Thursday Open Thread

There were 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday.
The United States is like a rudderless ship. Scientists now warn that it may result in permanent cognitive impairment (brain damage) even to young people. Also, the disease is linked to strokes, heart attacks and blood clots.

Are we getting to the point where masks, or even new lockdowns, will be too little too late?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    The thing about corona was obvious to me from jump (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 02:09:56 PM EST
    The scientists denominated it as a "novel coronavirus".

    "Novel" means "new".  As in "no one has had this before" or, at least "we've never seen this before".  You don't go around adding that kind of descriptor - "novel" - unless it deserves to be there.

    Under either "as in", it boils down to "sooner or later, everyone is going to get this and the best we can do is try to slow down the spread".  That will obtain until such time as there is an effective vaccine, assuming one can be developed and produced in mass quantities.  (And then the anti-vaxxers will raise their voices and are likely to get smashed flat.)

    While the wild spread in recent days was probably predictable, I have to say I am more than a bit mystified why we in the US are getting that while other countries are not.  You, dear reader, may not be following the news from overseas but I do.  Every day in the German papers there are pictures or huge crowds in Germany or elsewhere in Europe.  No social distancing going on, few or no masks in evidence.  Lawn/riverbank/floatie parties in Berlin, mass crowds on beaches of the North and Baltic Seas, you name it.  Yet the only bad outbreak they had in the last couple weeks was one tied to the Toennies meatpacking company in Gutersloh, where it got loose among the workers (working in typical close-quarters slaughterhouse conditions).  And their public health people stomped pretty hard on it (and people were going after cars with Gutersloh license plates, etc.).

    I really don't get it.

    So I guess all we can do is chin up, wear masks as appropriate and bear it.  

    A down and dirty inter-DA slap fight in Mass. (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 02:24:34 PM EST
    I saw this run by on my computer and thought it worth sharing.

    We're all aware of the growing limits on LWOP sentencing.  A few years back juveniles were no longer subject to LWOP.

    And we're all aware of the movement to elect more progressive, or at least humane, district attorneys in jurisdictions across the country.  
    On of those was the currently-first-term DA in Suffolk County, Mass., the first black woman to hold the job.  

    So now it gets interesting.

    Her office is involved in an appellate proceeding in MA's highest court wherein a defendant (18 at the time of the crime) was sentenced to LWOP while his co-defendant (17 at the time of the crime) got life with parole eligibility after 15 years.  Not a light sentence, but still not LWOP.  The Suffolk DA's office seems amenable to allowing expansion of the record, or appellate consideration, of newer brain science about the immaturity of young adults between 18 and 22, in the case of the 18 y/o LWOP guy.


    So now 4 District Attorneys from different counties have filed an unprecedented joint application to intervene in the Suffolk County case, even though it's entirely outside each of their jurisdictions.

    The 4 DAs (so they call themselves in their papers) are all white men.

    The papers are getting ugly.

    Go read, from the Boston Globe.

    Hi Scribe, (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 02:41:28 PM EST
    Good to hear from you!

    Federal District Court (none / 0) (#4)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 03:03:21 PM EST
    Judge, Emmet Sullivan, filed a petition today with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit for an en banc rehearing of its three-judge panel ordering the dropping of charges against General Michael Flynn, Trump's former campaign advisor and his first national security advisor.

    The panel voted 2 to l to order dismissal of charges stemming from Flynn's lying (twice) to federal agents about contacts with the Russian Ambassador.  

    Michael Cohen, Trump's (none / 0) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 03:40:06 PM EST
    former lawyer/fixer released on furlough from prison (serving a three-year term) in late May due to Covid 19 fears, was taken into custody for violating the terms of his probation.

    According to a BOP spokesperson, Cohen refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result has been returned to a BOP facility.  Cohen objected to a requirement that he not speak to the media and he was photographed eating out at an upscale NYC restaurant.