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Member since: Tue Mar 23, 2021, 03:42 PM
Number of posts: 2,477

About Me

California, NE Sierras, lifelong liberal and Democratic voter. Living in a red turning blue county. ;/ I have been a reader here for several years.

Journal Archives

A few twitter gems from today: Infrastructure, Condo collapse, Pandemic

Robert Reich (Infrastructure)

Hannah Dreier (DeSantis/FEMA response delayed)


Bloomberg Quicktake (Wuhan lab scientist)


Russia, China extend friendship and cooperation treaty -Kremlin

Source: Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday announced the extension of a 20-year-old friendship and cooperation treaty between their countries, both of which have strained ties with the West.
a man wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Russian President Putin meets with Chinese President Xi during their meeting on the sideline of the BRICS summit in Brasilia

Speaking to Xi via video conference, Putin said the Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship, signed in 2001, enshrined the two powers' support for defending national unity and territorial integrity, at a time when both Moscow and Beijing are at odds with Western countries on a wide range of issues.

"In today's world, such agreements are of serious importance," the Kremlin cited Putin as saying. "In the context of increasing geopolitical turbulence, the dismantlement of arms control agreements and increased potential for conflict in different corners of the world, Russian-Chinese coordination plays a stabilising role in world affairs."

Putin said the agreement would be automatically extended for another five years after it expires in February 2022.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-china-extend-friendship-and-cooperation-treaty-kremlin/ar-AALxwSk?li=BBnb7Kz

CREW Reports Money In Politics. This sedition is brought to you by...

The link includes charts and corporate donor names and individual Congress member names including those in the Senate.

In the wake of the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, nearly two hundred corporations and industry groups said they would pause or altogether stop making political contributions to the 147 members of Congress who voted against certifying the election and continue to propagate the Big Lie that led to the attack. In the months since, corporate and industry interests have had to choose whether to do their part to uphold our democracy by turning off the flow of corporate donations to these members, also known as the Sedition Caucus, or to continue to support them in order to seek political influence.

Many have failed this test, some reneging on a promise to change their giving while others made no commitment and are giving like nothing ever happened. By continuing to fund members of Congress who would undermine American democracy, these corporations and industry groups are sacrificing democratic government for access and influence.

Business groups were eager to start giving to Sedition Caucus members in the wake of the January 6th

The flow of money from corporate PACs and industry groups to political committees allied with the Sedition Caucus started just days after the insurrection, and within the first few months after the deadly attack, their total contributions had already climbed into the millions of dollars.


USA TODAY Deleted gene sequences confirm coronavirus circulated before Wuhan seafood market

Source: USA Today

The virus that causes COVID-19 did not originate at the Wuhan seafood market, confirms a new study of deleted gene sequences from the virus' earliest days.

The sequences had been posted to a website run by the National Institutes of Health, but were removed for unknown reasons.

Finding earlier sequences like these might help reveal new insights into the SARS-CoV-2 virus' earliest days, said Jesse Bloom, the article's author, who studies viral evolution at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

His new report, which has not yet been peer reviewed, does not suggest an answer to the question of whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus jumped directly from animals to people or was accidentally leaked from a research lab in Wuhan, China.

"I hope scientifically, we can get beyond just arguing about that," said Bloom, who in May joined a global call for more information about the earliest days of the outbreak.

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/deleted-gene-sequences-confirm-coronavirus-circulated-before-wuhan-seafood-market/ar-AALtfHM?li=BBnb7Kz

Tennessee sued over new transgender bathroom sign law

Source: Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging Tennessee’s first-of-its-kind law that requires businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use multiperson public bathrooms of their choice, seeking to block the requirement from taking effect on July 1.
In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, Rep. Tim Rudd, R-Murfreesboro, speaks on his bill that would impose new restrictions on groups that hold voter registration drives during a House session in Nashville, Tenn. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Friday, June 25, 2021, challenging Tennessee’s first-of-its-kind law that requires businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use multiperson public bathrooms or similar facilities of their choice. Rudd, says the law is not discriminatory and doesn’t limit businesses on which facilities they can let people use. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

The ACLU and its Tennessee chapter brought the lawsuit in Nashville on behalf of Bob Bernstein, owner of Fido restaurant in Nashville; and Kye Sayers, owner of the Sanctuary Performing Arts venue in Chattanooga, which was founded by members of the transgender community; and their corresponding businesses. It names the state fire marshal, state codes enforcement director and two district attorneys as defendants.

With the threat of misdemeanor penalties, the law requires that the following sign be posted in bold, uppercase letters outside public multiperson bathrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms wherever transgender people are not prevented from using the facilities of their choice: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.” It’s one of five new Tennessee laws this year that have drawn backlash from LGBTQ advocates.

The lawsuit argues that the sign requirement infringes on the business owners' First Amendment rights by requiring them to “communicate a misleading and controversial government-mandated message that they would not otherwise display.” The lawsuit says the phrase “either biological sex" is ”offensive to transgender and intersex people because it asserts that transgender people are not the sex they know themselves to be and ignores the existence of intersex people."

Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/tennessee-sued-over-new-transgender-bathroom-sign-law/ar-AALs8ih

POLITICO Playbook: Graham: Biden made GOP look like 'f---ing idiots'

The article actualy contains a plan, and/or playbook of expected steps to pass both the bipartisan and Democratic infrastructure.


MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION — President JOE BIDEN, Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER and Speaker NANCY PELOSI unveiled a rather daring new strategy Thursday for getting the president’s agenda passed.

The gist is this: If Biden’s proposal for “family infrastructure” and climate change doesn’t pass, then neither will the bipartisan infrastructure deal that senators just struck. Think of this as a Plan B after Sens. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) refused to promise they’ll support Part 2, Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar reconciliation package.

But the Biden-Schumer-Pelosi playbook also has the makings of a serious legislative cluster — and high drama over whether Democrats can actually pull this off — this summer and possibly into the fall.

Here’s your new timeline, according to Hill sources, and bear with us for a bit of procedural wonkery:

1) The Senate will turn the bipartisan agreement into legislative text in the coming days so it can pass it out of the chamber in July. The House will likely have its own version. But instead of conferencing and approving a combined bill for Biden’s signature before the August recess, leaders will put infrastructure on ice until the Democrats-only bill catches up.

2) Schumer and Pelosi plan to have both their chambers pass their respective budget resolutions before the August recess, enabling Democrats to unlock the fast-tracking reconciliation tool.

3) That budget will include instructions for each committee to tackle everything from corporate tax hikes to climate change, education, paid family leave and the like — in other words, everything Democrats want that’s not included in the bipartisan infrastructure package. The panels will work over the August recess to draft the massive reconciliation bill, which Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) hopes will top $6 trillion.

4) When lawmakers return in September from the August recess, they’ll have a few weeks to clear both bills at the same time. The new deadline for getting both to Biden’s desk, per Democratic leaders, is Sept. 30, when a bunch of surface transportation programs expire.

Matt Gaetz Tweets 'Defund The FBI' Then Deletes It Amid FBI Probe


Representative Matt Gaetz called for the FBI to be defunded by Democrats in a tweet on Wednesday, and then deleted it immediately.

"If Democrats want to defund the police, they should start with the FBI," the tweet read.

Newsweek has reached out to Rep. Gaetz's team for comment but did not hear back by publication time. It is unclear why Gaetz deleted the tweet a minute after posting it.

The Florida congressman is currently being investigated by the FBI for allegations that he violated sex trafficking laws and allegedly paid a 17-year-old to have sex with him, The New York Times first reported back in late March. Gaetz has denied these allegations and has not been charged.

Lawmakers expand investigation of troubled Baltimore vaccine plant

Lawmakers are expanding their probe of the troubled Emergent BioSolutions vaccine plant in Baltimore and are now focusing attention on manufacturing contracts with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Democratic leaders on two House panels in letters dated Tuesday asked the CEOs of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson to produce all communications related to efforts to supervise manufacturing, quality or compliance of their vaccines at the Emergent plant.

The lawmakers also asked the companies to produce all records related to their decisions to hire Emergent as a subcontractor, as well as the specific numbers of doses that have either been destroyed, delayed or shipped.

The company is facing scrutiny from Congress after it was awarded a $628 million contract last year to establish the primary U.S. facility for manufacturing vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca.

The Baltimore plant has been forced to destroy the equivalent of tens of millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine because of suspected contamination with an ingredient for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which were both being manufactured by Emergent at its Baltimore facility.


Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's Lawsuit Over Firing From FBI Headed to Mediation

Source: Law And Crime

After almost two years of litigation, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s lawsuit against the FBI and Attorney General Merrick Garland over McCabe’s very public 2018 firing is headed to mediation, according to a Tuesday court filing.

Garland, of course, wasn’t named as a defendant in McCabe’s lawsuit

McCabe and Barr appear to have been locked in procedural back-and-forth for more than a year, but Barr’s motion to dismiss was denied in September 2020, and it looked like McCabe’s case would proceed.

Now, however, it looks like both McCabe and Garland are trying to make the mediation happen, and soon.

According to the parties’ joint request to stay proceedings, both sides are “currently working to identify a mutually agreeable private mediator who is available to hold and complete mediation proceedings by August 30, 2021.”


Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/politics/former-fbi-deputy-director-andrew-mccabes-lawsuit-over-firing-from-fbi-headed-to-mediation/

The Supreme Court Just Overhauled the U.S. Patent Regime. Here's What It Means.

The U.S. Supreme Court reined in the power of patent judges on Monday, finding the lack of ability to review their decisions inconsistent with their status as “inferior officers” under the Constitution.

Written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the ruling spells an overhaul of the U.S. patent regime. The majority ruling finds that the decisions of some 250 administrative patent judges will have to be reviewable by the director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in order to pass constitutional muster under the Appointments Clause.

As Chief Justice Roberts noted in the ruling, a single patent ruling can have multibillion-dollar ripples.

“The validity of a patent previously issued by the Patent and Trademark Office can be challenged before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an executive tribunal within the PTO,” the ruling’s introduction states. “The Board, composed largely of Administrative Patent Judges appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, has the final word within the Executive Branch on the validity of a challenged patent. Billions of dollars can turn on a Board decision.”

In the past, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s rulings were not reviewable, until a medical device manufacturer named Arthrex challenged the validity of patent judge appointments after receiving an unfavorable ruling in its dispute with the company, Smith & Nephew, Inc.

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