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Roland99's Journal
Roland99's Journal
February 28, 2020

Tokyo Disneyland to close through mid-March on coronavirus concerns


Tokyo Disneyland will be closed starting from Saturday through to March 15 amid an outbreak of coronavirus infections in Japan, operator Oriental Land Co Ltd (4661.T) said on Friday.

Both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea will be closed starting Saturday, the company said.

The move comes after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for all schools to close to stop the coronavirus spreading. The government has also urged that big gatherings and sports events be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks.
February 28, 2020

Asian markets still dropping. Down 2.5 - 3.5% across most

Asia Dow -2.22%
Nikkei 225 -3.48%
Hang Seng -2.64%
Shanghai -2.86%
Sensex -0.36%
Singapore -2.44%

February 27, 2020

Vice President Pence Announces Ambassador Debbie Birx to Serve as the White House Coronavirus Respo


Today, Vice President Mike Pence announced the following individual to a key position on his team to combat the spread of the Coronavirus:
Ambassador Debbie Birx, to serve as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.

Ambassador Birx is a world-renowned global health official and physician. She will be detailed to the Office of the Vice President and will report to Vice President Mike Pence. She will also join the Task Force led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. She will be supported by the National Security Council staff. Dr. Birx serves as the U.S. government’s leader for combatting HIV/AIDS globally and will continue to oversee this critical work through her able Deputy Angeli Achrekar, while bringing her interagency expertise and coordination that brought ground-breaking progress to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic to the Coronavirus response in the White House.

Ambassador Birx is a scientist, physician, and mom, with three decades of public health expertise, including virulent diseases, their vaccines, and interagency coordination. She has been utilizing the best science to change the course of the HIV pandemic and bring the pandemic under control, community by community and country by country. Her focus over three decades has been on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health. She has developed and patented vaccines, including leading one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in history. Three different Administrations across both political parties have relied on her knowledge and judgement. Ambassador Birx has previously coordinated the Army, Navy, and Air Force in their HIV/AIDS efforts and led the CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health, and their global implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program. She has deep experience in coordinating across agencies. She has worked from the research bench to the clinic, but understands the primary focus must always be to reach the individuals most in need. She will bring her infectious disease, immunologic, vaccine research and interagency coordinating capacity to this position.

Seems to be the first thing they’ve done right

She was appointed by obama and has extensive hiv research experience
February 27, 2020

DJIA -514 just a couple minutes in. (In correction territory) FLAT now since 01/18

-520.08 -1.93%

S&P 500
-67.28 -2.16%

-243.83 -2.72%

U.S. 10yr 1.265

February 26, 2020

Nearly 700 vacancies at CDC because of Trump administration's hiring freeze

Nearly 700 vacancies at CDC because of Trump administration’s hiring freeze

Nearly 700 positions are vacant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of a continuing freeze on hiring that officials and researchers say affects programs supporting local and state public health emergency readiness, infectious disease control and chronic disease prevention.

The same restriction remains in place throughout the Health and Human Services Department despite the lifting of a government-wide hiring freeze last month. At the National Institutes of Health, staff say clinical work, patient care and recruitment are suffering.

Like HHS, the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have maintained the freeze as a way of reducing their workforces and reshaping organizational structures after a directive last month from the Office of Management and Budget that said all federal agencies must submit a plan by June 30 to shrink their civilian workforces. HHS, State and EPA also face significant cuts in the Trump administration’s budget proposal for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The administration, which unveiled a “skinny budget” for fiscal 2018 in March, is scheduled to release its full budget next week.

A senior CDC official said unfilled positions include dozens of budget analysts and public health policy analysts, scientists and advisers who provide key administrative support. Their duties include tracking federal contracts awarded to state and local health departments and ensuring that lab scientists have the equipment they need.
February 25, 2020

"If she were bigger she'd be wearing regular handcuffs,"

‘Please let me go:’ Video shows 6-year-old girl crying, pleading during arrest at Orlando school

The arresting officer, Dennis Turner, was later fired by the Orlando Police Department following the September arrest of the student. The charges against the girl were dropped and her record was expunged.

“I was a police officer for 23 years, and I was in the military before that. All I’ve ever done is to serve my country and my community. That’s all I have to say about this,” Turner said.

Orlando Police Department officials previously declined a public records request to release the body camera video showing Kaia Rolle’s arrest at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy on Sept. 19, 2019, citing student privacy issues, however, the family’s attorney was given a copy and shared it with local news outlets.


“If she were bigger she’d be wearing regular handcuffs,” Turner replies, adding he previously arrested a 7-year-old.

Turner said out of the 6,000 people he’s arrested, Kaia “now has broken the record” as the youngest person he’s arrested.

Sounds like the type of person that does NOT need to be a cop anymore. Bet he’d fit right in in trump’s border patrol SS
February 24, 2020

Anyone heard anyone from #TraitorGOP mention Hunter Biden lately?

With Bernie taking top spots lately, it’s now trolls and bots aimed at him and Hunter Biden is persona non gratis now

February 22, 2020

Op-ed snippet re Maguire firing from Cmdr who oversaw raid that killed Bin Laden

From Heather Cox Richardson

retired Admiral William H. McRaven, the commander who oversaw the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, broke the military’s reluctance to comment on politics with an op-ed in the Washington Post. Discussing the firing of Maguire, he concluded: “As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.”

Her full post:

More news today about the intelligence briefing that led to Trump firing acting Director of Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

First of all, observers see the replacement of an intelligence officer who reported the truth with a toady as a five-alarm fire. Today, retired Admiral William H. McRaven, the commander who oversaw the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, broke the military’s reluctance to comment on politics with an op-ed in the Washington Post. Discussing the firing of Maguire, he concluded: “As Americans, we should be frightened — deeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can’t speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national security — then there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil.”

Political writer Greg Sargent was clear: [L]et’s not mince words: Trump and his GOP defenders appear to be actively abetting an attack on our country.” He points out that a bipartisan Senate investigation concluded that Russia targeted voting systems in all 50 states in 2016, likely so they could figure out how it worked for future havoc. Their goal is “undermining the integrity of elections and American confidence in democracy.”

And Trump and GOP leaders are letting it happen.

The intelligence briefing that so angered Trump, in which intelligence officials warned members of the congressional intelligence committees that Russia was working for Trump’s reelection, also delivered the news that Russia has been working to promote the candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). And yet, given information they could use against a Democrat at a crucial moment, Trump and his people instead said that this information just proves the party is against Sanders, precisely what it appears Russian propagandists are saying.

(For his part, when asked about it, Sanders said he had received a briefing “about a month ago” but had not revealed it publicly because “I go to many intelligence briefings which I don’t reveal to the public.” In a statement, he said: “I don’t care, frankly, who [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to be president…. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”)

Tonight, news broke that Trump is planning to prevent the publication of John Bolton’s book, which allegedly ties Trump directly to the Ukraine Scandal, until after the election. Trump plans to declare that everything he said to Bolton while he was Trump’s National Security Advisor was classified. He says Bolton is “a traitor.”

The book’s publication date is March 17, but if it comes out without the final approval of the National Security Council Bolton might face a criminal investigation and, possibly, forfeit his seven-figure advance. Since Bolton was well aware of the limits of what he could safely talk about, and since his lawyer’s initial letter about the final classified check reminded the office that it should be seen only by the person responsible for checking it, not by the president’s people, and since the White House made and circulated multiple copies, it seems to me likely Bolton would win in a legal struggle with Trump. But that will take a long time.

Meanwhile, Trump has been purging the White House of anyone who cooperated with the impeachment probe, but now has expanded that purge, instructing his aides to identify anyone not considered sufficiently loyal to the president so they can be forced out. Apparently, Jared Kushner and Trump’s children have been key players in making this push, intending to concentrate more power amongst themselves.

This is the key reason to put Richard Grenell at the head of national intelligence, along with former Nunes aide Kash Patel. Already, Grenell has asked for information from the CIA and other intelligence agencies about the information that Russia is already attacking the 2020 election. Looking at intelligence is, of course, now his job, although his fitness for the position was thrown into question even further today when news broke that, although he never registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, he worked for a Moldovan oligarch who is now a fugitive banned from the U.S. Patel was the lead author of the “Nunes Memo” of two years ago, accusing FBI and Justice Department officials of starting the Russia investigation because they were biased against Trump. It is a matter of concern that Grenell and Patel are now in charge of the information about Russian attacks on our country today.

Hiring people based on their loyalty to Trump means that the competent leadership has been replaced by people whose major skill is their ability to please a man whose interests do not run to deep understanding. This is consistent with the GOP idea that government is useless and should be dismantled, and that businessmen should control the levers of power instead of politicians.
Today, a video circulated of Richard Grenell, US Ambassador to Germany and now our acting Director of National Intelligence, saying that there is no need to have an embassy staff analyzing political currents in foreign countries because “we can get that information off the internet.” Instead, he wants to revamp embassies to make them “mini-commerce sections” full of “economic specialists.” (The State Department, of course, became the power it is now after WWII proved that economic interests demanded a thorough understanding of other nations’ cultures and politics, and careful, long-term diplomacy to enable us to work out differences with other countries.)

Perhaps even more disturbing at this particular moment is that the U.S. currently has no expert at the National Security Council who specializes in pandemics. The World Health Organization (WHO) warned today that the window is closing for containing the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (officially SARS-CoV-2) after new cases turned up in Lebanon and Iran. But in May 2018, when he was National Security Advisor, Bolton broke up the team in charge of global health security and pushed out its leader, Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer.

It is clear that the administration does not have a clear plan for managing the disease. There is already finger-pointing and anger today over the fact that State Department officials and a top Trump official overruled officials of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to evacuate 14 Americans infected with coronavirus in an airplane from Japan with 314 uninfected passengers.

The Americans were traveling on the cruise ship the Diamond Princess out of Yokohama for a 15-day cruise when it turned out the ship had carried a man with the virus for 5 days before he left to go to a hospital. The ship returned to Yokohama where Japanese officials quarantined the passengers for fourteen days to make sure there were no other cases. There were. The disease spread on the ship, and after two weeks, the State Department decided to evacuate the Americans. But, once the Americans were aboard buses to the airport, lab reports showed that 14 were infected. Officials from the CDC explicitly recommended that they not be evacuated with the others, but were overruled. CNN reported today that Trump was not told ahead of time that the infected passengers would be brought back home along with the others, and is furious.

And one final note: Roger Stone is trying to get a new trial, based on the idea that the jury in his first trial was biased. He has asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson to recuse herself from ruling on his motion for a new trial because she herself is biased: she praised the jurors for serving “with integrity under difficult circumstances.”
February 22, 2020

'Dark Towers' Chases Scandal-Ridden Deutsche Bank's Mysterious Ties To Donald Trump

(Not Stephen King-related).



It started by recruiting Edson Mitchell, an American executive from Merrill, who believed Deutsche Bank's "stubborn Germanness was the main impediment to unleashing its full animal spirits." Mitchell set about building a global markets operation, not at the bank's Frankfurt headquarters but in London, where he could function more independently. He hired a staff of "bloodthirsty piranhas" from Wall Street who knew how to push boundaries, as Enrich's tale tells.

Among them was Bill Broeksmit, a risk management genius who subsequently killed himself as regulators were moving in on the bank and whose death is the mystery Enrich uses to frame the story.

Mitchell died early in a plane crash, but the machinery he built kept chugging along. Enrich tells the story of its rise and fall in the careful style of a good newspaper reporter (he is an editor at The New York Times) but allows the complicated material to unfold like a good novel.

Just how disconnected the bank became can be seen in its ongoing relationship with a then New York real estate developer named Donald Trump, whose multiple bankruptcies had made him a pariah in the banking world. One part of Deutsche Bank turned down Trump's request for a loan. But the private banking division, which catered to the rich and famous, arranged the loan anyway — and then, when Trump stopped making payments, arranged another one.

Related threads

The son of a dead Deutsche Bank executive -- armed with hundreds of confidential bank files

A senior Deutsche Bank executive who signed off on major Trump loans killed himself in CA
February 22, 2020

Greyhound to stop allowing immigration checks on buses

Greyhound to stop allowing immigration checks on buses

Greyhound, the nation’s largest bus company, said Friday it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks.

The company’s announcement came one week after The Associated Press reported on a leaked Border Patrol memo confirming that agents can’t board private buses without the consent of the bus company. Greyhound had previously insisted that even though it didn’t like the immigration checks, it had no choice under federal law but to allow them.

In an emailed statement, the company said it would notify the Department of Homeland Security that it does not consent to unwarranted searches on its buses or in areas of terminals that are not open to the public — such as company offices or any areas a person needs a ticket to access.

Greyhound said it would provide its drivers and bus station employees updated training regarding the new policy, and that it would place stickers on all its buses clearly stating that it does not consent to the searches.

Well finally some good news to share!!

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Hometown: Louisville, KY
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