Another Gobsmacking Week and it’s only Tuesday

Hard to say what Biggest News was. I guess I’ll start with the administration’s attempt to purge the US of foreign students. Basically, a couple of weeks ago, Harvard announced it was going online only, and within a few minutes, ICE announced any foreign student at a university that was online only in the fall would lose their visas. I was flabbergasted since that seemed to be a clear violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. Harvard and MIT sued last week on that ground and others, a zillion other universities filed amicus briefs including Caltech, and the court hearing was today. DHS walked in and surrendered.

Newsom basically ordered the state closed again yesterday. All bars, wineries, card houses, movie theaters, gyms, indoor dining, churches. . .ugh. Just ugh. Here’s why:

New cases in California, from LA Times.

Didn’t stop Orange County’s ruling troglodytes from ordering schools to reopen without a mask requirement. Meanwhile, LA Unified isn’t opening at all, and it’s not clear what Pasadena, La Canada, etc. are going to do.

The US isn’t doing better.

The White House’s current “efforts” to solve the pandemic seem to be demonizing Fauci–gotta discredit the messenger–and removing responsibility for hospitalization data from the CDC and giving it to Health and Human Services so it can be discredited, or blocked, too. Otherwise they’re looking for ways to force open the public schools.

I shouldn’t fail to note that last week the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a large chunk of Oklahoma is still a Creek nation reservation.

What a crazy year. . .

The Black Lives Matter protests haven’t abated, although they’ve become less violent (as far as I can tell, anyway.) Los Angeles was forced to drop its curfew by an ACLU lawsuit, and the result seems to have been. . .less violence.

Mostly I felt like writing this post because the mayor of D.C. decided to try to throw the National Guard troops out of D.C. (apparently they were never Federalized as required). And, while I expect she’ll fail at that, she also did one of the best p’owns ever.

She had this painted on 16th Street across from Lafayette Square.

The pandemic isn’t getting better, though.

Los Angeles County new cases on June 5, from the LA Times.

Anthony Fauci Interview

Yesterday Science magazine published an extraordinary interview with Anthony Fauci, head of the  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He’s been essentially the only technical voice of the Administration for the COVID response. Otherwise, it’s been all politicos–Kushner, Pence, etc. T’was brilliant of him to give this interview to Science magazine and not the mainstream media. On the other hand, I read this thinking that Fauci’s begging to be fired. One just doesn’t gainsay the President in a public, on the record interview. And he did it more than once. I have to believe he’ll be gone by the end of the week.

Fauci wasn’t in today’s presidential briefing. Today’s WaPo article doesn’t mention the Science article, though it quotes from it, but the administration is apparently about to “pivot” towards “reopening” the economy. That’s clearly not what Fauci thinks should be done at this point in time. Pivoting towards profit again over health and safety is being championed by the usual right-wing suspects: Larry Kudlow, Stephen Moore. The talking point is that the “cure shouldn’t be worse than the problem.” And since we have a businessman president who refused to divest his holdings, it’s worth noticing (as he surely has) that his own businesses are collapsing along with the services and tourism sectors.

In the same vein, on Twitter today historian Mar Hicks suggested today that even the “liberal” New York Times is helping the White House with the pro-business framing:

The graphic is about people. The headlines, $$$$. This isn’t a surprise to a sometimes-historian of climate change denial, of course. It’s the same logic. Profit for a few outweighs the health of the many.