Biden and Democratic leaders are pushing for passage before March 14 when unemployment benefits approved under an earlier relief bill expire.
Republicans have one goal for President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package: to erode public support for the rescue plan by portraying it as too big, too bloated and too much wasteful public spending for a pandemic that’s almost over. Senate Republicans prepared Friday to vote lockstep against the relief bill, taking the calculated political risk that Americans will sour on the big-dollar spending for vaccination distribution, unemployment benefits, money for the states and other outlays as unnecessary, once they learn all the details. Reviving a page from their 2009 takedown of Barack Obama’s costly recovery from the financial crisis, they expect their opposition will pay political rewards, much like the earlier effort contributed to the House Republicans' rise to power.
U.S. President Joe Biden believes that authorizations for the use of military force that have been used to justify U.S. attacks on overseas targets should be re-examined, the White House said on Friday. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine and Republican Senator Todd Young introduced legislation this week to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq, citing the “strong partnership” between Washington and the government in Baghdad. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden wanted to work with Kaine on the issue.
The voting rights group backed by basketball star LeBron James is kicking off a new campaign to fight Republican-led efforts to tighten voting requirements in Georgia and other states that could restrict access for Black voters and Democrats. The group, More Than A Vote, will start by running a 30-second advertisement narrated by James during the televised NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta on Sunday. "Look what we made happen," the Los Angeles Lakers star says in the ad, as images flash of demonstrations protesting the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor last year.
Three states had argued that the Constitution does not give Congress any power to set a time limit on the ratification process.
President Joe Biden is the first executive in four decades to reach this point in his term without holding a formal question and answer session. It reflects a White House media strategy meant both to reserve major media set-pieces for the celebration of a legislative victory and to limit unforced errors from a historically gaffe-prone politician. Biden has opted to take questions about as often as most of his recent predecessors, but he tends to field just one or two informal inquires at a time, usually in a hurried setting at the end of an event.
Ever since Democrats gained control of the Senate, voting rights experts and liberal pundits have been calling on them to get rid of the filibuster so they can push through the For the People Act to counteract the efforts of Republicans to make it more difficult to vote.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday the latest job report shows job gains are too slow and his COVID-19 relief bill is urgently needed to boost the economy. Employers added 379,000 jobs in February and January gains were revised higher to 166,000 jobs, the Labor Department said on Friday. The pickup comes after employers cut jobs last year.
The bill criminalizes "gestures or other physical contact that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response"
Top aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo were alarmed: A report written by state health officials had just landed, and it included a count of how many nursing home residents in New York had died in the pandemic. The number — more than 9,000 by that point in June — was not public, and the governor’s most senior aides wanted to keep it that way. They rewrote the report to take it out, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times. The extraordinary intervention, which came just as Cuomo was starting to write a book on his pandemic achievements, was the earliest act yet known in what critics have called a monthslong effort by the governor and his aides to obscure the full scope of nursing home deaths. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times After the state attorney general revealed this year that thousands of deaths of nursing home residents had been undercounted, Cuomo finally released the complete data, saying he had withheld it out of concern that the Trump administration might pursue a politically motivated inquiry into the state’s handling of the outbreak in nursing homes. But Cuomo and his aides actually began concealing the numbers months earlier, as his aides were battling their own top health officials, and well before requests for data arrived from federal authorities, according to documents and interviews with six people with direct knowledge of the discussions, who requested anonymity to describe the closed-door debates. The central role played by the governor’s top aides reflected the lengths to which Cuomo had gone in the middle of a deadly pandemic to control data, brush aside public health expertise and bolster his position as a national leader in the fight against the coronavirus. As the nursing home report was being written, the New York State Health Department’s data — contained in a chart reviewed by The Times that was included in a draft — put the death toll roughly 50% higher than the figure then being cited publicly by the Cuomo administration. The Health Department worked on the report with McKinsey, a consulting firm hired by Cuomo to help with the pandemic response. The chart they created compared nursing home deaths in New York with other states. New York’s total of 9,250 deaths far exceeded that of the next-highest state, New Jersey, which had 6,150 at the time. The changes sought by the governor’s aides fueled bitter exchanges with health officials working on the report. The conflict punctuated an already tense and devolving relationship between Cuomo and his Health Department, one that would fuel an exodus of the state’s top public health officials. In the past week, Cuomo’s once seemingly unshakable grip on power has been buffeted by a wave of scandal. Three women have accused the governor of inappropriate conduct, including workplace sexual harassment. On Wednesday, he publicly apologized for his actions, which are soon to be subjected to an independent investigation overseen by the state attorney general. The crisis over Cuomo’s behavior with women came just as his administration had been dealing with political turmoil over nursing homes. Lawmakers moved to strip him of the emergency powers he had been granted during the pandemic, and federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have opened a separate investigation. An outside lawyer hired by the state has begun interviewing officials about the handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. The aides who were involved in changing the report included Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide; Linda Lacewell, the head of the state’s Department of Financial Services; and Jim Malatras, a former top adviser to Cuomo brought back to work on the pandemic. None had public health expertise. In response to a detailed list of questions from The Times sent Tuesday, the governor’s office responded with a statement Thursday night from Beth Garvey, a special counsel, who said “the out-of-facility data was omitted after D.O.H. could not confirm it had been adequately verified.” She added that the additional data did not change the conclusion of the report. The tension over the death count dated to the early weeks of the pandemic when Cuomo issued an order preventing nursing homes from turning away people discharged from the hospital after being treated for COVID-19. The order was similar to ones issued in other states aimed at preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. But by late spring, Republicans were suggesting that the order had caused a deadly spread of the virus in nursing homes. Cuomo disputed that it had. Still, critics and others seized on the way the state was publicly reporting deaths: Unlike other states, New York excluded residents who had been transferred to hospitals and died there, effectively cloaking how many nursing home residents had died of COVID-19. The 33-page report, which was issued in July by the state Health Department, found the governor’s policies were not to blame, but it became a turning point in the Albany debate over the governor’s policies. The day after it was published, legislators began calling for hearings and requesting complete data. Public health officials criticized its approach. A think tank began seeking for the data the next month, as did the Justice Department. Health officials, nursing home operators and even some of Cuomo’s aides expressed bafflement at the governor’s apparent insistence on delaying the release of the data for so long, as none of the information released so far has changed the overall number of COVID-19 deaths in New York — now more than 47,000, including more than 15,000 nursing home residents. But the July report allowed Cuomo to treat the nursing home issue as resolved last year, paving the way for him to focus on touting New York’s success in controlling the virus. “I am now thinking about writing a book about what we went through,” Cuomo said four days after the report’s release, his first public comments about a possible book. By that point, he was already seeking formal approval from a state ethics agency to earn outside income from book sales, according to a person with knowledge of his planning at the time. The governor’s policy to direct nursing homes to accept and readmit patients who had tested positive for the coronavirus remains a subject of intense debate. An investigation by the attorney general’s office, released in January, said that Cuomo’s memo to nursing homes was consistent with federal guidance, but it “may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities.” Garvey said in her statement that the governor’s order did not drive nursing home deaths, a conclusion that was also reached in the Health Department report. At the time, when the report was being prepared, Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, still enjoyed broad popularity for his televised news briefings. For its report, the Health Department had drawn on data submitted by the state’s more than 600 nursing homes, which were particularly hard hit in March and early April, as New York became a global epicenter. “To us, it was clear: that you’ve got to report cases and deaths by all categories — case in nursing home, case in hospital,” said Stuart Almer, chief executive of Gurwin Health Care System, which runs a 460-bed nursing facility on Long Island that has recorded 65 resident deaths from COVID-19. “We always had confidence, and still do, in our numbers.” State health officials could see from the data that a significant number of residents died after being transferred to hospitals. The state health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, had been aware as early as June that officials in his department believed the data was good enough to include in the report, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. But Zucker testified to lawmakers in early August that the department was still auditing the numbers and could not release them. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, the chair of the health committee, suggested during the hearing that the data was being withheld to improve the governor’s image. “That’s a problem, bro,” Rivera told Zucker. “It seems, sir, that, in this case, you are choosing to define it differently so that you can look better.” In a statement issued Thursday, Gary Holmes, a spokesperson for the Health Department, echoed Garvey’s words, disputing that the numbers had been ready in time for the report and saying said that, regardless, they would not have changed its conclusions. Dr. Eleanor Adams was the Health Department’s lead on the report, but her draft was substantially rewritten by Malatras, now the chancellor of the State University of New York system. He was among a number of officials and former advisers temporarily recruited by Cuomo to assist with the pandemic response. The back-and-forth went well beyond the usual process of the governor’s office suggesting edits to an agency report, and became “intense” at times, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. Health officials felt the governor’s office, whose opinion was conveyed by Malatras, wanted to simplify too much. They worried it was no longer a true scientific report but feared for their jobs if they did not go along. Even so, an edited version prepared by Malatras did not remove the higher death toll. That occurred later, after DeRosa and Lacewell became aware of its inclusion. It was taken out soon after. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
The president will work with Congress to get new, more "narrow and specific framework" for use of military force in the Middle East.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Thursday that it has arrested Federico Klein, one of former President Donald Trump's appointees to the U.S. Department of State, for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Klein, 42, was picked up by federal agents in Virginia, according to a spokesperson for the FBI's field office in Washington, D.C. Court documents obtained by ABC News show Klein has been charged with assaulting federal law enforcement personnel during the deadly riot earlier this year. Klein is the first known member of the Trump administration to face criminal charges in connection with the storming of the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob on Jan. 6.
“Being HIV positive is itself not a threat to public safety,” state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat, said.
With Merrick Garland poised to be confirmed as attorney general as early as next week, one of the first major questions he is likely to encounter is what to do about Rudy Giuliani. A federal probe into the overseas and business dealings of the former New York City mayor and close ally of former President Donald Trump stalled last year over a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought reelection and amid Giuliani’s prominent role in subsequently disputing the results of the contest on Trump’s behalf. The arrival of a new leadership team in Washington is likely to guarantee a fresh look at the investigation.
Mark Brown, who was the chief operating officer at ED's office of Federal Student Aid, oversaw a trillion-dollar student loan portfolio — making it equivalent to the nation's fifth-largest bank.
The group is shifting its focus from the 2020 presidential election to Republican-led bills restricting voter access.
Biden's talks with House members follow meetings with senators and labor leaders, and Transportation Chair Peter DeFazio is floating partisan passage.
A Democratic congressman filed a lawsuit against former President Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) on Thursday alleging that they and others are "responsible for the injury and destruction" of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.Why it matters: The federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who served as one of the House's impeachment managers, adds to the mounting legal exposure Trump has found himself facing since leaving office.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) was the first lawmaker to sue Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot, accusing the former president in a suit brought by the NAACP of violating the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by trying to prevent Congress from carrying out its official duties.Trump is also under criminal investigation by the Fulton County district attorney in Georgia for his efforts to pressure officials to overturn the results of the election, in addition to the ongoing legal scrutiny he faces in New York for his business dealings.Details: The lawsuit — filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by the law firm KaiserDillon PLLC — accuses Trump and his allies of conspiring to violate the civil rights of the plaintiff."As a direct and foreseeable consequence of the Defendants’ false and incendiary allegations of fraud and theft, and in direct response to the Defendants’ express calls for violence at the rally, a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, " the complaint alleges.Swalwell alleges that the defendants, "by force, intimidation, or threat, agreed and conspired with one another to undertake a course of action to prevent" Joe Biden from being certified as the election winner and holding office.Trump and Brooks are being sued in their "personal capacity." The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages and a requirement that the defendants provide written notice seven days in advance of a rally or public event hosted on an election day. Between the lines: The lawsuit is being brought under the 1985 revisions to the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, as well as stated causes of action.Read the full suit. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Democrats in the U.S. Senate forged ahead with President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan early on Saturday, turning back Republican attempts to modify the package in a marathon session that had begun the prior day. With Republicans united in opposition, Democrats who narrowly control the chamber must keep all 50 of their members on board in order to pass the package, as they hope to do this weekend. Progress ground to a halt for more than 11 hours as Democrats negotiated a compromise on unemployment benefits to satisfy centrists, chiefly Senator Joe Manchin, who worried the massive package might overheat the economy.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty/InstagramFor four years, roller derby player Zack “NoMad” Sherman lived and breathed Mota Skates. The Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company sponsored Sherman’s gear, and he worked the Mota booth at championships games and conventions. People saw him represent Mota so often that he would be mistaken for the company’s owner.In reality, that title belongs to a couple named Doug and Julie Glass. Sherman told The Daily Beast he “really considered Doug and Julie family” during his time with Mota. That ended abruptly when Sherman cut ties with the brand after it posted an anti-Black Lives Matter statement on Instagram last summer. Nine months later, as Mota has steadily promoted QAnon and COVID-truther conspiracy theories on its Instagram page, Sherman feels “disgraced” to have been tied so closely to the brand.Inside the BLM Controversy That Could Bring Down Mota, One of Roller Skating’s Biggest BrandsThe brand’s descent began with a post on Mota’s Instagram page, made last June in the response to the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests.Three different sentiments overlapped in a Venn diagram: feeling “outraged by George Floyd’s death,” supporting “good police officers,” and not condoning “looting or rioting.” Stamped into the center, in bright red letters, read “Me.”According to the graphic, “It’s OK to be all three.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mota Skates (@motaskates) As The Daily Beast reported at the time, a swift backlash ensued. Skaters called out the brand in the Instagram comments section for posting a pro-cop sentiment while images of police brutality against protesters and journalists flooded the news.Doug and Julie Glass would later release an apology, via the caption of another Instagram post. Underneath a black square, the copy read, “Mota Skates, Doug and Julie Glass sincerely apologize for our ignorance regarding the black lives movement. We are working with others in the community to better ourselves in support of BLM. Your voices are heard.“We are open to positive criticism that will continue to improve the movement. We will continue to reach out as we navigate this very sensitive matter. We understand this is not enough and we will continue our support to the best of our knowledge and provide more information regarding our actions in the upcoming days.”But this, too, felt underwhelming for skaters looking for a heartfelt or genuine-seeming apology. Many, like Sherman, sought to disavow Mota. Some burned their skates outright, others covered up the Mota logo, or removed it with solvents.A GoFundMe account raised nearly $10,000 to “assist skaters of color who need financial assistance in replacing their [Mota] boots.” Four different skate shops banded together to announce they would no longer sell Mota products.Eddy Jones, a Black skater from Philadelphia, created the #UnMotavated hashtag, where he encouraged anyone who used the skates to take a photo of theirs in a trash can or recycling bin. While he understood not everyone could afford to burn their skates in protest, he wanted to find a way for people to show their disgust.“What really set me off about that whole ordeal was the fact that when Mota posted its tone-deaf statement, there were a lot of skaters of colors who weren’t attacking Mota, but they wanted to explain what the situation was,” Jones told The Daily Beast. “But at that time, Mota was curating what they wanted to be seen on their post, and deleting [negative] comments. It wasn’t even like they wanted to have a conversation about it.”At the time, Mota made some vague promises about being “open to positive criticism that will continue to improve the movement,” according to an Instagram post. “We will continue to reach out as we navigate this very sensitive matter,” Mota added.As a brand, Mota was not alone in how it fumbled supporting the surge of activism that swept across the country last summer. Companies like Facebook, Fox, and Nextdoor all earned criticism for their hypocritical or lackluster “solidarity.”But while many companies have adopted caring for social justice issues as ad campaigns—however performatively—Mota made a full, 180-degree pivot. Their pledge to be “open to positive criticism” has devolved into promoting QAnon and other conspiracy theories.Mota has catalogued over 50 Instagram stories, which are currently listed under a highlight titled “RestoreRepublic,” most of which encourage anti-mask, anti-vaccine, and pro-Trump conspiracy thinking.One Instagram story highlight includes a link to “truther info” written by Carrie Madej. She is an osteopath who has “warned” that the coronavirus vaccine exists to change people’s DNA. The BBC reported that Madej also believes that the shot will “hook us all up to an artificial intelligence interface.”When news broke that Texas Governor Greg Abbott rescinded his state’s mask mandates and business occupancy limits, Mota posted a story that read, “Let’s pray this snowballs.”Mota’s greatest concern, it seems, is with the hashtag #SavetheChildren. The brand has reposted memes hinting at an “elite pedophile ring,” which lines up with the core conspiracy theory behind QAnon: that the world is run by a “cabal” of Satanic Democrats and celebrities who torture and sexually abuse children in bloody rituals.The brand has also name-dropped adrenochrome, a chemical compound formed by the oxidation of adrenaline, also known as the stress hormone. As my colleague Tarpley Hitt reported last year, a conjured QAnon theory says that the drug is extracted by tortured children and sold on to “elites” on the black market.Julie Glass, who is 42 and a mother of three children, answered a series of questions from The Daily Beast via email. (Glass would not reveal who runs Mota’s Instagram page, though some of her responses to the questions were later used as captions on Instagram posts.)When asked how she became aware of and interested in QAnon, Glass responded over email, “As far as Q, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I follow Sidney Powell, General Flynn, Lin Wood, Scott McKay and the Trump family among other peaceful patriots worldwide. I also follow resignations/passings of worldwide elites and declass intel as I’m constantly searching for truth and how I can help spread the word and awaken others.”Sidney Powell is a lawyer and Trump ally who pushed baseless election fraud conspiracy theories. The Supreme Court has denied requests to review Powell’s cases in Arizona, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan. Lin Wood is another lawyer who worked on cases to overturn the 2020 election. During the Capitol riot, Wood told Trump supporters to “get the firing squads ready” for Mike Pence. The New York Times reported that Flynn, the former national security adviser, suggested that Trump invoke martial law in battleground states after the election was called. Scott McKay is a former bodybuilder turned radio host known as the “Patriot Streetfighter.” On air, he talks about how the world is controlled by the “global central banking cartel,” an idea taken from historically anti-Semitic tropes. McKay has also said that Donald Trump remains “in control” of the military until around March 24, suggesting that the former president could return to power before then.Glass added that she believes the coronavirus is “cured” by hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug Trump pushed as a coronavirus treatment, despite its potentially deadly side effects.Another potential solution, according to Glass, is ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug. ABC News reported last week that one person obtained a “veterinary source of ivermectin” reserved for horses, and had to call poison control after ingestion. The Daily Beast asked why Mota espoused a passion for free speech online while also deleting or blocking comments that did not align with its viewpoint. Glass wrote, “It’s because we do not have time or energy for negativity. We are at war—this is a spiritual battle of good vs. evil. We have the right to remove evil/hate comments that have no place on our page.”Defying a “life of tyranny”Julie Glass grew up surrounded by sports, with a father in the army and a brother who ended up in the NFL. Glass told The Daily Beast she set one goal when she was 12 years old: to be a world champion skater.Four years later, at age 16, she had crushed it, taking home her first world title in speed skating. She spent her teenage years touring with Team USA and racking in medals. ESPN once called her the “Usain Bolt of roller derby.”She didn’t go to college and told The Daily Beast she has “never watched mainstream news,” and thinks of herself as an independent voter. Certain events seem to have rattled her sense of security, such as when a colleague was “robbed at gunpoint” during the 2003 World Championships in Venezuela. Because of this, Glass says, the team needed “24/7 security.”“Everywhere we went there were men with armed guns and people living in cardboard boxes,” she wrote in an email, adding, “This is not the life of tyranny I want for my 3 daughters and my future grandkids.”Glass told The Daily Beast she started “paying attention to politics” when Donald Trump ran for president. “The media was losing their minds about [him] in 2015,” she wrote. “I was indifferent about him at that time but knew this kind of reaction was alarming.”But Glass’ radicalization really began in the wake of the backlash to their anti-BLM Instagram post. After that, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) parted ways with Mota, which had been a vendor at industry events. (The funds raised from Mota’s booth at the 2019 International Championships were also donated to Black Lives Matter.)“The rest of the derby community decided to cancel us for not supporting BLM in solidarity and ACAB, it was our sign to educate ourselves on what was really happening here on a worldwide scale,” Glass wrote. “We did our research as the market asked of us and found many alarming truths that are worth fighting for, like the global pandemic of child/women trafficking and modern day slavery—organ harvesting, etc.” (ACAB means “All cops are bastards.” It’s a common anti-cop slogan to use as graffiti or on protest signs.)Sherman, the sponsored Mota skater, told The Daily Beast he believes a “tipping point” for the Glass family came when they visited Atlanta at the end of May 2020.They stayed at the Embassy Suites in Olympic Park, which was vandalized during early protests against the Floyd murder hit downtown Atlanta. According to local news reporters, two cars were set on fire near the hotel.“It looked to me like Doug Glass was truly, genuinely, to his core, scared for the first time in his life,” Sherman said. “Rather than realize from that, hey this is what people of color in America live with everyday, he went very hard right, very quickly. [Doug and Julie] were already quietly pro-Trump, but after what happened in Atlanta, that’s when they went very hard right.”Glass remembered that night in an email with The Daily Beast. “My kids asked me if we were going to die,” she wrote. “That was not a fun experience, but I know God put me in that situation for a reason.” When asked to elaborate, she sent links and statistics regarding human trafficking and organ harvesting.One former sponsored Mota skater who asked to be anonymous for fear of retaliation also spoke with The Daily Beast about ending their relationship with the brand after the June Instagram post.Looking back on the four years they worked together, the skater said, “I never thought [Doug and Julie] were bad people. But the more they dug in about deleting people’s posts and attacking people online, I thought: they have zero empathy for others and zero awareness. But as much as everyone thinks that [Julie] is a really bad person—and I don’t want to take away from that—I do want to mention that this is a really sad thing to witness, this decline.”Vanessa Diva, another sponsored skater who cut ties with Mota last year, wanted to make clear that she supports Black Lives Matter and does not agree with what the company posts. But she also does not want to disparage Doug or Julie Glass.“They never treated me any differently during my transition,” Diva, who is trans, said. “They never did anything hurtful to me and supported me even when I was not well-known. Julie and Doug purchased our RollerCon tickets, got us hotels, and took us out to dinner. They did a lot for us; it was a friendship.”Sherman regrets his time with Mota. “I was a voice for them, and I put my name on them,” he said. “Now I look back and think that what I did may have funded the fact that they’re supposed QAnon. In some small way, I helped make that happen for them. I’ve helped fund these people who are so far off the deep end and so dangerous. I feel culpable in a way that while I shouldn't, I do.”Even before last summer, Mota’s social media tended to skew slightly vitriolic. When Julie started working for the multi-level marketing company Arbonne in 2019, she tried to recruit new consultants using an email list of Mota customers, which led many to worry about the way their contact information was used. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Mota Skates (@motaskates) And then there was the “Savage Boot,” a name many fans called out as a pejorative term associated with the abuse of Indigenous peoples. Or the custom “Blue Lives Matter” flag skates they made in 2018.Insta has been deleted now. This was the post. pic.twitter.com/TpAgNo6pEy— The Apex (@thederbyapex) August 7, 2018 Sherman recalled the “Savage” boot: “Several of us were like, ‘Hey, boss, what are you doing with this name? Because that’s not a good idea,’” he said. “Doug and Julie’s response [to concerns] was, ‘No, no, we’re being “savage” as in: taking the market, not following the trends.’ There was not much we could do about it, so I would refer to it as the polymer boot, and tried not to use its name as much as I would with other boots like the Mojos.”Andy Lewis-Lechner used to be the a referee for the Oly Rollers, an Olympia, Washington derby league Julie played for in the late aughts. He also got free gear from Mota, and called the Glass family “very nice and generous.” But he remembers the couple as “not very analytical.”“Anything that didn’t align with their thought process was completely foreign to them,” Lewis-Lechner said. “There were lots of examples from games where the team would lose by a couple points, and I would show a play to [Doug and Julie] on the video. [As in], look, this happened, this is correct. But they weren’t able to be analytical about it; they were only able to understand what they had experienced in the moment. That’s why the QAnon thing doesn't surprise me—they would go along to get along.”Many skaters who spoke with The Daily Beast made clear that Mota is not representative of the derby community as a whole, which largely aligns itself with progressive causes.“There is a lot of arguing in derby,” one skate shop owner who asked to remain anonymous said. “But we want to argue over fiscal policy and dues and insurance and who should pay what. We’re not going to argue over other people’s right to exist. And that is where QAnon has taken this sharp, sharp turn into what-the-fuck.”So who will Mota sell to? Jack Bratich, an associate professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University who focuses on conspiracy theories, wonders how Mota will attempt to distill its customer base around its politics.“Are there enough people out there who are both adherents to the kind of nationalism that they’re promoting who are also in the roller derby community? I don’t know,” Bratich said. “But it’s interesting to see how they’re going to carve out a space for themselves in this subculture or alt-community.”For her part, Julie Glass would not reveal if the brand’s public support of conspiracy theories had impacted their business. “Mota Skates sales is not of concern to me,” she wrote. “Do you think Mike Lindell of MyPillow is concerned about his company’s sales? No, because protecting FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, and OUR CONSTITUTION is all that matters to him, me, and like minded patriots worldwide.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos GettyImagine excavating an ancient burial ground and running across a brewery. This is exactly what happened last month when the Egyptian government announced that a team of Egyptian and American archaeologists had discovered what may be the world’s oldest known beer factory. Pyramids, Pharaohs, and now tasty adult beverages—ancient Egypt had it all.The factory was unearthed at Abydos, 280 miles south of Cairo and west of the Nile river. Abydos is primarily known for its temples and funerary practices, with a number of monuments honoring Osiris, the god of the dead. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, noted that the discovery was made at the site of an ancient burial ground and that the beer factory dates to the reign of King Narmer, who lived and ruled at the beginning of the First Dynastic period, more than 5,000 years ago.Dr. Matthew Adams, of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and one of the leaders (along with Dr. Deborah Vischak of Princeton University) of the mission, said that the factory was built to supply beer for royal rituals. The brewery itself was divided into eight large sections, each of which contained 40 clay pots for mixing grain and water. In its prime, Adams added, the brewery may have produced as much as 22,400 liters (nearly 6,000 gallons) of beer at a time. Beer was an important part of the ancient Egyptian diet, and was drunk by everyone from Pharaohs to peasants, and workers were even sometimes paid in beer.How ‘Sesame Street’ Was Inspired by Beer CommercialsAs ancient as the Abydos factory is, it wasn’t the first place that beer was made. The world’s oldest alcoholic beverage likely comes from China, but beer likely emerged in the Middle East. The factory is roughly contemporaneous with ceramic vessels—still coated with a sticky beer residue—found in ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerian “Hymn to Ninkasi” (ca. 1800 BCE), which was sung in honor of the goddess of beer, includes a recipe that was made by female priestesses. For ancient Sumerians, beer was a staple as it was healthier than drinking water from streams, which was often contaminated with animal waste.Ancient Egyptian beer was flavored with mandrakes, olive oil and dates, which accounted for the sweetness; it was only with the rise of beer among medieval monks that hops were thrown into the mix. Even though hops are the base of the most popular form of beer today, there were rivals in the medieval world. As early as the eighth century A.D., brewers used gruit (a combination of botanicals that, like hops, prevent bacteria from growing in the liquid) in their concoctions. In his book Beer in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, Richard Unger argues that gruit was the most popular form of beer in the 12th century.For many brewers, flavor additives were a necessity. Bavarian summer beers, for example, were fermented in open barrels that were exposed to bacteria and, thus, liable to go “off.” To cover up the taste of these summer beers, brewers would add other ingredients including legumes, salt, chalk, soot, and even ox bile and chicken blood. Beer has to taste pretty bad for you to add bile to improve the flavor. The popularity of beer led, almost inevitably, to regulation. In 1156 the city of Augsburg passed a decree insisting that bad beer “be destroyed or distributed among the poor at no charge.” By 1336 the city of Munich had appointed beer inspectors and in 1516, the Bavarian Duke Wilhelm IV issued the Reinheitsgebot, or beer purity law, which stipulated that only barley, hops and water could be used in Bavarian beer. The decree, which became law for all of Germany in 1906, is the world’s oldest food safety regulation.The Bavarians were not the first to try and legislate beer, however. Cleopatra introduced a tax on beer—which ancient Egyptians preferred to wine—to finance her wars with Rome. As Jason Lambrecht has put it, “this was so outrageous to Egypt, that it would compare to a tax on water today.” As unpopular as Cleopatra’s tax was, other governments have tried it with varying degrees of success. In the 13th century, the French city of Aix-la-Chapelle decreed that brewers who failed to pay their taxes would have their right hands cut off. When the British raised taxes on beer in the 17th century, they inadvertently made gin the cheapest alcoholic beverage in the country. The ensuing widespread consumption of gin led to substantial alcoholism problems in Britain, with the death rate overtaking the birth rate during this period.Is This Baboon Skull a Clue to Egypt’s Lost Kingdom of PuntBeer taxation is not always a bad thing, however. When 27-year-old Arthur Guinness set up his brewery in 1752 he chose to make a dark beer with unmalted roasted barley because it allowed him to lower the taxes he would otherwise have paid on malt and extra coal. The introduction of customs duties on beer (and wine) by Britain in 1764 was one of the many tax-related outrages that contributed to the American Revolution. Once Independence was achieved, beer circulated widely and tax-free until Abraham Lincoln and Congress, like Cleopatra before them, introduced a $1 per barrel tax in 1862 to help pay for the Civil War. You might say that when you’re drinking beer, you’re supporting freedom.Today, beer remains America’s most popular alcoholic beverage. Historically, this seems always to have been the case. Sixteenth-century colonists, adapting a recipe developed by Native Americans, used corn instead of malt in their recipes. It’s revealing that one of the first job advertisements placed by residents of Jamestown, Virginia in England was for “two brewers” to join them and make ale.Like the Americans, the ancient Egyptians loved their beer. It was only when the Romans, who much preferred wine and bread, turned Egypt into the bread-basket of the Roman empire that breweries were replaced with granaries. With that the beer recipes of the Egyptians were lost—but perhaps this new discovery will help reveal the ancient beer industry’s secrets.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
No congressional member can serve who has taken an oath to support the Constitution and then engaged in insurrection, noted the California Democrat.
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