Monday, September 20, 2021

Monday Reading


As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op eds.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., looks at the California Republican recall bomb and Ohio Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez's rationale for not seeking reelection as potential turning points in the struggle for democracy in this country:

President Biden, call Anthony Gonzalez.

The two-term Ohio Republican congressman, who announced last week that he will not seek reelection, understands what Democrats need to grasp about the stakes in American politics right now.

One of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 riot, Gonzalez called the former president “a cancer for the country.” He told the New York Times he did not want any part of a 2022 GOP that will “make Trump the center of fund-raising efforts,” adding that “most of my political energy will be spent” preventing Trump from being president again.

For all of Biden’s honorable efforts to pull the nation together, and his earlier habit of downplaying the radical nature of today’s Republicanism, our politics remain as dangerously abnormal as Gonzalez warns. [snip]

Gonzalez’s decision in combination with the outcome of the California recall, the continuing deadly spread of the delta variant and the introduction of the Freedom to Vote Act in the Senate could well mark last week as a turning point in how Democrats, including Biden, approach the next phase of political combat.

It begins by accepting that calls for unity of purpose will, for some time, continue to fall on deaf Republican ears. Biden signaled on Thursday that he accepts the new terms of the struggle. He said some Republican governors were playing “the worst kind of politics” by opposing his vaccination and testing mandates, singling out Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas.

Dionne says the combat continues with fighting Republican efforts at the state level to delegitimatize the 2020 election results as a cover to pass voter suppression laws, with passing voting rights legislation (by reforming the filibuster), and defeating Republicans at all levels in 2022 and 2024.

Pfizer is claiming its COVID vaccine, in a smaller dose, is highly effective in children as young as 5:

A lower dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine — one-third the amount given to adults and teens — is safe and triggered a robust immune response in children as young as 5 years old, the drug companies announced in a news release Monday morning.

The finding, eagerly anticipated by many parents and pediatricians, is a crucial step toward the two-shot coronavirus vaccine regimen becoming available for younger school-aged children, perhaps close to Halloween.

The companies still must prepare and submit the data to the Food and Drug Administration, a process they expect to complete by the end of September. Then, the data — not yet published or peer reviewed — will be scrutinized by regulators to ascertain that the vaccine is safe and effective. That could take weeks, or up to a month.

Moderna is conducting trials of vaccine efficacy for children as young as 6 months.  COVID vaccinations for children this fall are looking more and more likely.

While we haven't been hearing much about the criminal investigations into the Trump Organization, prosecutors have been busy behind the scenes:

With multiple investigations still underway, attorneys involved with the tax fraud case against former President Donald Trump's family business and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, are due back in court Monday for a hearing in New York City.

Their expected appearance at the New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan comes almost three months after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. unsealed a bevy of criminal charges that alleged the Trump Organization and Weisselberg took part in a more than 15-year scheme to defraud taxpayers by paying company executives with untaxed benefits.

Weisselberg, who has been employed by the Trump family since 1973, and the Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty to the allegations. The former president has said the case is politically motivated.

While proceedings play out in court, behind the scenes prosecutors with Vance's office have been continuing to work with New York state Attorney General Letitia James' office on an ongoing probe into Trump's business dealings in New York. There are plenty of signs that Vance and James are aggressively working on this case, including an unannounced court appearance in August by attorneys for both Weisselberg and the Trump Organization.

So, too, has the criminal investigation by the Fulton County (GA) District Attorney into the malignant loser's efforts to overturn the election in Georgia been quietly progressing:

As Donald Trump returns to Georgia later this month, criminal investigators in the state have been quietly conducting interviews, collecting documents and working to build a line of communication with congressional investigators as they aim to build a case against the former President for his alleged attempts to overturn the state's 2020 election results.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis kicked off her investigation with a splash earlier this year, when she fired off a round of letters to Georgia officials asking them to preserve documents related to Trump just a month after she took office.

The fact that he's still trying to get Georgia officials to re-do election results isn't going to help him in court.  Sad!

As a final note, please check out Infidel 753's link round-up to posts of interest from around the Internet. Also, take a look at his brief, but wise, observations this week!

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