Your Virtual Front Page for Thursday, June 17, 2021


Haven’t had one of these in awhile. But there’s been a lot going on. Here’s some of it:

  1. Affordable Care Act survives third Supreme Court challenge — Remember how so many people were worrying about this before the election, during the hearings for Amy Coney Barrett (while I was cringing over the fact we were having those hearings right then, because I was worried they would hurt Joe’s chances)? Well, they needn’t have worried. It was 7-2. I guess I needn’t have worried so much about the other thing, either.
  2. Biden, Putin hold ‘positive’ summit but divisions remain — This is getting a little old, but makes the page anyway because there wasn’t a page yesterday. Probably the best take I’ve seen on this so far is from E.J. Dionne, who wrote, “Biden to Putin: Stability, sure. But democracy matters.” That said, I should mention something else E.J. refers to: The Putin meeting was a sideshow, unavoidable in light of the last four years of madness. But the important thing that happened this week was the fervent embrace of Biden’s America by Europe. Yes, America is back.
  3. House votes to repeal 2002 authorization for military force — In other news, maybe there’ll be a vote coming up to repeal the Alien and Sedition Acts. Bet you didn’t know we still had those, did you? I’m not sure what the force authorization vote is about, other than people who weren’t there to make a difficult decision trying to distance themselves from Bush’s moves on Iraq, which are now unpopular on both the left and the “America First” right (which I suppose is why it was bipartisan enough that Nancy Mace voted for it). For the record, I would have been against the A&S Acts at the time, but I still probably would have voted for Adams in 1800.
  4. Former SC telecom exec Lightsey to succeed Hitt — This is the closest thing I could find to actual news on the local front. It makes it because Bobby, whom I first knew 30-something years ago in a radically different context, has now had this job for a decade.
  5. Supreme Court unanimously rules for Catholic group in Philadelphia dispute — They’ve been busy today, haven’t they?
  6. Biden is set to sign a law making Juneteenth a federal holiday — This is kind of old, too, but I guess Joe signing it today will make it fresher. And a lot of people are really happy about it, and good for them. Of course, I continue to think it an odd day to celebrate. Were it up to me, we’d be talking about Dec. 6, the day on which the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865. That’s when slavery ended, not on a day when, in one out-of-the-way place, people first heard about the Emancipation Proclamation from two years earlier, which of course did not end slavery. But I’m kind of a pedant, right?
She's a pretty nice girl, isn't she?

She’s a pretty nice girl, isn’t she?



27 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page for Thursday, June 17, 2021

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    Dang, that was way harder than doing an “Open Thread.” For many of the same reasons my job was hard when I was in charge of REAL front pages back in the 80s. It’s such a restrictive form, and there are so many rules.

    And while there’s a lot of news here, this “page” is still lacking. The mix isn’t great, so it falls short of ideal. (Although I’ll confess, back in the day, I liked a page that was pure hard news.) I needed a really good light piece. Oh, well.

    If I find the time, I’ll do an Open Thread later today, just as a way of winding down and relaxing…

  2. Bryan Caskey

    In other Supreme Court related news, our South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered the state to actually form a firing squad. Since the legislature passed a law requiring inmates to have a choice, the Court is appropriately telling the Dept. of Corrections it needs to give condemned inmates an actual choice. So…the two condemned men will get a reprieve until South Carolina can organize a firing squad.

    In political compromise news, Manchin’s proposed compromise on the issue of Voting Rights is being endorsed by Stacey Abrams.

    The “give” for Democrats seems to be the issue of Voter ID, which is what Abrams, Biden, and the entire Democratic party has essentially spent the last several months calling “Jim Crow 2.0”. The Manchin compromise looks very much like the Georgia law that has caused such an uproar.

    The “give” for Republicans is going to be the end of state legislative control over drawing districts and allow “computer models” to do it. Sounds like a tall order, that is going to have Manchin drawing criticism from both sides. If that’s the case, then it’s probably a good compromise. 🙂

    I always tell clients that a good settlement is one that leaves both sides unhappy.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      The Late State

      Dang! You know, I had missed the SC court thing. You know why? Because in its print edition, The State only publishes “news” that’s at least a day or two old, and I looked at the e-edition this morning instead of the website.

      The front page of The State (see above) led with how the execution was going ahead on Friday. Because, you know, the contrary news didn’t break until about 5 p.m. yesterday, which is apparently too late for The State to react to it in print.

      The sad times in which we live…

      And I didn’t see it on the Post and Courier site because it’s, you know, old now…

      Anyway, all of that said, y’all know I’m against capital punishment anyway, but if we’re going to have it, we should follow the rules. Of course, Henry doesn’t think so, but I suspect that’s mainly because Henry doesn’t think, he just panders…

    2. Barry

      Not so fast.

      Republican Roy Blunt (in leadership in the Senate) said that the Manchin proposal was now the Stacey Abrams proposal since she mentioned she might be able compromise on it – which means the proposal is 100% dead on the GOP side.

      (This is the GOP cooperation on display that Manchin keeps naively suggesting is possible) – if he’s just nice enough to Republicans.)

      After all, the GOP can’t go along with any effort that a private citizen would promote. (Ahem……..).

    3. Barry

      “ I always tell clients that a good settlement is one that leaves both sides unhappy.”

      You have two sides that want to end the negotiation and come away with something. That’s not what is happening in Washington.

      The GOP has no motivation to end anything. ZERO.

      GOP led states are changing the election laws themselves with no Democratic support or even outreach by Republicans – and on the national stage, they have Joe Manchin who doesn’t want to do anything regarding election/voting because he doesn’t want the GOP to feel like they don’t have a say.

      It’s like a football coach not wanting to run his best play because he doesn’t want the other team to feel bad- —while his team is losing 30-0.

    4. Ken

      Abrams explicitly endorsed the Manchin proposal as a “first step,” not as a be-all, end-all solution.

      And if the Manchin proposal is like the GA law, then Rs in Congress must oppose what their fellow Rs did in GA. Because McConnell now says they will oppose his overture.

  3. bud

    1. I’m cautiously optimistic that the endless attempts by Republicans to get rid of the ACA is finally at an end. This particular effort was unusually ridiculous, even for the GOP. Essentially the majority decided (correctly) that the plaintiffs had no standing. Yet 2 justices nevertheless voted with the plaintiffs. I need to read the dissent on this. Can’t imagine their logic. But conservative justices are infinitely creative in arguing nonsense. Fortunately common sense and decency prevailed this time.

  4. Ken

    The interesting thing about the current battle over election reform is that … it’s happened before. Early in the Carter Administration, the White House put forward a sweeping electoral reform package aimed at increasing voter participation. At the outset it enjoyed bipartisan support, with Republicans lining up alongside Democrats in favor. Senator Howard Baker suggested going even further by making election day a national holiday, keeping polling places open 24 hours and even instituting automatic registration. So what happened? The New Right movement launched a full-court press against the reforms, claiming they would, among other horrors, encourage cheating. A champion of that movement, Ronald Reagan, echoed that, calling the reforms the “Universal Voter Fraud Bill,” while claiming that that it was aimed at bringing in more voters who depend on government handouts, who tend to vote Democratic, and so threatened to make the GOP a permanent minority. Sound familiar? The only real difference between now and then is that the New Right and the Republican Party are one in the same. Underneath, there’s nothing at all new in McConnell’s position.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      And then, some time later, Howard Baker ran for president in what was for those days a crowded field (six or seven, as I recall).

      I covered him when he was campaigning in Iowa. He did not catch on. Nor did the other Republican I liked (not that I would have ended up voting for either, since Jimmy Carter was my main man), George H.W. Bush.

      Instead, the candidate I like the LEAST blew past them and got the nomination. And y’all know the rest. It wasn’t pretty…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Looks like we are heading for the good old days of the Jimmy Carter style inflation soon, so at least we’ll have that to look forward to.

        1. bud

          Little known fact: The Carter years resulted in greater job creation than the Reagan years. I’m fine with returning to those days.

          As for inflation, the much ballyhooed increase in energy prices is a myth. Gasoline prices today are almost exactly where they were in the summer of 2019. When you peel back the onion of conservative talking nonsense is that economy does much better when Democrats are in charge. Except for perhaps the super rich.

          1. bud

            Yep I remember the Carter inflation days well. He issued a wage and price control proclamation because things got so bad. Then there was that ridiculous WIN (whip inflation now) campaign. Oh wait. Those inflation fighting efforts occurred under Nixon and Ford respectively. Carter just inherited their failed efforts. Carter actually had a real plan to fight inflation. He appointed a tough inflation fighter to the Federal Reserve, Paul Volker. Volkers measures were not pretty causing a huge run up in interest rates. That is one of the factors that doomed Carter’s re-election bid. But it worked and Reagan got the credit. Carter had a lot of things right, energy, ME, etc. Sadly he doesn’t get any credit.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              I went to see a doctor in Memphis during the Ford administration. I think it was when I was in college and had a weird rash on my arm that we later figured out was caused by some soap I was using.

              Anyway, it was some doctor I’d never seen before and would never see again (like so many in my life up to that point, growing up in the Navy — but this was a civilian doc).

              Anyway, the main thing I remember about it is that the doctor was wearing a WIN lapel button. And I thought that was SO weird. I never saw anybody else, before or after that, wear a WIN button. I wondered why on Earth anyone who didn’t actually work in the Ford White House would do such a thing. Of course, now I’d interrogate him about it. But I was just a kid then. Or maybe I did ask him, but don’t remember.

              But I do remember the button, and how odd I thought it was.

              I’m not saying this to criticize Ford. I liked Ford. (I just liked Jimmy Carter a whole lot more.) But I remember thinking, when Ford was trying so hard to push WIN, “Who on Earth is going to get into that and want to wear one of those buttons?”

              Well, apparently that doctor. I wonder if he was closely related to Ford or something…

        2. Barry


          advisors agreed with the Fed’s notion of rising prices being short-lived rather than a mainstay, however.

          Cost pressures like supply-chain issues and pent-up demand from consumers who’ve spent much of the last 15 months indoors are likely to wane, Baker said.

          “There are things we’re paying significantly more for,” he said. “But broad-based lingering inflation, I just don’t see it.” – Lee Baker, a certified financial planner and owner of Apex Financial Services

      2. Ken

        The point is, in some very real ways, Reagan was something of a prototype for Trump. Both stoked the fire in the boiler of the New Right victory train.

  5. Barry

    I see the political Catholic bishops are mad at Joe Biden,

    The election of a non Christian like Joe was hard for them to take given the Presidency of a Donald Trump who favored the living Christ so much in their eyes.

    Funny how they don’t have a big issue with Pro choice Catholics taking communion, or those in the midst of adultery taking communion, or greedy Catholics taking communion, or liars, or scam artists, or idolatrous members, etc.

    1. Ken

      If Catholic divines gave as much emphasis to other sins as they did abortion, they might enjoy greater credibility. But if they forbade communion, say, for the sin of covetousness, they probably wouldn’t have many takers for wine and wafers — and maybe empty sanctuaries to boot.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Here’s the thing about that…

      I’d have no problem, or far less problem anyway, if bishops had said ever since Roe, “If you’re out there actively and publicly defending this and advocating for it, you can’t take communion, because you are publicly pushing for something that is contrary to Catholic teaching.”

      But that’s not what’s happening here. This is all about Joe Biden being president.

      The bishops who are pushing for this are ones who have done what Barry suggests — identified themselves with an ANTI-Christian over an actual practicing, sincere, devout Catholic. The Catholic won, and they’re going to show everybody by punishing him for it.

      Which is insane. It’s also a case of bishops trying to exceed their authority. This sort of thing is up to each bishop within his own diocese. But the bishop in Joe’s diocese, Wilton Gregory, refuses to ban Joe from receiving communion. So they’re trying to force THEIR will on a brother bishop’s prerogative.

      Of course, there IS an authority higher than Bishop Gregory. But the Vatican is telling the bishops not to do this

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        The NYT sums it up pretty well:

        The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States, flouting a warning from the Vatican, have overwhelmingly voted to draft a statement on the sacrament of the Eucharist, advancing a political push by conservative bishops to deny President Biden communion because of his support of abortion rights.

        The decision, made public on Friday afternoon, is aimed at the nation’s second Catholic president, the most religiously observant commander in chief since Jimmy Carter, and exposes bitter divisions in American Catholicism. It capped three days of contentious debate at a virtual June meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The measure was approved by a vote of 73 percent in favor and 24 percent opposed….

        Here’s a huge irony for you…

        You know how Protestant Catholic-haters opposed electing JFK because they thought any Papist would take orders from Rome?

        Well, here we have a classic case in which the nation would be better off if the American church DID take orders from Rome…

        1. Barry

          Can anyone post the text of the bishop’s statement regarding Trump’s support of the death penalty and their statement regarding not offering Communion to elected Republicans who supported the federal death penalty?

          (I won’t mention politicians who pay for or purchase birth control.)

          1. Bud

            The Catholics on the Supreme Court who supported the Glossip case that supported the abhorrent death penalty case in OK were never denied communion.

  6. bud

    Yep I remember the Carter inflation days well. He issued a wage and price control proclamation because things got so bad. Then there was that ridiculous WIN (whip inflation now) campaign. Oh wait. Those inflation fighting efforts occurred under Nixon and Ford respectively. Carter just inherited their failed efforts. Carter actually had a real plan to fight inflation. He appointed a tough inflation fighter to the Federal Reserve, Paul Volker. Volkers measures were not pretty causing a huge run up in interest rates. That is one of the factors that doomed Carter’s re-election bid. But it worked and Reagan got the credit. Carter got a lot of things right, energy, ME, etc. Sadly he doesn’t get any credit.

Comments are closed.