Minority Rule in Congress Likely to Worsen – 2020 Census Shows Dramatic Reduction in Rural Population

Percent Change in County Population 2010 to 2020
Percent Change in County Population 2010 to 2020

Slate.com: “[While] metro areas grew, vast stretches of the country continued to bleed population. About 53 percent of all U.S. counties shrank between 2010 and 2020. You can see them in the sea of burnt orange on the graph [above], rural regions and small towns that often have few residents to begin with. In total, they were home to about 50.5 million people in a nation of more than 331 million.”

“This isn’t a new story per se. Rural America and small towns have been losing residents for decades. But the trend seems to have accelerated. From 2000 to 2010, for instance, only around one-third of all counties lost residents.”

This will undoubtedly exacerbate a longstanding inequity of representation in Congress.

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Gov. Newsom Could ‘Lose’ California Recall with 49%, GOP Winner with 20%

Los Angele Times OpEd: “Opinion polls show that the vote is likely to be close on whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and that if he is recalled, none of the candidates is likely to get more than 20% of the vote. The result is a virtual certainty that if Newsom is recalled, he will get far more votes — probably more than twice as many — as whoever would replace him. There easily could be a situation in which 49% of the voters want Newsom to remain, but because he is recalled, a successor who garnered less than 20% of the votes would replace him.”

Qanon Anti-Semite Propagandist ‘GhostEzra’ Identified

The Hill: “Researchers at the intelligence firm Logically have identified a key member of the QAnon community who has used his significant platform to spread anti-Semitic conspiracies. In a new report released Friday, the researchers identified the person behind ‘GhostEzra’ as Robert Smart of Boca Raton, Fla. GhostEzra has recently emerged as one of the most influential figures in far-right online spaces, amassing well over 300,000 Telegram channel subscribers since the beginning of the year.”

Dems Are Acing the Tests, but What About the Midterms?

Jonathan Last: “The universe keeps setting up tests for the Democrats, daring them to show they’re not a normal political party:

  • Are you going to nominate a socialist as your presidential candidate?
  • Are you going to defund the police?
  • Are you going to pack the Supreme Court?
  • Are you going to blow up the filibuster?
  • Are you going to tolerate a sexual abuser as governor of New York?

“And every time—every single time—the Democrats have passed.”

Tucker Carlson Resorts to Fascist Propaganda on Fox

Baltimore Sun opinion writer: “If not the theme of [Fox News fascist propagandist Tucker] Carlson’s week of broadcasts from Hungary, then the leitmotif was: Look at what a ‘happy’ and ‘orderly’ country Hungary is under Mr. Orbán, as opposed to the chaos and darkness of American life under Mr. Biden. We need someone like Mr. Orbán to lead America out of that darkness. And who would that someone be but Mr. Trump, who was described as a ‘great friend of Hungary’ by the Hungarian leader in an interview with Mr. Carlson last week.”

Newsom: GOP Candidate Larry Elder Will Repeal Popular Laws

LA Times: “Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday attacked the Republican topping the field of candidates trying to replace him in the September recall election, calling conservative talk show host Larry Elder a climate change denier who would restrict abortion rights and end the minimum wage if elected. Newsom’s broadside against his opponent comes just a week after a poll showed that likely California voters are almost evenly split over ousting the governor in the Sept. 14 recall election, and showing that Elder leads the pack among the candidates in the race.”

Fact Check: Republicans Attempt to ‘Benghazi’ Pelosi over Jan. 6 Capitol Security

Terror Attacks: Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2021 (left); US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021
Terror Attacks: Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2021 (left); US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

The Republicans’ use of the terrorist attack on the 2012 US consulate in Benghazi as a political cudgel is a classic example of the power of their dark arts. Their objective was to weaken then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom they perceived as a formidable future presidential candidate. Ignoring the fact that secretaries of state have no command authority over troops or their deployment, the investigated her role in the security failure at the US Benghazi diplomatic outpost ten times, six of which were conducted by GOP-led committees.

Using carefully constructed slander, congressional Republicans created a fictionalized version of the attack, one in which Secretary Clinton was responsible for the deaths of US security personnel as well as her friend, US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Compounded with dozens of similar attacks on Clinton during her 30-year career in public service, the facts-free insinuations worked. Her approval rating, once in the mid-60s, began to drop. She “lost” the 2016 presidential campaign despite a 3 million vote advantage in the popular race.

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ACA Medicaid Expansion Cuts Medical Debt Nearly in Half

Vox.com: “Medicaid expansion doesn’t just provide more people health insurance — it appears to cut medical debt enormously, a new study has found. The Affordable Care Act offered states a huge infusion of federal money to expand Medicaid eligibility to low-income adults, and about 30 states took that deal right away in 2014. Since then, new medical debt in those states has fallen 44 percent, a dramatically bigger drop than was seen in the states that refused to expand the program over the same period. Those states showed only a 10 percent decline.”

Missouri Doctor: Locals Getting Vaccinated in Secret to Avoid Harassment

CNN: “The Covid-19 vaccine has become so polarizing that some people in Missouri are getting inoculated in secret for fear of backlash from their friends and family who oppose vaccination, a doctor told CNN on Wednesday.

“‘They’ve had some experience that’s sort of changed their mind from the viewpoint of those in their family, those in their friendship circles or their work circles. And they came to their own decision that they wanted to get a vaccine,’ said Dr. Priscilla Frase, a hospitalist and chief medical information officer at Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Missouri. ‘They did their own research on it, and they talked to people and made the decisions themselves,’ Frase told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. ‘But even though they were able to make that decision themselves, they didn’t want to have to deal with the peer pressure or the outbursts from other people about them … ‘giving in to everything.'”