Friday, September 18, 2020

BREAKING: Last Call For The Last Watch

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington surrounded by family. She was 87.

"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice."

Architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation's highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.

Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

She knew what was to come. Ginsburg's death will have profound consequences for the court and the country. Inside the court, not only is the leader of the liberal wing gone, but with the Court about to open a new term, Chief Justice John Roberts no longer holds the controlling vote in closely contested cases.

Though he has a consistently conservative record in most cases, he has split from fellow conservatives in a few important ones, this year casting his vote with liberals, for instance, to at least temporarily protect the so-called Dreamers from deportation by the Trump administration, to uphold a major abortion precedent, and to uphold bans on large church gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. But with Ginsburg gone, there is no clear court majority for those outcomes.

Of course, a third Trump justice will be nominated to the court before the end of the month and approved by Mitch McConnell days before the election, and if not before the election, held as a carrot and prime negotiation tool for late November, or early December.  It's the final blow to the country, one that we will not recover from, starting with the end of Obamacare.

Indeed, a week after the upcoming presidential election, the court is for the third time scheduled to hear a challenge brought by Republicans to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. In 2012 the high court upheld the law by a 5-to-4 vote, with Chief Justice Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing the opinion for the majority. But this time the outcome may well be different.

That's because Ginsburg's death gives Republicans the chance to tighten their grip on the court with another Trump appointment that would give conservatives a 6-to-3 majority. And that would mean that even a defection on the right would leave conservatives with enough votes to prevail in the Obamacare case and many others.

So here we are. Once again we are betting the entire country on Republican senators doing the right thing here when they have every reason to not do it. And every previous time they have failed us, failed history, failed themselves.

Now they will fail one more time, and we are undone as a nation.


We Don't Need No Education, Con't

At an event at the National Archives on Constitution Day, Donald Trump officially declared war on free speech and vowed that "systemic racism will be removed from our schools"...

..wait, no I'm being told that "teaching that systemic racism exists will be removed from our schools" because it's "child abuse".

Donald Trump, speaking slowly and in dark tones, warned a "radical movement" on the political left is intent on pushing “propaganda” to undermine what he called Americans’ “heritage” and bring about an undefined form of “segregation” that he claimed would “destroy” the country.

Using that National Archives Museum that houses the country’s founding documents as a venue, the president delivered what amounted to a campaign speech on Constitution Day that railed against “critical race theory” and declared in a message to his conservative base: “We will never submit to tyranny.” He openly ignored the United States’ complex history of slavery and appeared to appeal to parts of his base that deal in widely dismissed conspiracy theories.

“This radical movement is attempting to demolish these treasures” he said of America’s history and what he described as Americans “precious inheritance.”

Speaking with grim-but-vague proclamations and warnings, the president said: “We can’t let that happen.”

“Left-wing mobs have torn down statues of our founders [in a] campaign of violence and anarchy,” he said, apparently referring to protests across the country stemming from the deaths of black people while interacting with white police officers.

In the ornate hall in Washington, the president bemoaned “far-left demonstrators” and warned “the left has launched a vicious and violent assault on law enforcement.”

Describing the news media and many large US corporations as allies of these so-called “radicals,” the president issued a warning to what appeared to be his white, conservative base: “The goal is the same: To silence dissent” and “to scare you out of speaking the truth.”

The president said he made the short drive down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington “to declare we will never submit to tyranny.”

To  recap, Trump will stop the "tyranny" of the fact that the Founding Fathers tolerated slavery in the Constitution by forming the "National Commission to Promote Patriotic Education"("1776 Commission", a direct attack on the 1619 Project) to remove teaching of this fact from America's schools, colleges, and universities using the coercive power of the federal government to silence it.

This is "freedom".  Critical Race Theory is now proscribed terrorist propaganda, and those who do teach it I'm sure are already on Trump's Enemies List.

Structural, systemic racism does not exist in America, the Greatest Nation on Earth™.

Those who teach otherwise will be dealt with in a Trump second term, citizen.

Barely Masking Their Hatred

The US Postal Service, the White House Coronavirus Task Force (led by Mike Pence) and several textile manufacturers had a plan ready to go in April to deliver reusable cloth masks -- some 650 million -- to every postal household in America, starting in states with large outbreaks like New York and New Jersey.

Trump killed the plan because it would "ensure panic", fired then Postmater General Megan Brennan, and had Louis DeJoy appointed two months later.

It would be months before Louis DeJoy took the reins of the nation’s mail system, and the U.S. Postal Service already was mired in crisis.

Mail carriers were revolting, fearful they had few protections against the newly emerging coronavirus. The Trump administration was bearing down on its finances, sending USPS officials scrambling over what they saw as a potential illegal takeover of agency operations. And then there was a looming standoff with Amazon, which privately signaled it could take some of its lucrative delivery business elsewhere.

The tensions surfaced at an April 9 meeting, when Amazon executives “stated their concerns” about the Postal Service’s economic plight amid the pandemic and questioned its “viability to them as a continued shipping partner,” according to a once-secret memo circulated within the agency, which described the situation as an “inflection point.” (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

The wide-ranging headaches that so troubled the USPS in April ultimately foreshadowed a summer of upheaval, thrusting the once-venerated mail service into a political maelstrom months before a presidential election. Newly disclosed details of these struggles are laid bare in nearly 10,000 pages of emails, legal memos, presentations and other documents obtained by The Washington Post from American Oversight, a watchdog group that requested them under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents, which mostly span March and April, depict an agency in distress, as its deteriorating finances collided with a public-health emergency and a looming election that would be heavily reliant on absentee ballots. During that period, the USPS occasionally relied on the legal counsel of well-connected Republicans, including Stefan C. Passantino, who once served as a top White House lawyer under President Trump. Passantino, whose role has not been previously reported, is also part of a new pro-Trump legal coalition preparing for the possibility of a contested election, a relationship that has raised new ethical flags among the administration’s critics.

Read the scrapped USPS announcement to send 5 masks to every American household

The records also offer fresh detail about the Postal Service’s precarious position in the White House’s early pandemic response. At one point in April, USPS leaders drafted a news release announcing plans to distribute 650 million masks nationwide, enough to offer five face coverings to every American household. The document, which includes quotations from top USPS officials and other specifics, was never sent. But it suggests that the government’s initial interest in tapping the Postal Service as part of its campaign to combat the coronavirus may have been far more advanced than initially reported this spring.

The Postal Service declined to discuss its specific dealings with the White House, Treasury Department or Amazon about plans to distribute masks or its finances. David Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, stressed in a statement that the mail agency is “firmly committed to being a source of constancy and reliability in every community.”

“Our more than 630,000 employees are working to make sure our customers can depend on us,” he added. “We’re on the front lines — delivering needed medicines, supplies, benefit checks, financial statements and the important correspondence every family counts on.”

But the emails and other records offer fresh insight about the Postal Service, its philosophical shifts and the little-known board of governors overseeing its operations and finances. Lawmakers already have trained their attention on board leader Robert M. Duncan, a top Republican financier, for his political ties. The board later picked DeJoy, whose support for Trump, history of GOP fundraising and controversial USPS cost-cutting moves have stoked widespread criticism.

Trump could have saved thousands of lives, but he didn't want to.

He didn't want to admit the federal government had any responsibility in additional role to play other than giving out respirators that were already stockpiled and making governors responsible for them.

He didn't want to be seen as responsible for a problem he had already admitted was going to "go away" in a matter of weeks.

Most of all, he didn't want to help poor people who didn't have masks in blue states. He wanted them to all get sick and die for the sin of not voting for him. They weren't human to him, just vermin to be eradicated. He made sure that not only this plan was going to die screaming, he replaced the Postmaster General to make sure it would never happen.

The man is a monster.

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