Cup of Joe – 9/10/21

“President Biden is expected to sign an order Thursday requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated, without any option for regular coronavirus testing to opt out of the mandate,” the Washington Post reports.  The mandate will impact all 2.1 million federal workers as well as millions of contractors who work with the U.S. government. 

“President Biden is announcing sweeping new vaccine mandates Thursday that will impact tens of millions of Americans, pushing all businesses with more than 100 employees to require their workforces to be inoculated or face weekly testing,” the Washington Post reports.

“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”

— President Biden, in an address to the nation, speaking directly to the unvaccinated.

Associated Press: “The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or test for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid also will have to be fully vaccinated.”

“Biden is also signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out. That covers several million more workers.”

CNN reports companies could face thousands of dollars in fines per employee if they don’t comply.

Politico: How the Delta variant bottlenecked Biden’s presidency.

Wendy Molyneux: “The fucking vaccine will not make you magnetic. Are you fucking kidding me? It just fucking won’t. That’s not even a fucking thing, and that lady who tried to pretend the vaccine made her fucking magnetic looked like a real fucking fuckwad and a fucking idiot, so get fucking vaccinated.”

“The vaccine also doesn’t have a fucking 5G chip in it. What the fuck do you think a fucking 5G chip is, fucknuts? You think it’s like some invisible nanotechnology they can suspend in a liquid and then just put in your fucking blood and then it what, exactly? Fucking floats around in your body going on Instagram and telling the government you went to the grocery store? No one fucking cares where you go, you absolute fucking fuck-barf.”

“For God’s sakes a livin’, how difficult is this to understand?” — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R), losing it over the “crazy ideas” from anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists.

Jonathan Bernstein: “Remember that Biden doesn’t need to be popular now. He needs to be popular next summer and fall for Democrats to do well in the 2022 midterm elections, and he needs to be popular in the summer and fall of 2024 for the Democrats to win the next presidential election. His popularity depends on a successful effort against the pandemic and a booming economy. At least more than on anything else.”

“In some ways, Biden has never been able to recover from the politicization of the virus by the Trump administration. It’s really difficult to run a national response when a large swath of the electorate is infusing so much politics into scientific questions of mask wearing and vaccinations.”  — Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), quoted by The Atlantic.

“The fight over President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending package begins for real on Capitol Hill at 10am Thursday as the first of several committees starts hashing out details of the mammoth infrastructure proposal,” Axios reports.   “The legislative marathon comes amid Democrats’ internal squabbling that underscores just how tough it could be for Biden to get something across the finish line.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and his staff “have been engaged for weeks in intensive negotiations with the chairs of key Senate committees ahead of his party’s release of a sprawling bill to expand the social safety net, laying down his demands on a wide-range of issues: health care, education, child care and taxes,” CNN reports.   “And Manchin is making clear he won’t cave on aggressive climate provisions sought by many Democrats, throwing a wrench in his party’s efforts to make the bill key to combating global warming.”

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) told CNN that $3.5 trillion may not be needed to achieve President Biden’s priorities.

Said Clyburn: “I think that there is a lot of room for people to sit down and negotiate. It may be, when you’re sitting around the table, you may not need $3.5 trillion to do what the president wants done and what the current country needs done.”

Specifically, he noted there is about $2 trillion of negotiating room.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (R-MI) tweeted in response that $3.5 trillion “is the floor,” but the way the bill is drafted it’s actually the ceiling.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL.) indicated that she is planning to vote against the provisions under consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee’s markup of portions of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill, citing concerns about the legislative process, The Hill reports.

Punchbowl News: “This legislation is still likely to get through the committee, and Murphy seems open to still supporting it at some point. But her announcement highlights that Democratic members are pretty peeved over the fact that they don’t have more information — like scoring and budgetary offsets — on the massive $3.5 trillion package they are being asked to support.”

“I know we will win in the Congress. People say, ‘Well, in the off-year, it’s not the good year.’ But, I think any assumptions about politics are obsolete. We live in a whole new world of communication and the rest. And I think that all of our members who survived Trump being on the ballot with them will survive next year, because Trump’s not on the ballot.”  — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), quoted by Punchbowl News.

“We are moving full steam ahead.”   — Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), effectively rejecting Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) call for a “strategic pause” on the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.

Former President Trump blasted the decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond saying it would result in a “complete desecration,” The Hill reports.   Said Trump: “Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left, and we can’t let that happen! If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”

Philip Bump: “There are very few people born in the United States who are responsible for as many American deaths in combat and who played larger roles in the near-dissolution of the country than Robert E. Lee. This remains true despite decades of effort to whitewash his legacy, to cast the Civil War as a dispute not about slavery but about state sovereignty and despite efforts to insist that Lee only grudgingly joined that effort.”

“Former president Donald Trump appears not to be familiar with this reality.”

Workers removing the Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond yesterday were expecting to find a time capsule from 1887 buried at its base, the Washington Post reports.

“According to reports from the period… the capsule was crammed with 60 items. Most of it was Confederate memorabilia, Lee family history and the like. But Brumfield discovered one intriguing item on the list: a picture said to show President Abraham Lincoln in his coffin. If it’s in there, and if it survives, that would be a tremendous find, he said — one of only a handful known to exist.”

Former President Donald Trump says he’s making an “obscene” amount of money providing “live, alternative commentary” on the Evander Holyfield/Vitor Belfort fight on September 11, TMZ reports.

“The White House will withdraw the nomination of David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,” CNN reports.  Said one White House official: “We do not have the votes. We will land him in a non-confirmed job in the administration.”

“The Biden administration is preparing to sue Texas over its new law banning most abortions, an action that would set off a federal-state clash at a time when the future of abortion rights becomes an ever-more-pressing question before the courts,” the Wall Street Journal reports.    “The Justice Department could file a lawsuit as soon as Thursday, the people said, adding that the timing could be pushed back. The Biden administration has faced pressure from Democrats and abortion-rights groups to take action to stop the Texas restrictions after the Supreme Court last week allowed them to take effect.”

“Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities are allowing some 200 Americans and other foreign citizens to leave the country on a flight to Qatar scheduled for Thursday, the first such departure by air since U.S. forces withdrew last month,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

New York Times: “Only one day after the Taliban named an acting cabinet to lead the nation they spent two decades trying to conquer, the dizzying challenges that accompanied victory were coming into sharp relief Wednesday.”

“Tensions flared with neighboring Pakistan. Afghanistan’s longstanding humanitarian crisis deepened. And the militants’ brutal crackdown on dissent threatened to further erode public trust.”

“Afghan women, including the country’s women’s cricket team, will be banned from playing sport under the new Taliban government, according to an official in the hardline Islamist group,” The Guardian reports.

The Biden administration has told 11 officials appointed to military service academy advisory boards by former President Donald Trump — including Sean Spicer, Kellyanne Conway and H.R. McMaster — to resign or be dismissed, CNN reports.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the United States could default on its debt sometime in October if Congress does not take action to raise or suspend the debt limit, the New York Times reports.

“The ‘extraordinary measures’ that the Treasury Department has been employing to finance the government on a temporary basis since Aug. 1 will be exhausted next month, Ms. Yellen said in a letter to lawmakers. She added that the exact timing remained unclear but that time was running out to avert an economic catastrophe.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said unequivocally that Democrats “won’t be putting” the debt limit extension in a budget reconciliation bill.   That means to pass in the U.S. Senate it will need the support of at least 10 Republicans.   Pelosi also noted that Democrats lifted the debt ceiling under President Donald Trump as his policies added to the debt and she expects Republicans to do the same now.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), writing in Las Vegas Sun:

“The sanctity of the Senate is not the filibuster. The sanctity of the Senate — in government as a whole — is the power it holds to better the lives of and protect the rights of the American people. We need to get the Senate working again.”

“It’s time Senate Democrats act with the urgency that this moment demands and abolish the filibuster once and for all.”

Associated Press: “The high court announced Wednesday that the justices plan to return to their majestic, marble courtroom for arguments beginning in October, more than a year and a half after the in-person sessions were halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

“The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the execution of a Texas inmate whose request that his pastor be able to touch and pray aloud with him in the death chamber had been rejected by prison authorities,” the New York Times reports.   “The court also agreed to review the case on its merits, without noted dissents. The court’s brief order said the case would be argued in October or November.”

“The Biden administration on Wednesday released a plan to produce almost half of the nation’s electricity from the sun by 2050 as part of its effort to combat climate change,” the New York Times reports.

“Solar energy provided less than 4 percent of the country’s electricity last year, and the administration’s target of 45 percent would represent a huge leap and will most likely take a fundamental reshaping of the energy industry. In a new report, the Energy Department said the country needed to double the amount of solar energy installed every year over the next four years compared with last year. And then it will need to double annual installations again by 2030.”

“U.S. employers posted a record job openings for the second consecutive month in July — more affirmation that the labor market is bouncing back from last year’s coronavirus recession,” the Associated Press reports.

“Job openings rose to 10.9 million in July, up from the previous record of 10.2 million in June.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) reacted to news of millions of Americans losing their unemployment benefits over the weekend by tweeting: “Um, get a job.”

Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham has quietly written a top-secret memoir of her four years in Donald Trump’s White House, and a publishing source says she’ll reveal “surprising new scandals,” Axios reports.   Said one former West Wing colleague: “When I heard this, all I could think about was Stephanie surrounded by a lake of gasoline, striking a match with a grin on her face.”   Said another: “Grisham knows where all the bodies are buried because she buried a lot of them herself.”

CNN: Melania Trump’s closest White House adviser to release book.

“All Los Angeles public school children 12 and older would have to be fully vaccinated by January to enter campus — sooner for students involved in many extracurricular activities — under a proposal to be voted on Thursday by the Board of Education,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

A Florida judge cleared the way for school districts to implement mask mandates while Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issues an appeal to his decision, WFLA reports.

The school board in Pleasant Hill, MO vote to unanimously reinstate a mask mandate was immediately followed by a chaotic parking lot brawl, KMBC  reports.   One man was led away in handcuffs after parents started throwing punches at each other outside the building.

New York Times: “Just as millions of families around the United States navigate sending their children back to school at an uncertain moment in the pandemic, the number of children admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 has risen to the highest levels reported to date. Nearly 30,000 of them entered hospitals in August.”

“The Delta surge appears to have peaked in Florida and other states that drove the most recent Covid-19 surge, offering some relief after the variant upended what many thought would be a more normal summer,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“But cases and hospitalizations have been rising in many other states including Kentucky and North Carolina, data show, and public-health experts said the return of unvaccinated schoolchildren to classrooms, cold weather in Northern states and the holiday season could yet give the virus new opportunities to spread.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Axios that Americans are now getting infected with COVID-19 at 10 times the rate needed to end the pandemic, which will persist until more people get vaccinated.   Said Fauci: “The endgame is to suppress the virus. Right now, we’re still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day. That’s not even modestly good control… which means it’s a public health threat.”   He added: “In a country of our size, you can’t be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. You’ve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable.”

Fred Lowry (R), a councilman for Florida’s Volusia County and a vocal coronavirus denier, is in the hospital with a severe case of Covid-19, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.  Lowry attracted controversy this summer for promoting conspiracy theories, including saying the coronavirus pandemic was a lie.

Garret Graff: “As we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday, I cannot escape this sad conclusion: The United States—as both a government and a nation—got nearly everything about our response wrong, on the big issues and the little ones.”

“The GWOT yielded two crucial triumphs: The core al-Qaeda group never again attacked the American homeland, and bin Laden, its leader, was hunted down and killed in a stunningly successful secret mission a decade after the attacks. But the U.S. defined its goals far more expansively, and by almost any other measure, the War on Terror has weakened the nation—leaving Americans more afraid, less free, more morally compromised, and more alone in the world.”

“A day that initially created an unparalleled sense of unity among Americans has become the backdrop for ever-widening political polarization.”

“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the proxy voting rules that the House implemented because of the pandemic, a tool that Republican lawmakers have taken advantage of themselves,” NBC News reports.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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