April Fools’ Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    Demand for vaccines is already waning in some parts of the country

    Some states are expanding vaccine eligibility partially because of a troubling reason: Not enough people want to get vaccinated.

    What we’re watching: Vaccine supplies are still limited, but they’re already outpacing demand in some parts of the country, especially rural areas. And that could be a bad sign for the future.

    Where it stands: 14 states have made all adults eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine, and the vast majority have said they will do so by or before President Biden’s May 1 goal.

    Many local governments have also broadened their own eligibility criteria, and demand can vary significantly within states.
    Those states and cities generally have below-average vaccine demand compared to the rest of the country, and officials say they’re letting more people in simply because they weren’t getting enough sign-ups.

    What they’re saying: Vaccine appointments “are not being snapped up in 10 minutes like they were a month ago,” Nirav Shah, director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told the Washington Post.

    “This I take as the very earliest sign that we are shifting from urgency to hesitancy,” he added.
    “One of the reasons that we are pushing forward on expanding eligibility is because our uptake has been lower than expected,” Tennessee’s state health commissioner, Lisa Piercey, recently told News 5.

    Last week, the Illinois department of health said local health departments that have seen waning demand can begin vaccinating anyone 16 and older, the Chicago Tribune reports. Demand is still high in Chicago, but not in other parts of the state.

    The big picture: Republicans have emerged as the most vaccine resistant demographic group in the U.S., followed by white evangelical Christians and rural residents.

    Details: Among U.S. adults who haven’t yet received a coronavirus vaccine, about half say they definitely plan to get one, according to the latest Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey.

    The share of people saying they definitely plan to get the vaccine is lowest in ruby-red states like Mississippi, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana.

    In Mississippi, for example, nearly 1 in 5 unvaccinated people say they definitely don’t want a vaccine. In North Dakota, more than a third said the same — significantly more than said they would definitely get vaccinated.
    In contrast, states with the highest levels of vaccine enthusiasm among the unvaccinated tend to be blue, including the District of Columbia, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.

    thanks, Donald.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A Fools’ Forum? I guess it was inevitable, I’m not the only fool around here.

    4
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I’m not surprised.

  4. Teve says:

    The classic from 30 years ago.

    COYOTE V. ACME

    1
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    New Zealand raises minimum wage and increases taxes on the rich

    I hear Peter Thiel has changed his mind and now thinks New Zealand is “the Past.”

    1
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    COVID-19 has hit people in Republican-led states hardest, study finds

    A study from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School Of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, finds that states with Republican governors have experienced the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. The early days of the pandemic saw the “blue” Democrat-led states hit the hardest. However, by mid-Spring of 2020, the so-called “red” states saw much higher caseloads, a trend that continues.

    Dr. Benjamin-Neelon adds, “These findings underscore the need for state policy actions that are guided by public health considerations rather than by partisan politics.”

    The authors of the study say that political polarization led to politicized responses to the disease that have resulted in worst-case numbers. The study, “Associations Between Governor Political Affiliation and COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Testing in the U.S.,” appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
    ………………………………..
    The most significant difference between blue and red states occurred from late June to early August. On August 5, the risk of death in red states was 1.8 times higher than in blue states.

    Pro-Life my ass.

    4
  7. sam says:

    How’d you like to be under this?

    1
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Almost third of UK Covid hospital patients readmitted within four months

    Researchers at University College London, the Office for National Statistics, and the University of Leicester, compared medical records of nearly 48,000 people who had had hospital treatment for Covid and had been discharged by 31 August 2020, with records from a matched control group of people in the general population.

    The records were used to track rates of readmission, of deaths, and of diagnoses for a range of respiratory, heart, kidney, liver and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.

    After an average follow-up time of 140 days, nearly a third of the Covid patients who had been discharged from hospital had been readmitted and about one in eight had died, rates considerably higher than seen in the control group.

    “This is a concern and we need to take it seriously,” said Dr Amitava Banerjee, at the Institute of Health Informatics at University College London. “We show conclusively here that this is very far from a benign illness. We need to monitor post-Covid patients so we can pick up organ impairment early on.”

    1
  9. Scott says:

    @Teve: As one who has been in the hunt (successfully) for vaccinations in Texas, let me say that in the cities and suburbs (Houston, DFW, Austin, San Antonio), vaccines are in demand and hard to snag unless you are wired to notifications from the mass sites or are willing to be up at 0500 to see which pharmacies have gotten supply in overnight. If you are willing to take the day off and drive to the rural areas, it is pretty easy to get an appointment.

    Three of the four adults in my household are now fully vaccinated. My daughter will get her first this Saturday by volunteering at the Alamodome, a mass vaccination site.

    The city is make a big effort to push vaccinations in the digitally deprived and lower SE parts of the city usually mobile vaccination sites, Meals on Wheels volunteers, churches,etc. We are limited only by supply.

    4
  10. CSK says:

    Sarah Palin and members of her family have tested positive for Covid-19.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Apparently the Wall Street Journal is in an uproar over job killing corporate tax increases. I wonder if they feel the same about job killing corporate tax cuts?

    I lied. No, I don’t.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: In that piece they linked to this: Trump can’t hang on to lawyers after false election claims

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    2
  13. Teve says:

    From the ABC news story that cracker linked me to yesterday

    Over 100 people in Washington state have tested positive for COVID-19 more than two weeks after becoming fully vaccinated against the disease, officials said.

    The Washington State Department of Health is investigating reports of the so-called breakthrough cases, which it said are expected with any vaccine.

    MORE: With older Americans largely vaccinated, more new COVID-19 cases among younger adults
    Out of the 1.2 million people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Washington, epidemiologists have reported evidence of 102 breakthrough cases in 18 counties since Feb. 1, representing less than 0.01% of all fully vaccinated individuals in the northwestern U.S. state. Most cases were patients who experienced only mild symptoms, if any, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Health.

    PHOTO: A man signs up to take a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing van in Herald Square in New York, March 16, 2021.
    Brendan McDermid/Reuters
    Brendan McDermid/Reuters
    A man signs up to take a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing van in Herald Square in New…Read More
    However, at least eight people with breakthrough cases have been hospitalized. The Washington State Department of Health is also investigating two potential breakthrough cases where the individuals died. Both patients were over 80 years old and suffered from underlying health issues.

    The Washington State Department of Health said further investigation will help identify patterns among the breakthrough cases, such as if a variant of the novel coronavirus may have caused the infection.

    Large-scale clinical studies found that COVID-19 vaccines reduced the risk of contracting the disease in vaccinated individuals by up to 95%, compared with those who were not vaccinated. However, the vaccines are not 100% effective in preventing infection and thus a small percentage of breakthrough cases can be anticipated, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

    “It is important to remember that every vaccine on the market right now prevents severe disease and death in most cases,” Shah said. “People should still get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, and encourage friends, loved ones, and co-workers to do the same.”

    The situation is slightly worse than I had thought, but the unpleasant numbers are still so tiny that I’m feeling really optimistic. I can hardly wait 19 days for the next shot.

    1
  14. KM says:

    @Scott:

    If you are willing to take the day off and drive to the rural areas, it is pretty easy to get an appointment.

    For those that can’t for various reasons, churches and other non-profits should be nabbing as many open appt as possible and rolling a bus out there. There’s no point in wasting opportunities and if rural conservatives don’t want a free time-sensitive life-saving vaccine, then make way for inner-city folks and liberals who *do*. No whining about “stealing” or “line-jumping” by out of towners – if there’s space and no claimants, then guess who’s claiming it? A church could contact a location to see if they can reserve a block of slot too and take their congregation on Sunday – have a prayer session in the parking lot to thank the Almighty for blessing them with the chance and let the locals seethe. Praise the Lord and pass the Pfizer!

    3
  15. Michael Cain says:

    @Teve: Erik Loomis is fond of pointing out in his “Eeyore” posts at LGM that while some vaccinated people may still catch Covid, it doesn’t put them in the hospital or kill them. I am more than happy to settle for “much less likely to be infected, and almost no chance of becoming seriously ill” as the benefit of being vaccinated.

    8
  16. Teve says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I have no idea who Ben Shapiro‘s family is, but I’m pretty sure he got into Harvard in a pay for play scenario. Jared Kushner 2. Shapiro is constantly saying stupid things with confidence.

    4
  17. Michael Cain says:

    @Scott: I have heard from friends in Sante Fe that the way to get vaccinated sooner rather than later is to make the drive north to rural southern Colorado, where there seems to be an over-supply. If I had taken that kind of course, my only worry would be that Colorado will reduce the supply it sends to those areas, and that getting the second dose on time might be difficult.

  18. Jen says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Jeez he is dumb. Is that what passes for clever banter these days among Republicans?

    Voluntarily waiting in line at an amusement park is not the same as closing polling places and therefore forcing people to wait in long lines to exercise a basic right.

    I still think that the dumbest thing Georgia Republicans did in that bill is the prohibition on food and water. That’s what takes this clearly out of the “we just want to make sure elections are secure” (which was hogwash anyway) and clearly puts it in the column of punitive behavior that is designed to have people give up rather than remaining in line to vote.

    I really despise the current GOP.

    4
  19. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Comment on the equal injustice for all thread– Hit em where it hurts! Large FINES & RESTITUTION. For people of means–which the majority of these people are–nothing stings more than loss of money.

    3
  20. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Maybe someone with a law background could clarify–but why couldn’t citizens in areas underserved by voting machines and polling places sue the State and Local Gov’t for infringing on their civil rights?

    2
  21. Teve says:

    60 year old friend of mine got the second Pfizer yesterday and here are his two posts since then

    At almost nine hours post-jab, if I raise my arm to vertical, I can feel that something happened around the injection site. But just sitting here there isn’t really anything making itself known to me yet.

    Well, I’m not getting off *that* easy. When I went to bed, I found out two things. First, I could not be comfortable turned to the side where I got the injection. Second, I did not go to sleep immediately. That is different. This morning, the arm has some definite, though still low-level, soreness, and I’m feeling a bit chilly. So I am in ski-pants in addition to my usual attire.

  22. @Jen:

    Agreed. This new law is goingLO to be tied up in the courts for years

    1
  23. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Jen: It is also probably the thing that is forcing major corporations like Delta, Coke, and Home Depot to have to publicly come out against the law. Having to engage in a defensive PR push against some of your state’s largest employers is an odd flex for a Republican Governor.

    1
  24. Teve says:
  25. CSK says:

    This made me laugh out loud: I read that on a Bulwark podcast, reference was made to “PizzaGaetz.”

    3
  26. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I wonder about the timing.

    While the subjects were tested two weeks after the second shot, we do’t know when the infection took place. Just before the second shot? Just after? Two weeks after? It makes a big difference.

    A 95% chance of something is very high, but, it’s not 100% high. It does mean transmission will go down eventually as more people get vaccinated. It also means the best course of action is to assume you’re still vulnerable after vaccination, and to take all due precautions until transmission rates fall so low the odds of infection are close to nil.

    As I keep saying, it matters that as many people as possible, ideally all people, get vaccinated, just like it matters that everyone uses a mask.

    2
  27. reid says:

    @Michael Cain: I’m in SF. I know of people that have driven to Alamosa (CO) and Amarillo (TX) for their vaccines. Those are pretty long drives (4 hours to TX), and I’d be worried about either being denied service or as you said, no follow-up vaccine. Fortunately, I got on a list and was vaccinated much closer to home. Interestingly, New Mexico is supposedly first in vaccine rates.

    1
  28. Teve says:

    The pandemic’s wrongest man

    Alex Berenson gets Fisked.

    1
  29. Teve says:
  30. John McCann says:

    Two thoughts (with links!): First, the CDC issued a press release (I think yesterday) that seems to say that fully vaccinated people can not only feel safe from infection but are not likely to spread the virus. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0329-COVID-19-Vaccines.html

    David Frum has a worthwhile short essay in theatlantic.com that deals wonderfully with the Covid Passport issue dealt with here several days ago. He compares the present GOP problem with the passport to the many red-state laws preventing employers from requiring guns not be allowed in vehicles in their employee parking lots. He says the traditional ‘conservative’ ideal of property ownership has been flipped to state control of private property because the R-party considers the culture war more significant that historical rights.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archives/2021/04/sudden-conservative-outrage-over-vaccine-passports/618476/

  31. Teve says:

    From the link above

    An extraordinary event took place in Georgia on Wednesday night. Republicans sought to cancel a tax break for Delta Air Lines, the state’s biggest employer, as punishment for the heresy of criticizing the new voter suppression law Republicans passed last week.

    And a top Republican has openly, blithely confirmed that this was exactly the motive.

    This latest turn in the Georgia voting wars is wretched in its own right. But it also helps clarify some larger national themes: The profound phoniness of many GOP screams about “cancel culture” and “woke” corporations, and the ugly nature of GOP culture-warmongering, which has grown all consuming.

    4
  32. JohnMcC says:

    Please release my post with TWO links from moderation. I promise I’ll never do that again. [Done. It was your first comment with that name/email combo so it automatically went into moderation. -jhj]

    2
  33. Monala says:

    This article raises important questions I have about the vaccines, mild infections and long Covid:

    In the meantime, we cannot ignore the potential long-term impact of mild Covid cases. We need more research into whether the vaccine can prevent mild disease and infection entirely; until then, public health guidelines must consider mild infections as a potential threat to society and the economy. A study from the Patient-Led Research Collaborative that surveyed almost 4,000 long Covid patients who became sick in the first waves of the pandemic, found that most still have not been able to make a full return to work, and many are struggling to access necessary disability benefits. Just as clinicians and employers should not write off patients with initially mild cases who report debilitating long-term symptoms, the media and policymakers should not write off mild cases as having no effect on society or human health.

    Furthermore, we must consider long Covid in the vaccine rollout and in discussions about the pandemic’s end. Early anecdotes from long Covid patients who have received the vaccine demonstrate that responses may be varied, with some patients reporting an alleviation of symptoms and others experiencing more intense side-effects. These reactions need to be studied, understood, and recommendations about the vaccine need to take long Covid patients into account.

  34. Jen says:

    @Monala: I think scientists are going to be studying covid and the related vaccine responses for a long time. Over the past few days I’ve read articles or first-hand accounts that included the following:

    – People with mild cases of covid who have far more serious long-haul symptoms
    – People who had covid and since being vaccinated have seen their long-haul symptoms disappear
    – People who do not believe they’ve had covid (meaning, they never got sick but cannot rule out an asymptomatic case) but HAVE had other issues, such as Lyme disease, and have seen some of *those* post-illness symptoms lifted after receiving the covid vaccine
    – The article referenced above that discusses people who’ve recovered landing back in hospital later on

    That’s a really interesting grab-bag of anecdotes. This has been such a strange disease to grapple with, from asymptomatic cases to severe illness and long-term impairment up to death as possible responses.

    1
  35. Teve says:

    @BlackKnight10k

    After a year of fake Hunter Biden stories, I’d love to see what’s on Matt Gaetz laptop.

    7
  36. Gustopher says:

    @Jen:

    Jeez he is dumb. Is that what passes for clever banter these days among Republicans?

    This was dumb, but was it Aquaman dumb?

    https://youtu.be/0-w-pdqwiBw

    1
  37. Teve says:

    @AndrewDesiderio

    Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene just introduced a bill that would “reduce Dr. Fauci’s salary to $0 until a new NIAID administrator is confirmed by the Senate.”

    The NIAID director’s appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation.

    I don’t know if Krugman came up with this line about the Trump administration, but he’s where I heard it first, “malevolence tempered by incompetence”

    3
  38. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I’d say that it’s “malevolence enhanced by incompetence.”

    4
  39. Kathy says:

    @Teve:
    @CSK:

    In philosophy one often comes across moral amplifiers. These are qualities that are neither virtuous nor vicious, but which amplify moral and immoral acts.

    For example, intelligence is neither moral nor immoral, but an intelligent philanthropist may be more effectively moral, and an intelligent criminal more effectively immoral.

    I wonder where incompetence fits in.

    2
  40. Mikey says:

    @Teve: Greene is a phenomenally stupid woman. It’s no wonder the Trumpies love her. Birds of an imbecilic feather.

    1
  41. KM says:

    @Doug Mataconis :
    Clearly Shapiro’s never been to Disneyland or WDW on a blistering hot day when the lines are not moving. Most queues are covered and deliberately engineered to give waiting people something to do in the meantime (interactive displays and such); they are air-conditioned or at the very least offer as much shade as possible while trying to keep people moving. Waiting is not the point, but a side-effect of wanting something so the negative experience is minimized as much as humanly possible. Concepts like reserved times (FassPass) and multiple lines based on criteria like disabilities and switching out adults watching the younger kids help move things along. Staff can and does hand out free water and sometimes ice cream if the line is in an uncovered / exposed to the sun area *because* they don’t want anyone getting sick from the heat.

    If people who chose to queue in long lines for pleasure’s sake can be kept comfortable and hydrated, there’s absolutely no reason for people forced to line up to do their Constitutional and patriotic duty get anything less. Forcing people to wait in tedious, deliberately arduous lines is a choice Republicans are making and no amount of “yeah buts” can excuse it.

    9
  42. Teve says:

    @Kathy: Krugman’s (or whoever’s) thought was that you wanted the Trump appointees to be incompetent, as it would hinder their ability to successfully destroy the departments they were installed at. That’s why their incompetence tempers their malevolence.

  43. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Yes, but did it work out the way Krugman wanted it to?

  44. KM says:

    @Teve:
    Wow, talk about “f*ck around and find out”. If Georgia takes away Delta’s taxes breaks it will be WAR. Business isn’t likening their little toys suddenly deciding they’re real boys and don’t need no master as it is; the GOP was bought and paid for long ago. When they start taking away the goodies that were the only reason to support these loons in the first place, Business will go Dem and try to cut a better deal. Money is first and foremost the priority in America and you cannot threaten it without repercussions. Business will outlast the GOP and will gladly bury it if it becomes an active threat to their wealth.

    Do you know what other states would do to become THE Delta hub? The place damn near all flights get routed through? MO and AR would shank their own mothers for that kind of regular tax dollars and the tourists it brings. Georgia is burning all the bridges to keep what little power they have, completely ignoring they have power because of the people they’re currently burning. The GOP is forgetting who they work for and who’s really the Boss here…..

    8
  45. Teve says:

    @TedCruz

    .@AOC explains the real Dem position: abolish ICE.

    Full open borders. Which would make the #BidenBorderCrisis even worse.

    @AOC

    Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico.

    Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.

    @AOC

    Maybe Mexico shouldn’t let YOU in the next time you try to run away from your job to sip umbrella drinks in Cancún.

    “Yes hello 911…”

    4
  46. Teve says:

    @CSK: Yes. There were lots of attempted policy changes that the Trump administration tried to make that were struck down by judges because they didn’t go through the process correctly and violated the Administrative Procedure Act or other laws.

    Federal courts have ruled against Trump administration policies at least 70 times

    The Trump administration has not been faring well in the courts, with major legal setbacks stalling important parts of its agenda, particularly on immigration and deregulation. President Trump has blamed liberal judges sitting in the 9th Circuit for the legal defeats, but a Washington Post analysis shows losses have occurred across the country and from judges appointed by both parties, often because of a failure to follow the law governing how changes in policy are made.

    Incompetence tempering the malevolence.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/politics/trump-overruled/

    3
  47. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Well, we’ve been trump-free since 2016.

    That’s more than America can say 😉

    3
  48. Kingdaddy says:

    The latest mass shooting happened about 15 or 20 minutes drive from where I grew up.

    The Boulder shooting happened about 30 minutes from my current home.

    I knew the victim and perpetrator of a murder suicide by gun.

    I knew another person from college who committed suicide by gun.

    The 2013 Naval Yard shootings happened a short distance from where I used to live in DC. Another murder by gunfire happened in our DC neighborhood.

    I am hardly the only US citizen who has had this many brushes with death by firearm.

    4
  49. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Careful Kingdaddy, or you will be the key figure in and evolving Qanon conspiracy. Why was Kingdaddy at or near or from where all these mass shootings occurred?

    10
  50. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    For example, intelligence is neither moral nor immoral, but an intelligent philanthropist may be more effectively moral, and an intelligent criminal more effectively immoral.

    I think of leadership this way. Being an effective leader means being able to motivate people to follow you and work toward your goals. Those goals could be good, or evil, or randomly neutral.

    (My physicist friends would express it as “Leadership is a scalar, not a vector”.)

    3
  51. KM says:

    @Kathy @DrDaveT:
    When we were learning about Lawrence Kohlberg’s morality scale, it was pointed out by our teacher that both Gandhi and Hitler meet the criteria for the highest realization level for many of their actions – Stage Six (universal ethical principles driven). Nowhere does it say the “ethics” in question were necessarily good or righteous to most, merely that one’s motivation and action derive from abstract thinking based entirely on a deep foundational principle one considers good. Laws don’t matter, social contracts can be broken, justice can be redefined – all that matters is loyalty to the ideal as the driving force.

    It freaked people out that “bad” and “good” people could both place highly because they thought the morality scale was a scale about how *good* you are (“moral”) not how you perceive and act upon your sense of right and wrong (“morals”).

    2
  52. CSK says:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene is proposing the “We Will Not Comply Act,” which would make it possible for people who haven’t been vaccinated to sue businesses that “discriminate” against the unvaccinated.

    Public universities and airlines would be exempt.

  53. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I’d say SARS-CoV-2 gained sentience and has been lobbying republicans.

    2
  54. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I’ll concede that, but in general, malevolence and incompetence are a bad mix.

  55. KM says:

    @CSK:
    Ummm, didn’t Mitch deliberately set it up so businesses couldn’t be sued regarding COVID issues? I feel like he’s gonna be pissed this idiot is trying to undo all his hard work. Also, businesses are going to be just as unhappy with being held accountable for COVID infections happening at their sites as getting sued for telling the unvaxxed to vamoose – they literally cannot win either way. The whole point was to *protect* business interests, remember Marjorie? The donors aren’t gonna like this one bit…..

  56. Scott says:

    @KM: On the other hand, could this be a way to eliminate corporate personhood?

  57. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    Marjorie Taylor Greene is proposing the “We Will Not Comply Act,” which would make it possible for people who haven’t been vaccinated to sue businesses that “discriminate” against the unvaccinated.

    Would it also make it possible to sue businesses that discriminate against the unpantsed?

  58. CSK says:

    @KM:
    Greene’s a showboater. She got kicked off all her committees, so she has nothing to do now but try to cause trouble. She’s playing to her fan club.

    2
  59. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:
    Any act this dimwit proposes will likely be laughed out of consideration. I doubt anyone in Congress can stand her. I include the majority of Republicans in that number.

    1
  60. Joe says:

    @CSK:
    Also keep in mind that MTG has less pull on her caucus than AOC has on hers. I would not spend a lot more time on MTG than I would on the random “a [D/R] legislator in [some state] said/proposed [fill in stupid-ass or offensive concept].” I really don’t think Mitch is going to stay up at night wondering if MTG will unwind his work.

  61. CSK says:

    @Joe:
    That’s why I think she and her shenanigans will be largely ignored by her colleagues. She’ll generate a certain amount of favorable coverage on the crackpot sites, especially if she continues palling around with Trump, but given that she got bounced from all her committees after less than a month in office, how much clout does she bring to any kind of legislation?

  62. Michael Cain says:

    @KM:

    Ummm, didn’t Mitch deliberately set it up so businesses couldn’t be sued regarding COVID issues?

    It was in the Republicans’ Covid relief bill that they couldn’t get passed before the new Congress came in, so tried but failed.

  63. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: Totally, completely anecdotal, but I’ve always been a breath-limited runner, meaning I have the strength to run faster but shortness of breath slows me down. That’s true in almost all physical activity I do. Before the knees gave out I could run a half marathon at a decent pace (for me) but would struggle at 5% more than that pace for even a mile.

    Within a day of getting the vaccine, I felt I was breathing easier. I don’t have anything to prove it one way or another, just a feeling. Just now I took a deep breath and it felt like it went… deeper then it has in the past, without the little hitch I remember when I previously took deep breaths. And FWIW, I had Lyme disease four years ago (horrible). I feel a bit stronger overall. Imaginary? I was already feeling better and just paid more attention after the vaccine? Who knows?

  64. just nutha says:

    @KM:

    Staff can and does hand out free water and sometimes ice cream if the line is in an uncovered / exposed to the sun area *because* they don’t want anyone getting sick from the heat.

    Those aren’t issues to Shapirod; he doesn’t care how many people die/get sick from standing in line. Cost of democracy/price of freedom and all that.

    1
  65. Teve says:

    Man, if I were Ben Shapiro I would pay a surgeon Cash Money to do whatever he had to do to give me an adult-sounding voice. His voice is as bad as Yglesias’s.

    1
  66. flat earth luddite says:

    Axios PM reports that JPMorgan Chase is helping people with criminal backgrounds build in-demand skills and gain access to employment by: (1) advancing a policy agenda that reduces barriers to employment; and (2) removing questions about criminal backgrounds from job applications.

    IMO, simply removing questions about criminal backgrounds is a HUGE step. Back in the dark ages when I returned to “useful” society, the rule was, “you can’t ask unless it directly relates.” Pharmacy workers could be asked about drug use, cashiers could be asked about embezzlement, etc. Today the question is in the form of, “Are you now, or have you ever, at any time, been charged or convicted of anything, minor or major.” Thus neighbor’s son down the street can’t get a job, or apartment, or live with his parents, in most of ‘Merica.

    Sidebar – I’d post the link, but I’ve learned that when Luddite links, Luddite gets sent to the corner with cold oatmeal (and no milk or sugar). But it’s all good, I’m happy we’re all here.

    3
  67. Teve says:

    Vox: The conservative movement is rejecting America

    A recent essay in a prominent right-wing outlet gives an unusually clear window into the modern right’s anti-democratic worldview.

    The right-wing rebellion against American democracy is often subtle, expressing itself through tricky changes to election law without a full-throated acknowledgment of what lawmakers are actually doing. But sometimes, the mask slips — and someone in the conservative movement openly tells you what’s really going on.

    One such slippage took place last week when the American Mind — a publication of the Claremont Institute, an influential conservative think tank based in California — published an incendiary essay arguing that the country has already been destroyed by internal enemies.

    “Most people living in the United States today — certainly more than half — are not Americans in any meaningful sense of the term,” Glenn Ellmers, the essay’s author, writes. “They do not believe in, live by, or even like the principles, traditions, and ideals that until recently defined America as a nation and as a people. It is not obvious what we should call these citizen-aliens, these non-American Americans; but they are something else.”

    These seditious citizens are opposed, according to Ellmers, by “the 75 million people who voted in the last election against the senile figurehead of a party that stands for mob violence, ruthless censorship, and racial grievances, not to mention bureaucratic despotism.”

    If Trump voters and conservatives do not band together and fight “a sort of counter-revolution,” then “the victory of progressive tyranny will be assured. See you in the gulag.”

  68. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Bruce Bartlett
    @BruceBartlett

    Remember–if there was no increase in growth from a tax cut there can be no reduction in growth from repealing it. These things are symmetrical.

    2
  69. OzarkHillbilly says:


    Water wave
    @AnIllicitWriter

    Insurrectile Dysfunction

    Now there is help for this embarrassing condition.

    1
  70. Gustopher says:

    From my idiot brother:

    I wasn’t planning on getting the 2 shot one or even the 1 shot but the Democrats want everyone to carry a vaccination card. Not to be confused with a photo ID those are racist. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    He’s in NY, so the vaccine passport is a real thing, and it’s having an effect on behavior.

    On the one hand, he’s getting vaccinated and he is less likely to get a horrible illness and die. On the other hand, he’s getting vaccinated and he is less likely to get a horrible illness and die.

    6
  71. Teve says:

    @jeremyherb

    NEW: Rep. Gaetz bragged about his sexual escapades to colleagues, showing nude photos and videos of women he said he slept with, including while on the floor, sources tell CNN. One video showed a naked women with a hula hoop. W/ @foxreports @ryannobles

    https://t.co/t7HhLqfefB

  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: Yeah. It keeps coming back to a system is whatever the people who run it are. In the case of government systems, the people who run it are also a reflection of the values of the community, or in the case of larger systems–the competitions among the various stakeholders and their competing visions. The nation reflects who’s ahead at any particular moment.

  73. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: True, but it still may be better than competent malevolence. The difference between Trump and Putin, maybe, for example.

    1
  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: “the 75 million people who voted in the last election against the senile figurehead of a party that stands for mob violence, ruthless censorship, and racial grievances, not to mention bureaucratic despotism.”

    Wait… these are the GOOD guys? WA! (and WTF, too! 🙁 )

    1
  75. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    -@Just nutha ignint cracker: I am a little confused though about which “senile figurehead of a party that stands for mob violence, ruthless censorship, and racial grievances, not to mention bureaucratic despotism” the author is referring to.

    2
  76. Jax says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Pretty good example of the “projection” they engage in regularly. Everything they blame Dems for, they’re actually doing.

    2
  77. Teve says:
  78. Teve says:

    Texas Senate Votes To Punish Wind, Solar For Blackouts Caused By Coal, Oil, Nuclear

    Basically Republicans in the Texas senate are adding financial burdens on wind and solar energy producers to make their electricity less competitive with fossil fuels.

  79. Teve says:

    Seen in the comments at Wonkette:

    (I couldn’t remember McEnany’s name so I Googled “lying blond press secy” and bingo)

    ETA: oh my God, I just tried it, if you Google “lying blonde press secretary” every link on the first page is about Kayleigh McEnany, and this is the first link

    Kayleigh McEnany –
    Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Kayleigh_McEnany
    Kayleigh McEnany is an American conservative political commentator and author who served as the 33rd White House press secretary for the Trump administration from April 2020 to January 2021. She began her media career as a producer for Huckabee on Fox News and … was asked by an Associated Press reporter: “Will you pledge to never lie to us …

    LOL

  80. Jax says:

    Hmmm….we should make a movement so Lying Sara trends, as well. That way when Arkansas votes for their governor, the top ten search results are of all her lies.

    Confine them to the wingnut welfare circuit, not actual positions of power.