POSSIBLE TOPICS: VOTER INFO, In an upset to Big Pharma, the most promising coronavirus vaccine comes from the public sector; Pentagon bans all Confederate flags from US military installations, housing and more; The Authoritarian Operation in Portland Is Only a Dress Rehearsal; Were the Actions of Federal Agents in Portland Legal?; Joe Biden unveils an ambitious climate plan — and it signals a major global shift;Biden to Call for $2 Trillion in Spending on Clean Energy; Greatest Increase Ever in U.S. Wages Is Actually Horrible News, MORE.
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SIGNOFF QUOTE[s]: “In my work with the defendants [at the Nuremberg Trials, 1945-1949] I was searching for the nature of evil and I now think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.”~ Captain G. M. Gilbert, the Army psychologist assigned to watching the defendants at the Nuremberg trials http://www.crisispapers.org/essays8p/empathy.htm (For attribution, I found this information here. Thanks to edwinrutsch3.)
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Make sure you are registered to vote! (Voting and election info are items 1 thru 6. Show information begins after Item 4.)
This program was recorded on SUNDAY, JULY 19. If you call in, you will NOT be able to get on the air, so please do not call the call-the show. We love our callers, but unfortunately live call-in is one of the casualties of COVID-19.
- Next election is the General on November 3rd. Make sure you are registered!
- VOTING FAQ
- Make sure you are registered to vote!
- For a personalized, nonpartisan voter guide visit VOTE411.ORG (DO NOT!! go to 411Vote!!)
- If you are denied your right to vote any place at any time at any polling place for any reason, ask for (or demand) a provisional ballot rather than lose your vote.
- HarrisVotes.com (Election Information Line (713) 755-6965), Harris County Clerk
- VOTETEXAS.GOV – Texas Voter Information
- HARRISVOTES.COM – Countywide Voting Center
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- Fill out a declaration at the polls describing a reasonable impediment to obtaining it, and show a copy or original of one of the following supporting forms of ID:
- A government document that shows your name and an address, including your voter registration certificateCurrent utility billBank statement
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- A certified domestic (from a U.S. state or territory) birth certificate or (b) a document confirming birth admissible in a court of law which establishes your identity (which may include a foreign birth document)
- HARRIS CTY – IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED FOR VOTING: Do not possess and cannot reasonably obtain one of these IDs?
- You may vote early by-mail if
- You are registered to vote and meet one of the following criteria:
- Away from the county of residence on Election Day and during the early voting period;
- Sick or disabled;
- 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
- Confined in jail, but eligible to vote.
- Make sure you are registered:
- Ann Harris Bennett, Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar
- In an upset to Big Pharma, the most promising coronavirus vaccine comes from the public sector – The pharmaceutical industry is salivating over the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine. Oxford may beat them to it. By Matthew Rozsa – Keith A. Spencer | SALON.COM | July 15, 2020 10:54PM (UTC)
- Hundreds of pharmaceutical companies have mobilized thousands of workers and millions of dollars to produce a coronavirus vaccine as fast as humanly possible, lured by the promise of tremendous revenues for a vaccine that much of the populace would get. Yet the most promising vaccine candidate — “months ahead” of the competition (as Bloomberg Businessweek’s headline blared) — comes from the public sector: specifically, the lab of researcher Sarah Gilbert of Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at Oxford’s Jenner Institute, and has already administered the vaccine candidate to her adult children (as well as many other human subjects).
- The early-stage human trial data on the new vaccine, known as AZD1222, is expected to be published in the medical journal The Lancet on Monday, according to a Wednesday report from Reuters. The vaccine candidate is already in large-scale Phase III trials, meaning mass inoculations of thousands in multiple countries, although researchers have yet to disclose whether the Phase I trials demonstrated that it will be both safe and trigger an immune response. (Many coronavirus vaccine candidates use parallel processing, meaning multiple phases of trials happen simultaneously to speed research.)
- Last month the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said that AZD1222 may be the most developed COVID-19 vaccine. Indeed, Gilbert and her Oxford cohort are months ahead of their “competitors” in the private sector; Bloomberg News quoted the chair of the British Vaccine Taskforce as saying, “It’s the most advanced vaccine anywhere.” The university has struck a deal with AstraZeneca Plc, a pharmaceutical company, to potentially produce 2 billion doses — on a not-for-profit basis.
- Pentagon bans all Confederate flags from US military installations, housing and more. By Laura Widener | AMERICANMILITARYNEWS.COM | July 17, 2020
- The Pentagon has officially banned all displays and depictions of the Confederate flag on U.S. military installations and other U.S. military property on Friday.
- In a carefully worded memo dated July 16, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper outlined a specific list of flags authorized for display – which excluded the Confederate flag – and noted that any unauthorized flags are now prohibited for display.
- The Authoritarian Operation in Portland Is Only a Dress Rehearsal – A major American city is being softly Pinochet’ed in broad daylight. By Charles P. Pierce | ESQUIRE.COM | Jul 17, 2020
- Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off. The tactic appears to be another escalation in federal force deployed on Portland city streets, as federal officials and President Donald Trump have said they plan to “quell” nightly protests outside the federal courthouse and Multnomah County Justice Center that have lasted for more than six weeks.
- Federal officers have charged at least 13 people with crimes related to the protests so far, while others have been arrested and released, including Pettibone. They also left one demonstrator hospitalized with skull fractures after shooting him in the face with so-called “less lethal” munitions July 11. Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and Customs and Border Protection’s BORTAC, have been sent to Portland to protect federal property during the recent protests against racism and police brutality. But interviews conducted by OPB show officers are also detaining people on Portland streets who aren’t near federal property, nor is it clear that all of the people being arrested have engaged in criminal activity. Demonstrators like O’Shea and Pettibone said they think they were targeted by federal officers for simply wearing black clothing in the area of the demonstration. …
- Were the Actions of Federal Agents in Portland Legal? The Department of Homeland Security can point to federal statutes protecting property to justify the arrests of protesters in Portland, Ore., but whether they stretched the law would be up to a judge. By Zolan Kanno-Youngs | NYTIMES.COM | July 17, 2020
- The Department of Homeland Security’s deployment of federal agents to Portland, Ore., has shown the broad legal authority an agency created to protect the United States from national security threats [can also be used] to crack down on American citizens. …
- [O]fficials in Washington said they had clear authority. Customs and Border Protection, which sent tactical border agents to Portland, cited 40 U.S. Code 1315, which under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 gives the department’s secretary the power to deputize other federal agents to assist the Federal Protective Service in protecting federal property, such as the courthouse in Portland.
- Those agents can carry firearms, arrest those accused of committing a crime without a warrant and conduct investigations “on and off the property in question.”
- “An interpretation of that authority so broadly seems to undermine all the other careful checks and balances on D.H.S.’s power because the officers’ power is effectively limitless and all encompassing,” said Garrett Graff, a historian who studies the Department of Homeland Security’s history and development. …
- “What is happening now in Portland should concern everyone in the United States,” said Jann Carson, the interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. “Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street, we call it kidnapping. The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.”
- 40 U.S. Code 1315 (from law.cornell.edu):
- (1) In general.— The Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of General Services, may prescribe regulations necessary for the protection and administration of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property. The regulations may include reasonable penalties, within the limits prescribed in paragraph (2), for violations of the regulations. The regulations shall be posted and remain posted in a conspicuous place on the property.
- (d)— (1) Requests of agencies.— On the request of the head of a Federal agency having charge or control of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government, the Secretary may detail officers and agents designated under this section for the protection of the property and persons on the property.
- (2) Applicability of regulations.—The Secretary may—
- (A) extend to property referred to in paragraph (1) the applicability of regulations prescribed under this section and enforce the regulations as provided in this section; or
- (B) utilize the authority and regulations of the requesting agency if agreed to in writing by the agencies.
- (3) Facilities and services of other agencies.— When the Secretary determines it to be economical and in the public interest, the Secretary may utilize the facilities and services of Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, with the consent of the agencies.
- (e) Authority Outside Federal Property.— For the protection of property owned or occupied by the Federal Government and persons on the property, the Secretary may enter into agreements with Federal agencies and with State and local governments to obtain authority for officers and agents designated under this section to enforce Federal laws and State and local laws concurrently with other Federal law enforcement officers and with State and local law enforcement officers.
- (g) Limitation on Statutory Construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to—
- (1) preclude or limit the authority of any Federal law enforcement agency; or
- (2) restrict the authority of the Administrator of General Services to promulgate regulations affecting property under the Administrator’s custody and control.
- Joe Biden unveils an ambitious climate plan — and it signals a major global shift – Biden’s dramatic climate pivot follows an extraordinary six weeks of global decisions: The world is changing fast. By Carl Pope | SALON.COM | July 16, 2020 10:00AM (UTC)
- On Tuesday [the 14th], Joe Biden embraced a 2035 phase out for fossil fuel power generation, committed his first administration to $2 trillion in climate solutions investments — triple the amount he had previously promised — and framed both with his strongest linkage yet of clean energy and a million new jobs: “When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs’.”
- Biden’s striking expansion of his climate ambition came at the end of a little remarked but extraordinary six weeks signaling a global shift away from fossil fuels — with, admittedly, a few stubborn outliers, including the presidents of Brazil and the United States.
- [Looking at] a calendar of some of these events[included in the article itself,] It’s a staggering global shift, in the midst of the worst tragedy of [the writer’s] lifetime, and it’s getting almost no attention, understandably. But the fact that it’s happening in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic is frankly unreal. …
- [MIKE: The impetus for this might actually be Covid-19. It has demonstrated just how much carbon human activity emits, and how human activity can drastically and suddenly cut it back.]
- Biden also specified that to pay for his [overall] infrastructure commitments, including climate, he would reverse parts of Trump’s corporate tax reductions, raising the rate from 21% to 28%.
- Biden’s announcement is not a stand-alone campaign promise — even though he may have launched it as such. It is the culmination of a series of commitments by every one of the world’s biggest climate polluters to take much more drastic steps than they committed to in Paris in 2015. None of these, it is true, are yet formally embodied as UN “nationally determined contributions,” and Biden has an election to win before his pledges become U.S. policy and something the world can look forward to.
- Biden to Call for $2 Trillion in Spending on Clean Energy, By Jennifer Epstein, Ari Natter, and Jennifer A Dlouhy| BLOOMBERG.COM | July 13, 2020, 8:06 PM CDT Updated on July 13, 2020, 10:21 PM CDT
- Plan would create 100% clean electricity standard by 2024
- Earlier proposal aimed for $1.7 trillion over 10 years
- … The $2 trillion in spending across four years is in place of the more modest $1.7 trillion over 10 years plan that Biden proposed last year while fighting for the nomination. Most of that investments in the new proposal would be one-time costs with the goal of spending the money to the maximum extent possible during those four years.
- The proposals are another key element of Biden’s broader plan to pull the U.S. out of the recession touched off by the coronavirus pandemic as he builds his argument into the November election against President Donald Trump. With the energy plan, Biden will seek to both revive the economy and address deeper systemic problems that existed before the virus hit.
- Yet the challenge for Biden lies in convincing progressive voters that he hasn’t left them short even as he set aside some of the more ambitious moves called for in the Green New Deal championed by left-wing Democrats including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. …
- Biden will also call for the creation of a climate conservation corps modeled after the work-relief programs President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created during the Great Depression, according to two more people briefed on the initiative.
- The plan also embraces Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s proposal to rapidly turn over of the nation’s automobile fleet, with taxpayers enticed by cash vouchers to trade in their gas-powered cars for plug-in electric, hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell cars, the two people said. The initiative also would steer tens of billions of dollars toward building charging infrastructure including in rural communities.
- Plan would create 100% clean electricity standard by 2024
- Greatest Increase Ever in U.S. Wages Is Actually Horrible News, By Alexandre Tanzi | bloomberg.com | July 17, 2020, 2:11 PM CDT
- The median weekly earnings of full-time workers in America jumped more than 10% in second quarter from a year earlier, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
- The data marks the largest increase in the four decades that the agency has tracked it but is skewed by a more sobering reality: massive job losses among lower-wage workers …
- MIKE: Hence the old saying: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”