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Hometown: London
Home country: USA/UK/Sweden
Current location: Stockholm, Sweden
Member since: Sun Jul 1, 2018, 07:25 PM
Number of posts: 9,574

Journal Archives

Boris Johnson out of intensive care but remains in hospital battling coronavirus


Boris Johnson has been moved out of intensive care, where he has been battling coronavirus since Monday evening.

The Prime Minister now remains on a general ward at St Thomas’ Hospital, where he will ‘receive close monitoring’, a Downing Street spokesperson said.

They added: ‘He is in extremely good spirits.’ During the daily press conference today, he was described as being in ‘high spirits’ by First Secretary of State Dominic Raab. He said that the PM had been continuing with ‘standard oxygen treatment’ during his time in the ICU.

Johnson first announced he had tested positive for coronavirus March 27, but continued working in isolation and leading the government. He was then admitted to hospital on Sunday evening after showing symptoms of the virus still after 10 days.


Capitalism's triple crisis

After the 2008 financial crisis, we learned the hard way what happens when governments flood the economy with unconditional liquidity, rather than laying the foundation for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.


Capitalism is facing at least three major crises. A pandemic-induced health crisis has rapidly ignited an economic crisis with yet unknown consequences for financial stability, and all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a climate crisis that cannot be addressed by ‘business as usual’. Until just two months ago, the news media were full of frightening images of overwhelmed firefighters, not overwhelmed health-care providers.

This triple crisis has revealed several problems with how we do capitalism, all of which must be solved at the same time that we address the immediate health emergency. Otherwise, we will simply be solving problems in one place while creating new ones elsewhere. That is what happened with the 2008 financial crisis. Policy-makers flooded the world with liquidity without directing it toward good investment opportunities. As a result, the money ended up back in a financial sector that was (and remains) unfit for purpose

The Covid-19 crisis is exposing still more flaws in our economic structures, not least the increasing precarity of work, owing to the rise of the gig economy and a decades-long deterioration of workers’ bargaining power. Telecommuting simply is not an option for most workers and, although governments are extending some assistance to workers with regular contracts, the self-employed may find themselves left high and dry. Worse, governments are now extending loans to businesses at a time when private debt is already historically high. In the United States, total household debt just before the current crisis was $14.15 trillion, which is $1.5 trillion higher than it was in 2008 (in nominal terms). And, lest we forget, it was high private debt that caused the global financial crisis.

Austerity pursued

Unfortunately, over the past decade, many countries have pursued austerity, as if public debt were the problem. The result has been to erode the very public-sector institutions that we need to overcome crises like the coronavirus pandemic. Since 2015, the United Kingdom has cut public-health budgets by £1 billion, increasing the burden on doctors in training (many of whom have left the National Health Service altogether), and reducing the long-term investments needed to ensure that patients are treated in safe, up-to-date, fully staffed facilities. And in the US—which has never had a properly funded public-health system—the Trump administration has been persistently trying to cut funding and capacity for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other critical institutions.


Oh right, that asshole (Today's Big Stuff x Adam Parkhomenko)

Bill Barr, who has spent the last few weeks vacationing in Trump’s small intestine, emerged to do a Fox interview and remind everyone what a huge piece of shit he is.

First, he attacked Democrats for criticizing Trump, who he said has been very “statesmanlike” during this nightmare. Then, he decided to go ahead and made a decision on the bullshit investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.

We recommend reading Aaron Blake with WaPo on this because he really nailed it. But no, AG Kissass, this was not a travesty. Trump’s campaign and family were meeting with representatives of a foreign government while they were attacking us. What do you call the people who know that but have lied and covered it up? Oh yeah, dirty fucking traitors. More: Washington Post

Trump Will Use Coronavirus To Steal The 2020 Election

It’s the nightmare scenario we’ve all been thinking about since November 9, 2016.


WASHINGTON, DC -- One of the ongoing issues with liberal activists, not to mention Democrats in general, is that we tend to be a little slow-on-the-uptake when it comes to either Republican shenanigans, or liberal causes that deserve more attention. Specifically, we too often jump on board with an event, court decision, or scandal after it’s too late to reverse the course of whatever’s happening. I’m not a futurist, but this last-minute reaction time on the left is one reason why I sometimes warn about possible catastrophes perhaps a year or more ahead of schedule. I’m not always right, but I figure if we have a road map -- some sort of heads up for what’s next, it’s easier to be prepared when some of these eventualities hit the fan. Donald Trump is a crook, and as we’ve seen with performance-enhancing-drugs in sports, the crooks are always one step ahead of the regulators. We need to reverse that, especially given the political stakes of the November election.

Specifically, one of the most terrifying things I’m seeing on the horizon is the possibility that Trump will somehow exploit either the courts or the coronavirus or both to disrupt the November 3 election. It’s the nightmare scenario we’ve all been thinking about since November 9, 2016, and now, there are circumstances that might allow it to come true. It’s important to note here that the president doesn’t have the authority to simply postpone or cancel an election. But he can certainly disrupt an election. Hell, Trump disrupted the 2016 election and he wasn’t even president at the time. Instead, it was his boss, Putin, who handled that as Trump’s proxy. This year, however, he’s got Putin, plus his disinformation “Death Star” accosting Facebook users with agitprop, and now he’s also got the coronavirus and our collective urge to protect ourselves from getting it. Trump also has the federal courts, which have been stacked with hundreds of Trump loyalists, thanks in part to Moscow Mitch.

There’s no way of knowing exactly how he’ll do it, but it could involve all of those things as well as a propaganda campaign that’s already underway by the White House and the conservative entertainment complex to drive down voter turnout by demonizing mail-in balloting. For the past several episodes of the Trump Show, he’s been falsely suggesting that mail-in ballots are corrupt, and the only method of voting he’ll accept as valid is Voter ID supported in-person voting. Ironically, the most notorious example of absentee ballot “corruption” was by North Carolina Republicans who criminally tampered with mail-in voting to elevate Mark Harris in the 9th congressional district race back in 2018. It’s also worth noting here that voter fraud is statistically nonexistent here, leaving Voter ID as nothing more than another way for Republicans to suppress turnout. And suppressed turnout tends to benefit the GOP.

Nevertheless, Trump’s talent for repeating the same bullshit on endless loop will help to inject his anti-mail-in nonsense into the softened skulls of at least 40 percent of the voting population, perhaps more, given how Voter ID has also been confoundingly popular among some Democrats. Meanwhile, knowing that coronavirus cases could surge again when the weather turns cold, say mid-October in many parts of the nation, Democrats and secretaries of state will be planning ahead with alternative methods of voting on and before November 3, including mail-in ballots. It’s safe to assume that many of the states run by pro-Trump governors or states controlled by pro-Trump courts will repeat what happened with the state supreme court in Wisconsin, refusing to accommodate alternative balloting and forcing people to the polls, despite the harrowing circumstances. In other words, many of the traditionally blue states will roll out alternative voting systems, while Trump states will insist on in-person voting, even if the virus returns for another round.


Cats FTW


The World's Nations Ranked by COVID-19 Deaths per 1 million/population

I did not list all (I do list a lot!), as at under 0.2 per million it seems pointless due to lack of data, testing, etc etc.


Denmark to Ease Restrictions Next Week After Coronavirus Lockdown


Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has acknowledged her coronavirus strategy is 'a political choice'

COPENHAGEN — Denmark plans to reopen day care centres and schools on April 15 as a first step to gradually relax a three-week lockdown to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the country's prime minister said on Monday. The Nordic country, which was one of the first in Europe to shut down, has seen the number of coronavirus-related hospitalisations and deaths stabilise over the past week.

It is now trying to balance the need to keep its population safe and the economic risks of a deep recession, tough decisions that many other governments around the world have lying ahead of them. "This will probably be a bit like walking the tightrope. If we stand still along the way we could fall and if we go too fast it can go wrong. Therefore, we must take one cautious step at a time," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a media briefing.

Denmark on March 11 announced closure of schools, day cares, restaurants, cafes and gyms, and shut all borders to most foreigners. Frederiksen day care centres and schools for children in first to fifth grade will reopen on April 15, which will allow parents to return to a normal workday. All remaining restrictions including a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people would stay in place until at least May 10, while a ban on larger gatherings would remain in place until August. Frederiksen cautioned that the gradual reopening would only happen if the numbers stay stable and she urged all Danes to stick to the government's guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

The number of daily deaths slowed to seven on Sunday from 14 on Saturday and 18 on Friday, while the number of hospitalisations has fallen slightly over the past week. Denmark has reported 187 coronavirus-related deaths and total of 4,681 infected. "If we open Denmark too quickly again we risk that infections rise too sharply and then we have to close down again," Frederiksen said. Denmark is the second country in Europe to provide dates and details on a gradual reopening of its coronavirus lockdown after Austria earlier on Monday said it was preparing for a "resurrection" the day after Easter by reopening some shops.


The US is going to emerge from this crisis way more unequal. Millions losing jobs & going deeper in

debt while the 1% bargain shops for equities to double & triple their wealth. The feudalistic mindset among the political class won't even consider a wealth tax to prevent this.


Watch how radically taxes on the wealthy have fallen over the past 70 years:


'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

"The top one percent owns nearly $30 trillion of assets while the bottom half owns less than nothing."

The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You

Wisconsin's Warning for the November Election

How are people expected to vote if they’re not supposed to even leave their homes?


“I’m accused of trying to conduct a voter purge in the state of Wisconsin,” Rick Esenberg told me by way of introduction. Esenberg runs the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which is suing to force the state’s election commission to remove hundreds of thousands of “inactive” voters from the rolls.

I had called Esenberg to ask about the in-person election that Wisconsin was planning to hold tomorrow even as its citizens are under a statewide directive to stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak. Democrats, including Governor Tony Evers, want to conduct the election by mail so that Wisconsinites don’t have to risk their health to go to the polls. The Republican-controlled state legislature is rejecting that idea—even though some studies suggest that voting by mail helps Republican candidates more than Democratic ones.

Why would Republicans oppose a measure that could make it easier—and safer—for people to vote? They’ve cited the logistical and legal hurdles of mailing every Wisconsin voter a ballot in such a short period. But at the heart of the dispute is a disagreement over the fundamental goal of the proposal—maximizing the number of people who can exercise their right to vote. “I’m not one of these people who says that’s necessarily an unalloyed good,” Esenberg told me. “To some extent, I do believe that if people are not willing to make some effort to vote, maybe that indicates that they’re not that interested and they’re not going to inform themselves, and it’s just as well that they don’t vote.”

To conservatives like Esenberg, prioritizing turnout as a benchmark is a mistake. “Should we evaluate the fairness of our voting laws simply by how many people vote, and that’s sort of the sign of a functioning democracy?” he said. “I don’t know that that’s true. Everybody votes in Cuba, but nobody thinks that’s a well-functioning democracy. I don’t worry as much about how many people vote. I think there’s a lot of people who aren’t particularly interested in voting.”


they would once again try a poll tax (and this time it would be far more expansive in terms of states involved) if they thought they could get away with it

NYT Newsletter: Some People Got to Vote Today

Voting in Wisconsin today.

It’s an Election Day, which often means your Tuesday evening edition of the On Politics newsletter focuses on what to watch for in the day’s primaries. But in Wisconsin — the first state to hold in-person voting while its residents are under a “safer at home” order — there will be no results reported until April 13, thanks to a messy back-and-forth of court decisions that mired the elections in chaos and confusion. So we don’t have much to watch for tonight, because we won’t know any results. What we do know is that in Milwaukee, the biggest city in the state and the base of Democratic voters in Wisconsin, voting has been a public health and civic catastrophe.

At each of the city’s five polling sites (in a normal year, there are 180 locations), voters waited more than two hours to cast their ballot, as lines of hundreds of people stretched for blocks. Many wore masks and kept six feet of distance in line, but not all. The scene was markedly different outside Wisconsin’s main urban areas. Officials in rural counties — especially Republican officials — reported few problems at the polls. In Sheboygan County, about an hour north of Milwaukee up the Lake Michigan shore, the local Republican chairman, Dennis Gasper, said he drove around to polling places this morning and found no issues. A lot of voters did not want to go to the polls: Nearly 1.3 million absentee ballots were requested through Monday, though only about 860,000 had been returned. And stories poured in today of voters unable to cast their ballots.

So, amid this confusion, one of the most pivotal swing states in the country held its spring elections today, with a closely watched State Supreme Court race hanging in the balance. Though the polls close at 8 p.m. Central time, it’s likely that the weeks that follow will be filled with even more legal challenges.

So stay tuned, and stay safe.
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