Thursday, September 30, 2021

A reconciliation compromise that will simultaneously make no one happy and everyone happy .

 Watching the Democrats self-destruct over the Biden bill ...the one with the social reminds me why I am so happy not to be in a legislature. I just do not have the patience. (I spent over 20 years lobbying the Colorado legislature on behalf of whatever government or nonprofit organization I represented at the time......and I dreaded every minute of it. I usually was successful, but sitting, testifying, and waiting for hours in the lobby..was just not much fun. I am sure Pelosi will pull it off someway, but I do not know with whom I am more disgusted,, the progressives' attempt to use blocking of other bills (infrastructure, i.e.) as blackmail or the total stubbornness of Manchin and Sinema. Guess there is a reason the donkey is the party symbol. I want those progressive programs...all of them...but numbers are negotiable...and the Manchin and Sinema blockade infuriates me because neither will tell what they would cut or what their dollar amount is. Manchin is blue in a ruby-red state. He needs to show a victory, but realize he is in a coal-producing state and when he ran last, his money came from the fossil fuel industry. Sinema, a newby Senator, was financed heavily by pharmaceuticals when she ran and a few days ago,,she held a fundraiser with big business lobbyists attending.. Manchin will need to show he cut the total budget (his public stance),, including the green part. Sinema will have to show she got some little goody for her funders, though I doubt anyone will let her get away without the competitive bid for medicare formularies. Perhaps there is a tax offset somewhere. So here is mine: Give all a small haircut of an arbitrary percent that is in the social services reconciliation bill. and even a corresponding cut in tax increases business. ..Everybody can point to how effective they were...and the progressive agenda is still intact without elimination of any portion of it, just underfunded for now. The only ones most upset at that would be the GOP Senators who got outfoxed. This is a compromise on the reconciliation bill that will make no one happy and everyone happy at the same time. The Democrats, all of them will have bragging rights in 2022 and 2024. Oh well, Biden will figure it out...or not ..An emerging battle cry of Democrats is: Democrats produce; Republicans obstruct. It is a great slogan but will only work if the Biden agenda is enacted.

Update 10/4/21: These are theories not tested by public polling I can find, but here is my explanation of probable reasons for the failure of the process so far. . Two stubborn Senators with their own agendas for re-election have deservedly gotten the blame, but there are other factors, too. The delay of the vote until the end of October is a symptom of the failure on the part of progressives to educate the public The passion the progressive leaders in the House have for the Biden-backed reconciliation bill is not shared by many outside of Congress. The time is needed to make their case better and to deal with the two stubborn senators. The setback is temporary.

Where progressives have gone wrong. They assumed that because they got control of the two houses of Congress and the White House, this legislation was their mandate. It may have given them an opportunity, but the reason Biden won was not to "build back better" It was that he was not Donald Trump and Biden was an acceptable alternative to the madness of a chaotic, narcissistic leader who used fear as his vengeful wrath and hatred of others as tools, and with a lust for keeping himself in power..Progressives falsely assumed that because each provision of the reconciliation bill backed by progressives polled high, there was a lack of public knowledge that those popular provisions were included or that their constituents wanted all of the various contents in one package. It is a segmented appeal. Not everyone has children, needs child care, or will be attending a community college, or has large bills to be paid out of pocket for prescription drugs. The passion for saving the environment or understanding the connection of global warming is more than it once was, but still not on the top issue of many. That blanketly calling any of the provisions good for everyone or is worthy of being condemned as socialism depends on ideology and values. It speaks to how much how many care about their neighbors in the moral sense or hate everything that smells of the word socialism and do not want their tax money going to others they do not like. . The failure of getting the policy accepted without mandates that people should get COVID shots or wear masks for the sake of others should be instructive about the extent of selfish, self-centered public attitudes. There is also a great deal of ignorance of how the legislative process works and that wide-sweeping legislation that steps on major interests such as fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals and additionally extends the social safety net for which so many have no sympathy. An understanding of costs spread over x years needs better messaging. That taxing the rich seems to be an approach that has widespread traction, but the question is whether how much money is needed to fund the provisions. more of an inside ball game being played among the progressives and the moderates, leaving the rest of us wondering what provisions will be cut and if so, which.

Joe Manchin’s reconciliation memo: What to know - The Washington Post


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

How many new cases of COVID go un reported? Data we may never know

From Georgia to Texas, stories like this are reported. So many are those stories reported on the internet, that they illustrate how extreme are those in such extreme denial, they take it out on health care workers who inform them of their diagnosis. Even a couple I know who are anti-vaxxers were exposed to COVID and simultaneously came down within few days with symptoms themselves. This was less than a week after being exposed to someone in our family who was just beginning with symptoms and later did test positive. All three had more than moderate illness. The couple is still insisting they did not have COVID' They just had "pneumonia". and the slow recovery was just because they in their mid-'60s were just getting old. I wonder how many others they infected while they came down and recovered from the "pneumonia". Seriously, those that get more than a light case have "pneumonia:". Ignorance and denial are hard to fathom. Bad cases of COVID are pneumonia...not caused by bacteria ...or by a common cold gone bad...bur by the COVID virus...That is what COVID is if it progresses. Fortunately, the couple did recover and never had to call 911, but I guess they will never take an antibody test because it might reveal they were wrong. Ignorance is bliss, for the deniers and a danger to the rest of us. This couple will never be recorded as a new COVID case in their home state's data. Those they infect and get tested will become a statistic.. To understand the symptoms and when you need to seek help, go to

Reproduced from that CDC page, if it did not link:

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Heads up, Democrats. Your case for democracy needs some help.

  Heads up, Democrats. Your case for democracy needs some helpDonald Trump is now positioning himself to try for a second term in 2024.   Democrats are asleep at the wheel if they assume naturally they will win because they support our traditional democracy and Trump is a wannabe autocrat.  Recent polls should be a wake-up alarm.  Republicans are far more passionate about believing democracy is under attack than Democrats.  . The question that should be put to voters in 2022 and 2024 is "in what kind of a country do we want to live in the future? Is it the democracy as we have known it or an autocracy?"  If Democrats make a strong case for democracy that contrasts the damage autocracies do to the freedom of voters to get their voices heard, the response should be clearly "democracy we have known". The follow-up response then would be " to vote the Trumpists out". However, making a strong case for Democrats' kind of democracy is still a work in progress and is not a done deal. The two political parties do not live on the same planet because democracy means different things to different partisans.  Simply calling Trumpists fascists or autocrat lovers meant as slurs is not enough. Simply shouting we are the ones for true democracy by and for the people and the other side is not is also not enough.  The astute  Trump opponents fear Trump wants to turn  US democracy into an autocracy, a fascist. who wants to keep opponents from voting by any means. Trump's supporters see Trump as a defender of democracy protecting us from voter fraud with "voter integrity laws".  What we will be facing in 2022 and 2024 is which ones of these views of democracy wins out.  Even more dire a question is" do we want to give  forces of autocracy more time and ability to consolidate their  power ?"

Truimpsters respond that liberals are trying to turn the US into a socialist state with the Biden agenda and socialism means the end of democracy. 

I was asked on another site via a meme by a Trumpster, if socialism is so great, why did not the central American migrants go to Venezuela? Here is my answer: Because dictatorships come in all ideologies,, fascism to communism, and stops in between. They are by their nature corrupt, favoring cronies or demographics who put them in office and will keep them there. If you are not one of "them", you have no rights or ability to keep them in check, or peacefully overturn them. They are not a government based on ability but based on the whims of one ruler. That is why you hear liberals calling Trump a wannabe dictator and an autocrat. Some call him a fascist because dictatorships in cahoots with big capitalism is the definition of fascism. So far as Venezuela is concerned, and to a lesser extent, Russia, both countries used oil revenue money to buy the favor of the group that would support them. ..When the price of oil crashed, so did their ability to bring the same continued prosperity to the groups that supported them. In Russia's case, Putin is not threatened by the middle class he favored, but because absolute power corrupts absolutely his villas and self-financial dealing and the oligarchs who enable him have created an opposition using whatever few democratic tools they had left...It sometimes takes years for demagogues to become dictators, but suppression of opposition via abusing democratic institutions is more likely in current history than the old way of military coups and revolution. The problem is dictators can come to power and slowly suppress opponents so that when they realize what has happened, it is too late for the people to act. Even those wannabe dictators who truly think they are the best thing that happened to their country begin to enjoy the power, privilege, and monetary rewards, and then they do even more to suppress any opposition. That includes total control of media so that opposition messages cannot get exposure, throwing opposition leaders into jail on some pretext, controlling the mechanisms of voting, using threats of force and using the military to crack down on domestic opponents, stacking the judiciary with cronies, and turning the legislature into a bunch of yes nodding heads, using those tactics.

A mid-September poll should be a warning to Democrats .. .CNN Poll: Most Americans feel democracy is under attack in the US - CNNPolitics   75 % of Republicans say democracy is under attack, compared with 46% of Democrats....  .   Among Republicans, 78% say that Biden did not win and 54% believe there is solid evidence of that, despite the fact that no such evidence exists.".Even the recent fiasco in the "Arizona forensic audit" conducted by their own GOP contracted Cyber Ninjas concluded that Biden won. That has not changed Trump's rhetoric to his devoted rally attendees immediately after the story was reported pointing to" what about" and " what ifs" while, counting on the ignorance of their supporters of the election systems and safeguards already in believe him.  Republicans still claim they are the ones who protect traditional democracy from cheaters now and in the future and the Democrats are the ones stealing it. Even if the elections system "ain't broke", they still want to fix it to their advantage. The good news in that CNN poll is that when  Americans as a whole are polled, only " 36% of Americans say that President Joe Biden did not legitimately get enough votes to win the presidency. That 36% includes 23% who falsely say there is solid evidence that Biden did not win and 13% who say that is their suspicion only.".36% is a minority view, but it is a large minority and the battle is not over. The minority of the popular vote still can win control over the majority voters depending on which state the vote is close.  Current forecasts are that Republicans will win back their majorities in Congress in 2022 and that Trump will still be the leading GOP candidate in 2024. Democrats need to do more than just win; they need to win big. It still takes more than simple majority wins of popular votes by Democrats in close elections to offset the success GOP-dominated state legislatures have had in gerrymandering House districts to their advantage and discouraging the other side from voting. The Senate is already 50-50, and one race could tilt the balance one way or the other. 

When Democrats hail democracy and Republicans fear for democracy's vote integrity, they are not even talking about the same reality. Reality is shaped by demagogues, lies,  media, and individual experiences. . The problem is explaining this difference in the practice of democracy in terms of life experiences instead of abstract concepts. Autocracy and fascism are political science kinds of words, easier to pronounce than concepts to grasp or explain in a battle of persuasion of independents, who can swing elections. Fascism is used more of an insult, but it is a dictatorship with capitalists as their partners and supporters, instead of communists. Its history with Hitler evokes emotions,, but being called a Nazi is still unnecessarily inflammatory, even if the shoe fits.

The challenge to Democrats then is to put their views of democracy in the context of something meaningful to those who are not hardcore Trumpists  Perhaps one approach is "   Your vote may not even count because the  GOP is now in the hands of Trumpists who are making it hard for you to vote and be counted, especially if you are an assumed vote for the other candidate.  " For example, the laws being passed by legislatures in red states are permitting legislatures to overturn the popular voter election results. Also officials determining which votes are counted are being put in partisans' hands instead of separately elected election administrators. 

The beauty of democracy as we have known it for 250 years is that the will of the majority of people determines the direction of the country while protecting the rights of the minority views to be able to make their case to the public and win a future election. This is thanks to the observed First Amendment freedoms of peaceful assembly and media independence and derivative civil rights laws and amendments.  Putting this in more understandable popular terms, defenders could say  "Continued existence of our kind of democracy is threatened if allegiance is pledged to a ruler who is a person because they are given the power in terms in office to twist it to maintain and increase their personal power and control.". For example, those treasured protections can be circumvented by biased interpretation, appointments of loyalists,  and selective enforcement of laws .. That would be the case up and down federal, state, and local governments in legislative, executive, and judicial power centers. It is very possible to happen within the next few years unless voters stop it when they still have a chance.  As Ben Franklin has been quoted often. When exiting the Constitutional Convention, he said" We have a republic if we can keep it". We. the people, that's us, still have an opportunity to keep it by electing those who are pledged to keeping it. 

 Just promoting the value of the rule of law and an independent judiciary instead of a rule of a person needs to be put into terms of how this impacts people. For example Transitions of power to new winners had been peaceful until January 6, 2021, when even then the Constitution held in the end as the electoral count was certified. "Do you want a violent coup attempt after every election? Is that the kind of America you want?  January 6 was a close call. Do you want more of this in the future? There is no guarantee that peaceful transitions will be the situation forever. It depends who you elect to power"..

 The key to rule of the Consitution's longevity has been mutual respect by all parties to the rule of law until now. It has never been pledging loyalty to the rule of a person who determines how laws are interpreted and who enforces the law for the benefit of the ruler's loyalists. Those are the evil practices our founders had revolted against, the rule by such a tyrant. While the GOP tried to appoint enough judges they wanted to federal courts and the supreme court, even their appointees swore loyalty to the law while leaning to a more conservative ideology. They ruled in every instance that there was no evidence of the election being stolen. That independence of the judiciary is not a guarantee if both the legislative and executive branches are in the hands of a wannabe autocrat/dictator who can manipulate the provisions of existing laws and rules to replace vacancies with his loyalists he can depend on ruling as he wants.. One term in power is not enough to complete the takeover. Two terms could get an autocrat closer to there.  Is this the country we want in the future?

 The current attacks on Trump's anti-democratic tendencies have been limited to calling him an "autocrat" ..  That is far too gentle an approach, yet calling him a fascist creates its own hysteria, no matter how true it is.  Perhaps one way without getting in the weeds is to tag Trump as fear and hate rouser who wants to be a one-man ruler who tried to use the active military and judges appointments and federal prosecutors and inspiring violent actions to get his way. That sounds more like a wannabe dictator who wants another term in power to complete his agenda.   That is never what this country was about. " Our political future will not be a corrupt one favoring his cronies if he wins. Is this the country you want?"  

Biden's approach has been to make a case for democracy because it can get things done. He is demonstrating it by getting legislation passed that helps the middle class and lays the groundwork for a more prosperous future.  That is well and good since it demonstrates "he cares about me" and deflects the old "what have you done for me lately" cynical view of voters, But it is also backhandedly admitting that "autocracies" can also get it done, if not for everyone, but at least for their loyal supporters.  That is not enough of a plea to support the kind of democracy we have had for the past 250 years. Trump has always believed that the greater motivation in politics is "fear".  Democrats need to throw that back at him ...that "more of him will lead to chaos and conflict, and the loss of popular will expressed in a ballot box with his big lies and restrictive rights for those who oppose him.  Is this the kind of America we want for our future?"  There will always be those who are radical and fanatical enough to answer "yes, bring it on".  The task for those who want to keep the form of democracy we have had for 250 years is to keep them an even smaller minority of the electorate.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Did Donald Trump really plot to overturn the election of 2020?

Update Nov. 1, 2021

 Trump supporters like to portray January 6 as just a few demonstrators who got carried away or were just like e tourists strolling peacefully through the Capitol.  The videos of that day only work if the viewer is blind, deaf, or willfully ignorant.   The greater question is was this an orchestrated plan by Trump to stay in office.  Fundamental to that was to justify the gentle coup by saying 2020  elections were stolen, just full of fraud, and particularly in the seven states that could have or should have gone to him.  Slowly evidence is emerging that this was a concreted plan, a scheme, based upon the lie that there was widespread fraud in the election.  A memo has emerged by a political operative that outlines how the scheme could work.  

The clearest factual report about how January 6 happened was put together by the Washington Post. Yoiu may hit a paywall, but it worth persisting.   Their conclusion is that  "lit the fuse", but did not plan the violence.  He certainly planned to get Pence to do the job for him to overturn the election by refusing to certify the vote.  .

Another issue is whether the violence committed on January 6 was an insurgency or just a rally that got out of hand in which the attendees included some groups espousing violence in the past. These were no looky-loo tourists gawking at the halls of Congress.  Videos are just too telling.  There are complaints that the Justice Department filed only softball charges.  The DOJ may have some good reasons to believe the violence was due to mob psychology and the lack of preparedness by the capitol police to prevent it from turning so ugly. Cases are slowly making their way through the justice system, so maybe the hardcore conspiracy charges have yet to be heard.  In any case, the potential is there to repeat mob violent attacks on the democratic processes.. We have an idea of how dangerous these militia and extreme groups can be and we should not find any comfort in that or be lulled into complacency. The next time, they may be better organized.  An FBI Informant Marched Into the Capitol on Jan. 6 Riot - The New York Times (

eastman.memo.pdf (  This is a strategy a Trump lawyer proposed to keep Trump in office in spite of his losing the election in November 2020. 

That demonstrations by violent militants as the certification vote was being taken to give Pence a stiff backbone to throw the matter into the House and overturn the election may have been part of the administration's plan.  The Eastman memo refers to that as a possible strategy being considered. Pence refused to play ball and to rule against certification before the January 6 riot.

Did Trump and his team try to execute the strategy?  If they tried, they did not count of several parts of  their plan failing to fall into place: 

First, 60 judges in courts across the country review the evidence that there was widespread fraud. Even those trump had appointed found there was not.  

Mike Pence, torn between loyalty to Trump and the law, refused to go along with the lie Trump wanted him to tell.  It was a  close call:  Pence waffled and then came down on the side of the law.   

The military-led by Gen. Milley also refused to intervene in a domestic matter. 

The newest evidence of those fraught moments was reported in the Woodward/Costa book "Peril" and those quoted have not come forward to refute. 

Now, there is even more evidence that the Trump operatives and the GOP knew there was no widespread fraud, but continued to beat the drum beats t that there was ...before and after the 2020 election pertaining to a vast conspiracy they cooked up that the Deominium voting machines were seen to execute the conspiracy.  Trump Campaign Knew Dominion Fraud Claims Were False, Memo Reportedly Shows—But Giuliani Still Pushed Them (

Dominion Voting Systems Sues Newsmax And OAN For Billions : NPR

GOP-backed Arizona election review confirms Biden 2020 win | TheHill

Opinion | Our constitutional crisis is already here - The Washington Post

Monday, September 13, 2021

Why COVID 19 Delta will die out on its own

Here is why COVID 19's more infectious Delta variant will die out on its own. COVID is an organism stopped when it can no longer reproduce. . The COVID virus is stopped by those who are vaccinated or have been infected if they survive and both achieve immunity.  It will stop when no one is left it can infect . .  The choice those make in a county like ours where a large number proclaim their pledge to their ideologically inspired individuality by refusing to get vaccinated. It is either get the shots or wait for COVID  to get you and hope you get a mild case.   That is the fate of Delta. Like all organisms, a virus can also mutate and evolve into a new variant.  Update 11/27/21 The next one, Omicron, is already on its way from South Africa It is particularly virulent, though it is not known yet for certain if it can blow past immunity gained from vaccines currently in use. This chapter in the pandemic begun in 2019 is not over.

 An infectious disease scientist  I heard this morning on TV made this analogy: COVID is like a wildfire. It is a matter of science in both cases. Once a wildfire has burned through an area and is nothing left to burn, it will die out. The wildfire analogy should not be hard for those for us to grasp, we who experienced the East Troublesome fire last year,  the second-largest wildfire in Colorado's history.  This COVID wildfire is burning through Grand County, now. .110( in a sparsely populated county of 16,000 like mine) tested positive for COVID in the past two weeks. One died, and seven out of nine hospitalized were unvaccinated.,.  It will stop when no one is left it can infect.

Areas like mine have a special problem. We have been full of tourists and second homeowners this summer.  They come from all over the US and bring with them the practices and even infections that impact the local population.  To reach the stage where such a virus dies off also depends upon what happens in the rest of the country.  It is now September and the tourism season is over. There is a period until late November and the beginning of the ski season that will give us an opportunity to localize COVID's impact to county permanent residents.



Sunday, September 12, 2021

The "foul spirit" of those who threaten election officials

As a former elections official and county clerk in Denver, I was fortunate to have been in office at a time when fairness and impartial administrators of elections ruled the day in the latter 1980s and early 1990s. Shortly after I left, the Posse Comitatus raised its ugly head, threatening county clerks to erase tax liens and other tax negatives from their recorded documents. So violent were their threats that El Paso (Colorado Springs) had to have armed guards to protect her. Of course, she did not have the legal power to do what the terrorist demanded.. Those same kinds of violent attempts to terrorize public officials to go against their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and the laws of their states, counties, and US government played out in Michigan. In 2020, a militia planned kidnapping their governor and their show of armed force at their statehouse. On January 6. 2021, a similar technique of domestic terror, to frighten lawmakers and the Vice President into not signing the certification of Biden's election. Colorado's Secretary of State Jena Griswold is the object of death threats as well. Amen to the opinion column in the Colorado Sun.. This threatens the very existence of democracy.

As George W. Bush, president at the time of 9/11 so clearly said at Shanksville on the 20th anniversary of that 9/11 attack, in comparing the foreign terrorists who committed that act to the attackers at the capitol January 6, 2020: “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home.But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit.” 

 Through public records and interviews, Reuters documented 102 threats of death or violence received by more than 40 election officials, workers, and their relatives in eight of the most contested battleground states in the 2020 presidential contest. Each was explicit enough to put a reasonable person in fear of bodily harm or death, the typical legal threshold for prosecution. Almost all of the 102 threats of violence appeared to be inspired by Trump’s debunked claims that the election was rigged against him. The messages often included highly personal, sometimes sexualized threats of violence or death, not only to the officials themselves but also to their family members and their children." Threatened U.S. election workers get little help from law enforcement ( U.S. election workers get little help from law enforcement ( "

GOP-backed Arizona election review confirms Biden 2020 win | TheHill

A footnote:  Colorado Springs, CO has a history of the home of violent extremists: Spike Lee's movie was based on the KKK activities in the area. New Spike Lee movie focuses on Colorado detective who infiltrated Ku Klux Klan | News |

Several of the January 6 rioters arrested and charged, and suspects are from the Colorado Springs area.Colorado's 9 accused insurrectionists |

The Coloradans charged in connection with Jan 6. Capitol attack - Colorado Newsline


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Anti COVID vaxxers : taken for fools by right wing media

Those who took their medical advice from FOX and like-minded social media are now paying the price. They have been taken for fools.   Making vaccination and mask-wearing a political issue is proving to have deadly consequences. The unvaccinated for COVID-19 are four times likely to be hospitalized and five times likely to die. Around  90 million Americans are still unvaccinated.(Colorado is a bit better than the national average).  Perpetuating this anti mandate media message is still FOX (and others), angrily raving that  Pres. Biden is a dictator or a Nazi for his executive order to require federal employees to be vaccinated as well as, federal contractors. Medical and nursing home facilities Medicare and Medicare are also to require their employees to be vaccinated,  Fortunately for Biden, a significant majority of Americans agree with such mandates in public spaces and there is plenty of case law to support his right to do so when the government is the employer.  Biden tried persuasion. data, and, convenience, but with an estimated 90 million still sitting on the fence in late August still unvaccinated, his poll numbers in handling COVID dipping, he acted. He looked at the law, saw he did not have the power to mandate vaccinations for everyone, but he did have the power as an employer for the one hundred million the federal government employed, and on September 9, he issued an executive order for what mandates he could. 

In my own county (ski, recreation, ranching, population 16,000)), the COVID infection rate has taken a leap with 110 new cases in two weeks... and a recent death occurred Friday, Sept. 10. Seven of the nine hospitalized in the past two weeks were unvaccinated. Third Grand County resident dies from COVID-19 as hospitalizations rise |   The rate is similar to the one last winter before vaccines were widely available.  Those smugly thinking they could get away scot-free without vaccinations may be learning a hard lesson.  

   Data sources People in states with low vaccination rates are about 4 times more likely to be hospitalized and more than 5 times likely to die - CNN

 Unvaccinated Coloradans Are Much More Likely To Be Hospitalized And Die Due To COVID, According To New State Data | Colorado Public Radio (

Per: What Percentage of Colorado is Vaccinated? | Colorado Vaccine Tracker | USAFacts At least 208,305,270 people or 63% of the US  population have received at least one dose.Overall, 177,433,044 people or 54% of the population have been fully vaccinated.  . | Colorado Vaccine Tracker | USAFacts  updated Sept. 9, In Colorado, 3,689,282 people or 64% of the state has received at least one dose. and 57% fully vaccinated. 

 Most Americans support vaccine mandates in certain public spaces, survey finds | University of Chicago News (   

Remarks by President Biden on Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic | The White House

Biden announces COVID-19 vaccine mandates that will affect 100 million Americans (

 Vaccine Mandates Are Lawful, Effective and Based on Rock-Solid Science - Scientific American

Source: FOX news personalities' quotes against Biden's employer mandates and case law supporting Biden's right: Transcript: The Beat with Ari Melber, 9/10/21 ( 

COVID Vaccine Hesitancy: 90 Million Still On the Fence (

Saturday, September 4, 2021

The Texas abortion law; a gift to Democrats? Maybe

 Is the Texas abortion law a gift to Democrats?  Maybe. The political fallout from this most extreme anti-abortion law in the US was permitted by a Supreme Court to go forward.  Democrats need to give their  usual more complacent voters motivation to turnout in the midterms in 2022 to offset the already motivated and enthusiastic hardcore pro-life members of the GOP who are getting most of their fondest pro-life wishes fulfilled. This outrageously extreme Texas anti-abortion law just may be the ticket Democrats need to give a shot of adrenalin to the arm of their voters, turning out their voters to offset those of the already motivated religious right.  It is not a given per some observers, however.

National sentiment approving Roe v Wade has held steady for the past 50 years. In 2022, however, all elections will be local, House districts, a third of the Senate,  and in statehouses. That other governors and legislatures in ruby-red states may copycat this extreme law will boot the issue to the national level.

59% of Americans say abortion should be legal | Pew Research Center    

The next question is will that make any difference in 2022 and will it turn out more Democrats as well as more Republicans. A publication Politico opinion writer does not think so since it has not so far and the pro and con polled opinion has remained steady for years, the country is already divided per tribe (I would call this “cultural”) and this is just one defining issue. The Supreme Court may take a stance that makes criteria for permitting abortions more restrictive yet stopping short of an outright ending Roe v Wade, as they wait for the relatively less draconian Mississippi case. What Supreme Court’s Texas Punt Means For Mississippi’s Abortion Case ( It might take some wind out of the backlash sails. Opinion | Don’t Be So Sure a Supreme Court Backlash Will Boost Democrats - POLITICO 

  Politico carves out an exception for one demographic, younger voters, which might motivate their turnout in great numbers in favor of the Democrats than even in 2020.    Others have noted the increasing political power of younger voters.  Increasingly active younger voters liberalize US electorate | TheHill

Not mentioned in the Politico analysis was Congressional action to make Roe v Wade a law, no longer dependent on the judiciary to work around an obviously ideological pro-life majority on the Supreme Court. The threat to add more seats to the Court has been revived but that is a steep hill to climb without a super Democratic majority in the Senate.  However, Democrats' bill to make Roe v Wade a federal law now in the works will serve to get each Senator and House votes “on the record” so that their positions can be more easily attacked by their opponents in their races in 2022. It will also result in more national media attention to local and statehouse races particularly in swing states since 2022 is not a presidential election year.  Also, some elements of the Texas law are so over the top, it might also get the attention of some fence-sitting moderates. Some clauses could raise some hackles asleep at the wheel until now such as forbidding abortion in the case of rape or incest, and the cross-state line vigilante enforcement that permits anyone in the US to sue anyone in Texas who aided  ( broad, ad undefined}  an abortion past 6 weeks of a person’s pregnancy. Over 80% of women do not know they are pregnant until after the first 6 weeks per the ACLU, which is a very sneaky way to get around an outright abortion ban by a government. The Texas law also places an award for pro-life bounty hunters of $10,000 settlement should their court suit succeeds.

 Talk about precedent. Not only does this vigilante enforcement permit extreme intrusion into the private lives of women, but it also opens the door to  any other legislation, including pet ones from the left such as gun legislation and voter suppression, that permits enforcement by civil suit to be filed by a vigilante anywhere in the US. Careful what you wish, right-wing fanatics.  One issue the Texas law undermines is that in civil law, the plaintiff has to show how they were damaged personally,  and the Texas law tries to eliminate the “standing” issue. The constitutionality of this Texas law has not been tested by litigation or by the Court, though the pro-life ideologues now in the majority on the Court refused to issue a temporary restraining order to keep it from going into effect immediately.

Texas judge temporarily shields clinics from anti-abortion group's lawsuits (

Why Texas?  Partisan gerrymandering has empowered a hard-right turn in Texas (