The Monday Politics Thread Celebrates Infrastructure Week

Mudslide on scenic Colorado highway tests limits of aging infrastructure in era of climate change

The physical alterations have led to road closures, hours long detours, environmental disasters and economic displacement. And they have prompted hard questions about aging infrastructure designed decades before climate change moved to the forefront of public discourse.

“This should be a warning, the canary in the coal mine,” said Paul Chinowsky, director of the environmental design department at the University of Colorado. “It’s time to go back and look at where our critical transportation routes are, because most of them are probably pretty vulnerable to this type of situation.”

NBC News

Manchin: I will not vote for $3.5 trillion bill

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday he will not support the $3.5 trillion price tag for the economic bill that would expand the nation’s social safety net and that “there’s no way” Congress can meet the timeline set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass it.

“(Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer) will not have my vote on $3.5 (trillion) and Chuck knows that, and we’ve talked about this,” the West Virginia senator told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

CNN Politics

Biden Declassifies Secret FBI Report Detailing Saudi Nationals’ Connections To 9/11

The Biden administration has declassified a 16-page FBI report tying 9/11 hijackers to Saudi nationals living in the United States. The document, written in 2016, summarized an FBI investigation into those ties called Operation ENCORE.

The partially redacted report shows a closer relationship than had been previously known between two Saudis in particular — including one with diplomatic status — and some of the hijackers. Families of the 9/11 victims have long sought after the report, which painted a starkly different portrait than the one described by the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004.

NPR

What the 20 Years Since 9/11 Have Been Like For a Survivor

When we first felt the walls of our classroom shake at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, we didn’t know what was happening. All we knew was that we were in first period science class at I.S.89 middle school three blocks away from the World Trade Center, and we had never, ever heard or felt a sound like that.

Teen Vogue

Women in Texas will take back control of their reproductive healthcare by leaving the state or going to Mexico to have abortions, say rights advocates

Mexican immigrants to Texas are considering returning to their home country to terminate their pregnancies to avoid the new Texas abortion laws, say reports.

Business Insider

Moderna Announces Positive Pre-Clinical Data For Single Shot Combining COVID, RSV & Flu Vaccines

First, it was the flu shot every year. Then, thankfully, there was the COVID vaccine. Then there’s the shingles vaccine and the pneumonia shot.

Now we hear that we may need a COVID booster or even a different COVID vaccine to cover new variants.

But CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez says, what if we could combine those shots?

CBS2 News

Delta is Dying

Despite media claims that “We Can’t Turn the Corner on Covid,” the numbers of Covid-19 cases, new hospitalizations, and deaths nationwide peaked and started to decline around the beginning of September. The combination of this milestone, new findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing widespread levels of vaccination and natural immunity, and improved availability of treatments suggests that, outside of isolated pockets, Covid-19 is likely to become a diminishing health risk in the United States.

The CDC looked for evidence of prior infection or vaccination in the blood of approximately 1.5 million blood donors from around the country between July 2020 and May 2021. Based on the antibodies found in the specimens, they were able to distinguish between those who had been vaccinated and those with antibodies resulting from infection. As of the end of May, the combined vaccine and infection seroprevalence (indicating the proportion of the population with antibodies and some level of immune protection) was 83 percent for those 16 and older (children under 16 can’t donate blood). Over 20 percent had antibodies indicating an earlier infection and recovery. Based on the infection-induced seroprevalence, the researchers estimated that there were actually 2.1 infections per reported Covid-19 case.

Now, following the surge from the Delta variant, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases (all ages) is over 40 million, or 8 million more than on May 31. Applying the 2.1 multiple from the blood donation study to the entire population results in a real number of cases and people with natural immunity of 84 million, or 25 percent of the population. In addition, 177 million people are fully vaccinated, which is 53 percent of the total population and 34 million more than at the end of May. An additional 10 percent of the population has received a single dose, which provides some protection, albeit less than the full two doses.

City Journal

Men are inventing new excuses for killing women and judges are falling for them

Although it takes some ingenuity to kill a woman and face no penalty whatsoever, the justice system continues to ensure that, for the right killing, in the right circumstances, the punishment – given the right judge – could still be a fraction of what you might expect.

The Guardian

The Coronavirus Claims Black Morticians, Leaving Holes In Communities

The deaths of Black morticians are particularly notable because of the prominent role they have long played in many communities. Often admired for their success in business, a number have been elected to political office, served as local power brokers, and helped fund civil rights efforts.

NPR

Death and suffering in Iraq a painful legacy of 9/11 attacks

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. But the terrorist attacks in the United States changed forever the lives of Iraqis.

AP News

Islamophobia Shaped the Lives of Muslim American Students After 9/11

Earlier this year, the United Nations released a report that highlighted the rise of Islamophobia and surveillance of Muslims worldwide. U.S. politicians may scratch their heads over the cause of their nation’s Islamophobia, but one significant date looms overhead: As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, Muslim Americans who were students in 2001 tell Teen Vogue that the xenophobia and Islamophobia that surfaced in response to those attacks is still with us. The anti-Muslim sentiment and white supremacy that shaped their young adulthoods, and was stoked so successfully by former president Donald Trump, can substantially be traced to that day.

Teen Vogue

North Korea says it fired new long-range cruise missiles, according to state media

North Korea claims it successfully test-fired new long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, according to the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

CNN

CDC finds unvaccinated 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19

“Vaccination works,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC’s director, told a White House briefing Friday. “The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic.”

Today

Megan Rohrer: First openly transgender bishop takes up post in US

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has installed its first openly transgender bishop – the first mainstream US Christian denomination to do so.

Sky News

War Criminals and 9/11: How We Achieve Accountability

This op-ed argues that officials who have carried out or enabled war crimes must be held accountable while they’re still alive.

Teen Vogue

Taliban say women can study at university but classes must be segregated

Women in Afghanistan will be allowed to study in universities as the country seeks to rebuild after decades of war but gender-segregation and Islamic dress code will be mandatory, the Taliban’s new Higher Education minister said on Sunday.

Reuters

Cubans still reside on Guantánamo Bay base decades after US-Cuba relations deteriorated

Sixty years after the United States’ failed Bay of Pigs invasion, the remnants of the US and Cuba’s fractured relationship are tucked away in a small neighborhood of the US Naval base at Guantánamo Bay. Nineteen Cubans still live on the base almost 60 years after the base closed its borders with the island nation it sits on the edge of.

CNN

In conservative Somalia, a rare woman presidential candidate

The woman who broke barriers as the first female foreign minister and deputy prime minister in culturally conservative Somalia now aims for the country’s top office as the Horn of Africa nation moves toward a long-delayed presidential election.

AP News