Tuesday, August 18, 2020

But the post office has been stolen and the mail box is locked

My avatar went touristing in Second Life and found this plant display restful. If you're bored being cooped up, you might want to try this sort of thing.

"Former Attorney General Holder Suggests Postmaster General Should Be Prosecuted: As Democrats increasingly decry what they have characterized as President Donald Trump's assault on the U.S Postal Service, some are warning of possible legal consequences for the administration's actions. Among them is former Attorney General Eric Holder. On Saturday morning, law professor and legal analyst Barb McQuade pointed out that obstructing mail is a federal offense and wondered who would prosecute Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in the Department of Justice headed by William Barr. 'The next, real, Justice Department,' Holder replied. Earlier, Holder posted a tweet that simply stated the law regarding the fines and imprisonment of up to six months that anyone who 'willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail' can face. Holder has been posting quite a bit on the Postal Service lately and in that sense is like a lot of Democrats who have taken up the issue that was simmering for weeks in the news cycle but seemed unable to break through amid the coronavirus disaster. Now, Democrats increasingly seem to realize that Trump's actions regarding the Postal Service gives them an opportunity to coalesce behind a message that might even help them win over new voters." Pelosi should be calling the House back from vacation immediately to start impeachment proceedings, of course. No need to wait for Mitch McConnel to convict, just have hearings with people getting up every day and pointing out that the president has admitted he is rigging the election and that his Postmaster General is committing a federal crime, apparently under Trump's orders. Make sure Americans turning on their TVs know what they're up to and to forget about getting their birthday cards and medications and other necessities in the mail until these swine are kicked out of government. Trump doesn't have to still be in office to be impeached and convicted. If the election goes well for the Democrats, they can do both after the new Congress is seated. Of course, this is Pelosi and Schumer we're talking about, so they might not do a bloody thing.

"The Left Needs to Stop Falling for Absurd Sex Panics: The absurd allegations against progressive Congressional candidate Alex Morse have now been exposed as a hoax. But they couldn't have been better calculated to excite a Left prone to mindless sex panics. Alex Morse, 31, is just the kind of Democratic candidate progressives usually love. The young, gay mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts is challenging a corrupt, centrist incumbent, Richie Neal, for Congress. Backed by the Squad-making Justice Democrats, Morse is a supporter of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. And the Left did love him — that is, until the College Democrats of Massachusetts figured out a brilliant way to take him down: make absurd sexual allegations against Morse and watch the Left lose its collective mind. Last Friday, just a couple weeks before the primary, the College Democrats — who received $1,000 from Rep. Neal, Morse's opponent, in April — launched the scandal with a letter disinviting Morse from all their future events. The missive, which was given to the Daily Collegian, University of Massachusetts's student newspaper, made three accusations against the insurgent candidate. [...] No one ever came forward as a 'survivor' of any of Morse's heinous acts of Instagramming, but in one case, according to the College Democrats' letter, a young man hooked up with Morse and found out later that Morse was the mayor and felt weird about that. (This would appear to be a comically ineffective use of his 'status.') [...] It turns out the Left got played. For days, agonized online discourse parsed acceptable behavior for consenting adults and trafficked (disgracefully) in stereotypes about predatory gay men. Thankfully, the Intercept's Ryan Grim stepped in to reveal that there weren't even any 'victims' of 'discomfort' or 'power dynamics.' Messages Grim obtained show that the College Dems planned the whole thing deliberately, as one of the group's leaders was hoping to get an internship with Rep. Neal, Morse's opponent."

Alex Pareene, "A Government Too Broken to Write $600 Checks: The president and the Senate majority leader weren't even in the room for the failed negotiations to save the economy. [...] The sticking point in the negotiations, besides the overall price tag, was apparently that the White House (meaning Meadows) refused to budge on aid to state and local governments; in other words, the White House wants to see crushing, pointless austerity cuts across the entire nation at the level of government where the effects of austerity will be clearest to middle- and working-class Americans. This makes some amount of sense in terms of the conservative project, but it makes very little sense in terms of the political prospects of President Donald Trump. He has no personal allegiance to conservative fiscal policy. Surprisingly for a rich guy, he has never been particularly interested in dingbat rightwing economics. (A money launderer, for example, doesn't care what the top marginal tax rate is; he cares about how rigorously money laundering is being investigated and punished.) Perhaps 20 years ago, he would have been canny enough to realize that bailing out the states would benefit him politically, just as he still had enough wits to figure out that signing 'Donald Trump' on stimulus checks was good politics regardless of the budgetary math. But the Donald Trump we have is the one who believes meaningless or imaginary executive orders will substitute for congressional action for the same reason that he believed Covid-19 would go away on its own. As he understands it, the important thing is that he was seen on television promising relief. The idea that people might notice if that relief never came, or was inadequate when it did, is as foreign to him as the idea that people might notice that their neighbors or parents had died of Covid-19 even if none of them could get a test to confirm the diagnosis."

"Bernie Sanders introduces bill to tax 60% of millionaires' earnings during pandemic to pay medical costs: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk would all be taxed tens of billions under bill Senator Bernie Sanders has announced legislation that would impose a 60 per cent tax on the wealth gains of billionaires from 18 March through the end of 2020 for the purposes of funding Medicare and paying all Americans' out-of-pocket health-care needs for a one-year period. Mr Sanders said the tax hike was meant to help people who are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic. 'The legislation I am introducing today will tax the obscene wealth gains billionaires have made during this extraordinary crisis to guarantee healthcare as a right to all for an entire year,' Mr Sanders said in a statement.

We have the worst party leaders. Sam Seder wonders, "What Is Nancy Pelosi Even Trying to Do?"

Taibbi in Rolling Stone, "Big Pharma's Covid-19 Profiteers: How the race to develop treatments and a vaccine will create a historic windfall for the industry — and everyone else will pay the price [...] The CEO noted a study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health, showing that Covid-19 patients taking remdesivir recovered after 11 days, compared with 15 days for placebo takers. In the U.S., he wrote, 'earlier hospital discharge would result in hospital savings of approximately $12,000 per patient.' The hilarious implication seemed to be that by shortening hospital stays by four days on average, remdesivir was worth $48,000 a dose."

So, continuing with his policy of adding insult to injury over and over, Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his running-mate. This woman was so unpopular that she couldn't even place in her own state during the primaries, and now there are New Questions About Harris's Record On Antitrust & White-Collar Crime,

Democrats have gotten really good at promoting people who have no idea that the obvious consequences of their actions will actually occur. Like, if you pass a law that puts people in jail, it comes as a big surprise that some people go to jail. "Kamala Harris regrets California truancy law that led to arrest of some parents [...] Speaking on the liberal podcast Pod Save America, Sen. Harris said the arrests and, in some cases, jail sentences of parents in multiple California counties were an 'unintended consequence' of the statewide law, which built on her tough-on-truancy approach as San Francisco district attorney."

Columbia Journalism Review, "MSNBC public editor: A strained symbiosis with Obama: MSNBC was not and is not about to call Obama out for having broken his campaign promises of transparency, for permitting nine million people to lose their homes in the mortgage crisis, for failing to jail even a single banker, or for having failed to call the butchers of Iraq to account. There is no cable news station broadcasting today that is willing to state the blindingly obvious, to wit, that a less corrupt, less wealth-enslaved, less warmongering Democratic Party—a party that had paid more than lip service to the needs of working people over the previous eight years—would have walked away with the 2016 election. "

"Denounced as Going 'Too Far' When Sanders Said It—American Bar Association Backs Full Voting Rights for Incarcerated People: 'This Resolution follows a long American Bar Association tradition affirming and supporting the expansion of Americans' right to vote.' [...] At its annual meeting earlier this month, the ABA adopted a resolution stating the organization would urge all levels of government to 'repeal laws that disenfranchise persons based upon criminal conviction [and] restore voting rights to those currently and formerly incarcerated, including those on probation, parole, or any other community-based correctional program.' The national lawyers' association further said (pdf) that 'no person convicted of crime' should be disenfranchised in the U.S. because of failure to pay fines, court fees, or other payments as a result of their conviction."

"Popular Viral Video Firm Sues Facebook over Russian Propaganda Label: The company behind In The Now, Soapbox and Waste-Ed is taking on media giant Facebook, who it claims is falsely labeling it as Russian state-controlled propaganda. [...] Go to any of the Maffick-owned Facebook pages, including In The Now (4.9 million followers), which focuses on light-hearted news and social justice issues, Soapbox (320,000 followers), featuring politically opinionated videos, or Waste-Ed (216,000 followers), with content on environmental topics, and you are greeted with a warning from Facebook: 'This publisher is wholly or partially under the editorial control of a state.' Maffick strenuously denies this, noting that its sole owner, Anissa Naouai, is a U.S. citizen living in California. 'In doing all of these actions, Facebook has acted fraudulently, with actual malice and in reckless disregard for the truth,' the complaint alleges."

"The Disconnect Between the Stock Market and the Real Economy Is Destroying Our Lives: Stocks are the wall that protects the rich from the consequences of this crisis [...] The glaring disconnect between the real economy, of working humans with jobs and bills to pay, and the investor class economy, embodied by the stock market, is one of the most brutal and devious political issues of this age of crisis in which we're living. Though free marketeers like to boast of the fact that more than half of Americans now own stocks, the fact is that most of them own too few stocks to matter to their day-to-day economic lives. Half of all stocks in America are owned by the wealthiest 1% of people. They are the stock market's target audience and prime movers. The primary effect of high stock prices today is to insulate the rich from the consequences of the wrecked real economy. So long as stocks are doing okay, there is no need for the class of people who control most of America's institutions to feel much urgency to save the lives of everyone. A strong stock market is like a sturdy wall around the rich and powerful. You can stay outside and lose your job and starve and die, and it won't penetrate their serene bubble very much at all."

Not all of this is right, but there's a lot of truth here: "What Democrats Can Learn from the Republicans about Political Power [...] This is problematic because voters, despite their liberal tilt, have few firm and informed opinions about public policy, and no coherent ideology to speak of. Public opinion and the political landscape can be moved by powerful rhetoric and political leadership. Democrats, however, take the political landscape as a given and do little to change it. They build political strategies upon sand, while conservatives build political strategies premised on shaping that sand to suit their needs, and then mixing it into semi-concrete."

Matt Stoller interviews David Dayen about America's Folksiest Predator: One of the more important figures in American capitalism over the last forty years is Warren Buffett, the legendary investor who is now the fourth richest man in the world. Buffett is an icon, the ‘Oracle of Omaha,' who lives a simple lifestyle based on folksy wisdom, eating Dairy Queen ice cream, and drinking Coca Cola. Or so goes the myth. In this issue, I'm going to do an interview with an author who presents a very different side of Buffett, the side that is key to his wealth and power. Specifically, the monopolist side, and how Buffett's way of investing has been a multiplier force for dominant corporations." (Text only). Man, that guy is a horrorshow.

Part Three of Paul Jay's interview with Thomas Frank, reprinted at Naked Capitalism, "Thomas Frank: Liberal Elites Will Create Conditions for Another Trump: Yves here. On to the last part of Thomas Frank's discussion of his new book, The People, No. Here Frank focuses on the danger to the US of demonizing populism."

"Covid Vaccines with Dr. Robert Gallo, Plus the Democrats' Campaign Strategy | Useful Idiots" — Remember him? The AIDs guy? It was interesting to hear him meandar,but he's also got an idea that the Sabin oral polio vaccine might be an interesting place to look for help with Covid — but no one will give him funding to investigate it.

Interesting Interview with Lee Camp, who reminds us that in 2016 while the American mass media was treating Trump like a big joke and giving him massive media promotion, it was possible to find real political criticism of Trump in Lee Camp's videos - on RT.

"Of Guns and Men: In Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore made the case that the number of guns and the availability of guns is not causal in the number of gun deaths, There are plenty of examples where a country has as many if not more guns per capita than the US (e.g., Canada) yet they have nowhere near the rate of gun deaths. So if the proliferation of guns isn't the cause; violent movies are not the cause; and bloody video games are not the cause, what then is the cause of the gun violence that puts America literally off the charts? Michael Moore believed it was fear: rampant fear and fear-mongering on the part of the media and the culture. Gun sales spiked in 2008 following Obama's election. Why? FEAR. More and more women (including Adam Lanza's mom) have guns for 'personal protection.' Why? FEAR."

"25 Years Gone: The Day Jerry Garcia Died Remembered by Bill Walton, Bruce Hornsby, Perry Farrell, Warren Haynes"

"Carbonatite: 'Sandcastle' Structures in Calcium Carbonate-Rich Tanzanian Volcano"

Painstakingly restored video, "[4k, 60 fps] San Francisco, a Trip down Market Street, April 14, 1906" — ends with a brief view of what it looked like four days later.

Bob Dylan, "Memphis Blues Again"

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if conservatives, realizing there is no hope of Trump's reelection, just plan to torpedo the economy.