Patterico's Pontifications

9/14/2021

California Recall Election Open Thread

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:00 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Today is the final day to vote in the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom, and to potentially designate a replacement for him. I am about to go drop off my ballot marked “Yes” on the recall question.

Arguments For Recall:
Susan Shelly writes that Republicans can make inroads into a heavily Democrat state by speaking to people’s dreams, and how the Democrat agenda is not meeting them.

Matt Fleming laughs at Ezra Klein’s feeble attempts to defend the Gavin Newsom record.

Rich Lowry marvels at the fact that a hyper-woke state party defends the most privileged of privileged white males.

Kevin Williamson sees parallels between California of 2021 and Detroit of 1961.

Halfway Reasonable Argument Against Recall
The President of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce fears removal will cause chaos, and we will have our chance to vote Newsom out next year anyway.

Who Should Replace Newsom?
I am voting for Kevin Kiley, a state senator whom I mentioned once before on this blog. Back in 2003 I really wanted to vote my conscience and mark my ballot for Tom McClintock, but when the Los Angeles Times ran an eleventh-hour hit piece on Arnold Schwarzenegger (which, when all was said and done, was likely true) I got mad and determined that I would never forgive myself if Arnie lost by one lone vote, so I checked the box for everyone’s favorite Austrian action star. But this time around I am voting for the person who I think would do the best job. Sorry, Larry Elder, you too are being treated rather shabbily by the God-awful Dog Trainer, but my vote goes to Senator Kiley.

What Do I Expect to Happen
Current polls are likely correct: the poll at the end of last month showing the race narrowing was likely an outlier and the governor is probably going to get enough Democrats to come out and keep his administration in place. Even though it will take the state probably two weeks to count the ballots, you can expect the progressive intelligentsia in the media to declare that Gavin Newsom has survived this scare rather handily by the end of the evening.

Share your observations below. Those of you who are not Californians are welcome to mock us for our horrible taste in leaders and general dysfunction.

– JVW

DHS Better Prepared For An Estimated 700 Hundred at US Capitol “Justice For J6″ Rally This Weekend

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:27 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Lessons learned, hopefully:

The Department of Homeland Security is estimating roughly 700 people will attend the “Justice for J6″ rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday and has taken steps to make sure law enforcement is better prepared than it was prior to Jan. 6, said Melissa Smislova, deputy undersecretary for intelligence enterprise readiness.

Saturday, Sept. 18, is the date supporters of former President Donald Trump, many with ties to groups that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in protest of his election loss, will return to Washington for a rally. Smislova said DHS has also learned via social media that similar protests are planned in other cities across the country.

Given that “tens of thousands” showed up at the Capitol on Jan. 6, Homeland Security is taking steps to keep better track of how many might be attending this weekend by tracking “publicly available information on protesters, U.S. Park Police permit applications for large gatherings and hotel reservations across the U.S.”.

What a difference 9 months makes:

“What we realized after Jan. 6 is that we had gotten a little bit lax in some of the aggressive conversations,” Smislova said, speaking of DHS’ biweekly calls and outreach to state and local law enforcement about threats in their area. “Some of it was a lack of discipline, complacency maybe, even. … The information was still out there, but you had to actually seek it out as opposed to having it brought to you.”

She added that the department saw the events of Jan. 6 as a “failure on our part” to communicate within the department and to other agencies.

Anyway, speaking of Jan. 6 and the hundreds that have been charged, at least one rioter who claims he was just an independent journalist at the Capitol that fateful day, thinks that he should be paid to show up in court to defend himself against charges:

A Jan. 6 Capitol rioter has demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars to represent himself, and a bizarre $5 million fee if he’s required to do something like providing samples of “bodily fluids.” Eric Bochene, of New York, calculated what he believed to be the cost of hiring a public defender, fired his court-appointed attorney, then said the government should instead spend the money on him. “You want to do business with me? These are my prices” Bochene told Syracuse.com.

Bochene is demanding $10,000 per 30 minutes in court. The price goes up to $50,000 if he feels he is “under duress.” He lists a fee of $500 ($50,000 under duress) for each hour of research, plus huge penalties if he feels there is “something underhanded going on,” per Syracuse.com. For example, there is a $6 million fee for a forged signature, or $5 million if he’s forced to give samples of bodily fluids. “I’m representing myself, so a lot of work gets put into this,” he said.

As temporary fencing is being erected around the Capitol in advance of the event, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger issued a warning to any potential rabble-rousers:

We are here to protect everyone’s First Amendment right to peacefully protest. I urge anyone who is thinking about causing trouble to stay home. We will enforce the law and not tolerate violence.

The organizer of the “Justice for J6″ rally, former Trump campaign staffer and executive director of Look Ahead America Matt Braynard said that despite concerns about possible violence and claims that he has received death threats, “under no circumstances” would the event be canceled.

On a side note, neither chamber of Congress will be in session that day.

Once upon a time, it would be surprising that people are rallying to support hundreds who are facing any number of charges at the violent uprising at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but it really isn’t surprising at all.

–Dana

9/13/2021

GOP Candidate Leading Polls To Replace Gov. Newsom Lays Groundwork for Claims of Rigged Election (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:04 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This comes straight from the Trump sore loser playbook: If you are defeated it can only be because the election was rigged:

[Republican candidate Larry] Elder, the leading Republican candidate to replace Newsom if the recall is successful…said he believes the “shenanigans” would be similar to those that happened during the 2020 election, in which President Joe Biden defeated former President Donald Trump. There was no evidence of widespread election fraud in that election.

“What I believe is that no matter what they do — and I believe that there might very well be shenanigans, as it were in the 2020 election — no matter what they do, so many Californians are angry about what’s going on” that he will win anyway, Elder said, citing anger around crime, homelessness and quality of public education.

Elder — echoing claims made by Trump during and after the 2020 election, as well as comments about the California race from right-wing media — has started to question the possible election results, telling supporters that his campaign is ready and willing to file lawsuits and pointing them to a campaign website portal that allows people to report possible issues.
“We have a voter integrity board all set up – most of these are lawyers,” Elder said Wednesday. “So, when people hear things, they contact us. We’re going to file lawsuits in a timely fashion.”

“The 2020 election, in my opinion, was full of shenanigans,” Elder said this weekend on Fox News, another outlet that has helped spread falsehoods about election integrity. “And my fear is they’re going to try that in this election right here and recall.”

Elder was sticking to the same message this morning when answering a direct question about whether he would accept tomorrow’s election results:

Of course Trump himself has also pushed the rigged election nonsense:

“It’s probably rigged,” Trump said, repeating complaints about mail-in ballots he raised in 2020. “The ballots… are mail-in ballots… I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot. When that happens, nobody’s gonna win except these Democrats. The one thing they are good at is rigging elections, so I predict it’s a rigged election.”

Note: These is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in California elections. The 22 million ballots California county elections offices have sent to every registered voter are checked and verified to ensure each person only votes once and that only active, registered voters cast ballots. Officials also check to ensure the signature on each mail ballot matches the one on file with the state.

Anyway, President Biden is scheduled to speak at a Gov. Newsom rally in Long Beach tonight. It’s anybody’s guess whether he’ll boost Newsom’s numbers, but certainly, everyone on both sides of the aisle is keenly aware that it’s not just California’s governorship that is at stake here…

UPDATE: Oh come on!:

Republican Larry Elder appealed on Monday to his supporters to use an online form to report fraud, which claimed it had “detected fraud” in the “results” of the California recall election “resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor.”

The only problem: On Monday when the link was live on Elder’s campaign site, the election hadn’t even happened yet. No results had been released. And Elder was still campaigning to replace Newsom as governor.

“Statistical analyses used to detect fraud in elections held in 3rd-world nations (such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran) have detected fraud in California resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor,” the site reads. “The primary analytical tool used was Benford’s Law and can be readily reproduced.”

The site added on Monday afternoon a disclaimer saying it was “Paid For By Larry Elder Ballot Measure Committee Recall Newsom Committee,” with major funding from Elder’s gubernatorial campaign.

–Dana

Hello

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



Hi there. It’s me. Any reports of my demise, if there were any, were premature.

I have spent the last several weeks in a trial, of a case I have had for six years. On Friday, the jury delivered a verdict. (Yes, I’m happy with it.)

This has been an all-consuming enterprise. I missed a vacation with my family. I did not write here or read anything here. I did not keep up with news. I did not go to church. I barely talked to anyone. Many days, I did not sleep more than four hours.

My sleep schedule has been wildly thrown off. Although I am theoretically back to “normal” I woke up before 3 today and decided to shower, have coffee, and start work. Might as well!

Another thing I did not do is write a newsletter. I feel guilty about that, because some people pay for the better stuff, and I have delivered nothing for weeks. The best I can do is offer a refund, and jump back on the horse this week. Email me for a refund for the time I have missed, and it will be cheerfully done. I will send the same offer by email to subscribers.

I thank the guest bloggers for their contributions, although sad to say I have not read them for a while. When you get four hours sleep for multiple nights, it saps your ability to do things like read excellent blog posts . . . or, well, to do anything not critically necessary to the mission.

Did I miss anything over the past several weeks?

9/10/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:54 am



[guest post by Dana]

Hello! Publishing early, so here we go!

First news item

About President Biden’s vaccine mandate:

The president’s plan is certainly well intentioned. The vaccines are the only tried-and-true strategy for defeating Covid; government officials should both encourage vaccination and make it easier to get vaccinated. Health officials must continue selling people on the vaccines by emphasizing the considerable upside: Vaccination decreases transmission of the virus and turns hospitalization and death into very unlikely outcomes. It provides such robust protection that 99 percent of coronavirus fatalities in the United States now occur in the unvaccinated population. Vaccination works, and it’s the right option for a vast majority of Americans…

But forcing vaccines on a minority contingent of unwilling people is a huge error that risks shredding the social fabric of a country already being pulled apart by political tribalism.

The president should not — and most likely does not — have the power to unilaterally compel millions of private-sector workers to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs: Mr. Biden is presiding over a vast expansion of federal authority, one that Democrats will certainly come to regret the next time a Republican takes power. Moreover, the mechanism of enforcement — a presidential decree smuggled into law by the Department of Labor and its Occupational Safety and Health Administration — is fundamentally undemocratic. Congress is supposed to make new laws, not an unaccountable bureaucratic agency.

Second news item

So why didn’t they do more to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6:

Just two days before armed rioters stormed and ransacked the Capitol, about 300 law enforcement officials got on a conference call to talk about the possibility that Donald Trump’s supporters would turn violent on Jan. 6. They specifically discussed the possibility that the day’s gatherings would turn into a mass-casualty event, and they made plans on how to communicate with each other if that happened.

The officials were so prepared for chaos that they even had a hashtag to share information on the FBI’s private communication service: #CERTUNREST2021…

A few days after the riot, a top FBI official told reporters that the Bureau “did not have intelligence suggesting the pro-Trump rally would be anything more than a lawful demonstration,” according to The Washington Post. But the call summary shows that hundreds of officials at fusion centers around the country in fact saw the threat coming, and that they prepared for damaging unrest days before the first rioters broke into the Capitol.

Third news item

Los Angeles public schools mandate COVID-19 vaccines for students:

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) voted to approve a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students, becoming the first major school district in America to do so.

All students who are 12 years of age and older and are part of in-person extracurricular programs must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than October 3, and their second dose by no later than October 31, 2021.

All students who are 12 years of age and older must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than November 21, 2021 and their second dose by no later than December 19, 2021.

All other students must receive their first vaccine dose by no later than 30 days after their 12th birthday, and their second dose by no later than 8 weeks after their 12th birthday.

Fourth news item

Trouble ahead:

[Republicans] are calling for a public uprising to protest President Biden’s broad vaccine mandates, eight months after more than 500 people stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to overturn the election…

J.D. Vance — author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and a candidate for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Ohio — urged “mass civil disobedience” to Biden’s plan to use federal authority to mandate vaccination for roughly two-third of America workers…”I have a simple message for America’s business community,” Vance wrote. “DO NOT COMPLY.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem told Sean Hannity on Fox News: “In South Dakota, we’re going to be free. … We will take action. My legal team is already working.”

A top House Republican aide tells me: “Every Republican in the country — especially those running to the right in primaries — is salivating over Joe Biden [igniting] the vax debate.”

“Republicans think that he’s made even pro-vax conservatives into ‘anti-vax mandate’ Americans.”

Twitter’s top U.S. trends last night had “#IwillNOTComply” at No. 6 — with the NFL’s season kickoff in the top four slots, followed by “Big Brother” on CBS at No. 5.

#VaccineMandate was No. 8, with #DoNotComply as a trend.

More:

“When this decree goes into effect, the (Republican National Committee) will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement…

“The Biden administration’s ill-conceived ‘Path out of the Pandemic’ plan vastly exceeds the powers the United States Constitution allots the executive branch,” said the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonprofit funded by the Charles Koch Foundation, a deep-pocketed conservative group.

“The federal government has no police power, and likewise no authority to force private employers of any size to mandate vaccines,” the group said…

“While I support the vaccine and have received it, Americans have the right to exercise personal choice when it comes to their health,” said Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. “Getting the vaccine is a decision to be made in consultation with one’s doctor, not forced on Americans by the government.”

Anyway, crazy aside [Ed. for clarification: I am referring to Josh Mandel], this is so true:

Untitled

Fifth news item

Unsurprising:

The Department of Justice on Thursday sued Texas over its restrictive new abortion law, saying the state’s legislature enacted the statute “in open defiance of the Constitution.”

The lawsuit comes after the Supreme Court, stacked 6-3 with conservative justices, last week refused to block the controversial abortion law, which bans almost all abortions after as early as six weeks of pregnancy, from taking effect.

President Joe Biden had blasted the high court’s overnight ruling, saying it “insults the rule of law.” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the time that the Justice Department was “evaluating all options to protect the constitutional rights of women, including access to an abortion.”

…The 30-page complaint against the Lone Star State, filed in federal court in Austin, also accuses Texas of adopting “an unprecedented scheme” to insulate the abortion law from legal challenges by empowering private citizens to “serve as bounty hunters” against those who seeks out or assists in obtaining abortions.

The government is asking the court to declare the abortion law “invalid, null, and void,” and bar Texas from enforcing it in any way.

Profound reservations about the Texas law from David French:

The law bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected (a position I support), but it does so in a way that is engineered both to evade pre-enforcement judicial review (dangerous) and to empower any citizen (except state officials) to file suits against anyone who performs or “aids or abets” the performance of an abortion (even more dangerous).

That means that if a person believes his ex-girlfriend, friend, or acquaintance obtained an abortion, they can sue the doctor, the nurse, the receptionist, the mom who paid for it, and the boyfriend who drove her to the clinic.

Yes, those people can mount legal defenses regarding the constitutionality of the statute or their actual participation in the abortion—perhaps the plaintiff sued the wrong nurse, or the mom didn’t know the money she loaned her daughter was for an abortion, or the boyfriend didn’t realize where he was taking his girlfriend until after they arrived—but if they prevail and defeat the lawsuit, they’re still out legal fees that could financially break the defendants.

What if the woman didn’t get an abortion at all? What if she miscarried, and the plaintiff files suit thinking she obtained an abortion? How many thousands of dollars in legal fees would the defendants (including, possibly, grieving family members) have to pay to defend themselves against a random citizen before that citizen has to drop the suit? “I’m sorry” wouldn’t begin to cover the dreadful costs involved… Thus, even if Roe and Casey fall, and Texas is legally able to ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected, this law is still unjust.

Sixth news item

There was no doubt that this – and much worse – would happen:

The Taliban’s violent crackdown on protests against their hardline rule has already led to four documented deaths, according to a UN human rights official who said the group had used live ammunition, whips and batons to break up demonstrations.

Ravina Shamdasani, the UN’s rights spokesperson, told a briefing in Geneva that it had also received reports of house-to-house searches for those who participated in the protests.

The protests against the Taliban’s return to power, many of which have been led by women fearful of their status under the Islamist group, have been the target of violence in a number of locations and were formally banned this week without prior authorisation by the Taliban’s new interior ministry.

Describing the crackdown on dissent as “severe”, Shamdasani also described how journalists covering the demonstrations had faced intimidation, including in one case the threat of “beheading”, apparently a reference to an incident in which two Afghan journalists were detained, flogged and threatened earlier this week.

Oh for godsake, just shut-up already and stop embarrassing America:

The State Department on Tuesday expressed concerns over the makeup of the new interim Afghan government announced by the Taliban, including the lack of female leaders and the past actions of some of those appointed to top posts.

A State Department spokesperson said in a statement shared with The Hill that although the Taliban “has presented this as a caretaker cabinet,” the U.S. “will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words.”

“We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government,” the spokesperson added.

The statement went on to note that the list of names announced by the Taliban earlier Tuesday “consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women.”

Seventh news item

“I don’t think there was a process” [for evacuating our Afghan partners]:

Eighth news item

Yikes:

A Washington Post-ABC News poll asked unvaccinated workers whose employers have yet to impose a vaccine mandate what they were likely to do if being vaccinated was required.

The poll found 16 percent of unvaccinated workers would get the shot, 35 percent would ask for a medical or religious exemption and 42 percent would quit.

Without an exemption, 18 percent said they would comply and 72 percent said they would quit.

Note: A young friend of mine took a heap of scorn from colleagues when they found out that she had received a COVID-19 vaccination. WTF??

Ninth news item

Tenth news item

Trump Coup still rages on:

The authors of the coup try stay embedded within the Republican Party and within the conservative motion. Some are officeholders, like Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, whereas others proceed worthwhile associations with establishments starting from the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a right-leaning public-interest litigation group, to Fox News and different media outfits.

The Trump administration was grotesque in its cruelty and incompetence. But with out the coup try, it might need been doable to work out a modus vivendi between anti-Trump conservatives and Mr. Trump’s right-wing nationalist-populists. Conservatives weren’t proud of Mr. Trump’s histrionics, however many had been fairly happy with all these Federalist Society judges and his signature on Paul Ryan’s tax invoice. Trump supporters, who had been nearly completely in theater, loved 4 years of Twitter-enabled catharsis even because the administration did little or no on key points like commerce and immigration.

In the traditional course of democratic politics, individuals who disagree about one challenge can work collectively after they agree about one other. We can combat over taxes or commerce coverage.

But there isn’t actually any center floor on overthrowing the federal government. And that’s what Mr. Trump and his allies had been as much as in 2020, by each violent and nonviolent means — and proceed to be as much as right now.

When it involves a coup, you’re both in otherwise you’re out. The Republican Party is leaning fairly strongly towards in. That goes to depart a minimum of some conservatives out — and, in all chance, completely out.

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

9/9/2021

President Biden to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine for Federal Workers

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:11 pm



[guest post by Dana]

CNN reports:

Federal workers will have 75 days to get fully vaccinated or will face losing their jobs, the White House said Thursday, ahead of President Biden’s speech officially announcing the change in policy.

“There will be limited exceptions for legally recognized reasons such as disability or religious objections,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing.

She said the interagency task force would “provide a ramp up period, and we expect federal employees will have about 75 days to be fully vaccinated. That gives people more than enough time in our view to start and complete their vaccination series.”

“If a federal worker fails to comply,” she continued, “they will go through the Standard HR process, which includes counseling and face disciplinary action, face progressive disciplinary action. Each agency is going to work with employees to make sure they understand the benefits of vaccination and how the vaccines are free, easy and widely accessible, but it will start to be applied once the executive order is signed.”

Oh, and congratulations, America – we are now just behind Russia in the percentage of Americans skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine:

A survey conducted between August 24th and 30th by Morning Consult, an American pollster, found that 28% of Americans say they do not plan to get vaccinated or are unsure whether they will do so, more than double the average for the 15 countries surveyed. Only Russians are less enthusiastic.

Untitled

A former Marine I know posted an image questioning whether people who feel badly about Americans and Afghan translators left behind in Afghanistan would feel an equal level of frustration and sympathy if members of the U.S. military were punished, court-martialed, or dishonorably discharged if they refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19. I don’t see it as a credible analogy for what I think are pretty obvious reasons. One has to wonder if these same members of the military (or former members) similarly protested the required double-digit number of vaccines they were given in preparation for deployments? This all goes to show the immense harm the politicization of the COVID-19 vaccine has had.

And so it goes…

–Dana

Biden Gives Up on Chipman as ATF Nominee

Filed under: General — JVW @ 9:19 am



[guest post by JVW]

Some welcome news today:

The White House is set to withdraw David Chipman‘s nomination to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as soon as this week, according to multiple reports.

Two sources with knowledge of the decision told the Washington Post of the White House’s plans to rescind the nomination of the senior policy advisor to the gun control group Giffords. Several outlets have since confirmed the report.

Chipman faced universal opposition from Senate Republicans, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell who asked the White House to withdraw their nomination of the “anti-gun extremist.”

Senator Angus King (I., Maine) told the administration and Senate Democrats that he would not support Chipman’s nomination, while other moderate senators had remained non-committal on the appointment, according to the report.

A senior administration official reportedly told CNN that the White House decided to withdraw the nomination because “we do not have the votes,” adding that it expects to place Chipman in “a non-confirmed job in the administration.”

For a guy whom the lazy media was happy to portray as a moderate respite from the loony left wing of the Democrat Party, Joe Biden has certainly carried a lot of water for divisive social policies in his first nine months as President. Beyond the nomination of the hyper-partisan Xavier Becerra at HHS, the bullying hypocrite Vanita Gupta as associate attorney general, and the race-obsessed liar Kristen Clarke as assistant attorney general (all of whom were sadly pushed through sometimes with a bit of GOP help), President Biden has supported a Sandersesque dream budget which would set this country on a big government course that would be awfully difficult for a future administration or Congress to change. He has also adopted the worst aspects of the timid Obama foreign policy, and run them through the toxic sluice of his own ignorance yet unshakable belief that he has some sort of keen insight. So with that said it is welcome news to see that one of his worst nominees is being shown the exit door. More on Mr. Chipman:

Opponents to the nomination had expressed concern over Chipman’s past record on gun control. He spent 25 years at the ATF and, since retiring as a special agent in 2012, has worked as an anti-gun activist for several gun control groups.

He has claimed that he supports bans on “assault weapons” because they are nearly “identical to those used by the military.” However, Chipman declined to define what “assault weapon” meant when asked to do so by Senator John Kennedy (R., La.) during his confirmation hearing.

Chipman argued that the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons had “mixed results,” though studies show that the ban had negligible effect on criminality, which dropped after the law sunsetted.

During the COVID pandemic, he called on American governors to unilaterally shut down gun shops, arguing that “people who hoarded the guns might decide six months from now — once they see no zombies around, but they’ve run out of tuna and beef jerky — that they need the money to buy food.”

He also likened first-time gun owners to Joe Exotic of Tiger King, saying, “they might think that they’re die-hard, ready to go, but unfortunately they’re more like Tiger King, and they’re putting themselves and their family in danger.”

Moderate Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine) warned that Chipman, if confirmed, would likely do “significant damage” to the relationships the ATF has with sporting and gun groups.

David Chipman has that special mixture of arrogance and self-righteousness leavened with a sneering contempt for the citizens he has been appointed to serve. Washington DC (and Sacramento and Albany and Austin and Denver, etc.) are full of this kind of twerp and it is important that they never be put in a position to implement their rancid ideas.

Despite having such a small Senate majority, Joe Biden has managed to push through more of his nominees than any first-term President in my memory. Even his old boss, who in his first term had a huge Senate majority to do his bidding, ran into trouble with the controversial nominations of Tom Daschle to HHS and Bill Richardson at the Commerce Department, both of which were withdrawn. So given that President Biden has been able to see his more troubling picks all the way to confirmation (with the exception of Neera Tanden, thankfully), it’s nice to note that an evenly-divided Senate is willing to set rules on how far it will go.

– JVW

9/7/2021

Chuck Schumer Brazenly Lies in Service of the Biden Administration’s Narrative

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:37 pm



[guest post by JVW]

We discussed this a bit last week, that the feckless and inept Biden Administration who has embarrassed itself and our nation by its ignoble retreat from Afghanistan would likely end up pushing the idea that those American citizens who were unable to get out have themselves to blame, since apparently they didn’t work hard enough to pre-book their itinerary. Considering that reports came this past weekend — from the office of a loyal left-wing and utterly shameless Democrat Senator, no less — that the Taliban is actively preventing planes bearing U.S. citizens from taking off from Kabul, perhaps with the quiet acquiescence of our own State Department, one would think the Democrats might want to tread very lightly on this obnoxious version of what in other circumstances we like to call victim-blaming.

But nobody gave Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D – New York) the memo, I guess. As the holiday weekend dawned, in an interview with a local upstate ABC affiliate he took up the Biden Administration’s dumb refrain:

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) claimed that all Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan had left the country in a Friday interview with an ABC News affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.

Schumer, who was visiting the New York State Fair in Syracuse, was asked by NewsChannel 9 reporter Andrew Donovan how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan would affect Democrats in the 2022 midterms.

“I can’t predict that,” Schumer responded. “There’ll be a job for congressional oversight, there always is, but at the moment actual I’m still focused on trying to get some of those brave Afghans out. The Americans, all of whom wanted to come out have come out, praise God.

When members of the Senator’s staff and the Senator’s colleagues caught wind of what Mr. Schumer was claiming, there no doubt was some frenzied and panicked damage control planned out and put into place. Yesterday, the Senator “clarified” his initial comments:

Dale tweet

Unfortunately for the Senator, the two words “praise God” at the end of the original statement show pretty conclusively that Mr. Schumer sees the evacuation of Americans as having been fully completed and, indeed, fait accompli. Had he truly misspoke and meant to convey the idea that we were still working to make good on that obligation, don’t you think he might have ended with “God willing” instead? Also, why would the Senator have preceded his claim that all Americans had been evacuated (praise God) with a lamentation that we hadn’t been as successful in evacuating our Afghan allies? It just doesn’t make sense: “We haven’t been as successful in evacuating Afghans, but all Americans who wanted to leave are out (praise God). [Two day pause] Oh, I didn’t mean to imply that all Americans who want to leave have been evacuated.”

Chuck Schumer is craven, dishonest, demagogic, and unprincipled, but I have never seen him as being stupid (his admirers are, of course, quite fond of reminding all of us that he got a perfect SAT score over a half-century ago) and I find it hard to believe that he would have said what he said had he not meant to convey the notion that the only Americans who were still stranded in some backwater hellhole we just sunk a whole lot of money into are our compatriots who refuse to leave, and thus any who are rescued from here on in are done so by the merciful beneficence of the Biden Administration.

In any case, Dems might need to rethink the whole “it’s their own damn fault if they’re not home by now” narrative in light of what has been going on the past week. I continue to hope that we get all U.S. citizens out of the country, but I no longer have any faith that our Afghan allies will have a fate other than being horribly betrayed and left to the murderous hands of the Taliban.

– JVW

Absurd Claim: Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine Or Not Getting One Doesn’t Impact Anyone But You

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:20 pm



[guest post by Dana]

On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida actually made the absurd claim about COVID-19 vaccines when pushing back on the idea of vaccine passports:

It’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else.

This is the exact kind of untrue statement that plays well with the DeSantis crowd. But bcause people want it to be true, doesn’t make it so:

Getting the vaccine certainly helps the person who gets the shot — the governor’s not wrong about that. It vastly reduces the chances of being hospitalized or dying of the disease. But it also reduces the spread of the virus to others. That’s the critical point that DeSantis is disregarding in his zeal to appeal to the freedom-at-all-costs far-right of his party as he heads into reelection and eyes the White House.

Yes, there are breakthrough cases, when vaccinated people still become infected. And, yes, there are some legitimate medical and religious reasons for not getting vaccinated. But by all others getting the vaccine, you cut down on the chances that you’ll get COVID and then pass it on to others.

That means you, as a vaccinated person, are helping to safeguard people who can’t get the shot, like children under 12 and the immunocompromised, such as those with transplanted organs. You’re also helping to protect seniors whose immunity often isn’t robust enough even they are vaccinated. You might even be saving the life of someone who simply refuses to get the vaccine.

Anyway, it appears that DeSantis took a hit in a recent poll for his handling of the pandemic. Time will tell whether this is an outlier or not:

On DeSantis’ plans to issue $5,000 fines to businesses with “vaccine passports,” 60% of voters similarly oppose that approach compared to 40% who support it.

There’s even more vocal exasperation at DeSantis’ attempt to withhold salaries for school officials enacting mask mandates, with near 70% opposed to such an approach. Even 60% of Republicans oppose that plan.

Overall, fewer than 41% give a favorable grade to DeSantis for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just over 42% give him a passing favorability rate at all. His favorability rating in the poll sank 11 points from late August.

But if there’s a job voters want DeSantis to hold less than Governor, it’s President. About 59% of Florida voters said they would vote for someone else if he were to run for Commander-in-Chief in 2024, compared to just 41% who would welcome such a run.

Meanwhile, fully-vaccinated Americans frustrated that so many continue to *refuse a vaccine and that we’re still in midst of the damn pandemic are being told that we’re just not living in real America:

According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has seen had more than 40 million cases of COVID-19 reported, and more than 649,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

[Ed. *for reasons other than underlying medical conditions.]

–Dana

9/3/2021

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:09 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Hello. Let’s get started!

First news item

If you don’t want a Covid vaccine because you think it’s unsafe, then why on earth would you turn to a drug not specifically designed to treat Covid-19?

Ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug commonly used in livestock, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID. The FDA and the CDC have warned against taking the drug in such instances — adding that there has been an uptick in calls to poison control centers across the U.S. by people who have ingested it. Misinformation and unsubstantiated claims touting the drug have spread widely on social media.

While the “FDA has approved it in humans to also treat some parasitic worms and external parasites like lice,” there is no evidence that it helps with Covid-19 but rather it can be harmful when used on humans. Thus, the American Medical Association is calling for an “immediate end” for the use of ivermectin to treat Covid-19:

The American Medical Association (AMA) is calling for the immediate end to the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, and for doctors to stop prescribing it for that purpose, amid a spike in the use of the drug.

Ivermectin, often used as a deworming agent in animals and sometimes for humans, is not approved to treat COVID-19 and has not been shown to work for that purpose. Poison control centers have recorded a five-fold increase in calls related to ivermectin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The AMA, the country’s largest doctors group, is now joining in warning against use of the drug, joining the Food and Drug Administration and the CDC.

“We are alarmed by reports that outpatient prescribing for and dispensing of ivermectin have increased 24-fold since before the pandemic and increased exponentially over the past few months,” the AMA said in a statement, joined by the American Pharmacists Association and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. “As such, we are calling for an immediate end to the prescribing, dispensing, and use of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 outside of a clinical trial.”

Convince me that the Egyptian study and the Argentine study demonstrate a majority viability and effectiveness of Ivermectin as a treatment for Covid. Because it seems pretty clear that they don’t. And let’s not forget that we have already learned that Ivermectin really isn’t effective when combatting Covid-19…

Second news item

California residents continue to be harmed by homeless crisis and D.A. Gascon’s policies:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call on Dan Blocker Beach on Sunday. Deputies were told a man was with four family members when they were approached by two suspects, both believed to be homeless.

The two homeless people confronted the dad, saying they were not allowed in the area, sparking an argument between the three people. One of the suspects, later identified as Richard Franck, whipped out a machete and began slashing the dad multiple times.

The other four family members were chased by Franck and the other homeless person, LASD said.

Both suspects were eventually found and arrested. Both are being charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon.

NOTE: In April of this year, Franck had pulled a knife on a police officer, but due to Gascon’s new policies, he was released on a lesser charge.

Third news item

Sen. Ben Sasse rightfully shoots a mouthful of sass at President Biden for trying to change the conversation:

President Biden desperately wants to talk about anything but Afghanistan, but Americans who are hiding from the Taliban, ISIS, and the Haqqani network don’t give a damn about news cycles, long weekends, and polling — they want out. The Biden administration has a moral obligation to give a full accounting: What is the exact number of Americans trapped in Afghanistan? What is the exact number of legal permanent residents? How many SIV allies? Without answering those questions, they’re just doing political propaganda.

Fourth news item

Retiring senator says “no” to Trump in 2024:

Retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)…does not believe former President Trump should be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, calling his behavior after the 2020 election “completely unacceptable.”

Toomey largely supported Trump and his agenda during his first term, but became one of seven Senate Republicans to vote to convict the former president after he was impeached for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

“I think after what happened post-2020 election, I think the president’s behavior was completely unacceptable, so I don’t think he should be the nominee to lead the party in 2024. I’m a conservative Republican by any objective measure, by looking at the voting record, by looking at my views compared to that of a traditional conservative Republican. It is President Trump who departed from Republican orthodoxy and conservative orthodoxy in a variety of ways. I stuck to the conservative views that I’ve had for a long time, he had a different point of view on matters such as trade and sometimes immigration and other things.”

Fifth news item

O say can you see what’s happening in Texas:

Professional sports teams in Texas will lose out on government funding if they fail to play the national anthem before the start of every home game, per a new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday, months after the Dallas Mavericks drew scorn from Republicans by briefly taking the song out of its pregame festivities.

Starting in September, the law — known as SB4 — will require all new financial contracts between professional sports teams and government agencies to include a “written verification” promising to play the national anthem at the teams’ home stadiums.

If teams violate these written agreements, their contracts with the government will go into default, possibly leading to financial penalties.

The law doesn’t mention any specific agreements between teams and the government, but it’s fairly common for state and local governments in Texas and elsewhere to lease publicly owned sports stadiums to teams or underwrite arenas’ construction costs.

Sixth news item

Eh, Jesus would like a word with you, Buster:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Seventh news item

He understands you can’t maintain control over people and outcomes by loosening things up:

President Xi Jinping has called for a “national rejuvenation,” with tighter Communist Party control of business, education, culture and religion. Companies and the public are under increasing pressure to align with its vision for a more powerful China and healthier society.

The party has reduced children’s access to online games and is trying to discourage what it sees as unhealthy attention to celebrities.

Broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics,” the National Radio and TV Administration said, using an insulting slang term for effeminate men — “niang pao,” or literally, “girlie guns.”

That reflects official concern that Chinese pop stars, influenced by the sleek, fashionable look of some South Korean and Japanese singers and actors, are failing to encourage China’s young men to be masculine enough.

Broadcasters should avoid promoting “vulgar internet celebrities” and admiration of wealth and celebrity, the regulator said. Instead, programs should “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture.”

Xi’s government also is tightening control over Chinese internet industries.

Eighth news item

Australia takes pandemic protocol to extreme lengths:

In a bid to keep the coronavirus out of the country, Australia’s federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens. Prime Minister Scott Morrison knows that the burden is too heavy. “This is not a sustainable way to live in this country,” he recently declared. One prominent civil libertarian summed up the rules by lamenting, “We’ve never seen anything like this in our lifetimes.”

Intrastate travel within Australia is also severely restricted. And the government of South Australia, one of the country’s six states, developed and is now testing an app as Orwellian as any in the free world to enforce its quarantine rules. Returning travelers quarantining at home will be forced to download an app that combines facial recognition and geolocation. The state will text them at random times, and thereafter they will have 15 minutes to take a picture of their face in the location where they are supposed to be. Should they fail, the local police department will be sent to follow up in person. “We don’t tell them how often or when, on a random basis they have to reply within 15 minutes,” Premier Steven Marshall explained. “I think every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app.”

Ninth news item

Apple puts the brakes on:

“Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features,” the company said in an update. The company had planned to scan both iCloud photos and encrypted messages for sexually explicit content, but the move drew flack from privacy advocates over concerns the system could be fooled.

Matthew Green, a cryptography researcher at Johns Hopkins University who had criticized the move, told the Associated Press: “You need to build support before you launch something like this. This was a big escalation from scanning almost nothing to scanning private files.”

MISCELLANEOUS

thumbnail_IMG_6581

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

« Previous PageNext Page »

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2703 secs.