Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Democratic Spending Plan Shrinks

A plan to provide free tuition to community colleges will probably be dropped from the wide-ranging environmental and social spending legislation proposed by President Joe Biden, NBC News reports. The popular child tax credit also is likely to be sharply cut back. The president told progressive members of Congress in a meeting yesterday that both plans might have to be sacrificed to satisfy moderate Democrats, who want to shrink the plan from $3.1 trillion to about one-third of that amount.

➤OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS ARE SOARING: Nearly 100,000 people died of drug overdoses during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., according to th e U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most were due to opioids tainted with fentanyl. That's a 30 percent increase in deaths from the year before. Now, according to The Guardian, the cost of a drug that can reverse the deadly effects of an overdose has gone up to as much as 30 times the previous cost. Community groups that work to save opioid addicts are struggling to pay for the drug, naloxone.

➤ALL ABOARD SURVIVE PLANE CRASH IN TEXAS: All 21 people aboard survived the crash of a plane as it was taking off from Waller County, Texas, yesterday, according to Houston's KHOU. The plane was lifting off for a flight to Boston for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series when it rolled through a fence at Houston Executive Airport and caught fire. Two passengers were hospitalized for minor injuries.

➤JAN. 6TH COMMITTEE HOLDS BANNON IN CONTEMPT: The committee of the House of Representatives that is investigating the January 6th attack on the Capitol has voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for refusing to comply with its subpoena to testify. The decision could lead to criminal charges against the Trump ally. The panel asserts that Bannon knew in advance that violence was planned. "All hell is going to break loose tomorrow," Bannon said on a January 5th podcast, referring to the "Stop the Steal" rally.

➤TRUCK DRIVERS ARE IN DEMAND: If you've ever considered driving a truck for a living, you're in luck. The industry needs 80,000 more drivers, and it needs them right now, according to CNN. A shortage of drivers is one of the big reasons behind the supply chain breakdown that is creating shortages in some goods across the U.S. Truck drivers move 71 percent of the goods that are delivered to American consumers and businesses.

➤IT’S TIME TO PREPARE FOR SHORTAGES OF BIKES, TOYS—AND MORE—THIS HOLIDAY SEASON:  It might be harder to do your holiday shopping this year. Experts working in consumer industries say new efforts to ease supply-chain snarls may have come too late. The Toy Association, a trade organization for the toy industry, says the newly announced initiatives “will help marginally […] but it’s not a full solution in any way.” Last week President Joe Biden announced the Port of Los Angeles is going to 24/7 operations, and dock workers will be taking on more shifts in an effort to help the struggling supply chain. Experts say toy companies now will have to pay a premium to get their goods in a shipping container—and big toy companies that ship year-round will have an advantage over midsized companies that do not ship goods all year. They say due to this, the “selection will have gaps” for holiday shopping, and that efforts to unclog the supply chain ahead of holiday season would have been better off starting three to four months ago.

➤CDC: AMERICANS WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED CAN ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH THEIR FAMILY" This holiday season should be a bit brighter than 2020’s. Dr. Anthony Fauci—the nation’s top infectious disease expert--says fully vaccinated Americans can gather for the upcoming holiday season. He told ABC News on Sunday, “If you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated… you can enjoy the holidays. You can enjoy Halloween, trick-or-treating, and certainly Thanksgiving with your family and Christmas with your family.” Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released official guidance for the holidays, recommending wearing masks indoors in areas with higher infection rates, avoiding crowded places, and staying home if you are ill.
➤TRUMP ON GENERAL COLIN POWELL: Scores of public figures around the world issued statements yesterday memorializing General Colin Powell, the soldier and diplomat who died this week at age 84. Here's the message from former President Donald Trump: "Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!"

➤HOW TO GET YOUR FREE BREAKFAST BURRITO: Taco Bell wants its customers to know that breakfast burritos have returned to the menu at 90 percent of its locations after a COVID-related pause. So, the chain is giving away a free burrito to every customer from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday) at 7,000 locations.

⚾ASTROS, DODGERS WIN C-s GAMES:  Six outs from falling behind 3-1 in the AL Championship Series and facing elimination in Game 5 in Boston — where the Red Sox had yet to lose this postseason — the Houston Astros offense awakened. After tying it in the eighth inning on Jose Altuve’s solo homer, the Astros bullied the Boston bullpen for seven runs in the ninth to win 9-2 on Tuesday night and even the best-of-seven playoff at two games apiece.

Cody Bellinger keeps erasing a forgettable regular season, with his latest big swing putting the Los Angeles Dodgers right back in the NL Championship Series. Bellinger hit a tying, three-run homer and Mookie Betts then lined an RBI double in the Dodgers’ eighth-inning rally, storming back to beat Atlanta 6-5 Tuesday and cutting the Braves’ lead in the series to 2-1.

🏈MAYFIELD NURSES AN INJURY: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield hopes to play in the team's Week 7 game on Thursday, but his doctors may have a different idea. Mayfield is dealing with a torn labrum in his left shoulder and admitted that other parts of his shoulder are "frayed."

🏀76ERS SUSPEND SIMMONS: The Philadelphia 76ers have suspended Ben Simmons for one game due to "conduct detrimental to the team." That means he will not play in the team's first game of the season against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. The team did not release details but whatever happened occurred during practice.

⚾BOONE STAYS IN THE BRONX: The New York Yankees have ended speculation about the job security of their manager. Aaron Boone is staying in The Bronx. In fact, there are reports that the team is committing to Boone for at least three more seasons.

🎾ANDY MURRAY SEALS HIS COMEBACK: Former number-one men's tennis star Andy Murray made an epic comeback from hip surgery at the European Open in Antwerp. He defeated Frances Tiafoe in a match that lasted for three hours and 45 minutes, getting him to the second round of the open. The score was 7-6 (2), 6-7 (7), 7-6 (8).

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