October 7, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 6:05 PM


Trump's antibody treatment was tested using cells originally derived from an abortion (Antonio Regalado, October 7, 2020, MIT Technology Review)

This week, President Donald Trump extolled the cutting-edge coronavirus treatments he received as "miracles coming down from God." If that's true, then God employs cell lines derived from human fetal tissue.

The emergency antibody that Trump received last week was developed with the use of a cell line originally derived from abortion tissue, according to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the company that developed the experimental drug.

He'd eat a baby if he thought it would help him.

Posted by orrinj at 4:14 PM


Donald Trump Is Canceling TV Ads In Midwest States That Made Him President (Henry J. Gomez, 10/07/20, BuzzFeed News)

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is slashing television spending in the Midwest, canceling millions of dollars in advertising in states that carried him to victory in 2016.

He's been off the local airwaves completely in Iowa and Ohio. The campaign also has given up at least $2 million worth of reservations in both Michigan and Wisconsin since early September. And in Minnesota, a state Trump almost won four years ago and has expressed confidence in flipping, his team already has chopped about $5 million from its projected fall TV budget.

Posted by orrinj at 4:11 PM


Justice Department acknowledges 'inadvertently' altering Flynn document with sticky note (KYLE CHENEY, 10/07/2020, Politico)

The erroneously dated notes also mark the third time the DOJ and Flynn's legal team misdated the meeting as potentially occurring before Jan. 5. On June 24, the DOJ filed an earlier version of Strzok's notes that included an inaccurate date range as well.

Bill Barr's  Department of Obstruction of Justice.

Posted by orrinj at 4:06 PM


Why so many Americans are allergic to peanuts (David Anderson and Rebecca Wilkin, 10/07/20, Business Insider)

 The US has an epidemic on its hands. Peanut allergies. Between 1997 and 2008, the number of American children with a peanut allergy has tripled. And today, an estimated 1.8 million kids in the US have one. That's larger than the entire population of Philadelphia. And the US is not alone. The UK, Canada, and Australia have seen a similar rise in child peanut allergies. But, that's not the case for other countries like China, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, and Israel.

So, what do these countries have that the US doesn't? In Israel, there is a joke that the first three words out of every toddler's mouth are: abba, which means dad, ima, which means mom, and Bamba. Bamba is a popular peanuty snack. An estimated 90% of Israeli families buy it on a regular basis. And guess what? The peanut allergy rate in Israel is 1/10 the rate that it is in the UK. And in China and Thailand, many children eat peanut rice porridge for breakfast. And wouldn't you know it? Peanut allergies are relatively low there too.

Posted by orrinj at 11:46 AM


Lindsey Graham's 17-Year Run as SC Senator Now a Toss Up With Democrat Jaime Harrison (MATTHEW IMPELLI, 10/7/20, Newsweek)

The South Carolina Senate election is now a toss-up between 17-year Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison, according to the Cook Political Report.

The Cook Political Report rates election races in each state and analyzes the vulnerability of Senate races. According to the report, the South Carolina Senate election is now a toss-up, meaning that either party has a good chance of winning the election.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


'It is a slaughter': Infectious disease icon asks CDC director to expose White House, orchestrate his own firing (Brett Murphy & Letitia Stein, 10/07/20, USA TODAY)

Dr. William Foege, a renowned epidemiologist who served under Democratic and Republican presidents, detailed in a private letter he sent last month to CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield his alarm over how the agency has fallen in stature while the pandemic raged across America.

Foege, who has not previously been a vocal critic of the agency's handling of the novel coronavirus, called on Redfield to openly address the White House's meddling in the agency's efforts to manage the COVID-19 crisis and then accept the political sacrifice that would follow. He recommended that Redfield commit to writing the administration's failures -- and his own -- so there was a record that could not be dismissed.

"You could upfront, acknowledge the tragedy of responding poorly, apologize for what has happened and your role in acquiescing," Foege wrote to Redfield. He added that simply resigning without coming clean would be insufficient. "Don't shy away from the fact this has been an unacceptable toll on our country. It is a slaughter and not just a political dispute."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Jeff Sessions Reportedly Told U.S. Attorneys 'We Need to Take Away Children' (Matt Stieb, 10/06/20, New York)

On Tuesday, the New York Times published details from a draft of a Department of Justice inspector general report into the administration's family separation policy. Naturally, the minds behind a plan to cleave children from their parents while in custody weren't concerned with the humanity of their idea. In a May 2018 meeting with five U.S. attorneys along the border, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, "We need to take away children," according to the notes of those in the room. In shorthand, one participant captured the deterrence policy quite succinctly: "If care about kids, don't bring them in. Won't give amnesty to people with kids."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump support craters after contracting coronavirus, new FPU/Herald poll reveals (JOE BATTENFELD, October 6, 2020, Boston Herald)

In two days of polling before Trump got COVID, the president trailed Biden by just a 46%-41% margin. In the three days of polling after the coronavirus diagnosis, Biden held a 55%-34% lead. That means Biden's lead grew by a whopping 16 points from pre-COVID to post-COVID.

Among all the 1,003 registered, likely voters in the nationwide Franklin Pierce-Herald poll, Biden now holds a 51%-37% lead over Trump less than a month before Election Day. Three percent support a third party candidate while 8% say they are still undecided.

Wait'll the sympathy wears off so we can test the floor.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump's tweeting has been unusually erratic, and even some aides question if it's the COVID drugs (Peter Weber, 10/06/20, The Week)

Speculation also swirled inside the eerily empty White House, where some staff members wondered whether "Trump's behavior was spurred by a cocktail of drugs he has been taking to treat the coronavirus, including dexamethasone, a steroid that can cause mood swings and can give a false level of energy and a sense of euphoria," The New York Times reports.

The revelation Sunday that Trump was being treated with dexamethasone immediately raised red flags among medial experts, in part because it suggested Trump's condition was worse than the nebulously upbeat assessments from White House physician Sean Conley, but also because of the "concerning side effects, ranging from blood clots, blurred vision, and headaches to 'psychic derangements,' such as insomnia, mood swings, and 'frank psychotic manifestations,'" The Washington Post notes, citing the drug label.

Dexamethasone's side effects also include "grandiose delusions," New York notes, but pulmonologist Dr. Bryan McVerry, who co-authored a recent study on steroid treatments for COVID-19 patients, said "increased energy" is more typical. Asked if Trump's "erratic" tweeting could be a side effect, McVerry told New York it's not clear if Trump is still on dexamethasone, but "getting doses of steroids can certainly sort of activate you and energize you, so to the extent that he's feeling better and activated and energized as a result of that, I suppose it's possible."

Whatever the cause, the Post reports, "several former administration officials said they were appalled at the president's conduct over the past few days," one of them describing Trump's decision to leave the hospital for a drive-by of supporters "so monstrously wrong," probably "the most appalling thing I've seen a president do for a political stunt," and "genuinely unhinged."