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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: 165,242

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More than 100 CEOs warn Congress of 'catastrophic' consequences for small biz without relief bill

More than 100 CEOs warn Congress of 'catastrophic' consequences for small biz without relief bill
The letter, spearheaded by Howard Schultz, chairman emeritus of Starbucks, was also signed by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Image: Howard Schultz
Aug. 3, 2020, 8:00 AM EDT
By Stephanie Ruhle and Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — More than 100 current and former top executives at major U.S. companies are calling on Congress to pass long-term relief for small businesses to ensure they survive the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter released Monday that was sent to top congressional leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, the CEOs and other executives warn of significant consequences to the economy if Congress doesn't immediately act to save small business.

"By Labor Day, we foresee a wave of permanent closures if the right steps are not taken soon," they wrote. "Allowing small businesses to fail will turn temporary job losses into permanent ones. By year end, the domino effect of lost jobs — as well as the lost services and lost products that small businesses provide — could be catastrophic."


Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 3, 2020, 08:18 AM (3 replies)

by USAF Colonel (ret.) Curtis Milam


by USAF Colonel (ret.) Curtis Milam

I am the son of an Air Force brigadier general and served myself to the rank of colonel. Of my 57 years drawing breath, I’ve spent 51 of them directly or indirectly serving this once great nation. So, as you might imagine, I found myself on Nov. 8, 2016, more than a little dismayed at the news we had elevated Donald J. Trump to the nation’s highest office - a man so clearly unfit to lead America.

But over time I’ve come to appreciate Trump in ways I did not expect. Now, I am thankful that we elected Trump. Because Donald Trump is exactly what America needed. Trump is a mirror, a warning, and ultimately a catalyst for change. Reflected in Trump is all that is wrong with the United States: the injustice of our broken social contract, the crassness of our politics, and the cruelty of our economy. Trump is also the shock that a mature democracy needs for action. To use a timely metaphor, Trump and his supporters are a virus, and they have activated our democratic antibodies. What we are seeing in the streets is the body fighting the infection.

America was the first modern nation, created of, by, and for the people—supposedly a nation with no class structure, where anyone could reach their potential. But that was a myth. America had classes: slaves at the bottom—treated not as people but property—then poor and working-class whites, and atop it all our original aristocracy of landed gentry and traders in the South, merchants and industrialists in the North. We fought a civil war to end slavery but failed in its aftermath to establish the more perfect union mentioned by our Founders. What we are seeing in our current moment is not only a race war but a class war. America must confront systemic racism to move forward, but it also must acknowledge that we have created a permanent underclass of all colors (though mostly Black and brown). We are a society where your melanin content and your zip code determine your future.

Beginning with Newt Gingrich in 1994, Republicans stopped trying to govern and instead began accumulating power. McKay Coppins writes in his profile of Gingrich in the Atlantic, “… few figures in modern history have done more than Gingrich to lay the groundwork for Trump’s rise.” Effective governance requires compromise, trust, and mutual respect. Gingrich’s new version of Republican had no interest in that. He destroyed the bipartisan structures for governing and even resorted to name-calling and conspiracy theories—over the line at the time, but in hindsight presaging Trumpism.

A straight line can be drawn from Gingrich’s “Contract with America” to the tea party in 2009. Another outsider movement characterized by distrust of government, expertise, and experience, the tea party helped elect a rogues’ gallery of loathsome lawmakers—I’m looking at you, Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas). Trump’s dystopian vision of America is the ultimate flowering of the outsider, populist, anti-government thinking that has metastasized in the Republican Party over the past decades.

Under both political parties, America has rolled back regulatory guardrails and created a volatile economy that values the wrong things. Executive compensation packages for publicly traded companies show that our current economic model rewards short-term financial performance, placing little value on the broader social landscape. It also encourages risky and complex structures that are susceptible to wild swings and disastrous crashes. When bailouts are needed, it’s not the wealthy who pay. The system helped create the greatest wealth disparity in the United States in 100 years. As wealth is concentrated at destabilizing levels, our tax system, according to leading economists, is increasingly regressive, pushing the burden of taxes onto the shrinking middle class.

Over the same period, we dismantled the meager social safety net we had. We have reduced access to food aid, job training, and unemployment insurance. Meanwhile, the cost of health care and higher education has skyrocketed, placing both out of reach for many Americans.

Now for the good news.

Everything wrong with America is manifested in Trump. The hunger for power, the vile derision of people who don’t look like you, the cruelty, the privilege, the gleeful ignorance, and mendacious narcissism. Our revulsion at Trump is causing Americans to ask: How did we get to this place? And how do we get out? That will take time and hard work by well-intentioned people from every corner of American society.

But the process has started.

What is happening in our streets is how open, progressive societies improve—fitfully, imperfectly, frustratingly, sometimes tragically. But we do improve. So, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for showing us what we were becoming and helping us find the courage to confront it. We are going to be OK.

by USAF Colonel (ret.) Curtis Milam
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 2, 2020, 03:55 PM (25 replies)

Does anyone remember the NYT's people profiles

after 9/11?

I so appreciate hearing about people's lives who have died from covid-19, and the journalists who are making that possible.

To cover everyone as the NYT tried to do? That will never happen, and that's not right.

Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 2, 2020, 12:40 AM (4 replies)

Leonard Pitts Jr.: AOC is the hornet's nest Republicans cannot stop themselves from poking


AOC is the hornet’s nest Republicans cannot stop themselves from poking | Column
What must it be like when that contempt is your everyday, when the threat of violent action simmering behind violent words becomes your ordinary? Half of us cannot imagine. Half of us know all too well, writes Leonard Pitts.
By Leonard Pitts Jr.
Published Jul. 29


So he called her something, a vulgar noun modified by a vulgar adjective, neither of which is printable here, both of which you know all too well, because they are a woman-hating insult routine in the lexicon of men whose primacy has been challenged, whose egos have been bruised, who have been denied something they want.

Last week, it took center stage in the House of Representatives, via a speech from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For some reason, she is the hornet’s nest Republicans cannot stop themselves from poking, even though they end up stung to pieces every time.

Florida Rep. Ted Yoho is the latest. He accosted Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and told her she was “disgusting” for having linked a spike in crime to poverty and unemployment. “You are out of your freaking mind,” he said. She called him rude and walked away.

“A few steps down,” reported Mike Lillis of the Hill newspaper, who witnessed the exchange, “Yoho offered a parting thought to no one in particular. ‘F------- b----,” he said.”

Afterward, Yoho’s first comment was “No comment.” He later offered an apology that wasn’t, expressing contrition for his “abrupt manner.” He said, “Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language. The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues and if they were construed that way, I apologize for the misunderstanding.” He’s just “passionate” on the issue of poverty, he said.

Ocasio-Cortez rightly rejected this self-justifying swill. Addressing the House Thursday, she noted that she’s been called such things before. It’s something women get used to ignoring, and she might have done so, but for Yoho’s use of his wife and daughters as moral shields. “I am two years younger than Mr. Yoho’s youngest daughter,” the 30-year-old legislator said. “I am someone’s daughter, too.

“... In using that language in front of the press, he gave permission to use that language against his wife, his daughters, women in his community. And I am here to stand up to say that is not acceptable.” Bread For The World, a nonprofit Christian group, apparently agreed. It asked Yoho to resign from its board.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 1, 2020, 07:02 PM (0 replies)

Conservative Media Is Really Struggling With the Possibility That Trump Killed Herman Cain


Alex Shephard/July 31, 2020
Conservative Media Is Really Struggling With the Possibility That Trump Killed Herman Cain
The idea that Cain’s death shouldn't be politicized is absurd—and impossible.


Between hawking brain pills, Ben Shapiro made the case that people who wear masks also die. “There are plenty of people dying of this who have been wearing masks and have been being careful,” he said. “So spare me some of the crocodile tears on behalf of people who really are not happy with Herman Cain’s politics.” Within minutes of Cain’s death, the right-wing website The Blaze had collected a series of tweets from people pointing out a simple fact—that the former presidential candidate had died of coronavirus—titled, “Liberals waste absolutely zero time politicizing Herman Cain’s death and blaming Trump.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, meanwhile, told his readers to “ignore” the fact that Cain had died from Covid-19. “Like everything else these days,” he wrote, Cain’s death was “immediately discussed in a Trump-anti-Trump context.” It would be preferable and more humane, he insisted, to use Cain’s death as “an occasion to ... remember Herman Cain.” For York, this included a conversation the two had about pizza crusts during the 2012 campaign.

But Cain’s legacy is directly tied to Trump and the anti-science, anti-elitist politics that likely contributed to his death. His own political rise presaged Trump’s. Beyond a core tax policy that would have bankrupted the Treasury (“9-9-9”), he had no real policy portfolio to speak of in 2012. He largely seemed to be making it all up as he went along—his famous quip that he didn’t care who the president of “U-beky-beky-becky-stan-stan” was summed up his ethos, which privileged the authentic over the prepared. He was a businessman who believed that all of America’s problems could be solved by running the country like a mediocre regional pizza chain.

He also made his bones playing to the party’s ravenous base. His campaign promises were downright Trump-y. He was unapologetically Islamophobic, pledging not to appoint a Muslim to his cabinet. He said he would build a 20-foot electrified fence on the southern border that would kill anyone who attempted to cross into the country. Ta-Nehisi Coates at the time observed, “I can’t really recall a candidate—in recent memory—that was as bigoted as Herman Cain.”

Cain’s death was as political as his life was. We don’t know—and may never know—exactly how he contracted the coronavirus. But the idea that his attendance at Trump’s Tulsa rally is purely incidental is absurd. Cain, like Trump, has flouted the recommendations of public health officials. His politics contributed to his death, even if he contracted the virus somewhere other than Tulsa.

Those attempting to wall off “politics” from Cain’s death aren’t doing it to protect Cain. They’re doing it to protect Trump. Trump’s failure to organize America’s response to the virus has led to more than 150,000 deaths. Trump’s megalomania led him to hold an indoor rally in Oklahoma at a time when coronavirus cases were surging. Trump’s decision to turn basic precautions, like the wearing of face masks, into culture-war issues have only made the problem more difficult to resolve. It’s worth noting that Trump politicized Cain’s death as well. Asked about Cain on Thursday, he didn’t offer a eulogy. “Unfortunately,” Trump said, “he passed away from a thing called the China virus.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 1, 2020, 06:10 PM (0 replies)

White House opposes requirement for passengers to wear masks on planes, trains


July 30, 2020 / 5:39 PM / 2 days ago
White House opposes requirement for passengers to wear masks on planes, trains
David Shepardson
3 Min Read

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday said it opposed language in a bill before Congress that would require airline, train and public transit passengers and workers to wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House Office of Management and Budget called the provision in a U.S. House of Representatives spending bill requiring the masks “overly restrictive.” It added that “such decisions should be left to states, local governments, transportation systems, and public health leaders.”

Airlines, Amtrak and most public transit systems and U.S. airports require all passengers and workers to wear facial coverings.

Representative David Price, a Democrat who chairs the appropriations panel overseeing transportation issues, proposed an amendment this month to require the masks.

“President Trump’s flagrant disregard for basic public health measures is bad enough, but threatening to derail federal funding for major transportation and housing programs due to a common-sense provision to require masks on planes, trains, and buses is baffling,” Price said Thursday.

The House is set to vote on the bill Friday.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 1, 2020, 05:50 PM (3 replies)

LeBron James on kneeling: 'I hope we made Kaep proud'


LeBron James on kneeling: 'I hope we made Kaep proud'

NBA star LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates, along with players from the Los Angeles Clippers, Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans, knelt during the national anthem on Thursday as the league reopened its coronavirus-delayed season on courts that read "Black Lives Matter."

“I hope we made Kaep proud,” James said after the game, referring to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.


During the 2016 season, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was the first NFL player to begin kneeling before games during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest racial inequality and police brutality. He was widely criticized by conservatives, including President Trump.

“Kaep was someone who stood up when times weren’t comfortable,” James said. “When people didn’t understand. ... It had absolutely nothing to do about the flag — he explained that and people never listened; I did. We just thank him for sacrificing everything that he did.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told The New York Times he will not be enforcing a longstanding rule within the league that requires players to stand during the anthem.

“I respect our teams’ unified act of peaceful protest for social justice and under these unique circumstances will not enforce our longstanding rule requiring standing during the playing of our national anthem,” Silver said.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 1, 2020, 10:24 AM (0 replies)

Pelosi Raises Record-Breaking $39.5 Million for Democrats as Election Approaches

Posted on Fri, Jul 31st, 2020 by Darragh Roche
Pelosi Raises Record-Breaking $39.5 Million for Democrats as Election Approaches

Nancy Pelosi had a record-breaking funding haul for the Democrats in the second quarter of 2020. The numbers are significant with less than 100 days to go before the election.

The Speaker of the House raised $39.5 million in Q2, with $29.3 million going directly to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which works to get Democrats elected.

Pelosi has been a highly successful fundraiser for the party this year, raising $162.9 million to the end of June, 2020. Democrats are adding to their war chest as they attempt to keep the House.

Jorge Aguilar, Executive Director of Nancy Pelosi for Congress explained the importance of the second quarter numbers and took a swipe at President Donald Trump.

“Speaker Pelosi’s outstanding fundraising haul is a direct reflection of the grassroots excitement to Hold the House, take back the Senate and elect Joe Biden as President of the United States,” Aguilar said in a statement seen by PoliticusUSA.

“From mishandling the coronavirus crisis to trying to destroy the Americans’ health care – the people are witnessing the colossal failure the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have been.”

“Our country has had enough,” he said.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 08:55 PM (3 replies)

Trump responds to Obama's eulogy: I did much more for minorities than he did


Trump responds to Obama’s eulogy: I did much more for minorities than he did
Published 22 mins ago
on July 31, 2020
By Sky Palma

In the wake of former President Barack Obama’s widely-revered eulogy at the funeral for the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, President Trump was asked by a reporter this Friday about his thoughts on Obama’s record when it comes to minorities.

“Well, he did a bad job for minorities,” Trump said. “I did much more for minorities than he did.”

Trump went on to say that he did a much better job than Obama “by far” for “African Americans, for Asian Americans, for women, for any group you look at — far better than Obama did.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 03:16 PM (14 replies)

CDC director says he was not involved in decision to change coronavirus data reporting

So who made this decision? Inquiring minds...


1 hour ago - Politics & Policy
CDC director says he was not involved in decision to change coronavirus data reporting
Orion Rummler

CDC Director Robert Redfield testified Friday that he was not involved in the Trump administration's decision to bypass his agency and instead have hospitals send coronavirus data to the Health and Human Services Department.

Why it matters: According to the COVID Tracking Project, data on coronavirus hospitalizations has been "unstable since July 15" — five days after the change.

The HHS "public data hub created under the new system is updated erratically and is rife with inconsistencies and errors," which could create and complicate public health issues as cases and deaths surge nationwide, NPR reports.

An HHS spokesperson told NPR that the agency has worked quickly to fix errors and the agency is "pleased with the progress we have made during this transition and the actionable data it is providing," although some states and hospitals have had "difficulty."

What they're saying: Redfield told the House's select coronavirus committee that he did not remember the exact date that he was informed about the change — and that the CDC was not "directly involved in the final decision."

"But what I can say, is that CDC then and now continues to have access to all data, does all data analytics, so there's no restriction of any of the data and that data we continue to forward-face the American public," he testified.

Redfield said that he had not discussed the change with Vice President Pence or HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Jul 31, 2020, 12:13 PM (2 replies)
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