Monday, February 22, 2021

Monday Reading


As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

That the Biden Administration will deliver the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill in a timely manner reflects on their competence (and the popularity of their policies):

A little more than one month since President Joe Biden entered office, his cornerstone legislative priority -- a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package -- is on the path to passage by the deadline his administration set, largely mirroring the key elements he originally proposed.
While Biden's hope for GOP support on Capitol Hill has all but disappeared in the last several weeks, his enthusiasm for the proposal -- and his view that despite its high price tag it will only serve to bolster Democrats as they remain unified -- has hardly waned.  [snip]
As House Democrats prepare to push through the legislation next week, with Senate Democrats set to follow suit in short order, it's a moment that underscores a confluence of factors on politics, policy and quiet, but wide-ranging, behind-the-scenes work that has nearly all gone Biden's way.
It was equal parts an inside- and outside-the-Beltway effort by the White House, aided by congressional Democrats involved early, and often, on both the substance and politics of the proposal. Supporters were boosted by a continuous run of positive public polling -- which White House officials and congressional leaders made a point of regularly putting in front of their members -- all as they sought to capitalize on state and district-level officials and advocacy groups they knew would hold sway on Capitol Hill.
While this will pass via the reconciliation process which requires only a majority vote, it bodes well for passage of other Democratic priorities -- if they're not afraid to kill the filibuster when Republicans try to block other legislation not governed by the rules of reconciliation.  You win elections by showing government can work effectively to meet peoples' needs, not by allowing bad faith nihilists to delay or wreck your agenda.

Congressional Democrats are pushing a sweeping package of voting rights, gerrymandering, election, campaign finance and ethics reforms, called the For the People Act. It’s listed as H.R. 1 in the House and S. 1 in the Senate, signifying that it is Democrats’ top legislative priority. For the past two decades, every bill labeled both H.R. 1 and S. 1 has become law.

If the For the People Act is to pass, though, Democrats will need to surmount the one obstacle clogging up almost all legislation that doesn’t directly affect the federal budget: the filibuster. Democrats hold only 50 votes ― plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ to break ties ― and Republicans could easily use the filibuster to prevent voting reform. McConnell, who previously called the legislation “socialism” and a “power grab,” blocked it from a Senate vote in 2019. [snip]

Right now, Republican-controlled state legislatures are pushing bills to limit early and absentee voting, purge voters from the rolls, and toughen voter ID requirements. The For the People Act would ban almost all of these schemes to make it harder for certain communities to vote.

“Here we are with a very, very slim majority, a majority that we’ll probably lose if voter suppression goes on steroids as seems to be the path that so many state legislatures are on right now,” Merkley said. “And so this is the critical moment to pass this bill.”

Furthermore, the bill would ban partisan gerrymandering by requiring states to use independent, nonpartisan redistricting panels to draw House district lines. Given the extent of current Republican control of state legislatures, which exists thanks to district lines gerrymandered back in 2011, the Democratic House majority could theoretically be gerrymandered out of existence ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Passing the For the People Act quickly could potentially prevent this as well as blocking new voter suppression laws.

We've got to this this right or we'll be in danger of handing over government to the worst collection of anti- democracy neo- fascists our country has ever seen.

Mike Lindell, the Trump-loving CEO of MyPillow, has been hit with a new $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit over his lies about the 2020 presidential election.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dominion Voting Systems has sued Lindell for his false claims about the company conspiring to steal votes from former President Donald Trump at the behest of the Chinese government.

In its lawsuit, Dominion accuses Lindell of telling a "Big Lie" about the election being stolen from Trump as a shameless way to gin up publicity for his business.

"He is well aware of the independent audits and paper ballot recounts conclusively disproving the Big Lie," the complaint says. "But Lindell…sells the lie to this day because the lie sells pillows."

Soak the Mein Pillow guy for every penny he's worth.

In case you missed her article last week, Pulitzer Prize winning senior science writer Laurie Garrett writes in Foreign Policy that malignant moron Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump committed pandemicide:

There is vast evidence of Trump’s negligence during the pandemic’s third wave. Had I been a member of the House of Representatives during the body’s impeachment deliberations, I would have added to Trump’s indictment the crime of pandemicide, naming him as responsible for most of the COVID-19 deaths that transpired while he, the nation’s leader, was preoccupied with damning Joe Biden’s election victory. Trump’s failure to, as he vowed in his oath of office, “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States” promulgated a scale of lives lost exceeding anything experienced in the country since the Civil War, 160 years ago.

I do not accuse Trump of pandemicide in reference to mistakes made by his administration between January 2020—when it generally ignored the outbreak in Wuhan, China—and the summer surge of cases and deaths across the United States. I do not charge pandemicide over Trump’s Feb. 26, 2020, dismissal of the COVID-19 threat as miniscule, claiming, “The level that we’ve had in our country is very low, and those people are getting better, or we think that in almost all cases they’re better or getting. We have a total of 15.” Nor do I charge pandemicide over his repeated insistence that COVID-19 cures were available in the forms of hydroxychloroquine, bleach, ultraviolet light, convalescent plasma therapy, the Regeneron cocktail, oleander extract, or simply warm weather. [snip]

So, I level the charge of pandemicide against Trump for his failure to say or do anything to halt the soaring burden of infection and death across the United States from Election Day to his departure from office. During a period when experts inside his government warned that holiday travel and interactions over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s could lead to massive spread of the virus, and states clamored for aid to disseminate vaccines, Trump was mum.

That was a brief snippet from Garrett's article.  In the whole, she makes the case that history will use to judge COVID Donnie, and it's irrefutable.

OK, we'll say it:



Finally, please check out Infidel 753's link round-up to interesting, amusing, frightening, elucidating posts from around the Internet (and those were only the top four adjectives we came up with).  Be a regular visitor there, too.

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