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Joe Biden’s Filibuster Defense Doesn’t Make Much Sense

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On Wednesday, two Democratic leaders took differing approaches to combating threats to democracy. One reflected current political realities; the other was rooted in an alluring political daydream. One made sense; the other…not so much. Yesterday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the unexpected but welcome step of vetoing two of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill. McCarthy predictably performed outrage, which was legitimized by horse race-style coverage in some corners of the media, but Pelosi’s move was in no way unreasonable: The committee’s mandate is to probe the insurrection Donald Trump and his allies incited, and the two McCarthy appointees she rejected—Jim Jordan and Jim Banks—not only participated in the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, but made clear after their selection that they would use their spots on the panel to undermine its work. 

As Republican committee member Liz Cheney pointed out as she defended Pelosi against McCarthy’s “disingenuous” broadsides, Jordan “may well be a material witness to events that led to that day,” and Banks “disqualified himself by his comments in particular over the past 24 hours, demonstrating that he is not taking this seriously, that he is not dealing with the facts of this investigation but rather viewed it as a political platform.” (Banks said after his nomination that the committee was only created to “malign conservatives” and to help Democrats enact their “authoritarian agenda,” and suggested he would use his perch on the panel to investigate the “extremist” left instead.)

There could be some political blowback for Pelosi’s move, of course, but it was the right one: McCarthy named Jordan and Banks to the panel only so they could sabotage its work. By rejecting them, Pelosi is putting that vital work ahead of the performative politics of civility—a refreshing acknowledgment that bipartisanship doesn’t work if both sides aren’t acting in good faith.

This maddening reality hasn’t appeared to influence Joe Biden’s admirable but self-defeating hope that the Trumpist GOP can be coaxed into engaging productively with Democrats. During a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, the president was asked about abolishing the filibuster in order to pass bills protecting voting rights, which Republicans have been working to roll back since Trump’s loss in November. While Biden conceded that “abuse of the filibuster is pretty overwhelming,” and again suggested reforming it, he ultimately defended the procedure itself, insisting that he could bring together a bipartisan coalition to protect the franchise. “I want to make sure we bring along not just all the Democrats,” Biden said on the voting rights issue. “We bring along Republicans who I know know better. They know better than this.”

That’s an optimistic view of a cohort openly seeking to win elections not by appealing to more Americans, but by making it harder for Democratic-leaning constituencies to cast ballots. Even Cheney, who has been effectively exiled from the GOP for criticizing Trump, has defended the restrictive voting laws her party has ushered in. Biden isn’t wrong to try to restore the norms his predecessor eroded—“I’m trying to bring this country together,” he reiterated Wednesday—but he won’t get very far if he insists on doing so with the cooperation of the people who aided in and benefited from their erosion. 

There are political calculations here, of course, just as there are with the harder tack Pelosi adopted Wednesday. While the House Speaker’s caucus seems pretty united in the view that Jim Jordan is an annoying asshole, the president is dealing with a Senate that has mixed opinions on the filibuster. Many Democrats have come around to abolishing it. But others, like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, remain steadfastly in favor. Biden, then, may see the filibuster debate as a delicate balancing act. But if that’s the case, one would expect his arguments in favor of keeping the procedure to be a bit more compelling. “You’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos” if the filibuster is eliminated entirely, Biden told CNN’s Don Lemon Wednesday. “Nothing will get done, right? Nothing at all will get done, and there’s a lot at stake.”

That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense—eliminating the 60-vote threshold would seem to allow for more to get done, not less—but Biden’s reasoning only underscores how tenuous his position is: The notion that voting rights can be protected with the assistance of the very people attacking them is so absurd, it can only be justified with similarly absurd arguments. Biden has made it clear that he wants to preserve and strengthen voting rights and that he resents the GOP’s crusade to suppress them. But Democrats seem to be hamstringing themselves in their efforts to fight back by adhering to rules that their counterparts stopped following long ago. Pelosi, in exercising her final say as House Speaker to keep two brazen insurrectionists off the January 6 committee regardless of the inevitable bellyaching from Republicans, demonstrated not only boldness, but common sense. Biden would be wise to follow suit.

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Roddy White, Julio Jones Sued by Cannabis Company, Accused of Fraud

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans star Julio Jones (right) and former NFL wide receiver Roddy White (left) are among the defendants in a lawsuit filed by a cannabis company.

The former Atlanta Falcons teammates and their co-defendants are accused of alleged fraud and money laundering allegations, according to court papers obtained by the Tennessean.

Genetixs cannabis company claims that Jones, White and others sold around $3 million per month in cannabis since March and kept all the profits for themselves.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants illegally managed and operated Genetixs’ cannabis facility, and failed to report weed sales since March 2021.

Genetixs estimates about $3 million in cannabis was sold illegally by the defendants who then kept the profits for themselves.

According to the Tennessean newspaper:

“Jones and White, who were teammates with the Falcons from 2011 to 2015, are accused of colluding with John Van Beek and his son, Shaun Van Beek, to run a black-market cannabis operation through the Genetixs facility. Jones and White had invested in Genetixs through White’s SLW Holdings, per the documents.”

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Tags: cannabis, embezzlement, Julio Jones, lawsuit, legalized weed, Roddy White

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Matt Damon’s Joke About Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez & Their ‘True Love’ Is Very Funny

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Matt Damon has been repeatedly asked about his BFF Ben Affleck getting back together with his ex fiancee Jennifer Lopez decades after they split in the early 2000s.

In his latest interview, Matt decided to answer with a pretty funny joke.

Click inside to read what Matt Damon said…

“It sucks. I wish them nothing, but you know, hardship,” Matt said while appearing on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. “But how else would I be? Like, would I be unhappy? Like, I hate true love.”

Find out Matt‘s other reaction when asked about Jen and Ben‘s trip to Europe for her birthday celebration!


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5 Summer Jewelry Trends That Work From The Beach To Happy Hour

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Even though I didn’t get dressed up much last summer, I kept my jewelry game strong even when pairing pieces with PJs and sweatsuits. A full year later, though, my accessories need a major refresh now that I’m out and about again—so I’m turning to Mejuri’s latest drops for clues on the top summer jewelry trends worth shopping.

Luckily, this season’s top looks are all elevated takes on the usual classics. Those dainty gold chains you’ve been loving are still a thing, but consider adding a few statement styles to the mix for prime layering opportunities. For the ears, we’re alllllll about a good hoop moment, but ditch your go-to pair and shop ones with a little more flair.

Oh, speaking of flair—lets get glitzy this summer! Diamonds are in for a super-sparkly accessory upgrade, and Mejuri’s dainty diamond pieces prove you don’t have to break the bank to get the look. Same goes for shopping 14k gold; yes, it’s pricier than gold vermeil, but when a couple hundred bucks gets you a piece that will last forever, how can you possibly pass it up?

Last but not least, I’m calling it now: Anklets are the new bracelets. Apologize to your wrists and develop a foot fetish, because anklets are 100 percent the number one piece you need in your summer jewelry collection.

Ready to flex? Read on for summer’s five hottest jewelry trends and check out Mejuri’s Summer Edit on their website now.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Mejuri is a STYLECASTER sponsor, however, all products in this article were independently selected by our editors. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

STYLECASTER | Summer Jewelry Trends Mejuri

Courtesy of Mejuri.

Leg Day

Skip the arm party and focus on anklets instead of bracelets this season. Mejuri’s Boyfriend pieces are iconic, so of course the Boyfriend Bold Chain Anklet in 14k yellow gold should be your first buy.

 

STYLECASTER | Summer Jewelry Trends Mejuri

Courtesy of Mejuri.

Bling Ring

Why dull your sparkle? Diamonds are trending in a big way, and you don’t need an engagement ring to rock ’em on your fingers! Dainty pieces like the Diamonds Line Ring in 14k yellow gold are perfect for daily wear.

 

STYLECASTER | Summer Jewelry Trends Mejuri

Courtesy of Mejuri.

Hoop Troupe

Hoop earrings will always be in style, but for summer 2021, the more unique the better. Skip a rounded silhouette for these cool Medium Flat Hoops in 14k yellow gold. The look is still luxe, but slightly more 2D.

 

STYLECASTER | Summer Jewelry Trends Mejuri

Courtesy of Mejuri.

No Chain-ge

There’s no change to the year’s gold chain trend, but why not get one with a little extra je ne sais quoi to layer with your staples? The Anchor Chin Necklace in 14k yellow gold has unique links meant to resemble the chain of a ship’s anchor, so it’s a necklace and a conversation piece.

 

STYLECASTER | Summer Jewelry Trends Mejuri

Courtesy of Mejuri.

Gold Standard

Last but not least, let’s lean in to 14k gold this season for all our buys. I’m a massive fan of Mejuri’s durable gold vermeil, but the real deal is best in summer when you’re constantly swimming and sweating. Invest in classic pieces like these Oversized Thin Hoops and your under-$300 purchase will last a literal lifetime.

 

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