Wow, what a news day. I was going to write something about inflation, but it’ll have to wait.
As expected, the Supreme Court ended the Biden Administration’s covid mandates on large employers. However, health care workers at facilities that recieve Medicare and Medicaid funds, which is probably pretty much all of them, must still get vaccinated. I have not read the decision, but here is one commentary from Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns and Money:
Meanwhile in not so good news, John Roberts and the Furious Five have ruled that because in 1970 Congress didn’t have the foresight to pass a statute that specifically said that Joe Biden could tell OSHA in 2021 to issue a vaccine mandate because of COVID-19, Joe Biden can’t do that. This is a consistent application of the Republican Supreme Court’s doctrine that statutes written in general terms to deal with a wide variety of issues can only be enforced by Republican administrations.
I expect that’s about right.
On a happier note, the U.S. Justice Department has indicted the founder of Oath Keepers and a bunch of other Oath Keeper types on seditious conspiracy, folks. Yes, they used the “s” word. Let me boldface that — seditious conspiracy. A beautiful thing. The FBI arrested them today. “This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section,” the Justice Department says.
You lose some, but sometimes you win some.
There was a news story saying that Prince Andrew has been stripped of his royal titles, which suggests he is no longer “Prince” Andrew unless Prince is really his first name. But the BBC, which probably gets this stuff right, just says Andy can’t be called His Royal Highness any more, and he’s also been stripped of military titles. Poor baby.
The RNC wants to pull out of future presidential debates. These are the debates between the party nominees run by the bipartisan presidential commission, not the primary debates, which were a hot mess last time. “The Republican National Committee is preparing to change its rules to require presidential candidates seeking the party’s nomination to sign a pledge to not participate in any debates sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates,” the New York Times says. The commission is unfair! It is unfair to Republicans! say the Republicans.
One suspects Trump is behind this. Donald Trump’s two debates with Joe Biden were a disaster for Trump, you might recall, and Trump refused to take part in one of the scheduled debates because he was recovering from covid and it was going to be remote.
So that’s today’s news roundup. Stay safe.
Update: Oops, I wasn’t done. After all the effort of President Biden and others to get a voting rights bill passed, today the deadly duo of Manchin and Sinema pretty much shot it down. I want them both gone. I don’t know what else there is to be done.
One of those arrested today was providing 'security' for Roger Stone up until about noon on 1/6. As 'security' he was a participant in meetings in the Willard Hotel 'war-room' with Stone, Bannon, Giuliani, and others connected to TFG. After providing 'security' for Stone on the morning of 1/6, he participated in the invasion of the Capitol Building and had already been charged with violent crimes for that.
IMO: On our current SCOTUS, the five hard-core KKKonservative judges come to their decision(s) before the hearing even starts, and then work their way back through the evidence to support their conclusion(s). On occasion, SCOTUS CJ Roberts will side with the three more liberal judges. But this is only for the optics. And it is a very rare occurance.
I bet that charge of sedition probably caused a lot of pant-pooping and peeing in tRUMP's inner MAGA circle of hell!
As for not attending the presidential debates, go ahead, RepubliKKKLANS! You'll make it easier to vote for the party with the guts to show-up and debate.
What a bunch of gutless punks!
The Royal Family member formerly known as Prince
I think the sad part for Andrew is having to pay such a steep price for sex that he doesn't even remember having. That's what you call a bummer. I guess when you partake of the forbidden fruit it doesn't leave an aftertaste that you can savor for a lifetime.
It's unfortunate that Andrew claims he can't sweat because when your own mother bails on you for what's coming down the road its a good time to start sweating.
So? Diana lost Her Royal Highness when that other "prince" dumped her, but she didn't lose her home or the cash support. Who Are these people that are born so special?
Glad that the wheels of justice are grinding and we’re hearing, at long last the “sedition” word. Joyce Vance gave me a lot of hope that this is the lens justice is using, looking up the food chain.
After all the effort of President Biden and others to get a voting rights bill passed, today the deadly duo of Manchin and Sinema pretty much shot it down. I want them both gone. I don’t know what else there is to be done.
Answer: Suffer domination by the bullying minority, fight (with what? against very long odds), or leave. Those are the choices. The US is headed for a very painful breakup, and I expect the exodus to begin in earnest after November 2022.
I'm hoping that if the GOP does not/will not participate in debates, they happen anyway with an empty podium and questions directed at the no-show, and about five seconds for a response. Then cut back to the Democrat who is there and yes, ask the tough questions.
The Sedition charges are a big deal. So if you're looking at up-to 20 on that charge ALONE, do you look to turning state's evidence with what you know? Or do you accept a minimum of three years more in lockup in the hope of a presidential pardon from Trump in 2024 if he wins. (And the odds of a pardon for insurrection are not good. It seals Trump's approval for the coup.)
The experts are saying the gerrymandering changes are not that bad for Democrats. IMO, that's better news than it looks like because Trump is going to be beating the drum of voter fraud and that will depress turnout from the GOP. So the whole ball game for Democrats is turnout in 2022. How do we inspire voters who are mostly tuned out that they have to show up?
Some omens are good. The markets are having a correction which is most overdue. Crypto currencies, meme stocks, SPACs, and IPOs are getting beat up, and their holders are getting some fear to moderate their irrational and over speculative capital ventures. I noticed a good percentage of increase in the number of patrons wearing masks at the local discount store. Some sanity might be sinking in. Meat sales are reported to be down, showing some consumer sanity in response to outrageous pricing. We can use a bit less meat in our diet anyway. Most of us eat an unhealthy amount anyway.
Our state governor, who replaced Brownback, reported in her state of the state address that our state budget is fixed. Now we may get a bit of a tax rebate this year and have a chance of a tax break on food. Not one mention of the Laffer Curve or any of Grover Norquist's psycho economics either. That alone is quite the good omen. Not enough signs to call an end to our long horrible political winter but at least some abatement of our downhill trendline.
As for that alleged sex offender formerly known as Prince…that's funny.
Matt Gaetz was formerly known as Prince? I never heard that one before.
"Little red corvette…baby you're much too fast!"
"I want them both gone."
Without Sinema or without Manchin the Senate becomes R controlled. Not acceptable. I hate that reality but it is reality.
Am I the only one who had the following intuitive reaction to the video of Sinema's speech on the Senate floor? Here's what jumped into my head when she got to the part where she stated that modifying the filibuster would exacerbate the horrible divisiveness in our country: It looked oddly similar to those videos that ISIS terrorists used to produce where their captives would explain how well they were being treated.
She said she favors the bills in question. Then she says (effectively) that in all good conscience she can't vote for a procedural change that would allow the legislation she favors to be debated. That makes no sense. She acts like she has been threatened. By whom? What's going on? She isn't up for re-election until 2024.
I have read in several sources, from people who know her, that she thinks she is modeling herself after John McCain. She wants to be seen as someone who is above party politics and in favor of centrism and bipartisanship, as if that's what McCain was. (He had his moments, but he could be as partisan as any of them.) She thinks this is the key to a successful political career in Arizona. She might even imagine a White House bid in her future. She is apparently oblivious to how she's actually coming across.
Hi Maha. Love your blog. Please regard my reply as having a respectful intent.
I have heard the same rumblings about her possibly wishing to be "like McCain", and she may indeed be strongly driven to that. However, she can't be completely oblivious to her own political standings. The following quotes are from a Nov '21 commentary on "The Hill".
"A new Arizona Public Opinion Pulse conducted by Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights found that nearly three-quarters of Arizona Democratic voters — 72 percent — want a Democrat other than Sinema as their U.S. senator. Only 26 percent say they would prefer Sinema."
"Overall, 42 percent of Arizona voters view her favorably and 45 percent view her unfavorably."
I think she has to realize that her current prospects with the Arizona electorate are not promising. I'd say that Las Vegas odds would favor her not getting re-elected to the Senate. Therefore, if she's not being held hostage by threats, and it really is her ambition, it has to be national. Does she really think she has a chance at a nomination for President from the D party? Would she have any chance of being nominated for President by the R's? Seriously? Maybe she's hoping for a cabinet appointment. But she's establishing a strong reputation for betraying "her team". So I'm still puzzled. But maybe her thinking is just so bizarrely nonsensical that I'll never understand.