Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:01 am

[guest post by Dana]


Personal attacks on commenters (or me) are out. Criticizing the arguments is fine. Criticizing the person is not. [UPDATE: Criticizing public figures is just fine. What would a blog comment section be without that?]

Violations will be handled according to my judgment and the judgment of moderators I trust. There will indeed be a sliding scale, depending on your track record.


That leads me to the key principle: DO NOT MISCHARACTERIZE OTHER PEOPLE’S POSITIONS. Also, do not mischaracterize other people’s positions. One more thing: do not mischaracterize other people’s positions.

There are a few commenters who like to mischaracterize other people’s positions. Stop it.

And if it has been clearly demonstrated that you’ve made a false statement, own it and apologize.

Now, let’s go!

First news item

These two old white rich guys duking it out is the best America can do? No thank you:

President Joe Biden is preparing to launch his re-election bid in the months after November’s midterm congressional elections, according to multiple aides and allies…

[A]llies say Biden’s determination has grown amid revelations about Trump and his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, as well as the former president’s continued embrace by Republicans. This week, FBI agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida as part of a probe into whether he removed classified documents from the White House, and Trump was deposed by New York’s attorney general over claims his businesses misled lenders.

Biden frequently notes polls that show him defeating Trump head-to-head in a 2024 matchup, and believes he won the Democratic nomination in 2020 because he represented the best chance to remove the former president from power.

But in a potential rematch, Biden would be the incumbent, defending his record both on the economy and overseas while fending off Trump and his still formidable and energized base of supporters.

Second news item

Flat-out denies it:

Former President Donald Trump on Friday denied a report from The Washington Post that said FBI agents were looking for classified documents related to nuclear weapons, among other items…

On his Truth Social platform, Trump said that “Nuclear weapons is a hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a hoax,” referring to then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Trump attacked the officials involved with the search of his home, calling them “sleazy.”

Third news item

New abortion poll taken after Kansas vote:

According to a new poll released on Wednesday by Ipsos/USA Today, 70 percent of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, would favor voting on an abortion ballot measure at the state level. A total of 1,018 adults were interviewed for the poll, 70 more Democrats than Republicans.

The poll asked, “If there was a ballot measure in your state to decide abortion rights, would you vote in favor or against making abortion legal?” Fifty-four percent of Americans would vote to keep abortion legal while only 28 percent would vote against abortion legality, according to the poll.

Seventy-six percent of Democrats said they support abortion legality as did 52 percent of independents and 34 percent of Republicans. Only 10 percent of Democrats are against abortion legality, 27 percent of independents, and 54 percent of Republicans.

The poll also asked, “When you think about abortion, which of the following is closest to your personal opinion?” Twenty-eight percent said they believe abortion should be legal in all cases while 32 percent believe it should be legal in most cases. Meanwhile, 9 percent believe abortion should be illegal in all cases while 28 percent believe it should be illegal in most cases.

Fourth news item

Polio, yes polio, found in wastewater:

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH) today updated New Yorkers on the detection of poliovirus (the virus that causes paralytic polio) in sewage, suggesting likely local circulation of the virus. Polio can lead to permanent paralysis of the arms and legs and even death in some cases.

“For every one case of paralytic polio identified, hundreds more may be undetected,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said. “The detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming, but not surprising. Already, the State Health Department – working with local and federal partners – is responding urgently, continuing case investigation and aggressively assessing spread. The best way to keep adults and children polio-free is through safe and effective immunization – New Yorkers’ greatest protection against the worst outcomes of polio, including permanent paralysis and even death.”

“The risk to New Yorkers is real but the defense is so simple – get vaccinated against polio,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “With polio circulating in our communities there is simply nothing more essential than vaccinating our children to protect them from this virus, and if you’re an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult, please choose now to get the vaccine. Polio is entirely preventable and its reappearance should be a call to action for all of us.”

Fifth news item

Russia-annexed Crimea looks to be in play:

At least two explosions on Tuesday destroyed at least seven Russian aircrafts at an air base in Russian-annexed Crimea, a new satellite image from Planet Labs shows.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense says it could not determine the cause, while the Russian Ministry of Defense said the blasts were caused by detonated aviation ammunition but did not reveal how it had been detonated. [Ed. “Ukraine hasn’t officially claimed or denied responsibility for the blasts, but an unnamed Ukrainian official told the Washington Post the attack was carried out by special forces operating behind the Russian lines.”]


The amount of destroyed planes on Tuesday may wind up making it one of the most destructive days for Russian Air Force aircraft since World War II, including the Soviet-era. The little available data on military aircraft losses during the Soviet era and modern Russia era do not indicate such substantial losses from a single incident, on a single day.

Zelensky says Crimea must be freed:

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that Ukraine must retake Crimea for the war with Russia to end.

“This Russian war against Ukraine and against the entire free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea — with its liberation,” Zelensky said.

“Crimea is Ukrainian, and we will never give it up,” he added.

Sixth news item


Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked Friday as he was about to give a lecture in western New York…An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The 75-year-old author was pushed or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained…Rushdie was quickly surrounded by a small group of people who held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.

Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death…A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.

Seventh news item

CDC loosens school guidelines regarding Covid-19:

Schools can end quarantines and regular screening tests for COVID, but students and staff should keep masks on in areas with high levels of COVID spread, according to guidelines released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…Almost no districts are starting the year with a mask mandate, and in-school quarantine rules are on the retreat.


Schools aren’t required to follow these recommendations — states and cities can still set their own rules — and updates to CDC guidance no longer prompt the kind of sweeping policy changes that they did earlier in the pandemic. Still, many districts look to the recommendations.

Eighth news item

Episcopal Church says nose, nose, anything goes:

Resolved, that the 80th General Convention calls for the Episcopal Church to advocate for access to gender affirming care in all forms (social, medical, or any other) and at all ages as part of our Baptismal call to “respect the dignity of every human being”; and be it further

Resolved, that the 80th General Convention affirms that all Episcopalians should be able to partake in gender affirming care with no restriction on movement, autonomy, or timing; and be it further

Resolved, that the 80th General Convention understands that the protection of religious liberty extends to all Episcopalians who may need or desire to access, to utilize, to aid others in the procurement of, or to offer gender affirming care; and be it further

Resolved, that this 80th General Convention supports public policies at the local, state, and national levels in all our countries to support gender affirming care.

What this includes: “Puberty blockers that can impede proper bone growth and hormones that can have deleterious side effects that have not been fully studied. Castration of boys who believe they are girls. Destroying the vaginas of girls who believe they are boys.”

Ninth news item

I’ve been scolded repeatedly that today’s Trump GOP is what Republicans want, so here you go:

Have a greate weekend.


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