Tuesday ReadsPosted: August 31, 2021 Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Afghanistan, coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19, Florida, Hurricane Ida, January 6 insurrection, Joe Biden, Madison Cawthorn, Ron De Santis, The Big Lie, Western wildfires 17 Comments
I’m struggling to get going with this post. There is so much negative and even crazy coverage out there. If only there could be a week or two of boring news! But the media is still beating up on Biden for ending a 20-year war, Republicans are still claiming 2020 was a “rigged election,” and the pandemic is still worsening because wacko right wingers insist on taking a horse de-wormer instead of just getting vaccinated and wearing masks. And we can’t forget the powerful hurricanes and wildfires that are linked to our refusal to deal with climate change. So here’s a sampling of what’s out there in the media today.
At the Washington Post, Matt Viser has a piece on angry families who recently lost sons and daughters in Afghanistan: ‘Don’t you ever forget that name’: Biden’s tough meeting with grieving relatives.
In Florida, where Covid-19 is running rampant, Governor DeSantis has decided to ignore a court decision that his anti-mask orders are unconstitutional. The New York Times: Florida withholds money from school districts over mask mandates.
The Florida Department of Education has withheld funds from two school districts that made masks mandatory in classrooms this fall, state officials announced on Monday, making good on a threat that local school boards that required students to wear masks would be punished financially….
Richard Corcoran, the state education commissioner, said in a statement that the department would fight to protect parents’ rights to make health care decisions for their children, adding: “They know what is best for their children.”
The penalty applies to two school districts — Alachua County and Broward County — that went ahead with mask mandates in defiance of the governor’s order.
The department had indicated that it would withhold a monthly amount equivalent to school board members’ salaries. In Alachua County, members make about $40,000 a year, and in Broward County about $46,000, according to the State Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
However, because the state does not pay the salaries of local officials, it cannot withhold the salaries directly. Mr. Corcoran had previously said that he might recommend withholding funds “in an amount equal to the salaries of the superintendent and all the members of the school board.”
Also at The New York Times, Jamelle Bouie asks: Do Republicans Actually Want the Pandemic to End?
Joe Biden, in his 2020 campaign for president, promised to get the coronavirus pandemic under control. With additional aid to working families and free distribution of multiple effective vaccines, he would lead the United States out of its ongoing public health crisis….
Rather than work with him to vaccinate the country, Biden’s Republican opposition has, with only a few exceptions, done everything in its power to politicize the vaccine and make refusal to cooperate a test of partisan loyalty. The party is, for all practical purposes, pro-Covid. If it’s sincere, it is monstrous. And if it’s not, it is an unbelievably cynical and nihilistic strategy. Unfortunately for both Biden and the country, it appears to be working.
Naturally, some of the loudest vaccine-skeptical Republicans are in Congress. “Think about what those mechanisms could be used for,” Representative Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina said of the Biden administration’s plan for door-to-door vaccine ambassadors. “They could then go door-to-door to take your guns. They could go door-to-door to take your Bibles.”
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has similarly criticized the president’s effort to reach the unvaccinated. “People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations,” she tweeted. “You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.”
Cawthorn and Greene are obviously fringe figures. But these days, the fringe is not far from the center of the Republican Party (if it ever was to begin with). Their rhetoric is not too different, in other words, from that of their more mainstream colleagues in the Senate.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has attacked vaccine mandates — “There should be no mandates, zero, concerning Covid,” he said in a recent interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity — while Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has urged Americans to “resist” efforts to stop the spread of the virus. “It’s time for us to resist,” Paul said in a video posted to Twitter. “They can’t arrest all of us. They can’t keep all of your kids home from school. They can’t keep every government building closed, although I’ve got a long list of ones they might keep closed or ought to keep closed.”
Republican rhetoric in Washington, however, is a sideshow to the real fight over Covid, in states like Florida and Texas.
Read the rest at the NYT.
Hurricane Ida has moved on, but Louisiana with be dealing with the aftereffects for a long time. Read about it and see photos at NPR: These Images Show Just How Bad Hurricane Ida Hit Louisiana’s Coastline.
Hurricane Ida’s fierce Category 4 winds and torrential rain left the Louisiana coastline badly beaten.
Images of the effected areasdays after the storm show crushed homes, debris scattered across streets, and flooded neighborhoods.
As cleanup is underway, officials are warning residents who evacuated not to return to their homes just yet due to the severe damage.
Out West, the devastating drought and resulting wildfires continue. The New York Times: Evacuations Ordered Near Lake Tahoe as the Caldor Fire Chokes Region.
A wildfire that had burned through remote areas in the Sierra Nevada for two weeks crested a ridge on Monday and began descending toward the major population centers along Lake Tahoe.
As the Caldor fire intensified amid dry and windy conditions, thousands of people along the lake’s southern and western shores were ordered to evacuate. Crews of firefighters sped to put out spot fires only miles from South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Tourists normally swarm the lake on the California-Nevada border in the summer months for boating, fishing, hiking, eating and drinking. But by sunset on Monday, the community seemed to stand still.
On streets that were clogged only hours earlier, shops and businesses — motels, restaurants, supermarkets — were deserted. Roads were empty except for fire engines and television reporters documenting the eerie calm.
It was impossible to know when, if at all, the fire would reach the town. But people did not stay to test the fury of a blaze that fire officials estimate could threaten more than 20,000 structures.
Public safety officials warned that the Caldor fire, the latest to grip California during a particularly unforgiving summer for fire crews in the West, showed no signs of relenting. It had scorched more than 186,000 acres and was 15 percent contained on Monday.
The mandatory evacuation zone extended from Tahoma, Calif., on the western shore of the lake, to the Nevada border.
So those are the highlights of today’s news from my point of view. What stories are you following?
Isn’t that the truth!
Y’know, you guys have done a great job posting every day for the last, what was it,13 years now? With Dak having no power, you could let a post stretch 2 days ,if you want. Or even more. Thanks for your hard work.
I agree. While I would miss a new daily post. We can all carry discussions forward in the comments section. Give yourselves a breather please. We will stay here for you. Thanks for all your work and efforts. Now breathe.
That’s really sweet you guys. Thanks. We’ll play it by ear.
I agree. SkyDancing has been an internet home for me and others for more than a decade. The quality of your news synopses, editorials, and commentary are fabulous!
Amen to that!
I noticed the decline in numbers and wondered how it could be so improved.Now I know why.
I’m talking to Dak. She’s OK. She is charging everything on a generator next door. She has a phone hotspot so she was able to sign up for FEMA help.
She ordered a solar charger that works for all her devices. It’s supposed to come on Sunday.
Hi!! Still here! Unglamping in my house but can cook and take hot baths and showers. Hopefully I can start writing again if if get the solar charger looking at solar generators too!!
Xoxo to all our blog family!
W00T! Good to know. And wonderful to hear from you!
Dak, glad to hear you’re OK! “Unglamping” LOL!
Dak, you were talking about ice. I got one of these. It runs on less juice than a CPAP machine. It makes enough ice for one or two people. It won’t keep all the contents of your fridge safe, but it will help, especially with the 100 degree index. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Igloo-26-lb-Capacity-Countertop-Ice-Maker-ICEB26AQ-Aqua/486170766?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=101053038&&adid=22222222228242455623&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=289713566042&wl4=pla-492065121591&wl5=1013778&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=299630924&wl11=online&wl12=486170766&veh=sem&gclid=EAIaIQobChMInKrW4ZDd8gIVvRitBh1Drw59EAQYFiABEgJQ4PD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
The assault on women’s bodily autonomy continues.
It’s not just in TX that corpses have control over what happens to their bodies that living women do not. That rule about what may be done to a body after death is everywhere. It’s universally acknowledged that corpses deserve some respect. Women, not so much.
That contrast is not nearly well enough known.