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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
December 31, 2020

We Are Not Helpless By Connie Schultz

We Are Not Helpless
By Connie Schultz
December 31, 2020 6 min read


This is a family's tragedy, and I plead that no one uses it for a smug release of pent-up fears and frustrations. We should all hope to avoid this COVID-19-related side effect, the self-inflicted strangling of our hearts. Surely, if we're lucky enough to survive this pandemic, we want to recognize ourselves when it's over.

There is no ignoring Letlow's social media posts of unmasked gatherings. He was young and healthy, and most of us want to believe that makes a person immune from the worst ravages of COVID-19. His death is a shock and lays bare the lie that only the oldest and infirm need to worry about COVID-19 guidelines. The randomness of this monster is one of its most frightening traits:

I pick you and you and you ...

COVID-19 restrictions are not like a diet. We can't skip a day of following the plan and make up for it on the next. A single unmasked exposure to someone infected with COVID-19 and we are no longer in control of what happens next. As of this morning, Dec. 30, more than 340,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. We have every reason to know that number will continue to grow, as the 20 million vaccinations once promised by the Trump administration by the end of this month have dwindled to 2 million.

We are not helpless.

We can wear masks. We can stay home if we don't have to leave for work, medical appointments or essential goods. When we are out, we can stay at least six feet away from others and walk out of places that do not enforce the wearing of masks. We can avoid gatherings — we must — for a while longer.

This is how we help one another stay alive.


December 31, 2020

145 Employees in One Washington State Costco Catch COVID, and the Store Is Still Open


145 Employees in One Washington State Costco Catch COVID, and the Store Is Still Open

Jamie Ross. Reporter
Published Dec. 31, 2020 8:55AM ET

How badly do you want that rotisserie chicken? A coronavirus outbreak at a Costco in Washington state has reportedly seen 145 of its 383 staff test positive for the disease—but the store is still open to any card-carrying customers who are bold enough to step inside. Local network KOMO News reports the outbreak hit the Yakima County store and that the number of cases rocketed over the past week. Just 68 people had tested positive on Thursday, but that shot up to 145 by Monday. Even though county health officials have said they expect that number to rise further as more employees are tested, the store has been allowed to remain open after implementing some unspecified recommendations to mitigate the spread.
December 31, 2020

Trump's Legal Troubles In New York State Dramatically Escalate


12/31/20 4:07am
Trump's Legal Troubles In New York State Dramatically Escalate
Manhattan D.A. has hired a forensic accounting firm to aid in their investigation into Donald Trump's shady business dealings, marking a dramatic escalation in their legal case.
By Red Painter


FTI Consulting's website talks about the type of forensic accounting services they offer:

Our multidisciplinary experts address a variety of accounting and compliance issues; analyze and reconstruct corporate books, records and electronic information; and participate in fact-finding interviews.

We react quickly and confidentially to safeguard assets and reputation, resolve matters with minimum disruption to the business and mitigate recurrences by recommending effective controls. Our approaches enable us to efficiently gather facts, analyze the issues, and prepare reports and presentations that stand up to regulatory and judicial scrutiny. We assist with complex accounting and reporting issues that arise from situations occurring outside the normal course of business, including:

Fraud and complex financial investigations
Audit and special committee investigations
Financial statement misstatements, inadequate disclosure and restatements
Whistleblower allegations
Regulatory inquiries
Anti-corruption and FCPA/UK Bribery Act compliance and forensics
Independent internal controls and fraud risk assessment
Compliance and transaction risk assessments
M&A fraud services
Ponzi schemes, embezzlement and kickbacks
Receiver, trustee and independent monitorship services
Technical accounting services
Assistance with auditors
Accountant liability
SEC & Accounting Advisory

We assist clients in addressing complex accounting, regulatory and auditing issues, including all phases of SEC and PCAOB actions and litigation. Our work includes the resolution of technical issues, assessment of claims, restatements and listing advisory services. Our testifying experts typically have given evidence both for and against the government, thereby enhancing credibility with juries and courts. Several of our seasoned accounting professionals have served with the SEC’s Divisions of Enforcement and Corporation Finance and in the Office of the Chief Accountant, as well as the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

The Post reports that FTI will be looking for "anomalies among a variety of property deals, and to advise the district attorney on whether the president’s company manipulated the value of certain assets to obtain favorable interest rates and tax breaks." They will be looking at transactions "spanning several years."

Consultants from FTI have probably already begun reviewing bank and mortgage records and will most likely testify as expert witnesses if the case goes to trial, especially if it involves bringing criminal charges against Donald Trump, his kids and his employees.

Thus far, Donald Trump has avoided providing tax records or DNA in various cases under the excuse that he is "too busy being President", but that excuse goes away on January 20, 2021 when he returns to being a regular citizen. He will have no job and no excuse for why he can't show up for hearings or produce documents. And just a reminder, even if he pardons himself, it will only apply to FEDERAL crimes. Not state. So nothing he does can protect him from Cy Vance (Manhattan D.A.) or Letitia James (New York State A.G).

And they are both coming for him.
December 31, 2020

Biden's plan for Inauguration Eve: Lights, church bells for COVID lives lost

Empathy on a grand scale-how I've missed this!


1 hour ago - Politics & Policy
Biden's plan for Inauguration Eve: Lights, church bells for COVID lives lost
Mike Allen

To set the tone for his inauguration the next day, President-elect Biden will lead a memorial to remember and honor lives lost to COVID-19, with church-bell ringings and light shows across the country on Tue., Jan. 19, at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Driving the news: The Presidential Inauguration Committee is announcing Thursday morning that a D.C. ceremony, led by Biden, will feature lights around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool — the first time lighting around the Reflecting Pool has memorialized American lives lost.

"PIC is inviting cities and towns around the country to join Washington, D.C., in illuminating buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. ET [15 minutes after sunset] in a national moment of unity and remembrance," the committee says.

PIC communications director Pili Tobar said in a statement: "The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris represents the beginning of a new national journey."

"However, in the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation."
December 31, 2020

Insurers lose multi-year lobbying fight over surprise medical bills

Insurers lose multi-year lobbying fight over surprise medical bills
By Alex Gangitano - 12/31/20 06:00 AM EST

Health insurers were dealt a major blow this week when President Trump signed a year-end spending package that included legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills.

Lobbying efforts around the issue had sparked a fierce multi-year fight pitting doctors and medical providers against insurance companies.

At stake was whether to use arbitration to determine how much insurers would pay doctors in common situations like when patients receive care from an emergency room doctor who isn’t covered by their insurance plan.

Doctors and providers won out in the end, and the insurance industry now faces a new payment process that could drive up their expenses and create more administrative hurdles.

“This was easily the largest lobbying and public affairs battle in the last several years. The big health insurers and employer groups placed a massive bet... They were ultimately outmaneuvered on the political front,” a health care consultant on K Street told The Hill.


December 31, 2020

America Ends the Year With Two Deadliest COVID Days in a Row, and the Worst Is Yet to Come


America Ends the Year With Two Deadliest COVID Days in a Row, and the Worst Is Yet to Come
Jamie Ross, Reporter
Published Dec. 31, 2020 4:52AM ET

It’s tempting this New Year’s Eve to celebrate the end of a terrible year—but, unfortunately, things are set to get worse before they get better. For the second day running, the United States hit a new high for daily deaths related to the coronavirus, with 3,740 people losing their lives. The figure comes from pandemic trackers at John Hopkins University, and was tallied on the same day that California identified the nation’s second confirmed case of the new and seemingly faster-spreading variant of the coronavirus, suggesting it’s more widespread than previously realized. The outlook for the start of the new year is not good—according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention forecast, more than 80,000 Americans could die of COVID-19 over the next three weeks.
December 31, 2020

Mitch McConnell Says Americans Don't Need $2,000 Stimulus Checks

Another steaming POS


Posted on Wed, Dec 30th, 2020 by Jason Easley
Mitch McConnell Says Americans Don’t Need $2,000 Stimulus Checks

As he blocked $2,000 stimulus checks for the third time, Mitch McConnell claimed that the American people don’t need the checks.

CNN reported:

The Kentucky Republican said the House bill had “no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate,” and said the Democratic-led effort ran astray of what President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pressured Republicans to pass the expanded stimulus checks, actually requested.

“The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help,” McConnell said.

Mitch McConnell’s description of who gets the stimulus checks was a total lie. The stimulus checks aren’t going to go to rich people and only Democrats. The stimulus checks would go to all Americans who make under $87,000 or couples who make less than $174,000.

The Americans who would get the stimulus aren’t rich. They are middle class and below, and millions upon millions of them could desperately use the help. These people are going hungry and facing homelessness by the millions.

COVID knows no political party, and its economic devastation isn’t limited to Democrats or Republicans.

Majority Leader McConnell’s message was that the American people don’t need an extra $2,000 each, as the man who passed the biggest tax cut for corporations and the wealthy in US history is suddenly worried about borrowing money so that people can have food to eat and a roof over their heads.

December 30, 2020

Ohio Senator Brown Joins Sanders in Delaying Senate Holiday Over $2K Stimulus Checks

Ohio Senator Brown Joins Sanders in Delaying Senate Holiday Over $2K Stimulus Checks
By Jeffery Martin On 12/29/20 at 11:07 PM EST

Ohio Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown said Tuesday that he would push for a Senate vote on $2,000 stimulus checks by joining Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders's filibuster on the Senate floor.

Sanders called for a Senate vote on increasing direct payments from $600 to $2,000 on Tuesday, a motion which gained an immediate objection from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. When McConnell asked for a vote on overriding President Donald Trump's veto on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sanders voiced his objection. Sanders's filibuster could potentially keep the Senate in session until January 1, taking up parts of the Senate's scheduled holiday recess. On Tuesday, Brown indicated that he would join Sanders in making sure the vote on the direct payments occurred.

"I will join Senator Sanders," Brown told MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan on Tuesday. "I mean, I'm in Cleveland right now. I will be arriving in Washington by car tomorrow a little after noon and I will join Senator Sanders. I will be on the floor, make sure this comes to a vote."

Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is also expected to take part in Sanders's filibuster. "We should have a vote," Markey said in floor remarks on Tuesday. "It should be yes or no and we should do this before the end of this year."


December 30, 2020

Black Man Gets COVID-19 After Maskless Cop Wrongly Detains Him


Black Man Gets COVID-19 After Maskless Cop Wrongly Detains Him
Ana Lucia Murillo, Breaking News/Cheat Sheet Intern
Published Dec. 30, 2020 5:13PM ET

A Black man who was captured in a viral video being profiled and wrongly detained by a maskless cop in Virginia has now tested positive for coronavirus, according to his fiance. Jamar Mackey was having lunch with his family at a mall in Virginia Beach when police claimed he was a credit card fraud thief they were looking for. He was taken away and handcuffed by more cops, all maskless, before they realized they had the wrong guy and let him go. Mackey’s fiance, Shantel Covil, said he tested positive five days later, on Christmas Eve, and has mild symptoms.

The Virginia Beach police department wouldn’t say if the cop who detained Mackey was COVID-positive but Police Chief Paul Neudigate apologized and said, “We are required to wear masks. We set the standard, we set an example for our community."
December 30, 2020

Several attendees at Republican club's viral holiday party test positive for COVID-19: report

Shocked I am not~stand by for more...

Several attendees at Republican club's viral holiday party test positive for COVID-19: report
By Jordan Williams - 12/30/20 03:07 PM EST

At least three people who attended the Whitestone Republican Club’s indoor holiday party in Queens, Ny. that went viral have tested positive for COVID-19, The Queens Daily Eagle reports.

The report comes one week after footage from the party went viral, which showed maskless attendees joining a Conga line as the person in front holds a Trump 2020 flag. At one point, Vickie Paladino, a GOP candidate for New York City Council, leads the dance.

Among the attendees who tested positive was James Trent, chair of the Queens Village Republican Club. He told the news outlet that he started experiencing symptoms two days after the party.

Trent said he was admitted to the hospital, and was expected to be released Thursday. He did not directly answer when the Eagle asked whether he regretted attending the party.

“It was a wonderful time and a great party, but I’m not happy I got sick," he said.



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