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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 64,007

Journal Archives

Redfield says removed CDC document about how Covid-19 spreads was "not technically reviewed"

Source: CNN

Dr. Robert Redfield, director at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the document posted and subsequently removed that explained how Covid-19 spreads was “not technically reviewed” before it was posted.

During the Senate Health Committee hearing on Wednesday, Redfield told Sen. Tim Kaine the difference between the two documents was about “the balance of the component that aerosolized transmission plays compared to droplet transmission.”

Referring to portions of document that were reverted back to older guidance, Kaine asked Redfield if it was accurate to say “people who are infected but do not show symptoms can spread the virus?”

Redfield replied, “absolutely they can.”

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/fauci-senate-hearing-09-23-20/index.html

Wells Fargo CEO apologizes for saying the Black talent pool is limited

Source: CNN

New York (CNN Business)Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf has apologized after he blamed the lack of diversity at the bank on "a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from."

In a memo to employees released by the bank, Scharf apologized for what he was was "an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias."

"There are many talented diverse individuals working at Wells Fargo (WFC) and throughout the financial services industry and I never meant to imply otherwise," he wrote. "It's clear to me that, across the industry, we have not done enough to improve diversity, especially at senior leadership levels. And there is no question Wells Fargo has to make meaningful progress to increase diverse representation."

Scharf's original comments, which were first reported by Reuters, were made in a June memo following widespread protests about the death of George Floyd and calls for greater diversity in corporate offices to address systemic racism.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/23/business/wells-fargo-ceo-bias/index.html

Rick Wilson: Trump campaign polls now have to go to Jared first...

...before being shown to the boss...

Third Party/Independent Presidential Candidates (from Ballot Access News)

Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian): on all ballots

Howie Hawkins (Green): Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia

Gloria La Riva (Party for Socialism and Liberation): Arkansas, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

Rocky De La Fuente (Alliance): Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont

Don Blankenship (Constitution): Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin

Brock Pierce: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming

Kanye West: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.

Brian Carroll (American Solidarity Party): Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

Alyson Kennedy (Socialist Workers Party): Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington.

Bill Hammons (Unity Party): Colorado, Louisiana and New Jersey.

Phil Collins (Prohibition Party): Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi, and Vermont.

Dario Hunter: Colorado and Oregon.

Joe McHugh: Colorado and Utah.

Jade Simmons: Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Jerome Segal (Bread and Roses): Maryland and Vermont.

Kyle Kopitke: Colorado and Vermont.

Blake Huber (Approval Voting): Colorado and Vermont.

Uncle Ben's has a new name: Ben's Original

Source: CNN

(CNN Business)Mars will change the name of its Uncle Ben's rice products to Ben's Original and drop the logo depicting a Chicago head waiter as part of the company's previously announced plans to create a more inclusive brand.

The revamped Ben's products, which feature the same blue font and orange packaging, will hit shelves in 2021.

The transition from Uncle Ben's to Ben's Original comes amid a broader movement about racial equality and heightened criticism of brands with origins rooted in racial stereotypes. In June, the food companies that make Uncle Ben's, Aunt Jemima, Cream of Wheat and Mrs. Butterworth's said they would retire or rebrand their products.

Mars' rice brand was named in the 1940s for "Uncle Ben," a possibly fictitious Black rice farmer from Texas supposedly renowned for his high-quality crop. It featured the face of Frank Brown, head waiter at an exclusive Chicago restaurant who posed for the Uncle Ben's portrait, according to an archived page from Uncle Ben's website. The company said it didn't know if there was an actual Uncle Ben.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/23/business/uncle-bens-rice-rebrand-bens-original/index.html

Report: Seattle Police Department should ban tear gas, remind officers to protect protesters' rights

Source: Seattle Times

The Seattle Police Department should ban the use of tear gas, rewrite its crowd-control policies and remind officers that they are there to protect protesters’ rights, not violate them, according to a report that was set to be presented Wednesday to the mayor’s office by former monitor Merrick Bobb.

The review of SPD’s use of crowd-control weapons was requested by Mayor Jenny Durkan and the federal judge who has overseen the department’s seven-year reform effort to satisfy a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over 2011 findings that SPD officers routinely used excessive force.

Bobb, who acted as the court-appointed monitor of those efforts until his resignation two weeks ago, found “an apparent absence of an overall strategic plan” to deal with Seattle’s sudden and massive racial justice protests that erupted around the death of George Floyd, killed by Minneapolis police on May 25. He concluded the department’s “crowd-management tactics were deficient,” in significant part because the SPD “lacked seasoned and well-trained commanders” capable of responding to the crisis.

“In the absence of the strategic plan and well-trained commanders, there was a lack of adequate preparation and training of rank-and-file police officers and their supervisors,” Bobb wrote. For instance, he said, officers were asked to use tear gas — one of the more dangerous weapons in a less-lethal arsenal — “without having been trained on how to use it.”

Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/report-seattle-police-department-should-ban-tear-gas-remind-officers-to-protect-protesters-rights/?utm_medium=notification&utm_source=pushly&utm_campaign=671836

Romney slams Burisma, Hunter Biden probe as 'political exercise' (last week)

Fox News

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney on Wednesday slammed the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, saying it is “not the legitimate role of government” to work to “damage political opponents.”

During a committee meeting Wednesday, members voted to authorize a slew of subpoenas for testimony and records from former Obama administration officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as part of its investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.

The panel is also leading an investigation into potential conflicts of interest related to Burisma and Hunter Biden.

But Romney, R-Utah, suggested the committee, led by Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., was using its probe in an effort to “damage” political opponents.

U.S. Election Priced as Worst Event Risk in VIX Futures History

Source: Bloomberg

As the U.S. stock market continues to rally to record highs, the attention of many investors is turning toward November’s elections as a source of risk.

However, hedging against that potential volatility doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it’s currently the most-expensive event risk on record based on a common way to bet on volatility known as a “butterfly trade.”

Futures tied to the Cboe Volatility Index expiring in late October closed on Tuesday at 33.5, compared with a spot VIX that closed at 26.1. Those October contracts, which are currently the second-month futures and reflect expected volatility in the month after they expire on Oct. 21, are also higher than the first-month futures expiring in September and the third month expiring in November.

One “butterfly” trade would be to buy one unit each of the first- and third-month contracts while selling two units of the second. Currently, that trade prices with a reading of -6.9, the difference in costs between the butterfly’s “wings” in September and November and the “belly” in October. That pricing reflects the premium that investors are giving to own volatility over the election. Trading of VIX futures started in 2004.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-01/u-s-election-priced-as-worst-event-risk-in-vix-futures-history

My financial advisor recommended reducing our proportion of equities to fixed income, in anticipation of post-election market volatility.

GOP Report Fails to Show Wrongdoing by Joe Biden

Source: Poiitical Wire

A pair of Senate Republican committee chairmen released a report Wednesday arguing that Hunter Biden’s board position with a Ukrainian energy company was “awkward,” “problematic” and interfered with “efficient execution of policy” for the Obama administration, the Washington Post reports.

But the report offered few specific examples that it impacted Vice President Joe Biden’s actions and failed to demonstrate that it changed the administration’s policy toward Ukraine.

Read more: https://politicalwire.com/2020/09/23/gop-report-fails-to-show-wrongdoing-by-joe-biden/

Full text

I get the feeling that the show trial Hearings have been called off.

Lukashenko sworn in for new term as president in Belarus amid protests

Source: The Hill

Belarus's embattled president was sworn in for a sixth term on Wednesday following weeks of protests calling for his removal from power.

Reuters reported that President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in during a ceremony held abruptly on Wednesday in place of a usual state ceremony, which comes as protests calling for the end of his decades-long reign have continued in the streets for weeks.

“I cannot, I have no right to abandon the Belarusians,” Lukashenko said Wednesday about calls for him to step down, according to Reuters.

Opposition political leaders have reportedly called for continued demonstrations in the upcoming days in social media postings.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/europe/517729-lukashenko-sworn-in-for-new-term-as-president-in-belarus-sparking
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