Patterico's Pontifications

4/16/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:03 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Here we are again. I hope you had a good week, and have a restful weekend ahead. Here are a few news items to talk about. Please feel free to share anything you think might interest readers. Make sure to include links.

First news item

This morning::

President Biden on Friday signed an emergency determination to speed the processing of prospective refugees, but will retain the Trump administration’s refugee cap of 15,000-per-year, backtracking on an earlier pledge to raise the cap and allow for additional refugee resettlement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress on February 12 that the Biden administration planned to raise the cap to allow up to 62,500 refugees to settle in the U.S. by the end of the current fiscal year.

President Biden on Friday signed an emergency determination to speed the processing of prospective refugees, but will retain the Trump administration’s refugee cap of 15,000-per-year, backtracking on an earlier pledge to raise the cap and allow for additional refugee resettlement…

The Biden administration was concerned that raising the refugee cap would put undue pressure on the Department of Health and Human Services while the agency attempts to house migrant children at the southern border, a senior administration official told the New York Times. However, refugees from overseas are processed via a separate system from migrant children seeking asylum.

“The President remains committed to raising the refugee cap, and I can assure anyone who has concerns that that remains the case,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Thursday.

AOC lambasts the President this afternoon::

Completely and utterly unacceptable. Biden promised to welcome immigrants, and people voted for him based on that promise.

Upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin, incl the historically low + plummeted refugee cap, is flat out wrong.

Keep your promise.

And from Sen. Durbin:

“This Biden Administration refugee admissions target is unacceptable.”

“Say it ain’t so, President Joe.”

President Biden then proved that he can turn on a dime when it gets too hot in the kitchen:

The White House said Friday President Joe Biden will set a new, increased refugee cap next month after facing a barrage of criticism when officials confirmed to CNN and other outlets that it would remain at the historically low level set by former President Donald Trump.

Ah:

As JVW told me (before the flip-flop):

As badly as the Biden Admin has botched the border situation because they so desperately wanted to pivot away from Trump’s policies, it’s interesting to see that they might be having some second thoughts about this sort of grandstanding.

Second news item

Well, this looks like a fun club to join:

A group of ultraconservative House Republicans, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., are discussing launching an “America First Caucus” that would protect “Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, told reporters Friday that he’s “looking at” joining.

“There is an America First Caucus,” he said, confirming that Greene is involved.

A seven-page organizing document that includes the group’s name and a logo, first reported by Punchbowl News, says: “America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”

Third news item

Oh. I see::

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors is under fire for allegedly going on a real-estate buying binge where she purchased four high-end homes, with some being in wealthy predominately white neighborhoods.

According to property reports referenced by NY Post, Khan-Cullors is accused of purchasing four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US. She’s also said to have been eyeing property in the Bahamas at an exclusive luxury beachfront resort outside Nassau where condos are priced between $5 million to $20 million…

After news of Khan-Cullors luxury living hit the press, other members of the Black Lives Matter organization called for an investigation. “If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” said Hawk Newsome, the head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement.”

Fourth news item

A nicer version of Trump grabbing the attention of deep-pocketed Republicans:

As the Republican Party charts its path forward, national donor interest in DeSantis is skyrocketing. Major givers across the country are lining up to support the governor’s 2022 reelection effort, with some committing to hosting fundraising events and others plowing funds into his campaign bank account. In the past two-plus months alone, DeSantis has received six-figure contributions from Republican megadonors including Bernie Marcus, Paul Tudor Jones and Steven Witkoff, who in March held a high-dollar fundraiser at his lavish Miami Beach home…The governor was mobbed over the course of the weekend. Joanne Zervos, a New York City donor who spoke with DeSantis during the conference, said many contributors saw him as “a nicer version of Trump,” someone who had embraced the former president’s policies but lacked his rough edges.

Fifth news item

What they say and what they do:

A federal judge confirmed yesterday that a Texas family will have their land immediately seized by eminent domain for a U.S.-Mexico border wall—the very type of confiscation that President Joe Biden expressly promised he would put a stop to.

“We are utterly devastated,” said Baudilia Cavazos, whose family owns land in Hidalgo County, Texas. “We thought President Joe Biden would protect us. Now we’ve lost our land. We don’t even know what comes next.”

The Cavazos clan has fended off similar attempts at confiscation for years. When former President Donald Trump took office, his administration sought to claim about 7 acres and divide their land—which they rent to various tenants—in two. A huge chunk of their property would thus be nearly inaccessible to prospective customers, paralyzing their business…

The Biden administration could well have stopped yesterday’s ruling, handed down by Alvarez in McAllen, Texas. On his first day in office, Biden issued a proclamation pausing border wall construction for 60 days to determine if any land needed to be confiscated. That 60 days came and went without a decision.

Yet he was insistent the decision was already made on the campaign trail. “There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration,” he told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro in August of last year. And the land seizures? “End, end, end, stop, done, over. Not gonna do it. Withdraw the lawsuits. We’re out.”

He did not, in fact, withdraw the lawsuits. “Yesterday, we witnessed a betrayal of the Biden Administration’s commitment to end construction of the border wall,” said Ricky Garza, an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project, in a statement. “In federal court, the President’s pause on border wall construction is meaningless without immediate action from the DOJ to dismiss these cases.”

Sixth news item

Raul Castro to step down:

Raul Castro announced on Friday he is resigning as the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Cuba, AP reports.

“Castro didn’t say who he would endorse as his successor as first secretary-general of the Communist Party, but he previously has indicated that he favors yielding control to Miguel Diaz-Canel, who succeeded him as president in 2018…

Seventh news item

Crushing through moral boundaries and moving into Absolutely Not! territory:

In the study, researchers fertilized eggs extracted from cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) and grew them in culture. Six days after fertilization, the team injected 132 embryos with human extended pluripotent stem cells, which can grow into a range of cell types inside and outside an embryo. The embryos each developed unique combinations of human and monkey cells and deteriorated at varying rates: 11 days after fertilization, 91 were alive; this dropped to 12 embryos at day 17 and 3 embryos at day 19.

This is getting well out of hand. First, U.S. and other Western scientists go to China to conduct experiments for which they could not get government funding — a rush to the lowest common denominator that Stanford bioethicist William Hurlbut calls “outsourcing ethics.”

Second, this work cuts across crucial moral boundaries. These human-monkey cells would not have just been bone or kidney tissue, but also brain neurons. Moreover, we are not talking mice or rats but monkeys, which have a much closer genetic affinity with humans. What might result from such a combining? I don’t think we should find out.

Miscellaneous

Spring, you gorgeous show-off:

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P.S. “Bobcat” was trending today. Here’s why:

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

Ted Cruz: Maybe I’ll Burn John Boehner’s Book

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Clown.

But Cruz, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 and may well do so again in 2024, is nothing if not a bomb-thrower himself, as well as a nimble opportunist.

“John Boehner doesn’t like me much,” his fundraising email said. “That’s fine, I’m not a big fan of his either.”

Calling the speaker-turned-lobbyist a “Swamp Monster” and accusing him of “an unhinged smear campaign”, the email told supporters Cruz had “put this trash right where it belonged, in my fireplace”.

“But I didn’t finish it off just yet,” it added. Instead, the Texas senator announced a “72-hour drive to raise $250,000”, in which donors would “get to VOTE on whether we machine gun the book, take a chainsaw to it or burn the book to light cigars!”

Were they always like this and I just didn’t see it?

P.S. I have a lot to say about the Adam Toledo shooting — more than I have time for this morning. It may be the subject of the next newsletter, which I will be resuming this weekend after a vacation. I also hope to resume the podcast soon. All coming up!

4/15/2021

Rep. Jim Jordan Demands Dr. Fauci Tell Him When Americans “Can Get Their Liberties Back”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:50 am



[guest post by Dana]

Things got heated this morning between Rep. Jim Jordan and Dr. Anthony Fauci today at a House Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee meeting:

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) had to intervene in a shouting match between Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci by telling Jordan to “shut your mouth.” Jordan ranted at Fauci for several minutes, demanding the doc provide definite answers on when the pandemic will end, when public health mandates will be lifted, and when Americans will have their “liberties” back. “You’re indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to hospital,” Fauci said, adding that life will return to normal when people get vaccinated.

When Jordan complained that no one was allowed to criticize Fauci, he shot back: “You’re making this a personal thing.” Jordan claimed he wasn’t but Fauci said, “You are, that’s exactly what you’re doing.” Jordan kept ranting after his time expired, prompting Waters to yell, “You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth!” Jordan’s home state of Ohio is experiencing a nearly 25 percent surge in new cases

You can view the exchange here. I’m sorry I am unable to embed it. However, the seven-minute clip is worth your time as it lays out two different viewpoints of the situation. Most Americans seem to hold one or the other of these viewpoints, so it’s a good representation of a polarized COVID-19 America. With his hyperventilating theater, it appears that Jordan doesn’t really want answers from Fauci, rather he just wants to rally his base (MAGA) and show them that he’s on the job!

Here is a snippet of the exchange:

Full video here. Go to the 54:15 mark.

–Dana

Biden To Supreme Court: Don’t Take Up Lawsuit Calling All-Male Military Draft Unconstitutional

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:56 am



[guest post by Dana]

Is eliminating all sex-based classifications a good thing?

The Biden administration has asked the Supreme Court not to take up a lawsuit that calls the all-male military draft unconstitutional.

Because Congress is considering whether women should also be required to sign up, Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar said in a brief to the court, “any reconsideration of the constitutionality of the male-only registration requirement . . . would be premature at this time.”

The brief does not state whether President Biden thinks women should be included, nor does it defend the current system, which requires only men ages 18 to 26 to submit their information should a military draft be needed again.

“Congress’s attention to the question may soon eliminate any need for the court to grapple with that constitutional question,” Prelogar wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union, representing two men and a group called the National Coalition for Men, challenged the men-only requirement as “one of the last sex-based classifications in federal law.”

According to the ACLU’s brief:

It imposes selective burdens on men, reinforces the notion that women are not full and equal citizens, and perpetuates stereotypes about men’s and women’s capabilities.

Additionally:

Ria Tabacco Mar, director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, said the result was telling.

“Noticeably absent from the government’s brief is any argument that men-only registration is constitutional,” Mar said. “That is not surprising given that men-only registration is outdated, based on gender stereotypes, and no longer recommended by the military itself.”

Further, Mar pointed out that Congress has had 40 years to act on this, and has never gotten around to it, thus the need for the Court to act:

“President Carter made the same ask in 1980, and Congress hasn’t fixed the problem despite having 40 years to do so,” she said. “It’s long past time for the Supreme Court to declare that men-only registration is unlawful sex discrimination.”

Note that in 2013, the military lifted a ban on women in combat. This was followed by all jobs opening up to women in 2015.

–Dana

Going to Zero Troops in Afghanistan

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



I don’t have a firm opinion about this, but wanted to throw it open for discussion with a couple of observations:

1. We have gone over fifteen months without a combat death in Afghanistan.
2. The idea of a perpetual troop presence offends many Americans, but we station troops on a long-term basis in a lot of places.
3. We have prevented the re-emergence of a terrorist safe haven of the type that existed before September 11, 2001. I would not like to see that situation recur.

Your thoughts?

4/14/2021

Florida Businesses Prohibited From Requiring Patrons To Provide Documentation of Covid-19 Vaccination

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:21 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Even before the pandemic, you wouldn’t find me on a cruise ship. Now, “vacationing” on a giant floating petri dish where there is no requirement for proof of Covid-19 vaccination makes it even a harder pass for me:

Florida and cruise companies could be locked in a battle over vaccine requirements as the state puts a ban on vaccine passports while cruise lines continue to mandate the jabs for passengers and crew.

On April 2, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and local businesses from requiring this proof of vaccination. This ban applies to cruise lines as well…

“The Governor’s Executive Order provides that businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” McCloud told Insider in an email. “Therefore, the Executive Order prohibits cruise lines from requiring vaccine passports for their Florida operations.”

The CDC lists the most common causes for visits to a ship’s medical center:

Approximately 3%–11% of conditions reported to cruise ship medical centers are urgent or an emergency. Approximately 95% of illnesses are treated or managed onboard, and 5% require evacuation and shoreside consultation for medical, surgical, or dental problems. Roughly half of passengers who seek medical care are older than 65 years of age. Most medical center visits are due to acute illnesses, of which respiratory illnesses (19%–29%); seasickness (10%–25%); injuries from slips, trips, or falls (12%–18%); and gastrointestinal (GI) illness (9%–10%) are the most frequently reported diagnoses. Death rates for cruise ship passengers, most often from cardiovascular events, range from 0.6 to 9.8 deaths per million passenger-nights.

The most frequently reported cruise ship outbreaks involve respiratory infections, GI infections (such as norovirus), and vaccine-preventable diseases other than influenza, such as varicella (chickenpox). To reduce the risk of onboard introduction of communicable diseases by embarking passengers, ships may conduct medical screening during embarkation to identify ill passengers, preventing them from boarding or requiring isolation if they are allowed to board.

And specifically, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPDs):

Although most cruise ship passengers are from countries with routine vaccination programs (such as the United States and Canada), many crew members originate from developing countries with low immunization rates. Outbreaks of measles, rubella, meningococcal disease and, most commonly, varicella, have been reported on cruise ships. Preventive measures to reduce the spread of VPDs onboard cruise ships should be followed:

All passengers should be up-to-date with routine vaccinations before travel, as well as any required or recommended vaccinations specific for their destinations…

Crew members should have documented proof of immunity to VPDs

Some cruise lines have already announced their plans to protect crew and guests:

Part of Norwegian Cruise Lines Holding’s return to sailing plan includes a sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandate for both guests and crew aboard Norwegian’s three brands: Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas. The ships will also initially operate at a reduced capacity, and will implement several other health protocols to create a “safe, ‘bubble-like’ environment.”

Silversea Cruises became the second major cruise line to announce it will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all passengers when it resumes global itineraries on June 5.

Meanwhile, Gov. DeSantis is facing questions about whether he has the authority to impose the ban:

The Coast Guard and the CDC have asserted control over pandemic-related cruise line activity at the port, but most decisions have been made by a “unified command” that includes the state, federal and county governments, working with the cruise lines, said Ellen Kennedy, spokeswoman for Port Everglades.

Asked about DeSantis’ assertion, Port Director Jonathan Daniels said by email: “We are working with the cruise lines and through all local, state and federal regulations and guidelines to effect a safe restart to cruising.”

…Jim Walker – an attorney based in South Florida with a specialization in maritime law – who told the Sun Sentinel that DeSantis may not have the jurisdiction needed to either prohibit cruise lines from enforcing a vaccine mandate or bring cruises back.

Here is a report about different cruise lines and their current position on requiring ( or not requiring) proof of Covid-19 vaccinations.

I’ll leave you with a little trip down memory lane:

There is little doubt among experts that the handling of the virus on board the Diamond Princess was an abject failure from the onset. Simply put by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the (US) National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, “…it failed”[8].

Despite this acknowledgment, there is still no clear answer on who should be in charge in future situations that mimic this one. The Japanese government and the Diamond Princess corporate leadership disagreed from the beginning about who was in charge. At the time, the Japanese officials feared bringing potentially infected passengers onshore, since there was no clear place to quarantine everyone. And, they did not want the virus to spread throughout Japan.

After 39 days on the ship (and over three weeks in quarantine) the last of the 2,666 passengers finally disembarked and began their journeys home on February 27th; only to reset the clock and begin an additional two-week quarantine in their home countries. However, the ship remained docked in Japan for another three months while the company focused its efforts on quarantining and repatriating the remaining crew members who had not yet departed on government charter flights[9].

–Dana

The Height of Irresponsibility: Tucker Carlson Says It Seems Like the Vaccines Don’t Work and the Government Is Hiding That From You

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Here’s the short version of my rant:

The natural response from Tucker defenders is going to go something like this: that’s a Media Matters for America clip, but if you watch the whole segment he is asking some pretty legitimate questions. Like: why do Fauci and other health experts keep saying we need to stay locked down if the vaccines still work? And why did the feds pause Johnson & Johnson after a handful of blood clotting episodes? None of this makes sense!

In my view, that defense fails. What Tucker Carlson is doing here is evil. I’ll explain.

First, if you’re worried about context, you can get all the context you want in a ten-minute clip embedded here. But the heart of why this is evil is fully contained in the clip above that I retweeted, and it can be found in this quote:

So maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that. Well you hate to think that, especially if you’ve gotten two shots. But what’s the other potential explanation? We can’t think of one. We know the Prime Minister of Canada has decided, after thinking about it a lot, that vaccines just don’t work — and we know that, because he said it out loud.

Uh, no, he didn’t, you lying scumbag. Here’s what Trudeau said:

I think it’s really important that we work from facts and understanding of the science around things. We know for example that the UK is ahead of just about everybody else on vaccinations and yet they maintain very strong restrictions and are facing a very serious third wave. Vaccinations on their own are not enough to keep us safe, we need to engage in the right kind of behaviors. Do things that the conservatives aren’t always good at like wearing masks, keeping distances and obeying public health rules.

Saying that vaccines, in a population that has not been fully vaccinated, should be accompanied by other non-pharmaceutical interventions is not the same as saying “vaccines just don’t work” and it is a lie for Carlson to say otherwise. It is the height of simplistic and even stupid thinking to equate “having a portion of the population vaccinated will not immediately stop the virus in its tracks” and “vaccines just don’t work.”

I don’t think Carlson is so stupid he can’t tell the difference. I don’t think he truly thinks vaccines don’t work. He’s just pandering to the fringier parts of his massive audience for ratings. Period.

So why are health experts saying we still need to be careful for a while, even if vaccinated, and why are they encouraging the continuation of non-pharmeceutical interventions for a period of time after vaccination? Is it because “vaccines just don’t work”? No, it’s because they are concerned about variants and still-ongoing local spikes of cases.

People could have a discussion about whether Fauci has been overcautious. I’m not as convinced as most on the right seem to be that his caution is *necessarily* awful, I read a book about COVID by Nicholas Christakis, who knows a thing or two about public health, and he has consistently been of the view that a vaccine is not going to return us back to normal with a snap of the fingers. With spikes recurring in certain areas, and variants on the loose in parts of the world, if the public health experts want to signal that some caution is in order for a while longer, I’m not going to get too huffy about it. As I have always said, COVID has a longer attention span than Americans do.

And while concern motivated by businesses going under is a genuine issue, I am really put off by the people who act like wearing a mask is some great sacrifice and infringement of our freedom, and I accord very little weight to their whining. Hurting businesses are a different matter, and we can certainly debate government caution in light of the economic suffering so many have felt for so long.

But all of that has little to do with Tucker’s trafficking in conspiracy theories to appeal to an audience of three million people, with an outsized contingent of vaccine skeptics. He could phrase his argument the way most on the right are these days: obviously the vaccines work, as the evidence of their efficacy is stark and overwhelming . . . so why all the caution?? Instead, he panders to anti-vaxxer sentiment.

Social norms do not allow the adequate response. I can’t find words — at least words that I can repeat without being drummed out of polite society — to properly convey the depth of my contempt for this punk in light of what he did here.

And the best part is, although I can’t find evidence of it, that you know he has been vaccinated. I’d bet a year’s salary on it. But it’s probably a closely guarded secret, because it might cut into his ratings if people found out.

Tucker Carlson is just a truly terrible, awful person, and what he has done here is evil.

4/13/2021

President Biden To Announce American Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:10 pm



[guest post by Dana]

President Biden is scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday:

President Joe Biden intends to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that started the decades-long conflict, congressional officials confirmed Tuesday.

..Biden had faced a deadline set by the previous administration of removing all U.S. military forces from the country by May 1, but publicly admitted meeting that deadline was unlikely.

Still, White House officials have said Biden remained committed to ending the ongoing U.S. military presence there. In March, during a press conference, Biden said he did not see a scenario where U.S. troops were still in Afghanistan in 2022.

Contradicting the Defense Department’s claim that 2,500 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, the New York Times released a report two months ago claiming that the actual number is closer to 3,500.

Clearly, the withdrawal of American troops will be problematic for Afghanistan:

In March, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction warned in congressional testimony that despite billions spent on fortifying local security forces in the war-torn Asian country, “Afghan security forces are nowhere near achieving self-sufficiency, as they cannot maintain their equipment, manage their supply chains or train new soldiers, pilots and policemen.”

Officials also noted that there is little evidence in recent months that the Taliban fighters are prepared to lay down their arms and take up diplomatic posts with the new government, which was supposed to be a key part of the peace deal and May 1 withdrawal.

Mitch McConnell harshly criticized the decision, saying from the Senate floor:

Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership.

Other Republicans echoed his criticism:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called it a “disaster in the making” and “dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous.”

Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters that the decision was “outrageous.”

“You know, we’re talking about making a political decision on something where there isn’t any justification,” he said. “It should be conditions-based. … It’s the wrong thing.”

House Republicans were similarly incensed, with Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (Texas) saying the withdrawal plan “shows a complete disregard for the realities on the ground, and will not only put Afghans at risk, but endanger the lives of U.S. citizens at home and abroad.”

Rep. Liz Cheney expressed similar criticism:

Wars don’t end when one side abandons the fight.

Withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan by September 11 will only embolden the very jihadists who attacked our homeland on that day twenty years ago. By declaring that this withdrawal is not based on conditions on the ground, the Biden Administration is sending a dangerous signal that the United States fundamentally does not understand—or is willfully ignorant of—the terrorist threat.

President Biden’s decision hands the Taliban and al Qaeda a propaganda victory, abandons our global leadership position, and plays into our adversaries’ hands. As we saw with President Obama’s reckless decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011, retreat does not end the fight against terrorism. It merely gives our enemies more room to reconstitute and plot attacks against the homeland.

Breaking ranks, however, was Rep. Peter Meijer from Michigan. Meijer is an Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq and also worked as a civilian conflict analyst in Afghanistan. He applauded the Biden administration for the decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan:

Untitled

Additionally, Concerned Veterans for America released a statement, saying:

While we still believe a full withdrawal by the May 1st deadline in the Doha agreement best serves America’s interests, we are pleased to hear President Biden is firmly committed to bringing our troops home within the next few months. America has more pressing priorities at home and elsewhere, and President Biden must keep his promise to end our endless war in Afghanistan.

Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, an estimated 2,300 American troops have died.

–Dana

When That One Relative Comes To Visit And Dumps Goobers Of Judginess On Her Loved Ones

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:54 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Imagine what she’s like in person. Now imagine what life is like for the people that have to be around her:

She can’t expect to be taken seriously, of course. Her smug sanctimonious virtue-signaling provides a delightfully unintentional warning to others: Lock the front door, you-know-who is coming up the walkway!

I don’t know about you, but when I was able to see my family members from whom I had been separated until vaccines were had, I just wanted to enjoy the moment of being together again. But, hey, that’s just me. Bad SJW and obvious racist!

–Dana

Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine on Pause In U.S. (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:12 am



[guest post by Dana]

U.S. pausing on Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

Federal health authorities recommended Tuesday that providers temporarily stop administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine while they investigate a potential link to very rare blood clots.

Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed blood clots after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One person died, and another is in critical condition, the Food and Drug Administration said.

“We are recommending this pause while we work together to fully understand these events, and also so we can get information out to health care providers and vaccine recipients,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, said during a briefing Tuesday.

The review is expected to be completed quickly, lasting “a matter of days,” officials said.

So just how big of a threat does it present?

The clots are considered extremely rare. Overall, more than 6.8 million people in the U.S. have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Note:

All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination, according to a joint statement on Tuesday from Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

[Ed. I have loved ones who have a wait-and-see attitude about the vaccine, if not an outright heck-no-too-soon-to-know-long-term-side-effects. I suspect pushing the pause button on the J&J vaccine based on such a small percentage of those with adverse reactions will only add to their arsenal of reasons to delay and/or not get vaccinated.]

Meanwhile, a March Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that vaccine hesitancy has dropped:

About 55% of Black adults said they had been vaccinated or plan to be soon, up 14 percentage points from February, according to a poll released Tuesday by KFF. The rate now approaches that of Hispanics, at 61%, and whites at 64%. (Asian Americans were not polled in sufficient numbers to compare their responses with other racial and ethnic groups.)

But the poll found that 13% of respondents overall said they will “definitely not” be vaccinated, signaling that significant hurdles remain in the nation’s vaccination campaign.

Among all groups, Republicans and white evangelical Christians were the most likely to say they will not get vaccinated, with almost 30% of each group saying they will “definitely not” get a shot.

And while the poll indicated that some arguments are effective at persuading hesitant people — such as sharing that the vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death — those messages do almost nothing to change the minds of people who have decided not to be vaccinated.

According to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration data tracker, New Mexico ranks as the state with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated population (29.65%). Georgia is at the tail-end with only 15.03% of their population fully vaccinated. Additionally, according to the CDC, 22.3% of the country’s population are now fully vaccinated.

UPDATE: Here is Dr. Fauci commenting on the J&J vaccine:

Paused. Maybe removed from the market. But let’s don’t speculate. Okay.

–Dana

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