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babylonsister

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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 167,136

Journal Archives

Eric Boehlert: Good grief -- New York Times credits Trump for Biden's vaccine victory




Good grief — New York Times credits Trump for Biden's vaccine victory
Both Sides madness
Eric Boehlert
2 hr ago


In a wildly misguided attempt at Trump rehabilitation, the New York Times this week suggested Trump deserves credit for the extraordinary success the new Biden administration is having getting Americans vaccinated. Leaning hard into the Both Sides narrative, the Times generously headlined its piece, "Biden Got the Vaccine Rollout Humming, With Trump’s Help."

What the article lacked however, was any compelling evidence that Trump deserves vaccine credit, after having spent all of 2020 completely indifferent to the deadly pandemic, and spreading nonstop public health lies. Fully 60 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have received their first Covid vaccine today, compared to just eight percent under Trump. Biden should rightly take bows for that remarkable trend, after the previous administration showcased its vaccine incompetence.

Under Trump, the U.S. vaccine rollout was seen as a national embarrassment. Under Biden, it’s become a model for the world, administering nearly 100 million shots. And now the Covid relief bill, which Trump and Republicans failed to pass for ten months, will pump billions into helping communities nationwide vaccinate.

The Times article represents some truly egregious revisionist history, politely positioning today's Mar-a-lago resident as a president who simply ran out of time and wasn’t able to get the pandemic job done — who worked hard to create an infrastructure for his Democratic successor. That's a wildly inaccurate retelling of what happened and the almost criminal neglect Trump showed through all of last year in terms of fighting the pandemic and getting Americans vaccinated. Instead, more than half a million died.

Trump wasn't some kind of passive, disinterested bystander during the Covid crisis. He actively made it worse at every possible turn
, from the moment he gave the stand down order for the virus invasion last winter ("We have it totally under control" ), to lying about testing , telling Americans to ingest cleaning fluids in order to cleanse themselves of the virus, and the complete disregard he showed for mask-wearing right up until his final days in office. In truth, Trump spread more deliberate lies about Covid to a larger audience than anyone else on the planet, according to a study from Cornell University.

more...

https://pressrun.media/p/good-grief-new-york-times-credits
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 10:27 AM (34 replies)

Progressives, Meet Your New Hero: Joe Biden


Progressives, Meet Your New Hero: Joe Biden
WHO IS THIS GUY?
If the mittens fit, you must admit—with the passage of this relief bill, the president is arguably in FDR and LBJ’s league already.
David Rothkopf
Published Mar. 12, 2021 4:53AM ET

snip//

It is telling that with the passage of the $1.9 trillion relief package, Biden’s White House spokesperson Jen Psaki described the measure as “the most progressive bill in American history.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called it “the most consequential legislation many of us will ever be party to.” But this was not just a case of establishment leaders congratulating themselves.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, the 93-member voice of the left on the Hill, said: “The American Rescue Plan is a truly progressive and bold package that delivers on its promise to put money directly in people’s pockets and decisively crush the coronavirus’s spread, which is responsible for our economic crisis. Compared to the response to the Great Recession, this package meets the scale of this unprecedented crisis, delivering the equivalent of 7 percent of GDP for the coming year – exactly what economists say is needed to jumpstart our economy and the labor market.

But the bill is more than just a sweeping and urgently needed piece of legislation. It is a watershed in recent American politics. As Chris Hayes said on The Rachel Maddow Show, “(I)t feels like we drove a stake through a certain kind of anti-welfare austerity politics that was incredibly powerful for four to five decades.” The Center for American Progress (CAP) issued a statement saying, “The American Rescue Plan is transformative because it rejects the long-discredited doctrine of trickle-down economics by directing aid to the working and middle-class Americans who not only need it the most, but whose spending will boost the broader economy.”

The CAP statement cited the fact that the plan will reduce overall poverty by nearly a third and cut child poverty in half. Vox’s story on the bill and where it could lead carried the headline “Joe Biden just launched the second war on poverty.”

The comparison with Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty is apt. It also echoes the perception that existed of perhaps the greatest American progressive icon of the past 100 years, Franklin Roosevelt, of whom few expected revolutionary greatness when he entered office. The point in both cases is that while the progressive movement depends on the vision, boldness, and creativity of the likes of Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or in the past of firebrands like Eugene V. Debs or Robert La Follette, the most consequential progressives are often those who find a way to actually get things done.

more...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/progressives-meet-your-new-hero-joe-biden?ref=home
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:40 AM (26 replies)

David E. Sanger: The Lessons of One of the Worst Years in American Life


The Lessons of One of the Worst Years in American Life
President Donald J. Trump lost his job in large part for mishandling a crisis he at first denied. President Biden knows his legacy depends on bringing the catastrophe to a swift conclusion.
By David E. Sanger
March 11, 2021


WASHINGTON — The 365 days between the United States’ panicked retreat from offices and schools and President Biden’s speech on Thursday night, celebrating the prospect of a pandemic’s end, may prove to be one of the most consequential years in American history.

People learned about national vulnerabilities most had never considered, and about depths of resilience they never imagined needing except in wartime. Even the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, for all their horror and the two decades of war they ushered in, did not change day-to-day life in every city and town in the United States quite the way the coronavirus did.

snip//

No country can go through this kind of trauma without being forever changed. There were indelible moments. In the spring came the racial reckoning brought on by the death of George Floyd after a police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. On Jan. 6 came the mob attack on the Capitol that led many to wonder whether American democracy was still capable of self-correction.

But Mr. Biden’s message on Thursday centered on the theme that the country did finally come together in a common cause — vaccines as the road to normalcy — and from that could spring a glimmer of unity, as a still-divided nation seeks solace in millions of tiny jabs in the arm. In his speech, Mr. Biden held out two distinct dates of hope: May 1, when all adults in the United States will be eligible to receive a vaccine, and July 4, when modest Independence Day celebrations might resemble life a little like it once was.

more...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/11/us/politics/biden-coronavirus-trump.html
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:15 AM (0 replies)

The Politics of Biden's Rescue Plan

https://politicalwire.com/2021/03/11/the-politics-of-bidens-rescue-plan/

The Politics of Biden’s Rescue Plan
March 11, 2021 at 10:59 pm EST By Taegan Goddard


Jeff Greenfield: “The political potential here is impressive. Consider a 2022 midterm where the future of the now-temporary child tax credits is on the line, and where every Republican House and Senate incumbent will have to explain to the electorate why they voted against them. Consider the votes of tens of thousands of small-business owners—the entrepreneurial heart of what Republicans rhetorically celebrate—whose enterprises survived because of the law enacted with a clear partisan split. Imagine a Republican arguing that only a small fraction of the law addressed the costs of the pandemic, when there are countless parents of school-age children, restaurant workers, retail shop owners, hotel clerks, freelance consultants, who know exactly what happened to their lives when Covid struck.”

“This is a possibility that Republicans simply may not have imagined
, given their midterm successes in running against the initiatives of the past two Democratic presidents, and inflicting on Clinton and Obama successive political catastrophes.”

“This time, the
benefits of the new law are easy to grasp, and will be—literally—in the hands of Americans within weeks.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 12, 2021, 08:09 AM (1 replies)

Stimulus Checks Are on the Way. Debt Collectors Could Seize Them.



18 hours ago
Stimulus Checks Are on the Way. Debt Collectors Could Seize Them.
There’s nothing in the new legislation to prevent stimulus funds from being garnished.
Hannah Levintova


The House passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on Wednesday, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign it this week, ushering in a sweeping set of programs to aid Americans battered by the pandemic. The package includes expanded unemployment benefits, rent relief, a temporary allowance for families with children, and $1,400 stimulus checks.

But thanks to a quirk of the legislative rule-making process, those $1,400 checks could disappear from millions of Americans’ bank accounts. That’s because there is nothing in the bill to stop debt collectors from seizing stimulus checks to pay off private debts.

The last COVID relief package, passed in December, included protections to stop debt collectors from garnishing stimulus checks. But the first relief bill, enacted last spring, did not, and some collectors seized stimulus payments from people with debts—a worrisome sign for this next round, which is even more targeted to low- and middle-income households.

“Last year, some of the major debt collection organizations said that they would not try to garnish stimulus payments,” says Lauren Saunders, associate director at the National Consumer Law Center. “But we know that it happened. We saw a number of headlines, and we heard from a number of consumers who had their payments garnished.”


Those most at risk are people who have a debt collection judgment against them, explains Saunders. These types of judgments are particularly byzantine: The majority are issued without the borrowers present, either because they weren’t notified of the case or because they didn’t have the funds to fight it. Tens of millions of American households—disproportionately people of color—have debts in collection.

more...

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/03/stimulus-checks-are-on-the-way-debt-collectors-could-seize-them/
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 10:47 AM (4 replies)

America's nightmarish year is finally ending

What a difference a competent president makes!

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-pandemic-vaccines-biden-america-f1f29e00-6fac-4f48-9f0d-f8b9d9e590d8.html

3 hours ago - Health
America's nightmarish year is finally ending
Sam Baker

snip//


Yes, but: Last March, even the sunniest optimists didn’t expect the U.S. to have a vaccine by now.

They certainly didn’t anticipate that over 300 million shots would already be in arms worldwide, and they didn't think the eventual vaccines, whenever they arrived, would be anywhere near as effective as these shots turned out to be.


Where it stands: President Biden has said every American adult who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by the end of May, and the country is on track to meet that target.

The U.S. is administering over 2 million shots per day, on average. Roughly 25% of the adult population has gotten at least one shot.

The federal government has purchased more doses than this country will be able to use: 300 million from Pfizer, 300 million from Moderna and 200 million from Johnson & Johnson.

The Pfizer and Moderna orders alone would be more than enough to fully vaccinate every American adult. (The vaccines aren’t yet authorized for use in children.)


Yes, millions of Americans are still anxiously awaiting their first shot — and navigating signup websites that are often frustrating and awful.

But the supply of available vaccines is expected to surge this month, and the companies say the bulk of those doses should be available by the end of May.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all falling sharply at the same time vaccinations are ramping up.


The bottom line: Measured in death, loss, isolation and financial ruin, one year has felt like an eternity. Measured as the time between the declaration of a pandemic and vaccinating 60 million Americans, one year is an instant.

The virus hasn’t been defeated, and may never fully go away. Getting back to “normal” will be a moving target. Nothing’s over yet. But the end of the worst of it — the long, brutal nightmare of death and suffering — is getting close.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 09:35 AM (5 replies)

Most Americans Had Unwanted Weight Changes During Stress of Pandemic, Says Study

https://www.thedailybeast.com/most-americans-had-unwanted-weight-changes-during-stress-of-pandemic-says-study

Most Americans Had Unwanted Weight Changes During Stress of Pandemic, Says Study
IT’S NOT JUST YOU
Jamie Ross
Reporter
Updated Mar. 11, 2021 7:13AM ET /
Published Mar. 11, 2021 7:06AM ET


If you’ve struggled to cope during the past year, here’s some hard proof that you’re far from alone. The American Psychological Association released a new survey Thursday—a year to the day since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic—that illustrates the enormous stress everyone has been under, and its impact on our health. Some 61 percent of respondents to an online poll said their weight had fluctuated over the past year, with 42 percent saying they’d gained more weight than they wanted to—almost 30 pounds on average. Ten percent of respondents reported gains of more than 50 pounds. Nearly 25 percent of survey-takers said they’d been drinking more than usual during the pandemic—a figure that more than doubled to 52 percent among parents with children in early elementary school. “When stressors go up, there are changes in behavior that affect our bodies,” said Scott Bea, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “I think those effects are going to last for some time.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 08:29 AM (32 replies)

Mitch McConnell: Enhanced Capitol Security Totally Unnecessary Despite Violent Capitol Attack

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/03/mitch-mcconnell-capitol-security

Levin Report
Mitch McConnell: Enhanced Capitol Security Totally Unnecessary Despite Violent Capitol Attack
The minority leader thinks everyone is overreacting to the events of January 6.
By Bess Levin
March 10, 2021


Hey, remember that time a bunch of armed rioters attacked the U.S. Capitol building in a violent insurrection that left five people dead and many fearing for their lives? You should, since it just happened two months ago. Also there was a whole impeachment trial about it that included footage showing countless terrifying moments, like when the building was breached, lawmakers were rushed into hiding, and a woman was shot. Really, it’s been seared into many people’s minds, especially people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who spoke at length last month about her experience, saying in an Instagram Live, “I thought I was going to die.” And yet, according to Mitch McConnell, enhanced security around the complex is totally overblown and not actually necessary.

A day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request from the Capitol Police to keep roughly 2,300 National Guard troops on Capitol grounds through May 23, the minority leader told reporters, “I think we’ve overdone it.” Claiming that “there are no serious threats against the Capitol,” he insisted, “we‘re way overreacting to the current need,” adding, “I’m extremely uncomfortable with the fact that my constituents can’t come to the Capitol. With all this razor wire around the complex, it reminds me of my last visit to Kabul. This is the capital of the United States of America. Do we need some changes? We probably do. But I think we are continuing to overreact based on current threat levels, to what is needed here at the Capitol. It looks terrible to have the beacon of our democracy surrounded by razor wire and National Guard troops.”


Conspicuously absent from McConnell’s remarks was the fact that the Department of Homeland Security reportedly told law enforcement agencies last week that the threat of violent extremism will continue in 2021 and “could escalate to include targeting of critical infrastructure.” In a recent testimony to Congress, Acting Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said that in the first two months of 2021, there was a 93% increase in threats against Congress members, and last month said that members of extremist groups that participated in the January 6 riot “want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible” during Biden’s first formal speech before a joint session of Congress. McConnell also made no mention of the fact that, when you think about it, he shares much of the responsibility for letting Donald Trump act like a mad king for four years, with predictable, deadly results.

On the other hand, doctors say the Kentucky lawmaker has been dead inside for decades, so it’s not surprising he has little fear of his workplace being subject to another attack.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Mar 11, 2021, 12:29 AM (11 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Does Biden owe the media a press conference?

https://pressrun.media/p/does-biden-owe-the-media-a-press

Does Biden owe the media a press conference?
Lots of hand-wringing
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


snip//

There are no current scandals Biden is trying avoid. If anything, his press conference might end up resembling a victory lap as he rightly takes credit for the U.S.'s runaway vaccination rate, and the passage of a Covid relief bill which will help millions of families and businesses, as well as school districts across the country.

It seems more that the press wants Biden to appear in the specific forum of a solo news conference, which shines a spotlight on the White House press corps. Biden has already participated in a town hall event for CNN, answering voters' questions for more than an hour. But journalists don't think town halls really count, because they don't feature journalists. So there's a self-serving angle to the media's clamoring about a press conference, which journalists glorify as being the pinnacle of presidential communications.

“Press conferences are critical to informing the American people and holding an administration accountable to the public,” said Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.


The Washington Post in its editorial insisted that press conferences are where "reporters can ask follow-up questions" and "the president’s thoughts on a wide range of issues can be mined." In four years of Trump press conferences, do you recall pointed, aggressive follow-up questions from reporters that helped mine Trump's deeper thoughts? I certainly don't. (I do recall that one press conference held at Trump's Bedminster, N.J., country club where local members were invited to boo reporters and cheer Trump's references to “fake news.”) It's odd that the media let Trump lie his way through solo press events and now are demanding Biden hold one because that's where presidents are held accountable by the media.

Meanwhile, it's hard to miss how CNN for instance is pressing Biden to hold a formal Q&A in the name of access. Yet CNN pulled the plug on Biden White House daily press briefings just four weeks into the Democrat's term. This, after CNN feasted on Trump White House press briefings, airing them live and in their entirety, for four years. CNN clearly operated under different rules for Trump, and now it demands that Biden adhere to the press conference rules that CNN prefers.

Biden will certainly hold a press conference soon and it will likely generate very little news, let alone blockbuster revelations. It also won’t feature insults and concocted fabrications like his predecessor’s did. The press should relax a bit on this issue, Biden has been quite busy to date.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 10, 2021, 09:51 AM (15 replies)

Manhattan Prosecutors Advance Probe Into Trump

Nitty gritty time. What does anyone know about Seven Springs?

https://politicalwire.com/2021/03/10/manhattan-prosecutors-advance-probe-into-trump/

Manhattan Prosecutors Advance Probe Into Trump
March 10, 2021 at 7:01 am EST By Taegan Goddard


Wall Street Journal: “In recent weeks, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has issued new subpoenas and requested recordings of local government meetings related to the Trump Organization’s failed attempt to create a luxury subdivision at Seven Springs, a 213-acre property that the former president bought for $7.5 million in 1995.

“Mr. Trump has valued the property at up to $291 million in financial statements that the New York attorney general’s office, which is also investigating Seven Springs, said were given to financial institutions. Inflating assets to help secure loans or other financial benefits can be a state criminal offense.”
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Mar 10, 2021, 08:51 AM (3 replies)
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