“The nearly $1.9 trillion relief package heading for House passage Wednesday is projected to help propel the U.S. economy to its fastest annual growth in nearly four decades, reduce poverty and revive inflation,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The legislation—following trillions of dollars in federal aid last year and arriving amid rising Covid-19 vaccination rates—prompted economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal in recent days to boost their average forecast for 2021 economic growth to 5.95%, measured from the fourth quarter of last year to the same period this year. That was up from their 4.87% projection last month and would be the U.S. economy’s fastest since a 7.9% burst in 1983.”
“Even if we cut some slack for Esper and all the others who served as honorably and conscientiously as they could until they were faced with either the dead end of resignation or being fired, the fact is that these men and women remained silent for far too long once they were out of government service. They held back important things that the American people and their elected representatives needed to know. They kept them as their own personal secrets, either out of some misplaced sense of bureaucratic propriety, or because they had a book deal and didn’t want to steal their own thunder from release day.”
“As Thomas settles into his fourth decade on the Supreme Court, his influence, even his control, is ascendant. Thomas began his career as a justice as a near outcast – an ideological fringe figure and a scarred veteran of a brutal confirmation fight. Today, he is a revered figure in the conservative movement, and he is watching ideas he championed from the margins turn into the law of the land.”
“Bill O’Reilly’s really talented. He’s more talented than I am… But I think there’s a deep phoniness at the center of his shtick… built on perception that he is the character he plays… The moment that it’s revealed not to be true it’s over.”
— Tucker Carlson, on C-SPAN on September 13, 2003.
The percentage of roughly 450 total deadly political attacks in the United Sates committed by right-wing extremists in the past decade as counted by the Anti-Defamation League, according to the New York Times. The ADL found that 20 percent were committed by Islamic extremists and 4 percent by liberals.
“The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol issued subpoenas on Thursday to five Republican members of Congress, including Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority leader, who refused to meet with the panel voluntarily,” the New York Times reports. “The committee’s leaders had previously been reluctant to issue subpoenas to their fellow lawmakers. That is an extraordinarily rare step for most congressional committees to take, though the House Ethics Committee, which is responsible for investigating allegations of misconduct by members, is known to do so.”
“In what may prove to be Florida’s last stand as a battleground state, Democrats are launching a $15 million voter organizing effort ahead of this year’s elections,” Politico reports. “Democratic candidates up and down the ballot — even those running in contested primaries — have agreed to pour in money that will be used to hire at least 200 organizers and open as many as 80 offices as part of a coordinated effort to pump up turnout across the state.”
A Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court has dropped nearly 40 points among registered voters since 2020, when former Pres. Trump began packing the court with right-wing extremists. Overall confidence in the Court is down from 70 percent in September 2020 to 51 percent today. Among those who expressed no confidence in the court, the number has risen 19 points, from 7 percent in 2020 to 26 percent today.
Charles Gaba: “For the full year 2021, official Covid deaths ran more than three times higher in the reddest tenth of the U.S. than the bluest. This is something I’ve been tracking and writing about for nearly a year now, so while it’s pretty dramatic, it’s nothing new.” “What is new is the ‘other’ excess deaths in 2021: They ran a jaw-dropping twenty-one times higher in the reddest decile than the bluest… nearly 50 per 100K residents vs. only ~2.3 per 100K.”