Links 1/10/21

Links for you. Science:

Along with vaccine rollouts, the U.S. needs a National Hi-Fi Mask Initiative
A Second Chinese Coronavirus Vaccine Is Said to Be Effective
Participation in Fraternity and Sorority Activities and the Spread of COVID-19 Among Residential University Communities — Arkansas, August 21–September 5, 2020
A Riot Amid a Pandemic: Did the Virus, Too, Storm the Capitol?
Neutralization of N501Y mutant SARS-CoV-2 by BNT162b2 vaccine-elicited sera (the South African variant appears to be covered by the vaccine; this is a preprint)


Race double standard clear in rioters’ Capitol insurrection
Trump Insurrectionists Lodge At D.C. Airbnbs — Much To Washingtonians’ Distress
Storming of the Capitol Was Openly Planned but Ignored by Law Enforcement
Japanese lessons for the American coup. 1930s Japan had repeated coup attempts by rightists. We can learn from their mistakes. (something to remember: failed coups usually look pretty silly)
The Capitol Riot Was an Attack on Multiracial Democracy: True democracy in America is a young, fragile experiment that must be defended if it is to endure.
Madness on Capitol Hill (“They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.”)
Trump Has Proven the US Is Ripe for a Right-wing Coup
Paris by Bike
Pariahs (“You do not ever have to hand it to them. You do not ever have to invite them on your teevee shows. You do not have to agree to appear with them on teevee shows. You do not ever have to treat them as good faith political actors. You do not have to call them up for quotes for your news stories. You do not have to mention them in the future without mentioning their role in all of this. You do not have to treat them as polite members of society, for they are not.”)
The violence at the Capitol was an attempted coup. Call it that (like I said above, failed coups usually look pretty silly)
Why Merrick Garland Is a Better Attorney General Pick Than You Think
This Was the Coup
What It Means to Never Forget: The Republican Party is an Insurrection Party, and the insurrectionists should be tarred with that for the rest of their lives.
Every person who forced their way into the Capitol should be arrested
The Far Right Told Us What It Had Planned. We Didn’t Listen.
Texas GOP removes Sergeant-at-Arms after he endorses violence at Capitol Hill
Eventual Failure of False Beliefs
The Rioters Who Took Over The Capitol Have Been Planning Online In The Open For Weeks
Trump’s crowning disgrace — how the media enabled four years of terror
The Corporations Funding the End of Democracy: The GOP’s efforts to undermine our elections did not begin this week, and they were heavily subsidized by some of America’s best-known firms.
The District’s Vaccination Data, Explained. Why D.C. has administered less than half of the COVID-19 vaccines it received.

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Observed at the corner of 16th and P Streets NW, Dupont Circle, D.C.:

Go home

Posted in DC, Resistance Rebellion And Death | 1 Comment

Links 1/9/21

Links for you. Science:

Geology is at a Crossroads
Antibiotic Resistance Could Cause the Next Pandemic. Here’s How the Biden Administration Can Tackle It.
Viral mutations may cause another ‘very, very bad’ COVID-19 wave, scientists warn
Power shift in Senate could bring major changes in U.S. science and climate policy
How the new Covid-19 variants could pose a threat to vaccination


The ‘Gateway Drug to Corruption and Overspending’ Returns to Congress. Are Earmarks Really That Bad? (I think they’re important, not for getting GOP support, but unifying the Democratic caucus)
Attorney says census count to determine congressional seats won’t be done until February
Democrats ask FBI Director Wray to open criminal probe into Trump after leaked phone call
Five Days Without Cops: Could Brooklyn Policing Experiment be a ‘Model for the Future’?
Weed and Seven Benadryl: The Wild Lengths COVID Docs Are Taking to Get Sleep
UC San Diego installs coronavirus test kit vending machines
Biden Shift Shows Pressure Can Work. Amid relentless progressive pressure, the president-elect is now promising $2,000 survival checks if Georgia Democrats win — that is a shift from his endorsement of stimulus legislation that included
MindGeek: The secretive owner of Pornhub and RedTube
What Josh Hawley Is Teaching Democrats (fire the money cannon!)
To Defend Democracy, Investigate Trump. There needs to be a cost to trying to overthrow an election.
Can Only Republicans Legitimately Win Elections?
Why Isn’t New York Vaccinating More People? Andrew Cuomo hasn’t done much right related to COVID-19
How the Insurgent and MAGA Right are Being Welded Together on the Streets of Washington D.C.
‘A Slap in the Face’: The Pandemic Disrupts Young Oil Careers
When Big Brands Stopped Spending On Digital Ads, Nothing Happened. Why?
White Tower was founded in 1926 in Milwaukee and had 230 locations nationwide at its peak in the 1950s. After losing a 1930 court case to White Castle for copying its castle style, the chain adopted Art Deco and later modernist designs.
I really wish someone would call my Dad, a retired Capitol Hill police officer (37yrs), to talk about the difference in preparation. The stories he’s telling me about prep for Farrakhan and others vs why yesterday happened the way it did is mind blowing.
President Trump has committed treason
White privilege and fascist violence
Some among America’s military allies believe Trump deliberately attempted a coup and may have had help from federal law-enforcement officials (should be taken with a grain of salt, given that at least one expert didn’t understand who controls the Capitol Police)
In Georgia, Latinos shatter runoff turnout record as groups make last push for voters

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In Case You Missed It…

…a week of Mad Biologist posts:

The Mad Biologist’s Year of Posts

The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: What Comes Next? Because This Isn’t Working

Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud: The Electoral College Edition

My HAWT TAEK on Georgia

Impeach Him. Impeach Him Now.

Republicans Will Not Rethink or Reconsider…

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Links 1/8/21

Links for you. Science:

Comment on “A Simple Test for the Extent of Voter Fraud with Absentee Ballots in the 2020 Presidential Election”
The bizarre sea slug, Melibe viridis, using its head as a net to catch food.
Musings of an anonymous, pissed off virologist (must-read)
Covid-19: Antibodies protect against reinfection for at least six months, study finds
Putting PCR into real-time


Here’s what leadership on vaccination would look like (very good)
Proud Boys Leader Arrested In D.C. Over Destruction Of BLM Banner
‘Conspiracy theorist’ pharmacist who allegedly ruined vaccine thought it would mutate DNA
Once Again: It’s Time to Impeach the President in the Lame Duck. He Will Never Stop This.
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert appears to strut around Washington, D.C. with Glock in bizarre Twitter video (the dangerous streets of… Capitol Hill)
Is Trump Making Democracy-Threatening Phone Calls to the Pentagon, Too?
Adiós: White supremacist Steve King is no longer a member of Congress
Worse Than Treason
AITA: A confused older man called asking me to ‘find more votes’ for him but I refused
How Israel got vaccines to 9% of its population in less than 2 weeks – far more than any other country
Vons, Pavilions to Fire “Essential Workers,” Replace Drivers with Independent Contractors: California begins to see the devastating effects of Proposition 22.
Biden Needs to Bust Big Ag Immediately
Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations do. The Trump administration’s plan to get vaccines in to the arms of Americans has largely failed, with now only 28.4% of the distributed doses administered. Here I propose my vaccination plan, leveraging key locations for vaccination.
Eleanor Holmes Norton Restarts D.C. Statehood Process With New Congress
The District’s Vaccination Data, Explained. Why D.C. has administered less than half of the COVID-19 vaccines it received.
We must stop calling Trump’s enablers ‘conservative.’ They are the radical right.
What the San Francisco Bay Area Can Teach Us About Fighting a Pandemic (bad conclusions)
Why the Fight Over Parking in New York Is ‘Like the Hunger Games’
Another lockdown was inevitable. We have to get this one right (UK)
In Georgia, Facebook’s Changes Brought Back a Partisan News Feed
Conservatives Rule, Liberals Drool

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Republicans Will Not Rethink or Reconsider…

…merely regroup and rearm.

The day before Insurrection Day, this happened in Pennsylvania (boldface mine):

After about an hour, I realized I was being treated to a vivid look at how thoroughly the techniques of Trumpian politics have entwined themselves in Republican politics all the way down to the local level…

Tuesday was the day in which the new senate was sworn in. The election in the 45th senatorial district, which contains pieces of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, was agonizingly close. Eventually, incumbent Democrat Jim Brewster was declared the winner over Republican challenger Nicole Ziccarelli by 69 votes. The state secretary of state’s office certified Brewster’s win on December 16. Following the template fashioned down at Camp Runamuck, however, Ziccarelli has unlimbered every possible method, sane and otherwise, of disestablishing Brewster’s victory. (At issue are some 300 mail-in ballots that lacked a signature on their outside envelope, as required. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that those ballots should be counted and they made up most of Brewster’s margin of victory.) Ziccarelli has lost every case she’s brought before the state’s supreme court, except the one suit that is still pending in federal court that seeks to overturn the state’s certification of Brewster as the winner. This is how Republicans do politics these days. Nothing is permanent. Nothing ever ends. Nothing is over, to paraphrase Senator John Blutarsky, until they say it is, which often is never.

So that brings us up to Tuesday. Prior to what was supposed to be a pro forma session of the Senate, Ziccarelli unloaded a 500-page cinder block detailing the many ways she’d actually won the 45th. The Republican majority in the Senate thereupon refused to “seat” Brewster who, we must remind you, has had his election certified by everyone who is supposed to certify elections in Pennsylvania. The Democrats in the chamber spiraled into the highest dudgeon. Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who was presiding over the session, insisted on seating Brewster. In response, the Republicans pushed through a measure removing Fetterman as presiding officer and, for a brief moment, there were two presiding officers. Once Fetterman was finally removed, the senate voted to seat everyone except poor Brewster, and the Republicans refused to say how long they were willing to leave the 45th unrepresented. (Refusing to seat Brewster doesn’t affect that balance of power in the chamber.)

As I’ve been saying for years on this blog, if you want to understand the Republican Party, watch what they do at the local and state levels. They are less polished, and it’s easier to see what they’re doing without the national political press corps filter. And, of course, the local and state Repubican parties are the farm system for the national Republicans.

As to regrouping and rearming (boldface mine):

Trump briefly called in to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting Thursday morning — and received a loud and overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception when RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel put him on speakerphone, according to people in the room.

“We love you!” some in the room yelled.

The Republican Party is a clear and present danger to the liberty of the Republic.

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Links 1/7/21

Links for you. Science:

Earth hears a possible signal: We are here, we are here, we are here
What New Science Techniques Tell Us About Ancient Women Warriors
Cuttlefish Took Something Like a Marshmallow Test. Many Passed.
Nature is not healing: Pollution was still a problem in 2020
If we want to generate difficult viral escape mutants in the lab (e.g. for epitope mapping), we subject the virus to low antibody pressure and then slowly move up. A little bit like after one vaccine dose. I think it would be good to give the second dose as soon as possible.


Deterrence (related points here)
Inside the Whale: An Interview with an Anonymous Amazonian (this entire interview is terrifying)
Trump: the Final Daze
The Next Trump. His enigmatic hold on tens of millions of Americans will be a lesson to future demagogues. (“How much collaboration would an invading enemy enjoy? It seems a crazy thought, but some European countries learned hard lessons in World War II. An aspiring American autocrat might be smart enough to take notice.”)
Trump’s latest crime “shocks” the media: His niece, Mary Trump, is not surprised. Mary Trump on her uncle’s desperate attempt to escape being a “loser”: It’s a “uniquely terrifying situation”
QAnon and the Fragility of Truth
Distributional Analysis of the $2000 Survival Checks
Ron DeSantis Is TNR’s 2020 Scoundrel of the Year
Yes to Masks. No to Parties. 2021 Will Be a Lot Like 2020
Thailand’s Social Security Office to pay out workers at 50% of daily wages for up to 90 days if forced to stop work due to Covid-19 (and in the U.S….)
Red Vienna: How Austria’s capital earned its place in housing history
Best of Mankiw: Errors and Tangles in the World’s Best-Selling Economics Textbooks
USPS delays are threatening small-town newspapers. So is a postage price increase.
A Black VMI cadet was threatened with a lynching, then with expulsion
The case for large cities in a post-pandemic world (interesting, not sure I agree)
Pelosi Statement on the Introduction of the Washington, D.C. Admission Act
How Biden will try to fix our vaccine rollout mess
We Can’t Let Our Elections Be This Vulnerable Again
Trump’s Georgia shakedown call is the same scheme that led to his impeachment — only worse. Sorry, Susan Collins, Trump learned nothing from impeachment: He’s doing it again, except it’s even more dangerous
The Next Indiana Jones Movie Should Star a Guy in a Cubicle. Congress has finally moved to address money laundering, including in the antiquities trade.

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Impeach Him. Impeach Him Now.

I have no idea if the Democratic Wimp Caucus will let this happen, but Trump should be impeached for fomenting insurrection. If nothing else, it would prevent him from being able to run again. It also would force Republicans to go on the record as to today’s events. In addition, the House should vote to remove every House member who supported the electoral challenges–there need to be consequences. I would encourage you to contact your congressional delegations to make this happen, as well as to have a full investigation as to how the Capitol Police failed so miserably.

I, however, can not contact my congressional delegation and ask them to vote.

This D.C. native and resident would like to note that, along with 700,000 plus of my fellow territorial residents, we were forced to abide by a curfew to protect a Congress in which we have no voting representation, while at the same time, later last night, our police force was asked to assist in protecting the interior of the Congress. This is particularly galling since one argument against D.C. statehood has been that a state of D.C. could cut off the capital and pressure it. D.C. had to wait hours to mobilize our National Guard since only the president can authorize the use of our Guard–though, disturbingly, it seems the Guard eventually was mobilized on the orders of the Vice President, who does not have that constitutional authority.

This is a disgrace and national humiliation. Impeach him. Impeach him now.

Related: Steve M. is absolutely right.

Posted in Resistance Rebellion And Death | 2 Comments

Links 1/6/21

Screen Shot 2021-01-06 at 4.37.37 PM
Links for you. Science:

Dr. Fauci advises against the British approach of delaying a second dose of vaccine.
Govt proposes to buy bulk subscriptions of all scientific journals, provide free access to all
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Lineage B.1.1.7 in England: Insights from linking epidemiological and genetic data
Investigation of novel SARS-CoV-2 variant: Variant of Concern 202012/01
Interview: Dr. Akiko Iwasaki. Vaccine efficacy, the future of COVID-19, and women in science


When Boston police officers fail to tell the truth, the department rarely calls a lie a lie
Coronavirus vaccine has arrived, but frustrated Americans are struggling to sign up
Brian Urquhart, a foundational leader at the United Nations, dies at 101
Distributional Analysis of the $2000 Survival Checks
Early vaccination in prisons, a public health priority, proves politically charged
Biden To Host Inauguration Eve Memorial To Lives Lost From COVID-19
When will teachers get vaccinated? Some already have — but most are nervously waiting.
How Taiwan Plans to Stay (Mostly) Covid-Free
Jan. 6 will be a glorious tribute to Trump’s failure
Donald Trump’s gift to America: Realizing we’ve never been a liberal democracy
On “Speaking Fees,” Biden and Yellen
How D.C. and its teachers, with shifting plans and demands, failed to reopen schools
He got COVID-19 after working for someone who tested positive but kept it secret (““I confronted Ted and asked why he didn’t tell people instead of putting us through all of this stuff,” said Cy. “And he said, ‘Because I thought I could get away with it.’ Which is probably typical of a lot of people in L.A., and it’s why we still have this problem.””)
An Immune Elite
Missing the forest
The Black Ton: From Bridgerton to Love & Hip-Hop
It Took a Pandemic to See the Distorted State of College Sports
Donald Trump Should Be Prosecuted for His Shakedown of Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger
Do rail projects really cost more in the US than overseas? A new study says no (sort of).
The Customer Is Not Always Right

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My HAWT TAEK on Georgia

If you haven’t heard, the two Democratic senate candidates won last night, meaning that Democrats would be tied with Republicans, 50-50, and Democratic Vice-President Harris, in her authority as vice president, could preside over the Senate and break ties–including choosing the Senate majority leader. Some thoughts:

  1. Bye bye Mitch! Not that Schumer is any great shakes, but McConnell is a fucking ghoul.
  2. If this result had happened Election Night, keeping the House, knocking off an incumbent president (even a garbage monster like Trump), and retaking the Senate would have been portrayed as a solid Democratic win.
  3. Following on from the above, Democrats should realize they have a mandate, and they need to govern like it. I don’t expect them to be lefties, but they should govern as Democrats, not radical Republicans (which describes ~85-90% of the Republican caucus at this point).
  4. D.C. statehood? It has to be on the table–Warnock made it an issue, albeit a minor one.
  5. My HAWT TAEK is that this result won’t divide the Republican Party (see the refusal to seat a certified state senator in Pennsylvania), but they’ll double down instead. Movement conservatives don’t rethink and reconsider, they regroup and rearm. And at this point, they’re not gulling the rubes, they are the rubes. They’re not just drinking the Kool-Aid, but undergoing full immersion baptism in it.
  6. Trump’s legacy, such as it is, just got murkier. I think many in the party will blame him. Of course, those assholes brought this on themselves by not realizing that men like Trump ultimately turn on everyone, if it suits them. Rooting for injuries.
  7. Historical irony: the runoff in statewide elections was a ‘reform’ designed to make it harder for non-Jim Crow candidates to win. Without the runoffs, Republicans keep the Senate. WOMP WOMP!
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