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    Do you think Dianne Feinstein should retire because she is too old, too out of it, and too tied to the past to represent today’s California? Then you are dead wrong. \Because our very senior senator, more than any other political leader in the state, actually represents California’s future. And while those political insiders campaigning to force her retirement may be correct about her diminished capacities, they fail to recognize just how much she resembles who we Californians are, and what we are becoming. California’s future, like Feinstein, looks aged. Californians are increasingly the sort of people who are well past their prime but don’t know it. We forget other people and even ourselves. Once among America’s youngest and fastest-growing states, California is now losing population and aging faster than the rest of the country. Both trends should make us cherish our senator, who is 88, even more, because she represents a rare and precious demographic success story: People over age 85 who, through their longevity, are preventing a California population collapse. This rising Feinstein Generation is by far the...
    Mike Allers Sr. is seeking the GOP nomination for state senate district 28, he announced Tuesday, over a year before the November 2023 election. Allers is a former police officer and has served as a public educator for 20 years; his initial campaign message fits within a broader Virginia GOP push for reforming schools and their curriculum and improving public safety. “I had initially reasoned that returning to the ranks of School Administration would be the correct course of action for me due to the current state of Virginia Education,” Allers (pictured above) said in a Tuesday press release. “However, I have decided instead that my energy, talents, and experiences would be better utilized serving as a citizen legislator to the newly drawn 28th Senate District.” The new state Senate District 28 is a strongly-Republican area, and Senator Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) currently represents the region. Reeves is running for the GOP nomination for the 10th congressional district for the 2022 election; if he wins, that would create a vacancy. On Friday, Reeves told The Virginia Star that if he does...
    I grew up about 100 yards from the New Hampshire border in Massachusetts, so to me it was always one of those borders which felt more imaginary than real. My family does much of our shopping in (“tax free”) New Hampshire, my siblings and I went to high school in New Hampshire, my father has volunteered as a ski patroller in New Hampshire for almost twenty-five years, I’ve hiked much of the White Mountains many times over, and I grew up spending most winter weekends training as a downhill ski racer in New Hampshire. Still, a few weeks ago when I drove to the White Mountains to participate in a AIARE Level 1 avalanche safety course with Northeast Mountaineering—surely something hardy and outdoorsy enough where I could pass for a local—I knew to introduce myself as “Todd from Massachusetts.” Granite Staters will never see me as one of their own. To them, the border is very real. That’s because New Hampshire is a proud state—the “Live Free or Die” state—and people there are uniquely connected to the landscape. When Franconia,...
    So here we go, California, jumping from pandemic to endemicity — dragging with us a new word and the heavy psychological baggage that the COVID emergency is over, but COVID-19 isn’t. What am I supposed to do with that? Do I wear a mask to the grocery store? Do I prep my kids to take them off at school? What happens if, God forbid, I ditch the mask only to commit a bare-faced sneeze in public (although a masked one was no joy)? On Thursday, Dr. Mark Ghaly, head of California’s Health and Human Services Agency, announced the state is moving to a “SMARTER” approach to COVID-19 (that’s the painfully clever acronym for shots, masks, awareness, readiness, testing, education in the form of open schools, and treatments — Rx — to make it work). Ghaly’s comments came one day after the state lifted its indoor mask mandate. Translation? To steal from Tom Petty (who knew waiting is the hardest part) it’s time to move on, it’s time to get going. The news didn’t feel like a...
    The great migration during the pandemic has seen Americans flee high-tax Democrat-run states and flock to Republican-led low-tax or no-income-tax states, a study by The Tax Foundation found.  'People move to states with low-income tax for a multitude of reasons, sometimes it's the most direct and obvious reason that it reduces their own tax liability,' the vice president of state projects at the Tax Foundation, Jared Walczak, told Yahoo.  'Especially now that people have more capacity to move where they want, that will be a higher priority for some,' he added.  The analysis contrasted data from the US Census Bureau released last year, along with commercial datasets released this week by U-Haul and United Van Lines.  Low or no-personal-income states such as Utah, Montana, Arizona, South Carolina, Delaware, Texas, Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina all saw population gains of 1 percent or more. Meanwhile, District of Columbia and New York - the only two to raise personal income taxes in 2021 - shrunk significantly in population.       After the pandemic hit, Americans have flocked to no-tax or low-income-tax states, a study by The...
    Pro-choice demonstrators rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 1, 2021, in Washington, DC. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to the controversial Texas abortion law which bans abortions after six weeks. This story was originally published at Prism. The fate of reproductive rights was put on high alert last fall when the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Mississippi Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. The law at the center of the Supreme Court case challenges a 2018 law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Reproductive rights organizers say the decision even to hear the case calls into question the authority of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that says abortion is a constitutional right. With a conservative justice majority on the bench, the Supreme Court is likely to strike down Roe v. Wade and other landmark abortion risks cases including Planned Parenthood v. Casey, stripping pregnant people of their constitutionally protected abortion rights. It has been highly reported that once the Supreme Court redirects authority over abortion to the state level, legislators will enact “trigger laws” that render...
    (CNN)A bill backed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit Florida's public schools and private businesses from making people feel "discomfort" or "guilt" based on their race, sex or national origin received first approval Tuesday by the state's Senate Education Committee.The Republican-controlled committee approved the bill with six Republican senators in favor of the bill and three Democratic senators opposed to it. Although the bill, named "Individual Freedom," does not mention Critical Race Theory, the term is used in the attached bill analysis that was given to senators. DeSantis also referred to CRT when he announced the proposed legislation at a media event in December, saying the proposed law would help keep CRT out of the schools and out of the workplace, calling it "state-sanctioned racism" that creates a "hostile work environment."Under Florida Department of Education rules that took effect last June, CRT cannot be taught in schools.Read MoreCritical Race Theory is a concept that seeks to understand and address inequality and racism in the US. The term also has become politicized and been attacked by its critics as...
    LANSING, Mich. (CBS Detroit/AP) — Michigan health and education officials are urging schools to postpone or make virtual large gatherings, including sporting events, if they are not “essential” — as COVID-19 cases spike across the state. The recommendation from the state Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Department of Education (MDE) intended to keep schools open when classes resume after the winter break next week, was included in a letter to K-12 superintendents and charter school directors. Large events involve at least 100 people and include athletic competitions, concerts and meetings, said MDHSS Director Elizabeth Hertel and State Superintendent Michael Rice. READ MORE: Demand For Covid Tests Spike, As Cases Rise“MDHHS advises modifications to planned activities during and after school where the ability to maintain social distancing between people who live in different households cannot be maintained,” they wrote, citing an expected rise in infections caused by the highly contagious omicron variant. They did not say how to assess if an event is essential. The guidance does not apply to school lunches. Click here to read the...
    The Supreme Court's questioning during oral arguments in a New York gun rights case showed that several justices have strong reservations about the state’s highly restrictive regulations for getting concealed carry permits. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, is potentially the biggest gun rights case to go before the high court in more than a decade. SUPREME COURT TAKES UP MAJOR GUN RIGHTS CASE OVER STATE ‘CONCEALED CARRY’ REGULATIONS New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood noted that, under current rules, the state has the discretion to evaluate a person’s reason for applying for a permit, as an applicant has to show "proper cause" for needing one. Underwood pointed out that the more specific a reason a person gives in terms of facing a threat of danger, the better their chances. "Why isn’t it good enough to say I live in a violent area and I want to defend myself?" Justice Brett Kavanaugh asked. New York State Rifle and Pistol Association president Tom King poses for a photo Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in East...
    WASHINGTON -- The State Department is expected to announce Wednesday that the United States has issued its first passport with an "X" gender designation - a milestone in the recognition of the rights of people who don't identify as male or female.That's according to a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of an expected announcement.The State Department expects to be able to offer the option to nonbinary, intersex and gender-nonconforming people early next year, the official said.
    An Oklahoma state lawmaker has blasted the Republican governor for vowing to fight a decision by his administration’s health department to allow for a nonbinary option on the official birth certificate. Mauree Turner, a Democrat who represents Oklahoma City in the state legislature, is the first-ever lawmaker in the Sooner State to identify as nonbinary. People who are nonbinary do not identify with traditional male or female gender assignments. Instead, the preferred pronoun is ‘they’ or ‘them.’ 'If you have to work with people who adamantly oppose your existence, right, to the point to where we can't work together, you can't talk to me, you can't talk to me like I'm a human being, you don't see me, that damages anyone's working relationship,' Turner told KOKH-TV. Governor Kevin Stitt and other Republican leaders expressed outrage on Thursday after learning the State Department of Health issued a birth certificate this year with a nonbinary gender designation. Mauree Turner (left), a Democrat who represents Oklahoma City in the state legislature, is the first-ever lawmaker in the Sooner State to identify as nonbinary....
    Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis continued to push his dangerous anti-vaxx policies and his promotion of expensive treatment versus prevention, announcing that "it really doesn't impact me or anyone else" if someone gets vaccinated, which is false. "I don't want a biomedical security state," said the GOP governor, whose state now ranks 26th in full-vaccination rate of those 18 or older. "At the end of the day, the vaccines have helped people ward off severe illness, and you know, we obviously worked very hard to distribute it. At the end of the day though, it is what somebody, it's about your health and whether you want that protection or not, it really doesn't impact me or anyone else because we've seen the data on that." The coronavirus is transmitted through the air. A study published in July in The New England Journal of Medicine finds that vaccinated individuals "are likely to be less contagious than unvaccinated people and don't transmit the virus as much to others," WebMD reports. More vaccinated people mean less infections, more hospital beds, fewer cases of...
    CHICAGO — Some state workers and students must get their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine by this Sunday or start getting tested regularly. Illinois is requiring health care workers, educational workers from preschool to 12th grade and higher education workers and students to get vaccinated. If not, they must take a COVID-19 test at least once per week. Gov. JB Pritzker announced the rules last week, when he also brought back the state’s mask mandate. The deadline to get a first shot is quickly approaching. People in the required categories who opt to get their shots must get the first shot of a two-dose vaccine or a one-dose vaccine by this Sunday, according to the state’s rules. Those who get a two-dose vaccine — Pfizer or Moderna — must then get their final shot within 30 days of the first dose. Workers and students who do not get vaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 test at least once a week, with more testing possible, according to the Governor’s Office. Health care workers, school workers and higher education...
    By SAYED ZIARMAL HASHEMI, JILL LAWLESS and JON GAMBRELL KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan man says he saw several people who appeared to be killed or wounded in an explosion among crowds waiting outside one of the gates to Kabul airport. Adam Khan says some people appeared to be missing body parts. He says he was about 30 meters (yards) from Thursday’s blast. The explosion occurred as Western nations are struggling to evacuate people following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An explosion went off Thursday outside Kabul’s airport, where thousands of people have flocked as they try to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Western nations had warned of a possible attack there in the waning days of a massive airlift. The Pentagon confirmed the blast, with no immediate word on casualties. Suspicion for any attack targeting the crowds would likely fall on the Islamic State group and not the Taliban, who have been deployed at the airport’s gates trying to control the mass...
    The Mississippi State Department of Health announced an order on Friday telling all state residents infected with COVID-19 to isolate for ten days or possibly face up to five years in prison. The order, issued by State Health Officer Dr Thomas Hobbs, asks Mississippians that they 'must immediately home-isolate on first knowledge of infection with COVID-19,' regardless of vaccination status. Hobb's directive comes into play at a critical time for the states as it continues to battle surges in positive COVID-19 cases. With more than just a third of the population fully vaccinated against the virus at 36.6 percent, Mississippi is the second-lowest vaccinated state in the country, just behind Alabama, which has a 36.1 percent rate, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The mandate precisely hints that people who test positive for COVID-19 must stay at home until they're 'fever free for at least 24 hours' and exhibit 'improvement of other symptoms.'  However, a negative COVID-19 test is not required to end isolation after ten days of isolation are up.   COVID-19 cases in Mississippi...
                      by Cole Lauterbach  Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine. The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees. “The Delta variant has proven to be highly transmissible, making it easier to spread in large crowds where people are near each other for long periods of time,” CDPH Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said. “By requiring individuals to be vaccinated, or test negative for COVID-19 at large events, we are decreasing the risk of infection, hospitalization and death.” The department also announced self-attestation to verify a person’s vaccination status no longer would be accepted. The change will take place on Sept. 20, six days after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (pictured above) recall election. It will remain in effect until Nov. 1. CDPH told CalMatters its chose the date...
    Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine. The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees. “The Delta variant has proven to be highly transmissible, making it easier to spread in large crowds where people are near each other for long periods of time,” CDPH Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said. “By requiring individuals to be vaccinated, or test negative for COVID-19 at large events, we are decreasing the risk of infection, hospitalization and death.” The department also announced self-attestation to verify a person’s vaccination status no longer would be accepted. The change will take place on Sept. 20, six days after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall election. It will remain in effect until Nov. 1. CDPH told CalMatters its chose the date to give businesses time to prepare for...