Opinion: Mark Zuckerberg’s Melania Trump moment

“Fb’s algorithm, Haugen mentioned, organizes content material primarily based on engagement, which might result in probably the most inflammatory and stunning posts getting preferential remedy and transferring their solution to the highest of any given particular person’s feed. Primarily, the corporate makes selections about what it desires you to see, and it retains these selections secret from the general public, based on Haugen; altering the algorithm, she mentioned, may influence the corporate’s earnings.”

Financially, Fb’s technique is working — the corporate is price practically a trillion {dollars} on the inventory market. Morally, the corporate is adrift, Haugen and different critics maintained.

“These revelations needs to be a wake-up name,” wrote Kara Alaimo. “If we’re not going to desert these platforms en masse — which, let’s face it, is just not prone to occur — it’s time to devise ways to protect ourselves and our loved ones… to begin counting on different data sources for pleasure and edification — like parks, hobbies, mates and bonafide information sources. It is in all probability additionally the one solution to get the corporate to take the threats it poses to customers severely and check out more durable to repair them.”

McConnell shock

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell appeared uncharacteristically adrift, too, final week. After insisting that it was as much as the Democrats to stave off a disastrous default on America’s nationwide debt, McConnell immediately supplied GOP assist for a two-month improve within the borrowing restrict. It was a disaster averted, and plenty of sighed in reduction, for the second. However McConnell took warmth from former President Donald Trump and a few Trump-supporting senators.

“Senators Tom Tillis and Josh Hawley, amongst others, made clear Wednesday that this is all about blaming the Democrats, not about paying our bills,” wrote Joe Lockhart. “One other potential credit score downgrade, a inventory market plunge or a worldwide monetary disaster are all price it if it inflicts political harm on President Joe Biden and the Democrats.”
Former Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew wrote for the CNN Enterprise Views part that delaying the “fiscal cliff” to December “is no way to manage a great nation. Congress should act rapidly to considerably prolong or elevate the debt ceiling for the long run, in order that our nation doesn’t lurch from disaster to disaster. That’s the solely manner for the US to keep away from a catastrophic self-inflicted catastrophe.”

The GOP’s outrage on the hovering nationwide debt conveniently resurfaced in Congress after a Democrat gained the White Home. Below Trump, the debt grew by $7 trillion {dollars} whereas Republicans stayed largely silent.

A very powerful subject

The extra pressing matter, SE Cupp noticed, is that “Biden is, effectively, floundering, and ceding the most important issue to the GOP. That subject is not infrastructure, it is not the debt ceiling…A very powerful subject is neutralizing Donald Trump. The way forward for our democratic republic hangs within the stability and is kind of actually decided by how a lot energy Trump is allowed to seize once more.”
A “blockbuster report” by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jennifer Rodgers famous, “added significant details to what was previously known about how Trump tried to subvert DOJ authority by making an attempt to show what is supposed to be an impartial regulation enforcement company right into a co-conspirator” within the then-President’s bid to overturn the 2020 election outcomes.

4 Trump loyalists are resisting subpoenas from the Home choose committee investigating the January 6 rebel on the Capitol. As Norman Eisen and Hank Sparks wrote, they could be making an attempt to expire the clock in hopes that Republicans will win management of Congress subsequent 12 months and shut down the investigation.

“Congress and the general public should do every part of their energy to assist the courts’ transferring rapidly,” Eisen and Sparks argued. “It’s the responsibility of those judges to our Structure, legal guidelines and democracy itself to permit us to get to the reality of January 6 and to brush aside specious executive privilege claims.
As Michael D’Antonio wrote, the mob “attacked the US Capitol with shouts of ‘Grasp Mike Pence’… However now, eight months later, Pence is indignant about how a lot protection media is giving the individuals who got here for him on the Capitol and prompt that the purpose of the protection is to tarnish the reputations of the hundreds of thousands of individuals supporting Trump.” The previous vice chairman’s political ambitions relaxation within the palms of a celebration the place the loyalty take a look at for a lot of is allegiance to Donald Trump. “Pence is behaving like the middle school kid intimidated by a bully’s lunch cash safety racket. Scared of preventing again, he as a substitute brings slightly more money for the gang day-after-day and says the top bully is admittedly his good buddy.”

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Covid questions

Within the Washington Put up, Eugene Robinson gave voice to some troubling questions: “Why is the information dominated by ridiculous controversies that shouldn’t be controversial in any respect? When did so a lot of our fellow residents develop into full-blown nihilists who deny even the idea of goal actuality?”

He famous that Sen. Lindsey Graham was heckled in his house state of South Carolina for recommending that folks get vaccinated. “Covid-19 is a extremely infectious illness that has killed greater than 700,000 Individuals,” wrote Robinson. The “vaccines all however assure that recipients is not going to die from Covid. I’ve, or had, an acquaintance who refused to get vaccinated, regardless of pleas from his grownup youngsters to guard himself. He obtained Covid-19, and it killed him. Many of the deaths the nation has suffered through the present delta-variant wave of the illness — deaths of the unvaccinated — have been similarly needless and senseless.

On Thursday, Pfizer requested US regulators for emergency approval of its vaccine for youngsters ages 5 to 11, doubtlessly a serious step ahead in preventing the illness. Moira Szilagyi, a pediatrician for 41 years who’s president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, is wanting ahead to the day her grandchildren, ages 5 and eight, can be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Greater than 13 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 have already acquired the vaccine, and there’s a lot of proof it’s secure and efficient. Now, nonpartisan scientific advisory boards on the FDA and the CDC will overview the info from the scientific trials in youngsters aged 11 and youthful. This overview is a crucial step and can make sure the dosage is right, efficient and secure for the youthful age group.”

Covid has killed greater than 115,000 well being and care employees world wide, based on a Could estimate by the World Well being Group. “Vaccinating all well being and care employees globally is both a moral and practical imperative,” wrote Try Masiyiwa and Tom Frieden. “Prioritizing these employees makes all of us safer. But primarily based on a WHO estimate of 140 nations in July, just one in eight well being and care employees internationally had been vaccinated, with most of those that have been vaccinated working in high-income international locations.”

Nikki Haley isn’t any reasonable

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley blasted liberals in a speech Tuesday on the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “She mentioned that the US was in the course of ‘a conflict of civilizations’ and slammed President Joe Biden’s management, saying he ‘thinks retreat is an indication of power,'” Julian Zelizer famous. “Going additional, the previous diplomat flexed her deeply partisan muscle, saying that Democrats did not imagine in America anymore.”

The identical politician who strongly criticized Trump after January 6 now says the previous president is a good friend and “we’d like him within the Republican Celebration. I do not need us to return to the times earlier than Trump.”

Zelizer wrote, “Haley reflects the nature of the GOP in 2021. The radicalization of the occasion implies that even those that are seen as reasonable usually fold within the face of Trump’s techniques and take up his speaking factors. Haley’s red-meat rhetoric on the Reagan library was completely predictable and the speech was possible a preview of what Republicans candidates will sound like going into 2024. There is no going again.”

Nobel decisions

Nobel Prize week 2021 honored an array of main scientists — and two journalists. The Peace Prize went to Maria Ressa, a former CNN reporter who based Rappler within the Philippines and is “an icon in the drive to defend democracy against autocrats who manipulate public opinion, misuse the authorized system in opposition to perceived enemies, unleash hordes of social media followers in opposition to their critics,” wrote Frida Ghitis.

Ressa shared the award with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, editor in chief of Novaya Gazeta. “Muratov based the paper with a bunch of journalists again in 1993, they usually have managed to proceed their important investigative work at the same time as Vladimir Putin’s regime crushes different reality tellers,” Ghitis noticed.

The physics prizes attracted the eye of Don Lincoln, who identified that the three laureates have been honored “for creating strategies to know difficult bodily methods. And successful this award reaffirms what needs to be accepted science: The phenomena driving local weather change is well-known. It is fundamental physics, albeit enjoying out within the ever-changing ambiance. Huge image, the dialog ought to now not be on debating the science itself, but rather on deciding what society should do about it.

Ted Lasso

The second season of the favored Apple+ present “Ted Lasso” ended this week with drama on the soccer pitch and an indication of bitter rivalry to return. Many have hailed the present for centering the narrative across the huge coronary heart of an American soccer coach who skillfully adapts to managing a UK staff enjoying a unique sport — what the remainder of the world calls “soccer.”

Two medieval historians sized up the present in a recent manner: “Though the present’s superficial focus over the primary two seasons has been on Ted as a ‘good man,'” wrote David M. Perry and Matthew Gabriele, “that is not likely what the present is about. It is not a happy-go-lucky dramatization of optimism, however concerning the work and necessity of building communities in which we draw strength from one another…

“Within the midst of a pandemic, when so many people really feel basically alone, we see glimmers of this in our personal world once we keep in mind that we put on masks not only for ourselves however for everybody else too.”

California’s oil spill

Tens of 1000’s of gallons of crude oil spilled into the Pacific Ocean from a ruptured pipeline, damaging wildlife and shutting seashores in Southern California.

“For these of us fortunate sufficient to stay close to this iconic stretch of shoreline, the sight of it awash in oil is heartbreaking,” wrote Pete Stauffer. “Sadly, this devastating incident is an element of a bigger sample of offshore drilling harming our coastal atmosphere and the communities that rely on them. In keeping with the federal authorities, there have been no less than 44 oil spills which have every launched greater than 10,000 barrels (420,000 gallons) of oil into US waters since 1969… it’s lengthy overdue for our federal leaders to permanently ban new offshore drilling in US waters.

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Biden’s predicament

Biden’s job scores have plunged previously a number of months — CNN’s common of six current polls reveals 45% approval, with 50% of Individuals disapproving of the president’s efficiency.

“Democrats have utterly misinterpret Biden’s 2020 election mandate,” wrote former Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican. “The 2020 election was a repudiation of President Donald Trump, and it was not an endorsement of a big spending agenda. Full stop.
In 13 months, the Democrats should defend their slim majority management of Congress earlier than the voters, Dean Obeidallah famous. “Democrats haven’t got many seats to lose given their lower than 10-seat majority within the Home and the 50-50 tie within the Senate. If they do not move this social spending overhaul, what is their argument for reelection in 2022? Telling constituents to present them management of the Home and Senate once more, and this time they simply may have the ability move one thing? That is not the kind of argument that animates voters.”

For extra:

Mark Zuckerman and Andrew Stettner: Now is not the time to turn our backs on the unemployed

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Venice with out the crowds

At any time, the town of Venice is a miracle to be savored — a 1,600-year-old metropolis made up of 118 islands knit collectively by bridges. However now, “one of many world’s most spectacular cities” is freed from the hordes of vacationers which have choked it over the previous a number of years, wrote Frida Ghitis.

“The throngs are now not right here, and the town, with its palazzos seemingly floating on rippling waves of what appears to be like like melted Murano glass, their majestic doorways lapped by the ever-rising water, can once more be admired in all its glory,” she noticed.

“The gondoliers maneuvering their glossy black craft, expertly twisting that lengthy single oar that mysteriously propels them within the path of their selection; the monuments, the museums, the cafes, will be loved as one would in a standard metropolis, with out the pushing and shoving of harried vacationers, with out lengthy waits, with out obstructed views…”

There’s never been a better time to experience this enchanted place — in the event you’re prepared to endure the issues of pandemic-era journey and face the dangers that it entails.”

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