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Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 89,780

Journal Archives

Fauci warns of potential rise in U.S. COVID cases as funding runs dry

Source: Seattle Times

The U.S. could soon see COVID-19 cases rise again and vulnerable people are likely to need a fourth vaccine dose, one of President Joe Biden’s top health advisers warned as the White House calls for more money to fight the pandemic.

Anthony Fauci, the longtime head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a Biden adviser, said U.K. officials are already warning him of an increase there driven by the BA. 2 sub-variant, easing restrictions and waning protection from vaccines, and that the U.S. tends to be a few weeks behind case curves in the U.K.

“We have all three of those factors right now in this country,” Fauci said in an interview Thursday. “I would predict that we are going to see a bit of an increase, or at least a flattening out and plateauing of the diminution of cases. And the question is how do we deal with that.”

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/fauci-warns-of-potential-rise-in-u-s-covid-cases-as-funding-runs-dry

"The Doctor will see you now..."


The Glorious Russian Empire is fracturing...


"Round up the usual suspects..."


The Ukrainian Spirit...


Sununu says he'll veto GOP-backed redistricting plan

Source: Boston Globe

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday that he will veto a GOP-backed redistricting plan that would tilt the state’s 1st Congressional District toward Republicans while solidifying the Democrats’ advantage in the 2nd District, shortly after legislators passed the bill.

“The proposed Congressional redistricting map is not in the best interest of New Hampshire and I will veto it as soon as it reaches my desk,” Sununu said in a statement. “The citizens of this state are counting on us to do better.”

The Senate's 13-11 vote in favor of the plan on Thursday followed House passage of the bill in January on a vote of 186-164. Republicans lead by a narrow majority in the Legislature. Overturning a veto requires a two-thirds majority in both bodies.

“The proposed Congressional redistricting map was vetted appropriately through an open and transparent process where public input was taken and carefully considered,” said state Rep. Barbara Griffin, R-Goffstown, responding to Sununu. She chaired the House Special Committee on Redistricting.

Read more: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/03/17/nation/sununu-says-hell-veto-gop-backed-redistricting-plan/

Oh Canada!


Russia says it made a payment to avoid default

Source: CNN

New York (CNN Business)Russia says it has ordered the $117 million in interest payments it owes Wednesday to be sent to investors, attempting to avoid its first international default in more than a century. But it's not out of the woods yet.

That's because the funds the country used to make the debt payments came from Russia's frozen foreign assets, sanctioned because of its attack on Ukraine — so it remains unclear whether investors will receive their money.

Anton Siluanov, Russia's finance minister, told state media Russia Today that the country had made good on its obligations to creditors. But the "possibility or impossibility of fulfilling our obligations in foreign currency does not depend on us," Siluanov said, according to RT, warning that the payment might not go through if the United States disallows it.

"We have the money, we made the payment, now the ball is in America's court," he said.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/16/investing/russian-debt-payments/index.html

Vladimir Putin Has Fallen Into the Dictator Trap

The Atlantic

Autocrats such as Putin eventually succumb to what may be called the “dictator trap.” The strategies they use to stay in power tend to trigger their eventual downfall. Rather than being long-term planners, many make catastrophic short-term errors—the kinds of errors that would likely have been avoided in democratic systems. They hear only from sycophants, and get bad advice. They misunderstand their population. They don’t see threats coming until it’s too late. And unlike elected leaders who leave office to riches, book tours, and the glitzy lifestyle of a statesman, many dictators who miscalculate leave office in a casket, a possibility that makes them even more likely to double down.

Despots sow the seeds of their own demise early on, when they first face the trade-off between allowing freedom of expression and maintaining an iron grip on power. After arriving in the palace, crushing dissent and jailing opponents is often rational, from the perspective of a dictator: It creates a culture of fear that is useful for establishing and maintaining control. But that culture of fear comes with a cost.

For those of us living in liberal democracies, criticizing the boss is risky, but we’re not going to be shipped off to a gulag or watch our family get tortured. In authoritarian regimes, those all-too-real risks have a way of focusing the mind. Is it ever worthwhile for authoritarian advisers to speak truth to power?

As a result, despots rarely get told that their stupid ideas are stupid, or that their ill-conceived wars are likely to be catastrophic. Offering honest criticism is a deadly game and most advisers avoid doing so. Those who dare to gamble eventually lose and are purged. So over time, the advisers who remain are usually yes-men who act like bobbleheads, nodding along when the despot outlines some crackpot scheme.

Gov. Kristi Noem says impeachment billboards are not her doing. Lawmakers don't believe her. (SD)


Gov. Kristi Noem denies any involvement in the latest targeting of lawmakers vetting the impeachment of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg.

But legislators on the receiving end of the attack ads say mounting evidence suggests otherwise.

Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions, an organization touting itself as a non-profit organized to carry forward the governor's agenda, began running billboard advertisements Saturday targeting four members of the House Select Committee on Investigation, which is conducting the vetting process.

The ads name the following committee members: Reps. Steven Haugaard, Jamie Smith, Jon Hansen and Spencer Gosch, the House speaker serving as chairman of the committee. The signs also call for the impeachment of Ravnsborg.

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