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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 13,363

Journal Archives

Mark Meadows just epitomized the White House's stupefying position on masks

For a fleeting moment a while back, President Trump actually gave into pressure to embrace masks. That moment has clearly passed, with Trump again casting doubt on their efficacy, holding largely maskless rallies and returning to ridiculing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for wearing his.

As I’ve written before, it’s a decidedly dumbfounding stance — especially as health experts and even many GOP governors emphasize how wearing a mask is such a simple, vital way to further two of Trump’s coronavirus priorities: reopening our economy and returning to school.

But now that Trump is toeing this line again, he has left those around him to account for it. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows just showed how impossible that is to do in good faith.

During a brief Q&A with reporters Thursday morning, Meadows offered his own bewildering comments about why he doesn’t wear a mask. His argument basically boiled down to this: If it’s not 100 percent effective, I’m not interested.


Tom Brady Not Sure How To Ask Coach For Tape Of Other Team's Practice

TAMPA, FL—Expressing concerns that Tampa Bay had not yet undertaken the basic prep he used to do in New England, quarterback Tom Brady confessed Thursday that he wasn’t sure how to ask Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians for tape of their opponent’s practice.

“This is a new system, so I don’t know whether we go over tape of the Panthers’ walkthrough as a team or if I need to study it myself,” said Brady, who conceded that Arians might be too busy working on a game plan and decided to schedule the normal step-by-step breakdown of Carolina’s latest scrimmage and playbook.

“I never even had to ask Bill [Belichick], he’d just send an intern my way to debrief me. Bruce hasn’t said anything about it yet, but I need to hunker down in the film room with the exact plays and audibles that the defense is running. It takes a while to memorize all that, so hopefully coach sends some tape my way soon.”

At press time, Brady decided to fly his own cameraman to film the Panther’s practice after a terse meeting with Arians.


Trump Claims Dog Ate His Health-Care Plan

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s promise to release a long-delayed health-care plan hit a snag when his dog ate the only existing copy of the plan, the President disclosed.

“I left the plan on my desk, and somehow the dog got up there and ate it,” he said. “It’s a bad dog, quite frankly.”

Trump’s explanation met with raised eyebrows from the White House press corps, none of whom had been previously aware that the President had a dog.

Asked to describe the dog, Trump said, “It has, you know, paws, and fur, and that head that dogs have. It’s a very basic dog that you would see.”

Pressed to reveal the dog’s name, Trump said, “I didn’t name it, because I don’t name dogs unless they do a good job. I’m not like Obama, who named every dog he got. I wish Obama’s dog had eaten Obamacare. We wouldn’t be in this mess.”

The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, later announced that Trump’s dog would be taking an indefinite leave of absence.


'Democrat Voters Against Joe Biden' Group Has Trump Fanatics, a Psychic, but No Actual Dems

A new advocacy group ostensibly comprised of Democrats opposed to the election of Joe Biden appears to have the backing of few, if any, actual Democrats.

Those involved, however, do include a Republican operative whose group illicitly funneled millions into political contests, a longtime Trump fan whose son works for the president’s campaign, and a self-described celebrity psychic who’s taught best practices for exorcisms.

Democrat Voters Against Joe Biden is a project of an existing nonprofit advocacy group called Americans for Responsible Government, meaning it can engage in limited politicking and is not required to disclose its donors. Curiously, though it is not explicitly political, the group’s online donation page includes disclaimer language required only of registered political committees advising donors that they can only donate $2,800 per election. No such donation limits exist for nonprofits.

DVAJB set up a website in July and began running Facebook ads this month attacking Biden. The former vice president’s “mental state is slipping and we can't let him become the most powerful man on Earth,” one of the ads declares.


CEOs from GM, ConocoPhillips and more defy Trump's climate-change stance, push for carbon price

Source: Marketwatch

Business Roundtable, which has evolved on climate change, wants Congress involved in a regulation-lite approach to curbing global warming

A leading CEO group wants the federal government, including Congress, to enact market-based climate-change policies largely in line with those laid out in the voluntary Paris pact that President Trump has abandoned.

That includes attaching a price to carbon.

In a release Wednesday, Business Roundtable members are calling on the private and public sectors to work together to limit the global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, consistent with the goals of the multi-country Paris Agreement. In the U.S., this means reducing net-greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 as compared to 2005 levels.

It’s an attitude shift that has evolved in the decade or so since Congress tried to advance comprehensive climate-change legislation and the last time the Roundtable issued guiding principles on climate in 2007, although some individual corporations have pushed ahead with their own plans for promoting renewable energy use or limiting pollution.

Read more: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ceos-from-gm-conocophillips-and-others-defy-trumps-climate-change-stance-push-for-carbon-price-2020-09-16

Evangelical Asks God To Give Her Strength To Incorporate Forced Hysterectomies Into Belief System

CORDOVA, TN—Praying that the Lord Almighty would help her understand the recent whistleblower reports about Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s treatment of migrant detainees, conservative evangelical woman Melissa Carson reportedly asked God Tuesday to give her strength to incorporate forced hysterectomies into her belief system.

“Lord, show me how the forced removal of the uterus from multiple imprisoned women is evidence of our salvation by grace alone,” said the devout evangelical woman, scanning her Bible for a verse or two that might offer a reason for why ICE-affiliated physicians were performing hysterectomies on detained women, many of whom did not speak English and were not given information or choice about the procedures.

“I know I’m asking an awful lot of you, Lord, but my religion teaches me that all life is sacred, and although I know you move in mysterious ways, I confess I am confused as to how forced hysterectomies fit into that. You are just testing me, Lord, and I know that, but I am going to need a little bit of divine help to understand this one.”

At press time, Carson was praising the Lord for his guidance after remembering that the hysterectomies were completely justified because President Donald Trump was a divine being simply carrying out God’s will.


Trump's ABC News town hall: Four Pinocchios, over and over again

At the ABC News town hall Tuesday night, President Trump was challenged by ordinary voters in ways that he rarely experiences in the safe spaces of Fox News, where he regularly answers questions. But he still retreated to false or misleading talking points that he offers in his usual venues. Here’s a quick tour through 24 claims made at the Philadelphia town hall, in the order in which he answered questions.

“We’re very close to having the vaccine. If you want to know the truth, the previous administration would have taken perhaps years to have a vaccine because of the FDA and all the approvals, and we’re within weeks of getting it. You know, could be three weeks, four weeks, but we think we have it.”

Most experts believe a scientifically credible vaccine for the novel coronavirus will not be available until at least early 2021, and vaccine manufacturers insist they will not be rushed for political considerations. In any case, it will take months to make a safe vaccine available to most Americans. Trump has no basis to claim the Obama administration would have been slower, given how poorly the Trump administration ramped up coronavirus testing.

“If you look at what we’ve done compared to other countries, with the excess mortality, the excess mortality rate, we’ve done very, very well.”

Trump can cherry-pick whatever numbers he wants, but as moderator George Stephanopoulos pointed out, the United States ranks poorly compared to its peers on most measures of the coronavirus.

“We were short on ventilators because the cupboards were bare when we took it over.”

This is a Four-Pinocchio claim. When the new coronavirus emerged, the Strategic National Stockpile held 16,660 working ventilators, which turned out to be enough to deal with the initial surge of the pandemic, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. (Almost 11,000 were distributed to states.) HHS said that the number available in March 2020 was essentially the same number as of January 2017, when President Barack Obama left office.


CBP officers find $3.9 million worth of meth, cocaine cemented inside boulders at Tecate crossing

Customs officers found 560 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine, worth nearly $4 million, cemented inside several quartz boulders Monday morning at a cargo crossing at the Tecate Port of Entry in East County, authorities said.

Officers broke open the boulders around 10:45 a.m. Monday after becoming suspicious of a big rig hauling what its manifest listed as “multiple tons of beach pebbles and stones,” according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

Cemented inside the quartz boulders, officers found 229 packages wrapped in black electrical tape, officials said. That included 104 packages of methamphetamine weighing 337 pounds, and 125 packages of cocaine weighing 223 pounds.

Combined, the drugs had an estimated street value of roughly $3.9 million, officials said.


The Supreme Court must step in to stop Florida Republicans from disenfranchising voters

Opinion by Editorial Board

WHEN FLORIDIANS voted overwhelmingly in 2018 to allow felons to vote, they were entitled to expect that their own votes would count — that people who had served their time would soon regain access to the ballot box. Two years later, a Republican campaign aided by a conservative majority on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has stifled the voters’ will and prevented potentially hundreds of thousands of would-be eligible voters from registering. Only the U.S. Supreme Court now can restore released felons’ voting rights, as the people of Florida intended.

Shortly after Floridians voted via a state constitutional amendment to enfranchise felons who had finished their prison sentences, the GOP legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) moved to require that, to register, ex-convicts not only finish serving their prison terms but also pay any fines or fees owed. This subversion of the ballot measure voters had just approved is a modern-day poll tax: Wealthy felons can easily afford to pay any court fees, while poorer felons might struggle paying off their debts.

Moreover, some 85,000 released-felon Floridians already had registered to vote. Reversing course after the fact would require election officials to try to go name by name, striking those who still owed court fees, without an accessible centralized database from which to pull the needed information. The system is so opaque, many felons themselves do not know whether they owe anything.

In other words, injustice and chaos are what the 11th Circuit endorsed Friday, when it sided with Mr. DeSantis. The voter-approved amendment commands the state “to automatically restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions, except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense, upon completion of their sentences, including prison, parole, and probation.” Republicans and the 11th Circuit argue that paying off fines and fees falls under the amendment’s definition of completing one’s sentence, even if state bureaucracy or poverty make doing so impossible. Three of the six judges joining in the 11th Circuit’s dubious ruling are on President Trump’s list of possible Supreme Court picks should he win a second term.


Bobcat fire within 500 feet of famed Mt. Wilson Observatory

After crossing containment lines overnight, the Bobcat fire moved within striking distance of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, the U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday.

Officials at the 116-year-old observatory tweeted Monday night that the fire was “knocking on our door,” noting that all observatory personnel had been evacuated.

But shortly after noon Tuesday, forest officials tweeted the blaze was less than 500 feet from the observatory. Fire crews “are in place ready to receive the fire,” officials said, noting that strategic firing was taking place to the south, where air operations were strengthening bulldozer lines.

“They are in a firefight right now, because it is so close,” L.A. County Fire Capt. David Dantic said of crews positioned at Mt. Wilson.

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