By Holly Thomas

TOP STORIESThursday, August 13


The Tennessee legislature passed a sweeping proposal on Wednesday that would increase penalties against some protesters who have camped outside the statehouse in Nashville for months demanding racial justice and an end to police brutality. State lawmakers in the majority-white Tennessee General Assembly passed the measure in a nearly party-line vote in both chambers. The bill, now headed to Republican Gov. Bill Lee, would punish those who illegally camp on state property with a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and the loss of voting rights. [HuffPost] ‌


Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris appeared together for the first time as a joint Democratic ticket Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, with a clear general election message: President Donald Trump is a purveyor of crisis. “America is crying out for leadership, yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him,” Harris said after being introduced by Biden. “A president who is making every challenge we face even more difficult to solve.” She also made an emotional tribute to her friend Beau Biden. [HuffPost] ‌


Florida Sheriff Billy Woods refuses to be part of a cover-up ― so he is forbidding his deputies and staffers from wearing face masks at work. Woods, the sheriff of Marion County in central Florida, insisted he took the risks of spreading COVID-19 into his decision. “I can already hear the whining and just so you know I did not make this decision easily,” Woods said. Woods’ decision contradicts the overwhelming recommendation of epidemiologists and other health experts who insist that face masks and social distancing are essential to stop the spread of COVID-19. [

The Energy Department proposed rolling back three-decade-old efficiency standards for showerheads following Trump’s repeated gripes about subpar water pressure while washing his hair. The plan would change the federal definition of a showerhead to allow manufacturers to dramatically increase water use. Under rules Congress passed in 1992 in response to severe droughts, water flow from an entire showerhead is limited to 2.5 gallons per minute. The proposed change would allow manufacturers to apply that restriction to each nozzle on a showerhead. [HuffPost]

PENCE’S ‘GASLIGHTING’ BOAST ABOUT RECORD JOB CREATION BACKFIRES Jaws collectively dropped after Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Trump had “seen us through the worst pandemic in 100 years” and “we’ve already created more jobs in the last three months than Joe Biden and Barack Obama created in their eight years in office.” Twitter users accused the vice president of “gaslighting” and noted how an administration does not create the jobs itself. Other critics highlighted how millions of roles have been lost and the U.S. economy has shrunk by record levels amid the Trump administration’s disastrous response to the pandemic. [HuffPost] ‌


Within minutes of Biden’s announcement that Kamala Harris would be his running mate, prominent right-wing voices started pushing the narrative that Harris is the one who’s really in charge. It was a deliberate prelude to launch misogynistic and racist gutter attacks that the right has been unable to make against Biden. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “Might as well switch the hashtag to #HarrisBiden2020.” Tucker Carlson claimed that Harris would deny COVID-19 vaccines to people who aren’t a “certain color.” A Trump adviser’s bid to compare Harris to Marge Simpson went somewhat awry, however. [HuffPost] ‌

CORPORATE AMERICA’S INVESTMENTS IN CLEAN ENERGY FELL 30% SO FAR THIS YEAR Corporate deals to buy clean electricity decreased by nearly 30% in the U.S. this year as the pandemic’s economic shockwave widened, highlighting the need for dramatic government intervention to cut planet-heating emissions from the power grid. Between January and July, U.S. companies signed deals to buy just 4.3 gigawatts of clean electricity, down from 6 gigawatts during the same period in 2019. [HuffPost] ‌


Earlier this summer, reproductive rights groups were relieved when Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Supreme Court’s liberal justices to find that a Louisiana law that would have left the state with a single abortion clinic was unconstitutional. But it wasn’t all good news. Roberts, who wrote a separate concurring opinion, left the door open for states to enact other onerous anti-abortion laws that could harm patients. And it’s already happening: On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled to allow four previously blocked abortion restrictions to go into effect in Arkansas. [HuffPost] ‌

HOW THE SOUTH BOTCHED SPANISH LANGUAGE OUTREACH ON COVID-19 “I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” the man on the phone stammered in Spanish, his voice cracking. “I’m asking you, please. Whatever you can … I’m desperate for me and my family … Please help us.” María Cruz was already stretched thin. On that June morning, the community organizer had two laptops open and a phone ringing every few minutes with new callers seeking COVID-19 information in Spanish. Her employer, the nonprofit Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, set up the hotline to supplement the lack of translated public health materials in a state with a Latino population of nearly 200,000. [HuffPost]


With IIhan Omar’s race over, all four members of the “Squad” of progressive first-term members of the House have won their primaries, and are all but officially headed back to Washington next year. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York handily dispatched a well-funded challenger in June, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan defeated hers earlier this month. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, is unopposed in her Sept. 1 primary ― as well as the general election in November. Trump, meanwhile, applauded racist QAnon crackpot Marjorie Taylor Greene for her Georgia GOP congressional win. [HuffPost]

One comment

  1. Ah well post our exit from Europe at the end of the year we can all look forward to being an adjunct to the United States economy.

    Reduced Labour employment protection, steroid laden beef, anti biotic laced pork, genetically modified food, and pesticide produced fruit and veg, the race to the bottom is underway.

    And with a trade deal with the US precluding the identification and labelling of Scottish produce, the long struggle to develop quality Scottish produce will be at a stroke traduced utterly. Indeed, with the USA, our trade fiend levying a 25% tariff on Scotch whisky just over a year ago, a multi billion pound export to the USA has been decimated.

    That’s jobs in not just distilling, but in bottling, in transporting, barley growing and all of the myriad other jobs that the whisky industry supports. And in the Internal Market UK Bill going through Westminster just now, does anyone think that banning the labelling of Scottish produce as anything else than British produce will support jobs here in Scotland.

    British whisky, British Beef, British Salmond, British seafood, British fish, the added value of Scottish produce will soon be gone.

    But we’ve been here before as anyone of a certain age will remember with ” Empire Made ” goods. A shorthand label for cheap goods produced in the sweat shops across the empire the concept returns. And no wonder, with a sweat shop reduced environmental protection Great Britain on the edge of Europe are the EU concerned about what is happening on their doors step.

    But hey hoe, until local people start to lose their jobs be it in the production of whisky at Auchentoshan, or bottling at Kilmalid, or bonding at Dumbuck, do you think many folks really care. Sadly I don’t, but if you want another example of how this can impact consider contract bottling.

    Currently Sweden can send a tanker load of vodka to Kilmalid for contract bottling and labelling – and let is say a million litre. Good business for the plant that can maximise the bottling of a million bottles. As part of the EU the product can travel freely across countries. Post Brexit this will not be possible unless there is a trade deal.

    So goodbye jobs in Kilmalid. It was nice knowing you. No wonder the Whisky Association are up in arms.

    But that’s why 63% of us didn’t vote for it!

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