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Pittsburgh bridge collapses on day Biden to visit city to talk infrastructure

(Washington Post) A Pittsburgh bridge collapsed early Friday, according to authorities, just hours before President Biden was scheduled to visit the city to talk about infrastructure. No injuries were immediately reported, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety, which reported a "confirmed bridge collapse" at around 6:50 a.m. A photo from KDKA shows at least four vehicles, including a Port Authority bus, on the bridge near Forbes and Braddock avenues, which splits the Point Breeze, Regent Square and Squirrel Hill neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. Another vehicle is shown dangling near the edge of the collapsed bridge.


Student borrowers in shock over 'zero balance' as federal program fulfills elusive promise

(NBC News) The notice from the federal government took Lee Dossett, a doctor in Lexington, Kentucky, by surprise. "Congratulations!" it began. After a couple of years of denials for a student loan forgiveness program designed for public servants, Dossett, who has worked in the nonprofit sector for 10 years, was told last week that not only was his application re-evaluated, but that the Department of Education had determined he should have his outstanding medical school loans erased altogether — about $75,000 worth.


Good News For The Democrats And A Rare Opportunity To Change Democracy

(Bob Cesca/The Banter) I’ll preface this entire piece with my usual warning: don’t get happy. There are significant obstacles in the path for Democrats in this year’s midterms and we’ll have to work extra-hard to remain afloat. However, it’s looking more and more likely that partisan gerrymandering by Republican legislatures won’t necessarily be one of those obstacles.


Record 14.5M sign up for ObamaCare

(The Hill) Remember ObamaCare? It's faded from the headlines recently, but it's setting record enrollment numbers. President Biden announced Thursday that a record 14.5 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act for 2022. Why the increase? Biden attributed the numbers to increased financial assistance under the American Rescue Plan that Democrats in Congress passed last year. That law increased the subsidies that help people afford their premiums and also lifted the income cap to allow more people to be eligible for assistance.


59 Republicans Behind Fake Electors Could Face Prison

(Political Wire) “Dozens of local and state Republican leaders who showed their loyalty to Donald Trump by casting fake electoral votes for him a year ago may now face prison time in return for that devotion,” the HuffPost reports. “Because as the House select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021, starts to look into the origins of the scheme to send ‘alternate’ ballots to Congress from states narrowly won by Joe Biden, the 59 ersatz Trump electors who claimed to be “duly elected and qualified” could face federal charges ranging from election fraud to mail fraud, in addition to a range of state-level charges.”

Mr. Sparkle

'I want you to see what a s***show America is': Frank Luntz warns the UK

(The Independent) During [Frank Luntz's] more recent sojourn [to the UK], he said he had a chance to reflect on the trends that have shaped US politics over the last several years and compare them to those on the other side of the “special relationship”. He told his guests the clip they were about to see demonstrated the difference between the two countries right now in a way that did not reflect well on his homeland. “I want to show you what a s***show America is,” he said. What followed had more in common with an old episode of The Jerry Springer Show than the focus groups for which Luntz has become known over the years. Instead of a calm, thoughtful moderated discussion, the participants screamed at each other.


Anthony Fauci is up against more than a virus

(Washington Post) Year 3 of covid times. Nearly 900,000 Americans are dead. An average of 2,000 (mostly unvaccinated) Americans are dying every day now, even though there is a simple measure to limit such suffering — made possible in large part by the Vaccine Research Center founded under Fauci. And yet many Americans would rather take their chances with a virus than a vaccine, because there’s more than just a virus going around. There’s something else in the air. Symptoms include rage, delusion, opportunism and extreme behavior — like comparing Fauci to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele (as Lara Logan did on Fox News in November), or setting out for Washington with an AR-15 and a kill list of “evil” targets that included Fauci (as a California man did last month).


'Gag orders' for U.S. teachers are becoming our new McCarthyism

(Will Bunch/Philadelphia Inquirer) The lecture series is titled “The Long Civil Rights Movement,” and the talk by Flagler University history professor J. Michael Butler hasn’t changed in 20 years. Through his lecture, Butler helps Florida educators look beyond the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and use a wide lens when teaching during Black History Month, from the dawn of Jim Crow to today’s fights over police brutality. In two decades, the lesson never provoked even the slightest controversy. But the political climate around Butler’s specialty — the history of U.S. race relations — has changed a lot. So the professor wasn’t completely shocked this month when administrators for the Osceola County School District abruptly canceled his planned Saturday sessions with their teachers.


How crypto became the new subprime

(Paul Krugman/New York Times) Investors in crypto seem to be different from investors in other risky assets, like stocks, who consist disproportionately of affluent, college-educated whites. According to a survey by the research organization NORC, 44 percent of crypto investors are nonwhite, and 55 percent don’t have a college degree. This matches up with anecdotal evidence that crypto investing has become remarkably popular among minority groups and the working class.

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