Marjorie Clifton, a former consultant for the Obama campaign, derailed a Fox News segment on Monday by reminding host Harris Faulkner that former President Donald Trump had dangerously suggested ingesting bleach to cure COVID-19.
Clifton's remarks came during a Fox News segment that criticized President Joe Biden over a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation that permits vaccinated people to go without a mask in public places.
"Why can't this administration get on one message that works?" Faulkner asked Clifton.
"Because I don't think there's one message that anyone will adopt," Clifton replied. "Because all of those that said over time we don't want to have masks anymore now have been given permission to shed their masks and yet they're critics."
"I think, unfortunately, in the current day political environment there's never going to be a winning strategy, there's never going to be a one-size-fits-all policy around it," she added.
"But that's not what he sold America," Faulkner scoffed.
"That's what news is apparently thriving on these days," Clifton observed. "Because that's all we've talked about so far."
"What about science?" the Fox News host shot back.
"And the CDC's policies they put forward is based on science," Clifton said. "If you're vaccinated, you don't have to wear a mask. If you aren't then you should. So that's science. Yet we're criticizing that right now."
On the "how can we be more cruel and inhuman" front, we have the Republican governor of South Carolina uncritically signing a bill designed to kill more (mostly Black) people using methods that are worthy of medieval times. I should also add the disclaimer that I am adamantly against capital punishment in any form, but these two methods on the menu are particularly heinous.
If you are an inmate on Death Row in South Carolina, you may choose lethal injection, a firing squad or the electric chair. Previously, it was just the injection or the electric chair, but South Carolina legislators saw a need for another choice, adding the firing squad to force inmates to choose a method which could be carried out, since lethal injection drugs are in short supply.
There are currently three inmates on death row in South Carolina who have exhausted all of their appeals. All have chosen lethal injection as the method by which they will be killed by the state. This new law will force those three inmates to choose between the attainable options -- firing squad or electric chair.
They could have eliminated it instead. That would have been a better way to go. Instead, they spout this drivel:
I was out and about on Saturday and ended up dropping by the shopping mall formerly known as The City. (The name may be familiar to the few of you who managed to finish Philip K. Dick's quasi-novel VALIS, though it was miscapitalized there.) The City has gone through many rebirths and retcons and what have you, and is currently known as The Outlets at Orange, even though most of the stores don't appear to be outlets at all, just ordinary stores.
Anyway, I took a few pictures and this is what it looked like. It's kind of weird. Orange County is ground zero for a lot of anti-mask nutbaggery, but out in real life nearly everyone is masked up. Even after the CDC's latest announcement, most people continue to wear masks outdoors, let alone indoors. I'd say about 75% of the crowd at the mall was wearing masks.May 15, 2021 — Orange, California
The pathology involved in conservatives around the country collectively trying to gaslight Americans into believing they didn’t see what they saw and didn’t hear with heard on Jan. 6, 2021, is pretty frightening. But here we are. During “The Capitol Insurrection: Unexplained Delays and Unanswered Questions” hearings held by the House of Representatives, Republicans tried to repaint the history of the Jan. 6 attempt by MAGA types and many Republican officials to forcefully overturn millions of Americans democratically cast votes as not a big deal. In fact, if you looked at it another way, the insurrection was like a big family gathering.
One of the most egregious remembrances of that day came from Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia. During his written statement, he said of the many trespassers and zip-tie carrying insurrections that day in the Capitol building, “You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.” It’s the kind of statement that’s so breathtaking in its denial of all evidence that it seemed to take away Clyde’s breath after he said it. The AP released a new set of images from that distressing and disappointing day that show Clyde very close to the barricaded door to the House chambers. He does not look like a man who is taking it easy as a rambunctious tourist group passes through.
The Census Bureau estimates that there are 63.1 million families in America with children under the age of 18 who are living at home. As of July 15, more than half of those families are going to receive monthly cash payments under the Democrats' American Rescue Plan. That's the critical $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill which passed back in March.
Which received zero Republican votes.
Let's revisit what this means: Parents who qualify and who have children under age 6 will get $300 automatically, straight into their back accounts for every child under age 6 each month. Parents with children over age 6 will get $250 per child, every month. How do you qualify? Earn less than $95,000 annually as an individual, or $170,000 as a couple filing jointly. Parents earning between $75,000-95,000/$150,000-170,000, will still get checks, but smaller ones.
This is the regular child tax credit, bumped up from the regular $2,000 to $3,600 per child annual credit for children under age 6 and $3,000 for older kids. It's also a monthly payment, instead of the end-of-year lump sum, providing stability for millions of families. It will also give them some additional disposable income to help the economy rebound. It could allow more people to enter the workforce, making childcare easier to afford. This means the families of more than 65 million children—88% of all the kids in the country—will start seeing their prospects improve by mid-summer.
I'm reposting this since a lot of people might not have seen it over the weekend.
Not everyone wants to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Hesitance is highest among young people, the Black community, and, of course—Republicans.
This is nothing new. Here is the historical reaction of Americans to getting vaccines¹:
Overall response to the COVID-19 vaccine is right in line with historical averages. What's more, Republicans have always been more hesitant about vaccines than Democrats—though with a twist:
As you can see, Republicans have always been more wary of vaccines. That wariness has increased over time, but it's been stable since 2000 and obviously has nothing to do with Donald Trump. In fact, the especially big difference in the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine isn't due to Republicans becoming more hesitant at all. It's due to Democrats becoming less hesitant. Democrats are about 20 points more enthusiastic about the COVID-19 vaccine than they have been about other vaccines.
There's an important point here: People are hesitant about vaccines for different reasons, and conservatives have historically been more hesitant than average about them. This means that loud snarking about Republicans being idiot zealots willing to kill themselves just for partisan satisfaction misses the point: their hesitance has little to do with Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson or the polarization of modern politics. Vaccine yahooism may have made things worse at the margins, but that's about it. Conservatives have always been this way.
I don't know why this is. Maybe it's due to natural conservative suspicion of the federal government. Jonathan Haidt might say it's due to conservative belief in the sanctity of the human body. Or, since a big part of the difference is due to rural residents, it might have something to do with longtime rural suspicion of new technology.
In any case, those are the sorts of things we should be looking at if we really and truly want to increase vaccination rates.² It's more fun to go after Tucker Carlson—and I encourage everyone to continue doing this—but the evidence says that's not really the primary underlying issue here. Something else unrelated to the present day is at fault. We should try to figure this out with the same empathy and understanding that we feel toward young people and Black doubters.
As the Trump gravy train, already on fire, with some clowns jumping from the boxcars, derailed from 2020 into 2021, the numerous queries into his corrupt administration continue to move forward. Some of Trump’s biggest public liars and supporters have earned deliberately methodical public investigations, and are facing down serious charges. One of the long-standing corrupt dirtbags being justifiably looked into is former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. At the end of April, federal agents raided Giuliani’s Park Avenue apartment in New York, and reportedly took loads of potential evidence of dirty dealings into custody to be looked through. The general understanding of the investigation is that prosecutors are interested in concluding whether or not Giuliani acted legally and with the country’s best interests in mind during his dubious time spent as some kind of liaison with the Ukraine, trying to dig up dirt on Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
At the time, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen was interviewed by news outlets to give his thoughts on the Giuliani situation. Cohen, now serving a three-year house arrest sentence for his part in Trump’s operation, already experienced this process—as well as the cold shoulder the big orange one gives you when you no longer serve his needs. Say what you will about Michael Cohen (I’ve said it here and here), in a den of thieves, he’s shown himself, through his seemingly powerless contriteness, to be somehow the least offensive. He’s also been prescient in his statements about what the next life experiences of people like Giuliani will be. Two new reports support Cohen’s statements to CNN at the time that Trump would ditch Giuliani before you could say [the reader can insert their word here].
How does Fox News interpret this particular tweet?
All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over fake news by exposing it. All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share. #WorldCommunicationsDay
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) May 16, 2021
On Sunday (World Communications Day) the Holy Father tweeted that "All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over fake news by exposing it. All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share. #WorldCommunicationsDay."
From this desk, that tweet seems directly aimed at a certain multi-billionaire right-wing world news mogul named Rupert Murdoch and family.
And that's not all. The Associated Press reported last week that the Vatican had responded to certain American right-wing priests who want to ban US President and practicing Catholic Joe Biden from taking communion due to his pro-choice political stand.
Reproductive freedom is under direct threat after the Supreme Court said it will review a Mississippi law placing harsh restrictions on abortion rights. The law in question is one of many passed in states around the country by Republicans seeking to get a challenge to Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court, an effort bolstered by Donald Trump’s appointments moving the court sharply to the right.
The Mississippi law bans abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions only for “severe fetal abnormality” or medical emergency, and not for rape or incest. Roe v. Wade allows abortion until the point of fetal viability, which comes around 24 weeks. Even though the vast majority of abortions take place before 15 weeks of gestation, banning the procedure starting at 15 weeks would give the most vulnerable pregnant people less time to consider their choice, save money if needed, find a provider, and overcome the many barriers states like Mississippi put in their way. Yet, showing the degree to which the Mississippi law is a political move and not one responding to real conditions in the state, the only abortion clinic in the state only performs the procedure up to 16 weeks.
Andrew Clyde said calling the January 6th riot an insurrection was a "bald-faced lie" and that it looked more like a "normal tourist visit." It would seem that Andrew Clyde knows a thing or two about making bald-faced lies.
Source: Business Insider
A photo emerged of a GOP lawmaker who last week downplayed the Capitol siege and compared the rioters to tourists barricading the House doors with furniture on January 6.
Rep. Andrew Clyde said during a House oversight committee hearing on Wednesday that it was a "bald-faced lie" to call the riot an insurrection. He said the riot, in which hundreds of Trump supporters breached the Capitol, resembled a "normal tourist visit."
After Clyde's comments, a photographer shared a photo he had taken of Clyde using furniture to barricade the House against rioters trying to force their way in to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory. Several people died in the riot.
John Oliver takes a look at why “stand your ground” laws were created, who they protect, and, crucially, who they don’t.
President Joe Biden is giving a Monday update on the nation's COVID-19 pandemic response, and despite some hectic recent days it seems the news will be mostly good. There is now enough data in for federal experts to feel confident that vaccinated Americans can safely drop their masks most of the time; the vaccine is effective even against the multiple currently circulating variants, and vaccinated people are at little risk of catching COVID-19 or of spreading it to others.Monday, May 17, 2021 · 6:29:33 PM +00:00 · Hunter x
America will never be fully safe while this pandemic is raging globally. That’s why today, I’m announcing that over the next six weeks we will send 80 million vaccine doses overseas.— President Biden (@POTUS) May 17, 2021
It is the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do. It is the strong thing to do.
Organizers in Heritage of Pride, the nonprofit that plans New York City Pride events, are banning police and corrections officers from participating in Pride celebrations until at least 2025, as reported by the Associated Press. Why? Because having police participate in Pride events, like the parade, can be frightening and exclusionary for many groups who want to attend celebrations freely, like trans folks, undocumented folks, and sex workers. Especially so when we consider ongoing instances of police brutality against people of color in the United States.
In a statement, event organizers said NYC Pride wants to “create safer spaces” for LGBTQ+ and communities of color in a time when violence against these groups—and especially against trans communities and people of color—keeps escalating. The statement says in part, “The steps being taken by the organization challenge law enforcement to acknowledge their harm and to correct course moving forward, in hopes of making an impactful change.” So, what does this look like in practice?
President Joe Biden assigned some homework to Senate Republicans last week, demanding they put a real infrastructure plan together so that he and the Democrats working on their legislative bits actually have something to react to and negotiate with. Thus far, the Republicans seem to have presented little more than vague talk about anywhere from $600 to $800 billion on roads and bridges and maybe some broadband, all funded by user fees, leftover COVID-19 relief, and pixie dust. Because their red line is any tax increase on anyone—anyone except the poor schlubs having to pay the user fees.
That has been rejected, again, by the White House. Biden's own "red line," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Friday, is either increasing the gas tax or imposing new user fees. Those, the White House says, are tantamount to tax increases on people making less than $400,000—Biden's threshold—and are not going to happen.
Neither is the paltry $568 billion offer the Republicans first produced, such a ridiculous low-ball that nonetheless spent twice as much as what Biden has envisioned for roads and bridges, doubling down on fossil fuel and giving the finger to the new green elements of Biden's plan. In recent weeks, the paucity of that effort has become clear even to Mitch McConnell, who put that $800 billion number out into the atmosphere. Along with the refusal to reconsider any of his massive 2017 tax giveaway to corporations and rich people.
Fox News is still doing battle with the CDC over vaccinations and mask mandates at the detriment of the health and safety of the American people.
This was highlighted on Fox and Friends this morning when they featured a New Jersey school nurse, Erin Pein, who was suspended for refusing to wear a mask and claimed it's "child abuse" and they don't protect kids from COVID.
"Stephanie Silvera, an expert on epidemiology at Montclair State University, told NJ.com Pein's claims are false and are a prime example of misinformation entering the mainstream of public life during the pandemic."
For this "nurse", not wearing a mask is more important than the small percentage chance that a child in her care may get COVID.
Co-host Ainsley Earhardt said the CDC still wants kids who can't get vaccinated to wear masks, "What do you say?"
Making believe Pein is an expert virologist she attacked the CDC by saying "That's ridiculous."
Erin Pein rambled about the percentages and the effects COVID has on kids so far and said the virus doesn't affect children the same way it does adults.
We still don't know the long-term effects of COVID on children, but for this nurse not wearing a mask is more important than anything else.
Then Pein turned into an anti-vaxxer are as well, making believe she's protecting children.
At this point, the perpetually odious Rep. Matt Gaetz has been confirmed by numerous press-discovered witnesses to, at the very least, have engaged in a pattern of attending illegal drug-fueled sex parties, regularly paid women for sex, paid at least one underage child for sex, and potentially involved himself in other crimes stemming from friend and fellow Florida Republican elected official Joel Greenberg's apparent attempts to commit as many state and federal felonies as possible in his brief in-office tenure. It seems vanishingly unlikely that Gaetz will not be charged with federal crimes, especially now that Greenberg himself has agreed to an ungenerous plea deal that will see him exchange testimony for slightly fewer years in prison than he might otherwise be serving.
Gaetz, however, has settled on the Trumpian approach of simply mocking the allegations against him, inviting his audiences to do the same. During a recent appearance at The Villages, Florida—think of the town as the love child of Branson, Missouri and syphilis—Gaetz joked to his retirement community audience that CNN would report his rally as "Matt Gaetz has wild party surrounded by beautiful women."
Here it comes. Now that Mitch McConnell has stolen one Supreme Court seat and filled two more with Heritage Foundation/Federalist Society loyalists, NOW they're taking a major abortion case.
They've been sitting on this case for eight months, waiting for their majority moment. Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs declares a 15-week gestational ban on abortion. Until Amy Coney Barrett arrived on the high court, such a ban was deemed unconstitutional.
This case has been tee'd up, specifically and on purpose, now that Barrett sits in a SCOTUS seat.
We MUST un-pack the court by adding justices who are not beholden to right wing nut jobs.
Who could have possibly imagined that dark-money ringer and accused rapist Brett Kavanaugh and theocratic shill Amy Coney Barrett would... oh wait, everyone imagined it. https://t.co/5SQBGUrOdp
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) May 17, 2021
Why did the United States suffer such high fatalities from COVID-19? Was it:
- CDC incompetence
- FDA sluggishness
- Donald Trump's mismanagement
- Poor preparedness planning left over from the Obama administration
Now let's rephrase the question. Why did the the United States and all of Europe suffer such high fatalities from COVID-19? Was it:
- CDC incompetence
- FDA sluggishness
- Donald Trump's mismanagement
- Poor preparedness planning left over from the Obama administration
This rephrasing should make it evident that none of these answers—or anything else unique to the United States—makes sense. Europe had good quality tests earlier than us, but it did them no good. Europe responded sooner than we did, but it did them no good. Europe had shortages of PPE etc. just like we did. Europe had the opportunity to establish travel restrictions before the US, but didn't. European health agencies provided roughly the same masking advice we did. Etc.
In other words, everyone needs to stop the CDC/FDA/Trump blame game because it's wrong. It's obvious that the United States isn't unique among Western nations, and by definition that means the primary cause of our high mortality rate is also not something unique to the US. Our premature reopening in May of last year was responsible for a higher summer death rate, and Donald Trump can certainly be blamed for that, but that's about all.
This is the question you should ask anyone who insists on blaming the virulence of the pandemic on some specifically American screwup: "But what about Europe?" If their theory doesn't explain Europe too, you can just toss it out immediately.
For only the second time since the program’s creation in 2012, beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program met with a U.S. president in the Oval Office. The six DACA recipients met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday to share their stories and continue pressing for permanent legislative relief for undocumented communities.
Maria Praeli, DACA recipient and government relations manager for immigration reform advocacy group FWD.us, said in a statement received by Daily Kos following the meeting that “[t]o know that the President of the United States wants to hear our stories and understand what our lives are like, and how we and our families have struggled with the broken immigration system, is deeply meaningful.”
Here’s the officially reported coronavirus death toll through May 16. The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.