scharrison's blog

Tuesday Twitter roundup

How about some good news to start your day?

The growing tendency for industry to poach on public lands needs to be curbed, and this is a great place to start.

COVID 19 and nursing homes: The perfect storm

As you have probably heard, the City of Burlington has the highest increase in death rates doubling in the entire country. I've seen several folks try to connect this with the Ace Speedway incident, but it really is just an unfortunate coincidence. Burlington's numbers hail almost exclusively from a large nursing home:

White Oak has reported 103 cases in 66 residents and 37 staff members as of May 26, according to data the state released Tuesday. At least 19 people have died, all of them residents. Those 19 account for nearly all of Alamance County’s 24 recorded deaths.

County officials first reported the outbreak May 1, according to the Burlington Times-News. At the time, 120 residents had been tested and 12 were positive. By May 21, WFMY reported White Oak had the largest nursing home outbreak in the Triad with 80 cases and nine deaths.

I have some personal experience with this facility. These stories are rarely uplifting, and this one is no different:

Union County will hold in-person high school graduation

When your final lesson is to defy the Governor:

Union County has announced it is holding in-person, traditional graduation ceremonies with social distancing measures in place. The district had an emergency board of education meeting Thursday evening to discuss the graduation plans.

The Union County Public Schools Board decided in a 5-4 vote to hold the ceremonies in an outdoor stadium where students would maintain social distancing.

Right, just like the Althamahaw race fans practiced social distancing. It won't do a damn bit of good for the students to space themselves out if their idiot parents are packed together in the stands. Shouldn't be a problem, I think Atrium Health in Monroe still has 3-4 ICU beds available...

To serve and protect: AG Josh Stein sues Trump over vehicle emissions

Sometimes you have to fight to preserve progress:

The lawsuit argues that the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) rule stops progress that has been made to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, hurts the economy, and harms public health.

“The Trump administration’s new rule undoes hard-earned progress to protect our health, environment, and economy,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “As Attorney General, I will fight to uphold the law and safeguard the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

"Hard-earned progress" is right on the money. The U.S. Supreme Court had to (literally) order George W. Bush's EPA to regulate vehicle emissions in 2007, and they fiddled around until Obama's EPA started genuinely working on it. But here's the kicker: auto makers responded to both the emissions regulations and CAFE Standards (MPG), and vast improvements were made in both areas. Traffic still backs up around LA, but most of the smog is gone. In other words, everybody's happy, except the anti-government ideologues. This is what we're dealing with:

Burr remains the primary focus of insider trading probe

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You three can leave, not so fast Dick:

The Justice Department has closed investigations into stock trading by Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, according to people familiar with notifications sent to the senators. The senators came under scrutiny for transactions made in the weeks before the coronavirus sent markets downhill.

The developments indicate that federal law enforcement officials are narrowing their focus in the stock investigation to Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C, the former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman. Agents showed up at his Washington-area home about two weeks ago with a warrant to search his cellphone.

I have a theory about what is going on, backed up more by intuition than hard facts, so it's grain of salt time: Burr's last act as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee was to turn over the report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to the intel community itself, so they could decide which parts need to be classified for national security purposes. The fact the DOJ is still holding onto Burr over the insider trading tells me they don't know what's in the report he turned over. Barr's move to exonerate Michael Flynn proves he doesn't give a rodent's posterior about actual crimes, and that he believes the DOJ's major function is to protect Trump. When the de-classified version of Burr's report comes out, he will either remain under investigation or that investigation will be dropped, depending on how bad the report makes Trump (or his pal Putin) look. Film at eleven.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Just so bone-tired of seeing these two faces:

And the irony of Burr worrying about technology companies aiding the government by unlocking his phone is overwhelming...

Trump wants to set off a Nuke to scare China and Russia

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God how I wish this was fake news:

The Trump administration has discussed whether to conduct the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992 in a move that would have far-reaching consequences for relations with other nuclear powers and reverse a decades-long moratorium on such actions, said a senior administration official and two former officials familiar with the deliberations.

The matter came up at a meeting of senior officials representing the top national security agencies May 15, following accusations from administration officials that Russia and China are conducting low-yield nuclear tests — an assertion that has not been substantiated by publicly available evidence and that both countries have denied.

Not really surprised; Trump views our entire military and its weaponry as his own personal toys he can play with whenever he wants. But I am both terrified and disgusted. I served in the military during the latter days of the Cold War, and a nuclear "exchange" with Russia was a constant backdrop to that. Needless to say, I do not relish the idea of returning to that constant state of alert and fear. Trump has already thrown out several important treaties that were keeping us marginally safer from catastrophe:

You can't fix stupid: Coronavirus "parties" taking place in NC

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Hurry up and get sick so life will return to normal?

"We have heard from a lot of patients and the community that they're unafraid of getting the virus, so people are actually out and about trying to get the virus – attending gatherings, parties –just trying to maximize their chances of exposure," Yolanda Enrich, a nurse practitioner at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, told KOAT Action 7 News.

Enrich told the tv station that patients attend such parties with the purpose of developing immunity to COVID-19 so that they no longer have to take precautions against the virus during their daily routines.

Side-eye girl is concerned, and she's also more than a little pissed off that ignorant North Carolinians seem to continually attract the wrong kind of attention to our state. Okay, that second part is me, not her. But I'm sure she would agree. Here's what a highly-qualified medical professional (Mandy Cohen) has to say:

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