10,000 on ignore, Book 172: The Days of Reckoning, Part 31.....

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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New videos yet again highlight Proud Boy role in violent insurrection
Hunter

GettyImages-1230457949.jpg

They're called Proud Boys, not Smart Boys.

The Justice Department has released a few more videos from the Jan. 6 insurrection, and once again the clips support prosecutor allegations that at least among certain sets of Capitol attackers, the violence was indeed planned and intended to be an insurrection against the government. It wasn't a good plan, mind you, but the violent far-right fringe of this country has never been a group that troubles itself with plans more detailed than, “If we just start killing people, won't the rest just work itself out?"
...........

The videos in question are evidence in a federal court case against alleged Proud Boy provocateur Charles Donohue, who is charged with helping to plan the violence. One video shows an unidentified man shouting through a bullhorn, "Let's take the ****ing Capitol," followed by someone with several more neurons shouting back, "Let's not ****ing yell that." The other two show Donohue and another Proud Boy carrying a transparent riot shield that had been taken from defending law enforcement officers, and then Donohue in a crowd immediately before a violent attack on police protecting a building entrance. Other evidence indicates Donohue as the person who used a riot shield to break a Capitol window. (Again, they're called Proud Boys, not Smart Boys. This is about the most you can expect from the group.)

As for where the videos come from: They're presumably from other charged insurrectionists, many of whom were giddily documenting each of the crimes in progress.

From the moment the insurrection
failed, Republican lawmakers, Fox News propagandists, far-right militia groups, and anyone else whose election "fraud" rhetoric could be traced as primary instigator of the attempted coup all insisted that it must actually have been fomented by anyone from "antifa" to "the FBI." Luckily for all of those people—and the rest of us!—there is voluminous video evidence of just who did what, and all of those committing violence that day were people who had been unafraid, before then, to let their own social circles know just how much they loved either Donald Trump or the idea of mounting an insurrection against the United States government because Reasons. We have the video in which they made their intentions clear, video of them moving through each step of the process, video of them chanting about who their government enemies were and what they wanted to do with them if they succeeded in finding them, and so on.

White nationalist Tucker Carlson has a stake in pretending to his white nationalist audience that nobody knows nothin' about who attempted to kill the vice president or hold Congress hostage until they agreed to nullify the election results, but the law enforcement officials piecing together which subgroups did what do not appear to be gaslighted on this one.

There still needs to be a full, independent investigation of just how these multiple violent groups all simultaneously hatched plans to topple government by way of overturning a national election. Any such probe won't need much time to conclude that the plans to march on the Capitol at the exact moment Congress was validating a Republican election loss were directly tied to numerous Republicans, including a traitorous "president," who directly asked them to do just that. But there's still a good bit of uncertainty about just how closely Trump allies like Roger Stone coordinated with explicitly violent groups to make sure the demanded "march" in fact happened.


A majority of Republican lawmakers voted to question the results of a presidential election based on intentional hoaxes seeded by themselves and their allies. The pro-Trump attack on the Capitol building during the vote was intended, by its Republican organizers, to provide a veneer of "public outcry" justifying the extraordinary act of tossing out election results so as to invent some new way by which the incompetent killer of a half million Americans could be returned to power regardless of what the vote totals turned out to be.

The moment Republican leaders peddled anti-election, anti-democracy hoaxes that they knew to be false was the moment the party turned to sedition. The violence that day was the predictable—and predicted—result.

And yet, somehow, we're still creeping towards an outcome in which the petty foot soldiers of a violent insurrection are being arrested and convicted for their crimes while the political strategists and lawmakers who assembled them are left free to continue peddling the same treasonous hoaxes. Still!
 

Lion8286

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If you keep giving people money not to work, they’re less likely to return to work. Makes sense, right? What do you think, marbles?

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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If you keep giving people money not to work, they’re less likely to return to work. Makes sense, right? What do you think, marbles?

I think that if the minimum wage was closer to $15, and if people were guaranteed upwards of 40 hours a week, unemp comp would not be an issue. And, give people hope for a retirement pension, too. Why does he not advocate for that? Why is he not doing something proactive?

He is just amplifying Russian talking points on every subject he can at this point.

I bet it is a well-paying side gig for him. Faux is happy to help him with that. You ought to be asking why that is.

I'd ask Senator Johnson why he went to Russia with a bunch of other Repug senators on July 4 a few years back.

Why don't you ask him for me....since he is your BFF?
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Republicans created a story about labor shortages and unemployment aid. Reality is much more complex
Laura Clawson

Reporters have become so conditioned to the narrative that the economy right now is defined by labor shortages that when American Airlines announced Monday that it would be canceling hundreds of flights in July, CNN leaped to make it about that: "American Airlines canceling hundreds of flights through mid-July in part due to labor shortages," the headline read, despite the fact that the airline’s explanation was not mostly about labor shortages. CNN wasn't the only one, either.

“The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers' plans,” an airline spokesperson told CNN. “That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.”
.........
So weather causing disruptions including to crew member schedules plus spiking customer demand plus, yes, labor shortages in the statement turned into “labor shortages” in the headline. In fact, later reporting that looked a little more deeply found, American is facing one specific kind of labor shortage: training backlogs for pilots, due both to furloughs and layoffs over the past 15 months and due to the airline retiring some planes, leading the people who piloted those to need training on different planes. Add in weather delays that push already tight schedules to the breaking point, and, well, something breaks.

But mention “labor shortages” these days and it’s a shortcut to the whole ball of Republican messaging around expanded unemployment benefits, which dozens of Republican governors along with other lawmakers and right-wing pundits have insisted are letting people stay home comfortably rather than going out and looking for work. There’s a ready-made narrative there (made by Republicans), and plenty of reporters will just slot stories right into it.

Beyond specialized roles like pilots, there are three major reasons people aren’t going back to the workforce: Some people—as many as four million of them—remain scared of contracting COVID-19 on the job. Caregiving responsibilities have kept some women—around 1.4 million of them—from returning to work. And more than twice as many people as expected have retired during the pandemic.


Companies struggling to find enough workers, though, aren’t just contending with the fact that some people are still not back in the labor force, or never will be back. They’re dealing with something that really scares many employers when it comes to their workers: competition.

”It’s been challenging to find workers,” the CEO of ColorHub, a printing company, told The Wall Street Journal. “It used to be you could interview several people and go a couple of weeks without making an offer. Now if you don’t give someone a job on the spot, you might not get them.”

Well, what do you know. It’s not working out as well to treat people like their time doesn’t matter.

“We realized we had to scale up our wages to be more attractive to workers,” the manager of a Dot Foods distribution center said. “We saw 90% of our hires already were employed elsewhere.”

In other words, these businesses are struggling to hire workers not because of unemployment benefits but because of competition from other businesses. But the labor-shortage-because-unemployment-benefits coverage rolls on and on.

As Republican-controlled states cut off unemployment aid to millions of people, maybe people who have good reason to be afraid for their health or that of their family members will go back to work. Maybe some women will put their kids in child care situations they haven’t thought were acceptable and look for work because it’s that or face eviction or food insecurity. But the evidence is that businesses will still face challenges finding the cheap, undemanding workers they assumed would be theirs. Maybe then reporters will stop credulously running with Republican anti-worker talking points?
 

Lion8286

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Looks like Sleepy Joe is abandoning Afghan people who helped US troops. They will likely be murdered by the Taliban. Can you imagine what the MSM would be saying if Trump did this? Not good, Marbles, not good at all.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Newly released records show just how many Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 under Trump
Walter Einenkel

In 2020, during the Trump administration, 881 active Secret Service employees were diagnosed with COVID-19. This, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), included a majority, 477, of secret service “special agents,” and 249 from the “uniformed division.” This follows suit with the scant information that leaked out early on during the pandemic, when it was known that the Secret Service was facing at least 11 active COVID-19 cases and dozens more in quarantine because of exposure.

The FOIA documents do not give granular details about which agents may or may not have been in daily contact with Trump or his administration’s personnel. Analysis by CREW of the documents obtained does give this peek into how dangerous a job being a Secret Service employee was under a science-denying administration: “The list consists of 477 Special Agents, 249 members of the Uniformed Division, 131 working in Administrative, Professional, Technical Positions, 12 Investigative Protection Officers and 12 Technical Security Investigators.” Those 477 “special agents” are employees in the division that “is responsible for protecting the president and vice president, as well as the families of these leaders and other government officials.”......
.........

LL Brown

Jun 22, 2021 at 05:19:58 PM

881 is only the # of employees of the service, not their family, friends, and others they came in contact with.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Internal emails continue to confirm that ICE knowingly helped spread COVID-19 abroad
Gabe Ortiz

Internal documents obtained by a government watchdog continue to confirm that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was knowingly worsening the novel coronavirus pandemic. It wasn’t just that the agency refused to release larger numbers of immigrants and worsened this public health crisis here at home. The agency was also knowingly deporting sick immigrants, helping spread and worsen the pandemic abroad.

“The newly obtained documents contain a number of emails regarding symptoms exhibited by deportees, sent by officials whose names are for the most part fully redacted,” watchdog American Oversight said. In one email dated April 8, 2020, the State Department confirmed that three people from a March 26 deportation flight to Guatemala had tested positive. An April 13 email said the Guatemalan government confirmed that the three had then infected a combined total of 80 people in Guatemala.

.......
ICE only worsened this crisis, documents confirmed. “On one flight that landed in Guatemala City on April 13, an individual had a ‘fever of 102 degrees’; a week later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that 51 of the 76 deported individuals on that flight had tested positive for Covid-19,” American Oversight said. “In data later released by the Guatemalan government and reported on by the Arizona Republic, 70 of the 76 migrants on that flight had tested positive after disembarking from the plane.”

There were warning signs early on, when the State Department said in one email that two children deported on a March 23 flight were “extremely ill.” So ill that the Guatemalan government sent one to intensive care. They eventually tested negative, according to documents. But even after early alarms, deportation flights over the next several weeks were slowed only slightly, against the wishes of the Guatemalan government—and later from human rights advocates and Congressional leaders—to stop deportation flights.

“From March 15 to April 24, ICE Air appears to have made 21 deportation flights to Guatemala; 18 to Honduras; 12 to El Salvador; six to Brazil; three each to Nicaragua, Ecuador, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic; and one each to Colombia and Jamaica,” the Center for Economic and Policy Research reported in April 2020. Guatemalan officials again tried to halt deportation flights on April 16. The documents reveals the previous administration pushed for more deportations under the politically motivated Stephen Miller, who pushed the Title 42 order. By April 19, Guatemala had agreed to accept a deportation flight of unaccompanied children.

But we’ve also been long aware of the public health crisis that ICE was worsening right here at home. Rather than releasing detained immigrants as ordered by the court last year, the agency instead made a decision to transfer dozens of people from facilities in Arizona and Florida to Farmville’s Immigration Centers of America (ICA) in Virginia, where it created a COVID-19 disaster. “It has at least 268 out of around 360 detained people positive for the virus, making the jail by far the most stricken facility in ICE’s network of lockups,” Daily Beast reported in July 2020. By the next month, a federal judge
had ordered the agency to stop transferring immigrants to the privately operated facility.

ICE also spread the virus to other areas of the nation. Rather than releasing detained immigrants, ICE flew a number of people from facilities in New York and Pennsylvania to Texas, BuzzFeed News reported in April 2020. “The idea, it appears, was to protect these immigrants, and other detainees, from the spread of the coronavirus by reducing jail populations in the Northeast to create more ‘distancing,’” the report said. Or ICE could have just released them! Instead, “nearly two dozen of the detainees who were moved have tested positive for COVID-19,” the report said.

ICE isn’t done being COVID-19’s best friend. Even though less than 7% of immigrant detainees have been vaccinated and the agency still has no national vaccination plan in place, ICE offices are still seeking to redetain immigrants who were released under court order due to the pandemic. "In valuing their health and safety, the federal courts have recognized the humanity of these men and women,” Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition Immigration Impact Lab Program Director Adina Appelbaum said in a statement. “Re-detaining them would mean we are regressing back to a world where immigrants are not seen as human beings."
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Looks like Sleepy Joe is abandoning Afghan people who helped US troops. They will likely be murdered by the Taliban. Can you imagine what the MSM would be saying if Trump did this? Not good, Marbles, not good at all.

Yes. I realize that EVERY RWNJ "news" site has their hair on fire over this. Maybe we should just go ahead and tell the enemy what our plan is for this, who we are bringing out, how, etc. Maps. Timelines. Graphs. Photos.

Tell them RIGHT NOW. Amirite?

OH. BTW, why didn't Trump get this going before he was kicked out of office. He apparently did not do enough. Right?

LULZ.

You truly are a dimwit.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Yes. I realize that EVERY RWNJ "news" site has their hair on fire over this. Maybe we should just go ahead and tell the enemy what our plan is for this, who we are bringing out, how, etc. Maps. Timelines. Graphs. Photos.

Tell them RIGHT NOW. Amirite?

OH. BTW, why didn't Trump get this going before he was kicked out of office. He apparently did not do enough. Right?

LULZ.

You truly are a dimwit.

Here, have my first pic from today. It might calm you the fck down........

199220135_10158759189424117_174875004258602347_n.jpg


My iPhone 10. No editing filters used. This is really what it was like. I have many more from today coming soon.

Looks like The Lord even gave me on thumb up on this one. Maybe just an endorsement of my trail of choice today, tho.

Ain't that an invigoratin' thought?
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Who is Matthew Calamari and Why is Trump Scared?
CorpFlunky

Once Trump’s bodyguard, Calamari is the Trump Org’s Chief Operating Officer. The COO is like a Chief of Staff and is second in rank to the CEO (Trump himself). There are seven different types of COO’s (heir, mentor, partner, MVP, opposite, change agent and executor). Calamari—who told Trump on video that he would kill for him—is obviously the executor type. That means his job has been to make sure that senior management’s orders are carried out efficiently and effectively. In a criminal organization, the COO would be responsible for overseeing the crooks and for making sure the crimes are carried out.

Michael Cohen named Matthew Calamari Sr as one of a handful of people who could confirm that the Trump Org frequently and fraudulently mis-valued real estate assets to banks, insurance companies and tax authorities. Calamari is currently being investigated by Cy Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, as part of the broad investigation into whether the Trump Org is a criminal enterprise. (His son Matt Calamari Jr, Trump Org’s director of corporate security, is also under investigation). Both Calamari Sr and Jr drive luxury cars, live in luxury Trump apartments and have perks that are under investigation for alleged tax evasion.

The Chief Financial Officer, Alan Weisselberg, has gotten much of the attention so far, since he controls the money and has been serving Trump longest. But Calamari’s job puts him at the center of the investigation for several reasons.

  • First, according to the CFO’s daughter in law, much alleged crime took place in payroll transactions that enabled tax evasion. The COO’s job includes overseeing both staff and efficient use of funds, so, in theory, he should know about any pattern of illegal payments (especially if both he and his son received them).
  • Second, the COO is normally responsible for coordinating with both the CFO and the CEO, managing operations, ensuring that key initiatives are executed, and for putting corporate policies, procedures and practices in writing. If Calamari didn’t write anything down, that could be seen as a red flag that the organization is criminal.
  • Third, the COO’s job often includes responding to general outside inquiries. While the CFO is responsible for delivering specific financial reports to regulators and the lawyers handle specific legal requests, the COO would normally oversee and coordinate the organization’s overall response to officials. Since the prosecutors and ultimately the judge will assess how well the Trump Org has cooperated with New York in being transparent, in demonstrating good corporate citizenship and for running a tight ship that investigates and reports corruption, the extent that the COO either participated in corruption and coverups, avoided due diligence, willfully ignored misconduct or refused to cooperate proactively with regulators, will be a key factor in determining how to punish the Trump Org. In other words, unless Calamari can explain what was going on and why he didn’t say anything, New York has every right to shut down and liquidate the Trump Org.
Investigators also need to understand Weisselberg’s true role. Some reports claim that Weisselberg is actually the unofficial COO, which if true would increase his legal jeopardy. As CFO, Weisselberg is already on the hook for the documents he signed, including many reports required by NY tax authorities. If Weisselberg claims that he was simply following corporate orders, then Calamari has to explain what orders he got from Trump and what he told Weisselberg to do. If Calamari denies telling Weisselberg to sign fraudulent documents, then Weisselberg has to explain what orders he received from Trump himself. If Weisselberg can’t blame anyone else, then prosecutors can paint Weisselberg as the mastermind and throw the book at him. And if the violations are found to have continued for many years, then the entire chain of events or the entire series of continuing illegal actions can be punished, not limited by the statute of limitations, which for Weisselberg could add up to a very long time indeed.
 

Lion8286

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So the Dems want election day to be a federal holiday. Didn’t they just approve a federal holiday last week? How many holidays do they want, 1 a week? Does it really take Dems 8 hours to vote, Marbles??
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Trump-appointed judge dismisses almost all claims involving driving protesters from Lafayette Square
Mark Sumner

Two weeks ago, an inspector general for the U.S. Department of the Interior insisted that when hundreds of heavily armed officers from the Bureau of Prisons and Park Police cleared peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square with rubber bullets, flash bangs, and tear gas, it was perfectly okay—because those things were done to protect contractors setting up a fence, not to clear the way for Donald Trump to wander across the park and wave a Bible over his head. But at the same time, the Department of Justice was in court arguing that Donald Trump and William Barr could not be sued over the incident, because Lafayette Square was cleared to protect Trump, and “presidential safety” made everything fine.

It might seem like the IG ruling would give the DOJ an excuse to step back and stop defending Trump for taking violent actions against nonviolent protestors. That didn’t happen. Instead, the Justice Department pressed ahead, and on Tuesday District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee, handed down a ruling that dismissed the majority of four suits involving the incident .

Included in that ruling was a decision that seems to explicitly embrace the idea that the actions taken at Lafayette Square were done to protect Trump. However, it also invokes a term that has become all too familiar from the many cases involving police officers across the nation: Trump and Barr have “qualified immunity” in their actions. Judge Freidreich followed this up by completely dismissing the section of the suit asking for an injunction against future actions.

..........
The court cases come from four different groups, one being Black Lives Matter, and break down into a number of potential claims, including a claim of damages for violations of several amendments; a call for an injunction against future actions; a claim of criminal conspiracy against Black people; and violations of several federal acts. Almost all of them were dismissed.

On the damages claim, Fredrich quickly dismisses the damage claim, agreeing with lawyers from the DOJ that the claims fall outside the “limited jurisdiction” of a district court, and that “the individual defendants are entitled to qualified immunity.” The first part of this involved a lot of avoiding any “new context” that would have given protection to constitutional rights. In essence, Friedrich appears to agree that, because there has not been a case specifically dealing with this situation, it’s outside of the district court’s ability to rule. So … dismissed.

A big part of what the lawsuits requested didn’t involve punishment for the events of that day, or payment to those injured, but “injunctive relief” that would stop future incidents of violence against those gathered for the purposes of First Amendment protest. The plaintiffs requested that the government be prevented from “deploying physical force without provocation, warning, or legal grounds to do so.”

Judge Friedrich refused to grant that relief, saying that just because the people who filed these suits were directed to be assaulted by the government, and in some cases injured, in this case they don’t have any standing in to try and prevent future cases in which the same thing may occur. Who would have standing to request that the government be instructed to not go around attacking nonviolent protestors without warning? Nobody.

In this particular case, Judge Friedrich has decided that even if “federal officers used law enforcement response as cover” to deliberately target nonviolent peaceful demonstrators, that’s not an issue. Because just because they’ve done it once, doesn’t mean that they’ll do it again. Or at least, it doesn’t mean they’ll do it again
specifically against any of those who filed a suit in this case. And that makes the whole thing “simply too speculative” for the petitioners to have standing.

For the plaintiffs to have had standing, they would have needed evidence not just of events on that day, but that they had been targeted for future events. Without that evidence … no standing. And no standing means case dismissed. However, a fraction of this claim survives in the form of allowing plaintiffs to sue for relief of the restrictions still placed on Lafayette Square. On the conspiracy claim, Friedrich dismisses it almost out of hand. She writes both that “The plaintiffs’ have failed to adequately plead the first two essential elements” of a conspiracy, and again that Trump, Barr, and others are entitled to qualified immunity. “For these reasons, the conspiracy claims will be dismissed.”

Finally, the suits argue that actions in clearing Lafayette Square represent a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. However, since the Posse Comitatus Act represents criminal law, with the possibility of fines and imprisonment, Judge Friedrich states simply that: “the PCA does not create a private civil cause of action for damages.” She spends some time looking at whether Congress intended there to be a possibility to sue under the act, but determines that “the evidence is lacking here.” So Posse Comitatus can be the subject of legal action by a government actor, but not civil action by individuals. “The Court finds no reason to depart from the weight of the authority and will dismiss the plaintiffs’ claim for damages under the PCA.”

Just about the only part of the suits that is preserved are the parts that don’t involve Trump and Barr, but are instead claims against individual officers from the various agencies involved. There, Friedrich finds that the “the plaintiffs have plausibly alleged a constitutional violation” in the violation of their First Amendment rights.


It’s in this section that the DOJ continues to argue directly against the finding of the inspector general:

Of note, the defendants argue that the clearing of the Square was justified by a significant government interest—the national interest in presidential security ...

But this portion of the claim is not dismissed. Neither is a claim of “First Amendment retaliation.”

However, other claims involving municipal liability were dismissed, as Friedrich ruled the evidence wasn’t sufficient to show that the agencies involved had failed to sufficiently train their officers on matters involving race.


At the end, the only standing claim against the federal targets involves continuing restrictions on access to Lafayette Square. All that’s left of the rest of the suit are some claims against individual officers, but not against the municipalities involved. If the plaintiffs want to chase the damage charge, they’ll have to appeal to a court that can deal more completely with claims that create “new context.”

So, not a thing that will make Trump or Barr do anything but smile.

The ACLU has issued a statement:

“Today’s ruling essentially gives the federal government a green light to use violence, including lethal force against demonstrators, as long as federal officials claim to be protecting national security, said Scott Michelman, Legal Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia. “Under today’s decision, Lafayette Square is now a Constitution-free zone when it comes to the actions of federal officials. Not only is this decision a stunning rejection of our constitutional values and protestors’ First Amendment rights, but it effectively places federal officials above the law.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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#AbbottHatesDogs trends after Texas governor vetoes anti-cruelty bill—because he's cruel
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

From Austin NBC affiliate KXAN:

Abbott called Senate Bill 474, known as the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, “micro-managing” and said, “Texas is no place for this kind of over-criminalization.”
The bipartisan act would have made it a Class C misdemeanor if someone knowingly leaves a dog outside unattended while restrained unless the owner can provide:
  • Adequate shelter
  • An area that allows the dog to stay away from standing water, urine or feces or otherwise cause harm to the dog
  • Shade from direct sunlight
  • Potable water
The act goes on to say owners couldn’t use a chain to restrain the dog, or a tether that has weights attached or is shorter than 10 feet or five times the length of the dog measured from nose to tail. It also stipulates that the dog’s collar or harness “fit properly.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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153 Houston hospital staffers who refused COVID vaccine have been canned or resigned
Aldous J Pennyfarthing

First of all, who are these anti-vax health care workers? Did they sleep through all their classes? If you can’t do the bare minimum to protect your customers—regardless of the business you’re in—you should change careers, tout de suite.

If a McDonald’s worker refused to wash his hands after using the restroom, I’d expect him to get fired. I wouldn’t much care, of course, because I don’t eat at McDonald’s—though I do occasionally use their bathroom on road trips. The urinal cakes are marginally better than the McMuffins anyway, and they’re free. Or at the very least no one stops you when you walk out of the restaurant with an armload of sopping pink pucks and a feral look on your face.

But for some reason, some health care workers think it’s fine and dandy to spread their freedom phlegm throughout their workplace—a workplace that’s dedicated, at least in part, to stanching the rivers of COVID flowing through our benighted land like jet-black goo on a Giuliani.
......

Case in point: 153 workers at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas who refused the COVID vaccine and are now ex-workers at Houston Methodist.

The Washington Post:

Houston Methodist — one of the first health systems to require the coronavirus shots — terminated or accepted the resignations of 153 workers Tuesday, spokeswoman Gale Smith said. Smith declined to specify how many were in each category.
The hospital system announced April 1 that staffers would need to be vaccinated to keep their jobs. While 24,947 workers did get vaccinated by earlier deadlines, Houston Methodist suspended 178 workers who had failed to do so on June 7, giving them an additional two weeks to prove they had been immunized. Twenty-five of those employees did get vaccinated, Smith said.

Again, getting vaccinated isn’t necessarily fun, but it’s the bare minimum we can—and must—do as citizens. If you don’t care about spreading lethal diseases to potentially hundreds of other humans, maybe this whole society thing isn’t for you. Find out where Randy Quaid is living now and pitch your yurt next to that.

Earlier this month, a federal district court judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by one of those employees, Jennifer Bridges, a former nurse who alleged the policy was unlawful and forced staffers to be “guinea pigs” for vaccines that had not gone through the full Food and Drug Administration approval process. The FDA has authorized three coronavirus vaccines for emergency use, following rigorous clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people, and both Pfizer and Moderna have applied for full approval for their vaccines.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, the Ronald Reagan appointee who handed down the decision, wrote, “This is not coercion. Methodist is trying to do their business of saving lives without giving them the COVID-19 virus. It is a choice made to keep staff, patients, and their families safer.”

That’s common sense, of course—the equivalent of requiring airline pilots to keep their eyes open when they land planes—but given the dearth of that precious commodity these days, I doubt the outcome was ever a foregone conclusion.

To be fair, I don’t think citizens should be rounded up and forcibly vaccinated, and I don’t know anyone who believes that would be appropriate—even though anti-vax attitudes are literally killing people across this country as we speak. That said, we should use whatever leverage we can to get shots in arms—including preventing dipshit anti-vaxxers from working in health care settings.

Because, seriously … duh.
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Big Democratic super PAC to pour $20 million into counteracting GOP's voting rights assault
Kerry Eleveld

The major Democratic super PAC Priorities USA announced Tuesday substantial funding for an early push to combat the GOP-led assault on voting rights across the country. To that end, the group is pouring $20 million into efforts to organize and educate voters about the new laws while also mounting legal challenges to them, according to the New York Times.

“We’re starting this conversation early because we want to make sure we raise the alarm bells early about how much work needs to be done to respond to these Republican efforts,” said Danielle Butterfield, executive director of Priorities USA.
......
Butterfield said the group will be launching a series of digital ads designed specifically to inform voters about the voter suppression efforts and help them navigate the new rules. The campaign is targeted at the demographic groups that lie at the center of the GOP's new voter suppression laws.

“Those are voters of color, Black and Latino voters specifically, and we plan to center them both in our creative and our targeting to make sure that they are aware of how empowering voting is," explained Butterfield.

The group also joined in nearly a dozen election lawsuits filed during the 2020 cycle, and it plans to take an active role in challenging the new round of GOP suppression efforts although though it has filed no lawsuits to date.

Priorities USA also said the $20 million was more of a substantial downpayment on a total campaign, with more money likely to come. However, the group thought it was important to budget in money immediately in order to get an early start in combatting the laws.

The super PAC also isn't the only group already devoting significant resources to organizing voters. The Texas Democratic Party announced earlier this month its largest-ever voter registration push, putting $14 million into a campaign designed to register two million new voters.