In other news, B.H.P. Billiton, the second-largest coal company in the world, says it is withdrawing from World Coal Association because of the lobbying group's anti-climate science policies. Billiton is also considering withdrawing from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for similar reasons.
Meanwhile, the European Union has initiated the process to punish EU-member state Poland over the conservative government's plan to install party loyalists in the country's court system.
“The Commission has today concluded that there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Poland,” the Commission said in a statement.
“Judicial reforms in Poland mean that the country’s judiciary is now under the political control of the ruling majority. In the absence of judicial independence, serious questions are raised about the effective application of EU law.”
Finally, Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney says USA Gymnastics paid her $1.25 million to keep quiet about Doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse. Maroney is now suing USA Gymnastics, in part, because the organization signal-boosted her accusation against Nassar while settling with her privately. It's unknown if USA Gymnastics has settled with other accusers, but it seems likely to me.
The existence of the settlement, the terms of which were described to The Wall Street Journal by a person familiar with the settlement, was revealed in a lawsuit filed by Maroney Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking damages from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University, where Nassar worked for decades, on the grounds of negligence, sexual harassment and other civil claims.
The lawsuit also names USA Gymnastics as a defendant and seeks to invalidate parts of Maroney’s settlement, claiming the agreement’s nondisclosure and non-disparagement clauses are illegal.
I say we take off and nuke USA Gymnastics from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Programming note... I still have some last-minute shopping to do and I need a mental and physical health break so this will be my last post before Christmas. I expect we'll be back in action here on Tuesday, January 2nd. Congress is expected to pass yet another continuing resolution to keep the government running until after the new year but, other than that, I wouldn't expect any big news between now and then.
Have a good weekend and happy holidays.