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TWL Power Rankings – 3/29

by Jacob Siegel

We are back with our weekly power rankings. This week has definitely been impacted by the Matt Gaetz scandal and the ongoing pandemic.

1. Bill Barr

Former Attorney General William Barr has been front and center. But, not out of controversy out of being pushed from something that he was told to do from the Trump white house this time. Rather, it is as the result of an investigation into Matt Gaetz. Matt Gaetz is claiming that Former Justice Department officials were involved in extortion and are investigating him under false pretenses, and, that to paraphrase Bill Clinton, that he did not have sexual relations with the women in question.

The scandal that is currently rocking Matt Gaet’z political career right now involves a 17 year old women, and, he awkwardly brought up the subject of conversation around Tucker Carlson when he was invited on the show, to which Tucker Carlson explained to his viewers that that was the weirdest interview that he has ever conducted. He also brought the sexual assault allegations that Tucker Carlson has been involved in, trying to bring him into the fold of the scandal. Former President Donald J. Trump has been advised to stay out of this one.

2. CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky

For months, we’ve been hearing only good news about how the vaccine roll-out has been going. Lately, there has been some alleged complications with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the issue with the factory misshap of the Johnson and Johnson shots. For the most part, the vaccines roll-out has been working okay. That’s not what Rochelle warned us about. As spring break approaches, she has warned us about an upcoming surge, and, that it could be essentially catastrophic if we do not do our part.

The finish line is almost there, if we keep doing our part. If we keep doing our part and wear masks, we will be okay, we will get there. But, there is potential for everything to go wayside. The Biden administration told us that they would tell us the truth. While in a number of cases, as reporters, or analysts, we can question why they said this, why the Biden administration said that, but, in this particular case, Rochelle was completely on the money in this particular circumstance. Her words are a stark reminder that while we might almost be there, if we do not follow necessary precautions she says, things could still get bad.

3. Derek Chauvin

One of the top ten persons on this list is not even a politician. As the Derek Chauvin trial goes on in Minneapolis, remember, this is a trial about Derek Chauvin, the man who is alive, not George Floyd, the man who is dead. According to the victim’s family, the defendant’s on the police side try to make it a trial on George Floyd’s character, the prosecutor’s team is trying to without a doubt prove that George Floyd was in fact murdered, unintentionally.

Prosecutors have access to many different video clips than the general public does and information that the general public does not. If a video on social media were all it would take to convict someone, they would have done so by now. They have to review hours and hours of testimony, and as the New York Times reports, we’ve already heard from his ex-girlfriend who has testified that they both had drug addiction. The store clerk said that he could have rejected the $20 once that he knew that it was counterfeit. He saw the police outside and then he saw that George Floyd was dead, he felt guilty about what happened. All of these stories are gripping the nation right this second, and, it is the police officer who is on trial right this second, let us not forget that.

4. Brian Kemp

Brian Kemp has recently made headlines over this current week for passing what many are calling a voter suppression bill. The battle for voting has become an ideological one rather than one that unites both parties. Much of the focus nationally has been about how the bill makes it harder to vote. More recent media attention from the New York Times acknowledges that while there are provisions in the bill that let the state legislature take control over the election, they do make it harder to vote by mail, but, they fall short of no-excuse absentee ballot.

It does restrict the number of drop-boxes. It makes in-person voting easier, but, makes it harder to show up at a different location than one is supposed to. The runoff election period would be shortened, four weeks instead of nine. Knowing what the bill actually is doing is vital to having a discussion about what needs to be changed and what does not need to be changed.

5. Joe Biden

Pete Buttigieg, the new Biden Transportation Secretary has been very vocal about what America needs in order to make things more equity. Pete Buttigieg has said that the federal government has in the pats not taken into account racial disparities. Biden’s new infrastructure plan has been making headlines, hoping to move on quickly from the coronavirus relief package, Biden hopes to secure his next big win. While it is commonly believed that Democrats can only use the reconciliation process twice a year, Schumer is trying to look into using it three times during the year.

If there was ever any worry that Joe Biden would not be governing from a progressive standpoint, Joe Biden is proving some of his conservative critics correct, at least, with the price tags on these bills. Joe Biden publicly is not denying that he is going big and bold. He is going big and bold. Okay fine, I’m get that. I just want to make sure that if I say something I will ont just upset you. Could we at least work on that? That’s fine. “Hey, I don’t want to talk to me about this right now, can, you talk about this later?

6. Rep Cannon

After the passing of the voting restrictions bill which limits hours of drop-boxes, the infamous clause which prohibits people from passing on water to people who are standing in line, requiring an ID to vote by mail, and, limiting no-excuse mail-in ballot, Rep. Cannon went to the Governor’s office, she claimed to watch the bill being signed Her actions of going to the Governor’s office to knock on the door drew a comparison to the events on January 6th, where insurrectionists marched on the Capitol, from LT GD Langford. She is being charged with two felonies as a result of her attempt to get into the Governor’s office. Her attorney Gerald Griggs asserts that he will continue to fight the charges, aiming to go as far as jury trial.

Scientists who made it from CNN’s documentary, the Covid War: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out

7. Dr. Deborah Birx

While Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield focused on the issues of China being the reason why we didn’t have accurate information about the pandemic, Dr. Birx was more outspoken about her criticism of Donald Trump. She seemed to suggest that they had the data to suggest that something terrible was going to happen, but, that the people in the Trump administration did not believe in the science, and, actively dismissed masks. That was when the former President was most willing to listen to ideas about what needed to be done. After that point, he brought in Dr. Scott Atlas, who didn’t even have a background in virology who as insistent on making sure that we had herd immunity to beat the virus.

It was clear to Dr. Birx that there was a very strong sentiment within the White House that they simply did not believe in mask-wearing, and, during the event in the Rose Garden, they made it clear to people that they did not want other people to wear masks. At one point during the interview, things got really emotional for her, as she recalled a particular conversation with Trump in which she refused to say whether or not that she was threatened, but, she did say that the conversation made her feel very uncomfortable.

8. Dr. Fauci

Dr. Fauci was one of the subjects of scrutiny over the past weekend and was much often talked about by the media as a result of his introspection in the CNN interview. He has previously reported that he has felt a sense of relief for being able to tell the truth and speak freely within the Biden administration. During the documentary, it seemed to focus on Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, Dr. Redfielx the former CDC director, and Former FDA commissioner Hahn.

While Dr. Fauci certainly made some noise defending some of the Trump administration’s past decisions, he defended some of the CDC decisions, explaining them in purely scientific terms, while the star of the show actually seemed to center more around Dr. Birx. Dr. Fauci was more focused on explaining to people why he told people not to wear masks, so, that way people the medicine workers would have access to masks.

That was before they knew that cloth wearing was effective. He also said that they said what they said in large part because of the information that was coming from China. Dr. Fuaci seemed to focus more of the blame on China for not conveying proper information than any type of messaging that was coming from the Trump administration, even though we know from prior reporting that whenever there was an issue between science and messaging, messaging always won out. Dr. Deborah Birx ended up being more of the star of the documentary when she was the one that really developed a strong prescient attack on the Trump administration. Dr. Fauci is one that is more shy about when it comes to attacking Presidents, stating that he doesn’t take pleasure in contradicting the President

9. Dr. Redfield

Dr. Redfield tried to rehabilitate his image wihin the CNN documentary. He said that he was pressured by the former Human Services Secretary official Alex Azar to alter the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, otherwise known as the MMWR. According to him, Alex Azar’s lawyer and chief of staff pressured him for at least one more hour, and, it got to the point where he said that if he was going to be fired, they should fire him. Additionally, Dr. Redfield predicted in the documentary that he would deny that he attempted to pressure him to change it.

The CNN documentary was intended on being a sobering reflection on what we could have done with regards to Covid-19. Dr. Redfield repeated the belief that has come under media scrutniy lately, which, was that China was somehow behind creating the virus in a laboratory. The documentary gave the impression that Former FDA Commissioner Hahn, was the one that was on board with Hydroxychloroquine has been frowned upon from Fauci, and the evidence seems to suggest that it was more of an effort by the FDA rather than the CDC.

10. Raphael Warnock

After making headlines recently for making his first maiden speech in the halls of Congress, surprisingly even getting applause seemingly from both sides of the isle, he has been using his notoriety and his experience as a reverand in order to try to further a cause that has gotten national attention with current calls for boycotts. Panelists in the Reverand Al Sharpton show on Sunday, 4/4/2021 discussed how pressure from Black people on corporate America is such that people have not seen before. In the past, states like Arizona had to bow to pressure when they continued to refuse to Martin Luther King JR day.

Now, according to Reverend Al Sharpton, states like Georgia are buckling and Republicans in that state are furious as they are realizing that if there is going to be an action that is going to be made to make voting more restrictive, then, it’s going to have a cost, in terms of dollar amounts, people’s jobs, whether or not corporations are going to want to stay there.

One single decision to make a certain law do a certain thing may very well impact the way that people are going to do business THERE. Reverend Warnock in the Senate has helped bring attention to the issue by first making such an arousing and convincing speech in the Senate.

But, he has also managed to keep the issue of voting rights in the spotlight, even while Democrats look to tackle different issues such as infrastructure. In the era of the 24-hour news cycle, when an issue that is being spoken about for more than a single news cycle stays in the attention span of America, that is not a feat to scoff at. Raphael Warnock earns a spot on the top ten list. He has somehow managed to stay at the top of the minds of voters.

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