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The lack of guidance from Washington is already causing school districts to make horrible decisions

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:50

There are over 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County, California. That’s more than 19 U.S. states. It’s more than all of Japan. Twice the count of South Korea. And yet, on Monday evening, the Orange County Board of Education met and, by a 4-1 vote, put forward a plan to reopen schools without requiring masks or enforcing any form of social distancing. That proposal doesn’t just violate the guidelines for school reopening set by the CDC, it goes against the plan put together by the Orange County Department of Education … which is, apparently, a completely different entity. What the board passed is a plan they say was compiled from a “community forum,” and is a perfect illustration of why these decisions can’t be left to individual school boards. Anyone who thinks there’s no district that will put children at risk for purely political reasons, has clearly never met America.

What the Orange County board did was simply endorse what they’re being told by Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—the two officials who, you would like to think, would have the welfare of the children at heart. But as Republicans look for leverage to push children back into a crowded indoor environment where they remain for hours at a time—the perfect recipe to spread the virus—Democrats are looking to fund the infrastructure and safety measures that will allow schools to conduct classes remotely, or to open safely in areas where that’s possible. To make that happen, they’re going to have to get past Trump, and DeVos, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Categories: Politics

Biden Announces $2 Trillion Climate Plan

Slashdot - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:50
Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Tuesday a new plan to spend $2 trillion over four years to significantly escalate the use of clean energy in the transportation, electricity and building sectors, part of a suite of sweeping proposals designed to create economic opportunities and build infrastructure while also tackling climate change. DogDude shares a report: In a speech in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden built on his plans, released last week, for reviving the economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, with a new focus on enhancing the nation's infrastructure and emphasizing the importance of putting the United States on a path to significantly cut fossil fuel emissions. "These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of both the American economy and the physical health and safety of the American people," he said, repeatedly criticizing President Trump's leadership on issues including climate and the pandemic. "When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is 'hoax.' When I think about climate change, the word I think of is 'jobs.'" The proposal is the second plank in Mr. Biden's economic recovery plan. His team sees an opportunity to take direct aim at Mr. Trump, who has struggled to deliver on his pledges to finance major improvements to American infrastructure. Republicans are sure to criticize the proposal as an attack on jobs in the energy sector -- but the plan will also test whether Mr. Biden has found a way to win over environmental activists and other progressives who have long been skeptical about the scope of his ambitions on climate. His plan outlines specific and aggressive targets, including achieving an emissions-free power sector by 2035 and upgrading four million buildings over four years to meet the highest standards for energy efficiency. The plan also calls for establishing an office of environmental and climate justice at the Department of Justice and developing a broad set of tools to address how "environmental policy decisions of the past have failed communities of color."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Trump's unprecedented bribes to farmers may be impossible to claw back, experts say

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:48

The U.S. farming industry may never be the same in the wake of Donald Trump's skyrocketing taxpayer-funded payments to the sector, warn policy experts and watchdog groups, according to Politico.

Trump has been shoveling cash to farmers in order to try to offset the massive hit they've taken from his ongoing trade disputes and tariff wars with China and other countries. And Trump’s cataclysmic handling of the coronavirus has only heightened farmers’ pain. But as subsidies ballooned from $11.5 billion in 2017 to $32 billion this year, experts fear weaning farmers off the government-subsidized cash cow could prove next to impossible.

Categories: Politics

The iPhone 12 may come with a new braided Lightning to USB-C cable in the box

iDownloadBlog - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:26

According to a leaker, Apple is going to include a new, braided Lightning to USB-C cable with the iPhone 12.
Categories: Geek

Lenovo and AMD Launch Threadripper Pro CPU To Take on Intel Xeon

Slashdot - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:10
AMD finally brings a workstation-class -- in other words, security-conscious -- processor to challenge the Intel Xeon on the desktop with its Ryzen Threadripper Pro. With up to 64 cores, the pro version of AMD's multicore powerhouse Threadripper processors incorporates essentials like support for massive amounts of memory and board-level security, critical for uses which move a ton of sensitive data, ranging from aerospace visualization to Hollywood video editing and CGI rendering. The CPU debuts in Lenovo's ThinkStation P620; Lenovo has a limited exclusive on the processor. From a report: The CPU comes in four variants: 3945WX (12 cores, with the fastest single-core speeds), 3955WX (16 cores), 3975WX (32 cores) and 3995WX (64 cores). At the moment, to achieve core counts that high with the Intel Xeon, you have to use multiple CPUs. They all come with some of the perks of AMD's architecture, including support for PCI Gen4 -- in this case, up to 128 lanes. And the Pro versions add support for more types of memory, notably RDIMM and LRDIMM, over the high-end consumer-focused Threadripper, plus 8 memory channels vs. 4, which lets it support up to 2TB of memory. On the downside, while AMD supports faster internal transfers than Intel via PCI 4, it doesn't offer any high-speed external data transfer capabilities a la Thunderbolt 3. And in fact, the ThinkStation P620's fastest connections are USB 3.2 Gen 2 and 10Gb Ethernet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Private prison executives claim to Congress they have no idea about abuses at their facilities

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 14:09

I’ve been aware that guards at private detention prisons have pepper-sprayed detained immigrants protesting their ongoing detention amid the novel coronavirus pandemic because I’ve written about it. Many Daily Kos community members have been aware that guards at private detention prisons have pepper-sprayed detained immigrants because they’ve read about it here and elsewhere. It’s happened. We know this. It’s fact.

Yet Mother Jones reports that two executives from two private prisons where a number of incidents have been reported—and in at least one instance confirmed by the company itself—claimed to Congress that they had no knowledge about any of that. A third executive, meanwhile, massively downplayed the truth: “GEO Group CEO George Zoley said he was aware of one incident in California,” the report said. In reality, there’s been at least five.

Categories: Politics

5.4 million people have lost health insurance and the official GOP position is still 'kill the ACA'

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:52

Five. Point. Four. Million. That's how many people Families USA estimates to have lost their health insurance with their employment in the coronavirus pandemic—and that's just up until June. This is the biggest increase in insurance loss ever, bigger than the great recession when 3.9 million lost their insurance over a full year. This time around 5.4 million lost their insurance in just four months.

"We knew these numbers would be big," Stan Dorn, study author and director of Families USA's National Center for Coverage Innovation told The New York Times. "This is the worst economic downturn since World War II. It dwarfs the Great Recession. So it's not surprising that we would also see the worst increase in the uninsured." What's more surprising is that so far the government hasn't done much about it, other than the Trump administration's lawsuit at the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act. Oh, right. That's not doing anything to help—that's making the whole situation worse!

Categories: Politics

Hundreds of Hyperpartisan Sites Are Masquerading as Local News

Slashdot - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:33
The growth of partisan media masquerading as state and local reporting is a troubling trend we've seen emerge amid the financial declines of local news organizations. But what do these outlets mean for journalism in American communities? NiemanLab: Using previous research and news reports as a guide, we've mapped the locations of more than 400 partisan media outlets -- often funded and operated by government officials, political candidates, PACs, and political party operatives -- and found, somewhat unsurprisingly, that these outlets are emerging most often in swing states, raising a concern about the ability of such organizations to fill community information needs while prioritizing the electoral value of an audience. We found that while left-leaning sites prioritize statewide reporting, right-leaning sites are more focused on local reporting, suggesting different strategies for engaging with targeted audiences and indicating the potential for these sites to exacerbate polarization in local communities.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

WATCH LIVE: Joe Biden Delivers Remarks on His "Build Back Better" Plan for an Equitable Clean Energy Future

Little Green Footballs - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:29

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is running for president to restore the soul of the nation. He believes it's time to remember who we are. We're Americans: tough and resilient. We choose hope over fear. Science over fiction. Truth over lies. And unity over division. We are the United States of America. And together, there is not a single thing we can't do. Join Team Joe today:

Categories: Politics

Black teen skips remote learning like many other students. Only, she's sent to juvenile detention

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:19

A 15-year-old Black girl was sent to juvenile detention for more than a month during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic for failing to complete remote schoolwork even after the teen’s teacher said she was “not out of alignment” with most of the teacher’s other students. The teen, identified in a ProPublica Illinois article as Grace, was sent to suburban Detroit to stay at the Oakland County Children’s Village in mid-June, the journalism nonprofit reported.

Judge Mary Ellen Brennan of the Oakland County Family Court Division ruled that Grace was “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school.” Brennan also called Grace a “threat to (the) community” after she reportedly violated probation by not completing the schoolwork. Grace was originally charged with assault and theft. “She hasn’t fulfilled the expectation with regard to school performance,” Brennan said at a sentencing hearing. “I told her she was on thin ice and I told her that I was going to hold her to the letter, to the order, of the probation.”

Categories: Politics

How to customize desktop icons for hard disks and other storage devices on your Mac

iDownloadBlog - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 13:05

Follow along with our tutorial to learn how to easily customize icons for hard disks, external drives and other storage devices connected to your Mac in a few simple steps.
Categories: Geek

Colbert Back at Home: Trump's New Coronavirus Plan: Threaten America's Schools, Trash Dr. Fauci in the Press

Little Green Footballs - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:50

Instead of drafting a plan to address America's spike in Covid-19 cases, President Trump has chosen to undercut the credibility of his public health experts and push public schools to reopen without a national plan for keeping kids, teachers and families safe. #Colbert #StephenAtHome #Monologue

Categories: Politics

Israeli Court Rules NSO Group Can Continue Exporting Spyware

Slashdot - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:46
The infamous spyware company NSO Group scored a major win in what critics are calling a "disgraceful ruling" in an Israeli court this week. From a report: The court ruled that NSO can keep exporting its hacking and surveillance tools, arguing that the human rights organization Amnesty International, which had sued the company in an attempt to block its exports, failed to prove that an NSO customer used its technology to spy on Amnesty staff. In 2018, as Motherboard reported at the time, Amnesty claimed to have found hackers spying on one of the organization's researchers using NSO spyware. After the incident, the organization sued NSO in Israel in an attempt to block the export of its surveillance technology. A Tel Aviv District Court judge dismissed the suit alleging Amnesty did not present enough evidence, and said Israel's Defence Ministry, which is tasked with overseeing the export of surveillance technologies, has the right safeguards in place to protect human rights.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

'The cure is not worse than the disease': Studies show that lockdowns save lives and the economy

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:39

Even back at the very beginning of the pandemic, it was easy to calculate the scale of the potential threat. At the time, the disease was generating over a 4% fatality rate in China, and epidemiologists were predicting that, left unchecked, an infection rate of 70% could be executed in dealing with a highly infectious, novel disease where there was no underlying pool of immunity. That’s over 9 million dead in America alone. That’s how the worst-case scenario for COVID-19 looked then. That’s how it still looks now.

The response to that kind of staggering threat was clear: Reduce the rate of transmission. By slowing the spread of the disease, hospitals would not be overwhelmed, doctors and scientists would have more time to investigate treatments and vaccines, and patients could benefit from the latest knowledge. To make that happen, it was critical to impose strict social distancing—lockdowns—that broken the chain of transmission. As a number of studies are starting to show, those lockdowns worked. In fact, they have already been effective to the tune of saving millions of lives. And that evidence needs to get more attention, because it’s past time to lock down again.

Categories: Politics

5 Million Americans Lost Their Health Insurance *During a Pandemic*

Kevin Drum - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:31

According to Families USA, about 5.4 million non-elderly Americans (i.e., those without Medicare) have lost their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic:

It goes without saying that this is insane. More than 5 million working-age people have lost their health insurance during a pandemic. The bulk of the newly uninsured are in the South, in states that refused to expand Medicaid after Obamacare was passed. The rest lost their employer health care when they were furloughed and couldn’t afford to replace it. And of course, the states where lack of insurance is the worst are the same states where COVID-19 is rising the fastest:

If there’s anything that could convince the American public that our current hodgepodge of health insurance is broken, this ought to be it. I’ll just repeat the bottom line in case anyone missed it:

More than 5 million working-age people have lost their health insurance during a pandemic.

Insanity. We need universal health care. We need it now.

Categories: Politics

Microsoft Adds Support For Custom '+' Email Addresses in Office 365

Slashdot - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:11
Microsoft is adding support for custom email addressing to Office 365 email services, a feature it hopes to complete in Q3 2020. From a report: Custom email addresses are an optional feature that some email providers can support. The feature is described in the RFC 5233 internet standard. Officially known as subaddressing, this standard allows users to extend their email address using "tags" or the plus (+) character, hence its two alternative names of tagged addressing or plus addressing. For example, a user with the email address of can use the plus addressing feature to extend their email address to If the user's email address supports subaddressing, all emails sent to the email will land in the user's inbox.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek

Ivanka, White House promote #FindSomethingNew job policy ad campaign and the backlash is titanic

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:10

Record numbers of Americans are filing for unemployment. The unemployment systems across the country, already hamstrung by conservative bogus bootstrap sabotaging, have left tens of millions of Americans in need of assistance. Meanwhile, our country’s leadership continues its do-nothing-for-Americans-without-money approach to dealing with our current economic and public health crisis. And so with at least 50 million people filing for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, what did Donald Trump and his bestest advisers come up with?

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that the White House is backing a new “ad campaign” that will “encourage people who are unemployed or unhappy in their jobs or careers to ‘find something new.’” Find something new. This is reportedly the brainchild of Trump’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. Ivanka Trump, probably best known for being just as untalented and narcissistic as her father, promoted the new program along with the companion website on her Twitter account, saying, “Jobs are changing—and the Covid-19 has accelerated the pace. Today we are launching a website that highlights edu pathways, info about rising careers, a directory of services like childcare, food assistance and Internet access.”

Categories: Politics

Hope for the Hopeless

Balloon Juice - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:03

This new ad Team Biden dropped today is pretty good:

I don’t even believe the last sentence — that “we’ll emerge stronger than before.” I think Michelle Goldberg got it right in her Times column when she said, “The country’s international humiliation is total; historians may argue about when the American century began, but I doubt they’ll disagree about when it ended.”

And yet the ad is pitch perfect and comforting. Mango Mussolini checked out and left us to our fates. He’ll pull down the temple on his way out. Worse, he’ll leave an army of permanently aggrieved, reality-denying and occasionally violent cranks in his wake who’ll spend the rest of their lives — and ours — trying to recreate the “magic” that is the horrifying shit-show we’re living through right now.

But they were always there waiting for a Trump to come along to fulfill their lurid fantasies in a way the less Trumpy Trumps couldn’t quite equal. Lots of people knew that all along, of course, but now more of us know the extent of the rot, having had our faces rubbed in it for four miserable years. That’s something.

Speaking of The Times: Bari Weiss is out. As Jessica Velenti foretold, “The venn diagram of people obsessed with “cancel culture” and people who are incapable of being criticized is a big whiny circle.”

Open thread.

The post Hope for the Hopeless appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Why judge's delayed ruling could put ICE on path to separate more families by Friday

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:03

A court ruling that immigrant rights advocates hoped could secure the urgent release of children and parents together from migrant family jails never came on Monday. NBC News reports that a federal judge overseeing an ongoing case seeking the release of parents said he won’t issue a ruling until next week, after a Friday deadline set by another judge for the release of children. What this means is that in the coming days the administration may be set to repeat one of the darkest periods in modern U.S. history.

Categories: Politics

Daily Kos endorses longtime ally and progressive champion Ed Markey for Senate in Massachusetts

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 11:45

Goal Thermometer

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey has for years been a stalwart ally of Daily Kos and the progressive movement in a way few others have been. That’s why we’re proud to endorse this singular public servant in the Democratic primary on Sept. 1.

Daily Kos seldom gets involved in primaries, but we’re engaging this time because the Senate would be a much poorer place without Markey in it. His unflagging dedication as a force for progress is why we need his help getting our country back on track. On the issues, Markey can't be beat. For experience, Markey can't be beat.

Can you give $3 right now so that we can reelect the extraordinary Ed Markey to the Senate?

Categories: Politics