Patterico's Pontifications


Fantastically Wealthy Dem Senator Attends Commie Awards Ceremony, Says Whoops! I Thought It Was Just a Labor Event

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:18 pm

[guest post by JVW]

This one is a few days old, but still a corker:

After receiving backlash from Republicans, Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal has insisted that he would not have attended a recent awards ceremony last week had he known it was hosted by a Communist Party affiliate.

The senator went to the event to support three friends who were honored with the Connecticut People’s World Committee’s annual “Amistad Award,” according to the Yankee Institute, a free market think tank in Connecticut. The committee is tied to the Communist Party USA and listed on the Marxist People’s World news site. Blumenthal, however, is now claiming ignorance on that connection.

“My understanding was that this ceremony was strictly a labor event,” Blumenthal told the Hartford Courant. “If I had known the details, I wouldn’t have gone. … Let me just say very emphatically, I’m a Democrat and a strong believer in American capitalism. I have been consistently a Democrat and a strong supporter and believer in American capitalism.”

So his defense boils down to “Hey, I have a gigantic and well-paid Senate office staff and a huge and lavishly-funded political organization, but no one on my team had the inclination to check out what the Connecticut People’s World Committee is all about before sending me to the event.” I mean, isn’t the name of the group somewhat of a clue that we’re dealing with, at a minimum, a Sandersista organization? And is it that much of a stretch to imagine there might be a few Commies rattling about there? Also, what are we supposed to make of the idea that the Senator has friends who win awards from Communist organizations?

The Washington Free Beacon has more on the event, including reporting that speakers who went on prior to Sen. Blumenthal were quite explicit in promoting Communism:

If Blumenthal was unaware before the event of its Communist Party links, he likely knew before he took stage.

Ben McManus, one of the organizers, said the event was being held on the 102nd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party USA. McManus praised the party for ushering in a “new socialist system” and invited viewers of the ceremony to join the Communist Party USA.

“We invite you to join the Communist Party in this epic time as we make good trouble to uproot systemic racism, retool the war economy, tax the rich, address climate change, secure voting rights and create a new socialist system that puts people, peace, and planet before profits,” McManus said.

A party leader who introduced Blumenthal also issued an invitation to join the group.

“I’m a member of the Communist Party. I love it. I think it’s an amazing organization,” said Lisa Bergmann.

It is unclear whether Blumenthal attended the full event and why he did not pull out of the ceremony before taking stage. His office did not respond to a request for comment.

I am entirely in favor of the First Amendment right of free association, but imagine for a moment the drummed-up media outrage if Rick Scott or Joni Ernst had attended and presented awards at an event sponsored by an organization called The American Sovereignty Movement which had featured speakers extolling the virtues of the John Birch Society and celebrating Rodrigo Duterte’s authoritarian rule in the Philippines. Yet of course Sen. Blumenthal, who has an ugly history of lying about his own background in order to enhance his résumé, is fortunate in that the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN have all studiously ignored the story, because running interference for Democrats is mission central for at least the next year. Again, it’s impossible to believe they would so easily ignore a similar story regarding Rand Paul or Mike Lee.

I’ve made this point before, but I can more readily accept the delusional natterings of a nutcase like our Adorably Ornery Clueless niece or of a legitimate working class schmo like Jamaal Bowman than I can stomach a rich white progressive — especially one whose wealth mostly comes from marrying the daughter of a real estate mogul — who styles himself as a defender of the Common Man. Things being how they are, Sen. Blumenthal seems destined to face off against a weak Republican challenger and cruise to reelection next year, but when the Washington crowd wonders why their reputation sinks lower and lower with each passing year they might want to cogitate on the quality of leaders who ooze up through the respective party sewers.


Then: Silly, Mailing Free Rapid Tests To Americans Would Be ‘Costly and Wasteful’. Now: Free Tests Mailed To Americans Requesting One

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:11 am

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. Because it’s Christmas week and visions of sugar-plums dancing in our heads are so deliciously distracting, posting may be light.]

What a difference two weeks makes…

The good news:

President Joe Biden will announce a plan on Tuesday to distribute 500 million free at-home rapid tests to Americans beginning in January as part of an attempt to double down on the spread of a transmissible variant that has hit the U.S. distressingly close to the holidays.

Biden’s new efforts come as the omicron variant became the most dominant COVID strain in the country Monday, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all cases, and just as travel kicks off at nearly pre-pandemic levels for the holiday season.

The free at-home rapid tests will be delivered by mail to Americans who request them, a senior administration official told reporters…marking a slightly different approach from European countries that chose to send tests to all residents.

Americans will need to request the tests via an official website which will be available in January. While this is good news, many are wondering why this hasn’t already been a priority for the administration. They certainly had been warned about what was to come:

Dr. Sam Scarpino, managing director of pathogen surveillance at the Rockefeller Foundation and a member of their Pandemic Prevention Institute, said the government could have seen this coming.

“Scientists have been warning about the potential for new variants to come along for a year now or more. And we’ve known about omicron since the day before Thanksgiving. It’s been weeks at this point,” he said.

And as recently as two weeks ago, Press Secretary Jen Psaki scoffed at the suggestion of every American having a rapid test mailed to their home because it would be “costly and wasteful”:

Q And I have one quick question on testing. Last week, obviously, the President explained some ramp-up in testing, but there are still a lot of countries, like Germany and the UK and South Korea, that basically have massive testing, free of charge or for a nominal fee. Why can’t that be done in the United States?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I would say, first, you know, we have eight tests that have been approved by the FDA here. We see that as the gold standard. Whether or not all of those tests would meet that standard is a question for the scientists and medical experts, but I don’t suspect they would.

Our objective is to continue to increase accessibility and decrease costs. And if you look at what we’ve done over the course of time, we’ve quadrupled the size of our testing plan, we’ve cut the cost significantly over the past few months, and this effort to push — to ensure — ensures you’re able to get your tests refunded means 150 million Americans will be able to get free tests.

Q That’s kind of complicated though. Why not just make them free and give them out to — and have them available everywhere?

MS. PSAKI: Should we just send one to every American?

Q Maybe. I’m just asking you — there are other countries —

MS. PSAKI: Then what — then what happens if you — if every American has one test? How much does that cost, and then what happens after that?

Q I don’t know. All I know is that other countries seem to be making them available for — in greater quantities, for less money.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think we share the same objective, which is to make them less expensive and more accessible. Right?

Ultimately, though, this:


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