Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Agony of Stupidity...Republicans and the 2020 Election

 

Some wingnut math teacher from Ohio by the name of Douglas Frank, with a Texas flag print bow tie, uses the National Anthem to rev up a crowd of double-digit Republicans to listen to his ridiculous, absurd mathematical equation that he claims proves the 2020 election was stolen. Here's the scenario...
"Just about every county in the country was hacked," Frank told the dozens of Texans huddled in a ballroom at a local country club on Sunday. When he finished speaking more than 90 minutes later, they gave him a standing ovation.

The fact that absolutely no evidence of fraud in the 2020 election has been found. and we know of hundreds of attempts by the GOP to find just the least amount of indication there was tampering. Zip...Nada. But does that satisfy these idiots? No, they are hell-bent on coming up with the answer that Donald Trump did in fact win the election. And this mathematical moron is just another example of how this gang of imbeciles is willing to believe anything that will prove that.

And guess who is backing Frank? None other than Mike Lindell, the My Pillow

CEO, another crackpot spewing misinformation on the election and Donald Trump. Lindell brags "he has already spent $25 million on his efforts to push election fraud claims." Listen to how Frank justifies his crap reported by CNN...
"In an interview, Frank told CNN that he is an "expert witness" for Lindell's attorney, and he is paid for specific projects. He said groups that invite him to speak cover the cost of his travel and lodging. Others donate money to support his efforts. Still, Frank insisted he wasn't motivated by money or his newfound stardom among election deniers."
"My goal is to be able to pay my bills, and it's working," Frank said. "I've been able to do this a year now and my bank balance isn't getting smaller."

I'll bet it isn't. But apparently Frank's use of the "sixth order polynomial" equation is the key to his claimed success. I looked that up and here is the definition...

"In algebra, a sextic (or hexic) polynomial is a polynomial of degree six. A sextic equation is a polynomial equation of degree six—that is, an equation whose left hand side is a sextic polynomial and whose right hand side is zero."

The only thing I get from this is the "right hand side is zero," which would be an indication of the Republican lack of credibility in all this bullshit. Okay, how the hell can you people believe this garbage? I know you are from Texas and anyone who would elect Greg Abbott governor is likely to believe just about anything, but come on folks. Here is CNN's take on Frank's math...
"The equation may be better suited to math wonks, but Frank takes liberties in his presentation with snappy lines that succinctly -- and inaccurately -- describe his findings."

 Here are some comments from Frank...

"America was stolen by an Excel spreadsheet," he told the crowd at a North Carolina event.

In Idaho, he explained his theory on phantom voters: "They are inflating our registration rolls, stuffing phantom ballots and then cleaning it up afterwards. It's that simple."

He has even absurdly claimed his discoveries could land Trump back in the Oval Office.

You wonder how long America can take this hogwash? Apparently as long as this slice of the obtuse political spectrum is at work spreading this kind of fake news and the bigger slice in this country lets them get away with it. We have let this movement get away from us and we will be sorry if it isn't stopped now.

 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

42% of Republicans Lie About Fake News

 

There is no doubt when you mention fake news, the first thing that comes to mind is the Fox Network. Blabbermouths like Tucker Carlson who even admitted recently that he lied and spewed misinformation. But Fox isn't the only culprit and Politico proclaims One Group of Americans Who Are Most Likely to Spread Fake News is low-conscientiousness conservatives. The research of two Duke U. professors says we oversimplify blame, generally placing it all on republicans.

In this case Politico is zeroing in on this profile saying...

"it’s not conservatives in general who tend to promote false information, but rather a smaller subset of them who also share two psychological traits: low levels of conscientiousness and an appetite for chaos. Importantly, we found that several other factors we tested for — including support for former President Donald Trump — did not reliably predict an inclination to share misinformation."

If not primarily Donald Trump supporters, who? The piece says "researchers, social media platforms, politicians and members of the media to focus their efforts on low-conscientiousness conservatives (LCCs for short) in particular." On the other hand, you can't beat these conservatives over the head with the fact they are using fake news. And here's why...

"To be clear, existing research has found that conservatives have a greater tendency toward misinformation than liberals do. For example, during the 2016 election, individuals who leaned conservative were more likely to engage with and share disinformation on Twitter and Facebook. Likewise, in the early months of the pandemic, conservatives were more likely to believe Covid-19 was a hoax, and to downplay the virus’" severity.

Nearly Half Of Republicans Admit To Lying About Fake News...


In other words, Republican conservatives are more gullible than liberals, which would indicate to me a higher level if intelligence in the latter. Here's the authors' definition of low-conscientiousness conservatives...

"the tendency to regulate one’s own behavior by being less impulsive and more orderly, diligent and prudent."

What this means to me is that this gang of anti-Americans are able to ignore their principles, that is, if they have any, and discipline themselves to complete a cause, no matter how bizarre or illegal it might be. Highly conscientious conservatives and their liberal counterparts are much less likely to succumb. So what does drive LCCs to spread misinformation? The researchers...

"asked participants to report their leanings on a range of potential influences: level of support for Trump, time spent on social media, distrust of the mainstream media, and endorsement of conservative social and economic values. To our surprise, none of these factors was a reliable predictor of LCCs’ elevated tendency to share false news stories."

Through a statistical analysis it was found that this bunch simply wanted chaos.

That sound familiar from Moscow Mitch McConnell and the fellow GOP not producing any agenda on the right, rather creating discord throughout the country to thwart anything the Democrats do? This is the tragedy of why the United States is in such great trouble with the Covid-19 pandemic, voting rights, racism, inequality and more.

You can blame it on Joe Biden all you want to but this research proves exactly where the buck has stopped.

I urge you to read this article because I have only touched on the surface of low-conscientiousness conservatives.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis Destroyed by Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom

 

With Florida's demented governor, Ron DeSantis, spewing bullshit over his new budget and his recent "successes," California governor Gavin Newsom stepped up to the plate and ripped him to pieces...

"They're [DeSantis, Abbott, etc.] performance artists, some of these people,” the governor snapped. “All you have to do is watch Fox and then just decide to plug in. I mean, it's about the easiest thing I've seen in politics. It's just, ‘What's the ticker on Fox primetime?’”

“With respect, we'd have 40,000 more Californians dead if we took [DeSantis's] approach,” Newsom continued.

“I do not look for inspiration to that particular governor … to not only the pandemic, but to other policy, including the absurdity that was his ‘woke’ initiative and the laughability around stopping something that doesn't exist, around critical race theory — just playing in and placating the right-wing punditry. It’s the CPAC primary. It’s rather absurd. And that's why I respectfully submit that so much of this is pure performance.

What is most frightening is the fact that this moron, and I am talking about

DeSantis, wants to run for president. We've just had one Republican imbecile in the White House, and this country cannot stand another one. 'But wait,' as the TV commercial says, there's more. Nikki Fried, who has served as the 12th Florida commissioner of agriculture since 2019, a Democrat, has repeatedly criticized Ron DeSantis comparing him to Adolph Hitler on several occasions.

According to Florida Politics, Fried believes that Donald Trump is now officially after DeSantis...

"Fried thinks the booster shot back-and-forth is only the beginning of issues between the Governor and his erstwhile political patron. In Jacksonville Thursday for gubernatorial campaign events, Fried predicted the former President would complicate DeSantis’ re-election prospects, potentially trying to “destroy” the Governor."

DeSantis' term as Florida's governor ends this year, meaning, if he at least wants to hang on to the top spot in the sunshine state, he has to run in November. But if he is serious about the presidency, he has to throw his hat in the ring now. Fried says...

“What I think is going to happen is we all know President Trump wants to run for President again, and so does Gov. DeSantis. And so you’re going to have two individuals that are going to hit heads.”

There's more...

“And Trump is not somebody who’s going to sit back. He created DeSantis. And he fundamentally believes that he can destroy DeSantis.”

 Gov. Gavin Newsom Compares CA & FL COVID Response...


But it is entirely possible that someone like Gavin Newsom will do the job before Trump has the chance. While DeSantis talks of putting a band aid on Florida's problems (Florida has had a total of 5,039,887 Covid-19 cases, 63,084 deaths), both 3rd highest in U.S., Newsom shows how it's done in California...

"Making use of a massive budget surplus, Newsom also proposed spending another $2 billion to address his state’s homelessness crisis (on top of the $12 billion in last year’s budget); investing $22.5 billion over the next five years to fight climate change; paying health care expenses for every low-income adult in the state regardless of their immigration status; and devoting $102 billion to help schools deal with the ongoing pandemic and expand early childhood education and child care programs."

With plans like this, people have a tendency to listen to the positive and to success. But California does have its coronavirus problems with 6,635,535 cases of the virus and 77,928 deaths. The huge difference is that Gavin Newsom is using

proven scientific protocol to fight Covid-19, not the fake science used by Ron DeSantis. Florida Politics reports...
Trump has predicted that if he runs for President again, DeSantis will not run. But DeSantis has not promised he will not run for President, apparently irking Trump. Instead, DeSantis has tended to deflect the question.

So when will the showdown occur, and most of all, who will come out on top and who will end up all bloodied? 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Recollections of U.S Racism

 

Today is Martin Luther King Day, the same date in 1968 King was asasinated standing on a balcony outside his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. I lived in Memphis for several years in the 50s and 60s, know where the Lorraine motel is, and know how racism must have been festering in the South on that date. It still is, and isn't just in that part of the country. But now, because Covid-19 origiginated in China, the bigots are afrer Asians. 

It would be nice if we could celebrate some progress today, but, unfortunately, it has gotten much worse, thanks in part to Donald Trump.s four years in the White House. My post of August in 1999 dociments the antics of some of the worst offenders: "Racism at its worst in the U.S.today documented." I called these incidents, "Horrifying examples of racism in the United States." I am appalled at the face of one woman and the finger of the other.

Here's one I posted in 2012, commenting on racism in the state of Mississippi, "At best, Mississippi is an apologetic racist state." I spent time in the state, once lived there, but mostly in the late 50s and 60s in a sales position and remember blatant use of the "N" word. Here's an excerpt from that post...

To say that racism is no longer prevalent in the South is pure bunk. But this problem isn’t confined to the Southeast region. I now live in Arizona and can attest to the fact that this state is one the most racist I have ever been in. The modern take on racism has moved into the 21st Century to include Hispanics, and racial fanatics like former Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce who authored anti-immigration bill SB-1070, signed by his partner in prejudice, Gov. Jan Brewer.

I live in Arizona and can verify regular bigotry still exists here. Just recently the

pro-basketable team Phoenix Suns were accused of racism targering the owner Bob Sarver and his wife. Another 2019 post is a "Welcome to rampant racism for the ages," which covers the global aspects of this discrimination. Here's a passage from that post...

The U.S. doesn't have an exclusive on racism; it is worldwide, says the site Global Issues. It also suggests an interesting concept that racism is a "misunderstanding of Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution." It goes on...

Since the above is pretty lengthy, please read it in the blog. And another on 2017, "Donald Trump-Jeff Sessions share history of racism." I recall here a quote used repeatedly by Trump while still in office, "[I'm] the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered?" You know what happened between Trump and Sessions. And here is another post where I ask, "Is racism still a dirty word, or...just accepted today?" The answer is an unequivocal YES! Hre's how I start the post...

My take is that it is definitely a dirty word, even many racists would agree with that, but it is like one of those rogue genes that are the basis for a particular kind of behavior which allows those who have it to justify what they do. I grew up in the South, fighting with racists all my life, even within my own family, and when I finally left in the 1960s, there were still lynchings of black people, their houses being burned to the ground, all orchestrated by the Ku Klux Klan.

As a very young man, I once watched a Klan lynching, hidden behind bushes since I knew I cold be next if they saw me. I was with two other kids my age, friends until I witnessed them chortling to themselves in support of what was going on. It is my feeling that this illegal racist execution is what solidified my hatred of racism. It has never changed. These are a few of my blog posts on racism, but you can see all of them here.


 

 


Friday, January 14, 2022

The Republican Party and its Antics Stink

 

That's right! The Republican Party has a distinctive stench that has been building for the last several years and threatens to develop into a full blown putrid, rancid, rotting cult of denial and incompetence. And they are determined to take democracy down with their ineptitude. CNN says that it is, "The biggest news story of 2021? Our imperiled democracy," with this comment...
"The headlines began in January with the first serious attempted coup in US history and have been running ever since, highlighted by the unceasing machinations by supporters of Donald Trump to either restore him to office or find some extra-legal way to eliminate the possibility he could ever lose if he ran again."

In this piece, Bill Carter, a media analyst for CNN, points out that, even with a raging coronavirus pandemic, "our imperiled democracy is the biggest story of the year." Considering the impact of Covid-19 with 64,789,362 U.S. cases and 868,128 deaths, this statement should scare the hell out of any American that cares about the future of their country. Carter comments further...

"I certainly don't believe I have seen any other news story in my own lifetime, which goes back to the 1950s, that has shaken the nation to its foundations as this one has."

Former President Barack Obama says, "Democracy is at a greater risk today," adding...

“while the broken windows have been repaired and many of the rioters have been brought to justice, the truth is that our democracy is at a greater risk today than it was back then.”

Former Pres. Obama warned about democracy's loss a year ago...


In other words, we, as a nation, learned absolutely nothing from a gang of Trump Republican double-digit hoodlums attacking the U.S. Capitol, doing damage to the premises and making the first real charge on our democracy in years. There are those who support this kind of insurgency, those who don't, and then there are the apathetics. It seems the latter is a growing majority, the ones who stay at home for elections, then bitch and moan when they don't like the results.

Obama puts it all in perspective by chastising the GOP, going all the way down to state legislatures...

“Historically, Americans have been defenders of democracy and freedom around the world — especially when it’s under attack,” he continued. “But we can’t serve the role when leading figures in one of our two major political parties are actively undermining democracy at home. We can’t set an example when our leaders are willing to fabricate lies and cast doubt on the results of free and fair elections.”

CNN's Jake Tapper says, "Americans aren't hearing the 'democracy in danger' alarm," and I believe he would agree that those who have are not doing enough. But the warnings are there...

There is "a dagger at the throat of democracy," President Joe Biden said

 

Thursday.
The country "teeters on the brink of a widening abyss," former President Jimmy Carter.

In her remarks Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris put the January 6 insurrection alongside Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as a wake-up call for Americans.

And here's another important point of view, "Majority of business leaders believe democracy is threatened," a faction that the GOP should be listening to. Karl Evers-Hillstrom of The Hill says...

"Seventy-two percent of business leaders say they are concerned that U.S. democracy is under threat, according to a Morning Consult poll of 400 company executives released on the one-year anniversary of the Capitol riot."

That is significant and a group that President Biden should tap into to support his voting rights legislation. Here's the scenario...

“This research clearly shows that the leaders in America’s business community view democracy and voting rights as an economic issue,” said Rhett Buttle, founder of Public Private Strategies. “Now, it is important that advocates, policymakers, and leaders in Congress and the administration engage the business community to advance solutions that will stabilize our democracy and protect access to the ballot for every voter.”

Joe Biden's voting rights legislation hangs with barely a thread and it would appear he does not have the votes to save it. When you think of it, the right to vote is so basic under our Constitution...the way in which individuals express their political preferences. Then ask yourself, why do Republicans want to deny the right to vote for a selected few? The answer, of course, is that they lose elections when these select individuals are allowed to vote. Keep this in mind when voting in November.

 

     








    Thursday, January 13, 2022

    Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to health workers...'Shut up and save us.'

     

    E.J. Montini, local Phoenix columnist, strikes again, and as before, he castigates the current governor-thank God! only one more year-Doug (the DUD) Ducey for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in Arizona. In his recent State of the State address, Ducey's emphasis was on education and border security, each of which is important, but this idiot ignored the state's 1.5 million Covid-19 cases, and 25,000 deaths. Basically, his reaction,"Shut up and save us."

    Montini's response...

    If I was one of them I’d be tempted to respond, “Fine, then save yourselves … jerks.”

    If I was one of them, I would organize state healthcare providers and come up with a recall petition to dump this moron in disgrace before the end of his last year. More than "1,000 physicians, nurses, caregivers and others have signed an open letter to Gov. Doug Ducey, health care leaders and state and county officials asking for immediate action to help combat the latest omicron surge of COVID-19 cases in Arizona," according to the Arizona Republic.

    Here is an excerpt from the letter...

    “Our healthcare workforce is suffering from moral injury and burnout from the sustained onslaught that wave after wave of COVID has had on us, our families, and our communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is running unmitigated throughout the state and is straining our hospitals and affecting patient standards of care. Our current situation is unsustainable.”

    "Unsustainable," should ring bells and send up flags all over the governor's office.


    So, one must assume that Ducey's aides are as stupid as he is? Two top aides left last August, his Chief of Staff, and Deputy Chief of Staff, to take jobs in Washington and Arkansas. The COS is a key position for any politician and you have to wonder if what little brains Ducey had...left with them. The letter also clearly states healthcare workers are suffering from moral injury and burnout.

    Here's the scenario...
    "The group is asking Ducey, lawmakers and other officials to implement indoor mask requirements, increase access to COVID-19 testing, provide free, high-quality masks to the public and increase funding for air filtration systems in schools and businesses. And they want a safer workplace for themselves.

    "They’re asking us this collectively, and they’re asking it individually. You can see some of their stories online."
    Recognize CDC protocol? Wearing a mask indoors, increase COVID-19 testing, increase funding for air filtration systems in schools and businesses. This doesn't sound unreasonable to me and these moves could help suppress future outbreaks of the virus. Phoenix-based Dr. Christina Bergin is one of the letter signers and had this to say on her Twitter account...
    “We are the ones seeing the devastation of this pandemic day in & day out. We know the realities of working in the hospital and in outpatient settings right now … And that earlier thread didn’t even get into single rooms turned into double rooms, or physicians trying desperately to find beds for critically ill patients but not being able to find any. And it didn’t address the deep moral injury that comes from seeing so much death … .”
    Montini wraps it all up with nurses on the frontline begging for help with both Covid cases and deaths soaring. The totally obtuse Ducey chose to ignore all of the above in his State of the State address. But even after all this Montini notes that none of the healthcare workers said, “Fine, then save yourselves, jerks.” They have an oath they keep, which they do. Politicians have one too, but do not keep it.

    I would like to thank E.J. Montini for his excellent commentary, which provided the substance for this blog post.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2022

    Doctors Venting Misinformation Guilty of Malpractice?

     

    NBC says "doctors spreading lies are facing almost no consequences for what they’re doing." You've heard it before...you should be honest with your doctor so he or she can provide you with the best medical treatment. And, the Hippocratic Oath demands as much of physicians. You trust the doc, so, if they go online and come up with some disinformation for either attention or for profit, some will believe it, no matter how false or bizarre. It's happening every day on the Internet.

    The Associated Press reports that 70% of Americans trust doctors "according to the poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research." This is bipartisan among Democrats and Republicans; as well as equal among men and women; and white, Black and Hispanic Americans. In addition, nurses are trusted 79%, pharmacists 75%, but hospital executives only 22%.

    NBC's opinion piece, THINK, continues...
    "But a vocal minority of doctors are undermining this relationship and taking advantage of the public’s trust by intentionally spreading Covid misinformation and disinformation."

    And here's how...

    "From making false claims about vaccines to offering to sign medically unnecessary mask exemptions in exchange for payment, these “disinformation doctors” are amplifying lies and often profiting from a cottage industry of social media posts, websites, live and virtual conferences and podcasts."

    ‘I think you’re crazy’: CNN reporter confronts doctor spreading Covid-19 lies...


    This is scary as hell since it is obvious that some of this misinformation must have resulted in deaths. And that is why physicians who do this must be held accountable. Have you heard this one?...

    "Across the country, physicians have falsely claimed that Covid vaccines change people’s DNA, that the vaccines have been proved ineffective at preventing Covid and that the vaccine has killed more people than the disease itself."
    One must wonder why those poor souls out there who believe this crap don't take the time to check it out. But, the fact that they don't is what these bogus physicians depend on. And the worst part is...

    "these doctors are facing almost no consequences for what they’re doing. Data shows that nearly every state medical board — the state-sanctioned government agencies with the authority to license, investigate, discipline and regulate medical doctors — is failing to hold these doctors accountable."

    They stick together and protect each other. Bet you have been in the position where

    you criticized one doctor to another and the doctor you are talking to makes excuses for a colleague, just because they are another doctor. There have been warnings from the Federation of State Medical Boards, which represents the nation's 71 state medical boards. Here's the scenario...
    “Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards,” including having their licenses suspended or even revoked. In December, the federation shared survey findings showing that two-thirds of state medical boards had seen an increase in complaints “related to licensee dissemination of false or misleading information.”

    Here are the results...

    only 12 of the boards — just 17 percent — reported taking disciplinary action against those disseminating false or misleading information.

    The figure of 17% is abysmal and just proves doctors are bound together to protect each other, which puts patients in a precarious position, in some cases a life or death situation. So what do you do? You've heard the age-old phrase, 'If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.' Take a minute to check out what you hear, especially from the Internet, and report anything that looks fraudulent. It could save your life, as well as others. 

    The Agony of Stupidity...Republicans and the 2020 Election

      Some wingnut math teacher from Ohio by the name of Douglas Frank, with a Texas flag print bow tie, uses the National Anthem to rev up a cr...