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Wednesday :: March 25, 2020

Senate Passes "CARES" Financial Help Bill

Update: The Amendment is denied. Now they are voting on the main bill. How tone deaf are these Senators? No 6 feet clearance for them.

The "CARES" bill passes with no "nay" votes. Here is the 619 page bill as of this afternoon. I've been reading it for the last several hours (while listening to the speeches). I'm not sure if there are any changes to what they are voting on. Update: All the speeches for the past few hours have been delivered to an empty room. There are only two senators in the room during voting on the Amendment. I guess they all phoned in their votes. Why bother to have a public vote if you don't have sound for the senator's voices saying yes or no? All you can hear is a woman calling out the names and then she says how they voted. Towards the end of the vote on the Amendment, more Senators begin straggling in. [More...]

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Tuesday :: March 24, 2020

Tuesday Open Thread: Down for the Count

Denver goes on home stay (aka sheltering in place) this afternoon. The only places we can go are the grocery store, drug store, pharmacy and for medical treatment and the like. It's kind of like home detention without the electronic monitoring, but not quite as strict as home incarceration.

Who else here is stuck at home? What are you doing to pass the time?

I think we're going to be at home for a long time. Last night, The Late Late Show with James Corden repeated his first show from four years ago. If they are planning on going through seasons 1 to 4 in order, that's a few hundred or more shows.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: March 23, 2020

Colorado Ends the Death Penalty, Commutes Sentences to Life

Thank you Governor Jared Polis! The death penalty has been officially abolished in Colorado.

Today Governor Polis signed the bill passed by the Colorado legislature last month ending the death penalty.

While the bill did not cover the three inmates on death row in Colorado, Gov. Polis commuted their sentences today to life without parole.

Colorado is the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty.

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The Republican's Faux Assistance Bill, Dems Must Oppose

Here's a summary of what is in the Republican's $2 trillion spending bill to reboot the economy. It's a bailout of big industry and business and a pittance for individuals.

It's also money that mostly has to be repaid. With what? Donald Trump's belief that when this is over our economy will "skyrocket" and the companies on the receiving end will be able to repay these humongous loans? [More...]

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Sunday :: March 22, 2020

Harvey Weinstein Transferred, Contracts Coronavirus and Is Put in Isolation

Four days ago, on March 18, Harvey Weinstein was transferred to a reception facility at the Wende prison complex in Erie County, New York. Reception facilities are intake facilities where a new inmate undergoes diagnostic testing and observation and then the staff decides which prison he should be sent to to serve his sentence. Wende also has a maximum security prison.

Apparently, upon arrival he and another new transferee tested positive for the Coronavirus and were put in isolation in the medical unit at Wende's maximum security prison.

Wende has a long history as a prison, going back to the 1920's. It is now comprised of 49 buildings on 15 acres. It has a Regional Medical Unit (RMU) at the maximum security prison that at least on paper, provides comprehensive care. [More...]

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White House Coronavirus Briefing: "We Have to Save Our Big Companies"

Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force is scheduled to speak to the nation in a few minutes. You can watch live online here.

The procedural vote on the Republican's Trillion Dollar [Corporate] Aid bill has been delayed. ET.

It sounds like the deal has fallen apart, and Nancy Pelosi said today the Dems will introduce their own bill.

I hope everyone reading this is feeling okay.

Update: Trump was abysmal in his delivery. He read from his speech, not a teleprompter, which it sounded like he hadn't even read before taking the podium. He rambled on about something having to do with rescuing a woman who was "horribly treated" and "terribly abused" somewhere and we needed Honduras' government's approval to "get her out of there". (Maybe that was the reason the presser started an hour late? This must be her.) [More...]

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Thursday :: March 19, 2020

Depression, Not Recession is Looming

I think America will recover from the coronavirus much faster than the economic calamity that is befalling the country. I think we passed recession months ago and are now headed into a 1920's style depression. For more technical explanations, see Axios here . I don't know how the economy bounces back after this. This is not like fighting a world war -- it seems like Americans will soon be fighting a domestic economic battle, for food, shelter and other basics of life. [More...]

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Sunday :: March 15, 2020

Sanders and Biden Debate Tonight

I'm not sure what the point is of tonight's "debate" given the modifications and that everyone believes Biden has this sewn up.

Calls for Bernie to suspend his campaign are premature. He's helping Democrats by staying in. He obviously knows the math as well as anyone. And that despite his army of followers, they aren't turning out to vote. That will be a problem for Democrats in November.

By staying in, Bernie can try to keep his fans energized and encourage them to turn out and vote. [More...]

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Coronavirus Numbers in Colorado

Now that testing is available in Colorado (albeit limited and involving long waits), the Colorado Department of Public Health is reporting results online with updates every five minutes. Denver and Eagle County (Vail) each have 24 cases. Total for Colorado as of today, March 15, 2020: 131. One elderly woman at increased risk due to a history of pulmonary issues has died in El Paso County (Colorado Springs).

On March 13, 2020 there were 5 new cases. On March 14, 2020 there were 24 new cases. Today, there are 30 new cases confirmed by testing.

Here is a realtime updated map and infographic by the Colorado Department of Health and Public Safety. [More...]

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White House Sunday Presser on Coronavirus

The White House is holding a press conference today on the coronavirus. If you are online now, you can watch it live here.

Trump begins with what he calls great news and he's very happy, the Federal Reserve has lowered the treasury rate to 0.

He wants to thank Google because they substantiated what he said on Friday (it was fake news that Google denied it.)

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Coronavirus Explainers

This is quite an explanatory multi-media graphic from the South China Post on the beginning and evolution of the Coronavirus. It is updated daily.

Also interesting, again from the South China Post, is an article on the search for "Patient Zero" who authorities now believe contracted the disease on November 17, 2019 (rather than December as previously believed).

According to the government data seen by the Post, a 55 year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17.

...While the government records have not been released to the public, they provide valuable clues about how the disease spread in its early days and the speed of its transmission, as well as how many confirmed cases Beijing has recorded.

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Saturday :: March 14, 2020

Pandemic Grows, Trump Tests Negative

Donald Trump says he did not contribute to the coronavirus pandemic by removing the office created to deal with such things that had been established under Obama.

To the suprise of no one, the coronavirus is spreading around the globe. Now that three people Donald Trump shook hands with or was otherwise close to at Mar-a-Lago have tested positive, Trump changed course (yet again) and announced he has been tested. (Update: His results were negative according to his personal White House physician, Sean P. Conley, reports his tests were negative. (This is after yesterday when he said Trump didn't need to get tested.)

Spain and France have announced partial shutdowns. France has ordered all restaurants, bars, and shops closed (except grocery stores). Here is how it has been growing. [More...]

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Monday :: March 09, 2020

Server Issues Done, New Open Thread

The company that physically hosts TalkLeft's server is in the process of moving its servers a short distance from where they are presently located. Our server was not scheduled to be moved until midnight tonight, but apparently someone pulled the wrong plug somewhere when moving another server last night, and TalkLeft was down for several hours last night and this morning.

Obviously, we are back up now, but we are still on schedule to be moved tonight around midnight, and we should be down for only 90 minutes or so (n a perfect world).

I apologize for any inconvenience to those of you who clicked this morning and got no response -- I only realized it around 9:00 am, by which time Colin, our webmaster, was already on it and we went back up soon after.

This is now an open thread, all topics welcome.

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NYSE Suspended Trading After Stocks Tank: Trump Clueless?

An automatic circuit tripper was triggered this morning when the NYSE opened due to the worst drop in the Dow Jones average since the financial crisis of October, 2008 (and before that, 9/11):

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tanked 1,247 points — 4.8% — on pace for its worst day since December 2008, while the S&P 500 plunged 4.9%. The massive sell-off triggered a key market circuit breaker minutes after the opening bell. Trading was halted for 15 minutes until reopening at 9:49 a.m. ET. At one point in morning trading, the 30-stock Dow dropped 2,046 points and the S&P 500 cratered 7.4%.

This is the first time the trigger was activated since 1997.

As for why the Dow freaked out, it's fears over the oil trade deal and the coronavirus.[More...]

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Thursday :: March 05, 2020

Elizabeth Warren Drops Out

It's down to a two man race for the Democratic nomination -- Elizabeth Warren has suspended her campaign,

She didn't make an endorsement but said there's no rush to do so.

So after all the hub-bub with a diverse field of 20, we are down to two white almost-octogenarians. What a disappointment.

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