Saturday, May 15, 2021

Mask Restrictions Lifting: So How Do We Prove We've Been Vaccinated?

The long awaited moment has finally arrived; face masks are coming off. Not entirely, and there's the rub.

When President Biden took his face mask off yesterday and announced a loosening of mask restrictions the reactions were immediate; celebration and suspicion.

Joy! Joy! It's now okay to walk around in public without a facemask if you're fully vaccinated... with one caveat - how do you prove your fully vaccinated?

The CDC's announcement on masks creates ambiguity for retailers because it fails to to fully align with state and and local orders.

The result? Retailers are stuck in an incredibly difficult situation between conflicting positions of federal and local guidance.

We're now dealing with an honor system where people who are not vaccinated are walking around without masks, despite the CDC guidance.

So how are people going to prove they're vaccinated? The answer to that is complicated.

Outside a handful of states that have poured resources into piloting so-called "vaccine passport" type systems, most Americans still have few options to prove whether they're fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Providing a public-facing portal for residents to quickly verify each other's vaccination status is far from a priority for some states.

As a matter of fact a handful of states have moved to prohibit businesses from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Other states have seen a proliferation of forgeries mimicking the simple 4-by-3-inch cards doled out by the federal government.

The Biden administration has made it clear it doesn't plan on creating a national system to track or prove COVID-19 vaccinations.

So where does that leave us?

Many companies and nonprofits plan to launch their own consumer-friendly options.

They're relying on Technical specifications from private sector efforts like the Vaccine Credential Initiative, which promises "open, interoperable standards."

Meanwhile millions of Americans are shedding their masks, whether vaccinated or not, pretending the pandemic is over.

Friday, May 14, 2021

A Bad Makeup Day: Matt Gaetz's Worst Nightmare Is Unfolding

When Rep. Matt Gaetz stumbled into his bathroom upon waking up, the news that his pal Joel Greenberg had made a deal with investigators shocked him.

Trembling with fear he slapped his face makeup on haphazardly as he thought about the 17-year-old girl he was accused of having sex with cooperating with investigators.

In a moment of panic he smeared his lipstick across his face, looking like The Joker in Batman adventures.

Mirrors don't lie. The reflection that came back to him was that of a ruined man expecting the ax to drop.

He knew at that moment Greenberg was singing like a canary and his chances of being indicted had tripled.

He dreaded Monday when Greenberg will plead guilty before a federal magistrate in court. 

It's not entirely clear what charges he'll plead guilty to, or whether prosecutors might substitute other charges as part of his plea deal.

What was clear to Gaetz as he stared into the mirror, was his buddy had made a deal that was going to cause him grief.

After running around for years in Washington D.C. like a frat boy on vacation, he was being humbled and hunted, as prosecutors were preparing charges against him with Greenberg's help.

Turning away from the mirror all he could think about was getting a lawyer, and Roger Stone's help in beating the case.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

A 3rd Party? Republicans Sick of the Big Lie Prepare to Fight Back

A growing number of Republicans are planning on fighting Trump's toxic influence by forming a new political party that recognizes reality.

It's in the early stages, but the idea of breaking away from the Trump cult GOPers is gaining traction daily.

The rebels are preparing to release a letter tomorrow "threatening to leave the party" if it doesn't disavow Trump. 

The letter - titled "A Call for American Renewal" has the support of more than 100  lawmakers, and is growing.

The signers of the letter are a loose collection of former Republican lawmakers and state party leaders that believe the party is broken.

The ousting of Liz Cheney as the #3 Republican today by a group of cowards in the House, may be an impetus for the dissatisfied Republicans to step up their resistance.

The rebels are saying it's time for a resistance of the "rationals'" versus the "radicals"

There doesn't appear to be any current members of Congress willing to break away from Trump's influence. The threat of forming a third party is more symbolic than possible.

However, starting a party, even a national one, could be effective in getting the GOP's attention, but only insofar as it could accumulate leverage by siphoning off votes from the current Trumpies in Congress.

The group's leader, Miles Taylor, is aware of the challenges in mobilizing an infrastructure to field candidates, not nationally, but rather in targeted races. 

"I'm still a Republican, but I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth because how quickly the party has divorced itself from truth and reason," Taylor told reporters yesterday.

Time will tell on how many sane Republicans can be siphoned off to make an impact against the current party of Trump.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Big Lie Festers: Looking For Fraud In All The Wrong Places

The Trump inspired hysteria over a "stolen election" continues to fester like an open wound.

As Arizona Republicans continue with their ridiculous and corrupt challenge to the election with a flawed recount - after two official tallies by the state - another recount looms in Michigan.

The Big Lie proponents have another baseless reason(s) for a recount in another state; Antrim County, Michigan. 

Republicans are filling their diapers over so-called "phantom ballots" six months after the election.

Attorneys made arguments in a virtual hearing on Monday over the scope of the lawsuit and whether to dismiss the case in which both sides have issued dueling analyses.

On Phantom Ballots

The source of the GOP case goes back to last December when Joe Biden led Trump in an initial count that was found to have tabulation errors.

It turned out Trump won when the errors were quickly discovered by officials, and the count was rectified. 

State and county officials blamed human error - a failure to properly update software across the county - for the mishap.

The Trump addled lawyers are continuing the assault against Dominion Voting System machines by claiming they were rigged against Trump.

Despite the numerous lawsuits Dominion has filed against right-wing actors and extremist lawmakers, the attack against the company persists.

After a hand recount in Antrim County officials only found a deviation of just a dozen votes. But that doesn't matter to Trump's minions, who can't accept reality.

The desperation behind this movement to get swing states to recount already officially sanctioned ballots is Trump's latest attempt to subvert our electoral system.

Meanwhile the judge said he will make a decision next week.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Virginia GOP's 'Unassembled' Convention: Fear and Loathing As Candidates Accuse Each Other of Cheating

Trump's Big Lie has come home to roost in the Virginia Governors race as Republican candidates accused each other of rigging the process.

Distrust was so high during the convention that two campaigns even tailed a car carrying ballots from Prince William County to Richmond because they did not trust the two party-appointed couriers.

Results in the attorney general's case race were delayed for hours Sunday after the party and campaign officials realized tape seals on the doors to the ballroom where ballots were stored overnight had been broken.

After a frenzied search they realized that nothing was amiss after discovering the housekeeper had simply carted in coffee, water, and soft drinks, breaking the seal in the process.

The paranoia was palpable. Trump's Big Lie was turned inward to the party's core. Believers in the Big Lie were so mentally crippled they couldn't trust one another in a GOP election.

There were 50 volunteers hand-counting the estimated 30,000 ballots because the vote-tallying software the party had considered could not be trusted.

Fear and loathing stalked the whole messy affair, as Republicans struggled to hold a "fair election" in the shadow of The Big Lie.

Fittingly, the presence of a man dressed up as a circus ringmaster, complete with top hat and red satin tails, oversaw the proceedings.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...