Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

What To Cook

Low-Fuss Crispy Roast Chicken

This is an easy roast chicken and side dish that is done a pre-heated cast iron or stainless steel skillet in a 450°F oven.

Yield : 4 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 4–4 1/2-lb. whole chicken
5 sprigs thyme, rosemary, marjoram, or sage
1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more
1 1/4 lb. medium red-skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ wedges
2 small onions, cut into 1/2″ wedges, leaving root end intact
1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Place a 12″ cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet in oven.

Pull off excess fat around cavities of chicken; discard. Using paper towels, thoroughly pat dry chicken inside and out. Arrange chicken breast side up on a cutting board. Gently loosen skin covering breasts and thighs. Tuck 4 thyme sprigs under loosened skin, 1 sprig for each breast and thigh.

Combine 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Pat dry cutting board and chicken again, then tie legs together with kitchen twine.

Using a metal skewer or paring knife, poke 20–30 holes all over chicken, paying special attention to fatty (thickest) parts of skin. Season chicken with salt mixture, placing a pinch inside cavity, but primarily covering outside of bird.

Cut remaining thyme sprig crosswise into 3–4 pieces and place in a large bowl. Add potatoes, onions, oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a generous pinch of pepper. Toss to combine.

Carefully remove skillet from oven. Transfer potato mixture to skillet (mixture will sizzle), then place chicken, breast side up, on potato mixture. Return skillet to oven (remember, handle is hot!). Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160°F and thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, 45–55 minutes.

Remove skillet from oven. Using tongs or a large wooden spoon inserted into cavity, transfer chicken to a large plate. Give potato mixture a stir, then return to oven. Let chicken rest about 5 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, slash stretched skin between thighs and breasts to let steam escape. Carefully tilt bird and plate over a large bowl to drain juices; reserve juices. Let chicken rest until potatoes are fork-tender, 15–25 minutes more.

Tilt chicken and plate again over bowl with juices to drain any last bits, then transfer chicken to a cutting board and carve. (If juices have cooled and congealed, gently rewarm over low heat or for 10 seconds in the microwave.)

Arrange chicken on a platter. Serve with roasted potatoes and onions alongside, spooning juices over.

Cooks’ Note: If time allows, after patting dry and salting chicken, place on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, or on a V-rack set in a roasting pan, and chill, uncovered, at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. This ‘dry brine’ will result in a flavorful juicy chicken with even crispier skin.

Continue reading

House

For Ruth. Her second favorite.

The Breakfast Club (Permanent Difficulties)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

JFK and Nixon participate in TV’s first presidential debate; Cuba ends Mariel boatlift; Composer George Gershwin, poet T.S. Eliot and tennis star Serena Williams born; ‘West Side Story’ hits Broadway.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

Our difficulties of the moment must always be dealt with somehow, but our permanent difficulties are difficulties of every moment.

T. S. Eliot

Continue reading

Too Late

I’m not the only one.

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: Trump’s Stalinist Approach to Science

Bully and ignore the experts, and send in the quacks.

Lately I’ve found myself thinking about Trofim Lysenko.

Who? Lysenko was a Soviet agronomist who decided that modern genetics was all wrong, indeed contrary to Marxist-Leninist principles. He even denied that genes existed, while insisting that long-discredited views about evolution were actually right. Real scientists marveled at his ignorance.

But Joseph Stalin liked him, so Lysenko’s views became official doctrine, and scientists who refused to endorse them were sent to labor camps or executed. Lysenkoism became the basis for much of the Soviet Union’s agricultural policy, eventually contributing to the disastrous famines of the 1930s.

Does all of this sound a bit familiar given recent events in America? [..]

But while nobody would accuse Trump of being a leftist, his political style always reminds me of Stalinism. Like Stalin, he sees vast, implausible conspiracies everywhere — anarchists somehow in control of major cities, radical leftists somehow controlling Joe Biden, secret anti-Trump cabals throughout the federal government. It’s also notable that those who work for Trump, like Stalinist officials, consistently end up being cast out and vilified — although not sent to gulags, at least not yet.

And Trumpism, like Stalinism, seems to inspire special disdain for expertise and a fondness for quacks.

Charles M. Blow: Breonna Taylor and Perpetual Black Trauma

The system erased her as if she never existed.

I filed this column late. Very late. I couldn’t find the words — an unsettling experience for a writer. The words I did conjure failed, not because the message was difficult to convey, but rather because the conveyance is maddeningly depressive in repetition.

The killing of Breonna Taylor reveals yet again how easy it is for the state to take a Black life and how hard it is to hold the state accountable for its transgression. That is in part because the system is designed to make it nearly impossible for the state to transgress.

Taylor was an innocent woman, sleeping in her own home, breaking no law. The state broke down her door and shot her dead. [..]

This is a woeful ritual. This is a perpetual parade of anger and astonishment, of loss and longing, of demanding justice and being denied it. It is weighing on the souls of Black America and all Americans of good conscience.

America has created an unsustainable condition, one that I fear will one day explode, and yet the country lacks the will or inclination to right its wrongs. America, sadly, will regret this.

Jennifer Rubin: Justice Ginsburg leaves us our marching orders

Justice, justice you shall pursue.

It was a moment of stunning poignancy. The casket of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was brought into the U.S. Capitol on Friday morning, making her the first Jew and the first woman in American history to lie in state there. Her role as a trailblazer for gender equality and her battle to overcome discrimination in her own life have been much discussed. However, it was her Jewish faith that was front and center in the spare, elegant ceremony at the Capitol.

Ginsburg was arguably the most influential Jew in U.S. history (perhaps tied with Sandy Koufax for the most loved). Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt’s remarks at the ceremony centered on “tzedek, tzedek tirdof” — the phrase from Deuteronomy 16:20 meaning “justice, justice you shall pursue,” featured in an inscription on a piece of art in Ginsburg’s office. There are many rabbinical discussions on why the word “justice” is repeated, but my favorite — one certainly applicable to Ginsburg — is that you must pursue justice in a just way. Justice is not merely the result that matters, but the means by which you seek it. Ginsburg exemplified this idea by pursuing justice for all Americans, case by case, through the steady progress of the law. Might does not make right. It is through rational and creative thinking that justice is advanced. Justice does not come as a bolt from the blue, but as the result of tenacious, fierce, careful and inspired work.

Jill Filipovic: Trump Supreme Court favorite Amy Coney Barrett would be the ultimate insult to RBG

Judge Barrett is happy to take advantage of the opportunities her predecessors created but reactionary enough to help burn Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy to the ground.

For a woman who barely topped 5 feet tall, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a towering figure. As news of her death circulated Friday, tributes poured in from around the world. She will be remembered as a lot of things, some of them human, some seeming to defy mortality. She’s an icon — the Notorious RBG, her face printed on T-shirts and mugs and birthday cards and, in our weird Covid-19 world, masks. She was a feminist trailblazer and one of America’s greatest legal scholars, from her time as Columbia Law’s first tenured female professor to co-founding a novel women’s rights project at the ACLU to litigating cases in the Supreme Court to finally sitting on the court itself. [..]

President Donald Trump and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell are already pushing to fill her vacant seat with a conservative before the election. Trump is promising he will nominate a woman, with Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appellate court judge who has spoken out against abortion and seriously concerns LGBTQ advocates, emerging as one of the front-runners.

Ironically, although Barrett opposes many of the things Ginsburg spent her life fighting for, she owes her own career — and her potential seat on the Supreme Court — to Ginsburg herself and other pioneering women like her.

Scott Lemieux: Trump and McConnell’s Supreme Court plan justifies anything the Democrats do in 2021

Packing the court, ending the filibuster and giving Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood should all be on the table, if all norms are off the table.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about six weeks before Election Day has set into motion what will perhaps be the most severe of the many strains the election of Donald Trump has placed on American democracy; the Supreme Court as we know it is unlikely to survive the fallout.

Her death has immediately shown the Republican political leadership to be wholly unscrupulous actors, committed to maximum short-term political gain irrespective of long-term institutional consequences — utterly unaffected by political or social norms, be they 200 years old or ones they themselves set a mere four years ago, and ruled only by the letter and not the spirit of the law. The backlash from Democrats — who seem likely to win the presidency, keep the House and possibly take the Senate in November — will be fierce. [..]

Norms once broken cannot be unilaterally restored. So if Republicans firmly establish “anything that is not strictly forbidden by the Constitution is permitted” as the de facto norm of governance, Democrats should act in kind should they win in November. This will not be an easy path for the clearly norm-loving Democratic establishment to follow, but constitutional hardball is a much better alternative for the people they represent than the Supreme Court being under the decades-long control of a political faction that has given up even trying to appeal to the majority of the American people.

The Sturmabteilung

I am very serious.

Thousands of Proud Boys plan to rally in Portland, setting up another clash in a combustible city
By Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post
September 25, 2020

Thousands of members of the far-right Proud Boys plan to mass at a park here on Saturday afternoon, setting up another clash of liberal and conservative extremes in a city that has become the public front line for combustible — and deadly — political conflict.

The so-called Western chauvinist group espouses pro-Trump, police-friendly rhetoric, but its members have a reputation for sparking fights with the far left that devolve into mayhem. After four months of steady protests in this city, its choice to bring an armed, extremist crowd from all corners of the country to the Pacific Northwest again turns Portland into an ideological battlefield, a place where speech has crossed a dangerous line into violence.

President Trump has fanned the flames, saying that Portland and other Democratic cities condone lawlessness; he has ordered federal agents to take a stand against protesters and to make arrests, creating us-versus-them standoffs that appear bent on pitting the right against the left and characterizing it as good against evil.

Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio said in an interview with The Washington Post that his group is making a stand for free speech in a place he believes encourages leftist riots and has sparked political violence against conservatives and law enforcement in other American cities.

“It’s the epicenter for all this. It goes beyond free speech right now. Portland has franchised these riots across the country,” Tarrio said, saying he hopes his event spurs authorities to take more action against demonstrators. Other cities “see these things happening, and they’re like: ‘We can do this here too.’ Portland leads by example.”

But Portland’s protesters said groups like the Proud Boys have been at the center of the summer’s worst recent conflicts, which some worry could be dwarfed by whatever happens Saturday.

“It just puts a very bad feeling in my stomach,” said Dustin Brandon, who attended Wednesday’s demonstration and has been at Black Lives Matter protests here since George Floyd was killed in May. “Everybody knows what’s happening September 26th in Portland, Oregon, and it’s not a good feeling. I’ve been here for every other time they’ve shown up, and it’s just gotten worse and worse and worse. … I just hope there’s no more bloodshed.”

Portland police, who broke up a protest that devolved into a riot on Wednesday, said their main plan is to keep the ideologically opposed groups as far away from each other as possible on Saturday. Left-leaning groups have planned a counter protest a few miles from Delta Park, where the Proud Boys plan to rally. Police also have encouraged event attendees to leave their guns at home.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said Friday that the state police and county sheriff’s office would oversee the response to the protests Saturday and would be dispatching additional law enforcement to the area to patrol highways looking for people coming to town to “cause trouble.”

“People have come to Portland, time and time again, from out of town looking for a fight, and the results are always tragic,” Brown said. “Let me perfectly clear, we will not tolerate any kind of violence this weekend. Left, right or center, violence is never a path toward meaningful change. … Those stoking the flames of violence, those coming to Portland looking for a fight, will be held accountable.”

City officials this week denied the Proud Boys’s permit request for the park gathering, citing covid-19 safety concerns at the public park. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler blasted the Proud Boys in a tweet on Wednesday: “Some in these groups and many who associate with them embody and empower racism, intolerance and hate. Those are not Portland values, and they are not welcome.”

Tarrio balked at the mayor’s words and said the rally will go on as planned.

“We did the right thing and asked for a permit,” he wrote on the social media sit. “Portland parks denied our permits citing 50 person max due to COVID. Lol … terrorists have been rioting across the city for 4 months … I’m sure they followed these guidelines.”

At the bottom of the post he included an image of the U.S. Constitution. “Here is the only permission I need.”

The Proud Boys are one of several predominantly White right-wing groups that have surfaced publicly since Trump’s election. Vice News creator Gavin McInnes started the group in 2016, though he has since distanced himself from the organization and its increasingly violent reputation.

The Proud Boys describe themselves as a “Western chauvinist” fraternal group that believes in ending welfare, closing the borders and strict adherence to traditional gender roles. They believe that White culture — and White men, in particular — are under attack from a world consumed by political correctness. The first step of becoming a member is reciting a loyalty oath that includes the phrase “I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

The group latches onto controversial causes that larger segments of the right embrace — such as unwavering support for police, Islamophobia and fighting the removal of Confederate statues. But the Proud Boys also use coded language and irreverent humor to mask beliefs that are more sinister. Proud Boys networks spent the past week spreading memes and videos mocking the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

That nuanced stance has allowed the Proud Boys to grow even as other groups were vilified following the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

“When you mix a combination of the shrouded and overt bigotry along with their propensity for violence and showing up at the most incendiary events, it really is a significant and growing risk,” Levin said. “It’s especially volatile when you overlay this political season where the election is considered a battleground in a civil war.”

Tarrio described the organization he chairs as a group of unapologetic Trump supporters who wield humor to poke at a society hobbled by political correctness. During his interview with The Post, he said he was at an Ikea in his home state of Florida, shopping for a shelf while wearing a shirt that said “Kyle Rittenhouse did nothing wrong,” a nod to the White teen accused of killing two people in Kenosha, Wis., during demonstrations after police shot a black man. But Tarrio said even the most triggering speech does not justify violence.

“When they go out on the streets and they’re like ‘bash the fash’ and ‘punch a Nazi,’ I believe they truly believe they’re doing good — ridding the world of this evil,” Tarrio said. “Then you get a situation like the shooting of Jay. One of my guys got ran over two weeks ago. They’ve thrown explosives at me.

“There’s genuine concern about police brutality, and it’s something people should protest, but (the Black Lives Matter) movements are getting co-opted and then it starts going in another direction: ‘Oh well, we’ve got to take down the statues, we’ve got to take this person’s name down, we’ve got to go protest in front of this person’s house,’” he said, referring to what some consider liberal efforts to erase America’s past.

Tarrio said the Proud Boys does not promote violence, but it does actively protect itself. He said the rally in the park is intended to be nonviolent, but he encouraged his members to bring fire extinguishers because “antifa thugs” have thrown fireworks and even molotov cocktails during conflicts. He also encouraged them to bring bear mace — the harsh irritant that witnesses said was deployed right before Reinoehl shot Danielson in Portland.Tarrio described the organization he chairs as a group of unapologetic Trump supporters who wield humor to poke at a society hobbled by political correctness. During his interview with The Post, he said he was at an Ikea in his home state of Florida, shopping for a shelf while wearing a shirt that said “Kyle Rittenhouse did nothing wrong,” a nod to the White teen accused of killing two people in Kenosha, Wis., during demonstrations after police shot a black man. But Tarrio said even the most triggering speech does not justify violence.

“When they go out on the streets and they’re like ‘bash the fash’ and ‘punch a Nazi,’ I believe they truly believe they’re doing good — ridding the world of this evil,” Tarrio said. “Then you get a situation like the shooting of Jay. One of my guys got ran over two weeks ago. They’ve thrown explosives at me.

“There’s genuine concern about police brutality, and it’s something people should protest, but (the Black Lives Matter) movements are getting co-opted and then it starts going in another direction: ‘Oh well, we’ve got to take down the statues, we’ve got to take this person’s name down, we’ve got to go protest in front of this person’s house,’” he said, referring to what some consider liberal efforts to erase America’s past.

Tarrio said the Proud Boys does not promote violence, but it does actively protect itself. He said the rally in the park is intended to be nonviolent, but he encouraged his members to bring fire extinguishers because “antifa thugs” have thrown fireworks and even molotov cocktails during conflicts. He also encouraged them to bring bear mace — the harsh irritant that witnesses said was deployed right before Reinoehl shot Danielson in Portland.

Some more background.

Revealed: pro-Trump activists plotted violence ahead of Portland rallies
by Jason Wilson and Robert Evans, The Guardian
@jason_a_w
Wed 23 Sep 2020

Leaked chat logs show Portland-area pro-Trump activists planning and training for violence, sourcing arms and ammunition and even suggesting political assassinations ahead of a series of contentious rallies in the Oregon city, including one scheduled for this weekend.

The chats on the GroupMe app, shared with the Guardian by the antifascist group Eugene Antifa, show conversations between Oregon members of the Patriots Coalition growing more extreme as they discuss armed confrontations with leftwing Portland activists, and consume a steady diet of online disinformation about protests and wildfires.

At times, rightwing activists discuss acts of violence at recent, contentious protests, which in some cases they were recorded carrying out. At one point, David Willis, a felon currently being sued for his alleged role in an earlier episode of political violence, joins a discussion about the use of paintballs.

Where other members had previously suggested freezing the paintballs for maximum damage, Willis wrote: “They make glass breaker balls that are rubber coated metal. They also have pepper balls but they are about 3 dollars a ball. Don’t freeze paintballs it makes them wildly inaccurate” [sic.]

Where other members had previously suggested freezing the paintballs for maximum damage, Willis wrote: “They make glass breaker balls that are rubber coated metal. They also have pepper balls but they are about 3 dollars a ball. Don’t freeze paintballs it makes them wildly inaccurate” [sic.]

Another prolific poster is Mark Melchi, a 41-year-old Dallas, Oregon-based car restorer who claims to have served as a captain in the US army.

Melchi has been recorded leading an armed pro-Trump militia, “1776 2.0” into downtown confrontations in Portland, including on 22 August. At several points in the chat he proposes violence in advance of those confrontations, and appears to confess to prior acts committed in the company of his paramilitary group.

In advance of the 22 August protest, Melchi wrote: “It’s going to be bloody and most likely shooting, they’re definitely armed… so let’s make sure we have an organized direction of movement and direction of clearing or other Patriots will be caught in the possible cross fire. When shit hits the fan.”

He advised other members to ignore weapons statutes, writing, “I saw someone say bats, mace, and stun guns are illegal downtown. If you’re going to play by the books tomorrow night, we already lost. We are here to make a change, laws will be broken, people will get hurt… It’s lawlessness downtown, and people need to be prepared for bad things.”

Following these comments, several rightwing demonstrators were recorded using gas and bats on 22 August, where Melchi and his militia were also present.

In other remarks ahead of the day, Melchi draws on what he claims is his group’s history of traveling to multiple states to engage in violence at protests.

“My Group 1776 2.0. Has been fighting Antifa in Seattle, Portland, for months”, Melchi writes, adding “this won’t be a simple fist fight. People will get shot, stabbed and beat.”

He also claims police cooperation in interstate violence, writing “Yes, going after them at night is the solution… Like we do in other states, tactical ambushes at night while backing up the police are key. You get the leaders and the violent ones and the police are happy to shut their mouths and cameras.”

Melchi nevertheless recommends that members disguise themselves to avoid the consequences of homicide.

“We must be ready to defend with lethal response… Suggest wearing mask and nothing to identify you on Camera…to prevent any future prosecution.”

Although some members are connected with extremist groups or militias, on the whole they describe themselves as “patriots”, and they express no clear ideology beyond a hatred of the left, and a preparedness to use violence. The shared allegiances expressed in the group are mostly to the police, the United States and Donald Trump, a person whom some say they are prepared to kill for.

Ahead of 22 August, a user “Paige” says “I’m waiting for the presidential go to start open firing”.

Melchi, the militia leader, responds, “Well Saturday may be that go lol”.

Alex Newhouse, the digital research lead at the Center for Terrorism, Extremism, and Counterterrorism at the Middlebury Institute, said of the group that “the main mechanism that makes these communities so dangerous is the incessant desensitization to the idea of political violence”.

Newhouse said that the ideas expressed in the group were entrenched in “extreme nationalism – that a few strong men with guns can together take out an evil that is at once imagined as an existential threat, and pathetically weak”. Newhouse added that the group’s discussions “fit within a broader trend of rightwing extremists becoming more accelerationist over time”.

The chatlogs became fractious at the peak of Oregon’s recent wildfire emergency. While some members said they had gone to rural areas to “hunt” imagined antifa arsonists, others became concerned about the dangers.

As early as 9 September, the baseless idea that the fires were a coordinated arson attack was treated as settled fact, with Melchi writing: “People have officially died from these Antifa Fires. I’d shoot them on site” [sic], and another user, Dub, responding: “Yes sir if I see them they are getting dropped where they stand.”

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA marches with calm, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries
March in spirit within our ranks.

Clear the streets for the brown battalions,
Clear the streets for the storm division!
Millions are looking upon the swastika full of hope,
The day of freedom and of bread dawns!

For the last time, the call to arms is sounded!
For the fight, we all stand prepared!
Already Hitler’s banners fly over all streets.
The time of bondage will last but a little while now!

Raise the flag! The ranks tightly closed!
The SA march with quiet, steady step.
Comrades shot by the Red Front and reactionaries,
March in spirit within our ranks

Cartnoon

Not a funny one.

The Breakfast Club (Courage To Change)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

ine black students escorted into Little Rock’s Central High School; President Woodrow Wilson collapses; Author William Faulkner born; TV’s Barbara Walters and movie actor-producer Michael Douglas born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

So much of life is what you roll and where you land.

Mark Hamill

Continue reading

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Eugene Robinson: Our justice system values wallboards over Black lives

If we can’t have a murder trial, at least Breonna Taylor’s death shows us where to target our anger.

There was no justice for Breonna Taylor, so there was no peace Wednesday night on the streets of Louisville.

It is no surprise that the Louisville police officers who burst into Taylor’s apartment in the middle of the night and shot her dead escaped murder charges.

But the one indictment that was handed down by the grand jury actually makes the outcome feel worse. One officer was charged with “wanton endangerment,” a minor felony ranked alongside shoplifting, for stray shots he fired that entered an adjacent apartment but didn’t hit anyone. No one was charged with anything, not even a misdemeanor, for firing the bullets that ended Taylor’s life. There will be literally zero accountability for Taylor’s killing: The other two officers involved weren’t even fired.

How can that be? Do we have a justice system that values wallboard over human flesh? Or is this true only when the flesh in question belonged to a 26-year-old Black woman whose death can be written off as collateral damage? [..]

Why is Breonna Taylor dead? At every step of the way, the legal system treated her as if she didn’t matter.

The city of Louisville has agreed to pay Taylor’s family a reported $12 million in compensation for her death. The Civil War was supposed to have ended the time in America when Black bodies had only monetary value. At least the price has gone up.

Leana S. Wen: We’ve reached 200,000 deaths. Our response has gotten even worse than it was at 100,000.

As covid-19 has claimed another 100,000 lives, daily infections have risen, we have gotten worse at using the mitigation tools we have and the CDC’s credibility has eroded.

The United States has reached the grim milestone of 200,000 deaths from covid-19. We are in a much worse place than we were when we crossed the 100,000-death threshold in May.

Why? Start with the numbers. In late May, we had about 20,000 new infections per day. Now we are at double that, with around 40,000 new daily infections. This is a high baseline to have entering the fall and winter, when the combination of quarantine fatigue and cold weather could drive people to congregate indoors and substantially increase transmission.

In addition, restrictions keep getting lifted, even in states with surging infections. The nearly 2 million students returning for in-person instruction will surely lead to more outbreaks, as some college towns are already emerging as new coronavirus hot spots. In 27 states, the number of infections this week is higher than it was last week. In 14, the test positivity rate is in the double digits, which means the true infection rate is much higher.

Max Boot: Trump is the worst threat to our democracy since the 1930s

Trump just made clear he will hold on to power by any means necessary.

It is not simply the casting of ballots that makes a democracy. Many dictatorships have faux elections that change nothing. The real test of a nation’s political system is whether politicians respect the will of the voters — and in particular whether the most powerful leader, the one in control of the armed forces, willingly gives up power after losing an election. This is a test that countries such as Belarus and Zimbabwe have failed, and that the United States has passed, in good times and bad, for more than two centuries. Indeed, few presidents are even asked about their willingness to give up power because the answer is so obvious.

That is no longer the case. Asked on Wednesday whether he would commit to a “peaceful transfer of power,” President Trump did not say yes. He said: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.” He then said we should “get rid of the ballots” — presumably he meant mail-in ballots, but it wasn’t clear — and then ended with these chilling words: “There won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.” [..]

No U.S. president has said anything like this before. Ever. This by itself should be disqualifying. Even if Trump had been the best president in our history — rather than the worst — this refusal to play by the democratic rules should, all by itself, guarantee his electoral defeat.

Amanda Marcotte: Trump just can’t keep a secret — especially when it comes to his plans to stage a coup

President Stable Genius tells lots of lies — but keeps telling us the truth about his evil election schemes

Donald Trump is escalating. Wednesday afternoon, under questioning by Brian Karem of Playboy, Trump offered what the mainstream news outlets are calling a “failure to commit” to a “peaceful transfer of power.” One might also call it “threatening a coup”.

The first time Karem asked Trump whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election, Trump pulled his usual move, pretending that the fate of our democracy is like a reality-show cliffhanger: “Well, we’re going to have to see what happens.”

But Karem was dogged and asked him again: “Do you commit to making sure that there’s a peaceful transferral of power?”

That’s when Trump let the cat out of the bag: “Get rid of the ballots, and you’ll have a very — we’ll have a very peaceful, there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.”

“The ballots are out of control,” Trump continued, making crystal clear that he resents those gosh-darn ballots and the way they allow American citizens the (theoretical) right to choose their own leaders. [..]

Trump is going to attempt to stage a coup if he loses. (And right now, FiveThirtyEight gives him a 77% chance of losing a fair election.) There is no use dancing around this or using euphemisms.

Full Interviews

More to it than I thought. Unedited.

John Bolton

Jim Clyburn

Jill Biden

Rudy Giuliani

Valerie Biden Owens

Mary Trump (Audio Only)

Bakari Sellers

Peggy Noonan

Corey Lewandowski

David Marcus

Anthony Scaramucci

Valerie Jarrett

Yusef Salaam

Carol Moseley Braun

So like over 12 Hours of stuff.

Cartnoon

Frontline on the election from 9/23/20..

The Breakfast Club (Listen Well)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

This Day in History

Patricia Hearst gets prison time; Author F. Scott Fitzgerald born; ’60 Minutes’ premieres; Baseball’s Dodgers play last Brooklyn game; Muppets creator Jim Henson born; Children’s author Dr. Seuss dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Gale Eugene Sayers (May 30, 1943 – September 23, 2020)

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.

John Marshall

Continue reading

Load more