SF lands in purple tier restriction zone. Archbishop encourages disobedience.

San Francisco has entered the strict, yet prudent, Purple tier of Pandemic restrictions. The purple regimen will start on Sunday.

 The biggest howl  protest is coming from the local Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The archbishop is speaking in disengenuous tongues when he proclaims he is, “absolutely committed to public safety in conducting worship services.”

If the Archbishop was being honest and seriously looking after his parishoners he would be telling them to Deal with It and obey the health experts orders.

The Archbishop is not the only religious leader encouraging civil disobedience. The pastor at Temple Baptist Church Community is joining the disobedience brigades.

Excerpted from San Francisco Chronicle 11.28.2020

 San Francisco, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he plans to confer with lawyers to potentially pursue legal action against the indoor church ban in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, calling it “blatant discrimination” and pointing to the Supreme Court’s recent decision barring restrictions on religious services in New York.

“Catholics in San Francisco are absolutely committed to public safety in conducting worship services,” he said in a statement. “Our protocols require masks, social distancing, sanitation and ventilation. But the government still chooses to treat worship as less important than shopping for shoes.”

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Temple Baptist Church Community in San Francisco plans to meet in person Sunday at 10 a.m., said senior pastor Gregory Chisholm, noting that the service will be over by the time the restrictions take effect at noon. Chisholm said the church already streams the service on Youtube and Facebook and will continue to do so. “We’re in unity with our city officials,” Chisholm said. “We’re here to bless the city, bless the mayor and officials, we’re in total unity.”

The move to purple will also shut down indoor operations such as museums, movie theaters, gyms and places of worship. Additionally, San Francisco will close its outdoor carousels, Ferris wheels and recreational train rides — which includes the new 150-foot-tall SkyStar Observation Wheel in Golden Gate Park.

The curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Monday, and it requires people to stay at home during those hours except for essential activities, including permitted jobs, grocery shopping, doctor visits and walking the dog or exercising. Most other Bay Area counties are already subject to the curfew.

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“This is about protecting ourselves, our families, and our community, and getting us to a better place so we can get people back to work and support our small businesses,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “Every single person needs to do what they can over the next few weeks.”

It’s a sharp fall for San Francisco, which was in the least-restrictive yellow tier less than a month ago. The city has reported an average of 130 new cases a day this week, compared to 73 per day in the first week of November.

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The Trump impact. Nazi appears in Marin County. Caught on video posting swastika

The person to be applauded is the Marin County young man who confronted this scum.

Don’t think it is anyone other than “lame duck (55 days to go)” Trump who is responsible for legitimizing American crazies the past four years.

Now these perverse people are making their presence felt in such liberal enclaves as Marin County. President-elect Biden garnered 82% of the vote in the election.

At least Marinites can say this perverted person entered Fairfax from out of the County to post his abhorrent swastika in Fairfax.  

Question.  Why are Marin County authorities hesitating?  This guy should be charged with a hate crime.  

San Francisco Chronicle 11.26.2020

Marin County authorities are deciding whether to file hate-crime charges against a Livermore man who was captured on video putting swastika stickers on public and private property in Fairfax, police said Wednesday.

Fairfax resident Noah Mohan, 21, was walking his puppy with his girlfriend in Fairfax shortly before 3:45 p.m. Monday when he noticed a man across the street placing swastika stickers around town with the phrase, “We are everywhere.”

Mohan filmed the subsequent exchange and posted a shortened version on Instagram. In the video, Mohan ripped the sticker off a post and walked over to the man, asking him, “Why are you putting up Nazi stickers?”

The man responded that he believes in the ideology.

He went on to falsely say that the Auschwitz concentration camp was not real. Mohan said the man was wearing sunglasses with “SS” insignia.

Fascism and Trump II 8.26.2020

Fairfax police Lt. Rico Tabaranza said the man is a Livermore resident and has not been arrested or cited. But after an investigation and follow-up conversations with witnesses, “We are in contact with and collaborating with the District Attorney’s Office for pending charges, which some are hate-related crimes.”

“As an officer in this town, I’ve been here for 11 years, I haven’t seen anything close to this,” Tabaranza said. “It’s disheartening. There is no room for this type of hate in this community.”

Fascism and Trump III 8.26.2020

“I can tell you that we have several crimes being requested for charges at the D.A.’s office,” Tabaranza said. “Some of those are related to hate-related crimes. And some are not, like vandalism. It just has to meet a certain criteria, and it’s up to the D.A.’s office to determine whether or not its chargeable.”

District attorney’s officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

Mohan told The Chronicle he filmed the man and pressed him to leave because he did not want him in his hometown. Mohan followed the man through the downtown area and stopped near a parking lot, where the man said he was parked.

“If you stop filming me, I will leave right now,” the man could be heard saying. “I gotta go home.”

Mohan told him repeatedly to leave the city, and the man repeatedly said that he would drive away and leave if Mohan stopped filming. He continued filming until police arrived a few minutes later.

Mohan could be heard in the video telling his girlfriend to leave the area after noticing a pocket knife clipped to the man’s pant pocket. He said that while the man did not point it at anyone during the confrontation, Mohan feared for her safety because she is Black and Filipina.

Tabaranza said the knife the man was carrying was removed immediately as a safety precaution. It was a “legal folding pocket knife that anyone can carry,” Tabaranza said, noting that the knife was not brandished in a threatening manner during the confrontation.

Nazi Symbol 1.15.2019

In the man’s questioning by police, Tabaranza said, he reiterated his “ideology” to officers.

“He did admit to the fact that he was posting these stickers. We got pretty much his statement, his ideology of why he was spreading this type of propaganda in our town,” Tabaranza said.

He urged Fairfax residents to call police if they see anyone posting “hate-filled propaganda” and to “try not to intercede by confronting people, because we definitely don’t want a physical altercation.”


South Dakota Gov’s War on Tribal Sovereignty Is Going to Get People Killed

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem may be a rising star in the Republican Party.  She is also a clear and present danger to the indigenous population in her state.

Excerpted from The New Republic 11.25.2020

The Republican governor has fueled South Dakota’s pandemic spiral, and she’s trying to take tribal nations down with her.

In late September, third-term Rapid City, South Dakota Republican mayor and ex–police chief Steve Allender, making reference to the influx of homeless residents from the nearby Pine Ridge Reservation, told reporters, “The homeless that are here from out of town should go home immediately.”

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On the same night Camp Mniluzahan went up, Allender had police try to clear it out. The following morning, the mayor held a press conference in which he blew off a little steam. “I swear, every conversation about the homeless in the last month has been peppered with phrases like, ‘stolen land,’ and ‘treaty violations,’ and ‘getting land back,’” Allender said. He went on to accuse the organizers of wanting to “hold the government accountable for something that happened 150 years ago, or 500 years ago.” 

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Photo – Lee Heidhues

There does not exist a descriptor that adequately captures the levels of cruelty and malice required to pursue such policies while South Dakotans die. But, if pressed for one, “fucking insane” seems to do the trick.

South Dakota currently ranks second in the nation for Covid-19 cases, and first in hospitalizations.

On Saturday, the state reported its highest daily death total of the year. Yet, as of writing, Republican Governor Kristi Noem has refused to take action in response to the uncontrolled spread in her state, rejecting measures as simple and effective as a mask mandate. She described her decision to dig in on mass death as a matter of good manners and mutual respect. “If folks want to wear a mask, they are free to do so,” she tweeted at the end of October. “Those who don’t want to wear a mask shouldn’t be shamed into it, and govt should not mandate it. We need to respect each other’s decisions. In SD, we know a little common courtesy can go a long way.”

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Photo – Lee Heidhues

Around the same time, the Indian Health Service’s Great Plains area, consisting of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Iowa, posted its highest-yet increase in Covid-19 cases. Unsurprisingly, while officials like Noem effectively cheered on the death toll, tribal governments and community leaders have taken matters into their own hands, enforcing checkpoints and lockdowns of their own.

This isn’t a power grab by tribes: It’s an act of survival. “The nearest health facility is a three-hour drive in Rapid City, for critical care. And our health facility is basically just—we only have eight beds,” Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier told NPR in May. “There’s only one respiratory therapist. You know, there’s probably about over 10,000 residents here that live on the reservation. So if we were to have a massive outbreak, where are they going to go?”

native american II 11.25.2020

As Noem was bragging about getting to breathe on Trump and throwing her support behind a superspreader event in July, Frazier and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe government established checkpoints along roads entering the tribe’s reservation to check incoming vehicles to slow the spread of the virus. The stops were noninvasive and quick-moving, the kind of screening people face when walking into some restaurants and other shops across the country. But Noem fought the checkpoints, claiming that the CRST did not have the jurisdiction to stop traffic.



“Diplomacy is back.” Adults will be leading American foreign policy, again

There’s no substitute for experience. I am no USA flag waver. There has been plenty to criticize about American policy in the past 70 years. Cold War, Vietnam, Chile, Iraq for starters. Quite a list.

Nonetheless, American policy has brought a certain degree of stability to a fractured planet.

After four years of Trump, whose only goal was what benefited him, it will be refreshing to see experienced, educated, knowledgable people looking after American foreign policy.

Deutsche Welle 11.24.2020

President-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States under his leadership will reaffirm its commitments to its allies.

At a ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden unveiled his national security team, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state (pictured above) and John Kerry as climate envoy. The president-elect said his team embodied his core belief “that America is strongest when it works with its allies.”

“It’s a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” he said on stage, with his administration staff selections wearing masks and standing six feet apart.

The foreign policy strategy marks a stark contrast from the more antagonistic “America First” approach taken by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, who was often at odds with traditional allies across the world, particularly in Europe. 

Linda Thomas-Greenfield 11.24.2020

“I want to say to you: America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

UN Ambassador designee – Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Read more: Europe hails Biden Cabinet as a chance to ‘restore’ trans-Atlantic ties

Biden noted that in his calls with foreign leaders, they expressed “how much they’re looking forward to the United States reasserting its historic role as a global leader over the Pacific, as well as the Atlantic, across the world.”

Joe Biden has said his administration will strengthen the US role as a leader “across the world.” At an event unveiling his national security team, the president-elect also stressed his commitment to global cooperation.

Blinken, a longtime Biden confidante and former deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, vowed the US would seek global cooperation in its foreign policy.

“We have to proceed with equal measures of humility and confidence,” Blinken said. “As the president-elect said, we can’t solve all the world’s problems alone.”

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said that in addition to repairing diplomatic relationships that suffered under the Trump administration, the US was committed to tackling climate change.

“We will need to reassemble and renew America’s alliances, rebuild and strengthen the national security and foreign policy institutions that keep us safe, and advance our nation’s interests, and confront and combat the existential threat of climate change that endangers us all,” she said.

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Avril Haines – Director of National Intelligence designee

John Kerry, who served as secretary of state under Barack Obama, praised Biden’s commitment to rejoin the Paris Climate agreement on the first day of his presidency, and also called for a UN conference in Glasgow to raise ambitions for curbing global warming.

“You’re right to rejoin Paris on day one. And you’re right to recognize that Paris alone is not enough,” Kerry said.

In addition to Blinken and Kerry, Biden also named Obama White House alum Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador and lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of homeland security. Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, was tapped to be director of national intelligence.

Jake Sullivan 11.24.2020

Hillary Clinton and incoming National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Biden is due to take office on January 20. Aside from Kerry and Sullivan, his national security team picks unveiled on Tuesday will require Senate confirmation.


Committed to Justice. SF District Attorney Boudin charges cop with manslaughter.

San Francisco Chronicle 11.23.2020

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced Monday that he has filed manslaughter charges against the police officer who fatally shot 42-year-old Keita O’Neil during a 2017 chase — the first time in modern history that the city’s top prosecutor has charged a police officer with homicide in a use-of-force case.

San Francisco Police Department Officer Christopher Samayoa had just graduated from the police academy and started field training when he shot O’Neil on Dec. 1, 2017. Boudin said that while he seeks to hold law enforcement officers just as accountable as civilian defendants, his commitment to “not overcharge” extends to the police.

SFPD Shooting IV 12.1.2017.jpg


Attached below is a link to the November 23, 2020 San Francisco Examiner article on the indictment.  The article shows footing of the actual police shooting captured on an SFPD body vid cam.


Following is the original story which appeared in the SF Chronicle following the police shooting.

San Francisco Chronicle archive 12.1.2017

A San Francisco police officer shot and killed a suspected carjacker who had injured a state lottery worker, stole her minivan and led police on a chase into a public housing complex in the city’s Bayview neighborhood on Friday, officials said.

The chase came to its deadly end inside the Alice Griffith Housing Development Double Rock, near the Gilman Playground and the Bret Harte Elementary School, police said.

The episode began about 10:30 a.m. when police responded to reports that the driver of a California State Lottery van was carjacked in the 1800 block of 23rd Street in Potrero Hill, said Sgt. Michael Andraychak, a San Francisco police spokesman.

The woman driving the van suffered “non-life-threatening injuries,” he said.

Police officers stopped the gold-colored SUV at Gilman Avenue and Ingalls Street. The men in the vehicle were detained without incident.

The driver hit a fence and got out of the van, at which point at least one officer opened fire, police said. It was not immediately clear whether the man was armed.

A patrol car stopped behind the lottery van had a shattered front passenger-side window, but police did not say how it was broken.

The suspected carjacker, identified by the city medical examiner’s office as 42-year-old Keita O’Neil, was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Back at the scene, police examined bloody clothes and other evidence scattered between the patrol car and van.

SFPD Shooting III 12.1.2017

The van, which was filled with boxes, was surrounded by crime scene tape and its rear hatch was raised.

The names of those arrested were not released.

State lottery officials declined to say what the van was transporting and referred questions to the San Francisco Police Department.

Russ Lopez, a lottery spokesman, said that the driver was not seriously injured in the carjacking.

“She’s shaken up, but we’re glad she’s OK,” Lopez said.

SFPD Shooting II 12.1.2017.jpg


The Trump Show has been cancelled. The expiration date is in 59 days.

Study the media carefully. Slowly. Inexorably. Inevitably. Trump is being given the “lame duck” or “loser” treatment. 

The attention his Twitter rants receive in the media is receding day by day as time passes and January 20 grows closer. That is what really bothers Mr. Audience of One. 

The Trump Show has been cancelled. The expiration date is in 59 days. Good riddance.

Excerpted from Wall Street Journal 11.22.2020

WASHINGTON—A defiant President Trump continued efforts to contest the outcome of the election, as his legal options narrowed and a number of Republicans expressed frustration with his refusal to acknowledge defeat.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure state legislators in Michigan to overturn the election results were “completely outrageous.”

“We’re beginning to look like we’re a banana republic,” Mr. Hogan said. “It’s time for them to stop the nonsense.”

Trump refuses I 6.2.2020

Despite pressure to concede, Mr. Trump’s team over the weekend sought fresh avenues to reverse his loss to President-elect Joe Biden. They pledged to appeal a federal ruling in Pennsylvania that dismissed one of their lawsuits and filed a recount petition in Georgia after the election results were certified with Mr. Biden the winner.

The president continued to allege election fraud in a series of tweets on Saturday and Sunday—no evidence of widespread fraud has emerged—but his campaign faced dwindling options to contest the outcome of the Nov. 3 election. Michigan is scheduled to certify its results Monday, which is also the deadline for Pennsylvania counties to do so.


Many members of the president’s political party have supported his attempts to contest the results in court since Mr. Biden was declared the winner. The General Services Administration also hasn’t issued a typically routine technical designation that would allow the president-elect and his team to access key resources.

But while no representatives from the president’s campaign or legal team appeared on the Sunday talk shows to discuss their strategy, some Republicans took to the airwaves to signal that it was now time for the fight to end.

“The voters spoke,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) on “Inside Politics” on CNN. “In Michigan, it’s not a razor-thin margin, it’s 154,000 votes. You’ve got to let those votes stand.” He added: “It’s over.”

Book of Alternate Facts 1.22.2017

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said on ABC that he was a supporter of the president, but “elections have consequences and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen.”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) added in a written statement issued late Sunday: “It is time to begin the full and formal transition process.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) said on Twitter that Mr. Biden should get intelligence briefings. And Sen. Kevin Cramer (R., N.D.) argued on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he supported letting the legal process play out, though he also said it was acceptable to allow the transition process to begin.

“I informed my staff well over a week ago they have to cooperate with any transition outreach,” he said. “We want to be prepared.”


American stupidity. Covid-19 cases fly near 200,000 daily. Holiday travel surges

What is that old definition about insanity?  

Doing the same stupid thing over and over, again, and expecting a different result.

Would you expect much else in this country where over 70,000,000 people voted for the Moron Trump. Many of whom still believe he won the election.

Figures that millions of Americans will  ignore science and health warnings and just continue to party on down.  


Excerpted from Washington Post 11.21.2020

Total coronavirus infections in the United States have topped 12 million, and cases are approaching 200,000 in a day, as health experts warn of an alarming new stage in the pandemic’s spread while Americans embark on holiday travel that could seed more outbreaks.

“The scary news is that this week will probably have the highest amount of travel we have seen since the pandemic began,” said Christopher Worsham, a critical care physician and research fellow at Harvard Medical School.


He said he is more worried about what will happen when travelers get to their destinations — and as people from different households gather indoors, where the virus can spread more easily, often with more vulnerable older family members. Worsham said he has been hearing about people being treated as “the bad guy” for trying to keep their relatives and communities safe.


“We have to remember that the virus does not care that it is the holidays, that you are family, and that you have already gone a long time without seeing one another. If given opportunities to spread, the virus will spread,” he said.

A fall wave of the virus ushered in by colder weather is only worsening, outpacing expansions in testing and making new nationwide records routine. The country passed 11 million cases just a week ago, and daily infections are on track to double since Nov. 4, when they exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

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As Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, put it recently on MSNBC: “It’s almost exponential when you compare the curves in the spring and the curves in the summer with the inflection of the curve where we are right now.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended against traveling and gathering for Thanksgiving, using its first news briefing in months to sound alarms over the massive case rise reported in the past week. The United States has surpassed a quarter-million deaths related to covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.


But more than 1 million people still passed through the country’s airports Friday in the second-highest single-day rush of travelers since the start of the pandemic, even as air travel has dropped dramatically over this time last year. On the same date in 2019, more than 2.5 million people traveled through U.S. airports.


The data on Transportation Security Administration screenings shows that many Americans are heeding calls for caution. But the fallout from this week is expected to amp up pressure on hospitals and health-care workers at a critical time in the pandemic. Hospitalizations have soared to all-time highs, pushing state after state to enact new restrictions such as mask mandates, curfews and renewed business shutdowns.


US indicts for drug dealing – then cuts loose ex- Mexican Defense Minister

Life Imitates Art – Story of the Week

This sordid tale of the US Justice Department suddenly dropping an indictment against Mexico’s former Defense Minister is shocking. Perhaps not.  This is what the War on Drugs which began in 1969 in the Nixon Administration has been all about.  Politics.

One only needs to watch the terrific Steven Soderbergh movie Traffic released in 2000 to get a spot on cinematic look at the failed War on Drugs.

Traffic 2000 11.20.2020.jpg


Excerpted from New York Times 11.18.2020

Emotions reached a peak in recent days, as Mexico City issued an unheard-of warning to its counterparts in Washington: If the United States did not rethink its pursuit of Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, Mexico would consider expelling American federal drug agents from the country, jeopardizing a decades-long partnership that has helped bring several top drug lords to justice, according to three people in the United States who are familiar with the case.

In this case the Justice Department quietly indicted Mr. Cienfuegos last year, did not alert Mexican officials, and waited until he visited the United States to take him into custody. It is not clear what led the department to forgo Mexican cooperation, angering an important ally and leading to the embarrassing setback of dropping the case.

Mr. Cienfuegos, who had served as Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018, was charged in Brooklyn in October with laundering money and trafficking heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana from late 2015 through early 2017 on behalf of the H-2 drug cartel, an offshoot of a larger and older criminal mafia, the Beltrán-Leyva organization.

The charges were the result of a multiyear inquiry that investigators called Operation Padrino, or Godfather — a reference to what they claim was Mr. Cienfuegos’ nickname in the underworld. The investigation, which began in late 2013, was bolstered, court papers say, by a sprawling wiretap that covertly captured thousands of BlackBerry messages, some of which are said to implicate Mr. Cienfuegos in chatting and orchestrating meetings with cartel leaders.

Officials say that Mr. Cienfuegos helped the H-2 cartel, which has committed horrific acts of violence as part of its smuggling business, with its maritime shipments. In exchange for lucrative payouts, the officials say, Mr. Cienfuegos also directed military operations away from the cartel and toward its rivals.

Mexican officials made the threat after weeks of anger at the surprise arrest of a former defense minister. Their gambit appears to have worked — the charges were dropped.

That threat appeared to work. On Wednesday, at the request of Attorney General William P. Barr himself, a federal judge in Brooklyn said she would formally dismiss the charges against Mr. Cienfuegos, a former army general.

From the moment U.S. federal agents arrested a former Mexican defense minister last month on drug trafficking charges, the highest levels of the Mexican government were outraged at being kept in the dark about the case, seeing it as an egregious breach of trust between allies.

The Justice Department’s reversal stunned officials in the State Department and in Congress, who said Mr. Cienfuegos’s release would be an abrupt departure from the Trump administration’s aggressive pursuit of organized crime and drugs from Mexico. The dismissal was said to especially anger officials with the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, which oversees Mexico policy.

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Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda addressing the troops

The release of Mr. Cienfuegos — who arrived back in Mexico on Wednesday, with no guarantee that he would ever face charges — illustrates how foreign policy can interfere with the day-to-day prosecution of the drug war. Prosecutors acknowledged the challenges in a letter to the Judge Carol B. Amon, of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, saying they had dropped the charges because of “sensitive and important foreign policy considerations.”

One of the people familiar with the matter said that the prosecutors who had built the case against Mr. Cienfuegos were “devastated” that their superiors had decided to drop the pursuit of him in U.S. courts. Though Mr. Barr suggested in a news release on Tuesday that Mr. Cienfuegos would be “investigated and, if appropriate, charged” in Mexico, it remained unclear what would happen.

Trump’s lame duck Treasury boss swears he’s not fucking over new Prez Joe Biden

The pandemic is spiraling out of control, the death toll is rising, the economy – at least for the 99 percent portion – is collapsing.

Does any of this matter to soon to be tossed out Trump, our version of King George III (read your history books)?

Not for a second. This lame duck loser Trump just continues to spin the The Big Lie that he won the election.

And his enabler, clueless Treasury boss and big time lackey Steve Mnuchin is making sure the incoming Administration will inherit a complete pandemic and health disaster.

Vanity Fair 11.20.2020

Ask Steve Mnuchin about the whole thing, though, and he swears nothing nefarious is going on. “We’re not trying to hinder anything,” he said on CNBC Friday.

Something you’re probably aware of by now, unless you live in a cave or exclusively get your news from @realDonaldTrump and his big boy sons, is that there’s a very contagious disease ravaging the globe that is not just killing more than a million people but jobs and businesses as well.

Jobs, for the lazy rich who are unaware, are how people buy stuff like food and pay for things like shelter. So losing them is bad; less bad if you live in a society where the government actually cares about people and doesn’t just say, “tough shit, them’s the breaks,” when you lose one, and more bad if you live in, for example, the United States of America.

unemployed I 4.22.2020

The current Treasury secretary presumably knows this and, yet, he’s apparently hoping to make a bad situation even worse!

On Thursday, Steven Mnuchin said that he doesn’t plan to extend a number of key emergency lending programs beyond the end of the year, asking the Federal Reserve to return the money supporting them to the Treasury. While the programs expire at the end of 2020, investors had expected them to continue without interruption, given that COVID-19 is spiraling out of control and continues to pose major economic risks.

unemployed II 4.22.2020

As The New York Times reports, “the pandemic-era programs…have provided an important backstop that has calmed critical markets since the coronavirus took hold in March,” and “removing them could leave significant corners of the financial world vulnerable to the type of volatility that cascaded through the system as virus fears mounted in the spring.”

And while any Joe Biden–appointed Treasury secretary would likely restart them immediately, Mnuchin’s move would significantly delay doing so. In a rare critical statement, the Federal Reserve said it “would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy,” which is Fed-speak for “Bitch, the fuck is wrong with you? The economy is hanging on by a thread here!”

Per the Times:

With coronavirus cases on the rise, the economy may sour again, making the programs more necessary. As recently as Tuesday, [Fed chair Jerome] Powell warned of the potential for economic scarring and said that the economic recovery had “a long way to go.”

Mnuchin, of course, is one of Donald Trump’s most devoted lackeys and Trump would obviously love nothing more than to choke the economy to death right before his successor takes over. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce denounced the move, with Neil Bradley, the group’s executive vice president, saying, “a surprise termination of the Federal Reserve’s emergency liquidity program, including the Main Street Lending Program, prematurely and unnecessarily ties the hands of the incoming administration and closes the door on important liquidity options for businesses at a time when they need them most.”

As the Associated Press notes, “many progressive economists have argued that,” with the election of Biden, “a Democratic-led Treasury could support the Fed taking on more risk and making more loans to small and mid-sized businesses and cash-strapped cities under these programs. That would provide at least one avenue for the Biden administration to provide stimulus without going through Congress.” Stimulus that, for some reason, Mitch McConnell is in no hurry to get out to struggling Americans.

Unemployed Businesspeople With Cardboard Boxes
Group Of Unemployed Businesspeople With Cardboard Boxes Standing In A Line