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ansible's Journal
ansible's Journal
August 4, 2021

California spending billions to house homeless in hotels

Homekey is the lynchpin of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $12 billion plan to combat homelessness in the nation's most populous state. California has an estimated 161,000 unhoused people, more than a quarter of the nationwide total of 580,000, according to the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Newsom signed the funding bill July 19, calling it the "largest single investment in providing support for the most vulnerable in American history."

Newsom's office said $800 million — most of it federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act money — was spent on Homekey in 2020 to provide shelter for 8,200 people. Now the administration plans to go even bigger: California will spend $5.8 billion of state and federal funds over two years to expand the program and create an estimated 42,000 housing units.

“If you think of last year as a proof of concept, you can think of this year as taking this strategy to scale and making it a centerpiece of California’s approach to housing the homeless,” said Jason Elliott, senior counselor to Newsom.

Newsom has made tackling homelessness one of his top priorities. Now that the governor faces a recall election, Republican candidates have released their own plans to combat the crisis. John Cox wants to require unhoused people to receive any needed treatment for addiction or mental illness before they can get housing. Kevin Faulconer wants to build more shelters to make it easier to clear encampments.


August 2, 2021

Obama to host Covid-compliant 60th birthday party amid rising virus concerns

(CNN)Former President Barack Obama will celebrate his 60th birthday this weekend with a party in Martha's Vineyard, with many Covid-19 safety protocols in place amid heightened concerns over the Delta variant, a source familiar with the planning told CNN. The event on Friday, which will be held outside, will follow all US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health protocols, the source said. There will be testing for guests and a Covid safety coordinator on site.

Martha's Vineyard, in Dukes County, is currently designated by the CDC as an area of "moderate" Covid-19 community spread.
The CDC has only recommended mask wearing indoors for areas of "high" and "substantial" transmission, which includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties. Obama's birthday is Wednesday, August 4. The Hill was first to report on the former President's big birthday bash.

The Obamas had vacationed on Martha's Vineyard for almost every year of Obama's presidency. The former first family in 2019 reportedly bought a 29-acre property on the island that was listed for nearly $12 million.


August 1, 2021

The eviction ban ending - do you realize how bad the homeless situation already is WITHOUT it?

Holy shit this is going to be a disaster! I see people here thinking it's not going to be that big a deal, do you live in nice HOAs where you don't see how fucked up the modern world is now with so many people already homeless right now???

July 30, 2021

Is Australia going too far in its covid response? They're deploying the military now

Why is Australia acting like this? Imagine the shitstorm if this happened in the US

Australia has deployed hundreds of soldiers to Sydney to help enforce a Covid lockdown.

A Delta outbreak which began in June has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths.

Australian Defence Force soldiers will undergo training on the weekend before beginning unarmed patrols on Monday.

But many have questioned whether the military intervention is necessary, calling it heavy-handed.

The lockdown - in place until at least 28 August - bars people from leaving their home except for essential exercise, shopping, caregiving and other reasons.


July 29, 2021

Biden calls for $100 payments to newly vaccinated Americans

God this is so fucking embarrassing. The fact that americans need to be motivated like this, holy fuck.

(NEXSTAR) — President Biden will call on “state, territorial, and local governments” to provide $100 payments to newly vaccinated Americans as part of an extra incentive to boost vaccination rates, the Treasury Department announced on Thursday.


July 27, 2021

Former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer assaulted, robbed in California

Former U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer was shoved from behind and robbed of her cellphone in Oakland on Monday, a message from her Twitter account said. Boxer, 80, was assaulted in the Jack London Square neighborhood.

"The assailant pushed her in the back, stole her cell phone and jumped in a waiting car. She is thankful that she was not seriously injured," the message read. Oakland police said a strong-arm robbery that occurred on Third Street around 1:15 p.m. is under investigation, but police in a statement did not identify the victim.

Jack London Square — on Oakland's south waterfront, next to Alameda — is an entertainment district about 6 miles from the Oakland Athletics' ballpark. Boxer, a Democrat, was a U.S. representative for 10 years and then a senator for 24 years, representing California. Boxer was first elected as a U.S. representative in 1982. She was elected to the Senate in 1992. She did not seek re-election in 2016.


July 25, 2021

Man Says Oklahoma Police Seized $140K From Him Without Cause

A New Mexico man says Oklahoma sheriff's deputies seized more than $140,000 from him and his business partner on baseless suspicion of drug trafficking, and a local news outlet found the records to back up his story. Last week, Oklahoma news outlet News 4 reported that Thai Nang, a New Mexico businessman, claimed that the Canadian County Sheriff's Office seized roughly $141,500 in cash from him and his partner during a traffic stop in April.

Nang says he and a business partner were traveling to buy a piece of land when they were pulled over. Sheriff's deputies searched the car and found the money. Nang alleges that when he tried to explain that it was for a property purchase, a deputy responded, "I'm 300 percent sure that's illegal money."

There's nothing illegal about traveling with large amounts of cash, but police often claim it's the fruits of drug trafficking. Under a practice called civil asset forfeiture, police can confiscate property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even when the owner hasn't been charged with a crime.

Nang also claims the amount the sheriff's office reported seizing is roughly $10,000 short of the actual amount.


July 21, 2021

"There's going to be a blowup" - Trump and DeSantis on a collision course

In public it’s all smiles, but behind the scenes, Republicans are already preparing themselves for a showdown between former president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis. Florida is the gravitational center of Donald Trump’s MAGA-ified Republican Party, so it’s not surprising that the Sunshine State’s pugnacious Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, wants to be Trump’s rightful heir. Since his 2018 election, DeSantis has thrilled the GOP base by governing like a mini Trump. He defied public health guidelines during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic last year and kept Florida virtually free of a statewide lockdown. In May he perpetuated Trump’s 2020 election lie and signed a restrictive voting rights bill live on Fox News. And last month he dispatched Florida law enforcement agents to Texas to “secure [the] southern border.” According to one recent conservative poll, DeSantis beat Trump with a 74% approval rating (Trump scored 71%).

But in the wake of the Surfside condo collapse, DeSantis’s claim to the MAGA mantle is facing its biggest test, with DeSantis putting management of the tragedy ahead of Trump’s need for blind loyalty. On June 30, the conservative Washington Examiner reported that DeSantis’s team was furious that Trump intended to hold a MAGA rally in Florida while the search for survivors continued (DeSantis didn’t attend the rally). On July 1, DeSantis appeared alongside President Joe Biden and praised him for the federal government’s response to the tragedy. (The moment recalled the greeting between New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy.)

In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps. The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. “There’s going to be a blowup,” a prominent Republican said. “Trump fucking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,” a Trump confidant told me. Asked for comment, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said: “Governor DeSantis has shown great respect.”

Part of Trump’s irritation with DeSantis is that Trump famously claims credit for anyone in his orbit who gains attention. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron,’” the prominent Republican said. “Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” According to sources, then congressman DeSantis cultivated Trump’s support during the 2018 gubernatorial primary by hanging out at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of the hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends,” the prominent Republican said.


July 17, 2021

China is destroying the ocean, dumping tons of poop in sewage ships seen from space

Raw sewage discharged from more than 200 Chinese fishing vessels around the contested Spratly Islands in the South China Sea is causing extensive damage to coral reefs, Simularity, a US satellite imagery analysis firm, said Monday. "The sewage from the anchored ships in the Spratlys is damaging the reefs, and we can see this from space," Simularity founder and CEO Liz Derr said during a digital forum hosted by the Manila think tank Stratbase ADR Institute.

"The hundreds of ships that are anchored there are dumping raw sewage, every day onto the reefs they are occupying," said Derr during the presentation, adding "when the ships don't move, the poop piles up." The satellite images taken over five years — between May 14, 2016 and June 17, 2021— show a stark contrast in alga growth. Researchers found that 236 Chinese vessels were recorded motionless In the waters during that time period.

Peter Koning, vice president of sales at Simularity, told Insider in an email that it is not normal for vessels to stay motionless for such long periods, and that they have been monitoring the ships for months. Excess sewage encourages the growth of phytoplankton in the water, which can cause oxygen shortages. Without adequate oxygen supply in the water, coral reefs habitats can die.

"These bacteria consume oxygen that would normally be available to the fish, creating a 'dead zone,'" Simularity said in its report. Coral reefs take up to 10,000 years to form, and barrier reefs and atolls take between 100,000 and 30 million years to fully form. "This is a catastrophe of epic proportions and we are close to the point of no return," Derr said.


July 17, 2021

Toddler falls from window of home, mauled to death by family's 2 pit bulls when he lands

A 3-year-old boy has died after falling out of a window at his family home and being mauled to death by the family's two pit bulls when he landed in the backyard.

The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Elizabeth, New Jersey -- about 6 miles south of Newark -- when police say the boy somehow managed to fall out of a window, landed in the backyard of the family home and was subsequently and savagely attacked by the family's two dogs, according to New York City ABC station WABC.

Neighbors say that the mother immediately reacted and went to rescue her son but that it was a horrendous scene as she tried to pull the dogs off of the little boy.

"I saw the mother, she was full of blood in her hands, her shirt," neighbor Maria Rocha told WABC in an interview after the attack. "And I was like, 'what happened?' so I came here because it was full of police and she told me, 'My baby, my baby, I went to the bathroom and my baby fell out the window.'"


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