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Rams' 34-24 victory over the Buccaneers by the numbers

Breaking down the notable numbers behind the Rams' 34-24 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at SoFi Stadium on Sunday:

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Lyft releases sex assault data showing 360 rapes during three-year span
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Democrats Stare Into the Abyss
Since mid-summer, Democrats have been trapped in a downward spiral of declining approval ratings for President Joe Biden, rising public anxiety about the country’s direction, and widening internal divisions over the party’s legislative agenda. The next few weeks will likely determine whether they have bottomed out and can begin to regain momentum before next year’s midterm elections.Roughly since the rise of the Delta variant sent COVID-19 caseloads soaring again, the White House and congressional Democrats have faced a debilitating slog of dashed hopes and diminished expectations. Weeks of negotiation over the party’s massive economic-development and social-safety-net bill have mostly continued that story, with Democratic groups lamenting the loss of programs that are being lopped off to meet the objections primarily of two centrist Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona—the same duo whose resistance to changing the Senate filibuster rule has so far stymied the party’s hopes of passing legislation establishing a nationwide floor for voting rights. Amid all of these reversals, anxiety is rising among Democrats about whether they can hold the governorship in next month’s election in Virginia—a state Biden carried last year by 10 points.But after months of steady retreat, Biden and congressional Democrats are currently engaged in intense negotiations that will decide whether (and in what form) they can pass their sweeping economic and safety-net bill. And after a Republican filibuster on Wednesday blocked the Democrats’ latest proposal to combat the voting-rights restrictions proliferating in red states, the party now squarely faces the choice that many activists consider an even more existential decision: whether it will reform the filibuster to pass that legislation.[Read: The Democrats’ last best shot to kill the filibuster]On both fronts, these deliberations provide the party a chance to finally begin posting legislative victories on significant priorities. For all that may be eliminated from the economic bill, which the party is seeking to pass under the reconciliation process that preempts a GOP filibuster, it could still encompass the biggest increase in both public investment and the social safety net since the 1960s, pumping money into programs for kids, health care, economic development, and climate change.“The process has certainly been challenging, and we’ll still have far more to do to achieve economic and racial justice,” says Sharon Parrott, the president of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “But I think [this package] will be a very important set of significant policy advances that will be game-changing in a lot of ways.”Passing the reconciliation bill would also clear the way for passage of the extensive bipartisan infrastructure package approved earlier this year in the Senate. And once reconciliation and infrastructure are completed, many hope Biden and other party leaders can intensify pressure on Manchin and Sinema to find some way to exempt voting-rights legislation from the filibuster.“The fact that reconciliation has stretched this long has definitely been harmful to the efforts to move Manchin and Sinema on voting rights and the filibuster,” says Eli Zupnick, a spokesperson for the liberal advocacy group Fix Our Senate. “My theory, and I think everyone’s theory throughout … is that once [the White House] got through reconciliation, they felt they could expend political capital with Manchin and Sinema in a way that they could not with reconciliation hanging out there.”Democrats could still fall from this tightrope. Progressives could demand the inclusion of too many programs, even in truncated form, to realistically meet the spending ceiling Manchin and Sinema have set. Sinema’s resistance to higher tax rates, in turn, could make it impossible for the party to fund even a more modest version of its plans. And even if Democrats can solve the Rubik’s Cube of the reconciliation bill, nothing may move Manchin and Sinema from their defense of the filibuster, which on voting rights, as I’ve written, illogically gives Senate Republicans a veto on whether Washington responds to the restrictions that their Republican colleagues in the states are passing.Moreover, the evidence of history is that legislative success in a president’s first year doesn’t guarantee electoral success in the midterm elections of his second year. Voter assessments of current conditions, on the economy and the country’s overall direction, have seemed to matter more. But while legislative success hasn’t been sufficient to ensure successful midterm contests, it may still be necessary to avoid the worst: The collapse of a party’s agenda can disillusion its core voters and send a signal of disarray to swing voters.[David A. Graham: The Democrats’ greatest delusion]A wide range of strategists from across the party’s ideological spectrum have escalated their calls in recent days for the party to arrive at a budget deal—almost any deal. Simon Rosenberg, the president of NDN, a Democratic research and advocacy group, has argued for weeks that Democrats need to conclude the legislative wrangling so they can shift their focus back to the public’s top priority: containing the coronavirus pandemic and undoing the economic damage associated with it.On Wednesday, the centrist group Third Way and the liberal polling organization Data for Progress held an unusual joint press conference to encourage Democrats to reach an agreement. “There are enormous substantive reasons why it’s important for individual components of this package to be included, but politically, what will matter most for Democrats is that the bills are done,” Sean McElwee, a co-founder and the executive director of Data for Progress, said during the event. “The sooner we can get these bills finalized … the sooner we can demonstrate, to both our base and the independents, that we are unified as a party and able to get things done. That’s why there is real urgency around getting this across the finish line.”One reason for that urgency is the Virginia governor’s race on November 2. Democrats have been unnerved by former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s inability to establish a safe advantage over the Republican Glenn Youngkin in the race to succeed Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, who is term-limited.A Youngkin victory would actually fit the state’s long tradition of pushing back against the president’s party: The party out of the White House has won every Virginia governor’s race since 1977 with just one exception—McAuliffe’s 2013 victory, the year after Barack Obama’s reelection. But given the state’s blue tilt since then, a McAuliffe loss would still rattle Democrats, particularly because evidence suggests that Biden’s sagging popularity is exerting an undertow on the governor: A Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found that a 52 percent majority of registered voters in the state now disapprove of Biden’s performance, and just over four-fifths of those disapprovers are backing Youngkin. McAuliffe is winning an even higher percentage of those who approve of Biden, but just 43 percent of voters express such positive views of him, the poll found. (A Fox News poll in Virginia last week showed Biden’s approval at 50 percent and McAuliffe narrowly leading.) McAuliffe has publicly pleaded for congressional Democrats to finish their work, particularly on the infrastructure bill.Reaching agreement on the reconciliation bill (and the infrastructure package whose passage it would trigger) would hardly solve all of the Democrats’ problems. Economic unease, particularly over inflation, is rising, which some Democrats believe is the key reason Biden’s approval rating hasn’t recovered in most surveys (or has even continued falling) as the Delta wave has started to recede. No matter what happens on reconciliation, a long list of party priorities that passed the House appear doomed by the Senate filibuster, including immigration and police reform, LGBTQ equality, and gun control. And the final reconciliation bill, coming in at a price tag far below the original goal of $3.5 trillion, will inevitably be conspicuous for what it leaves out, including free community college and provisions pushing utilities to shift toward clean-energy sources. Depending on how talks with the unpredictable Sinema pan out, Biden could even be forced to retrench (or eliminate) a plan the party has discussed for 20 years to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription-drug prices. Sinema’s resistance could also force Biden to accept little or no progress at reversing the reductions in corporate- and income-tax rates approved by Donald Trump and the Republican Congress—tax cuts that every Democrat in both chambers (including Sinema) voted against. Those would all be bitter pills for much of the party to swallow.Voting rights, which is now proceeding on a completely separate path, may offer Democrats their best chance to heal those bruises and unite the party heading into 2022.[Read: The Democrats’ dead end on voting rights]For many party activists and strategists, the fate of the voting-rights bill is even more consequential than what happens to the reconciliation budget package. Amid all the red-state measures restricting access to the ballot and increasing Republican leverage over election administration, if Democrats cannot secure voting rights, “I think it would be a failed Congress,” Zupnick says, in a widely shared view. “It would be seen as the biggest missed opportunity and biggest political mistake in a generation at least. If they don’t take steps now to protect our democracy, the window could shut and there may not be another chance. This cannot be seen as a successful Congress no matter how strong the reconciliation bill is if they do not do something on democracy protection.”For months, activists have complained that Biden and the White House have focused far more on passing the reconciliation bill than on passing the voting-rights legislation—an imbalance apparent in the president’s priorities this week on the former even as the GOP blocked the party’s latest version of the latter. Biden, at a CNN town hall last night, said explicitly that he intended to complete his reconciliation bill before fully focusing on the voting-rights legislation—opening the door, for the first time, to supporting an exemption from the filibuster if necessary to pass it.But the party’s best chance to solve both of these problems may be to link them. It’s possible to imagine a grand bargain in which House and Senate progressives would accept the smaller reconciliation bill that Manchin and Sinema are demanding in return for them creating some exemption from the filibuster for voting rights.Manchin and Sinema, as some Democrats told me this week, may feel they already have enough leverage on both fronts that they don’t need to make any deals. But while Manchin is essentially immune to intra-party pressure in West Virginia, agreeing to advance the voting-rights bill would surely represent Sinema’s best opportunity to undo (or at least soften) the animus she’s generated among Democratic activists in Washington, D.C., and Arizona with her actions on issues such as the minimum wage and the reconciliation bill.“It may be time for Dems to start thinking even more out of the box, given our thin majorities and struggles to get our agenda passed,” Rosenberg told me when I ran the idea of a grand bargain by him. “The endgame on reconciliation is going to be very hard, and perhaps something like this may be just the thing to get us to a good and smart final deal.”In his floor speech after the latest GOP filibuster blocked the Democrats’ voting-rights bill, on Wednesday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer noted that the Lincoln-era congressional Republican majorities passed the major Reconstruction civil-rights laws—including the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments—on an entirely party-line basis, without a single vote from House or Senate Democrats (who were defending their allies in the former Confederate states.) “To the patriots after the Civil War, this wasn’t partisan—it was patriotic, and American democracy is better off today because the patriots in this chamber at that time were undeterred by minority obstruction,” Schumer insisted. A grand bargain among Democrats that simultaneously resolves their disputes over the spending bill and voting rights may be their best chance to uphold that tradition today—and reverse their own fading fortunes before 2022.
GOP congressman ends floor speech with 'Let's go, Brandon'
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A Virginia museum wants to melt down Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue and transform it into public art
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10/22: CBSN AM
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January 6 Wasn’t a Riot. It Was War.
In the days and weeks after the storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, commentators and media outlets grappled with the question of what to call that event. Language is sticky; it clarifies and obfuscates the truth depending on who’s wielding it. January 6 was described as or likened to a “riot,” a “tourist visit,” an “insurrection,” a “peaceful protest,” and a “coup attempt.” And yet, watching Four Hours at the Capitol, Jamie Roberts’s tight, unsettling new HBO documentary about that day, another word seemed more appropriate to me, one that most of the participants interviewed in the film might agree on. More than anything else, January 6 was war.There have been a number of incisive breakdowns of that day, including “Day of Rage,” The New York Times’ 40-minute film detailing how the attack was strategized and executed, and how President Donald Trump and his allies fomented mass anger and even seemed to encourage the violence. Four Hours at the Capitol isn’t as analytical, or as thorough in its parsing of all the information that’s emerged. But its immersiveness offers something else. With his rigidly chronological framing and his interviews with people who were present at the Capitol that day, Roberts captures the extent to which both sides were engaging in combat. This dynamic emerges over and over again throughout different accounts and video clips. One clash between Capitol Police officers and pro-Trump extremists is referred to by a participant as “the battle for the tunnel.” Different interviewees describe fighting on “the front line,” engaging in “hand-to-hand combat,” and, in the case of one police officer, the strangeness of walking through his own colleagues’ blood. In a scene that seems ripped right out of a Bruce Willis movie, a police commander shouts, “We are not losing the U.S. Capitol today, do you hear me?”Like most people, I watched January 6 unfold from my couch, where the cognitive dissonance of seeing men in full tactical gear and Confederate Army cosplayers traipsing through the Capitol’s hallways was undercut by a genuine horror about what might happen next. TV news showed how easily the small number of Capitol Police officers present that day were overwhelmed. Matter-of-factly, Four Hours at the Capitol documents how fiercely they fought to keep the insurrectionists from overwhelming the building and reaching members of Congress. Roberts sweeps viewers quickly into the day, starting with an assembly of Proud Boys on the National Mall who seem disturbingly primed for violence even at 10:35 in the morning. Around noon, after Trump declares, “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,” his followers start heading to the Capitol, a makeshift army equipped with flags, weapons, even a hangman’s platform.Four Hours lets its subjects speak without interjection or correction, a decision that seems to respect its audience’s ability to reason out the logical gaps. Most of the people interviewed who stormed the Capitol that day seem either savvy enough to avoid self-incrimination or steeped in self-delusion. Roberts occasionally editorializes, following up a scene in which a Georgia car dealer recalls how proud he was that day “to see the American spirit that was on display” with footage of people smashing the windows of the Capitol with body shields stolen from cops. But there is something striking in seeing people on two sides of a very recent conflict discuss the opposing roles they played in it. “They were trying to kill us. There was no doubt in my mind,” says Michael Fanone, an officer who was dragged away from his colleagues by a crowd, beaten, and Tasered, resulting in a mild heart attack and a brain injury. “There was a lot of fighting between patriotic people and Capitol Police” is how the Proud Boy Bobby Pickles puts it, likening January 6 to “1776, because it reminds us of revolting against our government.”The breadth of people Four Hours includes adds emotional texture to its presentation of events. Roberts interviews both Democratic and Republican members of Congress, as well as the aides who hid in dark rooms, afraid they were going to be killed. Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona describes the violent plan he made if he had to fight to survive, while Connecticut’s Rosa DeLauro recalls phoning her husband to tell him that she loved him, in case she didn’t make it out alive. Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia enthusiastically recalls needing to “fight” the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, but seems frustrated that others took his words too literally. “How could y’all be so stupid? Guys, we were winning,” he says, exasperated. “We were winning the moral wars.”[David A. Graham: The new lost cause]What’s clear, watching the documentary, is how much worse things could have been—what might have happened if the hordes screaming Nancy Pelosi’s name had gotten to her, how bloody the day might have become had more police officers used their weapons, how many more cops and rioters might have died. As it was, one officer died the next day after suffering two strokes, while four died by suicide in the weeks after the battle. One pro-Trump extremist was fatally shot in the Capitol, one died of an amphetamine overdose, and two died of medical events related to heart conditions. The wife of Jeffrey Smith, a D.C. police officer who took his own life with his service weapon nine days after the attack, says that her husband was a “completely different person” when he arrived home that evening. “There was obviously something that happened that changed him.”Capitol Police officers are equipped to deal with violence and threats to their lives. They’re not trained for warfare, which is what must have made January 6 and their task of defending the U.S. Capitol seem so absurd. The last time anti-government forces stormed the building was in 1814, when British forces set fire to the Capitol, the White House, and the United States Treasury. Never before 2021 had the Confederate flag been paraded through the seat of the U.S. government. Even now, as my colleague David A. Graham wrote earlier this week, pro-Trump factions are trying to redefine January 6 as a mythic symbol, a New Lost Cause. But what Four Hours at the Capitol captures is impossible to deny: Pro-Trump forces went to war against the American officers charged with defending democracy.
Wuhan Coronavirus Research Coverup Allegations Prompt NIH to Give EcoHealth an Ultimatum
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