1

Tex and Balances

I'm going to start with a pretty controversial statement: Wearing a mask is really not a big deal. I don't get why that comment is controversial but it is. And now, with our race against Covid-19 at a key point of inflection, Texas is opening. Everything. "It is now time to open Texas 100%," Governor Abbott said to cheers and applause at a restaurant in Lubbock. "Everybody who wants to work should have that opportunity. Every business that wants to be open should be open." This is exactly the right message, but it's being delivered several weeks too soon. And when it comes to Covid-19, timing is everything. It's mind boggling that science has given us several effective vaccines in such a short time. It's more mind boggling that some politicians are determined to punch that gift horse in the mouth.

+ We're so friggin close... US Will Have Enough COVID-19 Vaccines For All Adults By May.

+ "Preliminary studies suggest that the variant that swept through the city of Manaus is not only more contagious, but it also appears able to infect some people who have already recovered from other versions of the virus. And the variant has slipped Brazil's borders, showing up in two dozen other countries and in small numbers in the United States." NYT: Brazil's Covid Crisis Is a Warning to the Whole World.

2

Check Point

"Every American who filed individually and makes up to $75,000 will still get the full amount before it begins to reduce at incomes above that. But rather than zeroing out at $100,000 earnings, as the last Covid-19 relief bill does, the Senate bill will cut off payments at $80,000, the sources said." Biden, Senate Democrats agree to limit eligibility for $1,400 checks.

3

A Three Hour Snooze

"The Army major general testified that the day before the insurrection, he received a letter with the 'unusual' restriction from deploying any Quick Reaction Force service members, unless granted explicit approval by then-Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy. 'I found that requirement to be unusual, as was the requirement to seek approval to move guardsmen supporting the Metropolitan Police Department to move from one traffic control point to another.'" NPR: DOD Took Three Hours To Approve National Guard Request During Capitol Riot, Commander Says. There was no such restriction, months ago, when troops were called in to deal with the peaceful protests in Lafayette Park.

4

I Am Parent, Hear Me Roar

"Everywhere I went, I don't know if I ever heard a parent praise a child. Yet these kids are incredibly self-sufficient, confident, and respectful—everything we want praise to do, these kids already have it, without the praise." Michaeleen Doucleff met parents from around the world and discovered Americans might be parenting wrong. The Atlantic: There's a Better Way to Parent: Less Yelling, Less Praise. (I glitched on the first part, but I nailed the landing.)

5

Swoop Scoop

From Slate: The Absurd Nike Scandal That Has Sneakerheads Losing Their Minds. "Hebert, it will soon be clear, is not one of the most savvy, seasoned resellers. You see, at one point, he called Hunt from a phone number "identified as belonging to" Ann Hebert. Hunt looked up the name. It turned out there was an Ann Hebert who had worked for 25 years at Nike, most recently as its vice president and general manager for North America. In showing off, Joe Hebert had also shared his American Express corporate card statement with the reporter; that, too, was in Ann Hebert's name." (Sounds like his mom left some big shoes to fill...)

6

Long Shot

"I started getting texts and calls from some of my colleagues saying hey, are your patients with long COVID reporting that they're feeling better after the vaccine?" Some long covid patients say they feel better after getting vaccinated. This is preliminary and anecdotal data. But it would be huge news.

7

Building a Vote Moat

"The Republican legislation would undermine pillars of voting access by ending automatic voter registration, banning drop boxes for mail ballots and eliminating the broad availability of absentee voting. The bills would restrict early voting on the weekends, limiting the longstanding civic tradition of 'Souls to the Polls' in which Black voters cast ballots on Sunday after church services." NYT: Why the Georgia G.O.P.'s Voting Rollbacks Would Hit Black People Hard.

8

Nomo Cuomo Fomo

NY Gov Andrew Cuomo has issued a public apology in response to claims of sexual harassment: "It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it." Cuomo also said he has no plans to resign, but the pressure is on. "At least two top aides to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are leaving his office as the governor faces allegations of sexual harassment from former aides and a federal probe into his administration's handling of nursing home deaths."

9

Not Going Anywhere For a While?

"It is possible to live in airports because they do offer many of the basic amenities needed for survival: food, water, bathrooms and shelter. And while airport operations do not necessarily run 24/7, airport terminals often open very early in the morning and stay open until very late at night. Many of the facilities are so large that those determined to stay – such as the man at O'Hare – can find ways to avoid detection for quite some time." How some people can end up living at airports for months – even years – at a time. I just figured they were flying United and their flight was delayed. (Cue Gershwin music!)

10

Bottom of the News

No one cares about your travel photos. Unless you traveled to Mars. Here are some of the first hi-res shots from the Nasa's Perseverance rover. (To me, as a destination Mars doesn't look worth the seventh month travel time.)

+ Let's watch aluminum cans being made.

+ Amazon Changes App Logo That 'Resembles Adolf Hitler.' (But the new one looks like Mel Gibson...)