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

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Linkee-poo Thursday Feb 25

It appears as if my Italian and Russian readers are back. Welcome back, fellas. Missed you. Make sure you get paid upfront, okay.

"Five basic principles of graphic design."

"The car-sized Perseverance captured a gorgeous 360-degree panorama of its surroundings on the floor of Jezero Crater, which harbored a lake and a river delta billions of years ago." And in high-def.

"Despite the 95 percent effectiveness at preventing coronavirus infection after two doses of its vaccine, Pfizer is now seeing what a third dose might do… The company announced Thursday that a booster dose is being studied among people who received their first doses of the vaccine more than six months ago." See, once everyone is inoculated and SARS-CoV2 drops off the map, there's little money to be made for all that went into the research of the vaccine (don't forget, you've already paid for that research with your tax dollars). Also note the "softening the ground" for the concept of a yearly booster, like the flu shot.

"Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned Americans to steel themselves against a sense of Covid-19 complacency even as coronavirus infections plummet and some scientists predict that herd immunity is just around the corner." Yes the news has all been about the "plummet" in infections. But we still are above the daily infection rates of the infection spike last July. Remember last July?

"Israel’s defense minister on Thursday called for an immediate halt in plans to ship surplus coronavirus vaccines to a group of allied nations, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of acting without oversight or transparency."

"A group of economists, ecologists and anthropologists is seeking to challenge a central plank of global economic policy — that more is better… The 'degrowth' movement has received renewed attention in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic after the spread of the virus last year coincided with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s… Yet, as policymakers prioritize an economic rebound, scholars are backing an idea that pushes social and ecological wellbeing over a system that pursues relentless economic growth."

"Jobless claims fell sharply last week despite brutal winter storms that swept across Texas and other parts of the South, the Labor Department reported Thursday… First-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 730,000 for the week ended Feb. 20, well below the Dow Jones estimate of 845,000… That total represented a substantial decrease from the 841,000 the previous week, a number that was revised lower by 20,000." A "sharp" drop of 90,000, or 10%. Note most claims are submitted electronically these days, and if you don't have any electricity, that makes it kinda hard to submit a claim.

"A former top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has accused him of intimidation and sexual harassment, expanding on allegations she first made in December. In an essay posted to Medium on Wednesday, the former staffer accused the governor of going 'out of his way' to touch her 'lower back, arms and legs,' and kissing her during a one-on-one meeting."

"In a tweet voicing his opposition to raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour, Republican South Dakota Senator John Thune said he made $6 an hour working at a restaurant as a "kid." Adjusted for modern inflation, that would be $24 an hour today." You can do your own calculations here at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics calculator.

"GameStop shares climbed rapidly and were halted twice for volatility ahead of the closing bell Wednesday. The gaming retailer's stock was priced at $91.71 at market close, up nearly 104% from the previous day." AMC also had a bump yesterday. You know what that means? (Pops your speculation bubble) It means the short contracts that traders entered as those stocks skyrocketed in January are coming due, so there has to be some hearty buying going on as those investors close out their shorts.

"Tattoo artists in Europe are fighting a new ban on two commonly-used green and blue pigments, saying that losing these ink ingredients would be a disaster for their industry and their art… Meanwhile, in the United States, where about a third of Americans have a tattoo, tattoo ink is almost completely unregulated and there's little known about what's in tattoo ink."

"There's something off about the butter in Canada that's left many flustered residents looking for answers… For weeks, Canadians have increasingly churned up debate on social media with anecdotes about 'hard' butter that fails to spread as easily as it once did." Yesterday was "what have we done to animals", today is "what have we done to food."

"The militaries of India and Pakistan said in a rare joint statement on Thursday that they had agreed to observe a ceasefire along the disputed border in Kashmir, having exchanged fire hundreds of times in recent months." I give it three months.

"The Biden administration will release an intelligence report Thursday that concludes that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, three U.S. officials familiar with the matter said."

"Myanmar’s military has been banned from using Facebook and Instagram with immediate effect, Facebook said in a blog post on Thursday."

"Amnesty International says it no longer considers jailed Russian anti-Kremlin activist Alexei Navalny a 'prisoner of conscience,' citing past comments he's made that 'reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred.'" Half a point to Putin.

"President Biden on Wednesday revoked a Trump-era suspension of certain immigrant visas that had dramatically cut legal immigration to the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic."

"Now, Republican politicians across the country are moving to stop the road-blocking maneuver, proposing increased penalties for demonstrators who run onto highways and legal immunity for drivers who hit them. The bills are among dozens introduced in Legislatures aimed at cracking down on demonstrations."

"If your mail has not been showing up some days or you're getting second notices on the bills you thought you'd paid, you're not alone. The U.S. Postal Service has been beset by continuing delays in delivering the mail… Postmaster General Louis DeJoy apologized for those delays in testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday but warned that the postal system is 'in a death spiral' and needs legislation to help restore it to financial stability… (DeJoy) said the current three- to five-day standard for delivering first-class mail has not been met 'for years.'" Well certainly it's felt like "years" since last May, but nope.

"As President Joe Biden works to overhaul U.S. health care policy, few challenges will loom larger for his health secretary than restoring access to family planning while parrying legal challenges to abortion proliferating across the country… Physicians, clinics and women's health advocates are looking to Xavier Becerra, Biden's nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services, to help swiftly unwind Trump-era funding cuts and rules that have decimated the nation's network of reproductive health providers over the past four years."

Rumor tweet with receipts: "So it turns out Neera Tanden criticized @Sen_JoeManchin's daughter for her extraordinary pay increases, after she raised the price of the Epi-Pen from $100 to $600 and moved Mylan's HQ to the Netherlands to reduce taxes." Kinda hurts when people call out your baby for fleecing the public.

"'Once we see something that prioritizes the security and accessibility of elections, we’ll throw in support,' (Georgia Secretary of State Brad) Raffensperger tweeted on Wednesday. He added that many of the bills, which would directly impact state elections, are 'reactionary to a three month disinformation campaign' that he said could have been prevented." No no, Brad. See, it's because too many of the "wrong people" voted last time. These are bills to secure the elections from their interference by electing Democrats. This is about making sure only Republicans win elections in Georgia.

"A close ally of Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took part in the January 6 mob at the Capitol and said he was among those who eventually made their way into the building… Greene, a freshman congresswoman with a history of promoting dangerous and violent conspiracies and comments, encouraged the big lie that the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump by voting to object to the election certification and fanned the flames of the insurrection by telling her supporters to 'fight for Trump.'"

"Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., placed a sign outside her office Wednesday mocking Democratic Rep. Marie Newman, whose office sits across the hall, after Newman hung a transgender pride flag next to her door in protest over Greene's opposition to a LGBTQ rights bill." Haters gonna hate. And I love how the anti-trans people try to claim "science." Science tells us the exact opposite, that gender is fluid, in humans it's a social construct, and we are not binary.

"When the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC for short — kicks off Thursday in Orlando, Fla., it might as well be called TPAC… That's because this year, it is all about Trump."

"Newly disclosed documents from inside the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan capture a sense of panic and dread among prosecutors and their supervisors as one of their cases collapsed last year amid allegations of government misconduct… The materials include a rare look at sensitive emails and text messages between junior prosecutors and their overseers after a federal judge began to inquire about lapses that ultimately led the Justice Department to abandon a conviction in a case it had already won." Say, isn't Trump being investigated by the that office? I'm sure this has nothing to do with that.

No comments: