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crickets's Journal
crickets's Journal
July 31, 2022


The graph in this tweet is startling.


Mark D. Levine @MarkLevineNYC
The growth in monkeypox cases in NYC is still not slowing.

To get this under control, we need:
* A quick, direct way for people to get vax’d after a known exposure
* Easier access to antiviral pills for those who test positive
* More widespread testing
* More data made public
8:33 AM · Jul 29, 2022

Just in time for back to school...

pj @pjhn22
Replying to @MarkLevineNYC
WHO said this week that they are watching the potential for spread among children “extremely closely.” Already, more than 80 kids across several countries have contracted monkeypox, largely through household contacts...
6:46 PM · Jul 30, 2022

Bloomberg, no paywall: https://archive.ph/DJbkh

While that’s a tiny fraction of the more than 18,000 monkeypox cases around the world—with most concentrated among men who have sex with men—the prospect of community transmission is raising the specter that the virus could establish itself in other populations, such as women and children. The disease’s rapid spread has prompted WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. [snip]

Anyone can get the virus, which is characterized by raised sores and sometimes causes swollen lymph nodes or other flu-like symptoms. Though its primary mode of transmission has been sexual networks, it can spread through other forms of contact. Once someone has it within a household, it’s especially easy for the virus to infect others through sharing clothes or towels, by touching sores or prolonged skin-to-skin contact like hugging.

Kids, constantly interacting at schools and day-care centers, may be especially vulnerable. As it is, they pick up dozens of viruses each year, including contagious rashes such as hand, foot and mouth disease, eliciting some fear that if monkeypox were to start spreading in child-centric settings, it could be hard to contain.

“It is inevitable that some kids will become infected and attend school while infected,” Varma said. “What we don’t know is how likely it is that kids will transmit to other kids while in school, and, if transmission occurs, whether it will be limited to a few cases or cause a large outbreak.

July 31, 2022

That's our President! 💙


President Biden @POTUS
United States government official
I planned an unscheduled trip to Capitol Hill this afternoon to meet the families fighting to pass burn pits legislation. A positive COVID test got in the way, but I want to thank @SecVetAffairs for bringing pizza in my place and connecting me with the families via FaceTime.

Office of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs
@SecVetAffairs · 5h
Proud to bring pizza from @POTUS to the Vets camping out at the Capitol until the Senate passes the PACT Act.

These heroes fought for our country—they shouldn’t have to fight for health care, too. The Senate must pass the PACT Act now. twitter.com/burnpit360/status/1553472298119794688

6:40 PM · Jul 30, 2022·The White House

July 30, 2022

You are mistaken, but it's not your fault that you've been given this impression. (see eta)

Unfortunately, some media coverage has been irresponsibly misleading on this point. Sexual contact is one way to be exposed to monkeypox, but certainly not the only one.


This week, the Associated Press reported that the spread of monkeypox could "represent the dawn of a new sexually transmitted disease" and become "an entrenched STD" like HIV. This is factually incorrect. Medical professionals on social media were quick to point out the flaws in the AP's statement, clarifying that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease and that describing it as such is disinformation. [snip]

There have been comparisons between the monkeypox outbreak and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s, when misinformation and social taboo surrounding the virus led to the widely held assumption that only gay men were susceptible, a myth which has been disproven but which nevertheless perpetuated the demonization of the LGBTQ+ community. This belief was bolstered by the conservative idea that queer sex is dirty, shameful and immoral, and that the people contracting HIV somehow deserved what happened to them—a lie that simultaneously left other demographics vulnerable to the disease as they thought themselves safe, with no real understanding of how the virus spread. [snip]

According to the CDC, the monkeypox virus spreads via close person-to-person contact; this can include through both skin touch and respiratory secretions during kissing, hugging and sex, but there are other ways that it can be transmitted, such as touching items that have been exposed to the infectious rash or bodily fluids. Critically, the CDC website states that "anyone can get monkeypox if they have close personal contact with someone who has symptoms of monkeypox."

Hear that? Anyone.


Monkeypox isn’t considered a sexually transmitted disease in the “classic sense” because it’s not spread through semen, vaginally or only via sex, Robert L. Murphy, M.D., said in a news release published by Northwestern University. [snip]

The CDC says monkeypox is transmitted when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials that are contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

Animal-to-human contact can occur if an infected animal bites or scratches a person. Human-to-human transmission primarily occurs through close physical contact with bodily fluids, respiratory droplets, skin lesions or recently contaminated objects, the CDC and World Health Organization say.

Saralyn Mark, M.D., former senior medical advisor to The White House under President Barack Obama told VERIFY there does not need to be intimate skin contact so non-sexual contact can infect.


Edited to add: Oops! Didn't mean to pile on. There were no other responses while I was working on this post. I'm leaving it up for informational purposes.
July 24, 2022

Too late. Ms Doorley should have recused herself immediately.

She had no business being anywhere near this. How is a district attorney allowed to be this involved in a gubernatorial campaign to begin with?

In trying to find out more about Jakubonis without reading it in the NY Post, I found this:


(eta - meaww.com is "slight to moderately conservative in bias." They erroneously reported that Jakubonis had a knife and spent a bit too long with a gossipy neighbor, but otherwise seemed to be giving a pretty fair account.)

Jakubonis is an Army veteran who received a medical discharge in 2012. His wife is deceased and custody of their twin children was given to his brother. (Ouch.) Apparently he has mental health problems and issues with alcohol abuse. What he did was wrong, but this is a man who needs help. Even Zeldin got that part right.

Mr Zeldin has questioned why Mr Jakubonis was released from his initial custody at 3 am on Friday morning — a time of the night when there was no access to mental health resources.He said he should have been held until the morning when he could receive help.

No kidding. Why is anybody released from jail at 3 am?

July 23, 2022

Alex Jones certainly tried to hide a lot of his InfoWars $$.

https://democraticunderground.com/10142901004 [see post #24 in particular]

InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones talks a lot about preparing for the apocalypse, selling his fans all manner of ways to stock their bunkers ahead of the end of the world. But now plaintiffs for Sandy Hook families suing Jones allege that he’s “doomsday prepped” his own business ahead of hefty legal judgments, illicitly moving money out of InfoWars into shell companies to avoid paying his victims.

In a court motion filed Wednesday in Texas, the families claim that he has concealed InfoWars’ assets to make the company appear to be nearly bankrupt. The families were joined in the motion by another man suing Jones for falsely accusing him of carrying out the 2018 Parkland shooting. The filing was first posted online by Courthouse News. [snip]

On paper, InfoWars parent company Free Speech Systems seems to lose money every year. Yet Jones has allegedly transferred significant amounts out of the company—financial transactions that often coincide with legal setbacks Jones has faced in the Sandy Hook cases. After the families sued him in 2018, for example, Jones allegedly started personally withdrawing a total of $18 million from the Free Speech Systems bank account over three years, along with drawing an annual $600,000 salary.

Many of the suspicious transfers center on a mysterious company called PQPR, which the plaintiffs claim is controlled by Jones and his family members. Shortly after Jones lost his last appeal to block the defamation cases in Texas, PQPR claimed that Free Speech Systems owed it $54 million—almost all of InfoWars’ assets. [more]

It doesn't look as though the attempt is going to work.
July 23, 2022

So on brand for Melania/tfg to pass off the blame to Stephanie Grisham

and to claim Melania was uninformed about what was going on that day. I'm no fan of Stephanie Grisham, but...

Ex-White House aide shares fateful text from Melania Trump ‘refusing to calm Capitol rioters’
No paywall: https://archive.ph/D0FGZ

A former White House aide has shared a text message allegedly sent by Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump in which she refused to call on rioters at the US Capitol to stop all violence.

Stephanie Grisham, a longtime Trump loyalist who served as the former president’s press secretary and as Mrs Trump’s chief of staff, resigned within hours of the text exchange on 6 January 2021, when a crowd of Trump supporters stormed the seat of Congress to reverse his election defeat.

“Do you want to tweet that peaceful protests are the right of every American, but there is no place for lawlessness and violence?” Ms Grisham allegedly asked the First Lady.

“No,” came the reply.

There is no possible way for Melania to be completely unaware that her husband had a big speech to give at the Ellipse that day, and that large and potentially unruly crowds were expected. If she was that clueless and had been inquisitive at all, her first question should have been, "what lawlessness and violence?"

July 17, 2022

Good gravy, is there no end to the Bozos popping out of the clown car?

NYT no paywall: https://archive.ph/KIdIp

The plan included tampering with the Justice Department and firing the acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, according to the Dec. 28 memo by Mr. Olson, titled “Preserving Constitutional Order.”

The memo: https://archive.ph/YvZfL


July 16, 2022

Project Veritas: Diamond Dog and a Diary

Project Veritas' James O'Keefe Leads 2020 Voter Suppression Efforts For GOP

Inside the Project Veritas Plan to Steal the Election
No paywall - https://archive.ph/f9wBV

For well over a year, Project Veritas has been secretly producing undercover stings designed to undermine the integrity of absentee and mail-in ballot counts—an endeavor codenamed “Diamond Dog,” according to documents we have obtained. Diamond Dog began as only one facet of Project Veritas’s 2020 rat-fucking strategy, but with the onset of the pandemic, which has made in-person voting a dicey proposition, it has since become one of the group’s top-line action items. [snip]

The purpose of Diamond Dog, as one source close to the organization put it, is “literally to get Trump reelected.” This source, like other past and present Project Veritas employees who have talked to us for this article, expressed fear of reprisals from the group and would only speak under the condition of anonymity.

It's a long, detailed exposé. Yikes.

And let's not forget, *drumroll*

People Tied to Project Veritas Scrutinized in Theft of Diary From Biden’s Daughter
No paywall - https://archive.ph/OIxy6

The Justice Department searched two locations associated with the conservative group Project Veritas as part of an investigation into how a diary stolen from President Biden’s daughter, Ashley, came to be publicly disclosed a week and a half before the 2020 presidential election, according to people briefed on the matter. [snip]

Project Veritas did not publish Ms. Biden’s diary, but dozens of handwritten pages from it were posted on a right wing website on Oct. 24, 2020, at a time when President Donald J. Trump was seeking to undermine Mr. Biden’s credibility by portraying his son, Hunter, as engaging in corrupt business dealings.

Project Veritas Tells Judge It Was Assured Biden Diary Was Legally Obtained
No paywall - https://archive.ph/lqEGL

Project Veritas, the conservative group under scrutiny in a Justice Department investigation of how a diary kept by President Biden’s daughter Ashley Biden was published days before the 2020 election, has told a federal judge that it received a diary from two people who said they had legally obtained it after she had abandoned it. [snip]

Project Veritas never ended up publishing Ms. Biden’s diary. It was made public less than two weeks before the 2020 election by a right-wing website that posted several photographs of diary pages it claimed were written by Ms. Biden. The website said it had obtained the diary from a “whistle-blower” who worked for a media organization that had decided not to publish a story on the topic.


It'll be great if Robert Weisenbach takes James O’Keefe and Project Veritas to the cleaners in court.

July 16, 2022

Mueller, She Wrote THREAD: let's talk about this weak-sauce BS response from the @SecretService.


Unrolled thread: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1548325423355809795.html

THREAD: let’s talk about this weak-sauce BS response from the @SecretService. “In January 2021, before any inspection was opened by OIG on this subject, USSS began resetting its mobile phones to factory settings as part of a pre-planned, three-month systems migration” 1/

First, it’s SUPER sketch that they bring up the OIG probe that began February 26, but don’t address that TWO congressional committees asked them for all relevant 1/6 documents on JANUARY 16. 2/

Why did you continue “resetting phones” after you received this letter, and why on earth would ANY agency continue with a planned January “systems migration” right after the attack on the capitol - ESPECIALLY the USSS? 3/

Finally, I worked for the feds for over a decade and we never returned our phones to factory settings UNLESS we lost our password and couldn’t get in, and in those cases, an IT administrator had to do it, and all our texts and emails were restored from the cloud. 4/

There was no “systems migration” that wiped all our data because our agency had a records retention policy by default - even when there wasn’t an insurrection or letters from congressional committees - we still had to retain all communications. 5/

In order to permanently delete communications, an IT administrator would have to wipe the cloud. In fact, I’ve gone back after leaving service to get emails and texts through FOIA successfully. Seems like you’d have to go WELL out of your way to remove communications 6/

I look forward to your response to the 1/6 committee, along with the reasons you failed to follow document retention policy in general under title 44 USC 3101, and why you ignored the 1/16 congressional request and continued with your “systems migration” 7/

Along with what “systems” you were migrating and how that permanently deleted communications. Not to mention why a factory reset was necessary, and how resetting a device magically erased comms on the cloud. Maybe you have a special reason. Thanks! END/

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