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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: 163,969

Journal Archives

Making memories...Family Lockdown Boogie

Posted by babylonsister | Sun Apr 5, 2020, 03:11 PM (1 replies)

Fox News Doc: It's Time For COVID-19 Patients To 'Come Off' Ventilators And Either Survive Or Die


4/05/20 8:23am
Fox News Doc: It's Time For COVID-19 Patients To 'Come Off' Ventilators And Either Survive Or Die
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier on Sunday said COVID-19 patients would soon need to be removed from ventilators even if they cannot breathe on their own.
By David

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier on Sunday said COVID-19 patients would soon need to be removed from ventilators even if they cannot breathe on their own.

"There's going to be more deaths this coming week," Saphier said on Fox & Friends. "The reason I try and explain that to people is although our rates of hospitalization are going down, that is a good thing."

"But we're going to start seeing more deaths," she continued. "Because the people that are having to be in the ICU on the ventilators, they are being kept on the ventilators from anywhere one to four weeks."

Saphier argued that "at some point, they will have to come off the ventilators."

"And they're either going to survive or they're either going to die," she added. "Some of the mortality rates coming out of China are ranging from 60 to 90% of people on the ventilators [who die]. Thankfully, here in the United States, that number varies."
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Apr 5, 2020, 02:53 PM (46 replies)

What if?

What If?
What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?
What if our America is not dead but a country that is waiting to be born?
What if the story of America is one long labor?
What if all of our grandfathers and grandmothers are standing behind us now, those who survived occupation and genocide, slavery and Jim Crow, detentions and political assault?
What if they are whispering in our ears “You are brave”?
What if this is our nation’s greatest transition?
What does the midwife tell us to do?
And then?

~ Valarie Kaur
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Apr 5, 2020, 09:28 AM (2 replies)

What the Coronavirus Is Doing to Rural Georgia

What the Coronavirus Is Doing to Rural Georgia
The pandemic hits a region that was already struggling to address its medical needs.
By Charles Bethea
April 4, 2020

Vanessa Williams’s uncle Johnny Carter died in late February, at the age of seventy. On the first Saturday in March, the family held a funeral at the Gethsemane Worship Center, a large, modern building on the north side of Albany, Georgia, a city of about seventy-five thousand people in Dougherty County, in the southwestern part of the state. It was packed. “Maybe four hundred of us filling up three sections of nine rows,” Williams, who is thirty-three and works as an office administrator, said. “We were in there together, close contact, for at least an hour and a half, remembering my uncle.” She exchanged hugs with family and friends and watched everyone wipe the tears from their faces.

The previous Saturday, worshippers from the same congregations had hosted another large funeral, for Andrew Jerome Mitchell, a local custodian who had died from apparent heart failure on February 24th. Mitchell had ten siblings, and his extended family and friends came from Louisiana; Washington, D.C.; Hawaii; and elsewhere to remember him. “The minister, he was shaking pretty much everybody’s hand, just giving the family comfort and condolences,” Mitchell’s niece later told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The funeral home officiants, they were kind of doing the same thing. That’s kind of their job, to give comfort.” Gatherings followed at the homes of family members.

“And that’s exactly where it started,” Winfred Dukes, Williams’s boss, told me. Dukes is a state legislator and also the owner of a construction company where Williams works. “We’re tracing it back to an individual from Cobb County,” north of Atlanta, Dukes said. “He came down to the Mitchell funeral.” (It remains unclear whether this man from Cobb County was Albany’s initial carrier.) That night, the traveller, who was sixty-seven, was admitted to Phoebe Putney Memorial—a six hundred and ninety-one bed hospital in southwest Georgia—with shortness of breath. He had chronic lung disease, which seemed to offer an explanation. But his condition deteriorated, and he was attended by dozens of hospital staff before being transferred to Atlanta, on March 7th, the day of Johnny Carter’s funeral. On March 10th, tests revealed that he had the coronavirus. He died two days later.

Back home in Albany, Williams had begun to feel unusually tired. Then: chest pain, fever, chills, and a visit to the doctor, who diagnosed her with strep throat, which didn’t improve with antibiotics. Williams was tested for COVID-19 on March 16th. Dukes sent the rest of his construction-company employees home. He was already under quarantine himself, because a fellow-legislator, the Republican congressman Brandon Beach, had continued to work at the state capitol despite having COVID-19 symptoms, in early March, and had subsequently tested positive. (“I’m not a bad person,” Beach told the Journal-Constitution, adding, “I thought it was my regular sinus bronchitis stuff I get every year.”) By this time, Dukes said, “it became abundantly clear that all of these people from this church were coming down sick with the same thing.” Dozens of Mitchell’s family members were ill; the pastor who delivered Mitchell’s eulogy later died from the coronavirus.

Williams didn’t get her test results for eight days, during which she felt the worst of the illness. Williams lives in a second-floor apartment with her husband, her six-year-old son, and her mother, who’s retired. It was hard to keep her family at a distance. “My husband, he’s hard-headed,” she said. “He’s, like, ‘We’ve been married five years and I ain’t never not slept in the bed with you. Let’s put up a wall of pillows.’ ” That’s what they did. “But when we watched TV, he sat on one end of our large sectional, I sat on the other.” Her son was not allowed outside, but he insisted on playing football and basketball indoors and ran around constantly. “I did everything I could to let him know ‘Mommy can’t play,’ ” Williams said. “He wants a hug and to do all these things. He doesn’t understand what’s going on.” She sighed. “I tried to make sure my closest family didn’t contract it. I can’t promise they didn’t, though.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 11:03 PM (0 replies)

"He's Walking the Line": Inside Andrew Cuomo's Psychological Game With Trump


“He’s Walking the Line”: Inside Andrew Cuomo’s Psychological Game With Trump
It’s a life-or-death struggle—and playing out in dueling press conferences. “One-on-one, it’s perfectly cordial with Trump,” says a person who knows both men. “Because the show isn’t on.”
By Chris Smith


The governor has made his daily public briefings an essential part of the current dynamic, and he’s used them to alternately pressure and stroke Trump. These performances are also highly condensed versions of the protean personality New York has seen in action for four decades, dating back to the 25-year-old Cuomo’s days managing his father’s first campaign for governor. Cuomo can be manipulative, Machiavellian, and vindictive. David Paterson, when he was Cuomo’s predecessor as New York governor, once described feeling as if Cuomo was skulking under the floorboards of the executive mansion, holding a saw. He has also passed pioneering progressive legislation on same-sex marriage (for) and assault weapons (against).

But the immediate Cuomo moment is more about psychology than policy. The forcefulness and passion that have been on daily display for the past month during Cuomo’s virtuous press conferences are the products of his very complicated upbringing as the eldest child of Matilda and Mario Cuomo, who was also a three-term governor of New York. A thorough treatment of those familial relationships would require a book. The very short version, what is most relevant right now, is that Cuomo actually cares about people and has a deep understanding of the human condition.

That quality, on top of his knowledge of how government works, has helped Cuomo create an image of reassuring leadership during the past month. Cuomo does not shy from the grim statistics in his daily briefings, but he has also dialed up his folksy side—talking at length about the Italian American Sunday family dinners of his childhood and about his worries for his elderly mother during the pandemic. “People don't want to hear a well-crafted speech that’s quoting Lincoln at this moment,” says Jen Psaki, who was a top advisor to President Barack Obama. “They want to hear someone who is capturing their frustration and demanding better. Cuomo has been simultaneously not taking Trump’s bait and calling bullshit when it’s warranted. That is relatable for people, because it doesn’t feel political.”

For all the sincerity of Cuomo’s public emoting about his mother and his daughters and his brother, Chris Cuomo, the CNN host, the governor is acutely aware of the stagecraft involved, and that Trump is watching closely. Cuomo believes in a fundamental rule of politics: that it’s easier to get what you want if you can give the person on the other side of the table a win too. And he’s clearly keeping that idea in mind now. Trump, for all his bluster, knows he’s in deep trouble. So Cuomo, who needs money and medical supplies from the federal government, doles out restrained thanks to Trump for cooperation whenever possible, even as he’s no doubt conscious that any such statements will likely appear in Trump reelection ads. “I don’t think the governor is thinking about that right now,” a Cuomo colleague says. “He is a responsible chief executive of a state, trying to get through the day and then the next week and then the next month.”

Cuomo has tangled with plenty of venal or bullying politicians before. What’s different this time around is that he’s contending with an amoral player who outranks him. Part of what makes Trump unpredictable is that he has never had any core values, other than ego gratification. Cuomo, by contrast—as tough and cynical as he can be—has a soul. In the governor’s life-or-death dealings with the president, that could turn out to be Cuomo’s most powerful asset.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 08:59 PM (11 replies)

Senate Republicans brag about unemployment 'lifeline' they voted against


Senate Republicans brag about unemployment 'lifeline' they voted against
Laura Clawson for Daily Kos Labor
Daily Kos Staff
Thursday April 02, 2020 · 3:45 PM EDT

Senate Republicans made a giant stink about the $600-per-week boost to unemployment insurance included in the novel coronavirus stimulus. It was just too much money for low-income people, they said. Nurses might decide not to work, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, because they could get so much money being unemployed. Nurses!

So obviously now some of the very same Senate Republicans who voted for stingier benefits are bragging to constituents about those same benefits. That they tried to cap.

“This package that we passed will provide $600 a week on top of the Montana benefit if you’re unemployed,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines said. “That’s very significant. It more than doubles what the state of Montana pays. That’s taking care of those Montanans who’ve lost their jobs.”

Absolutely true! Daines also voted for an amendment that would have prevented people from getting the full $600 if it took them above their regular wages. The $600, by the way, came about because Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said it would be too much work for state agencies to match each person’s original pay, as Democrats had originally wanted.

”It also expands unemployment insurance eligibility, and provides an extra $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. When it comes to covering bills and navigating this uncertainly, that money is a lifeline,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn wrote.

Also absolutely true! Cornyn also voted for the amendment cutting off the $600 to be sure the poors didn’t do too well.

Arizona Sen. Martha McSally and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott put out press releases touting the unemployment insurance expansion. Because all these Republican senators are terrible, terrible people.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 08:43 PM (0 replies)

Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program

Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report
By J. Edward Moreno - 04/04/20 07:02 PM EDT

A co-founder of Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm with financial ties to White House adviser Jared Kushner, asked the Trump administration to ease provisions in the stimulus bill to benefit their company, according to an email obtained by NBC News.

NBC reported that the email was sent by Apollo's co-founder, Mark Rowan, according to a source close to Kushner. The source said there was "nothing remarkable" about the email that was sent to the White House adviser.

Unlike the dozens of other companies Kushner receives proposals from, Apollo made a $184 million loan in 2017 to Kushner Companies, the real estate company in which Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, retains an interest.

Rowan and his firm made a recommendation about a $100 billion loan program announced by the Federal Reserve to backstop lenders and investors, asking them to fix their requirements so their higher-risk loans can qualify. The loan program is an effort to get cash to flow into the financial system amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the news source, Apollo Global Management does not qualify for the lending program, they are "higher risk and lower rated."


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 07:54 PM (0 replies)

"Don't worry....We survived Obama and you will survive Trump"

FB gem~

““Don’t worry....We survived Obama and you will survive Trump”

That was a commonly uttered catchphrase by Trump supporters when he got elected. I wonder if many of them believe that today. Here’s the thing: for hundreds of thousands of people, the reality is that they won’t survive. We cannot lay every death at his doorstep but as the death toll rises, his behavior becomes that much more erratic and irresponsible. When all this is said and done, remind a Trump supporter you know that this is what they voted for. This immature sociopath who has refused to acknowledge his own shortcomings even as the facts stare him square in the face.”~Sonny Perry~
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 03:58 PM (3 replies)

The Recession Bread Lines Are Forming in Mar-a-Lago's Shadow

The Recession Bread Lines Are Forming in Mar-a-Lago’s Shadow
In Palm Beach a diner races to feed laid off workers. Food banks and pantries see surge in demand and long-term need.
By Shawn Donnan and Reade Pickert
April 4, 2020, 7:00 AM EDT

Though it’s just a four-minute drive across the lagoon from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club, and ten minutes from the Palm Beach outposts of Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Howley’s diner has become an emblem of America’s stark new economic reality.

With more than 10 million people across the nation suddenly unemployed, bread lines are forming in the shadows of privileged enclaves like this one in Florida.

For the past two weeks, the kitchen staff at Howley’s has been cooking up free meals—the other day it was smoked barbecue chicken with rice and beans, and salad—for thousands of laid off workers from Palm Beach’s shuttered restaurants and resorts. The rows of brown-bag lunches and dinners are an early warning that the country’s income gap is about to be wrenched wider as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and the deep recession it has brought with it.

Even as much of America is fretting about supermarket shelves depleted of their favorite cereal brands and toilet paper or the logistics of curbside pickup from favorite restaurants, a brutal new hunger crisis is emerging among laid-off workers that has begun to overwhelm the infrastructure that normally takes care of the needy.

America’s Hunger Problem

More than 1 in 8 people in over half of U.S. counties don’t have adequate food

Source: Bloomberg analysis of data from Feeding America 2019.

“We’re seeing about a 650% increase in our request for support,” said Sari Vatske, executive vice president of Feeding South Florida, which before the pandemic was already serving more than 700,000 people a year in four counties including Palm Beach County. “The growth is exponential.”

The surge in demand is not just in Palm Beach. Food banks around the world have recorded increases in requests for assistance as government-ordered lockdowns have started to bite, prompting employers to lay off staff.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 10:29 AM (1 replies)

Dahlia Lithwick: From 9/11 to COVID-19


From 9/11 to COVID-19
The last time New York was the center of a catastrophe, America rallied behind it. The nation’s reaction to its coronavirus outbreak is a different story.
By Dahlia Lithwick
April 03, 2020
2:40 PM


As Masha Gessen suggests, New Yorkers are quickly finding themselves with no good options. They can stay hunkered down in tiny apartments and listen to the sirens all night, or they can be pilloried for fleeing, a sign of disloyalty and privilege. Those who leave are blamed and shamed for both spreading the virus and using scarce resources wherever they land. Those who stay will be blamed for using up scarce resources in the city. There is no right way to be a New Yorker right now—just as there was no wrong way to be a New Yorker after 9/11.

Some of this is the result of obvious differences between the two events; the coronavirus comes with a heaping side of shunning, though much of what we’re seeing now goes well beyond the kind of shunning the coronavirus medically requires. But as Gessen reminds us: Tragedy always needs others. Even as 9/11 led Americans to rally around New York, it also led to a forever war and a decadeslong policy of demonizing Muslims and travelers from Arab lands. In some ways, the event only superficially pulled the country together before ripping it brutally apart. Today, in the absence of clear “others” to blame, we are inventing them. For a while, the foreign “others” that seemed easiest to blame for COVID-19 were the Chinese, and then Asian Americans in general (and yes, this happened in New York too). But now, blaming any New Yorker will do. It’s no accident that the city is a long-standing American symbol of multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, and openness in ways that date back to the Statue of Liberty, itself a former icon that has only recently fallen out of favor as a national symbol of tolerance and refuge. Back in 2001, we all celebrated New York for being particularly tolerant in the face of narrow-minded fundamentalist hate from Islamic extremists. It is a marker of a uniquely Trumpist, “America First” fundamentalism that this isn’t a quality to be celebrated anymore, but a soft underbelly to the MAGA dream that now threatens to infect us all. What we loved about bighearted, tolerant New York in 2001 is what cannot be tolerated in 2020.

It was always a fairy tale, but it was surely a nice one. Columbine’s tragedy was America’s tragedy. Las Vegas happened to all of us. Parkland, Florida, was everyone’s worst national nightmare. Regional differences were downplayed so we could grieve together. But Donald Trump came along to remind us that Puerto Rico is not really America, and Detroit is not really America, and California is definitively not America. It was an easy myth to puncture, and he has deftly and rapidly ensured that no city or state will ever be America’s battered sweetheart again. We are all on our own.

New York almost makes it too easy. The city has long been associated with unbounded greed and wealth, cultural elitism, and ethnic diversity. That encompasses Ted Cruz’s sneering dog whistle about “New York values” in 2016, and Trump’s newfound loathing of the city he called home for his entire life—a city he was maligning long before the coronavirus came along. Despite the country’s love affair with New York in the wake of 9/11 or even Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it’s also always been the case that the city coexists uncomfortably with the fantasy of rugged cowboys, wide-open spaces, and manly white men dominating nature, an American story Trump and his acolytes seem to love above all things.

Nobody can blame the coronavirus itself on this president, though we must keep track of how his failure to take action will cost untold American lives. But even as we sit here, waiting, it is worth remembering that Trump has led a three-year project in which leadership consists of laying blame, constantly and relentlessly, on everyone and anyone, and the more inchoate that group is, the better. Victims are to be further victimized, always. We have been so carefully trained in this response that even without Trump’s insistence that the media, Barack Obama, Andrew Cuomo, and thieving New York doctors are to blame for the rampant spread of the virus, we could fall easily into the habit of doing it ourselves. We haven’t had to do that; the president has still happily led the charge. The strangest thing is simply that New York is the same greedy, insomniac, starving, pushy, wisecracking, bighearted place it was in the days after 9/11. Americans need to hate her today because everyone needs to hate everything and everyone now. Just when we needed to rally together in a fight against death, we are realizing we’ve been primed to fight one another to the death instead. Even if the myriad historical acts of pulling together after national tragedies were planted in fantasy more than fact, the alternative—a vicious and slashing vilification of the other—will not keep any of us safe or free.

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 4, 2020, 10:14 AM (3 replies)
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