This Day in History | 2014
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members, loses contact with air traffic control less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur then veers off course and disappears. Most of the plane, and everyone on board, are never seen again.
Good morning Middle Americans,
There’s just not much we can say about the Trump Administration’s response to the coronavirus. The president seems deeply skeptical of the doctors and scientist at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. Mike Pence continues to run his wing of the response, but none of it seems coordinated. We hope we don’t sound like a broken record when we say that it’s not the coronavirus that’s going to get the Trump administration, it’s the mounting panic that could sink the economy. That’s the bigger threat here. And the Trump administration seems unable to contain that right now. This, as Washington D.C. confirms it’s first case of the disease.
Also, it looks like Tulsi Gabbard is going to get shafted, and won’t be on the debate stage during the next go-round. So get ready to see to 70+ guys arguing on TV about political policy. Sound like fun to you?
Read all about it.
– Fraser Dixon
Trump’s Mismanagement Helped Fuel Coronavirus Crisis
(Politico) – On Friday, as coronavirus infections rapidly multiplied aboard a cruise ship marooned off the coast of California, health department officials and Vice President Mike Pence came up with a plan to evacuate thousands of passengers, avoiding the fate of a similar cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, which became a petri dish of coronavirus infections. Quickly removing passengers was the safest outcome, health officials and Pence reasoned.
But President Donald Trump had a different idea: Leave the infected passengers on board — which would help keep the number of U.S. coronavirus cases as low as possible.
“Do I want to bring all those people off? People would like me to do it,” Trump admitted at a press conference at the CDC later on Friday. “I would rather have them stay on, personally.”
“I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault,” Trump added, saying that he ultimately empowered Pence to decide whether to evacuate the passengers.
Read more here
DC Confirms First Presumptive Case of Coronavirus
(The Hill) – Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Saturday that the city has its first presumptive case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Bowser announced on Twitter that local health officials received their first positive test of the virus on Saturday. Cases are considered “presumptive” until they are confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
At a Saturday evening press conference, Bowser said the patient is a male, D.C. resident in his 50s who began showing symptoms in late February and was admitted to a local hospital on March 5.
Find out more here
Biden and Sanders Expected to be Alone in Qualifying for Next Debate
(The New York Daily News) – Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are likely to go head-to-head for the first time this month.
Democratic presidential candidates must have picked up at least 20% of the convention delegates disbursed so far to qualify for this month’s debate, the party announced Friday, all but certainly meaning Biden and Sanders will be the only ones on stage.
Both Biden and Sanders have already met the new threshold, but Tulsi Gabbard, the only other candidate left in the race, has only picked up two delegates — from the U.S. territory of American Samoa, where she was born.
Gabbard hasn’t won a single contest outright and is barely registering in most polls.
Before the March 15 debate in Arizona, there are eight primaries, with a total of 371 delegates up for grabs.
Learn more here
Tragic Discovery: Deadly Trap Door Found in Bronx Day Care
A heart-wrenching scene unfolded in a Bronx day care. A 1-year-old lost his life, and three others were injured. Investigators believe the exposure to fentanyl is to blame.
Investigators executed a search warrant, revealing a trap door in the play area of the day care apartment. Hidden inside were large quantities of fentanyl and other narcotics.
Authorities unveiled that a kilo of fentanyl was stored on playmats. A device to press drugs into bricks was also discovered, painting a grim picture of the day care’s dual life.
Owner Grei Mendez and her tenant Carlisto Acevedo Brito are currently facing murder charges. They’re in federal custody, held without bail, connected to horrifying federal drug trafficking charges.
A grand jury in the Bronx has returned an indictment related to the tragic events. However, the specific charges remain sealed pending arraignment.
District Attorney Darcel Clark passionately voiced her commitment to seek justice. “Every single person in this county feels what they feel, that they entrusted day care center to take care of their children,” she said.
Mayor Eric Adams was visibly upset about the horrifying incident. “This is total madness that we lost a child to this dangerous substance,” he exclaimed, calling for a full national assault on this drug.
The day care, catering to children between 6 weeks and 12 years old, had passed a city inspection just last week. Despite this, a secret life of drug conspiracy thrived behind closed doors.
Mendez’s attorney claims her only crime was renting a room to someone who had a kilo of fentanyl. However, the presence of drug paraphernalia raises haunting questions.
Officials remain vigilant and are conducting thorough investigations. It’s crucial to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children who are victims of this tragic incident.
What We Think
This is just downright heartbreaking and maddening. Little kids, innocent lives, and then there’s this poison, this fentanyl, in their safe space. The trust parents put in day cares, completely shattered. It makes one question, how many more places are like this, running dual lives?
These revelations, they just bring forth the need for stricter, much stricter, oversights and regulations. Folks ought to be able to trust that their kids are safe, that they are cared for when they’re away.
And to the folks responsible, if they’re guilty, they better face the full force of the law. The safety of our little ones should never be compromised, never.
Chicago Eyes First Government-Run Grocery Store
Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson announced a potential game-changer. The city is exploring creating a government-owned grocery store. This is to help “historically underserved communities.”
Mayor Johnson emphasized that every resident deserves convenient, affordable, and healthy grocery options. “A better, stronger, safer future is one where our youth and our communities have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive,” he said.
The mayor’s commitment is to bring innovative, whole-of-government solutions to tackle existing inequities. “I am proud to work alongside partners to take this step in envisioning what a municipally owned grocery store in Chicago could look like,” stated Johnson.
He noted that this project promotes “food equity.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimates reveal significant disparities in access to grocery stores in different areas of the city.
If realized, this would make Chicago the first major US city to have a government-owned grocery store to address “food inequity.”
Ameya Pawar from the Economic Security Project pointed out the transformative potential of this project. “The City of Chicago is reimagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores via a municipally owned grocery store and market,” he said.
Pawar drew parallels with libraries and the postal service, saying a public option brings economic choice and power to communities. He sees a city-owned grocery store as a viable way to restore access to healthy food in neglected areas.
Currently, the administration is conducting a feasibility study. It’s determining how the new store can operate successfully in addressing the community needs and disparities in food access.
What We Think:
This move by Chicago to start a government-run grocery store is surely an interesting one. It’s about giving all folks, no matter where they live, access to good food. Now, we’ve seen government-run things before, like the post office.
So, the big question is, can the government really run a store efficiently and help the folks on the South and West sides?
It’s a noble goal to bring good food to every part of the city, especially where folks have had it tough. But, will this actually work or just end up being another failed government experiment? Only time will tell.
Congresswoman Clashes with ABC Anchor over Biden’s Impeachment Inquiry
In a heated confrontation, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) stood firm against ABC News anchor Jonathan Karl, accusing him of overlooking substantial evidence while discussing the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.
The clash unfolded on ABC News’ “This Week,” where Mace faced questions about the criticism from fellow Republican, Rep. Ken Buck, who opposes the inquiry. Mace was quick to put aside Buck’s apprehensions, asserting “the facts are everywhere.”
Mace highlighted various forms of evidence, including text messages, emails, witnesses, whistleblowers, meetings, phone calls, and dinners. “You can’t say, ‘Hey, there’s a little bit of smoke, we’re not going to follow the fire,'” she stated, emphasizing the necessity of pursuing the truth.
Mace also underscored the importance of expanded subpoena powers provided by the inquiry.
“I want the bank records of Joe Biden. All of that should be on the table to prove out the allegations in the reports,” she explained, referring to claims involving substantial sums of money and bribery, which, according to Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, could be grounds for impeachment.
Karl counterargued, insisting repeatedly there is “no evidence” to support the allegations against Biden, a point Mace contested vehemently.
“There are witnesses. The 1023 form,” she responded, “There is evidence. You can’t say that there’s no evidence when there is evidence.”
Mace seemed astounded by Karl’s insistent denials and took a moment to remind him of the crucial role journalists played during the Nixon era, holding politicians accountable.
“It was the media and journalists when Nixon was going down that helped do that investigation, helped bring down the president when he broke the law,” Mace reflected.
She emphasized the visible shift in journalism standards, observing that media now seems to “deny that there’s evidence. It’s everywhere.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has often pointed out that the impeachment inquiry is a tool granting lawmakers broader powers to delve into whether Biden has engaged in corrupt activities to financially benefit his family.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean impeachment proceedings will follow, it does enable lawmakers to trace the “smoke” alluded to by Mace.
Interestingly, Karl’s staunch stance on the lack of evidence against Biden comes after the White House reportedly sent talking points to the media, instructing them to underplay any evidence that has been unveiled.
What We Think
What we’re witnessing here is not just a heated debate but a stark reminder of the role that media ought to play in holding our leaders accountable. Nancy Mace’s staunch stance against Jonathan Karl’s claims serves as a wake-up call, urging us to question whether we are being presented with the complete truth.
There’s an evident shift in how media handles evidence and accountability compared to the times of Nixon. This conversation is crucial, especially when significant accusations of bribery are on the line.
Whether or not the impeachment proceedings go forth, our nation deserves transparency, accountability, and truth from both our politicians and the media.
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