How Does He Sleep at Night?

This is Florida:

And this is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, as ably summarized by Paul Waldman: fight science, keep people from stopping COVID, ignore the casualty count, brag (to the survivors) that you enraged the liberals:

Any politician can be an Internet troll concerned with nothing so much as Owning the Libs, and many in DeSantis’s party think that’s their most fruitful path to success. But to really capture the hearts of the party base, you have to show your willingness to do actual harm to people’s lives as you wage war against the other side. And that’s where DeSantis is excelling.

Not that he’s above trolling. DeSantis sells T-shirts attacking Anthony S. Fauci and is now blaming the covid crisis in his state on undocumented immigrants in Texas; presumably we’re supposed to believe they cross the border near El Paso, walk to Corpus Christi, then dive in the Gulf of Mexico and swim to Tampa, a superhuman covid triathlon that is now filling Florida’s hospitals.

That kind of idiocy aside, no governor in America has done so much to make the spread of covid more likely. DeSantis signed a law nullifying local public health measures and banning private companies from requiring customers to show proof of vaccination. In a case brought by Norwegian Cruise Line, which hopes to prevent its cruises from becoming floating superspreader events, a judge just blocked the law’s implementation.

And in an escalating battle with local officials, he instructed school districts not to require masks and even threatened to withhold funding from any district that does so.

Each of these moves creates conflict and headlines, and each one is guaranteed to produce outrage on the part of liberals and anyone else who actually would like to see the pandemic end, which enables DeSantis to position himself as a chief antagonist in the politicized struggle over covid.

To be clear, DeSantis has encouraged people to get vaccinated. But the bulk of his public focus has been on attacking efforts to actually slow the spread of the virus. “We can either have a free society or we can have a biomedical security state, and I can tell you, Florida, we’re a free state,” he says

With a state government so determined not just to do as little as possible itself to prevent the spread of the virus but to actively prevent anyone else from doing anything either, it isn’t surprising that the delta variant found particularly friendly ground in Florida. It’s now experiencing its worst covid surge since the pandemic began last year; last week the state registered an average of 19,000 new covid cases and 1,800 new hospitalizations every day. It accounts for an incredible one in five cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the entire country.

Yet the fact that Florida has become Delta Ground Zero has apparently only increased DeSantis’s determination to allow covid to continue spreading.

Certainly, to the extent that the plan is to enrage folks like me, the plan is working very well. And, true, the dead don’t vote. (They do have families.)

But hasn’t the time come to say, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

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17 Responses to How Does He Sleep at Night?

  1. Dude Kembro says:

    Treason Trump, Ron DeFascist, and the GQP have gone full neocommunist. Communism is the extremist GQP forcing businesses to serve anti-vaxxers, making women slaves to forced birth, insurrection and sore loser audits to overturn the 2020 election, attacking free speech by banning academic theories, Jim Crow voter suppression like criminalizing how voters get refreshments, and controlling how parents and teachers raise trans kids.

    Communism is Treason Trump saluting North Korea’s commie generals and writing love letters to Kim Jong, joining Fox News in trashing Capital police, paying $200,000 to the China Communist Party while evading US taxes, and destroying the agriculture free market with an anti-capitalist trade war then shoveling trillions in welfare to corporate farms, big banks, and rich megachurches.

    Trump’s radical right commieservatives offer only fear, hate, paranoia, anger, insurrection, and negativity. #VoteBlue

  2. Vic says:

    If you do a little simple Googling, you come up with the same chart looking somewhat different than the one displayed at the top of this post. It looks very roughly similar, but it IS different. (Supposedly ALSO from the NYT).

    One might ask why. Why when journalists (among other) are accused helping spread confused and dishonest information, this happens? Why do YOU have one version of the NYT chart, when Google has another? And which one should be believed? The first one found, or the one found later? Should everyone looking for such information ALSO be required to vet it through multiple search passes and individual research? Do you think everyone is capable of that?

    There is a LOT of fear being spun out about this. I’m not saying that there should not be, but the number one priority should be releasing honest information, in a clear uncontested form, so that people can make there own decisions based on the same data. Not releasing data differently, according to which people it is intended to herd into acting in some particular way. If your chart, cited here, is accurate, it should match all other charts released by the same source. It does not. Another round of misinformation.

    • A URL would help us know what’s going on e.g. whether the new graph is based on the same, or newer or older data, or just differences in presentation. And, more importantly, whether the differences are material. Because my sense is that the overall numbers and trend are big enough that small changes and updates don’t alas change the key conclusions.

      Changing reports to reflect current data, which happens a lot in this area, is not misinformation, and doesn’t mean that the early reports were misinformation either, just incomplete. The changes often are not just to the latest data, but to past data as more states report, or states report corrections and additions. Florida, for example, had a period in which the bad info had a long lag time before being reported.

      It’s certainly the case that data needs to be read carefully. Consider today’s NYT charts on breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths, which only cover states that reported the relevant data — Florida not being among them.

      • Vic says:

        Ok, I figured you didn’t actually need me to tell you how to google up this chart.

        Using Google as your search engine, put in three words: “Covid deaths Florida”. (Without the quotes). You will get a chart purportedly the same NYT chart, that looks significantly different. Not least in that it doesn’t have that huge uptick at the end implying that we will all be dead by next Tuesday. Hopefully by now, you’ve figured out this secret method for yourself.

        Meanwhile, in New Zealand, where there have been 2, TWO, Covid deaths since last February, they are locking down tight again. At some point, being cautious and “scientific” becomes being fear-mongering on a level not seen in rational societies.

        And yet another study comes out showing that perhaps having the average person, using the readily available products aimed at the average person, often sold to them by people trying to take advantage of this situation, might not acquire and properly use a mask in such a way to actually make themselves safer – possibly even making themselves sick with the very disease they wear the mask for. There have been a number of these studies, with various medical experts explaining the whys involved. You can probably use that wacky Google method I explained above to find them – assuming they haven’t all been relegated to the memory hole by the “experts” we didn’t elect to run things by now.

        Note that my position on all of this is not that we are all safe, that Covid is fake news, or whatever other straw man one might think up, but that we just don’t know. And if you are smart,you can easily see that there are things we are not being told by the expected sources of good information. There is also a lot of real contradictory information out there (not crackpots, but real studies) that MAY indicate that there is a lot more to all this. We know for a fact, as they admitted it, that our government lied to us about masks at the beginning in order to serve a purpose they deemed more valuable than any of our individual lives. We know this as fact now. But you have no problem believing every thing put out there now?

        The scary part is not the disease, but the fact that we don’t know what’s true anymore because of Government telling us only what they need to to get us to comply and make a hundred billion dollars for drug companies. Is that really so different than 20 years in a war, wasting many tens of thousands of lives, all while being lied to by the people making billions from it, only to finally leave, disgracefully beaten by warriors from the 10th Century? And I will assume you are either old enough, or educated enough to remember the Pentagon Papers. This happens over and over again, and always the supporters of government find a way to justify it all and pretend that THIS time it’s different, that the threat is REAL this time…. All while people, OTHER than them, the originators of the story, make billions. This time is different only because it’s the Left that got duped THIS time.

        All I really want is the truth. You should too.

        • Not trying to be difficult, but google doesn’t always serve the same results to everyone. Unless you tell it not to, it tailors them to your interests. That is part of why the URL matters.

          When I do a google search now I get this picture. It shows a bad spike — although I agree it’s not as huge as the one I got before, relative to the last peak. I’m not at all clear that this is a material difference, though; it’s bad either way.

          The CDC’s Florida numbers numbers were recently revised down a little, which may account for the change?

          • Vic says:

            That’s a fair point about the differences between what I might find in a search and you. But it also feeds my point that there is no much variance in supposedly scientific data, and then interpretive differences from that, that as an information consumer, you can’t depend on anything really being unimpeachably true. If you and I find different data according to however the data feeders think we want it, what does that say?

            There is now a story that the CDC took its transmissibility data from a NYT infographic. (The “it’s as infectious as chickenpox” statements) Ask yourself when this should EVER be true!?

            I KNOW some of this data is true. I also know some of it is false. I also know that some false information is coming from media, but I also know some is coming from government sources – even ones we are told to trust above all else. I don’t know about you, but I feel like, whatever happens here, is simply going to be the disease playing itself out as if we don’t even exist. That’s not comforting.

          • Vic says:

            This is interesting too:


            Granted, it’s a conservative site (which I don’t normally read anyway, but it was linked to from elsewhere).

            It is an interesting question being raised about what we are being told and why. Are we not being told that the vaccines are not as effective against Delta/reinfection just so that confidence in them is not further damaged among the unvaccinated? Maybe, maybe not. Until someone wants to release the Covid version of the Pentagon Papers we may never know. But we DO know that we’ve been lied to previously by the CDC in order to herd us accordingly. Is this another occasion like that? You can’t say. No matter how many NYT articles you link to. We are being told what people who have a monetary stake in it all want us to know. That’s it. Maybe it’s also the truth, but you can’t claim any special knowledge there because the “truth” seems to change when the herding narrative requires.

            I just don’t know anymore. I have good feeling about any of it.

            • Vic says:

              …DON’T have a good feeling about any of it. (Damn optimistic autocorrect!)

            • Personally, I mistrust almost all the info coming out of India as I don’t think data collection is good, and can’t evaluate the honesty of various parties. I pay much more attention to the Israeli data, the European data, and the UK data (despite the dishonesty at the very top). Not that looking at those groups provides great clarity, other than hell and handbasket.

              Is the CDC reliable? Mostly in its data, once the dust settles a bit, I think; their first takes are clearly subject to revision, due to lousy state reporting plus CDC interface errors. I’m a bit more skeptical of the CDC recommendations, which seem to me to be a bit hampered by politics.

              A UM expert I consulted today, an epidemiologist, is pessimistic about conditions through September at least.

              • Vic says:

                Mostly agreed.

                But you and I are smart people, used to analysis. Most people, as in MOST people are not. If it’s confused for us, it certainly is for them. This creates a suitable environment for raising misinformation. It actually encourages it.

                One might say the solution is just keeping the data accurate and saying that the CDC, or whomever is the ultimate arbiter of true data, but again, the lies we know of suggest that nobody can really fill that role. So what can anybody do? I don’t know. My pessimistic viewpoint is little of what we are doing is more than a delay tactic. That in the end, we are ALL going to have to get some variant and survive it (or not).

                In our favor, and in favor of delay, is that the natural course of any virus to to become more transmissible, but less deadly (there is no evolutionary point in a virus killing its host). So if we wait around long enough…. (Just like the Bubonic Plague is still around).

  3. Vic says:

    You know, to your original point in your post, “how does he sleep at night,” he probably sleeps just fine. It’s all a game to these people. That is what I have been trying to get you to see for years now, and you just won’t.

    Again, my First Rule of Politics: Everything a politician says or does has the sole intention of either getting them elected, or keeping them elected. With the Corollary that if they seem to help someone, it’s just a side effect of their sole intent.

    If you would just understand this in your soul, none of it would surprise you. They are not being evil. They are not being hypocrites. They are not even lying. They are just participating in the Political Cosplay that government has openly become. One side says that there are a dozen genders and that people with male body parts should be able to use the women’s locker room…so the other side, according to the rules of the play, feins outrage at this and vows to stop it! Both sides have filled out their part, both sides talk a lot about it. Both sides appeal to whatever base (meaning, exclusively, their voters) and the fares goes on. Nobody really needs to believe any of it. Nobody really needs to care about any of it. What does Ron DeSantes believe? Who knows. Like McCain and Romney before him, you have a media narrative created that he is a front runner, or should be, in some future election. This is life-fuel for politicians. Whatever he is saying may have nothing at all to do with anything else.

    You know things like this to be true because of the evidence of what actually happens when they have the power to change important things: they don’t. Or they make empty changes that they know a court will stop anyway. It’s a game. Nothing more.

    Meanwhile, while we are all fighting about whether non-viral-control masks can control a virus, the obscene 20 year war in Afghanistan winds down with nothing accomplished beyond killing the unmissed and enriching the elite. THAT is why the First Rule matters.

    • I’m sure there are many politicians whose primary, maybe even sole, goal is office or power. I think that drives a lot of the legislators and others who have decided to be all in for trump despite the insurrection and everything else.

      But my own personal experience of working for some Congressional candidates, some of whom even got elected, persuades me they are not all like that.

      Although I didn’t agree with him on some big things, I think Jimmy Carter was a person of principle. Mo Udall, who should have been President, was like that. I’m certain there are others today. Sen. Markey. AOC. Maybe Mitt Romney now that he’s cured of the Presidential bug. So it’s not universal.

      • Vic says:

        Everyone, with few exceptions, gets corrupted by being in D.C. it even corrupted Paul Wellstone – a more honest man you won’t find. There may well be exceptions, but they are rare, and likely non-existent for those in office longer than 10 years. There is too much money involved, and becoming (guaranteed) rich with no real work is just too appealing to too many political animals.

        I seriously doubt AOC on that one. She shows ALL of the signs of being a classic D.C. narcissist. As soon as she gets more time in and power, she will get access to all the money. That’s the key. Then she will become a millionaire like the others, and will turn into a prime example of just what I’m talking about. She’s clearly not very smart though, so she will be a Maxine Waters, not a Nancy Pelosi.

        • Anyone who thinks AOC is not smart is either not paying attention or has a real problem.

          Consider, just for one thing, that in high school, she came in second, nationally, in the microbiology category of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. That’s an impressive feat, and suggests real smarts.

          • Vic says:

            So what? Believe it or not, that means very little when virtually everything that you say publicly is utterly ridiculous. I know a lot of people who managed to get great grades (law is full of them) but who are almost blindingly stupid at times.

            You have some economics background, so maybe you can explain her statement that the way to fix the economy is to print more money. Or maybe you can explain why she was in fear of being raped on Jan 6th, when she was blocks away and not even in the Capitol? Her idiocy goes on and on and on. No, she’s going to be like that Congressman who warned that Guam might tip over if too many people went there.

            • Random fact: Where I come from, we think that people who insult others in debate often do so to cover up insecurity or ignorance.

              By the way, have you ever heard of Modern Monetary Theory?

              • Vic says:

                I think you misunderstood me. The “you” referred to in my second sentence was not you, MF, but the general you, standing for, if anybody, AOC. As if I’d used “one.”

                …everything that one says publicaly…

                Sorry if you misunderstood. But she’s still an idiot.

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