SocraticGadfly: 11/20/22 - 11/27/22

November 25, 2022

Obama flunky tries to spin tale of Blue Texas

Josh Simpkins at the Observer tries to spin a tale of Texas, and the South, as more bluish than is actually true. Most his anecdotes are undercut by reality. With Huckleberry J. Butchmeup, aka Lindsay Graham's, 15-week abortion bill, that was US Senate, not South Carolina Lege, and Mitch McConnell (rightly, it would seen) didn't want that being a midterm election issue. Virginia and abortion? It's a purplish-blue state where Youngkin was elected governor over a Clinton retread seeking a second term. Polling on abortion is notoriously subjective. As for what Texas voters say they want in terms of things like Uri relief? They didn't vote that way. But, when you're a former Dear Leader flunky who also has Aspen Institute ties, per his editorial tagline, directly or indirectly, you're paid to spin tales like this.

November 23, 2022

Texas Progressives talk turkey and dysfunctional government

First, yes, Warmonger Joe's Dems had about the best showing possible during midterms; that doesn't mean your turkey, and even more, your King's Hawaiian Rolls, don't cost more than last year. They do.

With that, let's dig in.

First, Harris County's elections system is still crap, and there's no Stan Stanart to be fired. Per the Trib story, with a 4-1 Democrap majority on the Commissioners Court, IMO, Lina Hidalgo is under the gun to fix this, ASAP. It's really not Cliff Tatum's fault; it's the fault of not spending for software and other needs, and not fixing it makes her look yet more dysfunctional.

Next, SocraticGadfly offers his 2022 election post-mortem for Texas Democrats and Greens

Off the Kuff has a different idea about how to assess the performance of the Texas Democratic Party and its candidates in this election.

The Public Utility Commission's neoliberal bribery scheme to "fix" the power grid is drawing skepticism. Members of the Lege need to look at themselves, first, and ask if they're going to actually write legislation. They then need to look at themselves, second, and ask if they're going to draft a constitutional amendment to prevent a Gov. Strangeabbott from vetoing said bill, or any other, and essentially telling the Lege "fuck you" for two years without an every-year legislature or the power to call themselves into special session. Until then, Legiscritters like Lois Cockwhore will remain hypocrites.

Will the Lege finally tighten rules on concrete batch plants? Color me skeptical until it happens.

Sooo, Jarred Patterson wants to make "Peter Pan" a drag show?

Shock me Sm-elon Musk tried to start exploiting Twitter workers almost immediately. It's SOP at Tesla.

Your Local Epidemiologist reviews the current mortality data for COVID. 

The Austin Chronicle explains why Texas is so vulnerable to climate change.

Juanita is mad about that judge who barred the League of Women Voters from attending a naturalization ceremony.

In the Pink Texas takes a breath after the midterms.

November 22, 2022

Why does Warmonger Joe hate Brittney Griner?

Why does Warmonger Joe hate Brittney Griner? I mean, it's no secret that, allegedly, the Russians want Viktor Bout sprung. It's also no secret that the judge who presided over his conviction even thinks his sentence is way too long. So why is Warmonger Joe's team pushing back against Russian claims that talks are moving forward?

As for sites like this Grid News talking about her horrific prison conditions? It's not the Ritz-Carlton, for sure. Is it worse than Angola? One of Texas' non-airconditioned prisons? The LA County Jail that's among the main reasons Sheriff Alex Villanueva lost re-election?

To stay within women's prisons? It seems like IL-2, per Grid's description, is no worse than the typical medium-security women's prison, and far less bad than these Dirty 15, of which, though not that many are in the US, the majority ARE in the Global West.

November 21, 2022

Coronavirus Week 128: Masks do work; correlation is not causation

Time Magazine had three public health officials, one an academic, report on a new study about just how well masking works at schools. The horse is out the barn door on COVID, and I presume it will not get severe enough to require state-level or higher mask mandates. But, in case we have another viral pandemic and either wingnuts or Saint Anthony of Fauci pops off again, good to keep in mind.


The second item is the biggie. Walker Bragman and some other have been talking about the rise in child RSV cases and wondering if, or even speculating that, it's due to undiagnosed child COVID cases of the past two years.

Really? What if, instead, it's due to the amount of protectiveness that mothers gave toddlers and pre-schoolers the last year reducing their potential naturally-developed immunity? There IS such a thing, and, beyond the Great Barrington folks' angle, it DOES work that way.

Going straight to childhood COVID angles is not only confusing correlation with causation, it's assuming correlation where it's not known if it exists, and ergo, if violates good science because, contra abduction, it does NOT reason to the best inference. Indeed, the RSV rate is higher than the last couple of pre-COVID years. That COULD be due to COVID-based susceptibility. Or, as I note, it COULD be due to diminished natural immunity. And, it also COULD be due to this year's variant being a bad one. It COULD also be due to the last two possibilities interplaying.

But, it likely IS a bit of tribalism against both the Great Barrington types and against Team Biden and Rochelle Walinsky et al for not doing more, and hence being subject to your bankshots.