Pokémon GO to the Second District Court of Appeal.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
BY SARAH LAZARUS & CROOKED MEDIA
** -Tommy Tuberville ([link removed]) making sense of a pandemic the way he knows how
President Biden endorsed a Senate filibuster carveout to pass voting-rights legislation during his speech in Atlanta on Tuesday, ramping up the pressure on Smanchinema to lay down their bullshit ([link removed]) and let the party protect democracy.
* After forcefully denouncing disgraced former president Donald Trump on the anniversary of January 6, Biden brought his sharp new rhetoric to Georgia ([link removed]) , framing the voting-rights fight as the emergency that it is. “The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation. Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so the question is where will the institution of the United States Senate stand?”
* While Biden has expressed his support for a filibuster carveout before, Tuesday’s address marked his most passionate and high-profile comments on the subject. Republicans’ obstruction of the legislation, Biden said, left Democrats with “no option but to change the Senate rules, including getting rid of the filibuster for this.” Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking ahead of Biden, warned about the consequences of failing to act, and noted ([link removed]) that “nowhere does the Constitution give the minority the ability to unilaterally block legislation.”
* A number of leading voting-rights and civil-rights groups were pointedly absent ([link removed]) from the audience, in protest of what they view as the White House’s inaction on democracy protections over the last several months. “We do not need any more speeches, we don’t need any more platitudes,” James Woodall, former president of the NAACP of Georgia, told the New York Times. “We don’t need any more photo ops. We need action, and that actually is in the form of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, as well as the Freedom to Vote Act—and we need that immediately.”
The big unknown is whether Biden’s public pressure on Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will help put those bills within reach.
* Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to hold another vote ([link removed]) on election legislation as soon as Wednesday. When Republicans block it for the 93785th time, Schumer is expected to call a vote on filibuster reform by January 17, forcing Manchin and Sinema to pick a side. Schumer invited the authors of How Democracies Die ([link removed]) to a Tuesday caucus lunch [DEL: because the cast of Hamilton was not available :DEL] to explain the urgency of the legislation to (two particular) Senate Democrats, though it’s unclear whether his desired audience was in attendance.
* Either way, the fact that Manchin was confidently bullshitting about the history of the filibuster as recently as Monday doesn’t exactly bode well for his receptivity. Manchin suggested on Tuesday ([link removed]) that while he’s still opposed to a voting-rights carveout, he’d be open to other changes like bringing back the talking filibuster and getting rid of the 60-vote threshold to open debate—but only if 17 Republicans are willing to help Democrats change the rules. (There will never be 17 Republicans willing to help Democrats change the rules.)
Voting-rights advocates have a point that Biden and top Democrats have taken their sweet time in publicly treating the GOP assault on democracy like a five-alarm fire, and there’s no guarantee that Biden finally using his bully pulpit will make a difference. But with so much at stake, it’s certainly necessary to try.
Check out the latest episode of Takeline! This week, Jason and Renee talk to Guardian journalist Tumaini Carayol to discuss Novak Djokovic’s immigration hearing ahead of the Australian Open. Plus, they recap #KlayDay at the Chase Center and check in on the Knicks and Hawks. New episodes of Takeline drop every Tuesday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts ([link removed]) .
U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations hit a record high this week ([link removed]) , with 145,982 patients hospitalized. COVID patients now fill about 30 percent of the nation’s ICU beds, and governors across the country have mobilized more National Guard members to help staff overwhelmed hospitals. Against that alarming backdrop, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday announced a deal with the city’s teachers union ([link removed]) to reopen schools, with provisions for additional testing and metrics that would close schools with major outbreaks. (Lightfoot also announced that she herself has tested positive ([link removed]) and will be working from home.)
Meanwhile, the details of the Biden administration’s rapid testing plan are coming into view: Private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight at-home rapid tests ([link removed]) per person, per month starting Saturday, and the White House has encouraged large insurance companies to partner with pharmacies so that people don’t have to pay for tests and later apply for reimbursements. Uninsured Americans will be able to request free tests from a federal website set to launch later this month.
* Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who’s investigating Donald Trump’s pressure campaign against state election officials to overturn his defeat, said her team will reach a decision on whether to bring charges in the case in the first half of the year ([link removed]) . (And maybe on the earlier side: Trump’s lawyers have reportedly already met in person with Georgia prosecutors ([link removed]) .)
* The January 6 committee has also escalated its investigation of Trump’s state-level election interference ([link removed]) , and has obtained forged certificates of ascertainment declaring Trump the winner of Arizona and Michigan, which Republicans sent to the National Archives in 2020.
* The Justice Department has announced a new unit focused on domestic terrorism ([link removed]) , in response to a growing threat from violent extremists.
* Dr. Anthony Fauci slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for fundraising off of political attacks against him and inciting death threats ([link removed]) , noting that a man with AR-15 who was arrested in December told authorities that he was traveling to Washington, DC, to kill Fauci.
* House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed to remove Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Adam Swalwell (D-CA), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from their committees ([link removed]) if Republicans retake the House—a baseless act of retaliation against Democrats for sidelining GOP white supremacists—though the top Republican on the intel committee isn’t interested in forcing Schiff out ([link removed]) .
* For anybody whose blood pressure feels too low, here’s a good deep dive on the extent of Joe Manchin’s coal corruption ([link removed]) and the many ways it’s hurting West Virginians.
* A Myanmar court has sentenced ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to another four years in prison ([link removed]) , on charges of possessing walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus protocols.
* Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida will resign ([link removed]) following questions about his shady stock transactions early in the pandemic.
* Today in Human Beings Embarrassing Their Professions, two Los Angeles Police Department officers have been fired for ignoring a robbery-in-progress because they were too engrossed in Pokémon Go ([link removed]) .
* Today in Badgers Excelling At Jobs They Don’t Even Have, a foraging badger seems to have dug up a large trove of Roman coins in a Spanish cave ([link removed]) .
Afghanistan is on the brink of a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe this winter ([link removed]) . Aid groups have estimated that nearly 23 million Afghans, out of a total population of 39 million, already don’t have enough to eat. Many also don’t have enough money to heat their homes at night, forcing people to choose between food and fuel. The country’s economy had been in rough shape before, but completely collapsed after the Taliban’s takeover: Nearly 80 percent of the previous government’s budget came from foreign aid, which has since been cut off. The international community is now scrambling to deliver emergency aid and supplies without giving the Taliban money and legitimacy. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced $308 million in additional humanitarian assistance ([link removed]) , to be distributed through independent humanitarian
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Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) ([link removed]) announced that California will take steps to produce its own low-cost insulin.
Andrea Jenkins ([link removed]) , a Minneapolis Democrat, has become the first openly transgender city-council president.
Amazon workers in Bessemer, AL ([link removed]) , will begin voting in a re-do unionization election next month.
Maya Angelou ([link removed]) has become the first Black woman to appear on a U.S. quarter. The new coin went into circulation on Monday.