The Gloves Come Off: Biden Takes Aim At GOP Guvs’ Anti-Mask Mandate Crusade

President Joe Biden makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on July 9, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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August 19, 2021 7:49 a.m.

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

Enough Is Enough

Biden has directed Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “to take additional steps to protect our children” as Republican governors fight to bar local authorities from requiring students and school employees to wear masks, the President announced yesterday.

  • Those steps include “using all of his oversight authorities and legal actions, if appropriate, against governors who are trying to block and intimidate local school officials and educators,” Biden said.
  • The President repeated that governors who aren’t trying to fight the pandemic need to “at least get out of the way of everyone else who is trying.” “You know, we’re not going to sit by as governors try to block and intimidate educators protecting our children.”

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  • Cardona will have his department’s civil rights office investigate states like Florida and Texas that are banning school mask mandates, the senior administration official told the New York Times yesterday.
  • “What we’re dealing with now is negligence,” Cardona said.
  • The Education secretary sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis informing him earlier this week that the administration could use federal monies to make up for any funding and salaries the state may withhold from school districts and superintendents who defy DeSantis’ mask mandate ban.

Manchin And Sinema Are Secretly Boosting House Moderates’ Attempted Flex

Conservative Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have been privately advising the nine House moderates who are trying to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) into holding a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure proposal before the $3.5 trillion budget resolution, according to Axios.

  • That assistance has strengthened the moderates’ resolve, Axios reports, even though Pelosi shrugged off their gambit as “amateur hour” earlier this week.
  • The House is slated to take up the budget resolution next week.

Time To Go Big

The overall popularity of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion infrastructure proposal stays about the same when the price tag gets lowered to $2.5 or $1.5 trillion, according to a new poll by HuffPost and Data for Progress.

  • The extent of that popularity varied between Democrats, Republicans and self-identified independents in the poll. Less than half of Republican supporters supported the legislation with each price tag.

Must Read

“What We Owe the Victims of America’s Failed Wars” – Viet Thanh Nguyen

There is neither power nor glory in the stories of civilians killed or maimed or forced to flee or orphaned by war. It is in civilian experiences, similar to what many Afghans are now going through, that we truly find war stories. We keep hearing that Americans are suffering from war fatigue — but how many stories do we read or hear or see about American soldiers at war compared to stories of refugees created by wars led by the United States? Civilian war stories disturb our mind-set of conducting perpetual warfare as an unquestioned American privilege.

A Proud Boys Supporter Pleads Guilty To Threatening Warnock

Eduard Florea, a supporter of the Proud Boys, pleaded guilty this week to posting death threats against then-Senate candidate Ralph Warnock (D-GA) before and during the Capitol insurrection.

  • “Warnock is going to have a hard time casting votes for communist policies when he’s swinging with the fish,” Florea wrote on Parler the day before the insurrection (Florea was not present during the attack).

Tearing Down The Scott Pruitt Legacy

The Biden administration has banned the use of chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that scientists have found causes neurological damage in kids, on food.

  • Then-Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt refused to ban the chemical in 2017.

In Case You Missed This Incredible Moment

John Cox, one of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) GOP rivals in the recall election, was served with a subpoena in the middle of a debate on Tuesday night:

  • Cox carried on with the debate even after the papers were flung at him on stage, according to the Los Angeles Times.
  • The subpoena arises from a dispute over payment due from Cox’s doomed 2018 campaign to a vendor.

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