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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 07:51

Wayback Machine Wednesday

Jimmy Kimmel revisits those misty water-colored memories from a year ago, when the previous president was slaying the COVID-19 beast by working tirelessly to eliminate the biggest threats posed by the virus: COVID testing and mail-in ballots...


How can we ever repay him? Any ideas, Manhattan D.A.?

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Voting rights are playing out with a Plan B that has an uphill climb

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 07:30

NY Times:

Democrats Vow to Redouble Voting Push: ‘Today Is the Starter Pistol’

Even as the party’s sweeping elections bill was blocked in the Senate, Democrats and civil rights groups reaffirmed their resolve to fight for voting protections in Congress.

“I have yet to see Democrats act like this is the No. 1 priority on their agenda, and I suspect that we will start to see that after today,” said Nsé Ufot, the chief executive of the New Georgia Project Action Fund, a voting rights group. “Today is the starter pistol. Today marks the beginning of the escalation.”

Categories: Politics


Kevin Drumm - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 00:38

Vaccinate vaccinate vaccinate!

That is all.

Categories: Politics

Pre-insurrection intel revelations raise questions—just not the ones Tucker and Co. want to ask

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 00:36

The more we learn about how the Jan. 6 insurrectionists organized their attack on the U.S. Capitol, the more questions are being raised about the behavior of law-enforcement officials—particularly the FBI—in the weeks and days leading up to the event, and particularly in their failure to anticipate the nature and scope of what was being planned.

However, these are not the questions that Tucker Carlson and the rest of the “1/6 Truther” crowd—who have been arguing that the insurrection was a covert FBI operation, as a way of defending the Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol—want the public to be asking. Rather, the more serious issue raised by the emerging information revolves around the FBI’s institutional biases and the massive failures they have produced: The agency, it appears, missed the looming threat because it was looking for it in the wrong direction—namely, at leftists and civil-rights activists, as it historically has done.

Categories: Politics

Late Night Clown Car Open Thread: Updates on the GOP Death Cultists

Balloon Juice - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 00:32

Hannity’s jealous of the ‘respectable’ TFG-enabler:

Oooh, two-thirds of the way to a NYTimes ‘trend’ story…

The post Late Night Clown Car Open Thread: Updates on the GOP Death Cultists appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

The New York Times' Charles Blow speaks truth to all Democrats

Daily Kos - Wed, 06/23/2021 - 00:26

There aren’t that many columnists in the U.S. media today who have proven themselves to be completely aware of what the Republican Party has transformed itself into in the last four years. Charles Blow of The New York Times is one of them.

For those who haven’t already internalized them, Blow has some sage words of advice to Democrats at this strange point in time. The bottom line: Forget about any ideals of compromise with the Republican Party. It has become utterly irredeemable, a wholly un-American juggernaut with one goal in mind: to suppress and eliminate the voice of the American people in running the government that controls their lives.

Categories: Politics

CARTOON: The Blind Man-chin

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 23:00

Open thread below...

Categories: Politics

Another Intriguing Pandemic Read: ‘What Do NFL Players Know About The COVID Vaccine? We Asked Them.’

Balloon Juice - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 22:38

When I was 25, if I’d had a longer economic timeline and less subconscious belief in my own immortality, I’d have made better decisions about how many pizzas I inhaled. So when it comes to young professional sports-players hesitating about getting vaxx’d, as the saying goes: I don’t approve, but I understand.

Good for Defector, doing the reporting:

Player 1, as we’ll call him, had COVID-19 last season and missed about two weeks of work. The heart palpitations he got on Day 7 of his sickness scared him so badly that he called his team’s trainer to check his vitals and calm him down. “I thought I was going to the upper room,” he said.

Player 1 didn’t end up going to heaven or the hospital. He recovered, and is now going into his second NFL season. An undrafted player, he had minimal playing time as a rookie and is fighting to earn a roster spot on a new team. When he catches a ride with a teammate to the team facility, they usually just drop him off at the testing center. They’re vaccinated; Player 1 wasn’t. Vaccinated players don’t need to go in for daily testing.

When I called Player 1 to talk about the COVID vaccine, he started off by saying that he’d decided to get it, and planned to see about signing up for the shot through his team the last week before summer break. He attended an NFLPA virtual meeting about the vaccine in February, alongside what he estimated was 1,400 other players. At the time, he said, he felt like he learned everything he needed to know, so he logged off the meeting before the NFLPA leadership took questions. His mom, a nurse, encouraged him to get the vaccine to protect his toddler-aged son. His current team has informed its players about all the incentives for vaccinated players: no masks, biweekly testing instead of daily, no mandatory quarantine for being ruled a close contact, travel allowed on the bye week. “I see my teammates, they are getting it, so it’s only right that I follow that trend too,” he said, early in our call.

But then he mentioned how he found out about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause, on an otherwise humorous Instagram meme account. “But this day there was nothing funny about this, this was like, really informative,” he told me. “It woke me up.” He was already scared of the vaccine symptoms, and he didn’t feel like he absolutely needed the vaccine because he wasn’t hanging around big groups of people anyways. He said his worst fear is getting COVID again, and he knows from his mother that the vaccine reduces the severity of COVID symptoms, but he’s bothered by the fact that vaccinated people can still get the virus. “Whether I got the shot or not, if I caught it, [I am] still going to be out [a game].”…

… [T]he science may matter less to football players than what vaccination could mean for their team and their careers. Head coach Mike Zimmer has spent time talking to players about the vaccine as a competitive advantage, information that Sugarman says often has more of an impact on players. “It is a game of availability and you want to have these guys available. … I had a lot of guys on the fence, and they would ask me, what do I get in return? Why should I do it? How will it benefit me in this building? Not so much in life, but they want to know how it was going to benefit them in the building.”

“The unvaccinated players are going to have a hard time during the season,” Zimmer told reporters last week. “They are going to be wearing masks, they’re going to have to socially distance, they’ll have daily testing. They won’t go home for bye week and have to come back here and test every day. When we go on the road, they won’t be able to go out to dinner with anybody. They’ll have to travel on busses differently and travel on planes differently, so a lot of meetings will be virtual like we have here. It’s not only the safety part of being vaccinated, but as far as being a part of a football team.”

Other things unvaccinated players have to live with: No meals with teammates, no using the sauna or steam room, no marketing appearances, no seeing friends or family on road trips, no gathering with teammates or staff outside of the facility for any reason, including football activities, no visiting clubs, bars, house parties, concerts etc., and hefty fines (up to $50,000) for violations of the protocols…

I actually find this reassuring; once the carrot/stick balance tips, most people will get vaccinated, for ‘good’ or ‘bad’ reasons (I want to protect my kids / I don’t want to risk my job). And the further the core of anti-vaxxers shrinks down to the obvious nutters & cultists, the more incentives the merely hesitant will have to do the smart thing. Humans are social animals, so herd behavior is not necessarily a slur.

The post Another Intriguing Pandemic Read: ‘What Do NFL Players Know About The COVID Vaccine? We Asked Them.’ appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

News Roundup: Senate dithers; ICE knowingly spread COVID; far-right insurrection just beginning

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 22:30

In the news today: In the wake of a violent insurrection, the Senate continues to be a cesspit of self-important dithering that treats each of the nation's most urgent crises as little more than background scenery for their latest monologues. The nation's top immigration agency continues to prove itself little more than an employment agency for sociopaths. A plot by neo-Nazis to start a civil war by killing other far-right activists may have been thwarted by federal law enforcement but, as the far-right adaptation of new tactics directly targeting legislative buildings and lawmakers themselves continues to expand, more violence is assuredly in the works. You might want to go look at pictures of puppies or something after this; it's been a long day.

Here's some of what you may have missed:

Categories: Politics

On The Road – randy khan – Springtime in Paris – Canal St. Martin

Balloon Juice - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 22:00
randy khan

These photos are from a day we spent wandering in the northeastern part of Paris, around the 19th Arrondisement.  There is, it turns out, a canal there.  We walked a good chunk of it, taking in the sights and the sun, ending at a park called La Villette.

The post On The Road – randy khan – Springtime in Paris – Canal St. Martin appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

What Can You Buy For Five Bucks?

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 22:00

You know Crooks and Liars helps liberals and progressives stay up-to-date with the news by providing daily videos of events and analysis from all over. And today we DESPERATELY need a little help from you to keep the curated videos on our servers coming to you every day.

It's not hard to get people to donate five bucks if they have done so before. The hardest ask for fundraisers is that zero to five bucks jump. So, because we need it, I'm asking.

We do not have a paywall on any of the posts here at Crooks and Liars. We trust you to donate because you believe in democracy and uncovering the lies of the Right. That's it.

Here's the deal: If you occasionally purchase an espresso-based beverage for yourself (or something stronger!), consider that you can also afford to send the same amount you spend at a coffeehouse or brewpub as a monthly recurring donation to Crooks and Liars for our Summer fundraiser.

We won't spend it on coffee or booze, but we will use it to keep this blog, and its all-important (and expensive) video servers, going strong for your daily dose of liberal news coverage.

Every five-dollar + contribution adds up very quickly, pays to keep the videos online, and we really appreciate it.

We publish 16 stories a day that help to inform you and counterbalance the roaring river of misinformation and disinformation shoveled into "news feeds" every day. Buy us the equivalent of an espresso-based beverage. Please and thank you.

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Categories: Politics

Greg Abbott Hates Dogs

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 21:00

It's a well known and well documented fact that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a walking, talking personality disorder that has no redeemable qualities as a human being, much less a governor.

As if there was any doubt in this, Abbott again proved it on Monday when he vetoed 20 bills sent to him by the Republican-controlled legislature, many of which appeared to be more than worthwhile. The victims of Abbott's veto pen included such things as expanding broadband in rural areas, teaching students about preventing domestic violence and child abuse and lowering penalties for trespassing because it would make it harder for him to abuse immigrants and asylum seekers.

But the one that triggered me the most was when he needlessly vetoed a bill that would help prevent cruelty to dogs:

Abbott also vetoed a bill Friday that would have banned tethering dogs outside with heavy chains, earning him the ire of dog owners and the hashtag #AbbottHatesDogs, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday. The bill, which would have expanded and clarified the state's animal cruelty laws, had the support of animal control officers, law enforcement agencies and organizations, county prosecutors, and advocates for animals, and it passed 28-3 in the Senate and 83-32 in the House.

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Categories: Politics

#BitcoinUpheaval Open Thead, Part Infinity – 1

Balloon Juice - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 20:57

On Monday, China’s central bank said it had recently summoned several major banks and payments companies to call on them to take tougher action over the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Banks were told to not provide products or services such as trading, clearing and settlement for cryptocurrency transactions, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

China’s third-largest lender by assets, the Agricultural Bank of China, said it was following the PBOC’s guidance and would conduct due diligence on clients to root out illegal activities involving cryptocurrency mining and transactions.

China’s Postal Savings Bank also said it would not facilitate any cryptocurrency transactions.

The mobile and online payments platform Alipay, which is owned by Chinese financial technology giant Ant Group, said it would set up a monitoring system to detect illegal cryptocurrency transactions…

China accounted for around 65% of global Bitcoin production last year, with Sichuan rating as its second largest producer, according to research by the University of Cambridge…

BE NOT AFEARED!, insist professionals with an interest in keeping cryptocurrency investments busy…

Bitcoin’s brief drop below the symbolic price threshold of $30,000 on Tuesday has reignited talk of a crypto winter. It doesn’t help that cryptocurrencies like dogecoin, XRP and others saw sharp drops in the last 24 hours.

But experts tell CNBC that bitcoin’s fundamentals are good, and the market conditions in 2021 are very different than the last big crypto crash in 2018.

“We are far from a bear market, only traders are freaking out over technicals seen on exchanges like volumes and price action,” said popular on-chain analyst and statistician Willy Woo.

Bitcoin’s rise in the last 12 months has had a lot to do with the billionaires and corporations that are buying bitcoin in big amounts. The surge in interest from mainstream financial players has not only reformed bitcoin’s image but has also fomented a supply shortage, which helped drive up the price of the token….

Bitcoin bulls insist the underlying fundamentals of bitcoin are much stronger in 2021, than they were during its last bear market in 2018.

“It’s the bitcoin blockchain’s more than a decade of unblemished security, bitcoin’s breadth of utility, and the level of adoption that establish bitcoin’s intrinsic value,” said Alyse Killeen, founder and managing partner of bitcoin-focused venture firm Stillmark.

That last point is particularly important — bitcoin adoption is on a tear, creating a broader group of users who believe in the currency’s value, which reinforces it…

The cynics’ view:

Of course, for ‘inconspicious’ value transfer, there’s always the classics…

#BitcoinUpheaval Open Thead, Part Infinity - 1

(NonSequitur via

The post #BitcoinUpheaval Open Thead, Part Infinity – 1 appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Cyberattacks are a BFD. That’s why Biden is taking strong actions to combat them

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 20:40

National defense means something very different in 2021 than it did even a generation ago, as new types of threats emerge constantly. No country can afford to be stuck fighting the last war—something the French learned all too well as a result of the Nazi blitzkrieg. Right now, cyberattacks are the newest innovation in warfare.

While they may not enable an army to roll across our borders, defeat our military, and conquer us in the traditional sense, cyberattacks have caused real damage that has affected the lives of our fellow Americans. The next ones could do far worse. Thankfully, and unlike the twice impeached former guy, President Biden is making cyberattacks one of his administration’s highest defense priorities.

Categories: Politics

Words of advice for Whitehouse: Stop feeding GOP storylines and walk the walk for racial justice

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 18:50

In the kind of hypocrisy I’m accustomed to associating with Republicans but seems to rise above political affiliation, a white senator championing diversity fumbled on a question about his membership at a mostly white private beach club in Rhode Island. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse was approached by GoLocal Providence's news editor Kate Nagle on Friday about his membership at Bailey’s Beach Club, which the news site described as “all-white.” Nagle started her interview by citing concerns Whitehouse had in 2017 about a lack of diversity at the club, even though his wife is one of the largest shareholders. “Has there been any traction in that? Are there any minority members?” Nagle asked. The senator, who’s from Rhode Island, responded: “I think the people who are running the place are still working on that. I’m sorry it hasn’t happened yet.” 

The very next question Nagle asked Whitehouse is whether in the aftermath of the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd an “elite, all-white wealthy club” should exist. “It’s a long tradition in Rhode Island, and there are many of them,” Whitehouse said. “We just need to work our way through the issues.” And just like that, he gave Republicans the distraction they’ve been waiting for.

Categories: Politics

Mostly Latino high school basketball team taunted by audience throwing tortillas at players

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 18:20

Community members are outraged after a high school team experienced blatant racism during a championship game Saturday. The game took place between Orange Glen High School and Coronado High School in California. After the game, which Coronado won, Orange Glen Head Coach Chris Featherly said Coronado Head Coach J.D. Laaperi made disrespectful remarks toward both him and his players, but that’s not all. Coronado supporters took the sports rivalry to another level when they threw tortillas at Orange Glen players, who are mostly Latino, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Videos shared on social media depict at least two players from Coronado, a predominantly white school, throwing tortillas. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, witnesses shared that there were several heated moments on and off the court during the game that preceded the tortilla incident.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: App wars

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 17:50
Categories: Politics

Newly released records show just how many Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 under Trump

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 17:04

In 2020, during the Trump administration, 881 active Secret Service employees were diagnosed with COVID-19. This, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), included a majority, 477, of secret service “special agents,” and 249 from the “uniformed division.” This follows suit with the scant information that leaked out early on during the pandemic, when it was known that the Secret Service was facing at least 11 active COVID-19 cases and dozens more in quarantine because of exposure.

The FOIA documents do not give granular details about which agents may or may not have been in daily contact with Trump or his administration’s personnel. Analysis by CREW of the documents obtained does give this peek into how dangerous a job being a Secret Service employee was under a science-denying administration: “The list consists of 477 Special Agents, 249 members of the Uniformed Division, 131 working in Administrative, Professional, Technical Positions, 12 Investigative Protection Officers and 12 Technical Security Investigators.” Those 477 “special agents” are employees in the division that “is responsible for protecting the president and vice president, as well as the families of these leaders and other government officials.”

Categories: Politics

Trump-appointed judge dismisses almost all claims involving driving protesters from Lafayette Square

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 16:56

Two weeks ago, an inspector general for the U.S. Department of the Interior insisted that when hundreds of heavily armed officers from the Bureau of Prisons and Park Police cleared peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square with rubber bullets, flash bangs, and tear gas, it was perfectly okay—because those things were done to protect contractors setting up a fence, not to clear the way for Donald Trump to wander across the park and wave a Bible over his head. But at the same time, the Department of Justice was in court arguing that Donald Trump and William Barr could not be sued over the incident, because Lafayette Square was cleared to protect Trump, and “presidential safety” made everything fine.

It might seem like the IG ruling would give the DOJ an excuse to step back and stop defending Trump for taking violent actions against nonviolent protestors. That didn’t happen. Instead, the Justice Department pressed ahead, and on Tuesday District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, handed down a ruling that dismissed the majority of four suits involving the incident .

Included in that ruling was a decision that seems to explicitly embrace the idea that the actions taken at Lafayette Square were done to protect Trump. However, it also invokes a term that has become all too familiar from the many cases involving police officers across the nation: Trump and Barr have “qualified immunity” in their actions. Judge Freidreich followed this up by completely dismissing the section of the suit asking for an injunction against future actions.

Categories: Politics

Republicans created a story about labor shortages and unemployment aid. Reality is much more complex

Daily Kos - Tue, 06/22/2021 - 16:50

Reporters have become so conditioned to the narrative that the economy right now is defined by labor shortages that when American Airlines announced Monday that it would be canceling hundreds of flights in July, CNN leaped to make it about that: "American Airlines canceling hundreds of flights through mid-July in part due to labor shortages," the headline read, despite the fact that the airline’s explanation was not mostly about labor shortages. CNN wasn't the only one, either.

“The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers' plans,” an airline spokesperson told CNN. “That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.”

Categories: Politics