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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 29, 2021

U.S. lawmaker to issue subpoenas to oil firms for documents on climate


Posted on Thu, Oct 28th, 2021 by Reuters
U.S. lawmaker to issue subpoenas to oil firms for documents on climate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said on Thursday she intends to issue subpoenas to four major oil companies for documents on what their internal scientists have said about climate change and any funding they are doing to mislead the public on global warming.

Maloney made the remark at the end of a House hearing on climate disinformation in which lawmakers grilled the heads of Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, BP America and Chevron.

“We need to get to the bottom of the oil industry’s disinformation campaign with these subpoenas,” Maloney said, adding she had draft subpoenas ready
October 29, 2021

AOC Gets Exxon CEO To Admit Sabotaging Climate Change Provisions In Build Back Better


Posted on Thu, Oct 28th, 2021 by Jason Easley
AOC Gets Exxon CEO To Admit Sabotaging Climate Change Provisions In Build Back Better

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) got the CEO of ExxonMobile to admit that he talked to members of Congress about climate change provisions in the reconciliation bill.


The CEO admitted that he has participated in calls regarding infrastructure and climate change legislation. It doesn’t take a detective to figure out who he has been lobbying to get rid of climate change provisions that would impact Big Oil in the legislation.

Joe Manchin is the chair of the Senate committee that conducts oversight on the fossil fuel industry. Sen. Manchin was also the member who demanded that climate change provisions that would have impacted the fossil fuel industry be removed from the bill.

Build Back Better looks like it is on the passage, but the process of getting there has made it clear that Big Oil still has its greasy hands in the back pockets of some members of Congress.

The White House wanted stronger climate change provisions. Almost all Democrats in Congress supported the climate change provisions, but Big Oil had Joe Manchin and probably a few others who they used to keep America from doing everything possible to protect the planet.

October 28, 2021

Federal Judge Blasts Prosecutors for Going Easy on Capitol Rioters


Federal Judge Blasts Prosecutors for Going Easy on Capitol Rioters
Blake Montgomery
Published Oct. 28, 2021 6:47PM ET
Alex Wong/Getty

A judge in Washington read Justice Department lawyers the riot act Thursday. During a sentencing hearing for a man who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, Judge Beryl Howell took the federal government attorneys to task over their prosecution of Capitol rioters, saying they were failing the American people by allowing defendants to take plea deals for minor offenses. Howell said, “No wonder parts of the public in the U.S. are confused about whether what happened on January 6 at the Capitol was simply a petty offense of trespassing with some disorderliness, or shocking criminal conduct that represented a grave threat to our democratic norms. Let me make my view clear: The rioters were not mere protesters.” The lawyers had come to an agreement with Jack Jesse Griffith, a Tennessee video game developer, to plead guilty to parading in the Capitol.
October 28, 2021

'Crying Nazi' Reportedly Watched Tucker Carlson in Prison to Prep for Charlottesville Trial


‘Crying Nazi’ Reportedly Watched Tucker Carlson in Prison to Prep for Charlottesville Trial
AJ McDougall
Breaking News Intern
Published Oct. 28, 2021 12:36PM ET
Stephanie Keith/Reuters

Christopher “Crying Nazi” Cantwell, one of two dozen white supremacists and their affiliated groups being sued for their participation in the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, prepped for his trial by watching Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, according to a report. A man who shared a prison unit with Cantwell told BuzzFeed News that a group of “the whites” would regularly gather to watch Carlson’s evening diatribes together.

Cantwell, according to the source, felt a kinship with the TV host, whose messages he reportedly found emboldening. In a 2019 filing related to the Charlottesville case, Cantwell—who is incompetently representing himself after being dumped by his disgusted lawyers—specifically wrote of sharing the same views as Carlson “on the pressing issues of our time.”

BuzzFeed News also reported that Cantwell has been receiving free legal advice from two other inmates, including a prominent white supremacist known for founding “one of the largest neo-Nazi groups in America,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Matthew Hale, the SPLC has said, earned a law degree and passed the bar, but “the Illinois State Bar Association deemed Hale unfit for practice due to his racial activism.”

Read it at Buzzfeed News

October 28, 2021

Burr Called His Brother-in-Law Before Stock Dump


Burr Called His Brother-in-Law Before Stock Dump
October 28, 2021 at 12:43 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

“After Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) dumped more than $1.6 million in stocks in February 2020 a week before the coronavirus market crash, he called his brother-in-law,” ProPublica reports.

“They talked for 50 seconds. Burr, according to the SEC, had material nonpublic information regarding the incoming economic impact of coronavirus.”

“The very next minute, Burr’s brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, called his broker” and “dumped stock the same day Burr did.”
October 28, 2021

Rude One: Note to Anxious Progressive Democrats in Congress: Take the Deal...


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Note to Anxious Progressive Democrats in Congress: Take the Deal (And Then Fuck Up the Party)


What the delay in passage means is that there's a delay in implementing the genuinely paradigm-shifting aspects of the bill, which, of course, were much greater back then. And the delay in implementation means a delay in the very real people affected by the bill seeing their lives improved by its very real benefits. And that delay can have an effect in the perception of the bill and the Democrats come the 2022 midterms.

That's why I'm saying that progressive Democrats should vote for whatever bastardized, moderated-to-an-inch-of-its-sad-life version of the reconciliation bill comes out of finally bringing Manchin and Sinema the orgasmic release they obviously desire. Yes, it's criminal to reduce in any way efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Yes, it's fucked beyond fucked that massively popular measures like prescription drug price negotiation or paid family leave or expanded Medicare benefits are being bargained down or out. All of that is so fucking true. It is like eating a shit sandwich with a piss shake.

Progressives need to suck it all up and vote for the goddamn bill because most of the things that will remain come from a progressive viewpoint on the role of government. We need to be able to show voters that the federal government can actually act to improve their lives. That's how this is supposed to work. If you do shit for people and they can tell that you've done shit for them, then maybe they'll connect you with the shit you've done and vote for you.
(Of course, you have to make sure they know you did that shit. See the Affordable Care Act.) We're obviously not talking about MAGA voters here suddenly turning Democratic because they actually can intellectually connect Biden with the $300 a month they're getting to help them raise their families. No, we're talking about motivating Democratic voters and, especially, those "independents" who don't normally vote in midterms to get off their asses and vote.

I fucking hate saying all this. But I've got two other reasons why:

First, there's the looming threat of a Republican takeover of the House and, perhaps, the Senate. If that happens, 2024 is going to be a fucktastrophe, on top of nothing getting done except endless investigations of Hunter Biden and fake voter fraud. It will be MAGA up your asshole for years.

Second, if something gets passed, then it's time for progressive and liberal Democrats to parlay that into electoral strength. "Oh, you like 4 weeks of paid maternity leave at 85% of your pay? How about 12 week at 100%?" we can say. You can make the case that bigger benefits are possible with a bigger majority. Don't be stupid about it: no Democrat is going to win in Marjorie Taylor Greene's district. And, in West Virginia, Joe Manchin's about all we've got. But, fuck yeah, we can go after Sinema's seat. Democrats in Arizona are fucking pissed at her. And, yeah, we can challenge in Pennsylvania, Nevada, perhaps Texas, and other places.


October 28, 2021

The Biggest Problem In American Politics


The Biggest Problem In American Politics
October 28, 2021 at 10:00 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Jonathan Bernstein: “One of the most important facts of U.S. politics right now is the terrible shape the Republican Party is in. It has been dysfunctional for more than a decade, and more recently the mainstream of the party has been acting as if they live in a fantasy world.”

“I attended the American Political Science Association’s annual conference in Seattle last month and heard nothing but a string of pessimism about the Republican Party — something that simply was not the case even 10 years ago. Of course, not everyone was pessimistic about the future of the republic. But no one seems to be able to imagine how the Republicans can turn themselves around, and I can’t remember the last political scientist I’ve spoken with (yes, Republicans included) who didn’t see serious problems here.”
October 28, 2021

Props! Merck is making its COVID-19 antiviral pill more affordable to low-income countries

Merck is making its COVID-19 antiviral pill more affordable to low-income countries
The deal could help bring the drug to more than 100 low- and middle-income nations.
By Kristin Houser
October 28, 2021

Drugmaker Merck has agreed to license a promising COVID-19 treatment to manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries for free — a move that could greatly expand access to the potentially life-saving antiviral pill.

The challenge: The only FDA-approved COVID-19 treatment is remdesivir, and it’s an antiviral medication that must be administered intravenously, over the course of several days, which largely limits its use to people who are already hospitalized.

An antiviral pill would be easier to administer before a COVID-19 patient requires hospitalization, which is when antivirals are most effective. It would also have the benefit of being easier to manufacture, store, and distribute than an IV drug.

Merck’s deal with the MPP could cut the per-course cost of the antiviral pill to just $8.

Merck’s antiviral pill: While several companies are developing antiviral pills, Merck’s (molnupiravir) is one of the most promising, reducing high-risk COVID-19 patients’ chances of hospitalization or death by 50% in a phase 3 trial.


October 28, 2021

The January 6 Committee Is Finally Getting Trump Allies to Spill

Capitol Attack
The January 6 Committee Is Finally Getting Trump Allies to Spill
Steve Bannon is an exception, but things have largely changed now the former president is out of office.
By Eric Lutz
October 27, 2021


CNN reported Tuesday that at least five former Trump staffers have provided information to the committee investigating January 6, either because they “believe they have information worth sharing” or simply to preempt a potential subpoena. Among those who have come forward: Alyssa Farah, the former Mike Pence spokeswoman who quit as White House communications director in December 2020 because she “saw where this was heading.” “The president and certain advisers around him are directly responsible,” she told Politico the day after the Capitol attack.

In addition to those who have voluntarily spoken with the committee, congressional investigators are reaching out to other former White House staffers to solicit compliance. “I’ve got good reason to believe a number of them are horrified and scandalized by what took place on January 6 and they want to do their legal duty and their civic duty by coming forward to explain exactly what happened,” Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin told CNN on Tuesday. “We’re going to continue to encourage everybody who has relevant information to come and talk.”

That engagement, be it voluntary or compelled, already appears to be yielding damning information. Over the weekend, Rolling Stone reported on eye-popping allegations that have been detailed to the committee, including that several House Republicans were “intimately involved” in planning the January 6 rally and that one, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, suggested Trump would offer organizers a “blanket pardon” for any trouble that followed. This never materialized, which perhaps explains the feelings of betrayal some rioters have expressed, particularly in the face of major legal consequences. “January 6th was a disgrace to our nation that left a scar Trump is ultimately responsible for,” one Capitol attack defendant, Thomas Sibick, wrote in a letter to Judge Amy Berman Jackson recently requesting release from jail, claiming he was “consumed by the mob mentality.” He added, “I have vowed to never attend another political protest in my life, that was my first and last!”

More is likely on the way: Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark is due to testify next week, and legal scholar John Eastman is expected to be hit with a subpoena. Both were part of Trump’s plot to try to overturn his election loss; the latter wrote a memo outlining how Trump’s DOJ could go about throwing out the results and undermining the will of the people. Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s White House has once again refused to allow Trump to claim executive privilege over records related to January 6, allowing the committee access to more investigative materials. As Axios suggested Wednesday, Bannon’s failure to cooperate may be an aberration for a committee that actually seems to be chugging along with impressive momentum.

more but not much...


October 27, 2021

Top Democrat Spikes Billionaire Tax

Top Democrat Spikes Billionaire Tax
October 27, 2021 at 3:55 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) said “a proposal to put a levy on the assets of billionaires has been dropped in negotiations over revenue measures to pay for President Joe Biden’s social-spending bill,” Bloomberg reports.

“The House is discussing with the Senate instead inclusion of a 3% surtax, on top of the top income rate, for those earning more than $10 million.”

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