Friday, May 28, 2021

Wearing a Mask is Not Comparable to the Holocaust and The New Georgia Voting Law is Not Jim Crow

"You know, we can look back in a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens — so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany.  This is exactly the type of abuse Nancy Pelosi is talking about."

---Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) comparing the requirement that members wear a mask on the House floor to the extermination of millions of Jews, mentally disabled, homosexuals and others by Nazi
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA)

Greene's comments last week were truly awful.  Several Republican house members, such as Adam Kinzinger (IL),  Peter Meier (MI), and Lynn Cheney (WY) immediately condemned Greene's statement.  But it took five days for House Republican leaders Kevin McCarthy, Steven Scalise and Elise Stefanik to publicly criticize Greene.  In contrast, when Rep. Cheney spoke the truth that the election wasn't stolen, she was immediately vilified by those leaders.  

McCarthy believes his sucking up to Donald Trump is going to earn the support of the Florida New Jersey blogger's support to become Speaker after the 2022 midterms.  Quite possibly, when the time comes, Trump is going to back someone else for Speaker.  McCarthy, who isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, still does not get that when it comes to Trump, loyalty is a one way street.

In comparing being required to wear a mask during a pandemic to Holocaust victims having to wear a Gold Star before being sent to the gas chamber, Greene was engaging in what is known as a "false equivalency."  But false equivalencies do not exist exclusively on the right.  Following the passage of the Georgia election law earlier this year, many prominent Democrats including President Joe Biden, South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, and defeated Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams repeatedly called the law the reincarnation of Jim Crow.

But in reality, while there were some nefarious changes such as giving the state legislature the opportunity to interfere into local counting of ballots and the removal of the Secretary of State as a voting member of the State Election Board, the Georgia bill did not erect barriers to voting and in fact, in many ways, will make voting easier.  For example, Democrats had complained about long lines at urban voting locations, particularly in the Atlanta area.  The new Georgia law requires a monitoring of those lines and when they are too long, additional voting equipment must be provided.  If the long lines persist, then the precincts voting at those locations are to be broken up and additional voting locations created.

Instead of having an honest discussion of the Georgia election bill though, Democrats went off on a tangent comparing it to Jim Crow, the nickname for post-Civil War laws southern states adopted to legally discriminate against African-Americans.  Jim Crow voting laws included poll taxes, grandfather clauses, white-only primaries, and literacy tests to keep African-Americans from voting or being elected to public office.  In those years if you wanted to register, you had to go to the county courthouse and appear before a white registrar.  When blacks tried to register to vote, the registrar often closed the office to head to lunch.  As a result of Jim Crow voting restrictions and traditions, there were counties in the South which had majority black populations yet 99% of the voters in that county were white.  

Yes, the new Georgia law shortened deadlines for requesting a no excuse absentee ballot and made the deadline for turning them in earlier. (The change was for the purpose of ensuring better processing and quicker counting of absentee ballots that in 2020 took days to count.)  But is that change really a Jim Crow law?  Of course not.

Although the Jim Crow comments regarding the Georgia law do not begin to compare with Greene's holocaust comment, they are still bad.  It's a dishonest approach to argument and is essentially lying to the public.  Worse yet, it devalues the struggles that people who lived in that era faced and the obstacles they had to overcome to lay the foundation for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Let's stop with the false equivalencies on both sides.

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Unwritten Rules of Baseball are about Sportsmanship; Tony La Russa Was Right to Defend Them

A battle continues to rage between the supporters of 76 year old White Sox manager Tony La Russa and those who back his 28 year old designated hitter Yermin Mercedes.  The issue they clashed over is Mercedes violating "unwritten rules of baseball."  

Early last week, the White Sox were blowing out the Minnesota Twins 15-4 when the Twins put into the game a position player, first baseman Willians Astudillo, to pitch the ninth inning.   Astudillo retired the first two hitters, but then threw three straight balls to Mercedes.  With the count 3-0, Astudillo threw a 47 mile per hour "fastball" down the middle of the plate.  Mercedes, given the take sign by his coach, instead swung and hit a mammoth home run.

La Russa was incensed.  He ran on the field to yell at his player and then berated him at a press conference.  He called the Twins to apologize. 

(As a side note, let's not overlook that Mercedes intentionally ignored the order of his coach when he swang at the 3-0 pitch.  In most work places, that sort of insubordination can get you fired.)

A quick point about baseball's unwritten rules.  Baseball has certain traditions that say when you have an overwhelming lead, there are certain things you stop doing.  You don't steal bases and you don't try to stretch hits into extra bases if the play is going to be close.  Another of those unwritten rules is you don't swing at 3-0 pitches, and certainly not when the pitcher is a position player who is trying desperately to close out a game.  Those unwritten rules certainly do not require you to stop trying to get hits or scoring runs.  But you just don't do the extra things mentioned above.  Doing so is considered trying to show up an opponent, kicking him while he is down.  

Tony La Russa

The unwritten rules of baseball are about sportsmanship.  Unfortunately to Mercedes' generation, sportsmanship is a foreign concept.  Mercedes and many of his fellow players see nothing wrong with berating an opponent, showing him up when given a chance, beating on one's chest to indicate superiority over a defeated opponent.  

La Russa sought to teach Mercedes a lesson about sportsmanship.  Unfortunately, that is a lesson Mercedes should have learned as a child when he first began playing sports.

Baseball's unwritten rules are also being mocked.  But every sport has those "unwritten rules" about how to conduct oneself during a blowout.  In basketball, you're supposed to put in the subs and stop running fast breaks, instead using all the shot clock on offense.  In football, you also put in the subs and stop passing the ball with the exception of maybe a short pass on third down to retain possession.  Like basketball, football's unwritten rules also dictate that you try to run down the play clock as much as possible on every down.

Tony La Russa is an old guy. But sometimes the old guys get things right.  Sportsmanship does matter.

Monday, May 17, 2021

While Republican Candidates Clamor to Kiss Trump's Ring, the Former President Loses His Mojo

This weekend was filled with appearances on Sunday talk shows by Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) who in the previous week had been ousted from House leadership at the prompting of former President Donald Trump.  Cheney's supposed offense?  She is "out of step" with the Republicans in the House who support Trump and she won't stop refuting Trump's claim that the election was stolen.  

In defending his position, McCarthy claimed "I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election."  That's not a joke...McCarthy actually said that.  McCarthy's boss, former President Donald Trump, has questioned the legitimacy of the presidential election CONSTANTLY.  Writing on his blog, Trump has questioned the legitimacy of the election 29 times since his first post on March 26th, including 13 times so far in May.

Many in the media have asserted that Trump's popularity and control over the GOP has increased since his electoral defeat.  But has it really?  While Republican officeholders and candidates are racing to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the defeated ex- President's ring, the numbers suggest the Florida Blogger is, in fact, losing his mojo.

An NBC poll conducted in late April shows Trump's approval rating was down to 32%.  Right before the election, Trump's approval in the NBC polls stood at 43%.  In January it was down to 40%.  What's more, the poll also showed that 50% of Republicans consider them primarily a supporter of the party rather than of Trump.  That's the highest percentage ever reached when NBC has asked the question.

Despite the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) being a non-stop Trump Love Fest, only 55% of the attendees indicated they wanted him to run for re-election in 2024.  In the Texas Congressional District 6th special election held on May 1st, the Trump endorsed candidate Susan Wright finished first and will be in the runoff.  However, she received only 19% of the vote.  While Democrats also voted in that jungle election and, thus Wright's percent was lower than it would have been in a Republican-only primary, she probably did not get more than 1/3 of the Republican votes cast.  Given that she was the widow of the deceased incumbent and had name recognition, she probably would have gotten to 19% even without the support of the Florida Blogger.  It's not clear that Trump's support actually did anything for Wright.

Harry Enten, CNN analyst, says that in removing Rep. Liz Cheney "GOP leaders are playing it smart when it comes to Trump."  Enten, for whom I have immense respect, suggests that the Republican Party just needs "to turn out his voters, while keeping Trump out of the limelight."  Since Cheney refusal to  support the Big Lie was antagonistic to Trump voters, her removal from leadership fits into that strategy, according to Enten.

Where Enten's analysis goes off track is in the assumptions. The notion that Trump can be kept out of the limelight is wishful thinking.  Trump's ego won't allow allow others be the face of the Republican Party going into the 2022 midterms.  And when Trump is the face of the GOP, Democrats go to the polls in droves.  As far as getting Trump voters to the polls, the record is well-established that when Trump is not actually on the ballot, such as the 2018 midterms and the special elections when he was President, many Trump voters stay home, while Democratic turnout remains juiced.

Enten would respond by pointing to 2021 special elections in which Republican candidates have done better than projected.  But a 2021 special election, with Trump out of office and out of a lot of voters' minds, is not the same thing as a high profile mid-term election during which Trump will reassert himself as the dominant figure in the GOP.

OOP's short takes:

  • It's just been announced that the United States Supreme Court will hear an abortion case involving a Mississippi law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks.  I fully expect the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade and its progeny, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which threw out the Roe trimester approach in favor of viability.  My guess is a majority of the Court will conclude the Court erred in drawing the line at viability (which is now about 5 1/2 months) to 4 months and allow states to ban abortion (except for the life and health of the mother) after that. That would pretty much coincide with the Mississippi law.  According to the Center for Disease Control, about 91% of abortions happen during the first trimester.  Maybe 4% or 5% happen in the fourth month, i.e. the early part of the second trimester. 
  • I typically fall asleep to the TV.  This morning I woke up to Fox and Friends First, a lead-in for Fox and Friends.  (I think one of my cats must have switched channels while I was snoozing.)  The host had on four law enforcement type officials. The issue was the increasing homicide rate in certain cities.  Who is to blame?  Joe Biden of course!  He wants to defund the police!   So people start murdering each other based on who the President of the United States is?  Of course many of these murders happened while Trump was in office as Biden has been President for less than four months.  What I can't fathom is the depth of the intellectual dishonesty.  Every one of those panelists knew how absurd their statements were but they said them anyway.  Such is tribalism.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

2024 Rallying Cry for Trumpers: Let's Steal the Election Back!

As Memorial Day 2021 approaches, Democrats are in a tizzy.  Republicans have bought Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen.  To placate their Trumpified base, GOP dominated state legislatures are adopting "voter suppression" laws designed to disenfranchise voters.  It's Jim Crow 2.0, the Democrats scream.

"Indeed, you won the elections, but I won the count."
---Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somozo, 1977.

Although the motivation for enactment of the laws is flawed, many actually represent positive changes.  The more nefarious changes are modest attempts at voter discouragement, hardly "suppression," and certainly not comparable to those which existed (literacy tests, poll taxes, white primaries) during Jim Crow.  In the real world, the GOP's changes to voting are unlikely to discourage more than a handful of voters, but are almost certainly guaranteed to increase Democratic-leaning voters pissed off about the changes.  Brilliant!

I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this — who will count the votes, and how.
---Joseph Stalin, USSR dictator, 1923

And don't get me started with Florida.  During the last two decades, Florida Republicans have run the best voter turnout operation in the country.  That program depends on an aggressive use of the state's no excuse absentee ballot law.  Now the GOP-dominated Florida legislature has decided to make it more inconvenient to vote absentee.  Not surprisingly, Florida Democrats did not do much complaining about the changes.

It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting...."
---from Jumpers, a play by Tom Stoppard, 1972

A magician will often accomplish sleight of hand tricks by getting observers to focus on the wrong hand.  It is the same with elections.  As I've preached before, it is not the casting of votes that is critical, but the counting of those ballots.  Democrats need to spend less time crying wolf about modest and inconsequential voting changes and more time concerned about how those votes are going to be counted in future elections.

Mona Charen, columnist for The Bulwark, addresses this in a piece titled "The Real Steal is Coming," published on Tuesday.  In the article, Charen details Trump's attempts to interfere in the counting of ballots and electoral votes.  While Trump was unsuccessful in his efforts, Charen correctly recognizes that the game has changed since then.  The state and local elected Republican officials who stopped Trump's Attempted Election Steal by insisting on an honest count of the votes have been re-educated or removed.  Next time may be different.  Charen writes:

Today, we stand on the precipice of the House Republican conference ratifying this attempt to subvert American democracy. They are poised to punish Liz Cheney for saying this simple truth: “The 2020 presidential election was not stolen. Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system.” In her place, they will elevate Iago in heels, Elise Stefanik, whose claim to leadership consists entirely of her operatic Trump followership.

Let’s be clear: The substitution of Stefanik for Cheney is a tocsin, signaling that the Republican party will no longer be bound by law or custom. In 2020, many Republican office holders, including the otherwise invertebrate Pence, held the line. They did not submit false slates of electors. They did not decertify votes. They did not “find” phantom fraud. But the party has been schooled since then. It has learned that the base—which is deluded by the likes of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Mark Levin—believes the lies and demands that Republicans fight. As my colleague Amanda Carpenter put it, the 2024 mantra is going to be “Steal It Back.”

If Cheney must be axed because she will not lie, then what will happen if Republicans take control of Congress in 2022 and are called upon to certify the Electoral College in 2024? How many Raffenspergers will there be? How many will insist, as Pence did, that they must do what the Constitution demands? How many will preserve any semblance of the rule of law and the primacy of truth?

With this sabotage of Cheney, House Republicans are figuratively joining the January 6 mob. 

OOP's Short Takes:

  • After writing Monday's column on California gubernatorial candidate Caitlin Jenner not voting in 2020, a reporter investigated Jenner's claim and found out that she did vote in 2020.   It's not unusual for politicians, wanting to bolster their political resume, to claim they voted when they didn't.  Jenner may be the only politician in history to lie the other direction - claiming to not have voted when in fact she did.   Jenner may well not have been aware that whether someone voted is a public record.
  • Of all the Republican women in the House, Liz Cheney is probably the most conservative.  It looks like she will be replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik who may be the most liberal of the female Republican members of Congress.  Stefanik, who, before November 2016, was a harsh critic of Trump, decided her route to power was to embrace Trump and the Big Lie that the President actually won re-election, only to be deprived of the office by Democratic fraud.  So let's stop pretending that Cheney is a "RINO" and that Stefanik has principles.  Stefanik is a shameless sell-out, someone devoid of an ounce of integrity.  She is willing to LIE to placate Trump and advance her career.  Cheney chose to risk her career by telling the truth.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

California Gubernatorial Candidate Caitlyn Jenner Did Not Even Bother to Vote in 2020 Election

Caitlyn Jenner is running to be the next Governor of California, assuming of course, that the current Governor Gavin Newsom is ousted in the upcoming recall election.

Today, CNN reports that Jenner didn't even bother to vote in the 2020 election, choosing to play golf on Election Day instead.  Never mind that the California legislature has made voting remarkably easy.  Jenner could have voted absentee and still made the links on November 3rd.  

Thousands of California Republicans are active in their party, knocking on doors, registering voters, collecting absentee ballots from voters (i.e. ballot harvesting) so those voters don't even have to worry about finding a stamp, and working on Election Day.  When it comes to partisan political activity, some tasks, such as running for office, require a lot of effort while other tasks, such as wearing a campaign button, require minimal effort.  

Caitlyn Jenner

Voting falls in the category of requiring "minimal effort."  Yet, Jenner couldn't be bothered to show up to vote in one of the most consequential elections in the modern political era.  Jenner makes the excuse that since California is heavily Democrat and the state's electoral votes most definitely were going to  Biden, her vote as a Republican would not have mattered.  But that ignores the fact that there are scores of other races on the ballot in which Republican candidates could have used her help.  

I spent decades doing the grass roots work that my Republican Party needed to have done.  To see someone like Jenner waltz in and demand to be taken seriously as a GOP gubernatorial candidate, without having ever lifted a finger to support the Republican Party, is insulting to those of us who worked for years in the trenches. 

The 70-year old Jenner's claim to fame is winning Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in 1976, as Bruce Jenner, and then playing the step-father in the reality show "Keeping up with the Kardashians."  Of course, Jenner's late-in-life sex change operation has also netted her considerable publicity.

I don't particularly care that Jenner went from being a he to a she.  I do care though about people paying their dues in politics and that those who run for office be someone who has demonstrated an interest in government and a knowledge of how it works.  On that score, Jenner earns a big fat zero.

Being a celebrity disinterested in politics doesn't make one qualified to be Governor.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Case Against Actor Kevin Spacey Highlights Problem of Extending or Eliminating Sexual Assault Statutes of Limitations

In an effort to empower victims of sexual assault, several jurisdictions have moved to eliminate civil and criminal statutes of limitations.  But in the zeal of giving those victims more power, we often forget that statutes of limitations exist for a reason.  

Imagine in 2021, you are being sued civilly for sexually assaulting someone 40 years earlier.  Would you be able to go back in time to 1981, figure out who you were around at that time and confirm an alibi?  Would you be able to recover documents that confirm where you were or what you were doing at the time of the alleged assault?

Kevin Spacey

Now imagine if the person accusing you of that crime that supposedly happened forty years ago also wants to proceed anonymously.  While you and your attorneys are allowed to know the name of the plaintiff accusing you, you are prohibited from revealing the name to anyone else, thus limiting your ability to conduct the discovery needed to protect yourself.  

Welcome to Kevin Spacey's world.

The allegations against the twice Oscar winning actor are pretty horrific.  The lawsuit filed by "C.D." and actor Anthony Rapp accuse Spacey of forcibly sexually assaulting them when they were both 14 years old.  Rapp originally publicly accused Spacey in 2017.  C.D. and Rapp were only able to sue Spacey after the state of New York in 2019 adopted the Child Victims Act which allows child victims of sexual assault up until age 55 to file a lawsuit.  C.D. and Rapp were well into their 50s when they sued Spacey.

A judge recently ruled that C.D. cannot proceed anonymously against Spacey.  He will have to agree to be identified publicly or his complaint against Spacey will be dismissed.  C.D.'s attorneys have indicated he would rather have the case dismissed than have his identity revealed. 

Jurisdictions have been far too quick to discard and significantly extend civil and criminal statutes of limitations for sexual assault victims. 

Over time memories fade or become distorted, witnesses die, evidence gets lost.  Although the accused doesn't have the burden of proof in either civil or criminal cases, the reality is that when accused of a heinous sexual assault, the accused will be expected to offer some proof of the negative, that he (and it's usually a he) did not do the alleged offense.

I understand why there needs to be a longer statute of limitations for child victims of sexual assault.  Those victims need to have some time beyond age 18 to ponder the difficult adult decision of filing a civil lawsuit.   But to give those people until age 55, forty years after an incident allegedly happened, is an example of the pendulum swinging too far the other way, sacrificing fundamental fairness in the process.

OOP's Short Takes:

  • Our local minor league team is called the "Indians."  A spirited debate broke out among my neighbors on the NextDoor app (sort of Facebook for neighborhoods) about whether the team should change its name.  After some 30 comments, I decided to speak up and point out that the Indians play in INDIANapolis in the state of INDIANa.  If we change the name of the Indians, then logically we need to also rename the Hoosier state as well as its capital. 
  • So ridiculous.  We should be able to make obvious distinctions between derogatory team names like the Redskins and those that are not, names like the Indians and Braves.  Plus, the United States has scores of states, counties and cities named after Native American tribes.  Are we going to change those as well? 
  • Last night, Fox TV host Tucker Carlson took on Rep. Kevin McCarthy.  Apparently Minority Leader McCarthy's offense is guilty by association - the Minority Leader rents space at GOP pollster Frank Lutz's Penn Quarter Penthouse and Luntz said after January 6th that Trump would not be able to re-enter politics.  This is Tucker Carlson's second straight day of attacking McCarthy.  There is clearly a movement to make sure McCarthy doesn't become Speaker after the 2022 election.
  • Meanwhile, McCarthy is increasing his attacks on Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney.  McCarthy supposedly worries that Cheney, chair of the GOP Conference, the #3 position in House leadership, does not have the confidence of the GOP House caucus.  Never mind that the caucus earlier this year voted overwhelmingly (in a secret vote) to keep Cheney in her current position.  McCarthy apparently wants another vote.  Or I should say a certain Florida resident wants another vote.
  • In short, McCarthy thinks throwing Cheney under the bus will earn him the loyalty (and blessing) of Donald Trump.  How many times do we have to learn the lesson that Donald Trump demands loyalty, but that loyalty is a one way street?  

Monday, May 3, 2021

While President Biden Proposes Big Government, Conservative Republicans Respond With Culture War Issues

In his address last week, President Joe Biden proposed the largest expansion of government since the New Deal.  Since then, I have been on Twitter logging what my fellow conservatives were talking about:

  • Possible ban on menthol cigarettes
  • Biden trying to ban beef
  • Freedom to not wear a mask during a pandemic
  • Do not get vaccinated
  • Vaccine passports are bad
  • Ban critical race theory from schools
  • Stop the 1619 project
  • Ban transgender athletes from women's sports
  • Trump lost because of election fraud 
  • January 6th insurrection was instigated by "leftists"
  • Twitter is too liberal
  • Academy Awards program is too liberal

Republicans during the era of Donald Trump decided to stop at least pretending to be fiscal conservatives.  They embraced huge federal deficits, during a booming economy no less, and related massive spending.  Now that there is a Democratic President in office proposing the largest expansion of government since FDR, Republicans have no credibility to push fiscal responsibility.  Worse yet, they are bogged down on the aforementioned cultural war issues.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY)

Over the weekend, Senator Mitt Romney faced boos (and some cheers) at a political convention in Utah.  Also, this weekend came more stories that Rep. Liz Cheney's No. 3 position in House leadership once again might be in jeopardy.  Cheney has already won one vote to retain her position.  So what's her new offense?  She did a fist bump (the pandemic version of a handshake) with Biden as he walked in to give his speech.  Oh my. How outrageous!

It was hoped that the Republican Party would start rebuilding its image after Trump left office.  Instead the GOP has become much more radicalized.  The extremists are taking an even bigger role in the party, eschewing traditional conservative polices in favor of nutty conspiracy theories and culture war battles. Not sure where this ends.  My guess is the Republican Party is going to start losing its grip on more marginal red states as the GOP continues to shrink.  While it will be next to impossible for the Republicans to lose the House in 2022 due to redistricting and historic voting patterns, I could see the Republicans losing several Senate seats, including in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  Democrats may also have a shot in Florida, Iowa and Ohio.  Democrats could even pick up a seat in Alaska if Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski does not win the GOP primary and in Missouri if scandal-plagued former governor Eric Greitens is nominated to replace Sen. Roy Blount.

A Republican Party, unencumbered by craziness, would have a solid shot at picking up Senate seats in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire.  It doesn't look like any of those states are going to nominate a non-Trump Republican who could win the votes of independents and Democrats living in those purple states.

President Herbert Hoover lost both the House, the Senate and the Presidency during his four years in office.  No Republican President had been able to duplicate that feat until Donald Trump came along.  Trump is a stone cold loser...certainly not someone who should be considered the leader of the Republican Party.

OOP's short takes:

  • Regarding Saturday's special election in Texas' sixth congressional district, the media outlets portray the first place finish of Trump-endorsed Susan Wright as proof of the former President's influence on the nominating process.  But wait...Wright only received 19% of the vote.  As the wife of the late Rep. Ron Wright, who died earlier this year of complications due to Covid-19, Susan Wright should have gotten 19% of the vote on her own, even without the Trump endorsement.  Far from Trump's endorsement being persuasive, the numbers suggest it may not have moved many voters.
  • Meanwhile the media have also portrayed the results as a loss for President Biden because  Democratic candidate Jana Lynne Sanchez finished third behind Republican Jake Ellzey and, thus, won't be in the run-off with Wright.  But there were 23 candidates in the field, many winning 1,000 plus votes, skewing the results.  Ellzey only beat out Sanchez by 400 votes so deriving any great meaning from Sanchez's third place finish is probably misplaced.  
  • I disagree with the notion that politicians should do whatever the scientists suggest during a  pandemic.  Scientists, especially those dealing with communicable diseases, are by their very nature going to take a very conservative approach on such things such as to whether to open an economy. Their focus, after all, is to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.  By contrast, economic experts are going to take the opposite approach, downplaying disease spread in favor of economic development.  It is the job of politicians, especially those serving as President, Governors and Mayors, to balance the advice of all the experts and reach a conclusion as to what is the best policy.  
  • That brings me to the CDC.  I really think the agency is dropping the ball.  The message should be - get vaccinated and you get your life back.  Instead it is, get vaccinated and, well, afterwards your life is pretty much the same as it was before getting the shot.  It shouldn't be surprising that the CDC takes this approach given its cautious nature, but politicians should be stepping in to offer a better message.  
  • Now an airing of my latest grievance.  For the first time in my life, a light bulb in my refrigerator has burned out and I need to get a replacement.  I went to buy a bulb and found they only sell them in packs of 2 or 4.  Now I'm on the far side of 50, so I'm thinking I might not need another light bulb until I'm 100. Should I live that long, where do I store the bulb so I have it ready to go 50 years from now?  God forbid I buy the four pack - I'd have to live to 200 to use them all.  Why can't I buy just one refrigerator light bulb?