coronavirus

Being Hunted In The Capitol Riot Not Enough? Congrats The GOP Just Gave You COVID!

Their willful stupidity is a hate crime.

During the Capitol siege, Congress members were huddled together in a secured room, an ideal venue for the coronavirus to mix and mingle. Even when not under lockdown, House rules require that members wear masks at all times when indoors, for all the reasons that have become tiresome to repeat. Just wear a damn mask, dummies.

Look, it's reasonable that when you're hiding from the violent mob Donald Trump incited, you might temporarily forget about the pandemic Trump ignored (although much like "Law & Order: SVU," COVID-19 isn't going anywhere). However, Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester from Delaware tried to pass out masks but was rebuffed by at least six snickering members of the GOP's Sedition Caucus. In this video, you can see House members Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania sneer at Blunt Rochester like she's some nerd who's trying to make them wear masks like a nerd.


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Cops Behaving Badly

After De-Escalation Training, Newark Police Don't Fire A Single Shot In 2020

Until New Year's Day 2021, at least. Goddamnit.

Police in Newark, New Jersey's largest city, had a pretty good year in terms of not shooting anyone at all in 2020, a statistic that Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose credited to the adoption two years ago of a de-escalation training program for police. However, Ambrose also said that, because the coronavirus pandemic had caused the deaths of six officers, it was also the roughest year he'd seen in a 34-year law enforcement career.

For all the stereotypes about cops facing death every time they go to work, Ambrose said the pandemic had been his greatest source of stress:

It was the unknown. It was the unknown that you didn't know with this disease that you were coming here every day, and these police officers and firefighters going out there, and we didn't know.

Of the de-escalation program, Ambrose said, "These things, it takes time for it to work. And I think it worked." He also credited the training with helping cops stay cool during the summer's protests over the murder by Minneapolis cops George Floyd.

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State/Local Politics

Oregon Rep Escorted Armed Anti-Maskers Right Into Capitol Building, Luckily They Only Assaulted A Few People

Rep. Mike Nearman seemed to have no problem putting his colleagues in danger.

Surveillance video has been released showing Oregon state Rep. Mike Nearman opening some doors to allow a bunch of unmasked, armed right-wing kooks into the state Capitol building, in order to allow them to disrupt a December 21st special legislative session.

In the video, Rep. Nearman is seen opening doors in a stairwell as a bunch of rough looking, unmasked angry people walk in. He then disappears, and State Police show up in order to push them back out again — briefly getting into somewhat of a brawl with a fella wearing overalls. This is not a thing I would recommend! A grown man who isn't ashamed to walk around in public looking like he raided the Osh Kosh B'Gosh outlet has very little left to lose.

The State Police tried to guard the door, which they couldn't keep shut because so many people were trying to push through and push them back.

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coronavirus

Nebraska Gov: Undocumented Meat Packers Won't Get Vaccine, Because Reasons

Luckily, he says there aren't any such workers.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said at a press conference this week that undocumented immigrants working at the state's meatpacking plants will probably not be able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, because it's not legal for them to be working anyway. Meat processing plants have been among the hardest-hit workplaces during the pandemic, so Nebraska has put meatpacking workers near the top of its priority list for getting the vaccine, after emergency responders, healthcare workers, teachers, and such. Nonetheless, Ricketts explained in response to a reporter's question that the vaccine will definitely ask "Papers, please," even though the virus itself does not:

You're supposed to be a legal resident of the country to be able to be working in those plants. So I do not expect that illegal immigrants will be part of that vaccine program.

Ricketts did not explain how refusing to vaccinate a portion of the workforce would help control the spread of the virus, because clearly that's a far less important matter than making sure he seems tough on immigration, don't be silly.

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