coronavirus

Wingnut Dennis Prager Gets COVID, Announces 'I Meant To Do That!'

Just wishes more Americans could have been infected.

Rightwing culture warrior Dennis Prager announced yesterday that finally, after lots of effort, he has achieved a major item on his bucket list: He's tested positive for COVID-19, and he couldn't be happier. On his YouTube "radio" show, Prager said he'd actually been working at getting the virus, because he's adopted the false belief, newly popular on the Right, that "natural immunity" resulting from surviving an infection with COVID is way better than any vaccine. (Big surprise: That's a very dangerous assertion: Vaccines are safer and more reliable than getting a disease that so far has killed more than 700,000 Americans.)

Here's Prager proudly explaining that he's got the bug, and how he worked so hard to get it, via Media Matters:


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climate change

Joe Biden Asked Federal Agencies How Climate Would Affect Them. The Answers Will SHOCK You!

The answer is 'In every way possible. It's global, dumbass.'

We got another reminder yesterday that grown-ups are running things again, this time in the form of — we hope you're ready for the shock of your life — a set of reports from 23 government agencies on how they'll be affected by the climate emergency and what they plan to do to meet those challenges.

We know, it's a lot to take in. We'll give you a moment to catch your breath.

But as you can imagine, it's very srs bns, because a warming planet with more frequent extreme weather events will affect just about every aspect of how we live, and how the government does stuff. As the New York Times points out, some of it sounds like the stuff of dystopian fiction:

Less food. More traffic accidents. Extreme weather hitting nuclear waste sites. Migrants rushing toward the United States, fleeing even worse calamity in their own countries.

Some of it may sound more mundane, but will require costly changes to deal with. F'rinstance, as the Department of Transportation report notes, more severe weather is going to lead to airport closures, flight cancellations and delays, and snarls in the air traffic control system. Even without storms, warmer average air temperatures mean planes will need longer takeoff runs, and they won't be able to fly as far or carry as much as they did in the cooler past. Not gigantic changes, but enough to have an economic effect.

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Right Wing Extremism

Idaho Gov. Left State, So Crackpot Lt. Gov. Lady Doing Bunch Of Crazy Bullsh*t Again

First she'll send the Idaho National Guard to Texas. Then TO THE MOOOOON!

Idaho may have only a fraction of the population of Florida or Texas, but by Crom, we do our level best to make up for it in random acts of crazy bullshit. We seem to have more than our share of rightwing crazies, from the North Idaho Nazis who got sued out of business decades ago to the rabid anti-Semite who's running for a seat on a school board this year — with the local GOP's endorsement. The joke in Idaho has always been that we have a two-party system: Conservative business-oriented Republicans, and full-on crazy conspiracy-theory Republicans. Idaho Gov. Brad Little is one of the former. And Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin is very much one of the latter.

Unlike in some states, the governor and lieutenant governor do not run together as a ticket, so it's not all that surprising that McGeachin is gearing up for a primary challenge against Little next year. Just to emphasize that she's running well to the right of Little, whenever he leaves the state, McGeachin has taken to using her momentary power as acting governor to sign some crazy and probably illegal executive orders. In late May, when Little attended a Republican Governors Association conference in Nashville, McGeachin issued her very own executive order banning all mask mandates in the state. Little rescinded it as soon as he returned.

This week, while Little flew down to Texas to meet with other Republican governors to whine about the "crisis" at the border, McGeachin again issued a symbolic executive order on the pandemic, this time banning vaccine mandates and mandatory testing for infections. While she was at it, McGeachin tried to call up the Idaho National Guard and send troops to the US-Mexico border, only to be rebuffed by the Guard's commanding general. So everything's very normal here, all righty.

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Guns

CDC Finally Resumes Gun Violence Research. What Next, Doctors Allowed To Ask Parents About Guns?

Won't someone think of the guns?

Thanks to pressure from the NRA and its pet members of Congress, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been prevented from doing meaningful research on America's epidemic of gun-related violence since 1996, when Congress passed the "Dickey Amendment." That measure didn't formally ban the CDC from researching gun violence as a public health threat — it merely defunded it, which amounts to the same thing. As NPR reported in 2018 when Congress voted to explicitly allow the CDC to research guns again (but without any new funding!), the NRA and its supporters were pissed off at the CDC for its heresy in publishing "a landmark 1993 study that concluded that having a gun in the home was more dangerous than not having one." Guns can't possibly be more dangerous than no guns, the NRA insisted, so no more funding for any science that would reach conclusions the NRA didn't like.

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