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babylonsister

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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 168,228

Journal Archives

Senator Al Franken

I don't know if this is a repeat...


Senator Al Franken


Well, it finally isn’t funny anymore – the grandiosity, the ignorance, the cruelty, the bullying, the racism, the petty insults and incessant stupidity. But especially the non-stop lying. The greatest asset that a president can bring to a crisis is credibility. On Day One of his presidency, Donald Trump chose to pick a fight with the media about the size of his inaugural crowd. On the morning of January 21, 2017, after fewer than 24 hours in office, Trump sent out Sean Spicer to tell the press corps a laughable and easily disprovable lie – that Trump’s crowd was the largest in history ever to attend a presidential inaugural. The very next day, Kellyanne Conway let Americans know of the existence of something called “alternative facts.” Oh. So, that’s how it’s going to be, huh?

Since then, the lies have come so fast and furious that keeping track has been impossible. How do you remember the last one when three or four equally ridiculous lies are almost certain to follow that day? “Don’t take him literally,” his supporters insisted. “Take him seriously.” Really? Well, no. What they really were saying was how happy they were that he would be appointing pro-life, pro-corporate Federalist Society judges, cutting taxes to benefit the wealthy, undoing regulations to help corporations exploit their employees and destroy our environment, and pulling us out of the Paris Agreement and the Iran Nuclear Deal.

That the President of the United States is a malignant narcissist who could allow no fact to stand that contradicted his insatiable need for self-aggrandizement has been of little concern to establishment Republicans. The stock market was climbing. They were getting richer. And they had cover from the right-wing media to fool enough of his base into believing his limitless dishonesty. At this year’s State of the Union, the First Lady bestowed upon Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an honor he now shares with Mother Teresa, Cesar Chavez, and the crew of Apollo 13. In 1995, I wrote a book entitled Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations for a reason – the same reason that I wrote Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them – A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right a few years later. Without Rush, without O’Reilly, without Hannity, without Newsmax, Breitbart, and InfoWars there would be no Trump.

Until this crisis, Trump has paid no real price for his constant, pathological mendacity. Before politics, the man had spent his entire career in a business where, evidently, there was no accountability for inveterate lying. But for this crisis there is accountability. And instead of leading, Donald Trump’s focus has been where it always has been – on Donald Trump. “I give myself a ten out of ten.” “We are very close to a vaccine.” “I don’t take responsibility at all.” “Anybody who needs a test can get a test. And the tests are perfect. Like the letter was perfect. The transcript was perfect.” Of course, no leader could have prevented the devastation that this virus has and will continue to exact. But because Trump’s focus has been on himself, his reelection, and his fragile self-image, our federal government squandered our most valuable commodity. And the amount of suffering which that lost time will cost our nation is as tragic as it is unknowable.

Trump will not step away. He will continue to take the stage and our focus – but he will not be able to claim the credibility he never earned. We are left to proceed despite our president and find the leadership we need elsewhere. From governors and mayors and other civil servants. From health care professionals and scientists and economists. From community leaders and each other. It is time for each of us to step up and fill the vacuum at the top – first by staying home. And for those fortunate enough to weather this storm financially – to help those who cannot.

Lest we forget Trump’s Houdini-like ability to escape the traps he’s set for himself, it is also time for us to commit to his defeat in November. For now, find a way to do that from home. But when it’s time to come out into the light, it must be our collective mission to make this godawful human being pay the price for every lie he has ever uttered.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 30, 2020, 02:05 PM (6 replies)

Governor Cuomo on defeating this virus

With tears of hope in my eyes. Part of Governor Cuomo's inspiring speech.

-"I want to make two points to you and I want to make two promises to you. This is a different beast that we're dealing with. This is an invisible beast. It is an insidious beast. This is not going to be a short deployment. This is not going to be that you go out there for a few days. We work hard and we go home. This is going to be weeks and weeks and weeks. This is going to be a long day and it's going to be a hard day, and it's going to be an ugly day, and it's going to be a sad day.

This is a rescue mission that you're on - the mission is to save lives. That's what you're doing. The rescue mission is to save lives and as hard as we work, we're not going to be able to save everyone. And what's even more cruel is this enemy doesn't attack the strongest of us. It attacks the weakest of us. It attacks our most vulnerable which makes it even worse in many ways. Because these are the people that every instinct tells us we're supposed to protect.

These are our parents and our grandparents. These are our aunts, our uncles. These are a relative who was sick and every instinct says protect them. Help them, because they need us. And those are the exact people that this enemy attacks. Every time I've called out the National Guard I have said the same thing to you: I promise you I will not ask you to do anything that I will not do myself. And the same is true here. We're going to do this and we're going to do this together."

My second point is, you are living a moment in history. This is going to be one of those moment they're going to write and they're going to talk about for generations. This is a moment that is going to change this nation. This is a moment that forges character, forges people, changes people -- make them stronger, make them weaker -- but this is a moment that will change character.

Ten years from now, you'll be talking about today to your children or your grandchildren and you will shed a tear because you will remember the lives lost. You'll remember the faces and you'll remember the names and you'll remember how hard we worked and that we still lost loved ones. And you'll shed a tear and you should because it will be sad.

But, you will also be proud. You'll be proud of what you did. You'll be proud that you showed up. You showed up when other people played it safe. You had the courage to show up. You had the skill and the professionalism to make a difference and save lives. That's what you will have done."


https://abcnews.go.com/US/read-gov-cuomos-moving-speech-defeating-coronavirus/story?id=69839370&fbclid=IwAR1yHLWgfo5QsZ3kxLUT4nXFXDbu3z4oE0JCf2N_JLRWI8RKcZ0SBquEXjk
Read Gov. Cuomo's moving speech about defeating the novel coronavirus
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 30, 2020, 10:23 AM (7 replies)

The next American struggle: Waiting out the coronavirus

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-america-waiting-8e474434-5736-49eb-ad74-025305c031f8.html

2 hours ago - Health
The next American struggle: Waiting out the coronavirus
Jim VandeHei


There are now a lot of known knowns about the coronavirus: It's here, it's spreading, it's stressing hospitals, it's crippling the economy, it's slowed only by distance and isolation — and it's sure to get much worse before it gets much better.

Why it matters: Similarly, there is a sameness to the patterns and known unknowns. So now we hit the maddening stage of waiting.

We wait and watch Wuhan and China to see if life really does return to normal once the virus is contained. The global economy hinges on this light at the end of the tunnel.

We wait and watch Italy to see when its daily death rate peaks, plateaus and then plunges. This will give us a sense of how long highly concentrated outbreaks elsewhere might last.

We wait to see when New York hits its apex (two to three weeks, experts say) and watch how bad it gets. We also watch New Orleans and Detroit to see if New York is an early indicator or an anomaly.

We wait for widespread testing to be a reality so we can find out if the virus has spread far beyond our fears.

We wait to see if Dr. Anthony Fauci's projection of 100,000 to 200,000 potential U.S. deaths is accurate — and, if so, how the media, public and markets might react to multiple days with death tolls beyond the nearly 3,000 lost on 9/11.

We wait to see Trump's next move in his itch to "reopen America" after his extension Sunday of social-distancing guidelines through April 30. Does he continue to listen to his scientists, or eventually side with advisers who fear economic disaster if America stays home too long?

We wait and watch as drug companies race for a cure, which industry insiders say won’t happen at scale until 2021. We wait to see the consequences of using experimental medications to slow or salve.


The big picture: This waiting period will expose whether coronavirus was an awful three months we will never forget — or a once-in-a-lifetime disruption and destroyer of life.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Mar 30, 2020, 08:58 AM (1 replies)

The coronavirus is the worst intelligence failure in US history


The coronavirus is the worst intelligence failure in US history
Micah Zenko
The Trump administration’s unprecedented indifference, even willful neglect, forced a catastrophic strategic surprise on to the American people
Sun 29 Mar 2020 05.12 EDT


Last September, I met the vice-president for risk for a Fortune 100 company in Washington DC. I asked the executive – who previously had a long career as an intelligence analyst – the question you would ask any risk officer: “What are you most worried about?” Without pausing, this person replied, “A highly contagious virus that begins somewhere in China and spreads rapidly.” This vice-president, whose company has offices throughout east Asia, explained the preventive mitigating steps the company had subsequently adopted to counter this potential threat.

Since the novel coronavirus has swept the world, I have often thought about this person’s prescient risk calculus. Most leaders lack the discipline to do routine risk-based horizon scanning, and fewer still develop the requisite contingency plans. Even rarer is the leader who has the foresight to correctly identify the top threat far enough in advance to develop and implement those plans.

Suffice it to say, the Trump administration has cumulatively failed, both in taking seriously the specific, repeated intelligence community warnings about a coronavirus outbreak and in vigorously pursuing the nationwide response initiatives commensurate with the predicted threat. The federal government alone has the resources and authorities to lead the relevant public and private stakeholders to confront the foreseeable harms posed by the virus. Unfortunately, Trump officials made a series of judgments (minimizing the hazards of Covid-19) and decisions (refusing to act with the urgency required) that have needlessly made Americans far less safe.

In short, the Trump administration forced a catastrophic strategic surprise onto the American people. But unlike past strategic surprises – Pearl Harbor, the Iranian revolution of 1979, or especially 9/11 – the current one was brought about by unprecedented indifference, even willful negligence. Whereas, for example, the 9/11 Commission Report assigned blame for the al-Qaida attacks on the administrations of presidents Ronald Reagan through George W Bush, the unfolding coronavirus crisis is overwhelmingly the sole responsibility of the current White House.


more...

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/29/the-coronavirus-is-the-worst-intelligence-failure-in-us-history?fbclid=IwAR1KgWpa_JjxfUJ-8OI-MjSuhXnZwFgqzYYaUvrizNnYGAmaTO4bSQqKHO0
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 29, 2020, 05:49 PM (5 replies)

...What the Democratic Party could learn from first-term Congresswoman Katie Porter


March 25, 2020
YouTube Sensation. Progressive in a Purple District. Single 
Mom.
What the Democratic Party could learn from first-term Congresswoman Katie Porter
By Rebecca Nelson


Katie Porter is full of questions. There’s Would you be willing to share your Social Security number, birthdate, and address at this public hearing? That’s what she asked Equifax CEO Mark Begor when he came to testify about his company’s massive data security breach at the House Financial Services Committee (he declined). There’s Are you lying to a federal judge or are you lying to me and this Congress? She flung that one at Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan after pointing out the inconsistencies in his company’s legal arguments and public statements (he resigned two weeks later). And there’s the instant classic Do you know what an REO is? That one was for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson (she was talking about the acronym for “real estate owned,” a common industry term; he thought she was talking about an Oreo cookie). These questions are the moments that, in Porter’s first year in Congress, ricocheted across the internet and made her a rising star among the MSNBC class.

A first-term Democratic congresswoman from Orange County, California, Porter regularly eviscerates witnesses who testify before the House Financial Services Committee, which was not known for compelling television until she joined it. Clips of her cross-examinations now have hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. At a recent event in her district, a woman tried to get a picture with her, concluded the photo line would be impossible, and took a star-struck selfie with Porter in the background instead. Before a town hall that evening, at the end of a long line of attendees that went out the door of the community center, I overheard a woman who looked to be in her 70s tell a friend, “Katie Porter is my spirit animal.”

It’s unusual for anyone other than the most devout political junkie to know the name of a freshman House member. At least that was true until the 116th Congress, which has produced “the Squad,” the four first-term freshmen Democrats known for their online followings and far-left politics. Porter has gone a different route. In just over a year, the former law professor has established herself as a YouTube celebrity, a prolific fundraiser, and a progressive who also works with Republicans to pass serious legislation. In a political era defined by Donald Trump, the Democratic Party has been going through a full-blown identity crisis. What should the party look like? What should it sound like? Porter, who represents a district that, before her election, had never sent a Democrat to Congress, offers an intriguing model for how the party might move forward.

Porter, who’s 46, has a warm, over-caffeinated energy, some of which is innate and some of which comes from Starbucks cold brews and a minifridge full of Diet Dr Pepper. She’s unfailingly polite, even when grilling witnesses. While questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in October, she responded to one of his answers with a genuine, not at all sarcastic, “Super!” When I first met her in early November, she greeted me with a story about how Politico had confused her with Katie Hill, the other Southern California freshman Democrat named Katie, who had just resigned from office after allegations of sexual misconduct. Porter told me this conspiratorially, leaning in as if she were delivering gossip to an old friend. Then she shook her head and laughed. “Dipshits.”

That was, I soon discovered, classic Porter, who’s known among her colleagues in Washington for her dry sense of humor. In an appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, she told the host, who had just revealed he was “squishy” about abortion because his mom had considered ending her pregnancy with him, “Look, your mom made her choice, and we’re all here with the consequences of that choice.” The audience went nuts. Maher looked aggrieved.

more...

https://story.californiasunday.com/katie-porter-congress?fbclid=IwAR3X5QoYd5bCVZBXksmXZ5iaBYsMAcS-TZWYHGEpzIwpCd7pkaibU_sG3ds
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 29, 2020, 05:09 PM (8 replies)

Compare and contrast...

What could have been with a competent person at the helm. Found on FB...

Roy Rigordaeva
40 mins

So I thought I would throw up a little history lesson for everyone on both sides of the political divide. I think it’s important that we understand the truth, especially come November when it’s time to vote. Forgive the length. But, hey we all have time on our hands to read, right?

In December 2013, an 18-month-old boy in Guinea was bitten by a bat. Then there were five more fatal cases. When Ebola spread out of the Guinea borders into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone in July 2014, President Obama activated the Emergency Operations Center at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The CDC immediately deployed CDC personnel to West Africa to coordinate a response that included vector tracing, testing, education, logistics and communication.

Altogether, the CDC, under President Obama, trained 24,655 medical workers in West Africa, educating them on how to prevent and control the disease before a single case left Africa or reached the U.S.

Working with the U.N. and the World Health Organization President Obama ordered the re-routing of travelers heading to the U.S. through certain specific airports equipped to handle mass testing.

Back home in America, more than 6,500 people were trained through mock outbreaks and practice scenarios. That was done before a single case hit America.


Three months after President Obama activated this unprecedented response, on September 30, 2014, we got our first case in the U.S.. That man had traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas and had somehow slipped through the testing protocol. He was immediately detected and isolated. He died a week later. Two nurses who tended to him contracted Ebola and later recovered. All the protocols had worked. It was contained.

The Ebola epidemic could have easily become a pandemic. But thanks to the actions of our government under Obama, it never did. Those three cases were the ONLY cases of ebola in our country because Obama did what needed to be done three months before the first case.

Ebola is even more contagious than Covid-19. If he Obama not done these things, millions of Americans would have died awful painful deaths like something out of a horror movie (if you’ve ever seen how Ebola kills, it’s horrific).

It’s ironic that BECAUSE President Obama did these things - we forget that he did them, because the disease never reached our shores.

Now the story of Covid 19 and Trump’s response that we know about so far:

Before anyone even knew about the disease (even in China) Trump disbanded the pandemic response team that Obama had put in place. He cut funding to the CDC. And he cut our contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Trump fired Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, the person on the National Security Council in charge of stopping the spread of infectious diseases before they reach our country - a position created by the Obama administration.

When the Outbreak started in China, Trump assumed it was China’s problem and sent no research, supplies or help of any kind. We were in a trade war, why should he help them?

In January he received a briefing from our intelligence organizations that the outbreak was much worse than China was admitting and that it would definitely hit our country if something wasn’t done to prevent it. He ignored the report, not trusting our own intelligence.

When the disease spread to Europe, the World Health Organization offered a boatload of tests to the United States. Trump turned them down, saying private companies here would make the tests “better” if we needed them. But he never ordered U.S. companies to make tests and they had no profit motive to do so on their own.

According to scientists at Yale and several public university medical schools, when they asked for permission to start working on our own testing protocol and potential treatments or vaccines, they were denied by Trump’s FDA.

When Trump knew about the first case in the United States he did nothing. It was just one case and the patient was isolated. When doctors and scientists started screaming in the media that this was a mistake, Trump claimed it was a “liberal hoax” conjured up to try to make him “look bad after impeachment failed.”

The next time Trump spoke of Covid-19, we had 64 confirmed cases but Trump went before microphones and told the America public that we only had 15 cases “and pretty soon that number will be close to zero.” All while the disease was spreading. He took no action to get more tests.

What Trump did do is stop flights from China from coming here. This was too late and accomplished nothing according to scientists and doctors. By then the disease was worldwide and was already spreading exponentially in the U.S. by Americans, not Chinese people as Trump would like you to believe.

As of the moment I’m posting this, the morning of March 22, 2020, we have 15,220 CONFIRMED CASES in the U.S. The actual number is undoubtedly much higher. But we don’t know because
THE TRUTH OF COVID-19
#TheTrumpPandemic
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 29, 2020, 02:09 PM (12 replies)

Rudy Giuliani's Twitter Account Suspended For Spreading False Information About Coronavirus

https://www.politicususa.com/2020/03/29/rudy-giulianis-twitter-account-suspended-for-spreading-false-information-about-coronavirus.html


Posted on Sun, Mar 29th, 2020 by Jason Easley
Rudy Giuliani’s Twitter Account Suspended For Spreading False Information About Coronavirus


Twitter temporarily suspended the Twitter accounts of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Charlie Kirk for spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

Travis Akers @travisakers

JUST IN: Twitter has suspended the account of Rudy Giuliani due to violating their rules of disseminating false information about the coronavirus.
21.3K
4:43 PM - Mar 28, 2020



Oliver Darcy

@oliverdarcy
Replying to @oliverdarcy

Twitter spox confirms to me that both @RudyGiuliani and @charliekirk11’s accounts were “temporarily locked for violating the Twitter Rules regarding COVID-19 misinformation.”
9,461
3:12 PM - Mar 28, 2020


more...
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 29, 2020, 11:07 AM (2 replies)

DeWine 'stunned' FDA limiting Ohio company's mask-sterilization technology


DeWine 'stunned' FDA limiting Ohio company's mask-sterilization technology
10TV Web Staff
Published: about an hour ago
Updated: 5 minutes ago


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted say they are disappointed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to limit the use of an Ohio company's new technology to sterilize much-needed surgical masks.

The FDA has authorized Columbus-based Battelle to sterilize only 10,000 surgical masks in Ohio each day, though the company can sterilize up to 160,000 masks daily in Ohio alone.

"The FDA's decision to severely limit the use of this life-saving technology is nothing short of reckless," DeWine said in a statement emailed to 10TV. "Battelle's innovative technology has the capability to protect healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and across the country, but in this time of crisis, the FDA has decided not to support those who are risking their lives to save others. This is a matter of life and death. I am not only disappointed by this development, but I'm also stunned that the FDA would decline to do all it can to protect this country's frontline workers in this serious time of need."


The allowance of the sterilization of 10,000 masks per day is limited to Battelle's Columbus headquarters. The company is not allowed to send its sterilization technology to other states.

more...

https://www.10tv.com/article/dewine-stunned-fda-limiting-ohio-companys-mask-sterilization-technology-2020-mar
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Mar 29, 2020, 10:46 AM (16 replies)

"What we are living through is like a tattoo,"... "It will remain forever."

“What we are living through is like a tattoo,” said Daniela Turno, an ICU nurse at the Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital in Bergamo. “It will remain forever.”

https://apnews.com/206a7a7a0264a17fdceff40c433a7613?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=AP&fbclid=IwAR0ws-gqaSdL-aORNHLQN6hXPV9B7U50MblK9MDZGrr4ybINt6hFlD-fTcE

AP PHOTOS: Italy's front-line medical heroes, in portraits
By LUCA BRUNO, DOMENICO STINELLIS and ANTONIO CALANNI

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 11:56 PM (4 replies)

The Passwords He Carried

I need to do this for myself. You never know.


The Passwords He Carried
I had to get my father’s affairs in order. You do too.
Clara Jeffery
March 27, 2020

snip//

Historian Clint Smith has written eloquently about the need to interview elders, before it’s too late. Please do that. Record Zoom conversations where you ask them about family lore. And schedule and record the conversations with the grandkids, too. Be your own StoryCorps.

But I’m here to talk about the practical stuff. And this is what you need to think about.

Even if they’re safely sheltering in place, you should know the names and contact numbers of any doctors they currently see. What conditions do they have? What kinds of medications do they take, how often at what dosage, and which doctor prescribes and which pharmacy fills them? What is their Social Security number? Their VA number? Their date of birth? Where are their driver’s license and passport?

Ideally, they have a living will, which helps ease probate backlog and costs and also is a process that makes you think through a lot of end-of-life issues. But most people don’t. Do they at least have an ordinary will and an advance medical directive? If so, where are they? Particularly with the directive, get a copy; keep a copy in your phone. If the answer to either is no, you can help them use various online tools to do the basics. Here are the state-by-state requirements; here’s a general guide. A video recording of them reading their will can’t hurt, especially in the few states that still require wills be notarized. Do they have a medical power of attorney—which basically empowers family members to make decisions when they can’t? Many services offer ways to do that; here’s one. In addition to their spouse or partner, should children or other family members be added to make those decisions? (Yes.) Keep that in your phone, too.

What are their wishes regarding burial and cremation or anything of that nature, recognizing that funeral rites might be delayed indefinitely? Who are their best friends and others to keep apprised or notified after death? How do you contact them?

Which bank do they use? Which mortgage company? What bills are on autopay? What bills are paid by mail? Where is the checkbook? Is there more than one? What kind of life or long-term care or any other kind of insurance do they have? Is there a safety deposit box? Where? Is the deed to the house in it? What about the car title? What else is in it? Where are the keys?

You need account numbers and passwords for everything. EVERYTHING. Bank accounts and all the stuff I just listed. But also things you might not think about, like places where precious family photos might be: Facebook, iPhoto, any other services they use (and grandparents tend to use a lot). If you have very online parents, what are the passwords to things like Twitter? You’ll want to decide whether or not to delete accounts after you’ve scraped for photos, and you won’t have that choice without passwords.

more...

https://www.motherjones.com/coronavirus-updates/2020/03/end-of-life-planning-coronavirus-parents/
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 09:07 PM (15 replies)
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