He’s (NOT) Just a Minor Threat

If Donald Trump were not a former president, this would be obvious:

If Trump were anyone else, he would automatically be considered the archetype of a security risk: a disgruntled, former employee with large debts and a narcissistic personality, who feels he has been cheated and treated unfairlyw.

Unfortunately, the reflexive genuflection before the Office Of The Presidency by a supposedly aggressive and free political press corps is why this straightforward observation–Trump is an obvious security threat–will go unremarked.

This also is an explanation for Michael Flynn’s behavior too–also unremarked by our political press corps.

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Links 8/14/22

Links for you. Science:

Reduced incidence of Long COVID referrals to the Cambridge University Teaching Hospital Long COVID clinic
Duration of Symptoms and Association With Positive Home Rapid Antigen Test Results After Infection With SARS-CoV-2
A.I. Is Not Sentient. Why Do People Say It Is?
Footprints Discovery Suggests Ancient Tracks May Cover the West
Oldest DNA from domesticated American horse lends credence to shipwreck folklore
Ancestral SARS-CoV-2, but not Omicron, replicates less efficiently in primary pediatric nasal epithelial cells


Compounding the problem of student debt: Forgiving college debt will get us only so far. We have to nix interest on student loans as well. (exactly this)
The Right-Wing Plot To Destroy Public Libraries
Why monkeypox vaccine shortage may threaten the immunocompromised
The Religious Right’s Agenda Is Center Stage Again — And It’s As Unpopular As Ever
It’s Not Just Kansas—Voters Nationwide Are Pro-Choice. The Kansas landslide is a reminder that, even in red states, voters will protect abortion rights.
Bill Russell really was the greatest of all time
Bill Russell Was a Revolutionary
I just want this bill to have some fun (and help the rich avoid taxes)!
Jewish Law Permits Abortion—So Is There a Case to Restore Reproductive Rights?
In the 1880s, D.C.’s doctors argued about malaria and its cause
The Democrats’ Working-Class Deficit
Want to rebuild U.S. manufacturing? Time to talk about immigration.
Remembering Artist Alberto Gaitán, 1955–2022. D.C. loses its premier “cybernetic, cross-media” artist and beloved arts impresario.
In Harvard admissions case, will justices cherry-pick their history? (yes)
Alabama City Disbands Entire Police Department Over Racist Text (defund, if you will…)
How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire. MoFi Records claimed its expensive reissues were purely analog reproductions. It had been deceiving its customer base for years.
GOP Objections Kill Proposed Cap On Insulin Costs In Private Insurance
Russian men, dying in war, leave many families sad, angry and silent
GOP Objections Kill Proposed Cap On Insulin Costs In Private Insurance
Abortion law in Indiana leads to fallout for state, politics
This Is The Most Underappreciated Part Of The Democratic Prescription Drug Bill. Some Medicare recipients spend more than $10,000 a year on lifesaving medication. That could change.
Republicans are coming after Social Security. Democrats, take note.
Social Compacts
Democrats’ $80 billion wager: A bigger IRS will be a better IRS

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Observed on Old Morgan School Road NW, Adams Morgan, D.C.:



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Links 8/13/22

Links for you. Science:

Of Course Biden Has Rebound COVID
Antlers Do What No Other Bones Can. Deer almost break their bodies to build antlers each year, and scientists still don’t really know why.
Why So Many Cars Have Rats in Them Now
Call for hippos to join list of world’s most endangered animals
Tonga’s volcano sent tons of water into the stratosphere. That could warm the Earth
Stop Codon Usage as a Window into Genome Evolution: Mutation, Selection, Biased Gene Conversion and the TAG Paradox


What Should Worry Most Americans About Our Monkeypox Response
I Learned the Hard Way Just How Barbaric American Health Care Is
The Boss Will See You Now: We are experiencing a major turning point in the surveillance of workers, driven by wearable tech, artificial intelligence, and Covid.
Kids Are Back in Classrooms and Laptops Are Still Spying on Them. As the post-Roe era underscores the risks of digital surveillance, a new survey shows that teens face increased monitoring from teachers—and police.
D.C. To Open Walk-Up Monkeypox Vaccine Clinics Every Friday
Another day, another visit: Impact of Arkansas’ mandatory waiting period for women seeking an abortion by demographic groups
As The School Year Looms, D.C. Scrambles To Get Students Caught Up On Routine Vaccinations
The Kansas bombshell shows how Democrats might fix a big 2022 problem
CDC: Consider fewer sexual partners to avoid monkeypox
The Rat’s Jim Harold turned a basement barroom into a bastion of rock ’n’ roll
The Week “Dark Brandon” Died
Republicans are in a panic over Democratic tax proposals. Guess why.
White House to Establish Office on Long Covid
Indiana Governor Signs Near-Total Abortion Ban
Tort Reform
Dystopia for Realists: Regulating the automation revolution
To Beto or Not to Beto: Is Beto O’Rourke a generationally talented politician just waiting for the right race? Or a lovable loser-martyr who raises gobs of money and lights it on fire? Actually, a third narrative is emerging…
Who Profits? How urban nonprofits became handmaidens to neoliberalism
Against Liberalism: Luke Savage’s The Dead Center exposes the hypocritical pseudo-progressivism that needs to be defeated
Abortion as self-defense in the coming age of ‘personhood’
Only One Welfare Tweak Made It Through the Democratic Trifecta
Becoming the Workers’ Party Again. With their new and overdue embrace of industrial policy, the Democrats can now deliver to working-class voters who’ve understandably felt betrayed.
How Neil Gaiman kept control of the Sandman characters
A challenge for antiabortion states: Doctors reluctant to work there. Recruiters say OB/GYNs are turning down offers, a warning for conservative-dominated states already experiencing shortages

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Links 8/12/22

Links for you. Science:

Genome sequencing of up to 6,000-yr-old Citrullus seeds reveals use of a bitter-fleshed species prior to watermelon domestication
Pseudofinder: Detection of Pseudogenes in Prokaryotic Genomes
How Can We Resolve Lewontin’s Paradox? (it can take a long time to reach Glorious Equilibrium Day)
Heart disease after COVID: what the data say
The Efficacy of Facemasks in the Prevention of COVID-19: A Systematic Review
Everything you need to know about Paxlovid — especially, should you take it?


The Best Evidence Yet That the Climate Bill Will Work
Nancy Pelosi, China and the Slow Decline of the U.S. Military
FBI Admits It Got 4,500 Tips on Brett Kavanaugh—Then Punted Them to Trump Team (why does Wray still have a job?)
With help from BA.5, new COVID hospitalizations quadrupled since April
The Manchin-Approved Budget Bill: A Hell of a Lot Better Than Nothing
Dems’ Gift To Their Wall Street Donors: Democrats were set to mostly preserve, not close, a Wall Street tax loophole, before they dropped it entirely.
How Misinformation About COVID Vaccines and Pregnancy Took Root Early On and Why It Won’t Go Away
Metro Failed To Maintain Rooms With Equipment That Keeps Trains From Colliding, Safety Commission Finds
The Dying American Southwest
John Eastman worried he wasn’t going to get paid for his work instigating a seditious coup
Metro Failed To Maintain Rooms With Equipment That Keeps Trains From Colliding, Safety Commission Finds
The Supreme Court wasn’t always the final arbiter of the Constitution
Upset over LGBTQ books, a Michigan town defunds its library in tax vote
Why criticism of Democrats for boosting radical Trumpists is wrong
Why D.C. Is Less Vulnerable To Hurricane Flooding Than Other East Coast Cities
Geospatial disparities in federal COVID-19 test-to-treat program
FTX-Backed PACs Expand the Crypto Lobby in Congress
The Billionaire’s Dilemma
100,000 New Cops? There Are Far Better Ways to Fight Crime.
Dick Cheney Has a Lot of Damn Gall to Get Sanctimonious about Lying to the Public
You Could Fire Him
How Can America Stop Creating Lauren Boeberts?
A Very Dangerous Place to Be Pregnant Is Getting Even Scarier. Texas leads the US in maternity ward closures, and nowhere is this more of an issue than in the western part of the state.
The Kleptocrat Who Bankrolled Rudy Guiliani’s Dive for Dirt on Biden

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Amidst all the HAET TAEKS about the Mar-A-Lago raid, I’ll just add that for federal employees, the wanton disregard by Trump et alia for rules, regulations, and the law is incredibly demoralizing. As bad as a rule-following bureaucracy might be, one that doesn’t follow rules is far worse.

Imprison his stupid ass.

Posted in Resistance Rebellion And Death, The Rule of Law | Leave a comment

Links 8/11/22

Links for you. Science:

‘Corn sweat’ is making the air in the Midwest oppressively muggy
Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Usual, Leading to the Shortest Day Ever Recorded
Evaluating the efficacy and safety of a novel prophylactic nasal spray in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection: A multi-centre, double blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial.
Viral and Symptom Rebound in Untreated COVID-19 Infection
Hotter summers mean Florida’s turtles are mostly born female
Genomic epidemiology of the first two waves of SARS-CoV-2 in Canada


America Should Have Been Able to Handle Monkeypox
The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and won’t end with him.
God Is Me
Supporting the Public Health Workforce Requires Collective Actions to Address Harassment and Threats
Alex Jones busted: How the Sandy Hook trial could lead to accountability for Donald Trump. Has a Trump acolyte finally hit a limit to shamelessness as a political strategy?
Shilling for Thrills: In Lis Smith’s new memoir, principles are for purists.
The Republican Party Is the Anti-Democracy Party
How Did This Happen
The Kansas bombshell shows how Democrats might fix a big 2022 problem
The Distinct Shame of Senate Republicans
We Can Fight Monkeypox Without Hysteria or Homophobia
Roe, Roe, Roe the Vote
How state governments are reimagining American public housing
The Trumpists are winning. Here are 3 hidden reasons to fear them.
UC and CSU campuses to provide cheap abortion pills amid California’s post-Roe push
Pearson plans to sell its textbooks as NFTs (lolwut)
It’s Getting Harder to Be a Woman in America. The US welcomes the employment and economic advancement of women—yet doesn’t actually support them. We’ve finally hit a breaking point.
By Attacking Brittney Griner, Trump Signals to His Base: “I’m Still Racist”
The Bill Russell I Knew for 60 Years
You’re Traveling Abroad. You Test Positive for COVID. You Board Your Flight Anyway.
U.S. Could Have Had Many More Doses of Monkeypox Vaccine This Year
DuPont Brass Show No Signs of Slowing Down

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The Republican Long Game: Killing Social Security

While the Republican white Christian supremacist base wants to establish a theocracy, never forget what the moneyed interests of the Republican Party want (boldface mine):

Social Security is an enormously popular program. It’s also hugely effective. Minus their monthly check, a large number of seniors would live in financially straitened circumstances.

So, of course, the Republicans are once again taking aim at it and are, in the process, handing Democrats an issue almost as politically potent as abortion rights as they fight to hold on to their slim majorities in the November elections.

The most recent to join the fray is Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). He announced earlier this week that he believes Social Security should be up for a congressional reauthorization vote every single year. “If you qualify for an entitlement, you get it no matter what the cost,” he huffed on a podcast

This ups the ante from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who opened the Social Security floodgates earlier this year when he proposed putting all government programs — including Social Security and Medicare — up for renewal every five years. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately declared it dead on arrival, but that hasn’t stopped some Republicans such as Johnson from expressing their approval…

In fact, polls show voters want, per Sanders and Larson, a more generous and stable Social Security program, not a smaller, riskier and precarious one. This isn’t a surprise. As the pension system has increasingly given way to defined contribution schemes such as 401(k) plans, more and more Americans are at risk of running short of money in their golden years.

Republicans have always wanted to kill Social Security, and have done so for decades. Hopefully, this time around, unlike what happened during the Clinton and Obama administrations, Democrats will draw a clear line and not yield on this.

Posted in Conservatives, Social Security | Leave a comment

Links 8/10/22

Links for you. Science:

Association of Receiving a Fourth Dose of the BNT162b Vaccine With SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Health Care Workers in Israel
Aeromonas salmonicida intra-species divergence revealed by the various strategies displayed when grazed by Tetrahymena pyriformis
Antigenic characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariant BA.2.75
More Monkeypox Cases Found In Kids As School Return Looms
Typhoid mutated to beat antibiotics. Science is learning how to beat those strains
Next Generation Covid Vaccine Update: Intranasal & Other Mucosal Vaxes


America Supports Abortion. It’s time to act like it
Republicans Just Exposed Their Greatest Weakness
How Pop Culture, Politics, Science, and Business Got So Old. In practically every field of human endeavor, the average age of achievement and power is rising.
How a Farmer’s Hunch Led to a Lost Monastery and a Neolithic Surprise
Feds Want a Policy That Advocates Say Would Let Hospitals Off the Hook for Covid-Era Lapses
“Downgrade your mask before entering”—a dangerous NHS policy at a critical public health juncture
Bruce Springsteen fans face $5,000 tickets — and a ‘crisis of faith’
The Kansas abortion vote should never have happened
‘Never seen it this bad’: America faces catastrophic teacher shortage
FBI lacks full picture of reported threats to election officials, congressional testimony says
The city that pioneered Europe’s car-free future
How Monkeypox Messaging And Response Is Failing, According To Local LGBTQ+ Advocates
Metro hires new chief operating officer
The Story Behind ‘Star Trek’ Actress Nichelle Nichols’ Iconic Interracial Kiss
Orbán the Toe: Testing Where The Line Is
Fritz Pollard: An African American founding father of the NFL
After A Rocky Relationship With The Public, One D.C. Government Agency Is Breaking Up
Dan Goldman fired voter outreach consultant for offensive tweets after being contacted by City & State. The Democrat who worked on Trump’s first impeachment had hired a Trump-supporting Republican. (Democrats who hire Republican apparatchiks should not be elected in Democratic primaries)
What $50 billion in taxpayer aid for airlines did not fix
Vin Scully, a Babe Ruth of the broadcast booth, dies at 94
Man wakes up and it is 250 years later.
Let’s Use the Money Meant to Alleviate Poverty to Actually Help People
President Joe Biden signs executive order in effort to protect travel for abortion

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Democrats Feel Good, Now Professional Democrats Need to Mobilize Them

Lara Putnam and Micah L. Sifry made a very good point a couple of weeks ago (boldface mine):

National Democratic and progressive groups together burned through the surge of liberal organizing under Mr. Trump, treating impassioned newcomers like cash cows, gig workers and stamp machines to be exploited, not a grass-roots base to be tended. Worse, research by academics and political professionals alike suggests many of the tactics they pushed to engage voters proved ineffective.

Some may even have backfired. Millions of dollars and hours were wasted in 2018 and 2020. And yet, as the party stares down a bleak midterm landscape, with abortion rights on the line, the Democratic establishment and progressive organizations alike are doubling down on the same old tactics.

For all the conflict between mainstream Democratic and progressive leaders, most share a common way of thinking about electoral politics. To the “Beltway Brain,” as we think of it, voters are data points best engaged via atomized campaigns orchestrated from afar.

The core role of supporters is to be whipped into panicked giving by messages like this one from Nancy Pelosi on April 28: “I asked — several times. Barack Obama told you the stakes. Joe Biden made an urgent plea,” she said. “I don’t know how else to say this, so I’ll be blunt: All these top Democrats would not be sounding the alarm if our democracy wasn’t in immediate danger of falling to Republicans in this election. I need 8,371 patriots to step up before time runs out, rush $15, and help me close the fund-raising gap before the End of Month Deadline in 48 hours.”

Inside Democratic fund-raising circles, this tactic is known as “churn and burn”: a way of squeezing money out of individual donors that reliably produces brief spikes in donations but over the course of an election cycle overwhelms their willingness to keep giving. Even worse, these apocalyptic messages fuel despair. If “democracy is in the balance” and then Democrats fail to pass restorative measures, voters inevitably must wonder, why keep trying?

…A political party that has few, if any, year-round structures in place to reach voters through trusted interlocutors — and learn from how they respond — can do no more than lurch from crisis to crisis, raising money off increasingly apocalyptic emails, with dire warnings “sounding the alarm” about a democracy in “immediate danger of falling.”

Republicans, of course, also treat the news as an endless series of crises. But their calls to oppose socialism or critical race theory or transgender-inclusive bathrooms generate energy that flows into local groups that have a lasting, visible presence in their communities, such as anti-abortion networks, Christian home-schoolers, and gun clubs. Right-wing activists are encouraged to run for local office by overlapping regional, statewide and national personal networks that conservatives have built with decades of sustained investment. When not connected to such networks, Democrats receiving apocalyptic messages can feel more battered than activated, leading to demoralization and despair.

If democracy is indeed on fire, the thing to do is to stop asking people to buy water bottles and organize them into fire brigades instead. Neither the national Democratic Party nor progressive leaders seem to have learned that lesson.

A couple minor points of disagreement. This patterns goes back to the Obama administration when they demobilized rank-and-file Democrats–it did not begin in the Trump era. When these grassroots organizations are successful, that means professional Democrats will cede (some) power to them. They don’t want rank-and-file Democrats, including the moderate ones, telling them what to do: it’s their party, and we’re either customers or the help (if we give a lot of money, we get to be members).

Right now, there is a lot of energy, but where does it get directed? Other than donations, has any Democrat pointed out where you can go to help turn out the vote or engage in other political activity? While rank-and-file Democrats, regardless of ideology, likely will turn out at higher than usual numbers due to abortion (and gun violence), how does the party harness that energy into activities that capture lower-attachment voters?

And does the Democratic Party even want to do so?

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