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

Monday, March 8, 2021

Linkee-poo was born an original sinner

Michael Stanley, and so it goes.

"The effect is an example of an optical illusion known as a superior mirage. Such illusions are reasonably common in the Arctic but can also happen in UK winters when the atmospheric conditions are right, though they are very rare." (Grokked from Dr. Caitlin Green)

"Here are five reasons why experts say you should wear a face mask, even if your state doesn't require it:"

"But now case declines have stopped and infection numbers plateaued at very high levels -- with the US averaging roughly 60,000 new cases daily in the past week. Multiple governors have eased Covid-19 safety measures despite health officials' warnings. Spring break events are kicking off across the country, threatening the potential for further spread of the virus." Just a comparison, our "plateau" level is about the same as last Summer's "spike" high.

"Chardon Schools staff received the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site on Saturday… There are too many staff absences after the vaccinations to hold class Monday." Yet other school systems did the same thing, but they don't have the absences.

"The United States has identified three online publications directed by Russia’s intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a State Department spokeswoman said on Sunday."

"According to the monthly jobs report released on Friday, more than 4 million people had been unemployed for six months or more in February, a surge of 3 million over the past year… Those who are long-term unemployed accounted for 41% of all unemployed people in the United States — levels not seen since the height of the Great Recession."

"That's because for a period of 32 hours during the deepest freeze of February's winter storm, power companies were paying $9 per kilowatt-hour for electricity — about 75 times higher than the state's average winter costs. Companies passed those costs on to consumers… Texans facing those unexpected bills were hoping that Texas' utility regulator would retroactively reduce the electricity market prices. But on Friday, Public Utility Commission of Texas chose to let the charges stand." Welcome to the free fucking market. The house always wins.

"President Joe Biden on Monday ordered his administration to review Trump administration rules around campus sexual assaults that bolstered the rights of the accused and narrowed the scope of cases colleges must address." Good.

"The United States and South Korea have reached agreement in principle on a new arrangement for sharing the cost of the American troop presence, which is intended as a bulwark against the threat of North Korean aggression, both countries announced."

"President Biden will mark International Women's Day on Monday by signing two executive orders geared toward promoting gender equity, both in the United States and around the world."

"The Supreme Court is reviving a lawsuit brought by a Georgia college student who sued school officials after being prevented from distributing Christian literature on campus, but was only seeking $1."

"The Republican Party is showing signs of softening its trademark fiscal conservative brand in favor of a new populist approach, a potentially seminal shift as the party becomes more reliant on blue-collar white voters after Donald Trump's presidency." Going all in on social conservatism by walking away from fiscal conservatism. And it's only a small step, note all the "OMG, the relief bill spends So Much Money" pearl clutching on Sunday's talking head shows.

"Punchbowl News' John Bresnahn explained that during a vote for HR 1280: The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) cast a vote for the bill. His Republican colleagues freaked out, saying that it needed to be changed. Three of them protested, attempting to change the vote in with the Tally Clerk."

"The Democratic-controlled Senate Saturday overcame Republican roadblocks and a debate that lasted beyond 24 hours to pass President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package which would provide millions of Americans with $1,400 direct payments, billions of dollars for vaccine distribution, and funds to help reopen schools and colleges."

"West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin stressed Sunday that he wants to keep the procedural hurdle known as the filibuster, saying major legislation should always have significant input from the minority party. But he noted there are other ways to change the rules that now effectively require 60 votes for most legislation. One example: the 'talking filibuster,' which requires senators to slow a bill by holding the floor, but then grants an 'up or down' simple majority vote if they give up."

"But it wasn't just one day of high engagement. A new study from Cybersecurity For Democracy found that far-right accounts known for spreading misinformation are not only thriving on Facebook, they're actually more successful than other kinds of accounts at getting likes, shares and other forms of user engagement… It wasn't a small edge, either."

"A prominent family in Georgia has sued their local grocery clerk for defamation after she made allegations on social media about their involvement in the Capitol insurrection, according to the Washington Post."

"Mail-in voting did not significantly increase turnout nor did it benefit Democrats in the 2020 election, a new study has found, undermining the talking point, advanced by Donald Trump and others, that mail-in ballots cost him the election… States that required an excuse to vote by mail saw increases in turnout similar to those that did not, the researchers from Stanford found. In Texas, where only voters ages 65 and up can vote by mail without an excuse, Democratic turnout did not “substantially increase” relative to Republican turnout."

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