Lazy Caturday Reads


Good Morning!!

The big nor’easter moving up the East Coast appears to be behaving as predicted. We are still under a blizzard warning and the snow is coming down steadily outside my windows. In fact, I can’t see much but white out there. The Boston Globe: Blizzard warning in effect for much of Eastern Mass., all of R.I., with predicted totals of up to two feet.

A snowstorm that could bring up to two feet to some Eastern Massachusetts communities is barreling down on Southern New England, with blizzard conditions expected in the eastern third of the state and all of Rhode Island, the National Weather Service said.

The “significant winter storm” arrived after midnight and is expected to stick around through Saturday night. It will bring heavy snowfall, near hurricane-force wind gusts, and power outages, according to the weather service. The greatest snowfall amounts are expected across Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The weather service expanded its blizzard warning Friday to include not just coastal areas but much of Eastern Massachusetts and all of Rhode Island. The warning is in effect from midnight Friday through early Sunday morning. A winter storm warning was also issued for much of Central Massachusetts.

Eastern portions of the state are expected to be hit the hardest. In Boston, Plymouth, and parts of Cape Cod at least 18 to 24 inches of snow is likely, forecasters said. Depending on the location of isolated snow bands, some areas could see up to 30 inches, with forecasters predicting that snow totals in certain spots will break records or come close.

From 7 p.m. on Friday through 7 a.m. on Sunday, forecasters anticipate 24.7 inches in Boston, while South Shore communities could see higher amounts of 26 inches or more. like Plymouth are expected to see the highest amounts, with 26.8 inches.


As long as the power doesn’t go out, I’m just going to be cozy and warm in my apartment, sipping tea and reading a good book.

769e257ae7490ca39b79e8e4d1bbe242Republicans and right wing media are attacking President Biden’s commitment to appointing the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. From Media Matters: Biden pledged to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Right-wing media are rushing to dismiss the idea.

Following the news that Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring from the Supreme Court, right-wing media began launching racist attacks at the yet-unnamed nominee who would replace him based solely on President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge that he would nominate a Black woman.

Biden is not the first president who committed to diversity in his judicial selection. Ronald Reagan also made a similar pledge during his presidential campaign in 1980, saying he would nominate a woman to “one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration.” Biden himself has already diversified appellate courts, nominating eight Black women so far to serve in the nation’s second highest courts.

However, once the news of Breyer’s retirement broke, right-wing media were quick to attack Biden’s promise. Through outright racist language, tangential broadsides at Vice President Kamala Harris, and far-fetched comparisons between Biden’s pledge and affirmative action, right-wing figures have been dismissing the future nominee. 


— The Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro, in a set of since-deleted tweets, claimed that Biden’s selection process  would result in him selecting a “lesser black woman” even though there are more deserving candidates. Shapiro also claimed that because of Biden’s pledge, his nominee “will always have an asterisk attached.”  

— On Fox’s Outnumbered, guest and conservative radio host Leo Terrell claimed the “racial component” of the nomination process would mean “the race card is going to be played if you vote against this particular nominee.”

— Tom Elliot, the founder of right-wing news aggregation website Grabien, tweeted, “If only Biden could perform a vivisection, assembling a SCOTUS nominee” from Rep Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) “black skin,” Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) “Boy Scout background,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) “insane politics,” Vice President Kamala Harris’ “vagina,” comedian Benny Drama’s “ambiguous sexuality,” and Justice Stephen Breyer’s “disdain for the Constitution.” 

— Fox host Dan Bongino asserted on his radio show that nominating a Black woman meant she “could come out and say anything she wants — anything you say against it, you will automatically be deemed a racist.”

— Infowars’ Owen Shroyer, in discussing Biden’s pledge, said Democrats were “destroy[ing] everything with their commitment to diversity” and that Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman is “illegal and racist.”

ccfbd35c96fffc00849f65edb48390fbThis is hilarious from Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. Ashton Pittman at the Mississippi Free Press: Wicker: Black Woman Supreme Court Pick An Affirmative Action ‘Beneficiary’ 

The first Black woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court in history will be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker told a radio show this afternoon. The senior Republican senator from Mississippi made clear that he has no plans to vote for Biden’s yet-to-be-announced pick. 

Biden has vowed to select a Black woman to replace outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement yesterday.

“The irony is that the Supreme Court is at the very time hearing cases about this sort of affirmative racial discrimination while adding someone who is the beneficiary of this sort of quota,” Wicker told host Paul Gallo on SuperTalk Mississippi Radio today, referring to a pending U.S. Supreme Court case challenging affirmative action in college admissions

“The majority of the court may be saying writ large that it’s unconstitutional. We’ll see how that irony works out.”

Wicker notably did not raise an objection when former President Donald Trump vowed to appoint a woman to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she died weeks before the 2020 election. Instead, the GOP senator enthusiastically supported Trump’s choice, Amy Coney Barrett, despite having stated in 2016 that then-President Barack Obama should not be allowed to appoint a U.S. Supreme Court justice in an election year

Despite not knowing who Biden will nominate, Mississippi’s senior senator predicted that Biden’s pick will be less palatable to Republicans like himself than the white, male justice who currently holds the seat. He compared the unannounced nominee to Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who became the high court’s first Latina justice when former President Barack Obama appointed her in 2009.

“We’re going to go from a nice, stately liberal to someone who’s probably more in the style of Sonia Sotomayor,” Wicker said. “… I hope it’s at least someone who will at least not misrepresent the facts. I think they will misinterpret the law.”

Then, he lamented that more Republicans did not turn out to help re-elect former President Donald Trump in 2020.

b82b69edb9ed7513d7efe5fdcd35cc5fThe Washington Post on one potential SCOTUS nominee: White House confirms South Carolina judge is under consideration for Supreme Court.

The White House on Friday confirmed that President Biden is considering a South Carolina federal judge and favorite of House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) as a potential candidate for the Supreme Court.

The statement is the first time the White House has publicly confirmed a name under consideration to replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who announced this week that he would retire after the end of the current court term.

At the same time, the White House indicated that Judge J. Michelle Childs is one of several people under consideration by the president, who has pledged to live up to his campaign promise of nominating the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Childs is a South Carolina judge who in December was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, considered the second-most influential court in the country and often a steppingstone to the Supreme Court.

But her confirmation hearing for the D.C. Circuit, scheduled in the Senate Judiciary Committee for Tuesday, was quietly postponed. A committee aide said Friday that the panel “looks forward to processing a number of circuit nominees in the near future.”

In response to inquiries from The Washington Post about the postponement, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said that Childs is “among multiple individuals under consideration for the Supreme Court.”

“And we are not going to move her nomination on the Court of Appeals while the President is considering her for this vacancy,” Bates said.

Maybe electing a comedian as president isn’t such a great idea. Ukraine did that and now president Zelensky is biting the hand that feeds him. The Washington Post: Ukraine’s president criticizes West’s handling of Russia crisis.

KYIV — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday criticized Western nations, including the United States, for their handling of Russia’s military buildup at his border, taking aim at his most important security partners as his own military braced for a potential attack.

Snow cat armyThe 44-year-old leader faulted the West for waiting to impose more damaging sanctions on Moscow— “that’s not the way to do it,” Zelensky said — while assailingdecisions by the United States, Britain and Australia to withdraw some embassy staff and families, and accusing Western leaders of inciting “panic” with repeated suggestions that an invasion was imminent.

“I can’t be like other politicians who are grateful to the United States just for being the United States,” Zelensky told reporters during a news conference here.

As his country takes in billions of dollars of economic and military assistance from the West, Zelensky expressed frustration with the public assessments made by the United States and other allies who believe an incursion is increasingly likely, and he appeared to criticizePresident Biden directly for statements earlier this week indicating Russian forces could advance on Ukraine as soon as next month.

“These signals have come even from respected world leaders, who speak openly and with undiplomatic language. They say simply ‘tomorrow there will be war.’ This is panic,” he said.

Zelensky’s criticisms have rankled and confused U.S. officials, who have tried to project an image of Western unity in support of Ukraine. Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops along with tanks and heavy artillery across large sections of the border while denying any intention to invade. Zelensky said satellite imagery alone was not sufficient to assess the Kremlin’s objectives.

“We’re grateful to the United States for its constant support of our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zelensky said. “But I am the Ukrainian president. I’m located here. I know … deeper details than any president.”

According to Politico, part of the communication problem has to with the word “imminant,”: Why ‘imminent’ pisses Zelenskyy off.

In November, Ukrainian President VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY couldn’t ring alarm bells loudly enough. “There is a threat today that there will be war tomorrow. We are entirely prepared for an escalation,” he told the BBC.

But as of late, Zelenskyy is on a mission to project calm and tell his counterparts — namely President JOE BIDEN — that the standoff with Russia isn’t so dire. “I’m the president of Ukraine and I’m based here and I think I know the details better here,” he told reporters in Kyiv today, adding the threat picture has been “constant” since Russia took the Crimean peninsula by force in 2014.

Zelenskyy’s change of tune, per multiple people close to him and his team, is borne partly out of a growing anger with the Biden administration. Officials in Ukraine, and some in Europe, say the U.S. allowing diplomats to leave Ukraine is premature and unnecessarily spooking locals as well as financial markets, driving up Kyiv’s borrowing costs. On Monday, the European Union offered Ukraine a $1.3 billion aid package.

What’s more, one person said that Zelenskyy fears the U.S. is purposefully hyping the threat from Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN so it’ll have the political space to strike a deal with the Kremlin, such as giving Moscow greater control over the Donbas. The Biden administration has long denied anything like that is on the table.

2ab6d6d26733a4ec7689453a37a9065b (1)Lost in translation:

There’s no direct translation in Ukrainian for “imminent” — that word is Неминуче, which most closely corresponds to “no matter what” or “inevitable,” which are close synonyms. But it’s not quite the same, and we’re told there isn’t a single Ukrainian word that conveys the meaning as it does in English. (Seriously, we checked with native Ukrainian speakers.) So when Biden’s team might genuinely mean “soon,” Zelenskyy hears U.S. officials effectively say “there will be an invasion regardless of what we do.”

For Zelenskyy, then, it’s important to project confidence that Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe can deter Putin from launching a renewed incursion.

More stories to check out today:

Timothy Snyder at The Washington Post: Putin’s case for invading Ukraine rests on phony grievances and ancient myths.

The Daily Beast: Trump Tower Lawyer Veselnitskaya Accused of Brand New Crime in Leaked Docs.

CNN: Exclusive: Trump WH spokesman is sent subpoena by January 6 committee.


Hunter Walker at The Uprising: Trump Campaign Aide Among 14 ‘Alternate Electors’ Subpoenaed By January 6 Committee.

The Daily Beast: Kansas Man on ‘Mission From God’ Charged With Threatening Biden’s Life.

Jamelle Bouie at The New York Times: We Still Can’t See American Slavery for What It Was.

NPR: A second version of omicron is spreading. Here’s why scientists are on alert.

What stories are you following today? 

17 Comments on “Lazy Caturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Have a great weekend everyone! If you’re in the path of the storm, please stay inside, stay warm, and don’t drive.

  2. bostonboomer says:

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Can you tell I love snowstorms?

  5. Did you do all the cat sculptures?

  6. NW Luna says:

    BB, I love the snow kitties! The top one, with the tabby standing on its hind legs sniffing at the twig whiskers is my favorite.

  7. NW Luna says:

    Anyone who’s ever taught!

  8. djmm says:

    Wonderful post!

    The Republican attitude to President Biden’s promise is extremely annoying. As if male selections for the Supreme Court had not benefited from white, male privilege and/or wealth and/or political connections.

    The best I can tell, Justice Amy Coney Barrett is one of the lesser qualified candidates — and Republicans approved her nomination in record time.

  9. dakinikat says: