Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Taxing Debate

Trump’s taxes show chronic losses and years of income tax avoidance

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.

Trump deflects questions about taxes

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.

Experts weigh in on revelations about Trump’s tax payments 

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.

Who cares? 

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.....



Stocks rally globally with bank shares in the lead

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.

"..... The warning signs for Republicans are also stark on the issue of abortion, on which Judge Barrett, a fiercely conservative jurist, could offer a pivotal vote should she be confirmed: 60 percent of those surveyed believe abortion should be legal all or some of the time. Beyond the coming battle over the court, the survey indicates that Mr. Trump remains an unpopular president who has not established a clear upper hand over Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, on any of the most important issues of the campaign. Voters are rejecting him by wide margins on his management of the coronavirus pandemic, and they express no particular confidence in his handling of public order. Perhaps the most comforting news in the poll for Republicans is that at least some Americans appear to have fluid or contradictory opinions on the nomination process, yet if the pandemic, economic collapse and increasingly tense racial justice protests have upended life for many Americans, they have done little to reshape a presidential campaign that polls show has been remarkably stable. In an important difference from the 2016 campaign, he would need to draw much closer to 50 percent to defeat Mr. Biden because there is substantially less interest in third-party candidates this year. The Libertarian and Green Party nominees are garnering only 3 percent combined; that figure is closer to more typical elections than to the one four years ago, when minor-party candidates polled far higher in the period approaching the election and combined to get as much as 6 percent of the vote in some key states. Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a major political liability, and the poll indicates that he has not succeeded in persuading most voters to treat the disease as a quickly receding threat. Americans oppose Mr. Trump’s policy preferences on the pandemic by significant margins: Two-thirds of voters said they would support a national mask mandate, while 63 percent said they would support new lockdowns to fight a second wave of the disease if public health experts recommend them. Mr. Trump has opposed both measures; he has often ridiculed mask-wearing and has attacked state and local officials for imposing health-based restrictions on public activity, yet 40 percent of the president’s own party supports a nationwide mask mandate. Mr. Biden has taken an opposing set of positions that are more in line with voters’ preferences. He endorsed a national mask mandate, though he acknowledged a president might not have the power to impose one by fiat, and he has encouraged public officials to implement lockdowns as necessary. He has criticized Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly suggested that a vaccine will emerge before Election Day, for politicizing that process. The poll shows that the president is not making headway with voters by dangling the possibility of a hastily approved vaccine for the coronavirus. Eighty-one percent said they would oppose distributing a vaccine before the completion of clinical trials, and while Mr. Trump has insisted that the coronavirus will soon disappear, most voters disagree. Half said they believed the worst effects of the pandemic were still ahead, while 43 percent said the ugliest phase was over. The poll shows that Mr. Trump is strongest on economic issues, an enduring strength for him. Fifty-four percent of voters said they approved of his handling of the economy, including about half of women, Hispanics and college-educated white voters, groups that mainly support Mr. Biden. The president has staked his re-election in part on the argument that he is best equipped to restore economic prosperity once the pandemic has passed, but voters’ assessment of Mr. Trump’s economic leadership is not entirely positive, and in this area the president appears to be paying a price for his role during the pandemic. Much of the electorate appears to be in a pessimistic mood, with a large share of voters convinced that the American government is deeply dysfunctional and that perspective cut across demographic, regional, generational and ideological lines, with a majority of every subgroup saying that the country’s future as a thriving democracy was at stake....."

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.



USPS should be run like a public service

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. 

US judge orders stop to Postal Service cuts

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.

Also see:

"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.

F**k off! 

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.

The only problem is we won't have England to back us up with planes and tanks this time:

A demonstrator in Belarus Sunday.

A demonstrator in Belarus Sunday (Associated Press).

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?

Also see:

"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....."

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Providence College Kidnapping Kids?

"Students who do not return home can enter isolation and quarantine in designated areas on campus and off campus, said Providence College spokesman Steven J. Maurano, but he declined to identify those locations"

I'm sorry, say what?

The kids who allegedly test positive (the tests are bogus with 90% false positives for common colds and such. It's really reached farce levels) are being isolated and quarantined on AND off campus but he won't say where or for how long?

You parents need to get your kid out of there if it is not too late already.

"Providence College discovers another 41 COVID-19 cases among students, bringing the total to 165 in the past week; School and state health officials are scrambling to contain the outbreak on and around the Providence campus" by Edward Fitzpatrick Globe Staff, September 21, 2020

PROVIDENCE — Another 41 Providence College students have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to 165 students who have contracted the virus over the past a week, a college spokesman said Monday.

On Friday, the college tested 1,411 students, and 19 were positive, an infection rate of 1.34 percent. On Saturday, the college tested another 1,080 students, and 15 were positive, an infection rate of 1.39 percent. Seven more students tested positive on Sunday, Providence College spokesman Steven J. Maurano said. 

The percentages they claim are minimal, so WTF? 

This thing has been so overblown.

The 41 new cases add to the 124 confirmed cases that the state Department of Health reported on Friday. In all, 175 students have tested positive over a two-week time frame, which would match the incubation period, Maurano said. None of the students who tested positive have been hospitalized, he said.

The scary thing is they swooped into the neighborhood without warning.

The college had completed testing most of the student body by the end of Saturday, but it conducted a small number of tests on Sunday for those who had been missed or who had problems with test results, he said. The college will begin retesting all students over three days beginning Tuesday.

The outbreak came to light when Providence College announced late Thursday that it had issued a stay-at-home order to all students — those living in on-campus housing as well as those renting apartments in the nearby neighborhood — and will have full remote learning until at least Sept. 26 because 84 of its students had tested positive in just two days. Of those 84, 23 live on campus and the rest are off campus.

There is going to be more and more of that as the semester progresses, so get home now kids.

Maurano said it is still not clear how the outbreak began. He has said the college has not seen large gatherings like those seen at other campuses, but officials are hearing that there might have been a gathering at an off-campus house of 30 or 40 people.

“We have heard of talk about several different small gatherings,” he said.

COVID loves to party but hates protests, kids!

A team of Providence College officials is doing contact tracing and trying to figure out how the virus spread, he said.

Department of Health spokesman Joseph Wendelken said health officials have not pinpointed the cause of the outbreak yet.

“We are at a stage of community transmission of the virus, meaning that it can be very difficult to definitively say how someone got sick, or how an outbreak started," he said. "This is especially true when talking about a situation where people had many common exposures.”

Are you sick of this fraud yet? 

I am!

Right now, Maurano said, the focus is on getting all students tested — a process that should be completed later this week.

Providence College has more than 4,800 students, including undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students. In all, 13 percent of students are from Rhode Island, and 54 percent are from other New England states.

The college also is focused on getting students into isolation if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or quarantine if they may have been exposed to the virus, Maurano said.

Students are being allowed to return home for quarantine and isolation if their families don’t live too far away, he said, but the students are not allowed to use public transportation, and their families must come pick them up. Also, students cannot return home if they would endanger family members with compromised immune systems or other health risk factors.

Students who do not return home can enter isolation and quarantine in designated areas on campus and off campus, Maurano said, but he declined to identify those locations.

As to the questions I posed above, the Globe doesn't even bother to ask as the new generation of bohemians as they dream and dance their way into a different future.

At least they deliver a meal to your cell, 'er, room and there is television to watch.

Dean of Students Steven A. Sears wrote to the campus community on Sunday, saying, “Although the majority of our positive COVID-19 cases are off campus, we all must remain vigilant. You must continue to take this matter seriously, and do all the right things to keep yourselves and those around you safe.”

He said large gatherings are prohibited in residence halls and outdoors.

“This is a critical juncture,” Sears wrote. “Let’s be disciplined and smart, so that we can work our way through this period as a community of people who care about each other. This is our chance to show what PC is made of and we need to take advantage of it.”

Screw the guilt trip and mind-f**k of the kids, you detestable creature.


Time to form a lynch mob:

"Seemingly overnight, a college neighborhood has become the epicenter of the coronavirus in Rhode Island" by Dan McGowan Globe Staff, September 21, 2020

PROVIDENCE — Residents of the leafy Elmhurst neighborhood that surrounds Providence College have learned to become numb to the debauchery they witness most Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights between August and May.

This is a college neighborhood, after all, so you tend to overlook the party fouls. That means you learn to ignore the red Solo cups that line Eaton Street each weekend morning after a hard night of partying, and you mark it a successful semester when no one throws up on your lawn.

There are times when things get out of hand, like when students lit a couch on fire after the Friars won the national championship in men’s hockey in 2015, or the time an aggressive group of young people started throwing bottles at police officers who were breaking up parties in 2017. Those kinds of incidents usually require the college’s stepping in, and a ramped-up law enforcement presence, at least for a few weeks, but after 165 students from the college tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, neighbors are worrying that middle-class Elmhurst has, virtually overnight, become the new epicenter of the highly contagious virus in Rhode Island.

That is so meek and mild at this point you don't even know you had it because you didn't.

It's media most foul, kids.

“The one thing that has stayed consistent is [students] who don’t respect the neighborhood,” said Sandy Winters, an elementary school teacher who lives several blocks from the college. “If they had such reckless behavior before, what makes me think they’re going to be compliant now?”

Get off my lawn!

What's worse is the scolding comes from an elementary school teacher who should know better.

What's next, torches and pitchforks?

Following the recent outbreak, the college announced that it was issuing a stay-at-home order to all students until at least Oct. 3, and requiring everyone to participate in remote learning for the time being. Providence College’s president, Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, issued a dire warning to students, explaining that failing to contain the virus would force officials to close the campus for the rest of the semester.

“We recognize how serious and difficult these directives are, but this is our last chance to remain together in person for the fall semester,” Sicard wrote in a letter to students and faculty.

Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

A spokesman for the college said contact tracing efforts have failed to pinpoint a single party or event that led to the outbreak, but the fact is, the majority of positive cases involve students who live off campus. The school requires its freshmen and sophomores to live on campus, but juniors and seniors have the option to live in apartments.

On Wednesday, Governor Gina M. Raimondo singled out Providence College — and the University of Rhode Island — for their outbreaks.

“This is hurting people’s businesses in Rhode Island,” Raimondo said. “It’s not a joke. We’re hurting people because of our selfishness. Following the rules matters.” 

She is absolutely outrageous, for she is the one wo ordered the destruction of business with her tyrannical lockdowns.

Go tell it to your rich, genocidal string-pullers, b**ch.

With roughly 4,000 undergraduates, Providence College is much smaller than Brown University, the Ivy League school across the city, but residents identify with the Catholic college in a deeper way. When the men’s basketball team, called the Friars after the Dominican order that runs the school, is good, the Dunkin' Donuts Center sells out for Big East games, and the team’s success has helped raised millions of dollars for the college, helping to transform the campus in recent years.

All that is ancient history now.

Although the campus itself is tiny, the neighborhood has become an extension of the school. Neighbors say they aren’t surprised that the college has been unable to trace the outbreak to a single house, because they say that every weekend, students have their choice of parties on or around Eaton Street. It has the feel of a frat row, except the college doesn’t recognize Greek life.

“It’s like they think they’re immortal, like they think nothing is going to happen to them,” said Darlene Correia, who lives on Clym Street. “I think they forget that there are other people that live in the neighborhood.”

I don't blame the kids for pissing on their lawn.

Correia and Winters pointed fingers at the college, arguing that officials need to do more to hold students accountable.

“I love that Northeastern said, ‘You broke the rules, go the hell home,’ ” Winters joked, referring to the Boston school that expelled a group of students who failed to follow its coronavirus restrictions.

I don't think it is funny to the parents who are out 36.5K.

Where does the Globe find these people?

Providence College did suspend 17 students last month for violating the school’s coronavirus code of conduct, and other students say the school has set high expectations for those who choose to live off campus.

Now signs are posted on lawns up and down Eaton Street, warning students to wear masks inside and outside of their apartments. Sean King, a senior whose semester in London last spring was cut short because of the first wave of the coronavirus, said he has 12 housemates in his off-campus apartment, and all of them tested negative for the virus. He said private security now roams the neighborhood to remind students to wear masks and stay inside.

Unless you are headed to a $ocial ju$tu$ prote$t.

Do they remind the residents, too?

King said that the virus has derailed some of the most highly anticipated moments of every student’s time at the college, like the weekend when they get their class rings and homecoming.

“It’s not like the normal senior year that everyone envisioned,” King said, “but every senior class is different, and I think this is going to have to be our legacy.”

Even if college life can resume under somewhat normal circumstances, the virus has already taken its toll on the neighborhood.

Yeah, we are never back to normal and let's hope the generations to come have a legacy and are not exterminated as planned.

Shelley Peterson, whose lives in Elmhurst and ordinarily sends her children to the St. Pius V Catholic school near the college campus, said she decided to keep her kids home this year for remote learning. Part of the reason: Providence College has students who volunteer at the school, and Peterson didn’t want to take any chances. “I’m glad that the kids are listening now because it is a life-and-death scenario, unfortunately,” Peterson said.

Home schooling is better, and it is life-or-death but not in the way she thinks.

Michael Manni, who owns LaSalle Bakery, which has two stores on either side of the campus, said he noticed fewer students the weekend after the lockdown started. He said the bakery normally serves dozens of breakfast sandwiches on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and only “around 10” were served this past weekend, but Manni said the college students are a crucial part of his business, and he hopes the school can keep its campus open.

“The worst thing that could possibly happen is to close the school,” Manni said. “I’ll take a two-week hit rather than a forever hit.”

The second shutdown will be forever.


At least they still let you kids out for the movies, right?

"Rhode Island's largest airport is hosting a popup drive-in movie in one of its parking lots as a thank you to the community. The film “Linda Ronstadt, The Sound of my Voice” is scheduled to be shown at T.F. Green Airport’s parking lot located across from the Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. The event is free but attendance is limited to 100 cars by reservation only, which can be made starting at noon Monday at https://newportfilm.com. Cars will be allowed to arrive as much as an hour before showtime, and food trucks will be on site to provide refreshments. The movie night is a partnership between the Rhode Island Airport Corp, newportFILM, and Frontier Airlines. “We’re proud to help bring a fun and memorable experience to thank everyone for their continued support of T.F. Green Airport and connect with our community partners during this difficult period,” Iftikhar Ahmad, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corp. said in a statement."

The Globe celebrates the memories with popcorn as I start up the car and leave.

"The pandemic has profoundly altered the college experience for students. As colleges in the Boston area settle into their first full COVID semester, students have been forced to learn new rules (gathering with more than 10 people is a sure way to get disciplined and even kicked out) and develop tedious new routines (scheduling a coronavirus test every few days). Colleges that have brought students back promised them some semblance of the traditional campus experience and a chance to connect not just with their professors but their peers. Some are offering in-person classes, hosting virtual game nights and meet-ups, and adding more outdoor seating so students can safely gather, but the signs of a changed world are everywhere, quite literally. Colleges have transformed their physical spaces to protect students and keep the virus at bay. In dorms, furniture has been removed from common rooms to discourage larger gatherings. At libraries, the stacks are blocked off with tape, like a crime scene. Students must make appointments to use the gym, most clubs are meeting online, and even chapel services are on hold....."

It does seem like a PRISON, doesn't it? 

The crime is being committed against YOU, kids.

"More than 250 students at Merrimack College in North Andover are in quarantine after 16 students in one residence hall tested positive for COVID-19 in the past day, officials said. The 16 new cases follow one other positive test result from a student who lives in Monican Centre, bringing the total number to 17, Merrimack College said in a statement. Of the 266 students who live in the residence hall, more than 250 are quarantining off-campus, and the remaining students are isolating in campus-designated quarantine spaces, the statement said. The students should plan to remain in quarantine for 14 days or until the college contacts them with further information, the statement said. They will attend classes remotely, according to the statement. Monican Centre is empty and will be systemically and professionally cleaned before anyone moves back in, the statement said. College officials anticipate more positive tests as the result of their “aggressive testing” of students who live in the residence hall, the statement said. The college conducted surveillance testing on more than 150 students as they entered quarantine and are awaiting the results. All students who live in other residence halls will need to be tested by 5 p.m. Wednesday, school officials said. Students, faculty, and staff who have been in close contact with one of the students who tested positive will be contacted by the college’s contact tracing team. The college will remain open, school officials said....."

Okay, the results are from aggressive testing with faulty tests, and when Trump claimed that was the reason for increasing caseloads in the spring and summer he was pilloried. 

What a band of disingenuous f**ks!

"Quinnipiac University has sent home or suspended more than 20 student in recent days for violating visitor and other policies, both on- and off-campus, that are aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, according to a top school official. Tom Ellett, the school's chief experience officer, said in an email sent Thursday to students that 11 undergraduates have been sent home for four weeks and a dozen off-campus students were suspended. He said they've been accused of violating the school's no visitor policy for residence halls, having non-Quinnipiac University guests on campus and/or exceeding capacity limits on indoor gatherings. “We’re enforcing these policies because every violation potentially can have a negative impact on your health and on the health of multiple others in the QU community,” Ellett said in the email. “I fervently hope we don’t encounter these circumstances again. As of Friday, there has been only one positive case of COVID-19 at the school. More than 11,500 tests have been conducted since Aug. 5. The university's COVID-19 dashboard states the school is currently at low risk level for infection."

It doesn't matter. Escape while you can.

"After a spike in coronavirus cases among University of Colorado at Boulder students, public health officials are banning 18- to 22-year-olds from gatherings of any size in the city of Boulder. The order from the Boulder County Department of Health was announced Thursday and went into effect the same day. It will be reevaluated in two weeks, with county officials looking to see “whether there is success in reversing the curve of infection,” university Chancellor Phil DiStefano wrote in a message to students, faculty and staff. The health department said it had become “essential to slow the virus among CU Boulder students aged between 18 to 22 years old." It noted that since classes started on Aug. 24, there have been 1,392 confirmed or probable positive cases among University of Colorado at Boulder students in that age group — representing 78 percent of the county’s caseload in that time period....." 

Remember when this was all only going to be 15 days to flatten the curve? 

It's been eight months now, and they can kiss my ass:

Incoming freshmen wait in line to ask questions at an informational tent while arriving at University of Colorado, Boulder, last month. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Incoming freshmen wait in line to ask questions at an informational tent while arriving at University of Colorado, Boulder, last month. (Mark Makela/Getty Images) 

Also see:

"U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, University of California Regent Richard Blum, was named Thursday by the state auditor’s office as one of the regents involved in admissions scandal where UC wrongly admitted dozens of wealthy, mostly white students as favors to well-connected people. Blum told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that he’s done nothing wrong and that he has used his clout to get friends and family into the elite public system for years....."

Virginia governor, wife test positive for coronavirus

How amazing was it that he could totally wipe away the Blackface?

Is it not strange that the coronavirus is now striking cities with much smaller populations in the heartland, often in conservative corners of America where anti-mask sentiment runs high?

Florida governor proposes college ‘bill of rights’ to party 

Here is your hero, kids, and be sure to toast him:

"Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all restrictions on restaurants and other businesses in Florida on Friday, and banned local fines against people who refuse to wear masks as he seeks to reopen the state's economy despite the spread of the coronavirus. The Republican governor's order unleashed fresh debate in the politically divided state, where pandemic responses have become intertwined with the upcoming presidential election....."

Florida will soon look like Sweden:

"Sweden, where a shutdown-free pandemic response prompted a global debate, is seeing another wave of covid-19 cases, with the country’s state epidemiologist warning this week that it was heading in the “wrong direction” as winter approaches. Sweden’s public health body recorded 554 new covid-19 cases Thursday — the highest since early July — and 417 on Friday, according to its online tracking tool, capping off what epidemiologist Anders Tegnell had warned would be a record week for new cases. “It is slowly but surely going in the wrong direction in Sweden, even if the situation is not as serious as in other parts of Europe,” Tegnell said at a news briefing Thursday, according to the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. Unlike many other nations, Sweden has pursued a policy for containing the virus that avoided strict government measures such as school or restaurant closures. The success or failure of that policy is still being debated far beyond Sweden’s borders, where most countries implemented some form of a lockdown."

Can you smell Swedish bull$hit?


"Fewer than 1 in 10 Americans showed signs of past infection with the novel coronavirus as of late July, suggesting that most of the country may still be vulnerable to infection, according to one of the largest studies of its kind published Friday in the journal The Lancet....." 

The Lancet used to be a respectable medical journal but no longer, while the WHO warns 2 million deaths ‘not impossible’ as global fatalities approach 1 million.

Of course, they predicted there would be 2 million dead Americans at this point, although I do believe there is cause for concern:

Is there cause for concern? As long as COVID is here, yes,” Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes stressed on Twitter Saturday. Rhodes also noted improving numbers among college-aged people, suggesting better compliance on campuses. Still, the uptick has been a cause for concern....."

"More than 1,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19 in a single day for the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high. The number of positive tests reported daily in the state has been steadily inching up in recent weeks, possibly because more businesses have been reopening and students have been returning to schools and college campuses....." 

So nothing to worry about or will college campuses soon look like Australia?

"The health minister in Australia’s Victoria state has resigned in the fallout from an inquiry into why security guards were used instead of police or the military at quarantine hotels. Lapses in security at the hotels were given as the major reason for a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Health Minister Jenny Mikakos on Saturday issued a statement confirming her resignation, just a day after Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews gave evidence to the inquiry and pointed partial blame at Mikakos for her role in the bungled quarantine program. Mikakos appears to be taking the blame when no one else would...." 

That is called a scapegoat, kids, and it's time to beach Andrews.

For those who think I am an alarmist and the kids are in safe hands, I give you the Mexican experience.

Of course, the CDC and Fauci would never let that happen to you:

"The nation’s top infectious disease expert is cautioning people not to let pandemic fatigue weaken efforts to keep the coronavirus from spreading. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that “people are exhausted from being shut down” and some give up on doing things that contain the virus. The head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made the comment Friday in a podcast with a medical journal editor. Fauci urges people to remember that “there is an end to this” and “we just have to hang in there a bit” as researchers work on a vaccine. Fauci says that “what we don’t want to have to do is to shut down again” if cases really spike."

The end is the point of a needle, and stay the f**k away from me, 'kay?

"As millennials mingled in bars and restaurants over the summer, and students returned to college campuses, coronavirus infections surged among young adults. From June through August, the incidence of the virus was highest among adults ages 20 to 29, according to research published on Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young adults accounted for more than 20 percent of all confirmed cases, but the infections didn’t stop with them, the researchers found: Young adults may have also seeded waves of new infections among the middle-aged, and then in older Americans. College campuses have become a particular threat. According to a database maintained by The New York Times, there were more than 88,000 coronavirus infections reported on nearly 1,200 campuses as of early September. At a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned against sending home students from colleges experiencing outbreaks....."

You have to go protest after your class in critical race theory, kids. Then you will be safe.

Speaking of those with privilege:

Pro-Kennedy Super PAC was fueled by father’s money

Kraft case may be dropped after prosecutors say they won’t appeal ruling that threw out video recordings 

No wonder he is laughing, and the Globe says it is a victory for us all that the prosecutors dropped prostitution charges with the gift of acceptance.

Lizzie Borden’s home in Fall River can be yours for $890,000

It's a nice off-campus apartment if you take a look inside.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Opera hit a $our note:

"The Met Opera Fired James Levine, Citing Sexual Misconduct. He Was Paid $3.5 Million" by James B. Stewart and Michael Cooper, New York Times  |   September 20, 2020

Last summer, Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, convened the executive committee of the company’s board to announce the end of one of the highest-profile, messiest feuds in the Met’s nearly 140-year history. A bitter court battle had concluded between the company and the conductor James Levine, who had shaped the Met’s artistic identity for more than four decades before his career was engulfed by allegations of sexual improprieties.

Mr. Gelb told the committee that the resolution was advantageous to the Met, but the settlement, whose terms have not been publicly disclosed until now, called for the company and its insurer to pay Mr. Levine $3.5 million, according to two people familiar with its terms.

The Met had fired Mr. Levine in 2018 after an internal investigation uncovered what the company called credible evidence of “sexually abusive and harassing conduct toward vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers.” Rather than going quietly, Mr. Levine sued the company for breach of contract and defamation, seeking at least $5.8 million. The Met countersued, revealing lurid details of its investigation and claiming that Mr. Levine’s misconduct had violated his duties. It sought roughly the same amount.

A year later, and after millions of dollars in legal fees on both sides, the company agreed to pay Mr. Levine, though millions less than he had sought. The terms of the settlement have not previously been disclosed because a confidentiality agreement has kept both parties from revealing its details. 

So he basically got away with it and then $ome.

The Met’s multimillion-dollar payment to Mr. Levine came before the coronavirus pandemic forced the company to close its theater — leaving many employees, including its orchestra and chorus, furloughed without pay since April. Even when the deal was struck, the Met’s finances were precarious. Now the company is fighting for its survival.

I $u$pect the arts will $urvive the Great Re$et.

The size of the payment to Mr. Levine, whom the Met had accused of serious misconduct, casts doubt on the strength of the company’s case had it gone to trial. Mr. Levine’s contract, which had been amended over the years but was essentially based on agreements struck decades ago, lacked a morals clause, an increasingly common feature in the entertainment world that prohibits behavior with the potential to embarrass an employer.

Before the Met’s investigation and Mr. Levine’s firing, it appeared that Mr. Gelb had succeeded in easing the revered but ailing maestro into a dignified career coda, making way for Mr. Levine, now 77, to be succeeded by the young and dynamic Yannick Nézet-Séguin. After ill health forced Mr. Levine to repeatedly cancel performances and miss two full seasons, he had reluctantly agreed to become music director emeritus. He would continue to oversee the young artist program he had founded and to conduct many of his signature operas.

(Blog author can't believe it)

Mr. Levine’s continued role came at considerable cost to the company. In addition to his $400,000 salary, the Met agreed to pay him his customary $27,000 fee for each performance he conducted.

That arrangement came to an abrupt end in December 2017, after The New York Times published the accounts of four men who said that they had been sexually abused by Mr. Levine as teenagers; Mr. Levine denied the accusations. Coming at the height of the #MeToo movement, the accounts caused a furor, and the Met suspended Mr. Levine without pay and began an investigation. Other orchestras and festivals immediately cut their ties with him, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival outside Chicago, where he had longstanding relationships.....

The NYT sat on stuff like this for years before their hand was forced.


I would suggest you kids get running if you want to stay safe.


Stage is nearly set for Museum of Fine Arts employees to vote on whether to unionize

In Boston theater, a growing group of Black leaders have a decisive role at a pivotal time 

Lois Torf, print collector who helped MFA ’set the highest standards,’ dies at 93

She joined Uncle Ben in death, and though the stage may be dark, the show goes on as a teacher’s new business helps families dance to their own music and away from campus sexual assault that sent droves to a small town in Vermont for an unproven vaccine with risks unknown instead of Harvard because COVID-19 is political and the feds need to be kept out of civics education.


They also want to kidnap your kids in Massachusetts:

"Education commissioner leans on 16 remote-only school districts to spell out their plans to reopen classrooms" by Katie Lannan State House News, September 21, 2020

The Baker administration has left school reopening plans up to local officials, but the state education commissioner is asking 16 districts to lay out plans for when they will reopen classrooms, citing a “stark discrepancy” between their reopening models and the local public health metrics.

Education Commissioner Jeff Riley on Friday wrote to officials in the districts that are offering remote-only instruction but have COVID-19 transmission rates in the lowest risk categories in the state’s assessment system. They are:

Amesbury, Bourne, Boxford, East Longmeadow, Gardner, Pittsfield, Provincetown, West Springfield, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public, Hoosac Valley Regional, Gill-Montague, Mohawk Trail, Mohawk Trail/Hawlemont, Manchester Essex Regional, Belmont, and Watertown.

He asked for more information about their fall reopening plans and gave them 10 calendar days to respond.

“In light of the stark discrepancy between local public health data and your reopening plan, I am requesting a timeline by which you anticipate providing in-person instruction for the majority of your students including in-person instruction for vulnerable populations, such as students with disabilities, if these students have not already returned to in-person school,” Riley wrote.

“Please note that your response may trigger an audit to assess overall efforts to provide in-person instruction and to ensure your remote learning program is consistent with 603 CMR 27.08.”

Get your kids out of the state  school system now and HOME SCHOOL at ALL COSTS!


The message refers to regulations the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education amended in June to reflect the new realities of the pandemic and spell out procedures for when students cannot safely attend classes. Those regulations called for the school districts, which had shuttered their buildings in March and abruptly pivoted to remote learning, to develop reopening plans that prioritize "providing in-person instruction to all students in a safe environment.”

Decisions about how to best reopen schools have been fraught, and local officials are tasked with dealing with the risks of virus transmission, the benefits of in-person learning, physical spaces that may lack ventilation or room for social distancing, strained budgets, working parents' child-care needs, and the various concerns of teachers, students, and families.

The state launched a color-coded measurement system, based on average daily COVID-19 rates over a two-week period, in August, and it was quickly tied to the school reopening process.

The system assigns each municipality a color based on the number of new cases per 100,000 residents: red for an average daily case rate of more than eight per 100,000, yellow for four to eight, and green for fewer than four. Cities and towns with fewer than five cases in the two-week period, regardless of the rate, are in the “gray” or “unshaded” category.

The day that system was launched, Riley sent out a memo outlining the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s “expectation” for how schools should reopen — remotely, in-person, or with a hybrid model, depending on their classification. Barring any extenuating circumstances, green and unshaded locales were expected to offer full-time, in-person instruction. The department expected remote learning in red municipalities and a hybrid setup in the yellow areas.

“Given your community’s designation of green or gray, I am concerned that the school committee has voted to keep most students learning remotely for the start of the 2020-21 school year,” Riley wrote to the 16 school systems. “We have recommended remote learning only for those municipalities receiving a ‘red’ designation three weeks in a row on the color-coded metric unless the district identifies other extenuating circumstances that prevent in-person instruction.”

Riley’s letter noted the Baker administration’s reopening guidance has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and said that the state, with a two-week COVID-19 test positivity rate of 0.9 percent, is “well below” the 5 percent threshold set in the World Health Organization’s standards for reopening.

Schools in a handful of places, including Dedham, Lynnfield and Nantucket, have pulled back or postponed their plans for in-person instruction after case counts ticked up. Those three all landed in the red category in the most recent Department of Public Health update, published Wednesday.


We get lots of numbers but no context.

Better do what King Baker says or else:

"Baker ramps up pressure on low-risk districts to get students back into schools; Governor identifies 16 communities where ‘public health data supports a return to in-person learning’" by Felicia Gans and Meghan E. Irons Globe Staff, September 23, 2020

Governor Charlie Baker turned up the pressure Wednesday for most Massachusetts school districts to bring students back for in-person classes, singling out those that are beginning the academic year remotely even though their communities are at low risk for a coronavirus outbreak.

Then do not!

Baker said 16 school districts had chosen a remote-only start when “the public health data supports a return to in-person learning.” His comments put those school communities on the defensive and prompted a sharp rebuke from the state’s largest teachers union.

“Local officials run their local schools,” Baker said during a press conference. “We understand that, but the state has an obligation to ensure that local officials are providing the best possible education in these difficult circumstances to kids and their communities.”

I gotta tell you, I don't know of anyone around here who trusts this lying slime bag and his public health data.

The comments came just days after state education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley asked the 16 districts to create a timeline for bringing students back for in-person learning. Riley said there was a “stark discrepancy” between their school reopening models and the public health data.

In an apparent effort to encourage the schools to act, Baker pointed out that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has the option of auditing those districts to assess their efforts to provide in-person instruction, depending on the responses from the targeted districts.

Ah, the heavy hand of state tyranny!

The push came with emotions running high over how to reopen school in the pandemic.

School administrators who are juggling union negotiations as they try to safely reopen schools said they had been made to feel that any plans for returning students to school buildings would be left in the hands of the districts, but now things seemed turned around.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association jumped into the fray Wednesday, accusing Baker and Riley of interfering with school districts' “well-thought out plans” because they did not get the results they wanted, said the union’s president, Merrie Najimy.

“They’ve had a reckless agenda to push people into [school] buildings from the beginning,” Najimy said. "They’re just imposing their political will against the better judgment of every single school district that has made these decisions based on what they know is best for their communities.''

I am with the teachers now, too, as well as the ultra-Orthodox Jews

What the hell is going on?

The state’s virus risk map, updated weekly since early August, places communities in one of four color-coded risk categories, from the lowest to the highest — gray, green, yellow, and red — based on the average daily rates of cases in each community.

On Wednesday, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said the city is “very close” to moving into the red category. The governor emphasized that communities can bounce into different risk categories based on single events — a nursing home outbreak or a private gathering — and then bounce back to a lower risk category fairly quickly.

I'm getting the feeling that he is no longer up to the job.

“In many cases, it’s because of a single event or a single institution that creates that, and that’s why we think it’s really important for people to look for trends, and trends don’t happen in seven days,” he said. “Trends happen over the course of three weeks worth of reporting, which represents four weeks worth of data.”


Parents aren't taking the kids to the doctor, so what makes you think they want them in school?

"Sharp decline in child health care amid coronavirus prompts call to action by Medicaid chief" by Kay Lazar Globe Staff, September 23, 2020

A sharp decline in the number of low-income children receiving vital care during the pandemic, including vaccinations and mental health care, prompted a call to action Wednesday by the nation’s top health insurance administrator, who is seeking creative solutions, starting in Boston.

“A lot of pediatricians are sounding the alarm," Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in an interview with the Globe. “We’re trying to sound that alarm at the federal level to get a better focus on this issue.”

New CMS data show millions of children, many living in poverty, missed vaccinations and other care in the depths of the coronavirus pandemic from March through May, as parents feared going out or bringing their children to doctors’ offices.

TPTB didn't expect that reaction. They expected us to run into their heroic arms instead.

So how long until the creative solutions is to unwelcomely show up at your house?

During that stretch, there were 22 percent fewer vaccinations nationwide among children under age 2 who rely on Medicaid insurance. There were 44 percent fewer child screenings that track growth, assess health, and provide early detection of autism and developmental delays. Also, there were 69 percent fewer dental services.

In Massachusetts, Verma said, that translates into about 30,000 fewer vaccinations for children under 2, nearly 90,000 fewer screenings, and 200,000 fewer dental services.

Since May, preliminary numbers suggest that telehealth for children has increased dramatically, but not enough to offset the decline in care for vulnerable children, Verma said. Also, some services, such as vaccinations, can’t be provided through telehealth.

I knew there was some redeeming quality to that ridiculousness.

While national data show that vaccination rates are increasing, the number of vaccines administered so far has yet to make up for the large decline, she said. That increases the risk of vaccine-preventable illnesses, such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough. 

You don't want the autism-causing MMR vaccine, parents.

Verma is holding virtual roundtable discussions with health leaders across the country to brainstorm ways to convince parents it’s safe to bring their children back to the doctor. She spoke Wednesday with leaders at Boston Children’s Hospital, where administrators had success easing parents' fears by holding well-child visits and administering vaccines in a separate building, across the street from the primary care clinic.

The hospital is often considered a leader in children’s health care, and CMS viewed it as a natural choice to hear from local leaders about their on-the-ground experiences related to forgone care.

Among those in discussions with Verma was Dr. Shari Nethersole, executive director of BCH’s Community Health. Nethersole said much of the hospital’s other child health services have rebounded, to about 90 percent of where they were before the pandemic, but now they face a new challenge: getting flu shots to thousands of children. Typically, the hospital invites 50 children and their families at a time in the evenings for the vaccine, but they can’t do that this year because of the need to socially distance. So they are searching for bigger spaces or different opportunities.

Those have been mandated, so how big a challenge can it be?

Just one more reason to keep the kids home!

“We are having conversations with the Boston Public Health Commission for options to get more children in for flu shots before the end of the year," Nethersole said. “We’re really encouraging families to know that it’s safe to bring their children to the doctor. If they hold off they will be sicker when they come in, particularly as we get into the fall and winter."

The latest reports from nearly three dozen community health centers across the state are encouraging, indicating visits have started to rebound. The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers said pediatric visits are down only 28 percent for the year, compared to this time last year. About 30 percent of those visits were through telehealth.

In stressing the importance of regular child screenings, Verma spoke from experience.....



"MIT artificial intelligence researcher Regina Barzilay’s work in AI, which ranges from tools for early cancer detection to platforms to identify new antibiotics, is increasingly garnering recognition: On Wednesday, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence named Barzilay as the inaugural recipient of a new annual award honoring an individual developing or promoting AI for the good of society. The award comes with a $1 million prize sponsored by the Chinese education technology company Squirrel AI Learning. With the selection of Barzilay, AAAI’s award committee is honoring work in health care — widely seen as one of the most promising fields in which AI is being applied, but also a realm in which plenty can go wrong....."

Here are some things the kids can do at home:

"Board games, stuffed animals, playsets, and dolls round out this year’s top toys. One thing largely absent: screens. Analog is making a comeback as children and parents overloaded with screen time during the pandemic seek a break. The events of 2020 are shaping the types of toys that kids and parents are looking for, according to Toy Insider, an industry publication that predicts holiday trends. Besides a drop in screen-based toys, social responsibility is emerging as a theme amid protests over racial justice and a greater focus on climate change. Affordable items are also in favor as some parents face financial hardship. There are timeless elements in this year’s top toys. Pokemon, Star Wars, Blue’s Clues, and Super Mario all make appearances, partly due to a gaping hole left by the lack of new children’s movies with Hollywood studios still roiled by the virus. Toy makers are under increased pressure to make dolls inclusive and reflective of their user. Zoe, a top 20 pick made by Healthy Roots Dolls, sports a shirt that reads “my black is beautiful” and teaches children to style curly and wavy hair. The Blippi Recycling Truck, aimed at 3- to 4-year-old budding environmentalists, comes equipped with bins and pretend trash, while the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Grow-the-Fun Garden to Kitchen lets kids prepare their own farm-to-table meals."

They are propagandizing them right out of the womb.


"The Trump administration has rejected scientific evidence linking the pesticide chlorpyrifos to serious health problems, directly contradicting federal scientists’ conclusions five years ago that it can stunt brain development in children. The Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment of the pesticide, which is widely used on soybeans, almonds, grapes and other crops, is a fresh victory for chemical makers and the agricultural industry, as well as the latest in a long list of Trump administration regulatory rollbacks....."

That's bad chemistry, and could lead to the loss of hair:

"Annrene Rowe was getting ready to celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary this summer when she noticed a bald spot on her scalp. In the following days, her thick shoulder-length hair started falling out in clumps, bunching up in the shower drain. Rowe, who was hospitalized for 12 days in April with symptoms of the coronavirus, soon found strikingly similar stories in online groups of Covid-19 survivors. Doctors say they too are seeing many more patients with hair loss, a phenomenon they believe is indeed related to the coronavirus pandemic, affecting both people who had the virus and those who never became sick. In normal times, some people shed noticeable amounts of hair after a profoundly stressful experience such as an illness, major surgery or emotional trauma. Now, doctors say, many patients recovering from Covid-19 are experiencing hair loss — not from the virus itself, but from the physiological stress of fighting it off. Many people who never contracted the virus are also losing hair, because of emotional stress from job loss, financial strain, deaths of family members or other devastating developments stemming from the pandemic......" 

Has nothing to do with "COVID," and everything to do with the fraud!

"..... Before the pandemic, there were weeks when Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal, an associate professor of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic, didn’t see a single patient with hair loss of this type. Now, she said, about 20 such patients a week come in. One was a woman having difficulty home-schooling two young children while also working from home. Another was a second-grade teacher anxiously trying to ensure that all her students had computers and internet access for online instruction. For most patients the condition should be temporary, doctors say, but it could last months. There are two types of hair loss the pandemic seems to be triggering, experts say. The hair loss itself can cause more stress, Dr. Khetarpal said, especially for women, whose hair is often more closely tied to identity and self-confidence. “It’s your trademark,” said Mary Lou Ostling, 77, a retired educator who lives in the Stuyvesant Town neighborhood of Manhattan. She was hospitalized for Covid-19 for eight days in the early spring and later noticed that “my hair started coming out in chunks,” she said. “I always was clearing hair out of the comb, brush, the sink.” Ms. Ostling said she also could tell that her hair wasn’t growing much because she wasn’t seeing roots that contrasted with the color she had previously dyed it. “I’ve always had very long, very thick, very curly hair,” she said, but in July, “I simply had a lot of it all cut off. I couldn’t deal with it anymore.” When she came home from the hairdresser, she said, “my husband was just staring at me. He said, ‘I think I have a different wife.’ It was very depressing.” She said she has finally begun to detect some hair growth. Experts recommend good nutrition, vitamins like biotin and stress-reduction techniques like yoga, scalp massage or mindfulness meditation. Some also recommend minoxidil, a hair-growth drug, but Dr. Hogan warns patients that it can initially cause more hair loss before it starts working. For people depressed or traumatized by hair loss, Dr. Jafferany recommends psychotherapy, but not necessarily medication because some antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can exacerbate hair loss. When Liz Weidhorn, 44, of Fair Lawn, N.J., who tested positive for Covid-19 in March, noticed members of an online Covid group bemoaning hair loss, she told herself that if it happened to her, “I will take it with grace and I’ll get a kick-ass hat,” she recalled. But recently after showering, “I looked at my wet hair and I could see so much scalp,” she said, “and I couldn’t believe how emotional I got.” She cried and called her husband in to look at it. “It’s really shocking,” she said. “It got me very sad.” Ms. Weidhorn, who writes a blog about baking pastry, started taking biotin, had her mother cut her hair and is considering getting a headband....."

I'm about to pull out the rest of what little hair I have left (think it was the forever chemical in the black licorice or water that has since dried up and left the birds with no mosquitoes to eat.

I wouldn't plan on any meals, either:

"As the economic fallout of COVID-19 stretches into its seventh month, one in seven people in Eastern Massachusetts — and one in five children — are now experiencing food insecurity, according to Feeding America. Community fridges, or “freedges,” have been around since before the pandemic; the original conceit was to help combat hunger and reduce food waste at the same time, but as food insecurity has grown, the idea has taken off in cities throughout the United States. Many people compare the idea to the Little Free Library movement, a network of volunteer bibliophiles who construct small bookshelves in public spaces to distribute free books and promote literacy....."

Maybe they can get a seat at Baker's table starting next week.

I heard they were offering Cheerios and stone soup that was flown in from Marlborough via Sudbury:

"A Sudbury couple and their high-school aged child are all facing charges stemming from a recent large social gathering that violated coronavirus safety protocols, officials said. Sudbury police Chief Scott Nix confirmed the investigation in a brief email message, writing that “charges have been filed with the Framingham District Court and the Framingham Juvenile Court for the parents as well as the juvenile.” The specific charges, parents' names, and arraignment dates weren’t disclosed. Authorities generally don’t name juveniles charged with crimes. Nixs’s update came after the Sudbury Board of Health said in a statement last week that local police had informed the panel on Sept. 12 that “a large party involving approximately 50-60 Lincoln-Sudbury High School students. It is unknown if students from other towns attended. Many of the students fled or gave false information. The police reported the students were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.”

Is that why they emptied the jails?

I'm also proud of the kids for the nonviolent, noncooperation.

"Sudbury police want end to ‘volatile’ comments about gathering amid coronavirus that led to charges" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff, September 22, 2020

Sudbury police want town residents to stop making “volatile” comments on social media about a recent large gathering of high schoolers in town, noting Tuesday that the parents and teen child who allegedly held the party all stand accused of violating the state’s social host law.

In a statement, Sudbury police said the trio’s been charged under the law, which says anyone who provides alcohol to an underage guest or allows it to be consumed on the premises can face fines, jail time, or both.

Chief Scott Nix said in Tuesday’s statement, “We encourage residents to refrain from making any more volatile statements on social media regarding this incident as we are holding those responsible for providing the venue accountable.”

He said Monday evening via e-mail that police weren’t naming the parents, citing “the ongoing investigation along with continued threats.” Authorities generally don’t name juveniles charged with crimes.

According to Tuesday’s statement, Sudbury police responded Sept. 11 around 10 p.m. to a home for a report of a “large underage drinking party.” Police, the statement said, spotted “numerous individuals fleeing the scene as well as numerous alcoholic beverage containers and beer cans strewn about the back yard.”

That’s not all they found.

“Numerous juveniles and open containers were found throughout the home as well, including the basement, where a large group of youths who were allegedly disregarding state mandated social distancing and face covering protocols had been gathering,” the statement said.

Police said several party attendees made threatening comments to responding officers.

At least 50 underage teens were present, the statement said, adding that police continue to investigate along with the Sudbury Board of Health.

The bash had immediate consequences for the school year locally.

The town’s Board of Health said in a statement last week that local police had informed the panel on Sept. 12 of “a large party involving approximately 50-60 Lincoln-Sudbury High School students. It is unknown if students from other towns attended. Many of the students fled or gave false information. The police reported the students were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.”

The town said in the Sept. 15 statement that there were no known positive cases linked to the bash.

“Due to lack of information of who attended the event and the inability to consult directly with those students, the risk to the school community cannot be adequately assessed,” the health board said. “As a result, the Board of Health and Lincoln Sudbury Regional School High School (LSRHS), in consultation with the school physician, collectively decided to delay in-person learning.”

Officials are advising coronavirus testing for anyone who attended the party.


The case count is skyrocketing as state public health officials monitor the increase and increase testing as the cold arrives

Time to cede the right-of-way and march on.


Scenes from around the city as an uncertain year begins 

The first day back was far from a sense of deja vu, what with the dilemma of racial profiling after a  driver was killed after being struck by bus in the Charlestown MBTA yard.


"A 26-year-old Melrose woman died, and two other people were injured, in a fiery crash on Interstate 95 in Boxford early Saturday morning, Massachusetts State Police said. Shana Fusco-Russell was pronounced dead at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, where she was flown by medical helicopter from Beverly Hospital, State Police said in a statement. She was a passenger in a 2009 Toyota Avalon that was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed when it crossed over all lanes on the northbound side of the highway at about 12:50 a.m. near exit 53A, State Police said in a statement....."

There still isn't anywhere to park in Bo$ton:

"You may think that street in the Seaport is public, but it’s not, and the city of Boston didn’t issue that parking ticket" by Sean P. Murphy Globe Staff, September 22, 2020

In need of fresh air after months of being cooped up, Dan Simovici and his wife hopped in the car on Aug. 26 and headed to the Seaport District for a cooling stroll along Boston Harbor.

On Fan Pier Boulevard, Simovici pulled his Mazda into what looked like a legal parking space. The white lines on the pavement, the signs giving notice of a two-hour parking limit, and the nearby brown metal kiosk for paying the $3.75 hourly fee — it all made him believe this was an ordinary spot under the jurisdiction of the City of Boston and subject to state law.

So Simovici, a 77-year-old college professor, and his wife sauntered off, unconcerned about getting ticketed. He has a disability, and under state law is exempt from street parking fees, so they didn’t feed the kiosk. His disability placard was prominently displayed, dangling from his rear-view mirror.

When they returned an hour later there was a $40, official-looking “ticket” under the windshield wiper.

Why? Because, despite its appearances, Fan Pier Boulevard and a couple of surrounding streets are actually private property, dating back to 2007, when the Fallon Co. began transforming a sprawling dirt parking lot into a new multibillion-dollar neighborhood of sleek glass office buildings and lavish waterfront condos.

The streets in question are owned by the various property owners in the neighborhood, among them some of the most wealthy in the city, through a corporation, which delegates parking and ticketing to a real estate management firm. The revenue from parking is used for upkeep of the streets, but the management company won’t say how much is collected in a year.

After getting tagged, Simovici wondered how he was supposed to have known he had strayed onto private property..... 


The wealthy and corporations literally own the parking $paces, and someone put ‘Trump 2020’ on Route 44 (the MassDOT wasn’t happy).

"A Lawrence man who owns a driving school in North Andover was arrested Friday on allegations that he was running a “large-scale methamphetamine” operation, State Police said. Police said Michael Larocque, 56, was arrested at his home Friday as investigators executed search warrants at his Colonial residence in Lawrence and the North Andover Auto School at 203 Turnpike St., which Larocque owns. About two pounds of methamphetamine were seized at Larocque’s home, according to police, plus “vials of an unknown liquid and paraphernalia related to narcotics distribution.” More methamphetamine was found in his car parked at the home, police said. The search of the auto school allegedly turned up another 400 grams of meth, police said, as well as pills and $12,000 in cash." 

He has the right to rehab and a brew:

Sarah Richardson (left), her sister, Julia DePillo, and husband, Justin Richardson, had a beer with the sisters' parents, Stephen and Patricia DePillo at Trillium Garden.

Sarah Richardson (left), her sister, Julia DePillo, and husband, Justin Richardson, had a beer with the sisters' parents, Stephen and Patricia DePillo at Trillium Garden.Craig F. Walker/Globe staff

It's just a quick flight to Maine:

"Someone who last week tested positive for COVID-19 went to Portland International Jetport in Maine Sunday with plans to travel to Florida with another traveler, but neither of them made the flight after public health officials intervened, authorities said Monday. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the person tested positive late last week “and was directed to isolate,” as were the individual’s close contacts, but instead the person tried to head south. The Maine CDC said anyone at the Jetport between 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday may have been exposed to the virus. They should monitor themselves for symptoms and consult their health care providers to determine whether they should be tested, according to the statement....."

That is what caused the car wreck:

"A Maine man has been arrested on assault charges for allegedly striking a bride and two others with his car at a wedding. Curtis Moody, a guest at Saturday’s private wedding, allegedly struck three people when others at the private event attempted to stop him from driving, the Sun Journal reported. Chief Deputy William Gagne said Monday that Moody, 51, was arrested at his residence on three counts of assault, reckless conduct, driving to endanger, and other charges. Moody then allegedly drove his car at the crowd striking the bride and two others before fleeing the scene, according to Gagne. When officers arrived at Moody’s Wilton residence he appeared to be intoxicated and told officers that he had a couple of beers after he got home, according to Gagne. Gange said that he did not believe that any of the victims, whose names have not been released, were transported to the hospital."

"An eighth death has been linked to a coronavirus outbreak stemming from a wedding and reception in the northern part of Maine. The man who died was in his 80s and from Somerset County, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday. The wedding and reception in the Millinocket area on Aug. 7 is linked to more than 270 cases of COVID-19, including in an outbreak at a nursing home in Madison and a jail....." 

You don't want to get married up there and I have a headache.


Nothing left to do but watch television:

Getting Emmy predictions wrong is how I roll

Their viewership fell to a new low, as did the NFL in week one and two, with the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks game down 17% in viewership compared to last Sunday. 

Looks like you guys f****d up listening to Billy Boy and Co, as $ports is now on ice (there may yet be some hope as the Dallas Stars won last night -- in double-overtime)!


Trudeau promises bold plan to reset Canada

I hope to get a re$et on the bets I put down today, and did you know Big Papi had COVID?