Aug 232021
 


Vasily Polenov Moscow courtyard 1878

 

The FDA Is Begging You Not to Take Horse Dewormer for Covid-19 (RS)
How Does Covid-19 Affect The Brain? (NatGeo)
Potential Use Of Ivermectin For Treatment And Prophylaxis Of SARS-CoV-2 (SD) /span>
Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection (AJT)
Stop The Mandates Or People Die (Denninger)
Molecular Determinants of SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Cell)
Biden Team’s Misguided And Deadly Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy (WT)
100s Of Doctors Sign Open Letter: Need Debate On ‘Flawed Covid Guesses’ (Exp.)
Rescue Dogs Shot Dead By NSW Council Due To Covid-19 Restrictions (SMH)
Afghan Staff At US Embassy Losing Faith In Evacuation Efforts (NBC)
White House Announces They’ve Lost Kamala Harris (BBee)

 

 

 

 

A drug safely used by an estimated 3 billion people has been relabeled a horse dewormer. This is a dangerous campaign. Lives are being lost.

The FDA Is Begging You Not to Take Horse Dewormer for Covid-19 (RS)

“You are not a horse. You are not a cow,” the Food and Drug Administration tweeted on Saturday alongside a link to a page on their website explaining “Why you should not use Ivermectin to treat or prevent Covid-19.” Why? Because Ivermectin, a medication usually reserved for deworming livestock, is responsible for a spike in poison control calls in Mississippi as people duped by conspiracy theories have purchased the drug and ingested it, hoping it will treat or prevent Covid-19 — something the drug is not proven to do. According to an alert issued by the Mississippi Department of Health on Friday, 70 percent of all recent calls to poison control in the state “have been related to ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased at livestock supply centers.”

Although most callers (85 percent) only reported mild symptoms, one person was advised to seek additional treatment. “Animal drugs are highly concentrated for large animals and can be highly toxic in humans,” the alert said. Ivermectin is sometimes used in humans to treat parasites or scabies, but in much smaller doses than are given to livestock. The calls have clearly baffled health officials in the state. “I think some people are trying to use it as a preventative which is really kind of crazy,” Dr. Thomas Dobbs, Mississippi’s state health officer, said. “So please don’t do that.”

“You wouldn’t get your chemotherapy at a feed store,” Dobbs added. “You wouldn’t treat your pneumonia with your animal’s medication. It can be dangerous to get the wrong doses of medication, especially with something meant for a horse or a cow.” But the obvious risks of humans ingesting Ivermectin haven’t stopped people at Fox News — including hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson — from dangerously suggesting that it is a safe and effective treatment for Covid-19, as Rachel Maddow pointed out on her Friday night show where she showed clips of Fox personalities pushing the drug consistently over the last six months.

Read more …

Very little is clear. Only thing to do is keep people from being infected. And the vaccines don’t do that:

..an internal document from the C.D.C. states that some 35,000 vaccinated people experience symptomatic coronavirus infections each week..

How Does Covid-19 Affect The Brain? (NatGeo)

If SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t infect brain cells, how is so destructive to cognition? There are two leading hypotheses. The first is that the infection somehow triggers inflammation in the brain. Some COVID-19 patients have suffered encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, which can cause confusion and double vision, and in serious cases, speech, hearing, or vision problems. If left untreated, patients can develop cognitive problems. Viruses like West Nile and Zika can cause encephalitis by directly infecting the brain cells, but how COVID-19 may lead to brain inflammation is less clear. An immune response run amok, known as autoimmunity, might be to blame for some instances of inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.

When the immune system is fighting a disease like COVID-19, it unleashes antibodies to do battle against the infection. But sometimes a person’s immune system becomes hyperactive and instead starts making self-attacking antibodies, known as autoantibodies, which can contribute to inflammation and blood clots. These autoantibodies have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms. In the Columbia study, researchers found clusters of microglia—special immune cells in the brain whose job is to clear out damaged neurons—that appeared to be attacking healthy neurons. The phenomenon is called neuronophagia. Most of these rogue microglia were in the brain stem, which regulates heartbeat, breathing, and sleeping.

The researchers think these microglia may get activated by signaling molecules called inflammatory cytokines found in patients with severe COVID-19. These molecules are supposed to help regulate the immune system, but some people’s bodies release too many inflammatory cytokines in response to a viral infection. When researchers at Stanford looked at brain tissue from eight patients who died of COVID-19, they also observed signs of inflammation compared to 14 control brains. Using a technique called single-cell RNA sequencing, they found that hundreds of genes associated with inflammation were activated in brain cells from COVID-19 patients compared to controls.

They also noted molecular changes in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain involved in decision-making and memory that suggested signaling imbalances in neurons. Similar imbalances have been seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The results were published in Nature in June. A second explanation for cognitive issues is that COVID-19 may restrict blood flow to the brain and deprive it of oxygen. In patients who have died of COVID-19, researchers have found evidence of brain tissue damagecaused by hypoxia, or the lack of oxygen.

Read more …

Slow but sure take-up by serious medical journals.

Science Direct (Elsevier). Current Research in Translational Medicine
Volume 69, Issue 4, October 2021, 103309

Potential Use Of Ivermectin For Treatment And Prophylaxis Of SARS-CoV-2 (SD)

Ivermectin performs its function mainly through inhibition of nuclear transport mediated by the imported heterodimer a/b1 , which is responsible for the translocation of proteins of several viral species (Human Immunodeficiency Virus, type 1- HIV1, and Simian Virus 40 – SV40; a known oncogenic DNA), and such translocation is, in turn, essential for viral replication [7,8]. This inhibition appears to affect a considerable number of RNA viruses. It has recently been shown that ivermectin inhibits the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro [8, 9], although it is not clear how this occurs. However, since the causal agent of COVID-19 is an RNA virus, the interference with the same proteins and molecular processes described above can reasonably be expected.

However, these studies were conducted at concentrations substantially higher than expected in the plasma and lungs of humans who receive the approved dose of ivermectin. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies suggest that in order to achieve the plasma concentrations required for in vitro antiviral efficacy, it would be necessary to administer doses up to 100 times higher than approved for human use. However, increasing the dose/kg of body weight may be a strategy to increase efficacy, the increase of the risk of toxicity is not conclusive. Currently, there is a noteworthy absence of efficacious treatments for patients with early infection. Although most patients present mild or moderate symptoms, up to 5-10% may have a bad disease progression, so there is a pressing need for effective drugs to be administered early in the course of infection, even before the appearance of severe symptoms, i.e. when the course of the disease is more modifiable to prevent disease progression and longer-term complications.

In fact, it is known that the earlier the antiviral therapies are started, the greater the benefits for patients, in both influenza [15] and SARS infections [16], as well as, more generally, for all infections. Given the need to find an effective drug that can mitigate the harmful consequences of COVID-19, a large number of studies are being carried out in order to assess the effectiveness of different existing drugs, including ivermectin, with promising results. This narrative review summarizes and outlines the evidence-based effectiveness and safety of ivermectin in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, recommending the drug for the treatment of COVID-19 especially in the early stages of the disease.

Read more …

American Journal of Therapeutics: July/August 2021

Ivermectin for Prevention and Treatment of COVID-19 Infection (AJT)

Ivermectin is a well-known medicine that is approved as an antiparasitic by the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration. It is widely used in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to treat worm infections. Also used for the treatment of scabies and lice, it is one of the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines. With total doses of ivermectin distributed apparently equaling one-third of the present world population, ivermectin at the usual doses (0.2–0.4 mg/kg) is considered extremely safe for use in humans. In addition to its antiparasitic activity, it has been noted to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, leading to an increasing list of therapeutic indications.8

Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, both observational and randomized studies have evaluated ivermectin as a treatment for, and as prophylaxis against, COVID-19 infection. A review by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance summarized findings from 27 studies on the effects of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection, concluding that ivermectin “demonstrates a strong signal of therapeutic efficacy” against COVID-19.9 Another recent review found that ivermectin reduced deaths by 75%. Despite these findings, the National Institutes of Health in the United States recently stated that “there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,”and the World Health Organization recommends against its use outside of clinical trials.

Ivermectin has exhibited antiviral activity against a wide range of RNA and some DNA viruses, for example, Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and others.13 Caly et al14 demonstrated specific action against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro with a suggested host-directed mechanism of action being the blocking of the nuclear import of viral proteins that suppress normal immune responses. However, the necessary cell culture EC50 may not be achievable in vivo.16 Other conjectured mechanisms include inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro activity(a protease essential for viral replication), a variety of anti-inflammatory effects,19 and competitive binding of ivermectin with the viral S protein as shown in multiple in silico studies. The latter would inhibit viral binding to ACE-2 receptors suppressing infection. Hemagglutination via viral binding to sialic acid receptors on erythrocytes is a recently proposed pathologic mechanism that would be similarly disrupted. Both host-directed and virus-directed mechanisms have thus been proposed, the clinical mechanism may be multimodal, possibly dependent on disease stage, and a comprehensive review of mechanisms of action is warranted.

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You can’t force people. And you shouldn’t be trying.

Stop The Mandates Or People Die (Denninger)

Better watch this one folks and let it sink in.

“If I don’t show up for my job, as I just explained to you, people die. On Saturday night at 10 p.m. I got a page. I did not want to go to work. Somebody was having a very critical problem, they were dying. I worked until 6 a.m. the next day. If I had not of showed up, there would have been nobody to do my job. These guys can’t show up to their job, and I’m sorry, your jobs are not as important as mine.” There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people just like him They’re everywhere in the health care system. They have unique skills without which the system does not function, and when you need those skills you need them now, not later. There is no “later”; there is either now or death. Take someone on dialysis. This is not a “robotic procedure”; each patient has specific levels of various drugs and their specific metabolic reactions to them that must be individually managed.

The people who do that job are not replaceable on short notice, if at all. If you need dialysis and do not get it, you die. This is not a “maybe” or “might die” you WILL die with absolute, 100% certainty. Things happen at odd hours of the day and night. Most real medical emergencies are not scheduled — heart attacks, strokes, car wrecks, gunshots and similar. They happen when they happen and either someone is there to respond to it and deal with it or the person in question dies. Those hundreds of thousands of people who are utterly essential to people not dying every single day — hundreds if not thousands who will otherwise die if those employees refuse to show up — and exactly zero of those people can be compelled to work. This is America. It is not the Soviet Union. It is not North Korea.

NOBODY is a slave and EVERYONE has the right to say “**** you” and walk out. EVERYONE. ALL THE TIME. Then there are of course both cops and firefighters. You want someone to put your house out if its on fire, right? What if the firefighters say “**** you” to a jab mandate and quit? Who’s going to put the fire out? Do you even have a wrench to get the hydrant open, say much less the correct fittings and hose? What happens when your child is in that burning house and there is no firefighter to put it out? He or she dies. You cannot arrest and jail someone for quitting their job or refusing a mandate and being fired. All employment is voluntary, no matter how “essential” the position. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS and there is no way to replace the people who do these jobs without which hundreds of people per day WILL DIE.

Therefore you have a choice to make America and you have to make it NOW. You will stand up and stop these mandates. You will do it now. You will do it or every single person who dies as a result of your failure to do so, and the refusal of others to consent, is YOUR responsibility. Not their person who quits — YOURS. THEY are not slaves. THEY cannot be compelled to consent. THEY have NO obligation to put up with your bull****. You’d better get this through your thick ******n skull RIGHT NOW. YOU are why that person who needs dialysis will be dead. YOU are why the person who is in critical trouble in a hospital and there is no perfusionist available right now will die. YOU either stop this madness, right now, by whatever means are necessary, without exception from top to bottom or YOU are responsible for those deaths and those deaths WILL come.

Read more …

“While replication-associated mutations generate small changes in the viral genome, recombination may introduce more important modifications, leading to dramatic changes in the phenotype of SARS-CoV-2..”

Molecular Determinants of SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Cell)

Accumulation of genomes with replication-associated random mutations within the same cell has the potential to generate a heterogeneous mix of viral proteins, including spike protein, which brings into question the true diversity of the spike on the surface of individual virions and subsequent tissue-level spread of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. If a more orderly molecular process to regulate the homogeneous distribution of spike protein variants on individual virions exists, it remains to be identified. Regular RNA sequencing analyses are unable to identify these differences since they can only be captured by ultra-high-resolution single-virion protein sequencing, the technology for which is in its infancy.


The SARS-CoV-2 genomic mutation rate in humans is estimated at 0.8-2.38 x 10-3 nucleotide substitutions per site per year largely based on analysis of sequencing data archived in public repositories. Emerging studies are attempting to confirm this mutation rate using experimental investigations. By comparison, mutations rates for influenza A virus and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) are 2.3 x 10-3 and 1.12 x 10-3 nucleotide substitutions per site per year, respectively. Human CoVs (HCoV)-OC43 and HCoV-229E have an average mutation rate of 3-6 x 10-4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year. Emerging experimental data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of mutating and accumulating changes when facing a new cell type, albeit in the absence of immune surveillance in a single-cell-type infection model. A clinical study also reported the rapid evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants in the presence of antibodies from convalescent plasma therapy. While random errors during replication may induce genetic mutations in SARS-CoV-2, multiple extrinsic factors, such as individual and population-level immunity, play a vital role in the selection of these variants. More research is warranted to fully understand the cellular and molecular drivers of genomic mutation and selection in SARS-CoV-2. As SARS-CoV-2 accumulates new genetic changes, we shall need to reassess the mutation rate to better understand the contribution of replication-associated random mutations and its impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and emergence of new variants.


Figure 1 Replication-Associated Generation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Variants.

While replication-associated mutations generate small changes in the viral genome, recombination may introduce more important modifications, leading to dramatic changes in the phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 (Figure 2). Discontinuous transcription of CoV genomes enables recombination in a cell coinfected with more than one CoV species or variant via ‘strand switching’ by the viral RdRp (Figure 2A). This process leads to the production of chimeric subgenomic RNA and proteins. Chimeric proteins may have consequences for the fate of infected cells and for cellular and tissue tropism of progeny virions. As technology evolves, we might be able to track the spread of individual virions, along with deciphering the heterogeneity of their composition.


Figure 2 Recombination-Induced Variants.

Read more …

Dr. Robert Malone and Peter Navarro.

Biden Team’s Misguided And Deadly Covid-19 Vaccine Strategy (WT)

The Biden administration’s strategy to universally vaccinate in the middle of the pandemic is bad science and badly needs a reboot. This strategy will likely prolong the most dangerous phase of the worst pandemic since 1918 and almost assuredly cause more harm than good – even as it undermines faith in the entire public health system. Four flawed assumptions drive the Biden strategy. The first is that universal vaccination can eradicate the virus and secure economic recovery by achieving herd immunity throughout the country (and the world). However, the virus is now so deeply embedded in the world population that, unlike polio and smallpox, eradication is unachievable. SARS-CoV-2 and its myriad mutations will likely continually circulate, much like the common cold and influenza.

The second assumption is that the vaccines are (near) perfectly effective. However, our currently available vaccines are quite “leaky.” While good at preventing severe disease and death, they only reduce, not eliminate, the risk of infection, replication, and transmission. As a slide deck from the Centers for Disease Control has revealed, even 100% acceptance of the current leaky vaccines combined with strict mask compliance will not stop the highly contagious Delta variant from spreading. The third assumption is that the vaccines are safe. Yet scientists, physicians, and public health officials now recognize risks that are rare but by no means trivial. Known side effects include serious cardiac and thrombotic conditions, menstrual cycle disruptions, Bell’s Palsy, Guillain Barre syndrome, and anaphylaxis.

Unknown side effects which virologists fear may emerge include existential reproductive risks, additional autoimmune conditions, and various forms of disease enhancement, i.e., the vaccines can make people more vulnerable to reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 or reactivation of latent viral infections and associated diseases such as shingles. With good reason, the FDA has yet to approve the vaccines now administered under Emergency Use Authorization. The failure of the fourth “durability” assumption is the most alarming and perplexing. It now appears our current vaccines are likely to offer a mere 180-day window of protection – a decided lack of durability underscored by scientific evidence from Israel and confirmed by Pfizer, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other countries.

Here, we are already being warned of the need for universal “booster” shots at six-month intervals for the foreseeable future. The obvious broader point that militates for individual vaccine choice is that repeated vaccinations, each with a small risk, can add up to a big risk. It’s an arms race with the virus.

Read more …

Still not sure what they’re mad about, other than lockdowns.

100s Of Doctors Sign Open Letter: Need Debate On ‘Flawed Covid Guesses’ (Exp.)

A hundred and thirty three doctors, nurses, psychiatrists paramedics and midwives signed the letter released today which states that despite a “complete lack of widespread approval among health professionals,” of the pandemic policies, “no attempt” has been made to measure the harms of lockdown policies. The letter, also addressed to the Health Secretary and First Ministers for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland states: “You have failed to engage in dialogue and show no signs of doing so. You have removed from people fundamental rights and altered the fabric of society with little debate in Parliament.” The signatories, from a broad range of specialities, came forward despite the risk of doing so to both their jobs and reputations.

Founding signatory Dr Ros Jones, a retired paediatric consultant said: “We wrote the letter as a group of healthcare professionals, connected only by our deep concern and shared commitment to “first do no harm.” We can no longer stand by in silence. We are not the first group of medically and scientifically qualified professionals to write in such terms to the Government. In March, 22 eminent scientists publicly called for drastic policy change. We sincerely hope we will be the last who feel the need to write such a letter.” Dr Alan Mordue, another founding signatory said: “To move forward now our governments urgently need to facilitate a wider and open debate within the medical and scientific community, for the short term as we lift restrictions, and the longer term to improve how we manage winter respiratory viruses and pandemics in the future.”

Concerns voiced in the letter include accusations that no Minister responsible for policy “has engaged in an open and full discussion of alternative ways of managing the pandemic,” despite being aware of other medical and scientific viewpoints. It adds the pandemic response policies have caused “significant, permanent and unnecessary harm” to the UK and “must never be repeated.” The letter focuses on 10 areas where the UK’s approach to COVID failed. It argues the nature of the covid threat has been exaggerated, it claims the use of behavioural science to generate fear was “inappropriate and unethical” and it argues the role of asymptomatic spread has been overplayed and used to promote public compliance with restrictions.

Finally it states that restrictions have been imposed with an overreliance on modelling data whilst ignoring real world data. The signatories called for a “sea change within the Government “which must now pay proper attention to those esteemed experts outside its inner circle who are sounding these alarms.”

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New normal. I see videos every day from Australia that make me want to vomit.

Rescue Dogs Shot Dead By NSW Council Due To Covid-19 Restrictions (SMH)

Several impounded dogs due to be rescued by a shelter have instead been shot dead by a rural council in NSW under its interpretation of COVID-19 restrictions, alarming animal activists and prompting a government probe. Bourke Shire Council, in the state’s north-west, killed the dogs to prevent volunteers at a Cobar-based animal shelter from travelling to pick up the animals last week, according to council’s watchdog, the Office of Local Government. “OLG has been informed that the council decided to take this course of action to protect its employees and community, including vulnerable Aboriginal populations, from the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” a spokesman from the government agency said.

The spokesman said the agency was examining the circumstances of the incident to find out whether companion animal and cruelty prevention laws had been broken. The Herald attempted to contact the council administration multiple times, but received no response, and a member of Rural Outback Respite/Rescue – the shelter that was supposed to receive the dogs – declined to comment. A source who is familiar with the arrangement said the shelter volunteers are distressed and had COVID-safe measures in place to handle the dogs, one of which was a new mother. According to NSW Health, there have been no recent locally acquired COVID-19 cases in Cobar, although fragments of the virus have been found in the area’s sewerage system.

The Office of Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, who has previously faced questions in Parliament over the shooting of animals in council pounds, did not comment. However, animal liberation campaigner Lisa Ryan called for an urgent investigation. “We are deeply distressed and completely appalled by this callous dog shooting and we totally reject council’s unacceptable justifications that this killing was apparently undertaken as part of a COVID- safe plan,” Ms Ryan, Animal Liberation’s regional campaign manager, said.

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“It would be better to die under the Taliban’s bullet” than face the crowds again..”

Afghan Staff At US Embassy Losing Faith In Evacuation Efforts (NBC)

Local staff members at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul are “deeply disheartened” by U.S. evacuation efforts and have expressed a sense of betrayal and distrust in the U.S. government, according to a State Department diplomatic cable obtained by NBC News. The cable, which was sent Saturday, said memos were sent Wednesday inviting Afghan staff members at the embassy to head to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. It told them to take food and to prepare for difficult conditions. “However, no one anticipated the brutal experience that occurred,” the cable said.

Staffers reported being jostled, hit, spat on and cursed at by Taliban fighters at checkpoints near the airport, it said, adding that criminals were taking advantage of the chaos while the U.S. military tried to maintain order “in an extremely physical situation.” Some staff members reported that they were almost separated from their children, while others collapsed in a crush of people and had to be taken to hospitals with injuries, the cable said. Others said they had collapsed on the road because of heat exhaustion, it said. “It would be better to die under the Taliban’s bullet” than face the crowds again, a staff member was quoted as saying in the cable.

“Happy to die here, but with dignity and pride,” another said, while a third accused the U.S. of prioritizing Afghan government elites with contacts in the U.S., who already had the correct paperwork and other ways to flee the country. A local embassy staff member reported that his home had been tagged with spray paint — a tactic the Taliban have used in the past to identify homes’ occupants for further questioning, the cable said, adding that the family had been forced to flee their home but was unable to get to the airport. Others shared concerns about conditions in Qatar, where many refugees have been flown before they make their way to other locations.

The U.S. began evacuating its citizens, diplomatic staff members and Afghans who aided its mission in the country last week after the Taliban seized control of much of Afghanistan before they finally walked into Kabul last Sunday without firing a shot. A State Department spokesperson said the U.S. has a “special commitment” to local embassy staff members who “have suffered hardship, pain and loss because of their dedication to working with us to build a better future for all Afghans.”

Read more …

… But They’re Also Not Looking For Her Very Hard

White House Announces They’ve Lost Kamala Harris (BBee)

In an interview with Morning Joe, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield revealed they have lost Kamala Harris and have no idea where she’s gone, although she admitted nobody is really looking for her all that hard. “Yeah, I dunno. She’s somewhere, I guess. I mean, she didn’t just disappear,” said Bedingfield. “We have some people looking for her I think, but we’re not too worried, honestly. I’m sure she’ll turn up sooner or later.” “Wait, wait, wait,” said the show’s host. “You mean to tell me that in this time of crisis, you have literally no idea where the Vice President of the United States is?”

“Well, it sounds bad when you put it that way,” replied the Communications Director. “I don’t really see how this is a big deal. It’s been kind of nice and quiet around here since she left… we’re not even quite sure what she does, anyway,” she said with a shrug. Anonymous sources have suggested Kamala may be somewhere around Camp David, as locals reported the sound of cackling through the night.

Read more …

 

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Aug 182021
 
 August 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:05 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  137 Responses »


Salvador Dali Meditative rose 1958

 

Leaky Vaccines, Super-spreads, And Variant Acceleration (Gato Malo)
A Grim Warning From Israel: Vaccination Blunts, But Does Not Defeat Delta (SM)
Delta Spike P681R Mutation Enhances SARS-CoV-2 Fitness Over Alpha Variant (Bx)
Here’s Your (Dead) Canary (Denninger)
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Resigns Amid Skyrocketing COVID-19 Cases
The Authoritarian Takeover of Australia (Spiked)
Growing New Zealand Covid Cluster Linked To Sydney Delta Outbreak (G.)
Vaccine Mandate Protest Letter (Barnes Law)
One Of The Most Dangerous, Unpredictable Times In Modern History (BDW)
My Heart Is Broken by Biden’s Afghanistan Failure (Michael Flynn)
Biden’s Polling Takes Massive Hit Following Collapse Of Afghanistan (JTN)
Kamala Harris Is The Most Unpopular Vice President In 50 Years (DW)
Biden To Increase Food Stamp Benefits By 25%, Largest Hike In History (ZH)
US Gov’t Tells Americans In Afghanistan It ‘Can’t Guarantee’ Their Safety (DW)
Every American Stuck In Afghanistan To Receive A Mail-In Ballot (BBee)

 

 

DATA SHOWS COVID VARIANTS BEGAN AFTER VACCINATIONS STARTED

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..you keep its host alive with a vaccine, then it can transmit and spread in the world. So it’s got an evolutionary future, which it didn’t have before.”

Leaky Vaccines, Super-spreads, And Variant Acceleration (Gato Malo)

The rule of evolution is simple: make a copy of me and pass it on. Any species still around to notice is very, very good at this. That’s the test and it’s as simple as it is daunting. This evolutionary selector creates pressures and these pressures shape evolution. Useful traits are conserved, traits that work against replication and propagation are selected against. This creates a simple evolutionary gradient for viruses: become more contagious, spread further, infect more hosts. Many viruses and bacteria are incredibly good at this. The good news is that harming the host is maladaptive. It’s like burning down your own house and your car with it. You soon have nowhere to live and no way to move around easily. So the selection process drives viruses away from being deadly. Ebola is a fearsome virus, but poorly evolved. It kills too quickly and spreads too slowly. That’s why outbreaks are small, rare, and (relatively) easy to manage.


People who feel sick stay home, they stop mingling and carrying the virus to where others are. It’s a built in societal and species level trait to mitigate pandemic. But what if you could break that trait? What if you could prevent a carrier from realizing it was infected? Well, then you’d spread virus far more effectively, wouldn’t you? You could do a lot of damage and the natural brake on the spread, harm, and lethality of a viral evolutionary vector would be removed. You’d supercharge a pandemic. This is a long discussed and hypothesized problem with “leaky” vaccines. A leaky vaccine is one that lacks sterilizing immunity. It prevents severe infection and perhaps death, but it does not stop infection and colonization by virus. So, the vaccinated become a carrier but remain unaware of it. This is a massive accelerator of disease spread and possibly/probably of overall fatality rates. You can see discussion here: (from 2015)

This is another example of “science we tossed out the window this year” and is exactly the sort of thing the fda should have been laser focused on from day one. “But a chicken virus that represents one of the deadliest germs in history breaks from this conventional wisdom, thanks to an inadvertent effect from a vaccine. Chickens vaccinated against Marek’s disease rarely get sick. But the vaccine does not prevent them from spreading Marek’s to unvaccinated birds. “With the hottest strains, every unvaccinated bird dies within 10 days. There is no human virus that is that hot. Ebola, for example, doesn’t kill everything in 10 days. In fact, rather than stop fowl from spreading the virus, the vaccine allows the disease to spread faster and longer than it normally would, a new study finds. The scientists now believe that this vaccine has helped this chicken virus become uniquely virulent.”

Stop for a minute and absorb what this means. By turning the vaccinated into essentially perfect carriers of virus, it transformed them into a set of plague rats to infect the rest. A disease so deadly it would burn itself out rapidly becomes one capable of endemic spread so long at there are more vaccinated carriers around. ““Previously, a hot strain was so nasty, it wiped itself out. Now, you keep its host alive with a vaccine, then it can transmit and spread in the world,” Read said. “So it’s got an evolutionary future, which it didn’t have before.”

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Even Science Mag. joins in.

“There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated..”

A Grim Warning From Israel: Vaccination Blunts, But Does Not Defeat Delta (SM)

Israel is being closely watched now because it was one of the first countries out of the gate with vaccinations in December 2020 and quickly achieved a degree of population coverage that was the envy of other nations— for a time. The nation of 9.3 million also has a robust public health infrastructure and a population wholly enrolled in HMOs that track them closely, allowing it to produce high-quality, real-world data on how well vaccines are working.

Israel’s HMOs, led by CHS and Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), track demographics, comorbidities, and a trove of coronavirus metrics on infections, illnesses, and deaths. “We have rich individual-level data that allows us to provide real-world evidence in near–real time,” Balicer says. [..] Now, the effects of waning immunity may be beginning to show in Israelis vaccinated in early winter; a preprint published last month by scientists at MHS found that protection from COVID-19 infection during June and July dropped in proportion to the length of time since an individual was vaccinated. People vaccinated in January had a 2.26 times greater risk for a breakthrough infection than those vaccinated in April. (Potential confounders include the fact that the very oldest Israelis, with the weakest immune systems, were vaccinated first.)

At the same time, cases in the country, which were scarcely registering at the start of summer, have been doubling every week to 10 days since then, with the Delta variant responsible for most of them. They have now soared to their highest level since mid-February, with hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions beginning to follow. How much of the current surge is due to waning immunity versus the power of the Delta variant to spread like wildfire is uncertain. What is clear is that “breakthrough” cases are not the rare events the term implies. As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older.

“There are so many breakthrough infections that they dominate and most of the hospitalized patients are actually vaccinated,” says Uri Shalit, a bioinformatician at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) who has consulted on COVID-19 for the government. “One of the big stories from Israel [is]: ‘Vaccines work, but not well enough.’” “The most frightening thing to the government and the Ministry of Health is the burden on hospitals,” says Dror Mevorach, who cares for COVID-19 patients at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and advises the government. At his hospital, he is lining up anesthesiologists and surgeons to spell his medical staff in case they become overwhelmed by a wave like January’s, when COVID-19 patients filled 200 beds. “The staff is exhausted,” he says, and he has restarted a weekly support group for them “to avoid some kind of PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] effect.”

Read more …

The picture is getting painfully clear.

Delta Spike P681R Mutation Enhances SARS-CoV-2 Fitness Over Alpha Variant (Bx)

SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has rapidly replaced the Alpha variant around the world. The mechanism that drives this global replacement has not been defined. Here we report that Delta spike mutation P681R plays a key role in the Alpha-to-Delta variant replacement. In a replication competition assay, Delta SARS-CoV-2 efficiently outcompeted the Alpha variant in human lung epithelial cells and primary human airway tissues. Delta SARS-CoV-2 bearing the Alpha-spike glycoprotein replicated less efficiently than the wild-type Delta variant, suggesting the importance of Delta spike in enhancing viral replication. The Delta spike has accumulated mutation P681R located at a furin cleavage site that separates the spike 1 (S1) and S2 subunits.


Reverting the P681R mutation to wild-type P681 significantly reduced the replication of Delta variant, to a level lower than the Alpha variant. Mechanistically, the Delta P681R mutation enhanced the cleavage of the full-length spike to S1 and S2, leading to increased infection via cell surface entry. In contrast, the Alpha spike also has a mutation at the same amino acid (P681H), but the spike cleavage from purified Alpha virions was reduced compared to the Delta spike. Collectively, our results indicate P681R as a key mutation in enhancing Delta variant replication via increased S1/S2 cleavage. Spike mutations that potentially affect furin cleavage efficiency must be closely monitored for future variant surveillance.


Read more …

Saw the article Karl talks about, on an outlet called Wesh(?!). But “Not available in your region”.

Here’s Your (Dead) Canary (Denninger)

She said, up until two weeks ago, she was able to successfully treat every patient who contracted COVID-19. But, since then, she said seven fully vaccinated patients died from complications, such as pneumonia or stroke, caused by the virus. “They were all fully vaccinated, which was disturbing… For one, I got to the hospital, the initial report, he was doing well. 2 liters of oxygen, sitting up, good saturation rate, crashed in 72 hours and died,” Seemann said. This sort of ridiculous acceleration of disease progression is a screaming safety signal. It strongly implies, but does not prove, that the vaccine turned on the recipient and when later exposed made the progression of disease worse.

This was repeatedly demonstrated in animal testing with the original SARS virus when vaccine development was attempted. It was believed the cause of it was evaded by the current vaccines developed for Covid-19 but the only way to know for sure was to take years of testing to make certain that the ordinary mutational patterns that all viruses undergo did not result in such an outcome down the road. This is one of the many reasons it takes 10+ years to qualify a vaccine; you can’t un-take the shot, and if something like this happens and then you get infected you’re ****ed. She said the vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective and there is a 4 percent chance of failure, but she still recommends it.

She has no evidence to support that these patients had an actual failure to build an effective antibody response. None. Zero. Determining that would require a fairly significant amount of lab and pathology work, which simply can’t be done that fast. These people need to be autopsied and exactly what happened determined. It won’t be done because if it is, and it turns out that they had circulating titers of binding antibodies for Covid in their system then it will be scientifically-irrefutable evidence that there are millions of Americans walking around with ticking bombs in their veins and there is nothing that can be done about it. The reason you don’t short-time vaccine studies, ever, is that THE VIRUS ALWAYS BATS LAST.

Read more …

“..despite a seven-month state of emergency and a lockdown since June to tackle the crisis..”

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Resigns Amid Skyrocketing COVID-19 Cases

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin resigned less than 18 months into his tenure Monday, becoming the country’s shortest-ruling leader after conceding that he lost majority support to govern. Science Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wrote on Instagram that “the Cabinet has tendered our resignation” to the king, shortly after Muhyiddin left the palace after meeting the monarch. Deputy Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal also thanked Muhyiddin for his service and leadership in a Facebook message. Muhyidddin’s departure will plunge the country into a fresh crisis amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Political leaders have already begun to jostle for the top post, with his deputy Ismail Sabri rallying support to succeed Muhyiddin and keep the government intact.


His resignation comes on the back of mounting public anger over what was widely perceived as his government’s poor handling of the pandemic. Malaysia has one of the world’s highest infection rates and deaths per capita, with daily cases breaching 20,000 this month despite a seven-month state of emergency and a lockdown since June to tackle the crisis. Local media said the national police chief, the Election Commission chairman and the attorney-general were also summoned to the palace Monday before Muhyiddin arrived. Muhyiddin, who chaired a Cabinet meeting at his office earlier Monday, waved at reporters at the palace gate and left 40 minutes later.

Read more …

“Some of us thought: who the bloody hell is this sheila? Not only had I never heard of her, I hadn’t listened to anything anyone like her had said since I’d been kicked out of high school.”

The Authoritarian Takeover of Australia (Spiked)

People who once thought they’d won the lottery of life by being born in Australia now wake in fright every day to the sudden realisation that they are living in a 21st-century penal colony. The country they once loved has been replaced by something they barely recognise. The restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic are just the start of it. People have been confined to their houses, prevented from going to school or work, denied the freedom to cross state borders even to see a dying relative, and coerced to take a vaccine in order hopefully to regain the freedoms that were once their birthright. Worse, these restrictions are being imposed by authoritarians who have seemingly come from nowhere and now dominate all of Australia’s positions of power, from the government to big business.

These people are unlike any ruling elite Australia has ever known. There were, to be sure, harsh authoritarians in middle levels of power during the nation’s initial 19th-century incarnation as a penal colony, especially at Port Arthur and Norfolk Island. But they never actually ran Australia. [..] Australians have, like the original settlers, never felt the need to explain the ideas on which their nation was founded. They have simply believed their version of Enlightenment truths to be self-evident in the standard of living they enjoyed and the audacious disrespect they showed for other, older cultures. I grew up in a country where such confidence was ubiquitous. A lack of academic achievement was never an impediment as long as you worked hard. Obstacles that were insurmountable to people from other countries were mere challenges to us. And we approached it all with a fatalistic humour that seemed all our own.

New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant became world famous recently when a video of her went viral. In it, she said, in the patronising tone of a school matron: ‘It is human nature to engage in conversation with others, to be friendly. Unfortunately, this is not the time to do that. So even if you run into your nextdoor neighbour, in the shopping centre, at Coles, Woolworths or Aldi or any other grocery shop, don’t start up a conversation.’ Some of us thought: who the bloody hell is this sheila? Not only had I never heard of her, I hadn’t listened to anything anyone like her had said since I’d been kicked out of high school. My robust upbringing among ratbags and larrikins in the Australian suburbs had instilled in me an instinctive and entirely rational distrust of anyone who, like her, placed an undue significance on obedience above personal freedom and responsibility. My life has been, and continues to be, all the better for it.

New South Wales residents were surprised to learn they had been paying Chant’s wages since she joined the public service in 1991. Like many of her fellow neo-authoritarians, she had spent her entire career cloistered away from the freely enterprising general population, biding her time until the opportunity arose to exercise the powers none of us knew she had. Now she and her type are all around us, telling us what to do every minute of the day. She is emblematic of Australia’s new elite, from the cops who told me to ‘move on’ when I was enjoying the sunshine by myself at Bondi Beach recently, to prime minister Scott Morrison, who peppers his updates on the latest panicking policies with reminders that ‘we are all in this together’. No, we’re not.

Read more …

Weirdest thing is they stopped vaccinations. Don’t really believe in those, I guess?

But also, what is the idea here? That they can have zero cases? And then? Lock the door?

Growing New Zealand Covid Cluster Linked To Sydney Delta Outbreak (G.)

New Zealand’s coronavirus cluster has grown to 10, with genomic sequencing linking it to the Delta outbreak that began in Sydney, as the country woke up to day one of a snap lockdown stemming from just one case. The prime minister’s office confirmed three new cases on Wednesday evening. The Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, told broadcaster RNZ “we’re seeing more cases coming through, I don’t have details of those cases. But yes, I can confirm that we have further positive test results since the press conference today.” He expected more cases to emerge overnight. The country went into a snap level four lockdown – the highest level of restrictions – on Tuesday night, after detecting one case with no obvious links to the border.

New Zealand has not had a level four lockdown in more than a year, and the case is the country’s first instance of Delta transmission in the community. The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, warned on Wednesday that there would be more cases given the activity of those infected and that a link to the border had yet to be established, adding “there is more to be done to help piece together this puzzle”. “Our ability to narrow down that this is a case that is linked to New South Wales outbreak, gives us a lot of leads to chase down as quickly as we can,” she said. The seven community cases are all linked to the 58-year-old man who tested positive on Tuesday. One person is a fully vaccinated nurse at Auckland city hospital and another is a teacher at an Auckland high school.

[..] The vaccine rollout will also continue from Thursday morning, after momentarily being paused. The country’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout has faced scrutiny. As of Monday, 22.9% of the population had been fully vaccinated, with 40% having had at least one dose. The numbers are lower for fully vaccinated Maori (14%) and Pasifika (20%) populations, and New Zealand has the lowest vaccination rate in the OECD, according to the World Health Organization.

Read more …

Attorney f @barnes_law i has put together a warning letter for people to use (free of charge) when their employers force them into getting the jab.

Vaccine Mandate Protest Letter (Barnes Law)

No authorship claim or copyright asserted…this letter just came to me in a bottle, and I have no idea who might have penned it, nor can I possibly vouch for it, and what you fine folks do with it is entirely in your own hands, as the Gentlemen of the Bar remind me I can proffer no general legal advice in the matter, and must officially disclaim proffering any such advice here…edit and excise as you see fit, amend and append as you desire, and claim authorship or anonymity as may best befit you…as always, as you wish…

Dear Boss,

Compelling any employee to take any current Covid-19 vaccine violates federal and state law, and subjects the employer to substantial liability risk, including liability for any injury the employee may suffer from the vaccine. Many employers have reconsidered issuing such a mandate after more fruitful review with legal counsel, insurance providers, and public opinio n advisors of the desires of employees and the consuming public. Even the Kaiser Foundation warned of the legal risk in this respect. (https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/key-questions-about-covid-19-vaccine-mandates/)

Three key concerns: first, while the vaccine remains unapproved by the FDA and authorized only for emergency use, federal law forbids mandating it, in accordance with the Nuremberg Code of 1947; second, the Americans with Disabilities Act proscribes, punishes and penalizes employers who invasively inquire into their employees’ medical status and then treat those employees differently based on their medical status, as the many AIDS related cases of decades ago fully attest; and third, international law, Constitutional law, specific statutes and the common law of torts all forbid conditioning access to employment upon coerced, invasive medical examinations and treatment, unless the employer can fully provide objective, scientifically validated evidence of the threat from the employee and how no practicable alternative could possible suffice to mitigate such supposed public health threat and still perform the necessary essentials of employment.

At the outset, consider the “problem” being “solved” by vaccination mandates. The previously infected are better protected than the vaccinated, so why aren’t they exempted? Equally, the symptomatic can be self-isolated. Hence, requiring vaccinations only addresses one risk: dangerous or deadly transmission, by the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic employee, in the employment setting. Yet even government official Mr. Fauci admits, as scientific studies affirm, asymptomatic transmission is exceedingly and “very rare.” Indeed, initial data suggests the vaccinated are just as, or even much more, likely to transmit the virus as the asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Hence, the vaccine solves nothing.

Read more …

Twitter thread. Bryan Dean Wright is a former CIA Ops. officer.

One Of The Most Dangerous, Unpredictable Times In Modern History (BDW)

Former US intelligence colleagues are angry and deeply worried at what has happened in Afghanistan. Here’s what I’m hearing, and why there’s nearly universal belief that America and the world are in for one of the most dangerous, unpredictable times in modern history. Afghanistan has shown the world — enemies & allies alike — that our military & intel assets are largely irrelevant because we can’t deploy them successfully. The blame lays at the feet of multiple Presidents. The Generals. The Spies. The Congress. America’s Elites are trash. China knows it. They will become emboldened, covertly & overtly. War over Taiwan and contested islands in the S. China Sea and E. China Sea is now more likely. Russia will consider similar covert & overt moves, focused on Crimea, & former Soviet satellites. The fear is that China & Russia will act in concert.

Why? America was whipped by a tiny rebel force and couldn’t even retreat properly. Meanwhile, the American people are angry, COVID weary, & divided. If there were ever a time to push American hegemony aside, this is it. If Cold War III grows hot, America will need to quickly build up & work with foreign counterparts. But who will trust America after Afghanistan? Who believes we have the leadership to use our military might well? Who will trust us when we say “We Will Stand With You”? Beyond China/Russia, others will take gambles too. Terror orgs like al-Qa’ida & ISIS are degraded but not dead. Their ideology is very much alive. Iran’s Hizballah — with terror cells throughout the US — may see an opening to create chaos too. Meanwhile, the disaster inside Afghanistan is only just beginning.

The Taliban will launch a terror campaign against American collaborators. The pictures will shock the conscience of the world, further degrading American moral authority. Biden & Co will struggle to respond. There’s also the nightmare of tactical weaponry now awash in Afghanistan, in the hands of the Taliban and — soon — on the global black market. These arms will fuel chaos around the world for decades. The Pentagon has no idea where this stuff is and no plans to destroy it. Finally, if Afghani refugees pour into the US, there are profound implications for security, culture, the economy, & politics. Are they properly vetted? Do they hold Western / tolerant values re: women, gays? Do they bring skills / education? Which party will they support?

The existential problem is that America needs good leadership to right its ship but there is none. Our federal bench is weak. Biden is a corrupt old man. Impeachment is a long shot; VP Harris is an unpopular paperweight. The Legislature is a feckless cabal of empty suits. Leadership could come from a state Governor, it’s true, but not soon enough. The above threats by China, Russia, & Co will metastasize well before the 2024 elections, and even a heroic new President will need years to clean things up. Again, our enemies and allies know this. Upshot: There is fear and outrage streaming through former intel officers over the Afghanistan debacle. America is rudderless. And the world now knows it. Grave dangers lie ahead, some predictable, others unimaginable. Keep your loved ones tight. Pray. And vote for change.

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The military comes to resent Biden, because he squandered all their efforts, and also to avoid being thrown under the bus.

My Heart Is Broken by Biden’s Afghanistan Failure (Michael Flynn)

My heart breaks as I see the Afghan people flood the Kabul airport in the hope of escaping the Taliban. President Biden’s assurances — supposedly based on what he was told by his intelligence community — that the Afghan Armed Forces were fully able to defeat the Taliban proved to be colossally wrong. Americans want to know whether President Biden and Defense Secretary Austin’s military-wide “stand-down” order to root out insufficiently woke “extremists” in the armed forces has caused our Defense Department to ignore what is unfolding in Afghanistan, as well as other real threats to our nation. After Afghanistan, I believe we can no longer rely on neocon senior military leaders, talking heads and politicians.

We have allowed military and civilian lawyers (read: rules of engagement restrictions) to become all-powerful, and many of our generals have been so indecisive and risk-averse that they are acting as little more than career-seeking politicians. We have been trained at participating in wars but untrained at winning wars since WWII. Afganistan is a tragic situation, much like the Kurds in Iraq, but at least President Trump drove up our respect internationally, which proves that being tough and smart is better than being tough and stupid. Today I don’t believe America is respected the way we were only a few short months ago. More countries visit China these days than come to the U.S., and China is prepped to recognize the Taliban once they declare the Islamic State — if only to embarrass us.

Seeing our defeat, my sense is Taiwan is having some incredibly uncomfortable internal discussions — as are a lot of U.S. allies in Europe. I also believe China is doing a lot of wargaming of costs and benefits with respect to future moves in the South China Sea and Europe. America is now in a fully engaged information war. Soon it may be worse. I pray our senior military leadership is intensely planning all options; the best plan offers the most options at the last possible moment. Trust me, our enemies are not waiting. They plan and they don’t care about stupid mask policies or fake insurrection show trials. Our enemies will be working on the next three vulnerabilities we haven’t even thought about. I believe Russia and China have a clear-eyed understanding of our corrupt political leadership that they and many other nations no longer respect or fear. America will come back soon, but it will come at a cost.

Read more …

46% approve? Of what?

Biden’s Polling Takes Massive Hit Following Collapse Of Afghanistan (JTN)

According to several new polls, President Biden is in trouble following the collapse of the Afghan government as U.S. and western troops withdrew from the troubled country after 20 years. A Rasmussen Reports poll illustrates the president’s approval index is currently 17 points down from where he started in January – the lowest it’s been since he took office. A total of 46% of Americans approve of Biden’s performance while 53% disapprove – also the highest that number has been. A new report from Convention of States Action in conjunction with the Trafalgar group shows that 69.3% of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of military operations – a supermajority of the population. Just 23.1% approve, and 7.5% have no opinion.


Even among Democrats, 48.2% disapprove, compared to just 39.8% who approve of Biden’s Afghan strategy. Among GOP voters a stunning majority at 88.8% disapprove, while just 7.1% of Biden’s actions. Numbers for political independents tilt closer to GOP figures, with a total of 74.8% disapproving of the handling of military operations, and 19.8% giving a nod of approval. Democrats in Congress are speaking out against the actions of the president, and though National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is set to brief the press corp today alongside Jen Psaki, none of Biden’s military leaders appeared alongside the Commander-in-Chief yesterday, as he deflected blame for the Afghan collapse during a brief speech.

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I had to look this up, but sure, maybe Spiro Agnew was at one point less popular than Kamala. Close call no doubt.

Kamala Harris Is The Most Unpopular Vice President In 50 Years (DW)

Vice President Kamala Harris has only been in office for six months, but she is already the most unpopular vice president since at least the 1970s, according to recent polls. The Los Angeles Times on Monday reported that as of July 27, “45% of registered voters had a favorable opinion of Harris and 48% had an unfavorable opinion — a net rating of -3 percentage points, according to a Times average.” The most recent YouGov tracking poll shows that Harris’ unfavorability rating has hit 49%, while her favorability rating sits at just 45%. Harris’ unpopularity is worse than former Vice President Mike Pence’s was six months into his tenure, according to The Telegraph.


The outlet reported that around this same time in 2017, Pence’s unfavorability rating sat at 41.9%, while his favorability rating was 42.1%. Pence may have been helped by a massive media focus on then-President Donald Trump and false accusations that he was a Russian agent who colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. During the Biden administration, much more focus has been on Harris since she’s the first black female vice president. President Joe Biden, however, has put her in charge of some nearly impossible tasks, including handling the situation on the southern border. As the Times reported, Harris’ approval ratings started to decline after she was assigned the task, though Biden also received a small decline in job approval.

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Buying votes.

Biden To Increase Food Stamp Benefits By 25%, Largest Hike In History (ZH)

Having solved domestic problems like inflation and foreign problems like the complete and total collapse of Afghanistan in minutes after the U.S. withdrew from the country, President Biden is now focused on offering the largest long-term increase in food stamp benefits in the program’s history. The program adds “billions of dollars in costs” to the government, Bloomberg noted in a writeup this weekend. But, in Biden’s defense, what are dollars anymore, after all? Benefits are set to rise more than 25% from pre-pandemic levels for some 42 million people enrolled in the program. Average monthly benefits will rise $36 per person, from $121, according to the report.


Yet despite the rise, there are still “anti-hunger advocates” that believe it isn’t enough. The Agriculture Department is responsible for the hike in benefits – which can be done without congressional approval – but adjusting the estimated costs of food. The USDA makes a “shopping list” to determine benefits which, when updated, can adjust the amount of benefits issued to recipients. The basket of food items used for the list was started in 1961 and then updated in 1975. Its latest review was in 2006. Benefits were set to drop prior to the planned update as a result of a September 30 expiration of a 15% boost in pandemic relief. Even with the boost, the USDA budget for a family of four amounts to about $22 in food per day. As Bloomberg notes, food stamps used to be bipartisan common ground, but have since “evolved into a partisan flashpoint”. Biden’s plans stand at odds with how President Trump attempted to limit eligibility for the aid. Trump’s attempts were overturned by courts.

Read more …

Most popular president.

US Gov’t Tells Americans In Afghanistan It ‘Can’t Guarantee’ Their Safety (DW)

President Joe Biden’s administration told American citizens trapped in Afghanistan that the administration cannot guarantee their safety if they travel to the airport in Kabul to be evacuated. The news comes as thousands of American citizens remained trapped as Taliban terrorists have now taken control of the country. The Biden administration sent the following message to Americans trapped in Afghanistan: “To American Citizens, Thank you for registering your request to be evacuated from Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has confirmed that an undefined number of U.S. government provided flights will begin soon. Please make your way to Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SECURITY AS YOU MAKE THIS TRIP.”

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“The Air Force will conduct a daring airdrop at night to deliver hundreds of pallets of paper ballots..”

Every American Stuck In Afghanistan To Receive A Mail-In Ballot (BBee)

Congress passed emergency legislation today to address the thousands of U.S. citizens still trapped in Afghanistan. The new legislation will mobilize the Air Force to drop much-needed absentee ballots for Americans eager to vote in the 2022 election. “Our heart goes out to the helpless Americans still stuck in Taliban-controlled Kabul,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “We know they are eager to vote for us in the upcoming elections, and we will not rest until they receive the ballots they deserve. To our American friends overseas, help—in the form of easy-to-fill-out ballots—is on the way!” The Air Force will conduct a daring airdrop at night to deliver hundreds of pallets of paper ballots into the waiting hands of American citizens, eager to vote for their favorite Democrat politicians. To make things easy, Democrats have ensured all the ballots will be pre-marked for Democrats.

Read more …

 

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Aug 022021
 
 August 2, 2021  Posted by at 9:34 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  146 Responses »


René Magritte Empire of light 1950

 

Stupid Is Supposed To Hurt (Denninger)
Only Half Of Israelis Want A Third Covid-19 Vaccine Shot (JPost)
233 Staff at 2 San Francisco Hospitals Test Positive in July (NW)
Pfizer, Moderna, Hike Prices For Covid Jabs By Up To A Quarter For EU (RT)
Apple Removes Dating App For The Unvaccinated (RT)
Is Covid-19 On The Run In The UK? (G.)
Experts Fear Unlocked UK Could Become Incubator For New Covid Variants (CNBC)
Major Unions Push Back Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandates (ZH)
Kamala Harris A ‘Historically Unpopular’ VP (RT)
Keeping Freedom Alive (Craig Murray)

 

 


Fort Mill South Carolina 1902. Smallpox, an actual vaccine.

 

 

The Sake of Freedom

 

 

But can my stupid hurt someone else please?

Stupid Is Supposed To Hurt (Denninger)

I’m getting reports from all over the place, including on my forum and mailbag. Nurses are walking out en-masse over vaccine mandates in hospitals and other care settings. This of course leads to demand shifting to other places where they haven’t done so (yet), but that’s a problem too because they’re short-staffed as well. This isn’t a big deal — other than wildly increasing wait times — until and unless you have something going on where waiting could kill you, such as a heart attack. You aren’t seeing these events in the news. Guess why? Yeah, that’s why.= Guess where else this is going to happen? “You didn’t want the firemen to show up and put out your house that’s on fire, did you?


Well, better buy more garden hose because in several large cities it’s been made clear that they will not comply either. Ditto for Streets/San guys. Oh, you want the garbage hauled away? Too bad so sad.” Stupid is supposed to hurt. It’s going to, especially now that it has been admitted that (1) the CDC lied about “unvaccinated are 98% of deaths” when they knew damn well the jabbed were dying on a vertically-accelerating basis in May, we’re two months further down the road now and (2) the CDC has also admitted that those who get “breakthrough” cases are ending up with equal or higher viral loads than unvaccinated people, which means there is no public health argument for the jabs at all since at best they can only protect you and not others.

Read more …

Back to last night’s discussion:

Yes, they were sold as protecting against infection of both you and those around you. Or no-one would have accepted the term “vaccine”.

“*Only* 59% of respondents said the vaccine protects against infection, 69% said it prevents the spread of the virus and 82% said it protects against developing symptoms.”

And even the most vaccinated country in the world is only at 60%. Try get that to 70%. Good luck. “But it’s our only chance!” No, it’s not. We’re lucky.

Only Half Of Israelis Want A Third Covid-19 Vaccine Shot (JPost)

Only 52% of Israelis who received two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine said they would take advantage of the opportunity to receive a third shot, according to a survey released Friday by Prof. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, director of the Social Policy Institute (SPI) at Washington University and a visiting professor at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. When looking at those under the age of 60, only 47% said they would take the shot. Among those 60 and older, 67% said they would get the booster. “We decided, ‘yalla,’ [let’s go] even before the Food and Drug Administration [gives emergency approval], and I think the Health Ministry thought there would be more inclination” to get the shot, Grinstein-Weiss said. “But there is a big drop in the number of people who are interested in vaccinating. It’s surprising, but there is not a real desire for a third vaccination.”

Israel opened up third shots to people over the age of 60 last week. Several thousand people were inoculated on Friday and, despite what the survey shows, already more than 40,000 elderly have signed up to get the jab this coming week. Surveys taken before the COVID vaccine came to the country showed there would be high degree of vaccine hesitancy among the public, but Israel became the quickest country in the world to vaccinate the majority of its people. [..] The survey also asked whether or not parents would give their younger children between the ages of five and 11 a vaccination if it became available and the majority (54%) said they would not. Only 23% said they would vaccinate, while 23% said they were wavering. When broken down between parents who vaccinated themselves versus those who didn’t, no parents who did not receive the vaccine said they would vaccinate their children, while only 27% of those vaccinated said they would.

[..] When it comes to children, parents are most concerned that health officials still do not know the long-term impact of the vaccine. To date, only 35% of people under the age of 20 are fully vaccinated versus 90% of those over the age of 60. However, the survey also found that as the Delta variant spreads across the country, including reinfecting a high percentage of vaccinated individuals, more people believe that the vaccine does not work. Only 59% of respondents said the vaccine protects against infection, 69% said it prevents the spread of the virus and 82% said it protects against developing symptoms. Around 53% of all new cases are people who were fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.

Read more …

Twist and turn all you want, but it’s the vaccinated.

233 Staff at 2 San Francisco Hospitals Test Positive in July (NW)

At least 233 staff members at two major San Francisco hospitals, most of them fully vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus this month, and most, according to a hospital official, involved the highly contagious Delta variant. Some of the cases were asymptomatic, most involved mild to moderate symptoms and only two required hospitalization, officials said. The infections were determined to be Delta-related because most samples in San Francisco were tested for the variant, which is now dominant in the city. About 75 to 80 percent of the more than 50 staff members infected at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital were fully vaccinated, Dr. Lukejohn Day, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said in an interview on Saturday. The University of California, San Francisco Medical Center said in a statement issued on Friday that 153 of its 183 infected staff members had been fully vaccinated.

The statement from the U.C.S.F. Medical Center said that two of the infected staff members required hospitalization. None of the infected staff members at San Francisco General have been hospitalized and most had mild to moderate symptoms, Dr. Day said. The asymptomatic cases were discovered through contact tracing. Without vaccinations, Dr. Day said, the hospitalization rate would be much worse. “We’re concerned right now that we’re on the rise of a surge here in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” Dr. Day said. “But what we’re seeing is very much what the data from the vaccines showed us: You can still get Covid, potentially. But if you do get it, it’s not severe at all.”

On July 11, San Francisco ordered that workers in high-risk workplaces, including hospitals, be vaccinated by Sept. 15. The U.C.S.F. statement said that the hospital was “doubling down on our efforts to protect our staff. This includes requiring all employees and trainees to comply with the new UC-systemwide Covid-19 vaccination mandate, with limited exceptions for medical or religious exemptions.” Staff members at both hospitals have continued to wear personal protective equipment, Dr. Day said. But the number of staff infections reported in July is about as many as during the peak of the winter surge. “We’re nervous that we could potentially exceed it,” Dr. Day said.

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Before they all find out these things don’t work, might as well squeeze out what we can.

Pfizer, Moderna, Hike Prices For Covid Jabs By Up To A Quarter For EU (RT)

Pfizer has reportedly raised the price of its Covid vaccine dose by a quarter, with Moderna also ramping up the price in its latest deal with the European Union. The two are making tens of billions of dollars in pandemic profits. According to the Financial Times, which has seen contracts between the two pharmaceutical companies and the EU, Pfizer’s latest price for one vaccine dose was €19.50, or around $23 – up by four euro from the previous unit price of €15.50 euro. Meanwhile, Moderna’s latest price is around €21.50 ($25.50) per dose, up from the previous price of €19 ($22.60). Despite this, the Moderna price is still lower than previously expected – $28.50 – because of the EU purchasing more doses.


Pfizer and Moderna – which earn a profit from the vaccines, unlike AstraZeneca, which is sold at cost – have pulled in tens of billions of dollars from the vaccines, with Pfizer forecasting $33.5 billion in revenue from its doses in this year alone. The forecast is up $7.5 billion from its previous prediction in the last quarter. Moderna, though behind Pfizer in sales, is forecasting $19.2 billion in Covid-19 vaccine revenue for 2021. Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine still hasn’t been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) despite having been registered in 69 of the world’s countries to date, including EU members Hungary and Slovakia.

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No worrries, Big Brother shall protect you.

Apple Removes Dating App For The Unvaccinated (RT)

Apple has removed the dating app Unjected, marketed as a “safe space” for unvaccinated Americans, from its store, saying it “inappropriately refers to the Covid-19 pandemic.” The app’s developers say this amounts to censorship. Unjected describes itself as a “platform for like-minded humans that support medical autonomy.” The dating app has been pitched as a ‘safe space’ of sorts for unvaccinated Americans looking to date without the pressure of being or not being inoculated against Covid-19. Critics, however, have viewed the app as a growing social-media platform for anti-vaxxers and a hotspot of Covid misinformation. After the app was removed from Apple on Saturday, the company blasted the move as “censorship.”

“Apparently, we’re considered ‘too much’ for sharing our medical autonomy and freedom of choice,” the company said in a Saturday statement posted to Instagram. The app remains on the Google Play store, but they acknowledge that the move by Apple may mean a website may be Unjected’s best option moving forward so that they are not reliant on app stores. Other dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble have introduced features to encourage vaccinations, making Unjected stand out even more after launching in May. But the boiling point for the platforms was reached after Unjected added a social feature that allowed more general postings. It was flagged by Google after Unjected’s moderators were accused of not doing enough to police misinformation on Covid-19 and the vaccines available.

In response to Google’s concerns, the social feed was removed, though co-founder Shelby Thompson wants to soon reintroduce it and the flagged posts. “We’ve had to walk a censorship tightrope,” she said, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported Apple removed Unjected on Saturday after being contacted by a reporter about the app. The app also includes lists of businesses that disagree with vaccine mandates. Apple has already had issues with Unjected, initially denying approval for the app during its initial review process. Changes had to be made for it to get approval to be in compliance with the company’s strict policy on Covid-19 “misinformation,” but a spokesperson for Apple said updates to the app, as well as statements made to its thousands of users, have brought it back out of compliance.

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That can’t be! How are we going to sell our clickbait?

Is Covid-19 On The Run In The UK? (G.)

The fact that we are a year and a half into the pandemic and are still being wrongfooted by Covid-19 may seem surprising. After all, in that time, we have developed powerful vaccines to protect against it and have pinpointed critically important drugs to treat patients. Science has worked wonders. Nevertheless, researchers are still very unsure about how Covid-19 will progress in the UK in the coming months. The statistics have certainly been startling. First, case numbers rocketed at the beginning of July. Then they reversed and began to fall, leaving statisticians and scientists struggling to make sense of the fluctuating figures. For good measure, a host of conflicting factors has been put forward to explain Covid case numbers.

Has the opening up of society on 19 July had a major impact? Did Euro 2020 propel the virus through the homes and pubs of England? Could the UK be approaching herd immunity? And what impact have the school holidays had on the progress of the disease? Untangling these factors, as well as understanding the exact impact vaccines have had on society, has now become a complex, urgent business. “It will tell us just how bad things are likely to get when society really opens up in September and October and as winter approaches,” said Edmunds. There is clear agreement on one factor, however. All the evidence indicates that vaccines are now playing a pivotal role in controlling the disease. Had the government completely opened society on an unprotected populace, daily death tolls would by now have soared into their thousands. But just how far has our vaccine protection reached?

It is a crucial question, whose answer will determine just how severe will be the return of Covid-19 in the autumn as schools reopen, the weather chills and people head indoors. A key factor is the degree to which the country has achieved herd immunity. In other words, will we have reached the point where so many people have been either infected or vaccinated – and therefore possess some immunity to the disease – that viral transmission falls or even stops? “You can run some very simple models to see if the case numbers that we saw earlier this month are consistent with effective herd immunity,” said Prof Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University. “And in my view the answer is, yes, it is. There are some big caveats but the bottom line is that those figures are consistent with the impact of herd immunity.”

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Amid all the fear, new infections were down 37% in one week. Like a deflating puffed-up balloon.

Experts Fear Unlocked UK Could Become Incubator For New Covid Variants (CNBC)

England’s relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions is risking the emergence of new, potentially more dangerous variants of the virus, scientists have warned. England lifted most of it last remaining restrictions on July 19, including mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still have some restrictions in place. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously described the easing of restrictions as “irreversible.” However, the reopening policy has been publicly criticized by a consortium of more than 1,200 scientists from around the world. One concern is around the possible consequences of unlocking society amid high infection rates and a partially vaccinated population, and how unrestricted mixing under those circumstances could shape the way the virus evolves.

“If I were to design a massive experiment to create a more dangerous virus, one that is capable of blasting through our vaccines, I would do what the U.K. is proposing to do,” Michael Haseltine, a U.S. virologist and chair and president of ACCESS Health International, told news show Good Morning Britain on so-called “Freedom Day”. “Half the population vaccinated in the midst of a rampant pandemic, which would allow the virus to learn how to avoid our vaccines. That’s what I would do, and the rest of the world is justifiably concerned.” Each time a person is infected with Covid-19, they go from having a few copies of the virus to hundreds of thousands or even tens of millions of copies in their system. When the virus makes a copy of itself, there’s a chance it might make a mistake in the new copy that could inadvertently give the virus an advantage.

“You’re rolling the dice every time someone’s infected,” Charlotte Houldcroft, a scientist working on virus evolution at the University of Cambridge, told CNBC via telephone. “In a big population with lots of infections going on, you’re just rolling the dice more often — any population with lots of people infected at once is a worry, which is obviously why a lot of the rest of the world is watching the U.K.” During the week ending July 29, 204,669 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the U.K., down 37% from the previous week.

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US mandates is/are asking for disaster.

Major Unions Push Back Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandates (ZH)

Last week, the Biden administration announced sweeping vaccine requirements for federal workers (except, oddly, postal workers). The day before, the nation’s biggest union boss, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, parroted Biden’s push to vaccinate, and said that the union organization supports vaccine mandates. As it turns out, much like in California – not all unions are on board. While labor groups representing federal workers have urged their members to get the jab, most of the leading public sector unions either oppose vaccine mandates or say that it must be negotiated first, according to The Hill. Groups representing educators, postal workers, law enforcement officers, Treasury Department personnel and other government employees expressed unease about the vaccine requirement this week.

Only a few public sector unions outright endorsed the measure. “We expect that the particulars of any changes to working conditions, including those related to COVID-19 vaccines and associated protocols, be properly negotiated with our bargaining units prior to implementation,” said Everett Kelley, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents nearly 700,000 workers. Meanwhile, National Treasury Employees Union President Tony Reardon says that his group has “a lot of questions about how this policy will be implemented and how employee rights and privacy will be protected.” And in yet another example, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association President Larry Cosme said in a statement that mandating vaccinations “is not the American way and is a clear civil rights violation no matter how proponents may seek to justify it.”

According to the report, most public sector unions sounding the alarm over Biden’s vaccine mandates previously supported most aspects of his policy. “In order for everyone to feel safe and welcome in their workplaces, vaccinations must be negotiated between employers and workers, not coerced,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten earlier this week. And the American Postal Workers Union said “it is not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent,” adding that any new rules for its workers would need to be run past union leaders.

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Put her in charge of the mandates.

Kamala Harris A ‘Historically Unpopular’ VP (RT)

Kamala Harris has become the most unpopular vice president six months into an administration in years, according to recent unfavorable polling for the former senator. Harris found her future hopes of ever becoming president a point of mockery over the weekend as critics jumped on a report indicating that recent polling shows she has become the least popular vice president six months into an administration since the 1970s. According to a report from the Telegraph, Democrat strategists have internal worries about the controversial politician, describing her polling as “underwater” at this point. Two recent polls cited by the report show approval ratings of 46% in both, but disapproval ratings of 47% and 48%.

Harris is also struggling with support among significant and influential voting groups, such as young people and Hispanics. An Economist/YouGov poll showed only 36% of respondents between the ages of 18-29 viewed Harris “favorably.” In a recent aggregate put together by RealClearPolitics, 46% also said they viewed Harris unfavorably, three points higher than Biden at the same time. In a poll posted by the Telegraph on Twitter in a thread regarding worries about Harris’ unfavorable view among much of the public, over 50% of over 40,000 voters – as of this writing – said Harris is doing a “bad job.” Approximately 20% said she is doing a “good job,” and another 27% were “not sure.”

Harris has made some noticeable stumbles as vice president. She was heavily criticized for continually avoiding the southern border when put in charge of historic levels of migrants being detained there. When questioned why she hadn’t visited months after being named a leader on the crisis by Biden, Harris responded by saying she also hadn’t visited Europe yet. Harris is still being handed opportunities to succeed as she will soon become the first US vice president to visit Vietnam next month. Harris’ polling and reports on Democrats’ concerns about the California senator who once attempted to run for president and even clashed with Biden made the vice president a point of mockery for critics.

“You have the media on your side and basically nothing to do except for optics and you just can’t do it. It’s amazing,” Federalist editor Christopher Bedford tweeted. “So weird that making her Border Tsar didn’t work,” Texas Monthly editor Christopher Hooks added.

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Craig Murray reported to prison yesterday. Who in the UK stands up for him?

Keeping Freedom Alive (Craig Murray)

I want to make one or two points for you to ponder while I am in jail. This is the last post until about Christmas; we are not legally able to post anything while I am imprisoned. But the Justice for Craig Murray Campaign website is now up and running and will start to have more content shortly. Fora and comments here are planned to stay open. I hope that one possible good effect of my imprisonment might be to coalesce opposition to the imminent abolition of jury trials in sexual assault cases by the Scottish Government, a plan for which Lady Dorrian – who wears far too many hats in all this – is front and centre. We will then have a situation where, as established by my imprisonment, no information at all on the defence case may be published in case it contributes to “jigsaw identification”, and where conviction will rest purely on the view of the judge.

That is plainly not “open justice”, it is not justice at all. And it is even worse than that, because the openly stated aim of abolishing juries is to increase conviction rates. So people will have their lives decided not by a jury of their peers, but by a judge who is acting under specific instruction to increase conviction rates. It is often noted that conviction rates in rape trials are too low, and that is true. But have you ever heard this side of the argument? In Uzbekistan under the Karimov dictatorship, when I served there, conviction rates in rape trials were 100%. In fact very high conviction rates are a standard feature of all highly authoritarian regimes worldwide, because if the state prosecutes you then the state gets what it wants. The wishes of the state in such systems vastly outweigh the liberty of the individual.

My point is simply this. You cannot judge the validity of a system simply by high conviction rates. What we want is a system where the innocent are innocent and the guilty found guilty; not where an arbitrary conviction target is met. The answer to the low conviction rates in sexual assault trials is not simple. Really serious increases in resources for timely collection of evidence, for police training and specialist units, for medical services, for victim support, all have a part to play. But that needs a lot of money and thought. Just abolishing juries and telling judges you want them to convict is of course free, or even a saving.

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Jul 182021
 
 July 18, 2021  Posted by at 9:01 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  83 Responses »


Pablo Picasso The blue room 1901

 

Infections in Vaccinated Overtake Those in Unvaccinated For the First Time (LDS)
British Ministers Decide Against Mass Vaccination For Teens (R.)
The CDC Owes Parents Better Messaging on the Vaccine for Kids (Wired)
Fauci: US Might ‘Still Have Polio’ If Media Back Then Opposed Vaccine (Y!)
Biden Denounces Big Tech as “Killing People” By Not Censoring Speech (Turley)
Sheriff In California Won’t Enforce Mask Mandate: ‘Not Backed By Science’ (RT)
Game Postponed After 6 New York Yankees Test Positive For Covid-19 (CNN)
Kamala’s Husband Spreads Misinformation (ZH)
US-Backed Tech Restores Internet To More Than 1 Million Cubans (ZH)
Does Japan Control The Trigger For US Nuclear War On China? (Ritter)

 

 

`

 

 

There is never a single source of truth. Other than in dictatorships.

 

 

 

 

At what point can this no longer be ignored?

Infections in Vaccinated Overtake Those in Unvaccinated For the First Time (LDS)

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, despite being vaccinated – and he is far from alone. The latest ZOE data shows that, as of July 12th, infections in the vaccinated (with at least one dose) in the U.K. now outnumber those in the unvaccinated for the first time, as the former continue to surge while the latter plummet (see above). (Note that 68% of the population has had at least one vaccine dose, so there are still at this stage disproportionately more new infections in the unvaccinated, though on current trends that may soon change.) At what point will the Government accept that these vaccines have limited efficacy in preventing infection and transmission, and thus the whole rationale of being vaccinated to protect others – vaccine passports, compulsory vaccination, and so on – is suspect?

The above graph was in yesterday’s report, so I downloaded today’s report (you can get it by signing up to the app and reporting your symptoms) to get the new update. I was dismayed to find the graph was gone. At the bottom, a note explains: Removed incidence graph by vaccination status from the report as there are very few unvaccinated users in the infection survey, the Confidence Intervals are very wide and the trend for unvaccinated people is no longer representative. Which I would say is very convenient, just as infections in the vaccinated became the majority. Perhaps ZOE should try to recruit some more unvaccinated people for its survey, so it can continue to report on this as well as have a control group for its vaccine data? That would seem the scientific thing to do, rather than just stop reporting it because it is suddenly “no longer representative”.

It’s doubly odd because Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE app, made the decline among the unvaccinated a feature of his video this week. So the realisation that the trend is “no longer representative” appears to have been rather sudden, even invalidating the contents of a ZOE ‘data release‘ two days earlier.

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Rare light.

British Ministers Decide Against Mass Vaccination For Teens (R.)

Britain has opted against mass COVID-19 vaccinations for all children and teenagers, with ministers instead preparing to offer doses to vulnerable 12 to 15-year-olds and those about to turn 18, the Telegraph newspaper reported late on Saturday. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is believed to have advised ministers against the rollout of vaccines to all children until further evidence on the risks is available, the report added. Under guidance the newspaper said are due to be issued on Monday, vaccine doses will be offered to children between 12 and 15 who are deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 or who live with adults who are immunosuppressed or otherwise vulnerable to the virus.


They will also now be offered to all 17-year-olds within three months of their 18th birthday, according to The Telegraph, which reported that the committee would keep the possibility of vaccinating all children “under review.” In response to the report, Britain’s Health Department said that “no decisions have been made by ministers on whether people aged 12 to 17 should be routinely offered COVID-19 vaccines.” Britain on Saturday reported 54,674 new COVID-19 cases, a rise on the 51,870 new cases reported on the previous day to post a fresh highest daily total in six months.

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Yeah: Don’t!

The CDC Owes Parents Better Messaging on the Vaccine for Kids (Wired)

On June 23, an advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met to discuss, among other topics, vaccine-related cases of myocarditis, which have hospitalized hundreds of adolescents. Evidence of a correlation between the condition, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and the vaccines had been mounting for months. Numerous countries had altered or withheld recommendations for pediatric vaccination, with some citing an ambiguous risk-benefit. One day after the committee meeting, however, CDC director Rochelle Walensky went on TV and calmly reassured viewers that there was nothing to worry about: Vaccinating kids age 12 and up, at the full dosage and same schedule as adults, should continue with alacrity.

Walensky cited a string of statistics that showed “the benefits of vaccination far outweigh any harm.” But some epidemiologists, public health experts, pediatricians, cardiologists, and other scientists dispute the CDC’s numbers, characterizations, and conclusion. The agency, they variously contend, is both exaggerating the risks of Covid-19 to young people and underplaying the potential risks of the vaccine to them. Much data that would support the CDC’s declarations are either unknown, unrevealed, or far messier than the agency and its director portray. And the data that are known and clear have been projected through a specific lens with blunt certainty. The absolute risk of the vaccine still appears to be extremely small for young people but, on balance, when the data are seen through a different frame, the relative individual risk from vaccination, particularly for healthy young males, may be higher than it is to not be vaccinated at this time.

There is no debate among most experts critical of the CDC about the value of vaccines on a societal level to help usher in the end of the pandemic, which is the ultimate goal of the vaccine. Rather, the matter at hand is the CDC’s messaging, which fails to help parents and children make properly informed decisions about the vaccines on an individual level. As Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist and physician at Johns Hopkins, recently tweeted, “One can be both very pro-Covid-19 vaccination and also be worried about the individual risk:benefit profile of Covid-19 vaccines in <16 yo.”

First, the link between the mRNA vaccines and myocarditis, particularly in young males, is sufficiently clear that the FDA revised its vaccine fact sheets to include a warning about it. As of June 11 (the latest date most data were collected for the meeting), 128 cases within seven days of the second dose had been reported in boys aged 12 to 17, when the CDC’s expected number for that same population was zero to four cases. VAERS, the reporting database for vaccine-related adverse events that these statistics are drawn from, has limitations. Some portion of the events reported may be unrelated to the vaccines. But the differential between expected and observed cases within certain cohorts is the statistical equivalent of a blaring siren. (A detailed analysis in Israel estimated the incidence of myocarditis following vaccination in young males to be around one in 5,000, equating to 200 cases per million.)

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It took Salk 7 years to get a real vaccine, which you still don’t have, and maybe never will. Nuff said. How did this crazed loose cannon become the most trusted voice, and what does that tell us about America?

Fauci: US Might ‘Still Have Polio’ If Media Back Then Opposed Vaccine (Y!)

Top US scientist Anthony Fauci on Saturday blasted commentators who sound an anti-vaccination theme, saying America might still be battling smallpox and polio if today’s kind of misinformation existed back then. The comments from the country’s leading infectious disease expert reflected mounting frustration over the sharp slowdown in the Covid-19 vaccination rate in the United States, even as the disease has been surging in states with low rates. It also came days after President Joe Biden expressed his own visible frustration, saying social media that carry widely heard misinformation about vaccines are “killing people.”


Fauci was responding to a CNN interviewer who asked if he thought “we could have defeated the measles or eradicated polio if you had Fox News, night after night, warning people about these vaccine issues that are just bunk.” Fauci said: “We probably would still have smallpox and we probably would still have polio … if we had the kind of false information that’s being spread.” Initial vaccine skepticism in many areas has increasingly evolved into outright hostility, a message magnified by baseless conspiracy theories regularly aired on Fox and other conservative networks. “Maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that,” Tucker Carlson, one of Fox’s most popular commentators, said recently.

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“Biden is accusing these companies of actually killing people for refusing even more extensive censorship of speech. The statement equates free speech with death itself.”

Biden Denounces Big Tech as “Killing People” By Not Censoring Speech (Turley)

President Joe Biden slammed Big Tech companies this week for “killing people” by failing to engage in even greater censorship of free speech on issues related to the pandemic. It was a surprising condemnation of companies who have been loyal allies of Biden, including killing stories embarrassing to his family like the Hunter Biden laptop scandal before the election. It also has censored stories questioning his victory in 2020. Nevertheless, Biden denounced the range of uncensored free speech as the cause of death for many — the ultimate anti-free speech trope for those seeking to convince people to embrace their own censorship. Biden was asked by a reporter what his message was to “platforms like Facebook” on the subject of “COVID misinformation.”

He responded “They’re killing people. The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and they’re killing people.” This comes as these companies have been criticized for censoring debates over the origin or treatment of Covid-19. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic. It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion. The White House recently admitted that it was flagging “misinformation” for censorship by companies like Facebook. Moreover, White House press secretary Jen Psaki has called for people to be banned from all social media if any one company bans them.

Biden is accusing these companies of actually killing people for refusing even more extensive censorship of speech. The statement equates free speech with death itself. We have seen this type of reckless rhetoric in other areas where disagreement with a policy or proposal is treated as de facto racism or hate speech. That was the case recently with the NAACP official who denounced those of opposing what is commonly referred to as critical race theory lessons as haters of a long litany of groups from the disabled to children to “help people.” This was followed by the chilling words “Let them die.”

Rather than seek to convince the skeptical, Biden wants to silence them and use these companies to control what is read and discussed about the pandemic. What is chilling is the degree to which reporters and academics have supported the massive censorship system in the United States. However, that system is clearly not (to use Sen. Blumenthal’s words) “robust enough” for Biden who wants these companies to carry out a more complete censorship of opposing views.

Peter A. McCullough, MD, MPH about censorship

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A sheriff who can read. They didn’t count on that. How much did John Wayne ever read when he played one?

Sheriff In California Won’t Enforce Mask Mandate: ‘Not Backed By Science’ (RT)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has made waves and caused outrage by refusing to enforce the city’s reinstated mask policy, saying the decision is “not backed by science.” Los Angeles County health officials shocked many this week when they announced that their mask mandate would be returning. Similar to the restriction in place before the county began reopening last month, residents have been told to wear masks in indoor settings and large gatherings, regardless of one’s vaccination status. County officials reinstated the mask mandate due to new Covid-19 daily cases reaching over 1,000 every day for a week. Health officials also cited the Delta variant as a reason why people “need to reduce our risk of infection and our risk for potentially infecting others.”


Villanueva, who is up for reelection next year, was quick to respond to the mandate, and made it clear that he and his officers would have no part in helping the county enforce the new rule. “Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,” he said in a statement. The “underfunded” department, the sheriff added, will not be using their “limited resources” to make sure people are in compliance, though he made sure to say they “have the authority” to enforce if they wanted to. The sheriff is asking for “voluntary compliance” from residents instead.

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All fully vaccinated.

Game Postponed After 6 New York Yankees Test Positive For Covid-19 (CNN)

Six players on the New York Yankees have tested positive for Covid-19, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Thursday, in the second instance this year of breakthrough cases occurring among some members of the baseball team. “We have three positives, and we have three pending that we’ve had rapid tests on,” Cashman said, saying the three positive rapid tests are being confirmed with additional lab work. The players with confirmed positive tests are pitchers Jonathan Loaisiga, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Wandy Peralta, according to the team. The three unnamed players have results pending.


The three named players were all vaccinated, according to the team. Two of the players received Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the other was from either Pfizer or Moderna, Cashman says. The pitchers are “doing well thus far,” Cashman said, while he declined to comment on the unnamed players until final confirmation of their positive tests are received by the team. Earlier this season, eight positive tests were recorded among coaching and travel staff, all of whom had previously taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Of the team members who tested positive, only one showed mild symptoms and his condition improved, the Yankees said.

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He’s as crazy as she is.

Kamala’s Husband Spreads Misinformation (ZH)

Emhoff spoke to the 44-year-old man as if he was a toddler at the doctor’s office. “Don’t be nervous. It won’t hurt. I’ve had it. I can take it. So don’t be scared,” Emhoff told Posadas. The immigrant then stood off to the side while Emhoff shook hands with doctors and medical staff from Ochsner Health. After posing for photos, Emhoff turns back to Posadas. “Gustava, thank you so much. Muy importante,” Emhoff said in English-accented Spanish. “What do you have to say to people? And you’re going to tell a bunch of people…?” “I tell everybody,” Posadas said in Spanish-accented English. “I don’t want this before. But now I think this is real…” “This is real,” Emhoff says, completing his sentence. “And it’s the only thing that is going to prevent you, your family and others from dying or getting really sick.”

Say what? A vaccine is the only thing that is going to prevent people from dying from COVID? Is this what the Biden administration’s door knockers are telling people in private? The recovery rate for COVID is 98 to 99 percent. Almost all the deaths are due to age or underlying conditions. Johns Hopkins currently has the rate at 98.2 percent in America. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before Congress that the survival rate is actually 99 percent because asymptomatic cases are under counted. Emhoff seemingly doesn’t care to give the facts to Posadas and put the success of the media stunt at risk. “I’m so grateful you’re doing this in front of the cameras so you can tell everyone it’s okay,” said Emhoff. Posadas nods his head. “Everything – my people – I thinks, we want the shot. This is real. I not believe you before, but I feel it now.”

No reporter asks questions. But the obvious one is: How long ago did Posadas not “believe” Emhoff? Who convinced him to take the vaccine? What was told to him in English or Spanish? Emhoff wastes no time with Posadas’s hesitancy. “Well let’s do it!” said the Second Gentleman while the medical staff and clergy applaud. Posadas is put in a white, folding chair. He keeps on the mirrored sunglasses. A woman in scrubs tells him to pull the mask over his nose. He rolls up his sleeve as the woman comes in with the needle. Posadas looks in the opposite direction. “Look at me! Look at me!” Emhoff tells him, while the shot is administered. The crowd applauds. Emhoff holds out his fist, and Posadas bumps him after he stands.

“Thank you for doing this,” Emhoff says, while Posadas rubs his arm and says something in Spanish. “Thank you for telling everyone to do this.” Emhoff walks away to do media interviews while a woman is heard off camera saying, “Gustava, did you get your card with your vaccination on it?” The Second Gentleman tells reporters that, “On the Covid piece, on the vaccinations, I’m not going to stop. This administration is not going to stop until we continue to get the word out here.” Emhoff continues but seems to not remember Posadas’s name. “You heard what he said – it’s real. He didn’t believe it. He believes it now….” Harris’s husband does a hard sell of the vaccines and adds, “We’re going to go door to door, bring the vaccines out to the people until we get this done.”

Biden/Kamala vaccines

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Ha ha ha! Think they installed a “misinformation” filter?

US-Backed Tech Restores Internet To More Than 1 Million Cubans (ZH)

With summer uprisings in Cuba, the communist government has discovered ways to cut the internet off to millions of residents, so organized protesting on social media is near impossible. Let’s take a step back to early last week when reports of the Cuban regime used China-made technology systems to block internet and cell phone service to prevent pictures and videos of what was happening on the ground published online near impossible for the outside world to see. The regime also blocked popular social media channels that would make organized protesting impossible. Remember, a decade ago, during Arab Spring, Facebook and Twitter were critical for organizers to orchestrate uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bahrain.

The Biden administration is finding ways to provide anti-censorship tools to Cubans to access social media during the blackouts. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. government supports a censorship circumvention tool designed to unblock content in Cuba and is powered by a company called Psiphon Inc. As of Thursday, Psiphon tweeted, “1.389 Million daily unique users accessed the open web from Cuba through the Psiphon network. Internet is ON; circumvention tools ARE working.” Psiphon uses proxy servers that disguise internet traffic so Cuban authorities cannot tell if people are accessing social media platforms. The Toronto-based nonprofit has received money from the U.S. government. Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn tweeted Saturday that the proxy service is working well:

The Biden administration has been strategizing on other ways to provide the people of Cuba with internet access. “They have cut off access to the internet. We are considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access,” President Biden said on Friday. Biden commented after Florida Governor Ron Desantis told the president the federal government should restore internet on the island located in the northern Caribbean Sea. Desantis said there’s a technology that would allow the U.S. to broadcast internet access into Cuba remotely. “Technology exists to provide Internet access into Cuba remotely, using the innovation of American enterprise and the diverse industries here,” the governor wrote. He said this reminds him of the Cold War when the U.S. funded radio stations to broadcast information into the Soviet Union.

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A bunch of tiny islands and a dispute that no-one ever bothered to resolve. But now if the US wants to stand with Japan, it must stand against Taiwan. And the Chinese are thinking: let’s have that fun.

Does Japan Control The Trigger For US Nuclear War On China? (Ritter)

Statements made by Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister about his country’s need to defend Taiwan have raised the specter of a “Japan exception” to China’s no-first-use policy on nuclear weapons. In April this year, Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide became the first foreign leader to visit the White House after the swearing in of Joe Biden as America’s 46th President. After private discussions, Yoshihide and Biden issued a joint statement entitled “US-Japan Global Partnership for a New Era.” What made it stand out from similar joint releases over the past decades of US-Japanese relations was the fact that, for the first time in over 50 years, the Japanese and American leaders made mention of Taiwan, declaring “we underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues.”

While the statement was, on the surface, rather innocuous, the Chinese Embassy in the US immediately reacted, declaring Beijing’s resolute opposition to what it deemed to be interference in China’s internal affairs, and noting that the talks had gone beyond the scope of normal bilateral relations, harming third-party interests and threatening peace and stability in the region. While most observers might think the Chinese objection was centered on its long-standing claim on Taiwan proper, the trigger point was, more likely, the specific reference made in the statement to a tiny cluster of uninhabited rocky islands situated some 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Taiwan and around 400 kilometers (248 miles) due west of Okinawa.

These islands, known in Japan as the Senkaku Islands and in China as the Diaoyu Dao Islands, are located not only in rich fishing waters, but also on top of economically viable underwater oil and gas deposits. While their ownership is a matter of ongoing legal dispute, with China viewing them as constituting part of Taiwan, and Japan as part of the Okinawa prefecture, at the present time the islands are administered by Japan. The US-Japanese joint statement reiterated Washington’s “unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear.” It then went on to reaffirm “the fact that Article V of the Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands,” adding that both the US and Japan “oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands.”

Left to its own devices, the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Dao Islands should have remained low-key. But on July 6, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Taro Aso, reportedly stated that “If a major problem took place in Taiwan, it would not be too much to say that it could relate to a survival-threatening situation [for Japan],” citing language which specifically triggers Japan’s Constitutionally-mandated right of collective self-defense, where it would be permitted to deploy its armed forces in support of an ally who had been attacked. A “survival-threatening situation” occurs when an armed attack against a foreign country allied with Japan poses a clear risk of threatening Japan’s survival.

“We need to think hard that Okinawa could be the next,” Aso was quoted as saying, indicating the specific nature of the “survival-threatening situation” he spoke of. While China has never expressed any territorial interest in either Okinawa or the other populated islands contained in the Okinawa prefecture, the fact that Japan views the Senkaku Islands as part of Okinawa, and China views the Diaoyu Dao Islands as part of Taiwan, means that any Chinese move on Taiwan would, as a matter of course, include asserting its claim over the disputed islands. This, in turn, would trigger Article V of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation, which is backed by the nuclear arsenal of the United States.

Read more …

 

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The Greek Freak is one win away from the NBA title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jul 012021
 


Ivan Aivazovsky Stormy Night at Sea 1850

 

Want Me To LAUGH AT YOU? Do Stupid Things (Denninger)
CDC Director: Vaccinated People ‘Safe’ From Delta Variant (Hill)
Rand Paul Cites 0.08% Delta Variant Death Rate Among Unvaccinated (JTN)
Man Dies of Severe Blood Clotting After Receiving Moderna COVID-19 Jab (TNA)
Myocarditis ‘Higher Than Expected’ In Male Service Members After Jabs (JTN)
Digital Travel Pass Comes Into Force In The EU (K.)
Censorship Kills (AIER)
‘Not A Healthy Environment’: Kamala Harris’ Office Rife With Dissent (Pol.)
FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart (Murray)
US & UK Know They Can’t Win WW3 – Putin (RT)

 

 

Why the Delta scare? As a virus mutates, it becomes more contagious and less lethal. And then eventually it disappears…

 

 

Richard Fleming

 

 

Key date: May 12

 

 

“Statistically a significant percentage of such young persons who get hit by this “all cause” wind up needing a heart transplant within five years..”

Want Me To LAUGH AT YOU? Do Stupid Things (Denninger)

Here you go folks, from a mainstream media outlet. “The US Food and Drug Administration added a warning about the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis to fact sheets for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines Friday. The warning notes that reports of adverse events following vaccination — particularly after the second dose — suggest increased risks of both types of heart inflammation. Earlier this week, vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heard that the agency had received about 1,200 reports of such heart inflammation after 300 million doses of the two vaccines had been given. CDC has confirmed about 300 of those cases, many of them among young men and adolescents.”

I will point out that the odds of a healthy under-18 person being killed by Covid-19 are approximately 1 in 250,000 in the US. Only a small percentage of the total 150 million or so “vaccinated” (note that most are 2-dose, so the 300 million number is an attempt to cut the actual risk in half) are in kids thus far, perhaps 15 million or so. It is thus roughly 20 times as likely as you will get hit by this if you’re a young person as you will die of Covid. Further, a material percentage of these cases have reduced ejection fraction detected and materially elevated troponin values, both of which imply serious cardiac compromise. That damage is likely permanent and the mortality rate from this condition is not encouraging. Clearly, for an underlying disease that is almost-never fatal in healthy people under 30 that’s a bad bargain.

“But patients are recovering quickly, Dr. Matthew Oster, a pediatric cardiologist, told the advisers.” That’s an assumption made without evidence; yes, they may be clinically recovering but we have no idea what the longer term impact of that condition is. Statistically a significant percentage of such young persons who get hit by this “all cause” wind up needing a heart transplant within five years; if there is no heart available then you die, and if there is you’re on anti-rejection drugs (which wildly increase your risk from other infections) for the rest of your life, all at hideous and permanent, recurring cost which will be yours to pay. Never mind the cost of the original hospitalization and treatment. Yes, the shot is free but the treatment for myocarditis is not; you get to eat that.

Even if insured it still sucks to be you as your deductible and co-pay is yours to bear. The vaccine companies do not pay for that and neither does the government. In fact, neither does “insurance” in that all insurance is a risk pool spreading event and as such you pay all of it — maybe not right now, but with certainty over the years. Oh, incidentally, as I will remind you again the first papers showing that the spike protein was pathogenic and thus quite likely to cause this sort of event was published in September of 2020; that spurred more research papers and by December, before a single young person had a single jab put in a single arm there were several more papers that documented the mechanism by which this damage occurred. In other words both the FDA and everyone else who was capable of reading and took the time to do so knew before a single person under the age of 50 got jabbed that these shots carried this sort of risk.

[..] In the meantime the virus itself has done what ever pandemic virus in recorded history did; it has mutated to be less-lethal and more-transmissible. Delta, by the NHS data out of England, is 1/10th to 1/20th as deadly as the original strain and the first mutations, while being easier to transmit. The statistical risk of death if you get Delta and are not vaccinated is between 0.08% and 0.15% which is statistically identical to the seasonal flu. All of you screaming about “variants!” were and are flat-out wrong.

What’s worse is that there is emerging data that leads to some very troubling implications via that is known as “OAS”; the NHS data shows that someone partially vaccinated (e.g. starting or in-process with the shots) has a similar risk of adverse outcome to someone who has not taken them at all, but beyond 21 days after the last dose the risk is materially higher. What we don’t have is a cohort match that’s worth relying on — but that’s a serious signal indeed. If it ended there it would be bad enough but it doesn’t — there’s emerging evidence in the lab at least of cross-reactivity outside of coronaviruses so the jabs may well screw you with cross-reactivity that actually enhances mortality from other viral infections. The data on this is evolving but if it turns out to be correct and the risk is not limited to coronaviruses then if you took these jabs you may be truly and completely screwed with nothing you can do about it from a whole myriad of other viral infections — including influenza.

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Delta’s been around for 3 weeks?! No way she can know this. Utter BS.

CDC Director: Vaccinated People ‘Safe’ From Delta Variant (Hill)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that fully vaccinated people are “safe” from the current variants and do not need to wear masks, doubling down on CDC guidance as some others call for a return to mask wearing. The question of mask wearing has come back to the forefront given recommendations from Los Angeles County health officials, and from the World Health Organization, that even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors in public as a precaution due to the rise of the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus. But Walensky said that the CDC’s guidance has not changed and that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks, echoing other health experts who note that the vaccines are highly effective even against the delta variant.


“If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States,” Walensky said on NBC’s “Today,” adding it was “exactly right” that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks. She responded to the WHO by saying they are dealing with a worldwide situation where far fewer people are vaccinated than in the United States, given global vaccine disparities, and are therefore issuing more cautious advice. “We know that the WHO has to make guidelines and provide information to the world,” she said. “Right now, we know as we look across the globe that less than 15 percent of people around the world have been vaccinated and many people of those have really only received one dose of a two-dose vaccine. There are places around the world that are surging.”

McCullough

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He makes a lot more sense than Walensky. Just look at the UK/Israel graphs at the top of the post. Delta is very mild, according to all data we have so far.

Rand Paul Cites 0.08% Delta Variant Death Rate Among Unvaccinated (JTN)

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul is telling Twitter followers to not let the ‘fearmongers’ win, amid growing concerns about the newest delta variant of the coronavirus. Paul, who is a doctor with a degree in medicine from Duke University, cited a study of the strain that shows only a 0.08% death rate among unvaccinated people. “Don’t let the fearmongers win. New public England study of delta variant shows 44 deaths out of 53,822 (.08%) in unvaccinated group. Hmmm,” he tweeted Tuesday to his 3.2 million followers. The variant, which has caused virus outbreaks in Australia and other countries, has resulted in officials reimposing recently lifted health-safety orders including mask-wearing.

Ron Paul

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And there we go again. It’s what you get if you don’t test.

Man Dies of Severe Blood Clotting After Receiving Moderna COVID-19 Jab (TNA)

One of the “the safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccines has claimed another life. Doctors in Pennsylvania revealed the first documented incidence of severe blood clotting suspected to be linked to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, after a man died within days of receiving his second dosage. Writing in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, medics from the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh have reported that an unnamed 65-year-old man, who had high blood pressure and elevated fat levels in his blood, developed so-called vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT), or thrombocytopenia with thrombosis syndrome (TTS), 10 days after receiving his second Moderna jab.

The doctors said their findings “fulfill the interim case definition of VITT or TTS” set out by the CDC and that further blood tests “[strengthened] the likelihood” of a vaccine-linked condition. The patient reportedly arrived at the hospital with an array of serious conditions. First, a computed tomography angiogram of his chest showed large, bilateral, acute pulmonary emboli — a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in lungs. Most often, the condition results from a blood clot that forms in the legs or another part of the body and travels to the lungs. The patient had DVT in both lower extremities, which is noted to be “acute.”

The man developed a right ventricular strain, or a right ventricular dysfunction, where the muscle of the right ventricle of the heart is deformed. This type of heart failure develops when the right side of the heart does not pump blood as well as it should, causing blood to back up into the veins and limiting how much blood the heart can pump. The patient also had severe thrombocytopenia, or low platelet count. Platelets (thrombocytes) are cells that help the blood clot. The report in Pittsburgh is the first confirmed case of blood clotting linked to a vaccine based on mRNA technology, which includes those developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. While a number of recipients of the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson shots have developed clotting, including some fatal cases, those vaccines use different technology and are instead based on a deactivated adenovirus.

In spite of this man’s death, Pittsburgh medics have stressed that the benefits of being immunized far outweigh any risks: “We believe it is important to note that many millions of people have received COVID-19 vaccines that use mRNA technology. This is the only report to date of possible VITT or TTS in those recipients, and such a rare event, even if confirmed by additional reports, should not prevent persons from receiving the benefits of these vaccines.”

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Prediction 8 cases, in reality 23.

Myocarditis ‘Higher Than Expected’ In Male Service Members After Jabs (JTN)

A new medical study finds a “higher than expected” number of myocarditis or heart inflammation cases among male military members after receiving their second mRNA COVID-19 shot. The study, published in the peer-reviewed JAMA Cardiology journal Tuesday, found that 23 males 20 to 51, presented “acute onset of marked chest pain” within four days of receiving the second COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to The Epoch Times. The case studied patients in the U.S. military health system from Jan. 1 to April 30. Seven received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 16 received the Moderna vaccine. According to the study, more than 2.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered by the military health system.


“The observed number of male military members who experienced myocarditis after their second dose of mRNA vaccine, while relatively small, is substantially higher than the expected number,” reads the study. The authors cited a prediction of eight or fewer cases of myocarditis from the 436,000 male military members who received two vaccine doses. The report said all the members who tested for myocarditis, a condition that causes the swelling of the heart muscle and can cause difficulty breathing, heart failure, and death, were all “physically fit by military standards and lacking any known history of cardiac disease, significant cardiac risk factors, or exposure to cardiotoxic agents.”

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Vaccine, negative test or recovered from the disease. How do the assess that last one? What test is used? Is it only people who have been hospitalized? Or do they test for T cells, antibodies, memory B cells?

“Its use will be suspended when the WHO declares an end to the international health emergency caused by Covid-19.”

Digital Travel Pass Comes Into Force In The EU (K.)

The new EU-wide travel pass, aiming to facilitate movement across the bloc during the pandemic, came into force on Thursday. The Digital Covid Certificate — or Digital Green Certificate — is to be used as proof that travellers have been vaccinated against Covid-19, received a negative test result, or recovered from the disease. Its aim is to enable people to travel more easily for work and travel in the EU by reducing paperwork and skipping quarantine. The certificate is a temporary tool. Its use will be suspended when the World Health Organization (WHO) declares an end to the international health emergency caused by Covid-19.

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Popper is a good source for scientific integrity.

Censorship Kills (AIER)

Big Tech routinely censors reports of vaccine harm and alternatives to vaccines. Censorship is the product of an illiberal, anti-science, authoritarian mindset. Censorship kills because decision-making is distorted. Consider the knowledge of the disinfecting properties of soap and water. In a world where that knowledge was censored in favor of antibiotic treatment for all wounds, people would die needlessly, and antibiotics would be overused. Popper interprets Kant’s principle of autonomy as the “realization that we must never accept the command of an authority, however exalted, as the basis of ethics. For whenever we are faced with the command of an authority, it is always up to us to judge, critically, whether it is morally permissible to obey.” Popper allows, “The authority may have the power to enforce its commands, and we may be powerless to resist.”

Today we are not yet powerless to resist the censors. We can acknowledge our ignorance and engage in inquiry. We can still seek out and find alternative views and consider disconcerting evidence. We can resist the urge to self-censor and instead share what we are observing and learning. We can reject authority as the basis for our personal ethics. Popper writes, “If it is physically possible for us to choose our conduct then we cannot escape the ultimate responsibility.” Lex Fridman is a research scientist at MIT and the host of a popular podcast. Recently he had Weinstein on his show to talk about censorship. Fridman said this: “Science is the striving of the human mind to understand and solve the problems of the world, but as an institution, it is susceptible to flaws of human nature, to fear, to greed, power, and ego.”

To reduce uncertainty about the best solutions to Covid, Fridman argues, “No voices should have been silenced, no ideas left off the table. Open data, open science, open scientific communication, and debate is the way, not censorship.” Censors claim the moral high road; they assure us they are coercing others for our own good. Fridman dismantles their authoritarian hubris: “There are a lot of ideas out there that are bad, wrong, dangerous. But the moment we have the hubris to say we know which ideas those are is the moment we lose our ability to find the truth, to find solutions.” The conversation he had with Weinstein is larger than Weinstein’s ideas. Fridman warns that at stake is “the very freedom to talk, to think, to share ideas.” Fridman believes, “This freedom is our only hope.”

Censorship distorts decision-making and destroys hope. For some, Covid is a matter of life or death. Censorship challenges our ability to make responsible health choices for ourselves and those in our care. In 1644 John Milton wrote, “He who destroys a good book, kills reason itself.” Today, acknowledge the destructive consequences of censorship. Speak out now or we risk allowing Big Tech’s algorithms and community guidelines to continue to destroy reason, hinder science, and undermine hope for humanity.

Malone mRNA

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Why does Politico go after Kamala? For narrative control, damage control. If they have the scoop, no-one else has. And then they can lead the narrative where they want it.

‘Not A Healthy Environment’: Kamala Harris’ Office Rife With Dissent (Pol.)

When Vice President Kamala Harris finally made the decision to visit the Mexico border last week, people inside her own office were blindsided by the news. For days, aides and outside allies had been calling and texting with each other about the political fallout that a potential trip would entail. But when it became known that she was going to El Paso, it left many scrambling, including officials who were responsible for making travel arrangements and others outside the VP’s office charged with crafting the messaging across the administration. The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.

Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year. In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue. While much of the ire is aimed at Harris’ chief, two administration officials said the VP herself also bears responsibility for the way her office is run.

“It all starts at the top,” said one of the administration officials, who like others requested anonymity to be able to speak candidly about a sensitive matter. “People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” said another person with direct knowledge of how Harris’ office is run. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.” The dysfunction in the VP’s ranks threatens to complicate the White House’s carefully crafted image as a place staffed by a close-knit group of professionals working in concert to advance the president’s agenda. It’s pronounced enough that members of the president’s own team have taken notice and are concerned about the way Harris’ staffers are treated.

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris, pushed back against the complaints and defended Flournoy saying she has an “open door policy” and that “Black women like me would not have the opportunity to work in politics without Tina.” Of the chief of staff’s anonymous critics, she added: “People are cowards to do this this way.” “We are not making rainbows and bunnies all day. What I hear is that people have hard jobs and I’m like ‘welcome to the club,’” Sanders added. “We have created a culture where people, if there is anything anyone would like to raise, there are avenues for them to do so. Whoever has something they would like to raise, they should raise it directly.”

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No better source than Murray on the topic.

FBI Fabrication Against Assange Falls Apart (Murray)

On the final day of the Assange extradition hearing, magistrate Vanessa Baraitser refused to accept an affidavit from Assange’s solicitor Gareth Peirce, on the grounds it was out of time. The affidavit explained that the defence had been unable to respond to the new accusations in the United States government’s second superseding indictment, because these wholly new matters had been sprung on them just six weeks before the hearing resumed on 8 September 2020. The defence had not only to gather evidence from Iceland, but had virtually no access to Assange to take his evidence and instructions, as he was effectively in solitary confinement in Belmarsh. The defence had requested an adjournment to give them time to address the new accusations, but this adjournment had been refused by Baraitser.

She now refused to accept Gareth Peirce’s affidavit setting out these facts. What had happened was this. The hearings on the Assange extradition in January 2020 did not seem to be going well for the US government. The arguments that political extradition is specifically banned by the UK/US extradition treaty, and that the publisher was not responsible for Chelsea Manning’s whistleblowing on war crimes, appeared to be strong. The US Justice Department had decided that it therefore needed a new tack and to discover some “crimes” by Assange that seemed less noble than the Manning revelations. To achieve this, the FBI turned to an informant in Iceland, Sigi Thordarson, who was willing to testify that Assange had been involved with him in, inter alia, hacking private banking information and tracking Icelandic police vehicles.

This was of course much easier to portray as crime, as opposed to journalism, so the second superseding indictment was produced based on Thordarson’s story, which was elaborated with Thordarson by an FBI team. The difficulty was that Thordarson was hardly a reliable witness. He had already been convicted in Iceland for stealing approximately $50,000 from Wikileaks and with impersonating Julian Assange online, not to mention the inconvenient fact he is a registered sex offender for online activities with under-age boys. The FBI team was in fact expelled from Iceland by the Icelandic government, who viewed what the FBI was doing with Thordarson as wholly illegitimate.

Read more …

“Because those who are doing this know that they can’t get out of this war victorious. That’s a very important thing.”

US & UK Know They Can’t Win WW3 – Putin (RT)

President Vladimir Putin has slammed the violation of Russian territorial waters by British warship HMS Defender as a “provocation.” He also claimed that London’s American allies had a hand in last week’s incident near Crimea. However, apparently casting doubt on NATO’s ‘Article V’ collective defense pact, the Russian leader claimed that, even if Moscow had sunk the vessel, it wouldn’t have led to World War III, because the “provocateurs” know they wouldn’t be able to win. Last week, the British naval ship HMS Defender entered the country’s territorial waters and traveled three kilometers (almost two miles) inside the frontier, near Cape Fiolent, in Crimea. According to Russia’s Ministry of Defense, the coastguard targeted warning shots at the boat. This has been disputed by the British, but video evidence suggests the Russian version of events is more accurate.


According to London, the destroyer was making a peaceful passage through the territorial waters of Ukraine in accordance with international law. The UK does not recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Speaking at his annual ‘Direct Line’ call-in show, Putin revealed that a US strategic airplane took off from an airfield on the island of Crete and flew towards Russia on the morning before HMS Defender entered Russian waters. However, despite the provocation, the two NATO members do not want a conflict, and it is not true to say that the world is now standing on the brink of a world war, he said. “Even if we had sunk that ship, it would still be hard to imagine that the world would be on the brink of World War III,” the president said. “Because those who are doing this know that they can’t get out of this war victorious. That’s a very important thing.”

Read more …

 

 

 

 

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Mar 262021
 


Vincent van Gogh Scène de rue à Montmartre 1887

 

Biden’s Press Conference: Get Ready For President Kamala Harris (Malic)
Better Not Vaccinate Everyone: The Virus Will Not Disappear Anyway (G.nl)
Herd Immunity Is Near, Despite Fauci’s Denial (WSJ)
US Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Pointless (F>)
CNN’s Defense of Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque (Greenwald)
Secret Service Inserted Itself Into Case Of Hunter Biden’s Gun (Pol.)
Tesla & Bitcoin Are Perfect Bedfellows (Mitch Feierstein)
US Imports Record Volumes Of Russian Oil Amid Growing Political Tensions (RT)
The Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen (MPN)
‘It Might Take Weeks’ To Free ‘Beached Whale’ Ship Stuck In Suez Canal (RT)
Free Us From The Roving Cavaliers of Credit (Steve Keen)

 

 

Boris Johnson, 2004

“If I am ever asked to produce my ID card as evidence that I am who I say I am, when I have done nothing wrong then I will take that card out of my wallet and physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it”

 

 

Dana Carvey does Joe Biden

 

 

Actual Washington Post headline: “Biden Excels At His First News Conference. The Media Embarrass Themselves.”

Biden’s Press Conference: Get Ready For President Kamala Harris (Malic)

Well, now we know why Democrat strategists were more than happy to let Joe Biden sit in his basement during the campaign, and kept him away from the press for the first 64 days in office – and it’s definitely not the coronavirus. Biden was almost 15 minutes late to his own very first “formal press conference” since taking office. He dodged questions, spouted platitudes and talking points, went off on tangents at times while getting angry and uttering what may have sounded like threats at others. No doubt some of that could be down to his advanced age, but let’s assume for lack of another explanation that the words were indeed his and that he truly meant what he said. And, oh brother, is the US in trouble.

In Thursday’s presser, Biden actually repeated – twice – the previous day’s talking points, down to the description of someone “sitting at their kitchen table” in Central America, about why tens of thousands of migrants are coming to the US. He knows why, better than they do. Never mind that the tide began the day he was announced winner of the 2020 election, or the migrants who literally told reporters they decided to come because Biden got elected, or wear T-shirts with his campaign logo and the words “please let us in.” Nope, you’re supposed to ignore your lying eyes and believe Uncle Joe, because his great-grandfather had no choice but to leave Ireland in a “coffin ship.” What are you, a lying dog-faced pony soldier? Come on, man!

This sort of emotionally manipulative imagery is nothing new for Biden; he did it in the pandemic speech earlier this month, as well as his inaugural and his convention address. The press keeps falling for it, though, every single time. No wonder Dana Carvey was catching flak this week; his impersonation of Biden – not just his voice, but his mannerism and verbal tics – was spot on.

Tucker

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Google translate

These people must have read VadenBossche. We need much more discussion like this.

Also in Holland: GPs will now be fined for prescribing HCQ or ivermectin. As infection numbers are soaring back up to where they were early January.

Better Not Vaccinate Everyone: The Virus Will Not Disappear Anyway (G.nl)

Vaccinating children and young, healthy people against corona does not help. Group immunity is unfeasible, the corona virus will no longer disappear and will continue to appear in new variants. This is the opinion of Jona Walk, who recently obtained his PhD in vaccine immunology, and medical microbiologist Bert Mulder today in the magazine Medisch Contact. Both doctors of the Nijmegen Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital therefore question the policy of the cabinet and health institute to vaccinate the entire population in order to return to “normal”. They are supported by a recent article “Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible” in the leading scientific medical journal Nature.

Vaccinations can prevent people from becoming seriously ill and ending up in hospital, but it is an illusion to think that they also stop the virus from spreading. “Research done in Oxford shows that people can also be virus carriers after they have been vaccinated,” says Walk. More research needs to be done on this, but it is already clear that current vaccines do not work against all new variants of the virus. South Africa, for example, has already stopped using AstraZeneca because that vaccine does not work against the variant that is dominant there. “The effectiveness against that specific variant appears to be really zero,” says Mulder. The constant emergence of new variants therefore means that the vaccinations will be less effective in the future than appears at the moment.

“In fact, if a vaccine against a particular variant doesn’t work, only that version of the virus will continue to spread among people, and that refractory variant may eventually become dominant in the vaccinated population,” says Walk.“This happens especially if you vaccinate while a lot of virus is circulating, you create an ideal environment for new mutations,” Mulder adds. Walk: “The unnecessary vaccination is also against our medical principles. If you cannot become seriously ill from the virus and do not protect anyone with it when you get vaccinated, why would you run the risk of side effects that we are certainly not aware of in the long term? “” She points to the fact that for the time being there are only data on safety during the first two months after vaccination. Longer studies are needed to get a full picture of the benefits and risks.

“Another problem is that we do not yet know whether once someone has been vaccinated, they will later make good antibodies against other corona variants.” “A new vaccination against a new variant may therefore be less effective. “There is still a lot of research to be done in this area,” the researchers emphasize. But they are now coming up with their analysis because the vaccination policy is still aimed at vaccinating as many people as possible against corona by July. Mulder: ,, But we cannot eradicate corona. So you should rethink that policy: vaccinating only if someone benefits from it on an individual level, you should first focus on the elderly and at-risk groups and then look at who wants to be vaccinated further. “”

Ron Paul Testing

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Natural immunity.

Herd Immunity Is Near, Despite Fauci’s Denial (WSJ)

Anthony Fauci has been saying that the country needs to vaccinate 70% to 85% of the population to reach herd immunity from Covid-19. But he inexplicably ignores natural immunity. If you account for previous infections, herd immunity is likely close at hand. Data from the California Department of Public Health, released earlier this month, show that while only 8.7% of the state’s population has ever tested positive for Covid-19, at least 38.5% of the population has antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Those numbers are from Jan. 30 to Feb. 20. Adjusting for cases between now and then, and accounting for the amount of time it takes for the body to make antibodies, we can estimate that as many as half of Californians have natural immunity today.


The same report found that 45% of people in Los Angeles had Covid-19 antibodies. Again, the number can only be higher today. Between “half and two-thirds of our population has antibodies in it now,” due to Covid exposure or vaccination, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” That would explain why cases in Los Angeles are down 95% in the past 11 weeks and the positivity rate among those tested is now 1.7%. Undercounting or removing the many Americans with natural immunity from any tally of herd immunity is a scientific error of omission. When people wonder why President Biden talks about limiting Fourth of July gatherings, it’s because his most prominent medical adviser has dismissed the contribution of natural immunity, artificially extending the timeline.

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“The University of Chicago researchers said their study reached a different conclusion because of differing methodology.”

But what a warped logic. Destroying economies was useless, but not pointless.

US Lockdowns Didn’t Stop Covid – But That Doesn’t Mean They’re Pointless (F.)

U.S. states with shelter-in-place orders and other strict Covid-19 rules did not report fewer infections and deaths last year, a study released Thursday argues, disputing other recent research about the pandemic—but this doesn’t mean social distancing efforts were ineffective. A team of researchers from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy found states that imposed shelter-in-place orders, mandatory business closures and other tight restrictions didn’t see a significant difference in the number of coronavirus infections or deaths during the virus’ first U.S. surge last spring. Shelter-in-place orders also appeared to have very little impact on people’s mobility, which researchers measured using cell phone data.

However, researchers did not cast this as proof that social distancing is unnecessary: Instead, it could mean scores of Americans changed their habits regardless of whether their state imposed restrictions, often because health officials encouraged them to. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of social distancing measures was likely reduced because some people—partly due to politics—refused to comply with these efforts even if they came with a government mandate, the researchers noted in their paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team said their results “should not be taken to imply that the actions of government officials had little effect on the pandemic.”

“To be clear, our findings do not mean that sheltering in place and social distancing behaviors had no effect on the disease,” the study’s authors wrote. “Indeed, the health benefits of [shelter-in-place] orders were likely limited because many people were already social distancing before the introduction of SIP orders.” This study contradicts two papers from last year—published in Nature and by the National Bureau of Economic Research—that found shelter-in-place orders significantly reduced Covid-19 infections in the United States and other countries, especially if they were imposed early. The University of Chicago researchers said their study reached a different conclusion because of differing methodology.

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While there were no tests available.

CNN’s Defense of Cuomo’s Special COVID Privileges is Grotesque (Greenwald)

Ever since the COVID pandemic subsumed most countries on the planet, there have been numerous scandals and controversies relating to those who corruptly obtain medical privileges and other exemptions unavailable to ordinary citizens. These scandals typically arise when someone uses their wealth, power or connections to jump in front of others for access to potentially life-saving procedures or medications or grant themselves and their friends license to ignore what everyone else must endure. Right now in Brazil, for instance, there is a burgeoning scandal from reports that a group of businesspeople with ties to the government arranged to purchase their own private stash of vaccines for use for themselves, families and friends in violation of the law.

In the U.S., people were outraged when very young members of Congress were among the first to receive the vaccine (though the law permitted them to do so); those young Congressmembers justified their line-jumping on the ground that they were doing so selflessly to encourage others. Meanwhile, other members of Congress refused this privilege on the ground, as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) put it, that it is “shameful” for young lawmakers to believe they “are more important” than workers. Repeatedly in the U.S., politicians were caught exempting themselves from lockdown orders they were imposing on everyone else. But those pale in comparison to the abuse of power by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, as reported on Wednesday by The Albany-Times Union and The Washington Post.

“High-level members of the state Department of Health were directed last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to conduct prioritized coronavirus testing on the governor’s relatives as well as influential people with ties to the administration,” reported the Times-Union. “Members of Cuomo’s family including his brother, his mother and at least one of his sisters were also tested by top health department officials — some several times,” it added. In particular, Gov. Cuomo abused state resources to ensure that his then-49-year-old brother, Chris, received fast COVID testing at a time when tests were very scarce. “The CNN anchor was swabbed by a top New York Department of Health doctor, who visited his Hamptons home to collect samples from him and his family,” The Post reported. The article also contains these damning details:

“The same doctor who tested Chris Cuomo, Eleanor Adams, now a top adviser to the state health commissioner, also was enlisted to test multiple other Cuomo family members….The coronavirus test specimens were then rushed — at times driven by state police troopers — to the Wadsworth Center, a state public health lab in Albany, where they were processed immediately, the people said. At times, employees in the state health laboratory were kept past their shifts until late into the night to process results of those close to Cuomo, two people said.” All of this commandeering of state resources to provide the CNN host with very specialized medical attention occurred while “media reports were full of accounts from New Yorkers desperate to get tested — including some with symptoms and recent travel history who were turned away because of scarcity.”

Cuomo brothers

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Still no sign of Hunter.

Secret Service Inserted Itself Into Case Of Hunter Biden’s Gun (Pol.)

On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone. Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO. But a curious thing happened at the time: Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.

The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws. The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement. Days later, the gun was returned by an older man who regularly rummages through the grocery’s store’s trash to collect recyclable items, according to people familiar with the situation.

[..] At the time of the gun incident, Hunter was in a romantic relationship with Hallie, the widow of his late brother, Beau. The incident began when Hallie searched Hunter’s pickup, which was parked at her home in Wilmington, because of unspecified “suspicions she had,” according to the Delaware State Police report. Inside the truck, she found a .38 revolver. Hallie took the gun to Janssen’s Market, a nearby high-end grocery store where the Bidens are longtime regular customers. There, she tossed the gun, wrapped in a black shopping bag, into a trash bin outside of the store. Later that day, Hallie informed Hunter of what she had done, and he instructed her to retrieve the gun, according to the police report. When Hallie returned to the grocery store, she found that the gun was missing from the garbage bin and reported the issue to the store.

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“Tesla’s valuation will one day be a Harvard Business School study on the irrationality of market manias.”

Tesla & Bitcoin Are Perfect Bedfellows (Mitch Feierstein)

In 2021, Tesla has made over one billion dollars by speculating in bitcoin. That bet made bigger profits for Musk’s Tesla than the firm made selling its electric vehicles in a similar time frame (though, given its poor sales record, that’s perhaps not surprising). Now the multi-billionaire has created new headlines by announcing that the cryptocurrency will soon be accepted as payment for his cars, a move that saw the price of bitcoin enjoy a short-lived jump of almost 5%. There are some who say that Tesla and Bitcoin make perfect bedfellows. Both are decidedly risky ventures where you’re just about guaranteed to lose your whole wardrobe, let alone a shirt or two. Bitcoin has exhibited extreme volatility and has seen a stratospheric rise in its price during the past few months, hitting new highs approaching $60,000 and prompting some to claim it will go up by a further 500%.

Its surge illustrates how reckless central banks worldwide have destroyed fiat (paper) currencies that are backed by nothing other than a promise to repay debt by insolvent governments with a printing press. It signals a mania that will eventually see an end to US dollar hegemony. Bitcoin is binary – it can go to a million or zero – so no one speculating on it should risk what they cannot afford to lose. And as I’ve warned many times before: NEVER listen to the Musk-rat hype. It’s not the first time Musk has used Tesla’s balance sheet to speculate. In 2016, Tesla spent $2.6 billion bailing out one of his other companies, SolarCity, which was, according to Ernst & Young, completely insolvent.

Additionally, as chairman, CEO, CTO and majority shareholder of SpaceX, Musk used his position to leverage that company’s balance sheet by buying around $300 million of SolarCity bonds in 2015-16. In 2017, Tesla shareholders filed a lawsuit against the company’s directors and Musk. The basis of the lawsuit, according to Reuters, was: “Tesla shareholders have alleged Musk breached his fiduciary duties, squandered Tesla’s assets and unjustly enriched himself by pushing to buy the money-losing solar company in which he was the biggest investor.”

[..] Musk’s track record on autonomous driving, vehicle production numbers and Tesla profits has been abysmal. For example, Musk has said “Full Self Driving” hardware would be capable of a “coast-to-coast” autonomous trip by the end of 2017. In February of 2019, Musk promised, “Full self-driving would be available in 2020.” Tesla’s valuation builds in earnings from a non-existent robot taxi model. The point: Musk makes new bold claims nearly every quarter yet consistently fails to deliver. In fact, if it were not for the money Tesla has enjoyed from government subsidies and the selling of carbon-emission credits, the business would be profitless. Tesla’s valuation will one day be a Harvard Business School study on the irrationality of market manias.

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Ha ha ha.

US Imports Record Volumes Of Russian Oil Amid Growing Political Tensions (RT)

Tough talk on energy issues doesn’t stop the US from purchasing a record share of Russian crude in 2020. American refineries reportedly loaded 538,000 barrels of Russian crude and oil products daily, breaking a decade-old record. According to the data tracked by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US has bought the most Russian crude since 2011, when the import volumes or Russian oil totaled 624,000 barrels per day (bpd). In 2020, Russia became the third-largest oil supplier to the US, outpacing Saudi Arabia, world’s biggest exporter, according to Bloomberg calculations based on customs and EIA data. Russia’s share of American oil exports currently stands at a record-high seven percent.


Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico were the leading exporters of crude to the US last year. Canada shipped 4.1 million bpd, while Mexico sold about 750,000 bpd. The average imports of oil from Saudi Arabia reportedly totaled just 522,000 bpd in 2020. The growth of oil exports from Russia was reportedly caused by the lack of access to Venezuelan crude, targeted by US sanctions. Moreover, shipments of crude from OPEC nations were significantly reduced amid the cartel’s pact on cutting output. US energy majors, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Valero Energy were among the key buyers of oil and petroleum products from Russian producers.

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Boeing and Raytheon will find another country to destroy.

The Impending Saudi Defeat in Yemen (MPN)

Major advances by Houthi forces on the strategically vital oil and gas hub of Marib last week have forced Saudi Arabia to offer a ceasefire agreement to the rebels. The offer came on Monday, after the rebel army seized Mount Hilan, threatening the Yemeni military’s first line of defense and causing a disruption in global energy prices. The ceasefire proposal includes collecting “taxes, customs and other fees generated” by oil imports in the Red Sea port of Hodeida in a joint account that would be accessible to the Houthis. Further evidence that the Saudi-led coalition finds itself with their backs against the wall is the partial loosening of the oil blockade, as four fuel ships were given the go-ahead to dock at Hodeida on Wednesday.

The bid for a truce came two days after Saudi Coalition-manned American warplanes carried out airstrikes against Houthi targets in Marib, with Saudi media claiming heavy losses on the side of the rebel forces. But the partial lifting of the blockade by the Saudi Coalition and the UN-backed Yemeni government indicates that it is the Houthis who are making headway. The fall of Marib would mean Houthi control of one of the key production centers of natural gas in Yemen — one that supplies the entire country — as well as oil fields owned by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco. Given that the Houthis already control most of Yemen’s urban centers, taking Marib would likely tilt the momentum irreversibly in the Houthis’ favor.

In light of the Houthis’ bolstered position in the conflict, Biden’s decision to remove them from the list of global terrorist organizations, while overtly maintaining continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s “security” needs could very well be a signal that Washington has tacitly admitted that their proxy war in Yemen is not yielding the desired results. Meanwhile, in a joint statement, last week as preparations for Friday’s major attack on Marib were in the offing, Western governments attempted to make a show of strength in the press in lieu of actual results on the battlefield. “We, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America,” said the statement, “condemn the sustained Houthi offensive on the Yemeni city of Marib and the major escalation of attacks the Houthis have conducted and claimed against Saudi Arabia.”

UNHCR Yemen

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March 25 11 AM EST: QUEUE OF SHIPS WAITING AT SUEZ CANAL NOW STANDS AT 237

‘It Might Take Weeks’ To Free ‘Beached Whale’ Ship Stuck In Suez Canal (RT)

The firm working to dislodge the container ship that’s blocking traffic in the Suez Canal has warned that “it might take weeks” to free the tanker, comparing it to trying to remove “an enormous beached whale.” The vessel, ‘Ever Given’, operated by Taiwan-based firm Evergreen, became lodged diagonally in the canal on Tuesday morning after losing control and running aground amid high winds, bringing traffic through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels to a halt. The CEO of Boskalis, a dredging firm that is working to try and free the ship, warned on Thursday that it “can’t exclude [that] it might take weeks,” as they may have to reduce the weight of the vessel, removing containers, oil and water, as well as using tug boats and clearing sand and mud from around it.


“It is like an enormous beached whale. It’s an enormous weight on the sand.” The 220,000-ton vessel was partially refloated on Wednesday, as tug boats worked to reopen the canal, which can see as many as 50 ships pass through it a day. However, the ship remains wedged on the sand, with its GPS tracking data showing that it has only experienced minor changes in its position in the past 24 hours. The incident has created a significant shipping backlog and some firms have warned that if the canal is not fully reopened in the next 24-48 hours, they will have to find a new route for their vessels, adding a week to their journey time and delaying the arrival of goods that rely on the Suez Canal.

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In honour of David Graeber

Free Us From The Roving Cavaliers of Credit (Steve Keen)

As Graeber pointed out in Debt: The First 5000 Years, the assumption that money originated in barter is an enduring myth in economics: “First comes barter, then money; credit only develops later” (Graeber 2011, Chapter 2). This myth permeates the discipline, from Adam Smith’s assertion in 1776 that “the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another” (Smith 1776, Chapter 2) was an innate characteristic of humans, to modern economics textbooks, like Gregory Mankiw’s Macroeconomics, that argue that an economy without money would be “a barter economy” (Mankiw 2016, p. 82). Armed with this myth, economists have constructed a fantasy model of capitalism in which money plays no significant role: it is a mere trifle that sensible economists look through, to see the real face of barter lying behind the veil of money.

Consequently, mainstream economists ignore banks, debt and money, while credit plays no role in their mathematical models of the macroeconomy. This is why they not only didn’t see the 2007 Global Financial Crisis coming, but in fact expected 2008 to be a cracker of a year. The OECD’s Economic Outlook in June 2007 trumpeted that “sustained growth in OECD economies would be underpinned by strong job creation and falling unemployment” (Cotis 2007, p. 5). Yeah, right. Two months after this forecast was published, the biggest economic crisis before Covid-19 and since the Great Depression began. Why were they so wrong? Because they ignore Graeber’s central message that debt and credit drive the development, and sometimes the collapse, of economies.

Their logic rests, as usual, on a naïve assumption. They assume that banks are simply “intermediaries” between people who save money, and people who borrow money, and therefore that redistributing this money has little effect on economic activity. As ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put it, “Absent implausibly large differences in marginal spending propensities among the groups … pure redistributions should have no significant macroeconomic effects.” (Bernanke 2000, p. 24). What the hell does that jargon mean? It means that mainstream economists pretend that banks don’t create money when they lend—something that they can no longer do after The Bank of England categorically said that they do (McLeay, Radia et al. 2014)—or that this doesn’t really matter. A little arithmetic is enough to show they’re wrong, and David was right.

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Jim Rickards – Great Reset
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Feb 262021
 


Jean-Francois Millet The flight into Egypt 1864

 

Ivermectin Could Cut Covid Deaths By Up To 75% (DM)
CDC Reports Shocking Data About Asymptomatic Spread (Fed.)
Report Says Spirulina Algae Could Reduce Covid Mortality Rate (JPost)
Latin American Govts ‘Held To Ransom’ By Pfizer During Vaccine Talks (RT)
US Bombs Facilities In Syria Used By Iran-Backed Militia (AP)
Russia Is ‘Existential Threat’ To West That NATO Must Neutralize (RT)
Senate Parliamentarian: Minimum Wage Can’t Be In Covid Relief Bill (CNN)
Secret Memo Shows How Harris Must Now Advance Minimum Wage Hike (DP)
In Final Days, Trump Gave Up on Forcing Release of Russiagate Files |(Maté)
The Great Reset Is Here (Rickards)
Boeing 777 Makes Emergency Landing In Moscow Due To Engine Trouble (ZH)
700+ Children In Detention at US Border, Spike In Unaccompanied Crossings (RT)
Atlantic Ocean Circulation At Weakest In A Millennium (G.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need more testing! Only 100s of millions of people have taken it! Who knows if it’s safe?

Ivermectin Could Cut Covid Deaths By Up To 75% (DM)

A cheap and safe drug widely used against parasites cuts Covid infections, hospitalisations and deaths by about 75 per cent, a study shows. More than 30 trials across the world found that ivermectin causes ‘repeated, consistent, large magnitude improvements in clinical outcomes’ at all stages of the disease. The peer-reviewed study, to be published in the US journal Frontiers of Pharmacology, says the evidence is so strong that the drug – used to treat head lice and scabies – should become a standard therapy everywhere, so hastening the global recovery.

Study co-author Professor Paul Marik, director of emergency and pulmonary care at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in the US, said: ‘The data is overwhelming – we are in a pandemic, and this is an incredibly effective way to combat it. If we use ivermectin widely, our societies can open up.’ Other medications have been touted as effective treatments for combating coronavirus, only for trials to dash hopes – notably with hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug. An earlier study by Professor Andrew Hill of Liverpool University also concluded that ivermectin cuts death rates by around three-quarters. He recommended there should be larger trials before it was approved by UK regulators. A new trial of ivermectin as a Covid treatment is due to start shortly at Oxford University.

Dr Tess Lawrie, director of the Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy in Bath, convened an online summit of international experts last weekend to discuss the new data. It included evidence that widespread use of ivermectin in parts of India and South America has led to a big reduction in infections and deaths. Yesterday Dr Lawrie submitted a 97-page report to the World Health Organisation, urging it immediately to recommend ivermectin to treat Covid. The drug, taken in tablet form or as drops, is licensed in Britain only as a treatment for parasitic worms, head lice and scabies. It has been used by hundreds of millions of patients over the past 30 years, mainly in developing countries, and at around £50 per patient – less in some countries – is far cheaper than other new Covid treatments, such as the rheumatism drug tocilizumab, which costs £1,000 per patient.

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”If the contagiousness of people without symptoms is not what drives the spread of SARS-COV-2, then no COVID restriction on public life besides staying home when you are clearly sick could be justified..”

CDC Reports Shocking Data About Asymptomatic Spread (Fed.)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control slipped in a shocking piece of evidence in a recent report on low in-school COVID-19 transmission that severely undercuts the rationale for most COVID restrictions, including lockdowns. The Jan. 29 report’s conclusion seems to fit the pro-mask narrative, of course: “Schools might be able to safely open with appropriate mitigation efforts [such as masking and not allowing student cohorts to mix] in place.” In the 17 rural Wisconsin schools surveyed, only seven cases were linked to in-school transmission out of 4,876 pupils, and no staff members were infected at school during the study period.

While the report spends ample time explaining the mitigation strategies employed in the schools and the high reported mask compliance (92%) among students, the authors later discuss something you probably have not seen in any of the mainstream media’s coverage of this report . “Children might be more likely to be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 than are adults…This apparent lack of transmission [in schools] is consistent with recent research (5), which found an asymptomatic attack rate of only 0.7% within households and a lower rate of transmission from children than from adults. However, this study was unable to rule out asymptomatic transmission within the school setting because surveillance testing was not conducted”

The “recent research” the study authors cite is a meta-analysis of 54 household COVID-19 transmission studies that observed 77,758 participants, which was posted as a pre-print this summer and published in December. The text of the analysis is even more consequential than the CDC’s reference makes it seem: “Estimated mean household secondary attack rate from symptomatic index cases (18.0%; 95% CI, 14.2%-22.1%) was significantly higher than from asymptomatic or presymptomatic index cases (0.7%; 95% CI, 0%-4.9%; P<.001), although there were few studies in the latter group. These findings are consistent with other household studies, reporting asymptomatic index cases as having limited role in household transmission”.

The 0.7 percent figure includes not just people who never show symptoms of COVID-19, but people who haven’t yet shown symptoms—two groups that have been alleged to be major factors driving the spread of the virus. This is a major data point often underplayed or even challenged in much media coverage of the virus. The key, if not central, rationale for non-pharmaceutical interventions such as masking, distancing, and staying at home is allegedly significant transmission from people who don’t show symptoms. If the contagiousness of people without symptoms is not what drives the spread of SARS-COV-2, then no COVID restriction on public life besides staying home when you are clearly sick could be justified, considering the obvious negative consequences of these restrictions.

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Anti-inflammatory.

Report Says Spirulina Algae Could Reduce Covid Mortality Rate (JPost)

A team of scientists from Israel and Iceland have published research showing that an extract of spirulina algae has the potential to reduce the chances of COVID-19 patients developing a serious case of the disease. The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Marine Biotechnology, found that an extract of photosynthetically manipulated Spirulina is 70% effective in inhibiting the release of the cytokine TNF-a, a small signaling protein used by the immune system. The research was conducted in a MIGAL laboratory in northern Israel with algae grown and cultivated by the Israeli company VAXA, which is located in Iceland. VAXA received funding from the European Union to explore and develop natural treatments for coronavirus. Iceland’s MATIS Research Institute also participated in the study.


In a small percentage of patients, infection with the coronavirus causes the immune system to release an excessive number of TNF-a cytokines, resulting in what is known as a cytokine storm. The storm causes acute respiratory distress syndrome and damage to other organs, the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients. “If you control or are able to mitigate the excessive release of TNF-a, you can eventually reduce mortality,” said Asaf Tzachor, a researcher from the IDC Herzliya School of Sustainability and the lead author of the study. During cultivation, growth conditions were adjusted to control the algae’s metabolomic profile and bioactive molecules. The result is what Tzachor refers to as “enhanced” algae.

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Anyone surprised?

Latin American Govts ‘Held To Ransom’ By Pfizer During Vaccine Talks (RT)

A number of Latin American countries have reportedly experienced extremely aggressive negotiating tactics by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which has demanded full immunity from any civil claims and state assets as a guarantee. The questionable negotiating tactics by the pharmaceutical giant have been highlighted in a fresh report by the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ). Officials from Argentina, as well as from another unspecified Latin American country, talked to the outlet, describing Pfizer’s approach to negotiations as “high-level bullying” that made the governments feel like they were being “held to ransom.” Argentina was among the first countries to begin negotiations with the company.

The talks started last June, yet ultimately flopped as Pfizer’s demands became less and less reasonable, an official told the BIJ. The pharmaceutical giant assertively demanded additional clauses that would make it immune against any civil claims citizens might file over side effects from receiving the Pfizer jab. While a new bill regulating the vaccination process was adopted in October, the company was still unhappy with its wording, as it did not grant full immunity to pharmaceutical companies but rather allowed a change of jurisdiction established in advance in the contract. Pfizer ultimately requested a “new law” from the government, then-Health Minister Gonzalez Garcia said in December, describing the demands as “somewhat unacceptable.”

“Argentina could compensate for the vaccine’s adverse effects, but not if Pfizer makes a mistake,” the official, cited by BIJ, said. “For example, what would happen if Pfizer unintentionally interrupted the vaccine’s cold … and a citizen wants to sue them? It would not be fair for Argentina to pay for a Pfizer error.” The company then urged Argentina to take out international insurance to pay for potential future cases against the manufacturer, and ultimately demanded that it put up unspecified sovereign assets as collateral in December. “We offered to pay for millions of doses in advance, we accepted this international insurance, but the last request was unusual: Pfizer demanded that the sovereign assets of Argentina also be part of the legal support,” the official said.

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Who are in reality Iraqi troops fighting ISIS?

US Bombs Facilities In Syria Used By Iran-Backed Militia (AP)

The United States launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, targeting facilities used by Iranian-backed militia groups. The Pentagon said the strikes were in retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops. The airstrike was the first known military action undertaken by the Biden administration, which in its first weeks has emphasized its intent to put more focus on the challenges posed by China, even as Mideast threats persist. “This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures , including consultation with coalition partners,” the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, John Kirby, said in announcing the strikes.

“The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to deescalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.” Biden administration officials condemned the Feb. 15 rocket attack near the city of Irbil in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region, but as recently as this week officials indicated they had not determined for certain who carried it out. Officials have noted that in the past, Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups have been responsible for numerous rocket attacks that targeted U.S. personnel or facilities in Iraq. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, had said Tuesday that Iraq is in charge of investigating the Feb. 15 attack.

“Right now, we’re not able to give you a certain attribution as to who was behind these attacks, what groups, and I’m not going to get into the tactical details of every bit of weaponry used here,” Kirby said. “Let’s let the investigations complete and conclude, and then when we have more to say, we will.”

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Syria, Iran, Russia.

Russia Is ‘Existential Threat’ To West That NATO Must Neutralize (RT)

The Cold War ended decades ago, but Moscow is still working to maintain its Soviet-era influence over Eastern Europe, one of Washington’s top generals has claimed, warning that the US must take on Russia to deliver world peace. In a speech published by the Pentagon’s press service on Wednesday, the head of the country’s European Command, Air Force General Tod D. Wolters, claimed that, when it comes to projecting American force abroad, “everything we do is about generating peace.” However, he caveated, “we compete to win … and if deterrence fails, we’re prepared to respond to aggression, primarily through NATO.”

Wolters is also the US-led bloc’s supreme allied commander on the continent, and recent weeks have seen its members stage drills and engage in a series of stand-offs with Russian sailors in the Black Sea. “Beyond exercises,” he added, “we conduct operations and other activities to compete, deter and prepare to respond to aggression,” including maintaining a presence in the disputed region. The general insisted that the West is locked in a struggle for dominance with Moscow, and it has to come out on top. “We’re in an era of global power competition. Winning in this era is ensuring that global power competition does not become a global power war,” he argued. “Despite widespread international condemnation and continued economic sanctions, Russia engages in destabilizing and malign activities across the globe, with many of those activities happening close to home,” he said.

The US Department of Defense has since added a caveat to the transcript to make it clear he meant to refer to shadowy Russian schemes in Europe, rather than, say, an American presidential election. In that context, Wolters claimed, “Russia remains an enduring existential threat to the United States and our European allies,” he said. “Russia… and China – having declared itself a near-Arctic power – continued to militarize the region and seek to establish economic footholds to gain influence over regional governance,” he suggested. This, Wolters said, underlined the need to “maintain a credible Arctic deterrence and ensure vital sea lines of communication remain open by securing the Greenland, Iceland and United Kingdom gap.”

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They’re hiding behind a guy who only gives advice?

Senate Parliamentarian: Minimum Wage Can’t Be In Covid Relief Bill (CNN)

The Senate parliamentarian has ruled against including the increase in the minimum wage in the Covid relief bill. While Democrats had pushed for the increase to be included — and leadership expressed its disappointment in the ruling Thursday evening — its removal may actually make it easier to pass the bill, senior Democratic sources believe, because it’ll avoid a messy fight over whether to strip it out of the bill and whether to compromise. “President Biden is disappointed in this outcome, as he proposed having the $15 minimum wage as part of the American Rescue Plan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “He respects the parliamentarian’s decision and the Senate’s process.”


For now, far from being a defeat, the ruling is viewed as clearing the way for the bill’s passage in the Senate, a Biden administration official told CNN. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday evening the provision will remain in the House bill on which the chamber is voting Friday. However, the parliamentarian ruled that the increase to $15 per hour did not meet a strict set of guidelines needed to move forward in the Senate’s reconciliation process. That means that the House will pass its bill, the Senate will have to strip the minimum wage provision out, and then eventually the House will have to pass that bill again at the end of the process.

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Well, they can’t. Kamala can do it. And she won’t.

Secret Memo Shows How Harris Must Now Advance Minimum Wage Hike (DP)

On Thursday, a key Senate official advised Democratic lawmakers that the chamber’s rules do not allow them to include a minimum wage increase in President Joe Biden’s first COVID-19 relief legislation. The ruling from the parliamentarian means that Vice President Kamala Harris could decide the fate of one of the Democratic Party’s most significant campaign promises — but it remains unclear what she will end up doing. As the presiding officer of the Senate, Harris — who has long touted her support for a $15 minimum wage — can now use the power her predecessors have used to ignore the advisory opinion and fulfill Biden’s campaign promise to boost the wage. A confidential memo obtained by The Daily Poster now circulating on Capitol Hill spells out exactly how that could be accomplished.

However, White House chief of staff Ron Klain this week declared that Harris will refuse to use that power — a decision that would effectively put the Biden-Harris administration in the position of potentially killing the prospect of minimum wage legislation for the foreseeable future. Immediately after the parliamentarian’s ruling, the White House issued a statement reiterating Klain’s comment, declaring that “Biden respects the parliamentarian’s decision.” Some congressional Democrats have already been arguing that the Biden administration’s refusal to overrule the parliamentarian would be immoral and a political disaster for their party. “It’s been 12 years since we’ve raised the minimum wage, and if we’re going to make those promises, we have to be able to deliver on them,” Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal said Wednesday on MSNBC.

“Because, I’ll tell you what, in two years… when people vote in the midterms, you’re not gonna be able to say, ‘Well, I’m sorry, we couldn’t raise the minimum wage because the parliamentarian ruled that we couldn’t do it.’ That’s not gonna fly.” The maddening process conversation surrounding a $15 minimum wage increase is the result of Democrats refusing to eliminate the legislative filibuster, which means Republicans can block most legislation unless Democrats find 60 votes. As such, Democrats are working to pass the COVID bill using the convoluted budget reconciliation process. The process will allow for a simple majority vote on the final legislation, but it also allows Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough to recommend tossing certain provisions if she decides they violate the so-called Byrd Rule, which is designed to prohibit extraneous matters outside of federal spending issues to be added to budget legislation.

The minimum wage, however, has budget implications, according to the Congressional Budget Office — which is why proponents had hoped MacDonough would advise that it is in order, especially since the nonpartisan parliamentarian has previously ruled that other less significant budget-related issues were in order. MacDonough, however, refused to do so on Thursday evening. The development is not catastrophic for the $15 minimum wage provision — if Harris simply uses her power to ignore the opinion and clear the path for the measure she has long insisted she supports. The problem is that the White House is signaling she will do the opposite.

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We will never know.

In Final Days, Trump Gave Up on Forcing Release of Russiagate Files |(Maté)

After four years of railing against “deep state” actors who, he said, tried to undermine his presidency, Donald Trump relented to U.S. intelligence leaders in his final days in office, allowing them to block the release of critical material in the Russia investigation, according to a former senior congressional investigator who later joined the Trump administration. Kash Patel, whose work on the House Intelligence Committee helped unearth U.S. intelligence malpractice during the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane probe, said he does not know why Trump did not force the release of documents that would expose further wrongdoing. But he said senior intelligence officials “continuously impeded” their release – usually by slow-walking their reviews of the material. Patel said Trump’s CIA Director, Gina Haspel, was instrumental in blocking one of the most critical documents, he said.

Patel, who has seen the Russia probe’s underlying intelligence and co-wrote critical reports that have yet to be declassified, said new disclosures would expose additional misconduct and evidentiary holes in the CIA and FBI’s work. “I think there were people within the IC [Intelligence Community], at the heads of certain intelligence agencies, who did not want their tradecraft called out, even though it was during a former administration, because it doesn’t look good on the agency itself,” Patel [said]. Although a Department of Justice inspector general’s report in December 2019 exposed significant intelligence failings and malpractice, Patel said more damning information is still being kept under wraps. And despite an ongoing investigation by Special Counsel John Durham into the conduct of the officials who carried out the Trump-Russia inquiry, it is unclear if key documents will ever see the light of day.

Patel did not suggest that a game-changing smoking gun is being kept from the public. Core intelligence failures have been exposed – especially regarding the FBI’s reliance on Christopher Steele’s now debunked dossier to secure FISA warrants used to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But he said the withheld material would reveal more misconduct as well as major problems with the CIA’s assessment that Russia, on Vladimir Putin’s orders, ordered a sweeping and systematic interference 2016 campaign to elect Trump. Patel was cautious about going into detail on any sensitive information that has not yet been declassified.

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“Once the cattle (that’s us) have been herded into the digital slaughterhouse, we will be told to “use it or lose it” when it comes to our own money. In other words, either we spend the money, or the government will take it away.”

The Great Reset Is Here (Rickards)

In 1999, the euro replaced the individual currencies of Germany, France, Netherlands, Italy and other major economies in Europe. Today, the number of countries that have joined the euro is up to 19, and more countries are awaiting admission. The euro is the second largest reserve currency asset after the U.S. dollar. The creation of the euro can be thought of as a stepping stone from national currencies to a single world currency. Now, the euro (along with the Chinese yuan) is moving quickly to become a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). A CBDC combines a traditional currency with the blockchain technology of a cryptocurrency. It’s an important move in the direction of eliminating cash and forcing users into a 100% digital system using credit cards, debit cards, and smartphone apps.

Why are China and Europe so focused on eliminating cash? I’ve said all along that you cannot put negative interest rates on consumers until you eliminate cash. Otherwise, savers would just withdraw cash from the banks and stuff it in mattresses to avoid the negative rates. Implicitly, the European Central Bank (ECB) seems to agree. One of the ECB Board members says that negative rates (really confiscation) will be applied as a “penalty” against “hoarding” cash. In plain English, that means they will create digital money, force you to spend it, and if you don’t spend it, they will take it away as a “negative rate.” Now all of the pieces of the global elite plan are converging. The IMF SDR issuance will reliquify global central banks that cannot print dollars. Then CBDCs will be used to eliminate cash.

Once the cattle (that’s us) have been herded into the digital slaughterhouse, we will be told to “use it or lose it” when it comes to our own money. In other words, either we spend the money, or the government will take it away. Of course, the spending can be channeled into politically correct causes by excluding unpopular vendors such as gun dealers or conservative social media platforms from the payment system. This represents total domination of human behavior through world money + digital currencies + confiscation. This is not speculation anymore; it’s happening in front of our eyes. The Great Reset is coming fast. The future is here.

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“designed by clowns…supervised by monkeys”

Boeing 777 Makes Emergency Landing In Moscow Due To Engine Trouble (ZH)

It really has not been a good year for Boeing. Or a good decade for that matter. Just days after a Boeing-777 became the latest symbol of all that is wrong with the once almighty aircraft maker, when the plane’s right engine exploded (with debris striking houses below it in a scene right out of Breaking Bad) and only a miracle prevented a tragedy, moments ago another Boeing-777 made an emergency landing in Russia’s Sheremetyevo airport outside of Moscow, Interfax reports, adding that the plane crew requested the landing after one of left engine control channels failed The news service doesn’t name the airline operator; but said that the plane was flying from Hong Kong to Madrid. Luckily, no injuries were reported.

The latest mishap followed even more bad news for the aerospace giant, which earlier on Thursday agreed to pay $6.6 million to U.S. regulators as part of a settlement with the Federal Aviation Administration over the planemaker’s failure to comply with a 2015 safety agreement including quality and safety-oversight lapses going back years, a setback that comes as Boeing wrestles with repairs to flawed 787 Dreamliner jets that could dwarf the cost of the federal penalty. As Reuters reported, Boeing is beginning painstaking repairs and forensic inspections to fix structural integrity flaws embedded deep inside at least 88 parked 787s built over the last year or so. The inspections and retrofits could take up to a month per plane and are likely to cost hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars, though it depends on the number of planes and defects involved.

The penalties include $5.4 million for not complying with the agreement in which Boeing pledged to change its internal processes to improve and prioritize regulatory compliance and $1.21 million to settle two pending FAA enforcement cases. “The FAA is holding Boeing accountable by imposing additional penalties,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement. But the biggest challenge facing Boeing is whether or not it can find passengers for its 737 MAX now that the infamous deadly airplane which was reportedly “designed by clowns…supervised by monkeys” is set to fly again. While the plane may indeed have gotten a green light from the FAA, a far bigger question is whether Boeing has by now lost the trust of the public for good.

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The “left wing” press will bury it.

700+ Children In Detention at US Border, Spike In Unaccompanied Crossings (RT)

Hundreds of unaccompanied minors have been held at the US border waiting to be processed, Axios reported. Almost a third of them have been lingering in detention for more than two days, as the backlog piles up. Around 700 minors who crossed into the US on their own were kept in Border Patrol Custody as of Sunday, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing an internal Customs and Border Protection document. By that time, around 200 children had already been held up for over 48 hours, and in the case of nine child migrants, for over 72 hours, which exceeds the maximum limit under the Flores Settlement Agreement, which stipulates that CBP cannot hold children for more than three days. Per the same agreement, asylum-seeking children transferred to ICE detention centers cannot spend more than 20 days there, after which they must be released.


The processing system is under increasing strain due to an influx of child migrants. In January, CBP encountered 5,707 child migrants at the southwest border, almost a thousand more than in December (4,855). President Biden, who was promising a U-turn from the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy, has recently come under fire for reopening a child detention facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas. The Biden administration was quick to defend the move as a temporary fix in the times of pandemic, arguing that the infamous Trump facility was reopened since the Office of Refugee Resettlement cannot house as many asylum seekers as before due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

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If you say things like “..could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century..”, people will think: I won’t be alive by then, so would should I care?

Atlantic Ocean Circulation At Weakest In A Millennium (G.)

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data. Further weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could result in more storms battering the UK, more intense winters and an increase in damaging heatwaves and droughts across Europe. Scientists predict that the AMOC will weaken further if global heating continues, and could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century, which could bring us close to a “tipping point” at which the system could become irrevocably unstable. A weakened Gulf Stream would also raise sea levels on the Atlantic coast of the US, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-authored the study published on Thursday in Nature Geoscience, told the Guardian that a weakening AMOC would increase the number and severity of storms hitting Britain, and bring more heatwaves to Europe. He said the circulation had already slowed by about 15%, and the impacts were being seen. “In 20 to 30 years it is likely to weaken further, and that will inevitably influence our weather, so we would see an increase in storms and heatwaves in Europe, and sea level rises on the east coast of the US,” he said. Rahmstorf and scientists from Maynooth University in Ireland and University College London in the UK concluded that the current weakening had not been seen over at least the last 1,000 years, after studying sediments, Greenland ice cores and other proxy data that revealed past weather patterns over that time.

The AMOC has only been measured directly since 2004. The AMOC is one of the world’s biggest ocean circulation systems, carrying warm surface water from the Gulf of Mexico towards the north Atlantic, where it cools and becomes saltier until it sinks north of Iceland, which in turn pulls more warm water from the Caribbean. This circulation is accompanied by winds that also help to bring mild and wet weather to Ireland, the UK and other parts of western Europe. Scientists have long predicted a weakening of the AMOC as a result of global heating, and have raised concerns that it could collapse altogether. The new study found that any such point was likely to be decades away, but that continued high greenhouse gas emissions would bring it closer.

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Dec 242020
 
 December 24, 2020  Posted by at 10:23 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  16 Responses »


Paul Cézanne Forest 1902-04

 

Asymptomatic Transmission Of COVID19 (BMJ)
Makers of Successful COVID19 Vaccines Wrestle With Placebo Recipients (Science)
France Reopens To UK, As EU Tackles New Coronastrain (EUO)
Trump Pardons Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner, 23 Others (JTN)
Why Trump Should Pardon Assange
The Legacy Of President Donald Trump (Taibbi)
Biden Threats Make Russia Discourse More Reckless, Dangerous (Greenwald)
DNC Was “Directly Involved” In Iowa Caucus App Development (IC)
Powerful Mobile Phone Surveillance Tool Operates In Obscurity (IC)
Where In The World Is Kamala Harris? (DP)
The Lancet Publishes German Doctors’ Report On Treatment Of Navalny (RT)
2020 Year in Review – Part 1 (Dave Collum)

 

 

 

 

How overrated is asymptomatic transmission, and why do we focus on it so much?

Asymptomatic Transmission Of COVID19 (BMJ)

The UK’s £100bn “Operation Moonshot” to roll out mass testing for covid-19 to cities and universities around the country raises two key questions. How infectious are people who test positive but have no symptoms? And, what is their contribution to transmission of live virus? Unusually in disease management, a positive test result is the sole criterion for a covid-19 case. Normally, a test is a support for clinical diagnosis, not a substitute. This lack of clinical oversight means we know very little about the proportions of people with positive results who are truly asymptomatic throughout the course of their infection and the proportions who are paucisymptomatic (subclinical), presymptomatic (go on to develop symptoms later), or post-infection (with viral RNA fragments still detectable from an earlier infection).

Earlier estimates that 80% of infections are asymptomatic were too high and have since been revised down to between 17% and 20% of people with infections. Studies estimating this proportion are limited by heterogeneity in case definitions, incomplete symptom assessment, and inadequate retrospective and prospective follow-up of symptoms, however. Around 49% of people initially defined as asymptomatic go on to develop symptoms. It’s also unclear to what extent people with no symptoms transmit SARS-CoV-2. The only test for live virus is viral culture. PCR and lateral flow tests do not distinguish live virus. No test of infection or infectiousness is currently available for routine use. As things stand, a person who tests positive with any kind of test may or may not have an active infection with live virus, and may or may not be infectious.

The relations between viral load, viral shedding, infection, infectiousness, and duration of infectiousness are not well understood. In a recent systematic review, no study was able to culture live virus from symptomatic participants after the ninth day of illness, despite persistently high viral loads in quantitative PCR diagnostic tests. However, cycle threshold (Ct) values from PCR tests are not direct measures of viral load and are subject to error. While viral load seems to be similar in people with and without symptoms, the presence of RNA does not necessarily represent transmissible live virus. The duration of viral RNA shedding (interval between first and last positive PCR result for any sample) is shorter in people who remain asymptomatic, so they are probably less infectious than people who develop symptoms.

Viral culture studies suggest that people with SARS-CoV-2 can become infectious one to two days before the onset of symptoms and continue to be infectious up to seven days thereafter; viable virus is relatively short lived. Symptomatic and presymptomatic transmission have a greater role in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 than truly asymptomatic transmission. The transmission rates to contacts within a specific group (secondary attack rate) may be 3-25 times lower for people who are asymptomatic than for those with symptoms. A city-wide prevalence study of almost 10 million people in Wuhan found no evidence of asymptomatic transmission. Coughing, which is a prominent symptom of covid-19, may result in far more viral particles being shed than talking and breathing, so people with symptomatic infections are more contagious, irrespective of close contact. On the other hand, asymptomatic and presymptomatic people may have more contacts than symptomatic people (who are isolating), underlining the importance of hand washing and social distancing measures for everyone.

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They have a control group to see if the vaccine is successful, but before the trial is even done, they already declare it successful. By now, we’d almost want it to fail spectacularly.

Makers of Successful COVID19 Vaccines Wrestle With Placebo Recipients (Science)

Now that regulators around the world have begun to issue emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 vaccines—the United States authorized a candidate vaccine from the biotech Moderna on Friday—a theoretical debate that has simmered for months has become a pressing reality: Should ongoing vaccine efficacy studies inform their tens of thousands of volunteers whether they were injected with a placebo or the vaccine, and also offer an already authorized vaccine to those who got the placebo? Vaccinemakers must now quickly decide how to handle this issue, called unblinding. And if they do choose to unblind, they will also need to get regulatory approval. Adding to the pressure: The choice arrives as many trial participants in the United States who are now eligible for an authorized COVID-19 vaccine are dropping out of studies in order to make sure they get immunized.

At the heart of the dilemma is a balancing act. On the one hand, unblinding a vaccine efficacy trial compromises the ability to gather robust scientific data on important issues, such as how long a vaccine protects a person against COVID-19. On the other, withholding a working vaccine from a trial participant who could get it elsewhere is ethically dicey. Last week, those issues came to the fore at a meeting of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine advisory committee, which was considering Moderna’s EUA request. Lindsey Baden, a principal investigator on Moderna’s vaccine efficacy trial, and Steven Goodman, an epidemiologist from Stanford University, presented two different schemes for handling the delicate matter. Both schemes differ from a third plan put forth by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, which are already distributing a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

Pfizer, which is still running trials of its vaccine, has already asked FDA for permission to unblind its study, and give volunteers who received a placebo the option of receiving its two-dose vaccine. But the offer would come with a catch. Given the limited supply of vaccine, national or local authorities have said they will first provide it to groups most at risk of becoming seriously ill or of transmitting the virus, such as front-line health care workers or the people living in nursing homes. The Pfizer plan would follow that plan by first unblinding only volunteers in one of the top-priority groups specified by authorities in their location and vaccinating those in the placebo group. (AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, which jointly developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate that has confusing efficacy results and does not yet have an EUA, reportedly want to offer a similar unblinding scheme.)

A different approach is advocated by Baden, an infectious disease specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He prefers an “open label” strategy, in which the Moderna trial is unblinded and the company offers everyone in the placebo group the vaccine regardless of eligibility in their location. Goodman, meanwhile, favors a “blinded crossover” option. In that approach, all trial volunteers would receive an additional pair of shots, with placebo recipients getting the vaccine and the vaccinated getting placebos. But the volunteers wouldn’t be told which arm they were in for some period of time.

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Too much panic.

France Reopens To UK, As EU Tackles New Coronastrain (EUO)

France has resumed transport links with the UK, on condition travellers get a negative test result, as the EU tries to contain a new type of Covid-19. Flights, Eurostar trains, and ferries would restart services on Wednesday (23 December) morning, French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebarri said after talks with his British counterpart late on Tuesday. “French nationals, people living in France, and those with a legitimate reason [to travel from the UK to France] will have to be carrying a negative test [result],” to be let through, he added, however. The deal “will see the French border reopen to those travelling for urgent reasons, provided they have a certified negative Covid test,” British transport minister Grant Shapps said.

France said travellers would need to show a negative test result less than 72 hours before departure. The UK said lorry drivers, thousands of whom were stuck near the British port of Dover, could get results within 30 minutes of taking a test, to help get them moving. France had sealed off the UK after the discovery of a mutated coronavirus strain that was apparently up to 70 percent more contagious in Britain on Sunday. Isolated cases of the new strain have already cropped up in Belgium, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands, prompting Sweden to also close its border with Denmark on Monday. Virologists said there was no need to panic, as the new strain was not more lethal or vaccine-resistant. But more than 50 countries worldwide, including the vast majority of EU states, also cut transport links to the UK in the past 48 hours.

And for its part, the European Commission, on Tuesday, indicated they had overreacted. “While it is important to take swift temporary precautionary action to limit the further spread of the new strain of the virus and all non-essential travel to and from the UK should be discouraged, essential travel and transit of passengers should be facilitated,” it said in a non-binding recommendation. “Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply-chain disruptions,” it added, amid concern on shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables in UK shops. “Blanket travel bans should not prevent thousands of EU and UK citizens from returning to their homes [for Christmas],” EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders also said.

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Every president pardons people they maybe should not have. Calm down.

Trump Pardons Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner, 23 Others (JTN)

President Trump pardoned 26 people on Wednesday, including Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner, the father of the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. The move comes one day after the president pardoned 15 other people, among them, George Papadopoulos and former Rep. Duncan Hunter. “Due to prosecutorial misconduct by Special Counsel Mueller’s team, Mr. Stone was treated very unfairly,” according to a statement from the press secretary about the latest executive grants. “He was subjected to a pre-dawn raid of his home, which the media conveniently captured on camera. Mr. Stone also faced potential political bias at his jury trial. Pardoning him will help to right the injustices he faced at the hands of the Mueller investigation.” Stone’s pardon from the president comes after Trump had commuted his sentence earlier this year.

“Today, President Trump has issued a full and complete pardon to Paul Manafort, stemming from convictions prosecuted in the course of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, which was premised on the Russian collusion hoax,” the statement said. “Mr. Manafort has already spent two years in prison, including a stretch of time in solitary confinement – treatment worse than what many of the most violent criminals receive. As a result of blatant prosecutorial overreach, Mr. Manafort has endured years of unfair treatment and is one of the most prominent victims of what has been revealed to be perhaps the greatest witch hunt in American history. As Mr. Manafort’s trial judge observed, prior to the Special Counsel investigation, Mr. Manafort had led an ‘otherwise blameless life.’ Since May, Mr. Manafort has been released to home confinement as a result of COVID-19 concerns.”

Charles Kushner, the father of Ivanka Trump’s husband Jared Kushner, also received a pardon from the president. “Since completing his sentence in 2006, Mr. Kushner has been devoted to important philanthropic organizations and causes, such as Saint Barnabas Medical Center and United Cerebral Palsy,” the statement said. “This record of reform and charity overshadows Mr. Kushner’s conviction and 2 year sentence for preparing false tax returns, witness retaliation, and making false statements to the FEC.”

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Nifty little site that allows you to contact 1000 people close to Trump.

Why Trump Should Pardon Assange

This website will show you 50 of the top 1,000 people who have influenced what Trump sees on Twitter in recent weeks. Should be random every time you refresh. Please use this tool to nicely request that people tweet support for pardoning Julian Assange.

This website makes it possible to contact people in President Trump’s political network and encourage them to support a pardon for Julian Assange. Here is how you can help convince Trump to pardon Assange:

1. Click “Tweet” or “Message”
Next to the person you want to contact. This will open a draft tweet on Twitter.

2. Write Message
Politely explain that Trump should pardon Assange. If you need inspiration, see Why Pardon Assange? for examples of what others are saying.

3. Send Message
Send the tweet or direct message that you crafted.

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“..like a social disease persisting beyond the usual course of medication, most of upscale America thought the Trump Show was a hoot.”

The Legacy Of President Donald Trump (Taibbi)

Reports say Donald Trump has lost it. Unable to face the reality that he will no longer be president soon, stung by public repudiations from the Supreme Court, Mitch McConnell, Vladimir Putin, Bill Barr, and other erstwhile pals, he is said to be canceling appearances left and right, retreating to a lonely schedule of golf and manic conspiracy theorizing on Twitter. He posted 550 times in just a few weeks of November, with three-fourths of that content, the New York Times for some reason calculated, made up of rants about a stolen election. Unlike past presidents, who with the exception of Dick Nixon were all feted on the way out no matter what crooked or blood-soaked record they left behind, Trump is being ridden out on a rail.

He exits politics as he entered it, as a human punchline, a ball of catnip to the commentariat, which gets to snicker now about his thinning schedule and “tiny desk” (the updated version of all those jokes about short fingers that drove him so crazy once). There is delight as “former close associates, longtime Trump observers, and mental health experts” whisper into the op-ed pages the cold final judgment that, as Politico put it, “Trump is a loser.” Which is fine — victori sunt spoila and all that — but it’s already safe to say the Trump years will be remembered as a brutal black comedy that made winners and losers alike look very, very bad. It was supposed to be a historic, norms-smashing catastrophe, but the reality is that almost nothing actually happened during the Trump years, except for a very long, exhausting story.

The major in-between change was a total loss of our collective grip on reality, beginning with the fact that most of the country thinks we just went to hell and back a thousand times, instead of making just one noisy trip in a circle, arriving just where we might have four years ago, if Joe Biden had run instead of Hillary Clinton. The tiniest conceivable step, but oh so much grief and self-deception to get there! They’ll deny it, but huge portions of the snickering chatterati rooted for Trump at first. When he jumped in the 2016 race, cultural icons laughed, big-money Democrats cheered, and rubbernecking cosmopolitan media audiences clicked and tuned in by the millions. Except for the more favored Republican primary opponents who learned early on to look on Trump with genuine alarm, like a social disease persisting beyond the usual course of medication, most of upscale America thought the Trump Show was a hoot.

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There’s only one thing that prevents the US from attacking Russia: their weapons are far more sophisticated.

Biden Threats Make Russia Discourse More Reckless, Dangerous (Greenwald)

To justify Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss to Donald Trump, leading Democrats and their key media allies for years competed with one another to depict what they called “Russia’s interference in our elections” in the most apocalyptic terms possible. They fanatically rejected the view of the Russian Federation repeatedly expressed by President Obama — that it is a weak regional power with an economy smaller than Italy’s capable of only threatening its neighbors but not the U.S. — and instead cast Moscow as a grave, even existential, threat to U.S. democracy, with its actions tantamount to the worst security breaches in U.S. history.

This post-2016 mania culminated with prominent liberal politicians and journalists (as well as John McCain) declaring Russia’s activities surrounding the 2016 to be an “act of war” which, many of them insisted, was comparable to Pearl Harbor and the 9/11 attack — the two most traumatic attacks in modern U.S. history which both spawned years of savage and destructive war, among other things. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) repeatedly demanded that Russia’s 2016 “interference” be treated as “an act of war.” Hillary Clinton described Russian hacking as “a cyber 9/11.” And here is Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on MSNBC in early February, 2018, pronouncing Russia “a hostile foreign power” whose 2016 meddling was the “equivalent” of Pearl Harbor, “very much on par” with the “seriousness” of the 1941 attack in Hawaii that helped prompt four years of U.S. involvement in a world war.

With the Democrats, under Joe Biden, just weeks away from assuming control of the White House and the U.S. military and foreign policy that goes along with it, the discourse from them and their media allies about Russia is becoming even more unhinged and dangerous. Moscow’s alleged responsibility for the recently revealed, multi-pronged hack of U.S. Government agencies and various corporate servers is asserted — despite not a shred of evidence, literally, having yet been presented — as not merely proven fact, but as so obviously true that it is off-limits from doubt or questioning.

Any questioning of this claim will be instantly vilified by the Democrats’ extremely militaristic media spokespeople as virtual treason. “Now the president is not just silent on Russia and the hack. He is deliberately running defense for the Kremlin by contradicting his own Secretary of State on Russian responsibility,” pronounced CNN’s national security reporter Jim Sciutto, who last week depicted Trump’s attempted troop withdrawal from Syria and Germany as “ceding territory” and furnishing “gifts” to Putin. More alarmingly, both the rhetoric to describe the hack and the retaliation being threatened are rapidly spiraling out of control.

Democrats (along with some Republicans long obsessed with The Russian Threat, such as Mitt Romney) are casting the latest alleged hack by Moscow in the most melodramatic terms possible, ensuring that Biden will enter the White House with tensions sky-high with Russia and facing heavy pressure to retaliate aggressively. Biden’s top national security advisers and now Biden himself have, with no evidence shown to the public, repeatedly threatened aggressive retaliation against the country with the world’s second-largest nuclear stockpile.

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Cut all machines and apps out of the election. It’s the only way.

DNC Was “Directly Involved” In Iowa Caucus App Development (IC)

The Democratic National Committee refused to cooperate with investigators and was “directly involved in the development process” of the infamous Shadow app ahead of the 2020 Iowa caucuses. That’s the conclusion of the former U.S. attorney leading the investigation into what went wrong during the first-in-the-nation caucuses, as relayed to the Iowa State Democratic Party in a closed-session meeting last week, according to a transcript of the meeting obtained by The Intercept. “The DNC was directly involved in the development process,” Nicholas Klinefeldt, a former federal attorney appointed by President Barack Obama, told the Iowa Democratic Party state steering committee in the December 12 meeting about the findings of an investigation he led alongside former Iowa Attorney General Bonnie Campbell.


Klinefeldt’s revelation about the committee’s involvement counters the DNC’s claim it made immediately after the Iowa caucuses. Back then, the DNC claimed it had “absolutely no involvement” in the development or coding of the Shadow app, which was supposed to record and report caucus results. When Third District state party member Kim Callahan asked investigators to expand on the DNC’s involvement, they failed to elaborate, simply confirming that the DNC wouldn’t cooperate with its investigation. Without the DNC’s cooperation in the probe, investigators were hamstrung. “There seemed to be a great deal of culpability by the DNC,” Jim Bunton, a Third District Iowa state party member, said to Klinefeldt in the meeting. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of cooperation from the DNC from what you’re saying. … How can we hope to have a better outcome next time around? Because the actor we can’t control is the DNC.”

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Sign of the times.

Powerful Mobile Phone Surveillance Tool Operates In Obscurity (IC)

Until now, the Bartonville, Texas, company Hawk Analytics and its product CellHawk have largely escaped public scrutiny. CellHawk has been in wide use by law enforcement; the software is helping police departments, the FBI, and private investigators around the United States convert information collected by cellular providers into maps of people’s locations, movements, and relationships. Police records obtained by The Intercept reveal a troublingly powerful surveillance tool operated in obscurity, with scant oversight. CellHawk’s maker says it can process a year’s worth of cellphone records in 20 minutes, automating a process that used to require painstaking work by investigators, including hand-drawn paper plots.

The web-based product can ingest call detail records, or CDRs, which track cellular contact between devices on behalf of mobile service providers, showing who is talking to whom. It can also handle cellular location records, created when phones connect to various towers as their owners move around. Such data can include “tower dumps,” which list all the phones that connected to a given tower — a form of dragnet surveillance. The FBI obtained over 150,000 phone numbers from a single tower dump undertaken in 2010 to try and collect evidence against a bank robbery suspect, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU.

Police use CellHawk to process datasets they routinely receive from cell carriers like AT&T and Verizon, typically in vast spreadsheets and often without a warrant. This is in sharp contrast to a better known phone surveillance technology, the stingray: a mobile device that spies on cellular devices by impersonating carriers’ towers, tricking phones into connecting, and then intercepting their communications. Unlike the stingray, CellHawk does not require such subterfuge or for police to position a device near people of interest. Instead, it helps them exploit information already collected by private telecommunications providers and other third parties.

CellHawk’s surveillance capabilities go beyond analyzing metadata from cellphone towers. Hawk Analytics claims it can churn out incredibly revealing intelligence from large datasets like ride-hailing records and GPS — information commonly generated by the average American. According to the company’s website, CellHawk uses GPS records in its “unique animation analysis tool,” which, according to company promotional materials, plots a target’s calls and locations over time. “Watch data come to life as it moves around town or the entire county,” the site states.

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They’re for it if it enhances their careers.

Where In The World Is Kamala Harris? (DP)

After Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar humiliated herself by throwing cold water on the idea during an MSNBC appearance, Democratic lawmakers from across the country seem to have finally woken up and realized that there’s an economic emergency unfolding and that “let them eat Federal Reserve lending facilities” is not a compelling message. But one unique and much-needed voice is bizarrely muted: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Before we get to the California lawmaker, it’s worth noting that her boss, president-elect Joe Biden, seems to have completely checked out of the current debate, after helping create a debacle. He reportedly convinced congressional Democrats to get steamrolled by Mitch McConnell and agree to provide just $600 in direct aid — which Georgia Democratic senate candidate Jon Ossoff rightly called “a joke.”


Biden has vaguely promised to push more aid in 2021, but he is not weighing in forcefully on the budget showdown that is unfolding right now. An austerian to the core, Biden took a dump in the middle of the process, and is now running away from the mess he helped create. Harris’s absence is more notable and perplexing considering that she is in a position to play a direct role in the legislative standoff. She isn’t just the vice president-elect and she isn’t just any old member of the U.S. Senate that could ultimately decide the fate of the stimulus bill. Harris also happens to be the lead author of legislation to provide $2,000 a month to individuals during the pandemic. This wasn’t some small initiative — this was Harris’s big headline-grabbing idea she was making her namepushing during the veepstakes. This was supposed to be a proof point illustrating her progressive credentials and her appreciation of the magnitude of the crisis America now faces.

Kamala May 8 2020

So where is Harris now? It’s hard to know what’s happening behind the scenes, but at least in public, she’s been quiet on the issue. Indeed, while she has made some generic comments about Congress needing to pass some form of stimulus, she has not been an aggressive leader on the question of direct aid in the current legislative package. Take a look at her social media feeds and peruse Google News for her mentions — there doesn’t seem to be much of anything from her in the middle of the central budget controversy of the entire crisis. Why? Perhaps she is just following Biden’s lead. Or maybe she believes some ridiculous 17-dimensional-chess theory that staying out of the fray will help secure a good outcome, in the same way Democrats always come up with rationales to live to never fight another day. Or maybe there’s a more innocent explanation — maybe she just hasn’t gotten around to it but is about to weigh in.

Pelosi 1994 M4A

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Do we have to keep on talking about this guy?

The Lancet Publishes German Doctors’ Report On Treatment Of Navalny (RT)

Leading medical journal The Lancet has published a case report detailing Russian anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny’s treatment in Germany following his alleged poisoning with the lethal Novichok nerve agent. Wednesday’s article concludes that the actions of Russian doctors in Omsk, the Siberian city where he was first treated after falling ill on a flight to Moscow, were “presumably decisive,” noting that Navalny “had a very favorable outcome.” The Lancet also credits the protest leader’s good physical condition as another reason for his excellent recovery. Navalny, who is described by the journal as “a 44-year-old man who was previously healthy,” is said to have suddenly begun to sweat, before vomiting, collapsing, and eventually losing consciousness on the plane which was traveling from Tomsk.

According to a report, written primarily by doctors based at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, where Navalny spent more than a month being treated, the activist arrived with a wide range of symptoms, including a slow heart rate, hypersalivation, hypothermia, and heavy sweating, amongst others. After tests in a laboratory, he was found to have severe cholinesterase inhibition. This diagnosis was released to the public on August 24, four days after he fell ill and two days after arriving in Germany. The Russian clinic where he was first treated contradicted this finding, saying they found no cholinesterase inhibitors in his blood.

The report writes in great detail about the changes in Navalny’s condition, noting that “on day 12, the patient started to breathe spontaneously” and “could subsequently be weaned from mechanical ventilation completely by day 24.” He was released on day 33. On day 55, during his last follow-up appointment, doctors found a “near-complete recovery.” The Lancet also details that Novichok, the poison said to have been given to Navalny, is an organophosphorus compound – most commonly associated with pest control. “Organophosphorus nerve agents exert the same mechanism of action as do organophosphorus pesticides,” the article says, noting that South East Asia sees more than 100,000 annual deaths due to this type of poisoning.

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Oh no, not him again.

2020 Year in Review – Part 1 (Dave Collum)

Imagine, if you will, a man wakes up from a year-long induced coma—a long hauler of a higher order—to a world gone mad. During his slumber, the President of the United States was impeached for colluding with the Russians using a dossier prepared by his political opponents, themselves colluding with the FBI, intelligence agencies, and the Russians. A pandemic that may have emanated from a Chinese virology laboratory swept the globe killing millions and is still on the loose. A controlled demolition of the global economy forced hundreds of millions into unemployment in a matter of weeks. Metropolitan hotels plummeted to 10% occupancy. The 10% of the global economy corresponding to hospitality and tourism had been smashed on the shoals and was foundering.


The Federal Reserve has been buying junk corporate bonds in total desperation. A social movement of monumental proportions swept the US and the world, triggering months of rioting and looting while mayors, frozen in the headlights, were unable to fathom an appropriate response. The rise of neo-Marxism on college campuses and beyond had become palpable. The most contentious election in US history pitted the undeniably polarizing and irascible Donald Trump against the DNC A-Team including a 76-year-old showing early signs of dementia paired with a sassy neo-Marxist grifter with an undetectable moral compass. Many have lost faith in the fairness of the election as challenges hit the courts. Peering through the virus-induced brain fog the man sees CNBC playing on the TV with the scrolling Chiron stating, “S&P up 12% year to date. Nasdaq soars 36%.” The man has entered The Twilight Zone.

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Oct 172020
 


Pablo Picasso Self portrait with palette 1906

 

Battleground State Polling Shows Tighter Race Than National Polls (JTN)
AOC, House Progressives Warn Biden On Corporate Hires (Pol.)
Wall Street Donors Line Up Behind Biden In Massive Q3 Fundraising Haul (CNBC)
Michigan Appeals Court Strikes Down 2-Week Window To Count Ballots (JTN)
New Book Warns Of Danger Of Kamala Harris Presidency (OffG)
Nancy Pelosi Won’t Tell Anybody What’s In The Coronavirus Deal (IC)
Russia Quitting MH17 Panel A Logical Result Of Dutch Provocations (Clark)
Spain’s Pain and the Perils of Textbook Economics (Steve Keen)
Amazon, Apple, Google And Facebook Scooping Up Office Space In New York (F.)
Google & Oracle to Monitor US Vaccine Recipients for up to Two Years (Webb)
Counting Long Covid In Children (BMJ)
Sex Banned Indoors For Tier 2 Couples Living Apart (St.)

 

 

 

 

Clapper

 

 

Giuliani

 

 

Giuliani 2

 

 

Think electoral college.

Battleground State Polling Shows Tighter Race Than National Polls (JTN)

While national polls may reliably forecast the national popular vote in a presidential election, given the electoral college map, battleground state polling is more meaningful — and in 2020 battleground polls show a much tighter race between President Trump and challenger Joe Biden. In the RealClearPolitics polling averages on Thursday, Biden led Trump by 9.4% nationally but just 4.9% in key battleground states. In the battleground states, moreover, Trump on Thursday was running 0.5% ahead of where he was at this stage of the 2016 campaign, according to the RCP average — the 12th consecutive day on which the president outperformed his corresponding 2016 numbers.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen, who conducts the Just the News Daily Poll, also released for PoliticalIQ a series of polls in four battleground states showing a race for the White House that remains competitive. Trump was victorious in all four states in 2016, and they are crucial to his reelection hopes. Rasmussen reported that Biden leads narrowly in all four — Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. However, with a slightly stronger-than-expected Republican turnout, Rasmussen said the president would take the lead in Florida and North Carolina. Like the polls in the RealClearPolitics average, Rasmussen’s nationwide poll for Just the News also showed a wider lead for Biden than among his PoliticalIQ key battleground polls.

And the PoliticalIQ polls conducted among 800 likely voters show results in all four states that were within the margin of error, meaning that Trump could prove victorious and defy conventional wisdom as he did in 2016. “One particular challenge involves estimating the number of mail-in votes that will be cast,” Rasmussen wrote. “Those who plan to vote by mail overwhelmingly prefer Biden over Trump. Therefore, the larger the number of votes cast by mail, the better it is for the Democrat.” Rasmussen told Just the News that the polling wild card this cycle is sampling during a pandemic — something for which there is no precedent, as polling wasn’t practiced in 1918 during the last global pandemic. Rasmussen said if the race remains close, this could create a crisis of legitimacy for whoever wins.

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They think they’ll have massive power. Ask Bernie why they’re wrong.

AOC, House Progressives Warn Biden On Corporate Hires (Pol.)

The election is still 18 days away but Democrats are already drawing battle lines over what a Biden administration ought to look like. Left-wing House members including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Raúl Grijalva and candidate Jamaal Bowman along with 39 progressive groups signed a letter, obtained by POLITICO, arguing that no C-suite level corporate executives or corporate lobbyists ought to have Senate-confirmed positions in a Biden administration. “One of the most important lessons of the Trump administration is the need to stop putting corporate officers and lobbyists in charge of our government,” they wrote. “As elected leaders, we should stop trying to make unsupportable distinctions between which corporate affiliations are acceptable for government service and which are not.”

The letter, which was delivered to Senate leaders Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell on Friday morning, called on both parties to adopt this standard, but organizers told POLITICO it was also intended to send a message to Joe Biden’s transition team as it vets potential candidates. “It’s not addressed to Biden, but there’s an understanding that he’d be in charge and be the person making nominations,” said Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, who drafted the letter and recruited the signees. The letter is the latest sign of the deep divisions that continue to simmer within the Democratic Party.

The clashes between the left-wing and the center — particularly over economic policy — have eased over the past several months as the factions unite to defeat President Donald Trump but are likely to reignite if Biden is victorious. Biden would be forced to manage a potentially unwieldy coalition of aggressive left-wing Democrats and a new class of more moderate swing district Democrats from the suburbs. Those divisions could result in an intraparty brawl over nominations for senior level posts at Treasury and other economic agencies early in Biden’s term. The dueling sides could also put Schumer in a difficult position as he tries to fend off a potential primary challenge in 2022 — possibly by Ocasio-Cortez.

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Do they have the same interests as voters?

Wall Street Donors Line Up Behind Biden In Massive Q3 Fundraising Haul (CNBC)

The joint committees, which raise money for the Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state parties, are being fueled, at least in part, by Wall Street executives. Those committees accept six-figure contributions. This surge of donations from people in the finance and investment industry comes even as Biden calls for raising taxes on those making over $400,000, as well as an increase in the corporate tax rate. It also comes as Biden faces pressure from progressive activists not to allow Wall Street leaders to join his Cabinet if he were to defeat Trump. Tim Geithner, former Treasury secretary under President Barack Obama and current president of private equity firm Warburg Pincus, contributed $150,000 to the Biden Action Fund in August.

Antonio Gracias, founder of Valor Equity Partners, and Jonathan Shulkin, a partner at the same firm, each shelled out more than $300,000 that same month to the committee. John Doerr, chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, gave over $355,000 to the Biden Action Fund last quarter. Stephen Mandel, founder of Connecticut-based hedge fund Lone Pine Capital, contributed more than $310,000. Pete Muller, founder of investment manager PDT Partners, gave the committee $360,000. Jonathan Soros, an investor and son of billionaire George Soros, gave just under $145,000. Biden Action also saw large contributions from leaders at Blackstone, JPMorgan Chase, The Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, among other firms.

The Biden Action Fund raised more than $4 million from those in the finance industry in the third quarter of 2020. The fund raised over $30 million overall last quarter. People in the financial industry have largely favored Biden, spending more than $50 million to back his candidacy, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, compared with more than $10 million for Trump. Several finance executives privately say that they’re tired of dealing with the impact of Trump’s tweets on their investments. They are starting to be convinced of a sweep by Democrats come Election Day.

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Utter chaos. Cui bono?

Michigan Appeals Court Strikes Down 2-Week Window To Count Ballots (JTN)

A Michigan appeals court on Friday struck down a two-week extension ordered to tally votes after the election, ruling all mail-in ballots in the battleground state must arrive by Nov. 3 to count. The decision in a case brought by a group know as the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans was a victory for President Trump, who has argued long delays in counting could lead to fraud, and a loss for Democrats who embraced the extension. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the 14 extra days ordered by a lower state court was not legal, or warranted by the pandemic or concerns about the postal service’s ability to deliver ballots.


The judges ruled the state constitution requires all votes to be turned in by 8 p.m. of Election Day to be counted, and could not be changed by a judicial order. “The Constitution is not suspended or transformed even in times of a pandemic, and judges do not somehow become authorized in a pandemic to rewrite statutes or to displace the decisions made by the policymaking branches of government,” Judge Mark Boonstra in one of the opinions. Trump won Michigan narrowly in 2016 and and Democrats are trying to turn the state back to blue this tie around.

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There’s a reason she never polled above 2%. As someone said recently, she makes Hillary look likeable.

New Book Warns Of Danger Of Kamala Harris Presidency (OffG)

With the 2020 US presidential election less than a month away, there is widespread speculation concerning Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s mental and physical fitness at 77 years of age if he were to defeat incumbent Donald Trump on November 3rd. The former Vice President and Senator from Delaware would surpass his opponent as the oldest to ever hold the office of the presidency if victorious, while his generally acknowledged cognitive decline has led many to question whether he is even capable of serving a single term. Given the concerns about his health, the likelihood that Biden’s running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, would become his successor has put the controversial former prosecutor and California Attorney General’s own politics under scrutiny, though not to a degree sufficient with the odds she could very well become commander-in-chief in the near future.

Trump himself suggested it was the hidden motivation behind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent introduction of a 25th Amendment commission on removing a “mentally unfit” president to enable the replacement of an incapacitated Biden with Harris after the election. Even Saturday Night Live recently joked about Biden’s poor first debate performance as a Harris term in-the-making — but as journalist Caleb Maupin explains in his new book Kamala Harris and the Future of America: An Essay in Three Parts, the prospect of her becoming president is no laughing matter. Maupin’s ambitious essay surpasses the redundant analysis of the vice-presidential nominee by placing her political success in a broader historical context while forewarning the unique danger of a budding Harris administration waiting in the wings.

The majority of the critical examinations of Harris during the campaign have critiqued her rebranding as an outwardly “progressive” figure in stark contrast with the reality of her career as a ruthless criminal prosecutor turned establishment politician. While that is true, Maupin’s analysis takes an important step further by formulating the rise of Harris, who is the first Jamaican and South Asian-American nominee on a major party ticket, as the culmination of the US left’s failures in the last several decades resulting in its present deteriorated state preoccupied with liberal identity politics.

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This has turned into a very ugly game.

Nancy Pelosi Won’t Tell Anybody What’s In The Coronavirus Deal (IC)

Last friday, the Trump administration offered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a $1.8 trillion stimulus deal, which she promptly rejected. It’s $400 billion smaller than the House Democrats’ plan and probably wouldn’t pass the GOP-controlled Senate. A handful of Democrats are calling on Pelosi to take it anyway, and dare Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to be the one to kill it. Now, Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are back on the phone, and reportedly inching closer to an agreement. But most House Democrats haven’t spoken out one way or another, in part because no House Democrat other than Pelosi knows what’s actually in the proposal.

The top-line spending amounts and some of the major provisions have been confirmed, but no one has seen the text, and no one’s sure what else Republicans have stuffed into it. Meanwhile, the typical lines of battle in the House have been scrambled. The left is urging Pelosi to quickly cave to Trump and take whatever deal is on offer, while the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus is doing the same, hoping to pick off enough progressives that they can team with Republicans to box McConnell in. It’s politically disorienting, made all the more confusing by Pelosi’s inability to put forward anything other than a callous rationale for her objections.

Pelosi defended her strategy in a contentious interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, repeatedly lashing out at the host for asking why she wouldn’t accept Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent $1.8 trillion offer when Americans are being evicted and waiting in food lines. Blitzer cited the pressure within the Democratic Party to accept a deal, pointing to California Rep. Ro Khanna and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who have called on Pelosi to accept the GOP’s offer. “I don’t know why you’re always an apologist and many of your colleagues are apologists for the Republican position,” Pelosi told Blitzer. “Ro Khanna, that’s nice. That isn’t what we’re going to do. And nobody’s waiting until February. I want this very much now because people need help now. But it’s no use giving them a false thing just because the president wants to put a check with his name on it in the mail.”

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Why did they ever talk in the first place?

Russia Quitting MH17 Panel A Logical Result Of Dutch Provocations (Clark)

Russia’s decision to quit the three-sided consultations with the Netherlands and Australia on flight MH17 is not surprising. It’s surprising that Moscow hasn’t done this earlier, having been declared guilty from day one.
Almost as soon as the terrible news came out on 17th July 2014 that a passenger airliner had come down over eastern Ukraine with the loss of all 298 people on board, the fingers of blame in the West were pointing at Russia, and the Kremlin was declared guilty until proven innocent. ‘Putin’s Missile’ was the headline of the Sun newspaper, implying that the Russian President had personally fired the missile which allegedly downed the airliner. ‘MH17: Can Russia be held to account?’ asked The Economist – again implying it was a foregone conclusion who was responsible.

Russia’s guilt was already established – before any inquiry was held – and even saying ‘let’s wait a while before we see more evidence’ could bring you under attack as part of ‘Putin’s lie machine.’ That has more or less been the case ever since. Just eight days after the tragedy, the Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the EU would widen its already existing sanctions on Russia on account of the crash. The explanation for the disaster was simple. The plane had been shot down by separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine who had been armed by Russia. End of Story. Since 2014 we’ve had investigations into the crash by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Tim (JIT) – which included Ukraine.

But, as the Kremlin has stated, both appeared to have started off from the premise Russia was guilty, and worked backwards from there. Those who weren’t prejudiced against Russia – and simply wanted to get to the truth without fear nor favour, saw clearly what was happening. “We are very unhappy, because, from the very beginning, it was a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing. Even before they examine, they already said Russia. And now they said they have proof. It is very difficult for us to accept that.” was the view of the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. “As far as we are concerned, we want proof of guilt … but so far, there is no proof. Only hearsay,” he added. “I hope everybody will go for the truth.”

The fact that Malaysia, the country whose airliner was the one lost in the tragedy, believed there was ’no proof’ of Russian guilt should have been front-page news in the West, but of course it was ignored because it didn’t fit the dominant anti-Russian narrative. In 2018 Russia agreed to hold trilateral consultations with the Netherlands and Australia but it was clear that the aim of these consultations was only to try and make Russia admit guilt – and in the process make it liable for compensation to the relatives of the crash victims. Proof of this is the fact that the Dutch government did not even wait for the preliminary results of these consultations before taking Russia to the European Court of Human Rights in July, for its ’role in the downing’ of MH17. The only surprise is that it’s taken Russia three months after that incredibly provocative act to quit the consultation.

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Steve also predicts a “full-blown GFC-style global financial crisis” next year.

Spain’s Pain and the Perils of Textbook Economics (Steve Keen)

As I write these words, Spain is suffering from its second wave of Covid-19, and it ranks 7th in the world for Covid-19 cases, while its rank in world population is far lower. It has, and is, experiencing more than its fair share of pain from the novel coronavirus. Spain suffered far more than its fair share of pain during the Global Financial Crisis too. There is now a terrible danger that these two crises will compound each other, because neither Spain nor the rest of the world had truly recovered from the financial crisis when Covid-19 began. I use the USA for most of my examples in this book, but in many ways Spain is a textbook example of the economic forces that caused the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and how conventional economic thinking — epitomized most dramatically in the European Union’s limits on government debt and government deficits—helped cause the crisis, and made its impact even worse.

The data on Spain’s crisis and its bungled aftermath are so obvious that you might wonder why the thesis I defend in this book—that economic crises are caused not by government debt, but by private debt—is not the conventional wisdom. The role of the Euro in triggering the boom in private debt, and thus making a crisis more likely, is also obvious. After an exciting first eight years, the Euro and its “Growth and Stability Pact” have led to contraction and instability. Much was made of Spain’s success in meeting the Growth and Stability Pact’s target of government debt being below 60% of GDP. Government debt was 70% of GDP when the Euro commenced in 1999, and it fell to a low of 35% of GDP by mid-2008.

It was almost the only country in the Eurozone to meet and exceed both of the Euro’s policy targets: a government debt level of less than 60% of GDP, and a deficit of less than 3% of GDP. In fact, it exceeded the deficit target handsomely, running not merely a small deficit, but a substantial surplus between 2004 and the crisis, peaking at 2.5% of GDP in mid-2006—see Figure 1. If the Euro’s rules had the effect they were intended to have, this should have meant that Spain was less likely to experience a crisis, and well prepared to handle it if one did occur. This proved to be the opposite of the truth.

The reason is starkly evident in Figure 2: while Spain was lauded for halving its level of Government debt, across the same time span, private debt almost trebled—and throughout, it dwarfed government debt. Private debt had no trend before the introduction of the Euro: it was 67% of GDP in 1970, rose as high as 85% in 1977, but by the start of the Euro, it had risen not at all: it was also 85% of GDP in 1999. However, from the introduction of the Euro until 2010, it rose far more rapidly than government debt fell: as government debt fell by 35% of GDP, private debt rose by 140%.

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All Your Base R Belong to Us.

Amazon, Apple, Google And Facebook Scooping Up Office Space In New York (F.)

Big Tech is bucking two big workforce trends. Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google are all scooping up New York City commercial real estate after prices have plummeted due to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The companies are making a bold contrarian bet that Manhattan will bounce back and there will still be a need for people to work in offices. According to the New York Times, Facebook leased enough space in the city to triple the amount of people that can work in New York. Apple, which has been in the city for at least a decade, plans to expand its footprint there. Google and Amazon are snatching up space in New York—greater than any other place in the U.S. Amazon recently paid about $1 billion to acquire the Lord & Taylor flagship building in Midtown Manhattan from WeWork. Collectively, the tech behemoths can accommodate over 20,000 workers.


After seven months of remote work, it seems that both employees and employers are seeking a balance and options. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview at the TIME100 Honorees: Visions for the Future event, the company will be more “flexible” with its workers and offer a “hybrid” model that will include a blend of both remote and in-office methods of working. Pichai, who was recognized by TIME as one of the world’s most influential people, acknowledged that his employees have distinct needs, as it relates to their work style and preferences, stating, “We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve hard problems and create something new so we don’t see that changing. But we do think we need to create more flexibility and more hybrid models.”

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“incredibly precise . . . tracking systems”

Google & Oracle to Monitor US Vaccine Recipients for up to Two Years (Webb)

Moncef Slaoui, the official head of Operation Warp Speed, told the Wall Street Journal last week that all Warp Speed vaccine recipients in the US will be monitored by “incredibly precise . . . tracking systems” for up to two years and that tech giants Google and Oracle would be involved. Last week, a rare media interview given by the Trump administration’s “Vaccine Czar” offered a brief glimpse into the inner workings of the extremely secretive Operation Warp Speed (OWS), the Trump administration’s “public-private partnership” for delivering a Covid-19 vaccine to 300 million Americans by next January. What was revealed should deeply unsettle all Americans.

During an interview with the Wall Street Journal published last Friday, the “captain” of Operation Warp Speed, career Big Pharma executive Moncef Slaoui, confirmed that the millions of Americans who are set to receive the project’s Covid-19 vaccine will be monitored via “incredibly precise . . . tracking systems” that will “ensure that patients each get two doses of the same vaccine and to monitor them for adverse health effects.” Slaoui also noted that tech giants Google and Oracle have been contracted as part of this “tracking system” but did not specify their exact roles beyond helping to “collect and track vaccine data.”

The day before the Wall Street Journal interview was published, the New York Times published a separate interview with Slaoui where he referred to this “tracking system” as a “very active pharmacovigilance surveillance system.” During a previous interview with the journal Science in early September, Slaoui had referred to this system only as “a very active pharmacovigilance system” that would “make sure that when the vaccines are introduced that we’ll absolutely continue to assess their safety.” Slaoui has only recently tacked on the words “tracking” and “surveillance” to his description of this system during his relatively rare media interviews.

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I can see the potential crisis, but why not tell us how many children we’re talking about?

Counting Long Covid In Children (BMJ)

With the recent announcement that the NHS will provide services for patients with long covid, there was a palpable sense of triumph among the community of long haulers. We both have long covid and are active campaigners for this condition. We should have been elated; after all, this was the recognition campaigners had been advocating for since the release of the video “Message in a bottle—Long Covid SOS.” Although we are pleased by this commitment from the NHS to recognise long covid, we have ongoing concerns for the lack of paediatric services for children with covid-19. One of us (Frances Simpson) is a mother of two children who have also been experiencing symptoms for almost seven months, and has met many other parents whose children have had covid-19.

Existing research shows that children have generally been found to have less severe covid-19, but there is concern among campaigners that paediatric long covid has received much less attention. Many of the parents in online support groups share this concern, describing their fear at the strange and fluctuating symptoms experienced by their children, their frustration at the lack of medical care, and their struggles to be believed. When the World Health Organization extended an invitation to the campaign group LongCovidSOS to share experiences of Long Covid, Frances took the opportunity as a speaker at the meeting to present the narratives of children and parents who have symptoms of long covid. She shared the views from the many long covid support groups on social media, as a means of drawing attention to the possibility that symptoms of long covid may extend to children.

The quantification of this was impossible due to the lack of empirical data. However, with this in mind, she conducted an informal poll on closed social media groups including the Body Politic/Slack support group, the LongCovid Support Group, and the Parents of Longhauler children support group on Facebook. There are of course limitations of a survey of this kind due to selection and other types of reporting biases, but in the absence of any existing data, this was a scoping exercise. Parents reported that their children experienced fatigue, general gastrointestinal issues, sore throats, headaches, and muscle pain or weakness. Other symptoms included fevers, nausea, mood changes, rashes, dizziness, breathing difficulties and cognitive blunting. The findings of this very informal patient-led survey demonstrate that there is a need for further epidemiological data collection, in order to quantify and qualify the existence of long covid in children. There is also need for research into pathophysiology of these symptoms as is being currently instigated in adult cohorts.

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Deaf and dumb politics.

Sex Banned Indoors For Tier 2 Couples Living Apart (St.)

Couples living apart in areas with Tier 2 restrictions are not allowed to have sleepovers unless they are in a “support bubble”, Downing Street confirmed today. Boyfriends and girlfriends will be able to meet outdoors in Tier 2 but are expected to adhere to social distancing rules such as hands, face and space. They must also adhere to the rule of six. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a briefing of Westminster journalists: “The rules on household mixing in Tier 2 set out that you should mix with your own household only unless you’ve formed a support bubble and that obviously does apply to some couples.”


A support bubble is a network between a single-person home and one other household of any size , according to the government rules. It comes as both London and Essex are set to be plunged into Tier 2 at midnight tonight. Asked why there was no exemption for people in established relationships in Tier 2, he replied: “Because the purpose of the measures that were put in place is to break the chain in transmission between households and the scientific advice is there is greater transmission of the virus indoors.” Asked if couples in Tier 2 can meet outside, he said: “Yes, as it was set out in the guidance that was published this week the ban on household mixing is in relation to indoors and outdoors the rule of six applies.”

Read more …

 

 

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Oct 102020
 


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Pelosi’s 25th Amendment Commission Is To Replace Biden With Kamala – Trump (RT)
25th Amendment Body: Unelected Bureaucrats Vs The Will Of American People (RT)
Pelosis Take a Big Stake in CrowdStrike (Maté)
Poll That Called 2016 Election Sees Another Shocking Outcome In November (ZH)
SSCI Allowed Dan Jones, Fusion-GPS, Shearer to Avoid Questioning (sundance)
Political Silo (sundance)
Pompeo: Clinton Private Server Emails Could Be Released Before Election (JTN)
Well Played, Mr. President. Sorry To Have Doubted You (John Rubino)
Trump’s Brilliant Stimulus Ploy Rattles Democrats (Peek)
I Didn’t Vote For Trump In 2016, But I’d Crawl Over Broken Glass Now (Sound)
State Dept Officials Cast Doubt On Christopher Steele’s Early Reports (DC)
After The QAnon Ban, Who’s Next? (Taibbi)
Tomorrow, Come Here Tomorrow…. (Kunstler)
Goldman Offers Workers Free On-Site COVID-19 Testing (ZH)

 

 

We’re digging ever deeper into politics. 25 days to go. And here comes the 25th Amendment commission.

 

 

Trump VS Covid – Who Won?! | Russell Brand

 

 

“She accused him just this week of being in an “altered state.”

Pelosi’s 25th Amendment Commission Is To Replace Biden With Kamala – Trump (RT)

Soon after Rep. Nancy Pelosi introduced a commission that would allow Congress to remove a mentally unfit president, Donald Trump tweeted a claim its ulterior motive is to replace Democratic candidate Joe Biden with Kamala Harris.“This is not about President Trump,” Speaker of the House Pelosi said when announcing the legislation on Friday. “He will face the judgment of the voters. But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.” Instead, the commission is needed to give “some comfort to people” about government stability, Pelosi (D-California) insisted. Some, however, were not convinced the commission is meant as just an additional safety mechanism in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pelosi’s assurance the legislation wasn’t about Trump has quickly sparked a theory that such a commission could be used to replace 77-year-old Joe Biden – whose own mental stability has been steadily questioned – should he win the election next month. President Trump himself floated that theory on Twitter shortly after Pelosi’s announcement. “Crazy Nancy Pelosi is looking at the 25th Amendment in order to replace Joe Biden with Kamala Harris. The Dems want that to happen fast because Sleepy Joe is out of it!!!” Trump wrote. Others, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, have similarly lobbed the accusation at Pelosi.

“Pelosi is talking about 25th amendment replacing incapacitated President as trial run for replacing Biden with Harris next Spring if they win,” Gingrich tweeted. “Target is Biden not Trump,” he added. Under the 25th Amendment, a president can be stripped of their authority if they are deemed unfit for some reason to carry out their duties. This requires a two-thirds vote from both houses. Pelosi’s bill, however, would make this potential commission the determining body about a president’s fitness. Pelosi has questioned the health of the president since he was diagnosed with Covid-19 and left Walter Reed Medical Center. She accused him just this week of being in an “altered state.”

Read more …

“That Harris could become president without winning a single delegate in the primaries – having dropped out before they even started – seems an irony completely lost on the media and the party..”

25th Amendment Body: Unelected Bureaucrats Vs The Will Of American People (RT)

In addition to paving the way for a Harris administration, the proposed commission to govern the usurpation of presidential powers would create a ‘Deep State’-like cabal, including former officials, to gate-keep the White House. The pompously named Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office, unveiled on Friday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) is technically based on the provision in the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution, allowing for “such other body as Congress may by law provide” to govern the process of succession should a president become “incapacitated.”

With just weeks left till the November 3 election, and zero chance of the Republican-majority Senate or President Donald Trump endorsing the proposal, it’s unclear at first why the Democrats would unveil it now. Pelosi swears this isn’t about Trump. “He will face the judgment of the voters,” she told reporters on Friday. “But he shows the need for us to create a process for future presidents.” It didn’t take long for a number of people – from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Trump himself – to bring up the obvious: the first target of such a “process” may well be Joe Biden. In one of his more lucid moments, the 77-year-old actually said he wanted his running mate ready to take over “on day one.” Then he picked Senator Kamala Harris for the job.

That Harris could become president without winning a single delegate in the primaries – having dropped out before they even started – seems an irony completely lost on the media and the party normally harping on about “our democracy,” norms and traditions. No less intriguing than the “what” of the commission is the “how.” Raskin’s proposal envisions a 17-member panel, with 16 members appointed by congressional leaders of both parties electing the last one. Half the appointees would be physicians and psychiatrists, while the other eight would be chosen from the pool of former government officials: presidents, vice-presidents, surgeons-general, and heads of the departments of State, Treasury, Defense and Justice.

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“Speaker Pelosi is not involved in her husband’s investments and was not aware of the investment until the required filing was made.”

Pelosis Take a Big Stake in CrowdStrike (Maté)

The cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike rose to global prominence in mid-June 2016 when it publicly accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee and stealing its data. The previously unknown company’s explosive allegation set off a seismic chain of events that engulfs U.S. national politics to this day. The Hillary Clinton campaign seized on CrowdStrike’s claim by accusing Russia of meddling in the election to help Donald Trump. U.S. intelligence officials would soon also endorse CrowdStrike’s allegation and pursue what amounted to a multi-year, all-consuming investigation of Russian interference and Trump’s potential complicity.

With the next presidential election now in its final weeks, the Democrats’ national leader, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and her husband, Paul Pelosi, are endorsing the publicly traded firm in a different way. Recent financial disclosure filings show the couple have invested up to $1 million in CrowdStrike Holdings. The Pelosis purchased the stock at a share price of $129.25 on Sept. 3. At the time of this article’s publication, the price has risen to $142.97. Drew Hammill, spokesman for Pelosi, said: “Speaker Pelosi is not involved in her husband’s investments and was not aware of the investment until the required filing was made. Mr. Pelosi is a private investor and has investments in a number of publicly traded companies. The Speaker fully complies with House Rules and the relevant statutory requirements.” The Pelosis’ sizeable investment in CrowdStrike could revive scrutiny of the company’s involvement in the Trump-Russia saga since the Democrats’ 2016 election loss.

After generating the hacking allegation against Russia in 2016, CrowdStrike played a critical role in the FBI’s ensuing investigation of the DNC data theft. CrowdStrike executives shared intelligence with the FBI on a consistent basis, making dozens of contacts in the investigation’s early months. According to Esquire, when U.S. intelligence officials first accused Russia of conducting malicious cyber activity in October 2016, a senior U.S. government official personally alerted CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch and thanked him “for pushing the government along.” The final reports of both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee cite CrowdStrike’s forensics. The firm’s centrality to Russiagate has drawn the ire of President Trump. During the fateful July 2019 phone call that would later trigger impeachment proceedings, Trump asked Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky to scrutinize CrowdStrike’s role in the DNC server breach, suggesting that the company may have been involved in hiding the real perpetrators.

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Looks very different from all the polls the media cites all the time. How come?

Poll That Called 2016 Election Sees Another Shocking Outcome In November (ZH)

With Election Day less than a month away, we look at which party will likely control the White House, Senate and House in 2020… and what to watch for on Election Night. Currently, the major polls give former Vice President Biden more than a 9-point lead nationally against President Trump – according to RealClearPolitics National Average. And the Predictit markets imply a 67% probability of Biden winning on November 3rd. Additionally, those markets suggest that Democrats will win both the Senate and House (66% and 88% probabilities, respectively). Quite simply, it appears that a Blue Wave is fast approaching, something which the market has not only priced in, but has successfully digested as a favorable narrative for risk assets.

It would be easy to simply close the books and call the November contest over. But, of course, the major polls were all wrong in 2016; notably about the presidential race. In the following Election Review from Camelot Portfolios, we look at what some of the polling firms that called 2016 correctly are seeing today. “Shocking”, their polling suggests that President Trump will be re-elected, either narrowly or by a large margin. Therefore, as Camelot notes, “capital allocators today cannot easily assume next month’s results.” It’s very possible that Trump will win Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. If so, a win in Pennsylvania or Michigan will likely put him over the top in the electoral college. And speaking of “shocking”, Camelot notes that as far as the Senate and House are concerned, it also appears that Republicans will keep control of the Senate, especially if Trump has a strong night. On the other hand, the House is highly likely to remain in Democratic control.

[..] Trafalgar Group was named best polling firm of 2016 presidential race. It was one of few pollsters to predict Trump would win PA and MI (sources: Trafalgar Group and RealClearPolitics) and also Trump’s victory. [..] The secret to Trafalgar’s success is that it best adjusted its polling to include ‘shy Trump voters’ and the votes missed in other polls. Democracy Institute also correctly predicted Trump’s victory in 2016, as well as Brexit. Which brings us to today, and what Camelot Portfolios sees as the likely firewall states for Trump and Biden:

Which brings us to the punchline, and what Trafalgar sees as the outcome on Nov 3. In a nutshell, based on Trafalgar swing state polls, Trumps wins with 275 electoral votes:

What about the “winner” in the 2016 polling fiasco, the Democracy Institute, and its Latest Poll for September:
• Only asks likely voters, and asks about so-called ‘shy votes’.
• Trump leads Biden 46%-45%, nationally.
• Trump leads in swing states (FL, IA, MI, MN, PA, WI) 47% to 43%.
• Trump’s swing state leads would give him 320 electoral votes, and Biden 218.
• 77% of Trump voters would not admit to friends and family.
• Amy Coney Barrett nomination has little impact on approximately 8 in 10 voters.
• Law and order is top issue (32%). Economy is second (30%).
• Voters trust Trump more on economy than Biden: 60% to 40%, respectively

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“The attempt to remove President Trump from office encompassed all three branches of the U.S. government.”

SSCI Allowed Dan Jones, Fusion-GPS, Shearer to Avoid Questioning (sundance)

A fantastic catch by Twitter user “15poundstogo” highlights a key phrase within the Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSCI) Russia Report Volume-5, showing how the SSCI allowed those who created the Trump-Russia narrative to avoid questioning. This is a very important detail to underpin the report we shared yesterday about former Dianne Feinstein top staffer Dan Jones attempting to avoid a subpoena from U.S. Attorney John Durham. This key highlight from the SSCI is evidence of how the attempted coup against President Trump was coordinated by people outside government and inside government.

Dan Jones left the SSCI prior to the 2016 election and went to work pushing the Trump-Russia narrative through his media contacts. Jones took over funding Fusion-GPS and Chris Steele in 2017 at the same time Senator Mark Warner took over as SSCI vice-chairman. Dan Jones and Mark Warner coordinated the efforts outside and inside government on the same objective. The Senate Intel Committee was part of the effort. As a result of their alignment and common purpose the SSCI didn’t investigate the origin of the Trump-Russia narrative; and instead positioned themselves as a shield to block any investigative inquiry into what took place. THIS IS A BIG DEAL !

The attempt to remove President Trump from office encompassed all three branches of the U.S. government.
• Executive Branch – FBI, DOJ, CIA, State Dept., and Special Counsel Office.
• Legislative Branch – SSCI in 2017 and 2018 with an assist from House Intelligence Committee and House Judiciary in 2019 and 2020.
• Judicial Branch – FISA Court 2015, 2016, 2017; Federal Judges (Sullivan, Walton, Howell, Berman-Jackson) in alignment with DC intents in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

How does the office of the United States president; and more importantly a constitutional republic itself; survive a coordinated coup effort that involves all three branches of government; while simultaneously those in charge of exposing the corruption fear the scale of the effort is too damaging for the U.S. government to reveal?

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A second part of the same article cited above.

Political Silo (sundance)

On June 7, 2018, an indictment against Senate Intelligence Committee Security Director James Wolfe was unsealed. Approximately six weeks later, July 21, 2018, the DOJ mysteriously declassified and publicly released the Carter Page FISA application. That’s when I noticed the first two documents were related. The FISA application was the “top secret classified document” described in the Wolfe indictment. Immediately I recognized it wasn’t just any copy of the FISA application that was released by the DOJ; but rather a very specific copy of the FISA application. What the DOJ released was the exact copy used in the 2017 leak investigation of James Wolfe. The ramifications of this specific copy being publicly released were immediately noted, although almost everyone seemed to gloss over the issue in favor of discussing the content.

Over the course of the next several months the ramifications became more clear. Despite overwhelming evidence James Wolfe was never charged with leaking the FISA application on March 17, 2017. Quite the contrary, even to this day the official position of the FBI, DOJ and U.S. government is that Wolfe *did not* leak the FISA application. There’s a very big reason for that. First, it must be remembered the goal of the DOJ under former AG Jeff Sessions, despite his recusal on all things Trump, was the removal of political influence in the DOJ. That same objective has been repeated ad infinitum by current AG Bill Barr. This approach is why everyone in/around any issue that skirts on the investigative tissue keeps saying: “a very delicate balance is being navigated”, and “very sensitive approaches” are needed.

None of the former -and some remaining embed- officials in the FBI, DOJ, or Special Counsel actors, had any aversion to the use of weaponized politics in their corrupt investigations of President Trump. However, in the current investigation of the former weaponized political investigations the primary avoidance filter is politics. As expressed by almost everyone in and around the issue, any evidence that comes from inside the political silo is considered unusable. This sets up a rather challenging approach… hence the overused “delicate balances” etc. This overlay, the aggressive need not to use political information, is also frustrating.

Some are beginning to question whether it is actually a shield to justify a lack of accountability or institutional preservation. Keep up the pressure, the concerns are valid. The public doesn’t draw distinctions from the origin of evidence. Regardless of whether information comes from HPSCI ranking member Devin Nunes; and/or Senators Grassley, Johnson or Graham (political silo); or from the DOJ itself via John Bash, Jeff Jensen or John Durham; the public is absorbing all it. However, the current AG Barr instructions imply the non use of evidence emanating from the political silo in very direct terms.

FBI Washington Field Office Special Agent Brian Dugan was given a task in early 2017 to see if he could track down and identify people who were leaking information related to national security. Dugan used a Top-Secret Classified Information request by SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner to begin a very specific leak investigation. On March 17, 2017, Brian Dugan picked-up a copy of the Carter Page FISA application from the FISA Court. He personally delivered that “read and return” copy to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Security Director James Wolfe. Shortly after 4:02 pm that same day, Vice-Chairman Mark Warner reviewed the FISA in the senate “scif”.

It is not known if any other SSCI committee member viewed that FISA (there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence to indicate only Wolfe and Warner saw it); however, what is factually certain – is that on the same day as Wolfe and Warner reviewed the FISA, Security Director James Wolfe leaked its content to journalist Ali Watkins. Both the New York Times and Washington Post began reporting on the FISA application. As soon as Ms. Watkins wrote an article for Buzzfeed, April 3, 2017, outlining Carter Page as “person one” in the application, Agent Dugan knew the FISA had been leaked.

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” There are reportedly as many as 33,000 e-mails from Clinton’s private server that haven’t been released publicly..”

Pompeo: Clinton Private Server Emails Could Be Released Before Election (JTN)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server might be released before the Nov. 3 election. Pompeo was asked if he is concerned that revealing the emails would have national security implications given that some of them likely contain classified information. “I’ve been at this a long time with President Trump, for four years now, almost. I’ve never seen him do anything that would put any kind of asset, any one of our officers in harms way. He wouldn’t do that,” Pompeo said on Fox News. “We’ll get the information out that needs to get out.”


Addressing the timing of the potential release of the emails, Pompeo said, “We’re doing it as fast as we can. I certainly think there will be more to see before the election.” President Trump said this week that he had declassified documents from the investigation into Clinton’s use of the private server for e-mail during her tenure as secretary of state, America’s top diplomat. There are reportedly as many as 33,000 e-mails from Clinton’s private server that haven’t been released publicly.

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Joh Rubino is a very longtime friend of the Automatic Earth.

“The strategy of breaking the stimulus bill up into pieces puts the Dems in a tough spot, having to oppose saving big, crucial industries and giving money directly to voters in order to protect bail-outs for Dem-run states.”

Well Played, Mr. President. Sorry To Have Doubted You (John Rubino)

The political and financial worlds were baffled by President Trump’s decision, just hours after being released from the hospital, to suspend coronavirus stimulus bill negotiations “until after the election.” Leaving aside the stupidity of massive new borrowing and spending on top of the past year’s multi-trillions, walking away from those talks seemed like a really bad political move. But then, in almost the same breath, Trump turns around and demands a huge bailout for the airlines and a new round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals. Had he joined Biden in the drift toward senility? Or was there some method to the apparent madness? With a little hindsight, it’s clear that this was one of his “Art of the Deal” tactics, albeit in compressed form.

You walk away from stalled talks, get in your car and drive off, leaving the other side stunned and, hopefully, softened up for compromise. Then you restart negotiations with each side a little more flexible, and — in this case the crucial second part of the strategy — the deal broken up into bite-sized, and thus more easily doable, parts. Huh. It appears to be working. Mnuchin and Pelosi are making hopeful sounds and the stock market – addicted as it is to ever-easier money – is now happily anticipating an extended high. Gold, meanwhile, has concluded that the now-imminent debt binge will indeed crush the dollar, sending capital pouring into safe havens. But the politics of this strategy are even more interesting than the finance.

The big conflict here is the Democrats’ burning desire to bail out their party’s governors and mayors colliding with Trump’s aversion to rewarding those officials’ horrendous mismanagement (and refusal to vote Republican). Remember, California, Illinois, New Jersey, and their peers were looking at pension crises (i.e., functional bankruptcy) before the pandemic hit. The strategy of breaking the stimulus bill up into pieces puts the Dems in a tough spot, having to oppose saving big, crucial industries and giving money directly to voters in order to protect bail-outs for Dem-run states. This is not a good place to be going into the election, but it’s where Trump has put them. So, well-played, Mr. President. Whatever else you’ve done, you have indeed taught the rest of us some lessons in hard-ball negotiating. We’ll be better for it no matter where you end up next year.

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” If rejecting the $2.1 trillion “Heroes Act” stuffed with Democratic wish-list items such as imposing federal rules banning voter IDs is the result of downing steroids or Remdesivir, every member of Congress should be force-fed those meds.”

Trump’s Brilliant Stimulus Ploy Rattles Democrats (Peek)

President Trump confounded the pundits once again when be turned the tables on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and called off further negotiations on stimulus relief. For a president running on his ability to build (and rebuild) a strong economy, pulling the plug on a relief bill poised to prop up consumer spending seemed like an act of madness. Indeed, that was what Pelosi hinted, in one of her more reckless and shameful accusations to date, telling “The View” audience recently that taking coronavirus medications may have impacted the president’s “thinking” and that perhaps he needs an “intervention.” If rejecting the $2.1 trillion “Heroes Act” stuffed with Democratic wish-list items such as imposing federal rules banning voter IDs is the result of downing steroids or Remdesivir, every member of congress should be force-fed those meds.

The story, of course, does not end there. Trump pivoted soon thereafter, challenging Pelosi to accept a stream-lined and targeted relief effort. He tweeted, “If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy?” It was a brilliant move, and should the two sides come together to help the American people – which is the point, right? – Trump will emerge the consummate dealmaker. Americans are disgusted with Congress and its inability to get anything done. In the latest Gallup survey, only 17 percent of the country approved of Congress, while 80 percent disapproved, making Trump’s approval ratings look golden.

That’s down from 30 percent earlier this year, and surely reflects the ongoing warfare between Democrats and Republicans over, among other things, another relief package. As much as voters dislike congressional dysfunction, they must surely also hate the giant, pork-packed bills that govern our country. The “Heroes Act” weighs in at 2,100 pages. Why should doling out money to needy people and businesses require so much ink? Because that’s how Pelosi and, to be fair, her Republican counterparts, bury handouts to their favored constituents and allies. It is deplorable. Trump’s demand that Pelosi simply send out checks to struggling Americans will strike most people as reasonable. But not Madame Speaker. She loves those overstuffed pieces of legislation. After all, she’s the one who agreed to ObamaCare, saying of that 2,700-page monstrosity, “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.”

The prevailing media-endorsed opinion (aka the Democratic talking point) is that Trump risks being blamed for the cut-off of aid to the unemployed and to small businesses if another bill does not pass. That certainty seems to have prompted Pelosi’s intransigence. She and the Democrats balked at spending anything less than $2 trillion, even knowing the GOP senate would never sign such a bill. But Pelosi has a lot on the line as well. The Blue Dog Democrats wrote a letter to the House speaker recently, in which they urged her “to continue the discussions over the weekend until a deal is achieved.” They further exhorted “Congress [to] stay here in Washington to keep negotiating.” Congress, in fact, has just left town for a six-week break. That’s how much they care about the American people.

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” I took him literally but not seriously, in contrast to his supporters who took him seriously but not literally (credit to Peter Thiel for identifying this significant distinction)”

I Didn’t Vote For Trump In 2016, But I’d Crawl Over Broken Glass Now (Sound)

Even though I had voted for every Republican presidential candidate since 1980, I didn’t vote for Donald Trump in 2016. Many Republican nominees had been huge disappointments to me, and I wasn’t going to vote for yet another GOP candidate I thought would betray my trust. I couldn’t imagine Trump as a genuine conservative who would champion limited government, respect individual freedom and liberty, and protect the unborn — but was I ever wrong. Although I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, I would crawl over broken glass to vote for him in 2020. In 2016, I was convinced Trump was just another New York liberal. On election night, however, I smiled. I was happy that at least Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be president, and I suspected that the next four years with Trump would at least be entertaining.


The primary reason I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 was that I didn’t believe him. I didn’t trust that he would be pro-life, a non-negotiable issue for me. His bluster and bravado didn’t appeal to me. I took him literally but not seriously, in contrast to his supporters who took him seriously but not literally (credit to Peter Thiel for identifying this significant distinction). By the time Trump took office, I was willing to give him a chance. He was the president, after all, and deserved the opportunity to prove himself. During the first year of his presidency, I was impressed by his commitment to keeping his campaign promises, unlike most politicians. By the end of 2017, I classified myself as a Trump supporter because of what he had already done as president.

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In case you were still wondering exactly how absurd it was that Mueller based his investigation on a report paid for by the Democrats.

State Dept Officials Cast Doubt On Christopher Steele’s Early Reports (DC)

State Department officials cast doubt on the credibility of several intelligence memos that former British spy Christopher Steele provided the agency in the years before he began investigating Donald Trump, according to emails the Daily Caller News Foundation obtained through a lawsuit. One State Department official, an ambassador to Ukraine, described Steele’s reporting as “flaky.” Another official said that a Steele report sounded “extreme,” and that others “do not ring true.” Despite the potential red flags regarding Steele’s work, the ex-MI6 officer was granted a meeting at Foggy Bottom in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. During the meeting, Steele shared details later found in a dossier that accused the Trump campaign of conspiring with the Kremlin to influence the election.

Many of Steele’s allegations have been disputed or outright debunked in the years since the dossier was published. The State Department handed over the latest documents as part of a lawsuit that Judicial Watch filed on behalf of The Daily Caller News Foundation on April 25, 2018. The lawsuit sought several categories of records, including all of the reports that Steele provided to State Department officials prior to his investigation of Trump. Steele, who is based in London, had reportedly shared more than 100 intelligence reports about Russia and Ukraine from 2014 to 2016 with Jonathan Winer, who then served as the State Department’s special envoy to Libya.

Winer, a longtime aide to then-Sec. of State John Kerry, passed Steele’s memos to a small group of State Department officials, including Victor Nuland, Paul Jones and Geoffrey Pyatt. The State Department had released heavily redacted versions of Steele’s report through the lawsuit. The officials’ commentary was also largely redacted. The agency disclosed some of the officials’ assessments of Steele’s reports in response to an appeal from Judicial Watch. The email traffic shows initial enthusiasm for Steele’s reports. Nuland, who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and the other officials said that the reports contained valuable insights into Russia and Ukraine.

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Big Tech = Secret Service censorship.

After The QAnon Ban, Who’s Next? (Taibbi)

Facebook announced Tuesday that it’s stepping up efforts to clean its platform of QAnon content: “Starting today, we will remove any Facebook Pages, Groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, even if they contain no violent content…” Facebook had already taken several rounds of action against QAnon, including the removal this summer of “over 1,500 Pages and Groups.” Restricting bans to groups featuring “discussions of potential violence” apparently didn’t do the trick, however, so the platform expended bans to include content “tied to real world harm”: “Other QAnon content [is] tied to different forms of real world harm, including recent claims that the west coast wildfires were started by certain groups, which diverted attention of local officials from fighting the fires and protecting the public.”

Describing what QAnon is, in a way that satisfies what its followers would might say represents their belief system and separates out the censorship issue, is not easy. The theory is constantly evolving and not terribly rational. It’s also almost always described by mainstream outlets in terms that implicitly make the case for its banning, referencing concepts like “offline harm” or the above-mentioned “real-world harm” in descriptions. As you’re learning what QAnon is, you’re usually also learning that it is not tolerable or safe. “QAnon was once a fringe phenomenon, the kind most people could safely ignore,” the New York Times wrote recently. “But in recent months, it’s gone mainstream.”

In rough terms, QAnon is a gospel spun by “Q,” ostensibly a current or former government official, who keeps the public appraised of an epic secret battle between good and evil, undertaken in political shadows. The villains are a globalist pedophile ring involving the mega-rich, Hollywood actors, and the Clintons (among many others), while Donald Trump leads the army of the righteous.

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“The Jacobins Reign of Terror comes to its sudden and ignominious end with Robespierre bawling under the national razor.”

Tomorrow, Come Here Tomorrow…. (Kunstler)

Is it possible that some Democratic Party voters begin to suspect that the party officials running this game have lost their minds? A good signifier, of course, is the ghostly figure carrying their battle-flag, Mr. Biden, the Flying Dutchman candidate whose mind slips in and out of fog-banks as he navigates the shoals of defeat. Why did the Party ship out with him on the poop-deck? My guess would be: to deflect indictments of himself and many other former officials as the steady flow of documentary evidence gets released by new DNI John Ratcliffe, including a batch this past week showing pretty incontrovertibly that everybody and his uncle in the Obama executive branch was keenly aware that RussiaGate was a Hillary campaign ploy and allowed themselves to be weaponized into the scheme — under the assumption that she couldn’t lose and they’d never be found out.

She lost. They’re found out. Grand juries have been convened by Mr. Durham. Something wicked is coming their way. Their ship is going down and the rats are all squeaking desperately in the scuppers at the rising water. Won’t this all be a shock to that crew of media fabulists who stupidly maintain that the Mueller Report actually proved something — the David Frenches, Max Boots, and Rachel Maddows of this world and their True Believer followers? History is rhyming again. It’s like 1794 in Paris. The Jacobins Reign of Terror comes to its sudden and ignominious end with Robespierre bawling under the national razor. So does today’s Reign of Perfidious Sedition close, with Jim Comey bawling, “I can’t recall,” into his laptop.

Incidental to this is the breaking news — sure to not be reported in The New York Times or by CNN — that one Devon Archer, business partner of Hunter Biden (and John Kerry stepson, Christopher Heinz) has just had his previously overturned conviction for security fraud reinstated by a federal appeals court. Sound abstruse? Yeah, kind of, but, believe me this boy is in some serious hot water, the rap being a federal one, and Mr. Archer now poised to sing like a canary to John Durham’s posse about his various financial exploits in Ukraine and other foreign lands with Joe Biden’s son (and Mr. Kerry’s stepson) in exchange for lighter jail time. You just watch.

Keep your ears pricked also for developments involving Senate Select Committee on Intelligence ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) and his role in 2016-17 as an active disseminator of Steele Dossier RussiaGate dis-info in coordination with the George Soros funded Democracy Integrity Project, run by former Dianne Feinstein chief-of-staff Dan Jones and assisted by swamp lawyer Adam Waldman, a Steele / Warner go-between who happened to be a $40,000-a-month lobbyist for one Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire and Clinton Foundation doner (at least $1-million) who also employed Christopher Steele as a dis-info errand boy. Unpacking that one will be like unpacking the surgical batting in a sucking chest wound. Scrub for it.

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Can someone explain why this is not mandatory everywhere?

Dave Collum: “I am so impressed. Free testing. Wow. Somebody tell @GoldmanSachs that @Cornell tests 5,000 people per DAY.”

Goldman Offers Workers Free On-Site COVID-19 Testing (ZH)

In September, Goldman Sachs employees in New York became the latest to suffer a trading floor outbreak as Wall Street banks called their investment banking workers back into the office before pretty much every other white-collar industry. But now that Microsoft is claiming that it plans to allow some employees to work from home permanently (well, at least some of the time), Goldman is touting its plans to offer all US-based employees antibody tests and saliva-based PCR tests and other on-sight screening for staff at 200 West Street, according to Financial News. The report cited a memo sent to staff dated Oct. 8, which was Thursday. Goldman is considering rolling the program out to other officers around the world, but it hasn’t made any final plans yet.


In New York, the tests will be available to workers first returning to the office, while those remaining at home can be reimbursed for any costs they incur related to their private health care programs and COVID-19 testing. CEO David Solomon is also introducing internal daily screenings and a “tracking and tracing” program to help prevent any future outbreaks. “As high-quality testing has become more available, we have engaged vendor partners to offer off-site COVID-19 tests to eligible people in the US at no cost,” reads the memo sent out to staff on Thursday. “Testing is one part of a comprehensive prevention strategy that includes wearing masks, following general hygiene and handwashing best practices, and practicing social distancing.”

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