Saturday, October 2, 2021

Last Call ForThe Good Package, Con't

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are going back to the drawing board, or back to the mattresses, depending on how you look at the fact that the House vote of the God Package has been delayed until Halloween.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday set a new deadline of Oct. 31 for the House to pass the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

In a "Dear Colleague" letter released on Saturday, Pelosi said that “more time was needed” to pass the infrastructure bill along with the larger, $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package after scrambling over the past two days to get enough votes.

The Speaker said she wants to pass the bipartisan bill by Oct. 31, when the 30-day reauthorization of federal highway programs expires. The House passed the extension Friday night amid the Democratic infighting over infrastructure.

“There is an October 31st Surface Transportation Authorization deadline, after last night’s passage of a critical 30-day extension,” Pelosi wrote. “We must pass BIF [bipartisan infrastructure framework] well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there.”

House Democrats tried to break an impasse between moderates and progressives on the bipartisan infrastructure package after progressives threatened to sink it if the larger “human infrastructure” bill would not pass via budget reconciliation.

President Biden visited Democrats on Friday seeking to ease tensions between the two factions, during which he told moderates that the vote would not happen that day. However, he also called for the liberal wing of the party to be willing to compromise.

Both bills are critical to realizing Biden's domestic agenda.
Vice-President Kyrsten Sinema smells blood in the water after she called Nancy Pelosi's cards earlier this week and got her to pull the vote.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on Saturday slammed the decision to delay a vote this week on the bipartisan infrastructure deal that she helped negotiate, calling it “inexcusable.”

Good-faith negotiations, the Arizona centrist argued, "require trust."

"Over the course of this year, Democratic leaders have made conflicting promises that could not all be kept — and have, at times, pretended that differences of opinion within our party did not exist, even when those disagreements were repeatedly made clear directly and publicly," Sinema said in a statement.

“Canceling the infrastructure vote further erodes that trust. More importantly, it betrays the trust the American people have placed in their elected leaders and denies our country crucial investments to expand economic opportunities,” Sinema continued
Sinema clearly believes she has won this fight. Time will tell if she actually has won or not. The biggest loser is Rep Pramila Jayapal and her progressive caucus in the House. Sinema beat all of them with one manicured hand tied behind her back. 

Like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe did during the Obama stimulus fight, the "moderates" know they hold 100% of the power, the leverage, and the votes.

What passes will only be what Sinema and Manchin allow, and it was never going to be any different.


The Vax Of Life, Con't

 America's COVID-19 death toll has now topped 700,000, a grim figure in 22 months of grim figures.

The United States surpassed 700,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, a milestone that few experts had anticipated months ago when vaccines became widely available to the American public.

An overwhelming majority of Americans who have died in recent months, a period in which the country has offered broad access to shots, were unvaccinated. The United States has had one of the highest recent death rates of any country with an ample supply of vaccines.

The new and alarming surge of deaths this summer means that the coronavirus pandemic has become the deadliest in American history, overtaking the toll from the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919, which killed about 675,000 people.

“This Delta wave just rips through the unvaccinated,” said Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan. The deaths that have followed the wide availability of vaccines, he added, are “absolutely needless.”

The recent virus deaths are distinct from those in previous chapters of the pandemic, an analysis by The New York Times shows. People who died in the last three and a half months were concentrated in the South, a region that has lagged in vaccinations; many of the deaths were reported in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. And those who died were younger: In August, every age group under 55 had its highest death toll of the pandemic.

That month, Brandee Stripling, a bartender in Cottondale, Ala., told her boss that she felt as if she had been run over by a freight train.

Ms. Stripling, a 38-year-old single mother, had not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and now she had tested positive. Get some rest, her boss, Justin Grimball, reassured her.

“I thought she would pull through and get back to work and keep on living,” Mr. Grimball said.

Last week, he stood in a cemetery as Ms. Stripling was buried in her family plot. A pastor spoke comforting words, her children clutched one another in grief and a country song, “If I Die Young,” played in the background.

Her death came in the virus surge that gripped the country all summer, as the Delta variant hurtled through the South, Pacific Northwest and parts of the Midwest. Close to 100,000 people across the United States have died of Covid-19 since mid-June, months after vaccines were available to American adults.
For 100,000 more Americans to die with vaccine's widely available is horrific. That there is an organized, criminal disinformation campaign to kill thousands of Americans is far, far worse.
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