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ICYMI, Cramm This Book is coming on February 15, 2022! Cramm This Book is a dive into the history that’s shaped the world as it is today, looking at the wars, the movements, the disasters, and more. Pre-order your copy today!


THE HIGHLIGHTS

Everyone is talking about the filibuster.

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Chances are you’ve heard a lot about the filibuster. ICYDK, the Senate passes laws by intro’ing a new bill…which must then go to a particular committee for discussion, hearings, and amendments…which must then go to the Senate floor for debate. After this stage, the senators take a vote, and if the bill gets a simple majority (so that’s 51 votes), it passes. 

 

THE DEETS. 

Only a slight problem…senators pretty much have the right to unlimited debate - meaning they can attempt to block or delay the actual vote by talking and talking and talking. It takes 60 votes to cut off a debate. This wasn’t always an issue, since the filibuster was mostly used for the most controversial bills, but lately, it’s become increasingly common - to the point where it basically takes 60 votes (aka a supermajority) to pass a bill. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

Over the past few months, voting rights has been a major topic of discussion in the US, with Dems attempting to pass updated voting rights legislation. Their biggest obstacle? A Republican filibuster. So yesterday, during a speech in Georgia, Prez Joe Biden called on the Senate to change its filibuster rules. Big deal, since this is the first time Biden has publicly supported ending the filibuster. 

 

THE TAKE. 

TBD on the fate of the filibuster in the US Senate. 


THE ACTION

CORONAVIRUS: A new study of 70,000 covid patients in California shows that Omicron causes less severe disease than other variants - with Omicron infections half as likely to lead to hospitalization compared to Delta. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the Omicron variant will “find just about everybody” - but vaccinated and boosted people will do “reasonably well.” On the other hand, unvaccinated people are “going to get the brunt” of this outbreak. Speaking of which, the Canadian province of Quebec will impose a health tax on unvaxxed people. And on that note: tennis star Novak Djokovic just admitted that the travel doc he gave to Australian border officials last week…contained false info. He also revealed that he participated in a photo shoot and interview last month, even after testing positive for covid. 

 

WORLD: The World Economic Forum’s new Global Risks Report is out..and it isn’t pretty. The report - which is based on a survey on 1,000 world leaders and experts - ranked climate action failure, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss as the top three most severe risks facing the world. Cyber threats, orbital collisions, and the pandemic also made the list. Meanwhile, a car bomb just killed at least 8 people in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu. Al Shabab, an extremist group linked to Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the explosion. It’s one of many attacks to hit Somalia in recent months. In other news, the US is providing $308 million in humanitarian aid and covid vaccines to Afghanistan. This comes as the country is reportedly on the brink of disaster, with millions of Afghans facing starvation. 

 

USA: The Justice Dept is creating a new unit to address domestic terrorism. Officials say there’s a growing threat from white supremacists and anti-gov activists following the January 6 Capitol attack. In other US news, consumer prices rose again in December. See: the Consumer Price Index climbed 7 percent - the fastest pace since 1982. Not exactly clear how this will affect things, or whether this kind of increase will continue. Meanwhile, a US judge just rejected a request to trash the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Facebook. The suit claims that the biz abuses a monopoly position in social media. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Residential community at sea:” what a new cruise ship is offering. People can live there for months or even years. 


SAY WHAT?

“A kilometer-wide asteroid will make its closest pass by Earth next week” - an actual headline. Just don’t look up. 

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The Cramm · The Cramm · Santa Barbara, CA 93101 · USA