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Biden Extends Pause on Student Loan Payments

The moratorium on student loan payments will be extended to June 30, 2023, as courts consider legal challenges to Biden’s debt relief plan.

Joe Biden speaks at a podium

Joe Biden continues to lean in, and not out, of his ambition to support millions of borrowers nationwide. On Tuesday, President Biden announced an extension of the payment pause for federal student loans, while his debt cancellation plan confronts legal challenges in court.

The pause, originally set to end in January, will now extend to June 30 or until the legal challenges are resolved, whichever comes first. As of now, payments will resume 60 days after the pause’s conclusion.

“Republican special interests and elected officials sued to deny this relief, even for their own constituents,” Biden said in an announcement video on Twitter. “But I’m completely confident my plan is legal.”

The president argued that it wouldn’t be fair to ask millions of borrowers eligible for his relief plan to resume their payments while the court was still considering his plan. “I’m never going to apologize for helping working-class and middle-class families … and I’ll continue working to make government work to deliver for all Americans,” Biden said.

In August, Biden first announced the plan to cancel up to $20,000 in debt per eligible borrower. In late October, a federal appeals court stayed the implementation of the plan, days after the government had begun accepting applications from borrowers across the nation. Now the Supreme Court is tasked with the administration’s request to supersede the appeals court and reinstate the plan.

Biden believes the June 30 deadline for the student loan payment moratorium will give the Supreme Court enough time to issue a ruling.

More on the Legal Challenges to Biden's Student Debt Relief Plan

Transphobes Hijack “Boycott Tampax” Hashtag After Company’s Viral Tweet

A closer look at the trending hashtag shows TERFs attacking trans and nonbinary people for purchasing tampons.


Calls to boycott tampon brand Tampax went viral Tuesday on Twitter, purportedly over a controversial tweet from the company.

But a closer look reveals a transphobic backstory to the trending hashtag.

Tampax posted a joke to its official Twitter Monday that drew mixed reactions. Some followers found it hilarious, while others said it was “misogynistic” and overly sexualized women.

Many of the people objecting to the tweet began calling to “#BoycottTampax,” which has popped up on Twitter before. But many Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs), or cis women who are hyper-feminist except when it comes to fighting for trans women’s rights, also seemed to be using Tampax’s latest tweet as an excuse to revive attacks against two high-profile members of the LGBTQ community.

A tweet from June claimed that Tampax was sponsoring Dylan Mulvaney, a trans woman, and Jeffrey Marsh, who is non-binary. Many of the people who were upset by that news in June are now behind the calls to boycott Tampax.

The claim stems from a TikTok Mulvaney made in March about how she has started carrying tampons with her, even though she doesn’t need them, after another woman asked her for one in a public restroom and she had none. The tweet also highlighted an Instagram campaign Marsh did in November 2020 with period product company This is L. and gender-neutral clothing brand The Phluid Project, in which Marsh mentioned that people of all genders have periods.

Mulvaney’s video was not sponsored by any brand, and Tampax was not involved in Marsh’s campaign, although both it and This is L. are owned by Procter & Gamble. P&G did not respond to TNR’s question whether it sponsors either activist.

Still, TERFs found a way to get offended that people who need tampons were using them.

Adding more salt to the wound is the fact that the boycott calls come just two days after a gunman attacked a queer night club in Colorado Springs and killed five people, including two trans people, on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Congress To Hold Ticketmaster Hearing After Taylor Swift Fans Experience Monopoly All Too Well

A Senate antitrust panel will hold a hearing on the lack of competition in the ticketing industry.

Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Among the most influential voters in America today: the rich, the well-connected, and apparently now, Taylor Swift fans.

The Senate’s panel on competition policy, antitrust, and consumer rights will hold a hearing to examine the lack of competition in the ticketing industry, announced Senator Amy Klobuchar on Tuesday. The news comes after Swift fans across the globe met exorbitant prices and exclusive availability for tickets to the superstar’s first tour in years.

“The high fees, site disruptions and cancellations that customers experienced shows how Ticketmaster’s dominant market position means the company does not face any pressure to continually innovate and improve,” said Klobuchar, chair of the panel. “That’s why we will hold a hearing on how consolidation in the live entertainment and ticketing industry harms customers and artists alike.”

Further details including the hearing’s date and witnesses are to be announced at a later date.

The announcement comes after a series of statements from officials expressing interest in taking on the issue.

Last week, Klobuchar sent a letter to Michael Rapino, CEO of ticketing giant Live Nation, expressing concerns about the ticketing industry’s monopolistic behavior, and questioning Rapino on whether Live Nation’s practices were working to mitigate those monopolistic tendencies.

Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representatives Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, David Cicilline, and Bill Pascrell joined Klobuchar in expressing concerns into the ticketing industry.

Cicilline, alongside Pascrell and Representatives Frank Pallone and Jerry Nadler, called on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission in April 2021 to investigate ticketing giant Live Nation and its potential monopolistic practices.

And then on Monday—a day before announcing the hearing herself—Klobuchar, alongside Senators Richard Blumenthal and Ed Markey, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging the Justice Department to investigate and “consider unwinding the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger and breaking up the company.”

The fight spans beyond just months or even years. Decades ago, members of Pearl Jam had been advocating for the breakup of Ticketmaster’s hold on consumers. “All the members of Pearl Jam remember what it’s like to be young and not have a lot of money,” said guitarist Stone Gossard. “We have made a conscious decision that we do not want to put the price of our concerts out of the reach of our fans.”

And the struggle continues. Klobuchar, and the case of Taylor Swift—who was preschool age when Pearl Jam testified on the same issue—could help finally end it.

Supreme Court Allows Congress to Finally See Donald Trump’s Tax Returns

The ruling ends a three-year legal battle over the former president’s tax returns.

ALON SKUY/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump nominated three justices to this Supreme Court, but that fortunately hasn’t stopped the court from ruling in favor of the basic idea that nobody, not even Trump, is immune from the law.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court denied former President Donald Trump’s request to withhold his tax returns from a House committee seeking them.

The court’s order, unsigned and including no dissents or additional reasoning, directs the Treasury Department to finally turn over Trump’s returns. The House Ways and Means Committee have sought after the returns since 2019, after Trump refused to release them as a candidate during the 2016 election as is precedent.

In late October, a federal appeals court ruled against Trump, declining to reconsider an August ruling from a three-judge panel that also OK’d the House’s request to obtain the tax returns.

Things aren’t looking great for Team Trump generally.

Also on Tuesday, Senator Lindsey Graham was forced to testify before a Georgia grand jury over efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled against Trump last month as he asked the court to intervene in the legal struggle surrounding the FBI’s seizure of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago.

And in January, the court declined to stop the National Archives from turning over documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

With the Supreme Court’s decision, Trump has exhausted every possible rung on the judicial ladder to avoid releasing his tax returns—which may prompt one to wonder why someone would work so hard to avoid just releasing them!

In Final Message, Fauci Urges People To Please Just Get Their Covid-19 Boosters

The White House chief medical adviser said his "final message" was for people to get their Covid vaccines.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci spent his last public briefing, on Tuesday, urging people to please get their Covid-19 shots and boosters if they haven’t already.

Fauci, who was the public face of the Covid response under the Trump and Biden administrations, briefed reporters from the White House for the last time before he leaves the government in December. He urged people to get up to date on their Covid and flu shots before winter.

“My message—and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium—is that please for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated Covid-19 shot as soon as you’re eligible to protect yourself, your family, and your community,” he said.

Fauci has served at the National Institutes of Health for 54 years, including leading the National Allergy and Infectious Disease Institute for nearly 40.

When asked how he wants people to remember him, Fauci replied, “I’ll let other people judge the value or not of my accomplishments, but what I would like people to remember about what I’ve done is that every day for all of those years I’ve given it everything that I have and I’ve never left anything on the field.”

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, Fauci became a punching bag for the right as he pushed back on misinformation and conspiracy theories about the virus. Donald Trump called Fauci an “idiot” and a “disaster,” regularly belittled his public health advice, and then got his own Covid-19 vaccine in secret before he left the White House.

After His Final Briefing, Republicans Vow To Investigate Anthony Fauci

Republicans spent years spreading lies and conspiracy theories about COVID-19. Now, they’re promising to bring Fauci in.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci gave his last press briefing as a government advisor Tuesday, and Republicans ruined the moment by spreading falsehoods about him and the Covid-19 pandemic.

He urged people to stay up-to-date on their vaccines and boosters and condemned the spread of disinformation around public health.

In response, several Republican lawmakers said they would ask Fauci to testify over the handling of Covid-19.

Senator Rand Paul accused both him and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of animal torture.

During the briefing, a reporter for The Daily Caller tried to ask about investigations into the origin of Covid-19, another popular far-right conspiracy theory. Conservative figure and self-described fact checker Tom Fitton also tweeted about the investigation in Wuhan, China.

Fauci received praise since the start of the pandemic, particularly under former President Donald Trump’s administration, for his straightforward, fact-based briefings. But he quickly became a popular target for the far-right for promoting masks and vaccines and contradicting Trump. He began receiving death threats and had to increase his personal security.

FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried’s Parents Bought $121 Million Worth of Bahamas Property

Meanwhile, the failed cryptocurrency company owes billions of dollars to creditors.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

It turns out that Sam Bankman-Fried’s failed cryptocurrency exchange was actually a thriving real estate business this whole time.

A new report indicates that Bankman-Fried’s parents, FTX, and senior executives bought at least 19 properties in the Bahamas over the last two years worth almost $121 million.

According to official property records recovered from Reuters, the purchases included luxury beachfront homes, and seven resort condominiums that cost nearly $72 million by themselves.

It was previously known that FTX and company executives held real estate in the island nation. The Bahamas, after all, was host to Bankman-Fried’s around-$40 million penthouse where he lived and worked (and reportedly did more) alongside nine of his colleagues. While Bankman-Fried enjoyed the company of his nine colleagues, he told Reuters that FTX provided free meals and an “in-house Uber-like” service around the island.

Nevertheless, the property records provide a better look at the sheer scale of the Bahamas purchases—and the inordinate wealth FTX previously had at its disposal while it now owes billions to creditors.

Since the collapse of FTX, upwards of 1 million creditors are down billions of dollars. Bankman-Fried secretly used $10 billion in customer funds to prop up his trading company, Alameda Research, and as Reuters reported last week, at least $1.5 billion of that money is now missing.

Earlier this month, FTX collapsed and filed for bankruptcy protection. The company said in a court filing on Saturday that it owes its 50 largest creditors more than $3 billion.

FTX was the third-largest exchange valued at nearly $32 billion before November 11, when Bankman-Fried announced that the company, alongside other entities including his trading firm Alameda Research, would file for bankruptcy.

Read more at Reuters.

After Deadly Colorado Springs Shooting, Herschel Walker Releases Ad Attacking Transgender Athletes

Two trans people were killed in the attack in Colorado Springs. Walker somehow took that as a sign to double down on spreading anti-trans hate.

Herschel Walker speaks at a standing mic
Megan Varner/Getty Images

In the days since a gunman opened fire in a queer club in Colorado Springs, Herschel Walker has released an anti-trans ad and gone off on deeply anti-trans rants.

Five people were killed and at least 25 others wounded Saturday night when a gunman entered Club Q and started shooting. Many people were there to mark Transgender Day of Rememberance, a commemoration of people killed in anti-trans violence. Two of those killed were trans.

While there have been plenty of thoughts and prayers from Republicans, many have avoided mentioning that the LGBTQ community was specifically targeted. Georgia Senate candidate Walker went one step further, releasing an ad attacking transgender athletes.

The ad features NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, who complained she had to compete against Lia Thomas, who is trans.

Walker said that letting Thomas compete against cisgender female swimmers was “unfair and wrong” and accused his opponent Raphael Warnock of being “afraid to stand up for female athletes.”

A day earlier, he delivered an unhinged speech laden with transphobia and bigotry.

Do y’all know what the definition of an enemy is? A enemy is somebody that don’t like you. But they been telling you they don’t know the definition of a woman either,” he said at a campaign event Sunday in Carrollton, Georgia.

“I’m going to tell you the definition of a woman. Because it written in my great book. It said ‘a man and a woman,’” which Walker failed to note is not actually a definition.

Walker, who has previously complained about “wokeness,” also condemned using people’s chosen pronouns in the military.

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson—who has previously said LGBTQ people are “filth” and that straight people are “superior” to queer people—spoke at the rally as well.

This is not Walker’s first horrendous foray into transgender policy. In September, he said trans kids won’t get into heaven because Jesus isn’t smart enough to recognize them.

Former CIA Chief Mike Pompeo Calls Teachers Union Leader “Most Dangerous Person in the World”

One person has pushed for drone strikes in Afghanistan. The other wants teachers to be treated fairly.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo claims the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, Randi Weingarten, is the “most dangerous person in the world.”

“I tell the story often — I get asked ‘Who’s the most dangerous person in the world? Is it Chairman Kim, is it Xi Jinping?’ The most dangerous person in the world is Randi Weingarten,” Pompeo, who pushed for covert drone strikes in Afghanistan, said in an interview with Semafor published Monday.

“It’s not a close call. If you ask, ‘Who’s the most likely to take this republic down?’ It would be the teacher’s unions, and the filth that they’re teaching our kids, and the fact that they don’t know math and reading or writing,” the former top U.S. diplomat added.

Pompeo, who in 2017 did not disclose that his business imported oilfield equipment from a Chinese government-owned company, tied his supposed concern for kids with an angst for China.

“If our kids don’t grow up understanding America is an exceptional nation, we’re done. If they think it’s an oppressor class and an oppressed class, if they think the 1619 Project, and we were founded on a racist idea — if those are the things people entered the seventh grade deeply embedded in their understanding of America, it’s difficult to understand how Xi Jinping’s claim that America is in decline won’t prove true,” Pompeo said.

“...We should ban every element of Chinese technology that sits inside our ecosystem,” Pompeo said later. “The Chinese Communist Party is coming for your kids.”

Weingarten responded to the interview on Twitter, focusing less on Pompeo’s attacks and more on an affirmative vision of AFT’s efforts:

If this is a preview of Pompeo’s 2024 run for president, his case is already falling flat.

Fox News Dedicates Entire Segment to Hunter Biden Laptop Repairman’s Book Tour

John Paul Mac Isaac said he received a “chilling” warning from the FBI, and then went on to talk about his new book.


The computer repairman who says he worked on Hunter Biden’s laptop claimed the FBI threatened him over going public about it—while giving an interview the day before his book about the laptop comes out.

John Paul Mac Isaac appeared Monday on Fox News, where he has been a semi-regular guest, to discuss what he called the “chilling” warning that federal agents gave him.

Sporting a jaunty Scottish balmoral cap, Mac Isaac said he was “overjoyed” when FBI agents subpoenaed him for the laptop. As they were leaving, “I made a comment to Agent Mike; I said, ‘Don’t worry lads, when I write the book, I’ll change your names,’” Mac Isaac said, revealing part of an agent’s real name on national television.

John Paul Mac Isaac speaks with Bill Hemmer on Fox News.

That’s when Agent Mike turned around and told me that, in their experience, nothing ever happens to people that don’t talk about these things, which was kind of chilling.”

Mac Isaac said he has faced retaliation on “multiple fronts” since reporting the laptop two years ago. He has appeared on Fox News multiple times since the news broke to discuss his struggles, and spoken on the channel once a week since the start of November.

In May, he sued House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and multiple media outlets, including CNN and Politico, for defamation. He also wrote a book titled American Injustice: My Battle to Expose the Truth, which came out Tuesday.

Since Republicans squeaked out control of the House of Representatives, they have said with their whole chest that investigating Hunter Biden—and by extension his father, President Joe Biden—is one of their top priorities.

Not, say, inflation or antitrust or cryptocurrency crashes.