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

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Linkee-poo, what shall we use to fill the empty spaces where we used to talk

"In a breakthrough discovery, scientists have found the most distant quasar yet known — and it's home to a seriously supermassive black hole." Worst game of "what have I got in my pocket" ever.

"It may seem counterintuitive, but health officials say that even after you get vaccinated against COVID-19, you still need to practice the usual pandemic precautions, at least for a while. That means steering clear of crowds, continuing to wear a good mask in public, maintaining 6 feet or more of distance from people outside your household and frequently washing your hands."

"Pfizer Inc. and federal health officials are investigating the death of a health-care worker 16 days after the person received the first dose of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine… So far, the evidence doesn’t suggest a connection, Pfizer said in a statement on Tuesday. The Florida-based physician developed a rare disorder called severe thrombocytopenia that decreases the body’s ability to clot blood and stop internal bleeding."

"Researchers in Ohio said Wednesday that they’ve discovered two new variants of the coronavirus that likely originated in the U.S. — one of which quickly became the dominant strain in Columbus, Ohio, over a three-week period in late December and early January." Ta-da!

"Hospitals are throwing out doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine because the federal government is giving some of the facilities syringes that can only extract five doses from vials that often contain more."

"Job creation came to a halt in December as restrictions brought on by surging Covid-19 cases hammered virus-sensitive industries, particularly bars and restaurants, which lost nearly half a million positions… The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls fell by 140,000. That was below expectations for 50,000 from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. It was the first monthly drop since April." Going out the door with a bang.

"A trial with more than 320 defendants began Wednesday in southern Italy against the ’ndrangheta crime syndicate, arguably the world’s richest criminal organization that quietly amassed power as the Sicilian Mafia lost influence."

"Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal, which devastated the majority Black city with lead-contaminated water and was blamed for a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, The Associated Press has learned." That only took :: looks at watch :: way too fucking long.

"The U.S. Census Bureau has halted all work on President Trump's directive to produce a state-by-state count of unauthorized immigrants that would have been used to alter a key set of census numbers, NPR has learned… Senior career officials at the bureau instructed the internal team assigned to carry out Trump's presidential memo to stand down and cease their work immediately on Tuesday night, according to a bureau employee who spoke to NPR on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation in the workplace for speaking out." Waits for the cries of "deep state" to begin.

"This week, the administration designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and the Yemeni Houthi militant organization as a terrorist organization. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also lifted curbs on official U.S. contacts with Taiwanese officials this weekend, and on Tuesday accused Iran of becoming a new "home base" for the Al-Qaeda terrorist group… The cascade of developments has angered American allies and enemies, who are awaiting Trump's departure and preparing for a new administration led by President-Elect Joe Biden. But Trump's activities since his election loss look set to hamper Biden's efforts abroad."

"U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cancelled his Europe trip at the last minute on Tuesday after Luxembourg’s foreign minister and top European Union officials declined to meet with him, European and U.S. diplomats familiar with the matter said." And if that isn't a big, diplomatic "fuck you and let the door smack your ass on the way out" I don't know what is.

"The United States called off last-minute trips by top envoys to visit allies in Europe and Taiwan on Tuesday in a sudden diplomatic turnaround in the chaotic final days of the Trump administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been due to make a final official visit to Europe while Kelly Craft, Washington's U.N. envoy, was set to land in Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon."

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a Trump administration request to reinstate restrictions for patients seeking to obtain a drug used to terminate early pregnancies… The decision, issued over a dissent from the court's liberal judges, reinstates a requirement for patients to pick up the drug, mifepristone, in person. Three lower courts had blocked the Food and Drug Administration's in-person pick-up requirement for mifepristone during the coronavirus pandemic, citing the risks of contracting COVID-19 at a doctor's office or a hospital."

"Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that in light of President Trump's role in last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, New York City is cutting its business ties with the president's company."

"Last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob has already resulted in charges against 70 people, according to the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, who said he expects the number 'will grow into the hundreds.'… In the first public briefing by the Justice Department and the FBI since Wednesday's riot, acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin and Steven D'Antuono, director of the FBI's Washington Field Office, outlined what Sherwin called a long-term investigation."

"The US Justice Department detailed for the first time on Tuesday the scale of its investigation into last week's US Capitol breach as officials vowed to hold all participants that broke the law accountable."

"Several Republican members of Congress grew angry on Tuesday over new security systems implemented at the Capitol. The safety measures, which included metal detectors and physical pat-downs in some instances, were introduced in the wake of the deadly insurrection at the complex last week." This security screening is less that what you'd have to go through at airports.

"Among some prominent Republicans, inside social media companies and in other major institutions throughout society, a reckoning has erupted following the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday… Not at the Fox News Channel, however. On the contrary, the network that has helped shape conservative politics in the U.S. for more than two decades has yet to acknowledge how the heated rhetoric radiating from its shows and stars may have helped inspired the pro-Trump rampage."

"'I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive,' Ocasio-Cortez said in a video on her Instagram account. 'Not just in a general sense, but in a very, very specific sense.'"

"Over the past week, this feed has compiled over 250 major-media reports about the January 6 insurrection Trump incited. Evidence of a four-pronged seditious conspiracy has emerged. I summarize this evidence—all previously posted—here." A long tweet storm, but a good one, detailing the lead up to the attempted coup.

"Only days later is the extent of the danger from one of the darkest episodes in American democracy coming into focus. The sinister nature of the assault has become evident, betraying the crowd as a force determined to occupy the inner sanctums of Congress and run down leaders — Trump’s vice president and the Democratic House speaker among them." A more detailed report on just what happened last week.

"'I am not a terrorist': Retired Navy SEAL speaks after Capitol siege… The Navy veteran said he wanted lawmakers to be left 'shaking in their shoes.'" Sorry, Adam, that makes you a terrorist. Actually worst, you're a traitor to the nation and you violated the oath you have taken several times. To say I want you against the wall is an understatement. You're worst than the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. You're slime. "Newbold, who served 24 years in the U.S. Navy and has said online that he trains civilians and police in tactical shooting, said he wanted to make lawmakers 'think twice about what they're doing' and to be left 'shaking in their shoes.'" Now you claim you just lost your head in the moment. Seriously? You were a fucking SEAL. That shit don't fly. You should be recalled, stripped of rank and privileges, and duck walked off base into the custody of civilian law enforcement. You should be made to be an example of what happens when you violate that oath, so that any who plot that course will be left to think twice about what they're doing and be left shaking in their shoes. Fuck you, Adam.

"As people rushed out of other buildings on the Capitol grounds, staffers in Pressley’s office barricaded the entrance with furniture and water jugs that had piled up during the pandemic. Groh pulled out gas masks and looked for the special panic buttons in the office… 'Every panic button in my office had been torn out — the whole unit,' she said, though they could come up with no rationale as to why. She had used them before and hadn’t switched offices since then. As they were escorted to several different secure locations, Groh and Pressley and her husband tried to remain calm and vigilant — not only of rioters but of officers they did not know or trust, she said."

"Asked directly in his interview if he felt his father incited the crowd, Eric Trump paused and then the line went dead." You know, after he complained of "cancel culture."

"Grendel Should Not Have Rampaged Through Our Capitol, But Slaying Him Will Only Further Divide Our Clans." Oh, McSweeny's, never change. (Grokked from Cherie Priest)

"YouTube, citing 'the ongoing potential for violence,' has suspended President Trump's account for at least a week."

Filed under "shouldn't have to be said, but…" "America's most senior military leaders condemned the violent invasion of the US Capitol last week and reminded service members of their obligation to support and defend the Constitution and reject extremism in a statement that underscored the unprecedented challenges facing the country in the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection attempt by President Donald Trump's supporters."

"Airbnb says it is canceling reservations made in the Washington, D.C., metro area during Inauguration week, citing various officials' requests that people not travel to the area during this time… The service will also block new bookings in the area during that period. Airbnb says it will refund guests whose reservations were canceled, and reimburse hosts for the money they would have earned from the cancelled reservations."

"The Democratic-controlled House approved a resolution Tuesday night calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to assume the powers of the presidency." Of course it would require actual work from conservatives, so, ya know, not going to happen.

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