Mar 04,2021

More than 10,000 pieces of new news a day. News update non-stop 24/7.  Trade fairness and economic recovery on Biden’s national security agenda.  Biden administration singles out China as 'biggest geopolitical test' for U.S.  Eddie Glaude on moves to restrict voting rights: ‘There’s something eerily familiar about this’.  Covid: Police break up 'fake vaccine network' in China and South Africa.  ‘Unraveling’: America’s two major parties are at war over the rules that govern voting.  Crying ‘racism’ at Smith College.  Florida politics and election news.  House to wrap early, cancels Thursday session amid threat of violence at the Capitol by a militia group.  No place for those who betray young children.  States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge.  More than 10,000 pieces of new news a day. News update non-stop 24/7.  Letter to the Editor, March 4, 2021: Lower taxes, better service not possible.  John Ivison: Colourful words of Chinese diplomacy can't hide Orwellian double-think behind them.  How Three Texans Feel About the State’s Controversial Reopening.  Kind Snacks founder explains his “3 Cs of Entrepreneurship”.  The world’s dramatic retreat from democracy, in one chart.  Back to school for Jill Biden, new education chief.  Gannett Teams in Texas Provide Vital Information to Local Communities Impacted by Storm.  Nigeria is trapped in a cycle of kidnappings and thousands are missing amid predatory practices.  Democrats’ #MeToo hypocrisy and other commentary.  Rep. Jamaal Bowman calls standardized testing ‘a pillar of systemic racism’.  
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Trade fairness and economic recovery on Biden’s national security agenda
       
“Our policies must reflect a basic truth: in today’s world, economic security is national security,” the White House document said. “We will make sure that the rules of the international economy are not tilted against the United States,” the report said. The last formal National Security Strategy report was released in 2017, under Trump. ADBiden’s priorities share similarities with Trump’s, including identifying China as a strategic competitor in most realms. They haven’t worked.”Still, the Biden administration has not been shy about using military force.
Biden administration singles out China as 'biggest geopolitical test' for U.S
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Joe Biden singled out a “growing rivalry with China” as a key challenge facing the United States, with his top diplomat describing the Asian country as “the biggest geopolitical test” of this century. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on foreign policy at the State Department in Washington, U.S. March 3, 2021. The Biden administration has indicated it will broadly continue a tough approach to China taken by Trump, but do so in coordination will allies. Blinken sought to set out how foreign policy will bring benefits for American workers and families, and said that was key to the new administration’s approach. “We will fight for every American job and for the rights, protections and interests of all American workers,” Blinken said.
Eddie Glaude on moves to restrict voting rights: ‘There’s something eerily familiar about this’
       
Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University Eddie Glaude reacts to GOP lawmakers moving to restrict access to voting and says it is “an all-out assault on the franchise extended to Black folk”
Covid: Police break up 'fake vaccine network' in China and South Africa
       
In late 2017, the U.S. Treasury added Artem Chaika, son of Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika, to those sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act. He is co-owner of a Russian company called Quantum Technologies and serves on the boards of various state-owned companies. During Chaika’s tenure as prosecutor-general, his sons, 45-year-old Artem Chaika and 33-year-old Igor Chaika, created huge business empires. (Arkady recently to came to Putin’s rescue by claiming, unconvincingly, that he was the owner of “Putin’s palace,” exposed by Navalny. Arkady’s son Igor Rotenberg, 47, has held numerous positions in the Putin government and also is on the boards of several gas and power companies.
‘Unraveling’: America’s two major parties are at war over the rules that govern voting
       
To an extent not seen in a century, America’s two major parties have gone to battle over the rules that govern voting — an intensifying fight that threatens to dominate and embitter the country’s politics. Skirmishes along the battle line flared repeatedly this week:At the Supreme Court, Republican and Democratic lawyers clashed over part of the landmark Voting Rights Act. And it would restore voting rights nationwide to felons who have completed their terms, giving voting rights back to several million people. AdvertisementIn the 1960s, for example, Congress engaged in marathon debates over voting rights for Black Americans. But those fights, which led to passage of the Voting Rights Act and outlawed poll taxes with the 24th Amendment, split both parties.
Crying ‘racism’ at Smith College
       
I don’t believe I ever set foot on the Smith campus, although our beagle, Joan, cleverly turned herself into a campus dog and gained several pounds. Nevertheless, what happened at Smith College in 2018 caught my eye partly because I’d had an experience somewhat like it, albeit on a purely personal scale. “It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a woman of color.” She mentioned the security guard’s “lethal weapon.”She accused several college employees of bigotry, publishing their photos and email addresses. Smith College announced “anti-bias” training for staff and faculty, complete with intrusive psychological queries. “I believe in money privilege.”Tuition and fees at Smith College come to $78,000 a year.
Florida politics and election news
       
Florida lawmakers appear ready to junk the state’s unemployment benefits system, CONNECT, over its failures to process payments at the height of the pandemic. But GOP leaders have rebuffed Democratic proposals to address other issues with the system that struggled to pay out paltry benefits even before the coronavirus hit. That could be changing, at least in the Senate.
House to wrap early, cancels Thursday session amid threat of violence at the Capitol by a militia group
       
Capitol Police said earlier Wednesday they have uncovered intelligence of a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The news comes nearly two months after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the iconic building to try to stop Congress from certifying now-President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
No place for those who betray young children
       
Standing behind his troop leader in the dark storage room, Bobby waited to be handed something to carry upstairs, but when the troop leader turned around he was only holding his belt buckle. Bobby went to public school, so he didn’t get the good jobs. Then one day he saw a man his age on television, talking about being sexually abused as a child, by a Boy Scout leader. The little boy inside of me is better now, so I’m better now.”Wendy Murphy is an attorney and victims’ rights advocate. Bobby, a childhood friend, is involved in the Boy Scouts bankruptcy settlement for abuse survivors.
States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge
       
Before that, she kept her classroom windows open and used space heaters. “If you want schools to be successful and safe and you want your teachers to have their heads in the game, get them the vaccination,” she said. Doug Ducey on Wednesday ordered students and teachers to return to school this month, saying many teachers have already received their second dose. The U.S. has administered over 80 million shots in a vaccination drive now hitting its stride, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 20% of the nation's adults, or close to 52 million people, have received at least one dose, and 10% have been fully inoculated.
Letter to the Editor, March 4, 2021: Lower taxes, better service not possible
       
Lower taxes, betterservice not possibleEditor, Times-Dispatch:A number of articles and letters recently have been published that bemoan the Virginia Department of Health's vaccine rollout and the Virginia Employment Commission's inability to respond to record numbers of applications for unemployment. While these complaints are understandable, I would like to remind readers that politicians' constant promises to reduce taxes have very real consequences. Why should anyone be surprised that they suddenly are incapable of a coordinated, efficient response to a crisis? As voters and as citizens, we simultaneously can't demand both lower taxes and more services. The next time you step into a voting booth, give some thought to the long-term consequences of your choices.
John Ivison: Colourful words of Chinese diplomacy can't hide Orwellian double-think behind them
       
Share this Story: John Ivison: Colourful words of Chinese diplomacy can't hide Orwellian double-think behind themJohn Ivison: Colourful words of Chinese diplomacy can't hide Orwellian double-think behind them The Chinese foreign ministry operates like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth — so that listeners are encouraged to believe that slavery is freedom and war is peace Photo by Justin Tang/The Canadian Press/FileArticle content There is something quite engaging about the use of metaphors by Chinese diplomats. Try refreshing your browser, or John Ivison: Colourful words of Chinese diplomacy can't hide Orwellian double-think behind them Back to video Hua Chunying, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, recently said Canada was “like a thief posing as a judge” in its attempts to launch a declaration against arbitrary detention aimed at China. The range of language cannot obscure the narrowness of thought permitted by China, and parroted by its envoys around the world. The ambassador cautioned foreigners, including Canada’s parliamentarians, against interfering in China’s domestic affairs in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. “I would stress Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong and no one, no force, no country has the right to interfere in Hong Kong-related issues.” This is more evidence of the Orwellian double-think at the core of the Communist Party narrative.
How Three Texans Feel About the State’s Controversial Reopening
       
In other words, Abbott’s decision to reopen the state feels premature, to say the least—and for many Texans, it’s terrifying. What if they had state-level logistical support, combined with the members’ local knowledge and deep, personal kindness?” he wonders. Hinman isn’t the only Texan who’s been forced to place more trust in grassroots methods of community protection than in top-down governmental aid. And they shouldn’t have to, you know?”For many Texans, the lack of COVID-19 oversight from the state’s highest office feels like yet another betrayal of public trust. Katherine Trakhtenbroit, 36, a Houston resident, says that her initial sense of hope around the pandemic has been completely extinguished by Abbott’s reopening.
Kind Snacks founder explains his “3 Cs of Entrepreneurship”
       
On last season’s Shark Tank, the judges heard pitches from two impressive entrepreneurs who struggled to articulate the key attributes that differentiated their product. It struck me that that they may have skipped a critical step along an entrepreneur’s journey: the part where we become our own worst critics. An entrepreneur’s journey unfolds in three distinct, dependent, and yet entirely separate phases. It’s very important that each phase be embraced fully and that once you move on from one, you move on completely. I first introduced the Three Cs of Entrepreneurship on Shark Tank, and I’m excited to build on them here for the first time.
The world’s dramatic retreat from democracy, in one chart
       
Seventy-three countries saw their freedoms retreat, whereas just 28 countries made strides toward a more democratic society:That means nearly three-quarters of the earth’s people now live in a country where democracy is declining. Of those countries, some saw a deeper retreat than others, including Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Tanzania, India, and the United States. Meanwhile, the United States, the world’s most visible democracy, shed several points on the freedom index in the aftermath of its presidential election, when defeated candidate Donald Trump refused to concede. According to Freedom House, 2020 was a bad year for democracy across the board. And in El Salvador, the government deployed troops to enforce a COVID-19 lockdown, confining thousands of people for alleged violations.
Back to school for Jill Biden, new education chief
       
Back to school for Jill Biden, new education chiefJill Biden, the teacher in the White House, along with new Education Secretary Miguel Cardona go back to school in a public push to show districts that have yet to transition back to in-person learning that it can be done safely.
Gannett Teams in Texas Provide Vital Information to Local Communities Impacted by Storm
       
StaffUSA TODAY NETWORK PRESSROOMWhen the unprecedented winter storm devastated Texas, journalists at the Austin American-Statesman provided critical information to their local communities, despite also personally enduring effects from the inclement freezing weather. As Texas continues to deal with aftermath of the storm, Gannett is mobilizing to offer support and aid to Texas employees. Design Center and Digital Optimization Team teams stepped in on their off days to package indispensable information for Gannett newspapers. Beyond the newsroom, Gannett is working to provide aid and relief to Texas employees as well. The Austin American-Statesman office became a refuge (following COVID safety protocols) for employees seeking power, water, heat and supplies.
Nigeria is trapped in a cycle of kidnappings and thousands are missing amid predatory practices
       
Tuesday morning the girls were set free, stirred from their sleep by their captors’ celebrations that a ransom had arrived. After a decade of war with Boko Haram, 23,992 Nigerians are registered missing with the local Red Cross, the humanitarian agency’s highest toll on earth.No group has yet claimed responsibility for the Jangebe kidnapping. But their motivation is clear: an attempt to raise the money, and perhaps infamy, that Boko Haram received in the wake of #BringBackOurGirls. Thousands are still struggling for freedomUltimately, the Chibok girls became actors in their own struggle for freedom. They fasted for days, snuck food to captives Boko Haram was trying to starve, and memorized the Book of Job.
Democrats’ #MeToo hypocrisy and other commentary
       
Cuomo watch: Democrats’ #MeToo HypocrisyGov. Cuomo should be facing “explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans,” reason Axios’ Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen. “And it’s not a close call.” During the #MeToo moment, Democrats “led the charge” in purging powerful men in politics, media, fashion and the movies for exploiting and harassing young women. But “the Biden team is exposing its own hypocrisy,” since the president is determined to ­renew talks with the Tehran regime, which has gallons of dissident blood on its hands. Then, too, Team Biden ignores the fact that “MBS has, over the past four years, engineered a breathtaking expansion of individual liberty” by curbing the religious establishment — reforms that a hard-line stance from Washington could undo.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman calls standardized testing ‘a pillar of systemic racism’
       
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, one of the newest members of “The Squad,” says standardized testing is a manifestation of “systemic racism.”In a pair of tweets Tuesday, Bowman (D-NY) wrote simply, “Standardized testing is a pillar of systemic racism,” before linking to an article from the National Education Association, one of the two largest teachers unions in the country. The article from the NEA was titled “The Racist Beginnings of Standardized Testing.” It was published in April 2018. “Since the beginning of standardized testing, students of color, particularly those from low-income families, have suffered the most from high-stakes testing in U.S. public schools. The Biden Administration’s refusal to grant waivers for standardized testing is WRONG,” he wrote alongside one of the videos. All of the data that they claim they need standardized tests to analyze can be better understood by speaking with the educators in our classrooms,” he continued.
Bipartisan bill introduced to repeal Iraq War authorization after Biden bombed Syria
       
A bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday would repeal the 2002 Iraq War authorization in the wake of President Biden’s decision to bomb facilities in Syria that were allegedly used by an Iran-backed militia. The largely symbolic bill was introduced by four Senate Democrats and four Senate Republicans led by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). “Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the Executive Branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers,” Kaine said in a press release. Biden did not cite the 1991 or 2002 war authorizations — or the 2001 anti-al-Qaeda authorization — when he bombed Syria in his first airstrikes as president. Biden said that the attack was intended to deter a Shiite militia group from attacking US troops inside Iraq.
FBI director Chris Wray confirms the right is lying about Jan. 6 - The Washington Post
       
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray was emphatic in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee: “We have not, to date, seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to antifa in connection with the 6th,” he said. They would have rightly been labeled as deflecting focus and dangerously muddying the waters as we tried to isolate and disarm threats. It is telling — and unsurprising — that Republicans seem so panicked at the prospect of identifying the specific ideology that drove the attackers. It is also not clear whether he will look at the political actors who incited the mob with the Big Lie. ADADWe need answers as to the involvement of political players and the failures of our response.
Opinion | Democrats won’t gain anything from scaling back stimulus checks
       
Progressives wanted to do as much as possible, and moderates wanted to find ways to scale back the bill’s ambitions. ADADIt does mean, however, that some people who got stimulus checks from then-President Donald Trump won’t be getting them from Biden. (Republicans wanted the stimulus checks to be reduced even further, so you could argue that the final bill will have moved slightly in their direction, even if they won’t support it.) Cutting back the stimulus checks won’t make it any more so. And no senator would have been the victim of a vicious attack ad skewering them for allowing stimulus checks to phase out slightly more slowly for people in the middle- to upper-middle class.
Opinion: Pence is out of office, but he’s still doing Trump’s dirty work
       
Last month I wrote about how former Vice President Mike Pence, while he may have been a potential target of the Jan 6. Pence abetted then-President Trump’s efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election, praising an ill-fated lawsuit filed by Texas in the Supreme Court seeking to overturn election results in four states. And the changes being pushed by Republican state legislators would make it harder for people (especially Democrats) to vote. To paraphrase Trump’s description of the death toll from COVID-19, Pence is what he is. Bloomberg News reports that Trump’s advisors have been discussing a female or Black running mate for Trump.
L.A. County sheriff obtains search warrant in Tiger Woods crash, seeking SUV data
       
Seeking answers to why Tiger Woods crashed on a dangerous stretch of a Palos Verdes Peninsula highway, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s traffic investigator has obtained a search warrant for the pre-crash data from the Genesis GV80 SUV’s onboard computer systems. Under National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rules for more recently built vehicles, the event data recorders must record 15 data inputs. Those include engine rpm, steering, the length and force of the crash, and what braking occurred during a crash. The Driver Privacy Act of 2015 requires the protection of a driver’s data privacy; a law enforcement agency must obtain a search warrant to access such information. Woods was driving a tournament car for the Genesis tournament at the Riviera Country Club that had just finished and he hosted.
Jews in mourning finding unexpected comfort in virtual minyans
       
Millennia in the making, Jewish mourning rituals are among the most foundational aspects of the religion. Grieving Jews can expect to be comforted in their homes during the shiva period by a stream of visiting family members and friends who come bearing food and uplifting tales of the deceased. The memory of the dead is kept alive for the next 11 months through the Kaddish, which is recited in physical proximity to at least nine other Jews.
Feeling betrayed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, supporters of an elected school board for Chicago Public Schools say ‘this fight is not going to go away anytime soon’
       
“What we don’t want is what we’ve seen from other locations across the country, for example, in California, where a single school board race was a million-dollar race. That excluded lots of voices, and it will exclude if that’s the kind of model and dynamic that is set up here,” Lightfoot said. “So we’ve got to be very thoughtful and careful about what form of governance that we push forward. And we’ve got, as I said, and I’ve been very clear on this, parents have to have a genuine pathway to sit on that school board.”
'Setbacks and success' in Andrew Cuomo's life
       
Cuomo’s cable TV briefings won an Emmy (probably the one honor Trump had craved most). Hardly anyone outside the right-wing media bubble paid attention. Now, the story is all over mainstream media. A scathing January report from New York State Attorney General Letitia James concluded the Cuomo administration undercounted deaths in long-term care by as much as 50%. Speaking of ironies: Cuomo’s previous book, published in 2014, was titled "All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life."
Oregon moves to ban display of nooses, a racist symbol
       
In 1918, a mob killed Hayes Turner, suspected in the death of an abusive plantation owner. When the victim's wife, Mary Turner, publicly opposed the killing of her husband and threatened to have members of the mob arrested, she was doused in gasoline, dangled from a bridge and set on fire. “Turner was still alive when a member of the mob split her abdomen open with a knife and her unborn child fell on the ground. The baby was stomped and crushed as it fell to the ground,” the NAACP said. Staff and faculty were not only afraid to go to our new building but were afraid to attend PSU in general,” faculty member Kelly Cutler told the Oregon Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Theft of millions of PPE masks from Hamilton warehouse was not disclosed by federal government
       
Theft of millions of PPE masks from Hamilton warehouse was not disclosed by federal governmentLast spring and early summer, with COVID cases spreading around the country, the government was scrambling to secure masks, gloves and other PPEArticle contentAs the federal government was ramping up its response to the COVID-19 pandemic — including purchasing millions of masks and protective gloves — someone absconded from a Hamilton warehouse with more than two million surgical masks meant for a government personal protective equipment reserve. The news, first reported by Blacklock’s, an Ottawa media outlet, comes as Canadians are entering the second year of the pandemic. Try refreshing your browser, or Theft of millions of PPE masks from Hamilton warehouse was not disclosed by federal government Back to videoLast spring and early summer, with COVID cases spreading around the country, the government scrambled to secure masks, gloves and other PPE to supply health-care workers and businesses. The theft of the masks, which vanished in early July, does not appear to have been disclosed to the public. Records from Public Works and Government Services show that on the night of July 4, two million masks were picked up at a warehouse intended for delivery to Vaudreuil, Que.
Elena Kagan Questioning of Arizona Republican Lawyer May Save Voting Rights Act
       
As the last barely breathing remnant of the Voting Rights Act lay on a table in the chambers of the Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan performed an evisceration of her own. You can go a long time before you see a lawyer get taken apart the way Kagan dismantled Michael Carvin on Tuesday. Advertisement - Continue Reading BelowCarvin was representing the state of Arizona on behalf of its obviously suppressive election laws. In his brief, Carvin argued that a state’s authority to control the time and place of elections is nearly limitless. If you have one polling place for five people and one polling place for 5 million people, obviously, in the latter situation, those people do not have an equal opportunity to vote.
Breaking News, US News, World News and Videos
       
Concerts, beaches, crowds: Videos of New Zealand enjoying its summer feel like peering into an alternate reality. How to Get a Peloton-Style Workout Without SplurgingHow to Get a Peloton-Style Workout Without SplurgingIt is a crisis, but it also an opportunity for a huge expansion in social housing. Will Fish Sauce and Charred Oranges Return the World Covid Took From Me? The Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists. We’d like your thoughts on the New York Times home page experience.Let us know what you think
Neighbors Stand Guard to Protect Asian-American Family After 'Deeply Upsetting' Racist Attacks
       
“I love my neighbors,” Haijun Si said. “I love my community, and I love my country.”A California community is banding together to protect one of their own after a local Asian-American family fell victim to a series of hateful attacks. I'm very annoyed," Si, 48, told the Times. Though the newly organized neighborhood watch has helped keep harassers away, the outlet reported that a group did recently throw rocks at Si and volunteers one evening. Despite the attacks, community members like Priscilla Huang, cofounder of the advocacy organization Asian Americans in Action, have continued to fight to make sure everyone feels welcome in the community.
Which senators have been voting against Biden Cabinet nominees?
       
Which senators have been voting against Biden Cabinet nominees? Added: 03.03.2021 18:23 | 8 views | 0 commentsThe most frequent votes against Biden’s nominees thus far — no surprise — have in most cases come from ambitious Republicans thought to be potential 2024 presidential candidates.
Mike Pence’s remarkable op-ed highlights the GOP’s choice on voting rights — and where it will probably land
       
Mike Pence’s remarkable op-ed highlights the GOP’s choice on voting rights — and where it will probably land
Lamine Diack will die in jail if sentenced
       
Added: 18.06.2020 18:50 | 12 views | 0 commentsLawyers for former world athletics chief Lamine Diack, who is on trial for corruption, on Thursday protested their client's innocence and said the 87-year-old would die in jail if sentenced to a prison term.
The Left Won't Debate Critical Race Theory
       
The Left Won't Debate Critical Race TheoryAdded: 03.03.2021 19:25 | 9 views | 0 commentsSource: www.xenu-directory.netThe Left has denounced the war on woke, but it is afraid to defend the principles of critical race theory in public debate. More in www.realclearpolitics.com »
'2034,' Part V: Sailing Into Darkness
       
Lin Bao was thinking of Ma Qiang as he flew out to meet what was now his ship. Observing the sea from the cockpit, Lin Bao wondered if Ma Qiang's body was somewhere beneath him. Like the naval hero Admiral Horatio Nelson at Trafalgar, Ma Qiang had maneuvered his flagship recklessly close to the action, inviting the peril that would assure his glory. As his plane lined up its approach, Lin Bao imagined it wasn't all that different than the final journey taken by the Hornet. Nothing like replacing a hero, thought Lin Bao, as the plane made its descent toward the flight deck.
We Still Don’t Know How Well Covid Vaccines Stop Transmission
       
This week, the US passed a grim milestone in the ongoing coronavirus crisis: 500,000 deaths, more than the number of Americans killed in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. Achieving that is likely to take a few more months—provided vaccine makers don’t hit any production snags and worrisome variants don’t derail current progress. In the interim, an increasing number of people will find themselves in a liminal state, navigating what it means to be a vaccinated person moving through an unvaccinated world. This week, two new studies—neither of which have yet gone through peer review—made splashy headlines about the extent to which vaccines slash viral spread. However, as the study authors noted, the ministry’s testing recommendations exempt vaccinated people from requirements like getting tested after travel or being exposed to a known Covid case.
The Pandemic Nearly Shuttered My Church. Technology Saved It
       
Long before the pandemic struck, Science Hill Friends Meeting in southwestern Randolph County, North Carolina, was slowly bleeding to death, like many small churches in rural America. If a pandemic wasn’t bad enough, in October our pastor resigned. But God does indeed work in mysterious ways, and divine intervention flew in on the wings of technology. A progressive group of elders invested in Science Hill’s first-ever computer—a generational leap for a country church that first met under a brush arbor. Zooming the Kaddish, the ancient Jewish mourning prayer, which ordinarily requires a quorum of 10 adults in person, was a special accommodation for the Beth David Synagogue in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Being a Rebel Girl Is Harder Than It Looks
       
Despite Vivian’s eagerness to raise her voice, though, it’s not all that clear what Moxie has to say. As a movie title, zine title, and SAT word, moxie can prompt a full-body cringe. Sure enough, Vivian soon learns that true allyship is harder than shrugging on her mom’s beat-up leather jacket. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing it right.”The film is filled with similarly disengaged platitudes (break the glass ceiling! But Moxie Girls would demand more from their media.
Mary J. Blige Makes Me Want to Be Happy
       
Mary J. Blige is a rare exception to my “Celebs are just okay” rule. In fact, for the past month or so, I have been singing her sophomore album, My Life, like my life depends on it. It’s this sort of relatable contradiction that establishes Blige as an important teller of Black women’s stories in so many ways. that the average sister might never have, it is worth considering that Blige is one of one. If being a famous woman could make you a Mary J. Blige, then there ought to be more of them.
5 International College Students on Studying in America During the Pandemic
       
Photo: martin-dm/Getty ImagesOne year ago, droves of U.S. college students were ordered to abandon their dorms and campuses and return home. Amid the chaos, many international students found themselves in an unprecedented situation, forced to choose between the college experience they’d expected and their home country. We talked to five international students who were forced to learn just how big the world can really feel. The pandemic put a lot of things into perspective for me, especially the fragility of my parents getting older. Now I am back at school in America, but my family is still in full lockdown at home.
Zero COVID Risk Is the Wrong Standard
       
Many teachers unions have insisted, in contradiction to the CDC’s official guidance, that schools should be reopened only when all teachers are vaccinated, and in some cases not even then. A classic example is the wave of media shaming of people who visited beaches last year, even though the risk of spread is tiny. The same tendency has caused them to overstate the risk that vaccinated people can transmit the virus and understate the protections vaccines offer. Under any sane calculation, whether school poses a small risk or an extremely small risk hardly matters, because the alternative is a social catastrophe that dwarfs any public health effect. That school districts are parsing the precise contours of the risk now is a testament to the power of Zeroism.
Will Democrats Act Like the Party of Voting Rights or Not?
       
Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Photo: AP/ShutterstockUntil not very long ago, voting rights was a genuinely bipartisan cause. Yes, of course, mostly Democratic southern racists had opposed the original Voting Rights Act of 1965, and their conservative Republican ideological heirs periodically fought its renewal and extension over many years. He said the Voting Rights Act proposed and signed by then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 “broke the segregationist lock on the voting box.”Unfortunately, one of the Supreme Court justices appointed by W., Chief Justice John Roberts, helped put the lock back on the voting box in a 2013 decision that neutered one major safeguard of the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder. So if the Democratic Party is now the sole party of voting rights, what can it do at the federal level to stop and reverse this tide of voter suppression?
Mike Pence’s Blueprint for Permanent Authoritarian Rule
       
Pence doesn’t acknowledge any error made by Trump or even concede that he legitimately lost the election. A “substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity” — i.e., another forum to repeat Trump’s lie about the election being stolen. Pence proceeds to argue that all changes to election law must be carried out at the state level. This conveniently means the changes will be designed by Republican officials rather than by Democrats, who control Congress. And now Pence seeks to lead them into a future in which minority rule can be locked in forever.
Democrats Are Pathologically Short-Changing America
       
Then, the number shrunk: $2,000 was actually $1,400, because Trump had already given us $600. On Wednesday, Biden agreed to further narrow the eligibility for stimulus payments under the coronavirus relief bill that has been bouncing around the House and Senate bureaucracies since before he took office. The new change is relatively simple: Biden wants to lower the income threshold that triggers diminishing returns on the stimulus payments. But people who make upwards of $100,000 a year, however, would only get partial payments on a sliding scale. Who actually wants this?
Opinion | How to Fix Housing for Everyone Except Corporate Speculators
       
Community organizations like Chainbreaker Collective are pushing to turn the property into a land trust with much-needed affordable housing. Landlords would dodge torturous legal proceedings, tenants would avoid uncertainty, and communities would benefit from quality, permanently affordable housing. Now is the time for the federal government again to take bold action in the housing sector, and this time with an eye to empowering communities. It is time to make transformative change in a housing system that even before the pandemic was failing too many. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.
Plan to Ditch the Mask After Vaccination? Not So Fast.
       
With 50 million Americans immunized against the coronavirus, and millions more joining the ranks every day, the urgent question on many minds is: When can I throw away my mask? On Tuesday, Texas lifted its mask mandate, along with all restrictions on businesses, and Mississippi quickly followed suit. Governors in both states cited declining infection rates and rising numbers of citizens getting vaccinated. It seems clear that small groups of vaccinated people can get together without much worry about infecting one another. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected shortly to issue new guidelines that will touch on small gatherings of vaccinated Americans.
Supreme Court Case Could Limit Options to Fight Republican Voting Restrictions
       
Section 2 lawsuits have proven pivotal in striking down or modifying restrictions on people’s ability to cast ballots. Among them are a 2015 case overturning Texas’ strict voter ID law and a 2016 decision nullifying a North Carolina voting law, whose constraints ranged from strict ID requirements to limiting voter registration and early voting. He said that absent the higher bar, Section 2 would “improperly inject race into all voting laws, and impede a state’s ability to run their elections.”Without the Voting Rights Act, Democrats have few tools to stop Republican-controlled states from limiting voting access. 1, a bill to standardize federal election rules by overriding many of the restrictive voting laws enacted in the states and to dramatically expand voting access. But the proposal has little chance of proceeding through the Senate unless Democrats there agree to suspend or terminate the filibuster’s 60-vote requirement to pass most legislation.
ACLU lawyers: H.R. 1 has serious flaws that could hurt our democracy - The Washington Post
       
That means an ad criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for supporting immigration reform or criticizing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) for opposing the Equality Act could trigger disclosure of donors that gave $10,000 or more. Exposure to threats of harassment or violence for nonprofit donors is not the only First Amendment problem with the bill. What is the purpose of inhibiting such people from participating in political speech to advance policies that directly affect their lives? 1 can easily be fixed to protect against these infringements on political speech.
The most important thing FBI Director Chris Wray didn't tell the Senate
       
On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Let’s start with four key takeaways from Wray’s testimony. In reality, many people who commit acts of domestic terrorism are fueled by hate, not politics. Whatever the reason, here’s what Wray didn’t say: The act of domestic terrorism at the Capitol wasn’t a mysterious occurrence of spontaneous combustion. But until we name, shame and bring lawful accountability to Trump and his congressional co-conspirators, our domestic terrorism problem will remain, fester and possibly become even worse.
Opinion: Democrats’ relief plan could cut child poverty by 4 million
       
One of the most significant of these is the expanded child tax credit (CTC). Expanded child tax creditEven without the minimum wage hike, the COVID-19 relief package could make a huge difference for these children. The proposed child tax credit expansion it includes could help cut child poverty by 45%. It would help lift an estimated 4.1 million children above the poverty line, including many children of color left behind by past child tax credit policies. But meanwhile, the child tax credit and these other provisions could lift nearly half of all U.S. children out of poverty.
‘Are we really advancing anything if I were to impose a custodial sentence?’: Judge grants probation, not jail, to SF man who pulled gun during argument
       
SAN FRANCISCO — A Bay Area man avoided a potential 20-month jail sentence Wednesday morning after a federal judge acknowledged he had “turned his life around” and sentenced him to five years federal probation in a felony gun possession case. Since then, Franklin said he’s taken anger management and other courses and expressed “humility and remorse” for the incident. But what really swayed U.S. District Judge Edward Chen was Franklin’s need to look after for his wife, who suffers from a serious medical malady and requires daily care. “Are we really advancing anything if I were to impose a custodial sentence on Mr. Franklin?” Chen asked asked assistant U.S. Attorney Maya Karwande, who responded, “Yes, your honor.”Karwande argued that Franklin was a drug dealer at the time of his arrest, citing the fact that police found roughly seven grams of heroin. “Given the fact that he seems to have done well on pretrial release the last 11 months, why isn’t that an answer or a fair response to deterring further drug offenses, through close supervision under probation?” Chen asked before handing down the sentence.
Families sue Oncor after deaths of man from hypothermia, woman who couldn’t use oxygen machine during winter storm
       
Two lawsuits filed this week in Dallas County blame Oncor’s days-long power outages during the February winter storm for the deaths of a 68-year-old man from hypothermia and a 73-year-old woman from a lack of oxygen when she couldn’t power her machine. Ford’s son, Larry Ford, filed the suit seeking monetary relief for himself and his siblings. Larry Ford requests that a jury determine whether his family deserves compensation and, if so, how much. Dallas lawyer Patrick Luff, who is representing Larry Ford, is also representing a South Texas man in a lawsuit against ERCOT. The lawsuit accuses Oncor of ignoring recommendations that were made after winter storms in 1989 and 2011 prompted power outages.
GOP’s collapse dates at least to the days of hyperpartisan Newt Gingrich
       
It now calls Democrats “socialists” and “baby killers.” Gingrich tried to shut down the federal government. Republicans on Jan. 6 tried to shut down and destroy the Democratic process itself. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes. Is it possible that the lakefront could generate more joy and jobs without a highway? Now is the time to ask.
Why we publish editorials: An independent voice for Wisconsin helps hold the powerful to account
       
RELATED:Meet the Editorial Board of the USA TODAY NETWORK-WisconsinIn each case, we published editorials to promote discussion, encourage sound public policies and hold powerful politicians to account. We have no set schedule but write editorials as issues arise. The Ideas Lab is where we showcase our editorials, solutions-focused stories, and expert commentary and analysis on public policy. The Ideas Lab also publishes stories that offer additional context and insight to the news of the day. As always, if you have any questions about our editorials, the Ideas Lab — or anything else — please get in touch.
How neighborhood groups are trying to provide a pandemic safety net
       
The emergency federal aid was not available to immigrants in the country illegally, and the grinding nature of financial challenges has stretched the limits of how far official assistance can go. It is not clear if help for those immigrants will be part of the coronavirus aid package that is now winding its way through the Senate.
‘Embarrassed’ Cuomo responds to sexual misconduct claims, says no intention of stepping down
       
“I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor said. “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly, I am embarrassed by it. And that is not easy to say, but that is the truth.”
Dems tighten relief benefits, firm up support for virus bill
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Democrats agreed to tighten eligibility limits for stimulus checks Wednesday, bowing to party moderates as leaders prepared to move their $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill through the Senate. At the same time, the White House and top Democrats stood by progressives and agreed that the Senate package would retain the $400 weekly emergency unemployment benefits included in the House-passed pandemic legislation. The deal-making underscored the balancing act Democrats face as they try squeezing the massive relief measure through the evenly divided, 50-50 Senate. The relief bill’s journey through Congress has been a test of Democrats’ deal-making skills, thanks to their mere 10-vote House margin and a Senate they control only with Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote. The party’s moderate and progressive factions are trying to use their leverage without going so far as to scuttle an effort they all support.
Schapiro: Oy vey! Democrats fighting. What else is new?
       
Senate Democrats blame House Democrats for the needless marathon. With record numbers of women and people of color, the Democratic legislative majority as a large, argumentative Jewish family is a consequence of multiple factors. Delegates serve two-year terms in 100 districts that are a fraction of the size of senators. Because of gerrymandering, many Democratic House districts tilt left, demanding delegates do the same. Senate districts, 2 1/2 times larger than House seats, can include many Republicans and independents, requiring that Democrats in even the bluest regions strike a centrist stance.
[Lee Kyong-hee] Patriot returns home in a special memorial
       
The venue was the Lee Seok-young New Media Library. The Lee family, as is well known, left a peerless legacy in the Korean independence movement. Most of the money was raised by Lee Seok-young, the second brother. Thus, on Dec. 30, 1910, the six Lee brothers and their families secretly departed from Seoul one by one to start an arduous journey. Naturally, Lee Hoe-young and Lee Si-young took the most limelight as heroes of independence movement.
[Editorial] Let prosecution probe
       
The prosecution reform panel of the party plans to propose the “serious crime investigation agency” bill this month and push it through in June. The point of the bill is to transfer investigation power for the six types of crimes to the new agency. If a new agency investigates serious crimes, its probe will likely be less rigorous, making it difficult to progress a case to the stage of indictment. Judicially advanced countries have granted investigation powers to the prosecution in the cases of serious crimes. Some of the lawmakers leading the party’s drive to deprive the prosecution of its investigation power are suspects being investigated by the prosecution.
[Nicholas Goldberg] World of vaccination haves and have-nots
       
But even my 89-year-old father, who is due for his first vaccine shot in a few days, was pretty clear that he saw it as the ultimate game changer. Experts have expressed concern about “vaccine nationalism,” a scenario in which the wealthy countries of the world hoard the vaccine. “There is only one victor in a world of vaccine haves and vaccine have-nots: The virus itself,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month. Of course I’m glad my wife is protected. Nicholas GoldbergNicholas Goldberg is an associate editor and op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
Terry Glavin: Canada stands by gawping while a travesty unfolds in Afghanistan
       
It has not brought peace to Afghanistan and it will not bring peace to Afghanistan. Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. It’s been nearly two years since Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would appoint its first ambassador for women, peace and security. “I’m getting zero response.”Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Canada could appoint a special envoy to act as an observer at the talks with a mandate to uphold UN Security Council commitments to engage Afghan women in peace and security efforts.
Biden: Ending mask mandates 'Neanderthal thinking'
       
Biden: Ending mask mandates 'Neanderthal thinking'President Joe Biden called the decisions by the governors of Texas and Mississippi to end mask mandates “a big mistake" and slammed what he said was “Neanderthal thinking” at a time he says the nation needs to remain vigilant against COVID-19.
Biden is decreasing the stimulus checks. There’s a lot more he could cut. - The Washington Post
       
ADADDemocrats have also included expensive measures that are barely related to pandemic relief. Neither measure is tied to need as a result of the pandemic, nor are they necessary in light of the massive amounts of aid previously provided. This was before the December stimulus checks were sent, so we should expect that cash cushions have increased even more since then. The U.S. economy is already awash in cash from prior relief measures. Many of the covid-19 relief bill provisions do that.
Opinion | Why Republicans are screeching about Dr. Seuss
       
ADADSecond, Dr. Seuss fulmination sure beats talking about policy issues for which Republicans have no answer or unpopular proposals (e.g., continue to freeze the minimum wage, reject $1,400 stimulus checks). They are performers for right-wing media, not legislators or problem-solvers. Their outrage-of-the-day focus fits that mind-set and indeed gets them play time on right-wing outlets. There is a bargain of sorts: Right-wing media won’t cover bad news for Republicans; Republicans come on their shows to keep the outrage and the ratings high. And maybe even into 2023.”) When we return to the election cycle, Democrats likely will be all too happy to run on their records while Republicans are still screeching about Dr. Seuss.
Opinion | The government can’t fix this country’s polluted media
       
It did, however, elicit two contributions to the public’s understanding of more than Pallone’s and Doyle’s status as virtuosos of situational ethics. “This,” Turley said, “is the essence of a state media model. The downside of this is that bad actors can exploit the capabilities of digital media faster than better actors can correct the torrent of misinformation, or worse. Furthermore, the pandemic has, Bell says, accelerated malign developments by keeping people home and focused on nationally distributed news. The same might be said of the voters of California’s 18th and 9th, and New Jersey’s 6th and Pennsylvania’s 18th, congressional districts.
Sen. Mike Crapo: Democrats' $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill deserves debate. Let's get this right
       
The proposals in the nearly $2 trillion package include sweeping policy changes that deserve thorough, bipartisan scrutiny at the committee level. BRIAN KEMP: COVID RELIEF – PELOSI-SCHUMER PLAN FAVORS DEMOCRAT STATES. The relief package also includes an additional $400 a week in unemployment benefits, on top of existing benefits. These policies don’t belong in a COVID relief package, and should be fully offset if retained." The coronavirus pandemic has exacted a terrible toll on America, and another relief package may be appropriate.
The Seuss debate shows Republicans' cancel culture war is a fight against the free market
       
Potato Head doll as part of a “Potato Head” brand, rather than a “Mr. Conservatives may not like which market forces companies respond to, but in a free market, that's not their call. But in a less free market, they believe, maybe it could be. “Republicans, conservatives must … repeal Section 230 liability protections,” Trump told the crowd, to extended cheers. In a free market in which Twitter was making bad business decisions, users would punish it by switching to Parler or Gab.
$1,400 checks in COVID-19 relief bill would phase out at $80,000 instead of $100,000, according to deal between Biden and Democrats
       
Refinery29The next COVID relief bill is currently being negotiated in the Senate after passing the House late last Friday. The last relief bill passed in December, while Trump was still president. The relief bill before that was passed in late March 2020, and now we’re just a few days away from March 2021. The bad news, though, is that a key part of the relief bill — a $15 federal minimum wage hike — will likely not be included. A $15 minimum wage would be life-changing to so many Americans, and its exclusion from the next stimulus bill is an enormous disappointment.
Lawrence legislators and mayor push for in-person school, say remote learning has ‘severe impact’ on student well-being
       
The leaders wrote that “months of remote learning have had a severe impact on the socioemotional well-being of our students,” especially hurting students of color, low-income families, and students with disabilities. The leaders plan to sit down with the Lawrence Teachers Union Thursday to discuss the ways that remote instruction has affected the city’s students and to craft a path forward for in-person learning. While Lawrence has some high-needs students returning for in-person learning, most students are still learning from home. Their letter came just one day after state leaders announced plans to force school districts to reopen elementary schools for in-person learning five days a week, starting in April. The also asked that students in “transition years,” defined as those in 6th, 9th, and 12th grades, be prioritized for in-person learning.
Cindy Krischer Goodman
       
A life-saving COVID-19 treatment is available in South Florida for those newly diagnosed with the virus and at high risk. The problem is few people know about it, particularly hard-hit minorities. The antibody treatment includes the therapy given to President Trump when he got COVID.
Thoughts as senior residences let up on lockdowns
       
I note the irony as well as the sadness: community — the selling point of senior homes, along with medical care — is the very thing missing. After Dad died unexpectedly that December, we were relieved that Mom didn’t hibernate. I wonder whether elderly people would have chosen to sacrifice companionship to prolong lives with only a few years remaining. I wonder whether residents could have been allowed indoor, masked visitors, one or two at a time, in a controlled, sanitized environment. Researchers will surely study the pandemic’s emotional toll on residents of senior living communities.
University of Oregon to return to mostly in-person classes
       
EUGENE — The University of Oregon will go back to predominately in-person instruction for the fall term, officials said. In January, the university announced it was “ramping up planning” to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for faculty, staff and students quickly when supplies become available. The University of Oregon also has provided logistical support to current local vaccine efforts. According to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution, the majority of University of Oregon students are included in Phase 2. The University will offer vaccinations to students in jointly sponsored clinics during that phase of the process.
It's back to school for Jill Biden and new education chief
       
It's back to school for Jill Biden and new education chiefMERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — Jill Biden, the teacher in the White House, along with new Education Secretary Miguel Cardona went back to school Wednesday in a public push to show districts that have yet to transition back to in-person learning that it can be done safely during the pandemic. “Teachers want to be back," the first lady said after she and Cardona spent about an hour visiting classrooms and other areas at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Meriden, Connecticut. I am teaching virtually.”Biden is a veteran community college English professor who is now teaching remotely from the White House. She said her students recently told her they can’t wait to be back in the classroom. “But we just know we have to get back safely,” she said.
States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge
       
Buoyed by a surge in vaccine shipments, states and cities are rapidly expanding eligibility for COVID-19 shots to teachers, 55-and-over Americans and other groups as the U.S. races to beat back the virus and reopen businesses and schools. Arizona, Connecticut and Indiana have thrown open the line to the younger age bracket. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are reserving the first doses of the new one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson for teachers. The U.S. has administered nearly 80 million shots in a vaccination drive now hitting its stride, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 20% of the nation's adults, or close to 52 million people, have received at least one dose, and 10% have been fully inoculated.
Mississippi storm: Living in a US city with no drinking water
       
Over 160,000 residents in Mississippi have been without drinkable water for two weeks after a historic winter storm. The National Guard has been deployed to distribute water to the community.
Analysis: Abbott’s icebreaker
       
The governor went to a Lubbock restaurant Tuesday to announce that he’s rescinding his coronavirus restrictions. He said people know how to take care of themselves and don’t need the government to tell them what to do. The coronavirus numbers are going in the right direction, but the current plateau is significantly higher than earlier ones. Cases were down again in September and early October — the low point before the surge that went from late October into January. Nevertheless, the governor has decided it’s time to throw the doors open and put the pandemic gloom behind us.
Mike Pence, Nearly Two Months After Escaping an Angry Pro-Trump Mob, Ignores Part of the Constitution While Fretting Over Election Fraud
       
Former Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday failed to address several key portions of the U.S. Constitution while arguing that several proposed sweeping charges to federal election law would be unconstitutional if passed. As such, Pence used the word “unconstitutional” three separate times to describe the “For the People Act.”His analysis ended there. The move, which wrestled control away from the state legislature, did not offend the U.S. Constitution’s “animating principle . The Elections Clause, however, is not reasonably read to disarm States from adopting modes of legislation that place the lead rein in the people’s hands. The majority ruling, as Ginsburg noted, logically rationed that the U.S. Constitution did not fully allow state legislatures to have the final word over state elections matters.
Hungary’s Ruling Party Breaks With Conservative E.U. Allies
       
BRUSSELS — For years, Hungary’s leader, Viktor Orban, has clashed with the European Union as he steadily eroded democracy in his country, but time and again, an alliance of conservative European political parties has shielded him from serious penalties. But Mr. Orban jumped first on Wednesday, pulling his Fidesz party out of the group. Membership in the grouping has given Mr. Orban and Fidesz clout and a degree of legitimacy within Europe. No longer have to provide cover for him could spell some relief for the center-right grouping. Some European conservatives have long complained that accommodating Mr. Orban meant compromising their principles and enabling him and what he called his “illiberal state.”
Can a Federal Job Guarantee Unite the Left?
       
is attempting to push a job guarantee into the political mainstream. ?“It’s time, if we’re really serious about a reckoning, that we enter into a third reconstruction to truly have a robust and just recovery from this pandemic, and a federal job guarantee should be a part of that. One alluring quality of a job guarantee is that it could fit snugly together with almost any other progressive priority. “If you do a job guarantee correctly, and you build in certain requirements, you are setting a standard. The economist Darrick Hamilton estimated in 2015 that a federal job guarantee would have an all-in cost of around $50,000 per job — $750 billon to employ the 15 million unemployed at the peak of the Great Recession, though far less during normal years.
Bill Gates Can’t Save the Planet
       
Can Bill Gates save the world from capitalism? Climate change, Gates and many economists argue, is an example of a market failure. If governments could only assign the correct price to these emissions, the market failure would be corrected and the planet would be saved. And the exercise of state power is not neutral: it is influenced by market outcomes. We can’t rely on Bill Gates to solve the climate crisis, but nor can we rely on Joe Biden.
Oren Cass Is Insisting That Starving Some Kids Is Important for Society
       
If the Cass proposal sounds like déjà vu all over again, that’s because it is. Now, here is Cass saying we should roughly double the value of it and make it phase in more aggressively. Many years ago, you could pass yourself off as a new brand of conservative by saying that child benefits should exclude slightly fewer poor kids than they currently do. But with Mitt Romney now saying that child benefits should exclude no poor kids, which is how nearly every other developed country does things, Cass’s insistence that starving some kids is important for society just makes him look like a reactionary clown. Taken together, his views on globalization and child benefits are that (1) globalization has caused many American families to have low or no earnings, and (2) American families with low or no earnings should be excluded from child benefits.
The Disaster in Texas Shows Why We Need to Cancel Utility Debt
       
Already disproportionately left longer in the dark, communities of color will likely bear the brunt of Texas’s brewing energy debt crisis. The situation in Texas illustrates the dangers of a broken system, and shows why we need to immediately cancel all utility debt and implement a national moratorium on utility shutoffs. Utility debt can reverberate for a person’s financial life, downgrading credit scores that are often key to opening a bank account or renting an apartment. In Massachusetts, State Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven introduced a utility debt cancellation bill to relieve residents who cumulatively hold over $351 million in arrears. We need quick relief in the form of cancelled utility debt and a moratorium on utility shutoffs — but we also need to fight for a vision of utility justice that repairs past harm and fulfills basic human rights.
I’m a Military Spouse. The Capitol Attack Reminded Me of a War Zone.
       
“Are you okay?” asked a friend and military spouse in the voicemail she left for me on the afternoon the mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol so violently. I listened to concerns that the far-right nationalist attack on the Capitol would, sooner or later, inspire violence against their own families. The Isolation of Military ServiceThere are about 2 million Americans who serve in the US military and 2.6 million more who are military spouses and dependents. Military spouses also care for children in mourning, temporarily or in some cases permanently, over the loss of a parent. And the military that’s been fighting those hopeless, bloody wars in distant lands for so long is on edge, too.
Silicon Valley’s Offer of Sectoral Bargaining Is a Trick
       
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! In exchange for establishing this third category, the gig-economy employers are dangling a carrot called sectoral bargaining. Such comparison are either disingenuous or ignorant—either way, accepting third-category status in exchange for sectoral bargaining would be a disaster for US workers. It took worker power to win the standards workers enjoy in every country that currently has sectoral bargaining. If national union leaders acquiesce to the creation of a third category of worker in exchange for sectoral bargaining, we can kiss collective bargaining good-bye and surrender to collective begging.
Biden inaction on Saudis’ Khashoggi assassination angers News Guild
       
People hold posters of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, marking the two-year anniversary of his death, Oct. 2, 2020. His assassination angered both the local and then-News Guild President Bernie Lunzer, who demanded a formal investigation and sanctions. Biden released the report summary, but his inaction on sanctions against MBS upset the union all over again. Current News Guild President Jon Schleuss endorsed the statement. SPJ President Matthew Hall called the intelligence summary “too little, too late.”“Many Americans have now read—and all should read—the four-page declassified intelligence report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi,” Hall added.
Politicians Should Not Be Idolized
       
Cuomo was praised for his leadership by citizens and politicians alike. The United States’ shining example of crisis leadership has quickly begun to fall from grace. However, Cuomo’s rapid descent from patriotic hero to just another sleazy politician provides a lesson for the U.S. public: idolizing politicians is dangerous and foolish. Praising politicians for their basic competency shows them that we do not expect any meaningful change, and care more about optics than legislative progress. Fostering a cult of celebrity around politicians puts them above us, the people.
Report: 2020 was the worst year for democracy in recent history
       
These are a few of the sobering conclusions in the 2021 Freedom in the World report, an annual quantitative measurement of the state of democracy globally. But 2020 is the single worst year in that entire “democratic recession,” as the organization terms it. And some of the historically free countries that should be helping save democracy — the United States foremost among them — are actually part of the problem. What the Freedom House report found — and why it mattersThe Freedom in the World ranking is one of the oldest and best-known quantitative measures of democracy. In that sense, the struggle against anti-democratic forces in the United States — the Trumpist faction of the GOP foremost among them — isn’t just an American issue.
Covid-19 vaccines are finally, truly coming for every American adult soon
       
All of a sudden, the news on the US Covid-19 vaccine front seems immensely positive. As he told reporters, “We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May” — two months earlier than the July timeline he gave before. When Biden first said he wanted to get 1 million vaccines administered a day, that goal seemed ambitious in the context of a messy rollout. Today, the US has swept way ahead of Biden’s original goal of 1 million vaccines a day. Will the federal government ship out the vaccine supply quickly, and support states and localities in actually administering those doses?
The danger of the new skepticism
       
Skepticism is, generally speaking, the doubting of a certain premise, or taking a questioning stance on a given topic. But in the 21st century, a certain kind of skepticism has become a thorn in the side of science itself. “The ancient skeptics would talk about skepticism as a ‘medicine for the mind,’” says Baron Reed, a philosophy professor at Northwestern University and the co-editor of Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present. “In science, skepticism doesn’t just mean that you doubt,” McIntyre says. “It means that when there’s sufficient evidence, you believe.”Oyakawa knows how hard it is to achieve a truly healthy skepticism.
Pakistan to issue smart cards to Afghan refugees
       
All Afghan refugees having in possession of ‘Proof of Registration (PoR)’ cards that expired in 2015, would be given new smart cards in the verification process this year, the government announced. The “Document Renewal and Information Verification Exercise” (Drive) for the Afghan refugees will begin from April 1. There are 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan currently in possession of PoR cards. About the drive, the Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, Saleem Khan said, “This is a long-overdue exercise. It is crucial at this juncture to update the data of Afghan refugees.
The Complicated Relevance of Dr. Seuss's Political Cartoons
       
According to Dr. Seuss Goes to War, Richard H. Minear’s 1999 book on Geisel’s editorial cartoons, PM was founded as an outspoken liberal publication, free of advertising, and funded by its five-cent purchase price. One cartoon, “The Isolationist,” even featured a limerick, accompanying a drawing of a whale suspending himself “safely” on top of a mountain, out of water, and thus out of danger. It reads, “Said a whale, ‘There is so much commotion/Such fights among fish in the ocean/I’m saving my scalp/Living high on an Alp/(Dear Lindy! )”UC San Diego LibraryUC San Diego LibraryBut after Pearl Harbor, Geisel’s cartoons became more overtly opposed to Japan, and more crude in style. He depicted Hideki Tojo, the Prime Minister and Supreme Military Leader of Japan, as an ugly stereotype, with squinting eyes and a sneering grin.
Who Would Volunteer to Fact-Check Twitter?
       
Read: How a fake baby is bornI’m telling this story because I think it’s funny, but also because it illustrates a core problem with Birdwatch at this stage: There is no good reason for most people to volunteer to fact-check Twitter. A few of them have already been more than willing to give of their time. His idea was to distribute the responsibility for catching and cornering misinformation across the entire Twitter community. Regular users might be able to move faster than machines when misinformation popped up in their social circles. Coleman acknowledged that the notes contain “quite a variety of quality,” so far, and said that his team expected this.
Homeroom: I Can’t Keep Prodding My Son to Do His Work
       
This is counterintuitive, but it will ensure that he completes the hardest work when he has the most energy and focus. (Certain supplies will help Sean in this process. We recommend folders and notebooks for organizing his work, and a physical planner or online calendar that he makes a habit of consulting.) Once he gets in the rhythm of planning out assignments, try to remove yourself from the process. Spring-semester seniors tend to have more latitude academically, which will help Sean ease into these routines.
Recalling a 'need to see it to believe it' event when a house survived a tornado
       
The Left used to be against banishing books, banning books, burning books. Geisel’s illustrations sometimes strayed into awkward racial stereotypes, but it is a massive stretch to label them “racist.” “Racist” implies racial hatred. The Dr. Seuss books stand accused both of depicting too many white people and for including non-white people in its blithe comical sensibility. This isn’t cancel culture, it’s a company withdrawing its legal property from circulation, and anyway there are 50-odd Seuss books that remain in print. The Left today obsessively focuses on race with the purpose of apportioning good things according to the accident of skin color rather than the content of people’s character.
I am not ‘nonwhite’
       
The “nonwhite” shorthand defined me not by my apartheid-designated race of “Indian” but as not being a member of another race. By assigning the “nonwhite” catchall label, the government established that white was the standard and the key dividing line of society. Doesn’t “nonwhite” reinforce the invisibility of anyone who veers from the not-so-subtly implied “white” standard? “White” is a value statement, the de facto norm, the measure — but then what is “nonwhite”? We can do much better, and my plea is simple: Let us relegate the term “nonwhite” to the archives.
Civil rights coalition will be allowed to argue in exam school admissions lawsuit
       
Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff/fileHe asked the plaintiffs, school officials, and the civil rights groups to meet outside of court and determine areas of agreement and areas of dispute. But the city’s history of racial disparities in its public schools was mentioned briefly. “It appears that they are really wanting to put the whole history of racial issues and Boston Public Schools up for trial,” William H. Hurd, a lawyer for the parent group, said of the civil rights coalition. In October, the Boston School Committee voted unanimously to drop the admissions test requirement at the exam schools for one year because of the pandemic. The civil rights groups contend that the schools should be allowed to use the amended admissions policy as a small step toward acknowledging a history of inequities in Boston schools.
Irving teacher, a military veteran and social justice advocate, honored with state proclamation
       
She now teaches English as a Second Language at Lady Bird Johnson Middle School in Irving. State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., who learned of Burns’ story at her graduation, recently honored Burns with a formal proclamation and a state flag flown at the Texas capitol in her honor, according to Irving ISD. I just kept going and going, because that’s what I know,” Burns said in a written statement. “It’s never been about the recognition.”The proclamation, signed by Lucio, calls Burns a “social justice advocate who has helped bridge educational gaps for innumerable children...”As an ESL teacher, Burns said she is teaching her students to advocate for themselves. “I know how hard she has worked to earn her doctorate and how much she invests in her students.
Column: Democrats should disown Gov. Andrew Cuomo
       
There are many instances when it sucks to be a Democrat, and the emergence of claims of sexual harassment against Andrew Cuomo is one of them. Just months ago, the governor of New York was a shining liberal hero, upholding facts and common sense in combating the coronavirus — in stark contrast to the reckless idiocy of the 45th president. Now Cuomo has become something else, and many Democrats are curiously uncertain what to say or do.
What free college might actually look like
       
Others are skeptical now is the time to move forward on free college. “I have a really hard time seeing any sort of four-year free college program passing at this point,” says Douglas Webber, associate professor of economics at Temple University. Tuition-free community college is most likely“Free college” really means free tuition. Expanding the existing Pell Grant program could work to provide free tuition, but it lacks the appeal of a new and “free” program. The article What Free College Might Actually Look Like originally appeared on NerdWallet.
Esther Vécsey, art historian and curator who exhibited a controversial Leonardo painting – obituary
       
Esther Vécsey Mattyasovszky-Zsolnay, who has died aged 81, was a Hungarian-born art historian who enjoyed professional and social success in the US, counting among her large social circle characters as diverse as Andy Warhol, the Marquis de Ganay and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Esther Borbála Sophia Vécsey was born in Transdanubian Hungary in the city of Pécs on May 23 1939, the only child of Major General Adadár Vécsey and Judith Gyenes. From 1939 to 1944, he led the country in an uneasy alliance with Nazi Germany – a partnership he came to regret. As the Soviet army advanced through the country in 1944, it began indiscriminately rounding up Horthy loyalists. They had little money, two suitcases carried all they owned, and their status was registered as stateless.
Opinion | Trumpism Has No Heirs
       
The conservatism that was seemingly agreed upon by the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute and National Review was not the conservatism that Mr. Trump sold to the American people. Mr. Trump campaigned on a self-serving redefinition of what it even means to be conservative and won. While populist nationalism exists, its existence does not depend on any one individual. What Mr. Trump was for was Donald Trump, and what Trumpism is, is Donald Trump. Put another way: Had Mr. Trump run for the presidency as a “severely conservative” nominee, he probably would have won the nomination just the same.
Teacher's covid dilemma: Focus on kids' anxiety or test prep?
       
Teachers are listening to their peers, districts, parents and students, all while navigating an ever-changing landscape of hybrid, in-person and virtual learning. ADThe first list you make is what you know, right now, about school. For instance, you say that parents are emailing you about anxiety and that students have missing assignments. You, on your own, cannot be responsible for your students’ anxiety, homework completion and test readiness. ADLet everyone in your life — students, parents, your own family — know that you are proud of how well everyone has done.
Lasantha Wickrematunge’s daughter: Sri Lanka’s leaders are still denying us justice - The Washington Post
       
They murdered him, tearing my family apart, ripping a hole in my soul and petrifying journalists across Sri Lanka. Last week, U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet presented a report that offered a devastating verdict on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. She recommended that the international community move to hold Sri Lanka accountable for its consistent failure to bring justice for the victims. In the next weeks, the U.N. Human Rights Council will be deliberating over a possible response. Together, they oversaw some of the worst atrocity crimes in Sri Lanka and systematically targeted any journalist brave enough to speak out against them.
The minimum wage fiasco will hit red states hardest - The Washington Post
       
Red states will be hit hardestThe Brookings analysis also found that red states have disproportionately large numbers of people who will be left behind by this failure. While a number of red states have raised their minimum wage, none (except Florida) are on track to $15. That means a lot of people in red states that have raised their minimum wages will still get left behind by Congress’s failure. “More coastal and Democratic states have begun to move their wage standards towards $15,” Muro said. Meanwhile, virtually all Democratic senators favor the $15 minimum wage, while just about all Republican senators oppose it.
Live Q&A: Ask Helaine Olen questions on inequality - The Washington Post
       
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Op-ed: Dog whistles, deficits and the racist politics behind 'pay as you go' rules in Congress
       
To thread this needle, the effort to systematically dismantle our federal social programs would turn to coded racist political messaging, known as "dog whistles," to appeal to white voters as taxpayers. The Great Depression achieved a historic feat in that it legitimized federal social programs and higher tax rates. These discourses cast social programs as handouts to the lazy, unjustly confiscated from those who worked hard and earned their living. The most iconic of such racist dog whistles was the infamous "Cadillac Welfare Queen," used to great effect by Reagan. Insidiously, it provides cover for some of the most pernicious of racist dog whistles, long crippling our ability to attend to public priorities, and disproportionately harming the Black community.
Max Burns Golden Trump statue at CPAC implies he's king of the GOP. But his position isn't secure.
       
The fracturing MAGA base is big trouble for the former president — and an opportunity for Trump proteges like Florida Gov. And while CPAC attendees may represent an extreme fringe of the GOP, that fringe tracks with the broader party mood. And Trump’s declining popularity indicates that what Republican voters find unpalatable is Trump himself. With the votes to pass any legislation they want, DeSantis and Florida Republicans can credibly claim to be a more effective, less distracting version of Trump. Trump will remain a vengeful voice within the GOP even if he forgos a third campaign for the White House.
Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News
       
Toronto 2018 van attack suspect guilty, judge rulesThe man charged with plowing a rented van into dozens of people in Toronto in 2018, killing 10, is guilty of all 26 counts -- 10 of murder, 16 of attempted murder -- a judge ruled on Wednesday, dismissing the defense argument that the suspect's mental disorder left him with no idea how horrific his actions were.
Pence slams Democratic voting reform bill HR 1 as an 'unconstitutional power grab'
       
Megan Varner/Getty ImagesMike Pence criticized the Democratic HR 1 voting reform bill as "unconstitutional power grab." Pence says that "election reform must be undertaken at the state level." The former vice president is slowly emerging back into the political world. Former Vice President Mike Pence came out swinging on Wednesday, writing an op-ed that criticized House Democrats' sweeping election reform bill as "unconstitutional power grab." "Election reform is a national imperative, but under our Constitution, election reform must be undertaken at the state level," he wrote.
Column: The Dr. Seuss ‘cancel culture’ backlash is a distraction. Here’s the real issue
       
On Tuesday, “cancel culture” was officially promoted to “outlaw culture,” which definitely would sound way cooler if it weren’t so maddeningly ridiculous and offensively dangerous. McCarthy could have been referring to President Biden’s failure to name-check Dr. Seuss in his Read Across America Day proclamation. First they outlaw Dr. Seuss and then they tell us what not to say. And don’t say you’re protecting the legacy of Dr. Seuss, because the people whose job it is to protect the legacy of Dr. Seuss made the decision to retire that depiction. In other words, the only person who attempted to “erase” Dr. Seuss this week was Kevin McCarthy.
Op-Ed: What the world got wrong about Rodney King
       
He was called Glen by family and friends, and that’s what I called him too, for Rodney Glen King was, indeed, a friend of mine. Thirty years ago, on March 3, 1991, Glen King went out drinking and driving with pals until a patrol car spotted his car speeding on the freeway and gave chase. By comparison, the Rodney King uprising of 1992 cost 63 lives and 2,383 injuries. The Rodney King I knew had been slowed by brain damage, and yet I never met a kinder, more forgiving and genuinely funny guy. Dennis McDougal, a former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, is author of 14 books and co-producer of an upcoming documentary on the life of Rodney King.
Massachusetts should pay people to quarantine
       
After a surge of infections early in the pandemic, South Korea adopted an aggressive policy of testing, contact tracing, and “supported” isolation and quarantine. Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and parts of Germany have successfully controlled the spread of COVID-19 through a combination of contact tracing and publicly supported quarantine. Although Massachusetts has a robust contact tracing program, it has nickel-and-dimed the next step of supported quarantine, which is a key purpose of contact tracing. In fact, the opposite is true — supported quarantine turns out to be both affordable and a very good investment of public resources. Even if supported quarantine prevented a small fraction of contacts from contracting and passing on the virus, the decrease in transmission rate would effectively pay for the program.
Dog stranded on ice for days is now being fought over by purported owners
       
The life-or-death drama involving a stranded dog had a happy ending on the Detroit River. The shaggy blond dog had first gained attention when he was seen Feb. 24, apparently stuck on the ice of the river near the Detroit suburb of Ecorse. Meat was cooked on an outdoor grill in the hope that the scent would lure the dog closer. “They were right, it was too dangerous,” admitted River Rouge Animal Shelter manager Patricia Trevino, a driving force behind the rescue effort. Now, though no purported owner stepped forward while he was stranded, a wave of controversy has emerged, with various people claiming ownership.
‘Fear Is Not a Core Value’: Protesters call on Collin College board to act after three professors pushed out
       
Collin College has a culture of fear and retaliation, speakers told the school’s trustees Tuesday night. Protesters carried signs that read, “Fear Is Not a Core Value,” and called for the women to be reinstated. Collin College President H. Neil Matkin has previously denied in staff-wide emails that his administration retaliates against faculty and staff members. The controversy is being cited by candidates running for spots on the college’s board of trustees. Helen Chang, candidate for Collin College Board of Trustees, speaks to the Board of Trustees during a public hearing at the Collin Higher Education Center, Tuesday, March.
Pandemic forced us to take a crash course in remote learning — now let’s build on it
       
Their return to the classroom presents a unique opportunity to take the best of what has been realized in this crash course in large-scale remote learning and use it to build a more powerful learning environment. Let’s take a look at just a few ways that the remote learning experience can improve the in-person education of our kids in the years ahead. Centering students in their own learningThroughout the pandemic, students have been asked to become agents of their own learning experience. During remote learning, teachers are breaking new ground in the ways they allow students to share in class decisions. Remote learning compels every educator, to some degree, to become more student-centered in their practice.
Tangled up in blue: Seven key questions to ask about Chicago Police civilian oversight
       
The battle for civilian oversight of the Chicago Police is a tangled mess. 1) Civilian oversight will be administered by a board, but what are the qualifications for sitting on the board? Civilian oversight should be about community service, not a patronage play. 5) Will the new civilian oversight board have a professional staff? 7) What is the real goal of civilian oversight?
New nursing home staff requirements would put residents at risk | Opinion
       
Florida’s use of personal care attendants in nursing homes was initially due to the COVID pandemic. Originally, AHCA intended on permitting only temporarily staffing of PCAs during the crisis. However, now lawmakers are contemplating a bill that would allow PCAs to replace traditional staff on a permanent basis. Senate Bill 1132 and House Bill 485 would allow these attendants to begin working in long-term care settings after just eight hours of training. The bills were introduced by state Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and state Rep. Sam Garrison, R-Fleming Island.
Florida Elections News and Results
       
The priorities and practices of Newsmax came under fire in a lawsuit that didn't even name the Boca Raton-based cable channel and website as its target. In a $1.3 billion the lawsuit, Dominion Voting Systems — the target of many false claims of election manipulation — went after one of the biggest purveyors those claims: Mike Lindell, known widely as the MyPillow guy. Newsmax, the Boca Raton-based cable channel and website, has sought to become the media home for fans of former President Donald Trump.
Lois K. Solomon
       
Parents and teachers Ask Lois this week about sick teachers returning to school, if students still need to take the SAT to get into Florida's universities and if students are returning to school buildings for second semester instead of learning from home.
Ask Lois: Is a Bright Futures scholarship possible with a low SAT score?
       
Your daughter’s GPA is high enough to qualify her, but not her SAT score. She would need a 1330 on the SAT for a Florida Academic Scholarship or 1210 for a Florida Medallion Scholarship. You didn’t say what her ACT score was; she would need a 29 to be an Academic Scholar or a 25 for the Medallion award. These numbers are written into Florida’s statutes so there’s no flexibility, although there are other state scholarships she potentially could qualify for. Go to floridastudentfinancialaidsg.org.
Holt: Voters will weigh in on regional transit, eventually
       
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt joined The Oklahoman's Steve Lackmeyer during Friday's OKC Central live chat. You can join Steve most Fridays at 9:30 a.m. to add your comments and questions about downtown development. Q: I watched a City Council meeting recently. But at that meeting, someone was doxing you and other members of the city council and it appeared to me that there may have even been veiled threats. It also disenfranchises myself, personally, because I wouldn't want my family to be in any kind of harm's way.
Tax forms help reveal extent of unemployment fraud in US
       
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Unemployment agencies across the country became lucrative targets for criminals when they were bombarded with claims last year as millions lost jobs due to coronavirus shutdowns. Now, simple tax forms being sent to people who never collected unemployment benefits are revealing their identity was likely stolen months ago and used to claim bogus benefits that have totaled billions of dollars across the country. In California alone, state officials say the fraud totaled at least $11 billion and likely much more. Unemployment benefits are taxable, so government agencies send a 1099-G form to people who received them so they can report the income on their tax returns. States are mailing 1099-Gs in huge numbers this year after processing and paying a record number of claims.
FBI slayings show risk surveillance cameras pose to police
       
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The child pornography suspect who gunned down two South Florida FBI agents this week somehow knew exactly when they were approaching his apartment. That’s a danger police nationwide are facing: As outdoor surveillance cameras now protect about half of U.S. homes from criminals, the criminals are using them to get a jump on officers about to raid theirs. Some doorbell cameras even have motion sensors that alert owners when anyone comes within 100 feet (30 meters). The cameras, combined with the military-style weaponry many criminals possess, leave law enforcement offers particularly vulnerable. In such situations, the house’s doors and walls offer no protection, noted Ed Davis, Boston’s police commissioner from 2006 to 2013.
Opinion: Taxes remain a certainty amid uncertain times
       
“Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”— Benjamin FranklinWith Inauguration Day now in our rear-view mirrors, there are still many questions to be asked of the Biden Administration. For many Americans, thoughts swirl around complex matters such as the vaccination, capital gains tax, or what a new stimulus package might bring for the economy and its impact on inflation. For others, 2020 turned their world upside down and their focus is simply on returning to “normal” and planning their next adventure somewhere outside of their own backyard.
Meet the candidates: Oklahoma City council
       
Mask mandate: "Yes. I worked with surgeons and nurses in direct patient care for nearly a decade, which required reliance on the best evidence-based practices. Fund crisis counselors: "I agree with police Chief Wade Gourley, the police were not designed to be social or mental health workers. Police budget cuts: "I favor restoring funds to the extent possible from a projected increase in tax revenue. Mask mandate: "The mask mandate as it stands should be considered void for vagueness.
Partnership makes dangerous intersection safer
       
Changes to an intersection where the Chickasaw Turnpike connects with Oklahoma State Highway 1 near Fitzhugh transformed motorists’ trepidation into peace of mind. This once dangerous intersection allows cars to exit the turnpike safer than ever before, according to partners in the project. The turnpike and SH 1 come together to form a T intersection. A stop sign at the end of the turnpike governs the traffic, so cars must come to a complete stop before turning onto SH 1. Both the turnpike and SH 1 originally consisted of two lanes with shoulders to the side.
Biden faces questions about commitment to minimum wage hike
       
WASHINGTON — Union activist Terrence Wise recalls being laughed at when he began pushing for a national $15 per hour minimum wage almost a decade ago. President Joe Biden has responded by including a provision in the massive pandemic relief bill that would more than double the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $15 per hour. But the effort is facing an unexpected roadblock: Biden himself. The president has seemingly undermined the push to raise the minimum wage by acknowledging its dim prospects in Congress, where it faces political opposition and procedural hurdles. That’s frustrating to activists like Wise, who worry their victory is being snatched away at the last minute despite an administration that’s otherwise an outspoken ally.
What exactly are 'ghost students'? There's more than one definition in Oklahoma.
       
What exactly are 'ghost students'? There's more than one definition in Oklahoma. Merriam-Webster doesn’t define “ghost student.”The dictionary would have a difficult time anyway. Kevin Stitt referred to “ghost students” in his State of the State address last week as students who no longer attend a district, but their former school still receives state funds as if they did. It first entered Oklahoma’s lexicon in July 2019 from court records documenting a criminal investigation of Epic Charter Schools.
Lankford, Inhofe vote against Senate trial of Trump
       
Jim Inhofe and James Lankford, both Republicans, voted against allowing the Senate to hold the trial of Trump. Lankford said, “You cannot vote to remove someone from office who is not even in office. This is nonsense and sets a terrible precedent for the future. In Trump’s case, “it’s impossible to remove someone from office when he is already gone,” Lankford said. “This impeachment trial is clearly unconstitutional.”
Order directs utilities to prioritize natural gas and electric services to preserve the health, safety and welfare of the public
       
“We need emergency relief because of the weather pattern we have seen in the past few days,” said Brandy Wreath, who as director of the commission’s Public Utility Division proposed the order for approval. “It would allow utilities and pipeline operators to make decisions that would be necessary to divert natural gas to help keep people alive. “We want to be sure that if there is a decline in the system that necessitates more drastic actions, want to be sure there are reasonable, feasible things they can do for the purposes of public safety, health and welfare. “But when it comes to public health and safety, we really are making sure these providers have all tools we can make available. People have done as much as they could, voluntarily,” Wreath said.
Program aims to boost teacher diversity in OKC classrooms
       
Data can and should be used to guide decision making and is certainly critical in the realm of public education. The data on how teacher diversity effects student success continues to be powerful, and The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public School’s Bilingual and Diversity Teacher Pipeline Programs are already proving that long-term recruitment solutions are available in our own backyard. A newly published book by Seth Gershenson, Michael Hanson and Constance A. Lindsay provides a deep look at this topic. Titled "Teacher Diversity and Student Success: Why Racial Representation Matters in the Classroom," the authors have studied and done their own research based on the premise that teachers are the single most important factor in a student’s success in school. Areas that have shown improvements with a diverse teacher workforce include increased trust, better communication, more solid relationships and higher expectations.
'The truth needs to be told' -- Church opens Tulsa Race Massacre Prayer Room
       
TULSA — The expression on her face said it all. Deron Spoo walked with one of the Black members of his predominantly white church as she and her young grandson visited a specially designated area of First Baptist Church of Tulsa for the first time. It was the Tulsa Race Massacre Prayer Room, which Spoo, the church's senior pastor, helped create to aid his church and the local community reckon with Tulsa's painful past. He said its focus is on healing the wounds of yesteryear and taking a stand against the ugliness of present-day racism. The minister, who is white, remembered the moment his congregant stopped at a display in the new prayer room and began reading a Tulsa World editorial published days after the killing spree that came to be known as the 1921 race massacre.
Cherokees remove all references to 'blood' from tribal laws
       
Further solidifying citizenship status for the descendants of Cherokee-owned slaves, the tribe's Supreme Court decided unanimously Monday to remove the words "by blood" from all tribal laws and even from the tribe's own constitution. The tribal court's decision came in response to a 2017 case in federal court, Cherokee Nation v. Nash, which determined that Freedmen citizens had full rights as Cherokee citizens based on the Treaty of 1866 with the U.S. government. The Cherokee Nation's attorney general, Sara Hill, had recently requested that the tribe's Supreme Court issue an order to clarify the issue.
Achievers: Deer Creek High School student receives scholarship
       
Minke Compton, a senior at Deer Creek High School, has been awarded the Wildcat Scholarship from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. The $8,500 per year scholarship is awarded based on academic credentials and is renewable provided the student remains in good academic standing. Culver-Stockton College is a four-year residential institution in affiliation with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). To be considered for this column, please email achievement announcements and photos to LLynn@Oklahoman.com.
UCO scholarship honors crash victim Marissa Murrow
       
EDMOND — The University of Central Oklahoma Foundation and the College of Education and Professional Studies have created the Marissa Murrow Legacy Scholarship for Teacher Education to honor the memory of Murrow, who died in a head-on car collision in October 2020. Murrow, 19, was a sophomore special education major and a member of Sigma Kappa sorority at UCO. She was described by her peers and professors as kind and caring, and her family hopes the scholarship will continue her legacy for future generations. “It is extremely difficult any time we lose a member of our Broncho family, especially a young student like Marissa," said Donna Cobb, dean of UCO’s College of Education and Professional Studies. The scholarship will be awarded annually to a student at UCO majoring in education and involved with on-campus organizations.
Two Oklahoma County jailers arrested in smuggling investigation
       
Two Oklahoma County detention officers have been arrested and fired after an investigation into the smuggling of drugs, cellphones and other contraband into jail inmates. Smith Akhigbe, 31, of Oklahoma City, was arrested Saturday and Keoni Damas, 23, of Midwest City, was arrested Tuesday, the jail announced in a news release. The arrests are another embarrassment for a trust that took over operation of the overcrowded 13-story facility on July 1. Backers had said the trust would improve jail conditions. Instead the trust has faced many of the same problems that sheriffs have dealt with since the jail opened in 1991 as well as new ones arising from the pandemic.
nDepth: A Deadly Affair
       
He claimed Hamon offered him $25,000 in his private Washington, D.C., office in exchange for withdrawing his opposition to the contracts. Five months later, Harding defeated Democratic presidential nominee James M. Cox to win the White House. All except the gunshot wound suffered by Jake Hamon at the Randol Hotel in Ardmore. Clara claimed Hamon began beating and choking her when she pulled a gun from her purse. No punishment is bad enough for her.”The sordid details of Jake Hamon's relationship with Clara became national news during the trial.
Israeli minister accuses Iran of link to oil spill off its shores
       
Image titled “Let’s Go” from a current Iranian state textbook depicting an IRGC officer killed in Syria named Mohsen Hojaji. The Iranian state curriculum especially encourages terrorism and political subversion against Arab states in particular. This year Iran’s state curriculum added passages across numerous subjects to celebrate the martyrdom of the IRGC’s late terror master, Qassem Soleimani. Image from a current Iranian state textbook, Grade 10, Defense Preparation, p. 45. Image from a current Iranian state textbook, in a lesson titled “Cultural Attack”.
'Pathetic and Disgraceful': The GOP's Shameful War on Voters
       
In state after state, GOP governors and legislators are on a rampage to rig the system so you can't vote. By "you" I mean African Americans, Latinx voters, Asian Americans, indigenous peoples and practically all other nonwhite citizens. And seniors, union members, poor people, students, immigrant families and others with a tendency to vote for Democrats. Cruz is, after all, the two-legged, maniacal, self-aggrandizing ego who arrogantly tried to discard the ballots of millions of voters in the presidential election. It prohibits states from altering election rules to give minority voters less opportunity than Anglos to participate in the political process.
Biden Is Following a Failed Blueprint for Forever War
       
Last week, the U.S. military bombed a site near al-Hurri, along the Iraqi border inside Syria, where Iranian-backed Iraqi militias were allegedly stationed. The U.S. military first intervened in Syria in 2014 following the Islamic State’s takeover of the country’s Eastern territories, along with the Northern and Western areas of Iraq. The same can be said of the recent rocket attacks that provoked the Biden administration’s deadly response in Syria. Iraqi militias pose no danger to the people of Baltimore, Maryland or Little Rock, Arkansas, and Baghdad does not demand an American military presence. Anything less is a formula for forever war, ever more.
With Biden Administration Refusing to Act, Its Time to Take Mohammed bin Salman to Court
       
Despite the findings in the ODNI report, the Biden Administration chose to impose no sanction on him. As Congress pressured the administration to release the ODNI report, they will try to force Biden to hold MBS accountable. The ODNI report also confirms the core underlying factual claim made by plaintiffs in the Khashoggi case: MBS was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder. RSF relies on Germany’s universal jurisdiction laws that allow a German court to try MBS for crimes committed elsewhere. The Biden administration’s inaction certainly did not create incentives for MBS to temper his abuses.
119 Democrats Join With GOP to Block Restoration of Voting Rights for Incarcerated People
       
The same cannot be said of the Bush amendment. While Biden said during the 2020 presidential campaign that he supports restoring voting rights to former felons, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was alone among last year's Democratic presidential candidates in supporting voting rights for incarcerated people. Today, I went to the floor in support @RepCori Bush's amendment to HR 1 #ForThePeople Act to restore voting rights to incarcerated individuals. Voting rights must be extended to ALL people - and yes, that includes currently and formerly incarcerated individuals. — Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) March 2, 2021Civil and voting rights advocates voiced their support for the Bush amendment.
Chris Hedges: The Age of Social Murder
       
They are the architects of social murder. But murder it remains.”The ruling class devotes tremendous resources to mask this social murder. The new state did not even require servants — just clerks.” This metaphysical ignorance fuels social murder. Why, if this social murder is inevitable, as I believe it is, do we even fight back? They keep alive the possibility, however dim, that the forces that are orchestrating our social murder can be stopped.
The Filibuster Was Grounded in Slavery & Now Threatens All Life on Earth
       
Sadly, two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, recently blocked the Senate from killing this democracy-crippling anachronism. Once in the Senate, Calhoun invented the filibuster specifically to increase the power of his plantation-owning colleagues and block any sort of anti-slavery legislation. The filibuster not only kept any anti-slavery legislation from being passed throughout Calhoun’s lifetime, but after Reconstruction collapsed with the Hayes election in 1876 it was turned against Civil Rights legislation. The filibuster was a useful tool — and excuse for racist senators — to block any sort of civil rights legislation for four generations. Worse, with the near-certainty it’ll be used to block effective climate legislation, their obstruction threatens all life on Earth.
Nonprofit Workers, Unionize! ? Current Affairs
       
Even in the nonprofit sector, workers are unionizing— signaling that the modern-day labor movement is alive and kicking. Surprisingly, workers in the nonprofit sector, which has historically been hostile to unions, have also been capitalizing on this moment to organize. Though this moment is galvanizing nonprofit workers, we still have a long way to go. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union workers continue to receive higher wages than nonunion workers. Nonprofit workers should seize this moment, but also remember this it is always the moment.
Greening Deserts species protection project for critically endangered species and healthy ecosystems
       
The main focus of the special species protection project for critically endangered tree species is the building of special seed storage facilities (boxes and cabinets) and other innovative solutions in various areas. This announcement and information of the new Greening Deserts project for critically endangered species can be shared worldwide. Some of the other Greening Deserts projects and special programs can also help establish many of the endangered tree species on which many other species depend. These special biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration,environmental greening, ecological reforestation and species protection projects can save millions of life forms worldwide. With the endangered tree species that we want to cultivate and share worldwide, thousands of other species can be saved and protected.
answered prayer
       
analogy in history: Von ClausewitzRepublicans are trying to kill what’s left of the voting rights act. That’s not the logical consequence of what they did: to take away the right to vote from minorities, or dem-voters. It is the Trumpian citizenry that has lost the right to vote ... uh ... it has abdicated that right. It has done so voluntarily … and publicly. In the words of Von Clausewitz: they have chosen to continue democracy with the application of other means.
Perdue thinks he and the Republican Party should be allowed to put their thumb on the scale by law
       
Traitorous Republican Enabler and LoserSee the story on Raw Story — Perdue wants to be able to cheat by law. Admit we don’t want your totally shitty non-governance, and find policies that you don’t have to force down everyone’s throats — maybe you’ll do better. It’s not unbalanced if we don’t vote for you because we hate everything you and the Rethugs stand for. That’s why you lost, Dave. Stop blaming everything and everyone else — your just a shitty, hateful, lying Rethug — it’s no wonder you lost.
Kagro in the Morning is LIVE at 9 AM ET!
       
The days are flying by without Trump causing us to tear our hair out every day! Work continues in the Senate on the reconciliation bill, and in the House on the For the People Act. Greg Dworkin brings his usual mid-week Raft o’ Stories,™ and I continue to operate on 15 minutes of sleep. Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Even more ways to listen, live or by podcast, below the fold.
Democrats Scoop the Cat Box.
       
Democrats are already sacrificing a minimum wage increase, cowering to the Senate Parliamentarian, and coming hat-in-hand to King Manchin only to be tossed out on their ear. Democrats still haven’t learned that the taste of victory is better than the bland, blended flavor of moral superiority and electoral humiliation. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court stands ready to eliminate the Voting Rights Act, sending the United States careening back to Jim Crow. Everyone who gave their lives in the name of Black voting rights, and voting rights in general, are about to have those sacrifices tossed on the ash heap of history by a gaggle of Federalist Society religious extremists hoping to establish a permanent Republican majority. But I can’t get over this feeling that the only thing our party seems capable of doing is coming in after Republicans ruin everything to scoop out the cat box.
Texas Governor Abbott joins Noem and DeSantis in effort to stop state's Coronavirus control
       
I am dismayed; Greg Abbott can see that Texas is rounding the corner on COVID infections. Our infection rate was actually going down. Half of Texans will immediately go back to life before COVID and the rise in infection rates is about to happen all over again. ($) Why didn’t we upgrade our electric grid after it failed in a cold snap 10 years ago? ($) Why do we think COVID will “like a miracle” go away without continuing the precautions that got it finally under control?
The Lie as a Tool in the Toolbox of Evil
       
Even mostly “good” people, deceived into believing a false picture of the world, can be led to serve Evil. But just as the Lie is useful to Evil in making the world more broken, so also do other forms of brokenness make people readier to believe the Lie. But despite how obvious the truth was, three-fourths of the Republican base believe the Big Lie about the Stolen Election. Which raises the question: What makes it possible for otherwise intelligent people to believe so obvious a Lie? Such dynamics can teach people to embrace a lie while blinding themselves to the plain truth before their eyes.
When a Social Justice Activist Makes Transphobic Comments
       
Rick Black, a prolific social justice activist who has made frequent media appearances was caught on tape making transphobic comments about me as an LGBTQ journalist. In a phone call with a Michigan elder abuse advocate, Mr. Black engaged in misgendering, called me “a man” and made light of what he termed “emotional issues” which one assumes he relates to my gender identity. But there must be a line in social justice movements that are supposed to embrace, educate, elevate and empower communities while raising awareness to the injustices they suffer. That line is crossed when an advocate for them engages in the language in the video. Such malicious disrespect for a person’s identity, whomever that may be, is inherently damaging not only to the individual but social justice movements as a whole.
Kansas Republican agrees to diversion in the voter fraud case, admits to voter fraud
       
State Sen. Fitzgerald and others kept pointing out what could at best be called inconsistencies in Watkins’ stories. The Associated Press offers this take:Former Congressman Steve Watkins of Kansas has entered a diversion program to avoid trial over allegations that he voted illegally in a 2019 municipal election. Watkins, a Republican from Topeka who served only one term in the U.S. House, was facing three felony charges. While the congressman admits to voter fraud, it appears his penalty will be very minor: a $250 fine and an agreement to not possess firearms for six months. I guess it pays to be a wealthy white Republican facing voter fraud charges.
not so Proud Trump supporter allegedly said he was disguising himself as an Antifa member
       
x No evidence for the widespread right-wing lie that Antifa members disguised themselves as Trump supporters for the riot...but the feds have just charged a Trump supporter who allegedly said he was disguising himself as an Antifa member. x In voting rights case, Justice Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin “what’s the interest” to Republicans in keeping voting restrictions in AZ. But Brnovich’s two-step test would also severely weaken the Voting Rights Act. And Native American, Hispanic, and African American voters were twice as likely to vote in the wrong precinct as white voters. Or, to give a more realistic example, in 1890, the state of Mississippi enacted a literacy test for voters.
Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Voter suppression and voting no on everything is a strategy
       
Jennifer Rubin/WaPo:Former chair of the Council on Economic Advisers Jason Furman explains : “States also had unusually high spending needs last year and this year. https://t.co/8YvHACUVF5Kurt Bardella/USA Today:The Republican civil war was over 5 years ago. Trump and the winners have a new target: UsTrump needed only tweets and cowardly Republicans to occupy the party. There is no “Civil War” brewing within the Republican Party. Sure, Republicans probably lose the election to Hillary Clinton in this scenario, but their orthodoxy remains intact.
Republican lawyer explains in one sentence why his party wants to make it harder to vote
       
A lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party explained that again in Supreme Court arguments this week. The voting rights bill Democrats are trying to pass, meanwhile, would make it easier for everyone to vote. This is the state of play as McCarthy wants to lecture Democrats on not passing bills to earn voters’ trust? Democracy for everyone vs. partisan efforts to disqualify the other side’s voters. Democrats vs. Republicans.
Republican governors throwing states off COVID cliff, and counting on President Biden to catch them
       
Republican governors are essentially pushing their states off the cliff and daring Joe Biden to catch them. That’s because Brazil edged out the United States for that “honor,” racking up 58,000 new cases. Unlike the United States, cases in Brazil show no sign of declining, and in fact are still on the rise. On a total cases per population level, Brazil is still well behind the United States … but then, maybe not. Which may help to explain why the rate of deaths in Brazil is rapidly catching up to the United States, despite well-documented underreporting.
Texas racists get really racist about racist thing that people are calling racist
       
"Current students don’t feel pride when singing a song that is meant to bolster school spirit," organizer Jacey Rosengren wrote in a petition to boycott the song. “People who target our students with hateful views do not represent the values of the Longhorn community,” the university president said in the statement. Next week, the Eyes of Texas History Committee will release its report. Even before the revealing Texas Tribune article, the president supported the song in a statement last October. "The Eyes of Texas is non-negotiable," wrote one graduate who bragged about having season tickets since 1990.
GOP Lawyer Admits to SCOTUS That Voting Rights Disadvantage Republican Party
       
An attorney representing the Arizona Republican Party on Tuesday helpfully admitted outright what has long been obvious to observers of the GOP’s decades-long assault on the franchise: Easier voting makes it harder for Republicans to win elections. Today, the GOP once again screamed the quiet part out loud—this time before #SCOTUS. “I mean we all knew this, but didn’t think they would say it out loud,” tweeted Arizona state Rep. Reginald Bolding (D). The Arizona Republican Party appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which agreed to take up the case. “In its most important voting rights case in almost a decade, the court for the first time considered how a crucial part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 applies to voting restrictions that have a disproportionate impact on members of minority groups,” the New York Times reported.
House Rejects Cori Bush’s Amendment on Voting Rights for Incarcerated People
       
For Bush and other proponents of voter enfranchisement, restoring voting rights for incarcerated people is crucial to confronting the nation’s legacy of racist voter suppression. 1 would restore voting rights for people with felony convictions after they have served their sentences. A vote on the amendment split the House Democratic caucus between its moderate and progressive wings, with 119 Democrats voting against the amendment and 97 supporting voting rights. In a tweet after the vote, Bush vowed to continue the fight for universal voting rights. Across the country, grassroots activists are working to restore voting rights for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, and they have already had some success in states such as Florida and Louisiana.
Thirty years ago, I watched Rodney King beaten. We thought our fight was finally over.
       
Karen BassOpinion contributorWhen I first saw the tape of Rodney King being beaten in the middle of the street on March 3, 1991, I was not horrified or surprised. But then, 30 years ago as we watched that video, we were convinced that justice would finally be served, and the truth would be exposed to the world. Black and Brown people in this country have now endured 30 years of police brutality and violence since Rodney King was beaten. This is a moment of understanding and an opportunity for change yet again and we cannot let it pass. When the police officers were acquitted at their trail for the beating of Rodney King, I felt hopeless and defeated.
Mike Pence’s remarkable op-ed highlights the GOP’s choice on voting rights
       
In an op-ed for the Daily Signal, Pence details his opposition to a voting rights bill spearheaded by House Democrats. As The Post and others have written, even Republicans who didn’t support Trump’s claims have cited the distrust that they engendered to argue for increasing voter restrictions. GOP voting bills are front-and-center in Arizona and Georgia, but both Republican Govs. He largely faded into the background — not vouching for Trump’s fraud claims but also not speaking out against them. That he, too, is legitimizing doubts about the integrity of the election is a significant moment in the emerging GOP voting rights effort.
Blinken singles out China as 'biggest geopolitical test' for U.S.
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday singled out the U.S. relationship with China as the main overseas focus of President Joe Biden’s administration and said the country posed “the biggest geopolitical test” of this century. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks on foreign policy at the State Department in Washington, U.S. March 3, 2021. “We will fight for every American job and for the rights, protections and interests of all American workers,” Blinken said. “Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be,” Blinken said. China denies abuses and says its camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism.
Mississippi Must Pay $500,000 To Man Wrongfully Imprisoned 23 Years
       
The state of Mississippi has been ordered to pay $500,000 to a man wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 23 years ? the maximum amount state law allows. Curtis Flowers was incarcerated continuously from his January 1997 arrest until his release in December 2019. That’s the maximum allowed under state law. But it denies compensation to Flowers for more than half of his 23 years behind bars. “I believe it should have been more, but I feel good,” Flowers said.
Everyone's voting rights need to be protected. That includes former felons.
       
Instead, they need to be taking proactive measures to expand voting rights to the disenfranchised. "Voting rights ought not be connected to the voter's ability to make payments," the board rightly noted. Instead, they need to be taking proactive measures to expand voting rights to the disenfranchised. Meanwhile, Oregon is considering joining Maine, Vermont and Washington, D.C., in allowing currently imprisoned felons to keep their voting rights. Virginia lawmakers just passed a historic state-level version of the Voting Rights Act; the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the federal version in 2013.
Biden's Covid stimulus bill isn't nearly enough to save Democrats
       
Democrats lost 63 House seats and six in the Senate under Barack Obama in 2010. In 2018, the GOP lost 41 House seats under Donald Trump. This should scare the crap out of Democrats given their slim margins of majority: 10 seats in the House; one in the Senate. Voters responded in the 1934 midterms by giving Democrats nine additional House and Senate seats. Whatever the approach, ending the filibuster is the only way Democrats can deliver.
Dahleen Glanton: Blind loyalty to the Rev. Michael Pfleger could harm the Black community
       
Michael Pfleger’s supporters summed up the sexual abuse allegations against the priest in a way that many might find appropriate. Like many who are standing solidly behind Pfleger, Matthews credits the priest and the St. Sabina Church community with helping him succeed in life. Another thing we’ve learned about sexual abuse in the priesthood is that it does not occur in a vacuum. The community is sending a message that only bad people accuse someone of such high stature of sexual abuse. In the Black community, where sexual assault often is a hidden secret, the consequences could have a harsh, long-lasting impact.
Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
       
Even critics of the administration’s agenda said they have been surprised by the pace of the agency’s actions. “They’re obviously moving forward quickly and aggressively,” said Nicolas Loris, an economist who focuses on environment policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation. The Interior Department manages about 500 million acres of public lands and vast coastal waters. Its agencies lease many of those acres for oil and gas drilling as well as wind and solar farms. Biden’s Interior Department will ultimately be defined by its reversals on fossil fuels after four years in which the Trump administration aggressively pursued energy production on public lands.
The Dan McKee era begins (and so does his reelection campaign)
       
If you have friends or relatives who would like their own free copy of this daily briefing about Rhode Island, tell them they can sign up here . ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 126,849 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 264 new cases. AdvertisementUpdate: Rhode Island voters approved $400 million in new borrowing on Tuesday, as all seven bond questions that were on the ballot passed with overwhelming support. It’s the first full day of the Governor McKee era, which means it’s also the first day of the 2022 Rhode Island governor’s race. WHAT’S ON TAP TODAYEach day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island.
Third teen held in Addison carjacking
       
A third Chicago teenager has been held in connection to a January carjacking at outside an Addison Popeye’s where the suspects allegedly threatened to kill the victim. The 16-year-old was arrested Feb. 24 in Madison, Wisconsin, and extradited to Illinois on Monday, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office. They threatened to kill her if she did not comply, and the trio sped from the scene in her car, prosecutors said. A second teen was arrested Jan. 31. Prosecutors said they filed a motion to transfer the first teen arrested to adult court.
Myanmar security forces kill at least 33 protesters: reports
       
YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar security forces dramatically escalated their crackdown on protests against last month’s coup, killing at least 33 protesters Wednesday in several cities, according to accounts on social media and local news reports compiled by a data analyst. Videos from Wednesday also showed security forces firing slingshots at demonstrators, chasing them down and even brutally beating an ambulance crew. Their numbers have remained high even as security forces have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse the crowds, and arrested protesters en masse. As part of the crackdown, security forces have also arrested hundreds of people at protests, including journalists. Ignoring that appeal, Myanmar’s security forces on Wednesday continued to attack peaceful protesters.
Tallahassee should keep the ‘home’ in home rule | Editorial
       
Last week, the research group Integrity Florida released a study of preemption by the Legislature. It lays out how much Republicans increasingly are encroaching on the concept of home rule, which Florida established in 1973. Last year alone, 42 bills attempted to limit the authority of cities and counties to set their own rules.
CPS board president: Let's stop the bickering and unite for our kids
       
Carolyn JonesOpinion contributorThe people of Cincinnati elected seven, passionate fellow residents to the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education. Know that your school board is working tirelessly to address the multitude of challenges that our families face as they support their children's educational needs. The Cincinnati Public Schools community is diverse in backgrounds, perspectives and interests. The Cincinnati Public School Board is committed to moving forward to the safest return to in-person learning. Carolyn Jones is president of the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education.
Opinion: Union jobs make for a strong, stable city
       
Union jobs provide livable wages, which create strong and stable families. When we have strong and stable families, we have strong and stable communities. And strong and stable communities create a strong and stable Cincinnati. Union jobs will also help alleviate the affordable housing crisis, because union workers are better able to meet the housing needs of their families. Clifton resident Brian Garry is a Democratic candidate for Cincinnati City Council.
Michael Barone: Democrats reaping what they sow
       
"My sense is that if Trump wins, Hillary supporters will be sad," left-wing writer Sally Kohn tweeted the day of the 2016 election. "If Hillary wins, Trump supporters will be angry. Kohn turned out to be wrong about her own side that year, which angrily set about delegitimizing Donald Trump's victory. She was wrong, too, in her apparent assumption — shared by shop owners who boarded up their windows—- that Trump supporters would react violently to his defeat. They are not consoled that Joe Biden's margin of victory in this year's three crucial states (Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin) was an even smaller 43,809 votes.
Jonah Goldberg: Conspiracy theories have no place in serious conservatism
       
You aren’t a conservative if you believe in conspiracy theories. My objection is that when people say, “You aren’t conservative if …” they are usually confusing what is with what ought to be. Sure, conservatives ought to be (fill in the blank) pro-life, pro-gun, pro-free market, pro-this or anti-that. And if they disagree on this or that issue, they might simply be wrong. (Conservative is not synonymous with “correct.”) Or they might put more emphasis on different factors or concerns.
Your Views Saturday, Dec. 5
       
Stitt refuses to do his job on pandemicGov. He refuses to do his job and take responsibility for the well-being of the people he serves, and then asks us to pray more. Stitt has made incredibly amoral and unethical decisions that make this call to prayer seem hollow and insincere. His refusal to enact a statewide mask mandate is filling our hospitals, exhausting our first responders, and causing deaths, illnesses and grief. Prayer is powerful, but it should be a call to action and responsibility, not a way to avoid it.
Oklahoma ScissorTales: OKC poorer after two leaders' COVID-related deaths
       
The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has climbed past 1,800 statewide. The total includes two men lost recently who meant a great deal to Oklahoma City. On Thanksgiving, preservation leader Bill Gumerson died at age 76 after having contracted COVID-19 a few weeks earlier. Gumerson co-founded Friends of the Mansion, which helps with upkeep of the Governor’s Mansion, and as president of Preservation Oklahoma he led the capital campaign to renovate Overholser Mansion. On Monday, civic leader Mike McAuliffe died, three weeks after his COVID diagnosis.
Your Views Sunday, Dec. 6
       
Please Oklahoma, do your part to help save lives and prevent long-term damage to individuals from this virus. The protocol for development of these vaccines has been followed to the letter, and the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines looks great. At one time, some 50 passenger trains a day served Oklahoma City thanks to the combined rail lines of the Santa Fe, Rock Island, Frisco and Katy railroads. The Santa Fe station, constructed in the early 1930s, sits at the birthplace of the city, where it built its first station in 1887, some two years prior to the land run of April 22, 1889. Union Station was built by the Rock Island and Frisco in 1931, replacing older stations in the heart of downtown where trains would daily block busy northbound and southbound streets for long periods of time.
Navy undersecretary: The enduring need for U.S. sea power
       
Seventy-nine years ago, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One of the greatest casualties of that infamous day was the battleship USS Oklahoma, which capsized following multiple torpedo strikes. Imperial Japan thought the attack on Pearl Harbor would shatter our resolve. If the lessons of Pearl Harbor teach us anything, it is that we cannot become complacent. As we keep the memory of the first USS Oklahoma in our hearts, we are preparing to build the next USS Oklahoma — a next-generation nuclear submarine that will enhance our strategic power for decades to come.
Point of View: COVID-19 threatens education in low-income countries. Here are 3 ways to help.
       
COVID-19 has upended education in the US and around the world. Governments and international organizations need to prepare now to prevent the compounding factor of the pandemic from returning many to poverty and preventing many more from escaping it. The good news is that major international organizations have been rethinking how to make education better and more effective in catalyzing sustainable development. Development organizations can join this effort and make changes to their own programs to advance these goals. Based on our experiences working with diverse communities in Asia, Latin America and Africa, here are three ways development organizations can integrate support for K-12 education into existing programs.
Stephen Moore: Trump shouldn't fall for Pelosi's gambit
       
Judging from the media's collective primal scream this weekend, you would think the American economy were lying flat on its back in the intensive care unit. Yes, the economy has been battered in blue states that have masochistically shut down their hometown businesses. But in most red states that are keeping commerce flowing despite a second deadly wave of the virus, unemployment is typically below 6%. We don't need it, and the bailouts to teacher unions, blue state governors and mayors, and airlines would be harmful to the economy. The only way to give money to blue states is to take it from red states.
Point of View: Response to day of prayer the same as it ever was
       
Point of View: Response to day of prayer the same as it ever wasGov. Kevin Stitt’s recent announcement of a day of fasting in Oklahoma led to a round of grumbling that made its way all the way to the Washington Post. Both the announcement and the critical response follow in a tradition that has existed since the Europeans settled in America. It is a tradition that tells us a lot about how people respond to the calamities that threaten us all. After a fast, should times get better, they observed a thanksgiving day.
Point of View: Hunker down with a nonprofit
       
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading epidemiologist, recently told a Harvard Medical School audience it’s time to “hunker down.” Fauci spoke plainly to a crowd accustomed to medical jargon. “We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” he said. That sounds like what many have been doing for months and what the rest should be doing now. Hunkering down is needed, but it sometimes smacks of self-preservation to the exclusion of other considerations. According to The Free Dictionary, hunkering down can also mean: To work or begin to work on something in a determined manner.
Point of View: Oklahoma's governor needs to sacrifice, lead
       
Kevin Stitt’s recent day of prayer and fasting. Many in the community participated and look forward with expectancy to what can be accomplished with an appeal to the divine. In the midst of chaos, prayer and fasting center us on the unchanging nature of our graceful and merciful God. In the pursuit of prayer, we ask for mercy and relief but also wisdom and guidance. Many in the community have borne the burden of the pandemic by being forced to minimize or cancel important life events.
Your Views Wednesday, Dec. 9
       
The president, unable to face reality, is holding us hostage and undermining our democracy by continuing to lie about unfounded fraud in our election. He showed convincing autocratic behavior when he tried, unlawfully to have legal votes thrown out. When did patriotism become associated with questioning our sacred right to vote and the outcome? When did patriotism allow for intimidation such that violence was encouraged against those who held different views? Sadly, our nation has allowed itself to be almost torn apart simply by not exercising our duty to be responsible citizens.
Opinion: Inhofe on the right side in defense bill spat with Trump
       
Few, if any, members of the U.S. Senate have supported President Trump more earnestly and consistently than Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe. Yet the closing weeks of Trump’s term in office have the two men at odds over the defense budget, a dispute where Inhofe has the better argument. This compromise bill is one piece of legislation that generally sails to passage in Congress, and should again this year. However, Trump is demanding that the bill include language that would repeal Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which provides online companies with some liability protections. Trump is threatening to veto the bill, and used Twitter to criticize Inhofe by name late last week.
Jonah Goldberg: Trumpism is unlikely to be an enduring ideology
       
As an intellectual project, it was pretty much a bust. For instance, Julius Krein started a journal, American Affairs, with the goal of providing an intellectual framework for Trumpism. You can’t really do both, because Trumpism was never an ideological phenomenon but a psychological one. Now, in the wake of Trump’s defeat, the project to create Trumpism-without-Trump has been reborn as electoral analysis. Trump supporters claim that he bequeathed to the right and the country the makings of a new, multiethnic workers party.
USA Today Opinion: Five ways to increase trust and persuade Americans to get vaccinated
       
The two leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates — from Pfizer and Moderna — have shown efficacy rates of 95% in clinical trials. A Pew Research study reported last week that only 60% of Americans would definitely or probably get a vaccine. Among certain subgroups — Blacks (42%), low-income Americans (55%) and Republicans (50%) — the willingness to be vaccinated was even lower. The good news is that surveys show that the overall trend on accepting the vaccine is rising over time. A further complication, however, is that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses over several weeks.
Your Views Saturday, Dec. 12
       
I hope the “unbiased” national news media and elected officials give as much support, cooperation and scrutiny to Joe Biden as they did President Trump! Weeks after Joe Biden won the election, our president and his followers claim the results were inconceivable, a fraud. President Trump is an inspiring fellow. The pandemic, long lines, unreliable postal service and robust voter suppression did not block enough change voters for the president to win. Like 81 million other Americans, officials and supporters can say no to the president.
The glory of President Trump's judges
       
One of President Donald Trump's foremost achievements has been to erect a formidable obstacle to his own post-election legal challenges. The federal judiciary, now seeded throughout with Trump-nominated judges, has given the back of its hand to pro-Trump election litigation, with Trump judges issuing notably harsh opinions. It's always been strange that Trump, who will never be mistaken for a rigorous constitutionalist and who personalizes everything, has elevated a couple of hundred judges who, by and large, are deeply committed to the Constitution and feel no particular personal loyalty to him. Hardly an institutionalist, Trump has buttressed the institution of the judiciary.
Opinion: Another effort to curb initiative petitions in Oklahoma
       
An Oklahoma lawmaker’s proposal to require supermajority approval of initiative and referendum petitions is in line with previous efforts to make it tougher to even get such questions to the ballot. Members tend to blame voters for outcomes they dislike. A bill considered during the 2020 session would have required initiative petitions to include signatures from each of Oklahoma’s five congressional districts. Now Sen. John Haste, R-Broken Arrow, has a bill that would require that state questions win 60% approval from voters, instead of a simple majority. Oklahoma voters have approved significant changes in recent years, including a constitutional amendment expanding Medicaid coverage — it passed by less than 1 percentage point — and legalization of medical marijuana in 2018, which won 57% approval.
Your Views Sunday, Dec. 13
       
We're failing the test in fight against COVIDThe city of Choctaw recently extended its mask mandate until April. What about the Japanese Americans, many of whom were born here, forced to live in relocation camps during World War II? Our country has lost nearly as many people to COVID than soldiers killed in World War II. During that war, Americans came together and sacrificed to defeat a common enemy. We are fighting a different war today, but we are not together.
Point of View: Reclaiming grace for a new year
       
When 2020 began, no one could have imagined what this year would look like. Within a short time, COVID-19 made our world — and in some ways, ourselves — nearly unrecognizable. Fortunately, we can still access values that unite us, and, to borrow a phrase, engage in civic grace as we express differences of opinion. I see our shared values at work every day. Values like kindness, compassion, tolerance and generosity come with the territory for anyone who is motivated to help hungry kids get enough to eat.
Point of View: A COVID deal both sides might go for
       
Point of View: A COVID deal both sides might go for shares emailBoxes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the Pfizer Global Supply Kalamazoo manufacturing plant in Portage, Mich., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. Those are some of the nicer terms that my fellow liberals have been hurling at Republicans who continue to contest the presidential election. So why are we feeding that false narrative by ignoring Trump’s actual triumph this fall? I’m talking about Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine development project that he kicked off in the spring. It bore fruit Friday night, when the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s vaccine for use against the coronavirus.
Opinion: Sen. Tim Scott's sensible approach to police reform
       
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina led the work this summer on a Republican police reform bill that got sidelined by politics. Scott holds out hope for progress, and his reasonable approach to the issue is worth a mention. The lone Black Republican in the Senate, Scott has witnessed the good and the bad of law enforcement — by his count, police have stopped him 18 times since 1999. However, they also were “caring, were on the spot” following an auto accident and after his home was burglarized. Those experiences have “really informed and educated me on the importance of police reform,” Scott said in a recent interview with James R. Copland, senior fellow and director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.
Point of View: Without re-entry support, I didn't stand a chance
       
Some places wanted to see that I had been out of prison long enough before I applied for housing. Today I run a foundation called Walter’s Way, helping people regain their life after prison with housing, furniture, job support and other necessities. Recently, I have seen how the COVID-19 pandemic is making re-entry even more challenging for the people we serve. When I came home from prison, I needed supervision that was tailored to my risks and needs. My hope is that others may have the same, so they can find secure housing and a way to support their families as they rejoin society.
Opinion: Electoral College serves country well once again
       
Perhaps all the attention paid to the Electoral College this year will serve to curb efforts to do away with the system, which has served the nation well and did again this year. Recall that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but not the presidency because Donald Trump managed to win traditional Democratic states such as Michigan and Wisconsin, giving him the edge in the Electoral College. That marked the fifth time in 59 presidential elections, and second time in 16 years, that the winner lost the popular vote. These results produced cries from the left to scrap the Electoral College, which allots electoral votes based on the size of each state’s congressional delegation. The Electoral College ensures that smaller-population states such as Oklahoma have a say in the outcome of presidential elections, instead of the most densely populated states.
Oklahoma ScissorTales: Moving teachers up the vaccine list is sensible
       
The state’s initial plan for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine had teachers in the third phase, with a rollout date uncertain. Kevin Stitt’s decision to move teachers up to Phase 2 makes sense. The pandemic is first and foremost a public health emergency, with older residents at most risk. Thus, residents and staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and doctors and nurses, are rightly the first to receive the vaccine. Stitt announced Thursday that K-12 teachers and staff who interact with students will be part of the Phase 2 rollout, which could begin early in the new year.
Your Views Sunday, Dec. 20
       
It is well known that the U.S. Supreme Court worships at the altar of precedence, therefore its 7-2 decision to deny a hearing on the 19 states' attempt to overturn results of alleged fraudulent voting in four states in the Trump-Biden race. An exception to this position is when the court decided our Constitution allows the killing of unborn babies through the ninth month of pregnancy. Of course, that decision favored the left. If the courts continue to favor the left on the most important matters, there will be trouble ahead. Joe Ralls, MooreWe sure are lucky to live in the USAAs I look at and read about North Korea, I can't help but be thankful for how lucky we are to live in the United States.
Point of View: Tribe's unilateral actions hurt Oklahoma oil-gas businesses
       
As someone active in Oklahoma’s oil industry, I am dismayed at the recent actions of the Seminole Nation. I have great respect for the approach taken by those Oklahoma tribes seeking to work with the state in finding a solution to the U.S. Supreme Court's McGirt decision on criminal law. This action disincentivizes investing in any tribal nation where similar actions may occur. This move should be rebuked by Oklahomans and by those tribes with a history of working with, not against, their fellow Oklahomans. While a tribe might seek immediate funds from taxing existing investment, it can rest assured that it will be the last.
Opinion: Pay people to get vaccinated? It might be worth a shot
       
In a recent editorial, USA Today proposed five ways to persuade Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. “Yes, this would pay tens of millions of people who’d receive the shot anyway,” the newspaper said. The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley notes that several high-profile economists like the idea of using pay as an incentive. That huge price tag — $275 billion — would represent just a fraction of the trillions spent thus far in the fight against COVID-19, Riley notes. Any overpayment, Litan argued, “is simply part of the price Americans would have to pay, given our deep political divisions.”
USA Today Opinion: Relief deal reached after Americans were left feeling abandoned
       
Now that Congress has finally reached a deal on COVID-19 relief, it would be nice to say the system worked. But it didn’t, unless you think it’s worth celebrating months of fruitless negotiations while disease-afflicted Americans suffered unnecessarily. It’s hard to feel good, however, about yet another massive pile of pages thrust before lawmakers desperate to leave town. Political scientists would call this set of circumstances — multiple hard deadlines and unthinkable consequences on politics and real life in the event of failure — highly conducive to productive negotiations. We’d call it corrosive brinkmanship that left Americans feeling abandoned in a time of rising hunger, lost homes, lost jobs and lost loved ones.
Cal Thomas: The power of Christmas
       
Yet when a keen observer and a person of talent and grace leaves the planet, we are all diminished a little. When Harry died, I recalled a commentary he did when he worked for ABC News in the early 1970s. The commentary was an unlikely one for a man of his position. Most people believe that news people, particularly those at the network level, rarely think of much beyond current events and their own careers. But Harry was different, and his easy-going manner allowed him to address subjects others might approach with more difficulty.
Point of View: Continued silence from Lankford, Inhofe is no longer an option
       
Point of View: Continued silence from Lankford, Inhofe is no longer an optionFor nearly two months, soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump and some of his supporters have filed numerous challenges contesting the 2020 presidential election results. Each challenge has failed. No evidence of fraud has been proven. At this point, Trump’s continued spurious attacks on the election do not amount to valid challenges but rather represent the orchestration of a dangerous constitutional crisis intended to subvert our election process. • filing more than 50 unsuccessful lawsuits in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Point of View: Canceling student debt by presidential decree is wrong on many levels
       
If you lent someone money to start a business that made big bucks, you would expect to be repaid, right? You took a risk and the borrower profited. Federal student lending is kind of like that, only you did not choose to lend, and now there is a movement to let the borrower just keep the money — through presidential decree, no less. Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren are leading a call for the incoming Joe Biden administration to cancel huge amounts of federal student debt, which is close to all student debt since the federal government — read: the taxpayer — is by far the biggest supplier of student loans. Having debt can be difficult, but why should anyone get to take your money, profit off it, and not at least make you whole again?
Point of View: Don’t let COVID relief packages be a bridge to nowhere
       
Point of View: Don’t let COVID relief packages be a bridge to nowhereIn March, our elected leaders in Congress developed a broad-based COVID-19 relief package designed to build a bridge over the canyon-sized gaps in resources in a number of areas. Unfortunately, the endpoint of that bridge was built believing the pandemic would end in a matter of months, leaving our communities racing along a bridge that ended in dead air. According to Census data, in the past week, 335,000 Oklahomans did not have enough food to put on the table. Oklahomans are struggling to make ends meet, 60% saying they have had some trouble meeting regular expenses. People are falling through the gaps and many more see the warning signs at the end of the bridge with no way to stop before hurtling over the edge.
Point of View: To stem pandemic, public health action plan urgently needed
       
Our haphazard and disjointed COVID-19 pandemic response is worsening this national catastrophe. Although vaccines provide a sense of light at the end of the tunnel, during the coming holiday weeks and winter months we will experience the worst public health crisis of our lifetime. On behalf of the past presidents of the American Public Health Association (APHA), we are deeply concerned by the lack of a national, coordinated and science-based strategy to end the pandemic, resulting in preventable deaths and hospitalizations. We continue to see worsening disparities in infection and death rates for racial, cultural and linguistic minorities, while rural communities are largely ignored for prevention and mitigation. There is continued disregard by many political leaders for advice provided by experts with experience in public health, infectious diseases, vaccines, and pandemic planning and mitigation.
Your Views Wednesday, Dec. 30
       
I also might add that they have $300 trillion in debt that is "kept off the books." Our nation in heading toward $30 trillion in debt. Do your homework in filtering the newsFiltering out rumor, conspiracy theories and outright lies from truth is more difficult today than ever before. This might include a national leader who as a source for truth is dubious at best. The solution will require effort beyond simply picking up the TV remote and tuning to a favorite “news” network.
Point of View: 2020 the worst year ever? Not quite
       
It also ended the longest economic boom in American history and threw millions of people out of work. COVID-19 meant people were mostly unable to go to movies, concerts or sporting events in 2020. By comparison, smallpox has been around since at least Ancient Egypt in the third century B.C. But inoculation was rarely practiced until the 18th century, so it didn’t help very many people for its first 900 years or so. When Abigail Adams had her children inoculated in 1776, it was still a scary, new technology for most people.
Opinion: An overarching wish for 2021
       
This page has used the past several Jan. 1 editions to offer various wishes for the new year in Oklahoma. These have run the gamut from hoping to see the Legislature enact certain policies to keeping fingers crossed for a deep playoff run for the Oklahoma City Thunder. This time around, one wish dwarfs everything else — an abiding prayer that in 2021, Oklahomans from Guymon to Antlers and from Vinita to Altus will actively do what they can to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. Carmen Forman, writing Dec. 6:The week before Thanksgiving, Lizanne Jennings’s mother died from complications of COVID-19. Three days later, her husband died from the virus.
Clarence Page: When Hollywood came to my Ohio hometown
       
Clarence Page: When Hollywood came to my Ohio hometownAmong other momentous events, I’ll remember 2020 as the year when, decades after leaving my Ohio hometown, Hollywood brought it back to me. Appropriately, reactions to Ron Howard’s film, “Hillbilly Elegy,” have been about as polarized as the politics that helped turn J.D. Vance’s memoir into a breakout hit in the 2016 election cycle. Vance’s memoir about overcoming an impoverished childhood in rural Kentucky and Rust Belt Ohio to graduate from Yale Law School could hardly have come out at a better time. Conservative pundits in particular cheered the memoir’s accounts of lower-income grievance and cultural resentment among working-class whites whom globalism and structural economic changes had left behind.
Opinion: Gov's approval numbers could always be worse
       
Kevin Stitt’s approval rating is good-not-great, according to a recent poll. Stitt should take a glass-half-full view of the results, because in politics even good reviews can turn sour in a hurry. Her favorability ratings were sky high and remained that way throughout her first term. Indeed, heading into the 2014 elections, the FiveThirtyEight blog placed Fallin’s approval rating at 65% and her disapproval at 23% — only one governor potentially seeking re-election that year had a better net job approval. Fallin’s favorability slipped in her second term, a reflection of her and the GOP Legislature’s handling of repeated budget shortfalls.
Opinion: Putting a name to editorials
       
For generations, unsigned editorials have been a staple of the nation's newspapers, including The Oklahoman. Traditionally, these commentaries are unsigned because they reflect the view of the newspaper’s editorial board. Beginning with Wednesday's page, editorials on this page will carry my name, a nod to the ever-evolving changes within the industry. The sale resulted in several editorial board members departing. For several months after, the “board” included the paper’s editor, Kelly Dyer Fry, and the two remaining opinion writers.
Point of View: Developing the future of aerospace education in Oklahoma
       
Currently, there is some partnership — but not near enough — among the education community, government and business industry ensuring that students receive an education geared toward future employment. It’s up to us, the education community, to adapt with the changing needs of students. Hands-on training, interactive lessons and nontraditional classroom settings help guarantee the success of the next generation. Rather than pushing against on-the-job learning, we need to partner with businesses to split the learning experience between classroom and real world. This assists students’ success while in school and sets them up for success in the real world.
Point of View: Electoral College needs to be scrapped
       
I strongly disagree with your contention that the “Electoral College serves us well” (Our Views, Dec. 18). The Electoral College system was a major compromise made by the Founding Fathers in order to get smaller states on board with signing the Constitution. They never could have imagined the vast discrepancy in today’s population between small states like Wyoming (550,000) and California (39 million). Today, with the Electoral College system, only voters in a handful of so-called “swing states” decide the presidency every cycle. This tends to discourage voting by followers of both parties, because they feel their state’s outcome has been predetermined.
Clarence Page: Politics in 2021 — Will the blurring of reality and fantasy continue?
       
President Donald Trump is on his way out of the White House, but not much else seems as certain. If anything, 2020 will be remembered as a year that blurred the lines between fact and fantasy more than any other — and it could be a bipartisan trend. Of course, skepticism is hardly limited to one party. For example, a lot of people in both parties questioned the eyelash-close 2000 presidential election, too. But I’m hard-pressed to find a previous election in which the president so actively has tried to gaslight the public — and had so many of his core supporters play along with it.
Point of View: Where is concern over national debt?
       
In that regard, the debt was about 68% of GDP when Obama entered office and 104% of GDP when he left. As Trump leaves office, the debt is estimated to be about 136% of GDP — the highest percentage of debt/GDP ever in our country. When Barack Obama assumed office in 2009, the national debt was about $10 trillion. As President Trump leaves office, the national debt has ballooned to nearly $27 trillion. Reduced or postponed Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits along with higher taxes are the only solutions to this debt crisis.
Your Views Wednesday, Jan. 6
       
Lankford’s stance a profile in cowardiceSen. James Lankford’s position against counting state-certified electoral votes is a profile in cowardice if not worse — attempted sedition. Trump loyalists have lost in the courts, both state and federal, some 60 times challenging the presidential votes. It must be noted only a minority of Republican senators have joined Lankford’s evisceration of our Constitution. The majority of the Oklahoma congressional delegation will certify every state’s electoral votes; these representatives should be applauded for upholding our Constitution. President-elect Joe Biden won the popular vote and won a landslide in the Electoral College.
USA Today: Trump triggers the American carnage he vowed in his inaugural address to stop
       
In a divided America, the events that unfolded on Capitol Hill on Wednesday afternoon should unite us all. Under President Donald Trump, the United States — historically a beacon of freedom and citadel of liberty — has devolved into a shocking exemplar of dysfunction. The American carnage you promised to eradicate at the beginning of your term has turned to reality at the end of it. Armed but outnumbered security forces barricading themselves with weapons drawn, firing teargas and hustling members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence to safety. And, in an iconic image of pure insurrection, a smug protester sitting in the president’s chair in the evacuated Senate Chamber.
Point of View: Private philanthropy is the indespensible force in the pandemic
       
As 2020 came to a close, Congress finally agreed on COVID-19 relief measures — and President Trump signed them into law — after eight long months of political gridlock that ignored the hardships facing many American families. When many Americans were forced to shelter-in-place, and business closures triggered millions of job losses earlier this year, federal lawmakers passed an initial COVID-19 relief package two months after the coronavirus reached U.S. shores. The pandemic has highlighted why we need a strong, effective charitable sector that can outpace the slowness of bureaucracy. Charitable giving and volunteers powered the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic as many nonprofits found themselves on the front lines. While we do not have all of the data on 2020 charitable giving yet, early survey data show giving has soared.
Opinion: A sad spectacle at the U.S. Capitol
       
Unprecedented. Pick your adjective to describe Wednesday’s scene at the U.S. Capitol, where thousands of President Trump supporters overran the building and stopped the work of certifying the Electoral College results of November's election. During a speech earlier in the day where Trump repeated his claim that the election had been stolen from him, he urged supporters to act. Act they did, overwhelming security officers and making their way into the House and Senate chambers and into some offices. President-elect Biden put it well in a brief televised address, saying our democracy was “under unprecedented assault.”
Your Views Saturday, Jan. 9
       
Most of the state's delegation must resignArticle II of the U.S. Constitution states, “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” The Constitution gives Congress no authority to decide who a state’s electors should be. Before the invasion of the U.S. Capitol, five of Oklahoma’s seven congressional delegation members announced their intentions to vacate the electoral and popular vote in the recent presidential election. After the insurgents stormed the Capitol’s chambers, six members of the delegation voted to thwart the voters’ will and sought to overthrow America’s rightfully elected government. Article III states treason consists of making war against the United States or giving aid and comfort to the nation’s enemies. Unfortunately, 86% of Oklahoma’s delegation participated in these acts.
Opinion: Delegation's tenacity, teamwork pay off for OKC bombing memorial
       
Every now and then in Washington, items added to pieces of seemingly unrelated legislation are worth pursuing. This is true of the authorization of $1 million for the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. It is included in the annual defense bill, a $740 billion measure that both houses of Congress approved overwhelmingly last month, President Trump vetoed, then Congress enacted by easily overriding the veto as 2020 ended. As The Oklahoman’s Chris Casteel noted, the authorization is big “in principal and in principle” to the memorial, which was promised the money nearly two decades ago. The authorization is a testament to teamwork and persistence by Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, led by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, who as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee inserted the language into the defense bill last summer.
Your Views Sunday, Jan. 10
       
Under siege by a president bent on insurrection, our Congress voted to approve all electors. The vote prevented Donald Trump from destroying one of the tenets of our republic. As John Adams said, “There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”How does our democratic republic move forward from this grievous wound? We must start by realizing that Trump is a hijacker of, but not an integral part of, the conservative movement. The truth is that the vast majority of the 75 million people who voted for Trump are neither racists nor anarchists.
Opinion: Sharing their son's story could save a life
       
The year could not have ended more horribly for U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and his wife Sarah. To their great credit, however, their openness about their son’s death by suicide might save lives and chip away at the stigma tied to mental illness. The Raskins last week posted online their 1,700-word obituary for Tommy Raskin, 25, who died on New Year’s Eve after battling depression. It’s an important essay because it underscores that depression and other mental illnesses do not play favorites — they can befall anyone. “He hated cliques and social snobbery, never had a negative word for anyone but tyrants and despots, and opposed all malicious gossip …,” his parents wrote.
Your Views Wednesday, Jan. 13
       
Once again talk from political leaders is cheapI strongly agree with Jerome Murray (Your Views, Jan. 9). Due to recent events, both political parties are stressing the importance for our nation to step back and take a breath, but once again talk is cheap. Nancy Pelosi is bringing an article of impeachment and called for the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. How can Americans unite and heal our wounds when a great percentage of our elected officials’ mantra is “divide and conquer”? Millions of Americans question the voting process in several states; hopefully, reforms will be initiated.
Jonah Goldberg: Violence at Capitol was horrific, but don’t lose sight of the attempted theft
       
Jonah Goldberg: Violence at Capitol was horrific, but don’t lose sight of the attempted theftAn attempted bank robber who doesn’t hurt anybody is still guilty of attempted bank robbery. If someone gets hurt, though, the penalties are greater even if the robber didn’t intend harm. This is how I think about what Donald Trump did last week. For months, Trump dodged answering whether he’d respect the results of the 2020 election. Because, as he often says, he likes to keep his options open.
Point of View: Collective response with vaccine is a must
       
Thus, medium- and low-income countries will receive the vaccine much later depending on the supply and production of approved vaccines and the development of new ones. According to the Economist, some low-income countries will not expect widespread access to a vaccine before 2022-23. It is a concerning projection because many Oklahomans are immigrants, likely to have people they cherish living across the world. They have been unable to see loved ones this year and worry about the uncertainty of when family and friends are receiving a vaccine. To increase vaccine manufacturing, countries in the World Trade Organization proposed making it easier for manufacturers in their countries to make COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.
Clarence Page: Twitter’s action against Trump opens a can of First Amendment worms
       
Clarence Page: Twitter’s action against Trump opens a can of First Amendment wormsIronies abound in the debate over free speech, now that Twitter has taken away President Donald Trump’s favorite bullhorn. “We are living Orwell’s 1984,” his son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted in his dad’s defense on his own Twitter account. “Free-speech no longer exists in America.”Oh, it’s not that bad. Junior’s Twitter remained alive and well, even as his dad’s accounts were banned or suspended from a half-dozen other major platforms. Yet I couldn’t help but contrast the Trump camp’s indignation over his deplatforming with their outrage two years ago after an appeals court ruled that he could not block users from his Twitter account.
Michael Barone: From impeaching incitement to canceling conservatism
       
While President Trump's exact words to the crowd on the Ellipse didn't constitute a criminal incitement, they were uttered with a reckless disregard for the possibility that they would provoke violence, which any reasonable person could find impeachable. But a moment's reflection should have left any believer in free speech feeling queasy about a private firm censoring the president of the United States and preventing him from effectively communicating with citizens over a chosen medium of universal reach. And especially queasy, since a large body of opinion sees this suppression of free speech by Big Tech monopolies not as a one-time exception but as the new rule. Oliver Darcy of CNN wants the network's cable rivals to be held "responsible for the lies they peddle." Michelle Obama took the lead in urging the permanent ban on Trump, which Twitter promptly promulgated.
Your Views Sunday, Jan. 17
       
We need to stand together against COVIDIn 2001, America witnessed the horror of 9/11. Local news shows large numbers of people traveling for holidays and crowds at various venues with no masks in sight. Everyone adhering to the guidelines proposed by the CDC could save hundreds of thousands of lives between now and then. Alternatively, if people refuse to follow the guidelines and refuse the vaccine, the pandemic could go on for years. It is time to stand together and battle the most deadly terrorist of our time — COVID-19.
New administration point-counterpoint: Brace yourself, change is coming
       
On Jan. 20, the Biden administration will enter the Oval Office in the midst of a pandemic and economic crisis, with the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, which means big policy changes are afoot in the United States. First, the Biden administration will use the economic crisis at hand to pursue a domestic policy platform that will be the mirror opposite of the Trump administration’s free-market, federalist program. Second, in stark contrast to the Trump administration, which focused on a foreign policy agenda of “America first,” the Biden administration will pivot to a globalist policy program, also under the guise of COVID. Third, it is highly likely the Biden administration will seek major structural changes to the federal government that could change the electoral prospects for both parties for a generation.
Rediscovering America: A quiz on presidential inaugurations
       
Rediscovering America: A quiz on presidential inaugurations shares emailJeremy BaileyThe inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who will be the 46th president of the United States, takes place Jan. 20. George Washington’s inauguration as the country’s first president took place in 1789 in what city? Article I, Section 2 C. Article II, Section 1 D. Article II, Section 2 3. Until 1937, presidential inaugurations took place in which month? 17th Amendment C. 20th Amendment D. 22nd Amendment 5.
Being ‘boring’ may work for Biden
       
The words will be heard as sensible by any sensible person. And if history is any guide, the effective half-life of this rhetorical appeal will be measured in days or hours. It is not that exhortations for unity fall on deaf ears; it is that they fall on desensitized minds, even among people who say they want unity and may actually believe it. In narrow political terms, Biden has a strong interest in taming the forces of remorseless conflict and endless recrimination. To the contrary, the new president’s modest oratorical gifts — the fact that he is by modern political standards a bit boring — can be a powerful asset.
Cal Thomas: For Trump, what might have been
       
Cal Thomas: For Trump, what might have been“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been’.” — John Greenleaf WhittierThere are many things beyond human control, among them, when and where you were born and who your parents are. As President Trump leaves office, he will have time, but perhaps not much time given that his enemies seek to destroy his businesses and his chance for running again for any office, to contemplate what went wrong. Before he announced for president, if a pollster had asked voters whether they would vote to grant a second term for a president who has accomplished what Trump has in foreign and domestic policy, I suspect the response would have been a resounding “yes.”
John Kass: Biden seeks an end to ‘uncivil war,’ but will he defend free speech?
       
John Kass: Biden seeks an end to ‘uncivil war,’ but will he defend free speech? As Joe Biden was sworn in as our 46th president, he delivered a simple yet eloquent speech about America’s “uncivil war” and preached unity to a politically divided nation. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. It was a good check-all-the-boxes Biden speech.
Michael Barone: Biden's heartfelt appeal for unity likely to be unavailing
       
"We must end this uncivil war," Joe Biden proclaimed Wednesday shortly after he became the 46th president. Hours earlier, in his last moments as the 45th president, Donald Trump extended "best wishes" to the "new administration." Our presidents since George Washington have come to office through an inevitably adversary process, and while they may inspire "unity" on occasion, that's more the exception than the rule. That process has become especially adversary in times of close division, like the polarized partisan parity prevailing since the 1990s. Joe Biden is the fifth consecutive president taking office with his party holding majorities in both houses of Congress.
Rich Lowry: No, there won't be unity
       
After the events of Jan. 6, there is much to be said for more unity, or at least less poisonous division, and Biden’s emphasis on the theme was deeply felt and entirely sincere. But by making it his goal and the standard by which he’ll be judged, Biden is setting himself up for failure. There are two problems with calls for unity. One is that they tend to be nebulous, leaving out what we are all supposed to be unifying around. We should all respect and honor one another as Americans, and seek to preserve our governing institutions, but beyond that, it gets fuzzy.
Your Views Sunday, Jan. 24
       
We have National Guard and Reserve medical units in every state that could be set up in parking lots as vaccination centers. These units have the trained people and the facilities to vaccinate many people each day. Retired nurses or military personnel could be hired to temporarily flesh out these mobile facilities. But that makes too much sense. Attempts to claim violations of the First Amendment by calling limitations “censorship” or labeling speech “free” add nothing to the argument.
Opinion: Out with the Keystone XL pipeline, again
       
As expected, President Joe Biden wasted no time using executive orders to undo many of former President Trump's initiatives. Biden's nixing of the permit for the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline was among the least surprising, but it is disappointing nonetheless. The Obama-Biden administration bowed to environmentalists in 2015 when former President Barack Obama vetoed a bipartisan bill that sought the pipeline’s construction. The Trump administration reversed Obama’s rejection of the project and gave the go-ahead to the northern leg. But a federal judge in Montana blocked a permit for construction, saying the State Department had not fully considered potential spills and other impacts as required by federal law.
Jonah Goldberg: Both sides need to condemn bad actors
       
As many feared, after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, a mob unleashed destruction. They spray-painted “[expletive deleted] Biden!” and smashed the Democratic HQ’s windows. But here’s the thing: The bloodthirsty goons weren’t MAGA-hat wearing Trumpists, but members of antifa, and the protests weren’t in Washington, D.C., but in Portland and Seattle. Now, I don’t bring this up to score partisan “What about antifa?” points. The violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was uniquely despicable, not merely for the American carnage it unleashed but for its intent.
Point of View: This country needs the Electoral College
       
It is bad history and an over-simplification to simply say the Electoral College resulted from a compromise. Any "disconnect" between the Electoral College and the mass vote is a symptom of real politics — real differences in opinions. We actually want the diversity that the writers of the Constitution intended for the Electoral College. Any military strategist will tell you it is much more difficult to defeat multiple nodes of power rather than a centralized node of power. Removing the Electoral College would move us in the direction of more centralized power.
Point of View: Financial bridge available to Oklahoma families seeking education alternative
       
One of the most sacred values in our society is encouraging nurturing parents to raise children based on the academic and social needs of the child. Regrettably, in Oklahoma, many parents do not get to select where their kids go to school. A small percentage of affluent families can easily access high-quality private schools, but this is not true for most Oklahomans. What options are available to parents who desperately need a financial bridge? We intentionally help lower-income families afford the right schools by turning generous donations from individuals and corporations into tuition assistance for nearly 70 accredited private schools across Oklahoma.
Point of View: Let's remove barriers to getting Oklahoma voters engaged
       
The 2020 presidential election saw record voter turnout as citizens overcame barriers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to make their voices heard. While the total votes cast surpassed that of 2016, Oklahoma still ranked last in the nation in voter turnout rate. This is typical as our state’s voter registration has been well below the national average for more than 30 years. But I do believe we must remove barriers and streamline registering to vote so all eligible Oklahomans have access to the ballot. Oklahoma is one of only 13 states that do not have an online voter registration system in place.
Clarence Page: Pragmatism is the focus of my 1776 Unites essay
       
I have an extra reason to be pleased that President Joe Biden has revoked the Trump administration’s 1776 Report, released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and aimed to promote “patriotic” history education in schools. I happen to have an essay in the Woodson Center’s older and unrelated but similarly purposed and privately funded 1776 Unites report, and some people already were getting the two mixed up. Like Team Trump’s project, 1776 Unites is a conservative response to The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which sparked both praise and controversy with its recentering of American history as beginning not with the Declaration of Independence but with the arrival of the first slaves. In response to the criticism, the 1619 Project’s principal reporter, Nikole Hannah-Jones, changed a line in her Pulitzer Prize-winning lead essay from calling slavery a “primary motivation of colonists” in the revolt to “some of the colonists.”
Opinion: With COVID, don't let your guard down!
       
In 1952, its worst year, 3,145 people in the United States died from polio. Then promptly came the polio vaccine, which essentially eradicated this infection. It is now the third-most common cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. Reservations about the COVID vaccine are abound, motivated by rumors, deliberate anti-vaxxing sentiment, political disposition, "extra caution," ignorance and fear. All the COVID-19 vaccines being used have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible.
Cal Thomas: Is modern media more biased than before?
       
There is a perception, supported by many surveys, that what passes for contemporary journalism is more biased, even propagandistic, than in earlier times. In his book, “Infamous Scribblers,” Eric Burns suggests that colonial journalism would often make today’s tabloids look like real news. Their slogan could have been “all the unfit news we print.”Newspapers of those days published unverified scandals and statements by rival politicians that would today be considered slanderous, even libelous. George Washington coined the phrase Burns used for his book title. The summary on Amazon.com reads: “The journalism of the era was often partisan, fabricated, overheated, scandalous, sensationalistic and sometimes stirring, brilliant, and indispensable.
Opinion: With elections, ballot security must remain paramount
       
The COVID-19 pandemic led to new voting procedures last year in Oklahoma and in many states across the country. Going forward, ensuring election security should be every states’ goal. In Oklahoma, a change approved by the Legislature allowed those using an absentee ballot to remit a photocopy of a valid identification card. The Legislature also made it easier for residents in long-term care facilities to vote absentee. These changes expired Dec. 31, which has at least one Democratic lawmaker concerned voters will get confused as they seek to vote absentee in local elections this year.
Point of View: Use school choice to live your family's values
       
As a child growing up in Colombia, attending a private bilingual school was a great privilege and a blessing that I never took for granted. This “School Choice Week” (Jan. 24-30), I’m grateful I have found a choice that supports my goal of helping my child be bilingual, and I hope other families find school choices that support their goals. We have found a learning environment that matches our family’s goals at Heritage Academy, a blended learning program at Epic Charter Schools. Our school choice offered that, and it provides laptops and internet options to students who need them, so they have consistent access to virtual learning. Whatever their school choice, parents/primary care givers should be invited to work closely with schools to support their children’s education.
Opinion: More turns of the crank from McGirt ruling
       
Kevin Stitt wants to be part of discussions regarding state-tribal relations as they relate to a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer. Stitt said the potential fallout from the decision, known as the McGirt decision, merits his office’s involvement. In that decision, the Supreme Court said the federal government must handle major crimes involving Indians on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s historical lands because the tribe’s reservation was never disestablished. State courts have extended that decision to other members of the Five Tribes — the Chickasaws, Cherokees, Seminoles and Choctaws — and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is expected to uphold those courts’ rulings. If that happens, much of eastern Oklahoma will be considered Indian Country for the purpose of criminal jurisdiction.
Jonah Goldberg: Biden needs to set even more ambitious vaccination goals
       
We are far from the destination, but the return to normalcy has begun — and so have the normal games presidents play. Donald Trump said many times that COVID-19 would just “disappear,” as if it were so much fake news ginned up to help Democrats. At one campaign stop, he railed, “COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID. … On Nov. 4, you won’t hear about it anymore.”Of course, he was wrong about the disease simply vanishing. More than 420,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 — surpassing the number of U.S. soldiers who died in combat in both world wars and the Vietnam War combined.
Rich Lowry: "Free speech for me, but not for thee"
       
Long a stalwart defender of the First Amendment, the American media is now having second thoughts. For decades, it was a commonplace sentiment among journalists that freedom of the press was one of the glories of our system. It helped to make the government accountable and to air diverse points of view — even unpopular ones — to be tested in the marketplace of ideas. This advocacy has been sincere, although, if nothing else, journalists should be First Amendment purists out of a sense of self-interest. In a 2018 essay in The Atlantic representing the bygone conventional wisdom, titled "Why a Free Press Matters," the longtime newscaster Dan Rather noted, "As a working journalist, I know I have a stake in this concept."
Michael Barone: The United States of Racial Quotas and Preferences
       
On Tuesday, six days into Joe Biden's administration, it became clear why Susan Rice, hitherto a foreign policy specialist, was named director of the Domestic Policy Council. Rice — unconfirmable for a Cabinet post after her unembarrassed Sunday show lying about the Benghazi terrorist attack — ventured into the White House press room to preview Biden's "equity" initiative. With one possible exception, the specific policies announced were less important than the word "equity," invoked 19 times by Rice and nine by Biden. Not so, perhaps, with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing initiative, started under former President Barack Obama, repealed under former President Donald Trump and now due for spirited revival. The idea is for the feds to reverse local zoning laws and plant low-income housing in suburbs deemed insufficiently diverse.
Jonah Goldberg: For Dems, a Senate conviction of Trump isn't the point
       
The debate over whether to hold Donald Trump accountable for his role in the events that led to the siege of the U.S. Capitol has slipped into partisan farce. Over the 63 days between Election Day and the siege, Trump manufactured fraudulent claims that the election was stolen. He was recorded improperly — and almost certainly illegally — pressuring Georgia election officials to “find” the votes he needed to win the state. Whether Trump intended to incite violence or just negligently incited it is immaterial. But even exhorting the peaceful intimidation of officials conducting their constitutional duties would be a violation of his oath.
Opinion: Worn out, it is time to bid farewell
       
Opinion: Worn out, it is time to bid farewell shares emailCanfieldOn the day of Joe Biden’s swearing-in, a reader emailed to complain about a story that morning in The Oklahoman — printed ahead of the inauguration, mind you — that referred to President-elect Biden and “President Trump.” The writer’s message: “It’s President Biden you piece of s---!” Who needs that? After 17-and-a-half years writing opinion for The Oklahoman, this is my last day. I exit without a parachute — no job awaits — but have decided this move needs to happen, as much for my emotional well-being as anything. This departure has nothing to do with my recent decision to begin putting my name on editorials. Instead, this is strictly about the need to get out of the fray and do something else.
Jonah Goldberg: For Democrats, a Senate conviction of Trump isn’t the point
       
Over the 63 days between Election Day and the siege, Trump manufactured fraudulent claims that the election was stolen. He was recorded improperly — and almost certainly illegally — pressuring Georgia election officials to “find” the votes he needed to win the state. Whether Trump intended to incite violence or just negligently incited it is immaterial. That said, it’s becoming clear that the Democrats don’t really care about convicting Trump. The impeachment article the House sent to the Senate was almost perfectly worded to give Republicans an excuse not to vote for it.
Oklahoma should focus on improving all public schools
       
Advocating for improved outcomes for public school kids in Oklahoma is about biblical justice. A complementary Christian ethic advocating for the sanctity of life should push us to improve the quality of life for all of God’s children, regardless of where they reside in Oklahoma. Over 700,000 children, over 90% of our total school-age population, attend their local public school. Public schools are an integral part of the bedrock of communities across the state and are the single most efficient way to widely educate our kids. Tragically, because of where a kid grows up in Oklahoma, many public education choices available to kids in the suburbs are not available to those in rural or urban areas.
Point of View: 'Privatize' doesn't capture Medicaid plan
       
“Privatize” is an often-used pejorative term to indicate the transfer of power and management of a governmental service to a private concern. First, the Medicaid agency is considered perhaps the best led and administered state agency in Oklahoma. They include all types of providers (i.e., doctors and hospitals) and numerous other service providers such as computer companies, consultants, etc. The concept here is that the organizations getting these contracts will be under the strictest monitoring to ensure the delivery of efficient and effective health care services to Medicaid recipients. The concept is twofold: (1) an incentive for providers to keep Medicaid recipients healthy, and to be rewarded for doing so; and (2) for Medicaid recipients to continue to receive medical services when it is needed or appropriate.
Point of View: Oklahoma law forces small businesses to fire workers until they learn someone else’s job
       
For more than a decade, she and other experienced threaders provided affordable, high-quality threading services to Oklahomans without issue. But in 2012, the Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering imposed a rule that only licensed estheticians or cosmetologists could perform threading services. Indeed, the required schooling for threaders occupies more than half the time police cadets spend in the academy. And research has shown that the heightened barriers to entering the workforce — which licensing laws create — disproportionately affect low- and middle-income workers. It should be no surprise that, when choosing services, consumers prefer online reviews over measures like government issued licenses.
Point of view: The stuff of heroes in the COVID pandemic
       
Hurricane Harvey affected a larger area and population than Hurricane Katrina, yet resulted in 100 deaths while Hurricane Katrina resulted in 1,800. That heroism was backed by the grit, radical compassion and fearlessness characteristic of both Texans and Oklahomans. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed 4,000 times more lives than Hurricane Harvey in the U.S. alone. Now more than ever, we need the grit, radical compassion and fearlessness of Oklahomans, but for COVID-19, these look different. For COVID-19, grit — that pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality that’s the lifeblood of Oklahomans — is social distancing.
Point of View: Gender identity, sexual orientation protection laws needed
       
Micheal Bergstrom and David Bullard have brought Oklahoma’s current hate crime law into the spotlight by proposing Senate Bill 19, which would introduce a clause protecting police officers and related personnel from such attacks. Oklahoma is only one of 13 states to not protect sexual orientation or gender identity in its existing hate crime laws. In 2019, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 28% of hate crimes reported in Oklahoma were motivated by sexual orientation. Oklahoma’s lack of protection goes beyond hate crimes and extends to housing, employment and public accommodations. Within the state, a minuscule 3% of Oklahoma’s population is currently protected in regards to sexual orientation and gender identity: Local legislation in Norman guarantees nondiscrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.
Point of View: Biden is too timid on school reopening
       
Point of View: Biden is too timid on school reopeningIt takes another level of chutzpah, though, to set out as a target something that has already happened. Some in the press has portrayed President Joe Biden's goal of reopening the majority of K-12 schools in his first 100 days as so far-reaching that the timeline might have to be extended. Enter White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who explained on Tuesday that the administration defines a school as open if it holds in-classroom instruction at least once a week. By this metric, the goal isn't really having more than half of schools open — it's having more than half of schools still 80% closed.
S.E. Cupp: Impeachment matters, even without conviction
       
A whopping 17 Republican Senators would need to join Democrats to convict Trump, and all but five wouldn’t even vote in favor of holding the impeachment trial, so it’s a steep climb. But that fact doesn’t mean the impeachment trial is unimportant. What happened in the wake of the November elections was likely a crime. The president of the United States and his allies tried to overturn the results of a Democratic election. After the blood was spilled, Trump said to these violent insurrectionists, “Go home, we love you, you’re very special.”
Creating the education system students deserve
       
This past year Oklahoma’s teachers and parents faced what some might have believed was an insurmountable challenge. I am in awe of the resiliency of Oklahoma’s teachers, students and families. I believe this future begins by ensuring every student has equal opportunity to attend the public school that is best for them. School had to look different this year, which left many parents looking for education options that worked best for their children. Many who could afford to leave the public school system did so.
Point of View: Retaliation by legislation? In bills to curb initiative petitions, legislators choose power over democracy
       
After a decade of legislative inaction, citizens took matters into their own hands: they put forth—and approved—an initiative petition to expand Medicaid. This session, legislators have proposed 27 — yes, 27! — different bills aimed at squashing Oklahomans’ right of initiative. Some would amend the Constitution to make it harder for the people to approve an initiative petition, requiring anywhere from a 55% to 2/3 supermajority at the ballot box (e.g., HJR1004, 1007, 1008, 1034, 1035, 1038; SJR4). So this time, the response has been more drastic: rather than just undercutting the law it doesn’t like, some legislators are now eyeing destruction of the right of initiative petition altogether.
Point of View: New Public Health Lab ushers in bright future for Oklahoma health
       
This time last year, Oklahoma’s Public Health Lab was antiquated, facing the real possibility of a loss in accreditation and failing to provide services we desperately needed to improve public health outcomes for our state. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Public Health Lab showed itself to be woefully inadequate in keeping up with diagnostic testing, a critical tool to combat the rapidly spreading coronavirus. This was unacceptable but gave us the opportunity to dream about the kind of lab we wanted for our state. We want a lab that not only can meet and exceed our state’s public health needs, but one that can have a meaningful impact on combating COVID-19 now while also ensuring Oklahoma is looking ahead to the next pandemic. The Public Health Lab has undergone a massive transformation to become the innovative state-of-the-art lab we need to better serve Oklahomans now and in the future.
YOUR VIEWS
       
Perils of party loyaltyNow that Republican politicians have demonstrated it's more important to get reelected than to protect our democracy, perhaps it's time to consider term limits for members of Congress. For a brief moment, Sen. James Lankford saw the serious effects of Trump's self-serving rantings and took a stand to protect us, but in the end, loyalty to the party overcame his discernment of the truth. This time it was a Republican president who governed as a despot and threatened revenge toward anyone who dared to rebuke him, but next time it could be a Democrat.
Point of View: Personal choices, public health — Eliminating mask mandates, vaccination standards is wrong for Oklahoma
       
National security is also threatened when our population is weakened through illness. That aspect of the pandemic is broadly overlooked and it extends beyond the present threat COVID-19 poses. Decreased vaccination rates leave a significant portion of our country susceptible to disease. The facts are simple: Vaccines have prevented countless cases of illness and death since they were developed. Parents are tasked with making the best possible decisions for their children, who have no choice in their exposure to disease.
Commentary: After the pandemic, put women first
       
That approach won’t work for the COVID-19 crisis. As leaders face the enormous challenge of rebuilding post-pandemic economies, women must be at the center of their strategies. In many countries, women have been hit hardest by COVID-19 lockdowns. When those jobs disappeared, women had no social safety net to fall back on. Moreover, women can have an outsized impact on economic recovery, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Point of View: Proposed bill would hurt consumer protections, risk safety and security
       
The state Legislature is currently considering HB 1011, which would mandate that electronics manufacturers treat repair shops without proper training or certification the same way as a manufacturer’s authorized repair network. Manufacturers would be required by law to supply unvetted, untrained repair shops with sensitive technical information about thousands of internet-connected devices like appliances, computers, and smartphones. These established relationships with authorized repair providers include local small businesses, powering a job-creation engine at a time it is needed more than ever. Authorized repair networks ensure that technicians receive the appropriate training from manufacturers and have the qualifications so that repairs are done right. HB 1011 would completely undercut those efforts without requiring any of the critical consumer protections afforded by authorized repair networks.
Point of View: Bipartisan OK lawmakers on saving Indigenous women
       
As Oklahomans born and raised, we saw the injuries inflicted upon our Indigenous brothers and sisters when land was repeatedly taken by the federal government. Oklahomans are now taking the steps to legislate support for the indigenous community, but more bipartisan action is crucial to saving lives. In Oklahoma, 9.4% of the population is Indigenous, and we’re one of the Top 10 states in the nation for missing or murdered Indigenous women. What we do know is that current estimates find that thousands of Indigenous women are missing or murdered here in Oklahoma. Young Indigenous women and girls deserve justice, and as young state legislators, we’re committed to that cause.
Point of View: S.E. Cupp: The GOP knows exactly where it’s headed: CPAC 2021 is depressingly revealing
       
Hopes of mask-wearing and social distancing seem as likely as a panel on the return to fiscal conservatism. As a young, up-and-coming movement conservative, I attended this conference a number of years, spoke on panels, signed books and autographs, posed for pictures, did radio row. While the major stars of the party — even often sitting presidents like George W. Bush — would deliver important agenda-setting keynote speeches, the conference also attracted some of the fringiest elements of the right. We chalked this up to the party’s “big tent” philosophy of welcoming intellectual diversity and patriots of all kinds. But over the years the fringiest elements became the more dominant ones, mirroring the morphing of the party itself into a far-right, nationalist, nativist, conspiratorial and Trumpian exercise in subtraction, not addition.
Point of View: Jonah Goldberg: ‘Return to normalcy’ isn’t really what Biden’s base wants
       
Biden didn’t actually use the slogan “return to normalcy.” But as numerous political observers (including yours truly) noted during the campaign, that was both Biden’s implicit appeal and his best shot at victory. But there are two other normalcies Biden has to address. Today, for most Americans of either party, a “return to normalcy” means being able to eat out, go to work and, most of all, send their kids back to school. If the first normalcy was instantaneous upon his inauguration, this second one is proceeding at a snail’s pace. Biden is getting a grace period, but national exhaustion with the pandemic is cumulative, and patience is in short supply.
Point of View: Leonard Pitts Jr.: Black history is America’s history. It will not be erased — no matter how hard America tries
       
Things — obvious things — happen, but they don’t know why, because they have not been taught. As Black History Month draws to a close, we are met with a spate of headlines distressing and depressing in their tiresome familiarity. In Utah, a school allows students to opt out of lessons on African American history; the option is rescinded after a national backlash. In New Jersey, Rutgers University is investigating racist intrusions into Zoom events related to Black History Month. In Tennessee, a principal chooses as a theme for Black History Month the slogan, “All Lives Matter;” the principal, an African American woman(!
Power failure: How a winter storm pushed Texas into crisis
       
Two days before the storm began, Houston’s chief elected official warned her constituents to prepare as they would for a major hurricane. Many took heed: Texans who could stocked up on food and water, while nonprofits and government agencies set out to help those who couldn’t. As temperatures plunged and snow and ice whipped the state, much of Texas’ power grid collapsed, followed by its water systems. And a prideful state, long suspicious of regulation and outside help, was left to seek aid from other states and humanitarian groups as many of its 29 million people grasped for survival. Images of desperate Texans circulated worldwide.
House votes to expand legal safeguards for LGBTQ people
       
WASHINGTON — The Democratic-led House passed a bill Thursday that would enshrine LGBTQ protections in the nation’s labor and civil rights laws, a top priority of President Joe Biden, though the legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate. The bill passed by a vote of 224-206 with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting yes. The Equality Act amends existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics. The protections would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas. Supporters say the law before the House on Thursday is long overdue and would ensure that every person is treated equally under the law.
How to prepare your home for any emergency
       
While no one wants to dwell on worst-case scenarios, the past year has in many ways illustrated that there are no certainties in life. Preparing your home to handle a wide range of emergency scenarios will offer you peace of mind now and keep your family safe in the future. To get prepped, start with the essentials. With sufficient fuel, water, food and other necessities, you can ride out potential emergency scenarios. Here’s how to collect and store these items safely and securely:WaterThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends storing at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for 14 days so that in the event of an emergency that affects water supply, you’ll have enough for both drinking and sanitation.
Fraud overwhelms pandemic-related unemployment programs
       
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs. The fraud is fleecing taxpayers, delaying legitimate payments and turning thousands of Americans into unwitting identity theft victims. The massive sham springs from prior identity theft from banks, credit rating agencies, health care systems and retailers. Fraud perpetrators, sometimes in China, Nigeria or Russia, buy stolen personal identifying information on the dark web and use it to flood state unemployment systems with bogus claims. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating unemployment fraud by “transnational criminal organizations, sophisticated domestic actors, and individuals across the United States,” said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the department’s criminal division.
European court rejects case vs Germany over Afghan airstrike
       
BERLIN (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday rejected a complaint against Germany’s refusal to prosecute an officer who ordered the deadly bombing in 2009 of two fuel tankers in northern Afghanistan. Scores of people died when U.S. Air Force jets bombed the tankers hijacked by the Taliban near Kunduz. The strike was ordered by the commander of the German base in Kunduz, Col. Georg Klein, who feared insurgents could use the trucks to carry out attacks. An Afghan man who lost two sons aged 8 and 12 in the airstrike, Abdul Hanan, took the case to the European Court of Human Rights after German authorities declined to prosecute Klein. He alleged that Germany failed to conduct an effective investigation and that no “effective domestic remedy” to that had been available in Germany.
Vigorous preparation returns as Biden calls other leaders
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new-old ritual is taking shape in the Biden White House, one that starts with bulky briefing packages, war-gaming the “what-ifs,” and Oval Office discussions about how to talk to this or that particular U.S. ally or adversary. Twelve times since he took office, President Joe Biden has dialed up a world leader after reinstituting what was a long-held White House standard mothballed by Donald Trump: vigorous preparation. The changes to telephone diplomacy have been about both style and substance as Biden has sought to send the message to foreign leaders — many embittered by Trump's habit of berating his counterparts and conflating personal interests with U.S. national security — that Biden is determined to reset the U.S. relationship with the world. “It's a central organizing principle as they look to turn the page on Trump and get alliances back on track. The preparation for calls is part of that."
Biding Time: Long stays are among multiple problems persisting at the Oklahoma County jail
       
PART ONE The Oklahoma County jail is overcrowded. In a dreary courtroom at the bottom of the 13-story Oklahoma County jail. Designed to hold 1,200 when it opened in 1991, the county jail population has swollen to twice that size. But those versed in criminal justice reform say Oklahoma County cannot build its way out of the problem of jail overcrowding. In 2015, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce convened the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Task Force, in response to overcrowding and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into conditions at the jail.
Have you checked the date of your high school reunion?
       
Have you checked the date of your high school reunion? Editor's note: In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, venues and businesses might be temporarily closed. Please confirm all reunion plans. AnadarkoAnadarko High School class of 1970: Looking for classmates for a 50th reunion scheduled for Aug. 6-7. For more information, contact Rick Davis at 405-229-9931 or rick@davis-scoreboards.com; or email Donna Hanson at camcarsgram@yahoo.com.
California lawmakers propose ban on fracking by 2027
       
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New legislation would ban all fracking in California by 2027, taking aim at the powerful oil and gas industry in the state already planning to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. Progressive California has long been a leader in combating climate change, requiring solar panels on new homes and passing a law to make the nation's most populated state rely entirely on renewable energy by 2045. But environmental groups say California officials — particularly governors — have long had a blind spot for the oil and gas industry, which has wielded its immense political power many times to kill or weaken legislation aimed at curtailing production. That could be changing. Gavin Newsom announced steps to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars and called on lawmakers to go further by banning new permits for fracking, a technique to extract oil and gas embedded in rock deep beneath the surface that climate groups say harms the environment and threatens public health.
Armenia: Protesters demand prime minister's resignation
       
YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Thousands of protesters calling for the resignation of Armenia’s prime minister demonstrated in the center of the capital, Yerevan, on Tuesday, the third protest in a week. Police cordons guarded the government buildings near Republic Square and accompanied Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan when he walked from one building to another as demonstrators shouted “traitor!”The demonstrations revive a wave of protests against Pashinyan that arose in November after he signed a cease-fire with Azerbaijan that ceded territory occupied by Armenian forces. The deal ended a six-week war over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh territory in which thousands died. The protests had died down during the worst of the winter.
Newly extended president believes Oklahoma Christian University's 'best years are ahead'
       
The Oklahoma Christian University Board of Trustees has extended President John deSteiguer’s contract through May 2026. “The Board restated our support and commitment for our President and trust the future is bright for OC,” OC Board of Trustees Chairman Mark Brewer said. deSteiguer was appointed president of OC in 2012, and during his tenure the university has restructured its academic colleges adding programs like Criminal Justice and Sports Management. The extension comes as Oklahoma Christian launches innovative programs to deliver education to underserved student populations and offer practical approaches to solving real problems, according to the news release. "I believe our best years are ahead as we aggressively pursue innovative programs to serve new student populations and remain committed to making the Christ-centered, traditional OC experience the best it can be,” deSteiguer said.
Apply by March 5 if you want to attend an OKC Public Schools application school
       
Apply by March 5 if you want to attend an OKC Public Schools application schoolStudents wanting to apply to attend an Oklahoma City Public Schools application school have until March 5 to submit required admission information. Schools having selective admission requirements include Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, Classen SAS Middle School, Classen SAS High School at Northeast, Southeast Middle School and Southeast High School. Students interested in attending one or more of these schools must complete an application to be considered for admission. There is no tuition fee to attend one of the schools. Current and prospective Oklahoma City Public Schools students interested in applying to one or more of the district’s application schools are encouraged to submit their application or interest form and view more information at www.okcps.org/applicationschools or www.okcps.org/escuelasdeaplicacion.
Achievers: Rose State College professors recognized
       
Rose State College professors Chuang Shao and Steven Fowler were announced as one of two winners of the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges Great Ideas for Teaching program for their math-based approach to studying Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology. A collaborative effort between Rose State and the University of Oklahoma, the project's goals were to develop UAV competency in Rose State technology and engineering students, to increase transferability to OU's aerospace program and to increase UAV and STEM awareness in K-12 students. Other faculty and staff presented seminars to the special topics class, discussing the physics and mathematics involved as the students' research progressed. Eventually, the project became a community effort among students, faculty and staff from Rose State and OU. Tulsa Community College was also one of the top two winners alongside Rose State.
OKC police officer charged with manslaughter in shooting death of Black man with history of mental illness
       
OKC police officer charged with manslaughter in shooting death of Black man with history of mental illnessAn Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the deadly shooting of a 60-year-old mentally ill Black man. Clifford Holman was charged with the felony Thursday in Oklahoma County District Court, more than two months after the Dec. 11 shooting death of Bennie Edwards in the parking lot of a business near the 2100 block of W Hefner Road. If convicted, Holman, who has seven years of service on the force, faces four years to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving at least 85% of the sentence. District Attorney David Prater filed the charge himself, and also filed a second-degree manslaughter felony charge in the alternative, which typically carries a two- to four-year sentence.
Oklahoma House lawmakers vote to keep 'ghost students' at bay, expand school transfers
       
House lawmakers voted to expand transfers between public schools and to limit the “ghost students” that could appear as a result. House Bill 2074 and 2078, written as complimentary bills, passed votes on the House Floor on Wednesday. Democrats, school leaders and education advocacy groups said they fear the proposed changes to school funding could deeply affect urban and rural districts and leave underserved families behind. HB 2074, called the Education Open Transfer Act, passed with a 77-22 vote. It would extend the open transfer window year-round, limit a school district’s ability to deny transfer students and eliminate emergency transfers, which require specific criteria to complete.
UN: Arbitrary detentions in Syria conflict may be war crimes
       
GENEVA (AP) — Tens of thousands of civilians in Syria were “arbitrarily detained" in enforced disappearances during the country's 10-year conflict, a U.N. commission said in a report released Monday. Thousands more have been subjected to torture and sexual violence, offenses that can amount to war crimes, the report by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said. The commission has regularly reported on suspected human rights violations and abuses since the civil war erupted. According to the report, the Syrian government arbitrarily arrested and detained individuals and committed “war crimes and crimes against humanity in the context of detention.” Other parties in the conflict also committed crimes by unlawfully and arbitrarily depriving individuals of their liberty, it said. Rival groups have been blamed for atrocities since Syria’s conflict broke out in March 2011 with anti-government protests that morphed into a civil war.
How can The Oklahoman improve our diversity coverage? Tell us
       
How can The Oklahoman improve our diversity coverage? Tell usWe’re stronger when the The Oklahoman reflects the communities we serve. Having a diverse newsroom is critical to telling stories about Oklahoma City and surrounding communities today. We want to be sure we have a diverse representation among our sources and in the stories we cover. We want to hear from you — feedback and ideas are welcome.
Israel's ultra-Orthodox reject criticism, defy virus rules
       
JERUSALEM (AP) — Mendy Moskowits, a member of the ultra-Orthodox Belz Hassidic sect in Jerusalem, doesn’t understand the uproar toward believers like him. In recent weeks, ultra-Orthodox Jews have defied coronavirus restrictions by holding big funerals for beloved rabbis who died of COVID-19, celebrating large weddings, and continuing to send their children to schools. The gatherings have led to clashes with police and an unprecedented wave of public anger toward the religious community. On Tuesday night, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators protested lockdown restrictions, set dumpsters on fire, and faced off with police officers in Jerusalem. Moskowits, like many other ultra-Orthodox faithful, says Israeli society doesn't understand their way of life and has turned his community into a scapegoat.
Shared Hope: Healing our divided culture must start in our hearts
       
But this week’s column has been almost impossible to write. All this woven through news of COVID-19 and the vaccine, and the hope it inspires. Our health care workers are worn down in weariness. I awakened in the early hours of the morning of my deadline and didn’t like anything I’d written. Here is the fifth effort, centered on the simple word “love.”
Bible lesson for Jan. 23
       
— John 15:15Why did Jesus make known to us through his first disciples everything that he heard from his Heavenly father? Because the presence of Jesus Christ remains within them, his disciples can face this world with joy. Like Jesus’ followers today, his first disciples obeyed Jesus because they loved him. Eleven of them responded with obedient love for Jesus, and Jesus made them friends who learned his goals and purposes. Today, Jesus’ followers still teach by word and example, and Jesus chooses new disciples and friends as new fruit on the branches of the vine.
The Conversation: St. Matthew's Cathedral, where Biden attended pre-inauguration Mass, has long been a place where politics and faith meet
       
The Conversation: St. Matthew's Cathedral, where Biden attended pre-inauguration Mass, has long been a place where politics and faith meetBefore being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States — and only the second Catholic to hold the post — Joe Biden attended Mass. Accompanied by his wife, Jill Biden, and now-Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, he occupied the front pew of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, known as St. Matthew's Cathedral. It isn't Washington's largest Catholic church, but it has long been a place where politics and faith meet — making it a fitting venue to start the day's proceedings. Established in 1840, St. Matthew's is named for the tax collector called by Jesus to be one of the Twelve Apostles. Fittingly for the District of Columbia cathedral that carries his name, Matthew is recognized as the patron saint of civil servants.
Liz Weston: The tax credit fix many can't afford to miss
       
Families battered by the pandemic recession soon may discover that the tax refunds they’re counting on are dramatically smaller — or that they actually owe income tax. Congress offered a partial solution, but the fix hasn’t been widely publicized, consumer advocates say. But the unemployment insurance that kept many people afloat last year may cause problems at tax time this year. Unemployment benefits are taxable, but tax withholding is typically voluntary — and many people who lost jobs either didn’t know their unemployment checks would be taxed, or they decided against withholding. Further, unemployment benefits are not earned income and so don’t count toward two crucial tax benefits that keep millions of working families with children out of poverty: the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit.
The Gate Church mourns death of senior pastor Tony Miller
       
John Anthony "Tony" Miller, senior pastor of The Gate Church in Oklahoma City, died on Jan. 19. "Tony finished his race strong and fulfilled his mandate scripture of Acts 13:36, 'Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.' Bishop Miller fulfilled his purpose, ran his course with joy, and has handed the baton to us to run our race and fulfill our destiny in the Kingdom," said an obituary posted on the house of worship's website. Miller, a Warrenton, Virginia, native, had been in full-time ministry with his wife Kathy for more than 35 years. He was known internationally as a "pastor to pastors."
How to make your home a sanctuary even if COVID-19 arrives on your doorstep
       
How to make your home a sanctuary even if COVID-19 arrives on your doorstepWinter has brought with it a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, and while the rollout of preventive vaccines has begun, the manufacture and delivery of sufficient doses to inoculate all Americans will take months. Because the disease can be unpredictable, everyone should take precautions to mitigate its spread, especially when it makes an appearance at home. While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends physical distancing, mask wearing and other health-related measures, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers also recommends additional guidance when a household member is known to be infected, to help reduce risk to other household members. Filtrete Brand, a leading air filtration brand of 3M, also has made some of this information available at Filtrete.com/3M. First, prepare a clean sanctuary within your home, either an isolation space — for someone who has contracted COVID-19 — or a protected space for someone who may be at high risk of getting the coronavirus.
Bible lesson for Jan. 30
       
"If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you." — John 15:19Jesus told His true disciples — ones He had chosen out of the world — some sobering facts that will help all His faithful followers around the world. First, remember that Jesus still chooses His followers out of the world to become His loving friends and devoted disciples. Second, remember that Jesus’ true disciples do not belong to the world — they belong to Jesus — therefore, the world hates them.
Achievers: Independence Charter Middle School adds new Governance Board member
       
Independence Charter Middle School has added Tony Franklin, president and owner of Liaison Tech Operations, as a new Governance Board member. Superintendent Amanda Mann said she is excited about the addition of Franklin to the school’s governance board since he not only brings a new perspective to the board meetings, but he also has an appreciation for charter schools and how they can support learning for communities. Additionally, she said Franklin brings knowledge of the Oklahoma City corporate community and that his network will complement the efforts of Independence Charter as the school transitions to a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum. “I have observed under the current leadership team, that Independence Charter is poised to upgrade the standard of education in Oklahoma City, and I am excited to be a part of the work which will accomplish this goal,” Franklin said. Franklin will attend monthly meetings, which provide oversight for the school’s operation.
Cleveland County field-to-fork program benefits inmates, community
       
An agricultural program adjacent to the Cleveland County Detention Center will bring an opportunity for fresh produce and benefits to people working through the judicial system, Cleveland County Sheriff Chris Amason announced recently. “I made a commitment to start an agricultural program at the jail, and Bergen Enterprises offered to help in this endeavor,” Amason said. “Their generous offer of expertise and materials will help bring this important project to life.”Bergen Enterprises maintains a gardener on staff who oversees the garden program at Loveworks Leadership. She will expand her role from part-time to a full-time position providing hands-on guidance for the detention center’s agricultural program. "We are proud of the county's courageous step to provide the land and join us in the belief that people can be empowered," said Susan Bergen, of Bergen Enterprises.
Bible lesson for Feb. 6, 2021
       
He works as an indwelling defense attorney. When those of this world attack Christians, their defense attorney can give them the words to speak. When spiritually attacked, their defense attorney can remind them of Jesus’ words so they do not lose confidence in their Savior and Lord. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit could come only after He went away. Jesus went away when He died on the cross and later ascended into heaven, which He and the Father planned because they wanted to forgive repentant sinners and uphold the just laws and kingdom of God at the same time.
Taking the ACT? Cherokee Nation Foundation planning ACT Boot Camp for Native American students
       
The Cherokee Nation Foundation will offer a free virtual ACT Boot Camp for Native American students on March 27. The ACT Boot Camp will be led by MasteryPrep, an organization dedicated to building students’ confidence on test day by providing test-taking strategies and skills. Instructors will guide students through content strategies for all four subjects and administer practice tests to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses. The deadline to register for the boot camp is Feb. 26. Students interested in the course may call the foundation at 918-207-0950 or apply online at www.cherokeenationfoundation.org.
Achievers: Tecumseh student receives 2021 Horatio Alger National Scholarship
       
Skyra Wade, a Tecumseh High School student from Shawnee, was one of 106 students from across the country named as a recipient of the 2021 Horatio Alger National Scholarship, a $25,000 college scholarship. The scholarship recognizes students who have remained committed to continuing their education and giving back to their communities while overcoming great personal adversities and navigating the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, a news release stated. In addition to the $25,000 scholarship, when it is safe to do so, recipients will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the Horatio Alger National Scholars Conference and participate in college preparedness and other educational sessions, meeting their fellow scholars and the Horatio Alger Members who fund the scholarship programs. The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring students' achievements and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, anticipates awarding a total of $235 million in scholarships to more than 35,000 students by its 75th anniversary in 2022.
Stay in the know with a digital subscription to The Oklahoman
       
Stay in the know with a digital subscription to The OklahomanDo you know how many bills state lawmakers filed this year? More than 3,000 — from pandemic-related to Medicaid expansion, on redistricting to how we vote, and numerous anti-abortion bills. You may have missed that if you're not a subscriber to The Oklahoman. And while only about 20% of the bills filed have a shot at becoming law, there’s still a lot you can miss without even an opportunity to give your representative feedback — unless a reliable, trusted reporter is present to inform you every step of the way.
Bible lesson for Feb. 13
       
— John 16:13How can we tell the true disciples of Jesus from his many followers in the crowds? Jesus’ disciples believed his signs and what he said. Perhaps you can think of more characteristics, for Jesus’ true disciples think and act like Jesus’ first disciples. The Spirit teaches Jesus’ disciples what he hears from the Father and the Son, and Jesus’ disciples can pray to the Father and the Son. Because they know Jesus, their hearts rejoice in all circumstances and no one can take the joy of Jesus from them.
Shared Hope: God is at heart of couple's love story
       
His personal life is as impressive as his professional. He met his wife of 28 years when they were in high school — both the children of missionaries. If you are around Brewster for any time at all, you hear about the influence his parents had on his life. Phil and Retha Brewster live a love story that includes more than 29 years in the Philippines as missionaries. "My parents recently took the time to write down a bit of their personal history for me.
Okay, you’re vaccinated — now what?
       
A small dinner party with all attendees vaccinated would be the lowest-risk item on your list. I’d also be comfortable with taking a domestic plane flight, seeing family members and dining in occasionally at a restaurant. That’s especially true for restaurants, where you’re still going to want places with lots of social distancing, vigorous safety protocols, and where you won’t end up staying too long. These are environments where you’re potentially spending hours in an enclosed area with many people, and unlike a plane, chances are the air filtration systems are not great. Fortunately — or, unfortunately — the concert and movie theater question remains largely moot, as few, if any, opportunities exist right now.
Vaccine delays leave grocery workers feeling expendable
       
As panicked Americans cleared supermarkets of toilet paper and food last spring, grocery employees gained recognition as among the most indispensable of the pandemic's front-line workers. A year later, most of those workers are waiting their turn to receive COVID-19 vaccines, with little clarity about when that might happen. A decentralized vaccine campaign has resulted in a patchwork of policies that differ from state to state, and even county to county in some areas, resulting in an inconsistent rollout to low-paid essential workers who are exposed to hundreds of customers each day. “Apparently we are not front-line workers when it comes to getting the vaccine. She watches others getting vaccinated at the in-store pharmacy without knowing when she'll get her turn.
Oklahomans participate in Gov. Kevin Stitt's virtual prayer event
       
"United in Prayer," Governor Kevin Stitt's virtual prayer event on Tuesday, was a video montage of Oklahomans in various cities and backgrounds discussing the importance of prayer and offering prayer for the state, elected leaders, health care "front line" workers, people facing COVID-19 challenges and other concerns. The online prayer effort, which lasted about 35 minutes, was coordinated by Oklahoma Capitol Culture, a nonprofit led by the Rev. He said 1,520 people registered for the event, from 65 different counties across Oklahoma by his last count on Tuesday afternoon. "Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID, and in the midst of unprecedented weather conditions, the virtual prayer event was a wonderful success and connected Oklahomans from across the state through the power of prayer," Harder said. The division begins to break down as we pray together, setting political party and policy differences aside, and ask God to bless all in the state of Oklahoma."
Crime News in Oklahoma
       
NewsThough only 30, Kyle A. Elrod already had been in and out of prison twice for sex offenses, a credit card crime and drugs.
Toronto van attacker found guilty of killing 10, injuring 16
       
A sentencing hearing will be set mid-March in a case that is considered one of Canada's most horrific attacks. Molloy ruled that he was "criminally responsible for his actions." Because he raised a not criminally responsible defense, Bytensky would have had to prove that Minassian more likely than not had a mental disorder that affected his actions to this extent. - Stigmatizing autism -Advocacy groups had condemned the use of autism as a defense, concerned it would further stigmatize those with the disorder. Minassian had driven a rented van at high speeds along two kilometers (more than a mile) of roads and sidewalks, indiscriminately targeting passers-by.
Myanmar UN envoy, junta make rival claims to UN representation
       
Myanmar UN envoy, junta make rival claims to UN representationMyanmar's ambassador to the United Nations in New York has formally staked his claim as the country's legitimate representative while the junta seeks to replace him in a dispute that will likely have to be settled by the world body's 193 member states. FRANCE 24's Jessica Le Masurier tells us more.
Capitol Police say they have intelligence of a ‘possible plot’ by a militia group to breach US Capitol on Thursday
       
The threat comes nearly two months after thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win. So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died.
Dr. Fauci donates his personal 3D model of COVID to Smithsonian museum
       
Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci has donated his personal 3-D model of the coronavirus to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, which honored him with its Great Americans Medal. Fauci has helped save millions of lives and advanced the treatment and our understanding of infectious and immunologic diseases across more than five decades of public service,” museum Director Anthea Hartig said. Fauci, 80, who has led the nationwide COVID-19 response and is President Joe Biden’s science adviser, was asked by the museum to donate a personal item to mark the pandemic. He chose the lumpy blue and orange ball that he has used to explain the complexities of the virus in myriad interviews.
Elite pedigrees are the norm for the Right’s phony populists
       
But, as many have pointed out, their anti-elite screeds often neglect to mention their own elite pedigrees. Kennedy, who slammed the “cultured, cosmopolitan, goat’s milk latte-drinking, avocado toast-eating insider’s elite” at a Trump rally in Louisiana, went to Oxford University. To be clear, these guys didn’t invent populism — not even the phony kind that they and Trump have dined off of for years. It’s that these pretend populists are talking this way about “real Americans” in service of a guy — Trump — who clearly hates Americans. Their pedigree isn’t the real hypocrisy — you can be well-educated and also believe political leaders are too elitist.
Toronto van attack: Alek Minassian guilty of killing 10 people
       
A Canadian man who killed 10 people by ploughing a van into pedestrians in Toronto has been found guilty on all 26 charges related to the 2018 attack.
Matt Gurney: COVID shows why Canada can't depend on its friends when the chips are down
       
If you don’t believe me, check out their comments this week about sharing vaccines with Mexico and Canada. The issue was put before the White House through a Mexican request for assistance with securing vaccines. On Tuesday, Vicente Gonzalez, a Democratic congressman from Texas, told CNN that the U.S. should do its best to bail out Canada and Mexico once America’s needs are met. We have relatives on both sides of the border, we do business on both sides of the border, whether it’s Canada or Mexico. It’s not that our overriding assumption underpinning so much of our national policy — the Americans will defend us!
Cruz unleashes on Democrats after report finds 3 million 'students seem to have simply fallen off the grid' during remote learning
       
Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans excoriated Democrats and the government after a report found an estimated 3 million children have “fallen off the grid” and are not showing up to their virtual classes. STUDENTS GO MISSING AS REMOTE LEARNING TAKES HOLD DURING PANDEMICRep. Nancy Mace and others joined Cruz in condemning the government for lockdowns that reportedly resulted in so many children going missing. Good job,” Mace tweetedThis is what happens when anti-science fearmongers, petty tyrants, and government union officials are the ones making decisions. https://t.co/sMw5FGrWi6 — Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) March 2, 2021The consequences of failing to reopen our schools will affect our students for years to come. “South Dakota students have been learning IN THE CLASSROOM this entire school year,” South Dakota Gov.
Toronto Van Attacker Found Guilty in City’s Worst Mass Killing
       
TORONTO — The man who used his rental van as a weapon on a busy Toronto sidewalk in 2018, killing 10 people and badly injuring in the city’s worst mass killing, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder by an Ontario judge on Wednesday. Rejecting the novel argument that his autism spectrum disorder rendered him not criminally responsible, Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy ruled that the defendant, Alek Minassian, understood clearly what he was doing, despite the conclusion of several experts that he was incapable of feeling empathy because of his neurodevelopmental disorder. “This was the exercise of free will by a rational brain, capable of choosing between right and wrong. He freely chose the option that was morally wrong, knowing what the consequences would be for himself, and for everybody else,” said Justice Molloy, who throughout her verdict refused to identify the defendant by name, instead calling him “John Doe.”“It does not matter that he does not have remorse, nor empathize with the victims,” the judge said. Three years later, the event still haunts the city where mass killings are relatively rare.
Germany Places Far-Right AfD Party Under Surveillance for Extremism
       
BERLIN — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has placed the far-right Alternative for Germany under observation as a potential threat to the country’s democracy, officials said on Wednesday, setting the stage for a battle between the state and a party that is the main opposition in Parliament. It is the first time in Germany’s postwar history that a party represented in the federal Parliament has elicited such intense scrutiny, and it highlights an uneasy question facing the country’s institutions: What to do with a party that is considered a danger to democracy — but is popular in parts of the country and has become entrenched at all levels of politics? That question has particular resonance in an election year that will see Angela Merkel step down after 16 years as chancellor, a tenure in which she became a symbol of a Germany that has learned from its history and welcomes refugees. The leaders of the Alternative for Germany, AfD, as the party is known, routinely accuse Muslim immigrants of being criminals, attack the press and question the universalist principles of liberal democracy.
Will Smith says he’s never met a racist person who is also smart
       
Will Smith is speaking candidly about the racism he’s experienced. “I’ve been called [N-word] to my face probably five or six times,” the 52-year-old actor recently said on the “Pod Save America” podcast. “And fortunately for my psyche, I’ve never been called [N-word] by a smart person,” Smith continued. “Now they’re twins, for sure, but ignorance can be educated and evil is a much more difficult problem. And fortunately, ignorance is more prevalent than blatant evil.
Opinion | Here’s the simple way Canada could work without a governor general
       
On the contrary, when Julie Payette abruptly resigned as governor general amid scandalous claims of workplace harassment in January, Canada’s newspapers treated it with the utmost seriousness. The governor general has to sign off on the prime minister’s decision to call an election, and he or she must also identify Parliament’s leader to inaugurate as prime minister. These rote duties are often dressed up in language framing the governor general as a heroic figure who must single-handedly determine the will of Parliament’s majority, as if it was some cryptic riddle. Yet Parliament could easily just state its preference through a vote, and this is the obvious answer for what should replace the governor general. The apologists reply, “But who will be Canada’s head of state?” The answer: How about nobody?
Opinion | How Biden can show he’s serious about democracy
       
Biden has pledged to hold a “global democracy summit,” a positive signal that he cares about freedom and human rights. And currently, the United States doesn’t have their back. It’s a test of how much Biden cares about democracy, beyond speeches and summits. Biden should make it a priority to restore that light — both by repairing democracy at home and doing more to support democracy abroad. Biden should seize the opportunity to show he’s serious about global democracy by giving them that help.
Opinion: I don't know my dad as much as I thought I did. I'm racing against time to find out more
       
Yet when I pressed him about his favorite piece of music late last year -- was it something from Brahms? -- he replied somewhat foggily, "I don't know." Until last February, he would have regaled me with a boastful tale about some arcane piece of music he adored. Spending time with him has revealed how much I don't know about a man I consider my doppelganger and whom I can quote. I find it mildly unsettling that there are so many things I don't know about a man I thought I knew so well.
Children of color are more likely than white kids to participate in remote schooling — and lack live access to teachers
       
In that state, one in four families don’t have enough food to eat, and a quarter also don’t have internet access or access to a digital device for educational use. Meanwhile, despite COVID-19 having a relatively low death toll among children, a disproportionate share of coronavirus-related child deaths have been children of color. Meanwhile, many families with children have experienced “multiple and overlapping” struggles during this health and economic crisis. Children of color are also more likely than white children to be participating in remote schooling and to lack live access to their teachers; Black families are far more likely to lack access to digital devices or the internet. “Having access to enough food and continuing to learn are essential for a child’s healthy growth and development,” the report said.
Essential Politics: Kamala Harris enters a supermarket — and a security bubble
       
Good morning and welcome to the Essential Politics Newsletter — the Kamala Harris edition. This week, I thought I would offer a backstage glimpse into how strange even the most mundane places can feel when a president or vice president shows up. AdvertisementNewsletter Get our Essential Politics newsletter The latest news, analysis and insights from our politics teams from Sacramento to D.C. AdvertisementVice President Kamala Harris speaks with pharmacists during her visit to a Giant supermarket in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25. This type of preparation, security and theater is not new or unusual for a president or vice president.
El Sobrante dog thinks grooming sessions are playtime
       
I want to keep his coat clean and stop the shedding, but I don’t like taking him to the groomers. Patricia G., El SobranteDEAR PATRICIA: It might have been better had you started the grooming sessions when he was younger. Start by taking the dog into a room where there aren’t a lot of things to distract him. With one hand, start stroking your dog, and with the other, engage the dog with a toy or a treat. The point of these sessions is to get him used to being touched with a grooming tool.
Opinion: The public should decide replacement for Harvey Scott statue
       
Courtney WiltonWilton, a former chief financial officer for Energy Trust of Oregon and former interim chief operating officer for Portland Public Schools, retired in 2017. I know the statue of Harvey Scott at the top of the hill well and have watched its recent demise ­– and replacement – with interest. Here’s why:People are imperfect and it’s a mistake to judge them by their worst moments through our 21st century values. Does that mean Scott’s statue should stay? To get out of this mess, the city should take York down for now and set up a process to determine Scott’s appropriate replacement.
Pandemic puts 1 in 3 nonprofits in financial jeopardy
       
NEW YORK (AP) — More than one-third of U.S. nonprofits are in jeopardy of closing within two years because of the financial harm inflicted by the viral pandemic, according to a study being released Wednesday by the philanthropy research group Candid and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. The study's findings underscore the perils for nonprofits and charities whose financial needs have escalated over the past year, well in excess of the donations that most have received from individuals and foundations. The researchers analyzed how roughly 300,000 nonprofits would fare under 20 scenarios of varying severity. The worst-case scenario led to the closings of 38% of the nonprofits. Even the scenarios seen as more realistic resulted in closures well into double digit percentages.
DeWine faces choppy political waters 1 year into pandemic
       
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — At the beginning of 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was working on plans to battle algae blooms in Lake Erie, crack down on distracted driving, and figure out a way to save an Ohio minor league baseball team. The largely popular first-term Republican governor accepted an invitation to give the commencement address at Miami University in May. The 2022 election was a long way off, but some Democrats were already exploring challenges to DeWine. Annual economic impact on the city: more than $50 million.
Reports: Myanmar security forces shoot dead 8 protesters
       
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar security forces shot and killed at least eight people Wednesday, according to accounts on social media and local news reports, as authorities extended their lethal crackdown on protests against last month’s coup. Videos from various locations showed security forces firing slingshots at demonstrators, chasing them down and even brutally beating an ambulance crew. Their numbers have remained high even as security forces have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse the crowds, and arrested protesters en masse. According to the U.N. Human Rights Office, security forces killed at least 18 protesters Sunday. On Wednesday, there were reports of eight more deaths in four different cities, including a 14-year-old boy.
Letters to the Editor, March 3
       
LETTERS: One letter writer advocates for opening up TUSD classrooms to students as soon as possible. Agree or disagree, there is more where that came from in this edition of Letters to the Editor
Myanmar coup: UN ambassador says he is the legitimate representative
       
Myanmar coup: UN ambassador says he is the legitimate representativeMyanmar’s UN ambassador, who strongly opposed the military coup in his country, insists he remains the permanent representative to the United Nations, but the foreign ministry has informed the UN that the ambassador has been terminated and his deputy is now in charge. FRANCE 24's Chief Foreign Editor Rob Parsons tells us more.
Woman selling weed ripped off when her cousin reportedly paid in counterfeit cash
       
Although she did not check the cash carrying during the deal, upon arriving home, the woman grew suspicious that the cash was bogus. The woman knew precisely who supplied the fake bills, relaying that she had sold her cousin the weed, notes an MSP Tweet. In what can only be described as a surprising twist, a Michigan woman voluntarily admitted to police that she had sold weed illegally — but perhaps mostly because her cousin paid for the cannabis with counterfeit cash. Police report that they ultimately received counterfeit cash amounting to US$1,100 ($1,386). Cannabis and counterfeit cash are no strangers.
Moscow Museum News: Awards Received and Offered
       
Gulag History Museum The Gulag History Museum has been awarded the 2021 Council of Europe Museum Prize. Museum director Roman Romanov said, in accepting the award, that it was “a great honor and responsibility. We are happy that our museum’s projects were so highly judged by an international jury of experts. This is only the second time the award has been given to a museum in Russia. The first time it was given to the Museum Center of Krasnoyarsk World Square.” For more information about the museum and exhibitions, see the site here.
The Most Important Gun Lawsuit You’ve Never Heard Of
       
The gun, in her bag, sits in the front seat of the vehicle as she drives to work. She then brings the gun, still in the bag, to a meeting with colleagues at the office. She then takes the gun, in her bag, to lunch, where she sits at an outdoor cafe. Finally, she goes to a shooting range, where she takes the gun out and fires it at a target. In business and policy circles, and within the gun industry itself, the case is seen as the country’s most consequential legal battle over the future of gun control.
Trump Is Gone, but Democracy Is in Trouble
       
David A. Graham: Trump is threatening Republican prospects in 2022In a country with two major parties, democracy is safe only if both care more about preserving the political system than about beating their opponents. Until the Republican Party banishes Trump and drops his big lie, every presidential election will be a potential extinction-level event. With the exception of Trump, dictators and their admirers have had a very good year. Now a new report by Freedom House quantifies just how dire the situation is. Every year, more countries are moving from democracy to autocracy than from autocracy to democracy.
In COVID vaccination race, no one, especially the most vulnerable, should miss this shot
       
But the reality is that six weeks into Biden's term, even with three vaccines now available after emergency approval Saturday of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, it's still another thing to get it in people's arms. 'Let's not let COVID get us'An equitable vaccination protocol can be disrupted many other ways: By a persistent anti-vaccine mindset. In addition to mass vaccination sites and distribution through pharmacies, there's a Bronx initiative to set up vaccination sites in public housing. Fairfax County, Virginia, is offering free transportation to vaccine sites from far-out neighborhoods. The new single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine that can be stored in a common refrigerator would be well suited for the offices of family doctors and community clinics.
Pork barrel spending returns, more transparent and hopefully without the corruption
       
And soon thereafter, Hastert, the former high school teacher and wrestling coach, parlayed that land into a multi-million dollar windfall. Fighting 'pork' was a rallying cryThe backlash was strong enough that reforming the process instead of abolishing it was simply a non-starter. In the decade since the demise of earmarks, spending on highways, bridges, dams, buildings, airports and the like has not dropped like a rock. The spending has gone on, but the decisions about which projects and where have moved from Congress to executive agencies. To most congressional scholars, the loss of earmarks, if a small step away from some corruption, had bigger costs.
Got Climate Anxiety? These People Are Doing Something About It
       
Dr. Atkinson, in hopes of assuaging her feelings and those of her students, designed a seminar on eco-grief and climate anxiety. (In cases of extreme anxiety, Dr. Van Susteren said it was important to seek professional help.) Based in Boulder, Colo., Dr. Kritee (she has a single name) leads workshops and retreats for people experiencing climate grief. She also works with farmers in India whose livelihoods are directly threatened by the extreme droughts and floods that come with climate change. Dr. Kritee, who has a doctorate in biochemistry and microbiology, said she believed people of all backgrounds should process their feelings about climate change.
Essential California: More vaccine doses coming
       
Newsletter The stories shaping California Get up to speed with our Essential California newsletter, sent six days a week. Johnson & Johnson joined the field over the weekend, when its vaccine was authorized for inoculations. In an unusual partnership, Merck will now help produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in an effort to increase supply more quickly. Los Angeles TimesAdvertisementSupport our journalism Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times[See also: “Neera Tanden’s confirmation fight is the first morality play of post-Trump Washington” in the Los Angeles Times]California is failing many of its workers, according to a new report commissioned by Newsom.
As COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Mass., optimism spars with worry
       
The seven-day average of confirmed cases in Massachusetts fell to 1,115.9 on Monday, down from 1,397.9 on Sunday. Monday’s case count is still more than seven times the number of cases reported on July 4, when the virus was at its lowest level. While a top US health official expressed concern that the decline in COVID-19 cases may be stalling, the data in Massachusetts show a continuing drop-off in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. “That’s a lot of people.”The recent decline in cases nationally can partially be attributed to the end of the holiday season. Although national data suggest that the number of COVID-19 cases increased last week, experts attribute that to reporting anomalies.
Opinion: Let residents determine the fate of their own neighborhood
       
Proponents would have you think that eliminating your choice to live in a single-family homes neighborhood is sweeping the nation. The Minnesota State Supreme Court ruled against the City of Minneapolis on Feb. 10 in a lawsuit brought forward by the Audubon Society and Minneapolis residents challenging the controversial policy. We learned that most of our fellow neighbors across San Jose are unaware of this proposal and have formed a grassroots organization called Families and Homes San Jose (www.FamiliesHomesSJ.org). We sincerely hope this will serve as a clarion call to action for residents previously unaware of this pending change. Pierluigi Oliverio is a member of the San Jose Planning Commission and a former San Jose City Councilman.
Editorial: No more teacher excuses, time to return to the classroom
       
The deal they announced this week for enticing resumption of in-person instruction was an abdication of their responsibility to lead. It was a carrot rather than a much-needed stick, dangling $2 billion in front of school districts if they begin to reopen by the end of this month. CalMatters reports that only about one-fourth of California elementary students are in districts offering hybrid or in-person instruction. Left out of all of this are the rest of middle- and high-schoolers, for which there are still no state reopening guidelines, either through requirements or incentives. Like for most of the specifics, lawmakers and Newsom have left it to local school districts to wrestle with their teachers.
Our efforts to boost trade with Mexico are about to pay off (if Congress does its part)
       
Ever since, Arizona governors have sought the next best thing: a vibrant and energized trading relationship between Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. After all, a crucial driver of our economic growth is our relationship with Mexico – our largest trading partner. Major steps, from Lucid to consular IDThe border relationship was badly damaged by Senate Bill 1070, and has more recently suffered the headwinds of presidential diplomatic hostility. And it affects well over 100,000 people, many in the trading economy, and all of them Arizona consumers. Fred DuVal is a member of the state Board of Regents, a former senior White House aide and a 2020 Hunt-Kane Fellow.
Kings Park school district proposing return to full-time in-person learning
       
Kings Park School District Superintendent Timothy Eagen will present a plan on Tuesday for a phased return to five-day, in-person school for the district’s secondary students, he said at a Board of Education meeting this week. It could also push some students into full remote schooling because of safety concerns they might not have otherwise had, Eagen said. Most Kings Park secondary school students now combine in-person schooling and remote learning each week, a model many Long Island districts adopted last year to manage the risks of school attendance during the coronavirus pandemic. But parents, who rallied outside the district administration building before Tuesday's meeting, said they had seen little progress in Kings Park even as some neighboring districts, including Smithtown, returned to full-time schooling. Of the survey respondents, 16% said they would choose hybrid learning, and 9% said they would choose remote.
Letters: Beware conspiracy theorists. Do a little investigating yourself.
       
“QAnon, the Holocaust and conspiracy theories’ deadly power” is a headline on a March 2 Opinion column. We are witnessing a political conspiracy movement, much like the Nazis who shaped our past history. The conspiracy strategies allowed the Nazis to take power, exterminate 6 million Jews and “foreigners” and start World War II. Now we have Minnesota legislators making unconfirmed audits of Minnesota Covid deaths and reporting nearly half are not related to Covid. My message here is, conspiracy strategies have been used by many of history’s most corrupt leaders.
Opinion: Legislature should kill CARES Act tax breaks
       
A recent guest column in The Oregonian/OregonLive defended three tax breaks Congress included in the CARES Act as help for businesses that have suffered losses in the COVID contraction (“Don’t cut CARES Act lifeline to businesses,” Feb. 24). Kate Brown’s proposal—to sever Oregon’s automatic connection to these tax breaks. And it’s unlikely to benefit from these tax breaks. Why did Congress include these particular tax breaks in the CARES Act? And because they recognize that these tax breaks don’t help anyone who needs it.
Readers respond: Shame on Concordia leaders
       
There is much to be dismayed about by the treatment of LGBTQ students by Concordia University’s leaders as recounted in “Concordia: How years of internal strife over gay rights helped turn it into a ‘$400 million crater’ " (Feb. 26). Their casual defaming of the Gay-Straight Alliance club as “a ‘Hook-up’ club dedicated to promiscuity” stands out. That Concordia leaders would ban the club, and when faced with criticism for that, ban all campus clubs in an effort cancel the Gay-Straight Alliance, indicates the inequitable nature of their position. Kudos to the students, faculty and staff who showed true leadership and concern for the well-being of Concordia’s students who, gay and straight alike, sought an authentic path to walk with Christ. Concordia’s leaders have been decidedly un-Christ-like, if all too Christian.
Lamont strikes deal to bring casinos to your cell phone: Here are the details of Connecticut’s new online gambling agreement
       
After months of negotiations between the state and the two tribes, an agreement was announced with only the Mohegans. It is expected that the Mashantucket Pequots will still sign on to the deal. The Pequots have been unwilling to agree to a 20% tax on internet gambling.
Pennsylvania teachers, school staff to get 1-dose vaccine
       
Teachers currently are grouped in Phase 1B, along with child care workers, police, firefighters, grocery store workers and others considered to be essential workers. Statewide, Department of Education data shows about 121,000 public school and charter school teachers, plus another 100,000 full- and part-time support staff, as of last year. In Philadelphia, which gets vaccine shipments directly from the federal government, city officials expect to receive 13,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, with no additional doses for at least three weeks after. As of last month, about 450 of the state’s 500 school districts were offering at least some brick-and-mortar instruction, according to state data. About 1.3 million students are in those districts, while 440,000 students are in districts where instruction is strictly virtual.
Supreme Court likely to uphold Arizona voting restrictions
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year's elections. All six conservative justices, appointed by Republican presidents, suggested they would throw out an appellate ruling that struck down the restrictions as racially discriminatory under the landmark Voting Rights Act. The outcome could make it harder, if not impossible, to use the Voting Rights Act to sue over legislation that creates obstacles to voting in the name of election security. Civil rights group and Democrats argue that the proposed restrictions would disproportionately affect minority voters, important Democratic constituencies. Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, have proposed national legislation that would remove such security-driven obstacles to voting.
Kentuckians understand racism is real. Rand Paul should too
       
Charles BookerOpinion contributorLast week, Sen. Rand Paul tried to do what he does best: manufacture controversy and create cultural grievance to divide Kentuckians against each other. The piece expressed support for ending no-knock raids, but suggested that any mention of institutionalized or systemic racism was a lie. I want to respond to the specific argument first: no-knock raids should be banned, but not because race isn’t a factor. Kentuckians understand that what happened to Breonna Taylor wasn’t right. Related story:Kentucky Senate passes ban on many, but not all, no-knock warrantsBut not Rand Paul, who blocked the Emmett Till anti-lynching legislation.
Law in a Time of Crisis by Jonathan Sumption review – beyond the lockdown sceptic
       
Over the past 12 months he has emerged as a very different sort of public figure: the take-no-prisoners lockdown sceptic. This collection of essays, based on speeches Sumption has given over more than a decade, tries to pull the different sides of his intellectual persona together. Though law is their unifying theme, he begins with reflections on history and ends with a blistering attack on the government’s draconian response to Covid-19. How, his friends ask him, have you managed to write all those books while doing all that law? Though a remainer – which is slightly surprising given his other political positions – Sumption fully understands what motivated the other side.
Democrats’ Only Chance to Stop the GOP Assault on Voting Rights
       
That opportunity: using Democrats’ unified control of Washington to establish national election standards—by passing the omnibus election-reform bill known as H.R. 1, which is scheduled for a House vote today, and the new Voting Rights Act, which is expected to come to the floor later this year. Typically, the president’s party loses House and Senate seats in the first midterm election after his victory. This year, every House Democrat has already endorsed H.R. Senate Republicans are likely to try to kill these bills with a filibuster.
Global oil companies lobby carbon-capture technology to justify fossil fuels' expansion
       
The United Nations campaign Race to Zero recently published a paper identifying 20 pathways to reach net zero carbon emissions. In December, the British Oil & Gas Authority published a requirement that oil and gas development be “consistent with net zero” (despite approval of new offshore permits). What’s less fantastic is that many companies and countries are using ‘net zero’ to justify expanding the production of fossil fuels. This is something people living near fossil fuel infrastructure – and our global climate – simply can’t afford. Fossil fuel companies are using bloated estimates of nature-based and carbon capture technologies along with carbon markets to justify further fossil fuel expansion and production.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine: I put my faith in science, Moderna, and myself
       
Stacy TorresOpinion columnistAs someone whose immune system confounds me, I thought I’d wait longer to take the COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we may receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines but no data currently exist on their safety for us. I wrote that I planned to wait several months to the boyfriend of a United Kingdom health care worker, who sought information for her. Six weeks later, I took my first COVID-19 vaccine dose. A recent survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases showed a great reluctance among Black women especially to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In Democrats' paradise, borrowing is free, spending pays for itself, and interest rates never rise
       
Rest assured that the economy won’t miss a beat no matter how far or fast the minimum wage is raised. We have entered a magical world where borrowing is costless, spending pays for itself, stocks only rise and the dollar never falls. ADADOr consider the current debate about the minimum wage. ADADAlternatively, we could peg the minimum wage to the level necessary to bring a full-time worker above the poverty line. When combined with food stamps and a fair minimum wage, these programs could effectively end poverty among working families in America.
Gov. Larry Hogan: Open the damn schools – Biden must send this message loud and clear
       
This went beyond just keeping local public schools closed. Threatened by declining enrollments as parents frantically pulled their children out of public schools, Montgomery County ordered nonpublic schools to shut down as well. I called on every county school system to reopen by March 1. Yet, within hours, three large county school systems – Baltimore, Harford and Howard – announced that they would comply with the March 1 deadline and others soon followed. Mr. President, send the message loud and clear: Open the damn schools.
Blinken, Biden to outline global strategy with China as key focus
       
Most of Blinken’s speech, at least according to the excerpts, consists of pledges made repeatedly during the 2020 presidential campaign and since Biden won November’s election. Blinken will acknowledge that the world today is different from 2017, when Donald Trump took over as president, or even from 2009, when many current Biden administration officials worked for then-President Barack Obama. We’re looking at the world with fresh eyes,” Blinken is expected to say. That includes more consideration of the ways in which foreign policy, domestic policy and trade issues are intertwined. The Biden administration will weigh how its moves abroad affect American workers, Blinken will promise.
Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic
       
President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to combat COVID-19, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn’t just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic — he also has to manage people’s expectations for how soon the country will come out of it. The Biden administration has been moving to scale up capacity to administer vaccines at an ever-faster clip. In his first days in office, Biden had promised enough vaccine for all adults by the end of summer. “ADVERTISEMENTUnlike his predecessor, who frequently established goals he could not meet, Biden has tried to set modest expectations and then beat them.
Opinion: Congress should provide automatic, recurring COVID-19 relief checks until the jobs market recovers from the pandemic
       
One of the most effective pieces of that federal aid was the direct payments issued to individuals. Direct payments got money to families quickly so they could continue to buy essential goods such as groceries, gasoline and medicine. But the scale of the crisis, particularly for people of color, demands additional direct payments. Recurring direct checks are a powerful complement to other essential long-term structural racial equity measures, such as the Baby Bonds proposal one of us authored. We urge Congress to deliver relief — including additional checks — tied to economic indicators, and make these payments recurring until the economy recovers.
Opinion: Mitch McConnell is wrong — U.S. democracy doesn’t need the Senate’s filibuster rule
       
But the filibuster has survived, and it will likely continue to be a major obstacle to passing legislation. This same process is being used to try and pass President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package. In 2017, Republicans, having retaken the Senate, went one step farther by eliminating the use of the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees. Eliminating the filibuster would bring the federal government in line with the majority of U.S. states and democratic countries around the world. This was first published by The Conversation — “Most US states don’t have a filibuster – nor do many democratic countries“
Letters to the Editor: If Californians want cleaner cars on the road, they shouldn't buy dirty ones
       
("To save the planet from climate change, gas guzzlers have to die," March, 3) Virtually all credible sources stand behind its conclusion. Paul Scott, Santa Monica::To the editor: There’s too much talk about the importance of our personal automobiles in relation to climate change. But focusing on any one segment of our economy to address climate change is a mistake. In particular, I hope purple districts such as Orange County can exemplify how to find commonsense, bipartisan solutions that result in meaningful legislation to fight climate change. Let's show the rest of the nation how to put partisan bickering aside to pass real-world solutions that unite us in the fight against climate change.
Hey Florida Republicans, Fidel Castro would just love your Bright Futures crackdown | Opinion
       
Nothing highlights the comparison better than state Republicans’ latest bid to ideologically manipulate education by steering students away from a liberal-arts education that might teach them to think critically. Florida students are awarded this financial aid based on merit and hard work, paid for by Floridians’ investment in the state’s lottery. After all, the infamous dictator’s education system did just that: told students and parents what school choices to make. The Republican-dominated state Legislature has been trying for years to turn Florida colleges and universities into graduation mills for conservatives. With each legislative session, state Republican lawmakers’ actions take on an uncanny resemblance to Cuba’s repressive brand of rule.
China's Rubber-Stamp Congress Set to Kick Off
       
It's the second time in as many weeks that Xia Baolong, the head of Beijing's Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, has made such public musings. There will be greater fanfare than normal, with the Chinese Communist Party leading up to the 100th anniversary of its founding in July. Beijing believes one of the "root causes" of the 2019 demonstrations was the lack of "patriots governing Hong Kong." Still, it is not inefficient enough to hold back China's economic juggernaut. Nomura calculates China's GDP may rise 8.8% in 2021, which is faster than the Communist Party has outlined in past targets.
Today’s Headlines: ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
       
Enter email address Sign Me Up You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. “There is light at the end of the tunnel,” Biden said at the White House. FROM THE ARCHIVESOne hundred twenty-four years ago this week, what is now Los Angeles Harbor officially began to take shape. Mosher — Times, Los Angeles: Let the Eagle scream some more and louder, and yet more loud. Support our journalism Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.
Opinion: A guide to how America can revive the political center
       
There were 240 million eligible voters in the United States last fall, and Joe Biden and Donald Trump each got approximately one-third of their votes. Moreover, millions who cast their votes for Biden did not do so with passion, and the same holds for Trump. The new president and his fellow Democrats newly in control of Congress need to think seriously about these figures. Many are moderates and independents, Most are what political scientists call “low information voters.” And a good share are younger than 30. Dave Anderson edited “Leveraging: A Political, Economic and Societal Framework” (Springer, 2014) and has taught at five universities.
Opinion: Chinatown attacks won’t divide Black and Asian communities
       
You probably started seeing the headlines a few weeks ago suggesting that Oakland Chinatown was being targeted with hate crimes. Reddit and NextDoor were crawling with trolls claiming knowledge of supposed widespread anti-Asian American bigotry in Black communities. “Oaklanders Combat Chinatown Attacks with Volunteering, Mutual Aid,” and “Black, Asian Communities Show Solidarity With Oakland Rally.”Our Black and Asian communities have come together to push back against anti-Black and anti-Asian violence in recognition that all violence comes from the same root causes: white supremacy and capitalism. This is what we mean when we say that all violence is state violence. This violence is a byproduct of generations of stolen labor from Black communities through enslavement, of white supremacy enforced through Jim Crow, and of systematic disinvestment in and overpolicing of Black communities to create conditions of poverty.
Triple murder case leads to investigation of Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board
       
State agents have begun an investigation into the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board and whether any wrongdoing there resulted in the release of two inmates from prison by mistake. Kevin Stitt requested the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation examine the issue after one inmate, Lawrence Paul Anderson, was accused of fatally stabbing three people in Chickasha on Feb. 9 after getting out of prison early. Anderson, 42, has confessed, saying he cut out one victim's heart to eat, according to court affidavits. He was released in January after the governor commuted his sentence for drug dealing and other crimes to nine years. The governor signed the commutation after the Pardon and Parole Board recommended it by a 3-1 vote last year.
Giving kids a break is the best way for them to 'catch up' after a year of disruption
       
Much of the debate has focused on how to help pupils “catch up” on their “lost learning”. This narrative is profoundly unhelpful and potentially damaging, due to the psychological pressure it places on children and young people. If we really want to boost long-term academic attainment, then we need to let the kids reconnect and play together again. Many teachers are close to burnout and need support for their own wellbeing. But before “catching up” on learning let’s allow pupils to catch up with each other and with staff.
Teenager latest to be shot dead as Myanmar army opens fire on peaceful protests
       
In one photo, the young woman crouches among fellow anti-coup protesters looking defiantly towards Myanmar's security forces, wearing a black T-shirt that says ‘everything will be ok'. Minutes later, she was dead - another young life suddenly snuffed out simply for demanding democracy. Myanmar’s security forces are increasingly turning to lethal force, and apparently shooting to kill with impunity, as they try to stem the relentless tide of protests against the Feb. 1 military takeover that ousted and detained the country’s civilian leadership. The young woman was said to be just 19 and named on social media and by local journalists as Deng Jia Xi. In her final Facebook post on Sunday – when at least 18 died in the nation’s bloodiest protests to date – she offered to donate blood to anyone who needed it.
Rupert Everett feels 'no guilt' over six-year affair with Paula Yates
       
Rupert first detailed his six-year affair with Paula during an extract for the Daily Mail called My Life With the Divas, part 2. Rupert described first meeting Paula and Bob for dinner in 1982 (pictured 1994)Rock chickPaula was his perfect foil. After she and Bob came to see me on stage, we went out for dinner. Shortly before he died in 1997, Michael and Paula came to a play I was doing at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith. Either way, Paula didn't recover.
Budowsky: Biden's midterm Morning in America
       
Members of the House and Senate who know these companies should not be shy about contacting them to suggest this. As the 2022 midterm elections come closer, there are high odds that Biden will be riding a wave of public popularity building on his already high levels of popularity. At this moment Biden is advancing his COVID-19 relief bill that is hugely popular with voters, while Republicans are aggressively opposing it. Prediction: after the COVID-19 bill passes, and Americans receive relief checks, and funding for vaccines increases, and COVID-19 cases fall further, and our economic recovery surges — a Biden midterm Morning in America will describe politics in America in 2022. Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.
U.S. Infrastructure Earns a C- Grade Ahead of a Biden Spending Plan: Live Updates
       
ET U.S. Infrastructure Earns a C- Grade Ahead of a Biden Spending Plan: Live UpdatesU.S. infrastructure earns a C- ahead of a Biden investment plan. Improving national infrastructure enough to earn a B grade will require an investment of $2.6 trillion over the next decade, the American Society of Civil Engineers said. Improving national infrastructure enough to earn a B grade will require an investment of $2.6 trillion over the next decade, the engineering society said. Despite the dire warnings, the new one bore some good news: The C– is a slight improvement on the D or D+ the group had awarded since 1998. Still, only two of 17 categories were graded better than a C: America’s ports earned a B– and rail a B.
Kids in these states have had the toughest time during COVID-19
       
Children in several Southern states have fared the worst during COVID-19, according to a new report on how kids across the U.S. have experienced hunger, remote-learning disadvantages and trouble with household bills. “Even in the best states, the poorest families are often much more likely to suffer the negative effects of COVID than the wealthiest families,” the authors said. Meanwhile, despite COVID-19 having a relatively low death toll among children, a disproportionate share of coronavirus-related child deaths have been children of color. A quarter of kids, particularly those in rural areas, don’t always have the necessary distance-learning tools. “Having access to enough food and continuing to learn are essential for a child’s healthy growth and development,” the report said.
Rouse confirmed as first Black economist to head Council of Economic Advisers
       
By Andrea ShalalWASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Cecilia Rouse as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, making her the first Black economist to serve in the post. Rouse was confirmed in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 95-4, with one senator not voting. She will join other powerful women in top economic posts across the Biden administration, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who was also confirmed on Tuesday. Rouse served on the council in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011, the worst years of the previous economic crisis. She also served in a Clinton White House economic policy post.
Former CIA chief says he is ‘increasingly embarrassed’ to be a white man
       
She first proposed the idea of a wealth tax during the Democratic presidential primary in 2019. The problem with a wealth tax Warren’s wealth tax aims to change that. Unlike an income tax, a wealth tax reaches the root of both wealth and income inequality. There’s only one snag: There are strong arguments that a federal wealth tax is unconstitutional. The income tax is a direct tax and constitutional because of the 16th Amendment, which specifically allows income taxes without apportionment.
Column: The Republican Party’s biggest problem is spelled T-R-U-M-P
       
That about sums up the Republican Party’s Donald Trump problem. “Ronald Reagan taught us that politics is all about addition — about building a coalition,” Scott Reed, a longtime GOP strategist, told me. Besides, Trump hasn’t been very successful at helping GOP candidates win House or Senate seats. Many GOP strategists blame Trump for their loss of the Senate, which occurred after he intervened energetically in two Georgia runoff elections. Polls show that most Republican voters remain fiercely loyal to Trump and say they would gladly vote for him again.
Op-Ed: My low-level anxiety about being Asian in America has morphed into fear
       
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant uptick in hate crimes against Asians in America. As children, some of us refused to learn to speak Korean. Next to her, I would open up my doshirak, a Korean lunch box packed with fried rice, meat and vegetables and a pair of chopsticks that fit neatly inside. But this week, this low-grade anxiety has morphed into actual fear. AdvertisementI am hoping the coming herd immunity against the coronavirus might bring with it a new era of racial tolerance.
Boston neighborhoods hit hardest by virus have lowest vaccination rates
       
Conversely, the neighborhoods with the highest vaccination rates — including West Roxbury, the South End, and Jamaica Plain — have experienced much lower rates of infection since the beginning of the pandemic. The Boston neighborhoods with the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates — East Boston, Mattapan, and Dorchester — have endured some of the highest levels of coronavirus cases in the city, according to newly released data from the Boston Public Health Commission. “Right now, our hardest hit neighborhoods are also the neighborhoods that are the lowest vaccinated by population,” he added. That’s followed by Asian residents (15,115 first doses per 100,000) and Black residents (14,089 first doses per 100,000). Latino residents have by far the lowest vaccination rate in the city at 8,086 first doses per 100,000 people.
Column: Teachers union boss in California caught taking daughter to private school becomes poster boy for school choice
       
Taxpayers who’ve wanted their children back in school for months as the pandemic began to wane, and as vaccines have become available, have been routinely subjected to angry criticism on social media. If they dare speak up, they’re hated on and race-shamed by union leaders and their allies whose wages they subsidize through their tax dollars.
They still don't get it, 30 years on
       
Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment, but was herself ambivalent about whether what she said he did rose to the level of illegality. But my mother responded with a rare fury, saying, "No, you DON’T get it, and you won’t listen. I’ve been working in offices for 30 years and this is how men treat women, including your wife, and it’s bull@#$%! It is extraordinary that three decades after the Thomas hearings, Cuomo felt comfortable behaving this way. "They just don’t get it," we were told, and it was true, and too often it is still true.
Letters: AmeriCorps, article offers inspiration
       
Letters to the EditorAmeriCorps Week offers chanceto celebrate volunteers' serviceAs our communities continue to confront the devastating impacts of COVID-19, now one year later, national service is playing a more critical role than ever. Ohio AmeriCorps members’ service has been crucial in moving communities forward through a year of challenges brought on by COVID-19. They also serve at nonprofits and community organizations working to address the lingering opioid epidemic, food insecurity and social health disparities. AmeriCorps members are the boots-on-the-ground support in our communities. Let us all work toward, to quote Eric Troy, a "say-to-do ratio of 100%" when we commit to being anti-racist.
Opinion: 'High danger' domestic violence calls up during pandemic, funding slashed
       
Overall, VOCA grants to domestic violence programs in Ohio were cut by $7.7 million in October. Domestic violence programs, including CHOICES, need a more robust, stable funding source to count on every year. In fiscal year 2022, domestic violence programs need a $5 million annual line item in the State of Ohio budget. More:Reports of domestic violence spike in central OhioMeanwhile, the need for emergency shelter and support services for Ohio families struggling with domestic violence is greater now than ever before. Domestic violence fatalities in Ohio increased by 35% from July 2019 through June 2020, according to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network’s annual count, and preliminary data shows domestic violence homicides continue to rise countrywide.
Reports: Myanmar security forces shoot dead 6 protesters
       
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar security forces shot and killed at least six people Wednesday, according to accounts on social media and local news reports, as authorities extended their lethal crackdown on protests against last month’s coup. Videos from various locations showed security forces firing slingshots at demonstrators, chasing them down and even brutally beating an ambulance crew. Their numbers have remained high even as security forces have repeatedly fired tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds to disperse the crowds, and arrested protesters en masse. The intensifying standoff is unfortunately familiar in the country with a long history of peaceful resistance to military rule — and brutal crackdowns. The coup reversed years of slow progress toward democracy in the Southeast Asian nation after five decades of military rule.
Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic
       
“But again,” he added, “it depends upon if people continue to be smart and understand that we still can have significant losses. “Unlike his predecessor, who frequently established goals he could not meet, Biden has tried to set modest expectation and then beat them. His initial goal to administer 100 shots in his first 100 days will be easily surpassed. He raised eyebrows recently when he suggested Christmas, and then again on Tuesday when he pointed to early 2022. But some public health experts worry that Biden may be overcorrecting.
‘The East Is Rising’: Xi Maps Out China’s Post-Covid Ascent
       
China’s leaders have seized on the country’s success in extinguishing coronavirus infections as vindicating Mr. Xi’s high-pressure, top-down rule. Having emerged triumphantly from the pandemic, Mr. Xi will look to further centralize his power, said Lynette H. Ong, a political scientist at the University of Toronto. The prospects for Mr. Xi’s plans also depend on questions that go unmentioned in official pronouncements: How long does he intend to rule? China’s political and economic elites are likely to grow increasingly jittery in private about when and how Mr. Xi will promote a potential successor, or stable of successors. The post ‘The East Is Rising’: Xi Maps Out China’s Post-Covid Ascent appeared first on New York Times.
Will you be ready to go to work when the pandemic ends? KCTCS can help
       
KCTCS College presidentsOpinion contributorsIn a few months, we hope the worst of COVID-19 is behind us. The answer is: Yes, if Kentuckians seek training from one of the 16 colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Typically, when unemployment is high, enrollment in community college increases, but that hasn’t happened during COVID. So, will you be ready to go work when the pandemic ends? To be sure you are, visit the KCTCS website for information on programs, scholarships and more that are available at your local college.
In education and politics, 'personal truths' shouldn't trump facts
       
The university hired a law firm to conduct a thorough investigation and found the student’s accusations of racism were unsupported by the facts. The story, at its core, is of a person constructing an alternate reality inside an ecosystem that nurtures “personal truth” over, well, actual truth. But at the same time the American right plots a return to power by presenting itself as the cure to this galaxy brain thinking, it has largely succumbed to a “personal truth” narrative of its own. This, even though videos and court filings clearly show plenty of authentic Trump supporters ransacking the seat of our government. Johnson, just like the others, has constructed a “personal truth” (or, if you’d rather, is pushing Trump’s personal truth) to explain a perceived injustice — in this case, the erroneous view that the election was stolen from Trump.
Global oil companies have committed to 'net zero' emissions. It's a sham
       
The United Nations campaign Race to Zero recently published a paper identifying 20 pathways to reach net zero carbon emissions. In December, the British Oil & Gas Authority published a requirement that oil and gas development be “consistent with net zero” (despite approval of new offshore permits). What’s less fantastic is that many companies and countries are using “net zero” to justify expanding the production of fossil fuels. In November, it committed to a target of “net zero” emissions. Fossil fuel companies are using bloated estimates of nature-based and carbon capture technologies along with carbon markets to justify further fossil fuel expansion and production.
Europe's calamitous vaccine programme has surely killed off the case for ever-closer union
       
Never before have all the main engines of European integration caught fire simultaneously. Worse still for believers in the grand project of European integration, is that the full horrendous consequences of the great inoculation bungle have yet to play out. A failure of high politics is going to lead to many thousands more preventable deaths of European citizens. This failure of the European system of governance – the consequence of an obsession with ever-closer union – is so serious that it is likely to have profound and long-lasting impacts. If Britain had not chosen to go its own way, the failure could have been camouflaged somewhat.
FM Chung meets victim of Japan's wartime sexual slavery
       
Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong met with a victim of Japan's wartime sexual slavery Wednesday, as Seoul seeks to defuse persistent historical tensions with Tokyo amid Washington's calls for tighter trilateral cooperation with its key Asian allies. "We need to persuade Japanese Prime Minister Suga to take the issue to the ICJ and verify (the truth). We also need to bring the Harvard professor there and uncover (the truth)," Lee told reporters after the talks with Chung. In response to Lee's appeal to refer the sexual slavery issue to the Hague-based international court, Chung said that it is a "matter that requires a prudent review." Lee stressed the need to bring the case to the international court to clarify Tokyo's responsibility for the wartime atrocity.
Donald Trump's "real" legacy to America: The weaponization of an alternate reality
       
Sen. Ted Cruz is a proud disciple of Donald Trump's legacy to America — his weaponization of alternate reality . No, they made a purposeful decision to follow their cult leader into the abyss of his alternate reality. Advertisement:A large swath of America has adopted and internalized Trump's use of alternate reality . And now, they believe that the use of alternate reality by both politicians and followers is smart and effective strategy. Advertisement:President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are the antidotes to Trump's alternate reality.
Fauci presents his personal virus model to Smithsonian
       
Fauci presented the donation Tuesday night in a virtual ceremony to honor him with the museum’s Great Americans Medal. (Smithsonian's National Museum of American History via AP)This image from video provided by Smithsonian's National Museum of American History shows Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, holding his personal 3D model of the COVID-19 virus he is donating to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on Tuesday, March 2, 2020. Fauci presented the donation Tuesday night in a virtual ceremony to honor him with the museum’s Great Americans Medal. (Smithsonian's National Museum of American History via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the U.S. government’s pandemic response, has donated his personal 3D model of the COVID-19 virus to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The museum on Tuesday honored Fauci with its Great Americans Medal.
Opinion | Can Republicans Make Populism Work Without Trump?
       
Republicans will spend the next 20 months debating and deciding whether Trumpism will be on the ballot in 2022. Will party leaders continue to embrace Donald Trump’s populist rhetoric? Can it resonate with voters if Trump isn’t the one saying it? Ross Douthat, an Opinion columnist at The New York Times, and Michael Brendan Dougherty, a senior writer at National Review, offer their own definitions of populism and debate with Jane populism’s merits, if Trumpism is real and whether Trump allies in the Republican Party will be the future or the demise of the Grand Old Party.
Georgia Takes Center Stage in Battle Over Voting Rights
       
ATLANTA — After record turnout flipped Georgia blue for the first time in decades, Republicans who control the state Legislature are moving swiftly to implement a raft of new restrictions on voting access, mounting one of the biggest challenges to voting rights in a major battleground state following the 2020 election. Two bills, one passed by the House on Monday and another that could pass the Senate this week, seek to alter foundational elements of voting in Georgia, which supported President Biden in November and a pair of Democratic senators in January — narrow victories attributable in part to the array of voting options in the state. The Republican legislation would undermine pillars of voting access by ending automatic voter registration, banning drop boxes for mail ballots and eliminating the broad availability of absentee voting. The bills would restrict early voting on the weekends, limiting the longstanding civic tradition of “Souls to the Polls” in which Black voters cast ballots on Sunday after church services. Taken together, the new barriers would have an outsize impact on Black voters, who make up roughly one-third of the state’s population and vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
US says Russian intelligence behind Navalny poisoning and sanctions multiple officials
       
And the institutions that tend to enroll higher proportions of historically underrepresented groups – including African Americans – also tend to be the least well funded. Student loan debt also disproportionately affects Black Americans. Four years after they graduate, Black Americans have $25,000 more debt than their white counterparts, in part because of additional graduate borrowing and accrual of interest. Consequently, African Americans face more difficulties repaying loans than their white counterparts. This action could range from economic reparations and endowment-building at HBCUs to debt forgiveness for Black students.
Tactical shift: Europe seeks vaccine 'overdrive' to catch up
       
BERLIN (AP) — Slow off the blocks in the race to immunize its citizens against COVID-19, Germany faces an unfamiliar problem: a glut of vaccines and not enough arms to inject them into. Like other countries in the European Union, its national vaccine campaign lags far behind that of Israel, Britain and the United States. Now there are growing calls in this country of 83 million to ditch the rulebook, or at least rewrite it a bit. Germans watched with morbid fascination in January as Britain trained an army of volunteers to deliver coronavirus shots, then marveled at the fact that the U.K. — hit far worse by the pandemic than Germany — managed to vaccinate more than half a million people on some days. The U.S. drive-thru inoculation centers and the COVID-19 shots given out in American grocery store pharmacies drew bafflement in Germany — that is, until the country's own plans for orderly vaccine appointments at specialized centers were overwhelmed by the demand.
Will vaccines get teachers back in school?
       
It seems simple — once teachers get the vaccine they will embrace in-person learning. How much air is coming in from outside?” asked Beth Kontos, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts. “There is increasing data to suggest that schools can safely reopen and that safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely,” Walensky said. Massachusetts Teachers Association president Merrie Najimy slammed the plan, saying the focus should instead be on vaccinating educators. So what the commissioner is doing is waving a magic wand saying problems are solved, and then implementing unilateral authority and usurping the decisions of every school committee.”Now Biden is throwing his weight behind vaccinating teachers.
Letters to the editor
       
He repeatedly pressed Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in 2010 over his firm’s role in the mortgage securities business, fully expecting to frame Blankfein as a villain. No one told Levin that the clients were fully aware of Goldman’s multiple roles in packaging these securities. It is fairly obvious that when the money was to be distributed, that BLM did not really matter to our state leaders, unless of course it was for a photo op. People need to take note and see how we are lied to on a daily basis from our state leaders and yet we still elect these same people to office. Ongoing attendance restrictions continue to threaten many racetracks along with other entertainment venues, which provide jobs and are integral to communities.
EXPLAINER: Pope's risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians
       
Today, the families of his Chaldean Catholic parish number 500, evidence of the massive exodus of Christians who fled the extremists and never returned. Shamasha says Francis will be welcomed by those who stayed, even though his message of interfaith harmony is sometimes difficult for Iraqi Christians to hear. “The first ones who came to rob our houses were our (Muslim) neighbors,” Shamasha told reporters ahead of the trip. Francis is going to Iraq precisely to encourage these Christians to persevere and remain, and to emphasize that they have an important role to play in rebuilding Iraq. Estimates vary, but Iraqi Christians were believed to number around 1.4 million in 2003.
A lot can happen in a year: 7 things that helped define Kentucky's year of COVID-19
       
Kentucky has reached one year since the first COVID-19 case, a Harrison County resident, came to light in Lexington. In April, a Gravity Diagnostics partnership provided 2,000 tests a day, followed by Walgreens drive-thru locations, Kroger partnerships and more. Background:What's limiting COVID-19 testing in Louisville? He died in early April after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms and had to be intubated. More:Those we've lost to the coronavirus in Kentucky and Southern IndianaHis famous song, "Paradise," payed homage to his hometown in Muhlenberg County.
Here's how the Government can accelerate the lifting of lockdown
       
The least problematic acceleration would be to enact the scheduled March 29 measures from March 8. In that case there is also no issue of the claimed need to wait for five weeks between steps. Measures currently scheduled for Step 4 in June could be accelerated to May if the data are good enough. Measures scheduled for May could be accelerated to April. And measures scheduled for April could be accelerated to March 29.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
       
In this Feb. 27, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks on the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. From Iran to Russia, Europe to Latin America, Biden has sought to cool tensions that rose during President Donald Trump’s four years in office. “There has been huge deviation between what they believe China is and what China really is,” Yu said.
Opinion: What's happening in Texas and Mississippi has to stop
       
(CNN) The historic winter storm that crippled Texas during the third week of February spotlighted the Lone Star State's pervasive history of structural racism. The storm's aftershocks continue to be felt in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi where many Black and brown residents continue to lack power, clean drinking water and shelter. The conservative free-market ideology that led to the deregulation of Texas utilities has been catastrophic on racially segregated and economically impoverished communities. Abbott's false claims that the winter storm "showed how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal" for America reflects the Orwellian nature of American politics. The failure of political leadership and moral imagination of the Texas governor is boundless.
COVID and school: No, we can't open like the NFL
       
Right now, roughly one third of American public school students are coming up on a year of no in-person instruction, according to website Burbio, which has been tracking school reopenings across the country. Throughout the school year, private schools and open public schools across the country (and abroad) have shown they are not hotbeds of COVID transmission. Even if one only addresses the one-third of school districts that are currently closed, that’s about 18 million people. Private schools have been operating in good faith with good results sometimes blocks from shuttered public schools since near the start of the school year. Weingarten could also reference the 37% of public school districts that opened in fall of 2020.
France, allies to push on with protest at IAEA over Iran's activities: foreign minister
       
Refinery29Like many readers of Somos, I was born in the U.S. but have roots in the Caribbean: My parents were born in the Dominican Republic, and I grew up celebrating Dominican Independence Day. I knew that speaking about how Dominican Independence Day and Dominican anti-Blackness are linked was a small but important thing to do. So, we published a social collaboration with community organization Incultured Co. on Somos’ Instagram page with an accompanying article. At Somos, we’ve addressed anti-Blackness across Latinidad from Panama to El Salvador to Colombia. Saldaña called on us to apologize, but we will not apologize for working to dismantle the anti-Blackness that exists within Latinidad.
Former Student Once Thought to Be Victim of Alleged Sarah Lawrence Sex Cult Is Now Charged in Case
       
Image zoom Lawrence Ray | Credit: HONS/AP/ShutterstockPollok, of Staten Island, was 19 when Ray began counseling her after a bad breakup before he allegedly began staying at times in her dorm room, according to the New York article. After graduation, Pollok allegedly moved in with Ray and traveled with him, according to New York. During the investigation, prosecutors labeled Pollok "a victim, a victim, a victim — up until they want to charge her," her aunt, Liz Jeffrey, told the Times. Cult allegedly began with 'therapy sessions'Prosecutors say Ray's bizarre scheme began in late 2010 when he moved into his daughter's on-campus dorm room during her sophomore year. Ray "exploited that vulnerable time in these victims' lives through a course of conduct that shocks the conscience," Berman alleged.
The Pandemic Will End—but Covid-19 May Be Here to Stay
       
For all the chaos of vaccine distribution and appointment-making, Covid-19 vaccination in the United States is going better than it initially seemed. As of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker showed almost 58 million doses had been given out. Last Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced that his administration may arrive early at its goal of giving 100 million shots in 100 days. First, we need to do everything possible to reduce the number of illnesses and deaths occurring in this current emergency. It got very close to eradication, but when the pandemic halted vaccination efforts, cases rebounded again.)
Freedom House report shows further worldwide decline in Democracy
       
Freedom House grades individual countries on 25 indicators that evaluate the health of a given nation’s democracy (or lack thereof). The cumulative score then enables the organization, which has been in operation since 1941, to rank a given country as “Free,” “Partly Free,” or “Not Free” (see map below). Freedom House judged Kyrgyzstan to be “Not Free.”As in previous years, major pro-democracy protests rocked various parts of the world. For years, Freedom House was seen by some critics on the left as a platform for Cold War moralizing, a cog in a larger Washington apparatus aimed at justifying American hegemony. But Freedom House also took issue with the United States.
Psaki’s clean-up of her misfired claim about sanctioning a nation’s leader
       
The United States did not have diplomatic relations with only two of those countries — Iran and North Korea — when the sanctions were imposed. Moreover, even if the United States had diplomatic relations with these countries, relations were fairly rocky with the leaders by the time sanctions were imposed. ADPsaki told us that the distinction she was trying to make is that the United States generally does not sanction a leader of a country where the United States traditionally has close, long-standing relations. The Biden administration is trying to recalibrate those relations; Biden has only spoken to the Saudi king, not the crown prince. ADADThe reality is that it would have been unusual to levy sanctions on the leader of a country that has long enjoyed close relations with the United States.
Texas still needs a mask mandate, governor
       
Greg Abbott’s impulse Tuesday to essentially declare victory against the virus by ending a statewide mask mandate and permitting all Texas businesses to open at 100% capacity beginning Wednesday. While businesses deserve the chance to get back on their feet, the governor needed to maintain the mask mandate to give those same businesses the cover they need to require their patrons to wear a mask. Business owners, and particularly small business owners, have suffered greatly from loss of income. Abbott recognized how dangerous this self-serving mentality was and — with some reluctance — implemented a statewide mask mandate and limited business operations. He could have done that by keeping the mask mandate as a way to protect the very business owners he wants to help.
The Chancellor should set entrepreneurs free if he wants to rescue the economy
       
Quite how low they feel their taxes actually are or how grateful they will be to a Chancellor who maintains them at this level remains to be seen. For those of us who believe the best prospects of an economic recovery lie in setting entrepreneurs free, the prevailing political consensus is grim. In fairness to the current Government, it was initially confronted with the complex but pressing task of getting Brexit done. They do not look likely to emerge in today’s budget though. That is likely to be a grim and a depressing task, but it will also be a vitally important one.
Biden’s stimulus trade-offs
       
Yes, that stimulus package ended up costing just $831 billion — less than half of what Biden is proposing. Given this, Summers argues that Biden’s plan is at least three times larger than necessary. The real-world impact of relief — such as the $1,400 stimulus checks the Biden plan would give most Americans — is also more complicated than Summers seems to think. Summers, for his part, is more concerned about getting Biden’s broader economic agenda implemented — and that will be very difficult if interest rates rise. While Summers may be overstating the inflation threat, a careful review of Biden’s plan along the lines he proposes is probably a good idea.
China says 'patriotism' in Hong Kong means loving the party
       
Within Hong Kong, the crackdown continued with the arrest on Sunday of 47 former lawmakers and activists charged with conspiracy to commit subversion, which carries a possible life sentence. Meanwhile, the western world continues to support Hong Kong, with Canada announcing on Feb. 5 — days after a British initiative to accept up to 5 million Hong Kongers came into effect — that Hong Kong residents could apply for work permits that could lead to permanent residency. Thus, Xia suggests that Hong Kong people now have an obligation to support the communist party. Hong Kong’s Basic Law provides that foreigners can serve as judges and up to 20% of legislators can be foreign nationals. Frank Ching is a U.S. journalist based in Hong Kong who frequently writes on China-related issues.
Suns overcome Booker's ejection, hold off Lakers 114-104
       
Its report, released in the last days of the Trump administration, suggested that all Americans are “united by the glory of our history.” But history is messy. As a Bible scholar, I am struck by the ways the Bible tells both the good and bad of ancient Israel’s history – even when the narratives conflict. This movement, with its forced displacement of Native Americans and others, implicitly reenacted another part of the biblical narratives: Canaan as the land God gave ancient Israel. Different narratives The biblical writers also provide accounts of victories. They recount the good and bad of ancient Israel’s history, without resolution of the tension, discrepancies and unseemliness of past actions.
What's in a name for a vaccine campaign? Maybe the end of the pandemic
       
From my research, I have found that an important part of a successful vaccine campaign is in the name. Abandoning the ‘Operation Warp Speed’ nameIn the week leading up to the 2021 presidential inauguration, the Biden transition team announced that the White House’s national COVID-19 vaccine plan would no longer be called “Operation Warp Speed,” the name coined by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump. In a May 15, 2020, press conference, Trump explained the campaign name, stating, “It’s called ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ That means big, and it means fast. For example, although polio vaccine trials in 1954 labeled the recruited child participants “polio pioneers,” the vaccine itself was called the “anti-polio” or Salk vaccine. The new campaign name, then, initiated what needs to be a straightforward, factual approach, integral to widespread COVID-19 immunization.
Myanmar coup crisis grows after years of US neglect
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly a decade ago, the United States was touting Myanmar as an American success story. A coup has returned the military to power and pro-democracy activists, reform advocates and journalists have been attacked and detained in a brutal crackdown. Overtures to Iran and Cuba would come later, buoyed in part by what appeared to be success in Myanmar. Still, the Obama administration continued to have faith in her. Despite Kerry’s two trips to Myanmar, the administration became rapidly consumed with the Iran nuclear deal and normalization of ties with Cuba.
Will the decline in public school enrollment be reversed after the pandemic?
       
Lisa Guismond James N. DoylePublic school enrollment will rebound after the pandemic, and in order for our communities to recover and thrive, it’s essential that it does. The pandemic has taught us just how essential public schools are, and for much more than education. AdvertisementCOVID has been a profound, painful lesson in how interconnected we are, and public schools are one of the key institutions connecting us. Even before COVID, state legislators and the governor recognized the need to dramatically increase public school funding. This year’s decline obscures the fact that student numbers actually rose for vocational schools, charter schools, and even the state’s two public virtual schools, all of which are included in the public enrollment numbers.
The Boston Globe
       
She is a 2012 graduate of Lowell High School. He is a 2013 graduate of Beverly High School. ? Airman William J. Parcellin, son of Peter J. Parcellin of Boxford and a 2010 graduate of Masconomet Regional High School in Topsfield. ? Airman Jonathan M. Camelo, son of Linda and Simon Camelo of Reading, and a 2012 graduate of Reading Memorial High School. Received an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship:? Cadet John P. Gaffney, a 2011 graduate of Andover High School, will attend Saint Anselm College.
In bid to hike minimum wage, stimulus snag is only a setback, not a basis for retreat
       
The Senate parliamentarian has ruled that the $15 minimum wage hike can’t be achieved through budget reconciliation (“Stimulus poised to pass in House,” Page A1, Feb. 27). That’s a setback, but it’s hardly a basis for retreat. The current $7.25 federal minimum wage, unchanged since 2009, is indefensible, especially in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. In 2021, following years of relentless Republican resistance to an increase, a full-time worker making the federal minimum wage earns $15,080 a year. And while corporations and their political enablers continue to oppose a $15 minimum, a Pew poll tells us that Americans favor the increase by a 2-1 margin.
Letters to the Editor — A golden calf, the STAAR test, the murder of Allen Brooks, vaccinations at Parkland, human rights, abortion
       
Nonetheless, the nagging sense lingered. The comparison to the Israelites worshipping the golden calf (Exodus, Chapter 32) while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai immediately came to mind. Perhaps these two news stories appearing a day apart is just a coincidence, but it does provide “food for thought.” Meanwhile, that nagging sense I have, irrational as it might be, still persists. should retake reins on human rights — America can reassert global leadership by fighting for release of those wrongfully detained abroad,” Sunday Editorials. This editorial encouraged the United States to take the lead on human rights.
Point of View: Legislation misses the mark
       
The rhetoric surrounding these bills is centered on narratives about failing schools, ZIP codes and helping marginalized communities. While compelling from an emotional standpoint, these pieces of legislation miss the mark on impacting communities and creating long-term change for families. This is the result of being top 10 in the worst statistics (incarceration, poverty, uninsured, teenage pregnancy, etc.) and bottom 10 in the best statistics (education funding, health outcomes, etc.). The reality is we have a long history of creating policies continually and systematically marginalizing communities causing generational curses of trauma, oppression and destitution.
Point of View: Bad medicine for Oklahoma
       
Senate Bill 734 would establish price controls on cutting-edge drug treatments, making it illegal for any health plan to purchase drug treatments where the price exceeded a government-determined reference price. These price controls would be based on drug prices found in Canada, a country that explicitly rations care under its socialized medicine system to keep costs down. Put simply, that system is an innovation-killer — and should Senate Bill 734 become law, Oklahomans will be getting a prescription for lower-quality care. While it may sound appealing to reduce the cost of prescription drug treatments, this proposal would be doing so at the expense of access to the newest, most effective drug treatments. While drug prices are an important concern, the issue of access to needed treatments should not be ignored.
The Guantanamo nightmare has to end
       
The abuses committed at Guantanamo have been criticized by many countries around the globe and condemned by all leading human rights organizations. In its report “Deprivation and Despair: The Crisis of Medical Care at Guantanamo,” Physicians for Human Rights (USA) gives a detailed account of the abuses that detainees were subjected to in Guantanamo. One argument for denying constitutional protections to Guantanamo prisoners rests on the fact that Guantanamo is in Cuba, off American soil. And if the Bill of Rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution were not enough, international human rights law (customary and treaty-based,) extends such protection to Guantanamo detainees. “In the end, this is about even more than the 40 people still held at Guantanamo.
Pro-NK paper slams Harvard professor's 'comfort women' claim
       
Are you a Harvard professor in the 21st century? Comfort women refer to around 200,000 Asian women, mostly Koreans, who were forcibly taken to front-line military brothels by the Japanese army during World War II. (VANK)A pro-North Korea paper in Japan on Wednesday slammed a US professor over his controversial claim that victims of Japan's wartime sexual slavery were voluntary prostitutes, calling it an "utterly absurd" argument. Mark Ramseyer, Mitsubishi professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, describing the former sex slaves as prostitutes under voluntary contracts has caused a public uproar in the country and among US scholars. The paper noted that the truth behind the "pro-Japanese scholarship" prevalent across the world has been revealed by Mitsubishi's failed attempt to revise history.
Biden removes mention of Dr. Seuss from Read Across America Day
       
President Biden removed mentions of Dr. Seuss from Read Across America Day amid accusations of “racial undertones” in the classic, whimsical tales for children. Read Across America Day, started by the National Educational Association in 1998 as a way to promote children’s reading, is even celebrated on the author’s March 2 birthday. But unlike his two predecessors, former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Biden did not mention Dr. Seuss. The move comes as Dr. Seuss’ work has generated controversy following a study highlighting a lack of diversity among the author’s characters. Last week, a Virginia school district ordered its teachers to avoid “connecting Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss” because of recent research that allegedly “revealed strong racial undertones” in many of the author’s books.
QAnon Followers Believe Trump Will Be Inaugurated As U.S. President This Month
       
QAnon believers say any day in March the former President Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President once again. Donald Trump will not become President of the United States this month, just weeks after Joe Biden was inaugurated. Here’s why the QAnon faithful believe Trump will become President again this month. March 4The first major date that QAnon conspiracy theorists are looking forward to is right at the start of the month: March 4. Many QAnon believers think that the whole Biden presidency has been a work of fiction so far, with former President Trump still pulling the strings from behind.
In the isolated grief of our pandemic bubbles, we are all Wanda Maximoff
       
Turns out it was through nothing more and nothing less than the uncontrollable power of her own loss, isolation, rage, (literal) magical thinking, and will to survive. Joan Didion famously called it magical thinking in her famed memoir about losing her husband. Magical thinking is why Didion refuses to throw away her dead husband's shoes, because he'll need them when he comes back. Like the pandemic, the Blip caused a collective, boundless grief characterized more by uncertainty than the finality of death. But by some sort of sorcery, we got WandaVision exactly when we needed its magical thinking most.
April 2021 Issue
       
The GOP has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s. We are living in a time of bad metaphors. Everything is fascism, or socialism; Hitler’s Germany, or Stalin’s Soviet Union. The Republican Party has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s. I do not mean that modern American Republicans are communists.
What Is The McLellin Collection In 'Murder Among The Mormons'?
       
At the heart of all this violence sat the Mormon Church and an important set of documents, raising a key question: What is the McLellin Collection? There was just one problem: No one had ever seen the McLellin Collection. Before those documents were revealed to be forgeries, though, Hofmann also claimed to be in possession of the elusive McLellin Collection. NetflixWhich isn’t to say the McLellin Collection was a fiction. The McLellin Collection was relocated by the church soon after Hofmann’s arrest and eventually published (an additional notebook was purchased by a private buyer years later).
Opinion: Vernon Jordan -- Clinton's best friend and my personal mentor
       
David Gergen has been a White House adviser to four presidents of both parties and is a senior political analyst at CNN. He also became a quiet mentor to several of us White House staffers. Midway through the meal, a young staff member delivered the same note to each of us: a White House aide from Arkansas, Vincent Foster, had suddenly died . Years later, after I left the White House, I could also see just how much Clinton might miss him when Vernon wasn't available. With an investigation quickly starting up, lawyers advised both the President and Vernon that they shouldn't talk to each other.
Woman fatally shot while planning son's funeral in Ohio
       
WAREN, Ohio — An elderly woman who had gathered with relatives to plan her son’s funeral was killed when someone fired several shots into a residence in northeastern Ohio, authorities said. Ruth Lewis, 89, was sitting in her wheelchair when the shots rang out Sunday at the home in Warren. She was struck at least once in the back and was pronounced dead a short time later. Lewis, who lived in Warren, was apparently hit by a shot that came in through a window. Witnesses reported hearing roughly five to 10 shots, and one person saw two vehicles being driving erratically not far from the home.
Biden brings no relief to tensions between US and China
       
“It is hard for me to see a more significant threat or challenge for the United States as far out as I can see into the 21st century than that one. It is the biggest geopolitical test that we face,” he said. At least some Asia hands in the United States see Biden as moving slowly toward potential reengagement with China in part because he wants to shore up his domestic position and make clear the U.S. is not a victim of Chinese predation. Russel said Biden is "sending out messages that have the effect of showing he’s not soft on China, that he’s not a patsy for China, that he isn’t so desperate for a breakthrough on climate change that he’s going to trade away our national security interests.”Chinese academics see little difference in Biden’s approach. “Continuity takes precedent over adjustment and change,” said Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at elite Nanjing University.
FM Chung meets victim of Japan's wartime sexual slavery
       
Comfort women refer to around 200,000 Asian women, mostly Koreans, who were forcibly taken to front-line military brothels by the Japanese army during the war. (Yonhap)Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong met with a victim of Japan's wartime sexual slavery Wednesday, as Seoul seeks to defuse persistent historical tensions with Tokyo amid Washington's calls for tighter trilateral cooperation with its key Asian allies. Amid the unresolved row over the issue, the US State Department has called the wartime sexual enslavement an "egregious violation of human rights" -- remarks in tune with its key policy effort to promote liberal values like human rights. The comfort women case, along with the issue of Japan's colonial-era forced labor, remains a nettlesome challenge to Seoul's efforts to mend relations with Tokyo long strained over historical and territorial spats. Lee stressed the need to bring the case to the international court to clarify Tokyo's responsibility for the wartime atrocity.
Tucker Carlson: Lockdowns are killing our children, and everyone knows it -- including teachers' unions
       
At this point, it's hard to imagine that Andrew Cuomo will be governor of New York for much longer. No one who knows Andrew Cuomo could be shocked by any of this. But the truth is, Matt Meyer doesn't want his daughter near the likes of Cecily Myart-Cruz, either. MATT MEYER: Real-life children do not keep their masks on, they do not keep distance from each other or their teachers. That's why, when he doesn't think you're watching, Matt Meyer makes certain his own child gets the in-person instruction she needs.
US infrastructure gets C- from engineers as roads stagnate
       
America’s infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government. America’s infrastructure has scored near-failing grades for its deteriorating roads, public transit and storm water systems due to years of inaction from the federal government. Four areas got Cs: bridges, which dropped from a C+ to a C in 2021, energy, drinking water and solid waste. ADVERTISEMENT“This report card is a warning and a call to action,” Buttigieg told The Associated Press. According to the report card, the nation is only paying about half of what it needs to lift overall U.S. infrastructure to an acceptable “B” level.
Analysis: Biden aims to manage expectations with pandemic
       
President Joe Biden speaks about efforts to combat COVID-19, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden doesn’t just have to manage the coronavirus pandemic, he also has to manage people’s expectations for how soon the country will come out of it. The Biden administration has been moving to scale up capacity to administer vaccines at an ever-faster clip. In his first days in office, Biden had promised enough vaccine for all adults by the end of summer. Trump tried to win news cycles; Biden has been trying to win elections.”While Tuesday’s optimistic announcement about the vaccine supply sent hopes soaring, it also raised pressure on the Biden administration to actually get them administered to Americans.
Marriage has porous borders
       
He said a lot of things to her that made me uncomfortable, including comments about our relationship and our finances. I confessed to him that I read his messages, and we talked about it. I feel like I’ve already done the nuclear option and now I don’t know what else to do. Not to excuse his choice, but you might ask yourself why your husband confided in someone else when he was going through a tough time. Your husband “can’t be honest” with you and you can’t seem to be honest with him.
EDITORIAL: Free-market environmentalism protects redwoods
       
But what if there were a better way than obstructionism and enriching attorneys? Last month, a California group and a private landowner came to an agreement to protect a vast redwood forest 80 miles north of San Francisco. “Our vision isn’t to make a park out of every acre of redwood forest,” Sam Holden, president of the conservation group, told the wire service. “We want to make sure we don’t lose any more of it. It mimics the fine efforts of The Nature Conservancy, an organization that uses its vast resources to purchase environmentally sensitive land to promote conservation, bringing property owners and others to the table in an effort to find common ground.
VICTOR JOECKS: How universal mail voting invites fraud
       
(Getty Images)Nevada Democrats are preparing to roll out the red carpet for those willing to commit election fraud. Last summer, the Legislature rammed through a bill allowing universal mail ballots during the pandemic as a public health precaution to avoid crowds at polling places. First, it’s important to understand that absentee and mail ballots are different, although the terms are sometimes used interchangeable. Absentee ballots have some security concerns, but they are much more secure than mail ballots. That makes it riskier to steal an absentee ballot than a mail ballot.
LETTER: A tale of two riots
       
Democrats fixate on Capitol but ignore what businesses went through in Portland, elsewhere. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)The hallowed halls of Congress are above being breached by protesters, rioters and looters, so say some. What happened on Jan. 6 in the Capitol was ugly, destructive and chaotic, and I wish it hadn’t happened. I guess the business owners and the despised police lives were just not as valuable as our dear leaders in Washington. Those riots could have easily been stopped, but the fires were left to burn night after night through last year’s summer months.
LETTER: Do moderate Democrats really want to support the hard left?
       
President Biden and the far left have gone too far, and the people of this nation must make their voices heard to stop the destruction of our country. Do not sit back and simply watch them tear us apart. Do you agree with all the changes President Biden and the far left are making to our great nation? Or did you simply vote to remove Donald Trump from office? President Biden and the far left have gone too far (much further than most moderate Democrats imagined), and the people of this nation must make their voices heard to stop the destruction of our country.
LETTER: The numbers behind Las Vegas hate crimes
       
(Las Vegas Review-Journal)I read the Monday article headlined “Reports of hate crimes way up.” Reporter Sabrina Schnur and the editors of the Review-Journal may have a blind spot in their world view. Whites commit hate crimes against Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans. Hispanics commit hate crimes against Blacks, whites, Asians and Native Americans. And — you guessed it — Asians commit hate crimes against Blacks, whites, Hispanics and Native Americans. That means the 4,930 hate crimes make up less than one half of 1 percent of all crimes reported that year.
Biden urges patience on Covid as Republican governors go rogue on reopenings
       
But experts are warning that opening too quickly could provide the vast petri dish that new variants of Covid-19 need to thrive. The Republicans are not the only governors easing restrictions as new cases of Covid-19 and deaths from the virus have fallen following a holiday spike. "We certainly understand the pressure governors are under and we appreciate the working relationship we have with Gov. Abbott," Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House Covid-19 response team, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Tens of millions of Americans are hurting financially, have been stuck at home for months and separated from their families.
CLEAN Future Act Strives to Boost Jobs, Justice and Climate Action
       
The following is a statement from John Bowman, managing director for Government Affairs at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):“The CLEAN Future Act is urgently needed; it harnesses our ingenuity, resources and determination at the scale needed to curb the growing climate crisis. It will invest in good-paying jobs for workers transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean transportation and energy. It will strive to shield communities from health and economic harm wrought by climate change. Common Dreams is the nonprofit news source for the 99%Will you pitch in now to help meet our Winter Campaign goal? “And it will send an unmistakable signal to our children and future generations we won’t doom them to ever-worsening droughts, floods, wildfires, extreme heat and punishing storms.”The Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act was introduced by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL).
Dems Climate Bill Falls Short
       
WASHINGTON - Today, leading House Democrats unveiled an updated version of the CLEAN Future Act, a climate bill that backers have touted as an alternative to a bold Green New Deal. In response, Food & Water Watch Policy Director Mitch Jones release the following statement:“Democrats should be making a big, bold push on climate -- and the CLEAN Future Act is simply not strong enough. “The larger problem is that the bill’s clean energy standard includes provisions that essentially greenwash dirty energy sources -- including rebranding fracked gas as ‘clean’ by pairing it with unproven, non-existent carbon capture methods. The bill also promotes factory farm biogas as a clean energy source. The CLEAN Future Act may have been revised since last year, but it’s still a Green New Dud.”###
Supreme Court Must Uphold Section 2 of Voting Rights Act To Prevent Discrimination in Voting
       
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Brnovich v. DNC, a case which could have profound implications for the future of voting rights in America. The case focuses on the role of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a federal statute providing protection against racial discrimination in voting. “The Supreme Court should issue a ruling that upholds the Voting Rights Act, our nation’s most effective defense against racially discriminatory voting policies,” said Paul Smith, vice president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC). “Now is not the time to weaken the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. The court must affirm its vital role in preserving voting rights by striking down Arizona’s discriminatory laws.
Bold Climate Bill Aims for Zero Carbon Emissions by Midcentury
       
WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the new CLEAN Future Act on Tuesday. The CLEAN Future Act takes a broad approach to tackling climate change, including provisions that address energy, transportation, manufacturing and plastic pollution. It features a clean electricity standard that would require 80 percent clean electricity by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035. Reps. Frank Pallone, Paul Tonko and Bobby Rush released a detailed memo summarizing the scope of the CLEAN Future Act. “The CLEAN Future Act lays the groundwork for an America that meets these goals.
Water Crisis in Jackson, Miss. Points to Urgent Need to Pass WATER Act in Congress
       
This situation is reflective of a crisis state for water infrastructure nationwide. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the country’s water infrastructure a D+ rating. It is shameful that thousands of Jackson residents have gone weeks without water due to crumbling 100-year old pipes. The situation in Jackson is not the first water crisis and won’t be the last; much of our nation’s water infrastructure is old and decaying, and it lacks climate resiliency. This funding would help Jackson and thousands of other communities across the country.
OPINION: Western Sahara, Africa’s Last Colony, Resumes Liberation Struggle
       
As expected, Morocco’s breach of the ceasefire forced the people of Western Sahara under the leadership of their legitimate representative, the Frente POLISARIO, to resume their legitimate liberation struggle put on hold since 1991. The proclamation made by the outgoing U.S. president in December has dealt another heavy blow to the UN peace process in Western Sahara. The ICJ ruled that there was no tie of territorial sovereignty between the Territory of Western Sahara and the kingdom of Morocco. As a matter of historical fact, Morocco did not only claim Western Sahara but also Mauritania in 1960s. The legal and political nature of the issue of Western Sahara as a decolonization case is unquestionably clear.
'We Should Be Taxing the Rich, Not the Unemployed': Millions Set to Receive Surprise Bills for Pandemic Jobless Benefits
       
"Taxing unemployment insurance benefits directly contradicts the stated goal of expanding those benefits—getting more money into the hands of people who need it. The Axne-Durbin proposal many of you keep asking about to waive taxes on unemployment benefits does not currently appear likely to make the final bill. "For people who have been without a job for nearly a year, finding money to pay their tax bills is yet another financial burden coming at a fraught time." "Democrats have no time to spare if they want to avert an epidemic of surprise tax bills; Americans are already receiving them." "But Democrats have no time to spare if they want to avert an epidemic of surprise tax bills; Americans are already receiving them."
Sen. Hrng. of FBI Dir. Chris Wray on Jan 6 Capitol Attack video here; Hotseat testimony time=3:40:30
       
Wray didn’t read an FBI Norfolk SIR telling of threat for attack on Congress until “days” after Jan. 6Full Senate Judiciary Cmte. hearing video is Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: the January 6 Insurrection, Domestic Terrorism, and Other Threats with statements to download on official www.judiciary.senate.gov/…Also on C-SPAN.org at www.c-span.org/…World media outlets have covered & reported on this all day so far. However, as was stated by President Obama in 2013-2014,[P]romoting civil society that can surface issues and push leadership is not just in keeping with our values, it’s not charity. So I believe America’s support for civil society is a matter of national security. Graham, Cotton, Grassley and others seem to truly desire us to be, truth be known.
Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, More Money for the Pentagon in the Pandemic Moment?
       
And yet, strangely enough, as TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert Mandy Smithberger reports, Washington, in a remarkably bipartisan fashion, continues to fund the Pentagon at levels that should astound us all. But studies have consistently shown that military spending is a remarkably poor job creator compared to almost any other kind of spending. Investing in healthcare, combating climate change, or rebuilding infrastructure are all significantly more effective job creators than yet more military spending. Still, there’s no question that non-military stimulus efforts are more effective, by orders of magnitude, than defense spending when it comes to job creation. Make no mistake: the addiction to Pentagon spending is a bipartisan problem in Washington.
Apostasy
       
For adherents to this type of religion to abandon it is a religious crime known as apostasy. The International Humanist and Ethical Union, in their 2016 Freedom of Thought Report, found that 22 countries had laws against apostasy and that in 13 countries the death penalty was possible for apostasy. While apostasy is generally an individual action or religious crime, there have been incidents in which groups of people have committed apostasy. One of these was the Flathead Apostasy of the nineteenth century. Because of the Flathead apostasy, the Jesuits were forced to close their mission in 1850.
"Cancel Culture" is a right-wing pity party ruse intended to silence criticism of their crazy
       
"Both former Presidents Trump and Obama mentioned Dr. Seuss in their Read Across America Day proclamations, but President Biden did not. Lets recall that it was Leviticus and Paul who issued his decrees against being Gay. That's a great question because Paul could have used many words if he intended to blast gays and lesbians. Yet Paul used none of those available words, choosing instead to coin an interesting new word, arsenokoitai. That’s capitalism, that’s the “free market.”There is no debate to be had here.
How much water should you drink?
       
I thought I’d add in a Zen perspective to water intake. How much water should a Democrat drink? The way more important conversation for a Democratic political blog would be how can we ensure that everyone has access to clean drinking water? My Zen answer to that would be, “Elect more and better Democrats.”We don’t need to learn the physiology of water, we just need to run a fucking Democratic candidate in every race, every time! When corporate Republicans are in charge, regulations controlling how safe our drinking water is fall by the wayside.
Sean Hannity Trolls a Year Old Comment By Dr. Fauci, Ignores His Own Idiocy
       
The degree to which Hannity advanced these lies resulted in a study that confirmed that higher rates of coronavirus deaths could be directly linked to watching Hannity. On Tuesday Hannity thought he would post another of his attempts to "own the libs" by plucking a year old comment by Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, completely out of context. Hannity tweeted that...x ONE YEAR AGO: Fauci Tells Americans ‘There’s No Need to Change’ Their Daily Routines https://t.co/MAprokzfBQ — Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) March 1, 2021Of course, Hannity was demonstrating his notorious dishonesty and compulsion to distort reality. x Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH on coronavirus: "There is no need to change anything you're doing on a day by day basis. Hannity, on the other hand, ignores facts in favor of fallacies that advance his self-serving agenda and benefit his political idols.
Iron Tortoise Origin Story -- Part 5 (Conclusion)
       
I had actually been toying with the notion of foregoing any sleep the night before to see if I could make it all the way down to Las Vegas in one push. Day 6 (Thursday, April 13): Las Vegas at LastPreviously, no matter how hot the days had been, at least the nights had all cooled off to a significant degree — but not this time! Shortcut to North Las Vegas? After a seemingly interminable series of hills I came to a junction with a potential shortcut to North Las Vegas, where I once again debated my options. News from the Test Site demonstrations would be relayed by courier to Indian Springs, which could then be passed on by phone to Las Vegas and elsewhere.
Worst governor contest -- Coronavirus edition
       
Ever since last summer I have felt like DeSantis is having a contest with Brian Kemp to see which of them could be the worst governor when it comes to pandemic policy. Despite their best homicidal efforts to be the worst governors, Kemp and Desantis have so far been outdone by Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texans, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week. Please feel free to add other nominees for Worst Governor -- Coronavirus edition. The rest of you can feel free to share your views on which governor is the worst and what makes them the most terrible.
Night Owl Open Thread
       
On Feb. 25th Meteor Blades announced that the Night Owl was going to stop being published, I decided to do it for a few days & get the people who used the Open Thread to move to Overnight News Digest. x The winter was exceptionally warm for parts of Canada, Greenland and some of the high Arctic. THREAD pic.twitter.com/VePk7o94Lk — Scott Duncan (@ScottDuncanWX) March 2, 2021x Our daily update is published. He "treated everyone he met like family & his family meant everything to him. pic.twitter.com/wIuQMylYxb — FacesOfCOVID (@FacesOfCOVID) March 3, 2021x Three weeks ago, I announced we would have enough vaccine supply for all Americans by the end of July.
geolocating vote suppression: AZ GQP wants to nullify your ballot because you're in the wrong place
       
Your otherwise legal ballot in AZ could be nullified because the GOP needs to stop you from voting for Democrats. In voting rights case, Justice Barrett asks GOP lawyer Michael Carvin “what’s the interest” to Republicans in keeping voting restrictions in AZ. But, under the state GOP’s framework, this hypothetical law would not violate the Voting Rights Act because it merely regulates the “where” of voting. But Brnovich’s two-step test would also severely weaken the Voting Rights Act. And Native American, Hispanic, and African American voters were twice as likely to vote in the wrong precinct as white voters.
bankrupt Trumpism's hallucinatory anti-leftism arrives as a 20th Amendment solution on March 4
       
“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933Before 1937, inaugural day wasn’t until March 4. Back in the day we would’ve been facing 6 more weeks of Trump. Going big on the economy and infrastructure could deal a crippling blow to authoritarian populism just as it devolves into a QAnon-ified Trump cult. New piece:https://t.co/WKVJKl1HBP — Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) March 2, 2021 This quote from Ron DeSantis perfectly captures the bankruptcy of Trumpism's hallucinatory anti-leftism:“We can have academic debates about conservative policy. Last night he took the more famous VC-25 for the longer trip to Wisconsin.
Trumpist journal goes full racist, says poor people 'need the whip' and are 'insects' and 'leeches'
       
But that would require me to rationalize my way out of a feeling and override all my sound, sane animal instincts. Those instincts are of pre-cognitive repulsion and disgust, and I refuse to let them go. I refuse to humanize those who cannot be bothered to lift a finger to humanize themselves. The rest need the whip. There are some people who can’t “humanize themselves,” and thus “need the whip?” I’ve seen some unhinged stuff from right-wing sites in my time, but this is up there with the worst.
GOP lawmakers introduce bill to keep transgender girls out of girls sports starting in kindergarten
       
As Daily Kos has covered, the anti-trans legislation flurry tends to hit one of two (if not both) areas: keeping transgender youth out of girls’ sports and preventing transgender youth from getting gender-affirming medical care by making it a crime for physicians to provide it. Meanwhile, transgender youth (and, frankly, everyone else) are just trying to survive an actual public health crisis and collective trauma. But here’s the thing: Transgender girls aren’t boys or men. Studies show that LGBTQ youth, and particularly transgender youth, are more likely to live with mental health issues like anxiety and depression, experience bullying and harassment at school, and are even more likely to become homeless. Studies also show that transgender youth are more likely to leave high school without a diploma.
Live on The Brief: Mississippi, believe it or not, should be a purple state
       
Mississippi Democrat Mike EspyAfter a decade of hyping up Georgia and its status as a demographically purple state, the state finally came through this past election cycle, giving its Electoral College votes to Joe Biden and electing two Democratic senators. But I have another state identified on my long-range scanners, one that is obvious to painfully few others, but should demographically be a purple state—Mississippi. Only about 10% of Mississippi whites vote Democratic; they are a solid, monolithic, and racist conservative vote. But it doesn’t have to be that way, just like we saw in formerly solid Republican states like Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, and Virginia. That said, it really is demographically purple.
Biden administration brokers deal between two corporate competitors to vastly boost vaccine supply
       
That official said the companies “recognize this is a wartime effort" and praised their sense of “corporate citizenship.”Merck has agreed to dedicate two of its U.S. facilities to streamlining production and delivery of Johnson & Johnson shots. One facility will be focused on what's called "fill-finish" services, where vials are filled with the vaccine and packaged for delivery. The other facility will actually be involved in vaccine production, which could potentially double the vaccine supply of what Johnson & Johnson would otherwise be able to produce on its own, according to the Post. The 2022 election cycle could well come down to how many shots the Biden administration gets into American arms how quickly and whether that allows businesses and schools to safely reopen and get the economy humming again. Turning two giant corporate competitors into partners in that effort is the type of innovation that could set Democrats up to claim that mantle.
The Fate and Future of American Democracy Hangs On the Minimum Wage
       
Congress Switchboard: 202-224-3121"We are in the midst of a profound change of paradigms: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network. Rob Kall has interviewed many of the leaders, both thinkers and activists, of this global cultural transformation. In this eminently readable book, he weaves their statements, values, and ideas into a coherent and inspiring whole. Bottom-Up is a joy to read!" Fritjof Capra, author of The Web of Life and The Hidden Connections, coauthor of The Systems View of Life
Home Invasions: All the Ways the Government Can Lay Siege to Your Property
       
Two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, Caniglia v. Strom and Lange v. California, are particularly noteworthy. In Caniglia v. Strom, police want to be able to carry out warrantless home invasions in order to seize lawfully-owned guns under the pretext of their so-called "community caretaking" duties. In Lange v. California, police want to be able to enter homes without warrants as long as they can claim to be in pursuit of someone they suspect may have committed a crime. At issue in Lange is whether police can justify entering homes without a warrant under the "hot pursuit" exception to the Fourth Amendment. The case arose after a California cop followed a driver, Arthur Lange, who was honking his horn while listening to music.
A "Masculine Spring" is On Its Way
       
(This article is co-written with Dr. Ed Adams, co-author of Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection)"Contact with nature." by Juan Calderón A. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0Evidence shown during the impeachment trial last month was chilling. Members of the mostly male mob stomping through the Capitol building last month were out for blood. The insurrectionists' hero, would-be strongman Donald Trump, was acquitted in his second impeachment trial, thanks to mostly male Republican Senators. It's not an exaggeration to say that a "masculine spring" is on the horizon--one that promises a brighter future for our families, our workplaces, our country and our world.
Tomgram: Mandy Smithberger, More Money for the Pentagon in the Pandemic Moment?
       
There's a figure you might think should cause a genuine stir (especially since each of those was a taxpayer dollar). They would be responsible for the deaths of thousands of American military personnel and hundreds of thousands of civilians in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, Crawford's figure would, of course, have to be updated as we await Joe Biden's decisions on future American war-making from Afghanistan to Iraq and beyond. And yet, strangely enough, as TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert Mandy Smithberger reports, Washington, in a remarkably bipartisan fashion, continues to fund the Pentagon at levels that should astound us all. But those urging us to increase Pentagon spending to compete with China in the middle of a pandemic are, in reality, only compounding the damage to our country's recovery.
$15 an Hour Is the Compromise
       
What if the minimum wage had kept rising at a rate that respected the contribution of workers? He has started with a modest proposal to raise the wage to $15 an hour in stages between now and 2025. "$15 an hour -- and by the way, it's over a four-year period -- is not a radical idea," says Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "If you make $15 bucks an hour, you are not getting rich. The slow march to $15 an hour, as outlined in the American Recovery Act, was always a compromise.
Your Complete Guide to the N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America
       
On Friday, The New York Times continued its long, predictable tradition of backing U.S. coups in Latin America by publishing an editorial praising Donald Trump’s attempt to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. A survey of The New York Times archives shows the Times editorial board has supported 10 out of 12 American-backed coups in Latin America, with two editorials—those involving the 1983 Grenada invasion and the 2009 Honduras coup—ranging from ambiguous to reluctant opposition. Why, historically, has The New York Times taken for granted the liberal pretexts for U.S. involvement, rather than analyzing whether there were possibly other, more cynical forces at work? The idea that the U.S. is motivated by human rights and democracy is taken for granted by The New York Times editorial board and has been since its inception. While obviously not in Latin America, it’s also worth noting that the Times cheerled the CIA-sponsored coup against Iran’s President, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953.
International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US) establishes new club at Appalachian State University
       
If you are a student or youth at Appalachian State University or the surrounding area we encourage you to join the International Youth and Students for Social Equality. The International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), the youth and student wing of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is pleased to announce the establishment of a new chapter at Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone, North Carolina. The ruling class seeks to divide the working class and youth along lines of individual identities, especially race and gender. The ruling class seeks to divide the working class and youth along lines of individual identities, especially race and gender. The goal of the IYSSE at Appalachian State is to develop such a leadership.
Sanders provides cover to the Democrats as they refuse to raise the minimum wage
       
Last week, US President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party effectively torpedoed a provision in the COVID-19 stimulus package making its way through Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Second, the fight over the minimum wage has once again revealed the real role of Senator Bernie Sanders and his fellow “progressives” as a critical part of the Democratic Party operation. Sanders was given the position because he is a trusted member of the Democratic Party apparatus. If proof of his allegiances is required, one must look no further than the current debate on the minimum wage. Despite all of his bluster, Sanders’ “political revolution” has proven incapable of achieving even the most minimal social reforms.
Hundreds of thousands still suffering two weeks after winter storm hit southern US
       
More than two weeks after sub-freezing temperatures from winter storms devastated the southern US, hundreds of thousands are still without water and many face a long road to recovery. Some residents reported having to melt snow for the same purpose. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)On top of having to boil water, residents are also being asked to limit their water usage. Houston officials lifted a boil water advisory more than a week ago, but thousands still do not have running water because of damaged pipes. On Tuesday, the Dallas County medical examiner’s office said it is investigating whether 17 deaths are linked to the winter storm.
Nolan Out Loud: Whitmer pays for silence
       
Gretchen Whitmer is defending as proper and routine her hush money payments to top state officials who left her administration. And now she can hide behind the agreement to deny the public information that should be public. Confidentiality agreements are indeed common in the private sector, where they are often paid to keep departing employees from disclosing company secrets. But there can be no secrets in the public sector, where all government information belongs to the people. Twitter: @NolanFinleyDNSign up for the Nolan Out Loud morning report at detroitnews.com/newsletters
Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News
       
Myanmar U.N. envoy, junta make rival claims to U.N. representationMyanmar's ambassador to the United Nations in New York has formally staked his claim as the country's legitimate representative while the junta seeks to replace him in a dispute that will likely have to be settled by the world body's 193 member states.
Op-Ed: It's official. Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Hold him accountable
       
Mohammed bin Salman, left, and Jamal Khashoggi. (Associated Press / Tribune News Service)It's official: Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's murder. That’s the inescapable conclusion from the declassified intelligence report released by the Biden administration on Friday. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has also decided to impose no meaningful penalty against Bin Salman. With its “recalibrated” exceptions to justice, Biden has waived culpability for Bin Salman in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and weakened the rule of law worldwide.
‘Fiscally conservative’ war hawks are trying to defraud GOP voters — again
       
But what would a candidate or President Haley stand for? Fact is, pork-barrel projects are a drop in the feds’ sea of red ink. While tens of millions of dollars may seem like a lot of money, projects in that range shouldn’t be the focus of true budget hawks. If the price of an indoor rainforest is $50 million, then the Afghan War has cost taxpayers 40,000 times as much. War hawks can’t honestly claim the mantle of fiscal conservatism while only attacking relatively minuscule pork-barrel projects.
Cindy Adams: Andrew Cuomo’s enemies will not stop
       
The point’s made because no way can my opinion now be explained with: “Oh, she’s a buddy of the governor …” No. So I just want to say you don’t like Andrew? Some vices nicer than othersOn their own vices, there’s Naomi Campbell’s “I don’t care if they call me a bitch. Or I just don’t relate to them as vices” … There’s delicious Queen Latifah to InStyle magazine on her virtues: “There should be an award for best breasts in a movie. … You never know if you’re going to wreck the [tour] bus, you never know if you’re going to be somewhere in a hotel and there’s going to be a fire.”Pay attentionDonald once paid $2.75 mil for more than 400 upstate acres.
CDC: States should prioritize people with disabilities as they broaden vaccine access
       
The newest addition to the pandemic arsenal — the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that does not need to be kept frozen — might be best for people who want to be immunized quickly or would have difficulty returning for a second shot. ADADThe Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be most suitable for people who move frequently or those who live and work in homeless shelters or correctional facilities, the CDC said. AD“The solution to all of this debate is to get more vaccine out there, period,” she said. ADAdvocates for people with disabilities say the updated guidance is a step in the right direction but does not go far enough. The implementation guidance said the easier-to-use Johnson & Johnson vaccine might be the best fit for certain populations.
Emotional Lawrence Jones discusses impact of remote learning on minority kids: 'I see myself in those stats'
       
"Our kids are struggling in silence, while the unions scream to keep the schools closed," Jones said on "Fox News Primetime." Jones pointed to a study conducted by a group of Ohio students which found that Black children were chronically absent 60% more in 2020 than in 2019. — Lawrence Jones, Fox Nation host"If I seem angry or upset by this, please understand why. Our kids will go back to school and maybe, just maybe, we'll forget about this last year. Never forget," Jones concluded.
Opinion: Texas and Mississippi governors are recklessly reopening
       
After the summer surge had abated, people let down their guards once again, and I don’t have to tell you what happened. “At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained.”Apparently, the governors of Texas and Mississippi don’t hear clearly. Or perhaps they simply don’t care to listen to lady scientists who don’t tell them what they want to hear. On Tuesday they both announced that they were lifting pandemic restrictions in their state, including mask mandates. Nor are their states shining examples of COVID-19 vaccine distribution — both are below the national average in giving shots.
Boston neighborhoods hit hardest by virus have lowest vaccination rates
       
Conversely, the neighborhoods with the highest vaccination rates — including West Roxbury, the South End, and Jamaica Plain — have experienced much lower rates of infection since the beginning of the pandemic. The Boston neighborhoods with the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates — East Boston, Mattapan, and Dorchester — have endured some of the highest levels of coronavirus cases in the city, according to newly released data from the Boston Public Health Commission. “Right now, our hardest hit neighborhoods are also the neighborhoods that are the lowest vaccinated by population,” he added. That’s followed by Asian residents (15,115 first doses per 100,000) and Black residents (14,089 first doses per 100,000). Latino residents have by far the lowest vaccination rate in the city at 8,086 first doses per 100,000 people.
Jim Rigg, school superintendent for the Archdiocese of Chicago, announces resignation
       
“I feel that this is the right time to step away from my role and let another superintendent come forward,” Rigg said in an emailed announcement to parents. “I am profoundly impressed by the quality and vitality of our Catholic schools, staffed by men and women of exceptional talent and commitment. I leave my role knowing that God will continue to work through our teachers, principals, and benefactors to ensure the continuation of this critical educational ministry.”
2 charged in drug deal that led to fatal shooting in rural Meeker County
       
HUTCHINSON, Minn. — Two central Minnesota men made first appearances Tuesday in Meeker County District Court to face charges in connection with an apparent drug deal gone bad that led to a man’s fatal shooting Friday night. According to court documents, Christian Brown, 23, of Hutchinson, was charged with felony second-degree murder and two charges of felony second-degree assault for events surrounding the death of Devon Remmel, 42, of rural Grove City. Another man, Byron Jackson, 23, of Hutchinson, is charged with felony first-degree assault and two counts of felony second-degree assault in connection with the incident. Another confrontation in the driveway of the residence led to Brown shooting Remmel in the face, who had arrived at the residence. When deputies arrived on scene, they attempted CPR on Remmel but he was pronounced dead.
China, looking post-virus, to push tech autonomy at Congress
       
The National People's Congress, which opens Friday, has no real power. But the ruling Communist Party uses the gathering of 3,000-plus delegates to showcase economic and social plans. The party-appointed delegates, who don't represent the public, endorse decisions already made by party leaders. The NPC usually focuses on domestic issues but those increasingly are overshadowed by geopolitics, including a feud with Washington over technology and security. In October, party leaders declared that making China a self-reliant “technology power” is this year's economic priority.
Bill purging Arizona early voting list clears Senate
       
PHOENIX (AP) — Republicans in the Arizona Senate voted Tuesday to purge people from the permanent early voting list if they skip two consecutive election cycles, advancing one of several proposed mail-voting changes after Democratic President Joe Biden's narrow victory in the state last year. Sen. Rebecca Rios, the Democratic leader, said the bills targeting voting are “sore loser legislation” promoted by Republicans after the GOP lost the presidential race and two U.S. Senate seats in Arizona. If you’re not winning at the game, what do you do? Mesnard of Chandler said Rios mischaracterized the motives of Republicans. “My motive is also not wanting ballots sent out when apparently there’s no one on the other end interested in receiving it.”
Democrat Dan McKee sworn in as Rhode Island’s 76th governor
       
“He’s the low key, behind-the-scenes guy," Cammarano said. He’s also pledged to retain many of the top officials and experts Raimondo has tapped to lead the state’s pandemic response. “I expect him to be competent, capable and lowkey,” Cammarano said. “In a way, he’s a return to the Rhode Island governors of the past.”The new governor's biggest strength is arguably the ties he’s forged as a respected former mayor, said Aaron Ley, a political science professor at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown. As he prepared to take office, McKee drew on many of his former peers in the Blackstone Valley, a region of old mill cities and towns north of Providence that helped power the American Industrial Revolution.
Plan to give tax credits to Utah parents who pulled kids out of school during pandemic falters in Senate
       
A tax-credit bill some saw as a school voucher bill fell short in the Utah Senate on Tuesday. A proposal to provide a one-time tax credit to parents who home-schooled or sent their children to a private school due to the COVID-19 pandemic fell short twice Tuesday in the state Senate. The tax credit was only available to parents who pulled their children out of public school last year and only good for the current tax year. Currently, the WPU is just over $3,800, so each tax credit is worth approximately $2,850. Johnson explained that his proposal was not a voucher per se, since it provided a tax credit to parents who have already paid tuition for a private school.
After a Decade of Misrule, the People of Haiti Have Had Enough
       
A population with too much experience in the methods of dictatorship sees in President Jovenel Moïse an emerging strongman. Meanwhile, Moïse allowed the Haitian legislature to lapse, and has been ruling by decree for more than a year now. That means they’ve supported a decade of rule by presidents chosen in highly suspect elections. She’s made many unfortunate statements and seems to consort with all the wrong people in Haiti. She’s continued the UN’s almost unstinting support of Moïse, though his recent egregious activities seem to have diminished her enthusiasm slightly.
Israel, the U.A.E. and a New Middle East - The New York Times
       
The U.A.E., by contrast, is transitioning from decades of oil abundance to an era of oil scarcity by building its own ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in the same fields as Israel. To that end, in November the country announced a major liberalization of its Islamic personal laws — allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, which, among other things, makes the U.A.E. But the U.A.E.’s new social laws constitute a big leap forward in its quest to attract the talent needed for a non-oil economy. All the neighbors are watching, and they are particularly watching how Iran and Saudi Arabia react. As for Saudi Arabia, it is already letting Israel’s national airline, El Al, fly across Saudi airspace to the U.A.E.
The real reason for the Dr. Seuss freakout (opinion)
       
Their latest focus is Dr. Seuss. No one is canceling Dr. Seuss. Still, this decision by the company, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, presumably made rationally and in response to the demands of the free market, has prompted a full-on right-wing freakout. Instead, they're whining about Dr. Seuss. And conservatives think the top story is Dr. Seuss?
Becker College’s financial woes could make it the next school to close
       
In a statement, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education said Becker’s financial situation has become “sufficiently uncertain” to threaten its long-term viability. “The Department of Higher Education believes that the institution is unlikely to sustain full operations through the next academic year,” the statement read. AdvertisementThe state, along with the region’s higher education accrediting agency, is working with college officials to consider how to proceed, including the possibility of closing the school. Advertisement“We would be in a good position to take in Becker students,” Meehan said. Like many small private colleges, Becker draws heavily from its region, with 83 percent of students hailing from New England.
Cecilia Rouse confirmed to head Council of Economic Advisers
       
By Andrea Shalal | ReutersWASHINGTON – A majority of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Cecilia Rouse as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, making her the first Black economist to serve in the post. Rouse was confirmed in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 95-4, with one senator not voting. She will join other powerful women in top economic posts across the Biden administration, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who was also confirmed on Tuesday. Rouse served on the council in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011, the worst years of the previous economic crisis. She also served in a Clinton White House economic policy post.
NYC dodges a bullet that could’ve killed development — and stalled recovery
       
Sanity has prevailed in a case that could’ve brought Gotham development to a dead halt, just as the city tries to claw its way back from its economic slump. Indeed, the developers properly obtained a city building permit, and the Board of Standards and Appeals upheld it twice. Had Perry’s order stood, opponents could’ve sought to force similarly built towers, constructed decades ago, to similarly tear off upper floors. After all, who would put up a building based on a permit that could be rescinded years after the fact? If they get away with it, far more than city real estate will suffer.
Portland’s people have finally had enough of the rolling lefty riots
       
Portland citizens are finally fed up with the lefty goons engaged in a rolling riot across the city for most of the last year. Will the city’s leaders who’ve enabled the violence take note? Other cities have calmed since the riots after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, but Portland has seen endless outbursts. Hundreds of Antifa marked Inauguration Day by vandalizing the city’s ICE building and the local Democratic Party headquarters. Keep doing the same thing?”Probably — unless the city finally starts treating them as the criminals they are.
New York parents are desperate for more school choice: Lift the charter cap!
       
To give low-income New Yorkers the same opportunity, state lawmakers have a clear duty to lift the cap on public charter schools. A major exodus from public schools is inevitable — unless the state allows for more high-quality, well-managed charters. The 2015 law that raised the state charter cap to 460 allowed only a few dozen more for the city — all which have now been used. Public charters can lead the way in bringing thousands back up to speed via a quality, rigorous instruction. Save public education and increase basic equity: Raise the cap!
Vernon Jordan made being a Black man in America look effortless
       
Jordan — who died at his home Monday at 85 — was a civil rights activist, an NAACP supporter and a Washington insider. Years ago, after writing about his style — a story for which he did not return my messages — Jordan called to express his gratitude after it was published. He talked about the racism he faced as a young man when he tried to find an apartment in the city. In public, as an eminence grise, Jordan used charm to batter down doors. He was a man of substance who used style as both an introduction and a post script.
Opinion | The United States failed Khashoggi. It can protect others like him.
       
ADADThe impact of this new policy will extend far beyond Saudi Arabia, a senior State Department official told me Tuesday. He said his organization is studying how to submit cases to the State Department for review and action, so that the Khashoggi Ban has real impact. He said the State Department would gather information about harassment of dissidents and journalists from open sources and reporting by U.S. intelligence agencies. We expect that it will have a deterrent effect the world over,” the senior State Department official said. The Khashoggi Ban would be a step forward after last week’s messy release of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s report on Khashoggi’s murder.
Opinion | Nearly 30 years after Anita Hill, what have we learned?
       
Every high-profile sexual harassment case raises, and helps resolve, questions of crime and punishment: what behavior is acceptable, how workplaces should respond and what price must be paid. So it is possible to examine the stream of allegations about Cuomo and ask: Really? When law professor Anita Hill came forward nearly 30 years ago with allegations that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her, you could see the male senators charged with weighing her claims struggling to comprehend the realities of sexual harassment. ADThe Packwood story showed a system rife with sexual exploitation and only starting to take harassment seriously. ADPolitics is a notoriously handsy occupation, but Cuomo wasn’t asking male guests for a kiss.
Opinion | Biden has to take the loss in Afghanistan — and add it to George W. Bush’s record
       
One of the greatest correspondents of this long, long war shares his latest dispatch from Afghanistan in the March 8 issue of the New Yorker. Dexter Filkins visits places along the country’s main highway, where Taliban forces already operate with impunity. He sketches a portrait of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, grouchy and isolated in a feckless twilight. The losses to be cut are not Afghan losses, which sadly are sure to continue once Western forces are gone. Biden must stop the loss of U.S. and coalition forces in a war for which no plausible path to victory remains.
Opinion | Vernon E. Jordan Jr. cleared a path for African Americans to follow in his elegant footsteps
       
At 6 feet, 4 inches tall, Jordan was the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. And when “one of us” moved into the White House, Jordan was no stranger to him. It is hard to put into words what Jordan meant to African Americans, especially professionals such as me. And because he did, he cleared a path for more of us to follow in his elegant footsteps. After Clinton won election, Jordan had a hand in selecting the Cabinet and White House staff.
Covid-19 live updates Texas ends mask requirement at critical moment in pandemic, faces backlash
       
Biden has moved up the timeline for vaccinating Americans, saying the United States will have enough supply for the entire country by the end of May. “We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May. When we came into office, the prior administration had contracted for not nearly enough vaccine to cover adults in America,” he said. Biden said his administration immediately went to work procuring more doses with a goal of having enough by the end of July. But increased production and a third vaccine has sped up that timeline to the end of May.
Biden: Enough Covid vaccine doses for every adult by end of May
       
The Biden administration used the Defense Production Act to call on pharmaceutical competitor Merck to help produce the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine after initial production fell short.
Fauci presents his personal virus model to Smithsonian
       
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the face of the U.S. government’s pandemic response, has donated his personal 3D model of the COVID-19 virus to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The museum on Tuesday honored Fauci with its Great Americans Medal. “Decades from now, people will be talking about the experience that we went through.”Fauci, 80, is the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. After serving as the beleaguered and frequently sidelined face of the Trump administration’s COVID response, Fauci was retained as a senior adviser to President Joe Biden. Previous honorees include former secretaries of state Madeleine K. Albright and Gen. Colin L. Powell, tennis star Billie Jean King and musician Paul Simon.
'Hardy debate' on COVID bill could start Wednesday -Schumer
       
President Joe Biden holds a meeting with business leaders about his COVID-19 bill in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 9, 2021. The $1.9 billion Biden COVID-19 bill would also be an inappropriate use relative to the original intent of the provision, as it would substantially increase the deficit. For President Biden and the Democrats on Capitol Hill, there are some clear advantages in using the reconciliation process. Under the rules, most years there can only be one reconciliation bill. This means that they would be able to use reconciliation for this $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill and then another reconciliation bill later in the year on climate change or infrastructure or any other major priority.
Facebook can save itself by becoming a B Corporation
       
Because Mark Zuckerberg maintains complete majority control of Facebook, he could unilaterally quell public opprobrium and fend off heavy-handed regulation singlehandedly by transforming Facebook into a new kind of business: a for-benefit corporation. Many companies that have not undergone formal B Certification from B Labs have nonetheless done well while transforming their business practices, such as the carpet and flooring company Interface. A for-benefit Facebook could similarly relate to the world differently, avoiding many of the reputational shocks and regulatory responses that have led to huge stock dips and enormous fines. Such a for-benefit Facebook could create true buy-in and transparency with its massive community around the world. In changing Facebook into a for-benefit corporation, Zuckerberg could insulate himself against presidential rage while rehabilitating his reputation — and his company's.
Reversing Trump, Interior Department moves swiftly on climate change
       
WASHINGTON — As the Interior Department awaits its new secretary, the agency is already moving to lock in key parts of President Biden’s environmental agenda, particularly on oil and gas restrictions, laying the groundwork to fulfill some of the administration’s most consequential climate change promises. As early as this week, one administration official said, the Interior Department is poised to take the next steps in preparing a review of the federal oil and gas leasing program. Hayes worked on Biden’s transition and ahead of Inauguration Day was tapped to be a special adviser to the president on climate change policy. AdvertisementBiden’s Interior Department will ultimately be defined by its reversals on fossil fuels after four years in which the Trump administration aggressively pursued energy production on public lands. Haaland sought to reassure Republicans that she would enact Biden’s policies of pausing future fracking, not banning it.
Letters: Churches and vaccination | End time change | The Sarkozy example | Bad precedent | Separate bills
       
Teachers don’t benefit from not being in the classroom and desperately want to return– but want the classroom to be safe. Merlin DorfmanSan JoseSeparate minimum wagefrom coronavirus reliefFor the benefit of both, separate the minimum wage provision from the Pandemic Relief Bill. Take the minimum wage provision out and deal with it in a separate bill. ice-cream scooper, food court cleaner, newspaper deliverer, pigeon-psych-experiment lab-aide), I favor a big increase in the minimum wage. Giving employers some choices, such as between a flat minimum wage and a combination of a somewhat lower minimum wage and some sort of profit/income sharing.
Provide unaccompanied migrant children with resources needed to find refuge they seek in U.S. | Editorial
       
It is a kind of massive camp, full of trailers, many miles from any big city or easy scrutiny. Civil libertarians, child advocates and both Republicans and Democrat on Capitol Hill are decrying Biden’s decision to open the facility, and we share their misgivings. Once our nation accepts responsibility for these children, as it should, it has to live up to that responsibility. Facilities such as that at Carrizo Springs should be run by nonprofits and closed as quickly as the realities of the pandemic allow. SubscribeTrailers and classroomsAs described by the Washington Post, the Carrizo Springs facility includes groups of beige trailers surrounding a white dining tent, a soccer field and a basketball court.
A test for Nassau, Suffolk on fair housing
       
Good things are happening in New York on the fair housing front. But the linchpin of fair housing enforcement is undercover testing, and the record on that front is more mixed. Fair housing experts say 25 tests of apartment rentals can cost around $50,000; tests of homebuying are even pricier. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed giving six fair housing testing groups statewide a total of $250,000; that won’t go far. Attorney General Letitia James announced considerably heftier grants of about $660,000 for each of the fair housing groups, but the money is only for two years.
Newspaper corrections for March 3, 2021
       
An op-ed in the Feb. 24 opinion section stated that Measure 11 sentences are mandatory. There are rare cases in which a defendant may receive less than the sentence established by Measure 11 for the offense.
Letters: Church buildings must close to free worshippers from the cost of upkeep
       
What do the parishes need at this time of crisis? What both clergy and congregations need is to be set free – free from unnecessary costs, red tape, diocesan strategies and national consultations. Church buildings must close, and the weight of their upkeep lifted from congregations’ shoulders. Holding church services in people’s homes, and meeting in schools and village halls, must be the new normal. In 1945 the Church published a visionary document called Towards the Conversion of England, which was sadly never implemented.
Letters to the Editor: The world is changing outside the Ivory Towers. They need to change, too
       
Share this Story: Letters to the Editor: The world is changing outside the Ivory Towers. They need to change, tooLetters to the Editor: The world is changing outside the Ivory Towers. Try refreshing your browser, or Letters to the Editor: The world is changing outside the Ivory Towers. Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below. Advertisement Story continues below This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Opinion | On Jan. 6 came the white supremacists. Now comes the whitewash.
       
took issue with “the narrative” of who was involved on Jan. 6 — and again suggested that anarchists played a role. Kean and Hamilton agreed that they would switch sides to prevent any vote of the commission from breaking along party lines. If they get that part right, it won’t matter if the commission’s mandate is Jan. 6 or broader political violence, Gorelick argued. “They’ll look at the facts,” she said, and they’ll see what is objectively true: that political violence on the left is “not as consequential” as the danger from the right. But we’d be no worse off than we are now, with Republican senators meeting the FBI director’s facts with antifa fantasies.
Education Secretary Cardona: Here is my plan to get students back in schools full-time
       
It has been extraordinary to see schools, educators and families face this challenge head-on and continue to educate our students. Under my leadership, the Department of Education (ED) will take a problem-solving, solutions-oriented approach to working with schools, educators, and families to get students back in the classroom full-time. We’ll also talk about and hear from leaders about addressing the academic, social and emotional needs of students. Children will succeed with our helpFinally, and most importantly, schools need financial help to reopen classrooms safely, stay open, address students’ learning needs, and support students’ mental health. And it will require tremendous investment from the federal government to meet the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students, during and after the pandemic.
A Third Covid Vaccine Is a Reason for Optimism - The New York Times
       
Exactly one year ago, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said it would take 12 to 18 months, at best, to discover a single vaccine of potentially middling efficacy. In Israel, a recent analysis of 602,000 vaccinated people found that only 21 later contracted the virus and had to be hospitalized. As my colleague David Leonhardt has pointed out, that’s a minuscule fraction of the rate of flu hospitalization in the United States every year. And that’s before taking into account the partnership between Merck and Johnson & Johnson the White House announced on Tuesday, which an official said could eventually double the supply of the new vaccine. The number we should be striving for, experts say, is three million doses per day, up from the current 1.94 million.
Biden Administration Announces First Sanctions on Russia in Navalny Case
       
It was unclear if the United States planned to release a formal report, as it did last week when it confirmed two-year-old findings on Mr. Khashoggi, or whether it would simply summarize the key finding in the Navalny case. The sanctions are notable chiefly because they are the first Mr. Biden has taken in the six weeks since he became president. While most presidents have come into office declaring they would seek a reset of relations with Russia, Mr. Biden has done the opposite. He has warned that Mr. Putin is driving his country into an era of authoritarianism and promised to push back on human rights violations and efforts to destabilize Europe. One official told reporters on Tuesday morning that the Biden administration was not seeking to reset relations or escalate confrontations.
The GOP is still Trump’s and other commentary
       
Conservative: The GOP Is Still Trump’sFormer President Donald Trump’s appearance at last weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference showed that “this is still Trump’s party,” notes The Federalist’s David Marcus. And this means proving that the administration “understands, values and supports” parents who enroll their children in the 7,500 public charter schools across the United States. But his “circumstances this time were very different” than during previous political battles, including over his nursing-home scandal. For starters, his conduct included asking “creepy questions about the sex life” of a 25-year-old sex-assault survivor (Bennett), and he doesn’t deny making the comments. Leftist: The Bogus ‘Perils’ of Independent NewsAt his TK News blog on Substack, Matt Taibbi rises in defense of .
Biden’s outrageous giveaway to federal bureaucrats should enrage you
       
If you were to design a legislative provision outrageous enough to inspire another Tea Party-style political uprising, you would be hard-pressed to do better than Section 5111 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. But nothing quite compares to its “Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund” for the righteous indignation it should arouse in most Americans. After all, there is no time like a pandemic to encourage federal workers to take a holiday. In many ways, the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund is perfectly representative of the American Rescue Plan as a whole. If the American Rescue Plan Act passes with this provision included, though, it may be evidence we’re not nearly angry enough.
Opinion | When Democrats govern, they try hardest to help red states
       
Even big business groups are saying they want to see the minimum wage increase. The only place with a $15 minimum wage right now is Washington, D.C.; the next-highest minimum wage is in the state of Washington, whose minimum is now $13.69. ADThis is a consistent pattern: When Democrats take power, they try to extend help everywhere — and in some cases, especially to residents of red states. So is there any hope for a minimum-wage increase? On the other hand, people earning the minimum wage have been waiting for a raise for nearly 12 years.
Kennedy Saves Your Vaccination Situation
       
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been a major focus the past few months and Kennedy is breaking down her thoughts and opinions on the process and how it could be improved. Kennedy discusses a creative solution to bringing the vaccine to communities without easy access to pharmacies and she urges listeners to be proactive in making sure extra vaccine doses do not go to waste. Follow Kennedy on Twitter: @KennedyNation
Opinion: What's happening in Texas and Mississippi has to stop
       
(CNN) The historic winter storm that crippled Texas during the third week of February spotlighted the Lone Star State's pervasive history of structural racism. The storm's aftershocks continue to be felt in parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi where many Black and brown residents continue to lack power, clean drinking water and shelter. The conservative free-market ideology that led to the deregulation of Texas utilities has been catastrophic on racially segregated and economically impoverished communities. Abbott's false claims that the winter storm "showed how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal" for America reflects the Orwellian nature of American politics. The failure of political leadership and moral imagination of the Texas governor is boundless.
Business & Financial News, U.S & International Breaking News
       
President Biden ordered states to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers to ensure children could return to school quickly and safely, and called for every educator to receive at least one shot by the end of March.
Vernon Jordan’s Creed: ‘Michelle, I’m Too Old To Let Race Get In The Way of Friendship’
       
But there weren’t big bucks being waved around for the kind of memoir Jordan wanted to write. Later in life, Jordan would be squired around town by a driver of his own. During Jordan’s tenure, the group’s strategy was to advance Black progress in part through alliances with enlightened white civic and corporate leaders. Even though he didn’t win Jordan’s endorsement in 2008, no one demonstrated that more potently than Obama himself. Even so, the racial progress of the next generation will be more attainable in the wake of progress of the past two—achievements with which Jordan’s life was inextricably intertwined.
Chicago Catholic Schools Supt. Jim Rigg to resign
       
The superintendent of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Catholic Schools is resigning, church leaders announced Tuesday, less than six years after he took the role and amid a pandemic that continues to challenge schools. Dr. Jim Rigg “informed us of his intention to transition away from his role,” the Archdiocese wrote in an email announcing his departure to clergy and staff. Rigg, who has led Catholic Schools since the fall of 2015, will step down at the end of June. The Archdiocese of Chicago school board has formed a search committee and will conduct a national search for a new schools superintendent. Last year, Rigg shepherded a new $90 million partnership with a Catholic foundation that essentially handed off operational duties for 30 schools.
Nationwide eviction moratorium, Arizona bar-closing order, had dubious legal bases
       
But that concession did not stop the Biden administration from imposing a nationwide eviction moratorium with an equally dubious legal basis. OpinionThe eviction moratorium, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally issued in September, was renewed by Congress in December, and then extended again by the Biden administration. Barker emphasized that the case had no bearing on the constitutionality of state or local eviction regulations. The challenge to Ducey’s COVID-19 rules, by contrast, is based on the division of powers between the governor and the legislature. SubscribeIn practice, that has included detailed, ever-shifting codes of conduct for various industries that ordinarily could be regulated only based on specific legislative authority.
Chicago GOP should find ways to persuade voters to take our side
       
It’s often asked, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” In Chicago politics, the tree is a lot like the Chicago Republican Party. In a desperate grab for headlines, the Chicago GOP voted last week to censure Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., for his impeachment vote. While the Chicago mayoral races are officially nonpartisan, the Chicago GOP doesn’t even bother to put forth candidates. Because of this, the party must persuade voters to take our side and offer up something other than fervent partisanship. The Chicago GOP is showing exactly how not to do this.
As virus-era attacks on Asians rise, past victims look back
       
A recent wave of attacks on elderly Asian Americans — including the death of an 84-year-old San Francisco man — has fueled worries that hostilities have only worsened. She was forced to discuss anti-Asian racism with her son, 10, and daughter, 7 — a talk she didn’t think would happen for a few more years. A rash of crimes victimizing elderly Asian Americans in the past two months has renewed outcry for more attention from politicians and the media. The funding will go toward community resources and further tracking of anti-Asian hate incidents. “Our work to address anti-Asian racism is inextricably tied to fighting anti-Black racism,” Choi said.
Stimulus check updates: Biden urges Senate Dems to rally behind $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package
       
Despite every Democrats’ huge leverage because all their votes are needed, none have so far threatened to sink the legislation if they don’t get their way. All are aware of how that would rattle Biden’s presidency and Democrats’ ability to be productive during this Congress.
Plowy McPlowFace plows through the competition to win snowplow naming contest
       
Plowy McPlowFace won the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s inaugural “Name a Snowplow” contest with 65,292 votes. The next-closest vote-getter was Ope, Just Gonna Plow Right Past Ya, which garnered 29,457 votes. Plowy McPlowFace will soon be plowing streets in the Metro District; Ope, Just Gonna Plow Right Past Ya will make its home in District 4 in west-central Minnesota. The name, a play on the rallying cry of critics of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ranked No. “It was meant to be a fun and lighthearted contest,” Jake Loesch, a spokesman for MnDOT, told the New York Times.
Saudi Arabia's shadowy power struggles playing out on Canadian soil
       
Share this Story: Saudi Arabia's shadowy power struggles playing out on Canadian soilSaudi Arabia's shadowy power struggles playing out on Canadian soil The repression of dissidents, and the disappearance of people linked to dissidents who've fled abroad has been part of Saudi drama that included a palace coup in 2017 Photo by François Ollivier/Getty Images/FileArticle content The disappearance of a Saudi activist after a visit to the Ottawa embassy and the widening of a legal battle between the Kingdom and a former Saudi spymaster from U.S. to Canadian courts, mark a shadowy Saudi power struggle playing out within Canada’s borders, even as the international community looks more closely at Saudi actions. Saudi Arabia has long sought out and pressured dissidents abroad, culminating in the assassination and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. Try refreshing your browser, or Saudi Arabia's shadowy power struggles playing out on Canadian soil Back to video Canadians are now learning that Saudi’s power struggles and suppression are also playing out here. In the days since, there has been an escalation in the drama playing out between Saudi Arabia and Western nations. “The official opening of a criminal investigation in Germany into the crimes against humanity in Saudi Arabia would be a world first,” Christian Mihr, the Germany director, said, according to media reports.
Why is the Republican Party so divided about Trump?
       
MAGA supporters are politically vocal, racially biased, and believe conspiracy theoriesOur respondents are committed to making their views known. MAGA supporters are motivated by what’s called ‘status threat’What explains MAGA supporters’ commitment to Trump and his conspiratorial and racist views? MAGA nation’s loyalty to Trump and commitment to a Trump-led GOP makes it hard for the Republican Party to break away from the former president. Although Trump lost in 2020, MAGA supporters’ political commitment suggests he had coattails, narrowing Democrats’ advantage in the House. That’s likely to increase polarization, with Trump supporters’ passion for the former president matched only by his opponents’ revulsion.
Why Some Asian Americans are Staying Silent About the Ongoing Hate Crimes
       
So many devastating hate crimes are happening in such a short amount of time, but almost no one is talking about them. We can’t deny that Asian Americans face discrimination on a different scale from our Black brothers and sisters. Decades of this divide has left many Asian Americans questioning whether they’re Asian enough . Some state prosecutors have failed to address these cases as hate crimes, and in some cases, defendants are being released without bail . Ask your parents if they've heard about the most recent wave of anti-Asian hate crimes, or bring it up in conversation with friends.
Republicans Are Taking a Sledgehammer to Voting Rights
       
Democrats, who challenged the laws in 2016, say the rules disproportionately target minorities in the state and violate part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was already diluted by the John Roberts court. Should justices, three of whom were picked by Trump, side with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the Voting Rights Act could be weakened even further, making it even harder to challenge racist voting restrictions. The For the People Act, introduced by Maryland Democrat John Sarbanes, includes a number of anti-corruption reforms, and would expand access to the franchise and restore the Voting Rights Act. But the bill will run into a buzzsaw in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are almost certain to filibuster the measure. And that means confronting the reality that Trump leaving office didn’t extinguish his Big Lie, but made it more powerful.
Why We Can’t Let ‘Vaccine Envy’ Run Away With Us
       
The U.S.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is in full—albeit sometimes faltering—swing, with 15% of the population currently vaccinated as of March 1. Rates of depression, anxiety, and loneliness have soared over the last year, and it’s natural that those feelings would now calcify into envy. Some of that trepidation comes from my own anxiety around having a BMI high enough to qualify me for the vaccine, but it also comes from the small, seemingly offhanded comments I’ve heard and seen on social media about who “deserves” the vaccine and who does not. Judgment has been a constant throughout this pandemic, but it’s rarely productive, and can have the opposite of its intended effect. We gripe about people who post pictures of themselves hanging out with friends on social media in part because it’s easier than figuring out how to fix a system that let nearly 500,000 people die in a year.
Don’t worry about this new proposed tax unless you’re worth $50 million or more
       
If you’re an ultra-millionaire or a billionaire, you might have to reach for your checkbook soon. She wants a 2% annual tax on households and trusts with net worths of $50 million and up and 3% on those above $1 billion. What would the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act accomplish? Doing this would mean that the rest of Americans wouldn’t have to see their taxes increased. With 10.1 million Americans unemployed, according to the latest U.S. Department of Labor data, and millions of others underemployed or afraid of layoffs or furloughs, income disparities are only likely to get worse.
Does Your Company Lurch From Crisis to Crisis?
       
Many organizations find themselves in a perpetual state of crisis and rely on company “heroes” to put out the fires. If you’ve wondered why your organization performs well in a crisis but struggles otherwise, it may be time to pause and ask why. I recently sat in on an executive team meeting during which they were dealing with a crisis — a major customer shipment had been botched. Ted, the CEO and my client, quipped, “My gosh, we are amazing in a crisis. Cultures like Ted’s have long relied on heroism to get things done — and not just during a crisis.
How Employers Can Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy
       
Employers can play an essential role in achieving that goal by embracing the tenets of behavioral economics to combat vaccine hesitancy. In their employee communications, organizations should certainly emphasize the primary benefit of getting vaccinated: avoiding getting sick and spreading a deadly illness to family, friends, and coworkers. Just as many influencers show videos of themselves receiving the vaccine, employers can put stickers on ID badges and vaccine sites can distribute easily visible buttons to those who are vaccinated. We have begun talking about an increase in “vaccine confidence” rather than a decrease in “vaccine hesitancy.”Overcome the tendency to underestimate common risks. The appearance of unfair administration of vaccine not only opens employers to negative press but also could also lead angry employees to forego vaccination.
This Site Is Dedicated to All Things Black Wellness
       
Sometimes, binge watching can lead to inspiration instead of idleness. At least that was recently the case for Pilar McQuirter, who joined MullenLowe in October as cultural strategy director.
State: Russia's behavior led to sanctions
       
State: Russia's behavior led to sanctionsThe US State Department says the latest sanctions against Russian officials send a clear signal that there are consequences for their behavior.
Ambitious Republicans’ Dance: Embrace Trump, but Don’t Try to Be Him
       
“It’s like Hellmann’s mayonnaise — you can’t imitate it, man,” said Waverly Woods, 54, a Republican activist from Virginia Beach. Mr. Cotton, who notched one percentage point in the conference’s non-Trump straw poll of possible 2024 presidential candidates, was not the only Republican hopeful who struggled to resonate, despite adopting Mr. Trump’s language. “Oh, there’s going to be a ‘win-win,’” Mr. Scott said. With 95 percent of CPAC attendees indicating their continued support for Mr. Trump’s agenda, expressions of solidarity were not exceptional but expected. As a result, many people flocked last weekend to Republicans who offered another dimension to their pitch.
Biden: US will have enough COVID vaccines for every adult by the ‘end of May’
       
President Biden on Tuesday said that the US will now have enough COVID-19 vaccines for every adult “by the end of May” — and that the feds will start a new program aimed at vaccinating all teachers by the end of March. “We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” Biden said at the White House, noting that he had previously said the end of July. President Joe Biden speaking in the White House on March 2, 2021. You can ask millions of parents, they understand,” Biden said at the White House. The Johnson & Johnson shot was found to be 66 percent effective overall in preventing moderate to severe illness 28 days after vaccination, and 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease.
Democrats can’t kill the filibuster. But they can gut it.
       
Push too far, and the result could be Majority Leader McConnell, foreclosing Democrats’ avenue to pursue infrastructure, tax reform and health reform legislation. Instead of naming and shaming them, Democrats might consider looking at what Manchin and Sinema like about the filibuster. Sinema recently said, “Retaining the legislative filibuster is not meant to impede the things we want to get done. And I will not do that.”If you take their views at face value, the goal is to preserve some rights for the Senate minority, with the aim of fostering compromise. The burden is on the majority, a consequence of filibuster reform in 1975, which moved the standard from two-thirds of senators present and voting to three-fifths of the entire Senate.
Biden administration's push for standardized tests irks teachers unions, state leaders
       
States are also discouraged from using exams to determine students' final grades or whether they’ll advance to the next grade. Some education leaders argue that a flexible approach to testing is one way to track student achievement during an unpredictable year. The state plans to let schools hold off testing until later this year, Ortega said, partly to ensure more students participate. California’s state education board voted to request flexibility from the federal government, adding to a list of local authorities that already hoped to skip broad standardized tests this spring. “All the assumptions that go behind standardized testing are false in 2021, because of pandemic-related learning conditions.”Overall testing data that emerges this year “will be meaningless,” Schaeffer argued.
Supreme Court leans toward approving Arizona GOP voting rules challenged by Democrats
       
The Supreme Court is weighing Democrats' challenge to Republican-sponsored election rules in Arizona. Washington attorney Michael Carvin, representing Arizona Republicans, said the court should uphold state election rules so as long as voting is "equally open" to all groups. Story continuesDuring Tuesday's argument, Justice Elena Kagan pressed the Republican attorney to clarify when voting rules should be considered to be "equally open" to racial minorities. Eight years ago, the court's conservatives struck down the best known and most effective provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But Roberts stressed in the 2013 decision that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act — at issue now — remained in full effect nationwide.
Amazon's GameOn screen recording app comes to iOS
       
Refinery29After weeks of private talks, President Joe Biden has endorsed the right of workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama to unionize. “Unions lift up workers, both union and non-union, but especially Black and Brown workers. Biden’s historic decision to publicly support a unionization push marks a major turning point in how presidential administrations are addressing labor rights and organizing. It was about workers’ rights everywhere,” Nelson said. Once all workers’ votes are tallied, the outcome could affect the future of Amazon workers’ rights across the country in a major way.
Supreme Court leans toward approving Arizona GOP voting rules challenged by Democrats
       
Washington attorney Michael Carvin, representing Arizona Republicans, said the court should uphold state election rules so as long as voting is “equally open” to all groups. During Tuesday’s argument, Justice Elena Kagan pressed the Republican attorney to clarify when voting rules should be considered to be “equally open” to racial minorities. Eight years ago, the court’s conservatives struck down the best known and most effective provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. AdvertisementBut Roberts stressed in the 2013 decision that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act — at issue now — remained in full effect nationwide. Gen. Mark Brnovich focused on the second clause of the law, and argued Arizona election rules should be upheld because in their “totality” they do not deny minorities an equal “opportunity” to vote.
Read the winning entries in an MLK essay contest for Richardson students
       
Essay Contest for students in grades 3 through 12. Students were asked to write an essay about how to use King’s teachings to support diversity and inclusion. Here are the winners and some excerpts from their entries:Grades 3-5Clara Eves won in this division for her essay that included examples on how to make people feel included and welcome. The contest was open to students in grades 3-12 who live in Richardson or attend a Richardson ISD or Plano ISD school in Richardson. The contest was sponsored by the city council, Richardson ISD, Plano ISD and the University of Texas at Dallas.
Children most in need always take financial hit in hard times
       
Bruce Rauner signed a school funding reform bill into law that was hailed by Republicans and Democrats alike as “historic,” and “landmark” legislation. In addition, skyrocketing property taxes had created an unfair tax burden on homeowners and small business owners. So, in 2017 people who had been waiting for something, anything, got all excited about the grand school funding reform plan that was passed and signed into law. This year, well, the problems are worse and for a second straight year that “historic” school funding reform plan will not be funded. After two years of the historic reform plan the gap was down to $3,520 per student.
The president’s other house: A trip to Harry S. Truman’s Little White House in Key West
       
President Harry Truman won his own term despite widespread expectations that he would lose to New York Gov. Thomas Dewey. “Dewey defeats Truman,” read the famously mistaken front page of the Chicago Daily Tribune. Truman had campaigned against a “do-nothing Congress” that had not passed his legislative proposals and had won support from unions with his veto of the Taft-Hartley bill that restricted their power. [Pictured: President Harry S. Truman laughing as he holds an early edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune for Nov. 4th, 1948.]
President Biden says US expects enough COVID vaccine for all adult Americans by the end of May — 2 months earlier than anticipated
       
The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose J&J vaccine and accelerate the nation’s plans to reach “herd immunity” in the U.S. and begin restoring normalcy after the pandemic. Biden noted that vaccine supply was only one bottleneck toward that goal, and that the new challenge will be injecting doses into arms as swiftly as possible.
Feds oppose release of Arizona man who wore horns in riot
       
PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors in Washington are opposing the pretrial release of an Arizona man who stormed the U.S. Capitol nearly two months ago while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns. “He cannot be trusted now to suddenly change course,” prosecutors said. A judge in Washington is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether Chansley should be released. While prosecutors say the spear attached to a flagpole carried by Chansley into the Capitol was a weapon, his attorney has characterized the spear as an ornament. The defense lawyer also argued the message that Chansley penned to Pence wasn’t intended to be threatening and said his client is suffering from digestive tract difficulties, even though he has been given him organic food, as he had requested.
Biden: US will have enough vaccine supply for all adults by end of May; states directed to prioritize teachers
       
With the bolstered supply, Biden also announced he would be using the powers of the federal government to direct all states to prioritize vaccinating teachers, and said the federal government would provide the doses directly through its pharmacy program. He challenged states to administer at least one dose of the vaccine to all teachers by the end of March as part of his administration's efforts to reopen more schools across the nation. "We’re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May,” said Biden, who likened the partnership between the two drug companies to the spirit of national cooperation during World War II. The announcement comes as the White House looks to speed the production of the single-dose J&J vaccine and accelerate the nation’s plans to reach “herd immunity” in the U.S. and begin restoring normalcy after the pandemic. Biden noted that vaccine supply was only one bottleneck toward that goal, and that the new challenge will be injecting doses into arms as swiftly as possible.
‘Two sessions’ 2021: can China create ecosystem for tech talent to innovate?
       
China’s political elite will gather in Beijing this week for the year’s biggest legislative set piece. Illustration: Henry Wong
Trump’s Strategy for Returning to Power Is Already Clear
       
Four years later, with a record number of Hungarians turning up to the polls, his party lost power. In 2010, after eight years leading the opposition, Orbán and his party, Fidesz, returned to power with a supermajority—enough to change the constitution and begin rapidly consolidating autocratic power. By the time that Fidesz returned to power, government institutions were widely viewed as illegitimate—and therefore easy to corrupt or dismantle. Of course, Orbán, Trump, and other populists do not deliver actual solutions: Magyar is describing their political offer, not their practice. The challenge for the party in power is to create solutions, proving in practice that solidarity can be more rewarding than selfishness.
Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Leader and D.C. Power Broker, Dies at 85
       
He would later go to Howard’s law school at a time, in the late 1950s, when the school served as an informal headquarters for a cadre of lawyers who were the architects of the legal strategy of the civil rights movement. He wrote that attending a white college and then a Black law school had provided perfect bookends to his education. Mr. Jordan wrote that he had been an inexplicable creature to a wealthy Southern white man like Robert Maddox. After graduating from law school in 1960, he became a law clerk to Donald Lee Hollowell, a prominent Black lawyer who had a busy one-man civil rights practice in Atlanta. On her first day of classes, Mr. Jordan was photographed escorting her onto the campus surrounded by a hostile crowd.
Rape Allegations Divide Mexico’s Governing Party
       
At the time, Mr. Salgado and Ms. Castañeda’s boyfriend were members of the Party of the Democratic Revolution. Ms. Castañeda said she was amazed by the splendor in which Mr. Salgado lived. She said Mr. Salgado greeted her and said that her boyfriend was not there, but that he would help her get back home. Then Mr. Salgado forced her down onto a couch, she said, and raped her. “He attacked me like an animal,” Ms. Castañeda said in an interview.
Galloway tears into Joe Biden over Trump likeness 'How can you tell he's new president?'
       
Galloway tears into Joe Biden over Trump likeness 'How can you tell he's new president?' Added: 02.03.2021 12:27 | 21 views | 0 commentsGEORGE Galloway tore into US President Joe Biden for his similarities with Donald Trump as the commentator said he has not signed relief for his citizens but is instead focused on threatening international actors with America's military might.
College Officials Clamp Down on Student Behavior Over Covid-19 Fears
       
College Officials Clamp Down on Student Behavior Over Covid-19 FearsAdded: 20.08.2020 10:27 | 13 views | 0 commentsJoe Biden criticized President Trump’s virus response and outlined a strategy to fight the pandemic. Overburdened health care specialists are finding themselves on the front lines as schools reopen.
Supreme Court appears to favor upholding voting laws lower court found unfair to minorities
       
Added: 02.03.2021 19:17 | 6 views | 0 commentsThe justices are reviewing protections provided by the Voting Rights Act, which forbids laws that result in discrimination based on race.
Facebook's Oversight Board Must Uphold the Ban on Trump
       
In the coming weeks, the Facebook Oversight Board will rule on Donald Trump’s indefinite suspension from the platform. Together with researchers at UNC’s Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life, we believe the board should uphold Facebook’s ban on Trump’s account. Banning Trump from the platform permanently would follow the company's history of suspending users who repeatedly violate policies. On the most fundamental level, Trump’s use of Facebook repeatedly violated the company’s policies. The bigger and clearer violation of Facebook’s policies is the former president’s use of the platform to undermine free and fair elections—the public’s essential democratic voice.
Vernon E. Jordan Jr., lawyer and D.C. political power broker, dies at 85
       
But one significant way in which Mr. Jordan differed from his predecessors was he was among the few African Americans at the top of Washington’s power structure. ADYet the ways in which Mr. Jordan wielded his power remained something of a mystery. Mr. Jordan was among the first to suggest Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.) as Clinton’s running mate in 1992. And I’m not going to stop liking people.”ADADTo Clinton, Mr. Jordan was a sounding board in good times and bad. Mr. Jordan noted that the surgeon, the internist and the anesthesiologist who treated him in Fort Wayne were African American.
The Look Book Goes to S&T Auto Body
       
Photo: DeSean McClinton-HollandDavid Greco (pictured above), Deli owner, Little Italy, the Bronx. I’ve met his mother and father, and he has his mother’s class and his father’s savvy. I’m not loud like my father, but I’m good with them. David Pascual, Parts man, Little Italy, the Bronx. Photo: DeSean McClinton-HollandMacho Rivera, Businessman, Little Italy, the Bronx.
‘I Feel Guilty for Living So Far From Home!’
       
I feel guilty because I know it hurts my parents that I’m gone, and I do miss them. But now I want to talk about hermit crabs. Did you know that hermit crabs don’t grow their own shells? Like the hermit crab’s tender body, we are made of soft, fragile stuff, Aventurera. Don’t buy hermit crabs as pets — they sometimes eat each other!
So What if Romney Doesn’t Solve the ‘Root Causes’ of Poverty?
       
There are many problems we treat without addressing their root causes. Chemotherapy doesn’t address the root causes of cancer. Showering doesn’t solve the root causes of body odor. Identifying and solving the “root causes” of poverty is a difficult endeavor. Cass gestures at a grab bag of notions that he implies would solve the root causes, but there is no conservative plan to eliminate poverty via the root causes either.
Opinion | Love Factory: Becoming a Social Media Star in China
       
In China, livestreaming services command an audience of nearly 560 million, with streamers broadcasting to devoted followers who tune in every night. In the short documentary above, we enter two agencies that scout promising newcomers and mold them into high-earning stars. But what’s it like working for a company that engineers every aspect of your life — and then requires you to livestream it all day? His previous work includes the Op-Doc “Rent-a-Foreigner in China.”The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.
Opinion | Ron DeSantis’s clout is growing. Here’s what he must do to break out as a 2024 candidate.
       
Only 42 years old, the Yale and Harvard Law graduate served as a Navy lawyer until his honorable discharge in 2010. In less than three years, he had become a congressman from a safe, affluent congressional district in suburban Jacksonville, Fla. His statement that “Florida got it right and the lockdown states got it wrong” is music to conservative ears. He will need to craft a stronger record than he currently has to cement his status as a top-tier candidate. He could also work to establish a state program to make state universities free for students whose parents did not graduate from college.
Opinion | For Putin, it wasn’t enough to smear, harass and poison Navalny
       
No one doubts Mr. Navalny’s personal courage; he knew that in returning to Russia he would face Mr. Putin’s wrath. According to former inmates and lawyers familiar with Penal Colony 2, the facility east of Moscow to which Mr. Navalny has been transferred, it is notorious for subjecting convicts to extreme isolation. No doubt, that would suit Mr. Putin, whom Mr. Navalny has repeatedly subjected to ridicule, most recently in a YouTube video expose of a staggeringly opulent $1 billion palace on the Black Sea built for the Russian president’s enjoyment. Mr. Putin, who has contrived to remain in power almost indefinitely, may imagine that having Mr. Navalny disappear from public view will quiet nationwide street protests like the ones in January that were met by thousands of arrests. That revulsion, along with a stagnant economy, will not fade just because Mr. Navalny is muzzled for the time being.
Texans were casualties in Republicans' war on green energy
       
They went to war against the specter of green energy. They went to war against the specter of green energy. Mutual Aid Houston, a self-described “tiny group of 9 organizers,” says they have distributed $197,000 in direct cash aid from thousands of donors. It's fitting, then, that the term “mutual aid” should have a frigid place as its origin. Among humans, Kropotkin theorized, the law of mutual aid is folded into higher moral sentiments.
A year of Covid requires new investment in America's health care workers
       
Like so many other essential workers, too many of us have only stopped intermittently to tend to our wounds. Like so many other essential workers, too many of us have stopped only intermittently to tend to our wounds. Over the past year, we’ve watched in utter disbelief as the coronavirus public health emergency has spun out of control. In response, Kaiser Health News and The Guardian jointly tracked the thousands of health care workers who have died fighting Covid-19. Public health preparedness is not only about mitigating disasters and saving physical lives, it’s also about promoting mental health hygiene, holistic well-being and social cohesion.
Biden Is Supporting The Amazon Workers Trying To Unionize In Alabama — Finally
       
After weeks of private talks, President Joe Biden has endorsed the right of workers at an Amazon facility in Alabama to unionize. On Sunday, Biden showed solidarity with unions and workers in a video message, although he didn’t explicitly name Amazon in the short speech. Biden’s historic decision to publicly support a unionization push marks a major turning point in how presidential administrations are addressing labor rights and organizing. It was about workers’ rights everywhere,” Nelson said. Once all workers’ votes are tallied, the outcome could affect the future of Amazon workers’ rights across the country in a major way.
US lagging in critical artificial intelligence: panel
       
The United States is dangerously behind in artificial intelligence critical to its future including national security, according to a commission that includes a former head of Google and the future chief of Amazon. A report released by the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence called for the country to invest $40 billion to win a strategic AI competition with China. "This is the tough reality we must face," the chairs of the commission said in the report released late Monday. "It is no secret that America’s military rivals are integrating AI concepts and platforms to challenge the United States' decades-long technology advantage," the letter read. The United States also needs to ramp up science and technology education and do more to attract highly skilled immigrants, the commission said.
U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia over opposition leader Alexei Navalny's poisoning
       
Subscribe for free.The sanctions fall "far short of honoring" Biden's promise, Ryan wrote in a Post op-ed out Monday. "Background: Khashoggi was a prominent Saudi journalist and royal insider who became an outspoken critic of MBS in 2017. "We should not make exceptions to favor one brutal dictator over another based on favors they do for us or fears that they might not always respond as we would like them to," Ryan wrote. "How can we be a credible champion of human rights when we demand accountability in one country and are willing to look the other way in another? "More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets.
Review: ‘Moxie’ has verve but is more than a little clueless (and not in a good way)
       
The retro-titled “Moxie,” based on the 2017 novel by Jennifer Mathieu, is a likable, well-performed and admirably inclusive, if not terribly deep, comedy about teen feminism. Her move: She secretly publishes a feminist zine dubbed “Moxie” and unleashes a campus rebellion. Guys like him certainly abound, but Mitchell is such a one-dimensional trope, we learn little from his existence. On the upside, Robinson proves a breath of fresh air as she goes from self-effacing to self-empowered with naturalistic heart, verve and, yes, moxie. The other young actors, particularly Tsai, Pascual-Peña and Nico Hiraga as a dreamy skateboarder who steals Vivian’s heart, are also engaging talents.
Harvard to expand program on city leadership with $150 million from Bloomberg
       
Bloomberg Philanthropies on Tuesday announced the Bloomberg Center for Cities, which will build on a collaboration set up with Harvard in 2017 to train and support mayors and their staffs in how to manage cities effectively. Harvard University will be home to a new center for training municipal leaders, an initiative funded by a $150 million gift from billionaire former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s philanthropic organization. “The pandemic has driven home just how important mayors are to the everyday lives of billions of people,” Bloomberg said. The new money will create a permanent endowment that will allow those efforts to expand and make sure they continue, the organization said. “The University is home to many people who are committed to serving the public and improving communities through deep expertise, useful knowledge, and wide-ranging research,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said in a statement.
Maine makes age the vaccine metric that matters
       
Maine, like many other states, had factored occupation and individual medical conditions into its vaccination plan. Age is the strongest predictor both of dying if one contracts COVID as well as of suffering serious effects. Second, using age will allow the vaccination process to move “much faster,” predicts Mills. Using age avoids that subjectivity while assuring that the most vulnerable cohort in all occupations will be vaccinated in the same approximate period. Maine is the only state using age alone, though Connecticut (first dose, 19.5 percent) has a new schedule based primarily on age, with a special exception for teachers.
COVID: Gov. Newsom pitches school reopening in Palo Alto
       
“It proves we can do that in other parts of the state,” Newsom said. The California Teachers Association, which has resisted returning teachers to classrooms out of safety concerns, called it a step in the right direction. “Nearly every other state and nation has figured out how to open elementary schools safely — why can’t California? The additional $4.6 billion would fund expanded learning opportunities, such as summer school, tutoring and mental health services. It was unclear however whether the deal would spur schools that have been moving more slowly to reopen sooner.
QAnon, the Holocaust and the deadly power of conspiracy theories
       
Our nation is getting a crash course in conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories have been around for centuries, well before mass communications amplified their potency. The Holocaust was the most murderous and massive manifestation of Jew hatred — and it began and ended with the aid of conspiracy theories. One of the slippery things when writing about conspiracy theories is this: how to explain their convoluted logic without making them sound more sensible? But as Europe became more secular, so did its anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.
Conservative group pushes proposals to tighten voting laws
       
As Donald Trump made false allegations about voting fraud and tried to overturn the will of the people in last year's election, one of his chief allies was conspicuously silent. The Honest Elections Project, a leading advocate for more restrictive voting laws, stayed away from Trump's doomed effort. But now the group founded by conservative activist and informal Trump adviser Leonard Leo, is re-joining the debate with a new set of recommendations likely to guide GOP lawmakers as they overhaul voting systems. Republicans are wrestling with how far to go in overhauling voting laws without embracing Trump's conspiracy theories or damaging Republicans' political prospects. “There is much more to the election reform push than what happened after the November election,” said Jason Snead, the group's executive director.
According to CDC, 96 percent of schoolchildren still unsafe for full-time, in-person learning
       
The agency acknowledges in-person instruction is a priority, especially considering the disproportionate disadvantage of remote learning on low-income and minority students, and calls for schools to be the first community institutions to reopen. But public health experts believe younger students are likely to have less risk of in-school transmission than older students, suggesting a phased opening. For middle and high schools, the map shows a majority of the country is still recommended to continue remote learning full-time. Still, some states are disregarding the CDC’s guidelines and reopening against the advice of public health experts. Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and Texas have all ordered all schools to open, although several counties in these states don't meet CDC guidelines.
[Kim Seong-kon] Blaming Asians for the coronavirus
       
According to CNN, there have been approximately 3,000 cases of violence against Asians and Asian Americans in the US in the past year. Days later, a 91-year-old Asian man was violently shoved to the ground in Oakland‘s Chinatown. Still, however, a crowd recently jeered at Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese American NBA player, by calling him “Coronavirus.” Although it is not clear if the coronavirus is what directly triggered all of these assaults against Asians, violence against Asians and Asian Americans has exponentially increased since COVID-19. Kids can be cruel and thus may pick on Asian American students at school, following their social milieu. Kim Seong-konKim Seong-kon is a professor emeritus of English at Seoul National University and a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College.
Over half of global environmental defender murders in 2020 in Colombia: report
       
A recent report from Front Line Defenders revealed that in 2020, at least 331 environmental defenders were killed globally. Impunity still reigns when it comes to the murders of human rights defenders around the world, according to the Front Line Defenders organization, in its global analysis of 2020. Since 2017, Front Line Defenders has registered 327 murders of defenders of the rights of Indigenous peoples in the world. “Several other laws were passed designed to limit the ability of human rights defenders and civil society to function well and safely. Human rights defenders not only have to protect themselves from physical attacks and murder, but also from digital attacks.
Tribes need fellow Native Deb Haaland in Interior to restore trust: Rep. Sharice Davids
       
Sharice DavidsOpinion contributorIn 2018, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, D-N.M., and I became the first two Native American women ever elected to Congress. Now in 2021, with President Joe Biden's nomination of Haaland as secretary of the Interior, she’s poised to make history once again. Prepared and perfectly positionedIt’s a position Rep. Haaland is well prepared for. Restore the trust of TribesThe importance of this cabinet position to Indian Country cannot be overstated. I strongly encourage my colleagues in the Senate to confirm Haaland as our next secretary of the Interior.
Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo is confirmed as commerce secretary
       
“Commerce’s role at the intersection of economics and national security increased significantly during the Trump administration. … The secretary is facing a full plate,” said Michael Wessel, a member of the congressionally chartered U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The Commerce Department has been slow to produce new regulations restricting the export of “foundational” and “emerging” technologies that carry national security implications. ADADOnce sworn in, Raimondo will take over a department with a roughly $8 billion budget and more than 43,000 employees. ADIn Rhode Island, Raimondo enjoyed strong support from factory businesses.
Squad amendment to restore voting rights to felons, incarcerated individuals fails in House
       
The House Tuesday rejected an amendment authored by the progressive Squad to restore voting rights not only to felons but to individuals who are currently incarcerated. ... Our democracy will remain broken and sick and unhealthy until we heal and restore the right to vote for incarcerated individuals." EVERY HOUSE DEMOCRAT SIGNS ONTO SWEEPING ELECTION REFORM BILL BLASTED BY GOPThe amendment was offered to House Democrats' sweeping voting rights and campaign finance reform legislation, known as the For The People Act. House Democrats passed similar legislation last Congress, but it died in the GOP-led Senate at the time. The voting reform legislation, numbered H.R.
U.S. Supreme Court signals more leeway for voting restrictions
       
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday appeared inclined to uphold two Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona in a case that could further hobble the Voting Rights Act, a landmark 1965 federal law that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. A lower court found that Arizona’s restrictions, challenged in court by Democrats, disproportionately burdened Black, Hispanic and Native American voters. Some conservative justices appeared skeptical of the standard for complying with the Voting Rights Act proposed by Republicans in the case. Circuit Court of Appeals last year found that the restrictions violated the Voting Rights Act, though they remained in effect for the Nov. 3 election. The Voting Rights Act was enacted at a time when numerous Southern states effectively prevented most Black people from voting.
Opinion: Biden and the Democrats are weakening democracy by using ‘reconciliation’ to pass COVID-19 aid
       
Does using reconciliation for the COVID-19 bill represent a hijacking of the original purpose of the process? The $1.9 billion Biden COVID-19 bill would also be an inappropriate use relative to the original intent of the provision, as it would substantially increase the deficit. For President Biden and the Democrats on Capitol Hill, there are some clear advantages in using the reconciliation process. This means that they would be able to use reconciliation for this $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill and then another reconciliation bill later in the year on climate change or infrastructure or any other major priority. This was first published by The Conversation — “Why using reconciliation to pass Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus bill violates the original purpose of the process“
Andrew Cuomo and the post-#MeToo reckoning that never was
       
With talk of a great reckoning, Time magazine chose “The Silence Breakers” as its 2017 Person of the Year. Pressure is now mounting for Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after a third woman accused him of inappropriate conduct at a wedding. Whether Cuomo survives this still-unfolding scandal — he was already under scrutiny for hiding nursing home deaths last year during the COVID-19 pandemic — is irrelevant. When Cuomo said, “2017 brought a long-overdue reckoning where the pervasive poison of workplace sexual harassment was exposed by brave women and men who said this ends now,” he was allegedly sexually harassing women in his workplace. It’s a precipitous plummet from the national heights Cuomo reached during the coronavirus pandemic’s first wave last year.
Top Pa. senator appoints colleague’s wife to lucrative Gaming Control Board seat
       
Frances Regan’s husband, Mike Regan, was elected to the Senate in 2016 and reelected to a second four-year term in 2020. His name has been bandied about in political circles as a potential Republican candidate for governor, although the Central Pennsylvania lawmaker has not publicly announced any intention to run for higher office. In 2022, two key political spots — the governor’s office, and one of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats — are up for grabs.
Anniversaries help us remember where we started — and how far we’ve come
       
We remember putting our tokens on square one; we remember the triumph of or the disbelief of actually reaching the last square, lo these 365 days later. A year from now, of course we’ll look back and shiver to remember burst pipes and thermostats in the 30s. That’s what guides me in the decisions I make.”Finding the positiveThis sentiment reflects what James Armstrong III has long believed. They are both part of the growing process.’”Ten years ago, James Armstrong III’s grandfather gave him some advice. And with spring around the corner, I look forward to more regular sunshine, walking meditations and silent pauses.”Perhaps that’s what anniversaries offer us: a silent pause.
University of Texas president Jay Hartzell responds to Texas Tribune story on ‘The Eyes of Texas’
       
University of Texas president Jay Hartzell responded to a story Tuesday afternoon published in the Texas Tribune which revealed that alumni and donors threatened to pull donations and boycott athletic events over student-athlete protests of “The Eyes of Texas,” the University’s alma mater. “People who target our students with hateful views do not represent the values of the Longhorn community,” Hartzell said in the statement. “A few extremist views in the sample of emails the Texas Tribune reported on do not speak for the 540,000 proud Longhorn alumni who actively support our students and university. “The fact that we don’t all agree on our school song doesn’t mean that we don’t all belong,” Hartzell said. “Next week, the Eyes of Texas History Committee will release its report.
Republicans turn their party into a newt
       
Burn her!”“How do you know she is a witch?” trills Sir Bedevere, a particularly dim-witted future knight of the Round Table. “She turned me into a newt!” exclaims a large peasant, played by John Cleese. They don’t believe it themselves. Period.”The next two years are going to snap by, as COVID recedes and the country crawls out of this hole. Meanwhile, the Republicans will speak all sorts of words, attempting to justify past perfidy while plumping pillows for future wrongdoing.
Biblioracle: Dr. Seuss was canceled? Nope. The books needed to go.
       
In the case of Dr. Seuss, the people making this decision are at Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Because Theodor Geisel passed away in 1991, we cannot declare that this is the author himself making this decision, but it is the next closest thing, the entity in charge of protecting and preserving the legacy of Dr. Seuss. Because they have a desire to perpetuate the work of Dr. Seuss, they are no longer producing books that they believe harm that goal.
Vernon Jordan, activist, former Clinton adviser, dies at 85
       
His friendship with Bill Clinton took them both to the White House. Under his leadership, the Urban League added 17 more chapters and its budget swelled to more than $100 million. He resigned from the Urban League in 1982 to become a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld. Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr., was born in Atlanta on Aug. 15, 1935, the second of Vernon and Mary Belle Jordan’s three sons. In 1971, after the death of Whitney Young Jr., Jordan was named the fifth president of the National Urban League.
Letters: Vaccinations, national anthem, fracking brine
       
Letters to the EditorRestaurant, retail workers unfairlybypassed on vaccine priority listI have become outraged by the unfair data being used to select the next group of people being vaccinated. In my opinion, a group considered "essential workers" has been forgotten: retail associates and restaurant workers. Grocery, hardware and some retail workers have been working the entire time. Restaurant workers are taking care of customers that are not wearing masks. Some customers have been extremely difficult through this pandemic, and I am tired of people mistreating the retail and restaurant workers.
Feds oppose release of Arizona man who wore horns in riot
       
PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors in Washington are opposing the pretrial release of an Arizona man who stormed the U.S. Capitol nearly two months ago while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns. Prosecutors told a judge in a filing Monday that Jacob Chansley should remain jailed until trial because he is a danger to the community, explaining he held a weapon as he confronted officers inside the Capitol, wrote a threatening note to then-Vice President Mike Pence, and spoke about ridding the government of traitors. “He cannot be trusted now to suddenly change course,” prosecutors said. A judge in Washington is scheduled to hear arguments Friday over whether Chansley should be released.
Legislation introduced to ban mask mandates in Idaho
       
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho House panel took up legislation Tuesday to prohibit mask mandates by government entities that have been put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The House State Affairs Committee cleared the way for a potential hearing on the bill put forward by a dozen conservative Republican lawmakers. “When people wear face masks, they tend to not social distance as much, not tend to wash their hands, take other safety precautions because they feel that they’re just taken care of because of the mask,” she said. However, health experts have consistently said that wearing masks slows the spread of the coronavirus. Brad Little has never issued a statewide mask mandate, though he wears a mask in public and encourages others to do so to slow the spread of the virus and maintain hospital capacity.
U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to uphold Arizona voting restrictions
       
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year's elections. All six conservative justices, appointed by Republican presidents, suggested they would throw out an appellate ruling that struck down the restrictions as racially discriminatory under the landmark Voting Rights Act. The outcome could make it harder, if not impossible, to use the Voting Rights Act to sue over legislation that creates obstacles to voting in the name of election security. Civil rights group and Democrats argue that the proposed restrictions would disproportionately affect minority voters, important Democratic constituencies. Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, have proposed national legislation that would remove such security-driven obstacles to voting.
Opinion | When Democrats govern, they try hardest to help red states
       
Even big business groups are saying they want to see the minimum wage increase. But here’s something we haven’t much discussed: What we’re arguing about here is in large part a hand Democrats want give to low-wage workers in red states. ADThat’s because states can set their own minimum wages, and nearly all the states that have resisted setting a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour are run by Republicans. The only place with a $15 minimum wage right now is Washington, D.C.; the next-highest minimum wage is in the state of Washington, whose minimum is now $13.69. ADThis is a consistent pattern: When Democrats take power, they try to extend help everywhere — and in some cases, especially to residents of red states.
Opinion | A lot of Trump supporters want someone else to carry Trumpism’s banner into 2024
       
Fully 45 percent of CPAC participants — who approve of Trump and believe in his agenda — want someone else to carry the banner of Trumpism into the next election. ADADThe 2020 election was a repudiation not of Trumpism, but of Trump. Pre-election polls showed that a 49 percent plurality of Americans agreed with Trump over then-candidate Joe Biden on the issues. To retake the White House in 2024, Republicans need to win those voters back. “With your help, we will take back the House, we will win the Senate, and then, a Republican president will make a triumphant return to the White House,” Trump told the adoring crowd.
SDF militia forcibly conscripting teachers in Syria: Report
       
The report further highlighted 550 teachers were dismissed from their jobs following their rejection of forced conscription. “I really don’t want to [join the SDF] because ISIS threatens they will kill teachers, or all employees, if you join the military service,” JA told Al Jazeera by phone. The SNHR continuously uses the SDF as an umbrella term within the report, pointing to the military as being responsible for the arrests and dismissals. Men in northeast Syria, according to the SDF’s self-defence duty, are required to perform military service from the age of 18, to be completed before they turn 40. Maybe religious leaders do not join the military service, but other people without any regards to occupation, they eventually take part in the military service,” Gabriel explained.
Bergdahl appeals court-martial over Trump, McCain comments
       
Bergdahl filed a complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. in Feruary 2021, asking a judge to overturn his court martial conviction. Bowe Bergdahl filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. last month, asking a judge to overturn his court martial conviction. Bergdahl says Trump's statements and actions by the late U.S. Sen. John McCain and his military judge violated his Fifth Amendment right to a fair trial. But around that same time, Nance was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a member of Trump's cabinet — to the immigration judge post, effective the following year. He wants a federal judge to overturn his conviction and sentence and expunge it from his record, restoring his military rights.
The Israeli Military Shot My Cousin—and the US Bears Part of the Blame
       
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Much of the area was declared an Israeli military zone in 1986, even though Palestinians legally own the land (or, rather, because Palestinians legally own the land). This practice enables Israel to declare Palestinian land off-limits to all but the Israeli military and those with permits issued by the Israeli authorities.
Happy 90th Birthday, Mr. Gorbachev
       
Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! President Gorbachev Here’s What Leaders Facing Global Crises Can Learn From Mikhail Gorbachev Katrina vanden HeuvelNothing could be further from the truth than the assertion that Gorbachev did not change. Only an optimist would have challenged the most powerful institutional interests within the Soviet system, including the military-industrial complex.
$15 an Hour Is the Compromise
       
He has started with a modest proposal to raise the wage to $15 an hour in stages between now and 2025. “If you make $15 bucks an hour, you are not getting rich. It is unacceptable to compromise of something that is so necessary, and so popular, as the fight for $15. Unacceptable ‘Compromises’When “compromises” are suggested, Biden must explain that $15 an hour is the compromise. In states across the country, red and blue, the fight for $15 won popular support.
Biden just proved to workers that he’s got our backs
       
Joe Biden, then the Democratic presidential candidate, meets with union leaders outside AFL-CIO headquarters in Harrisburg, Pa., Sept. 7, 2020. The pro-union workers want to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union; voting is underway. As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions.”Biden pledged to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” The title has previously been FDR’s. The Wagner Act not only guaranteed workers the right to organize; the measure required employers to recognize the union and to bargain with the workers. Roosevelt had a big edge Biden doesn’t have: whopping pro-New Deal and pro-union Democratic House and Senate majorities.
Getting it right on Hampton, the Panthers, and ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’
       
Fred Hampton, left, and Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah"The young freedom fighters of the Black Panther Party, as brilliantly portrayed in the film Judas and the Black Messiah, were most certainly “uncompromising,” as described in Brian W. Major’s recent People’s World review. Major’s treatment, however, while pointing to the historic importance of the Panthers and their rising young hero, Fred Hampton, lacks nuance and makes a number of misstatements of fact. This is an important point, given the Judas role played by film’s anti-hero, the lumpen William O’Neal, a hustler turned FBI snitch, responsible for betraying Fred Hampton and a host of others. But many in the Panthers, Hampton among them, saw things more clearly, as their famous Breakfast and Free Clinic programs gave eloquent testimony to. A final note: The story of the people’s empowerment movement, in part begun by Fred Hampton and the BPP, didn’t end there.
No Shelter from the Storms
       
In all, these storms put more than one million people at risk of unsheltered homelessness—and that’s just in Texas and Louisiana. In all, these storms put more than one million people at risk of unsheltered homelessness—and that’s just in Texas and Louisiana. If this happens, unsheltered homeless people would bear this burden most significantly, as they constantly inhale outdoor air. Already, the life expectancy of people who become unsheltered homeless has been calculated to be almost 20 years shorter. As a result, unsheltered homeless people are being left to fend for themselves against the elements.
The Supreme Court case that could end affirmative action, explained
       
The Harvard case is the first major affirmative action suit to reach the Supreme Court since Republicans gained a 6-3 majority on that Court, and it’s the first such case to reach the justices since Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in 2018. The Supreme Court has surprised experts who predicted doom for affirmative action in the past — it did so most recently in the Fisher case. Yet, according to the appeals court, Harvard’s admissions policy is consistent with decisions like Bakke and Grutter. But when Roberts wrote his opinion in Parents Involved, the Supreme Court was still closely divided on questions of race. The Supreme Court has surprised us before in its affirmative action decisions, and it may well do so again.
The Voting Rights Act had a surprisingly good day at the Supreme Court
       
Roberts, for example, appeared unconvinced that a key prong of Brnovich’s argument could be squared with the text of the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act, briefly explainedEnacted in 1965, the Voting Rights Act is one of the most important civil rights laws in American history. Broadly speaking, the Voting Rights Act provides three safeguards against racist state and local voting laws. Under Chief Justice Roberts’s leadership, however, the Supreme Court has largely dismantled the first two prongs of the Voting Rights Act. And there’s even a good chance that the Court will take a significant bite out of the Voting Rights Act in Brnovich.
Supreme Court Asked A Rapist If He Will Marry His Victim, Granted Him Four Weeks Protection From Arrest
       
Apparently, not surprisingly though, the said bar has gone lower after the apex court asked a rapist if he'll marry his victim. Supreme Court CJI asks govt servant charged with repeatedly raping minor girl. Supreme Court asks a man charged with repeatedly raping a minor girl. The Supreme Court of sexist misogyny and patriarchy. Supreme Court should have asked the rape victim "Do you want to see him hanged?"
Sen. Bill Hagerty: Protect voters, elections – this bill will restore trust in our Electoral College process
       
They did so often by ignoring the role of state legislatures, in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. We must protect the Electoral College, which cannot function properly if the constitutional process for setting election rules is trampled on. Let me be clear: My purpose is not to put Congress in charge of state elections. But we must protect the Electoral College, which cannot function properly if the constitutional process for setting election rules is trampled on, as it was in the 2020 election. And doing nothing opens the door to radical, federal seizures of state election authority like H.R.
There are 329 candidates for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, Norwegian Nobel Committee reveals
       
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Monday that 329 candidates — 234 individuals and 95 organizations — have been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize by the Feb. 1 deadline. A vast group of people — heads of state or politicians serving at a national level, university professors, directors of foreign policy institutes, past Nobel Prize recipients and members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee — can submit a nomination for the prize. The U.N. World Food Program won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. Key Words (October 2016): Obama tells Colbert his Nobel prize is still a head-scratcherThe Nobel Committee announces its annual decision in October. The peace prize and other Nobel prizes are presented Dec. 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.
Republic offers environment reporting fellowships through Pulliam Trust grant
       
Since 2017, the environment reporting team at The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com has reported and written stories about heat and climate change, about drought and water supplies, about wildfire and forest management, about wildlife and endangered species. The Republic has long been committed to covering the environment, but for the past four years, has expanded its commitment with the help of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Environmental reporting fellowshipsA grant from the trust funds a senior environment reporter, two reporting fellows and photography. Key to the team are the two reporting fellows, early career journalists with a keen interest in reporting and writing about the environment and a desire to spend a year doing that. Apply to become a fellowThe Republic fills the Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Fellowships each year on a rotating schedule.
Opinion: Lauren Boebert’s anti-transgender speech perpetuates very dangerous tropes, increasing risk of violence
       
While members of Congress discussed The Equality Act, Boebert gave a harrowing speech on the House floor, where she vilified transgender children, women, and athletes, using fear-based tropes and baseless claims. In doing so, Boebert put an already vulnerable community in Colorado at increased risk of violence and discrimination. The Equality Act is a piece of federal legislation that would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, and education. I am proud that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act with a 224-206 vote Thursday afternoon. Brianna Titone is in her second term representing Colorado state House District 27.
Abolishing the Peace Corps would be a mistake
       
One small group is calling on Congress to abolish the Peace Corps. Peace Corps generally has wide bipartisan support, but opponents, often from the conservative right, have argued for years that Peace Corps’ budget, about $410 million for programs in 61 countries, would be better spent on programs back home. Reflecting on their service overseas, they drafted a list of demands and launched an Instagram account called "Decolonizing Peace Corps," which has about 7,000 followers and has sparked fierce debate within the Peace Corps community. That, to me, is a strong argument for preserving the Peace Corps, not abolishing it. College loan deferment, credit for graduate school and other flexible arrangements have made Peace Corps far more attainable.
Three shot at house party in North Sea, Southampton police say
       
The scene of a shooting that left three people wounded early Tuesday in North Sea was a home rented out for one night in violation of town code, Southampton Town police said. Southampton police Lt. Susan C. Ralph said investigators believed more than 20 people were at the party and that "multiple weapons" were on-site, but were still trying to determine how many people fired weapons. Ralph said investigators were still trying to determine how many shots were fired, as well. Ralph said "multiple" 911 callers reported shots being fired at the home on Long Springs Road around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and said responding officers were met with partygoers fleeing the house. The home was rented for "one single night," Ralph said, in violation of town code — and detectives are still in the process of locating and interviewing witnesses.
Letters: It's time to end talk of privatizing the Postal Service
       
Letters to the EditorIt's time to end talk ofprivatizing the Postal ServiceThe ongoing conversation about privatizing the USPS is ridiculous and ludicrous, as one simple example will show. If you live in Maine, and want to mail your favorite cousin a postcard, it will cost you 36 cents postage. Two more points: We don’t expect the highway patrol to make money; it is a service provided to citizens. We should expect the same from our postal service — delivery of mail at a reasonable cost, not to generate a profit but to be a benefit of living in this country. And finally, there is a reason UPS and FEDEX have never made a move to acquire the postal service, that reason being it is not and can never be a viable for-profit venture.
Letters: Espinal's dog, Portman's Trump vote
       
Rob Portman for his role in not going along with the House plan to impeach former President Donald Trump. Jean Hayward, Upper ArlingtonPortman's constitutional claims wereshredded during impeachment trialI am responding to Richard D. Rogovin's Wednesday letter ("Portman had constitutional backing on Trump vote") that Sen. Rob Portman's vote to acquit former President Donald Trump had Constitutional backing because Trump had already left office. The long-standing conservative Republican is asking, "Is there a place for me in a Trump-led Republican Party?" The Republican Party has been in knee-jerk opposition to Social Security, universal health care, child care, a higher minimum wage, workplace safety, environmental regulation, immigration reform and other programs for social advancement.
Letters: Choice of states seems curious in Senate representation debate
       
Letters to the EditorLetter writer's choice of states seemscurious in Senate representation debateI noticed in Randall Condra’s Wednesday letter that he used Vermont as a comparative low-population state in discussing the current electoral system for the U.S. Senate. Senate Bill 52 is being put forward now by two senators from northwest Ohio. This bill is supposed to give local control for wind and solar power approval. Local control for decisions like this might be beneficial. If all else fails, maybe the wind and solar lobbyists can start trying to outbid oil and gas lobbyists?
Covid generation will feel 'glad' to have lived through pandemic, says union boss
       
The Covid generation will look back on the past year like evacuees at the end of the Second World War and feel “glad to have lived through it,” a union boss has said. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said he believes that children will reflect on the pandemic and see it as an “extraordinary experience”. He was addressing MPs at an education select committee hearing on catch-up plans for pupils who have missed out on a significant amount of their education during lockdown. Mr Barton told the committee that school leaders should be given the flexibility to decide who best to help their pupils get up to speed. “And actually they will look back like the evacuees at the end of the Second World War thinking that was an extraordinary experience, I am glad to have lived through it, as it were.”
Opinion | Republicans will do anything to suppress the vote. The courts will help them.
       
But Joe Biden won both by narrow margins, and after that election each state has two Democratic senators. So in Georgia, state Republicans are moving forward with a voter suppression effort so sweeping it almost defies the imagination. As election expert Richard L. Hasen told me, “There’s ample reason to believe that expanding voting opportunities doesn’t necessarily help Democrats. It helps voters.” And restricting voting opportunities won’t necessarily help Republicans. Its highest priority is shutting down access to the ballot in hopes that it will help them win elections.
Supreme Court likely to uphold Arizona voting restrictions
       
Eight years after carving the heart out of a landmark voting rights law, the Supreme Court is looking at putting new limits on efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting. Eight years after carving the heart out of a landmark voting rights law, the Supreme Court is looking at putting new limits on efforts to combat racial discrimination in voting. The justices are taking up a case about Arizona restrictions on ballot collection and another policy that penalizes voters who cast ballots in the wrong precinct. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year’s elections. ADVERTISEMENTThe outcome could make it harder, if not impossible, to use the Voting Rights Act to sue over legislation that creates obstacles to voting in the name of election security.
Alexei Navalny: US imposes sanctions on Russians
       
US officials said they were seeking neither an escalation nor a reset with Russia. The goal is to have a "predictable and stable" relationship that leaves space for co-operation on areas such as nuclear proliferation - but also to be clear that there are costs for behaviour that crosses boundaries "respected by responsible nations".
Worker gets 2nd court victory over medical marijuana claim
       
In 2019, the court had ruled that a state labor appeals board was wrong to determine that workers’ compensation insurance couldn’t reimburse Panaggio. He used the medical marijuana to treat ongoing pain and sought reimbursement through workers’ compensation. In a 2018 case in Maine, the state supreme court ruled against a paper mill worker who was disabled after being hurt on the job in 1989. At least five states have found medical marijuana treatment is reimbursable under their workers’ compensation laws, and other states have proposed similar laws, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Several states have passed laws excluding medical marijuana treatment from workers’ compensation reimbursement.
Vaccine Passports, Covid’s Next Political Flash Point
       
The next major flash point over coronavirus response has already provoked cries of tyranny and discrimination in Britain, protests in Denmark, digital disinformation in the United States and geopolitical skirmishing within the European Union. The subject of debate: vaccine passports — government-issued cards or smartphone badges stating that the bearer has been inoculated against the coronavirus. Others would allow entry to vaccinated-only spaces like gyms, concert venues and restaurants. While such passports are still hypothetical in most places, Israel became the first to roll out its own last week, capitalizing on its high vaccination rate. And some airlines and tourism-reliant industries and destinations expect to require them.
'Klara and the Sun,' by Kazuo Ishiguro book review
       
ADADKlara, the narrator of this genre-straddling novel, is an Artificial Friend (AF), a popular class of androids designed to provide companionship to teenagers. That faith, if you will, becomes the abiding premise of Klara’s life — and the haunting complication of this novel. She moves into an isolated country house and takes up her role as an attentive Artificial Friend. Like Klara, Ishiguro attends closely to the way apparently innocuous conversations shift, the way joy drains from a frozen smile. She may be an Artificial Friend, but there is nothing artificial about her friendship.
How to help kids thrive despite pandemic stress
       
Kids are complaining of boredom more frequently, too, perhaps because they feel like there’s nothing fun on the horizon. ADADPF: How can we help kids and teens regain their footing? Do you think there’s a disconnect between what parents want for their kids and what kids want for themselves? ADPF: It may be even worse now; when kids are marinating in stress, they can have a harder time adopting someone else's perspective. What are some of your favorite strategies to help kids regulate their emotions?
Danielle Allen, Paul Carrese: Our democracy is ailing. Civics education has to be part of the cure. - The Washington Post
       
For decades, our national educational policy has focused on achieving global competitiveness from a national security and economic standpoint. ADADWe should desire to compete on the world’s stage as the kind of society we are, namely, a constitutional democracy. And that requires civic education to support the knowledge, skills and civic virtues needed for a healthy republic. ADADYet disagreement is a feature, not a bug, of our constitutional democracy; the question is whether we can learn to disagree productively. If we pull together, we can rebuild a foundation for a healthy American constitutional democracy.
The U.S. government can do more to fight domestic terror without any new laws
       
The amalgam of domestic violent extremist groups present at the Capitol — including militant groups, Proud Boys, QAnon-inspired radicalized followers and racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists — represented in many ways a snapshot of the broader domestic violent extremist threat facing the United States. Some national security experts have called for the Biden administration to introduce new legislation adding a distinct federal “domestic terrorism” criminal charge to the U.S. Code. Our report’s findings point to several recommendations for the agencies tasked with countering domestic violent extremism to improve response, measurement and coordination. While the arrests highlight the diversity of the domestic violent extremism threat, law enforcement, researchers, lawmakers and the public alike still lack a clear picture of its scope. ADADThe Biden administration can use existing structures for counterterrorism collaboration within the U.S. government to improve information-sharing between federal agencies on domestic violent extremism.
Bergdahl appeals court-martial over Trump, McCain comments
       
Bowe Bergdahl filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. last month, asking a judge to overturn his court martial conviction. Bergdahl says Trump's statements and actions by the late U.S. Sen. John McCain and his military judge violated his Fifth Amendment right to a fair trial. In his appeal, Bergdahl said McCain intensely pressured the Army to charge him, calling Bergdahl a "deserter" and threatening to hold a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee if Bergdahl went unpunished. But around that same time, Nance was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a member of Trump's Cabinet — to the immigration judge post, effective the following year. He wants a federal judge to overturn his conviction and sentence and expunge it from his record, restoring his military rights.
New York City man indicted in killings of three women from same apartment building
       
A New York City man was indicted in the killings of three woman in the same Brooklyn apartment building, authorities said Tuesday. Kevin Gavin, 66, is facing first- and second-degree murder charges in a trio of killings between 2015 and this past January, inside the New York City Housing Authority’s Carter G. Woodson houses in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, prosecutors said. Woodson Houses in Brooklyn, N.Y. Google MapsThe defendant also lived the Woodson houses, performed odd jobs for victims and gained their trust, allowing him into their units, authorities said. The charges accuse Gavin of:Stabbing Myrtle McKinney, 82, in the neck with a steak knife on Nov. 8, 2015. We will do everything we can to seek justice for the victims and the many family members and friends who were left without their loved ones.”
Analysis: Biden retreats from vow to make pariah of Saudis
       
FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington. As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make a pariah out of Saudi Arabia over the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2021, file photo, President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington. As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden promised to make a pariah out of Saudi Arabia over the 2018 murder of dissident Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. The language itself has softened, with Biden officials referring to Saudi Arabia as a strategic partner rather than pariah.
Supreme Court puts Arizona election rules under microscope in case with big implications for Texas
       
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court put a microscope on Arizona voting restrictions Tuesday in a case that could upend decades of federal oversight in Texas and other states with a history of discrimination. It’s that provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act whose survival is now on the line. The case revolves around Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which forbids election laws and procedures that discriminate on the basis of race. “There’s no denial of any voting opportunity,” argued the lawyer for the Republican Party of Arizona, Michael Carvin, also defending the restrictions. Jessica Amunson, representing Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who opposes the restrictions, argued in response that Arizona already prohibits fraudulent ballot collection.
‘The Kindest Lie’: Chicago novelist Nancy Johnson talks class, redemption and race
       
A: Because I’m Black, quite often I’m writing for our community, because growing up I didn’t see myself on the page, in the books that I read very often. As I was revising and editing this last year-and-a-half, because we were going through all of this racial violence in the country, so many white people started their anti-racism curriculum. They started reading all these anti-racism books, and a lot of those books are nonfiction. Because when they’re reading these anti-racism nonfiction books, there’s this tendency among some to say, “OK, well, that’s somebody else’s problem. I wasn’t alive during slavery.” So not really taking that accountability and responsibility for how they’re benefiting from it.
Bergdahl appeals court-martial over Trump, McCain comments
       
Bowe Bergdahl filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. last month, asking a judge to overturn his court martial conviction. Bergdahl says Trump’s statements and actions by the late U.S. Sen. John McCain and his military judge violated his Fifth Amendment right to a fair trial. In his appeal, Bergdahl said McCain intensely pressured the Army to charge him, calling Bergdahl a “deserter” and threatening to hold a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee if Bergdahl went unpunished. But around that same time, Nance was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions – a member of Trump’s cabinet – to the immigration judge post, effective the following year. He wants a federal judge to overturn his conviction and sentence and expunge it from his record, restoring his military rights.
AMLO-Biden summit: 'Lucky Mexico, close to God and not far from US'
       
López Obrador and Biden also reaffirmed the importance of combatting corruption and maintaining bilateral security cooperation. Mexico has agreements to secure more than 200 million vaccines but fewer than 4 million had arrived by Monday. In turn, López Obrador thanked Biden “for stating that Mexico is important to you” and committing to treat the country as an equal. “He would say ‘poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States.’ I can now say, lucky Mexico, so close to God and not so far from the United States,” he said. It was the second time that López Obrador and Biden spoke since the latter took office on January 20.
Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer Had No Time for Republican Justifications of Voter Suppression
       
Tensions were high as attorneys and justices jousted over the impact Arizona voting regulations have on racial minorities. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) challenged two Arizona voting policies on grounds that they violated federal anti-discrimination law. As Carvin argued that minority voters had not really been “denied” their right to vote, Justice Sotomayor schooled him on her interpretation of the concept of “denial.”“Excuse me,” the justice interrupted. Although the voting practices at issue in the litigation parallel much of what was disputed during the 2020 presidential election, the cases originated from the 2016 election. Still, the Court’s decision could impact not only voting practices in Arizona, but across the nation—and for every election to come.
Opinion | The White House and Congress must beat back attacks on voting rights
       
ADThird, the wide-ranging voting rights bill, H.R. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) resist demands to carve out an exception for the filibuster (e.g., legislation to secure voting rights) — then Democrats must get creative. That brings us to another tactic: Attach a limited, popular set of voting rights measures to a reconciliation bill. But unlike on the minimum wage, which Manchin opposes, if the parliamentarian rejects the voting rights condition, pressure might persuade Senate Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian. ADThe attack on voting rights is reflective of a party that rejects democracy and relies on white supremacy to dominate the electoral system.
The Pentagon, First, Last, and Always
       
But those urging us to increase Pentagon spending to compete with China in the middle of a pandemic are, in reality, only compounding the damage to our country’s recovery. So again, no surprise that only a few weeks after those hearings, Biden announced the creation of a new China task force at the Pentagon. That request included not only the Pentagon, but other costs of war, including care for veterans and military retirement benefits. That included $2 trillion for its overseas contingency operations account, a war-fighting fund used by both the Pentagon and lawmakers to circumvent congressionally imposed spending caps. Make no mistake: the addiction to Pentagon spending is a bipartisan problem in Washington.
The Age of Social Murder
       
Social murder, as Friedrich Engels noted in his 1845 book “The Condition of the Working-Class in England,” one of the most important works of social history, is built into the capitalist system. But murder it remains.” — Friedrick Engels, “The Condition of the Working-Class in England”The ruling class devotes tremendous resources to mask this social murder. The new state did not even require servants — just clerks.” This metaphysical ignorance fuels social murder. Why, if this social murder is inevitable, as I believe it is, do we even fight back? They keep alive the possibility, however dim, that the forces that are orchestrating our social murder can be stopped.
Reporters Without Borders Files Unprecedented Suit Against Saudis for Khashoggi Murder, Other 'Crimes Against Humanity'
       
"Those responsible for the persecution of journalists in Saudi Arabia, including the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, must be held accountable for their crimes." The RSF suit was filed days after the administration of President Joe Biden declassified a U.S. intelligence report concluding that the Saudi prince approved Khashoggi's 2018 assassination. Biden does a "whatever" shrug after identifying the Saudi crown prince as having approved Jamal Khashoggi's murder. @RSF_inter files a criminal complaint against him with the German prosecutor, charging widespread and systematic persecution of journalists. "While these serious crimes against journalists continue unabated, we call on the German prosecutor to take a stand and open an investigation into the crimes we have revealed.
March 2, 2021 – Consortiumnews
       
As`ad AbuKhalil boils down what’s left of the U.S. president’s campaign promise to hold the Saudi crown prince accountable for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi. Read more ?
Democrats should listen to Rahm Emanuel
       
Democrats are trying to build support for President Biden’s Covid-relief package by disparaging former President Obama’s efforts to save the economy in 2009. Democrats need to tear a page from the Republican playbook. Democrats need to assert that they’ve got a record of success. Each time a Republican majority leaves office amidst a cratering economy Democrats have a very short time to prove themselves to an angry nation. Mr. Obama’s economic strategy not only prevented the Great Recession from morphing into a full-fledged depression, but sparked a record-setting recovery.
This is how "limited government" works for Texas
       
As the storm iced nearly half of Texas’ power generation capacity, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), the grid operator, set power prices at their maximum level of $9,000 a megawatt-hour to lure as much generation as possible on to the grid. (Although, to be strictly accurate, the State of Texas is going after Griddy for deceptive practices by down-playing the risks of signing up with them.) But that’s not the whole answer; ERCOT reset the wholesale price to the maximum allowed by Texas law. And Texas law set the maximum at about 360 times higher than the normal price, which is ridiculous. (BTW, Texas does have a state law again price-gouging.
Kagro in the Morning is LIVE at 9 AM ET!
       
1 will get underway. Oh, and the Supreme Court is set to try to wreck even more voting rights protections. We’ll catch up with Joan McCarter, so you’ll know what to be outraged about this week. Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Even more ways to listen, live or by podcast, below the fold.
Nebraska’s House Members Are Invested In The Failure Of The U.S.
       
The House passed President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan on February 27. An economic boom would be a political disaster for the feckless D.C. Republicans. That’s why Fortenberry, Bacon, Smith and their fellow House Republicans all voted no. The D.C. Republicans are fully invested in the failure of the country and the Biden presidency in a cynical attempt to regain power. The American Rescue plan wouldn’t only revive the moribund economy, it also contains money for safely re-opening schools.
America's Truth Detector
       
8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destructionRush mocked liberals for their anti-smoking views, advocacy and policies. Laura Ingraham had a pukey story about Rush taking her out to dinner and giving the waiters a $2,000 tip. That would be equivalent to an average US income (just over $40,000 according to Alexa) person giving the waiters a one fucking dollar tip! Rush lived in a glass house and he made his 600 million dollar fortune throwing stones. I may joke about schadenfreude but I am philosophically opposed to taking glee from the suffering of others.
Indians 101: American Indians 500 years ago, 1521
       
Law professor Bruce Duthu, in his book American Indians and the Law, writes:“Only Christian colonizers in their encounters with non-Christian peoples could invoke the discovery doctrine. They viewed Native American religious practices as Satanic and as evidence that the Devil was everywhere. This was within Calusa territory and the Calusas had had previous contact with the Spanish: Ponce de Leon in 1513, Diego Miruela in 1516, and Hernandez do Cordoba in 1517. Indians 101Twice each week this series presents American Indian histories, biographies, tribal profiles, museum tours, and other topics. More about American Indians in the sixteenth century:Indians 101: 16th Spanish Religious Views of IndiansIndians 101: Early French Encounters With IndiansIndians 101: Sixteenth Century European Laws About IndiansIndians 101: Disease and Indians in the 16th CenturyIndians 101: Acoma Pueblo and the Spanish, 1539-1599Indians 101: Sixteenth-Century Books About IndiansIndians 101: The Zuni and the Spanish in the 16th CenturyIndians 101: American Indians 500 years ago, 1520
Observing Fourth of July 1st Through 5th is Good Idea
       
Well what’s the problem with selling all the good liberal government in the Biden relief act with a huge national party that mainly celebrates the covid-19 immunity threshold? July 1st could be essential worker party day, then Friday hospital staff appreciation day, one gets the drift, Monday maybe renewable energy day. But, as usual, the Debbie downers in this rosy scenario are our lord-masters of ruthless capitalism, the hell with your human life or county or dreams for children, get your ass to work work work, produce for the man, whatever impelled you to think America would be otherwise? We need to sell what we accomplish with the covid-19 relief act, our hospitality trades need a break, and Lord knows the United States of America needs a celebration for ending the pandemic. This is a good idea, I respectfully request the Biden Administration undertake it with all earnestness and utter seriousness.
New poll finds key COVID-19 relief provisions supported by more than 70%, including GOP majorities
       
Whatever you do, don't create any daylight between yourself and that group of anti-democratic fascists. And definitely don't look at the part of the PPP survey that found a 45% plurality of voters would be less likely to vote for their congressperson if they voted against the COVID-19 relief package. That plurality included 21% of GOP voters and 37% of independents saying they would be less likely to reelect a representative who opposed the package. Additionally, just 22% of voters say they would be more likely to vote for their member of Congress if they voted against the plan. And yet, every single Republican member of the House voted against it.
Idaho Tries to Violate Its Constitution.
       
State legislators are at it again. Idaho's Republican supermajority passed a bill to make it virtually impossible to get a citizen initiative on the ballot. Initiatives are a right granted in the Idaho Constitution. Isn’t it funny how Republicans go into screaming fits at the slightest limit on “Second Amendment rights” but will do everything they can to limit and eliminate every other constitutional right? If you live in Idaho, sign it.
CPAC, white nationalism, and white supremacy: the future GOP voters want for the US.
       
White supremacy is what the nation was- literally- built upon. 1]The term white supremacy defines relationships of power between whites and people of color. One form of the power of white supremacy is the power to oppress, control, disempower, and destroy people of color. The conquest of Native Americans and the taking of their land was an essential part of forming white supremacy… [pg. 5]Just as the conquest of Native Americans shaped white supremacy so did the enslavement of African peoples.
GOP Covid vaccine resisters and maskless MAGAs may self-cull their own herd
       
He also talked about the very serious aftereffects from having even very mild cases after a patient has recovered. Here’s a JAMA article about it: As Their Numbers Grow, COVID-19 “Long Haulers” Stump Experts from September. Some speakers like Kristi Noem slammed Covid shutdowns, and defended South Dakota's Covid record. The term is also applied to how predators cull a herd by preying on the weaker members. Again, note that the term “culling the herd” is used to refer to an external action taking towards a herd.
Arsonist Dwight Hammond & Son got their Grazing Permits pulled
       
The Biden administration’s Bureau of Land Management has rescinded a new permit for grazing on public lands granted to two Oregon arsonist ranchers pardoned by Donald Trump. The arson convictions of Dwight Hammond and his son Steven for torching public lands was at the center of an armed takeover in 2016 of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, which led to a 41-day armed standoff with federal authorities. The assault was led by militant rancher brothers Ryan and Ammon Bundy. Despite the record of violence, Trump Interior Secretary David Bernhardt granted the Hammonds a new grazing permit on Trump’s last day in office. The permit would have allowed the ranchers’ livestock to use public land for 10 years.
As America pushes to get past COVID-19, get ready to hear a new term: PASC
       
Even so, skepticism about the vaccine among Black and Latinx Americans has been steadily falling, while the level among White Republicans has remained extremely high. The percentage of Blacks and white Republicans who have already been vaccinated is the same, but the percentage of Blacks saying that they intend to get vaccinated is twice the percentage of white Republicans saying the same. To accommodate those struggling through the long-term effects of COVID-19, there are now more than 80 post-COVID clinics across America. Johnson & Johnson gains manufacturing partner to push out more vaccineAs The Washington Post reports, President Biden will use a Tuesday speech on COVID-19 to announce that Merck pharmaceuticals will also be manufacturing the vaccine created by Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson expects to ship 4 million doses this week.
Republicans launch their plan for winning in 2022: Make it much, much harder to vote
       
”Let's just be honest,” Georgia Episcopal Bishop Reginald Thomas Jackson said at a Fair Fight Action event. Mail-in absentee ballots are under attack in Arizona, a state where 61% of voters cast a mail ballot in 2012 without controversy. Republicans lost at the polls and they face demographic headwinds in the years to come, so they’re attacking voting itself as a way to win next time. Congressional Democrats have some answers, in the form of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act—but Senate Republicans can use the filibuster to block those. It may come down to whether Democratic senators are willing to end the filibuster to save democracy.
Chris Hedges: The Age of Social Murder
       
Social murder, as Friedrich Engels noted in his 1845 book “The Condition of the Working-Class in England,” one of the most important works of social history, is built into the capitalist system. But murder it remains.” — Friedrick Engels, “The Condition of the Working-Class in England”The ruling class devotes tremendous resources to mask this social murder. The new state did not even require servants — just clerks.” This metaphysical ignorance fuels social murder. Why, if this social murder is inevitable, as I believe it is, do we even fight back? They keep alive the possibility, however dim, that the forces that are orchestrating our social murder can be stopped.
Racial capitalism and the betrayal of Haiti
       
Domination by multinational corporations and "light skinned" local capitalists that's the story of Haiti as illustrated by one recent event. During the 1991-1994 coup against Aristide Apaid Jr.'s father, Andre' Apaid Sr., was "one of the chief lobbyists in the U.S." for the military junta. During the regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier Apaid Sr. founded Alpha Sewing. One of the richest men in Haiti, Apaid Jr. is a leader among the community of Middle Eastern descent who dominate the economy. So does the "racial capitalist" system of light-skinned local oligarchs working with foreign powers that supports Moïse.
The Pentagon, First, Last, and Always
       
And yet, strangely enough, as TomDispatch regular and Pentagon expert Mandy Smithberger reports, Washington, in a remarkably bipartisan fashion, continues to fund the Pentagon at levels that should astound us all. But those urging us to increase Pentagon spending to compete with China in the middle of a pandemic are, in reality, only compounding the damage to our country’s recovery. So again, no surprise that only a few weeks after those hearings, Biden announced the creation of a new China task force at the Pentagon. That request included not only the Pentagon, but other costs of war, including care for veterans and military retirement benefits. Make no mistake: the addiction to Pentagon spending is a bipartisan problem in Washington.
Manchin Yells He Will “Never” Vote to Kill Filibuster
       
What don’t you understand about never?” said Manchin (D-W.Va.), an outburst that came as top progressive Sens. both stressed the necessity of eliminating the filibuster in the wake of the Senate parliamentarian’s advisory ruling against the inclusion of a minimum wage increase in the emerging coronavirus relief package. “Understand, it’s not just minimum wage. Cooper argued that “whether or not Democrats can overcome the Senate filibuster and their own timidity to pass H.R. “Moderate Democrats in the Senate have a choice to make: They can either defend democracy and the Constitution by passing H.R.
In the Middle of a Pandemic, We Shouldn’t Be Funding a New Cold War With China
       
But those urging us to increase Pentagon spending to compete with China in the middle of a pandemic are, in reality, only compounding the damage to our country’s recovery. In 2020, for instance, the real national security budget request surpassed $1.2 trillion. But studies have consistently shown that military spending is a remarkably poor job creator compared to almost any other kind of spending. Investing in healthcare, combating climate change, or rebuilding infrastructure are all significantly more effective job creators than yet more military spending. Still, there’s no question that non-military stimulus efforts are more effective, by orders of magnitude, than defense spending when it comes to job creation.
Opinion | ‘It Should Not Be This Hard’: When Family Members Provide the Care
       
There is a relatively simple remedy: Amend Medicaid to provide the same entitlement for home and community-based services as are provided for nursing homes. William Ruger writes that “completely withdrawing our troops” from Afghanistan “is sound policy” and that Biden should stick to a withdrawal timeline that Trump negotiated. writes that “completely withdrawing our troops” from Afghanistan “is sound policy” and that Biden should stick to a withdrawal timeline that Trump negotiated. All for 1.5 percent of my income a year via my taxes while I’m working, and free after that. We unpaid caregivers hold our shrinking world together, shunned by friends who decline to sit at a dinner table with a dementia patient.
Some Dr. Seuss books with racist imagery will go out of print
       
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement. In recent years, the National Education Association has tried to disentangle the day from Dr. Seuss and celebrate “a nation of diverse readers.” Unlike past presidents, Biden did not mention Dr. Seuss when he gave his “Read Across America Day” proclamation earlier this week. In 2019, a study from the University of California, San Diego, and the Conscious Kid Library analyzed 50 Dr. Seuss books and found that 98 percent of the human characters represented were White. The few characters of color showed characteristics of Orientalism and anti-Blackness, the researchers found. This also remains true in their relation to White characters,” the study reads.
16-year-old charged in Lawndale carjacking that ended in death of alleged accomplice
       
A 16-year-old boy was charged with carjacking a woman at gunpoint last September in the Lawndale neighborhood and then running from police on the Eisenhower Expressway. One of the teen’s alleged accomplices in the Sept. 17 carjacking was fatally struck by a car on the expressway after state police located the stolen car on the shoulder. When a trooper located the car on the shoulder and the trio standing nearby, two boys ran away, state police said then. The 16-year-old was arrested in the South Chicago neighborhood, police said. He was expected to appear in juvenile court Tuesday on a count each of armed vehicular highjacking and attempted armed robbery.
Review: Amy Poehler’s ‘Moxie’ lacks the very courage it champions
       
Here’s what works: As played by Hadley Robinson (of “Utopia” and “Little Women”), Vivian’s evolution feels modulated in all the right ways. She isn’t any different at the end of the movie than she was at the beginning, she’s just smarter about herself and the world around her. And she learns the power of calling out the bull most people in positions of power don’t want to deal with, let alone acknowledge. Marcia Gay Harden, as the school principal, is a great example of that kind of destructive inertia. But if he’s ‘bothering’ you — and that’s what it sounds like to me — then we can actually have a conversation.”
Wisconsin Republicans want to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports from kindergarten through college
       
Supporters argue that transgender girls have an unfair physical advantage. Opponents say such proposals violate not only Title IX of federal education law prohibiting sex discrimination, but also rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Opponents also argue that such bans will further marginalize vulnerable students and hurt the state’s economy by making it more difficult to recruit both athletes and businesses.
Biden administration rescinds restrictions on land fund that benefits Arizona
       
In reversing the Nov. 9 action, De la Vega said his predecessor’s order “needlessly” inhibited the use of the fund as directed by Congress and imposed new restrictions not mandated by the law “without meaningful consultation with stakeholders or the public.”Conservation groups hailed the move, which came one day after 90 members of Congress — including Arizona Reps. Raúl Grijalva and Tom O’Halleran — signed a bipartisan letter urging immediate action by the new administration. Bill Lee is senior vice president of government relations for The Trust for Public Land, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that has protected more than 3 million acres across the United States since 1972. “The Great American Outdoors Act enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in part because it expands outdoor access to those who most need it,” Lee said in a written statement. “Equitable access to the outdoors is central to people leading healthier, more resilient lives, and The Trust for Public Land is very pleased the Biden Administration has restored funding for parks and open space in our cities.”Since its inception in 1965, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has paid for $4 billion worth of projects, located in every county in the country, according to the Interior Department.
Chris Barber, one of the greatest figures in the history of British jazz – obituary
       
Chris Barber, who has died aged 90, led the world’s most popular and longest-lived traditional jazz band. The unflagging appetite for its music, especially among British and north European audiences, defied every conventional tenet of the entertainment business. It is perfectly feasible to claim that neither the Beatles nor the Rolling Stones would have come into existence had it not been for Chris Barber. He showed early musical promise and began learning the violin aged seven. He discovered jazz while at boarding school, began collecting records and eventually bought a trombone.
Why it matters that Trump kept his COVID vaccination under wraps
       
Among Donald Trump's strangest habits was sharing information he should've kept secret, and keeping secret information he should've shared. Former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump quietly received the Covid-19 vaccine at the White House in January, a Trump advisor told NBC News on Monday. It is not clear which type of vaccine they received and they were not disclosed at the time by the Trump White House. On the surface, there's no obvious reason for the former president to have kept such a thing under wraps. But he nevertheless maintained his habit of sharing information he should've kept secret, and keeping secret information he should've shared.
McDonald’s Response to Minimum Wage Hikes Totally Undercuts the ‘Fight for $15,’ New Study Shows
       
A recently-released study reveals that past minimum wage hikes resulted in much higher menu prices for consumers. A Nominal Minimum Wage Increase Doesn’t Actually Mean Workers Are Better OffWhat does this mean? Even if minimum wage hikes didn’t shed jobs, they would still cause harm in other ways. Minimum Wage Advocates Obsess on the Seen and Ignore the UnseenSo why do proponents of minimum wage hikes continue to push the policy despite these realities? As McDonald’s response to minimum wage hikes clearly shows, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Vernon Jordan, Civil Rights Leader and D.C. Power Broker, Dies at 85
       
Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the civil rights leader and Washington power broker whose private counsel was sought by the powerful at the top levels of government and the corporate world, died on Monday at his home in Washington. His death was confirmed in a statement by Vickee Jordan, his daughter. He then used that power to cultivate a who’s who of younger Black leaders. “Monthly lunch with Vernon was filled with career advice, story telling and a reminder of the responsibility we had as Black leaders,” said Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation. “He reminded my generation that we stood on the shoulders of people who shed blood and gave their lives so we could have an opportunity.”
A big Biden move on infrastructure could deliver a crippling blow to Trumpism - The Washington Post
       
ADThe coming debate over a major infrastructure package will show how. If President Biden and the Democratic Congress can pass such a package, it could deal a big blow to Trumpism, aided by its continuing descent into hallucinatory anti-leftism. So you’d think a big infrastructure push would provide a nexus for cooperation between Biden, Democrats and populist conservatism. ADIf Biden and Democrats can pass economic relief, followed by a big infrastructure package — both offering ambitious, broadly popular solutions to major national problems — it could further marginalize the hysterical anti-leftism that increasingly defines Trumpism. Alternatively, Biden may compromise down his infrastructure agenda to win Republicans, perhaps allowing them some credit if it does pass.
Opinion | Welcome to the new normal. Let’s see your immunity passport.
       
Nor is it clear precisely what immunity is conferred by previous illness, or for how long. Should there be a required certification, some kind of immunity passport? Can offices, transit and leisure venues limit access to those with an immunity passport? The new normal will also mean a willingness to adapt to new science, getting used to shifts and new discoveries, such as the virus variants now circulating. The impressive work done in research, development and manufacturing of vaccines should inspire more attempts to create rapid medical countermeasures.
Bloomberg to give Harvard $150 million for program for mayors
       
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving $150 million to Harvard University for a program designed to help mayors around the world more successfully lead their cities by training them to better manage, innovate and share best practices. The gift is an extension of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which Mr. Bloomberg launched in 2017 with a $32 million gift. The former three-term mayor, who launched a short-lived bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies. GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HEREThe Bloomberg Center for Cities is a collaboration between Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School. Mayors are struggling with unfunded mandates from state and national government, said Jorrit de Jong, faculty director of the program.
Homeless people exposed to coronavirus were put in hotels. For hospitals, the move paid off
       
That’s not an option for the more than half a million homeless people in the U.S., who don’t have independent and reliable shelter. And spending time in a homeless shelter comes with its own perils, since many have become COVID-19 hot spots. Those who made it through stayed an average of 13.1 days, compared with 5.5 days among those who left prematurely. In sticking to the program, the hotel guests likely helped reduce the virus’ spread while also freeing up limited hospital resources — including the personnel needed to attend to more seriously ill patients. AdvertisementAlso, out of the 346 patients who had been transferred to the hotel program from a large county public hospital, just 4% needed to return to the hospital due to worsening COVID-19 symptoms.
Opinion: Denver has failed Latino elders effectively skipping them in the first phase of vaccinations
       
Denver has failed Latino elders. It feels like they have been an afterthought during the first phase of vaccinations. The unethical U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee study lasted for 40 years. Despite the challenges, Casas and Zubiate appreciate city efforts to offer vaccinations. “When we vaccinate ourselves we model self-love and care for others.”Love and patience is an imperative practice toward serving our elders.
6 Dr. Seuss books won't be published for racist images
       
In “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street," an Asian person is portrayed wearing a conical hat, holding chopsticks, and eating from a bowl. “If I Ran the Zoo” includes a drawing of two bare-footed African men wearing what appear to be grass skirts with their hair tied above their heads. Books by Dr. Seuss — who was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904 —- have been translated into dozens of languages as well as in braille and are sold in more than 100 countries. He remains popular, earning an estimated $33 million before taxes in 2020, up from just $9.5 million five years ago, the company said. 2 on its highest-paid dead celebrities of 2020, behind only the late pop star Michael Jackson.
The vaccine rollout makes it clear: the randomness of nationality still determines our lives
       
It showed a Turkish immigrant family of six in Germany in the 1970s. The husband-and-wife founders of BioNTech – ?ahin and Özlem Türeci – came from Turkish families that moved to Germany. “Here’s to the immigrant heroes behind the BioNTech vaccine,” cheered Bllomberg. By December, wealthy countries that accounted for 14% of the world’s population had already bought up more than half the supply of the leading vaccine candidates. In a February interview with the Financial Times, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, acknowledged that wealthy countries had to do more.
Erin O'Toole: Canada needs to deepen ties with the world's largest democracy, India
       
Share this Story: Erin O'Toole: Canada needs to deepen ties with the world's largest democracy, IndiaErin O'Toole: Canada needs to deepen ties with the world's largest democracy, India Tremendous opportunity awaits Canada in the Indo-Pacific, but Justin Trudeau has failed to nurture those relationships Photo by Vincent McDermott/Postmedia NewsArticle content Too often, the relationship between Canada and India has been about our past. Try refreshing your browser, or Erin O'Toole: Canada needs to deepen ties with the world's largest democracy, India Back to video Canada needs an economic future that reduces our dependence on China’s industry and marketplace. We can only accomplish that by deepening ties with the world’s largest democracy, India. Unlike Canada, India has invested deeply in expanding its domestic manufacturing of vaccines and medical supplies. Extensive Canadian experience in designing and engineering infrastructure should be harnessed to help India meet substantial urban and transportation infrastructure needs.
A big Biden move on infrastructure could deliver a crippling blow to Trumpism - The Washington Post
       
ADThe coming debate over a major infrastructure package will show how. If President Biden and the Democratic Congress can pass such a package, it could deal a big blow to Trumpism, aided by its continuing descent into hallucinatory anti-leftism. So you’d think a big infrastructure push would provide a nexus for cooperation between Biden, Democrats and populist conservatism. ADIf Biden and Democrats can pass economic relief, followed by a big infrastructure package — both offering ambitious, broadly popular solutions to major national problems — it could further marginalize the hysterical anti-leftism that increasingly defines Trumpism. Alternatively, Biden may compromise down his infrastructure agenda to win Republicans, perhaps allowing them some credit if it does pass.
Opinion | Running an election flawlessly just isn’t good enough for vote-suppressing Florida Republicans
       
Turns out, suppressing the vote in Florida is still more tantalizing to Republicans than facilitating the vote. Typically, requests for mail-in ballots cover two election cycles, or up to four years. “It may invigorate participation.” That’s a novel idea for Baxley, given his sponsorship of a 2007 bill that had expanded the use of mail-in ballots. Since the early 2000s, more Republicans than Democrats have embraced the convenience of mail-in ballots, Smith said. Last year, the preference flip-flopped, likely because of the pandemic but also because of Trump’s ceaseless proclamations that mail-in ballots would be stolen, lost or destroyed.
The latest on Joe Biden’s presidency: Live updates
       
Vernon E. Jordan Jr. never held elective office, was never a member of the Cabinet and never even worked for the federal government. Yet Mr. Jordan was, for years, one of the most influential figures in Washington. With a commanding presence, personal charm and an inviolable sense of discretion, Mr. Jordan had a rare combination of talents that made him the confidant of presidents, congressional leaders, business executives and civil rights figures. He was the consummate Washington power broker, reaching the peak of his quiet authority during the 1990s, when he was, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton’s closest adviser. He had Clinton’s ear through two terms as president, including the most challenging moments, when Clinton faced an investigation and impeachment over a relationship with a White House intern.
Vernon E. Jordan Jr., lawyer and D.C. political power broker, dies at 85
       
Mr. Jordan brought a smooth manner and elegant style to Beltway dealmaking, anchored in his youth in a housing project in the segregated South. But one significant way in which Mr. Jordan differed from his predecessors was he was among the few African Americans at the top of Washington’s power structure. ADYet the ways in which Mr. Jordan wielded his power remained something of a mystery. Mr. Jordan was among the first to suggest then-Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.) as Clinton’s running mate in 1992. And I’m not going to stop liking people.”ADADTo Clinton, Mr. Jordan was a sounding board in good times and bad.
A $15 federal minimum wage would give 19 million women a raise — but it might not happen anytime soon
       
It looks like the federal minimum wage won't be increased anytime soon — news that will hit women harder than men. Tipped workers would benefitThe federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, has not been increased since 2009, the longest the country has ever gone without a boost to the federal pay standard. Some workers with disabilities are also subject to the $2.13 an hour minimum wage. The provision that was included in the latest stimulus package would have both raised the federal minimum wage to $15 over time and eliminated the tipped minimum wage altogether. This would also mostly impact women — who make up 66% of workers who make the tipped minimum wage — and especially women of color, according to Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage.
Wall Street Journal Warns Republicans It’s Time To Move On From Donald Trump
       
Former President Donald Trump may have teased a 2024 presidential run in his Conservative Political Action Conference speech over the weekend, but the editorial board for the conservative Wall Street Journal urged Republicans to move on. “If he was so great politically for the GOP, why is the party now out of power?” the board asked with its subheadline of an op-ed published Tuesday. The Journal’s board noted how “the CPAC crowd cheered” during Trump’s address, during which he repeated the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him and bashed President Joe Biden. “But if CPAC represented America, Mr. Trump would still reside in the White House, not Mar-a-Lago,” it said. “As long as Republicans focus on the grievances of the Trump past, they won’t be a governing majority.”Read the full Wall Street Journal editorial here.
For Andrew Cuomo, there can be no sexual harassment double standard. He should resign.
       
There is no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in any American workplace — be it in business or politics. Andrew Cuomo are true, he must resign. Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo on May 26, 2020, in New York City. Andrew Cuomo is running from his part in my dad's deathGov. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo mean he should resign
Can QAnon survive another 'Great Disappointment' on March 4? History suggests it might
       
Adherents of the same conspiracy theory, QAnon, had previously marked Jan. 20, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, as the big day. In the aftermath of this disappointment, some disillusioned QAnon followers left the fold. But as a philosopher of religion, I know history suggests a more complicated set of possibilities. The Millerites, for example, survived their Great Disappointment by reaffirming their belief that God is at work in ways that humans cannot always fully anticipate. But if history is any guide, whether QAnon survives its Great Disappointment will depend on its adherents’ ability to successfully explain to themselves how they could have been so drastically misled.
Mom reports 6-year-old missing, but police say she ran him over and threw him in the Ohio River
       
But before you circle the date and dust off the MAGA hats, a note of caution: We have been here before. Adherents of the same conspiracy theory, QAnon, had previously marked Jan. 20, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, as the big day. In the aftermath of this disappointment, some disillusioned QAnon followers left the fold. The Millerites, for example, survived their Great Disappointment by reaffirming their belief that God is at work in ways that humans cannot always fully anticipate. But if history is any guide, whether QAnon survives its Great Disappointment will depend on its adherents’ ability to successfully explain to themselves how they could have been so drastically misled.
The pandemic revealed our food system is broken. We can fix it.
       
President Biden promises relief through his American Rescue Plan . It includes more emergency food support and increases funding for SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps), which provides low-income individuals and families with benefits to supplement their food budgets. Two days before his inauguration, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, loaded groceries into boxes at a food bank in Philadelphia. At the time, Biden reportedly acknowledged that hunger and food insecurity in our country had escalated precipitously since COVID began. Based on the team that President Biden is assembling, I have hope.
Will Sen. Kyrsten Sinema support Arizona voters or the filibuster?
       
Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema may soon have to decide if she will be a champion for Arizona voters, and those across the nation, or a shill for an outdated obstructionist Senate rule. 'Most significant' voting bill could dieSinema, along with West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, are the only two Democrats in the Senate who support the rule. Sinema recently released a statement saying, “I have long said that I oppose eliminating the filibuster for votes on legislation. Retaining the legislative filibuster is not meant to impede the things we want to get done. But that would require support from Sinema and Manchin.
Readers respond: Stop focusing on trivia
       
A recent The Oregonian/OregonLive editorial began with a soothing, complimentary paragraph about Oregon Republicans (“Mainstream Republicans, where are your voices,” Jan. 24). The next paragraph began with the word “but” and continued to the end marginalizing and stereotyping Republicans. The editorial devoted nine paragraphs on trivia dealing with “false flag” allegations by the state GOP and other contentious issues that amount to a mere crumb in the Republican meal. Here is my suggestion: Open up your paper to a true debate. Debate the true issues!
Readers respond: Shift timber tax to private land
       
Only a severance tax that significantly reduces the fiduciary problems of counties where timber is harvested will help accomplish both of these goals. Counties currently receive funds from harvesting on state land. If those funds came from a severance tax on private land alone, the Oregon Department of Forestry would no longer need to sell trees on our state land down the river to the highest bidder. All clear-cutting of state land could end, leaving the department to do forest restoration and fire mitigation. Tax breaks could be offered to timber corporations for doing selective logging instead of clear-cutting, which would also accomplish the same ends.
Biden administration official: Merck to help produce rival Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine to speed up supply
       
WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress begins debate this week on sweeping voting and ethics legislation, Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: If signed into law, it would usher in the biggest overhaul of U.S. elections law in at least a generation.
Vernon Jordan, activist, former Clinton adviser, has died
       
In a statement Tuesday, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams said Jordan “battled the demons of voter suppression and racial degradation, winning more than he lost.”“He brought others w/him. And left a map so more could find their way," Abrams said on Twitter. During his tenure, millions of new Blacks joined the voter rolls and hundreds of Blacks were elected in the South. Jordan considered running for Georgia’s fifth congressional district seat in 1970, but was tapped that year to head the United Negro College Fund. In 1971, after the death of Whitney Young Jr., Jordan was named the fifth president of the National Urban League, which is dedicated to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.
The Cherokee Nation acknowledges that descendants of people once enslaved by the tribe should also qualify as Cherokee
       
(CNN) A longstanding dispute over who can be considered a citizen of the Cherokee Nation finally came to a conclusion this week. The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the tribal nation remove the phrase "by blood" from its constitution and other tribal laws. "Freedmen rights are inherent," Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice Shawna S. Baker wrote in the opinion. That expelled about 2,800 descendants of Cherokee Freedmen from the tribe, the website for the National Museum of the American Indian states. In 2017, a federal district court ruled in favor of the Freedmen -- a decision that the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has now reaffirmed.
Opinion | Biden ran on ending forever wars. He’s already undermining that promise.
       
ADADObama and Trump both campaigned on the promise that they would end the wars in the Middle East. The same question is posed in Afghanistan where, unimaginably, the United States has been fighting for two decades. The Pentagon warns that withdrawal will lead to the collapse of the government the United States props up and to a wider civil war. A report from the congressionally created Afghanistan Study Group calls on the United States to postpone any withdrawal and instead condition it on Taliban behavior. If Biden accedes, the forever war will continue, well, forever — or at least until a new president is ready to accept reality and get out.
Opinion | The administration can and must do more on Khashoggi’s murder
       
Will Biden not shake MBS’s hand should he come to the United States? The administration would also do well to consult with Democrats and Republicans on the relevant committees and with human rights groups. ADADBuilding on the Stand with Civil Society Initiative begun under the Obama administration, the Biden team can also increase aid to groups pressing for human rights. Temin writes:An increased emphasis on civil society organizations should be accompanied by changes in how the United States supports them. Having said that, I am certainly not aware of any plans for the crown prince to travel to the United States in the near term.”
Chuck DeVore: Texas' blackouts – here's the truth about why they happened and what we have to do next
       
That Texas’ grid has become increasingly dependent on unreliable wind and solar is largely to blame for this critical shortfall. This inexpensive but unreliable power has acted as a powerful disincentive to build needed natural gas power plants. Over the course of 2019, Texas wind produced about 34% of its capacity – from hour-to-hour and season-to-season, sometimes more than 70%, sometimes close to zero. Since electricity must be produced the moment it is needed, that meant that natural gas power plants had to make up the shortfall. An Obama-era environmental rule that forced oilfield compressors to switch from natural gas to electric likely made things worse.
Editorial: Sorry, but the state's newest deal on school reopening won't speed things much
       
(Associated Press)Before anyone gets too excited about schools supposedly reopening on April 1, that’s unlikely to happen in much of California under the terms of the deal that Gov. The state is now setting aside a hefty share of the doses to meet the demands of teachers’ unions. That’s a very high level, though a little bit short of the 95% or so reached after two doses. April 1 isn’t even a drop-dead date for receiving state incentives, which will remain available in reduced form after that. Instead, the governor, Legislature and most school districts essentially left it to the unions to decide.
City Council has a new plan for spending $88 million on L.A. communities of color
       
A draft plan approved by the L.A. City Council in December would have devoted $88 million to youth and recreation programs, neighborhood beautification initiatives, job and business programs, nonprofit services and more. The mayor vetoed the plan, saying the reprogrammed money should focus more heavily on racial justice, income inequality and community safety programs. Now, that veto is on the table Tuesday at the City Council. AdvertisementThe plan backed by City Council President Nury Martinez and several council members now allocates $14 million slated for policing alternatives, including community intervention officers, according to a city report. AdvertisementThe council is asking budget analysts to prepare a report with a list of additional appropriations, totaling about $56 million, by Friday.
Pitts: Even Tucker Carlson says Q doesn’t exist. What about Y?
       
You probably think the moon landing was real. You probably think Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman. Heck, you probably think Kennedy was killed. Forget Q. Q was an FBI front. Are you going to do that or are you going to don your aluminum foil helmet and help Y save America?
A woman once believed to be a victim in a college sex trafficking case has now been charged in it
       
Once described as a vulnerable target of the scheme, a former Sarah Lawrence College student has been charged in a sex trafficking conspiracy and money laundering case, according to a grand jury indictment. Pollok has been charged as a codefendant of Lawrence Ray, the parent of a former student who was charged last year for allegedly psychologically, physically and sexually abusing his daughter’s classmates as well as others beginning in 2010. In some cases, it even included forced labor and sex trafficking, according to the indictment. “But as alleged, Lawrence Ray exploited that vulnerable time in his victims’ lives through a course of conduct that shocks the conscience.”Ray faces additional charges, including extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor trafficking and tax evasion, according to the indictment. Sarah Lawrence College did not respond to CNN’s request for comment Monday on Pollok and the January indictment.
Readers respond: Let’s reimagine reopened schools
       
As we begin to reopen our schools, with long-awaited human contact, let’s consider how we can “make schools more human,” as a recent New York Times opinion piece said. In place of the same curriculum and expectations, let’s promote strategies that engage students’ natural interests. When we reopen schools, let’s not bombard students with the notion that they need to “catch up” and get back into the old routine of standardized learning. Offer them time to celebrate being together again and focus on activities that bring joy and love of learning. Let us move forward where compassion and humanity are significant in every classroom.
1 dead, 1 injured in NE Portland shooting, police say
       
One person was killed and another injured in Northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood Monday night, police said. Officers were called to the 5200 block of Northeast Alberta on reports of gunfire in the area around 10:20 p.m., officials said in a statement. Gun violence in Portland has continued at alarming levels since a spike last year. Over the weekend, police responded to numerous shootings, including an incident at a Southeast Portland strip club that left two men dead. Investigators asked anyone with information about Monday night’s shooting to contact Detective Shaye Samora at Shaye.Samora@portlandoregon.gov/503-823-0768 or Detective Erik Kammerer at Erik.Kammerer@portlandoregon.gov/503-823-0762.
Civil Rights Leader and Businessman Vernon Jordan has died
       
Breaking News – CNBC News just reported that Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. (born August 15, 1935) has died today. Jordan was an American business executive and civil rights activist in the United States. After working for several Civil Rights Organizations organizations, he was chosen by President Bill Clinton as a close adviser. On May 29, 1980, Jordan was shot and seriously wounded outside the Marriott Inn in Fort Wayne, Indiana. By 1966 Jordan’s political influence was evident through his participation in President Lyndon B. Johnson’s civil rights conference.
A woman once believed to be a victim in a college sex trafficking case has now been charged in it
       
(CNN) Once described as a vulnerable target of the scheme, a former Sarah Lawrence College student has been charged in a sex trafficking conspiracy and money laundering case, according to a grand jury indictment. Isabella Pollok has been charged with one count each of racketeering conspiracy, extortion conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy and money laundering, according to the indictment from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that was unsealed on January 29. A lawyer for Pollok declined to comment to CNN. Pollok has been charged as a codefendant of Lawrence Ray, the parent of a former student who was charged last year for allegedly psychologically, physically and sexually abusing his daughter's classmates as well as others beginning in 2010. The indictment alleges that over the course of about a decade, Ray and Pollok "attempted to gain the trust of the Victims before psychologically manipulating and controlling them for the success and furtherance" of the group's "ideology and the financial gain of its members."
How to use opioid settlement money to save the most lives
       
It is time to ask: Will the money be used to save lives during an ongoing overdose epidemic that kills more than 6,000 people every month? These groups are united in their desire to ensure that the mistakes from the tobacco settlement are not repeated. Using the money for unrelated purposes was the primary mistake made with the tobacco settlement dollars. Settlement funds should be used for interventions — ranging from prevention to treatment to recovery supports to harm reduction — that work. It is no easy task to spend large amounts of settlement funds effectively, and, if the tobacco settlement is any indication, the risk of failing is high.
For Andrew Cuomo, there can be no sexual harassment double standard. He should resign.
       
Lauren Leader and Gretchen CarlsonOpinion contributorsThere is no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in any American workplace — be it in business or politics. Those who report harassment should not be forced to leave their jobs in order to avoid harassment. Threatening to “destroy” a co-worker for any reason, as Cuomo apparently did, is unacceptable and outrageous behavior and an abuse of power. Sexual harassment has nothing to do with political partyNow Gov. COVID nursing home deaths:New York Gov.
Lower courts take notice: The Supreme Court is rethinking qualified immunity
       
Yet both courts were so caught up in the hyper-technical application of the qualified immunity test that they left common sense behind. In almost every case it considered on the issue of qualified immunity, the high court sided with the lower courts that shielded government officials from accountability and reversed lower courts that demanded it. In other words, in its application of qualified immunity, the Court put policy above law. But the Supreme Court may now be entering a new dawn on qualified immunity, and judges of all levels should take notice. These are still early days in the reconsideration — if not ultimate rejection — of the court-created doctrine of qualified immunity.
'I felt immeasurably stuck': High school seniors face college acceptances, rejections alone
       
Torey Leverton entered into her senior year of high school knowing full well the college application process would be competitive. Because of all this, college rejections were especially painful for Leverton. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures have created an unprecedented college admissions process for the Class of 2025. He got into Emory University, Indiana University and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Remember not to pin your self-worth on college acceptances: Helms emphasized there's more to you than where you go to college.
China’s Two Sessions: What to watch on Hong Kong, child policy and tech competition
       
This year, issues such as the country’s next five-year economic blueprint and contentious population and retirement policies are expected to dominate. There are reports that Beijing plans to introduce potentially far-reaching revisions to Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the mini-constitution that includes the “one country, two systems” principle, or wholesale changes to Hong Kong elections. After massive marches — and violent demonstrations — erupted in 2019 to protest an extradition proposal, Beijing’s tightening control of Hong Kong and police conduct, Hong Kong voters rebuked Beijing by installing a slate of pro-democracy candidates at district council elections in November that year. ADADWhile Chinese families face soaring costs of living, child care and education similar to many developed countries, the legacy of the one-child policy has compounded China’s demographic squeeze. People over 65 accounted for 8 percent of China’s population in 2000 but will reach about 20 percent in 2025.
Jason Snead: Supreme Court voting rights case could change rules across the country. Here's how
       
And on Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case out of Arizona that will help set the rules of the road as states consider reforms. For both provisions, the Democratic Party claims that the laws cause racial disparities in voting. Arizona has a voting system that any reasonable observer would think makes it extraordinarily easy to vote. The state offers online voter registration and allows anyone to vote by early ballot for any reason. For the 27 days before Election Day, Arizona voters can vote in-person at any early voting center or return an early ballot by postage-free mail or hand delivery.
Today’s Headlines: The $2-billion school reopening push
       
Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislative leaders have announced an agreement to give school districts $2 billion to open campuses for California’s youngest students. TOP STORIESThe $2-Billion School Reopening PushAfter weeks of debate, California officials have announced details of a plan to offer school districts $2 billion to reopen elementary schools for in-person learning. Enter email address Sign Me Up You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. School districts in counties in the state’s red tier, with seven or fewer cases per 100,000 residents, would be required to extend classroom learning to all elementary school students and at least one grade of middle or high school to access all available funds. (Los Angeles Times)CALIFORNIA— How did a home built for Japanese American seniors become the state’s deadliest nursing facility?
Why don’t Angelenos jaywalk? It isn’t because nobody walks in L.A.
       
In 1983 in Los Angeles, where mythology holds that nobody walks, police ticketed 40,747 jaywalkers. Advocates for the homeless go round and round with police over jaywalking tickets to homeless people who then go round and round with the law over tickets they can’t pay. The judge waived the $2 fine but lectured the poor man, with ghastly hyperbole, that jaywalking in L.A. is more dangerous than a concentration camp. Yes, jaywalking in L.A. can be a very big deal, and “I didn’t see any traffic coming” is not a legit defense. The Los Angeles police chief took on all comers against insinuations that jaywalking tickets were just a yummy cash cow for the LAPD, or that jaywalking tickets were flat-out harassment — were anything, in fact, but protecting and serving the citizenry.
We need to erect monuments to our sad American truths
       
Scot Lehigh’s Feb. 24 Opinion column, “The sad American truths the pandemic has revealed,” tragically captures ideas and behaviors that left us “hostage to selfishness, perversity, pugnacity, and stupidity.” But the lack of a historical connection to our current situation is another sad American truth. Beginning with the initial European settlements in the 1600s, our narrative celebrated or sanitized the removal and extermination of the many thousand Indigenous nations. Concurrently, the theft and enslavement of millions of Africans to build a new form of capitalism was legal and justified until the Civil War. For a century after that, most white citizens justified or ignored the state and domestic terrorism designed to enforce second-class citizenship on Black Americans.
Opinion: My wife is vaccinated. I’m not. It’s a have and have-not world
       
The New York Times reported that Americans over 65, newly vaccinated and “newly emboldened,” are leading a wave in new travel bookings. Experts have expressed concern about “vaccine nationalism,” a scenario in which the wealthy countries of the world hoard the vaccine, leaving the virus to run rampant elsewhere. “There is only one victor in a world of vaccine haves and vaccine have-nots: the virus itself,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month. Nicholas Goldberg is an associate editor and op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Times. © 2021 the Los Angeles Times.
Before South Florida can be called a ‘tech hub,’ it has some growing to do | Opinion
       
Achieving this model means we can truly call South Florida a tech hub, defined by breakthrough ideation, new technologies, talent skills pipeline, company formation, new jobs and scaling of early-stage and young startup companies. There is a movement evolving in South Florida, and now is our time not to talk but walk as one innovation ecosystem. Miami has taken ownership for success stories not only in the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County, but for companies also located in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The geographic definition of Miami keeps expanding, and in some circles, goes from Key Largo to Jupiter. It is imperative that all of South Florida comes together to achieve these goals.
The mammoth task of equitable vaccine distribution has started – but it is only the beginning
       
The emergence of highly transmissible variants makes global prioritisation and the success of Covax even more important. Until we know more about the effectiveness of vaccines against variants it is critical that we maximise their impact by ensuring people who are most at risk get the protection they need. This couldn’t have happened without the support of governments, manufacturers and the research community. Nor will the huge task of distributing these billions of doses of vaccine be possible without the support and hard work of civil society organisations. Dr Seth Berkley is CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine AllianceProtect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security
Myanmar crackdown: Security forces fire on anti-coup protesters
       
Myanmar crackdown: Security forces fire on anti-coup protestersThree protesters were critically injured when security forces fired live rounds at anti-coup protesters in northwestern Myanmar on Tuesday, medics said, as regional powers met to pressure the junta over its deadly crackdown. Myanmar has endured mass protests demanding the military release civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained on February 1 at the start of the coup.
The Most Important Gun Lawsuit You’ve Never Heard of
       
The gun, in her bag, sits in the front seat of the vehicle as she drives to work. She then brings the gun, still in the bag, to a meeting with colleagues at the office. She then takes the gun, in her bag, to lunch, where she sits at an outdoor cafe. Finally, she goes to a shooting range, where she takes the gun out and fires it at a target. In business and policy circles, and within the gun industry itself, the case is seen as the country’s most consequential legal battle over the future of gun control.
Invasive remote learning tech scans my retina, records voiceprints and gobbles up my data
       
Forced by the pandemic and our universities, students nationwide have unwittingly consented to sharing an unprecedented level of sensitive personal data with universities and third-party education technology (EdTech) companies. Widespread data collectionConsider remote proctoring software produced by companies like Proctorio and ProctorU, now utilized by many universities to monitor students taking exams. Without regulation, very little prevents the sale of student data to third parties, like recruiters and admissions officers. Federal and state governments must pursue stricter oversight to restrict the capture and flow of student data. Anjali Chakradhar is a Harvard undergrad and co-founder of the Transparency Project, an effort to raise student data privacy awareness.
Mock slave auctions, racist lessons: How US history class often traumatizes, dehumanizes Black students
       
In 2019, a fifth-grade teacher was accused of holding a mock slave auction in which white students bid on Black students in New York. Black History Month 2021:Why is Black History Month in February? She again emphasized that parents should make sure slavery is not the only time their children learn about Black history in school. Students are pushing for changeBlack students across the country are demanding better Black history lessons in their schools. Yizar, a sophomore, said only focusing on select civil rights leaders and slavery minimizes the entirety of Black history.
The $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Plan
       
Listen and subscribe to The DailyApple Podcasts | Spotify | StitcherThe Senate is preparing to vote on another stimulus bill — the third of the pandemic. The bill has the hallmarks of a classic stimulus package: money to help individual Americans, and aid to local and state governments. Republicans are unconvinced. But a process known as budget reconciliation, which allows certain bills that deal with taxes and spending to pass with just 51 votes, could mean that bipartisan support isn’t necessary. Today, we explore the contours of the Biden administration’s stimulus bill and the debate over its size and ambition.
The Black women who changed America's future
       
NationalThe Black women who changed America's futureThroughout America's history, black women have fought for civil rights and women's rights, often at great personal risk. Their work paved the way for Kamala Harris, the first woman, first Black and first Asian-American Vice President
Opinion: Political gerrymandering is bad news for the economy
       
And yet they control something too: the power, in most states, to redraw congressional districts based on the 2020 census. In most states, the state legislature controls the defining of congressional districts, and, as has been the case for several years, Republicans have the upper hand. According to the Washington-based National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans control three-fifths of state legislatures. That means they get to draw the lines of most congressional districts that will endure until the next census in 2030. This helps explain why we’re often stuck with extremist candidates from one end of the political spectrum or the other.
Republican lawmakers have waited too long to expand Medicaid in NC. Now, it’s urgent.
       
In total, Republican lawmakers in 24 states have introduced bills that would make it tougher for citizens to push initiatives to the ballot, according to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. Nevertheless, legislators for six consecutive years refused to accept Affordable Care Act monies from Washington to expand Medicaid and make health care more accessible. Right now, citizens need to collect signatures from 8% of voters in six of the state’s eight congressional districts. In all of these states, citizens have been forced into extraordinary efforts simply to win approval of popular policies because legislatures refused to act themselves. In too many states, voters face shrinking options for being heard at all.
Android morality tale ‘Klara and the Sun’ is not the usual dystopian saga
       
These are questions that Kazuo Ishiguro probes in “Klara and the Sun,” his first new novel since winning the Nobel Prize in 2017. In fact, Ishiguro upends our expectations: Klara, although a technological breakthrough, is – unlike the artificial human in Ian McEwan’s 2019 novel, “Machines Like Me” – not creepy. How human does she look? Josie’s description of her, later quoted by Klara, is likewise limited – to a teenager’s perspective: “really cute, and really smart. In addition to the Monitor, Heller McAlpin reviews books regularly for NPR and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications.
Israel’s high court rules that non-Orthodox converts are Jews, entitled to citizenship
       
These liberal streams of Judaism, which represent the vast majority of affiliated American Jews, have long been marginalized in Israel. AdvertisementMonday’s ruling chipped away at that power by saying that the state must allow Jews who undergo conversions with the liberal movements in Israel to receive citizenship. AdvertisementThe ruling does not resolve the issues faced by people who qualify for citizenship under the so-called Law of Return but are not considered Jewish under religious law. The Law of Return grants citizenship to anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent, while religious law requires one to have a Jewish mother. Naftali Bennett, leader of the Yamina party and a candidate for prime minister, said the high court overreached.
Op-Ed: Is it possible to fix the UC’s system of haves and have-nots?
       
But over the last half century, government support for public higher education has been substantially diminished. Merced is a leader in the UC system in sending graduates on to obtain advanced degrees, helping to diversify the professional pipeline. National data in the 1980s showed that per-student endowment levels at public universities were very similar regardless of campus racial composition. We could eliminate tax breaks for university endowments and direct more federal funds to supporting public institutions serving and graduating marginalized populations. They are the authors of “Broke: The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Universities.”
To boo or not to boo: Catcalls are the musical audience’s tool of last resort
       
It wasn’t clumsy, or ill-judged, or poorly performed, or even ugly — none of those all-too-human failures would have roused my ire. No, what made the piece feel so objectionable was its stylistic approach, which was determinedly, even shamelessly, crowd-pleasing. It’s a tool of last resort, to be used sparingly and with good judgment. I gave up booing permanently, of course, once I had access to the press to make my reactions known. Whenever I feel an urge to boo, I snap to attention, even though I don’t give way to the impulse.
There’s one democracy reform best suited to stopping Trump’s comeback
       
Open primaries would force Trump, and other candidates, to demonstrate broad appeal to the overall electorate in order to advance to the general election. It makes it much more difficult for a candidate to do what Trump did in 2016, which was to assemble a solid core of 30% or so of his party’s voters and ride that through a crowded field to the nomination. Trump used this divide-and-conquer strategy to best 11 other Republicans who survived into the primaries. That allowed him to advance from being the plurality choice of one party to winning the White House with 46% of the popular vote.
Theodore Decker: Amid a raging storm, Columbus finds a safe harbor on Statehouse lawn
       
The statue on the Statehouse lawn survives in an era in which likenesses at Columbus City Hall and Columbus State Community College were swiftly vanquished. More:Why Columbus Day Courts ControversyAfter protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police roiled Downtown Columbus and drew cries to end systemic racism, the city removed the Christopher Columbus statue outside City Hall. Columbus State Community College moved even more quickly to exorcise itself of the explorer. Even before the statues fell in central Ohio, Columbus the city made it known that its love affair with Columbus the man was fading. Last summer, when tear gas and smoke still underscored a city's unrest, Columbus the man — and his Statehouse likeness — had another vocal booster.
Republicans want to make it harder to pass ballot initiatives. That should alarm us
       
In Idaho, Missouri, Florida and Arizona – all states where citizens have successfully used ballot initiatives to pass popular reforms – Republican-dominated legislatures have advanced proposals that would place multiple new roadblocks before initiatives at nearly every point in the process. In total, Republican lawmakers in 24 states have introduced bills that would make it tougher for citizens to push initiatives to the ballot, according to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. Initiatives are uncommon in Idaho; Medicare expansion was the first statewide initiative to win there since 2013. In all of these states, citizens have been forced into extraordinary efforts simply to win approval of popular policies because legislatures refused to act themselves. In too many states, voters face shrinking options for being heard at all.
Vaccine passports could save British theatres – why won’t they embrace them?
       
I’m fine with the idea that you either prove you’ve had the vaccine or take a quick turnaround test before you go into a theatre. We’re relaxed about saying you can’t go on holiday unless you can show you’ve had a vaccine, so why would theatre be different? The protocols we put in place for Gatsby are in some ways more effective than showing a vaccine passport at the door. If you’ve had the vaccine, you might feel the vaccine passport makes you invincible.”He continues: “We want families and young adults to come to Doctor Who, but the vaccine is being given to those over 18. But I will demand the Government gives me an answer about what I need to do next.”Are vaccine passports the key to saving British theatres?
Trump’s not-quite-triumphant return
       
The former president made a semi-Trumphant return on Sunday. Donald Trump’s rapturous reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, made clear that the conservative movement, as well as the Republican Party, belongs to him. Trump made the expected attacks on President Joe Biden and the anticipated elbow tosses at Republicans deemed either insufficiently loyal or outright treacherous. Give Trump this: By so soon breaking the tradition of not attacking one’s successor, he’s arguably doing Biden a favor. This is the hangover the Republican Party must deal with for at least two years and possibly four.
Putin is losing the battle for Russia’s future
       
Navalny has long been a prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin. And many of those who are staying home are sympathetically following news of the protests and Navalny’s plight. But his disapproval rating has grown nonetheless, because Putin loyalists view him as a real threat to stability. In other words, Putin is beginning to lose the battle for future generations to Navalny. The protests have turned Russian politics into a binary affair: You are either with Navalny or with Putin.
Japan, the national security superpower
       
Still, even I can see the opportunity that Japan has to become a national security superpower. National security must focus on those two areas, addressing their complexities and nuances — and Japan can lead in both areas. While the alliance has addressed regional security concerns, its primary focus — understandably — has been the defense of Japan. Re-conceptualizing national security allows Japan to overcome those inhibitions and do more for the region. It builds upon traditional elements of Japanese national security policy, and while adventurous, builds upon recent developments.
Opinion | A Farm-to-Table Reprieve From the Punishment of Prison Food
       
Before Mr. McBrine took over six years ago, inmates at Mountain View would routinely chuck their food trays in the garbage. The organization’s survey of 250 former prisoners found that many did not receive enough food and contended with soured milk and spoiled meat. Food quality, or lack thereof, has a direct impact on behavior, notes Jeff Morin, Mountain View’s warden. If the goal of prison involves not only punishment but also rehabilitation and lowering recidivism, then sending a healthier person back into society is in everyone’s interest. When he was warden at Maine State Prison, Mr. Liberty instituted composting after learning, to his horror, that leftovers from the 3,000 meals served a day were being thrown away.
Opinion | Will the Supreme Court Gut the Voting Rights Act?
       
Shelby County effectively ended the act’s vaunted “preclearance” system, which had required jurisdictions with lengthy track records of discrimination to obtain federal approval before amending their voting laws. Within hours after the opinion came down, Republicans in Texas began rolling out a previously blocked voter ID regime. Without preclearance, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act — which generally bars voting laws and policies that discriminate on the basis of race — became the primary mechanism for enforcing the act. But in Brnovich, the court could substantially weaken even the limited protections against selective disenfranchisement that Section 2 affords. That would allow states to abolish voting practices that are disproportionally used by racial minorities, like early voting, so long as other voting practices (like same-day voting) remain theoretically available to them.
Opinion | Put Working Families at the Front of the Line for Help
       
While universality may appeal in its simplicity, it violates the principle of reciprocity at the heart of a durable social compact. Policymakers should conceive of a new family benefit the same way, in both rationale and structure. At American Compass, our research director, Wells King, and I have proposed a Family Income Supplemental Credit, which shows how this could work. Certainly, giving cash to families so that their incomes rise above the poverty line could lower the poverty rate measured by the government. But that rate is an abstract statistic, which uses household income as a proxy for identifying the population living in conditions of poverty.
Amazon Workers’ Union Drive Reaches Far Beyond Alabama
       
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s pro-union leanings in urging workers at Amazon’s warehouse there to organize. Then on Sunday, President Biden issued a resounding declaration of solidarity with the workers now voting on whether to form a union at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse, without mentioning the company by name. A unionizing campaign that had deliberately stayed under the radar for months has in recent days blossomed into a star-studded showdown to influence the workers. On one side is the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and its many pro-labor allies in the worlds of politics, sports and Hollywood. The attention is turning this union vote into a referendum not just on working conditions at the Bessemer warehouse, which employs 5,800, but on the plight of low-wage employees and workers of color in particular.
Gov. Cuomo’s Political Crisis Now A Legal Crisis Too
       
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing bipartisan pressure to resign following sexual harassment allegations from two of his former aides. On Sunday, Governor Cuomo responded to the accusations in a statement saying, "I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm," the Governor did go on to acknowledge and apologize for his behavior. New York Attorney General Letitia James is now launching an investigation into the claims, with the Governor authorizing the probe. The third approved Covid-19 vaccine may begin being distributed as early as today. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was shown in trials to be slightly less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Gov. Brian Kemp: COVID relief – Pelosi-Schumer plan favors Democrat states. Here's how we fight back
       
My top priority as governor during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to protect both the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians. Over the last year, our state has remained open for business, while also effectively combating this unprecedented health crisis. Over the past year, Georgia was named the top state for business for the eighth year in a row. And, by allowing Georgia businesses to remain open, our unemployment rate continues to be below the national average. The Peach State would be the worst-hit under this new plan, receiving nearly $1.3 billion less than if the previous formula were applied.
Janice Dean: 'Make Your Own Sunshine' -- what I've learned about kindness and goodwill in a tough time
       
Even during the darkest days, one small gesture of goodness can lighten up any mood or atmosphere. And sometimes it only takes a few seconds to make sunshine and pass it on. However, as we look back at these months of pain, there are also moments of incredible kindness and sunshine that helped us get through it. Even during the darkest days, one small gesture of goodness can lighten up any mood or atmosphere. Because one thing I’ve learned, as long as we have love and kindness, there will be sunshine too.
Opinion | The U.S. Has the Power to Tamp Down Coronavirus Variants — If We’re Willing to Use It
       
The two vaccines that may be best suited for accelerated manufacturing are the mRNA vaccines marketed by Pfizer and Moderna. Additionally, mRNA facilities are more likely to be able to be repurposed against new variants and even new threats. No other vaccine platform may offer the flexibility and relatively low barrier to entry of mRNA technology. The U.S. has a significant interest in sharing the outcomes of this research to protect both global health and our own health security. Global Pulse The people and politics driving global health.
This SCOTUS doesn't care about your voting rights
       
This is all happening just in time for the latest and greatest voting rights case to land on the Supreme Court's steps. On Tuesday, the high court will hear oral arguments in a case that could determine the scope and force of the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights Act is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation enacted in 1965 to guard against disenfranchisement of African Americans. First, does an Arizona policy that requires the trashing of provisional ballots that are cast in person outside a voter's district on Election Day violate the Voting Rights Act? Instead, it is up to Congress to act and President Joe Biden to sign a more robust voting rights act — not in six months, but now.
Checks, automatic jobless-benefit extensions sought in next big Democratic bill
       
The group includes three Senate committee leaders: Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders and Banking Chairman Sherrod Brown. Families should not be at the mercy of constantly-shifting legislative timelines and ad hoc solutions,” the group wrote. The expectation among many Democrats is that the second bill, dubbed Build Back Better, will be the vehicle for a massive infrastructure initiative that will have bipartisan support, as well as other policies that may be favored only by Democrats. Tuesday’s letter will serve as an opening salvo in the debate over what some of those other elements besides infrastructure should be. Pandemic-related jobless programs would also be extended in the stimulus bill.
Editorial: Biden shouldn’t have spared Saudi Arabia’s crown prince
       
Biden answered “Yes,” and went on to say that he believed Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Yet even though it released an intelligence report Friday concluding that the crown prince ordered an operation to “capture or kill” Khashoggi, the Biden administration is declining to impose sanctions on the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced that the United States will “recalibrate” its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Welcome as these steps are, they are no substitute for formal action against the crown prince for complicity in this brutal murder. But the crown prince, although he exercises day-to-day authority in the kingdom, isn’t the head of state.
Mayors play a leading role in the shaping of America — empower them
       
Today at CityLab , the world’s leading global summit for urban innovators, we announced a major expansion of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative that will make an unprecedented investment in the next generation of city leaders. One of the crucial lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that mayors matter — a lot. It’s not just the pandemic where mayors play a leading role in the shaping of America. Together, city leaders have learned both from scholars and from one another. Now, with this new center, we will do more to help mayors do more — together, the benefits of their actions will stretch far beyond their communities.
The polite brand of anti-Asian bias
       
Social-media posts linked the slur against the former Knick and Net to the overall rise in racist attacks on Asian Americans, which have skyrocketed since the pandemic began. It’s in our stereotypes about Asians’ character and our jealousies of their success. Consider college admissions, for example, where Asian Americans are often judged to have less attractive personalities than other applicants. One Asian American applicant was described as a "hard worker," but with a caveat: "would she relax and have any fun?" In New York City alone, reported hate crimes against Asian Americans soared from just three in 2019 to 28 in 2020.
Boston remembers America’s military veterans
       
It must be pointed out that many thousands of heroic American veterans put their lives on the line to serve our country. The veterans who returned home never looked for recognition or credit, but only sought respect from the American public for their wartime colleagues. That’s why the various wreath-laying ceremonies that take place in the Boston area and around the country are so meaningful. Bostonians are very fortunate to have several dedicated veterans organizations that are committed to keeping the memory of veterans front and center. This coming September, the anniversary of first Vietnam Memorial in America will take place in South Boston, which will also honor America’s Medal of Honor recipients.
Positive stories in a pandemic: COVID-19 couldn't stop us from spreading your good news
       
'”The note from the Rosenbaums was one of dozens readers sent last year when The Courier Journal asked people to share positive news during this pandemic. Here are some of the stories you shared — your good news of people doing unexpectedly kind things for others in the middle of a pandemic. "As they were making deliveries, they saw us and wanted to brighten our day," Ammerman wrote. They were painted and the word "love" was written on them along with a small note that said, "I hope these cheer you up." There was a small zip-top bag filled with Hershey candy in every in-house box and a small note that read:"We’ve been told to keep our distance and it’s not an easy thing.
Here we go again. Waging war on Kentucky's largest city won't move us forward
       
It grants the Metro Council Government Oversight and Audit Committee more authority through settlement approvals, allows the chief of police to delegate certain disciplinary matters, permits Metro Council to work with the civilian review board in the issuance of subpoenas, makes it easier for Metro Council to remove a mayor and establishes nonpartisan mayoral elections (but not Metro Council elections). Purely political bills that wage war on Kentucky’s largest city, villainize the other party, and risk disenfranchising large numbers of voters hurt Louisville and distract us from the real problems in our city and our state. For the past five years, Metro Louisville has committed nearly $20 million a year for road and sidewalk improvements. We hope that our elected leaders will wage war for Louisville instead of waging a war on Louisville. Councilman Markus Winkler (D-17), is chair of the Majority Caucus, and David James, (D-6), is Metro Council president.
Honduras: accused mastermind of Berta Cáceres murder to go on trial next month
       
Five years after the Honduran Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was shot dead by hired hitmen, the trial of the US-trained former military officer accused of masterminding the assassination has been scheduled for next month. David Roberto Castillo Mejía, Desa’s president, was arrested on the second anniversary of the murder as he was about to fly to Houston, and indicted as the “intellectual author” of the murder. It’s always been about wanting to prosecute and jail the decision-makers – those who ordered and paid for her murder. The second murder trial has been beset by delays. The murder trial opens on 6 April in Tegucigalpa and is scheduled to last almost four weeks.
Protecting democracy in a free and open Indo-Pacific
       
For democracy to prevail in the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation between Japan and Australia, as well as with the United States and the United Kingdom, is likely to be the key. Free and openIn shaping the future of democracy in the Indo-Pacific region, the relationship between Japan and Australia is central. U.S. bases in Japan and Australia serve as an indispensable cornerstone for U.S. military activities in the Indo-Pacific region. Historic issues are no longer an obstacle in promoting the two countries’ security cooperation. However, there are limits to what can be achieved only through bilateral cooperation to promote the Free and Open Indo-Pacific initiative.
Khashoggi murder report: White House rebuffs pressure to punish Saudi prince
       
Khashoggi murder report: White House rebuffs pressure to punish Saudi princeA UN human rights investigator said on Monday that it was "extremely dangerous" for the United States to have named Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler as having approved an operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi but not to have taken action against him.
Kathryn Marshall: To the women who allege sexual misconduct in the military, Trudeau offers only platitudes
       
Share this Story: Kathryn Marshall: To the women who allege sexual misconduct in the military, Trudeau offers only platitudesKathryn Marshall: To the women who allege sexual misconduct in the military, Trudeau offers only platitudes For all the women serving in the Forces, the past few weeks must have felt like a slap in the face Photo by Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian PressArticle content This ye