Everythig Is Political


The 21 January story in the Washington Post caught my eye.  I immediately thought “Another dumb decision by some  bureaucrat.” My second thought was, “That person’s head should roll.”

I worked for the Navy for 32 years.  One to the Navy traditions is that managers must be held responsible for bad decisions.  It seemed like a simple thing to find the highest level person that decided to move the National Guard to a parking garage.and take action after a review of the situation.  It seems like something that could be quick and simple.

When it dawned on me that in the United States of America in 2021 nothing is simple. It’s all political.

For starters this story was reported by the Washington Post and on CNN.  For four years Trump has been brainwashing people to believe that everything in the Washington Post is “fake news” and cannot be believed.  That means 30% of the people in the country will not believe the story.  This leaves only the Democrats, the Independents, and Mitt Romney  to believe the story.

I must admit I was wrong once more.  Republican Representative Kevin McCarthy, rested after trying to overturn the last election, decided that it was time to blame the Democrats since they had been in power for a day.  Ok, let me cut him some slack – they have been in power for a day and a half.

Using our government’s official form of communications, Twitter, Mr. McCarfthy blamed Democrat Nancy Pelosi for ordering the National Guard into the parking garage.

I have never thought of Mr. McCarthy is a mental giant but surely he knows that the Secretary of Defense  does not report to the Speaker of the House and the National Guard is in the Department of Defense’s org chart.

To be perfectly fair to Mr. McCarthy, I am not sure Speaker Pelosi knows that the Secretary of Defense does not report to her.  After all she did call the Joint Chief of Staff to express her concerns about Donald What’s His Name having the nuclear codes. Fortunately, What’s His Name no longer has a football and only carries golf balls these days.

Hell – after listening to many members of the House of Representatives speak,  I feel fairly confident that fewer than 10% of them know the Secretary of Defence does not report to the Speaker of the House.  Let me make one correction.  Since more women joined Congress after the last election, let me say now 15% of the Representatives know that the Department of Defense does not report to the Speaker. 

Since some of you might feel I am being a little hard on McCathy and Pelosi, I would like to conclude by saying that Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Mitch McConnell have outlived their useful service life and should be put out to pasture with Pelosi and McCarthy.  It’s  time for them all to develop an exit strategy if one of them  knows what an exit plan is.


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1. Eli Lilly Says Its Monoclonal Antibody Prevented Covid-19 Infections in Clinical Trial (STAT News) Eli Lilly said Thursday that its monoclonal antibody prevented Covid-19 infections in nursing home residents and staff in a clinical trial, the first time such a treatment has been shown to prevent infection. Lilly released the results in a press release, although it said that it would publish the data in a research paper as quickly as possible.

2. Current, Deadly U.S. Coronavirus Surge Has Peaked, Researchers Say (NPR) The devastating fall and winter wave of coronavirus infections that is causing so much misery across the U.S. appears to have finally peaked, according to several researchers who are closely tracking the virus. While another surge remains possible, especially with new, more infectious variants on the horizon, the number of new daily infections in the current wave appears to have hit a high in the past week or two and has been steadily declining in most states since, the researchers say. 

3. Factors Associated With US Public Motivation to Use and Distribute COVID-19 Self-tests (JAMA Network Open) We found that the majority of survey participants were motivated to distribute COVID-19 self-test kits and to use self-test kits. Motivation is a prerequisite for voluntary behavior,5 and our findings suggest that the secondary distribution of COVID-19 self-test kits may be associated with increased test uptake and case detection. However, individuals with lower socioeconomic status reported lower motivation and may be less likely to distribute test kits and self-test; behavioral interventions may help increase motivation in this population.

4. Drop in Vaccination Causes Surge in Global Measles Cases, Deaths (JAMA Network) Failure to vaccinate children against measles has led to a 556% surge in the number of reported cases and a 50% increase in deaths from the disease since 2016, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although global measles vaccination efforts have saved an estimated 25.5 million lives since 2000, a joint report from the WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that the worldwide proportion of individuals protected by at least 1 shot of the 2-shot measles vaccine increased from 72% in 2000 to 84% in 2010 but it has since plateaued at about 85%.

 DON’T TAKE YOUR FLU SHOT TOO EARLY (Waning vaccine effectiveness against influenza-associated hospitalizations among adults, 2015-2016 to 2018-2019, US Hospitalized Adult Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network):

“…. Maximum VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS was observed shortly after vaccination, followed by an absolute decline in VE of about 8 to 9% per month. Rate of decline was similar across influenza subtypes. Among older adults, we observed a slightly faster rate of decline of 10 to 11% per month. 

“The public health implications of these findings warrant closer examination because even a 1-2 month delay in annual vaccination could improve VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS by 10 to 20%. If such an approach does not encroach on the annual influenza season, delay vaccine delivery, or reduce vaccine uptake, it could lead to appreciable gains in public health benefits given the large burden of influenza morbidity and mortality annually in the US. 

(J. Harris: Around here usually late Sept./Oct. is a good time for Flu shot, most years. Your doctor can advise you.)

Texas School Covid Totals are Much Improved 

Click here to enlarge the chart


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