Thoughts on 2021, Predictions for 2022, and CNN’s Rings for the New Year


Robert Barnes from The Washington Post Reviews Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2021 year-end report on the federal judiciary.

In his 2021 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, the chief justice did not mention President Biden’s commission on Supreme Court reform or react to nascent congressional proposals to make drastic changes, such as increasing the number of judges or ending their term. life term.

But he said the independence of the judiciary is best maintained by remaining free from interference from political branches.

“The power of the judiciary to manage its internal affairs isolates the courts from inappropriate political influence and is crucial to preserving public confidence in its work as a separate and co-equal branch of government,” Roberts wrote.

In the report, Roberts addressed “matters which have been reported by Congress and the press over the past year.” These included the failure of some judges to recuse themselves from cases in which they had a financial interest, and concerns about how the judiciary deals with allegations of harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

CNN’s Peggy Drexler says now everyone needs to do personal risk assessments of how we are living with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future.

Nearly two years (and for some, longer), few people want to return to containment or miss important opportunities with family and friends. Most, at least, see the urgent need to keep the economy running and to deal with the social and psychological fallout of prolonged isolation. And many are resigned to the assumption that “we all get it at some point” anyway. While it can be likely, it’s also true that what we know about Omicron is always changing. And it’s important to remember that risk assessment is not just about protecting yourself, but also about protecting others, including unvaccinated or unboosted children, older populations, and people with self-sustaining illnesses. immune system or other conditions that put them at higher risk.

Granted, it can be difficult to know what is safe beyond just canceling everything. Government guidance on masks, periods of isolation and testing continually change. What is considered “fully vaccinated” could soon change. At present, “fully vaccinated” is Defined by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having received two injections of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or one of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but this definition is currently being debated because some health experts argue that the threshold for ” fully vaccinated “should include a booster dose for those who are eligible.

That is why, like it or not, some level of personal risk assessment is needed for all of us for the foreseeable future. Guidelines are just that – guidelines. Adhering to them does not guarantee protection, nor that others will adhere to them as well. It’s important to consider your audience and what you know about them (and are willing to ask them) before making decisions in the days and weeks to come.

Lizzie Widdicombe from The New Yorker notes that 2021 has been one of the busiest years of labor disputes in recent times, paying particular attention to the strike by yellow cab drivers in New York City.

In the second year of covid-19 pandemic, the social side effects of the virus began to become more apparent. Amid continued mass protests against the lockdown measures, and civil unrest in the world, the American population has burst into hives of union activism. Workers at giants like Amazon and Starbucks tried to form unions, with mixed results, and workers who were already unionized continued to hit in order to demand better wages and working conditions. Employees left John Deere factories in Illinois, Kellogg grain factories in Michigan, Kaiser Permanente health care clinics in California, and Nabisco and Frito-Lay snack factories in Oregon and Kansas. (Energy even found its way to that same post, where, this summer, newly unionized workers struck a deal after two and a half years of negotiations.)

What happened? Stéphanie Luce, union researcher at cunning, explained that covid-19 seems to have struck a match under at least a decade of late-stage capitalist Tinder. “Wages have mostly stagnated since the economic crash of 2008,” said Luce, adding: “People have seen the quality of their jobs deteriorate.” Then came the virus, and suddenly a dire situation turned fatal. Health care and industrial workers were ordered to double work in unsafe conditions. Earlier this month, six people died at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois and eight other workers were killed at a candle factory in Kentucky after the facility was hit by a tornado. . (In both cases, employees say they weren’t allowed to leave their jobs until the storms hit.) Meanwhile, corporate profits continued to pour in. Luce explained the mindset of many employees this year: “They think, this company is making millions – billions – during a pandemic. The management does not intervene, they are in their second home, while I am here risking my life. For a lot of people, that was it.

Walter C. Stern writes for The Hill that American history teachers must recapture the idea of ​​right-wing “patriotism” when teaching the truth about American history.

The need to train courageous – and patriotic – teachers and students enough to think critically about the nation’s past could not be more urgent. Without independent thinkers who care enough about the nation’s well-being to fight its complex history rather than back down, the country is ill-prepared for current and future challenges. A society, after all, cannot solve problems it refuses to recognize.

This is why Americans must reclaim the patriotic education of the right. Universities have a key role to play here. Universities can train teachers who are uniquely positioned to do exactly what Republicans say they want to do: develop patriotic citizens. I know, because that’s how me and countless other teachers teach.


The best lessons end with more questions than answers: When does government power over education preserve freedom, and when does it take away freedom? Why have some emphasized the university’s responsibility to prepare students for jobs, while others, like WEB Du Bois, have emphasized its ability “To be the organ of this fine adjustment between real life and the increasing knowledge of life?” What is the purpose of education, and how can people in a democratic society determine the ends it is to serve and the means to achieve those ends?

Marianne Lavelle and Nicholas Kusnetz of Inside Climate News discuss some of the executive actions the Biden administration has taken in lieu of the build back better legislation stasis.

While mostly environmental groups continue their efforts to Build Back Better, many activists and Biden’s own team are focused on what the president can do without new congressional legislation.

“Using executive authority – and boldly – may be the only way Biden can do anything, as long as Manchin (and, perhaps, [Sen.] Kyrsten Sinema [D-Ariz.]) block effective legislative action, alongside a strong phalanx of fifty Republicans, ”wrote Bill McKibben, founder of the popular climate campaign, in The New Yorker.

There are signs that the the courts can stand in the way of some of Biden’s executive actions, particularly on big topics like clean energy. But from the start, Biden has spoken of mobilizing a “whole-of-government approach” to tackle the climate crisis. Here are a few examples of how his administration began to implement climate policy that hasn’t garnered as much attention as the fight on Capitol Hill. Climate activists say in almost all cases Biden could do even more.

Lili Bayer of POLITICO Europe writes that the upcoming parliamentary elections in several European Union member states will be essential to halt the degradation of the rule of law.

Hungary will hold parliamentary elections this spring, and for the first time, Orbán’s opposition has united in an effort to challenge his power. As the alliance grapples with internal divisions and a level playing field, opponents of the prime minister hope to use concerns about high-level corruption and economic challenges to reach undecided voters.

A victory for the opposition would change not only the rhetoric and policies in Budapest, but also the dynamics in the Council of the European Union, where Hungary has often played the role of rebel. It would also have geopolitical implications for the region: Orbán has forged ties with Beijing and Moscow, and a new government would likely do an about-face and align more closely with the EU, US and NATO. A victory for Orbán, on the other hand, would cement the power of the veteran leader and allow him to continue building an alliance of far-right and Eurosceptic forces across the continent.

In Poland, 2022 could lead to increased competition between Law and Justice and its rivals, notably former Prime Minister Donald Tusk. As tensions between Warsaw and Brussels worsen, rival camps are likely to clash both over the rule of law in the country and over policy towards the EU. Law and Justice – which, unlike its Hungarian counterpart, depends on sometimes unpredictable coalition partners to rule – will face internal and external pressures ahead of the elections scheduled for 2023, if the ruling alliance does not collapse sooner .

Finally today, CNN’s Drunk New Year’s Gays have become essentialwatch the New Year’s Eve programming.


You think?

I’m not a big fan of Andy Cohen but it was EPIC.

Don’t think Don Lemon was outmatched by Cohen, because he wasn’t!

I only wish Lemon could have been a little more explicit, shall we say, than “you can kiss my butt.” Maybe he wasn’t drunk enough?

But Lemon was not finished.


It wasn’t just Lemon and Cohen gushing out, either.

And Anderson Cooper couldn’t do anything but laugh as only Anderson Cooper laughs, of course.

We’ve moved way beyond the days of Dick Clark New Year’s Eve.

Have a good day everyone and a happy new year!


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