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Member since: Fri Feb 14, 2020, 07:34 PM
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Drought-plagued California may see another devastating fire season

Last year was the worst. We were very close to a serious fire here in North Bay and were all packed and ready to go several times.

Buckle up.

California and the West are falling deeper into drought and, with summer approaching, that portends another severe fire season.

As a disappointing wet season comes to a close and hope for spring rain fades, conditions are worse now than they were at this time last year, with exceptional and extreme drought now found throughout the region.

In California, that doesn't bode well, given that last year's more moderate rainfall deficits, combined with extreme heat waves, ushered in a record-setting fire year. It brought 5 of the 6 largest fires in modern state history, 10,488 destroyed structures and 33 fatalities. Some 4.2 million acres were torched.

More frequent drought, hotter summers and warmer and drier autumns, tied to climate change, are stacking the deck for large and destructive fires during the heart of the fire season. And this year, a lack of rain in spring could mean fires arrive early in some areas.

After a devastating 2020 fire season and a dry autumn, this winter offered a chance to reverse course on mounting rainfall deficits. But despite a significant late-January storm, the 2021 winter and spring months have failed to deliver even normal precipitation, and much of April is forecast to be very dry. In fact, the current water year is now tied for the third driest on record.


California's Newsom might actually be in trouble

Let me lead with there is 0% chance I'll be voting to recall Newsom. He's fine. But I was on Facebook this morning doing St. Patrick's Day things - like you do. I haven't been on in ages, so I was glancing around friends' pages. The antipathy for Newsom among my friends was unknown to me. One friend, who is the Democratiest Democrat who ever Democratted, posted just yesterday, "I have no coins to give to French Laundry right now shhhhhiiiiiit"

So I was wondering if there were any polls done. I hadn't been closely following the whole thing. This is . . . closer than I would've imagined.

There is currently an effort to recall Governor Newsom. Would you vote to recall, or to keep Governor Newsom?

Vote to Recall: 38%
Vote to Keep: 42%
Undecided: 13.9%
Would not Vote: 6.1%

And the campaign hasn't started in earnest. But this number really, really surprised me.

Regardless of the recall effort, would you vote to re-elect Governor Newsom in 2022, or do you think it is time for someone new?

Re-elect Governor Newsom: 41.7%
Time for Someone New: 58.3%

I think people really underestimated how much the French Laundry stunt pissed off people here. I mean, I was pretty pissed, but I wasn't at, "Recall the guy!" level pissed. Apparently this is a thing. We may have to gear up for this one. Sigh. Because we have nothing else going on in this state apparently.


Cuomo does not seem to be learning

What the heck is this?


New York’s “vaccine czar” — a longtime adviser to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — phoned county officials in the past two weeks in attempts to gauge their loyalty to the embattled governor amid an ongoing sexual harassment investigation, according to multiple officials.

One Democratic county executive was so unsettled by the outreach from Larry Schwartz, head of the state’s vaccine rollout, that the executive on Friday filed notice of an impending ethics complaint with the public integrity unit of the state attorney general’s office, the official told The Washington Post. The executive feared the county’s vaccine supply could suffer if Schwartz was not pleased with the executive’s response to his questions about support of the governor.

. . .

In interviews with The Post, several public officials who received the calls from Schwartz spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the conversations, saying they fear swift retribution from Cuomo if they speak out against him.

The officials said Schwartz appeared to be taking stock of where they stood on Cuomo and whether they would continue to support him, and said he emphasized the need to let the state investigation play out.


There are other officials noted in the story who did not take the phone calls that way. But still. His vaccine guy is doing his political maneuvering? During this?

He needs to go at some point. I'm sorry. It's not just the harassment claims. It's the nursing home policy. It's threatening to destroy an Asian American representative in front of his family because he refused to (illegally) lie about the administration's actions. It's stuff like this.

It is not a good thing when we have politicians who feel like they don't have to answer to anybody. Cuomo behaves as if he has unlimited power. That's corrosive in a democracy. Enough is just about enough with this guy. New York has a deep Democratic bench. And conspiracy theories about it all aren't defenses at this point.

"It's Time to Impeach Andrew Cuomo" - Democrat Ron Kim


By now, much of the world has seen New York's Emmy-award winning governor and "COVID-19 hero" Andrew Cuomo come under fire for New York's growing nursing home scandal. A March 25 directive forcing nursing homes to take in patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 led to the spread of the disease among New York's most vulnerable population. And then, to cover his tracks, the Governor may have obstructed justice by suppressing life and death data from the Department of Justice; his office underestimated the number of nursing home deaths by up to fifty percent.

These actions, which Cuomo's aid Melissa DeRosa admitted to in a call with Democratic lawmakers that I was on, implicated all of us in the governor's cover-up. It would be the first of multiple attempts to do so.

On a private phone call, the governor berated me, threatened my career, and demanded that I issue a fabricated statement. He wanted me to deny what I heard on the call. "Are you an honorable man?" He yelled. "Who do you think you are?" This, too, was an attempt to rope me into his scheme.

Those of us who have worked with Cuomo are familiar with his tendencies. There is a long pattern of abusive tactics that the governor deploys when the public gets too close to learning the truth: cast a net far and wide, compromise as many unwitting accomplices, threaten retribution, then berate you for having the temerity to stand up.

And that should be that for 2024. Cuomo has been going to town on two Asian-American representatives of late. Not a super great look on the guy.

Reminder: You can be your own Valentine today

It's that day of the year where people who are without a relationship or those who are in bad ones may feel a sharp reminder of that fact and feel pangs of loneliness, unworthiness, of unwantedness. This isn't everyone. Some people are 100% content being alone. Many prefer it. If that's you, keep doing what you're doing.

However, if that's not you, remember that self-care is incredibly important. It's one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. In this pandemic, with social isolation taken to a degree unknown in contemporary society, a lot of negative feelings and perceptions have been magnified for a lot of people. It's been a fucking year. People are worn thin and worn down. Self-care is more important than ever.

So, today, be nice to yourself. Do something for yourself, even if it's small. Something just for you, because you deserve someone to be nice to you today, even if it's just yourself.

If you're good, but you know and love someone who you think might be going through it today, take a few and reach out. My mom lost my dad a few years back, and I know this day hits. So, I spent time this morning being completely stupid over the phone, just to get her to laugh.

If you can do something - for yourself or someone else - today, do it.

If you can't, that's ok, too. If getting dressed is all you have in you today, then get dressed. And if you need someone to be nice to you today, ask. People are much nicer than you think.

Just know that people are thinking about you, even if it doesn't feel like it. I'm definitely thinking about you, even if you don't know you. Be kind to yourself.

12 Republicans who protected Trump voted against Clinton

Let that one marinate for a moment.

Perjury? Worst thing ever. Insurrection? Meh.

How that isn't on every reporter's lips for the next week will be baffling.


(edited because I misread the article a bit)

As a Biden doubter

And I was a big one through the primaries and terrified of his nomination. "Shit, another moderate go along to get along. Lovely."

I'm impressed.

Wait, that doesn't capture it.

I am completely fucking impressed.

There's coming hard out of the gate, and then there's tearing the gate to shreds to the point we're not even sure what just happened.

Seriously. What an impressive first few weeks this administration is having. No matter what thing I see where I might start raising an eyebrow, I completely forget about it ten seconds later because his administration did something else that is completely awesome.

And I'll small-note that Schumer has upped his game. I doubted there as well. It's early days, but no ankle-biting from my end. And I'm an AOC progressive type.

Just wanted to say.

The Biden administration is about to face a fundamental test of values within days

The Game Stop stock story is more than just a bunch of Millennials having fun on social media to stick it to Wall Street.

Wall Street is now striking back. It is trying to prevent "retail" traders (i.e. individuals and not the hedge funds and giant institutions) from buying or selling stock because they're about to lose billions.

Hedge funds shorted Game Stop, hoping to drive it into bankruptcy and make a profit on it. Sound like Bain Capital to you? Because it is just like that.

Now, trading apps and institutions like RobinHood and Ameritrade are preventing your Average Joe from trading the stock. However, the hedge funds and institutions are allowed to trade, and they are allowed to do so after hours even (you and I could not do this).

Wall Street could not stand regular people playing their games - and winning! -so now they are trying to outright rob people by using every lever in the system to manipulate and control what happens.

Watch what the MSM says. We will know whose side they are on. If every story you see is how awful it all is that Reddit is messing with stocks, you'll have at least a hunch they aren't on your side.

But more importantly, let's see how the Biden administration and Secretary Yellen respond. There is an opportunity here to let the billionaire class who treats Wall Street as a casino twist. AOC is already calling for hearings. I have been incredibly positive on Biden's tenure so far. Everything is pretty damn good, if you ask me. So now, we're about see how they're going to handle one hell of a cranky, predatory financial class who thought we served them.

It's a test. Let's see if they pass. I have decent optimism here, but keep an eye on it. It'll mean quite a bit about what we can expect for the next four years.

If we win the Senate, how soon could the $2,000 stimulus be brought to a vote?

Or $1,400 now, I guess.

Wondering if that will be a thing. I know some people who are in very sore need of the money these days. The extra unemployment will help, but they're so far behind, any extra money really just goes to paying past dues. In the beginning, I loaned out money to a few. But as this went on and on, I said, "Screw it. Keep it."

Nine and a half months of this. Who thinks what little the government has done is adequate to provide even a meager living in many places? Trump and McConnell have offered us the most perfect political bludgeon. Which is good. But for many people, the actual money would be a lot better.
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