Mild conditions return this week.
- The Week
Trump inadvertently boosts Biden's stimulus messaging with another statement raging against McConnell
Former President Donald Trump has released a new post-presidency statement, and Democrats might just be glad he did. The former president, who remains permanently banned from Twitter, released a statement Thursday once again raging against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blasting him as the "most unpopular politician in the country" while blaming him for Republicans' Senate losses in Georgia — losses for which Trump himself has been blamed by other Republicans. One of the reasons Republicans lost the two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, Trump argues, was "Mitch McConnell's refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad." The statement offered "quite the pre-stimulus political gift to Democrats," wrote National Journal's Josh Kraushaar, while The Washington Post's Dave Weigel noted that Trump "remarkably" used this opportunity to "validate Biden's messaging on the $1,400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them." Remarkably, Trump also uses this statement to validate Biden's messaging on the $1400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them. "The $2000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats." https://t.co/M9dXoX13VS — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 4, 2021 Indeed, Trump writes that "the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats," while offering no comment on the fact that the new checks are actually for $1,400, nor on Biden's recent compromise that narrows the eligibility. Politico's Gabby Orr observed that Trump "could have put out a statement saying the income phase-outs in the Biden stimulus bill are going to mean he gave checks to more Americans," but "instead he's still targeting his own party with stuff like this." This was just Trump's latest statement in this vein after he released another one last month describing McConnell as an "unsmiling political hack." He also mentioned McConnell in a recent Conservative Political Action Conference speech, in which he took credit for McConnell's recent re-election. McConnell told Fox News he "didn't watch" the speech and that "we're dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineTrump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
Some people have reported a red, raised rash that shows up days to a week after getting the Moderna shot and goes away quickly.
- Reuters Videos
The majority of global COVID-19 deaths have been in countries where many people are obese, a worldwide study found on Thursday (March 4).With coronavirus fatality rates 10 times higher in nations where at least 50% of adults are overweight.The report, which described a "dramatic" correlation between countries' COVID-19 death and obesity rates, found that 90% or 2.2 million of the 2.5 million deaths from the pandemic disease so far were in countries with high levels of obesity.Olivia Barata Cavalcanti is a doctor and director of science and programs at the World Obesity Federation.''So this is not exactly surprising. The surprising part is that governments haven't really acted on obesity until now. So now we have this perfect storm of an obesity pandemic and COVID-19 pandemic."The study analyzed the COVID-19 death figures from Johns Hopkins University in the United States and the World Health Organization's Global Health Observatory data on obesity.Strikingly, the authors said, there is no example of a country where people are generally not overweight or obese having high COVID-19 death rates.The report found that in the U.S. and Britain, for example, both COVID-19 death rates and obesity levels were among the highest.John Wilding is a professor of medicine at Britain's University of Liverpool and president of the World Obesity Federation."I think it's really important that countries around the world work together to put into place systematic approaches to both prevent and treat obesity. This means making changes to food systems, transport systems and providing good healthcare options for people living with obesity so that they can access effective interventions."Wilding says obesity should be recognized as a key COVID-19 health risk and taken into account in vaccination plans.
- Business Insider
Porsche just debuted a taller, more rugged Taycan EV with matching e-bikes - tour the $91,000 Cross Turismo
Porsche calls it a crossover, but we all know the 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo for what it is: an all-electric wagon. It also has matching e-bikes.
- The Independent
NAACP accuses Trump of disenfranchising Black voters and trying to ‘destroy democracy’
- Associated Press
Pakistan’s prime minister said Thursday he will seek a vote of confidence from the National Assembly this weekend to prove that he still has the support of majority lawmakers in the house despite the surprising and politically embarrassing defeat of his ruling party’s key candidate in Senate elections. Prime Minister Imran Khan made the announcement in a televised address to the nation, alleging that some lawmakers from his ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf party had been bribed by the opposition to vote for former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani in the Senate elections on Wednesday. Gilani defeated Hafeez Sheikh, the finance minister in Khan's Cabinet, in the vote, which was seen as a test for Khan who came to power in the 2018 parliamentary elections.
The European Commission and Italy have blocked a shipment of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine destined for Australia after the drug manufacturer failed to meet its EU contract commitments, two sources said on Thursday. The sources said AstraZeneca had requested permission from the Italian government to export some 250,000 doses from its Anagni plant, near Rome.
It is hard to overstate just how unusual Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's media war with Buckingham Palace is
A series of extraordinary confrontations have seen the Queen's household accused of a smear capaign and Markle accused of bullying.
Veteran Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, who runs a website known for its tough scrutiny of President Rodrigo Duterte, took the witness stand for the first time on Thursday to counter tax evasion charges that she maintains were politically motivated. Ressa, a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2018 for fighting media intimidation, is facing several government lawsuits that have stoked international concern about harassment of journalists in the Philippines, a country once seen as a standard bearer for press freedom in Asia. Speaking to reporters after testifying for two and a half hours in Manila, Ressa asked the government to allow journalists to work freely and independently.
South African police have seized hundreds of fake COVID-19 vaccines and arrested four suspects in connection with the haul, the Interpol global police co-ordination agency said. This comes after Interpol, which is headquartered in France, issued a global alert in December to law enforcement across its 194 member countries, warning them to prepare for organised crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online. Some 400 ampoules - equivalent to about 2,400 doses - containing the fake vaccine were found at a warehouse in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, where officers also recovered a large quantity of fake 3M masks, the agency said on Wednesday on its website.
- Associated Press
A New Zealand man is facing criminal charges after allegedly posting online threats against two Christchurch mosques that were the sites of a terrorist attack that left 51 people dead. Police on Thursday arrested the 27-year-old man and charged him with threatening to kill. Police Superintendent John Price told reporters the threats were made earlier this week on the website 4chan, which has been used as a forum in the past by white supremacists.
The European Union is planning to extend its export authorisation scheme for COVID-19 vaccines to the end of June, two EU sources told Reuters on Thursday, as a shipment of AstraZeneca shots from the EU to Australia was blocked. Extending controls could reignite tensions with countries who rely on shots made in the EU. Under the scheme, companies must get an authorisation before exporting COVID-19 shots, and may have export requests denied if they do not respect their supply commitments with the EU.
Britain's decision to make unilateral changes to Northern Irish Brexit arrangements is "not the appropriate behaviour of a respectable country" and will erode trust with the European Union, senior Irish ministers said on Thursday. The EU promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal.
- The New York Times
As the election returns rolled in showing President Donald Trump winning strong support from blue-collar voters in November while suffering historic losses in suburbs across the country, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, a Republican, declared on Twitter: “We are a working class party now. That’s the future.” And with further results revealing that Trump had carried 40% of union households and made unexpected inroads with Latinos, other Republican leaders, including Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, trumpeted a political realignment. Republicans, they said, were accelerating their transformation into the party of Sam’s Club rather than the country club. But since then, Republicans have offered very little to advance the economic interests of blue-collar workers. Two major opportunities for party leaders to showcase their priorities have unfolded recently without a nod to working Americans. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times In Washington, as Democrats advance a nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus bill, they are facing universal opposition from congressional Republicans to the package, which is chock-full of measures to benefit struggling workers a full year into the coronavirus pandemic. The bill includes $1,400 checks to middle-income Americans and extended unemployment benefits, which are set to lapse on March 14. And at a high-profile, high-decibel gathering of conservatives in Florida last weekend, potential 2024 presidential candidates, including Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, scarcely mentioned a blue-collar agenda. They used their turns in the national spotlight to fan grievances about “cancel culture,” to bash the tech industry and to reinforce Trump’s false claims of a stolen election. Inside and outside the party, critics see a familiar pattern: Republican officials, following Trump’s own example, are exploiting the cultural anger and racial resentment of a sizable segment of the white working class, but have not made a concerted effort to help these Americans economically. “This is the identity conundrum that Republicans have,” said Carlos Curbelo, a Republican former congressman from Florida, pointing to the universal opposition by House Republicans to the stimulus bill drawn up by President Biden and congressional Democrats. “This is a package that Donald Trump would have very likely supported as president.” “Here is the question for the Rubios and the Hawleys and the Cruzes and anyone else who wants to capitalize on this potential new Republican coalition,” Curbelo added. “Eventually, if you don’t take action to improve people’s quality of life, they will abandon you.” Some Republicans have sought to address the strategic problem. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah put forward one of the most ambitious GOP initiatives aimed at struggling Americans, a measure to fight child poverty by sending parents up to $350 a month per child. But fellow Republicans rebuffed the plan as “welfare.” Hawley has matched a Democratic proposal for a $15 minimum wage, but with the caveat that it applies only to businesses with annual revenues above $1 billion. Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster whose clients have included Rubio, was critical of Democrats for not seeking a compromise on the stimulus after a group of GOP senators offered a smaller package. “Seven Republican senators voted to convict a president of their own party,” he said, referring to Trump’s impeachment. “If you can’t get any of them on a COVID program, you’re not trying real hard.” As the COVID-19 relief package, which every House Republican voted down, makes its way through the Senate this week, Republicans are expected to offer further proposals aimed at struggling Americans. Ayres said that the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, last weekend, the first major party gathering since Trump left office, had been a spectacularly missed opportunity in its failure to include meaningful discussion of policies for blue-collar voters. Instead, the former president advanced an intraparty civil war by naming in his speech on Sunday a hit list of every Republican who voted to impeach him. “You’d better be spending a lot more time developing an economic agenda that benefits working people than re-litigating a lost presidential election,” Ayres said. “The question is, how long will it take the Republicans to figure out that driving out heretics rather than winning new converts is a losing strategy right now?” Separately, one of the highest-profile efforts to lift blue-collar workers in the country was underway this week in Alabama, where nearly 6,000 workers at an Amazon warehouse are voting on whether to unionize. On Sunday, the pro-union workers got a boost in a video from Biden. Representatives for Hawley — who has been one of the leading Republican champions of a working-class realignment — did not respond to a request for comment about where he stands on the issue. The 2020 election continued a long-term trend in which the parties have essentially swapped voters, with Republicans gaining with blue-collar workers, while white-collar suburbanites moved toward the Democrats. The idea of “Sam’s Club conservatives,” which was floated about 15 years ago by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, recognized a constituency of populist Republicans who favored a higher minimum wage and government help for struggling families. Trump turned out historic levels of support for a Republican among white working-class voters. But once in office, his biggest legislative achievement was a tax cut in which most benefits went to corporations and the wealthy. Oceans of ink have been spilled over whether the white working class’ devotion to Trump had more to do with economic anxiety or with anger toward “elites” and racial minorities, especially immigrants. For many analysts, the answer is that it had to do with both. His advancement of policies to benefit working-class Americans was frequently chaotic and left unresolved. Manufacturing jobs, which had continued their slow recovery since the 2009 financial crisis, flatlined under Trump in the year before the pandemic hit. The former president’s bellicose trade war with China hit American farmers so hard economically that they received large bailouts from taxpayers. “There was never a program to deal with the types of displacements going on,” said John Russo, a former co-director of the Center for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University in Ohio. He projects that once the economy snaps back to pre-pandemic levels, blue-collar Americans will be worse off, because employers will have accelerated automation and will continue workforce reductions adopted during the pandemic. “Neither party is talking about that,” Russo said. “I think that by 2024, that’s going to be a key issue.” It’s possible that Republicans who are not prioritizing economic issues are accurately reading their base. A survey last month by the GOP pollster Echelon Insights found that the top concerns of Republican voters were mainly cultural ones: illegal immigration, lack of support for the police, high taxes and “liberal bias in mainstream media.” Despite Biden’s campaign framing him as “middle-class Joe” from Scranton, Pennsylvania, as a candidate he made only slight inroads into Trump’s support with white voters without college degrees, which disappointed Democratic strategists and party activists. In exit polls, these voters preferred Trump over Biden by 35 percentage points. Among voters of color without a college degree, Trump won one out of four votes, an improvement from 2016, when he won one in five of their votes. His inroads with Latinos in South Florida and the Rio Grande Valley of Texas especially shocked many Democrats, and it spurred Rubio to tweet that the future of the GOP was “a party built on a multi-ethnic multi-racial coalition of working AMERICANS.” After the Trump presidency, it is an open question whether any other Republican candidates can win the same intensity of blue-collar support. “Whatever your criticisms are of Trump — and I have a lot — clearly he was able to connect to those people and they voted for him,” said Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, a Democrat from the Youngstown area. Ryan is gearing up to run in 2022 for an open Senate seat in Ohio. He agrees with Trump about taking on China, but faults him for not following up his tough language with sustained policies. “I think there’s an opportunity to have a similar message but a real agenda,” he said. As for Republican presidential candidates aspiring to inherit Trump’s working-class followers, Ryan saw only dim prospects for them, especially if they continued to reject the Biden stimulus package, which passed the House and is now before the Senate. “The COVID-19 relief bill was directly aimed at the struggles of working-class people,” Ryan said, adding that Republicans voting against the package were “in for a rude awakening.” Perhaps. A Monmouth University poll on Wednesday found that 6 in 10 Americans supported the $1.9 trillion package in its current form, especially the $1,400 checks to people at certain income levels. But Republicans who vote it down may not pay a political price, said Patrick Murray, the poll’s director. “They know that the checks will reach their base regardless, and they can continue to rail against Democratic excesses,” he said. “There would only be a problem if they somehow managed to sink the bill,” he added. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Business Insider
Trump must tell his supporters to 'stand down' from new threat to storm Capitol, GOP Rep. Michael McCaul says
Security officials have warned that Trump supporters could target the Capitol again this week.
- Business Insider
Boris Johnson has yet to appoint a successor to his adviser on ministerial standards, more than three months after the resignation of Sir Alex Allan.
- Business Insider
The Trumps are trying to sell a Florida home for $49 million after buying it from the former president's sister for $18 million in 2018
Eric Trump tweeted a listing for a home that the family is trying to sell through a limited liability company for more than twice its 2018 value.
- Associated Press
Tickets will be sold to fans for Formula One's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix providing they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or prove they recovered from it, organizers said Thursday. The Bahrain International Circuit said tickets will sold at a single discounted price of 100 Bahraini Dinars ($265) for the March 26-28 event. “Comprehensive measures will be put in place at the circuit to ensure spectators can enjoy the excitement of F1 in a safe environment,” organizers said in a statement.
- Business Insider
Scientists spotted a 'space hurricane' swirling above the magnetic north pole. It was raining charged solar particles.
Satellites observed a swirling storm above the magnetic north pole in 2014. It was the first space hurricane ever spotted, according to a new study.
Alicia Vikander followed the keto diet because she was traveling so was unable to track her meals, and ate 1,900 calories a day to lose fat.