Reprinted with permission from DailyKos
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency regulation back in June requiring hospitals and other health care settings to enforce COVID-19 safety practices. Now, OSHA is warning three states—Arizona, South Carolina, and Utah—that if they don't adopt those rules, the federal government will take over workplace safety enforcement.
"OSHA has worked in good faith to help these three state plans to come into compliance," Jim Frederick, OSHA's acting director, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday. "But their continued refusal is a failure to maintain their state plan commitment to thousands of workers in their states."
The emergency temporary standard for health care facilities requires them to develop a plan for COVID-19 safety including personal protective equipment, health screening, social distancing, ventilation, cleaning, and more. It's mostly very familiar stuff more than a year and a half into the pandemic. But Arizona, South Carolina, and Utah have failed to fulfill the requirements of the rule, according to OSHA.
States are allowed to do their own workplace safety enforcement as long as they meet minimum requirements. If they fail to do that, the federal government steps in.
"The bottom line is private-sector employers in state plans do not want federal OSHA coming in," former OSHA official Debbie Berkowitz told Dave Jamieson. "In almost every state where they have a state plan, although they have the same regulations, enforcement is so much weaker."
All three states were basically "Who, us?" about the OSHA warning that they weren't meeting the emergency temporary standard. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that Arizona officials believed the state to be in compliance, but would look into the matter. A South Carolina official said the state's policies had "proven effective as South Carolina has consistently had one of the lowest injury and illness rates in the nation." And Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said that his state's plan was as good as the federal one, but also that the federal one would create too great a burden for the health care industry.
The emergency temporary standard for health care is, in itself, important. But it's also an early warning sign about how states will respond when OSHA releases a rule requiring all large workplaces to mandate either vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing for all employees. If a state isn't willing to enforce basic standards in health care settings, that's kind of a red flag for how it will approach the broader rule.
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Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters
The infamous former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is taking credit for having blazed a trail for two major political voices of the right — former President Donald Trump on the one hand, and Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson on the other — saying that they are following in his own footsteps in promoting the idea that white people are under threat of "replacement."
The "great replacement" theory posits that white people are being systematically "replaced" via mass immigration by people of color. The Guardian explained that the theory attributes this plot to "a shadowy group" planning to rule the world: "This group is often overtly identified as being Jews, but sometimes the antisemitism is more implicit."
On the October 13 edition of his podcast, Duke claimed that "Trump really knows what his movement is based upon" — that is, from Duke's own political campaigns. "You know, [Trump] had to know that I ran my campaigns primarily on the immigration issue, on fair trade issues, on the issues of preserving American culture, on stopping the replacement of European Americans — which people are all talking about now, years and years and years."
Duke also recounted how back in the 1970s he had organized an "independent, popular border watch of the Mexican-American border," which got a lot of publicity in the media that scared people in Mexico. "They were afraid because they were trying to portray it like it was the KKK — it was going to lynch them or something," Duke said "Even though my Klan group, by the way, never ever was even accused of any sort of violent activity. That was way back way, way, way back in 1975, '74, '75."
Duke then made an interesting argument regarding Trump's rally in Iowa the prior weekend, and played a clip in which Trump said he remembered "one politician many years ago, came in second in a certain state, and he became famous for many, many years because he came in second," while by contrast Trump won multiple states. Duke argued that this was a subtle acknowledgment that Duke's 1991 campaign for governor of Louisiana was the forerunner of Trump's own political movement.
Duke and co-host Patrick Slattery puzzled over whether Trump could have been referring to any other past candidate, and went through a process of logically eliminating several other possible candidates before settling upon their conclusion. Duke further noted: "You wonder, why would he even bring that up, and not — definitely very much avoid saying the name, right?"
Slattery complained, however, later declaring: "Let's just say he ran on the David Duke platform. He certainly wasn't able to implement very much of it as president."
"And he definitely didn't talk about the fundamental issues like we talk about," Duke added. "He believed — and maybe he was right in a way, in terms of his ability to get elected — he believed that he couldn't get elected if he just laid out the fact that this tiny Jewish racist, ultra-racist, ultra-supremacist minority has supremacy over" mainstream media outlets and social media. "Jews, they're Jews, Jews, and more Jews, and they're all connected."
Duke may be taking a glass-half-empty view on Trump's expressions of antagonism against Jewish Americans, however.
During his 2016 presidential campaign and his presidency, many people noted that Trump's use of the term "globalists" had antisemitic connotations — especially as Trump applied it publicly to a Jewish person in his own administration. And in 2017, after participants in the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, had chanted, "Jews will not replace us," Trump infamously referred to the event as having "very fine people" on both sides.
Duke further played, with some pride, a clip from MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, in which the host compared Duke's statements about whites becoming "a minority in our own country," with Carlson's promotion of "the great replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans."
DAVID DUKE (HOST): How could it be that I'm an evil guy, when all of the fundamental things that Tucker says, the fundamental things he says — except for the fact they don't dare talk about the real truth of the real racism that dominates this country, the Jewish racism that dominates — isn't that, that's an amazing take, too, isn't it?
DUKE: It's unbelievable to think about this, and this is, I believe, the greatest human rights crime in the world — if genocide is something evil, and I do believe any sort of genocide is evil, then why in the hell do we have a purposeful program to destroy, to literally wipe out the white people in America and Europe, and make us a tiny minority and ultimately just basically erase us from the Earth?
That's really what's going on, and it's really interesting that all of these things that Tucker is talking about now — Tucker's been around a long time, too. He's been around from the 1990s, 2000s, and in his career, 2000s. And he finally in the last three or four years — somewhat also with the Trump campaign — but he's finally come around to start even using the word "white people" in any context.
And in response to repeated calls by the Anti-Defamation League for Fox News to fire him after his promotion of the "great replacement," Carlson had this to say about the prominent Jewish civil rights organization: "Well, fuck them."
Reprinted with permission from Alternet
When NBC's Savannah Guthrie pressed then-President Donald Trump about the extremist QAnon cult during a 2020 town hall, he was evasive — claiming, "I know nothing about QAnon…. I do know that they are very much against pedophilia." Trump obviously didn't want to offend the conspiracist movement that passionately supports him. And now, according to Vice News reporter Cameron Joseph, Trump is openly promoting QAnon candidates.
Two of the far-right pro-Trump QAnon supporters who were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020 were Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado. But there are even more QAnon candidates with their eyes on the 2021 and 2022 elections, and according to Joseph, Trump is supporting some of them.Media Matters President Angelo Carusone told Vice, "You've had an increase in QAnon-believing candidates out there, coupled with Trump echoing and validating a lot of the sentiments."
QAnon believes that the federal government of the United States has been infiltrated by an international cabal of child sex traffickers, pedophiles, Satanists and cannibals with the help of billionaire George Soros and other prominent Democrats — and Trump, according to QAnon, was elected president in 2016 to fight the cabal. But as ludicrous as QAnon's beliefs are, they have found a home in the GOP and the MAGA movement. And QAnon's participation in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building shows that the movement is quite capable of violence.
Joseph notes that Media Matters has "identified 45 people already running for Congress who've promoted QAnon theories, as well as eight gubernatorial candidates and many more legislative candidates.""Most are fringe candidates who won't win their primaries, much less their elections," Joseph observes. "But the sheer number shows how deeply QAnon has sunk its teeth into the GOP."
The QAnon supporters Trump has endorsed, according to Joseph, include Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem and Kristina Karamo, who is running for Michigan secretary of state. Both of them are among the scheduled speakers for a QAnon conference in Las Vegas calling itself "For God & Country: Patriot, Double Down."
The Las Vegas event where Finchem and Karamo will be speaking will, according to Joseph, feature "a who's who of QAnon influencers."