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erronis

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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 8,807

Journal Archives

And Who Would Be The Donald's Real "Losers" and "Suckers"? - Brian Lambert

https://www.wrywingpolitics.com/and-who-would-be-the-donalds-real-losers-and-suckers/

A good read with some interesting ideas.
Even before we got to the “losers” and “suckers” phase of The Donald Trump Experience we already knew this election was set in cement. Nothing is going to stop 39% of the American voting age population from idolizing a narcissistic reality TV performer. That 39% can almost be described as “genetic”, certainly figuratively and quite possibly literally.


To be specific, about the likelihood that the 39% is an evolutionary standard, possibly millions of years old. There have been studies of the psychological manifestations of an overactive, which is say, “differently wired” amygdala, the brain’s physical center for controlling emotions. A bit more active than “normal” and the fight-or flight mechanism is more hair-trigger and less reflective.


As scientists have said, ruefully in many cases, it’s an open question whether in evolutionary terms this 39% represents the portion of the species that survives what comes next and therefore passes on its DNA, or whether it fades away, an unadaptive anachronism, like wooly mammoths, dodo birds and our prehensile tails.

The immediate problem of course is what damage this highly instinctive, highly reactive, all but completely unreflective allegiance to the biggest ape’s constant false alarms does to the tribe in general.

Former Daily Caller Editor Reveals He Was Forced to Publish Oleg Deripaska

https://www.emptywheel.net/2020/08/26/former-daily-caller-editor-reveals-he-was-forced-to-publish-oleg-deripaska/

In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Report’s scathing description of Oleg Deripaska’s key role in Russia’s 2016 election interference, a former editor from the Daily Caller, Eric Owens, reveals that his bosses — Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel — forced him to publish an Oleg Deripaska column that he recognized as sloppy propaganda.


Back in 2018, I was the opinion editor for The Daily Caller. I had worked for the website for about five years as a journalist and editor. I really believed in what we were doing. I believed in what founders Tucker Carlson and Neil Patel said they were building. (More on that later.)

In early March 2018, Deripaska submitted an opinion piece to The Daily Caller. He didn’t submit it directly to me or through the Caller’s conventional submissions process. Presumably, villainous Russian billionaires are above such hoi polloi procedures. Instead, Daily Caller publisher Patel contacted me directly one day saying he had received Deripaska’s op-ed. He wanted to know how I felt about it.

I hated it. Anyone with a passing knowledge of European politics would know who Deripaska is and what he represents. I had been in the U.S. foreign service for a bit, so, of course, I knew.

More importantly, Deripaska’s op-ed itself was—and remains—an extraordinary exercise in audacious Russian propaganda.

[snip]

n the case of the 2018 Deripaska op-ed, which I myself published and placed despite my own doubts and qualms, The Daily Caller was the plaything of a Russian billionaire working directly with Russian spies who used conservative media to spout completely false and fabulous conspiracy theories.


Tucker Carlson. A known Russian asset. And groomed to be a star in the New GOP.

Via MW: Place Your Bets: What's Trump's October Surprise?

https://www.emptywheel.net/2020/08/22/place-your-bets-whats-trumps-october-surprise/

It’s become something of a American tradition — candidates pull something out of their asses in October which resets the calculus by which swing voters calibrate their darts before they aim at the board of presidential candidates.

... List of past surprises ...

First three of many:
I think there will be weekly waves of “facts” from the ‘stuff ‘that Rudy has been fiddling with from Ukraine, Turkey, Italy, Vienna. Notice how he has been radio silent for the most part this summer ? Keeping his powder dry.

With August surprises unfolding, redwoods burning, maybe two hurricanes bearing down on the Gulf coast, still, my foggy crystal
conjures Nikki Haley replacing Pence in early October.

hmmm (scratching head)…Billy Barr announces the international Deep State/Pedophile ring has been busted, resulting in indictments of well-known public figures. Trump becomes God/King officially, his 2nd amendment people invade blue cities and incite senseless violence and oh, the election is called off, because well, it’s no longer needed.


What's your favorite POS that the orange turd and friends will pull?

California GOP Consultant Rues 'Big Mistake' That Led to Family's COVID Infections

Source: Kaiser Health News

SACRAMENTO — The tweet Richard Costigan posted July 23 was bluntly honest: “We tried our best to limit exposure to #COVID19 but we slipped up somewhere.”

Costigan tweeted while waiting anxiously in the parking lot of a hospital outside Sacramento. The veteran Republican political consultant had just dropped his wife, Gloria, off at the emergency room. He wasn’t allowed to go in with her.

But they didn’t wear masks, he said, and family members went in and out of the house to grab drinks and use the restroom. “We thought we’d done everything right, and we screwed up,” Costigan said in a July 29 phone interview. “We made a big mistake.”

Now seven of the 10 family members who attended that backyard gathering are sick. Emma and Andrew don’t have any symptoms but haven’t been tested. Exactly who introduced COVID-19 to the group is unclear. No one showed signs of sickness at the time. The first person to become sick was Gloria’s sister, then her niece — then her mom.


Read more: https://khn.org/news/california-gop-consultant-rues-big-mistake-that-led-to-familys-covid-infections/



I have some respect for a (r)epuglicon that can admit some blame, some personal responsibility. Rare.

I’ve been taking flak from friends of mine because I’ve been posting “wear a mask.” Wearing a mask — somehow it has become a freedom issue. It’s not a grand conspiracy. Wearing a mask is a simple thing to do to prevent someone else from getting sick. I do not understand how this has turned into a political issue. The government has a role to play. This is a health care crisis.

Hundreds Call Paper 'Unscholarly' and 'Racially Violent' - Medscape

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/934722

Hundreds of academics, anti-poverty advocates and others have signed petitions demanding the journal Society retract a new commentary which argues, in essence, that poor Black and Hispanic people in the United States are poor because they haven't figured out how to be more white.

One petition, to the editor of the journal, Jonathan Imber, had garnered more than 550 signatories by the time of this writing. Another, to the author of the paper, the editorial board of the journal, and the CEO of Springer Nature, which publishes the journal, was at 400 and counting.

The essay, by Lawrence Mead, a public policy researcher at New York University, argues that racism and a lack of good jobs do not explain why America, the world's richest country, continues to have a problem with poverty. "More plausible," Mead states, are differences in "culture":


Link to petition:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nwWTW2sNrkn9mwxtcUBcGVZL2x6hXv7FOX3P_3VgTLA/edit

The Atlantic: A Vaccine Reality Check - So much hope is riding on a breakthrough, but a vaccine is

is only the beginning of the end.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/covid-19-vaccine-reality-check/614566/
Should be available outside of the paywall.

Nearly five months into the pandemic, all hopes of extinguishing COVID-19 are riding on a still-hypothetical vaccine. And so a refrain has caught on: We might have to stay home—until we have a vaccine. Close schools—until we have a vaccine. Wear masks—but only until we have a vaccine. During these months of misery, this mantra has offered a small glimmer of hope. Normal life is on the other side, and we just have to wait—until we have a vaccine.

Feeding these hopes are the Trump administration’s exceedingly rosy projections of a vaccine as early as October, as well as the media’s blow-by-blow coverage of vaccine trials. Each week brings news of “early success,” “promising initial results,” and stocks rising because of “vaccine optimism.” But a COVID-19 vaccine is unlikely to meet all of these high expectations. The vaccine probably won’t make the disease disappear. It certainly will not immediately return life to normal.

Biologically, a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus is unlikely to offer complete protection. Logistically, manufacturers will have to make hundreds of millions of doses while relying, perhaps, on technology never before used in vaccines and competing for basic supplies such as glass vials. Then the federal government will have to allocate doses, perhaps through a patchwork of state and local health departments with no existing infrastructure for vaccinating adults at scale. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has led vaccine distribution efforts in the past, has been strikingly absent in discussions so far—a worrying sign that the leadership failures that have characterized the American pandemic could also hamper this process. To complicate it all, 20 percent of Americans already say they will refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and with another 31 percent unsure, reaching herd immunity could be that much more difficult.

...
For the Americans pinning their hopes on a vaccine, a botched rollout could feel like yet another example of failure in the time of COVID-19. That could have disastrous consequences that last well beyond the pandemic itself. Brunson worries that such a scenario could undermine trust in public-health expertise and in all vaccines. “Both of those would be disasters,” she says, “in addition to the COVID itself being a disaster.” It could mean, for example, further resurgences of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and an even bigger challenge when battling future pandemics.

For all the uncertainties that remain ahead for a COVID-19 vaccine, several experts were willing to make one prediction. “I think the question that is easy to answer is, ‘Is this virus going to go away?’ And the answer to that is, ‘No,’” says Karron, the vaccine expert at Johns Hopkins. The virus is already too widespread. A vaccine could still mitigate severe cases; it could make COVID-19 easier to live with. The virus is likely here to stay, but eventually, the pandemic will end.


Not mentioned in this are the anti-vaxxers, the conspiracy-theory nutjobs, the whackos who think it's OK to have 20-30% of the population die to "thin the herd."

Thousands of Police Discipline Records That New York Kept Secret for Decades - ProPublica

This will cause some major waves.
https://www.propublica.org/article/nypd-civilian-complaint-review-board-editors-note

ProPublica obtained these police records from New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. NYPD unions are suing to halt the city from making the data public.

Until last month, New York state prohibited the release of police officers’ disciplinary records. Civilians’ complaints of abuse by officers were a secret. So were investigators’ conclusions. The public couldn’t even know if an officer was punished.

The New York City police officer whose use of a prohibited chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner in 2014 had a record of misconduct. Garner’s last words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The city investigator who revealed the existence of the officer’s record was forced to resign in 2017; the officer himself wasn’t fired until 2019.

When the death of George Floyd and footage of his pleas for his life ignited worldwide protests, activists in New York renewed their push to repeal the statute that kept disciplinary records under wraps, known as 50-a. State lawmakers finally acted, voting to repeal the provision, which had been on the books for decades.

Soon after, ProPublica asked New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB, for a list of officers, along with the complaints against them, and what discipline, if any, had been recommended.

Today, we are making this information public and, with it, providing an unprecedented picture of civilians’ complaints of abuse by NYPD officers as well as the limits of the current system that is supposed to hold officers accountable. We’ve published a database that lets you search the police complaints so you can see the information for yourself. Data experts can also download the data.


I expect many will download the data to keep it safe since the powerful unions may prevail in their attempts to stop distribution.

I hope this opens up all the rest of the police departments to transparency.

Medicare is running out of money - Kaiser Health News

https://khn.org/news/another-problem-on-the-health-horizon-medicare-is-running-out-of-money/

Everyone involved even tangentially in health care today is completely consumed by the coronavirus pandemic, as they should be. But the pandemic is accelerating a problem that used to be front and center in health circles: the impending insolvency of Medicare.

With record numbers of Americans out of work, fewer payroll taxes are rolling in to fund Medicare spending, the numbers of beneficiaries are rising, and Congress dipped into Medicare’s reserves to help fund the COVID-19 relief efforts this spring.

“I think we have a real, impending health care crisis,” said Dr. David Shulkin, who was undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Barack Obama for two years and led the VA for a year under Donald Trump.

In April, Medicare’s trustees reported that the Part A Trust Fund, which pays for hospital and other inpatient care, would start to run out of money in 2026. That is the same as the projection in 2019. But the trustees cautioned at the time that their projections did not include the impact of COVID-19 on the trust fund.

“Given the uncertainty associated with these impacts, the Trustees believe that it is not possible to adjust the estimates accurately at this time,” said the report.

So Shulkin, now a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, did his own projections. Given even a conservative estimate of how many workers and businesses would not be contributing payroll taxes that finance Part A spending, he said, the trust fund could become insolvent as early as 2022 or 2023.

“I think this is something that needs more immediate attention,” he said.

Others who make projections agree the insolvency date is getting closer, maybe not as close as 2022.


This sounds like part of the (r)epuglicon's plan.

There is one other COVID-related policy that could hasten the depletion of the Trust Fund. At least $60 billion of the funding provided as part of the CARES Act to help hospitals weather the pandemic came not from the general treasury, but from the Trust Fund itself.

That money in “accelerated and advance payments” is supposed to be paid back, via a reduction in future payments. But there is a push in some quarters for that funding to be forgiven, which would make the Trust Fund’s hole even bigger.

It is not exactly clear what would happen if the Trust Fund were to become insolvent because it has never happened before. As the Congressional Research Service pointed out, “There are no provisions in the Social Security Act that govern what would happen if insolvency were to occur.”

Bellingcat: What You Need To Know About The Battle of Portland

For those that don't regularly follow this incredible investigative journalism organization, this is a great article and introduction.
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2020/07/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-battle-of-portland/

These reporters have uncovered incredible evidence in the Russian downing of MH-17, invasion of Ukraine, poisoning of opponents. They publish an amazing toolkit of open-source resources to help citizens uncover the corruption that has taken hold in many countries (US too?)

July 20, 2020

The city of Portland, Oregon is currently in the national spotlight after video evidence of federal agents driving rented vans and abducting activists went viral. This footage was taken in the early morning hours of July 15, and an Oregon Public Broadcasting article published on the 16th brought the matter out of the local social networks of Portland activists and on to the national stage.

As I write this, mainstream media personalities are beginning to parachute into Portland to cover what some have dubbed the “fascist takeover of Portland”. The word “Gestapo” is trending on Twitter.

The abduction filmed on the 15th did not happen in a vacuum. As other local reporters have noted, it was the end result of more than six weeks of escalating state violence against largely nonviolent demonstrators. I have been in the streets of Portland documenting this movement since the very first riot. Before the national press unleashes a flood of new stories based on their first few hours in town, I’d like to explain what’s been happening:

Trump consults Bush torture lawyer on how to skirt law and rule by decree

Source: The Guardian

The Trump administration has been consulting the former government lawyer who wrote the legal justification for waterboarding, on how the president might try to rule by decree.

In a Fox News Sunday interview, Trump declared he would try to use that interpretation to try to force through decrees on healthcare, immigration and “various other plans” over the coming month.

Constitutional scholars and human rights activists have also pointed to the deployment of paramilitary federal forces against protesters in Portland as a sign that Trump is ready to use this broad interpretation of presidential powers as a means to suppress basic constitutional rights.

“This is how it begins,” Laurence Tribe, a Harvard constitutional law professor, wrote on Twitter. “The dictatorial hunger for power is insatiable. If ever there was a time for peaceful civil disobedience, that time is upon us.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/20/trump-john-yoo-lawyer-torture-waterboarding



Yoo became notorious for a legal memo he drafted in August 2002, when he was deputy assistant attorney general in the justice department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

It stated: “Necessity or self-defense may justify interrogation methods that might violate’ the criminal prohibition against torture.”

Memos drafted by Yoo were used for justifying waterboarding and other forms of torture on terrorism suspects in CIA “black sites” around the world.


Ever scraping at the bottom of the barrel. When can democracy rid itself of these vermin?
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