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

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Linkee-poo Wednesday Dec 9

"Latin America is facing a pandemic of malnutrition. Hunger and obesity are rising side by side in the region. The working poor who can't afford a nutritious diet are suffering from at times a lack of food and at others an overabundance of poor-quality food." And yet, Latin America is a net food exporter. Late stage capitalism in progress.

"The federal government on Monday released detailed hospital-level data showing the toll COVID-19 is taking on health care facilities, including how many inpatient and ICU beds are available on a weekly basis… Using an analysis from the University of Minnesota's COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project, NPR has created a tool that allows you to see how your local hospital and your county overall are faring." We've repurposed about 6 regular hospital rooms to be "ICU beds" and reassigned nurses to be "ICU nurses" (under direction of an actual ICU nurse). And so far, while we've used the ER to hold admitted patients for several hours waiting for rooms to be cleaned, we so far haven't repurposed pre-surgery beds for observation or recovery rooms.

"The FDA says Pfizer’s Covid vaccine is safe and effective. But trial participants warn of intense symptoms after second shot."

"Regulators in the United Kingdom are warning people with a history of severe allergies not to get the new coronavirus vaccine… The advisory comes after two National Health Services employees, both with a history of severe allergies, had bad reactions after receiving the new Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine Tuesday, the first day of the U.K.'s nationwide immunization campaign." You'd think they would have found that out during level 3 trials. Also, "…the NHS will receive two shipments totaling four million doses of the vaccine this month…" Brexit is January 1st. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

"Joe Biden has pledged to ensure that 100m coronavirus vaccine shots will be administered during his first 100 days in the White House… In a parallel universe, Trump hosted a vaccine summit yesterday in which he made no mention of the 286,011 Americans who have lost their lives and boasted that 'in many respects we’re still doing incredibly'. When asked why Biden’s transition team hadn’t been included in the summit, Trump said he hoped 'the next administration will be the Trump administration because you can’t steal hundreds of thousands of votes'." One of these things is not like the others.

"A federal judge has found the Seattle Police Department in contempt for violating an order to stop the 'indiscriminate' use of chemical irritants or projectiles against protesters except in cases where officers faced imminent danger… The Monday ruling by Judge Richard Jones of the Western District of Washington in Seattle said the department had failed to prove that its use of pepper spray, pepper balls, blast balls and paint balls during four Black Lives Matter protests was warranted."

How goes Brexit? "U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heading to Brussels on Wednesday as an impasse over trade talks with the European Union threatens a no-deal Brexit."

"A billionaire Brexit supporter and Britain's richest man, has announced that his company will build its new Grenadier cars in France after previously promising to build them in Wales." Well, see, it's different when it comes to his money.

"When the test was first released a few weeks ago, many critics focused on its needless difficulty and complexity. The previous iteration of the test, last revised in 2008, required applicants to answer six of 10 questions, drawn from a pool of only 100… But perhaps the most significant feature of the test is its decidedly conservative political tilt, sometimes to the point of inaccuracy."

"Congressional leaders remain at odds over the details of a coronavirus relief bill despite efforts to speed to a resolution before several existing programs expire at the end of the month… Republicans have repeatedly rejected Democrats' demands for $150 billion in funding for state and local governments, and Democrats have been equally opposed to a GOP request for a sweeping liability ban." Or you can rephrase that as Democrats want to help people, Republicans want to make sure employers can continue to exploit their employees and customers.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer late Tuesday rejected a Trump-backed $916 billion coronavirus relief proposal that was offered by Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin."

Installing the Deep State… "The Trump appointee who runs the government's overseas broadcasters reassigned the head of the Voice of America on Tuesday as part of a broad effort to install supporters of the president before the Biden administration comes to power."

And jobs for life… "President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would appoint former White House aide Kellyanne Conway to the board of visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy… The president also announced the nominations of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (Mitch McConnell's wife) and Lynn Friess, the wife of Republican megadonor Foster Friess, as members of the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, would be named to the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board, Trump said."

"When Beth McDonough started to tell her stepdaughter, Mia, about the woman who will be the country's next vice president, one of the first things she told Mia is that Kamala Harris has a stepdaughter too." Representation matters.

"In a baffling twist of logic, the intense IRS focus on Humphreys County is actually because so many of its taxpayers are poor. More than half of the county’s taxpayers claim the earned income tax credit, a program designed to help boost low-income workers out of poverty. As we reported last year, the IRS audits EITC recipients at higher rates than all but the richest Americans, a response to pressure from congressional Republicans to root out incorrect payments of the credit." Conservative politics at its best.

"When governments or companies around the world get hacked, the cyber-security firm FireEye often gets called to come in and investigate… But the California-based company said Tuesday that its own cyber defenses suffered a major breach by what it believes was a 'state-sponsored attack.'" There's really only four countries that could launch that kind of attack.

"The Trump administration wants to require the incoming Department of Health and Human Services team to review most HHS regulations by 2023 — and automatically void those that haven't been assessed by then… The recently proposed rule would require HHS to analyze within 24 months about 2,400 regulations — rules that affect tens of millions of Americans on everything from Medicare benefits to prescription drug approvals." One of the reasons why it's so important to win the 2 Senate seats in Georgia is that Congress can roll back rules imposed in the last 6 months of an administration.

"The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request from Pennsylvania Republicans to block certification of the commonwealth's election results, delivering a near fatal blow to the GOP's long-shot bid to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden's victory."

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