COMPASS: An omnibus ascends?

December 5th, 2022

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House and Senate are both in session, and it’s a big week in Washington. The Georgia Senate runoff is tomorrow, and, depending on the outcome, Democrats will either have a 50-49 seat majority, or the Senate will remain in a 50-50 tie.

The continuing resolution, which is propping up government funding, expires on Dec 16. While there is reportedly no agreement on the topline number needed to draft a massive spending bill, keep an eye on this one. If Republicans agree to whatever number Democrats are proposing, they will essentially be undermining the argument they just spent the last two years making – that Joe Biden’s spending is fueling the country’s inflation crisis.

Should an agreement not be reached by Dec 16, there will likely be another CR written to Dec 23, to give appropriators “time” to draft a massive, year long omnibus. I use air quotes around “time” because longtime Compass readers know the drill – the omnibus is already written. Establishment Washington is just waiting to use the veneer of panic and the Christmas deadline to pass their bill with as little scrutiny as possible.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is also on the floor of the House this week. One big issue is whether the bill will deal with the thousands of service members forced out of the military for refusing to take the vaccine. In the House, GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has said the bill will not move forward unless the vaccine mandate is repealed. His threat is backstopped by a group of Republican senators threatening to block the bill in the Senate if the chamber does not vote to end the military vaccine mandate.

Meanwhile, the first installment of the Twitter files was published (on Twitter) by independent journalist Matt Taibbi. The actual communications between Twitter executives and the Biden campaign prove long-disputed details over Twitter’s entanglement with the government and Democratic interests.

But the story was quickly dismissed by the mainstream press as insignificant, because it contained nothing “new.” I would submit what’s new here is confirmation that everything the political right had been suggesting was happening was, well, happening. The release of these files is as much an indictment on the tech and corporate media as it is on Twitter and the Biden campaign. The journalists – whose job it is to be skeptical, critical, and to take nothing at face value – completely bought the “hacked materials” policy put forward by Twitter, swallowing it whole without batting an eyelash. No wonder they don’t want to talk about it. It makes them look like fools.

New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manjoo dismissed the story as “a half dozen screenshots of content moderation policy executives earnestly debating content moderation policy,” reflecting the mainstream media’s attempt to downplay any evidence of a conspiracy. But that is actually the story. There was no need for a “conspiracy” to ban the Hunter Biden laptop story because everyone in power at Twitter and the Biden campaign already agreed to do it. You don’t need a conspiracy when everyone in power in the government and private sector already more or less agree with one another. And that is, frankly, more disturbing than a conspiracy – the elites agree and there is no one to stop them. It’s brazen because it can be. 

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One More Thing…

This morning the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in 303 Creative v. Elenis, which covers the intersection of free speech and religious liberty. Alliance Defending Freedom argued on behalf of graphic artist Lorie Smith. You can listen here.