🇺🇸 Vaccine Volley
January 14, 2022

Good morning, and happy Friday! After the discovery of a fungus led to a US export ban for Canadian potatoes grown on Prince Edward Island, a Quebec man couldn’t bear seeing perfectly good food go to waste. He purchased nearly 30 tons of the spuds and donated them to a Montreal food bank.

Plus, cops tracked down the man accused of burning a landmark in Key West, Florida after a bartender recalled that he didn’t leave a tip. The allegedly cheap patron was so rude that he stuck in the bartender’s head, making him more recognizable after surveillance video was released.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/13: Biden Job Approval, Rasmussen Reports Approve 39, Disapprove 59
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/12: Congress Job Approval, Economist/YouGov Approve 17, Disapprove 62
D 1/12: Generic Congress Vote, Economist/YouGov Republicans 37,
Democrats 42
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/12: Direction of Country, Economist/YouGov Right Track 30,
Wrong Track 60

Trending On The Left


New York Times: Republican National Committee Signals a Pullout From Presidential Debates

WaPoCombative McCarthy deflects questions about his conversations with Trump

Huff Post: Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema Dooms Democrats' Voting Rights Push

CNN: GOP congressman apologizes for comparing DC vaccine protocols to Nazi Germany

Trending On The Right


DW: ‘Revenge Is Definite’: Iran Releases Video Depicting Assassination Of Trump

NY Post: House Dems pass NASA bill sending voting rights to certain Senate end

Breitbart: Cheney May Subpoena McCarthy After Refusal to Cooperate with Jan 6 Committee

Wash Examiner: Gabbard says Biden worse than Clinton for calling Americans 'domestic enemies'

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COVID-19

Vaccine Volley

Credit: CC 2.0 Tatiana
Similar to American sports stars Aaron Rodgers and Kyrie Irving, controversy surrounds tennis champion Novak Djokovic concerning his COVID-19 vaccination status. In this case, he had his visa revoked for refusing to get the jab before a judge then reinstated it, delaying the start of the Australian Open.

From The Right: "... the Australian Open draw ceremony began Thursday afternoon with defending champion Novak Djokovic named the No. 1 seed for the men's portion ... [Djokovic] admitted this week on Instagram that he broke his quarantine to do an interview last month and that his agent made a mistake on his immigration form." (Fox News)

From The Left: "The Serbian world No. 1 was detained in Australia last week over a visa and vaccination dispute ... Australian Border Force (ABF) officials are investigating possible inconsistencies in documents related to Djokovic's December PCR result as well as the tennis player's movements in the days after he tested positive." (CNN)

From The Flag: Meanwhile, an immigration minister could still rule Djokovic ineligible to play. Here’s how both sides see the issue.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Djokovic Serves Australian Authorities A Defeat Ahead Of Open


Commentary from the right focuses on what they deem excessively harsh COVID lockdowns in Australia, which has now affected the high-profile international sports tournament. Some argue Djokovic should be celebrated for his willingness to challenge the country’s rules, while others express hope athletes will stand up for people facing similar situations.

"Djokovic Pays for Australia’s Unforced COVID Errors" Allysia Finley, The Wall Street Journal: "Australia requires proof of vaccination to enter the country, even from citizens. Mr. Djokovic [had] received a medical exemption to play in the tournament ... None of this assuaged Australians who have endured lockdowns, quarantines, and travel restrictions exceeded in onerousness only by China’s. One town even shot rescue dogs to discourage shelter employees from traveling to pick them up ... Requiring Mr. Djokovic to be vaccinated is doubly pointless. He tested positive for the coronavirus in June 2020, and studies show natural immunity is at least as protective as vaccines. But infections are common with the Omicron variant among both the previously infected and the vaccinated. Ninety percent of Australians over 12 are fully vaccinated, yet cases are surging."

"Novak Djokovic Takes On the Australian Regime’s COVID Rules" George Leef, National Review: "Other than China, I don’t think that any country has gone as far as Australia has in trying to fight COVID with draconian rules. People there are desperately unhappy about the conditions that have been imposed, but if they rally against them, they could be roughed up and jailed. Who would have thought so many Australians were so eager to help the state enforce its irrational policies? ... I hope that Djokovic stands firm even if it means missing the tournament. Refusing to cave in will give hope to the millions of Aussies who are living under what has become a tyrannical government. Will anyone of similar stature please side with the oppressed in China?"

"Serbia: Australia's treating our star tennis player like a terrorist" Ed Morrissey, Hot Air: "Djokovic’s detention has touched off a diplomatic row that could call into question whether Australia can host any international events under its current rigid COVID-19 rules." Keep reading.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Letting Djokovic Play Is Hypocritical, Can’t Bend The Rules Now


Some left-leaning commentators admit Australia’s coronavirus response is on the harsh side but claim Djokovic is insulting the country’s people by flouting the rules. Others argue athletes have a persecution complex, with this latest episode illustrating their outsized cultural and economic power. One writer describes the country’s COVID-19 policies as “confusing and peculiar,” saying the incident makes Australia look bad.

"Australia should send Novak Djokovic home" Eugene Robinson, The Washington Post: "Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked men’s tennis player in the world, does not deserve to play in the Australian Open. His flouting of the country’s coronavirus vaccination regime has nothing to do with ‘freedom’ — and everything to do with the persecution complex he cultivates as a source of motivation ... If I were an Australian citizen, I’d be livid at the idea that Djokovic could waltz into the country — defiantly unvaccinated — and blithely go about staking his claim as tennis’s greatest of all time. I’d remember the early phase of the pandemic, when thousands of Aussies were stranded abroad for weeks or even months, barred from coming home. I’d remember the repeated lockdowns that were among the strictest and most punishing in the world."

"Novak Djokovic, Great at Tennis and Bad at Science..." Lindsay Crouse, The New York Times Opinion: "What’s worse than an anti-vaxxer in a pandemic? An anti-vaccine star athlete. That paragon of physical health, cloaked in a cape of defiance, declares to the world by example that you don’t have to follow public health policy after all — as long as you win. Which brings us to the top-ranked male tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic. The sport’s most visible vaccine skeptic, at the start of the pandemic Djokovic said he 'wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine' ... The Djokovic saga is exposing an uncomfortable truth for sports institutions: They are only as good as their stars. And the stars are calling the shots."

"Djokovic saga shows the absurd confusion of Australia's COVID-19 fortress" Tim Soutphommasane and Marc Stears, CNN: "... the world has learned a lot more about Australia's border controls, much of which it will take a long time to forget... The episode has already proven to be an absurd political drama." Keep reading.

FLAG THIS

Meanwhile, Omicron Rages in Oz


While the Djokovic debate rages, so does the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Just yesterday, Australia reported a record number of new cases and an increased number of hospitalizations. Reports indicate this is causing major supply chain issues, and authorities have eased quarantine guidelines to get more people back to work.

Flag Polls: Do you think Djokovic and other unvaccinated athletes are in the wrong? Sound off here

US & WORLD

TikTok Stars Raking It In, Vax-or-Test Blocked, Undergraduate Enrollment Drops

WSJ: TikTok stars are dancing their way to the bank. Some are making more than America’s top chief executives. Charli D’Amelio, who started posting videos of herself dancing on TikTok in 2019, brought in $17.5 million last year. By comparison, the median pay for chief executives of S&P 500 companies was $13.4 million in 2020.

CNBC: Speaking of vaccine volleysthe Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies.

CNN: The Justice Department has charged 11 defendants with seditious conspiracy related to the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, including the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes.

Reuters: President Joe Biden said on Thursday he is directing the U.S. government to procure an additional 500 million COVID-19 tests to help meet demand across the country amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

Axios: Undergraduate enrollment in fall 2021 fell 3.1% over the last year, or by approximately 465,300 students, compared with the previous year, according to new data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

CNBC: The House select committee investigating the deadly Capitol riot has subpoenaed social media giants Twitter, Reddit, and the parent companies of Facebook and Google, the panel’s chairman said Thursday.

WSJ: The UK appears to have passed the peak of the latest wave of Covid-19 caused by Omicron, a promising sign that the highly transmissible variant’s impact may be brief, if intense, and fueling optimism that the pandemic may be waning.

WATERCOOLER

Monroe's Second Marriage, Nose Cockroach, Solar Power

On January 14, 1954, Marilyn Monroe married Joe Dimaggio. It was the ultimate All-American romance: the tall, handsome hero of the country’s national pastime captures the heart of the beautiful, glamorous Hollywood star. However, the brief, volatile marriage barely got past the honeymoon before cracks began to show in its brilliant veneer. Above are Monroe and DiMaggio after getting married at San Francisco City Hall.

NYPNew Zealand man had cockroach living inside his ear for three days

Fast CompanyStop Giving Companies Your Phone Number. Do This Instead.

Popular Mechanics: Scientists film how the brain makes memories — opening the door for new PTSD treatment

Today I Learned the amount of sunlight that reaches Earth's surface within 1.5 hours has enough energy to satisfy the world's energy consumption for an entire year.

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