Tuesday, December 14, 2021

 -Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), comparing the insurrection to ACA protests

The House will vote this evening to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt of Congress, as his newly-released texts from January 6 blow up whatever was left of the right-wing coverup and place him squarely at the center of the investigation.

  • The January 6 committee voted unanimously on Monday evening to refer Meadows to the full House for a criminal contempt citation, during a hearing in which Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) read aloud a series of stunning texts that Meadows received from lawmakers and Fox News hosts as the violence unfolded on January 6. From Sean Hannity: “Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?” From Laura Ingraham: “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.” From Brian Kilmeade: “Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.”
  • In other words, Fox News personalities understood perfectly well that the insurrection was a) a serious crisis and b) in Trump’s power to stop, then spent months on TV downplaying the attack and Trump’s connection to it, starting on January 6. And so begins the coverup of the coverup: Fox News has conspicuously made no mention of the texts since Cheney exposed them, with Hannity completely ignoring them in his interview with Meadows directly after the hearing. 
  • Fox News hosts weren’t the only ones pleading with Meadows to get Trump to do something. Donald Trump, Jr., a beloved son who absolutely has his own father’s personal cell number, texted Meadows, “He’s got to condemn this shit ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough.” Unnamed GOP lawmakers also sent frantic messages, after which one member of Congress texted on January 7, “Yesterday was a terrible day. We tried everything we could in our objections to the 6 states. I’m sorry nothing worked.” A terrible day for one clear reason we can all agree upon.

While Meadows fights the release of other bombshells still lurking in his text history, other Trump allies are prepared to hand over the goods.

  • Dustin Stockton and Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, two key organizers of the insurrection-pregame Stop the Steal rally, are set to testify before the January 6 committee next week. They plan to turn over records of their communications with staffers and members of Congress as they planned the rally and GOP lawmakers’ effort to block the certification of the election results , including Instagram DMs with Rep. Madison Cawthorne (R-NC). The pair has previously alleged, anonymously, that Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) suggested that Trump could get them a “blanket pardon” in an unrelated investigation if they helped protest the election. 
  • The House panel’s explosive disclosures come after the rest of the political establishment has largely returned to business as usual. Major corporations have steadily ramped up their donations to GOP lawmakers who voted against certifying the 2020 election, after nobly pausing for a few weeks. PACs affiliated with Fortune 500 companies and their trade groups have shoveled $6.8 million towards the 147 pro-coup Republicans in the year since the insurrection, prioritizing influence with a potential GOP House majority over the survival of American democracy. 

It’s been clear from the start that elected Republicans and Fox News propagandists were deliberately and self-servingly peddling false narratives as they sought to downplay the violent insurrection they helped fuel. House investigators now have receipts to that effect, in the slew of pleas for help and intervention that Trump pointedly ignored.

You can now binge the entire second season of Unholier Than Thou! This season host Phillip Picardi explores the wisdom of everyday people falling down, getting up, and trying new things as they navigate a newish world. The season features interviews with former editor of Teen Vogue Samhita Mukhopadhyay, author Reza Aslan, Michelle Williams from Destiny's Child, and more. Plus, Phill will take listeners on the road as he drives from LA to Cambridge as his search for illumination takes him to Divinity School. Listen and follow Unholier Than Thou wherever you get your podcasts.

Republicans want to use the Senate's arcane budget rule to kill the proposed $35 cap on insulin copays in the Build Back Better Act, in the event that our unelected Senate parliamentarian overlord is on board. If Republicans challenge the provision, the parliamentarian could determine that it’s “extraneous” to the federal budget, and, customarily, it would take 60 votes for Democrats to overrule her. At least 19 Republicans have previously signed onto efforts to lower insulin costs for diabetics, but there are almost certainly aren’t 10 who would place “helping Americans afford the medicine they need to live” over “depriving Democrats of a cool accomplishment to tout in the midterms.” 

Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been chatting with President Biden this week about his concerns that the reconciliation package is sTilL tOo BiG, citing inflation and the fact that temporary programs in the bill (the ones Democrats made temporary to appease him) would require more funding if, in a later bill, they became permanent. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that he still hopes to get the Build Back Better Act passed by Christmas.

Four of the biggest meat-processing companies have tripled their net-profit margins since the pandemic began, according to White House economic advisers. Contrary to Big Meat claims that rising prices were the result of labor shortages and high transportation costs, their financial statements show that their profits have skyrocketed along with their prices. The four companies, which control a huge fraction of the market for beef, poultry, and pork, have enjoyed a 120 percent collective jump in their gross profits since the pandemic hit, and a 500 percent increase in net income. In recent months, Tyson Foods raised the price of beef so drastically that it made record profits while selling less beef than before. Meat monopolies have used inflation worries as cover to essentially mug Americans at the grocery store, in turn maintaining the inflation narrative that keeps shareholders in their gilded meat castles (gross, sorry). Sure seems like more of an antitrust problem than a Democratic-legislative-agenda problem!

In 2021 mental health is finally a thing, especially as people are not feeling like their normal selves. Let’s support one another and talk openly. Whether or not therapy is your thing, knowing it’s available and affordable is important, for you or perhaps a loved one.  

Millions of people are trying and loving online therapy. It doesn’t have to be sitting around just talking about your feelings.

So, what is therapy, exactly? It’s whatever you want it to be.

You can privately talk to someone if your stress is too much to manage, you’re battling a temper, having relationship issues, anxiety, depression, etc… Whatever you need, there’s no more shame in these normal human struggles. We take care of our bodies, why not our minds, too? Without a healthy mind, being truly happy and at peace is HARD.

BetterHelp is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can start communicating with your therapist in under 48 hours.

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 for 10% off your first month.

Pfizer’s COVID pill retained its 89 percent efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in the final results of its study, and the company said it should hold up against the Omicron variant.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) renewed his push to reform the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, now that the Senate has approved a carveout to raise the debt ceiling.

The Senate has confirmed Lucy Koh to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, making her the first Korean American woman to serve on a federal appeals court.

Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255,” a reverence to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, may have saved hundreds of lives, according to a new study.

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