a postal vote).
Peach State Republicans have been talking about using photo ID requirements to strangle the postal vote, but this is the first major law designed to suppress voting in that particular way.
Republicans, of course, claim this measure is necessary for "electoral integrity," but an examination of 15,000 postal votes cast in the November election revealed no cases of fraud.
North Dakota: Republican lawmakers are pushing a number of bills into the state that would make voting difficult, including:
Submit voting papers more than 90 minutes after the polls are completed (regardless of the length of the queue or waiting time), preliminary voting papers
Increase the state residency requirement to register to vote from 30 days to a full year
Limitation of requests for a postal or postal vote to once per year per voter
Dramatic limitation of the reasons a voter can request a postal vote.
Mississippi: Republican lawmakers are promoting Senate bill that would remove voters who fail to cast ballots for four consecutive years.