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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}


#EndorseThis: How Trump Republicans Are Killing The Lone Star State

Watch cable television and you'll see lots of Americans who are simply too stupid to take coronavirus seriously. They complain about wearing masks, insist the pandemic is a hoax, and mimic the mindless behavior of President Trump, whom they tend to idolize.

Unfortunately, a number of these imbeciles are in positions of power – notably in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has led the state into a nightmare of disease and government dysfunction, along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. (Vice President Mike Pence told his share of lethal lies about the Lone Star State, too.)

Somebody needs to be held accountable for the continuing destruction of Texas. And the fine people at MeidasTouch SuperPAC want to make sure everyone knows who. That's why they produced "Trump Kills Texas."

It's short but very sharp. Just click.

Fauci Warns White House Is Making ‘A Big Mistake’ Attacking Him

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Officials in the Trump White House have recently engaged in what could be described as a passive-aggressive effort to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci. Although President Donald Trump hasn't tried to outright fire the expert immunologist from his coronavirus task force — not yet, anyway — his White House allies have been producing "opposition research" against him.

And Fauci, in an interview with Peter Nicholas and Ed Yong of The Atlantic, assured the journalists that he has no plans to resign from the task force.

Fauci's tone during the interview was respectful of Trump and far from scathing, but he also made it clear that he stands by all of his recent coronavirus-related warnings. Asked about the Trump White House's opposition research against him, Fauci responded, "That was not particularly a good thing to do. Ultimately, it hurts the president to do that. When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president. And I don't really want to hurt the president. But that's what's happening. I told him I thought it was a big mistake. That doesn't serve any good purpose for what we're trying to do."

The 79-year-old Fauci was also asked about an op-ed by Peter Navarro, one of Trump's top economic advisers, that appeared in USA Today and attacked the immunologist's credibility. Fauci told The Atlantic, "I can't explain Peter Navarro. He's in a world by himself. So, I don't even want to go there."

During the spring, Fauci was often featured at the White House's coronavirus press briefings. But that isn't happening now.

Fauci, however, told The Atlantic that he is still talking to others on the task force and in the White House on a regular basis, including Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Robert Redfield (director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Steve Hahn. The task force is headed by Vice President Mike Pence.

When Fauci was asked to "update us on your relationship with the president," he responded: "Well, the scene has changed a bit. When we were having frequent press briefings, I had the opportunity to have a personal one-on-one to talk to the president. I haven't done that in a while."

During the interview, Fauci spoke candidly about the recent surge in COVID-19 infections in Arizona, Texas, Florida and other states — asserting that such states need more social distancing, not less.

"Even though we are in the middle of a setback now — you can't deny that; look at the numbers, you're dealing with 40,000 to 60,000 infections in a day — it doesn't mean we're going to be defeated," Fauci told The Atlantic. "But states that are in trouble right now, if those states pause and say, 'OK, we're going to do it right, everyone wear a mask, bars closed, no congregating in crowds, keep your distance, protect the vulnerable' — if we do that for a few weeks in a row, I'll guarantee you those numbers will come down."

Bill Kristol Urges GOP Officials To Save Their Party — By Endorsing Biden

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

What Republicans say about President Donald Trump publicly and what they say about him behind closed doors can be two very different things. Many prominent GOP senators and governors are reluctant to criticize him publicly, but that doesn't mean they aren't privately worried when they see his collapsing poll numbers — and conservative journalist Bill Kristol, in an article for The Bulwark, makes a plea to such Republicans: Have the courage to openly reject Trumpism.

"My appeal is simple," Kristol writes. "It's directed to those who have not been opponents of Donald Trump. It's directed to those who, for whatever mixtures of reasons and motives, have until now reluctantly supported or tolerated him…. It is to become former Trump supporters."

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Pence Spouts Happy Humbug At Covid-19 Task Force Briefing

On Friday Mike Pence convened the first White House coronavirus task force briefing in nearly two months, amid a spike of coronavirus cases in some of the largest states in the country.

Pence used his time to lie about the Trump administration's response to the virus and distort the reality that millions of Americans find themselves in.

Here are four lies and distortions Pence uttered during that briefing on Friday afternoon:

"All 50 states and territories across this country are opening up safely and responsibly."

That's not true.

After reopening too soon and too quickly — against the advice of public health experts — the Republican governors of Texas and Florida announced their states are once again implementing social distancing measures as coronavirus cases soar.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he is closing all bars and reducing capacity in restaurants to 50 percent after Texas saw 5,996 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday.

And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is banning the sale of alcohol in bars after his state reported 8,942 new cases on Friday. That single-day increase is nearly as high as those seen in New York at the peak of coronavirus infections this spring.

"We slowed the spread, we flattened the curve, we saved lives."

The coronavirus curve is by no means flattened.

Data shows that while the national curve trended slightly downward earlier in June, it never came close to flattening. And now it's once again on the rise, with the number of new cases on Thursday rising to the highest single-day increase since tracking of the virus began.

Only a handful of states truly flattened the curve, including New York and New Jersey, which had the worst outbreaks early on but now have decreased the spread of the virus thanks to the implementation of social distancing measures and policies such as mandated mask-wearing.

But a number of other states, such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas, where Republican governors reopened early and refused to mandate mask-wearing, are seeing spikes. And experts are now concerned about the availability of hospital beds.

6-26-20 from Shareblue Media on Vimeo

"To one extent or another, the volume of new cases coming in is a reflection of a great success in expanding testing across the country."

This is misleading.

While testing capacity is up, it is not the only reason the number of positive tests are increasing.

In fact, public health experts look at the percentage of tests that come back positive to determine the level of concern: The higher the percentage, the more alarmed the experts are.

In Texas, the positivity rate climbed to 10.42 percent on Wednesday. Abbott had previously called a 10 percent positive rate a "warning flag."

In Florida, the positivity rate stood at 13.4 percent on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Pence said there's a "tendency" for people to believe "we're in a time of great losses and great hardship on the American people. The reality is we're in a much better place."

While Pence painted a rosy picture of where the United States stands with regard to the coronavirus, there are still millions of Americans facing hardship.

To date, 124,393 people have died of causes related to the coronavirus, the New York Times reports.

And nearly 21 million people are still out of work, according to unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.