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Reading: gdp report factcheck

From gdp report factcheck

> It’s true that third-quarter growth was the fastest on record in data going back to 1947. (See the full data set here.) But celebrating that number is like telling only half the story.
It’s impossible to ignore what happened immediately leading up to those gains: The US economy declined at a 31.4% annual rate — the deepest downturn on record.

A big reason the US posted record GDP this quarter is because there was a record decline in the prior quarter.

When you step back and look at that broader context, the US economy is still operating well below its pre-pandemic peak. Gross domestic product is still $670 billion lower than where it was at the end of 2019. The chart below tells that story more clearly than any words can. (See the full data here.)

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Reading: The WHO considers the WH’s decision not to control Covid-19

From The WHO considers the WH’s decision not to control Covid-19

As a counter-point to the WH’s false claim that it has ended the pandemic, sits the WHO’s latest consideration of the circumstances of the pandemic.

Ars, quoting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, reports that the WH has given up:

“I mean, when we look at this, we’re going to defeat the virus. We’re not going to control it. We will try to contain it as best we can,” he told reporters outside the White House yesterday. He again emphasized the need for therapeutics and vaccines.

But here is WHO’s consideration of the implications of trump’s non-action:

[WHO Executive Director Michael Ryan] also offered a grim caution of what can happen when countries and governments do not try to control the virus. He noted that in April and March many places in the world, including some in the US, used “mitigation”—he used air quotes for this word—as their strategy and “emergency rooms were overwhelmed and we were rolling freezer trucks up to the back of hospitals,” he said. “That’s the reality of mitigating a disease in the face of a tsunami of cases. You run out of capacity to cope and that is the fear right now.”

These are not two different perspectives clashing; the WHO is drawing out implications that the WH refuses to consider.

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Reading: Brett Kavanaugh foreshadows how Supreme Court could disrupt vote counting – CNNPolitics

From Brett Kavanaugh foreshadows how Supreme Court could disrupt vote counting – CNNPolitics

It’s a puzzle that the other justices are going along with Kavanaugh’s facile and faulty line of reasoning.

Kavanaugh’s language overall mirrors President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about calling a winner on election night.

States that require mail-in ballots to be returned by the Election Day, Kavanaugh wrote in his concurring opinion, “want to avoid the chaos and suspicions of impropriety that can ensue if thousands of absentee ballots flow in after Election Day and potentially flip the results of an election.”

But those announcements are in no way official: They are projections made by national broadcast networks and wire services, based on how partial results compare to historical outcomes — not by the states themselves, which typically take weeks before certifying elections.

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Reading: Minnesota reports three Covid-19 outbreaks related to Trump campaign events in September – CNNPolitics

From Minnesota reports three Covid-19 outbreaks related to Trump campaign events in September – CNNPolitics

This is why we can’t shop at local businesses:

At least 21 cases have been traced to outbreaks occurring at rally events in Bemidji on September 18, a speech held by Vice President Mike Pence on September 24 in Minneapolis, and another rally held by President Donald Trump on September 30 in Duluth, the department said in an email to CNN.

Minnesota defines an outbreak as “two or more cases of illness related by time and place in which an epidemiologic investigation suggests either person-to-person transmission occurred” or some other vehicle, such as contaminated water, is implicated. Public health experts say it is difficult to pinpoint any one event to overall changes in trends in light of the fact that there is overall increased community transmission. But experts also agree that holding such events in this climate is not a best practice for public health.

Trump’s Bemidji rally took place in an airport hanger. According to a CNN producer who attended the event, at least 2,000 people were in attendance. Based on contact tracing by the state Department of Health, at least 16 cases, including two hospitalizations, were identified among attendees.

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Reading: ‘Sue if you must’: Lincoln Project rejects threat over Kushner and Ivanka billboards

From ‘Sue if you must’: Lincoln Project rejects threat over Kushner and Ivanka billboards

Let’s see what happens when a group stands up to bullying.

On Friday, Marc Kasowitz, an attorney who has represented the president against allegations of fraud and sexual assault, wrote to the Lincoln Project, demanding the “false, malicious and defamatory” ads be removed, or “we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages”.

The Lincoln Project responded that they would not remove the billboards, citing first amendment rights of free speech and the “reckless mismanagement of Covid-19” by the Trump White House.

In a legal response on Saturday night, attorney Matthew Sanderson told Kasowitz: “Please peddle your scare tactics elsewhere. The Lincoln Project will not be intimidated by such empty bluster … your clients are no longer Upper East Side socialites, able to sue at the slightest offense to their personal sensitivities.”

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Reading: Opinion | That’s the Last We Need to Hear From Trump – The New York Times

From Opinion | That’s the Last We Need to Hear From Trump – The New York Times

> He pursued an odd strategy, built on pure delusion and dependent on voters’ complete amnesia.

And his own amnesia: I got the sense that trump forget he was the incumbant.

He painted Biden, not himself, as an ethical abomination whose career in government was devoted to personal enrichment. He portrayed the Biden family, not his own, as a clan of grifters. He essentially cast Biden as the incumbent, speaking as if Biden had exited the vice presidency all of 60 seconds ago, and clung to the claim that he, the leader of the world’s richest and most powerful country for nearly four years now, was the ultimate outsider.

“It’s all talk, no action, with these politicians,” Trump said at one point.

These politicians? Mr. President, let me introduce you to the profession that you now inhabit. You’re awful at it, and there’s a death toll of more than 220,000 Americans that speaks to that. But it is your occupation, God save the rest of us.

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Reading: Almost two dozen COVID-19 infections tied to Trump’s Minnesota rallies.

From Almost two dozen COVID-19 infections tied to Trump’s Minnesota rallies.

it’s the same mindset: it can’t happen here.

The numbers have stood out to public health officials because they seem to suggest that the impact of the rallies isn’t as high as many feared. After all, more than 20 cases have been tied to a wedding that took place a day after Trump’s Bemidji rally. “The wedding had a lot fewer people than the rally,” Beltrami County Public Health Director Cynthia Borgen said. “But there was an indoor reception. There was dancing and conversation. People were close to each other for a long time.”

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Reading: Amy Coney Barrett showed she’s ready to be part of Trump’s post-truth strategy (opinion) – CNN

From Amy Coney Barrett showed she’s ready to be part of Trump’s post-truth strategy (opinion) – CNN

And still, asserted Galileo, it moves. Senator K Harris visits with Barrett.

HARRIS: Do you accept that Covid-19 is infectious?
BARRETT: I think yes, I do accept that Covid-19 is infectious. That’s something of which I feel like, you know, we could say you take judicial notice of it’s an obvious fact. Yes.
HARRIS: Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?
BARRETT: I’m not sure exactly where you’re going with this. But you know …
HARRIS: It’s just a question, the question is what it is, you can answer it as you believe. [That’s ingenuous. It’s never “just a question.”]
BARRETT: Senator Harris. Yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer.
HARRIS: And do you believe that climate change is happening and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?
BARRETT: Senator. Again, I was wondering where you were going with that. You have asked me a series of questions like that are completely uncontroversial, like whether Covid-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer, and then trying to analogize that to eliciting an opinion on me that is a very contentious matter of, opinion from me, that is on a very contentious matter of public debate. And I will not do that. I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial, because that’s inconsistent with the judicial role, as I have explained.
HARRIS: Thank you, Judge Barrett. And you’ve made your point clear that you believe that this is a debatable point.

Barrett takes it a position trap when it’s a question of the position of science.

Extra credit: Does life begin at conception? Birth? 12 weeks?

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Reading: Community outbreaks of Covid-19 often emerge after Trump’s campaign rallies – STAT

From Community outbreaks of Covid-19 often emerge after Trump’s campaign rallies – STAT

from Zach Nayer, in StatNews

What we found was sobering yet not surprising. Spikes in Covid-19 cases occurred in seven of the 14 cities and townships where these rallies were held: Tulsa; Phoenix; Old Forge, Penn.; Bemidji, Minn.; Mankato, Minn.; Oshkosh, Wis.; and Weston, Wis.

Chart in the article shows that Bemidji spiked twice, 6 days after the rally, and again at 9 days.

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Reading: Opinion | Donald Trump: The Worst President in Modern History? – The New York Times

From Opinion | Donald Trump: The Worst President in Modern History? – The New York Times

> It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president’s record on issues like climate, immigration, women’s rights and race. And alongside our judgment of Mr. Trump, we are publishing, in their own words, the damning judgments of men and women who had served in his administration.

The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.