Friday Reads: Regime Change and Relief

Happy Friday Sky Dancers!

It would have been Muses parade Thursday last night up town but instead we had a flood of rain and the French Quarter under a heavy shut down order.  The Krewe of Muses was not to be left out of whatever fun we were trying to have at home.  Operation Shoe Fairy was on last night!  Glitter shoes were going to nurses and doctors and random people who bump into a muse driving her car full of glittery shoes around the city. Glittery Shoes from Muses and Glittery Coconuts from Zulu are the winning lotto tickets of parade throws.

“New Orleans is really resilient, and we rise to the occasion and we’re seeing that this year,” said Krewe Creator/Captain, Staci Rosenberg.

Rosenberg says not rolling this year is heartbreaking, however there is a plan in place to keep the magic alive. It’s called Operation Shoe Fairy.

“We’re going to be walking, driving, flying around the city, flitting around and landing in different parts of New Orleans giving glitter shoes to unsuspecting people,” she said.

All deliveries will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. They’ll also be made at 12 local hospitals to recognize the heroic work being done during this tough time. They call it, “Heels for Healers.”

“We’re doing that because we so appreciate what the healthcare warriors at all levels have done for us this year,” Rosenberg said. “Their sacrifices have been unbelievable and if we can give them a tiny bit of joy, we want to do that.”

It’s not just New Orleans Krewes sending out  love and support this time of year!  Look what’s happening at the White House today!  No morbid red trees! No ripping up trees and flowers!  The First Lady Dr. Jill Biden sends out love for Valentine’s day!

Her predecessor is not amused.  Poor lil Melania did not get the same treatment  and like her husband, she doesn’t get it that people find her basically unpleasant and cold.  You can go read about her bitterness at the link at CNN.  Be sure to bring along the smallest violin in the world

Muses fill up the Community Food Fridges

But then there’s the big news that we may all have our vaccinations by summer!  I just got my first dose of Pfizer on Wednesday.  This is terrific news!  Via CBS “Biden announces deal for 200 million more COVID-19 doses.”

President Biden announced Thursday his administration has finalized an order for 200 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered by July 2021, adding to the 400 million doses that the Trump administration had already ordered from Pfizer and Moderna by that date. The two drug companies both produce a two-shot regimen, so the total 600 million doses will vaccinate 300 million people — most of the U.S. population.

The president also said the companies were on track to supply their initial orders of each vaccine weeks earlier, distributing their first 200 million doses each by the end of May.

“That’s a month faster,” said Mr. Biden. “That means lives will be saved.”

Though snafus with complicated vaccination scheduling systems and mishandled doses have hampered the vaccine rollout, local and state health authorities have insisted the key issue they faced was that demand far outstripped supply at most clinics.

The Muse Krewe’s Houses float entitled Cosmos.

Okay, so no we’ve really made some changes!  There’s a FACT SHEET posted on the development at the White House website.  Facts!  What a concept!

One of the most interesting things to read today is in Nature. “This COVID-vaccine designer is tackling vaccine hesitancy — in churches and on Twitter. Immunologist Kizzmekia Corbett helped to design the Moderna vaccine. Now she volunteers her time talking about vaccine science with people of colour.”  Here’s the blurb about her and you can read her interview at the link.

Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), is one of the scientists who in early 2020 helped to develop an mRNA-based vaccine for COVID-19. Developed in collaboration with biotech firm Moderna of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the vaccine is now being distributed across the United States and elsewhere. And Corbett is taking on another challenge: tempering vaccine hesitancy by talking about COVID-19 science in communities of colour.

Corbett is one of many Black scientists and doctors who are doing this outreach, often virtually, in their free time. Researchers say it’s necessary to make scientific knowledge accessible in public forums, to ease health disparities.

In the United States, COVID-19 has affected Black, Native American and Latino American people at higher rates than white people, for reasons rooted in racism and historical segregation. At the same time, people in these groups are more wary of COVID-19 vaccines. In a December survey by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 46% of Black adults said they probably would not get vaccinated against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, compared with 30% of white respondents. Those who were hesitant cited worries about side effects, and the speed at which the vaccines were developed. A legacy of exploitative medical research, such as infamous syphilis studies in Tuskegee, Alabama — in which doctors withheld treatment from hundreds of Black men from the 1930s and 1970s — contributes to this scepticism.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Corbett was part of a team at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and elsewhere, that was designing vaccines for other coronaviruses in collaboration with Moderna. The scientists’ mRNA technology delivers a piece of genetic code to a person’s cells to create immune-stimulating virus proteins. When the outbreak began, the team mobilized to quickly identify the SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence it would need to make a vaccine for COVID-19, which Moderna then produced. Before trials began in people, Corbett designed tests of the vaccine in animals, and perfected assays that measured its effectiveness in clinical trials.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, Why YES!  I am actively ignoring the Trump side show on the senate floor today.  They may not give him the guilty verdict but we know what he’s done and what he is not done and why things like the following are happening.  This is from the US District Attorney’s office in North Carolina as it appears on the DOJ’s website.  “Individual Charged With Threatening The President of The United States Appears In Federal Court”.   Trump’s “Big Lie” will continue to cost lives.

According allegations in the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, between January 28 and February 1, 2021, Reeves contacted multiple times the White House switchboard via telephone and made threats against President Biden and others. The criminal complaint alleges that, on February 1, 2021, a Secret Service agent contacted Reeves to discuss the threats. Reeves allegedly called back the Secret Service agent multiple times throughout the day, and repeated the threats against the President, the Secret Service agent, and others. According to filed court documents, on the same day, Reeves also contacted the U.S. Capitol Police switchboard and communicated similar threats.

Following today’s hearing, Judge Keesler ordered Reeves to remain in custody.

The charge of making a threat against the President of the United States carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Well, it seems a few Republicans have decided their political interests don’t link with KKKremlin Caligula.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued stunning remarks breaking with former President Trump, telling Politico in an interview published Friday that she believes he “let us down.”

“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” Haley, who served in her ambassador role under Trump, said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

Haley’s remarks are her strongest yet against the former president in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and come as Trump’s legal team is set to present its defense of Trump on Friday in his second Senate impeachment trial.

Muse float of notorious RBG waiting in its Den for another day in the sun.

It’s still not a very brave statement but at least a few of them are speaking out still.  It’s a Politico interview with her so you’re forewarned about this link.   But to me, the take away is this.  I’m still shaking my head and laughing about “stunning” remarks because if you read the interview I don’t think they meant stunning the way I was stunned.

What was more striking was Haley’s underlying position: that because Trump believed he had been robbed, he was therefore justified in saying and doing whatever he pleased.

“You have the president of the United States telling everyone that he was cheated, that the voting systems are corrupt, that we’re living in a banana republic where the deep state has rigged this election against him,” I told her. “Isn’t that dangerous?”

“He believes it,” she smiled.

Yeah, That just means y’all need to send the nice young men in their clean white coats to take him away.  Just because he believes he’s following his oath means he should be absolved too.  Enabling delusion when it basically brings the country’s democracy to its knees ain’t pretty. Just say no to any public life for Ms Haley.  I’ve really had it with this tripe.

Here’s a real Muses Parade from 2018 if you want to see some of what goes on down here in a normal year.  I have a feeling with Joe and Kamala and all the professionals they have surrounded themselves with that we will have a more normal Mardi Gras next year.

I would also like to wish you Happy Chinese New Year!  Tashi Losar!  Happy Valentine’s Day!  And Best of Mardi Gras to you for the season that I consider the only Holiday season I recognize as worth the effort!  And to all of you who know any one who is even thinking about coming here tell them we do not want them here.  Auntie Latoya ain’t playing!

What’s on your reading and blogging list!  And let us know how things are going with you on getting that vaccine!