Vaccine and votes by county in Georgia

I managed to get into a debate on Facebook with a bunch of right-wingers on vaccination. I accidentally let it get dragged into the rabbit hole of whether red states have lower vaccination rates than blue states. One of the posters claimed that he “just did a quick check here in Ga and the counties Biden won by the most are pretty much identical to the ones he lost by the most.” I could not let this pass so I laboriously entered the vaccination rate by county and the percentage that voted for Trump in 2020 into a spread sheet and produced a scatter graph. As you can see, it has a definite downward slope, showing that the lower the percentage of vaccinated persons in a country, the higher the percentage of people who voted for Trump.

The mess that is the Republican party

Jonathan Bernstein in Bloomberg: “Republicans have lost a made-to-order opportunity supplied by the Jan. 6 attack. Mainstream Republicans could have looked good by consistently condemning the attack, thereby distancing themselves from organized hate groups involved in the event. Instead, they’re stuck defending the indefensible and making it a major part of Republican messaging, while allowing their leading voices to be … well, let’s call them the high-profile Republicans least likely to appeal to swing voters. …

“The Republican agenda right now is a combination of three things: Opposition to whatever President Joe Biden and the Democrats propose; support for whatever Fox News Channel’s product of the month happens to be; support for whatever incoherent and self-serving whims come out of Trump’s mouth.

“This is barely a formula for making the strongest supporters happy. It’s certainly no way to build a policy agenda. What has been a problem for the party for several years, especially at the national level, is only getting worse. …

“If I had to guess, I’d stick with my first instinct — that Republican Party dysfunction matters a lot to its future ability to govern competently, but won’t have any serious effect on the 2022 elections. But I can’t say I’m as confident about that as I was six months ago.”

Two dysfunctional systems

Since the start of the year, much of the world?s attention was focused on two trials on opposite sides of the world. In one, a brave truth-teller was persecuted by a vengeful administration after stirring up his patriotic followers in protest against tyranny. In the other, Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate.

Throw the book at them

Peggy Noonan in the WSJ: “On the rioters: Find them, drag them out of their basements, and bring them to justice. Use all resources, whatever it takes, with focus and speed. We have pictures of half of them; they like to pose. They larked about taking selfies and smiling unashamed smiles as one strolled out with a House podium. They were so arrogant they were quoted by name in news reports. It is our good luck they are idiots. Capitalize on that luck. …

“As for the chief instigator, the president of the United States, he should be removed from office by the 25th Amendment or impeachment, whichever is faster. This, with only a week and a half to go, would be a most extraordinary action, but this has been an extraordinary time. …

“The president should be removed for reasons of justice—he urged a crowd to march on Congress, and, when it turned violent, had to be dragged into telling them, equivocally, to go home—and prudence. …

“It is not too late. Removal of the president would be the prudent move, not the wild one. Get rid of him. Now.”

The politicians who egged them on should also be made to pay a heavy price.