Democrats introduced legislation to expand the Supreme Court from nine justices to 13. Why would they do this? Because they could shift the balance of justices currently serving from conservative to liberal.
As it stands, there are six justices that were appointed by Republican Presidents known for a more conservative way of rule. There are three who were appointed by Democratic Presidents known for a more liberal way of rule. The 6-to-3 balance was solidified under President Trump, who appointed three Justices during his administration. Expanding the court to 13 justices would shift that balance, presumably to seven liberal judges to six conservative ones.
Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court must be limited to nine members but there has never been more than 10 at a time. The legislation to add four more members is not likely to pass through Congress as it is a thinly veiled effort to shift the current balance of power. President Biden has said he is “not a fan” of this idea but that’s not to say he won’t make the appointments he’s offered.
Despite the perceived imbalance of power, the court has not functioned as a Republican super-machine on social issues that voters care about. They unanimously refused to take up former President Trump’s challenge to the election results.
Side note: In researching this story, we noted that SupremeCourt.gov still does not have a photo of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. She was confirmed five months ago. Maybe someone should get on that?
If you are thinking about traveling this summer, book your rental car now. Rental companies have a shortage of cars to rent because they sold off a large portion of their fleet during the pandemic.
They had to do this to avoid the expense of maintenance and insurance, as well as to bring in some cash when they were not making any money. Hertz reported a 46% drop in revenue last year but now, travelers are coming back and they can’t build their fleet back up fast enough. Both Hertz and Avis confirmed that the car shortages are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
In other travel news, American Airlines says that it is expected to operate a “nearly normal” schedule this summer with many routes coming back domestically and between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada. Planes are being booked to 90% capacity domestically and 80% capacity internationally.
United says that it will help mitigate crowds by no longer boarding planes from the back because that causes people to gather at the gate. Now it will board in groups of five people in two lanes. That should also reduce the mad rush mentality so hopefully this method is here to stay.
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Hawaii is set to pass automatic voter registration (AVR). Senate Bill 159 passed the state’s House of Representatives and will now head to the state Senate where it is expected to pass.
The bill makes voter registration automatic when a resident applies for a driver's license or ID card unless they decide to opt-out. Even though immigrants can get driver's licenses, they cannot register to vote until this program. Voters still must be U.S. citizens.
Already 20 states have AVR policies. Oregon was the first to do this in 2015.
Chemicals in plastics have been linked to serious brain damage. The two chemicals are bisphenol A and bisphenol S, commonly referred to as BPA and BPS.
The study linked BPA and BPS to brain disease in fish but researchers say that it is “very likely” that similar effects happen to humans that are exposed to them.
And we are ALL exposed to them, whether we like it or not. It is everywhere. On store receipts, in plastic bottles, in canned food lining. Marketers often mark products as “BPA-free” but say nothing of the BPS that is still there. These chemicals disrupt the nervous system after prolonged exposure to even small amounts. Switch to glass or stainless steel whenever you can, friends!
32.7%. That is how much toilet paper sales are down compared to this time last year because panic buying has subsided. Sales of paper towels are down 18.3% and sales of wet wipes are down 15.7%.
40%. That is how much the pay of truckers has gone up due to high demand. Trucking companies are trying to lure in new drivers with an estimated $60,000 annual salary, compared to the $47,000 median from last year. What they do not say is that they offer these new drivers “free” training that they have to pay back over their career in addition to many expenses such as truck rental and insurance. Maybe they can consider canceling that student debt and give these drivers a chance to actually earn?
Iron Man-like suits may not just be for Tony Stark. One California company expects that they’ll soon be available at Home Depot, as accessible as a lawnmower.
The SuitX is what is called an exoskeleton suit. It supports and covers the body and offers added strength and support. Studies show that workers who use these suits have a 50% reduction in muscle activity, helping prevent fatigue.
The SuitX can be battery-powered and computer-operated. Sales are expected to rocket to $6.8 billion by 2030. General Motors is also researching an exoskeleton glove for manufacturers and Delta is also testing its own exoskeleton suit for employees who handle freight and ground support.
I have always found it amazing to watch carpet installation and thought, “These people do that knee drive movement all day, every day at the expense of their back!?” Think of giving those people some help to save their bodies! Yes, I’m for that! You’ve got to think that corporations would rather spend money on these suits than workers’ compensation claims!
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