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la58

https://aeon.co/essays/what-can-we-learn-from-the-lunar-pandemic-that-never-was

In May 2020, as many of us stockpiled food and retreated indoors to escape the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley entered quarantine. In two weeks, they would lift off for the International Space Station, restoring the United States’ capacity to send humans into space. But now they waited, receiving only a trickle of visitors thoroughly screened for COVID. While a routine part of NASA’s long-standing ‘Flight Crew Health Stabilization Program’ (2010), their quarantine made headlines around the world. The astronauts, it seemed, were just like us.

NASA’s quarantine programme formally dates back to Apollo 14, the mission that would land the fifth and sixth astronauts on the Moon in 1971. Yet it really began with Apollo 11: the first lunar landing. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins entered quarantine three weeks before lift-off in July 1969. Then as now, a pandemic – in that case, one caused by the H3N2 flu virus – swept across the country and, by July, tens of thousands of people had died.

Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong relax within the mobile quarantine facility, a converted Airstream travel trailer onboard the USS Hornet to Pearl Harbor. Photo courtesy NASA
Yet for some NASA officials, the quarantine’s primary purpose had nothing to do with keeping the astronauts safe in space. ‘If they caught something pre-flight,’ one senior administrator fretted, ‘we would spend forever trying to convince everybody [after the mission] that this was not some lunar organism.’ The last thing the agency needed, another official confided to Newsweek, was a ‘Moon plague panic’.

Hard as it is to believe now, in the summer of 1969, millions across the US worried that the returning astronauts would spark a lunar pandemic on Earth. Nor did their fears lack merit. Scientists, bureaucrats and engineers across the federal government and the major universities of the US had spent years preparing for that possibility. It was one potential outcome of what they called ‘back contamination’: the introduction to Earth of alien microbes that could multiply exponentially in our benign biosphere.

jcitybone

Benny

I wonder if Ossoff will send Joy Reid’s producers this info.

jcitybone

I think they are going to have a hard time marginalizing Trump with all his cultist supporters. Republican Civil War popcorn time!

jcitybone

Thanks orlbuc! Good luck to your TB Bucs and Tom in the playoffs. First time in forever that the Pats will be sitting it out.

Republicans are in for some fun times.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/01/06/romney-airport-flight-heckled-trump/?utm_source=reddit.com

On Tuesday, Romney found himself face-to-face with Trump supporters who turned their ire on him.

Romney was first filmed and heckled inside Salt Lake City International Airport, where a maskless woman approached the senator, who was wearing a mask and looking at his tablet outside the gate. Before she could begin her tirade, Romney told her to cover her face, adding it was required by law.

“Don’t tell me what to do,” the woman responded. But she then complied and asked, “Why aren’t you supporting President Trump?”

“I do support President Trump in things I agree with,” responded Romney, who remained calm throughout the encounter.

The woman disagreed and asked if Romney was going to support Trump’s claims about the “fraudulent votes.”

“No, I’m not,” the senator responded. “We have a Constitution and the constitutional process is clear and I will follow the Constitution, and then I will explain all that when we meet in Congress.”

The senator then closed his tablet and stood up. As he walked away, a man, who was also recording, followed, telling him, “Your legacy is nothing.” The woman yelled: “You’re a joke. Absolute joke.”

The harassment didn’t end at the gate. On the Delta Air Lines flight, he was heckled by a larger group of Trump supporters, who chanted insults and yelled out conspiracies.

“You don’t listen to your constituents!” a woman shouted. “We want to know your connection to Burisma and Joe Biden, Mitt Romney,” a woman shouted, referring to the Ukrainian gas company whose board Hunter Biden was paid to serve on. In September, Romney opposed a GOP-led investigation into Biden’s son, calling it a “political exercise.”

https://twitter.com/Utah_17/status/1346630970506559488?s=20

Benny

Surprised he doesn’t use his own plane.

phatkhat

Sounds like the pilot came on at the end. If I were him, I’d tell ’em to shut up or I was turning the plane around.

humphrey

comment image?resize=807×807

jcitybone

She may not be wildly popular here, but Stacey Abrams is going to get a lot of the credit (and probably rightly so) for these victories. It did help that Georgia uses machines from Dominion (who Trump and his supporters claim cheat, but probably don’t) rather than machines from ES&S (who very well might cheat). See: https://www.dcreport.org/2020/12/31/ess-voting-systems-a-friend-to-republicans/

polarbear4

i’m sure Dominion can skew votes with the best of them. but that is a plus that they are the one affiliated with the Dems. imho the TPTB, even Dems, would rather Ossof lose. imho, Biden would prefer that Ossof lose. so i’m scared. some really good data people called it for Ossof last night.

jcitybone

Why do you think that Biden would prefer that Ossoff would lose? In any case, he’s won. He’s ahead and all votes left are very very heavily DEM

Good luck at the dentist. They are very careful in dentist offices—I just went last month. I’m sure you will be ok and will feel better after fixing the tooth.

Benny

I’ve been to the dentist twice during the pandemic and they were very careful.

polarbear4

Thank you so much. i’m probably more neurotic bc i haven’t been working in person, like a lot of people.

phatkhat

Going to the dentist is beyond torture for me even without a pandemic.

phatkhat

Ossoff isn’t as progressive as we’d like – nor is Warnock, actually. BUT he has been moving steadily left, including on M4A, and he’s young, smart, and likeable. Much more than corporate darling Mayo Pete.

Biden’s inner circle didn’t expect one win, let alone two, according to stories I’ve read. So he NEVER expected to be held to the $2K checks he promised if they both won. (And how many R’s voted for their wallet??? Like they usually do, really.) He’s probably livid this morning. And he will not have McConnell as a convenient obstacle to progress.

Oh, no. Mr. Slow-Joe isn’t happy today, I guarantee you that.

polarbear4

and Bernie will have some power. that dirty old socialist.

phatkhat

No, I don’t like her at all. She isn’t progressive, and will be another Donna Brazile. Yes, she’s a good organizer, and yes, I appreciate her work. But I don’t want to see her in Congress, the cabinet, or anywhere else with power. She’s already on the board at CAP – so a Tanden accomplice.

polarbear4

hillary is basically vp thru all her acolytes.

jcitybone

phatkhat

Um, the vaccine is NOT 100%. It’s somewhere between 70-95%, depending on who you ask. So not vaccinating EVERYONE is asking for some of those who DO get vaccinated to be at risk as well. An awful lot of immigrants – are depended on to work there, legal or otherwise. The work is already brutal. These people are risking their lives to feed us, and he doesn’t give a shit. They are expendable to him. What a dick!

polarbear4

not only that, who does he think is all over the food he fracking eats! not sure if it transmits that way, but i saw a doc who was caring for patients in the beginning and he put all his groceries on a table, wiped them down, even transferred bread to a new bag, stuff like that.

jcitybone

The easily transmissible virus from the UK is here right now.

NYCVG

A good and happy morning to everyone here.
Thanks to orlbucfan for putting up this thread so early.

Benny

Hear hear!

NYCVG

Yes. Yes it is.

humphrey

comment image?resize=807×807

phatkhat

Thank you, Andrew, and your beautiful family, for helping to make it happen!

jcitybone

https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-will-move-fast-to-end-yemen-war-congressman-says?ref=wrap

One of the leading congressional voices against U.S. aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen said that the incoming Biden administration will make ending the grueling conflict an early foreign policy priority.

“That means no [American] logistical support, no intelligence support, and no military support for the Saudis in the war in Yemen,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a leading foreign policy progressive, told The Daily Beast in an interview on Monday afternoon. “We’re going to see a partner in President Biden, Secretary-designate [Tony] Blinken, and of course National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.”

After speaking with senior Biden advisers expected to join the administration, “I am very encouraged by the moral seriousness with which they are approaching the situation in Yemen, and I have confidence that Secretary-designate Blinken will make this one of his top priorities, to end the war,” Khanna said. “I believe he understands the enormous humanitarian stakes, he understands that this is a generational humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions, and I believe he will engage the Congress and [United Nations Yemen envoy] Martin Griffiths and other stakeholders to bring this conflict to an end.”

polarbear4

yay!

phatkhat

Eh, they won’t cut the Saudis off, I’m sure. So how can they keep them from using weapons earmarked for “defense” on Yemen? And why aren’t they cutting off aid to Israel that they use against the Palestinians? That’s “a generational humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions” as well.

humphrey

LieparDestin

CNN is now using the C word…

SmartSelect_20210106-082059_Gallery.jpg
polarbear4

the unraveling.

jcitybone

https://apnews.com/article/climate-bills-climate-change-legislation-environment-83e5c30f59ad676eb45a437e614276ad?utm_campaign=Hot%20News&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=105503272&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-__VyJZuCWJe3PX-Q3zJWifvDULQ4fgyeQOmfTe3IuSo3zIQ66UNwM9_r7ZKvGImvoFkda46ffi9yxMip9fSiO81_m_SQ&utm_content=105503272&utm_source=hs_email

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday he is reviewing legislation passed by lawmakers that would overhaul the state’s climate laws, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create renewable energy jobs and protect poorer communities that can be at higher risk from pollution.

A highlight of the bill is the goal of attaining a net-zero greenhouse gas emission limit by 2050 in part by setting new statewide limits every five years to help the state reach the goal.

The bill would also increase requirements for purchasing offshore wind energy; require emission reduction goals for MassSave, the state’s energy efficiency program; and write into state law the criteria used to define “environmental justice populations” — communities with lower incomes, larger numbers of non-English speaking adults, or with a nonwhite population of 25% or more.

“Obviously, there are a lot of elements to that bill,” the Republican Baker said. “We’ll be reporting back on that sometime in the next 10 days.”

The legislation also seeks to improve gas pipeline safety and increase support for renewable energy workforce development programs including those designed to help low-income communities.

Democratic Senate President Karen Spilka called the bill “a historic step in the fight against climate change, putting Massachusetts on the path to creating a cleaner, greener and healthier future for the next generation.”

There was little opposition to the bill, which passed by near unanimous votes in the House and Senate. The bill was approved by the House and Senate on Monday evening.

jcitybone

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/private-sector-lost-123-000-jobs-in-december-first-decline-in-8-months-11609940256?mod=bnbh

Employers in the private sector shed 123,000 jobs in December, the first decline since April, according to the ADP National Employment Report reported Wednesday.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a December gain of 60,000 private sector jobs.

What happened: Job losses were primarily concentrated in retail and leisure and hospitality.

Private-sector service providers subtracted 105,000 jobs in December. Meanwhile goods producers shed 18,000 jobs. Manufacturing lost 21,000 jobs.

jcitybone

Pretty good rundown of what will change and what won’t with unified Dem control.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-democrats-verge-of-trifecta_n_5ff55a33c5b665581f667eea

It will mark the first time Democrats had unified control of the federal government since 2010. But while President Barack Obama started with a substantial 60-seat majority in the Senate, Biden, along with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), will operate with much tighter margins.

In some ways, the immediate Democratic agenda won’t change much. Biden has already announced a handful of executive actions he’ll take on his first day in office, including rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending President Donald Trump’s ban on travel that targeted several Muslim-majority countries. Progressives will continue to push Biden to be more ambitious with his executive actions, though he had indicated he would like to try working with Congress first.

There is one obvious change: Some Americans should see additional money in their pockets, since Biden promised quick approval of $2,000 coronavirus relief checks if Warnock and Ossoff won.

“If you send Jon and the reverend to Washington, those $2,000 checks are going out the door, restoring hope and decency and honor to so many people struggling right now,” he said during an election rally in Atlanta on Monday.

Unified control of Congress means Democrats will have at least three chances to pass significant pieces of legislation, provided they can keep the party’s moderate and progressive wings on the same page. The catch? All of those pieces of legislation will be considered under the budget reconciliation rules, which don’t allow for provisions that don’t directly affect the federal budget and which require the proposals to be revenue-neutral over the course of a decade.

Democrats could use reconciliation to pass major health care or climate legislation ― Biden backed both a public option for health insurance coverage and a significant investment in green infrastructure during the presidential campaign ― but it would be difficult to use the process to enact gun safety laws or large-scale immigration reform.

Other ambitious pieces of legislation will still require significant cooperation from Republicans, along with consent from moderate Democrats like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, to hurdle the Senate’s 60-vote requirement and avoid filibusters. Though Democrats had hopes before November, their slim Senate majority makes it almost impossible to see major filibuster reform in 2021.

But control of the Senate does have plenty of other benefits: Democrats will chair major committees, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) taking over the Senate Budget Committee and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio leading the Banking Committee. Democrats will also control oversight hearings, blocking Republican plans to investigate Biden’s son Hunter and other right-wing boogeymen.

The other major shift will come with nominations. Democrats and Republicans have slowly chipped away at the ability to filibuster nominees for the courts and Cabinet. This means an easier path to confirmation for potentially controversial Biden nominees, including Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick to run the White House Office of Management and Budget, whose past tweets criticizing Republican senators have drawn significant attention.

It also means Democrats can respond to Trump and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s stacking of the federal courts over the past four years. And it means Biden can nominate justices to the Supreme Court without requiring GOP support ― potentially clearing the way for the retirement and replacement of 82-year-old liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. Biden has promised to make a Black woman his first Supreme Court nominee.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Biden should nominate Anita Hill in atonement for his horrible treatment of her.

phatkhat

That would be good, but I doubt he’d do it. And he needs to nominate a young one, that can last through a GOP reign of terror.

phatkhat

Well, at least it won’t be Kamala Harris, thank the gods.

jcitybone

https://thephoenix.substack.com/p/georgia-just-kicked-off-a-climate

The polls closed in Georgia only a few hours ago, and the Sunrise Movement is already going all out to train thousands of volunteers to help pressure the Biden Administration to declare a climate emergency, adopt a Green New Deal, and prioritize climate justice in every division of the federal government. These tactics, along with other progressive groups, are placing in-your-face pressure on the Biden Administration to remain accountable to his climate mandate and ensure this window for action doesn’t slip by without the radical changes we need. And, if the past few years are any example, these grassroots tactics will be enough to shift the conversation in Congress, too.

We can’t listen to the folks who are saying this work is too hard, or our goals are set too high. We have to keep remembering that there’s nothing wrong with asking for what you need to survive. That’s how you win.

oldtown61
oldtown61

Lots of great tweets. I’ve seen no evidence of leadership from
any of them. If Nina can win, maybe she can organize these folks
into a lean, mean fighting machine.

1st 100 days
Bernie Sanders on the issues
https://berniesanders.com/issues/

If we don’t get movement on a lot of this, Bernie should quit shoveling sh~t
for the corporate toadies. Cuz, they ain’t gonna stop sh~tting on him.

https://peoplesparty.org/

jcitybone

No people’s party for me but thanks for your contribution

oldtown61
oldtown61

No worries. I did not expect you to be.
The information you provide here is invaluable.

Benny

I’m glad you are here to represent the People’s Party. I think there are other birdies at the Nest who are interested in any new information. I’m likely to stay Indie (just like Bernie) but interested in any new developments, including zoom meetings.

oldtown61
oldtown61

You can get email updates without any commitment.
Signup is on the front page.

https://peoplesparty.org/

The sun is finally shining in NC today. Going outside to partake.
Enjoy your day!

phatkhat

Bernie is I. He needs to make that clear(er). He sheepdogged for the DNC – twice – after they stabbed him in the back. The time for bipartisanship and “little ball” deals is OVAH. Obama shamelessly squandered his trifecta to please the donors, and Slojo is lining up the very same advisors – Obama 2.0. I’m sure Obama, and maybe the Clintons, is/are writing the script from their Hamptons mansions as we speak – er, type. Unless we rise up now – and powerfully – it will be round 3 of Rahm’s immortal words, “Fuck the left.”