CDC: 44% of attendees at Georgia overnight camp test positive for COVID-19

July 31 (UPI) — Nearly half of the children and staff at an overnight camp held in Georgia in June tested positive for COVID-19, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of 344 campers and staff members for whom test results were available, 260 — or 44% — tested positive for the virus, according to the CDC.

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Sixty-nine percent of the positive tests involved children aged 11 to 17, and 20% were reported in children aged 6 to 10, the agency said.

However, testing results were available for only 344 of the 597 campers and staff members who attended, so it is possible more were infected with the virus, CDC researchers said.

The camp was held in compliance with an executive order issued by Georgia governor Brian Kemp that allowed overnight camps to operate beginning May 31, the agency said.

The order required all trainees, staff members and campers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 12 days of arrival and mandated that all staffers wear face coverings, CDC said.

While “the camp adopted some mitigation steps” for the agency’s guidance for youth and summer camps, it did not require campers to wear masks and “camp attendees engaged in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities that included daily vigorous singing and cheering, which might have contributed to transmission,” the agency said.

Its research of the outbreak “found efficient spread of the virus among campers and staff while noting key steps to minimize the risk for [COVID-19] introduction and transmission in camps were not strictly followed.”

The camp was held from June 17 to 27, including a three-day staff orientation from June 17 to 20, CDC said.

On June 23, a teenage staff member left camp after developing chills the previous evening and tested positive for COVID-19 the next day, the agency said. The camp then began to send attendees home.

More than 75% of the confirmed cases had been residing in “large cabins” shared by up to 26 attendees and staff, CDC said.

Among 136 cases with available symptom data, 26% patients reported no symptoms. For the 100 with symptoms, the most common were fever, 65%; headache, 61%, and sore throat, 46%, the agency said.

“Settings, like multi-day, overnight summer camps, pose a unique challenge when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases, considering the amount of time campers and staff members spend in close proximity,” the CDC said.

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Report: Pac-12 to play 10 conference games in 2020, with season starting Sept. 26

SALT LAKE CITY — The Pac-12 will reveal more details about its 2020 football schedule during a 2 p.m. MDT meeting with the media.

According to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, the league will announce that its previously determined conference-only schedule will include 10 games for each team, with a season that starts on Sept. 26.

On July 10, the Pac-12 followed the Big Ten’s lead from the day before and announced it would play only league games in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus.

In the three weeks since, reports from both 247 Sports and The Mercury News indicated that Oregon would be added to Utah’s schedule. The Utes’ original 2020 schedule had league home Pac-12 games against USC, Washington, Arizona and Oregon State, with road games at California, Washington State, UCLA, Arizona State and Colorado.

Utah’s canceled nonconference games included home contests against BYU and Montana State, with a road game at Wyoming.

This story will be updated.

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Federal Review of Columbia River Dams Fails to Protect Salmon, Orcas

WASHINGTON – A federal analysis of dams in the Columbia River basin released today fails to move toward the only viable alternative for saving salmon and the Southern Resident killer whales that rely on them for food: the removal of the four lower Snake River dams.

Today’s analysis, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration and Bureau of Reclamation, is the final part of a court-ordered environmental review of the basin’s federal dams and reservoirs. The review was supposed to explore all potential recovery alternatives for endangered salmon and steelhead, but the final document doesn’t select the well-supported proposal to remove these dams.

“The federal failure to remove the dams despite clear supporting science is a disaster for our endangered salmon and orcas,” said Sophia Ressler, Washington wildlife advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Dam removal is the only solution that protects these iconic animals. By neglecting this option, these agencies have let down our region and our wildlife.”

In May 2016 the U.S. District Court in Portland invalidated the federal agencies’ 2014 biological opinion for salmon and steelhead endangered by the federal dams and reservoirs on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This was the fifth consecutive analysis rejected by the courts since the 1990s.

Currently only 72 Southern Resident orcas remain. These orcas, which are based in the Puget Sound but migrate along the West Coast, are starving to death as their primary food source, Chinook salmon, continue to face significant declines in the region. But some cautious optimism for the orcas emerged this week after scientists announced observed pregnancies in the J, K and L pods. Among the pregnant females is Tahlequah, who captured hearts worldwide when she carried her dead calf for 17 days and more than 1,000 miles almost two years ago.

The big Chinook salmon that were the primary prey of the Southern Residents have largely disappeared. Early return, or “spring” Chinook, which historically often weighed more than 100 pounds and used to outnumber fall Chinook, have been particularly hard hit because they spawn higher in watersheds than other salmon, where dams have blocked access. This includes the four lower Snake River Dams, which have cut off Chinook from extensive wilderness and high-quality habitat in Idaho.

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Overall the Columbia River System dams cut off more than 55% of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon, which has led to 13 wild salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia Basin being at risk of extinction today. Many wild salmon runs in the region survive at 2% or less of their historic populations.

The federal government has spent more than $16 billion on regional salmon recovery in the past two decades, and although extensive habitat has been restored and some salmon populations have stabilized, none have recovered.

The Center submitted written comments on the draft version of the final federal document that was released today, urging the agencies to seriously analyze the removal of the dams and review the supporting science.

“These agencies’ failure to meaningfully consider dam removal is not only disappointing but dangerous,” Ressler said. “It’s up to the public to continue to demand the protection of our salmon and orcas. We must work together to keep applying political pressure to remove the four lower Snake River dams.”

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Even as air pollution declines, disparities in exposure remain

July 31 (UPI) — The amount of particulate matter in the air in the United States has declined significantly over the last several decades, but new research suggests disparities between the most and least polluted communities persist.

Dozens of studies have previously confirmed the reality of environmental inequity. Poorer communities and minority communities are more likely to be exposed to air pollution than those living in wealthier neighborhoods.

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But until now, little analysis had been done to understand if and how those disparities change over time, researchers say.

For the new study, researchers at the University of Virginia combined 36-years worth of records on fine particulate matter, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, with U.S. census data in order to rank communities from the least to the most polluted for each year between 1981 and 2016.

The data — detailed Friday in the journal Science — revealed a remarkable level of continuity. Across the 36-year timeline, the most polluted places remained the most polluted places.

“Our findings call attention to the scope, scale, and remarkable persistence of air pollution disparities in the United States,” lead study author Jonathan Colmer, an assistant professor of economics at UVA, told UPI.

Studies suggest that each year dirty air sends some 5.5 million people around the world to an early grave. But in the United States, the number of deaths caused by air pollution has been steadily dropping. One study determined total air pollution deaths were reduced by half between 1990 and 2010.

If there is a silver lining to the latest research, it is that communities rich and poor, black and white, have shared equally in the air pollution reductions measured over the last few decades.

“We found that pollution reductions were larger in areas that were more polluted in 1981 but these locations were starting from a much higher starting point,” study co-author Jay Shimshack told UPI.

“Disadvantaged neighborhoods did not experience disproportionate reductions in fine particulate matter air pollution,” said Shimshack, an associate professor of public policy and economics at UVA. “Broadly speaking, everywhere experienced a 60 to 70 percent reduction between 1981 and 2016.”

While air quality is better than it used to be, particulate matter pollution remains a serious environmental problem in many parts of the country, and the latest research suggests it’s still a much bigger problem in poorer communities and communities of color.

Breathing dirty air can trigger and exacerbate a variety of health problems, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. The health problems made worse by pollution are many of the same problems that already disproportionately impact minority communities.

The authors of the latest study don’t have specific policy prescriptions, but they hope to study the impacts of political advocacy and policy reforms on pollution in the near future.

“We still don’t fully understand why disparities exist, let alone why they persist,” Colmer said. “Better answers to these questions will lead to sharper policy recommendations.”

For now, they said they hope that by simply detailing the problem, they can begin to plot a path for progress — and inspire others to do the same.

“Federal and state guidelines aim for all people to enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental hazards and argue that no groups should bear a disproportionate share of pollution,” Shimshack said. “On this front we are falling short.”

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Marine sea tank sinks with 16 aboard, 1 dead and 8 missing

SAN DIEGO — An amphibious assault vehicle carrying 15 Marines and a Navy sailor sank near a military-owned island off the coast of Southern California, leaving one of the Marines dead and eight missing, authorities said Friday.

They were traveling in the vehicle that resembles a seafaring tank from the shores of San Clemente Island to a Navy ship Thursday evening when they reported the vehicle was taking on water, said Lt. Cameron H. Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesman for Camp Pendleton.

Two Marines who were rescued were injured, with one hospitalized in critical condition and the other in stable condition, a Marine Corps statement said.

Military ships, small boats and helicopters on Friday were searching choppy seas for the missing amid moderate to strong winds. The Navy-owned island is about 70 miles (112 kilometers) offshore from San Diego.

All of the Marines on the vehicle were assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and were involved in a routine military exercise when the vehicle started taking on water, the Marine Corps said.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. I ask that you keep our Marines, Sailors, and their families in your prayers as we continue our search,” Col. Christopher Bronzi, the unit’s commanding officer, said in a statement from the Marine Corps.

Thursday’s accident marks the third time in less than a decade that Camp Pendleton Marines have been injured or died in amphibious assault vehicles during training exercises.

In 2017, 14 Marines and one Navy sailor were hospitalized after their amphibious assault vehicle hit a natural gas line, igniting a fire that engulfed the landing craft during a training exercise at Camp Pendleton, the sprawling coastal Marine Corps base north of San Diego.

And in 2011, a Marine died when an amphibious assault vehicle in a training exercise sank off the shores of Camp Pendleton.

The Marines use the amphibious assaults vehicles to transport troops and their equipment from Navy ships to land. They are nicknamed “amtracs” because the original name for the vehicle was “amphibious tractor.”

The armored vehicles outfitted with machine guns and grenade launchers look like tanks as they roll ashore for beach attacks, with Marines pouring out of them to take up positions.

The Marine Expeditionary Force is the Marine Corps’ main warfighting organization. There are three such groups which are made up of ground, air and logistics forces.

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Indivisible’s Statement on President Obama’s Call to End The Filibuster to Advance John Lewis’s Legacy

WASHINGTON – Today, Indivisible issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s call to end the filibuster in order to advance civil rights legislation and more to honor the memory of John Lewis:

“President Obama is right. To build the kind of future John Lewis knew was possible, we need to end the filibuster,” said Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project. “Ending the filibuster is not just a parliamentary issue—it’s an issue of civil rights and racial justice. It’s fundamental to protecting our democracy itself. It’s an idea whose time has come.” 

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“We cannot achieve progress without getting rid of the filibuster—the primary mechanism that Republicans have used and will continue to use to block progressive priorities even from the minority,” said Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Director of Democracy Policy for the Indivisible Project. “As John Lewis said: ‘Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part…’ President Obama is right that the filibuster is a ‘Jim Crow relic’ that stands between us and the future John Lewis called us to continue working for.”

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Streetlights may raise risks for colon cancer

Cities around the world are increasingly turning to streetlights emitting so-called “blue light,” and it’s also common in smartphones, laptops and tablets. Now, a study hints that excess exposure to blue-spectrum light might raise a person’s odds for colon cancer.

As a team of Spanish researchers noted, prior studies have suggested that blue light emitted by most white LEDs (light-emitting diodes) and many tablets and phones was linked to ailments such as sleep disorders, obesity and an increased risk of various cancers, especially among night-shift workers.

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One study also found a link between blue light and an increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, the researchers said.

“Using the same methodology as the previous study, we decided to analyze the relationship between exposure to artificial light and colorectal cancer, the third most common type of cancer worldwide after lung and breast cancer,” researcher Manolis Kogevinas, of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, said in an institute news release.

For the study, Kogevinas and colleagues tracked data on about 2,000 adults living in Barcelona and Madrid. Of this group, 660 had colon cancer while the rest were randomly selected from the general population. People who worked night shifts were excluded from the research.

The study wasn’t able to determine that blue light exposures caused colon cancer, it could only point at associations. However, people with the highest exposures to blue light had a 60% higher risk of developing colon cancer compared to those who were less exposed, the researchers reported.

There could be physiological reasons for the effect Kogevinas explained.

“Nighttime exposure to light, especially blue-spectrum light, can decrease the production and secretion of melatonin, depending on the intensity and wavelength of the light,” he said.

“There is growing concern about the effects of light on ecosystems and human health. Research on the potential effects of light exposure is still in its infancy, so more work is needed to provide sound, evidence-based recommendations to prevent adverse outcomes,” Kogevinas added.

The research team stressed that it was tough to account for certain factors in their research. For example, the group relied on satellite imaging to gauge the amount of blue light emitted at night in various locales. But the study couldn’t account for the nighttime use of light-barring rolling shutters on windows — a common feature on Spanish housing. So the study is really trying to assess exposure to light when people are outside at night, the team said.

One U.S. expert in gastrointestinal disease called the study “interesting.”

The research is “expanding the idea of light pollution to something that may have biological consequences,” said Dr. Arun Swaminath, who directs the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Still, there are many unanswered questions, he said, especially the fact that participants’ blue light exposure “was obtained by history taking, but it couldn’t account for things like blinds/curtains that would affect how much exposure some had to light.”

The report was published online July 29 in the journal Epidemiology.

More information

For more on colon cancer, head to the American Cancer Society.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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High school football: Sky View Bobcats 2020 preview

Note: Sky View finished with a 13-1 overall record in 2019 and was first in Region 11 with a 5-0 record. It was RPI seed No. 2 in the 4A playoffs and defeated Park City 35-0 in championship.


SMITHFIELD — Over the past three years, Sky View’s football program has changed the narrative about school splits. Typically when a new school opens, it naturally dilutes the talent at the older school, which then takes several years to recover.

That hasn’t happened at all at Sky View. In the three years since Green Canyon split off, Sky View has posted a combined 34-3 record and a combined 15-0 record in region play.

Last year it culminated in a dominant run to the first state championship in school history. History could very well repeat itself in 2020.

Sky View returns six starters on offense, including first-team all-state QB Kason Carlsen, and seven starters on defense.

Carlsen had a great junior season racking up over 2,600 yards of total offense and 42 total touchdowns, but Sky View coach Chris Howell believes he can be even better offensively this year.

Carlsen didn’t take over as starting quarterback until Week 5 last year, but he’s known it was his job all summer and the sky is the limit for his potential.

A year ago the Bobcats ranked third in 4A scoring offense averaging 38.9 ppg, and with three returning starters on the offensive line, similar production is expected again.

Defense could be where this team truly shines. Sky View led 4A in scoring defense last season and only allowed 10.8 ppg, and seven of those primary contributors are back. It finished the season with six shutouts, including blanking Park City 35-0 in the championship game.


Sky View Bobcats at a glance

Howell’s thoughts on how his players dealt the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“We had really good leadership, kids who had kind of been to the mountain top who know what it took to get there, and I think they did a really good job of helping some of our other guys along with our at-home workouts and those type of things. Now that we’re through with our summer stuff, we had the best attendance I’ve ever had as a team for an entire summer. Just the consistency, the work ethic, all of those things were just outstanding.”

Sky View offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Perry Christensen

2019 offense: 38.9 ppg (Third in 4A)

2019 offensive statistics
  • Six returning starters
  • 3-4 offense
Returning offensive starters
  • Kason Carlsen (QB)
  • Evan Hall (OT)
  • Ty McPhie (C)
  • Walter Collins (RB)
  • Trey Nyman (WR)
  • Bracken Schumann (OT)
Offensive newcomers to watch
  • Truman Moser (RB)
  • Reed Wilde (RB)
  • Isaac Larsen (WR)
  • Luke Radford (TE)
  • Daxxon Dehek (OG)
Howell’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“One of our huge keys is we have a ton of weapons, and I think the ability to spread the ball around and share the ball will be really important for us cause if we do that I think we’re going to be really hard to defend. I also think that Walter Collins and Kason Carlsen were two of our primary ball carriers outside of Mason last year, and I think with our depth at running back, this year our ability to keep Walter healthy and Kason healthy are going to be really important.”


Sky View Defensive Snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Chris Howell

2019 defense: 10.8 ppg (First in 4A)

2019 defensive statistics
  • Seven returning starters
  • 3-4 defense
Returning defensive starters
  • Titan Saxton (DB)
  • Hunter Lewis (LB)
  • Walter Collins (LB)
  • Sam Thatcher (DB)
  • Peija Prom (DB)
  • Bracken Schumann (DL)
  • Evan Hall (DL)
Defensive newcomers to watch
  • Isaac Larsen (DB)
  • Kimball Jackson (LB)
  • Luke Radford (LB)
  • Thor Griffin (LB)
  • Cole Watterson (S)
  • Davis Hall (S)
Howell’s keys for defensive success in 2020:

“We moved Titan Saxton, who was an all-state corner last year, to free safety, and he’s going to replace Scout Morris. He has very similar instincts to Scout and I think his ability to adapt to that safety position and tackle well is going to be key. Both of our safeties were seniors, and all-state kids, and we’re going to rotate a couple juniors at strong safety, and I think their play is going to be critical as well. We have so many people returning at other spots, that for me is the real question mark.”

Deseret News outlook for 2020

There are only a handful of programs each season that can say anything less than a state championship is a disappointment, and Sky View is certainly one of those programs. Even though it must replace dynamic 4A MVP Mason Falslev, Sky View should easily be able to absorb the loss with a strong contingent of skill position players, a dynamic quarterback, a great offensive line and a superb defense. Assuming the players maintain an even-keeled approach to the season a repeat state championship is very attainable.


Felt’s Facts for Sky View

  • All-time record: 294-257-8 (56 years)

  • Region championships: 10 (1969, 1972, 1979 co, 1982, 2006, 2007 co, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Playoff appearances: 28
  • All-time playoff record: 19-27
  • State championships: 1 (2019)
  • State championship record: 1-1

  • Most played rivalry: 58 meetings with Logan dating back to 1964. Logan leads 32-26.


Last five seasons

  • 2019 — 13-1 (5-0 in Region 11 — 4A champions)
  • 2018 — 10-1 (5-0 in Region 12 — 4A quarterfinals)
  • 2017 — 11-1 (5-0 in Region 12 — 4A semifinals)
  • 2016 — 6-4 (4-2 in Region 1 — 5A first round)
  • 2015 — 12-1 (6-0 in Region 1 — 5A semifinals)

Sky View coaching history

  • 2019-current — Christopher Howell (13-1)
  • 2017-2018 — Danilo Robinson (21-2)
  • 2005-2016 — Craig Anhder (90-46)

  • 2004 — Dan Cox (4-7)

  • 1999-2003 — Perry Christiansen (17-34)

  • 1993-1998 — Doug Snow (19-36)

  • 1990-1992 — Bill Brechler (12-16)

  • 1983-1989 — Jan Hall (27-41)

  • 1981-1982 — Jack Robinson (16-4)

  • 1978-1980 — Doug Adams (9-19)

  • 1968-1977 — Earl Lindley (58-30-3)

  • 1964-1967 — Glen Oliverson (8-21-5)


All-state history

Deseret News MVPs the past 10 years
  • 2019 — Mason Falslev, ATH
Deseret News First Team all-staters the past 10 years
  • 2019 —Kason Carlsen, QB
  • 2019 — Justice Ena, OT
  • 2019 — Hunter Larsen, OG
  • 2019 — Titan Saxton, CB
  • 2019 — Traeson Martindale, S
  • 2019 — Scout Morris, S
  • 2018 — Caleb Christensen, ATH
  • 2017 — Caleb Christensen, CB
  • 2017 — Koebe Wilson, DE
  • 2016 — Riley Haderlie, MLB
  • 2015 — Bryce Mortenson, WR
  • 2015 — Max Christensen, DL
  • 2015 — Alex McRae, DB
  • 2014 — Isaac Herrmann, RB
  • 2013 — Seth White, OL

  • 2012 — Nelson Griffiths, K


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The Case for Who Should Not Be Vice President: Joe Biden, Are You Listening?

On July 20, the California Bernie delegates to this year’s Democratic National Convention issued a press release along with an open letter to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, calling on him to choose from a short list of three vice presidential candidates they had arrived at through a democratic vote: Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA), former State Senator Nina Turner (D-OH), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA). News of the letter was greeted with national interest; several publications quoted from its contents and mentioned that over 90 percent of those voting (most of the delegation) strongly agreed on the three women. Mainstream media were quick to point out that California Senator Kamala Harris was not among those preferred by progressives—a stinging point noticed by many. 

Since then, the profile of Congresswoman Bass has been elevated and promoted in the national press. But whether Biden should decide to go with Bass, Harris, or any other on his reported short list, the conversation on the vice-presidential pick is incomplete without the flip-side to what has so far been positive appeals for a strong progressive. Indeed, in a time of COVID, Black Lives Matter protests and police state repression, the records of both Senator Harris and Representative Val Demings (another on Biden’s short list) warrant greater scrutiny.  

There can be no denying that in the era of Black Lives Matter, public awareness regarding the conduct of law enforcement is such that the spoken truth of our nation’s criminal justice system being fundamentally biased against people of color and the poor is without question. And yet, the records of both Harris and Demings indicate their careers were built and advanced on upholding wrongful convictions, backing police accused of excessive force, and a general “get tough on crime” approach that disproportionally targeted people of color, immigrants and the poor — who had no power, financially or politically, to alter their conditions.  

Donald Trump will not be defeated without the votes of the progressive base, which now skews toward younger people of color and for which issues of social injustice are paramount.

This included Cheree Peoples, a mother who was arrested under Harris’ signature truancy program, a project that targeted parents. Cheree’s daughter Kayla missed school often because of chronic and painful sickle cell anemia, a condition known to her school’s administrators. Unsurprisingly, Black and Latino parents were disproportionately singled out for punitive actions. This also includes Kevin Cooper, who came within four hours of being executed in 2004 and to who five judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit have stated is likely innocent. As Attorney General from 2011 to 2017 and with evidence in her custody that could have been tested to prove his innocence, Harris opposed DNA testing. It was not until a much-read New York Times article on the case went viral, that she reversed her position.  

As San Francisco’s District Attorney, Harris supported a 2008 San Francisco policy that forced police to notify ICE when undocumented children committed felonies. Despite San Francisco officially being a sanctuary city, police leveled felony charges against a 13-year-old Australian boy of color who took 46 cents from a classmate he was in a fight with. The boy was detained by ICE for a few days, as they prepared to deport him and his family. Good legal work and media glare ultimately prevented the deportation, but over 100 other youth fell victim to the policy she supported; many were handed over before innocence or guilt could be established. 

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And then there is Harris’ open and sustained defiance—to the point of nearly causing a constitutional crisis—of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 ruling which required the state to reduce the overcrowding of its prison population which, according to a just published American Prospect article, “was stuffed to some 200 percent of its designed capacity.” The article goes on to highlight the case of Daniel Larsen, wrongfully convicted and serving 27-years-to-life, under California’s “three strikes” law. Harris argued “that even if Danny was innocent, his conviction should not be reversed because he waited too long to file his petition.” Thankfully, the U.S. Ninth Circuit court of Appeals denied Harris’ appeal. 

While the scrutiny of upholding wrongful convictions resides with Harris, critiques over a lack of accountability for cases involving police brutality follow Florida Representative Val Demings. A recent Politico article found “Demings routinely sided with police over community complainants and operated cautiously within the system, despite longstanding complaints that the department was prone to excessive force.” Even as juries decided against the Orlando police department in several high-profile cases, Demings’ view that police actions were within the scope of allowable practices has remained unchanged. Her op-ed in the Washington Post, written four days after the death of George Floyd where she asked former fellow officers, “what in the hell are you doing?” seemed to indicate that finally, a line had been crossed. Still, coming just over two years after co-sponsoring the 2018 Protect and Serve Act (which would have made assaulting a police officer a federal hate crime)—a bill that was opposed by the NAACP, ACLU and other groups—the conversion hardly inspires faith that her newfound “wokeness” is genuine.  

All of which goes to the heart of the reason why so many progressives oppose both Harris and Demings as contenders for vice president: in neither candidate, is there a sense of authenticity when it comes to a compelling case being made for why they are the right choice for the job at this historically significant moment. Progressives are looking for the kind of exceptional leadership that can help usher in the transformational changes so urgently needed. And as progressive delegates to the convention, we are calling for a VP candidate with a history of demonstrated fortitude in the face of entrenched power, not someone skilled at just-found-religion rhetoric.

The records of the congresswomen here are otherwise: Harris succumbed to the worst sort of transactional politics when she chose not to prosecute Senate campaign donor Steven Mnuchin for foreclosure violations. Demings lacked the courage to defy the Orlando police union to stand up for 84-year-old Daniel Daley. At a time of increased awakening to the problems in law enforcement and politics, they chose the side of corrupt power over those who were its victims.   

Donald Trump will not be defeated without the votes of the progressive base, which now skews toward younger people of color and for which issues of social injustice are paramount. Without their votes, Democrats will lose. California progressive delegates chose their own short list to send to Joe Biden. Did he hear them? We cannot be sure. But again, we make the case for who should—and should not be —Vice President. And as with other prominent demands, come the beginning of August, we will find out if the Democratic Party remains a party of outdated conventional wisdoms, or becomes one that listens to a future calling for it to be better.  

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Listen: Eric Church celebrates tough women in ‘Bad Mother Trucker’

July 31 (UPI) — Eric Church is back with new music.

The 43-year-old country music singer released the song “Bad Mother Trucker” on Friday.

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In “Bad Mother Trucker,” Church celebrates tough women while singing about a female truck driver who could outrace the “boys.”

“She is hell on wheels where the road meets the rubber / A real gear jammer, a white line wonder / Yeah, you only get one and I wouldn’t want another / ‘Cause mama was a bad mother trucker,” he sings.

“Bad Mother Trucker” is expected to appear on Church’s forthcoming seventh studio album. Church confirmed new music at the Country Radio Seminar in February, saying he recorded 28 songs in 28 days.

“We removed all of the barriers about what people think of the song,” Church said. “Just let it be the most creative thing for that one day, chase that as hard as you can [and] move on. Go on to the next one.”

Church said on The Bobby Bones Show this month that his new album is “the most special project” of his career.

Church released a first single from the album, “Stick That in Your Country Song,” in June. His most recent album, Desperate Man, was released in October 2018.

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