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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Linkee-poo on a busy Thursday Jan 28

Cloris Leachman, and so it goes.

"New coronavirus variants seem to be cropping up everywhere. There's one from the U.K., which is more contagious and already circulating in the United States. There's one from South Africa, which is forcing Moderna and Pfizer to reformulate their COVID-19 vaccines and create 'booster' shots, just to make sure the vaccines maintain their efficacies… But for some scientists, the most worrying variant might be the newest one. A variant called P.1, which emerged in early December in Manaus, Brazil, and by mid-January had already caused a massive resurgence in cases across the city of 2 million people." You mean there's a fault to the idea of just letting the virus run wild in hopes we gain "herd immunity"? Shocked, shocked I am…

"An angry red rash being called 'COVID arm' is a harmless but annoying response in some people who get the Moderna vaccine. Aside from sometimes being itchy, it doesn't appear to be dangerous and people who get it should not hesitate to get their second dose of the vaccine, doctors say."

"New U.S cases of the coronavirus have fallen 35% from their Jan. 11 peak, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. The average number of daily cases has fallen to about 162,000, from 249,000." Up and down, round and round you're turning me.

"President Biden will sign two executive actions Thursday that are designed to expand access to reproductive health care and health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid." There will be a special enrollment period, and the Mexico City Policy will be (once again) reversed. As to the Mexico City Policy, that global healthcare providers who receive US funds can't mention abortion, and it's designed intent to reduce abortions… "However, a study released last year suggested the policy failed to reduce the rate of abortions and ultimately had the opposite effect. The study said the rate of abortions increased by about 40% in the countries studied — most likely because the funding ban caused a reduction in access to contraception and a consequent rise in unwanted pregnancies." Yes, "right-to-life initiatives" often lead to an increase in the abortion rates.

"The US economy grew at an annualized and seasonally adjusted rate of 4% in the fourth quarter of 2020, just as economists had predicted, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. But that didn't make up for a bad first quarter and an historically awful second quarter… For 2020 as a whole, GDP decreased by 3.5% from the prior year. That was the worst decline since 1946." Best economy ever.

The GameStop thing… "Melvin Capital closed out its short position in GameStop on Tuesday afternoon after taking a huge loss, the hedge fund’s manager told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin… GameStop, hedge funds’ most-hated stock, was targeted by an army of retail investors who marshaled forces against short sellers in online chat rooms. In the Reddit forum “wallstreetbets” with more than 2 million subscribers, rookie investors encouraged each other to pile into GameStop’s shares and call options, creating massive short squeezes in the stock." And now some small trade shops have delisted GameStop to stop the blood loss the hedge funds are feeling.

"The White House is likely to delay its roll out of a string of executive orders on immigration, including the long-awaited announcement of a task force to reunite migrant families separated under the Trump administration, according to two sources familiar with the discussions."

"Joe Biden has vowed to strengthen the US’s alliance with Japan to counter growing Chinese military activity in the volatile Asia-Pacific region, including a commitment to defend the Senkakus, a group of islands in the East China sea administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing."

"Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys extremist group, has a past as an informer for federal and local law enforcement, repeatedly working undercover for investigators after he was arrested in 2012, according to a former prosecutor and a transcript of a 2014 federal court proceeding obtained by Reuters." Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark. I hope they did their homework to make sure it'll stand up to scrutiny.

"While pundits ponder the GOP's future -- and traditionalists hope to change course out of the wreckage left by Trump's insurrection -- Washington's power players and state activists have already made their choice… Highlighting the former President's lightning fast rehabilitation, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will visit Trump in Florida on Thursday after repudiating his own criticism of the incitement of the US Capitol riot." White supremacy is a hellofa high, they just can't quit it. It's all about ruling instead of governance.

"In the video from March 2019, Greene follows Hogg as he walks toward the US Capitol. She can be heard making false and baseless claims as she asks him a series of questions related to gun rights and how he was able to meet with senators. Hogg continues to walk without addressing Greene… 'He's a coward,' Greene says at the end of the video as Hogg walks away, claiming his activism was funded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who is often the subject of far-right conspiracy theories, and other liberals. 'He can't say one word because he can't defend his stance.'"

"Rep. Jimmy Gomez wants Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene booted from Congress… A two-thirds majority is required to expel a member from the House, meaning Gomez’s resolution is almost certain to fail in a chamber where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority. Still, the measure is one of the starkest rebukes yet against the congresswoman, who has antagonized her peers by flouting coronavirus guidelines and has garnered national attention for engaging in the QAnon conspiracy theory. She has also denied the Parkland school shooting, and was filmed spreading racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments, prompting condemnation from the leadership of her own party." This is another test of party vs country, and it's a test the Republicans will fail.

"The Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism bulletin Wednesday warning of the lingering potential for violence from people motivated by antigovernment sentiment after President Joe Biden’s election, suggesting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol may embolden extremists and set the stage for additional attacks." And that's why the president must be found guilty and there needs to be consequences for all of those people involved.

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