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

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Linkee-poo Tuesday Jan 19

"It's called WASP-107b, orbiting an orange dwarf star 211 light-years away, and it was already known as one of the lowest density exoplanets when its discovery was announced in 2017. A new analysis shows the puffy planet is even puffier than astronomers thought."

"Los Angeles County officials have temporarily lifted environmental limits on the number of cremations allowed to accommodate the growing backlog of deaths due to COVID-19."

"A nationwide memorial to honor the lives lost to COVID-19 is scheduled for Tuesday evening, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee… Even though Washington, D.C., is at a heightened level of security following the Jan. 6 riots, the memorial 'will feature a lighting around the the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool,' the PIC said in a statement on Monday." That only took :: looks at watch :: a new presenting administration.

"As the U.S. closes in on 400,000 coronavirus deaths, the incoming director of the Centers for Disease Control said that by the middle of February, officials expect the death toll to be staggering… 'By the middle of February, we expect half a million deaths in this country,' Dr. Rochelle Walensky said."

"A panel of experts commissioned by the World Health Organization has criticized China and other countries for not moving to stem the initial outbreak of the coronavirus earlier and questioned whether the U.N. health agency should have labeled it a pandemic sooner." Well, yes.

"China's economy increased by about 2 percent in 2020, becoming one of the only major countries to report such growth in the midst of an economically devastating pandemic."

"The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday in a case brought by the city of Baltimore against more than a dozen major oil and gas companies including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. The city government argues that the fossil fuel giants must pay for the costs of climate change because they knew that their products cause potentially catastrophic global warming."

"A commission stood up by President Donald Trump as a rebuttal to schools applying a more accurate history curriculum around slavery in the US issued its inflammatory report on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day." What little I've seen of the 1776 report is mostly laughable and it reads like it was a "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay written by someone who didn't pay very much attention in class or to what they were writing and cribbed it's notes from right-wing media.

"The Trump-appointed director of the U.S. Census Bureau is stepping down close to a week after whistleblower complaints about his role in attempting to rush out an incomplete data report about noncitizens became public."

"President Donald Trump will not be in attendance Wednesday to watch as his successor Joe Biden is sworn into office, but his absence will have little impact on what may be one of the most important moments of Inauguration Day, the handing off of the 'nuclear football.'"

"Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve and President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, faces a huge task ahead… Not only does Yellen have to shepherd efforts to bring the US economy back from its sharpest contraction on record — she must also convince Congress to get on board with Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package, as some lawmakers balk at the price tag."

"The day before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, five of his cabinet nominees will answer questions from Senate panels handling their confirmations. The busy committee calendar is ramping up at the same time as an impeachment trial is expected to start, posing a split screen challenge for the Senate, which is still reeling from an attack less than two weeks ago."

"President-elect Joe Biden plans to unveil a sweeping immigration bill on Day One of his administration, hoping to provide an eight-year path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. without legal status, a massive reversal from the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies." Here we go.

"Guatemala security forces are attempting to block thousands of Honduran migrants from heading north towards Mexico and the U.S. border… On Sunday, police and soldiers in riot gear confronted a caravan of migrants from Honduras on a highway near Chiquimula in southeastern Guatemala. After a tense standoff, in which police fired tear gas and attempted to beat back the migrants with batons, the surging crowd broke through a phalanx of soldiers."

"President Donald Trump said Monday that he is ending Covid-19 travel restrictions for air travelers from Europe and Brazil, a move the incoming administration quickly rejected… In a proclamation, Trump said the restrictions would be lifted Jan. 26, the same day a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order requiring negative tests for air travelers coming to the U.S. takes effect… But by then, Joe Biden will be president, and his press secretary tweeted that the restrictions would remain in place."

"On the morning of January 20, Donald Trump and Melania Trump will depart the White House as President and first lady, but they will not invite their incoming counterparts, Joe and Jill Biden, inside before they do… The dissolving of one of America's most enduring transfer-of-power rituals -- the outgoing president welcoming the incoming president on the steps of the North Portico, and then riding with them to the United States Capitol -- is just one of the snubs the Trumps are perpetrating as they leave Washington." Because he's an asshole.

"U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event."

"Steve Bannon evoked the beaches of Normandy. Michael Flynn drew comparisons to Civil War battlefields and spoke of Americans who died for their country. Roger Stone called it a struggle 'between the godly and the godless, between good and evil.' Rudy Giuliani called for 'trial by combat.' Ali Alexander said it would be a 'knife fight.'… As 2020 faded into 2021, some of President Donald Trump's most influential supporters -- among them members of his inner circle who were in direct contact with the President -- spoke in ominous and violent terms about what was coming on January 6." A basket full of deplorables.

"Former Trump campaign and White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley falsely claimed that President Donald Trump cannot speak out against the violent breaching of the U.S. Capitol because tech companies have kicked him off their social media platforms." I mean, it's not like there isn't a press briefing room just down the hallway in the place he lives, where he could call a briefing at any time and have all the major (and minor) news outlets be there to cover what he says.

"Williams’ former romantic partner told the FBI that she had taken the computer from a conference room in Pelosi’s office, intending to sell it to the Russian security services through a friend she knew in that country, according to Williams’ arrest affidavit. The transaction fell through, Williams’ ex said, and it is believed she still had the laptop in her possession or had destroyed it."

"The 24-year-old facing federal charges from the US Capitol riot turned himself into the Teller County authorities on Monday. He will be handed over to federal authorities… Gieswein is wanted for several federal charges after his alleged involvement in the riots and storming of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month."

"A Texas man with ties to a far-right militia participated in the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol and threatened to shoot his children if they turned him in to authorities, according to court documents… Guy Reffitt, a resident of the Dallas suburb of Wylie, was arguing with his son and daughter about his trip to Washington D.C., when he made threatening remarks, his wife told the FBI."

"In interviews this week, Lindell said Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's, H-E-B and Wayfair are all dropping MyPillow. 'They're trying to cancel me out,' Lindell told the Right Side Broadcasting Network's Brian Glenn in a lengthy interview on Monday." These people have never had to deal with actual consequences of their actions.

"Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election."

"Interviews with four members of the U.S. Capitol Police who were overrun by rioters on Jan. 6 show just how quickly the command structure collapsed as throngs of people, egged on by President Donald Trump, set upon the Capitol. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because the department has threatened to suspend anyone who speaks to the media."

"And before the fight was over, officers were forced to shout that they were police to law enforcement responding to rescue the building after it was lost. They weren't put in a position to arrest the attackers, to defend themselves, or defend the Capitol. They weren't put in a position to succeed."

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