Patterico's Pontifications

7/23/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:14 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Hello! Welcome to the weekend. So I went to my first dog breed reveal party. Couples who have dog children have these instead of gender reveal parties. It’s apparently a thing now given that when I googled “dog breed reveal party,” 5,710,000 results popped up. And being that it was a dog breed reveal party, the guests’ dogs were also invited. Suffice it to say, the gigantic horse in my house who pretends to be a dog towered above an awfully cute group of small to midsize pups and tried to play with them like a giant carefully dancing amongst furry Thumbelinas. Being a popular giant in the neighborhood, no one was afraid of him, and he had the run of the land. And no one even batted an eye when he rudely stole a cupcake right off of a dessert plate a guest was holding. Those who live with cute little prancing yappers are on a steep learning curve when in the presence of giants who can reach just about anything. You can get dog DNA test kits, which cost around $100, on any number of websites. And for you cat lovers, you can purchase cat DNA test kits as well. While certainly enjoying the fun, I also felt the way I do when I see the unbelievably huge cat and dog food options at Petco: first-world crazy. It’s hard to wrap the mind around it sometimes.

Here are a few news items to chew on. Feel free to share anything you think would interest readers. Make sure to include links.

First news item

As Trumpworld turns:

Donald Trump and his advisers are convinced that if he runs again for president in 2024, the Republican nomination will be his. Their confidence is so supreme that they view almost all of the emerging field not as competition but as possible vice presidential picks.

As things stand now, Trump is extremely unlikely to run again with former Vice President Mike Pence as his number two, advisers say. Some Trump aides have also written off Pence’s political future, at least at the presidential level, privately arguing that he has failed to capture anything close to the same kind of enthusiasm as Trump. They point to anger among the most diehard Trump supporters over Pence’s decision to carry out his Constitutional duty in certifying Biden’s election win. em>Hahaha!

“The vice president is an incredible man and was a great vice president, but he has a huge obstacle — problem — in trying to be the nominee after dealing with what he’s dealt with over the last six months,” said another Trump adviser, pointing to his recent reception at conservative events. Asked specifically if there was a chance Pence could serve as Trump’s number two again, the adviser replied: “zero.”

Second news item

I know a a nonagenarian Native American who thinks it’s silly when sport teams change their names and isn’t the least bit bothered by the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves or the Washington Redskins. This push is likely a generational thing, as most change is:

Third news item

Oh, come on!:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed on July 15 a case of human monkeypox in a U.S. resident who recently traveled from Nigeria to the United States. The person is currently hospitalized in Dallas. CDC is working with the airline and state and local health officials to contact airline passengers and others who may have been in contact with the patient during two flights: Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta on July 8, with arrival on July 9; and Atlanta to Dallas on July 9.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a widespread rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks. Monkeypox is in the same family of viruses as smallpox but causes a milder infection. In this case, laboratory testing at CDC showed the patient is infected with a strain of monkeypox most commonly seen in parts of West Africa, including Nigeria. Infections with this strain of monkeypox are fatal in about 1 in 100 people. However, rates can be higher in people who have weakened immune systems.

Fourth news item

Enough already -health care workers should be required to get vaccinated or don’t work with vulnerable populations:

A separate American Association of Retired Persons analysis, released last week, showed that only one in five of the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes were able to hit a goal…of vaccinating 75% of their staff by the end of June.

Related:

Nationally about 59% of nursing home staff have gotten their shots, about the same as the overall percentage of fully vaccinated adults — but significantly lower than the roughly 80% of residents who are vaccinated, according to Medicare. And some states have much lower vaccination rates of around 40%.

Fifth news item

What, only six states??

New York is now the sixth state to ban child marriage, after raising the legal age of consent to be married to 18…New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Rhode Island have all implemented laws completely banning minors from marrying. But most states still allow youth under the age of 18 to marry, including youth who are legally emancipated or who have parental consent or judicial approval… Nearly 300,000 minors were legally married nationwide between 2000 and 2018, a recent study by the Unchained at Last found. The majority of those marriages involved 16- or 17-year-olds — but some involved were as young as 10

Sixth news item

Ah:

Hunter Biden is expected to meet with prospective buyers at two art shows where his paintings will be on display later this year, according to a spokesperson for the New York gallery retained to sell art made by the president’s son.

The shows, a small, private affair in Los Angeles and a larger exhibition in New York City, will give Biden an opportunity to interact with potential buyers of his paintings, which the gallery expects to sell for as much as $500,000.

Asked whether Hunter Biden would attend both events, Georges Berges Gallery spokeswoman Robin Davis said, “Oh yes. With pleasure. He’s looking forward to it. It is like someone debuting in the world. And of course he will be there. “

What we were originally told (in the name of ethics):

The White House has established an arrangement that would allow President Joe Biden’s son Hunter to sell his artwork for tens of thousands of dollars without knowing the identity of the purchaser, an agreement established in an attempt to avoid any potential ethical concerns surrounding his sales.

Under the arrangement, a private art gallery owner will set prices for his work and will handle all bidding and sales, but will not share any information about buyers or prospective buyers with Hunter or anyone in the administration. The deal was first reported by The Washington Post.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the gallerist would reject “any offer out of the normal course” and that the administration believes the agreement “provides quite a level of protection and transparency.”

Seventh news item

This is an obscene tweet:

Here’s why:

BuzzFeed News calculated the floor areas of 347 compounds bearing the hallmarks of prisons and internment camps in the region and compared them to China’s own prison and detention construction standards, which lay out how much space is needed for each person detained or imprisoned.

Earlier estimates, including one extrapolated from three-year-old leaked government data, have suggested that a total of more than a million Muslims have been detained or imprisoned over the last five years, with an unknown number released during that time. Our unprecedented analysis goes further, showing that China has built space to lock up at least 1.01 million people in Xinjiang at the same time.

That’s enough space to detain or incarcerate more than 1 in every 25 residents of Xinjiang simultaneously — a figure seven times higher than the criminal detention capacity of the United States, the country with the highest official incarceration rate in the world.

Eighth news item

Liz lays it out, straight-up and without hesitation:

MISCELLANEOUS

We’ve all been there:

Have a happy weekend!

–Dana

Republican Governor: It’s Time To Start Blaming Unvaccinated For New Covid Cases

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:11 am



[guest post by Dana]

Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, doesn’t mince words and good on her:

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday called out “the unvaccinated folks” for the rise in Covid-19 cases in her state, a remarkable plea at a time when many GOP leaders are refusing to urge people to get vaccinated even as Covid-19 cases surge in many parts of the country.

“Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,” Ivey told reporters in Birmingham.

Asked by reporters Thursday about plans to issue a mask mandate or other restrictions now that Covid cases are starting to rise again in her state, Ivey replied, “The new cases of Covid are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with unvaccinated folks.”

The unvaccinated, Ivey said, are “choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”

“We’ve got to get folks to take the shot,” she continued, calling the vaccine “the greatest weapon we have to fight Covid.”

Just how bad are things in Alabama? Pretty bad:

Alabama is the least vaccinated state in the country, with roughly 33.9% of residents fully vaccinated, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Average daily Covid-19 cases in Alabama are nearly double what they were a week ago, and more than four times higher than they were two weeks ago.

Ivey lifted the mask mandate back in April, believing instead that people should use their own common sense and act responsibly with regard to protecting themselves and others by decreasing the opportunity for transmission. But the Delta variant changes the landscape:

[N]ow with the Delta variant spreading, experts are saying vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks in areas where Covid-19 cases are high but vaccination rates are low.

Ivey on Thursday was asked by a reporter what it would take to implement a mask mandate, and replied that “I want folks to get vaccinated” and “why would we want mess around with just temporary stuff?”

Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, and Louisiana are the five leading least vaccinated states, with less than 36% of the adult populations vaccinated against Covid-19.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like vaccination rates will increase anytime soon:

Most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence they do, according to a new poll that underscores the challenges facing public health officials amid soaring infections in some states.

Among American adults who have not yet received a vaccine, 35% say they probably will not, and 45% say they definitely will not, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 3% say they definitely will get the shots, though another 16% say they probably will.

What’s more, 64% of unvaccinated Americans have little to no confidence the shots are effective against variants — including the delta variant that officials say is responsible for 83% of new cases in the U.S. — despite evidence that they offer strong protection. In contrast, 86% of those who have already been vaccinated have at least some confidence that the vaccines will work.

poll

As I said the other day, refusing to get vaccinated is reckless, frustrating, potentially puts others at risk, and certainly prolongs the pandemic. So, with the exception of those with medical issues that prevent them from receiving the vaccine, GET. VACCINATED. ALREADY.

–Dana


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