Nov 102021
 


Francis Tattegrain La ramasseuse d’épaves (The Beachcomber) 1880

 

Frontline Health Workers In England To Get New Vaccine Guidelines (RT)
Whistleblowers To Play Key Role In Enforcing Biden Vaccine Rule (CBS)
Singapore To Start Charging Covid Patients Who Are ‘Unvaccinated By Choice’ (G.)
More Than Half Of Border Patrol Agents May Be Fired For Being Unvaccinated (SN)
Feds Seek to Block Promotion of a Nasal Spray Against COVID-19 (ET)
French Health Authority Warns Men Under 30 To Avoid Moderna Jab (ZH)
Naturally Immune Federal Workers Lodge Class-Action Over Vaccine Mandate (ET)
FDA Pfizer Doc Suggests Myocarditis From Shot Bigger Threat Than Covid (Bl.)
Doctors Will Never Regain The Public’s Trust After Covid (Huffman)
John Durham Is Getting Close to the Jugular (RCP)
Durham Exposes New Links To Clinton Campaign in Russian Collusion (Turley)
‘Out Of Control’ Pandemic Waste Spewed Into Oceans (RT)

 

 

Tucker OSHA

 

 

That’s it. British health workers get another 5 months to get jabbed. Any sense of urgency or emergency is gone. They won, and they know it. “..Up to 100,000 healthcare staff in England are unvaccinated..”

Frontline Health Workers In England To Get New Vaccine Guidelines (RT)

England’s frontline NHS workers will have to be fully inoculated against Covid-19 by April 1 as a mandatory condition of their employment, Heath Secretary Sajid Javid has said, as tens of thousands of staff are still not jabbed. Speaking on Tuesday to Parliament, Javid confirmed that “all those working in the NHS and social care will have to be vaccinated.” “We must avoid preventable harm and protect patients in the NHS, protect colleagues in the NHS and of course protect the NHS itself.” The deadline set for next spring – April 1 – will give all staff enough time to complete the Covid vaccination course. Up to 100,000 healthcare staff in England are unvaccinated, according to the head of NHS Providers Chris Hopson. Javid also said there would be exemptions for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, or for those not in face-to-face positions with patients.


The decision comes after consultations began in September on whether to make Covid and flu jabs mandatory for frontline NHS and care workers. The flu vaccine, however, will not be made mandatory just yet, but will be kept under review. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News last month that he was “leaning towards” mandatory vaccination for NHS staff, but Downing Street was yet to make a final decision. The prospect of mandatory vaccinations for NHS staff has raised concerns that the move could adversely impact an already overstretched health service. Hopson insisted that the government must work closely with NHS trusts to avoid a mass exodus of unvaccinated staff: “We understand why people are vaccine-hesitant. We need to win the argument with them rather than beat them around the head,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today show.

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A nation of snitches. Well done. “Ther are Jews hiding in that building!”

Whistleblowers To Play Key Role In Enforcing Biden Vaccine Rule (CBS)

To enforce President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccine regulation, the Labor Department is going to need a lot of help. Yet its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn’t have nearly enough workplace safety inspectors to do the job. The 490-page regulation will cover American businesses with at least 100 workers, or about 84 million employees in all. So the government will rely upon a corps of informers to identify violations of the order: Employees who will presumably be concerned enough to turn in their own employers if their co-workers go unvaccinated or fail to undergo weekly tests to show they’re virus-free.

What’s not known is just how many employees will be willing to accept some risk to themselves — or their job security — for blowing the whistle on their own employers. Without them, though, experts say the government would find it harder to achieve its goal of requiring tens of millions of workers at large businesses to be fully vaccinated by January 4 or be tested weekly and wear a mask on the job. “There is no army of OSHA inspectors that is going to be knocking on employers door or even calling them,” said Debbie Berkowitz, a former OSHA chief of staff who is a fellow at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. “They’re going to rely on workers and their union representatives to file complaints where the company is totally flouting the law.”

Under the regulation, businesses must maintain records on workers’ vaccination statuses. But for workplaces where employees aren’t required to be vaccinated, workers will need to get weekly tests and wear masks. OSHA said it plans to check on compliance with the latter by doing spot-checks of businesses, and will also rely on complaints the agency receives about businesses that aren’t following the regulation. “We will have our staff available and responsive to complaints, which is a No. 1 way we hear about problems in a workplace,” said Jim Frederick, the acting chief of OSHA, on a conference call with reporters. He also said the agency will focus on job sites “where workers need assistance to have a safe and healthy workplace.”

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Test site for bankrupting ordinary people.

Singapore To Start Charging Covid Patients Who Are ‘Unvaccinated By Choice’ (G.)

Singapore will no longer pay the Covid-19 medical bills for people “unvaccinated by choice”, the government said, as the country grapples with a surge in cases. The government currently covers the full Covid medical costs for all Singaporeans, as well as permanent residents and long-term visa holders, unless they test positive soon after returning home from overseas. However from 8 December, the government said it will “begin charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice”. It said unvaccinated people “make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive in-patient care and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources”. Covid-related medical bills will still be paid for people who aren’t eligible for a vaccine.


The government will also foot the bill for individuals who are partially vaccinated until 31 December, giving them time to get a second dose. Singapore has among the highest coverage rates in the world, with 85% of the eligible population fully vaccinated. Yet the city state is struggling with rising Covid infections and last month warned its healthcare system was at risk of being “overwhelmed” by surging cases. It came a day after the country expanded quarantine-free travel as part of a shift in its approach to dealing with the pandemic. The prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, previously said the global business hub could not remain closed indefinitely, and Singapore has moved from a zero-tolerance strategy with lockdowns and closed borders to living with Covid-19.

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“..48 percent of agents have not registered their vaccination status, and of the 52 percent who have done that, ten percent are unvaccinated.”

More Than Half Of Border Patrol Agents May Be Fired For Being Unvaccinated (SN)

An internal report from within the US Customs and Border Protection agency suggests that more than half the border patrol workforce remains unvaccinated, and that if vaccine mandates are implemented it could leave just 8000 officers on duty. The document, obtained by Fox News, notes that 48 percent of agents have not registered their vaccination status, and of the 52 percent who have done that, ten percent are unvaccinated. Former chief operating officer of CBP Mark Morgan, who obtained the internal report, told Fox News that Biden’s vaccine mandate is “going to take an agency that’s already gone through an unbelievable catastrophic crisis on the southwest border and deplete its resources further.”

Morgan also provided a screenshot from the report showing tables of different scenarios of depletion within the CBP. The screenshot highlights that “in the worst-case scenario, agents who have not reported their status have done so because they refuse to take the jab, and so they will be terminated (scenario 3). In that case, net attrition could exceed 11,523 agents, leaving a mere 8,013 border agents on patrol.” If this scenario unfolds, it is likely that the border patrol would lose 59 percent of its workforce. Imagine how that would affect the already rampantly out of control border crisis.

If the 10,000 or so border patrol agents who have yet to register their vaccination status do not do so this week, they will be offered counseling, then suspension, then termination, Morgan further noted, emphasising how the document “illustrates the potential impact that this mandate could have on the workforce.” “So, an agency that is dealing with 1.7 million apprehensions, 400,000 got-aways, at that very moment, the same resources are going to be pulled away and distracted to deal with this mandate nonsense,” Morgan urged, adding that the counseling involves further “critical resources,” because border patrol leadership is involved.

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They have to block anything that might work. It’s in their Pfizer contract.

Feds Seek to Block Promotion of a Nasal Spray Against COVID-19 (ET)

The leading U.S. manufacturer of xylitol-based products says the federal government is deliberately trying to conceal a nasal spray it developed that it says has been scientifically proven to be effective in treating and preventing COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court against Utah-based company Xlear on Oct. 28, saying it has deceptively advertised its nasal spray as a treatment and preventative of COVID-19. The lawsuit asks a federal court to permanently ban the company from promoting the nasal spray as a treatment for COVID-19 and also asks that monetary penalties be levied against it. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

The DOJ filed the complaint on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission, which alleges the company has violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Consumer Protection Act by making false claims about the benefits. The spray’s main ingredients are saline, grapefruit seed extract, and xylitol, a plant-derived sweetener commonly used in oral care products. “Companies can’t make unsupported health claims, no matter what form a product takes, or what it supposedly prevents or treats,” said Samuel Levine, director of the trade commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a press release on the lawsuit. “That’s the lesson of this case and many others like it, and it’s why people should continue to rely on medical professionals over ads.” The commission and the Justice Department declined to make any further comment.

Xlear’s attorney Robert Housman, of the Washington firm Book Hill Partners, told The Epoch Times that the commission is “flat out lying” about the company’s claims being unsupported. Housman pointed out that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services—funded clinical studies of the use of nasal sprays like Xlear’s and published findings last year that found they were an effective treatment and method of prevention for COVID-19. “When Xlear tells people about scientific studies, even ones republished by the NIH, we are somehow misleading people and making false claims. It’s nonsensical,” Housman told The Epoch Times. “Rather than embrace nasal interventions, the government is trying to eliminate their use because they don’t fit the government’s highly flawed, vaccine-only agenda.”

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Have they published the victims’ numbers and accounts?

French Health Authority Warns Men Under 30 To Avoid Moderna Jab (ZH)

The bad news for Moderna just keeps coming. In the wake of a weak earnings report that sent Moderna shares cratering last week, French health authorities have just released a new advisory recommending that people under 30 don’t get the Moderna vaccine, recommending that they choose the Pfizer-BioNTech jab instead. The decision draws on recently released data showing that the risk of heart inflammation from Pfizer’s jab “appears to be around five times lesser…compared to Modera’s spikevax jab”, per an opinion published by the HAS. Cases of myocarditis mostly manifest within 7 days of vaccination, typically after the second dose has been given.

Most patients who experience side effects are typically men under the age of 30, according to the HAS, which cited research studies. HAS acts as an advisor to the French health sector but it doesn’t have the power to ban medicines or vaccines. The recommendation will apply to first and second doses, as well as a any “booster shot” doses available while the agency awaits additional data. For French men and women aged 30 and over, however, HAS says it sees no problem with administering Moderna’s Spikevax in this group, stating that its efficacy was slightly higher than Pfizer-BioNTech’s jab. Last month saw a handful of Nordic nations place varying restrictions on Moderna’s vaccine.

Tiny Iceland, meanwhile, has banned the Moderna jab from being used across the entire population. Initially. Stockholm announced it would pause the use of Moderna for all of its population born in 1991 or after. Helsinki followed suit, but halted the jabs for young, male Finns only based on a study involving Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden which found that men under 30 had a slightly higher risk of developing heart inflammation. Oslo also suggested that young Norwegian men should consider choosing Comirnaty, the Pfizer jab, over Moderna’s or any of the other options.

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A half year discussion, going nowhere.

Naturally Immune Federal Workers Lodge Class-Action Over Vaccine Mandate (ET)

Federal workers who have recovered from COVID-19 have filed a class-action lawsuit against Dr. Anthony Fauci and other government officials over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that still forces them to get a jab. The government not only failed to offer a carve-out exemption for naturally immune workers, or those who have recovered, but neither President Joe Biden’s executive order nor the guidance explaining it outlines why naturally acquired immunity isn’t an acceptable alternative to vaccination, the lawsuit states. “Because they already have natural immunity, there is no coherent purpose for the federal government to require them to undertake a medical procedure to be vaccinated if they choose not to, or be terminated from their employment, their careers,” Robert Henneke, general counsel at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and one of the lawyers representing the government workers, told The Epoch Times.


Plaintiffs say the mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which allows courts to overturn government actions deemed “arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.” They quoted Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who now sits on the board of Pfizer. During recent television appearances, Gottlieb described natural immunity as “durable” and “robust” and said that government officials should start assimilating it into policy discussions. They also cited Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, an immunologist who has said it is medically unnecessary for the recovered to get vaccinated. Dozens of studies have shown that people who survived COVID-19 have strong immunity against re-infection from the virus that causes it, with some indicating the protection is similar to or higher than that provided by vaccines. Workers tried communicating concerns about the mandate but those “have completely fallen on deaf ears, which is why we’ve turned to litigation,” Henneke said.

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So many things we’ve known forever, that still need to be pointed out every day.

FDA Pfizer Doc Suggests Myocarditis From Shot Bigger Threat Than Covid (Bl.)

In Pfizer’s FDA briefing document prepared for the Oct. 25 meeting was an admission that even according to the company’s own unverified and misleading math, there is a scenario where there would be more hospitalizations among children for myocarditis — just one side effect — than from COVID. “Under Scenario 3 (lowest incidence), the model predicts more excess hospitalizations due to vaccine-related myocarditis/pericarditis compared to prevented hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in males and in both sexes combined,” states Pfizer in page 33 of the document. How in the world could there be any universe where we would approve a shot, much less promote and force it in many settings, when there is a possibility of greater harm than benefit, when the harm is man-made and the virus is left to chance?


They know quite well that this approval will eventually lead to soft and hard mandates, which have already begun in California schools. The document concludes by expressing the same callous attitude toward those raising concerns as toward all their interventions from day one. “However, in consideration of the different clinical implications of hospitalization for COVID-19 versus hospitalization for vaccine-associated myocarditis/pericarditis, and benefits related to prevention of non-hospitalized cases of COVID-19 with significant morbidity, the overall benefits of the vaccine may still outweigh the risks under this lowest incidence scenario.” In other words, sure, we have no clue what’s going to happen, but it’s always better to err on the side of shoving this on children who have a 99.9% recovery rate.

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They have 60% of the people’s trust right now. But what will happen when booster 3,4,5 come along?

Doctors Will Never Regain The Public’s Trust After Covid (Huffman)

One undeniable outcome of the pandemic is that the public’s faith in scientific and medical authorities is perhaps at its lowest point in living memory – and no objective observer can truly be surprised. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US President’s Chief Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci and US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams told us not to wear masks, until they instructed us to wear one everywhere we went. The Covid vaccines were declared to be effective at preventing the spread of disease, until breakthrough cases around the globe proved that wasn’t so, and that effectiveness was downgraded to “against hospitalization and death.”

Both The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, two of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, have issued embarrassing retractions to widely publicized papers eventually found to have too little validity to be published. Anyone who suggested that the pandemic originated in a Wuhan laboratory and not a Chinese wet market was labeled a conspiracy theorist by official sources who later had to admit they were possibly correct. The same proved true for everyone who accused Fauci and the National Institutes of Health of funding gain-of-function research at the lab: they were crazy, until they were right.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urged all pregnant women to be vaccinated, asserting that the new injections were completely safe. Now, a new review of that same data suggests that one in eight women spontaneously aborted her pregnancy after getting the jab. Even medical terms – such as ‘herd immunity’, and the word ‘vaccine’ itself – have literally been redefined over the past few months. All this has shocked a great number of informed, educated people around the world. Should it, though? In fact, a brief glance through the history of science demonstrates that scientists being completely and utterly wrong – in retrospect, often comically so – is the norm, not an aberration. It’s long past time for modern scientific researchers to discover a proper sense of humility and to step down from the pedestal of secular priesthood they’ve ascended.

Stories about an advisory panel’s recommendation to the Food and Drug Administration to approve a Moderna booster shot contained a quote that most might find truly incredible. “It’s more a gut feeling rather than based on really truly serious data,” said biochemistry professor Dr Patrick Moore. “The data itself is not strong, but it is certainly going in the direction that is supportive of this vote.” How can a scientific advisory panel make such a recommendation while admitting it’s based on feeling, not fact? In fact, it happens all the time. ‘Medical consensus’ is a term that carries an authoritative denotation, yet it simply means that a bunch of experts got together and decided amongst themselves what’s correct. The problem is that, today and in the past, those experts – in virtually every field – are so often wrong.

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The jugular is Hillary and Obama. How close can he get?

John Durham Is Getting Close to the Jugular (RCP)

The Clinton team launched this operation with professional expertise. The goal was to produce a powerful anti-Trump story, using whatever materials they could, then share it with the media (to smear Trump) and the FBI (to launch a major investigation and ensnare Trump). Ideally, the campaign’s involvement would be hidden, removed from the damning report by several layers of lawyers, opposition researchers, camp followers, and flacks. To provide that insulation, the campaign used attorney Marc Elias, then at Perkins Coie law firm in Washington (where the recently indicted Michael Sussmann was a colleague), to hire an opposition-research firm, Fusion GPS.

That firm, headed by former reporters Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, in turn hired Steele, a Brit who had formerly worked for his country’s intelligence services, to produce the damning dossier. To translate some Russian materials, Fusion GPS hired Nellie Ohr, whose husband, Bruce, learned how biased Steele was and told the FBI to treat Steele and his information warily. Bureau agents ignored that early warning and all the others. They quickly learned Steele’s material was a mirage, thanks to their interviews with Danchenko. They also confirmed that Steele’s dossier depended on Danchenko, so its claims of “Russian sourcing” were false. By interviewing Danchenko’s own sources, they learned that their third-hand statements, which were used in the dossier, were mainly rumors and “bar talk.”

The prosecutorial team assembled by Robert Mueller should have known all this, too. They had complete access to this exculpatory FBI material on day one and ignored it. A year and a half later, when Mueller himself finally testified before Congress, he didn’t even know what Fusion GPS was. By that point, Mueller seemed to have genuine difficulty remembering the details of his own investigation. His team of attorneys had no such excuse. Hired by Mueller’s top deputy, Andrew Weissmann, they were among the country’s sharpest and toughest prosecutors — and the most partisan. The more Durham uncovers, the worse the Mueller team will look.

Reviewing this evidence, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal has concluded the Steele dossier is misnamed. It should be called the “Clinton dossier,” she says, since Hillary commissioned it, paid for it, and had her aides feed it to the media, the State Department, and the FBI. It was a full-scale disinformation campaign — coherent, well-organized, and well-funded. It was rotten to the core. The question now is whether John Durham can find enough evidence to charge the ones who planned and executed it. The charging documents he filed for Danchenko and Sussmann are far more extensive than the necessary minimum. They suggest that Durham has compiled extensive evidence about a broader conspiracy. Will he settle for the capillaries now that he has the jugular in view?

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“Durham clearly seems to be making a meticulous case that the Steele dossier was a political hit job orchestrated by Clinton operatives.”

Durham Exposes New Links To Clinton Campaign in Russian Collusion (Turley)

“To my good friend … A Great Democrat.” Those words written to a Russian figure in Moscow, inside a copy of a Hillary Clinton autobiography, may be the defining line of special counsel John Durham’s investigation. The message reportedly was written by Charles Dolan, a close Clinton adviser and campaign regular whom news reports identify as the mysterious “PR-Executive 1” in the latest Durham indictment, this time of Igor Danchenko. Danchenko, 43, was a key figure in the compilation of the infamous Steele dossier that led to the now discredited investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential race. But Danchenko, a Russian emigre living in the U.S., seems unlikely to be the Durham investigation’s apex defendant. In fact, Durham describes him at points more like a shill than a spy, an “investigator” who was fed what to report by Clinton operatives such as Dolan.

Durham is known as a methodical, apolitical and unrelenting prosecutor. Thus far, his work seems to betray a belief that the FBI got played by the Clinton campaign to investigate the Trump team. The question is whether Durham really wants to indict just the figurative tail if he can get the whole dog — a question that now may weigh heavily on a number of Washington figures, just as it did following Durham’s indictment in September of Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann. Danchenko’s indictment on five counts of lying to the FBI serves two obvious purposes. First, these counts — with a possible five years in prison on each — are enough to concentrate the mind of any defendant about possibly flipping for the prosecution. Second, indicting Danchenko “hoists the wretch” for potential targets to see and consider that there but for the grace of God — and Durham — go they.

The background details of Durham’s three indictments so far have assembled an impressive list of “great Democrats” who contributed directly or indirectly to the creation of the Russia collusion scandal. Indeed, the collusion case increasingly is taking on a type of “Murder on the Orient Express” feel, in which all of the suspects may turn out to be culprits. While the statute of limitations may protect some, Durham has shown that he can use the crime of lying to federal investigators (18 U.S.C. 1001) as a handy alternative. Targets must admit to prior misconduct or face a new charge. Thus, Durham clearly seems to be making a meticulous case that the Steele dossier was a political hit job orchestrated by Clinton operatives. His latest indictment connects Danchenko to several intriguing figures and groups that, in turn, relate to the Clinton campaign.

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Mass madness.

‘Out Of Control’ Pandemic Waste Spewed Into Oceans (RT)

A new report claims that 25,000 tons of masks, gloves, and other pandemic-related plastic waste has ended up in our oceans since Covid-19 first emerged. Hospitals, rather than individuals, are the chief culprit. “The recent Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for single-use plastic, intensifying pressure on this already out-of-control problem,” a team of Chinese and American researchers wrote in a paper published by the US National Academy of Sciences. “More than eight million tons of pandemic-associated plastic waste have been generated globally, with more than 25,000 tons entering the global ocean,” they added. The study is not the first to link the glut of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) produced during the pandemic to a rise in pollution.

The ubiquitous face masks that now litter beaches and high streets can take centuries to decompose, leaching harmful microplastics as they break down. With an estimated 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves used globally each month, scientists have already called for the use of more environmentally friendly materials in the production of PPE. The latest study, however, identifies the source and destinations of most of this waste. Hospitals account for nearly 90% of discarded PPE, with individuals responsible for only 7%. The majority of the waste (79%) enters the global ocean via just 10 rivers. Overall, Asian rivers are responsible for 73% of waste discharge, followed by European rivers with 11%.

Once in the ocean, most of this waste remains close to its source, with East and South Asia, South Africa, and the Caribbean identified as hotspots. 13 percent floats in the seawater, 16% sinks to the seabed, and 71% is washed up on the shore. The researchers warned that as “the pandemic will not be completely controlled in a couple of years,” a further 34,000 tons of discarded PPE will end up in the oceans, with much of it adding to huge “garbage patches” in the North and South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Indian Ocean.

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Dec 022020
 


Ford Madox Brown King Lear and Cordelia c1851

 

UK Becomes First Country To Approve Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 Vaccine (NBC)
With Tanden Choice, Democrats Stick it to Sanders Voters (Taibbi)
We Know Joe (Jacobs)
Putting a BlackRock Alum in Charge of Greening the Economy (TNR)
Trump Raises At Least $150 Million Since Election Day (JTN)
Whistleblowers Allege Ballots Crossed State Lines, Disappear, Backdating (JTN)
Why the Fed Needs Public Banks (Ellen Brown)
The Rich Cheer Wall Street’s Latest Records. The Rest Drain 401(k)s (CP)
Ray Dalio’s Chart Hints At What Beijing Is Really Up To (Xie)
Debenhams ‘Never Recovered From Private Equity Ownership’ (G.)
One Of Biology’s Biggest Mysteries ‘Largely Solved’ By AI (BBC)

 

 

 

 

The rest of us should be happy they will be the guinea pigs. I’ve seen one too many doctors and scientists say they’ll sit this one out.

UK Becomes First Country To Approve Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 Vaccine (NBC)

The U.K. has become the first country to approve the use of the Pfizer and BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, and will begin inoculations next week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said early Wednesday. “For so long we’ve been saying that if a vaccine is developed, then things will get better in 2021, and now we can say when this vaccine is rolled out things will get better,” Hancock told the BBC. The U.K. has ordered 40 million vaccine doses from Pfizer — enough for up to a third of the population. The vaccine was found to be 95 percent effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19, the drugmaker said after clinical trials.


The pharmaceutical giant submitted an application to the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 20 for an emergency use authorization in the U.S. A vaccine committee will now decide which groups will first get the vaccine, such as care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and people who are clinically vulnerable. “This authorization is a goal we have been working toward since we first declared that science will win,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in a news release. The Pfizer shots must be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit — far colder than standard cooling systems. To help accommodate the extra refrigeration requirement, Pfizer has developed a supercool storage unit packed with dry ice.

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She looks like a no-go. But many of the other neocons will be in.

With Tanden Choice, Democrats Stick it to Sanders Voters (Taibbi)

The Democratic Party is not known for its sense of humor, but news that Joe Biden will appoint longtime Center for American Progress chief Neera Tanden to his government qualifies as a rare, well-earned laugh line. Tanden is famous for two things: having a puddle of DNC talking points in place of a cerebrum, and despising Bernie Sanders. She was #Resistance’s most visible anti-Sanders foil, spending awe-inspiring amounts of time on Twitter bludgeoning Sanders and his supporters as a deviant mob of Russian tools and covert “horseshoe theory” Trump-lovers. She has, to put it gently, an ardent social media following. Every prominent media figure with even a vague connection to Sanders learned in recent years to expect mud-drenched pushback from waves of “Neera trolls” after any public comment crossing DNC narratives.

No name in blue politics is more associated with seething opposition to Sanders than Tanden. Biden is making this person Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sanders is the ranking member (and, perhaps, future chair) of the Senate Budget Committee. Every time Bernie even thinks about doing Committee business, he’ll be looking up at Neera Tanden. For a party whose normal idea of humor is ten thousand consecutive jokes about Trump being gay with Putin, that’s quite a creative “fuck you.” The Democrats still have to reckon with Trumpism in both the short and long term, but the Sanders movement on their other flank has at least temporarily been routed as a serious oppositional force. The Democrats know this, which is part of the joke of the Tanden appointment. While the party’s labors to oppose Trump have been incoherent at best, the campaign to kneecap Sanders has been, let’s admit it, brilliant.


The Blue Apparat has always despised Bernie and his various precursor movements far more than it hated Republicans, and for good reason. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Clintonite hacks in cushy Washington sinecures who would have retained their spots in the event of a loss to Trump. A Sanders win would have put them all out of the politics business for a while. It was unsurprising to see the party mainstream marshaling all of what passes for its brainpower to devise a long game to crate-train Sanders, who in less than a year went from oppositional favorite to seize the Democratic nomination to obedient afterthought.

Tucker Greenwald on Tanden

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And Joe knows everyone who counts. Except perhaps himself.

We Know Joe (Jacobs)

We know this man Joe Biden. We know the politics he champions. We know his corporate and financial backers. We know what we’re up against. Barack Obama and the Clintons operated in the same neoliberal and essentially reactionary sphere. The faces in power may be female, Black, Latino and gay, but the policies are designed to keep the power from the people, the money from the vast numbers of working people, and the war machine’s troops around the globe. We cannot afford to get fooled again. Inauguration Day is the opening of a new front in the battle for the planet and those creatures who live on it. The Trump years were, more than anything, a forced retreat. The fascist and other reactionary forces unleashed by his occupation of the White House made major gains and they are determined to hang on to those gains.

The eight years that preceded him were, in essence, not a forced retreat but part of a decades long retreat, nonetheless. It’s good that Biden is a conventional establishment politician. It is also bad. The history of the last four decades (with the exception of the Trump years) is the history of a nation ruled by conventional establishment politicians. It is good because we know their strategies and tricks. It is bad because those strategies and tricks can lull people into a political sleep. Without the personal outrage a Trump can cause, elected officials, their appointees, and the monetary forces they serve can do a lot of damage under the guise of doing good. Whether it is Reagan’s privatization of the government, Clinton’s destruction of the social welfare system, the Bush’s bloody wars on the people of the Mideast, or Obama’s continuation of all those policies, the reality is these actions took place with most US residents’ assent.

Liberals fell for Reagan’s folksy lies, letting themselves be led by their investments into a world where the poor were once again blamed for their circumstances. When their man Clinton was in office, they supported his intensification of the war on the poor, all the while pointing to their 401Ks as proof the American Dream still worked. And the wars just went on. There was opposition, but never to the point that the troops would not be sent to fight or completely withdrawn once they got there. Indeed, too much of the antiwar leadership abandoned its constituents and joined up with the Obama campaign in 2007, just as the war on Iraq was escalating. That war, and the war on the Afghans continues to this moment. In addition, there are tens of thousands of US forces—military and mercenary—wreaking death and destruction around the globe.

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Predictable.

Putting a BlackRock Alum in Charge of Greening the Economy (TNR)

This week, the Biden campaign is expected to announce officially that it’s tapped former Obama adviser and current BlackRock executive Brian Deese to head the National Economic Council. The appointment will make Deese the president’s top economic adviser. And in addition to worrying climate activists, the news has again raised concerns about BlackRock’s outsize influence in U.S. politics. Deese has long been on the no-go lists of progressives tracking Biden appointments, thanks to his BlackRock background. New York Communities for Change and the Sunrise Movement protested the rumors of Deese’s appointment outside the company’s Manhattan headquarters last week.

His advocates and defenders, including climate wonks and Obama alums, have praised his character, record on conservation, role in helping negotiate the Paris Agreement, as well as the fact that he joined BlackRock to head the investment management giant’s sustainable investment strategy after his brief stint working on climate issues for Obama. Many are excited by the prospect of having an NEC head who spends time thinking about climate change. By all accounts, Deese is indeed a nice guy. But to suggest his record makes him a good fit for a position steering and greening the U.S. economy rests on fundamental misunderstandings of Deese’s climate credentials, BlackRock’s ambitions, and the crisis at hand.

Deese has now spent more time advising BlackRock on climate than the White House. But his governmental record deserves scrutiny, too. Before taking over the climate portfolio from John Podesta, he worked for the NEC and as deputy and then acting director of the Office of Management. He described his role as “showing the American people how we can do more effectively with less” and preached “fiscal discipline”—a troubling inclination given how desperately the current economy and climate crisis need government spending. He also championed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have doubled U.S. exposure to pernicious investor-state dispute settlements, allowing companies to sue governments that infringe on their profits (for example, through robust climate policy). During his two years as Obama’s climate adviser, Deese defended Arctic drilling and boasted about increases in “both renewable and traditional” energy production, though he did also work to withdraw certain portions of the Arctic Ocean from mineral leasing.

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Dind’t Trump just yesterday say: See you in 2024?

Trump Raises At Least $150 Million Since Election Day (JTN)

President Trump has raised at least $150 million since Election Day nearly one month ago, according to multiple news reports. The donations have poured in, as the Trump campaign continues to solicit donations to fuel its legal efforts in several key states to uncover voter fraud and overturn the results of the election. The campaign has raised as much as $170 million, according to The New York Times, while other news outlets have reported an amount closer to $150 million. Either amount is approximately equivalent to the numbers coming in to the campaign coffers at the height of the president’s reelection bid.


The Times also reports that 75% of each donation will go to a new political action committee established by Trump and his staff called “Save America.” The other 25% will go to the Republican National Committee. The donations will allow the campaign to pay off outstanding, post-election debt. It will also allow the president to fund post-presidency political activities. Trump has not publicly stated his political intentions should his election challenges fail.

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Everyone deserves to be heard.

Whistleblowers Allege Ballots Crossed State Lines, Disappear, Backdating (JTN)

Sworn testimony of several whistleblowers on Tuesday alleged what one election integrity activist is calling “potential ballot fraud on a massive scale,” with multiple eyewitnesses testifying to alleged suspicious behavior in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In a press conference in Arlington, Va., the Amistad Project — a civil liberties initiative of the Thomas More Society — presented the testimony of three individuals who claim to have witnessed apparent voting malfeasance during the 2020 election. One, Jesse Morgan, a truck driver for a subcontractor with the United States Postal Service, claimed that a trailer he was driving, one full of potentially upwards of 288,000 ballots, disappeared from its parked location at a Lancaster, Pa. USPS depot after Morgan dropped it off there. Morgan had transported those ballots from Bethpage, N.Y.

The subcontractor also reportedly experienced “odd behaviors” from USPS personnel, behaviors which postal experts have said in sworn statements “grossly deviate[d] from normal procedure and behavior,” according to a press release from the Amistad Project. Another whistleblower, Nathan Pease of Madison, Wisc. — himself also a subcontractor for USPS — alleged that he was told the postal service was planning to backdate tens of thousands of ballots in the days after the Nov. 3 election in order to circumvent the ballot submission deadline. A third witness, Gregory Stenstrom — who testified at a Pennsylvania legislature hearing in Gettysburg last week — claimed to have witnessed a Dominion Voting Systems vendor inserting jump drives into voting aggregation machines in Delaware County, Pa.

Election officials also reportedly commingled various jump drives from aggregation machines, potentially frustrating the ability of auditors to properly certify the election results. In its press release, Amistad Project Director Phill Kline said the testimonies are “compelling” and that they provide “powerful eyewitness accounts of potential ballot fraud on a massive scale.” “This evidence joins with unlawful conduct by state and local election officials, including accepting millions of dollars of private funds, to undermine the integrity of this election,” Kline said. In the press release, the Amistad Project says it has collected sworn expert testimony alleging that “over 300,000 ballots are at issue in Arizona, 548,000 in Michigan, 204,000 in Georgia, and over 121,000 in Pennsylvania.”

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Bernie’s ideas.

Why the Fed Needs Public Banks (Ellen Brown)

The Fed’s policy tools – interest rate manipulation, quantitative easing, and “Special Purpose Vehicles” – have all failed to revive local economies suffering from government-mandated shutdowns. . The Fed must rely on private banks to inject credit into Main Street, and private banks are currently unable or unwilling to do it. The tools the Fed actually needs are public banks, which could and would do the job. [..] Private banks are not following through on the Fed’s attempted money injections, but publicly-owned banks would. In countries with strong government-owned banking systems, public banks have historically increased their lending when private banks pulled back. Public banks have a mandate to stimulate their local economies; and unlike private banks, they can do it and still turn a profit, because they have lower costs.

They have eliminated the parasitic profit-extracting middlemen, and they do not have to focus on short-term profits to please their shareholders. They can pour their resources into improving the long-term prospects of the economy and its infrastructure, stimulating local productivity and strengthening the tax base. Three promising new bills are before Congress that would facilitate the establishment of a public banking system in the US. HR 8721, ”The Public Banking Act”, was introduced on Oct. 30, 2020. As described on Vox, the Act would “foster the creation of public [state and local government-owned] banks across the country by providing them a pathway to getting started, establishing an infrastructure for liquidity and credit facilities for them via the Federal Reserve, and setting up federal guidelines for them to be regulated. Essentially, it would make it easier for public banks to exist, and it would give some of them grant money to get started.”

In September, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand also introduced The Postal Banking Act, which they said would • Create $9 billion in revenue for the postal service, saving it from privatization; • Protect low-income or rural families and communities from predatory lending; and • Reestablish postal banking to provide basic, low-cost financial services to those who cannot access banks. The third bill, HR 6422, “The National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2020,” is modeled on Franklin Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which funded the rebuilding of the US economy in the Great Depression of the 1930s. According to its advocates, HR 6422 will build or restore over $4 trillion in infrastructure and create up to 25 million union jobs, while being “revenue neutral” (not burdening the federal government’s budget).

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Trickling up.

The Rich Cheer Wall Street’s Latest Records. The Rest Drain 401(k)s (CP)

The all-time record highs that Wall Street has registered this week have given some Americans — the nation’s already rich — considerable cause for celebration. And the rest of the nation? Tens of millions of Americans are paying precious little attention to the chirpy tale of Wall Street’s ticker. The simple reason: They own no stocks at all. Millions of other Americans who do own stocks don’t see any reason to celebrate either. They’re finding themselves forced, amid pandemic economic collapse, to start selling the stocks that make up the bulk of their retirement savings. How best to start understanding this story? The best place to begin: The latest numbers on stock ownership from the Federal Reserve. Fed researchers have been tracking who exactly owns the stocks that trade every business day on Wall Street ever since 1989.

Back nearly 30 years ago, in 1992, the share of stock nationally that belongs to America’s poorest half of households hit an all-time high. That “high” amounted to all of a miniscule 1.6 percent. How much of America’s stock wealth does the bottom 50 percent hold these days? At the end of this past June, the most recent Federal Reserve data point available, the nation’s poorest half held less than 1 percent of the nation’s stock holdings, just 0.6 percent. The nation’s poorest 90 percent, all combined, now hold just 11.8 percent of the nation’s stocks. Numbers like these help explain why massive numbers of Americans didn’t rush out onto the streets to cheer earlier this week when two top Wall Street benchmarks, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500, hit their own all-time record summits.

Shares of stock — either held directly or through mutual funds — make up just 2.3 percent of the total assets of households in the bottom 50 percent and a mere 7.6 percent of the assets the rest of the bottom 90 percent hold. America’s richest 1 percent, on the other hand, have plenty of reason to celebrate Wall Street records. Stock holdings make up over 40 percent of top 1 percent household wealth. These 1 percenters, overall, hold 52.4 percent of the nation’s stock, a share almost five times greater than all the stock that households in the bottom 90 percent hold. This top 1 percent share has been steadily increasing. Since 1989, the year the Fed started keeping track, the top 1 percent share of the nation’s stock holdings has jumped 22 percent. The bottom 90 percent share has dropped 33 percent.

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“..the buzz in Beijing is that the financial industry should serve the real economy and people..”

Ray Dalio’s Chart Hints At What Beijing Is Really Up To (Xie)

Another day, another stock record. The S&P 500 soared to a fresh all-time high on Tuesday, while the yield curve steepened on optimism about more fiscal stimulus and the imminent deployment of vaccines. The seeming disconnect between financial markets and the economy is kind of surreal, considering that 11 million people remain unemployed and the virus is spiraling out of control. The fact that U.S. policy makers are still pedal-to-the-metal with monetary stimulus stands in sharp contrast to China, where officials have set their sights on an exit from loose policy. Consider recent events: Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, described China’s property market as the biggest “gray rhino” – an obvious yet ignored financial risk.


Guo also pledged to impose “special and innovative regulatory measures” on financial technology behemoths such as Jack Ma’s Ant Group. The recent regulation changes have essentially put these fin-tech companies under the similar supervision umbrella as traditional banks to avoid excessive leverage. Beijing has allowed a number of SOEs to default, breaking the implicit government guarantee. PBOC Governor Yi Gang vowed to avoid monetizing government debt. In addition, officials have said low interest rates contributed to social inequality. Clearly, there’s a sense of urgency to address financial risks and close the gap between markets and the economy. In the meantime, the buzz in Beijing is that the financial industry should serve the real economy and people.

What China is doing makes perfect sense in the context of the big economic cycle described by Ray Dalio. In his latest essay published Tuesday, Bridgewater’s founder showed that China is in the midst of a debt bubble and the beginning of widening wealth gap. Apparently, China wants to tackle both before it’s too late. In contrast, the U.S. has passed the peak of its economic power, settling into the stage of money printing after the burst of the debt bubble, according to Dalio. “It is in this stage when there are bad financial conditions and intensifying conflict,” wrote Dalio. “Classically this stage comes after periods of great excesses in spending and debt and the widening of wealth and political gaps and before there are revolutions and civil wars. United States is at a tipping point in which it could go from manageable internal tension to revolution and/or civil war.”

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Vultures all around.

Debenhams ‘Never Recovered From Private Equity Ownership’ (G.)

Coronavirus store closures may have been the final nail in the coffin for Debenhams but retail experts argue the department store chain never recovered from a brutal period in the hands of priv ate equity. The retailer was taken over in 2003 by a private equity consortium. The trio of funds, TPG, CVC Capital and Merrill Lynch, made huge returns from their £600m investment, collecting £1.2bn in dividends despite owning the company for less than three years. Debenhams owed around £100m when it was taken private but, by the time it returned to the stock market in 2006, that debt had swollen to more than £1bn. After the retailer’s subsequent poor performance, the deal came to epitomise the worst excesses of the private equity model – the “quick flip” whereby investors buy a listed business cheaply, load it with debt and then refloat it at a big profit.


The private equity consortium installed Rob Templeman, fresh from lucrative private equity revamps of Homebase and Halfords, to overhaul Debenhams. His plan was to cut costs at the same time as increasing sales and profit margins. He also used price cuts to clear products that weren’t selling, but regular discounting was blamed for dragging the brand downmarket. The consortium had used £1.1bn of debt to acquire the business and Templeman cut borrowing costs by remortgaging some of the stores. In 2005, 23 shops were sold for £495m. Debenhams leased the stores back, on expensive rent deals up to 35 years in length. Blaming private equity for Debenhams’ demise is “100% justified”, said veteran retail analyst Richard Hyman. “At the very time when the sort of massive changes we’re seeing today were embryonic, Debenhams’ wherewithal to react, ie money, was removed. It was removed into the bank accounts of private equity investors. That is the truth of it.”

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AI and complexity.

One Of Biology’s Biggest Mysteries ‘Largely Solved’ By AI (BBC)

One of biology’s biggest mysteries has been solved using artificial intelligence, experts have announced. Predicting how a protein folds into a unique three-dimensional shape has puzzled scientists for half a century. London-based AI lab, DeepMind, has largely cracked the problem, said the organisers of a scientific challenge. A better understanding of protein shapes could play a pivotal role in the development of novel drugs to treat disease. The advance by Google-owned DeepMind is expected to accelerate research into a host of illnesses, including Covid-19. Their program determined the shape of proteins at a level of accuracy comparable to expensive and time-consuming lab methods, said independent scientists.

Dr Andriy Kryshtafovych, from University of California (UC), Davis in the US, one of the panel of scientific adjudicators, described the achievement as “truly remarkable”. “Being able to investigate the shape of proteins quickly and accurately has the potential to revolutionise life sciences,” he said. Proteins are present in all living things where they play a central role in the chemical processes essential for life. Made up of strings of amino acids, they fold up in an infinite number of ways into elaborate shapes that hold the key to how they carry out their vital functions.Many diseases are linked to the roles of proteins in catalysing chemical reactions (enzymes), fighting disease (antibodies) or acting as chemical messengers (hormones such as insulin).

“Even tiny rearrangements of these vital molecules can have catastrophic effects on our health, so one of the most efficient ways to understand disease and find new treatments is to study the proteins involved,” said Dr John Moult of the University of Maryland, US, the chair of the panel of scientific adjudicators. “There are tens of thousands of human proteins and many billions in other species, including bacteria and viruses, but working out the shape of just one requires expensive equipment and can take years.”


A DeepMind model of a protein from the Legionnaire’s disease bacteria (Casp-14)

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