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Millions Lose Government Assistance and Protection; Biden Mandates Vaccination

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 11:03am in

This month millions of Americans lost government unemployment benefits and millions more are losing protection from eviction.

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The post Millions Lose Government Assistance and Protection; Biden Mandates Vaccination appeared first on New Politics.

Testicles, Nikki Minaj and vaccine madness

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 11:00am in

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I’m just going to leave this here. Watch it all You won’t regret it.

Not one US news net did it as well as they did with this inane story.

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So much for the secret ballot

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 9:30am in

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These people are now assiduously working to destroy the secret ballot. Democracy was nice while it lasted:

Pennsylvania Republicans moved on Wednesday to seek personal information on every voter in the state as part of a brewing partisan review of the 2020 election results, rubber-stamping more than a dozen subpoenas for driver’s license numbers and partial Social Security numbers.

The expansive request for personal information, directed at Pennsylvania’s Department of State and approved in a vote by Republicans on a State Senate subcommittee, is the first major step of the election inquiry. The move adds Pennsylvania to a growing list of states that have embarked on partisan-led reviews of the 2020 election, including a widely criticized attempt to undermine the outcome in Arizona’s largest county.

Democrats in the State Senate pledged to fight the subpoenas in court, saying at a news conference after the vote on Wednesday that the requests for identifiable personal information were an overreach, lacked authority and potentially violated federal laws protecting voter privacy.

“Senate Democrats, going forward, intend to take legal action against this gross abuse of power by filing a lawsuit, challenging in the courts, and to ask the courts to declare the Senate Republicans’ actions in violation of separation of power, as well as declaring that they had no authority to issue these subpoenas,” said State Senator Jay Costa, the minority leader.

Democrats control several of the top offices in Pennsylvania — including those of governor, attorney general and secretary of state — and it was not immediately clear what legal basis they might have to challenge the subpoenas. Nor was it clear how the transfer of information would begin to take place, if it does proceed, or which people or entities involved in the review would control the information. While the review will be funded by taxpayers, its potential cost has yet to be revealed.

The Department of State did not respond to requests for comment or issue a statement on the subpoenas.

Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania and a Democrat, vowed to fight the subpoenas as well.

“There are legal consequences to turning over people’s private, personal information without their permission,” Mr. Shapiro said in an interview. “My office will not allow that to happen. And people can be assured that we will take whatever legal action necessary to protect their private personal information from this charade.”

They know this is bogus. They are intimidating voters and licking Donald Trump’s boots. That’s it.

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Mobbed-Up! The Untold Story and Sean O’Brien of Boston Teamsters Local 25: A Rank-and-File Perspective

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 8:32am in

O’Brien is a man that will stop at nothing to achieve his ends. In the past he has been referred to as the “the Boston Bully” for his behavior against reformers and those challenging his closest allies. His past attacks on reformers and his spectacles at multiple IBT Conventions demonstrate that he is a bully.

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The post Mobbed-Up! The Untold Story and Sean O’Brien of Boston Teamsters Local 25: A Rank-and-File Perspective appeared first on New Politics.

COVID radicalism is not popular

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 8:00am in

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Here you go:

Those of us who live in places where COVID is not running rampant are grateful for that fact. We would really like it if our fellow Californians would not keep trying to kill the rest of us. The Republican frontrunner in the failed recall had pledged to repeal all mandates for masks, vaccines and any other mitigation requirements. No thanks.

By the way:

According to the CDC’s color-coded map, all the other states have fallen back into the worst category, red, as California advances to the second-highest risk category, orange, along with Puerto Rico. Ahead of the latest wave of infections in July, the state was classified as yellow, indicating a lower level of transmission classified as “moderate.” In June, it was blue, which signals “low” virus spread.

Pan credited widespread adaptation of health orders and California’s impressive vaccination rate — about 68% of the state’s residents are now fully vaccinated — as factors in driving case rates down in the face of delta.

“Our mitigation measures, like masking, are going to work regardless of the variant,” Pan said during a roundtable discussion with medical professionals on Tuesday.

The United States as a whole remains at a “high” level of community transmission, according to the CDC, with a seven-day average of 248 new cases per 100,000 — more than two times higher than the threshold of 100 cases for the classification. To reach the “substantial” category, average case rates must dip between 50 and 99 per 100,000.

California reported an average of 9,281 cases a day for the seven-day period that ended Tuesday, compared to about 13,400 cases a day two weeks ago. Los Angeles County did not report any cases over the weekend due to a planned technical outage.

There are 6,810 people hospitalized with a confirmed case statewide, a 18.4% decrease over the same time period, according to an analysis of data provided by the state health department by The Chronicle.

Thanks Gavin!

This could change, of course. As we know, the virus is extremely contagious and unless everyone is vaccinated, community spread can happen even in places that are doing the right things. But there is little likelihood that we’ll be as bad as Florida or Mississippi because our government is willing to institute mandates. We’re all wearing masks inside buildings again and I don’t see a lot of complaints about it. It’s a small price to pay to be able to live our lives without terror that we’re going to get the virus or spread it to some kids or other who are immunocompromised.

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Elemento tinta: a periferia contra o governo genocida

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 7:42am in

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A morte de um pixador por covid-19 criou um estopim para um grupo se unir em um grande ato contra a gestão genocida do governo Bolsonaro na pandemia.

The post Elemento tinta: a periferia contra o governo genocida appeared first on The Intercept.

Big Lies and Little Lies

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 6:30am in

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During the Trump years, many people including yours truly, questioned the president’s intelligence, competence and mental stability. I would suggest that we were simply observing the reality we were confronted with. After all we had a president who went around bragging that he was a genius because his uncle taught at MIT and suggesting that we might want to look into using household disinfectant to “clean the lungs.” There were numerous incredibly such strange moments. But I don’t recall any Democratic Senator doing something like this:

It went on and on like this as if something truly disturbing had happened. It didn’t.

Dana Milbank unpacked it:

After yet another back-and-forth on the matter, Blinken finally told the senator: “I really don’t know what you are referring to.”

There’s good reason for that: It didn’t happen.

The episode is worth unpacking because it shows, in miniature, how misinformation infects the Republican Party, rapidly spreads through partisan media and contaminates elected GOP leaders — who amplify and defend the falsehood, even when it’s shown to be wrong. This is how lies are born.

(In this case, it wasn’t even a useful lie. By making it his lead-off attack, Risch distracted attention from the Biden administration’s botched pullout from Afghanistan, a serious matter. Instead, Risch used the forum to portray Biden as senile, based on rubbish.)

The story begins with the White House’s Monday press schedule, which announced that Biden would receive a wildfire briefing in Boise. The press coverage was listed as “out-of-town pool spray at the top.” In English, this means that a group of the traveling White House press corps is admitted to the event at the beginning and then brought out after journalists get some video and audio. It’s a routine practice presidents have used for decades. And that’s exactly what happened Monday. According to the pool report, the group was escorted in at 12:08 p.m. for the start of the briefing and “escorted out at roughly 12:35” — a relatively long spray.

That would have been the end of the matter, except that somebody in the research department at the RNC, watching the White House’s livestream, decided that something nefarious had happened. “White House feed cuts out as Biden starts to ask a question,” the RNC tweeted.

Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, crediting the RNC for the scoop, published an article under the headline, “White House livestream cuts Biden mid-sentence as he goes off script.”

“An official White House livestream of President Biden’s remarks was abruptly cut off mid-sentence on Monday,” it began, linking Monday’s “incident” to White House officials’ “fear he’ll veer wildly off-message.”

All that was left was for Risch to trumpet the fabrication — and then to demand to know why Blinken was “unaware this is actually happening.”

Had Risch been duped, or was he deliberately parroting disinformation? I explained to Risch’s aides what had actually happened and asked whether there would be a clarification. There would not be. “Who cut off the president? Please advise,” repeated Risch spokeswoman Suzanne Wrasse.

So Risch knows the facts but perpetuates the fiction. If only somebody could “press the button” and cut off the GOP lie machine before it destroys us all.

And Senator Risch should be ashamed of himself. He’s despicable.

CNN’s Daniel Dale:

At length, Sen. Jim Risch absurdly said someone at the White House yesterday hit a “button” to stop Biden from talking.

No. There was a planned “pool spray,” in which press/cam is allowed in for brief remarks at a meeting’s start; it ended as Biden began questioning officials.

Prompted by a Republican National Committee tweet, right-wing media covered this like the White House was nervously censoring Biden as he went off script. In fact, as you’ve probably seen, it’s entirely normal for the press to be ushered out/the cam to be shut off mid-meeting.

Also, like, these are the words Biden said before the feed ended: “Can I ask you a question? One of the things that I’ve been working on, with some others, is…” It wasn’t like he started telling some crazy story. (Anyway this is all ridiculous.)

Originally tweeted by Daniel Dale (@ddale8) on September 14, 2021.

You’ve seen this happen many times when some functionary starts screaming at the top of her lungs “all right move out, get out, move along!!!!”

Everything is so stupid right now.

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The culture war’s common cause

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 5:00am in

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This piece by JIll Filipovic about the history of the abortion wars is an important read as we ponder what to do next about this issue since it’s clear the right wing Trump Court majority is going to overturn Roe vs Wade one way or the other.

With abortion functionally outlawed in Texas (at least for the time being), abortion rights advocates are gearing up for the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade, while abortion opponents are scrambling to bring Texas-style abortion bounty laws to red states across America (and, I would imagine, to conservative nations outside of America’s borders). That makes it an important time to assess how abortion became the contentious political issue it is, and how it became such a uniting force for the right — including the get-off-my-lawn libertarians who claim to value individual freedoms above all else, but don’t qualify pregnant women as individuals.

Thomas Edsall touches on some of that history in the Times this week. The first thing to know is that abortion was chosen to be a partisan political issue by conservative activists, and has not always been nearly this divisive. When the oldest Millennials were being born, pollsters were finding significant opposition to and support of abortion rights in both the Democratic and Republican parties. That changed in part because of waning support (particularly among liberals) for unvarnished racism and segregation. As public opposition to the civil rights movement softened — as racism persisted, but as it became less socially acceptable to be pro-segregation, and as racist dogwhistles took the place of George Wallace’s bullhorn — conservatives needed a new issue that would prove just as politically useful and just as energizing to their white base as racial integration had long been.

Abortion was it.

Abortion rights were central to the feminist movement, which engendered significant religious and right-wing outrage. Abortion was central to women’s abilities to go to school, enter the workforce, and have basic life independence, all of which threatened the (largely) male monopoly on working for pay and the attendant financial freedom and personal power. And conservative activists saw the potential for Evangelicals, some of whom had previously been fine with abortion but were very upset about racial integration and women’s growing power, to connect with anti-abortion Catholics and form a religious coalition centered on forcing women to stay pregnant and give birth against their will.

Even in the 1980s, this was all relatively new. As Edsall points out, just two years before the Supreme Court decided Roe in 1973, the Southern Baptist Convention resolved “to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.”

A few decades later — just last year — they were sounding a very different tune: “We affirm that the murder of preborn children is a crime against humanity that must be punished equally under the law,” a 2020 Southern Baptist resolution said. Read that again: abortion is a crime against humanity that must be punished equally under the law.

The Southern Baptists went from advocating for allowing safe abortion for rape survivors or a threat to the pregnant woman’s health to advocating that women who end their pregnancies be put in jail — or be put to death. Those are, after all, the punishments under law doled out to murderers and those who commit crimes against humanity.

That total reversal suggests that opposition to abortion isn’t simply about age-old moral codes, or even the word of the Bible and scripture. It’s about conservative strategy.

Indeed it is. Filipovic’s piece goes on to discuss how the right was apoplectic about desegregation but was finding it more and more difficult to openly organize around it. She quotes religion historian Randall Ballmer:

“So how did evangelicals become interested in abortion?” Balmer writes. “As nearly as I can tell from my conversation with Weyrich, during a conference call with Falwell and other evangelicals strategizing about how to retain their tax exemptions, someone suggested that they might have the makings of a political movement and wondered what other issues would work for them. Several suggestions followed, and then a voice on the line said, ‘How about abortion?’”

Filipovic adds:

Evangelicals were still angry they couldn’t racially segregate their institutions and still get tax breaks. But “the right to segregate” no longer had the wide appeal it once did. “The right to life,” though — that was a winner.

I’ve told this story here on the blog over the years but I think it’s even more salient today as we see just how intrinsic race is to all of our culture war battles. Now that the right to abortion is truly in serious danger it’s more important than ever to understand exactly what brought us to this place.

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Now, for the rest of the story

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 3:30am in

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Axios reports:

In mid-October 2020, top Pentagon officials grew concerned about intelligence they’d seen. It showed the Chinese were consuming their own intelligence that had made them concerned about the possibility of a surprise U.S. strike against China, three sources familiar with the situation tell Axios.

One of the sources said: “I think they [the Chinese] were getting bad intelligence… a combination of ‘wag the dog’ conspiracy thinking and bad intel from bad sources.”

Then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper worried the Chinese were misreading the situation and that their misperception could lead to a conflict nobody wanted.

Esper directed his policy office to issue a backchannel message to the Chinese to reassure them the U.S. had no intention of seeking a military confrontation. The message: Don’t over-read what you’re seeing in Washington; we have no intention to attack; and let’s keep lines of communication open.

These backchannel communications were handled a couple of levels below Esper, one of the sources said. U.S. officials involved thought the Chinese received the initial message well. Milley followed up later in the month with a call to his Chinese counterpart to reiterate the message, two of the sources confirmed.

It’s unclear whether anyone at the Pentagon told President Trump or the White House what they were doing.

Around the same time Esper learned of the Chinese concerns, he also learned that a long-planned deployment to Asia had been moved up a couple of weeks earlier than previously planned, to accommodate COVID quarantine protocols.

Esper told colleagues the last thing the Chinese needed to see at that moment — when they were already misreading Washington’s intentions — was more planes, according to one of the sources.

Esper went so far as to delay this long planned exercise in Asia until after the election, to lower the temperature.

Axios has not independently confirmed that Milley told his Chinese counterpart he would give him a heads up if the U.S. planned to attack China.

One source familiar with Milley’s conversations with his Chinese counterpart would only broadly characterize them as Milley saying something to the effect of: “We’ll both know if we’re going to war… there’s not gonna be some surprise attack and there’s no reason for you to do a pre-emptive strike.”

That sounds a little different don’t you think?

Now read this series of tweets from the right wing reporter Josh Rogin being spun by the Trumpers:

Senior Trump admin national security official to me on Gen. Milley’s reported secret calls to Chinese generals:

“It was dangerous for Mark Milley to be doing freelance diplomacy on China without involving any of the other senior officials dealing with China at the time…”

“Milley was making these phone calls at a time when the U.S. government was in the middle of very complicated discussions with and actions against the PRC. For him to take this sort of action without any interagency coordination is astonishing…”

“…The risk is [Milley] could have caused the Chinese to miscalculate and take some sort of diplomatic, economic or military action with far ranging consequences, because he was giving the wrong signal, having no understanding of the context in which he was making the call.”

Originally tweeted by Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) on September 14, 2021.

I know you are but what am I?

Later that day…

Senior Defense Official confirms to me @axios reporting on Esper’s role in China calls.
“Milley was absolutely not going rogue. Esper took the initiative on this in October, Esper asked his own policy folks to backchannel the message. Milley’s message followed Esper’s.”

To be clear, Esper’s message to other countries — conveyed by OSD staff — was one of general reassurance and keeping lines of communication open. It did not include specifics reported in Woodward’s book about a purported Milley promise to warn China before any attack.

Originally tweeted by Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) on September 15, 2021.

Aaaand:

Originally tweeted by Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) on September 15, 2021.

Rogin comes back:

I’m told this (what Jennifer tweeted) is not true. Milley did not properly coordinate: SAO: “When Milley did these calls, it was with Joint Staff, and nobody from OSD participated in it. If someone from State Department was on the call, the Joint Staff should say who it is.”

What a mess.

Here’s a statement from Milley spokesman Col. Dave Butler:

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict.

His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability. All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.

Also in keeping with his responsibilities as senior military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense, General Milley frequently conducts meetings with uniformed leaders across the Services to ensure all leaders are aware of current issues.

The meeting regarding nuclear weapons protocols was to remind uniformed leaders in the Pentagon of the long-established and robust procedures in light of media reporting on the subject.

General Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.

I don’t know if the Woodward book doesn’t bother to make this context know or if the new reports yesterday didn’t bother to include it. Or maybe Milley is just an inveterate liar, was totally freelancing for his own reasons and the Pentagon and others are backing up his play. I assume we will soon find out?

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Friedman’s Feedback Loop

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 2:03am in

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from Duncan Austin and RWER The “free market” advocate is in the dissonant position of wishing market actors to be the sole conferees of new property rights while also depending on the government to uphold a general rule of law which is the necessary condition for property to being meaningful at all. Indeed, because of […]

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