Thursday, December 2, 2021

To Cut Off One's Nose...


There was a time when it was impossible to believe elected Republicans would deliberately damage the country and its residents for political gain. After all, how could such a thing be considered a positive? Well, it’s come to the point that it’s really the only explanation for what they’re doing. And not doing.

In Congress and in state houses around the land, Republicans are making sure Americans will continue to get sick from the pandemic, and are planning to run for reelection on it. Ban mandates. Shut the government down to make it happen. They’re saying so, openly.

As there remain millions of people refusing to be vaccinated, even as their anti-vax “influencers” make deathbed repentance and call for vaccination before dying of the virus, Republican leaders see a perfect constituency. (It’s possible followers only of rightwing media haven’t even heard of those prominent deaths.)

Latest example: having pushed to end unemployment benefits in the now-discredited belief that it’d stimulate return to employment, suddenly they’re all for extending those benefits: but only to those who quit their jobs rather than be vaccinated. “We’re here for you, anti-vax conspiracists and Qanoners. Refusers to be microchipped and magnetized. Remember us, if you’re still alive, on election day. Let’s go, Brandon.”

The logic must be that they count on their in-pocket media to make sure voters only note that, say, the pandemic is continuing, or that the economy is struggling in some areas. Memories are short and facts in short supply on the dark side. So if the pandemic rages on, or help for the economically impacted vanishes, it can only be the fault of President Biden and Democrats.

The message will resonate through the airwaves, online, and be force-fed through one-channel TVs. By next election, memories of Republican blockages and refusals, if they once noticed, will vanish like Greenland’s glaciers.

That has to be it: we can do or not do anything we want, they must think, and, like those memory-wipey thingies Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones used, our voters won’t remember a thing. We can count on Trump, if for nothing else, to keep whipping the anger; and we know Tucker, Sean, Laura, et coven, will, too.

How else to explain ongoing Republican attacks on vaccine and mask mandates? Freedom? Choice? Yeah, right. Ask John Roberts about that. No, it can’t be about standing up to tyranny. If that were a Republican virtue, Trump would have been gone with the first impeachment. By now, as numbers of Covid cases continue to rise in mainly red states and they fall here, it’s clear that seeing their constituents fall ill or die doesn’t bother them. Long as they believe they can make a case come November.

In a rational world, of course, there’d be no case. But it’s also obvious that rationality has left that party like Trump left his first two wives. After all, it’s a party in which a celebrity quack like Dr. Oz thinks he can become a US senator. From a state in which he doesn’t live!

Perhaps he’ll get laughed out of the Keystone State. But Lauren Boebert hasn’t been laughed out of Colorado, nor Marjorie Taylor-Greene out of Georgia. Gaetz. Jordon. Cawthorn. People who haven’t passed, much less offered any serious legislation. People who only slur and fan hatred for colleagues on the other side. But they get elected, and that’s the thing. In their districts and states, voters love it. As long as they slander and “stick it to the libs,” they don’t care if nothing gets done on their behalf. In the case of Ms. Boebert, that’s despite the Denver Post’s outraged editorial.

She, for those who missed it, suggested to an appreciative, cheering audience, that Rep. Ilhan Omar could be a terrorist. Said she (Omar) doesn’t represent the America in which she (Boebert) is raising her children. There’s a certain irony in that, you may notice.

And Ms. Taylor-Greene, who, committee-less, fills her time spewing hate and lies, and just got in a fight with fellow Republican but not completely insane Nancy Mace, claims she’s not the “fringe” of the Republican Party, she’s the base. It might be the only true thing she’s ever said.

As a physician and putative scientist, I’ve never been into wishful thinking. But waving a magic wand might be the only way to stop the dying of democracy. When upwards of forty-percent of Americans, suffering cluelessness-by-media, keep electing Republican representatives not on the basis of what they do but whom they hate, absent something metaphysical, the end is near.


  1. Hear hear, Doctor... it's mystifying how the lying liars can lie and pay no price for it. I pondered this issue in my latest essay... what say you?

    1. A very good treatise. Published on my birthday, no less.

      I, too, first read TFT as a youth. Grade school, I think. It was, at the time, a revelation. I've been saying for some time I need to read it again, from an adult, somewhat wiser perspective.

      I've expressed much the same about Trump and Trumpism: the inexplicable way in which he, a life-long grifter, liar, cheater, and frequent failure; who, as "president" ignored the pandemic causing hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths; managed to "win." And who still controls that party.

      I'm not sure, tho, that "we get the presidents we deserve." He lost by 3 million votes. The system has always been rigged in favor of minority views, and is getting more and more so.

      Our founders (ah: foundation) weren't so damn brilliant, after all.

    2. Thanks... much appreciated. Happy Un-Birthday, BTW. I guarantee that you'll enjoy TFT so much more now than before, it blows my mind when I think of how different perceptions are as we become Olds. As for the leaders we deserve, I based that on the behavior of society at-large. Keep up the good work!

  2. WA. state verify system is now active. Just input name, birthday and email or phone.

  3. This stuff really pisses me off. Not because of the ruling. It's because everyone gets duped. Obama got duped, the congress and the American people. I can scream no to high heaven. I can spell out exactly what will happen over and over and over. Yet here we are. We are here because not enough people cared enough. They get lied to and their answer is too ignore it. Say their vote doesn't count anyway or some other ignorant excuse. Say their efforts would be for not. It's all over but the cryin'. America is too stupid to survive. 50 years of assault on our own people for power and money.

    Oh, and the Man-Chin will do nothing now that he has his corporate give away bill passed. I said it from day one and nothing has changed my mind.

    America is too stupid...Lucy with the football all day long.

    "Opinion: It’s time to say it: The conservatives on the Supreme Court lied to us all"

  4. I suggest everyone go to YouTube and search for Politics Girl. I may have told you about her before, but she is giving me sustenance lately. She does morning rants, which I've loved, and now she has a podcast. A Canadian by birth, an American by choice, she offers not only an astute point of view, but some excellent potty-mouth rejoinders.

    I get to start volunteering this week at my old stomping grounds, Everett High School. My friends there sound exhausted past the point of a normal pre-holiday exhaustion. I'm happy to be able to do some of their grunt work for them.

    Not exactly on-point but I am sick and tired to my soul of what is happening in America right now. School shootings, sperm donors and egg incubators unworthy of the name "parent" running from responsibilities, and more chaos than I can elucidate right now. More coffee is needed.

    1. Yes, coffee. With additives as the situation requires.

      And good for you for volunteering. In the Mukilteo SD, administrators, including the superintendent, are pitching in in classrooms, too. Crazy times. And getting crazier by the hour.

    2. Sid, I'm right on the edge of telling the school I can't come in. I'm triple vaxxed and still being very careful with masks and social distancing. One of the reasons I am so diligent is that I live with 2 people who are triple vaxxed too, but one person who is zero vaxxed. He's Q-curious. He's very Trumpy. He hates liberals. He will not get the jab. I worry that if he brings the virus to our home, I could carry it to the school.

      I know virology is not your specialty, but what do you think? I can't shake this feeling of tempting fate or inviting doom/ trouble.

    3. Boy, that's a tough one. Maybe you could pose the question to someone at the SnoCo health district. I suppose, tho, having been asked and therefore somewhat responsible, they'd advise not to go.

      I'd guess that, being triple vaxxed and careful, and given that the virus is less ubiquitous and therefore the chances of your housemate bringing it in and you transmitting it are very low.

      But I really don't know what to suggest. Safest: bow out. Too bad, because I assume they really need the help.

    4. Think about me Mary.

      I ride the bus with who knows who and there's not always 100% compliance. I am going to get my booster this week. I wear my mask on the bus of course. That said it's always the same crew that doesn't wear masks. You can guess their politics. But I don't feel the concern like I did up north. Seattle seems to have their shit together. Capitol Hill is a liberal bastion though.

    5. Thank you, good Doctor. I'll check SnoCo health, but I think I need to follow my intuition. This is the primary way the virus has changed me. I'm much more fearful, or just cautious. At my age, I guess that's not a bad thing.

    6. I hear you, Smooth. There is my very logical side that says it will be okay, but my illogical side says anything can happen. One of the other people I live with is a double heart attack patient. One stint procedure 10 years ago and one bypass surgery 3 years ago. She is also morbidly obese, diabetic, profoundly clinically depressed, and my sister. She is my greatest worry and the most at-risk. The 'what if?" scenarios lead me to be perhaps overly cautious. When I was an active alcoholic, I put my family through soooooo much and as we say in AA, you don't make amends to your family--you LIVE your amends. Even after nearly 18 years of sobriety, I still take that seriously.

      Man, you guys know a lot about me! Oh well, I am, and always have been, pretty much an open book.

    7. "I hear you, Smooth. There is my very logical side that says it will be okay, but my illogical side says anything can happen."

      uhuh, I hear ya. It's actually the same emotions a US Marine(any military fighter type person, not the chow hall cooks etc.) would go through.

      My opinion is Fear and Bravery are the same thing. It's how you deal with it that decides. As you know, I got to the point of insisting people wear masks on the bus. I was solely a royal pain in their asses. As we know I went to the union, the paper and talked with a few friends. Every time I called them on their shit, they pooh poohed me. Gave me excuses and generally pretended like they were really doing all they could. However, in every case within 48 hours it was all miraculously fixed and then some on. I simply gave them the impression I could take them to court. I know what I am doing. I don't need anyone to kick their asses if need be.

      Mary, I flat got tired of being bullied. Look out when this thing has had enough. I take no prisoners. If that's your game? You have seriously underestimated me. Which I count on. Evvvveryone underestimates me. But in the end it was for one objective. My mental and physical health improvement program. I decided to just plow through them all to make my daily world more comfy. It's a thing I have done before in other situations, but I can count them on 2 hands. Take it and like it only goes so far before my fear turns to anger. Then anger turns into action. That's me though. I am highly capable. Most people just get ran over in the same situations. My fear turns to bravery when I think about people who can't fight for themselves.

      So after all

      There's many things to worry about. As you know, confidence comes with understanding. The fact you even considered going back is acknowledgement of that fact. All you need to do is update your vax if needed. Wear your mask and make sure everyone else is as well. In a school you can accomplish those requirements pretty easily.

      Your fear is not irrational. But kids are not dropping like flies either. Nor are teachers. The lunch lady also looks pretty healthy I bet.

      If it were me? I'd go in a hot second. My days of volunteering at school are ovah. But if I was healthy enough, I'd pitch in somewhere. I'd make a helluva baseball coach. Not head coach, just like a base coach, skills coach or something with little to no Think about how much easier your job woulda been with another teacher in the classroom. That's the motivation. Also, being around kids and watching them develop over the years is incredibly rewarding. For me, the pros outweigh the cons by a lot. Maybe not 18 months ago, but today it's a completely different story. I wouldn't step foot in a Red state. Nevermind a school in those states.

      And everyone knows something about me. I am an open book. Ya gotta be real confident to just say it like it is. Especially when it comes to myself. As much as I do, ya wouldn't know it, but I HATE talking about myself. I do it for the same reasons you want to go back and volunteer. Maybe someone will hear me and not feel alone. Maybe solve a problem or two. If it were not for that fact, I wouldn't ever talk about myself. In fact I'd rarely speak at all.

      I see you as very confident. I'd listen to that side and ignore the unconfident side if it were me. Yes, there's stuff to worry about, but it's not at all different than you having the cold and flu viruses flying around before covid. I bet cold and flu season is mild with all the masks.

      There's my 2 cents

  5. This report is no surprise either.

    The Declining U.S. Birthrate Comes As No Surprise

    1. Nor is it a bad thing, IMO. Too damn many people already, gobbling up resources, destroying the planet. It's the main problem with capitalism: need for an ever-increasing supply of consumers. There's gotta be a way for capitalism to work in a steady state.

    2. Well, like I say...It probably needs to have the machines doing the work. But everyone benefits. Not just the guy who owns the machines. This was the "Utopia" folks dreamed about after the 2nd WW. Cars that drive themselves. The Seattle worlds fair in a nutshell.

      Using the Earth like a credit card with free money needs to stop. WTF we burning down the rain forest for? The fracking craze has accelerated our demise. Yet we still have the Man-Chin coal robber barons because of the money involved. When invention becomes a sin, we are doomed. Making excuses for why things can't advance.

      There's people on this Earth in 2014, that bought cases of Edison light bulbs because phasing them out was a govt. conspiracy.

      Can't fit a gun rack in the back of a Prius, therefore that technology is worthless and the libs are ruining 'murkah'.

      Just the word "Progress" alone has been demonized into the ground. Because yunno, that progressive stuff is a slippery slope.

      As for the alt right, their slope is not slippery. It trickles, or so they say. I've never seen that trickle in 50 years. Not a drop. Any trickle I ever saw was from a progressive point of view. We all worked ourselves into the ground just to stay alive. A few made it, but not many. The majority of my fruits went to the wealthy. And was treated like shit the entire time. But someone you are supposed to be happy you even have a job. I had to quit my jobs 5 times for my kids birth and my Grandmas funeral. They did not give 2 shits about any of it. They wouldn't dare think to miss a child's birth or a funeral. But the rest of us better keep working. And when you see it decade after decade as the world crumbles around you, it gets demoralizing. It makes you angry. It affects you and everyone around you. These are the choices I had to make because of uncompromising slave drivers. There's no "Team". it's only their team...WE are not a team. A bunch of replaceable deplorables is what you are subjected to. How hard you work doesn't matter at all. That was only going to last so long. So here we are...

      I hear "The South would have eventually "grown out of slavery" on their own." What crap! They STILL have issues with people of color. So much so they cheat and Gerrymander, over police, gentrify, demonize etc.

      People worry about Socialism. Well, Democratic socialist countries AKA Nordics are doing great. Happiest people in the world they say. I can almost guaranty one thing.

      The alt right wants us to go back to Nazi Germany. The Progressives are not trying to create another Russia or Cuba or whatever other socialist country boogeyman one can name. Only one side has a slippery slope and it's the alt right. The "libs" have too much empathy to allow stuff to get out of hand for long. There'd be constant fixes and tweaks till it was right. The alt right wants to demolish all govt. It's their stated goal. Shrink it till you can drown it like a baby in a bathtub says Carl Rove.

      Progressives want a govt. that works for the people. The alt right wants a govt. that only works for white and wealthy. Only one side has a slippery slope and the evidence is crystal clear.

      It's depressing...I thought we were better than this and we just ain't.

    3. Trump, Supporters Not Willing To Risk 2024 Outcome With A Fair Election

      This is Rachel's take on the Atlantic piece. Once again, this dude is telling everyone what is going to happen, again.

    4. Well, if the SCOTUS of Gilead (think Handmaid's Tale) are successful in striking down Roe, we'll have a lot more babies in 'Murica. Unfortunately, they will mostly be born into poverty.

    5. Not only that but corporations will run everything. The alt right is telling their voters to not get vaccinated. Then blaming Biden for the Covid death count.

      Nowhere is it argued by anyone that the record amount of deaths are predominantly RED voters who are not vaxxed. It's a constant barrage of bullshit. No context at all. In a supposed "news" paper. Yes Susan Collins is also a rat...Surprise surprise surprise! <---As a Marine I am allowed to use that catchphrase.

      Bottom line is business runs govt. The wealthy run govt. They are willing to let you die for profit. Just like Tabaco, fossil fuels, drug companies, military companies and any other polluter business. They shutdown one paper after the next. It's all out war on the population. This is simply the end game. They've been at war with the poor for decades.

      Republicans blame Biden for Covid response they're undermining
      It's breathtaking in its brazenness: Republicans are doing what they can to undermine Biden's efforts, while complaining about the efficacy of the efforts.

    6. Here's another example of business running govt. in the broad daylight.

      A couple of months ago, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds — one of the Republicans who rushed to get people off of jobless aid in the spring — acted quickly to make unemployment benefits available to those who lost their jobs for refusing to get vaccinated. Axios reported this week that Iowa isn't alone.

      Republican officials around the country are testing a creative mechanism to build loyalty with unvaccinated Americans while undermining Biden administration mandates: unemployment benefits.... Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee have changed their unemployment insurance rules to allow workers who are fired or quit over vaccine mandates to receive benefits.

      The point about aid to those who quit over vaccines is of particular interest: Ordinarily, Americans who voluntarily give up their jobs aren't eligible for unemployment benefits. But thanks to Republicans in these red states, those who quit their jobs to avoid vaccines can get checks from the government anyway.

      As Catherine Rampell explained, these red states are now effectively "paying people not to get vaccinated."

  6. BAH! Forgot to add this to the Maddow/Atlantic article

  7. America: The Story of Us

    I binged this series the last 2 days.

    The south has not changed at all. The north "grew out of slavery", the south wanted free labor because they didn't want to do it themselves. Same as it ever was.

  8. Cop Who Rolled Bike Over Protester’s Head Gets Suspension
    A Seattle police officer who rolled his bicycle over a protester’s head has been ordered to serve a seven-day suspension without pay.

    "The officer, whose name has not been released by the Seattle Police Department, is appealing the findings by the city’s Office of Police Accountability."

    Gee, I never get charged repeatedly and repeatedly the cops spread my name and an entre narrative.

  9. The Manchin is at it again...

    Senate votes to nullify Biden's vaccine requirement, with two Democrats joining all Republicans

    The final tally was 52-48 as Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana joined all Republicans in voting in favor of rescinding the requirements.


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