Saturday, December 5, 2020

Last Call For The Coup-Coup Birds Take Flight, Con't

Only two dozen or so Republicans admit Joe Biden is President-elect at this point, a month after the election he won by seven million votes, with California's certification on Friday making it all official. The other 220 or so "won't say" because they are cowards.

Just 25 congressional Republicans acknowledge Joe Biden’s win over President Trump a month after the former vice president’s clear victory of more than 7 million votes nationally and a convincing electoral-vote margin that exactly matched Trump’s 2016 tally.

Two Republicans consider Trump the winner despite all evidence showing otherwise. And another 222 GOP members of the House and Senate — nearly 90 percent of all Republicans serving in Congress — will simply not say who won the election.

Those are the findings of a Washington Post survey of all 249 Republicans in the House and Senate that began the morning after Trump posted a 46-minute video Wednesday evening in which he wrongly claimed he had defeated Biden and leveled wild and unsubstantiated allegations of “corrupt forces” who stole the outcome from the sitting president.

A team of 25 Post reporters contacted aides for every Republican by email and phone asking three basic questions — who won the presidential contest, do you support or oppose Trump’s continuing efforts to claim victory and if Biden wins a majority in the electoral college, will you accept him as the legitimately elected president — and also researched public statements made by the GOP lawmakers in recent weeks to determine their stance on Biden’s win.

The results demonstrate the fear that most Republicans have of the outgoing president and his grip on the party, despite his new status as just the third incumbent to lose reelection in the last 80 years. More than 70 percent of Republican lawmakers did not acknowledge The Post’s questions as of Friday evening.
They are largely hiding from answering questions about the election, neither congratulating Biden nor embracing Trump’s most strident positions and false claims. Just eight Republicans, 3 percent of all GOP lawmakers, voiced support for Trump’s current strategy of claiming victory and asking state legislatures to declare him the victor in states that he lost.
And at least two sitting Republicans think Trump won and a half-dozen more think he should commit treason and take over the country. They should be arrested for sedition. Mitch is ignoring it, Kevin McCarthy is smugly warning "Wait until we see who's sworn in on January 20th".

At some point these Republicans have to be made to pay a price, and frankly they never will.

The Country Goes Viral, Con't

As COVID-19 deaths, cases, and hospitalizations continue to hit record highs across the country, the CDC is finally calling for all Americans to wear masks whenever people are outside the home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging “universal mask use” indoors for the first time as the country shatters records for coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths ahead of the holiday season.

The CDC has for months encouraged mask-wearing in public spaces with people outside the household. The new guidance, published Friday, asks people to put on masks anywhere outside their homes.

In its weekly Morbidity and Mortality report, the CDC warned Friday that the U.S. has entered “a phase of high-level transmission” as colder weather and the ongoing holiday season push Americans indoors, and said that “consistent and correct” use of face masks is critical to taming the virus.

Mask use is most crucial indoors, and in outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained, the CDC said in the report. The agency recommended mask use at home when a member of the household has been infected or potentially exposed to the virus, including those with high-risk occupations such as meatpacking or agricultural processing.

“Compelling evidence now supports the benefits of cloth face masks for both source control [to protect others],” the report said, “And to a lesser extent, protection of the wearer.”

Mitigation measures are particularly essential in light of recent research that suggests roughly 50 percent of transmission of the coronavirus is from asymptomatic people, the report said. It also recommended that communities make a plan for distributing masks to people who might struggle to access them.

Robert Redfield, head of the CDC, has called masks “the most important, powerful public health tool” in combating the coronavirus. A growing body of research shows widespread mask use can save scores of lives and stave off economic damage. One June analysis from Goldman Sachs estimated that a 15 percent increase in universal masking could prevent lockdowns and reduce associated losses of up to $1 trillion.

On Thursday, President-elect Joe Biden said that, on his first day in office, he'd ask Americans to mask up for 100 days. "Not forever. 100 days," Biden said in an interview with CNN. "And I think we’ll see a significant reduction.”

In addition to stepping up mask use, the CDC also recommended postponing travel plans. For those who do plan to travel, both domestically and internationally, the agency encouraged staying home, getting tested before and after traveling and quarantining for a week upon return, regardless of test results.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk and should be combined with other recommended public health strategies,” including mask-wearing, social distancing and quarantines, the CDC said in the report.

Despite CDC warnings, experts are anticipating a holiday travel rush. The Sunday after Thanksgiving was the busiest day of air travel in 2020, with more than 1.1 million Americans flying, about 40 percent of the traffic on the same day last year, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
We're already at the 3,000+ deaths per day stage. This is only going to get worse as the Thanksgiving numbers come in this month because at least half of the "92 percent of Americans who say they regularly wear masks" are outright lying to you.

People aren't wearing masks, they're "tired" of it.

Tired of selfish idiots watching 3,000 Americans die daily, too.

Mask up, folks.

An End-Of-Year Pot Shot From House Dems

House Democrats (and more than a few Republicans) have signed on to a 228-164 lame duck bill that decriminalized marijuana at the federal level, and while the legislation will never get a Senate vote, it does mean that Democrats can go to President-elect Joe Biden's position on recreational pot and tell him that can "evolve", Obama-style.

The Democratic-controlled House on Friday approved a bill to decriminalize and tax marijuana at the federal level. The bill would reverse what supporters called a failed policy of criminalization of pot use and take steps to address racial disparities in enforcement of federal drug laws.

Opponents, mostly Republicans, called the bill a hollow political gesture and mocked Democrats for bringing it up at a time when thousands of Americans are dying from the coronavirus pandemic.

Supporters say it would help reverse adverse effects of the decades-long “war on drugs” by removing marijuana, or cannabis, from the list of federally controlled substances while allowing states to set their own rules on pot. The bill also would use money from an excise tax on marijuana to address the needs of groups and communities harmed by the drug war and provide for the expungement of federal marijuana convictions and arrests.

“For far too long, we have treated marijuana as a criminal justice problem instead of as a matter of personal choice and public health,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a key sponsor of the bill. “Whatever one’s views are on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, the policy of arrests, prosecution and incarceration at the federal level has proven unwise and unjust.”

The vote comes at a time when most Americans live in states where marijuana is legal in some form, and lawmakers from both parties agreed that national cannabis policy has lagged woefully behind changes at the state level. That divide has created a host of problems — loans and other banking services, for example, are hard to get for many marijuana companies because pot remains illegal at the federal level.

The bill also would open up more opportunities for marijuana businesses, including access to Small Business Administration loans to help ensure that minorities can take part in an industry dominated by white farmers and growers.


Now the bill would never pass a Senate GOP filibuster, let alone get a vote in the Senate at all, because McConnell knows there's probably 53-55 votes for it. States keep legalizing recreational pot left, right, and center.  
Republicans will never allow a bill like this to pass until they start losing Senate seats over it. They definitely won't allow it to pass unless they can eliminate Black and brown people from being able to legally make money selling pot entirely and turn it into a multi billion dollar legalized drug cartel operation the way pharmaceutical companies, breweries, wineries, and distilleries operate today.
This could help in Georgia though if Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are willing to sign off on this, but the state has largely resisted decriminalization efforts, and it could backfire.

The one person that this will put pressure on is Joe Biden, and he's going to get a lot of blowback on this if he does change things at the federal level.

And all these Republicans will suddenly decide that the bill gives the government too much regulatory and taxation power should it come up again next year, which I believe it won't.

Maybe for next Christmas.

Tales Of The Trump Depression, Con't

Turns out sending Americans back to work for six months into a pandemic in order to save the economy not only fails to stop the pandemic, it also fails to save the economy.


Hiring around the U.S. slowed last sharply month as the coronavirus battered the economy, the Labor Department said Friday. Employers added 245,000 jobs in November — the slowest pace of monthly job growth since April, and about half what economists had expected.

Payroll gains last month amount a sharp drop from the 610,000 jobs added in October and 710,000 in September. The nation's unemployment rate, which has steadily declined since peaking at nearly 15% in April, ticked down to 6.7%. But it fell for a bad reason — 400,000 people stopped looking for work, meaning they were no longer counted as unemployed.

Normally, adding nearly a quarter million jobs in a single month would signify healthy growth, but the economy faces a massive jobs deficit, with about 10 million fewer jobs since April. Since then, 4 million people have dropped out of the workforce altogether, meaning they are not working or looking for work.

"With the amount of pressure that the escalating pandemic is putting on the labor market right now, it's pretty clear that a double-dip recession is a very real possibility," Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group, said in a note. "For those who have been out of a job since March or early Spring, this extended period of unemployment will make it even more difficult to find new, stable work."

"[T]he bottom line is that job growth has slowed markedly, and this report demonstrates yet again that it's not possible to separate the economy from the virus," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note to investors.

Manufacturing and construction each added 27,000 jobs last month. The retail sector lost 34,000 jobs, offset by a gain of 145,000 jobs in transportation and warehousing, driven by a shift to ecommerce.
The right-hand side of the "V" in that "V-shaped rocket recovery" the Trumpies blather on about has broken off halfway up and is now dangling like a busted antenna on a 50-year old pair of TV rabbit ears. It's going to fall off next month. After that, if Mitch McConnell is still Senate leader, we're in for a catastrophic 2021.

Until Republicans stop sabotaging our COVID-19 efforts, the economy will never improve, and now that Biden's going to be President, they have no reason to stop doing either.
Remember that in the months ahead.
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