The National Mall will be closed off to the public and thousands of heavily armed soldiers are expected to patrol the streets around the U.S. Capitol when Joe Biden is sworn in next week, federal law enforcement officials said Friday, as the nation continues to reel from political violence and the worst public health crisis in modern history. The heightened security precautions surrounding Biden’s Wednesday inauguration come in response to the ever-worsening coronavirus pandemic — which is killing thousands of Americans every day — and the deadly attack on the Capitol that President Donald Tru...
GOP candidates unveil 'shameful' new MAGA-like 'dog whistle' they'll use to scare white voters in 2024
Potential GOP presidential candidates and Republican strategists are busy wetting a new "dog whistle" on race issues that Democrats say will be used to try to scare white, independent voters in 2024.
The mantra, "America is not a racist country," has been used by nearly all of the 2024 Republican hopefuls, Politico reports, as they attempt to harness the wedge issues of critical race theory and "defund the police."
"By forcing Democrats to defend the rhetoric of the left, Republicans hope to tap into a vein of discontent that is already surfacing in suburbs where debates over racial equity initiatives in schools and the focus on systemic racism are roiling parents," Politico reports.
The new mantra was unveiled by Black GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina during his official Republican response to President Joe Biden's first joint session of Congress. And it's been discussed privately by GOP strategists during recent events hosted by the Republican National Committee and the Republican Governors Association, with their polls showing that "white Americans are inherently racist" is deeply unpopular, including with independents.
Ed Rogers, a veteran Republican lobbyist and strategist, told Politico that if "you take middle-of-the-road, sort of marginally involved voters, they don't want to be told they're a racist."
Therefore, "it may be reassuring for a presidential contender to tell them that they aren't," Politico reports.
Another Republican strategist said the mantra works because it's "part of what (former president Donald) Trump's counter was when he was on the rise. It was simple — Make America Great Again, proud to be an American. It's not approaching every problem in America as if we did something wrong, we're awful."
Jaime Harrison, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, called the strategy "Lee Atwater stuff," referring to the infamous former RNC chair, "which is dog whistles."
"This is why they talk about The 1619 Project, this is why they talk about CRT [critical race theory] and everything else, other than the things that really have an impact on the lives of the American people," Harrison said. "So now, what they go back to is the old … let's figure out how we can demonize, we can energize the rural white folks against Black folks or against brown folks. That's why they talk about immigration. That's why they talk about the racial stuff, because it is the party of division and getting people, and particularly white folks, afraid of ethnic minorities. And it's sad, it's shameful."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough questioned the patriotism of conservative commentators who are openly mocking the police officers who protected the U.S. Capitol and the elected officials inside.
Four police officers testified Tuesday before the House select committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the "Morning Joe" host condemned broadcasters on conservative networks who mocked their trauma and insulted their service.
"You do wonder about the people who run those other networks," Scarborough said. "You wonder why they allow anti-American rhetoric like that to go over the air, why they allow the mocking and the ridiculing of law enforcement officers who risk their lives, risk their lives, were beat within inches of their lives with American flags, brutalized, all to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. All to protect and defend a constitutional occurrence from happening. All to protect and defend the peaceful transition from one president to the next."
"Any good American, let me say that, I don't say this usually," he added. "I'm going to say, any good American that respects law enforcement, that respects men and women in blue, any good American would have been moved by what they saw yesterday, and if they instead went on and mocked the service of those men who were nearly beaten to death for simply trying to protect their country because so much was on the line on that day, then accountability, I guess, at the end of the day goes to those people and those corporate boards that allow people like that on television. It's a disgrace to America. It's a disgrace to the networks that they're members of. It's a disgrace to all of us that people like that mock the service of the men in blue who protected us in the middle of a constitutional crisis."
The attack on the Capitol by enraged Donald Trump supporters posed a grave threat to democracy, and Scarborough blasted anyone who says otherwise.
"Anybody telling you that Jan. 6 wasn't a constitutional crisis, you're listening to anybody mocking the service of these cops, you just know, they're not good Americans," he said. "They're not good Americans. I said it, I said it again. People that employ them should be ashamed of themselves. They're a disgrace."
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At a new playground in central Warsaw, algae feast on pollutants and carbon dioxide to provide a bubble of clean oxygen in a city ranked as one of the most polluted capitals in the EU.
"There is untapped value in bringing the bio-intelligence of natural systems into cities," said Marco Poletto, co-founder of the ecoLogicStudio urban design firm behind the project.
He suggests "turning buildings into living machines that produce energy, store CO2 and clean the air," according to a statement.
The Polish capital was selected for the inaugural edition of the AirBubble as the city is in particular need of clean air.
According to data released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) last month, Warsaw ranks 269th for air quality on a list of 323 European cities.
The list was created based on the average level over the past two years of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), the air pollutant with the highest impact on health.
The EEA blames air pollution -- caused in large part by the burning of coal -- for an estimated 50,000 premature deaths per year in the country of 38 million people.
The bubble is outfitted with dozens of glass cylinders containing algae immersed in water that feast on air being pumped in from below.
The green organisms consume polluting molecules and carbon dioxide before releasing clean oxygen out the top of the bioreactors.
The small circular playground is located next to the riverside Copernicus Science Centre, which stations an employee there to answer any questions and make sure no one gets hurt.
On a recent warm afternoon, children of various ages monkeyed around in the bubble: shrieking, laughing, they hopped on rubber bubbles and swung from rope.
"This is fun," shouted eight-year-old Ania, while jumping.
Her mother, Malgorzata Wrona, also applauded the eco-friendly concept.
"It's pretty cool. Especially in a big city right? Because you know: pollution and smog and everything," the 42-year-old English teacher told AFP.
"This gives the kids, at least, a chance to breathe some fresh air."
She said that where they live, in the western city of Wroclaw, many people still heat their homes with coal, so the air quality is "terrible".
The AirBubble will be in place until November for now, but could possibly become a permanent fixture. There are plans to install bubbles in other cities too.
© 2021 AFP
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