This Is Not How You Wield Power: Toxic Punditry’s Lack of Self Awareness

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

This is complete and utter bullshit:

We all know asking Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself is merely pissing into the wind. Congressional Democrats are obligated to ask this of him but they know Thomas is corrupt and won’t give the demand a second thought.

What’s bullshit, though, is MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan and Ayman Mohyeldin ripping into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about a request by Democrats to Thomas for his recusal on cases related to the January 6 insurrection.

We all know as well the real problem is that Thomas should be removed from the Supreme Court. Pelosi was absolutely correct saying that Thomas should never have been approved as a SCOTUS jurist to begin with. His failure to report his spouse’s income appropriately — particularly Ginni Thomas’s income from her nonprofit — during the lead up to the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision was unacceptable, as was his meeting with the Koch brothers.

But the House had absolutely nothing to do with Thomas being approved in the first place. The Senate is responsible for review of nominees to the Supreme Court and their approval.

We all know, too, that the House may impeach jurists, but they cannot be removed without a two-thirds vote for conviction by the Senate.

And in this case, a Senate which is only nominally held by Democrats. They couldn’t convict and remove Trump twice after impeachment for the same reason — an inadequate number of Democrats in the Senate.

Where is this power that Hasan and Mohyeldin think Pelosi has as House Speaker when she cannot remove Thomas? Why are they insisting she launch a war she can’t win? (We can see how that works out for Putin in Ukraine.)

All these two boneheaded pundits (and others making the same argument like them) are doing is misogynist pontificating when they know it’s the Senate which can force the issue and only if there were two-thirds of the Senate willing to vote to convict Thomas for his continued corrupt practices.

Yet you don’t see pundits like Hasan and Mohyeldin going after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Nope.

Why is that?

~ ~ ~

They’re literally filling empty air time with useless crap which only serves to damage the public’s opinion of House Democrats — the portion of government which has most reliably served the needs of the people during the Biden administration while the Senate obstructs its efforts.

They’re directly contributing to and amplifying the same poisoning of public opinion already performed by right-wing media outlets Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN, grossly distorting the public’s perception of US government.

It’s right there in front of their noses and they don’t see it:

Hello, Sam Stein, who’s with both MSNBC and Politico? You’re not doing a very good job breaking through to the public if they believe the complete opposite of the truth.

Dan Froomkin elaborated on media’s failures with help from Dean Baker; public opinion about employment is particularly telling.

An additional 21 percent didn’t know one way or the other. Only 28 percent said, correctly, that jobs were created. Less than half of those — only 12 percent — knew that it was more jobs created than in any other year in history.

Similarly, only 19 percent said they thought the U.S. economy experienced more job growth than normal in the past year. The plurality – 35 percent – said they thought more jobs were lost than usual, which is of course spectacularly wrong.

Media figures go out of their way to make sure something looks like it’s on fire or bleeding, so much so that it’s a joke.

But sure, keep beating on House Speaker Pelosi because that will effect the change needed as will pissing into the wind.

~ ~ ~

A pre-print study found that it’s not solely the public at fault when it comes to misperception — it’s not purely partisanship which mis- or disinforms their opinions.

A key problem is the business model: audience members’ understanding and opinions could be shaped by exposure to media, if media bought their time.

Unfortunately, cable and broadcast news don’t pay their viewers. They rely on advertising and subscription volume; their programming becomes little more than reductive clickbait fighting for audience attention. They’ll run the inflammatory material which skews public opinion the wrong way because good news is boring.

It makes sense, and yet the answer to running content which is both more attention-grabbing and -retaining to viewers and the ethically responsible content to run is right there under their noses.

Assuming, of course, the media outlets aren’t forcing their pundit-anchor class to promote corporatism über alles.

Why aren’t programs like Hasan’s and Mohyeldin’s contacting every goddamned Senator and putting them on the record one at a time on camera about their position on Thomas’s failure to recuse himself and whether they would vote to convict him if impeached for abuse of his office as jurist?

I’d pay to watch them squirm. I’d pay to watch Senators’ chiefs of staff run away from mics to avoid answering.

I’d pay to watch them ask Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Tommy Tuberville if Thomas should recuse himself on any lawsuit in which they may be named as co-conspirators because Thomas’s wife Ginni sided with Hawley and Cruz on overturning or obstructing the election…and was it obstruction of Congress or overturning an election in which they had been encouraged to participate?

That’d be Must-See TV.

~ ~ ~

The other person who gets off lightly all the damn time to the point every media outlet forgets he exists: Chief Justice John Roberts.

He’s the administrative leader of SCOTUS. Every decision made during his tenure will be attributed to the Roberts’ court.

Clarence Thomas’s unmitigated corruption including the damage to democracy Thomas’s role in Citizen United played is the product of Roberts’ court.

The lack of a self-imposed binding code of conduct is Roberts’ failure. Thomas’s refusal to recuse himself from January 6 cases which may be decided by SCOTUS is also his failure.

The lack of legislation requiring a SCOTUS code of conduct with adequate teeth to ensure enforcement is Congress’s fault, but primary responsibility is that of the Senate. In its absence Roberts could administer his court in a way which enforces judicial ethics.

Why wasn’t Roberts a subject of Hasan’s and Mohyeldin’s critique when Roberts clearly has the power to rein in corruption among his jurists?

~ ~ ~

But the real power to which Hasan and Mohyeldin deliberately turned a blind eye wasn’t Nancy Pelosi’s as House Speaker.

It wasn’t even Chuck Schumer’s, or John Roberts’ power.

That pre-print study says it’s their own. How convenient these media figures with a bully pulpit have a handy favorite punching bag to use as clickbait, redirecting attention away from their own failures as media figures with sizable audiences whose perception they shape.

By the way, you have power, too. You should be exercising it by calling your representative and senators and demanding legislation to implement a code of ethical judicial conduct for the Supreme Court (since Roberts appears unable or unwilling to produce one), and impeachment and conviction of Clarence Thomas for his lack of ethics as a jurist.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121

Day Four — The Well-Qualified K. B. J.

[NB: check the byline, thanks. Update(s) if any will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

It’s the fourth and final day of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Today’s hearing is in progress.

Today’s hearing consists of three remaining panels (Judge Jackson was Panel I):

Panel II

The Honorable Ann Claire Williams
American Bar Association
Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary

Ms. D. Jean Veta
American Bar Association
Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary

Mr. Joseph M. Drayton
American Bar Association
Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary

Panel III Majority

The Honorable Joyce Beatty
United States House of Representatives
State of Ohio – 3rd District

Ms. Risa Goluboff
Dean, Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law, and Professor of History
University of Virginia

Mr. Wade Henderson
President & CEO
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Mr. Richard B. Rosenthal
Captain Frederick Thomas
National President
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)

Panel III Minority

The Honorable Steve Marshall
Attorney General
State of Alabama

Ms. Jennifer Mascott
Assistant Professor of Law & Co-Executive Director
The C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University

Ms. Eleanor McCullen
Anti-abortion activist

Ms. Keisha Russell
First Liberty

Ms. Alessandra Serano
Operation Underground Railroad

From the looks of the last three panelists, the GOP senators are continuing to play to the base by hammering Judge Jackson on abortion, religious freedom in public schools, and human trafficking. The last will likely fit with the crap Sen. Josh Hawley et al already tattooed about child pornography.

The GOP will want to leave that shitty taste of zealotry and bigotry in the audience’s mouths as the hearings end. In other words, on brand for the GOP.

You can watch live feed at these sites (not the same links as yesterday’s as the previous links may lead to recordings previous days’ hearings):

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed

PBS Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed on YouTube

C-SPAN feed via YouTube

You can also catch the hearings through these live Twitter threads:

Rewire News Group

Chris Geidner at Grid News

If you know of anyone else covering today’s hearing in Twitter, please leave a comment below. Thanks!

~ ~ ~

Apparently these hearings weren’t really to determine a nominee’s qualifications for a lifetime appointment to SCOTUS or to ensure the public was informed. No, apparently the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings have been little more than social media opportunities, which Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) called out.


Sasse also expressed his concern about cameras in the court room, that “cameras change human behavior,” and yet the difference between the video above by C-SPAN versus this by CBS News below tells us cameras tell us things audio and written reporting don’t offer.


Or this photo by Los Angeles Times’ Kent Nishimura:

If you have a Twitter account, every once in a while for grins and giggles you should drop Sen. Ted Cruz (Senate account: @sentedcruz, personal account: @tedcruz) a tweet and let him know what you thought of his performance as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wholly visible on all sorts of cameras.

~ ~ ~

There may be more to come, watch this space for updates.

And Three More Things: Day Three — The Well-Qualified K. B. J. [UPDATE-1]

[NB: check the byline, thanks. Update(s) at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

It’s Day Three of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s four days of confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Today’s hearing is already in progress.

Four. Long. Days.

Hearings which are half right-wing bloviating, achieving nothing to further the public’s interests. This is the fourth time this nominee has been through this tedious crap in her lifetime which should surely qualify as inhumane treatment and torture under UNCAT; it should also earn her a sainthood.

You can watch live feed at these sites (not the same links as yesterday’s as the previous links may lead to recordings previous days’ hearings):

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed

PBS Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed on YouTube

C-SPAN feed via YouTube

Yahoo News (includes reporting)

You can also catch the hearings through these live Twitter threads:

Jennifer Taub

Imani Gandy at Rewire News Group 

BuzzFeed’s Zoe Tillman

Heaven help Judge Jackson get through the day without breaking a molar gritting her teeth.

~ 3 ~

Gallup took a poll ahead of these SCOTUS confirmation hearings as it has for past nominees. Judge Jackson has the highest approval rating apart from Chief Justice Roberts.


But do go on and attack her, GOP twits. Make asininely racist remarks about the nominee who has a higher approval rating than your party’s leader ever had as president. Let’s see how that pans out for you over the long run.

~ 2 ~

Meanwhile, outside the GOP’s shit show in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, another GOP senator was doing is share to push the nation back to the 1950s.

I don’t have words strong enough for this crap. He just called into question the legitimacy of a seated SCOTUS jurist’s marriage (Clarence and Ginni Thomas) as well as that of the nominee now being grilled.

This is so intensely personal for me; my parents’ marriage wouldn’t have been legal in some states back in the 1950s and I’d be illegitimate having been born before the unanimous SCOTUS decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967).

Braun’s states’ rights crap doesn’t target interracial marriage (which has broad support across the U.S.); it targets same-sex marriage and any other personal decisions which may require government-regulated services — like reproductive health. He was literally questioned about Griswold v. Connecticut immediately following the question of interracial marriage and he gave an equally unsatisfactory answer about that.

It’s not just Sen. Hairspray-Abuser-from-Tennessee Blackburn attacking the right to privacy necessary for birth control.

Braun has since tried to backpedal on this which means he’s merely taken off the hood he donned.


Except he really didn’t fully unwind what he said; he backed up over the body, and then rolled forward over it again by clarifying what he meant about states’ rights, and then claiming he didn’t understand the questions.

… The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that Braun “initially limited” his claim that the Supreme Court had usurped states’ rights over abortion in 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. But when a reporter questioned him on other cases, including Loving v. Virginia, he reiterated his stance.

Braun later clarified his comments, saying in a statement that he “misunderstood” the questions. …

Sadly, he’s a senator until 2025. Indiana, you had better not forget this racist authoritarian crap come general election 2024. In the mean time Hoosiers should be lighting up his phone and telling Braun where he can stuff his racist states’ rights nonsense. Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or use Resist.bot.

~ 1 ~

I wish I could convey how deeply triggering and traumatic these confirmation hearings have been for BIPOC especially women.


What these hearings tell us is that the white cis-het minority in Congress which retains an illegitimate stranglehold on power demands that any and all competent BIPOC particularly women must submit to belligerence and abuse before they will be allowed to participate in this flawed democracy.

What we are witnessing is the re-normalization of overt racism and misogyny. Yet media has failed to punch up, instead punching down, reinforcing the normalization.


We’re constantly deluged by the left about the lack of accountability for the January 6 insurrectionists and seditionists, and yet the left fails to hold accountable the wholly integrated abusive racist and misogynist behavior the media augments in these same insurrectionists and seditionists.

The Venn diagram is a single circle and the media continues to treat the persons outside it as the objects to be despised and subjugated and oppressed.

The problem isn’t just the GOP senators or the media when constituents fail to do anything at all to express displeasure let alone organize effectively for change.

~ 0 ~

I may have more to add here as today’s hearing continues.

So long as I can keep my blood pressure under control, that is.

UPDATE-1 — 6:35 PM —

Senator Cory Booker saves this horrible day.

Stay strong, Judge Jackson. Like Frederick Douglass in his Fourth of July speech, leave off this process where you began — with hope.

Three More Things: Day Two — The Well-Qualified K. B. J.

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

It’s Day Two of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s four days of confirmation hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Jackson Brown to the Supreme Court. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. this morning; we are catching it here in progress.

You can watch live feed at these sites (not the same links as yesterday’s as the previous links may lead to recordings of Day 1):

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed

PBS Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed on YouTube

C-SPAN feed via YouTube

Yahoo News (includes reporting)

You can also catch the hearings through these live Twitter threads:

Jennifer Taub

Imani Gandy at Rewire News Group

Amee Vanderpool

Brace yourselves for three more things.

~ 3 ~

Sadly, Senator Lindsey Graham unloaded his hypocritical faux-trage this morning. Ms. Phang expresses sentiments broadly shared about his performance.

Judge Jackson was eminently qualified three times but now suddenly unqualified based on the credentials which helped her earn her previous federal appointments?

Right-wing media outlet had assured their audience yesterday about these hearings:

Oh no, honey — these hearings won’t be a circus. They’ll be a live dramatic production.

What a pity there aren’t awards given for supporting actors in a nomination hearing production.

~ 2 ~

Senator John Cornyn can’t let Graham’s act go unanswered. Nope, he needed to go after the gays because as you have surely noticed our so-called traditional marriages have all ruptured since teh gays were legally able to marry.

Damn it all, I forgot to get a lawyer and divorce my spouse back in 2015 after Obergefell v. Hodges destroyed the institution of marriage between straight people.

SCOTUS didn’t make law though Cornyn wants the GOP base to believe it did.

But this isn’t just about individuals’ rights to marriage which Cornyn is fighting. It’s about individuals’ fundamental human rights of self-determination.

If you’re non-binary especially if you’re trans, you recognize the dog whistle Cornyn’s blowing

~ 1 ~

Meanwhile, the GOP predictably plays the racism card.

Unsurprising, really; the GOP has no real platform, no substance, no policies except thinly masked oppression of more than half the country who are not xenophobic cis-het white Christians. They’re clinging to the lessons their ratfucking forebears taught them:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “N*gger, n*gger, n*gger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*gger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*gger, n*gger.”

— GOP political consultant Lee Atwater in an interview with Alexander P. Lamis, c. 1981.

Instead of busing they now talk non-stop about critical race theory (CRT), how it’s being forced on them even though they can’t explain what it is or provide any evidence it’s part of K-12 public school curriculum (it’s not). They don’t shy away from states’ rights now, claiming states have the right to remove content from schools which makes white people feel bad.

It’s overt racism with the sheerest of veils.

The GOP is following the script laid out by Chris Rufo, the guy who created the influence operation built on the university-level coursework offered to law students in which the economics of race and its historic and contemporary affect on laws and democratic society are discussed.

Now CRT is the right-wing’s bogeyman. Rufo literally laid out the approach via Twitter last Thursday:

In short, it’s what the GOP now yells every time it wants to invoke a fear response from its white supremacist base: OMG CRT CRT CRT!!!

~ 0 ~

I can’t believe we have to wade through two more days of this racist and misogynist crap. Nor can I believe we still don’t know who owns beer-loving Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Three Things: The Well-Qualified K. B. J.

[NB: check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

Confirmation hearings begin today before the Senate Judiciary Committee for Biden’s Supreme Court justice nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

You can follow live feed at:

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing feed

Senate Judiciary Committee feed on YouTube

C-SPAN feed via YouTube

Yahoo News

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 11:00 am and may have already begun at the time this post is published.

You can catch up during the course of the hearing with these Twitter live threads:

Jennifer Taub

Imani Gandy at Rewire News Group 

Amee Vanderpool

Rebecca Pilar Buckwalter-Poza

~ 3 ~

Reject any claims to the contrary: Ketanji Brown Jackson is the most qualified nominee to the Supreme Court. Period.

Justice Thomas (who was hospitalized over the weekend) and Coney Barrett are grossly underqualified by comparison.

The Washington Post’s article is worth your time. If confirmed, Judge Jackson may be the only justice with public school education, but when 90% of American children attend public schools, it’s incredibly valuable to have someone who understands their experience, their needs, and can represent them at the Supreme Court.

~ 2 ~

Predictably, Sen. Josh Hawley, supporter of GOP insurrection and sedition, has trash talked Judge Brown Jackson’s experience as a public defender — a qualification none of the rest of the current justices share. He’s claimed, “Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker.”

The Washington Post factchecked this and found this claim to merit Three Pinocchios as an outright false claim, finding Hawley took Judge Jackson’s remarks out of context, mischaractered the work of the U.S. Sentencing Commission on which Judge Jackson has served, and twisted Judge Jackson’s record.

The coup de grace should fall to the right-wing National Review Online which has also taken issue with Hawley’s claim.

Surprisingly, the NRO piece is worth a read even if its contributor, Andrew McCarthy, doesn’t support Jackson’s nomination (for what are rather thin and transparently partisan reasons). At least you’ll be prepared for Hawley’s bloviating about child pornography when he starts in on the topic.

Hawley creeps me out in so many ways but his weirdly obsessive attitude about child porn seems like a naked appeal not only to the racists who reject the notion of a Black woman SCOTUS justice but the crackpot Q-crowd.

~ 1 ~

There has been and will be a lot of nonsensical bullshit thrown around about Judge Jackson’s public defender experience.

Except the premise that all accused should have the assistance of counsel for their defense is fundamental to this nation’s democratic foundation, enshrined in the Sixth Amendment.

What does it say about our nation’s belief in this enumerated right when none of the current SCOTUS justices have been public defenders?

We’ve had a number of community members, especially since the January 6, 2020 insurrection, who have struggled with the application of this right. I’d like to suggest a rather basic but effective educational experience — the premium cable series John Adams featuring Paul Giamatti as Adams. It was produced by HBO and isn’t widely available to stream (check JustWatch) but it’s available to purchase if pricey at Amazon Prime and Google Play. If you want to save some cash, buy just the first episode, Part I: Join or Die (1770–1774), in which Adams defends British soldiers. A dramatization, yes, but effective at making points.

~ 0 ~

Apparently there are really four things today, because this one REALLY bugs me. Is Sen. Blackburn really advocating for birth control to be outlawed???


Tennessee, I’m looking hard at you. Why your state re-elected this cretin who believes in Big Government overreach into individuals’ family planning and women’s reproductive health is beyond me.

Reference: Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)

~ ~ ~

Call your senators and insist they confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Congressional switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or use Resist.bot.

Three Things: Fire, Fire, Fired [UPDATE-1]

[NB: Check the byline, thanks.  Updates will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

Bet you’ll guess only one of the three people our country needs to have removed from their position and replaced immediately.

Oops, there’s four, but let’s call it a two-fer.

But these people can’t be fired by the president, one might say.

If the Supreme Court said the president can fire the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Board according to its decision in Seila Law v. CFPB — Article II, Section 1’s vesting clause assures the president can remove those who assist him in execution of his duties — the president can likewise fire the heads of other executive branch functions.

Do it, Joe Biden. Get this done. Deliver for the people.

~ 3 ~

Fire U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy — right the fuck now.

And fire along with him whomever it is on the USPS Board of Governors who has been bottlenecking his removal, which is likely governor chairman Ron Bloom.

DeJoy is hurting retired and disabled Americans who can no longer rely on getting their essential medicines on a timely basis. With some diabetics in particular already rationing their overpriced medicines, the mounting unnecessary delays caused by changes DeJoy implemented with the Board of Governors’ consent are causing injury. Lawmakers have tried to intervene on behalf of veterans whose medicines are mailed by the Veterans Administration, but without improvements to vets and non-vets alike.

It’s only a matter of time before we hear of some American who died as a result of USPS delays.

DeJoy is hurting businesses, particularly small business owners; they can’t rely on getting a First Class letter containing a payment from across town within a week, nor can their workers or contractors who are paid by check get their payments on a timely basis because of DeJoy’s unnecessary changes to USPS service. There have been losses which can’t simply be fixed by a replacement shipment — like dead chicks.

DeJoy’s changes to USPS aren’t saving Americans money; they’re costing them more and they can’t see this expense in their taxes where it’s concrete. It’s leaking away in disruptions to business and in injury to their vital personal needs.

We can’t tell how much of the manifold supply chain crises we’re experiencing is really DeJoy’s gross mismanagement of postal deliveries, even though DeJoy made the USPS prioritize package deliveries over First Class mail. Wrong move when business’s liquidity may be in that First Class mail.

The USPS has gotten so bad it now has its own Wikipedia entry for U.S. Postal Service Crisis.

Meanwhile, DeJoy continues to hold his current job in spite of documented and mismanaged conflicts of interest, including the purchase of $305,000 of bonds from Ron Bloom’s investment company.

The American public can’t afford to wait for any current investigations into his corruption to be completed.

DeJoy needs to go and take his corruption and lousy management with him. It’s not like he’s counting on the postmaster gig for a living while millions of Americans count on the USPS for their daily needs.

Don’t forget to take Trump-appointee Bloom, too. He’s likely been the reason the Board of Governors hasn’t removed DeJoy already since Biden appointees were named to the board.

How much longer are we going to have to yell about this particular Trumpian mess?

~ 2 ~

Fire the head of the Federal Election Commission Shana Broussard.

Broussard, a Trump-appointed Democrat (which should make one immediately skeptical), voted with the three GOP members of the FEC to dismiss a complaint that a foreign company Sandfire Resources donated $270,000 to a ballot initiative, Stop I-186 to Protect Mining and Jobs, in Montana to further its mining interests.

You’d think Broussard would have relied on the opinion of another Democratic FEC commissioner, Ellen Weintraub, to make her decision but no. Weintraub published a dissent which essentially begs Congress and state legislatures to ensure U.S. democracy is protected by regulations “preventing foreign influence over the U.S. political process.”

You’d also think Broussard as a Democrat would have some grasp of what’s at stake after the influence of foreign money on the 2012-2016 elections though laundered legally thanks to Citizens United — but no.

Further, you’d think Broussard would understand the GOP doesn’t lockstep with the three GOP FEC commissioners as to foreign influence. Evidence of this bipartisan concern appears in H.R. 5841 – the Stop Foreign Funds in Elections Act submitted on November 3 and forwarded to the House Committee on House Administration.

But no, Broussard is out of touch with what is needed to protect U.S. elections and simply not up to the job. At least she spurred a genuine bipartisan effort born of panic over her indifferent work.

Hand her a pink thank u, next card, and then ask Weintraub who she’d hire instead.

~ 1 ~

Fire Bureau of Labor Statistics section chief Angie Clinton.

The employment statistics errors resulting in the biggest correction ever of BLS reporting merits a shakeup.

How do you fuck up reporting the number of payroll checks issued this badly for months? Granted, that’s an oversimplification but this is in essence what’s needed: counting the payroll paid out and correctly classifying which types of jobs were paid.

If businesses are late reporting the data because we’re in a goddamned pandemic, REPORT THAT CAVEAT with emphasis appropriate to the occasion.

This is unacceptable:

In August, when economists expected a strong follow-up to the 943,000 jobs the economy added in July, the BLS announced the U.S. added only 235,000 jobs. Headlines dubbed it a “colossal miss” as job growth took a “giant step back.” Two months later, revisions based on additional data showed August jobs grew by 483,000, more than double the anemic original reading. It was the biggest positive revision in almost four decades.

When the incoming data appeared this far off, there should have been some hustle to explain it with a strong caveat.

Businesses of all sizes can’t make accurate decisions about their hiring and retention if they are going to receive such deeply erroneous information. How many businesses have been thinking there are unemployed on the sidelines waiting when they’ve already been hired?

Businesses are now late to rethinking their processes due to a much tighter workforce. How much of this delay looks like supply chain crises?

How much have these errors delayed improvements to supply chain problems when it can take a year more to plan, design, build, install, and implement automation to augment labor? Demand for automation had already been strong before the pandemic; the chip manufacturing problems compound lead times for equipment. Delays because of bad BLS data only exacerbate challenges.

We can’t afford these mistakes. Ditch Clinton.

~ 0 ~

Americans who watched that orange-tinted slack-bottomed mobster masquerading as a legitimate business person for over a dozen years have been trained to expect a chief executive who terminates failures.

Biden as our chief executive needs to not only hire but fire when the people have been failed.

And these three have failed. There are equally or better talented people waiting in the wings who don’t have the corrupt conflict of interests DeJoy has or the flop sweaty stink of Trump mole on them like Clinton and Broussard.

Two of these four are Democrats — that’s Shana Broussard and Ron Bloom — which should make GOPrs happy that it’s not a partisan purge.

Do it, clean house. We demand better. Tell them “You’re fired” because their screw-ups are big fucking deals.

~ ~ ~

UPDATE-1 — 10:10 AM ET 19-NOV-2021 —

Well, well, well, would you look at what hit my timeline shortly after 8:00 a.m. today…

Biden expected to replace Ron Bloom, USPS board chair and key DeJoy ally, on postal board

President Biden is expected to announce Friday that he will not renominate Ron Bloom, the chair the U.S. Postal Service board and a key ally of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, when his term expires next month, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

The move casts doubt on DeJoy’s future at the agency, the people said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Excellent. Bloom’s term ends on December 8. Let’s get a better governor in that seat who respects union labor but also understands the importance of reliable postal service to this nation’s competitive standing and to its individual constituents.

This:

Congressional Democrats are still fuming about DeJoy’s planned mail slowdowns in the run up to the 2020 presidential election, his past activity as a Republican megadonor and his financial relationship with Bloom. DeJoy between October 2020 and April purchased up to $305,000 in bonds from the asset management firm where Bloom is a senior executive.

Postal ethics officials have cleared the transaction, and Bloom has told The Washington Post that he receives “no benefit whatsoever” when bonds issued by his company, Brookfield Asset Management, are bought or sold.

Support of First Class mail slowdowns during an election year, with the removal of sorting machines from key locations in blue cities, was absolutely unacceptable and Bloom shouldn’t be re-nominated for this reason alone if he supported DeJoy on this change. It’s never been clear how Bloom’s relationship with the letter carriers’ union survived after this change; how did removing those sorting devices improve the lives of unionized postal workers?

The appearance to the public of a conflict of interest should have mattered to both Bloom and DeJoy even if they had clearance from USPS postal ethics officials. At the top of the USPS’ food chain they are expected to exert a greater effort to avoid any transactions which could raise questions, and they simply didn’t.

[Note to self: look into the postal ethics officials because there’s far too little transparency about this asset management matter.]

A Republican seat on the board of governors will also open along with Bloom’s — let’s hope there’s a rational GOP or another independent out there Biden can appoint to that slot when he names Bloom’s replacement.

And then on to excising the wart named DeJoy.

GOP Denounces Barry Goldwater, John Tower, and Richard Nixon?

John Tower and Barry Goldwater, ca. 1963.

The Republican governors are all clutching their pearls over Biden’s announcement to use the power of the federal government to require many businesses across the country to ensure their employees are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or are regularly tested. The New York Times did a round-up of some their comments, many taken from either Twitter or Sunday morning talk shows. Here’s a taste . . .

Now, they [various GOP governors] are arguing that Mr. Biden’s plan is a big-government attack on states’ rights, private business and personal choice, and promise swift legal action to challenge it, setting up a high-stakes constitutional showdown over the president’s powers to curb the pandemic.

“@JoeBiden see you in court,” Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota wrote on Twitter. Gov. Mark Gordon of Wyoming said the new rule “has no place in America,” and said he had asked the state’s attorney general to be ready to take legal action.

In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton questioned President Biden’s authority to require vaccinations or weekly testing at private businesses with more than 100 workers.

“I don’t believe he has the authority to just dictate again from the presidency that every worker in America that works for a large company or a small company has to get a vaccine,” Mr. Paxton said, speaking on a radio show hosted by Steve Bannon, who served as a strategist for Donald J. Trump during part of his presidency. “That is outside the role of the president to dictate.”

[snip]

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas called the actions an “assault on private businesses” in a statement on Twitter. He said he issued an executive order protecting Texans’ right to choose whether or not they would be vaccinated. “Texas is already working to halt this power grab,” he wrote.

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona wrote on Twitter: “The Biden-Harris administration is hammering down on private businesses and individual freedoms in an unprecedented and dangerous way.” He questioned how many workers would be displaced, businesses fined, and children kept out of the classroom because of the mandates, and he vowed to push back.

*sigh*

Friends, let me introduce you to Public Law 91-596, initially signed into law on December 29, 1970 by Richard Nixon, and amended variously since then. Below are the first two sections of the law. Notice, please, the language I’ve highlighted with underlining (bold is from the original text):

An Act
To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.”

Footnote (1) See Historical notes at the end of this document for changes and amendments affecting the OSH Act since its passage in 1970 through January 1, 2004.

SEC. 2. Congressional Findings and Purpose
(a) The Congress finds that personal injuries and illnesses arising out of work situations impose a substantial burden upon, and are a hindrance to, interstate commerce in terms of lost production, wage loss, medical expenses, and disability compensation payments.

(b) The Congress declares it to be its purpose and policy, through the exercise of its powers to regulate commerce among the several States and with foreign nations and to provide for the general welfare, to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources

My, but the language of paragraph (a) sounds like Congress intended the US Department of Labor to regulate conditions that create or spread illnesses in the workplace, and paragraph (b) states pretty clearly where Congress claimed the authority for doing so is grounded in the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution.

Continuing on, the act spelled out some of the details of that “purpose and policy” with the following 13 sub-paragraphs (again, underlining is mine):

(1) by encouraging employers and employees in their efforts to reduce the number of occupational safety and health hazards at their places of employment, and to stimulate employers and employees to institute new and to perfect existing programs for providing safe and healthful working conditions;

(2) by providing that employers and employees have separate but dependent responsibilities and rights with respect to achieving safe and healthful working conditions;

(3) by authorizing the Secretary of Labor to set mandatory occupational safety and health standards applicable to businesses affecting interstate commerce, and by creating an Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for carrying out adjudicatory functions under the Act;

(4) by building upon advances already made through employer and employee initiative for providing safe and healthful working conditions;

(5) by providing for research in the field of occupational safety and health, including the psychological factors involved, and by developing innovative methods, techniques, and approaches for dealing with occupational safety and health problems;

(6) by exploring ways to discover latent diseases, establishing causal connections between diseases and work in environmental conditions, and conducting other research relating to health problems, in recognition of the fact that occupational health standards present problems often different from those involved in occupational safety;

(7) by providing medical criteria which will assure insofar as practicable that no employee will suffer diminished health, functional capacity, or life expectancy as a result of his work experience;

(8) by providing for training programs to increase the number and competence of personnel engaged in the field of occupational safety and health; affecting the OSH Act since its passage in 1970 through January 1, 2004.

(9) by providing for the development and promulgation of occupational safety and health standards;

(10) by providing an effective enforcement program which shall include a prohibition against giving advance notice of any inspection and sanctions for any individual violating this prohibition;

(11) by encouraging the States to assume the fullest responsibility for the administration and enforcement of their occupational safety and health laws by providing grants to the States to assist in identifying their needs and responsibilities in the area of occupational safety and health, to develop plans in accordance with the provisions of this Act, to improve the administration and enforcement of State occupational safety and health laws, and to conduct experimental and demonstration projects in connection therewith;

(12) by providing for appropriate reporting procedures with respect to occupational safety and health which procedures will help achieve the objectives of this Act and accurately describe the nature of the occupational safety and health problem;

(13) by encouraging joint labor-management efforts to reduce injuries and disease arising out of employment.

And what kind of liberal cabal forced this clearly authoritarian legislation through Congress? I’m glad you asked.

The Senate vote was 83-3, with 14 not voting. Among the 83 were Barry Goldwater and John Tower — not exactly a liberal pair of folks. The only three senators to vote against this were James Eastland, Sam Ervin, and Strom Thurmond. Over in the House, the final vote was 310-58, with 65 not voting. Looking at the voting patterns of some of the state delegations, it’s plain to see that this was both bipartisan and widely accepted on their side of the building, too.

  • Kentucky (4D/3R) voted 7-0-0;
  • Wisconsin (5D/5R) voted 9-0-1;
  • Oklahoma (4D/2R) voted 5-0-1;
  • Florida (9D/3R) voted 6-4-2, with the 4 nays all Democrats and 2 who abstained both GOP;
  • Tennessee (5D/4R) voted 5-1-3 (the 3 included 2 Dems and 1 Republican);
  • Arkansas (4D/1R) voted 4-0-1 (the 1 was a D);
  • South Dakota’s (2R) voted 1-0-1;
  • Montana (2D) voted 2-0-0;
  • Wyoming’s sole GOP representative voted aye.

In other words, there were staunch conservatives who voted for this, along with plenty of non-conservatives. The bill that became Public Law 91-596 was seen by a wide majority of both the members of the House and Senate to be a good thing, and well within the powers of the Federal Government to undertake.

Go back to the text of the law above, and look at items 6 and 7. These both make clear that OSHA’s mission includes dealing with disease transmission in the workplace. Then skip down to 11, which says the Federal government should work with states, including providing grants for this work. You know, like providing a free vaccine to deal with disease transmission in the workplace.

OSHA has been around for more than 50 years, and no one has succeeded in challenging their the authority to regulate health conditions in the workplace under this act. There have been successful arguments overturning specific regulations, but the authority to regulate has not been overturned.

I’m not a governor or an attorney general, but I can read the plain text of the law. I can see the wide political range of legislators who voted to create OSHA, and given that OSHA is still here and going strong after 50 years, it’s clear that the ability of the federal government to regulate the workplace for safety and health has not been overturned or declared unconstitutional.

So if anyone reading happens to be in conversation with one of these pearl-clutching Republican leaders when they start in on their “This is unprecedented and un-American!” nonsense, ask them for a link.

Better yet, ask Governor Ducey why Goldwater voted for OSHA. Ask Governor Abbott and AG Paxton why John Tower voted for OSHA. Ask any of today’s so-called conservatives why a bunch of other conservatives voted with Goldwater and Tower to approve OSHA, and why a conservative like Richard Nixon signed it.

Track This Post: U.S. Postmaster DeJoy Must Be Fired and Hajjar Hired

[NB: Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

No. Hell no.

The U.S. Postal Service has been covertly monitoring Americans’ social media. The surveillance program was first reported last month; this is some seriously ugly stuff.

Now we learn the USPS has been using Clearview AI for facial recognition, Zignal Labs for keyword searches, and Nfusion software to create untraceable covert accounts.

Why has the USPS been using anything other than intelligence from the Department of Justice for monitoring events which may pose risks to normal mail delivery?

Why were these resources used to monitor First Amendment-protected protest rallies like those in the wake of George Floyd’s death last year?

While this was running under Louis DeJoy’s tenure at the U.S. Postal Service, it began under the previous postmaster Margaret Brennan’s term. Did Brennan know the scope of this surveillance program when it began? Did the scope change over time with or without her awareness?

Did the USPS Board of Governors know about this program and its spying on American’s social media?

Surprisingly, there are GOP members of Congress who are unhappy with USPS’ spying on Americans — Matt Gaetz and Louis Gohmert have both expressed concern. One might wonder why.

Of course these GOP members tipped their hand and submitted a bill to defund the USPS which gives away GOP’s desire to kill the USPS as a government service which private sector businesses could carve up, ditching unprofitable parts along with the USPS’ obligation to protect privacy of mail contents.

~ ~ ~

All of which brings us to another ongoing problem: the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors still doesn’t include all of Joe Biden’s nominees. At least one of three nominees remains unapproved, obstructing Biden administration’s ability to deal with the lousy mail service under DeJoy’s leadership and the covert domestic spying program. There’s ample reason for both parties to light a fire under the confirmation process based on the history of the USPS under DeJoy’s highly-questionable leadership:

16-JUN-2020 — Louis DeJoy assumed office as U.S. Postmaster; he joins a Board of Governors which are all Trump appointees, white and all male.

10-JUL-2020 — A USPS internal memo restricted overtime and ordered postal personnel to return to their post office on time, thereby reducing priority on timely delivery of mail.

07-AUG-2020 — DeJoy overhauled USPS’ upper management; 23 senior USPS officials were reassigned or displaced.

24-AUG-2020 — Before the House Oversight Committee, DeJoy said, “I did not direct the elimination or any cutback in overtime.”

SEP-NOV-2020 — Several lawsuits were filed due to USPS’ handling of mail related to the election including ballots and dissemination of false information by the USPS about voting by mail in Colorado.

02-NOV-2021 — On the eve of the election, first-class mail on-time delivery rate had dropped to 80% after DeJoy’s changes from over 90% before DeJoy became postmaster.

21-FEB-2021 — By way of a FOIA lawsuit, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington obtained documents which showed DeJoy lied to Congress about cutting overtime.

23-FEB-2021 — USPS awards Oshkosh Defense a contract worth approximately $6 billion for a next-generation fleet of 165,000 delivery vehicles which are “equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains and can be retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies.”

24-FEB-2021 — Hearing before House Oversight Committee in which DeJoy testifies about mail slowdown.

24-FEB-2021 — Biden announced three nominees for open seats on the USPS Board of Governors.

11-MAR-2021 — House members submitted a bill to halt the contract with Oshkosh Defense as the contract may violate Biden’s executive order dd. January 27 requiring all federal fleet vehicles purchased thereafter to be “clean and zero-emission.”

22-APR-2021Confirmation hearing before Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for all three Biden nominees.

12-MAY-2021Ronald Stroman (Democrat) confirmed by the Senate; his term will expire December 8, 2028.

13-MAY-2021Amber Faye McReynolds (Independent) confirmed by Senate for term ending December 8, 2026.

19-MAY-2021Anton Hajjar (Democrat) remains unconfirmed.

Finish this job, Senators. Constituents on both sides of the aisle need better, more reliable postal service; they also don’t need a postmaster who is so egregiously disrespectful of his role as a public employee, nor another covert surveillance program outside the scope of USPS’ mission relying on iffy platforms like Clearview AI.

The public also needs more diverse representation within their federal government; Hajjar’s confirmation would realize two men of color on the Board of Governors, both appointed by Biden along with McReynolds.

But it doesn’t stop with Hajjar’s confirmation. Governors Ron A. Bloom and Donald L. Moak, both identified as Democrats, both appointed under the Trump administration, may need to be replaced. They failed to object forcefully enough to the use of a covert surveillance system on Americans’ protected First Amendment speech. Can the country depend on them to do the right thing to work with the other Democratic and Independent appointees to remove DeJoy after they’ve failed the public?

~ ~ ~

A few last thoughts: Since the USPS was surveilling the American public, did it also fail to advise Capitol Police and the Department of Justice there was a growing threat leading up to the January 6 insurrection?

Did someone use the USPS system to see what the other intelligence agencies saw ahead of the insurrection?

Did the USPS collect documentation about what it saw brewing?

Sure hope somebody asks behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

On Conspiracy

In comments, Harpie went back to Elizabeth de la Vega’s summary of conspiracy.

Since Eureka brought this up above, I figured it might be timely to post it again:

Conspiracy Law – Eight Things You Need to Know.
One: Co-conspirators don’t have to explicitly agree to conspire & there doesn’t need to be a written agreement; in fact, they almost never explicitly agree to conspire & it would be nuts to have a written agreement!
Two: Conspiracies can have more than one object- i.e. conspiracy to defraud U.S. and to obstruct justice. The object is the goal. Members could have completely different reasons (motives) for wanting to achieve that goal.
Three: All co-conspirators have to agree on at least one object of the conspiracy.
Four: Co-conspirators can use multiple means to carry out the conspiracy, i.e., releasing stolen emails, collaborating on fraudulent social media ops, laundering campaign contributions.
Five: Co-conspirators don’t have to know precisely what the others are doing, and, in large conspiracies, they rarely do.
Six: Once someone is found to have knowingly joined a conspiracy, he/she is responsible for all acts of other co-conspirators.
Seven: Statements of any co-conspirator made to further the conspiracy may be introduced into evidence against any other co-conspirator.
Eight: Overt Acts taken in furtherance of a conspiracy need not be illegal. A POTUS’ public statement that “Russia is a hoax,” e.g., might not be illegal (or even make any sense), but it could be an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

de la Vega has been consistently good on conspiracy going back to the first failed impeachment effort and the lead up to it. I posted this at least once before, think on a post I penned, but not sure, so am going to put this out here again.

At any rate, here are a set of model jury instructions (that I have previously patterned off of for real trials) for a conspiracy case. They are for a drug case, but conspiracy is conspiracy, and the law is pretty much the same, and has long been. What Harpie cited from de la Vega is correct. But to give you a look at how it actually goes down in a court, check out actual pattern jury instructions, because real instructions are always the guide in a real criminal trial. Substitute in the elements for 18 USC §373 and 18 USC §2101, or any of the other various putative crimes being discussed ad nauseam and you will get the picture.

As you read through them, keep in mind the question of “what holes could a competent criminal defense attorney drive a truck through here given a beyond a reasonable doubt burden?”

Now would Trump acquire an actually competent criminal defense attorney were, in the unlikely event he is really charged? Now there is a great question! But, if he were to, there are currently still a LOT of holes. People are getting ahead of themselves. Read the instructions, they scan pretty fast. But keep in mind that once you charge and put a defendant, any defendant, on trial, things are not as easy as they are here or on social media.

Amanda Gorman Made Silvester Beaman Sad, Joe Biden Happy, and John Lewis Dance

"https://youtu.be/lI1c-Lbd4Bw

The saddest person on the Inaugural stage was not Mike Pence, the outgoing Vice President. Indeed, after what he had to put up with from Trump for the last month, he’s probably relieved if not outright happy. The saddest person was not Amy Klobuchar or other presidential hopefuls who came up short during the primaries, who no doubt imagined themselves as the person taking the oath of office today. The saddest person on the stage today was the Reverend Doctor Silvester Beaman of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware.

The happiest person on the stage was President Joe Biden, but it’s not because he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States of America. It’s not because the inauguration went off without more violence. It’s not because he can finally *do* things to address all the problems he and we are facing, which had to have been incredibly frustrating as the transition floundered and foundered and blundered its way to today. It’s not because he accomplished what Beau wanted him to do.

The reason Beaman was so sad and Biden was so happy is this: Biden finished before Amanda Gorman spoke and Beaman had to follow her. Honestly, I half expected Beaman to step up to the microphone, ask “Can I get an Amen?”, and then drop the folder with his prepared benediction and sit down. Don’t get me wrong: Beaman’s words were good, but he had to know that he was following something epic.

When I saw Gorman come down the Capitol steps wearing her yellow power coat, her bold hoop earrings, her bright red wrap around the powerful tight braids atop her head, I just sat back and smiled. Michelle Obama looked great in her purple, but she was a member of the audience today. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez both made their entrances before they picked up the microphone, and were fine, but Gorman owned those steps in a way that no on else did today. Seeing her enter reminded me of AOC stepping onto the House floor in her power red suit as she prepared to respond to being called a “fucking bitch” by Florida Congressman Ted Yoho. Before Gorman opened her mouth, it was clear that she had Something To Say and it was going to be good.

And make no mistake: she did, and it was.

It was incredibly powerful for three reasons. First, Gorman was unapologetically herself: young, African-American, articulate, and proud of all three. She did not cast herself as Maya Angelou or Robert Frost, two earlier inaugural poets. She spoke with the rhythms of rap that are the language of her generation and her community, embracing the whole heritage of Africans on this continent, and conscious of her power in this moment.

Second, Gorman was unflinchingly honest. She spoke of the ugliness of our history at times, at the tragedies we have been through, and the reality of what is going on right now. There were no pious platitudes to paper over the pain that far too many have had to deal with for far too long.

Most of all, Gorman was unimaginably hopeful. If she owned and possessed the four centuries of pain poured out on the Africans brought to this country in chains and their descendants who lived through slavery, official Jim Crow, and unofficial oppression, she also owned and possessed the strength that carried them through it all, forcing this country to slowly and painfully look at its past, decide to change, and actually make those changes begin to come to be.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust
for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption.
We feared it at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour,
but within it, we found the power
to author a new chapter,
to offer hope and laughter
to ourselves so while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert:
how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?

We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be
a country that is bruised, but whole,
benevolent, but bold,
fierce, and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
if we merge mercy with might and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.

And with these words, I thought immediately of John Lewis, the happiest person *not* on the stage today.

Gorman was not mindlessly repeating the words of an earlier generation of activists, but building on them. Just as the 23 year old John Lewis spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, so the 22 year old Amanda Gorman stood at the other end of the Mall, on the steps of the Capitol in which John Lewis served until he died, and she is taking this nation one more step forward. She isn’t asking permission to do this, or suggesting this be done. She is declaring reality: we will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation.

I am glad that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris defeated Donald Trump and Mike Pence. I am relieved that we have made it through the transition between the election and today. I am still shaken by the insurrection of January 6th and what may yet lie ahead on that front. But I am dancing in my living room right now, and am convinced that John Lewis is dancing in heaven today, because in Amanda Gorman we see that the good troublemaking goes on.

How could catastrophe possibly prevail?

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