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Let’s be clear: Donald Trump is responsible for ending Roe v. Wade.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 19, 2023
And if you vote for him, he’ll go even further. pic.twitter.com/24Xq6s33wv
The White House plans to create an “American Climate Corps” that would train thousands of young people for green jobs.
President Biden intends to use executive authority to train and employ thousands of young people in jobs to fight global warming, Ali Zaidi, the White House national climate adviser, said on Tuesday.
The American Climate Corps, as the White House has named the organization, would provide young people with skills to work in wind and solar production, disaster preparedness and land conservation, Mr. Zaidi said. The White House expects about 20,000 recruits in the first year, he said.
While many programs that fall within the American Climate Corps may be geared toward young people, not all would have age limits, a White House spokeswoman said.
The administration would not say how much would be spent on the program, only that it would be a collaborative effort among the Labor, Interior, Agriculture and Energy Departments, AmeriCorps and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and would draw on existing funding at each agency.
The corps will create for young people a “pathway into the middle class and into a more sustainable future,” Mr. Zaidi said.
As an example, administration officials pointed to ForestCorp, a $15 million program announced this week by AmeriCorps and the U.S. Forest Service to teach 80 people, between the ages of 18 to 26, wildfire prevention, reforestation and other skills. The program will pay about $15 per hour and cover lodging and other benefits, according to a White House fact sheet.
Republicans have criticized the idea of a climate corpsas government boondoggle that would fund pipeline protests with taxpayer dollars.
Inspired by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the New Deal program that put millions of young men to work during the Great Depression, young climate activists have been lobbying for the creation of a climate corps.
Some Democrats in Congress sought about $30 billion for a climate corps as part of a sweeping clean energy law, but negotiators ultimately dropped the idea when finalizing the Inflation Reduction Act, which Mr. Biden signed last year.
The government will start a recruitment website for the American Climate Corps within months, Mr. Zaidi said. (New York Times).
If you are or know interested young people, they can sign up at https://www.whitehouse.gov/climatecorps/
She is always cheered at the college campuses she visits. This, in Reading, PA.
Harris told a cheering, overflow audience at the Reading Area Community College that voting “determines whether the person who is holding elected office is going to fight for your freedoms and rights or not. Whether that be the freedom that you should have to just be free from attack, free from hate, free from gun violence, free from bias, free to love who you love and be open about it, free to have access to the ballot box without people obstructing your ability to exercise your civic right to vote, in terms of who will be the people holding elected office and leading your country.” (Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson).
Climate is very much on the agenda for world leaders gathered in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly this week, following a summer of devastating wildfires, lingering heat domes and hurricanes (along with a flood of environmental demonstrators).
Among the highest-profile proponents for doing more on climate change has been Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who on Tuesday promoted guidelines for lenders making pledges to achieve net-zero emissions. It’s the latest initiative in her yearslong effort to get the financial industry more involved in combating the damaging effects of climate change.
Economic losses from natural disasters have reached nearly $200 billion this year, Yellen said, emphasizing the need for immediate action. She outlined nine principles meant to promote best practices for lenders seeking to achieve net-zero aims, including the use of clear metrics, transparency around progress made and offering financing to help clients transition to clean energy.
She also announced that several nonprofits, including the Bezos Earth Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies, had pledged a total of $340 million to support the implementation of the guidelines. And she met with top financial executives, including Larry Fink of BlackRock, to discuss them.
This continues work that Yellen has been doing since the 1990s, when she began studying the economic costs of climate change as the chair of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. “She was on the forefront of this,” Joe Aldy, a public policy professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and a former colleague of Yellen’s, told Bloomberg.
Critics say Yellen hasn’t done enough, despite declaring climate change an “existential threat” in her confirmation hearing two years ago. “It would be good to see the actions match the rhetoric,” Joe Thwaites of the Natural Resources Defense Council told Bloomberg. (DealBook, New York Times).
BREAKING: Democrat Lindsay Powell is now the projected winner of the Pennsylvania District 21 special election. This gives Democrats control of Pennsylvania House.— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) September 20, 2023
This is an important win for Democrats in the state. She is the first Black woman to be nominated in her district.… pic.twitter.com/NITjLXryK6
One more thing. In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Democrat Hal Rafter flipped a state House seat formerly held by a Republican.
With elections just a year away, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reintroduced a bill yesterday that would reserve one-third of all lawmaker positions for women. Women currently occupy 15% of India's parliament. (Source. Bloomberg).
Three generals were on track for confirmation, but Senator Tommy Tuberville, the Alabama Republican who has been blocking them, said he would continue to hold up others over a Pentagon abortion policy.
The Senate was expected on Wednesday to confirm three generals to serve on the president’s top military advisory council, steering around a monthslong blockade of military promotions by Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, who has held up hundreds of nominees in protest of a Pentagon abortion access policy.
Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, moved on Wednesday to force votes on confirming Gen. Eric Smith of the Marine Corps and Gen. Randy George of the Army as the chiefs of staff for their respective services, and Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. of the Air Force as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But the move left hundreds more military promotions in limbo, still stymied by Mr. Tuberville’s objections.
Mr. Schumer had been reluctant to force votes on individual nominees for fear of being seen as capitulating to Mr. Tuberville. The Alabama senator has been blocking a large package of promotions of senior generals and admirals in an effort to force the Pentagon to reverse a policy, conceived after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and put into effect in March, of reimbursing service members who were required to travel to obtain abortion or fertility services.
“The Senate will overwhelmingly vote to confirm them, and these three honorable men will finally be able to assume their positions,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor. “And the abortion policy that Senator Tuberville abhors will remain in place. Senator Tuberville will have accomplished nothing.”
Mr. Tuberville said he would not object to their quick approvals, though he said he would not relent in his push to do away with the abortion access policy.
“They finally figured out I wasn’t going to give in,” Mr. Tuberville told reporters on Wednesday. “They got to do the right thing and move the policy back.”
Earlier this year, the Pentagon enacted a policy providing time off and travel reimbursement to service members needing to travel out of state to get an abortion or other forms of reproductive health services, in an effort to give troops equal access to such care regardless of where they are stationed.
Mr. Schumer has the power to bring up and try to force votes on each individual promotion, but doing so for the hundreds that are pending would take huge amounts of Senate floor time and had been a step he was unwilling to take. It was not immediately clear whether he would attempt to continue holding such votes in the future. (New York Times).
He denies it.
Only time will tell.
The former pro-Trump lawyer will be working with Georgia in the case against Donald Trump.
One of Donald Trump’s former lawyers on Wednesday denied flipping against him in the Georgia indictment, despite new court documents revealingotherwise.
Lin Wood was one of the first to promote the falsehood that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen. He was part of Trump’s legal team that unsuccessfully tried to overthrow the election. The Georgia grand jury had recommended Wood be charged for trying to overturn the state’s election results, but Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis declined to do so.
Turns out that was because Wood agreed to cooperate with Willis’s team. “L. Lin Wood is a witness for the State in the present case,” Willis explained in a court filing.
Wood, however, denied that he had turned on the former president. “There’s zero truth to that,” he told The Hill, explaining that he was simply responding to a subpoena.
Wood said he received a subpoena only last week, requesting he testify at the trial next month. “I’m always willing to go in under subpoena. I’ll go testify and answer their questions, honestly, like I did in the grand jury,” he said.
If Wood testifies in the trial, he will be at least the second Trump ally to cooperate with prosecutors. Earlier this month, Mar-a-Lago information technology worker Yuscil Taveras agreed to testify against Trump in the classified documents case.
Taveras had initially denied to special counsel Jack Smith’s team that there had been any conversations at Mar-a-Lago about security footage that prosecutors subpoenaed in 2022 as part of their investigation. But once he was assigned a new public defender in July, Taveras immediately recanted his testimony and gave a statement implicating Trump and his two co-defendants, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, in efforts to delete the footage.
Taveras then agreed to testify against Trump, Nauta, and De Oliveira in exchange for avoiding prosecution.
Wood appears to have struck a similar deal—and no wonder. Since failing to overthrow the 2020 election, he has been embroiled in legal drama. Former colleagues sued him for breach of contract, a former QAnon ally sued him for defamation, and Wood was sanctioned in Michigan for misconduct over the election fraud lawsuits.
The Georgia Bar held a trial for Wood in May to determine whether to disbar him. In July, Wood decided to give up his law license rather than face disciplinary proceedings that would have likely resulted in his disbarment. (New Republic).
There were nearly 700 attempts to ban library books in the first eight months of 2023, according to data released Tuesday by the American Library Association.
From Jan. 1 to Aug 31, the attempts sought to challenge or censor 1,915 titles, a 20% increase compared to the same months in 2022, the organization said. Last year saw the most challenges since the ALA began tracking book censorship more than two decades ago.
But the real numbers may even be higher. The ALA collects data on book bans through library professionals and news reports, and therefore, its numbers may not encompass all attempts to ban or censor certain books.
Most of the titles under scrutiny this year were written by or about people of color or members of the LGBTQ+ community, the group said.
Book bans, and attempts to ban books, have become more common in recent years, so much so that President Biden created a role within the Department of Education specifically focused on the practice. Illinois also became the first state to ban book bans in June.
Back in the day, it was typical in some neighborhoods to see girls — with hair flying, legs pumping with precision, the rope tat-tat- tatting in rhythm — as they jumped Double Dutch for hours.
Pamela Robinson was one of those girls. She joined hundreds of women, ages 40 and up, who gathered in Chicago recently to relive those youthful days by jumping rope, socializing, getting healthy and chanting rhymes during the "40+ Double Dutch Club's 3rd National Playdate."
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick!
We're over 40 and trying to stay fit!
We're a group of friends
We wanna stay in shape
And spread the Double Dutch movement
From state to state!
Robinson founded the 40+ Double Dutch club seven years ago. The 52-year-old says she needed to get out of a funk and remembered what brought her joy.
"It takes you back to childhood. Back to a time when there's no stress, no bills, no issues when you're a kid jumping rope," she says. "So many times, when you reach 40, you are so busy taking care of everybody else — your kids, your husband, your parents — that you don't take time to take care of yourself. So all of these women now are being intentional about self-care."
The 40+ Double Dutch local chapters are called sub-clubs. Members meet up once a week in their communities to jump rope and to socialize for a couple of hours. This National Playdate brought sub-clubs together for a massive gathering of fun on a warm, sunny August day in a parking-lot-turned-playground on Chicago's far Southside. Women gathered in clusters, some turning ropes in syncopated rhythms, others counting off and running in the ropes with their feet and knees lifting high.
Amy Skipper, the 46-year-old Captain of Delco-Philly, a sub-club in the Philadelphia suburbs, says she began jumping Double Dutch when she was about 8 years old. But she hadn't jumped rope for decades.
"It came back just like clockwork. They say once you learn you never forget. Now I can't jump as long," she says, laughing, "but I still got it!"
Like they were part of a giant sports team, everyone wore numbers on the back of their black t-shirts. It was a proud display of their age, with every decade from the 40s to the 80s represented.
"When we were younger
We jumped all day
Now we're tired faster,
But that's ok"
Lydia Reed, who will turn 49 in a few weeks, says she, too, discovered Double Dutch when she was about 8, but stopped when she was entering high school.
"I wanted to look cute for the boys, but realized jumping rope made me so happy." Reed says.
Lisa Barnes, 56, from Philadelphia found out about the club through Facebook. She says for her and many of the other women, the 40+ club is more than about exercise.
"I love the sisterhood, the friendship and the fellowship," says Barnes. "This is my first playdate and I'm just enjoying myself."
Participants also played other games and hula hooped during the event.
Amiyah Dyer/40+ Double Dutch Club
The event sponsored other games, too. The women step in unison to a line dance, swing hula hoops around their hips. Some sit and play jacks but the main event is Double Dutch.
"And it doesn't matter
Your size or shape
As long as you're trying
Then you can play!"
Some of the jumpers are amazing acrobats — like 43-year-old Kimberly Baker, whose Double Dutch moniker is "Mz. Kim."
"I used to jump in competition when I was a young girl," she says. "And life got grown and you have kids and all that."
That hasn't really slowed her down any. As the ropes turn, Mz. Kim jumps in, drops down and does a few pushups — her feet and arms rising together in superb coordination.
"Today was my first day of doing it so I'm really excited because I finally got it," she says as she smiles, and then starts speed jumping as others enthusiastically cheer her on.