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With the US in the midst of a Covid spike attributable to the Delta variant, the “last mistake” for a lot of might be a failure to get one among the extremely efficient vaccines — and to masks up. Those two easy precautions are particularly very important as the college yr begins.

And what about the variants of the illness to come back — will they have the ability to elude the protections offered by vaccines? “No one knows. No one can know,” Sepkowitz noticed.

On the plus aspect, practically 70% of eligible Americans have acquired no less than a single dose of vaccine, he famous, and “within a few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is likely to approve the current mRNA vaccines for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in pre-teens. There are only so many unvaccinated people at this point who can get infected. While breakthrough cases certainly do happen, they remain a small minority of overall cases — at least for now.”

Vaccines and masks required

Mask mandates are again in lots of locations. A rising variety of corporations and schools are mandating vaccines for employees and college students, and people selections are holding up underneath authorized challenges: US Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett turned down a bid to dam Indiana University’s mandate.

In Minnesota, David Perry‘s household, all vaccinated, coped with breakthrough Covid-19 infections and regarded warily towards the begin of faculty. “While it’s with relief that I’ve greeted the news that more and more states, including mine, are implementing some level of precaution, like returning to masking as the new school year starts, I need something more,” Perry wrote. “Families have been holding out hope for so long that the fall of 2021 would be a fresh start. As we face the grim reality that shows otherwise, parents and kids need clarity. We need state leaders and school districts to support yearlong plans that follow data we (parents, teachers and elected officials) can all track.”
America underestimated the Delta variant, Ed Yong wrote in the Atlantic. “It went all in on one countermeasure—vaccines—and traded it off in opposition to masks and different protecting measures. It succumbed to magical thinking by acting as if a variant that had ravaged India would spare a country where half the population still hadn’t been vaccinated. It stumbled into the normality entice, craving a return to the carefree days of 2019 …”

We’ll by no means get to “the ‘zero COVID’ dream of fully stamping out the virus,” Yong identified. The finish of the pandemic comes “when almost everyone has immunity, preferably because they were vaccinated or alternatively because they were infected and survived.”

The vaccines work so effectively that many people are clamoring for — or quietly getting — a 3rd booster shot. On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved such vaccinations for these with compromised immune programs. But are boosters wanted for different people? Bioethicist Robert Klitzman contended that we do not have sufficient information to reply that query but. “Ultimately, if everybody in the US and different rich nations who needed a booster received one, far fewer doses would be available for the rest of the world … people with out weakened immune programs ought to proceed with warning. In the finish, such warning can assist us all.”

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Andrew Cuomo’s resignation

For 22 of the last 38 years, New York has had a Governor Cuomo — first Mario Cuomo, who served three phrases starting in 1983, after which his son Andrew, who took workplace in 2011. But on Tuesday, the governor, in the midst of his third time period and dealing with doubtless impeachment, abruptly introduced he was resigning, efficient August 24. The transfer got here after an investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James supported the allegations of 11 ladies who had accused Cuomo of sexual harassment.

Cuomo’s choice “is a historic marker driven into the ground, a before-and-after moment, one warning men everywhere there’s a cost for ignoring what women have been shouting for some time now, particularly from social media rooftops,” wrote Frida Ghitis. “That the times have changed; the days when a boss could casually hug his assistant and let his hand slip are in the past now. Even if Cuomo himself still doesn’t seem to quite get it.”
It’s about time, Allison Hope noticed. “The constant harassment, condescension, marginalization and abuse of women is not sustainable. Even though women have endured such abuses for generations and even longer, perhaps we have at long last started to reach the overdue point where we have simply had enough.”
In political phrases, wrote Julian Zelizer, “the politician who was prepared to struggle each scandal that plagued his tenure finally met a challenge he couldn’t outmaneuver.” What was putting, he added, was the distinction in how the two events have handled these conditions. “When (former president Donald) Trump faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct (all of which he denied), the GOP largely stood behind him … In contrast, Democrats have decided to put principle before party or power.”

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A trillion right here

The indisputable fact that the Democratic-controlled US Senate handed a trillion-dollar infrastructure invoice with substantial Republican help Tuesday is one exceptional reality in at present’s polarized Washington. Even extra putting is that Democrats could also be heading towards passing a $3.5 trillion funds decision with vastly expanded social spending — the largest such initiative in generations.

The massive bucks are badly wanted, wrote economist Jeffrey D. Sachs. The bipartisan invoice solely addresses a part of America’s wants and “it would not even pay for these investments via offsetting funds cuts or tax will increase … the Democrats need to pass a real investment package — by reconciliation, along a party-line vote, this fall. And this bundle must be financed by tax will increase on firms and the wealthy.”
The bipartisan invoice goes to require skillful maneuvering via the House, the place Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs to go it in tandem with the bigger bundle favored by progressives, wrote Lincoln Mitchell. “For President Joe Biden, who has made infrastructure one of his key legislative issues, the stakes could not be higher. But he can breathe a little easier because no legislator in recent decades has been as adept as Pelosi at counting the votes — and knowing when she has the votes she needs. In 2009, it was Pelosi who promised then-President Barack Obama the votes on the Affordable Care Act. She delivered then — and she will deliver more than a decade later for Biden, too.”
In the Los Angeles Times, Virginia Heffernan identified that the broadly standard hope of fixing America’s infrastructure remained unfulfilled underneath the earlier administration. “During Trump’s term, federal investment in roads and bridges stagnated,” she wrote. “Roads, ports and airports by no means received mounted. Any hope that Trump’s autocratic proclivities could be channeled into mega-projects to astonish his base fizzled. He could not even add greater than 80 miles to his promised massive, lovely wall.”

A altering America

Thursday’s release of 2020 data from the US Census confirmed the image demographers have sketched — the information instructed the “story of a rapidly changing America: The relative size of the nation’s White population continues to decline, while ethnic and racial minorities represent the only source of population growth,” wrote political scientist Justin Gest.
“On the floor, these numbers recommend a bleak future for the Republican Party, which finds its strongest help amongst Whites. Yet the stunning actuality is that, overall, these demographic trends may favor the GOP due to the approach political energy is apportioned in America.”

Peniel E. Joseph wrote that specializing in the declining White inhabitants fuels the flawed narrative. “More Americans than ever are self-defining as multiracial, making headlines about the loss of White identity less of the proper focus than one about a 21st century multiracial democracy,” he wrote.

“Over the past two decades, some Republicans have used forecast demographic changes related to the Census for partisan political advantage, helping to sustain and grow a whole ecosystem trafficking in racially intolerant appeals that have remade American politics. The rise of a right-wing public sphere we are now seeing — untethered to science, objective facts and past support for voting rights and racial justice — depends on a narrative that presents democracy as a zero-sum game, with historic White winners on the verge of being replaced by citizens and immigrants of color.”

For extra:

Biden’s Afghanistan debacle

By withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, the Biden administration could have made the last mistake — an unforced error that’s quickly permitting the Taliban to seize management of most of the nation, in line with Peter Bergen, who has reported from the nation since 1993.

Biden is presiding over a debacle entirely of his own making in Afghanistan — and one which has unfolded extra swiftly than even the most dire prognostications,” Bergen wrote. “Since Biden announced a total US withdrawal in April, the Taliban have taken over more than one-third of the 34 provincial capitals in Afghanistan, and they now control more than half of the country’s some 400 districts.”

When the US marks the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terror assaults subsequent month, “the Taliban will surely be celebrating their great victory in Afghanistan,” Bergen famous. “For the global jihadist movement, the victory of the Taliban will be as significant as ISIS victories were in Iraq and Syria.”

A local weather warning

The world is on tempo for “a catastrophic 3 degrees (Celsius) of warming by about 2100,” wrote John D. Sutter. That quantity and different daunting ones had been a part of a bleak report launched Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“These numbers sound abstract,” Sutter famous, “but they are the keys to how the world looks and feels for us and for future generations — the keys to whether New York is underwater or whether the Amazon dries up; to whether the West remains habitable and whether millions globally continue to die each year from fossil-fuel pollution. Climate change is a complex game of probability, but the underlying truth could not be clearer: We must stop burning fossil fuels — coal, oil, natural gas — as soon as possible. Less pollution equals less warming and less danger.”
Technological advances have made photo voltaic and wind energy rather more aggressive in recent times, however to totally change fossil fuels, they nonetheless have to beat “an enormous shortcoming associated with some of these technologies, easily pointed out by anyone, and that is that the sun doesn’t shine all day, there are cloudy days, and wind is a chancy thing in many locales,” physicist Don Lincoln noticed. “The query of power storage is a really massive one. It is unclear which know-how will save the day…But we must find a solution, unless humanity chooses to live in a world that is far more chaotic than the one we have now.

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She left CNN a voicemail asking the place her recycling goes. See what we discovered.

Trump 2024

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer says Donald Trump will run for president in 2024. Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio agrees, with a caveat. “I half firm with Spicer when he explains why he is sure Trump is ‘in.’ He sees proof in former President’s confabs with key advisers. But me? I see it in the merch.

Trump is advertising and marketing “Official Trump Cards,” D’Antonio famous. “Among all of today’s political leaders, and arguably among all of them going back to the Civil War, none have equaled Trump when it comes to understanding the power of symbols and demonstrating a willingness to use them. With his famous Make American Great Again caps, his easily identified blue flags, and now his membership cards, Trump has equipped his supporters in a way never seen before.”

While Trump continues to push the massive lie that he was cheated of victory in the 2020 election, Norman Eisen and Joanna Lydgate wrote that there’s some excellent news: “For all those alarmed by the assaults on democracy in the 2020 election cycle and its aftermath, it will come as a great relief that the rule of law is pushing back. The latest example is a federal judge in Colorado who sanctioned two lawyers for ‘echoing and repeating election-rigging conspiracy theories’ and noted that those allegations ‘are extraordinarily serious, and if accepted as true by large numbers of people, are the stuff of which violent insurrections are made.'”

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed her true fears about the January 6 revolt at the Capitol. “She wasn’t just worried about rioters murdering her if they found her — she worried about them raping her,” wrote Jill Filipovic.

“Admitting to the particular fear of sexual violence that women have — recognizing that particular vulnerability — is entirely outside the norm for female politicians, who often have to go to absurd lengths to prove that they’re tough enough for the job. And Ocasio-Cortez told her story at a moment when members of the American political establishment seem to want to move on and put January 6 in the rearview mirror. She’s insisting that we refuse to look away from the reality of that day and saying that if we want that attempted coup to be a lesson and not a test-run, we need to understand it, agree on the facts about it, and level appropriate consequences for it.”

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AND …

‘Who. Has. My. Pig?’

“We don’t get a lot of things to really care about,” says Robin, a widower performed by Nicolas Cage in the new film, “Pig.” Sara Stewart wrote that “of all 2021’s surprises, a film delivering gentle, minimally violent emotional catharsis and starring Nicolas Cage has to be one of the strangest.

The plot? “A reclusive truffle hunter’s beloved pig is stolen, and he journeys into the underbelly of the city he once called home to get her back.” Cage performs “a master chef who’s slow to anger and can reduce cold-hearted men to tears with his cooking,” and it is set in the foodie world of Portland, Oregon.

“For sure, there is something inherently hilarious about Cage growling, ‘Who. Has. My. Pig?’ But more than anything else, this enchantingly odd movie grows to enfold you in a lingering sense of melancholy that rings eerily true, especially right now.”

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