Patterico's Pontifications

2/21/2020

Amy Berman Jackson’s Comments: A Rare (These Days) Vindication of the Rule of Law (For Now)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:49 am



Judge Amy Berman Jackson, during Roger Stone’s sentencing hearing, made some eye-opening comments that I want to highlight. Some of it had to do with the Justice Department’s extraordinary reversal, and her desire to put the lawyers on the hot seat as a result. From the account in the New York Times:

“As I understand it, you are representing the United States of America,” she told John Crabb Jr., an assistant United States attorney, with a trace of sarcasm. “I fear you know less about the case, saw less of the testimony and exhibits than just about every other person in this courtroom.”

“Is there anything you would like to say about why you are the one standing here?” she asked.

Cold as ice. The story says “Mr. Crabb defended the prosecution as a ‘righteous’ effort to hold Mr. Stone to account for ‘serious’ crimes.” Extra Toady Points to Mr. Crabb for using the same word to describe the prosecution (“righteous”) that Bill Barr had used in his interview with ABC News.

Judge Jackson also said that Stone was prosecuted for “covering for” Trump:

In biting tones, Judge Jackson dismissed any notion that the case lacked merit.

She said that Mr. Stone hindered a congressional inquiry of national importance because the truth would have embarrassed the president and his 2016 campaign. The documentary evidence alone, she said, proved that Mr. Stone deceived the House Intelligence Committee about his efforts to obtain information from WikiLeaks about Democratic emails that had been stolen by Russian operatives who sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“He was not prosecuted, as some have complained, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president,” the judge said. In government inquiries, she added, “the truth still exists. The truth still matters.” Otherwise, she said, “everyone loses.”

This does not mean that she is saying Trump conspired with the Russian government in a manner that is prosecutable, but it does mean that the Trump campaign (specifically Steve Bannon and Rick Gates) had contacts with Wikileaks, through Stone and his confederates. And Stone wanted to cover that up, at least on behalf of Donald Trump’s political well being, if not because he thought a crime had been committed.

Judge Jackson also made it clear that the original recommendation was entirely consistent with DoJ policy. And the prosecutor agreed:

I don’t have time this morning to do a detailed post about how the Justice Department backed off of its revised memo on the Roger Stone sentencing in favor of positions taken in the initial memo that so upset Bill Barr and Donald Trump. Maybe this weekend if I feel motivated and there’s interest. Suffice it to quote from the linked Hill article:

On Thursday … Justice Department prosecutor John Crabb, a recent addition to Stone’s case, defended the original memorandum and a key argument for imposing a stiffer sentence.

“It was done in good faith,” Crabb told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee, before she handed down Stone’s sentence.

. . . .

Crabb also supported a key portion of the original sentencing recommendation that was based in part on Stone’s conduct toward Randy Credico, a comedian and radio host who testified at the trial.

. . . .

[O]n Thursday, Crabb told Jackson that the Justice Department stood behind its initial judgment that the threat against Credico should increase the severity of Stone’s sentence.

“Our position is this enhancement applies,” Crabb said. “And we ask the court to apply it.”

That enhancement was the key enhancement that increased the original recommendation by several years. Following two livetweet feeds of the proceedings, I was stunned to see this concession. It seems that the Justice Department is trying to regain the credibility it has blown through this fiasco. Not so fast, fellas. That’s going to take a lot of time, a new Attorney General, a new President, and even more time still.

Anyone who says the lower sentence “vindicates” Trump or Barr either didn’t read the original memo, has their thinking clouded by partisan views, or both. I predicted 30 months purely based on the original memo, and that was low. The original memo made it clear that there were countervailing factors. It was not difficult to read between the lines and Judge Jackson made it clear that she had not discounted the original memo — which, she noted, had never actually been withdrawn by the government.

All in all, a tawdry episode that will continue to repeat itself as long as Donald Trump is the president. He can’t leave fast enough.

9/8/2019

Trump Administration Was Set To Host Taliban Leaders At Camp David Days Before 9/11 Anniversary

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:11 am



[guest post by Dana]

This is really unbelievable. Well, it would be if it was any other president…

Just days before the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that left nearly 3,000 dead, there was to have been a a meeting to discuss peace at Camp David with leaders of the Taliban, who recently justified al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11. We are now learning that the meeting has been cancelled because Taliban members admitted to killing 12 innocent people, including one US soldier in a car bomb attack on Thursday:

Untitled

Of course it’s incredible that a sitting U.S. president would invite leaders of the Taliban, a solidly untrustworthy organization that has allied themselves to al-Qaeda, to the private country retreat of U.S. presidents to talk peace and give them political legitimacy in doing so.

After Trump informed America about the meeting and subsequent cancellation, his loyal supporters provided cover for him for having invited Taliban leaders to Camp David in the first place. Most spectacularly, Rep. Liz Cheney manipulatively defended the President, not by what she said, but by what she didn’t say:

While everything she said in the tweet is true, she is simultaneously asking all of us to believe that Trump had nothing to do with signing off on hosting Taliban leaders at Camp David days before the anniversary of 9/11. Cheney knows better, and we know better. She is willing to sacrifice credibility to protect the President and some bad decision making. A decision that is being defended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

If you’re going to negotiate peace, you often have to deal with some pretty bad actors.

[…]

I know the history, too, at Camp David. Indeed, President Trump reflected on that — we all considered when debating how to try and get to the right ultimate outcome. Well, there have often been discussions about war at Camp David. There have been discussions about peace there as well. There have been some been pretty bad actors travel through that place throughout recorded history. It’s an important place. It’s a place where we thought we could convince all the leaders of Afghanistan — President Ghani and his team, as well as the Taliban — we could convince them to begin to head in a direction that would create better conditions on the ground in Afghanistan not only for the Afghans, but better security for the American people as well.”

Here is some background on the peace agreement document that was finalized, at least “in principle”:

That deal, criticized by Afghan officials for lacking measures that would ensure stability, would include a timeline of about 16 months for a gradual withdrawal of the remaining 14,000 American troops, with about 5,000 of them leaving in 135 days after its signing. In return, the Taliban would provide counterterrorism assurances to ease American fears of repeat of attacks on home soil — such as the attacks by Al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001, that precipitated the war in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said the American side had taken the liberty of negotiating on their behalf the release of thousands of Taliban prisoners in Afghan prisons. Mr. Ghani’s government found that unacceptable, and said it would agree to it only if the Taliban reciprocated with an extensive cease-fire — something the insurgents are reluctant to do at this stage of the talks, with violence their main leverage.

The final rounds of negotiations — and even Mr. Trump’s invitation for a summit meeting at Camp David — had occurred during a period of intensifying violence, including the killing of American soldiers…

The White House is discussing new dates for a possible meeting. Dates and locations were not mentioned.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

7/27/2019

American Citizen detained by ICE for 23 Days

Filed under: Government,Immigration — DRJ @ 2:45 am



[Headlines by DRJ]

I want to share this comment by Paul Montagu:

[T]he story of Francisco Erwin Galicia–the American citizen who was held by CBP/ICE for 26 days and was not released until after the media got wind–just gets worse.

First, border chief Brian Hastings lied to Congress when he said that Galicia never claimed to be a US citizen. There is literally a DHS document where some minion wrote down that “you falsely represented yourself to be a citizen of the United States.”

Second, I’m pretty sure that CBP/ICE violated the 8th Amendment (the one about “…nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”) when, during his confinement without a shred of due process, Mr. Galicia lost 26 pounds, was denied a shower during his confinement, and “had to sleep under a foil blanket in a packed holding area.”

Even if not a citizen, our federal government shall not inflict cruel and unusual punishment on human beings, but this is all the worse because he is a citizen and he literally had a wallet-sized birth certificate, Social Security card and Texas ID card on his person. US citizenship should be the gold standard, the golden ticket, meaning that citizenship should mean something. We are supposed to be treated humanely, it’s our birthright, no matter the alleged transgression, but not so this administration.

Galicia discussed his treatment on MSNBC — US citizen released by ICE: ‘We went through something inhumane’:

“From my experience, we went through something inhumane, all of us who were in that detention center,” Francisco Erwin Galicia said in an interview with MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” on Friday.

“There, we couldn’t bathe or brush our teeth. Nothing. You didn’t have anything. The only thing that they would give us from time to time, to clean ourselves were wipes,” he added.

Paul’s links include a Dallas Morning News’ article where this story was first reported. The Hill has also reported on it:

Galicia was detained while traveling to a soccer scouting event with his younger brother, Marlon, who is not a citizen and the “illegal alien” Hastings referred to.

When the two brothers reached a CBP checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, Marlon only had a school ID card, while Francisco Galicia had his Texas ID, which can only be obtained with a Social Security number.

Francisco Galicia was later transferred to an ICE facility on the belief that his documents were fraudulent, while his brother signed a voluntary deportation form and has been staying in Reynosa, Mexico.

This story is concerning. I don’t know if it is relevant but it is common for people in Texas with ties to Mexico to cross the border, especially in the Summer and on holidays. I can’t tell if Galicia was confused at being detained, or this was about protecting his brother, or if someone is lying.

— DRJ

12/24/2018

Music for Christmas Eve: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 (Plus Bonus Music!)

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 pm



It is Christmas Eve. Today’s Bach piece is his Christmas Oratorio:

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 2:1-14, (15-20). I usually use the New International Version for Gospel readings, but I’ll be relying on the King James Version for this passage, for reasons I will explain:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

When I sang in the Sage Chapel Choir (an institution that has unfortunately since been disbanded) at Cornell University, the choir was led by the late Donald Patterson. He would read this passage at the Christmas Eve service, and in his gravelly bass voice he would put a particular aggrieved sort of emphasis on the word “taxed.” As if it was an outrage that all the world should be taxed. I’ll never forget his voice reading those words, and so I cannot sanction the New International Version’s interpretation of the passage as “Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.” Where’s the fun in that??

Similarly, Professor Patterson’s voice would shake with drama on the words “sore afraid” in this line: “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.” I will not be replacing that language with “and they were terrified.” Sorry not sorry.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains (among many passages) these words:

Es begab sich aber zu der Zeit,
dass ein Gebot von dem Kaiser Augusto ausging,
dass alle Welt geschätzet würde.

Which translates as:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

My italics. I raise a glass to you, Professor Patterson!

I’m going to give you a couple of bonus pieces of music this evening. The first goes with Luke’s words quoting the angel of the Lord: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Here is Handel’s aria “For unto us a child is born” from Messiah:

And as a final bonus, here’s Jay Semko singing his quirky version of his song “It’s Christmas Eve”:

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

9/6/2016

*Cough* Hillary Having a *Cough* Hard Time These *Cough* Days

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 am



Painful to watch. I have been prone to coughing fits like this myself, though never in front of thousands of people. I imagine it’s tough to get through a talk this way. But, as commonplace as a coughing fit like this can be, she has to be dreading that it might hit during a debate. Given the state of our electorate, there’s no doubt that one coughing fit lasting even a third as long as this during a debate would do her in.

Meanwhile, for the fraction who care more about substance, here is Ben Shapiro noting all the new evidence showing Hillary’s criminal intent. A sample:

1. Hillary Used TONS Of Different Devices. According to the FBI, Hillary used at least 13 mobile devices “associated with her two known phone numbers.” That blows up her original lie that she set up a private server so that she could use one email address and one device.

2. Her Aides Destroyed Her Old Blackberrys…Or Lost Them. The FBI report states that Hillary’s aides were tasked with discarding of Hillary’s SIM cards when she’d switch devices – but “[Huma] Abedin and [Monica] Hanley indicated the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown once she transitioned to a new device.” According to another aide, he destroyed Hillary’s cellphones by hitting them with a hammer.

3. Hillary Told The FBI She Had No Idea How Classified Intelligence Worked. Yes, that’s right – the Most Qualified Candidate In World History™ admitted to the FBI that she had no idea how classification worked. The FBI explained, “Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined…[she] did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.” She even said that a classified email regarding a drone strike in Pakistan didn’t present a problem: “Clinton stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification.”

4. Hillary Hid 17,448 Work Related Emails From The State Department. The FBI reported that they’d “recovered from additional data sources and reviewed approximately 17,448 unique work-related and personal e-mails from Clinton’s tenure.” Hillary has claimed that she turned over all work-related emails and was fully transparent.

Nah, forget substance. A new online poll taken over 21 days shows Trump doing well. Release the hounds.

10/6/2014

SNL: White People, Your Days Are Numbered

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:55 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live had a fake PSA directed at white people: your days of privilege and dominance are numbered.

On a side note, it’s ironic that in almost 40 years of SNL, there have been no Latino cast members (if you don’t count Chilean comedian, Horatio Sanz, and Venezuelan, Fred Armisen).

–Dana

10/27/2008

1&1 Plans to Keep Patterico.com Out of Commission for 7-10 More Days

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:47 am



Coincidentally, that will keep patterico.com dark through the election.

I do believe it’s a coincidence, by the way.

Some people are telling me it’s not. They remind me that my problems started a couple of days after I posted proof that Obama’s career was “launched” in Bill Ayers’s living room. They tell me that the problems got worse after I told the people who were trying to scrub that evidence: “you’re going to have to crash my site and come get my laptop. Because it turns out that I saved a screenshot.” They point out that, less than 48 hours later, my site did “crash” — because my domain disappeared.

Maybe I’m being naive, but I don’t think so. I believe I’m facing massive incompetence, thievery, or very possibly a deliberate combination of the two.

It feels like evil intent — but not for political reasons. It feels like cyberextortion — people going after the almighty dollar. Commenters have pointed out corporate ties between 1&1, which can’t seem to process my timely renewal, and Sedo/Domcollect, which stood to profit from 1&1’s failure. Usually, corporate incompetence does not earn the corporation money — but 1&1 and its related companies have found a way to make money off of their own slipshod procedures.

I’m not going to say you’re wearing a tinfoil hat if you see a political conspiracy. I’m just going to disagree with you.

The latest e-mail from 1&1 is in the extended entry:

(more…)

11/22/2007

It’s Hard to Get Good Help These Days

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 6:41 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Look what top law firms do to attract young lawyers:

“In Perkins Coie’s Chicago office, members of the firm’s “happiness committee” recently left candied apples on everyone’s desks. Last month, the happiness committee surprised lawyers, paralegals and assistants in the Washington office with milkshakes from a local Potbelly Sandwich Works, a favorite lunch spot.

“That’s the whole beauty of it all — it’s random acts of kindness,” said Lori Anger, client relations manager of Perkins Coie, which is based in Seattle. “We have pretty strict hours, so it’s a nice way to surprise people.”
***
The benefits go beyond the laptops and BlackBerrys, late-night rides home, Friday beer-and-pretzel fests and sports tickets that are standard fare at many large and midsize law firms. Many of the new perks recognize a lifestyle change that law firms are just coming to grips with.
***
On offer now are concierge services, in which a lawyer can have the equivalent of a personal valet pick up theater and sports tickets, the dry cleaning, take a car to the repair shop or even choose a Halloween costume.

“We compete in terms of having a life,” Ms. Anger said. “We don’t compete by dangling a lot of material perks.” Unusual in the industry, Perkins Coie offers pet insurance.”

Starting salaries for associates can be $160,000 in top markets, with bonuses of $45,000 to $85,000, but billable hour requirements have also continued to increase. In addition, firms offer benefits like on-site child care or paid emergency nannies, sabbaticals, and more:

“For example, Sullivan & Cromwell, another old-line firm, with more than 600 lawyers, guarantees the first $100,000 of mortgages of associates who have been with the firm for at least six months.

DLA Piper, the nation’s largest law firm, reimburses employees $2,000 when they buy a hybrid car. Fulbright & Jaworski offers on-site tailoring and reimbursements to employees who buy a Subaru, Nissan or General Motors vehicle. “In our business, people are our main asset so our benefits are designed to keep people happy and healthy,” a spokesman for DLA Piper, Jason Costa, said.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, a 600-lawyer firm based in New York, offers employees a service akin to a personal issues coach and psychotherapist through a deal with Corporate Counseling Associates of Manhattan. The consulting firm has a battery of staff psychologists and social workers to provide advice on issues including stress, anxiety, depression and divorce.”

Depending on where the firm is located, additional perks include catered food, yoga, or recliners:

“The new perks are separate from the wining and dining that top law firms conduct each year for their summer associates, whom they hope to lure back after they finish law school.

Still, the parties and the food for lawyers are getting better. “We’re not talking a ham sandwich and a cup of coffee anymore,” said William M. O’Connor, a partner in the boutique litigation firm of Crowell & Moring, which is based in Washington. Crowell & Moring recently began giving wine parties at its New York office, with tuna tartare, baby lamb chops and vegetable trays. One associate requested that the firm “explore Spanish wines,” a spokeswoman related, so Crowell & Moring recently provided bottles of a 2001 Rondan and a 2005 Olivares Altos de la Hoya.

At Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s New York office, lawyers who work into the evenings can have dinner delivered, on a silver tray, from the Palm restaurant, a hot spot for media and financial executives.
***
It is true that many of the perks have a lifestyle flavor. O’Melveny & Myers, a large California-based law firm with offices in Asia, holds yoga classes at its Newport Beach office for lawyers and their staffs.

And Kilpatrick Stockton, a large firm with offices throughout the Southeast, has a nap room in its Raleigh, N.C., office, complete with a reclining chair, sofa and travel alarm clock. “Yes, it gets used, “ said Carol Vassey, the chief administrator in the Raleigh office, though rarely for more than 15 minutes at a time.”

Not everyone likes the new legal order:

“Forget the pet insurance and concierge services: that’s setting up people’s lives, and I find that appalling,” said Mitchell S. Roth, a principal at Much Shelist Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, a comparatively small firm based in Chicago. “The perk we offer in our world is a culture of collegiality and training.”

Still, Mr. Roth acknowledged that Much Shelist occasionally brought in a masseuse. “It’s for morale,” he said.”

It’s a battle for talent. May the best firm win, although clients don’t seem as supportive of this as attorneys are. Maybe it has something to do with being charged $300+/hour.

— DRJ

9/29/2009

Whoopi: Polanski Did Not Commit “Rape-Rape”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am



Among the cretins in Hollywood to rise to the child-rapist Polanski’s defense, none is so cretinous as Whoopi Goldberg, who says that the anal rape the child experienced wasn’t “rape-rape”:

Not rape-rape? Polanski was indeed charged with “rape-rape” — although the indictment itself called it merely “rape” (and sodomy and numerous other crimes) — and the grand jury testimony certainly supports calling it “rape-rape.” Here are excerpts from the girl’s grand jury testimony:

A. I was going, “No, I think I better go home,” because I was afraid. So I just went and I sat down on the couch.

Q. What were you afraid of?

A. Him.

. . . .

Q. What happened then?

A. He reached over and he kissed me. And I was telling him, “No,” you know, “keep away.”

But I was kind of afraid of him because there was no one else there.

. . . .

Q. What did he do when he placed his mouth on your vagina?

A. He was just like licking and I don’t know. I was ready to cry. I was kind of — I was going, “No. Come on. Stop it.” But I was afraid.

. . . .

Q. What happened after that?

A. He started to have intercourse with me.

Q. What do you mean by intercourse?

A. He placed his penis in my vagina.

Q. What did you say, if anything, before he did that?

A. I was mostly just on and off saying, “No, stop.”

But I wasn’t fighting really because I, you know, there was no one else there and I had no place to go.

I’ll leave off there before we get to the part where he rapes her anally and ejaculates in her anus.

Oh: Goldberg says Polanski thought: “You know what? This guy’s gonna give me 100 years in jail, I’m not staying.” I have read variants of this claim all over, mostly commonly that the judge was going to give Polanski 50 years. What?? The judge wasn’t even going to give him 50 extra days. He was going to give him 48 extra days. I get this from the motion filed by Polanski’s lawyers.

Paragraph 16 of the declaration of Polanski’s lawyer says: “Judge Rittenband announced to counsel that he now intended to send Mr. Polanski to prison for the second time under the following conditions: (1) that he serve 48 additional days in prison . . .” The other conditions were that there would be no further hearing, and that Polanski “deport himself.” Polanski had been sent to prison for a “90-day diagnostic” and had served only 42 days; the 48 days was meant to complete the 90 days.

This allegedly went against a previous in-chambers promise by the judge that the initial 42 days would be all Polanski would serve; however, Polanski did not plead based on the previous promise, which was made after the plea. That previous promise did not induce the plea, and when commentators say the judge “reneged” on a deal they are adopting the language of Polanski’s lawyers, who argue that the judge said he would make his decision after reading the probation department report and listening to the lawyers’ arguments. Instead, Polanski’s lawyers claim, the judge made up his mind before listening to the lawyers. Which, truth be told, judges always do; they just usually put on a better show of listening to us.

As always, this myth-busting is done in my private capacity, and I am not speaking for the District Attorney’s Office, or opining on what sentence Polanski should receive now. But I do think it’s important for myths to be corrected.

5/16/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:38 am



[guest post by Dana]

Good morning. Here are a few interesting news items to chew over. Please feel free to share anything that’s on your radar.

First news item

Floating petri dishes? Count me out:

A representative from the American Express travel franchise Cruise Planners told [TMZ] that cruise bookings increased exponentially after Carnival announced it intends to resume some cruises in August.

Three days after the announcement, the travel company’s Carnival bookings went up by 600 percent when compared to the three days before the news broke. This current vacation frenzy is notably 200 percent higher than the bookings Cruise Planners received during the same period last year.

Second news item

SMDH:

President Donald Trump wondered whether testing for Covid-19 coronavirus is “overrated.” He then proceeded to say, “And don’t forget, we have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? Because we do more testing.”

Next, he clarified: “When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

Third news item

$3 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package Headed To Senate :

The House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion stimulus package meant to alleviate the economic damage brought on by the new coronavirus Friday evening….The bill provides funding for state and local governments, direct checks to citizens similar to the $1,200 already sent, and further funding for COVID-19 testing and research.

Fourth news item

Texas reopens, coronavirus cases increase:

Texas has seen a steady rise in novel coronavirus cases and fatalities since reopening just over two weeks ago…There are now 45,198 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. That is an increase of 1,347 cases from Thursday to Friday. The new numbers have not yet been recorded for Saturday…the steady increase shows that the curve has not yet flattened in Texas…The state also experienced its highest and second-highest daily death toll just a day apart. On Thursday, 58 deaths were recorded in 24 hours and Friday that number dropped only slightly to 56, according to the health department. The total number of fatalities is at 1,272.

Fifth news item

POTUS and “great people”:

Sixth news item

Troubling news:

In an alarming development, five sailors aboard the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier in Guam have retested positive for COVID-19 after quarantining for the disease, and have been removed from the embattled warship a second time, the Navy announced Friday.

The news raises questions about whether the massive vessel with nearly 5,000 sailors can safely return to sea. It also adds uncertainty to the broader understanding of the virus’ ability to reinfect individuals, effective quarantine requirements and the accuracy of testing.

All five sailors had previously tested positive and were evacuated off the ship, which has been stuck in Guam since late March after the virus swept through the close quarters of the nuclear-powered carrier. They spent at least 14 days in quarantine on the island; the healthy sailors isolated in individual hotel rooms and the infected sailors together in group quarantine on the naval base. The sailors were allowed back on the Roosevelt only after testing negative twice, the tests administered at least 48 hours apart.

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

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