New Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva accuses former President Jair Bolsonaro of genocide against the Yanomami indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest. Mr. Bolsonaro’s madness for development – legal, illegal, who cares? – may not rise to the level of genocide, though the folks who set up illegal mining operations and who knew what effect their pollution would have on the Yanomami might not be able to shield themselves so well from the law. Maybe Mr. Bolsonaro was stupid enough to incriminate himself – as so many seem to be these days! – but generally I prefer charging the folks who did the evil and shaming the folks who enabled it. Even when those enablers are irredeemable assholes, as Mr. Bolsonaro surely is.
From the “We’re Still Dealing With This BS?” file: Factcheck.org reminds us that, no, Magic Johnson didn’t get HIV from a vaccine. Sadly, the tenuous chain of events that make up this particular theory – “(t)he first commercially available hepatitis B vaccine used an antigen derived from plasma from individuals with chronic hepatitis B infection, and gay men – who were also at high risk of HIV infection – were known to have donated plasma for the effort Hep B vaccines” – appeals to the kind of fellow who loves to defend his arguments by saying “you just know.” Hep B vaccine manufacturers did a pretty thorough job deactivating any HIV found in their vaccines, but that fact doesn’t make the cynical feel as good about themselves.
The more I read about what Mother Jones calls, in a glorious understatement, George Santos’s “seemingly endless series of political mysteries,” the more I wonder how he’s going to argue that his district’s voters should give him another term. I mean, I’m sure he’ll take credit for all kinds of things he had nothing to do with, just like his idol Donald Trump did, but how will he convince people to re-elect him? By calling his opponent a Communist? By saying they got me like Jesus? That might play in other parts of the country, but not Long Island.
When I hear that Rep. Harriet Hageman (E-WY) has called land conservation “a plot to control and kill people,” I am reminded of that time an American Prospect blogger, lamenting then-Sen. Santorum’s comments about gay marriage, said that if you wanted to find a liberal who said something offensive you had to go to some obscure tenured professor, but if you wanted it from a right-winger, you only needed to find the #3 man in Republican Senate leadership. And 18 years later, the only thing that’ll end Rep. Hageman’s career is a right-winger even nutter than she.
Finally, Paul Pelosi’s accused attacker, David DePape, calls into a Bay Area newsroom to “apologize to everyone” that “I didn’t get more of them,” “them” being all those liberals he says are destroying individual liberties in America. For a brief moment it was actually refreshing that folks wouldn’t do all the pro forma apologizes our media seem to like, but now you wish some people would do any spiritual work at all. I can’t explain how “I didn’t get more of them” squares with that not-guilty plea.