Usher’s News & Analysis for Aug. 5, 2020

Isaias Spawns Deadly Tornado, Burns Homes in North Carolina, Knocks Out Power to Hundreds of Thousands

Wow! This is shocking, and I don't consider myself naive at all.

When you think about all the fake arguments libertarian and neoliberal capitalists put up against "socialized medicine," you might keep what this next article has to say in mind.

Workers Blow the Whistle on Mass Death

Don't forget, the only reason socialized medicine in England has faced problems is because the greedy have deliberately underfunded it more and more and more. Funding it more was a great deal less expensive then underfunding it and going with private healthcare, but then the greedy didn't get enough of the money. However, the average citizen did get much better care.

A Biden presidency equals no Green New Deal, no enhanced Medicare for All, no federal-jobs guarantee, and no whatever else the corporatist-wing of the Democratic Party vetoes. It also equals a hawkish, pro-military-industrial-complex foreign policy. Yet, we need a Green New Deal at the very least. We also need enhanced Medicare for All at the very least. We certainly need a federal-jobs guarantee AND universal living income. We don't need more war! So, who's Biden but an extension of the Clinton-Obama presidencies?

Obama is the Tony Blair of the Democratic Party. He was a continuation of the Clinton-corporatist presidency.

... Obama’s actual policy agenda was often at odds with the stated values and priorities of his own supporters. Obama championed the corporate-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), for example, and sources involved in the drafting process say it was his direct appeal to Sanders that helped ensure the absence of an anti-TPP plank—which Sanders agreed to for the sake of party unity.

As president, Obama expanded President George W. Bush’s “war on terror,” pushed for an “all of the above” energy policy that did little to prevent climate change, deported record numbers of people, and spent years trying to cut Medicare and Social Security, an ambition that Sanders himself was instrumental in thwarting. Moreover, according to longtime Democratic Party insider and Obama transition official Reed Hundt, it was Obama and his team’s aversion to robust government action in the early days of the 2008 recession—for fear of being labeled “socialist” by the GOP—that ultimately weakened the U.S. economic recovery and helped elect President Donald Trump.
... the appointment of McDonough and Chávez Rodríguez caps off a multi-year effort by Obama to limit Sanders’ influence over the party and ensure Obama’s direction for the party prevails. As one official told Harper’s editor Andrew Cockburn, Obama recruited Perez in 2017 to run for DNC chair to “stop the Sanders wing of the party from taking over.” Perez ran against then-Rep. Keith Ellison (now Minnesota attorney general), a Sanders ally who had received overwhelming party support, including from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other congressional Democratic leaders. Obama personally worked the phones to turn votes away from Ellison and toward Perez.

Ahead of the 2020 primaries, Obama privately threatened to step in and speak out if Sanders appeared poised to run away with the nomination. He also made several well-publicized—if obliquely critical—comments about Sanders’ candidacy and political vision; one even became a debate question suggesting Sanders should step aside because he was old and male. Obama helped convince Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Ind., to suspend his presidential campaign before Super Tuesday to consolidate the centrist vote against Sanders. Obama also reportedly pressured Sanders to suspend his campaign.

The Democratic Platform Fight Shows It’s Still Obama’s Party

If you're not very technical or simply want a browser to do the most common security and privacy work for you without you having to tweak this, that, and the other, you might consider Firefox.

... instead of navigating directly from the review website to the retailer, you end up navigating to the redirect tracker first rather than to the retailer. This means that the tracker is loaded as a first party and therefore is allowed to store cookies. The redirect tracker associates tracking data with the identifiers they have stored in their first-party cookies and then forwards you to the retailer.

Firefox 79 includes protections against redirect tracking

Wearing a mask even if you aren't sure it helps prevent catching and spreading COVID-19 is practicing the precautionary principle. You're either with the precautionary principle or against it. You're either selfish and callus to some degree or not. That's because you definitely don't know right now it doesn't help to wear a mask and there's tons of evidence suggesting (more than suggesting in my view) that masks do help.

With mounting evidence that some COVID-19 survivors face months, or possibly years, of debilitating complications, healthcare experts are beginning to study possible long-term costs.

COVID-19 Signals Billions in Long-Term Healthcare Costs Ahead

... the July 13 early-morning blaze prosecutors say was started in the building’s rear stairwell with jugs of gasoline.

Charges Filed Against Man in Deadly Seattle Apartment Fire

In May 2020, the federal court ruled the law violated the U.S. Constitution by discriminating on the basis of wealth. It also held that requiring the payment of costs and fees violates the 24th Amendment — which prohibits poll taxes — and violates due process principles and the National Voter Registration Act. If the appeals court affirms the lower court’s injunction, it may enable hundreds of thousands of returning citizens to vote in the November election.

Groups Urge Federal Appeals Court to Affirm Wealth-Based Barriers to Voting are Unconstitutional

To Grover Norquist: What should be reduced down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub is idiotic, moronic austerity.

... evidence suggests that current recipients of the bonus do not give up looking for jobs. “The data do not show a relationship between benefit generosity and employment paths after the CARES Act, which could be due to the collapse of labor demand during the Covid-19 crisis,” said co-author and Yale economics professor Joseph Altonji.

The Chicago Federal Reserve found a similar trend, according to recent reporting by Common Dreams, "Those currently collecting benefits search more than twice as intensely as those who have exhausted their benefits."

Republicans seem not to consider that for many workers a job is more than just a way of making money ....

Republican Senators Commit Political Suicide by Holding Up Stimulus in Election Year

... Trump himself is an interesting character. Because if you remember, he was the most moderate of the Republican candidates when he was running. So he had the racism and the sexism down. But a lot of people who might have liked or might even have not liked the racism and the sexism loved the idea he was gonna make taxes fairer. He was gonna create a better health care system. He was gonna make wealthier people pay more. He was gonna promote infrastructure. All those things that went by the board. He’s put movement conservatism on steroids. And his platform in 2016 was stunning. It was William F. Buckley Jr.’s wish list, or Goldwater’s wish list. And a narrative that, by the way, has taken off, and been extraordinarily strong since the rise of Reagan.

He definitely panders to the racists, and he's going to lose for that and other good reasons if he doesn't do a complete about-face.

Oligarchy and Democracy From the Civil War to the Present

Money, money, money ...

It is unclear why Gilead and federal scientists have not been pursuing GS-441524 as aggressively as remdesivir, but the answer may be found in the corporation’s patent holdings, the letter said. Gilead holds patents on both agents, but the earliest patent approval date on remdesivir is 2015, whereas the earliest on GS-441524 is 2010. As a result, the corporation’s monopoly over remdesivir may last five years longer than that for GS-441524, allowing Gilead to make substantially greater profits from the sale of remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment.
Public Citizen and the scientists are asking Gilead and HHS either to work collaboratively to promptly pursue the development of GS-441524 as a treatment for COVID-19 or to publicly explain and provide evidence as to why doing so is not scientifically or medically feasible. They further request that if Gilead is still unwilling to pursue investigation and development of GS-441524, the corporation should immediately permit federal and academic scientists to do so.

Public Citizen, Scientists: Gilead and Federal Scientists Have Neglected a Potentially Promising COVID-19 Antiviral Drug

“Our pesticide rules were established to get products quickly to market, not to protect workers, families or the environment,” says Kristin Schafer, Executive Director of Pesticide Action Network (PAN). “Other countries have managed to stand up to pesticide industry pressure, follow the science and put measures in place that prioritize public health and the environment — while maintaining agricultural productivity. It’s high time we caught up, and this bill is a good first step.”

Each year the U.S. uses over one billion pounds of pesticides — nearly a fifth of worldwide usage — and use levels are rising.

The current pesticide law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act of 1972 (“FIFRA”) contains many provisions that prioritize pesticide industry interests above the health and safety of people and our environment. For example once approved, pesticides often remain on the market for decades, even when scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows harm to people or the environment.

Senator Udall Introduces “Long Overdue” Legislation to Overhaul U.S. Pesticide Rules

Assange wasn't, and isn't, a political Zionist. He didn't realize just how big a deal that was at the NYT and Guardian. Assange also wouldn't work with the CIA. The NYT would and knew Julian would not. They were on opposite sides.

‘They Should Be In Jail’: How The Guardian and New York Times ‘Set Up’ Julian Assange

Okay, so I'm a lefty, physically and politically; however, FOX is right on this, and CNN is flat wrong.

'Don’t speak for me': Yale doctor battles CNN anchor over effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine

Why does CNN take the wrong side? Well, it's not all because Trump ever said a nice word about hydroxychloroquine. It's actually more about being the mouth piece for vaccine manufacturers. FOX doesn't want a Biden administration, and FOX doesn't trust that really good science is behind all the vaccines anyway.

I've always said that it's a very bad idea to attempt to remove any elected official based upon false premises.

“Blood-Chilling” or Just A Tweet? Debunking The Coup d’Trump – JONATHAN TURLEY

Rents Swoon in San Francisco, Other Expensive Cities, TX-OK Oil Patch Y/Y. But 23 Cities with Double-Digit Rent Increases

I remember when you could almost buy rentals in Ohio for pennies on the dollar. Of course, you had to pay the insurance, taxes, and fix-up/maintenance while waiting for tenants. Those who did have done did well financially. However, will COVID-19 unemployment sink their tenants?

Anarchists aren't the only anti-fascists, and not all anti-fascists are militant instigators. Also, the YPG is not an anarchist organization. The YPG is self-styled socialist: dictatorship-of-the-proletariat leaning, which is for an anti-democratic state on its face. However, ideologically, they beat al Qaeda and IS hands down.

Krystal Ball: TrueAnon Host TARGETED By Trump DHS In Bid To Hunt ANTIFA Like Terrorists

Krystal Ball details new reporting by The Nation's Ken Klippenstein that exposes efforts to "target left activists and quash their constitutional rights."

Just because the Trump administration is inept is no reason to rah-rah Mao and Xi of China.

It’s easy for people outside China to view the Communist Party as a throwback to Soviet times, which, in many ways, it is.

It runs China as a one-party state with no opposition allowed, and heavily censors the Internet, making it difficult to access information that doesn’t fit the official narrative. ...
... “But one of the most striking things about the CCP under Xi is that it is, in fact, becoming more of an elite. In other words, it is getting harder to be admitted as a member.”

Trump views China’s Communist Party as a threat. Young Chinese see it as a ticket to a better future.

If they aren't allowed anything else, then what should anyone expect? They're, of course, going to see it as a ticket to a better (selfish) future. They're brainwashed regardless.

Someone's been listening, but they still don't get it.

Republican lawmakers, alarmed at the prospect of a nationwide wave of evictions as the coronavirus batters the U.S. three months before the election, are starting to back the move to provide rental assistance to tenants.

They want to micro-target every penny when what we really need is sweeping economic stimulus.

GOP lawmakers embrace tenant protection as mass evictions loom