25
   

Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 12:36 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
I find it enjoyable to spend more time reading history than newspapers or watching TV media.


And yet, oddly, you assert your opinions about "mainstream media" as if you had actually attended to them with enough diligence such that your opinions have actual merit.

georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 12:47 pm
@blatham,
Carefully worded because it disguised the actual results of the elections involved, and the effect of the electoral college weights in our elections. That was quite obvious.

Are you sure that there will be no reversals in the forthcoming elections?

You appear yourself to have become a consumer of your own BS
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 12:50 pm
@blatham,
You are becoming petty and a bit vindictive. That's unfortunate.

How much time is required to support a considered opinion?

I'm reminded of Henry Kissinger's famous quip when asked why disputes among academics were often fought so bitterly; "Because the stakes are so low" he replied.

I don't find media political analysis to be particularly informative or reliable. The quality of the reporting of facts is very easy to judge.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 12:51 pm
@hightor,
This goody from george caught my attention as well
Quote:
...and a very bitter (and often illegal) campaign was quickly launched to undermine every aspect of the Trump Presidency.


Utterly impossible to determine the information sources george attends to from that. After all, this was broadly reported on (with verifying details) in the NYTimes, the WSJ, the Boston Globe, the international press and many other sources including Donald Trump Jr's twitter feed.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 12:54 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
it disguised the actual results of the elections involved, and the effect of the electoral college weights in our elections

What results are disguised? As to the electoral college, that's a cowardly dodge where the subject is what majorities of citizens have voted on their preferences.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 01:00 pm
@georgeob1,
Quote:
You are becoming petty and a bit vindictive. That's unfortunate.

Better descriptors would be "impatient" or "disgusted". I think about your ideas and your behaviors at this point in time only slightly worse than Liz Cheney would.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 01:16 pm
Quote:
Michigan Republicans Are Quietly Replacing Officials Who Certify Vote Totals

Like lots of other rank-and-file Republicans, Robert Boyd has his doubts about the integrity of the last election, particularly in his home state of Michigan — and particularly in Detroit’s TCF Center, where the city’s votes were counted last year despite a concerted effort from local Republicans to disrupt the counting process.

“People saw ballots come in the back door, so, you know, there were cameras in there that people weren’t aware of, that were there,” Boyd told TPM over the phone Tuesday. “They had a bunch hiding under the table. It was not a very pleasant thing to see.”

But there’s a big difference between Boyd and others who may share his view: The 73-year-old Rockwood, Michigan resident is the newest member of the four-person Wayne County Board of Canvassers, the body responsible for certifying vote totals for Detroit and the surrounding area.

He’s one of several new members of such boards around the state, chosen by local Republican leaders, who are replacing incumbents who voted to certify the last election under immense, nationwide pressure from their party. The Detroit News first reported on the wave of replacements last week, including incumbents who wanted to be renominated but weren’t.

Unlike the canvasser he’s replacing, Boyd says he would not have certified the 2020 vote. Even now, after numerous local audits and a Republican-led state Senate investigation found no basis for Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election, he remains unconvinced...
TPM

This is going on in many GOP-controlled states now. It is part and parcel of the strategy behind the "stolen election" lie, the sham election "audits" (all of which have shown no electoral fraud) and legislation to minimize or block Dems at the polls. That strategy is self-evident - and directly relates to what the popular vote history tells us.

As most of us realize, this is all in aid of delegitimizing elections - but only where Republicans lose - and of setting up dynamics that will encourage and justify what we saw on January 6 in future elections. Fox, among many other RW spigots, has been describing the events of that day as either "tourism" or as "patriots bravely trying to save the Constitution". Thus Ashli Babbitt as hero and martyr.
blatham
 
  0  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2021 08:06 pm
@blatham,
Add to the prior post...
Quote:
Governor Greg Abbott announced on Thursday that he had appointed John Scott as the Texas Secretary of State. Scott, a Fort Worth attorney, briefly represented former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit challenging the 2020 presidential election results in Pennsylvania.

As secretary of state, Scott will also serve in the role of Chief Election Officer for Texas...
Newsweek

0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2021 12:59 pm
How the Supply Chain Broke, and Why It Won’t Be Fixed Anytime Soon

Confession: We didn’t even have a logistics beat before the pandemic. Now we do. Here’s what we’ve learned about the global supply chain disruption.

Quote:
Computer chips. Exercise equipment. Breakfast cereal. By now, you’ve probably heard: The world has run short of a great many products.

In an era in which we’ve become accustomed to clicking and waiting for whatever we desire to arrive at our doors, we have experienced the shock of not being able to buy toilet paper, having to wait months for curtains, and needing to compromise on the color of our new cars.

Of far greater importance, we have suffered a pandemic without adequate protective gear. Doctors cannot obtain needed medicines. In Alaska, people are struggling to find enough winter coats. Airplanes are delayed while crews wait for food deliveries.

Why is this happening?

The pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of the global supply chain — that’s the usually invisible pathway of manufacturing, transportation and logistics that gets goods from where they are manufactured, mined or grown to where they are going. At the end of the chain is another company or a consumer who has paid for the finished product. Scarcity has caused the prices of many things to go higher.

When did this start?

The disruptions go back to early last year, to the beginning stages of the pandemic. Factories in parts of the world where a lot of the globe’s manufacturing capacity sits — countries like China, South Korea and Taiwan as well as Southeast Asian nations like Vietnam and European industrial giants like Germany — were hit hard by the spread of coronavirus cases. Many factories shut down or were forced to reduce production because workers were sick or in lockdown. In response, shipping companies cut their schedules in anticipation of a drop in demand for moving goods around the world.

That proved to be a terrible mistake. Demand for some things — restaurant meals, trips to vacation destinations, spa services — indeed cratered.

But Americans took the money they used to spend on such experiences and redirected it to goods for their homes, which were suddenly doubling as offices and classrooms. They put office chairs and new printers in their bedrooms, while adding gym equipment and video game consoles to their basements. They bought paint and lumber for projects that added space or made their existing confines more comfortable. They added mixers and blenders to their kitchens, as parents became short-order cooks for cooped-up children. The timing and quantity of consumer purchases swamped the system. Factories whose production tends to be fairly predictable ramped up to satisfy a surge of orders.

Why couldn’t factories just produce more?

Many did, but this produced its own troubles. Factories generally need to bring in components to make the things they export. For example, a computer assembled in China may require a chip made in Taiwan or Malaysia, a flat-panel display from South Korea, and dozens of other electronics drawn from around the world, requiring specialized chemicals from other parts of China or Europe.

The dramatic surge in demand clogged the system for transporting goods to the factories that needed them. At the same time, finished products — many of them made in China — piled up in warehouses and at ports throughout Asia because of a profound shortage of shipping containers, the standard-size steel boxes that carry goods on enormous vessels.

What happened to all the giant container ships?

In simplest terms, they got stuck in the wrong places. In the first phase of the pandemic, as China shipped huge volumes of protective gear like face masks and hospital gowns all over the world, containers were unloaded in places that generally do not send much product back to China — regions like West Africa and South Asia. In those places, empty containers piled up just as Chinese factories were producing a mighty surge of other goods destined for wealthy markets in North America and Europe.

Because containers were scarce and demand for shipping intense, the cost of moving cargo skyrocketed. Before the pandemic, sending a container from Shanghai to Los Angeles cost perhaps $2,000. By early 2021, the same journey was fetching as much as $25,000. And many containers were getting bumped off ships and forced to wait, adding to delays throughout the supply chain. Even huge companies like Target and Home Depot had to wait for weeks and even months to get their finished factory wares onto ships.

Meanwhile, at ports in North America and Europe, where containers were arriving, the heavy influx of ships overwhelmed the availability of docks. At ports like Los Angeles and Oakland, dozens of ships were forced to anchor out in the ocean for days before they could load and unload. At the same time, truck drivers and dock workers were stuck in quarantine, reducing the availability of people to unload goods, and further slowing the process. This situation was worsened by the shutdown of the Suez Canal after a giant container ship got stuck there, and then by the closings of major ports in China in response to new Covid cases.

Many companies responded to initial shortages by ordering extra items, adding to the strains on the ports and filling up warehouses. With warehouses full, containers — suddenly serving as storage areas — piled up at ports. The result was the mother of all traffic jams.

What exactly is in short supply?


Just about anything that is produced or manufactured — from chemicals to electronics to running shoes. Shortages beget more shortages. A paint manufacturer that needs 27 chemicals to make their products may be able to buy all but one, but that one — perhaps stuck on a container ship off Southern California — may be enough to halt production.

Why are new cars so hard to find?

Cars use computer chips — lots of them — and the shortages of chips have made it more difficult to produce vehicles. In turn, that has made it harder and more expensive to buy cars.

Why are some food pantries running short of goods for hungry people?

The global supply chain shortages have affected aid groups and nonprofits by making it more difficult for them to acquire excess inventory from profit-making companies that are themselves dealing with supply chain issues.

Is this really all the pandemic’s fault?

The pandemic has certainly made supply and demand extremely volatile, shifting faster than the supply chain can adjust. But that came on top of decades of very lean inventories kept by companies to limit their costs.

A dollar that a car company spends to warehouse computer chips as a hedge against supply chain troubles is a dollar that it cannot use on something else, including bonuses for executives or dividends for shareholders. Monopolistic tendencies also help explain shortages. Beef is scarce and prices are high, but this is largely because meatpackers have consolidated and eliminated capacity as a way to bolster prices and profitability. These sorts of choke points exist throughout the supply chain.


When will the shortages end?

No one really knows, but there are good reasons to suspect that this will be with us well into 2022 and maybe longer. Shortages and delays are likely to affect this year’s Christmas and holiday shopping season by making it much harder to find key goods. A lot of companies ordered earlier, which is exacerbating the shortages, sending more surges of goods toward ports and warehouses.

nyt/goodman
blatham
 
  0  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2021 05:14 pm
@hightor,
Very good piece. Thank you!
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 02:55 am
@hightor,
You don't have Brexit, it means we don't have enough drivers because they all want back to the EU.

The army is delivering petrol.
Builder
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 03:17 am
@izzythepush,
Crock of ****. Drivers are refusing the jabs. So are pilots.

Get with the program, hippy.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 03:25 am
@Builder,
Get with the program, Builder:

Exodus of EU truckers leaves UK hauliers facing acute driver shortages

Quote:
Lorry drivers from Europe are not keen to return to the UK to help the country “get out of the s***”, said a union leader representing hauliers across the EU.

Boris Johnson’s government is thought to be considering whether to call in soldiers to deliver fuel to petrol stations to address the drastic shortfall in tanker drivers.

The government has also agreed to offer temporary visas to 5,000 foreign heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers in a bid to ease the fuel crisis.

But Edwin Atema, from the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), which represents lorry drivers across the EU, said it would not be enough to tempt drivers.

“The EU workers we speak to will not go to the UK for a short-term visa to help the UK get out of the s*** they created for themselves,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

The FNV leader added: “It’s not like offering a visa … and the issue will be solved. Drivers need way more than a visa and a pay slip.”

Mr Atema cited poor levels of pay, lack of good facilities and the absence of any collective bargaining agreement for the road transport industry in the UK.

“Drivers from across Europe have completely lost all trust in this industry,” he said. “Long before coronavirus and Brexit this industry was sick already, plagued by exploitation … which ended up with drivers voting with your feet and leaving.”

The FNV representative added: “Drivers need way more than just a visa and a payslip. A Marshall Plan is needed for the whole of Western Europe to drag this entire industry back to the surface where it needs to be.”

The European Road Haulers Association (UETR), which represents 70 per cent of trucking companies across the EU, has also said lorry drivers who left Britain are unlikely to return.

“I expect many drivers will not return to the UK even if the UK government allows them to,” said Marco Digioia, general secretary of UETR.

“While offering visas to drivers on the continent would be a welcome step, there are many other issues, such as working conditions, pay and the costs of getting into and working in the UK.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said British motorists currently queuing for hours for petrol “couldn’t care less” if tanker drivers are foreign.

“What they want to know is that they can fill up their car or their van and go about the business – so let’s plug those gaps,” said the Labour frontbencher.

Industry leaders have said drafting in the military to deliver fuel to petrol stations across Britain will not on its own end shortages on the forecourt.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) chairman Brian Madderson confirmed some training had been taking place “in the background” for military personnel.

But he warned it was not an “absolute panacea” and that there was no “single lever” the government could pull to resolve the crisis.

Some fuel supply brands are seeing pumps run dry at as many as 90 per cent of their petrol stations, according to a straw poll by the PRA.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced on Sunday that he was temporarily suspending competition laws to allow the industry to share information so it can target areas where fuel supply is running low.

Elizabeth de Jong, policy director at trade association Logistics UK, told BBC Breakfast consumers must stop panic-buying to ease the fuel crisis while the government implements longer-term solutions to tackle HGV driver shortages.

“There’s the shorter-term panic-buying, which if we go back to our normal amounts and almost relax our behaviour and bring it back to normal then that can calm down quite quickly.”

truckerworld
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 04:21 am
@Builder,
Is that what your God, David Icke told you?

You have to be the most delusional moron on the planet.

It's Brexit, the drivers are staying in the EU.

The jab has nothing to do with it despite what the anti vaxing scum have to say.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 05:03 am
Lifelong conservative, David Brooks, on the threat to American democracy posed by the modern GOP

Quote:
...Going forward, we can expect bogus claims of voter fraud, and equally bogus challenges to legitimate vote counts, to become a permanent feature of Republican political strategy. Every election Republicans lose will be contested with lies, every Democratic win delegitimized. This is poison in a democracy.

As of late September, 19 states had enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for their citizens to vote. The Republican National Committee’s “election integrity director” says the party will file lawsuits earlier and more aggressively than it did in 2020. Trump wannabe candidates like Glenn Youngkin, running for Virginia governor, are currying favor with the Republican base by promoting conspiracy theories suggesting that Virginia’s election may be rigged.

More alarmingly, Republicans in swing states are purging election officials, allowing pro-Trump partisans to sabotage vote counts. In January, an Arizona lawmaker introduced a bill that would permit Republican legislators to overrule the certification of elections that don’t go their way. In Georgia, the legislature has given partisan election boards the power to “slow down or block” election certifications. Why bother with elections?

Democrats now face an opposition that is not a normal political party, but rather a party that is willing to sacrifice democratic institutions and norms to take power.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 05:26 am
@blatham,
blatham wrote:


Lifelong conservative, David Brooks, on the threat to American democracy posed by the modern GOP

Quote:
...Going forward, we can expect bogus claims of voter fraud, and equally bogus challenges to legitimate vote counts, to become a permanent feature of Republican political strategy. Every election Republicans lose will be contested with lies, every Democratic win delegitimized. This is poison in a democracy.

As of late September, 19 states had enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for their citizens to vote. The Republican National Committee’s “election integrity director” says the party will file lawsuits earlier and more aggressively than it did in 2020. Trump wannabe candidates like Glenn Youngkin, running for Virginia governor, are currying favor with the Republican base by promoting conspiracy theories suggesting that Virginia’s election may be rigged.

More alarmingly, Republicans in swing states are purging election officials, allowing pro-Trump partisans to sabotage vote counts. In January, an Arizona lawmaker introduced a bill that would permit Republican legislators to overrule the certification of elections that don’t go their way. In Georgia, the legislature has given partisan election boards the power to “slow down or block” election certifications. Why bother with elections?

Democrats now face an opposition that is not a normal political party, but rather a party that is willing to sacrifice democratic institutions and norms to take power.



David Brooks nailed this one. It must hurt him, and people like him, to see what has become of what was once a decent, reasonable, responsible political party.

NEVER thought I would see anything like this kind of **** in my lifetime. Sorry I have.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 06:12 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
NEVER thought I would see anything like this kind of **** in my lifetime. Sorry I have.


It's worth noting that these developments noted by Brock didn't all occur overnight or during the Trump regime but are the outgrowth of deliberate decisions, some, such as the seating of Justice Lewis Powell, made as far back as the Nixon administration. I watched all this slowly unfold, the "Southern Strategy", the counter-demonstrating "hardhats", the resentment of affirmative action, the decline of organized labor, the end of the Fairness Doctrine, the rise of the religious right, the constant criticism of "big government" as something we should fear, the tax-cutting insanity, the well-funded conservative think tanks, the vulgarization of political culture, the seating of ultra-conservatives on the judiciary – all might be seen as gathering storm clouds. I think what really pushes it all over the edge is the recognition by the Republicans that they are a minority and will remain so and their subsequent commitment to voter suppression and blatant election fraud.
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 06:31 am
@hightor,
hightor wrote:

Quote:
NEVER thought I would see anything like this kind of **** in my lifetime. Sorry I have.


It's worth noting that these developments noted by Brock didn't all occur overnight or during the Trump regime but are the outgrowth of deliberate decisions, some, such as the seating of Justice Lewis Powell, made as far back as the Nixon administration. I watched all this slowly unfold, the "Southern Strategy", the counter-demonstrating "hardhats", the resentment of affirmative action, the decline of organized labor, the end of the Fairness Doctrine, the rise of the religious right, the constant criticism of "big government" as something we should fear, the tax-cutting insanity, the well-funded conservative think tanks, the vulgarization of political culture, the seating of ultra-conservatives on the judiciary – all might be seen as gathering storm clouds. I think what really pushes it all over the edge is the recognition by the Republicans that they are a minority and will remain so and their subsequent commitment to voter suppression and blatant election fraud.


Agreed!

They should be ashamed of themselves, but just are not mature enough for that to happen.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 09:36 am
@Frank Apisa,
Yes. And thanks for correcting my typo on the name.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2021 09:54 am
@hightor,
Yes. That gets the key elements of the history right. Powell, it seems to me, represented the reactionary pro-business establishment response to events of the 60s. What he put in motion has been very successful. The anti-civil rights elements in the US didn't have the smarts or means to craft or carry out such a plan even though that too is a key part of the story.

I suppose I should add this quote from Eisenhower to his brother (in 1954) to make evident the fervor for over-turning FDR policies which were in place in one corner of American culture long prior to Powell but which are profoundly influential as well...
Quote:
“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

0 Replies
 
 

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