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Brain-eating killer songbirds and other existential threats...
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Published Friday, May 08, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 08 2020

Today is Friday, May 8, the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 237 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice, Free Trade Day, Iris Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day, National Give Someone a Cupcake Day, National Have a Coke Day, National Public Gardens Day, National Student Nurses Day, No Socks Day, Pesach Sheni, Provider Appreciation Day, Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, Victory in Europe Day, World Ovarian Cancer Day, and World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

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According to Wired, Covid-19's scary blood clots aren't that surprising. According to the author, "researchers have long known about the link between infectious diseases and blood clotting. There's even data to suggest a heightened risk of fatal heart attacks—a related complication—among those who get plain old influenza." Swell.

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Here's that CDC document that the Trump mob said "would never see the light of day." Nice work, Associated Press. The plan is to have no plan. "There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives." Speaking of having no plan, one of Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus. So, what's next? A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically.

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Of course, the big question the country is asking today is Which Supreme Court justice flushed the toilet during oral arguments?

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Not only is our economy tanking, but so is our respect for the rule of law: The Justice Dept. is dropping charges against the former Trump aide Michael Flynn, a stark reversal for a defendant who'd twice pleaded guilty.

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How can there be anything worse than Murder Hornets? How about the brain-eating killer songbird apocalypse? No worries, though. The songbirds in question (a certain population of great tits) eat only bat brains. Of course, bats harbor zillions of viruses, which could be transferred to the birds, and... can you say "avian flu"?

We'll probably end up doing ourselves in. Think the coronavirus is nasty? How about a human-engineered pandemic (which the current SARS-CoV-2 most certainly isn't, conspiracy theories notwithstanding). Check out #3 on this video. The observation that our "outbreak response protocols are rapidly improving" is almost laughable given our current situation. But the video is over a year old, and I don't think anyone could have predicted how one man could ignore and even sabotage medical science.

By the way, I heartily recommend the SciShow channel on YouTube. They have thousands of brief, cogent, and entertaining videos covering an astonishingly large range of subjects.

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Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), the 33rd President of the United States, was famous for the sign on his desk:

While this concept is totally foreign to the current President, some things don't change. As Truman observed: "A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up Communist, and I don't care who he is."

More Truman quotes here.

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On this date in 1886, pharmacist John Stith Pemberton first sold his carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola", which was originally was marketed and sold as a patent medicine.

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Remembering the original voice of Elmer Fudd, Arthur Q. Bryan (May 8, 1899 – November 18, 1959).

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On this day in 1912, Paramount Pictures Corporation was founded as Famous Players Film Company.

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Remembering Bob Clampett (May 8, 1913 – May 2, 1984), best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros. Clampett directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio's most famous characters, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and Tweety.

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Remembering Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996), the innovative graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his design of motion-picture title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.

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Remembering Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017), the insult comedian aka "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth."

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On this date in 1962, the Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum had its first of 965 performances, winning six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Zero Mostel).

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Fifty years ago today, The Beatles' twelfth and final studio album, Let It Be, was released about a month after the group's breakup. The album spent four weeks atop the Billboard albums chart (June 13 - July 4) and has sold over four million copies since its initial release.

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Those were the days... on this date in 1980, the World Health Organization" confirmed the eradication of smallpox.

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Remembering Ricky Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985), who grew up on the long-running television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet where he became a pop star. His last hit, 1972's Garden Party, reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Nelson and six others were killed when his refurbished DC-3 aircraft crashed on December 31, 1985, on a "comeback tour."

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If 24/7 news coverage of the pandemic isn't enough, you can curl up with a book: Everything you ever wanted to know about pandemics in 'The End Of October'.

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Daniel and Valerie Zane, married 71 years, die two days apart. "He said that the end of Val's life was like being in the foxhole at the Battle of the Bulge, but even that was easier," Mr. Hettwer said. "He said that at least in war, you have all your soldiers around you. You have the camaraderie." Mr. Zane had always seemed to be a survivor. "We thought he would have more time with us," Robin Zane said. "In the end, it was almost as if she had said, 'I'm not going alone,' and as if he had said, 'You're not going alone.'"

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You're doing it wrong. Only 1 in 75 households are cooking chicken safely.

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The Trump administration is reversing nearly 100 environmental rules. Here's the full list.

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Why stop with destroying the environment? Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite pandemic. While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration's legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions. (That's because he's a pathological liar.)

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What else can Trump destroy upon which we all depend? Trump ally named next postmaster general. Louis DeJoy, who is currently overseeing fundraising for this year's Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., will assume the post, the Postal Service's board of governors announced Wednesday.

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Americans died from covid-19 at the rate of about one every 42 seconds during the past month. That ought to keep any president awake at night. Not Donald Trump.

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"Confronted with America's worst public health crisis in generations, President Trump declared himself a wartime president. Now he has begun doing what past commanders have done when a war goes badly: Declare victory and go home."

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Three Russian doctors have fallen from hospital windows in two weeks, amid reports of dire conditions. The exact circumstances of the separate incidents in the last two weeks remain unclear and they are being investigated by police, but they underscore the enormous strains that Russian doctors and nurses have faced during the outbreak. Reports said two of the doctors had protested their working conditions and the third was being blamed after her colleagues contracted the virus.

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It's come to this: Cornhole Mania 2020 to Air on ESPN and ESPN2.

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3.2 million filed for unemployment benefits last week.

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New research shows a rise in food insecurity without modern precedent. Among mothers with young children, nearly one-fifth say their children are not getting enough to eat, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution, a rate three times as high as in 2008, during the worst of the Great Recession.

Things are getting really rough out there. Please consider donating to Feeding America.


Categories: ACA, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Arthur Q. Bryan, Associated Press, Bob Clampett, Brain-eating killer songbirds, CDC, Child Hunger, Children, Coca Cola, Cornhole, Covid-19, Daffy Duck, Donald Trump, Don Rickles, Elmer Fudd, EPA, ESPN, Existential Threats, Feeding America, Food, Food Stamps, Harry S. Truman, John Stith Pemberton, Justice Department, Let It Be, Looney Tunes, Michael Flynn, Obamacare, Paramount Pictures, Porky Pig, Post Office, Rick Nelson, SCOTUS, Seth Meyers, Smallpox, SNAP, Supreme Court, The Beatles, Tweety, Unemployment, USPS, W.H.O., Warner Bros, Wired, YouTube, Zero Mostel


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Historically speaking...
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Published Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 6:22 AM EST
Mar 04 2013

All of you, I am sure, have heard many cries about Government interference with business and about “creeping socialism.” I should like to remind the gentlemen who make these complaints that if events had been allowed to continue as they were going prior to March 4, 1933, most of them would have no businesses left for the Government or for anyone else to interfere with- and almost surely we would have socialism in this country, real socialism.
-Harry S. Truman (in 1950)
(FDR assumed the Presidency for the first time 80 years ago today.)


Categories: FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, History, Politics, Quotes of the day


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Quotes of the day: Harry S. Truman
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Published Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 1:05 AM EST
Dec 26 2012

Quotes of the day- Harry S. Truman:
 
Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 - December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). The final running mate of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Truman succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II; in the aftermath of the conflict, tensions with the Soviet Union increased, marking the start of the Cold War. Click for full Wikipedia article.

A leader in the Democratic Party is a boss, in the Republican Party he is a leader.

A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up Communist, and I don't care who he is.

A politician is a man who understands government, and it takes a politician to run a government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead 10 or 15 years.

About the meanest thing you can say about a man is that he means well.

All of you, I am sure, have heard many cries about Government interference with business and about "creeping socialism." I should like to remind the gentlemen who make these complaints that if events had been allowed to continue as they were going prior to March 4, 1933, most of them would have no businesses left for the Government or for anyone else to interfere with- and almost surely we would have socialism in this country, real socialism. (in 1950)

All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.

All through history it's the nations that have given most to generals and the least to the people that have been the first to fall.

Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.

Give me a one-handed economist! All my economists say, "on one hand... on the other."

Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.

How far would have Moses gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?

I do not believe in shooting anything that cannot shoot back.

I don't think the son of a bitch [Richard Nixon] knows the difference between telling the truth and lying.

I don't give a damn about "The Missouri Waltz" but I can't say it out loud because it's the song of Missouri. It's as bad as "The Star-Spangled Banner" so far as music is concerned.

I fear that the machines are several centuries ahead of the morals.

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

I know every one of these 50 fellows [journalists]. There isn't one of them has enough sense to pound sand in a rat hole.

I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it's hell.

I sit here all day trying to persuade people to do the things they ought to have sense enough to do without my persuading them... that's all the powers of the President amount to.

I'll go to Japan, if that's what you want, but I won't kiss their ass.

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.

Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.

My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.

Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.

On the one hand, the Republicans are telling industrial workers that the high cost of food in the cities is due to this government's farm policy. On the other hand, the Republicans are telling the farmers that the high cost of manufactured goods on the farm is due to this government's labor policy. That's plain hokum. It's an old political trick: "If you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em." But this time it won't work.

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.

Study men, not historians.

The external threat to liberty should not drive us into suppressing liberty at home.

The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know.

The President is always abused. If he isn't, he's doing nothing, and is of no value as the Chief Executive.

The Republicans favor a minimum wage- the smaller the minimum the better.

The White House is the finest jail in the world.

When even one American- who has done nothing wrong- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.

When you get to be President, there are all those things, the honors, the twenty-one gun salutes, all those things. You have to remember it isn't for you. It's for the Presidency.

Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me.

Wherever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.


Categories: Harry S. Truman, Quotes of the day


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