The Saturday Report
The best of the rest of the news this week
The most under-reported big story of the week is a blockbuster in The New York Times about how Eric Prince and other wealthy rightwingers paid infiltrators to sabotage the Democratic Party in Wyoming and the region. Nobody knows how many other states’ Democratic parties have been similarly infiltrated or what other sabatoge efforts are underway as the GOP moves closer and closer to becoming a full-blown fascistic party. NY Times: They Seemed Like Democratic Activists. They Were Secretly Conservative Spies. “Operatives infiltrated progressive groups across the West to try to manipulate politics and reshape the national electoral map. They targeted moderate Republicans, too — anyone seen as threats to hard-line conservatives.”
The Florida legislature has passed a law requiring Florida students and faculty at state universities to register their political views with the state. Governor DeSantis says this is to “promote intellectual diversity” but everybody knows it’s about trying to identify and punish (and eventually drive out) “liberal” teachers and student activists. The legislature also passed a bill providing legal protections to students who secretly record teachers and professors without their consent and publicize their statements: expect highly edited videos to start appearing as they try to destroy anybody in the state’s school systems who’s not a frothing right-winger. DeSantis is certainly familiar with the Dictator’s Playbook…
Trump and his co-conspirators in the White House and among the hard-right white-supremacist movement worked together to convince Capitol Police that the big “demonstration” that would be coming was from a “small” anti-Trump group of 50 or so people called One Nation Under God (UNOG). Who was ONUG? It was an entire fabrication — it literally doesn’t and didn’t exist — made up by the Trump conspirators to lull the DC police into a false sense of security so Trump’s people could storm the Capitol and execute Pence and Pelosi, throwing the election count into such disarray Trump could declare a state of insurrection and keep himself president for another 4 years.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers Wednesday that they must raise or suspend the limit on total U.S. debt before August 1, or risk incurring “absolutely catastrophic economic consequences.” Get ready for this one; refusing to raise the debt ceiling is one of the GOP’s favorite tricks to screw up the functions of our government that they want to replace with a billionaire-owned oligarchy. They’re looking for ways to sabatoge the economy so they can blame Biden and Democrats come 2022 and 2024.
Hard-right Governor Ron DeSantis keeps promoting policies that kill Floridians. A coronavirus outbreak struck a Florida government building this week and because most people working there were both unvaccinated and encouraged not to wear masks, two people are now dead and six in the hospital. The sole vaccinated employee who was exposed to the disease in that office wasn't infected. DeSantis shut down the building for a day, then opened it back up with, again, no mask or vaccine requirement.
The phony “audit” performance in Arizona has been funded to the tune of millions of dollars, but nobody knows where the money came from. Rightwing billionaires? The Chinese government? Mexican drug lords? What little is known suggests the money is coming from entities or people closely associated with Donald Trump, but the Republican-controlled Ducey administration and Arizona legislature have decided that Americans don’t have the right to know. When transparency disappears, democracies suffocate.
Plus, In the latest development in the partisan Republican “audit” of Arizona presidential votes, voting system data has been taken to a secret hideout in Montana. An unsupervised driver transported copies of ballot data in a truck to a cabin in the community of Bigfork in northwest Montana, several media outlets reported.
Geeky Science - Does Planet Earth Has a Heartbeat? Our planet could be described as part of a larger “living” organism: the universe. And it apparently has a “heartbeat” that shows up as earthquakes and volcanoes every 27 million years. If true, we can take a breath; there are millions of years to go before the next “heartbeat” is expected.
11 US Mayors commit to Reparations pilot projects to offer examples to federal lawmakers about how such programs could work. This follows local programs already underway in numerous other US cities. Keep this on your radar — it’ll almost certainly become an issue that Republicans will scream about to crank up their white base come the 2022 elections.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, in a private call on Monday with a group of major donors, provided a revealing look at his political approach. Ever since 5 “conservatives” on our Supreme Court ruled that what we used to call “bribery” — billionaires and companies basically owning politicians via dark money and outright contributions and gifts — the American political landscape has shifted farther and farther to the right. Or is that The Reich?
Almost a fifth of Covid patients without symptoms went on to experience conditions consistent with long Covid a month after their initial diagnosis, according to a huge study published Tuesday. “The analysis by the non-profit FAIR Health looked at insurance claims from 1.96 million Americans — the largest population of patients ever studied for long Covid — from February 2020 to February 2021. … The study found that across all ages, the most common post-viral conditions were in order of frequency: pain, breathing difficulties, high cholesterol, general discomfort and fatigue, and high blood pressure.” I continue to believe that vaccine passports are going to be essential for a “return to normal” and that Republicans are opposing them to sabatoge Biden’s efforts to get us there.
In the Atlantic Ocean, there are signs the Gulf Stream may be changing in a way that could have a huge impact on weather worldwide. I discuss this with Dr. Michael Mann, one of the world’s leading climate scientists and the originator of the “Hockey Stick” representation of climate change that Al Gore popularized:
The Saturday Report is a weekly feature available to paid subscribers of The Hartmann Report.