Friday, May 29, 2020

Nygren's amazing race baiting press release...believe your eyes!

It's a fact Wisconsin's Lt. Governor, Madella Barnes, is black.

So Rep. John Nygren wants to make sure you get really PO'd about it.

Why Nygren specifically targets Barnes leaves little up for discussion. In fact, his whole oddly petty argument is shaped around his obvious racial dog whistle message. You rarely see anything this point blank racist. And Nygren is proud of his clever whiteness:


Just as weird, Nygren complains about Evers budget cuts to many of the governors own favorite programs because of the pandemic, while at the same time complaining they weren't the 5 percent Evers demanded, but instead were 2.5 percent. Oh, and this is a rewrite of an earlier release that same day, but without Mandela Barnes as the target.

Read his race card press release yourself, especially the last line, which blew my mind totally, considering Trump's latest tweets about "thugs," shooting Democrats, and when the "shooting starts." Can't remember when Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch sparked this kind of outrage:


Trump COVID-19 preventive treatments mushroom...


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Sad Republicans: With Great Power comes Great Irresponsibility: They Screwed up, now seek Governors Solution.

Enter COVID-19 Pandemic: Businesses closed and unemployment skyrocketed. But it could have been any other kind of disaster, natural or economic:
(Wisconsin now has) a backlog of 675,000 unemployment claims that are part of the surge driven by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gerrymandered Elections have Devastating Consequences: When Republicans gutted the governors powers before taking office, they did it simply because he was a Democrat:

JSONLINE: GOP lawmakers have instituted a series of benefit restrictions over the last decade that have limited Evers’ ability to respond to the current situation. Most recently, they approved lame-duck laws just before Evers took office that prevent him from loosening many benefit eligibility rules.
But Republican can't Govern or Solve Problems: Seeing the backlog they created, panic set in, and they demanded Gov. Evers do something. Almost laughable was this bumbling realization by a clueless Rep. John Nygren:
Nygren and other Republicans this month called on the administration to issue payments to some beneficiaries before reviewing whether their claims are valid. But he said he has since learned the administration doesn't have the authority to do that. 
No sh** Sherlock. Exposed, Nygren and his band of plundering Republican pirates admitted they can't fix problems, so they're actually throwing it back to Gov. Evers to give them a solution:
Nygren said he is open to crafting legislation to try to address the issue but hasn't gotten answers from the administration about what it needs. 
Will November see Republicans lose even a few elections? Nope. We're stuck with this totally irresponsible legislature thanks to tribalism and Trump cultist voters :
And Wisconsin was the last state in the nation to begin issuing $600-a-week enhanced payments provided by the federal government. 
Why was Wisconsin the last state? Simple...

Republican lawmakers have taken lumps in recent weeks because they forced the state to cover $25 million in benefits that would have been picked up by the federal government if they had acted more quickly to pass a coronavirus relief package.

Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback said "Republicans weren’t concerned enough about unemployment insurance to convene the Legislature before Wisconsin lost out on $25 million in federal funding last month, or at any point in the last eight years during which they made it harder for people in our state to access this critical assistance." 
Policy Failures shine a bright light on Walker Republicans: Did you hear, Republican saved taxpayers billions of dollars not paying for anything, a real badge of honor for freeloaders.

Unemployment Calls Blocked! Remember when Republicans bragged about Scott Walker's legacy? Here's another legacy disaster we all knew the next governor would have to fix regarding their Rube Goldberg version of collecting unemployment benefits; unemployed callers were blocked. Would I kid you? Curtesy of State Sen. Dave Hansen:  
"Republicans knew of the state’s unemployment system’s inability to handle large numbers of applications but did nothing to fix the problem. According to an audit conducted by the state’s non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau in fiscal year 2013- 2014 1.7 million calls, or 60.2% were blocked. “From December 2013 through January 2014, more than 80.0 percent of the 836,700 calls to the telephone line for initial claims were blocked.” 

“Since the audit Republicans have known about the problems with and limitations of the unemployment insurance system but did little to nothing to fix it. For them to now be trying to place the blame on our Governor and Secretary Frostman for the difficulties caused in large part by their lack of concern for the unemployed is hypocritical and disingenuous,” said Hansen

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dumb Ron Johnson doesn't see problem giving Businesses liability protection if employees get COVID-19!

So, just how hard will businesses work to create and maintain a safe COVID-19 free work environment if they can't be sued for lack of protections, maybe relaxing protections, or possibly getting rid of burdensome protections for employees over time? 

You know the answer to that, and so does Dumb Ron Johnson.

It's not needed if business...
"...follows the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal workplace safety agency. If a business does its best to comply with those recommendations, that should safeguard them from frivolous lawsuits."
Yet Johnson wants to pretend we can "trust" business with peoples lives and health? Talk about uncertainty. Who would feel safe going back to work where "anything goes" or protections are at the mercy of whatever a business can afford at the time?

Again, because unemployed workers have all the time in the world to pay their overdue bills, Johnson's tired old scheme is to delay and make us first understand what went wrong with previous stimulus payments blah, blah, blah...! Capitol City Sunday:


If the laws simply give immunity to corporations, there will be absolutely no incentives to ensure that they create a safe work environment,” said Remington A. Gregg, a lawyer with the watchdog group Public Citizen. Granting legal immunity, he says, will “sabotage the effort to get workers and consumers back. If people don't trust that stores, offices and workplaces are safe, they will refuse to return.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests that it could be narrowly tailored. “No one wants to protect bad actors here,” said Neil Bradley, the chambers chief policy officer. Bradley says “if they are willfully forcing workers to work in unsafe conditions, then they don't have that liability protection.”
Yea, sure, we'll see...

Not-so-grounded-in-law State Supreme Court "legal" decision: "Constitution, Freedom, Liberty!"

When it came to repealing Gov. Evers safe-at-home orders, I was stunned by how similar the State Supreme Court's decision was to the unhinged rantings of my Trump cultist friend in Milwaukee.

The courts decision was like something you would hear at a bar filled with unmasked drunken geniuses spouting "patriotic" interpretations of the Constitution, liberty, and freedom.

Want to know how politically corrupt the Supreme Court of Wisconsin is right now? This AP article exposes what is incredibly obvious to most people. And this is what conservatives call law and order?


Republicans, having worked so hard to make bad policy "constitutional" through activist conservative Justices, weren't shy about shaping law to fit their right-wing outcome:
“Conservatives have been snookered,” former state Rep. Adam Jarchow tweeted within minutes of the court’s ruling Wednesday, in reference to Hagedorn. “We will never learn.” Jarchow, who tweeted that he went to a bar hours after the ruling, said Hagedorn was on “the wrong side of history.”
Justices attack fellow conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn: Apparently the conservative majority of Justices were seeking an overwhelming predetermined outcome. They never expected an honest criticism of their partisan bad decision, based on nothing, that put the entire states population at risk:
Hagedorn wrote: “During my campaign, I said that my job is to say what the law is, not what I think the law should be. I meant what I said” (Saying that the Legislature had no standing to bring the case seeking to overturn Evers “safer at home” order). “
“But just as true, the judiciary must never cast aside our laws or the constitution itself in the name of liberty. The rule of law, and therefore the true liberty of the people, is threatened no less by a tyrannical judiciary than by a tyrannical executive or legislature. Today’s decision may or may not be good policy, but it is not grounded in the law.”

Justice Daniel Kelly, who was booted off the court by voters for candidate Jill Karofsky, showed everyone why this bad Scott Walker appointee was never qualified:
“We swore to uphold the Wisconsin Constitution. He’s free to join in anytime he wishes.”
Justice Hagedorn must have hit that exposed sore spot of corruption on the court with this...
“We are a court of law. We are not here to do freewheeling constitutional theory. We are not here to step in and referee every intractable political stalemate. In striking down most of (the order), this court has strayed from its charge and turned this case into something quite different than the case brought to us.”
Supposed liberal Justice Rebecca Dallet summed it up this way:
“A majority of this court falls hook, line and sinker for the legislature's tactic to rewrite a duly enacted statute through litigation rather than legislation. This decision will undoubtedly go down as one of the most blatant examples of judicial activism in this court's history.”
Here's Upfront's Adrienne Pedersen's closing piece:



This hurts, really hurts: While the jury is still out on  Justice Hagedorn's "balls and strikes" attitude, I'm going out on a limb here by agreeing for once with opinion columnist Christian Schneider, even if he blocked me on twitter. This is a thing of beauty:


Fauci gets an audience...


"Feel your Pain" Trump is so sad!


Unmasked COVID-carriers take away our Freedom, "onus is on the individual...if you don't feel comfortable, don't go!"

For the rest of us in Wisconsin, we're now being told by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald that if we're afraid a bunch of unmasked losers spitting out claims of liberty in a store or corner bar, we have the "freedom" to limit our choices and "freedoms:"



In other words...

 

Unmasked Party of Trump Party Cultists: The Bulwark recently took a hard looked at the unmasking of incivility during the pandemic:

We have a “don’t wear masksmovement that overlaps almost entirely with the “reopen immediately” movement.

There are only two possible explanations for why this might be. The first is that people are dumber than a bag of hammers.

The second is that when people tell you what they think about “reopening” and “masks,” they aren’t actually talking about the coronavirus … when you see people nodding along as Judy Mikovits claims that “wearing the mask literally activates your own virus” it can be very difficult to tease out which way the causality runs.
This really happened!

MSNBC's Chris Hayes spelled it out below in a way that even the unmasked TrumpCultists could understand. It's still hard to believe this is a topic at all:



In this popular video tweet, you'll see unmasked protesters in Long Island get in the reporters face purposely as brutish intimidation. I've included the reporters uncut footage and the actual armed occupation of Michigan's Capitol suggesting they would lynch the female governor as well:



More from the Bulwark article:
…they don’t view the pandemic as an event to be managed, but as an opportunity to posture and perform. In part, this is an artifact of how successful the mitigation measures have been: Because the death toll has been held to the scores of thousands, many people have the luxury of talking and acting however they like...

...one of the stories we have told ourselves was that we could become a serious people again if we faced a big enough shock or a stern enough test. That the steely, strong, serious America of the last century—the America that survived the Depression and crushed the Nazis and put men on the moon—was still somewhere within us, just waiting to be awakened. That our true, best selves just needed a call to action, a grave, existential summons.

The reaction of this vocal and sizable minority to the pandemic suggests that this story might not be true, either … the restless grumbling of the open-it-all-up, masks-be-damned crowd should concern us, not only because their actions endanger them and us, but also because of what it says about the American character.
One final word...
As the pandemic moves from public health crisis to partisan flashpoint, the debate over the coronavirus response in the U.S. is becoming increasingly nasty – and, in some cases, violent.

It's not just the clusters of gun-toting protesters at state capitols. In sporadic incidents across the country, disputes over emergency measures have turned into shootings, fistfights and beatings. Stories abound of intimidation over masking. And armed right-wing groups have threatened contact tracers and people who they say "snitch" on neighbors and businesses violating health orders.

Trump's refusal to wear a mask despite the advice of his own health authorities and recent coronavirus infections among White House staffers ... Rachel Kleinfeld, who studies polarization and violence at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the president's decision not to wear a mask is calculated.

"Trump recognizes that by talking about masking in a certain way, he can play on an identity," Kleinfeld said. "And it's an identity of virility versus fear, an identity of urban versus rural, an identity of race, even, given who's being hit by the virus, and he can do all those things by triggering something that was not polarizing before, which is whether or not you wear a mask in public."
One final picture...
Sure, go check it out...

Friday, May 15, 2020

Tracking Wild West Wisconsin's pandemic experiment.

I love embedding interactive graphs, so here's one you can gauge how well the State Supreme Court's decision was to repeal safe-at-home orders:


Another Evers challenge...


Thursday, May 14, 2020

State Supreme Court says, Hit the Bars!!!

UPDATE-5/15/2020: Since the Supreme Court never clarified why it did what it did and what the option are...chaos:

By Friday, health officials in Kenosha, Brown, Manitowoc and Outagamie counties had dropped orders, as did the cities of Cudahy and Appleton. The Wisconsin Counties Association said after Wednesday’s ruling that it was unclear whether whether local orders mimicking the statewide mandate would stand up in court.
Wisconsin’s largest and most liberal counties, Milwaukee and Dane, home to about 1.5 million of the state’s 6 million residents, left their orders in place. State law allows local health officers to “do what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease.” They can issue edicts without going through the rule-making process that the high court said state officials must use.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

The Republicans have foisted off an odd twist to self governance. The idea that their voters, especially their voters, would act responsibly and live by the rules handed down by their capitalist leaders, business lobbyists.

Back at it again, Republican Rep. Robin Vos suggested that freedom, liberty, and self governance is all we really need to fight a pandemic. Trust the public to voluntarily do the right thing, all the rules are out there to follow...:
“Republicans believe business owners can safely reopen using the guidelines … We urge our fellow small business owners to utilize the suggestions as a safe and effective way to open up our state. “Wisconsin now … can continue to follow good practices of social distancing, hand washing, hand sanitizer usage and telecommuting. This order does not promote people to act in a way that they believe endangers their health.
Here's a look at self-governance based on trusting the small crowds of protesters, with their guns, Nazi symbols and calls for the governors recall, to control state public policy. A bunch of real constitutional scholars, following good practices blah, blah, blah. Really, did anyone believe that bullsh*t? Face masks anyone?

On Wednesday night in the heart of downtown Platteville, Wis., just hours after the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out the state’s stay-at-home order, Nick’s on 2nd was packed wall to wall, standing room only.

It was sometime after 10 p.m. when “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” by the Hollies came over the sound system and a bartender took out his camera. In a Twitter broadcast, he surveyed the room of maskless patrons crammed together, partying like it was 2019. A few were pounding on the bar to the beat. Some were clapping their hands in the air and some were fist-pumping, a scene so joyous they could have been celebrating the end of the worst pandemic in a century.
A BIG "OH SURE..."
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke’s chief of staff Rusty Schultz … encouraged those who do participate during the pandemic do so safely and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Sen. Duey Stroebel doesn't buy that argument. "If you think the citizens of this state are a bunch of fools incapable of handling their lives in an appropriate manner, then I guess we might be into chaos," Stroebel said of the governor's take.
Masks anyone...?
COVID-19 Safe-at-Home Repeal brings Illinois bar hoppers to Wisconsin: Maybe Scott Walker couldn't entice people to come to the state, but this has:
The Daily Beast spoke with several Illinois residents who shared plans to travel this weekend to Wisconsin. While they generally said they were aware of coronavirus-related travel concerns, they echoed a simmering national debate about how long economies can be placed in hibernation. Anthony Hersick, 22, from Ingleside, Illinois, said he and some friends were planning on crossing the border to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to head to the bars and clubs in the area. “I’m a little worried [about COVID-19], but we are here to support our friends,” he told The Daily Beast.

“Quite frankly, those who find themselves wandering [across state lines] should be forced to stay there,” said Patty Steel of Wonder Lake, Illinois. “Your desire to sit in a restaurant is selfish and gross, especially after Wisconsin posted almost 300 daily cases of COVID-19 yesterday.”

Through a spokesperson, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling “obviously partisan” and “incredibly reckless and dangerous.”
Even the Daily Show couldn't avoid the absurdity of the moment:



Republicans are now targeting local stay at home orders, kind of a distraction from not having a plan. Keep the agitated Trump Covidians angry:
Many cities and counties in Wisconsin have their own emergency or Safer at Home orders. Fitzgerald says he doesn't have a problem with letting those continue for another week, or until local voters demand their communities be reopened.

Fitzgerald already has his eye on his last assault, putting our kids on the front lines of the pandemic, back in school, no matter what things look like in September:
Fitzgerald said "The focus moving forward should be about the bigger, broader questions, like are K-12 schools coming back in the fall? Is the UW System going to have kids loading up their cars and driving down and move into a dorm room?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

"It's the wild west!" Wisconsin repeals public health protections, only State Supreme Court stacked with Republicans to do that!!!

The state's highest court curbed the Evers administration's power to act unilaterally during public health emergencies. 
Wisconsin has gotten rid of public health protections. With the most extreme Republican controlled activist State Supreme Court in the country, we have finally gutted the office of the Governor, and left the protection of public health up to the slow political whims of our gerrymandered Republican legislature. If you want to go out to shop or work, no rules! How does that feel? Any uncertainty now? I wish I was making this up:
JSOnline: The Wisconsin Supreme Court, 4-3, has struck down Gov. Tony Evers' order shutting down daily life to limit the spread of coronavirus — marking the first time a statewide order of its kind has been knocked down by a court of last resort.

The ruling, for now, immediately throws out the administration's tool to control the disease for which there is no vaccine and comes at a time when Evers has already begun lifting some restrictions as the spread of the virus slows down for now.
That's not all folks:
With no COVID-19 policies in place, bars, restaurants and concert halls are allowed to reopen – unless local officials put in their own restrictions. That raises the prospect of a patchwork of policies, with rules varying significantly from one county to the next.
Turning a pandemic into a never so orderly process of making law, well, no other state courts have seen it this way.
In the majority opinion, Roggesack determined Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm should have issued such state restrictions through a process known as rule making, which gives lawmakers veto power over agency policies. Without legislative review, “an unelected official could create law applicable to all people during the course of COVID-19 and subject people to imprisonment when they disobeyed her order,” the majority wrote. 
For now, here's Gov. Evers comment with out embed, as long as it lasts. I'll have link soon;



Well, gotta wonder if federal dollars, like unemployment and local aid, is tied to the safe-at-home orders or not
Death-panel Justices!!!
In an emailed newsletter, the Wisconsin Counties Association said the local health orders placing restrictions on businesses and gatherings are made under the same set of state laws the governor's now-defunct order used as its basis.

"As a result, it is unclear whether a local health order would, in the Court’s view, suffer from the same deficiencies that caused the Court to invalidate the Safer at Home Order," the group told county officials.
Which brings us to one of the most relevant statements, made by the only dissenting conservative Justice:
Justice Brian Hagedorn wrote in dissent, "We are a court of law. We are not here to do freewheeling constitutional theory. We are not here to step in and referee every intractable political stalemate. In striking down most of (the order), this court has strayed from its charge and turned this case into something quite different than the case brought to us.

To make matters worse, it has failed to provide almost any guidance for what the relevant laws mean, and how our state is to govern through this crisis moving forward."
Even more hypocritical...Vos and Fitzgerald will meet Evers by PHONE:


Remember when Republicans said a "patchwork" of  local laws were too confusing, as they wiped out local control? So a helter-skelter approach to the pandemic is better?:

The governor said the leaders seemed uninterested in a new statewide plan, as counties across Wisconsin have adopted a patchwork of stay-at-home orders in the wake of Wednesday’s court ruling.

"They’re unconcerned about what I believe will be massive confusion that will exist without a statewide approach," Evers said. "Apparently, they believe that different rules are OK ... essentially mile-by-mile there may be different rules."
The details...
The decision was written by four of the court’s conservatives – Chief Justice Patience Roggensack and Justices Rebecca Bradley, Daniel Kelly and Annette Ziegler. The court’s fifth conservative, Brian Hagedorn, wrote a dissent joined by the court’s two liberals, Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet. 

GOP lawmakers who brought the lawsuit have said the legal challenge was necessary to get a seat at the table where Evers and state health officials make decisions about how to respond to the outbreak, which has killed 418 people in the state in two months.
Republican Rep. Deuy Stroebel gave us this completely detached comment that ignore all the demonstrations of total irresponsibility of protesters and crowded drive-in restaurants etc...I've got an idea, let's just run ourselves and not have any regulations, I trust everyone will do the right thing:
“Regardless of state regulations, I have watched my neighbors and constituents exercise reasonable care and caution as they have gone about their lives. I believe we can fully reopen our state by relying upon the judgement and discretion of our citizens to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 while resuming our day-to-day lives. If it is necessary to set statewide policies through the administrative rule process, I look forward to being a voice for targeted policies to protect our vulnerable population rather than the broad policies advanced by Governor Evers that have had disastrous consequences for so many Wisconsinites.” 

Republicans for "modern stone age family" rights, anti-vaxxers, anti-medical experts!!!

The Trump "DEATHCULT" is warping into some kind of alternative evil-like universe, swallowing up whole, what remains of our current reality!

This is surreal. Trump Covidians are even glad to see gas pump prices going back up and posting price lists whining about how low the post office prices are to ship packages compared to the other delivery services. Want to send a letter for $4? They want higher prices because the Orange God hates the Postal Service.

BACK-TO-WORK Freedom to Shop Militias: In almost every state, "back-to-work" COVID-19 deniers are suing governors in their state supreme courts so they can deny them the extraordinary power to fight against a health crisis like pandemics, now and for all future health threats. Most revealing, this is not happening in GOP governor run states with similar orders.


You can bet Trump's covidian militias will never allow reimposed lockdowns...: 

...when this is happening...

Michelle Gregoire, a 29-year-old school bus driver from Battle Creek who is running as a Republican for a seat in the state House, waved a yellow “Don’t tread on me” flag at passing traffic. She derided Gov. Whitmer as “a tyrant.” But she also urged Republicans “to get in line and get it together.” The protest and others like it — including two last month that included demonstrators with swastikas, Confederate flags and some with long guns inside the capitol — have alarmed lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.



_______________________________________________________________________________________

Let's Spread Meningitis, Anti-Vax Republicans want to expose the public to really Deadly Preventable Deaths:
Since the only way to stop COVID-19 from spreading is with a vaccine, anti-vaxxers see another way to make things so much worse. Just add it to all the other "make life miserable" reasons science-denying conservatives want to spread to "MAGAt's" dark ages platform.

Keep in mind, Republican voters yesterday in northern Wisconsin love the DEATHCULT movement, happily voting right-winger and environmental killer Tom Tiffany as their next congressman. HELLO, no help for dairy farmers, polluted drinking water, bad roads, closed schools, no fiber optic broadband, etc...what are you thinking?
WSJ: As the public awaits a vaccine that could end the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, Wisconsin Republicans say they aren’t convinced the state should require certain vaccines for school children recommended by the medical community.

Republicans objected to part of a rule that would have required seventh-graders to get vaccinated for meningitis and to receive a booster shot before entering 12th grade. Republicans are dismissing the medical consensus, choosing instead to side with parents and chiropractors who say a mandate is unnecessary given adverse reactions, low rates of meningitis and already high rates of voluntary vaccination among school children.
Low rates are the result of vaccines, right?

Fringe Control of our Legislature: Who wants those 12 percenters dominating public policy. Who elected them? 
Among the skeptics is Madison Elmer, the organizer of this month’s rally against Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order, and members of Wisconsin United for Freedom, a group critical of the safety of vaccines, fluoride and 5G wireless towers.
Republicans reject Medical Experts...any other questions? Don't listen to the experts
Republican objections to the recommendations of medical experts come after they forged ahead with the April 7 election despite warnings it would spread the virus and continue to pressure Evers to reopen the state.

“Kids in Wisconsin are theoretically being left at more risk than other areas,” said Dr. James Conway, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Despite GOP objections, the requirement could still go into place after the administrative rules process is completed. The CDC recommends the meningitis vaccination for children, as do the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota all require at least one dose … 
Worse than Walker? Yes, Republicans are now further right than even Scott Walker wanted to go:
The state Department of Health Services, the agency charged with overseeing the state’s immunization program, began the process in 2017 under Republican Gov. Scott Walker to bring state requirements in line with CDC recommendations by adding the meningitis vaccine to those required for students entering the seventh grade, and the booster for incoming seniors.

Last week, the six Republican lawmakers who control the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules voted to temporarily object to the requirement on the grounds it is “arbitrary and capricious.”
Anti-Logic Republicans use success of vaccinating and low disease rates to oppose vaccinations:
Mike Mikalsen, a spokesman for Sen. Steve Nass said those rates reduce the need to mandate the vaccine, given concerns about side effects. “The numbers have been going down,” Mikalsen said. “The need to make it mandatory, it’s not there.” 
Who wants to scream here? I am now:
When immunization rates dip below 80%, Conway said there’s not enough group or “herd” immunity, and outbreaks of disease become a concern. All the states around us require the meningococcal vaccine for kids,” Conway said. “We’re kind of the outlier on this one.” Conway said both COVID-19 and meningitis can mimic the flu in their early stages. Risk is highest for those ages 16 to 23 and for infants.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Biden's latest ad showing how Trump destroyed an economy!

Here's a new and powerful Joe Biden campaign ad that I really like. Having said that, I still think Biden should be the other public face advising the country on just how it can slow the virus and get the economy back on track. Call it good practice before he has to debate the Cheetos president:

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Trump called himself "the wartime president." We're almost there...

What about a person's "freedom and liberty" when they're ordered back to work during a pandemic under threat of being fired and loss of unemployment benefits? Anyone? 

1. Armed "back-to-work" protests against Democratic governors is now escalating into dangerous threats against Democratic candidates and their families:

Bob Prailes announced last week that he was running as a Democrat to take on Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, one of the state's most powerful Republicans. Prailes, a lifelong resident of Burlington and a carpenter who has been active in his community for years unexpectedly pulled the plug on his campaign. He said he and his family were being verbally attacked.
"I had people that were approaching us when we were together as a family, swearing at us, commenting to my wife. I don't want to say too much. I just think that people made very personal and ugly attacks towards me and my family either through walking up to me or yelling at me or through social media. It got to the point where my family and I decided we didn't want to be part of something like that. I just blame it on today's politics."
2. Now Washington State Residents are being threatened for Liberty and Capitalism! All this coming from a group of 1,500 protesters. Yup, a real movement call the "Three percenters," which is also an exaggeration. Note: OSHA is not enforcing workplace violations during the pandemic:

Two Facebook pages during the past week posted names, emails and phone numbers of state residents who had complained to the state about businesses allegedly violating Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order … the Facebook posts have generated threats of violence and harassment against them.

One group publicizing the names, the Washington Three Percenters...the far-right group of self-described “God fearing Patriots,” had this message: “Want to snitch on your neighbor? Don’t expect to hide behind you (sic) computer screen.” With the message, the group provided a link to a spreadsheet containing the names and contact information of people who made reports to the state.

A woman in King County sent The Seattle Times a voice message. A man says, “You got 48 hours to get the [expletive] out of Washington, or I am coming for you, and your loved ones.” Another caller, a woman, left a voice message, telling her “I hope you choke on the [expletive] virus.”

Matt Marshall, a leader with the Washington Three Percenters, defended the Facebook post: “We have enough business owners that are going under, and they want their constitutional right to face their accuser.”

Some members reacted with glee to the unmasking. “Snitches belong in ditches,” one man wrote.

“People getting death threats a bit harsh, but I’ll bet they don’t do it again!” another added.

Reopen Washington describes itself as state residents … response to the mass hysteria of COVID-19.”

Gathering in defiance of the stay-at-home order and against the guidance of state and federal public health officials, Saturday’s rally drew roughly 1,500 people...that was fewer than the more than 2,000 who attended a similar protest last month.
3. I hate to leave everyone on this down note, but I was fascinated by the following observation from The Intercept.
As we bear witness to armed white American militias storming or protesting outside government institutions, it is clear that the chaos and tragedy of Covid-19 are being used by Trump and the GOP to enhance the conflict and accelerate the birth of a new, greater America. At the heart of every nationalist mythology is some kind of a rebirth, usually bloody and requiring sacrifices, preferably of the weak and the doubtful.

They now have no choice but to follow their trajectory to its logical extreme … They will kill if they have to, or at least let Covid-19 do it. 

The ongoing conflict is not a glitch but a process that cannot be stopped or resolved politically. With the GOP in death-cult mode, a steady destruction of checks and balances previously imagined to be fail-safe, the jelly-spined leadership of the Democratic Party, and the Soviet-grade purging of any disloyalty or disobedience in the federal systems, Trump has effectively destroyed American politics.

What is even more frightening is the hankering across the political range for a magical national correction, the indulging of a persistent fantasy that some essential American quality (decency, reasonability, checks and balances, etc.) will finally kick in and halt the Trumpist madness, thus allowing the country to snap out of its nightmare and revert to its good old national essence.