Preliminary research finds vaccines less effective against California coronavirus strain

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New research shows that currently available vaccines do not work as well to protect against the dominant coronavirus strain in California as compared to other strains. The California strain is also more easily spread:

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-02-23/california-homegrown-coronavirus-strain-looks-increasingly-transmissible-and-dangerous

https://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/California-coronavirus-variant-is-resistant-to-15976713.php

The takeaway is that everyone will still need to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands even after getting vaccinated. New vaccines will eventually be developed to protect against the California coronavirus strain.

President Biden announced Feb. 24 that 25 million reusable cloth masks will be sent to food pantries and health centers:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/24/coronavirus-white-house-deliver-25-million-masks-across-us/4575314001/

Police murder another man by kneeling on his neck

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This time, the police killed a handcuffed man in California by kneeling on his neck for five minutes:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/23/us/angelo-quinto-antioch-police-department-death-trnd/index.html

https://abc7news.com/angel-quinto-wrongful-death-lawsuit-antioch-police-claim/10352179/

It is as if the murder of George Floyd by police never happened.

Coronavirus kills 500,000 Americans

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Half a million Americans have died from the coronavirus:

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2021/health/covid19-us-deaths-memorial/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/u-s-edges-closer-to-half-a-million-covid-deaths-as-experts-look-to-fda-meeting-on-j-js-one-dose-vaccine

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-reaches-500-000-deaths-coronavirus-n1257992

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

It can be difficult for journalists to maintain their composure when reporting about the people who have been killed by the coronavirus. Many people go into journalism because they care about people and they want to protect people by reporting about dangers and threats to their well-being, and so when something overwhelmingly devastating comes along like the coronavirus it is almost too much to bear to report on live TV about the people behind the numbers:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/02/22/those-lost-to-covid-19-coronavirus-keilar-nr-vpx.cnn

President Biden announced Feb. 24 that 25 million reusable cloth masks will be sent to food pantries and health centers:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/24/coronavirus-white-house-deliver-25-million-masks-across-us/4575314001/

Trump’s lies to downplay the severity of the coronavirus — he called it a hoax and refused to wear a mask — caused hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/22/opinions/trump-covid-big-lie-reiner/index.html

Low-income Californians to receive $600 checks

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If the plan is approved, many low-income Californians would receive $600 checks after they file their state income taxes:

https://www.pe.com/2021/02/17/do-you-qualify-for-californias-new-600-covid-relief-payment/

Update: Gov. Newsom has signed the bill, and so low-income Californians will receive the checks four to seven weeks after they file their 2020 annual income tax returns:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-02-22/california-600-stimulus-checks-low-income-residents-grants-small-business-legislature-approves

https://patch.com/california/banning-beaumont/s/hfxhs/600-ca-stimulus-checks-approved-5-7m-do-you-qualify

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-stimulus-check-bill-600-dollars-watch-live-stream-today-2021-02-23/

The spending package also includes grants for Community College students.

Texas Republican senator takes glitzy vacation while constituents freeze to death

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Republican Ted Cruz flew to Cancun with his family on a luxury vacation while his fellow Texans suffered through a week of scary misery with frozen water pipes, shrinking food supplies and no heat or electricity in one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/18/politics/ted-cruz-cancun-texas-disaster-electricity-power-water/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/us/politics/ted-cruz-mexico.html

CNN reported that 13.5 million Texans lack access to fresh water for drinking, cooking and bathing because of the weather disaster. But Ted Cruz is living large on vacation.

This scandalous behavior is typical of Republican hypocrisy:

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Texas-Ted-Cruz-fly-Cancun-Mexico-trip-freeze-power-15959818.php

https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2021/02/18/did-ted-cruz-fly-to-cancun-during-texas-winter-disaster/

Folks on social media are blasting Cruz with biting humor:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas/article/social-media-reax-texas-memes-ted-cruz-weather-15960828.php#photo-20627541

Update: Because of the criticism he faced after his vacation was revealed, Cruz is leaving his family behind in Cancun and returning to Texas. How convenient. Cruz said in a statement that he was just trying to be a “good dad.” What a guy.

Update: Maybe when Cruz gets home he can save his dog’s life. Yes, that’s right. He left behind the family dog in the freezing house. And Cruz lied about the reason he and his family bailed on Texas to vacation in Cancun. His wife was the one, not his daughters, who said she wanted to leave the “freezing” house:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/02/ted-cruz-flees-texas-for-cancun-ditches-family-poodle.html

Cruz is such a pathetic loser that he licked Trump’s boot after the “president” claimed Cruz’s wife was unattractive and that his father was involved in the Kennedy assassination:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/19/us/politics/ted-cruz-mexico.html

Idiot Republican Rick Perry, former “president” Trump’s energy secretary, stupidly claimed that Texans prefer freezing to death instead of federal regulation that would have prevented the electricity outages:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/18/republicans-texas-power-winter-storm

Texas’ lack of regulation of its energy market has led to $7,000 monthly bills for its residents and deaths:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/20/business/texas-electricity-bills-griddy-puct/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/02/20/energy-bill-griddy-texas-winter-storm-deandre-upshaw-nr-vpx.cnn

Cost-cutting hedge fund reaches deal to purchase Tribune newspapers

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Alden Global Capital, a ruthless hedge fund with offshore shell companies, has reached an agreement to purchase Tribune Publishing. Newsroom layoffs are likely coming next:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/16/media/tribune-alden-deal/index.html

https://dfmworkers.org/tribune-board-agrees-to-sell-company-to-alden/

Tribune is a chain of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-tribune-publishing-alden-sale-20210216-jacw2c6a6beu3akpbnemlp5cxa-story.html

Alden, which owns most of the daily newspapers in Southern California, has a history of purchasing newspapers and then selling their buildings and printing presses. Then it lays off dozens of journalists as it squeezes as much profit as it can get. It then invests in unrelated businesses and siphons off almost all of the newspapers’ revenue:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/02/hedge-fund-vampire-alden-global-capital-that-bleeds-newspapers-dry-has-chicago-tribune-by-the-throat

More about Alden:

https://dfmworkers.org/everything-you-need-to-know-about-alden-global-capital-and-digital-first-media/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-hedge-funds-mercenary-strategy-buy-newspapers-slash-jobs-sell-the-buildings/2019/02/11/f2c0c78a-1f59-11e9-8e21-59a09ff1e2a1_story.html

https://newsmustread.wordpress.com/2018/04/07/denver-post-in-open-rebellion-against-hedge-fund-owner/

Republicans: Trump not responsible for violent coup attempt he obviously inspired

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Even though it is indisputable that former “president” Trump incited thousands of his violent cult followers to take over the Capitol building Jan. 6, “Republican” senators today voted against holding him responsible for causing the murderous riot that nearly toppled the nation’s democracy.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2021/feb/13/donald-trump-impeachment-senate-trial-vote-verdict-live-updates#block-602840f48f0886db2aba8c69

The Senate’s vote tally: 57-43, with the majority voting to convict Trump. Unfortunately, to convict the vote needed 17 Republicans and so it failed. Only seven Republicans had the moral courage to vote to convict. A total of 43 “Republicans” voted against convicting Trump even though he ignored their plight and desperate pleas for help during the domestic terrorism attack at the Capitol building:

The “Republicans” should resign in disgrace, but of course they won’t. Here are the Trumpublicans who should be voted out of office in the next election because they failed to convict Trump:

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2021/02/politics/senate-who-voted-impeachment/

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/02/13/us/politics/senate-impeachment-live-vote.html

The reasons for this travesty of justice: Most “Republican” senators are racists and/or cowards who care more about their reelection than the nation’s democracy. Of course, everyone already knows these Trumpublicans lack any principles and so the vote was expected to turn out the way it did.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Trump-impeachment-trial-was-a-profile-15950946.php

The fallout from this decision is potentially grave and significant. The Senate’s failure to convict Trump makes it clear that in reality the U.S. is not a nation of laws, but rather for “Republicans” it is a cult of personality. Whoever shouts the loudest, lies the most, and issues the scariest threats will be the favorite to get the “Republican” nomination for president in 2024. And we all know who, unfortunately, best fits that description.

Now Trump can run for president again in 2024, and without any fear of personal consequences he can whip up his ignorant cult followers to engage in domestic terrorism again if he loses the election. And if this happens again, the domestic terrorists may succeed in toppling the government as they very nearly did last month.

The Senate’s decision also signals to the world’s dictators and future insurrectionists that it is OK to attempt violent coups. If U.S. senators don’t care whether violent coup attempts happen in their own country, they don’t have the moral standing to object to them anywhere else around the world.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the vote by the 43 Republicans against convicting Trump was “un-American.”

“The former president inspired, directed, and propelled a mob to violently prevent the peaceful transfer of power, subvert the will of the people, and illegally keep that president in power,” Schumer said.

Jellyfish Republican Mitch McConnell, who voted against convicting Trump, said Trump is still liable for what he did Jan. 6.

“There’s no question, none, that (former) president Trump is practically, and morally, responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said to the Senate.

The Senate’s failure to convict the twice-impeached Trump and bar him from serving as president again may be one of the most disastrous decisions in decades.

Trump could still be banned from serving as president again if the 14th Amendment is applied:

https://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/schumer-democrats-might-invoke-14th-amendment-to-bar-trump-if-senate-acquits/PCP67ZMZYZHV7FG5JFG3O42ZTE/

Trump also faces criminal charges for his corrupt attempts to steal the presidential election and for his many other crimes:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/10/politics/trump-georgia-criminal-investigation-election/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/13/politics/trump-legal-problems-post-impeachment/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/12/once-impeachment-is-over-threat-trump-shifts-real-courtrooms/

I hope that President Biden will now stop attempting to reach bipartisan agreement on new legislation. Republicans proved today that they don’t deserve to have any voice in crafting new legislation.

Trump’s second impeachment begins today

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The Senate’s second impeachment trial of former “president” Trump is about to begin at 10 a.m. Pacific time today in a dramatic showdown to determine whether it is acceptable to overthrow the government in a violent coup:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/09/politics/donald-trump-impeachment-trial/index.html

Trumpublicans — “Republicans” who either support the fascist Trump or are too afraid to stand up to him — are not expected to vote to convict him. Instead, they will likely signal to white supremacists and other right wing extremists that it is OK to engage in domestic terrorism, even to the point of kidnapping and murdering officials who do not fully support the cult leader Trump.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/31/us/trump-election-lie.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/09/trump-impeachment-live-updates/

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/09/us/trump-impeachment-trial

By failing to convict the cult leader Trump, selfish Republican senators are expected to put their own political futures ahead of the nation:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/09/opinions/trump-impeachment-two-men-cried-filipovic/index.html

Even though Trump is expected to escape conviction in the Senate’s trial, it is still very important to have this day (or these days) in court:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/02/09/trump-senate-impeachment-trial-americans-day-in-court-column/4439225001/

A small number of Republicans are urging senators to convict Trump and bar him from ever serving as president again:

https://news.yahoo.com/rep-adam-kinzinger-tells-fellow-034343749.html

Live coverage of the Senate’s trial:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/09/politics/watch-impeachment-trial-live/index.html

Democrats opened the arguments during Trump’s Senate trial by pointing out that there is no exception for the last few weeks of a presidency that allows a president to do whatever he wants such as inciting a violent riot to overturn an election. And therefore the Senate’s trial can go forward after Trump’s term has expired.

Democrats pointed out that the Senate has a history of moving forward with trials of high-ranking federal officials after they had left office.

Next, Democrats showed video of Trump’s speech that exhorted thousands of his violent cult followers to storm the Capitol building while senators were meeting Jan. 6 to certify the Electoral College votes in the presidential election victory for Biden. The video showed senators exiting just seconds before Trump’s violent domestic terrorists broke into the Senate chambers.

Earlier, a Republican senator said Trump was “delighted” when domestic terrorists took over the Capitol building and was confused when no one else shared his glee about it. “As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren’t as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building,” Sen. Ben Sasse said in an interview.  “He was delighted”:

https://www.vox.com/2021/1/8/22220840/sasse-trump-capitol-storming-impeachment

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/01/09/trump-capitol-riot-cooper-kth-sot-ac360-vpx.cnn

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin fought back tears as he spoke about the domestic terrorism at the Capitol building:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/09/politics/jamie-raskin-impeachment-trump-senate-trial/index.html

The rioting and violence at the Capitol building Jan. 6 “cannot be the future of America,” Raskin said during his comments before the Senate today. Trump’s trial presents a “moment of truth” for senators to reject domestic terrorism and hold the former president accountable for inciting it:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/11/politics/donald-trump-impeachment/index.html

The Justice Department found that some of the domestic terrorists waited for instructions from Trump before they invaded the Capitol building:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/11/politics/oath-keeper-justice-trump-capitol/index.html

“Our president wants us here,” protestors yelled to Capitol police during the murderous riot:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/us/capitol-rioters.html

Trump not only encouraged the domestic terrorists to storm the Capitol building, he even continued to attack then-vice president Pence via Twitter during the riot after being told that Pence barely escaped capture:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/12/acquitting-trump-grave-danger-us-democracy

Some members of Congress are having a difficult time fighting back tears during interviews and comments in the Senate chambers about the horror they experienced during the Jan. 6 riot.

Trump also faces criminal charges for his corrupt attempts to steal the presidential election and for his many other crimes:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/10/politics/trump-georgia-criminal-investigation-election/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/12/once-impeachment-is-over-threat-trump-shifts-real-courtrooms/

Democrats to include $3,600 child credit with new stimulus plan

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Parents would receive a $300 monthly check for each child under age 6 and $250 for each child age 6-17 with the Democrats’ new stimulus bill starting in July:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/07/us/politics/child-tax-credit-stimulus.html

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/02/democrats-child-cash-payments-covid-relief.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/07/politics/child-tax-credit-democrats-biden/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/02/07/child-benefit-democrats-biden/

Gov. Newsom extends eviction ban until June

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Tenants in California cannot be evicted for not paying their rent until June 30:

https://www.cbs8.com/article/news/local/california/newsom-eviction-moratorium-extended/

Funding will also be available to help low income tenants pay their back rent.

US has two dominant political parties: Democratic, Fascism

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The Republican Party no longer exists. It is now the Fascism Party:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/03/democracy-white-supremacist-mob-republican-party

https://www.newsweek.com/nicolle-wallace-says-house-republicans-are-going-home-2-years-over-qanon-caucus-1566702

https://www.newsweek.com/hell-path-meghan-mccain-calls-out-gop-over-marjorie-taylor-greene-support-1566701

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/qanon-fight-impeachment-fallout-expose-republicans-post-trump-rift-n1256627

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/marjorie-taylor-greene-ovation-shows-why-biden-democrats-shouldn-t-ncna1256730

https://www.businessinsider.com/republican-party-trump-pence-embraced-history-american-fascism-2020-10

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/02/04/steny-hoyer-house-floor-marjorie-taylor-greene-tweet-photo-sot-tsr-vpx.cnn

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/04/politics/kfile-marjorie-taylor-greene-history-of-conspiracies/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/05/politics/republicans-marjorie-taylor-greene-donald-trump/index.html

More than 140,000 Americans have left the “Republican” Party since the Jan. 6 murderous riot at the Capitol building:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/10/us/politics/republicans-leaving-party.html

Why haven’t tens of millions of Americans abandoned the “Republican” Party? Are there tens of millions of racists and fascists who like what they see in the party?

Trump planned rally, march that led to Capitol riot

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Former “president” Trump planned the rally and march immediately preceding the murderous takeover of the Capitol building by domestic terrorists:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/us/politics/trump-election-results.html

https://news.yahoo.com/key-takeaways-trumps-effort-overturn-125657116.html

Trump selected the music and decided who would speak at the Jan. 6 rally. He also wrote his rambling, nearly incoherent “speech” in which he called for forcefully preventing the Electoral College vote count by  Congress that day.

At the riot Jan. 6, five people were killed, 50 more were wounded, and the U.S. government was nearly toppled by thousands of ignorant white supremacists who planned to kidnap and murder Democratic and Republican representatives and senators they believed were insufficiently loyal to their cult leader Trump.

Update: Democrats said in their impeachment memorandum that Trump caused the murderous riot at the Capitol building and that the Senate must therefore hold him accountable by barring him from serving as president again:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/trump-s-responsibility-capitol-riot-unmistakable-house-democrats-say-impeachment-n1256459

Update: Hundreds of congressional staff members have signed an open letter to U.S. senators urging them to convict Trump and block him from serving as president again:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/03/politics/congressional-staffers-impeachment-letter/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/03/politics/hill-staff-impeachment-letter/index.html

Update: Democracy hinged on the outcome of a shouting match in the White House. At the heated meeting, Trump advisers and attorneys argued about Trump using the military to seize voting machines in a mad plan to invalidate the election:

https://www.axios.com/trump-oval-office-meeting-sidney-powell-a8e1e466-2e42-42d0-9cf1-26eb267f8723.html

Documentary shows journalists’ fight for justice, equality in India

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An inspiring new documentary, “Writing With Fire,” is showing at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is about female journalists who report the news in their empowering crusade on behalf of marginalized people in India:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/01/india-writing-with-fire-khabar-lahariya-journalism/

“I believe journalism is the essence of democracy,” says journalist Meera Devi in the film. “When citizens demand their rights, it is us journalists who can take their demands to the government.”

https://variety.com/2021/film/news/sundance-documentary-writing-with-fire-indian-caste-system-1234893174/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13630174/

https://www.facebook.com/writingwithfire.film/

https://twitter.com/KhabarLahariya

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbvNC1RcIdlM2Kzn-QnjFng

RCC Journalism program receives fellowship to study homelessness

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Congratulations to instructor Matt Schoenmann and Viewpoints editor-in-chief Erik Galicia at Riverside City College for getting a fellowship to study homelessness in the Inland Empire:

http://rcc.edu/about/news/democracy_and_the_informed_citizen_fellowship.html

The $11,000 Democracy and the Informed Citizen Emerging Journalist Fellowship, from the California Humanities in partnership with the Journalism Association of Community Colleges, will fund the purchase of video and podcasting equipment so that the student newspaper can present the stories online.

Journalists leave newsrooms to start Substack newsletters

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Many established journalists and other writers have quit their jobs to publish their own successful email newsletters via Substack. The platform hosts several thousand newsletters, with many of them targeted toward very specific audiences:

https://www.npr.org/2020/12/02/941020719/tired-of-the-social-media-rat-race-journalists-move-to-writing-substack-newslett

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/04/is-substack-the-media-future-we-want

https://www.forbes.com/sites/falonfatemi/2021/01/20/the-rise-of-substack-and-whats-behind-it/

https://digiday.com/media/how-substack-has-spawned-a-new-class-of-newsletter-entrepreneurs/

It is a good deal for the journalists, who get to keep nearly 90% of the subscription revenue (Substack keeps 10% and a small credit card fee). Some journalists are making more than $200,000 a year with their Substacks. And if they leave Substack, they get to keep their email subscriber list.

The move from the security of a full-time paid writing position with an established news organization to an email newsletter with Substack is risky, but then with so many newsrooms downsizing the platform offers an option for writers. The smart approach in today’s media environment is for all journalists and writers to build a following and personal brand via social media so that when the decision comes to leave a news outlet the option to move quickly to Substack will be more likely to be successful for talented writers.

Substack can be snarky and satirical as the writers often have strong voices, but the platform prohibits some of the nastiness and calls for violence that plague some podcasts and Twitter, Facebook and Parler.

Some examples:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/dec/28/substack-five-of-the-best-from-the-niche-newsletter-platform

The free Substack blog:

https://blog.substack.com/

Substack:

https://substack.com/

https://twitter.com/substackinc?lang=en

Republicans embrace wacky Congress members, Trump after losing presidential election

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Even after losing the presidential election by more than 7 million votes and after the violent riot at the Capitol building, the Republican Party is still supporting Trump and mentally disturbed members of Congress:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/28/politics/donald-trump-republican-party/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/27/politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-david-hogg-video/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/01/28/marjorie-taylor-greene-gop-burnett-monologue-ebof-sot-vpx.cnn

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/28/politics/david-hogg-marjorie-taylor-greene-cnntv/index.html

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/jan/18/twitter-suspends-marjorie-taylor-green-qanon-backing-republican

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/27/us/politics/mcconnell-trump-impeachment.html

https://news.yahoo.com/more-republican-congress-members-linked-212651921.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/01/us/politics/republicans-trump-ronna-mcdaniel.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/27/opinions/gop-responsibility-marjorie-taylor-greene-williams/index.html

A tiny number of Republicans in Congress voted to do the right thing and impeach Trump:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/28/politics/adam-kinzinger-impeach-trump-axe-files/index.html

Dozens of prominent Republicans are leaving the party in disgust over its support for Trump and wacky conspiracy theories:

https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-dozens-former-bush-officials-111446506.html

Democrats are calling for the removal of Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress, but Republicans will do nothing about the hate spewing QAnon psycho who advocates violence:

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/27/gomez-oust-marjorie-taylor-greene-463350

Rep. Greene is so loopy she claims that Jews use space lasers to start wildfires:

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-01-30/a-space-laser-did-it-gop-congressman-had-out-there-theory-on-deadly-california-wildfire

https://www.mediamatters.org/facebook/marjorie-taylor-greene-penned-conspiracy-theory-laser-beam-space-started-deadly-2018

The scary thing is that tens of millions of Republicans are so ignorant that they believe the wacky conspiracy theories spread by Greene and Trump. And then they shut down vaccination sites, takeover the Capitol building, and murder people. And they vote. And the cycle of stupidity and mayhem continues. The United States isn’t quite there yet, but the nation is moving rapidly toward becoming an “Idiocracy.” In that film, the world has become filled with idiots in 2500, but it appears that it won’t take that long, especially if Republicans get their way.

The Republican Party is filled with violent goons and their racist supporters. The safety threat is so extreme that members of Congress are planning to purchase bulletproof vests and hire bodyguards to protect themselves from other representatives.

https://apnews.com/article/pelosi-congress-threats-e58280d2ca125f45f280cbd514078543

Update: The House of Representatives voted Feb. 4 to remove QAnon wacko Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee positions. This vote comes one day after the Republican Party gave her a standing ovation.

It is really ugly when violent bullies such as Greene and Trump attempt to play the victim card:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/05/politics/republicans-marjorie-taylor-greene-donald-trump/index.html

Fox ‘News’ falls to third place in cable news ratings

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CNN has the largest viewership rating among the big three cable news networks.

MSNBC is in second place.

Fox “News,” which spews dishonest Republican propaganda far more often than it reports news, has fallen off a cliff to third place:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2021/01/22/cnn-replaced-fox-top-rated-cable-news-network-post-election/6666017002/

Biden stops new oil, gas drilling leases on federal land

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President Biden ordered a ban today on new leases on federal land for oil and gas drilling as part of a plan to address the climate crisis:

https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2021-01-27/biden-halts-new-oil-and-gas-leasing-on-federal-land

The plan, Biden claimed, would create millions of new jobs in clean energy such as solar and wind power, including in areas where oil, gas and coal extraction have provided employment:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/01/27/bidens-climate-change-plan-is-all-about-jobs-justice/

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-sign-executive-order-climate-change/story

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/01/27/biden-climate-change-executive-orders-vpx.cnn

Republicans oppose the plan.

Update: Now that Biden is president, the U.S. has rejoined the Paris climate agreement:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/19/us-paris-climate-agreement-john-kerry

The answer to the problem of disinformation is not government regulation

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Some good ideas were shared during the Zócalo/Center for Social Innovation event Jan. 22 about what to do to reduce the spread of disinformation. Having the government regulate the news media or social media, however — as attorney Ann Ravel, the former chair of the Federal Election Commission, recommends — is definitely not what should be done.

What if fascist Trump, who lied 30,573 times, or his extremist son runs for president in 2024 and wins the election — would you then want his appointees in the government to have the power to “regulate” what they decide is disinformation?

News outlets should publish what the government does not want the public to know, and so it should be obvious that the government and the news media must be separate.

To reduce the spread of disinformation, we need to require media literacy classes at every level from elementary school to college. This would help equip students to make better choices about where to get their news. Media literacy is one of the ideas discussed at the Zocalo event.

I also like the idea discussed at the event to have local news media inform the public about how to vote and where to get information about candidates in elections:

Everyone suffers in some way because of the coronavirus

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Even people who have not contracted the coronavirus are suffering. Many need help with temporary mental difficulties:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/opinions/mental-health-pandemic-the-distance-lake/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/22/business-leaders-must-prioritize-workers-mental-health-in-lockdown-ceo.html

https://www.calltomindnow.org/

Comedy, sometimes, can help people who are suffering:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/21/entertainment/comedy-good-distraction-plc/index.html

Also helpful can be getting the different kinds of rest needed to be physically and mentally healthy:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/24/health/restorative-sleep-strategies-wellness/index.html

Adding to the suffering: More than 29 million Americans will not receive stimulus checks if Republicans get their way:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/01/politics/stimulus-check-gop-proposal/index.html

Vaccinating most Americans expected to take many months

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The current estimates are that vaccinating 70 to 85% of Americans to protect against the coronavirus is expected to take until September or December:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/health/us-coronavirus-friday/index.html

More than 400,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. At least another 200,000 more Americans are expected to die from the coronavirus by May 1:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/30/health/variants-arrival-future-whats-next/index.html

Teachers, grocery store workers and people over 65 can now get free coronavirus vaccinations in Riverside County, but clinics are struggling to provide enough coronavirus vaccinations:

https://www.pe.com/2021/01/15/more-riverside-county-coronavirus-vaccination-clinics-scheduled/

To schedule a vaccination in Riverside County, visit the following website:

https://www.ruhealth.org/covid-19-vaccine

Coronavirus infections would be reduced significantly if most Americans would wear N95 or KN95 masks, wash their hands and practice social distancing:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/health/face-mask-n95-coronavirus-transmission/index.html

Update: President Biden announced Tuesday that 200 million additional coronavirus vaccine doses have been ordered. This would be enough to vaccinate most Americans by September or October:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/26/politics/biden-vaccine-supply-tuesday/index.html

To achieve that goal, the number of vaccinations will need to triple to three million per day:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/26/us/vaccine-rollout-problems-biden-invs/index.html

Update: Some experts say that it will take until January of 2022 before the U.S. vaccinates most Americans and returns to normal:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/01/us/coronavirus-vaccines-variants-return-to-normal/index.html

Biden signs executive orders to send stimulus checks

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President Biden is expected to sign executive orders Friday to send more stimulus checks and food assistance to low income Americans. These measures do not require approval from Congress, and so the aid will be sent immediately:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/politics/executive-orders-biden-15-dollar-minimum-wage-federal-workers/index.html

Biden also plans to send $1,400 stimulus checks to most Americans, increase weekly unemployment supplements to $400, and provide more food and rental support. With Democrats now controlling Congress, this additional assistance will be approved soon, although Republicans may attempt to delay it.

Biden’s other actions to help struggling Americans:

Update: Democrats in Congress are planning to propose giving $3,000 checks to families for each child. Republicans, however, only want rich kids to survive and thrive:

https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Senior-Democrats-drafting-plan-to-give-parents-15890604.php

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/01/22/biden-childtaxcredit-stimulus/

Update: Biden also signed an executive order to expand health care access:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-signs-executive-orders-to-expand-health-care-access/

Update: More than 29 million Americans will not receive stimulus checks if Republicans get their way:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/01/politics/stimulus-check-gop-proposal/index.html

Biden signs 17 executive orders reversing much of Trump’s cruelty

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On his first day as America’s new president, Joe Biden has restored decency and sanity with a raft of executive orders to battle the coronavirus, extend a ban on evictions, protect DACA for Dreamers, create a path to citizenship, address racism, confront the climate crisis and strengthen unemployment assistance:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/biden-executive-orders.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/executive-actions-biden/index.html

What a difference between the self-centered Trump and the compassionate Biden. One only cared about himself for four years of hell as president, while the other has dedicated his life to public service. Biden just accomplished more good in one day than fascist Trump did in four years.

Our long national nightmare is over: Biden becomes 46th US president in tumultuous times

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Joe Biden took the oath of office Jan. 20 to become the 46th president of the United States, pledging at the Capitol to unite the nation where just two weeks before it was nearly ripped apart.

After four years of division capped by his predecessor’s incitement of a murderous riot at the Capitol building, Biden said he will work to serve all Americans, regardless of political party affiliation, and promised to do his best to lead the nation through the twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic and the struggling economy. He also identified the urgent need to address racism, health care access, domestic terrorism, income inequality and the climate crisis.

“Stop the shouting and lower the temperature…This is our historic moment,” Biden said about the need to listen and treat people with respect. “America has to be better than this.”

Biden also said the nation needs reliable information.

“There is truth, and there are lies,” Biden said in reference to the disinformation that led to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol building. “I will always level with you.”

There is much to be done in the weeks and months ahead, but just getting to this point of stability and normalcy, after the terrible events of the past few weeks, is quite an accomplishment that is reassuring to a nation that so desperately needs hope that things will get better.

“We will get through this together,” Biden said. “America has been tested, and we’ve come out stronger for it.”

Later in the day, further evidence appeared that the chaos and “alternative facts” of the previous administration have been replaced with activities and procedures that make sense, when a press conference was held without bizarre claims or chronic lying.

“A press conference was held,” said CNN’s Van Jones. “Someone said words. The words made sense.”

Biden’s full inaugural speech video:

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/01/20/joe-biden-inauguration-speech-vpx.cnn

The transcript of Biden’s speech:

https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a35254513/joe-biden-presidential-inauguration-speech/

Also making history is Kamala Harris, the first woman, first multiracial, first Black and first South Asian vice president.

Newspaper front pages Thursday morning:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/21/media/biden-inauguration-global-front-pages-scli-intl/index.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-the-papers-55743385

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/biden-president.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/joe-biden-presidential-inauguration/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/biden-harris-inauguration-amid-covid-pandemic-d-c-lockdown-n1254732

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/20/joe-biden-sworn-in-46th-president-inauguration

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/20/956922884/bidens-inaugural-address-annotated

World leaders expressed optimism about Biden’s presidency:

https://www.npr.org/sections/inauguration-day-live-updates/2021/01/20/958786631/world-leaders-express-hope-as-president-biden-is-sworn-in

Trump worst president in US history

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Current events and history will show that fascist Trump — the vile, disgusting and ignorant creep who lied 30,573 times and was impeached twice — was the worst president in U.S. history, even worse than Nixon.

“In addition to being the worst president, he’s a terrible person. What a combination,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “I hope we’ve learned this lesson. This ought to remind all Americans what happens when you make a mistake with your vote.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/19/donald-trump-reality-tv-presidency-dark-legacy

Trump was already a contender for the status of worst president, but when he instigated the takeover of the Capitol building by armed domestic terrorists, he sealed that legacy:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/trump-worst-president-history/617730/

https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/How-Trump-fares-against-our-worst-presidents-ever-15880100.php

https://abc7news.com/arnold-schwarzenegger-donald-trump-worst-president-ever-video-california-governor/9533922/

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/15/politics/trump-best-worst-presidents-ranked/index.html

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-01-13/ranking-presidents-donald-trump-history-historians

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/trump-will-be-remembered-as-one-of-the-worst-u-s-presidents-by-nearly-half-of-americans

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/23/us/politics/trump-presidential-history.html

At 7:59 a.m. Eastern time Jan. 20, an angry and sullen Trump is about to get on the president’s helicopter to fly away from the White House for the last time. “He is leaving in disgrace,” CNN reports.

“You have … 20 million people just holding their breath,” said CNN’s Van Jones as the world waits for the egomaniac-in-chief to go away.

This is scarily surreal. It’s almost like waiting for the devil to leave. This reminds me of when Nixon got on the presidential helicopter the last time in 1974.

CNN reports that the only people waiting next to the White House are the press corps and a few staff. There are only about 30 people.

Trump just walked to the helicopter. Seconds away!

And there he goes! The helicopter is flying away! Good riddance!

Trump is to speak at Andrews military base before he flies to Florida. Only a small group is expected to be there. And the helicopter has landed next to the 747 jet. His gross family is waiting near the podium. What a freak show.

“It’s been something special,” Trump repeated. “What we’ve done has been amazing.” Oh, sure. Whatever. Now go away!

“Remember us,” Trump said. “We have worked hard.” Hurry it up. Get this over with. We need closure!

And it’s over. Finally! He’s boarding Air Force One to leave for Florida. One final wave. Goodbye!

CNN reports that Trump and his wife are leaving with the lowest approval ratings in the history of polling. He is leaving as a pariah.

Soon, in about three hours, our long national nightmare will be over when Joe Biden takes the oath of office and becomes the 46th president of the United States.

The news media will need to do a better job to help ensure that a racist white supremacist never again can be elected as president:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/01/20/media-had-role-play-rise-trump-its-time-hold-ourselves-accountable/

Update: The Senate will receive articles of impeachment from the House of Representatives Jan. 25 and decide whether to convict Trump the week of Feb. 8. The Senate is then expected to consider barring him from ever serving as president again:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/22/politics/impeachment-articles-schumer/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/22/us/joe-biden

Newspaper front pages bid farewell to the liar-in-chief:

Biden to propose path to citizenship

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President-elect Biden is expected to unveil a path to citizenship for immigrants Jan. 20:

https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-donald-trump-legislation-immigration-border-security-2179887c74cfd8d156bbd293abfc9fb0

The plan would be of enormous importance for Dreamers, especially in California.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/31/us/biden-immigration-proposal-undocumented-immigrants-reactions/index.html

How to watch must-see Biden inauguration Wednesday

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President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is scheduled for Wednesday, with preliminary activities at 8 a.m. Pacific time and the swearing-in ceremony at 9 a.m. It will be carried live on C-SPAN and all TV news channels, including CNN and MSNBC, as well as streamed live online on YouTube and most major news websites:

https://www.nytimes.com/article/inauguration-day.html

https://www.krqe.com/news-resources/2021-inauguration-day-schedule-president-elect-joe-biden-and-vice-president-elect-kamala-harris/

https://www.youtube.com/bideninaugural

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/19/politics/biden-harris-inauguration-day-schedule/index.html

All major news outlets will have lengthy coverage in the hours leading up to the event and afterwards. CNN has scheduled nonstop inauguration coverage starting at 9 p.m. Pacific time the night before the event.

There is to be a poetry reading, and Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks are scheduled to perform.

A virtual parade across the country with music, poets and dancers is scheduled shortly after the inauguration at around 12 p.m. Pacific time.

A virtual music concert with Tom Hanks, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake is scheduled for 5 p.m. Pacific time on CNN on TV and online.

President Biden and Vice President are to attend the “Celebrating America” inaugural program and deliver remarks starting at 5:48 p.m. Pacific time.

The inauguration is a must-see event of epic importance and symbolism, a true once in a lifetime opportunity for billions of people across the planet to see goodness replace evil as Biden takes the oath of office. The world will then breathe a collective sigh of relief and rejoice in celebration.

The NerdStar remix of John Lee Hooker’s “Rock Steady” is a great dance song to celebrate Biden’s inauguration. Everyone should blast this song, turn up the bass, set it on auto repeat and dance with triumphant and unabashed joy as soon as Biden is sworn in as president:

Trump’s circle sells presidential pardons to criminals for millions of dollars

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Trump plans to issue nearly 100 pardons and commutations Tuesday. And the pardons are being sold for a price: thousands of dollars for each one. One pardon was offered for $2 million. The Trump swamp is so foul with moral decay it stinks. Its rot is bottomless:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/us/politics/trump-pardons.html

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/17/rudy-giuliani-associate-john-kiriakou-trump-pardon

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/17/politics/trump-allies-pardons-lobbying/index.html

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota is right: Trump supporters do not deserve equal treatment from the news media. They never did.

Republicans, white supremacists attempt murderous coup at Capitol

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While investigations are far from finished, it appears that at least three Republican representatives, Trump, several active-duty or National Guard members, a county commissioner, and extremist right-wing groups attempted to facilitate or encourage the riot that was planned to kidnap and murder members of Congress as part of a failed coup Jan. 6 at the Capitol building to block certification of Joe Biden as the nation’s next president.

Evidence to reach that conclusion is substantial. And they were all inspired by Trump’s reckless comments:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/nyregion/protesters-blaming-trump-pardon.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/us/capitol-riot-funding.html

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/16/politics/insurrection-investigation-washington-lockdown/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/01/18/capitol-tour-boebert-vpx.cnn

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-jersey-reservist-navy-base-clearance-charged-connection-deadly-capitol-n1254581

https://www.newyorker.com/video/watch/a-reporters-footage-from-inside-the-capitol-siege

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell said Trump provoked the domestic terrorism at the Capitol with lies:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/19/politics/mitch-mcconnell-rioters-provoked/index.html

A Republican congressman encouraged Trump cult members to engage in “violence in the streets” because a judge rejected a frivolous lawsuit that sought to overturn the presidential election:

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-01-02/gohmert-pence-biden-win

A fascist attorney and Trump ally tweeted that Vice President Pence should be executed by firing squad after he and a Supreme Court justice are arrested and charged with treason:

https://www.businessinsider.com/pro-trump-lawyer-l-lin-wood-tweets-that-pence-executed-2021

Trump adviser Steve Bannon said that Dr. Fauci and the FBI director should be beheaded:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/05/steve-bannon-makes-beheading-comment-about-fauci-on-war-room-podcast-.html

Update: Justice Department representatives claimed Jan. 15 that currently available evidence about two specific Trump supporters does not conclusively prove they planned to kidnap and murder members of Congress. The partial walk back comments by the Justice Department may only be temporary until there is a trial. Photos shot at the Capitol riot Jan. 6 showed a man carrying zip ties that were to be used to handcuff members of Congress, bombs and guns were found next to the Capitol building, a threatening note about killing House Speaker Pelosi was found in the building, and video clearly includes comments from Trump’s terrorist supporters urging on others to kill police officers “with their own guns.”

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/15/politics/capitol-capture-assassinate-elected-officials/index.html

While normal Americans will be reassured when criminals are convicted and imprisoned, there is still considerable cause for alarm. Thousands of violent, confused and mentally disturbed domestic terrorists who participated in the riot at the Capitol building Jan. 6 will probably never be identified, and security experts are concerned that the incident will embolden them to attack again.

Biden’s inauguration is planned to be held on the steps of the Capitol building Jan. 20, with 25,000 National Guard members and hundreds of police officers to provide security.

Update: Republican insiders are now attempting to whitewash the rallies that preceded the Jan. 6 riot as events they hoped would be peaceful, and they claimed that they do not condone the violence that day:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/capitol-rally-organizers-before-riots/2021/01/16/c5b40250-552d-11eb-a931-5b162d0d033d_story.html

What did these Republican insiders expect was going to happen Jan. 6 after fascist Trump dog whistled his supporters during a rally a few blocks from the Capitol building that morning? That Trump’s flannel-clad good ol’ boys would send members of Congress flower bouquets? Photos at the riot showed a noose, and there were comments from Trump’s terrorist supporters about hanging Vice President Pence and killing members of Congress. Five people died at the riot, more than 50 people were wounded and the nation’s representative democracy was nearly destroyed, and no amount of lying, spinning or gaslighting now will change what happened.

What happened Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol building “was an attempted coup, incited, encouraged, and condoned by the president of the United States. Don’t forget it.”:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/dont-let-anyone-pretend-this-didnt-happen/617588/

Viewpoints interviews former RCC student about seeing domestic terrorism’s aftermath in US Capitol

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Former Riverside City College student Isaiah Akin, now the legislative director for Sen. Ron Wyden, witnessed firsthand what the Capitol building looked like after the Jan. 6 riot there:

https://viewpointsonline.org/2021/01/14/oregon-senators-legislative-director-recounts-aftermath-of-capitol-breach/

Akin was an editor-in-chief with Viewpoints, the student newspaper at RCC, in the 1990s.