28 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-22-20

  1. Yet they’ll still blame Trump….

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/nj-nursing-homes-wont-get-covid-19-vaccine-this-week-missed-deadline

    “NJ nursing homes won’t get COVID-19 vaccine this week after state officials miss deadline

    ‘We missed that date by a day,’ Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli admits”

    “New Jersey nursing home residents won’t be getting vaccinated Monday — because state officials missed the deadline.

    “In order to start on the 21st there was a deadline of the 7th … we missed that date by a day,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli admitted at a press conference Friday.

    “We asked to start on the 21st and they said, ‘No, you’ll start on the 28th.’ It was as simple as that,” Persichilli said.

    She blamed the “sheer volume of information that had to be inputted” for the more than 600 long-term care facilities, skilled nursing homes and assisted living facilities for the missed deadline.”

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  2. VDH nails it again.

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/12/20/covid-woke-science-and-death/

    “COVID, Woke Science—and Death

    In this brave new world of ours, will we be pruning back the elderly altogether by credentialed “ethicists,” whether because of their longevity or race?”

    “Since March, the Left has proclaimed itself the guardian of science in dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic. Its champions are the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Dr. Fauci. All in the past have rendered valuable service to the public, and often life-saving aid.

    Yet the mixture of COVID-19, the first national quarantine, and Trump Derangement Syndrome have combined to give us reason to question their judgment. These authorities variously have issued conflicting recommendations to wear, then not to wear, and finally to wear masks. Or they have both criticized and then advised travel bans.

    They variously have expressed skepticism about lockdowns, then strongly urged lockdowns, and then again questioned lockdowns. When states and nations that are tightly locked down sometimes suffer commensurate rates of infection with those that are relatively open, we do not always receive scientifically based explanations.

    More ominously, we still have no idea whether far more have died due to the lockdowns than to the virus itself—given the quarantines have caused greater familial, spousal, and substance abuse, suicides, impoverishment, missed surgeries and medical procedures, educational deprivation, and long-term psychological damage. Amid this void of knowledge, state and local officials have often claimed expertise and implemented Draconian measures that may well have made things far worse.

    The reasons for our experts’ ambiguity?

    Despite all their credentials, degrees, and confident arguments from authority, the experts, like 320 million other Americans, did not have sufficient information or experience with the strains of SARS-CoV-2 to appreciate how unpredictable were the spread and course of the mysterious COVID-19 disease—mostly benign for the vast majority, absolutely deadly to a select few.

    Yet again, scientific expertise also proves needlessly fallible because of politics. To be blunt, aside from the mass quarantines, thousands of others may have died from COVID-19, or will die because science has become ideologically weaponized.

    Recent studies from a variety of sources, domestic and foreign—including the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and New York’s Mount Sinai Health System—have concluded that hydroxychloroquine has some medical efficacy in early stages of COVID-19.

    Yet remember the “Hydroxy Effect”: anything endorsed by Donald J. Trump must be denigrated. Thus for the last nine months we have been lectured that the cheap, time-tried, and widely available hydroxychloroquine was dangerous and useless—even as millions worldwide felt it had saved thousands of lives from the ravages of COVID-19.

    Many clinicians certainly pleaded that the drug’s availability gave them greater choices in treatment, and its efficacy often had far outweighed its side-effects, which after years of use and hundreds of millions of doses were considered tolerable. Again, no one knows whether the politicized decision to demonize the drug cost the planet thousands or more lives.

    In May and June, thousands of Antifa and Black Lives Matters demonstrators hit the streets of some of our largest cities, initially at least, protesting the death of George Floyd while in police custody. Within days often mass looting and arson ensued.

    Most states were under strict quarantines. The logic of the lockdowns forbade large outdoor gatherings, and demanded strict social distancing and the use of masks.

    But when tens of thousands simply ignored these state guidelines, many health care providers lost all credibility by ignoring their own prior stern health advice.

    Now suddenly they claimed that the angst occurring from not protesting was a greater health threat to would-be demonstrators than violating the quarantines and spreading the disease. So much for their concern over friends and families of the protestors at home, who might come in contact each pre-protesting morning with the soon out and about woke. So much for science.

    In June over 1,200 health and medical professionals penned an open letter objecting that protests around the United States should not be shut down because of fears of spiking the disease. Yet it was not as though they conceded their prior advice was now entirely fallacious. Instead, it just needed a tweak and update.

    Or as the progressive signees put it in good Foucauldian fashion, “We wanted to present a narrative that prioritizes opposition to racism as vital to the public health, including the epidemic response. We believe that the way forward is not to suppress protests in the name of public health.”

    Translated, that meant some doctors, nurses, and health technicians felt protests and rallies—even those quite dangerous to all involved and that had propensities to result in violence, death, arson, injuries and massive property damage—were, well, necessary for public health. Suddenly forbidding assembling in mass was not public spiritedness, but was a sort of suppression.

    The risk of infecting someone with the virus, then, was less a public health crisis than advising a protestor not to hit the streets. We will never know how many thousands subsequently became infected, after weeks on end of marching in mass, shouting, screaming in the faces of police, violating social dissenting, and often ignoring mask and hand cleansers—and then returning home to infect others likely more elderly and vulnerable. Rioting, looting, burning, and demonstrating en masse seems a likely more risky proposition for spreading the virus than, say, eating outside, with tables six feet apart.

    Once again, of course, the exemptions of the medical experts were selective. If a deplorable watching the massive protests and rioting, later felt that it was now OK to attend an open-air rally to ensure that jobs would remain in America or border security might enhance the wages of the working poor, this Trump-support was given no such deference. Instead, subjectively invoke the now loaded noun “racism,” and science in Medieval fashion was warped to serve an ideological agenda. “

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  3. Good.

    https://reason.com/2020/12/18/public-schools-are-losing-their-captive-audience-of-children/

    “Public Schools Are Losing Their Captive Audience of Children

    Pandemic chaos is driving families to flee government institutions in search of education that better suits their needs.”

    “Insisting that “the push to reopen schools is rooted in sexism, racism and misogyny,” the Chicago Teachers Union is fighting plans to return children to the city’s public school classrooms. Not only is the union seeking an injunction to keep kids at home, but it says “all options are going to be on the table”—an implied threat of a strike in an already chaotic year—if it’s not happy with the school board’s decision.

    Amidst a multitude of such battles across the country, it’s no wonder that families weary of being held hostage to other people’s decisions are abandoning government schools to enroll their kids in private institutions or to teach them at home. That shift is likely to permanently transform education in the United States in a way that lets children experience diverse approaches and viewpoints.

    School and union officials in Chicago differ over their reading of public opinion tea leaves. The board points to the 37 percent of students whose families have opted for in-person teaching, while the union flips that around to emphasize that a majority of families want to delay reopening. But both sets of data indicate the same thing: people have different risk tolerances and come to varying conclusions about the right way to educate their children. Uniform, top-down approaches inevitably leave large numbers of them dissatisfied and looking for something that better suits their needs.

    With similar battles playing out around the country, many families are heading for the exits. The evidence shows that more children than before the pandemic are learning their lessons from options chosen by their parents and free of the whims of school boards and unions. Public school enrollment is down in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Minneapolis, Mississippi, and elsewhere.

    “Comprehensive national data aren’t available yet, but reporting by NPR and our member stations, along with media reports from around the country, shows enrollment declines in dozens of school districts across 20 states,” NPR reports.

    “The reason is no mystery,” according to The New York Times. “With public schools mostly shifting to remote or hybrid learning, parents are pulling their children out entirely, opting to keep them at home or looking for options that offer more in-person instruction.”

    Where are those kids going? Perhaps some are getting lost in the year’s chaos, but it’s obvious that many families have embraced education options both traditional and new.

    “More families are choosing to home-school or send their children to private schools,” notes the Lewiston Sun Journal in Maine.

    Homeschooling, in particular, is booming. Once regarded as a fringe choice for hippies and religious families, various approaches to DIY education pushed into the mainstream in recent decades and reached critical mass this year. An estimated 3.3 percent of children were homeschooled in 2016, up from 1.7 percent in 1999, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That share roughly tripled this year to nine percent, in an Education Week survey. Gallup agrees, finding that 10 percent of children are now being homeschooled.

    “Home schooling will become more mainstream and socially acceptable, now that so many people are getting experience with schooling their own children from home—whether it’s through traditional home schooling or overseeing their children’s remote schooling,” Christopher Lubienski, a professor of education policy at Indiana University, told Education Week. He predicts that some families will return to public schools after the pandemic passes, but the ranks of homeschoolers will permanently increase.

    Many private schools, too, are seeing growth in enrollment. That comes after years of declines because of the Great Recession and the proliferation of charter schools which offer options without charging tuition.

    “As the pandemic drags on through the fall, more families are seeking out schools that are fully in-person rather than remote — and, for many, that means switching to an independent institution, despite the cost,” CNBC reported last month.

    “In a survey of 160 independent schools over 15 states and the District of Columbia, almost half of schools (78) surveyed report they have experienced higher enrollment in the current school year, relative to the prior year,” according to Damian Kavanagh, president of the Mid-South Independent School Business Officers association and Ben Scafidi, the director of the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University. “Forty-eight schools experienced a decrease in enrollment, while the remaining 34 schools had enrollments ‘stay about the same.’ Of schools where enrollment essentially was unchanged, the reason that enrollment did not increase at 14 of them was because they were at capacity.”

    That means that, even as the economy is slammed by pandemic lockdowns and people idled from work in a way that usually decimates private school enrollment, more Americans are digging into their pockets to pay for their kids’ education.”

    ———-

    Priorities, that’s what it comes down to. What’s important to your family…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hot garbage.

    And for once I agree with AOC.

    https://hotair.com/archives/jazz-shaw/2020/12/22/covid-relief-bill-turned-climate-change-bill/

    “How The COVID Relief Bill Turned Into A Climate Change Bill”

    “So they did it. Working late into the night before scurrying out of town for Christmas, the House and Senate both managed to pass the gargantuan COVID relief bill. The President is expected to sign it. And when I say “gargantuan,” I’m not just talking about the massive pile of debt that the nation just accumulated. The final bill was roughly 5,000 pages long and it was festooned with a seemingly endless laundry list of items having absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic. I found myself in the unusual position of having to agree with Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who took to Twitter with a very justifiable complaint.”

    “Chief among some of the massive bits of hot garbage that are completely unrelated to the pandemic were a raft of provisions dealing with climate change. Yes… I know. The Associated Press highlights some of these new laws that were never mentioned in public while the bill was being negotiated but were somehow crammed down everyone’s throats in the interest of looking like they were doing something about pandemic relief.

    The energy and climate provisions, supported by lawmakers from both parties, were hailed as the most significant climate change law in at least a decade.

    “Republicans and Democrats are working together to protect the environment through innovation,” said Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

    “This historic agreement includes three separate pieces of legislation that will significantly reduce greenhouse gases,″ Barrasso said, citing measures that promote technologies to “capture” and store carbon dioxide produced by power and manufacturing plants; reduce diesel emissions in buses and other vehicles; and authorize a 15-year reduction of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, that are used in everything from cars to air conditioners. HFCs are considered a major driver of global warming and are being targeted worldwide.

    You’re going to see the phrases “promoting technologies” and “creating jobs” quite often in that portion of the bill. The technologies in question involve carbon capture, emission reduction and replacements for the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used as coolants in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, among other things.

    You see, that’s how they like to describe such “initiatives” to put a pleasant spin on them. A better translation of those passages would be to say that taxpayer money will be shoveled into “green energy” and carbon reduction companies who will ostensibly be working to achieve those goals while (just coincidentally) making a ton of money for a small number of people. A closer look into how those people donate to political campaigns and focus their job creation on the states represented by the politicians pushing these plans will no doubt be very instructive.

    To be clear, there was a great deal more than just climate change jammed into this massive bill that almost nobody in Congress or the media had a chance to read before it was passed. Our colleague Beth Baumann from Townhall has already put together a collection of the other greatest hits (to your collective wallets) that wound up in the bill. They include money for invasive species mitigation, water management on the Tibetan Plateau, “gender programs” in Pakistan, and piles of money for India, Tibet, and other nations. Dig in at the link if you have the stomach for it.”

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  5. I posted a link to zero hedge last night with many of the same tweets. With 5000 pages its fairly easy to find pork. When a Republican Senator from Wyoming embraces a climate change initiative you know its pork.

    If you want certainty, don’t look to science especially when assessing new information and data. Part of the scientific process is to consider new data and information and attempt to form a new paradigm or theory in which the new info is coherent. When dealing with a rapidly evolving situation, ideas will conflict until things are settled a consensus and paradigm is formed. Hence the contradictory advice in 2020. Its several groups interpreting different cohorts of data differently.

    With contact tracing you should be able to detect how much protests contributed to the spread of Covid. According to some reports, it didn’t — it was outdoors (warm and wind), protesters wore masks, etc. The same contact tracing methodology determined that the Sturgis motorcycle rally helped spread covid to thousands — no one wore masks, bars were full, campground were packed with people sharing the toilets and showers, etc. Similarly political rallies held indoors were superspreader events as was the Trump White House — no masks and indoors. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/black-lives-matter-protests-didnt-contribute-to-covid19-surge

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  6. You can’t blame Trump for this specific instance of administrative incompetence. However, the Trump admin did turn down offers from Pfizer to purchase more vaccines and some vaccines lingered in warehouses far more than necessary. It was not a smooth roll out. Trump’s attempt to take credit for the vaccine probably annoyed Pfizer as it was developed outside of the Trump task force mostly in Europe. Thanks to the Trump’s admin failure to purchase more vaccines the Canadian gov’t was able to purchase 40 million vaccines — more than enough for the entire country. The leftovers will go to medical teams overseas in the developing world run by Canadian NGOs, gov’t agencies, and charities.

    Ontario is going into lockdown on the 26th. Some say it should have occurred earlier given the numbers. A lockdown is an easy fix for the gov’t and cheap. As most of the Covid cases can be traced to for profit long term care centers, a more difficult fix would be for the conservative gov’t to take over the facilities, mandate a higher staff patient ratio, and impose a more stringent public health rules on the these homes. This would be far better for the economy and public health but it would force conservatives to do what they don’t want to — intervene in private companies.

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  7. Oh so every event is bad, unless it’s lefties, then they receive divine immunity from above, because they’re so righteous.

    Said nobody with even a functioning brain cell.

    And there were few masks at BLM protests. Give me a break HRW.

    Perhaps you need to read the piece from VDH above. He references “experts” like the one’s in your “piece” (boy is it) above.

    “Yet again, scientific expertise also proves needlessly fallible because of politics. To be blunt, aside from the mass quarantines, thousands of others may have died from COVID-19, or will die because science has become ideologically weaponized.”

    That’s clearly all your link is.

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  8. FRAUD!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This school year is a mess pretty much everywhere. Here school boards and the province argue over who is in charge and who is responsible (they both want the former but not the latter). Teacher quality and professionalism is covering for administrative incompetence. Public education by its nature has a huge amount of variables and this year has far more variables leaving admin, teachers, and most often parents confused.

    My school lost about 25% of our students to online classes and therefore lost 4-5 teachers forcing our admin to change our schedule, class list, and assignment the weekend before school opened. The online teachers were not trained in the software the board mandated — they changed from Google Classroom to MS Teams (and the Hub) during the summer. Younger online teachers adapted quickly but for some older teachers who opted to teach online due to health issues began to take stress leave. Some students who are supposed to attend online classes frequently do not show up and rarely complete work. There’s little parent support for online teachers as they are not connected to the community school. I’m thankful my health and seniority allows me to stay in the classroom.

    With all of the above, I’m not surprised some parents are opting to teach at home. In Ontario, homeschooling parents much register as such with the local public board and be able to show unit plans and an adherence to the curriculum. In many cases, parents will give up when they see the work load. I’m quite confident most children will return to school once the confusion is mitigated.

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  10. Contact tracing is fairly simple if you have the manpower. The evidence suggest Sturgis and indoor gatherings (without masks) were super spreader events. Outdoors and in the sun and wind, covid was less likely to spread. As conservative observers stated, most BLM protesters wore masks. Conservative complained it made it more difficult to identify them and the protesters were using Covid as an excuse to wear disguises.

    Denying the reality of science is also a form of politicization. In the end, science does win and even Republicans who claimed it was just a form of the flu were quick to jump to the front of the line to get the vaccine. Claiming it was just a flu was politicization and jumping to the front of the line is to admit science was right and you were political.

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  11. County victories are a useless count – some Texas and upper Midwest counties have less than a 1000 people whereas urban counties have over a million people and LA county having 10 million people most of them Democrats.

    In 2008, there were about 224 million eligible voters of which about 58% actually voted.
    In 2020, there were about 231 million eligible voters of which about 67% actually voted.
    Its the participation rate which explains Biden’s numbers….. essentially so many people hated Trump they actually voted many for the first time.

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  12. It’s the high fraud rate that explains Biden’s numbers – nothing else.

    Ruby Freeman has lawyered up, and apparently is now ‘fessing up in exchange for immunity for her and her daughter.

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  13. You might be interested in knowing, HRW, that our county, somehow, came up with a half-million dollars they’re going to use to understand the extremely negative effects of Shelter in Place and online learning on our county’s students.

    One of my relatives teaches high school in South Central LA, and is in near-despair out of how horrible this online learning has been, especially for his seniors. More than half his class checks in, turns off their screens, and never turns in any assignments.

    The school district has now told the teachers they cannot fail any students (2/3 of his classes are failing), and they want the teachers to tutor the students over the 2-week Christmas break.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. The math suggests slightly over 20 million more people voted in the 2020 election than in 2008. Although the new votes were split relatively even the new votes in Michigan, Penn and Georgia mostly went for Biden so he won. Its simple math — there’s really nothing strange about the numbers in the tweet; more people voted this year than in the last 100 years. Democracy in action.

    The Ruby Freeman instagram post was a fake. It was posted the same day the site was created and the site is now done. Ruby Freeman has not been arrested nor is she talking.
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ruby-freeman-arrested-by-fbi/

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  15. Politicization of science is always a bad idea. I like the skepticism of the WSJ article but I knew where it was headed — politics.

    Lock downs do have some effect but they also allow North American politicians to ignore the real problem — how we take care of our elderly. And they have some detrimental effects on young people. My daughter is in her 4th year in a fine arts program. Normally she would work mostly in studio and the end of the year would be an art show for all the painting and drawing students. Gallery owners and dealers would come and see if any of them is the next big thing in the art world. She will miss this — although some gallery owners know of her and she may her own art show at a local gallery — and this is a detriment to her career. Other graduates in other programs face similar issues. Currently her classes are online and her studio is my upstairs — the dog and I are getting used to the oil paint smell.

    Sure shut down restaurants and bars but don’t give universities one more reason to cut cost while charging the same tuition. We need to tailor the lock downs so we maintain a public health strategy while enabling people to maintain mental health and see a future.

    You don’t need a half a million dollars and some consultants to find out the effects of online learning. Just ask teachers and students. Young people learn better live — and I teach better live.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Try that again….

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  17. As an outsider it always stuns me how long the bills and how much unrelated junk is thrown into a bill. Canadian bills, with the exception of the budget, have traditionally never been more than a few dozen pages, The Conservative Harper gov’t started omnibus bills in which non monetary items are thrown into the budget. At one point he introduced a 500 page bill and was shamed into divided it into 2 bills, Unfortunately the Liberals have followed suit and our bills reach 100 pages at times.

    Curious — why can’t McConnel and/or Pelosi just vote on one piece at a time. I know with a split Congress compromises and trades need to be made but surely they can simplify it.

    Trump should veto it just on the basis that he can’t read all of it by January 20.

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  18. Shoot it, stab it, kill it.

    Veto it until it actually benefits Americans and not foreign countries, and not garbage that has nothing to do with Covid.

    Looking at you trough feeding pigs from the double dipping Kennedy Center…….

    ———

    https://nypost.com/2020/12/22/trump-calls-for-congress-to-amend-stimulus-bill/?utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_medium=SocialFlow

    “President Trump on Tuesday night called for Congress to take back the massive $2.3 trillion stimulus — and increase the check to Americans from $600 to $2,000.

    “It really is a disgrace,” Trump said in a video posted to Twitter. “It’s called the COVID relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with COVID.”

    Trump went on to list the millions of dollars included in the 5,593-page package, including cash for two National Mall museums, $10 million for “gender programs” in Pakistan and $2.5 million for “internet freedom.”

    Trump said the American people got the “bare minimum” from the bill even though “it was China’s fault.”

    “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” he said.”

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  19. These large bills are a disgrace to our country. All this garbage just makes people like me even more determined that the least amount of government is the best and that the closer the government is to the people the better.

    If you reward students by not failing them, why should they bother to try? Other students just get frustrated by knowing all their hard work does not seem to be worth it. That is just human nature. Psalm 37 speaks to how susceptible we all are to that thought. Students have even less maturity to think it through.

    I am told about many students who don’t bother even when they are actually in a school building. The push to let them graduated and fudge with grades is still there on the teachers by administration. Then we are amazed at the illiteracy of graduates and why many cannot or will not work. Such a travesty! None of it benefits the students themselves, but condemns them ot lives of mediocrity and worse. Thank God for those teachers and administrators who stand against it.

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