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

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Linkee-poo Wednesday Jan 27

"Mount Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, erupted Wednesday emitting a river of lava into the mountain below and gas clouds into the sky."

"President Joe Biden on Wednesday is set to sign several executive orders to tackle climate change and transition the country to a clean energy economy, the White House said… The executive actions include establishing climate change as a national security priority, conserving at least 30% of federal land and oceans by 2030 and canceling new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters, according to a review of the orders released by the administration."

"In an effort to slow the nation's contribution to climate change, President Biden is expected to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters." Good.

"President Biden announced Tuesday that his administration is working to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the two COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use, with the goal, the White House says, of having enough vaccine supply for the entire adult U.S. population by the end of the summer."

"AstraZeneca is pushing back strongly against criticism from EU officials over delayed deliveries of its Covid-19 vaccine… In an interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica on Tuesday, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said the company had agreed to make its 'best effort' to deliver the doses EU countries had ordered but was not contractually committed to a schedule."

"Scarcely a day goes by that Gov. Ron DeSantis isn't holding a news conference somewhere in Florida, talking about his policy of providing the COVID-19 vaccine to "seniors first." The state now leads the nation in vaccinating senior citizens. In a state with 4.5 million people 65 and over, that's good news. The bad news is that in Florida, as elsewhere, the demand far exceeds the supply of vaccine, creating a first-come-first-served process that has left some groups out."

"A review of data from K-12 schools that reopened for in-person instruction in the fall has found little evidence that schools contributed meaningfully to the spread of COVID-19, according to a new article published Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association." Note, however, the appalling lack of testing of young students.

"China has begun using anal swabs to test those it considers to be at high risk of contracting Covid-19, state TV has reported… Officials took anal swabs from residents of neighbourhoods with confirmed Covid-19 cases in Beijing last week, according to the state broadcaster CCTV, while those in designated quarantine facilities have also had the tests." Put that methodology in your drive-thru testing center.

"When the Biden administration holds its first coronavirus briefing Wednesday, there will be no cameo from the president, no speakers behind the White House podium jousting with reporters, and no data coming from outside the federal agencies involved in the pandemic response." Look, actual planning.

"Today, most consumers still aren't able to buy N95 masks, because the supply available to retailers remains very limited. Even hospital workers are still being asked to ration and reuse their supplies of N95s, and the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, 'N-95 respirators should not be used [by the general public] because they should be conserved for healthcare personnel.'" And I'll let you in on a little secret, the ones we get now (actually for all our PPE) don't seem to have high quality production and consistency. They fit oddly, sometimes the fasteners aren't fully protected (so you feel them scrape at your face), and the length of the straps to hold them on vary.

"The Biden administration could be open to adjusting eligibility levels for the next round of coronavirus stimulus checks to ensure the relief flows to families who need the emergency funds the most, the president’s top economic advisor said Tuesday morning."

"Some Republican senators have expressed concerns about the $1.9 trillion price tag on President Biden's proposal for a new coronavirus relief bill, as congressional Democrats consider pursuing a procedure to pass the legislation without any Republican votes."

"The Justice Department has ended the Trump era 'zero tolerance' policy for immigration offenses that allowed the U.S. government to separate thousands of children from their parents… Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson rescinded the policy Tuesday in a memo sent to federal prosecutors."

"President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated preexisting global problems and imbalances, and that these could deteriorate to a point where there is a fight of 'all against all.'" They're so cute when the saber-rattle. If only this weren't about Putin's growing domestic problems.

"Members of Congress were left stunned during a briefing from law enforcement about their failure to prepare for the insurrection at the US Capitol earlier this month, two members who attended a House Appropriations Committee briefing told CNN on Tuesday, with one saying it was 'dumb luck' more people didn't die."

"The far-reaching investigation into the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege continues to grow, as more than 400 suspects have been identified by federal authorities who expect to bring sedition charges against some of those linked to the insurrection… The charges, which carry a maximum punishment of 20 years, would be among the most serious for those in the armed attack to disrupt Congress' counting of President Joe Biden's state-certified electoral victory."

"The Department of Justice has charged more than 150 people and identified hundreds more as suspects in the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump."

"The Senate voted down a motion brought by GOP Senator Rand Paul challenging the constitutionality an impeachment trial against a former president. But just five Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the measure, an indication that Democrats will not attract the 17 Republicans that would be needed to convict Mr. Trump at trial."

"For decades, the Conservative Political Action Conference has been a staple of Republican politics. In recent years, the conservative confab has been the go-to stop for rising GOP stars, grassroots organizers and luminaries in the Trump movement… But President Donald Trump’s election loss has created hurdles around programming and guest booking. Stringent coronavirus guidelines in Maryland have pushed the conference outside of the Washington area for the first time in nearly 50 years. Previous sponsors aren’t yet committed or have decided to forgo sponsorship entirely because of changes to the event’s format or disappointment in the return on their investment last year. And the president that attendees adored so much may not show up to the event at all."

Meanwhile, on Bullshit Mountain… "The American Conservative Union on Tuesday accused Politico of attempting to 'cancel' the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by contacting potential sponsors in an act that 'crosses the line from protected speech to political activism.'" Sounds more like someone (coughCPAC organizerscough) got caught lying.

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