Monday, July 04, 2022

The Hit Dog Yelps

      As predicted, supporters of Mr. Trump's version of events from the 2020 Presidential election through the attempted coup on 6 January 2021 are sending in comments.  I may publish some of them as comments to yesterday's post, but lights as inflamed and throbbing as these should hardly be hidden under a bushel.

      The simplest complaint first.  Bruce writes:
5 deaths: a stroke that happened later, 2 heart attacks, and an overdose. Only one person died by violence at the hands of the Capitol police. Counting the other deaths is the same as counting every person that died during the pandemic as a covid death even if they fell off a ladder.[*]Threats should have no place here, but neither should lies.

      "Lies?"  All five deaths occurred -- as I wrote and provided a link with further links to sources -- as a result of the riot.  There's some room for argument that Rosanne Boyland, the woman who died of an overdose, apparently of her prescription medicine, would have made the same mistake had she stayed home, but the stress and excitement of involvement of events of the day most likely caused it.  Ashli Babbitt chose to commit "blue suicide:" when a law enforcement officer points a gun at you and shouts "Stop!" while you are making unlawful entry, not stopping is the same as pulling the trigger.  The coroner's report on USCP Officer Brian Sicknick's death concluded, "all that transpired played a role in his condition."  That leaves two other rioters, Kevin Greeson and Benjamin Philips, well-padded men in their 50s with histories of high blood pressure and/or heart disease.  While we cannot be certain they would not have suffered fatal heart attacks if they had stayed home watching television, the stress and exertion of participating in the assault on the U. S. Capitol building is the most probable cause.

      Mike SMO appears to have adopted Mr. Trump's habits of giving people demeaning nicknames and sneering at sworn testimony:
"We see you" is only a threat in so much as "someone" will be keeping an eye on what you publish, but you already knew that going into the blog "business". Big deal!

"Investigations" turn up all, kinds of "hear say". A real investigation would have balanced "Sweety" Hutchinson's fantasy against other evidence such as the sworn testimony of Secret Service agents, who were actually present at the incident, or photographs. Presenting a mass of "hear say", suppositions and fairy tales from a single perspective is known as a show trial. Stalin, Hitler and the East German Stasi were good at that. Congress and cameras is a show trial, assembling innuendo against a political opponent. An investigation would assemble verified and tested information about an incident or person.

Grow up!

     I was all growed up, last time I checked -- adult enough to look reality in the eye even when it was unpleasant.  "We see you" is a particular kind of threat with a particular kind of history, redolent of "Invisible Empires" and fools lighting up crosses in other people's front yards.  I'm not cowed by it.

      The Secret Service agents are quite likely to be subpoenaed and I look forward to hearing their testimony.  Many higher-ranking members of the former Trump Administration have resisted testifying under oath before the committee or taken the Fifth.  Odd behavior for men and women who might provide the "balance" you claim to desire!  Even more odd, those who have testified have confirmed a President enraged by defeat and determined to resist our Constitutional requirements and traditions.

      Congressional Investigative Committees, a long-established function of the House and Senate, are not "show trials;" among other things, they cannot hand down punishment.  Nobody's getting strangled with piano wire or hauled off to the gulag as a result of their deliberations. 

      As for "verifiable and tested information," if that's not exactly what sworn testimony and audio/video recordings constitute, what does?  Do tell; I'm all ears.

      Here's a funny historical coincidence: do you know what else Stalin's USSR, Hitler's Germany and Communist East Germany all had in common?  No provision for  the peaceful transfer of power!  Gosh, what other now-former world leader has recently opposed that silly little tradition?  

      Pigpen51 -- who I have always found to be a level-headed Trump supporter, as such people go -- has his own complaint to make:
My first comment is that any threat, even online, is never proper, and I have been on the receiving end of such, and I do not like it. So you should never have to put up with that from anyone, and a copy of said comment should be sent to local authorities, just to protect your interests.

The only other comment I will make is that is this investigation is similar to a grand jury hearing, it should not be run like a circus, complete with hiring a ringmaster, in this case a former television producer, to put together a smoother production package to not keep the hearing a secret as most grand juries are, but to have it run in prime time, to sway as much of America to their side as possible. The ones that they must convince is not Americans, but rather the DOJ and AG Garland, who I would think is the one to decide to bring charges against anyone being investigated.

      I don't know how old the commenter is, but at my age, I have seen a lot of House and Senate hearings and impeachments on TV, and they've been poorly-produced snoozefests even when the subject matter is compelling, with a lot of dead air, awkward silence and chair shuffling.  Commercial TV networks have a history of cutting away when the pace drags.

      Because of the extensive news coverage and security-camera video of the events at the U. S. Capitol on 6 January 2021, the committee sought expert assistance in presenting it.  I will point out that only the first hearing was scheduled during TV "prime time."  The remainder have been during the work day.  Other than matters of national security, committee meetings are necessarily public; making them more readily accessible serves the public interest.

      While a Congressional Investigative Committee is akin to a grand jury rather than a trial, it is not a grand jury and cannot compel the Department of Justice to act.

      The 2020 Presidential election is the first time a U. S. President has resisted the peaceful transfer of power and the first time the U. S. Capitol has been entered by force in an attempt to interfere.  If this doesn't rate a highly public Congressional investigation, what would?

      Guys, you can keep on chasing the ever-shifting fantasy football of a "stolen election" (newsflash: it wasn't) and a stainless, blameless Donald Trump, or you can rejoin reality, where Mr. Trump's egotism and manipulation has gutted the Republican Party and came perilously close to wrecking Constitutional government in the United States of America.  It's the Fourth of July.  Come back!  Come back to the light of reason, of fighting fair in the arena of ideas and policy, and leave the torch-lit parades, bluster, bombast, blunt instruments and threats in the dead past, where they belong.
* That's not how COVID-19 deaths are or have been counted in the ongoing pandemic. It's been thoroughly debunked, and yet the buncombe lingers in the air like a ripe fart.


pigpen51 said...

On 4/20/2020, Dr. Birx was a participant in the press conference held by the former president, vice president, and others, including Dr. Fauci. She made the point at the 1:38 mark that as of that point in time, they were counting someone who died with covid 19, who also had a serious disease, such as cancer, kidney failure, etc. that caused them to go to ICU, and they also had Covid, while other nations were classifying that as a heart of kidney issue, the U.S. was counting that as a Covid death.
Over time, the method of counting changed, in both states and federally. While this was a good thing, and more accurately represented the actual deaths by covid 19, it made it seem as if the number of deaths was going down, which made the real numbers inaccurate, for a time.

Roberta X said...

Pigpen51, you are talking though your hat, apparently in support of the nonsensical assertion by "Bruce" that the Feds were "counting every person that died during the pandemic as a covid death even if they fell off a ladder." That is untrue. As for your claim -- for which you did not bother to provide links, talk about hearsay! -- Here's a link to the White House COVID press conference on 20 April 2020. Here's a link to a transcript of it. No Dr. Fauci, no discussion of what counts as a COVID-19 death.

Death certificates in the U.S. normally list everything that contributed to a person's death. They did so before the COVID-19 pandemic and they still do. Effort is made to distinguish the cause from contributing factors.

In a link-heavy article, Politifact points to some early confusion caused by public officials scrambling to catch up with overwhelming floods of data. It's difficult to sort out but any effects in the count were short-term, and minor compared to the present million-plus death toll in the U.S. You don't have to like Politifact or even trust them: you can follow their links back to the original source material.

And next time, do your own homework or don't bother to comment.

The constant repeating of well-worn, well-debunked talking points only detracts from your veracity -- and absolute fabulations like the claim that unrelated deaths were counted as COVID show the degree of desperation in some parts of the Trumpist camp. Reality is calling! Pick up the damn phone!

pigpen51 said...

I did do my own homework. And I merely stated exactly what Dr. Birx had stated, that at that time, they were still counting anyone who died, with Covid as having WITH Covid, they were counting it as having died FROM Covid.
Your assertion that I somehow did not follow the links to the source material seems unfair since I not only gave you the date of the press conference, but also the time in which Dr. Birx made her statement. I never mentioned Dr. Fauci, nor did I say that they were only listing that as the only thing on the death certificate.
If you notice the last sentence I wrote, I even said that they changed how they were doing their recording over time, which is truth.
I think that if you wish, you can go and see that at the 1:38 mark, as I did say, you will find that Dr. Birx does make the statement that at time, they were indeed marking a death of someone who died with Covid as a Covid death.
You said that death certificates in the U.S. typically list all of the everything that contributed to a person's death. I can only speak to my own experience with my parent's death certs, but with my mom, they listed her cause of death as lung cancer, even though she had other issues at the time. My dad was listed as failure to thrive. Not exactly very detailed.
I attempted to see just how they are deciding to record a case where more than one factor is listed, as a cause of death, that includes Covid, but could not. But I did see that it is not always easy to determine an exact single cause of death, for a doctor, and in some places, I saw that as of March of this year, they were still recording those that had Covid as a contributing factor as being a Covid death. So while I did originally mention that over time it had change, in both state and federal counts, since that was what I had found the first time around, I was not able to find that this time.
As for Bruce, I have no use for him, and he can have the hat that you accused me of talking out of. You can tell me that I am wrong, but don't tell me that I didn't follow the links, when I most certainly did, and gave you the exact time when the doctor was speaking. That alone should have at least told you that I had read the transcript of the press conference.

Roberta X said...


You are wrong when you assert, "I never mentioned Dr. Fauci..." [PP51, 4 July 2022, in reply to my first comment].
As seen above, you wrote, " conference held by the former president, vice president, and others, including Dr. Fauci." [PP, 4 July 2022, as the first comment on the post]

It's right there!

You failed to provide any links to the press conference you cited, 20 April 2020. That's the homework you did not do. I looked it up (and give links in my earlier comment to both video and transcript], and Dr. Birx is not speaking at either the one minute thirty-eight second mark or the one hour, thirty-eight minute mark. She does not address the issue of cause of death stats at any point in that news conference. So indeed, you did not follow the links, you did not read the transcript and you are trying to bluff.

The entire "of COVID/with COVID" thing is a bullshit non-issue. It was obvious early on that people who were already sick with illnesses affecting the same organs as COVID were much more likely to die. Some guy's got lung cancer and six months to a year to live, and he gets COVID and dies the next week? The virus killed him. You can shuffle the of/with deck chairs all you like but it was never a major issue in the death counts.

The Politifact link in my previous comment does address the issue, and indeed, it did come up in a different press conference the context of comparing U.S. death counts to those of other countries, early in the pandemic. But (as the fact-checking article explains, with links) it was never a big deal. It was seized on by politically partisan commentators on some news-and-opinion channels as a "gotcha!" Too bad for them that it never was.

And none of this goes back to the idiotic claim you are apparently trying to support, that entirely unrelated deaths were counted as COVID deaths in the U.S. at some point in this pandemic. They were not.

I hope you enjoyed your final comment on my blog. You have been banned from cooments for disingenuousness, including a bald-faced lie about what you had written in an earlier comment, while that earlier comment would have been in front of you when you wrote it. It seems politics has given you the power to cloud your own mind. I can't fix that for you but I will cease to engage with it.