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Category Archives: Government Documents

How We Survive the Winter

The Atlantic – James Hamblin – The coming months of the pandemic could be catastrophic. The U.S. still has ways to prepare…”It is now widely accepted among experts that the United States is primed for a surge in cases at a uniquely perilous moment in our national history. “As we approach the fall and winter months, it is important that we get the baseline level of daily infections much lower than they are right now,” Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told me by email. For the past few weeks, the country has been averaging about 40,000 new infections a day. Fauci said that “we must, over the next few weeks, get that baseline of infections down to 10,000 per day, or even much less if we want to maintain control of this outbreak.” This may be the most salient warning he has issued at any point in the pandemic. Cutting an infection rate as high as ours by 75 percent in a matter of weeks would almost certainly require widespread lockdowns in which nearly everyone shelters in place, as happened in China in January. That will not happen in the United States. Donald Trump has been campaigning for reelection on just the opposite message. He has promised that normalcy and American greatness are just around the corner. He has touted dubious treatments and said at least 34 times that the virus will disappear. This disinformation is nearing a crescendo now that the election looms: Trump has been teasing a vaccine that could be available within weeks.

The cold reality is that we should plan for a winter in which vaccination is not part of our lives. Three vaccine candidates are currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the U.S., and the trials’ results may arrive as early as November. But even if they do—and even if they look perfect—it would not mean that a vaccine would be widely available. On Wednesday, Redfield said in a congressional hearing that a vaccine was unlikely to be widely available until summer of next year, if not later. Fauci may be even less optimistic. He told my colleague Peter Nicholas that if the clinical trials go well, it could mean a few million doses could be available by early 2021. By the time we got to 50 million to 100 million doses, he estimated, “you’re going to be well into 2021.” If each person needs two doses, as many experts expect, that would be enough to vaccinate roughly 11 percent of the population…”

The Inside Story of the Mueller Probe’s Mistakes

The Atlantic’s George Packer: The Inside Story of the Mueller Probe’s Mistakes – “In a new book, Andrew Weissmann, one of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s top deputies, lays out the limits and letdowns of the years-long Russia investigation….Suddenly, in March 2019, the Special Counsel’s Office completed its work. A report, hundreds of pages long, with… Continue Reading

CRS – The Civil Rights Act of 1964: An Overview

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: An Overview, September 21, 2020 [108 pages/PDF]: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964, comprised of eleven titles and numerous sections, has been called the “most comprehensive undertaking” to prevent and address discrimination in a wide range of contexts. From discriminatory voter registration practices to racial segregation in business establishments… Continue Reading

Election Night 2020 could go on for weeks just look at the primaries

Washington Post: “If you hope to settle in to watch the Nov. 3 results, you may want to make other plans. During this year’s Democratic primaries, it took days, and sometimes weeks, for the bulk of votes to get counted. Before the pandemic struck, mail-in states like California were already counting slowly. Then the coronavirus… Continue Reading

Law Firms Pay Supreme Court Clerks $400,000 Bonuses. What Are They Buying?

The New York Times – “Supreme Court justices make $265,600 a year. The chief justice gets $277,700. Their law clerks do a lot better. After a year of service at the court, they are routinely offered signing bonuses of $400,000 from law firms, on top of healthy salaries of more than $200,000. What are the… Continue Reading

This ambitious new plan could save monarch butterflies’ amazing annual migration

Fast Company: “…the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved a Nationwide Candidate Conservation Agreement for Monarch Butterflies. Under this plan, “rights-of-way” landowners—energy and transportation companies and private owners—commit to restoring and creating millions of acres of pollinator habitat that have been decimated by land development and herbicide use in the past half-century. The agreement was… Continue Reading

FinCEN Files Show How Criminals Use Big-Name Banks To Manage Global Financial Corruption

BuzzFeedNews: “A huge trove of secret government documents reveals for the first time how the giants of Western banking move trillions of dollars in suspicious transactions, enriching themselves and their shareholders while facilitating the work of terrorists, kleptocrats, and drug kingpins. And the US government, despite its vast powers, fails to stop it. Today, the… Continue Reading

DOJ Releases New Material from Mueller Report in EPIC Case

EPIC – “The Justice Department, as part of an open government lawsuit brought by EPIC, has released another round of previously unpublished material from the Mueller Report. The newly disclosed passages are listed in the “Redaction” column of a DOJ spreadsheet—though outside of their original context from the Mueller Report. The spreadsheet was originally drafted… Continue Reading

Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues

CRS report via LC – Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues, September 16, 2020: “…Congress has extensive power to regulate federal law enforcement. However, federalism principles embodied in the Constitution place limits on Congress’s power to regulate state and local police—an issue that the Constitution generally entrusts to the states. Congress, however,… Continue Reading

COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters

CRS Insight via LC – COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters, September 10, 2020: “This Insight highlights resources from selected federal agencies and other organizations that may aid renters at risk of eviction due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)pandemic. These resourcesprovide information on COVID-19 related renter protections and resources… Continue Reading

Mail-in voting fraud – It’s nearly impossible

CNET – Election officials and the FBI say it’s almost impossible to pull off fraud via mail-in ballots. Spreading disinformation about voting-by-mail is much easier. “Millions of Americans have voted by mail securely for more than 150 years, with fraud historically being so rare that election officials wouldn’t even consider it significant enough to be… Continue Reading