• Lifestyle
    In The Know

    Man runs through park in elaborate ‘social distancing’ device: ‘Do whatever you can’

    Dan Kuhnle shared a video of his elaborate workout device to YouTube on April 5, where it’s since been covered by media outlets everywhere.

  • Politics

    Gavin Newsom Declares California a ‘Nation-State’

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- California this week declared its independence from the federal government’s feeble efforts to fight Covid-19 — and perhaps from a bit more. The consequences for the fight against the pandemic are almost certainly positive. The implications for the brewing civil war between Trumpism and America’s budding 21st-century majority, embodied by California’s multiracial liberal electorate, are less clear. Speaking on MSNBC, Governor Gavin Newsom said that he would use the bulk purchasing power of California “as a nation-state” to acquire the hospital supplies that the federal government has failed to provide. If all goes according to plan, Newsom said, California might even “export some of those supplies to states in need.”“Nation-state.” “Export.”Newsom is accomplishing a few things here, with what can only be a deliberate lack of subtlety. First and foremost, he is trying to relieve the shortage of personal protective equipment — a crisis the White House has proved incapable of remedying. Details are a little fuzzy, but Newsom, according to news reports, has organized multiple suppliers to deliver roughly 200 million masks monthly.Second, Newsom is kicking sand in the face of President Donald Trump after Newsom’s previous flattery — the coin of the White House realm — failed to produce results. If Trump can’t manage to deliver supplies, there’s no point in Newsom continuing the charade.Third, and this may be the most enduring effect, Newsom is sending a powerful message to both political parties. So far, the Republican Party’s war on democratic values, institutions and laws has been a largely one-sided affair, with the GOP assaulting and the Democratic Party defending. The lethal ruling this week by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Republican bloc, which required Wisconsin residents to vote in person during a pandemic that shut down polling stations, is a preview of the fall campaign. The GOP intends to restrict vote-by-mail and other legitimate enfranchisement to suppress turnout amid fear, uncertainty and disease.At some point this civil war by other means, with the goal of enshrining GOP minority rule, will provoke a Democratic counteroffensive. Newsom, leader of the nation’s largest state, is perhaps accelerating that response, shaking Democrats out of denial and putting Republicans on notice. California, an economic behemoth whose taxpayers account for 15% of individual contributions to the U.S. Treasury, is now toning up at muscle beach.What that means, of course, is left to the imagination. But not much is required to envision what might evolve.Newsom, a former lieutenant governor who won the top job in 2018, has used the “nation-state” phrase before. It’s a very odd thing to say. California, like its 49 smaller siblings, qualifies only as the second half. But it’s obviously no slip of the tongue. Democratic state Senator Scott Wiener, a leader in California’s cumbersome efforts to produce more housing, said soon after Newsom took office in 2019 that reorienting the state’s relationship to Washington is a necessity, not a choice.“The federal government is no longer a reliable partner in delivering health care, in supporting immigrants, supporting LGBT people, in protecting the environment, so we need to forge our own path,” Wiener said. “We can do everything in our power to protect our state, but we need a reliable federal partner. And right now we don’t have that.”The statement appears prescient in light of the Trump administration’s failure to protect against a pandemic. Newsom was the first governor to issue a stay-at-home order, on March 19. Though his state is chock-full of cosmopolitan centers, and rural threats loom as well, California is weathering the virus in far better shape than New York, which has many fewer people and many more deaths.Federalism has always had rough spots, but conflict is rising and resolutions are not. California is a sanctuary state while the Trump administration is fond of immigration dragnets. Marijuana is grown, marketed and used in abundance in the state while the White House conjures more restrictions. The Trump administration endorses extreme gun rights; California has other ideas. Most of all, Trump’s failure to act, or even take responsibility for acting, in the face of pandemic has required California, like other states, to look out for itself.One conflict, however, encompasses all others, and could galvanize Californians into new ways of thinking about their state and its relationship to Washington. The GOP war on democracy is inspired by a drive for racial and cultural supremacy that jeopardizes the democratic aspirations and human rights of California’s multiracial citizenry. From Fort Sumter to Little Rock to Montgomery, the blueprint for states opposing federal control has a recurring theme. But there is no reason that states can’t adopt a racist playbook for other ends. If California and other 21st-century polities withhold revenue, or otherwise distance themselves from Washington’s control, legal and political battles will escalate. Republicans will have a legitimate constitutional argument — but it will be a morally tainted and politically illegitimate one so long as they continue to subvert majority rule.The experience of states battling Covid-19 while the White House devotes its energy to winning the news cycle may be instructive. What is the difference, conceptually, between a state deploying its power to protect its population’s health and a state using it to protect its population’s democratic rights?John C. Calhoun, who used the theory of states’ rights to defend the institution of slavery, is not generally a philosophical lodestar for liberal Democrats such as Newsom. But if Republicans (or foreign friends) succeed in sabotaging democracy in November, Calhoun’s theory of nullification, which posited that states have the power to defy federal law, could be ripe for a comeback on the left coast. With the heirs of the Confederacy now reigning in Washington, turnabout might be very fair play.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Francis Wilkinson writes editorials on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg Opinion. He was executive editor of the Week. He was previously a writer for Rolling Stone, a communications consultant and a political media strategist.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business

    Fed should pay every American more, let hedge funds and billionaires ‘get wiped out,’ says Social Capital CEO

    Is the Fed's massive coronavirus stimulus package helping the ultra-rich at the expense of ordinary American workers? Appearing Thursday on CNBC's “Fast Money Halftime Report” Palihapitiya said the U.S. shouldn't be bailing out billionaires and hedge funds when it's the people on Main Street who are the ones actually getting hurt. When a business typically fails, Palihapitiya said, “it does not fire their employees,” instead going though a bankruptcy process that often preserves pensions, and employees end up owning more of the company in the end.

  • U.S.

    White Supremacist Groups Are Recruiting With Help From Coronavirus – and a Popular Messaging App

    As COVID-19 spreads around the world, white supremacist groups are seizing onto it to recruit and spread misinformation

  • U.S.

    Mother stands by decision to name daycare with positive COVID-19 case

    Elizabeth Latimer thought she was doing the right thing when she posted on Facebook that her five-year-old son may have been exposed to COVID-19 at Go-Go Gymnastics' after-school program.She had just received a call from Public Health and wanted to be transparent about the situation. Although the official wouldn't confirm the location, Latimer knew that it could only be her son's elementary school or his after-school childcare. So, she took to Facebook on Saturday evening and named both places. "That's something I posted because information is knowledge and information is power," she said from her Fredericton home Tuesday. She wanted to make sure all parents were aware of the positive test at Go-Go's Main Street location, so they could take the proper precautions for their own families. Latimer was not prepared for the backlash she received. People began to post very unkind things, to say the least, she said. Some demanded to know what grocery stores she had visited, and did she wash her groceries properly? They chastised her for not self-isolating, and some called her vulgar names. She was accused of seeking attention and causing "unnecessary drama." At first, she tried to respond to the messages. No, she didn't self-isolate because she didn't know about the confirmed case until April 4. No, she didn't take her children to the grocery store with her. Yes, she washed her hands frequently. But the questions and comments kept coming. Four hours after she posted the message, she took it down. "It was just overwhelming because it's not something I was expecting," said Latimer. While many supported her decision, Latimer estimates that she got more than 20 negative ones — either posted publicly on Facebook or sent privately through Messenger. Two people even called her on the phone — and one of those was particularly mean-spirited and insulting, she said. In spite of all of the negative comments she received, Latimer believes people should know the name of the daycare so they can take steps to protect themselves. That's why she ended up posting the letter she got from Public Health — a letter that contained the name of the facility. Despite repeated voicemail, email and Facebook messages left on Monday and Tuesday, Go-Go officials did not respond to requests for an interview. Latimer still believes naming the facility is the right thing to do, because Monday, she was contacted by a mother of a child at the daycare who still hadn't spoken with anyone from Public Health. If not for her post, said Latimer, the woman wouldn't have known about the positive case. She wonders what makes the Fredericton daycare any different from a case in Calgary, where a daycare operator and Alberta's chief medical officer of health both talked publicly about a child testing positive. She cites other cases where officials across the country have pinpointed specific cases. "It's a large amount of families, and a large amount of children that go to Go-Go. And then those children go out and see other children and see other people," said Latimer. People have a right to know whether they, or a family member, may have come into contact with someone at the facility, she said. Just as she wished that people had been more understanding of her decision to go public, she wants people to be kind to the daycare. "It's not their fault. They couldn't have known one of their employees or children were sick … I'm not mad at them and I don't think anyone should be," said Latimer.