Democracy Has Prevailed.

March 30, 2021

Trump Responds To CNN

With a statement.

But first, let's get some legal framing, shall we?

Huh? What could he possibly mean?

First utterance from the statement:
Based on their interviews, I felt it was time to speak up about Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx, two self-promoters trying to reinvent history to cover for their bad instincts and faulty recommendations, which I fortunately almost always overturned.

Trump ignored the scientific evidence he was given.

He then distorts recent history:

We developed American vaccines by an American President in record time, nine months, which is saving the entire world. We bought billions of dollars of these vaccines on a calculated bet that they would work, perhaps the most important bet in the history of the world.

Um, here's a clarification from Politico

In his statement on Monday, the ex-president called the vaccines authorized for emergency use “American vaccines,” even though the first vaccine to be authorized in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration was developed by the Turkish immigrants who founded BioNTech in Germany, and later collaborated with Pfizer to bring it to market. Pfizer, which manufactures the vaccine, did not receive development money from the government.

More clarity from the NYTimes:

In July, Pfizer got a $1.95 billion deal with the government’s Operation Warp Speed, the multiagency effort to rush a vaccine to market, to deliver 100 million doses of the vaccine. The arrangement is an advance-purchase agreement, meaning that the company won’t get paid until they deliver the vaccines. Pfizer did not accept federal funding to help develop or manufacture the vaccine, unlike front-runners Moderna and AstraZeneca.

And then there's this from Pfizer itself

Under the agreement, the U.S. government will receive 100 million doses of BNT162, the COVID-19 vaccine candidate jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, after Pfizer successfully manufactures and obtains approval or emergency use authorization from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[Emphasis added.]

They'd only get "Warp Speed" money after the FDA approved of the vaccine (full disclosure: I was vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine). Operation Warp Speed was never a part of the Pfizer development.

Trump distorts history when he's complaining about others distorting history. Surprising, right?

March 29, 2021

Reporting On CNN's "COVID WAR – The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out."

You can read CNN's take on its own report here.

Actually, you might want to start there and then circle back here. I'll wait.

Ok. Glad you're back.

The NYTimes has some reporting on the report:

In interviews broadcast on CNN Sunday night, former President Donald J. Trump’s pandemic officials confirmed in stark and no uncertain terms what was already an open secret in Washington: The administration’s pandemic response was riddled with dysfunction, and the discord, untruths and infighting most likely cost many lives.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, Mr. Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, suggested that hundreds of thousands of Americans may have died needlessly, and Adm. Brett P. Giroir, the testing czar, said the administration had lied to the public about the availability of testing.

The comments were among a string of bombshells that emerged during a CNN special report that featured the doctors who led the government’s coronavirus response in 2020.

A dysfunctional Trump response to the crisis? One marked by discord? Untruths? That needlessly cost many many lives?

You don't say!

On all that death:

But it was Dr. Birx, who has been pilloried for praising Mr. Trump as being “so attentive to the scientific literature” and for not publicly correcting the president as he made outlandish claims about unproven therapies, whose disclosures may have been the most compelling.

As of Sunday, more than 548,000 Americans have died from infection with the coronavirus. “I look at it this way,” she said. “The first time, we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge.”

“All of the rest of them,” she said, referring to almost 450,000 deaths, “in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially” had the administration acted more aggressively.

But then again, Trump didn't want the crisis to make him look bad, you know:

Several of the officials, including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci — who unlike the others is a career scientist and is now advising President Biden — blamed China, where the virus was first detected, for not being open enough with the United States. And several, including Dr. Redfield and Admiral Giroir, said early stumbles with testing — and the attitude within the White House that testing made the president look bad by driving up the number of case reports — were a serious problem in the administration’s response.

And the problems with testing went beyond simply Mr. Trump’s obsession with optics. Admiral Giroir said that the administration simply did not have as many tests as top officials claimed at the time.

“When we said there were millions of tests — there weren’t, right?” he said. “There were components of the test available but not the full deal.”

And so they lied.

The Washington Post has some reporting, too: 

Some of the Trump administration’s most senior public health officials offered a blistering post-mortem of the former president’s response to the pandemic in a documentary that aired on CNN on Sunday night. The former and current officials described a federal government in such disarray that hundreds of thousands of people may have needlessly died as a result.

Much of the administration’s dysfunction played out in the open, but the insider accounts provided additional confirmation of the chaos and underscored the devastating effects the political polarization had on public health measures. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator under President Donald Trump, said in an interview for the documentary that most coronavirus deaths in the United States could have been prevented if the administration had acted earlier and more decisively.

How many deaths could have been avoided had Donald Trump made responded differently? How many grandparents and aunts and uncles and parents would be alive today had they not been so Trumpian?

March 26, 2021


Thank you for hundreds of thousands of needless deaths.

From Reuters:

The United States squandered both money and lives in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths with a more effective health strategy and trimmed federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while still supporting those who needed it.

That is the conclusion of a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference this week, offering an early and broad start to what will likely be an intense effort in coming years to assess the response to the worst pandemic in a century.

U.S. COVID-19 fatalities could have stayed under 300,000, versus a death toll of 540,000 and rising, if by last May the country had adopted widespread mask, social distancing, and testing protocols while awaiting a vaccine, estimated Andrew Atkeson, economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles.

The Independent, in the UK, has roughly the same story

As many as 400,000 deaths could have been avoided with a better response to Covid-19 by the United States, a study has claimed.

Although the nation’s death toll stands at 540,000 and counting, as many as 400,000 of those could have been avoided, according to a group of research papers released at a Brookings Institution conference.

Andrew Atkeson, an economics professor at the University of California, said 400,000 deaths were avoidable through the widespread use of face coverings, social distancing, and testing in the run-up to a vaccine rollout, which began in December.

You can find a draft version of the paper here.

In it, he writes:

But, after one year of data on COVID, one conclusion seems clear: the endogenous response of both public and private behavior to the prevalence of COVID-19 has transformed this epidemic from what might have been predicted to be a short, but exceedingly intense, episode into a milder but chronic pandemic that will impact public health and the economy over several years, until, with luck, the technological solution of vaccination brings this disease under much greater control.
Thanks, Donnie! You and your supporters fetishized personal freedom and ignorant science skepticism into the deaths of 400,000 of our fellow citizens.

March 21, 2021

Wendy Bell Gaslights The Public At The Americans For Freedom Rally!

Ok, so yesterday's "Americans for Freedom Rally (Pittsburgh)" came and went with little or no fanfare.

Watching the rally unfold via the twitter feed of WESA's Katie Blackley, I found it was more or less what I expected it would be.

With one big exception. This:

This would be the same Patricia McCullough who's currently a judge of the Commonwealth Court, the same Judge McCullough who did this last November:

A Pennsylvania appeals court judge ordered state officials on Wednesday to halt any further steps toward certifying election results, a day after Gov. Tom Wolf said he had certified Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania.

Only to have the State Supreme Court reverse her decision a few days later.

Oh, and she's also Chuck McCullough's wife. In case you didn't know, Chuck's going to jail for a few years for theft and for misapplication of some entrusted funds. The P-G also reported:

...McCullough also used the trust to make an anonymous donation of $10,000 to Catholic Charities, where his wife, Patricia McCullough, served as executive director. (Patricia McCullough is currently a Commonwealth Court judge).

Remember kids, all law is based on "divine" law. Judge McCullough (whose husband is going to jail for breaking the law) said so.

Like Manna from heaven, my friends.

BTW, what is "divine law" anyway? A strict adherence to all the rules in The Bible? But aren't the defenders of so-called "divine law" the same folks who scream about how "Sharia law" is an existential threat to our way of life? Isn't "Sharia law" just "divine law" for those who are Muslim?

But let's get on to the headliner of the day - Wendy Bell, The Angel of Death.

The rally was organized by local Trumper Lucie Guzzie and lucky for me, she broadcast Wendy Bell's speech on her Facebook page.

Transcribing it took only a few gut-wrenching, skin-crawling, dry-heaving minutes.

Wendy begins by thanking the police officers guarding the rally and then goes straight into gaslighting the crowd:

Brock sent me – my producer Brock. Brock wave your hand. Here you go. He's back there - Brock sent me an article last night. From one of our local TV stations talking about how our Pittsburgh Police had this special unit on stand by for a potential problem with the frickin freedom march!

I was like, what?

This is the narrative of the media and the left. That if you carry your American flag (right on, right on), if you're carrying your concealed firearm (right on, right on), that you are somehow – oh that you love America and you believe in your freedom to think for yourself, that you are somehow a threat!

Luckily, we (all) have access to the internet and so we can go find the leftist narrative media spin to which Wendy refers.

Guess what? It doesn't actually say what Wendy told the crowd it says. Take a look:

Following the death of Antwon Rose in 2018, protests were organized throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

Because of those protests, the police department launched a civil affairs unit, which is a division dedicated to keeping the peace through community engagement.

The division was very active over the summer of 2020 due to the Black Lives Matter movement.


But the office has gone quiet in recent months, and as Channel 11′s Rick Earle discovered, officers are regrouping ahead of this weekend’s planned rally on the North Shore.

“We are ready to go as needed. I know we will be there this Saturday for the protests or rally,” said Sgt. Tiffany Costa, of the Pittsburgh Police Department’s civil affairs unit.

On Saturday, a group called Americans for Freedom will rally on the North Shore to voice their opposition to mask mandates and business closures.

Ok. So far so, um, neutral?

A few paragraphs later, we read:

Law enforcement sources told Target 11 they are concerned that there has been little or no communication with protest organizers from last year and if those protesters return this year they are worried that could lead to problems. The organizers for the rally planned for this weekend have been in constant contact with Pittsburgh Police and obtained a permit from the city to march.

Costa told Channel 11 that the communication has to be ongoing. And Police don’t expect any issues. [Emphasis added.]

I'm like, what?? Where is any reference to "the narrative" about how the police are expecting problems from the frickin Freedom March??

Was Wendy Bell just making shit up?

Then, immediately following and only few seconds after thanking the police for their presence, Wendy Bell said this:

I bet some of you guys were at the big insurrection on January 6 [crowd cheers], peacefully assembling, listening to the real president of The United States [crowd cheers again] who, under no circumstances encouraged what ended up happening.

Which was wrong, we all know that.

But by golly, I am so tired of us, we the people who love this country, who believe in election integrity and know that it didn't happen, being blamed for something that was obviously planned.

And anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is full of garbage.


"Peacefully assembling"? While it's absolutely true that the "real" president of the United States was Donald Trump on January 6, his supporters who did this:

were doing anything but assembling "peacefully." They were looking to cancel the election Donald Trump lost.

In their anything but peaceful "assembly," Trump supporters did this:

The Capitol assault resulted in one of the worst days of injuries for law enforcement in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. At least 138 officers — 73 from the Capitol Police and 65 from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington — were injured, the departments have said. They ranged from bruises and lacerations to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack.

Indeed the NYTimes piece opens with this:

One officer lost the tip of his right index finger. Others were smashed in the head with baseball bats, flag poles and pipes. Another lost consciousness after rioters used a metal barrier to push her into stairs as they tried to reach the Capitol steps during the assault on Jan. 6.

How is that "peaceful," Wendy? How? It was a coup attempt. And yes, it was encouraged by then-president Donald Trump:

The speech that President Trump delivered to his supporters just before they attacked the Capitol last week is a central focus as House Democrats prepare an article of impeachment against him for inciting the deadly riot.

Mr. Trump had urged supporters to come to Washington for a “Save America March” on Wednesday, when Congress would ceremonially count President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win, telling them to “be there, will be wild!” At a rally just before the violence, he repeated many of his falsehoods about how the election was stolen, then dispatched the marchers to the Capitol as those proceedings were about to start.

Some of those arrested for their participation in the "insurrection of January 6" (as you called it) have gone on record saying that they were there at Trump's behest:

A man from Kentucky told the FBI that he and his cousin began marching toward the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 because “President Trump said to do so.” Chanting “Stop the steal,” the two men tramped through the building and snapped a photo of themselves with their middle fingers raised, according to court documents.

A video clip of another group of rioters mobbing the steps of the Capitol caught one man screaming at a police officer: “We were invited here! We were invited by the president of the United States!”

So how much gaslighting did you do at The Point this weekend, Wendy? Because it looks like a lot. 

I'll end with this:

You got an hour or so? How often have I blogged that your BS board is, actually, BS.

March 20, 2021

Right Wing Rally! Look Who's There!

Two (separate) astute readers each (independently) forwarded me this image this past week:

Looks like the Angel of Death will be speaking to her loving followers today. I am sure all will be masked and properly socially distanced, right? I am sure the speakers will be well-informed and responsible in dealing with complicated social issues, right?

Ha. I made a funny.

Anyway, back to today's rally. There's been some local news pre-coverage from WPXI referencing it. The piece, by Ralph Earle, is more about a civil affairs unit of the Pittsburgh Police. The PXI piece leads us to this Facebook post:

Guzzy's comments are curious because the piece includes this:

Law enforcement sources told Target 11 they are concerned that there has been little or no communication with protest organizers from last year and if those protesters return this year they are worried that could lead to problems. The organizers for the rally planned for this weekend have been in constant contact with Pittsburgh Police and obtained a permit from the city to march. [Emphasis added.]

It seems that Lucie Guzzy might have an issue with reading comprehension. Might be something she should look in to.

Katie Blackley (of WESA) is at the rally and tweeted this:

If you can't see the sign, it reads:

We are saving a Nation

And then the date.

Now we know what sort of rally it is.

With that in mind, let's take a look at who else is scheduled to be there:

So there'll be a prayer. That's not surprising but who's this "Pastor Michael Trenga"?

After a few minutes searching we found this Mike Trenga on twitter. On March 5, he responded to a tweet by Representative Steve Scalise:

"Civil" in this context means "civil war."

So I'm guessing it's the same guy.

These are not patriots.

Then there's State Senator Rob Mercuri. The Pittsburgh City Paper had a piece on him a few months ago:

This month, the PA Family Council — which openly opposes same-sex marriage and supports allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people — sent out fliers in the Pittsburgh area claiming that Democratic candidates want to “push to force schools to allow boys who identify as girls to compete against girls” in youth sports. 


The mailers include an image of candidate Rob Mercuri (R-Pine) who is running in the North Hills state House District 28. Next to Mercuri’s photo, the mailer reads, “Because girls deserve fairness in sports Rob Mercuri won’t change the rules.”  


Mercuri doesn’t believe governments should intervene with businesses that want to discriminate against gay people. And he openly praises the endorsement he received from PA Family Council.

So when State Senator Mercuri talks about "freedom" he doesn't mean it for everyone. 

Then there's State Representative Erik Nelson. There's this from Pennlive:

Declaring the results of statewide electoral contests in the 2020 general election to be in dispute, a group of House Republican lawmakers have announced their intention to introduce a resolution calling for Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to withdraw their certification of the Nov. 3 election results in the presidential and other statewide contests.

Citing what they described as election law compromises, irregularities and improprieties associated with mail-in balloting, pre-canvassing, and canvassing, the 26 lawmakers stated in a news release issued late Friday afternoon the issues raised about the election has “undermined our elector process and as a result we can not accept certification of the results in statewide races.”

State Rep. Nelson was one of those looking to dismantle the election. So when he talks about "Constitutional Rights" he doesn't mean it for everyone.

This is the today's rally.

March 18, 2021

Wendy Bell Interviews An Insurrectionist (Adjacent?) PA Legislator!

And the results are what you'd imagine.

From The Angel Of Death's Facebook page:

Evidently, this is the rightwing outrage of the day:

A Republican state senator from Pennsylvania claimed Wednesday he was denied access to inspect what he claimed was a huge stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) being stored at the state’s Farm Show site in Harrisburg.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, an Army veteran who represents Pennsylvania’s 33rd District, later posted Facebook videos about the incident.

Fox "News" left out the part where State Sen. Mastriano was part of the crowd outside of the Capitol when all those Trump supporters tried to cancel the results of the 2020 Presidential election. He was even scheduled to speak at the "stop the steal" rally beforehand.

As you can tell, I take treason very seriously. At the very least, State Senator Mastriano's selling the big lie that the election was stolen and that that lie prompted an attack on the Capitol on January 6. This set of facts should follow him everywhere. Forever.

But look back at how Wendy's framing the story: 

A whistleblower shares an explosive story of PA Gov Tom Wolf stockpiling thousands of pallets of PPE while nursing homes and hospitals NEED THEM.

OMG! Wolf is stockpiling PPE? 

Um, yea. Take a look at this from last Fall:

Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania is prepared with a stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) now and should it be needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming months.

September 28, 2020 to be exact. 

So this isn't news is it, Wendy?

As far as Mastriano's access, there's this:

He predicted he would likely be granted a tour soon, "under stringent conditions," after filing a formal request with administration officials.

 Um. So...huh?

March 16, 2021

Rose Tennent Is Back On The Air!

WJAS (current radio home of Wendy Bell) has announced the arrival of another conservative crazie onto their airwaves: Rose Tennent.

We've written some about her over the years, mostly about how she's a birther who thinks that President Obama is the devil (the "evidence" being all the flies and rodents who surround him).

But did you know that Rose Tennent was also a part of the attack on the Capitol on January 6?

There's this from the NYTimes. It's an article from January 7 about how Trump's allies were looking to excuse/deflect Trump's responsibility for the insurrection. Tucked inside we can read:

...just after a pro-Trump mob breached the security perimeter at the Capitol on Wednesday, [Sean] Hannity was hosting his afternoon radio program. He spent no time reflecting on Mr. Trump’s role in inciting the riot, which some conservative Trump allies — including some of Mr. Hannity’s colleagues at Fox News — were already calling a dangerous, needlessly provoked insurrection.

And a few paragraphs later:

Then the host took a call from an empathetic pro-Trump activist and regular guest, Rose Tennent, who was standing outside the Capitol as the situation escalated. “At some point, people break,” Ms. Tennent said, offering not a single harsh word about the violent protesters who had overtaken the Capitol Police.

“This is the hill they want to die on. This is a battle that is just as important to them as the Revolutionary War was,” she said, adding that these lawless demonstrators weren’t entirely to blame for their actions. “If you ask me, the Democrats and the media are responsible for this.” [Emphasis added.]

This is who WJAS hired to be on their air.

Can someone please ask Rose Tennent about the insurrection? What was her role in the treason? She was there standing outside the Capitol as it happened, right?

March 15, 2021

Some Thoughts On "Cancel Culture"

Sometime ago, the following words were published nationwide:

A document describing the Russian system of exile and forced labor has been produced by the British Government. and it's to be placed before the United Nations. It is estimated that some ten million persons in the Soviet are subject to compulsory work. These persons include the "unstable" elements, the déclassé elements. The concept of forced labor is so abhorrent to the American temperament, one wonders why there is so little concern in this country over our own system of forced idleness. The disease is the same - the difference is in the method of treating the victims. In the last couple of years, a handful of American citizens have been banished from industry for political reasons and forced into the camp of idleness. From this nucleus there can easily grow (and in fact there is growing) a group of American political prisoners. They are the "déclassé," the "unstable." Their crime is to have belonged to a wrong organization in a bygone year, to have once entertained a bubbly thought (or a second cousin at dinner), to have worn a hat backward, to have been seen by an agent at a rally. Industry is being encouraged to get shed of these unstable elements, these nebulous people. Laws are being framed to help detect and debar them. They may never have broken a law, or a piece of pottery, but they are being marched steadily, imperceptibly, toward the queer Siberia of our temperate zone. This is a dangerous exodus, an unhealthy state of mind.  Perhaps a report should be placed before the U.N., but we would rather see it placed where it belongs-just a memo in the hatband of every democrat, reminding him that no country has a monopoly on political terror.

This is, of course, E.B. White, August 6, 1949, the pages of The New Yorker

Note the date. This was published before Senator McCarthy made his speech to the Republican Women's Club of Wheeling West Virginia the following February. White is describing McCarthyism before Tail-gunner Joe joined the party.

Make no mistake, however, this is cancel culture writ large.

So next time your MAGA hat wearing, Fox News OAN/Newsmax addicted in-laws start ranting about how the "Democrat Party" is the party of "cancel culture," remind them of the Second Red Scare.

March 14, 2021


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March 12, 2021

In Case You Missed It - President Biden, Last Night.

President Biden said:

About how after a long, dark years — one whole year, there is hope and light of better days ahead.

If we all do our part, this country will be vaccinated soon, our economy will be on the mend, our kids will be back in school, and we will have proven once again that this country can do anything — hard things, big things, important things.

The rest of the text can be found here.

March 11, 2021

This Is Not Surprising (Wendy Bell's Transphobia)

Jebus, I thought I was done with this.

I guess I'm not.

Yesterday the face of St Barnabas Broadcasting, Wendy Bell, posted this more or less typical list of Trumpist complaints about the nascent Biden administration:

Take a look at about 2/3 of the way down. There, there's this:

Evidently, our cisgender Wendy is talking about this story:

The Biden administration has withdrawn government support for a federal lawsuit in Connecticut that seeks to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls’ high school sports.

Connecticut allows high school athletes to compete in sports according to their gender identity. The lawsuit was filed a year ago by several cisgender runners who argue they have been deprived of wins, state titles and athletic opportunities by being forced to compete against two transgender sprinters.

So the case is still working its way through the court system. So the Biden Administration hasn't actually "allowed" anything then, right? So Wendy's wrong about that, isn't she?

What happened was the Trump Administration weighed in in favor of the lawsuit based on a rather narrow definition of Title IX. President Biden, on the first day of his administration, issued an executive order stating:

Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.  Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.  Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes.  People should be able to access healthcare and secure a roof over their heads without being subjected to sex discrimination.  All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.

These principles are reflected in the Constitution, which promises equal protection of the laws.  These principles are also enshrined in our Nation’s anti-discrimination laws, among them Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.).  In Bostock v. Clayton County, 590 U.S. ___ (2020), the Supreme Court held that Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of . . . sex” covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.  Under Bostock‘s reasoning, laws that prohibit sex discrimination — including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), the Fair Housing Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), and section 412 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1522), along with their respective implementing regulations — prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, so long as the laws do not contain sufficient indications to the contrary.

That's what President Biden did. 

The executive order explains:

It is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. 
On the other hand, take a look at how Wendy frames this issue. To her, it's simply about:

Men who want to be women

Note her choice of verb. Everything that's wrong with her position on this can be found in her choice of that verb phrase ("want to be").

On the other hand, there's this from GLAAD :

Public and media reaction to a transgender person - particularly a transgender woman - competing in a sport is often extremely negative and uninformed by scientific fact. Commentators often espouse their "gut feelings" about whether or not a transgender person has an "unfair advantage." Gut feelings are not science. Sport governing organizations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the National College Athletics Associate (NCAA), as well as the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), have looked at the actual science associated with medical transition and made clear statements in support of the right of transgender athletes to participate in a way that is fair, equitable, and respectful to all.

Wendy Bell is wrong about this, as she's wrong about so so many other things.

March 10, 2021

Wendy Bell Gets Fact-Checked AGAIN

 A day or so ago, St Barnabas' Angel of Death posted this on her Facebook Page:

See that note at the bottom? The one that reads "Independent fact-checkers say this information could mislead people."

If you click the link, you'll get to this:

VAERS reports of adverse events in people who received COVID-19 vaccines don’t demonstrate that these events were caused by the vaccines; evidence does not indicate COVID-19 vaccines caused Bell’s palsy and deaths
The whole thing is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

Which means that Wendy Bell is lying to the public about a serious public health issue. Again.

Some Poll Data (On President Biden, His Management of Covid-19 and the Covid Relief Bill)

Usually, I shy away from blogging on polling data - if only for the reason that its viable shelf life can be clocked with an egg timer.

On the other hand, recognizing that it's simply a snapshot, a look at some polling data might be a good idea.

President Biden approval rating:

This is the chart as I found it this morning at FiveThirtyEight.

For the record, I don't ever think Donald Trump was 15 points above water (Note: "above water" being defined here as the difference between the approval and disapproval rates. If the number is positive, it's "above water.")

At this point 4 years ago, Trump was 4.5 points below water and he was only "above water" for the first two weeks, or so, of his presidency, according to FiveThirtyEight.

FiveThirtyEight also has some poll data on the country's approval rate for how President Biden is dealing with Covid-19:

 As of this date, 61% approve, 31.8% disapprove.

How 'bout that Coronavirus Relief Package working its way to President Biden's desk?

Pew Research has some data on that:

As the House of Representatives prepares to give final approval to the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a sizable majority of U.S. adults (70%) say they favor the legislation. Only about three-in-ten (28%) oppose the bill, which provides economic aid to businesses, individuals and state and local governments.

There's even some art work:

Note that the support includes 41% of Republicans and those who "lean Republican."

So I guess you can say that support for the bill is bipartisan among voters while being deeply partisan among the politicians in DC.

Congressional republicans don't support the bill while there's bipartisan support for it out in the country.

Tell me again, which party is out of touch?

March 6, 2021

How Representative Guy Reschenthaler Pushed The Big Lie That The Election Was Stolen!

From NBC News:

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., has released a detailed examination of the social media accounts of Republican House members who voted to overturn the 2020 election results to analyze what role they might have played in inciting the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

"Like former President [Donald] Trump, any elected member of Congress who aided and abetted the insurrection or incited the attack seriously threatened our democratic government," Lofgren wrote in the prologue to her 1,939 page “social media review.”

"They would have betrayed their oath of office and would be implicated in the same constitutional provision cited in the article of impeachment" against Trump following the Capitol riot, she continued.

You can find the report here

Guess what? In the Pennsylvania section of the report we can find our very own Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA). And in that section, we can see how Guy pushed the lie.

On November 4 at 8:28 pm, he posted this on Facebook:

Don’t let the media or the Biden campaign fool you. President Trump has a solid lead in Pennsylvania. He will win the state and the election.

The link is to a video of Guy speaking on Newsmax (of course) and the report quotes him as saying:

The mainstream media was so fast to declare this race for Joe Biden. Given the unrest we’ve had all summer, this is setting up civil unrest, violent protest, and looting. And the people that are to be blamed are the media who set up a false narrative that Joe Biden won this election.

This was before the the media had actually declared a winner. That would happen, depending on the news source, a few days later.

At that point, Guy was already planting the "false narrative that Joe Biden won this election." 

On November 10, Guy tweeted this. It's yet another interview Guy did on Newsmax (of course):

Voter fraud occurred in the 2020 election and it's our duty to bring it to light. 

If we don't take this to the courts and hold the guilty parties responsible, we are going to severely hurt the integrity of all future elections in this country.

It's interesting that he mentions "the courts" in that tweet because on November 11, Guy retweeted another Newsmax tweet (of course) where, after being asked about the Dominion Voting Machines switching ballots, he said:

Let's look at Pennsylvania right off the bat. We know that there is voter fraud that occurred. Now, how much is a question that'll be fought out in the courts. But statewide you had our Attorney General and our Governor basically guarantee a Biden victory, saying when all the votes are counted Biden will win.

We also know that in my district alone, ballots were sent into my district that were already pre-filled out straight Democrat voting line.

Can I point out that Guy himself effectively guaranteed an election victory for Trump on November 4?

In any case the story of the filled out ballots was from a few weeks before the election. KDKA reported at the end of October about what happened in Guy's district. They reported that both those ballots (as there were only two) were sent to registered Democrats.

This evidence, by the way, made it to court in a lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. It did not end well for the Trump campaign, as Matthew Brann (a Federalist Society conservative, in case you were curious) wrote in his decision:

In other words, Plaintiffs ask this Court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters. This Court has been unable to find any case in which a plaintiff has sought such a drastic remedy in the contest of an election, in terms of the sheer volume of votes asked to be invalidated. One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption, such that this Court would have no option but to regrettably grant the proposed injunctive relief despite the impact it would have on such a large group of citizens.

That has not happened. Instead, this Court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence.

The campaign appealed this decision and was rebuffed at the end of November:

A federal appeals court on Friday dealt the Trump campaign's effort to change the outcome of the presidential election another blow, writing in a scathing opinion that the campaign's lawsuit lacked proof and its allegations in Pennsylvania "have no merit."

The three-judge panel for the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals denied the campaign's effort to refile its lawsuit, saying its allegations had already been rejected by multiple state judges in Pennsylvania and the latest attempt to revive them could not be spun into a winning theory.

"Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here," wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, for the panel.

"The Campaign never alleges that any ballot was fraudulent or cast by an illegal voter," wrote Bibas. "It never alleges that any defendant treated the Trump campaign or its votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or its votes. Calling something discrimination does not make it so. The Second Amended Complaint still suffers from these core defects, so granting leave to amend would have been futile." [Emphasis added.]

What was Guy saying about how the level of voter fraud will be argued out in the courts? 

So, no voter fraud.

But back to Guy pushing the big lie. On November 17, he posted this on Facebook. This time it's an interview Guy had on Fox "News" and the report quotes him as saying:

We’ve gotta do something about this narrative that there was no fraud. We know that’s not true. There was fraud. We’ve got over 1,00 affidavits saying there was fraud. So it’s important to show the American that there is some fraud in our election system.

There's only one problem with what Guy said: there was no fraud. Calling something "fraud" does not make it so.

This is Guy pushing the big lie - the lie that fueled the attack on the Capitol.

March 5, 2021

And Now That It's March 5...

...and nothing happened yesterday.

No QAnon/Proud Boys/Three Percenters uprising at The Capitol.

Donald Trump still isn't President.

Joe Biden is.

Get over it.

March 4, 2021

MARCH 4! It's MARCH 4th!

Is today the day? 

Is today the day that Donald Trump returns to DC, triumphantly (re?)seizes power and is inaugurated at the real inauguration as 19th president?

Or will nothing like that happen and our QAnon/Trumper friends and neighbors will have to explain away the day as not-The Storm?

Meanwhile, NBC is reporting:

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI sent a joint intelligence bulletin to state and local law enforcement agencies late Tuesday warning that some domestic groups have "discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove Democratic lawmakers on or about" March 4, according to a senior law enforcement official who described the document to NBC News.


[The bulletin] also states that domestic violent extremists have a continued "perception of election fraud and other conspiracy theories associated with the presidential transition, which may contribute to (Domestic Violent Extremists) mobilizing to violence with little or no warning." 

Know who's been spreading that false perception of election fraud? 

Yea, you know it. Donald Trump this past weekend at CPAC:

Throughout his speech, Trump dug into his election grievances, accusing Democrats of using the deadly COVID-19 pandemic to “cheat” the election, and repeatedly hammered the Supreme Court for not intervening and overturning the results.

“This election was rigged, and the Supreme Court and other courts didn’t want to do anything about it,” Trump said, which led the crowd to loudly chant, “You won, you won," to which Trump responded, “We did.”

“They rejected it,” Trump continued, attacking the High Court. “They should be ashamed of themselves for what they've done to our country. They didn't have the guts or the courage to make the right decision.”

 What patriotism!

Back to the NBC reporting:

On Wednesday, the U.S. House abruptly scrapped plans to meet Thursday and began finishing its work for the week given the threat of violence.

And yet how many Republicans have you heard these past few weeks whining about how the Democrats have failed to reach out to them in the spirit of unity? 

As my good friend Sean Parnell said, "If you don't denounce it, you've endorsed it."

So we'll see how many Republicans have denounced this right-wing pro-Trump domestic terrorism.

March 3, 2021

Countdown to March 4 (Tomorrow's The Day!)

From ABC News:

The United States Capitol Police said it has beefed up security on Capitol Hill this week due to "concerning information and intelligence" related to March 4, the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Donald Trump will return to power.


The threats appear to stem from QAnon, the umbrella term for a set of disproven and discredited internet conspiracy theories that allege the world is run by a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles. Followers of the fringe movement believe that the 2020 U.S. presidential election was stolen from Trump, who has pushed baseless claims of voter fraud along with his allies.

Then there's this from Forbes

The acting House Sergeant at Arms has informed members of Congress that authorities do not expect violence in Washington on Thursday, the day that QAnon followers believe former President Donald Trump will assume his second term in what is the latest deranged conspiracy theory claiming Trump will either retake power or somehow has secretly remained president.


Trump won’t reassume office on Thursday as QAnon supporters hope for, so they’ll more than likely pick yet another date. March 20 is being floated as the next date QAnon followers have their eyes set on.  

The Great Reset of the date has begun, according to Vice:

National Guard troops have been deployed, Congressional warnings have been issued, and hotel prices have been jacked up. But a predicted QAnon celebration to mark the return of former President Donald Trump to the White House next week is now being labeled by influencers within the conspiracy movement as a disinformation campaign by the fake news media.

For weeks, QAnon followers have been hyping March 4 as the date when Trump would return as the rightful president of the U.S. But in the last couple of days, virtually all the major QAnon figures and influencers have reversed course and dismissed the date, calling it a false flag event created entirely by the mainstream media to “make the whole movement look dumb.”

Gee, I don't know. That whole "the world is run by a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles" does that job all by itself.

But the reset has been burbling up for a few weeks:

This whole thing could be, on the part of QAnon influencers (and not Q, themself, as they have been silent since December) simply CYA.

Vice goes on:

While the efforts by Q influencers to dismiss the March 4 date as a media concoction will likely appease some, when March 4 comes and goes without Trump’s return, there will be a group of QAnon believers who might see it as the final straw. 

But rather than simply disavowing the movement, they have already been talking about taking things into their own hands, suggesting they don’t fully believe Trump will return on March 4.

A number of QAnon followers on social media channels and message boards have spoken about engaging in “civil war” and “going rogue” in the wake of the March 4 deadline.

Oh, goody.

March 2, 2021

Countdown to March 4 (QAnon and That 1871 Legislation)

Yesterday, we started looking at the latest aspect of the QAnon crazie - that part of "the plan" where Donald Trump is actually inaugurated on March 4.

In that blogpost we touched on legislation, passed in 1871, that's at the core of teh QAnon crazie.

In the event you're looking for a deeper explanation, there's this interview from KIRO in Seattle, Washington with that state's former Attorney General Rob McKenna (who, by the way, is a Republican):

Former state Attorney General Rob McKenna looked into the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871, which established D.C. as a corporation, and he says it does not completely subvert the Constitution.

“What a relief, right? It did not,” McKenna said. “It simply repealed the individual charters of the city of Washington and the city of Georgetown and established a new territorial government for the entire District of Columbia. By doing this, they created a single municipal government or municipal corporation, as municipalities are typically called.”


Now, as a consequence of this 1871 act, there are people who sincerely believe that whatever happened under the Constitution after that act is null and void.

“Right, because they claim that the act of 1871 didn’t just create a municipal corporation, it turned the quote ‘United States into a corporation,’ which apparently is secretly controlled by international bankers, and we’re actually owned by foreign entities as a result of that,” McKenna said. “But it means that any enactments after that date are not actually valid.”

Including the 20th Amendment which (among other things) moves the date of the end of each administration back from March 4 to January 20.

Ergo, the QAnon belief that March 4 is the day Trump rides back into DC, reestablishes freedom, drains the swamp, and executes all those pizzagate pedophiles in the Demoncrat party.

Here's the thing. IF that 1871 legislation invalidated everything after it (which it didn't but go with me here) and if all the Constitutional Amendments after that date are invalid (again, they're NOT) what other amendments do these QAnon-ers believe are invalid?

Here's a few:

  • 16th Amendment - The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
  • 19th Amendment -  The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
  • 24th Amendment -  The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Before we proceed, let's talk about what a "poll tax" was. Here you go:

Begun in the 1890s as a legal way to keep African Americans from voting in southern states, poll taxes were essentially a voting fee. Eligible voters were required to pay their poll tax before they could cast a ballot. A “grandfather clause” excused some poor whites from payment if they had an ancestor who voted before the Civil War, but there were no exemptions for African Americans.

So what have we got for the QAnon/Sovereign Citizen crowd if all the constitutional amendments after 1871 are invalid?

  • Federal income tax? Nope. Gone. Privatize it all.
  • The ladies' right to vote? Nope. Can't trust 'em. PMS makes 'em crazy.
  • An cheap easy (and legal) way to keep, um, those other people from voting in our elections.

Ohmigod, sloppy three-part blowjob for the disgruntled old whiteguy constituency!

No wonder they've got a hard-on over March 4.

But again, what are they going to do on March 5 when none of their plans come to fruition?

March 1, 2021

Countdown To March 4 (A QAnon Story)

Hey, you know what's gonna happen on March 4?

Most likely nothing out of the ordinary (however "ordinary" is defined these days). I can't say "nothing" because something will happen on March 4 - but it'll be our usual crappy post-Trump stuff. More than likely it'll be the same sort of stuff that'll happen on March 3 or March 5.

The important question here, however, is: What do the Q-Trumpers think will happen on March 4?


After more than three years of Donald Trump not taking down satanic pedophiles and the "deep state" working against him, losing the election, then failing to order mass executions at Joe Biden's inauguration, followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are now claiming March 4 as the next significant date for the movement.

Supporters of the radical conspiracy now believe that March 4 will be the day that Trump will still somehow be sworn in as president, seemingly undeterred by the January 20 ceremony, after which Biden entered the White House, and all their other predictions since late 2017 having failed.


These QAnon followers, lifting beliefs from the sovereign citizen movement, now think the U.S. was secretly turned into a corporation in 1871 and all other presidents after Ulysses S. Grant have been illegitimate. They claim Trump will become the 19th president when he is reinstated on March 4.

March 4 was the date of presidential inaugurations until the 20th Amendment was ratified in 1933, moving future ceremonies to January 20 to shorten the lame-duck period. The year 1933 is also when sovereign citizens believe the U.S. went bankrupt after the nation was taken off the gold standard.

If this were true, I wonder if these Uber-patriots understand that Ronald Reagan would then be an illegitimate president. For that matter, so would George W Bush. 

I wonder if these Uber-patriots ever question why Sen Barry Goldwater failed to make this case when he told the Republican National Convention in 1964 "I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!" The convention had just nominated him to be their (illegitimate?) presidential candidate.

So if everything that happened post-1871 is illegitimate, then the 20th Amendment is also illegitimate.

We'll have to wait and see what happens on the 4, I suppose.

What will the Q-Trumpers say on March 5, when Joe Biden is still president?