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Friday, January 7, 2022
BY SARAH LAZARUS & CROOKED MEDIA

 -Ted Cruz groveling for forgiveness for calling January 6 a terrorist attack

The Supreme Court’s far-right majority appears poised to block the Biden administration’s most powerful tool for fighting the pandemic, as it sided with a lawyer who had to deliver his anti-vaccine-mandate arguments remotely because he had tested positive for COVID. Perfect institution, no notes!
 

  • The Court heard two federal vaccine-mandate cases on Friday, the first a challenge to OSHA’s rule holding that large private employers require workers to either get vaccinated or undergo regular testing, which would apply to more than 84 million workers. The second argument concerned a Health and Human Services requirement that health-care workers at facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid be fully vaccinated, unless they have medical or religious exemptions. 
     
  • Our berobed overlords have repeatedly upheld state vaccine mandates against all kinds of anti-vax challenges, but Friday’s cases hinged on the different question of whether federal agencies had the legal authority to issue their far-reaching emergency requirements. (Spoiler: they do!) While a majority of justices seemed like they might sustain the HHS requirement, the conservative bloc had its knives out for the broader OSHA mandate. “Why doesn't Congress have a say in this?” asked Chief Justice John Roberts. “Why isn't this the primary responsibility of the states?”
     
  • The Biden administration argued that Congress did have a say, when it passed laws giving OSHA and HHS sweeping authority (and responsibility) to protect the health and safety of workers and Medicare patients in an emergency. If a virus that has killed nearly 10 million people doesn’t qualify as an emergency and a “grave danger” in the workplace, the administration contended, what the fuck does? “It’s an extraordinary use of emergency power occurring in an extraordinary circumstance, a circumstance that this country has never faced before,” noted Justice Elena Kagan

That at least five conservative justices seem eager to curtail that power anyway is both awful on its face, and hints at how the Court might help Republicans undermine Biden’s presidency going forward.
 

  • The administration has estimated that the OSHA mandate would cause 22 million people to get vaccinated, prevent 250,000 hospitalizations, and save over 6,500 lives in the next six months. By blocking it from taking effect, the Court would hobble the administration’s pandemic response at a moment when Omicron is infecting about 700,000 Americans every day and many hospitals are strained to the breaking point. 
     
  • All of that unnecessary death and misery didn’t seem to bother right-wing justices as much as the Biden administration exercising its power to prevent it. The Court’s conservatives could use this opportunity to give themselves a veto over any federal agency regulation they don’t care for, dramatically diminishing the executive branch’s authority (when there’s a Democrat in office, natch). That would be very bad news in the short-term, with Democrats unable to get much passed in the Senate, and even worse news if Republicans regain the House in November. 
     

In the middle of an exponential COVID surge, the Supreme Court is about to shred the federal government’s best means of protecting Americans from harm in the interest of reducing Biden’s power and helping Republicans spread disease for political gain. It appears possible that giving six unelected psychos final say over U.S. policy may have been a mistake.

Check out the latest episode of ALL CAPS NBA! This week, Jason discusses who’s in and who’s out of the lineup as COVID-19 cases soar within the league. Plus, Carl Tart from NBC’s new show Grand Crew joins to explain some lesser-known Los Angeles Clippers facts. Subscribe to the Takeline YouTube channel to never miss an episode.

While Justice Neil Gorsuch was helpfully spouting disinformation without a mask on, the CDC reported a spike in hospitalizations among children aged four and younger with COVID. Last week that number rose to the highest level since the start of the pandemic, though that data included young children who were admitted to the hospital for other reasons and then tested positive. There’s no evidence that Omicron is more severe for that age group, according to health officials, and the overall hospitalization rate among kids and teens remains lower than that of any other age group. But the sheer number of Omicron cases means that many more children who are too young to get vaccinated will get sick, underscoring the importance of vaccinating everyone else. If only there were some sort of federal…rule.

Elected Republicans across the country marked the anniversary of January 6 by giving it a big ol’ thumbs up, or yelling at colleagues who dared give any aspect of it a thumbs down. The Missouri Capitol hosted a rally replete with election-fraud lies, organized and attended by a number of state lawmakers. In Maine, 49 out of 54 Republicans in the state House opposed a resolution honoring members of law enforcement who defended the Capitol on January 6 and condemning the violence. The three who bothered to speak during the floor debate explained that they objected to calling the attack on Congress “domestic terrorism.” Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-SEX CRIMES) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-HATE SPEECH) attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-HUMILIATION) for using the T-word himself, shortly before Cruz spat out his last remaining vertebra and went on Tucker Carlson’s show to beg for the far-right’s forgiveness. All in all, a party of strong moral leaders getting back on track!

If you have investments, odds are high that your money has been winding up in places you would never put it on purpose. Places like Mitch McConnell’s campaign coffers. Here’s the problem: A lot of Americans own S&P 500 index funds—these are funds made up of the 500 largest U.S. publicly traded companies available, and they collectively contain over $1.5 trillion dollars of Americans’ retirement money.

Unfortunately, when you buy an S&P 500 index fund, you’re buying stock in the following companies:

  • First Energy, which just paid a $230M penalty related to a bribery scandal involving Ohio Republicans.
     
  • Wynn Resorts, one of the top contributors to Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the GOP.
  • AT&T, which is already back supporting the election objectors in Congress, as well as the GOP sponsors of Texas’s abortion ban and voter-suppression law. It’s also a top donor to Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.

  • Halliburton, one of the nation’s biggest defense contractors, which has funneled millions to the GOP. 

  • Lockheed Martin, which is one the largest weapons manufacturers in the world and one of Lindsey Graham’s top contributors.


The list goes on. But before you stuff all of your savings in your mattress and call it a day, you should know about DEMZ. 

DEMZ is the first investment product that allows you to get similar performance and exposure you would expect from the S&P 500,  without all the Mitch McConnell. It only includes companies who have made over 75% of their political contributions to Democratic causes and candidates. Since launching in November of 2020, DEMZ has outperformed the S&P 500 by 7 percent.

You can finally put your money where your vote is, even on Wall Street. Look for the DEMZ ticker wherever you invest, or 
visit DEMZ.fund to learn more

The White House has finalized its first USPS contracts to start shipping out free at-home COVID tests. 

The Biden administration will distribute an additional $4.5 billion in funds to help low-income Americans cover heating costs this winter. 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) has released a very good list of voting rights proposals. 

Thousands of farmworkers will receive a wage increase that the Trump administration tried to freeze, thanks to a successful lawsuit brought by farmworker advocacy groups.

. . . . . .


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