‘Bullhorn lady’ openly mocked a judge’s order to wear a mask in public. Then a judge found out

Some people just never learn. After being released pretrial, Rachel Powell, known as “bullhorn lady” for using a megaphone during her participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, has once again gone viral for posting a picture of herself in a Pennsylvania bookstore while wearing a mesh mask. The video, originally posted to Facebook on March 31 and reported by Law & Crime, was deleted by the bookstore but re-uploaded to Twitter by HuffPost’s Ryan J. Reilly on April 9. 

In response to the video, a federal judge ordered the Pennsylvania woman to show why she should not be jailed pending trial or be held in contempt of court for allegedly violating the requirement that she wear a mask when leaving her home. “The court does not take the defendant’s willingness to flout the court’s order lightly,” U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote. Lamberth added that her noncompliant mask “mocks’ her initial agreement to be released. 

Chief … Read the rest

McConnell flat-out tells Republicans to use Manchin and Sinema to obstruct Biden, Democrats

Both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell strategized this week with their conferences on the filibuster, and both had as their focus the two problem children of the Democrats: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Schumer has a plan for demonstrating to the two that Republicans really don’t want to play nice and McConnell has a plan to optimize the two as his tools to trash everything President Joe Biden intends to do.

In this week’s Democratic conference luncheon, the first in-person since the pandemic, Schumer asked Democrats to find Republican partners willing to work with them on bipartisan priorities. “Schumer is just now laying out how we want to go forward,” one of the Democratic senators told The Hill on background. “Some members of the caucus, a considerable number, they want to understand the extent of Republican obstruction to justify any action … Read the rest

House committee advances bill preventing a future president from enacting another Muslim ban

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 25-17 to advance the NO BAN Act, legislation that would block any future president from enacting another Muslim ban or similar discriminatory measure. While Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to terminate the previous president’s ban on day one of his presidency, “the threat of a future immigration ban on Muslims, Africans or other nationalities and religions persists,” advocates said.

“With today’s vote, the House Judiciary Committee has brought us closer to ensuring that this cruel discrimination never happens again,” Muslim Advocates said. “Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban was born out of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate. Unfortunately, these forces still thrive in our politics and could easily be harnessed again to score political points by banning and separating families. That is why we must pass the NO BAN Act.”

“Muslim Advocates has worked with members of Congress to support [the] bill and also leads the NO BAN Act coalition, … Read the rest

Democrats call on Biden to prioritize citizenship for essential workers in infrastructure plan

Congressional Democrats led by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Alex Padilla, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, and California Rep. Ted Lieu are calling on President Joe Biden to prioritize the inclusion of their immigration bill in his upcoming infrastructure package. “A path to citizenship for essential workers is a critical part of building our economy back better,” they note in the letter.

Their legislation, the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, would affect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants who have been in essential roles amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. “The upcoming legislative package on jobs and infrastructure is the best opportunity to recognize and reward the sacrifices and labor of essential workers,” their letter says.

“For the past year, essential workers have further proven themselves to be a truly important part of our nation’s critical infrastructure and crucial part of the backbone of our society,” legislators write. “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security even designated essential workers as … Read the rest

Feds ask for brief hold on Johnson & Johnson vaccinations to push out new emergency guidelines

The Biden administration has announced that they are “recommending” a momentary pause in usage of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine after six U.S. patients out of 6.8 million administered doses developed a rare but “severe type of blood clot” in the weeks after vaccination. The pause is expected to last only days, but already Americans are reporting Johnson & Johnson vaccination appointments for today being cancelled. While the White House asserts that the increased supply of other vaccines means there will be little overall effect on vaccination rates, there’s no question the cancellation of appointments will disrupt many Americans’ own efforts to get vaccinated, and the news is likely to further convince some vaccine skeptics to avoid getting any of the available shots.

That’s the top line news, and what Americans woke up to this morning. The details are considerably less alarmist and the administration is already facing significant criticism for the … Read the rest

President Biden announces nominations for key positions at Homeland Security

President Joe Biden on Monday announced a number of nominations to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including two who were oftentimes frequent critics of the previous president’s anti-immigrant policies and, if confirmed, will now lead top immigration agencies with the department.

The New York Times reports that the president has nominated “progressive” Tucson, Arizona, police chief Chris Magnus to be the new Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner, and former U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) chief counsel and immigrant rights advocate Ur Jaddou to be the agency’s new director.

The president’s nomination of Magnus, who is openly gay, marks a significant shift (to say the least) from former acting commissioner Mark Morgan, who joined an anti-immigrant hate group since the previous administration ended.

Biden “chose not a veteran of the agency but rather a progressive police chief who promoted community policing efforts while overseeing departments in Tucson and Richmond, Calif,” the report said. “Mr. Biden was compelled to choose … Read the rest

Vaccine is piling up in red states, as Republican anti-science threatens national health

As of Thursday, Civiqs showed 41% of Republicans saying that they would definitely not accept a COVID-19 vaccine, while another 10% remain unsure. With the remaining Republicans saying they will accept the vaccine down to just 18%, red states are starting to see a problem that the rest of the nation would love to have—a vaccine surplus. As The New York Times reports, Mississippi alone is now sitting on tens of thousands of doses that they’re having a hard time giving out.

With just 25% of adults vaccinated, Mississippi is lagging well behind most of the nation when it comes to vaccinating its citizens. But that’s not because of a lack of vaccine. The state voted 58% for Donald Trump in 2020. If that number accurately reflects those Mississippians who consider themselves Republicans, that’s 23% of the state either giving a definite “no” to the vaccine. Add in the small … Read the rest

Clarence and Virginia Thomas have an impressively corrupt activist/judge scheme going

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, far-right activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, have quite the scheme going. She takes in dark money contributions to her Tea Party-connected nonprofit, Liberty Central, and organizes Republicans on exactly the kind of issues that often reach the Supreme Court. He sits on the Supreme Court and never recuses himself as justices are called on by federal law to do in certain situations, including ones where their spouses have financial interests.

And this is going on while Justice Stephen Breyer is solemnly warning that expanding the Supreme Court might be a problem because “Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed” the perception that the court is guided by politics, “further eroding that trust.” As if that ship had not long since sailed.

That ship sailed when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held open a seat on the court for nearly a year of then-President Barack Obama’s term to … Read the rest

Biden releases budget, shows his values: Investing in the environment, health, education, equity

The Biden administration released its budget blueprint for discretionary spending on Friday in what’s known as the “skinny budget” for 2022. It doesn’t provide detailed spending but is intended to establish the priorities of the administration with overall spending levels for the various government agencies, and will allow Congress to begin the appropriations process. It could include some details on proposed overall spending for issues like combating climate change and shoring up the social safety net. In the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, used a lot in regard to the former guy: “Show me your budget, show me your values.”

Which the Biden administration has just done: The top spending includes big increases for education, health care (including combatting coronavirus), housing, and environmental protection. It’s a $1.5 trillion spending plan that calls for a nearly 16% increase across the board in nondefense programs. It will keep military spending basically flat. “This moment … Read the rest

Biden's 'sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced' and so are ordinary people

President Joe Biden continued prosecuting his case Wednesday for raising the corporate tax rate to pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan.

“I’m not trying to punish anybody,” Biden said in a White House speech. “But damn it—maybe it’s because I come from a middle-class neighborhood—I’m sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.”

New polling from Morning Consult shows the American public is sick and tired of being fleeced too, and Biden is therefore prosecuting his case for a bipartisan majority of Americans. In the survey, 65% of voters support raising the tax rate on corporations in order to pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan. That includes 85% of Democrats, 60% of independents, and 42% of Republicans.

The finding tracks with Gallup polling on the matter for more than a decade. When the polling organization has asked respondents whether they thought corporations were paying their “fair share” in taxes, … Read the rest