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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,219

Journal Archives

The Rude Pundit: The US Is Ass-Backwards When It Comes to Covid and Freedom


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
The US Is Ass-Backwards When It Comes to Covid and Freedom

It was as simple as it was obvious. I’m over here in the UK....


When I said to my companion who lives here that we’d better go try to find an antigen test, she stared at me and said, “No. You just go to a pharmacist or the NHS clinic and you get a box of like 7 or 8 for free.” That was it. Truly. And anyone could get them. You literally walk into a clinic and they…hand it to you like it’s health care Halloween. Now, there’s a certain amount of trust and responsibility built in because you test yourself, scan a QR code, and upload your info and the test result to the NHS, and you can lie. But I’d imagine most people don’t and, like me, simply sent in the results (I was negative), got an email back from the NHS, showed it while walking into the venue, and rocked my ass off among others who were either vaccinated or had just tested.

Imagine that, though. Imagine having access to free tests no matter your income (no fucking “means testing”). Imagine having that to test before you go visit your parents or grandparents or before visiting friends with kids who can’t get vaccinated yet. Some of the people I’ve met here tell me that they keep getting sent boxes of tests (turns out they have 7 in them) and just have a stack of them at this point. It’s so fucking simple. It’s so fucking obvious. You want people to feel safe? Give them the means to do so. That'll get the economy up and running. That'll get you some goddamn real freedom, not the fake freedom that means "leave me the fuck alone."

You know what else is simple and obvious besides Boris Johnson? That national vaccine passport. Right now in the United States, if I go to, say, Pennsylvania, they won’t take my New York Excelsior Pass as proof that I’m vaccinated. Oh, no. I’ve gotta bring my oversized fucking card with my vaccination details scrawled on it like it’s the goddamn 1800s. In fact, my school has a different pass to get in. And some events have another pass. Right now, I have three different apps saying that I'm vaccinated. Why the fuck is that necessary? Goddamn, we are so advanced in our medical research and so fucking primitive in health care policy.

Here in the UK, no matter where someone goes, their NHS passport is accepted, like this is one fucking country. (Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own NHS apps, but they honor the England and Wales one.) But almost no one is shrieking about “government control” or some such bullshit. It makes like easier. That’s it. That’s the calculus. The fact that we don’t have a national database of who is vaccinated in the United States is fucking deranged. Oh, and by the fuckin’ way, the original card is actually wallet-sized here, not some weird index card size.

Yeah, there are anti-vaxx protesters. I saw a few in downtown Manchester, among the many protest groups vying for attention as the Tory Party met in its annual meeting. They were as barking mad as ours in the United States, with signs with fake statistics about the number of people who allegedly died from the vaccine, with photos of people who they say the vaccine murdered. But in a country where nearly 90% of people over 16 have had at least one dose and 82% are fully-vaccinated (and growing), you can fucking well bet that the effect of the anti-vaxxers has been something close to nil.

The UK is going through a lot of unnecessary bullshit right now because of Brexit and because of the cruel Tory government and because of vile fucknut Boris Johnson and because the Labour Party is a feckless shadow of itself at this point. But, after royally fucking it up early on and with fuck-ups along the way, the nation seems to have gotten itself past the crisis at last. Hell, most people don’t even wear masks up here in the North West which might not be smart, but you can do that if you’ve got most everyone vaccinated.

I'll give the final word to a guy from Northern Ireland I was drinking with when I said it was miraculous that even a Tory government could accomplish this. He said, "That’s what can happen when half your politicians aren’t working to undermine science like the right cunts you have in the United States."
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Oct 9, 2021, 10:01 AM (2 replies)

Judge: Sentence in Capitol riot case should send message

Judge: Sentence in Capitol riot case should send message
Associated Press
October 8, 2021, 7:18 PM

A federal judge said Friday he hopes a three-month sentence behind bars in a U.S. Capitol insurrection case will send a message to other defendants who don’t seem to be “truly accepting responsibility.”

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan spoke as he sentenced Robert Reeder, a Maryland man who had originally described himself as an “accidental tourist” before video emerged of him grabbing a police officer.

“It’s become evident to me that many of the defendants pleading guilty do not truly accept responsibility. They seem, to me, to be trying to get this out of the way as quickly as possible, stating whatever they have to say ... but not changing their attitude,” Hogan said.

He said he believed Reeder is sorry now and sentenced him to half of the six months prosecutors had wanted, but the judge said some of Reeder's previous statements had been “disingenuous and self-serving.” Hogan said he hopes the sentence sends a signal that people convicted in the riot will face jail time.

“This was an attack on the operations of Congress and the Capitol of the United States, a really sacrosanct building,” he said.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 8, 2021, 10:07 PM (5 replies)

Eric Boehlert: Flashback: When D.C. media attacked Obama for calling out Fox News

Flashback: When D.C. media attacked Obama for calling out Fox News
Choosing sides
Eric Boehlert
9 hr ago


The standoff, and missed opportunity, began in 2009 as the new Obama administration announced it had had enough with a network devoted to destroying the Democratic president, all while masquerading as a news outlet and enjoying the institutional perks of being one.

“We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” senior White House advisor Anita Dunn told the New York Times in October, 2009. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

It’s hard to describe, 12 years removed, just how on the mark Dunn was with her analysis, as well as with the White House strategy to knock Fox News down a peg; to begin to de-legitimize the outlet in the eyes of mainstream America. The Obama White House clearly understood not only the danger Fox News posed to the administration, with its 24/7 cycle of lies, but understood the dangers an irresponsible propaganda outlet posed to the country.

Its hardball strategy was the right approach to take. And of course, Fox News shrieked in response. They’re “the biggest bunch of crybabies I have dealt with in my 30 years in Washington,” complained Chris Wallace. But that was to be expected. In terms of the larger debate, it didn’t really matter that they objected to the White House freezing out Fox News. What changed the dynamic was when high-profile Beltway journalists raced to defend Fox News, despite its rampant record of aggressive dishonesty.

Instead of finding fault with Murdoch’s serial mendacity, the press gleefully chided the Obama team, portraying it as thin skinned.

"It makes the White House look childish and petty at best, and it has a distinct Nixonian feel,” the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus scolded. “By brazenly declaring war on a member of the Fourth Estate, the Obama administration is making a first-rate error in judgment,” the San Diego Times-Union announced, adding it was for better for Obama, “to just ignore whatever bothers you.” Yahoo News claimed that calling out Fox News was a “loser strategy,” because it generated unsightly “public barbs.”

Keep in mind that by 2009, the cable channel had clearly morphed into the Opposition Party in America, having long ago left the realm of journalism. But the Beltway press looked away.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Oct 8, 2021, 04:14 PM (12 replies)

It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing


The American Prospect
It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing
With apologies to Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington—and contradicting a lot of bad political science—there are still plenty of swing voters. That’s good news for Democrats.
by Robert Kuttner
October 7, 2021


The good news is that the conventional wisdom is substantially wrong. It’s true, at the level of aggregate statistics, that there has been less ticket-splitting over time. But if you unpack the aggregates and look at individual elections for House, Senate, and governorships, the swing voter is alive and well—and worth courting.

That means finding ways to win over both independents and Republicans is a worthwhile enterprise, especially as Trump and his enablers get crazier and crazier.

Incidentally, this does not mean repairing to the center, à la New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, aka the Congressman from Wall Street. His Fifth District is a lot more progressive than he is. Polls show that voters in frontline districts tend to support Biden’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan. In Gottheimer’s own district, 61 percent of voters and 92 percent of Democrats support Build Back Better.


The point is that some candidates are too far right, even for people who normally vote Republican. And given that Trump is spending the next year trying to oust more moderate Republicans in favor of lunatic fringe candidates like himself, that is good news indeed.

What about the vanishing independent voter? With voters tending to resent politicians in general, Pew finds that 38 percent define themselves as independents. But if you dig deeper, most of those “lean” either Democrat or Republican. Even so, Pew reports, 7 percent are true independents. According to Pew, that number has not changed much in recent years. That’s a lot of voters worth courting.

Now, Biden just has to get some version of Build Back Better enacted, with real benefits for real people—in red states as well as blue ones.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Oct 7, 2021, 08:07 AM (0 replies)

Remember Susan McDougal?

Posted by babylonsister | Wed Oct 6, 2021, 10:26 PM (36 replies)

Adam Schiff Warns Steve Bannon And Mark Meadows They'll Face Criminal Charges If They Don't Testify


Posted on Wed, Oct 6th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Adam Schiff Warns Steve Bannon And Mark Meadows They’ll Face Criminal Charges If They Don’t Testify

1/6 Committee member, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned four subpoenaed Trump associates that if they don’t testify, they will be subject to criminal contempt charges.

Rep. Schiff tweeted:


Rep. Schiff was talking about the subpoenas that were issued for Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Kashyap Patel, and Dan Scavino.

1/6 Committee has made it clear. They aren’t messing around. Schiff’s statement echoes that of fellow 1/6 Committee member Jamie Raskin who warned Trump and all of his associates that the Committee will pursue criminal contempt charges against anyone who does comply with a subpoena. Raskin said that subpoenas are not optional and warned of serious consequences for those who attempt to ignore them.

It is a different world now for Trump and his associates. They have no political power, and for those who were subpoenaed, Trump has offered them no help or assistance.

Trump can’t ignore this investigation, and he no longer has the platform to delegitimize it.

The 1/6 Committee is coming for Trump and his pals, and if they refuse to comply, they may find themselves behind bars.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Oct 6, 2021, 09:32 PM (43 replies)

Man Slays Pharmacist Brother for 'Killing People' With COVID Vax: Cops

They're out of their ever-lovin' minds.


Man Slays Pharmacist Brother for ‘Killing People’ With COVID Vax: Cops
Blake Montgomery
Published Oct. 06, 2021 6:47PM ET
Saul Loeb/Getty

A Maryland man allegedly murdered his brother and sister-in-law because the brother, a pharmacist, was “killing people with the COVID shot,” as he allegedly told one person. Howard County police say Jeffrey Burnham, 46, shot and killed Brian Robinette, 58, and Kelly Sue Robinette, 57, last week. Burnham allegedly gave a paranoid warning to his mother, Evelyn, before the attack, saying, “Brian knows something.” She had called local police because of her son’s paranoid ravings, according to charging documents. Burnham is charged in an another stabbing in Allegany County that took the life of a childhood friend of his mother, Rebecca Reynolds, 83. He allegedly stole Reynolds’ car and drove it to Robinette’s house. Burnham was taken into custody in West Virginia, where he allegedly told a firefighter he had been “forced to kill three people.” He is being held without bond at Allegany County Detention Center.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Oct 6, 2021, 08:56 PM (1 replies)

Adam Schiff: Screaming Matches, Oxygen Masks, and Wild Stampedes:...

Screaming Matches, Oxygen Masks, and Wild Stampedes: A Congressman Describes January 6 From the House Floor
“This is because of you!” a Democrat yelled at a Republican as protesters battered at the doors and Capitol police officers urged lawmakers to “move!” In Adam Schiff’s new book, Midnight in Washington, he recounts the horrific scene—and the events that enabled it.
By Adam Schiff
October 6, 2021

“Please grab a mask!” a Capitol Police officer shouted from the well of the House floor. Up until this point, I still wasn’t sure what was happening outside the chamber and whether we were at serious risk. There were rioters in the building, that much I knew. How many of them, or how great a threat they posed, it was impossible to tell. I looked around at my colleagues to see if they were as perplexed as I was, and besides, what were we supposed to do in an emergency? I suddenly wished I had been paying more attention at freshman orientation twenty years earlier.

Sensing our confusion, the officer continued: “Be prepared to don your mask in the event the room is breached.” He told us that we did not need to put the masks on yet, but tear gas was being deployed, so we should get them ready. “Be prepared to get down under your chairs if necessary. So, we have folks entering the Rotunda and coming down this way...Just be prepared. Stay calm.” I pulled a rectangular canvas pouch from under my seat and unzipped it. Inside was a strongly sealed plastic container with no obvious opening. I flipped it from side to side and upside down, trying to open the damned thing. Finally figuring it out, I helped the members around me open theirs, and we removed the plastic hoods. These hoods didn’t resemble the gas masks you see police wearing during a riot; instead, they were a large polyethylene bag that you pulled over your head, with a small motor attached to circulate and filter the air. As you removed the hood from its packaging, the motor began running, and suddenly there was a din of dozens of these hoods buzzing, which only added to the growing sense of alarm.

“When you put on the hood,” one of my colleagues and a former Marine, Ruben Gallego of Arizona, shouted, “breathe slowly.” Ruben was standing behind me, and he could see the panic spreading from member to member. “Take slow, steady breaths. Your impulse will be to hyperventilate, but you need to breathe slowly.” This was very helpful advice. I have a bit of claustrophobia, and the idea of pulling a bag over my head already had my pulse quickening. I resolved to wait until the last moment before I had to don the thing, since I wasn’t smelling tear gas, not yet. “Breathe slowly when you put it on,” Ruben intoned again, “or you will pass out. That is how people can die from wearing these.” Okay, that wasn’t so helpful.

“This is because of you!” yelled Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota from the gallery at Representative Paul Gosar, who had been at the microphone. “Shut up!” came the Republican reply. “Call Trump, tell him to call off his revolutionary guards,” screamed Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee. He was also in the gallery, above me and to the right, his face red with anger. Other members tried to settle things down and not allow the recriminations to spread, but Phillips wasn’t wrong. We were here for what should have been the ceremonial certification of the 2020 presidential election results, but instead we were now in danger. For months, GOP members of Congress had propagated the president’s big lie about the elections, and you could draw a direct line between those lies and the threat we all now faced. Because of the pandemic, Phillips, Cohen, and other members had been required to wait in the gallery before their chance to speak, and they were the most exposed. Down on the House floor, we could barricade ourselves in, but upstairs there are multiple doors to the gallery and little to prevent the rioters from entering.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Oct 6, 2021, 07:58 PM (3 replies)

Eric Boehlert: America isn't guaranteed a happy ending

America isn't guaranteed a happy ending
A failure of imagination
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago

The clarion calls of democratic doom are out there, but are newsrooms listening? Trump Republicans are methodically and unapologetically out to derail American democracy, yet there remains a working media assumption that it can’t happen here.

“I'm astonished that more people don't see, or can't face, America's existential crisis,” Hillary Clinton warned this week. She fears “our democracy will [soon] be broken and taken over and minority rule will be what we live under. The norm.”

Appearing on MSNBC, Republican Trump critic Stuart Stevens pleaded his succinct case: “My plea to Democrats would be to just understand what is at stake here. The problem King George had was he couldn’t imagine the creation of an American democracy, and we suffer from the same problem. We can`t imagine the ending of American democracy, but it can happen.”

And writing in the Washington Post, foreign affairs author Robert Kagan warned, “The amateurish “stop the steal” efforts of 2020 have given way to an organized nationwide campaign to ensure that Trump and his supporters will have the control over state and local election officials that they lacked in 2020.”

That’s the key — in the weeks following Trump’s defeat, he and his crooked allies utilized an ad hoc, Hail Mary approach to try to steal back the White House. After he failed, instead of the Republican Party recoiling from the idea of trying to throw out millions of legitimate votes, the GOP set out to create a backstop in states around the country that would codify the next attempt by Republicans to throw out millions of legitimate votes.

Today, Trump and his followers are using lawsuits, legislation, and terroristic threats to curtail the right to vote. It’s all being done in plain sight, yet there remains a stubborn newsroom assumption that American democracy cannot be systematically steamrolled.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Oct 6, 2021, 08:23 AM (13 replies)

To Infect and Serve


The American Prospect
To Infect and Serve
by Harold Meyerson
October 5, 2021

Real men, apparently, don’t get shots. Well, OK, I’ll concede that before they’re sent into harm’s way, the Marines and Special Forces become human dartboards, shot full of multiple serums to ward off the viruses and infections that could befall them in distant climes. But the cops? The firefighters? The EMTs? For tough guys like them, that’s sissy stuff. Elitist stuff. Democratic Party stuff. PC stuff. No friggin’ way.

As local governments struggle to protect their frontline workers and the public those workers routinely encounter, it’s the public-safety employees who’ve been most resistant to public safety. In New York, for instance, 74 percent of city residents have been fully vaccinated, according to figures compiled by The Washington Post, while only 62 percent of police department workers have braved the needles.

It’s not as if cops are magically immune to COVID. On the contrary: According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 182 police officers succumbed to the virus last year, which is more than the combined total of those who died by gun violence or vehicle crashes. So far this year, the total is 133.

Cops, firefighters, and EMTs are mainly working-class men, prey to the same distempers that are disproportionately pushing that cohort into an enraged right-wing fantasyland. Some of that can be ascribed to bigotry, some to a sense of displacement in a new economy where manual labor matters less and less, some to the partial overthrow of traditional hierarchies in which their place on the social totem pole was higher than it is now. Some can also be ascribed to the wraparound world of far-right media, both traditional and social, which tells them that they’re under assault from liberal overlords and uppity underlings—a sense of assault that police departments warn their cops they’re prey to every waking moment.

There’s always been a number, apparently irreducible, of cops who like to think of themselves as dangerous guys. Today, some of them are just by breathing near you.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Oct 6, 2021, 07:23 AM (0 replies)
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