Dec 212020
 December 21, 2020  Posted by at 10:12 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Edward Hopper House tops 1921


$600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota)
Hospital CEOs Have Gotten Rich Cutting Staff And Supplies (IC)
Coronavirus New Variant (Conv.)
Covid Chaos Disrupts Kent Ports As France Bans UK Freight (G.)
Saudi Arabia Shuts Down Int’l Air, See & Land Travel Over New Covid Strain
US Deep State Preempts Reset in Relations With Russia (SCF)
‘No Question’ Russia Behind Latest Hacking Scare – Adam Schiff (RT)
Trump Campaign Take Election Battle To SCOTUS Over Pennsylvania Rulings (RT)
Flynn: Foreign Intelligence Agencies Were Monitoring US Election (ET)
Japan Record $1 Trillion Budget Highlights COVID Challenge To Growth, Debt (R.)
For NY Times, No News Is Fit To Print About Rep. Swalwell And A Spy (Hill)





A bipartisan effort. Meanwhile, none of this ever made it:

“Back in March, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton proposed giving low- and middle-income Americans between $1,000 and $4,000 of aid per month. More recently, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders to push for $1,200 checks. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump reportedly told allies he wanted at least $1,200 and up to $2,000..”

$600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota)

Congressional leaders announced an agreement on a new $900 billion stimulus bill that will deliver a boost in unemployment benefits and provide $600 checks to some families. Democratic leaders are depicting this as a big win and are promising that these kinds of emergency spending bills will become “much easier” in a new Congress under Joe Biden. Both of those arguments are ridiculous. Here’s the truth: Democrats had a rare opportunity to win on a wildly popular proposal for much bigger survival checks, but they chose to lose. Here’s some more truth: one-time means-tested checks of $600 is not a big victory, and not even the bare minimum that should be considered acceptable during an economic meltdown that has been punctuated by mass starvation and intensifying poverty.

Though the legislative language of the final package has not yet been released, it appears the meager checks come in a bill that will give new tax benefits to corporate executives to write off their meals and provide other tax breaks to businesses that used the Paycheck Protection Program — which will be a windfall for the wealthy. Will the bill change the law to similarly exempt emergency unemployment benefits from tax levies? We don’t yet know, but there’s no indication it will. According to a bill summary circulating on Capitol Hill, the legislation provides a mere $286 billion for the survival checks and unemployment benefits, and an additional $51 billion for food aid and rental assistance. That’s not nothing, but it’s obviously inadequate. For comparison, only three years ago, Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut that enriched the wealthiest one percent of households.

Much of the blame for this debacle certainly goes to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who seems absolutely determined to starve the country. But much of it also goes to Democratic leaders who had one of the easiest political opportunities to forge a bipartisan coalition or a much bigger lifeline to Americans — and then decided to squander it. Let’s remember: Back in March, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton proposed giving low- and middle-income Americans between $1,000 and $4,000 of aid per month. More recently, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley joined with Sen. Bernie Sanders to push for $1,200 checks. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump reportedly told allies he wanted at least $1,200 and up to $2,000 — and he made a general demand for more money public in a Fox News interview last week.

“Right now, I want to see checks – for more money than they’re talking about – going to people,” he said. “I’m pushing it very hard, and to be honest with you, if the Democrats really wanted to do the deal, they’d do the deal.” He tweeted on Sunday that Congress should give people “more money in direct payments.” You can try to argue that the words of a handful of maverick Republicans and Trump cannot be fully trusted — maybe that’s true, but it’s moot. The point here is that there was a huge opportunity for Democrats to triangulate a group of Republican senators and a Republican president against McConnell — and Democrats refused to do it.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer followed Sen. Joe Manchin, Mark Warner and other Democratic corporatists into budget negotiations that kept producing smaller and smaller stimulus proposals, and now they are trying to portray a meager $600 one-time payment as some sort of enormous victory.

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When you read about overwhelmed health care systems in US, UK, etc, don’t forget this part.

Hospital CEOs Have Gotten Rich Cutting Staff And Supplies (IC)

In 2006, Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx had healthier patients, just enough nursing staff to take care of them, and a CEO who was earning $2 million a year, a senior nurse and union leader told The Intercept. Fifteen years later, its patients are sicker than ever before, its staffing levels are inadequate, and, as of 2018, its new CEO is earning $13 million per year. The nonprofit hospital, like hundreds of others across the nation, has been cutting costs, progressively going leaner on staffing and supplies over the years. This accelerated approach has meant that the pandemic has hit the hospital, especially health care workers, doubly hard. The nurse, Karine Raymond, has provided care at the facility for 27 years. In the second wave of Covid-19, as in the first, she and her colleagues are taking care of double the patients that they typically do.

“It’s untenable and unmanageable and left us feeling very concerned that perhaps we might have done better if circumstances were different,” said Raymond. “[Our CEO] makes $13 million. How many nurses would his salary pay for? I do have a problem with seeing the suffering of the community I’m supposed to serve while others are collecting funds that have been provided by state and federal governments just because they can.” Nurses were overworked before, but since March, many nurses have left the industry entirely, retiring early or seeking other work. While personal protective equipment supplies are more abundant now than in the spring, nurses are more burnt out than ever — just as hospitals are getting ready for another wave of Covid-19 patients.

The executives who typically make the decisions at the United States’s hospitals, whether for-profit or ostensibly nonprofit, are uniquely unprepared for the coming deluge, experts say. A decadeslong failure to recruit and retain health care workers like nurses, technicians, and nurse’s aides has made U.S. hospitals less able to manage the scope of a pandemic, and makes it much more likely that hospitals will break down, as they did in the spring in Wuhan, Italy, and New York City.

“Even before the pandemic hit us so hard hospitals were using a policy called ‘Lean,’ which is just-in-time staffing and supplies,” said Linda Aiken, a professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania who has long studied the relationship between nurse staffing and patient care. The concept of lean hospitals was developed by management consultant Mark Graban in 2009, but business practices imported from manufacturing based on lean staffing began to be introduced in health care starting in the early ’90s. “All of our research shows those policies were a failure well before Covid and now they are a disaster during this national emergency,” said Aiken.

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“..there was no evidence to date that this variant alters disease severity, either in terms of mortality or the seriousness of the cases of COVID-19 for those infected.”

Coronavirus New Variant (Conv.)

The new UK variant, known as VUI–202012/01 or lineage B.1.1.7, was first identified in the county of Kent on September 20. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, first announced the existence of the variant on December 14; it was subsequently confirmed by Public Health England and the UK’s COVID-19 sequencing consortium. The variant carries 14 defining mutations including seven in the spike protein, the protein that mediates entry of the virus into human cells. This is a relatively large number of changes compared to the many variants we have in circulation globally. To date, genetic profiles – or genomes – of this variant have been largely sequenced and shared from the UK but include some in Denmark and two cases in Australia.

There have also been reports of a case in the Netherlands. These countries all have very large genome sequencing efforts and it is very possible that these observations do not reflect the true distribution of this variant of the virus, which could exist undetected elsewhere. We will know more as more genomes are generated and shared. Thanks to the efforts of data sharing, genomic surveillance and COVID-19 test results in the UK, it seems that this variant is now starting to dominate over existing versions of the virus and that it may be responsible for an increasing proportion of cases in parts of the country, particular in regions where we also have rapidly expanding case numbers.

It is always very difficult to disentangle cause and effect in these cases. For example increases in the appearance of certain mutations can be due to viral lineages carrying them rising in frequency just because they happen to be the ones present in an area where transmission is high, for example due to human activities or choice of interventions. Though this is still a possibility, there are clearly enough concerning observations so far for this variant to warrant very careful characterisation, surveillance and interventions to curb transmission. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, stated clearly that there was no evidence to date that this variant alters disease severity, either in terms of mortality or the seriousness of the cases of COVID-19 for those infected. Work is underway to confirm this.

Where did the variant come from? Right now, we don’t know. To date, scientists have not identified any closely related viruses to support the theory that the variant had been introduced from abroad. The patterns of mutations observed are more supportive of an extended period of adaptive evolution most likely in the UK based on current data. Similar patterns of mutation to these have been observed in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in chronically infected patients with weaker immune systems. The current hypothesis is that such a scenario of chronic infection, in a single patient, may have played a role in the origin of this variant. This will continue to be investigated.


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10 days before Brexit. Perfect timing.

Covid Chaos Disrupts Kent Ports As France Bans UK Freight (G.)

Miles of lorry queues and travel chaos were expected across Kent on Monday morning after France announced a 48-hour ban on passengers and freight entering from the UK. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, is to chair a Cobra meeting on Monday that will address “the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK”, a number 10 spokesperson said, amid expected significant disruption at ports in the south-east. The European Union is to hold a similar crisis meeting today to coordinate its response to concerns about a fast-spreading new strain of Covid-19 after countries across the continent banned UK flight arrivals.

The UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, warned of “significant disruption” following the snap travel ban that came into force on Sunday night. As a result of the announcement from Paris, Kent police implemented Operation Stack, where lorries will queue between junctions eight and 11 of the M20, southbound, to avoid gridlock on the county’s roads. A No 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister will chair a Cobra meeting tomorrow to discuss the situation regarding international travel, in particular the steady flow of freight into and out of the UK.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said Manston Airport in Kent was being prepared to accommodate up to 4,000 lorries as another measure to ease the congestion. However due to the expected level of disruption, DfT also advised hauliers to avoid travel to Kent ports until further notice. “Following the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK for the next 48hrs, we’re asking the public & particularly hauliers not to travel to Kent ports or other routes to France,” Shapps tweeted. “My department is urgently working with Highways England and Kent Council on contingency measures to minimise traffic disruption in the area.”

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Just as you thought the world couldn’t get any smaller.

Saudi Arabia Shuts Down Int’l Air, See & Land Travel Over New Covid Strain

Riyadh has sealed its borders for all passenger travel for at least a week, suspending international flights as well as entry to sea and land ports over a mutant Covid-19 variant that was first discovered in the UK. With a growing number of European countries locking out travel from the UK, Saudi Arabia has pulled all the stops in its effort to curb the spread of the new strain of the coronavirus, imposing a sweeping ban on all commercial travel, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday, citing an ”official source” with the country’s Interior Ministry.

The ban will see all international flights, save for “exceptional cases,” be suspended for a period of one week, that may be extended for yet another week. Land and sea ports will be closed for international arrivals as well. The measures were taken in “precaution” and until the nature of the strain, which is said to be highly contagious, “becomes clear,” the agency reported. A rapidly growing list of countries that have banned travel from the UK, citing concerns about the new virus, after British PM Boris Johnson announced strict Tier-4 lockdowns for parts of the country, including London, the Southeast and, Peterborough in the east of the UK.

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A bipartisan effort that happens every four years.

US Deep State Preempts Reset in Relations With Russia (SCF)

The flurry of U.S. media claims this week about alleged Russian cyber-attacks on government departments came just as Joe Biden was officially declared President-elect. As usual, there is no evidence to back up the sensational claims, but the objective seems to be to ensure that the incoming Biden administration maintains, or adopts a more, hostile policy towards Russia. The timing of all this is hardly coincidence. On Monday this week, the Electoral College in the United States cast its votes to confirm Biden’s election to the White House. The Democrat contender had already won the popular vote by a decisive margin against incumbent Republican President Donald Trump. Almost six weeks of controversy since the November 3 election day – due to Trump’s tenuous claims of voter fraud – were laid to rest this week when the Electoral College confirmed Biden as president-elect.

He is due to be inaugurated as the 46th occupant of the White House on January 20. Out of respect for the American electoral process being consummated, Russian President Vladimir Putin had waited until this week to make any comment. However, after the Electoral College executed its duties, Putin promptly telegrammed congratulations to Biden on his victory. The Russian leader expressed the hope that Russia and the United States would begin to normalize relations for the sake of global security. Ominously, the auspicious occasion was immediately marred by a U.S. media frenzy alleging a massive cyber-assault on the heart of American government and industries. Russia was predictably blamed as the offender.

The Kremlin dismissed the claims as yet another anti-Russia fabrication. For the past four years, the U.S. media have regularly peddled sensational claims of Russian malfeasance, from alleged interference in elections, to alleged assassination programs against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, among many other such tall stories. Never has any verifiable evidence been presented to back up these lurid allegations. The cyber domain is a particular favorite for such anti-Russia claims, most likely because these stories are handily told without any real evidence. All that is required is for anonymous cyber security agents to be quoted. The abstract and arcane cyber world also lends itself to mystery for most people. In short, it is amenable to false claims because of its elusive technical nature.

Now, it is feasible that some kind of malign cyber event did indeed happen in the U.S. government departments, agencies, infrastructure and private sector as reported this week. Though, what is very much in doubt is the question of who actually carried it out. The U.S. media and anonymous officials are fingering Russia. But where is the proof of Russia’s culpability? The FBI and Department of Homeland Security briefed members of Congress about the cyber-attacks. Senators emerged from the briefings fulminating against Russia. The second-highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Dick Durbin, told media that “it was virtually a declaration of war by Russia on the United States”.= What is going on here is a classic case of “gas-lighting” whereby people are being manipulated to believe in something utterly false; for an ulterior agenda.

Read more …

No question and no evidence.

‘No Question’ Russia Behind Latest Hacking Scare – Adam Schiff (RT)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in blaming Russia for a recent massive cyber attack. He also slammed President Donald Trump for the inconvenient suggestion China could have been the culprit. “Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s any question that it was Russia,” Schiff, who is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Sunday, commenting on the hack. The hacking operation in question targeted the SolarWinds Orion Platform, a network monitoring tool used by US government agencies and numerous corporations. There has been no evidence presented that Russia was behind the hack, but Pompeo alleged otherwise in a recent interview.

The president broke with his secretary of state on Saturday and called out “fake news media” for their anonymous reports pinning the hack on Russia. He also suggested China may have been behind the hack, tying it to his ongoing allegations of voter fraud in key swing states during November’s election. Schiff, one of the president’s most vocal critics in the House and a supporter of evidence-free claims Russia colluded to influence the 2016 presidential election, called Trump’s tweets “uniformly destructive and deceitful and injurious” to the country’s “national security.” In a previous tweet, Schiff called the president’s China accusation “another scandalous betrayal of our national security.”

[..] When Trump assumed his post in January 2017, the stage had already been set for the worsening of relations with Moscow, which included dozens of Russian diplomats getting expelled by the Obama administration over the allegations of meddling in US affairs and over “hacking” of the election. As Trump’s term progressed, overshadowed by the failed ‘Russiagate’ investigation, initial hopes of a detente with Moscow have all but faded.

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Rinse and repeat.

Trump Campaign Take Election Battle To SCOTUS Over Pennsylvania Rulings (RT)

President Donald Trump’s legal team filed an appeal to the US Supreme Court on Sunday, requesting multiple rulings out of Pennsylvania be overturned in their latest attempt to overturn election results over alleged voter fraud. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani announced the last ditch effort in a public statement, claiming a trio of Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases “illegally changed Pennsylvania’s mail balloting law immediately before and after the 2020 presidential election.” The appeal follows numerous legal battles in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Georgia. Trump and his team have alleged massive voter fraud in these and other states led to Joe Biden’s victory, which was certified by the Electoral College earlier this month.

Pennsylvania’s changing of the law, Giuliani claims, was “in violation of Article II of the U.S. Constitution.” These decisions “eviscerated the Pennsylvania’s Legislature’s protection against mail ballot fraud,” the release continues. The actual rulings include “prohibiting election officials” from checking signatures on mail-in ballots “during canvassing on Election Day” and “eliminating the right of campaign’s to challenge mail ballots during canvassing for forged signatures and other irregularities.” The legal team also claims the “right of campaigns to observe the canvassing of mail ballots” only meant observers were allowed to be “in the room,” but could not properly verify information because they were too far away.

“Statutory requirements that voters properly sign, address, and date mail ballots” were also not enforced thanks to the state’s Supreme Court, they contend. Trump’s legal team is seeking for electors committed to Joe Biden be “vacated” and the Pennsylvania General Assembly be allowed to select replacements. With Congress set to meet on January 6 to certify the votes of the Electoral College, the campaign is seeking an “expedited” process and a response from the Supreme Court within days.

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Let’s see the goodies.

Flynn: Foreign Intelligence Agencies Were Monitoring US Election (ET)

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn said he was provided information that foreign intelligence agencies were monitoring the U.S. election on Nov. 3 and are willing to provide evidence to President Donald Trump. “We have evidence now of foreign countries … were watching the attacks on our election system, our election process, on the 3rd of November,” Flynn told Fox Business on Friday. “So we now have that evidence and we received that today,” he said. He didn’t elaborate on what foreign intelligence agencies were involved, how he obtained that information, or the nature of the alleged attacks on the election system.

But the foreign governments “are willing to provide that directly to the president,” Flynn remarked. “There are foreign partners and allies that are willing to help us,” he said. [..] Flynn had been making reference to the SolarWinds cyberattack that impacted a considerable portion of federal government agencies. It is not clear if Flynn’s previous remarks about foreign countries monitoring the Nov. 3 election was linked to the SolarWinds hack. “I would say is SolarWinds is an entry point into the rest of our entire U.S. critical infrastructure,” Flynn added. “So everything that touches the United States government, if you enter through this SolarWinds attack that we perceive you basically have keys to the vault.”

Earlier in the week, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity agency warned that the hack presents a risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities” as well as the private sector.” These hackers compromised agencies, critical infrastructure programs, and private sector organizations starting in March 2020 or possibly before that, according to the agency. “You’re able to rummage around and do [expletive] near anything. So it’s a very, very serious attack … We’ve known about it for about six months as I understand it,” Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, added to Fox’s Lou Dobbs. “So when we talk about our election security, Lou, I think this is all part of it because there’s a relationship between these SolarWinds attacks which has basically penetrated our entire infrastructure as well as our election securities.”

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Japan Record $1 Trillion Budget Highlights COVID Challenge To Growth, Debt (R.)

Japan’s cabinet approved on Monday a record $1.03 trillion budget draft for the next fiscal year starting in April 2021, the Ministry of Finance said, as the coronavirus and stimulus spending puts pressure on already dire public finances. The 106.6 trillion yen ($1.03 trillion) annual budget also got a boost from record military and welfare outlays. It marked a 4% rise from this year’s initial level, rising for nine years in a row, with new debt making up more than a third of revenue. From Europe to America, policymakers globally have unleashed a torrent of monetary and fiscal stimulus to prevent a deep and prolonged recession as the pandemic shut international borders and sent many out of work.

In Japan, fiscal reform has been shelved as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga prioritized efforts to contain the pandemic and boost growth, despite public debt at more than twice the size of Japan’s $5 trillion economy. “How to balance the coronavirus response with fiscal reform has hardly been debated in Japan,” said Izuru Kato, chief economist at Totan Research. “Ultralow interest rates under the Bank of Japan’s prolonged monetary easing may have caused fiscal discipline to be paralyzed.” The spending plan, which was in line with a Reuters report out last week, must be approved by parliament early next year.

It will be rolled out along with a third extra budget for this fiscal year as a combined 15-month budget aimed for seamless spending to ease the virus pain and back Suga’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality and digital transformation. “We had to strike a right balance between the needs to prevent the spread of infections, revive the economy and achieve fiscal reform,” Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters after a cabinet meeting. “That was the most difficult task in compiling this budget.”

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I guess there are still people who read the New York Times. Why?

For NY Times, No News Is Fit To Print About Rep. Swalwell And A Spy (Hill)

If you’re a New York Times subscriber who also watches the broadcast network evening news and considers that your news diet, there’s a very good chance you haven’t heard about Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and his ties to an accused Chinese spy a few years ago. To review why this is absolutely worthy of coverage, Swalwell’s interaction with the alleged spy known as Fang Fang included, according to Axios, Fang placing an intern in Swalwell’s office and helping to fundraise for his 2014 reelection campaign. In 2015, the FBI provided Swalwell a “defensive briefing” to warn him of the threat she appeared to pose. So, the first obvious question is this: Given how easily Swalwell was duped, why did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shortly thereafter place him on the House Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA and therefore has access to the highest level of sensitive, classified information?

The New York Times doesn’t seem to care about getting an answer to that question. Of the biases we see in major media, the sin of omission is one that seems to occur only when the protagonist of a major story has a (D) next to his or her name. So, when the New York Times, which has a whopping 7 million subscribers and is considered the country’s most influential publication, doesn’t see the Swalwell story as a story at all, it tells you just as much about its moral compass as it does its editorial decisions. Swalwell isn’t just a random lawmaker. He’s arguably the most ubiquitous D.C. figure on cable news – and particularly CNN and MSNBC – this side of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) in conducting hundreds of interviews over the past four years, primarily to charge without evidence that President Trump is an agent of Russia.

The 40-year-old also somehow sits on the House Intelligence Committee, meaning he has access to the nation’s top classified information. The Swalwell/Chinese spy story was broken 10 days ago by Axios, which isn’t exactly a bastion of right-wing sentiment. No matter: Swalwell decided to allege that Axios had colluded with Trump in terms of how the story came to light. “I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at,” Swalwell claimed on Dec. 9. Yep — Eric Swalwell, who ran for president for about five minutes in 2019, is such a threat to an outgoing president that a decision was made to work with Axios (which worked on the story for more than a year) to run with a Trump leak.

This is the same lawmaker who told MSNBC that Trump “is working on behalf of the Russians” and used his position on the Intel Committee to imply that he had evidence to back up such information. That evidence has yet to be presented, because it doesn’t exist. So, an obvious question is whether Swalwell should remain on the Intelligence Committee given the Chinese connection and the reckless statements about a sitting president working with a hostile nation. More than a dozen GOP House members are urging Speaker Pelosi to oust Swalwell from the committee; Pelosi has responded by saying she doesn’t have “any concerns” about the congressman.

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Home Forums Debt Rattle December 21 2020

Viewing 27 posts - 1 through 27 (of 27 total)
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  • #67137

    Edward Hopper House tops 1921   • $600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota) • Hospital CEOs Have Gotten Rich Cutting Staff And Supplie
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle December 21 2020]

    V. Arnold

    • $600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota)

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.
    Frederick Douglass

    Mr. House

    I guess there are still people who read the New York Times. Why?

    • For NY Times, No News Is Fit To Print About Rep. Swalwell And A Spy (Hill)

    You should take a look at the comments on that article. Are those real people?

    Dr. D

    “$600 Is Not Enough, And It Won’t Get Easier (Sirota)”

    Killin’ some folks, movin’ $10 Trillion to the rich. No one notices. They still argue it’s an “accident.” After 1994, 2001, 2008, Madoff, Mozillo, Kash-n-kari…

    Next problem we’ve shockingly haven’t run into is: food isn’t money. Your “money” means nothing to me.

    “Hospital CEOs Have Gotten Rich Cutting Staff and Supplies (IC)”

    Vouch for this. They’re like, “Golly, since we totally, completely lied about 15 days DIDN’T stop the virus, and can’t do regular procedures, we’re out of money. Can you all work half-staffed while we sit over here in safe, COVID-free office buildings or work from our $500k kitchens? Thanks, pal.”

    And NOW they’re like, “Gee, there’s a second wave.” –Yeah, we know, you were talking about it even before there was a FIRST wave. “The second wave is overwhelming (only very certain parts) of the country – the ones that wear masks.” Yeah, we know. So you went on a Manhattan Project of recruiting nurses and hiring and training medical staff, opened up disused wings and shuttered facilities, activated the national guard and hospital ships, right? You had a year.

    NOPE. We just worked from home and used the half-staffing in Covid wards to pay our own safe-in-houses salaries. Sorry about those Front-line workers who have long-term disabilities now. Ooopsie!!! Is that a third Margaritaville blender arriving from Amazon? Gotta go!

    “Coronavirus New Variant (Conv.)”

    Printed. Therefore: lie. It’s “More contagious?” Who cares? A) the first one already isn’t stopped by anything, and DEFINITELY, PROVABLY not by lockdowns, fake or otherwise. (20-nation study, WHO, Nov 11 U.S. Army study, Sweden, California, Texas, NY…) B) Nobody’s dying from it in the first place. If I “Get” feline leukemia, would I care? No, because it doesn’t do anything to me. Now CV is probably 2x-ish more dangerous than the flu, but that’s still down near “not dangerous at all.” Or no more dangerous than a thousand things we do nothing about, like pollution-caused cancer, driving miles, and diet-caused Diabetes.

    C) So you have the same-old non-disease, and you call a city-wide lockdown? A week after PARIS freaked over their city-wide lockdown? And so…more predictably than rain…everyone all the rich people in the affected area fled town. …AND THEREBY SPREAD THE NEW STRAIN COUNTRYWIDE. Worldwide. Congratulations, you’re an idiot. No one gets in trouble, which means they LIKE what happened, and they’re up to something.

    …I mean beyond the obvious of FORCING city-real estate prices down, making the middle-class take the loss, then buying it up on the cheap and “Building Back Better” with ANOTHER $10 Trillion from broke, stolen, trampled, harassed, imprisoned, murdered taxpayers. ..So lacking any imagination, they stole the plot from “RoboCop.”

    “No Question’ Russia Behind Latest Hacking Scare – Adam Schiff (RT)”

    The amazing thing here is that Adam Schiff can speak without everybody laughing. …But that’s what happens when you don’t arrest anybody. Ever.

    “Trump Campaign Take Election Battle to SCOTUS Over Pennsylvania Rulings (RT)”

    You have to exhaust all legal avenues before you do more creative things. Both being the good guys, and public perception demand it.

    “Flynn: Foreign Intelligence Agencies Were Monitoring US Election (ET)”

    Which one? We still need to arrest people for illegally spying on the LAST election, including Ted Cruz and every other candidate (Jill Stein), without even a fake RussiaGate premise to fabricate legality.

    “I guess there are still people who read the New York Times. Why?”

    To know what idiots think, of course. To keep track of the other side, what they’re up to, what their strategy and game plan is. And of course since everything they print is a lie, just fill in the opposite and you have the truth. And they printed it. Only in the negative.

    This is how traders read the news. It’s not HOW they report, it’s WHAT they report. Why is this headline here when another far more important story isn’t? Paid advertising. Product placement. You certainly don’t own a paper for the PROFITS, so it has to be to control narrative and insider trade. By lying. Then lying. Then lying some more. The Truth doesn’t sell, people. Only lies and slander.


    people are being manipulated to believe in something utterly false; for an ulterior agenda.
    • ‘No Question’ Russia Behind Latest Hacking Scare – Adam Schiff (RT)

    See what I dug up for you
    Debt Rattle December 20 2020 #67093
    SolarWinds has not verified the identity of the attacker.
    @ Dr. D
    Your essay on cows is not full of it.
    It will take “a tribal chief” system with a minimum of 12 working adult to survive. (Check out )
    If there is no inputs from the failing social/economic structures and preying by all kinds of starving people It will be a tough, hard road for those survivors.
    There exist millions of people who have had covid19 and do not need the vaccines.

    Mr. House

    Over at John Michael Greer’s blog (the Dreamwidth one) JMG describes a “delineation” (astrological interpretation) of the chart he created for the upcoming presidential inauguration. “”Grim” isn’t the half of it” he writes “…This is far and away the most malefic mundane chart I have ever studied.”

    A bit off-topic, apologies. The mind wandered, I was going to write about the first article and contrast it with the happy/puff-piece/media-misdirection on it, but it became mentally exhausting and I ran out of steam.

    I don’t pretend to understand the usefulness and/or limitations of astrology – but I do get a titter of delight when my intuition aligns with a prediction. Even if it is rather apparent to anyone paying attention (IMHO I am agnostic on the subject, I have no reason to dismiss astrology out of hand, though astrology is strictly discredited debunked and verboten in my scientifical engineering field and religious cohort)

    “I have no idea if Donald Trump or anyone in his inner circle pays the least attention to astrology, but if so, I hope he has the great good sense to button up his ego, let his legal challenges slide, prepare to depart the White House with whatever theatrics he considers appropriate, and thank his lucky stars that he can sit out the next four years…Whoever is inaugurated this coming January will be walking face first into a buzzsaw…”

    Wickedly delightful bit of schadenfreude and worth a read

    Mr. House


    Saw that and commented about trump releasing how the CIA killed kennedy. But now i’m thinking he pulls the rug out from under covid.


    And a happy Solstice to everyone.

    Polder Dweller

    Looks like more people are noticing that mask mandates increase the number of infections.

    Do mask mandates work? Research suggests they don’t.

    Mr. House



    Ahhh!… that titter of delight when your intuition aligns with prediction. Smiles.

    I find JMG delightful most often. Thanks for the tip! Can’t wait for the lengthening of the day to begin!

    John Day

    Vielen Dank, Herr Werner!

    John Day

    Tganks Mr. House!
    Thanks Russel Brand. Hey, I’ve got a few shirts I could lend, or even give you.

    John Day

    Jupiter Saturn Conjunction Solstice
    John Michael Greer opened the astrological bidding with this: Thanks Mr House
    Executive Summary:
    The most relentlessly malefic mundane chart I have ever studied greets the incoming administration with a barrage of hostile aspects almost entirely unrelieved by favorable indications. The government can expect to be hammered by one crisis after another, with economic troubles, popular protests, and outbreaks of violence over the top of a spreading collapse of public support in the status quo that puts the entire structure of American governance in question. Whoever is inaugurated early next year will face a disastrous situation, and whoever becomes the next president thereafter is going to have a gargantuan mess to clean up.​..
    ​ It will be modified, of course, by the quarterly ingress charts, the influence of eclipses, and of course the Grand Mutation between Jupiter and Saturn, which announces the beginning of a new era in world history a month before the inauguration.
    {​Heelllooo Aquarius!​}

    Pentagon Abruptly Halts Biden Transition Briefings, Leaving Officials “Stunned”

    ​ Successful viral mutations are rewarded with increased viral replication and spread.
    Success typically hinges upon spreading more effectively and keeping your hosts in circulation, not killing them out of circulation.
    Jumping hosts more readily is rewarded, but so is not making people so sick that they lie alone in bed.
    ​A new variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, is thought to be driving increased transmission of the disease in parts of the UK.

    I agree with this august medical scholar: Thanks Jeremy.
    ​ ​Dr. Tetsuo Nakayama, a project professor at Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences and director of the Japanese Society of Clinical Virology, says although the vaccines under development by Pfizer and Moderna successfully created antibodies in trials, there are still doubts about whether those antibodies remain a year or two after vaccination.
    ​ ​There are also underlying concerns about the vaccines’ safety over the long term. Judging from past precedents, their safety and effectiveness are not something that can be determined until at least a year after a massive number of vaccinations have been administered, experts say.
    ​ ​In a worst-case scenario, antibodies could worsen the disease by essentially helping the infection of cells — a phenomenon called antibody dependent enhancement (ADE) — rather than fighting the virus pathogens.
    ​ ​For example, a dengue fever vaccine made by Sanofi, based on a yellow fever vaccine embedded with a part of the dengue virus genome, at first appeared to be effective. But it caused the deaths of children who had been given the vaccination due to the ADE phenomenon.
    ​ ​“Concerns over ADE still remain. I am an elderly person myself, but if I were asked, I would say I don’t want to get a shot,” Nakayama said. “Not all of the 120 million people (in Japan) should get the vaccinations. Children, for example, would not need it because there’s scarcely any risk of severe cases.”

    ​Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
    It’s Time to Find Our Common Ground and Fight the Real Deep State
    Big Oil, King Coal, Big Chemical, Big Tech and Big Pharma are titans of a Deep State cartel that is driving our country down the road to plutocracy and environmental apocalypse. We must unite to fight them — and not each other.

    It’s Time to Find Our Common Ground and Fight the Real Deep State


    John Day
    I’m confused. Can you help?
    What does it mean to say that the virus has been isolated? I read in many places that C19 has not been isolated. But wasn’t the genome sequenced? I would have thought that it would need to be isolated in order to be sequenced.
    And the new variant; how is it identified? it would seem that you would have to isolate a virus to identify a variant. No?


    When Adam Schiff moves his lips, he is lying!

    He is the little boy who falsely cried “Wolf” for four years.

    I think we can safely cross Russia off the list of who done it!

    Mr. House


    Haha yeah he has an eclectic taste in shirts eh? But i think overall he is a very intelligent gentleman. Funny how he is very outspoken and you don’t see him in movies anymore?


    Clearly it has become easier to create “pork” in Washington DC.

    Before it cost $1200. Now it only costs $600. Next time it won’t cost anything!

    Sheep are so easy to please!


    I see the US courts don’t want to look at the evidence!

    If you file an election case, you don’t have standing!

    The courts are standing in the way of justice!


    I suppose it’s natural to turn to astrology as the next step downwards along the progression from The Guardian and NYT through Facebook and Twitter.

    Is the destination chicken entrails? Do crystal balls actually come in there somewhere or is it all finally outsourced to a bunch of old ladies sitting around a Macbeth cauldron I wonder.

    I had thought Matt Savignar’s descent from “Life After the Oil Crash” to “Hexagon Astrologer” online as an earner was sort of a joke but seems I was wrong.

    So who we gonna believe, John Michael Greer or the next Joan Ceciel Quigley?

    Ilargi’s recent featured quote from Carl Sagan was rather prescient.



    Geez bro!… I bet your fun at parties. Some of us are still capable of experiencing…. *delight*. For me making light of the cosmic part of this big joke is good clean fun. No matter cuz I could really care less about what you think ‘natural’ is. For me JMG is all about the metaphor.

    And just to remind, the lunar AND planetary tidal forces do manage to raise the seas a couple times a day. Being that a good portion of my personal meat sack is H2O …..I find it fun to ‘wonder’.

    hahahahahaha….. Whatever!

    Doc Robinson

    An article in Science today about the risks of anaphylactic reactions to the Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines:

    Suspicions grow that nanoparticles in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trigger rare allergic reactions

    Severe allergy-like reactions in at least eight people who received the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech over the past 2 weeks may be due to a compound in the packaging of the messenger RNA (mRNA) that forms the vaccine’s main ingredient, scientists say. A similar mRNA vaccine developed by Moderna, which was authorized for emergency use in the United States on Friday, also contains the compound, polyethylene glycol (PEG).

    PEG has never been used before in an approved vaccine...

    PEGs were long thought to be biologically inert, but a growing body of evidence suggests they are not. As much as 72% of people have at least some antibodies against PEGs, according to a 2016 study led by Samuel Lai, a pharmaco-engineer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, presumably as a result of exposure to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. About 7% have a level that may be high enough to predispose them to anaphylactic reactions, he found…

    Nevertheless, the companies were aware of the risk. In a stock market prospectus filed on 6 December 2018, Moderna acknowledged the possibility of “reactions to the PEG from some lipids or PEG otherwise associated with the LNP.” And in a September paper, BioNTech researchers proposed an alternative to PEG for therapeutic mRNA delivery, noting: “The PEGylation of nanoparticles can also have substantial disadvantages concerning activity and safety.’”

    He notes that both mRNA vaccines require two shots, and he worries anti-PEG antibodies triggered by the first shot could increase the risk of an allergic reaction to the second or to PEGylated drugs…


    Amazingly Time magazine blows the silence and compares the Pandemic Depression to the Great Depression and publishes a telling “Edward Hopper” picture of 2020 mid-Manhattan:
    Their graph adds the Great Depression that was conveniently left off the one above. Literally the world is replaying 1929 again, except now it is with a fiat currency. Austerity is the equivalent of going back on the Gold Standard. This time, a World War would be an extermination event.

    WaPo continues to blame everything on Donald Trump and Russia not the ruling Plutocracy. Donald Trump’s “Denial, Mismanagement and Magical Thinking” defines the Elite. If there is fraud in Facebook giving 400 million dollars to state election offices or if Dominion Voting Systems were hacked, using it after the fact to stay in power is Republican hypocrisy.

    But, no matter, Joe Biden’s selecting of General Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary assures that he has the Praetorian Guard at his back.

    Doc Robinson

    I just learned about the existence of these recent songs by Van Morrison and Eric Clapton:

    No More Lockdown by Van Morrison

    Stand and Deliver, written by Van Morrison and performed by Eric Clapton

    Stand and deliver
    You’ve let them put the fear on you…

    John Day

    What indeed does it mean that “a virus has been isolated”? A single bacterium can be seen under a microscope, simming in some saline, but it may be full of viruses, which are far tinier and do not have the ability to self replicate. They must infect a living cell and take over it’s replication machinery and subvert it to producing, then releasing viruses. They are little chain-letters.
    Being so small, they are destroyed by taking a close look at them, like with electron microscopy. We’ve seen the pictures, and those viruses in them were isolated for the photograph that destroyed them as it confirmed that they had existed the moment before.
    The SARS-CoV-2 viruses isolated can be subjected to reading of their RNA, which is done. You need a bunch of them, like from the swab of a really infected person who is just spewing them out. The first step in analyzing the RNA sequence is to destroy about a million of the viruses you just “isolated” and get a machine to read the thousand-billion little fragments of RNA, determining each fragment sequence and storing it in a comupter. All the fragments are then correlated by transposing their identical segments in the big-computer-memory database until you get a read of the code they all have in common, since they are identical (except the rare mutation, which is filtered out by the process if it just occurs in a couple of the sliced and diced nucleoside chains).
    So, the one view is that all of the aspects of the virus have been determined after collecting a large sample of virions in isolation. The counter would be that only destroyed viral trash was looked at. “Show me the isolated virus that you say you have!” “Well, I could show you, but I’d have to destroy the virus to do so:, comes the answer. Fortunately, the armed forces of the great nations, as well as our shadowy puppet masters are generally more practical. They just hire scientists to make bioweapons and determine how to defend against what they just made. They just want results, not an irrefutable proof.


    @sinnycool: regarding chicken entrails… as you know, we have an inauguration coming up. The origin of the word inauguration has, I believe, chicken entrails embedded in it. Also the flight patterns of birds, and other natural phenomena, which the Roman priest class (called augurs) were called upon to interpret at important moments of State.

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