On Sunday, March 8, millions of Americans woke up an hour early, having set their clocks ahead by an hour the night before, and dug in for a week or so of bleary-eyed, irritable attempts to tweak their bodies' natural sleeping and waking rhythms. This fatuous semi-annual "spring forward, fall back" ritual, called "Daylight Saving Time," ranks high on my personal list of "dumbest ideas in the history of mankind."

As of early March, there were fewer than 200 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United States. Nonetheless, Congress passed, and US president Donald Trump signed, an $8.3 billion "emergency funding" bill theoretically related to containing the disease. Had the federal government done nothing at all, the "beer flu" might have conceivably have ended up killing a tiny fraction of the number of Americans who will die of influenza during the same period.

On March 3, US president Donald Trump spoke (via telephone) with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, chief of the Taliban's Doha diplomatic office and signer, on behalf of his organization, of the recently-concluded Afghanistan "peace deal." "The direct contact between an American president and a top Taliban leader would once have been unthinkable," writes Michael Crowley at the New York Times.

Writing at the Florida Politics blog, AG Gancarski reports on three sales-tax "holiday" bills working their way through the state's legislature. Two of the bills would lengthen existing holidays on school supplies and storm-preparedness products. The third would expand the holiday habit to hunting and fishing items. According to the Sales Tax Institute, at least 16 states have sales-tax holidays scheduled this year on goods ranging from clothing to school supplies to generators to guns.

According to selected members of the "US intelligence community" ("selected" for their loyalty to, and willingness to promote the line of, the Democratic Party establishment), Vladimir Putin and the Russian government just love them some Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Can't get enough of 'em. If November is a Trump/Sanders shoot-out, the Kremlin wins either way.

Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that Mexico would pay for his proposed border wall. Turns out Mexico wasn't interested, so Trump eventually resorted to declaring fake emergencies and illegally misappropriating money from the military budget.

As a political junkie, I get lots of e-mail pleas from politicians and political advocacy groups. Today, I got one from US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Well, not exactly. That's what the "from" header said, but the message was signed "Team AOC" and delivered via Daily Kos.

On January 15, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. According to the US Constitution, that makes the ERA part of "the supreme law of the land."

In early 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump pronounced himself "neutral" in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. He also expressed pessimism that a deal between the two sides was even possible: "I have friends of mine that are tremendous business-people, that are really great negotiators, [and] they say it's not doable."

Nicholas Sarwark is father to four pre-teen children. In his response to the State of the Union, delivered on behalf of the Libertarian Party (which he serves as national chair), he mentions that each of them are in debt to the tune of $70,633. "Not because we gave them credit cards to go buy cars," he explains, but "because politicians in Washington have a credit card called the national debt."

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