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brooklynite's Journal
brooklynite's Journal
October 20, 2021

"I urged Republicans to stay. Now, months later, I'm leaving the party. Here's why"

Arizona Republic

In February, I wrote an op-ed urging Republicans not to leave the party.

My hope was that the GOP could still be saved by decent people working from the inside. After more than two decades as a Republican, I had seen, met and worked with the many good folks who make it up.

I hoped that the extremism we were seeing – those questioning the results of the 2020 election, those advocating against a peaceful transition of power, those defending the terrorists who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, those ignoring science and advocating for horse dewormer as a public health measure – was a fringe element.

While many Republicans failed to show leadership during Trump’s presidency, it seemed that in the wake of Jan. 6, those leaders would finally stand up for truth and democracy.

I was wrong.
October 20, 2021

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Source: Axios

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.

The case now turns to a penalty phase, where a 12-person jury will determine Cruz's sentencing, AP reports.

Cruz last week also plead guilty to attacking a jail guard nine months after the shooting.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/nikolas-cruz-pleads-guilty-parkland-shooting-84e3ce00-ad65-46e8-a3e1-a4afcd1e0d87.html
October 20, 2021

Adams vs. Sliwa: How to Watch the First N.Y.C. Mayoral Debate

New York Times

For much of the mayoral campaign that followed Eric Adams’s highly contested Democratic primary victory, most of his focus has been spent on fund-raising, vetting potential administration officials and preparing for his likely transition to the mayoralty.

But for at least one hour, Mr. Adams will be forced to devote some attention to his Republican opponent, Curtis Sliwa, as they go head-to-head on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the first of two official debates among the two leading candidates for mayor of New York City.

Both men say they are friends. But Mr. Adams — who is widely favored to win the Nov. 2 election because Democrats far outnumber Republicans in the city — has largely avoided engaging Mr. Sliwa since the June 22 primary. The debate will be one of the first chances for the public to see the two men together.

Mr. Sliwa, 67, a founder of the Guardian Angels and a radio host, has appeared at places where Mr. Adams was holding a news conference to speak with the gathered reporters and has criticized his opponent’s policies.
October 20, 2021

Small Needles, Short Lines and Few Tears: Biden's Plan to Vaccinate Young Children

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — The campaign to vaccinate young children in the United States against the coronavirus will not look like it did for adults. There will be no mass inoculation sites. Pediatricians will be enlisted to help work with parents. Even the vials — and the needles to administer doses — will be smaller.

Biden administration officials, anticipating that regulators will make the vaccines available to 5- to 11-year-olds in the coming weeks, are laying out plans to ensure that some 25,000 pediatric or primary care offices, thousands of pharmacies, and hundreds of school and rural health clinics will be ready to administer shots if the vaccine receives federal authorization.

The campaign aims to fulfill the unique needs of patients largely still in elementary school, while absorbing the lessons from the rollout of vaccines to other age groups.

This month, Pfizer and BioNTech asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of their vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a move that could help protect more than 28 million people in the United States. A meeting to discuss the authorization is set for Oct. 26, and an F.D.A. ruling could come in the days after, possibly clearing a path for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make recommendations on a pediatric dose in early November.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/20/us/politics/kids-covid-vaccination.html
October 20, 2021

The Best Olive Oil in the World? This Village Thinks So.

RAMEH, Israel — A pot of mujadara was packed and ready to go, a small jar of olives and some bread alongside it. It was the dead of winter in this Palestinian mountain village in the Galilee, and Abla Hussein, who is now 86, was a child at the time, no more than 7 or 8 years old. She and her family were ready to make the hourlong walk to their olive groves, where they would spend the entire day, every day, during the nearly three-month length of the harvest season.

The olives that grew there were plump with oil, she said: “There was so much oil inside, and the oil was so sweet as it slid down your throat.”

Rameh’s olive oil has long had a reputation for being the best in the country, even the broader region, and it is central to the identity of the village. Fresh out of the press, it is bright liquid gold, its aroma reminiscent of the wild grasses and dandelion leaves that grow around the olive trees. People describe it as ripe and smooth, almost like samneh (ghee, or clarified butter).

While southern Spain and southeastern Italy are now the biggest commercial olive-oil-producing regions in the world, evidence suggests that the land surrounding the Sea of Galilee — where Rameh sits on the slopes of Mount Haidar — was once the world’s most important olive region. Recent research indicates it was the site of the earliest olive cultivation, too, dating back to 5000 B.C.

Today, about 2,000 acres of centuries-old olive trees surround Rameh in every direction — a green sea, the rustle of leaves akin to waves. In newspaper articles, books and even poems, the olives are described as “the best you ever laid eyes on,” and the village itself as “the queen of Palestinian oil.”


October 20, 2021

Trump's Pentagon Chief Quashed Idea to Send 250,000 Troops to the Border

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s defense secretary thought the idea was outrageous.

In the spring of 2020, Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary, was alarmed to learn of an idea under discussion at a top military command and at the Department of Homeland Security to send as many as 250,000 troops — more than half the active U.S. Army, and a sixth of all American forces — to the southern border in what would have been the largest use of the military inside the United States since the Civil War.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging, Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda, had urged the Homeland Security Department to develop a plan for the number of troops that would be needed to seal the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. It is not clear whether it was officials in homeland security or the Pentagon who concluded that a quarter of a million troops would be required.

The concept was relayed to officials at the Defense Department’s Northern Command, which is responsible for all military operations in the United States and on its borders, according to several former senior administration officials. Officials said the idea was never presented formally to Mr. Trump for approval, but it was discussed in meetings at the White House as they debated other options for closing the border to illegal immigration.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/19/us/politics/trump-border.html
October 20, 2021

McConnell: GOP should move past Trump's "rehash" of 2020 election

Source: Axios

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that Republicans should be looking to "the future and not the past" when asked about how comfortable he was with the GOP "embracing" former President Trump.

Why it matters: CNN's Manu Raju posed the question after Trump attended a GOP retreat last week, noting that McConnell had said the former president was "morally responsible for provoking the events" on the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, per Business Insider.

What he's saying: "I think the American people are focusing on this administration, what it's doing to the country," McConnell replied.

He added that he hoped the 2022 midterms would be a referendum on the performance of President Biden's administration, "not a rehash of suggestions about what may have happened in 2020" — an apparent reference to Trump's continued false claims about his election loss.

Read more: https://www.axios.com/mcconnell-gop-trump-rehash-2020-election-4b3ed553-ad69-4517-ab59-5b302a82eafe.html

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