Crooked Media - What A Day: The maiming of the shrewd

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

 -Elise Stefanik, high-dignity person

It’s like the old saying goes: 1) Hold a vote that fails 49-51; 2) ???; 3) everyone will see Republicans are extremists. 

  • Republicans did filibuster a test vote on legislation to codify Roe v. Wade Wednesday afternoon, but the truth is a filibuster wasn’t necessary. Though watered down slightly in the hope of peeling off Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the Democratic bill somewhat headscratchingly united Republicans in opposition and lost the support of our favorite skipper, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who says he supports codifying Roe, but not with this bill.  
  • By its design, the bill failed to divide the GOP or expose the depths of its depraved abortion politics. But it did provide a potentially useful benchmark. To fully restore the right to abortion, Democrats will need one more pro-choice senator and, presumably, two more senators willing to change the filibuster rules. (Also, control of the House of Representatives, but the less said about that the better.)
  • That message has filtered its way ever so slowly to the top of the Democratic Party.” A priority for all who care about this issue,” said Vice President Kamala Harris, “should be to elect pro-choice leaders, at the local, the state, and the federal level.” President Joe Biden got almost all the way to making the connection explicit. “To protect the right to choose, voters need to elect more pro-choice senators this November, and return a pro-choice majority to the House,” he said. “If they do, Congress can pass this bill in January, and put it on my desk, so I can sign it into law.”

Don’t let the vote count fool you, Republicans are extremists, and it’s making their frontline members jittery. 

  • If the fifth (5th) leak from right-wing Republicans on the Supreme Court has any merit, the Samuel Alito draft opinion (which was actually the second leak) remains the only draft the justices have circulated amongst each other, and none of the Republican justices who initially aligned with Alito have switched their votes. That is, as of Wednesday, they remain primed to ban abortion in half the country, lay the groundwork for eliminating the rights to everything from contraception to same-sex marriage, and even consider criminalizing abortion nationwide, by endowing fetuses with constitutional rights.
  • And this, rather than any Senate vote, is why you can hear some Republicans sweat. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who’s up for re-election this year, treated the elimination of the right to abortion as a small inconvenience and all but apologized for causing it. “It might be a little messy for some people, but abortion is not going away,” he said, using words of his own choosing, which also reportedly included reminding Wisconsin women that they could drive to Illinois for their abortions. “I just don’t think this is going to be the big political issue everybody thinks it is, because it’s not going to be that big a change.” 
Needless to say, if you oppose abortion, you don’t go reminding people that there will be loopholes when abortion becomes illegal in many states. Unless, of course, you realize that voters will probably punish you when they realize who's responsible. Democrats should promise those voters that they’ll restore their rights as a first order of business next Congress, but they'll need the House and an ever-so-slightly larger Senate majority first. 
This week on Pod Save The World, Ben talks to U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo about the newest round of U.S sanctions against Russia. Plus, Ben and Tommy discuss Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s landslide victory in the Philippines Presidential Election and what the results could mean for democracy worldwide. New episodes of Pod Save the World drop every Wednesday. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

With just a few weeks to go before the House January 6 committee begins holding public hearings, its members remain torn over whether to subpoena House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers who continue to conceal information about Donald Trump’s conduct during the Capitol insurrection, and their involvement in planning it. But as indecisive as they’ve been on this point, they do seem to have material that hasn’t already found its way into headlines via strategic and defensive leaks or public-records journalism. The committee may very well make public taped “excerpts of…witness depositions,” according to Politico, some of which contain explosive, damning admissions from Trump allies. And it continues to come into possession of new information, such as emails from Trump’s coup lawyer, John Eastman, coaching Republican legislators in Pennsylvania on how to throw out votes, so that they could declare Trump the winner despite the fact that he lost.

A huge cache of documents reveals how the nation’s largest opioid manufacturer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, assured that its products kept flowing through doctors to more and more patients, at higher and higher doses. The company maintained a roster of hundreds of doctors who would reliably push their products, and courted them with promises of money (through reimbursements and paid speaking gigs) to encourage them to overprescribe. One of their promotional materials included a reggae song, which implored doctors to keep increasing opioid dosages, no matter their patients’ circumstances: “You can start at the middle, you can start at the top. You can start with very little but that’s not where you should stop. Your patient needs relief, mon, so please do what you should.” More than a quarter of those doctors have since been convicted of crimes or otherwise penalized for wrongdoing, and Mallinckrodt itself had to pay $1.7 billion to a trust as part of a bankruptcy settlement to “a trust serving affected communities” according to a company spokesperson.

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A 73 year-old New Mexico abortion provider wants his clinic, which is one mile from the Texas border, to be a refuge for women in Texas who can no longer terminate their pregnancies in state. 

The Senate confirmed Lisa Cook as the first black woman to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission, in his case breaking a tie that had prevented Democratic commissioners from voting to protect consumers. All 50 Republican senators voted against both nominees. 

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and 13 other Senate Democrats wrote to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to insist he recognize and negotiate a contract with the Starbucks union and stop illegally retaliating against its organizers.

Trump-endorsed candidates in Nebraska’s GOP primary faceplanted yesterday, just days after Trump hosted a red-hat rally in the state during which he defended his preferred gubernatorial candidate, Charles Herbster, from the eight women who have accused him of groping them.

. . . . . .

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