Posts tagged with "HuffPost"

Supreme Court blocks Biden’s vaccine-or-test rule for large employers

January 17, 2022

On Thursday, January13, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Biden Administration from enforcing its emergency rule mandating that workers at large businesses get vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19—a major setback for the president’s national vaccination effort, reports the HuffPost.

However, the court decided to allow the administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities.

The justices’ decision to intervene and halt one of the vaccine regulations has major public health implications amid a surge in coronavirus cases due to the omicron variant. The White House hoped the rule, issued through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), would protect workers against COVID-19 transmission and encourage holdouts to get vaccinated.

The justices ruled 6-3 in favor of halting OSHA’s vaccine-or-test rule, with the court’s six conservatives in the majority and the three liberals dissenting. They ruled 5-4 in favor of letting the healthcare rule proceed, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh breaking with their conservative colleagues to join the liberals.

The OSHA regulation requires that employers with at least 100 workers implement programs in which those workers show proof of vaccination or provide a negative COVID-19 test each week. The administration estimates it would cover 84 million workers, mostly in the private sector.

Enforcement of the testing provision was slated to begin on Febrary 9.

Business groups and state GOP officials filed lawsuits aimed at blocking the rule, arguing that it went beyond OSHA’s legal power and would hurt the economy by prompting workers to quit their jobs. Lower courts disagreed on whether the rule was within OSHA’s authority.

In their ruling, the majority said the opponents of the OSHA rule were likely to prevail in court, and so the justices’ decision prevents the rule from going into effect while the litigation plays out. In an opinion joined by justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that “Congress has nowhere clearly assigned so much power to OSHA” to institute such a requirement for employers.

“Yet that is precisely what the agency seeks to do now—regulate not just what happens inside the workplace but induce individuals to undertake a medical procedure that affects their lives outside the workplace,” Gorsuch wrote.

In their dissenting opinion, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan said the court should leave such policies to the experts. By acting “outside of its competence and without legal basis,” they argued, the court was substituting its own judgment for that of the government officials tasked with responding to a crisis.

“If OSHA’s Standard is far-reaching—applying to many millions of American workers—it no more than reflects the scope of the crisis,” the justices wrote. “The Standard responds to a workplace health emergency unprecedented in the agency’s history: an infectious disease that has already killed hundreds of thousands and sickened millions.”

The court held a special session to hear oral arguments on the matter on January 7-—expediting the case as enforcement of the rule was about to begin. While the court’s three liberal justices seemed loath to undermine a public health regulation as COVID-19 cases were soaring, most of the conservative justices voiced skepticism of the rule, suggesting it should necessitate an act of Congress.

Alito wondered whether OSHA was trying to legally “squeeze an elephant through a mouse hole” by issuing the rule. Chief Justice John Roberts asked “why Congress doesn’t have a say in this.”

The Biden administration has argued that OSHA has the authority to issue the vaccine-or-test rule under its emergency powers, and that a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates such a sweeping regulation.

such as hepatitis B, influenza, and measles, mumps, and rubella,” they wrote.

Biden said in a statement Thursday that the ruling upholding the health care rule “will save lives,” including those of patients, nurses and doctors. He also said he was “disappointed” that the court blocked the OSHA regulation, saying it included “common-sense life-saving requirements” for employers.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Biden to endorse changing Senate filibuster to support voting rights

January 12, 2022

President Joe Biden, in a speech delivered on Tuesday, January 11, in Atlanta, planned to directly challenge the “institution of the United States Senate” to support voting rights by backing two major pieces of legislation and the carving out of an exception to the Senate’s 60-vote requirement, reports the HuffPost.

Coming a week before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Biden’s speech at the Atlanta University Center Consortium represents a follow-up to a speech he delivered last week on the first anniversary of the U.S. Capitol riot—characterizing both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act as critical to ensure that the turmoil of January 6, 2021, is followed by a revival of American democracy.

“The next few days, when these bills come to a vote, will mark a turning point in this nation,” Biden planned to say, according to prepared remarks distributed by the White House. “Will we choose democracy over autocracy, light over shadow, justice over injustice? I know where I stand. I will not yield. I will not flinch. I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and domestic. And so the question is: Where will the institution of the United States Senate stand?”

Biden, who served as a senator from 1973 to 2009, argues that abuse of the filibuster―the arcane rule that requires 60 senators’ votes for most legislation to pass—has harmed the Senate as an institution and that carving out an exception for voting rights is the best way to protect the reputation and functionality of Congress’s upper chamber.

The Senate is set to vote on both pieces of voting rights legislation this week. While all 50 Democrats are expected to support the legislation, Republicans are expected to remain unified in opposition and block consideration―as they have the previous three times Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has attempted to call up the Freedom to Vote Act.

That unified GOP opposition will almost certainly lead to a vote on whether to significantly weaken the filibuster. But it appears unlikely Democrats will be able to corral the 50 votes necessary for a rule change. Sens. Joe Manchin (West Virginia.), Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) and other moderates are reluctant to change the body’s rules.

White House aides indicated that Biden’s speech points to Georgia as a reason why voting rights legislation is necessary—highlighting how the GOP-controlled state legislature passed laws making it harder to vote after Democrats won the presidential race and two Senate seats there in 2020.

The Freedom to Vote Act is a compromise version of the Democratic Party’s sweeping voting rights legislation, and it would override many of the restrictive voting laws passed by Republicans since the 2020 election and mandate early voting and same-day voter registration. The John Lewis Voting Rights Act would restore sections of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 that conservatives on the Supreme Court voted to gut in 2013.

Republicans, up to and including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, had long supported extensions to the Voting Rights Act but ceased doing so after the Supreme Court ruling.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Bidens welcome new puppy to the White House

December 22, 2021

The White House has a new, four-legged resident. President Joe Biden introduced the newest member of his family, a German Shepherd puppy named Commander, on Instagram (#firstdogs) on Monday, December 20, reports HuffPost.

“Welcome to the White House, Commander,” the post read.

The three-month-old pup was a birthday gift to the president from his brother James Biden and sister-in-law Sara Biden, the first lady’s Press Secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN. Biden turned 79 on November 20.

Commander was born on September 1 and arrived at his new home Monday afternoon, CNN noted.

The Bidens originally moved into the White House with two German Shepherds. One of them, Champ, died in June at the age of 13. The other, a three-year-old rescue named Major, was sent home to Delaware for training after two biting incidents following his arrival earlier this year.

“After consulting with dog trainers, animal behaviorists, and veterinarians, the First Family has decided to follow the experts’ collective recommendation that it would be safest for Major to live in a quieter environment with family friends,” LaRosa said in a statement to media. “This is not in reaction to any new or specific incident, but rather a decision reached after several months of deliberation as a family and discussions with experts.”

A cat also will join the family in January, he said.

Research contact: @HuffPost

How long are Thanksgiving leftovers safe to eat?

November 29, 2021

If your turkey lurks for just a little too long in your refrigerator, is it still okay to eat it? And what about stuffing, cranberry sauce, pie, and all your other holiday favorites?

All cooked leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours after preparation, according to the Food and Drug Administration. And as a general rule of thumb, leftovers should be eaten or thrown out four days after refrigeration. If you freeze your food, it can last from two to six months, reports HuffPost.

In addition to taking food safety into account, these recommendations also consider the quality of your food. In other words, leftover turkey tastes pretty rank after a week, even if it doesn’t give you food poisoning.

If you’re craving more specifics besides “no longer than four days,” here’s what the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service suggests:

  • Discard any turkey, stuffing, or gravy that’s been left out at room temperature for longer than two hours, or one hour in temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing, and gravy within three to four days.
  • If freezing leftovers, use within two to six months for best quality. Turkey, specifically, will last for four months in the freezer.

As for desserts, in general, fruit, pumpkin, pecan, custard, and chiffon pies can be safely stored in the refrigerator for three to four days, according to FDA guidelines. But many pies ― especially fruit ― are best eaten within just a couple of days.

Essentially, you have until the Monday after Thanksgiving to enjoy your delicious leftovers from the fridge. After that, chuck ’em.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Have you heard? Midas, the ‘four-eared’ rescue kitten, has a safe-and-sound home

November 23, 2021

A sweet gray kitten’s unique appearance has earmarked her for Internet fame, reports HuffPost.

Midas, now four months old, has two normal ear canals, but each one has two earflaps, giving her a decidedly “four-eared” appearance. She was born in a backyard in Ankara, Turkey, and ultimately adopted by a family who wanted to make sure Midas found a loving home—fearing others might be put off by her slightly kooky look, owner Canis Dosemeci recently told Reuters.

“We have never thought of buying a cat, we just wanted to rescue a cat from the street, and we wanted to adopt her,” Dosemeci said.

She and her family chose the name Midas in reference to the king from Greek mythology who was said to be able to turn everything he touched to gold. As the myth goes, Midas ended up offending the god Apollo, who punished the king by giving him donkey ears.

While the donkey ears were a huge source of shame to the mythical king, they seem to be a plus for the real cat. Though some people find her look “scary,” Dosemeci said, most are taken with how cute she is. The cat now has more than 82,000 followers on her Instagram account, where some of Dosemeci’s other pets also make the occasional cameo.

Another piece of good news: The extra earflaps don’t cause her any negative health effects, Dosemeci’s veterinarian told Reuters. The news outlet also noted that Midas has a defective jaw―both conditions are believed to be caused by a genetic mutation―but it’s unclear if that causes any problems for her.

That said, Midas is clearly enjoying life, unaware of her fame in the wide world.

“She is a very playful cat. But very friendly as well,” Dosemeci told the Daily Mail, adding that Midas loves to sleep on her chest or shoulder, and is great buds with the family dogs.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Steve Bannon surrenders to Feds after being indicted for contempt of Congress

November 16, 2021

Former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon surrendered to the FBI on Monday, November 15, after being indicted on contempt of Congress due to his refusal to cooperate with the congressional committee investigating the Capitol riot, reports HuffPost.

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Bannon on Friday, November12, on two counts of contempt of Congress. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that Bannon’s indictment reflected the Justice Department’s “steadfast commitment” to showing the American people “by word and deed that the department adheres to the rule of law, follows the facts and the law, and pursues equal justice under the law.”

Bannon is set to appear before a judge in Washington later Monday. Cameras caught Bannon arriving at the FBI’s Washington Field Office on Monday morning.

As alleged in the indictment, Bannon did not comply with subpoenas issued by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack before the required deadlines last month. The committee was interested in Bannon because he was “present at the Willard Hotel on January 5, 2021, during an effort to persuade Members of Congress to block the certification of the election the next day” and proclaimed, the day before the attack, that “all hell is going to break loose.”

This is not Bannon’s first run-in with federal prosecutors, notes HuffPost. In 2019, Bannon testified during the trial of Roger Stone, saying that Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign saw Stone as an “access point” to WikiLeaks. And in August 2020, Bannon was indicted in connection with a scheme to fleece Trump supporters who wanted to build a border wall.

In his final hours in office in January, Trump pardoned Bannon, and had previously pardoned Stone in December 2020, just a few weeks before the Jan. 6 attack. Stone was staying at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, where the “war room” of high-level Trump supporters was set up.

The FBI has made more than 650 arrests to date in connection with the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and hundreds more arrests are in the works. While the FBI investigations will answer a lot of questions about individual criminal culpability in the January 6 attacks, it will be up to the House select committee to answer some of the broader questions about what happened that day.

House Select Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Mississippi) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) said that Bannon’s indictment “should send a clear message to anyone who thinks they can ignore the Select Committee or try to stonewall our investigation: no one is above the law.” Thompson and Cheney said they would “not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to get the information we need.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Right-wing conspiracy network OAN receives 90% of its funding from AT&T

October 8, 2021

AT&T, the world’s largest communications company, has been bankrolling a right-wing conspiracy network, an investigation by Reuters has revealed.

According to HuffPost, the damning Reuters report, published on Wednesday, October 6, shows that AT&T helped fund and create One America News Network (OAN)―a right-wing network famous for its fawning coverage of former President Donald Trump; and for spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election that Trump lost.

Without AT&T’s $250 million offering, OAN’s value “would be zero,” according to an accountant’s court testimony obtained by Reuters.

More from the publication:

  • OAN founder and chief executive Robert Herring, Sr., has testified that the inspiration to launch OAN in 2013 came from AT&T executives.
  • “They told us they wanted a conservative network,” Herring said during a 2019 deposition seen by Reuters. “They only had one, which was Fox News, and they had seven others on the other [leftwing] side. When they said that, I jumped to it and built one.”
  • Since then, AT&T has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue, court records show. Ninety percent of OAN’s revenue came from a contract with AT&T-owned television platforms, including satellite broadcaster DirecTV, according to 2020 sworn testimony by an OAN accountant.
  • Herring has testified he was offered $250 million for OAN in 2019. Without the DirecTV deal, the accountant said under oath, the network’s value “would be zero.”
  • Dallas-based AT&T, a mobile-phone and Internet provider, also owns entertainment giant Warner Media, which includes CNNand HBO. AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015 and in August spun off the satellite service, retaining a 70% share in the new, independently managed company. AT&T’s total U.S. television subscriber base, including satellite and streaming services, fell from 26 million in 2015 to 15.4 million as of August.

Court filings obtained by Reuters show that Herring cited monthly fees in a five-year deal with AT&T as costing approximately $57 million.

In the last two years of his presidency, Trump repeatedly urged his followers to watch OAN, a network that has been loyal to the former president even when facts have gotten in the way of praise. Last year, as the coronavirus swept through the United States, OAN saw a ratings boost as Trump and the network churned out lies about the virus.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Draft report of Arizona sham audit confirms Biden’s win over Trump

September27, 2021

A draft report of a partisan audit of the 2020 presidential election results commissioned by Arizona State Senate Republicans confirms President Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county—by a larger margin than election results documented, The Arizona Republic first reported Thursday, September 23.

According to HuffPost, the county confirmed the conclusion on Twitter but did not release the text of the three-volume report, led by contractor Cyber Ninjas. Instead, it slammed the report as being

What’s more, not only did the draft report fail to show that the election was “stolen” from Trump, as he has falsely claimed for many months, but it also showed that Biden actually won by a larger margin than the official election results showed, according to The New York Times.

The draft report shows that 99 additional votes were cast for Biden and 261 fewer votes were cast for Trump in Arizona’s largest county, per the Times. 

The official results were set to be presented to the Arizona state Senate on Friday afternoon. Multiple early versions of the report circulated ahead of time and were obtained by various media outlets, also including The Washington Post and Politico.

Maricopa County Board Chair Jack Sellers said in a statement that the results of the draft report demonstrate that the tabulation equipment counted the ballots as they were designed to do. He slammed the audit process.

“I hope those holding on to their anger for the past 10 months will see the truth and put their energy into supporting the democratic process instead of tearing it down,” he said.

On Thursday night, Trump shared a statement ahead of the draft report’s release.

“Everybody will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what the highly respected auditors and Arizona State Senate found out regarding the so-called Election!” he said.

Even some Republicans who initially backed the “audit” have come to regret it.

“It makes us look like idiots,” State Senator Paul Boyer of suburban Phoenix said in May. “I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Not an evil twin: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is amazed by likeness to Alabama police officer

September 2, 2021

The Internet has discovered Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s doppelgänger and even he’s in awe of the similarities, HuffPost reports.

The 49-year-old actor, currently at the box office in Jungle Cruise, tweeted this week in response to a post by Bleacher Report that showed himself alongside an Alabama police officer named Eric Fields.

“Oh sh*t! Wow,” wrote Johnson in response to his likeness to the patrol lieutenant of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. Of Fields, Johnson quipped that he’s “way cooler” and implored him to “stay safe brother and thank you for your service.”

He added that “one day we’ll drink @Teremana and I need to hear all your “Rock stories” because I KNOW you got ’em.” Teremana is the “Jungle Cruise” star’s brand of tequila.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office shared a snapshot of Fields and a local man on their Facebook page earlier this month—noting that the man had informed a fellow police officer that he “wanted to meet our Deputy that people say looks like ‘The Rock.’”

Fields and the man are all smiles in the photograph.

News of Fields and The Rock looking like twins even hit TikTok, with locals in Alabama highlighting the resemblance with hilarious videos:

For his part, Fields, who is 37 and has worked for the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office for 17 years, told AL.com that it’s been a “running joke” for him that he looks so much like both The Rock and, apparently, Vin Diesel.

“I’ve been called The Rock and Vin Diesel’s love child,” Fields told the outlet last week. “I go along with it. It’s humorous. It’s flattering. It could be worse people, I guess.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Did ‘Nazi’ this coming: Is there something ‘Third Reich’ about Trump’s new cards for supporters?

August 6, 2021

Donald Trump is offering his supporters the chance to prove their devotion to him by carrying cards in honor of the twice-impeached former president, reports HuffPost.

And critics think there’s something familiar about the designs.

In a fundraising email sent out Wednesday, Trump’s Save America PAC asked Trump’s fans to select their favorite of four.

One (upper right in visual above) misspelled the word “official” as “offical.” Another used an eagle graphic that looked very similar to a popular Third Reich

Above, the Nazi symbol to which the Trump Card eagle is being compared.

symbol (see at right).

“We’re about to launch our Official Trump Cards, which will be reserved for President Trump’s STRONGEST supporters, and we have some very exciting news to share with you,” read the email.

Trump himself thought the cards were “BEAUTIFUL”

and wanted the American people to decide which one they preferred, because “they ALWAYS know best!” according to the email.

It’s not clear which card carriers will receive.

But people who clicked on the image of the cards were redirected to a donations page and asked to contribute at least $50 to the political action committee.

As one of Trump’s Twitter followers commented, “I did nazi this coming.”

Research contact: @HuffPost