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Why the GOP IS the root of all evil...
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gybe keeps drinking from the clear tube. He's going to soak up till the last drop.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac said:

if nothing changes

I guess a conditional statement is hard to understand for those trained in spin and diversion in the oil industry. Mrgybe's disdain for history is at work here. At the time that I made this post, Mike Fick and mrgybe were busy comparing the virus to the seasonal flu. Trump had been ignoring the recommendations of his health advisors for six weeks--following those recommendations would have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Yes indeed, something changed. The country reduced its overall social mobility by about 50%, based largely on recommendations of local health officials. Trump spent his time slagging the idea of wearing masks and trying to reopen the economy--too stupid, along with his locked in supporters like gybe--to realize that the virus had to be controlled in order for consumer confidence to be restored. For gybe, an emergency declaration in January, with little follow up, and little demonstration of learning as the science unfolded was enough.

Something changed, but too little, too late, and now nearly all reversed. Gybe cannot articulate what useful things Trump has done--so he attacks me. Carry on little man.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Cleve R. Wootson Jr.,
Isaac Stanley-Becker,
Lori Rozsa and
Josh Dawsey
July 25, 2020 at 7:10 p.m. PDT
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As Florida became a global epicenter of the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis held one meeting this month with his top public health official, Scott Rivkees, according to the governor's schedule. His health department has sidelined scientists, halting briefings last month with disease specialists and telling the experts there was not sufficient personnel from the state to continue participating.

"I never received information about what happened with my ideas or results," said Thomas Hladish, a University of Florida research scientist whose regular calls with the health department ended June 29. "But I did hear the governor say the models were wrong about everything."

DeSantis (R) this month traveled to Miami to hold a roundtable with South Florida mayors, whose region was struggling as a novel coronavirus hot spot. But the Republican mayor of Hialeah was shut out, weeks after saying the governor "hasn't done much" for a city disproportionately affected by the virus.

As the virus spread out of control in Florida, decision-making became increasingly shaped by politics and divorced from scientific evidence, according to interviews with 64 current and former state and administration officials, health administrators, epidemiologists, political operatives and hospital executives. The crisis in Florida, these observers say, has revealed the shortcomings of a response built on shifting metrics, influenced by a small group of advisers and tethered at every stage to the Trump administration, which has no unified plan for addressing the national health emergency but has pushed for states to reopen.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
Boggs--I completely agree, and posted something about figuring out how we can get back to work. With that said, it has to be done smartly--or an extra million people will die. I have zero faith, absolutely zero, that Trump and McConnell are capable of figuring that out, or caring what happens if they're wrong.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still waiting for an answer about how the Trump administration has developed methods to manage the virus and get us back to work, sports, and schools safely. Or as I put it above, smartly. Each diversion by mrgybe makes it clearer that he has no answers.

655,000 people in the world dead of COVID-19, more than 150,000 in the US. Control nowhere in sight. I don't pretend to know exactly where it ends--but I know it won't end under the current administration, which isn't even trying.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will she campaign with free tin foil hats instead of red baseball caps?

Isaac Stanley-Becker and
Rachael Bade
August 12, 2020 at 9:24 a.m. PDT
Congressional Republicans came a step closer Tuesday to welcoming into their ranks a promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, whose adherents believe President Trump is battling a cabal of “deep state” saboteurs who worship Satan and traffic children for sex.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has endorsed the baseless theory and made a slew of other racist remarks on video, won a Republican primary runoff in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, according to the Associated Press. Her victory, in a northwestern swath of the state that has favored Republicans by wide margins, sets her up to become QAnon’s first devotee in Congress.

Trump on Wednesday morning hailed Greene as a “future Republican Star,” tweeting that she is “strong on everything and never gives up - a real WINNER!” He did not endorse in the runoff.

Greene, who owns a construction company jointly with her husband, defeated John Cowan, a neurosurgeon. She will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal, an IT specialist, in November.

Tuesday voting in five states sees mostly smooth ballot processing

GOP leaders, whose standard-bearer rose to political prominence on the basis of a conspiracy theory about Barack Obama’s birthplace, have watched her ascent with some unease. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the House Republican whip, endorsed her primary opponent. Republican members of Georgia’s delegation privately urged the party’s House leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, to do more to intervene in the race, according to multiple GOP aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the conversations.

“There are a lot of members livid at McCarthy for sitting back and doing nothing to stop this woman from being elected while the entire Georgia delegation, Scalise and some moderates tried” to help her opponent, said one House Republican aide closely monitoring the race. A spokesman for McCarthy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, rebuked Greene for racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic remarks that came to light in June, but a spokesman for the House Republican fundraising arm declined to say Tuesday whether the group would back its nominee.

The elevation of Greene to federal office would mark a watershed for adherents of QAnon, which the FBI has identified as a potential domestic terrorism threat. The convoluted pro-Trump philosophy took shape on Internet message boards in the fall of 2017, with posts from a self-proclaimed government insider identified as “Q.” The worldview has been core to numerous violent acts, according to law enforcement, including two killings, a kidnapping, vandalism of a church and a heavily armed standoff near the Hoover Dam.

Above all, the theory’s devotees crave recognition from Trump and his allies, making a congressional victory a mark of legitimacy. At the same time, they seek the exposure of what they believe is a vast conspiracy at the heart of the American government, as well as the mass arrest of those complicit in it — mainly Democrats, celebrities and members of the media.

If the placement of a presumed ally within the halls of power does not bring about that result, experts noted, QAnon could lose credibility, even for some of its most fervent followers.

“If there is evidence in support of QAnon, then Greene should be expected to disclose it,” said Ethan Porter, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University. “If she is unable to do so, she should be called for what she is: a reactionary fabulist.”

How the Trump campaign came to court QAnon

Greene, in a victory speech Tuesday night, lambasted the “Republican establishment,” in addition to Democrats and the news media, according to a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who said he was quickly escorted from her campaign’s celebration. The nominee singled out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), calling her “anti-American” and adding, “We’re going to kick that b---- out of Congress,” according to the reporter.

Greene’s campaign manager, Isaiah Wartman, did not respond to a request for comment. An email to the state party’s executive director, Stewart Bragg, also went unanswered.

Greene, however, has been unequivocal about her views, including on the sprawling conspiracy theory movement that follows the online prophecies of Q.

“Q is a patriot,” Greene said in a video posted on YouTube this summer. “We know that for sure.”

Greene said that while the identity of the pseudonymous figure remained unknown to her, signs that the cryptic online hints were making their way to the president gave her hope.

“There’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out, and I think we have the president to do it,” she said.

Twitter recently took action against the conspiracy theory, including by eliminating more than 7,000 accounts. Facebook is also weighing new action, a representative said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing deliberations.

Greene is among numerous pro-Trump congressional candidates who have expressed faith in QAnon. Most, however, stand little chance of being elected because their districts are deep blue. Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, who defeated Rep. Scott R. Tipton in a June primary, told an interviewer that the conspiracy theory meant “a lot of things to different people” but that she does not personally support it. Her rural district is heavily Republican, but Democrats are targeting it in November.

In Greene’s district, where Trump won by 53 percentage points in 2016, her Democratic opponent faces an uphill climb to keep her from Congress. Van Ausdal’s campaign manager, Vinnie Olsziewski, said he would like the race to focus on local issues but knows the candidates are now under a national spotlight.

“What she says, it speaks for itself,” Olsziewski said of the Republican candidate. “We are not going to get down in the mud and stoop to that level.”

Though the contests are distinct, he said he was studying the 2017 special election for Senate in Alabama, in which Democrat Doug Jones pulled off an unlikely victory against the Republican nominee, Roy Moore, who was dogged by allegations that he had made sexual advances toward teenagers when he was in his 30s.

In that race, Moore, a former state judge twice removed from office, was abandoned by his party’s Senate campaign arm.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have yet to take similar action against Greene, though some did speak out against her when Politico unearthed hours of Facebook videos in which she spewed offensive remarks. In the videos, she said Black people are “held slaves to the Democratic Party” and called the election in 2018 of the first two Muslim women to Congress evidence of an “Islamic invasion of our government.” She described George Soros, the liberal investor and Holocaust survivor, as a “Nazi himself trying to continue what was not finished.”

Those comments met with condemnation from Republican leaders. Emmer said he was “personally disgusted” by her rhetoric. Scalise called her comments “disgusting.” McCarthy’s office said in June he was appalled, though he did not choose a side in the primary.

In fact, Greene said in a recent video interview that McCarthy remained supportive of her. “Well, actually, I’ve spoken with Kevin McCarthy several times since then, and we have a great relationship,” she said, according to a recording reviewed by The Washington Post.

In a statement addressing the controversy, Greene brushed off the criticism.

“Every Republican, every Christian Conservative is going to be called a racist and a bigot by the Fake News Media, as have Steve Scalise and Liz Cheney,” she asserted. “I’m sorry my future colleagues are unable to stand up to the pressure and fight back.”

On her words promoting QAnon, meanwhile, her potential future colleagues have been mostly mum. At least one did respond Wednesday to her win. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) called QAnon a “fabrication,” not mentioning Greene but writing on Twitter that there is “no place in Congress for these conspiracies.”

The party of Lincoln no more.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are the kind of governors that people who know nothing about how government works think will do a better job.

By Ken Ward Jr.,

Connecting state and local government leaders

AUGUST 12, 2020
Similar to President Donald Trump, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has been particularly aggressive at forcing out top officials, including most recently the state’s top public health officer, faulting others when things go wrong.

In the midst of a billion-dollar road-building program last year, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice fired his transportation secretary. The two had disagreed about how to best spend the money.

A year earlier, while the state worked to recover from a major flood, Justice ousted his commerce secretary, the cabinet member who was leading much of the effort. The governor blamed him for delays in helping flood victims.

And as the COVID-19 pandemic raged this summer, Justice forced out his top public health officer. He faulted her for a lag in reporting how many virus patients had recovered.

“When something doesn’t go the way he wants, he finds somebody to blame and fires them,” said Woody Thrasher, the ousted commerce secretary.

All governors make staff changes, but West Virginia political observers said that Justice has been particularly aggressive in this regard, looking for others to fault when things go wrong. In many ways, his governing style mirrors that of President Donald Trump, who has also cycled through more cabinet secretaries and top advisers in his first term than many of his predecessors.

“There seems to be a pattern that if there is a crisis, someone has to take the fall for it,” said Robert Rupp, a longtime state political analyst who teaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

For both Justice and Trump, the path to public service ran through owning large businesses, where their authority and decision-making was unchallenged. Rupp and other historians said Justice’s actions reflect his long career in business and little experience in government. Justice, a Republican, is running for reelection in November.

Rupp said that Justice’s actions may appeal to some voters who like the idea of the government operating more like a business, even in the way top officials are hired or fired.

“The problem is that the government is not a business in many ways,” Rupp added. “The governor being seen as a CEO has some problems, because in many ways, our government doesn’t give a governor as much power as a CEO.”

Justice’s office did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Justice is ranked by Forbes as a billionaire and is West Virginia’s richest man. He owns a vast array of businesses, including coal mines, resort hotels and agricultural interests, many of them regulated by the state agencies that report to him. Though his children run the businesses day to day, Justice continues to guide his business holdings, despite promising to be a full-time governor.

“A business doesn’t function like a democracy,” said Chuck Keeney, a West Virginia historian who teaches at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College. “The owner of a business hires and fires whoever they want at their own whim, sometimes based on whoever tells them what they want to hear.”

“The Smartest One in the Room”

Thrasher, a wealthy engineering firm owner who like Justice worked with and then grew his father’s business, said that Justice doesn’t value advisers who disagree with him. “He has to be the smartest one in the room and doesn’t want to hear anything else.”

Two years ago, Thrasher resigned his state job at Justice’s request, when the governor blamed him for a broad mismanagement of the relief effort following a June 2016 flood that killed two dozen West Virginians. Investigations found plenty of blame to go around, and Thrasher made his firing an issue in an unsuccessful Republican primary bid to unseat Justice this year.

Justice replaced Thrasher with Ed Gaunch, a retired insurance company executive who had lost his bid for reelection as a Republican member of the state Senate.

In an interview about his experience leaving the Justice administration, Thrasher pointed to what happened the following year to then-Transportation Secretary Tom Smith.

Smith, an engineer and career highways official, thought the state should spend millions from a road bond issue on bigger, longer-term highway and bridge projects. But under intense political pressure over potholes and other local road damage, Justice wanted to funnel the bond money to smaller projects and more routine maintenance.

Smith balked, saying funding routine maintenance should be done on a pay-as-you-go basis, with vehicle license fees and the like, rather than through debt that the state would pay off over decades

The governor fired Smith. Justice was clear about his reasons. “I want a new direction to be taken with our Department of Transportation, a return to the core mission of maintaining the quality of our secondary roads and bridges,” the governor said in a statement. Smith could not be reached for comment for this story.

Smith’s replacement? Byrd White, a longtime business associate of Justice’s and former officer of several Justice family companies.

A Change in the Midst of COVID-19

Justice’s most recent high-ranking appointee to depart was Dr. Cathy Slemp, the state’s top public health officer.

Compared with many other places, West Virginia has dodged the worst of the pandemic and its economy has reopened under Justice’s plan, called “West Virginia Strong: The Comeback.”

But in late June, new cases of infection began cropping up, increasingly linked to nursing homes, churches and residents returning from vacation trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Before the month ended, the state would end up on a list of hot spots for the virus.

During a live press briefing, Justice blamed Slemp for overstating West Virginia’s active virus cases, saying it made him unnecessarily scare state residents with inflated numbers.

“If you don’t want me on your hind end, you best better get your numbers right to me,” Justice said at the time.

Within hours, the governor’s office announced Health Secretary Bill Crouch had asked for and received Slemp’s resignation after the governor “expressed … his lack of confidence” in her leadership.

The move drew criticism from national and state public health experts. It also came amid complaints that the governor’s own luxury resort allegedly was not following the state’s guidance for reopening safely.

Dr. Michael Brumage, who served for a short time as the state’s drug policy chief in 2018, praised Slemp and said the sorts of data-reporting issues the governor complained about weren’t valid grounds for firing a qualified public health professional.

“It’s a tragedy for our state to lose such a talented and highly regarded voice of science and reason at such a critical moment,” Brumage said.

Slemp has not talked publicly about her departure but has said that some weaknesses in the state’s response to the pandemic were caused by years of funding cuts that left public health agencies with inadequate staff, technology and other resources.

“We are driving a great aunt’s Pinto when what you need is to be driving a Ferrari,” Slemp told The Associated Press and Kaiser Health News.

The day after Slemp was pushed out, three top officials at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University — where Slemp earned her master’s in public health — issued an unusual statement to say they were “stunned and troubled” by the governor’s action.

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security, said in a later interview that it appeared Slemp was “thrown under the bus” for a relatively small lag in data reporting.

“Cathy Slemp is a really respected person in the field of public health preparedness,” Inglesby said. “When you see something like that happen it’s very concerning.”

It is completely inappropriate to use public bonding authority to maintain roads. Bonds usually are paid off over 30 years, and make sense if you have created a valuable asset like a bridge, a building, a park, or so forth. Paving on roads, such as pothole repair, last 5 to 20 years at best. That means that West Virginia's grandchildren will be paying off bonds that gave this guy a short term bump.

Not the party of Lincoln or smart government anymore. Now the party of Qanon.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aren't we still waiting for the GOP health care plan? Not really, we know what it is. Let people die. 57% of Republicans say that 175,000 COVID deaths are okay. Astonishing. Here's one of the reasons it is so bad in Florida.

By Laura Ungar, Jason Dearen and Hannah Recht ,
Kaiser Health News

AUGUST 24, 2020 02:07 PM ET
Even as Florida's population grew over the last decade, Florida slashed the funding of local health departments, leaving them with less staff to respond to the pandemic. And some were then told not to speak.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On a sweltering July morning, Rose Wilson struggled to breathe as she sat in her bed, the light from her computer illuminating her face and the oxygen tubes in her nose.

Wilson, a retiree who worked as a public health department nurse supervisor in Duval County for 35 years, had just been diagnosed with Covid-19-induced pneumonia. She had a telemedicine appointment with her doctor.

Staring back from her screen was Dr. Rogers Cain, who runs a tidy little family medical clinic a couple of blocks from the Trout River in north Jacksonville, a predominantly Black area where the coronavirus is running roughshod. Wilson, 81, was one of Cain’s patients who’d tested positive—he had seven other COVID patients that morning before noon. Three of her grown children had contracted the virus, too.

“It started as a drip, drip, drip in May,” said Cain, his voice muffled by his mask. “Now it’s more like a faucet running.”

Cain and Wilson are nervous. Over the past two decades, both watched as the county health department was gutted of money and people, hampering Duval’s ability to respond to outbreaks, including a small cluster of tuberculosis cases in 2012. And now they face the menace of Covid-19 in a city once slated to host this week’s Republican National Convention, in one of the states leading the latest U.S. surge.

Florida is both a microcosm and a cautionary tale for America. As the nation starved the public health system intended to protect communities against disease, staffing and funding fell faster and further in the Sunshine State, leaving it especially unprepared for the worst health crisis in a century.

Although Florida’s population grew by 2.4 million since 2010 to make it the nation’s third-most-populous state, a joint investigation by KHN and The Associated Press has found, the state slashed its local health departments’ staffing—from 12,422 full-time equivalent workers to 9,125 in 2019, the latest data available.

According to an analysis of state data, the state-run local health departments spent 41% less per resident in 2019 than in 2010, dropping from $57 to $34 after adjusting for inflation. Departments nationwide have also cut spending, but by less than half as much―an average of 18%, according to data from the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Even before the pandemic hit, that meant fewer investigators to track, trace and contain diseases such as hepatitis. It meant fewer public health nurses to teach people how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS or the flu. When the wave of Covid-19 inundated Florida, the state was caught flat-footed when it mattered most, its main lines of defense eviscerated.

Now, confirmed cases have soared past 588,000 and deaths have risen to more than 10,000. Concerns over the virus prompted Republicans to cancel plans for an in-person convention in Jacksonville, opting for a pared-down version in North Carolina.

Health experts blame the funding cuts on the Great Recession and choices by a series of governors who wanted to move publicly funded state services to for-profit companies.

And when the pandemic took hold, they say, residents got mixed messages about prevention strategies like wearing masks from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and other political leaders. Voices within the health departments were muzzled.

“The reality, unfortunately, is people are going to die because of the irresponsibility of the decisions being made by the people crafting the budgets,” said Ron Bialek, president of the Public Health Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., offering tools and training. “Public health can’t help us get out of this situation without our elected officials giving us the resources.”

State officials neither answered specific, repeated questions from KHN and The Associated Press about changes in public health funding, nor made staffers available for deeper explanations.

Dr. Leslie Beitsch, a former deputy secretary of Florida’s state health department, said failing to prepare for a foreseeable disaster “is governmental malpractice.” The nation’s pandemic response is only as good as the weakest link, he said. Since the virus respects no borders, other states feel the ripples of Florida’s failings.

Those failings are clear in Duval County, which had employed the equivalent of 852 full-time workers and spent $91 per person in 2008 but in 2019 had only 422 workers and spent just $34 per resident, according to the KHN-AP analysis of state data. That’s less than the typical list price of a single Covid test. Former county health director Dr. Jeff Goldhagen said the county’s team has been “dismantled to the extent that it could not really manage an outbreak.”
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just follow Trump, no platform needed!
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you are afraid of a fair election...

Kentucky Slashes 95% of Polling Places Ahead of Primary Election
In Kentucky, voting rights advocates are sounding the alarm ahead of Tuesday’s primary, after the state reduced the number of polling places from 3,700 to fewer than 200 — a 95% reduction. The most closely watched race is the Democratic primary to pick a candidate to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. Progressive candidate Kentucky state Representative Charles Booker has recently seen a major boost in polling and received high-profile endorsements from Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well as Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Booker, who is Black, has been attending Black Lives Matter protests and was tear-gassed by police at a recent event. He is running against former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath.
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