Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BURR AND TILLIS NEED TO HELP NC MORE THAN APPEASE TRUMP: The House of Representatives, NEARLY TWO MONTHS AGO, passed a relief package that addresses many of the concerns that now demand urgent action. It appropriately continues the $600-a-week unemployment insurance benefit through January and provides $175 billion in assistance for rent, mortgages and utilities. It also provides money for states to do more testing and tracing of COVID-19 spread; $100 billion so schools can safely reopen and helps struggling states with assistance to keep essential workers on the job. The Trump administration and the Senate, other than complain about the House’s plan, have done nothing. Their negligence and failure to act has resulted in an emergency. It is time to stop playing politics with the lives of North Carolinians. The conceptual White House relief package is larded with contingencies such as: requiring schools open in return for aid; rejecting funding states to increase testing and tracing; and cutting a payroll tax that provides NO relief to those who need it most NOW.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/editorial-burr-and-tillis-need-to-help-n-c-more-than-appease-trump/...

Saturday News: Fleeing a sinking ship?

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REP. DAVID LEWIS ANNOUNCES ABRUPT RETIREMENT: One of the most powerful Republicans in the state legislature announced Friday he’s retiring from public office, just months before he was set to run for re-election this November. Harnett County Rep. David Lewis has been a state lawmaker since 2003. He said he plans to serve out the rest of his term this year, but then wants to spend more time with his family. “I love my wife and kids and I recognize that their sacrifice has been measurably greater than my own, because they really didn’t have a say in when Dad was coming home,” Lewis wrote in his retirement announcement. A farmer from Dunn, he’s best known to the public for his role in election law changes, specifically on voter ID and redistricting bills.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article244474042.html

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lays down the gauntlet

Those days of silent submission are long over:

“In front of reporters, Representative Yoho called me, and I quote: ‘A fucking bitch,’” she said, punching each syllable in the vulgarity. “These are the words Representative Yoho levied against a congresswoman.”

Then Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, who excels at using her detractors to amplify her own political brand, invited a group of Democratic women in the House to come forward to express solidarity with her. One by one, they shared their own stories of harassment and mistreatment by men, including in Congress.

Republican men are bad enough when they are on the mic, on the Congressional record. They will use thinly-veiled innuendo to viciously attack the character of whoever is testifying, and lash out at their female colleagues every chance they get. But one on one they're even worse, especially when there are no other witnesses around. Democratic men are not completely immune to such misogynistic behavior, but we police our own pretty thoroughly. AOC has the potential of being not just a firebrand, but a good leader herself, by giving others the opportunity to tell their stories:

Friday News: R.I.P.

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CONTROVERSIAL UNC-W PROFESSOR MIKE ADAMS FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME: Deputies responded to a wellness check at Adams’ home address and found him deceased. NHCSO is investigating the death, but has not released any additional information, and could not confirm cause of death or if foul play was suspected. The longtime professor of criminology and sociology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) was set to retire next week as part of a $500,000 settlement. The settlement came as Adams was facing growing criticism for his social media posts and UNCW, in particular Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, was under increasing pressure to terminate his employment. Several petitions with around 85,000 total signatures called for his termination, and letters from his colleagues and fellow criminologists denounced his actions and called for his firing. Due to Adams’ tenured status, and his previous legal victory over UNCW (which cost the UNC system roughly $700,000), the university opted for a negotiated exit.
https://portcitydaily.com/local-news/2020/07/23/new-hanover-sheriffs-office-investigating-death-of-u...

UNC needs volunteers for Coronavirus vaccine trials

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It's a strangely attractive offer, but that could just be a brutal case of cabin fever:

The vaccine trial at UNC will be a Phase 3 clinical trial of a vaccine against COVID-19 developed by Moderna, a private research company.

Moderna’s vaccine is based on taking genetic material, known as mRNA, from the coronavirus. When a person gets the vaccine, their cells will make viral proteins from this mRNA, just as they would if they were infected by the coronavirus. Their immune system should learn to detect these proteins to fight off future exposure to COVID-19.

While I'm trying to decide if I want to be one of UNC's little Outbreak monkeys, here's some stuff on genetics that flies over this primate's head:

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