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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: 168,456

Journal Archives

Trumpworld unloads on GOP ally as coronavirus attacks mount

Trumpworld unloads on GOP ally as coronavirus attacks mount
"Where the hell is the president’s air cover?" said one ally upset over the silence of a super PAC aligned with Trump.
03/26/2020 04:30 AM EDT

Donald Trump is getting hammered by millions of dollars in Democratic campaign ads depicting his response to the coronavirus as negligent and inept.

But the main super PAC backing his reelection has been silent in response — and Trump’s political advisers are not happy about it.

In interviews, more than a half-dozen White House aides, campaign officials and other Trump allies said they felt deserted by the group, America First Action, openly questioning why it’s leaving Trump exposed on the airwaves at the most vulnerable moment of his presidency.

“There is a major vacuum on the political front right now, with the White House focused on coronavirus response and the campaign, rightly so, echoing the White House,” said Chris LaCivita, who as chief strategist of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth orchestrated the 2004 John Kerry takedown.

“With attacks coming from all over, the simple question is: Where the hell is the president’s air cover?”


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 08:59 AM (19 replies)

That Discomfort You're Feeling Is Grief

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief
by Scott Berinato
March 23, 2020

Some of the HBR edit staff met virtually the other day — a screen full of faces in a scene becoming more common everywhere. We talked about the content we’re commissioning in this harrowing time of a pandemic and how we can help people. But we also talked about how we were feeling. One colleague mentioned that what she felt was grief. Heads nodded in all the panes.

If we can name it, perhaps we can manage it.
We turned to David Kessler for ideas on how to do that. Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief. He co-wrote with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss. His new book adds another stage to the process, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief. Kessler also has worked for a decade in a three-hospital system in Los Angeles. He served on their biohazards team. His volunteer work includes being an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team. He is the founder of www.grief.com, which has over 5 million visits yearly from 167 countries.

Kessler shared his thoughts on why it’s important to acknowledge the grief you may be feeling, how to manage it, and how he believes we will find meaning in it. The conversation is lightly edited for clarity.

HBR: People are feeling any number of things right now. Is it right to call some of what they’re feeling grief?

Kessler: Yes, and we’re feeling a number of different griefs. We feel the world has changed, and it has. We know this is temporary, but it doesn’t feel that way, and we realize things will be different. Just as going to the airport is forever different from how it was before 9/11, things will change and this is the point at which they changed. The loss of normalcy; the fear of economic toll; the loss of connection. This is hitting us and we’re grieving. Collectively. We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.

You said we’re feeling more than one kind of grief?

Yes, we’re also feeling anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is that feeling we get about what the future holds when we’re uncertain. Usually it centers on death. We feel it when someone gets a dire diagnosis or when we have the normal thought that we’ll lose a parent someday. Anticipatory grief is also more broadly imagined futures. There is a storm coming. There’s something bad out there. With a virus, this kind of grief is so confusing for people. Our primitive mind knows something bad is happening, but you can’t see it. This breaks our sense of safety. We’re feeling that loss of safety. I don’t think we’ve collectively lost our sense of general safety like this. Individually or as smaller groups, people have felt this. But all together, this is new. We are grieving on a micro and a macro level.

What can individuals do to manage all this grief?

Understanding the stages of grief is a start. But whenever I talk about the stages of grief, I have to remind people that the stages aren’t linear and may not happen in this order. It’s not a map but it provides some scaffolding for this unknown world. There’s denial, which we say a lot of early on: This virus won’t affect us. There’s anger: You’re making me stay home and taking away my activities. There’s bargaining: Okay, if I social distance for two weeks everything will be better, right? There’s sadness: I don’t know when this will end. And finally there’s acceptance. This is happening; I have to figure out how to proceed.

Acceptance, as you might imagine, is where the power lies. We find control in acceptance. I can wash my hands. I can keep a safe distance. I can learn how to work virtually.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 08:50 AM (0 replies)

Four Seasons Hotel offers New York City medical workers free rooms...

Four Seasons Hotel offers New York City medical workers free rooms so they don't infect their families with coronavirus
By Sophie Lewis
March 25, 2020 / 6:14 PM / CBS News

Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City may no longer need to worry about long commutes and potentially infecting their families. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the Four Seasons Hotel in midtown has offered to house medical personnel for free.

The Four Seasons on East 57th Street closed to the public last Friday and won't take any reservations until at least April 15. A number of hospitals are relatively close to the five-star luxury hotel, including Bellevue, NYU Langone, Weill Cornell Medical Center and Mount Sinai.

"Our health care workers are working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis," said Ty Warner, the chairman of the hotel's corporate owner, in a statement to WCBS.

"Many of those working in New York City have to travel long distances to and from their homes after putting in 18-hour days. They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate. I heard Governor Cuomo's call to action during one of his press conferences, and there was no other option for us but do whatever we could to help."

"The first of many hotels we hope will make their rooms available," Cuomo said in a tweet.

Andrew Cuomo


The Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street will provide FREE lodging to doctors, nurses & medical personnel currently working to respond to the #COVID19 pandemic.

Thank you @FourSeasons.

The first of many hotels we hope will make their rooms available.
3:28 PM - Mar 25, 2020



Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 08:08 AM (2 replies)

The Rude Pundit: Trump Doesn't Care About What You Have to Lose


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
Trump Doesn't Care About What You Have to Lose

It would have been so easy, so unbelievably easy, for Donald Trump to have been the hero when it came to coronavirus. He had his chance, his bullhorn on the wreckage, his "tear down this wall." And it would have been with absolutely minimal effort. With a wave of his hand, the signing of a couple of documents, and a speech to the nation, Trump could have so easily done what was needed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 before it started its snowballing rampage. He could have quickly hired a pandemic team, as he said he could, then ramped up testing early, used the Defense Production Act to produce what's necessary if the pandemic got out of hand in the U.S., and instituted a national lockdown policy. If he had told his MAGA hordes to stay at home, they would have done it in a heartbeat and thanked him for his wisdom. Fox "news" would have extolled him for his powerful foresight. Much of the country would have looked at Italy and Spain and breathed an enormous sigh of relief that Trump had listened to the scientists and acted.

At so many points along the way to where we are now in this increasingly dire situation, Trump could have acted to mitigate the shit-twister that's about to engulf us. But he didn't. He didn't and now we're sitting here like people in the basement, hearing the horns and alarms, and watching all the idiots in our town run around and tell us it's all fine, come on out. And we're wondering when the shit-twister is gonna hit and knowing that even if it doesn't wipe out our house, it's gonna fuck up a lot of other places and leave it all covered in shit.

Instead of action, we get Trump's entire mobster ethos on steroids: threatening anyone who crosses him and lying about everything in order to make him look good. We know that Trump inflated his worth when it benefited him so he didn't seem like a broke loser to lenders. We know that Trump lied about how much his properties were worth when it came to real estate taxes. We know that Trump lied about his investment in properties that he hadn't invested in at all. We know that Trump lied about how many units were sold at developments. He lied about the quality of his fuckin' steaks. He's a fucking con man, always trying to get people to buy into the grift.

We know that. It just had always been about money until now. That it's actual life and death at stake during our COVID-19 pandemic makes his response that much more flagrantly callous. At his fucked up hate rallies, Trump is fond of saying to African Americans, "What the hell do you have to lose?" when it came to voting for him, as if electing a president ought to be a roll of the dice at a ten-cent table at a cheap casino. Now he's saying it when it comes to using drugs that aren't proven to be effective on coronavirus patients. At one of those worthless press conferences he has daily, he said about the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, "Let’s see what happens. We have nothing to lose. You know the expression: What the hell do you have to lose? Okay?" Except, you know, for everything they have to lose.


Fuck, I hate this motherfucker.

Honestly, if I saw a grizzly bear raping Donald Trump, I'd give the bear Viagra.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 06:59 AM (3 replies)

The Postal Service's Surprising Role in Surviving Doomsday

Garrett M. Graff
03.25.20 10:00 AM
The Postal Service's Surprising Role in Surviving Doomsday
The little-known Postal Plan, which dates back to the Clinton era, charges mail carriers with delivering critical supplies—like vaccines—as a last resort.

Congress raised concerns this week that the ongoing Covid-19 crisis—and the resulting “critical fall-off in mail” volumes across the sheltering-in-place country—might bankrupt the United States Postal Service in a matter of weeks. “A halt in Postal Service operations could have grave consequences across the country,” two senior members of the House warned on Monday, saying it could be out of money by June.

While Congress said it was most concerned about the Postal Service’s critical role in delivering medicine across the country during the unfolding pandemic—it handled about a billion shipments of prescription drugs last year—the nation’s mail carriers potentially have an even more critical role to play in health emergencies.

If and when a mass vaccine finally arrives for Covid-19, Americans may be surprised to learn precisely who might knock at their door to distribute the life-saving aid: A mask-clad, gloved postal carrier, flanked by a deputy sheriff or National Guard soldier.


Instead, the modern era’s postal Doomsday mission has been geared toward biological threats. Under a little-known Obama administration plan, “Executive Order 13527: Medical Countermeasures Following a Biological Attack,” it would fall to the Postal Service to be the first-line responders to a widespread biological terror incident—think an anthrax attack, where the post office shows up at your door with Cipro. Those plans could potentially be dusted off to help respond to disease epidemic or pandemic.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 06:10 AM (7 replies)

Bill Kristol on eminent domain...

I like the way he's thinking:

"Trump likes eminent domain. Could Gov. Cuomo use eminent domain to seize the closed Trump Hotel and put it at the disposal of health care workers who need a place to stay away from their families, or a closer commute to work? Or use “leverage” to persuade Trump to volunteer this?" - Bill Kristol
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 26, 2020, 05:34 AM (33 replies)

'Dumbest s---': DeSantis takes heat as he goes his own way on coronavirus

‘Dumbest s---’: DeSantis takes heat as he goes his own way on coronavirus
The Florida governor is in the spotlight as cases multiply.
03/24/2020 11:34 AM EDT

TALLAHASSEE — While New York, California and other states shutter their economies to keep the coronavirus at bay, Gov. Ron DeSantis is refusing to follow the herd.

His cure-can’t-be-worse-than-the-disease approach has put the Republican governor under a glaring spotlight locally and nationally as cases of the virus in Florida surge past 1,400. It’s a philosophy that aligns DeSantis with other conservatives, including President Donald Trump and Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, a Republican with a strong libertarian bent.

On Tuesday, state Senate Democrats began papering the governor’s office with letters urging him to issue a shelter-in-place order.

“That is the dumbest s--- I have heard in a long time,” said state Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens). “This is a day-by-day crisis. Italy damn near saw 1,000 people die in one day, and there are people proclaiming we got this and have it solved in 15 days?”

DeSantis has grown only more defiant. On Monday, instead of buckling to political pressure to issue a shelter-in-place order, he said he would restrict visitors coming into the state from coronavirus hot spots including New York. And he’s now literally ignoring pleas from Florida Democrats to be more aggressive.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 05:51 PM (5 replies)

Al Franken: The President is Crazy

The President is Crazy
March 25, 2020

The president is crazy*. We see that every day. But he is the president. He won the election – technically. So, we just have to live with it – having a president who is clinically insane*.

There is a diagnosis – narcissistic personality disorder*. It’s a real thing. And he has it. “I alone can fix it,” he told us at the Republican National Convention. Nothing he has said or done since would lead you to any other conclusion. He is a sociopath*, our president.

It was never okay. Having a nutcase* in the White House. But somehow he had survived three-plus years without facing a huge crisis – if you don’t count his impeachment as a huge crisis, which it sort of wasn’t. It didn’t really matter that he started his presidency by crazily insisting that his inaugural crowd was bigger than Obama’s. (What do suppose that was about?)

Not even one American would die because less than 24 hours into his presidency Americans were introduced to something called “alternative facts.” So, as constantly weird and offensive as it has been for Americans to have a bonkers* president, he skated through. Until Covid-19.

The president’s mental illness* allows him to be both intellectual sloth and supremely confident jerk, ever convinced that he (and he alone) can do everyone else’s job better than they. Generals, climate scientists, public health experts. And he’s always right. Because he’s a psychopath*. And this Donald Trump brand of psychopath* is never wrong. Even when being wrong will cause the additional deaths of perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:11 PM (1 replies)

'Like a f---ing slave ship': Lawyer details horrific conditions at Rikers Island jails amid COVID-19

'Like a f---ing slave ship': Lawyer details horrific conditions at Rikers Island jails amid COVID-19
Lauren Floyd
Daily Kos Staff
Tuesday March 24, 2020 · 7:25 PM EDT

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to passionate pleas from activists to release low-level offenders amid the COVID-19 pandemic with a plan to do exactly that. On Tuesday, the mayor announced the planned release of about 300 nonviolent inmates from Rikers Island, according to CNBC. Officials had already reported at least 38 confirmed cases of the virus at the jail complex and in other nearby jails, according to Time magazine. Scott Hechinger, a Brooklyn public defender, described conditions at Rikers as horrific in a long Twitter thread Monday. "PLEASE READ: Conditions on Rikers are unimaginably bad. My colleague has spoken to a few people trapped inside. What they told her is horrifying,” he said in one tweet. “Unless @NYGovCuomo , @NYCMayor , & all DAs do something ASAP, we're looking at mass death."

Hechinger reported inmates being served meals on "dirty food trays" and sleeping "close enough to reach out and touch the next person." "There is one toilet for every 29 people trapped on Rikers Island right now," he tweeted. “’It is like a f---ing slave ship,’” Hechinger quoted a colleague of his saying. “It makes me want to f---ing cry. They can't even wash their hands. It is insane that this day & age we treat human beings this way. This is shameful."

Hechinger described how inmates were forced to sit four to a table despite social distancing urgings and how kitchen staffers failed to wear masks. He even said Rikers staff members did not clean the general areas following the first reported COVID-19 case at the prison Saturday. “People are being housed with others with flu-like symptoms and there is no recourse,” Hechinger said.

The attorney’s social media messages are part of a larger effort calling on authorities to release low-level offenders, following in the footsteps of at least a dozen local jails in California, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas. Maya Ragsdale, a Miami public defender, said she observed similarly disheartening conditions during professional visits to one of the city's jails Monday. “The ppl I met are caged in dirty cells w/ 50-60 ppl, forced to share toilets, showers, sinks, laundry,” she tweeted Tuesday. “Many stay in bed all day b/c of fear about who may be carrying the virus.” Meanwhile, one guard “cavalierly” called COVID-19 fears “overblown,” revealing no plans to change how he does his job, Ragsdale said. The attorney described multiple clients who had died in Miami-Dade County Corrections’ custody "due to medical neglect during normal times." "Now, pretrial incarceration will be a death sentence..." Ragsdale said in another tweet. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle has said her office is working on a process to release inmates held for misdemeanor and nonviolent felony offenses, according to Florida Politics.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 09:16 AM (4 replies)

Economists say Trump's coronavirus reopening plan is dead wrong


Economists say Trump's coronavirus reopening plan is dead wrong
Dion Rabouin

President Trump's proposal to get business around the country back open by Easter Sunday, April 12, will do more harm to the economy if the coronavirus outbreak has not been contained, economists say.

Why it matters: Such a plan would sow uncertainty in markets and among customers and business owners and make the recession longer and harsher.

Threat level: "We are still significantly behind the curve in containing coronavirus and reopening the economy for political expediency in the middle of a pandemic, to which no has has an immunity, is absolutely mindless," Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group, tells Axios.

"It will only delay a full economic recovery."


The bottom line: "Trump is deluding himself if he thinks that he can step behind a podium and reopen the economy," Michael R. Strain, director of economic policy studies at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, wrote in an op-ed for Bloomberg.

"A warning to the president: Trying and failing to reopen the economy before economic activity is organically ready to resume could have dire economic consequences."
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 07:46 AM (9 replies)
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