Tuesday, November 16, 2021
BY BRIAN BEUTLER & CROOKED MEDIA
** -Steven Pinker ([link removed] ) on his brief and fruitful affiliation with “University” of Austin
Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is now Joe Biden’s infrastructure law, and you know what that means: Time for Republicans to claim all the credit.
* In tacit acknowledgment of the recent difficulties Democrats have faced trying to make sure the voting public rewards them for doing popular things, President Biden hit the road Tuesday ([link removed]) to tout the projects the infrastructure law will facilitate. Speaking at a structurally deficient bridge in New Hampshire—where Sen. Maggie Hasan (D-NH) will defend a vulnerable seat next year—Biden said ([link removed]) , “the infrastructure law signed yesterday...would not have been possible without this delegation….Maggie, you did one hell of a job.”
* Directing credit where it’s due will require continuous effort. Part of the challenge stems from the fact that the projects the law funds will be completed over many years. Another is that most voters don't make voting decisions based on specific policy changes. Yet a third is that Republicans will vie for credit for the programs, too ([link removed]) . In this case, a few of them will at least have some claim to it—Democrats went out of their way to make sure the bill was bipartisan. But multiple Republicans have already tried to claim the bill wouldn’t have passed without...Donald Trump. And now Republicans who voted against the bill have begun bragging ([link removed]) about the benefits it will bring to their states and districts.
* Biden will face the same challenges if and when the Build Back Better Act passes as well. How do we know? Because Republicans unanimously opposed the American Rescue Plan, but are nevertheless claiming credit for its benefits, too. This week Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ) boasted about a $100 million initiative to expand broadband access to underserved communities in Arizona. All of those funds came from the American Rescue Plan ([link removed]) .
To solve that problem, though, Democrats will have to...actually pass Build Back Better.
* In remarks at the White House signing ceremony Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ([link removed]) “hopefully this week we will be passing Build Back Better.” On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office announced that it will release a complete Build Back Better cost estimate no later than the end of the week, and House centrists promised to vote for it so long as the analysis is “consistent” with White House projections that the bill won’t increase deficits.
* There’s just one problem! Administration officials have already signaled that CBO projections will not be consistent with their own ([link removed]) . The discrepancy they anticipate arises from the different ways White House and CBO analysts model a proposal to beef up IRS enforcement. CBO projects that provision will raise much less money than the White House says it will, because CBO’s model does not account for the likelihood that greater enforcement against tax cheats will cause more widespread compliance with tax laws.
Selling the public on the benefits of Biden’s economic agenda—and on the fact that Democrats are responsible for them—will be a big challenge. But hard as it might be to grab and hold voter attention, they’ll be much better off running on all of it than just on the half Republicans helped pass.
We may not be Santa, but we definitely have the gifts you want! Check out the Crooked Store where we’re dropping new merch every week of November! This week, we have brand new festive items like our Hysteria holiday ornament, High Notes ashtray, Petty sweatshirts, and more. Shop all the new holiday arrivals now at crooked.com/store ([link removed]) .
The people closest to Donald Trump as he plotted to overturn the election wanted the military to get military involved in the coup. ([link removed]) Disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn leaned on one of his proteges—defense intelligence appointee (and Trump loyalist) Ezra Cohen-Watnick—to cut short an official visit to the Middle East and return to Washington to “get orders signed, that ballots needed to be seized, and that extraordinary measures needed to be taken to stop Democrats from stealing the election." Big Lie lawyer Sydney Powell also pressed Cohen-Watnick to chase a QAnon conspiracy theory, which held that CIA Director Gina Haspel had been injured and arrested while trying to cover up the theft of the election in Germany o_0. Powell told Watnick “to launch a special operations mission to get her," so that the military could secure evidence of the stolen election before
the inauguration. Flynn and Powell were in effect reaching into the civilian leadership because the acting defense secretary had set a(n incredibly low) bar ([link removed]) —"no military coup, no major war, and no troops in the streets”—and were hoping Cohen-Watnick would behave insubordinately; the next questions are whether they were operating under orders from Trump, and whether they broached the topic of a pardon with him.
* Jury deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial have begun ([link removed]) .
* President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual summit late Monday ([link removed]) in the hope of preventing deteriorating relations between the two countries from spiraling into crisis.
* The House January 6 Select Committee intends to send Trump’s disgraced former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows another sternly worded letter, ([link removed]) instead of giving him the Steve Bannon treatment for some reason.
* The race to replace New York Attorney General Letitia ([link removed]) James will pit Zephyr Teachout (with the backing of New York progressives) against Trump-impeachment prosecutor Daniel Goldman (with the backing of national Democratic leaders).
* CDC officials are concerned about the rapid spread of flu among University of Michigan students, ([link removed]) though only 23 percent of those who’ve contracted it there were vaccinated.
* Nevada Republican gubernatorial candidate Michelle Fiore has trumpeted the endorsement of a former sheriff ([link removed]) with ties to the militia movement and antisemites.
* The candidate Donald Trump endorsed to primary Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) ([link removed]) spread QAnon conspiracy theories and also associates with antisemites.
* Future humans may be able to take shortcuts through the universe through wormholes, ([link removed]) without the wormholes collapsing on them instantly, as physicists previously believed.
The same Trump loyalists who fomented a coup attempt in Washington, DC, last year are hard at work trying to engineer something similar in Brazil, ([link removed]) should the country’s unpopular right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro lose his re-election campaign next year. Echoing lies Trump and others told ahead of the 2020 election, serial crook Steve Bannon has said Bolsonaro can only lose if “the machines” steal the election from him. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), who voted to overturn the election, met with Brazilian counterparts to advocate for the kinds of “voter integrity policies” Republicans are implementing across the country in the hope of subverting or stealing future elections. And coup plotters Mike Lindell (the pillow guy) and Jason Miller (who should pay his child support) have met privately with Bolsonaro and his confidantes. And they have plenty of time to lay the groundwork:
Bolsonaro doesn’t face voters until October.
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It’s always a good time to invest in yourself, because you are your greatest asset. See if online therapy is for you by heading to BetterHelp.com/crooked ([link removed]) for 10% off your first month.
Pfizer has officially requested an emergency-use authorization from the FDA for its oral COVID-19 medication, ([link removed]) which could be available to treat infected individuals in a few weeks.
Democrats won control of the local legislature in Monroe County, NY, ([link removed]) which includes Rochester and is home to hundreds of thousands of people.
Local GOP officials in Pennsylvania withheld $3,000 in funding from a local library for allowing an LGBT community group to hold a meeting on its premises, so an area do-gooder and other supporters raised more than eight times that amount for the library instead ([link removed]) .
If you drink coffee or tea in the morning every day you’re less likely to be diagnosed with stroke or dementia ([link removed]) . Congrats to all who medicate.