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Wednesday's Mini-Report, 12.15.21

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Encouraging: "Booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccines already in use are enough to combat the fast-spreading omicron variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president's chief medical adviser, said Wednesday at a media briefing. That is, it is unlikely the shots will need to be reformulated to target omicron specifically."

* Powell speaks: "The Federal Reserve is further tightening up its pandemic-era easy money policy and will increase the pace of tapering, a move that could usher in rate hikes earlier than expected, according to a statement released at the conclusion of the central bank's latest policymaking meeting on Wednesday."

* GSA: "The federal agency managing the government's lease of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., failed to examine ethical conflicts and constitutional issues posed by then-President Donald Trump's refusal to divest from the property, a new congressional report says."

* NDAA: "The Senate easily passed the annual defense policy bill on Wednesday, authorizing $768 billion in defense spending for fiscal 2022. The final tally for the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act was 88-11."

* Speaking of the military: "The governors of five states sent a joint letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking him to reconsider the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for National Guard members. The letter from the governors of Wyoming, Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Nebraska says they acknowledge that the Pentagon can set 'readiness standards' for the National Guard when activated for federal duty."

* This will be appealed: "A federal judge late Tuesday threw out former President Donald Trump's lawsuit seeking to block a House committee from getting his tax returns. U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden said efforts by Trump's lawyers to block the handover were wrong on the law."

* The Combating International Islamophobia Act passes: "The House on Tuesday voted for legislation to monitor and combat Islamophobia globally, after a rancorous debate in which a Republican falsely accused the measure's co-sponsor, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), of being 'affiliated with' terrorist organizations. The party-line vote was 219 to 212."

* A case worth watching: "The District of Columbia has filed a civil lawsuit seeking harsh financial penalties against far-right groups Proud Boys and Oath Keepers over their role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.... Karl Racine, Washington's attorney general, said the suit seeks compensation for damages to the District of Columbia and to inflict maximum financial damage on the groups responsible."

* Another case worth watching: "John Eastman, the attorney who helped former President Donald Trump try to persuade then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election, on Tuesday sued Verizon and the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6."

* I wonder if other companies will start taking similar steps: "Kroger, the country's largest traditional grocery store company, will end special paid Covid-19 leave for unvaccinated employees and will charge some of them $50 a month if they remain unprotected, the company said Tuesday."

* There are apparently still some prominent Republican voices who want people to believe that Donald Trump requested 10,000 National Guard troops to secure the Capitol on Jan. 6. That's still not true.

See you tomorrow.