Category Archives: 2022 Election

Accountability, Perhaps

Accountability has rarely been a key feature of US politics (see, e.g. Kissinger, Henry), at least not in a sensible way (see, e.g. “Who Lost China?”).

But Priorities USA is trying to gin up some accountability with this pair of new videos:

There’s Off the Hook:

And there’s the even more blunt Chosen a Side :

Posted in 2022 Election, Trump, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Latest Wrinkle in DeSantis Plot to Kill More Floridians

DeSantis COVID PolicyI so wish I were making this up. Our glorious Governor, Ron DeSantis (R-Covid), has hatched a new plot to spread the pandemic in Florida: he’s inviting all the law enforcement officers from other states who got fired for not getting a COVID vaccine to come on down and infect us here.

The reasons why cops and other first responders need to be vaccinated are obvious: they come into contact with a lot of people, which makes them higher risk to contract and then spread the virus. Plus many of the people police come into contact with have no choice about the contact, be a stop for questioning, a stop-and-frisk, or an arrest. Vaccinating police officers vastly reduces the chance they will become both ill and if ill, seriously ill, which is good for public safety because it means they are far less likely to be infectious and because it means they are available for duty.

In hopes of attracting these viral vectors to Florida DeSantis stated that he’ll ask his the state legislature to pass a law giving a $5000 bonus to any out-of-state police officers who relocate to Florida.

As to the argument that vaccinated police officers might be dangerous to our lives, DeSantis has an answer, albeit one utterly detached from reality:

“On a scientific basis, most of those first responders have had Covid and have recovered,” DeSantis claimed without evidence. “So they have strong protection and so I think that influences their decision on a lot of this that they have already had it and recovered.”

DeSantis delivered this fantasy on Fox News of course.

(It’s true that five times as many police officers have died of COVID as have been killed in the line of duty, but that’s a far cry from saying they all have natural immunities. It is also true that the evidence of the relative merits of natural immunity and vaccination immunity levels and reinfection rates are confusing and even contradictory.  But where the idea that cops have all had COVID comes from, I have no idea.)

Posted in 2022 Election, COVID-19, Florida | 2 Comments

The Texts are Coming from Inside the House

This vile fundraising text-message did not come from some fringe group. It came from the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Let’s count just a few of the ways in which this is disgusting:

  1. It misuses the term “traitor” to suggest that not supporting a politician can ever be treason.
  2. It implicitly identifies fealty with The Leader with loyalty to the United States.
  3. It suggests that it is unpatriotic to fail to support a man who
    1. encouraged a seditionist mob to storm the Capitol of the United States in order to prevent the certification of an election he had lost and
    2. tried to subvert the Justice Department to undermine the election result
    3.  when in fact the reverse is true: supporting the seditionist is what is unpatriotic.
  4. It says those who don’t send the NRCC money right now will be “branded a deserter”. And creates a totally bogus 17 minute deadline to fork over.
  5. Appeals like this work.

I knew House Republicans had gone pretty far over to the Dark Side, but this…

Posted in 2022 Election, Trump | Leave a comment

The First Terrific Ad of the 2022 Election Cycle

I’ve seen a bunch of frankly unimpressive attack ads this cycle. (Yes, looking at you, Remove Ron.) Here’s a reminder of how positive ads can be so much much better. This ad for Charles Graham in North Carolina could bring a tear to the eye if you are the weepy sort:

Great ad, but alas not a perfect candidate. If that doesn’t put you off, you can donate here.

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DeSantis Admin Obfuscating Florida COVID Death Rate and End-Running a Court Order on Masks Mandates in Schools

Grim Reaper at the BeachBecause all that matters is getting reelected and then running for President.

The Miami Herald has the goods on the COVID data–Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths:

As the delta variant spreads through Florida, data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest this could be the most serious and deadly surge in COVID-19 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.

As cases ballooned in August, however, the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found.

On Monday, Florida death data would have shown an average of 262 daily deaths reported to the CDC over the previous week had the health department used its former reporting system, the Herald analysis showed. Instead, the Monday update from Florida showed just 46 “new deaths” per day over the previous seven days.

The dramatic difference is due to a small change in the fine print. Until three weeks ago, data collected by DOH and published on the CDC website counted deaths by the date they were recorded — a common method for producing daily stats used by most states. On Aug. 10, Florida switched its methodology and, along with just a handful of other states, began to tally new deaths by the date the person died.

If you chart deaths by Florida’s new method, based on date of death, it will generally appear — even during a spike like the present — that deaths are on a recent downslope. That’s because it takes time for deaths to be evaluated and death certificates processed. When those deaths finally are tallied, they are assigned to the actual data of death — creating a spike where there once existed a downslope and moving the downslope forward in time.

Meanwhile DeSantis’s people at the FL. Dept of Education (motto: “you raise ’em, we infect ’em”), working at arms-length from the state’s Chief Obstacle to decent COVID policies, are doing an end-run around a court order so as to to really stick it to school districts trying to protect their students with a mask requirement. Yes, really, Florida withholds funds from two school districts requiring masks — despite court decision against state ban on mandates:

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced late Monday that the Florida Department of Education has withheld the monthly salaries of school board members in Alachua and Broward counties who voted to impose mask mandates that only provide for a medical exemption from a doctor. The state actually withholds the equivalent in funding of the members’ salaries.

I am sure that our very educated Governor (Yale College, Harvard Law) could, if he wanted, explain how the rule of law is for suckers, not the manly types who plan to inherit Trump’s mantle and govern with the mailed fist. But that is the unspoken part of the act.

More likely he would argue that since the injunction against enforcement of DeSantis’s anti-mask-rule order doesn’t technically forbid the Florida Dept. of Ed from just happening spontaneously to implement the DeSantis policy of fining counties for having a mask requirement, without formally relying on the Governor’s order. So, that’s all alright until another court issues a more far-reaching injunction.

And indeed, as a formal legal matter that argument about the limited reach of the original injunction might be accurate. (It’s a little hard to tell from the news reports of the decision.) But the question then is whether the mask-requirement-in-schools issue is one for which this sort of legal hardball (or sophistry?) is morally appropriate. I appreciate that there might be deep issues of principle where such an action might even be praiseworthy — don’t do something horrible until there is no legal argument left unturned, and then resign rather than sign the order sending people to the camps. I simply cannot conceive of the masking rule as such a deep question of liberty and principle; we require K-12 students to have various immunizations, and to wear clothes, indeed many public schools have quite strict dress codes.  But here, the DeSantis admin is using these arguments to advance their play-to-the-base electoral scheme to block life-saving health measures.  Even if this is a valid technicality, it is being harnessed in favor of a policy that will — there’s no way to sugar-coat this — kill people.

DeSantis is a menace.

Posted in 2022 Election, COVID-19, Florida | Leave a comment

DeSantis Basks in His New Popularity

They love, they really…well, hate him, actually.

And if you think he’s unpopular now, wait until a child dies of COVID in a school that wanted a mask rule but wasn’t allowed to have it because DeSantis and his team forbade it. I hope that never happens, but if it does, I hope it’s the centerpiece of a commercial playing every hour on every major station in the next election.

Posted in 2022 Election, COVID-19, Florida | 1 Comment