For six weeks, it was just like old times at Four Moon Tavern in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood. No masks. Few worries. Little of the preoccupation that has hung over the last 1½ years of pandemic living. But last week, a vaccinated staff member at the bar tested positive for COVID-19. Four Moon co-owner Robbie Lane didn’t hesitate over what to do next: she closed Four Moon for two days and reopened Thursday with a renewed mask mandate and a requirement that anyone sitting at the bar show proof of vaccination. Lane said she is still weighing whether to make the entire bar open only to v...
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the focus of a New York Times editorial published online on Saturday.
The editorial is titled, "Joe Manchin Got the Voting Bill He Wanted. Time to Pass It."
"Far too many Republicans are players in a cynical pantomime: They say that the new voting restrictions being passed across the nation are designed solely to thwart widespread voting fraud, when the reality is that widespread fraud does not exist and the new restrictions' purpose is to frustrate and disadvantage voters who lean Democratic — especially minority, young and lower-income voters. Are Democrats going to do a darn thing about it?" the newspaper wondered.
The newspaper noted new legislation, The Freedom to Vote Act, that was introduced on Tuesday.
"Merits aside, the new bill's prospects are shaky at best. To avoid death by filibuster, it needs the support of all 50 Democrats plus 10 Republicans. Absent that, Democrats will face a hard choice: Let this crucial legislation die or eliminate the legislative filibuster in order to pass the bill on a party-line vote," the newspaper noted.
The newspaper did not think Manchin can round up ten GOP votes for the bill.
"No one expects Mr. Manchin's gambit to succeed. But if his earnest outreach to Republicans fails, where does the senator go from there? Will he simply shrug and sacrifice voting rights on the altar of bipartisanship? Will he bow to a minority party pursuing antidemocratic measures to advance its partisan fortunes?" the newspaper wondered. "Bipartisanship can be a means to an end. But when voting rights are being ratcheted backward by one party, bipartisanship can't be an excuse for inaction."
The newspaper said it is time for President Joe Biden to act, saying it should be the top priority.
"Now, Mr. President, is the time to act boldly. Make those calls. Set up those Oval Office chats with Mr. Manchin and any other Democrats who might still need persuading. Bring all the powers of persuasion and the weight of the office to bear on this issue before further damage is done," The Times argued. "Having lost the White House and the Senate last year, Republicans appear intent on rigging the game in their favor before the midterms. Protecting the integrity of America's electoral system and the voting rights of its citizens should be priority No. 1 — not because it helps Democrats, but because it helps preserve democracy."
Read the full editorial.
CNN anchor Jim Acosta blasted Fox News on Saturday as America grapples with a crisis of misinformation.
"No doubt about it, over on Fox this week, it got a little nuts," he said, playing a clip of Tucker Carlson's weeklong obsession with the debunked report that coronavirus vaccines caused swollen testicles of Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend.
Acosta referred to Carlson as "such a sad sack."
"The problem is not Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's medical issues, it's that some of the most prominent forces on the far-right — whether on Fox or on their podcast — don't have the balls to tell you the truth. If you just get the vaccine, you're protected. That's it," he explained. "If everybody gets onboard, the pandemic can finally end."
"Don't forget they have tough vaccine rules over at Fox News," he reminded. "Over 90% of its employees are vaccinated."
"If only reliable, trustworthy information about this pandemic could reach everybody. instead, some big-name voices on the far-right are peddling lies for profit. The same thing is happening to our democracy. The big lie is still with us," he noted.
"If only the people could get the truth and not have to fight through so much disinformation," Acosta said. "You could say on this day we live in one reality, the one where disinformation kills and keeps killing."
Dr. Alan Braid publicly admitted that he violated the near-total ban on abortions in Texas during the first week after the law went into effect.
In an op-ed published online by The Washington Post on Saturday, Dr. Braid discussed graduating from the University of Texas medical school in 1972, before the Roe v. Wade decision.
"At the hospital that year, I saw three teenagers die from illegal abortions. One I will never forget. When she came into the ER, her vaginal cavity was packed with rags. She died a few days later from massive organ failure, caused by a septic infection," he explained. "In medical school in Texas, we'd been taught that abortion was an integral part of women's health care. When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973, recognizing abortion as a constitutional right, it enabled me to do the job I was trained to do."
He described the new law as "1972 all over again."
"And that is why, on the morning of Sept. 6, I provided an abortion to a woman who, though still in her first trimester, was beyond the state's new limit. I acted because I had a duty of care to this patient, as I do for all patients, and because she has a fundamental right to receive this care," he explained. "I fully understood that there could be legal consequences — but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn't get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested."
His experience in 1972 motivated his actions, he explained.
"I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it's something I believe in strongly. Represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, my clinics are among the plaintiffs in an ongoing federal lawsuit to stop S.B. 8," he wrote. "I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. I have spent the past 50 years treating and helping patients. I can't just sit back and watch us return to 1972."
Read the full column.
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