Monday, October 3, 2022

Any Pretense That Tangerine Has Suffered Any Civil Injury May Now Be... Abandoned, Out Of Florida: He Seeks Even MORE Eleventh Circuit Delays...

Well. . . not that it will surprise anyone paying attention. . . but Team Tangerine just opposed a federal motion to have the Eleventh Circuit appeal expedited.

The reasoning? Each of his incompetent lawyers ostensibly needs more than 30 days to prepare for oral arguments. Thirty months or thirty years, the result is not changing: his purported civil claims are simply preposterous.

Well over a month ago, he claimed that the FBI's seizure of some of his press clippings and clothes. . . and a framed picture or three. . . was a barn burning emergency -- that he needed HIS personal documents back, immediately. Here after now three separate Trump delaying motions (in USDC "Crazy" Cannon's trial level court, in Ft. Pierce, FL), and at least two appellate delaying filings have been docketed. . . color us. . . skeptical.

He is just desperate -- wild-eyed -- not to be indicted before November 7, 2022 comes and goes. Me? I don't care much. His acolytes will mostly lose (Cough -- H. Walker in GA). And he WILL be indicted. He will be on no one's ballot by 2024.



India's Inaugural Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) Has Come To An End, After Eight Years, In The Cold Barsoomian Skies

The mission was, by any and all measures, a full success. [Though in fairness, the methane sensor never really worked, as it suffered from a lack of communications between the design and build teams -- and had to be repurposed as a reflected sunlight sensor, off the surface of Mars -- as a way to estimate ancient potential H2O content.]

Even so, as with all spacecraft, eventually the fuel runs out. And since she lost the ability to maneuver, she could not avoid a second eclipse event in a month. . . and that seven hours of utter darkness drained her batteries, completely. Here's the story, from The

. . .The ₹450 crore Mars Orbiter Mission was launched onboard PSLV-C25 on November 5, 2013, and the MOM spacecraft was successfully inserted into the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 in its first attempt. “Right now, there is no fuel left. . . .

"[R]ecently there were back-to-back eclipses including one that lasted seven-and-half hours," officials said on condition of anonymity, noting that all the propellant on board the ageing satellite had been consumed.

"As the satellite battery is designed to handle eclipse duration of only about one hour and 40 minutes, a longer eclipse would drain the battery beyond the safe limit," another official said. . . .

It had a great ride -- but as with all things. . . the go-cart racing, and the elliptical, twisty style track, itself. . . has come to an end, around Barsoom, for India. Onward -- smiling, just the same. . . .


Sunday, October 2, 2022

And Tangerine STILL Hasn't Returned All The Documents He Stole / Owes: NARA

Y A W N.

Tangerine is so bad at keeping track. . . of everything, and anything, really. . . it would not be surprising to learn that he doesn't even remember where he stuffed everything he stole.

But make no mistake -- he fully intended, and specifically intended -- to steal top secret US government documents. While we cannot yet prove that the motive was to sell them, that would be entirely consistent with his life-long crime spree.

So, all of the SFGate's reporting is both maddening, and unsurprising. My advice? Don't even bother with more search warrants -- just bring the charges. [There are absolutely at least 101 specific top secret documents (and multiple hundreds turned over in June 2022, voluntarily), not subject to any judicial constraint now, given the 11th Circuit's stay order -- upon which he may be indicted. Just show these to the no-doubt sitting grand jury in DC, and get on with it.]

That he still is in possession of documents NARA knows to exist, but haven't yet been returned to "we the people". . . is simply insane. Insane, unless his sole motivating engine. . . is crime. Or more precisely, money from the crime of selling US property.

Damn. Just damn. But. . . it is time to take the beast, where he stands.

Issue that indictment, already. Let's get to a multiple felonies trial. . . post haste.


Saturday, October 1, 2022

A Tanzanian Doctor... Is The First MD To Succumb To Sudan Ebola, In This Ugandan Outbreak

With a field test on any Sudan vaccine candidate not yet underway, and the total cases now eclipsing 50, there is strong cause for concern inside Uganda.

Overnight, we learn that the first doctor on the front lines has died of this version of the virus. He came from Tanzania, to give aid. Sad news, indeed, per Reuters (UK):

. . .A Tanzanian doctor working in Uganda who contracted Ebola has died, the first health worker killed by the disease in the latest outbreak in the country, Uganda's health minister said on Saturday.

"I regret to announce that we have lost our first doctor, Dr. Mohammed Ali, a Tanzanian national, 37-year-old Male," the health minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, tweeted.

She said Ali had tested positive for Ebola on Sept. 26 and died while receiving treatment at a hospital in Fort Portal, a town about 300 kilometres west of the capital Kampala. . . .

Now you know. . . onward, with a sad smile -- but a smile, just the same.


This Past Week, MSD / Merck Completed A Minority Investment In LeeO Precision Farming B.V. -- Securing Swine Traceability / Tech Distribution Rights.

Perhaps a smallish part of the overall Merck portfolio of businesses, but this whole area of RFC tags on livestock -- used both for tracking the herds, as well as for monitoring grazing and overall health patterns. . . is the wave of the future. It is greatly reducing the need for manual labor / farm hands, as well.

Merck has another investment in a UK company, if memory serves, that (using RFC) allows cows to come in and milk themselves, should they feel "full" -- and not on any specific ranch hand's schedule. Even the milking machines are. . . robotic. [In truth I cannot find the announcement on that right now, but the company involved was on NatGeo network in the UK, not that long ago.]

In any event, here's the latest though, on the porcine version of this tech -- which Merck will now sell in select geographies around the globe -- most likely Central and South America (though the presser doesn't say so -- likely through its Vallée relationship):

. . .LeeO, a privately held company located in Deventer, the Netherlands, provides a cloud-based, real-time digital swine traceability solution for farmers, producers and retailers to continuously track and analyze swine from birth throughout their lifecycle. The cloud-based technology platform provides users with the capability to record and track major life events in swine production, including genetics, insemination, birth registration, vaccination, age, weight, weaning, location and transportation. The platform is supported by an ecosystem of RFID-based hardware technology, such as ear tags, readers and weigh scales.

“Through this agreement, we are linking Merck Animal Health’s breadth and depth in animal health intelligence technology solutions with LeeO’s innovative digital swine traceability platform, which can help to change the way all phases of swine production interact and make decisions,” said Jeroen van de Ven, lead, Animal Health Intelligence, Merck Animal Health. “Our animal health solutions, including our identification, traceability and monitoring capabilities, and investment in LeeO will help accelerate this technology development and advance the health and well-being of animals. We look forward to our partnership with LeeO and to continue to build the future of livestock traceability solutions, which can further create a connected and integrated ecosystem for the global livestock market. . . .”

Now you know, with baby girls here tomorrow -- and our youngest son, in town, for a wedding -- next weekend! Woot!


Friday, September 30, 2022

Let's Compare -- And Contrast: Mar-A-Lago Secrets Vs. Nearly Four DECADES Of Asylum Seekers...

I find myself in a. . . rather. . . reflective mood this evening, having re-watched Blake Lively and Harrison Ford in "The Age Of Adeline" (a great romance movie night, if you haven't seen it, BTW). The premise is. . . she cannot age, for over a century -- she remains forever 29.

That, in turn put me in mind of the Flores litigation, in Los Angeles. That class action suit, to protect the basic human dignity of people seeking asylum at our southern border. . . has been going on since the end of Ronald Reagan's first term. Nearly four decades -- across both Democratic and GOP administrations. . . (but it has most-often been stuffed full, with emergency relief petitions during GOP ones). That link is the latest settlement, ending by Mr. Biden's agreement, the former Tangerine policies of denying blankets, soap and toothbrushes to asylum seekers. . . which was SOP under 45.

Four decades. Since 1985. The internet didn't really exist. Cell-phones were the size of toaster ovens, and carried in a bag the size of today's college bookbags. People mostly still listened to cassette tapes, and watched fuzzy, low resolutions movies -- on a VCR, on Friday nights. Mom-and-Pop, local VCR rental shops, in most urban neighborhoods. . . were just reaching their zenith. Damn.

My point is that. . . something is terribly broken with our legal system, if we are still in the same old, repetitive-injuries class action case, doing wrong under GOP administrations. . . against people who simply want a better life, and are being persecuted where they once lived.

And the contrast? This evening (quite rightly), the US AG/DoJ lawyers have filed a motion to expedite the appeal of the insane Judge Cannon orders, in the stolen Top Secret documents case, out of Mar-A-Lago -- replete with a quick march of briefing due dates. Again, something is fundamentally broken, if we need an appeal to say that an ex-president should not have Top Secret documents lying around loose in his country club office, where foreign emissaries from "frenemy" governments often are entertained.

But I am glad it is happening on swift wings (by legal standards), just the same. Now if we might see the same urgency to finally resolve the asylees' cases. . . . Damn.


An Excellent Anon. Commenter's Observation: Why Won't This Work, Generally -- With Non-Violent Offenders?

Sure -- there are some confusing variables, in this data set. Most of all, it is likely that in the teeth of a pandemic (mid 2020 to later 2021), anyone lucky enough to get an early release -- so as to reduce risk of catching the virus. . . would do just about anything, to avoid. . . catching the virus (i.e., to avoid going back into the Petri dish that is the prison system, at the BoP). And, to be sure, in the main -- those released were over 45 years old, and had served more than half of their sentences.

Even so, the idea of ankle monitors and home confinement has much merit -- for non-violent offenses -- and offenders. If nothin' else, it would save billions of tax dollars now being dumped into the prisons. H/T to Anon.!

Yes, our Anon. commenter is definitely on to something: this data argues for a wholesale rethinking of the penchant for prison time, in America:

. . .To protect those most vulnerable to covid-19 during the pandemic, the Cares Act allowed the Justice Department to order the release of people in federal prisons and place them on home confinement. More than 11,000 people were eventually released. Of those, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) reported that only 17 of them committed new crimes.

That’s not a typo. Seventeen. That’s a 0.15 percent recidivism rate in a country where it’s normal for 30 to 65 percent of people coming home from prison to reoffend within three years of release. . . .

Except for people convicted of some offenses, such as sex offenses, no one was automatically barred from consideration because of their crime, sentence length or time served. The BOP instead assessed each eligible person individually, looking at their prison disciplinary record, any violent or gang-related conduct and their risk to the public. . . .

Most of the 17 people who re-offended did so for low level, drug related incidents. . . that is telling in and of itself. But it is hard to get Congress to even consider measures to reform sentencing in the US -- let alone pass anything meaningful.

Onward, smiling into a fine clear cool evening -- with a fresh tray of brightly colored sushi -- comin' up!


Thursday, September 29, 2022

[Tangent:] The Last Gasps, Of Wildly-Unprofitable Bitcoin Miners... Trying To Get To The Public '34 Act Registered Markets: "Frankenstein" Edition!

Well, that was. . . slick -- slick and... oddly prescient -- that Halloween '22 is just around the corner. . . and I know I am going as a SPAC / Boris Karlov Merger Deal!

Here this afternoon, Rhodium pulled its long shelved IPO plan out of mothballs.

Though to be fair, back in January 2022, it showed a potential $1.7 billion valuation. Today's potential for a SPAC deal is. . . (wait for it!) at under one-tenth that valuation.

Thus, as I say -- this is. . . HILARIOUS. The "big(ger) con" couldn't be sold back in January, so B. Riley pulled the IPO.

Now, at a more realistic valuation (and the realization that the company is dead stick without vast new capital), it seeks to be able (eventually) to sell registered public equity the way Marathon and Riot do.

Without it -- it is DOA. The capital needs in this vertical are. . . staggering, for the very small revenues they potentially generate. [Even so, apparently BitNile Holdings owns about 6.5 per cent of the SPAC -- so it will do well, if the reverse merger goes through -- and it gets a like percentage of Rhodium's mining interests.]

So -- I wish the boys at Rhodium good luck, as B. Riley will crucify the company to make commissions.

And, as it is. . . Riot Blockchain has issued over 155 million shares, at a gross intake of over $1.8 billion -- in new equity, to only generate net operating losses -- losses of around $22 million, last year -- on revenue of around $220 million that year. [And paid the Head Guy $20 million.]

But just so far this year, it has had to write off the vast bulk of its April 2021 $650 million purchase of Whinstone, and take huge haircuts on the supposed "revenue" from mining bitcoin, due to cratering spot prices. And that's just so far, this year.

Object lesson, here: This Frankensteined Rhodium deal is. . . a stinker.

"UUUUoouuper... Duper!"

-- Peter Boyle (1974)


It Looks Like A Former GSK / Now Sabine Inst. Vaccine Candidate Will Be First One Tested -- Against Current Sudan Variant In Uganda...

The JNJ version I mentioned a few days ago (via its Janssen arm), is apparently in mothballs, and will need internal approvals to restart manufacture of sufficient stock / vials for any meaningful field trial in Mubende District in Uganda. So that means another candidate is likely to be first.

And, in fact, GSK stopped work on this "Sudan" version -- one that uses a chimp adenovirus container, to deliver the glycoprotein of the Sudan variant, into the patient (and provoke an immune response) -- after the 2016 successes of the Merck version (for Zaire Ebola).

So, GSK then donated the vaccine stocks and all tech / know-how to the Sabine Vaccine Institute, a global health charity, with HQ in DC. It may be the one most rapidly able to deploy, with over 10,000 doses already in vials, for field trials. All that is needed now is a final green light, from Ugandan authorities.

With now 36 cases, already (and 25 dead), here is the latest from Helen Branswell's fine reporting this morning, for STAT+ -- and a bit:

. . .“We are working with Uganda and WHO to determine the best way to use these doses in the current outbreak,” Richard Koup, acting director of the VCR, told STAT in an email. “The Sabin Vaccine Institute has bulk drug substance for thousands of vaccine doses that must be vialed; they are currently working through the timeline for those activities.”

There are six candidate vaccines, as experimental vaccines are called, that target Ebola Sudan. But only three have advanced to the stage where human clinical trials have begun.

In all three cases, the human trials have been the small initial trials that determine how much vaccine should be given in a dose. Those trials also generate enough safety and immunogenicity data to show that a candidate vaccine appears to be safe enough to proceed with testing, and provide enough evidence of potential benefit to pursue larger trials aimed at determining whether the vaccine actually works. . . .

And -- shifting into the inky nights ahead, we should start seeing ice encrusted Europa close-ups (raw images at least), into the coming weekend, out of Juno's recent flyby. Smile. . . that's some happier news, indeed.


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

[Power Alley:] In Recent Weeks, Both Merck And Pfizer Have Signed Chinese Based License Deals... For Oral COVID-19 Therapies.

This could be read as Mr. Xi, himself. . . hedging bets [as there is speculation that Mr. Xi had tested positive, or has/had the virus and is recovering slowly -- as it had been exactly 14 days since he was last seen in public, as of last night]. But nominally it is China, via SinoPharm, that is cutting the license deals -- and hedging its COVID bets. We have been covering the global uptake of both Merck and Pfizer offerings, since early 2021.

There is data to suggest that Sinopharm's vaccine is not terribly effective against later-arriving variants, whilst these two majors' pills (as therapies). . . do seem to be. As do the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

So here is the latest. [But please understand -- the remarks regarding Mr. Xi at the open above, are only rumor and speculation, since he'd not been seen in a few weeks, in public. . . until yesterday, that is.]

. . .A month ago, Zhejiang Huahai revealed a five-year deal to produce and sell Pfizer’s COVID-19 oral antiviral Paxlovid exclusively in China. . . .

Now, not to be outdone, Merck has agreed to a similar arrangement in China with its COVID-19 antiviral pills, which were co-developed by Ridgeback. The New Jersey pharma giant has granted Sinopharm exclusive import and distribution rights to Lagevrio (molnupiravir). . . .

This might also fairly be read as the keeping of the promise to make the pills available in lower income per capita geographies, via local license deals.

But the timing, given Xi's likely quarantine, if not outright viral contraction, is indeed. . . interesting.

Onward, smiling -- looking forward to a close dip past Europa, by the lithe and graceful copper-clad Juno tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 27, 2022

In The "It Turns Out..." Department: Shutterstock Not Liable Where It Promptly Removes Image, After Indian Interloper's Repeated Wrongful Uploads.

We first mentioned this case on a snowy, quiet Sunday night. . . in January 2022.

What we hadn't known then, because Shutterstock hadn't yet filed an answer, was that the actual infringer was a someone (or "someones" -- an illicit company) located behind firewalls in India, who had repeatedly removed the photographer's copyright marks -- and repeatedly reposted the infringing work (they got paid a few times on downloads of the infringing image, but now that has ended, too).

Each time Shutterstock was made aware that the Indian contributor had reposted it, Shutterstock removed it -- doing its part under the DMCA takedown provisions.

So, sadly. . . Steinmetz is likely left without a meaningful remedy here because it will be nearly impossible to sort out, and find the repeat infringer, in India, behind the proxy servers / anonymizers. But Shutterstock, for its part, will not pay the infringer for downloads. So the infringer is unlikely to continue in a course of conduct that nets no monetary windfall.

Here is the 17 page opinion. It is well-reasoned.

. . .Summary judgment for Shutterstock under DMCA Sec. 512(c). . . .

Now you know. Onward to a lovely fall evening here. . . special dinner up!


Ebola: J&J Apparently Has A Two Dose Candidate... But That's Sub-Optimal, And Not FDA Approved Yet.

The truly disturbing wrinkle here is that it is unlikely the "Zaire" version of the vaccine, developed by NewLink/Merck, will be very effective against this Sudan mutation, in the Ebola virus.

It is encouraging that JNJ has a candidate, but the fact that it is a two dose regimen. . . makes compliance / logistics a difficult problem, since so many of the "contacts of contacts" are transitory -- workers who commute long distances (to the mines, for example). . . and may live for long periods of time, away from where the outbreak was (and the vaccine stock is administered).

So -- while there is cause for hope, given how far up the curve we are on a Sudan version of an mRNA based vaccine for Uganda. . . this remains a fraught situation. Here's the latest from IDSA, quoting WHO, with now 23 confirmed deaths in Mubende District:

. . .As of 25 September 2022, a cumulative number of 18 confirmed and 18 probable cases have been reported from Mubende, Kyegegwa and Kassanda districts, including 23 deaths, of which five were among confirmed cases (CFR among confirmed cases 28%). This is the first Ebola disease outbreak caused by Sudan virus (SUDV) in Uganda since 2012. . . .

It should be anticipated that there will be more cases and deaths reported in the coming days, including beyond the initial outbreak area in Mubende District. If cases are found in the capital city of Kampala, not far from the international airport in Entebbe, then there is risk of international spread beyond the six regional nations that the World Health Organization specified in an initial focus on in its press conference last week. . . .

This may yet require a highly-focused push, among Merck and JNJ as partners, to design and test a new interior, for the old "container" -- employed in the Zaire (highly effective) vaccine stock, used in DRC, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. We shall see.

But keeping a good thought for the at-risk miners (and all the other workers, who travel) around Mubende District and beyond. . . is where my head is at, this morning.


Monday, September 26, 2022

[UPDATED] The Situation In Uganda: Growing Significantly Worse, By the Day... Second Ebola Update Of The Day.

UPDATED: 09.27.2022 @ 9 AM EDT -- I am embarrassed to admit that I did not appreciate that this outbreak is being identified as primarily driven by a variant of the "Sudan" Ebola virus, per CIDRAP's reporting. As such, the existing, approved "Zaire" Ebola vaccine stock is thought not to be effective in arresting the spread. A new vaccine must be created, using the killed Sudan version virus's interior, packaged in a benign casing -- just the way the Zaire vaccine was created. But that effort will take months. This is a very serious situation. . . and fatalities are rising by the day, near the gold mines to the west. End updated portion.

This BBC report is an exclusive, and is being disputed by local Ugandan political leaders. But the outlet stands by its reporting.

This is, in substantial part, why the WHO exists: it must enter and take lead here. Both bringing needed safety kits to all workers, and enforcing safe practices. . . even if the MDs on the ground are chafing under them. Otherwise, this is likely going to be a "back to 2014-era" outbreak (with cases measured in double digit thousands, not single digits of tens):

. . ."Most times you come into contact with a patient and you use your bare hands," one worker told the BBC anonymously.

All trainees at Mubende's regional hospital say they are on strike and are demanding to be moved somewhere safer.

But Ugandan health ministry spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona told the BBC there was "no strike at the hospital".

Yet all 34 of the hospital's interns - including doctors, pharmacists and nurses - have announced their decision to strike in a joint statement.

They say they are being put at undue risk because they lack appropriate safety kits, risk allowances and health insurance.

Six interns at the hospital have already been exposed to the virus, and are awaiting their test results in isolation. . . .

This must only be called what it is: alarming. The WHO needs to assert itself forcefully in Mubende District. Workers must be protected. Full stop.


Hitting A Fired Bullet, With Another Fired Bullet, 7 Million Miles Off, Moving At 14,000 MPH! Only 17 Meters Off Dead Center.

And we watched it all, in near real time -- at under 40 seconds after it transpired, out there in the blackness -- just allowing for speed of light transmission, and three more seconds to render the images, each.

Here it is -- a complete success. That is actual DART onboard cam footage, below, BTW. We will have to wait a day or two to see how much it perturbed the orbit of Dimorphos (via ground based and space based telescopes), though:

This is an amazing evening, for humanity: the first time any human made object has moved the orbit of a celestial body of size. Whoosh -- grinning.


Discouraging Central Ugandan News: Seven Contacts Of Contacts Fleeing Health Interviews As Ebola Cases Double.

The fear of a "knock on the door", from a public health worker. . . is not without a semi-rational (if historical) basis in Africa. Decades ago now, there were highly-unethical experiments on people of limited means, with new Western drug candidates, and even some "purges" under the guise of public health, by a few dictatorial regimes.

But those days have passed, and this developing Ebola outbreak is now in two provinces in central Uganda. . . and could become much worse, if substantial numbers of the known contacts refuse or evade vaccinations.

We will hold out a positive thought -- that common sense overtakes superstition soon among the people at high risk. Otherwise, we will see much more dying than in any of the recent DRC flare-ups (each of which ended with under ten deaths total). We are at double that, now in Mubende, Ugana (though I do suspect there was some intentional delay in reporting the first five cases, again out of fear -- by local authorities). So it may not be the rapid spread a four day doubling might imply -- that may just be a delayed first reporting. Here's the latest, from Bloomberg:

. . .An outbreak of Ebola in Uganda spread to two new districts as the death toll doubled from Friday.

Two new districts reported cases of the Ebola-Sudan strain of the viral hemorrhagic illness after it was first detected in the central Mubende district on Sept. 20. At least 34 people have contracted the disease and 21 have died, the Kampala-based Ministry of Health said on Twitter late Sunday. . . .

Daunting news, to be sure -- but we will await the night skies, and first images and video of a Colisium sized collision in deep space. Smile.


[U: Success!] Could All Be Rather... Spectacular: DART's Dimorphos Impact, Tonight.

The last time we saw similarly dramtic footage was when we saw OSIRIS-REx do a "pogo-stick" -- and lift about a cubic ton of material, off of another asteriod (called Bennu) about 15 months ago. . .

This also promises to generate some very interesting footage -- and the fine people across the pond, at the European Space Agency, have provided the base graphic at right for a sense of scale. [Update appears here.]

. . .The 160 meter diameter Dimorphos asteroid compared to Rome's Colosseum. . . .

NASA's DART spacecraft will collide with the Dimorphos moonlet, in orbit around the larger 780 meter diameter Didymos asteroid, in a bid to change its orbit. In 2026, ESA's Hera spacecraft will arrive at the Didymos system to perform a close-up survey of the deflected asteroid. . . .

Do stay tuned, later tonight! Grin. . . . CGI prediction below:


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Amazon's Nearly $5 Million, On Lobbying In Q2 2022... Was Spent On These Issues (Among Others)...

This concludes the data set -- for the bar chart, at right. On a quiet Sunday, it seems. . . fitting. But it is very much a partial listing.

That is, to be clear, the company lobbied on many more issues and bills, but I've culled out the ones related to public health, STEM and the life sciences -- as well as US health care delivery (you may search at, under "Legislation and Records", then under "Public Disclosures", and then in the LDA databases, for "Amazon" and then sort for latest data, first -- if you want to see page after page of detail --as to where the company's money went):

. . .Issues related to immigration, high-skilled immigration, and non-immigrant visas, including issues related to employment-based visas, green card recapture, the STEM visa exemption provision, the DREAM Act (S. 264), the EAGLE Act (H.R. 3648), the American Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6), the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5736), the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (H.R. 4521/S. 1260), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). . . .

Issues related to US trade policy, including USMCA, the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, China, country of origin labeling, US customs policy and procedures, US tariffs, foreign direct investment, issues related to domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research, export controls, sanctions, and supply chain, and other trade practices, including in the EU, Asia, and Latin America, including the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (H.R. 7900), the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (S. 1260), America COMPETES Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521), EAGLE Act (H.R. 3524), the COOL Online Act (S. 3707), A bill to amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to enhance the authority of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to share information with respect to merchandise suspected of violating intellectual property rights with rights holders and other interested parties (S. 1159), and Federal Contracting for Peace and Security Act (H.R. 7185). . . .

Issues related to USDA SNAP online purchasing, Electronic Benefit Transfer, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, food safety, infant formula shortage, and the White House Conference on Food Nutrition Hunger and Health Act (H.R. 5724/S. 3064). . . .

Issues related to veterans hiring and training, employee compensation and benefits, workplace safety, competition, and minimum wage, including the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 603 / S. 53), the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1065/S. 1486), the American Choice and Innovation Online Act of 2021 (H.R. 3816), Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021 (H.R. 3826), Ending Platform Monopolies Act of 2021 (H.R. 3825), ACCESS Act of 2021 (H.R. 3849), the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021 (S. 225), the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act of 2021 (S. 3197), and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992). . . .

Issues related to health care, including employee health care plans, HIPAA, health information technology, telehealth, including the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Public Law 117-103), the Telehealth Modernization Act (H.R. 1332 / S. 368), the CONNECT Act (H.R. 2903 / S. 1512), the Telehealth Expansion Act (S. 1704), and the Ensuring Telehealth Expansion Act (H.R. 341), the Cures 2.0 Act (H.R. 6000), and the Food and Drug Amendments Act of 2023 (H.R. 7667), the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act of 2022 (S. 4348), and the Prescription Information Modernization Act of 2022 (H.R. 7559). Issues related to pharmacy, vaccines, and COVID-19 testing, including implementation of the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136). . . .

Now you know. Out, smiling -- even if this is deeply delayed. We will have Q3 disclosures for all these companies -- in about a month's time here.


No Artemis I Launch (Uncrewed) Anytime Soon... And, No -- It Is Not Just Ian...

Weather, down on the cape (with Ian likely to make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, next week) is a pressing concern. Yes weather, is certainly the most pressing immediate factor.

But the tanking test operation (last Wednesday) showed some more / repeated evidence of early leaking. It seems no matter the pattern of pre-cooling, low pressure, to slowly building normal pressure. . . or the reverse of that. . . we cannot get the tanks to fill, without some deeply concerning leaks of highly-volatile fuel-feed appearing.

Here is the latest -- but this rocket is going back into the hangar.

And that is unfortunate, for all concerned -- even if we personally aren't sure we need to progress toward a return to crewed lunar landings.

Out, smiling -- ever, smiling.


Saturday, September 24, 2022

I Think We Last Covered A Border Outbreak In Uganda In Nov. 2018 -- Four Years Later, Another One; Ebola Continues...

Here was that post, though we've seen several outbreaks in DRC, Sierra Leone and Tanzania since.

It is always difficult news when a new flare up occurs. Even so, I suppose the smallish better news is that with "contacts of contacts" / ring vaccinations. . . and the wide availability of sufficient stock of the Merck / NewLinks vaccine. . . this outbreak, like all the others post-2019. . . have been (and likely will be) relatively short-lived and well contained.

But make no mistake: it still kills over 80 per cent of the patients who contract it. So -- especially in the case of health workers, extreme vigilance is required. Here's the overnight bit, from Mubende District, Uganda:

. . .In a statement on Friday evening, the ministry said in a period of 24 hours four new Ebola cases were confirmed in Mubende to bring the cumulative number of cases to 11.

"Three new deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of cumulative deaths to 11. Of these, eight deaths were from community whereas three are facility based," the ministry said.

However, the 11 deaths include the first eight people who died after presenting signs and symptoms similar to Ebola and were buried before samples were taken to be tested for the virus.

This happened a few weeks ago before the ministry declared the virus in Mubende district.

"There are 25 cases on admission, out of which six are confirmed while 19 are suspected. The Ministry of Health rapid response teams remain on ground to conduct contact tracing and follow up for all contacts to the confirmed cases. Cumulatively, a total of 58 contacts have been listed. . . ."
Now you know. And we know that the case may easily be made that, in the main. . . vaccines are perhaps the most astonishingly successful innovation (in public health). . . in the history of. . . human history. Without them, it is not far-fetched to imagine that humans might have been all but eradicated from the face of the Earth by now, between Marburgs, Ebola, Avian flues, COVID or even a resurgent mutated version of the 1918-style flu. Especially since globe-hopping airline travel (and easily spreading from host to host) has become ubiquitous in 21st Century life. [And that's before we consider the miracle that the polio vaccine represents.]

G'night to all of good will. Smile.


The First White House Summit On US Hunger -- In Over A Half-Century... September 28, 2022

The last one, during the waning days of the Nixon administration, supplemented the Kennedy-Johnson 1964 food stamp programs. . . and added funding to Johnson's school nutritional assistance -- for families of limited means.

This is both a timely and overdue conference, to be sure, as one in eight children struggle with sporadic food scarcity still, in the United States. And without steady, proper nutrition, a complete education may well be beyond the reach of most children. That is. . . just shameful, in the richest nation on Earth.

Listen to NPR, on it all:

. . .President Joe Biden will headline the White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health on Sept. 28, unveiling his plan to make good on a pledge to end hunger and diet-related diseases by 2030.

The conference. . . will feature panels and working group sessions involving hundreds of advocates, educators, health care professionals, lawmakers, cabinet officials and everyday Americans.

Doug Emhoff -- the husband of Vice President Harris -- will also speak at the conference, the White House says. Other featured speakers include Chef Jose Andres, known for his work feeding people after disasters, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

It will be the first conference on hunger, nutrition and health since 1969. That Nixon-era conference led to the creation of the big programs underpinning U.S. hunger response, like food stamps and child nutrition assistance. . . .

Do tune in on Wednesday with me. . . smile.