And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Linkee-poo Saturday Oct 17

"In Rebecca Roanhorse's new fantasy novel Black Sun, all paths lead towards the city of Tova, where a coming eclipse could signal rebirth — or disaster."

Don't eat the Twinkies of Doom.

Trump, murder hornets, and now venomous pus caterpillars.

"Police said Friday they arrested a man suspected of stealing a ring-tailed lemur from the San Francisco Zoo, where officials rewarded a 5-year-old boy who helped recapture the endangered primate with a lifetime membership." And this is why you should take kids to zoos, museums, and science institutes.

"In a reversal, the White House has approved California's request for federal disaster relief for wildfire recovery, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday."

"The US reported at least 69,000 new Covid-19 infections Friday -- the most in a single day since July -- amid an alarming nationwide rise in cases that experts say marks the start of a fall surge." Welcome my friends to show that never ends…

"Updated virus projections are bringing the long-feared "winter surge" of COVID-19 cases into focus as health experts warn an increasing number of infections in the U.S. will soon mean more deaths… The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's latest model updates released this week contain spots of good news: 74,000 American lives can still be saved if mask use becomes nearly universal, and increased testing may explain why more young people are testing positive."

"From power play to superspreader! A Tampa Bay area recreational hockey game is to blame for sparking a COVID-19 outbreak, according to a report released this week by the Centers for Disease Control."

"A coronavirus outbreak in a surgical unit at Harborview Medical Center has infected four patients, killing one. Ten Harborview staffers have tested positive for the virus, which causes COVID-19, and are isolating. Thirty more staffers are in quarantine after possible exposure." So now comes the time to tell you a dangerous secret, most of our health procedures around COVID are mostly to limit liability (IMHO), and after 8 months of this we're all tired. Also, many people that work in healthcare have become lax thinking they are either immune (having contracted it earlier) or will eventually catch it anyway so why bother.

"The U.S. is increasingly likely to get a vaccine authorized for emergency use before the end of the year, with Pfizer (PFE) and partner BioNTech (BNTX) ready to file by the third week of November… Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla penned a letter addressing the American people Friday, explaining the vaccine trial process and why and how the company hopes to have initial data by the end of October— a timeline the company has maintained all along— but will wait until November to apply for emergency use." Again, there is a reason this is being reported in the financial news, not the health news.

"Millions of Americans have headed back to work since the depths of the coronavirus-induced recession in the spring… But nearly 13 million remain unemployed — about 7 million more workers than pre-pandemic levels… And there are worrying trends emerging among this group. Namely, a growing share of job loss is permanent (rather than temporary) and is longer-term in nature, stretching out beyond six months."

"New research from JPMorgan Chase Institute and the University of Chicago focused on 80,000 unemployed people shows savings built up when the government provided aid is now rapidly running out, leaving people like chemist Kate McAfee fretting about their futures."

The violence against the Mi'kmaw fishers intensifies.

"North Idaho, as it's called locally, is one of the fastest-growing regions of the country. It's also one of the whitest and home to far-right political movements, some that encourage Christians to flee cities for rural areas like this that are pro-gun and libertarian on issues such as home schooling and vaccines… Demographers say the region is experiencing its third wave of mostly white, conservative transplants moving from California: a trend that particularly gained notoriety in the 1990s, when Southern California police officers retired there after the 1991 Rodney King scandal, when Los Angeles officers were videotaped beating a Black man. Today, it's not uncommon to hear commercial radio stations running ads for abortion therapy groups. Trump 2020 flags flying in yards next to yellow 'Don't Tread on Me' banners are also a mainstay."

"A Wichita man has been arrested on suspicion of threatening to kidnap and kill Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple over frustrations with the city’s mask ordinance, the mayor and police said Friday afternoon."

"New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a landslide victory in the country's general election… With most ballots tallied, Ms Ardern's centre-left Labour Party has won 49% of the vote and she is projected to win a rare outright parliamentary majority." Odd how competency can win elections.

"Pro-democracy activists in Thailand staged a fourth straight day of high-profile protests in the capital on Saturday, thwarting efforts by the authorities to stop them, including a shutdown of the city’s mass transit systems."

"President Emmanuel Macron has said France’s battle against Islamic terrorism is 'existential' following the killing of a teacher after he showed his class a caricature of the prophet Muhammad from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo."

"A District of Columbia Superior Court judge has ruled that the U.S. Agency for Global Media's CEO, Michael Pack, acted unlawfully in seizing control of a fund designed to sponsor initiatives to ensure people living under repressive regimes have free and safe access to the Internet."

Why rush so much on a SCOTUS justice? Well, besides any election challenges, ACA hearings and the rest… "The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to a speedy review of President Trump's attempt to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the census numbers used to reallocate seats in Congress… Last month, a lower court ruling blocked Trump's push, calling a presidential memo that called for that unprecedented change unlawful. And now the justices have expedited consideration to hear oral arguments in the case on Nov. 30."

"You’ve got to hand it to the Republicans really; they get things done. They don’t care about being called hypocrites. They don’t care about ignoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish that she not be replaced until after the election. They don’t care about common decency. They don’t care about democracy. They just care about power – and they will do whatever it takes to get it." An option piece that kinda nails it.

"If things don't go Donald Trump's way on Election Day, the President may face more serious matters than how to pack up the West Wing… Without some of the protections afforded him by the presidency, Trump will become vulnerable to multiple investigations looking into possible fraud in his financial business dealings as a private citizen -- both as an individual and through his company. He faces defamation lawsuits sparked by his denials of accusations made by women who have alleged he assaulted them, including E. Jean Carroll, the former magazine columnist who has accused him of rape. And then there are claims he corrupted the presidency for his personal profits."

"Absentee ballots must arrive by Election Day to be counted, the Michigan Court of Appeals said Friday, blocking a 14-day extension that had been ordered by a lower court and embraced by key Democratic officials in a battleground state."

"As the presidential election headed into the final stretch in late summer, counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania worried that a deluge of absentee ballot requests would swamp their printing capacity. So dozens of them contracted with Midwest Direct, a Cleveland mailing company… But when it came time to print and ship Ohio ballots early last week, it was Midwest Direct that was overwhelmed." As someone who has worked in this industry most of my life, this is malfeasance. Shit happens, and we are all swamped with last minute requests, but they had a contract and plenty of time. At the very least they could have called their clients and told them they might have an issue meeting deadlines.

"The clogged polling locations in metro Atlanta reflect an underlying pattern: the number of places to vote has shrunk statewide, with little recourse. Although the reduction in polling places has taken place across racial lines, it has primarily caused long lines in nonwhite neighborhoods where voter registration has surged and more residents cast ballots in person on Election Day. The pruning of polling places started long before the pandemic, which has discouraged people from voting in person."

"Joe Biden's town hall on ABC averaged 14.1 million viewers on Thursday night, easily surpassing the Nielsen ratings for President Trump's town hall on NBC." For a president that is focused on ratings, that's gotta sting. It's a nonsense statistic that I normally wouldn't link to. Because it's mostly pointless bullshit in all realities, except for the president's head.

"But now, facing grim polling numbers and a flood of Democratic money and enthusiasm that has imperiled their majority in the Senate, Republicans on Capitol Hill are beginning to publicly distance themselves from the president. The shift, less than three weeks before the election, indicates that many Republicans have concluded that Mr. Trump is heading for a loss in November. And they are grasping to save themselves and rushing to re-establish their reputations for a coming struggle for their party’s identity." Here comes the rush of "I was always with you guys…" press briefings. As Josh Marshall said, there's a lot of memory holing coming.

"Republican Sen. David Perdue mocked Kamala Harris, his Senate colleague and the Democratic vice presidential nominee, on Friday by repeatedly mispronouncing her name at a Georgia rally for President Donald Trump." Dicks gonna dick.

"A Chinese national whose Instagram page features pictures of him wearing a VIP pass at a 2018 rally for President Donald Trump, is now on U.S. soil after being charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and laundering the illicit funds, according to court documents filed earlier this week." The company you keep.

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