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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: 163,825

Journal Archives

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, 07:10 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, 06:34 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, 06:51 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, 03:11 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, 10:16 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, 08:46 AM (9 replies)

Sherrod Brown Has a Message for America: Listen to Scientists, Not Donald Trump

March 25, 2020 7:00AM ET
Sherrod Brown Has a Message for America: Listen to Scientists, Not Donald Trump
The Ohio senator is good and mad, and fighting to stop a coronavirus bailout that stiffs working people
By Andy Kroll

WASHINGTON — Sherrod Brown was pissed off.


“Who can say anything but this is a national crisis?” Brown asked. “We’re going to make our unwillingness to do anything contingent on some parliamentary trick? No.”

The video of Brown’s fiery floor speech has been watched more than a million times. One journalist compared him to James Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The Senate soon passed two of three planned coronavirus relief bills. But on Sunday night, Brown was one of 47 senators who voted against the so-called “Phase 3” relief bill, which included nearly half a trillion dollars to bail out big corporations with little oversight and contained plenty more giveaways for major industries.

“The banks always use [a crisis] to weaken rules so they can get more highly leveraged, jeopardizing the economy later but putting more money in their pockets,” Brown tells Rolling Stone. “We all know that — and Trump wants to do it that way. The question is: How do we stop that? The Democrats are united on that.”

Over his nearly three decades in Congress, Brown, who is 67, has developed a reputation as the voice of the working man and woman. He warned about the devastating consequences of NAFTA decades ago when free trade and globalization were Democratic Party gospel. And now, as lawmakers scramble to pass legislation that will help the American people survive what could be the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Brown is one of the loudest voices in Congress demanding that coronavirus relief bills help regular working people and not become a massive bailout for banks, airlines, and other big corporations.

Brown recently spoke with Rolling Stone about what should be included in a coronavirus relief package, why he wants the president to use the Defense Production Act to manufacture badly needed medical equipment, and why Americans should not listen to Trump during the pandemic.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 08:27 AM (2 replies)

The New Trump Show: 'I've Gotten to Like This Room'

The New Trump Show: ‘I’ve Gotten to Like This Room’
The president has turned the abandoned briefing room into a new stage and he’s making it must-see TV.
03/25/2020 04:30 AM EDT

To anybody suddenly tuning into the president’s press conference this Monday evening, it might have seemed like the leader of the free world was channeling an off-hours televangelist, taking advantage of a pandemic to offer a hazy tale of a miraculous cure.

“… a gentleman,” Donald Trump intoned from inside the White House, invoking an antimalarial remedy called hydroxychloroquine, “they thought he was not going to make it. He said goodbye to his family. They had given him the drug just a little while before, but he thought it was over. His family thought he was going to die. And a number of hours later, he woke up, felt good. Then he woke up again, and he felt really good. And he’s in good shape. And he’s very happy …” The drug, if it works on Covid-19, would be, he said, “a gift from God.”

This brief, almost mystical tale came in the eight-minute mark of the first hour of another installment of what has become a new American serial drama.

Over the last two weeks, Trump has embarked on a striking chapter of his optics-obsessed presidency, turning the all-but-abandoned briefing room into the set of a largely unscripted television series that has gripped, worried and (depending on one’s political affiliation) infuriated viewers.

Stripped of the weapon of his rallies, of “chopper talk,” of the sorts of set pieces to which the populace had grown accustomed over the three-plus years he’s been commander-in-chief, Trump as a president in crisis has engineered something different. While governors from New York to California have staged almost daily briefings, offering a traditional mixture of stern warnings and words of comfort, Trump has created something more like a show built on narrative surprises and populated with familiar characters—the good doctors, the bad reporters, the loyal lieutenants. And in the middle of it all, playing the role of the ringmaster, the marketer and the brander and the professed expert, is Trump.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 08:11 AM (8 replies)

Have you been isolating?

I know we need to go grocery shopping, but if you can stay at home, are you? Or are you bored and go to Lowe's or HD, or...

Me, I am scared. I did go to Lowe's a few days ago, but only the nursery outside. I am lucky to have my so volunteer to shop.

I've been home for weeks. What about this is not to be taken seriously?

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 25, 2020, 12:12 AM (65 replies)

Trump privately appeals to Asia and Europe for medical help to fight coronavirus

I'm glad he's spooked, the fuckwad.


2m ago 23:48
Julian Borger
Trump privately appeals to Asia and Europe for medical help to fight coronavirus

The US has been appealing to its allies for help in obtaining medical supplies to overcome critical shortages in its fight against coronavirus.

In his public rhetoric Donald Trump has been talking up the domestic private sector response to the crisis.

“We should never be reliant on a foreign country for the means of our own survival,” Trump said at a White House briefing on Tuesday evening. “America will never be a supplicant nation.”

However behind the scenes, the administration has approached European and Asian partners to secure supplies of testing kits and other medical equipment that are in desperately short supply in the US.

On Tuesday, Trump spoke by phone with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, asking if his country could supply medical equipment.

The official White House account made no mention of the request, but according to the South Korean presidency, the Blue House, the call was made at Trump’s “urgent request”.
Posted by babylonsister | Tue Mar 24, 2020, 11:54 PM (4 replies)
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