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Dianne Feinstein’s Office Drug Protest You Didn’t Hear About



I heard a related story from another Senate official. About a year earlier, Feinstein approached Senator Tim Scott, held out her hand and told him that she was rooting for him and so happy that he was working with her in the Senate. It was obvious to Scott and his associates that Feinstein had mistook the South Carolina man for Raphael Warnock, the newly elected Democratic Senator from Georgia. Scott played along. “Thank you so much,” he told Feinstein, according to a staff member who told me about the incident. “Your support means a lot.” (Feinstein’s office declined to comment on this story.)

When I told this story to Pearly, he jumped up from his seat, put his hands on his head, and sat down on the floor.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” he called out.

Some visitors to the Eastern Market looked at each other. An older black woman sat alone at the next table and overheard our conversation. After Pearly sat down again, she spoke directly to him.

“I worked in the Senate for Strom Thurmond,” she said, referring to the South Carolina senator who supported racial segregation and led an unsuccessful 24-hour, 18-minute filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. politics later.

“So, listen to me,” the woman continued. “You have the opportunity to work right in this building. Write them down. Don’t collide.”

“No, I like to confront,” Purley said.

“No, listen, listen.”

“I don’t need this advice.”

“You have to listen to understand the game.”

“I understand. I do.”

“You can still be there and keep a diary. I could read your diaries and write them down from your inner experience. The problem is that too many young people are outspoken. …”

“No, no, no,” Pearly said. “I don’t need this advice. I definitely don’t need this advice.”

It was hard for him to take this woman seriously. She worked for a prominent racist legislator. The woman told Purley that Strom was “not perfect,” but that even imperfect politicians can achieve a lot of good things and that it is worth learning how to work with them.

“Listen to me, Jamarcus.” Her voice was calm but stern. “They want to cut off your head before you can speak. They know how to run the game on you.”

“Good good”.

“You understand the game. You’re very smart. But they know how to play the game.”

She didn’t tell Purley what he didn’t think. In fact, he’s been playing her version of the game all his life, which is how he ended up in Feinstein’s office from the start. But this game broke something inside him and he just couldn’t do it anymore.

“Jamarkus, the next time you have the opportunity, because you are very smart,” she said, “write it down. I’d love to see an insider book, but you have to be inside to do that. … How many people can be in this position? You need to slow down a bit.”

“It’s true, I’m really 100,” Purley said, hunched over in his chair. “I do 100 out of anger.”

“You are not really angry; you’re trying to process some things.”

“You are speaking a fact,” he said. “You are preaching right now. They won’t believe anything you say, no matter what you do. You know better than anyone as a black woman.”

“I didn’t want to eavesdrop,” she said. “I just don’t want you to disappear.

By the end of the year, Jamarcus Purley will disappear from Washington DC and return home to Pine Bluff. Three days before he left, I met him on the roof of an apartment building in DC. It was a clear, cool morning. Pearly wore a silver chain and a gray pea coat, which he removed to reveal a crimson Harvard sweatshirt.

Purley once told me he’s been playing roles all his life: in elementary school he pretended to care about the church, in high school he pretended to care about his studies, in college he pretended to care about everything his whites care about. friends so he can in. In Feinstein’s office, he pretended not to care – for years he was silent about the senator and what he saw as his community’s lack of support. But now, for the first time, he said, he could be truly himself.

He came out weird. He told me that he had always wanted to run for president someday and had convinced himself for years that the only way he could be accepted as a politician was by acting like a “stereotypical heterosexual black man.” But when things went downhill in Feinstein’s office, he started reading James Baldwin. fire next time and had awareness.

“I thought, ‘You’ll never do anything radical in your entire life if you can’t even come across as a faggot,'” he said.


Five Takeaways From Trump’s Naughty CNN City Hall



Donald Trump is the quiet Donald Trump.

His 70 minutes on stage in New Hampshire served as a stark reminder that the former president has only one speed and that his second act repeats the first. He is, as always, a famous performance and even out of office remains the center of gravity of American politics.

CNN’s decision to give him an unfiltered primetime platform was a nod to the 2016 campaign, even as moderator Caitlan Collins persistently intervened in an attempt to interrupt or correct him.

Mr. Trump has been so focused on talking about and defending himself that he barely touched on President Biden’s track record, which people close to Mr. Trump want him to focus on. But he was disciplined when it came to his main expected main rival.

Here are five findings.

If viewers were expecting Mr. Trump to drop his lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him, he has once again demonstrated right outside the gate that this is not actually the case.

The first questions asked by Ms. Collins were about Mr. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his losses in 2020 and his false allegations of fraud.

“I think if you look at this result and what happened during this election, if you are not a very stupid person, you will see what is happening,” Trump said, calling the election he lost “rigged.” ”

Mr. Trump later said he was “inclined” to pardon “many” rioters arrested on January 6, 2021 after the Mafia’s attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters during the confirmation of President Biden’s Electoral College victory. His evasion of an unambiguous promise pleased those close to him.

He also came up with a list of his own Twitter posts and statements from that day — an idea that was his own, a person familiar with the planning said. He lied about his inaction on the day when Miss Collins insisted on what he did during the hours of violence. And he said he didn’t have to apologize to Vice President Mike Pence, whose life was threatened by the mob.

As time went on, Mr. Trump increasingly took on what was happening in the Capitol and included it in his campaign. Wednesday evening was no exception.

“Beautiful day,” he said of January 6th.

It was a reminder that accepting the deadly violence of that day—at least for Republicans—is no longer considered disqualifying. Privately, Mr. Trump’s team said they were pleased with how he handled the large amount of post-election time spent at City Hall.

The regular interruptions from viewers on behalf of Mr. Trump were like laughs on a sitcom. This created momentum for him in the audience—and on screen for television audiences—and suffocated Ms. Collins as she repeatedly tried to beat him down with facts and corrections.

As vulgar, obscene, or politically incorrect as Trump is, the Republican mob in New Hampshire has loudly eaten the chip of a decades-long showman.

He would pardon “most” of the 6 January rioters. applause.

He scoffed at E. Jean Carroll’s detailed rape allegations, calling them “dressing room sham”. laughter Never mind that a New York jury found him guilty of sexual harassment and defamation this week, awarding Ms. Carroll $5 million in damages.

Calling Miss Carroll a “fool”. Applause and laughter.

Switching to using the debt ceiling as leverage because “I’m not the president.” More laughter.

The applause revealed the current psyche of the Republican base, which is eager for confrontation: with the press, with the Democrats, with everyone who stands in the way of the Republicans coming to power.

This made life difficult for Ms. Collins, who was like an athlete playing on the road in hostile territory: she had to fight both the crowd and the candidate.

“You’re a nasty person,” Trump told her at one point, echoing a line he used against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The town hall format seemed to Mr. Trump a template he used to present himself as both a presumptive Republican incumbent—”Mr. President,” as he was repeatedly called—and an outsider, recreating the conditions of his two previous campaigns.

President Biden’s team switched TVs to Air Force One from CNN to MSNBC when he returned from New York Wednesday night. But that didn’t mean his political team wasn’t avidly watching the town hall and cheering the Republican audience.

Mr. Trump called January 6 a “beautiful day.” He welcomed the annulment of Roe v. Wade as “great victory”. He did not say whether he hopes Ukraine will win the war against Russia. He spoke again about how the rich and famous get their way. “Women let you,” he said. And he refused to rule out the reintroduction of one of the most inflammatory and divisive policies of his tenure: the deliberate separation of families at the border.

Mr. Trump’s responses were well reproduced in the room, but all of them could find their way into the Democrats’ messaging over the next 18 months.

Late Wednesday, the Biden campaign was already figuring out which segments could be quickly turned into digital ads, seeing Mr. Trump take positions that would scare away the swing voters Mr. Biden won in 2020.

Shortly after the end of the event Mr Biden posted a tweet. Do you want four more years? read it. It was a request for donations. It also came as a reminder that Biden’s 2024 campaign is likely to be about Trump.

Mr. Trump is perhaps the single Republican most responsible for the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss Roe v. the United States. Wade last year. He appointed three judges of the court who formed the majority opinion. But privately, he blamed abortion politics for the poor performance of Republicans in the 2022 midterms and acted cautiously in the early months of his 2024 campaign.

In front of the town hall, his team spent considerable time honing his answer to the question they knew he would be asked: would he support a federal ban, and in how many weeks?

His repeated gimmicks and euphemisms were hard to miss on Wednesday.

“Disposing of Roe v. Wade was an incredible figure for life advocates,” he began.

He said he was “honored to do what I did” – a line that Democrats were quick to flag as potential fodder for future announcements – and that it was a “great victory.”

Mr. Trump’s Republican rival Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed a six-week abortion ban in Florida, conceding to Trump on an issue that could resonate with evangelical voters. Mr. Trump didn’t even mention Mr. DeSantis until more than an hour into the event, and only after he was persuaded by a voter. “I think he should relax, calm down and think about the future,” Trump urged.

Refusing to say whether he would sign a federal ban, Mr. Trump tried to portray Democrats as radicals and vowed he supported exemptions for rape, incest and mother’s life. “What I will do is negotiate so that people are happy,” he said.

“I just want to give you one more chance,” Ms. Collins insisted.

He dodged for the last time. “Get a deal that will be good,” he said.

The most heated exchange between Mr. Trump and Ms. Collins came over a special counsel’s investigation into his possession of hundreds of presidential records, including more than 300 separate classified documents, in his private Mar-a-Lago club after he left. office.

And that was the area where he ran into the biggest problems.

“I was there and I took what I took and it was declassified,” said Mr. Trump, who has maintained, despite objections from his former officials, that he has a standing order to automatically declassify documents. who left the Oval Office and went to the presidential residence.

“I had every right to this, I did not make a secret out of this. You know, the boxes were outside the White House, people took pictures of them,” Trump said, implying that people somehow knew that they contained presidential materials and classified documents (in fact, this is not the case).

In what will be of great interest to Special Counsel Jack Smith, Mr. Trump would certainly not rule out whether he was showing classified material to people, investigators were questioning something about witnesses, in particular in connection with the classified intelligence map.

“Not really,” he countered, adding, “I would have had the right to.” Elsewhere, he stated, “I have the right to do whatever I want with them.”

He also defended himself for a phone call with the Georgian Secretary of State in which he said he was trying to “find” enough votes to win. “I didn’t ask him to find anything,” Trump said.

There are few issues that worry the Trump team and the former president as much as the investigation of the documents, and Mr. Trump wore this on his face and in his words onstage in New Hampshire.

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Public health lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic



A lot has gone wrong during the coronavirus pandemic as the virus spreads through a polarized nation and public health leaders, politicians and elected officials have struggled to respond.

Chronic underfunding of public health at the federal, state and local levels has only worsened the situation. In total, more than 1.1 million people have died from Covid-19 in the United States, and more than 1,000 people die every week.

More than three years after the Trump administration declared the virus a public health emergency in January 2020, the government’s response to the pandemic is now entering a new phase. On Thursday, the Biden administration will allow the emergency to expire, providing a moment to take stock of how the nation has responded to the worst public health crisis in a century.

Here are some lessons from the country’s fight against the virus.

Public health experts say that when dealing with an infectious disease outbreak, communication is not part of the response. This is answer.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown that confusing messages can exacerbate the spread of the disease and undermine confidence in public health institutions. But messaging during a pandemic isn’t easy. Science changes often, sometimes from day to day, and the instructions from health officials are to mask or not to mask? — must also change, which can create confusion and distrust.

Experts say the key to success is for public health leaders to captivate their audience by explaining that the advice they give today may change tomorrow, and then admitting that what they said yesterday may not have been correct. .

“When you talk to the public on a daily basis, you can explain these mistakes and what you have learned from them,” the doctor said. Richard E. Better, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration. “You can own them.”

During the pandemic, the CDC was hampered by outdated data systems and inconsistent data sharing between the federal government, states, and healthcare providers. And unlike the UK and Israel, which have national health systems, the United States does not have a mechanism for the free exchange of data between public health agencies and private providers.

Better and faster data is needed to respond to a rapidly mutating virus that poses different risks to different populations, experts say.

“We were in the awkward position of having to call the UK, Israel or South Africa to find out what was going on – how many people got this new infection, what was the variant of it,” the doctor said. Anthony S. Fauci, who helped lead the pandemic response during the Trump and Biden administrations. “How many people were vaccinated and how did this data affect? We literally had to wait months instead of getting it in real time.”

Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, cited school closures as an example where real-time data could help.

He said some variants of the coronavirus were more deadly to children than others, adding that if officials had access to timely data on the impact of the virus on children, they could tailor school closures to times when students are most at risk.

“We need instant data to know what’s going on,” the doctor said. Osterholm, who advised President Biden’s transition team. “And as conditions change, we must change.”

School closures have been a particularly contentious topic, but many experts now agree that some schools have been closed for too long and that the abrupt removal of millions of children from American classrooms has had a detrimental effect on their emotional and intellectual health.

both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, said the pandemic showed that officials should carefully consider school closures and limit them as much as possible. Both said that improving indoor air circulation could be one way to safely reopen schools.

“One of the things we’ve learned is that we’ve been closing schools for much longer than other countries and we’ve had a terrible impact on education levels and we’ve seen test scores go down,” the doctor said. Emanuel, who also advised Mr. Biden’s transition team.

Dr. Fauci said that at the start of the pandemic, “at a point when hospitals were literally a day or two from overflowing,” closing public places like restaurants, bars and schools was important to keep health systems running by slowing the spread of the virus. . .

“But once you limit the acceleration,” he said, “then you need to really look into how we keep kids safe at school.”

In the early months of the pandemic, frontline healthcare workers faced a severe shortage of funds, forcing them to reuse face masks, wear inappropriate personal protective equipment, or go without such equipment at all.

The federal government has substantially expanded its stockpile of pandemic supplies since it gave it the edge in responding to another devastating wave of coronavirus or another virus outbreak that would require similar resources.

Prior to the pandemic, government procurement for the Strategic National Reserve was heavily focused on defense against agents of bioterrorism such as anthrax. In March 2020, there were 13 million N95 masks in stock. As of the beginning of this month, he had 352 million. During the same period, the number of ventilators rose from 12,700 to 150,000.

As a model for responding to future pandemics, experts point to Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine development program. This initiative enabled Americans to obtain effective vaccines in record time. Fauci said because the federal government has been investing in basic scientific research for years.

Federal officials under the Warp Speed ​​program made huge bulk purchases of shots that were still in development. The federal government has funded or supported clinical trials being conducted by Moderna and Pfizer, makers of two widely used coronavirus vaccines. And it has provided experience for companies with clinical research specialists, epidemiologists and budget experts.

Early treatments for the virus, such as hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration without conclusive evidence from large randomized controlled trials, which are considered the gold standard of evidence used by regulators to test drugs and vaccines.

Trials of treatments have stalled due to a lack of funding or participants. Scientists, physicians and federal regulators have relied on foreign data such as the UK study on dexamethasone, a steroid used to treat Covid-19.

“Large randomized trials have been set up in the UK with very vague inclusion criteria, involving thousands of patients,” the doctor said. Emmanuel said. “Within 30 to 60 days, we learned that steroids do save people who have been hospitalized or very sick.”

Dr. Walid F. Gellad, a drug safety expert at the University of Pittsburgh, pointed to ongoing litigation is being conducted by British researchers who he says will soon produce results on the effectiveness of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral for Covid-19, which is widely used in the United States.

“We didn’t have the infrastructure to collect the data we needed to make decisions,” he said of the US response to the pandemic.

Vaccines have proven to be the most effective treatment against hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19. But according to public health experts, attention to vaccination often overshadows efforts to develop and implement treatments. Antibody-based drugs critical to immunocompromised Americans are no longer approved for use by the FDA, and experts say more antivirals are needed.

The Biden administration has placed a lot of emphasis on rolling out booster shots, which have steadily declined since the initial round was authorized in the fall of 2021. But other strategies aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, such as improving indoor air quality, have received support. comparatively little attention.

“Myopically focusing only on vaccines, to the exclusion of other areas that are actually lightweight fruits for a much better answer, is like saying you are going to build a house with one wall or no roof,” the doctor said. Luciana Borio, former FDA acting chief scientist who advised Mr. Biden’s transition team.

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Drama “Debt Ceiling” Is Performing Arts



As if the planet isn’t on fire and on the brink of nuclear war, the White House, the Treasury Department, Congress and the press have launched another round of Washington’s favorite parlor game, The Debt Crash!™. voxDylan Matthews explained semi-hidden policy. Both sides need a win, he argues. Nobody has votes. Thus, there is a search for a result that both can live with. President Biden’s immutable demand is for a net increase in the debt ceiling. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is demanding massive cuts in federal spending, to which Biden has no fundamental objections. These goals are not incompatible, which means that both will be achieved. The rest is stagecraft, timing, optics and rotation.

With a recession approaching, a year of spending cuts — on health care, food stamps, unemployment insurance, aid to states and cities — is just the ticket to return the Senate to Mitch McConnell and the presidency to Donald Trump. McCarthy knows this. Biden? Probably. Nose his approval rating hardly better than Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter, perhaps some of the key players on his team are less focused on elections than on preparing for their next job.

Matthews may be right here, but he’s hesitant on some of the other issues outlined in these pages back in January. To recap a few key points: First, the US Treasury is required by law to make payments. The debt ceiling does not cancel this obligation. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen does not have discretionary power to withhold payments or choose what to do and what to defer. If the payments stop, she will break the law and her oath. For this she could and should be impeached.

The debt ceiling is also the law. He orders the Treasury Department not to stop paying, but to stop issuing securities above the $31.4 trillion limit. Yellen could also be impeached for ignoring this limit and issuing more securities anyway, which violate Constitution, and it will not continue to pay. But no jury in America will ever reach a guilty verdict, certainly not the US Senate.

You don’t need to break the ceiling either. V Trillion dollar platinum coin will solve the problem – without additional borrowing and without violating the debt limit. Otherwise, will the Federal Reserve pay US Treasury checks if no securities are issued and there are insufficient funds in the Treasury General Account? Will the checks come out?

Maybe! If they did, the returned checks would be returned to the banks, who would know perfectly well that the sovereign US government was the issuer. Will they refuse to credit checks? I doubt it. These checks in limbo would be assets like any other, and excellent collateral for short-term loans.

But suppose the bankers, perhaps following some sort of rule, refused to credit Treasury checks that, because of the debt ceiling, were temporarily unsettled. And suppose it went on for more than a few days. The consequence will be a wave of real defaults—defaults on debt in the private sector. Not the public sector! But business loans, mortgages, car loans and student loans will go unpaid. Who will be hit first? Obviously banks. Even without the mixing of the federal debt ceiling, the US banking sector is not exactly stable right now. Except for a few high-profile cases, the bankers had to be even more suicidal than usual to refuse to credit these “bad” checks.

In short: Biden and Yellen are playing out the debt drama, not because we’re facing some kind of financial Armageddon, but to make a last-minute empty win seem like a big deal. When this happens, all participants will breathe a sigh of relief. Debt Disaster!™ will be packaged and put back on the shelf until impressionable grandchildren come back to visit.

What matters to the economy is that they give McCarthy in budget and appropriations to achieve their small success. For elections, what matters is how deep the cuts go, who suffers, and how those affected respond to the election. It’s a poisoned apple from another children’s story. Just a few stings now could put the Democrats to sleep for 2024 and erase what’s left of Biden’s agenda.

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