Blog Rolls

5 Calls – easiest and most effective way for citizens to make an impact in national and local politics

How do I use 5 Calls?
  • Type in your ZIP code (or let your browser or the app find your location for you).
  • Choose an issue that’s important to you.
  • Make calls!
  • You have three members of Congress – two senators and a House rep.
    • Some issues need calls to all three (we’ll tell you when they do). For those, call the first person on the list. When you’re done, enter your call results and then move to the next person on your list. Lather, rinse, repeat until you’re done.
    • Some issues only need a call to your House rep; for others, just your senators. Again, we’ll make it clear who you should call.
  • You may also see issues that ask you to call a non-Congressional entity, office, etc. Those calls work the same way…”
Categories: Law and Legal

'It's Still Breonna Taylor For Me': Taylor Family Plans Friday Press Conference

Tamika Palmer, Taylor's mother, broke her silence in an Instagram post on Thursday. "It's still Breonna Taylor for me," Palmer wrote. The family will respond to the grand jury's decision on Friday.

(Image credit: John Minchillo/AP)

Categories: Just News

Sites for Real-Time COVID Travel Restrictions

Lifehacker: “Let’s first acknowledge that if you don’t have to travel right now, you should definitely stay home. But if you absolutely must travel, it’s important to have up-to-date information about what’s going on with COVID-19 at your planned destination. This can be confusing, as the pandemic situation and related travel restrictions seem to change almost day to day—but there are tools out there that show real-time info on risks, restrictions, and requirements for both domestic and international travel. Here are a few options…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Ring Always Home Cam Flies Around Inside Your House

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 20:14
Look at this freaking drone.
Categories: Just News

Federal Executions During Covid-19 Put Innocent Lives at Risk

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 18:58
The current wave of executions is increasing the likelihood that lawyers, observers, and correctional staff could be infected.
Categories: Just News

Facebook Busts Russian Disinfo Networks as US Election Looms

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 18:33
The campaigns primarily targeted countries outside the US. But the same mechanisms could be used in “hack and leak” operations like those that roiled the 2016 campaign.
Categories: Just News

Internal USPS documents link changes behind mail slowdowns to top executives

Washington Post link that includes the 16 page presentation – “A senior executive at the U.S. Postal Service delivered a PowerPoint presentation in July that pressed officials across the organization to make the operational changes that led to mail backups across the country, seemingly contradicting months of official statements about the origin of the plans, according to internal documents obtained by The Washington Post. David E. Williams, the agency’s chief of logistics and processing operations, listed the elimination of late and extra mail trips by postal workers as a primary agency goal during the July 10 teleconference. He also told the group that he wanted daily counts on such trips, which had become common practice to ensure the timely delivery of mail. Several top-tier executives — including Robert Cintron, vice president of logistics; Angela Curtis, vice president of retail and post office operations; and vice presidents from the agency’s seven geographic areas — sat in.” Read the full story here.

Categories: Law and Legal

Report: Satellite Images Reveal Suspected Detention Sites In China's Xinjiang Region

The centers have apparently been built and expanded since 2019, even as Chinese officials claimed most of the ethnic Uighurs and others sent to the facilities had "returned to society."

(Image credit: Ng Han Guan/AP)

Categories: Just News

Facebook, Twitter Remove More Russian-Backed Fake Accounts Ahead Of Election

The social media companies said the accounts and pages were linked to Russian actors that had launched "hack-and-leak" operations to hurt Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

(Image credit: Facebook)

Categories: Just News

Alexei Navalny's Accounts Reportedly Frozen While In Berlin Hospital After Poisoning

A spokeswoman says the Russian opposition leader's bank accounts were frozen and his Moscow apartment "seized" in connection with a libel suit while he was in a coma after poisoning by a nerve agent.

(Image credit: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Substantial underestimation of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the United States

CDC COVID-19 Science Update released September 22, 2020 – “Key Findings:

  • By April 18, 2020, the estimated cumulative SARS-CoV-2 incidence in the US was ~2%.
    • The number of estimated cumulative SARS-CoV-2 infections was 8.6 times the number of confirmed infections: 6,454,951 vs 751,245.
    • 84% of the difference between estimated cumulative and reported confirmed cases was due to incomplete testing and 16% was due to test inaccuracy.
  • The estimated cumulative infection rate (range: 3.1 to 65.0/1,000) and ratio of estimated cumulative to reported confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections (range: 5 to 33) varied widely by state (Figure).
    • Differences among states were driven by different transmission rates, testing rates, and test positivity rates in each state rather than modeling assumptions.

Methods: Analysis using data from the COVID Tracking Project to assess estimated cumulative SARS-CoV-2 infections by state and evaluate contributions of incomplete testing and imperfect test performance…

Implications: Estimated cumulative SARS-CoV-2 infections were greater than confirmed reported infections, due in part possibly to challenges with testing. Monitoring underestimation of reported confirmed cases can provide more accurate estimates of the cumulative burden of SARS-CoV-2 infection…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Feds, In Unusual Statement, Announce They're Investigating Discarded Ballots

Federal authorities working in Pennsylvania say they've been asked to look into the discovery of some mailed ballots described as thrown away, but many aspects of the story remain unclear.

(Image credit: Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Categories: Just News

Jobless New Yorkers Can Work At Polls And Still Keep Benefits, Gov. Cuomo Says

The governor's order makes it easier for jobless people to work for state and local election boards — as long as they're paid $504 or less each week.

(Image credit: Angel Weiss/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Maryland Man Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison After Shooting Black Man In Hate Crime

Brandon Higgs, the white man sentenced, reportedly told the Black man he shot to "go back to Africa." The prosecutor said police found that Higgs has links to white supremacist groups.

Categories: Just News

Everything Amazon Just Announced—Like That Crazy Home Drone

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 16:00
The company debuted a gaggle of new stuff, including several round Echos and a cloud gaming service.
Categories: Just News

Your state’s Covid-19 epidemic explained in 5 maps

Vox – These maps show how your state is doing. “America’s national Covid-19 epidemic continues, with the country’s daily new cases still higher than most developed nations and the nation recently surpassing 200,000 deaths due to the disease. At the state level, things can look even worse than the national picture. Public health experts look at a few markers to determine how bad things are in each state: the number of daily new cases; the infection rate, which can show how likely the virus is to spread; the percentage of tests that come back positive, which should be low in a state with sufficient testing; and the percentage of hospital beds that are occupied by very sick patients.

A Vox analysis indicates the vast majority of states report alarming trends across all four benchmarks for coronavirus outbreaks. Most states still report a high — sometimes very high — number of daily new Covid-19 cases. Most still have high infection rates. Most still have test positive rates that are too high, indicating they don’t have enough tests to track and contain the scope of their outbreaks. And most still have hospitals with intensive care units that are too packed. Across these benchmarks, no state fares well on all four metrics, which means no state has its epidemic fully under control right now…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Police Declare 'Riot' In Portland, Ore. After Breonna Taylor Decision

Police said a crowd grew to nearly 300 people at one point, and skirmishes broke out between protesters and law enforcement. Thirteen people were arrested.

(Image credit: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Recession’s Hit to Cities Varies Widely

Center for Retirement Research – Boston College: “The COVID-19 recession is unlike anything this country has seen. If the second-quarter contraction were to continue at the same pace for a full year, the economy would shrink by a third! This is the deepest downturn since the Great Depression, and low-income Americans are feeling the brunt of it. What makes this recession unique, however, is that the low-income people living in the most affluent metropolitan areas are worse off than low-income residents of less affluent cities, Harvard economist Raj Chetty explained during a recent interview on Boston’s public radio station, WBUR. “What’s going on is that affluent folks have the capacity to self-isolate, to work remotely, to not go on vacation,” he said. “So in affluent areas, you see enormous drops in consumer spending and business revenue.”  In these areas, more than half of the lowest-income workers have lost their jobs, and many of them worked in small businesses, he said. In less affluent cities, people have to go to work and “are out and about more, and business revenue hasn’t fallen nearly as much,” he told his radio host. “In previous recessions, we haven’t seen those sort of patterns.”

Chetty’s point is demonstrated by comparing what happened to consumer spending this year in San Francisco and Fresno, California, on the website he and other economists have created. (Visitors can sort the spending data by state, industry, and consumer income levels, as well as by city.)…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Cuomo Says N.Y. Health Officials Will Review Any U.S.-Approved COVID-19 Vaccine

"The first question is, is the vaccine safe? Frankly, I'm not going to trust the federal government's opinion," Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference.

(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

As Pro-Trump Caravans Hit Roads Across U.S., Organizers Are Upbeat Despite Tensions

Car and truck convoys of Trump supporters rolled through Michigan, New York and North Carolina last week. These mobile rallies continued even after one turned deadly in Portland, Ore., last month.

(Image credit: Michael Arellano/AP)

Categories: Just News


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