Monday, July 20, 2020

Last Call For Missouri Goes Viral, Con't

A series of controversial remarks by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on a St. Louis radio show are getting widespread attention — and some pushback.

In an interview on Friday with talk-radio host Marc Cox on KFTK (97.1 FM), Parson indicated both certainty and acceptance that the coronavirus will spread among children when they return to school this fall. The virus has killed 1,130 people in the state despite a weekslong stay-at-home order in the spring that helped slow the virus’ spread — and the state set a record on Saturday with 958 new cases.

In the same 10-minute interview, Parson said that if it came to it, he would probably pardon the Central West End couple who pointed guns at protesters marching past their home on a private street on June 28.

Parson’s comment on the coronavirus signaled that the decision to send all children back to school would be justified even in a scenario in which all of them became infected with the coronavirus.

St. Louis-area schools are expected to release their reopening plans on Monday.

“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson told Cox. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”

He emphasized that people who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill should be protected but said most people in the state were smart enough to figure out how to stay safe without government interventions such as mask mandates.

“We gotta move on,” he said. “We can’t just let this thing stop us in our tracks.”

The kids are going to go to school, they're going to get sick, and they are going to infect parents, family members, neighbors, friends, on down the line.

But we gotta move on, you see.  Tens of thousands of Missourians will have to die, but that's a price Mike Parson is willing to pay, I guess.

Good luck, Show Me State.

The Great Kentucky Jobless Job

Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jackie Coleman are infinitely preferable to another Matt Bevin term, and thousands of lives have been saved already over what COVID-19 would look like in Bevinstan. But Beshear and Coleman have royally screwed up regarding Kentucky's unemployment system, which broke immediately in March and hasn't recovered with people still waiting on benefits from four months ago.

Like thousands of other Kentuckians over the last few months, Travis Powell just wanted a simple answer from the state Office of Unemployment Insurance. 
Powell is not an unemployed worker; he’s vice president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, and he wanted to know what to tell state universities about how to handle unemployment claims from work-study students. On April 20, he was put in touch with Muncie McNamara, the executive director of the Office of Unemployment Insurance. 
According to emails obtained through an open records request, McNamara said he’d look into it. After a week went by with no answer, Powell followed up again. McNamara never responded, and after another week, Powell learned why: McNamara was no longer working for the state. 
The head of the Office of Unemployment Insurance was quietly fired on May 5, amid an unprecedented number of jobless claims, a race to overhaul an archaic computer system and a belatedly-reported data breach. 
McNamara had been on the job only four months. The 38-year-old lawyer from Nelson County had no experience with unemployment systems or state government before taking the job. 
But what he did have was connections. 
He volunteered for and donated to Gov. Andy Beshear’s campaign last year. His wife, a recent chair of the Nelson County Democratic Party, considers Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman “a good friend,” according to an interview she gave to the Kentucky Standard. Coleman called McNamara to offer him the job personally, he said. 
He was paid $15,000 more than his predecessor, a career unemployment official who the cabinet kept on staff as a special assistant. 
But by early May, he was gone, fired “without cause,” according to his personnel file.
McNamara alleges he was fired for raising serious concerns about corners the office was cutting amid the rush to fulfill record-high unemployment claims. 
In an emailed statement, the Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development disputed that claim, saying the concerns he raised were not a factor in his firing. 
Travis Powell is still waiting for an answer to the question he asked McNamara on behalf of the state’s universities back in April. He said he’s happy to be patient. But for the over 68,000 Kentuckians whose claims have gone unresolved since the pandemic began — including over 5,000 who filed claims back in March — patience doesn’t pay the bills.

Everything that could have gone wrong with Kentucky's unemployment system did go wrong, and while a lot of it is inherited from Matt Bevin (and yes, from Andy Beshear's father Steve) it's pretty clear that treating the system as a plum to be given to a donor was just about the worst possible response from both Beshear and Coleman.

Beshear is trying to fix it, but at great expense, hiring Ernst & Young to provide the necessary experts to run the system. Don't get me wrong, a second Bevin term would have been just as bad on unemployment and lethal everywhere else, but Beshear and Coleman really screwed this up and so far they have not met this challenge.

Get this fixed, guys.

The State Of The Police State, Con't

Portland is already under daily assault by Trump's brownshirtsChicago may very well be next.

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara Jr. issued a letter to President Donald Trump on Saturday, asking for help from the federal government to fight “chaos” in Chicago and calling Mayor Lori Lightfoot a “complete failure.” 
The letter was posted on the FOP Lodge 7 Facebook page on Saturday, with a note that it would “get to President Trump’s desk one way or another.” 
In the letter, Catanzara wrote: “I am certain you are aware of the chaos currently affecting our city on a regular basis now. I am writing to formally ask you for help from the federal government. Mayor Lightfoot has proved to be a complete failure who is either unwilling or unable to maintain law and order here.” 
Catanzara wrote that he would be willing to sit down anytime with President Trump and “discuss ideas about how we can bring civility back to the streets of Chicago.”
“These politicians are failing the good men and women of this city and this police department,” he wrote. 
Catanzara also noted that for a few years, he has “proudly and repeatedly” spoken in the City Council chambers wearing “Trump 45” gear, and wrote that whether the mayor was Rahm Emanuel or Lori Lightfoot, he has “pushed back on their failing liberal policies.” 
He wrote that he believes President Trump’s help and cooperation “could make a big difference and rally the silent majority to say enough is enough.” 
In response to the letter, Mayor Lightfoot’s office said: “We will not dignify this or any other political stunt. We will, however, continue to support the true, hard working men and women of the police department.”

It's a stunt.

Trump loves stunts. 

But if the next target isn't Chicago, it will almost certainly be Atlanta.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms believes "personal retaliation" is behind Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's lawsuit challenging her decision to require masks in her city in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 
"I do believe it's personal retaliation and he sued us personally," Bottoms told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" Friday morning. "He did not sue the city of Atlanta. He filed suit against myself and our city council personally." 
The ongoing feud between Bottoms, a Democrat, and Kemp, a Republican, reached new heights Thursday when Kemp challenged her mask requirement, saying it violates his emergency order prohibiting local action from being more prohibitive than the state's requirements. 
The controversy has attracted national attention not only due to the swirling debate about whether authorities should require masks but because Bottoms is viewed as a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
On Wednesday, Kemp issued a statewide executive order that voids mask mandates imposed by local governments, despite a rising number Covid-19 cases in the state. So far, more than 3,000 Georgians have died as a result of the virus, and under Bottoms' order, not wearing a mask within Atlanta's city limits was punishable by a fine and even up to six months in jail. 
The governor defended his move at a Friday morning press conference, saying he's "confident that Georgians don't need a mandate to do the right thing." 
"Mayor Bottoms' mask mandate cannot be enforced," he added. "But her decision to shutter businesses and undermine economic growth is devastating. ... I refuse to sit back and watch as disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihoods of our citizens." 
In response, Bottoms -- who, along with her husband and one of her children, has tested positive for Covid-19 -- called his remarks "propaganda" and that her city was offering voluntary guidance for businesses as it relates to reopening. 
"For him to say that we are closing businesses in the city of Atlanta and costing people money is a blatant lie," she said. 
She noted to Camerota that Kemp's lawsuit was filed the day after President Donald Trump visited Atlanta. Upon his arrival, the President did not wear a mask. 
"I don't think it was happenstance that this lawsuit was filed the day after Donald Trump visited Atlanta," Bottoms said, because Kemp "does the bidding of President Trump."

Keep in mind Kemp's lawsuit would also impose a gag order on Atlanta's government and Mayor Bottoms specifically to forbid them for even talking about masks.

While Chicago's police union president might not be able to call in federal Trump jackboots, Brian Kemp, as Governor of Georgia, certainly can.

Keep an eye on this one.  It could get ugly fast.

And thatr's the point.


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