Issue #204, 2021 Week 37

After a brief break, the news is back to being a bad parody of itself–seriously, folks, I couldn’t make half of this stuff up.  But here we are, and I haven’t found an escape hatch from this timeline yet, so here we will remain. Which means you know where to find us, if anybody needs anything–and as always, we’ll have actions for everyone below.

Events to Know

Election Rejection Collection.  Okay, this one kind of runs the gamut again. There was a rally for the January 6 rally in DC this weekend, which unsurprisingly had a lot more proactive policing this time, and equally unsurprisingly had fewer participants as a result. There were also some stories about Mike Pence and his sad, sidelong peer over the gates of Treasonville last fall– presumably as part of the news about Trump’s head general ahead of yet another tell-all book about the Trump administration.  And Californa’s governor successfully survived yet another recall election, which marks his fifth in four years.

 
Key links:

  1. NBC News – Small Crowd Gathers Near Capitol To Protest Treatment Of Those Jailed In Jan. 6 Riot
  2. CNN Politics – Memo Shows Trump Lawyer’s Six-step Plan For Pence To Overturn The Election
  3. CBS News – Top General Feared Trump Might Launch Nuclear War, New Book Says
  4. Washington Post – What to know about California Gov. Newsom’s recall

Distressing Deportations.  The Biden administration is showing a marked mismanagement of border policy yet again this week, this time regarding Haitian displaced persons. The administration began deporting people via plane back to Haiti on Sunday, ignoring the fact that Haiti cannot accommodate them–remember, the President was assassinated in July and they had a devastating hurricane in August–and many of these people haven’t been living in Haiti for over a decade.  Then after this began, footage began surfacing of border patrol officers on horseback brandishing whips at Haitian migrants, which is particularly galling when Haiti, the oldest black republic in the world, was founded by slave revolution.

Key links

  1. Washington Post – Biden Administration To Ramp Up Deportation Flights To Haiti, Aiming To Deter Mass Migration Into Texas
  2. New York Times – Haiti Protests Mass U.S. Deportation of Migrants to Country in Crisis
  3. Associated Press – US Officials Defend Expulsion Of Haitians From Texas Town
  4. Axios – Photos show Border Patrol whipping at migrants from horseback

Recent Resilience

Roe v. Why Are You Like This Reprise (again). There are more updates on this front, and it’s kind of good and kind of “are you kidding me.” Attorney General Garland, following up on his lawsuit against the bill, has moved for an injunction while the case is pending. (This part is not surprising, although it is edifying.)  A doctor in Texas, Dr. Alan Braid, also wrote a public op-ed about the fact that he violated the law, essentially writing “come at me, bro” in giant neon letters.  And sure enough, he’s already being sued, but neither plaintiff even lives in Texas, because standing is more of a suggestion under the new law apparently, and both plaintiffs are disbarred attorneys. In fact, one of the two plaintiffs is still serving out a criminal incarceration for felony tax evasion and is seeking $100,000 in “damages,” spelling out all kinds of things in a brief that is one wild ride to read.

Key links:

  1. Washington Post – In Asking For Emergency Halt On Texas Ban, Justice Dept. Describes Women, Girls Desperately Seeking Abortions Out Of State
  2. Forbes – First Private Citizen To Be Sued Under Texas Abortion Law Is Doctor Who Publicly Admitted Performing Abortion
  3. NBC News – Arkansas Man Sues Texas Doctor Who Admitted He Violated State’s Strict New Abortion Law

Things to Watch

State of the COVID-19.  There were some highlights this week, which I suppose is something.  In vaccine news, Pfizer is apparently ready to submit data for emergency approval of vaccines for folks ages 5-11; the FDA also endorsed booster shots for elderly and immunocompromised Americans.  In social news, census data also shows that COVID relief impacted national poverty rates. But most of this week’s COVID news… well it’s bad, Jim. The U.S. hit the gruesome milestone of 1 in every 500 Americans dying from COVID, disproportionately in places with low vaccination rates and among people of color. Our hospitals are overwhelmed in many places, especially in the South.  Yet a quarter of eligible adults refuse to vaccinate, and GOP officials increasingly are publicly fighting vaccine mandates, despite the fact that experts increasingly are saying that mandates are the only way out of this mess. It’s like we’re all trapped in a lifeboat with people who insist that they have a constitutional right to poke holes in the lifeboat.

  

Key links:

  1. NBC News – Pfizer Says Its Covid Vaccine Is Safe And Effective For Children Ages 5 To 11
  2. Associated Press – Census: Relief Programs Staved Off Hardship In Covid Crash
  3. CNN – 1 In Every 500 Us Residents Have Died Of Covid-19
  4. New York Times – Covid Hospitalizations Hit Crisis Levels in Southern I.C.U.s
  5. Washington Post – Republicans maneuver to block vaccine mandates, undercutting a policy widely seen as an effective tool to end pandemic

Spectacular Senate Dysfunction.  For a number of reasons, it’s best if the budget reconciliation bill, which we’ve been talking about being dysfunctional and stalled for weeks, passes on a particular deadline,  Nonetheless, the Democrats still have to make it to fifty votes, and multiple moderates of their own party are refusing to vote for it, again. It’s further complicated by GOP threats regarding the debt ceiling, which would be legitimately very dangerous for our current economy if carried out, and intersect with the budget process in a number of ways. If we can’t find some kind of consensus on any of this, we have a government shutdown in the middle of a pandemic. So needless to say, this is very important to watch and to call about, and we need to keep a firm eye on it especially in the next week.

Key links:

  1. NPR – A $3.5 Trillion Question: What Is Budget Reconciliation? Here’s An Explainer
  2. Washington Post – Democrats Prepare For Next Phase Of Budget Fight As House Readies Package And Biden Meets With Senate Skeptics
  3. NBC News – House Passes Stopgap Bill To Avert Government Shutdown, Debt Default

Actions for Everyone

Haitian Refugee Crisis: Last week, terrible and disturbing images of Border Patrol agents on horseback using their whips against Haitian refugees went public. Such treatment of immigrants is unacceptable. The Biden administration is refusing asylum for Haitians under Title 42, which singles out asylum seekers under “public health” grounds. “This violent treatment of Haitians at the border is just the latest example of racially discriminatory, abusive, and illegal US border policies that are returning people to harm and humanitarian disaster” said the managing director at Human Rights Watch. 

How can you help?

Donate to Black Freedom Factory is working on site with the refugees and they are asking for the following:

Non-Perishable food items

Menstrual products

Hygiene products

Water

Baby supplies & diapers

Blankets, towels, socks and undergarments

You can also donate money directly to their website: https://blackfreedomfactory.org

Possible Shutdown: Congress has till September 30th to reach a deal where they can suspend the debt ceiling and approve emergency funds. House Democrats already approved a measure to do so, but top Senate Republicans have already said they will not support said emergency measures.The legislation could fail in the Senate, as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will vote against raising the debt ceiling.

A government shutdown right now would mean hundreds of thousands of government workers going home, others deemed “essential” to work without pay and even agencies like the CDC could be affected. It would be the first time there is a shutdown during a national emergency like the Coronavirus pandemic. 

What can you do? Call your representatives! While you’re at it, you can also ask them to support asylum for Haitian refugees. 

Here is an article from Refinery29 to help you:

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2017/01/138465/how-to-call-senator

Covid Booster Shot: You may be eligible for your third Covid shot! The FDA just announced they are authorizing booster shots for the following people:

-Those 65 and older

-Those who are at high risk for severe disease or are immunocompromised

-Those who are at a higher risk for infection because of their line of work

If it’s been 6 months from your first shot and you fall under these categories, go get your shot to get protected. You can find where to get your shot by going to the following website: https://www.vaccines.gov

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/09/23/shutdown-congress-budget-debt-ceiling/

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/21/government-shutdown-house-passes-funding-debt-ceiling-bill.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/22/health/fda-authorizes-covid-booster-bn/index.htm

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