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@SmithInAmerica:Psaki on Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin: "The United States is the first country to have private companies taking private individuals to space. This is a moment of American exceptionalism. That's how we see it."
Jeff Bezos Goes to Space. Day Two: Blastoff
Oh, yes, yes, Blue Origin and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was in the capsule, too, along with 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, his first paying space customer. And Jeff’s brother, who he called “the funniest man in space,” a compliment contested by any number of experienced space reporters in West Texas today for the launch. (Their evidence is the 2 Funny Astronauts podcast hosted by Mike Massimino and Garrett Reisman.)
— (Wired) (July 20) (Pocket)
Jeff Bezos swung by space and has some thoughts
Jeffrey Preston Bezos, a 57-year-old dad from New Mexico, flew to the edge of space and back again today. He wasn't the only person aboard the rocket, which was the first-ever crewed flight from private space company Blue Origin, but he's the one that camera crews flocked to once the 10-minute trip was done. Maybe they were drawn in by his smile. Maybe they thought he was the winner of a sub-orbital Lex Luthor lookalike contest. Maybe his bulbous, pale cowboy hat caught their eye.In reality of course, it was because Bezos is the founder of Blue Origin and Amazon, and considered to be the richest person in the world. This wealth not only gives him the opportunity to build, run and then ride his own rocket ships, but it also makes people really interested in what he has to say, regardless of his relationship to the matter at hand.When Bezos stepped back onto Earth after spinning around in zero-gravity for a few minutes, the cameras descended and his cowboy hat answered a handful of questions about the experience. The world's richest man shared his thoughts about space, pollution and wage depression, likely just before taking an SUV caravan to his private jet and heading to one of hi...
— (Engadget) (July 20) (Pocket)
Bezos Launching Into Space Will Probably Make Your Life Better Too
Jeff Bezos will launch into space today aboard his Blue Origin rocket, New Shepard. This follows Richard Branson's visit to space last week aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket, a journey that made him the first person to enter space on a vehicle made and funded by his own company. The new space exploration age is here, but most people aren't having it.
— (Reason) (July 20) (Pocket)
Senate Republicans sink key procedural vote on bipartisan infrastructure package
A key procedural vote meant to advance the bipartisan "hard" infrastructure package failed 49-51 on Wednesday after Senate Republicans came together to sink the measure.Driving the news: A core bipartisan group of senators have been negotiating for months and given how close they are to a deal, senators tell Axios they do not expect this to be the last vote on the $1.2 trillion package.Between the lines: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) scheduled Wednesday's vote in an effort to apply pressure on those lawmakers involved in negotiations to wrap up their talks.Time is running out for the group if they want to meet their self-imposed deadline of passing it before August recess. Republicans — including those involved in the bipartisan talks — wouldn't vote yet for the measure given the bill has yet to be written. Many lawmakers are also waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the cost, which will take days to complete one the text is finalized.Schumer, recognizing their concerns, tried to placate Republicans by repeatedly insisting that the vote was solely on "the vehicle" for the package — meant to allow the Senate to begin debating parts of the proposal t...
— (Axios) (July 21) (Pocket)
Senate Could Pass a $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill This Week, Even Though There's No Agreement on How To Pay for It
Before the end of the week, the Senate may pass a trillion-dollar infrastructure spending bill, or the bipartisan effort to do so might completely unravel. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) has called for a procedural vote on Wednesday to open debate on the infrastructure bill. It's a political gambit meant to apply pressure to Republican senators who agreed to support a smaller version of the $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan that President Joe Biden outlined in March, but that agreement now appears to be on thin ice.
— (Reason) (July 20) (Pocket)
Schumer sets infrastructure vote, pressures lawmakers
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pressured lawmakers Thursday to reach agreement by next week on a pair of massive domestic spending measures, signaling Democrats’ desire to push ahead aggressively on President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar agenda.
— (PBS) (July 15) (Pocket)
https://www.axios.com/bipartisan-infrastructure-vote-republicans-c8daef6d-abce-4c23-92ac-6e0bf6db49c5.html https://reason.com/2021/07/20/senate-could-pass-a-1-2-trillion-infrastructure-bill-this-week-even-though-theres-no-agreement-on-how-to-pay-for-it/ https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/schumer-sets-infrastructure-vote-pressures-lawmakers
Californians Get 42 Choices To Potentially Replace Gov. Gavin Newsom
California voters have 42 candidates to consider as potential replacements for Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on September 14, the date of California's recall election. An initial list of candidates was released Saturday (and revised on Sunday to add a candidate) and will be formalized by the Secretary of State's office today.
— (Reason) (July 21) (Pocket)
California lawmakers approve nation's 1st state-funded guaranteed income plan
California lawmakers on Thursday approved a state-funded guaranteed income plan to distribute $35 million in monthly cash payments to eligible pregnant people and young adults who recently left foster care.Why it matters: California is the first state to approve such a program. It could serve as a template for other state governments as guaranteed income gains traction across the U.S.Driving the news: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced in mid-May he would include a carve-out in the state budget to help pay for local governments to launch their own guaranteed income pilots to help low-income families.The plan, included in a bill related to the budget, was approved unanimously in both chambers of the legislature in a clear showing of bipartisan support. It now goes to Newsom's desk. How it works: The plan will be taxpayer funded.Local governments and organizations that run programs to help pregnant people and youth aging out of foster care will be able to apply for funding, and California's Department of Social Services will decide who gets the money, according to AP.The big picture: Guaranteed income programs have been proliferating in cities across the country, including Ne...
— (Axios) (July 15) (Pocket)
WATCH LIVE: Biden signs VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021. The remarks are scheduled to begin at 1:55 p.m. ET. Watch in the player above. This story is developing and will be updated.
— (PBS) (July 22) (Pocket)
Are Supreme Court Term Limits Coming Soon?
In April, President Joe Biden announced a new Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The group would be composed of legal scholars and activists and would "provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform," according to a statement released by the White House.
— (Reason) (July 22) (Pocket)
Adams to meet with Biden Monday for gun violence discussion
President Joe Biden and New York City Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams will meet in Washington on Monday to discuss gun violence — a growing problem in New York City and the centerpiece of Adams' recent successful campaign.
— (Politico) (July 15) (Pocket)
@MarkSZaidEsq:4/Officer Dunn, who would lay down his life to protect a Member of Congress, regardless of being a Republican or Democrat, will testify next Tuesday before the House Select Committee investigating the events of the insurrection.
House Republicans close money gap with majority at stake
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) right, and other members of the GOP Doctors Caucus, speaks to reporters on June 24, 2021.
— (Politico) (July 20) (Pocket)
Jim Jordan, four other Republicans chosen by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on panel investigating Jan. 6 riot
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Monday that he will recommend five Republicans to serve on the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
— (Washington Post) (July 20) (Pocket)
Jim Jordan among 5 Republicans selected for Jan. 6 select committee
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has decided which Republicans he will name to a select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to Axios.Driving the news: McCarthy will name Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) as ranking member, alongside Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Rodney Davis (Ill.), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.), and freshman Troy Nehls (Texas).State of play: McCarthy's appointments come just over a week away from the committee's first hearing on July 27, which will feature testimony from law enforcement officers who were subject to some of the worst of violence during the insurrection.The select committee will comprise 13 members, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the final say as to who sits on the panel.This committee is Democrat-led, though Pelosi also named Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as one of her appointees.The big picture: Pelosi moved forward with the creation of a committee controlled by Democrats after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have established a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack.
— (Axios) (July 19) (Pocket)
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/16/house-republicans-close-money-gap-499902 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/jim-jordan-four-other-republicans-chosen-by-house-minority-leader-kevin-mccarthy-to-serve-on-panel-investigating-jan-6-riots/2021/07/19/85c6b534-e8df-11eb-8950-d73b3e93ff7f_story.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_politics https://www.axios.com/mccarthy-republicans-select-committee-capitol-riot-04c5646b-3501-48a9-acf1-22c0bb8aa0fd.html
More than 200 people in U.S. being monitored for possible monkeypox exposure, CDC says
More than 200 people in 27 states are being monitored for possible exposure to monkeypox after they had contact with an individual who contracted the disease in Nigeria before traveling to the United States this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To date, no additional cases have been detected.
— (STAT) (July 20) (Pocket)
Delta variant now makes up 83% of U.S. COVID cases, CDC director says
The more transmissible Delta variant now accounts for 83% of COVID-19 cases in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said during a Senate hearing Tuesday.Why it matters: The "dramatic increase," up from 50% on July 3, has led to a rise in virus-related deaths, Walensky told lawmakers. COVID fatalities have risen by nearly 48% since last week to an average of about 239 per day, according to Walensky.What they're saying: The CDC director also said that the percentage of cases from the Delta variant is "even higher" in some parts of the country, "particularly in areas of low vaccination rates.""To date, our data indicates that vaccines are available to neutralize the circulating variants in the United States and provide protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death," Walensky added. "The message from CDC remains clear: the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have.""Each death is tragic and even more heartbreaking when we know that the majority of these deaths could be prevented with a simple, safe, available vaccine."
— (Axios) (July 20) (Pocket)
A Record Number of Drug-Related Deaths Illustrates the Lethal Consequences of Prohibition
The United States saw a record number of drug-related deaths in 2020. The total exceeded 93,000, which was up 29 percent from 2019, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 2020 spike—the largest ever recorded—was largely attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic and the legal restrictions it provoked. But drug-related deaths already were rising before anyone had heard of the coronavirus, not just despite but also because of the government's efforts to prevent people from using psychoactive substances.
— (Reason) (July 15) (Pocket)
https://www.statnews.com/2021/07/20/more-than-200-people-in-u-s-being-monitored-for-possible-monkeypox-exposure-cdc-says/?utm_campaign=rss https://www.axios.com/delta-variant-83-covid-cases-cdc-0323c203-3f27-49e5-a064-180c0471e709.html https://reason.com/2021/07/15/a-record-number-of-drug-related-deaths-illustrates-the-lethal-consequences-of-prohibition/