Healthcare American-style

Convicts paid $2/hr to move bodies from morgues into trailer truck-refrigerators


Mario Tama/Getty

Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, Texas’ El Paso County is paying prison inmates $2 an hour to move the bodies of deceased victims of the disease. While prison labor is a common practice across the U.S., the reliance on inmates to handle the task of moving the corpses of COVID-19 victims is raising questions about the ethics of such work…

El Paso County has about 34,000 active COVID-19 cases, with more than 1,100 people in hospitals, according to local health data. Since the pandemic began spreading widely in March, the county has recorded 769 deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus…

In recent years, U.S. prisoners have gone on strike to protest work conditions and low pay. While the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery in 1865, it includes one exception: People who are “duly convicted” of a crime. Because of that exception, prisoners can be paid nothing for their labor — and in fact, there are five states, including Texas, where regular prison jobs are unpaid.

In many ways, Texas continues to lead the pack of backwards’ states reactionary and racist culture. And rationalizing, American style – they will brag about being number one.

Mnuchin steals the lifeboats!


Nicholas Kamm/AFP

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s decision to allow key pandemic relief programs to expire is like stripping lifeboats from the Titanic, according to Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics.

Mnuchin announced Thursday that he will not extend the Federal Reserve’s emergency lending programs that used Congress’ CARES Act funds beyond Dec. 31. The move is expected to drastically reduce the central bank’s ability to shore up the financial system.

“I don’t think there is a good economic or public health or social reason to explain why they want to cut these programs at this particular time, so it has kind of got to be politics, doesn’t it?” Weinberg said.

Regardless of performance at the gig he was appointed to by El Trumpo, Mnuchin is, as we say, a political animal. In this instance, a pet conservative owned by the very former president.

Trump Would ‘Eat His Own Children’ If He Found It Prudent

Atlanta’s Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Wednesday ripped President Donald Trump over his willingness to throw fellow Republicans under the bus when they don’t agree 100% with his agenda.

He will eat his own children, I’m sure, if he found it prudent,” Bottoms told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper…

Bottoms made the quip during a discussion about the upcoming U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5, when GOP Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler will face off against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Democrats need to win both seats to tie the Senate’s balance of power 50-50, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tiebreaking vote.

No one is surprised by such an appraisal of this self-serving thug…in my neck of the prairie.

How a toxic mountain was dumped onto a community of color

The mountain is human-made — an environmental nightmare of discarded roofing shingles stretching more than a city block. Even though it’s an illegal toxic waste dump on the edge of a neighborhood, it took months of pressure to get city officials to even acknowledge its existence and finally make plans to take it down.

Shingle Mountain didn’t just appear from out of nowhere. It formed just south of a section of Dallas settled by formerly enslaved people, an area that for more than a century has been zoned for everything White citizens didn’t want in their neighborhoods: industrial rail yards, chemical plants, concrete mixing facilities, warehouses that lure up to 100 diesel trucks per day and a massive landfill.

And now, even as Dallas is currently more than 60 percent Latino and African American, with a Black city manager and mayor and a diverse city council, redlining and other historic land-use decisions by White leaders and planners who are long gone continue to have a lasting negative impact.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

Trump government’s response to pandemic: “chaos, pandemonium and confusion”

This isn’t the interview I watched Sunday afternoon…and haven’t yet been able to retrieve from BloombergTV. But, it ain’t bad. Most places, e.g., local TV, OTA TV channels, your friendly neighborhood local newspaper, don’t have the backbone to publish an interview as clinically critical by someone with the standing of Dr. Haseltine.

Bloomberg did, Sunday afternoon.

Trump True Believers march in D.C., no masks, no sense


Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

One week after the presidential race was called for Joe Biden, supporters of President Donald Trump gathered in Washington to protest the results and echo his unfounded claims of voter fraud.

While aides say that Trump is coming around to the reality that he lost, the president’s public attacks on the validity of the election results and his unwillingness to concede has allowed for conspiracy theories and misinformation to fester, particularly among his most devoted fans…

Top government and industry officials said in a statement on Thursday that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history” and that there was “no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised.”

Trump’s true believers are like those who came before them. They loved Gov. Wallace and his racist message just like they love Trump.