The Monday Politics Thread is a Tray of Goth Ham

Biden touts US coronavirus progress at July 4 White House event: ‘America is coming back together’

President Joe Biden touted the nation’s progress against the coronavirus pandemic Sunday evening as he and first lady Jill Biden hosted their biggest party yet at the White House marking the July Fourth holiday.“Today, all across this nation we can say with confidence America is coming back together,” the President said in remarks outside the White House. “245 years ago, we declared our independence from a distant king. Today, we are closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.”The US, Biden said, is seeing “the results of the unity of purpose.”

“Together, we’re beating the virus. Together, we’re breathing life into our economy. Together, we will rescue our people from division and despair. But together, we must do it. Over the past year, we’ve lived through some of our darkest days,” he said. “Now I truly believe — I give my word as a Biden — I truly believe we are about to see our brightest future. Folks, this is a special nation.”


COVID-19 surging in Indonesia, South Africa; world toll down 5%

COVID-19 has dominated Asia, originating in Mainland China 1/2 years ago, spreading to India a few months ago and now surging in Indonesia, with 35% increase in deaths and 38% cases in the island nation.

With the pandemic nearing 4 million fatalities at 3,992,977, one-fifth of them have occurred in Asia at 801,389 but fourth behind No. 1 South America, No. 2 Europe and No. 3 North America. The continent has the most cases with 56,419,328 of the total 184,545,475 Sunday, according to tracking by

In the past week globally, deaths declined by 5% and cases rose 3% as South Africa remained a hot spot with nearly a 50% rise in deaths and 28% in cases.

Asia’s deaths dropped 9% with 16,453, and cases increased 8% with a total of 1,001,813.


‘I Will Never Recover From This Heartbreak’: Brianna McNeal Loses Appeal of Five-Year Suspension

After qualifying at the U.S. Olympic Trials last month, Brianna McNeal should be defending her 100-meter hurdles championship in Tokyo later this month. But due to a brazen lack of compassion on behalf of governing bodies for the Olympic Games, she won’t get the chance.

On Friday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied the 29-year-old gold medalist’s appeal of a five-year ban for violating anti-doping policies. The ban, which was placed upon McNeal last month, initially stemmed from her missing a doping test in January 2020. McNeal explained to The New York Times that she missed the test because she was recovering from a recent abortion.

The Root

Mapuche woman picked to lead architects of Chile’s new constitution

Delegates chose a woman on Sunday from Chile’s majority indigenous Mapuche people to lead them in drafting the country’s new constitution – a dramatic turnaround for a group that is unacknowledged in the country’s present rule book.

Elisa Loncon, 58, a political independent, is a Santiago university professor and activist for Mapuche educational and linguistic rights. She was picked by 96 of the 155 men and women, including 17 indigenous people, who make up the constitutional body that will draft a new text to replace Chile’s previous magna carta produced during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.


Michigan’s push to end gerrymandering offers ‘hope’ for divided nation, advocates say

Michigan’s push to end gerrymandering offers ‘hope’ for divided nation, advocates say

NBC News

Manual advises how to stop removal of Confederate statues: don’t mention race

A 2016 internal document from the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) organization lays out detailed tactics for members to use in preventing the removal of Confederate monuments and symbols, including lawsuits, rallies, media management and political campaigns.

The SCV is a neo-Confederate group dedicated to preserving what it sees as southern heritage, in particular Confederate statues and war memorials. That task has become far more controversial recently amid the rise of Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests, which frequently target such statues as memorials to racism and slavery.

The 18-page Sons of Confederate Veterans Heritage Defense manual also castigates perceived opponents of the SCV, accusing the NAACP civil rights group of spreading “hate and dissension” under the direction of “Marxists”.

The Guardian

Spread of the Delta variant may make it even harder to reach herd immunity, expert says

With so many areas in the United States witnessing low vaccination rates, the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus will make it that much harder for the country to reach herd immunity, a top expert says.

“We don’t exactly know what the herd immunity percentage would be for Covid-19. It would be different for the Delta variant, and higher, because it is more transmissible,” Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Friday.


White Supremacists March Through Philadelphia, Get Chased Away by Angry Onlookers

Around 150 white supremacists marched in front of Philadelphia City Hall late on Saturday night. The marchers were part of the Patriot Front, a known white supremacist group based in Texas, and they wore white face coverings while waving flags and shields. Some also carried signs that read “Reclaim America” and chanted “the election was stolen” while they marched. Police said none of the marchers were from Philadelphia.

It seems the white supremacists had their march cut short by angry onlookers who made their feelings clear about having white supremacists openly espousing their views on the streets of Philadelphia. The onlookers started yelling at the protesters and there were a few scuffles with the white supremacists. A witness said the marchers often tossed smoke bombs and then used that as a cover to hit and kick counterprotesters. Although police were present, they apparently didn’t get really involved as counterportesters and white supremacists traded blows.


The geriatric Senate confronts a youth movement

Jon Ossoff broke the Senate’s generational barrier for millennials. His fellow 30-somethings want to make sure he isn’t alone for long.

Ossoff was 33 when, in January, he became the first senator of his generation and the youngest elected Democrat since Joe Biden in the 1970s. Now, at least a dozen candidates born after 1980 are either running for Senate or seriously considering launching campaigns for next year, a major surge in ambitious younger politicians.


A Military Plane Crash In The Philippines Has Left At Least 45 People Dead

A Philippine air force C-130 aircraft carrying combat troops assigned to fight Muslim militants crashed and exploded while landing in the south Sunday, killing at least 42 army soldiers on board and three civilians on the ground in one of the worst disasters in the air force’s history.

At least 49 other soldiers were rescued with injuries and survived the fiery noontime crash into a coconut grove outside the Jolo airport in Sulu province, including some who managed to jump off the aircraft before it exploded and was gutted by fire, military officials said. Three of seven villagers who were hit on the ground died.

The aircraft had 96 people on board, including three pilots and five crew while the rest were army personnel, the military said, adding only five soldiers remained unaccounted for late Sunday. The pilots survived but were seriously injured, officials said.


‘Temperature rising’: First Nations leaders condemn rash of church fires across Canada

No one can ignore the possibility, even the likelihood, that a sudden rash of attacks targeting Christian churches and symbols in several provinces could be a backlash after the recent, agonizing discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves of children at former residential schools run by the Catholic church.

Five churches, some over 100 years old, were burned to the ground, starting with four in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. The latest and the largest was in Morinville, Alta., on Wednesday, preceded by at least three smaller arsons, the two on Siksika land and a fire at the door of a vacant, century-old Anglican church in northern B.C. A church on First Nations land in Nova Scotia was damaged by flames on Wednesday as well.

Dramatic red-paint handprints, mimicking the bloody hands of children, were also daubed on the doors of a cathedral in Saskatoon, on a statue of Pope John Paul II at a church in Edmonton and on a statue of nuns in Regina.


Pro-Trump social media app hacked on launch day as half million sign up

A social media site launched on Sunday by Jason Miller, a senior adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, was briefly hacked, and more than 500,000 people have registered to use the site, Miller said.

GETTR, a Twitter-style platform with posts and trending topics, has advertised itself on the Google and Apple app stores as “a non-bias social network for people all over the world.” read more

“The problem was detected and sealed in a matter of minutes, and all the intruder was able to accomplish was to change a few user names,” Miller said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

A writer for Salon posted screenshots on Twitter of several GETTR profiles, including those of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Miller himself, that were altered to read “JubaBaghdad was here, follow me in twitter :)”.


Missouri hospital CEO: Anyone disparaging the COVID-19 vaccine should ‘Shut up’

One Missouri hospital official is telling anyone making disparaging remarks about the COVID-19 vaccine to “Shut up” as state officials ask for federal help dealing with a surge in cases that has some counties urging new precautions.

Deep vaccine resistance has allowed the delta variant, first identified India, to take hold in the state, straining hospitals, particularly in the Springfield area.

“If you are making wildly disparaging comments about the vaccine, and have no public health expertise, you may be responsible for someone’s death. Shut up,” tweeted Steve Edwards, who is the CEO of CoxHealth in Springfield.

The Kansas City Star