American Idol

While watching American Idol, do you ever want to just hit the gong?

Judge Won’t Try Black Man In Courtroom with White Portraits

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A Black defendant’s right to a fair trial would be harmed if the jury heard the case in a courtroom lined with portraits of …

Judge Won’t Try Black Man In Courtroom with White Portraits

The Fight for the #Vaccine

This is like something from a movie…more than half a dozen doctors and nurses at New York area hospitals said they were upset at how the vaccine was being distributed at their institutions. They described what had happened to The New York Times but asked that their names not be used because hospitals have shown a willingness to fire or punish employees for speaking to the news media during the pandemic.

At some major hospitals in Manhattan, doctors and nurses have recalled scrolling through social media and pausing to make a snap judgment each time they saw a selfie one of their colleagues had posted of getting vaccinated: Did that person deserve to be vaccinated before they were?

“We feel disrespected and underappreciated due to our second-tier priority for vaccination,” a group of anesthesiologists at Mount Sinai Hospital wrote to administrators over the weekend.

Health care workers said rumors were proliferating in WhatsApp groups and amid the banter of the operating room. Stories have begun to circulate of a plastic surgeon who managed to get vaccinated early, of doses being thrown out at one Manhattan hospital because of poor planning. On group chats, doctors debate how — and whether to — try to get vaccinated ahead of schedule.

At Mount Sinai Hospital, some doctors told others that you could talk your way into receiving a vaccine just by getting in line and repeating that you do “COVID-related procedures,” one Mount Sinai doctor, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, recalled.

#Xmas Presents for #Criminals

It’s a white, joyous Christmas for convicts with connections to President Trump.  The justice system — and the law enforcers who worked years to prosecute these cases — got a big lump of coal.  I’ve read that people have been approaching tRump to ask for pardons for themselves, their clients — even their former clients.

Why it matters: This official has no role in the pardon process. The request is a sign of the final days free-for-all among people who want to be on Trump’s extensive pardons list for personal and political allies.

Last evening, Trump granted full pardons to 26 more people, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, father of Jared Kushner..

Manafort was one of the first major figures to be charged in the Mueller investigation.

Stone was charged and convicted for lying to investigators who were probing his contacts with WikiLeaks, which released damaging Democratic emails hacked by the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.

Charles Kushner is a developer who pleaded guilty in 2004 to filing false tax returns, retaliating against a witness and making false statements to the FEC as part of a prosecution by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. True story: Manafort and Stone were once in business together. In the Reagan years of the early ’80s, Black, Manafort & Stone was one of the most formidable lobby shops in town.

#Amazon Disgraceful

Why in the world would a distributor agree to sell this kind of merchandise?!

Amazon says it removed several items of racist propaganda from its store in response to questions from a Democratic lawmaker — though white supremacist literature and other propaganda items remain widely available on the site.

After criticism from advocacy groups and Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison about the availability of Nazi-themed toys and baby onesies with pictures of burning crosses on Amazon’s website, the company said this week that it had removed several items and banned sellers who had violated its policies.

#HerdImmunity

#Faith and #Coronavirus

Pastor Todd Dunn had been urging “Faith over fear!” since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March. Just before Thanksgiving, he posted a message on Facebook dismissing precautionary measures advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep wearing masks and avoid gatherings with family members who don’t live in the same house.

“I’m not wearing a mask when around my family like the CDC requests and we are traveling so we’ll take our chances,” Dunn’s Facebook post read. “And to top it off we are huggers so there you go! There will be no social distancing CDC. Faith over fear!!”

A few weeks later, both of Dunn’s parents were dead after entering the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms. Charles and Shirley Dunn died within hours of one another at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

Adapting Toys for Children with #Disabilities

Henry Wolf sat hunched over a table last week, meticulously trying to dissect a plush stuffed pig.

“I’ve been playing with this for like 20 minutes now and the furthest I’ve gotten is getting the screws out,” he said.

His workspace at North Dakota State University was littered with tools, well past the time that classes had ended.

Wolf is a grad student in electrical engineering at NDSU. He was trying to expose the little pink pig’s circuit board, tucked away inside a plastic case that’s glued, sewed and zip-tied into its fluffy guts. He needed to hack the circuit that makes the pig’s tail move when a tiny switch on its foot is pressed.

“We’re basically bypassing that on/off switch,” he said. “The trick is kind of undoing what they did at the factory.”

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#Pardons For Sale This Xmas

Happy Holidays