23 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-25-21

  1. There they go again.

    “Oregon governor announces *outdoor* mask mandate — regardless of vaccination status”


    “What year is it?

    Kate Brown clarifies below that the mask mandate doesn’t apply in all outdoor situations, like if you’re strolling around with members of your own household or walking your dog. It’s for outdoor gatherings involving multiple households, whether large public crowds or smaller private shindigs where people can’t distance. Still, even some Democrats are scratching their heads about it. “Have any medical experts actually recommended this?” wondered former Obama aide Tommy Vietor.

    To answer his question: Why, no. “Current data suggest the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in outdoor settings is minimal,” reads the current CDC guidance. “In general, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.” If I recall correctly, in some interviews Fauci has nudged the vaccinated that they might consider wearing a mask if they’re in close quarters with others outdoors. But that’s as far as the feds are willing to go at the moment.

    Is this COVID security theater, then? I thought we all got on the same page about the outdoors being very, very, very safe months ago.”


  2. 5 hours late, blood shot eyes, and then GrandPa insults everyone.

    Good presser! 🙂


    “Joe Biden finally gave his big Afghanistan presser this afternoon. Arriving five hours late for the event, the President took the stage. His eyes were bloodshot and glazed over with his pace of speaking obviously labored as he began to robotically read the teleprompter.

    What then transpired was one of the most insulting, tone-deaf spectacles I’ve ever seen from a president. Instead of getting right into the crisis in Afghanistan, Biden inexcusably began the presser by plugging his “Build Back Better” agenda.

    No, I’m not kidding. It was absolutely surreal.”

    “Biden would go on to spend minutes talking about the “climate crisis” and bragging about Democrats passing a “voting rights” bill (that will die in the Senate). Before he even mentioned the disaster unfolding in Afghanistan, he praised Nancy Pelosi for her work on the budget bill and claimed that he had produced 4 million jobs. It was disgustingly disconnected from reality.

    Later, Biden would finally move to the issue of the day. At that point, he lied about today’s call with the G7 leaders, claiming they were supportive and standing shoulder to shoulder with him on his withdrawal from Afghanistan. That’s contrary to public reports that the Brits and Germans are furious at what is going on and are begging us to extend the timeline because they can’t get everyone out in time.”


    Can we stop pretending there’s not a problem with the man’s mind?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Biden lied, and the shifty one exposed him. 🙂




  4. This is what failure looks like.


  5. Good news….

    “Yiiikes: Biden approval craters, falls to 41% in new Suffolk poll”

    Which means it’s probably at least 5 points less than what they claim. 🙂


    “Yes, well, a searing national humiliation in Kabul playing out day by agonizing day on television screens will do that.

    Considering that polls last year tilted about five points Democratic due to Republican nonresponse bias, what do we think Biden’s *true* approval rating is in this Suffolk survey? Maybe 36, 37 percent?

    This one is an obvious outlier in terms of the degree to which it shows Biden declining but it’s not an outlier in terms of the trend. His approval has dropped in various polling averages lately, as you might expect. And it’s not all because of Afghanistan.

    But it’s mostly because of Afghanistan.”


  6. Mask wars.


    “The geography of the ongoing confrontations over masking traces the path that Democrats would likely need to follow to prove such predictions wrong and end their long years in exile from the governors’ mansions in these states.

    Abbott, DeSantis and Ducey have all moved to bar local mask mandates, including in schools (along with other public health steps such as vaccine mandates for city employees and the use of “vaccine passports” by restaurants and other businesses). And all have escalated their conflicts with defiant local officials in the past few days. DeSantis, with the support of Republican state legislators, is pushing to withhold pay from local school officials defying his order; Ducey, practically daring Biden to intervene, is offering federal dollars as an inducement for school districts to reject mask mandates; and Abbott, after the state Supreme Court rejected the state’s push for a preemptory decision, is pursuing multiple lawsuits against local jurisdictions defying his ban on mask mandates (although the state Texas Education Agency has indicated it won’t enforce that ban until the cases are decided). In Georgia, Kemp has not barred school mask mandates but last week he issued an executive order prohibiting local governments from mandating that businesses require masks or proof of vaccination.

    These efforts have sparked political backlash from local governments of all sizes. But the resistance has been greatest in the states’ largest population centers, which also mostly voted against these GOP governors in their last races and generally moved further toward Democrats (with some important exceptions) in 2020. Those metro areas also accounted for virtually all of the past decade’s population growth in their states, according to recently released census figures analyzed for me by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.”


  7. That’s why it looks so familiar…..

    “Soviet Methods of Character Attack-Based Scandals Thrive in the New Media Environment”


    “What do a Cold War-era conspiracy theory, a modern-day political operation involving a hoax concerning domestic elections, and a global media influence campaign concerning the death of a Saudi operative have in common? They all rely on old school tried-and-true Soviet methods of disinformation, propaganda, and smear campaigning designed to attack character, ruin reputations, and change the course of history.

    The Soviet Union’s most underrated accomplishment in the field of information warfare was its ability to wreak psychological havoc on entire populations by keeping conspiracy theories, dubious accusations, and assertions mixing a kernel of truth with a significant doze of fabrications and live and well in the public mind sometimes for years, if not decades to come. Inspired in part by the old adage “if it bleeds, it leads”, the Soviet became the masters of not only igniting the flame of scandals, but of keeping it burning long past the wick’s apparent length or ability to withstand the heat.

    Operation “Infektion” which dates back to the 1980s finds its reflections, in contemporary radical movements connected to civil rights issue. Same playbooks are being used by the actors who were trained by the authors of Infektion – but the data-driven approach to the spread of disinformation makes well-established methodology and discredited rumors seem brand new. In reality, there is no reinvention of the wheel. Where Operation “Infektion” sought to stoke racial tensions in the US and to turn African countries against Americans with the idea of advancing Soviet geopolitical concerns, the modern day spinoff seek to sow internal discord in the US, but also to undermine the faith of Americans in their own governments, exploiting the apparent move away from active engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa, a growing isolationist streak dominant with both parties, and contemporary domestic crises in the United States.

    The Russiagate scandal started out as a last-minute Hillary Clinton presidential campaign claim, but quickly grew legs with the involvement of former intelligence officers, US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, data analytics firms, and a veritable choir of politicians, journalists, and polemicists of all stripes amplifying the sensational allegations which ultimately petered out into claims of individual malfeasance. However, the investigation of this political scandal took up over two years of the Trump administration and has had a lingering effect on political discourse, the national psyche, and the reflections upon the 2016 elections.

    The Khashoggi Affair erupted after the disappearance and presumed death of the Washington Post columnist and former Saudi intelligence officer and government spokesman Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in early October 2018. Khashoggi’s remains were never found. The choir of the media, as well as US federal legislative bodies, assigned the responsibility for his killing to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before the investigation of the death was completed. Furthermore, any attempts to question some of the initial suppositions and assumptions were met with fierce resistance from the media mavens and the foreign policy circles. With time, however, as the outrage over Khashoggi’s demise has dwindled down due to the natural movement of the news cycle and revelations that raised doubts about his past that also raised questions about the possible motives for a violent death, new angles and variants of this story reappeared in the news, keeping the momentum of continuous mass interest and emotional investment in the story alive long past the expiration date of its newsworthiness, and certainly outshining other instances of murders of that type.

    Why and how, over two years after his disappearance, and after various calamities and global events have long since pushed the initial story out of the headlines, are we still talking about Khashoggi? How did those interested in keeping the scandal at peak level and as a permanent mark on the reputation of the Crown Prince, succeeded in keeping this theme as a trending item? What methods successful in previous scandals have been employed, and what were the changes and improvements? This paper will explore this story and examine both the classical elements and the groundbreaking innovations by its orchestrators.”


  8. Coming soon to a Democrat run state near you…

    “COVID and Tyranny in Australia”


    “Early Success
    Australia (along with New Zealand) was touted as the gold standard in terms of their COVID-19 response in the early stages of the pandemic. How did they do it? They locked everything down and paid people (with money printing) to stay at home. Seems simple enough and even understandable given the unknowns at the time and the lack of a vaccine. It never was a viable long term strategy but the country came together to face the pandemic.

    The adoption of a zero COVID approach was glorified by the mainstream media. Sweden was vilified. No lockdowns? Monsters. There were calls from certain Republican circles about giving governments too much power over its people. Some worthy of debate and some filled with conspiracies. History isn’t studied much now but there are enough warnings. Give people in power too much of it and they will never give it up.

    Of course, at the time the media were also using every baton to beat the Orange Man over the head due to the US response to COVID-19. Australia’s success was just another baton.

    It worked for a while. And then it didn’t.

    Vaccine Rollout Failure
    Let’s look at some of the latest figures for Australia. 54% of the population over the age of 16 have had at least one dose and 31% have had both doses. The numbers for seniors are more promising. These improved figures have come about just in the last two months. Prior to that the numbers were fairly dismal. Scheduling difficulties, availability of vaccines for younger age groups, supply chain issues and poor messaging all contributed to the slow rollout. Ok, these things happen. Government really isn’t great at being efficient one might say. Let’s keep that aside and ask these important questions.

    Are the residents of Australia bearing the brunt of the government’s failure? Does the government have more authority over your basic freedoms now than before the pandemic? Have they incited fear in order to grab power? Have they assumed they know what’s good for you better than you do?

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. It sure does seem that way.”


  9. Its unfortunate that a simple public health measure, masks, has become a political football in the US. Masks work. That being said our experience in the past year and common sense tells us Covid doesn’t spread in the outdoors unless its a large crowd with no social distancing (packed football stadium, Sturgis, etc). Oregon is over the top here but the southern governors are over the top the other way.

    A central tenet of North American conservatism has been deference to local gov’t. The lower the gov’t the more in touch it is with people’s needs and wants. A deference to local gov’t combined with a suspicion of central gov’ts makes the actions of the governors strange and non-conservative. Infectious diseases are far more of an urban problem than a rural problem — lack of social distancing. Urban school boards quite rightly want to mandate mask wearing and/or vaccines for adults whereas rural boards don’t see the need for it; and they’re both right because they are acting on local concerns. Yet Abbot, DeSantitis etc are needlessly interjecting the central gov’t into the dispute. Mandating mask wearing is not much different than mandating uniforms or a dress code — should the governor read and approval all dress codes. This isn’t conservatism, this is rejecting something just because the “other” supports it.

    Let the school boards decide — let urban schools protect their kids and let rural boards take advantage of a virus’s predilection for congregated settings. You know when US politics has crossed the Rubicon when a socialist advocate a conservative solution and conservative voters cheer central gov’t interference.

    Similarly — why is the gov’t interfering with corporations and businesses who want a vaccinated work force and/or clientele? Although I agree, corporations etc have too many rights and need to respect the rights of their workers, this hasn’t been a Republican position since Eisenhower. When health insurance companies start offering discounts and/or penalties to workplaces based on their vaccination polices, why do conservatives support gov’t interference in private health care. If you want state interference in health care, there’s a better way of doing it.


  10. Biden doesn’t have blood shot eyes nor has his speaking pace changed. He’s always been a slow speaker due to his speech impediment (slowing down is a coping mechanism). According to RCP, Biden’s approval-disapproval rate is 46.9 to 49.1 or a negative 2.2. The Suffolk and Rasmussen polls are deeply in the negative, three other polls taken the same time have Biden at positive 2. Rasmussen is usually about 3 points to the Republican side. In terms of the 2020 election, the other three pollsters were more accurate…..That being said, there has been a decline in popularity but not too surprising given Afghanistan and the honeymoon is done.

    Of course, there’s a lot of blame to be shared about Afghanistan but its always the last person who is left holding the bag. Reagan created the Taliban. Bush Jr invaded Afghanistan without an exit plan. Obama deferred to the military and political considerations. Trump actually brokered a deal with the Taliban (I’ll give him credit, it was a good idea) in 2020. May 2021 was supposed to be the deadline. Its highly unlikely the Taliban will give an other extension despite requests from western powers who weren’t part of the US agreement. Biden — as a military father — saw the US involvement in Afghanistan far more personally and less politically than the other presidents, which is why he’s willing to give up poll points to do the right thing for the military personnel and their families.


  11. https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/delta-air-lines-1.6152602?fbclid=IwAR1E5Ur_Sxs_uOH03SMkg9_H1pplKyeZHLPlsDuB0Ckb1LNnSuND-NKzPJU

    I can’t see how a government is going to violate corporate property rights, take over the liability issues, and pay the extra insurance just to advocate for vaccine choice.

    Australia and New Zealand have succeeded in minimizing the effects of covid. This is separate from their ability to procure a vaccine. Given their relative isolation and public health success, their gov’ts didn’t purse a vaccine with the same furor as the rest of the west. This doesn’t mean its a failure — their vaccine rate is just a little lower than Alabama and Mississippi. Given the lack of urgency in Australia compared to Mississippi, its more successful than some US states. And in terms of Covid itself, the infection and death rates are minuscule.


  12. Masks make no difference.

    hwesseli: Too many rhetorical gimmicks to address there, but regarding DeSantis’s EO, he’s doing what you claim (in a mangled way) conservatives do–he’s ensuring health choices for minor children are managed at the most local level: the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Re: Tychicus’ link yesterday, supposedly showing that more people are dying from the vaccine than Covid. The article that I had shared warning against the practices of that site made the point that the site twists what it takes from its sources. Looking at the link within the link (to Public Health Scotland), brings these points up (emphases mine):

    ~~~”Analyses are presented to show the number of deaths occurring within 28 days of receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine in Scotland from 8 December 2020 (the beginning of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme) to 11 June 2021. The analysis includes all recorded deaths due to any cause and does not refer to deaths caused by the vaccine itself. As the vaccination programme is being rolled out to the entire adult population, many people will experience an illness or death in the days following their vaccination by coincidence. This is particularly the case for those vaccinated early in the programme, when the programme prioritised the very elderly population and those with pre-existing underlying health conditions. In order to account for this, we have compared the total number of observed deaths per month to the Public Health Scotland 28 number we would have expected, based on the average number of deaths that occurred per month (by age band and gender) for the same time-period between 2015 and 2019. This is called excess mortality.

    We have calculated a ratio of the observed versus expected number of deaths and 95% confidence intervals. Calculating the observed versus expected ratio is a standard method for comparing cases or deaths occurring in different time periods. The confidence interval gives the range of values that we can be 95% certain contains the true ratio. For example, an observed versus expected ratio of 0.5 (95%CI: 0.25-0.75) means that the observed number of deaths was 50% below what was expected, but may have ranged from a 25% to a 75% reduction.

    Between 8 December 2020 and 11 June 2021, a total of 5,522 people died within 28 days of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in Scotland (number of days between vaccine and death is 0-27, where 0 is the day of vaccination, all age groups). A breakdown of these deaths by day and vaccine type is available in the spreadsheet provided along with this report. Using the 5-year average monthly death rate (by age band and gender) from 2015 to 2019 for comparison, 8,718 deaths would have been expected among the vaccinated population within 28 days of receiving their COVID-19 vaccination. This means the observed number of deaths is lower than expected compared with mortality rates for the same time period in previous years (dose 1 observed/expected ratio:0.66, 95%CI= 0.64 to 0.69; dose 2 observed/expected ratio: 0.59, 95%CI=0.57 to 0.62).”~~~

    A little later on, it summarizes, including this:

    ~~~” * 60% of COVID-19 related acute hospital admissions were in unvaccinated individuals, of which 68% were in the under 40s age group.

    • a larger proportion of unvaccinated COVID-19 related acute hospital admissions were recorded as having COVID-19 symptoms during contact tracing when compared to those that were vaccinated.”~~~

    Click to access 21-06-23-covid19-publication_report.pdf


  14. Keep in mind that what I just shared is a link from that Daily Expose article that claimed that this link would prove that more people died from the vaccine than from Covid. What it actually states is that those deaths after vaccination were from all causes, and there were actually fewer deaths in that month than the year-to-year average.


  15. This fraud needs to be indicted.

    “New York Governor Adds 12,000 COVID Deaths to Predecessor Cuomo’s Count”


    “New York governor Kathy Hochul’s administration on Wednesday reported close to 12,000 additional coronavirus deaths that were unacknowledged by predecessor Andrew Cuomo.

    Around 54,000 people died of COVID-19 in New York since the start of the pandemic through July, according to data the state provided to the federal government. However, in press releases and updates, the state’s Department of Health reported just 43,000 COVID-19 deaths, a discrepancy first reported by the Associated Press in July.

    As of Wednesday, the Hochul administration updated the state’s reported death toll to align with data provided to the federal government. New York now reports 55,400 deaths from COVID-19.

    “We’re now releasing more data than had been released before publicly, so people know the nursing home deaths and the hospital deaths are consistent with what’s being displayed by the CDC,” Hochul told MSNBC on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of things that weren’t happening and I’m going to make them happen. Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.””


  16. HRW,

    You need a bigger screen. His eyes are bloodshot.


    Meanwhile, somewhere in Canada, a clock is missing it’s cuckoo.


    Liked by 1 person

  17. ———


  18. Ezra Levant amuses me — he’s upset with the Australian demos? He must have missed the G7 demo in Quebec City over 20 years ago and the G20 demonstrations in Toronto about 5 years. This is normal police presence for any political demonstration especially a leftist demo.

    Maryam Mousef …..what can I say, I seriously don’t know how she was appointed a cabinet minister in the first place and this isn’t her first faux pas. My guess is she is a team player, keeps Trudeau’s ego inflated by being the POC woman in cabinet who doesn’t take a stand (two women left Trudeau’s cabinet because he failed to act on certain policies). In context, its quite clear from the rest of her comments in the meeting that she considers the Taliban as terrorists etc. She claimed it was a cultural reference — she’s an Afghan Muslim thus they are brothers in faith (however she’s Shia and the Taliban are Sunni). Interesting family story — Afghan refugee family born in Iran, father killed by Russians, raised by a single mom under the Taliban, moved to Canada, worked her way through university part time…..

    Her riding or electoral district is small predominately white working class city. The district fluctuates between Conservative and Liberal and will elect the odd NDP. She won with only 39% of the vote, 35 went conservative and 20% NDP. New election on the 20th next month so it will be interesting to see if she survives.


  19. A family isn’t’ a level of gov’t unless we are in a pre-modern society where kinship and tribal relations are important and family honor is the law. However, that’s not how Anglo American politics work and school boards are low level gov’t bodies responding to local concerns. Hence, letting school boards decide based on local conditions is a far more traditional conservative approach than a fiat issued by the governor.

    Masks do work that’s why doctors and nurses wear them — it protects the sick and immunocomprimised around the medical team. Most of us assume and want the medical staff to wear masks during any operation — you don’t want the surgeon coughing into a wound. Masks are a way to protect the people around you from any germs you may carry. I will probably not get sick — 25 years of teaching and the usual vaccines mean I’m resilient against any virus but by wearing a mask I won’t transmit germs to someone whose immune system isn’t as good as mine. Sure masks don’t protect me but by wearing a mask I might be protecting others and really it doesn’t bother me to wear a mask so why not just in case.

    As for Kizzie’s comment to Tychius — the evidence and data comes out everyday. Those with the vaccine are less likely to have Covid and if they do they are less likely to be sick. In Ontario, the unvaccinated are about 20% but they account for almost 75% of all new cases and all of the new hospitalized cases. Data is similar throughout the world — vaccines work.

    Not surprised the death toll in NY is actually higher. I suspect that for many states. The worldwide death rate for Covid infection is about 2% but going through the American data, many states claim less than that. Now if a state with a relatively young healthy population (ie Utah) claims a low Covid mortality rate it makes sense but for example Florida claims about 1.5% death rate….its under reporting by at least 18 000.


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