Rep. Dick Hinch, the newly elected speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, has died of COVID-19. His colleagues are blaming each other.
The 71-year-old Republican was sworn in on December 2 at an outdoor ceremony where a large number of his conservative colleagues did not wear masks.
"Hinch created a separate seating area for the roughly 80 Republicans who refused to wear masks when all House elected members took the oath of office," reports the New Hampshire Union Leader.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu called Hinch's death a "tragic and cautionary tale" about ignoring personal pandemic precautions. "For those who are just out there doing the opposite just to make some ridiculous political point, it is horribly wrong," Sununu said at a news conference yesterday.
Some have been more explicit in blaming reckless legislators for Hinch's fate.
"Those in our caucus who refused to take precautions are responsible for Dick Hinch's death," tweeted Republican Rep. William M. Marsh, a retired doctor.
It's not clear when or where Hinch caught the virus. But "in the weeks leading up to his death, Hinch was at the center of a tense controversy between Republican and Democratic state legislators about a lack of adherence to public health guidelines by the GOP members," notes The Washington Post.
In November, he and other state Republican lawmakers were photographed at multiple indoor gatherings without masks. One of the events, on November 20, featured a buffet meal and was responsible for at least four state lawmakers getting COVID-19, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said.
New Hampshire isn't the only state in which lawmakers have been battling COVID-19 outbreaks.
There have recently been "a slew of COVID-19 cases in the Ohio General Assembly," notes WOSU Radio. Three Pennsylvania lawmakers have tested positive for the virus this week, as did Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. Legislatures in North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Indiana have also this week reported new cases among state lawmakers.
Every one of these cases was ushered to the ante-room of the execution chamber by Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. When Trump was elected and Obama was a lame duck my friends asked him to commute these sentences. His counsel laughed and refused. https://t.co/u9ei6VYgBc
— David Menschel (@davidminpdx) December 11, 2020
The federal government under Donald Trump has executed more individuals in recent months than had been executed in the preceding 60 years. The death penalty is inhumane and fraught with error. No government should have this power. It's past time to #AbolishTheDeathPenalty.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) December 11, 2020
Maggie McNeill explains the movement to make credit card companies stop doing business with Pornhub. Yesterday, Mastercard and Visa both "announced that they will no longer let customers use their cards on the adult video site Pornhub. This new policy was prompted by political pressure, making it the latest government victory in a long, censorious quest," writes McNeill.
How quickly people forget that @pornhub was completely free… and they still made millions in a day! All of off their ads! Taking away Visa and MasterCard only hurts the individual creators and the industry.
— Alana Evans (@alanaevansxxx) December 10, 2020
- Time magazine named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as its "Person of the Year."
How are you going to give this to politicians who haven't taken office yet in a year when doctors risked their lives on a mass scale and vaccine researchers triumphed with unprecedented speed? The Cult of the Presidency that @GeneHealy wrote about so well is as alive as ever. https://t.co/mByll3Wy5p
— Conor Friedersdorf (@conor64) December 11, 2020
- Reason writers and editors offer ideas on what to get that special libertarian in your life this year.
- "Operation Underground Railroad has flourished in the age of QAnon," notes Vice. "But not all of its stories hold up to scrutiny."
- Stop saying "lockdown is not that hard," implores Bonnie Kristian.
- The Federal Trade Commission is going broke.
- The Ohio legislature has passed a bill requiring aborted fetuses to be buried or cremated. "The legislation, which carries a first-degree misdemeanor penalty, requires abortion clinics to pay for cremations and burials and offers pregnant women the option to choose how to dispose of the remains," notes Cleveland.com.
- A new paper in the journal Personality and Individual Differences suggests "that victimhood is a stable and meaningful personality tendency."
- Minneapolis lawmakers voted yesterday to yank funding from local cops. From The Washington Post:
The Minneapolis City Council, which tried and failed to dismantle the police department in the wake of George Floyd's death, voted early Thursday to shift nearly $8 million from next year's police budget to other city services as part of an effort to 'transform' public safety in the city.
- More details on the police raid of a Florida data scientist's home.
- Entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang says he'll run for mayor of New York City.