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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 166,966

Journal Archives

Trump's Biggest Wall Street Donor, Steve Schwarzman, Tells Him the Election Is Over


Trump’s Biggest Wall Street Donor, Steve Schwarzman, Tells Him the Election Is Over
Jamie Ross, Reporter
Published Nov. 23, 2020 7:30AM ET

One of President Donald Trump’s closest allies and wealthiest donors has told him that it’s time to give up the election. Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman—who donated millions of dollars to Trump’s 2020 campaign even as other big financial backers abandoned him—backed Trump’s bid for president in 2016, chaired the White House’s strategic and policy forum, and remains an unofficial Trump adviser. But, in a statement to Axios, Schwarzman said the election result is “very certain” and it’s time to “move on.” He added: “I supported President Trump and the strong economic path he built... Like many in the business community, I am ready to help President-elect Biden and his team as they confront the significant challenges of rebuilding our post-COVID economy.”
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:10 AM (10 replies)

"I am the most fabulous whiner...."


Flashback Quote of the Day
November 23, 2020 at 6:50 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I’m not happy if I’m not winning. And I am a whiner. And I’m a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

— Donald Trump, interviewed by CNN in August 2015.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Nov 23, 2020, 08:08 AM (5 replies)

Biden to spotlight CDC officials shunned by Trump

Biden to spotlight CDC officials shunned by Trump
11/23/2020 04:30 AM EST

President-elect Joe Biden is putting scientists in charge and back on the stage to restore trust in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The plans include immediately reviving regular media briefings and giving a central role to long-sidelined career officials including Nancy Messonnier, the public health official who first warned of the “severe” impact of the Covid-19 back in February.

The goal, said Biden’s advisers, is to send a tightly coordinated message that, nearly a year into the coronavirus crisis, the federal government is prioritizing science over politics in driving its pandemic response.

As the virus rages across the country, schools are shutting down again — or remain shuttered — even though they haven't turned out to be the super-spreader sites experts feared. At the same time, many bars and restaurants remain open for business. POLITICO's Nirvi Shah explains how the situation is reigniting a heated debate over pandemic priorities. Plus, the CDC recommends travelers get tested before and after international flights.

“You need the right people messaging,” said Vin Gupta, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation who served as an adviser to the Biden team. “None of this is hard conceptually — it’s about how you say it, and it’s about believability and authenticity.”

Messonnier, who is the CDC’s respiratory disease chief, and Anne Schuchat, who is the CDC’s principal deputy director, are among the government scientists whose warnings about the severity of the coronavirus ran afoul of President Donald Trump’s efforts to downplay the virus in its early months, infuriating senior White House officials. Both are expected to play large — and especially visible — roles in formulating the new administration’s policies.

“People like Anne Schuchat and Nancy Messonnier, I really hope are elevated in the discussion moving forward and empowered to communicate with the public,” said Celine Gounder, who sits on Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board.


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Nov 23, 2020, 06:38 AM (2 replies)

Report: Hundreds Of Bodies Of NYC's Spring Covid Victims Still In Freezer Trucks

Breaking|43,108 views|Nov 22, 2020,10:19am EST
Report: Hundreds Of Bodies Of NYC’s Spring Covid Victims Still In Freezer Trucks
Jemima McEvoy

More than half a year after New York City’s deadly coronavirus surge, hundreds of bodies are still being stored in freezer trucks on the Brooklyn waterfront, The Wall Street Journal first reported Sunday, a show of just how unprepared the country’s systems were for handling this deadly pandemic.

Per the report, about 650 bodies are still being stored in freezer trucks at a disaster morgue that was set up on a pier in Sunset Park in April.

According to New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner, many of the bodies are people who either couldn’t afford a proper burial or whose families couldn’t be located.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Nov 22, 2020, 10:32 PM (0 replies)

What Trump faces on Jan. 20, 2021

What Trump faces on Jan. 20, 2021
As soon as he becomes a private citizen, Trump will be stripped of the legal armor that has protected him from pending cases both civil and criminal.
Nov. 22, 2020, 6:00 AM EST
By Tom Winter

It looks increasingly certain that on Jan. 20, 2021, around noon, Joe Biden will take the oath of office as president, and Donald Trump will lose both his job and one of its most important perks.

Trump has faced investigations involving his campaign, his business, and his personal behavior since he took the oath of office himself four years ago. As soon as he becomes a private citizen, however, he will be stripped of the legal armor that has protected him from a host of pending court cases both civil and criminal.

He will no longer be able to argue in court that his position as the nation’s chief executive makes him immune to prosecution or protects him from turning over documents and other evidence. He will also lose the help of the Department of Justice in making those arguments.

While it is possible he could go to jail as a result of some of the probes of his business affairs, the soon-to-be-former president is more likely to face financial punishment in the form of civil fines, law enforcement observers believe. He may also be embarrassed by financial and other secrets that will be exposed in court. Nearly all his legal troubles are in his hometown of New York, where he once basked in the tabloid limelight as a young mogul and where he rode a golden escalator into an unlikely political career.—

Here are some of the most perilous cases that await President Trump when he’s no longer president — and here’s how he could yet use the powers of the nation’s highest office to escape punishment:

The Manhattan district attorney’s case...

lots more...

Posted by babylonsister | Sun Nov 22, 2020, 06:17 PM (27 replies)

Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings

Good. No, great.

Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings
Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker and Trump ally, made no secret of his intent to shake up the agency after taking over in June.
Nov. 21, 2020, 3:12 PM EST / Source: Associated Press
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled against the head of the agency that runs the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded news outlets who was accused of trying to turn it into a propaganda vehicle to promote President Donald Trump’s agenda.

The ruling effectively bars U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack from making personnel decisions and interfering in editorial operations.

Pack, a conservative filmmaker, Trump ally and onetime associate of former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, made no secret of his intent to shake up the agency after taking over in June.

He proceeded to purge the leadership at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Open Technology Fund, which works to provide secure internet access to people around the world. The director and deputy director of VOA resigned just days before the firings. Pack also dismissed their governing boards.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:34 PM (2 replies)

Bipartisan group of GA teens is trying to flip the Senate by enlisting thousands of students...

A bipartisan group of Georgia teens is trying to flip the Senate by enlisting thousands of students to vote in the January runoffs
Kelsey Vlamis
10 hours ago

A bipartisan group of Georgia teens, StudentsFor2020, wants to help flip the Senate by enlisting thousands of students to vote in the January runoffs.

About 23,000 Georgia teens who were not eligible to vote in the general election on November 3 will turn 18 and become eligible in time to participate in the runoff elections on January 5, according to The Civics Center.

StudentsFor2020, which estimates they helped 65,000 students register for the general election, is mobilizing hundreds of volunteers in high schools across the state to register new voters, and to try to sway existing moderate voters.

A bipartisan group of Georgia teens is trying to flip the Senate by enlisting thousands of students to vote in the January runoffs.

The political organization, StudentsFor2020, was founded by four high school students, two Trump supporters and two Biden supporters, with the goal of registering young voters across the US in the places where their votes would matter most in the general election. They estimate they helped 65,000 students register to vote.

Now they're focusing their efforts on flipping the Senate by registering thousands of newly eligible voters and mobilizing hundreds of teen volunteers to have real conversations with high school students across the state.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:23 PM (29 replies)

Masks work: Show this to the mask skeptic in your life


Masks work: Show this to the mask skeptic in your life
Mark Sumner
Daily Kos Staff
Saturday November 21, 2020 · 9:01 AM EST

It’s hard to imagine, but on the same day that America logged over 200,000 cases of COVID-19 for the first time, with record levels of hospitalization in two dozen states, and levels of death reaching numbers not seen since the disease first plowed over the East Coast in the spring, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan was on Twitter—screaming for schools to stay open and ordering everyone to have big holiday get-togethers. Gym Jordan, everyone: the man so desperate for attention, he doesn’t care how many people have to die to raise his online profile.

However, what’s even more unbelievable is that Twitter, Instagram, and especially Facebook are still overrun with a very special breed of COVID-19-denier: the mask skeptic. Posts claiming that “masks don’t work,” that “cloth can’t stop a pathogen,” and links to old studies on masks and flu are almost as prolific as the virus itself. Assuming these are not all coming from Russian bots, there are a lot of Americans out there who are still amazingly confused about the fastest, easiest, and most effective way to slow transmission of COVID-19.

So here are two studies to show that it’s not just an opinion, or an attempt to cover America’s oh-so-manly chin. Masks work.

When people make claims about masks not working, they almost invariably point back to an early statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci in which he refused to endorse mask wearing for the general public. The most common reason given later, including by Fauci, is that masks were then in short supply, and there was real concern about the limited number of virus-filtering N95 masks becoming unavailable to healthcare workers. That’s true. And, believe it or not, despite all Donald Trump’s bragging about PPE production since then, there are still not enough of these high quality masks available for the healthcare workers and first responders who desperately need them.

But the bigger reason why there was no recommendation for masks at the start of the pandemic was simple enough: No evidence. That doesn’t mean that Fauci and others thought masks didn’t work. It means that, lacking evidence, they were extremely reluctant to push mask wearing, out of fear it might it might distract from the other things they already knew would be effective — like social distancing.

What changed since then is simple: Evidence. Multiple studies around the world showed that masks were highly effective in reducing COVID-19. So effective that in countries like Japan, where the disease made an early entry, and where the government response was slow and more than a little bumbling, the disease was still hugely constrained by the public’s habit of wearing masks. As of this writing, Japan (population 127 million) has fewer cases of COVID-19 than Utah (population 3 million). Masks are a big part of that difference.

But if you’re still skeptical, here are those studies.

Study 1: Kansas

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly was a real standout in the Midwest when she issued an executive order requiring masks in public places on July 3. And the response was about what you might expect in Kansas: social media meltdowns, people staging scenes at their local big box store, and death threats against both Kelly and local officials.

As the second surge of COVID-19 spread over the South during the summer, even Republican governors like Greg Abbott in Texas and Doug Ducey in Arizona allowed county officials to create their own mask mandates if they wanted—an action that effectively ended the growth of that surge.

But Kelly did it the other way around: She issued a state mandate, then allowed county governments to pull out if they wanted. This being Kansas, 81 mostly rural counties struck down the mandate in their area over the next few weeks. But 24 other counties left the mandate in place. So Kansas became something of a hodge-podge, with about a quarter of the state requiring masks, and about three-quarters flouting their bare faces.

And how did that go?

After July 3, COVID-19 incidence decreased in 24 counties with mask mandates but continued to increase in 81 counties without mask mandates.

Just like that. Despite being in different parts of the state; despite a wide variety of conditions; despite having unmasked counties as neighbors on all sides: Counties that required public use of masks saw declines in COVID-19. And this effect was not a small one. Counties that wore masks included some of those with the highest rates of COVID-19 before the mandate. They went from increasing cases before the mandate to decreasing cases after the mandate. Counties that did not wear masks had only continued increases.

All of this is available on the CDC website, with analysis and discussion.

Study 2: St. Louis

For those who don’t live in the area, St. Louis the city and St. Louis County are two separate things—more like two neighboring counties than a city in a county. St. Louis is a mid-sized city of about 300,000. St. Louis County includes several other small cities, and totals about a million more; a million more people live in largely suburban areas in the surrounding counties.

St. Louis and St. Louis County also happen to have Democratic leadership in a state that is increasingly scarlet. Unlike Laura Kelly in Kansas, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has been decidedly against a state mandate on masks (even after he caught COVID-19 himself at a mask-free political gathering). However, St. Louis City and St. Louis County did impose mask mandates.

And how did that go?

Mask mandates in St. Louis and St. Louis County quickly and drastically slowed coronavirus infection rates this summer compared with outlying counties.

Twelve weeks in, the growth rate of COVID-19 was cut by 40% in the mandate area, as compared to the surrounding counties with no mandate. Not only that, the rate was cut even more among “essential workers,” who had to stay on the job without the luxury of being able to work from home. The result was that the mask mandate was particularly good at protecting communities of color. Where there was no mask mandate, communities were particularly hard hit, because people were more likely to be working retail and food industry jobs that brought them in contact with more maskless people.

In neither Kansas nor St. Louis did a mask mandate eliminate the threat of COVID-19. In the St. Louis study, it didn’t even manage to reverse the growth rate. It just significantly reduced it. Researchers have a pretty good idea why. Many of the people who work during the day in St. Louis and St. Louis County commute from the non-mandate counties in surrounding areas. The same kind of churn was happening with those Kansas counties with mask mandates. So those areas still saw a constant influx of infection from the non-mandate counties.

Masks aren’t perfect. But then, nothing is. Not even the best vaccines. What masks are is cheap, easy, fast, and highly effective.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Nov 21, 2020, 11:47 AM (13 replies)

Why We're Numb to 250,000 Deaths


Why We’re Numb to 250,000 Deaths
November 21, 2020 at 10:56 am EST By Taegan Goddard

“The U.S. passed 250,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 this week, a figure that is truly vast — too vast, perhaps, for us to comprehend,” Axios reports.

“The psychic numbing that sets in around mass death saps us of our empathy for victims and discourages us from making the sacrifices needed to control the pandemic, while it hampers our ability to prepare for other rare but potentially catastrophic risks down the road.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Nov 21, 2020, 11:38 AM (13 replies)

GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics

GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics
By Alexander Bolton - 11/21/20 08:03 AM EST


Instead, a growing number of Republicans are publicly acknowledging that Joe Biden is likely to be the next president and calling on the Trump administration to begin sharing intelligence and other transitions to allow for a smooth transfer of power.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on Friday issued a statement asserting Biden “has a very good chance” of being the next president and urging the administration “to provide the Biden team with all transition materials, resources, and meetings necessary to ensure a smooth transition.”

Alexander, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, emphasized the importance of the next president being ready to distribute an anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.

“The prompt and orderly transfer or reaffirmation of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy,” he said.

Rep. Fred Upton (R), a veteran Michigan lawmaker, on Friday said, “I’m not seeing any evidence of fraud that would overturn 150,000-some-odd votes,” referring to Biden’s margin of victory in Michigan.

Upton’s state was at the center of the storm this week. Trump on Thursday invited Republican legislators from Michigan to come to the White House on Friday to discuss the state’s pending certification of the election results. A tally reported by The Associated Press shows Biden leading Trump by more than 155,000 votes in Michigan.

Upton said he didn’t know how Trump’s legal team could achieve success.

“I don’t know what path they’re on,” he said.

Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) on Friday said she had “great concerns” about Trump’s persistence in trying to invalidate the results of the election.

“It think that it’s time to move on,” she told CNN. “I think it’s time for him to really realize and be very clear about what’s going on.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Nov 21, 2020, 08:18 AM (5 replies)
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