Daily Bread for 8.4.21

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 84. Sunrise is 5:50 AM and sunset 8:10 PM, for 14h 20m 18s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 16% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1821, The Saturday Evening Post is published for the first time as a weekly newspaper.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Hope Karnopp and Devi Shastri report Republican-led committee votes to block UW campuses’ COVID-19 requirements; UW-Madison immediately issues mask mandate:

MADISON – University of Wisconsin officials who want to ward off a rising COVID-19 caseload now must get permission from the Legislature to implement masking, testing or vaccination requirements, according to a plan Republicans adopted Tuesday.

Within hours, UW-Madison’s chancellor tested the issue by imposing a mask requirement without saying whether she would seek the approval of lawmakers.

The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted remotely without holding debate on the motion to require legislative approval for COVID policies on campuses. All six Republicans voted for the proposal and all four Democrats voted against it.

Republicans say the vote means the UW System must now get approval from lawmakers before putting in place any COVID rules. Democrats dispute that, saying the system still has the power to act on its own.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank signaled she believed she could act on her own by issuing a campuswide mask mandate soon after the committee vote.

Her order will require people — whether vaccinated or not — to wear masks when they are in campus buildings, in campus buses or riding with others in university vehicles. There are exceptions for when people are eating and drinking, in their dorm rooms or alone in offices. It takes effect Thursday.

Between the committee’s vote and Blank issuing her order, system officials did not respond to questions from the Journal Sentinel about whether they believed campuses could act on their own.

“Today’s action feels like a political statement; our focus is to ensure we are doing what needs to be done now to safely open for in-person teaching this fall,” UW System spokesman Mark Pitsch said of the committee’s vote.

Republican Sen. Steve Nass of Whitewater introduced the motion last week, which directs the UW Board of Regents to issue any current or future systemwide or campus-by-campus COVID-19 requirements as emergency rules, which the committee could block in part or whole

See also Steve Nass: Troll-King in Autumn.

Laura Bassett writes Biden calls on Andrew Cuomo to resign. He’s not the only Cuomo who needs to go:

The [New York Attorney General’s] report also noted that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, the governor’s brother, was part of a small team of advisers who helped him respond to the allegations. The journalist Cuomo seems to have gone so far as to draft a statement for his powerful brother in February of this year.

“Sometimes I am playful and make jokes,” the statement says. “You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. My only desire is to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”

The governor Cuomo appeared to take some of those tips, trying to spin the report on camera Tuesday alongside a bizarre montage of him kissing and touching people. He denied the allegations, refused to admit to any misconduct and said he was just being “playful,” which somehow got misinterpreted as flirtation.

“I do on occasion say, ‘Ciao, bella,'” the governor said. “I do banter with people. I do tell jokes — some better than others.”

“I try to put people at ease. I try to make them smile. I try to connect with them,” he continued. “I now understand that there are generational or cultural perspectives that frankly I haven’t fully appreciated.”

Of course, according to the employees in James’ report, the governor’s self-described “banter” neither made them smile nor put them at ease. The women he harassed described his behavior as “deeply humiliating, uncomfortable, offensive” and “inappropriate.” The report concluded that he created a “hostile work environment” that was “rife with fear and intimidation” and that he clearly violated federal and state law.

Given this information, Andrew Cuomo should resign immediately or be impeached.

His brother, too, should resign from covering politics or be fired. It’s extremely inappropriate and unethical for a journalist to advise and craft the statements of a politician, regardless of family relation.

 Wild coyote circles beachgoer for 10 minutes:

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