According to a report from NBC News, an Alaska state senator is already finding travel in her state increasingly difficult after Alaska Airlines banned her from their flights for repeated battles over wearing a mask as the coronavirus pandemic continues on.
State Senator Lora Reinbold (R-Eagle River) has been told she is persona non grata by the airline after complaining about "mask tyranny" when she attempts to travel.
In a statement to the Anchorage Daily News, airline spokesperson Tim Thompson explained, "We have notified Senator Lora Reinbold that she is not permitted to fly with us for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy," adding the ban is effective immediately.
According to the NBC reports, "Reinbold was recorded in Juneau International Airport arguing with Alaska Airlines staff about mask policies. A video posted to social media appears to show airline staff telling Reinbold her mask must cover her nose and mouth," with the lawmaker later complaining to a local paper she had only been discussing "mask exemption with uptight employees at the counter" before being allowed to board her flight.
That was the last straw for the airline -- after her protestations about "mask tyranny" -- which is a main carrier in the state and will hamper her ability to attend legislative sessions.
According to NBC, "Reinbold has been a vocal opponent to Covid-19 mitigation measures and has repeatedly objected to Alaska Airlines' mask policy... Last year, she referred to Alaska Airlines staff as 'mask bullies' after being asked by flight attendants to wear a mask aboard a flight, the newspaper reported. After the incident, she reportedly sent a cake to some flight attendants bearing the inscription: 'I'm sorry if I offended you'."
The report notes that the GOP lawmaker hopes to convince the airline to allow her back on board again after she was forced to travel to the capital of the state on Sunday "via an arduous 14-plus-hour car ride, including a jaunt through Canada, to reach a ferry to the capital," the report states.
You can read more here.
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday swatted back Sen. Roger Marshall's (R-KS) attempt to trap him with a gotcha question.
During Fauci's Senate appearance, Marshall tried to corner Fauci on whether the United States may have inadvertently funded the creation of the novel coronavirus in a Wuhan lab.
"If COVID-19 is indeed a product of lab manipulation, can you sit here and unequivocally say the viral studies the [National Institutes of Health] funded... could not be indirectly or directly related to this final COVID-19 virus?" Marshall asked.
Fauci replied that the specific experiments in Wuhan that received NIH funding would not have resulted in the creation of COVID-19.
"The NIH... did not fund gain-of-function research to be conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Fauci said.
Marshall then pressed Fauci whether "some of the funding" could have "indirectly" helped create the novel coronavirus.
"I'm not sure where that question is going," Fauci replied. "You could do research on something that is benign and has nothing to do with it, and it could indirectly, someday, somehow be involved. So if you want to trap me into saying yes or no, I'm not going to play that game."
Watch the video below.
"If you want to trap me into saying yes or no, I'm not going to play that game" -- Fauci to Republican Sen. Roger M… https://t.co/J10mvbrnvP— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1620749735.0
The Voyager 1 spacecraft holds the record for the most distant human-made object to ever exist. Though it was launched 44 years ago and is over 14 billion miles away from Earth, this space probe continues to send critical information and data back to Earth even as it floats through the void between our solar system and the next.
What is this vast, empty void between stars like? It turns out that the galaxy has a hum, not unlike the static you might hear when you're moving the dial between two radio stations.
On Monday, scientists published research in the journal Nature Astronomy analyzing the data that Voyager 1's Plasma Wave System (PWS) sent back to Earth after it passed through our solar system's theoretical border — a region of space known as the heliopause, where the effect of our sun's solar wind on space and celestial objects is believed to end.
Notably, the PWS detected a low, unexpected emission pattering against its detector.
"It's very faint and monotone, because it is in a narrow frequency bandwidth," said Stella Koch Ocker, a doctoral student in the Department of Astronomy and Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, who is also the lead author of the study. "We're detecting the faint, persistent hum of interstellar gas."
In other words, the constant hum of "interstellar gas," also known as plasma waves, lingers at our solar systems' borders. Interstellar gas refers to the mix of radiative, gaseous matter that exists in between star systems and galaxies; it mostly consists of hydrogen and helium in various forms, including ionic, atomic, and molecular. The pitter-patter that Voyager 1 detected gives insight into how interstellar gas interacts with solar wind, along with the overall density of the heliopause region.
"The interstellar medium is like a quiet or gentle rain," said senior author James Cordes, an astronomy professor at Cornell University. "In the case of a solar outburst, it's like detecting a lightning burst in a thunderstorm and then it's back to a gentle rain."
Voyager 1 launched in September 1977, and famously flew by Jupiter in 1979, and then Saturn in 1980. The spacecraft travelled at 38,000 miles per hour when it passed through the heliopause in August 2012. Its nuclear battery grants the craft a very long life, hence its ability to continue sending data for decades. Indeed, researchers continue to be amazed at how Voyager 1 has gleaned new details about the solar system with multiple generations of scientists and astronomers.
"Scientifically, this research is quite a feat. It's a testament to the amazing Voyager spacecraft," Ocker said. "It's the engineering gift to science that keeps on giving."
Cornell research scientist Shami Chatterjee said in a press statement that evolving knowledge of the density in interstellar space is important information to track.
"We've never had a chance to evaluate it. Now we know we don't need a fortuitous event related to the sun to measure interstellar plasma," Chatterjee said. "Regardless of what the sun is doing, Voyager is sending back detail. The craft is saying, 'Here's the density I'm swimming through right now. And here it is now. And here it is now. And here it is now.' Voyager is quite distant and will be doing this continuously.
Republicans will try to 'steal' the 2024 election if they dislike the outcome: Former Reagan White House staffer
Six months after the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump and many of his supporters continue to push the debunked conspiracy theory that the election was stolen from him when in fact, President Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes and defeated Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote. Veteran conservative columnist/author Mona Charen, a Never Trumper who worked in the Reagan White House during the 1980s and endorsed Biden in 2020, warns that trying to steal elections is a reality in the 2020s — although it's Republicans, not Democrats, who are doing it. And Charen, in an article published by The Bulwark on May 11, expresses fear that Republicans may try to steal the 2024 presidential election if they don't like the outcome.
Charen explains, "The great cause that Republicans are uniting around is 'election integrity.' That's rich. The reality is that somebody did attempt to steal the 2020 election: Donald Trump. During the days and weeks following his loss, he brayed endlessly that the outcome was fraudulent, laying the groundwork for an attempt to overturn the voters' will. From the White House, he made multiple calls to local election officials demanding that they find votes for him. He dialed up members of local canvassing boards, encouraging them to decertify results."
Moreover, Charen writes, "Trump entertained ideas such as declaring martial law, seizing the nation's voting machines, and letting the military 'rerun' the election. He turned loose his Kraken-conspiracy nuts and his pillow man to spread lies about Dominion Voting Systems, Black-run cities like Philadelphia, and Chinese bamboo ballots."
The "conspiracy nuts" that Charen is referring to are attorney Sidney Powell and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, both of whom are being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for falsely claiming that the company used its software to switch millions of votes from Trump to Biden.
The voter fraud claims made by Powell, Lindell and other Trump supporters after the 2020 election are both ludicrous and illogical. If Democrats really had the ability to commit widespread voter fraud on the scale that Powell and Lindell claimed, why did Biden lose Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina — all of which he was hoping to win? And why did Democrats suffer so many disappointments in down-ballot races in 2020? The Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives shrunk in 2020, and the GOP senators who were reelected included Maine's Susan Collins, Iowa's Joni Ernst, South Carolina's Lindsey Graham and North Carolina's Thom Tillis — much to the disappointment of the Democratic National Committee.
Regardless, the Big Lie continues. And arch-conservative Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is likely to be removed from her position as House Republican Conference chair for refusing to go along with it and acknowledging that Biden won the 2020 election fair and square. The congresswoman that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise have in mind is Rep. Elise Stefanik of upstate New York, who was a more traditional conservative in the past but has since turned into a far-right Trumpista.
Stefanik's "claim to leadership," Charen points out, "consists entirely of her operatic Trump followership."
"Let's be clear: The substitution of Stefanik for Cheney is a tocsin, signaling that the Republican Party will no longer be bound by law or custom," Charen writes. "In 2020, many Republican officeholders, including the otherwise invertebrate (Mike) Pence, held the line. They did not submit false slates of electors. They did not decertify votes. They did not 'find' phantom fraud. But the party has been schooled since then. It has learned that the base — which is deluded by the likes of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin — believes the lies and demands that Republicans fight. As my colleague Amanda Carpenter put it, the 2024 mantra is going to be 'steal it back.'"
Charen concludes her piece on a sobering note, warning that in 2024's presidential election, Republicans may not accept the Electoral College results if they don't like them.
"If Cheney must be axed because she will not lie, then what will happen if Republicans take control of Congress in 2022 and are called upon to certify the Electoral College in 2024?," Charen emphasizes. "How many (Brad) Raffenspergers will there be? How many will insist, as Pence did, that they must do what the Constitution demands? How many will preserve any semblance of the rule of law and the primacy of truth? With this sabotage of Cheney, House Republicans are figuratively joining the January 6 mob."
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