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Friday, May 17, 2024

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Missing Link) derailed a House Oversight Committee meeting Thursday by insulting Rep. Jasmine Crockett's (D-Texas) "fake eyelashes." Attacking the physical appearance of another member is against House rules, but the committee's Republican chair ruled to allow it, leading Crockett to respond, "I'm just curious, just to better understand your ruling. If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody's bleach blonde, bad built, butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?" read more

World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler was detained by Louisville Metro Police on Friday morning while trying to drive into the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club, the site of this week's PGA Championship. According to ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the incident, Scheffler was trying to drive around a crash scene on a median. read more

Federico Kochlowski, the new president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, had a not-so-subtle message for workers as they headed to the polls this week to vote in a potentially historic union election. "[A]lthough I respect everyone's right to take a position on this matter, I prefer that we work on our future together without anyone else between us," he wrote. read more

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Wall Street's three major indexes notched record closes on Wednesday with the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX), and the Nasdaq (.IXIC), both advancing more than 1%, after a smaller-than-expected rise in consumer inflation bolstered investors' hopes for interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. All three indexes hit intraday record highs with technology stocks leading the charge. The blue-chip Dow (.DJI), drew closer to the 40,000 milestone. read more

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Fear of uncontrolled immigration is upsetting the political landscape in the run-up to the presidential election. Americans' mistrust of new immigrants is hardly new. In fact, it exhibits a striking resemblance to the prevailing fears 100 years ago. On May 15, 1924, Congress passed the Johnson-Reed Act, which would constrain immigration into the United States to preserve, in Smith's words, America's "pure, unadulterated Anglo-Saxon stock." read more


Why Justice Samuel Alito's upside-down flag controversy matters

In case this isn't obvious, Jan. 17, 2021, was just 11 days after the Trump-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol -- featuring insurrectionist rioters carrying the same flag that flew at Alito's home -- and just three days before Joe Biden's presidential inauguration, when there was ongoing uncertainty about the threat of far-right political violence.

The Times' report added, "While the flag was up, the court was still contending with whether to hear a 2020 election case, with Justice Alito on the losing end of that decision."

Alito didn't disavow the upside-down flag or deny its significance. He did, however, blame his wife -- which is every bit as unpersuasive as it seems.

We are, after all, talking about a sitting justice who has earned a reputation as the high court's most unyielding ideologue, who has delivered a series of overtly political speeches, who's issued public endorsements of a conservative advocacy group's work, who thought it'd be a good idea to defend the Supreme Court's integrity at a pro-Trump organization exactly two weeks before the 2022 midterm elections, who's appeared a bit too cozy with the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, and who's declared his indifference to congressional oversight in ways that were panned as "stunningly wrong."

Ethics scandals. Leaked rulings. A deteriorating public image. Radical and unpopular decisions. Growing assumptions that the justices are partisans who pick a preferred conclusion and then work backwards to justify it. Alito's latest controversy -- the latest in a series -- makes an ugly situation worse.

Steve Benen

A police officer instructed Scheffler to stop, but Scheffler continued to drive about 10 to 20 yards toward the entrance.

At one point, an officer attached himself to the side of Scheffler's car. Scheffler stopped his car as he turned into the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club.

After about 20 to 30 seconds, Scheffler rolled down his window to talk to the officer. The officer grabbed Scheffler's arm to pull him out of the vehicle, according to Darlington. The officer reached inside the vehicle to open the door, and once Scheffler was pulled out, he was pushed against the car and placed in handcuffs.

Darlington was standing at the entrance when Scheffler was detained. Darlington said Scheffler turned to him and asked, "Can you help?"

According to Darlington, an officer instructed him to back away. "You need to get out of the way," the officer told Darlington. "Right now, he's going to jail, and there's nothing you can do about it."

Well, it appears that mild-mannered Scottie Scheffler just found out how it feels to be treated as though he was DWB even though he's a pale multimillionaire and one of the most famous professional golfers on the planet.

The part I'm failing to understand is how Scheffler is charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer when it was the officer who decided to "attach" himself to Scheffler's moving car. Unless Scheffler was going to endanger others in his attempt to circumvent the accident scene, I don't see how any of this was warranted nor useful in the overall scheme of things. Police judgment is often out of control, and this appears to be another example of an unwarranted escalation solely due to an officer's lack of reasonable perspective. To my knowledge, event-provided courtesy cars are readily identifiable by stickers, plates, and uniformity of make and model.

The video makes the police look quite unhinged and overreactive due to this being a freaking golf tournament, not an appearance by a President or politician.

An uproar ensued, with Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) calling for order, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) demanding the committee "take down" Greene's words, essentially reprimanding her for insulting another lawmaker.

"That is absolutely unacceptable, how dare you attack the physical appearance of another person," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Comer soon suspended the hearing for several minutes so lawmakers could confer with their parliamentary experts, and Greene agreed to "strike" her words, but she refused to apologize.

Eventually, after several more minutes of parliamentary arguing, the committee voted to allow Greene to finish her allotted speaking time. But Crockett wasn't finished.

"I'm just curious, just to better understand your ruling," Crockett said. "If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody's bleach blonde, bad built, butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?"

"What now?" Comer said.

It's hard to ever feel sorry for Comer, but this incident comes close in engendering him some sympathy. Is this the first catfight to break out in a House subcommittee? Between MTG projecting that AOC "(doesn't) have the intelligence" to debate her, and then Crockett asking the chair if it's alright to "start talking about somebody's bleach blonde, bad(ly) built butch body," there likely isn't an elected GOP man alive prepared to understand, much less handle this situation with anything approaching aplomb.

But the absolute lack of respect and decency shown her fellow elected officials and for the institution of representative government itself constantly shown by MTG is appalling and falls far beneath what should be expected by anyone elected to national office. She's an absolute disgrace.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Tops 40000 for the First Time

We all know this. But we also know that "confidence" is another measure of the economy that isn't based on raw numbers themselves, and I've never seen corporate confidence low whenever the indexes are setting record highs matched with record corporate profits.

Now, the problem with the above is that monied donors still believe their interests will be served even more positively with the GOP controlling policy, even though at the moment it's Democrats creating the conditions for record breaking revenues and stock valuations.

And wages for workers have also reached all-time highs even though inflation continues to eat away at those gains. Let me put it this way, if things were the opposite, Republicans would be flogging Democrats on a daily basis. At minimum, the rising indexes keep that particular economic factor out of the negative column.

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