Alabama councilman, 19, hospitalized with covid after opposing mask mandate: ‘Terrible not to be able to breathe’ (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Alabama councilman, 19, hospitalized with covid after opposing mask mandate: ‘Terrible not to be able to breathe’. “A teenage city council member in Decatur, Ala., who voted in April to end his city’s mask mandate landed in the hospital with the coronavirus Wednesday night after developing pneumonia and struggling to breathe. ‘I am still shallow in breathing but my oxygen remains okay for now!’ 19-year-old Hunter Pepper, who in August 2020 became the youngest person ever elected to the Decatur City Council, said on Facebook Thursday. ‘Confirming last night after a ‘CT-Scan’ I am now shown to have “Covid Pneumonia” which is absolutely terrible.’”

Senator Richard Blumenthal: Blumenthal & Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms’ Negative Impact on Teens & Children

Senator Richard Blumethal: Blumenthal & Blackburn Announce Probe Into Facebook Coverup of its Platforms’ Negative Impact on Teens & Children. “‘When given the opportunity to come clean to us about their knowledge of Instagram’s impact on young users, Facebook provided evasive answers that were misleading and covered up clear evidence of significant harm. We are in touch with a Facebook whistleblower and will use every resource at our disposal to investigate what Facebook knew and when they knew it – including seeking further documents and pursuing witness testimony. The Wall Street Journal’s blockbuster reporting may only be the tip of the iceberg.’”

FiveThirtyEight: Republicans Aren’t New To The Anti-Vaxx Movement

FiveThirtyEight: Republicans Aren’t New To The Anti-Vaxx Movement. “Though anti-vaxxers have been around as long as vaccines, the modern anti-vaccination movement really emerged after the 1998 publication of an infamous and since-retracted study in The Lancet that falsely claimed the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused autism. In the years that followed — spurred partly by support from celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy — a new era of vaccine fears began, with small but fierce cohorts of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. And polling has consistently shown those small cohorts included Americans on the left and the right.”

Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It

NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights: Fueling the Fire: How Social Media Intensifies U.S. Political Polarization — And What Can Be Done About It. “Determining whether social media plays a role in worsening partisan animosity is important because political polarization has pernicious consequences. We conclude that social media platforms are not the main cause of rising partisan hatred, but use of these platforms intensifies divisiveness and thus contributes to its corrosive effects.”

Newsweek: Lora Reinbold, Anti-Mask Lawmaker, Says She Can’t Fly to Senate After Airline Ban

Newsweek: Lora Reinbold, Anti-Mask Lawmaker, Says She Can’t Fly to Senate After Airline Ban . “State senator Lora Reinbold, a Republican from Eagle River, said that her ban from Alaska Airlines made it impossible for her to fly into the state capital Juneau to carry out her legislative duties. In April, the airline banned Reinbold because she refused to follow the company’s COVID-19 rules on mask wearing which cited federal law requiring all passengers ‘to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times during travel.’”

Open Secrets: Google on track to surpass 2020 lobbying following lawsuit pressure from Biden admin

Open Secrets: Google on track to surpass 2020 lobbying following lawsuit pressure from Biden admin. “While pressure builds on Google to demonopolize, Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., is on its way to surpass its 2020 federal lobbying spending. In the first half of 2021, Alphabet spent nearly $1.8 million more on federal lobbying than it did at the same time period in 2020. That’s $5.9 million this year versus $4.1 million last year. The company’s spending this year is more on track with its spending in 2019, when the company spent around $12.8 million on federal lobbying efforts. While 2021’s number may match that, 2019’s total spend was considerably less than previous years when Alphabet routinely spent more than $15 million.”

West Virginia University: WVU Libraries opens ‘Intelligence and Oversight After 9/11’ exhibit online

West Virginia University: WVU Libraries opens ‘Intelligence and Oversight After 9/11’ exhibit online. “Using select materials from the archives of Senator Jay Rockefeller, the exhibit and digital collection explore how the intelligence community and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The exhibit text is derived from the Memorandum for the Record regarding a review of Senator John D. Rockefeller’s Service on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: 2001-2015.”

Washington Post: GOP West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is done with all that nonsense on vaccines

Washington Post: GOP West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is done with all that nonsense on vaccines. “Many of Justice’s GOP colleagues have trodden gently around promoting the vaccines. Some have raised speculative and baseless allegations that the vaccines might be unsafe. Former president Donald Trump promoted them, but only after months of conspicuously declining to do so and not disclosing his own vaccination. Even many who have encouraged vaccination have focused more on their opposition to mandates. They have also made a point to frequently either attach qualifiers that it’s a choice or to suggest that it doesn’t really matter to the vaccinated. And they’ve occasionally suggested that they can’t do much about the vaccine misinformation from allies in their midst. And then there’s Justice, the governor of the second-Trumpiest state in the country. As the team at the Recount has documented, he has made clear over the past six […]

Orlando Sentinel: Volusia Councilman Lowry, conspiracy theory promoter, hospitalized with COVID-19

Orlando Sentinel: Volusia Councilman Lowry, conspiracy theory promoter, hospitalized with COVID-19. “Volusia County Council member Fred Lowry, who as a preacher promoted conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and other topics, has been hospitalized with the virus, according to a news report. The 66-year-old last attended a council meeting on August 17, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported. Lowry has been battling the infection for about three weeks, County Chair Jeff Brower said, according to the report.”

Los Angeles Times: On Google and YouTube, Newsom and Elder aim for two different Californias

Los Angeles Times: On Google and YouTube, Newsom and Elder aim for two different Californias. “Nearly two-thirds of the ads aired by groups backing Newsom and Elder only appeared for users in specific ZIP Codes. The ‘Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom’ group aired ads on the coast in the state’s densely populated Democratic strongholds, while Elder’s campaign committee has opted for inland areas where Republicans are more common. A Times analysis of records from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, released by the Google Transparency Project, shows the rival camps are using the platform’s vast collection of user data to target areas they see as key to victory.”

Poll: Ron DeSantis net approval falls 14 points among Florida voters as COVID-19 cases soar (Florida Politics)

Florida Politics: Poll: Ron DeSantis net approval falls 14 points among Florida voters as COVID-19 cases soar. “A Morning Consult survey of nearly 4,200 voters in the Sunshine State revealed the pronounced negative shift in public perception of the first-term Florida Governor, who over the last two months has overseen an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases. During that time, his net approval rating — the share of voters who approve of his job performance minus the share who disapprove — fell 14 percentage points.”

Houston Public Media: Texas Senate Passes Bill That Would Punish Social Media Companies For Alleged Political Censorship

Houston Public Media: Texas Senate Passes Bill That Would Punish Social Media Companies For Alleged Political Censorship. “Texas is poised to punish social media companies for alleged censorship of political views after the state Senate passed House Bill 20 on a mostly party line vote of 17-14. Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes of Mineola, the Senate sponsor, argued that social media platforms are, in effect, common carriers – like phone companies and cable carriers – and should be treated as such from the standpoint of the First Amendment.”

Cision (Canada): Launch of an interactive database measuring the attention devoted to Indigenous matters by federal candidates on social media (PRESS RELEASE)

Cision (Canada): Launch of an interactive database measuring the attention devoted to Indigenous matters by federal candidates on social media (PRESS RELEASE). “Researchers from the Observatoire des administrations publiques autochtones (OAPA) and the Observatoire de la politique et de la sécurité de l’Arctique (OPSA) of ENAP have launched an interactive analysis tool that measures the interest of federal election candidates in Indigenous matters. The interactive tool allows for measuring the level of attention given to these matters, by day, by political party and by riding, among others. Several tools are also available to analyze the type of topics raised and the themes addressed by the candidates.”