Effort to Recall California Governor Newsom Reaches 870,000 Signatures Mike Netter, an organizer of the RecallGavin2020.com recall petition, says the campaign has now reached 870,000 signatures. They need a total of 1,500,000 signatures to trigger a recall election of Gavin Newsom. The deadline is March 10, 2021.
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A New York City Republican Club has issued a response after facing backlash over a video showing they held a large holiday gathering where attendees joined in a conga line with no masks in sight, despite COVID-19 restrictions requiring that facial coverings be worn in restaurants unless eating or drinking. The Whitestone Republican Club dismissed their critics, explaining that "adults have the absolute right to make their own decisions." What are the details? The New York Times reported that just days before Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) closed indoor dining in the Big Apple due to the coronavirus earlier this month, the Whitestone Republican Club held a holiday party at a Queens restaurant called Il Bacco. According to The Hill, "at least 50 guests" were at the indoor affair. Footage circulated online showing revelers trotting to music in a line through the banquet, drawing condemnation on social media and from the governor himself, who said during a press conference, "Why would you do an unmasked conga line in the middle of a covid pandemic, whatever your political persuasion, defies a logical explanation." The eatery was hit with an investigation by the State Liquor Authority over the ordeal, but the owner insists they were in compliance with the law, including the state's requirement that restaurants limit capacity to 25%. The Whitestone Republican Club reacted with defiance to the uproar, and they did not hold back. "So apparently the media is freaking out because we dared to celebrate the holidays in a perfectly ordinary and unremarkable way -- with a gathering of friends and family," the club said in a statement on their Facebook page on Tuesday. "We're now getting calls from the New York Times, Gothamist, the Washington Post and other outlets asking for our comments. On a holiday party. Let that sink in." The club dunked on "idiot" Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and "King Cuomo" before explaining: "Yes, we held a holiday party. A good time was had by all. We abided by all precautions. But we are not the mask police, nor are we the social distancing police. Adults have the absolute right to make their own decisions, and clearly many chose to interact like normal humans and not paranoid zombies in hazmat suits. This is for some reason controversial to the people who believe it's their job to tell us all what to do. We ALL have the inalienable right under the First Amendment to peaceably assemble, and that's what we did. There's no pandemic clause in the Constitution, no matter how badly the media and Cuomo want you to believe otherwise." "We urge ALL New Yorkers regardless of political affiliation to go out and enjoy the holidays in whatever way makes them happy and comfortable," they wrote, concluding, "Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and best wishes to all for a peaceful and prosperous new year!" The Hill noted that New York is currently seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, "especially in Queens," reporting that "as of Tuesday, the state's department of health has recorded a total of more than 878,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with nearly 12,000 newly reported infections on Tuesday alone." But The Times pointed out that "both Democrats and Republicans in the region have hosted risky get-togethers," reporting that "criticism abounded after Democratic leaders in Brooklyn held a birthday party in late November where many participants lacked masks." Several high-profile Democratic politicians have been busted nationwide violating their own COVID-19 guidance, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). Anything else? The CDC recommends Americans limit holiday celebrations to members of their own households this year, due to the pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people in the U.S. Yet, even White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx was caught flouting her own guidance by traveling over Thanksgiving weekend to gather with extended family for the holiday. Birx announced this week that she will be retiring due to the backlash she and her family have received since the hypocrisy was exposed.
82 views · Dec 25th, 2020
Minnesotans have eradicated the flu by masking and distancing. So how did Covid-19 survive? If Minnesotans have been masking up and distancing to the extent that we have all but eradicated flu this season, then non-compliance with the mask mandate cannot be to blame for the recent surge in cases.
90 views · Dec 25th, 2020
Social scientist Robert Putnam has a well-deserved reputation for arriving at original conclusions by asking original questions. In The Upswing, he and coauthor Shaylyn Romney Garrett have given us another compelling argument about American social life. A statistical tour de force, The Upswing asks an important question: Do Americans today care and focus more on themselves as individuals—a collection of “I’s”—or do they see themselves and their fellow countrymen as a “We”? The answer, unequivocal and well-supported, is that we have become more individualistic, and that this trend overlaps with various social ills: rising inequality, low social trust, and declining marriage rates. Tracking these and other trends, Putnam and Garrett identify a statistical (and graphical) tendency: an upside-down, U-shaped “I-We-I” curve that identifies the Gilded Age of the 1890s as a low point in social solidarity that corresponds to another low point in the present. Between these nadirs, however, was a golden age, roughly 1930 to 1970, when the American “We” was at its zenith. This is the book’s key finding. The heroes of this era in Putnam and Garrett’s telling are the Progressives of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Their concern for the poor and their political vision laid the groundwork for the New Deal’s social safety net. The authors believe that we should emulate them today. The Upswing is not overly prescriptive, but it generally points to contemporary progressive politics as the remedy for our ills. The book finds cause for optimism, for example, in student gun control activism arising from the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida and in the Women’s March of 2017. Putnam and Garrett’s statistical analyses are convincing. Their view that the progressivism of the past deserves credit for the twentieth-century golden age of “We” is less so, as are their endorsements of current forms of political mobilization. The early twentieth-century Progressives merit acclaim for several reasons. I agree with the authors’ praise for the settlement-house movement, when largely selfless patricians helped integrate into American society members of what remains the largest wave of immigration in the nation’s history. The Progressives successfully advocated for a range of basic and desperately needed government efforts, such as the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Upswing, however, overlooks other important explanations, as well as many personal and policy prescriptions that might spark another golden age of “We.” Putnam and Garrett fail to note that the rate of immigration to America forms a curve, the shape of which contradicts their thesis about the apex of national fellow-feeling. Immigrant entry reached its height around 1910 and was legislatively restricted between 1924 and 1965, a period corresponding with Putnam and Garrett’s high point of social solidarity. One can make a good case that the long pause in immigration allowed a sense of “We” to emerge. Notably, that “We” was fostered by patrician Progressives who were proud of and confident in America, taught English, and promoted citizenship. The Upswing itself could be read to suggest revisiting this combination of slowed immigration and assertive, self-confident assimilation, but American elites today are too busy tearing down the country to adopt such an approach. Nor can one overlook the fact that the widely shared prosperity of the postwar period overlapped not only with the zenith of American labor unionism but also with a time of limited global trade. World war and Communism had decimated America’s major potential competitors. “Made in America” made economic sense, and John Kenneth Galbraith said with some justification that unchallenged corporate giants could dictate prices and thus pass on gains to unionized workers. To return to that model now, however, would lead toward economically destructive protectionism. Putnam and Garrett need not endorse such policies, any more than they should suggest that there might be more fraternal societies if there were no Social Security programs. (In the pre-New Deal era, it was common for such groups to pool resources.) But the logic of pausing immigration or urging English on current immigrants should at least be acknowledged, as should the fact that groups associated with the political Right, notably evangelicals, are working hard to create their own version of a big tent of “We.” One wishes that Putnam and Garrett would also acknowledge that the current incarnation of progressivism has done little to foster a sense of shared American identity. Indeed, it has dismissed large swaths of Americans as “deplorable” and cultivated divisions according to racial and gender identities, helping to polarize the country. The implications of the “I-We-I” analysis in The Upswing could just as easily lead to politically conservative conclusions. Putnam is no stranger to such ambivalence. In his 2006 lecture, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century,” he reported that, as neighborhood diversity increased, social trust declined, because neighbors tended to “hunker down.” While he acknowledged the uncomfortable conclusion that one could remedy this problem by avoiding diversity—including racial diversity—he argued that we should instead seek new forms of “cross-cutting social solidarity,” pointing to the successful integration of American immigrants as proof of this prescription. One wishes that The Upswing would have at least acknowledged that its analysis implies a range of potential approaches to rebuilding social solidarity.
61 views · Dec 25th, 2020

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A New York City Republican Club has issued a response after facing backlash over a video showing they held a large holiday gathering where attendees joined in a conga line with no masks in sight, despite COVID-19 restrictions requiring that facial coverings be worn in restaurants unless eating or drinking. The Whitestone Republican Club dismissed their critics, explaining that "adults have the absolute right to make their own decisions." What are the details? The New York Times reported that just days before Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) closed indoor dining in the Big Apple due to the coronavirus earlier this month, the Whitestone Republican Club held a holiday party at a Queens restaurant called Il Bacco. According to The Hill, "at least 50 guests" were at the indoor affair. Footage circulated online showing revelers trotting to music in a line through the banquet, drawing condemnation on social media and from the governor himself, who said during a press conference, "Why would you do an unmasked conga line in the middle of a covid pandemic, whatever your political persuasion, defies a logical explanation." The eatery was hit with an investigation by the State Liquor Authority over the ordeal, but the owner insists they were in compliance with the law, including the state's requirement that restaurants limit capacity to 25%. The Whitestone Republican Club reacted with defiance to the uproar, and they did not hold back. "So apparently the media is freaking out because we dared to celebrate the holidays in a perfectly ordinary and unremarkable way -- with a gathering of friends and family," the club said in a statement on their Facebook page on Tuesday. "We're now getting calls from the New York Times, Gothamist, the Washington Post and other outlets asking for our comments. On a holiday party. Let that sink in." The club dunked on "idiot" Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and "King Cuomo" before explaining: "Yes, we held a holiday party. A good time was had by all. We abided by all precautions. But we are not the mask police, nor are we the social distancing police. Adults have the absolute right to make their own decisions, and clearly many chose to interact like normal humans and not paranoid zombies in hazmat suits. This is for some reason controversial to the people who believe it's their job to tell us all what to do. We ALL have the inalienable right under the First Amendment to peaceably assemble, and that's what we did. There's no pandemic clause in the Constitution, no matter how badly the media and Cuomo want you to believe otherwise." "We urge ALL New Yorkers regardless of political affiliation to go out and enjoy the holidays in whatever way makes them happy and comfortable," they wrote, concluding, "Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and best wishes to all for a peaceful and prosperous new year!" The Hill noted that New York is currently seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, "especially in Queens," reporting that "as of Tuesday, the state's department of health has recorded a total of more than 878,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with nearly 12,000 newly reported infections on Tuesday alone." But The Times pointed out that "both Democrats and Republicans in the region have hosted risky get-togethers," reporting that "criticism abounded after Democratic leaders in Brooklyn held a birthday party in late November where many participants lacked masks." Several high-profile Democratic politicians have been busted nationwide violating their own COVID-19 guidance, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.). Anything else? The CDC recommends Americans limit holiday celebrations to members of their own households this year, due to the pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people in the U.S. Yet, even White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx was caught flouting her own guidance by traveling over Thanksgiving weekend to gather with extended family for the holiday. Birx announced this week that she will be retiring due to the backlash she and her family have received since the hypocrisy was exposed.
82 views · Dec 25th, 2020
Minnesotans have eradicated the flu by masking and distancing. So how did Covid-19 survive? If Minnesotans have been masking up and distancing to the extent that we have all but eradicated flu this season, then non-compliance with the mask mandate cannot be to blame for the recent surge in cases.
90 views · Dec 25th, 2020
Social scientist Robert Putnam has a well-deserved reputation for arriving at original conclusions by asking original questions. In The Upswing, he and coauthor Shaylyn Romney Garrett have given us another compelling argument about American social life. A statistical tour de force, The Upswing asks an important question: Do Americans today care and focus more on themselves as individuals—a collection of “I’s”—or do they see themselves and their fellow countrymen as a “We”? The answer, unequivocal and well-supported, is that we have become more individualistic, and that this trend overlaps with various social ills: rising inequality, low social trust, and declining marriage rates. Tracking these and other trends, Putnam and Garrett identify a statistical (and graphical) tendency: an upside-down, U-shaped “I-We-I” curve that identifies the Gilded Age of the 1890s as a low point in social solidarity that corresponds to another low point in the present. Between these nadirs, however, was a golden age, roughly 1930 to 1970, when the American “We” was at its zenith. This is the book’s key finding. The heroes of this era in Putnam and Garrett’s telling are the Progressives of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Their concern for the poor and their political vision laid the groundwork for the New Deal’s social safety net. The authors believe that we should emulate them today. The Upswing is not overly prescriptive, but it generally points to contemporary progressive politics as the remedy for our ills. The book finds cause for optimism, for example, in student gun control activism arising from the 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida and in the Women’s March of 2017. Putnam and Garrett’s statistical analyses are convincing. Their view that the progressivism of the past deserves credit for the twentieth-century golden age of “We” is less so, as are their endorsements of current forms of political mobilization. The early twentieth-century Progressives merit acclaim for several reasons. I agree with the authors’ praise for the settlement-house movement, when largely selfless patricians helped integrate into American society members of what remains the largest wave of immigration in the nation’s history. The Progressives successfully advocated for a range of basic and desperately needed government efforts, such as the Pure Food and Drug Act. The Upswing, however, overlooks other important explanations, as well as many personal and policy prescriptions that might spark another golden age of “We.” Putnam and Garrett fail to note that the rate of immigration to America forms a curve, the shape of which contradicts their thesis about the apex of national fellow-feeling. Immigrant entry reached its height around 1910 and was legislatively restricted between 1924 and 1965, a period corresponding with Putnam and Garrett’s high point of social solidarity. One can make a good case that the long pause in immigration allowed a sense of “We” to emerge. Notably, that “We” was fostered by patrician Progressives who were proud of and confident in America, taught English, and promoted citizenship. The Upswing itself could be read to suggest revisiting this combination of slowed immigration and assertive, self-confident assimilation, but American elites today are too busy tearing down the country to adopt such an approach. Nor can one overlook the fact that the widely shared prosperity of the postwar period overlapped not only with the zenith of American labor unionism but also with a time of limited global trade. World war and Communism had decimated America’s major potential competitors. “Made in America” made economic sense, and John Kenneth Galbraith said with some justification that unchallenged corporate giants could dictate prices and thus pass on gains to unionized workers. To return to that model now, however, would lead toward economically destructive protectionism. Putnam and Garrett need not endorse such policies, any more than they should suggest that there might be more fraternal societies if there were no Social Security programs. (In the pre-New Deal era, it was common for such groups to pool resources.) But the logic of pausing immigration or urging English on current immigrants should at least be acknowledged, as should the fact that groups associated with the political Right, notably evangelicals, are working hard to create their own version of a big tent of “We.” One wishes that Putnam and Garrett would also acknowledge that the current incarnation of progressivism has done little to foster a sense of shared American identity. Indeed, it has dismissed large swaths of Americans as “deplorable” and cultivated divisions according to racial and gender identities, helping to polarize the country. The implications of the “I-We-I” analysis in The Upswing could just as easily lead to politically conservative conclusions. Putnam is no stranger to such ambivalence. In his 2006 lecture, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century,” he reported that, as neighborhood diversity increased, social trust declined, because neighbors tended to “hunker down.” While he acknowledged the uncomfortable conclusion that one could remedy this problem by avoiding diversity—including racial diversity—he argued that we should instead seek new forms of “cross-cutting social solidarity,” pointing to the successful integration of American immigrants as proof of this prescription. One wishes that The Upswing would have at least acknowledged that its analysis implies a range of potential approaches to rebuilding social solidarity.
61 views · Dec 25th, 2020