14 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-22-21

  1. Like udders on a bull…..



    “Becerra’s Confirmation Underscores the Senate GOP’s Uselessness

    What good are Senate Republicans who can’t force a tie-breaking vote on a radical culture warrior who has sought to crush religious dissenters, independent journalists, and pro-life pregancy centers?”

    “If you thought America in 2021 couldn’t possibly be a more depressing place—think again. In a near-party-line vote, the United States Senate on Thursday voted to confirm California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Becerra sued the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns that cares for the indigent poor, because their Catholic faith compelled them not to be complicit in the sale of contraceptives under Obamacare.

    Becerra charged David Daleiden, a pro-life activist and journalist whose undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies’ body parts, with 15 felonies.

    Becerra went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2018, defending a California law that would have forced pro-life crisis-pregnancy centers to advertise abortion—a move so brazen that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote separately to liken the law to the way “authoritarian regimes” are “relentless” in their “attempts to stifle free speech.”

    Understandably, you’re probably scratching your head right about now, wondering how on Earth Becerra could be confirmed when the Senate is split 50-50, only 99 senators voted, and the GOP in the upper chamber is, by all accounts, staunchly committed to life, free speech, and religious liberty.

    Surely a Republican didn’t put him over the 50-votes threshold?

    To ask such a question, unfortunately, is to answer it.

    Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) did not participate in Thursday’s vote, but she didn’t need to. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) gladly stepped up to cast her “Yea” vote to confirm this radical, not to mention deeply unqualified, nominee.

    Now, in an alternate world, had Collins gone the other way (like anyone with a brain would have done), the vote would have been 49-50, and Becerra would not now be celebrating his promotion. And that would have held until whatever was important enough that it kept the race-obsessed Hirono from hopping on a plane to show up and vote for a Hispanic nominee. Which of course means that Kamala Harris would have been called in to break the tie (after walking through the razor-wire fence that keeps the people out of “the people’s house”—even though “walls don’t work!”).

    But no! That was too much to ask of the Grand Old Party.

    Instead, the Senate GOP let the ghoulish Becerra squeak by without a history-making, tie-breaking vote from Harris, leaving former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as the only cabinet-level nominee who has ever needed a tie-breaking vote from the vice president to be confirmed.

    It’s infuriating, unbelievable, and depressing all at once.

    It’s rare that Democrats hand us things on a silver platter. But this was one of those times. Becerra was going to be confirmed. The party of death, mask fetishization, and social control would make sure of that. But why did a Republican have to be the reason? Whatever happened (to paraphrase the great dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn) to this ethos: “Let the [evil] come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me”?

    Too much work, apparently.”


    Sad that we’ve gone from the most pro-life President in our history to this, and all while the R party does nothing. As usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m sure R’s will find a way to screw this up too.


    “Polling On HR1 Continues To Tank”

    “Both House and Senate Democrats seemed to enjoy talking about how “popular” the COVID relief bill was every time a camera was pointed at them. (“Free money” seems to have that effect on people.) If they are so concerned about popularity polls when it comes to legislation, I wonder what they’re going to be saying about HR1, the “For the People Act.” Earlier this week we looked at one brutal poll showing that large majorities of people are opposed to some of the central provisions of the bill, including restrictions on voter ID laws and the continued expansion of mail-in ballots. Close on the heels of that survey, we now have a second poll from Scott Rasmussen and FreedomWorks on the same subject and the news for the Democrats isn’t getting any better. It seems that the more people learn about HR1, the less they like it. And this isn’t indicative of any partisan divide. Even Democratic voters are giving these proposals a major thumbs down. (Washington Examiner)

    For the second time this week, a poll has revealed that huge majorities oppose elements of the House and Senate versions of “For the People Act,” H.R. 1 in the House and S. 1 in the Senate.

    In a new FreedomWorks/Scott Rasmussen survey provided exclusively to Secrets, 85% of registered voters said it is common sense to require photo identification to get a ballot. A previous survey from the unaffiliated Rasmussen Reports found 75% back photo ID.

    But even more, 72% told FreedomWorks that photo ID laws boost their confidence in elections, and 52% believe it would reduce fraud.

    Is it “common sense” to require people to show their ID before voting? 85% of the country seems to think so. Just stop and consider that for a moment. When was the last time 85% of the country agreed on anything? That figure included 78% of Democrats, by the way. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said that a requirement for voter ID would “boost their confidence” in the election. That implies that a lack of such security measures would decrease their confidence.

    A smaller number, but still a majority believed that the use of voter ID would reduce fraud. This is particularly bad news for Democrats and HR1 because that figure implies that more than half of the country believes there may be fraud going on, something that Democrats and most of the MSM regularly deny.

    The widespread use of mail-in ballots and how they are handled also has large portions of the populace feeling uneasy. HR1 would require states to accept mail-in ballots up to ten days after the election. But 73% of the people surveyed said they believe that ballots should arrive by election day. As far as the HR1 requirement to mail out a ballot to every voter, 63% panned that idea, saying ballots should only be mailed to those who request them.

    After all of the chaos surrounding the 2020 election and the mountains of mail-in ballots that election officials in most states were clearly not ready to deal with, is anyone surprised? Nobody wants to go through that again, but the Democrats are working overtime to make that a permanent fixture of American elections.”


    The fix is in, but will R’s do anything about it?

    They certainly failed to last time around.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If you search long enough, you’ll find something you can agree with some Democrats on.

    This actually makes sense, much more so than just throwing open the border again.


    “Immigration bill creating green card process for farmworkers passes House, legislation now goes to Senate”

    “The House on Thursday passed legislation that would create a pathway for undocumented farmworkers to earn a green card, sending the bill to the Senate.

    The bill, called the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, cleared the chamber in a bipartisan 247-174 vote. Thirty Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bill. One Democrat, Rep Jared Golden of Maine, voted against the legislation.

    Unlike the American Dream and Promise Act, which also passed the House Thursday by a slim majority, Republican House leaders did not urge other GOP lawmakers to vote against the bill.

    The legislation would create a process to earn temporary status as Certified Agricultural Workers for people who have worked at least 180 days in agriculture over the past two years. Spouses and children could also apply for temporary status under the act.

    The legislation would create a pathway for workers to get a green card by paying a $1,000 fine and engaging in additional agricultural work depending on how long they have worked in agriculture in the U.S.

    The bill would also streamline the process to get an H-2A visa, which allows foreign citizens into the country for temporary agricultural work.”


    But the ADP Act is garbage.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Follow the science!

    Or not……


    “One Of The Lockdowns’ Greatest Casualties Could Be Science

    Politicians, journalists, and scientists have transferred the disease burden onto the working class. They’ve also dangerously undermined scientific inquiry.”

    “The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have not only been devastating for society, they have had a chilling effect on the scientific community. For science to thrive, opposing ideas must be openly and vigorously discussed, supported, or countered based on scientific merit.

    Instead, some politicians, journalists, and (alas) scientists have engaged in vicious slander of dissident scientists, spreading damaging conspiracy theories, even with open calls for censorship in place of debate. In many cases, eminent scientific voices have been effectively silenced, often with gutter tactics. People who oppose lockdowns have been accused of having blood on their hands, their university positions threatened, with many of our colleagues choosing to stay quiet rather than face the mob.

    We tell the story here of five prominent scientists who have faced the modern-day inquisition.

    Dr. Scott Atlas
    Dr. Scott Atlas served as a special advisor to the president on COVID policy between July and November 2020. This would be a difficult job in normal circumstances when the science is more mature.

    With his background in public health policy, Atlas’s advice emphasized balancing risks imposed by viral spread against collateral public health harms from the lockdowns in a rapidly changing scientific and policy environment. Scientists who did not share his views had every opportunity to do so responsibly by reporting scientific facts and conjectures and engaging with his ideas.

    Instead, the Journal of the American Medical Association—the flagship medical journal in the United States—published an opinion article defaming him without engaging his actual scientific views. The editors of the journal then refused to publish letters supporting Atlas.

    Contrary to his critics, Atlas got the science right. The highest COVID-19 mortality risk is among nursing home residents. Atlas worked to ensure federal support for frequent and rapid testing of nursing home staff, residents, and visitors. While not implemented everywhere, this initiative alone saved innumerable lives.

    Atlas worked hard to make masks available in nursing homes. Atlas was right to contradict former Centers for Disease Control director Dr. Robert Redfield’s false assertion that masks are more effective than vaccines. Atlas advocated for in-person schooling during the pandemic, a position that even pro-lockdown epidemiologists now endorse.

    Dr. John Ioannidis
    Dr. John Ioannidis is a world-famous scientist who from the beginning of the epidemic called for better scientific information to decide COVID policy. His work, published in the “Bulletin of the World Health Organization,” has helped establish how deadly the virus actually is—an order of magnitude lower than the conventional narrative implies. For his work, BuzzFeed News falsely accused him of political bias and financial conflicts of interest.

    In two articles published in Scientific American, two esteemed medical journalists presented evidence against the false charges Ioannidis faced, while lamenting the slander of scientists as a substitute for scientific debate. Shockingly, these journalists were then attacked. The publisher caved and published extensive trivial “corrections” to their story, none of which contradicted their reporting.”

    One objection cited the journalists for a conflict of interest because they cited an article by a different scientist without declaring that they had previously collaborated with him. Springer Nature owns Scientific American. If this is a conflict of interest that must be declared, Springer should issue similar “corrections” for most of the millions of scientific articles they have published.

    Dr. Sunetra Gupta
    Oxford University professor Sunetra Gupta, who is one of the world’s preeminent infectious disease epidemiologists, has been the subject of vicious attacks by politicians and media pundits with a fraction of her knowledge and wisdom. Gupta has argued throughout the epidemic for protecting the vulnerable while allowing the disease to be managed in the rest of society with limited restrictions and minimal harm.

    The basis for her ideas is her deep understanding of the science of epidemics, viral spread, and disease risk. Her sensible ideas, so contrary to the lockdown policies, have been mischaracterized and attacked by the U.K. government health minister, Matt Hancock, on the floor of Parliament. Member of Parliament Neil O’Brien accused her of telling “tall tales.” Mainstream journalists in the United Kingdom have called her expertise “spurious” and accused her of making “misleading claims” akin to conspiracy theories.

    Although her detractors conveniently forget, Gupta has repeatedly argued for better protection of the elderly, with specific suggestions that could have saved many lives. In early October, Gupta and we authored the Great Barrington Declaration, hoping to avoid a repeat of the spring lockdown disaster. Most governments duly ignored her and the other signatories, and we failed to protect the vulnerable once again.”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Follow The ‘Science,’ They Said……

    VDH gets it.


    “As a general rule, the next time an official, a politician, or an expert lectures us on the “science,” make sure that he is not projecting his own unscientific biases onto others.”

    “Throughout the Trump years and in particular during the 2020 COVID pandemic crisis, the nation was lectured by the Left “to follow the data,” as the Democrats proclaimed themselves the “party of science.” As sober and judicious children of the enlightenment, they alone offered the necessary disinterested correctives to Trump’s supposed bluster and exaggeration—and to his anti-scientific deplorable following (often dismissed by Biden as dregs, chumps, and Neanderthals).

    In truth, leftists and Democrats have become the purveyors of superstition. Their creation of a fantasy world is not because they do not believe in science per se, but because they believe more in the primacy of ideology that should shape and warp science in the proper fashion for the greater good. What prompted Paul Ehrlich, Al Gore, or Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hysterically and wrongly to forecast widespread demographic or climatological catastrophe in just a few years was not ignorance of science per se, but a desire to massage science for our own good.

    The Godheads of COVID-19
    The medical pandemic godhead of the Left has been octogenarian Dr. Anthony Fauci. His twin chief public relations explainer has been liberal darling New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Both were always supposed to be on top of “the science.”

    Dr. Fauci has not just been flat-out wrong on the science of COVID—in his assessments of the origins and possible dangers of COVID-19, of when we can get back to normal, of when the vaccinations would appear, and of which particular governors have been doing the most or least effective management of the disease. He has also, by his own admission, deliberately lied.

    That is, Fauci has rejected science, as he knew it, to mislead the public. For our own interests, he adopted the Platonic “noble lie” on occasion. So, for example, he conceded that he had downplayed the value of masks (he now seems to approve of wearing one on top of another) in order to prevent too many wearing them, and thus the public shorting the supply available to more important health care workers.

    Fauci also proverbially moved the goal posts on herd immunity, from the high 60s to the low 90s as a percent of the population, either vaccinated or with antibodies, necessary to achieve a de facto end of the pandemic. Again, Fauci defied the science on the theory he knew better, in assuming that the childish public would become too lax when and if it believed herd immunity was on the horizon.

    Unspoken, is that Fauci usually errs on the side of what is deemed progressive orthodoxy. In contrast, Dr. Scott Atlas warned us that extended and complete lockdowns in any cost-benefit analyses might well inflict more human and economic damage than the virus. And he added that an opened-up Florida and Texas might do no worse virally than a locked-down California or New York, while avoiding the severe recessionary collateral damage.

    Yet Atlas was damned for “not following the science” for the crime of working for Trump and for following the science: while targeted wearing of masks and social distancing and quarantining of vulnerable populations are necessary, complete quarantines of the entire population and extended closing schools are counterproductive.

    Little need be said of Cuomo other than the applicable Roman dictum he created a desert and called it peace. When the federal government delivered a tent-hospital and a huge hospital ship, they went unused. When it sent ventilators, Cuomo raged that they were too little, too late.

    When his own record in New York of COVID mismanagement became public (currently over 2,500 deaths per million population, the second highest state in the nation and about 35-40 percent higher than the open, but hated Texas and Florida), he lied about his own redirection of COVID patients into pristine long-term care facilities that resulted in a proverbial bloodbath.

    In his adherence to science, Cuomo received an Emmy for his narcissistic press conferences and adeptness at blame-gaming. That he was brought low not by his lethal politicking, but by serial allegations of being rude and handsy with female staffers suggests that his unscientific approaches to the pandemic were of little concern to his “scientific” supporters. “

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “He’s a cable-news star first and a scientist second”

    “The mask is slipping, Dr Fauci…”


    “To echo my friend Michael Warren Davis, I’m a big old centrist when it comes to masks. There are limits to my acquiescence, of course: the guy who yelled at me last week for not wearing one while jogging can go gargle with road salt. But generally speaking, if fogging up my glasses in public makes it a little less likely that even one person will contract the coronavirus, then I’m willing to do my part.

    The question is: is that good enough for the great Dr Fauci? These days, it can be hard to tell.

    Last week, our Hippocratic high priest got into a heated tiff with Sen. Rand Paul, a fellow doctor who was puzzled that Fauci was wearing a mask at their congressional hearing. Paul pointed out that Fauci had been fully vaccinated. ‘You want to get rid of vaccine hesitancy?’ Paul said. ‘Tell them you can quit wearing your mask after they get the vaccine.’ Fauci disagreed, saying that even vaccination may not be enough of a hedge against COVID. Previously Fauci had surmised we might all still be masking up in 2022, thanks to new variants of the coronavirus that were spreading more easily and may be deadlier.

    That’s a lot of ‘mights’ and ‘mays’, the likes of which regularly pepper Fauci’s commentary, and which often blend seamlessly into ‘absolutelys’ and ‘totallys’, pronouncements of certainty. The problem is that the certainties keep proving wrong. Two months ago, after nearly a year of berating Americans to wear a mask, Fauci emerged to declare that actually they might have been incorrect about the number of masks. The revised rule was the same as the one for gin martinis: always more than one but fewer than three. Quoth one of the highest paid medical officials in the land: ‘If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.’

    Well, yes. And it’s also true that if you have two layers on, you’d be even safer with dodecahedral gas masks. Fauci’s double-masking advice sounded less like doctorly counsel and more like a religious fundamentalist claiming the crops have withered because not enough steers were sacrificed. And the line between the two does blur easily. This is, after all, a novel coronavirus. We’ve never seen it before, which is why the science has so often seemed deaf and dumb. At any rate, Fauci quickly backed off his suggestion, clarifying that the data still suggested one mask was enough. And even one mask was one more than Fauci was recommending at the beginning of the pandemic.

    Such advice represented the scientific consensus at the time, which back then was less worried about transmission by asymptomatic carriers and wanted to reserve masks for medical professionals. But then a consensus is only as good as what’s presently known. And we might also add: it’s only as good as the constraints imposed on it by human bias. Notably excluded from our current consensus is any kind of skepticism over masks, despite an emerging body of research suggesting that, while wearing masks might prevent the spread of the coronavirus in laboratories, in practice the benefits are far more negligible. Some of these tests aren’t especially robust — the famous Danish study is an example of this — but they still call into question just how necessary all my glasses-fogging really is.

    Even the CDC has owned up to this to an extent. After pronouncing for a year that everyone must remain six feet apart, the agency recently revised its social distancing guidelines to say that, at least for schools, three feet apart was totally kosher. I have a feeling that a decade from now, when the COVID culture war has cooled and more research has been done, we’re going to look back and conclude that the measures we took were nowhere near as effective as we thought. How else to explain the Floridian Paradox, under which the Sunshine State has had about the same case and death rates as California despite not locking down to nearly the same extent?

    Yet there was Fauci last fall, saying it was ‘very concerning’ that Florida was reopening its bars and restaurants. As the kids like to say, there’s always a tweet.

    The problem with Fauci isn’t that he’s a scientist, calmly giving the best advice he can and then revising when necessary. It’s that he’s a scientist crossed with a cable news pundit. He goes on TV, which demands that science be distilled into hot takes and fortune cookie readouts, and he provides. “

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank Trump.

    “Operation Warp Speed: Light-years ahead of other COVID vaccine programs
    President Donald Trump’s public-private partnership proved to be a strategic success.”


    “How can you tell that President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed has been an outstanding success?

    Perhaps the biggest clue is that Democratic Party leaders are trying to connect the effort to the current administration, obscuring Trump’s very public efforts to launch the private-public partnership system designed to invent, test, produce, and distribute the coronavirus vaccine.”

    “As we enter the second year of the pandemic, it is worth noting that American vaccination efforts also are outpacing those in Europe, despite initial claims that Europe was the gold standard in coronavirus response. Interestingly, it is being reported that only about 10% of Europeans have received a first dose, compared with 23 percent in the United States.

    In a detailed analysis comparing the European and U.S. programs, the New York Times seems to support that the public-private partnership was a contributing factor explaining the differences.

    But the biggest explanation, the one that has haunted the bloc for months, is as much philosophical as it was operational. European governments are often seen in the United States as free-spending, liberal bastions, but this time it was Washington that threw billions at drugmakers and cosseted their business.

    Brussels, by comparison, took a conservative, budget-conscious approach that left the open market largely untouched. And it has paid for it.

    In short, the answer today is the same as it was in December, said Dr. Slaoui. The bloc shopped for vaccines like a customer. The United States basically went into business with the drugmakers, spending much more heavily to accelerate vaccine development, testing and production.

    They assumed that simply contracting to acquire doses would be enough,” recalled Dr. Slaoui, whom President Donald J. Trump hired to speed the vaccine development. “In fact what was very important was to be a full, active partner in the development and the manufacturing of the vaccine. And to do so very early.”

    Furthermore, European vaccination efforts have been hampered by halts to the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to reported blood clot cases. Those suspensions have been lifted in the wake of a surge in cases and increasing pandemic fatigue.”


    “It’s hard to overstate exactly how vital Trump’s approach to vaccine development, approval, and purchase was to the current rate of vaccinations across this country.

    The most innovative feature of OWS was government purchases of large quantities of vaccine types undergoing clinical trials, irrespective of the outcome (such as $2 billion and $483 million in early purchases from Pfizer and Moderna, respectively).

    OWS called for clinical trials, manufacturing, and logistics to be conducted on a parallel rather than a sequential basis. The pursuit of multiple vaccine types built redundancy into the program to insure as many approved vaccine types as possible….

    …As to the OWS goal of 300 million doses, delivery data shows that 80 percent of the target will have been met by the end of this month. Moreover, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that the Trump administration had already ordered some 800 million doses for delivery by July 31, 2022. Pfizer alone is planning to deliver 200 million doses to the United States by May 2021 and claims it can deliver 2 billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021.

    The data therefore suggest that the OWS goal of 300 million doses is being met much sooner than would have been conceived as the program was launched.

    Other parts of the world are lagging in vaccination efforts. Home-produced Covid vaccine apparently haven’t helped India, Russia, and China rollouts due to a lack of public interest within those nations.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If you didn’t vote for Trump, you helped make this possible.

    Thanks a lot.



  9. Didn’t vote for Trump?



    “ICE inks $89.6 million deal to lodge migrants in hotels”

    “US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has inked an $89.6 million contract with a Texas nonprofit to shelter Central American migrants in hotel rooms while the feds process a massive backlog of new arrivals at the border, according to the agency and reports.

    The eight-figure deal was announced Saturday, as migrants continued to arrive at the border at a rate not seen in 20 years, including unaccompanied children crammed into jail-like detention centers to await transfer to federal shelters across the country.

    ICE “has signed a short-term contract with the non-profit division of Endeavors to provide temporary shelter and processing services for families who have not been expelled and are therefore placed in immigration proceedings for their removal from the United States,” said ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson in a statement. “The $86.9 million contract provides 1,239 beds and other necessary services.”

    The families will be put up in hotels close to the border, including in Texas and Arizona, under the deal, which is set to run six months but could be extended, Axios reported, citing officials from the federal Department of Homeland Security.”


    I did the math. With 1,239 beds, that’s $70,120. per bed/illegal. Such a deal!


  10. Part of a NYT blurb that landed in my inbox today:

    ~ As President Biden presses ahead with his agenda, Republicans are turning more attention to immigration and “cancel culture” — a 21st-century retrofit of the so-called culture wars, which Republicans often use to retain support when their party is out of power in Washington. ~

    Meanwhile, what is cancel culture? From another piece that was in my inbox today, there are some hallmarks and distinct differences between canceling vs mere criticizing (or culture war disputes), according Veith who cites the source column he also links to:


    Criticizing vs. Cancelling
    MARCH 22, 2021 BY GENE VEITH

    … Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution (which is not a conservative organization) has written a helpful piece for Persuasion entitled The Cancel Culture Checklist, with the deck “Six signs that show you’re not just being criticized; you’re being canceled.”

    Read it all, but for your convenience I’ll just list and briefly describe those six signs and how they different from criticism:

    1. Punitiveness

    Criticism, says Rauch, seeks to correct. If you are criticized successfully, you lose the argument. Cancellation seeks to punish. If cancellation is successful, you lose your job. The person who is cancelled must be made to suffer.

    2. Deplatforming

    Cancellation, unlike criticism, seeks to silence the opponent. It specifically seeks to take away the forum for articulating the disputed opinion: the book must not be published; the lecture must not be given; the post must be taken down. …

    3. Organization

    Cancellation is often an organized effort, with more and more individuals and groups called upon to pile on. …

    4. Secondary Boycotts

    Cancellers create a climate of fear by promoting guilt by association, threatening the same punitive action against the target’s employer, professional organizations, and anyone who comes to his or her defense.

    5. Moral Grandstanding

    This is defined as “the display of moral outrage to impress one’s peer group, dominate others, or both.” It manifests itself in demonizing, ad hominem attacks, extreme rhetoric, and exaggerated displays of indignation. …


    Liked by 1 person

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