Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Yesterday I mentioned how Marcus Flowers, the Democrat running against Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia in November, had outraised Greene last quarter and I questioned what the point was in a R+28 district. I'm here in KY-4 and it's bad enough being in an R+20 district with Thomas Massie. Cook's PVI number for 2022 estimates that Greene's district is "only" just R+22 now since the redraw. The point is, getting MTG out of Congress isn't going to happen by election.

A federal judge cleared the way on Monday for a group of Georgia voters to move forward with legal efforts seeking to disqualify Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from running for re-election to Congress, citing her role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

The disqualification effort is based on a constitutional provision adopted after the Civil War that barred members of the Confederacy from holding office. It mirrors several other cases involving Republican members of Congress, whose roles leading up to and during the deadly riot have drawn intense criticism.

The judge, Amy Totenberg, who was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia by President Barack Obama, denied Ms. Greene’s request for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order in the high-profile legal feud.

Ms. Greene, 47, who is known for her unflinching loyalty to former President Donald J. Trump and for her clashes with Democrats, has steadfastly denied that she aided and engaged in the attack on the Capitol.

In the 73-page ruling, Judge Totenberg wrote that Ms. Greene had failed to meet the “burden of persuasion” in her request for injunctive relief, which she called an extraordinary and drastic remedy.

“This case involves a whirlpool of colliding constitutional interests of public import,” Judge Totenberg wrote. “The novelty of the factual and historical posture of this case — especially when assessed in the context of a preliminary injunction motion reviewed on a fast track — has made resolution of the complex legal issues at stake here particularly demanding.”

James Bopp Jr., a lawyer for Ms. Greene, said on Monday night that the ruling was flawed and minimized the adverse effect that the disqualification effort was having on Ms. Greene’s right to run for office.

“This is fundamentally antidemocratic,” Mr. Bopp said, maintaining that Ms. Greene had “publicly and vigorously condemned the attack on the Capitol.”

He called the effort to remove her from the ballot part of a well-funded nationwide effort to strip voters of their right to vote for candidates of their choice, with elections determined by “bureaucrats, judges, lawyers and clever legal arguments.”

In her request for an injunction, Ms. Greene argued that it would be impossible to fully resolve the case before Georgia holds its primary elections on May 24. Absentee ballots will start to be mailed on April 25, Ms. Greene’s motion said.

In the ruling, Judge Totenberg determined that Ms. Greene had failed to prove that there was a strong likelihood that she would prevail on the merits of her legal claims. A state administrative judge is scheduled to hear the case on Friday.
It's hard to see how Flowers would win still, but getting rid of Greene is still important. I know these days it's not hard to imagine her getting replaced by an even worse Republican, but maybe she gets replaced by a much better Democrat if she can't run at all.

We'll see.

Reading, Writing, 'Rithmatic and Returning Childhood Diseases

As expected, COVID anti-vax stupidity means routine vaccinations in red states for young children are plummeting as wide swaths of the US are setting themselves up for massive outbreaks of measles, polio, mumps, diphtheria and other diseases.

Kids aren’t getting caught up on routine shots they missed during the pandemic, and many vaccination proponents are pointing to Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy as a big reason why.

Public health experts, pediatricians, school nurses, immunization advocates and state officials in 10 states told POLITICO they are worried that an increasing number of families are projecting their attitudes toward the Covid-19 vaccine onto shots for measles, chickenpox, meningitis and other diseases.

That spillover of vaccine hesitancy may also be fueling an uptick in religious exemption requests from parents of school-aged children and is making it more difficult for states to catch up with children who missed immunizations during the pandemic’s early days when families skipped doctor’s appointments, they say.

That has pediatricians, school nurses and public health experts worried that preventable and possibly fatal childhood illnesses, once thought to be a thing of the past, could become more common.

“We just want to keep measles, polio, and all the things we vaccinate against out of the political arena,” said Hugo Scornik, a pediatrician and president of the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He was alarmed by the introduction of several bills in the state legislature in the last year to limit vaccinations, including one that would have ended immunization requirements in schools. Several states considered similar pieces of legislation that would have either removed or whittled away at school vaccination requirements, though none moved forward.

At the beginning of the pandemic, immunization rates for children plummeted. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saw a 15 percent drop from pre-pandemic levels in states’ orders for Vaccines for Children, the federal program through which about half the children in the country are immunized. In 2021, order levels were about 7 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to the CDC.

In Florida, where the surgeon general last month announced that healthy children may not benefit from Covid vaccines, 2-year-old routine rates for all immunizations in county-run facilities plummeted from 92.1 percent in 2019 to 79.3 percent in 2021.

In Tennessee, nearly 14 percent fewer vaccine doses were given to children under 2 in 2020 and 2021 than before the pandemic.

And in Idaho, the number of kids who received their first dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine by age 2 decreased from roughly 21,000 in 2018 and 2019 to 17,000 in 2021.

Immunization advocates say polarized attitudes toward the Covid-19 shot have made holding and promoting school-based immunization events harder as principals and school nurses navigate the fraught territory of building trust within their communities while encouraging vaccination. That’s making it more difficult for kids to get their shots even when their parents want them vaccinated.

Between 2010 and 2020, the last year for which national data is available, immunization rates in children under 3 for hepatitis B, polio, chickenpox and MMR hovered around 90 percent and were largely unchanged, while rates for the pneumonia and rotavirus vaccine increased significantly. Meanwhile, the percentage of children with no shots grew from 0.6 percent to 1 percent. The CDC is expected next week to release new data on national immunization rates for kindergartners in 2020-2021.

Parents who were hesitant to vaccinate their children before the pandemic have now been joined by people who think the government mishandled the crisis, see Covid-19 vaccine mandates as federal overreach, or are exposed to misinformation about childhood vaccinations, said Rupali Limaye, professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“You get a decline in trust towards your government, and people looking for other sources to inform their decision-making process,” she said. “So they go to social media, [where] misinformation is outpacing evidence-based information.”

In other words, expect devastating outbreaks of childhood diseases in the months and years ahead as vaccination rates fall under the rate to sustain herd immunity. Just another feature of Republican disinformation, folks.
And hey, remember now that public health emergencies are effectively illegal in most red states.  Legislatures have basically eliminated them.

I'm sure a fucking polio outbreak among Black kids in Alabama or Tennessee will be handled well by Republicans in those states.

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