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Tuesday :: December 22, 2020

When NYC Vaccinated 5 Million People In Two Weeks

The New York Times has a very moving article about New York City's Smallpox scare of 1947, and how the city rose to the occasion, vaccinating more than 5 million people in 2 weeks and 6.5 million people in under a month.

Smallpox was thought to have been eradicated. Even thought most New Yorkers had already been vaccinated it , when the announcements of the first deaths came, they lined up again.

The response was so great that the city enlisted thousands of civilian volunteers to help deliver inoculations. Armed with vials of vaccine, the volunteers, along with professional health care providers, administered as many as eight doses per minute. Making their way through every school in the city, they inoculated 889,000 students. In the first two weeks, five million New Yorkers were vaccinated against smallpox.

The final result: There were a total of 12 infections and two deaths. A catastrophe was avoided. [More...]

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Sunday :: December 20, 2020

Covid-19 Relief Bill Finally Agreed On

There will be new stimulus checks coming. Under the new bill announced today,

Negotiators have decided to provide stimulus checks worth $600 per person. The size of that benefit would be reduced for people who earned more than $75,000 the preceding year, similar to the last round of stimulus checks, according to two people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of private deliberations. The stimulus checks would provide $600 per person, including adults and children, meaning a family of four would receive $2,400 up to a certain income.

Congress would also extend unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week, which could start as early as Dec. 27.

There will also be extensions on the period for states to give out CARES Act money. And a one month extension of the ban on evictions.

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Monday :: December 14, 2020

William Barr's "I'll Go Now" Letter to Trump

Attorney General William Barr tendered his resignation letter (available here) to Donald Trump today. It's a fanboy letter.

One thing the letter makes clear is that Trump and Barr discussed his resignation prior to his submitting the letter. Shorter version: Trump told him "Go Now". Barr would have been gone in a month, as soon as Biden's nominee gets confirmed, so what was the hurry? Why single him out and announce he's leaving early? Because Trump wants the world to know (as if any of us care) that when you go against the autocrat, you pay a price, even if it's just a public shaming.

I wonder who wrote the letter. Barr doesn't strike me as the literary type who would come up with phrases like "implacable resistance." Or the type to heap this baseless praise on Trump:

I am proud to have played a role in the many successes and unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people.

To me, it reeks of Trump's Number One Fanboy, Stephen Miller, assuming he hasn't jumped ship yet. [More...]

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Trump's Legacy: Champion of Death Penalty

Donald Trump thinks he will be remembered as a supporter of criminal justice reform. That could not be further from the truth.

The truth is he is a champion of the death penalty, which is state-sanctioned murder.

In the past year, 12 federal inmates have been put to death. Four more are scheduled to die before Trump leaves office.

Bryan Stevenson, who leads the Equal Justice Initiative, told WAPO:

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Electoral College : The End of the Road for Donald Trump

Today the Electoral College is voting. By the end of the day Donald Trump will be forced to accept that he stands alone. And that after "an extraordinary year of anti-democratic agitation and disinformation spread by an incumbent president", the time has arrived.

Or as Bob Dylan would say:

"Even the president of the United States Sometimes must have to stand naked"

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Monday :: December 07, 2020

Georgia to Recertify Election Results Today

Finally, the fat lady is about to sing. Georgia will recertify its election results today, confirming for the third time that Joe Biden won the state.

Can the media now stop paying attention to Donald Trump? He is irrelevant, he's toast, stick a fork in him, he's done.

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Rudy Giuliani Hospitalized With Coronavirus

Probably to the surprise of no one, Rudy Giuliani confirmed yesterday he is in the hospital battling COVID-19. Donald Trump first revealed his condition via tweet, and Rudy chirped in the same way.

Mr. Giuliani has been admitted to Georgetown University Medical Center, according to a person who was aware of his condition but not authorized to speak publicly. Mr. Giuliani, at age 76, is in the high-risk category for the virus. Later Sunday, he wrote on Twitter: “Thank you to all my friends and followers for all the prayers and kind wishes. I’m getting great care and feeling good. Recovering quickly and keeping up with everything.”

The United States now has 14.8 million cases of COVID-19 with almost 175k new cases a day. More than 282k people have died. And Donald Trump continues to make it sound like a badge of honor. How much more twisted can one get?

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Sunday :: November 29, 2020

Feeling Thankful at Thanksgiving?

As of Friday, 2,900 people had died of COVID-19 in Colorado. 210,000 Coloradans were diagnosed with the disease. 81% of Colorado's ICU beds were in use as were 50% of the state's adult critical care ventilators. As of Saturday, 1 in every 49 Coloradans was contagious or infected.

Even Governor Jared Polis and the First Partner now have it.

Dr. Fauci was on TV today and he said we should prepare for a third wave. As for today's numbers:

More than 91,500 people were hospitalized with the virus on Saturday, with 18,000 in intensive care units. That's according to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, which collects and analyzes data from across the United States. Over 6,000 patients were on ventilators.

I hope everyone here found something to be thankful about. I was happy for the "alone" time. I made a lasagna instead of a turkey, and invited a single friend over. We ate outside on the balcony, seated 6 feet apart. [More...]

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Sunday :: November 22, 2020

Sunday Night Open Thread

I can't think of a time our country has been in worse shape. Between the pandemic and Donald Trump, it will take a generation at least -- well beyond my life span -- to regroup and recoup what we had that went down the drain with Trump's ineptitude and inability to believe in anything outside the bubble of his alternate universe built on false facts.

I had hoped that he would have quit by now. Instead, he's making himself more of a laughing stock, "here and anround the world" (as CNN would say).

Why isn't someone directing the FAA to shut down air traffic for Thanksgiving week? Could it be Donald Trump wants as many of us to die as possible as revenge for his election loss? Even he isn't flying to Mar-a-Lago on AF One for the holiday. That ought to tell you something. (Yes, maybe he's afraid his "things" will be gone when he gets back, but what does he own at the White House beside his clothes and the mattress he had shipped in? Doesn't the rest belong to the Government? Answer: I have no idea, which is why I'm asking the question.)

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Friday :: November 13, 2020

Friday Open Thread: Let's Get to Work

  • Trump has dropped his Arizona lawsuit.
  • 130 Secret Service agents who protected Trump at his rallies have contracted coronavirus
  • Illinois, Maryland and Washington may get lockdowns
  • Trump's PA law firm Porter Wright moved to withdraw from representing him today.
  • Another day, another record shattered:
More than 153,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as some 66,000 people were hospitalized nationwide.
We can now begin the process of putting science ahead of incompetence and working together, get control over this virus instead of continuing to allow it to control us. It's time for us to get to work. [More...]

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GA, AZ and PA All Called for Biden: Now With 306 EV

Democrats have turned some major ruby red states blue: The media has now called Georgia (in addition to AZ and PA) for Joe Biden.

The Electoral Vote total is now 306-232.

Goodbye Red States, Goodbye Trumps, Welcome Biden/Harris, we've got a lot of damage to reverse and a lot to do. So let's get to work.

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The Cost of Donald Trump's Failure to Lead (to Him and Us)

Honestly, I'm much more concerned about COVID-19 than I am about how Trump leaves office. No matter how he tries to spin it, Trump's lasting legacy will not be that he was cheated and robbed in his bid for re-election. It will be the tens of thousands of deaths he failed to prevent because of his failure as a leader.

I am electioned-out. I haven't read the news about him or his lawsuits or the vote tally in a few days (which feels like an eternity and has been quite liberating). But I'm going to break my silence of the past few days to share my prediction as how Donald Trump plans to get himself out of the election fiasco he has created, and why we shouldn't fall into the trap of celebrating his defeat on Thanksgiving.

I predict within days Donald Trump will announce he quits. That's right. He'll resign. He will say the vote was rigged and since no one will do anything about it, the country doesn't deserve him. Before Thanksgiving (or certainly before Christmas) I predict he'll head to Mar-a-Lago, never to be seen at the White House again. Glory, Glory Hallelujah. [More...]

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Sunday :: November 08, 2020

Trump is Gone: The Time Has Come Today

The time has come to leave Donald Trump behind. He's toast. The fat lady sang. The Supreme Court is not coming to his rescue. He's lived high on our dime (and the dime of the Secret Service covering his and his kids' international and domestic travel) long enough.)

As soon as the media stops covering Donald Trump, which it will shortly, he'll be on his way to somewhere like Abu Dhabi faster than the speeding bullet trains in Asia can get him there. (He can't possibly be dumb enough to think he's safe from arrest at Mar-a-Lago and he would never be able to adapt to a non-opulent lifestyle or a place where English isn't widely spoken). So why is he hanging on to his desk in the oval office so tightly? What is he afraid of? My theory is five-fold: [More....]

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Saturday :: November 07, 2020

Winners Biden and Harris Speaks to the Nation

Update: Great speech by Kamala Harris. Biden now comes running down tarmac - he certainly seems very physically fit for his age. He's really happy. He talks about unity and healing.

Original Post: Kamala Harris starts with a quote from John Lewis about democracy. She adds:

"We the people have the power to build a better future." You (the voters) protected our democracy.

She is very gracious, always talking about us rather than her. Good for her that she is making us want to celebrate.

"You chose hope and unity decency science and yes truth." [More...]

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It's Official: Biden-Harris Take Back America

It is so heartening to see the streets filled with youth and people of color cheering and dancing in cities across America.

Congratulations, America. You won. The witch is gone.

Let's all take a few days to breathe our sighs of relief.

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