Beltway Insider: Biden/Infrastructure, SCOTUS, China, Miami Condo, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Chauvin, McAfee

President Biden announced this week a bi-partisan Infrastructure deal agreement, and immediately stepped on Republican support with his insistence that no bill would be signed without the American Families plan, the historic investment package benefitting American families.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, for the period ending June 27, 2021, increased by 0.9% to 52.7% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 0.6% percentage points to 41.8%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Beltway Insider: Biden/Putin, NATO, ObamaCare, Israel/Hamas, COVID/Vaccine Totals, China, Border Wall

Biden's Bi-Partisan Infrastructure Package

President Biden reached an agreement on a bi-partisan $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure deal aimed to revitalize American roads and bridges and also modernizing the internal grids and systems to amplified and increase the global competitiveness by specifically targeting research and development in industries which are dependent on China for delivery such as semi-conductors and any industry that utilizes rare earth elements in the manufacturing process.

The acknowledgement of future pandemic is also included in the infrastructure bill with more than $30billion allocated to create pandemic secure employment opportunities which will not be affected by any catastrophic viral bio-weapon release.

When questioned on the bi-partisan plan, attempts to create chaos and confusion over the content and information of the very bill that the president had created, lobbied for passage and worked with Congressional leaders to develop and compromise appeared to surface.

The President generated a full stop and in a releases statement said, "So to be clear: our bipartisan agreement does not preclude Republicans from attempting to defeat my Families Plan; likewise, they should have no objections to my devoted efforts to pass that Families Plan and other proposals in tandem. We will let the American people—and the Congress—decide."

Biden Bars Goods from Xinjiang Region

The Department of Homeland Security issues a Withhold Release this week against the import of solar panels made with silica-based product in the Xinjiang Region of China, an area known to use forced labor.

Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas said in a released statement, "As President Biden made clear at the recent G7 summit, the United States will not tolerate modern-day slavery in our supply chains," said Secretary Mayorkas. "This Withhold Release Order demonstrates we continue to protect human rights and international labor standards and promote a more fair and competitive global marketplace by fulfilling the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to ending forced labor."

The silica market is not the only Chinese violator of forced labor. Foxconn, the manufacturer of more than 50% of the world's top electronic products, also operates sweat shops in the Xinjiang Region with the workers receiving extremely low wages, of $149.00 (U.S.) monthly for their work.

"Forced labor is a human rights abuse that hurts vulnerable workers, weakens the global economy, and exposes consumers to unethically made merchandise," said Troy Miller, CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner. "CBP will continue to set a high global standard by aggressively investigating allegations of forced labor in U.S. supply chains and keeping tainted merchandise out of the United States."   

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Cheerleader

The United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of First Amendment protection in the case of Brandi Levy, a sophomore junior varsity cheerleader in Mahoney City, Pennsylvania, who after failing to make the varsity squad took to social media to voice her displeasure.

Using Snapchat she voiced her frustration, "Fuck School, fuck softball, fuck cheerleading, fuck everything." According to Snapchat's policies the posting disappeared in 24 hours. However, the post had made its way to the school's cheer faculty advisor, who suspended, Ms. Levy, even after her repeated apologies.

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The supreme court took on the case based on the infringement of Frist Amendment Freedoms.

"Beyond school grounds, administrators' power to punish students diminishes further still, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court. In this instance, "the school's interest in teaching good manners is not sufficient, in this case, to overcome [the student's] interest in free expression," Justice Breyer wrote, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett," reported The Wall Street Journal.

College campuses has long been the catalyst for social change. Incendiary and often counter-culture demonstrations use language deemed offensive by society and become the motivators for great pushback and great change. The 1960s, and more recently the walkouts nationally by students protesting gun violence as well as the Black Lives Matter Movement which divided society and sparked change in policies.

Vaccine Totals has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. "In the U.S., 322 million doses have been given so far. In the last week, an average of 748,399 doses per day were administered," reported.

"In the U.S., the latest vaccination rate is 748,399 doses per day, on average. At this pace, it will take another 7 months to cover 75% of the population," reported

Coronavirus Totals

While the infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to decline around the world. A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern for leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending June 27, 2021, coronavirus cases globally increased by 2,589,098 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 180,769,306 people with a total worldwide death toll of 3,916,877 deaths, a weekly death rate increase of 57,155. (Data from The New York Times).


Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending June 27, 2021, the total confirmed cases rose to 33,588,163 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 83,227 with an average of 11,889 cases daily over a seven-day period. The coronavirus has claimed 603,501 total deaths, adding 2,149 more deaths to the total of lives lost due to the coronavirus. (Data from The New York Times).

US Battles Delta Variant

With the Delta variant becoming the primary identifiable SARS-CoV-2 virus within all new cases in the United States, vaccination remains the first line defense against transmission of the coronavirus. The President's goal of 70% of the population vaccinated by July 4th, has been met.

During the weekly Covid White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said with regards to the Delta variant, "The transmissibility is unquestionably greater than the wild-type SARS-CoV-2, as well as the Alpha variant.  It is associated with an increased disease severity, as reflected by hospitalization risk, compared to Alpha."

For those who are staging an anti-vax protest or waiting, investing false hope that the virus will magically disappear or dissipate in extreme weather need to remain extra vigilant as the Delta variant has replaced the SARS-CoV-2 virus as the most transmissible.

"The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19," Fauci said. He noted that the proportion of infections being caused by the variant is doubling every two weeks," reported.

Delta Variant Locks Down Sydney

Sydney, Australia, began a strict two-week lock down today as the highly contagious Delta variant, a morphed version of the original SARS-CoV-2, threatens to spread globally. Cases of the variant have been diagnosed in Russia, which has resulted in cancellation of any event.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained, "warning that Europe is on "thin ice" in its battle against the Delta variant. Russia is also struggling against rising levels of infections, reporting more than 20,000 cases last Thursday, its highest total since January," reported The Guardian.

The rise in cases across Europe, especially in the United Kingdom, have been primarily attributed to the Delta variant, which is reportedly nearly 60% more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Vaccination still appears to be essential as a defense against transmission, with both the Pfizer BioNTech and Oxford AstraZenca vaccines providing 96% and 92% effectiveness, respectively.

Death Toll Rises in Miami Building Collapse

Residents of The Champlain Towers, a twelve-story ocean front Miami Condominium complex, had made several complaints on repairs to the roof and erosion to the building's foundation, before the shocking and devastating collapse Thursday.

At least nine are confirmed dead and more than 150 residents missing, buried under a massive, twisted pile of concrete, steel, and rubble, reminiscent to many of the destruction left in the wake of the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.

Four days later, the magnitude of the devastation is becoming a reality as residents in the adjacent wing of the 342-unit forty-year-old complex, where units listed for $600,000, located on 88th Street and Collins Avenue, in Surfside, Florida provided eyewitness account of the moments before the 1:00am collapse.

Many were sitting on their balconies, or catching late night programming, when "abruptly shook and rumbled. People heard a boom, then a louder one. There was enough time to get out of bed and step into the next room, to grab a phone or keys. Then a massive hunk of the building dropped out of existence. It just fell. Between 55 and 70 apartments worth of concrete, steel and furnishings collapsed into a smoking, burning pile," reported The Washington Post.

The building pancaked, unit on top of unit, cascading into a mountain of debris. Air pockets, and serendipitous pre-collapse actions, a step into the kitchen, or bathroom, and the grace of God, allowed a precious few to walk out of the rubble, injured, but alive.

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Hope Fades on Finding Survivors

Four days have passed since the midnight hour devastation, and like in earthquake or mining disasters, the window of opportunity to find survivors is slowing closing.

The possibility of survival in an earthquake, which would cause this style and magnitude of catastrophic damage, varies depending on the possibility of air pockets, the pre-incident health, and determination.

According to the BBC, survivors have been pulled out of earthquake debris even after two months, "In May 2013 a woman was pulled from the ruins of a factory building in Bangladesh, 17 days after it collapsed. Workers heard her crying out "please save me" and used video and audio detection equipment to locate her exact position. After the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, one man survived for 12 days under the rubble of a shop that had been repeatedly looted. At least 200,000 people died in the disaster. Another extraordinary case in December 2005 saw a 40-year-old woman saved from what had been her kitchen in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, more than two months after an earthquake hit the region."

A deep fire, below the ground, has also hampered rescue efforts, as has the heavy rain. Hurricane season has just begun and while no Atlantic disturbances have been reported, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted for this 2021 season of the expected named storms between three and five will become major hurricanes. Hurricane season began June 1, 2021.

President Biden spoke with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis offering immediate services and approving a declaration of Emergency declaration approving immediate dispatch of resources to aid those residents who have been displaced and providing other services.

Pentagon Linguist Sentence

Former Pentagon Linguist Mariam Taha Thompson, 63, formerly of Rochester Minnesota, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for delivering defense secrets for the purpose of aiding a foreign government to a man who promised to marry her.

"Thompson's sentence should stand as a clear warning to all clearance holders that violations of their oath to this country will not be taken lightly, especially when they put lives at risk," John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's national security division, said in a statement," reported The Washington Post.

Derek Chauvin Sentenced

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd, was sentenced this week to 22.5 years in prison making him eligible for parole in 2031.

The sentencing marked a judicial end for Chauvin, as his recent appeal for a new trial was denied. Although it is expected that he will appeal to the State Supreme Court and to the United States Supreme Court if he is denied at the state level.

"Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson argued that intense publicity around Floyd's death tainted the jury pool and that the trial should have been moved away from Minneapolis. He also offered a range of other arguments, all dismissed by prosecutors, who said Chauvin was fairly convicted," reported.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who delivered the sentencing to Chauvin, also ruled the The trial of the three other former police officers on the scene at the time of the murder, will be delayed until March 2022.

"Two of the officers were rookies and in their first days on the job: Thomas Lane, 38, who was seen in the video holding down Mr. Floyd's legs; and J. Alexander Kueng, 27, who was positioned on Mr. Floyd's back. The third officer, Tou Thao, 35, a veteran and Mr. Chauvin's partner, held back a group of bystanders who became increasingly vocal as they watched Mr. Floyd say repeatedly that he could not breathe," The New York Times reported.

The expectation is that the prosecutors are hoping to work out plea deals with the three officers. This will serve the community and ease the trauma to the Floyd family.

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John McAfee, Software Developer, Dies in Spanish Jail

John McAfee, the software developer who created computer antivirus protection, died this week awaiting extradition to the United States for tax evasion.

"Although John McAfee founded the company, he has not been associated with our company in any capacity for over 25 years," a McAfee Corp. spokeswoman said via email Wednesday. "That said, our thoughts go to his family and those close to him," reported The Wall Street Journal.

McAfee sold his stake in the software anti-virus behemoth for $100 million in the 1990s and at the time of his death his net worth was estimated to be $4 million. The IRS had accused him of failing to file federal taxes from 2014-2018 and hiding his wealth by putting his assets in the names of others.

Heavily tattooed, McAfee was known as a rebel and counter-culturist. His perennial bad-boy entitled persona and behaviors caused many run-ins with the local police authorities in the various nations where he lived before Spain.

"In one of his last public messages on Twitter, sent last week to his 1 million followers, Mr. McAfee claimed the government had seized his remaining assets. "My friends evaporated through fear of association," the tweet said. "I have nothing. Yet, I regret nothing," reported The Wall Street Journal.


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