This Is Your Mind on Standard Time
How Congress screwed up Election Day and some good stuff in the reconciliation bill.
My latest, for the New Republic:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D.-W.Va.) has for three months been negotiating the $1.75 trillion reconciliation bill, formerly known as the $3 trillion reconciliation bill and before that the $6 trillion reconciliation bill. He gave a press conference Monday saying he still didn’t know whether he supported the bill. For fuck’s sake, he practically wrote the bill, whose text you can read here (more readable section-by-section summary here). But Manchin still doesn’t know whether he supports it. Neither does Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D.-Az.).
Anyway, on Monday I wrote that there’s a really good part of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act buried in the House bill that Manchin hasn’t objected to, and probably won’t because he’s endorsed the PRO Act. Sinema may object to it, because she comes from an anti-union state, but I can remain silent only so long. The PRO Act fragment in the reconciliation bill would allow the National Labor Relations Board for the first time to level civil penalties against companies that violate labor law. The penalties would be up to $100,000 per violation. In my Monday New Republic piece, I explained why this is a big deal.
In 2005, Congress moved the start of Standard Time forward one week, from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November, to appease candy manufacturers who wanted one more hour of daylight on Halloween. This extra week of Daylight Savings Time started in 2007. In most years (though not this one) that means Election Day falls two days after your circadian rhythms have been messed with. An interesting theory could be developed that this contributed to the derangement of the American electorate as revealed by Donald Trump’s election in 2016. An interesting theory that actually has been developed is that the Daylight Savings change has depressed voter turnout. I wrote about this on Tuesday.