ANTI-MASKERS DISRUPT WAKE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: Seven of 10 speakers urged Wake school board members to make masks optional when students return, and at least a dozen more cheered them from a nearby room as they watched the meeting via a live feed, chanting, “No more masks!” “Little children can’t see smiles,” said Chanel Marshall, a mental health therapist, her voice breaking. “Little children are dying. They are having suicidal thoughts. I deal with these students every single day. Children need to have these masks removed. It’s not OK.” But the bulk of Tuesday night’s speakers opposed them outright, and some on the anti-mask side yelled from the audience as school board member Jim Martin read statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services. This drew two warnings from board Chairman Keith Sutton, and one audience member was led from the room before the meeting ended. In case you weren't aware, school board meetings in NC are the new target for Trumpbots. Kick 'em all out if they can't behave like adults.
REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER PUSHES BILL REQUIRING PARENTAL CONSENT FOR 12-17 YEAR OLDS TO GET VACCINE: North Carolina children would need parental permission before they could receive COVID-19 vaccines approved by federal regulators for emergency use in legislation that advanced through a Senate committee on Wednesday. The parent or guardian requirement is contained in a bill approved by the Senate Health Care Committee that also would expand the types of medications immunizing pharmacists can administer. The permission is designed to address concerns by some parents and legislators that young people could get a new COVID-19 immunization on their own while it is still authorized for emergency use, said Sen. Jim Burgin, a Harnett County Republican. Currently, only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available to children from 12 to 17. North Carolina law currently allows these children to make the decision on their own, “if they show the decisional capacity to do so," according to the state Department of Health Human Services. Note to media folks: stop referring to vaccines as "experimental" or "emergency authorized." Over 2 billion people have received at least one shot, it ain't experimental anymore.
YES, EVERYBODY NEEDS TO GET THE DANG SHOT: COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise in North Carolina, a trend that concerns local doctors. And many of those cases are likely delta variant cases, a more contagious version of the virus, experts say. That's why it's more important than ever to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Novant Health infectious disease expert Dr. David Priest told reporters Tuesday. Novant Health has seen an increase of hospitalizations in recent weeks, especially among younger, unvaccinated people. The average age of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is now 47 years old. Earlier in the pandemic, the average age was 61. And almost all hospital patients are unvaccinated, Priest said. "The serious (cases), the hospitalized — 99 plus percent of the time — are those who are unvaccinated," he said. Atrium Health has reported an increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations too. In fact, infectious disease expert Dr. Katie Passaretti said coronavirus hospitalizations at Atrium have doubled in recent weeks.
NANCY PELOSI REJECTS JORDAN AND BANKS FOR JAN 6 COMMITTEE: McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Monday that he would recommend Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.), noting that the two Republicans and three others represent an array of viewpoints and opinions. Both Jordan and Banks voted against certifying the election of President Biden. “With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision.” Tensions were already high as Democrats and Republicans spent months trying to strike a deal to move forward with a bipartisan commission that would seat nonmembers of Congress to lead the investigation, a move that failed in the Senate. Since establishing a select committee to investigate, Pelosi and McCarthy have sparred over the legitimacy of the investigation, given the speaker’s ability to have final say over who serves on the panel. Her decision comes one week before the committee, which currently has seven Democrats and one Republican in Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), is set to hold its first hearing focused on law enforcement’s experience on Jan. 6. Asked about the possibility of McCarthy pulling all Republicans, besides Cheney, from investigating, Pelosi said: “We have a bipartisan quorum. We can proceed.” Suck on that, Kevin.
REPUBLICANS ARE STILL TYING UP THE SENATE IN KNOTS: Republicans on Wednesday blocked the Senate from taking up an emerging bipartisan infrastructure plan, confirming Democrats’ fears that they would balk at a major piece of President Biden’s agenda even as negotiations continued to cement an elusive compromise. The failed vote underscored intense mistrust between the two parties that has complicated the effort to seal an infrastructure deal, even as Republicans and Democrats have come tantalizingly close to doing so. It left uncertain the fate of a nearly $600 billion package to fund roads, bridges, rail, transit and other public works, which could be the first major infusion of federal works spending since the 2009 stimulus law. In a test vote of 49-51, with all Republicans opposed, Democrats fell short of the 60 votes that would have been needed to move forward with an infrastructure debate. Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, forced the vote in a bid to intensify pressure for a swift resolution to the infrastructure talks, acting over the pleas of centrist Republicans who said they needed more time to solidify their deal with Democrats. “This is vote is not a deadline to have every final detail worked out — it is not an attempt to jam anyone,” Mr. Schumer said ahead of the vote, adding that negotiators would have “many opportunities” to add their agreement to the bill “even if they need a few more days to finalize the language.” I just checked, it wasn't Manchin who voted against cloture, it was Schumer himself. Don't ask, I don't know.