Would m'sieur like a wine pairing with the mystery meat?
Now that America is done with the pandemic, apart from all the people getting sick, dying, or not dying and just suffering permanent heart damage and lung damage and neurological symptoms, Donald Trump is back to ridiculing masks, holding large rallies, and demanding that everything reopen because creating more vectors for COVID-19 is how you prevent panic. Coronavirus infections have been hitting a lot of areas that reopened universities, because reopening plans assumed that if you simply tell young people to stay socially distant, they certainly won't go crowding into bars. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that restaurants can reopen for indoor dining at the end of the month, as long as they limit occupancy to 25 percent of capacity and collect diners' contact information in case they need to do contact tracing.
So that's your context for a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which finds that dining in restaurants may be a significant risk factor for transmission of the coronavirus. The study found that adults who have tested positive for COVID-19 were about twice as likely to have eaten at a restaurant in the two weeks prior to diagnosis as people who tested negative. Going to bars and coffee shops also appears to be a risk factor; "but only when the analysis was restricted to participants without close contact with persons with known COVID-19 before illness onset," according to the study.
Get ready for Donald Trump to threaten to withhold federal funding from school districts that don't immediately open restaurants with tables close together. Or at least cocktail lounges.
If you know either of the men in the above photo, please report.
Left coast rightwingers have been in a bit of a bind over the last few days. There are wildfires everywhere, and wildfires are obviously a bad time for everyone — people are scared, they have to leave their homes (which they may not be able to ever come back to), and it's all happening during an already stressful time when there is a freaking pandemic. The conservative line for many years has been that climate change is not a real thing or a problem and humans can definitely go on destroying the environment for fun and profit for years to come, but experts are saying that these fires that no one likes are caused by climate change! How is that fair?
Now, it's unlikely that the Right is going to suddenly change its tune on climate change. They know their representatives have to rely heavily on money from companies that don't want environmental regulations so they really, really, really do not want the cause of the wildfires to be climate change, which it is. They want it to be something else, something that they feel makes them look good as opposed to something that makes them look bad. So they're going on social media and spreading rumors that actually, the fires are being caused by evil Antifa arsonists who for some reason are very far left and yet do not care very much about the environment.
Raking forests not really gonna help here.
Dry weather and high winds have led to massive wildfires that have burned through California, Oregon, and Washington, killing at least seven people, two of them children, and forcing the evacuations of tens of thousands. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said yesterday that the fires could cause "the greatest loss in human lives and property due to wildfire in our state's history."
Nick Nauslar, a meteorologist with the National Interagency Fired Center in Boise, Idaho, told the Washington Post the rapid spread of fires over such a large area is virtually unprecedented, comparable only to the "Big Blowup" of 1910, which burned some three million acres in northern Idaho, western Montana, and parts of Washington and British Columbia:
"Multiple fires made 20-plus mile runs in 24 hours over the last few days in California, Oregon and Washington," Nauslar said. Such distances traveled so quickly may not be all that rare in grassland fires, Nauslar noted. "However, most of these fires are making massive runs in timber and burning tens of thousands of acres and in some cases 100,000-plus acres in one day," he said. "The sheer amount of fire on the landscape is surreal, and no one I have talked to can remember anything like it."
This wildfire event "rivals the past fire season in Australia," he said, noting that more acres burned overall in Australia's devastating fire season, however.
It's very bad. Donald Trump has been too busy complaining about outbreaks of arson during a small percentage of protests, and about James Comey for some reason, to offer any support to people facing the deadly disaster in the West. Probably just as well since he'd only say something incredibly stupid again.
It should be noted that none of the western fires were started by burning flags.
This seems an opportune time to remember that just a few weeks ago, Trump was ranting about not sweeping the forests enough, and that former DHS official Miles Taylor revealed that the sociopath in chief often ranted about cutting all emergency aid to California because the state didn't vote for him, making its residents non-American anyway.
Where they go one they go all.
Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teen who illegally obtained firearms, then drove across state lines with those illegally obtained firearms to a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he killed two people and injured one, did not appear at his extradition hearing this morning, saying that he needed time to assemble his legal team. A judge has agreed to give him a month to get that together before deciding whether or not to send him back to Wisconsin to face charges there.
On Thursday night, however, the Kenosha County District Attorney's Office charged him on five counts — "first-degree intentional homicide, one count of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment."
If found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, he would get a mandatory life sentence.