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SunSeeker

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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 44,990

Journal Archives

Czech Republic goes from model Covid-19 response to brink of second lockdown

The current outbreak is a far cry from last spring, when the Czech Republic became one of the first countries to close its borders and impose a nationwide lockdown in response to the pandemic. Its regulations on face masks, which required coverings to be worn even outdoors for nearly two months, won widespread international praise as infection numbers remained modest compared with other countries.

The apparent success prompted the government of the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, to gradually ease restrictions before lifting them almost entirely in late June.

As the country returned to near normal, however, cases began to surge in August before soaring in September, drawing accusations of complacency from political opponents.

Babiš, who initially vetoed proposals to reimpose mask rules before backtracking, has sought to deflect blame partly onto a supposedly non-compliant public, which he said was less willing than before to follow the rules.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/11/czech-republic-goes-from-model-covid-19-response-to-brink-of-second-lockdown

QAnon High Priest Was Just Trolling Away as a Citigroup Tech Executive

Jason Gelinas lived a normal suburban life with a plum Wall Street gig. He also ran the conspiracy theory’s biggest news hub.
...
Gelinas had registered as a Democrat in the runup to the 2008 election, but then seemed to drift to the right, and not in an “I’m going to vote for Romney this time” sort of way, according to two friends, who spoke to Bloomberg Businessweek on the condition of anonymity because they didn’t want to be associated with what came next in his political journey. “He hated the idea of Obama,” says one. “He thought that it was a setup and that he was elected to satisfy the Black population.” Gelinas would become agitated when the topic of the president came up, sometimes referring to Obama as “the Antichrist.”

He was increasingly immersed in right-wing internet conspiracies, telling a friend that Hillary Clinton was at the center of a global cabal of sex traffickers. This was about the time that online trolls were starting to promote a theory known as Pizzagate, which claimed that Clinton and others were holding children hostage in the basement of Comet Ping Pong, a restaurant and concert venue in Washington, D.C. Shortly after Trump was elected president, a follower burst into the restaurant and fired an AR-15 rifle, standing down only after discovering that the building didn’t actually have a basement. (Nobody was hurt. The shooter, who said he’d been misled by what he’d read on the internet, pleaded guilty to firearms charges and was sentenced to four years in prison.)
...
Even so, the movement had been contained mostly to the internet’s trollish fringes until around the time Gelinas came along. In 2018, while doing his job at Citi, he created, as an anonymous side project, a website dedicated to bringing QAnon to a wider audience—soccer moms, white-collar workers, and other “normies,” as he boasted. By mid-2020, the site, QMap.pub, was drawing 10 million visitors each month, according to the traffic-tracking firm SimilarWeb, and was credited by researchers with playing a key role in what might be the most unlikely political story in a year full of unlikely political stories: A Citigroup executive helped turn an obscure and incoherent cult into an incoherent cult with mainstream political implications.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-10-07/who-is-qanon-evangelist-qmap-creator-and-former-citigroup-exec-jason-gelinas

Antibody treatment Trump touts relied on testing with cells derived from fetal tissue

President Trump received an experimental antibody cocktail as part of a treatment regimen for covid-19 he has extolled as “miracles coming down from God,” even though its development relied on cells derived from human fetal tissue, a material his administration opposes.

The effectiveness of the antibody therapy was tested by employing a fetal tissue cell line from the 1980s widely used in biomedical research, according to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, its manufacturer. The cell line is old enough that it would fall outside restrictions on federal funding of fetal tissue research the Trump administration imposed last year, according to National Institutes of Health guidelines.

But the president’s repeated praise for the antibody cocktail he requested and received when he was first hospitalized nearly a week ago has generated controversy, given his clampdown on fetal tissue research at the urging of social conservatives crucial to his political base.

“It’s blatant hypocrisy,” said Lawrence Goldstein, a senior faculty member at the University of California at San Diego, who has used fetal tissue in his research. “A lot of the opponents [of fetal tissue research] have looked the other way” when it comes to the cell line involved in both the Regeneron therapy and some of the coronavirus vaccines being developed, said Goldstein, who sits on a federal ethics advisory board created over the summer to review whether NIH should provide federal grants or contracts to researchers whose proposals were deemed scientifically deserving. The board recommended rejecting all but one of the 14 proposals.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/trump-antibody-treatment-fetal-tissue/2020/10/08/92f9b2d6-0971-11eb-9be6-cf25fb429f1a_story.html

Joe is doing a great job at the NBC town hall.

He got asked about his position on "defunding the police" by the mom of a cop. She seemed pleased with the response about bringing people from all the groups toether in the White House to determine the best way to accomplish law enforcement with the minimum amount of force, to get more funding where needed, and get mental health workers to ride with cops with dealing with mentally ill individuals.

Then someone asked him about hate groups. He went into his history as a public defender dealing with how race affected his clients and finished his answer with one of my favorite sayings of his. He said hate never dies, it only hides. It comes back when you breathe life back into it and legitimize it, like what is happening now by Trump. He said that is what convinced him that he needed to run. We must make hate unacceptable again.

CA Pastor Who Visited White House Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California has tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple sources. The pastor was at the Prayer March on the Mall in Washington with Vice President Mike Pence Sept. 26, according to Olivia Nuzzi, Washington Correspondent for New York Magazine.

The event was attended by thousands, with few participants wearing masks, Nuzzi said. Laurie, who tested positive on Sept. 27, also visited the White House after the event, according to Nuzzi in a Monday tweet.

The pastor also attended the Rose Garden event for Amy Coney Barrett Sept. 26, New York Magazine reported.

https://patch.com/california/losalamitos/s/h9lns/ca-pastor-who-visited-white-house-tests-positive-coronavirus?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_term=politics+%26+government&utm_campaign=autopost&utm_content=losalamitos-sealbeach

Rick Wilson: The 'Fuck Your Feelings' Crowd Wants a Pity Party for Trump

Like most Americans, I’ve looked on in horror as the COVID explosion in the White House and Trump campaign staff expands, and the national reality TV show has transformed into “Walter Reed Follies.” I’m waiting for the grisly stats to show just how much his maskless rallies will amplify the spread of a disease we never fully got under control.

But let’s be honest; like me, the first question most observers have asked after learning that Donald Trump had been diagnosed with COVID was, “What took so long?”

I don’t mean that flippantly or casually. For months, the president, his entourage, and his campaign staffers—to say nothing of those attending his rallies and fundraising events—have been largely maskless. Social distancing was more in the breach than the observation. Both Trump’s RNC nomination speech on the South Lawn of the White House and the coronation ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett looked like any pre-COVID D.C. gathering: chummy, close, and collegial, full of handshakes and hugs. His behavior made his eventual infection with COVID a matter of time. His devil’s luck ran out last week.


https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-fuck-your-feelings-crowd-wants-a-pity-party-for-trump?ref=home

Trump Has a Cough and Fever

Gabriel Sherman: “The biggest unknown is the state of the president’s health. This morning the New York Times reported that Trump is exhibiting ‘coldlike symptoms.’ Two Republicans in close contact with the White House told me that Trump’s symptoms have included a cough and fever. Melania is said to be asymptomatic.”

“Meanwhile, Hicks has experienced more pronounced symptoms than the president. Two sources said she has had a high fever and a cough, with one source adding she lost her sense of smell. Hicks is said to be frustrated with Trump for taking such a cavalier approach to the virus. She was one of the few West Wing staffers to wear a mask in meetings, which her colleagues chided her for… Sources told me Hicks is also upset that news coverage has made it appear that she gave Trump the virus, when in fact no one knows where he got it.”

https://politicalwire.com/2020/10/02/trump-has-a-cough-and-fever/

Just a reminder: when Hillary got pneumonia on 9/11/2016, Trump mocked her.

A WaPo headline at the time: Trump casts doubt on Clinton's stamina in wake of mild pneumonia diagnosis. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/09/14/trump-casts-doubt-on-clintons-stamina-in-wake-of-mild-pneumonia-diagnosis/

He then used the episode to fuel conspiracy theories about her health, claiming Hillary was "on drugs to stay alive." https://www.newsbytesapp.com/timeline/world/3276/21882/hillary-clinton-s-health-back-in-the-spotlight

And this:

https://twitter.com/mehdirhasan/status/1312026779129872389

The Strongman Con: How to stop worrying about Trump stealing the election

"People totally forget that the GOP lost the midterms by 8 percent," Kanefield notes — roughly the same as Biden's nationwide lead over Trump, the most stable lead in presidential polling history. "Losing the midterms was not good for the GOP. If they could have avoided that, they would have. They couldn’t avoid it. They lost."

The con is so powerful that every Facebook feed appears filled with at least one variation of "oh, Trump will just cancel the elections" or "you know, even if he loses, he won't leave." Thankfully, the first specious prediction is heard less the closer to November we get. U.S. elections are, for better or worse, fundamentally local affairs. Trump cannot suddenly decide to shut a nationwide election down without the military. And the military, a majority of whose members dislike Trump, has explicitly said it won't get involved in the 2020 election. Its leaders are still smarting from Trump using them as props in Lafayette Square.

Trump doesn't want you focusing on that, because it makes him look weak, and weakness is his kryptonite. He is very keen for you to fill your nightmares with overblown estimates of his support. "Being overestimated is how wannabe Strongmen appear powerful," says Kanefield. "It makes them feared and respected. Trump is first and foremost a conman. He wants his supporters to think he is invincible. He wants you to think that he can’t be stopped."

As for the second argument, that Trump would simply refuse to make way for an incoming president-elect — well, he can try all he likes, but his options would be very limited. Administration officials are already quietly preparing the ground for a transition. The Supreme Court, even with an extra conservative justice, would be hard pressed to simply stop a transition because Trump insisted. Remember, this is the highly-divided Supreme Court that just voted unanimously in favor of presidential electors voting the way their states tell them. Chief Justice John Roberts may be more right-wing than we remember, but he also cares about the court's legitimacy.

https://mashable.com/article/trump-election-democracy/

Moody's: Biden would add 7.4 Million more jobs than Trump

A victory for Joe Biden over Donald Trump and a Democratic sweep—where Republicans lose the Senate—would result in the biggest rebound in economic growth and employment, according to a recent analysis of both candidates’ economic proposals by Moody’s Analytics.

Moody’s analyzed four potential outcomes for the November presidential election: A total Democratic sweep; a total Republican sweep; Democrats winning the presidency and the House but not the Senate; and status quo with Trump in the White House, Democrats controlling the House and Republicans holding the Senate. Based on the economic proposals of both President Trump and Biden, “the economic outlook is strongest under the scenario in which Biden and the Democrats sweep Congress and fully adopt their economic agenda,” said Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi. A Blue Wave—in which Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House—would result in the highest number of jobs added and the best rebound in economic growth, Moody’s found.

“Even allowing for some variability in the accuracy of the economic modeling and underlying assumptions that drive our analysis, we conclude that Biden’s economic proposals would result in a stronger U.S. economy than Trump’s,” Moody’s concluded.

Big Number: 7.4 Million. That’s how many more jobs would be added to the economy under Biden than Trump, Moody’s report found. “Largely because of Biden’s substantially more expansive fiscal policies, the economy would return to full employment more quickly coming out of the pandemic than under Trump—in the second half of 2022 under Biden, compared with the first half of 2024 under Trump.”

http://on.forbes.com/6185Gxo35
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