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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Paul Krugman - So let's talk about what the right means when it talks about "freedom" ... [W]hat they actually mean is closer to "defense of privilege" - specifically the right of certain people (generally white male Christians) to do whatever they want. Once you understand that the rhetoric of freedom is actually about privilege, things that look on the surface like gross inconsistency and hypocrisy start to make sense. read more

Monday, August 02, 2021

Donald Trump's former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani is almost broke and Trump doesn't seem to care all that much, sources have told The New York Times. read more

[P]lenty of ... people I know grew up believing a story about the past that is so patently false it's breathtaking. How could anyone look at the facts of what happened in the South before, during, and after the Civil War and conclude that white Southerners had fought on the side of honor, that slavery wasn't really all that bad? read more

It has long been central to Republican mythology that Democrats have nothing but seething contempt for the rural and small-town inhabitants of the Real American Heartland. An important new study of the distribution of benefits from a major new policy from President Biden and Democrats - the expanded child tax credit - illuminates the repulsiveness of this scam with unusual clarity. read more

Sunday, August 01, 2021

I am angry that the tragic scenes of prior surges are being played out yet again, but now with ICUs primarily filled with patients who have chosen not to be vaccinated. read more


Since the pandemic began, many conservatives have insisted that actions to limit the death toll - social distancing, wearing a mask and now getting vaccinated " should be matters of personal choice. Does that position make any sense?

Well, driving drunk is also a personal choice. But almost everyone understands that it's a personal choice that endangers others; 97 percent of the public considers driving while impaired by alcohol a serious problem. Why don't we have the same kind of unanimity on refusing to get vaccinated, a choice that helps perpetuate the pandemic and puts others at risk?

[I]f you go back to the roots of modern conservatism, you find people like Barry Goldwater defending the right of businesses to discriminate against Black Americans. In the name of freedom, of course. A lot, though not all, of the recent panic about "cancel culture" is about protecting the right of powerful men to mistreat women. And so on.

Why, for example, are conservatives so insistent on the right of businesses to make their own decisions, free from regulation - but quick to stop them from denying service to customers who refuse to wear masks or show proof of vaccination? Why is the autonomy of local school districts a fundamental principle - unless they want to require masks or teach America's racial history? It's all about whose privilege is being protected.

Argumentatively makes all the sense in the world, and explains quite a lot. It explains just how selfish many in our society can be towards anything that they feel is somehow a hindrance to living their own lives in the ways and manner they want to regardless of the impact of those decisions on other people negatively affected by them.

Every congressional Republican voted against the covid-19 rescue bill, which created the current child allowance by temporarily expanding the previously existing child tax credit to poorer and working-class families, making it much more like a universal program.

And every Republican will likely oppose extending the expanded child allowance. It's now set to expire next July, and Democrats hope to extend it until 2025 in the $3.5 trillion "human infrastructure" bill they want to pass through the Senate via reconciliation.

The new analysis from the Niskanen Center finds that the expanded child allowance - which has started delivering up to $300 per child per month to most U.S. households with children - will shower outsize benefits on residents of rural and less populous states and will deliver a disproportionately large relative boost to their local economies.

Niskanen finds that two of the three states that will get the most in funds are Texas and Florida (along with California) ... This gets even more interesting when you break the funding down per capita in each state. The study finds that the first nine states that will gain the most per capita from the expanded child allowance are all red states.

And, because red states tend to have lower economic output, they will receive a larger injection of funds as a share of their GDP as well ...

There is a realtime experiment going on right now that most seem oblivious of. It consists of whether putting actual money into working family's hands will be more important than bombarding them with culture war lies and hyperboles when it comes to voting in 2022 - voting restrictions and gerrymandering be damned.

Though the Democrats aren't tooting their horns nearly enough to be heard over the plaintive wails of the GOP's incessant mendacity, poorer rural voters will be faced with a choice that will affect each of their lives and personal fortunes regardless - Should they vote for the party wanting to take away the money already given them by Democrats or will they for once vote in favor of their own self interests and place direct financial assistance above culture war politics and the cult worship embodied by a twice impeached ex-President and his scores of minions and enablers?


Actually, this time he is correct at least about the White House, but not from Biden's mouth himself. I went to your link and the first video says this:

White House frustrated with 'hyperbolic' and 'irresponsible' Delta variant coverage, sources say

The White House is frustrated with what it views as alarmist, and in some instances flat-out misleading, news coverage about the Delta variant. ...

At the heart of the matter is the news media's focus on breakthrough infections, which the CDC has said are rare.

Although the difference is night and day between Biden and Trump, now the economy is Joe's fault if the resurgence of the virus again causes disruptions. I understand why the WH doesn't want to ----- consumer confidence without solid proof copious and verified scientific findings. However, much of the reason we have so little data on breakthrough infections and the probability of shedding the delta virus by fully vaccinated folks is due to the cessation of testing and the compilation of data on the group from May forward.

But common sense is telling most of us who've taken the vaccine seriously from the start that Delta is a whole different bird, and all the work of putting over 300 million shots in arms can and likely will be compromised by the too many who refuse to who've now given the variant fertile ground from which to spread. And the mathematical likelihood that variants created through vaccinated people will soon render the current vaccines defenseless - bringing us right back to square one as the pharma companies will quickly tweak a new vaccine which will protect from Delta, but everyone will have to get shots again. And those who again refuse will start the insane cycle all over again.

Of course this is the Administration's greatest fear, but without the public taking masks more seriously than they ever have (N95's this time, cloth isn't going to be effective enough, though better than nothing at all) I just don't see how we're going to evade the freight train bearing down on us that will not be stopped unless people take affirmative action they so far simply refuse to do.

I cannot help but recoil as if I've been slapped in the face when my ICU patient tells me they didn't get vaccinated because they "just didn't get around to it." Although such individuals do not consider themselves anti-vaxxers, their inaction itself is a decision - a decision to not protect themselves or their families, to fill a precious ICU bed, to let new variants flourish, and to endanger the health care workers and immunosuppressed people around them. Their inaction is a decision to let this pandemic continue to rage.

I have no way to comfort my rightfully outraged transplant patients who contracted COVID-19 after isolating for over a year and getting fully vaccinated as soon as they could. With angry tears, these patients tell me it's not fair that there are people who are choosing to endanger both themselves and the vulnerable people around them. They feel betrayed by their fellow citizens and they are bitter and angry. I cannot blame them.

I am at a loss to understand how anyone can look at these past months of the pandemic - more than 600,000 lives lost in the U.S. and more than 4 million worldwide - and not believe it's real or take it seriously. But the unhappy truth is that there are people who do not. They did not in the beginning and many are doubling down now.

I thought when this pandemic began that we were all in this fight together, engaged in a war against a common enemy. Now, I painfully realize: Perhaps we were never on the same side and we never had a common enemy. Perhaps the war has been among ourselves all along.

Of course this "war" has been political from Day 1 and before it's over many more of us will lose more than our freedom. People will needlessly lose their lives while Republican leaders continue to misconstrue public safety measures as being antithetical to personal liberty.

Nothing is more antithetical to personal liberty than the combo of mass debilitating sickness and death.

Sorry, in the context it was funny.

There is NO context where any threat against Nancy Pelosi is "funny".

Cleveland man charged with threatening to kill Nancy Pelosi

July 7, 2021

A Cleveland man has been charged with threatening to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for "committing treason" against the US, court documents show.

"I want to let you know that I'm gonna be landing in the Stockton, California, airport," Staudohar said, the affidavit shows. "I'm coming up there for a ... vengeance."

"I'm a self-made man, and I have ordered a hit," Staudohar allegedly told a Dallas cop. "I ordered two bullets to be put in her head."

"You tell that dirty f""g c" I'm gonna work her over with brass knuckles," Staudohar said, the affidavit shows. "By the time I'm done with her, her face is gonna look a f""g 10-pound bag of hamburger."

A Trump loyalist was found guilty of making death threats against lawmakers, including AOC, Pelosi, and Schumer

April 28, 2021

Brendan Hunt, a 37-year-old Trump loyalist from Queens, faces up to 10 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of making a death threat against elected officials.

In December 2020, Hunt demanded Trump hold a "public execution of pelosi aoc schumer etc," referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He said outside groups would kill the lawmakers if they weren't executed by the government.

Man Charged With Making Death Threats to Nancy Pelosi in Coronavirus Rant

March 28, 2021

A Texas man, ranting on social media about the congressional response to the coronavirus outbreak, has been charged with making death threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, federal prosecutors announced on Thursday.

Gavin Weslee Blake Perry, 27, of Wichita Falls, Texas, wrote on his personal Facebook page on Monday that Ms. Pelosi was part of a satanic cult and that she and other Democrats should be killed, the authorities said.

Man charged with making death threats against Biden, Pelosi, Michigan Gov. Whitmer

March 16, 2021

A Michigan man is facing charges after authorities said he posted death threats online targeting President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Authorities said Docter posted messages saying that "he would use a gun to shoot and kill the elected officials and would be the catalyst' for a new American revolution."

"(Docter) also had information on how to make a bomb and where the find the necessary materials on his smart phone," officials with Nessel's office said in a news release.

People like these don't need cowardly morons like McCarthy to minimize the use of violence toward anyone, much less the Speaker of the House and 3rd in line for the Presidency. McCarthy has proven himself unfit to ever become SOH, and comments adding fuel to the fire of already deranged individuals only confirms it.

The first time she heard Houston's version of her song, she had to pull over to avoid crashing her car because she was so overwhelmed.

"I was shot so full of adrenaline and energy, I had to pull off, because I was afraid that I would wreck, so I pulled over quick as I could to listen to that whole song," Parton told Oprah Winfrey in a 2020 interview. "I could not believe how she did that. I mean, how beautiful it was that my little song had turned into that, so that was a major, major thing."

Parton purchased the 6,317-square-foot Mission-style complex in Nashville in February 1997, according to property records. David Ewing, a longtime Nashville historian, told The Washington Post that Parton's investment came when many recording artists did not look toward the Sevier Park neighborhood, now known as 12 South, to set up their businesses.

"We're just hearing now, because of the Black Lives Matter movement, how down for the cause Dolly has always been - even when others in the music industry weren't," Ewing said. "Dolly Parton could have built and bought any piece of property in Nashville. But you would have to have gone out of your way to buy in the 12 South neighborhood, because no Realtor would have shown Dolly that lot to buy."

At the time, the neighborhood was "African American funeral homes, businesses and churches," Ewing said. Now, 12 South is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Nashville, he said.

"But it really kind of all began to be put on the map when Dolly quietly invested in the area," Ewing said.

Dolly Parton - Soul Sister. Who'd ever thunk it? Bless you Dolly for your lifetime of great works for all Americans.

Evidently, the only thing bigger than your ...errr, talent, is your humongous loving heart.

According to the reporting, Trump spoke with the acting attorney general and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, on Dec. 27, pressing the officials on voter-fraud claims that the Justice Department already knew to be false. Donoghue reminded the then-president that the department could not help Trump change the election's outcome, but according to the lawyer's notes, the then-president said that wasn't what he was asking for.

"Just say that the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me" and to the White House's congressional allies, Donoghue wrote, summarizing Trump's response.

The then-president didn't specify which congressional allies he was referring to, but the Times' report added that during the same call, Trump referenced Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) -- who was recently rejected as a member of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack -- as well as Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).

As the December discussion progressed, Trump's pitch to the Justice Department leaders grew more ridiculous. Told that federal law enforcement can only act in response to "actual evidence," Trump said "people" are blaming the Justice Department for failing to pursue far-right conspiracy theories.

This is nothing more than a continuation of Impeachment Part 1. All of this falls directly upon the entire Republican Party who abdicated their constitutional responsibilities to continue to enable the sociopathy of a narcissistic imbecile who places his own needs and desires above all else - laws and Constitution be damned.


Simone Biles said her "mind and body are simply not in sync" in an Instagram post Friday morning while going more in depth about the issue that she says has plagued her since she arrived in Tokyo for the Olympic Games.

Biles posted a video of her during practice on the uneven bars on Friday morning in which she tries a 1 twist and falls flat on her back.

"I don't think you realize how dangerous this is on hard/competitive surface," she commented along with the video.

This was not happening before she left the U.S, Biles said, adding that "it randomly started happening after prelims competition the very next morning."

Biles also answered several questions from fans, revealing that she is still dealing with the twisties as of Friday morning, adding, "Sometimes I can't even fathom twisting. I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist. Strangest and weirdest thing as well as feeling."

Biles said she has experienced this phenomenon in the past, but it usually shows up only in floor and vault and lasts two or more weeks. "It's never transferred to bars and beam for me, but this time it's literally on every event. Which sucks. Really bad," she added.

When asked what it feels like while twisting, Biles said, "Literally cannot tell up from down. It's the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body. What's even scarier is since I have no idea where I am in the air I also have NO idea how I'm going to land, or what I'm going to land on. Head/hands/feet/back.

Anyone claiming that this incident diminishes Biles lifelong accomplishments or calls into question her competitive drive doesn't deserve to be listened to whatsoever. Such claims are the height of ignorance as to what it takes to achieve at her level to begin with.

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