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When I heard that Serena Williams had announced, in an essay for Vogue, her impending retirement, I forgot, for a moment, the long list of her accomplishments. I didn’t think about her records, her unmatched aura of dominance, her transformation from athlete into cultural force—into someone who demanded, by simply being who she was, that people change the way they talk about female athletes, and Black female athletes in particular. Those changes resonated beyond sports. I thought about her toss.
— (The New Yorker) (August 10) (Pocket)
Tennis icon Serena Williams’s venture fund, Serena Ventures, led the $5 million early-stage round, which was joined by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. Brent Saunders, the former chief executive officer of pharmaceutical company Allergan, also took part.
— (Bloomberg) (August 11) (Pocket)
Serena Williams will retire from tennis with a $260 million net worth and GOAT status. Next up: her $111 million venture capital fund with nearly 60 investments
“I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” she wrote for Vogue. She says raising her daughter, Olympia, has never felt like a sacrifice the way tennis has. “These days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”
— (Fortune) (August 9) (Pocket)
China has confirmed 35 human infections with the zoonotic Langya virus (LayV). The Taipei CDC issued a precautionary alert, advising people to closely monitor the virus news. Meanwhile, shocking her fans, Serena Williams has said that she will retire from tennis after the US Open which begins August 29. The 40 year old now wants to focus on being a mother and her spiritual goals.
— (WION) (August 9) (Pocket)
@keyon: Serena Williams top 5 best athletes to ever do it. Across all sports.
@TwitterSports: There's no one like Serena Williams 🐐
When Joe Biden departs on Wednesday for a vacation on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, he will have reasons to be cheerful. Last Friday, the Labor Department reported that employers created more than half a million jobs in July, confirming that Biden was right when he said the economy isn’t in recession. The House of Representative looks set to pass the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 later this week; Senate Democrats voted the legislation through over the weekend, and it includes parts of the President’s Build Back Better policy agenda.
— (The New Yorker) (August 9) (Pocket)
Inflation Reduction Act Will Increase Middle Class, Small-Business Taxes: Tax Law Expert Authored by Joseph Lord via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), While Democrats insist that the Inflation Reduction Act won’t boost taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year, collateral effects from the legislation willcause workers and small businesses alike to pay more, according toPreston Brashers, a senior tax policy analyst at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks during a news conference about the Inflation Reduction Act outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Aug. 4, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images) The measure, hammered out as a compromise agreement between moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), serves to fulfill a series of broad Democratic aspirations: increasing federal revenue by closing so-called tax ...
— (ZeroHedge Opinion) (August 10) (Pocket)
For close watchers of congressional politics, the procedural parallels between last week’s Senate drama and July 2017 were hard not to notice. But unlike Republicans’ ill-fated attempt at Obamacare repeal under former President Donald Trump—which was given the decisive thumbs-down by the late Sen. John McCain after two other Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, had also voted no—Democrats’ latest reconciliation package, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act, is on its way to becoming law. The bill passed the upper chamber on a party-line vote Sunday afternoon following a last-minute amendment to its tax provisions at the behest of Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
— (The Dispatch) (August 9) (Pocket)
After more than a year of infighting, President Joe Biden’s climate agenda has cleared a significant hurdle. On Sunday, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in a 51-50 decision that went along party lines and saw Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaking vote, reports The Washington Post. If passed by the House, the 755-page bill would authorize the single largest expenditure to combat climate change in the nation’s history. In all, the legislation calls for $370 billion in spending to reduce US greenhouse emissions by approximately 40 percent by the end of this decade.Among the climate change provisions most likely to affect consumers is a reworked federal EV tax credit. The Inflation Reduction Act would provide up to $7,500 in subsidies for electric SUVs, trucks and vans that cost ...
— (Engadget) (August 7) (Pocket)
Democrats’ plans for lowering prescription drug prices took a hit Saturday as they prepared to move their massive reconciliation bill through the chamber.Driving the news: The Senate parliamentarian said provisions had to be struck from the plan that would have forced pharmaceutical companies to give rebates if prices for their products sold to private insurers exceeded inflation, the Associated Press reports.The provisions were included in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the wide-ranging package with portions covering health care costs, energy and climate change and the national deficit, per AP. Why it matters: Striking the language could lead to patients with private insurance paying higher cost for prescription medications by disincentivizing drugmakers from keeping prices at bay, per AP.However, the companies would still have to pay penalties if their prices for drugs that ...
— (Axios) (August 6) (Pocket)
The remarks come ahead of the Senate voting on a motion to proceed on the so-called Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Democrats hope to pass the legislation through a process called budget reconciliation, which would allow them to pass it with a simple majority and avoid a Republican filibuster.
— (The Independent) (August 6) (Pocket)
@OMBPress: The Administration strongly supports passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. This legislation would lower health care, prescription drug, and energy costs, invest in energy security, and make our tax code fairer—all while fighting inflation and reducing the deficit.
With less than three months until the midterms, Democrats hope recent legislative successes will help bolster their campaigns. But Republicans are betting they can win back control of Congress. Democratic strategist Joel Benenson, who worked with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and Neil Newhouse, lead pollster for Mitt Romney and John McCain's presidential bids, join Judy Woodruff to discuss.
— (PBS) (August 10) (Pocket)
Shawn Thew/EPA/APOn June 24, the US Supreme Court denied a constitutional right to an abortion, overturning its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. I covered this and two other late June right-wing decisions by the court in an early July article.
— (The Conversation) (August 11) (Pocket)
The 2022 midterm elections will be a referendum on the current President, Joe Biden, and his predecessor, Donald J. Trump—as well as a profound test of American democracy. The midterm primaries began on March 1st, in Texas, and will continue through the fall, allowing voters in each state to narrow the field in races for the House, Senate, and governors’ mansions. The campaigns will culminate in the general election, on November 8th.
— (The New Yorker) (August 9) (Pocket)
Data: KFF; Chart: Nicki Camberg/AxiosIn the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, 55% of voters say abortion is a "very important" issue to consider when deciding how to they will vote in November's midterms, up from 46% in February, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.The big picture: While abortion is a motivating issue for some voter groups, it's eclipsed by inflation, including rising gas prices, which 74% of respondents say is "very important." Yes, but: "Lower-turnout midterm elections can be a game of inches, and abortion could make a difference, especially if gas prices continue to fall,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said. “It’s motivating a lot of younger women to vote, and most Democrats, half of independents and even some Republicans plan to vote ...
— (Axios) (August 2) (Pocket)
While federal agencies under the Biden administration are seeking to increase voter registration and turnout, a group linked to left-wing megadonor George Soros is pushing for a constitutional amendment in the battleground state of Michigan that would allow Zuckerbucks to be used in election administration.
— (Just the News) (August 2) (Pocket)
WASHINGTON — One of the most reliable rules of American politics is that a president’s first-term midterm elections are bad for the president’s party. Since 1950, the president’s party has gained seats in the first midterm only once, in 2002, the first national election after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
— (NBC) (July 31) (Pocket)
@kaitlancollins: “I will support President Biden if he decides he wants to run,” Sen. Blumenthal says on CNN, adding he thinks Biden’s decision about whether to do so will depend on how the midterm elections go.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he will "wait and see" if former President Trump decides to run before making his own decision about running for president in 2024.The big picture: GOP presidential hopefuls aren't opening up about their 2024 plans so far given that Trump has yet to announce his plans.What's happening: Cruz told Fox News at the Conservative Political Action Conference event in Dallas, Texas, Friday that Trump will "decide on his own time frame" whether he will announce a 2024 bid."Everyone is going to wait and see what Donald Trump decides and make decisions from there," Cruz told Fox News.Cruz said he's focused on the 2022 midterm elections, telling Fox News he's "spending practically every waking moment on the campaign trail, focusing on retaking the House and retaking the Senate."State ...
— (Axios) (August 6) (Pocket)
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will campaign for several GOP candidates in key battleground races, including J.D. Vance and Kari Lake, respectively the Republican nominees in Ohio’s Senate race and Arizona’s gubernatorial contest.
— (Washington Times) (August 8) (Pocket)
The aftershocks from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Thursday sacking of Tampa State Attorney Andrew Warren continue to be felt throughout the state, with conservatives and honest prosecutors praising the move, which if anything was overdue, while Democrats and the state’s corporate media claim it’s — wait for it — “a threat to democracy.” (To clarify possible confusion here — in most of the country, local prosecutors are called district attorneys. In Florida, they’re called state attorneys, not be confused with the state attorney general.)
— (American Spectator) (August 8) (Pocket)
Palm Beach County Judge Renatha Francis speaks during a press event in Miramar, Florida on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Gov. Ron DeSantis defended his Supreme Court appointment of Francis, who was deemed ineligible then by a unanimous Florida Supreme Court.
— (Miami Herald) (August 5) (Pocket)
The California governor in early July took out a string of political ads in Florida, sharply criticizing Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for a number a policies he alleged encroached on free speech and compromised education in the state. He further encouraged disaffected Floridians to move to California.
— (Just the News) (August 5) (Pocket)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suspended the elected state prosecutor of Tampa for pledging not to enforce the state's new 15-week abortion ban and for supporting gender transition treatments for minors.
— (PBS) (August 4) (Pocket)
Senators from both sides of the aisle voiced their support on Sunday for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's recent trip to Taiwan, as China continues to retaliate with provocative military drills in the region.The big picture: Following Pelosi's controversial trip to the island nation, the Chinese military began live ammunition drills, launching 11 ballistic missiles into Taiwan's waters. As the drills have continued, Taiwan said they appear to simulate an attack on the island.What they're saying: Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he thinks Pelosi's trip was worth the current fallout with China."We need to be very clear that China doesn't get to dictate which U.S. officials go to Taiwan and when they go to Taiwan," Van Hollen said.
— (Axios) (August 7) (Pocket)
Xi Pleaded With Biden "Now Is No Time for A Crisis" Just Ahead Of Pelosi Taiwan Visit Previously undisclosed details behind the July 28 phone call between President Joe Biden and China's Xi Jinping have been revealed Thursday, wherein the Chinese leader urged "Now isn't the time for a bull-blown crisis." A fresh Wall Street Journal report relates that while Xi warned Biden of unspecified consequences should House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follow through with her visit to Taiwan, making her the highest US official to do so in 25 years, he stressed he had no intention of entering a war with the United States. Citing people briefed on the call, Xi emphasized that both sides must "maintain peace and security" while reiterating Beijing's longstanding position on the Taiwan question.
— (ZeroHedge Opinion) (August 11) (Pocket)
China launched its most provocative military drills near Taiwan in decades, reacting to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island democracy. It’s arguable that neither Xi Jinping nor US President Joe Biden have an interest in triggering a wider conflict, but after some bellicose rhetoric, the Chinese leader is under pressure to deliver a strong response to secure an expected third term. So far, China has surrounded much of the island with ships and fired off missiles—reportedly for the first time over Taiwan itself—and imposed sanctions. But what next? Beijing could launch cyberattacks, try to take control of Taiwan’s airspace and adjacent seas or even seize one of its islands. But for all the tension surrounding Pelosi’s visit and its aftermath, the crisis may nevertheless spur new dialogue, Minxin Pei writes ...
— (Bloomberg) (August 6) (Pocket)
Earlier this year, a Russian intelligence analyst leaked a classified conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping wherein Mr. Xi told Mr. Putin that China had been planning to invade Taiwan in the fall of 2022. The Russian intelligence analyst leaked this information to the private Western intelligence firm known as Bellingcat, which then disseminated that intelligence to the Western press.
— (Washington Times) (August 4) (Pocket)
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has reportedly fired several DF-15B ballistic missiles into the seas around Taiwan as part of large scale military drills announced in response to the visit this week by the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. The areas chosen for these exercises are unprecedented in their proximity to Taiwan, coming much closer than those of the previous Taiwan Straits Crisis in 1995-1996 and dramatically raising tensions in the region. Taiwan’s defence ministry has denounced the drills as tantamount to a military blockade of the island. Uniting Taiwan with the mainland has been the goal of the Chinese Communist Party ever since it won the 1946-49 civil war on the mainland against Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, who fled across the strait with his supporters to ...
— (The Conversation) (August 4) (Pocket)
Data: Axios research; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/AxiosThe Democrats' climate bill that the House is expected to take up Friday follows decades of legislative failure on climate change — which could end because of a change in strategy and changing circumstances. Why it matters: If the bill passes and heads to President Biden's desk, experts say it will be because Democrats abandoned the strategy of simply making carbon emissions too painful to maintain — and because Americans are now increasingly aware of the costly impacts of climate change.The big picture: The bill, by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), will inject about $370 billion into the economy for expanding the use of clean energy, boosting climate resilience for communities and beginning to decarbonize industrial sectors, among other goals.
— (Axios) (August 11) (Pocket)
On Sunday, after a marathon series of votes and more than a year of planning and negotiation, Senate Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction Act – their signature piece of legislation that would both tackle climate change and work to lower prescription drug costs.
— (The Independent) (August 8) (Pocket)
The longest-maintained temperature readings of any location on earth are in the Midlands of England. A monthly tally began in 1659, and the daily record dates back to 1772. One can imagine mutton-chopped clerics and ruddy-faced retired colonels, in the centuries since, tromping out to take those readings; some days it was hot and some days it was cold, but, until last month, the highest daily mean ever measured there was 25.2 degrees Celsius, or about 77.4 degrees Fahrenheit, in August of 2020. Then, on July 19th, as an epic heat wave swept across the British Isles, the mark was reset at 28.1 Celsius, or 82.6 Fahrenheit. If that hadn’t happened, topping the previous high by a full 5.2 degrees Fahrenheit would have seemed statistically impossible.
— (The New Yorker) (July 31) (Pocket)
Senate Democrats are lauding a deal on a spending package to reduce the deficit, lower health care costs, raise corporate taxes and combat climate change. It's a stunning development after more than a year of negotiations had failed to win the support of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. White House correspondent Laura Barrón-López and John Bresnahan of Punchbowl News join Geoff Bennett to discuss.
— (PBS) (July 28) (Pocket)
The bill, H.R. 5376 (117), dubbed the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” would spend nearly $370 billion on a raft of tax credits to help stimulate adoption of clean energy technologies, as well as spending for low-income and minority communities that suffer disproportionately from pollution.
— (Politico) (July 28) (Pocket)
@algore: It's been a long time coming, but the Senate has finally advanced transformative climate legislation. Thank you to Senators Schumer and Manchin and to every Senator who fought to ensure that climate action was a priority in this bill. Now to the House and to the President's desk!
@EPAMichaelRegan: 🌎 Tackle our biggest climate challenges With this legislation, @EPA will invest billions in deploying zero-emission technologies. It reduces greenhouse gas pollution and supports our fight to reduce climate change impacts.
@MichaelEMann: ⚡️U.S. Senate has now passed landmark climate legislation! Puts us on path to meeting our obligation to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030, re-establishing American leadership on climate & paving the way to global climate action. Now onto the U.S. House and President Biden.
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