URLs du Jour

2021-10-05

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  • And that price is: continuing to see Fauci on the TV. J.D. Tuccille notes the cause and effect: Public Health Officials Blew Up Their Credibility, and We’re Paying the Price.

    With COVID-19 still sickening and killing people even though effective vaccines have been widely available for all since the spring, it's frustrating to see vaccination rates creep up only slowly against a head-wind of widespread resistance. It's even more frustrating that much of that resistance can be attributed to self-inflicted wounds on the part of public health experts and government officials. Having effectively discarded their own credibility since the beginning of the pandemic, the powers-that-be find that much of the population no longer places faith in what they have to say.

    "Why aren't tens of millions of eligible Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19?" The Economist and YouGov asked in a recent poll. "Most who haven't started the vaccination process say it's a matter of trust."

    "Americans who are sure they will not get the vaccine are especially likely to say their lack of trust in the government is their major reason for rejecting the vaccine," the polling firm adds, with 22 percent of respondents giving that as their reason for refusing vaccination, second to concerns about side effects.

    Critics are certain to wave off the findings as the unfounded concerns of low-information knuckle-draggers who need to be poked and prodded into compliance. But, while such dismissal may confer a warm and fuzzy feeling of superiority, it doesn't explain why health professionals also have lost faith in public-health officials.

    Public health officials deserve much of the blame, but let's not exempt the pols who turned this into a political issue. Nor the media who deemed some gatherings as "super-spreader events" while near-simultaneously blessing BLM protests/riots.


  • I'm still a RINO, but… Robert Tracinski has three cheers for those who have bailed on the two parties: Independents Get the Job Done. About the current arguments promulgated by partisan cheerleaders:

    It is as if everyone has embraced the logic of a classic parody of political partisanship in which we are all herded into voting for “my side” by the horrifying specter of the “other side.” This sort of thing proliferates because it works. Consider a recent focus group of hesitant 2020 Trump voters, most of whom were convinced to pull the trigger by their fear of the excesses of the far left. They were convinced that it was a binary choice.

    I recently came across this argument in a particularly interesting variant, by way of the Manhattan Institute’s anti-woke crusader Chris Rufo, who specifically offered this challenge to unaligned voters—centrists and independents and, of course, the real targets here: libertarians and Never Trumpers.

    The reality is that we have a two-party, partisan political system that will not change in our lifetime. If you want to advance your agenda, you have to make choices within it—imagining oneself a centrist-transcender is a narcissistic evasion and an abdication of responsibility.

    The point seems to be that making choices within the two-party system necessarily means choosing one of the major parties—and doing so irrevocably, because otherwise, if you bounce back and forth, you’re just another smug, narcissistic evader who regards himself above party loyalty.

    I like Rufo's anti-woke work just fine, but I'm in Tracinski's corner here. I'll still maintain my GOP registration, though. Even though I'm disgusted with them at times, there's still a chance they could field a good candidate I'd like to vote for.

    But…


  • The downside of being a Republican, even in Name Only, is that you have guys like Ken in your tribe. Michael Graham notes the latest: GOP's Weyler Pushing Conspiracy Theory About "Creature with Tentacles" in Vax.

    New Hampshire House Finance Committee Chair Rep. Ken Weyler (R-Kingston) distributed a discredited conspiracy theory manifesto to his fellow committee members Monday, inspiring groans from the GOP and outrage from Democrats.

    “Detached from reality” was Gov. Chris Sununu’s take, while Democrats demanded yet again that the 80-year-0ld legislator be removed from the Finance and Joint Fiscal Committee he chairs. But House GOP leaders are, for the moment, defending Weyler’s odd behavior.

    Weyler’s document, with the understated title “The Vaccine Death Report,” falsely claims “millions of people have died, and hundreds of millions of serious adverse events have occurred, after injections with the experimental mRNA gene therapy.”

    And, the authors add, “We also reveal the real risk of an unprecedented genocide.”

    The 52-page manifesto makes many false and irrational claims about the vaccine and other topics. For example, the authors say governments will “steal our very own thoughts and feelings through 5G,” and claim that in addition to the Pope, the Catholic Church has spawned an evil “Black Pope” and a “Grey Pope.”

    I had to stop excerpting, but you will want to click through to read about the tentacle porn. I don't think Michael Graham links to the "Vaccine Death Report" itself, but here you go.

    The only thing I wasted time doing: the report refers to "world-renowned biophysicist Andreas Klecker". They probably mean "Andreas Kalcker". He has been credibly deemed a quack.


  • Ah, well, that's enough GOP-bashing. Let's look at the garbage emanating from the other side, as recounted by Dominic Pino: Debt Blame-Shifting from Democrats.

    If you listen to the president, not only will $3.5 trillion cost nothing, but Republicans are obligated to raise the debt limit even though they don’t control Congress and don’t support new spending.

    Two new graphics went up today on the president’s Twitter account. One shows the debt increase for President Trump at $7.8 trillion, while the debt increase under Biden is only $678 billion. The second shows that President Trump is responsible for 28 percent of the debt in American history, while Biden would be responsible for only 2 percent. “The reason we have to raise the debt limit is—in part—because of the reckless tax and spend policies of the last Administration,” the tweet says.

    “In part” is doing a lot of work in that sentence.

    First things first: Nobody is saying that Donald Trump was a fiscal conservative. Donald Trump wouldn’t say that Donald Trump was a fiscal conservative. He did add $7.8 trillion to the debt while he was president, more than any previous president, and $7.8 trillion is 28 percent of the total debt this country has accumulated. He ruled out reforming the driver of the debt — mandatory entitlement spending — on the campaign trail and kept that promise while in office (it’s significantly easier to keep your word when you promise to not make hard decisions).

    Before Donald Trump, Barack Obama added more to the debt than any previous president, and George W. Bush added more to the debt than any president before him. Both parties have been spending like drunken sailors for quite some time.

    But ask yourself: Would the debt be higher or lower today if Democrats controlled Congress and the White House the past four years?

    Well, to ask that question is to answer it. But to be fair, it's like asking whether the Titanic would have sunk faster if it had just rammed the iceberg head-on.


  • I'm not usually one to look for Commies under the bed, but… The WSJ editorialists look at the latest loon appointed to a position of authority, who has dreams of being Comptroller of the Economy.

    President Biden checked off another progressive identity box last week by nominating Saule Omarova as Comptroller of the Currency. Some Trump appointees were ridiculed for having supported the elimination of their agencies. Ms. Omarova wants to eliminate the banks she’s being appointed to regulate.

    The Cornell University law school professor’s radical ideas might make even Bernie Sanders blush. She graduated from Moscow State University in 1989 on the Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship. Thirty years later, she still believes the Soviet economic system was superior, and that U.S. banking should be remade in the Gosbank’s image.

    “Until I came to the US, I couldn’t imagine that things like gender pay gap still existed in today’s world. Say what you will about old USSR, there was no gender pay gap there. Market doesn’t always ‘know best,’” she tweeted in 2019. After Twitter users criticized her ignorance, she added a caveat: “I never claimed women and men were treated absolutely equally in every facet of Soviet life. But people’s salaries were set (by the state) in a gender-blind manner. And all women got very generous maternity benefits. Both things are still a pipe dream in our society!”

    Sure, there was a Gulag, and no private property, but maternity benefits!

    Why, it's almost as if the parties started believing the other side's worst cariacatures of them, and decided to double down.