House GOP Opens Impeachment Inquiry Against Biden - The Wednesday AM Quickie 9/13/23

If we're going to start impeaching every president from now on, let's start some traditions around it. Impeachment bobbing for peaches. Hats made out of the articles of impeachment. Drinking. - Robert

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House GOP Tries to Impeach "The Big Guy," Despite Having Nothing

House Leader Kevin McCarthy has announced an impeachment inquiry into President Biden in the House of Representatives. The question remains, for what exactly?

McCarthy said the House has uncovered "serious and credible  allegations" (note how he didn't say evidence) of Biden's corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power, according to Fox News and and the Financial Times. Republicans' vector of attack will be Hunter Biden's business dealings and attempting to tie them to the elder Biden.

The move is likely meant to appease Trump, who pushed Republicans this week to start impeachment and has been threatening to support primary challenges against Republicans who don't back impeachment, and to throw some raw meat to the ultra-MAGA faction of House Republicans, some of whom are still gunning to ouster McCarthy as House Speaker.

McCarthy reneged on a promise to hold a floor vote to start the inquiry, probably concerned it would make vulnerable caucus members from district Biden won "walk the plank," as Rep. Nancy Mace, (R-S.C.) put it.

James Comer and Jim Jordan, chairs of the House oversight committee and House judiciary committee, respectively, will head up the investigation. Comer's probe into Biden's alleged bribery and corruption failed to surface any hard evidence and was described as "eight months of abject failure." It's hard to tell how much any of this theater will rise out of the conservative media hellscape, but they're dead-set on trying. I just hope we're spared from Republicans exposing us to Hunter's junk in the process.

Child Poverty More Than Doubled in the U.S. Last Year

Child poverty rose from 5.4 percent in 2021 to 12.4 percent in 2022, according to Census data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute. Inflation is part of the reason for the rise, but the end of pandemic-era enhanced benefits were the main cause, particularly the end of enhanced Child Tax Credits. In terms of a policy, both morally and on cost-benefit analysis (almost a 1 to 10 cost to benefit ratio), enhanced Child Tax Credits are as close to a slam dunk as you can get. However, this hasn't stopped ghouls from opposing it; Michael Strain, of the American Enterprise Institute, was quoted in the New York Times saying,  “Yes, this alleviated child poverty, but it didn’t really do a whole lot to encourage self-sufficiency.” Hear that kids? Back to the mines for you.

U.S. v. Google, The Start of a New Era of Antitrust?

David Dayen over at the American Prospect gives us some typically lucid analysis of the antitrust trial of Google that started yesterday. The case revolves around Google throwing money at phone companies and browsers, elbowing out any realistic competition.  

The inability of even deep-pocketed companies to challenge Google, the government will argue, is by design. Google is the default search engine on almost all phones and web browsers in America. They pulled this off by engaging in a number of interlocking agreements that exchange this default status for money, to the tune of tens of billions of dollars that Google has paid to Apple, Mozilla, Samsung, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and others. (We don’t know the exact amounts because Google considers this a classified trade secret, and the court has not forced disclosure. But the Apple contract, which involves revenue sharing, is reputed to be as high as $20 billion in 2022.)

Dayen points out that this case is only the first of several being brought, or have the potential to be brought, by the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, headed by Jonathan Kanter. One goes after Google's digital advertising monopoly and another potential case may challenge Google Maps' control over digital maps and location data.


  • CDC Gives Thumbs Up to New COVID Vaccines The agency recommends everyone 6 months and older to get the new jab, clearing the way for broad coverage from insurers and the government picking up the tab for the uninsured. via Politico.
  • Thousands of Libyans Missing After Massive Floods At least 5,000 people are already reported dead and whole neighborhoods submerged. via the New York Times.
  • Foreign Rescue Teams Report Moroccan Government Has Not Permitted Entry Teams from France, Germany, Italy, United States, and the United Nations are sitting on their hands as critical time passes after the devastating earthquake Friday. via the Washington Post.
  • Common Decongestant Doesn't Do Sh*t, FDA Finds Phenylephrine, used in products of Benadryl, Tylenol, and Mucinex was found to be no better than placebo. Products containing the agreement could soon be off shelves. via the New York Times.
  • Tyre Nichols' Killers Charged with Civil Rights Violations The six former police officers still face second degree murder charges. via NBC News.
  • Major Newspaper Owner Seeks "Taylor Swift Reporter" After Massive Layoffs Gannet reduced its news division by 6 percent in December. via The Daily Beast.
  • Info Wars Co-Host Gets 60 Days in Jail for January 6th Involvement Owen Shroyer was with his boss Alex Jones. via Politico.


92 percent

That's how much profits have risen for the Big 3 automakers from 2013 to 2022. Meanwhile, real wages for autoworkers have fallen 19.3 percent since 2008. via the Economic Policy Institute.


9/13: It's Hump Day! Sam speaks with Yohuru Williams, historian and founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas, and Michael Lansing, Professor of History at Augsburg University, to discuss their documentary project on the history of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) entitled "Overpoliced and Underprotected in MSP." Then, he's joined by Mario Ariza, investigative reporter at Floodlight News, to discuss his recent reporting on a November 2023 ballot measure in Maine that would create a non-profit power utility in the state.


A Win for Workers: New Ruling Empowers Unions In Fight for Representation | Harold Meyerson | TMR

Unfair labor practices may trigger union victories by default under new rules.

Why The DOJ Needs To Go After Big Oil

Make the companies most responsible for climate change pay.


“Democracy does not die with a few major blows, but rather with many small steps.”

-- Israeli Supreme Court judge Isaac Amit said during the first hearing challenging the far-right Israeli government's judicial coup. via AlJazeera.

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