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Monday :: April 13, 2020

Trump's Shameful Press Conference on Coronavirus

Why does the media continue to carry Trump's press statements? He is a dangerous, dishonest demogogue that should be frog-marched out of office, not given a daily platform for his reelection campaign.

He is consumed by self pity. He fingerpoints at everyone and takes no responsibility. He calls the Times story fake news. He plays a powerpoint with selected clips praising him. He denies he wanted Fauci fired. Fauci comes up to distinguish what he said earlier from being a criticism of Trump. How so? It was a "hypothetical". Trump flounders when asked about why he re-tweeted "#FireFauci" if he didn't want him fired. He says he was just retweeting someone else's opinion.

Astonishingly, Trump says the Governors elected not to get ventilators. (They should have had their own stockpiles). "We've done this right," he claims.

Trump says he, not the governors, has the ultimate authority to order the country to re-open. He says he's close to doing so, and it may happen ahead of schedule. "We're ready to rock". [More...]

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Wednesday :: April 08, 2020

Cook County Jail is Now Largest Source of Coronavirus

The New York Times reports that Chicago's notorious Cook County Jail is now the largest source of the coronavirus in the U.S -- there are more cases at the jail (387) than there were in New Rochelle or on the USS Theodore Roosevelt or in the nursing home in Washington.

As of Tuesday, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail, said 272 inmates and 115 staff members had tested positive. But because the vast majority of the jail’s 5,000 inmates have not been tested, corrections officers have said the numbers are likely far higher. In late March, the jail had just two diagnoses.

On the federal side, the Bureau of Prisons publishes numbers every day. Today there are:

241 federal inmates and 73 BOP staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 nationwide. There have been 8 federal inmate deaths and 0 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease.

The virus has hit 31 BOP facilities (prisons and detention centers for those held without bail but not yet convicted) and 6 half way houses.

BOP says it has released 615 inmates on home confinement pursuant to AG Barr's recent order.

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Bernie Sanders Drops Out

Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the Democratic race for President.

That leaves Joe Biden. I don't believe Joe Biden will beat Donald Trump for one reason:

"I was inspired by Joe Biden" said no one ever.

At 77+, Biden should be writing his memoirs, not looking for a "personal best" and running for President. I change the channel when he comes on, just like I do with Trump.

Biden's pick for VP could make a positive difference or sink him. After all, there's a pretty good chance given Biden's age that the VP will end up being President. [More...]

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Tuesday :: April 07, 2020

Tuesday Open Thread: Where Does the Time Go?

Managing a law practice remotely takes a huge amount of time. I expected it to be less time-consuming since I am not going to courts and jails and client meetings, but it is the opposite.

I have not even had time to read the news today. I assume more people died and Trump is still in his own head rather than addressing the critical issues we all face, so I may not have missed anything.

I hope all TL readers and their families are symptom-free and not going stir-crazy staying at home.

I am fine, but since I am of elevated risk just due to my age, I am only leaving my house to go to the grocery store, where I wear gloves but no mask. I tried for hours on two separate days to make one of those easy no-sew masks, and failed each time. Worse, I ruined two good t-shirts: [More...]

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Friday :: April 03, 2020

New Meaning for the Phrase "Dead Time"?

Federal prosecutors and DOJ, under the control of Attorney General William Barr, unlike their state counterparts, are objecting to the release of many low level, non-violent inmates with serious health concerns and doing time in crowded jails in which other inmates and guards have already contracted coronavirus.

They don't always get their way, but still, their position is appalling.[More...}

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Monday :: March 30, 2020

Monday Open Thread: Staying Safe

It is not true that the Coronavirus mostly infects old people.

For example, in Colorado, as of March 29, 2020, 47% of the 2,307 people afflicted with the virus are between the ages of 20 and 50.

According to the projected U.S. Census tables for Colorado, 36% of Coloradans are between the ages of 20 and 44. In 2017, 80% of women bearing children were between 20 and 44. [More...]

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Sunday :: March 29, 2020

Sunday in Coronavirusville

It is so disheartening to have a news conference that is supposed to be factual and informative headed by Donald Trump, a man who is known for his self-serving misrepresentations on every subject.

Update: According to the numbers on the right side of the screen during the press conference, 24 Americans died since the beginning of this press conference. (from 2,414 to 2,436).

Guidelines will be released Tuesday that extend the present social distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020. (No more Easter talk).

If America had done nothing, there would have been 1-2 million deaths in the U.S. Now, there may only be 100,000 to 200,000, which means we'll have done a very good job. (The number of deaths right now is 2,436)

He says there's some kind of funny business going on with the number of masks Gov. Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio say are needed for New York. He says they went from 10,000 or 20,000 to 300,000. When he is asked whether he is saying they are hoarding, he says "hoarding or worse". [More...]

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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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