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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 71,330

Journal Archives

A year of constant sorrow

(Salon) How many times can you say "I'm so sorry" without the words losing their meaning? How many times can you answer a text or an instant message or an email by typing "I'm so sorry" without becoming inured to the feeling of sorrow? Even if you manage to pause your constant grief, you're hit between the eyes with another statistic, another story. The day the coronavirus death total hit 220,000, we learned that the parents of 545 children who were separated at the border cannot be found. Can you even imagine? Can you imagine being a three-year-old child and not knowing where your mommy and daddy are? Can you imagine being a father or a mother and having no idea if you'll ever see your daughter or your son again?

We are spending so much time simply coping that we don't have the time to express to ourselves the deep sense of loss and sorrow that has been with us every day. Do you remember how you actually felt the day you saw the cell phone footage of George Floyd murdered on a street in Minneapolis by a policeman kneeling on his neck? I'm sure the image is still with you, but do you remember how you actually felt? Anger? Sadness that it had happened again, yet another unarmed Black man killed by police on a street in an American city.

You lose track of the names. Who was the guy who was shot in Kenosha, Wisconsin? Was it Rayshard Brooks? No, he was the guy who fell asleep in his car blocking the drive-through lane at a fast food restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, and was shot twice in the back as he tried to get away. It was Jacob Blake who was shot seven times in the back as he got into the driver's seat of his car in Kenosha.

You lose track of the spread of the COVID virus. Which states are the ones with the highest incidence of new infections this week? Is it Georgia and North Carolina? No, it's South Dakota, with 35 percent testing positive this week, and Idaho, with 33 percent positive. What about Montana and Wisconsin? There was something about both states being really bad, wasn't there? Well, yes, Montana is up 48 percent in new cases from two weeks ago, and Wisconsin is up 43 percent. .....................(more)


Great Moments in RIght-Wing Idiocy featuring Michele Bachmann

460 fewer airborne assholes

(NBC) Over 400 passenger won't be flying Delta anytime soon as a result of their alleged refusal to wear face masks during flights, according to an internal memo obtained by NBC News.

In a letter to Delta employees Thursday, CEO Ed Bastian said that 460 customers who refused to wear face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic were added to the airline's "no-fly list."

"Wearing a mask is among the simplest and most effective actions we can take to reduce transmission, which is why Delta has long required them for our customers and our people," Bastian wrote as he announced the bans, encouraging staff to view two internal videos about their effectiveness. ................(more)


Man charged in Whitmer kidnap plot was 'soft,' kicked out of group, lawyer says

(Detroit Free Press) A group accused of planning to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer determined one member was “too damn soft” and kicked him out, his lawyer says.

Pete Musico's distaste for violence was among the arguments made Friday at a hearing to reduce his bond from $10 million. His lawyer, Kareem Johnson, said Musico's anti-government statements and armed presence at a recent protest at the state Capitol were protected under his Constitutional rights.

Ultimately, Jackson County District Court Judge Michael Klaeren agreed the original bond was "grossly excessive" and reduced it to $100,000. While conceding there are Constitutional arguments to be made, Klaeren noted the severity of statements Musico made about Whitmer and state legislators.

"I am concerned that Mr. Musico, whether he meant certain of the statements or not, clearly has great issue with the current government, if not potential disrespect," Klaeren said. "In that regard, that disrespect could very well carry over into orders of this court." ........(more)


Trump has Whitmer Derangement Syndrome

(Detroit Metro Times) Those who oppose President Donald Trump — the majority of the country, according to polls — have been accused by the President's supporters of having "Trump Derangement Syndrome," which is one hell of a form of gaslighting. Trump spouts insane nonsense every day — incoherent speeches, grammatically challenged tweets, and a staggering 50 false or misleading statements per day on average lately — and we're the ones who are crazy?

But if anything, it seems like Trump is the one with an unhealthy obsession. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who he once dismissed as "that woman from Michigan," seems to have gotten in his head more than anyone since he ran against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Trump has brought up Whitmer repeatedly in the final days of his re-election campaign, calling her a "dictator" and saying she needs to "open the state up" from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown. That's despite the fact that Michigan hasn't been under a stay-at-home order for months, and despite the fact that Whitmer herself has called for Trump to cool down the heated rhetoric against her after a group of domestic terrorists planned to kill her, apparently inspired by the President's words.

Trump is so psyched out about Whitmer that tough questions from veteran CBS reporter Lesley Stahl during an interview for an upcoming episode of 60 Minutes caused him to have a meltdown and walk off the set, cutting the interview short. ............(more)


How Harris County, Texas, Won The Early Voting Game

(HuffPost) On the first day of early voting in Harris County, Texas, on Oct. 13, a single-day record of 128,186 voters turned out to cast ballots. This broke the previous record of 100,005, set on the last day of early voting in 2016.

Then, on the second day of early voting, Harris County voters surpassed 2016’s record again. And again on the third. And yet again on the fourth.

Historically a low-turnout state, Texas now leads the nation in early voting, with more than 6.3 million ballots cast. And Harris County, which includes Houston and its sprawling suburbs, is leading the way, thanks to efforts by local leaders to expand access to voting, even as county and state-level Republicans try to shrink it.

Already, 951,066 Harris County voters have cast ballots either at early in-person polling locations or by absentee ballot. That is 98% of all the early and absentee ballots cast in 2016, and 73% of the total 1.3 million votes in that election. This year’s early votes and absentee ballots are almost certain to eclipse 2016’s vote total before anyone goes to the polls on Nov. 3. ..........(more)


Biden's Michigan Wooing Beats Trump's Scolding: Campaign Update

(Bloomberg) Democratic nominee Joe Biden leads by 9 points in Michigan. President Donald Trump will vote in person in Florida on Saturday. And he reclaimed Queens as his hometown at the final debate.

There are 11 days until the election and 52 days until the Electoral College meets.

In recent days, Trump has attacked the popular governor of Michigan -- even after a plot to kidnap her was foiled -- prompting chants of “lock her up” at a rally there. At Thursday’s debate, he compared the state to “a prison.”

Biden, meantime, is campaigning with the popular singer Lizzo in Detroit on Friday.

The results? In a poll released Friday, Biden leads by 9 points among likely voters in the battleground state, which Trump won by just over 10,000 votes in 2016, the slimmest margin of any state in that election. ............(more)


The Surge: How is the 2020 election going to end?

from Slate:

Rank 1

Just gotta count the votes. (Is that legal?)
Eleven days out from Election Day, here’s how we’d sum up the status of the race: The tipping-point state to determine an Electoral College majority is Pennsylvania, and Donald Trump hasn’t led in a poll there since late May. Not even in an occasional, GOP-tilted Trafalgar or Rasmussen survey. So where does Trump’s comeback path lay? Well, if he could persuade Hunter Biden to replace Joe Biden atop the Democratic ticket, his attacks on Hunter might pack more of a direct electoral punch. Barring that, his hopes rest on a polling error both in the same direction and of a greater magnitude than the polling error that missed his Midwestern support in 2016. And if that brings the tally to a jump ball, he’ll need a friendly, overtly partisan court system to tip decisions in his favor. It’s that last part that’s well within the cards! This week, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 4–4 split decision, denied a challenge to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision allowing mail votes postmarked by Election Day to be counted so long as they’re received within three days after the election. Democrats welcomed the decision in the short run. The looming problem, though, is that there’s a brand new conservative judge joining the court next week. If the polls are somehow underestimating Trump’s support, and Pennsylvania’s vote count ends up being decided at the Supreme Court, we have a pretty good idea which way they will rule once Amy Coney Barrett is elevated.

Rank 2

Welcome to the fray, hostile foreign actors!
On Wednesday night, the FBI hastily assembled an evening press conference to deliver some news: It’s foreign interference time! FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe accused Iran and Russia of obtaining registration data and sending fake, threatening emails to voters. And as with 2016, Florida voters were targets. Earlier this week, voters in (heavily Democratic) Florida counties received emails purportedly from the Trump-supporting, far-right group the Proud Boys, warning voters to vote for Trump “or else.” Ratcliffe, curiously, claimed during the press conference that these emails—the alleged work of Iran—were “designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump.” One second-order effect of threatening Democratic voters with violent attacks if they don’t vote for Trump is that it could be reported out and embarrass Trump, or even motivate voters to go to the polls. A first-order effect, though, is that it could intimidate Democratic voters with violent attacks if they don’t vote for Trump. In any event, Florida remains as competitive as ever, with Biden leading Trump by 2 percentage points in the latest polling average. To mentally prepare for Nov. 3, though, you should expect the state to be decided by two votes, not two points. (Also: Expect the last three Biden votes to be thrown out by the Supreme Court.)

Rank 3

One last time: It would be cool …
Why yes, we’re putting Texas in the “Texas-sized” three-hole here, yeehaw, boy-howdy, etc. We’re doing so because the magnitude of early voting, in what’s expected to be a record-shattering turnout year, has been most pronounced in Texas. As of early Thursday afternoon, nearly 5.9 million votes had been cast in Texas. That—with 11 days to go before the election!—was already at 65 percent of the 2016 total for ballots cast. This week we also saw polls from Quinnipiac, Data for Progress, and Morning Consult that either had Biden up by 1 point or even with Trump in the state. While Trump is still up by 4 points in RealClearPolitics’ polling average of the state, FiveThirtyEight’s forecast gives Biden about a one-in-three chance of winning it. This is all happening, too, in an environment where the campaigns have barely spent anything in the state. We spend a lot of time, following the 2016 shock, speculating about what it means if the polls are underestimating Trump’s support. If the polls are underestimating Biden’s support—and there’s no reason why they couldn’t be—then Texas could go blue. And here’s why Texas going blue would be crucial: because it would be funny. ..............(more)


Trump bristled at questions about Whitmer in '60 Minutes' interview before walking out

(Detroit Free Press) LANSING — President Donald Trump bristled at questions related to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during an interview Tuesday with CBS's "60 Minutes," minutes before abruptly halting the interview, a recording Trump released on Facebook shows.

After leaving the interview, Trump criticized Lesley Stahl, the veteran CBS reporter who was questioning him, on Twitter.

The interview is scheduled to air Sunday. But late Thursday morning, Trump posted a nearly 38-minute video in Facebook that he says shows his entire interview with Stahl. Trump had earlier tweeted about his plans to release the video, apparently concerned about how CBS would edit the interview.

Stahl asks Trump several questions about Whitmer, who was the planned target of an alleged kidnapping plot recently foiled by federal and state officials.

The president repeats several inaccurate statements about the governor and state. For example, he says the state remains under a lockdown and the governor shut down places of worship, which Whitmer said were exempt from enforcement of her executive orders. Michigan's stay-at-home order was lifted June 1. ............(more)


The Nightmare Facing the Poor and Working Class If There's Not Another Stimulus

The Nightmare Facing the Poor and Working Class If There’s Not Another Stimulus
With time running out and Republicans balking at more Covid relief, U.S. workers are facing a future of financial misery.


(In These Times) As mil­lions of U.S. work­ers face unem­ploy­ment, food inse­cu­ri­ty and evic­tion amid the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, the lim­it­ed aid pro­vid­ed by the fed­er­al government’s flawed CARES Act from March has long since dried up.

Last week, fol­low­ing more than six months of stalled nego­ti­a­tions with con­gres­sion­al Democ­rats over a new eco­nom­ic relief pack­age, Pres­i­dent Trump abrupt­ly announced he was halt­ing talks until after the Novem­ber election.

While the pres­i­dent quick­ly back­tracked and is now report­ed­ly con­tin­u­ing to nego­ti­ate, the fed­er­al government’s ongo­ing fail­ure to pass a new relief pack­age spells cat­a­stro­phe for a U.S. work­ing class already pushed to the brink by an eco­nom­ic cri­sis seem­ing­ly on par with the Great Depression.

Here’s a break­down of what the con­tin­ued lack of fed­er­al help means for workers:

Sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduced unem­ploy­ment checks

Per­haps the most ben­e­fi­cial part of the CARES Act was the extra $600 a week it pro­vid­ed to work­ers on unem­ploy­ment — a tem­po­rary life­line that the GOP-led Sen­ate allowed to expire on July 31.

Week­ly unem­ploy­ment ben­e­fits vary wide­ly by state, rang­ing from $44 in Okla­homa to $497 in Wash­ing­ton. The $600 week­ly sup­ple­ment was an across-the-board ben­e­fit that ensured unem­ployed work­ers in any state main­tained a decent income despite los­ing their jobs due to the pandemic. ...............(more)


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