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We've been putting news articles here and there for a while, and there's no reason not to keep on doing that.  But if something doesn't neatly fit into another conversation, here's a place for it.

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Pennsylvania House Democrats are in an uproar after finding out that state Rep. Andrew Lewis (R) only told the Republican caucus about his positive COVID-19 diagnosis. 

No members of Republican leadership filled them in either.

Lewis announced on Wednesday that he had made a full recovery from a mild case of the novel coronavirus. 

“I immediately began self-isolation protocol and contacted the House of Representatives, and our caucus Human Resources department,” he said in a Facebook post. “My last day in the Capitol was Thursday, May 14.” 

He said that every staffer and lawmaker who had possibly been exposed was informed and told to self-isolate for two weeks. 

Democrats say that was not the case. 

“That Democrats who had contact with him were not notified is not just a political stunt – this is beyond the fkn pale!” wrote Rep. Summer Lee (D) on Twitter. She said that some of Lewis’ Republican colleagues refused to wear masks on the floor for the week between when the GOP caucus found out and the Democrats did. 

“From day one we had Republican colleagues unapologetically trivializing and politicizing this pandemic,” she added. “They have shown a callous disregard for the lives of people in my community.”

Frank Dermody, the House Minority Leader, confirmed in a Wednesday night statement that Republicans never shared Lewis’ diagnosis with him, and that he learned of it from a media report.

“In the last two weeks alone, there were six days of voting session here at the Capitol and more than 15 separate meetings of House committees voting on dozens of bills,” he said. “For those members who journeyed to the Capitol in person, each of these meetings raises the risk of possible exposure.”

He, like Lee, added that some Republican members have “attempted to make a virtue out of not wearing a mask,” further increasing the risk that lawmakers were exposed to the virus. 

One lawmaker, Rep. Brian Sims (D), revealed publicly for the first time that he had secretly donated a kidney in January to a patient dying of renal failure. That puts him at particularly high risk of contracting coronavirus. 

“Now, months later, in the middle of a global pandemic, I’ve discovered that my Republican colleagues exposed me, and my Democratic colleagues to Covid-19!” he tweeted. “They covered that information up because they were simultaneously arguing that the risk was low, or non-existent. They lied.”

Sims is now calling for an investigation into Republican leadership by the state Attorney General, as well as the resignation of House Speaker Mike Turzai (R) and any other members of Republican leadership who knew about the diagnosis and did not share the information. 

Turzai did not respond to TPM’s requests for comment. 

Lewis himself posted a video to Facebook Wednesday evening. 

He said he only interacted with a “handful” of people that he could’ve spread the virus to, and said that the capitol was a “ghost town” when he was there in person. 

He cited HIPPA and privacy laws for the people he interacted with as rationale for why he didn’t make a public announcement earlier.

His explanation did not suffice for his Democratic colleagues. 

Rep. Kevin Boyle (D), chairman of the State Government Committee, said on Twitter that his committee has met 12 times in the past two months in a small meeting room adjacent to the House floor. He wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro asking for an investigation into any ethical or criminal laws Republicans may have broken with their reticence. 

“Not informing anyone there is a Covid-19 positive member with multiple GOP members in quarantine should be criminal,” he said flatly.

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Any thoughts?  Could this be considered a type of battery?  How about reckless endangerment? 

If you had a co-worker (or boss) (or co-worker's boss) who up and revealed something like this, and you shot him as soon as you found out, would that be a hot blood killing?  Not that I think a lot of these lawmakers were armed, but what about the security people?  Were they Deputies, or what?  When did they find out?  Did they wear masks as a routine thing?

I just can't imagine.  At the very least, I suspect a lot of hacking and some tire slashing took place.

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So....do we have HIPPA or not?  Apparently it is like the constitution and ceases to apply in a pandemic.


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Posted (edited)

At least 7.  And this is the place to put the headlines that show it.

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HIPPA prohibits telling anyone exactly who has COVID.   Even the contact tracers are only allowed to tell you that someone you have had contact with has it.    (Keep in mind I'm not for either party  so I dislike both sides.)

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It has gotten crazier.  I am waiting to see how the covid numbers go after these protests/riots.  Lots of close contact.  HIPPA....dont make me laugh.  About as enforceable as the anericans with disabilities act....not.....too many "exceptions" built it.  

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Seems I don't even have time to keep up with anything for the past 2 months. Right now I am more concerned about how close these protest are to us now.  There were 3 peaceful protest in the Harborview area about 15 mins. from where I am. Praying that we don't have any riots around here.  As long as they stay peaceful and not causing any trouble, I'm ok with it.  When the valence starts that is a different story. I don't think that has anything to do with a cop killing someone. He has been arrested and charged with 3ed degree murder and the other three lost their jobs but not sure what will happen with them yet. This is something cops need to be thinking about before doing a choke hold on anyone. When the person says I can't breath, that cop should have removed his knee from his neck. I am not against the police. They are there to protect us but there are some that need to learn how to better deal with a situation. But it is the riots that concern me the most. It is not about what has happened to this man but about what they can steal and destroy because they think they can and get away with it under the name of someone that has lost a love one. This is not showing respect for that family.  But destroying everything people have worked hard for.  They are hurting the lives of those that have businesses. And working to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Those are the lives the riots are destroying not anything to do with a cop killer if that is what you want to call it. 

God does not see us as black and white. He sees us all as one.  Equal in everything be it that we are black or white. Just hard to understand why both blacks and whites can't get along as being equal.  I see both black and white doing what we always do. Trying to make a living and giving our children a better life than we had.  Rioting will never solve anything. Never has and never will. We all need to just learn to get along and live together as God intended.


Also I found out today that all the businesses that have been looted and burned down. Their insurance does not cover war related nor damage from riots.  That means all those people that the riots have looted and burned up. have destroyed the lives of countless people that no longer have jobs because of these riots.  Many will not have the money to rebuild their business. 

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17 hours ago, euphrasyne said:

HIPPA prohibits telling anyone exactly who has COVID.   Even the contact tracers are only allowed to tell you that someone you have had contact with has it.    (Keep in mind I'm not for either party  so I dislike both sides.)


What section of HIPAA are you referring to?

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Police Target Journalists as Trump Blames ‘Lamestream Media’ for Protests
By Marc Tracy and Rachel Abrams
Published June 1, 2020
Updated June 2, 2020, 3:29 p.m. ET

Barbara Davidson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, was covering a protest near the Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles on Saturday when a police officer ordered her to move.

She showed him her press credentials, she said in an interview. The officer said he did not care and again told her to leave the area.

After saying, “Sir, I am a journalist covering this,” Ms. Davidson turned to walk away, and the officer shoved her in the back, causing her to trip and hit her head against a fire hydrant, she said. She was not hurt, she added, because she was wearing a helmet she had bought while getting skateboarding equipment for a nephew.

Ms. Davidson, who sells her work through Redux Pictures, an agency that supplies photographs to The New York Times, Newsweek and other news organizations, was among the many journalists who had tense encounters with the police during the nationwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality that have taken place since George Floyd died in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Many reporters, photographers and press advocates said the treatment of journalists by police officers in recent days reflected an erosion of trust in the news media that has seeped into law enforcement under President Trump, who has deemed critical coverage of his administration “fake news” and has frequently labeled some news organizations and journalists with variants of the phrase “enemies of the people.”

“This story, in particular, it seems journalists are really being targeted by the police,” Ms. Davidson said. “That’s not something I have experienced before to this degree.”

It is common in autocratic countries for journalists to be arrested during demonstrations and riots, but rare in the United States, where freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment. In a sign that police officers would not follow the customary hands-off approach, Minnesota State Patrol officers arrested a CNN reporting team live on the air on Friday. That same day, a TV reporter in Louisville, Ky., was hit by a pepper ball by an officer who appeared to be aiming at her while she covered the protest on live television.

The arrest of the CNN team drew criticism from First Amendment advocates and an apology from Minnesota’s governor, but there have been dozens of other instances of journalists receiving rough treatment at the hands of police officers while covering the protests. In interviews, reporters said they had identified themselves as members of the press before police fired projectiles, drew their weapons or pepper-sprayed them.
“I’ve really never seen anything like this,” said Ellen Shearer, a professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a co-director of its National Security Journalism Initiative. “The president has called the news media ‘the enemy of the people.’ I think all of that has taken a toll.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump blamed the “Lamestream Media” for the protests in a tweet, calling journalists “truly bad people with a sick agenda.”
The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker and a writer for the Bellingcat website have each tracked about 100 instances of reporters being harassed or injured at the protests. Many of the reporters were effectively embedded with protesters and were likely not targeted because they were journalists. But in some instances, journalists were attacked after telling officers that they were on the job.

Tyler Blint-Welsh, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, said he was hit multiple times by police officers while covering a protest in New York on Sunday. “I was backing away as request, with my hands up,” Mr. Blint-Welsh, who is black, wrote on Twitter. “My NYPD-issued press badge was clearly visible.” (He declined to comment for this article.)

Hyoung Chang, a staff photographer for The Denver Post for 23 years, spent a few hours near the Colorado statehouse on Thursday, taking photos of demonstrators while wearing his press badge around his neck. In the evening, police officers tried to break up the crowd, and Mr. Chang heard what sounded like pepper balls being fired.

“Then one police officer started pointing at me and started to shoot,” he said.

Mr. Chang was hit with something in his chest, and then in his elbow. Part of his press card was blown off.

“I was staying in the same spot,” Mr. Chang said, emphasizing that he had been standing near the police for some time while holding cameras and equipment. “I think they know I’m a photographer.”

Carolyn Cole, a Los Angeles Times photographer, was covering a protest in Minneapolis on Saturday when the police moved to disperse a crowd, she said in a text message. A group of roughly 20 journalists standing apart from the protesters moved aside, but the police attacked them directly with pepper spray and rubber bullets, she said. A colleague, the reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske, shouted, “We’re reporters!”

Ms. Cole was wearing a press pass around her neck and a flak jacket with “TV” on it, she said. She was pepper-sprayed in her left ear and eye, and her cornea was damaged, she said.

“I’ve been covering conflict both nationally and internationally for many years, so I know the dangers involved in these situations, especially when you get between riot police and protesters,” Ms. Cole said, “but I wasn’t expecting them to attack us directly.”






Comment on this article:  As of June 2 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, the US Press Tracker has catalogued 

—31+ arrests 
—131 assaults (108 by police, 23 by others)
—30 equipment or newsroom damage. 

Assault category breakdown:
45 physical attacks (30 by police)
30 tear gassings
17 pepper sprayings
46 rubber bullet/projectiles


I have seen several video clips where the police have turned to fire gas or rubber bullets directly at the camera, despite cries of "we are reporters!" or "We are the press!" or the like.  I have also seen the gas station clips, videos from two angles, and the cop did pepper spray the reporter while he was lying face down with his badge over his head saying over and over he was a reporter.   I have heard reporters sass cops and get away with it, and I have heard extremely respectful, cooperative reporters/photographers getting knocked down and/or arrested and/or beaten and/or gassed.  I have seen cops "take the knee" which actually seemed creepy in context, like they were submitting more than showing respect, and I've seen in other cities where they were clearly doing it to open a dialogue and defuse the situation--and that worked.  I have heard of at least two places where after the one-knee photo shoot, the cops went straight to beating the protestors, but I haven't seen that.  


I was once encouraged to study journalism.  This would have been a bad, bad idea.  Even I knew it, even when I was young enough to be ten feet tall and bullet proof.

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Reagan, of course, who liked to quote St. Thomas Aquinas in speaking of the US as The City On The Hill, is rolling over in his grave:


'Horrified': Around The World, American Allies Are Stunned
Alexander Smith and Mahalia Dobson and Abigail Williams
NBC NewsJune 2, 2020, 2:34 PM EDT
America's allies and adversaries can't believe what they are witnessing unfold in Washington, D.C. — a police officer punching an Australian cameraman and using his shield to strike him in the chest, while another officer uses a baton to hit the correspondent as the news crew attempts to flee.

Violent, chaotic scenes like this have been seen elsewhere around the globe — but other countries are reacting with horror as they are not used to seeing them in the heart of the U.S. capital.  After days of nationwide demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, police were using tear gas, projectiles and mounted officers to forcefully scatter peaceful protesters near the White House, all so President Donald Trump could walk to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo opportunity.  "They don't care; they are being indiscriminate," Amelia Brace, the correspondent with Australia's Channel 7, said breathlessly after running from the scene. "They chased us down that street. They were firing these rubber bullets at everyone. There's tear gas now and we're surrounded."

It was not the only recent clash involving police and the protesters, or journalists, but the sight of officers repeatedly striking a foreign news crew has left many international observers with the sense that this is new, unwelcome territory for the land of the free.

There has been rhetoric and symbolism many regard as authoritarian, with Trump telling police to "dominate the streets" and a Black Hawk military helicopter was dispatched to fly low over the demonstrators in Washington, D.C.

"With all of its shortcomings, the U.S. has stood for many ideals we dearly share," said Ziya Meral, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank. "Now we are witnessing an America spiraling down into chaos, poor governance, social friction, poor policing and poor leadership."

"The city on a hill no longer inspires or shines," added Meral, who specializes in foreign affairs and Middle East politics, in a reference to President Ronald Reagan's soaring 1989 farewell address.

Ragıp Soylu, a correspondent with the Middle East Eye news outlet, tweeted wryly, "Congrats, America! You have joined the Middle East nations where you can no longer peacefully protest outside the presidential palaces."
Craig McPherson, network director of news and public affairs at Australia's Seven Network, described the "attack" on his news team as "abhorrent" and "nothing short of wanton thuggery."

He said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been in touch with his embassy in Washington. NBC News has reached out to Morrison's office for comment.

On Tuesday, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a radio interview that the country has been reviewing the travel advisory for both Washington and Chicago.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Ambassador to Australia attempted to reassure America's longtime ally that the Trump administration supports freedom of the press.

"Freedom of the press is a right Australians and Americans hold dear. We take treatment of journalists seriously," Ambassador Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. said in a statement released on twitter. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting journalists and guaranteeing equal justice under law for all."

Australia is not the only longtime friend of the U.S. to express alarm over the recent events.  Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared momentarily lost for words when a journalist asked him to comment on Trump’s suggestion that he could deploy military troops across the country, as well as the reports of protesters being tear gassed to make way for a presidential photo opportunity.  After a 20-second pause, Trudeau said that everyone watched in “horror” and “consternation” as to what was happening across the border in the United States.
Josep Borrell, the European Union's foreign policy chief, told reporters Tuesday that the American authorities should not be "using their capacities in the way," calling it "an abuse of power" that "has to be denounced."

A day earlier, the E.U. said that it hopes "all the issues" will be "settled swiftly and in full respect for the rule of law and human rights" — language usually reserved for conflict hot spots such as Yemen, Syria and Ukraine.

And New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she was "horrified by what we've seen."

Meanwhile, Washington's adversaries are not wasting an opportunity to criticize the Trump administration.  In particular, there are some in China highlighting what they say is American hypocrisy: The U.S. calling out Beijing's alleged attempts to curb freedoms in Hong Kong while seen to be trying to do something similar at home.

"How ruthless these U.S. politicians are," Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the influential state-run Global Times newspaper, wrote in an opinion piece Tuesday.  "They condemned Hong Kong police simply for the latter's use of tear gas and water cannon against violent rioters," he said. "The U.S. unrest just began a few days ago, but police already fired shots at protesters before efforts for peaceful dialogue were even made."

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Tuesday that the disparity showed Trump had been looking at her region "through tinted glasses."

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Emilio Ferraro has written an article on what types of COVID-19 conspiracies are populated by twitter bots.  I was all interested until I focused on the word "twitter."  I don't know a lot of people into twitter who haven't read this.  If you know people into twitter who haven't, and if they are of an academic bent, please refer them to

 https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/10633/9548 .

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On 6/2/2020 at 4:17 PM, Ambergris said:

I have seen cops "take the knee" which actually seemed creepy in context, like they were submitting more than showing respect, and I've seen in other cities where they were clearly doing it to open a dialogue and defuse the situation--and that worked.


That's my take too.  Some that go out and talk....or walk along with them.  But ...those are daytime.  All h ello comes out at night.  :( 


MtRider  :pray:   and :behindsofa:  

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  • 2 weeks later...

‘We’re thinking landslide’: Beyond D.C., GOP officials see Trump on glide path to reelection
David Siders
PoliticoJune 15, 2020, 4:30 AM EDT
By most conventional indicators, Donald Trump is in danger of becoming a one-term president. The economy is a wreck, the coronavirus persists, and his poll numbers have deteriorated.

But throughout the Republican Party’s vast organization in the states, the operational approach to Trump’s re-election campaign is hardening around a fundamentally different view.

Interviews with more than 50 state, district and county Republican Party chairs depict a version of the electoral landscape that is no worse for Trump than six months ago — and possibly even slightly better. According to this view, the coronavirus is on its way out and the economy is coming back. Polls are unreliable, Joe Biden is too frail to last, and the media still doesn’t get it.

“The more bad things happen in the country, it just solidifies support for Trump,” said Phillip Stephens, GOP chairman in Robeson County, N.C., one of several rural counties in that swing state that shifted from supporting Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. “We’re calling him ‘Teflon Trump.’ Nothing’s going to stick, because if anything, it’s getting more exciting than it was in 2016.”

This year, Stephens said, “We’re thinking landslide.”

Five months before the election, many state and county Republican Party chairs predict a close election. Yet from the Eastern seaboard to the West Coast and the battlegrounds in between, there is an overriding belief that, just as Trump defied political gravity four years ago, there’s no reason he won’t do it again.

Andrew Hitt, the state party chairman in Wisconsin, said that during the height of public attention on the coronavirus, in late March and early April, internal polling suggested “some sagging off where we wanted to be.”

But now, he said, “Things are coming right back where we want them … That focus on the economy and on re-opening and bringing America back is resonating with people.”

In Ohio, Jane Timken, the state party chair, said she sees no evidence of support for Trump slipping. Jennifer Carnahan, the chairwoman of the Minnesota Republican Party, said the same. And Lawrence Tabas, the chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, went so far as to predict that Trump would not only carry his state, but beat Biden by more than 100,000 votes — more than twice the margin he mustered in 2016.

“Contrary to what may be portrayed in the media, there’s still a high level of support out there,” said Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party. He described himself as “way more” optimistic than he was at this point in 2016.

The Republican Party apparatus that Trump heads in 2020 is considerably different than the one that looked at him warily in 2016. At the state level, many chairs who were considered insufficiently committed to the president were ousted and replaced with loyalists. But their assessments would be easier to dismiss as spin if the perception of Trump’s durability did not reach so far beyond GOP officialdom.

When pollsters ask Americans who they think will win the election — not who they are voting for themselves — Trump performs relatively well. And if anything, Trump’s field officers appear more bullish than Trump and some of his advisers. Even the president, while lamenting what he views as unfair treatment by his adversaries, has privately expressed concerns about his poll numbers and publicly seemed to acknowledge he is down.

“If I wasn’t constantly harassed for three years by fake and illegal investigations, Russia, Russia, Russia, and the Impeachment Hoax, I’d be up by 25 points on Sleepy Joe and the Do Nothing Democrats,” he said on Twitter last week. “Very unfair, but it is what it is!!!”

Yet in the states, the Republican Party's rank-and-file are largely unconvinced that the president is precariously positioned in his reelection bid.

“The narrative from the Beltway is not accurate,” said Joe Bush, chairman of the Republican Party in Muskegon County, Mich., which Trump lost narrowly in 2016. “Here in the heartland, everybody is still very confident, more than ever.”

At the center of the disconnect between Trump loyalists’ assessment of the state of the race and the one based on public opinion polls is a distrust of polling itself. Republicans see an industry that maliciously oversamples Democrats or under-samples the white, non-college educated voters who are most likely to support Trump. They say it is hard to know who likely voters are this far from the election. And like many Democrats, they suspect Trump supporters disproportionately hang up on pollsters, under-counting his level of support.

Ted Lovdahl, chairman of the Republican Party in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, said he has friends who will tell pollsters “just exactly the opposite of what they feel.”

When he asked one of them why, his friend told him, “I don’t like some of their questions. It’s none of their business what I do.”

Recalling that polls four years ago failed to predict the outcome, Jack Brill, acting chairman of the local Republican Party in Sarasota County, Fla., said, “I used to be an avid poll watcher until 2016 … Guess what? I’m not watching polls.”

Instead, as they prepare for a post-lockdown summer of party picnics and parades, Republican Party organizers sense the beginnings of an economic recovery that, if sustained, is likely to power Trump to a second term. They also see a more immediate opening in the civil unrest surrounding the death of George Floyd.

“The further and further the Democrats tack left, and the further you get to where it’s the defunding the police,” said Scott Frostman, GOP chairman in Wisconsin’s Sauk County, which Obama won easily in 2012 but flipped to Trump four years later. “I think we have the opportunity as Republicans to talk to people a little bit more about some common sense things.”

Biden has rejected a national movement to defund police departments. But elections are often painted in broad strokes, and local party officials expect Trump — with his law and order rhetoric — will be the beneficiary of what they see as Democratic overreach.

“The other side is overplaying its hand, going down roads like defunding the police and nonsense like that,” said Michael Burke, chairman of the Republican Party in Pinal County, Arizona, a Trump stronghold in 2016.” “Most of the American people are looking like that saying, ‘Really?’”

By most objective measures, Trump will need something to drag Biden down. He has fallen behind Biden in most swing state polls, and he lags the former vice president nationally by more than 8 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. A Gallup poll last week put Trump’s approval rating at just 39 percent, down 10 percentage points from a month ago. Democrats appear competitive not only in expected swing states, but in places such as Iowa and Ohio, which Trump won easily in 2016.

Little of that data is registering, however. State and local officials point to Trump’s financial and organizational advantages and see Biden as a weak opponent. They’re eager for Trump to eviscerate him in debates. “While the Democrats have been spending their time playing Paper Rock Scissors on who their nominee is going to be, we’ve been building an army,” said Terry Lathan, chair of the Alabama Republican Party.

James Dickey, chairman of the Texas Republican Party, said it took Biden “days to figure out how to even successfully operate, or communicate out of a bunker” and that he “has clearly not been able to deal with any real challenging interview.”

Local officials brush off criticism of Trump by Republican fixtures such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said last week that Trump “lies all the time.” They dismiss press accounts of the race. Dennis Coxwell, the chairman of Georgia’s Warren County Republican Party, said: “It’s gotten to a point where I cannot believe anything that the news media says.”

Many admire Trump’s bluntest instincts — the same ones that have cost him among women and independent voters, according to polls. “The left called George Bush all kinds of names and just savaged him all the time … and Bush never said a word,” said Burke, who worked for Trump in the late 1980s and early 1990s overseeing his fleet of helicopters. “It was frustrating for those of us on the right. Now a guy comes along, you attack him, you’re getting it back double barrel. And everybody’s sitting around saying, ‘Yeah, that’s right, give it to ‘em.’”

And most of all, they put their confidence in an expectation that the economy will improve by fall.

Doyle Webb, chairman of the Arkansas Republican Party and general counsel to the Republican National Committee, said the only concern that he would have about Trump’s reelection prospects is “if the economy had another downturn.”

“But I don’t see that happening,” Webb said.

Instead, he predicted an improving job outlook and a return to “the old Clinton mantra: ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’”

“I think that people will be happy,” Webb said, “and [Trump] will be re-elected.”

It’s a widely-held view. In Pennsylvania last week, Veral Salmon, the Republican Party chairman of the state’s bellwether Erie County, measured enthusiasm for Trump by the large number of requests he has received for Trump yard signs. In Maine, Melvin Williams, chairman of the Lincoln County Republican Committee, saw it in a population he said is “getting sick of this bullshit,” blaming coronavirus-related shutdowns on Democrats. And across the country, in heavily Democratic San Francisco, John Dennis, the chairman of the local GOP, was encouraged by the decreasing number of emails from the “Never Trump” crowd.

Not in his city, but nationally, Dennis said, “I’m pretty confident that [Trump] is going to pull it off.




So, I see some familiar points in here:  the disconnect between the views of people in DC and the view of people in the Heartland and the communication version of what would be called I guess misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance.  We need to talk about what to call these, like maybe styles of communication vs value of communication vs ... ability to communicate at all?  Those phrases don't work, but we can come up with something.  Misfeasance is doing something wrong/incorrectly, malfeasance is doing something wrongfully, and nonfeasance is not doing it when you should.  These three things are having an ever-increasing impact not only on our ability to know what's going on around us, but also --as shown above-- on what actually is going on around us.  

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Virus Outbreak Peru - Feeding Neighbors

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Clara Arango wakes at 4 a.m. daily and checks on the ingredients for breakfast.

Eighteen pounds of oats, 13 pounds of sugar and a pound of cinnamon sticks, all ready. An hour later, Arango, 43, is using a shovel to stir 30 gallons of sweet oatmeal in a stainless-steel pot over a fire of wood scraps alongside a cinder-block community center in the hills overlooking Peru’s capital.  By 9 a.m., more than 150 of Arango’s neighbors in New Hope have paid 14 cents each for a plastic bowl of oatmeal from the ‘’community pot,’’ a phenomenon that’s become ubiquitous across Peru in recent months as coronavirus quarantines and shutdowns have left millions of poor people with no way to feed their families.

Often operating with help from the Catholic Church and private charities, soup kitchens and community pots have become a symbol of the conundrum facing a region where most of the working population labors outside the formal economy. Economic shutdowns have forced poor Peruvians, Argentines and tens of millions of others to fall back on community-based efforts unseen in large numbers since crises like Peru’s 1990s civil war or Argentina’s financial crash two decades ago.  Still, without unemployment benefits or the ability to work from home, a cut-price plastic bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, some lentil stew or noodles in tomato sauce for lunch, and leftovers for dinner aren’t proving enough to keep poor Latin Americans from leaving their homes each day to earn a living as construction workers, street vendors or other types of day laborers.

The inability to keep people at home is proving a major factor in the spread of the coronavirus around the continent, where new cases and deaths are rising unchecked as an unbent curve of infection pushes intensive care wards to their limits.  Despite some of the strictest antivirus measures in the region, Peru has diagnosed 237,000 cases of coronavirus and counted 7,000 deaths, the highest number of cases per capita in the region and the second-highest per capita count of deaths.  At the same time, Peru is facing a 12% drop in gross domestic product this year, one of the worst recessions in the hemisphere, according to the World Bank.

“I barely have anything to eat at home," Arango said. ‘’Here I have a community pot and I can pool my resources with my neighbors and we can support each other and work together.  A single mother of two, she lost her job as a janitor when her employer closed his shopping mall in Lima’s wealthiest neighborhood due to the antivirus shutdown that began on March 16.

Government figures show more than 2.3 million other Lima residents also lost their jobs by April, out of a working population of roughly 16 million nationwide. The figure is expected to leap again when May numbers are released.

In Peru, thousands of community pots are steaming at breakfast and lunch in neighborhoods at levels not seen since inflation topped 7,000% in 1990 in the middle of the civil war with Shining Path Maoist guerrillas.  More than a third of Peru's 32 million people have had to engage in some form of community cooking due to lack of money, according to a May poll by the private, nonpartisan Institute of Peruvian Studies.

On a recent morning, a brief tour by Associated Press journalists in a mile radius of Arango's pot found more than 15 groups of neighbors cooking food together.

Waiting in line at one was Estéfany Aquiño, 11, who is helping her mother raise her 2-month-old sister after a cesarean section that left the woman unable to leave her house to look for food.  Estéfany said the community pot is her only defense against a hunger that's become a constant feature of life.  “Your stomach starts to hurt, to grumble, and then to talk to you,” the girl said.

Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra says the pandemic has revealed the weakness of the Peruvian system, which topped Latin America in economic growth for decades but has one of region's weakest social safety nets.  “We're far from being an example of efficiency as a state,'' he said Monday. “We have so many failings, so many problems.”

But Peru is far from the only country wrestling simultaneously with the virus and hunger.

In Buenos Aires, the church and local soccer clubs have been organizing community pots in some of the capital's poorest neighborhoods, and volunteers say their clients are becoming more desperate as virus-driven shutdowns continue.  “We used to put food for three people in a plastic container,'' volunteer Emanuel Basile said as he worked in the hard-hit 1-11-14 neighborhood. “Now they want us to cram in food for five.”


Sonia Pérez in Guatemala City, Almudena Calatrava in Buenos Aires and Michael Weissenstein in Havana contributed.

Edited by Ambergris
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Posted (edited)

Minneapolis is spending $4,500 a day on private security for three city council members who support defunding the police after allegedly receiving threats, a local report published Friday showed.

Private security details cost Minneapolis taxpayers roughly $63,000 over the past three weeks, a spokesman for the city said. Council members Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham and Alondra Cano are outspoken supporters of efforts to defund the Minneapolis Police Department, the report stated.




I wouldn't call this a justifiable use of public funds.  What do you think?

Edited by Ambergris
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:groooansmileyf:    I think we are in SOOOOOOOOOO much deep doo doo! 


:(   ....remember the mazes from hedges the Europeans grew/trimmed?  We're in one.  Not sure there IS a way out except THRU THE PRICKLY HEDGE...



MtRider  ..... :pray: 

Edited by Mt_Rider
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Foreign Affairs: Unrest continues for a seventh day in former British colony


Unrest and protests continued for a seventh straight day in the former British colony of the United States as the government vowed to use its military to end the demonstrations, US media reported on Tuesday.

The protests began in the small province of Minnesota, located in the agrarian ‘Middle West,’ over the killing of an ethnic minority by state security forces.

Protests led by the minority ‘black’ community have erupted throughout the country with the minority group calling for equal rights and better treatment from the government. Protesters have set fire to government installations and looted buildings throughout the country as clashes with security forces continue. The security forces have tried to disperse the protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and batons but to no avail.

US President Donald Trump, who was ‘elected’ in 2016 despite the majority of votes going to his rival candidate, vowed in a speech to bring in the military to end the protests.

“I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them,” Trump said in a national address.

Trump used the opportunity to walk to a religious temple in the national capital Washington DC to proclaim his religious affiliation. Holding a Christian bible in his hand, Trump declared the US “a great nation.”

Religious Fundamentalism and persecution of minorities

Religious fundamentalism and minority suppression has long been a problem in the former British colony.

The United States has had a long history of suppressing and persecuting its various ethnic minorities since the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1776.

The treatment of its indigenous ‘Native Americans,’ its imported Asian and Black communities, and its Hispanic community has long been a source of friction.

American black minority groups were under a program similar to South Africa’s Apartheid policy until as recently as 1964. Today, the ethnic black community is still detained and killed with impunity by the state security forces and black Americans make up the majority of those incarcerated under the country’s archaic judicial system.

Religion also plays a major role in governance with religious beliefs separating key state organs including the country’s highest court where many social laws are passed based on the justices' personally held religious convictions.

[Disclaimer: Native Americans is in quotations because it is a blanket term used by the ruling class of the US to call the country’s original inhabitants before the Anglo-European invasion. The ‘Native Americans’ are comprised of thousands of tribes, all with their own culture, language and traditions.]
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Eleven-score years or so down the road, the Supreme Court has finally ruled on Hamilton's Faithless Electors.  

Had this been done before, we would have had President Gore.  Would currently have either President Clinton or President Sanders.

The world has changed, friends.

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