It’s Friday, so that means it’s panel time.
After the toppling of statues of US Presidents George Washington and Ulysses S. Grant, the vandalizing and removing of American monuments is no longer limited to those dedicated to Confederates. What does this mean? There are those who say that these statues mean nothing. I beg to differ. Imagery plays a very important role in the culture. These statues were erected for a reason.
"New US sanctions on Syria take effect Wednesday [June 17], targeting anyone who aids the government of President Bashar al-Assad or provides assistance to certain industries operating inside government-held territory," the Washington Post reported last week. "The set of measures, known as the Caesar Act and included in the US defense policy bill passed in December, aims to force the government to stop the bombardment carried out during Syria’s nine-year civil war and halt widely documented human rights abuses."
"With the Senate preparing to vote on an annual defense policy bill calling for $740.5 billion in military spending for fiscal year 2021, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday delivered a floor speech in support of his new amendment aiming to cut the proposed Pentagon budget by 10% — around $74 billion — and devote those resources to funding healthcare, housing, jobs, and education in impoverished US communities," Common Dreams reported Friday. This comes after Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) last week "unveiled a resolution proposing up to $350 billion in cuts to the Pentagon budget," Common Dreams reported. In a statement on the matter, Lee said, "Redundant nuclear weapons, off-books spending accounts, and endless wars in the Middle East don't keep us safe."
On Thursday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with the Washington Post's Paige Winfield Cunningham that "health officials are having 'intense discussions' about what’s known as 'pool testing.' The idea is that by testing samples from many people altogether, officials could test more people with fewer resources. And those who are infected could be more quickly found and isolated." What does all of this mean?
"The Trump administration late Thursday night filed a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to invalidate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, a move that would strip health insurance from more than 20 million people in the middle of a pandemic and slash taxes for the richest Americans," Common Dreams reported Friday.
The US House of Representatives has passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. "The Democratic-controlled chamber voted 236-181 for the measure mainly along party lines on Thursday night," the BBC reported Friday. However, Senate Republicans are also working on legislation, led by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). "The GOP plan has a major emphasis on incentivizing states to take action, while the Democratic plan has a focus on setting national standards, such as mandates for federal uniformed officers to wear body cameras and banning chokeholds," CNN reported Tuesday. "The Republican proposal does not include an outright ban on chokeholds but Scott argued earlier this week 'we get very, very close to that place' by blocking federal grant funds to departments that don't ban chokeholds themselves. A major sticking point between Democrats and Republicans is whether to overhaul qualified immunity for cops so it's easier to sue them in civil court. The House Democratic bill overhauls the standard, while Scott's Republican bill does not."
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Caleb Maupin - Frequent collaborator with all major news outlets and author of "City Builders and Vandals in Our Age."
Dr. Yolandra Hancock - Board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine specialist. She is on the faculty at the Milken School of Public Health at George Washington University and has a telemedicine practice called Ask Dr. Yola.
Dr. Colin Campbell - TV news reporter for more than 20 years. As a senior Washington, DC, correspondent since 2008, he has been a reporter-at-large covering two presidencies, Congress and the State Department.
Dr. Jack Rasmus - Holder of a Ph.D. in political economy who teaches economics and politics at St. Mary’s College in California and is the author of the book "The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy from Reagan to Trump."
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