Adams County was hit hard by the winter storm.
- The Daily Beast
Jim Watson./GettyLouis DeJoy had a defiant message on Wednesday for those craving to see him ousted as U.S. Postmaster General: “Get used to me.”The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled U.S. Postal Service chief how long he would remain as Postmaster General—“long time,” DeJoy spat back—during a Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee.That exchange was indicative of the entire proceeding, which was frequently chippy, combative, and fueled by Democratic lawmakers’ outrage over DeJoy’s handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and difficult questions about the service’s long-term viability.DeJoy’s crack to Cooper made Democrats’ blood boil even more. But he may have a point, at least for now: because the postmaster general is installed by the service’s board of governors—and not by the president—it means that President Joe Biden, or Congress, cannot fire DeJoy even if they wanted to.His removal would only be possible when Biden fills Democratic vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, which has the authority to hire and fire postmasters general. Confirming those spots in the Senate will take time, though the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Biden has identified three nominees to move forward.In the meantime, though, Democratic lawmakers are working with DeJoy on urgent legislation to reform the agency’s finances and employee pension burden, even while many publicly call for his resignation.To many Democrats, DeJoy’s performance on Wednesday on Capitol Hill may make that balancing act harder: they found much to dislike not only in what the postmaster general said, but how he said it.“I gotta say—I just don’t think the postmaster gets it,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the Oversight Committee who questioned DeJoy on Wednesday about the agency’s delivery standards. “I think it’s time for him to go.”“I thought he approached a lot of our questions with that exact same attitude, which was one of sneering condescension,” Krishnamoorthi told The Daily Beast after the hearing, invoking DeJoy’s response to Cooper. “That’s not gonna fly, man. Not gonna fly.”Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in DeJoy’s short tenure that he has been subjected to a high-profile grilling in the House Oversight Committee. Shortly after taking the USPS’ top job in June 2020, delays and irregularities quickly began to mount—a particularly alarming development for lawmakers on the eve of an election in which more voters than ever planned to vote by mail.Biden to Nominate 3 New USPS Board Members, Opening Path to Oust DeJoyIn a contentious August 2020 hearing, Democrats interrogated the former logistics executive and GOP mega-donor on everything from cuts in overtime hours to the price of a stamp. Questioning from Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) produced a memorable DeJoy response: “I will submit that I know very little about postage and stamps.”By the time House Democrats called DeJoy back to Capitol Hill this week, their worst fears about the USPS delays’ impact on the voting system had failed to materialize. But they still had plenty of questions about DeJoy’s stewardship of the USPS: in October, the USPS inspector general issued a report finding that the changes DeJoy made to delivery schedules and protocol led to the worsening delays. Already battered by the pandemic, the USPS limped into a busy holiday season, and is now providing the poorest service that many longtime observers of the agency have ever seen.Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), a member of the Oversight panel, was a 29-year veteran of the USPS before she came to Congress. She told The Daily Beast after the hearing that she has never seen the service in such dire straits as it is now: “I don’t think we’ve ever confronted this,” she said.The unprecedented delays are happening around the country. In Washington, D.C., just 40 percent of all first-class mail arrived on time by the end of December 2020—compared to nearly 90 percent the same time the year before. Chicago residents are receiving holiday packages a month-and-a-half late. Lawmakers are inundated with calls and emails from frustrated constituents looking for answers; this week, 33 senators signed a letter to DeJoy asking him to explain the recent delays.DeJoy apologized for those delays at the top of Wednesday’s hearing. “We must acknowledge that during this peak season we fell far short of meeting our service goals,” he said. “I apologize to those customers who felt the impact of our delays"But Lawrence expressed concern about DeJoy’s forthcoming “strategic plan” to get the USPS through this difficult stretch. Though the postmaster general has not revealed specifics, he testified on Wednesday that he will propose cuts to delivery standards, including the standard that local mail be delivered within two days. Democrats believe that would be a disastrous move at a time when the USPS is struggling to compete with private-sector competitors, particularly if it is coupled with consumer cost increases, which DeJoy has suggested.“To say that’s what’s bold and needed… that’s not leadership,” said Lawrence. “He has to prove himself. He heard us loud and clear, that he needs to prove himself.”The Michigan Democrat stopped short of saying that DeJoy deserved removal, and told The Daily Beast that she and other Democrats are working with the USPS on postal reform legislation. On Wednesday, CNN reported that Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was supportive of working with DeJoy to pass reforms.In the wake of the new political reality in Washington, the postmaster general has begun to attempt outreach to Democratic lawmakers. Lawrence said that during the last administration, DeJoy did not take her calls or respond to her—but after the 2020 election, they had a “cordial” call.Other Democrats see any charm offensive as too little, too late. Krishnamoorthi said he is supportive of working with whatever USPS leadership is in office in order to pass reforms, but argued that DeJoy should go as soon as is possible.Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a senior member of the Oversight Committee, issued a statement after DeJoy’s hearing hailing Biden’s nomination of three appointees to the USPS Board of Governors—and explicitly stated his hope they would remove DeJoy. “These nominations are an important first step toward reforming the Postal Service,” said Connolly. “My hope is the newly constituted Board will do the right thing and bring in a new, qualified Postmaster General.”A majority of the nine-member board would be required to support DeJoy’s removal. Currently, there are four Republican appointees, and two Democratic appointees. If all Biden’s choices are confirmed, Democrats would hold a majority on the board.The Republicans on the Oversight Committee had questions for DeJoy about mail delays, but largely cast him as a victim in an anti-Trump Democratic crusade. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the top Republican on the panel, compared the party’s concerns about USPS delays—and Trump’s potential role in those delays—to the Trump impeachment investigation he said was predicated on “baseless conspiracies.”Far-right Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), meanwhile, suggested that the root cause of USPS delays was actually the Black Lives Matter protests that took place over the summer, and read articles from fringe outlets like the Gateway Pundit to prove his point. And Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) raised the unfounded belief in widespread conspiracies about election fraud while saying it was not time to get into “specifics.”At one point, tempers flared when Connolly said that Republicans who voted to object to the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6 had “no right to lecture” anyone on the dangers of partisanship.Democrats left more concerned about the fate of the USPS, however, than the state of things in Congress. “It’s not some theoretical concept,” said Krishnamoorthi. “It’s not some abstract issue, it’s real for every single one of us… I’ve gotta tell you, people are starting to work around the mail, which is a scary concept.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
There was no breakthrough at a "hugely disappointing" meeting between the European Commission and the British government on Wednesday over post-Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland, the region's first minister, Arlene Foster, said on Wednesday. The British government is demanding concessions from the European Union to minimise disruption in trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom that have emerged since Britain left the bloc's trading orbit in January.
- Associated Press
Islamabad United overcame a blistering century by Karachi Kings opener Sharjeel Khan to record their second successive victory in the Pakistan Super League on Wednesday. The left-handed Khan, who scored only six runs in the first six overs, plundered eight sixes and nine fours in his 105 off 59 balls to give defending champions a strong total of 196-3. “It was obviously a really big chase and I thought we had to knock the teeth out of it early,” Hales said.
- Architectural Digest
From ornate to subtle, these beautiful screens double as functional artOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
Trae Young went from snubbed to stunned. Rookie forward Lamar Stevens drove for an easy dunk with 4.1 seconds left and Atlanta, which had burned its final timeout, failed to get off a final shot as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Hawks 112-111 on Tuesday night to end their 10-game losing streak — the NBA's longest this season. After Young, slighted hours earlier when All-Star reserves were announced, missed a runner with 11 seconds left, the Cavs pushed the ball up trailing by one.
- The Week
In the race to get former President Donald Trump's tax records, New York prosecutors have won. While it was more of a marathon than a sprint, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office confirmed Thursday that it had received Trump's tax records a year and a half after first requesting them. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance and his team will now be able to dig through what sources tell CNN are "millions of pages" of documents spanning January 2011 to August 2019. Vance got the documents, which include financial statements and engagement agreements, from Trump's accounting firm Mazars USA. The transfer happened within an hour of the Supreme Court ordering that Mazars hand over the documents on Monday, Vance's spokesperson told reporters. Forensic accountants and analysts are now prepared to root through the records to find potential fraud or wrongdoing by the former president. But because the records were handed over as part of a grand jury investigation, they're unlikely to ever be made public. Democrats in the House had meanwhile been trying to access Trump's tax returns from the time they gained a majority two years ago. Courts had ruled both for and against the Democrats' subpoenas, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ultimately decided in December not to rule in the case, essentially letting Trump run out the clock. It's unclear if Congress will try to pursue Trump's records again now that he's out of the White House. More stories from theweek.comDemocrats should take the Romney-Cotton proposal seriouslyThe GOP's apathy for governing is being exposedThe MyPillow guy might be Trump's ultimate chump
A bride wore a sparkly wedding dress with transparent cutouts and removable sleeves to her destination wedding
Bijon Vaughn wore a Galia Lahav dress to her 2020 wedding. Sheer cutouts, removable sleeves, and an intricate bodice made the gown one-of-a-kind.
- Business Insider
Coinbase says the entire crypto market could be destabilized if Bitcoin's anonymous creator is ever revealed or sells their $30 billion stake
Satoshi Nakamoto owns about 5% of the bitcoin market. If their 1.1 million cache was transferred, bitcoin prices could plummet, Coinbase said.
- The Daily Beast
Acting U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda Pittman testified on Thursday that cellphone records show former USCP chief Steven Sund requested National Guard support from the House sergeant-at-arms as early as 12:58pm on Jan. 6, but he did not receive approval until over an hour later.Why it matters: Sund and former House sergeant-at-arms Paul Irving clashed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday over a dispute in the timeline for when Capitol Police requested the National Guard during the Capitol insurrection.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeIrving insisted that he has no recollection of receiving the request until after 2pm. Lawmakers are looking for accountability over that hour of lost time, when pro-Trump rioters were able to breach and ransack the Capitol."I did not get a request at 1:09 that I can remember," Irving, who resigned after the insurrection, testified. "The first conversation I had with chief Sund in that timeframe was 1:28, 1:30. In that conversation, he indicated that conditions were deteriorating and he might be looking for National Guard approval."Details: Pittman testified to a House subcommittee that Sund's phone records show the former chief first reached out for National Guard support to Irving at 12:58pm.Sund then spoke to former Senate sergeant-at-arms Michael Stenger to make the same request at 1:05pm, per Pittman.Pittman says Sund repeated his request to Irving at 1:28pm, then spoke to him again at 1:34pm, 1:39pm and 1:45pm.Go deeper: Pittman testifies officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
- NBC News
John Geddert's death marks a "tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved," the state attorney general said.
TikTokers are freaking out after learning that Imagine Dragons made demos for disastrous Spider-Man musical
Multiple viral TikToks circulated about Imagine Dragons working on the Spider-Man musical, with many commenting on the 2012 hit song "Radioactive."
- Business Insider
Stephen Miller, the architect of Trump's migrant-family-separation scheme, called Biden's immigration policies 'cruel' and 'inhumane'
The family-separation policy made Miller one of the most controversial Trump officials. He even put conservatives on edge.
A Texas border patrol officer was charged after she used a coworker's login to bring her children's nanny into the US from Mexico
Prosecutors allege that Rhonda Lee Walker, 40, used her coworker's computer to scan in a Mexican immigrant's paperwork to become her live-in nanny.
- The New York Times
A large nationwide study has found important differences in the two major ways in which children have become seriously ill from the coronavirus, findings that may help doctors and parents better recognize the conditions and understand more about the children at risk for each one. The study, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA, analyzed 1,116 cases of young people who were treated at 66 hospitals in 31 states. Slightly more than half the patients had acute COVID-19, the predominantly lung-related illness that afflicts most adults who get sick from the virus, while 539 patients had the inflammatory syndrome that has erupted in some children weeks after they have had a typically mild initial infection. The researchers found some similarities but also significant differences in the symptoms and characteristics of the patients, who ranged from infants to 20-year-olds and were hospitalized last year between March 15 and October 31. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Young people with the syndrome, called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C, were more likely to be between 6 and 12 years of age, while more than 80% of the patients with acute COVID-19 were either younger than 6 or older than 12. More than two-thirds of patients with either condition were Black or Hispanic, which experts say most likely reflects socioeconomic and other factors that have disproportionately exposed some communities to the virus. “It’s still shocking that the overwhelming majority of the patients are nonwhite, and that is true for MIS-C and for acute COVID,” said Dr. Jean Ballweg, medical director of pediatric heart transplant and advanced heart failure at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, who was not involved in the study. “There’s clearly racial disparity there.” For reasons that are unclear, while Hispanic young people seemed equally likely to be at risk for both conditions, Black children appeared to be at greater risk for developing the inflammatory syndrome than the acute illness, said Dr. Adrienne Randolph, senior author of the study and a pediatric critical care specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital. One potential clue mentioned by the authors is that with Kawasaki disease, a rare childhood inflammatory syndrome that has similarities with some aspects of MIS-C, Black children appear to have greater frequency of heart abnormalities and are less responsive to one of the standard treatments, intravenous immunoglobulin. The researchers found that young people with the inflammatory syndrome were significantly more likely to have had no underlying medical conditions than those with acute COVID-19. Still, more than a third of patients with acute COVID had no previous medical condition. “It’s not like previously healthy kids are completely scot-free here,” Randolph said. The study evaluated obesity separately from other underlying health conditions and only in patients who were age 2 or older, finding that a somewhat higher percentage of the young people with acute COVID-19 were obese. Dr. Srinivas Murthy, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, who was not involved in the study, said he was not convinced that the findings established that healthy children were at higher risk for MIS-C. It could be “mostly a numbers game, with the proportion of kids infected and the proportion of healthy kids out there, rather than saying that there’s something immune in healthy kids that puts them at a disproportionately higher risk,” he said. Overall, he said, the study’s documentation of the differences between the two conditions was useful, especially because it reflected “a reasonably representative set of hospitals across the U.S.” Young people with the inflammatory syndrome were more likely to need to be treated in intensive care units. Their symptoms were much more likely to include gastrointestinal problems, inflammation and to involve the skin and mucous membranes. They were also much more likely to have heart-related issues, although many of the acute COVID patients did not receive detailed cardiac assessments, the study noted. Roughly the same proportion of patients with each condition — more than half — needed respiratory support, with slightly less than a third of those needing mechanical ventilation. Roughly the same number of patients in each group died: 10 with MIS-C and eight with acute COVID-19. The data does not reflect a recent surge in cases of the inflammatory syndrome that followed a rise in overall COVID-19 infections across the country during the winter holiday season. Some hospitals have reported that there have been a greater number of seriously ill MIS-C patients in the current wave compared with previous waves. “I am going to be fascinated to see comparison from Nov. 1 forward versus this group, because I think we all felt that the kids with MIS-C have been even more sick recently,” Ballweg said. An optimistic sign from the study was that most of the severe cardiac problems in young people with the inflammatory syndrome improved to normal condition within 30 days. Still, Randolph said any residual effects remain unknown, which is why one of her co-authors, Dr. Jane Newburger, associate chief for academic affairs in Boston Children’s Hospital’s cardiology department, is leading a nationwide study to follow children with the inflammatory syndrome for up to five years. “We can’t say 100% for sure that everything’s going to be normal long term,” Randolph said. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Business Insider
J&J's coronavirus shot could dramatically accelerate the US vaccine rollout. Here's your new vaccination timeline.
The nation could now distribute 500 million doses by the end of June - enough to vaccinate all of its adult population.
- Business Insider
- Business Insider
Pelosi mocks McConnell for criticizing commission on the Capitol insurrection: GOP Sen. 'Ron Johnson seems to be taking the lead'
Pelosi also accidentally called the Wisconsin senator "Don" Johnson. "Not Miami Vice or anything like that?" she said, referencing a TV actor.
People online are celebrating Emma Watson's best acting roles after her agent says her career is 'dormant'
The "Harry Potter" star's agent said she's "not taking on new commitments," which led fans to believe that she's retiring from acting (she isn't).
The Manhattan district attorney is now in possession of millions of pages of former President Trump's tax and financial records, CNN first reported, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a subpoena after a lengthy legal battle.Why it matters: Trump fought for years to keep his tax returns out of the public eye and away from prosecutors in New York, who are examining his business in a criminal investigation that was first sparked by hush-money payments made by Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 election.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe New York Times reports that the investigation has intensified in recent months and that prosecutors are now examining potential tax and bank-related fraud.Trump has denied any wrongdoing, attacking the investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance as a political "witch hunt."Go deeper: Here’s What’s Next in the Trump Taxes Investigation (N.Y. Times)Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.