Monday, November 8, 2021

Last Call For The Vax Of Life, Con't

The GOP's anti-vaccine disinformation campaign over the last year has worked better than anyone could have imagined, and it's killing tens of thousands of red state Americans a month.
Whatever one’s views on the appropriateness of vaccine or mask mandates or other coronavirus-related policies, one fact about those debates is incontrovertible: Misinformation is very disproportionately a problem on one side — the right

A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation lays that bare better than anything before it. But even the overall numbers might undersell the fundamental problems involved.

Kaiser runs great monthly tracking polls on the virus and related issues, and its most recent asked about false and unproven claims that have permeated the past year or so.

Of the eight statements the poll tested, just 6 percent of Republicans believed each of them to be untrue, compared with 38 percent of Democrats. And 46 percent of Republicans either believed or were unsure about at least half of the claims, compared with just 14 percent of Democrats.

Importantly, that’s not the same as saying 46 percent of Republicans actually believed four or more false claims; the pollster included those who are unsure about the claims in the above numbers.

But even those overall numbers obscure just how ripe the right is for this kind of misinformation. The reason: In most cases, if you exclude Republicans who haven’t heard the claims and focus on just who is familiar with them, a majority of them actually believe the claims.

Kaiser shared additional details of its findings with The Fix. Among them:

  • 65 percent of Republicans say the government is exaggerating the death rate from the coronavirus, compared to just 4 percent of Republicans who have heard that claim and say it’s false. (In fact, the number of excess deaths compared with a normal year suggest the death rates are largely undersold.)
  • 28 percent of Republicans believe ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for the coronavirus, compared with 6 percent familiar with the claim who say it’s false. (Ivermectin remains unproven as a coronavirus treatment, with plenty of evidence that it’s not effective.)
  • 28 percent also believe the government is hiding vaccine-related deaths, compared with 8 percent who say it’s false. (There is no proof for this claim, which is generally based on open-source and unverified reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS.)
  • 18 percent say you can get the coronavirus from the vaccine, compared with 12 percent who say that’s false. (It is false.)

Indeed, of the eight claims tested, only two feature fewer Republicans who are familiar with the claim saying it was true than saying it was false. Those are: the idea that there are microchips in the vaccines and the idea that the vaccines change your DNA.

In the former case, just 7 percent of Republicans believe it’s true — the same percentage as among Democrats — compared with 40 percent who say it’s false. (About 21 percent of Republicans have heard the claim but are unsure about it.)

The idea that the vaccines change your DNA, which was recently stated by a speaker at one of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s news conferences (the Republican governor didn’t correct the speaker) is believed by 13 percent of Republicans and disbelieved by a similar number, 16 percent.

That more Republicans don’t believe these things seems to owe to the fact that many of them are simply unfamiliar with the claims in the first place — not necessarily that they have sought out reputable information.
The disinformation lock on Republican cultists who have been programmed to commit suicide is horrifying. We're seeing thousands die daily because they refused a safe vaccine, because they were told the vaccine would kill them.
It really is that simple.

These Disunited States, Con't

Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz is openly talking about the need for Texas t secede from the United States, once again proving that it's not just known House insurrectionist bomb throwing lunatics like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert who want another Civil War, but Senators like Cruz as well.
In a startling address to constituents, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently talked about controversial COVID-19 conspiracist Joe Rogan becoming the “president” of Texas if the state secedes from the union.

“I’m not there yet,” Cruz told an audience last month at Texas A&M University about Texas seceding from the United States — popularly known as “Texit.”

But “if there comes a point where it’s hopeless, then I think we take NASA, we take the military, we take the oil,” he said to loud applause.

Asked if he would also take Rogan, a Texan, Cruz responded: “Joe Rogan, he might be president of Texas!”

When Cruz was asked by a member of the audience about the possibility of seceding, he said he “understood the sentiment.” But he added that he wasn’t ready for it — yet.

“I’m not ready to give up on America. I love this country,” he said, again to applause.

For one thing, Cruz insisted, Texas has a “responsibility” to the nation because “right now it’s an amazing force keeping America from going off the cliff, keeping America grounded in the values that built this country.”

But he’s prepared to change his mind.

“Look, if the Democrats end the filibuster ... if they pack the Supreme Court, if they make D.C. a state, if they federalize elections and massively expand voter fraud,” which doesn’t exist, “it may become hopeless,” Cruz said. “We’re not there yet.”

But if it does become “hopeless,” that’s when the state should grab NASA, the military and the oil, he added
The Rogan idiocy aside, this is Cruz openly and publicly saying that if Democrats do constitutional things like get rid of the filibuster and make DC a state, he would want Texas to do a wildly unconstitutional thing like secede from the union. He is openly saying that Texas should illegally seize federal assets inside the state like NASA's Johnson Space Center...and the US military assets based in Texas.
The reality is that Republican voters in Red America no longer consider the rest of us to be Americans, and even to be human. They want no part of a union where they cannot be in permanent control. They would rather leave. They do not consider Democrats who live in these states to be Americans. They would rather eject them, or leave them behind.
Red America wants Blue America gone. Coexistence is rapidly becoming an untenable option. If Trump's cultists cannot be in charge, they'd rather burn the country down in violence and drown the streets in blood, folks.
We have Republican electeds at the federal level openly embracing secession rather than submit to election cycles of American politics. Not getting that permanent GOP control they were promised under Dubya and under Trump has turned increasingly to "other" solutions. Ten years ago that would have been a political outrage and a career-ender for Cruz. Now? 
It's par for the course, and he has millions of Texas Republicans in agreement. 
The rest of us in red states? I guess we're walking hostages, victims, collateral damage.

The coming violence is really inevitable.

Iraq Back In The News

Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an attempted drone strike assassination attempt as the post-US future of the Middle East continues to reshape itself in violence.

A drone targeted the residence of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Baghdad early Sunday, the army said, signaling a major escalation as Iran-linked groups contest the results of last month’s elections.

“I am fine,” Kadhimi posted in a message to Twitter, thanking God and calling for restraint. The military described the attack as a “failed assassination attempt” and said that security forces were taking the “necessary measures” to follow up.

The explosion, as well as follow-up gunfire, was heard throughout central Baghdad. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

A source close to Kadhimi said that several members of his security detail had suffered light injuries in Sunday’s attack, but they did not provide a full accounting of the damage.

The drone attack came hours after Iraqi supporters of Iran-linked militia groups held a funeral march for a man killed by security forces Friday when crowds tried to storm the Green Zone — which houses Iraqi government offices and Western embassies — from two sides.

More than 125 people were wounded in those clashes, most of them members of the security forces, as militia supporters decried Iraq’s Oct. 10 parliamentary elections as fraudulent.

Although broadly accepted as legitimate by international observers, the results have sparked growing tensions in the country. As populist cleric Shiite Moqtada al-Sadr emerged with the biggest share of the country’s parliamentary seats, the Iran-linked Fatah alliance saw its share cut by around two-thirds, despite winning the largest numbers of votes.

Iran-linked armed groups have been blamed for dozens of rocket and drone strikes on the Green Zone and other U.S.-linked military targets in recent years, with the pace often increasing during sensitive political moments.

Iraqi and U.S. officials have grown increasingly alarmed over the recent use of small fixed-wing drones that have evaded detection systems around military bases and diplomatic facilities. Military officials and diplomats say that the drones sometimes fly too low to be picked up by defensive systems.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack as “an apparent act of terrorism” and said it was in contact with the Iraqi security forces and had offered assistance in the investigation.

The spike in tensions here over the weekend followed indications that Sadr may be pushing ahead with the formation of a government that marginalizes Fatah. The Iran-backed alliance has lost popularity in Iraq in recent years, after its militias participated in the slaying of hundreds of young men and women who joined an anti-government uprising in 2019. The demonstrations began as a cry against corruption but swiftly morphed into a revolt against the entire political system.

Kadhimi came to power in May of last year, after those demonstrations toppled his predecessor Adel Abdul Mahdi. The Oct. 10 elections were held early as a concession to the demonstrators, but most Iraqis chose not to vote in the end, citing deep disillusionment in the possibility for elections to change what they see as a largely unaccountable political system forged in the wake of America’s 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Most analysts saw the attack as a warning to Mr. al-Kadhimi and his allies rather than as an assassination attempt. The prime minister has remained in power by balancing Iraqi relations between Iran and the United States, and he is seeking another term.

“What we’ve seen in the past is the use of violence, not necessarily to assassinate, but to warn that, ‘We’re here,’” said Renad Mansour, head of the Iraq Initiative at the think tank Chatham House. “I think this would also be a warning perhaps gone wrong because you can gain a bit more popularity and sympathy as the prime minister who survived an assassination attempt.”

The attack, though, significantly complicates efforts to form a government. Such efforts rely on forging alliances among parties, some of them with armed wings, to form the biggest bloc in Parliament.
So in other words, the use of violence to greatly impede the formation of a duly elected new government.
Now, in which country have we seen that performed in this year?


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