Patterico's Pontifications

2/26/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:15 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few news items for you to discuss. Feel free to share anything that you think would interest readers. Please make sure to include links.

First news item

Oof:

A State Department official for several years has been publicly calling for the establishment of Christian nation-states, warning that white people face “elimination” and railing against Jews as well as Black Lives Matter and other social movements.

Fritz Berggren, a mid-ranking Foreign Service officer, openly uses his name and image as he espouses these and other controversial views, according to a review of his online postings. Current and former State Department officials noted the connection to POLITICO in recent days.

“Jesus Christ came to save the whole world from the Jews — the founders of the original Anti-Christ religion, they who are the seed of the Serpent, that brood of vipers,” states an Oct. 4 blog post signed “Fritz Berggren, PhD” and titled “Jews are Not God’s Chosen People. Judeo-Christian is Anti-Christ.”

“They murdered Jesus Christ,” the 5,300-word post continues, “How then can they be God’s chosen?”

In a Oct. 24 post titled “The Demon-God of Diversity,” he states: “The world gasps in horror with each new ‘endangered’ sub-species, but cheers the elimination of White culture from whole regions of the earth. This will not stop until White people stop it — we have been handmaidens to our own demise.”

Second news item

Clearly, definitions of “essential spending” and “coronavirus relief” are up for grabs:

[T]he U.S. House posted a first draft version of the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” – a $1.9 trillion emergency aid package to help America recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Previous legislation has already provided at least $4 trillion in funds for testing, paid family leave, small business relief, direct payments to individuals and families, the Kennedy Center, and a plethora of non-related Covid-19 “relief.”

*$1.5 million earmarked for the Seaway International Bridge, which connects New York to Canada. Senate Leader Chuck Schumer hails from New York.

*$50 million for “family planning” – going to non-profits, i.e. Planned Parenthood, or public entities, including for “services for adolescents[.]”

*$852 million for AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Vista, and the National Senior Service Corps – the Corporation for National and Community Service – civic volunteer agencies. This includes $9 million for the AmeriCorp inspector general to conduct oversight and audits of the largess. AmeriCorps received a $1.1 billion FY2020 appropriation.

Third news item

California legislators working hard to increase Amazon sales:

Retail stores in most of California are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity. A new bill in the state legislature would ensure that whatever part of their shop is allowed to be open is as inclusive as possible.

Last week, Assembly Members Evan Low (D–Cupertino) and Cristina Garcia (D–Los Angeles) introduced a bill that would require retailers to offer their toys and childcare products in a gender-neutral format.

Brick-and-mortar shops would have to display the majority of their products and clothing aimed at children in one undivided, unisex area on the sales floor. They’d also be barred from putting up signage that would indicate whether a product was intended for a boy or girl.

If passed, stores that did put dresses in a separate girls section could be hit with a $1,000 civil fine. The policy would only apply to retail department stores with over 500 employees.

CAUTION: RANT AHEAD…So now parents will have to take extra time to pick through the gender-neutral clothing to try and find clothes specifically intended for boys or girls? No, that wouldn’t be frustrating at all, especially if you are shopping with irritable offspring who clearly want to be doing anything but shopping. And using the heavy-hand of the government to enforce this policy is just so typical. We are in the midst of a devastating pandemic where people’s lives have been turned upside down as they face Covid-19, school closures, online learning, unemployment, lost businesses, struggles to pay rent and to put food on the table, and all these nimwits can think of to do in a time of crisis is…this? To review: introduce a dumb piece of legislation (stores are already moving in this direction, no need to mandate it) during a pandemic, have the government penalize stores (currently functioning at a limited capacity because of said pandemic) if they don’t submit. Brilliant move, California. Sure, increase bureaucracy by having to enforce the new policy (aka new revenue stream). And when you end up scratching your heads as businesses start leaving the state because the grass is indeed greener elsewhere, you’re going to hear a nasty I told you so from me. And that’s when the real insanity kicks-in: Taxes will be raised on Californians to make up for the lost revenue. Lather-rinse-repeat.

Fourth news item

President Biden orders airstrikes in Syria:

President Joe Biden on Thursday ordered airstrikes on buildings in Syria that the Pentagon said were used by Iranian-backed militias, in retaliation for rocket attacks on U.S. targets in neighboring Iraq.

The strikes killed at least 22 people, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday, citing unconfirmed local reports.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby portrayed the bombing in eastern Syria as carefully calibrated, calling it “proportionate” and “defensive.”

Democrats had concerns about the President’s decision:

“Some Democrats said that Congress has not passed an authorization for the use of military force specifically in Syria,” reports CNN.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said “there is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization … we need to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) agreed, calling for an immediate congressional briefing and saying “offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances.”

Jen-jump-to-defend-Psaki jumped in and did that thing she does:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the action as “necessary,” and said Biden “has the right to take action” as he sees fit. She said “there was a thorough, legal response” and the Defense Department briefed congressional leadership in advance.

Fifth news item

Today’s Republican Party confirmed at T-PAC:

With the first full day of the Conservative Political Action Conference underway, there’s already an indisputable star: an outrageously golden statue of Donald Trump wearing shorts and flip-flops.

The more than 6-foot-tall statue turned heads as it was wheeled into the Hyatt Regency Thursday evening while CPAC attendees picked up their registration and milled about the hotel. The statue was on its way to the conference’s exhibit hall, where it found a home in a booth for a conservative nonprofit called Look Ahead America.

Tommy Zegan, a California-based artist, created the Trump statue in response to the multiple pieces of art mocking Trump.

“Two years ago, when I saw all those statues of naked Trump and Trump on a toilet, I said, ‘You know what? I can do better,’ ” Zegan told CNN Friday as attendees gathered around the statue to snap photos with it.

Here is Zegan’s statue of Trump. It reminds me of a cross between the iconic Bob’s Big Boy statute and Exodus 32:

trump

Sixth news item

The White House blinks:

The Biden administration will not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in 2018 even though a declassified US intelligence assessment explicitly implicated him.

The Treasury Department on Friday unveiled sanctions against Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri, a former deputy head of the Saudi intelligence services, and the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force.

“Those involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi must be held accountable. With this action, Treasury is sanctioning Saudi Arabia’s Rapid Intervention Force and a senior Saudi official who was directly involved in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. “The United States stands united with journalists and political dissidents in opposing threats of violence and intimidation. We will continue to defend the freedom of expression, which is the bedrock of a free society.”

A senior administration official told Reuters that the Biden administration was concerned that sanctioning the crown prince could “rupture” the US-Saudi relationship.

Seventh news item

Kids caught in the middle:

The number of unaccompanied immigrant children arrested for crossing the U.S. southern border illegally is on pace to rise more than 50% in February compared with the previous month, people familiar with the matter said, raising the prospect of a humanitarian crisis there.

About 2,200 children have been illegally crossing the border weekly in February, and the pace is picking up as the month progresses, some of the people said. The government is projecting that about 9,000 children will be taken into custody by the end of February.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported taking 5,707 unaccompanied children into custody in January, an 18% rise from the previous month. The growing number of children in custody is beginning to strain the government’s ability to properly house and care for them.

Eighth news item

Social media posts continue to bite users :

A former Walled Lake High School teacher has filed a federal lawsuit over his firing last year over his political posts on social media.

Justin Kucera, who also coached sports at the school, got into hot water last July when he tweeted his support for then-President Donald Trump, and also that “Liberals suck man.”

Kucera was offered his job back if he would apologize and promise to do better, but Kurcera claims the discipline is a violation of his first amendment rights.

Kucera is seeking damages for lost income and emotional distress.

Deleting a thousand old tweets doesn’t undo the damage:

[Neera Tanden’s] nomination as President Biden’s budget chief appears to be hanging by a thread, mostly because of GOP senators angered by her sharp tone on Twitter as head of the Center for American Progress.

The White House is sticking with Tanden so far, but it does not appear she has 50 votes of support in the Senate.

And while it is mostly Republicans complaining about her tweets, they’ve been joined by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), who says he’ll oppose her nomination because of her Twitter voice. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also felt her barbs on Twitter and has been notable in not offering his public backing.

Related (and confirming how really awful people can be):

…a Washington Post reporter showed Murkowski a tweet Tanden had written about the Alaska senator in 2017 when she accused her of being “high on your own supply.”

“You know, we know, and everyone knows this is all garbage,” Tanden wrote in the tweet. “Just stop.”

After reading the tweet on the reporter’s phone, Murkowski replied: “High on my own supply, that’s interesting. Should I ask her? My own supply of what? See that goes to show how much homework I still have to do on her if I didn’t even know that she had sent out a tweet about me.”

In another sign of the nation’s noxious political atmosphere, particularly on social media and in emails sent to the media, the Washington Post reporter who showed Murkowski the tweet was hit with racist, sexist and hateful attacks after a photo of the exchange circulated on social media.

P.S. Don’t miss this great interview with Reason’s Nick Gillespie and Rep. Peter Meijer. In his almost two months serving as a representative, Meijer has faced some enormous challenges:

Just three days after being sworn into Congress to represent Michigan’s 3rd district, Republican freshman Peter Meijer found himself and colleagues trapped without security in the bowels of the Capitol building while a riot that ultimately claimed five lives raged all around him.

The following week, he was one of just 10 Republicans—and the only first-termer—to vote to impeach Donald Trump, a decision that led to a narrowly failed censure vote from his own state’s GOP and immediate announcements that he will be primaried in 2022.

It’s apparent from the get-go that Meijer is smart, insightful, and best of all, thinks before he speaks:

Meijer tells Nick Gillespie why he believes in limited government, economic freedom, and individualism; why he’s against out-of-control stimulus spending and military adventurism; and how he plans to combat the craziness he sees both on the right and left in the House of Representatives. He also talks about what he’s learned about business and public service from being the scion of the Meijer superstore chain, how generational fault lines may be every bit as important as partisan ones, and why he’s committed to voting his principles rather than his constituents’ will.

If the GOP had more Meijers, they might actually woo voters back to the Party.

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

[ADDENDUM by JVW]

Since DCSCA is chiding us for not discussing the Mars 2020 mission and the Perseverance Rover’s successful landing on the red planet, I include here one of the first images captured by the rover.

Mars

151 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Let’s get this weekend started.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. I have thoughts

    The Biden administration will not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in 2018 even though a declassified US intelligence assessment explicitly implicated him.

    I get that there are no really good options to actually punish MBS, other than just say he did it, cut arms sales to the House of Saud, and…then we’re kinda stuck. There aren’t a ton of options, they are our most important Middle Eastern ally, Jordan and Israel are better allies, so you need to ride that horse. Biden needs to publicly state it unequivocally, and privately lobby MBS daddy (won’t do much, MBS has the reins) to maybe choose one of his dumber and less ambitious children take over, which would require him to knock off MBS so…

    Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said “there is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization … we need to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate.”

    Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) agreed, calling for an immediate congressional briefing and saying “offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances.”

    And Jen-jump-to-defend-Psaki does what she does:

    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the action as “necessary,” and said Biden “has the right to take action” as he sees fit. She said “there was a thorough, legal response” and the Defense Department briefed congressional leadership in advance.

    Two things can be true. We need to have more/better oversight of the unlimited nature of the current GWoT authorization…and the militia is actively attacking US troops in an ongoing war zone, and the supply chain is a valid self defense target.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  3. So, Mr Berggren may be able to keep his job despite his, ah, views, but I don’t think that he is entitled to just any assignment he wants. Since he’s attuned to the Afghan mission, he probably would work well at out Kabul embassy, perhaps vetting Taliban informants and defectors after the US troops leave.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. the Washington Post reporter who showed Murkowski the tweet was hit with racist, sexist and hateful attacks after a photo of the exchange circulated on social media.

    I am, again, coming to the conclusion that all internet communications be traceable to the source, and that libel laws have a carve-out for truthfully exposing vexatious trolls.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. BTW, I suggest a poll of regular commenters, as a way of gaugeing progress.

    Who here has received a Covid vaccine?

    I got the first dose of Pfizer, today, with one day notice and a one day window of opportunity.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. Tommy Zegan, a California-based artist, created the Trump statue in response to the multiple pieces of art mocking Trump.

    “Two years ago, when I saw all those statues of naked Trump and Trump on a toilet, I said, ‘You know what? I can do better,’ ” Zegan told CNN

    Ah, so he thought he could make something more ludicrous than the other guys. It makes sense now.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  7. What? No Mars news? Look up once in a while– it’s a wonderous time to be alive. Incredible video, audio and still images from Perseverance. An a few helicopter flights to come. Stellar human achievement– accomplished by Americans– who made it look easy.

    It’s not.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4czjS9h4Fpg

    ‘Inflation adjustments are included for the entire duration of the Perseverance mission, the cost of the project increases slightly to $2.9 billion.’ – source, forbes.com

    Your tax dollars at work on the Red Planet. What color is yours, Pierre?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  8. Kevin,

    Not yet for me. I’m 57, so I think I need to wait a while for my turn.

    norcal (01e272)

  9. FBI identifies suspect in death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, sources say

    The FBI has identified a suspect it’s focusing on in the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, according to law enforcement officials.

    The theory, as CNN has reported, is that Sicknick became ill from bear spray used by the mob that attacked the Capitol on January 6, and video evidence CNN previously reported on appears to show the attack that could have caused his death.
    It remains a difficult case for investigators and it’s not clear what charge they will be able to bring.
    In a statement late Friday, the US Capitol Police noted that the medical examiner’s report on Sicknick’s death wasn’t finished yet: “We are awaiting toxicology results and continue to work with other government agencies regarding the death investigation.”

    Let’s hope they bring the antifa MAGA-impersonator to justice!

    Dave (1bb933)

  10. I think that C-PAC confirms that Trump is the heart and soul of today’s GOP. He is already campaigning against candidates who voted to impeach him by supporting their opponents. From here on out, this will no doubt be the standard for determining a candidate’s worth. Unbelievable.

    Dana (fd537d)

  11. My parents (in their 80s), my brother (a nurse), and my son (in the navy) have all gotten immunizations. All of them with 2 shot regimen. They all had flu-like symptoms afterwards but nothing debilitating.

    Davethulhu (6ba00b)

  12. 10.I think that C-PAC confirms that Trump is the heart and soul of today’s GOP. He is already campaigning against candidates who voted to impeach him by supporting their opponents. From here on out, this will no doubt be the standard for determining a candidate’s worth. Unbelievable.

    Wholly believable. Welcome to 1964.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. POLITICO Playbook: Trump stewing over McCarthy again ahead of big CPAC speech
    …….
    THE REAL STAR OF FRIDAY’S SHOW: A gilded, larger-than-life-size statue of Trump … and you’ll never guess where it was crafted.

    “It was made in Mexico,” said artist TOMMY ZEGAN, who traveled all the way to CPAC from Rosarito, Mexico, where he lives as an American expat on a permanent resident visa.

    The supply chain: Zegan spent over six months crafting the 200-pound fiberglass statue with the help of three men in Rosarito. He transported it to Tampa, Fla., where it was painted in chrome, then hauled it from there to CPAC in a U-Haul, where he managed to cart it through the conference in just a black-and-white Hawaiian shirt and no CPAC credential. (Tickets were sold out.)

    “If someone offered me $100,000 I’d take it,” Zegan told Playbook.

    There’s more: Zegan crafted an even higher-end, stainless steel version that cost his “life savings,” or $50,000. He said he’s aiming to sell that one for over $1 million. But if not, he hopes to see it in a future Trump Presidential Library. He’s even been in touch with Trump’s longtime executive assistant RHONA GRAFF about the matter.

    “She’s trying to get me in with the right people,” he said.

    Zegan said he tried to get into Mar-a-Lago on Trump’s birthday last year to present the president with the original sculpture, but he couldn’t get past security.

    “I was not a big Trump supporter when he ran,” Zegan told me. “I mean I voted for him because I wasn’t going to vote for Hillary. So I voted for him, but I didn’t really care for him. I used to watch ‘The Apprentice’ but I would turn it off halfway. I thought, ‘This is stupid.’”
    …….

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  14. TEXAS LT. GOVERNOR DAN PATRICK BLAMES CONSTITUENTS FOR GIANT ELECTRIC BILLS: “READ THE FINE PRINT”
    …….
    Texans hit with astronomical bills—even if they did everything they could to conserve energy—have plans whose electricity prices are not fixed and instead tied to variable wholesale prices. Obviously, that means that when demand increases, their bills rise, with the goal, according to architects of the system, being to “balance the market by encouraging consumers to reduce their usage and power suppliers to create more electricity.” But when the Texas power crisis hit, the state’s Public Utilities Commission raised the cap on electricity prices to $9 per kilowatt-hour, leaving many people with completely insane bills to pay. …… [I]f you ask Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Texans who’ve had to deplete their life’s savings should spend less time writing angry letters to elected officials and more time taking a long, hard look in the mirror.

    In an interview with Fox News, Patrick told host Harris Faulkner, “I saw the story about the high bills. Let me explain that. We have in Texas, you can choose your energy plan and most people have a fixed rate. If they had a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour, their rates aren’t going up…. But the people who are getting those big bills are people who gambled on a very, very low rate…going forward, people need to read the fine print in those kinds of bills.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  15. The Lt. Governor is simply channeling a fine old American tradition – never give a sucker an even break.

    Victor (4959fb)

  16. @15. Shorter: Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. They all had flu-like symptoms afterwards but nothing debilitating.

    Hmmm. Not the case here. A slightly sore arm, which I wouldn’t even mention if it wasn’t a known side-effect. For the record, I’m over 65 with some (controlled) health issues and the process here in NM has been spotty at best. The second group (75+, 16+ with health issues) is so broad that there’s just no telling when you might be called (and you need to be called first).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. Dan Patrick probably reads all the EULAs on each piece of software he installs.

    Just kidding. That’s what the hired help do.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. The Lt. Governor is simply channeling a fine old American tradition – never give a sucker an even break.

    Dan Patrick has always been a scumbucket.

    nk (1d9030)

  20. Texas Electric Bills Were $28 Billion Higher Under Deregulation
    …….
    Nearly 20 years ago, Texas shifted from using full-service regulated utilities to generate power and deliver it to consumers. The state deregulated power generation, creating the system that failed last week. And it required nearly 60% of consumers to buy their electricity from one of many retail power companies, rather than a local utility.

    Those deregulated Texas residential consumers paid $28 billion more for their power since 2004 than they would have paid at the rates charged to the customers of the state’s traditional utilities, according to the Journal’s analysis of data from the federal Energy Information Administration.

    The crisis last week was driven by the power producers. …….

    None of this was supposed to happen under deregulation. Backers of competition in the electricity-supply business promised it would lower prices for consumers who could shop around for the best deals, just as they do for cellphone service. The system would be an improvement over monopoly utilities, which have little incentive to innovate and provide better service to customers, supporters of deregulation said.

    “If all consumers don’t benefit from this, we will have wasted our time and failed our constituency,” then-state Sen. David Sibley, a key author of the bill to deregulate the market, said when the switch was first unveiled in 1999. “Competition in the electric industry will benefit Texans by reducing monthly rates,” then-Gov. George W. Bush said later that year.
    …….
    From 2004 through 2019, the annual rate for electricity from Texas’s traditional utilities was 8% lower, on average, than the nationwide average rate, while the rates of retail providers averaged 13% higher than the nationwide rate, according to the Journal’s analysis.
    ……
    For power generators, the laissez-faire market design rewarded companies that could sell electricity inexpensively and still recover their capital costs. But it provided little incentive for companies to spend cash on infrastructure that could protect power plants during sporadic severe cold snaps.

    Catherine Webking, general counsel for the Texas Energy Association for Marketers, an industry trade group, said retail providers give customers access to more choices than many standard utilities, such as renewable-energy products. Customers also typically have the option to switch plans, she said. If customers “don’t feel it’s the best thing for them they can find a different provider,” she said.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  21. I’ve been saying for 5 years now that Trump was a Democrat plant, intended to damage the GOP in 2016. It has succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. Who here has received a Covid vaccine?

    I got the first dose of Pfizer, today, with one day notice and a one day window of opportunity.
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 2/26/2021 @ 10:13 pm

    No need for a vaccination for me. I got my antibodies the old-fashioned way – but catching COVID.

    And if you have any fears of the shot, trust me that the side effects are much better than the real thing.

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  23. A Japanese Cult That Believes Its Leader Is an Alien From Venus Is Speaking at CPAC

    ……..
    On Friday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Hiroaki “Jay” Aeba, a prominent Japanese conservative, will address CPAC about the threat China poses to the U.S., taking a prime spot in the lineup just after Donald Trump Jr.

    Aeba is no stranger to CPAC. In fact, 2021 marks the tenth anniversary of his first visit to the Republican lovefest.

    His speaker bio on the CPAC website notes that Aeba is the chairman of the Japanese Conservative Union (JCU), a right-wing political organization, and that he helped found CPAC Japan, which has been running for the last four years in Tokyo.

    What isn’t mentioned is the central role Aeba plays in a Japanese cult called Happy Science, whose leader believes he is the Messiah and sells “miracle cures” for COVID-19.

    “Happy Science is a Japanese cult run by a man who claims to be the incarnation of multiple Gods while pretending to channel the psychic spirits of anyone from Quetzalcoatl to Bashar al-Assad to Natalie Portman,” Sarah Hightower, a researcher and expert on Japanese cults, told VICE News.
    ………
    By giving Aeba a platform, CPAC and the Republican Party is showing once again that it is willing to accept and embrace dangerous fringe movements, like QAnon and the Falun Gong-backed Epoch Times, a pro-Trump newspaper that spread disinformation and has become a firm favorite in MAGA world.
    …….
    Happy Science was founded in October 1986 by Ryuho Okawa, a former Wall Street trader who claims to be the reincarnated form of Buddha, who himself was the reincarnated form of El Cantare, a god from Venus who created life on earth millions of years ago. Happy Science was officially recognized as a religious group in Japan in 1991, quickly gained a huge following, and made Okawa a very rich man. One estimate from 1991 put the group’s annual revenues at around $45 million.

    Okawa claims that he can channel the spirits of famous people — both alive and dead. In 2019, the Happy Science branch in London hosted a séance to hear Margaret Thatcher’s thoughts on Brexit. Okawa has written over 500 books filled with outlandish claims about UFOs, demonic warfare, and most recently, coronavirus and how it originated on another planet.

    Just like Scientology in the U.S., a focus on making money was baked into Happy Science from the start. Along with buying books, DVDs, and CDs, followers have to pay to advance within the group.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  24. @Kevin@5 I got my first dose yesterday. (on-site education worker, 40s). My parents (70s, minor underlying conditions.) finished out their two shot regimen 2 or 3 weeks ago. None of us had anything other than unhappy arms.

    Nic (896fdf)

  25. Electric deregulation failed in California much faster. In the CA case there was a daily rate-setting mechanism that was quickly gamed by some suppliers and when there was a shortfall these suppliers found ways to get really high rates. It all ended in tears.

    In the CA case there was no real political fallout since it was a hugely bipartisan idea. Except for the career of Stephen Peace, the principle promoter of the plan, and the recall of the governor (who was not really responsible as the plan was passed before he came into office), it was all “mistakes were made.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. Kevin M, I think the flu-like symptoms come with the 2nd dose for maybe 50% of recipients. Consensus is the first dose has much fewer side effects. I too only noticed the sore arm.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  27. *principal

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  28. With Congressional Stimulus Fight Looming, 76% of Voters Back $1.9 Trillion Plan, Including 60% of Republicans
    ………
    While Republicans in Congress have balked at the overall price tag for Biden’s proposed package, new Morning Consult/Politico polling shows that the public — including Republican voters — overwhelmingly supports the legislation.

    In the poll, which was conducted Feb. 19-22 among 2,013 registered voters and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points, 76 percent said they back the stimulus package, including 52 percent who said they “strongly” support the bill. Only 17 percent of voters said they oppose it.
    ……..
    A combined 71 percent of independents said they support the stimulus package, compared with 22 percent who oppose it.

    While Republicans offered the lowest amount of support, more than half of GOP voters still back the stimulus package at 60 percent. Thirty percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose the package.

    The stimulus package and Biden’s other economic plans have enjoyed support from voters so far. Sixty-four percent of voters said in January that they strongly backed additional economic stimulus, and 51 percent said in a separate poll that the federal government should continue spending even at the expense of the national debt.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  29. Electric deregulation failed in California much faster. In the CA case there was a daily rate-setting mechanism that was quickly gamed by some suppliers and when there was a shortfall these suppliers found ways to get really high rates. It all ended in tears.

    It was doomed to fall because the cost of electricity wasn’t passed along to consumers. The utilities had to eat it, driving them into bankruptcy.

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  30. Politically, it will be a hard sell to persuade the public that it’s an equitable game to have people decide between freezing in an unheated house or near financial ruin. Most too would see it as unfair if there was not a requirement for the power supplier to, at minimum, make every effort to contact the consumer and let him know that his rate has increased x100. I’ve not read how many people this is effecting….my suspicion would be a very small percentage. It’s kind of a silly option in that you would only need one such event to cancel out any savings. If these are poor people trying to save a buck, the regulators aren’t going to come away looking good…..neither the politicians

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  31. Who here has received a Covid vaccine?
    I got the first dose of Pfizer, today, with one day notice and a one day window of opportunity.

    Same here, Kevin.
    I was trying to work in a vaccination through my health provider, Kaiser, but we’d have to take a ferry this Sunday to get there (and Sunday ferry traffic is terrible), so it was good news when Mrs. Montagu’s friend (who was already vaccinated) signed us up last Thursday afternoon. We got our first vaccine (the Pfizer one) late yesterday afternoon. My arm is still sore.
    It feels liberating, especially for Mrs. Montagu because she has an underlying condition. After we got signed up, Mrs. Montagu signed up two of her co-teachers.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  32. Bemoaning ‘Cancel Culture,’ One State Lawmaker Aims to Make Political Affiliation a Protected Class
    …….
    The Diversity of Thought Act, introduced last week, would add political affiliation as a “protected characteristic” in California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act, similar to the anti-discrimination protections offered to people based on their race, religion, physical disabilities or gender identity. The legislation, packaged with a separate bill that would require schools to investigate bullying on the basis of political affiliation, is designed to “protect against cancel culture discrimination,” according to state Sen. Melissa Melendez, the measure’s sponsor.

    “It is unfathomable to me that corporations and members of the public would ruin a person’s career, business and family because of their political ideology,” Melendez, a Republican from Lake Elsinore, said in a statement. “A free society shouldn’t allow thoughts and ideas to be censored. Free speech covers all speech, not just that with which you agree.”
    …….
    The legislation would seek to protect California residents from political discrimination during housing and employment searches as well as when applying for bank loans. But existing state laws—including California’s labor code, civil code and civil rights act—already address most of those scenarios.
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  33. Cancel ‘Cancel Culture’
    …….
    “Cancel culture” first came into widespread use as a term to describe a leftwing phenomenon of imposing Draconian penalties on those who transgress woke sensibilities, even unintentionally. Reason’s Robby Soave offered a good summary of what it usually includes: “a relatively obscure victim; an offense that is either trivial, or misunderstood, or so long ago that it ought to have been forgotten; and an unjust and disproportionate social sanction.”
    …….
    …….[C]onservatives are now hijacking the term to refer to any criticism at all, no matter how justified. So attempting to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments is “cancel culture” according to Rep. Jim Jordan. And Rep. Matt Gaetz described Trump’s second impeachment as the “zenith of cancel culture.” Sorry, no. Sometimes, not often enough frankly, you have to accept the consequences of your actions. When you’re a conspiracy-mongering fanatic like Greene or an insurrectionist like Trump, you’ve got to expect a little blowback.

    Certainly intolerance of anti-Trump views has come to characterize big swaths of the right. They’re practicing their own form of wokeness……..
    ………
    ……… By labeling any criticism or contradiction as “canceling,” they’re cheapening the concept, and making it easier for real abuses to go unnoticed.
    >>>>>>>>>

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  34. Rep. Gosar was one of the fascists who objected on 1/6, desiring to throw out popular votes in states, and yesterday he denounced “white racism”. Stripped of all context, it’s not unreasonable to denounce racism against white people because, after all, it’s not cool to judge people by the color of their skin, but he spoke right after former Rep. Steve King, a well documented racist, and he preceded holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  35. I got my first Moderna shot 3 days ago. I’m not in the 65+ age group, but Indian Health called and asked if I wanted one. They had already gone through the entire list of registered 65+ and had started taking other age groups. Their goal was to use the doses they had, no matter what age. Just get them into people’s arms. I asked if business had been brisk, and they said very much so. High turnout and positive reception to the vaccine. I had a sore arm, that’s all.

    Dana (fd537d)

  36. With Congressional Stimulus Fight Looming, 76% of Voters Back $1.9 Trillion Plan, Including 60% of Republicans

    What portion of those polled do you suppose have read the plan itself? Do you suppose that there might be information more than “$1.9 trillion” and “stimulus”? DO you think that if they cur out all but the $300 billion or so for the $1400 checks, they would change their opinion?

    $1.6 trillion is for “other things”, and most of those in Congress have a good idea what those other things are, even if they haven’t read the whole bill.

    This is the kind of government-by-polling that is more grift than anything.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Nursing Homes, Once Hotspots, Far Outpace U.S. in Covid Declines
    Throughout the pandemic, there has been perhaps nowhere more dangerous than a nursing home. The coronavirus has raced through some 31,000 long-term care facilities in the United States, killing more than 163,000 residents and employees and accounting for more than a third of all virus deaths since the late spring.
    …….
    From late December to early February, new cases among nursing home residents fell by more than 80 percent, nearly double the rate of improvement in the general population. The trendline for deaths was even more striking: Even as fatalities spiked over all this winter, deaths inside the facilities have fallen, decreasing by more than 65 percent.
    …….
    Today, new cases in American nursing homes are at their lowest point since May, when the federal government began tracking such data.
    ………
    In one promising sign, the American Health Care Association, the industry group, looked at nearly 800 nursing homes that received early doses of the vaccine in December and compared caseloads with facilities in the same counties that had not yet held a vaccine clinic. The nursing homes that got the earlier vaccine saw a 48 percent decline in cases among residents, compared with 21 percent among nearby nursing homes.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  38. Bemoaning ‘Cancel Culture,’ One State Lawmaker Aims to Make Political Affiliation a Protected Class

    I’d go further: ALL legal behaviors (not just promoted ones).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. Reporters who cover the White House may soon be paying what amounts to an admission fee to do their jobs.

    Starting Monday, the White House’s press office said it will start charging journalists for coronavirus tests, which are required for anyone entering the White House grounds.

    The proposed cost for each test: $170.

    With dozens of journalists at the White House each day, the fees could add up to tens of thousands of dollars flowing from newsrooms, many of them small and cash-strapped, into government coffers.

    Until now, the cost of testing has been borne by the White House. But officials there contend that the cost of maintaining the testing regime for nearly a year has strained its budget. So it wants to shift the burden onto news organizations: No test, no entry to the White House.

    So basically, news outlets will *have to pay* to have access to the White House and attend pressers and briefings by White House spokespeople and/or the President. This could be devastating to smaller outfits, and because of that, it would exclude all but massive news outfits that can afford to pay for testing on a daily basis. This is a bad look for anyone concerned with speech matters. Especially as these are the people that Americans rely upon to relay to us what is happening with our government.

    Dana (fd537d)

  40. After we got signed up, Mrs. Montagu signed up two of her co-teachers.

    Hdre in NM, you sign up on a state website (or call understaffed phone lines if you don’t use internet). There you put in details and medical conditions (although the first pass of the website did not have the medical section and they did not tell anyone they had to come back and fill that out.)

    Then, you wait.

    When they have openings for appointments in your priority group, they (allegedly randomly) pick the appropriate number of registrants in the nearby area and send them a text/email/phone-call. You are assigned the place and date without option, but can choose an open time. They overbook, so first-person-first serve.

    To say this is cumbersome and opaque is redundant. Considering the current gtoup is about a third of the population (75+, or 16+ with conditions) makes it impossible to guess when you might be called. An 18yo with mild asthma might get called before an 80yo with COPD. There are some complaints.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  41. This could be devastating to smaller outfits, and because of that, it would exclude all but massive news outfits that can afford to pay for testing on a daily basis

    Solves that vexing “blogger” problem, too. Just think if Trump had tried this.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  42. 21.I’ve been saying for 5 years now that Trump was a Democrat plant, intended to damage the GOP in 2016. It has succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.

    “The Manhattanian Candidate” ?!?!

    Glorious.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  43. Nursing Homes, Once Hotspots, Far Outpace U.S. in Covid Declines

    Clearer: After surviving massive illness and death rates, newly immunized nursing home patients far less likely to contract Covid.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  44. More than $30 million needed for Capitol repairs and new security after assault, officials say
    ……..
    “Statues, murals, historic benches and original shutters all suffered varying degrees of damage, primarily from pepper spray accretions and residue from chemical irritants and fire extinguishers,” Architect of the Capitol J. Brett Blanton said at a House Appropriations Committee Hearing, according to his prepared testimony. “This damage to our precious artwork and statues will require expert cleaning and conservation.”

    House Lawmakers have already approved $30 million to address the expenses described by Blanton……. Blanton has said more money would likely be needed, especially if his office needs to renew contracts to continue the fencing past March 31st. He is also requesting a comprehensive, campus-wide security assessment.
    ……..
    ……. When rioters began storming the Capitol, his staff sheltered some Congressional employees in their workshops while other team members went to the roof of the building to reverse the airflows to clear out chemical irritants like bear repellant and pepper spray that were released inside.
    ………
    Damage was not limited to the building’s exterior. Once they breached the building, rioters swarmed through hallways and offices containing some of the 219 pieces of art and other items in the House collection that are on display in the building.

    Eight different marble and granite busts of former House speakers and notable figures, as well as portraits of James Madison and John Quincy Adams and a statue of Thomas Jefferson, were among the items identified as having potential damage. That damage includes yellow residue from fire extinguisher discharge that can damage the marble. House Curator Farar Elliott asked lawmakers for an additional $25,000 to support emergency repair and conservation of damaged items.

    Farar also praised House employees for saving other objects. “Quick thinking by a journal clerk secured the House’s 1819 silver inkstand, the oldest object in the Chamber. Sergeant at Arms staff evacuated the Mace from the Chamber,” he said.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  45. More than $30 million needed for Capitol repairs and new security after assault, officials say

    $30 million is a few hours interest on the bonds for the $1.9 trillion stimulus. Congress spends that much every four minutes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. Retired NYPD Officer Arrested, Charged in Federal Court for Assaulting and Impeding MPD Officer during U.S. Capitol Breach
    ………
    Thomas Webster, 54, of Town of Florida, New York, was charged by criminal complaint with:

    •one count of assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating, or interfering with any person assisting an officer or employee of the United States in the performance of their official duties while armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 111(a)(1) and (b);

    •one count of obstructing, impeding, or interfering with any law enforcement officer during the commission of a civil disorder which in any way obstructs or delays the conduct or performance of any federally protected function, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 231(a)(3);

    •one count each of unlawful entry, engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct, and engaging in an act of physical violence against any person on restricted building or grounds while armed with a dangerous or deadly weapon, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1752(a)(1), (2), (4), and (b)(1)(A); and

    •one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, in violation of Title 40, United States Code, Section 5104(e)(2)(D) and (F).
    ………
    The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint against Webster alleges that body worn camera footage depicts Webster’s assault on a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer who was assisting the U.S. Capitol Police in securing the exterior plaza of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

    According to the affidavit, the body worn camera footage shows Webster — wearing a red, black, and white snow jacket, blue jeans, and brown work boots — approaching the MPD officer, who is barricaded behind a metal gate. Webster, carrying a large metal flagpole with a U.S. Marine Corps flag attached to it, waves his finger at the MPD officer, yelling: “You f——- piece of s—. You —-ing Commie m————, man . . . . Come on, take your s— off. Take your s—- off.” After berating the MPD officer, Webster aggressively shoves the metal gate, behind which the officer was standing, into the officer’s body and then arms himself with the metal flagpole.

    The footage then shows Webster raising the metal flagpole above his head and forcefully swinging downward, striking the metal barricade directly in front of the MPD officer. Webster then attempts to attack the officer by lunging toward him with the metal flagpole, striking at the officer with the flagpole numerous times. Webster proceeds to break through the metal barricade and begins charging toward the officer with clenched fists. Webster ultimately lunges at the officer and tackles him to the ground.

    The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint further alleges that additional footage posted to an open source Twitter medium captures the assault and shows Webster pinning the officer to the ground and straddling him while he tries forcibly to remove the officer’s face shield and gas mask. According to the affidavit, the officer could not breathe during the assault because he was being choked by his chinstrap.

    Video footage posted to YouTube depicts Webster on the staircase leading to the Upper West Terrace of the U.S. Capitol building, according to the affidavit. In that video footage, where he appears to be wearing a dark blue or black body armor vest over his torso, Webster says into the camera, “Send more patriots. We need some help.”
    ……
    A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
    ……..
    Paragraph breaks added.

    Related:

    A retired New York police officer who once was part of the security detail at City Hall was charged on Tuesday with assaulting a police officer with a metal flagpole during the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    The former officer, Thomas Webster, served in a New York Police Department unit that provided security for the mayor, Gracie Mansion and City Hall, according to a law enforcement official. He retired from the force in 2011.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  47. Fritz Berggren, a mid-ranking Foreign Service officer, openly uses his name and image as he espouses these and other controversial views, according to a review of his online postings. Current and former State Department officials noted the connection to POLITICO in recent days.

    The Politico article goes on to say that Mr. Berggren has been in the foreign service since at least 2009, so I guess we can all be happy that President Biden has brought “the experienced professionals” back into the halls of power. And I love how the Administration’s response to this is to create a position of Chief Diversity Officer at Foggy Bottom, as if the answer to hiring nutjobs with weird ideas can be solved by a professional paper-pusher and memo-writer whom the taxpayer pays $220,000 per year. Washington DC at its best.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  48. I don’t believe Fritz Berggren was hired back by Biden. FSOs work across administrations, and as such they are very difficult to fire.

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  49. The main job of a “diversity and inclusion” officer is to eliminate actual diversity and exclude all who might threaten the group’s righteousness.

    I’d expect them to institute oaths of fealty to inclusion and diversity.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. I don’t believe Fritz Berggren was hired back by Biden. FSOs work across administrations, and as such they are very difficult to fire.

    I didn’t mean to imply that he was. My point was that a big part of the “return to normalcy” is that “experienced government employees” like Mr. Berggren would once again be back in the saddle and we would go back to doing things the exact same way we have been doing them for 30 years, somehow expecting the results this time will be different. I’m not sure we weren’t better off when people like Mr. Berggren were marginalized.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  51. @34-Paul Montagu (77c694) — 2/27/2021 @ 12:05 pm:

    Before Gosar spoke at CPAC:

    Rep. Paul Gosar speaks at white nationalist event in Florida, skips in-person D.C. votes
    ……..
    To make the appearance at the far-right AFPAC, an extremist alternative to the annual CPAC gathering of conservatives, Gosar, R-Ariz., had to skip voting in person on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed the House early Saturday. He had notified the House in writing that he couldn’t be physically present in Congress because of the ongoing pandemic.

    AFPAC stands for the America First Political Action Committee and was put together by Nick Fuentes, an anti-immigration conservative who attended the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville and last year was banned from YouTube for repeatedly violating its rules against hate speech.
    ……..
    Social media on Friday night made little mention about what Gosar said in his remarks to AFPAC, but its the group’s supporters — many using the symbols of white supremacists — were delighted that a sitting member of Congress had helped overshadow the more-traditional Conservative Political Action Conference.
    ……..
    Using the proxy voting process he once derided, Gosar designated Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., to cast his congressional votes, citing “the ongoing public health emergency.”

    As Herrell served as his proxy in a series of votes that stretched into early Saturday in Washington, Gosar was seen on social media speaking at AFPAC.

    Gosar’s office did not respond to a request for information early Friday about Gosar’s health or why the year-old coronavirus pandemic has only recently become a problem for him.

    In his letter Friday extending his voting by proxy, Gosar said, “I continue to be unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency and I hereby grant the authority to cast my vote by proxy to the Honorable Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, who has agreed to serve as my proxy.”
    ……….
    On Feb. 2, Gosar deleted a tweet ripping proxy voting that he posted 35 weeks earlier, according to ProPublica’s database of deleted tweets from politicians.

    “Pelosi’s ‘proxy voting’ scheme is shameful and unconstitutional,” Gosar tweeted at the time, sneering at Democrats who “didn’t show up for work this week. Yet they still got paid by taxpayers.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  52. Until now, the cost of testing has been borne by the White House. But officials there contend that the cost of maintaining the testing regime for nearly a year has strained its budget. So it wants to shift the burden onto news organizations: No test, no entry to the White House.

    Gotta hand it to the Biden Administration. The same group that is larding up a “coronavirus relief” bill with all sorts of handouts to favored interest groups is suddenly going to play cheap with the national media who are largely supportive of their agenda and happy to tip the scales of their coverage in the Administration’s favor.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  53. GOP congressman headlines conference where organizers push white nationalist rhetoric
    ………
    On Friday night, (Rep. Paul Gosar’s (R-Insurrectionist)) keynote was followed by a speech by (Nick) Fuentes that was filled with white grievance and far-right anti-immigration rhetoric. “If [America] loses its white demographic core … then this is not America anymore,” the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC) founder told the crowd.

    Fuentes went on to praise the Capitol attack, boasting about it leading to a delay in the certification of the election results.

    “While I was there in D.C., outside of the building, and I saw hundreds of thousands of patriots surrounding the U.S. Capitol building and I saw the police retreating … I said to myself: ‘This is awesome,'” Fuentes said to the applause of the crowd.

    And amid security concerns over threats to disrupt President Joe Biden’s expected speech to a joint session of Congress, Fuentes encouraged more of the kind of commitment shown by rioters on Jan. 6.

    “To see that Capitol under siege, to see the people of this country rise up and mobilize to D.C. with the pitchforks and the torches — we need a little bit more of that energy in the future,” he said.
    ……….
    During the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Gosar posted a message on Twitter calling for protesters not to “get carried away.” But over on the right-leaning Parler service, he shared a far more sympathetic message, using the same photo of people scaling the walls of the Capitol and writing, “Americans are upset.”
    ………
    Trump’s name was a recurring theme at Friday night’s event, with Fuentes also promising to target Republicans who were not sufficiently loyal to the former president.

    “He is one of us,” Fuentes told the crowd.
    ……..
    Fuentes, who has denied involvement in the storming of the Capitol itself, has been spotted in videos and photos rallying outside the Capitol on Jan. 6. In one video, Fuentes can be seen on a megaphone telling the crowd not to “leave this Capitol until Donald Trump is inaugurated president.” Foxx, who on Friday night said, “We must not be afraid of the idea of secession,” was photographed with Fuentes on Jan. 6. Neither man was charged in connection with the riot.
    ……….
    Trump’s legions .

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  54. If gop had more meijers. Their is nothing stoping more meijers EXCEPT the republican primary voters. What part of NO don’t you understand. Meijers as you pointed out got nearly censored by the state party and he replaced justin amash who couldn’t even run again. 74,000,000 trump voters will not vote for rinos and they consider any republican who is an economic libertarian and not a populist as a rino. Sorry the definition changed on you.

    asset (9c9703)

  55. Gotta hand it to the Biden Administration. The same group that is larding up a “coronavirus relief” bill with all sorts of handouts to favored interest groups is suddenly going to play cheap with the national media who are largely supportive of their agenda and happy to tip the scales of their coverage in the Administration’s favor.

    I think you are missing the purpose. It excludes all but the Important Journalists, giving them special access and excluding the rabble. And it does so in a way the Important Journalists can accept as “fair” while giving them more opportunity to be supportive.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  56. One of the burning questions for me over the last five years has always been: Who in their right mind would donate hard-earned money to Kenneth Copeland or Donald Trump? The sketchy preacher who bilked nearly a billion from our grandmothers or the billionaire from NY who conned countless others.

    They give THEM money? Billionaires? There are things I am incapable of understanding.

    noel (9fead1)

  57. If you think that non-Trumpies will win in general elections against the nutbar extremists, then maybe we should be forming that Sane Party now.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  58. NASA Sent a Secret Message to Mars. Meet the People Who Decoded It.

    Engineers hinted they had hidden a code in the parachute that landed the Perseverance rover. Within hours, puzzle enthusiasts cracked it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/science/nasa-mars-parachute-code.html

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  59. I got in on the Moderna vaccine the Monday of blizzardageddon 2021 when the Walgreen I happened to be picking up something at announced they were closing early and still had 14 doses left and all the folks on the reserve list had cancelled. I know they ended up giving them all since I waited till the last dose to get mine, 52 and all. A little sore arm, but nothing too extreme.

    Kentucky added some folks this week to the essential worker pile and she got the Pfizer one. She didn’t even get the sore arm, she’s a healthy kid though at 48. Oddly enough, they said they’ve changed to both vaccines being given the second dose at 28 days. I hadn’t known of the Pfizer change but it actually happened a few weeks ago. I think that makes it easier to just give the jab you have. It’s interesting to note that as time goes by, it looks like the mRNA vaccines are both over 90% after the first dose. I think that the folks getting either by late summer/fall may just get one jab/dose, and then you get a tuned one as a booster 6-9 months later.

    The J&J vaccine will be a global game changer, easy cold chain, single dose, 100% in keeping you out of the hospital or dead…of Covid. It also seems to be effective against the variants to a similar degree.

    Remember, the vaccines don’t keep you from being infected, they keep you from getting sick, especially seriously ill. You may still infect others. If you want a normal summer, get stuck.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  60. California may get Kimberly Guilfoyle back, running for public office

    ……..
    …….. [T]here’s talk that Guilfoyle could return to California to run for political office. But she’d find that many residents of her home state would have a darker view of her in 2021, after her fervent speeches for President Trump’s re-election, her romance with his son, Donald Trump Jr., and her call for Trump supporters to “fight” before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    Politico reported Friday that “some Republicans” are urging Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for Trump’s 2020 campaign, to move back to the Golden State to run for public office.

    The report in Politico’s California Playbook didn’t specify which office she might seek. But the report raised the specter of a run against her now-ex, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, in 2022 or should he face a recall election.

    The Politico report came the same day that Guilfoyle, 51, returned to the political stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday. The San Francisco native and former Fox News host did an extended version of what’s become known as her signature hip-shaking dance as she walked to the podium.
    ……..
    .The Politico report didn’t specify how or when Guilfoyle might return to California, especially in light of her and Trump Jr.’s move to Florida. But it’s likely that a bid for statewide office would be a long shot for her, given how widely unpopular Trump is in California, losing the state to Biden by nearly 30 points, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

    Guilfoyle might have better luck seeking office in one of four congressional districts identified by the National Republican Congressional Committee as targets in the 2022 mid-terms. They include John Garimendi’s seat in the 3rd congressional district, Josh Harder’s seat in Turlock, and two seats in Southern California.
    ………
    Related:

    Nightmare’: Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle not wanted by new Florida neighbors, report says
    …….
    According to the Palm Beach Post, residents in Admirals Cove haven’t been happy to learn that the couple are seeking to buy two adjacent lots in the waterfront neighborhood. About 30 residents of the community in Jupiter, 20 miles north of Palm Beach, contacted the homeowners’ association to express their concerns.

    About half have concerns about safety,” said Peter Moore, general manager of the property owners association, told the Palm Beach Post “The others have political concerns…….

    One resident went so far to say in a neighborhood email thread that the couple’s presence in Admirals Cove would be “a nightmare,” the Palm Beach Post reported………
    ………..
    Because of Trump Jr’s actions before the Capitol siege and Guilfoyle’s alleged workplace improprieties at Fox News, the Admirals Cove resident wrote: “I believe their membership would bring undesirable notoriety to the club, harm our reputation and have the potential for creating disharmony.”

    The hostility toward the couple is not “universal” in Admirals Cove, the Palm Beach Post reported. One resident said she didn’t like to see efforts to block anyone from owning a home in the community, including Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle……..
    ………
    The Palm Beach Post said the couple, together, plan to buy a seven-bedroom home in Admirals Cove that’s listed for $11 million, while Guilfoyle, on her own, plans to buy the six-bedroom home next door that’s listed for $9.5 million. Purchasing a home in Admirals Cove guarantees them membership in the community’s country club.
    >>>>>>>>
    Comedy gold!

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  61. @60. Times must be hard at Hurley’s on 6th across from Fox; pre-pandemic, you could find half-a-dozen Kimberly-Guilfoyle-types after 6 PM– media fillies worn in the saddle– perched on bar stools, a Virginia Slims hung between pouty lips, lookin’ to get lit, on their third margaritas with a red JimmyChoo dangling from a foot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  62. Red” planet after all, eh JVW?!

    Or proof of ancient life on ‘Maws.’

    Warner Bros., Bernie and Perseverance.

    An all-American team.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  63. @61-
    I was thinking Kimberly could join Stormy Daniels on a national tour…..

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  64. And I love how the Administration’s response to this is to create a position of Chief Diversity Officer at Foggy Bottom, as if the answer to hiring nutjobs with weird ideas can be solved by a professional paper-pusher and memo-writer whom the taxpayer pays $220,000 per year. Washington DC at its best.

    JVW (ee64e4) — 2/27/2021 @ 1:08 pm

    That won’t be anything more than a favor-trading position for some inside donor, because these departments don’t need to be pushed by some top-down bureaucrat. This stuff was already being disseminated throughout the government; look at what happened at Sandia Labs when that engineer blew the whistle on the board’s Maoist struggle session briefings.

    Shortly after the Floyd riots started, offices at military branch headquarters at the Pentagon were emailing out Peggy McIntosh’s poisonous “white privilege” essay down the chain of command, which has been one of the cornerstone documents of this ideology for decades (I know, because I had to read it in grad school, along with a bunch of other “whiteness studies” BS that was making the rounds in academia, 20 years ago). Positions like this just put a figurehead in charge of what’s already in place.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  65. CPAC Organizer Denounces Critics Spotting What Looks Like Nazi SS Symbol On Stage
    Critics on Twitter have been chilled by a major design element of the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference that eerily resembles the insignia of a volunteer unit of Adolf Hitler’s notorious Waffen SS.

    A square whose corner juts out from the CPAC stage from connected back-to-back “check marks” bears a striking resemblance to the ancient Norse Odal Rune adopted by the SS unit, which would be particularly apparent from the stage side.

    The Anti-Defamation League has noted that after World War II the Odal (or Othala) Rune became commonly used by white supremacists in Europe and North America.

    In response to some 100,000 tweets about the issue and climbing, CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp angrily blasted the “stage design conspiracies” as “outrageous and slanderous.” He touted CPAC’s “long standing commitment to the Jewish community.”
    ……..,,,

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  66. Umm, it doesn’t “resemble it” it is the Nazi Waffen SS logo.

    This is the CPAC stage design below. It is a rune which was used by the SS.This is the stage from which @tedcruz screeched “freedom.” (Image via @dailybeanspod) pic.twitter.com/OgpOuCYdV5— Ben Jackson (@BJacksonWrites) February 27, 2021

    Whether it was intentional or not remains to be seen. I mean, what are the chances that they did it on purpose, look at all the speakers…oh, umm, well…

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  67. 66.Umm, it doesn’t “resemble it” it is the Nazi Waffen SS logo.

    OTOH there’s been a lot of tributes to a fella ‘resembling’ General Burkhalter. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  68. It’s a stylized fish. Or rocket ship. Or arrowhead. Or kite. Or bite me and go lick a Che Guevara, twerps! Or any combination, including all, of the above. Twerps!

    nk (1d9030)

  69. Present company excepted.

    nk (1d9030)

  70. With exceptions.

    nk (1d9030)

  71. Holy coincidences Batman!

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  72. One of the first origamis I learned to make. Banzai, all ya’ll!

    nk (1d9030)

  73. Freedom is slavery! If people are free to say anything, nobody will believe anything they say. If people are free to believe anything, no belief will be exceptional. That is the secret of the Western liberal bourgeoisie power structure.

    nk (1d9030)

  74. Capitol riot defendants facing jail have regrets. Judges aren’t buying it.
    ……..
    U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, the chief federal jurist for the District of Columbia, responded incredulously to one defense attorney who said his client believed Trump requested his unlawful conduct. She said that if a president could authorize overturning an election he would be no different from “a king or a dictator,” and “that is not how we operate here.”

    When the attorney added that the man, the accused leader of a Proud Boys group, had been “chastened rather than emboldened” by the federal charges and that his anti-government “fever has broken,” Howell clapped back.

    “Essentially, that’s what your argument is, saying, ‘Whoops,’ now?” Howell asked. “Has he expressed any remorse or rejection of his membership in the Proud Boys, a gang of nationalist individuals? Does he reject the fantasy the election was stolen? Does he regret the positions that animated the mob on January 6th? Is there anything on the record about any of those things?”
    ……..
    Through attorneys, at least six of the relatively small number of defendants arguing for release from jail pending trial have claimed that their disillusionment with Trump should be considered as a factor. Some, such as the horn-wearing “QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley, have cast themselves as both victims and perpetrators.
    ………
    Some tie their delusions to involvement with militant right-wing groups and the consumption of far-right news, both of which amplified baseless claims that the election was illegitimate and that Trump would retake power by force.

    Jessica Watkins, a 38-year-old member of the Oath Keepers extremist group from Woodstock, Ohio, intended “not . . . to overthrow the government, but to support what she believed to be the lawful government,” public defender Michelle Peterson of D.C. argued in court filings. “She fell prey to the false and inflammatory claims of the former president, his supporters, and the right wing media.”

    Watkins echoed that claim in court Friday afternoon, saying she was “humbled” and “humiliated” after Jan. 6 and was now “appalled . . . by my fellow Oath Keepers.” She said she has disbanded her own militant group and wants to focus on her struggling bar: “I did it out of love for my country, but its time to let all of that go.”

    U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said it was “really hard reconciling” the Watkins described by the defense with the one who, according to prosecutors, discussed fighting and dying to keep Trump in power. He said he was particularly disturbed by evidence that she and others had a “quick reaction force” waiting with weapons on Jan. 6.
    …….
    ………(Judge) Howell rejected an argument by attorneys for accused Kansas City Proud Boy William Chrestman that his conduct at the Capitol was authorized by the president.

    “President Trump . . . for four years bragged that if he murdered someone on Fifth Avenue, his followers would still follow him,” she said, adding, “So if President Trump instructed members of the Proud Boys gang to murder somebody, and they did, that would be a legal excuse and immunize them from any liability for a criminal act?”
    ……….
    For the bulk of the more than 300 accused rioters charged federally, prosecutors have not sought detention. Many are accused of only misdemeanor trespassing, have no criminal record and have shown work, family and community ties or public or military service. Judges have also pushed back at jailing individuals whose crimes do not involve violence. Many have been spared jail unless they have been alleged to be “one of the individuals who banged down doors, sprayed pepper spray or bear spray at law enforcement officers, injured law enforcement officers, poked out eyes of police in the building,” as one judge recited in releasing a commissioner of a county in New Mexico pending trial.

    But in detaining about 54 individuals on grounds that they pose a risk of flight, pose a danger to the community or are charged with certain violent offenses, and weighing requests to modify release conditions, courts have given urgent civics lessons, educating defendants and the public on the real-life functioning of American democracy.
    ………

    U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols agreed that Gina Bisignano, accused of inciting other rioters to violence, could be safely released on “strict conditions.” But he pushed back when defense attorney Charles Peruto argued that the Beverly Hills, Calif., salon owner was engaging in “free speech,” got “swept up in the moment” and “drank the Trump kool aid” when she shouted encouragement to rioters through a bullhorn on Jan. 6.

    “She was an active person in a riot that aimed to prevent by violent means a normally quiet but critical step in the peaceful transition of power,” said Nichols, a Trump appointee and the newest member of the D.C. court. “Her actions fly in the face of common decency and fly in the face of democracy and the rule of law.”
    ………
    In the (“QAnon Shaman” Jacob Chansley) case, Howell rejected an attorney’s explanation that when his client shouted “Kill them all!” in the Capitol — referring to lawmakers — he did not mean he would do so personally, but that he believed lawmakers would be executed by proper authorities in a Judgment Day apocalypse.
    ………
    (U.S. District Judge Royce C.) Lamberth……..ordered detention for Lisa Eisenhart and Eric Munchel, a mother and son who prosecutors say entered the Capitol in tactical gear and armed with a stun gun, searching for “traitors.”

    Defense attorneys for Munchel and Eisenhart argued that Trump “invited” all Americans into the Capitol. Lamberth rejected that argument.

    “By word and deed, [Eisenhart and Munchel] supported the violent overthrow of the United States government” and pose “a clear danger to our republic,” Lamberth wrote. “Indeed, few offenses are more threatening to our way of life.”
    >>>>>>>>>

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  75. A fitting platform for today’s declaration of war on America by The Leader.

    Oh, and:

    CPAC’s Golden Trump Statue Was Made in Mexico

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Dave (1bb933)

  76. SNL Weekend Update:

    “Tomorrow night Donald Trump will give the keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference. For a preview of Trump’s speech, give your grandpa cocaine.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  77. In watching clips from C-PAC, and reading what the speakers have said, it’s all too clear that Trump is the Republican Party and the Republican Party is Trump. He fully owns it. That in itself is not surprising. But what I am wondering is why, when the Republicans lost the presidency and ended up in the minority in the House and Senate, continue to put their trust in Trump? What did he accomplish that convinces them that he has advanced the platform of the Republican Party, or made life better for his supporters? What tangible things can they point to? Hollow claims that “he fights for us,” or “he says what others aren’t willing to say,” or “he stands with the patriotic Americans,” or any number of empty platitudes don’t count.

    Further, if they really believe that he was their savior and champion, why do they still hold him in such high esteem given that, when he had the opportunity, he did not come to the aid of anyone arrested during the Jan. 6 insurrection? I understand that in their delusional state they truly believed that the election was stolen from Trump. By the time the election rolled around, his base was fully conditioned – via the willingness to surrender their collective mind and conscience to him – so of course, they would believe it was stolen. But he did not step in to save their fellow “patriots” who followed his lead on Jan. 6. Why wasn’t that “betrayal” enough to shatter their pipe dream bubble of him?

    To me, the problem is almost less Trump and more the millions of Americans who continue to idolize a wholly corrupt individual who has proven that he does not care more about them than himself. Trump would not have and could not have become what he was without the willing compliance and gullibility of the masses. So what is it that causes said masses to be willing to enable a man who has undercut the Rule of Law, attempted to shape government into his own image and has gleefully broken the norms, no matter how much it has damaged the country?

    It seems to me that if we cannot answer these questions, there is very little hope that he will not continue to lead the Party from the outside, and right into 2024.

    Dana (fd537d)

  78. ………(Judge) Howell rejected an argument by attorneys for accused Kansas City Proud Boy William Chrestman that his conduct at the Capitol was authorized by the president.

    “President Trump . . . for four years bragged that if he murdered someone on Fifth Avenue, his followers would still follow him,” she said, …”

    Elite Trump-apologists dismissed the “Fifth Avenue” remark as merely “style,” and said that only a snobby elitist would think it revealed an attitude that was dangerous in the presidency. If we said a critical word about the audiences who cheered and applauded such remarks, then we were showing “contempt for average Americans,” they said.

    Those audiences loved the Trump style more than any policy position. They took it seriously and literally. They are morally culpable for doing so. Trump is morally culpable for implying that the rules don’t apply to himself, or to anyone acting in his service. His elite apologists are culpable for resolutely turning a blind eye to his narcissistic pathology and pouring moral opprobrium on those who did not.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  79. “So what is it that causes said masses to be willing to enable a man who has undercut the Rule of Law, attempted to shape government into his own image and has gleefully broken the norms, no matter how much it has damaged the country?”

    Trump best represents people’s anger with liberals, the culture, the media, globalists, GOP electoral losers like Romney and McCain, and the GOP’s inability to get anything done. They will rationalize that Trump didn’t accomplish much beyond judges, tax cuts, regulatory reform, fewer immigrants, redoing NAFTA, killing TPP, nuking the Iran deal (ok, poor choice of words), and moving the blessed embassy to Jerusalem…because he was never given the chance…and held back by partisan-inspired investigations of things nobody really cares about…that have been exaggerated…and not fairly applied to folks like Obama, Hillary, and Biden. They would double-down on the fact that many norms needed to be challenged…for instance, the FBI and justice departments are infested with partisans…..and journalism is dead.

    That’s the case. He was actually quite successful until the Chinese flu sabotaged the economy and liberals got to control the narrative….and enable massive unsupervised voting that turned a close election. Now the question is “what is the response” to people who passionately believe this….and have it reinforced daily on Fox, Talk Radio, OANN, Newsmax, Redstate, Breitbart, etc.? I’m not sure I have an answer…the people consuming that media aren’t listening to arguments from NeverTrumpers, RINOs, Lincoln-Projectors, or anyone that has been hyper-critical of Trump. Unfortunately if the current situation persists, it looks like much more will need to break before we chart on new course….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  80. Dana, I think we’re seeing how wishful thinking and the longing for a hero with superpowers can build into a mass delusion. When people see others lining up behind the pied piper, they think the piper must have something worth following. Then they start pointing to the numbers as proof of the reality of what they’ve attached themselves to.
    How many times have we heard people tout the numbers at the rallies or the “74 million Trump voters” as proof that Trump is worthy of adulation? But I’m certain that some of those people once insisted that Obama’s popular-vote majorities showed only that a lot of voters are gullible and stupid. Some of them might even admit that Biden won the popular vote.

    So an argument contra the numbers must also be applied. The faithful cast themselves as the enlightened minority (the 3 percent, e.g.) who see what’s really going on and have the patriotic virtue to care about it. They see their hero beset by powerful enemies on every side, and it’s their duty to defend their hero. “He fought for me, so I’m gonna fight for him!”

    These somewhat contrary positions work together. There has to be something to give people the impression that the hero is the real deal and that he’s truly popular, for a reason, so people think “obviously it isn’t crazy to think this way if so many others do too.” There’s power in numbers. At the same time, powerful opposition and setbacks create a sense of being under siege, and a sense of urgency in defending the hero and the cause. “The more they attack him, the more I’ll defend him!”

    I can understand at a visceral level how the dynamic works. What’s harder to understand is how so many people who are actually pretty smart can insist that Trump is not at all what he appears to be — even after former insiders have said “He is that, and worse.” Here I think it’s partly the energizing effect of oppositionality, partly a kind of intellectual arrogance in which one thinks it’s supersmart to pierce beyond the obvious, and partly a reverse snobbery in a posture of standing with “ordinary Americans” again “elites.”

    Radegunda (20775b)

  81. “So what is it that causes said masses to be willing to enable a man who has undercut the Rule of Law, attempted to shape government into his own image and has gleefully broken the norms, no matter how much it has damaged the country?”

    A recipe 40 years in the making; simmering, steaming, bubbling; spreading… the oozing rage of the lower and middle classes repeatedly lied-to, suckered-seduced-and-abandoned; ignored-just-to-win-election-cycles; your ‘gullible’ “left-behinds;”– the failure of trickle-down:

    Reaganomics.

    That’s the true damage done.

    ‘Senator… don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.’ – Fletcher [John Vernon] ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales’ 1976

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  82. “What’s harder to understand is how so many people who are actually pretty smart can insist that Trump is not at all what he appears to be”

    I think it’s mainly fear. Jeff Sessions is a case study in how far Trump’s loyalty extends. The same with Mike Pence. Trump controls right wing media….through access, ratings dependency, and fear….and they in turn enforce his loyalty. Can anyone truly go on Fox News and challenge Trump…or offer a countering narrative? National Review or the Dispatch don’t reach the masses. People are conditioned to see opposition to Trump as a liberal and RINO plot from the beginning…..sold by the ideologically compromised Main Stream Media. I think smart people like Ted Cruz and Nikki Haley know precisely who Trump is…but they are both in political survival mode. These people can read polls….that’s why the impeachment vote went the way it did. Too many voices have been compromised and have no media cover to back away and redirect. How does the right wing media change? Well, it’s delivered increasingly more and more anger, fear, and hate for the past 15 years…to win eyes and ears….they created the Trump Monster….can they admit being wrong….and choose the country over the dollar? We have a Frankenstein problem….

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  83. In North Dakota, the state Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit the state and its agents from releasing tot he public “the number of votes case in the general election for the office of the president of the United States” until *after the electoral college has voted*. The state would only be allowed to report the percentages, not the raw numbers.

    Because nothing protects election security and integrity like hiding the raw vote totals from the public.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  84. Well, it’s delivered increasingly more and more anger, fear, and hate for the past 15 years…to win eyes and ears….they created the Trump Monster….can they admit being wrong….and choose the country over the dollar? We have a Frankenstein problem….

    You’re finally catching on– some.

    Trump is a wholly Reagan Creation; born of the cesspool amidst the crassy, brassy, gaudy, gilded, bawdy, wretchedly obscene excesses of Ronnie’s boom-boom-junk-bonded 1980s; the GOP’s ‘Picture of Dorian Gray’ bearing all their hidden evils- locked up in the Tower of Trump on Fifth Avenue– until failure after failure set the Frankenstein loose.

    He is you.

    “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” – Hosea 8:7

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  85. One of the things that makes recalls dangerous and interesting is that the recall election places all candidates from all parties on a single ballot. Last time we had *153 candidates*.

    So if there isn’t a superior name recognition candidate like Arnie running, the vote can fracture, and someone can get elected with support of less than a quarter of the voting public.

    That’s the trumpist path to victory, here.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  86. People are conditioned to see opposition to Trump as a liberal and RINO plot from the beginning…..sold by the ideologically compromised Main Stream Media.

    It’s easy to go from the defensible proposition that the MSM generally tilt left, to the position that the MSM always lie to promote an agenda. (More often, it’s a matter of what they cover and what they don’t, and how they prompt approval or disapproval through labeling and vocabulary and tone of voice.) But then the outlets purporting to expose and correct media bias and give us the straight scoop began telling me to ignore what my own eyes and ears told me about Trump. I had to wonder if I had been misguided by their “piercing through the veil of deception” act, or if it was mostly just Trump who brought out the weirdness.

    I think smart people like Ted Cruz and Nikki Haley know precisely who Trump is…but they are both in political survival mode.

    It’s the ones who aren’t trying to protect a political career or keep a radio gig that have baffled me — the Trump-boosters who didn’t need to take that route to ensure their income, though no doubt some have profited from doing so. I think it’s partly a presumption of being able to see what their intellectual peers are blind to, combined with an anti-elitist posture. And most of those people are objectively more elite than I am. (I just have better taste.)

    Radegunda (20775b)

  87. Trump: 97% job approval at C-PAC poll.

    Hilarious.

    And… glorious.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  88. C-PAC’s ‘The General Burkhalter Tribute.’

    Reruns.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  89. ‘I think smart people like Ted Cruz and Nikki Haley know precisely who Trump is…but they are both in political survival mode.’

    The only bigger ass than Ted Cruz in Orlando is stitched to the butt end of the ‘King Kong’ exhibit at Universal Studios.

    Meanwhile, Darling Nikki wisely absorbed the slings and arrows of bruises w/t ice chips thrown from CPAC. Superficial wounds will heal.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  90. The populists backing Trump -the lower and middle classes, repeatedly screwed by the fakery of pitched ‘family values’ – ‘moral majorities’ and ‘trickle-down’ hype for 35 years– no longer buy the bull-crap pitched by the likes of a Liz Cheney, an heir to a vast Halliburton fortune amassed from government contracting through Darth Daddy– as the future of the GOP. Or car elevator planner, cultist Pierre Delecto, known destroyer of lower and middle class jobs.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  91. After the recording of the private conversation Melissa DeRosa had with a number of Democrats in the New York State legislature was leaked, Governor Cuomo released a transcript.

    I didn’t know till maybe Friday because there’s not as good coverage of New York State matters as there is of Trump’s conversation with Georgia Secretary of State.

    https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/rush-transcript-february-10th-zoom-conference-call-between-members-governor-cuomos

    …. I don’t know that this is going to satisfy you, but it’s the truth and the truth works almost every time. The letter comes in at the end of August and right around the same time, President Trump turns this into a giant political football. He starts tweeting that we killed everyone in nursing homes, he starts going after Murphy, starts going after Newsom, starts going after Gretchen Whitmer.

    He directs the Department of Justice to do an investigation into us. He finds one person at DOJ, who since has been fired because this person is now known to be a political hack, who sends letters out to all of these different governors. And basically, we froze, because then we were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice or what we give to you guys, what we start saying was going to be used against us while we weren’t sure if there was going to be an investigation.

    That played a very large role into this. We went to the leaders and we said to the leaders, can we please pause on getting back to everybody until we get through this period and we know what’s what with the DOJ. We since have come through that period. All signs point to, they are not looking at this. They dropped it. They never formally opened an investigation. They sent a letter asking a number of questions and then we satisfied those questions and it appears that they’re gone. But that was how it was happening back in August….

    This answer, blaming fear of Trump, is actually not true.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  92. DCSCA, those “populists” aren’t devoted to Trump because of policies. They’re devoted to Trump because of attitude and a pugilistic “style” and because he “makes the right people mad.” Liz Cheney illustrates the point that policy isn’t where Trumpists draw the line in their Good vs. Evil formula.

    They also, weirdly, aren’t a whit bothered by the demonstrated greed and arrogance of Donald J. Trump, or the fact that he had spent his life boasting about his wealth, showing off the tacky gaudiness of his domicile, and trying to get people to acknowledge him as superior to everyone else. They don’t mind that he doesn’t actually respect the people who go to his rallies. He isn’t known to spend time talking with them. He was reportedly embarrassed that the mob fighting for him at the Capitol looked rather low-class.

    Donald Trump has no real empathy for average Americans. He sees them as marks — the people whose purpose it is to make him great.

    Many of Trump’s critics are unquestionably more “average” in background and circumstances — and many are more generous — than Trump or a lot of the people who claim that only a callous elitist would dislike him. There’s phoniness at the heart of the “Trump as populist” theme.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  93. Dana (fd537d) — 2/28/2021 @ 9:35 am

    In watching clips from C-PAC, and reading what the speakers have said, it’s all too clear that Trump is the Republican Party and the Republican Party is Trump. He fully owns it. That in itself is not surprising.

    That doesn’t usually happen with defeated presidential candidates, even pdefated presidents running for re-election. He has no more patronage.

    It didn’t happen with Benjamin Harrison in 1889, it didn’t happen with Taft, it didn’t happen with Herbert Hoover, although he had some hopes, it didn’t happen with Ford, and t didn’t happen with George Bush the Elder.

    And it didn’t happen with Jimmy Carter, either although us vice president, Walter Mondale was the leading candidate for the next nomination and in fact won the nomination in 1984.

    Grover Cleveland, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas E. Dewey, Adlai Stevenson, and Richard Nixon got renominated after losing presidential races. Hubert Humphrey had a good run at it but no special advantage.

    But what I am wondering is why, when the Republicans lost the presidency and ended up in the minority in the House and Senate, continue to put their trust in Trump? What did he accomplish that convinces them that he has advanced the platform of the Republican Party, or made life better for his supporters? What tangible things can they point to?

    I don’t know what it is. It could be money because he maintained control of the party machinery (the RNC) maybe in part because he didn’t concede. He’s also got followers.

    Hollow claims that “he fights for us,” or “he says what others aren’t willing to say,” or “he stands with the patriotic Americans,” or any number of empty platitudes don’t count.

    Further, if they really believe that he was their savior and champion, why do they still hold him in such high esteem given that, when he had the opportunity, he did not come to the aid of anyone arrested during the Jan. 6 insurrection? I understand that in their delusional state they truly believed that the election was stolen from Trump. By the time the election rolled around, his base was fully conditioned – via the willingness to surrender their collective mind and conscience to him – so of course, they would believe it was stolen. But he did not step in to save their fellow “patriots” who followed his lead on Jan. 6. Why wasn’t that “betrayal” enough to shatter their pipe dream bubble of him?

    To me, the problem is almost less Trump and more the millions of Americans who continue to idolize a wholly corrupt individual who has proven that he does not care more about them than himself. Trump would not have and could not have become what he was without the willing compliance and gullibility of the masses. So what is it that causes said masses to be willing to enable a man who has undercut the Rule of Law, attempted to shape government into his own image and has gleefully broken the norms, no matter how much it has damaged the country?

    It seems to me that if we cannot answer these questions, there is very little hope that he will not continue to lead the Party from the outside, and right into 2024.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  94. DSCSA, awhile back I pointed out to a Trump-booster that every policy he identified as Trump’s wonderful new plan for uplifting “average Americans” had already been proposed and actively promoted by some of the people he described as part of the “heartless” “libertarian” GOP establishment. Some individuals had favored all of them.

    That didn’t matter to Trumpers. They wanted to write a narrative in which every Republican before Trump had represented a complacent, corrupt establishment, and then along came Trump to sweep them all aside and reform the GOP and save America — and they wanted to be champions in the narrative they were writing. The narrative required falsifying the past, and putting an extremely flattering gloss on Trump while casting an ugly light on every non-Trump.

    They’ve create a new political orthodoxy in which the only necessary, non-negotiable measure of political virtue is praising Donald Trump.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  95. It’s easy to go from the defensible proposition that the MSM generally tilt left, to the position that the MSM always lie to promote an agenda. (More often, it’s a matter of what they cover and what they don’t, and how they prompt approval or disapproval through labeling and vocabulary and tone of voice.)

    Excellent take, Radegunda. I would add that there is often a subtle bias in the choice of photos that accompany a story.

    norcal (01e272)

  96. Dana (fd537d) — 2/28/2021 @ 9:35 am continued:

    Hollow claims that “he fights for us,” or “he says what others aren’t willing to say,” or “he stands with the patriotic Americans,” or any number of empty platitudes don’t count.

    None of that’s the reason. Who says that, anyway??

    Further, if they really believe that he was their savior and champion, why do they still hold him in such high esteem given that, when he had the opportunity, he did not come to the aid of anyone arrested during the Jan. 6 insurrection?

    Trump never endorsed that, nor did most of his followers.

    But he did not step in to save their fellow “patriots” who followed his lead on Jan. 6. Why wasn’t that “betrayal” enough to shatter their pipe dream bubble of him?

    Because Trump never endorsed the entry into the Capitol.

    So what is it that causes said masses to be willing to enable a man who has undercut the Rule of Law, attempted to shape government into his own image and has gleefully broken the norms, no matter how much it has damaged the country?

    Low information.

    Sammy Finkelman (db2a13)

  97. @92/@94. There’s nothing you can say or pitch to placate these people after 35-40 years of betrayal by establishment GOP bull crap. They’ve had it — and stormed the castle gates on 1/6 to show it.

    Cheney is pointless. And now a target by Trump in his CPAC speech. Pierre is French toast as well. You best buy a compass as you’ve got years in the wilderness ahea ifyou keep trying to pitch the past.These people will never believe the likes of Liz or Pierre for a generation.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  98. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Gets MUTED During Live Interview at CPAC as He Spews Vaccine Conspiracy Theories
    The conservative pro-Trump YouTube channel Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) cut off MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday due to him touting unhinged vaccine conspiracy theories.

    “In Israel right now, the prime minister on down, we don’t know what happened, but obviously, he congratulated Biden, but after that, we got a little suspect,” Lindell stated. “Right now with the vaccine over there, they are making the whole country take it so you can’t go in shopping malls, you wouldn’t be able to get a job, and if this happens, it the start for the world, the worst thing that could happen to this world.”

    “I’m telling you with the vaccine… if you get a vaccine, which is only 95% effective, they say, then they want you to do another one in six months, six months. Well, I’m telling you when you get that, what do you care what someone else does, if that person wants to come to a mall and they don’t want to get a vaccine. This is our bodies, this is ‘mark of the beast’ stuff,” the MyPillow CEO continued.

    As Lindell proceeded to go off on “double masking,” RSBN muted him on their live stream.

    After Lindell concluded, RSBN turned the sound back on, and host Liz Willis tried to divert from the topic at hand.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  99. They also, weirdly, aren’t a whit bothered by the demonstrated greed and arrogance of Donald J. Trump, or the fact that he had spent his life boasting about his wealth, showing off the tacky gaudiness of his domicile, and trying to get people to acknowledge him as superior to everyone else.

    Doesn’t matter. He’s not The Establishment.

    And– he’s entertaining.

    “I’ll have a lemonade… in a dirty glass!” – Chester Hooton [Bob Hope] ‘Road To Utopia’ 1946

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  100. Nothing says “crusader for the working man” like living the debauched life of a king, making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and paying $750 in income tax on the rare occasions that you pay anything at all.

    Dave (1bb933)

  101. It didn’t happen with Benjamin Harrison in 1889, it didn’t happen with Taft, it didn’t happen with Herbert Hoover, although he had some hopes, it didn’t happen with Ford, and t didn’t happen with George Bush the Elder.

    Bush’s son ended up serving 8 years as President, and another son was immediately pushed to the front of the line by the party establishment before Trump bodied him right out of the primary.

    The GOP was fully controlled by the Bushes for over 20 years, until the party base finally decided they’d had enough.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  102. Occasionally I like to tease my 89-year-old mother about her lack of knowledge when it comes to pop culture. Don’t get me wrong–her mind is very sharp; she just never took a liking to significant parts of our culture.

    The other night I asked her if she could name just one member of The Beatles. She surprised me when she said, “Lennon”. I then queried her as to his first name. She said, “John”. Feeling defeated, I couldn’t resist the next step. I told her I bet she couldn’t name a second Beatle. She said, “Ringo”. Again I was astounded. I asked her what his last name was. I could sense a little hesitation, and I knew I had her. Then she said “Beatle”, and laughed.

    norcal (01e272)

  103. Sammy, at 93: i’ve thought since about two days after the election that the most likely outcome was a trump presidency, with republican control of both houses, on jan 21, 2025. The Trump fanbois in state legislatures will make sure this happens by redrawing districts in aggressive gerrymanders and by changing the electoral vote selection process to be more friendly to republicans (eliminating the by-district split in NE, for example, while adding it in WI).

    there are things the democrats could do to forestall this, but they’ve already decided they’re not going to.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  104. 2102. Bet she could tell you a thing or two about her ‘pop culture,’ re- cutting a rug to Tommy Dorsey.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  105. The GOP was fully controlled by the Bushes for over 20 years, until the party base finally decided they’d had enough.

    Sheer nonsense.

    Bush Pere was famous for his Rolodex and had a lot of connections from his many party and government jobs. But neither he nor his sons aspired to assert open, personal control over the party in the way Trump has turned the QOP into a quasi-church with him at the top.

    Neither Bush yearned to be exalted by a cult following; they were self-effacing men, centered on their family and content with who they were.

    Dave (1bb933)

  106. Occasionally I like to tease my 89-year-old mother about her lack of knowledge when it comes to pop culture. Don’t get me wrong–her mind is very sharp; she just never took a liking to significant parts of our culture.

    The other night I asked her if she could name just one member of The Beatles. She surprised me when she said, “Lennon”. I then queried her as to his first name. She said, “John”. Feeling defeated, I couldn’t resist the next step. I told her I bet she couldn’t name a second Beatle. She said, “Ringo”. Again I was astounded. I asked her what his last name was. I could sense a little hesitation, and I knew I had her. Then she said “Beatle”, and laughed.

    norcal (01e272) — 2/28/2021 @ 8:50 pm

    I hope this wasn’t real.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  107. @105. Sheer nonsense.

    Always wrong. Never in doubt.

    ‘For more than a generation, no family has done more to define Republican politics than the Bush clan. Since 1980, they’ve clocked a combined 20 years in the presidency and vice presidency and 14 years in big-state governorships. They’ve launched three major wars and appointed four justices to the Supreme Court.’ – source, https://www.politico.com/story/2012/08/gop-ponders-the-bushes-past-and-future-080165

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  108. Further, if they really believe that he was their savior and champion, why do they still hold him in such high esteem given that, when he had the opportunity, he did not come to the aid of anyone arrested during the Jan. 6 insurrection? I understand that in their delusional state they truly believed that the election was stolen from Trump. By the time the election rolled around, his base was fully conditioned – via the willingness to surrender their collective mind and conscience to him – so of course, they would believe it was stolen. But he did not step in to save their fellow “patriots” who followed his lead on Jan. 6. Why wasn’t that “betrayal” enough to shatter their pipe dream bubble of him? Dana (fd537d) — 2/28/2021 @ 9:35 am

    First, try considering that the people who still hold Trump in high esteem, are on the same page as Trump in that, in spite of the optics and media spin, neither Trump nor they, supported the violence on Jan 6, because they do not consider those arrested to be “their fellow ‘patriots'” and thus, experienced no betrayal. In contrast, if Trump had given aid to those arrested, then those same admirers would have felt betrayed, and thus, those supporters would have dropped their support for Trump.

    If you allow for this reasonable consideration, then the existence of Trump’s remaining support may make more sense.

    felipe (484255)

  109. May we also consider that the only reason the High Esteemers don’t believe that Trump planned and incited the invasion of the Capitol is because he tells them he did not and they mindlessly believe him all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding?

    nk (1d9030)

  110. nk (1d9030) — 3/1/2021 @ 4:30 am

    Yes, nk. In fact that particular consideration dominates the other, bigly.

    felipe (484255)

  111. Also, I do not think Trump is mindlessly believed any more than Biden is mindlessly believed – or any other politician is mindlessly believed. There are mindless believers, always; the useful idiots, but they only make a difference when they hold office. Otherwise, they tend to naturally cancel each other out by their opposing affiliations.

    felipe (484255)

  112. In watching clips from C-PAC, and reading what the speakers have said, it’s all too clear that Trump is the Republican Party and the Republican Party is Trump. He fully owns it. That in itself is not surprising. But what I am wondering is why, when the Republicans lost the presidency and ended up in the minority in the House and Senate, continue to put their trust in Trump? What did he accomplish that convinces them that he has advanced the platform of the Republican Party, or made life better for his supporters? What tangible things can they point to? Hollow claims that “he fights for us,” or “he says what others aren’t willing to say,” or “he stands with the patriotic Americans,” or any number of empty platitudes don’t count.

    Further, if they really believe that he was their savior and champion, why do they still hold him in such high esteem given that, when he had the opportunity, he did not come to the aid of anyone arrested during the Jan. 6 insurrection? I understand that in their delusional state they truly believed that the election was stolen from Trump. By the time the election rolled around, his base was fully conditioned – via the willingness to surrender their collective mind and conscience to him – so of course, they would believe it was stolen. But he did not step in to save their fellow “patriots” who followed his lead on Jan. 6. Why wasn’t that “betrayal” enough to shatter their pipe dream bubble of him?

    To me, the problem is almost less Trump and more the millions of Americans who continue to idolize a wholly corrupt individual who has proven that he does not care more about them than himself. Trump would not have and could not have become what he was without the willing compliance and gullibility of the masses. So what is it that causes said masses to be willing to enable a man who has undercut the Rule of Law, attempted to shape government into his own image and has gleefully broken the norms, no matter how much it has damaged the country?

    It seems to me that if we cannot answer these questions, there is very little hope that he will not continue to lead the Party from the outside, and right into 2024.

    Dana (fd537d) — 2/28/2021 @ 9:35 am

    Dana,
    You’re looking for reasons to love Trump that would appeal to you, if you had different policy preferences. That’s the wrong way to look at it. They love Trump because he openly hates the people that they hate. It’s not for the same reasons as them but that doesn’t matter. They believe that by supporting him they can push back on a cultural elite that looks down on them. Right wing media has created a narrative that the party is led by RINO’s who don’t really fight for conservatize goals. Reason, nuance, and respect for people with different views are held up capitulation and weakness. Trump’s bluster is portrayed as fighting and his lack of results are forgiven because he makes them feel better by expressing a rage they feel but are unable to articulate loudly enough to register with the broader public. Many of things they want are nearly impossible, but no one they respect has ever forced that conversation. So they live in a media ecosystem where the left are satan worshiping pedophiles, elected leaders are sell outs, and they could have everything they want if only the elected people willing to make louder noises on social media.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  113. …Trump in that, in spite of the optics and media spin, neither Trump nor they, supported the violence on Jan 6, because they do not consider those arrested to be “their fellow ‘patriots’” and thus, experienced no betrayal.

    “We love you, you’re very special.”
    –Donald J. Trump, to the MAGA domestic terrorists, 1/6/2021

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  114. Yup, Paul.

    But they know Trump sought the capitol sacking. They think playing games with responsibility is some kind of clever hardball political game. They gauge Trump’s control of the GOP as proof this is working. As David Axelrod said today (and I never thought I’d agree with him) Trump’s the only president since Herbert Hoover to lose the White House and both houses of congress. He had all three in 2016, the GOP has none today. Since election day, the GOP has worked hard to channel anger over defeat into cash donations, but they have done nothing to improve the party’s reputation.

    Biden is not doing a good job, which is no surprise to me. He’s the price, not the solution. It’s possible the GOP will have an opportunity in 2022 or 2024. But all these Nikki Haleys and Ted Cruzes are far more focused on whose ass they have to kiss, not at all worried about the state of the party. Anyone who shows interest in the party itself, like Liz Cheney, is a lesson to the rest.

    Which is to say, it’s a good time to be Kamala.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  115. Also, I do not think Trump is mindlessly believed any more than Biden is mindlessly believed – or any other politician is mindlessly believed. There are mindless believers, always; the useful idiots, but they only make a difference when they hold office. Otherwise, they tend to naturally cancel each other out by their opposing affiliations.

    felipe (484255) — 3/1/2021 @ 4:40 am

    True, but for whatever reason, Biden doesn’t go farther than musing once in a while about the GOP putting blacks back into chains. As bad as that is, it doesn’t go to the point of ‘you have to be strong and march on the capitol or you will lose democracy. Stop the steal by literally going in there and stopping them.’

    Trump is change in our nation’s history for sure.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  116. Also, I do not think Trump is mindlessly believed any more than Biden is mindlessly believed – or any other politician is mindlessly believed. There are mindless believers, always; the useful idiots, but they only make a difference when they hold office. Otherwise, they tend to naturally cancel each other out by their opposing affiliations.

    felipe (484255) — 3/1/2021 @ 4:40 am

    This is just wrong. I voted for Biden and I don’t find him very credible. I know several other people who voted for him and dislike him, or pay no attention to him at all. One person told me they went in, voted Biden, and walked out. Didn’t vote for anything else.

    Even on the left Biden isn’t much loved. If bernie had won I think you’d be right. But Biden is a generic democrat / ‘not trump’

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  117. Radley Balko says he might be a bit biased about police raids.

    https://twitter.com/radleybalko/status/1366417227004657667

    John Oliver on police raids. I consulted with the show’s producers, so I’m a bit biased. But I think it’s the most thorough and informed discussion of this issue I’ve ever seen for a mass audience (the Cop Rock intro notwithstanding).

    LMAO

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  118. Always wrong. Never in doubt.

    This is progress.

    I encourage you to include that disclaimer on all your posts.

    P.S. Idiot.

    Dave (1bb933)

  119. Has pudding brain given a State of the Union address yet? Or will his wife give that one too?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  120. https://reclaimthenet.org/suny-student-suspended-for-instagram-post/

    The Cultural Revolution continues in our universities. Facts be damned.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  121. For those of you upset with the reach of cancel culture, here is someone expressing your point of view in detail. Caution: F-bombs and other NSFW words.

    https://youtu.be/0bjcCwWnUsE

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  122. Has pudding brain given a State of the Union address yet? Or will his wife give that one too?

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 3/1/2021 @ 8:59 am

    Not yet. I do wonder what he’s waiting for.

    But, the “Biden is mentally deficient” meme is odd given that he beat Trump in the election and arguably one of the debates. (At least if you use changing in approval rating as the key metric.)

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  123. Fact check: No deadline is in place for delivering State of the Union
    ………
    While the U.S. Constitution says the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient,” it does not set a timeline.

    The last six presidents also have not delivered an official State of the Union during the year in which they were inaugurated, according to the Congressional Research Service.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (7e904b)

  124. The problem with the insurrection on Jan 6th is that they just didn’t go far enough.

    “This whole thing is Biden, he’s like a puppet president,” she said. “The military is in charge. It’s going to be like Myanmar, what’s happening in Myanmar. The military is doing their own investigation. At the right time they’re going to be restoring the republic with Trump as president.”

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  125. The people that attacked the capital really do seem like losers.

    I wonder if any of the lawyers or LEO who comment here have an opinion on the impact inviting investigators to ‘investigate deez nutz with your chin’ has at trial?

    https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.227966/gov.uscourts.dcd.227966.1.1.pdf

    Also, he appears to admit online that the goal was terrorism, using fear to force public officials to change policy.

    s. To participate in anarchy. To smoke weed
    in government buildings…..The real reason was to intimidate congress.. they have a 9% approval
    rating. We accomplished that. Maybe they will work on that because they know we could have
    got them and have mercy.”

    (see Figure 5)

    Time123 (53ef45)

  126. Re: State of the Union:

    The past six Presidents have chosen not to give an official State of the Union address the year
    they were first inaugurated, having just previously delivered an inaugural address. In each
    instance their first speech to a joint session of Congress closely followed their inauguration, but
    was not officially categorized as a “State of the Union Message.” For example, President Donald
    Trump’s 2017 address was entitled “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress.”

    Source

    Rip Murdock (80e6b4)

  127. 103. aphrael (4c4719) — 2/28/2021 @ 8:52 pm

    : i’ve thought since about two days after the election that the most likely outcome [in 2024] was a trump presidency, with republican control of both houses, on jan 21, 2025.

    I think that it is not impossible, but it is also not likely. Dominic Carter who predicted Trump would win the nomination and the presidency in 2016, says to the question can he win the nomination in 2024, says “absolutely”, but to the question can he win the general election “I’m not so sure” but he says once you’re the nominee of a major political party “anything can happen.” Hank Sheinkoph says that he could win the nomination today, but says he faces investigations. (I don’t think any of them are serious)

    The Trump fanbois in state legislatures will make sure this happens by redrawing districts in aggressive gerrymanders

    There’s a limit to that, and if the voters turn more against a political party, it can backfire, because there is a tipping point.

    and by changing the electoral vote selection process to be more friendly to republicans (eliminating the by-district split in NE, for example, while adding it in WI).

    They would gain about 8 Electoral votes because of the reapportionment of Congress but I didn’t hear anything about changing the method of choosing electors in Wisconsin or Nebraska.

    What they could try to do is change the voting rules so as to – Trump might think – increase the chances of a Republican carrying a state.

    The most important and somewhat likely way is not by attempting to change rules, by for example, making it more difficult to register to vote, or to vote by mail, increasing voter ID requirements or eliminating early voting on Sundays, but, in some states, actually would be making it harder for third parties to get on the ballot. (rather, because Democrats don’t complain about it)

    Democrats are trying to force or reverse changes through the courts, and today the Supreme Court will hear a case on that ( Brnovich vs DNC ) But the only question really is, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial, if the Supreme Court will set a precedent, or merely reverse the Ninth Circuit on factual grounds.

    Democrats claim that Arizona requiring voters to case ballots in their home precinct on Election Day and the ban on ballot harvesting by third parties (people acting on behalf of non-candidates) violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. A federal judge ruled that that there’s no evidence that these two rules disproportionately burden or discriminate against minorities. A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld that but was overruled en banc.

    The WSJ thinks that maybe the Supreme Court could limit the use of Section 2 to overturn other voting rules, because the Voting Rights Act places the burden on plaintiffs to show that the minorities on whose behalf the lawsuits are brought have “less opportunity” to participate in the political process or elect representatives of their choice based on the “totality of circumstances”. That was done to get rid of things like fake literacy tests but it’s been applied to early voting curbs, voter ID requirements and sme-day registration restrictions.

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  128. Rip, come on. It’s weird that he’s waited this long to even announce it. Not illegal or evidence of something horrible. But it’s strange.

    Time123 (53ef45)

  129. That has got to be the ugliest statue I have ever seen. It bears no resemblance to Trump, except in caricature, and has no redeeming aesthetic qualities whatsoever. And what is up with the shorts and flip flops? That is such a bizarre costume detail as to be ridiculous. No one will ever see Trump wearing shorts and flip flops, because his pale white legs would make his face paint glow like an orange neon sign screaming vanity. The star-topped scepter in his hand, as if it make this gaudy grotesque a kingmaker, is ludicrous. And what appears to be a copy of the Declaration of Independence is his other fake gold hand is a cruel joke. Trump has never read the Declaration, and if he has he doesn’t agree with its complaints against the Crown, doesn’t believe in forming a more perfect union, but instead wants to subvert American democracy and supplant it with some sort of sick, twisted royalty in the image of himself. On second thought, that’s what makes it the perfect statue for the MAGA (Make America Gross Always) clowns at TPAC, the sheer idiocy of it. No wonder these deluded lunatics are flocking to pose and have their picture taken beside this hideous example of hypocrisy.

    Clearly, the 2020 election was a referendum on Trump, and the sane American people rejected him overwhelmingly. This is what the QOP fails to grasp. Denial is not a river in Egypt, it’s a mental defect that turns an asset into a liability. When you run against a candidate like Biden, who did not win a single primary in his two previous campaigns, and he gets over 80 million votes, the most of any candidate ever, and wins by over 7 million votes, the widest margin of victory in history, that means you suck.

    In 2016, the Republicans (if you can call them that) held total control of all three branches of government–the House and Senate, the Presidency, and the Judiciary, which they stocked with the justices and judges of their choice. Yet they lost it all in four short years. Nothing like that has happened since Hoover, and that means something. It means the QOP is becoming increasingly marginalized to permanent minority status as a party of negative partisanship, violent insurrection and indeed sedition. The American people are not going to stand or vote for that. There is no future in worshipping Trump as a leader, because he is not a leader. He’s a failed con man.

    Contrary to what asset-turned-liability claims, there are not 74 million Trump voters. A large number of those votes, perhaps ten maybe twenty million, including some by Democrats, were cast against Biden, not for Trump. Understandably so. However, far more millions of votes, including by many Republicans who either left the party in disgust or regretted their vote in 2016, were cast against Trump, not for Biden. How else do you explain the election results?

    The Trumpublicans lost the suburbanites, the college educated, and the Independents. It’s that simple. Lies, lies and damned conspiracies are not a strategy for winning in the future. The more the QOP embraces Trump, the more they will lose.

    It’s just as bad, if not worse, at the state level. Here in Texas, millions are extremely upset by the government’s inept and ineffectual response to ice storm Uri, so named because it originated in Siberia, blew over the Arctic, across the Midwest corridor all the way down to deep South Texas. The famed Texas power grid failed, as oil, gas and water lines froze and cracked. Large sections of the state were without electricity or running water for days, even weeks. Minority districts were the hardest hit, as citizens were left shivering in the dark and cold, without food or any form of relief.

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/02/26/look-what-you-did-to-us-471607

    30 dead so far and counting. One poor family lit a fire in the fireplace to keep warm, but when they went to bed their house caught fire, and the one young woman who was able to escape lost her mother and three children–they all burned to death. People are going to remember tragic stories like that, because there are many others like it; people freezing to death in their homes, dying of hunger, cast aside like worthless trash. People are going to remember (Republican) government inaction, and they will not forget or forgive it.

    Abbot is up for re-election in 2022. Good luck with that, given his heartless incompetence in response to Uri. Abbot’s attitude toward Uri mirrored Trump’s attitude toward Covid. Trump said it was the states’ responsibility. Abbot said it was the cities’ responsibility. And look at the wreckage left behind. Over 500,000 dead from Covid, a power grid in ruin, and thousands still suffering without relief. The crises remain ongoing, due to Trumpublican ineptitude.

    If anything turns Texas blue in 2022, it’s going to be Uri. If anything turns America blue in 2024, it’s going to be Covid. So many preventable deaths, so much avoidable property damage and economic ruin. And the QOP’s response is to storm the Capitol? That’s how un-American these traitorous lunatics are.

    These next few years are going to be traumatic, if not interesting. Once Garland is confirmed to be Attorney General, which he will be because he is highly respected and has widespread bipartisan support, and the Department of Justice returns to a truly independent office, tracking down and prosecuting the Capitol insurrectionists will be the first priority. Because the American people are not going to tolerate that kind of unruly behavior. Let the lawyers speak their nonsense, but these criminals are going to prison.

    Then there’s the state prosecutions and civil lawsuits against Trump, his family and organization, not to mention the hundreds of millions owed on balloon notes to foreign banks and lenders, due within two years. The prosecutors are going to take their time, going over documents, to build their cases, but once the trials begin, they’re going to be all over the news. Tying yourself to Trump now is like wrapping a chain with an anchor around your neck and jumping into the ocean.

    Few people understand The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge. But when read in the context of geology and meteorology, it makes perfect sense. Wind currents follow ocean currents. In the northern hemisphere, these currents run clockwise. In the southern hemisphere, they run counter-clockwise. These are called the trade winds. But along the equator, there are no ocean or wind currents. Theses are called the doldrums, and it’s the last place a sailing ship wants to find itself, because the only way out it to row. The albatross is a soaring bird; it rides the trade winds from on continent to another. If caught in the doldrums, it knows which way to fly to get back to the trade winds. But the ancient mariner sees an albatross; all he had to do was follow it back to the trade winds; instead, he shot and killed it with a crossbow. That doomed the ship.

    The Republicans are in the exact same situation now. They have censured all hope of getting their party out of the doldrums. Now they have no direction and no salvation. They have doomed the party.

    The thing is it’s not an albatross around your neck. That is a misunderstanding. It’s killing the albatross that dooms the ship. Trump is not an albatross, he’s an anchor with chains. Killing the albatross, the true conservatives, will doom the Republicans. But tying an anchor and chains around their neck will doom them even more.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  130. At the right time they’re going to be restoring the republic with Trump as president.

    Caesar crossing the Rubicon with his troops was what ENDED the Roman Republic. That and Brutus’s defeat during the Civil War. The parallels end with any comparison of Augustus to Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  131. Rip, come on. It’s weird that he’s waited this long to even announce it. Not illegal or evidence of something horrible. But it’s strange.

    I’m only reporting the history of the SOTU. The last six presidents didn’t give a “SOTU” after their inauguration. So the lack of one by Biden is not unusual.

    Rip Murdock (80e6b4)

  132. Rip, come on. It’s weird that he’s waited this long to even announce it. Not illegal or evidence of something horrible. But it’s strange.

    Given the history, the “Biden hasn’t given a SOTU” is another piece of “fake news” like “Pelosi rejected 10,000 National Guard troops on January 6th.”

    Rip Murdock (80e6b4)

  133. Who gives a SOTU 5 weeks in? This is dumb.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  134. Rip Murdock (7e904b) — 3/1/2021 @ 10:18 am

    The last six presidents also have not delivered an official State of the Union during the year in which they were inaugurated, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    But a website counts the addresses they did give, as the equivalent.

    https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/presidential-documents-archive-guidebook/annual-messages-congress-the-state-the-union

    For health reasons, Wilson did not address Congress in 1919 and 1920. Warren Harding’s two messages (1921 and 1922) and Calvin Coolidge’s first (1923) were also spoken messages. Subsequently, Coolidge’s remaining State of the Unions (1924-28) and all four of Hoover’s (1929-32) were written.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt consolidated the modern practice of delivering a spoken State of the Union beginning with his first in 1934. However, there continued to be exceptions. In some cases there was only a written message and no spoken address. These include Truman (1946 and 1953), Eisenhower (1961), and Carter (1981). In some years there were both written messages and oral addresses. Nixon in 1972 presented both an oral address and a written message. In 1973 and 1974, Nixon submitted multiple documents entitled “State of the Union.” Carter also spoke and wrote in 1978, 1979, and 1980. Roosevelt’s last (1945) and Eisenhower’s 4th (1956) were technically written messages although they also addressed the American people via radio summarizing their reports (rather than speaking to a Joint Session of Congress). Scholarly research needs to recognize the variability in these practice.

    This is the official list of in person SOTU messages:

    https://history.house.gov/Institution/SOTU/List

    It wasn’t called the State of the Union message until 1942 (informally) and 1947 (officially) but just the president’s annual message to Congress.

    The first televised one was Truman 1947, at a time when television was just beginning to appear outside of bars. The first to be given after business hours, in prime time, was Lyndon Johnson’s in 1965

    https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-biden-required-give-sotu-address-person-his-inaugural-year-1572156

    The name “State of the Union” began informally in 1942, under President Franklin Roosevelt. It has been the official title of the address since 1947. Before Roosevelt, it was known as “The President’s Annual Message to Congress.”

    Biden is expected to give an address before a joint session of Congress, but Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on February 16 that there is no set date.

    Ford gave one in 1977, and Carter gave his first in 1978, but since Ronald Reagan gave a speech before a Joint Session of Congress in 1981, it has been traditional for the the incoming one to give one, usually in February. But I guess it’s too late for February this year.

    The last outgoing president to send a message was Carter in 1981, but that was a written paper.

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  135. Who gives a SOTU 5 weeks in? This is dumb.

    Again, it is not unusual for a new president NOT to give a SOTU speech:

    The past six Presidents have chosen not to give an official State of the Union address the year they were first inaugurated, having just previously delivered an inaugural address. In each
    instance their first speech to a joint session of Congress closely followed their inauguration, but
    was not officially categorized as a “State of the Union Message.” For example, President Donald Trump’s 2017 address was entitled “Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress.

    Source, page 1.

    Rip Murdock (80e6b4)

  136. From Biden’s opening at the speech:

    “The State of the Nation is in tatters. What a shambles! You have no idea!”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  137. I think it is understandable that Trump didn’t want to make any speech after his second landslide was stolen in the midst of a fake pandemic.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  138. Trump is change in our nation’s history for sure.
    Dustin (4237e0) — 3/1/2021 @ 8:02 am

    I completely agree, Dustin.

    felipe (484255)

  139. The New York Times explains (somewhat) the claims that Antifa was responsible for the Jan 6 riot. (I knew that Trump must have meant in disguise when he told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy it was Antifa)

    None of the numerous people arrested were.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/us/politics/antifa-conspiracy-capitol-riot.html

    At 1:51 p.m. on Jan. 6, a right-wing radio host named Michael D. Brown wrote on Twitter that rioters had breached the United States Capitol — and immediately speculated about who was really to blame. “Antifa or BLM or other insurgents could be doing it disguised as Trump supporters,” Mr. Brown wrote, using shorthand for Black Lives Matter. “Come on, man, have you never heard of psyops?”

    Only 13,000 people follow Mr. Brown on Twitter, but his tweet caught the attention of another conservative pundit: Todd Herman, who was guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s national radio program. Minutes later, he repeated Mr. Brown’s baseless claim to Mr. Limbaugh’s throngs of listeners: “It’s probably not Trump supporters who would do that. Antifa, BLM, that’s what they do. Right?”

    This claim spread so fast, I think it must have been planned in advance by the same people who planned thew riot. By Russia, maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  140. In Texxas they are not just complaining about ERCOT – it’s also the PUC – Public Utilities Commission – which used to have a maximum price of $1200 a kilowatt, but raised it during the emergency to $9000 a kilowatt. It didn’t succeed in coaxing any more electricity into production – it was already at the maximum. There’s a thing called the Law of Diminishing Returns.

    Someone said the electricity grid in Texas was only about 4 and and half minutes from collapse – and it would have taken weeks to restore service everywhere from a black start.

    https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/ercot-holding-emergency-board-meeting-to-discuss-grids-power-failures

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  141. One of the things I don’t like is that people in the media talk about the merits or demerits of the various vaccines as if the distinctions were facts, rather than the result of regulation. (and efforts by companies to get what they make approved)

    The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is not measurably weaker than the Pfizer or Moderna, nor is it limited to one dose. They just tried different approaches in clinical trials. One dose Pfizer or Moderna has about the same effectiveness rate as Johnson and Johnson.

    I did read there is some question as to whether a second shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine would help because the body develops immunity to the carrier virus, but if that were so, a certain percentage of the people would have immunity at the time of the first dose and I don’t think that’s an issue. I read also that that doesn’t matter, so this is like one of those irrelevant NASA launch precautions. I think the odds are there’s no significant actual problem.

    Of course anyone who has antibodies from a previous infection should not get more than one dose of any vaccine – it’s been tested and a second shot then does no good. One does does boost immunity – but it boosts immunity to a level five times higher than just the vaccine (two shots) And the immunity i good against any version of the coronavirus including SARS 1. I don’t know what the vaccine alone does.

    We get a lot of partial truths – only what contributes to arguments for people taking the vaccine, or that justifies current regulations gets said, so in different contexts different things gets said.

    And it is also not true that while Johnson and Johnson doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated at super low temperatures, Pfizer and Moderna do. No, Pfizer and Moderna also work when not kept so cold. It just wasn’t tested that way, and it hasn’t been proven.

    Nobody should assume that any of the distinctions in handling are based on the actual facts. I don’t know if Pfitzer can go as high in temperature for as long as Johnson and Johnson but that’s because of the limitations on information released.

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  142. The area in which the trend toward censorship by Internet companies is where anybody argues with medical science.

    That is the reason, I think the book When Harry Became Sally was removed from availability by AMAZON.com three years after it was published. It was done, by the way, without even any notification to the author or publisher.

    https://www.newsweek.com/best-selling-controversial-book-transgender-people-removed-amazon-3-years-after-publication-1571087

    In 2018, the book hit No. 1 on two of Amazon’s best-seller list before it was even released, but sparked controversy for arguing that society’s growing acceptance of transgender people stems more from ideology than science….

    …”People who have actually read my book discovered that it was a thoughtful and accessible presentation of the state of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates,” Anderson told Newsweek. “Yes, it advances an argument from a certain viewpoint. No, it didn’t get any facts wrong, and it didn’t engage in any name-calling.”

    “People who have actually read my book discovered that it was a thoughtful and accessible presentation of the state of the scientific, medical, philosophical and legal debates,” Anderson told Newsweek. “Yes, it advances an argument from a certain viewpoint. No, it didn’t get any facts wrong, and it didn’t engage in any name-calling.”

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  143. Amazon still left The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths about Sex and Identity in Our Society

    Maybe it was not such a best seller so nobody started an organized campaign against the book (the companies probably have an algorithm for noticing complaints among which have to be the number of complaints and maybe their geographic distribution)

    Or possibly the book did not attack the science so much or the attack on the other book were worded so as to hit a hot button.

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  144. In Texxas they are not just complaining about ERCOT – it’s also the PUC – Public Utilities Commission – which used to have a maximum price of $1200 a kilowatt, but raised it during the emergency to $9000 a kilowatt. It didn’t succeed in coaxing any more electricity into production – it was already at the maximum. There’s a thing called the Law of Diminishing Returns.

    Someone said the electricity grid in Texas was only about 4 and and half minutes from collapse – and it would have taken weeks to restore service everywhere from a black start.

    https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/ercot-holding-emergency-board-meeting-to-discuss-grids-power-failures

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d) — 3/1/2021 @ 12:24 pm

    That PUC decision is very interesting, and as far as I can tell, indefensible. Was there a plant out there saying they won’t go online because the price isn’t high enough? Easy to imagine someone hoped to make a ton of profit off the mess they made, and had a buddy at the PUC.

    Truth is Texas doesn’t use as much power in the winter. A lot of plants just don’t operate much of the year. This would be fine if we could rely on other states for power. While blaming Texas’s fear of overregulation is the popular argument, it’s also fair to ask the feds why they needed that regulation so badly. Both sides of this issue put their opinion on the regs over the reliability of Texas’s power grid.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  145. @118.You’ve been schooled the Bush clan; brush up or HST yet?

    Idiot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  146. Sheer nonsense.

    Bush Pere was famous for his Rolodex and had a lot of connections from his many party and government jobs. But neither he nor his sons aspired to assert open, personal control over the party in the way Trump has turned the QOP into a quasi-church with him at the top.

    Don’t confuse a thirst for the spotlight with the ability to control a political machine. All the way from the 1988 election until TARP, the GOP base was willing to stick up for the Bushes, even after the Iraq war was botched. It was common knowledge that it would have been Jeb, not George, who would have run for President in 2000 if he hadn’t lost the 1994 Florida governor’s election to the ol’ He-Coon himself, Lawton Chiles.

    The mere fact that Jeb and the establishment members of the party thought he was electable against Hillary, a mere 8 years after Dubya had turned the family name toxic within the base, is proof enough of their influence.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  147. Anyone that’s interested in populism or how government control of markets leads to undesirable, (but foreseeable) results should check this out.

    If populism on the political right corrupts democracies, populism on the left ruins economies. For the latest evidence take a closer look at the housing market of the German capital, Berlin.

    A year ago, a rent cap took effect in the city that was unprecedented in Germany. For all apartments built before 2014, rents were frozen at whatever they were on Jun. 18, 2019. Tenants in those units can also force landlords to lower rents defined as “excessive.”

    This reform came courtesy of the city state’s “red-green-red” governing coalition between the three left-leaning blocs in the German political spectrum: the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left (which descends largely from the communist party of the former East Germany).

    Time123 (b0628d)

  148. If populism on the political right corrupts democracies, populism on the left ruins economies

    This person has it exactly backwards. Populism on the political right is a *response* to corrupt democracies. It’s been that way since the days of the Gracchi brothers. Populism on the political left is a *response* to ruined economies, and has been that way since the French Revolution, if not longer. The recent populist right emerged in the wake of TARP with the Tea Party, while the populist left emerged in the wake of the Great Recession with Occupy Wall Street.

    Populism doesn’t emerge in healthy, stable, high-trust societies. It emerges in direct response to socio-economic forces that destroy the lives of a critical mass of ordinary people, who begin to feel that they have little left to lose by tearing down the existing corrupt, ineffectual structure.

    Factory Working Orphan (f916e7)

  149. One pf the roblems with Amazon is that it doesn’t censor, but instead it removes books and videos from its platform, without explanation.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  150. One of the stupidest thigs going on is this cancellation of tomorrow’s sessions of Congress. This is because, six to eight weeks ago maybe, some of the same people involved in the Jan 6 events, or associated with them talked about doing something on March 4. (March 4 because that used to be the date a president was inaugurated through 1933, until the date was changed by the 20th amendment, and no you can’t make that make any sense in any way. But some QAnon people said Donald Trump would be restored on March 4 because of some legal mumbo jumbo.)

    So anyway, not wanting to make the same mistake again, the FBI issued all kinds of warnings for March 4.

    This ignores the fact that, before January 6, there were numerous people travelling to Washington and trip arrangements were openly discussed. What was a surprise was not that some members of extremist groups would be there, but what they would do. They were expected to fight with counter-demonstrators.

    Who’s coming to Washington now?

    They’re taking precautions against ghosts.

    Doesn’t anybody have any common sense?

    Yes, maybe you need only a few people to plant a bomb, but in that case it might not take place on any date that’s been mentioned by anybody.

    Sammy Finkelman (6c2cdd)

  151. The Capitol Police were controlled by a small half absent police board. They ignored warnings up to two days before It wasn’t Trump who stopped them from preparing.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/04/us/politics/capitol-riot-police-board.html

    …But the episode was reminiscent of events in the run-up to Jan. 6, when the panel rebuffed a request from the Capitol Police for National Guard reinforcements to counter a threat that had been identified by intelligence, with disastrous consequences.

    The 150-year-old board is a vestige of the days when the Capitol grounds were patrolled by a few watchmen. Its capabilities have not kept up with the explosive growth of the department, traditional police force management or the contemporary threat environment, resulting in disarray and inaction on Jan. 6 and in the days leading up to the riot….

    ,,,,At House and Senate hearings in recent days, lawmakers have been struck by the fact that two days before the attack, members of the board dismissed the Capitol Police request for troops to be on hand on Jan. 6. They acted with no vote, little discussion or consultation with other authorities, and no involvement by the architect of the Capitol. Then on the day of the riot, board members struggled to connect and agree to declare an emergency so that troops who were standing by to assist could be summoned to the Capitol.

    “If the police chief feels he doesn’t have the authority to even call in the National Guard in the middle of an insurrection and has to call two people in the middle of doing their jobs guarding members, we have a problem,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota and chairwoman of the Rules Committee, which is investigating the assault with the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “You need a different structure, or you at least need a very clear line of authority that allows the police chief to make these decisions.”

    Sammy Finkelman (1df645)


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