There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'oppression!'
And the oaks, just shake their heads

Monday, January 20, 2020

Linkee-poo Mondays

Great weekend. Still working through the back log, so a little spotty on coverage.

"Health officials have identified the infection, which first appeared in Wuhan in December, as a strain of coronavirus. They say it has led to an outbreak of viral pneumonia, but much about it remains unknown… Although the outbreak is believed to have originated from a market, officials and scientists are yet to determine exactly how it has been spreading."

"Nation-state hackers breached the networks of two US municipalities last year, the FBI said in a security alert sent to private industry partners last week… The hacks took place after attackers used the CVE-2019-0604 vulnerability in Microsoft SharePoint servers to breach the two municipalities' networks."

"World stocks traded just below record highs on Monday, pausing ahead of this week’s central bank meetings, economic data and earnings, while oil prices rose to their highest in over a week after blockades began shutting down two Libyan oilfields." Time to skate faster.

"Saudi Arabia does not appear to have paid the $1 billion that President Donald Trump said it has paid to house a deployment of US troops to the kingdom, according to the Pentagon." Well Trump never said which bank they deposited the money, or whose name was on the account. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

The company you keep. "Three members of an alleged neo-Nazi group have been arrested by the FBI, allegedly in the possession of several weapons and had discussed traveling to the pro-gun rally in Virginia next week." (Grokked in a roundabout way from Chuck Wendig)

"As gun rights activists, white nationalists and militia groups prepare to rally at the state Capitol on Monday to protest proposed gun control laws, residents are praying it won’t be a repeat of the violent 2017 rally in Charlottesville that ended in a woman's death."

"The city of Richmond, Va., is under a state of emergency Monday morning as thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gather at the Virginia State Capitol for a large rally aimed at quashing new gun laws. Gov. Ralph Northam has temporarily banned firearms from Capitol grounds, and some of Richmond's streets are barricaded as officials try to ensure the demonstration takes place peacefully." Worst cosplay convention ever.

"A pre-debate news drop from CNN threatened the relative peace between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. On this week’s On the Media, why the feud is more distracting than illuminating. Plus, why paying close attention to political news is no substitute for civic participation. And, the origins of two oligarchic dynasties: the Trumps and the Kushners." Recommended, especially for the first segment on the Warren Sanders spat.

"The Government Accountability Office said the Trump administration broke the law when it withheld US security aid to Ukraine last year that had been appropriated by Congress, a decision that's at the heart of the House's impeachment case against President Donald Trump." Read that part again, "broke the law." Now, it's not the first time an administration inadvertently broke a law, but it was done at the express order of the president even after pushback about it being illegal. That's the "willful" part. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

This is excellent, especially the graphic design. "Senators are being given a flashcard with tips to help them avoid the press, labeled 'phrases to use when seeking assistance.'" (Grokked from Mur Lafferty)

"The President has been dissembling about so many different things at once that it can be difficult to keep track of what is true and what isn't. To help you fight Trump-induced dizziness as the trial gets underway, we've tallied his dishonesty on the subject of Ukraine and impeachment. Our original list from mid-November included 45 false claims he has made and a brief fact check of each one… We have since added 20 more for a total of 65."

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain… "Senators Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Susan Collins, R-Maine, are among a small group of Republicans who have yet to completely shut the door on new witnesses, wanting to hear arguments first. Democrats would need them and at least one more in order to be able to call witnesses, but Graham warned that if they get their wish, the GOP will look to call defense witnesses such as Hunter Biden." This is not the threat conservatives think it is (and only comes out of their conspiracy theory echo chamber). Democrats need to call this stupidity. Call all the witnesses. If the defense wants to waste their witness list on Hunter and Joe Biden, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi and (what the believe is their Ace in the Hole) Hillary Clinton, by all means do so.

"President Donald Trump's legal team will go into his Senate trial on Tuesday arguing that he should never have been impeached because his conduct over Ukraine does not amount to a criminal offense."

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