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Morning Briefing: Biden Press Conference, Cuomo's Latest Scandal, and the Racism of the Filibuster

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 25, 2021 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 25, 2021 |


Good morning. Joe Biden will hold his first press conference today. The cable-news media, which really doesn’t have much of anything scandal-worthy to report these days, outside of the Governor’s mansion in New York and the litany of crimes involving the previous administration, will probably try and make it about Biden gaffes. If he flubs a word or three — as he often does — Tucker Carlson will spend half an hour on his show tonight talking about how he’s unfit for office, never mind that the previous occupant bragged about passing a test for dementia and could barely walk down a ramp. It’s all noise. Don’t give it a second thought.

The latest scandal against Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, is that he apparently made tests available to his family members (specifically his brother, Chris) before the tests were widely available. That sucks. Also, completely unsurprising, not just for Cuomo’s office, but for half the Governors’ offices in the country, at least. Most politicians are trash, even our favorites. I would add, however, that this is a story that probably could’ve been unearthed weeks or months ago, and it wouldn’t have registered much, but because the news media wants to keep that drumbeat going against Cuomo, it’s getting extra play. That’s fine with me. I think he should resign. I also think that this is a footnote in today’s news cycle, at best.

Voting among Amazon workers in Bessemer, Ala. ends on Monday. Bernie is heading to Alabama tomorrow to meet with the union, and that’s probably good, although this is still Alabama. I have no idea how the vote will shake out, but to be honest, I don’t really understand why anyone would not vote to unionize when you’re dealing with the largest company in the world.

After AstraZeneca was accused of cherry-picking data in its efficacy results, they “updated” the company analysis and found that the vaccine was 76 percent effective at preventing symptomatic illness, slightly lower than the earlier result of 79 percent.

Mitch McConnell is still working double-time to save the filibuster, arguing on Tuesday that the filibuster “has no racial history at all. None. There’s no dispute among historians about that.” That’s not true, as this article (among many) shows, and as this Twitter thread shows.

Black civil rights leaders are taking that argument to Democrat holdouts Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, arguing that the filibuster “is racist and saying that they are, in effect, supporting racism,” Rev. Al Sharpton said yesterday. It’s unclear how effective that will be. Unfortunately, having Al Sharpton come after the Senator from West Virginia is not exactly going to hurt him.

Finally, Dr. Rachel Levine is the new assistant health secretary; she is the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate. That’s great news. Alas, only two Republicans — Murkowski and Collins — voted to confirm her.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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