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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.
The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Simone Biles withdraws from individual all-around | Focuses on well-being | Why that decision was necessary | Officers give grueling, horrific accounts of Jan. 6 | Racism takes center stage as rioters used racial slurs | Senators reach deal on 'major issues' in infrastructure | Schumer says procedural infrastructure vote could happen tonight (!)
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats seek to cool simmering tensions Louisiana delegation split over debt hike bill with disaster aid House Democrats unveil legislation to curtail presidential power MORE (D-Calif.) called her Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyWoodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Thompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' Juan Williams: Shame on the anti-mandate Republicans MORE (R-Calif.), a “moron” this morning for his opposition to wearing masks in the House.
Ok, I’ll start from the beginning: Yesterday, the Capitol physician instituted a new mask mandate for the House amid the surge of COVID cases.
McCarthy then tweeted: "Make no mistake — The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state.”
TIDBIT — Lauren BoebertLauren BoebertWatchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments Jan. 6 panel seeks records of those involved in 'Stop the Steal' rally Jan. 6 panel to ask for preservation of phone records of GOP lawmakers who participated in Trump rally: report MORE LITERALLY THREW A MASK IN A FLOOR STAFFER’S FACE:
Politico’s Sarah Ferris tweeted, “Wow. GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert just threw a mask in the face of a floor staffer when she came to the floor not wearing one, per someone watching the exchange.” https://bit.ly/3BOK9vo
^ Keep in mind: Boebert, the first-term Colorado Republican House member, has made countless headlines over her criticism of vaccination efforts. So, I wouldn’t say this event is out of character for her.
By the way: Members can now be fined for not wearing a mask in the House. (Via CNN’s Manu Raju) https://bit.ly/3BQ3TPe
Happy Wednesday! August is just four days away. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to email@example.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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The internet has changed a lot since 1996 - internet regulations should too
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Do whatever you need, Simone.:
Via ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine, “Gymnastics superstar and defending Olympic champion Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday's individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Games to focus on her mental well-being.” https://es.pn/3f5SfWR
Didn’t she already withdraw?: Yesterday, she withdrew from the team final. She is now withdrawing from the individual all-around.
Does that mean she is out for the entirety of the games?: Not necessarily. She has still qualified for the individual event finals — she actually qualified for *all four* event finals. But it’s unclear whether she will be up to it.
FOR ANYONE QUESTIONING THAT DECISION:
I suggest you watch this video of her vault yesterday right before she made the decision to withdraw. She got lost in the air and that could have ended very badly for her. https://bit.ly/2UXYgOj
NBC commentator and former Olympian Nastia Liukin explained the mental block, as gymnasts call “the twisties.” Liukin said this often happens to gymnasts. Watch Liukin’s explanation — it’s pretty helpful: https://bit.ly/3f6qL3c
INVESTIGATING JAN. 6
That was a tough hearing to watch:
The House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol met for the first time yesterday, delivering gut-wrenching, personal, scary testimony of the events of that day. https://bit.ly/3f6cRhA
- Democrats picked their witnesses carefully— “Each of the four officers selected to testify before the committee had previously shared gripping accounts of their experiences with various news outlets.” For example: “[Metropolitan Police Officer Michael] Fanone previously shared how rioters threatened to kill him with his own gun and used his taser to repeatedly shock him into submission.”
- GOP tried to distract— “Trump had no defenders at the hearing, so House GOP leaders before the event held a press conference to blame Pelosi, and not the former president, for what played out on Jan. 6.”
- Kinzinger seizes moment— “’I never expected this day to be quite as emotional for me as it has been,’ said [Rep. Adam] Kinzinger, a National Guardsman who was called to duty last summer when racial justice protests turned violent.”
- Racism on Jan. 6 takes center stage— “Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who is Black, gave bracing testimony about rioters calling him the N-word, saying it was the first time he’d ever been labeled that while in uniform.”
- Gripping language underscores severity of attack— “Dunn likened rioters to criminals carrying out illegal orders from a ‘hit man,’ not naming Trump.”
Details for each from The Hill’s Jordan Williams, Rebecca Beitsch, Cristina Marcos and Hanna Trudo: https://bit.ly/3f6cRhA
The New York Times’s Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Juan Williams: Trump's coup attempt should bar him from 2024 race Still in the game: Will Durham's report throw a slow curveball at key political players? MORE commented on this tweet: “It is remarkable how effective Trump/Trump voters have been at getting most congressional Rs to go along with idea that it all wasn’t that bad, forcing testimony from the people who helped save some of them that day about just how bad it was.” https://bit.ly/3l3dlc7
Via The Hill’s Tal Axelrod and Julia Manchester, “GOP Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in Trump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear The Memo: Never Trumpers sink into gloom as Gonzalez bows out MORE is facing a wave of primary challengers at home as the Wyoming congresswoman and avowed Trump critic takes center stage with the start of the Jan. 6 select committee hearings.” https://bit.ly/3l4MlJb
How her political career took a big turn recently: “Cheney, who hails from a storied Wyoming family and boasts a staunchly conservative voting record, has found herself fighting for her political life thanks to her vocal and repeated rebukes of former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.”
Wow, for context: “Cheney is facing a total of eight primary challengers.”
LATEST WITH INFRASTRUCTURE
Hey, we have an update on the infrastructure bill!!:
Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “Senators say they have reached a deal on the ‘major issues’ in their bipartisan infrastructure talks, and expect to start debate as soon as Wednesday.” https://bit.ly/2WlPSbG
What we know: “Speaking to reporters with the five GOP negotiators after a meeting with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling Franken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Woodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China MORE (R-Ky.), Portman touted the deal and described McConnell as being open to it. Asked if they would finalize their agreement on Wednesday, Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump, allies launch onslaught as midterms kick into gear Emboldened Trump takes aim at GOP foes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - DC prepares for Saturday of festivals & Jan. 6 demonstration MORE (R-Alaska) told reporters: ‘Yep.’ ”
Timing: Politico’s Burgess Everett tweeted, “Some actual news: [Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)] says Senate might vote again on proceeding to infrastructure bill as ‘early as tonight’ ” https://bit.ly/3f3Kxwa
“Democrats are upping pressure on the bipartisan group negotiating a sweeping legislative package to finalize its agreement as they face a growing time crunch heading toward August.” https://bit.ly/2VemGmr
Self-imposed deadlines come, and self-imposed deadlines pass: “Democrats have vowed to make progress on President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE’s … infrastructure and spending package. But they’ve struggled to move forward with behind-the-scenes negotiations, missing self-imposed deadlines weeks … ” https://bit.ly/2VemGmr
Why Facebook supports updated internet regulations
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LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
This morning in DC:
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 34,608,383
U.S. death toll: 611,316
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 343 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 588,024 doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
This headline is very well done:
Read the full story: “When you’re here, you’re unvaccinated. This pasta house doesn’t want immunized patrons.” (Via The Washington Post’s Marisa Iati: https://wapo.st/3rCtBCa
The House and Senate are in. President Biden is in Pennsylvania today.
9:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.
10:55 a.m. EDT: President Biden left for Pennsylvania.
1:25 p.m. EDT: President Biden visits the Mack - Lehigh Valley Operations (LVO) Manufacturing Facility in Lower Macungie Township, Pa.
2 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on American manufacturing.
4:25 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House.
WHAT TO WATCH:
11:30 a.m. EDT: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press conference. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3i8W1jQ
2:30 p.m. EDT: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference. Livestream: https://bit.ly/2TFn1y5
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Milk Chocolate Day and National Hamburger Day! Now that’s a stacked lineup.
And because you made it this far, here’s a turtle waking up his tired, grumpy friend: https://bit.ly/3ibmaOY