For much of the 20th century, medical progress seemed limitless.Antibiotics revolutionized the care of infections. Vaccines turned deadly childhood diseases into distant memories. Americans lived longer, healthier lives than their parents.Yet today, some of the greatest success storiesin public health are unraveling.Even as the world struggles to control a mysterious new virus known as COVID-19, U.S. health officials are refighting battles they thought they had won, such as halting measles outbreaks, reducing deaths from heart diseaseand protecting young people from tobacco. These hard-fought ...
Former president Donald Trump and adviser Steve Bannon certainly inspired the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 — but they were likely "dumbfounded" by what ultimately took place, according to author Michael Wolff.
Wolff, who has authored three books about the inner workings of the Trump White House — and has reportedly spent hundreds of hours in conversation with Bannon — appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday night to discuss his latest offering, "Too Famous."
Host Brian Williams introduced Wolff by reading a passage from the book about Bannon.
"Bannon understood that Trump was crazy but a major audience draw, and the far-right wing was nutty but delivered a significantly higher than average response rate," Wolff wrote in the passage. "And, too, that the working man in America had gotten a bum deal and maybe Bannon could strike a positive blow (whatever that may be) on the workingman's behalf from a luxury hotel suite."
Earlier Tuesday, the House select committee investigating the insurrection unanimously approved a referral of criminal charges against Bannon for defying the panel's subpoenas. Williams asked Wolff whether Bannon was "the architect, the designer, the builder, or just the cheerleader" of the Capitol insurrection.
"Or none of the above," Wolff responded. "Steve Bannon is a man who does everything for an effect, and the effect is not necessarily connected to the reality. So for Steve to get up a head of steam, and start to announce there's going to be a revolution in the streets, the world is going to change, is actually Steve's conversation in almost every moment."
"So making the cause and effect line — and this is what's going to be hard for the Democrats in this — is never so clear," Wolff said. "It's going to be the same with Donald Trump. All of these people are actors. Their game is theater. Their game is not action. Nevertheless, without question, it is their rhetoric — and it is incredible rhetoric, Bannon is a genius in the rhetoric department. So all of the people who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 certainly took inspiration from Bannon as well from the president, but were Steve and the president shocked by what ultimately happened? I can't say for sure, but I know them both very well, and I would say that they were pretty dumbfounded."
Williams then asked whether Bannon is a "coward at heart' or if any part of him would want to testify before the committee and "try to give as good as he gets."
"I would say he's a coward," Wolff responded, adding that Bannon is also "a showman."
"And all that matters to him is the show, is him at the center of that show," he said.
Michael Wollf on MSNBC www.youtube.com
Facebook plans to change its name as Mark Zuckerberg tries to distance the company from 'intense scrutiny': report
Facebook reportedly plans to change its company name next week.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to discuss the name change at Facebook's annual Connect conference on Oct. 28, but it could be unveiled sooner, according to a report from the Verge. The name change will reflect the company's focus on "building the metaverse" and "signal the tech giant's ambition to be known for more than social media and all the ills that entail."
"The rebrand would likely position the blue Facebook app as one of many products under a parent company overseeing groups like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and more," the Verge reports. "A rebrand could also serve to further separate the futuristic work Zuckerberg is focused on from the intense scrutiny Facebook is currently under for the way its social platform operates today. ... Facebook isn't the first well-known tech company to change its company name as its ambitions expand. In 2015, Google reorganized entirely under a holding company called Alphabet, partly to signal that it was no longer just a search engine, but a sprawling conglomerate with companies making driverless cars and health tech."
The company's new name reportedly is a closely guarded secret, but possibilities include something to do with Horizon, the unreleased virtual reality version of Facebook that's been under development for the last few years.
"Complicating matters is that, while Facebook has been heavily promoting the idea of the metaverse in recent weeks, it's still not a concept that's widely understood," the Verge reports. "The term was coined originally by sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson to describe a virtual world people escape to from a dystopian, real world. Now it's being adopted by one of the world's largest and most controversial companies — and it'll have to explain why its own virtual world is worth diving into."
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger has become something of a persona non grata within the GOP following his vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. While Kinzinger hasn't shied away from speaking out against Trump and the far-right wing of his party, his fellow representatives have — and Kinzinger says he knows why: They are scared.
"The only thing that can happen is you lose, and you'll be replaced by somebody like a Marjorie Taylor Greene. And that's how these people [in Congress] convince themselves, 'Hey, the best thing I can do is go limp,'" the congressman said in an interview with Heard on the Hill on Tuesday.
For Kinzinger, his battle is not only for the soul of the Republican Party but for a democracy "under siege" and the future of the country as a whole. Yet, he says, it feels like he is fighting it virtually by himself.
"There are moments where I wake up and I'm like, why? Why am I the only one, am I doing something wrong?" he explained in the interview. Of course, he is not the only one, but he is certainly the loudest.
Nine other Republicans voted to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection." They instantly became the victim of the former president's – and his supporters' –wrath. Rep. Cheney lost her position as House GOP conference chair earlier this year, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced he would not be running for re-election following his current term due to the "toxic dynamics" in the party, and more generally, Trump's condemnation of the group has been persistent and targeted since the vote.
Despite the backlash, Kinzinger sees the need for a more concerted effort within the party to do the right thing.
"It's not the 10 of us who are going to save this democracy," he said. "It's the 190 who finally get fed up enough to say something."
His exhaustion, however, doesn't stem from his fights in Congress over issues like debt ceiling, or even from answering questions about his convictions, but rather from the beliefs of the far-right wing of his party.
"What I get tired of is watching every day a man — who if he's not close to insane, he sure knows how to play being insane — convincing people that truth doesn't matter," he said. "And then watching good friends who are military officers, college educated, spouting vaccine disinformation because it's a tattoo of their politics."
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