The political media has for far too long been fixated on reporting on transitory opinion polls and comically extrapolating from a snapshot in time their prognostication for the next election more than a year, or even three years in the future. This is simply horse shit reporting to which you should pay no attention. Pros know that “a week is a lifetime in politics,” and anything can happen. You may as well consult your magic 8 ball for all this is worth.
For the past several weeks these horse shit political media reporters have been doomsaying President Biden over poll numbers that show the public has grown weary with the Covid-19 pandemic, what they have labeled “Coronavirus fatigue.” (Thank God today’s Americans were not around during World War II, or we would all be living under the Third Reich, because these narcissists grew weary of the war effort and making sacrifices. “No personal sacrifice or rationing of consumer goods for the war effort for me!“)
These polls show a segment of the public is blaming President Biden for “Coronavirus fatigue.” No doubt these poll respondents are probably the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who are responsible for the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” summer surge of the Delta variant because they are too damn selfish and too damn stupid to get vaccinated and take reasonable safety precautions for themselves and others. This has become a nihilistic political cult, the Trump Death Cult, on the political right.
Walter Sobchak in the “Big Lebowski” showed us how to deal with such nihilists. “These men are cowards… show me what you got, nihilists.” (NSFW video).
President Biden’s approval rating was 9.7 points higher than his disapproval rating on July 1. Now it’s 4.7 points lower. There are a lot of reasons for the decline in his popularity, ranging from the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan to rising inflation fears. But the problem that has probably done more than any other to dent his popularity is covid-19. Public approval of Biden’s handling of the pandemic has fallen by more than 10 points since July 1.
[It] is deeply unfair to blame the president for the recent covid surge (now waning). He has done an excellent job of dealing with the pandemic despite incessant criticism and outrageous obstructionism from the right.
[I]nstead of assuring the public that the pandemic would miraculously disappear on its own or pushing snake-oil therapies, as his predecessor did, Biden responded to the new crisis with much-needed federal action. On Sept. 9, he announced new mandates requiring vaccinations for the federal workforce, workers in medical facilities that accept federal funding, and (with a testing opt out) all employees of companies with more than 100 workers. (Blue states such as California and New York also imposed their own vaccine requirements.) He still didn’t go quite as far as I would have liked — he needs to impose a vaccination requirement for airline or train travel — but he went further than many had expected. It was a bold and gutsy move in light of the predictable political blowback.
The response from Republicans was hysterical and hyperbolic. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) screamed on Twitter, “NO VACCINE MANDATES,” and Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) condemned the mandates as “authoritarian.” A dozen Republican governors have signed legislation prohibiting coronavirus vaccine mandates in their states. Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas is now trying to forbid even private companies from enforcing vaccine requirements. So much for GOP devotion to the free market.
Meanwhile, Fox “News” Channel undermines the vaccine effort daily. Fox’s anchors — most of whom are vaccinated themselves — elevate backward vaccine resisters such as basketball star Kyrie Irving to the status of folk heroes. Predictably, Fox used Colin Powell’s death from covid to trash vaccines, even though his immune system had been compromised by cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Yet, despite this infuriating right-wing sabotage, the tide is turning. Between Sept. 9 and Oct. 18, the average number of daily vaccinations increased 26 percent while the average number of new cases fell 43 percent. This isn’t all because of the mandates, but they certainly helped.
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Biden gambled with vaccine mandates — and that gamble is now paying off. Our coronavirus vaccination rate is still too low, and our covid death rate is still too high compared with those of other Western countries, but that’s hardly his fault. Blame Republicans: Only 58 percent of them are vaccinated, compared with 90 percent of Democrats.
There’s not much Biden can do about masochistic right-wingers such as radio host Dennis Prager, who says he deliberately became infected with covid-19 to develop “natural immunity.” But the president is doing almost everything within his power to combat the pandemic — and his efforts are paying off.
The Trump Death Cult is not just nihilistic, it borders on sociopathy. I have been making the case that Trump Death Cult governors are criminally negligent, and they rightfully should be charged with negligent homicide on a “mass murder” scale.
Donald Trump’s authoritarian despot mini-me in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, is now facing just such a scenario. Senate report urges charging Brazil’s leader over pandemic:
A Brazilian Senate report recommended Wednesday pursuing crimes against humanity and other charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for allegedly bungling Brazil’s response to COVID-19 and contributing to the country having the world’s second-highest pandemic death toll.
In a nearly 1,200-page report based on the committee’s work, Calheiros called for Bolsonaro’s indictment on charges ranging from charlatanism and inciting crime to misuse of public funds and crimes against humanity.
By insisting on so-called early treatment drugs like the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine as “practically the only government policy to fight the pandemic,” the report states, “Jair Bolsonaro strongly collaborated for COVID-19′s spread in Brazilian territory and, as such, showed himself to be the main person responsible for the errors committed by the federal government during the pandemic.”
[T]he office of Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras said in a statement that the report would be carefully analyzed once it’s received. Analysts said it was unclear if Aras would charge the president even if there are legal grounds to do so, and that the report was far more likely to hamper Bolsonaro’s push for reelection in 2022 than make him a defendant in a courtroom.
In addition to Bolsonaro, the report recommends charges for current and former members of his administration, dozens of allies, the president’s three sons who are politicians and two companies.
The committee “collected evidence that abundantly demonstrated that the federal government was silent and chose to act in a non-technical and reckless manner,” the report states.
[R]egardless of whether the report leads to charges, it is expected to fuel criticism of the divisive president, whose approval ratings have slumped ahead of his 2022 reelection campaign. The investigation itself has for months provided a drumbeat of damaging allegations.
UPDATE 10/27/21: The Associated Press reports, Brazil senators recommend Bolsonaro face charges over COVID:
A Brazilian Senate committee recommended on Tuesday that President Jair Bolsonaro face a series of criminal indictments for actions and omissions related to the world’s second highest COVID-19 death toll.
The 7-to-4 vote was the culmination of a six-month committee investigation of the government’s handling of the pandemic. It formally approved a report calling for prosecutors to try Bolsonaro on charges ranging from charlatanism and inciting crime to misuse of public funds and crimes against humanity, and in doing so hold him responsible for many of Brazil’s more than 600,000 COVID-19 deaths.
[The report’s author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, first presented the nearly 1,200-page document last week. It says that by insisting on treatment with the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as “practically the only government policy to fight the pandemic, Jair Bolsonaro strongly collaborated for COVID-19′s spread in Brazilian territory” and as a result is “the main person responsible for the errors committed by the federal government during the pandemic.”]
The president has denied wrongdoing, and the decision on whether to file most of the charges will be up to Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras, a Bolsonaro appointee [stooge] who is widely viewed as protecting him. The allegation of crimes against humanity would need to be pursued by the International Criminal Court.
[R]egardless of whether charges are filed, the report is expected to fuel criticism of the divisive president, whose approval ratings have slumped ahead of his 2022 reelection campaign — in large part because of Brazil’s outsize COVID-19 death toll. The investigation itself has for months provided a drumbeat of damaging allegations.
[C]hanges include recommending charges for 13 additional people, many of them current or former Health Ministry employees, as well as the governor of hard-hit Amazonas state. The final report recommends charges against two companies and 78 people in all, including Bolsonaro, administration officials, dozens of allies and the president’s three sons, who are politicians.
We won’t see this in the U.S., unfortunately. Being a politician gives you a “license to kill” because we define anything a politician does as a political question. The right-wing whines “don’t criminalize politics!,” as they literally kill hundreds of thousands of their fellow American citizens with their criminally negligent nihilistic Trump Death Cult. This is a failure of our commitment to the rule of law to hold politicians accountable at law.
It is why our criminally negligent Trump Death Cult Governor Doug Ducey is unlikely to ever face any legal consequences for his spectacular mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in Arizona, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths in Arizona.
The results in our report are tragic. This 'excess mortality' represents lives that were unnecessarily lost…. lives that could have been saved if we had only had a thoughtful governor and health director during this pandemic 😔https://t.co/hVyj4dWhEc
— Will Humble (@willhumble_az) October 20, 2021
Why are we not making a serious attempt to hold people criminally liable when their actions lead to unnecessary and preventable loss of life? Brazil Senate says Pres. Bolsonaro should be charged with crimes against humanity. Brazil lost 600,000. US 700,000. Arizona over 20,000
— Richard Strand MD (@md_strand) October 21, 2021
The Arizona Mirror reports, Ducey among governors targeted in new ad campaign for ‘anti-science’ COVID policies:
A political action committee that aims to elect candidates with backgrounds in science and engineering is spending $10 million against [Trump Death Cult] Republican governors and gubernatorial candidates in six states who back “anti-science” COVID-19 policies, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
“We are going to hold Governor Ducey accountable on a number of anti-science measures,” Joshua Morrow, executive director of 314 Action, told the Arizona Mirror. “We are going to become very good friends.”
The first set of ads specifically target the violent rhetoric that has been seen in Arizona and across the country at school board meetings related to mask mandates aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
Arizona was at the forefront of the issue with one of the first major incidents occurring in the state in the small Southern Arizona town of Vail. The protest would lead to further protests across the state and changes to how school boards operated. Now the FBI has even begun to investigate threats made to school board members across the country as school board protests continue.
314 Action is planning to make this issue part of their current campaign, which highlights Ducey’s silence on the issue along with governors and gubernatorial candidates in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa and Virginia.
Ducey signed a law earlier this year barring school districts from enacting mask mandateson students, staff and visitors, but a judge last month ruled the law was unconstitutional. Ducey and the state are appealing the ruling.
Our Arizona authoritarian Trump Death Cult governor now contends the City of Tucson violated state law and his executive order when it mandated that employees be vaccinated or lose their jobs … that would be the same law that the court ruled was unconstitutional, so not actually a thing. Gov. Ducey: Tucson employee-vaccination rule illegal.
The governor has fought with advocates for masking in schools and has also recently taken heat from the administration of President Joe Biden for his stance on masks due to a grant program that gives COVID-19 federal funds to schools that don’t have mask mandates.
The Treasury Department ordered Ducey to stop the program saying it was not a “permissible use” of the federal monies, the state still has time to respond to the Treasury Department’s order.
The video ad will be played on Facebook, local news and other digital platforms, and 314 Action says it is targeting “college-educated Republicans” who disliked the messaging of “Trump-era” politics, Morrow said.
Morrow admitted that Arizona does have a population that tends to lean more into anti-science beliefs, but said 314 Action’s aim is to continue to target the “Romney/Clinton coalition” that came together after Trump’s 2016 election that swung the state blue in 2020.
“The next time (Ducey) goes to a country club or sits on the board of a company, we want the people around him to know where he stood on this issue,” Morrow said.
Morrow would not say how much of the $10 million will be spent in Arizona.