Feb 28 2021

late Night Today

Late Night Today is for our readers who can’t stay awake to watch the shows. Everyone deserves a good laugh.

Saturday Night Live

Vaccine Game Show Cold Open

Dr. Anthony Fauci (Kate McKinnon) hosts a game show to help simplify the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Weekend Update: Frasier Revival & Muppet Show Warning

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like the Cherokee Nation asking Jeep to stop using the tribe’s name.

Weekend Update: LaVar Ball on His Son LaMelo Ball

LaVar Ball (Kenan Thompson) stops by Weekend Update to discuss his son LaMelo Ball’s basketball career with the Charlotte Hornets.

Weekend Update: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Science

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Cecily Strong) stops by Weekend Update to discuss why she hung a transphobic sign outside of her office.

Feb 28 2021

Rant of the Week

Our potty mouthed Brooklyn neighbor, Vic DiBitetto, is ticked off about sayings that contradict each other, he really hates hypocrisy.

To Be or Not to Be… What?

Warning: Language is a little salty. NSFW

Feb 28 2021

Cartnoon

George Carlin – White Fascist America

Wall street greed, the Koch brother’s and ‘corporatocratic’ American Facism – sadly too funny.
All Rights owned by Real Time and Bill Maher

BobbyK for ek hornbeck

Feb 28 2021

The Breakfast Club (Leftover Chili)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

AP’s Today in History for February 28th

Scientists discover DNA’s double-helix structure; The Branch Davidian standoff begins in Waco, Texas; Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme is killed; U2 releases its ‘War’ album.

Breakfast Tune Mofo (U2 Cover, Banjo)

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

On the Minimum Wage, Joe Biden Chose Failure
BRANKO MARCETIC, JACOBIN MAGAZINE

The following is a tale of two lost causes.

One is the $15 minimum wage. A longtime priority of the labor movement and the broad Left, the measure was one of the few big-ticket items Joe Biden had agreed to adopt from Bernie Sanders’s platform after vanquishing him in the Democratic primary. Though its impact would be seriously eroded by inflation compared to when it was first proposed, getting it passed would have still been transformational and life-changing for many, given that it would raise wages for 32 million workers, narrow the racial pay gap, and boost incomes for single-income parents, disproportionately mothers.

Always a tall order given the corporatist, conservative nature of US politicians, the idea took a big leap closer to reality after Democrats won the runoffs in Georgia, giving them fifty votes in the Senate and therefore total, albeit flimsy, control over the federal government. Pushing it through was clearly going to be a tough slog. But as a core promise of Biden’s winning campaign, and one that has already been shown to be popular in Trump-loving Florida, where it won more votes than either presidential candidate, the measure has both public backing and some pretty big political benefits.

So how did they fight for it?

After promising to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen,” it took just over two weeks into the job for Biden to start giving up on the union-backed measure, telling CBS that he “put it in, but I don’t think it’s going to survive.” The problem was not just opposition from right-wing senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, but a more arcane, technical issue. In order to qualify for budget reconciliation, the filibuster-bypassing method Democrats are using to pass the stimulus bill to which the wage hike was attached, a measure must have an impact on the federal budget that’s not “merely incidental.” And it was looking increasingly likely that the Senate parliamentarian — the official who rules on these kinds of technical points — would strike it down.

Of course, this was far from a fatal setback. Plenty of Congresses and presidents have ignored the Senate parliamentarian, and in early February, the party discussed having Vice President Kamala Harris, who serves as the presiding officer of the Senate, simply overrule her — only for the White House to nix the idea. Even after the Congressional Budget Office released a highly debatable analysis holding that a wage hike would raise the budget deficit — accidentally making a strong case that it would, in fact, impact the federal budget and so could be passed through reconciliation — Biden publicly told a group of mayors and governors that “it just doesn’t look like we can do it because of reconciliation.”

Naturally, activists and workers who have been fighting for the measure, and who were continuing to pressure senators to keep the measure in the package, grumbled that this kind of talk was undermining their efforts. As Washington waited for the parliamentarian’s ruling, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, denied knowing that she had been overruled in the past and insisted the White House would “honor the rules of the Senate and work within that system.”

Yesterday, once the parliamentarian did finally strike down the wage hike as expected, Senate Democrats admitted they had no backup plan for what to do next. The White House quickly released a statement affirming that the president “respects the parliamentarian’s decision and the Senate process.” In other words, he was accepting defeat.

Now let’s look at another losing battle the Biden administration’s been fighting during this time: the nomination of Center for American Progress CEO Neera Tanden to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Unlike the $15 minimum wage, which would immediately have a dramatic, positive impact on the lives of millions of families and frontline workers during this pandemic, Tanden’s appointment has next to no relevance to the lives of almost anyone besides Neera Tanden. In fact, Tanden’s record is one of hostility to the interests of working Americans: she’s a union-buster, has advocated cuts to vital entitlement programs, voted against pro-worker policies in the 2016 Democratic party platform (including the $15 minimum wage), and takes oodles of money from corporate America, funding that we know for a fact shapes her think tank’s work.

Nor does Tanden hold any unique skills or qualifications that make her indispensable for the role. As a former senior administrator with the Federal Reserve board of governors has pointed out, she’s served the lion’s share of her career as a campaign and party operative, dubious experience for the role she’s been nominated for. A former employee has described her as “a very bad organizational leader.” But even if she can competently do the job — and if Ben Carson can run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it’s a safe bet she can — there’s nothing in particular that makes her more vital for the role than the many other qualified, experienced candidates already waiting in the wings.

Very quickly, Tanden’s nomination became a political liability for the White House. Over years of tweeting, Tanden had racked up a prolific list of both Republican senators and progressives she had insulted, alienating an impressively broad spectrum of people whose support she needed to be confirmed. Her nomination not only undermined Biden’s appeals to “unity” and bipartisanship, but the image he has tried to project of an FDR-style presidency for the common man. Long before her confirmation hearing, Republicans vowed they would block her, and her nomination seemed to be put into fatal jeopardy over the past week, when she not only lost the support of the same Joe Manchin who helped sink the $15 minimum wage but several key Republicans.

Looking at the White House’s treatment of the wage hike, one would expect the administration to start publicly tamping down expectations about Tanden’s confirmation and backing away, or even cutting the cord and quickly moving on — particularly given the sizable political downsides attached.

Instead, they’ve decided to fight for her. As soon as Manchin came out against her, both Biden and press secretary Jennifer Psaki quickly gave her their public support. “I think we’re going to find the votes to get her confirmed,” the president told the press last Friday. On Monday, Psaki revealed the White House had spent the weekend “working the phones” on her behalf, calling Republican and Democrat senators to change their minds.

Since then, the White House has repeatedly spoken publicly in defense of Tanden, even as more Republicans have come out against her or are on the brink of doing so. The issue has become more of a public headache, as Bernie Sanders postponed the budget committee vote on her confirmation because “it didn’t look like she had the votes.” In the very same interview where Klain made clear Biden would accept defeat for the $15 minimum wage, he told viewers that the White House was “fighting our guts out” for Tanden, talked up her qualifications and expertise, and disclosed that they were still talking to Republicans to turn them around.

“We know that getting someone confirmed in a 50-50 Senate is hard,” Klain acknowledged, insisting they’d find a place for her in the administration no matter what, in a position that didn’t need Senate confirmation, if necessary. “But let me be clear: We’re gonna get Neera Tanden confirmed.”

“We’re continuing to fight for her confirmation,” Psaki said similarly yesterday.

As part of this, the White House has been encouraging Asian American advocacy groups who are waging social media campaigns, calling and sending letters to Senate offices, and generally using their considerable resources to pressure the White House itself to stick with her. In a clearly coordinated messaging campaign, elected Democrats and party establishment loyalists have been attacking Manchin for his opposition to Tanden, publicly accusing him of being driven by racism and sexism, and dialing up the pressure on him.

Whether or not Tanden gets confirmed probably isn’t going to change a whole lot. But the episode is instructive, particularly for those who are already tempted to shrug their shoulders at the news of the $15 minimum wage’s defeat, assert that the president’s hands are tied, and defend his administration’s obvious apathy toward the measure.

Tanden’s confirmation is what it looks like when the president, his party, and the people around him actually care about doing something: they maintain public confidence in it, make an affirmative case to voters, put public and behind-the-scenes pressure on congressional holdouts, and coordinate with outside groups to build momentum for it. And they do it despite the perceived political liabilities, and even when it seems like the odds are squarely against victory.

To find that kind of leadership on the wage issue, you’d have to look to Bernie Sanders. While the White House was casting doubt about the measure passing and Senate Democrats were at a loss for what to do afterward, Sanders has incessantly made the case for its importance, maintained confidence that it qualifies for reconciliation, worked to gather legal arguments to persuade the parliamentarian, and immediately pivoted to passing an amendment to take away tax deductions from corporations that don’t pay workers $15 an hour when the parliamentarian ruled against it.

Just as with Barack Obama and his Senate supermajority, the Democratic Party and its institutional backers will do everything they can in the coming weeks to convince people that the president and his party were powerless to make a $15 minimum wage happen — that it was simply impossible. Don’t let them. As the fight over Neera Tanden shows, failure was a choice.

Something to think about over coffee prozac

America: Where It’s Much Easier to Kill People Than Help Them
The system is working perfectly.

Jack Mirkinson

On Thursday night, America got a perfect lesson in how the system works.

Just before 7:30 p.m., news broke that the Biden administration had conducted an airstrike in Syria—part of what one analyst later described to the Washington Post as an attempt to “set the tone” with Iran ahead of any potential negotiations. According to reports, one person was killed and several others were wounded.

This was, by all accounts, not a particularly difficult process to put into place. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recommended the strikes to Joe Biden, and Biden agreed, and then the strikes happened. No fuss, no muss. Liberals loved it. America is back!

At almost exactly the same time, Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate parliamentarian, announced that, in her judgment, a provision to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour must be removed from the Senate’s COVID relief bill because it violated the rules of the budget reconciliation process Democrats are using to push the bill through. MacDonough’s rulings are not binding, and Kamala Harris, in her role as president of the Senate, can ignore them if she wants. Democrats could say, “thanks, but we’ll take it from here,” and dare people to vote down a hugely popular measure.

But Harris doesn’t want to, and neither does Chuck Schumer, and neither does Biden, whose repeated declarations that he thought the minimum wage was doomed can’t really be read as anything other than a message that he’d be perfectly fine if it disappeared from the COVID bill. So the Democrats immediately declared defeat. An unelected official made an advisory judgment that Democrats are under no obligation to follow, so the tens of millions of people who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage will just have to wait.

That is America. Killing people is easy. Helping them is almost impossible. Thursday night’s events were the system working exactly as it is intended to work.

The legal justification for Biden’s bombing wasn’t immediately clear, but presumably, he will cite the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which has become the legal fig leaf that has allowed every president since George W. Bush to carry out any military adventure he likes with no permission needed or questions asked. Congress could repeal the AUMF and grant itself some more oversight over the way the president makes lethal and consequential military decisions, but Congress prefers instead to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into the black box of the Pentagon and then walk away. Even if Congress did wind up repealing the AUMF, it feels foolish to assume that it would then move to meaningfully hold the executive in check. Washington has gotten quite used to presidents doing whatever they want overseas. So has America.

No, members of Congress—Democrats and Republicans alike—prefer to save their bureaucratic and restrictive systems for things that would actually help American citizens lead better, healthier, happier lives. When it comes to raising peoples’ wages, the laughable edifice of rules that the Senate has constructed for itself is insurmountable.

People making starvation wages in this country will surely have sympathy for the explanation that their pay isn’t going up because Democrats wanted to follow rules they didn’t need to follow. Democrats have a chance to say that helping people is more important than preserving the arcane structures of a system designed to thwart democratic and humane progress, but they are going to take a pass. Making that kind of change is really, really hard, OK? It’s not something simple, like an act of war.

Feb 28 2021

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

On Sunday mornings we present a preview of the guests on the morning talk shows so you can choose which ones to watch or some do something more worth your time on a Sunday morning.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease; Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

The roundtable guests are: Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ); former Mayor Rahm Emanuel (??- Chicago); Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America; and Sarah Isgur, conservative commentator.

Face the Nation: Host Margaret Brennan’s guests are: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease; RNC Chairperson Ronna Romney McDaniels; Gov. Kristie Noem (R-SD); Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY); and former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

The panel guests are: Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa News Director; Carol Lee, White House Correspondent for NBC News; Eugene Robinson, Washington Post columnist; and Bret Stephens, New York Times columnist.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper and Dana Bash: Their guests are: Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease; White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki; Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA); Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE); and Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA).

Feb 27 2021

Late Night Today

Late Night Today is for our readers who can’t stay awake to watch the shows. Everyone deserves a good laugh.

The Amber Ruffin Show

Reasoning With Parents Who Won’t Let Their Kids Read About Trans People

A school district in Utah recently decided to suspend their reading program after a third-grade teacher read her class a book about a transgender child. They suspended the program, rather than let their children read a book about a transgender kid! Amber couldn’t believe it. Now, normally, she would spend five minutes on the show railing about how the people who decided to do that are complete garbage. But Amber’s having a nice week, so she thinks she’s feeling patient enough to try to talk to the people who are scared to let their children learn about transgender equality in a segment called, “Look At It This Way.”

One Year In, I’m Still Scared of COVID

We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the world shutting down because of a deadly pandemic. *One year.* Isn’t that crazy? Man, time flies when you’re alone, hitting new lows of depression. A lot has changed in the last year, but one thing that hasn’t changed are Amber’s feelings about the coronavirus.

Realizing Harriet Tubman’s Dream To Be on the $20: Week in Review

We cover a lot of news on the show, but the most important news is that it’s Black History Month! If you’re looking for ways to celebrate, Amber saw a trailer the other day for the perfect movie. Take a look!

Lift Every Voice and Sing: The Black National Anthem w/ James T. Lane

James T. Lane performs the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won

Feb 27 2021

Health and Fitness News

Health and Fitness News Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

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What To Cook

 

How to Perfectly Sear Scallops with Alton Brown

When it comes to cooking scallops, there’s a few rules you need to follow to sear them to perfection. Alton Brown knows best.

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 27 2021

Cartnoon

The Lost Forests of New England – Eastern Old Growth

The story of New England’s ancient, old growth forests… what they once were, what changes have taken place across central New England since European settlers arrived, and what our remnant old growth stands look like today

TMC for ek hornbeck

Feb 27 2021

The Breakfast Club (Get In The Way)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

Germany’s Reichstag burns, giving the Nazis under Adolf Hitler a pretext to seize absolute power; A cease-fire ends the Persian Gulf War; Actress Elizabeth Taylor born; Children’s TV host Fred Rogers dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

You must be bold, brave, and courageous and find a way… to get in the way.

John Lewis

Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 26 2021

Late Night Today

Late Night Today is for our readers who can’t stay awake to watch the shows. Everyone deserves a good laugh.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Gramps Gone Wild: This Spring Break, It’s Grandpa’s Turn

hey all took two shots of Moderna and they’re ready to party.

The Seditionist Roundup Continues As More Idiots Are Charged For Roles In Capitol Riot

It’s time for another edition of everyone’s favorite criminal justice segment, A Late Show’s Seditionist Round-up Roundup. This week, Stephen looks at the cases of MAGA realtor Jenna Ryan, “moron” ex-boyfriend Richard Michetti, and former bartender Eric Munchel, each of whom now face jail time for their alleged participation in the deadly January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Quarantinewhile… Don’t Weep For The Abandoned Chuck E. Cheese Mouse

Quarantinewhile… It’s best to look away, and not think too much about what this image of a half-rotted yet still lifelike animatronic Chuck E. Cheese character says about our modern condition.

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

America’s Failing Power Grid – If You Don’t Know, Now You Know

America’s electrical grid is under threat from climate change, hackers and even rogue squirrels. If you don’t know, now you know.

Two Texans House a Stranded Stranger & A Bomb Squad Finds Kittens

Two strangers take in a stranded delivery driver in Texas, an Ohio bomb squad discovers newborn kittens in a suspicious bag, and an Australian sheep gets a long overdue haircut.

Everyone Is Sharing Their Most Regrettable Tattoo on TikTok

A woman on TikTok reveals her regrettable tattoo choice, and Desi Lydic shares some questionable tattoos of her own

Late Night with Seth Meyers

GOP Backs Trump Ahead of His First Post-Presidency Speech at CPAC: A Closer Look

Seth takes a closer look at Republicans continuing to rally around former President Donald Trump as he prepares to deliver his first speech since leaving office.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Marjorie Taylor Greene Frontrunner for Worst Person of 2021

Jimmy apologizes for setting off Alexa in a lot of people’s houses after telling a story about pancakes, and since he has this newfound power, encourages everyone to try out an idea he has. Jimmy also talks about the common flu virtually disappearing, new mutations of the COVID virus spreading around the world and China developing an anal test, a school band in Washington practicing in individual tents, a shortage of monkeys to test the vaccine on, a major announcement from Hasbro about Mr. Potato Head, Marjorie Taylor Greene continuing her campaign as frontrunner for worst human of 2021 by working to defeat the “Equality Act,” Donald Trump’s tax returns being officially handed over to the Manhattan District Attorney, and This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.

The Late Late Show with James Corden

The Late Late Show with James Corden

Now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are settled into Southern California, James Corden thought it was time to show his friend Prince Harry the sights. From tea on an open top bus to visiting the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” mansion, Prince Harry gets the tour he never dreamed of. Special thanks to Spartan for providing an incredible Spartan Race Obstacle Course to run. Learn more: spartan.com

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