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Biden Can Single-Handedly Run The Reconciliation Process: Parliamentarian Experts (VIDEO)

Two experts in the arcane rules of the Senate said on Monday that, as president of the Senate, Biden has the capacity not just to overrule any ruling that the parliamentarian may make but also to cut off efforts by Republicans to offer unlimited amendments.

“Ultimately it’s the Vice President of the United States [who has the power over the reconciliation process],” Robert Dove, who served as Senate parliamentarian on and off from 1981-2001, told MSNBC this morning. “It is the decision of the Vice President whether or not to play a role here... And I have seen Vice Presidents play that role in other very important situations... The parliamentarian can only advise. It is the vice president who rules.”


The title “Senate parliamentarian” is so distinguished that one might easily assume it dates back to the 18th century. In fact, the post was created in 1935 in revolt against John Nance Garner, the vice president who famously said his office wasn’t worth “a bucket of warm piss” and who apparently worked out his frustrations by rendering as president of the Senate questionable parliamentary rulings. Only three people held the post before Frumin and Dove’s 28-year do-si-do. According to Dove, Vice President Hubert Humphrey routinely ignored his parliamentarian’s advice. Might Vice President Joe Biden do the same with health care? Dove sees it as a “more plausible” prospect with Biden than it might be with other vice presidents because Biden (like Humphrey) is a former senator who can draw on personal familiarity with Senate procedure. He’s also (I would add) kind of a know-it-all, an annoying quality in many contexts but a potentially useful one here.


These articles are from when Biden was VP but the excerpts answers your question.
Posted by AZProgressive | Mon Mar 1, 2021, 05:12 AM (0 replies)

DNC releases video hitting Republicans on vote against coronavirus relief bill

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) War Room on Saturday released a new video hitting House Republicans for voting against a sweeping $1.9 trillion package that aims to provide financial relief for Americans amid the pandemic.

The video, which the DNC posted on Twitter Saturday afternoon, includes news coverage of House Democrats passing the stimulus package in a 219-212 vote early in the early morning.

Two Democrats - Reps. Jared Golden (Maine) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.) - joined all Republicans in voting against the bill.




Vice President Kamala Harris Calls NASA Astronaut Victor Glover

In celebration of Black History Month, NASA astronaut Victor Glover welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris to the International Space Station for a virtual chat.

In the video recorded Feb. 24 and shared Saturday, the conversation ranged from the legacy of human spaceflight to observing Earth from the vantage of the space station, Glover’s history-making stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, and preparing for missions from the Moon to Mars.

Victor Glover is a long-duration crew member on the International Space Station. He served as the Crew Dragon pilot and second-in-command for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission. Glover is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance.

Selected as an astronaut in 2013, the California native holds a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering from California Polytechnic State University, a Master of Science degree in flight test engineering and a master’s degree military operational art and science from Air University, and a Master of Science degree in systems engineering from Naval Postgraduate School. Glover is a naval aviator and was a test pilot in the F/A‐18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and EA‐18G Growler aircraft. Follow Glover on Twitter and Instagram.


ESPN ranks Colin Kaepernick among best college quarterbacks this century

College football writer Bill Connelly took on the task of ranking the 60-best college quarterbacks of the 2000s, and Kaepernick made the cut. While that seems like an obvious call, some great gun-slingers didn't make the list, including Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott, among others (neither did Nevada assistant coach Timmy Chang, who had a record-breaking career at Hawaii).

Kaepernick was ranked ahead of future NFL stars like Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Eli Manning and Josh Allen as well as top draft picks like David Carr, Joey Harrington, Alex Smith and Byron Leftwich and Heisman Trophy winners Jason White, Eric Crouch and Troy Smith. So where did he land? 29th.

Connelly writes of Kaepernick, who played for Nevada from 2007-10: "It takes the perfect quarterback to fully understand the potential of a given offensive system, and Kaepernick was the perfect muse for Chris Ault's revolutionary Pistol. As a senior, he threw for 3,022 yards, rushed for 1,206 and led the Pack to 13 wins and No. 11 in the AP poll."

Kaepernick is a tricky player to rank in this setting. Statistically, he's unprecedented. Literally. No quarterback other than Kaepernick has thrown for 10,000 yards and rushed for 4,000 at the FBS level. The closest to do that was his successor Cody Fajardo, who fell 341 passing yards and 518 rushing yards shy of those two marks). Kaepernick also is the only player in FBS history with three seasons of at least 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards. He's the only college player to account for 350 points with his arm and legs. His name is in the NCAA record book 17 times.


Roughly 40% of the USA's coronavirus deaths could have been prevented, new study says

About 40% of the nation’s coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the United States’ average death rate matched other industrialized nations, a new Lancet Commission report has found.

While the Lancet Commission on Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era faulted former President Donald Trump’s “inept and insufficient” response to COVID-19, its report said roots of the nation’s poor health outcomes are much deeper.

Commission co-chairs Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and Dr. David Himmelstein, professors at the City University of New York's Hunter College and longtime advocates for a single-payer health system such as "Medicare for All," said the report, published Thursday, underscores decades of health, economic and social policies that have accelerated the nation’s disparities.

The report found U.S. life expectancy began trailing other industrialized nations four decades ago. In 2018, two years before the pandemic, the report said 461,000 fewer Americans would have died if U.S. mortality rates matched other Group of Seven nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.


The Trump DOJ Snuck In One Last Effort to Push Junk Science in Court

With just days left before Joe Biden’s inauguration, the DOJ abruptly responded to a milestone report on forensic science published years ago. In 2016, Barack Obama’s President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST, composed of renowned scientists, pulled the curtain back on the misuse of forensic science in American courts. The council’s report concluded that methods frequently relied upon by prosecutors to convict people, like firearms and bitemark analysis, lack basic scientific validity.

Just days before Joe Biden took office, however, Trump’s DOJ issued an unsigned 26-page statement designed to undermine those findings. It was a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to use the credibility of the federal government to prop up the uncritical use of flawed forensic evidence that has contributed to hundreds of wrongful convictions. Like the Trump administration’s last-minute execution spree, the statement seems calculated to advance a regressive, reactionary, and cruel system of criminal prosecution.

The “science” part of forensic science is much murkier than crime shows like Law & Order or NCIS suggest. On TV, we might see a white-coated scientist gravely study a bullet mark on a computer screen as an algorithm scans a database for matches, ultimately landing on the culprit’s gun and cracking the case. But these TV depictions bear little resemblance to actual forensics. In the 2016 report, PCAST cautioned that several “pattern-matching” disciplines, like firearms, bite mark, and hair comparison, are highly subjective, involve circular reasoning, and have been insufficiently tested. They rely on subjective comparisons—essentially, eyeballing it—dressed up with the gloss of seemingly scientific language.

PCAST also offered several practical recommendations for improvement. The council called for judges to carefully assess the scientific validity of forensics methods before admitting them in court and recommended scientists conduct more research and improve the standards of each science, among other things. A core conclusion of the report is that these methods need to undergo well-designed, empirical testing that reflects real-life cases. This testing is necessary to determine which disciplines are scientifically valid and which are essentially junk science.

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