Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week


At Vice, Valerie Kipnis and Joe Hill write—The Next Pandemic Could Come From an American Factory Farm:

In the dead of night, four animal rights activists prepare to break into an industrial-scale pig farm in central California. They write lawyers’ phone numbers on their bodies with a Sharpie, their cell phones are locked away in signal-blocking cases to protect them from being tracked. After a 30-minute trek through almond groves under moonlight, they arrive at the pigpens and take out their gear: hazmat suits, N95 masks, flashlights.

They’re here to collect nasal and fecal samples to find the source of the next potential global pandemic.

These activists are part of Direct Action Everywhere, or DxE, a global grassroots network fighting for animal rights with some pretty intense tactics. The group gained notoriety for breaking into America’s industrial farms and publishing graphic footage of animal cruelty online, but the coronavirus pandemic has given them a whole new cause.

Now, rather than just filming conditions in farms, they’re testing the animals for signs of the next zoonotic virus—viruses like COVID-19, H1N1, the bird flu, and others that jump from animals to humans, and which have killed more than 2 million people around the globe since 1991.

“The reality is the fact that these places, these unnecessary disease factories are existing; that is where the risk comes from,” Lewis Bernier, the team’s leader, told VICE News. “We have been warning about the threat of pathogens from animal agriculture, and from pig farms especially, for many years now.”

Industrial-scale farming is a system of agriculture that produces low-cost, uniformly-packaged foods, like pork—the kind you see in most supermarkets across the country. The highly efficient and lucrative system originated in the United States but is now used worldwide. But this infrastructure is also a near-perfect breeding ground for novel viruses, of which at least 60 percent are zoonotic. […]


  • The First Modern Victim of Fake News Was a Socialist, by Greg Mitchell. A new film about ’30s Hollywood reminds us of the first truly modern campaign—whose target was California gubernatorial candidate Upton Sinclair.
  • GOP Admits That Handing Out Free Money Creates Jobs, by Eric Levitz. For as long as I’ve been alive, Republicans have been telling America that the way to create jobs is to cut taxes on investors or provide subsidies to corporations or accept higher levels of air pollution. Now, the GOP Treasury secretary has declared that there is an alternative to those unsavory options: We could just mail everyone some free money.
  • American Elites Still Don’t Understand How COVID-19 Works, by Derek ThompsonNine months into the pandemic, government leaders can’t comprehend—or refuse to clearly say—what this virus is or how it spreads.



“It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.”
  ~~Barack Obama, The Fight for America’s Workers Continues (2010)


If you are appalled by the Republican belief that the Supreme Court must do whatever the president wants them to do, then I have wonderful news: As of noon on January 20, Republicans will suddenly believe that the Supreme Court must do NOTHING the president wants them to do,

— Victor Laszlo (@Impolitics) December 12, 2020


At Daily Kos on this date in 2017—Trump implies Sen. Gillibrand is a prostitute, adds Twitter attack for his assault victims:

Donald Trump started the day with a demeanment 2-in-1 in which he waved off both the Russia investigation and the voices of the seventeen (and counting) women who had spoken up about his sexual harassment.

Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!

Yes. The Russia investigation has turned up nothing—except for the four indictments and noose that’s tightening around Trump’s floppy red tie. And the women are all part of fabricated stories, like the one Trump admitted to during the campaign. Women he never met: including multiple contestants in the Miss USA or Miss Universe contest he definitely met, a former contestant on The Apprentice he definitely met, a worker in Trump Tower he definitely met, a Mar-a-Lago guest he definitely met, and his ex-wife.

But in case it wasn’t clear just what Trump thinks of women in general, he followed his first tweet with an attack on Senator Gillibrand in which he makes his views crystal clear.

Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!

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