I don’t have any special reason for posting this except that Congress is getting ready to vote on an override of Donald Trump’s veto of the annual defense spending bill. So here is defense spending over the past 50 years:
It goes up and down during wars and peacetime, but ever since we came down from the Vietnam peak it’s remarkable how steady it’s been. The American populace seems willing to spend about $2000 each for defense, and that changes only modestly and temporarily over time.
The family of the Salvadoran immigrant who in May became the first person to die of COVID-19 while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the federal immigration agency and private prison profiteer CoreCivic, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The company operates the notorious Otay Mesa Detention Facility, the San Diego detention camp where Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia contracted the virus.
The 57-year-old had been on a court-mandated list of medically vulnerable detainees who could have been released by ICE due to pandemic, but by then he was already in the hospital, where he died on May 6. “CoreCivic deprived him of adequate personal protective equipment, proper social distance, and appropriate treatment, all with the knowledge and participation of ICE and its officials,” the complaint states according to the report. “His death did not have to happen.” It didn’t.
You would think being "anti-wife beating" would be a bipartisan thing.
But what about "that guy I went out with once is stalking me and he has a gun"?
This week Senate Republicans again showed us who they are.
Senate Republicans are blocking re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) over the so-called "Boyfriend Loophole." USA Today:
...the most recent version of the bill passed by the House last year intended to close the “boyfriend loophole,” which proved to be a large point of contention for many Republicans.
Previous versions of the act barred those convicted of domestic violence or abuse from purchasing and owning a gun if they were married to, lived with or had a child with the victim. But the 2019 amendment hoped to extend that provision to include dating partners and stalkers.
Though it had support from all Democrats who voted but one, only 33 Republicans voted to move the legislation forward, and the GOP has been accused of giving into the National Rifle Association, which has opposed the change.
I really don't like ending posts with "Republicans are evil" but sometimes I don't have a choice.
Article URL: https://csgordon.github.io/books.html
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I was going to write a post about entitled while male economists and found this while googling for pictures of Jeffrey Epstein and Larry Summers (which exist, btw). Open thread.
The New York Times reports that Obamacare has worked pretty well during the pandemic:
State Medicaid enrollment, according to one report, had an 11 percent increase between February and September in the 36 states that have released data…Sign-ups for plans in marketplaces run by the federal government are up 6.6 percent compared with last year, according to a new federal tally. It is the only year during the Trump administration when enrollment increased, and amounts to a half-million more people seeking coverage from the federal marketplace.
The Commonwealth Fund has surveyed the health coverage scene recently and reports that being uninsured is up only slightly in 2020:
All things considered, that’s not bad considering the severity of the downturn. Someday, perhaps, Americans will finally come around to the idea that anything above zero is unacceptable.
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Live Senate Debate. WaPo reports:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Tuesday blocked consideration of a House bill that would deliver a $2,000 stimulus payments to most Americans — spurning a request made by President Trump even as more Senate Republicans voiced support for the dramatically larger checks.
McConnell’s move was just the beginning of a saga that is likely to engulf the Senate for the rest of the week. Democrats are pushing for an up-or-down vote on the House bill, while more Republicans acknowledge a need for larger stimulus checks...
Emboldened politically, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also issued his own ultimatum on Monday, threatening to hold up the chamber unless lawmakers are able to vote on the heightened stimulus payments.
It's the definition of a moral failure when Senate Republicans will spend $740 billion on a bloated defense budget, but refuse to give hungry and suffering Americans $2000. https://t.co/Ftju45Bdlo
— Ed Markey (@EdMarkey) December 29, 2020
Scenecuts is a simple yet efficient Mac app to quickly trigger your HomeKit scenes right from the macOS menu bar.
Apple's latest patent win indicates the company is researching reconfigurable keyboards for Macs.
Joe Biden is asking people to stay home and stay safe on his Inauguration Day. The traditional inauguration day luncheon with Congress is canceled due to Covid, as well as balls, parades, and other festivities. The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is urging people to celebrate from home:
“President-elect Biden’s unwavering commitment to the safety of the American people is our North Star as we plan an inauguration that protects public health while honoring inaugural traditions and engaging Americans across the country. We are excited to share more information soon about the new and innovative ways all Americans can watch and participate in a historic inauguration that will unify our country,” said PIC Executive Director Maju Varghese.
“The pandemic is continuing to have a significant public health impact across the nation. Americans everywhere must do their part to slow the spread of the virus: wear masks, stay home, and limit gatherings. We are asking Americans to participate in inaugural events from home to protect themselves, their families, friends, and communities,” said PIC Chief Medical Advisor Dr. David Kessler.
Article URL: https://blog.jzhao.xyz/posts/collaborative-thinking/
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Nikki Haley wrote an op-ed claiming that socialism "went mainstream in America" because of COVID, even after Republicans in office, lead by Trump, lied to the American people and destroyed the pandemic response.
How much more can Republicans increase the suffering of the American people?
Fox News is promoting her words as if Haley is Moses walking down from the mountain with tablets in hand.
This was the year socialism went mainstream. The dangerous ideology, which has failed everywhere it has been tried and ruined countless lives, is on its way to becoming the default economic policy of the Democratic Party. This terrifying trend threatens the future of every American.
Haley's words are as empty and unserious as Trump's telling Americans that the virus will just go away and to use ultraviolet lights and drink disinfectants as a cure.
Heads up movie-lovers! Apple is running a huge promotion in the iTunes Store right now that offers discounts on over 1,000 films. Among the deals are franchise bundles like John Wick and The Dark Knight starting at just $15, and recent releases like 1917 and Knives Out starting at $5. Check out our full roundup below.
A Black musician who said he was assaulted when a white woman wrongfully accused his 14-year-old son of stealing and demanded the teen turn over his iPhone to her is seeking assault and battery charges. Keyon Harrold, a Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter, retained civil rights attorney Ben Crump in his fight for justice in the incident involving the unidentified woman on Saturday. Harrold was a guest at the Arlo SoHo when the woman, a former guest at the hotel, demanded repeatedly that his son prove his own phone wasn’t stolen. Harrold said in the process she tried to get physical with the teen and Harrold stepped in to protect his son.
"I'm a trumpet player, so now my hand's bleeding because I'm trying to protect my son because of a crazy person saying she took his iPhone and trying to go into his pocket, trying to go into my pocket," Harrold said in video Crump tweeted Monday. “This is unacceptable, unacceptable on a day when I’m just trying to have a good time with my son right here.”
Article URL: https://contentfly.homerun.co/?lang=en
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For weeks, a popular meme on the right has run under the heading: “How can a disease with 1% mortality shut down the United States?” That idea not only incorporates several pieces of misinformation—the United States was never “shut down” and the mortality of COVID-19 is higher than 1%—but it misses a couple of things that should be obvious to the most casual observer. First, if “just” 1% of Americans died, that would be over 3 million people. That’s more people than die in an average year from all causes, combined. Just having that level of death would not only leave the nation in shock, it would crumple the economy. Second, death is just one thing that COVID-19 causes.
Over the last year, people have often been frustrated because it seems that anything can be a symptom of infection by coronavirus. Headaches, cough, fever, loss of sense of smell, dizziness, low oxygen, muscle ache, fatigue, and even blindness have all been ways in which the SARS-CoV-2 virus announces its presence. That list is far from complete. COVID-19 isn’t a respiratory disease, it’s a disease that can strike anywhere. That means that the symptoms can be almost anything. So can the lingering effects. It can leave college athletes with lingering heart damage, generate strokes even in very young children, and trigger a severe infection of the eyes. But this horrible list may not even touch the worst that COVID-19 can do. Because some patients are literally losing their minds to the disease. COVID-19 is leaving behind a path of psychosis.