[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items from the week. Feel free to share anything you might think readers would find interesting. Please make sure to include links.
First news item
Trump celebrated the victory of Marjorie Taylor Greene, who defeated a fellow Republican by 14 points Tuesday, advancing to what is likely to be a win in November for Georgia’s 14th congressional district seat. Greene believes in QAnon…“Well she did very well in the election,” Trump said during a White House press briefing Friday. “She won by a lot. She was very popular. She comes from a great state and she had a tremendous victory, so absolutely I did congratulate her.” When a reporter from the Associated Press tried to press him on whether he agreed with the candidate embracing QAnon, Trump moved on to another reporter.
Second news item
President Trump’s coronavirus task force warns that Georgia continues to see “widespread and expanding community viral spread” and that the state’s current policies aren’t enough to curtail COVID-19.
The task force “strongly recommends” Georgia adopt a statewide mandate that citizens wear masks, joining a chorus of public health officials, Democrats and others who have warned that Gov. Brian Kemp’s refusal to order face coverings has plunged the state into deeper crisis and will prolong recovery.
“Current mitigation efforts are not having a sufficient impact,” the report said.
Third news item
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump have reportedly requested mail-in ballots for Florida’s upcoming primary election, even as the president has railed against mail-in voting as supposedly being rife with fraud. Citing records of the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections, CNN’s Ana Cabrera reports that the ballots were mailed to Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday.
Related: Dr. Fauci on in-person voting:
“I think if carefully done according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case…There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote, in person or otherwise. You can do that…If you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do that…He said people who are at higher risk or don’t want to take the chance can have a vote-by-mail option.
Fourth news item
Believing in conspiracies like the idea that Israel was the true mastermind behind 9/11 or that Israel is funding ISIS was prevalent, mainstream, part of the culture. It was a hate taught and passed down through generations by people who had never once interacted with a Jew.
It’s so weird looking back at it now, trying to understand how it is that I had this hate in my heart for an entire group of people I had never met.
I myself didn’t meet a Jewish person until I was about 25 years old and traveling through New York. He also happened to be an Israeli.
I’m not going to lie: I was nervous when he first told me where he was from. I didn’t know how to feel about, if I was supposed to walk away, or punch him in the face.
But something came over me, a curiosity, a deep desire to know more about this person I was taught to just hate. We talked about a wide range of topics in the short time we spent together, but the one that interested me the most was Israel.
You could tell he loved his country; there was a glow about him when talking about his favorite bakery that he would go to on the marina, or how he enjoys his chicken shawarma with pickles and garlic paste — just the way I would eat it as a kid in the UAE.
When I told him where I was coming from and that I was Lebanese, he smiled and said he would love to one day visit Dubai or the beaches in Beirut. And then, he quickly realized, as I did, that this would probably never happen in our life time.
Fifth news item
A Justice Department investigation has found Yale University is illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, officials said Thursday…Yale denied the allegation, calling it “meritless” and “hasty.”…The two-year investigation concluded that Yale “rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit,” the Justice Department said…
Sixth news item
A teen who shared a photo of a crowded hallway at her Georgia high school last week says she has been receiving threats after the image went viral.
North Paulding High School sophomore Hannah Watters told CNN she and her family and friends have been receiving screenshots of group chats with threatening language against her.
One message said “I know where this girl lives,” she said. Other threats included, “We’re going to jump every girl named Hannah in the tenth grade,” and, “Hannah is going to have a rough day at school on Monday,” Hannah told Boris Sanchez Sunday night on CNN’s “Newsroom.”
Seventh news item
Russian officials in Moscow…have offered “unprecedented cooperation” with Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the US multi-agency body set up to accelerate access to effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.
But the officials told CNN that the “US is not currently open” to the Russian medical advances.
“There is a general sense of mistrust of Russia on the American side and we believe that technologies — including vaccine, testing and treatments — are not being adopted in US because of that mistrust,” one senior Russian official told CNN.
Other US officials told CNN the Russian vaccine is considered so half-baked in the United States that it hadn’t even piqued US interest in a serious way before the rollout. “There’s no way in hell the US tries this (Russian vaccine) on monkeys, let alone people,” one US government public health official said.
Eighth new item
…Neil Cavuto questioned California State Assemblyman Rob Bonta…over his proposal to institute a 0.4% wealth tax on Golden State residents worth more than $30 million.
The Alameda Democrat told Cavuto the proposed tax “affects about 0.15% of the California population — not the top 10%, not the top 1%, the top .15%, about 30,000 people” and would generate $7.5 billion in revenue for the state.
Bonta added that his proposal would apply a “phased-in approach” to make sure Sacramento recoups its share of the income of a California resident who leaves the state.
“If you move in Year One, 90% of the tax bill applies…” he said, adding that the following year it drops to 80% and so on until it is phased out to zero…
Cavuto questioned whether such a move was legally feasible.
“For ten years, the wealth was accumulated during their time in California … and that is what we’re proposing in our bill. We believe we can do that, certainly we’re open to dialogue and discussion as we move the bill forward, but we think it’s a sound approach and has a strong legal foundation,” said Bonta.
Ninth news item
1/ A TOOL TO END THE PANDEMIC
Everyone wants to get out of this pandemic
So what if we told you there was a way to do it, saving lives and livelihoods, but the FDA isn’t allowing it to happen
— Joseph Allen (@j_g_allen) August 15, 2020
(h/t Simon Jester)
Have a good weekend.