This Is an Insane Way to Run the Fifth Largest Economy in the World. Maybe It's Something in the Water.

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Photo credit: Justin Sullivan - Getty Images
Photo credit: Justin Sullivan - Getty Images

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To This Post)

Being our semi-regular weekly survey of what’s goin’ down in the several states where, as we know, the real work of governmentin’ gets done, and where the boys finally made it through the wall.

We begin in California, where they are now in the middle of the most perilous and ridiculous gubernatorial recall campaign since they last time they had a perilous and ridiculous gubernatorial recall campaign, and that one resulted in the elevation of a walking pectoral muscle to the big chair. (And, briefly, into the manly-man fantasies of many pundits. There was even talk of amending the Constitution to allow for a President Schwarzenegger. I mean, really. Why not just imagine a President Donald Trump?) Right now, it looks like a pick ‘em between incumbent Gavin Newsom and perpetual right-wing radio nuisance Larry Elder. Of course, because this is a perilous and ridiculous exercise, there are 46 candidates running to replace Newsom.

(Or, perhaps, 45. I’m no political consultant, but I have to imagine that the job would become exponentially harder if your candidate got paper dropped on him during a candidates’ debate.)

Anyway, Elder seems to be the frontrunner to be Newsom’s opponent if the recall succeeds, and he has a very long track record of radio idiocy to run on, and the rise of social media has given him a bigger presence, especially among the Trumpists. And, right now, the vote against recalling Newsom, who has a 57 percent approval rating, holds a very slim lead in the average of the latest polls. This is a crazy way to run a state that also happens to have the fifth largest economy in the world. Trying to find a reason for it, I consulted the Natural Resource Defense Council. Maybe it was something in the water.

Out of the 248 active public water systems that were tested, 65% had PFAS detected in the drinking water. These polluted water systems serve more than 16 million people in total. The water systems are spread across the state, and many serve cities with large populations. For instance, the water systems serving Fresno, Corona, and San Diego, have some of the highest total PFAS result, and these three systems serve almost 2 million people.

As we have seen, PFAS are what are known as “forever chemicals,” as the NRDC explains.

The use of PFAS in numerous consumer and industrial applications has led to widespread human exposure and environmental contamination. A broad range of adverse health outcomes have been linked to PFAS exposure, including kidney and testicular cancer, elevated cholesterol, liver disease, decreased fertility, thyroid problems, changes in hormone functioning, changes in the immune system, and adverse developmental effects.

Sounds as though they should leave Newsom alone and recall the water systems.

Photo credit: CHRIS DELMAS - Getty Images
Photo credit: CHRIS DELMAS - Getty Images

Elsewhere, the slow-moving Rapture continues among the unvaccinated. You’ve probably noticed that there are three or four stories a day about various people who scoffed at the pandemic, and the preventive measures it engendered, who subsequently caught the virus and died. For example, from South Carolina, and the Greenville News:

Stutts and his wife were rushed to the hospital Aug. 1 after his oxygen levels dropped. "The COVID has created double pneumonia in my lungs," he said in a Facebook post at the time.

Stutts was a rabid foe of any kind of mandate. Back in June, he shared his views on his Facebook account.

Great news from the SC legislature!!Our friends in the House forced a vote yesterday on masks, vaccines, and tests. The first attempt failed, but they regrouped and passed it the 2nd time. Colleges that require the Covid vaccine will now be stripped of state money thru a budget proviso that passed, in the House. And, K-12 schools and colleges will be stripped of state money if they attempt to require masks or tests for Covid. A hard fought day, but a win for Liberty yesterday!

Not that Stutts doubted the seriousness of the virus. From The State:

On Facebook, Stutts said he never doubted the insidiousness of COVID and it is not anything to fool around with. “It is a deadly bio-weapon perpetrated upon the people of the world by enemies foreign, and perhaps domestic,” he said…“Mandates and coercions do not work, especially when they come to us from a government that has repeatedly lied to the American People time and time again,” he said. “We the people have been awakened by the truth-telling and exposure of the depth of depravity and corruption President Trump has exposed.”

This man died thinking El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago told the truth. And there are more like him. And it’s long past time we buried the rotting corpse of irony.

Photo credit: Alex Wong - Getty Images
Photo credit: Alex Wong - Getty Images

As long as we’re in the neighborhood, let’s drop down to Georgia and visit democracy, which also is on life support. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Fulton is the first county to undergo a performance review created by Georgia’s new voting law, passed by the state’s GOP majority in the Legislature after Democrat Joe Biden defeated Republican Donald Trump. Fulton has a history of election problems, with long lines, slow results and administrative errors, but a state monitor last fall found no evidence of dishonesty or fraud. After the review is completed, the State Election Board will have the power to replace Fulton’s election board with a temporary superintendent who would have authority over vote counting, polling places and staffing.

While the AJC describes all this in a fairly anodyne way, the potential for mischief and ratfcking should be obvious. The new law was premised on the Big Lie promulgated by the former president*. Two of the three members of the review board are Republicans. And the door is wide open to further meddling to a state legislature that already has demonstrated its bad faith toward inconvenient voters.

And we conclude, as is our custom, in the great state of Oklahoma, where Blog Official Preventive Measure Friedman of the Plains brings us a variation on today’s theme. From the Tulsa World:

In the past six weeks, Saint Francis Health System has gone from 30 COVID-19 inpatients to more than 260 — approaching its record 309 in January. The recent three-day average of COVID hospitalizations in Tulsa County hit 483 reported Monday, topping the single-day high of 468 reported Jan. 11. Statewide, there were 1,392 COVID hospitalizations — up 5% from Friday — as that figure has doubled about once every two weeks since late June. There were 341 patients in intensive care unit.

Dr. Ryan Parker, chief of emergency medicine at Saint Francis, said hospital emergency rooms are experts in disaster medicine, the first principle of which is containment. The average age hospitalized for COVID is 56, which she said is more than 10 years younger than the average age during the winter surge. The average age requiring a ventilator is 51. She said 90% of COVID-19 inpatients are unvaccinated. If someone hasn’t already been vaccinated, the time to do so is now, Parker said. Medical science has good data to show they are safe and effective, she said. “It’s not too late; we have lots of vaccine we would like to get to you,” Parker said.

This is your democracy, America. Cherish it.

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