Usher’s News & Analysis for May 17, 2020

Social Security benefits have lost an almost astounding 30% of their buying power since the year 2000, according to a new report by the Seniors Citizens League. And much of that boils down the fact that Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, have been relatively stingy over the past 10 years. Case in point: This year, seniors saw their benefits go up by just 1.6%.

… the way COLAs are measured. They’re based on fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers — an index that’s hardly reflective of the spending patterns that are specific to seniors ….

Social Security Benefits Have Lost 30% of Their Buying Power Since 2000


In guidelines issued on Thursday, the National Health Commission said some recovered Covid-19 patients would require treatment for lung and heart damage, for movement problems from muscle loss, as well as for psychological disorders.

China adds long-term organ damage to list of effects of Covid-19


China officially admits to some covering up by local officials earlier on but claims the current data on COVID-19 is dependable. There’s no way for those of us on the outside to know whether that’s right or not.

Zhong said he was surprised by the numbers of infections and deaths in the US, adding that he felt some Western governments didn’t take the coronavirus threat seriously early in the outbreak.

“I think in some of the countries in Europe, or perhaps in the US, (the governments) suppose this kind of disease… is more or less like influenza, so that’s wrong,” he said.

Exclusive: Lack of immunity means China is vulnerable to another wave of coronavirus, top adviser warns


Flynn’s discussion with Kislyak was completely legal, even wise. The Logan Act is unconstitutional, and Flynn said the right thing to Kislyak. Please note that violating the Logan Act is not what Flynn was charged with. Unmasking Flynn pursuant to the Logan Act and then not charging him for it but something else (he didn’t even do) is pure corruption right up to Obama, who knew and had a duty to stop it. Flynn told the FBI he knew his conversations with Kislyak were taken down. He did not lie but had forgotten. He was told he was not under investigation. He was relaxed by that: his only mistake.

Now here comes John Brennan claiming that exposing a clear pattern of governmental corruption at the highest levels in the US is itself corrupt. He’s also still spewing the proven nonsense Russia interfered with our election. It’s revealing which mediums are covering for him.

Brennan, who sought to ‘unmask’ Flynn, claims release of names is ‘abominable abuse of authority’


It had been reported that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, an action viewed as undermining the Obama administration.

What is ‘unmasking?’ Flynn disclosures put spotlight on practice


There are two ways to do it: force or voluntary cooperation. Either way, it’s better to get it done: lock down quickly and firmly. Instead of voluntarily cooperating, so many Americans whine, acting as if there weren’t pandemics before high-tech biology.

Hundreds of villages in China’s northeastern Jilin province have been placed under lockdown after a cluster of new coronavirus cases were reported in the region, local government officials said Saturday.

Over 1,000 residential buildings have also been quarantined in Shulan, a small city in the center of the province, after cases were also reported there, the officials said.

“After the local cases appeared in our city, the Shulan Municipal Party Committee and the municipal government acted swiftly, entered a state of war in an all-round way, took the most stringent control measures, and went all out to prevent and control the epidemic,” Mayor Jin said.

Hundreds of villages locked down in northeastern China after fresh coronavirus outbreak


True:

As the new documents show, the FBI set a trap for Flynn, with agents musing beforehand about getting him fired and the bureau’ top leaders intentionally violating longstanding protocol. Yet major outlets are running op-eds arguing that the agency’s professionals are beyond reproach.

False:

The entire left-of-center was righteously angry when it learned of the FBI’s long-term surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. — but defend the bureau’s long-term surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page, even after the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, detailed “17 significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI’s applications to spy on him. And that surveillance was “justified” in the first place by a ridiculous dossier assembled to order for Trump’s opponent. Yet none of that seems to bother the left.

I’m of the left, and I was revealing the wrongdoing in the Flynn case by the CIA, FBI, and others long before the NEW YORK POST even knew what was happening. Plenty of other lefties were too. So, NEW YORK POST Editorial Board, stop spreading falsehoods while you condemn falsehoods. Also, “left” and “liberal” are not synonymous.

Media liberals used to denounce FBI abuses — until bureau went after Team Trump


In an interview on the “Brian Kilmeade Show” with host Brian Kilmeade, Graham said that he does not want to “wreak havoc on the institution” like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., did during the impeachment trial against the president earlier this year.

“So, if I find something that makes me suspicious of President Obama, if he may have been part of committing a crime against General Flynn or anyone else, I will turn that over to Mr. [John] Durham,” he promised, referring to the U.S. attorney who is investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

That’s a good way to handle it.

Trump tells McConnell ‘time is running out’ for him to hold Russia ‘hoaxers’ accountable


Well, my readers know I don’t endorse Plandemic as an explanation for why there’s COVID-19, but I’m certainly not going to endorse this Snopes article: ‘Plandemic’ and the Seven Traits of Conspiratorial Thinking. It’s riddled with mistakes in basic reasoning. It reads like really bad false propaganda.

Snopes wrote:

This content is shared here because the topic may interest Snopes readers; it does not, however, represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.

That’s no excuse.


Statistics suggest that Sweden has performed poorly compared to its Scandinavian neighbours, which imposed strict lockdowns. Experts say the other Nordic countries are the most apt points of comparison, given their similar healthcare systems, socio-political cultures and levels of connectedness.

Reported coronavirus deaths per million in Sweden stand at 358, according to Statista – even higher than the hard-hit US, at 267. The Swedish figure is dramatically worse than those of Denmark (93), Finland (53) and Norway (44).

Sweden’s Covid-19 strategy has caused an ‘amplification of the epidemic’


What I’ve been writing right here on this blog:

When it comes to the shelter-in-place orders, however, judges have mostly deferred to governors’ broad authority under their respective state constitutions to take drastic action in the case of a public health emergency.

Among the chief questions most courts will examine are whether states’ orders have a compelling government interest and whether the order is narrowly tailored to achieving that interest, said Noah Feldman, law professor at Harvard.

Without a vaccine or widespread access to treatments for Covid-19, social distancing is one of the few ways to reduce the spread of infections. And “it’s pretty hard to make a convincing case that the stay-at-home orders are not the least restrictive means” of achieving that goal, Feldman argued.

Democratic governors hit with flurry of legal challenges to coronavirus lockdowns


Never believe everything you read or are told by “libertarians.” They are often just full of … false propaganda.

This is all quite dramatic, but … where are all these arrests? He cited a couple in other states (which he does not mention were later dismissed). But in our state, the real story of the stay-at-home order is that enforcement has been virtually nonexistent.

Take Anderson’s own department. The Port police, with 110 officers, hasn’t issued any enforcement actions, against any individual or business, for violating the stay-home edict since it began in March, according to a Port spokesperson.

The Seattle Police Department likewise had not cited or arrested a single person as of Thursday, a department spokesperson said.

The state has received more than 25,000 complaints about people gathering, or businesses operating unlawfully, but “we have not made any arrests or issued any citations in regards to the COVID situation,” says Sgt. Darren Wright, of the Washington State Patrol. “The WSP continues to use education and engagement as our strategy.”

Oh.

The governor’s office said that out of all those complaints it has sent cease-and-desist letters to only three businesses (a nail salon in Kitsap County, a barbershop in Snohomish County and the Petco pet stores for continuing to run its grooming salons).

… It turned out it hasn’t needed much enforcement, jack-booted or otherwise, because people organically rallied to the larger cause.

Gestapo state? The real story of the ‘tyrannical’ stay-at-home order is that enforcement has been almost nonexistent


Too early to ease up on lockdowns – Yale microbiologist | SophieCo. Visionaries

The world is gradually rolling back lockdown measures, as the coronavirus pandemic shows a faint sign of easing off. We talked about this with Paul Turner, the Rachel Carson professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, and professor of microbiology at Yale School of Medicine.