ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points -- A Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated

[ Posted Friday, August 6th, 2021 – 16:11 UTC ]

President Joe Biden gave a speech this week on where the country stands with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a timely thing to do, since with the Delta mutation so ascendant, we've now entered a fourth wave which has already grown bigger than the first two waves (but, thankfully, not yet bigger than the third). Right now, 100,000 people are getting sick each day -- which is up from just 12,000-per-day a few short weeks ago. The good news is that fewer people are dying than when the third wave surpassed the 100,000-infections-per-day mark, because now over 70 percent of all American adults have gotten at least their first vaccine shot. But what's changing now is that vaccinated Americans have pretty much lost all tolerance for the unvaccinated among us. When the graph lines were all heading downwards and restrictions easing, it wasn't that big a deal. With them skyrocketing back up again, it is. And businesses and governments and the vaccinated population are at the end of their rope when it comes to making allowances for the anti-vaxxers.

Mandates are fast appearing, from New York City to California's health care workers to private corporations across the country. The message is plain: either get vaccinated or forfeit your ability to fully participate in society. Your intransigence is costing lives, and we are sick of it.

One line of Biden's speech did make the news, for castigating Republicans for being so counterproductive. Biden singled out two states (Florida and Texas) and pointed out that they "account for one-third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country." He then excoriated the governors of these states and others for passing laws which ban mandatory mask requirements statewide (removing the power of mayors and local officials to institute such requirements). Biden didn't mince words, which is why he made news: "I say to these governors: 'Please help.' But if you aren't going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives."

But the whole speech was just as powerful. The best bit -- the part that I would have chosen for a soundbite on the evening news -- was when Biden clearly stated the contours of the problem:

I want to be crystal clear about what's happening in the country today: We have a pandemic of the unvaccinated.... [T]he data shows that virtually all the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 are from the unvaccinated population.

Last month, a study showed that over 99 percent of COVID-19 deaths have been among the unvaccinated people. Ninety-nine percent. That means, if you're unvaccinated, you are much more likely to (1) get COVID-19, (2) get hospitalized, and (3) die if you get it.

This was an entirely preventable crisis, the president pointed out. And while we've all now got to suffer the consequences, we're not going to be as tolerant about things as we have previously been. This will (hopefully) prevent a fifth wave, when the next more-lethal mutation comes down the pike.

The good news is that vaccination rates are going up, even in the red states which are the current hotspots (because such a small percentage of their population is vaccinated). But not nearly fast enough. We finally did hit that 70 percent mark nationwide, which Biden had too-optimistically predicted would happen by Independence Day. And two other things are also going to change the vaccination landscape in the near future: one of the vaccines is about to get full (as opposed to emergency) authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, and school is about to start up again. Colleges across the country have already instituted vaccine mandates, which should spur some reluctant young adults to finally get their shots. Since young people have the lowest rates of vaccination of any age group, this should help overall.

As of this point, the Delta-driven fourth wave of the pandemic shows no signs of cresting. The numbers keep getting worse, not levelling off. Sooner or later they will improve, but until we reach that point a growing number of businesses and other employers are beginning to put their foot down -- if you don't want to get vaccinated, that's fine, but that also means you can't work here. Or shop here, for that matter. Because the vaccinated have seen what the selfishness of the unvaccinated is doing, and we're tired of it.

Of course, the Biden administration would much prefer to be paying attention to different things right now. Like the rest of us, they thought the pandemic was largely in the rear-view mirror. But this week was a big one in politics, and it isn't even over yet (at least, in the Senate).

Both this week and next might turn out to be critical for Democrats. This is really the time when Congress (the Senate in particular) either shows America that it can still get good things done for the public, or whether it is hopelessly broken. As things stand, there are three bills which will either provide Joe Biden with much of his legacy or which will fail and leave Democrats with very little to campaign on in the 2022 midterm elections.

First up is the vaunted bipartisan infrastructure bill. This was supposed to move forward late last night, but then a kerfuffle broke out about a new reporting mechanism for trading in cryptocurrency. This brought things to a halt and the Senate isn't doing anything today (out of respect for the senators who wanted to attend former senator Mike Enzi's funeral), but they will get back up and running tomorrow, in an attempt to drag the bill over the finish line. Then immediately afterwards, Bernie Sanders is going to make big news by unveiling his blueprint for $3.5 trillion of addition spending, on all the human infrastructure projects Biden has proposed which didn't make it into the bipartisan bill. Nobody really knows what will make it into Bernie's final blueprint, so that's going to be a big story over the weekend and into next week.

Chuck Schumer also seems determined to hold a vote on the next iteration of the Democrats' effort to secure the right to vote (before he allows the Senate to break for their August vacation), but even this rewritten compromise will quite likely fail to convince a single Republican to vote for it (once again). This is all an exercise to convince Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema that the filibuster rule needs a new loophole to allow constitutional rights bills to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes. Which isn't going to happen before the August break, but seeing another bill fail to get any GOP support may help convince Manchin and Sinema. That's the plan, at any rate.

Hopefully, this effort will include a measure just introduced by Representative Mondaire Jones and Senator Jon Ossoff, which is rather elegant. Called the "Right To Vote Act," the new law would give individual voters a lot stronger legal argument to make in court:

The measure seeks to make a burden or limit on the right to vote unlawful unless it can be shown to accomplish an important government interest. It also makes new burdens unlawful unless they can be shown to further a meaningful government interest and there is no less restrictive way of furthering it.

The idea is to create a new mechanism for voters to challenge restrictions on voting in court. This comes after the Supreme Court substantially weakened the ability of minority voters to challenge restrictions on grounds that they are disproportionately impacted, and made it easier for officials passing such targeted restrictions to justify them with fake claims of "voter fraud."

This bill seeks to give voters a new way to challenge restrictions.

"This is an attempt to protect the right to vote in a race neutral way, to try to get around the Supreme Court's repeatedly-demonstrated hostility to legislation that protects minority voters," election law expert Rick Hasen told me.

"We have a system where states have tremendous power to restrict voting rights," Hasen added. "A law like this would give voters a fighting chance in federal court."

Sounds like a great idea all around. So hopefully this will make it into whatever the Senate votes on next week.

More and more evidence is coming to light on just how hard Donald Trump pushed to overturn the results of a free and fair election, but this will likely be an ongoing story over the next year or so, so we're only going to mention it in passing, in the Talking Points section of the program.

One final moment of irony (or perhaps schadenfreude) before we move along: one of three House Republicans who is suing Nancy Pelosi over her mask restrictions in the House caught COVID-19 this week. Last week, he tweeted out the following: "Government-imposed mask mandates represent a harmful combination of virtue signaling and unjustified fear." Unjustified fear? Well, he'll have 10 days of quarantining to think that one over.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

The Biden administration announced a new moratorium on evictions this week, but badly mishandled the entire crisis from the beginning (more on that in the next awards segment).

When the existing moratorium expired last weekend, progressive Democrats were outraged. So one of them did something about it:

Rep. Cori Bush (Mo.), who was homeless once, drew immense support from other Democrats by sleeping outside the U.S. Capitol for four consecutive nights in protest of the lapsed moratorium, sending a signal to the White House that the backlash was only growing. The White House had spent weeks trying to corral Democrats behind a big infrastructure package and there were clear signs in recent days that the party was fracturing. So after days of insisting there was nothing the White House could do, the Biden administration announced its new actions on Tuesday.

Now that's an effective protest! Others joined her (including members of the Squad), but Bush largely deserves the credit for mounting this protest.

Nancy Pelosi also deserves at least an Honorable Mention, for relentlessly hounding the White House during this entire period, telling them that it was simply not possible for Congress to fix this mess on such short notice, and that Biden absolutely had to act to rectify the situation:

Pelosi waged a multiday campaign to press the White House to act unilaterally. She spoke on the phone with multiple senior White House officials -- including White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, White House aide Steve Ricchetti and the president himself -- to urge them to reverse course and extend the ban, according to one person familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal conversations.

But for her brave sleep-in protest, we have to say that Representative Cori Bush is easily the winner of this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. It is incredibly rare that such political theater actually effects change, but in this case it did. Well done, Representative Bush, well done indeed!

[Congratulate Representative Cori Bush on her House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

Nina Turner's loss in a primary for a special House election in Ohio this week disappointed many progressives, to be sure, but we have two others who clearly deserved the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award this week instead.

The first is President Joe Biden, who really dropped the ball on the whole eviction moratorium situation. Last week, the existing moratorium was set to expire. The Supreme Court had previously ruled that the last extension -- the one that set the expiration date at the end of July -- was constitutional, but that any further extensions would require Congress to act.

Congress failed to act. For most of the final extension, the pandemic seemed to be largely under control, after all. It wasn't until the final few weeks that the Delta mutation began spreading like wildfire. By that point, quick action was needed -- quicker than Congress could provide. But the Biden administration felt constrained by the Supreme Court ruling, and so punted the issue to Congress two days before the expiration. This incensed House Democrats, who insisted Biden did indeed have the power to extend the moratorium.

After progressives protested (see above) and started increasing the volume, Biden reluctantly acted. In a very cynical way. They announced a slightly-different moratorium (one that didn't cover all of America, just about 90 percent of the people who live in the counties with "substantial and high levels of community transmission"), as a sort of legal end-run around the Supreme Court ruling.

Biden even admitted the weakness of his legal position, which is where the cynicism crept in. Biden himself didn't make the announcement, it came from the Centers for Disease Control. When Biden was asked about the upcoming announcement, he responded:

I have been informed [the C.D.C. is] about to make a judgment as to potential other options. Whether that option will pass constitutional measure with this administration, I can't tell you. I don't know. The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says that it's not likely to pass constitutional muster.... But there are several key scholars who think that it may and it's worth the effort.... But at a minimum, by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time while we're getting that $45 billion out to people who are in fact behind in the rent and don't have the money.

The $45 billion he's talking about is the money appropriated to help renters and landlords, which has gone out so slowly (last week only seven percent of it had been distributed) that it really hasn't helped the way it was designed to.

But the core reasoning is, essentially: "We don't think this is constitutional, but the courts will take so long to adjudicate that issue that by the time we do, it'll be a moot point because we will have achieved what we set out to achieve anyway."

That is a very dangerous precedent for a president to set. Imagine how many other ways this tactic could be misused and abused. It is a condemnation of the justice system in this country, in fact. The courts take so long that they are essentially ineffective in dealing with presidential actions. This was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by Donald Trump, obviously. So it is cynical indeed for a Democrat to make use of the same flaw in such a naked and cynical fashion.

So for the entire fiasco -- punting to Congress at the very last minute, insisting there was nothing he could do, then after being pressured deciding "what the heck, let's just give it a shot anyway," and finally admitting it was all a cynical ploy -- President Joe Biden more than deserves a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. The only positive thing we can say about it all is at least he did act, in the end. Which could save millions of families from being booted out on the street in the midst of the fourth wave of the pandemic.

But there's an even more obvious winner for the MDDOTW category this week, and it is New York Governor (for the time being) Andrew Cuomo.

This week the state's attorney general released a report on all the accusations of sexual misconduct which have been made against Cuomo. It concluded that Cuomo had indeed broken state and federal laws. It was quite extensive, running to over 160 pages.

Cuomo, however, still remains defiant. He insists nothing untoward happened, and that he is innocent of all the accusations. But he is nothing short of a dead man walking. His time is up, he just hasn't fully realized it yet.

Democrats from Joe Biden on down have called on Cuomo to do the right thing and resign. He is refusing to do so. Nobody has come out in defense of him, because his behavior was so indefensible. He remains defiant, nonetheless.

The state legislature is now considering how to impeach Cuomo. Note that this isn't "whether to impeach" but just how. Should they just impeach him right away based solely on the attorney general's report, or should they conclude an ongoing impeachment investigation into all sorts of other scandals (such as the COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes)? Should they act immediately, or in a few weeks? These are the only remaining questions, really -- ones of process.

Cuomo will be impeached, if he continues to refuse to resign. Already, over 80 of the state's assembly members have publicly said they will vote to impeach him, out of a total of 150. That is more than half, which is all that is required. The state senate will then try him and (assumably) remove him from office.

Again, the only real question is whether Cuomo cuts this short by resigning or whether he forces it to play out to the bitter end.

Andrew Cuomo easily wins a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week -- not for refusing to resign, but for the sexual harassment and assault that got him into trouble in the first place. It reflects well on the Democratic Party -- from President Biden on down -- for universally condemning Cuomo and showing zero tolerance for such misbehavior within their own ranks. This stands in stark contrast to the Republicans giving Donald Trump (and others) a complete pass for their own piggishness.

Step down, Governor Cuomo. Save everyone in the Empire State the time and trouble of forcing you out. Your glory days are over, and the sooner you realize it the better.

[Contact President Joe Biden on his White House contact page, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on his official contact page, to let them know what you think of their actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 629 (8/6/21)

Before we begin with this week's talking points, we have to point out a major failure to frame issues in palatable ways. The bipartisan infrastructure bill which is working its way slowly through the Senate was never going to be called the "American Jobs Act" (the title Biden submitted his proposal under), at least not if Republicans were going to vote for it. That would be giving a Democratic president a messaging victory to go along with his legislative victory, so it was a bridge too far.

Even so, you'd think the Democrats could have managed to come up with some snappier title than what the bill appeared under: the "Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act." At least it's still got the word "Jobs" in it, but seriously, how is any politician going to make that into a snappy soundbite? The "I.I.J.A."? Or maybe "Ee-eee-ja"? Doesn't exactly roll of the tongue, does it? So whoever runs the Democratic acronym-creation office in the Senate could really have done a little better job on this one.

Hmmph.

Sorry, we just get annoyed when opportunities like this get missed, that's all.

Moving right along, here are our suggestions for snappy soundbites Democrats could use this week. As they're now openly admitting, Democrats really need to do a lot better job at getting their message out these days. The midterms hang in the balance....

 

1
   The last two legs

Why not use the metaphor Biden began with?

"This week could see the passage of the last two legs of President Joe Biden's 'three-legged stool' -- his entire economic agenda. We passed the first part very quickly, to fight the COVID-19 pandemic's effects on the economy. Now we're on the brink of passing a bipartisan infrastructure deal, which is more than 'Mr. Art Of The Deal' Trump could ever manage, despite all his grandiose promises. Right after that will come the largest investment in human infrastructure made since L.B.J.'s Great Society -- or perhaps F.D.R.'s New Deal. This is going to positively change millions of American lives for the better, brought to you by Democrats, with every Republican fighting against it. Republicans could only bring themselves to help out with one leg of this three-legged stool, a fact we will be reminding the voters of repeatedly, next year."

 

2
   Bernie on deck

This is worth pointing out, because it is pretty much inevitable.

"The mainstream media, for the most part, love to marginalize truly progressive voices. But they're not going to be able to do so when we get to the budget reconciliation bill, because it will be unveiled by none other than Bernie Sanders. Keep your eyes on Bernie for the next week or so, because he will finally be able to deliver on an enormous list of progressive priorities that are all wildly popular with the general public. In fact, if his addition of dental, vision, and hearing insurance to Medicare survives the legislative meatgrinder, I would propose that all of America's seniors should start calling their extra new coverage 'Berniecare.' Because Bernie Sanders will deserve such an accolade. Bernie's warming up in the wings, and his moment in the spotlight is about to happen. And my guess is that when it does, the media won't be able to ignore it."

 

3
   Pandemic of the unvaccinated

This needs to be repeated as often as possible, to place the blame squarely where it belongs.

"Joe Biden is right. We're in the fourth wave of COVID-19 right now, but it is no longer a widespread pandemic in the general population. Instead, it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Vaccinated people may get the Delta mutation, but the people who are being hospitalized and dying from it are all unvaccinated. For whatever their reasons, they have chosen this route. Anyone who hasn't been vaccinated by now who doesn't have a legitimate medical reason deserves whatever they get, at this point. It is impossible to feel sorry for people who have made their own (hospital) bed and are now being forced to lie in it. We've expended so much sympathy for the 600,000-plus American lives which have already ended because of this disease that it is impossible to muster up any more for people who consciously risk their own death, at this late stage in a worldwide pandemic. The vaccine is safe and free and freely available to all. If you don't get vaccinated, then don't expect the rest of us to feel very sorry for you if you get seriously ill or die. Not when your refusal to get vaccinated is affecting everyone around you."

 

4
   Democrats are trying to fix the problem, Republicans are trying to make it worse

This is just criminal.

"The worst thing Donald Trump did while in office -- which is really saying something, folks -- was to make a medical emergency political. Because he wanted to get re-elected, he chose to lie about a worldwide pandemic and spout nonsense about injecting bleach into your lungs. He downplayed the emergency from the very start, and the poisonous fruits of his depraved indifference are now killing more and more people in the fourth wave. As Democrats everywhere work as hard as they can to solve the problem and defeat the virus once and for all, Republicans are actively trying to make things worse, to curry political favor with their Dear Leader. Republican governors trying to make a national name for themselves are overturning a longstanding conservative position -- that the more local a government is, the better it is. This is where the whole concept of states' rights began, in fact. But now that Democratic mayors and county commissioners are trying to do the right thing and avoid as many deaths as possible, their state Republican legislatures and governors are overruling them, banning good ideas like mask mandates in local schools. Democrats are fighting hard to save as many lives as possible, while Republicans are fighting just as hard to kill as many people as they possibly can. That's a pretty brutal thing to say, but it is absolutely true. That is the difference between the two major American political parties, folks -- one is a death cult, and the other is not."

 

5
   Let's blame the immigrants

This needs to be forcefully pointed out, to nip it in the bud.

"There's a new excuse from the governor of Florida (and other Republicans), that somehow the Delta surge in COVID-19 is isn't his fault or the fault of his people not getting vaccinated, but rather the fault of immigrants crossing the southern border. This is, of course, not true. The Delta surge is happening because too many people in states like Florida refuse to get vaccinated, plain and simple. In fact, the counties on our border with Mexico are all doing significantly better than pretty much all of Florida, Texas, and the rest of the Bible Belt. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that Republicans are scapegoating immigrants, because Donald Trump showed them all how successful racism can be in politics right now."

 

6
   It wasn't just January 6

As more and more time goes by, more and more information comes to light. And all of it shows a megalomaniac who tried everything he could to overturn an election.

"While it is good that Congress is now looking into the events of January sixth, we all need to keep in mind that this attempted insurrection was not the only threat to American democracy and our constitutional system. Donald Trump attempted a coup, plain and simple. He called state officials telling them to 'find' some votes for him -- just enough for him to win, he wasn't greedy. On a phone call with the acting attorney general he said the following (according to the notes taken at the Justice Department during the call): 'Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republicans in Congress.' He installed a partisan hack at the Justice Department who was drafting letters telling states that there were irregularities in the vote (which was not true) and giving them instructions on how to overturn the people's vote through their state legislatures. There's simply no other word that fits -- the president of the United States tried to retain power after losing an election. If that's not an attempted coup I don't know what is."

 

7
   Surround them with a wall of cops

This is rather frightening to contemplate.

"I hear that there's a pro-Trump anti-democracy group who is trying to get approval for a rally at the U.S. Capital in September. Maybe they should be treated like the protesters at national political conventions who are forced into 'free speech zones' so far away that their speech cannot be heard. Maybe they should be given a permit for an alternate area, say a mile or two away from the Capitol. But if this rally is allowed to take place at the 'scene of the crime' of the last pro-Trump anti-democracy insurrection, then I would hope that there will be a whole lot more cops there this time. In fact, I would absolutely surround the area with police officers in full tactical gear with every non-lethal weapon known, just in case these anti-democracy hotheads get any bright ideas about storming the seat of American democracy again. Say, five officers for every planned attendee -- that seems about right to me."

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

99 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- A Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay,Chris, so I can understand how disappointing you found Nina Turner's primary loss to be.

    But, you can't possibly be proud of her "concession" speech, can you?

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i realize there was a lot this week to be disappointed about, but i really don't see how the president's weak-ish response on housing could even come close to topping the list. as liz pointed out, nina turner's speech in response to her loss was a lot more disappointing than the loss itself. and andrew cuomo's refusal to concede to the situation he's in, in my mind is leagues upon leagues more disappointing than either.

    JL

  3. [3] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republicans in Congress.

    No, the notes taken actually read "...and leave the rest to me and Rs in Congress."

    It's plain to see that "Rs in Congress" stands for either Antifa or else BLM, amirite?

  4. [4] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Signed --

    Auditioning for Newsmax

  5. [5] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Ya know, Elizabeth, Joe undeniably really did muck up the Eviction Moratorium. But if thats the very worst thing to happen in almost seven months of a sane Presidency, I can live with it.

  6. [6] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    most disappointing of all, obviously, is your own journalistic failure to acknowledge the brilliance of pie. for shame.

  7. [7] 
    andygaus wrote:

    Talking Point #3 is too inhumane. If those who refused vaccination get sick or die, it will be apparent that their stupidity has caught up with them. But that is not enough reason to say that we should have no sympathy for them. How about the person who gets lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking two packs of Marlboros a day? How about the person who has a heart attack after a lifetime of eating cheeseburgers and french fries? Lots of us are stupid in ways that catch up with us. At the point where somebody is actually sick or dying, we should refrain from saying, "Serves you right!" even if we can't help thinking to ourselves, "Well, this was predictable."

  8. [8] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [6]

    Yo, are you referring to Joe Biden? Chris Weigant? Me, or the the whole lot of us godless non-pie enthusiasts?

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    all of the above, obviously.

    why ask why? vote for pie.

    JL

  10. [10] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [7]

    But don't forget get that while those are self destructive behaviors you reference the big difference is they don't endanger anyone but the practitioners. Anti-vaxxers hurt people beyond themselves.

  11. [11] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [Wooo...I put it in bold. That's sure to convince everyone who reads it!]

  12. [12] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    For the record,. I would list only excessive pie abuse as any kind of a threat, and it really doesn't affect anyone besides the wretched practitioners. Unless we're talking pie riots or some such.

  13. [13] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    the weird irony of it is that working with the pharma companies to develop vaccines quickly was perhaps the only thing covid-related that donald actually did right. therefore it's weird that he and his followers want to bury it in "personal freedom" rather than taking credit.

    JL

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy,

    By the time Biden leaves office, in a peaceful transfer of power, I predict he'll top the leaderboard here for the most MDDOTW awards.

    But, then again, they ceased to have much meaning for me months ago. Ahem.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Ah, we have two winners sharing the MDDOTW award ...

    Pick one!

  16. [16] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [7]

    You're right, andygaus. Yes, the unvaxxed deserve it but as with the lung cancer person we should be compassionate. I'd much rather that not another single American died from Covid than for the fatalities to come be disproportionately Republican.

  17. [17] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [13]

    Sho yo right, poet. Even if the very first vax was not a part of Operation Warp Speed. OWS was perhaps the best thing Cheetogod did in his forty, er, four years.

  18. [18] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [14]

    But, then again, they ceased to have much meaning for me months ago. Ahem.

    Nonsense. You wouldn't comment if you didn't take at least some offense. You got a yuge Joecrush, Shroomgurl! But that's hunky dory with the rest of us, as Joe has exceeded our collective expectations, methinks .

  19. [19] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Oh, poet, EPA (Excessive Pie Abuse) occurs not only in a gastronomical sense but also by, say, literary overuse.

    Just saying.

  20. [20] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [14]

    And that ought to be fine with you and me and everybody so long as he keeps tracking up the MIDOTWs to match or exceed the MDDOTWs. Relax, no one gets everything right. Joe's reluctance to challenge the Supremes over Eviction furthers the "Joe is an institutionalist at heart, so if he finally dumps the filibuster it'll be because Repugs left him no choice" narrative.

  21. [21] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Which may be Joe's game plan. Imagine that, a politician doing politics skillfully.

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Whatever. Results are all I care about. Period, full stop.

  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yes, you have the God-given 'Murican right to do whatever the bleep you want. But why exercise that right by not getting vaxxed?

  24. [24] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    If not getting vaxxed is your way of owning the Libs, we'll all have to live with more needless deaths. Including unvaxxed Libs I suppose. But mostly you guys.

    Um, so are these pseudo Talking Points short and snappy enough, Weigantia?

  25. [25] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, it seems the Deep State has been jamming my mic. Oh well, off to bed, then.

  26. [26] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Chris, this week's column is one of the best! Certainly, I don't recall any in 2021 that had a powerful opening essay, two Democrats deserving of their awards, *AND* a strong set of talking points.

    Thank you for making my Saturday morning!

  27. [27] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    The rest of your essay was so good, I almost hate to complain about this line: 'which Biden had too-optimistically predicted would happen by Independence Day.'

    First of all, it was so frustrating that the much of media (at least those sources that I consult) on the July 4th weekend repeated the 'failure' to reach 70%. This was an artificial deadline, of course, with no reward for reaching it nor penalty for not. Whatever the percentage, isn't it more important that millions got vaccinated because of the Biden administration's planning, execution, and messaging - especially compared to President "I don't take responsibility at all"?!?!?

    Secondly, I'd much rather have a President that is "too optimistic" than one who begins his term with reference to "American carnage".

  28. [28] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Regular surveys have identified which subsets of the American population have not been vaccinated and their justifications. I wonder did anyone ever ask how many Trumpsters refused the vaccine to prevent Biden from "winning"?

    The fourth wave began around 4 July, so it will be difficult to tease out the number in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida who were finally convinced by the 'carnage' around them vs those who were only waiting for Biden to "fail".

  29. [29] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn caddy (10)-
    Well said.

    Everyone here seems to be "woke" on the covid vaccine in just the short amount of time we have been experiencing covid.

    Yet you have dropped the ball on the big money pandemic that has been infecting our political process for decades and the vaccine designed to combat it, including the dangerous Deathocrat and Republikiller variants- One Demand.

    The eviction moritorium is just another example of the Deathocrats not doing anything when they could and then grandstanding at the last minute or when it's too late.

    The big money pandemic is the reason we were and are unable to properly deal with covid and the vaccine divide is a predictable symptom of not taking the One Demand vaccine.

    But all you can do is "Buy the lie and joke about pie while people and democracy die."

    Take the vaccine.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    italyrusty [27-28],

    Very well put!

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy,

    Nonsense. You wouldn't comment if you didn't take at least some offense.

    Say, what!?

    I don't know what that means ...

  32. [32] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    andygaus Re. Talking Point #3,

    I couldn't agree more with your analysis. I mean we are talking about life and death and it doesn't get anymore serious than that.

    The thought expressed in talking point #3 are the kinds of things that, if they are thought about at all, should be kept to our inner voices.

    I think compassion will go a long way toward reaching people are refusing to be vaccinated on grounds other than medical and science.

    At the rate the US is going with increasing casees - almost entirely among the unvaccinated - many unvaccinated people are going to die, unnecessarily. And, that is very sadly predictable.

  33. [33] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Don,

    I would think vaccination rates and the current COVID surge would demonstrate the ineffectiveness of voluntary measures and seriously downgrade OD as a solution. But then you thought you had an epiphany when it was really just an apophany...

  34. [34] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Democrats really need to do a lot better job at getting their message out these days. The midterms hang in the balance....

    Absolutely, positively, unequivocally!

    Will Democrats ever learn how to do this on a consistent basis?

  35. [35] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #1,

    This is going to positively change millions of American lives for the better, brought to you by Democrats, with every Republican fighting against it.

    Right on!

    This should preface everything Democrats say about anything, from here to election day!

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #2,

    You know, even I can get behind progressive voices like Bernie Sanders. Some of his mean-spirited supporters? Not so much. But, still, looking forward to Bernie's days in the sun!

  37. [37] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #3,

    I would just echo what andygaus said, in spades.

    What we need in order to reach many of the unvaccinated is lots of compassion, patience and understanding.

    Good luck getting to a 90% vaccination in the country or anywhere near "herd immunity" in the US any other way. To say nothing about how important "herd immunity" throughout the entire world is to the health security of ANY single country.

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #4,

    As Democrats everywhere work as hard as they can to solve the problem and defeat the virus once and for all, Republicans are actively trying to make things worse, to curry political favor with their Dear Leader. Republican governors trying to make a national name for themselves are overturning a longstanding conservative position -- that the more local a government is, the better it is.

    Best. Talking. Point. EVER!

  39. [39] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The best part of Talking Point #4:

    That is the difference between the two major American political parties, folks -- one is a death cult, and the other is not."

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #5,

    Ah, does the governor of Florida realize that his state is entirely surrounded by water and other US states? Or that he has a much bigger COVID-19 problem than his counterparts in states that actually are on the southern border with Mexico?

    Oh, if only reporters would ask him to explain ... it would be fun to watch!

  41. [41] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #6,

    The select committee will be looking into all of this, right? Not just what happened on Jan 6 but ALL that led up to it, beginning from way before the November presidential election when the former president was blathering on about how, if he loses, it will be because of vote fraud.

  42. [42] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Re. Talking Point #7,

    Say, five officers for every planned attendee -- that seems about right to me."

    Or, ten! I couldn't possibly agree more - I'm almost hoping it happens. But, not really.

  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Anyone have any suggestions for the theme of our CW Music Festival and Dance Party tomorrow night?

  44. [44] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (39)-
    What is so good about that?

    Why is it good for CW to LIE about the Deathocrats not being a death cult?

    (40)-
    Why are you just like the governor of Florida in not seeing how the Deathocrats have just as big a problem with big money corrupting their party as the Republikillers?

    It would be fun to watch you explain that and why you won't encourage people to take the vaccine instead of helping to spread the disease.

    (41)-
    No, they won't be looking into ALL of this going back to it's origin of both the Deathocrats and Republikillers selling out to the big money interests.

  45. [45] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You need more music in your life, Don. :)

  46. [46] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    CW, this was an especially splendid batch of FTPs, right up to #1, which doesn't pull its weight like the other six.

    Besides, the obvious solution is to surround 'em with Antifa and BLM folks. Save taxpayer dollars! Compelling TV!

  47. [47] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Elizabeth, is it possible to simultaneously have both "compassion for the sufferers" and "righteous disdain for the cost of their folly" on all of us?

    That's CW's point in TP#3.

    Oh, do you mean the Sunday Canadian* Music Appreciation Party
    *and other countries

  48. [48] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course it is, Caddy! But, we don't have to rub it in all of their faces. In other words, be outwardly compassionate while keeping our disdain mostly to ourselves.

    Oh, there will be Canadian music - that is for sure, for sure!!! :)

    As for what I'll be contributing, unless someone requests another theme or focus ... it'll be tunes from the cds I've been listening to, recently.

  49. [49] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (45)-
    Music will not make me buy into the moosepoop about Biden and the Deathocrats that you believe despite the decades of evidence to the contrary. But you already know that or you wouldn't keep avoiding it trying to deflect to something unrelated.

    You need more reality in your life.

  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I have all the reality in my life I can possibly stand, Don.

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    That's why I need so much music, you know.

  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Besides, Don, I'm not asking you to buy into it, just forget about it for a few hours, for God's sake ... and mine, too!

  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What I'd really love to hear is you playing one of your favourite Pink Floyd tunes ... that would make me very happy!

  54. [54] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    or even your favorite Pink tunes.

  55. [55] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Dogs, from my second favorite Pink Floyd album, Animals.

  56. [56] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Heck, Don can play this!

  57. [57] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    K, Board Mother!

    Recent faves, it is.

  58. [58] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I'm the One

    The Who

    QUADROPHENIA

  59. [59] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I Can Dream About You.


    Jungle Love.

    MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME

  60. [60] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Well, I tried.

    (thinking)

    It's 2328 in Ontario. She's probably toast. Ah well, somebody has to play at least one

    Canuck song.

    Harumph. MtnCaddy is leaving the building!

  61. [61] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:
  62. [62] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    MtnCaddy [3 & 4]

    Hilarious and perceptive. Thank you for the pithy observation.

  63. [63] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    nypoet22 [13]

    Setting aside the l-o-n-g discussion about which vaccines the Trump administration can take credit for and whether any of the Biden administration's vaccine campaign planning and execution was based on the prior administration's 'building blocks', it's been clear since 21 January that the Republican Party at the national level and in the states believes that 'culture war' issues will lead them to victory in 2022.

    It will be interesting to see how many voters next year will be convinced by bans on transgender athletes, 'Stop the Steal' propaganda, and CRT-BLM-Antifa fear-mongering.

    Of course, their message may entirely irrelevant: more than one fortune-teller predicts the Republicans will win the House merely through redistricting.

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What day is this?

  65. [65] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Elizabeth, its Monday. You didn't miss much of a Sunday Canadian* Music Festival last night, but I tried my best. I even played a Canuck song, just for Vous.

  66. [66] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    *and other countries

  67. [67] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Nice try.

    But, i will be late to the party tonight ... have a dinner date ... with my uncle, so ...

    Feel free to get the festivities going early and I'll be there around 10-ish ... I hate cooking when it feels like 40 degrees celsius.

  68. [68] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hope evreyone will be bringing their cool tunes!

  69. [69] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, I'm gonna get started early with our CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party a little early with a tune from ZZ Top, in remembrance of ZZ Top's basist, Dusty Hill, who died suddenly last month. He had planned to rejoin the tour but, sadly it was not to be ...

    Here's one of my favourites,

    Sharp Dressed Man

  70. [70] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    ZZ Top - Live

    Gimme All Your Lovin'

  71. [71] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    (insert your favourite ZZ Top tune here!)

  72. [72] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    waitin for the bus (sorry no time to dig up the right youtube track)

  73. [73] 
    Kick wrote:

    Doing Texas again? ;)

    La Grange

  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Texas is always in there, somewhere. :)

    Tush

  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here ya go, Joshua ... this is my own personal theme song. Heh.

    more ZZ Top!

  76. [76] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The planet is burning up, time to get off of it ...

    The first climate apocalypse song off the phenomenal 1977 debut album - the first debut album by a Canadian band to hit platinum status in Canada!

    Take Me To The Kaptin

  77. [77] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  78. [78] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Cheap Sunglasses

    From

    DEGUELLO

  79. [79] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    How about a little Triumph to rock your night ...

    Spellbound

  80. [80] 
    John From Censornati wrote:
  81. [81] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  82. [82] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's Blues Time!

    more ZZ Top!

  83. [83] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jammin' in the studio ...

    John Fogerty and ZZ Top

  84. [84] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  85. [85] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  86. [86] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I think I'll send this one out to Don!

    Don't Stop Believing

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  88. [88] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Some like it hot, baby ...

    I Like to Rock - April Wine

  89. [89] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  90. [90] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I'm hot blooded - check it and see! I got a fever of a hundred and three ...

    Hot Blooded - Foreigner

  91. [91] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Been listening to an inordinate amount of Colin James, lately ...

    Keep On Loving Me, Baby

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "When I first saw you I heard the angels sing..."

    I Just Came Back - Colin James

  93. [93] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    More Colin James!

    Five Long Years

    Voodoo Thing

  94. [94] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, that's all from me tonight ... but it's still pretty early on the left coast, so ... bring it home, Caddy!

  95. [95] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okay,

    Bring it on Home.

    LED ZEPPELIN

  96. [96] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Better late than never, I never like to say ...

  97. [97] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy, we better come up with a theme for next week - something that will increase participation ...

  98. [98] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's always all about the all important messaging, right?

  99. [99] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Maybe Chris could help us with that ...

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