Top Three Takeaways – October 27th, 2021
- It has always been about educating our kids. One of my great frustrations, probably my greatest, since the onset of the school year and the subsequent battles over school mask mandates in South Florida’s school districts, is that from my perspective the battling has always been about educating our kids. While the Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County School Districts continue to defy state law by imposing mask mandates without parental optouts what’s seemingly lost in all of this is the education of our kids. A recent quote from Broward School Board member Sarah Leonardi crystalizes this issue perfectly. While expressing frustration over engaged parents and concerned citizens who’ve regularly pressed the district on its unlawful mask policy, she had this to say: I wish that’s what people were coming to school board meetings and talking about was educating kids. The problem has simply been that school board members like Sarah have never paid attention to the facts. Going back to August 10th, prior to the start of the school year, I began making the case at length. The case that the mask debate is all about education. That’s because numerous studies of the prior school year had been conducted of students and teachers wearing masks at all levels. All of these studies, 13 of which were posted to the National Institutes of Health’s website, showed that at every education level – from kindergarten through med school – teachers were less effective at teaching and students were less effective at learning with masks on. There were no exceptions. That’s why the school mask debate has always been primarily about the education of our kids. The fact that most of South Florida’s School Board members are ignorant of the facts has been and remains deeply concerning but doesn’t alter them. The mask mandates of South Florida’s School Districts have provably impaired the education of our kids – the very reason we send them to school in first place. It’s always been about educating our kids. Our school districts have ignorantly been derelict of duty. There are two sides to stories but one side to facts. It’s the school board members, not the concerned parents, that have been the ones who haven’t been about educating our kids.
- Government should be my partner not my provider. Know who said that? Senator Joe Manchin to President Biden over the weekend. This according to Senator Manchin who, in a very candid series of comments on Tuesday, made clear just how false much of the reporting over the past couple of days has been. Among the statements made by Manchin he said he’s not budged from his $1.5 trillion figure for a reconciliation deal. He said he isn’t open to tax increases on earned income – which is a huge development as that in theory was what was going to pay for this. He is apparently open to an asset, or unrealized gains tax however, though he didn’t elaborate on what he’d support. Manchin also said this to Biden according to his account regarding the proposal of the IRS monitoring all transactions of $600 or more: Do you understand how messed up that is to think that Uncle Sam’s going to be watching? This cannot happen, this is screwed up. Amen. There’s a lot that’s screwed up about the reconciliation bill. Starting with it even being a thing. Here’s to hoping nothing happens, but it is clear that if something happens it’s going to be whatever Manchin wants it to be. Notably Sinema’s still mostly quiet during all of this. She could be a wildcard in the end.
- Florida’s done with Ben & Jerry’s and specifically their parent company Unilever too. Yesterday was the day Governor DeSantis’s directive to divest Florida of any association with Ben & Jerry’s, and their parent company Unilever, if they didn’t change Ben & Jerry’s stated BDS position regarding Israel, went into effect. Under Florida law the state must not invest in or contract with any organization that supports the BDS movement. In July, Ben & Jerry’s announced they would pull all products from the West Bank and East Jerusalem which they referred to as “occupied Palestinian territory”. They nor Unilever have changed their position, so Ben & Jerry and their parent company are done in the state of Florida. It’s not a posturing position either. In addition to Unilever and its products no longer being eligible for state business, the state is doing divesting of its own. To the tune of the $139 million which had been held in Unilever stock.