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Messages - cadence4u

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Off-Topic / Cops investigate homeowner who jokingly urged voters to put mail-in ballots in a
« on: September 20, 2020, 11:23:22 am »Message ID: 1339682
Cops investigate homeowner who jokingly urged voters to put mail-in ballots in a TOILET after Democratic clerk complained people might think it was a real polling station

* A Mason, Michigan, resident put a toilet on their lawn with a sign that says, 'Place mail in ballots here'
* But Barb Byrum, the Democratic clerk of Ingham County, filed a complaint with police over the display, saying it could
   mislead voters
* 'Elections in this country are to be taken seriously' she said
*  The lawn also has a sign that calls for the recall of Governor Gretchen Whitmer
*  President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that voting by mail could lead to fraud and spoil the election

A Michigan resident's apparent joke showing disdain for voting by mail is no laughing matter for one election official.

The resident put a toilet on their lawn in the city of Mason with a sign that says, 'Place mail in ballots here.'

Barb Byrum, the Democratic clerk of Ingham County, filed a complaint with police over the display, saying it could mislead people who aren't familiar with the voting system.

'It is a felony to take illegal possession of an absentee ballot,' Byrum said Friday.

'Elections in this country are to be taken seriously and there are many people who are voting by mail for the first time this election,' she said.

Police told the AP that the complaint is being investigated.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly warned that voting by mail could lead to fraud and spoil the election, making distorted claims that elections officials fear could cause anxiety and confusion among voters.

It's the 'safest way to vote during the pandemic,' Byrum said.

She didn't identify the person who lives at the address. The lawn also has a sign that calls for the recall of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

No one answered the door Friday night, the Lansing State Journal reported.

More than 2 million Michigan voters could cast absentee ballots after changes in election law. Separately, a judge on Friday said absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 can be counted if received within 14 days after the Nov. 3 election.

Off-Topic / Pelosi on Using Impeachment to Stop SCOTUS Nomination: ‘We Have Arrows in Our Qu
« on: September 20, 2020, 11:18:20 am »Message ID: 1339680
Pelosi on Using Impeachment to Stop SCOTUS Nomination: ‘We Have Arrows in Our Quiver’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” that Democratic lawmakers have “arrows in our quiver,” when asked if impeachment was a possibility to stop a lame-duck Supreme Court nomination should President Donald Trump lose the White House in November and the vacancy following the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has not been filled.

Anchor George Stephanopoulos said, “Let me press you though on what happens. You want people to get out and vote. And even that’s no guarantee that the White House and Senate Republicans won’t try to push through a Supreme Court nomination in a lame-duck session even if Joe Biden wins on November 3rd, even if Democrats win, pick up seats in the House, and maybe even the Senate. So what can you do then? Some have mentioned the possibility if they try to push through a nominee in a lame-duck session that you and the House can move to impeach President Trump or Attorney General Barr as a way of stalling and preventing the Senate from acting on this nomination.”

Pelosi said, “Well, we have our options. We have arrows in our quiver that I’m not about to discuss right now, but the fact is we have a big challenge in our country. This president has threatened to not even accept the results of the election with statements that he and his henchmen have made. So right now, our main goal and I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg would want that to be to protect the integrity of the election, that we protect the American people from the coronavirus.”

Stephanopoulos pressed, “To be clear, you’re not taking any arrows out of your quiver and not ruling anything out.”

Pelosi said, “Yeah, we have a responsibility. We’ve taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have a responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. That is when we weigh the equities of protecting our democracy requires us to use every arrow in our quiver.”

Off-Topic / Trump is expected to ignore RBG's dying wish and nominate her replacement in day
« on: September 19, 2020, 10:35:34 am »Message ID: 1339554
Trump is expected to ignore RBG's dying wish and nominate her replacement in days while Biden demands he wait until after the election so the American people can decide

* It was the dying wish of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away Friday, that the next
   president nominate her replacement
* Trump is set to ignore her and announce a nomination in the coming days
* His rival Biden has already hit out and demanded he wait until after the election
* Even if Trump does nominate in the next few days, a group of rebel GOP senators may stop it being approved
* Senators Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski are among those expected to oppose a vote

President Donald Trump is expected to ignore the dying wish of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and nominate her replacement in the coming days in a rush to hurry through a conservative judge before the election.

Ginsburg had hoped that the selection of the next Justice was held after November's election, stating her 'most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed'

But Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has already pledged a vote on a Trump nominee.

Trump's attempts to hurry through his own pick, the third Supreme Court Justice he would have nominated, has already been met with backlash from his rival, Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Biden demanded that Trump waits until after the election so the winner can put forward the nomination.

It comes as insiders suggest that some Republican Senators led by Utah's Mitt Romney will lead a rebellion to scupper Trump's chances of a rushed process.

Trump is expected to whittle down his nomination list from the 20 names he announced last week to one nominee that will then go through the Senate vetting process. 

Among the current front runners is U.S. Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, a devout Catholic who holds a strong pro-life stance.

Liberals fear her appointment would result in the removal of the Roe v Wade judgement that legalizes abortion nationwide.

Once a nominee is named and vetted by the Senate, lengthy confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary normally follow, culminating with a recommendation on whether the nominee should be confirmed and placed onto the court.

The decision on the nomination lies solely with the Senate although the Vice President breaks a tie in the event of a 50/50 split.

Generally the process from nomination to appointment takes about 70 days although some, such as Brett Kavanaugh, take longer and Ginsburg's appointment only took 50 days.

Even this, however, was longer than the 46 days currently remaining before the election meaning the vetting and review for a Trump nominee would have to take place at breakneck speed.

The long-term direction of the nation's highest court is at stake as the closely divided court had five justices with conservative bents and four liberals, before Ginsburg's death.

If Trump were to choose a conservative judge to replace the liberal Ginsburg, as expected, the court's conservatives would have more heft with a 6-3 majority. 

The president repeatedly touts his success in already nominating two conservative Supreme Court Justices as one of the biggest achievements of his term but wishes to extend his influence further.

If he loses in November without having secured a third Justice, Trump could still attempt to push a nomination through the Republican-controlled Senate before Biden's inauguration in January, although this would likely be met with fury by Democrats.

If there was still a vacancy by January, a victorious Biden could appoint a liberal nominee, leaving the conservative-liberal balance at 5-4.

With other current Justices on the court in their 70s and 80s, without the Trump nominee, a Biden presidency could have further vacancies that could swing the balance of the court completely.   

The Senate is currently controlled by 53 Republicans, while Democrats hold 45 seats. Two independents align with Democrats on most votes.

Among the 53 Republicans are some moderates, including Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, who may side with Democrats or oppose a vote before the election.

Earlier on Friday shortly before Ginsburg's death was announced, Senator Murkowski said that if she was presented with a vacancy on the court, she would not vote to confirm a nominee before the election.

'I would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. We are 50 some days away from an election,' she said, according to Alaska Public.

She said she made the decision based on the same reasoning given by Republican senators to halt the confirmation of former President Barack Obama's final nominee to the Supreme Court ahead of the 2016 election. 

This comment could place Murkowski among a group of rebel GOP senators, potentially led by Mitt Romney, that will abstain from voting or vote with Democrats if a nominee is presented.

Romney has previously shown his ability to resist Trump and will likely be targeted by Democrats who will remind him of the 18-month delay caused by Republicans in 2016 when they refused to appoint Obama's nomination ahead of that election.

Another Utah senator could also play a prominent role over the next few days although for a different reason.

Sen. Mike Lee is among Trump's shortlist for the Supreme Court role, as is his brother, Thomas Lee, who is on the Utah Supreme Court.

Maine's Collins is another GOP senator who may oppose a Trump nominee due to pressure from voters in her own state.

She is in a tough race for re-election this year in her home state, which has been trending Democratic.

Ginsburg's death could have an impact on Collins' re-election effort and her posture on whether filling the high-court seat should await the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.

Late on Friday, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell issued a letter to GOP senators asking them not to reveal whether they will choose to vote before the election.

'For those inclined to oppose giving a nominee a vote, I urge you all to keep your powder dry. This is not the time to prematurely lock yourselves into a position you may regret later,' he wrote in a letter, seen by the Washington Post.

McConnell has said that he still hopes to complete the nomination process before November.

It can take several weeks to months between the president's nomination of a Supreme Court justice and a Senate confirmation vote as the nominee must go through a thorough vetting by the Senate and often make visits with individual senators to build support for the nomination. 

Yet there are no set rules for how long the process should take once President Donald Trump announces his pick, and some nominations have moved more quickly. It will come down to politics and votes.

The last Supreme Court opening was filled in October 2018 by Justice Kavanaugh.

His confirmation faced strong opposition from Senate Democrats and included bitter hearings amid allegations, which he denied, of sexual misconduct decades earlier.

Having being nominated by Trump on July 6, the Senate voted in favor of Kavanaugh joining the court on October 6.

Trump has already remade the federal bench for a generation and the new vacancy in the highest court gives the president the ability to shape its future for decades to come if he is re-elected in November.

The likely bitter fight ahead was reflected in early statements by Republican and Democratic senators taking partisan sides on whether a Ginsburg replacement should await the election results.

Even though Republicans caused a 14-month Supreme Court vacancy by their refusal to consider an Obama replacement for Scalia in 2016, Republican Senator Rick Scott said on Friday: 'It would be irresponsible to allow an extended vacancy on the Supreme Court' this time, as he voiced support of Trump filling Ginsburg's seat.

Democrats reminded Republicans of that 2016 delay. And Democratic Senator Chris Coons said, 'Given all the challenges facing our country, this is a moment when we should come together rather than having a rushed confirmation process further divide us.

Since becoming Senate majority leader in 2015, McConnell has focused much of his attention and wielded his power to fill the federal courts with conservative judges nominated by Trump. More than 200 have been installed.

One senior Senate Republican aide said of McConnell, 'No way he lets a (Supreme Court) seat slip away.' The aide added that a major question will be whether McConnell, in tandem with Trump, attempts to fill the vacancy before the Nov. 3 election or sometime before Jan. 20, when the next president will be sworn-in.

Trump's two nominees to the court, Justice Neil Gorsuch, 53, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, 55, are young appointments meaning that their potential tenure could last for decades.

If possible, the president is expected to pick a third young nominee, increasing the length of his influence on the court.

The current front runner is U.S. Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett, 48, a devout Catholic and pro-lifer, who will cause major concerns for liberals that her anti-abortion stance will lead to the removal of the Roe v Wade ruling that legalized abortion across the nation.

Other members of the current court are also in their 70s and 80s, potentially meaning the next president could have the chance to fill yet another vacancy.

Regardless of party, presidents tend to look for the same characteristics in potential Supreme Court picks.

Stellar legal credentials are a must. And they tend to be old enough to have a distinguished legal career but young enough to serve for decades. That generally means nominees are in their late 40s or 50s.

More recently, nominees have also previously clerked for a Supreme Court justice, an early mark of legal smarts. Five of the current justices previously clerked at the Supreme Court.

Who's Who On Trump's Supreme Court Shortlist!

Republican Senators

Ted Cruz, Texas. 49

Josh Hawley, Missouri. 40

Tom Cotton, Arkansas. 43


Bridget Bade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 54

Stuart Kyle Duncan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 48

James Ho, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 47

Gregory Katsas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 56

Barbara Lagoa, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 52

Carlos Muńiz, Supreme Court of Florida. 51

Martha Pacold, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 41

Peter Phipps, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. 47

Sarah Pitlyk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. 43

Allison Jones Rushing, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 38

Lawrence VanDyke, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 47

Current And Former Republican Officials

Daniel Cameron, Kentucky Attorney General. 34

Paul Clement, partner with Kirkland & Ellis, former solicitor general. 54

Steven Engel, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel. 46

Noel Francisco, former U.S. solicitor general. 51

Christopher Landau, U.S. ambassador to Mexico. 56

Kate Todd, deputy White House counsel. 45

Off-Topic / Southern California is rocked by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake - with tremors felt
« on: September 19, 2020, 10:10:52 am »Message ID: 1339551
Southern California is rocked by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake - with tremors felt from Los Angeles to San Diego

* Quake occurred 10 miles west of Los Angeles late Friday night
* The impact was felt as far south as San Diego, but there have been no reports of injuries or damage to property
* Seismologists fear California could be rocked by a giant 7.4-magnitude earthquake in the near future

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Southern California, with tremors felt from Los Angeles down to San Diego.

The quake hit 10 miles west of L.A. at 11.39 pm local time on Friday, according to the US Geological Survey.

It occurred at andepth of nearly 11 miles, and lasted for 30 seconds. It was reported to be one of the biggest earthquakes to hit the L.A. area in years.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage to property, but authorities warned locals to prepare for aftershocks. 

The Los Angeles Fire Department posted a tweet shortly after the quake, which read: 'If Inside When Shaking Starts: DROP, COVER, HOLD ON! Protect Your Head & Neck While Taking Cover Under Sturdy Furniture or Near a Sturdy Interior Wall, Away From Windows and Doorways Until Shaking Stops. 

One seismologist stated that Friday's quake occurred in almost the exact same location as the Whittier Narrows earthquake in October of 1987.

That 5.9-magnitude earthquake left eight people dead and a further 200 injured. The damage bill totaled more than $213 million.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, several people posted videos that showed their homes shaking as the quake occurred.

One TikTok user was partway through a performance, when her house began to rattle as the tremors hit.

Another wrote on Twitter: 'Felt the biggest earthquake in Los Angeles   yet. It was so big I ran out of my apartment with my purse and no shoes.'

Residents live in fear of a giant earthquake jolting through the center of the city.

Seismologists say a dormant fault line runs directly beneath Los Angeles that is well overdue for rupture.

The experts fear the result could be a catastrophic 7.4-magnitude earthquake that would cause massive loss of life and billions of dollars in damage. 

It's been more than a generation since a giant earthquake shook the city.

The 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake rocked the L.A's suburbs on January 17, 1994, causing more than $20 billion in damage and killing 60 people.

'Hidden' fault line directly under Los Angeles threatens a devastating magnitude 7.4 earthquake

A fault line, long believed to be dormant underneath Los Angeles, could link with others and cause a major magnitude 7.4 quake, according to a report published in September 2019.

The 'Wilmington Fault,' was so deep below the Earth's surface that it was difficult to study, but researchers from Harvard, the USC  and the US Geological Survey last year imputed a 'cluster of clues' into a three-dimensional model that revealed activity not previously detected.

Research indicates that the Wilmington Fault is usually supposed to rupture every 3,200 to 4,700 years - however it has been dormant now for millions of years.

There are fears for the communities of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which are built on the Wilmington Fault.

'I hope bringing attention to it can potentially increase safety in the region,' study author Franklin Wolfe, a doctoral candidate who is part of Harvard's structural geology and Earth resources group, said at the time of publication.


Off-Topic / Unemployment gap between black and white workers widens to nearly DOUBLE as econ
« on: September 16, 2020, 11:21:43 am »Message ID: 1339352
Unemployment gap between black and white workers widens to nearly DOUBLE as economic recovery lags for African Americans

* In August, black unemployment was 13% while white unemployment was 7.3%
* That put the black jobless rate at 1.8 times the white rate, up from 1.6 in July
* Meanwhile, the unemployment gap between men and women narrowed
* Female unemployment rate declined to 8.6% from 10.6% in July

The unemployment gap between black and white workers widened in August, with the jobless rate for black workers nearly double that of whites, according to federal data. 

The black unemployment rate in August was 13 percent, down from 14.6 percent in July, but about 1.8 times higher than white Americans, who had a jobless rate of 7.3 percent last month, down from 9.2 percent in July.

That ratio of black unemployment to white unemployment widened from 1.6 in July and 1.5 in June, representing the slower jobs recovery for black Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Historically, the black unemployment rate has always been higher than that of white workers.

There are several theories as to why the gap persists, ranging from hiring discrimination to differences in educational attainment, but none are considered definitive by experts.

For Hispanics, the unemployment rate dropped sharply in August, after Hispanic unemployment briefly exceeded that of black workers for the first time ever in April and May.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics tumbled to 10.5 percent from 12.9 percent in July.

One million more Hispanics reported having jobs in August, a 4 percent increase from July.

Hispanics are disproportionately likely to work in the kinds of services jobs - at restaurants or construction sites, for example - that have been returning as businesses reopen. 

Although Asians typically had the lowest unemployment rate of any racial group prior to the pandemic, the Asian unemployment rate remained higher than the national average in August, at 10.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the gap between the female and male jobless rate narrowed to just a third of a percentage point in August.

The female unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent from 10.6 percent the prior month. The male rate fell to 8.3 percent from 9.8 percent in July.

Before the pandemic, fewer women were unemployed than men.

The unemployment gap between people with college degrees and those with a high school diploma remained large in August, with high school grads unemployed at a rate 1.8 times higher than their college grad peers.

Off-Topic / White House says coronavirus vaccines will ship within 24 HOURS of FDA approval
« on: September 16, 2020, 11:15:54 am »Message ID: 1339350
White House says coronavirus vaccines will ship within 24 HOURS of FDA approval as it unveils 'playbook' to start giving FREE coronavirus immunizations to all Americans by January (all we need now is a vaccine!)

* Health officials and the Department of Defense outlined their 'playbook' for states to start giving out free coronavirus
   vaccines before Congress Wednesday
* The Pentagon will help roll out the shots which will be administered by health workers
* Americans could start getting vaccinated as early as January of next year or late this year
* Vaccination will not be required, but anyone who wants a shot will be able to get it for free
* Multiple drugmakers will provide shots to the US, with most coming in two doses delivered 21 to 28 days apart

The Trump administration plans to start shipping coronavirus vaccines within 24 hours of approval from regulators, the government announced Wednesday in its 'playbook' to make vaccines for COVID-19 available for free to all Americans as early as January.   

In accompanying testimony before a Senate committee, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Robert Redfield said a vaccine likely won't be available to the public until spring or summer of 2021.

No companies have completed testing for their coronavirus vaccines or gotten Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for them.

Yet Trump has continued to insist that a vaccine will be ready in a matter of weeks - ahead of Election Day on November 3. 

In a report to Congress and an accompanying 'playbook' for states and localities, federal health agencies and the Defense Department sketched out complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot.

Vaccines will be available to anyone, regardless of whether or not they have health insurance. 

Whenever a vaccine to combat the virus that has infected more than 6.6 million Americans and killed nearly 196,000 people in the US, the Pentagon plans to be involved with the distribution of vaccines, but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots.

The campaign is 'much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous outbreak-related vaccination responses,' said the playbook for states from the CDC.

President Trump tweeted: 'Vaccines are moving along fast and safely!' following the report's presentation on Wednesday, as the US recorded an uptick of more than 51,000 cases and over 1,400 deaths over the past 24 hours.

Among the highlights in the 'playbook':

For most vaccines, people will need two doses, 21 to 28 days apart. Double-dose vaccines will have to come from the same drugmaker. There could be several vaccines from different manufacturers approved and available.
Vaccination of the U.S. population won't be a sprint but a marathon. Initially there may be a limited supply of vaccines available, and the focus will be on protecting health workers, other essential employees, and people in vulnerable groups. The National Academy of Medicine is working on priorities for the first phase. A second and third phase would expand vaccination to the entire country.
The vaccine itself will be free of charge, and patients won't be charged out of pocket for the administration of shots, thanks to billions of dollars in taxpayer funding approved by Congress and allocated by the Trump administration.
States and local communities will need to devise precise plans for receiving and locally distributing vaccines, some of which will require special handling such as refrigeration or freezing. States and cities have a month to submit plans.

Some of the broad components of the federal plan have already been discussed, but Wednesday's reports attempt to put the key details into a comprehensive framework.

Nonetheless, some experts are concerned that these plans are being made and presented prematurely.

'Isn't this putting the cart before the horse?' Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the Baylor College of Medicine's National School of Tropical Medicine, said in an interview with

'We don't really understand the full extent of efficacy or safety of these vaccines, and each vaccine may be different.

'Some may prevent infection versus some [others that] will reduce the severity of illness. So it's very complicated to understand the different variations in terms of efficacy and safety and come up with a full plan.'

Dr Hotez also questioned the impetus for the report, wondering whether Congress had asked to see a plan like that laid out on Wednesday, or if it was something 'the WHite House is promoting.'

Either way, 'this is unprecedented,' he said. 

Distribution is happening under the umbrella of Operation Warp Speed, a White House-backed initiative to have millions of doses ready to ship once a vaccine is given what's expected to be an emergency use approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Several formulations are undergoing final trials.

But the whole enterprise is facing public skepticism. Only about half of Americans said they'd get vaccinated in an Associated Press poll taken in May.

Of those who wouldn't get vaccinated, the overwhelming majority said they were worried about safety.

To effectively protect the nation from the coronavirus, experts say upwards of 70 percent of Americans must either be vaccinated or have their own immunity from fighting off COVID-19.

Since the poll, questions have only mounted about whether the government is trying to rush COVID-19 treatments and vaccines to help President Donald Trump's reelection chances.

Before the Republican National Convention in August, the FDA granted authorization for treatment of COVID-19 patients with plasma from people who have recovered, even though some government scientists were not convinced the clinical evidence was sufficiently strong.

And last week it was reported that Michael Caputo, a Health and Human Services (HHS) Department political appointee, tried to gain editorial control over a weekly scientific publication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As public confidence in core health agencies has taken a beating, Trump administration officials have been forced to play defense.

'We are working closely with our state and local public health ensure that Americans can receive the vaccine as soon as possible and vaccinate with confidence,' HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Wednesday.

'Americans should know that the vaccine development process is being driven completely by science and the data.'

That could be a tough sell. In the AP poll, one in five Americans said they would not get a coronavirus vaccine, and 31 percent said they were unsure.

And the timeline for vaccine approval being touted by Trump is suspiciously serendipitous.

In late August, the CDC sent guidance to US states instructing them to prepare for the possible approval and arrival of coronavirus vaccines as early as the end of October. 

The announcement was met with outcry and skepticism from many health experts, appalled that the CDC would tease an arrival date for shots before any have been approved by the FDA regulators and concerned that the rush to get a shot approved by the end of next month could result in an unsafe, unproven vaccine. 

Many, including Dr Hotez, speculated that it was a politically-motivated timeline after the documents detailing instructions for the states were leaked to the New York Times.

Subsequently, Trump hinted that vaccines could be approved 'before a very special date,' likely referring to the November 3 election.

In response, nine major companies developing coronavirus vaccines - including Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, which are currently leading the shot development race - pledged that they would not seek approval for a shot without being absolutely certain their respective vaccines were safe.

Top health officials, including Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams, vaccine czar Dr Moncef Slaoui and Dr Anthony Fauci said it possible, but unlikely that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready that early - although Dr Fauci also acknowledged that a company could end its vaccine trial early, expediting the approval process, if there was overwhelming evidence that the vaccine worked, and was safe.

US Reports An Uptick In Average Daily COVID-19 Cases And Deaths For The First Time Since July As North Dakota, Wisconsin And South Carolina All Record Single-Day Highs

The United States is showing a slight uptick in the average number of daily coronavirus cases and deaths - as about 20 states reported increases in new infections in the past week.

The average number of infections per day was at more than 37,000 on Tuesday after increasing steadily since the weekend.

Cases, on average, have been trending downwards nationally since July when about 70,000 infections were being reported daily. 

Daily deaths are now averaging at just over 840 per day after the average number of fatalities dropped to 720 a week ago.

Deaths in the US have been declining steadily since mid-August when an average of 1,000 American were dying each day.

More than 195,000 Americans have now died from COVID-19 and there has been over 6.6 million infections.

The uptick in cases comes after health officials had warned there could be increases following the Labor Day weekend.     

It comes as 20 states reported an uptick in cases within the last week with North Dakota, Wisconsin and South Carolina all recording single-day highs in new infections.

South Carolina's infection peaked at 2,454 on September 11 with the state now recording more than 133,00 cases.

North Dakota's cases spiked to a record 467 on September 12 and now total more than 16,000.

Cases in Wisconsin surged to a single day high of 1,624 on September 13. Infections in the state have risen 38 per cent in the last week, bringing the total to more than 96,900.

Twelve of the 20 states that have seen increases in the last week have high case numbers in relation to the population.

They include North Dakota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Nebraska, Kentucky, Utah and Louisiana.   

An indoor event in Henderson, Nevada drew thousands on Sunday.

Trump on Monday also drew hundreds of supporters to an indoor event in Phoenix, Arizona that his campaign advertised as a 'Latinos for Trump roundtable'.

Trump has made the case that if demonstrators can gather en masse for protests over racial injustice, so can his supporters. His campaign has insisted that it takes appropriate health precautions, including handing out masks and hand sanitizer and checking the temperatures of those in attendance.

It comes after it emerged last week that Trump had referred to the virus as 'deadly stuff' in a private conversation with Bernstein's former reporting partner Bob Woodward.

Trump, at the same time, was publicly downplaying the threat of COVID-19.

Three days after delivering his 'deadly' assessment in a private call with Woodward, he told a New Hampshire rally on February 10 that 'it's going to be fine'.

Trump's acknowledgment in Woodward's new book 'Rage' that he was minimizing the severity of the virus in public to avoid causing panic has triggered waves of criticism that he wasn't leveling with the American people.

The president told Woodward on March 19 that he had deliberately minimized the danger. 'I wanted to always play it down,' the president said. 'I still like playing it down because I don´t want to create a panic.'   

Off-Topic / Donald Trump pays tribute to passengers of United flight 93 who 'took charge and
« on: September 11, 2020, 10:48:46 am »Message ID: 1338975
Donald Trump pays tribute to passengers of United flight 93 who 'took charge and changed the course of history forever' by overpowering hijackers before jet reached Washington at ceremony in Shanksville - as Pence and Biden mourn in NYC

* Donald Trump delivered a sobering, patriotic speech at a memorial service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania
* The president paid tribute to those who died on Flight 93 during the September 11th attacks
* 'The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the
    odds, America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back,' he said
* Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Mike Pence marked the 19th anniversary at a memorial ceremony at Ground Zero
* This year's September 11 memorial was altered in order to adhere to safety precautions around COVID-19
* Mourners gathered at the 9/11 museum where they listened to a pre-recorded reading of the names
* A military flyover expected to take place on Friday has been canceled following backlash
* City officials announced an F-18 jet was scheduled to conduct a flyover on the Hudson River on Friday
* The idea drew criticism on social media, with many calling the event 'insensitive' and 'tasteless'

President Donald Trump on Friday vowed that America will always 'rise up' and 'fight back' when under attack as he paid tribute to the 40 people who died on United Flight 93 when they brought down the plane in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

In a sobering and patriotic speech at the national memorial, Trump praised the '40 towering patriots' who he said 'took charge and changed the course of history forever' as al Qaeda hijackers were flying the plane toward Washington.

'The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back,' the president said.

'The only thing that stood between the enemy and a deadly strike at the heart of American democracy was the courage and resolve of 40 men and women.'

'Our sacred task, our righteous duty, and our solemn pledge, is to carry forward the noble legacy of the brave souls who gave their lives for us 19 years ago,' he said.

'In their memory, we resolve to stand united as one American nation, to defend our freedoms - to uphold our values - to love our neighbors - to cherish our country - to care for our communities - to honor our heroes - and to never forget.'

After he spoke, he and first lady Melania Trump laid a wreath at the Flight 93 Memorial, which contains the names of those who died. A bag piper played 'Amazing Grace.'

During his remarks, the president also paid tribute to the members of the military that lost their lives in the wake of the terrorists attacks.

'More than 7,000 Military Heroes have laid down their lives since 9/11 to preserve our freedom,' Trump said.

'No words can express the summit of their glory or the infinite depth of our gratitude. But we will strive every single day to repay our immeasurable debt and prove worthy of their supreme sacrifice.'

Trump also offered words to the unit the country on its day of mourning.

'We were united by our conviction that America was the world's most exceptional country, blessed with the most incredible heroes, and that this was a land worth defending with our very last breath. It was a unity based on love for our families, care for our neighbors, loyalty to our fellow citizens, pride in our flag, gratitude for our police and first responders, faith in God - and a refusal to bend our will to the depraved forces of violence, intimidation, oppression and evil,' he said.

'When terrorists raced to destroy the seat of our democracy, the 40 of flight 93 did the most American of things, they took a vote and then they acted,' Trump added.

Trump's visit kicked off a day of memorial services expected to take place at the memorial sites of the 9/11 attacks in Pennsylvania, New York City and at the Pentagon in Washington, as well as across the country. 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is expected to visit the Shanksville memorial later in the afternoon, after attending the 9/11 Memorial & Museum's annual commemoration at Ground Zero in New York, along with Vice President Mike Pence.

The president and first lady Melania Trump also observed a moment of silence aboard Air Force One at 8.46am, marking the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center 19 years ago.

It was a different display in Lower Manhattan at the Ground Zero ceremony, where public officials were not part of the program. Biden nonetheless consoled family members in the audience.

While Trump and Biden's visit will not overlap, Pence and Biden's did. In a rare moment of detente, Biden was seen approaching Pence after arriving at the ceremony and tapping him on the shoulder to say hello.

Wearing masks, the current and former vice president then shared an elbow bump - the popular COVID-era handshake replacement - as did Biden and second lady Karen Pence.

Although the candidates and country will be focused on the commemorations, the political significance of their visits to Shanksville is hard to ignore, with Pennsylvania being a crucial battleground state.

Biden however, insisted that he would steer clear of politics on a national day of mourning.

'I'm not gonna make any news today. I'm not gonna talk about anything other than 9/11,' he told reporters. 'We took all our advertising down, it's a solemn day, and that's how we're going to keep it, OK?'

Victims' relatives gathered for split-screen remembrances, one at the September 11 memorial plaza at the World Trade Center and another on a nearby corner, set up by a separate organization.

The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation objected to the memorial's decision to forgo a longstanding tradition of having relatives read the names of the dead, often adding poignant tributes. 

Memorial leaders said they made the change as a coronavirus-safety precaution on the 19th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

At the September 11 Memorial and Museum, mourners stood silently as they listened to a pre-recorded reading of the names - a plan that organizers felt would avoid close contact at a stage but still allow families to remember their loved ones at the place where they died.

But some felt the change robbed the observance of its emotional impact.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation arranged its own, simultaneous ceremony a few blocks away, saying there was no reason that people couldn't recite names while keeping a safe distance.

Reverence for the dead 'requires that we read these names out loud, in person, every year,' said foundation chair Frank Siller, whose brother Stephen was a firefighter.

The readers stood at podiums that were wiped down between each person.

Biden offered condolences to a woman he spotted crying in the crowd of hundreds, Amanda Barreto, who lost her aunt and godmother in the attacks.

Barreto, 27, said Biden 'wanted to let me know to keep the faith' and 'wanted me to say strong,' telling her he understood what it meant to lose a loved one. His first wife and their daughter died in a 1972 car crash, and his son Beau died of brain cancer in 2015.

Biden didn't speak at the ceremony, which has a longstanding custom of not allowing politicians to make remarks.

He also told the reporters traveling with him what the day means to him: 'It means I remember all my friends that I lost.'

'It takes a lot of courage for someone that lost someone to come back today,' Biden continued. 'I know from experience, losing my wife, my daughter, my son, you relive it, the moment as if it's happening. It's hard.

'It's a wonderful memorial, but it's hard. It just brings you back to the moment it happened, no matter how long, how much time passes. So I admire the families who come.'

Trump's Full Speech At The Flight 93 National Memorial 

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, David, very much. It's a great honor to be with you. Nineteen years ago, on this day, at this very hour, on this field, 40 brave men and women triumphed over terror and gave their lives in defense of our nation. Their names and their stories are forever inscribed on the eternal roll call of American heroes. Today, we pay tribute to their sacrifice, and we mourn deeply for the nearly 3,000 precious and beautiful souls who were taken from us on September 11th, 2001. To the family members of Flight 93: Today, every heartbeat in America is wedded to yours. Your pain and anguish is the shared grief of our whole nation. The memory of your treasured loved ones will inspire America for all time to come. The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back.

To every 9/11 member all across this nation: The First Lady and I come to this hallowed ground deeply aware that we cannot fill the void in your heart or erase the terrible sorrow of this day. The agony renewed, the nightmare relived, the wounds reopened, the last treasured words played over and over again in your minds. But while we cannot erase your pain, we can help to shoulder your burden. We promise that unwavering love that you so want and need, support, devotion -- and the very special devotion -- of all Americans. On that September morning, when America was under attack, the battle turned in the skies above this field. Soon after taking off from Newark, New Jersey, radical Islamic terrorists seized control of United 93. Other hijacked planes struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and then the South Tower, and then the Pentagon. The terrorists on Flight 93 had a fourth target in mind.

It was called: our nation's capital. They were just 20 minutes away from reaching their sinister objective. The only thing that stood between the enemy and a deadly strike at the heart of American democracy was the courage and resolve of 40 men and women -- the amazing passengers and crew of Flight 93. Donald and Jean Peterson were grandparents traveling to vacation in California. Deora Bodley was a student headed back to college. Richard Guadagno was returning from celebrating his grandmother's 100th birthday. Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas was three months pregnant with her first child. Every passenger and crewmember on the plane had a life filled with love and joy, friends and family, radiant hopes and limitless dreams. When the plane was hijacked, they called their families and learned that America was also under attack.

Then they faced the most fateful moment of their lives. Through the heartache and the tears, they prayed to God, they placed their last calls home, they whispered the immortal words, 'I love you.' Today, those words ring out across these sacred grounds, and they shine down on us from Heaven above. When terrorists raced to destroy the seat of our democracy, the 40 of Flight 93 did the most American of things: They took a vote, and then they acted. Together, they charged the cockpit, they confronted the pure evil, and in their last act on this Earth, they saved our capital. In this Pennsylvania field, the 40 intrepid souls of Flight 93 died as true heroes. Their momentous deeds will outlive us all.

In the days and weeks after 9/11, citizens of all faiths, backgrounds, colors, and creeds came together, prayed together, mourned together, and rebuilt together. The song 'God Bless America' became a rallying cry for the nation. We were united by our conviction that America was the world's most exceptional country, blessed with the most incredible heroes, and that this was a land worth defending with our very last breath. It was a unity based on love for our families, care for our neighbors, loyalty to our fellow citizens, pride in our great flag, gratitude for our police and first responders, faith in God, and a refusal to bend our will to the depraved forces of violence, intimidation, oppression, and evil. In New York, Arlington, and Shanksville, people raced into the suffocating smoke and rubble. At Ground Zero, the world witnessed the miracle of American courage and sacrifice. As ash rained down, police officers, first responders, and firefighters ran into the fires of hell. On that day, more than 400 first responders gave their lives, including 23 New York City police officers, 37 Port Authority workers, and 343 New York City firefighters.

Today, we honor their extraordinary sacrifice and every first responder who keeps America safe. With us today is David DeMato, a retired Chicago police officer and a current officer of the Navy Reserves. On 9/11, he drove from Chicago to Ground Zero. As David says, 'While the sights and smells of working at Ground Zero will forever be etched in my mind, what is more profound is the way this country came together afterwards. The police officers and firemen were revered as the heroes they truly are; the military was appreciated in a manner not seen in decades; and common people found new meaning in values like friendship, kindness, and selflessness.' Thank you, David. Such beautiful words. And thank you to every member of law enforcement who risks their lives to ensure our safety and uphold our peace. This morning, we also remember the 183 people who were killed in the attack on the Pentagon and the remarkable service members who crawled straight through the raging blaze to rescue their comrades. We express our undying loyalty to the nearly 6 million young men and women who have enlisted in the United States armed forces since September 11th, 2001. More than 7,000 military heroes have laid down their lives since 9/11 to preserve our freedom.

No words can express the summit of their glory or the infinite depth of our gratitude. But we will strive every single day to repay our immeasurable debt and prove worthy of their supreme sacrifice. America will never relent in pursuing terrorists that threaten our people. Less than one year ago, American warriors took out the savage killer and leader of ISIS, Al-Baghdadi. Soon after, our warriors ended the brutal reign of the Iranian butcher who murdered thousands of American service members. The world's top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, is dead. Here in Shanksville, this community locked arms and hearts in the wake of tragedy. With us today is Chuck Wagner, a heavy equipment operator who lives just a few miles away. Very soon after the attack, Chuck helped search for the black box. He was so changed by what he experienced that he joined with several members of his church to become what they call 'Ambassadors' for the 40 men and women on Flight 93. Chuck and his neighbors learned about each person, cared for their families, and each day, rain or shine, they took shifts standing vigil over their final resting place. Long before this place was a national memorial, back when it was marked by a simple wooden cross, Chuck and his fellow Ambassadors were always here waiting to tell visitors about those we lost. Nineteen years later, Chuck says his life is devoted to three things: his family, his church, and preserving the memory of the men and women of Flight 93.

To Chuck, his wife Jayne -- (applause) -- thank you very much. Thank you very much. To Chuck and his wife Jayne, thank you so much for being here. And to the over 40 Ambassadors with us today, please stand and receive America's thanks. And this is a very deep thanks. Please. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Also with us is Marine veteran Jason Thomas, from Long Island. On September 11th, Jason had just retired from the Marines. But he immediately put back on his uniform and raced into the nightmare of ash and debris. At Ground Zero, he found a fellow Marine, Dave Karnes. Together, they began to call out: 'United States Marines! United States Marines! If you can hear us, yell, tap. Do whatever you can do. We're the United States Marines.' Soon they heard a shout for help. Two police officers were trapped beneath 20 feet of rubble. Jason and Dave dug for hours on end knowing that, at any moment, the wreckage could come down on them, crushing them alive. At one point, someone told Jason to stop. Jason replied, 'I'm a Marine. I don't go back. I go forward.' That day, Jason helped save the lives of those two officers. For years, Jason said nothing about what he did on 9/11. He did not even tell his five children. But when he saw the rescue recounted on TV, he decided to meet those officers.

One of them gave him a gift: a steel cross made from a beam that Jason helped lift to free them from the hell on Earth. As Jason said about the cross, 'It means a lot. It's a symbol of what we are as Americans. Because that day, we all came together and stood as a nation, as Americans. It didn't matter what race you were, what religion you were. It didn't matter. We all came together to help one another. I'd die for this country. I'd die for this country.' Jason, thank you very much for bearing witness to the character of our nation. Jason, thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you, Jason. The men and women of Flight 93 were mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives. Nothing could have prepared them for the dreadful events of that morning.

But when the moment came, when history called, they did not hesitate, they did not waver. Forty towering patriots rose up, took charge, made their stand, turned the tide, and changed the course of history forever. Our sacred task, our righteous duty, and our solemn pledge is to carry forward the noble legacy of the brave souls who gave their lives for us 19 years ago. In their memory, we resolve to stand united as one American nation, to defend our freedoms, to uphold our values, to love our neighbors, to cherish our country, to care for our communities, to honor our heroes, and to never, ever forget. Thank you. God bless you. God bless the heroes of Flight 93. God bless all of the families. 9/11 -- we'll never forget. God bless you all, and God bless America. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

Pence went on to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation ceremony, where he read the Bible's 23rd Psalm, and his wife, Karen, read a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

'For the families of the lost and friends they left behind, I pray these ancient words will comfort your heart and others,' said the vice president, drawing applause from the crowd of hundreds.

In short, the anniversary of 9/11 is a complicated occasion in a maelstrom of a year, as the U.S. grapples with a health crisis, searches its soul over racial injustice and prepares to choose a leader to chart a path forward.

Off-Topic / Black Lives Matter protester is arrested in Washington state after calling polic
« on: September 09, 2020, 10:46:50 am »Message ID: 1338790
Black Lives Matter protester is arrested in Washington state after calling police 'pigs' and saying he wants to 'take their heads off with a hand saw'

* Jeremy Logan says he was driven away by plain-clothes cops in an unmarked van
* Logan says he was arrested on a 2013 drugs warrant which was only now fulfilled
* Spokane County sheriff hit back and insisted the arrest was not a 'political issue'

A Black Lives Matter protester was arrested and bundled into a van on a seven-year-old warrant after calling police 'pigs' and saying he wanted to 'take their heads off with a hand saw'.

Jeremy Logan says he was driven away in an unmarked van and kept in custody for more than a day while on his way to a protest in Spokane, Washington.

Logan, the chair of a local Democratic Socialists of America branch, told HuffPost that he was arrested on a 2013 drugs warrant which has only now been fulfilled.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich hit back in a lengthy press conference where he insisted that Logan's arrest was 'not a political issue'.

However, the Republican sheriff admitted that officers had been monitoring Logan's online rhetoric in the lead-up to his arrest.

Logan said he was arrested on August 30 after plain-clothes officers grabbed him and told him he was under arrest on a warrant.

He says that up to eight plain-clothed men handcuffed him and bundled him into an unmarked van before driving him to city police.

Logan was wearing a shirt with the slogan ACAB or 'All Cops Are B***ards', which he says was 'not taken lightly' by the arresting officers.

Two friends witnessed the arrest and told HuffPost that it was 'scary'. Logan was released a day later when his father paid a $500 bond.

Logan said the 2013 warrant related to unpaid fines relating to a failure to appear in court on drugs charges.

Responding to the claims, Sheriff Knezovich gave a press conference in which berated HuffPost's coverage and highlighted examples of Antifa violence.

He said that the arresting officers did have badges around their necks when they detained Logan, who he said had joined the recent CHAZ protests in Seattle.

Knezovich pointed out Logan's Facebook posts, calling them 'threatening, 'violent' and 'ISIS-like' after Logan spoke about 'taking these pigs' heads off with a saw'.

'So why was he arrested? He was a convicted felon with a warrant and yes, he knew he had the warrant, and yes, he had been contacted before,' the sheriff said.

Knezovich continued: 'But he [Logan] also upped the ante by making threats and his rhetoric was increasingly violent.

'It's a response to the fact that you had an individual that had a warrant and we identified he had a warrant. He was escalating in his rhetoric and we removed him from the street.'   

'Logan is not the victim here. He is a felon who had a warrant,' the sheriff said, saying that officers had been looking for Logan since before the Facebook posts. 

'America is the victim of Antifa's agenda and the media's continued pushing of a false narrative that these people don't exist,' he said. 

The sheriff also insisted that his office had taken action against right-wing extremists in the past as well as left-wing protesters.

Knezovich has also criticized Antifa on Twitter, saying the movement 'isn't about race, they don't care about BLM, it's about the overthrow of our government'.

'They are violent and have shown America what life will look like if they succeed,' he said on Monday.

President Trump has linked Antifa to the wave of protests which erupted in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis in May. 

Trump said that the US would designate Antifa as a 'terrorist organization', although in reality it has little formal structure.

Off-Topic / True crime author Shanna Hogan, 38, dies three days after falling into her pool,
« on: September 09, 2020, 10:27:32 am »Message ID: 1338788
True crime author Shanna Hogan, 38, dies three days after falling into her pool, leaving behind an 18-month-old son and husband

* Shanna Hogan died on September 1, three says after falling into her pool
* Her husband Matt LaRussa says he came home to find her unresponsive
* She had been swimming with their 15-month-old Zander, he said
* Zander was unharmed but Shanna could not be woken up
* She was taken to the hospital where she was put in the ICU with brain swelling
* The family took her off life support and have now donated her organs
* They are asking for $100,000 to help LaRussa pay her medical bills and raise Zander on his own

True crime author Shanna Hogan died last week, two days after apparently tripping and falling into her family pool.

The 38-year-old had been at home in Phoenix, Arizona, when her husband Matt LaRussa says he came home to find her unresponsive.

She had been swimming with their 15-month-old son Zander, he said, who was unharmed.

Matt says he pulled his wife of 20 years from the water and gave her CPR. 

She was taken to the hospital but had suffered such severe brain damage that she did not recover and on September 1, was pronounced dead.

He announced her death on Facebook and said the family had opted for her organs to be donated.

'I am so broken by losing Shanna my best friend for almost twenty years.

'But I know the her gifts have already save 4 people and I know their will be more people she will save.

'I would give anything in the world to have her back and hold her for ever, but that was not our story. I am so thankful for the 20 years.

'And have so many memories that I will never forget and be sure to teach our son who Shanna was nd to be a great man. I will never forget her,' he wrote.

Now, he is trying to raise $100,000 on a GoFundMe account to pay for her medical bills and to 'raise Zander without a mother'.

Hogan was a New York Times bestseller and celebrated true crime author who was best known for her book, Picture Perfect: the Jody Arias Story.

In 2013, Arias was convicted of murdering her boyfriend Travis Alexander five years earlier.

Hogan became an expert on the crime and was regularly asked to comment on it on true crime shows.

She had several other true crime books which she sold on Amazon.

Off-Topic / BREAKING: This Epic Video of MAGA Dance Party is Going VIRAL
« on: September 09, 2020, 09:52:26 am »Message ID: 1338786
BREAKING: This Epic Video of MAGA Dance Party is Going VIRAL

(Gateway Pundit) – On August 22, a violent Black Lives Matter mob confronted a group of Trump supporters in Beverly Hills.   

At least one Trump supporter was beat by the mob in the street.

The Trump Unity Bridge supporters did not respond with violence.

Instead, a viral video shows the Trump Unity Bridge hold a dance off.

The Trump group turned the riot into a MAGA YMCA dance off.

Several readers sent this to us this weekend.

The video has over 200,000 views in two days.

Off-Topic / Re: Some fall shows coming back late
« on: September 02, 2020, 07:59:02 am »Message ID: 1337886
Try for upcoming fall schedule!

Off-Topic / Re: Movies
« on: August 30, 2020, 11:19:54 am »Message ID: 1337461
Not here!

They are use county fair grounds for drivin movies & concerts!

Off-Topic / Surge in Americans buying tiny $30K pop-up backyard offices as people move to wo
« on: August 27, 2020, 10:31:18 am »Message ID: 1337164
Surge in Americans buying tiny $30K pop-up backyard offices as people move to working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic

* Prefabricated backyard offices have become the newest trend for Americans working at home during the pandemic
* Studio Shed, based in Colorado, sells small home offices and other spaces for an average of $20,000 to $30,000
* Similar backyard offices have been seen in California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and other states
* Several areas do not require permits for home add-ons under 200sqft, making the pop-up backyard offices more
   accessible for the millions of Americans working from home during the pandemic

Americans are now paying up to $30,000 to install a pop-up home offices in their backyards as a number of people continue to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the coronavirus in January and implementation of lockdown orders in March shuffled millions of citizens from bustling offices to working remotely in their homes.     

The move proved difficult for several people as many families were forced to balance a multitude of factors, including child care, as the search for a private, quiet work space led many to temporarily claim bedrooms or basements. 

Some home-sellers have tried to entice buyers by saying their residence 'provides a nice backdrop for Zoom calls'.

But as industries have increasingly pushed employees to work from home, some have found success with professionally made, stand-alone backyard offices.

According to Studio Shed, a Colorado-based company that builds prefabricated backyard structures, business in recent months has boomed exponentially.

'Recently, we have seen a massive surge in the 80- to 120-square feet option, which is a perfect office size or home gym or kid’s study area,' Mike Koeing, Studio Shed co-founder, told Yahoo Finance.

Studio Shed has been constructing tiny offices, bedrooms, music studios, 'man caves' and other spaces that cost an average of $20,000 to $30,000 since 2008.

Studios can be designed online with a 3D design tool or delivered as a kit with instructions. They can include options for interior design, insulation and electricity.

Koeing said the shift from independent offices to working remotely caused sales to spike 14-fold compared to what the company made last year.

'We were already seeing some very good growth having started in 2008 just seeing these shifts in the way people work and wanting to spend more time at home and maybe not commute, but starting in March it’s just been growing significantly,' said Keoing.

Most of the demand for Studio Shed's home offices have primarily come from the West Coast, but Koeing said they've noticed a significant increase of customers on the East Coast.

'As soon as March and April hit we definitely saw that Eastern part of the country grow, that market is up a couple hundred percent over last year,' said Koeing.

March and April coincides the two-month span where New York City emerged as a virus epicenter and was inundated with thousands of cases.

Much of America watched as New York City's morgues overflowed, hospitals became overrun, front line workers pleaded for PPE supplies on social media and one of the most buzzing cities went quiet.

Nearby states like New Jersey were also hit and temporarily shuttered as a result.

As of August, New York City has amassed more than 238,000 cases and 23,000 deaths. New York State recorded 436,000 cases and 32,000 deaths.

Depending on where the shed is built, many places do not require permits for add-on dwellings under 200sqft, which further pushed the emerging trend's popularity.

Koeing told CNN Business that Studio Shed sold five times as many home office units in May, June and July compared to the same months last year.  It's on pace to sell 10 times more units this month that August 2019.

Other companies like Modeco Construction in Canada, a prefabricated building company, and Bantam Built, a tiny house company, have also seen a surge in sales.

Sheds Unlimited, based in Pennsylvania, serves customers from South Carolina to Maine and the spike in requests has pushed delivery time to up to 13 weeks.
The company traditionally made storage sheds and garages, bud administrator Janelle Stoltzfus said they've seen a number of sheds being repurposed as office space.

'We have had a lot of people looking for home offices,' said Janelle Stoltzfus. 'They've asked us to install shelves so they have a place to work.'

Erin Miller, a layout designer and copy editor for Centennial Colorado, told CNN Business that having to share an office space with her husband while working from home became difficult.

'Let's just say that our styles are not 100% the same,' said Miller.

Subsequently, Miller ordered a 10-by-16 foot shed in May and it was fully finished by early July.

The shed doesn't require a permit where she lives and was able to complete the project in a few weeks.

'We did need to permit the electrical but that was quite manageable, requiring only two inspections,' said Miller.

Miller's pop-up shed has room for a desk, an extra table, printer, file cabinet, a bookcase and an additional 80sqft of room.

'That will probably be outfitted with a sofa, chair and rug, to allow me to also use the space during non-work hours to read, relax or visit with friends,' she said.

Although the new space has attracted the attention of Miller's teenage children, she said the prefabricated space provided a much-needed haven.

'My commute to work is a bit longer,' she said. 'Out the back door and across the grass instead of just down a flight of stairs, but the space is welcoming.'

Off-Topic / More than one million Americans filed for unemployment last week even as parts o
« on: August 27, 2020, 10:22:29 am »Message ID: 1337163
More than one million Americans filed for unemployment last week even as parts of the economy start to rebound amid the pandemic and government financial aid dries up

* Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled 1.006 million for the week ended August 22, compared to 1.104
   million in the prior week
* The reopening of businesses in May helped to pull down claims from a record 6.867 million in March, when nonessential
   were shut due to coronavirus
* Before the coronavirus pandemic, claims had never topped 700,000 in a week
* More than 14.5m are collecting traditional jobless benefits, up from 1.7m in 2019

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits hovered around one million last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was stalling amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and government financial aid drying up.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 1.006 million for the week ended August 22, compared to 1.104 million in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The reopening of businesses in May helped to pull down claims from a record 6.867 million in March, when nonessential establishments were shuttered in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Claims dropped below 1 million early this month for the first time since the pandemic started in the United States. Before the coronavirus pandemic, they had never topped 700,000 in a week.

More than 14.5 million are collecting traditional jobless benefits - up from 1.7 million a year ago - a sign that many American families are depending on unemployment checks to keep them afloat. 

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the American economy. Businesses closed and Americans stayed home to avoid infection. Economic activity plummeted and employers slashed more than 22 million jobs in March and April.

Since then, the job market and the economy have been rebounding as businesses slowly reopened.

Home sales and prices have been strong. Employers added nearly 9.3 million jobs in May, June and July - but that hiring surge replaced just 42 per cent of the jobs lost in March and April.

Until July 31, the unemployed were receiving an extra $600 a week in federal money on top of regular state unemployment benefits, part of an extraordinary lifeline extended to help them through the crisis.

The loss of that money is putting the squeeze on many families.

'My income is basically cut in half,' said Taylor Love, 34, an unemployed massage therapist in Austin, Texas. 'Paying our mortgage is going to be a struggle. We´re going to have to dip into what little savings we have.´

After passing a massive financial rescue package in March, congressional Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree on more aid.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order August 8 offering a stripped-down version of the expanded unemployment benefits.

At least 39 states have accepted or said that they would apply for federal grants that let them increase weekly benefits by $300 or $400.

A summertime resurgence of cases in the South and West forced many businesses to close again in July. The data firm Womply reports that business closures have mostly stabilized in the past four weeks.

Still, 70 per cent of Texas bars and 71 per cent of California health and beauty shops were closed as of mid-August, Womply found.

Economists also worry that without additional government help the economy's recovery will fade.

'I really want Congress to come up with a benefits package,' said Jacob Hanson, an unemployed temp worker in Seattle. 'Everyone needs a hand right now. The situation is pretty ridiculous.'

Businesses have exhausted government loans to help with wages, while a weekly unemployment supplement expired in July. Economists attributed a sharp rebound in activity to the government's financial support and some are dialing back lofty growth estimates for the third quarter. 

Last week, nearly 608,000 people applied for jobless aid under a new program that extends eligibility for the first time to self-employed and gig workers, up from 525,000 the previous week.

That figure isn't adjusted for seasonal trends, so it's reported separately.

Altogether, the Labor Department said that 27 million people are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, though the figure may be inflated by double-counting by states.

Though new COVID-19 infections have subsided after a broad resurgence through the summer, many hot spots remain, especially at college campuses that have reopened for in-person learning.

A separate report from the Commerce Department on Thursday confirmed the economy suffered its deepest contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product plunged at a 31.7 per cent annualized rate last quarter, the government said in its second estimate. That was revised from the 32.9 per cent pace reported last month.

The economy slipped into recession in February.

Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics,  said: 'The risk of permanent damage to the labor market remains high which will slow the pace of recovery. The return to pre-pandemic levels of prosperity is set to be an uncertain and prolonged process.'

Off-Topic / Hurricane Laura kills three in Louisiana including girl, 14, when trees fall on
« on: August 27, 2020, 10:14:07 am »Message ID: 1337162
Hurricane Laura kills three in Louisiana including girl, 14, when trees fall on their homes amid 150mph winds as 700,000 are left without power - and those who didn't evacuate are told 'write down your name and keep it in a ziplock bag in your pocket'

* Hurricane Laura made landfall in southwest Louisiana as an 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 hurricane
* It came ashore near the small town of Cameron and wreaked havoc in Lake Charles in early hours of Thursday
* According to Louisiana Gov Bel Edwards, a 14-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell on her home 
* More than 700,000 homes and businesses are without power in Texas and Louisiana as of Thursday morning
* Louisiana officials said in statement that rescue efforts cannot and will not begin until after hurricane passes
* 'Please evacuate and if you choose to stay and we can't get to you, write your name, address, social security number
    and next of kin and put it a ziplock bag in your pocket,' the statement reads
*  Laura's 150mph winds made it the strongest hurricane to strike the US this year and in Louisiana since 1856 
* The storm surge could penetrate inland from between Freeport, Texas, and the mouth of the Mississippi River
* Officials in TX and LA issued mandatory evacuation orders for more than half a million people on Tuesday

Hurricane Laura has killed three people, including a 14-year-old girl, after trees fell on their homes when the Category 4 storm system smashed into Texas and Louisiana with 150mph winds, leaving 700,000 without power as people who did not evacuate are told to write their names on a piece of paper and 'put it in a ziplock bag' in their pockets. 

The hurricane made landfall at 1am with the strongest winds that Louisiana has seen since 1856 and warnings that the storm could rip apart buildings and penetrate up to 200 miles inland.

The hurricane's first reported fatality was a 14-year-old girl in Leesville, Louisiana, who died when a tree fell on her house, a spokeswoman for Governor John Bel Edwards said.

'We do expect that there could be more fatalities,' the spokeswoman, Christina Stephens, said on Twitter.

Just hours later, two more fatalities were reported in Louisiana. One 60-year-old man was killed when a tree fell on his home. Another man died when a tree fell on his home in Jackson Parish.

Gov Edwards also warned Louisiana residents to stay inside until the threat of the storm is completely over.

'Now is not the time to go sightseeing. The threat #Laura poses to Louisiana is far from over,' Edwards tweeted Thursday morning. 'Stay home, continue to heed warnings from local officials and monitor your local news to stay informed,' he added.

Laura reached land near the small town of Cameron around 30 miles from the Texas border, where officials went door-to-door pleading with people to flee the path of the storm amid fears the entire parish will be inundated.

In a statement, the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana warned that anyone choosing not to evacuate 'must understand that rescue efforts cannot and will not begin until after storm and surge has passed and it is safe to do so'. 

'Please evacuate and if you choose to stay and we can't get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it a ziplock bag in your pocket. Praying that it does not come to this!' the sheriff's office said.

The Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement they are 'experiencing very high call volume at this time and understand the dire situation the parish is currently in'.

The sheriff's office is asking residents to 'limit calls to things or situations of the highest level of emergency'.

Footage showed torrents of rain flying sideways past street lights in Lake Charles, and streets covered with water closer to the coast, while glass fell from shattered windows and parts of a casino roof were torn away.

The windows of the city's 22-floor Capital One Tower were blown out, street signs were toppled and pieces of wooden fence and debris from collapsed buildings lay scattered in the flooded streets, video footage on Twitter and Snapchat showed.

Louisiana Gov Edwards tweeted Thursday morning that a massive chemical fire has broken out at a plant in Lake Charles.

'There is a chemical fire in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area. Residents are advised to shelter in place until further notice and close your doors and windows,' Edwards tweeted.

'If you are in the Westlake/Moss Bluff/Sulphur area, shelter in place, close your windows and doors and Turn Off Your  Air Conditioning Units. There is a chemical fire. Stay inside and wait for additional direction from local officials,' he added.

Video footage on Twitter showed thick black smoke billowing into the sky over the wind-torn landscape near Interstate 10.

The Westlake police are still investigating the incident a representative said by phone, and authorities were blocking traffic on the interstate and Highway 90 in the meantime.

Hurricane Laura is now pushing inland while the Gulf Coast faces storm surges and 10 inches of rain coupled with a high tide, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) says - while tornadoes could form at the edges of the weather system.

Its center was moving north, about 20 miles north of Fort Polk, Louisiana. Damaging winds extended outward as far as 175 miles. The hurricane is predicted to become a tropical storm later in the day.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that high water levels would persist along the Gulf Coast for several hours as Laura moved north and then northeast.

Texas officials lifted evacuation orders at 11am but they are urging residents who evacuated to allow them more time to assess roadways and clear debris.

'There are several areas throughout our region who have no power at this time. Electrical crews need first priority. It is dangerous to drive on the roadways that have not been cleared. Downed power lines with live wires, downed trees and other random debris could cause you to get injured,' an update from Jefferson County's Office of Emergency Management reads.

The city of Galveston has also lifted its evacuation order. Officials said the city 'did not sustain wind or storm damage, and water is receding in low-lying areas that experienced street flooding'.

Houston also reported being spared from much of the impact of Hurricane Laura.

The Louisiana National Guard shared images of guardsmen working to clear roadways and assess damages from Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles.

Despite the hurricane weakening, Ken Graham, the director of the National Hurricane Center, warned that Laura is expected to remain a hurricane until it nearly reaches Arkansas.

'We expect Hurricane Laura to still be a hurricane even when you get up to Shreveport, right on the Arkansas border,' Graham told CNN.

White House officials said President Donald Trump will visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) later today to be briefed on Hurricane Laura.

In a press statement, the White House said: 'As we begin to assess the damage, please continue to heed the warnings and instructions of your state and local officials as storm hazards will persist long after the storm has passed.

'Trump is committed to deploying the full resources of the Federal Government to rescue those in distress, support those in the region affected, and restore disruptions to our communities and infrastructure,' the statement reads.

More than 700,000 homes and businesses were without power in Texas and Louisiana, as near-constant lightning provided the only light for some and debris flew into windshields and an RV toppled over in torrential rain. According to, more than 138,000 are without power in Texas and 570,000 in Louisiana.

Officials said some stragglers were pleading for help after earlier refusing to evacuate - but 'there ain't no way to get them'.

In Cameron Parish, where Laura came ashore, Nungesser said 50 to 150 people refused pleas to leave and planned to endure the storm, some in elevated homes and even recreational vehicles. The result could be deadly.

'It's a very sad situation,' said Ashley Buller, assistant director of emergency preparedness. 'We did everything we could to encourage them to leave.'

Drawing energy from the warm Gulf of Mexico, the system arrived in 'full beast mode' as the most powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year and its effects are expected to be felt in Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas.

With hours of violent weather ahead, officials said the extent of destruction likely wouldn't be clear until daybreak, when search and rescue missions will begin.

Hurricane Laura blew parts of the Golden Nugget Casino's roof as it tore through the city of Lake Charles on Thursday.

Texas Gov Greg Abbott said major evacuations along coastal Texas ahead of Hurricane Laura 'no doubt saved lives'.

'The early reports are that there were no deaths,' Abbot said told CNN. 'One reason for that is because people did heed the warnings to evacuate.'

At 150mph, the hurricane's winds were the strongest to make landfall in Louisiana since the Last Island Hurricane of 1856, said meteorologist Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University.

Hurricane Katrina came in at 125mph, although the 2005 storm which caused up to 1,800 deaths and $125billion  of damage was worse when measured by pressure.

The winds took Laura close to the threshold of a Category 5 storm, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale and defined as sustained winds of 157mph or more.

'This is one of the strongest storms to impact that section of coastline,' said David Roth, a forecaster with the National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS continued: 'We worry about that storm surge going so far inland there because it's basically all marshland north to Interstate 10. There is little to stop the water.'

'It felt like we were experiencing an earthquake with dozens of aftershocks,' said CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman on the ground in Lake Charles, a city of 80,000 people.

'It sounded like a combination of a Boeing 747 going down a runway and a freight train going down the track - it was so loud for hours.'

There were gusts of 137mph in downtown Lake Charles and 127mph in Cameron, a WWLTV meteorologist said, with 95pmh winds in the Lacassine wildlife refuge and 73mph in Port Arthur, Texas.

Torrential rain was also lashing Baton Rouge while flash floods were expected to continue in Alexandria, Opelousas and Pineville into the morning. 

NBC reporter Jay Gray was nearly knocked over by the wind this morning as he told Good Morning Britain viewers that 'the intensity of this early band from this storm is as strong as any that I've seen in recent memory,' before the broadcast was cut off for his safety.

The storm grew nearly 87 per cent in power in just 24 hours to a size the National Hurricane Center called 'extremely dangerous', making it the powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year.

'It looks like it's in full beast mode, which is not what you want to see if you're in its way, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said.

The storm surge could penetrate inland from between Freeport, Texas, and the mouth of the Mississippi River, and could raise water levels as high as 20 feet in parts of Cameron Parish, the NHC said.

Rescuers warned that floodwater may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals. 

'Some areas, when they wake up Thursday morning, they're not going to believe what happened,' said Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist.

'What doesn't get blown down by the wind could easily get knocked down by the rising ocean waters pushing well inland.'

People were today urged to take cover in a 'reinforced interior room away from windows', ideally 'under a table or other piece of sturdy furniture', to shield themselves from the 'life-threatening conditions'.

'To think that there would be a wall of water over two stories high coming on shore is very difficult for most to conceive, but that is what is going to happen,' said NWS meteorologist Benjamin Schott at a news conference. 

'The word 'unsurvivable' is not one that we like to use, and it's one that I've never used before,' Schott said of the storm surge.

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles warned that some communities will be 'uninhabitable for weeks or months'.

Forecasters also warned hurricane-level winds could also blow as far as 200 miles inland to Shreveport, Louisiana, with hurricane warnings in place from San Luis Pass, Texas, to Intracostal City, Louisiana. 

The center of Laura is forecast to move over northwestern Louisiana Thursday, across Arkansas Thursday night, and over the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday.

After that, the storm will move eastwards with threats of flash flooding in the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers and the mid-Atlantic states on Friday and Saturday. 

Ocean water topped by white-capped waves began rising ominously as the monster neared land on Wednesday afternoon.

In the largest US evacuation since the pandemic began, more than half a million people were ordered Tuesday to flee from an area of the Gulf Coast along the Texas-Louisiana state line.

More than 420,000 residents were told to evacuate the Texas cities of Beaumont, Galveston and Port Arthur.

Another 200,000 were ordered to leave the low-lying Calcasieu and Cameron parishes in southwestern Louisiana, where forecasters said as much as 13 feet of storm surge topped by waves could submerge whole communities.

Flash flood watches were issued for much of Arkansas, and forecasters said heavy rainfall could move to parts of Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky late Friday and Saturday.

Forecasters in Little Rock, Arkansas said the remnants of the hurricane could bring up to six inches of rain and flash flooding affecting homes and businesses.

Strong winds are also expected to affect Mississippi until Thursday evening while the tornado warnings also cover parts of the state. 

Laura's arrival comes just days before the August 29 anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which breached the levees in New Orleans, flattened much of the Mississippi coast and killed as many as 1,800 people in 2005.

Laura also imperiled a center of the US energy industry. The government said 84 per cent of Gulf oil production and an estimated 61 per cent of natural gas production were shut down. Nearly 300 platforms have been evacuated.

When Hurricane Harvey struck in 2017 there were oil and chemical spills, along with heavy air pollution from petrochemical plants and refineries.

While oil prices often spike before a major storm as production slows, consumers are unlikely to see big price changes because the pandemic has already decimated demand for fuel.

Laura passed Cuba and Hispaniola, where it killed nearly two dozen people, including 20 in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic.

The deaths reportedly included a 10-year-old girl whose home was hit by a tree and a mother and young son crushed by a collapsing wall.

The Atlantic storm season, which runs through November, could be one of the busiest ever this year, with the NHC predicting as many as 25 named storms. Laura is the 12th so far.


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