Monday, January 3, 2022

 -Donald Trump endorsing authoritarian Hungarian leader Viktor Orban

The dawn of a new year, a blessed time for setting new intentions, forming better habits, and wresting the bloodied institutions of American democracy from the maw of an authoritarian party. Or, you know, trying!

  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Monday that the Senate will “debate and consider” a filibuster carveout to pass voting-rights legislation no later than January 17, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Unless Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) made quiet resolutions to stop being the world’s dumbest assholes, there’s no particular reason to think they’ll support the necessary filibuster change, but they might finally have to go on the record about it.
  • As the looming anniversary of the attack on the Capitol brings fresh attention to the broader GOP assault on democracy, a new phase of the House January 6 investigation might help sustain it. The committee plans to hold a series of public hearings in the coming weeks or months, and Chairman Bennie Thompson said investigators were looking into whether they could issue subpoenas for Reps. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH), who have not cooperated voluntarily.
  • The committee also hasn’t ruled out a criminal referral for disgraced former president Donald Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said Sunday that the committee had received firsthand testimony that Trump was hanging out in the dining room off the Oval Office watching the violence unfold on TV, and that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to intervene. Cheney warned that Trump’s inaction renders him “clearly unfit for future office” and that he “clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again."

Nearly a year after the insurrection, Cheney is among just a handful of prominent Republicans to have publicly said so.

  • Trump plans to flaunt his continued stranglehold on the GOP with a speech on the anniversary of the attack he incited, during which he’s expected to whitewash the events of the day, rail against Republicans who haven’t lined up behind his Big Lie, and continue to martyrize insurrectionists like Ashli Babbitt. (Babbitt’s previous saintly deeds, incidentally, include repeatedly ramming her SUV into a terrified woman’s car.)
  • A depressing new poll points to the consequences of the GOP’s refusal to spit Trump out when it had the chance. An alarming 34 percent of Americans say they believe violence against the government is sometimes justified, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, with a predictable partisan divide: 40 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of independents say attacking the government can be chill, compared to 23 percent of Democrats. And here in the ripe old year of 2022, 58 percent of Republicans still think President Biden was not legitimately elected. 

Democrats are holding the same democracy-defending to-do list they had when Biden took office, and it’s up against the same ridiculous obstacles. But it’s now weighted with a year’s worth of GOP-inflicted damage to ballot access, election procedures, and public views of the political process, none of which should be allowed to slide under the radar while there’s any hope of fixing it.

For the first time in Crooked Media history, Jon Favreau is joined by his wife Emily Favreau for a full podcast! Together they answer questions ranging from what it’s like parenting during a pandemic to who knows more of Jon Lovett’s secrets. They also cover Jon’s dream guests for future episodes, a very important ranking of Taylor Swift albums, and a final answer on just how much time Jon spends online each week. New episodes of Offline drop every Sunday in the Pod Save America feed. Listen and follow wherever you get your podcasts.

The Omicron variant continues to wreak vengeance on every fool who dared speak the phrase “post-pandemic,” with the U.S. now averaging more than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases each day. That’s double the previous week’s rate, and it might not be long before we’re seeing one-million new cases per day. The hopeful news: Hospitalizations have not been rising at the same speed, and a new U.K. report added to the body of evidence that Omicron causes milder illness than previous strains. The FDA has also authorized Pfizer booster shots for 12- to 15-year-olds and younger immunocompromised kids, and shortened the eligibility timeline to five months after the second shot. The more abundant shitty news: Hospitals are crammed to the gills anyway, school districts in some regions have delayed reopenings, and airline worker outbreaks have contributed to thousands of flight cancellations, in large part because airlines misused taxpayer-funded bailouts to keep their staffs minimal.

A new report from the Forward Majority PAC stressed the urgency (and the achievability) of regaining Democratic majorities at the state level. Republicans will fully control the legislature and governorship in nearly half of all states in 2022, while Democrats will have less than one third. Forward Majority’s report argues that Democrats can and should go on the offensive to change that state of affairs, with a major effort to register millions of new voters in suburban areas of Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. If Senate Democrats fail to reform the filibuster and pass election protections (and/or fix the ambiguous, coup-inviting Electoral Count Act), challenging GOP power on the state level may be Democrats’ best hope for countering a democratic crisis.

In 2021 mental health is finally a thing, especially as people are not feeling like their normal selves. Let’s support one another and talk openly. Whether or not therapy is your thing, knowing it’s available and affordable is important, for you or perhaps a loved one.  

Millions of people are trying and loving online therapy. It doesn’t have to be sitting around just talking about your feelings.

So, what is therapy, exactly? It’s whatever you want it to be.

You can privately talk to someone if your stress is too much to manage, you’re battling a temper, having relationship issues, anxiety, depression, etc… Whatever you need, there’s no more shame in these normal human struggles. We take care of our bodies, why not our minds, too? Without a healthy mind, being truly happy and at peace is HARD.

BetterHelp is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can start communicating with your therapist in under 48 hours.

It’s always a good time to invest in yourself, because you are your greatest asset. See if online therapy is for you by heading to for 10% off your first month.

The No Surprises Act, aimed at protecting patients from surprise medical bills, went into effect on January 1. 

Politics and Prose has become the first unionized bookstore in Washington, DC. 

Hockey fan Nadia Popovici spotted a cancerous mole on the assistant equipment manager for the Vancouver Canucks during a game and alerted him to it, saving his life.

Devin Nunes is no longer a member of Congress.

. . . . . .

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