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Posted on September 13, 2021

Members of Congress and Their Staff Are Exempt From Biden's Vaccine Mandate

President Joe Biden‘s new vaccine mandates for federal employees don't apply to members of Congress or those who work for Congress or the federal court system.

Biden issued two executive orders on Thursday requiring vaccination against COVID for federal workers and contractors who work for the federal government. He also asked the Department of Labor to issue an emergency order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis.

However, Biden's order on federal workers applies to employees of the executive branch. The House of Representatives and the Senate belong to the separate legislative branch, and the courts to the judicial branch of the federal government.


Of course. Is anybody surprised by this?

California couple die of COVID, leaving five kids behind. Their newborn is 3 weeks old.

Davy Macias, 37, was intubated and dying of complications from covid-19 when doctors helped her give birth to her daughter. She would never see her baby.

Her husband, Daniel Macias, 39, would only get a brief glimpse of their child because he, too, was hospitalized after contracting the virus. According to Davy’s sister-in-law, Terri Serey, Daniel waited to name the baby girl because he believed he and his wife would walk out of the hospital alive to introduce the newborn to their four other children, the eldest age 7 and the youngest, 2.

But about a week after the baby was born, Davy died. Two weeks later, so did Daniel.

Daniel “was well enough to send me a picture of the baby,” Serey told The Washington Post. But “that was the last text I received from him.”

Davy and Daniel Macias, of Yucaipa, Calif., are among the 658,000 Americans to have died of covid-19 as the delta variant causes a resurgence of cases and health officials race to immunize a population divided on whether to take the shot. Davy Macias did not get vaccinated because she was pregnant, Serey said. It is unclear whether Daniel was vaccinated.


If I were a betting man, I'd wager neither was vaccinated. And this is super sad to me.

Speaking of super sad…

A N.Y. Hospital Will Stop Delivering Babies As Workers Quit Over A Vaccine Mandate

At one local hospital in upstate New York, dozens of staff members walked away from their jobs after refusing to get vaccinated. The move has seriously disrupted care in the process.

Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville, N.Y., announced Friday that it is pausing maternity services later this month because dozens of staff members quit rather than get COVID-19 vaccines.

The hospital will be “unable to safely staff” its maternity department and newborn nursery as of Sept. 25, according to Lewis County Health System CEO Gerald Cayer. He added that other departments in the hospital are at risk as well if workers don't get vaccinated.

As of Friday, 30 employees had resigned from Lewis County General Hospital. At least 464 people in the Lewis County Health System have been vaccinated — a 73% immunization rate among employees.

Separately, there are 165 workers who haven't been vaccinated and haven't shared yet what their plans are as the state's Sept. 27 deadline for a first shot approaches.

“We have a challenge to work through with the vaccination mandate,” Cayer said during a recent news conference. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies.”


I always thought nurses were the smart ones (compared to the doctors). I hope I'm wrong about this now. Otherwise, we have a bunch of “medical professionals” willing to spread COVID to and from their patients.

Recall election: Campaign trip for Gavin Newsom could bring bigger benefit to President Biden

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden heads on Monday to the state that gave him the most votes last year, making a last-minute appeal to supporters to ensure California keeps its Democratic governor.

Polls indicate Republicans’ attempt to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely to come up short in Tuesday’s election – for which many votes have already been cast.

So the trip may end up benefiting Biden as much as Newsom.

While Newsom is likely to win even without Biden’s help, the trip still makes good political sense, said Dan Schnur, a political science professor at the University of California who previously worked for California Gov. Pete Wilson and John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign.

“The trip associates Biden directly with a significant political victory,” Schnur said, “and he could use one right now.”

David Axelrod, who was a top aide in the Obama administration, echoed that view in a recent tweet about Biden’s trip.

“When you’ve stalled out a little, one good strategy is to jump on a fast-moving train,” he said.

USA Today

It's always a good idea to grab onto the coattails of something that's successful. It's politics.

Energized pope cracks jokes, greets fans in Slovakia

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Pope Francis cracked jokes Monday and took an ambling walk to greet well-wishers as he opened his first full day in Slovakia in good health and spirits ahead of a solemn encounter with the country’s Jewish community.

Francis arrived at the presidential palace, and later at the capital’s St. Martin cathedral, looking rested and energized on the second day of his four-day pilgrimage to Hungary and Slovakia, which marks his first international outing since undergoing intestinal surgery in July.

“I’m still alive!” Francis quipped when asked by an Italian journalist how he was feeling as he walked up a ramp into the cathedral for a meeting with Slovak priests and nuns, where he cracked a series of jokes in a sign he was in good spirits.

Francis, 84, has been recovering after having 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his colon removed for what the Vatican said was a severe narrowing of the large intestine. He has seemed in good form, though he used a golf cart buggy indoors on Sunday during a rigorous few hours in Budapest to limit a long walk, and has been delivering some speeches sitting down.

But he stood for a long time to greet priests and bishops — nearly all of them maskless — at the end of his meeting. And he then took an extended walk around the cathedral piazza to greet pilgrims, clearly enjoying the welcome and enthusiasm of the crowd after the coronavirus put a stop to his global travels for over a year.


See? It's a really slow newsday.

Some of the most iconic 9/11 news coverage is lost. Blame Adobe Flash

Journalism is often considered the first draft of history, but what happens when that draft is written on a software program that becomes obsolete?

Adobe ending support for Flash — its once ubiquitous multimedia content player — last year meant that some of the news coverage of the September 11th attacks and other major events from the early days of online journalism are no longer accessible. For example, The Washington Post and ABC News both have broken experiences within their September 11th coverage, viewable in the Internet Archive. CNN's online coverage of September 11th also has been impacted by the end of Flash.

That means what was once an interactive explainer of how the planes hit the World Trade Center or a visually-rich story on where some survivors of the attacks are now, at best, a non-functioning still image, or at worst, a gray box informing readers that “Adobe Flash player is no longer supported.”


Adobe sucked. But I wish some entity would take on the HUGE project of converting Flash content to something more standard that everybody could watch in a simple browser.

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