With so many crazy things happening, sometimes things fall through the cracks. Here are some headlines that you may find interesting and worth discussing. Please feel free to post ‘headlines’ you would like to share that we may have missed.
- As President Joe Biden approaches the mid-way point of his first 100 days in office, activists and civil rights groups are continuing to call on him to take action on ending the federal death penalty.
- Senate Democrats are moving ahead with an updated version the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes several tweaks intended to satisfy some moderates ahead of an expected final vote in the coming days.
- The new version of the bill includes more money for rural hospitals, more generous access to federal programs for live venue operators, a tax benefits for student loan borrowers and changes to the $350 billion pot of state and local money. The changes come a day after party leaders agreed to narrow the income eligibility for receiving the latest round of $1,400 stimulus checks at the request of moderate Democrats.
- The House has once again passed a bill aimed atprotecting and expanding voting rights and reforming campaign finance laws. The Wednesday night vote was 220-210. But the measure is not expected to advance in the Senate, where Democrats hold a narrow majority, and Republicans on Capitol Hill argue that the proposal is a political effort to federalize elections.
- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday made it more difficult for undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for a long time to fight deportation. The court’s 5-to-3 ruling came in the case of a man who had lived in the U.S. for 25 years but who had used a fake Social Security card to get a job as a janitor.
- The average number of vaccine doses being administered across the United States per day topped two million for the first time on Wednesday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A month ago, the average was about 1.3 million.
White ISIS/MAGAts, White Supremacists/Wing Nut Watch:
- And that’s a good thing! Another QAnon deadline passes, with little fanfare.
- U.S. Capitol Police have requested a 60-day extension of some of the 5,200 National Guard members activated in the District in response to security threats and the Jan. 6 assault on Congress, defense officials said Thursday.
- After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced he would end the state’s mask mandate, saying that “Texas is open 100%,” some major chains and retailers are saying: Not so fast.
- Target, Starbucks, CVS and Kroger are among the retailers — some of the largest in the nation — that will continue to require that customers in Texas wear masks inside stores. Others, such as Albertsons, will drop the requirement but continue to encourage people to wear facial coverings. President Biden has criticized some governors’ decisions to lift mask mandates as “the last thing we need” and “Neanderthal thinking.”
- New applications for unemployment benefits rose to 745,000 in the final full week of February, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.