Looking Forward to the Biden Administration - Page 3 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By QatzelOk
#15153041
Amazon rejects "mail-in" votes for unionization as too easily rigged, fraudulent

USA TODAY wrote:"We believe that the best approach to a valid, fair and successful election is one that is conducted manually, in-person, making it easy for associates to verify and cast their vote in close proximity to their workplace," Amazon spokeswoman Heather Knox said in a statement to USA TODAY.


Independent Sentinel wrote:Most countries of the world ban mail-in voting due to fraud & vote buying
“If concern about vote fraud with mail-in ballots is delusional, it is a delusion shared by most of the world,” John Lott, the report’s author, writes.


Amazon has much higher standards than the country they own. They refuse to believe that a mail-in vote would be anything but fraudulent.

In the housing cooperative where I live (20 units), we don't allow "mail-in" votes for our Board of Administrators. Too easy to rig. :lol:

I understand why most North Americans are ignoring this obvious fraud. We have given up on our national integrity and will now just be happy if we don't die of some gain-of-cause virus research, spread by mercenaries working for shady corporate kings.

But still... Looking forward? :eh:
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You can find Lott's study of European nations' restrictions of mail-in voting (all 152 pages of it) here.

So Red state attorneys general are going to be following the example of the Blue state AGs during the Trump administration, and Mr. Biden has suffered his first loss:

Judge blocks Biden's 100-day deportation pause
A federal judge has dealt the first legal blow to President Biden’s expansive executive actions, putting a hold Tuesday on Mr. Biden’s attempt to impose a 100-day pause on most deportations.

Judge Drew B. Tipton said the Biden team didn’t give a good enough reason for the pause, and failed to show how it would help achieve the stated goal of overhauling the asylum system.

He ruled it was not the result of “reasoned decision-making,” and so it violated the Administrative Procedures Act, a largely unknown but powerful law that governs how a president and his team can carry out their policy objectives.

“Here, the January 20 Memorandum not only fails to consider potential policies more limited in scope and time, but it also fails to provide any concrete, reasonable justification for a 100-day pause on deportations,” wrote Judge Tipton, a Trump appointee to the court in southern Texas.

He issued a temporary restraining order.

The ruling was striking in that it harnessed the same legal hurdle that repeatedly tripped up the Trump administration, too.

President Trump saw his attempts to rewrite DACA, to reform the asylum system and to make legal immigrants more self-sufficient all fall victim to procedural laws like the APA.

Tuesday’s ruling came in a case brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who sued Friday, sparking a feverish five-day legal battle.

Mr. Biden had promised the deportation pause during the campaign, saying he wanted time to figure out who had been put in the pipeline during the Trump administration.

His acting Homeland Security secretary issued a memo on the first day of the new administration implementing the pause, saying that only migrants deemed national security risks or new border crossers could still be ousted.

The Center for Immigration Studies calculated that about 85% of migrants in custody would be deemed not deportable under the policy.

Texas argued in court that the administration had already begun releasing some migrants from custody under the deportation pause. The Justice Department said those releases were in the works already — but said releases might have to happen to make room for new arrestees at the border.

The Justice Department’s lawyer also told the judge he didn’t have the power to interfere in deportation decisions, saying that to do so would be to trample on the executive branch’s powers.

Mr. Paxton had countered that immigration law calls for deportations to take place within 90 days, and the 100-day pause on its face breaks that law.

“The court’s decision to stop the Biden administration from casting aside congressionally enacted immigration laws is a much-needed remedy for DHS’s unlawful action,” Mr. Paxton said in a statement after Tuesday’s ruling.

He suggested he’s ready to file more lawsuits over “unlawful and unconstitutional actions of President Biden and his administration.”

The deportation pause was issued on Inauguration Day by acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske.

On Capitol Hill, senators took a step Tuesday toward confirming Mr. Biden’s pick to lead the department, Alejandro Mayorkas. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave its approval on a 7-4 vote.

Democrats are enthusiastic about Mr. Mayorkas, who served as deputy secretary in the latter years of the Obama administration, and brings a wealth of experience to the job.

Republicans were torn over the pick, pointing to the inspector general’s report that accused Mr. Mayorkas of ethical lapses stemming from political interference on behalf of well-connected Democrats during his time running U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the department’s agencies.

“This simply can’t be ignored,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the panel.

But Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican, said the calculation was more complicated.

While the inspector general’s investigation troubled him, he said in his dealings he found Mr. Mayorkas to be willing to listen to Republicans, and “as compared to other officials in the Obama administration, actually more toward the middle.

The overriding issue, though, was that Homeland Security has been adrift, without a confirmed secretary or much of its other top leadership, for years.

“He’s going to be confirmed no matter what we do here this morning,” Mr. Portman said. “The question is how quickly does he get in place.”

Had the GOP retained control of the Senate, Mr. Mayorkas’s fate might have been more in doubt. But Democrats now control the chamber and are determined to give Mr. Biden his team.
#15153384
@Doug64

Why do you refuse to interact with peoole?

If you do not want debate, a blog might be a better fit for you.

By the way, pipelines for oil reduce jobs. The management like them because they cost less and require less employees, but moving oil by truck is better for maintaining jobs in the industry.
#15153525
Pants-of-dog wrote:By the way, pipelines for oil reduce jobs. The management like them because they cost less and require less employees, but moving oil by truck is better for maintaining jobs in the industry.

The over-exploitation of oil removes many, many jobs.

Mass transit workers, organic farmers, etc.

But so much of what passes for "policy" under neo-liberalism is just empty PR. And "jobs, jobs, jobs!" has been a go-to election soundbite for my entire lifetime.

Why is it so impossible for a rich nation to create opportunities for everyone to be useful and socially connected? Have our countries failed because *they're not even trying?*
Last edited by QatzelOk on 29 Jan 2021 17:04, edited 1 time in total.
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@Pants-of-dog, I'm happy to engage with those capable of honest debate and discussion. In the absence of such interested in discussing any current events (and as time permits), I'll settle for posting news people are unlikely to hear from the MSM(D).

And one has to wonder if Biden is trying to hand the West back to the Republicans. That certainly is what he's laying the foundations for:

Biden's drilling crackdown jams Democratic governors in oil-and-gas states
President Biden has united Republicans with his oil-and-gas crackdown — they’re against it — but his aggressive orders have created a bind for Democratic governors in states feeling the heat over his drilling freeze on federal lands and waters.

In Colorado, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis praised Mr. Biden as “a president that believes in science” and “cleaner energy” while making it clear that the moratorium on new oil-and-gas leases on federal lands and waters signed Wednesday cannot last forever.

“We will also work closely with the Biden administration as they begin a program-wide review of energy development policy on public lands to ensure that it works for Colorado,” said Mr. Polis. “And as long as the review is completed expeditiously we don’t expect an economic impact in the short-term with current market factors and the many existing unused leases and permits.”

Coloradans have reason to be concerned: Without new federal leases, the state would lose 18,000 jobs and place $108 million in state revenue by 2022, according to the American Petroleum Institute-Colorado.

An Interior Department order issued last week placed a 60-day freeze on agency permit approvals, but the leasing “pause” for a “rigorous review of all existing leasing and permitting practices related to fossil fuel development on public lands and waters” has no timeline.

“Without any timeline or direction, President Biden’s indefinite pause on oil and natural gas leasing will have dire consequences,” said Dan Haley, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. “Out-of-sight and out-of-mind is not a sound long-term environmental strategy.”

Colorado Republicans were quick to tether the Biden orders to Mr. Polis and Sen. Michael Bennett, Colorado Democrat.

“It is shameful that Gov. Polis and Senator Bennet won’t stand up and fight for Colorado’s energy workers,” said Colorado GOP spokesman Joe Jackson. “The Biden-Harris administration’s anti-energy agenda will cost Colorado thousands of jobs, billions in lost tax revenue, and substantially raise energy costs on hardworking families.”

No state may have more to lose from the Biden energy orders than New Mexico, which relies on its booming oil-and-gas sector to fund about one-third of its state budget. The revenue has allowed the state to offer residents benefits such as free tuition at community colleges despite its high poverty rate.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Wednesday that she would “work closely with the Biden Administration to ensure the development of a balanced national policy that acknowledges and incorporates the important lessons from an all-of-the-above energy state like ours.”

A Wyoming Energy Authority study released last year found that New Mexico stood to lose nearly $1 billion per year from a moratorium on oil-and-gas leasing.

“We simply could not be able to accomplish some of the great policy achievements we’ve seen over the last two years, such as increasing teacher pay, providing universal access to preschool for all New Mexicans, or providing free college to all New Mexicans without the revenue from the oil-and-gas industry,” said Ryan Flynn, president of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

Mr. Flynn emphasized his point on a press call hosted by the American Petroleum Institute by inviting Jessica Sanders, the 2019 New Mexico Teacher of the Year, who ticked off the statistics.

“Oil and gas is the greatest economic contributor in New Mexico with over 134,000 jobs,” she said. “These are the jobs of my friends, my community members and my students’ parents. Oil and gas in New Mexico funds $1.37 billion for education. That money funds teacher jobs, curriculum, everything related to education in my state.”

Ms. Grisham said she was “reviewing these orders to evaluate the scope of the impact they will have on our state.”

“As I said, I look forward to working with the federal administration to make sure New Mexico is protected and secure,” the governor said.

Larry Behrens, Western states director of Power the Future, called her response “weak,” accusing her of being too deferential to the Biden White House.

“The governor spent a good part of 2020 auditioning for a job in Biden’s administration and now that she’s been snubbed, she could very well be looking ahead to 2022,” said Mr. Behrens. “Governor Lujan Grisham has largely ignored Biden’s orders instead offering a vague statement which is an extremely weak response.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is a Republican, but he said he planned to contact New Mexico officials on the leasing moratorium.

“It’s not just West Virginia. New Mexico is in the crosshairs right now,” Mr. Morrisey said on Fox News. “I’m going to reach out to folks in New Mexico and some of the other states that are disproportionately affected in terms of federal lands.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, another Democrat in an oil-and-gas state, said he plans to speak with Mr. Biden about his clampdown.

“Obviously we’re concerned about any moratorium that would affect the Gulf,” Mr. Bel Edwards said Wednesday in a radio interview, as shown on WDSU-TV. “There are many reasons why production activities in the gulf are much better for the environment than production activities elsewhere, and so we want to have a good discussion with him.”

More energized was Tyler Gray, president of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, who warned that there was “not a parish in our state that doesn’t benefit in some way from the impacts of the industry.”

“It’s abundantly clear that banning energy development on fed lands and waters will stifle Louisiana’s economic growth, threaten thousands of high paying jobs and undermine our environmental progress,” said Mr. Gray.

He emphasized that oil-and-gas revenue funds not only schools and local governments, but a hefty percentage of coastal hurricane protection and conservation efforts.

The narrative that we must choose between energy and environment is fundamentally flawed,” Mr. Gray said. “In Louisiana, we know we don’t have to choose.”

Mr. Biden’s climate and energy moves include orders to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and cancel the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Mr. Polis and Ms. Grisham made the point that their states already have been active in tightening emissions standards and promoting renewable energy.

In Colorado, Mr. Polis suggested that “the state’s longstanding leadership in the clean energy economy and the conservation of our vast great outdoors can serve as valuable examples to the new federal administration as they tackle these critical issues.”

In New Mexico, “the governor has been pushing some very aggressive and ambitious proposals, and industry is stepping up to meet those aggressive pushes and work together,” Mr. Flynn said. “It’s not just words. The industry isn’t just talking a good game. Right here in New Mexico, we’re stepping up.”
#15154630
Doug64 wrote:Image
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*Likes the first cartoon*

*Dislikes the second one*

Doug, Biden is a fake, mail-in president who was elected by Hillary Clinton and AIPAC. The USA has been sliding towards fascism and lockdowns since the late 70s. Biden's fakeness and the precariousness of American civil society are worthy of note (the first cartoon).

But Obama came into power promising to green up the USA, and left office with cheap oil coming out of his pores. Failure.

Please don't celebrate gas-and-oil "interests" with the same zeal as "freedom of information," as the cartoons do.
#15154918
Biden announces end to US support for Saudi-led offensive in Yemen

The Guardian wrote:The distancing of Washington from Riyadh is one of the most conspicuous reversals of Donald Trump’s agenda, but it also marks a break with the policies pursued by Barack Obama, who had backed the Saudi offensive in Yemen, although he later sought to impose constraints on its air war.

A bipartisan majority in Congress has previously voted to cut off support to the Saudi campaign, citing the civilian death toll and the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. But Trump used his veto to block the move.

The US will also freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and name a special envoy to Yemen, to put more pressure on the Saudis, Emiratis and the Houthi forces they are fighting, to make a lasting peace agreement.

“We have spoken with both senior officials in the UAE and senior officials in Saudi Arabia,” said national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, before the speech. “We are pursuing a policy of no surprises when it comes to these types of actions.”

Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, treated Saudi Arabia and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as a major ally in their campaign to cripple Iran. To that end, Pompeo used emergency powers to sidestep Congress to keep arms supplies flowing to the Gulf.

Pompeo’s successor, Tony Blinken, by contrast, spoke bluntly about Saudi culpability in the Yemen war. He has so far made more than 25 introductory calls to counterparts around the world, and the Saudi foreign minister has not been among them. Biden’s director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, pledged to produce a declassified account of Khashoggi’s killing, which is expected to incriminate the Saudi crown prince.

Biden's also burning away some arms industry jobs, I guess, I wonder if possibly avoiding WW3 is worth it. Now I'm looking forward to the Biden administration ceasing America's addiction to crude oil from the Middle East. They should buy more from Venezuela perhaps, let Venezuela get out of poverty while the Saudis can only spend their cash on wars on poor people anyway.
#15154941
QatzelOk wrote:*Likes the first cartoon*

*Dislikes the second one*

Doug, Biden is a fake, mail-in president who was elected by Hillary Clinton and AIPAC. The USA has been sliding towards fascism and lockdowns since the late 70s. Biden's fakeness and the precariousness of American civil society are worthy of note (the first cartoon).

But Obama came into power promising to green up the USA, and left office with cheap oil coming out of his pores. Failure.

Please don't celebrate gas-and-oil "interests" with the same zeal as "freedom of information," as the cartoons do.

I don't celebrate "gas-and-oil interests," I celebrate the free enterprise system, without "watermelons" doing everything they can to destroy our oil industry without care for what it costs us. The simple fact is that "renewable energy" is not ready for prime time. About the only good thing about this is that Biden is setting up the Democrats for a bad 2022 (for them).

Beren wrote:Biden's also burning away some arms industry jobs, I guess, I wonder if possibly avoiding WW3 is worth it. Now I'm looking forward to the Biden administration ceasing America's addiction to crude oil from the Middle East. They should buy more from Venezuela perhaps, let Venezuela get out of poverty while the Saudis can only spend their cash on wars on poor people anyway.

Biden is busy increasing our dependency on oil from the Middle East by doing everything he can to destroy our domestic oil industry. And while he's at it, setting out to destroy the alliance the Trump administration was forming against Iran. Not to mention doing what he can to once again turn Israel into a pariah state.
#15154952
Doug64 wrote:Biden is busy increasing our dependency on oil from the Middle East by doing everything he can to destroy our domestic oil industry. And while he's at it, setting out to destroy the alliance the Trump administration was forming against Iran. Not to mention doing what he can to once again turn Israel into a pariah state.

Maybe you shouldn't even have your own domestic oil industry anymore and you should rather purchase oil from poor countries that don't have anything else to sell and selling their oil is their only chance to get out of poverty. The alliance against Iran you mention just brought us closer to another world war as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact did. And Israel is a pariah state because it's permanently breaking international law spontaneously with the effective help of the United States, not because anyone turns them into such a state. As a matter of fact a substantial change in US foreign policy could help to prevent Israel from permanently breaking international law and being a pariah state.
#15155131
Doug64 wrote:Biden is busy increasing our dependency on oil from the Middle East by doing everything he can to destroy our domestic oil industry.


ImageKaty Freeway, Houston

This is why the USA needs the entire world's oil, along with the fracking of every piece of land in the USA.

The USA military uses an entire planet's worth of oil as well.

To plead that "need" is driving the exploration, fracking, and non-stop warring, is to not possess a mirror.
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No surprise, the candidate that promised to "follow the science" turns out to be a "president" that does so only so long as that advances the political agenda and prejudices of his supporters.

'Follow the science' Biden accused of ignoring science on key issues
President Biden is all about following the science — unless it conflicts with his policy positions on hot-button issues, as far as his critics are concerned.

Despite his “follow the science” mantra, Mr. Biden has run up against mounting empirical challenges on a host of issues, including reopening schools, climate change, women’s sports and abortion, from those who say his scientific expertise begins and ends with political science.

“Whenever the Biden administration and the environmental left say ‘follow the science,’ what they’re really saying is ‘follow the social science,’ not the hard physical science,” said James Taylor, president of the free-market Heartland Institute.

The most glaring example comes with the increasingly fraught debate over bringing back K-12 students for in-person instruction where teachers’ unions are holding out until districts meet their demands such as replacing ventilation systems and vaccinating all teachers against the coronavirus.

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a Feb. 12 guidance that schools may safely reopen now by adhering to mask-wearing and social-distancing, the White House has yet to challenge the unions despite the president’s vow to reopen most schools in his first 100 days in office.

“Joe Biden was saying follow the science until the science said open the schools,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise tweeted Monday. “Now he’s following the teachers unions. And leaving students to suffer.”

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said teacher vaccinations and ventilation upgrades are helpful but not necessary, and yet White House officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris and her chief spokesperson Symone Sanders, both skirted the issue last week in interviews.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged Sunday that vaccinating teachers “doesn’t need to be a prerequisite,” while continuing to link reopenings to Congress passing $130 billion in aid to schools as part of the $1.9 trillion economic stimulus.

“The CDC is saying, in order to be safe, there are a number of steps that can be taken,” Ms. Psaki said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Vaccinating teachers is one of them, but having smaller class sizes, having kids more separated on buses, more PPE [personal protective equipment], more testing, facilities upgrades, those are additional steps that can be taken.”

Meanwhile, Republicans highlighted the CDC’s scientific brief that found “in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission,” and that children are less likely spread or become severely ill with COVID-19.

Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and former housing and urban development secretary, pointed out that some public, private and charter schools have already reopened, “and we have not seen big spikes in the transmission of the disease in those schools.”

“So you’ve got your control right there,” Mr. Carson told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “It’s a matter of what do you really want to do with that information? They talk about utilizing science but only when it conforms to their ideology.”

Part of the problem is the tendency by policymakers to conflate policy with science, given that “science will never be sufficient to guide choices and trade-offs,” said Dr. Vinay Prasad, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco.

“Science cannot make value judgments. Science does not determine policy,” Dr. Prasad said in a Nov. 23 article for Medpage Today. “Policy is a human endeavor that combines science with values and priorities. In other words, science can help quantify the increased risk (or lack thereof) of school reopening on SARS-Cov-2 spread, and help quantify the educational losses from continued closure, but science cannot tell you whether to open or close schools.”

The Biden administration was hailed for its early science-related moves, including appointing scientists to key positions in government and halting the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

Scientific American cheered the administration’s early moves in a Jan. 28 article headlined, “Biden Elevates Science in Week One Actions.”

“This is such a hopeful moment,” said Rachel Cleetus, policy director of the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We’ve seen this administration hit the ground running from day one. They have signaled very clearly a return to science-based policy making and a commitment to center equity and justice in their policy missions.”

Those issues could clash with what may be the next scientific conundrum for the Biden administration: transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports.

Mr. Biden already has signed an executive order to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” and he has said he supports the Equality Act, which the House is expected to bring up for a vote this week.

Those moves put him on a collision course with a half-dozen states on their way to approving bans on transgender participation in female sports, arguing that testosterone suppression cannot eradicate the innate biological advantages in terms of areas such as muscle mass, skeletal structure and cardiovascular and respiratory function.

Beth Stelzer, an amateur powerlifter who heads Save Women’s Sports, said that “studies continue to prove that the science is clear on this issue, the differences between the two sexes are immutable.”

“Instead of following actual science and protecting females, the Biden administration has pandered to the gender identity ideology,” Ms. Stelzer said in an email. “Allowing males to compete in female sports is unscientific and unethical, it is going to be the end of female sports. This is common sense.”

So far Mr. Biden has been mum on the sports issue, making the argument for his order on anti-discrimination grounds.

“It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” Mr. Biden said.

Abortion looms as another issue on which Mr. Biden can anticipate scientific pushback.

Medical advances on prenatal and neonatal care have bolstered the argument in favor of fetal humanity, with doctors able to save premature infants at 24 weeks’ gestation, and sometimes earlier, say pro-life advocates.

“I think the science is all trending frankly in the prolife direction, and some of us recognize that that was always the case,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute at the Susan B. Anthony List.

Mr. Biden moved to the left during the campaign on the issue, coming out in favor of federal funding for abortion, vowing to codify Roe v. Wade and opposing mandatory waiting periods, parental notification and ultrasound requirements.

If he supports any restrictions, pro-life advocates are unaware of them, but his nominee for health and human services secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, is expected to be quizzed on the issue at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing.

Like many pro-choice advocates, the Biden administration has cited the medical dangers associated with a lack of “reproductive health care,” while primarily making the argument for access to abortion on social-justice grounds.

“We are deeply committed to making sure everyone has access to care — including reproductive health care — regardless of income, race, ZIP code, health insurance status, or immigration status,” Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris said in a statement last month marking the Roe v. Wade anniversary.

The science-versus-politics debate also is being waged over Mr. Biden’s ambitious climate-change agenda, which includes executive orders reentering the Paris agreement; placing a moratorium on oil-and-gas leasing on federal lands, and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.

The problem, say critics, is that Mr. Biden’s directives will actually increase greenhouse-gas emissions as railroads and trucks replace the pipeline for delivering crude oil from Canada.

Nations that now rely on U.S. oil and natural gas will be forced to seek less environmentally responsible sources in Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Republicans have been quick to push back on the scientific advisability of a solar-and-wind strategy even as Mr. Biden warns of a “climate crisis” fueled by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.

“I’m a chemical engineer by degree,” Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican, said at a recent Senate hearing. “I like to look at the numbers. The science tells us that these radical moves to the left are actually going to increase CO2, not decrease CO2.”

The Biden administration has stressed the importance of U.S. leadership on climate change, focusing on the long-term goal of replacing fossil fuels with solar and wind power, which has prompted another round of questions on battery storage and the availability of key minerals such as cobalt.

“They’re not following physical science. They’re not following facts or data,” said Mr. Taylor. “They’re following political slogans and their own social-science theories.”
#15158072
I think the science on Covid and schools is more nuanced than simply “all the schools should open right now”. That seems like one of those cases when people read the headline of the article, instead of reading the article or the actual study.
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