Daily Digest 7/28 – How Police Unions Fight Reform, What Every Kid Should Learn About Debt

Economy

After Delays, Republicans Rolled Out A New Pandemic Relief Bill. Democrats Balked (tmn)

McConnell said the measure would be called the HEALS Act, or the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act. Key committee chairs drafted the various components of the bill and introduced them later Monday in separate speeches on the Senate floor.

McConnell said the bill would include another round of direct payments to Americans in the same amount that was in the CARES Act that Congress passed in March — $1,200 for individuals up to an income cap, with more for families with children.

A troubling pandemic thought: Are THESE the good old days? (tmn)

It imagines a not-too-distant future where we’ll all look back with nostalgia at 2020 as a time when most of us had plenty of food and wine, could get many of the goods and services we needed, and could work from home at jobs that still paid us.

“This could be as good as it gets, so let’s take pleasure in what we have now,” Katherine Tallman, the CEO of the Coolidge Corner Theatre, an indie cinema in Brookline, Massachusetts, told a recent Zoom roundtable.

Ohio’s businesses were all for mask mandates. Then politics got in the way. (TourGuideDC)

The work on face coverings started early in the pandemic. By March 9, when Ohio had its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, Charlie Gallagher, vice president of supply chain and operations, was already focused on stocking up on masks.

Ohio has a large auto manufacturing sector and because of globalization, relies on China for parts and increasingly for customers. Many of those auto plants in China are in Wuhan.

One question still dogs Trump: Why not try harder to solve the coronavirus crisis? (tmn)

Trump’s shortcomings have perplexed even some of his most loyal allies, who increasingly have wondered why the president has not at least pantomimed a sense of command over the crisis or conveyed compassion for the millions of Americans hurt by it.

People close to Trump, many speaking on the condition of anonymity to share candid discussions and impressions, say the president’s inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error; a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News; and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic.

House Passes Bill To Create Smithsonian American Latino Museum (TourGuideDC)

The list of goals also includes ensuring Latinx representation in the Smithsonian’s workforce. The proportion of people who identify as Latinx working at the Smithsonian, however, does not reflect the fact that Latinos make up nearly a fifth of the U.S. population. In 1994, 2.7% percent of the Smithsonian’s workforce was Latino. In 2018, it was only at 5%, according to the Smithsonian.

Mayors ask Congress to ban deployment of militarized federal agents in cities as Trump mulls sending in more (tmn)

Early Monday, U.S. agents repeatedly fired what appeared to be tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown in Portland. Some protesters had climbed over the fence surrounding the courthouse, while others shot fireworks, banged on the fence and projected lights on the building.

President Donald Trump said Monday on Twitter that the federal properties in Portland “wouldn’t last a day” without the presence of the federal agents.

Ballot Condom for Safe Voting (000)

Vote early. In-person when no one’s around, weekdays if possible. Then, if they jacked with your registration, you may have time to fight. But beware “Souls to the Polls” Sunday: in states like Ohio, the lines will be hours long as the vote thieves launch their new weapons to block voters of color. If you are a voter of color or under 35, don’t forget to take along photo ID and an experienced attorney.

Three things every kid should learn about debt (Phil D.)

Our very system of money needs your kids to take on debt. It doesn’t care if they do it well or not, just as long as they slop at the trough, sucking down borrowed funds with the rest of the peanut gallery. So, what’s a parent to do?

Make sure your kids know these three things well, to preserve the spices of youth sprinkled generously in their path – spontaneity, freedom, opportunity, and contentment, setting the stage for their own American Dream (should they want it), marriage, home ownership, children, and a white picket fence.

How Police Unions Fight Reform (tmn)

Police unions enjoy a political paradox. Conservatives traditionally abhor labor unions but support the police. The left is critical of aggressive policing, yet has often muted its criticism of police unions—which are, after all, public-sector unions, an endangered and mostly progressive species.

Offshore wind in Europe won’t need subsidies much longer (jdargis)

To break this down, the researchers took each project’s public bid along with the rules of that country’s auction and calculated revenue against monthly market prices for a 25-year lifetime. That does require the use of projected future prices for electricity, but that’s true for traditional calculations for any power plant. At the end, they get an average cost of electricity from each offshore wind farm, as well as the total estimated subsidy. Subsidies are calculated two ways: one for the case where utilities are responsible for building grid infrastructure, and one where countries largely finance the grid.

States are warning people about suspicious packages of seeds that appear to be from China (tmn)

It’s unclear who exactly is sending these packages, why they’re being distributed and whether the seeds are actually harmful. The department asked that anyone who has received this type of package in the mail contact the Office of Plant Industry Services.

Agriculture departments in Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington state are among state agencies that have issued similar warnings. Departments also cautioned people not to open the sealed packages of seeds and to keep the labeling intact so that officials could investigate.

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