The New York Times is using the 2016 playbook again and it didn't work last time.
Some people never learn, and the American people really don't care about Trump's taxes when they are in such economic misery.
I'm told the New York Times report immediately scrambled the equation and stakes of the first debate to be held on Tuesday night, the biggest one yet for Joe Biden with a rush of comparisons on Twitter from the Wa$hington Compo$t.
Boston-area tax experts described them as ‘disgusting,’ and we where all doing $o well before the forced COVID cri$i$ and $cam:
"US household wealth rose before the pandemic, but inequality persisted" by Jeanna Smialek New York Times, September 28, 2020
Families were making gains in income and net worth in the three years leading up to the pandemic, according to Federal Reserve data released on Monday, but wealth inequality remained stubbornly high.
If the data is true and not skewed, it meant Trump would have been unbeatable and win in a landslide were it not for COVID.
Median household net worth climbed by 18 percent between 2016 and 2019, the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances showed, as median income increased by 5 percent. The survey, which began in 1989, is released every three years and is the gold standard in data about the financial circumstances of US households. It offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive snapshot of everything from savings to stock ownership across demographic groups.
The figures tell a story of improving personal finances fueled by income gains, the legacy of the longest economic expansion on record that had pushed the unemployment rate to a half-century low and bolstered wages for those earning the least, yet despite the progress, massive gaps persisted — the share of wealth owned by the top 1 percent of households was still near a three-decade high.
Americans are willing to tolerate that as long as their station is better; however, the forced shutdowns in favor of the Great Re$et has devastated everyone while enormously enriching that 1 percent bracket.
Nearly all of the data in the 2019 survey were collected before the onset of the coronavirus. Economists worry that progress for disadvantaged workers has probably reversed in recent months as the pandemic-related shutdowns threw millions of people out of work. The crisis has especially cost minority and less-educated employees, who are more likely to work in high-interaction jobs at restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. Many economists expect the crisis to worsen inequality as lower earners fare the worst.
“The economic downturn has not fallen equally on all Americans and those least able to shoulder the burden have been hardest hit,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said at a news conference earlier this month. “In particular, the high level of joblessness has been especially severe for lower-wage workers in the services sector, for women and for African Americans and Hispanics.”
The newly released 2019 data suggest that families with lower pretax incomes were catching up to their richer counterparts between 2016 and 2019. Families with high wealth, college educations, and those who identified as white and non-Hispanic — who all have higher incomes — enjoyed comparatively smaller earnings growth over the period, the Fed said.
Even so, inequality in both income and wealth remained high.
Trump's economy was doing great, and people were partying and having fun.
That's all over now.
Since the survey started, families in the top 1 percent of the income distribution have gradually taken home a bigger share of the nation’s income while the share of the lower 90 percent of earners has gradually fallen. The bottom 90 percent’s income share increased slightly in 2019 — reversing a decadelong decline — but a Fed report on the data noted that the rebound happened from record lows and only took the group back to roughly its share from 2010 to 2013.
Affluent families have held a growing share of the nation’s wealth over recent decades, and they retained that advantage as of 2019. In 1989, the top 1 percent of wealth holders held about 30 percent of the nation’s net worth, but that had jumped to nearly 40 percent in 2016 and was little changed in the latest survey, Fed economists said.
That means the wealth gap increased even under Saint Obama.
Families in the bottom half of the wealth distribution held just 2 percent of the nation’s wealth in 2019, the Fed data and a related report showed.
The wealth measure does not include defined benefit pension plans and Social Security benefits, which are hard to value. An augmented measure that incorporates pension plans still shows that wealth at the top has still risen, but by less, according to a Fed report.
The concern now is that inequality — especially in income, which derives heavily from wages — could increase again as workers at the bottom lose jobs.
The unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in August, according to the Labor Department, but the rate was 13 percent for Black people. Likewise, the jobless rate for those with less than a high school diploma was more than twice that for adults with a bachelor’s degree or more.
It's always a race, gender, or some other issue when it comes to the cla$$ divide in my pre$$.
Now get out there and $hop this holiday $eason:
"Amazon’s Pandemic Prime Day Adds to Retailers' Scary October" by Sarah Halzack, Bloomberg News September 28, 2020
Most years, the end of the retail industry’s sales calendar is defined by a tidy succession of seasonal events: back-to-school, Halloween and Christmas. With the pandemic, this isn’t an ordinary year. The result? Those shopping rituals are poised to converge into a super season of sorts in October, creating a tricky balancing act that is bound to trip up some retailers.
Back-to-school shopping usually crests in August, but it got off to a slow start this year amid uncertainty around whether learning would be virtual or in-person. Adding to the mix, the industry is preparing for an unusually early start to Christmas shopping, on the theory that people will want to get a jump on their gift-buying — or can be persuaded to do so — to avoid being shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow shoppers in December, and there’s more. In the middle of the weird blurring of seasons, Amazon.com Inc. is set to hold its annual Prime Day deals bonanza. The event, usually held in July, was postponed as the e-commerce giant adjusted to an onslaught of pandemic-related demand. Amazon announced on Monday that it will kick off the sale on Oct. 13. Retailers recently have sought to piggyback on Amazon’s mega-sale with discount blitzes of their own, but given that the timing of this year’s sale had been up in the air for so long, rivals haven’t had much ability to plan around it. They’ll need to scramble now.
All of this makes for a merchandising and marketing nightmare. It’s not just that these shopping events are colliding, it’s that consumers will be approaching them differently this year. Halloween spending is expected to drop to $8.05 billion from $8.78 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation, as fewer people attend parties or trick-or-treat. Meanwhile, Children’s Place Inc. reduced orders for dressy kids’ clothes for the fourth quarter, assuming they won’t be hot items amid a dearth of big holiday get-togethers.
Even as many retailers gird for an early start to the holiday gift-buying season, there’s a fair chance the opposite happens. With so many Americans out of work, and uncertainty about how safe a large gathering will feel in December, I see good reason to delay holiday shopping, much as people have done with back-to-school spending.
I won't be doing any holiday shopping this year. I will be regifting if anything.
Who is going to want to celebrate 2020 or spend a damn dime after the COVID hoax ruined life?
If Santa really does get to work in October and sales start to take off then, industry watchers will find it difficult to even assess how this year’s gifting spree compares to expectations or to results in previous seasons.
Now they insult us with the Santa myth.
When one examines it closely in light of the current political climate, the guy turns out to be a pedophile (kisses from little kids on his lap, huh?) as well a slave driver (it's a non-union shop) and user (only comes to Rudolph when he needs something).
Btw, the chimney bit is a B&E charge at the very least and what is with the sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake bit? Must be part of the Five Eyes surveillance system.
Retailers can take some comfort in the fact that consumers still appear hesitant to spend money on traveling and have few options for buying items such as sports tickets, leaving room in their budgets to spend at stores. Still, October is shaping up to be an unusually messy month, one that is bound to leave many in the industry with too much or too little inventory and frustrated customers.....
Trump is in for one hell of a $urpri$e next month.
It's the la$t card they have to play.
See ya' in court:
"Trump isn’t just picking conservatives for the courts. He’s picking young conservatives like Amy Coney Barrett" by Jazmine Ulloa Globe Staff, September 27, 2020
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is not just a conservative, she’s a relatively young conservative.
At 48, Barrett is the youngest person to be nominated to the nation’s highest court since Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 and she exemplifies President Trump’s push to seed the federal judiciary with judges who could still be handing down rulings into the second half of the century.
The federal appellate judge cut a youthful figure on Saturday as she entered the White House Rose Garden with her husband and seven children, including two adopted from Haiti and her youngest son with Down syndrome.
“If confirmed, Justice Barrett will make history as the first mother of school-aged children ever to serve on the US Supreme Court,” Trump said in introducing his nominee.
Recent Republican presidents have sought to place young conservatives on the federal bench in hopes that they will have longer staying power and impact, but none has gone as far as Trump: A study from the Brookings Institution think tank found the median age of his appellate court picks— 48.2 years old — has been the lowest of any president in six decades through the first three years of a presidency. Some nominees have been as young as their early 30s.
“Long after Trump is out of Washington and wherever he is, he will still be having influence,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond who has studied the judicial selection process.
Trump has left his most lasting mark on the federal courts of appeals, the level just below the Supreme Court; his 50 appointments are more than any of his predecessors in their first three years since the mid-20th century, and he filled all 17 vacancies at the start of his term. The median ages of court of appeals appointees have been on an uneven decline since the 1960s and 70s, when they were in their mid-50s through the first three years of a president’s term. The median ages of Trump’s court of appeals appointees have been nine years younger than the median age of those appointed by Barack Obama through his first three years and nearly five years younger than those over his entire presidency, according to the Brookings analysis.
“It’s not as if he’s appointing a bunch of 20-years-olds,” said Russell Wheeler, the Brookings researcher who authored the study. “That is not a huge difference, but it will make some difference.”
Trump’s pledge to stack the Supreme Court and lower courts with rightward-leaning judges mobilized support for his 2016 presidential run, even among Republicans who had concerns about his other policies and personal behavior. He has touted the historic number of judicial nominees confirmed under his administration — 216 so far, about a quarter of all active judges in the three main federal court tiers.
As his administration has been mired in a pandemic, an economic collapse, and protests over police violence against Black Americans, Trump has again sought to make the judiciary a central issue to his campaign.
Lawyers and legal experts cautioned that the impact of his appointments could be overstated. Still, recent changes in Senate procedure have increased the conservative composition of the appellate judiciary, and more than any other president, Trump has explicitly searched for nominees with clear conservative records and who have more openly worked on causes championed by Republicans, such as abortion, leaving little room for doubt about which way they will sway on major cases. Many have been affiliated with the Federalist Society, the nation’s largest group of conservative legal activists that was once on the fringe.
Trump’s judicial picks also have tended to be white and male, legal experts said.
“They are very young and very conservative,” Tobias said. “If you game it out, they will serve for three, four decades in these courts that make policy by resolving high-profile disputes — these are disputes that touch people’s rights. These are the issues people care about.”
For many Republicans, this is the moment they have waited for since President Nixon campaigned against the liberal court of Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren in the late 1960s, calling for law-and-order justices who would abide by a strict interpretation of the Constitution. Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative advocacy group, looked to that long-lasting impact of Trump’s appointments with excitement, saying he has greatly expanded the pool for future Supreme Court picks, but Trump’s overhaul of the judiciary, made possible in great part because Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell blocked President Obama from filling many vacancies, could lead to a dramatic scale-back of civil rights.
If Barrett, a federal appellate judge, is confirmed as expected to replace liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she would create a solid 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Some of Trump’s picks on lower courts have been so young they have drawn complaints of inexperience. Ten have received a "not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association for failing to meet the group’s requirements of their judgeships. Among them was Justin Walker, 37. The Senate confirmed him last year to the US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, though he was less than a decade out of law school and had not tried a case or ever served as co-counsel.
In May, just six months after he became a judge, Walker was nominated by Trump for a seat on the influential federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. Called a McConnell protégé, Walker was narrowly confirmed over Democratic objections and is now in line for a nomination to the Supreme Court.
Judicial appointments are even more consequential because federal appellate judges rarely leave their lifetime posts and are difficult to impeach, said Amy Steigerwalt, a political science professor at Georgia State University who has researched the appointment process.
“Every other policy making decision or policy making opportunity that presidents have can be overturned by the next president,” she said. “You can’t overturn a judge.”
You can impeach them, though.
"With nominee set, Senate Republicans plot swift Supreme Court confirmation; In 244 years, no justice has ever been confirmed so close to an election" by Nicholas Fandos New York Times, September 27, 2020
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans began a furious sprint Sunday to install President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, before an election just 37 days away, laying the groundwork for an extraordinarily swift and politically divisive confirmation battle.
Their confidence mounting that they could hold together a narrow majority over the objections of outraged Democrats, Republicans were planning one of the fastest confirmation processes in recent decades. It could play out in a little more than half the time of the average recent nomination to the court and set a new precedent: In 244 years, no justice has ever been confirmed so close to an election.
White House officials were already arranging for Barrett to begin making the rounds on Capitol Hill beginning Tuesday, and Republicans planned to hold four days of nationally televised public hearings the week of Oct. 12. They are aiming for a vote on the Senate floor by late October, just days before the election Nov. 3 and in time for her to be seated before any postelection legal challenges to the vote and a consequential hearing on the looming challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, had not yet publicly committed to a pre-election vote, out of concern that with such a compressed timeline and slim voting majority, any contingency could make it impossible, but with the possibility of a 6-3 conservative majority in reach — which could reshape abortion rights, immigration law, and much more — Republicans were quickly uniting with nearly monolithic support.
Their ambitious timetable began in earnest Saturday when Trump presented Barrett, a federal appeals court judge in Chicago and favorite of conservative Christians and antiabortion activists, as his choice to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died this month at 87.
Republicans heaped praise on Barrett, 48, comparing her, somewhat incongruently, both to Ginsburg, a pioneering advocate of women’s rights, and Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative legal icon for whom Barrett once clerked.
Trump and Senate Republicans were taking on significant political risk at a time when they were already lagging behind their Democratic challengers. A group of new polls released Sunday, including by The New York Times and Siena College, found a clear majority of voters believe the winner of the presidential election should fill the seat, and Barrett’s nearly uniform support for conservative positions — many of them unpopular — will stoke heated debates over abortion rights, health care and gay rights that could alienate swing voters, even if it rallies the Republican base.
Democrats, resigned to their inability to stop Barrett, focused instead on extracting the maximum political benefit from the fight over her confirmation. Senate Republicans have largely tried to steer clear of [the health care] issue they see as a political liability, but not Trump, who said on Twitter on Sunday that if the court “terminated” the law, it would be “a big WIN for the USA.” He promised to replace it with “a MUCH better, and FAR cheaper, alternative,” but so far the president has offered only a vague and symbolic plan.....
"A clear majority of voters believes the winner of the presidential election should fill the Supreme Court seat left open by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, according to a national poll conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, a sign of the political peril President Trump and Senate Republicans are courting by attempting to rush through an appointment before the end of the campaign. In a survey of likely voters taken in the week leading up to Mr. Trump’s nomination on Saturday of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court, 56 percent said they preferred to have the election act as a sort of referendum on the vacancy. Only 41 percent said they wanted Mr. Trump to choose a justice before November. More striking, the voters Mr. Trump and endangered Senate Republicans must reclaim to close the gap in the polls are even more opposed to a hasty pick: 62 percent of women, 63 percent of independents and 60 percent of college-educated white voters said they wanted the winner of the campaign to fill the seat. Mr. Biden is leading Mr. Trump, 49 percent to 41 percent, the Times survey shows. The poll had a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points....."
It's now an existential crisis for Roe v. Wade, and Trump is hoping female voters will like his pick of Amy Coney Barrett, but the president’s instincts about the female mind have been wrong before. That's the cost of running for office: the possibility of a self-proclaimed white nationalist being thrown from a waterfall.
That last part can only help Trump.
"Less than six weeks before the election, the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has injected fresh urgency into an issue that had dropped down the list of voter priorities this year: the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on Nov. 10 in a case, which the Trump administration has filed briefs supporting, that seeks to overturn the law. Mr. Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett, who has criticized the court’s 2012 decision to uphold it, increases the chance of that happening. Liberal advocacy groups are using the prospect to whip up new advertisements declaring that President Trump “wants to rush a justice onto the court who will repeal our health care,” as one says. Even if Democrats have little chance of blocking Judge Barrett’s confirmation, they are hoping to reignite the public passion to protect the law that helped Democrats recapture the House in 2018, a year after Republicans in Congress came close to repealing it. This time, party leaders are quick to point out, the election is coming amid a pandemic that has left many Americans requiring expensive medical care, including for potentially long-term health problems that insurers could refuse to cover if the law and its protections with people for pre-existing conditions were repealed....."
"With most voters already firmly in Mr. Trump’s or Mr. Biden’s camp — and the election a referendum on Mr. Trump more than any one issue — it is not clear how much the court vacancy will change the equation, even around the margins, but Democrats are not alone in seeing the vacancy as a potential flame to reignite fervor for protecting the law and especially its most popular provision: protecting people with pre-existing conditions from getting charged more or rejected by insurance companies. Mr. Trump on Thursday devoted a speech in North Carolina to the subject, leaning into a much-repeated promise to continue protections for people with pre-existing conditions by issuing an executive order, a largely symbolic document that does not have the teeth of legislation. People priced out of coverage by the law cannot benefit from those protections anyway, his aides told reporters on a briefing call before the speech. That argument should resonate with people like Rafael Gonzalez, an independent voter who owns a small landscaping company in Miami. At 53, he is uninsured after deciding he could not afford the $700 monthly premiums for the plans available to him under the law. He does not qualify for federal subsidies to offset the cost because his income is over the cutoff, making him just the type of voter whom Trump health officials are targeting when they point out that the Affordable Care Act protections are meaningless to people who can’t afford to buy insurance, yet Mr. Gonzalez is leaning toward supporting Mr. Biden, not least because he does not want the law to be completely wiped out. “Maybe Obamacare is not perfect, but it’s only a start,” Mr. Gonzalez said in an interview this week. “Trump is trying to terminate Obamacare, but he hasn’t shown another plan. He does not inspire any confidence in me.” In North Carolina, one of the most hotly contested states in the presidential race, another undecided voter, Taft Turner, 59, of Greensboro, said the court vacancy made him more likely to choose Mr. Biden over a third-party candidate. He had already ruled out Mr. Trump and has been wavering on Mr. Biden, he said, in part because as a Black man he felt let down by both major parties. “That seat concerns me a great deal,” said Mr. Turner, a cancer survivor, adding of the possibility of the court overturning the law, “What’s important enough to gain by doing something that would harm so many people?” Democrats are intent on using the A.C.A. to gain advantage in Senate races across the country, especially against vulnerable Republican incumbents like Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Martha McSally in Arizona and Cory Gardner in Colorado — who has run an ad promising to protect pre-existing conditions even though he voted in 2017 to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Protect Our Care, a liberal advocacy group focused on preserving the health law, is preparing to run television ads in all three incumbents’ states warning that they want “to rush a justice onto the court who will repeal our health care,” after digital ads this week. Similar ads are running against Republican senators in tighter-than-expected races in Alaska, Iowa, Georgia, Montana, South Carolina and Texas. Winning both the White House and the Senate, where Republicans currently hold a three-seat majority, could allow Democrats to fix the law in a way that might help save it from being overturned by the Supreme Court, by reinstating a financial penalty for people who go without health insurance. The crux of the legal case is that when Congress zeroed out the penalty in 2017, the law’s requirement that most Americans have insurance became unconstitutional, and that without that mandate the rest of the law could not stand. The issue of the health law aside, Joel White, a Republican strategist, said he thought the court vacancy would actually help Republicans in tight Senate races “where their base is looking for a reason to be excited,” and in conservative states like Georgia and Montana, “by motivating partisans.” More important, he said, the vacancy could galvanize evangelical voters who may otherwise have been reluctant to vote for Mr. Trump. James DiPaolo, an independent voter in Jacksonville, Fla., said he had been considering voting for Mr. Biden — even though he dislikes the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance plans offer comprehensive coverage, which can make them more expensive — because Mr. Trump “says things that are atrocious,” but the court vacancy he said, has changed his calculation because he is a devout Catholic and “big fan” of Judge Barrett. “Her being a woman of faith, that’s important to me,” Mr. DiPaolo, 36, said of Judge Barrett, who is also Catholic. Mr. DiPaolo did point to one piece of the health law that he strongly supports: its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. His grandfather had diabetes, as does his father, he said, adding, “I’m hoping it skips me but I don’t know, so I think protections for that are key.” He did not connect a vote for Mr. Trump with the possibility of losing those protections. “I don’t see him getting rid of that,” he said....."
I stand by my comments regarding the timing of her death.
She was kept on ice for maximum political gain for the reasons mentioned above.
It's a different Democratic Party now, one that is courting Latinx voters and needs immigrants with temporary protected status to stay so they can vote for Democrats as Trump takes an increasingly sizable chunk from them. Latinos in this country have had bad experiences with socialists.
"Post-ABC poll: Biden maintains lead over Trump; A sizable gender gap continues to keep the Democrat ahead" by Dan Balz and Emily Guskin The Washington Post, September 27, 2020
After two political conventions, the continuing spread of the coronavirus, economic dislocation, more racial upheaval, and a coming battle over a Supreme Court vacancy, the race for the White House remains stable, with former vice president Joe Biden holding a steady advantage over President Trump, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Biden and vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris of California lead Trump and Vice President Mike Pence by 53 percent to 43 percent among registered voters, statistically unchanged from the 12-point margin in a poll taken in August just before Democrats and Republicans held their conventions. Biden and Harris also have a 10-point advantage among likely voters, 54 percent to 44 percent.
Biden’s lead narrows to six points among likely voters (49 percent to 43 percent) and among registered voters (47 percent to 41 percent) when Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins are included as response options in the survey.
A sizable gender gap continues to fuel Biden’s lead, with women making the difference in the current state of the race. Trump has a lead of 55 percent to 42 percent among male likely voters, but Biden has an even larger 65 percent to 34 percent advantage among female likely voters. Trump’s lead among men is about the same as his margin over Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Biden’s lead among women is more than twice as large as Clinton’s was then.
Biden’s current overall lead is slightly larger than the Post average of national polls over the past few weeks, which finds Biden leading by eight points nationally. National polling reflects only the potential popular vote for president and is not a direct indicator of the state-by-state competition for electoral votes that determines the winner. Further complicating any comparison, the Libertarian candidate will be on all state ballots, but the Green candidate will not.
Post-ABC polls released during the week found very tight races in Florida and Arizona, while polls the previous week found Biden with a slight lead in Wisconsin and a large lead in Minnesota. Averages of battleground-state polls generally find a closer race than in the country overall, a sign of Trump's continued competitiveness.
Interest in the election has climbed to near-record levels, with nearly 6 in 10 registered voters saying they are following the election "very closely," higher than any in other presidential election at this time in the cycle dating back to 2000.
The number who say they are certain to vote also appears to be marginally higher than in previous elections. Enthusiasm among Trump supporters is higher than among Biden supporters, a pattern that has been seen throughout this election year.
Despite lacking fervor for Biden, the former vice president’s supporters are intensely concerned about Trump winning a second term, with a 70 percent majority of Biden voters saying Trump’s reelection would be “a crisis for the country.”
The poll was conducted after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but before Trump’s Saturday nomination of federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court, but it finds that 64 percent of Biden supporters say the court vacancy makes it “more important” that he win the election, compared with 37 percent of Trump supporters who say the same about their candidate.....
If Biden loses you know who will be blamed:
"Boston FBI warns voters not to be duped by foreign election misinformation" by Martin Finucane Globe Staff, September 28, 2020
With the election season in full swing, the FBI in Boston is warning residents not to get duped by foreign adversaries seeking to tamper with the US elections.
The FBI is recommending that people be wary of misinformation on social media and asking people to rely on state and local government officials for information on how to vote in the Nov. 3 election.
“Foreign adversaries are counting on you to blindly share their propaganda and lies, and we need you to help us protect your voices and ultimately your votes by making informed decisions about what you view, read, and share on social media,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in a statement.
It's the pre$$ pushing propaganda and lies.
“Anyone who remotely uses social media has a significant role to play to mitigate this threat,” Bonavolonta said in a telephone interview. “Everyone should always be asking where does this information originate from? Who is this person whose beliefs and writings that I’m not only looking at but maybe looking to disseminate?"
I ask that every morning when I'm reading a Globe.
Bonavolonta, whose office covers Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island, said similar warnings were being issued by FBI offices across the country. The FBI is inviting people to report suspicious activity to the social media platforms themselves or to the FBI. People can call the FBI’s Boston office or send e-mail.
He said the United States’s foreign adversaries, “specifically Russia, China, and to a different extent, Iran" are well versed in misinformation campaigns and “these foreign adversaries have been able to sow discord so much more quickly . . . simply because of the breadth and the scope of what social media has become.”
“What they try to do is leverage the breadth and scope of social media to pick and choose certain types of preexisting rifts or divisions" in American society and then “amplify them to the point where it can potentially cause people to have doubt about our American political process or our democratic institutions,” he said.
These guys are jokes when it is our own (Zioni$t) media doing that, not the Russians or anyone else. Social division is key to the Great Re$et, too.
He said people should also make sure they are going to official government websites when they are searching for information such as voting times and polling places, as well as who won and who lost the election.
The FBI office also warned of the latest advance in misinformation: “deep fakes,” extremely realistic faked audio and video.
“ ‘Deep fakes’ may be able to elicit a range of responses which can compromise election security. The FBI has been working with the private sector to get ahead of this issue,” the office said in a statement.
Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections. One of its tactics was to wage an “information warfare campaign designed to spread disinformation and societal division in the United States,” a Senate Intelligence Committee report said. Russian operatives interacted with and attempted to deceive tens of millions of social media users in the United States, the report said.
Now Russia is at it again, according to the FBI.
Russia is seeking to denigrate former vice president Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, primarily by using social media and influence operations, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned earlier this month.
Russia is carrying out efforts to sow discord in the United States — primarily to hurt Biden — because Moscow views him as part of an anti-Russian American establishment, Wray told lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee, The Washington Post reported.
The FBI is also moving “to confront malign foreign operations of China, Iran, and other global adversaries,” Wray said.
They are for Biden so it is not as serious.
The Wa$hington Compo$t piece was brought to me via Microsoft, and no interference there as the postal union is in Biden's pocket.
That makes it a "public $ervice" all right as a major obstacle lies ahead for many voters to be able to mail in their ballot for the general election.
"A judge is refusing to block a new Republican-backed Iowa law that makes it harder for county officials to process absentee ballot applications and more likely that incomplete requests won't be fulfilled. In an opinion dated Friday and released Monday, Judge Lars Anderson rejected arguments by a Latino civil rights organization and a Democratic Party group that the law is an undue burden on the fundamental right to vote. The ruling is another victory for Republicans who want to limit absentee voting, which begins next week in Iowa. The Trump campaign and Republican Party groups have already invalidated tens of thousands of absentee ballot applications returned by voters in three counties....."
So Trump wins Iowa while losing Ohio.
He will be tested like never before:
"Feds to Ship Millions of Tests in Bid to Reopen K-12 Schools; President Donald Trump has announced the shipment of millions of rapid coronavirus tests to states this week" by Matthew Perrone and Kevin Freking, Associated Press, Sept. 28, 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Monday that the federal government will begin distributing millions of rapid coronavirus tests to states this week and urged governors to use them to reopen schools for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The move to vastly expand U.S. testing comes as confirmed new COVID-19 cases remain elevated at more than 40,000 per day and experts warn of a likely surge in infections during the colder months ahead. It also comes just five weeks before the November election, with Trump facing continued criticism for his handling of the crisis.
The tests will go out to states based on their population and can be used as governors see fit, but the Trump administration is encouraging states to place a priority on schools. White House officials said at a Rose Garden event that 6.5 million tests will go out this week and that a total of 100 million tests will be distributed to governors over the next several weeks.
Officials said the administration is emphasizing testing in schools because it’s important to the physical, social and emotional development of students to be back in classrooms to the degree that’s possible. The Abbott Laboratories tests would allow parents to know whether their symptomatic child has COVID-19. In some cases, states could undertake some baseline surveillance, like testing a proportion of students per week or per month to make sure that the incidence of COVID-19 is low.
Keep your kids home.
“You have too many states that are locked down right now,” Trump said. “The governors are ... nobody knows what the governors are doing actually.”
The tests will come from a previously announced supply of 150 million ordered from Abbott. The company's rapid test, the size of a credit card, is the first that does not require specialty computer equipment to process. It delivers results in about 15 minutes.
Rapid, convenient testing is considered essential to reopening the U.S. economy, but the effort has been plagued by problems since the earliest days of the outbreak.
This fraud has gone on far enough. The tests are bogus.
First, the government lost pivotal weeks distributing, then correcting a flawed test developed by U.S. scientists. Then, for months private labs and hospitals struggled to ramp up testing capacity due to shortages of key supplies, including testing chemicals.
The flawed tests actually had flu on them, folks.
The issue is politically sensitive for Trump as he grapples with the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans. Only in the last two months has U.S. testing capacity generally exceeded demand. The government’s top testing official, Adm. Brett Giroir, told Congress last week that the nation will soon have the capacity to run 3 million tests per day, on average. The U.S. has been averaging about 900,000 tests per day, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
Giroir demonstrated the ease with which the test is given, self-administering the nasal swab then placing it on a piece of paper that contained six drops of liquid. “This is a very sophisticated little piece of cardboard with lots of antibodies and incredible technology," he said.
Abbott’s test is an important advance because of its low cost and easy-to-use format. Until now, the vast majority of coronavirus tests had to be sent to high-grade medical laboratories for processing that typically took several days. Backlogs led to repeated delays in reporting results, especially during a summer spike in cases, but rapid, point-of-care tests like Abbott's have their own downsides. They are less accurate, and positive results often need to be confirmed with higher-grade lab tests. Additionally, because the tests are often performed outside the health care system, state officials have warned that many tests are going unreported. That could lead to undercounts of new cases, skewing government data needed to track the virus.
They are testing me with all the BS.
The tests from Abbott are being made in two factories, one in Illinois and one in Maine. The company is in a ramping-up phase. The federal government bought the first 150 million, and it will take the rest of the year to completely fill that order. After that, the administration will decide whether the government should purchase more or whether the free market can determine adequate distribution.
The nonprofit Rockefeller Foundation says the U.S. will need roughly 200 million tests per month to safely reopen schools as part of a broader phased approach to easing restrictions, according to a paper issued earlier this month. The report authors noted that the U.S. is currently averaging fewer than 30 million tests per month. Despite the gap, Rockefeller's director, Dr. Jonathan Quick, called Monday’s announcement “an exciting and very significant step.” He added that states will need sustained funding and testing supplies “for the foreseeable future.”
Ah, those of the Lockstep scenarios from 10 years ago.
How prophetic, huh?
Btw, a World Bank document stated that this project is slated to be completed in March 2025.
The Trump administration announced earlier this month that the Abbott tests would also go to assisted-living facilities, moving to fill a testing gap for older adults who do not need the constant attention of a nursing home. Senior day care centers and home health agencies are getting the tests too.
Long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living, account for a sliver of the U.S. population but more than 40% of deaths from COVID-19.....
It was a criminal culling, folks.
As usual, foreign policy is nearly absent from the debate:
"The United States has told the Iraqi government and its diplomatic partners that it’s planning a full withdrawal from its embassy in Baghdad unless Iraq reins in attacks on personnel linked to the American presence there - a move that Iraqi officials said caught them by surprise. "We hope the American administration will reconsider it," Ahmed Mulla Talal, a spokesman for Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, said Sunday. "There are outlaw groups that try to shake this relationship, and closing the embassy would send a negative message to them." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Kadhimi of the plans Saturday night, according to an official familiar with the matter. It was unclear Sunday whether the White House had signed off on a possible departure and what might prompt the Trump administration to shelve the plan. If the administration moves forward, closing the embassy is expected to take 90 days, a window that would give Washington the opportunity to reassess the decision, said a diplomat familiar with the situation. Seventeen years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the Baghdad embassy has grown to become one of America's largest diplomatic outposts in the world. It was unclear Sunday whether the decision to pull out might still be reversed if Kadhimi's government is able to better protect Western diplomatic and military personnel....."
We aren't leaving. That is threat to get Kadhimi to be more compliant.
Hey, down in front!
"Fighting that was reported to be fierce broke out on Sunday between Azerbaijan and Armenia and quickly escalated, with the two sides claiming action with artillery, helicopter and tanks along a disputed border. The military action centered on the breakaway province of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian separatist enclave in Azerbaijan. Ethnic tensions and historical grievances in the mountainous area north of Turkey and Iran have made kindling for conflict for decades. The fighting on Sunday, however, was reportedly more severe than the typical periodic border skirmishes, and both governments used military language describing the events as war....." “Horrible news” from the Caucasus, Thomas de Waal, a senior fellow with Carnegie Europe, wrote on Twitter. The fighting was “already a small war.”
The situation is alarming because prophecy says that is where WWIII will begin.
"Russia expects a long and gradual revival of the oil market after the pandemic this year crushed energy demand across the world. “The recovery won’t be fast, it will take quite a while before the pre-crisis levels can be reached,” Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Sunday. In 2020, on the back of coronavirus lockdowns, global oil demand is set to decline by as much as 10% compared to last year, he said in his address to a two-day online meeting of G-20 energy ministers. The recent rebound in the oil market has stalled as fuel consumption remains weak in the U.S., while several European governments have reintroduced measures to keep a lid on the coronavirus. At the same time, the market is struggling to absorb returning supply. Oil traders have reported a sharp increase in Iraqi exports for next month, while output from Libya has shown signs of rising as its civil war abates. OPEC+, which includes Russia, indicated earlier this month that it stands ready to take preventive action, if needed, to balance the market....."
I hope our soldiers are up to it:
"Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked as service members struggle under COVID-19, war-zone deployments, national disasters and civil unrest. While the data is incomplete and causes of suicide are complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already strained force, and senior Army leaders — who say they’ve seen about a 30% jump in active duty suicides so far this year — told The Associated Press that they are looking at shortening combat deployments....."
Could we be looking at a DRAFT like that of the Vietnam era?
Is that why Americans were put out of work?
To become cannon fodder yet again?
"An American man who lives in Thailand was unhappy that a resort hotel wanted to charge him a $15 corkage fee for bringing his own bottle of gin to the restaurant. He argued with a manager and then later did what has become second nature for disgruntled tourists: He posted negative reviews of the resort online. The hotel, the Sea View Koh Chang resort on the island of Koh Chang, was equally unhappy with the guest and what it saw as his one-man campaign to damage its reputation. Unable to reach him or halt his posts on TripAdvisor, the resort filed a complaint with the Thai police under the country’s harsh defamation law. As a result, the guest, Wesley Barnes, was arrested this month and spent a weekend in jail. If convicted of criminal defamation, he faces up to two years in prison. If the Sea View was hoping to win back its good name, seeking help from the police backfired. Barnes’s arrest has set off condemnation online, negative news stories and a burst of bad reviews for the resort. A hotel manager said the resort was receiving death threats from foreigners. The arrest under the defamation law is also a bad look for Thailand, which is desperately seeking to rebuild a tourism industry crippled by the coronavirus. One of its strategies is to encourage people who live in Thailand to travel within the country....."