World & Nation
Trust erodes in everything from church to schools to the presidency during Biden’s first year
Public schools? Americans are wary. Organized religion? Increasingly a big “No thanks.” Banks, big businesses, organized labor, tech companies and the media? Not much confidence in the lot of them, according to Gallup polling.
As President Biden enters his second year in office, former President Donald Trump enters his second year of forced retirement, and the coronavirus enters its third year plaguing the nation, Americans are questioning their institutions in new ways, sending academics scurrying to understand what it all means.
Politicians, meanwhile, are scrambling to figure out what to do about it, while sounding the alarm about the death of institutions, and frequently blaming their political foes for making the situation worse.
Gallup regularly polls on 16 different institutions and as of 2021, 13 of them were underwater, with less than 50% of the public expressing confidence.
Unusual Omicron warning sign in eyes to look out for as a painful Covid symptom
When Covid-19 first emerged, people were warned of three main symptoms. But with new mutations came many new symptoms of the virus.
The classic three signs of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
However, unlike previous variants, Omicron has presented with symptoms that affect different parts of the body.
MODELS: 50,000-300,000 MORE DEAD IN USA BY SPRING...
WHO chief says pandemic 'nowhere near over'...
Australia suffers its worst day...
Israel: Vax passports 'no longer relevant'...
Police charge flight attendants for Hong Kong outbreak...
China orders overseas MAIL disinfection...
Twin Mutation Threat as Cases Rise Before Olympics...
Virus Hits Vatican... Pope's right-hand man positive...
Unusual warning sign in eyes...
W. BUSH PREDICTED IT ALL?
Kamala Harris: I Won't 'Absolve' Senators Who Oppose Voting Bills
Vice President Kamala Harris, during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, said she’s "not going to absolve" senators who oppose the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
When asked about Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who refused to back President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan and other pieces of the Biden administration’s legislative agenda, Harris replied: "As I've said before, there are 100 members of the United States Senate, and I'm not going to absolve — nor should any of us — absolve any member of the United States Senate from taking on a responsibility to follow through on the oath that they all took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Harris told NBC News last week, when asked about Manchin and Sinema, that "I don’t think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy. Especially when they took an oath to protect and defend our Constitution.”
Blinken headed to Ukraine, Germany as tensions with Russia continue to mount
Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Ukraine on Tuesday and Germany later this week as the Biden administration scrambles to try to prevent a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“The secretary’s travel and consultations are part of the diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the tension caused by Russia’s military buildup and continued aggression against Ukraine,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday in a statement.
Mr. Blinken‘s trip follows last week’s push by U.S. and European allies to present a united response to the threat of a Russian invasion. Recent days have seen tensions rise anew amid reports of Russian forces arriving in Belarus for joint military exercises with that country, which also borders Ukraine.
Mr. Price’s statement said Mr. Blinken will begin his trip in Kyiv, where the secretary of state will meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday to “reinforce the United States’ commitment to Ukraine‘s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Schumer Hits Trouble After Earlier Wins in 50-50 Senate
Senate majority leader pushes ahead with votes on election legislation despite likely failure
Last month, the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to advance President Biden’s roughly $2 trillion economic plan. This week, the party’s push to overhaul election practices nationwide is set to fizzle out as well.
These twin setbacks have cast a harsher spotlight on the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), the lawmaker responsible for navigating President Biden’s agenda through the 50-50 Senate after he delivered a Covid-19 aid bill early last year and a bipartisan infrastructure bill in the summer.
With the signature issues for the Democratic Party stalled, neither Mr. Schumer nor other party leaders have outlined a path to legislative wins they might deliver in the short time left before campaign season begins for the midterms, with poll numbers suggesting their slender majorities are in significant jeopardy.
New Mexico Democrats want to expand mail-in voting, allow 16-year-olds and felons to vote
Democrats in New Mexico are rushing to change the state’s voting laws ahead of this year’s midterm elections that are expected to be particularly bruising for the party.
The proposal would lower the voting age to 16 for local elections, expand the use of mail-in ballots, create an option for straight party-line voting on ballots and remove a prohibition on voting by convicted felons, though felons would not be allowed to vote from prison.
Led by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Democratic state lawmakers are proposing a sweeping rewrite of elections laws to push back on what they say is a “wave of anti-democratic sentiment nationwide.”
Gallup: Support for Democrats plunged, GOP surged as Biden struggled with virus, Afghanistan
GOP's 5-point edge is its highest since 1995, though momentum may be slowing
Support for Democrats plunged during 2021 as President Biden struggled with the coronavirus pandemic and inflation, according to Gallup polling that found a dramatic swing in party preference handed the GOP a 5-point edge by the end of the year.
Democrats enjoyed a 9-point advantage at the start of 2021, when 49% of Americans identified as Democrat or leaning Democrat compared to 40% who identified more closely with the Republican Party.
Things changed dramatically during the second half of the year, and Republicans now hold a 47%-42% edge, the GOP’s biggest advantage in Gallup polling since Republicans took over the House in 1995.
The findings will enthuse Republican leaders, who see a good chance to retake control of the House in this year’s midterm contests and hope to wrestle back control of the evenly divided Senate.
Airline executives warn of ‘catastrophic disruption’ ahead of 5G rollout
Airline industry heavyweights are warning of chaos if Verizon and AT&T proceed with a full-scale rollout of 5G on Wednesday.
The two telecoms have twice delayed the rollout, originally slated for Dec. 5, over warnings that cell tower emissions near airports could interfere with aircraft automated landing systems and altimeters.
In the latest down-to-the-wire warning to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, CEOs from the U.S.’s top airlines said that “immediate intervention is needed to avoid significant operational disruption to air passengers, shippers, supply chain and delivery of needed medical supplies.”
The airlines are requesting that Verizon and AT&T delay flipping the switch on towers within two miles of the airports that haven’t been cleared by the FAA.
Olympic Athletes Advised to Leave Phones at Home to Dodge Spying
Beyond Omicron and gold medal tallies, athletes arriving in China’s capital for the Winter Games next month may have one more thing to worry about: is it safe to access the internet?
Beijing has promised the world’s top athletes access to a partially unfettered internet during the Olympics starting Feb. 4, dropping the Great Firewall that blocks services like Facebook and YouTube at official venues and hotels. But security experts say there are reasons to exercise caution.
Chinese companies that specialize in data collection, surveillance and artificial intelligence are among the official sponsors and suppliers for the Winter Olympics. Washington and its allies have accused some of the corporations providing networking and data management, including Huawei Technologies Co. and Iflytek Co., of potentially being used for espionage or surveillance of minorities in Xinjiang. Huawei and its peers deny those allegations, but cybersecurity consultants warn that those systems will subject athletes to the same kind of surveillance, movement tracking and monitoring that most Chinese citizens deal with.
Democrats backing away from Manhattan DA’s new soft-on-crime approach
Congressional Democrats from New York are distancing themselves from the Manhattan district attorney’s “stay out of jail free” policy that downgrades some felonies and abandons prison sentences for other crimes, a move that is wildly unpopular with city police and business leaders.
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks, who represents parts of Queens, said the edict by new District Attorney Alvin Bragg “might ultimately lead to even more serious offenses” when criminals realize they won’t be prosecuted for lower-level violations such as jumping a subway turnstile without paying the fare.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens and is considered a contender to become the next leader of House Democrats, said he is unfamiliar with the new policy, which has been highly publicized. Mr. Jeffries said he has faith in new Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, and new Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who espouses a “broken window” tough-on-crime stance.
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Biden’s lying lips
Empty supermarket shelves resemble poor and totalitarian countries, not America
How do you know when a politician is lying? Answer: when his lips are moving. It’s an old joke, but it fits the Biden administration.
The president went to Atlanta last week, where he made claims that would have sent a lie detector off the chart. With a tableau of mostly Black people behind him, President Biden again asserted without credible evidence that Republicans are trying to stop minorities from voting.
That this is probably false on many levels does not deter Mr. Biden, other Democrats or fundraisers from making the claim. In addition to lying, they are also confirming their belief that too many voters accept whatever they are told from political leaders, especially Democrats. One reason is that the major media rarely questions their assertions, while Republicans and their policies are under constant media examination and assault.
The Atlanta speech apparently was viewed by the administration as a good way to change the subject from the economy and the worst inflation in 40 years, but polls show the public isn’t buying it. In major cities, they see supermarket shelves nearly empty of food and other staples. These are scenes more recognizable in poor and totalitarian countries, not America. Who should they believe, their “lying eyes,” or politicians? The verdict is in.
Glenn Youngkin, man of hope and change
Defeats death, deception and depression in Virginia
Bankrupt of ideas and blind of vision, Democrats spent months last year trying to smear Virginia’s new Gov. Glenn Youngkin as some racist reincarnation of former President Donald Trump. It was as desperate as it would prove to be ridiculous.
The caricature Democrats tried spinning did not stick, as was evident on election night and even more obvious Saturday under sparkling skies on the front steps of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Capitol where Mr. Youngkin took the oath of office as the state’s 74th governor.
Ever tall and always sunny, Mr. Youngkin was flanked by newly minted Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears and Attorney General Jason Miyares, all three swept into office promising a new future for Virginia.
Democrats, meanwhile, were stuck looking backward. They spent the campaign obsessing over a past president, peddling racist division and defending archaic teachers unions from parents furious over the sorry state of education in Virginia.