The Daily Moth 8-1-2019

Second night of Democratic debates in Detroit; Boy has 526 teeth removed from jaw; New China tariffs; Senate $2.7 trillion budget deal; Fed cuts interest rates; Burger King to sell Impossible Whopper nationwide; Deaf in Detroit debate audience; Deaf woman dies from carbon monoxide from her keyless car


Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Thursday, August 1. Ready for news?


Second night of Democratic debates in Detroit

Last night was the second night of the Democratic debates in Detroit. Here are some highlights. A major topic was immigration, just like the first night.

Senator Cory Booker criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for not condemning the Obama administration’s high number of deportations.

There was an interruption from a protest from an immigration advocacy group that interrupted Biden with chants that said, “3 million deportations.” This again referred to deportations under the Obama administration.

Biden said he would not resume the Obama administration’s deportation rate, but said he was opposed to the idea of decriminalizing illegal border crossings because people should have to get in line unless they are seeking asylum.

Biden was criticized by Democratic candidates for not doing enough as vice president to speak up against deportations. Biden fired back at former Obama HUD Secretary Julian Castro by saying that he never heard Castro talking about immigration issues when he was secretary. Castro responded by saying he has learned from the past, while Biden hasn’t.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard criticized Senator Kamala Harris on her record as California Attorney General. Gabbard said Harris put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. Gabbard framed Harris as an oppressor against people charged with crimes. Other Democratic candidates also attacked Harris’ previous role as prosecutor, putting her on the defensive.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee focused on climate change, saying our time is up, our house is on fire, we have to stop using coal in 10 years, and we need a president to do it or it won’t get done.

Businessman Andrew Yang talked about his idea of universal basic income, which would guarantee $1,000 a month in payments to all U.S. citizens over 18 years of age. He said this would prevent a crisis from workers losing their jobs to automation.

The next Democratic debate will be on September 12 and 13 in Houston, hosted by ABC and Univision.


Boy has 526 teeth removed from jaw

A 7-year-old boy in India went to a hospital because he had swelling in his jaw. It was because he had 526 teeth in his mouth. Doctors said they found a “bag-like mass” that weighted almost half a pound with the teeth in it in various shapes and sizes, from 1 to 15 millimeters.

A doctor said the boy had a condition called “compound odontome.” The growth is a tumor and it could have been caused by genetic or environmental factors.

It took doctors an hour and a half to remove the mass from the boy during surgery, then it took about five hours to search and remove all the teeth.

This surgery is expected to relieve the boy’s swelling and pain.


New China tariffs; Senate $2.7 trillion budget deal; Fed cuts interest rates

Here are three political news briefs.

The first — President Trump announced new tariffs against China — 10% on another $300 billion of Chinese products that will start next month. There were talks between the two countries over the past several weeks, but Trump said China has not kept their word on certain agreements. Trump said trade talks are continuing. There is already a 25% tariff on $250 billion of Chinese products, so this means more tariffs.

The second news — the U.S. Senate voted 67-28 to pass a $2.7 trillion budget deal that extends into 2021. The House passed it last week, so the bill will go to Trump’s desk. It suspends the debt limit through July 2021. It includes $738 billion in military spending, $632 billion for non-defense spending, and $2.5 billion to make sure all is counted for the 2020 Census. This is to set top line budget numbers but the exact amounts that will be appropriated to specific programs have not been determined.

The third news — yesterday the Federal Reserve said it would cut interest rates by a quarter point. Chairman Jerome Powell said this was to support the economy and boost inflation. It is the first cut since the Great Recession in 2008. This will make it cheaper to borrow money for credit cards and mortgages, but it means those saving money will see lower returns. The cuts show that the Fed thinks there could be economic trouble ahead and wants to make sure the economy continues to perform well.


Burger King to sell Impossible Whopper nationwide

Burger King said they will sell the plant-based, vegan Impossible Whopper to 7,000 restaurants nationwide after a successful test in seven cities.

From next Thursday until September, Burger King will offer delivery and mobile customers an opportunity to get a regular, original Whopper and an Impossible Whopper for $7 so they can compare the taste.

The plant-based burger is made by a California company, Impossible Foods, who said they are overwhelmed with demand and has doubled its number of workers at a plant in Oakland and entered in partnership with a giant food producer in Illinois.

Impossible Burgers are made of soy protein, coconut oil, and other ingredients and packaged in a way that will simulate the taste and texture of a normal hamburger. Another popular vegan burger is “Beyond Meat.”


Deaf in Detroit debate audience

Alex: A group of Deaf people went to the Democratic debates in Detroit. Sean Forbes and his team from DPAN was able to film some of it and will give an analysis of what it feels like to be a deaf person in the audience.


Sean Forbes: Let’s put aside politics. I want to discuss access to politics.

I was lucky to be invited to attend the Detroit Democratic national debates. Several members of our Michigan Deaf community were invited as well. And some from out of state, like D.T. Bruno, he flew in from New York. And from California, Nyle DiMarco.

First of all, creating access is not easy. The real reason I went was not for politics. But how can I make politics accessible for the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing community through my role here at DPAN?

Back in 2016, DPAN.TV produced three presidential debates and made them accessible with over 500,000 viewers for each debate.

My experience here in Detroit was really amazing. The reason it was is because of the interpreters. The first night, we had two separate sections. The front section was for ASL users, with four interpreters alternating.

Behind me, we had a CART TV. So some people who wanted to watch it with captions were able to sit back there. ASL users sat in the front. But some people weren’t satisfied with that. So the second night they moved things around, and they had the CART and the interpreters side by side.

It was a better experience, but still, it was hard. The lights, the audience, how far we were from the stage, sometimes the interpreters were going back and forth and I really enjoyed watching that, but sometimes I didn’t know who was talking. So I had to look at the interpreters and look at the stage, but luckily, some of the candidates were a little more animated than others. Some were very monotone and some were very animated!

After both nights, members of the Deaf community discussed that it was a little bit easier to watch the debates at home with captions, going back and with sign language on TV. Moving forward, it’s my goal to make politics accessible. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Independent. I want to make politics accessible so that members of the Deaf community have an opportunity to be involved and can formulate their own opinions. Formulate their own political perspectives. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll see one of those Deaf kids watching become President of the United States.

Thank you.


Deaf woman dies from carbon monoxide from her keyless car

An unfortunate event happened recently in our Deaf community. Connie Dotson, from Kentucky, passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning after forgetting to turn off her keyless car in her garage. Dotson was a well known advocate who graduated from Gallaudet University with a history degree then went to work three years on Capitol Hill for the late Senator Alan Dixon of Illinois. After that, Dotson worked at the Internal Revenue Service and then for the last 26 years, she worked at Veterans Administration Medical Center.

The Daily Moth reached out to Rita Troxell, a close friend of Dotson for 38 years, to share what happened.

RITA TROXELL: Last year, Connie’s husband bought a Toyota RAV4 and it was keyless. I’d only ridden in it a few times, but I remember that it was keyless. So apparently, on that Monday all day, I’d talked with her during my lunch break around noon at work. I called her through Facebook Messenger’s video chat. We chatted like we normally do before she had to leave. I think she had finished work around 4pm. She pulled into her garage and close the garage door. Either she didn’t press the button hard enough or she forgot because she was busy or she was tired. She might’ve forgotten to turn off the engine. She went into the house where she needed to tend to her 5 cats.

Text: Connie’s family tried to reach her in the morning, but received no response. Fearing that she had a medical emergency, they dialed 911.

911 broke into her door and found her unconscious, already dead. There was carbon monoxide in the house. It was suspected to be the cause of death. At first, we were confused because her 5 cats had survived and they should be dead. The firemen explained that when the toxic fumes seeped into the house from the garage, it goes up into the air. The atmosphere near the floor still has sufficient oxygen for cats to survive on. If the fumes had continued dwell, then it might eventually move lower and the oxygen would disappear. At that point, the toxic fumes stayed up in the air so that’s why these cats survived.

Renca: We asked Troxell to share a little bit of who Dotson was as a person.

TROXELL: She was a strong, strong, strong advocate for animals. She also had a passion for her church and her faith in God. She would pray for people and also, if you were a deaf person in a hospital, no matter where you are, she would try to find a way to go visit them at the hospitals because often these people are left alone.

Renca: Thank you, Troxell. We also got an important message from Virginia Moore, the executive director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Moore encourages how you can make a difference.

VIRGINIA MOORE: It’s a very dangerous, a very sad situation and it doesn’t happen to only deaf and hard of hearing, but also hearing people. These situations have been happening for a long time now and the automotive industry has been ignoring it. Right now, there is a bill called the “Park It” Bill that is currently in the US Congress. You all can help us ensure that not one other person will die from this senseless situation. Call your US congresspeople and notify them about the Park It Bill. Ask them to get it moving, put the bill to a floor vote and get it passed in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Pass this bill for the safety of all people who still have it. All of you can make a difference.

Renca: Thank you, Moore, for sharing. For more information about this, there are links in the transcript below. There were many comments on Facebook expressing grief for the death of Dotson. She was 54 years old when she passed away and is survived by her husband.

The PARKIT ACT bill numbers: S543


That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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