Yesterday was a VERY BAD day for President Biden. Let's dig in.
Supreme Court blocks COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate for workplaces but lets medical rule stand
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday halted enforcement of one of President Joe Biden's signature efforts to combat COVID-19, ruling that his administration doesn't have the authority to impose sweeping vaccine-or-testing requirements for employers that would have covered tens of millions of Americans.
The unsigned opinion, which came days after the justices heard arguments in the emergency appeal, marked the second time the nation's highest court had unwound a key pandemic policy of the Biden administration, once again concluding that federal officials had exceeded the power given to them by Congress. The court in August blocked Biden's eviction moratorium, ruling that it, too, amounted to government overreach.
“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote. “Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category.”USA Today
A bit of good news: Biden can still compel health care workers to get vaccinated or tested weekly if employed by companies that get Medicare funding.
But I call bullshit on SCOTUS. Don't get me started…
Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) doubled down on her support for the 60-vote legislative filibuster Tuesday, roughly an hour before President Biden meets with Democrats to push for changing the Senate rule in order to pass voting rights legislation.
“I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” Sinema said during a Senate floor speech.
She added that she has had “long-standing support” for the legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most legislation to advance in the Senate.
“It is the view I continue to hold. It is the belief I have shared many times in public settings and in private settings,” Sinema said. “Eliminating the 60-vote threshold will simply guarantee that we lose a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy.”The Hill
She's a DINO, right? Hopefully, she's relegated to the dinosaur bin in her next election. Joe Manchin can go piss up a rope, too.
Another key inflation measure hit a record high
A key inflation measure climbed to a record high in 2021, as pandemic price hikes just aren't going away.The US producer price index, which tracks what America's producers get paid for their goods and services on average over time, rose 9.7% last year, the biggest calendar-year increase since the data series began in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.CNN
Yes, raw materials costs are rising too. And those costs are passed to everybody in the supply chain, being fully-borne by consumers (end users). It's quite simple.
What isn't so simple is laying blame for inflation. What's even harder is deciding what to do about it (if anything). The Fed is under pressure to “do something.” I'm not convinced that they should do anything.
What are your thoughts?
More bad economic news…
U.S. retail sales sink 1.9% as omicron, high prices and shortages trigger biggest drop in 10 months
Sales at U.S. retailers such as Target and Amazon sank 1.9% in December — the biggest drop in 10 months — as the omicron variant of coronavirus spread like wildfire and shoppers confronted higher prices and shortages of some popular products.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.1% decline in December retail sales. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
If high inflation is taken into account, retail sales were even more depressed in December.
Retail sales are a big part of consumer spending and offer cues on the strength of the U.S. economy.
Sales rose sharply through most of last year before tapering off in the waning months of 2021, suggesting that fourth-quarter economic growth won’t be quite as strong as expected.MarketWatch
Sales down. Prices up. Omicron raging. This is our new normal, folks.
Get ready: A major snowstorm is forecast to roar across the Midwest, South and East Coast
A potent winter storm is forecast to wallop tens of millions of people across the central, southern, and eastern USA with snow, ice, wind, and rain over the next few days.
“Get ready, a major snowstorm is coming,” AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno warned.
The Weather Channel, which named the sprawling storm Izzy, said it is likely to produce “major travel headaches” from North Dakota down to northern Georgia and up to Maine.
The first area to see snow Friday will be the upper Midwest, where winter storm warnings, watches, and weather advisories were issued by the National Weather Service. A wide swath of 6 to 12 inches of snowfall is expected to encompass the eastern Dakotas to western Minnesota and Iowa, AccuWeather said.Yahoo News
A couple weeks ago, the PNW had “Snowmaggedon.” Now, the rest of the country will get the leftovers.
You know how we call songs stuck in your head earworms? This guy really had one…
‘A cockroach moving in my head': Insect removed from man's ear after three days
When 40-year-old Zane Wedding went swimming last week, he left with more than he bargained for — a cockroach, which burrowed inside his left ear and stayed there for three days.
By the time he got home, he had the sensation that his ear was blocked.
“I used some drops to clear it up and fell asleep on the couch later that night,” he told CNN Thursday.
“When I woke up in the morning and it was still blocked I went straight to the doctor. I was waiting for the doctor [surgery] to open up, it was that infuriating,” he said.
Initially, the doctor thought he might have been experiencing blocked water, so advised him to go home and use a hairdryer to dry it out.
But Wedding knew something didn't feel right.
“I left the doctor with no relief at all. I spent most of the weekend laying on my side or jamming a hairdryer in my ear. When I had to walk around I would instantly be dizzy. When I would lay down, I could hear the water moving around my ear drum,” he said.
“Over the weekend I tried anything I could for relief — ear candles, jumping on one leg, chewing gum, I went for a run — just anything I could think of [to] get the ear to clear.”
On Sunday night the wriggling suddenly stopped but the ear was still blocked, so Wedding booked in to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist on Monday.
As soon as the doctor looked inside his ear, according to Wedding, she said: “Oh my god, I think you have an insect in your ear.”
“In that moment I realized every movement I'd felt over the weekend was the cockroach moving around in my ear. I instantly thought of the fact I had just been pumping hot air into my head and cooking a cockroach in my ear canal all weekend. It made me feel sick,” he said.
The doctor extracted the dead cockroach in a procedure that took less than five minutes.
“Every time she touched it I just imagined her squishing a cockroach into my eardrum, so I wasn't the perfect patient. It was instant relief… I felt a pop as soon as the doctor pulled it away,” he said.
“Once I knew it was a bug it all clicked together… That's why the water would move even when I was still. It was a cockroach moving in my head.”CNN
You're welcome. Now you have an earworm, too. Except it's in your brain and you can't ‘unsee' it.
Make it a great day!