Priced to Sell

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Mike Luckovich)

In other news, the number of coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide crossed the 1 million mark today, doubling from 500,000 last Friday. The United States can claim at least 230,000 cases so far.

Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress that voted against expanded unemployment benefits are now claiming credit for those benefits, of course.

“This package that we passed will provide $600 a week on top of the Montana benefit if you’re unemployed,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) told a local TV station the day after the bill passed. “That’s very significant. It more than doubles what the state of Montana pays. That’s taking care of those Montanans who’ve lost their jobs.”

But Daines, like most of his other GOP colleagues, supported an amendment to the bill offered by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) that would have capped unemployment benefits and denied some people the extra $600. The Senate rejected the amendment before ultimately passing the bill last week.

Anyone else remember when Republicans voted against President Obama's stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and then spent the following year posing alongside giant stimulus checks for local businesses?

Finally, a day after Hungarian parliament voted to give prime minister Viktor Orban absolute power in response to the coronavirus, Orban used that power to introduce legislation that will ban transgender people from legally existing.

His powers came into effect on Monday morning, and by the evening his deputy Zsolt Semjén had introduced a new bill which, if passed, will replace "gender" with "birth sex" in all legal documents issued in the country.

The effect of this is that Hungarian citizens will be unable to change their gender legally, a significant rollback of rights in the eastern European country. Since data in official documents such as ID cards, driving licenses and passports are taken from the civil registry, the change would affect these as well.

Banning transgender people from legally existing on paper will surely stop the coronavirus, right?

Transgender people are possibly the least likely people in the world to spread a virus because we're already averse to being in crowds. I was just starting to get comfortable sitting at a bar in public before the pandemic shut everything down. And transgender Hungarians will still exist if Viktor Orban gets his way; they'll just have fewer rights.