Three Things: It’s Our Lucky Day

Though friends and family in Texas are still desperately miserable, we had an unusually lucky day.

~ 3 ~

Don’t know about you folks but my sleep cycle has been extremely erratic during this pandemic. I’m up at 3:00 a.m. for a few hours, finally fall back to sleep, and wake again at no set hour.

Today I woke a few minutes before nine a.m. ET, launching Twitter immediately as one does while still trying to shake off the Trump era habit of checking for the apocalypse on rising.

Lo and behold, the first tweet in my timeline was the live stream of the impending implosion of Trump’s shuttered Atlantic City hotel.

I huddled under my blankets in rapt attention for several minutes waiting for explosives’ detonation and BOOM-boom-boom-boom-boom, there it was and I blinked and the hideous structure was gone when I opened my eyes.

Dust slowly rose into the air and sailed out over the ocean like fine confetti.

It was glorious — a sign like smoke over the Vatican, a portent of better things to come.

~ 2 ~

And there it was, the dusty oracle delivered.

One of the meanest, nastiest, most useless sacks of flesh assumed room temperature today.

Right-wing talk radio blabbermouth Rush Limbaugh succumbed from complications due to lung cancer.

Don’t tell me I’m being unusually harsh; I’m using the contemptible toad’s own words. When homeless rights activist Mitch Snyder died, Limbaugh said Snyder assumed room temperature.

Nor should you imagine for one goddamned moment I will now demonstrate an iota of respect for that dead wretch because respect is earned. The racist, misogynist ignoramus who played a key role in the progress of the GOP away from a pro-democracy political party earned no respect from me.

This obituary at Huffington Post says it best, though there’s plenty it left out even though it’s unsparing. Michael Tomasky at Democracy Journal faults Bork and Scalia for Limbaugh’s poisonous rise across our publicly-owned airwaves (there’s a lesson in this).

Adios, motherfucker. Give my regards to Hades.

~ 1 ~

Good news from White House COVID-19 Response Team today


Doubling the weekly average is great, considering the response team had NOTHING, ZIP, NADA in the way of a federal plan for rolling out the vaccine as of Inauguration Day. The Trump Administration’s plan appeared to consist of dumping vaccine on the states in quantities which may have been rationalized by politics, and telling the states to just do it, just distribute it — if they listened to VP Pence’s team.

If they listened to Secretary Azar — like Florida’s Gov. DeSantis surely did, with emphasis added by grocery store chain Publix’s heiress’s donation — then commercial pharmacies were going to run the show.

What a fucking shit show.

With luck in spite of the lingering Trumpy mess, some of you have had your first and possibly second vaccination if you’re in health care or older than 65 (age threshold depends on states’ criteria and how closely they followed the CDC’s guidance, I think, correct me if I’m wrong). Good. I won’t receive mine for another eight weeks, I estimate, based on my state’s current roll out schedule.

With the announcement that enough doses have been ordered for delivery in late July, the rest of the country may expect to be vaccinated by late summer. Depending on how the last push for vaccinations is organized and pulled off, school this fall is likely to be on campus and in classrooms once again.

That is very good news.

~ 0 ~

If you feel inclined to assist Texans who are suffering from the worst of the intersection between their elected GOP officials and capitalist profiteering, the Texas Tribune reported where help is accepted (bottom of article):

Here’s how to help:

Dallas: Dallas Homeless Alliance President and CEO Carl Falconer said donations can be made to Our Calling, who is managing the city’s shelter at the convention center.
Austin: Chris Davis, communications manager for Austin’s Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, or ECHO, said people can find a list of ways to help here. These donations range from sleeping bags to monetary donations for hygiene and snack kits.
San Antonio: South Alamo Regional Alliance for the Homeless Executive Director Katie Vela said their biggest area of need is volunteers to work the overnight shifts, especially those living in the downtown area who might be able to walk to the shelters. Vela also said the shelters are also in need of hot meals beginning Tuesday. People can find the list of shelters here.
Houston: Catherine B. Villarreal, the director of communications for the Coalition for the Homeless, said people can donate to any of the organizations in The Way Home listed here.

I hope Texans are thinking ahead to the thaw when all that snow and ice will turn into flood water, which may be as soon as Friday.

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120 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Looks like it’s time again for me to whip out a reminder — and an introduction for newer community members — about community guidelines.

    Over the more than decade this site’s been around we’ve tried not to have a structured set of rules, allowing for freewheeling conversation; but we also have to deal with trolls of all kinds who drop in to either disrupt conversation, discredit the site, or generally DDoS comments. This is as close to policy as we’ve gotten.


    source: xkcd on Free Speech (ep. 1357)

    Things frowned upon here include but not limited to: deliberate sockpuppetry, ad hominem attacks on contributors and/or commenters, (far-fetched) claims without substantiation, behavior denying other commenters’ use of comment thread, behavior undermining site integrity and/or or users’ security.

    Long-time blogger and citizen journalist Lisa Williams once explained that her blog was like her living room; she expected commenters to behave as they would in her living room. This seems a perfect rule of thumb — not overly specific but easy to understand. This might be a fairly raucous living room but hosts and guests alike don’t care for the jerk who does something nasty in the punch bowl.

    And it’s especially frowned upon for strangers to walk in off the street, not make an effort to develop a rapport with the community, and then doody in the pool.

    It’s just plain bad manners in real life and in comment space. Thanks to our community members who make this a place where we only infrequently need to throw participants out of the pool.

    Because many of the commenters here have been here and participated with regularity in the community, there’s give-and-take including casual chatter between seasoned members and contributors/moderators. Jumping both feet into a discussion between folks with a long history and taking liberties they have earned with each other causes friction.

    And jumping in making exclamations without any supporting material on an initial foray here having also attempted to sockpuppet, followed by repeated demands earns the boot out the door.

    Apologies to our seasoned regulars for a repeat posting of these guidelines. Fortunately it hasn’t been necessary to post this since October.

    Oh, and one more thing: Swatting trolls tends to make mods tetchy. If the moderator is testy with you, it means it’s time to slow your roll. Don’t keep poking the bear. Take a move to the shade, spend more time reading, maybe even at a different site for while.

    [#commentpolicy]

  2. P J Evans says:

    One comment I saw this evening was that RBG smiled at Limbaugh as she pulled the handle on the trapdoor covering the direct route to the very warm place, where he now is in the special location known as double h*ll.

    • Rayne says:

      I hope he went straight to the bad place, his pixels not soiling the vision of anybody in the good place. He tormented so many people who didn’t deserve more grief in their lives.


      He was scum.

      • DrFunguy says:

        “…when Kurt Cobain committed suicide, Limbaugh said, “Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentlemen, a worthless shred of human debris.”
        The world celebrates Rush’s demise.

        • Rayne says:

          Who made Limbaugh the arbiter of other human’s worth? What had Cobain done that merited any such nastiness on Limbaugh’s part? He was another narcissist like Trump, who begrudged others recognition when it didn’t serve to feed his massive ego. Good riddance to bad baggage.

          • John Paul Jones says:

            “Who made Limbaugh the arbiter of other human’s worth?”

            At the risk of stating the obvious: Privilege. Unearned and unexamined, inculcating the belief that his anger and scorn could be spewed into public spaces because those spaces belonged to “people like me (and not people like you Others).”

            • Rayne says:

              That privilege was acquired using OUR publicly-owned airwaves, though. We need to reexamine the core philosophy of the FCC and the use of OUR broadcast bandwidth. The FCC licenses broadcasters whose content is supposed to serve the general interest; Limbaugh’s did not, and in wide swaths of the country there were few alternatives because of excessive media consolidation. OUR airwaves should carry content that looks and sounds like this country as a whole, not a narrow range of white patriarchy invested in sustaining their supremacy.

              • cavenewt says:

                The demise of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan, as well as degulation of ownership of media outlets in a geographical area, are what gave Limbaugh and Rupert Murdoch the opportunity to do the harm they did.

        • Xboxershorts says:

          On Jerry Garcia’s passing, he had this to say: “Just another dead doper. And a dirt bag.”

          I had a long running thread where a number of my conservative friends were chiming in critically of mine and other’s celebratory comments on the asshole’s passing. One said he was surprised to see such “hate” coming from me and I had this to say about that:

          We are under no obligation to tolerate what we perceive as evil.

          Rush Limbaugh brought evil into this world and I will celebrate the passing of that evil.

          • Rayne says:

            Celebrating Limbaugh’s death is like punching a Nazi. Who and why should anyone fault a person for punching a Nazi? Limbaugh was everything a Nazi was except for the label and membership into a formal organization called the Nazis; he was the biggest gateway conservatives had, radicalized by Limbaugh from small government adherents to hateful no-name Nazism.

            You can ask your conservative friends to consider Popper’s paradox: at what point does tolerance have a limit because it encourages intolerance? Mike Godwin wrote an excellent essay on this in R street, worth a read. Limbaugh was a poster child for intolerance.

          • chum'sfriend says:

            I had hoped Rush would live long enough for the American public to realize the magnitude of his deception in selling us all down the river with his lies and deception regarding our approaching climate catastrophe… and string him from a lamppost like Mussolini.

            • skua says:

              There is the dream.
              And there is the ongoing, long term poisoning/injuring of a people that let those dreams be enacted.
              Trump’s “winning” was a widely sought extension of American triumphalism.
              And American triumphalism may be seen as an attempt to make up for the many monsterous acts that consitute so much of America’s history.
              If so then more monsterous acts will lead to more trumpism.

  3. PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

    It was pretty surreal to hear NPR describing him as a controversial conservative star, and not as a racist sex tourist. BBC news hour tentatively brought up some of his tamer quotes with the Republican governor of kansas, but allowed the governor to contest the veracity of the quotes, both sides them, and ultimately brush them away.

    Its becoming increasingly obvious that so much of the news media is incapable of honestly covering bad faith actors.

    Rot in hell, Rush

    • Rayne says:

      The sex tourism. Just so revolting. I can’t bear another lecture from authority figures who scold about dancing on Limbaugh’s grave when the man was a waste of carbon and oxygen.

      • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

        My husband reminded me that Limbaugh also was an opiate addict, all the while spouting awfulness about how all drug addicts need to be jailed, etc, etc. A King of the Hypocrites. Wasn’t there an undocumented housekeeper involved in his drug saga, too? So much sordidness.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t recall the specifics about the housekeeper. I wish I had it in me to look but it feels like wading through an overflowing septic field.

          Plenty of nasty hypocrisy under the Limbaugh tag at The Smoking Gun.

          • gmoke says:

            As I recall, the undocumented housekeeper was forced by Limbaugh to make the drug buys and was the one who got caught, first.

            But I could be wrong.

            • blueedredcounty says:

              Valerie, Rayne, gmoke – you are all correct.

              https://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/28/us/rush-limbaugh-arrested-on-prescription-drug-charges.html

              The original arrest warrant was for doctor shopping (2000 painkillers from four different doctors/prescriptions in six months at his local pharmacy). His deal with prosecutors allowed him to plead not guilty and to have the charges all dismissed after 18 months of compliance with court conditions.

              I get the impression his attorney provided excellent representation for him, and I suspect cost more than the $30K he was required to pay to the state “to defray the public costs of the three year investigation.” However, I am not a lawyer, so I defer to bmaz and BobCon and the other practicing attorneys as to whether or not my reading is accurate.

    • BobCon says:

      NPR’s standard dodge to making any value judgments is that they have to stick to the facts.

      Except when the facts are damning to conservatives, they flip flop and just broadcast platitudinous value judgments.

      • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

        They had the gall to ask for money to meet their $100,000 fundraising goal right after whitewashing Rush’s life and career.

  4. Eureka says:

    Ted Cruz hit the skies for Cancun, all that Texas stuff Not His Problem.

    Vaccine rollout here (except for HCW, particularly institution-based ones) has been frustrating. People have been line-jumping (software the state distributed to counties creates non-unique appt. links; eligible people who got them posted them on FB…), etc. We keep getting shorted in our delivery supply. New administrators keep getting added, so the supplies sent to the only place where people can centrally sign up (their respective counties) lessen. It’s impossible to get through or get a reply from any of these myriad new administrators. It goes on. (And all of the storm cancellations push appts. forward, obviously.)

    It’s almost as bad as the mail situation in its way, in the sense that it’s each person alone versus a pile of corporations and their systems, trying to meet up with the well-intentioned public servants/services to complete the circuit of success.

    We’ve got to get this shit cleaned up, streamlined ASAP to be able to smoothly roll-forward with (lifelong, at this point) boosters in a timely enough fashion to quash the new beasts.

    Someday …

      • skau says:

        Scanned to your comment and initially though it was in reference to Ted Cruz’s Mexico holiday. I desperately needed a good laugh. Thanks.

  5. punaise says:

    Flush Rush, indeed. Just an awful excuse for a human, leaving a trail of civic destruction.
    .
    My 92 y.o. Mom finally got her first vaccine appt.

    • Rayne says:

      Woohoo! Yay for your mom! My FIL who’s 91 got his first shot about two weeks ago. I should follow up on the second shot, see if he’s gotten it yet.

      • punaise says:

        Needles in old arms! Kaiser was “don’t call us, we’ll call you” for weeks on end, but now is better than later.

    • Honeybee says:

      Happy these appointments are finally coming to pass. My husband who has sadly followed cancer treatment with a stroke, and has diabetes to boot, finally hit the jackpot when our state lowered the age of eligibility to 70. (Such a relief.)

  6. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Can’t possibly keep up around here, but adding a fourth good thing: McConnell ‘will never speak to Trump again’, and The Before Guy is raging at McConnell. I watch in muted glee.

    I really like today’s trend of not actually naming The Before Guy.
    Not only is Rush gone, Fox is losing viewership. Feels like slow progress.

    • cavenewt says:

      And apparently the Republican Party is hemorrhaging members; if true, and substantial enough, it could at least partly explain the high percentage of Rs supporting T****. IIRC, I read the other day that registered Independents have gone over 50% of the electorate for the first time.

      I mentioned it elsewhere and received no response, but Independents might start becoming a focus of attention, to encourage them to switch registration temporarily in order to vote strategically in primaries. This is common practice in Wyoming, and after a D was elected governor, state Republicans are/were trying to pass a law to require a lengthier leadtime for registration.

  7. Raven Eye says:

    I tried not to listen to Rush, but in the early/mid 90’s the guy in the next cube would listen to him. One time I heard a caller express how ironic it would be if events ongoing in Sarajevo would bring the major powers into conflict with each other…

    I can’t recall them exactly, but Rush’s words were basically, “Caller – I don’t get your point.”

  8. John Lehman says:

    Atlantic City Trump enterprise demolished same day as that poison tongued radio babbler bites the dust….mmmm….seems our higher power might be giving us a sign.
    Karma, karma, karma.

    • What Constitution? says:

      The day was a trifecta of “the world turns”. Trump Tower demolished: bye bye Trump. Limbaugh actually dead: bye bye Trump enablement (I mean really, who you gonna watch — Tucker Carlson?). Millions-plus vaccinated per day, less than a month after the inauguration. bye bye Trump incompetence.

      Found myself humming Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken” while reading this post. I’ve never done that before. Gotta be careful about that. But thanks, Rayne.

  9. AndTheSlithyToves says:

    Just a few things that I wanted to park somewhere:
    From 2017 — President Nicolas Maduro may be struggling to feed Venezuela but his socialist administration still managed to make a $500,000 donation to Donald Trump’s inauguration, records released Wednesday show.
    https://apnews.com/article/835a25142094487d9788d8937f7350fd

    June 2020 Another juicy article on the Trump-Rudy-Russian Mob connections, this time featuring Texas Congressman Pete Sessions. This may be where Giuliani and Sidney Kraken got their story about Hugo Chavez and Venezuela — Sessions, the son of recently deceased former FBI Director William Sessions, has had his brushes with scandal as well. Last year, he was entangled in the impeachment investigation centered on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine for writing a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s dismissal after meeting with two associates of Giuliani with ties to the former Soviet republic.
    https://apnews.com/article/15ea6f405e859acadf969696d286b94a

    And last but not least, the reputation launderers leaking Bannon’s admission about Trump’s dementia — https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/16/trump-dementia-claims-steve-bannon-25th-amendment

    • Neil says:

      I find the “early stage dementia” description interesting, in that I’ve thought the same myself about Trump, and have wondered why this hasn’t gotten more traction generally. My 82-yo dad has dementia, being very obvious only in the last year or so. But he had a perhaps 5-7 year period before that, when we simply couldn’t understand his motivations for doing or saying this and that. Now of course, it’s all obvious. This is for sure where Trump is now.

      The comparison with Trump’s manner of “communicating” is very eye-opening – not that my father and he have any character traits in common at all – the way speech, train of thought degrades is, I think, quite characteristic. I suspect the same could be said for some others also, e.g Rudy.
      The loosening of morals and inhibitions is part of it also, even if it’s clear that Trump had few to begin with.

      Another comparison I’d love to see in the media more is how Trump on Jan6th just seemed like Chairman Mao delighting at the chaos and murder his mobs were unleashing in the Cultural Revolution. It’s just a dead ringer…

      • BobCon says:

        There are plenty of alternative explanations for Trump’s behavior, which is why experts are cautious about saying it’s dementia.

        It could be chronic mental illness, drug issues, head trauma from his high school sports days….

        • Rayne says:

          You do realize that all those other causes you cite can lead to dementia? Dementia itself is not a disease but a collection of symptoms; long-term drug abuse, for example, can damage the brain leading to the symptoms of dementia. Same for head trauma. Mental illness is a different matter; did the illness arise from genetic defect, epigenetic damage, other cause? Did subsequent dementia arise from the injury or from long-term drug therapy?

          The underlying cause is really irrelevant if the symptoms of resulting dementia were bad enough to cause staffers to worry about Trump’s competence. The public could see his progressive physical deterioration — myoclonic jerks, difficulty with gripping, aphasia, dysarthia, foot dragging, spatial impairment, so on — and can only assume he had similar deterioration mentally.

          Trump’s condition has been of particular concern because he also had a personality disorder which could make dementia-related decline far worse. His reported tantrums abusing staff match the expected behavior of a narcissist with dementia. His narcissism could also cause anosognosia, preventing him from recognizing and acknowledging his progressive deficits. Not exactly a guy who should have had the nuclear football.

          On top of this, Trump’s post-COVID condition hasn’t been discussed. As much as 78% of patients in one small study had cognitive deficits after a mild case of COVID. What happens after a case serious enough to require hospitalization including oxygen therapy? Worsening dementia?

          • ThoughtMail says:

            All interesting thoughts upon the issue of “inevitable and debilitating” dementia. But characterizing it as “early” is a bit of a stretch.

            Shortly before my father died over 20 years ago, at 86, his doctor announced boldly that dad suffered from “premature brain atrophy”. Recognizing and calling out the white lie was necessary: “He’s 86, doctor. How is that ‘premature’? Most of his friends his age have been dead for 10 years.”

            Why is it so hard to tell the truth about such things, or any things, and whom does it serve (well)?

            • Rayne says:

              You’re expecting a deceptive hack-of-all-trades like Bannon to make a medical and psychological assessment of the man who had the most power in the world. You’re asking a lot of him to tell the truth openly to the public, especially when a lot of people had vested interest in keeping Trump’s deficits hushed.

              • ThoughtMail says:

                I agree with what you have said. My comment was a more-generalized observation about uncomfortable truths, and the white lies that we tell ourselves and others, when it may not be in our own interest, or anyone’s, to fail to recognize those truths.

                As always, I come here for facts, evidence and clarity, as well as penetrating comment.

                What makes it so entertaining are the myriad ways in which EW and others have a way of saying: “Hold on there a second, slick! What?”

              • Kenster says:

                Thank you. I get so tired of this trope, regardless of the source. We’ve been putting forth this wishful thinking for 5 years. It wasn’t true then, it’s not true now. Trump, like most people, is incredibly smart in some ways and incredibly dumb in others. However, unlike most people, he is an absolute savant in understanding how to use his charisma to manipulate the rubes. I wish I knew how he did it, but have accepted that he has the gift, no matter how much we wish cast the dementia trope.

                • chum'sfriend says:

                  Trump was truly gifted in manipulating the rubes, but he did study the masters.  When asked who his favorite author was, he answered, “PT Barnum.”  And his first wife Ivana stated that though Donald had never read a book through from cover to cover in his entire life, he kept a copy of Hitler’s speeches locked in the nightstand by his bed, which he took out and studied every night.  That book is, “My New Order.”

                • skua says:

                  i can understand your tiredness with the idea that Trump is to be imminently rendered irrelevant by dementia.
                  But see no basis for thinking he has not got dementia happening.
                  And again yes to your view of him as a savant in manipulating crowds.

                • cavenewt says:

                  Absolutely he’s a genius at manipulation. That doesn’t preclude the possibility of dementia, and pretty much everybody agrees he’s narcissistic. Comparing video clips of him speaking between today and the 1980s is pretty illuminating.

                  Not to mention it’s all because of T**** that the Goldwater Rule has been pretty much invalidated, at least in this case.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Ira Rosen and 60 Minutes made their own deals with the devil–whichever devil served their purpose du jour. Rosen says “You can’t force the guy,” referring to getting Bannon on camera and OTR with his dementia observation. But if you’re Ira Rosen you can certainly deprive him of air time. Which he didn’t do. If only 60 Minutes would just stop pretending to be journalism, and admit that it’s Inside Edition for snobs.

  10. newbroom says:

    Between Limbaugh and Fox, the media manipulation of middle America’s emotional sense of Dominion has made them wealthy and US more and more distrustful, hateful, contentious, obstinate, unyielding, and violent. Next?

  11. madwand says:

    The Plaza story brings back memories of the helicopter trade taking high spenders from NY to Bader Field in Atlantic City during the 1980’s and 90s and also at Mike Tyson fights held in ACY. Tips for the pilots were incredible in the early days, especially if their clients won. Flying the really rich guys tapered off as the fad and money declined over time and there was a second surge of the not so rich but who definitely had money to burn, who could afford Trumps $100 each way fare aboard a 21 seat S61 from W30 St Heliport to Bader Field in Atlantic City and back. Still if Trump wanted to go to ACY he most likely flew on his personal helicopter, in the beginning a Super Puma and then various S76’s. In 1989, three of his top executives along with two pilots were killed when an Agusta 109 had a blade failure over the Garden State Parkway. Trump, the helicopter operator and the helicopter manufacturer were involved in lawsuits for a considerable time afterwards.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/11/nyregion/copter-crash-kills-3-aides-of-trump.html

    At one point Trump claimed he was supposed to be on the flight but canceled for other reasons however long time employee Barbara Res says that was a bunch of shit in an interview with MSNBC as related here:

    https://www.ibtimes.com/donald-trump-shocking-lie-potus-claimed-he-almost-died-helicopter-crash-2932854

    This is the type of blatant dishonesty proffered by Trump and his enabler Lindbaugh, AMF to both of them.

    Also not well known is that Trumps Super Puma burned to the ground at Lakewood Airport waiting for an IFR release from ATC in the early 90’s which probably resulted in his switching to Sikorskys, just a guess but logical. Caused by a hydraulic line fire, all sorts of caution warnings went off in the cockpit and everyone exited safely

    Got first shot, 2nd next week, no problems so far. VA was really organized, called you, gave you a time and day, educated you about the shots and reactions and scheduled you for the second shot.

  12. S.Chepaitis says:

    While I am not inclined to be happy over someone else’s misfortune, I feel a strong surge of relief triggered by the untimely passing of Rush Limbaugh. I take the strongest possible disagreement with anyone, who thinks that Rush was “funny” or “skilled at communication”, or a “provocateur”. I have seen all of these descriptors used about him and they make me sick.
    In fact he was a sick twisted little man who must have been grievously hurt as a child and reacted by spending a lifetime inflicting as much pain on as many people as he could manage. He paved the way for Trump by tapping into a deep well of pain and grievance that appears to be more rampant in the American psyche than Covid 19 is in the air we breathe onto each other. What exactly he (and the other 74 million) were aggrieved about can never be made entirely clear because they actually don’t know what it is. They simply feel that everything is stacked against them (rigged?) and they lash out to mirror the violence that they imagine is being perpetrated by their “enemies”.
    This is the explicit realization of Carl Jung’s theory of the shadow. The shadow is that dark place in the human soul that remains hidden. It generates only fear and mistrust and urges the soul owner to act out against imagined enemies and dangers. The shadow “fights like hell” to keep from being actually seen because revealing it to the light of reason renders it powerless. No logic, no evidence, no argument of any kind can persuade the shadow to reveal itself, for that would utterly destroy the identity of the owner.
    If he can be described in any coherent way, Rush Limbaugh was the collective shadow of the American psyche. It saddens me to know that he died still “fighting like hell” to keep the shadow in a dark secret place. I, for one, am not willing to give him credit for anything but the cowardice to look away from whatever it was that ate him alive. It is a good thing to bid him adieu.

    • cavenewt says:

      “Untimely”?

      Not to argue with your premise, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn he didn’t have a sunny childhood, but I also think a lot of what he did was simple moneymaking cynicism.

  13. Epicurus says:

    There was/is a board game where one tries to roll a marble through maze using horizontal and vertical levers. You lose if you drop the marble in a hole. My wife and I are getting our COVID shots next week but getting there was much like being the marble getting through the maze with state and federal governments controlling the levers. I say to a couple friends if either administration (Trump’s or Biden’s) had been in charge after the bombing at Pearl Harbor it would have said “Everyone for her/himself! We are distributing guns to drug stores and ammo thirty days later but we can’t tell you when and which drug stores so you’ll have to figure it out for yourself! Good luck and stay safe! And make sure you vote for me so we can do this again!”

    The problem always will be Rush Limbaugh had a large, conducive audience for his bigotry and advertisers willing to support that bigotry. Someone will take his place.

    • P J Evans says:

      Biden’s been in office just four weeks, and is doing a remarkable job of putting things back in place where Trmp took them out, or taking out stuff that Trmp put in.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        I second that sentiment.

        It is such a relief to turn on the evening news and see an adult sitting in the Oval Office, as opposed to a sullen, spiteful, painfully corrupt toddler…

        I was listening to Trmp’s ‘eulogy’ for Rush on Fox (I think) and even when he was supposedly talking about the passing of the biggest voice in ‘conservative talk radio’, he couldn’t help shifting focus to himself and go on and on about how unfairly he’s being treated.

      • Epicurus says:

        PJ, I will take Rayne’s rules to heart and only offer my thoughts.

        We are all behaviorally conditioned and condition others. I think that the greatest social force. In that respect I was conditioned at Basic School (training for officers) in the USMC during the Vietnam War. At one point the discussion turned to the responsibilities of an officer, commissioned or non-commissioned. In that discussion a combat experienced instructor said “Listen, when you get off the helicopter in a fire zone in Vietnam as the new platoon commander every head is going to turn to you for the answer to how to we complete this mission and get out of this alive. You better have an answer. They are depending on you with their lives.” So (obviously!) I have always taken that to heart. My expectations for the President/CIC are different from that of others and run along the same lines. I haven’t heard the basic answer that every citizen is asking. When can I expect to receive a vaccination if I want one? I don’t think the Biden administration can answer that most basic of questions even though it knows closely how many vaccines are being produced each day. I have no idea when it will be able to answer that basic question except with “When it happens!” Biden got off the helicopter on January 20th. It’s February 18th.Your expectations of management are different from mine. I would like to know when my children and grandchildren can get a vaccination. I would like to know if the administration knows what it is doing and can understand/manage an existential crisis which in simplest terms is in what time frame can specific citizens reasonably expect to be vaccinated? Trump is gone. He’s irrelevant to the process here and now. Biden and Harris are in charge. They have to answer the question.

        • Dizz says:

          We are still learning more each day about the disease and the vaccine(s).
          e.g. If the FDA approves delaying the second dose of Pfizer/ Moderna then everyone will be able to get their first dose in half the time.
          Researchers urge delaying Pfizer vaccine’s second dose as first highly effective FEBRUARY 17, 2021
          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-pfizer/researchers-urge-delay-in-administering-pfizer-vaccines-second-dose-cite-strong-data-idUSKBN2AI0EC

          The vaccine had an efficacy of 92.6% after the first dose.

        • Rayne says:

          Your expectation isn’t rational. You’re asking for a +50 state distribution network encompassing +320 million people to be analyzed, planned, developed, documented, and rolled out within 28 days. That’s the scale of your ask, because Team Trump left NOTHING in the way of a cogent plan. I’m sure I noted that in my post. Just as someone new to the job takes some time to get their sea legs, the Biden administration is feeling its way, and thank gods they have seasoned people who know what they’re doing because it would be 6 more months out if Biden relied on neophytes. Not to mention the other massive problems related to missing doses — as much as 20% unaccounted for which affects speed of rollout. Where do you think those unaccounted-for doses are, considering the schism between two failed COVID response teams under the Trump administration?

          What the public needs is real talk about the scale of this mission; we’re getting it, but we aren’t all of us hearing it because nearly half the population refuses to access the correct channels through which information is being distributed. And real talk is telling you straight up Biden just ordered enough doses to vaccinate the rest of the country by late summer (again, I wrote that in my post).

          In your case, pay more attention to these outlets:

          White House COVID Response Team https://twitter.com/WHCOVIDResponse

          Andy Slavitt, White House Senior Advisor-COVID Response https://twitter.com/aslavitt46

          CDC https://twitter.com/CDCgov

          CDC-Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) https://twitter.com/CDCMMWR

          Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota https://twitter.com/CIDRAP

          And you should be checking your state and county health department websites weekly.

          Meanwhile, the virus is a moving target. Pfizer and Moderna have both tweaked their vaccines to be more effective against the UK variant of COVID. The data about the vaccine and optimum vaccination strategy is also growing and changing the rollout — Pfizer is leaning toward holding off a second dose because the data from first dose has been very good. It’s possible this will speed up vaccination across the population as it could make 50% more vaccine available earlier than first expected.

          And since it’s going to be 8-16 week longer before we know firmly when the last of us will be vaccinated, keep your social distance and double mask.

          • njbill says:

            While Pfizer and Moderna are in the process of tweaking their vaccines to address the newly emerging variants, those still need to be tested and approved. Testing will be faster than starting from scratch, but it still needs to be done. Even assuming the altered vaccines clear testing and FDA approval (both (hopefully) pretty safe assumptions), we are still some time (months?) from when they’ll be ready to be put in arms.

            Haven’t heard that about Pfizer. My understanding is their position has been “we didn’t test delaying second shots, so we can’t advocate for that.” That’s Fauci’s position, too. Recall the relatively recent debate about the allowable window for getting the second shot, which I believe is now considered to be two to three weeks, that is, after the three (P) or four (M) week waiting period. This is something I’ve all of a sudden become concerned about because my daughter (health field) was supposed to get her second Moderna shot today in L.A., four weeks after shot one. But her appointment has been cancelled due to vax unavailable resulting from the storm. She’s now told, don’t call us, we’ll call you.

            While there have been some very good rather preliminary efficacy results after shot one only, what is unclear is how long the protection will last. Doc on CNN (retired Harvard, sorry can’t recall name) said we just don’t know how long one shot protection will last and was recommending against it. Now, you might say, well, we don’t know how long protection from two shots will last, so isn’t this really the same sorta thing? Fair point, but for me I’m going to listen to the scientists.

            • Rayne says:

              Yup. Trump stole months from the Biden administration and yet Biden should be able to wave a magic freaking wand and have us all vaccinated yesterday.

              I didn’t even add the sporadic delays injected by supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, thanks also to Trump’s malignant dereliction of duty.

        • Tracy Lynn says:

          Perhaps you are asking a question that can’t be answered at the moment. The answer might arrive relatively soon, but not right away. Most administrations take time to ramp up operations/policies; most administrations didn’t have roadblocks like the ones that were put in the way of the Biden admin. This rollout of vaccines SHOULD have been organized and started by the previous administration, but that didn’t happen. Not enough vaccines were bought, not enough were available when Biden was inaugurated and took office.

          You’re right, when you write that Trump is gone (that is, he isn’t president any more), but he still dominates the convo. But to expect the massive problems he left behind to be magically erased in a month is a pretty big demand. Give the incoming admin time to put a plan in place then time to execute it. Trump had four years to f*ck everything up. Give Biden time to work on solutions.

          After all, we spent 20 years in Vietnam.

          • Epicurus says:

            I said my expectations were different. People are telling me they aren’t rational, that I shouldn’t have to worry that the government can’t tell me about when and where my children and grandchildren will receive a vaccine. I talked with people today in the 70-75 age bracket. They have no clue how to obtain the vaccine after being on the internet for many days despite access to all the information above. I will alter Robert Kennedy. Some people see things as they are and ask why, as I am doing. I also dream and ask for things that aren’t and ask why not? Perhaps more succinctly there are a thousand reasons why one can’t do something as people are telling me above. I only expect that if the government knows how many vaccines are being produced it has a national distribution plan that can tell about when by age bracket and susceptibility someone is probably going to receive a shot. That apparently is too much to ask and beyond the administration’s capability.

            • Rayne says:

              You are seriously borderline trolling here. Don’t think we haven’t been through this with our families; my parents have had to deal with that corrupt motherfucker DeSantis’ rollout in Florida; my 87-year-old father spending days and weeks online trying to get their first shots at goddamned Publix grocery stores which became the exclusive outlet for the vaccine because of corruption.

              RIGHT FUCKING THERE IS WHY YOU CAN’T GET A VACCINATION RIGHT THE FUCK NOW: BECAUSE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FUCKED IT UP BADLY AND SOME STATES FUCKED IT UP FURTHER.

              You want a vaccination right the fuck now because you think vaccines show up out of thin air, like magic. They don’t, especially when a corrupt administration manages to bollox everything about it. You think an administration change is like changing your goddamned socks, when the Biden administration has also had to deal with left-behinds like Postmaster Louis DeJoy who are continuing to fuck up everything they can. There are dead enders in FDA and CDC, too, who can’t be quickly removed.

              The fact that Trump failed to order enough doses of vaccine is why you don’t know when you can have your shot right the fuck now. There are more than 320 million Americans, and the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses (so far), which means Trump should have ordered +640 million doses. BUT TRUMP DIDN’T. Like all kinds of manufactured items, there’s a lead time from order to delivery and TRUMP IGNORED THAT FACT AND DIDN’T COMMUNICATE WHY. The Trump administration had to be shamed by a news report the 2nd week of December about the failure to order enough vaccine before it ordered more nearly 10 days later, and Team Trump still didn’t order enough for all Americans to receive their two doses.

              There’s also been a miscommunication or a shake-down scam (which has yet to be determined) between the Trump admin and Pfizer as to whether there were 5 or 6 doses per bottle of vaccine. That’s a disparity of 17%, accounting for a big chunk of “missing” vaccine. The “extra” dose can be used but it requires a special syringe which wasn’t ordered/provided initially, and Pfizer delivers based on doses, not bottles, complicating accounting for doses shipped.

              You’re off your rocker if you think the incoming administration is going to sort ALL of this out inside 28 days while working around obstruction inside both federal and state governments and tell you personally, “Here’s your vaccination.”

              Christ, we have spent the last +4 years writing about how fucked up and corrupt the Trump administration was (and state governments, too) and you’re pretending all of that just goes away and everything runs smoothly once again. You’ve been here 143 comments now, since June last year; you should know by now our government has been deeply fucked over or you’re just plain sleep walking.

              One more time: you should be checking your local and state health departments at least weekly for updates, until there’s a federal plan communicated broadly. You’ve been given other sources to check for status. Quit imagining the Trump administration was simply an unpleasant dream without consequences.

              You know what else really bugs me? This is the closest to inconvenienced you, an older white man, will have been because of Trump. Imagine being Black and trying to get a vaccination.

              • Epicurus says:

                I apologize Rayne. I won’t post here again so you and others won’t be so troubled. I will only say you completely misunderstood what I was saying. Completely. By the way, imagine being human and trying to get a vaccination.

                • bmaz says:

                  Oh, don’t do that Epicurus. These are pretty tense times, and we all get a bit worked up occasionally. I’ve seen your comments over quite a while now and think you have good content to add. Stick around. We can all do a bit better at realizing that the other person has their own problems we don’t see. I wish your family well in getting vaccinated, you are certainly not alone in the frustration. By the way, asking RFK is one thing, but don’t waste your time with his quack anti-vaxxer son, RFK Jr.

                • John Lehman says:

                  “…from the clash of differing opinions comes the spark of truth”.

                  Yes been there (being human) trying to navigate the seemingly countless s.n.a.f.u.’s inherit in a hurriedly pasted together system. Takes awhile to get the bugs out.

                  So far, three times filling out online the same long personal info form and watching spinning confirmation loading for fifteen minutes. Still not confirmed.

                  Ever been part of a construction project?
                  There’s empathy here.

            • skua says:

              @Epicurius I get that you’ve been gaslighted by the (ex)President and discovered that about a half of your fellow American voters have thought that Trump is a good leader over the past 5 years. And are in a high risk age group in the middle of a pandemic.

              And that you see your situation as similar to being in a fire-fight.
              That is not a useful analogy to use right now.
              You’ve asked for directions from a public official – they can either lie to you or tell you that what you ask for is not currently known. Which would you rather?
              If it is a lie you’re after then “By the end of 2022” is a truthful lie.
              There is some chance that you are seeking, not an accurate answer, but a specific date that is “very soon”. You asking to be given a specific date is not going to make “very soon” happen.

              • Epicurus says:

                skua, for your information I’ll break my promise not to post and post this one last time.

                My situation and point wasn’t about frustration at not having a vaccination “right the fuck now” as Rayne so elegantly expresses herself. It is not like being in the middle of a fire fight. The purpose of that story was simply to say if one is asking for a/the position of responsibility in what are potentially life and death decision making situations it is best for all concerned that the one has a plan and can react appropriately. This pandemic is a life and death situation. I don’t see a national plan from Biden in the way I assume I would have seen one in what is essentially a national triage situation. Rayne is saying above there isn’t one in saying wait for one to be communicated broadly. I would say there isn’t one because if there were it already would have been communicated broadly. By a national plan I mean if the national government knows how many doses a day can be delivered to the general population it can and should have a plan to prioritize within that triage situation how to deliver doses to the most immediately needy or important cohort as the doses become available. So as an ultra simple example let’s say the national government knows the providers can deliver 1MM doses a day. If the triage cohort priority is set by the national government e.g. by age groupings and the oldest age group comes first (I understand health and race susceptibility issues and health care worker protection issues – it’s only an example of cohort setting for this explanation) then it can be determined quickly how big the cohort is and how many doses are needed, i.e. how many days it will take to cover the cohort. (Social security can probably tell you in fifteen minutes the exact number by name, age, and address). I quickly looked at the 2010 census and there were approximately 24MM people in the >75 age bracket where Rayne’s father sits. I looked at website called Statista and it said 59MM doses have been given (I think) by today. If the >75 cohort were the first priority then even given the probable increase in that cohort from 2010 a viable plan would have had at least one dose already administered to that cohort, even if it had to make up for Trump misallocations. Rayne’s father would already have had at least one shot. Remember social security already has names and addresses, so in that triage age-only priority example it becomes a communication and distribution problem solving exercise. Pay Amazon and Google to help you nail it down if you don’t have in house resources. They could probably solve the communication/distribution issues in a hard, long couple days and relish the chance. Hell, they can probably figure out any cohort composition in short order. In fact you could have been talking with them long before inauguration day to get a real understanding of the distribution/communication issues on the table you would have to deal with immediately on that day. So one goes on down the line. Within a fairly close range one can estimate when each defined cohort is going to be targeted. That’s all I am saying. I don’t care when the vaccine is coming as long as it is coming. But if because of priority placement it is coming in nine months I have to plan differently than if it is coming in two months. People have to have some certainty about the future. That is what is killing the world right now, socially and economically. It has no certainty individually or collectively.

                I understand Trump’s bed crapping. But if you were in Biden’s shoes you would have known long before inauguration that Trump was crapping the bed, somehow those vaccines were going to have to be prioritized in some way by the national government to achieve maximum effectiveness against the pandemic, and you would have to know how many vaccines were being produced on a weekly basis to do the requisite allocation. So he needed a plan going into inauguration day that basically said how are we going to prioritize, how are we going to get those vaccines distributed to the right people, and how do we communicate that to the public so everyone can plan their lives in some way for the next eighteen months? He didn’t need to wait until inauguration day to start. You wouldn’t have.

                Rayne thinks I am inconvenienced because of Trump and I am worried about getting the vaccine “right the fuck now.” I am saying I don’t care when I get vaccine as long as I can get it, I have to plan my life in the interim, I think the government has the ability to get a pretty good fix on telling everyone about when that might be for the reasons explained above, has not used that ability, probably won’t use that ability, and will maximize uncertainty. As one consequence, I think her father is in a cohort that should/would be at the top of any triage priority list in a viable plan and because the plan isn’t viable right now her father doesn’t know when the shot will happen and when certainty comes back into his life or she into her life. That’s what I was complaining about. I was complaining on behalf of her father and everyone else like her father, which is just about everybody else, because the government is capable of so much more.

                That’s it. The government can put a robot on Mars, pay out pandemic checks to millions in short order, but can’t get a shot to Rayne’s father. And she is swearing at me. It’s an interesting and informative blog but masochism isn’t my thing.

                • skua says:

                  There is more to Americans than they can give themselves credit for – they’re going through a hell and yet they’re not literally eating class enemies, conducting pogroms, or embracing the Capitol insurrectionists. Even 45 didn’t declare a war against Iran.

                  Probably in a similar way to you feeling a need for a vaccination date there are others who feel a need to be able to rely on Biden and his team to get this job done well. I acknowledge that the approach being taken has increased the uncertainty in your life in a very stressful time.

                  If the goal was what you propose then I’m confident that what you outline would have been done.
                  I trust Biden and his team.
                  If the goal was instead to get vaccinations distributed in a way that minimized deaths from COVID then using the sequence you outline could delay that goal being reached. AIUI vaccine production projections have proved to be unreliable. And logistics had to be developed without a pre-existing program. Making and trying to keep set commitments in a fluid environment reduces effectiveness. (Yes there should have been an up to date pre-existing quick delivery mass vaccine distribution and administration program that had been supported by the last 60 years of administrations – might it have cost the equivalent of a few fighter aircraft?).

                  Take care and I hope to see you round here.

        • cavenewt says:

          1. How many people are in a platoon?
          2. How many people are in the country?

          We’ve been told everyone should have their vaccination by July. Finer detail is taking a little time to figure out.

          • P J Evans says:

            Pfizer says their vaccines can be stored for up to a couple of weeks at ordinary pharmacy/hospital freezer temps, so that should make distribution easier, and they’re also trying to double production.
            Maybe the CDC can get states to fix their reservation systems so they aren’t so difficult to use. You should be able to get reliable appointment times in five minutes, not hours, and locations that aren’t more than 10 miles away in urban areas.

  14. Valley girl says:

    I just got off the phone with a friend who phoned me from California. (Rayne, if you recall, the friend who escaped from Beijing in 1989- he was standing next to someone who got shot dead in Tiananmen Square, seen on TV, the authorities were looking for him..)

    He shares the “let him rot” no sympathy for Rush view (as do I). He told me that during the AIDS crisis Limbaugh would read on the radio names of people who had died from AIDS, with celebratory comments. Somehow I had missed this. What a sick motherfucker.

    My friend had phoned me b/c he needed a laugh and said we always manage a good laugh together. But nothing much to laugh about… until I remembered the tweet you posted of implosion. I sent him the link and listened on the phone while he watched. He was confused (was unaware of this event) until he saw the building crumble. Then we did have a good laugh.

    • Rayne says:

      I loved that somebody made a mashup of that implosion video with Trump’s head and his tie on the building. So satisfying watching him melt like the Wicked Witch of the West as the hotel collapsed. Glad you friend enjoyed it.

    • P J Evans says:

      Both of them – they’re teens, still, and wouldn’t be doing that without adults knowing. Also, he didn’t have to be in DC this week – when were those reservations actually made? Because I’d bet he made them three weeks ago, and not at the last minute. (The CDC has been advising people to *not* go to Mexico for at least two weeks, because of the virus.)

      • cavenewt says:

        (The CDC has been advising people to *not* go to Mexico for at least two weeks, because of the virus.)

        Is there any chance Ted cares about that?

        No matter what you think about Beto O’Rourke, his response to the cold snap was to set up a phone bank to help old people get to warm spaces and food. Somehow I think that’s a much better example for a public figure to set.

  15. Savage Librarian says:

    Yeah, I’m with you, Rayne. I don’t think tolerance is meant for Nazis. And, after reading the lengthy article cited below, I learned this about FARA:

    “Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law enacted in 1938 to combat the spread of Nazi propaganda”

    Technically, this probably belongs in your previous post. But, alas, I’m struggling to keep up and so I’m combining my comments to fit here. Hypocrisy and hateful behavior seems to be a common link among these brutes. Here are some other interesting facts from the article below:

    (I wonder if Graham and Nader had any connections, possibly through Broidy.)

    1. Lindsay Graham was Elliott Broidy’s first choice for President in 2016.
    2. Elliott Broidy worked closely with George Nader to try to secure a contract for his company, Circinus, in the UAE and, potentially, KSA.
    3. “Nader asked Broidy to send him an invoice for an initial $2.5 million. Whether that was a down payment or the full cost isn’t clear.”
    4. Broidy helped Nader get a photo with Trump after Nader was rebuffed by the Secret Service.
    5. “Broidy emailed Nader to say that the first payment from the UAE had gone through: $36 million. Nader got the news as he was getting ready to travel to Florida to join Broidy at Mar-a-Lago for a celebration of the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. “Terrific! First among many to go!” Nader replied. At Dulles Airport, according to the Associated Press, FBI agents working for Robert Mueller intercepted Nader.”
    6. Although not in this article, Broidy received a pardon from Trump.
    7. Also not in this article, Dershowitz unsuccessfully tried to get a pardon for Nader.

    “Elliott Broidy: Who Makes Money Off the Trump Administration?” – Rolling Stone, 2/12/19

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/elliott-broidy-donald-trump-swamp-793159/

    • Rayne says:

      Wow. That really reeks of corruption, doesn’t it? I have a post which has been brewing for a couple months, can’t focus on it long enough to finish it. But it has a little KSA stuff which might be tangentially related to this Broidy/Nader stuff. Thanks for that, I need to think on this a bit longer.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Rayne, I’ve parked this here for when/if you become motivated to delve into your potential post with the KSA stuff. I suspect you’ve seen it before. But, interestingly, this article popped up in my search that brought up the previous article I mentioned (even though this one didn’t have Graham in it.)

      So, that got me to wondering if David Pecker, MBS, George Nader and others hatched a plan to trade positive propaganda for MBS in exchange for spyware. Then maybe they used the spyware against all the GOP. Plus, they also might have invented false data (smear campaigns) about various people. As you can see, Pecker visited MBS sometime in September 2017.

      “Bezos, the National Enquirer, the Saudis, Trump, and the blackmailing of U.S. democracy” | Will Bunch, 2/10/19
      …..
      “In July 2017, the president invited his good friend David Pecker to the White House and — after chatting with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was developing close ties with MBS — the two men had dinner with Kacy Grine, a French businessman who’s a longtime adviser to MBS. Two months later, Pecker went to Saudi Arabia and met personally with MBS and Grine and pitched business opportunities.”

      “… National Enquirer released a 100-page, ad-free magazine ‘The New Kingdom ‘… praising Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.”

      https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/jeff-bezos-national-enquirer-donald-trump-blackmail-saudi-arabia-20190210.html

    • skua says:

      “Florida had allowed anyone 65 and older to get vaccinated, regardless of where they live, making it one of the first states to open to that age group.
      … A number of [other] states have also hewed closer to the CDC vaccine committee’s recommended Phase 1b guidelines that say vaccines should go to adults age 75 and up and frontline essential workers. (from linked CNN article) ”

      DeSantis is another state govenor who “knows better than the experts”.
      (sarcasm) What intelligent and insightful electors he has. A bright future on the horizon. (/sarcasm)

      • Rayne says:

        Oh we’re so not done with that puffy, cheaply besuited Alfred E. Neuman wannabe. Not only did DeathSantis jump into a journalist’s shit for questioning him about inequitable distribution of vaccines…

        This was about Manatee County, the one I mentioned in an earlier comment. The overreaction suggests he knew *exactly* what was going on. I’ll bet we find this in every single goddamned county in Florida, that the highest value/highest income zip codes have gotten their vaccinations already.

      • njbill says:

        Haven’t checked the rules for all the states, but the three I’m most familiar with (NJ, CA, and PA) all include 65s.

        That has benefited me personally, but the systems in at least NJ and PA have been beyond screwed up in terms of getting an appointment. My armchair conclusion is they should not have gone straight to 65s, but should have phased it in, say, 80s, then 75s, then 70s, then 65s. Give each group, say, a two week slot before opening up eligibility to the next group. In NJ you have to either spend 18 hours a day working your computer to be prepared to snipe an opening when one pops up or get VERY lucky one way or another. I was in the very lucky category.

        While there have been some (probably) state-caused hiccups in NJ, by far the biggest problem is lack of supply. I was able to get my first shot this week at a nearby mega-center. They had 40 vax stations, but maybe only half (?) were in use because they didn’t have doses. Site could run 24/7 if they had the doses.

        • P J Evans says:

          CA has a system that’s dysfunctional – there are megasites that you have to drive to (or get someone to take you), assuming they’re open and have vaccines available. But you can’t easily get appointments (can be hours online doing it), and up till now, it’s been run by the counties, and every one does it differently.
          So most of the state hasn’t been vaccinated yet, and the rules change every couple of weeks. (The latest is that the governor wants to reserve 10% of the doses for teachers. Which means that much less for everyone else.)

          • njbill says:

            That certainly seems consistent with what I have read. My only connections to CA are my daughter (health field) who is in LA and two +65 friends near San Diego.

            My daughter didn’t have a problem signing up for her first shot and getting it at Dodger Stadium. I think her timing was lucky as that site seems to have its ups and downs in terms of dose availability. But she was told yesterday that her appointment for her second shot, which was supposed to be today, is postponed due to supply shortage caused by the storm. She’s told she’s a “priority” for her second shot, but has been given no specific info on when it will be.

            My San Diego friends jumped on a site as soon as it opened and got their first shots with only minor snafus. They are scheduled for shot two but I don’t know if they will have problems with the current supply turmoil.

            • P J Evans says:

              They need to publicize all the site locations, not just the giant ones. Get the vaccine spread out better, so people don’t need to go 30 or 40 miles to get it.

  16. skua says:

    Trump’s base were so desparate to be inflated by “winning” that they let Trump off for pissing on their fallen US military ancestors and comrades.

    Wondering if they see DeSantis as having so much “winning” as to let him off for putting their elderly wifes, husbands and friends at continued risk?
    (We see upthread that some older people are feeling desperate for that vaccination.)
    I’m not going to make a prediction cause Trump’s base have demostrated so far that they can always give up even more self-respect.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s the entire administration in Texas. The Lt Governor has a lot of the political power. The business centers are DFW and Houston, so that’s where their power is concentrated. If you’re in a rural county, good luck.

  17. Eureka says:

    New record* in the DeJoy Games: today (or very late nite yest.) received a Christmas card postmarked Dec. 22. Sixty-one days first class! Used to take two days to get mail from this sender.

    DeJoy testifies before Oversight on the 24th.

    So far Biden indicates he’ll replace the vacancies rather than oust the entire board as Pascrell and others have asked. If he doesn’t replace the whole board, there is a risk DeJoy wouldn’t be ousted because of a dem member who had supported him. And it’s not until December that another vacancy would arise. We can’t wait until December — DeJoy’s already got worse rolling out for us and it’ll take months, at least, to unfuck what he’s already done.

    I’ll repeat once more my belief and eternal gratitude that Judge Emmet Sullivan saved the election with his orders including sweeps and timely delivery.


    *excludes mail never received yet known to have been sent. And they’ll probably just increase the fraction of mail that never gets that postmark datestamp.

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