Friday, December 03, 2021

Used To Be A Pro-Business Party

      By the thinnest of margins, the Indiana GOP has butted out of telling businesses how to approach employee vaccination efforts.  They planned to meet in a rush on September 29th, ostensibly to end the official state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring Indiana would still receive promised Federal help.  Instead, they went haring off after a plan to severely curtail the ability of private businesses to determine how to run their own vaccination requirements, and the whole plan went down to ignominious defeat.

     It takes a very special effort to get legislation though in one day.  It's just about unheard of, though there are provisions for it.  Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray issued a face-saving statement that barely nods to the spirited opposition to the measure from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, among others.  House Speaker Todd Huston has remained silent; the House appears to be a hotbed of interference over vaccines.  2022's session will begin with HB1001, essentially the same bill that ground-looped a few days ago.

     Remember when Republicans were opposed to government meddling in business?  I do.  It was something I liked about them.

     In the meantime, the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been found in a handful of U. S. states.  My best guess is that it's already in all of them; the massive population of the U. S. has frustrated efforts to gather detailed data about exactly which version of the virus is where.  Such data as can be found is mostly gathered from people who were sick enough to be hospitalized, and it doesn't give all that accurate or timely a picture of the fine details.

     Over 780,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus pandemic so far, nearly twice as many as died in WW II or about as many as the total of our war dead in the Civil War, WW I, the Spanish-American War and the Philippine War, essentially every war we fought from 1861 through 1918.  It's not a scam or a trick, and neither are the vaccines.  It's a war, and too many of us are burning our draft cards and refusing our rifles.  Do they really want the virus to win?


fillyjonk said...

I'm hoping beyond hope, in re: Omicron, that (a) vaccinated (and boosted - my mom and i are boosted) people are mostly able to resist it and (b) the cases being reported turn out to be the "edgy" breakthrough type cases you'd expect more or less anyway in a highly-vaccinated population. And maybe also (c) that it turns out to be the MILD variant that's more like a seasonal flu than a pneumonia wrapped in neurological and vascular diseases. A lot of people are talking up 'oh diseases always evolve to be less virulent" but speaking as an ecologist whop teaches a bit of epidemiology: t'ain't so, McGee. It COULD happen and I really hope it does, but it's not pre-ordained.

At this point I'm watchfully cautious but hopeful. Have not cancelled my Amtrak trip to see my mom in 11 days. Might be more likely the trip BACK in January would be more rocky, but that's a problem for Future Me.

Pigpen51 said...

My dad was a foundry worker basically his entire adult life, in what at that time was the world's largest grey iron foundry. Located here in Muskegon, Michigan, they made castings for engine blocks, from automotive engines to the huge V 12 blocks that powered military vehicles. As such a worker, he was a union man through and through, a UAW local 539 member and proud of it.
I once asked him as a high school kid, what was the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. This man, who dropped out of school in the 8th grade to help support the family, due to a death of one parent, and finished his GED in the Army, one of the smartest uneducated men I ever knew, said that the Democrats liked to tax and spend, while the Republicans were in the pockets of business.
That simple explanation has not changed a whole lot, until the parties themselves changed. I cannot say exactly when they changed, but what happened is that both parties moved towards each other. Oh, they still have their own parties and probably a hidden private handshake. But if you ignore the parties platform, and instead look to what they really show, by their deeds, and their leaders sound bites on the news shows, it is hard to figure out which party they belong to. And it seems that the further time goes the more out of touch the top leadership gets from the people whom they are supposed to represent.
When you see people like Nancy Pelosi, like Mitch McConnel, et al, who in order to keep their rank and file members in check,twisting arms both in secret and also in public, without any shame, it is quite obvious that they have no respect for the American citizens, but instead just look at us as a number on a ballot, to be hauled out once every couple of years, to stuff into a ballot box, then to be discarded until the next time our names are needed.
The entire non issue of election fraud last time was pointless. Even had Trump found systematic fraud, can you imagine a world, where any legal method would have allowed him or his lawyers to use the court system to challenge the election? His fate was sealed when he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the Democrats were simply marking time, with the help of a not disinterested media.
As for the Covid 19, and the best way to defeat it, I have to agree that it is up to the American people to defeat it. But I also have to think that the way to get the people to buy into that cause, is not by mandates, or by threats of job loss, or other bad things that will happen to them, if they refuse to submit. I know for myself, that threats do not work, in fact, they often have the opposite effect. As I have written here before, I tend to dig into the sand ever more deeply when pushed harder. But the thing that I as an American will respond to, is being treated like a person with the ability to think for myself, who is able to actually read statistics, and to understand real data, and to understand when a vaccine shows promise, and is helping to keep those who have gotten the various vaccines from getting sicker or even from dying, while those who tend to have worse outcomes are those who have not gotten the vaccine.
Appealing to peoples patriotism is likely to be a losing proposition now, when the Democrats have often ridiculed those who have been flying the flag, and who have stood for the national anthem during the pregame events at sporting contests, while those who have chosen to take a knee in protest have been lifted up, as heroes.
Instead, simply give people the facts, and trust them to do the right thing, based upon what has worked in the past. But give them the truth, not some massaged version of the truth. That seems to be one thing that has not been tried.

Roberta X said...

Fillyjonk: indeed, we do what we can, and what we must.

Pigpen51: there are parts of your comment that I barely know how to respond to, particularly the assertion that "they" (which they? The government? News media? Me?) did not provide facts.

Mr. Trump tried a "massaged version of the truth," downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic throughout the final months of his Presidency. Through that time, some of the media hit the panic button pretty hard, some didn't. Just what they pushed was mostly based on political leaning, with xenophobia and germ-warfare speculation from some conservative-leaning outlets, and "OMG, it's The End and the .gov is doing nothing!" from some liberal-leaning ones.

But the facts, such facts as anyone had, were there all along, and didn't take much work to suss out. It wasn't always where you'd think -- I found and shared a ProPublica piece that was making good sense, early on.

I have tried to link to factual information over the past couple of years and have gotten a lot of pushback on it from people who prefer fantasy that keys into their particular set of hopes and fears. Enjoying that kind of "curated reality" was a luxury many people could enjoy before the pandemic, but a harsher reality is seeping in, and they don't like it.

We will learn from this bug or it will kill us. Putting one fingers in one's ear and sobbing, "no, no, no," is not a working strategy for survival.

The Jack said...

"† I haven't talked about government mandates; the courts are fighting that one out. As a general rule, in the United States the public health agencies closest to you -- city, county and state -- have the most power over you. So there may be Federal overreach in the OSHA-path vaccine mandate. It's irrelevant to me -- I took action on the basis of my personal health, not what the Great White Father in D. C. wanted me to do. "


Roberta X said...

The Jack: yes, and? The *Dems* have not been especially pro-business at any time in my life; I don't expect it of them.

If I ran things, it'd be vaccines for everyone, no exceptions without medical documentation to support it. I don't run things. Nor is this country an autocracy. I expect there to be a lot of conflict and strife over pretty much every damn thing. I don't cheer on expansion of Federal (or other) power, but I understand and observe the process of government finding out what it can and cannot do. I never expected the amount of misinformation and BS I have seen over vaccines. A simple macro-level look shows that they work.