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Profile Information

Name: Dolores
Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Home country: USA
Current location: California
Member since: Thu Nov 30, 2017, 02:58 PM
Number of posts: 4,323

Journal Archives

JFC! Just checked Worldometers website.

Today's numbers for California (and they are still rising).

New cases -57,801
New deaths - 376
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Wed Dec 16, 2020, 09:06 PM (21 replies)

Supreme Court strong-arms California judge to follow its ruling exempting churches from COVID restri

Source: Rawstory

One week ago today the U.S. Supreme Court sided with a group of New York churches and synagogues, overruling Governor Cuomo and declaring that even in a deadly pandemic that now is breaking new records, houses of worship are exempt from coronavirus restrictions on attendance maximums.

Now, in what experts are calling an “essentially unprecedented” and “unusual move,” the Supreme Court has just basically pressured a California trial judge to obey its ruling in the New York case.

Critics likened the New York ruling by the new Trump conservative-majority justices to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” where fascism, religion, and the Bible trump the law and common sense. Justice Sonia Sotomayor slammed her conservative colleagues in her dissent, accusing them of playing a “deadly game.”


On Thursday the Supreme Court sent a California church’s request for “injunctive relief,” meaning a request it rule immediately in its favor, to a federal appeals court. But, in the unusual move, the one-paragraph unsigned order directed the appeals court to send the case back to a lower court “for further consideration in light of Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo,” the New York case it decided last week.


Read more: https://www.rawstory.com/2020/12/supreme-court-strong-arms-california-judge-to-follow-its-ruling-exempting-churches-from-restrictions/
Posted by alwaysinasnit | Thu Dec 3, 2020, 04:52 PM (25 replies)

Uber, Lyft and allies break spending records on gig worker initiative. Here's how much


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A fight over the future of California gig drivers has drawn nearly $220 million in political spending, making it the most expensive initiative in the history of the state.

The latest campaign finance reports filed Thursday show that the Yes on Proposition 22 campaign has received nearly $200 million, mostly from five tech companies: Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart.

Uber has been the biggest contributor to the campaign, which aims to largely exempt app-based gig economy drivers from a state law that requires companies to provide more employment benefits to their workers. The company spent more than $57 million for the initiative.



The gig business model is just another way corporations are trying to claw back advances made by, and for, workers.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Oct 25, 2020, 08:59 PM (12 replies)

Democrats called on to impeach Bill Barr -- immediately


In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, more than 40 progressive groups urged the House Democrats to initiate impeachment proceedings against Attorney General Bill Barr—not only to hold his accountable for numerous wrongdoings while in office, but also as a procedural tactic to keep the Senate from confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The groups, including United We Dream Action, the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Sunrise Movement, listed multiple offenses by the attorney general which would warrant impeachment proceedings, including:

Misleading Congress regarding the Mueller investigation
Supporting—and reportedly personally ordering—the use of federal troops against protestors in support of racial justice
Prohibiting the referral of an intelligence community whistleblower complaint to Congress
Failing to comply with subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives

Beyond holding Barr to account, as a team of legal experts also demanded the Democrats do in a report last week, beginning impeachment proceedings before this Friday, Oct. 23, would throw a wrench into Senate Republicans' plans to confirm Coney Barrett ahead of Election Day as well as their intent to use the court system to President Donald Trump's benefit.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Wed Oct 21, 2020, 07:30 PM (4 replies)

Status of the Social Security Trust Fund, Fiscal 2020: Beware of Vicious Dog


The Social Security Trust Fund – officially the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund – closed the fiscal year 2020 at the end of September with a balance of $2.81 trillion, the second highest fiscal-year close, behind 2017, up by $6.8 billion from a year ago, and up by $10 billion from two years ago, according to figures released by the Social Security Administration. The Trust Fund has vacillated in the same range since 2016, after growing substantially over the past decade.

The balance is seasonal and peaks in June. The all-time peak was in June 2017, at $2.85 trillion. In June this year, the balance was $2.84 trillion. So far so good:

The Trust Fund invests exclusively in special issue Treasury securities, of two types: $2.797 trillion in interest-bearing long-term special issue Treasury securities and $14 billion in a short-term cash management security, called “certificates of indebtedness.” These securities are not publicly traded, and so their value doesn’t change from day to day with the whims of the market. The Trust Fund purchases them at face value, and the US Treasury redeems them at face value.

By contrast, a bond mutual fund that holds marketable Treasury securities must “mark to market” its Treasuries on a daily basis (producing a gain or loss).

By investing exclusively in Treasury securities that are not exposed to market whims, the Trust Fund follows the most conservative – meaning, low-risk – strategy possible.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Oct 19, 2020, 01:46 AM (0 replies)

The coronavirus vaccine will not be free: Americans have already paid for it -- twice

The government is paying vaccine development costs plus paying for production — with a hefty profit for the makers


If you are an American citizen, you have already paid for your novel coronavirus vaccine. Not only have you paid for this future vaccine, you have also paid billions for the research that went into discovering that vaccine. The pharmaceutical companies that accepted all that free money to do that research are going to make millions off your investment. You'll get a jab in the arm.

One of the leading candidates in stage III clinical trials is the Moderna NIH vaccine. In normal times with any other disease, the US government throws lots of money into early stage clinical research, which is then bought up by pharmaceutical companies who do the stage II and III clinical trials. When that drug comes to market, the Big Pharma companies then turn around and sell that drug to Americans at inflated prices. The pharmaceutical companies will argue they need to charge lots of money to recuperate the cost of developing the drug and so that they can pour money into finding new ones.

That sounds reasonable, except for the fact it was Uncle Sam who paid for some of the costs of developing the drug in the first place. The difference between normal times and COVID times is that in the case of the Moderna vaccine, the US government is footing the entire bill.

Moderna is part of Operation Warp Speed, which is a government program throwing literal billions at finding therapies and vaccines for COVID-19. Earlier this year the pharmaceutical giant received nearly a billion dollars for vaccine research and development. As part of their government contract they are obligated to state how much of their own money they are pouring into research. Only after public pressure did they finally release one small press statement in which they admitted that Uncle Sam is paying 100% of the cost of the vaccine development. Moderna has put forth absolutely zero dollars into developing this. Zilch. Zero. Nada.


Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Oct 18, 2020, 07:31 PM (0 replies)

A Supreme Court case decided over a decade ago may come back to haunt Judge Amy Coney Barrett


A Supreme Court case that was decided over a decade ago may come back to haunt Judge Amy Coney Barrett as America enters an impending post-election 2020 judicial nightmare; one in which the sitting president may deny a peaceful transfer of power.

Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. was argued in 2009 with the primary holding that a judge cannot hear a case that centers on the financial interests of someone who supported him substantially in his campaign for election. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority that “recusal may be constitutionally required even where a judge is not actually biased, if there is a ‘serious risk’ of actual bias.”

Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the majority for constitutionalizing the judge’s recusal decision “in a manner ungoverned by any discernable rule,” but wrote that “in the best of all possible worlds, [judges should] sometimes recuse [themselves] even where the clear commands” of the Constitution don’t require it.

“The question for Barrett, if it arises, will not be whether she personally believes she can be fair in deciding an election case but, rather, whether a reasonable person would conclude that her impartiality would be inescapably overborne by the flood of influences brought to bear on her,” wrote former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig in a column for the Washington Post.

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Oct 18, 2020, 06:31 PM (7 replies)

Apache - Hank Marvin

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Fri Oct 16, 2020, 12:33 AM (0 replies)

Oldest Living CIA Agent Says Russia Probably Targeted Trump Decades Ago


On Aug. 18, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 1,300-page report characterizing the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives with officials of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign as an “aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.” The report detailed the longstanding relationship between Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, and a Russian intelligence operative named Konstantin Kilimnik, while also describing the links of other Russian intelligence figures to Trump family members, notably Donald Jr. and Jared Kushner, and to such Trump confidants as Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, briefly the president’s national security adviser.

As to be expected, President Trump immediately denounced the report as “a hoax” (never mind that it was authored by a Republican-controlled committee), while his inner circle adopted their usual stance on such matters, either staying mum or decrying the committee’s work as a tired retread of last year’s Mueller report. The real scandal, the president declaimed, was the deep state “witch hunt” against him that spurred these investigations in the first place.

If this latest chapter in the four-year Russiagate drama is unlikely to change many minds, at least one person has examined the Senate’s findings with both great interest and alarm. His name is Peter Sichel and, at the age of 97, he is the last surviving member of the early CIA that faced off with the Soviets at the start of the Cold War.


“Most people have this idea that they came in and grabbed all those countries by force,” Sichel explained, “but that is not true. In almost every case, they worked within the structure of the prewar political parties and just gradually coopted them.”

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Mon Oct 5, 2020, 04:32 PM (3 replies)

Expert: Uber-funded ballot measure in California would create 'permanent underclass of workers'


Those who took high school civics may recall that our democracies lives on fractions. A majority vote — one-half plus one — is what it takes to pass a bill in most legislative bodies. The constitution requires a "supermajority," meaning two-thirds of a governing body, for only the most important and crucial matters: to override a presidential veto, or remove an officer via impeachment, say.

If two-thirds seems like a high threshold for a congressional body, what about seven-eighths? That's the super-duper-majority that would be required to overturn Proposition 22 — the Uber- and Lyft-funded ballot measure that will appear on California ballots this November — should it pass this fall.

You read that right: the astroturf ballot measure written by some of Silicon Valley's biggest corporations, which is written to keep these companies' contractors from achieving benefits or a stable, salaried job, would require a seven-eighths majority of state legislators in both state chambers in order to be overturned — such a difficult threshold to meet that experts say it would be effectively permanent.

The origin of Proposition 22

It all goes back to California's Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The impetus for AB5 was to make gig economy work into more stable and reliable work, and reduce worker exploitation; currently, driver-contractors like those who work for Uber or Lyft are not guaranteed health care of any other benefits if they work more than 40 hours a week, as they are legally contractors rather than employees.


If this passes here in California...

Posted by alwaysinasnit | Sun Oct 4, 2020, 03:36 PM (7 replies)
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