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Republicans finally get “death panels,” Hullabaloo, Tom Sullivan, July, 26, 2020

Dr. Jose Vasquez, the health officer for Starr County, Texas located on the US-Mexico border “The situation is desperate.” At the only hospital in the county, over 50% of patients are testing positive for the COVID-19 virus — 40 new coronavirus cases were reported Thursday. Starr County Memorial Hospital in Rio Grande City made plans to set up a committee to decide which patients to send home to die. The hospital will ration its resources to patients with the best chances of surviving  (CNN).

Fri, July 24, 2020
126 died this day
5 002 total deaths
391 609 tot. confirm cases
7 947 new confirmed
2.1% daily growth

The hospital quickly filled the eight beds in its Covid-19 unit, so it expanded to 17 and then 29 beds, Vasquez said. About 33 medical workers, including medical practitioners and lab technicians, were deployed by the state to assist the hospital.

“Unfortunately, Starr County Memorial Hospital has limited resources and our doctors are going to have to decide who receives treatment, and who is sent home to die by their loved ones,” Starr County Judge Eloy Vera wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “This is what we did not want our community to experience.”

Republicans screamed about ACA death panels  deciding whether citizens could have treatment under its regime.

Does Gun Ownership and Concealed Carry Deter the Frequency of Mass Shootings and Firearms Homicide?,” Justice Quarterly, Emma E. Fridel, July 23, 2020

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The First Steps . . .

As posted by Anne:

Pope Francis

“All dictatorships, all of them, began like this, by adulterating communication, by putting communications in the hands of people without scruples, of governments without scruples.”

June 18, 2018 Morning Mass, Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis Dictatorships begin with taking over media to spread lies and handing it over to a firm, a business that slanders, tells lies, weakens democracy, and then the judges come to judge these weakened institutions, these destroyed, condemned people.

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Weird News

Blacks Should Be More Afraid Of Other Blacks Than Cops

Rudy Giuliani joined Fox and Friends to trash Mayor de Blasio and decree that Black men should be more afraid of other Black men than of his cop buddies murdering black men with racist intent.

Echoing Trump’s “law and order” idiocy and hatred of the Black Lives Movement, Giuliani gave his unfettered support to law enforcement, and decreed that he has always been the true savior of New York.

Me: What can I say? The facts do not support Giuliani. He lies like Trumop does.

Rose Garden Strategy

Digsby: Bret Baier remarked that as a matter of tradition, past presidents “stayed away from overt campaign rhetoric from the Rose Garden or the White House.”

Not Trump!

“Trump managed to work himself up to deliver one of his patented incoherent rally performances as if the audience in front of him weren’t a bunch of masked-up, socially distanced reporters, who were undoubtedly confused as to why they had been summoned to the Rose Garden to act as props for Trump’s stump speech.

After all was said and done, ‘To be fair, if President Obama had given a speech like this in the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill would have been up in arms.’ Indeed, if Obama had done anything like that, Republican heads would have swiveled on their shoulders and their mouths would have erupted with green bile like Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist.’ After all, they had a full-blown hissy fit when Obama wore a tan suit to the White House briefing room one day.”

Me: More noise from the White House.

Video Catches Five NJ Cops Wrestling Black Man To Ground Over Open Beer

Five New Jersey police officers are being accused of using excessive force after they were seen wrestling a Black man to the ground for allegedly having a open beer at a beach.

Video of the incident, which was said to have occurred at Point Pleasant, was shared on social media. Typically, a ticket is issued rather than an arrest.

Me: They still have not learned Black Americans are people!

Navarro Attacks Dr. Fauci Today In Op-Ed Piece

Navarro’s op-ed, titled “Anthony Fauci has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on,” represented his most brazen effort yet to dress down the widely respected immunologist and veteran director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

When I was working feverishly on behalf of the president in February to help engineer the fastest industrial mobilization of the health care sector in our history, Fauci was still telling the public the China virus was low risk.

When we were building new mask capacity in record time, Fauci was flip-flopping on the use of masks.

Me: This was a supply chain problem. The issue was where to allocate the limited supply of face masks. Give to healthcare workers or allow citizens to hoard them?  Fauci made the right decision and lied.

Navarro and trump’s son-in-law could not plan their way out of a paper bag. They should not have had to build capacity. Dumb statement by Navarro.

New Postmaster Orders Workers To Slow Down First-Class Mail Delivery

The new head of the U.S. Postal Service established major operational changes Monday that could slow down mail delivery, warning employees the agency would not survive unless it made “difficult” changes to cut costs. But critics say such a philosophical change would sacrifice operational efficiency and cede its competitive edge to UPS, FedEx and other private-sector rivals.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told employees to leave mail behind at distribution centers if it delayed letter carriers from their routes, according to internal USPS documents obtained by The Washington Post and verified by the American Postal Workers Union and three people with knowledge of their contents, but who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution.

Me: That will “really” help mail-in ballots! Suggest one week for all mail to be delivered locally. Post Office should incorporate intelligent bar coding also to track ballots.

More white people’ are killed by Police

Me: “More” Trump Lies

Trump’s claim about more white people being killed by police in the US is misleading.

The Guardian’s investigative project The Counted in 2015-2016 that set out to record all people in the US killed by police showed that Black people in America were more than twice as likely to be killed by the police than white people.

And in 2016 Black men ages 15-34 were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by law enforcement officers, and they were killed at four times the rate of young white men.

A similar 2016 analysis by the Washington Post also found that African Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be shot and killed by police offers as white Americans.

Another study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2018 found that African Americans are 3.5 times as likely to be killed by police compared to white people.

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“Cheap Charlies,” Bangkok, Thailand – A bit of history

Never thought of myself as a global traveler. My kids kind of mentioned it as I was always bringing something home for them and my wife. I did ship home a Tang Dynasty tomb horse and drummer from Hollywood Road in Hong Kong.  Can not say I am an Indiana Jones type taking artifacts which belong in museums.

After working a 10-12 hour shift with the Thai, we would go to dinner, eat Thai and relax. This was one of the places we would go to, which was a short walk from the Landmark Hotel. Nothing special and just unique as a Thai bar for foreigners, which offered bourbon and whiskey as well as other liquors. Most of it was around 100 baht and cheap. Charlie is sitting in front there.

The original bar was demolished due to new developments coming into play. They also took out a lot of nice local restaurants at the same time. Charlie relocated and opened up again.

A plethora of pictures here of the old bar spanning a couple of decades. Fun place to hang in till bed time.

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“Speechless – Trump White House is now muzzling, bypassing, and kneecapping the CDC,”

Epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding . . . “No other ways to spin this.” Common Dreams, “Warnings of Possible Cover-Up in Progress”

I was hoping I could get the clip of Doctor Wen discussing what the Trump administration has done in its end run around the CDC. I couldn’t C&P the embed code as it is in a lock down and I do not have the wave length to create one for it. You can view the news clip here “Trump Orders Hospitals to give him the data.”

Common Dreams has a good article up concerning Trump’s take over of the Hospital Covid Data reporting. The general opinion is the data will be massaged into a better outlook favoring Trump and his followers. I do not read of many people claiming different about the political nature of this take over. Alex Azar’s H.H.S. will replace the C.D.C. in collecting daily reports about the patients each hospital is treating, how many beds and ventilators are available, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.

Four former CDC directors wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday that “no president has ever politicized [the CDC’s] science the way Trump has.”

In the WaPo po-ed, Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan, David Satcher, and Richard Besser wrote: “Trying to fight this pandemic while subverting scientific expertise is like fighting blindfolded. It is not too late to give the CDC its proper role in guiding this response. But the clock is ticking.”

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Americans should “adapt”

to coronavirus, like the famous pioneers who “had to turn to cannibalism” Rush Limbaugh, Media Matters for America, July 14, 2020

Something to sleep on tonight by our faithful idiot Rush.

“In the Spanish flu — ’17, ’18, ’19, 1917, ’18 — much death. Do you know that there was not one mention of it by the president of the United States at the time, Woodrow Wilson? Never talked about it, there was no national policy to deal with it. There was no shutdown, there was just, “Hey, go outside, get some fresh air, stand in the sun as long as you can, get some vitamin D, feel better.” It had numerous waves to it. It coincided with World War I, which is what Woodrow Wilson’s concern was. Soldiers going off to war arguably spread one of the waves. But there was no, “Woe is us.” It was just the next in a long line of things that happened to people that they dealt with — like the Donner party.

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No, it is not “erasing history”

Infidel 753 writes at his own site of the same name. From time to time in the past he has put up several of Angry Bear’s posts on Crooks and Liars. This post (of his), I find interesting as he discusses the history and legitimacy of statues honoring  Confederates and US military bases named after Confederate military leaders.

History needs to be recorded and remembered, regardless of how we today judge the events and people of the past.  What happened is what happened, even when the truth is painful.  But historical memory does not require that we preserve monuments explicitly meant to honor criminals and insult black Americans.

Most of the Confederate monuments now scattered across the country were not built right after the Civil War but between 1895 and 1920, when the post-war progress on civil rights had been mostly reversed and the grinding down and terrorization of blacks reached an apex.  They were less commemoration of history than assertion and celebration of the resurgence of white supremacy.

This is perhaps fitting given that that was the cause for which the Confederates fought.  The Civil War was entirely about slavery — the Confederacy was created solely to preserve slavery.  The declarations of secession passed by the Southern states at the time make this clear.  Any assertion to the contrary is simply a lie.  Yet it’s the people who claim to be concerned about preserving history who keep repeating this fundamental lie about it.

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Question(s) and Thoughts of the Day

Back to School:

As Kayleigh McEnany leaves the podium, White House reporter Brian Karem shouts this question:

“Kayleigh, if it’s safe to send people back to schools, is it safe to send Manafort back to prison?” Brian Karem

If America’s children can return to school, Roger Stone can keep his date with prison. Janice Clark

A letter to Lt. Colonel Vindman:

 A birthday wish:

Happy 65th birthday to “Lindsey Graham SC”

As your Senator, I promise to protect your new retirement benefits from Medicare, the program you’ve been trying to gut for decades.

Jamie Harrison
US Senate candidate, SC

An Old Meme:

For the 1/100th time, the reason we show so many Cases, compared to other countries that haven’t done nearly as well as we have, is that our TESTING is much bigger and better. We have tested 40,000,000 people. If we did 20,000,000 instead, Cases would be half, etc. NOT REPORTED! Donald J. Trump

A new Requirement:

Can we amend the Constitution to require that, in addition to having attained the age of thirty-five years, presidents be able to understand fractions? George Conway

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Republicans Built and Own This

And we as Democrats did not resist hard enough and gave in to the Republican message.

It wasn’t the lack of turnout by black Americans causing Trump to be elected. It was not the failure to vote as the numbers of voters exceeded that of the 2012 election. It was the minority of voters who cast their ballots in the “others” column or as the media calls the “anybody but trump or Clinton” vote which was at a historical high. Many voters bought into the Republican message of lies and deceit about Clinton which had been answered years ago, many times over, in multiple investigations of Hillary and Bill Clinton.

In this post, there a little bit of WaPo, some Washington Monthly, and some of me giving an explanation how we arrived to today.  As I stood by, watched, and now experience what this president has brought us, I ask the question of myself; what did we miss along the way as many of us still continue to lock down in our homes. How could we have stopped trump as citizens. I have come to this point in time thinking there may be something different I could have done then just bringing what I consider to be cogent arguments to the table. My hands were  tied and my words on the topic ignored in sounding the alarm. And fair warning don’t argue about your liberty being violated if forced to wear a mask. You are a fool if you venture into public without mask and get within the six foot area of others. There is more to Covid than just dying which is the easy way out in many cases. Once you are on ventilation, you are probably going to die.

Stuart Stevens the strategist for Mitt Romney’s campaign makes the argument of Republicans being responsible for Trump in that GOP Principles paved the Way For Massive Suffering. One of the critiques often leveled at the Repub “Never Trumpers” is; even as they reject the current president’s words and deeds, they fail to assume any responsibility for them. In the end Republicans built today’s moment and crisis while still looking the other way.

Jan. 22 2020:

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A futile quest

A futile quest, Why “performance” measurement is not working, Minnesota Physician The Independent Medical Business Journal, Kip Sullivan, April 2020

Intro: “Pay for Performance” is not a new catch phrase in the healthcare community, but it is one that has seen a recent spike in interest from the general public and healthcare world alike. The renewed interest is due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and initiatives within the Act that require hospitals and providers who participate in Medicare to engage in pay for reporting activities that will transition to pay for performance over the course of the next 3-4 years. Kip Sullivan writes on the pay for performance. Kip has also been a proponent of Single Payer and has written many articles of which some have been on AB.


Over the last three decades, Minnesota’s health care policymakers have gotten into a bad habit: They recommend policies without asking whether there is sufficient evidence to implement the policy, and without spelling out how the policy is supposed to work. Measurement and “pay for performance” (P4P) schemes illustrate the problem. Multiple Minnesota commissions, legislators, agencies, and groups have endorsed the notion that it’s possible to measure the cost and quality of doctors, clinics, and hospitals accurately enough to produce results useful to regulators, patients, providers, and insurers.

But these policymakers did so with no explanation of how system-wide measurement was supposed to be done accurately, and without any reference to research demonstrating that accurate system-wide measurement is financially or technically feasible. The Minnesota Health Care Access Commission (in 1991) and the Minnesota Health Care Commission (in 1993) were the first of several commissions to exhibit this “shoot-first, aim-later” mentality. Both commissions recommended the establishment of massive data collection and reporting systems, and both articulated breathtaking expectations of the “report cards” these systems would produce. According to the latter commission, for example, the data collection and number crunching would facilitate “feedback of data that reflects the entire scope of the health care process, from the inputs or structural characteristics of health care to the processes and outcomes of care.” (p. 134) Yet neither commission offered even the crudest details on how such a scheme would be executed nor what it would cost, and, not surprisingly, neither commission offered evidence supporting their high hopes.

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