Latest Entries »

CONOVA

We are living through extra ordinary times .  As I am writing this in my WordPress Corner, The US Senate is gearing up to vote on a 2 Trillion Dollar Stimulus Package as America Awaits.  Senator Schummer is speaking now and the US Senate is about to go through the legislative process.     What is clear is that faith is surely being tested right now.

I decided to share pro-forma responses I received from Senator Feinstein and Congressman Rouda.     I was also quite busy being supportive of the debate in whatever way I could–I think I did almost 1000 Tweets over the last five days.

There are profound challenges before us.   But as  I conclude it with some thoughts from Jonathan Last, I can’t help but be proud of Government in action right now.       All I know is this:  #WeWillGetThroughThisTogether.

 

 

Dear Mr. Pouraryan:

 

Thank you for writing to me regarding the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic on housing stability.  I appreciate the time you took to share your ideas on how best to respond to this crisis, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

 

I share your concerns about the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has infected hundreds of thousands of people across the globe.  I have been actively monitoring the spread of the virus, and the U.S. federal government is taking significant steps to ensure we have the resources necessary to protect the health and safety of all Americans.

 

In order to expand our society’s ability to respond to the epidemic, Congress passed an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill (Public Law 116-123), which was signed into law by the President on March 6, 2020.  This law includes funding to develop and test coronavirus vaccines, support state and local health departments and hospitals, and better equip health care workers on the front lines of this pandemic.

 

Congress also passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Public Law 116-127), which was signed into law by the President on March 18, 2020.  Among other benefits, this law provides paid sick leave during public health emergencies, additional funding for unemployment benefits and meals for vulnerable Americans, and free coronavirus testing for everyone in America.  You can read my full comments on this bill at the following website: https://sen.gov/R51P.

 

I strongly support the decisions by California Governor Gavin Newsom and local leaders to mandate that Californians remain in their homes—except for those carrying out essential services—to prevent transmission of the virus.  Anyone experiencing fever, coughing, shortness of breath, or other symptoms associated with the virus should contact their health care providers and determine if they should be tested.

 

Please know that I am continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress to help low-wage workers, small business, vulnerable industries, and those who are unemployed that have been affected by the virus.  Congress is working now on a third piece of legislation to provide further resources to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and assist with its economic repercussions.  I have heard from tens of thousands in need and am working on their behalf through this legislation.  I am also mindful of the impact this pandemic could have on our nation’s elections, and I am working to ensure our sacred democratic institutions remain secure.

 

Once again, thank you for writing.  I will keep your ideas in mind as I continue to work with federal, state, and local authorities to protect the public from this outbreak.  If you would like to read more about the actions that I have taken to address coronavirus, as well as information for travelers who have recently returned from foreign countries or who need assistance with returning home, please visit the following website: https://sen.gov/ZW3O.

 

If you have been directly affected by the coronavirus and would like additional assistance, or if you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C., office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at feinstein.senate.gov.  You can also follow me online at YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter, and you can sign up for my email newsletter at feinstein.senate.gov/newsletter.  Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Dear Mike,

Thank you for contacting me to express your thoughts regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As your representative, I need to know what issues affect you in order to serve you best. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As you may know, the World Health Organization has reported cases of COVID-19 in most countries across the globe, including in the United States. As your Congressman, the health and well-being of the people of Orange County is my highest priority. That is why I advocated and voted for allocating more than $8 billion in supplemental funding to fight the spread of COVID-19, help create a vaccine, and provide economic injury disaster loans for small businesses. On March 14, 2020, I also voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which establishes family and worker protections like paid leave and enhanced unemployment insurance for many workers, strengthens nutrition assistance programs, and ensures COVID-19 testing is free for all Americans. Both of these bipartisan bills have now been signed into law by President Trump.

On March 17, 2020, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick issued an Order intended to help protect the health of County residents. This Order was revised on March 18 to provide clarity. The revised Order mandates the closure of all bars and establishments that serve alcohol and not food, and that restaurants and other establishments with food service must close onsite dining and only offer pickup, delivery, and drive-thru services. In addition, all movie theaters, gyms, and health clubs must close. The Order can be viewed on the Orange County Health Care Agency’s website. If you have additional questions or would like additional information regarding this Order, you may wish to contact the Orange County Board of Supervisors at (714) 834-3100.

Should you experience symptoms consistent with those of COVID-19, it is important to follow the guidelines outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, if you are experiencing mild symptoms please call your doctor, instead of going to see them in person. If you have additional questions about treating COVID-19, you may wish to call the Orange County Health Referral hotline at (800) 564-8448. Should you have questions about school closures or distance learning, please contact the Orange County Superintendent at (714) 966-4000.

Orange County small businesses and nonprofit organizations are now eligible for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. If you are a small business owner in need of an economic injury disaster loan, you can find additional information and apply for a loan at SBA.gov/disaster. For further information, you may wish to contact the SBA’s Orange County/Inland Empire Office at (714) 550-7420 or its customer service center at (800) 659-2955. Please know that I am also advocating for implementing zero-interest loans and streamlining the process for obtaining SBA loans.

Our work to address this ongoing pandemic is far from over. Please know that my staff and I are working around the clock to coordinate with federal, state, and local officials on the response to this pandemic as well to work with my colleagues to develop further legislation to address this crisis. I will continue to fight for Orange County small businesses affected by COVID-19, families grappling with sudden school closures and working to make ends meet, and our seniors practicing social distancing. Rest assured, I will keep your views in mind as we work to limit the impact of this pandemic.

We must remain vigilant to limit the spread of COVID-19. Misinformation about the coronavirus is being disseminated at a rapid rate via traditional and social media channels. It is on all of us to work together to stay informed and fight fearmongering, particularly against our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. For more information, you may wish to visit CDC.gov.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me about this important issue. Your comments help me to better represent the people of the 48thDistrict. Please stay in touch, and if you need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact me through my website at www.rouda.house.gov or call my Washington, DC office at (202) 225-2415. I will continue to provide COVID-19 updates on my social media channels (FacebookInstagramTwitter), website, and newsletter.

     Sincerely,

Harley Rouda
Member of Congress

1. Easter

I love that Donald Trump has picked Easter as the day America is opened up for business and raring to go.

Easter.

He knows that’s a Sunday, right? And a holiday? A day that most businesses are closed anyway?

(Serious question: What are the odds that Trump—America’s Hugest Christian—knows what either Holy Thursday or Good Friday celebrate?)

We talked yesterday about the benchmarks that need to be met in order to begin re-opening the economy: A clear understanding of the infected population and rate of transmission; the healthcare system at a steady-state; a rigorous and basically unlimited ability to test and process cases on-site.

But what does “re-opening” the economy look like after those goals are met?

I’ll tell you what it doesn’t look like: Millions of people who may or may not be carrying viral loads crammed on top of each other in churches on a Sunday morning just to make a rhetorical point.

The economy will have to be re-opened in phases.

Manufacturing comes first. You want to get production lines moving and you can do that with reasonably low people density.

In the next tranche you’ll want to get low-density retail open. Daycare facilities. Food-service that can be run at a distance with delivery or carry-out.

After that, you start to think about high-density retail and getting remote-workers back into office settings.

The very last things you think about are big, nonessential, communal spaces: churches, bars, theaters, sporting events.

If you move through the re-opening gradually, at each step making sure the virus isn’t breaking out again, then you build confidence as you go. Because if you think things are bad now, imagine what it will look like if we open up everything again and then have to shut it down because we lose control over the management of the virus.

The idea that America is just going to throw the doors open on a Sunday morning two weeks from now and declare “We’re Open for Business” is yet another one of Trump’s dangerous fantasies and it is irresponsible of him to have planted it in the public’s mind.

2. The Cascade

I’m going to keep saying this until people are sick of it: You have to think about the pandemic not as an event, but as a cascade.

One of the third-order effects of the cascade will be devastation in parts of the tech industry. Here’s Ben Thompson in Stratechery (subscribe!) explaining the problem Airbnb is facing.

Airbnb was supposed to go public later this year. That now seems like a very dicey proposition. But delaying the IPO won’t just starve it of funds—it will invalidate the stock options granted to many early employees, and so might cause an exodus from the company’s workforce.

And then there’s the problem with Airbnb’s entire business:

Make no mistake, the company is in a terrible spot: not only is travel down, but its hosts, given that they are mostly distributed individuals, are not going to get bailed out; there is evidence that many are seeking long-term renters, and a good portion may end up in foreclosure.

That, though, is why the company should have gone public several years ago, back when growth was strong and marketing costs weren’t mounting.

I’m not telling about this because I want you to feel sympathy for coders who were early at Airbnb because they’re losing their options. (Though you should feel sympathy for them, just as you would anyone else.)

I bring it up because it’s yet another in an essentially infinite list of examples of concerns which have been upended by this pandemic.

There are no easy answers. There are no short-cuts to getting out of it.

There was a time when it would have been possible to mitigate, or even suppress, the outbreak in America. Doing so would not have required a crystal ball or any secret knowledge.

Indeed, experts were begging our leadership to take the simple actions that would have made a difference.

But our leadership ignored them.

And so the cascade will continue to collapse.

Subscribe to the Bulwark Podcast with Charlie Sykes for the latest on COVID-19, Trump, and the 2020 election.
Subscribe to the Podcast

3. Leadership

Speaking of leadership, this speech was delivered by Professor William Deresiewicz to the plebe class at West Point in 2009. It’s worth considering today:

What can solitude have to do with leadership? Solitude means being alone, and leadership necessitates the presence of others—the people you’re leading. When we think about leadership in American history we are likely to think of Washington, at the head of an army, or Lincoln, at the head of a nation, or King, at the head of a movement—people with multitudes behind them, looking to them for direction. And when we think of solitude, we are apt to think of Thoreau, a man alone in the woods, keeping a journal and communing with nature in silence.

Leadership is what you are here to learn—the qualities of character and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government. Solitude is what you have the least of here, especially as plebes. You don’t even have privacy, the opportunity simply to be physically alone, never mind solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. And yet I submit to you that solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. . . .

Look at the most successful, most acclaimed, and perhaps the finest soldier of his generation, General David Petraeus. He’s one of those rare people who rises through a bureaucracy for the right reasons. He is a thinker. He is an intellectual. In fact, Prospect magazine named him Public Intellectual of the Year in 2008—that’s in the world. He has a Ph.D. from Princeton, but what makes him a thinker is not that he has a Ph.D. or that he went to Princeton or even that he taught at West Point. I can assure you from personal experience that there are a lot of highly educated people who don’t know how to think at all.

No, what makes him a thinker—and a leader—is precisely that he is able to think things through for himself. And because he can, he has the confidence, the courage, to argue for his ideas even when they aren’t popular. Even when they don’t please his superiors. Courage: there is physical courage, which you all possess in abundance, and then there is another kind of courage, moral courage, the courage to stand up for what you believe.

It wasn’t always easy for him. His path to where he is now was not a straight one. When he was running Mosul in 2003 as commander of the 101st Airborne and developing the strategy he would later formulate in the Counterinsurgency Field Manual and then ultimately apply throughout Iraq, he pissed a lot of people off. He was way ahead of the leadership in Baghdad and Washington, and bureaucracies don’t like that sort of thing. Here he was, just another two-star, and he was saying, implicitly but loudly, that the leadership was wrong about the way it was running the war. Indeed, he was not rewarded at first. He was put in charge of training the Iraqi army, which was considered a blow to his career, a dead-end job. But he stuck to his guns, and ultimately he was vindicated. Ironically, one of the central elements of his counterinsurgency strategy is precisely the idea that officers need to think flexibly, creatively, and independently.

Read the whole thing.

unnamed

 

I decided to release this as I pay tribute to the legacy of the Scouting Movement and to be thankful for all that I am blessed with in spite of the challenges which I’ve written about in my Founders’ Corner and The Daily Outsider.

 

Palm-sized paper device on gloved handThe Corona Virus has impacted the World.   Purdue has created a solution–and I wanted to share this here in my WordPress Corner and hopeful that someone can help with this:

Source: Paper device could bring portable coronavirus detection, but funding bars production

I have been “kind of dark” here in my WordPress corner for about a month as I have been busy with projects for the Daily Outsider including working on a Beta Site from one of the platforms available at https://beta.thedailyoutsider.com .    I was blown away by the prose of Eli Faras here on what is going on in Lebanon.  It is a beautiful country–if only it was enlightened with deserving enlightened leaders.   When I released a Tweet on it based on the reviews I do for the Daily Outsider on whether this can be the dawn of Arab Spring II, I thought what Elie Faras noted on it being the WhatsApp Revolution was more appropriate–I am in awe as to how the people of Lebanon have risen up to say enough is enough:

My heart broke two days ago when I saw my home country burn, quite literally, in front of our eyes. As firefighters and regular people alike risked their lives to save our forests and homes from turning to ashes, it seemed fitting that a country whose course was scorching earth culminated that way. The fire […]

via Lebanon Burned. And Now It May Rise — A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

It is   Labor Day as I write this here in my WordPress  and picked this up courtesy of Professor Turley.

I am at a loss as well as one simple member of the OrdinaryFaces to see the extent of what the Trump Administration is going to war against Earth–This is not about being left or right or whatever that The President’s enablers and apologists think–it is about Earth (especially as fires burn throughout the World).    We are getting warmer and yet the Administration DOES not do a thing.       I commend Professor Turley for noting this–it seems as if the lights are out in Washington–such does not make American Great Again:

As many of you know, I have been a staunch critic of President Trump’s anti-environmental policies from relaxing pollution standards to abandoning climate change efforts. This includes this week methane rollbacks that are so severe and dangerous that even industry is objecting. However, I remain astonished by the scope and depth of these harmful policies. […]

via Trump Moves To Log Tongass National Forest — JONATHAN TURLEY

FREEAugust is upon us–and as I rush to get ready for Augsut, I ran across this which was a very nice personal “book-end” for monthly “food 4 thought” here in My  Personal WordPress Corner as also in another corner of WordPress the new Beta Site for The Daily Outsider is being worked on and is now “live” for visits and feedback–Hope all can check it out  by visting https//beta.thedailyoutsider.com 

Never a dull moment as I say August 2019, here we come as I close out this with a thought from Madiba especially in light of some of the challenges at hand we were witness to over the past few weeks!!!

Dr. John Gottman is world-renowned for his work on marital stability and is one of the top thought leaders in the field of marital therapy and psychology. Much of his research and writing focuses on the behavioral patterns that formulate healthy relationships, and conversely, the behaviors that destroy them. Through his research, he has been […]

via The 4 Behaviors Guaranteed to Destroy Relationships — Leading with Trust

NEVER GIVE UP

OPTIMISM

It has been quite a quarter and quite a year!!   The “labor of love” I helped launch, The Daily Outsider, got some life inserted to it with Google Chose it as part of the Google News Initiative.    There were challenges too–but the spirit exemplified by what I’ve headlined underscores my sense of optimism–I do admit, sometimes, wonder if that optimism is not in vain!!

It has also been quite a week on the political scene with the Democratic Debates–it is still a long way out–but it will be fascinating to be witness and be engaged.   I “kind of” overdid it on Twitter and got blocked and had to re-validate myself but couldn’t help it because all of the President’s supporters were on a Twitter War Footing–which is cool.     I also spent the last two weeks in support of the case of Nazanin Zargari-Ratcliffe as she is on a 14-day hunger strike in Iran and her husband has been as well in front of the Iranian Embassy in London.    In the meantime, the Iranian Government and the 4 Remaining parties in the JCPOA are trying to get a new deal going to avoid Iran going Nuclear.   What I find so tragic is this:  For a Country that cannot supply basic goods to its’ citizens, where over half the population is living under the official poverty line, Line (according to the half-baked Government )–why this insistence on Nuclear Power?   That’s a different question for a different day.

As I finish off these thoughts, I picked up this from Professor Turley on Justice Gorsuch.   He was President Trump’s first nominee to the US Supreme Court–and I personally have many times assailed the US Senate Majority Leader on it.    But I also noted that Justice Gorsuch may prove to be a bit of a surprise–and this from Professor Turley lays out a very interesting argument:

Below is my column on the end of the Supreme Court term and the one outstanding piece of business: an apology to Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. After this column ran, Gorsuch again voted with the liberal justices on a critical due process issue. He has already carved out a principled legacy on the Court that…

via Washington Owes Neil Gorsuch An Apology — JONATHAN TURLEY

I wish all a fab 4th of July as I say–July & Q3 here we come!!!!

 

Out & About….

Source: Freed Lebanese national Nizar Zakka arrives in Beirut from Iran

It is June and the 75th Anniversary of D-Day is before us.     I captured this while working away on commitments for the Daily Outsider to remember:

I pray for the day that we have the courage to say #NoMoreWar–to outlaw the most malignant of human creations as noted by General MacArthur.     #WeWillNeverForget.

 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

The Chinese have a saying:  May we live in interesting times.   We sure are, aren’t we?

The House Democrats Efforts to investigate the President has been blocked repeatedly by President Trump.   As Professor Turley’s thoughts are always a must read for me, I find his stance on it interesting-to say the least–especially with his latest as he cast doubt on some of the determinations regarding a potential impeachment against the President.   The President went after Justin Amash, the House Republican Member from Michigan–calling him Light Weight, etc.–I can’t help but wonder if he’s done nothing wrong, why he and the rest of the enablers are so nervous.

As I close out this with this on Professor Turley’s Views on Impeachment, I am also profoundly concerned about a potential conflict with Iran.    After toning down the rhehtoric, there was another tweet from President Trump (and all have realized by now that the Tweets reflect the President’s Thinking) on saying any threats will mean the end of Iran–never mind the 85 Million Iranians that have been held hostage by the Facist Cult–Profound challenging Times..

 

Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been hitting the airways to declare that the evidence of impeachable acts by President Donald Trump is not only clearly established by the Special Counsel Report but additional impeachable acts are unfolding every day. 322 more words

via Report: Democrats Hold Closed Door Caucus Rejecting Impeachment Move . . . Without A Single Dissenting Voice — JONATHAN TURLEY