September 8, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 9:17 PM


Posted by orrinj at 5:35 PM


WHY JEB BUSH ADMIRES ANDREW YANG : Former Florida governor and presidential candidate Jeb Bush sat for a revealing interview with OZY's CEO and co-founder on the latest episode of The Carlos Watson Show. The following are some of the best cuts from the full conversation.  (Nick Fouriezos, 9/08/20, OZY)


Bush: I think it's artificial intelligence and the convergence of big data analytics along with it is going to create an explosion of innovations, the likes of which I can't describe, but I hope I'm alive to see them.

Watson: Are you afraid of the robots?

Bush: No, I think embracing science, embracing technology is essential for our long-term success, but there has to be a way to make sure that everybody can take advantage of that success and right now we're not there. There's huge swaths of our society that will be completely left behind by the acceleration of these technological trends. It breaks my heart, actually. I see it in slow motion happening, and I'm pretty confident it's going to yield social strife that we can't even imagine.

Watson: Who is the most thoughtful person, Governor, who you talk to about these issues?

Bush: The guy on the public square that's been the most articulate is Andrew Yang. I think he's pretty cool too. I like the fact that he is worried about this. His solution, if you could say in a country that there's a basic income that everybody should have and you're empowering people, then, to take care of their lives and you're changing not the health care system but the public assistance system to be able to provide that base support, that's a really interesting idea if you pair it with an education system that gives people the skills to be able to live a purposeful life.

Posted by orrinj at 1:21 PM


The Shocking Deception of Israeli Scientists Pushing the COVID-19 Swedish Model: Israel has 'achieved' the world's highest rate of new coronavirus infections per capita. And reckless scientists, armed with unsubstantiated claims and no public health or epidemiological expertise, want to risk many more lives (Joseph Bruch, 9/08/20, Ha'aretz)

This past week, Illinois' largest university, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, reported 780 new COVID-19 cases on its downstate campus following the start of classes on August 24th. 

The bad news followed the recommendation of two University of Illinois physicists who advocated for opening the university. They had stated their models demonstrated that active cases at any one time would remain below 100, a figure they described as the "worst-case scenario."

So how could it be that in less than a week, the cases were seven times what the physicists predicted? For one, epidemiological models are tough, and the continual emergence of new information makes accurate prediction even tougher.

But allow me to provide another explanation: Two men who had no public health or epidemiologic expertise decided they were adequately suited to dictate the public health response to COVID-19 and shape university and state policy accordingly.  

Similarly, this week - as Israel hits a daily record of new infections - dozens of Israeli physicians and scientists signed an open letter calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition cabinet to not impose a new countrywide lockdown and to remove social distancing measures (Israeli Physicians, Scientists Warn Against Lockdown, Call to Adopt Swedish Model).  [...]

A study in Nature found that across 11 countries, over three million deaths have been averted due to lockdowns, school closures, and social distancing measures since the start of the pandemic. Furthermore, existing evidence finds that loosening restrictions too quickly can increase mortality for at-risk populations as well as spawn a new wave of infections. In fact, part of the reason Israel went from an exemplar in its response to the pandemic to a visible failure has to do with the fact that restrictions were lifted too quickly. 

Posted by orrinj at 1:13 PM


Veterans Advocate Says Trump Has 'No Integrity' and 'No Honor' (JASON LEMON ON 9/8/20, Newsweek)

"He's a disgusting human being. He has no integrity, he has no honor, he has no respect. He has no respect for anyone or anything," Paul Rieckhoff, a veteran of the Iraq War who founded the non-profit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in 2004, said during an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday. "He's a political runaway train who will smash into anything that's in his way, to include our military. He's attacking his own military leadership."

Entertaining the way the Trumpbots try dismissing the hateful stuff Donald said about soldiers in private when he's worse out loud.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Syria: Daesh retakes gas field from Russia (Middle East Monitor, September 8, 2020)

The Islamic State militant group (Daesh) yesterday took control of the Dheibat gas field, in the Homs countryside, local media reported.

According to the reports, Daesh launched a counter-offensive against Syrian regime and Russian forces in the Dheibat gas field, noting that the militants began their attack with heavy machine guns before storming the field.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


7 details from new exposé on financial turmoil -- and bitter backstabbing -- in the Trump campaign (CODY FENWICK, SEPTEMBER 8, 2020, AlterNet)

4. The campaign spent nearly half of its spending on more fundraising

It's hard to imagine this was cost-effective, given the fact that the campaign has recently felt the need to cut back on ads.

"Under Mr. Parscale, more than $350 million -- almost half of the $800 million spent -- went to fund-raising operations, as no expense was spared in finding new donors online," the report said.

5. A lot of money is covering campaign-adjacent legal bills

Republicans, for instance, have been saddled with extra legal costs, more than $21 million since 2019, resulting from the many investigations into Mr. Trump and, eventually, his impeachment trial. The R.N.C. also paid a large legal bill of $666,667.66 to Reuters News & Media at the end of June. Both Reuters and the R.N.C. declined to discuss the payment. It was labeled "legal proceedings -- IP resolution," suggesting it was related to a potential litigation over intellectual property.

...was about Hillary's historic unpopularity (and Comey's blunder), not about anything the Trump campaign did.