Thursday, January 21, 2021

Biden's speech on coronavirus


Baltimore 2020

I want to report the first formal speech that President Joe Biden gave on the coronavirus pandemic today (18 minutes), from NBCNews.

“We will get through this” he promised, “help is on the way.”

But Trump’s vaccination delivery program was in disarray, and we don’t know how long it will take to get the train moving.

It would help if AstraZeneca and Johnson-Johnson could get out there quickly.

This didn’t happen over night.  It will get worse before it gets better.

Biden did sign an order requiring masks on federal property and in interstate travel.  People returning from any international flights must have negative tests to board (rapid antigen tests?) and quarantine on arrival (I think its 10 days).

There was no mention of lockdowns.

Julia Beluz and Umair Irfan discuss vaccines and treatments and the South African E484K protein issue on Vox.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inauguration video, as recorded by Vox

Inaugural platform 2021


There are many videos of the election ceremony today.

I’ll pick the Vox one.   Kamala Harris starts taking the oath of office at about 1:35 into the video. That was about 15 minutes before noon.  Biden was sworn in about 8 minutes before noon.  My understanding that legally they did not take office until 12:00:01 PM.

Earlier Lady Gaga appeared, and Jennifer Lopez sang “This Is Your Land” right before Biden was sworn in.  Senator Amy Kolbuchar m-ced.

Biden talked a lot about people working together and “stepping up” to face unforeseeable challenges.  The relatively few who do so pull along everyone else.

Biden’s legal name is Joseph Robinette Biden, but some translators read “Joseph Robin Hood Biden”, indeed referring to socialistic redistribution of wealth.

He talked a lot about the pandemic.  He did not scold people with warnings about lockdowns. 

Dylan Matthews has an analysis for Vox. 

The biggest task Biden can do “for me” is to get the mass vaccinations going. But the pressures to do one more big disruptive lockdown will be considerable. 

And the fiscal programs for individuals and businesses disrupted or destroyed will have to be paid for.  They will complicate the debt ceiling and could lead to other proposals, like means testing social security or putting more pressure on inherited wealth – not to mention the debate on racial reparations.

The text of Amanda Gorman's poem, written after the Capitol riot. 

Picture: Wikipedia embed, PD photo, USAF, click for attribution.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

"How It Feels to Be Free", on PBS American Masters on MLK Day


Selma AL, Edmund Pettus Bridge, 2014

On Martin Luther King day, PBS American Masters aired “How It Feels to Be Free”, playback link.

There is a big discussion in Essence with this link, as well as Variety (link).  It is based on the book by Ruth Feldstein, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Dihann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, and Pam Grier, “How It Feels to Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement,” from Oxford University Press, 2017.

The film covers musicians (popular) who chose to become political and social activists, said to pave the way for today’s Black Lives Matter movement.  But this was about being free at last, and about “good trouble”.

It is music, however, that I would not have noticed at the time, mostly in the latter part of my college undergraduate and the graduate school days of the 60s, my own musical ear was still consumed with classical.

Monday, January 18, 2021

"Kamala Harris: Making History", CNN biography

Latham Square 2020


On Sunday night, CNN aired a biography of Vice-President elect Kamala Harris, titled “Kamala Harris: Making History”.

The best writeup is by CNN’s Kate Sullivan. 

Kamala has often spoke up for bussing to school, which she benefitted from.  It was a hot issue my last year of high school in Virginia in 1961.

The program goes into her support from Beau Biden in working on foreclosures of abusive banks, before Beau died of a brain tumor.

Picture: Wikipedia embed, Oakland CA, click for attribution  

Saturday, January 16, 2021

CBS "60 Minutes" interviews Georgia Secretary of State; the state may indict Trump once he leaves office under state law


Atlanta Pride 2004

CBS 60 Minutes interviews Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State, on the phone call he got from Trump on January 2.

The interview showed video of an election processing center where workers put away a bin of ballots and locked it up.  Raffensberger reports that the workers had been told they would go home for the night.  But then plans changed and it was decided that they needed to remain.  The reopened the bin (which is sealed with special locks) and counted them properly.  A major claim by Trump is refuted.

Raffensperger refused to budge to Trump’s “give me a break” and other threats.  His remaining steadfast was said to anger Trump’s base even more to set up Wednesday’s riot once the electoral vote count and certification had been started by Mike Pence.

I worked in Virginia in the March 3 primary, but sat out the Nov. 3 election because I am over age 70.  I voted in Virginia by mail for the presidential election.  I have been trained on all the machines and they all require backup persons to be present for secured operations.  I voted early for the primary back in February.  My March 3 duty (16 hour day at low pay) was near the end of the time before pandemic social distancing started (March 11).

CNN has suggested that the state of Georgia will indict Donald Trump for violating state election law once he leaves office!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Livestream of House of Representatives Impeachment Hearings (2nd time for Trump)

July 4, 2016

 Here is a livestream of the House of Representatives impeachment hearings, from 11Alive in Atlanta GA


 Some of the Republicans say that there is a double standard, that violent Antifa protesters in Portland and Seattle have not been adequately prosecuted, but of course Antifa did not try to overthrow the US government directly (sedition). 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

ABC puts "24 Hours: Assault on the Capitol" on Hulu, which made it pricey to watch (for me)

2021 storming of the United States Capitol 09 (cropped)


ABC News has streamed “24 Hours: Assault on the Capitol”, executive producer Roxanne Shervit, on Hulu.  You have to rent Hulu TV Live to watch it, instead of normally stored films and television episodes. It is fairly expensive as things to (and there were ads).   Only the trailer seems to exist on Youtube or ABC’s “go” site.

The 65-minute film is quite gripping,  It starts early in the day, and the march toward the Capitol started around 12:35 PM.   Congress was separated back into the House and Senate to debate an objection to the certification of the votes for Biden.  Congress realized its peril only gradually.

A critical moment occurs when a police officer directs the mob away from Congress. 

Trump’s tweets in response to the situation certainly placated the protesters and hardly gave them any incentive to leave.  His last tweet finally got him banned from Twitter.

 I had tweeted, the day before the session, "Game time 1 PM". That would imply that I had some uncertainty as to whether Pence really would certify the Biden win. Was I feeding the fire? 

Wikipedia embed of event, click for attribution