Last updated: Friday, April 3, 2020 (We need brilliant leaders to fight health & global warming crises NOW!)
BIGGEST PROBLEM: IT’S TIME TO SEE CLEARLY AND ACT, SO OUR CHILDREN WON'T SEE ALL BEAUTIFUL LIFE DIE. SOLUTION: Make greedy sociopaths HELP life on earth. Allow tax-free income (supplemented as morally necessary) and wealth up to reasonable levels, then tax excess @ up to a 90% tax-rate to fund life remediation.
Aggregated News & Opinion
Today’s posts in bigger type.
Prior 2-3 days in smaller type.
Health Care & Environment
PROBLEMS: Corporate influence enables life-threatening pollution & highest-profit health care.
The U.S. has more detected cases than any other country, with New York at the epicenter of the American outbreak. President Trump warned of “hard days that lie ahead” as governors scrambled to try and slow the spread in their states.RIGHT NOW The Supreme Court in India is forcing journalists to parrot the government’s message on the outbreak, a move seen as an assault on the free press.
"Corporate-run health insurance isn't about saving lives. It's about making as much money as possible. With Medicare for All we can finally put an end to this international disgrace," said Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The White House adviser Jared Kushner listens during a teleconference with governors at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters on 19 March. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP
Jared Kushner is not a guy to turn to for sound political advice. Most recently, he reportedly told the president that Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, was being “alarmist” after he announced that his state required 30,000 ventilators to help get through the pandemic.
To add insult to injury, Kushner also bragged of his own wisdom and told those assembled that Cuomo was wrong. According to Vanity Fair, Kushner declared: “I have all this data about ICU capacity. I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.”
The princeling has helped place American lives and bodies on the line. New York’s hospitals have become combat zones, its morgues and funeral homes look like abattoirs. Meanwhile, the US is locked down and the administration is projecting up to a quarter-million dead even if everything goes right.
American carnage is now. We may witness more deaths in months than its troops suffered in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam after years of fighting.
When Mike Pence compares the US to Italy, we have a problem whose glaring scars will be felt long after Donald Trump leaves office. Coronavirus won’t be disappearing in a matter of days despite the president’s earlier assurances. Trump ignored the intelligence community and his national security staff, and now we must pay a collective price....
Communitywide testing of everyone, healthy or sick, is a more efficient way to slow the pandemic. That is because healthy people infect others with the coronavirus.
Neil A. (Tony) Holtzman, M.D., M.P.H. | Dr. Holtzman is emeritus professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. From 1978 to 1983, he was the medical director of newborn screening for the Maryland Department of Health.
....[But] the United States does not have enough health care providers to test healthy people. Commercial testing laboratories have their hands full with testing people with symptoms. Without expanding state and local health departments’ personnel and testing capacity, we are neglecting their ability to stem the epidemic.
Realistic technologic advances in PCR testing will expand the number of tests for the virus. Drive-thru and other novel services will facilitate communitywide case finding. To be sure, there are still problems. Personnel need better protection while collecting and processing specimens. Techniques for nose and throat swabs must be monitored to make people with the coronavirus are not being missed. Failure to do so will produce false negative results. This is a more serious problem than mistakenly identifying healthy people as infected (false-positives). Nevertheless in the vast majority of people, testing is accurate.
Our failure to initiate case finding has escalated the number of cases, overwhelmed our hospitals and caused mass unemployment and economic depression. Relying alone on sheltering-in-place and safe-distancing will take much longer to slow the epidemic and cost thousands of lives nationwide that need not have been lost....
"That's not even remotely fast enough for the millions of working people who have seen their hours slashed, their expenses rise, and their government refuse to take sufficient action."
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks in the press briefing room with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza during the Coronavirus Task Force briefing on April 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
"It's artificial because we turned it off," Trump said of the economic crisis, a distinction that makes no difference to the millions who have lost their jobs and their health insurance.
President Donald Trump speaks in the press briefing room along with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the White House April 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
During a Coronavirus Task Force briefing late Thursday following news that 10 million Americans filed jobless claims over just a two-week period last month, President Donald Trump downplayed the intensifying economic downturn as "an artificial closing" and insisted that businesses like restaurants will be "bigger and better" than before once the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
"It's not like we have a massive recession or worse. It's artificial because we turned it off," Trump said, drawing a distinction that makes no difference to those who have lost their jobs—as well as employer-provided health insurance—or seen their hours drastically cut due to the crisis.
"Oh thank God, for a second I thought I was actually unemployed and not just artificially unemployed," one Twitter user quipped in response to the president's comments....
"I'd be interested in knowing what help Trump and Jared are extending to their tenants as they ask for help themselves."
Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered remarks with his children—from left, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump—during the grand opening ceremony of the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26, 2016. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
While millions of Americans face uunemployment, the loss of health coverage, and difficulty affording necessities over the coming months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump's business empire is reportedly seeking relief from outstanding debt and loans.
Trump signed a bill last week approving a one-time, means-tested $1,200 direct payment to some American workers amid the economic crisis that's resulted from the national public health emergency that has seen more than 236,000 people in the U.S. sickened by the coronavirus. According toNBC News, those payments may not get to some households for up to five months from now, and the sum is only expected to support many recipients for about two weeks—once it arrives.
While millions of Americans struggle to pay rent and bills in the coming weeks and with little assistance being offered across-the-board by the federal government, an increasing number of U.S. residents fear they will be unable to make payments as they wait to return to work.
Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, the Trump Organization has asked its largest creditor, Deutsche Bank, if it can postpone the repayment of some of its loans. The company also requested relief from its monthly payments to Palm Beach County, Florida, for the land on which one of the president's golf courses sits—citing the pandemic....
These 24 billionaires, executives, and right-wing pundits are urging a premature rollback of social distancing, risking millions of American lives.
Lloyd Blankfein, Former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Net worth: $1.3 billion. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times)
It’s become a truism, almost trite, that with the coronavirus crisis, “we’re all in this together.”
But not everyone agrees.
A small but highly influential group of billionaires, executives and right-wing pundits have a different view: Some of them urge that we must “normalize” the economy as soon as possible, implicitly – and in some cases, explicitly – accepting that this would mean sacrificing lives. Others, apparently, just don’t care about those risks, or conveniently believe against evidence that they are not real or overblown
Proponents paint this callous approach as the kind of “tough” decision that strong leaders must make. They have had a dangerous influence on policy. And although their recommendations have been shunted aside for now, there’s a great risk that save-the-economy-and-let-the-chips fall-where-they-may chorus again gains the president’s favor, with potentially horrifying consequences....
As coronavirus sweeps the globe, there is not a single Trilogy Evo Universal ventilator — developed with government funds — in the U.S. stockpile. Meanwhile, Royal Philips N.V. has sold higher-priced versions to clients around the world.
by Patricia Callahan, Sebastian Rotella and Tim Golden | ProPublica | 20.04.01
International & Futurism PROBLEMS: Capitalists, Islamists, Fascists and Mafias cause immorality, barbarity & war. SOLUTIONS: UN, InterPol and International Criminal Court must be fully enabled. FYI: All people are mixed-race
High Crimes vs. Human Rights Offenses worthy of impeachment or International Criminal Court prosecution
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism PROBLEMS: Tariff & tax policies, banking/financial deregulation, monopoly/racketeering & antitrust dis-enforcement all help the Very Rich while harming The Public. [26:55 video ‘This Is Neoliberalism’]
In what is being called the worst financial crisis since 1929, the US stock market has lost a third of its value in the space of a month, wiping out all of its gains of the last three years. When the Federal Reserve tried to ride to the rescue, it only succeeded in making matters worse. The government then pulled out all the stops. To our staunchly capitalist leaders, socialism is suddenly looking good.
Justice Matters PROBLEMS: Political Judges and States Attorneys, too little enforcement of anti-trust laws and white-collar crimes, over-prosecution of the poor. OPED: Commute death sentences and allow assisted suicide.
Instead of Plutocratic/Corporate-Politicians owning and controlling people (and their children ad infinitum) in "their" Nation State, wouldn't it be better if adults world-wide could selectively contract with UN-certified—and annually rated for performance— professional agencies to perform nation-level fiduciary functions
Such nationalesque fiduciary agencies could manage escrow for Social Security and Medicare, plus smart funding for your priority governance and your priority charities.
If this were possible and replaced Nations States, then it would end wars and immigration crises because citizens of every Virtual Nation's citizens would be scattered worldwide, as before Nation States. And a world-wide common language might naturally coalesce.
Local city, county and state governments can continue unchanged. But at the Virtual Nation level, Democracy would be professional-only and not be political. Your only annual(?) vote for Virtual Nation agency would be to renew with the same Virtual-Nation agency or change to a better agency (which transfers escrows) and/or change priorities for governance and charities.