HomeUncategorized1/20-21 News Roundup & Open Thread

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Yeah, so what?!



Markey is on board with this. Of course, since no Republicans support meaningful climate action, this presupposes that Manchinema is on board with this. A big IF.


A small but growing number of Democrats in Congress want to move ahead with the climate portion of President Biden’s stalled spending bill, saying the urgency of a warming planet demands action and they believe they can muster enough votes to muscle it past Republican opposition.

Faced with the possibility that Democrats could lose control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, the party is now looking to salvage what it can from the $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act. The sweeping climate-change and social-policy bill passed the House but came to a halt last month when Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat and swing vote in the Senate, said he opposed it.

However, Mr. Manchin has suggested that he might back various climate provisions in the legislation, leading some Democrats to say the party should regroup around a climate bill.

“The bottom line is that we are running out of time and the only thing that can pass is a package that has the votes,” said Senator Edward Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts and a leading proponent of climate action in Congress.

Mr. Biden endorsed the strategy during a news conference Wednesday, saying that he was “confident we can get pieces, big chunks” of the bill passed.

“I’ve been talking to a number of my colleagues on the Hill,” Mr. Biden told reporters. “I think it’s clear that we would be able to get support for the $500 billion plus for energy and the environment.”

That could mean jettisoning many of the child-care, health care and tax-reform provisions that are priorities for different segments of the Democratic coalition.

But as nearly every part of the United States has recently experienced deadly storms, heat waves, drought and wildfires made worse by climate change, environmentalists say the window is closing for action to curb the pollution that is dangerously heating the planet.

“We don’t have another 10 years to wait,” Mr. Markey said. “We should take what Joe Manchin said, take the climate and clean-energy provisions in the package that have been largely worked through and financed, and take any other provisions in any other part of Build Back Better that have the votes, and put them together as a package.”

Of the social programs that would not make the cut, Mr. Markey said, “that becomes the agenda that we run on in 2022 and 2024.”

Republicans, including those who accept the scientific consensus that climate change is primarily a result of burning fossil fuels, expressed less urgency.

The New York Times asked each of the 50 Senate Republicans if they would support just the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act if they were presented in a stand-alone bill. None said they would.


Why does the MSh1tM aka NYT keep harping that it’s going to be a GOPuke wipeout in November? Who knows what will happen then? We have got some MAJOR beyond insanity GOPukes running here. There is no guarantee these aholes will win. The GOPukes have been screwing with voters down here for decades, and a lot of people are pissed!




This is why the clown corporate press barked on command about this. One of the few good things Biden has done.



Just wait until quite a few of them crash rigs. Bet on it.


Something nice


Vermonter Jen Ellis was trying to tune her old television’s rabbit-ears antenna into coverage of President Joe Biden’s inauguration a year ago when her cellphone sounded an alarm.

“It just started dinging,” the 43-year-old Westford School teacher recalls. “Like, DING DING DING …”

Ellis, unmoved, was focused on such history as the first woman of color to be sworn in as vice president, Kamala Harris, and the youngest inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman.

Seemingly the rest of the world, her phone knew, was fixated on the mittens Ellis had made for her home state U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders.

Ellis had sewn the pair out of repurposed wool sweaters and fleece spun from recycled plastic bottles after Sanders lost his Democratic presidential primary bid in 2016.

“I don’t know why,” Ellis says of her inspiration. “I was just so disappointed at how everything worked out and I wanted to do something nice.”

Ellis passed the mittens along through Sanders’ daughter-in-law — a college classmate and director of her child’s preschool — and thought that was the end of the story.

Then Sanders donned them Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, not knowing a photographer would capture him in a functional coat and folding chair amid the starry likes of inaugural singers Jennifer Lopez (in sufragist-white Chanel) and Lady Gaga (in a Schiaparelli gown).

“Honestly, I didn’t think a lot about it,” Ellis says of the initial buzz. “At first, it seemed a little ridiculous.”

But within hours, Sanders’ photo went viral, sparking countless memes, press raves (“truly spectacular,” GQ gushed about the gloves), an all-time Google search high for “mittens” and, for Ellis, more than 20,000 messages from people wanting their own.

An avalanche of offers to start her own business soon followed.

“People made a lot of suggestions that I could quit teaching and open a mitten factory and hire all these people who are unemployed and …” she says. “But just because an opportunity presents itself doesn’t mean you have to take it. I am not a businessperson, and I don’t want to be.”

Ellis instead partnered with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, which promised to create 10 new mitten-making jobs, use recycled materials and give a portion of the profits to Make-A-Wish Vermont.

A year later, sales of mittens and meme-related products have netted some $2 million for numerous charities.

As for Ellis, she’s living in the same house and teaching at the same school, although she has supplemented the sewing machine her mother gave her at age 12 with one the Singer Corp. gifted her after the inauguration. With it, she occasionally crafts donations for nonprofits as varied as the Shelburne-based dog rescue Passion 4 Paws, Washington County’s Good Samaritan Haven and the statewide Outright Vermont LGBTQ+ youth support agency.

Ellis reserved one pair of mittens to auction off for her 6-year-old daughter’s college fund. It received a high bid of $6,100 — from a preteen who hacked into a family account to promise money he didn’t have.

“The father emailed me, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I thought that’s OK, I have a daughter, I get it.”

A second auction ended with a similarly fake bid. By the time Ellis thought about a third try, she had signed a contract with Vermont Teddy Bear agreeing not to compete, taking further efforts off the table.

And yet this story has a happy ending — in part because Ellis says it has come welcomingly full circle.

Back on Jan. 19, 2021, Ellis would have described herself as “a pretty private person with a pretty quiet life.” The next day, she was swamped by press calls, people sending their own handicrafts and, soon after, copycat websites from scammers that brought calls from duped customers.

“It was very surprising,” she says, “and it was also really stressful.”

Ellis would rather talk about her subsequent appearance on the game show “To Tell the Truth” (“there’s a puppet business in this,” “Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander told her while demonstrating on camera) or the fact she has sent mittens to Biden and Harris.

“Who knows,” she says, “maybe they’ll start wearing them around.”

Surprisingly, Ellis has yet to shake the hands that made her mittens famous.

“Bernie has called me on the phone,” she says, “but I’ve never actually met him in person.”

Yet. A year later, Ellis is happily staying put, so she may see him someday around their shared home turf.

“So many good and interesting things have happened, but I kept thinking, ‘Am I making the most of this, am I passing by something that could be great?’ ” she says. “I don’t think very many people get the opportunity to really think, ‘Do I want to keep this life or do I want to pursue something completely different?’ And it’s kind of beautiful to choose the life you already have.”



Few people draw more ire in Silicon Valley than the Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She’s long fought against the power of big banks and corporate behemoths, so it’s natural that she’s turned her attention to breaking up dominant tech companies and taxing the billionaires behind them. So far, it’s not going down well: When she called out Elon Musk, a billionaire who paid no federal income tax at all in 2018, for not paying his fair share, she received a classically Muskian tweetback: “Please don’t call the manager on me, Senator Karen.”

Her response? “Every nurse who paid taxes, every firefighter who paid taxes, every dishwasher and waitress who paid taxes paid more than Elon Musk. That’s a broken taxation system,” she tells Kara Swisher.

In this conversation, Kara Swisher asks Warren to make her case for antitrust scrutiny of Silicon Valley. They discuss Congress and the Biden administration’s first year — if Build Back Better is actually “Build Back Never,” Joe Manchin, and why Warren thinks the Democrats could expand their number in the Senate this year.


Paywalled, anything good here?


Actually I think he understands all too well.


Me, too. That’s why I’m worried about where’s his successor in the Senate?


No shock. Also unsurprising that the Northeast states, California, and Hawaii have the strongest gun laws and lowest rates of gun deaths.


A new study published Thursday by a leading non-profit organization that focuses on gun violence prevention found that there is a direct correlation in states with weaker gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths, including homicides, suicides and accidental killings.

The study by Everytown for Gun Safety determined that California had the strongest gun laws in the country. Hawaii topped the list with the lowest rate of gun deaths in the country while Mississippi led the country with both the weakest gun laws and highest rate of gun deaths.


Well, hel-lo! Duh?! 🙄🤪



Nooooo kiddin’!


T and R, and thanks as always for manning our Nest, Ms. Benny!!☮️😊👍 I am voicing out a shoutout to LD. Where is he and JD? We have to have more young folks show up and help out. I can only speak for myself. I am not young and it is now transferring to the young per Natural Law to right things.



Which leads to the next question: why? More often than not, it’s because people on TV who look like them say it’s the fault of people who don’t look like them. And they actually buy it.


yes. media holds it together as truth. skillfully i guess imho, not sure how some of us got lucky and sussed out the game earlier than some others. Or not Lucky. lol


Well pb4, we know how to read, think, and understand basic common sense. IMNSHO.😊