JUDGE BLOCKS 100-DAY DEPORTATION MORATORIUM
A federal judge in Texas temporarily halted Joe Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations, after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit against the administration last week. In his order, Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton expressed his belief that Texas was likely to succeed on the merits, having argued that the moratorium was “arbitrary and capricious.”
The policy will be suspended for 14 days pending further review.
Attorney General Paxton celebrated the ruling, calling Biden’s moratorium a “seditious left-wing insurrection.”
YOU GET A VACCINE, YOU GET A VACCINE, YOU GET VACCINE.
The Biden administration announced on Tuesday its intent to purchase 200 million more COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
They aim to vaccinate 300 million Americans by summer’s end.
If It’s Anti-Sedition, It Has To Be Good
Goya’s board of directors voted to censure CEO Robert Unanue in response to his unfounded claims of voter fraud during the 2020 election. Henceforth, Unanue will have to obtain the board’s permission prior to speaking with the media.
no new friends for baseball hall of fame
For the first time in eight years, the National Baseball Hall of Fame voted to elect no new players to its storied ranks. In order to be enshrined, players must receive votes on at least 75 percent of ballots cast—a threshold that no player was able to cross this year. Curt Schilling came closest at 71.1% but fell short.
Schilling, for his part, opted to withdraw his name from consideration for next year’s final round of voting (players get 10 shots via writer’s voting before moving on to consideration by the Hall’s veterans committees), saying, “I’ll defer to the veterans committee and men whose opinions actually matter and who are in a position to actually judge a player.”
the one where we learned stocks
The WallStreetBets subreddit rallied together to short squeeze GameStop stocks this week, forcing hedge funds that had shorted them to suffer devastating losses. In the wake, brokerage firms like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade placed restrictions on transactions involving GameStop, AMC, and other securities, citing “unprecedented market conditions.”
Shares of GameStop briefly topped $500 during premarket trading Thursday after being worth just $40 a mere week ago.
Ja Rule, who is always on time and was livin’ it up amidst the chaos, encouraged his followers to hold the line.
buttigieg nomination advances
The Senate Commerce Committee voted 21-3 to advance Pete Buttigieg’s nomination for Transportation Secretary on Wednesday, with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn, and Rick Scott registering the only votes opposed.
A full Senate vote has not yet been scheduled but is expected to happen this week.
If confirmed, Buttigieg would make history as the first openly gay cabinet member to be confirmed by the Senate.
D.H.S. Releases national terrorism advisory bulletin
The United States faces heightened threats of violence from domestic extremists, the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday in a rare national terrorism alert.
While there is not yet evidence of a “specific, credible plot,” the agency expressed concern over “drivers to violence” such as “the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives.”
Said an intelligence official involved in drafting the bulletin, “The intent to engage in violence has not gone away.”
convicted Murderers of U.S. Journalist Freed By Pakistan’s Top Court
Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the release of four men previously convicted in the kidnapping and murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl. Pearl, the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists in 2002 while in Pakistan investigating the links between a British terrorist and al-Qaeda.
The convictions of three of the four had been overturned last year and the fourth’s sentence reduced to time served.
Upon release, the four men will be barred from leaving Pakistan, having been placed on the country’s exit control list.
Hostage Standoff Ends in Murder-Suicide
Dr. Katherine Lindley Dodson, a 43-year-old pediatrician and mom of three, was killed by fellow doctor Bharat Narumanchi at the conclusion of a standoff that lasted six hours. Narumanchi had taken Dodson and four others at Children’s Medical Group hostage, and while four were able to escape, Dodson was not, and Narumanchi ultimately shot her before turning the gun on himself.
Narumanchi, who was terminally ill and given just weeks to live, had applied for a volunteer position at the firm a week earlier and been denied.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Narumanchi’s parents said, “We share your grief for a life so senselessly cut short. We don’t understand our son’s motives or actions but feel this time is best spent remembering Dr. Dodson and her contributions to this world . . . The consequences of this action will live with us forever and we can only hope that faith, spiritual healing and God’s light will guide us through the darkness of this moment.”
WHO Releases Guidance Advising Against COVID-19 Vaccines for Pregnant Persons
Citing a lack of data and studies, the World Health Organization said this week that, unless high risk for contracting the virus, it is not recommended that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.
The CDC, however, says that COVID-19 vaccines, like other mRNA vaccines, are unlikely to pose a risk.
According to NPR, nearly 75% of drugs approved by the FDA over the past 20 years, including all available COVID-19 vaccines, offer no assessment of their effects on pregnant people, causing OBGYNs to lobby for change, arguing that such omissions necessarily result in undue health risks for their patients.
Abortion Ban Spurs Protests in Poland
Poland’s government put into effect on Wednesday an October 2020 ruling that bars the termination of pregnancies with fetal defects. Abortion in Poland is now permissible only in cases of rape or incest or when the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.
Since 98% of Poland’s abortions in 2019 were carried out on grounds of fetal abnormalities, the ruling serves as a near-total ban on abortion, inspiring wide-scale protests to erupt across the nation.
The mayor of Warsaw expressed his disapproval of the decision, saying, “Cynical gentlemen decided that instead of justifying themselves of the chaos, they would take women out into the streets. Maybe the ineffectiveness of the rulers can be covered? No gentlemen, it won’t work. Not only do you bring women to the streets, the whole nation has enough.”
Kaine and Collins Draft Proposal to Censure Trump
With chances of conviction in the Senate looking increasingly slim, senators are exploring alternative avenues for formally condemning Donald Trump. To that end, Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are set to introduce a bipartisan resolution aimed at censuring the former president. The language of the resolution will draw from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and argue that Trump “gave aid and comfort” to the insurrectionists.
Unlike conviction in the Senate, a censure vote would require only a simple majority, making it much more likely to succeed.
Meanwhile, the fallout from the Jan. 6th insurrection continues, as a second police officer who responded to the attack has died by suicide. Jeffrey Smith, 35, had been a law enforcement officer for 12 years.
General Motors to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035
According to CNBC, General Motors plans to “end production of all diesel- and gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs by 2035 and shift its entire new fleet to electric vehicles as part of a broader plan to become carbon neutral by 2040, the company said Thursday.”
“The company plans to use 100% renewable energy to power its U.S. facilities by 2030 and global facilities by 2035 — five years ahead of a previously announced goal.”
A.G. Says N.Y. Undercounted COVID-19 Deaths in Nursing Homes by as much as 50%
According to a report released Thursday, the Cuomo administration may have undercounted coronavirus-related deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50 percent.
The 76-page report catalogued the discrepancies between the deaths reported to the attorney general’s investigators and those officially released by the Health Department and detailed the ways in which a number of homes failed to comply with critical infection control policies, putting residents at an increased risk of harm. Additionally, government guidance “may have obscured the data available to assess that risk.”
Said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement, “As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate. While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents.”
Investigations into more than 20 nursing homes are ongoing.
The full report can be read below: