A Friday Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:

    The Don’t count your chickens before they hatch headline of the day-

    Close Florida race puts Biden just 3 points ahead of Trump in first post-convention poll

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    EXCLUSIVE: Some States Won’t Distribute A Trumpian Half-Baked COVID Vaccine

    States refusing to distribute a vaccine raises the prospect of an unprecedented clash between a federal government acting to aid Trump politically and states with public health concerns about the vaccine approval process. It’s not clear how such a situation would develop, or whether the federal government would have the power to move a vaccine beyond state roadblocks.

    An HHS spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment. HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Caputo told TPM last week that the agency expects to deliver 300 million doses by January 2021, and that “doctors and data are driving the development of all COVID-19 countermeasures.”

    Because nobody in the trump admin would ever lie, right?

    The statements of caution from state health officials come after Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield sent a letter last week to governors demanding that they ensure vaccine distribution sites be “fully operational” by Nov. 1.

    That followed weeks of evidence that the Trump administration is tailoring its COVID-19 response to the President’s re-election hopes. The CDC last week issued guidance that would diminish the number of positive COVID-19 tests in the country, while the Food and Drug Administration has issued provisional, emergency approvals for drugs and treatments like hydroxychloroquine and blood plasma in what experts later said was the absence of adequate underlying evidence.

    FDA chief Stephen Hahn has said that he would support an emergency approval of a vaccine before phase III trials are complete. President Trump, for his part, has antagonized Hahn and his agency, accusing the “deep state” at the FDA of slowing down vaccine trials.

    No no, nothing political to see here.

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  4. Tyrell says:

    Labor Day weekend has finally arrived. Cooler, drier air rolls in: 80 instead of 100!
    Have a nice holiday weekend wherever: mountains, beaches, lakes, or backyard grills. Some will head to Darlington Raceway for the Southern 500. “The track too tough to tame”
    I will probably head to the local pool for a free cookout on Monday.
    Have fun.

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  5. @Tyrell:

    I will probably head to the local pool for a free cookout on Monday.

    Stay safe!

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  6. Teve says:

    Arthur Chu:

    I don’t want to fucking hear any shit about how what we’re going through in the US was inevitable and the quarantine/containment strategy was an impossible dream

    I have relatives in Taiwan who are going to work at the office, going out to eat, hanging out in bars
    Taiwan is a country of 23 million people and their total number of cases was less than 500 and only 7 people total died

    Their per capita GDP is $25k, less than half the US per capital GDP of $54k

    Shut the fuck up
    I’m so fucking bitter about the fact that my parents immigrated here right now you don’t even know
    Containment was always the ONLY option

    It’s an expensive strategy and a harsh one, sure, and unsexy, as opposed to humming supercomputers trying to synthesize a vaccine or some basement biochemist discovering a miracle cure through One Weird Trick

    But IT WORKS
    ALL YOU HAVE TO DO

    IS FIND OUT WHERE THE VIRUS IS

    AND PUT A BIG WALL AROUND IT

    THAT WAS LOUIS PASTEUR’S GAME-CHANGING WORLD-BREAKING NEW IDEA

    FAR MORE THAN EVEN VACCINES, GERM THEORY SAVED MILLIONS THROUGH THE IDEA OF *HALTING VECTORS OF INFECTION*
    It seems hard but it’s fucking simple

    Simple technology, simple deployment, simple logistical problem

    Test everyone as much as you can, lock down every place you can’t test everyone, when your tests find the virus put the infected person in a box
    It doesn’t take any special tricks or supercomputers or novel drug patents or anything

    It’s easy, it’s idiot-proof, anyone can do it

    You just have to ACTUALLY DO IT

    Don’t tell me you can’t do it, Taiwan DID do it
    Compare that to Bill Gates’ “optimistic” projection that we’ll have a vaccine and get the virus under control that way by the end of 2021

    You hear that everyone? Q4 2021, everything will be okay, mark your calendars

    12-15 more fucking months of this shit
    And he DOESN’T ACTUALLY KNOW

    You CAN’T know, that’s not how the world works — you don’t know if a vaccine is even possible or not until you’ve actually made one

    And we know that coronaviruses as a family are notoriously difficult to attack directly
    They’ve never made a successful human coronavirus in the past — SARS-1 has no vaccine, MERS has no vaccine

    Those epidemics just burned themselves out and they were like “Oh well”
    They shouldn’t even have been talking about a vaccine

    It led us directly down this horrible garden path, along with the incredibly irresponsible hoaxmongering about hydroxychloroquine
    The idea of a “cure” or of “herd immunity” being like “Well if I really floor it, maybe I can drive all the way *through* the lake and out the other side”

    Maybe, or maybe your engine’s electrical system will short out and you’ll drown

    You don’t even know how deep the lake is
    We had ONE KNOWN PATH, one surefire way to NOT be in the situation we were in now, one way to hit the brakes, jerk the steering wheel around and drive in another direction, and we fucking squandered it
    All the fucking assholes bleating about how expensive lockdown and containment was

    It’s expensive and it’s hard and it was THE ONLY POSSIBLE CHOICE

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  7. Teve says:

    @thedailyshow

    President Trump called Americans who died in war “losers” and “suckers,” but at least he never saluted a Marine while holding a latte

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  8. Scott says:

    This hasn’t been highlighted in the news and it could be absolutely nothing but….

    Second departure at FDA communications shop comes in less than a week

    There has been a second departure within the communications team at the Food and Drug Administration in less than a week, CNN has learned, leaving the office with fewer press officials as their agency is in the national spotlight.

    John “Wolf” Wagner had been in his role at the FDA for only two months but has now moved to the office of the Health and Human Services assistant secretary for preparedness and response, an official confirmed. Wagner is a political appointee who was installed at the FDA by the White House this summer after recently serving as the principal deputy assistant secretary at Veterans Affairs.

    Wagner’s departure from the FDA follows the removal of another political appointee at the office, Emily Miller, after she clashed with career officials at the agency.

    FDA pushing back at the White House?

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  9. Mikey says:

    More reporting on Trump’s disrespect for the military, this time from the Washington Post. Much of it confirms the reporting in The Atlantic, but this is new:

    In one account, the president told senior advisers that he didn’t understand why the U.S. government placed such value on finding soldiers missing in action because they had performed poorly and gotten caught and deserved what they got, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

    There are no words in English or any other language known to humans, and probably aliens, that can adequately describe the level of utter white-hot hatred I have for this execrable garbage human. I mean, I hated him before this, but this? This raises it to a level almost incomprehensible.

    ETA link to story: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-said-us-soldiers-injured-and-killed-in-war-were-losers-magazine-reports/2020/09/03/6e1725cc-ee35-11ea-99a1-71343d03bc29_story.html

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  10. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    Amen, Mikey. Amen.

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  11. Teve says:

    Also, I never called..

    ….John a loser and swear on whatever, or whoever, I was asked to swear on, that I never called our great fallen soldiers anything other than HEROES. This is more made up Fake News given by disgusting & jealous failures in a disgraceful attempt to influence the 2020 Election!

    9/3/20

    @RealDonaldTrump

    Via @fitsnews: “Donald Trump: John McCain Is ‘A Loser’”

    7/18/15

    linky to 2015 tweet

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  12. Jen says:

    @Scott: Emily Miller was fired because she had no idea what she was doing. She’s a conservative activist who has never handled health PR, which is a HIGHLY specialized field. Understanding the ins and outs of the FDA approval process is incredibly complex. I don’t know if it was hyperbole or literal, but some of the reports I read said that she couldn’t pronounce convalescent plasma, let alone know what it was.

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  13. Jim Brown 32 says:
  14. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Every time Trump denies something, I’m 99.9% certain he did it.

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  15. Teve says:

    @Kathy: yeah if Donald Trump goes on TV and says he’s never taken a ride on an alien spacecraft kept at Area 51*, I’ll be like “Fuck! I thought interstellar travel would be impossible due to the distances.” 😀

    (*everybody knows that area 51 is a distraction for the chumps and the alien stuff is really kept at area 52)

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  16. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    WTF?!

    Looking for a bright side: This is going to move a lot of veterans against Trump.

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  17. Teve says:

    @strandjunker

    I wish I lived in a country where John Kelly, James Mattis and John Bolton had at least half the balls of Sally Yates, Marie Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill, Reality Winner, Christine Blasey Ford, or Stormy Daniels.

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  18. Kathy says:

    On the COVID front, the owner’s board at my apartment building will begin issuing fines to apartments whose residents, domestic personnel, or visitors are found in the common areas without a mask on.

    The fines are cumulative for every three instances (ie 1-3 instances one fine, 4-6 instances another fine, etc.), are for about USD $50, and will be applied to the monthly maintenance fee. Exceptions are for the stairwell if you’re alone (taking out the trash, having a smoke, receiving a package, etc.), and the back lawn if up to four people are present and they observe distancing.

    At work, HR sends emails daily and I think they are as successful as usual, meaning not very. They’re supposed to issues sanctions of some kind for failing to wear a mask, but no one really enforces it.

    At my department, we’re hampered by the fat that the boss and most managers just don’t wear theirs, so other coworkers don’t take it seriously, and reporting them to a manager accomplishes nothing. It will be sheer, dumb luck if I can make it through to the vaccine roll out healthy.

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  19. EddieInCA says:

    @Dr. Joyner –

    I’m curious as to your thoughts this morning regarding the double whammy regarding Trump and the US Military.

    1. The Atlantic article, which has now been confirmed and expanded upon by the AP and Washington Post.

    2. The shuttering of “Stars and Stripes” effective in four weeks. I know from anecdotal evidence that “Stars and Stripes” was very important to the few friends I have who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’re livid this morning.

    Thoughts?

    Thank you.

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  20. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    (*everybody knows that area 51 is a distraction for the chumps and the alien stuff is really kept at area 52)

    If you ever visit Vegas, I recommend taking the time to see the Atomic Energy Museum (hey, my review of it is still online!)

    Among the artifacts, there is an aerial photo of the desert, divided into numbered squares. So, yes, there is an Area 52 😉

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  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Teve:

    (*everybody knows that area 51 is a distraction for the chumps and the alien stuff is really kept at area 52)

    Yeah, but all the cool science is in Eureka.

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  22. Kingdaddy says:

    At this point, we can only speculate about Trump’s reasons for shuttering the Stars & Stripes. Perhaps he saw the Military Times poll, which shows very little support among people in uniform for Trump and his policies, and decided it was time for punishment and pre-emptive censorship of presumed future uncomfortable coverage — at least from one source he thinks he can directly control. I’m very glad for the Congressional pushback, since the Current Occupant doesn’t have the power to nix line items in the defense budget that Congress has already decided to fund.

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  23. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I liked that show.

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  24. Kingdaddy says:

    Brad Buchholz has just noticed that the PBS Newshour’s efforts to be even-handed, when right-wing guests say crazy, untrue things. Problem is, he talks about how the Newshour’s approach enabling lies and polarization is a new thing, when it has been happening for decades.

    Jim Lehrer: What do you think of the Clinton Administration’s efforts to reform health care?

    Right-wing apparatchik: It’s socialism! It’s government takeover of health care! Rationing! Ruin of our wonderful health care system! They’re a bunch of Marxist radicals who won’t stop until they’ve stolen our freedoms! They want to do to you what they’ve already done to Vince Foster!

    Jim Lehrer [turns to White House official]: Your thoughts?

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  25. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Every time Trump denies something, I’m 99.9% certain he did it.

    Agreed. The #1 reason for thinking so is that there have been so many times when he has denied something for which there is objective evidence that he did do it, and to my knowledge he has never denied anything where there was evidence supporting his denial. There are things he has denied where we don’t know the truth–we don’t know if there was a Russian pee tape, we don’t know if he suffered mini-strokes. Just the fact that he denies these things suggests they actually happened. (The mini-strokes thing in particular is a perfect example of what TV Tropes calls Suspiciously Specific Denial–the situation you see a lot in movies where a guy tells the cop who pulled him over that he won’t find a dead body in the trunk.) And there are examples that are a bit more complex–when he says “No collusion” (that’s soooo 2018), I don’t think that in itself is proof that he colluded, mostly because I don’t think he has any idea what the word means, he just knows he’s being accused of something bad and so his knee-jerk response is to deny. (I think also that he knows he’s been involved in unsavory and illegal dealings with Russia, and so “No collusion” is his way of trying to suppress that truth.) Generally, though, if it’s something concrete that he understands, and he denies it, that’s usually a good sign it did indeed happen.

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  26. Joe says:

    @Kathy and Kylopod:

    Every time Trump denies something, I’m 99.9% certain he did it.

    Exceeded only insofar as every time Trump says someone else is up to something, I am 100% sure Trump is up to it.

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  27. mattbernius says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Brad Buchholz has just noticed that the PBS Newshour’s efforts to be even-handed, when right-wing guests say crazy, untrue things. Problem is, he talks about how the Newshour’s approach enabling lies and polarization is a new thing, when it has been happening for decades.

    A lot of that goes back to the way that profesisonalized journalism attempted to implement “objectivity.” For years they boiled it down to “equal time” to both sides.

    By the early 2000’s journalists and scholars realized that this was an issue (it was during that time that “objectivity” was removed from a number of organization’s codes of conduct), but getting past that muscle memory has taken forever (see most coverage of Climate Change). And a lot of organizations also needed to regrow their spines (so they wouldn’t fall back on both siding at the first hint of accusations of “bias”).

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  28. Tyrell says:

    @Teve: “put the infected person in a box”? What on earth? I will take a look at the Taiwan strategy. For the entire month of March, I felt like I was in a box. Waiting in line to get into some stores, everything closed, nothing to do but walk the trails and ride a bike. At least I got in better shape and did some needed work to the house and cars. Our county had few infections and no deaths. The whole idea we were told was to “flatten the curve”. We did that, and our state reopened some. But the closures seemed arbitrary, based on favoritism: politics.
    The way our system here is the governors have the power. I prefer that over some powerful bureaucracy in Washington that we have no say-so over. At least we can vote out the governor if we don’t like what they do.
    One thing I have noticed is that the leaders have not given any voice to the people in all this. They need to listen to what we think about it and want.
    There are some who would have differing views about the “only possible choice.” This is not Taiwan. And our state is not New York. What works there may not work out so well with the people here.
    And I am not a vaccination person. I did get the pneumonia 35 vaccination ten years ago, and the HEP B. I got the measles immunity naturally at age six. I have never run a fever. My only headaches come from a roller coaster that has some rough G forces (4).

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  29. EddieInCA says:

    @Tyrell:

    Most of the midwest thought that. You know what state has the highest rate right now? Iowa. 26 States, more than 1/2 the country has case counts that are RISING. This virus is kicking our ass.

    Yet, Germany, England, Spain, Italy, Portugal, even Sweden got it under control through lockdowns and universal mask wearing. We can’t even get 35% of the people to put on a mask, yet you think we’re fine and should be open.

    We’re never going to beat this virus.

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  30. inhumans99 says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    King, you hit on something I was wondering about especially after your facism post yesterday, the stories about President Trump not respecting the military seem to be timed to maybe show the American Public that Trump really does not have the military backing him if he tries a coup attempt by refusing to leave the White House if he is not re-elected.

    After all, most (all?) successful attempts by a strong man to maintain their grip on a countries levers of power only seem possible if the military has the strong mans back (let’s face it, if the President of China, or Putin, or Kim Jung, or Assad, etc. were not 100% confident the military would do their bidding they would not be able to set themselves up as President for life or whatever title they give themselves).

    So yeah…as bad as things are it is nice to know that Trump has an uphill battle, and that is putting it mildly, if he wants to set himself up as President for life. He needs the military and he knows it…these stories are not doing him any favors even if he tries to ignore/dismiss them as fake news.

    I think the weird thing about the situation we are in is that there is no push back against the White House by folks like McConnell, sometimes I forget he is the leader of the majority in the Senate because you never hear from him. The GOP is just pissing away any chance they have to remain a strong well-respected party in America if Biden is elected.

    Here’s the thing, even if Trump is re-elected the GOP has become so weak and ineffectual at pushing back against Trump that Trump will continue to laugh at the GOP if they start to get a clue/backbone and try to re-affirm their political power.

    I think I read that McConnell was supposed to be someone who knew how to look at the big picture and play the long game (such as patiently waiting for Democrats to do something that made it easier to pack the courts with Conservative friendly judges) but wow…it is a doozy that he did not see this coming and take steps behind the scenes to prevent Trump from stepping all over the GOP without consequences.

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  31. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    There was a scene in Newsroom where they’re discussing the new rules for reporting the news, and one of them was “Sometimes, there aren’t two sides to the story.”

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  32. Paine says:

    @Kathy: I visited that museum last summer. Very cool.

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  33. Kathy says:

    @Paine:

    I also recommend the Mob Museum downtown.

    and I’ll take the time to correct myself, it’s the Atomic Testing Museum, not the Atomic Energy museum. I always call it by the wrong name.

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  34. DrDaveT says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I don’t think the federal government has the manpower to vaccinate the US without the cooperation of state and local jurisdictions. Even if they could get the vaccine distributed, the states could just sit on it.

    Bizarre hypothetical: what happens if Trump tries to mobilize the Army Medical Corps to set up and staff vaccination stations around the country?

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  35. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: Anecdotal but a colleague that works at a rather prestigious Military Command told me the CNN-FOX tv ration is around 70/30–advantage CNN

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  36. Tyrell says:

    @EddieInCA: Our county started “strongly recommending” masks back in early March. They had no real authority to arrest or fine people, but I would say 98% complied. Our numbers have been flat, near zero. But this is a rural area. Distancing is no problem with three-acre home lots. The town swimming pool will be busy this weekend, but there is enough chlorine in there to fade your bathing suits.

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  37. Gustopher says:

    @Tyrell:

    One thing I have noticed is that the leaders have not given any voice to the people in all this. They need to listen to what we think about it and want.

    The virus has also not given any voice to the people.

    Seriously, this is a health crisis with civil-rights implications, rather than a civil-rights crisis with health implications. We should be listening to the experts first and foremost, as even with partial knowledge of an emerging virus, epidemiologists are going to know more than politicians and the epidemiologists’ best guesses will be better.

    It requires consistent, transparent, honest communication from the leadership at the national, state and local levels. Build trust, acknowledge where mistakes are made, follow guidelines.

    Unfortunately, this administration has undercut the CDC in countless ways until even the most banal advice and requirements becomes contentious. Which also means that no one trusts them on the vaccine development.

    ETA: Had the Trump administration handled this well, we would have the virus contained, with protocols in place to handle outbreaks, the economy would be much closer to normal, and Trump would be cruising to reelection. They sacrificed winning the daily news cycle for winning the long term.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @inhumans99:

    After all, most (all?) successful attempts by a strong man to maintain their grip on a countries levers of power only seem possible if the military has the strong mans back

    This is Murica. He doesn’t need the military. He only needs John Roberts. And if Roberts, in Bush v Gore II, declares Trump the winner, then Trump will be inaugurated and the military will accept him as Commander in Chief.

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  39. Kathy says:

    @inhumans99:

    After all, most (all?) successful attempts by a strong man to maintain their grip on a countries levers of power only seem possible if the military has the strong mans back

    I would say all, but add an indifferent military might also work.

    Just see the rather recent attempted coup in Venezuela, the failed coup against Chavez in Venezuela some years ago, the failed coup in the Soviet Union in the 90s (though they succeeded in easing Gorbachev out), and contrast with successful coups in Peru by Fujimori (a “self-coup”) also in the 90s, and why numerous others were led by the military, like Pinochet in Chile, Qaddafi in Libya, etc.

    Even way back in ancient Rome, successful coups were carried out by the military, though the military/civilian distinction wasn’t much of a thing then. Those that failed lacked sufficient support, like Venezuela’s latest.

    I’m more concerned with an indifferent military. The US military is nominally apolitical, and certainly has played no overt political role. But suppose in case of an attempt by Trump to steal the election, a coup, they simply decided to remain uninvolved, letting the courts and politicians decide the matter.

    Finally, the military might be divided. This happened often in Rome. The result then was civil war, various legions fighting it out for their preferred candidate for the throne.

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  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    I’m more concerned with an indifferent military.

    If Biden wins and Trump attempts to stay, an indifferent military will fall on the “good” side of things. Because it’ll be the Secret Service and/or US Marshals that escort Citizen Trump from the White House.

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  41. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Tyrell: You’re right, this is much easier to do in a rural setting. Social distancing is sort of the default, anyway. (That’s how I grew up, in a rural area). My biggest worry is church/school gatherings. People naturally like to be together, but when they are enclosed together for an extended period of time, the threat multiplies, especially when people are vocalizing – singing or cheering, for instance. We’ve seen instances where a hundred people got infected from one such meeting. One.

    Be safe.

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  42. Moosebreath says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    The problem with the so-called liberal media taking evenhandedness to extremes remains salient. Yesterday’s story from The Atlantic about Trump referring to soldiers killed in the line of duty as losers has been verified by both AP and the Washington Post, but the lead stories on other sites leads with the Trump Administration’s denials, and the verification by other outlets are buried or not mentioned at all.

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  43. Teve says:

    Speaking of both sides, I’ve followed the creationists for 25 years now, and I was there to see the Sea change among scientists from ‘let’s debate them and show everybody they’re wrong’ to ‘let’s not debate them because we are giving them false equivalence with us’. Aside from the fact that public debates are not ways of resolving issues and that’s why the scientific community uses written discussion, having biologist Smith on stage with Ken ham for an hour and giving each of them 30 minutes creates an impression that there’s an open argument among scientists. Because of that stuff, 30 years ago I literally had a relative tell me that it was 50-50 and some scientist thought evolution and some scientists creation.

    Balance and equal time is fine for ‘we should sanction North Korea’ vs ‘no we shouldn’t’, it’s not fine for ‘ Three branches of science say global warming is real’ vs ‘no it’s not science is a communist lie’.

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  44. Jen says:

    @Tyrell:
    @Gustopher:

    One thing I have noticed is that the leaders have not given any voice to the people in all this. They need to listen to what we think about it and want.

    The virus has also not given any voice to the people.

    Seriously, this is a health crisis with civil-rights implications, rather than a civil-rights crisis with health implications. We should be listening to the experts first and foremost, as even with partial knowledge of an emerging virus, epidemiologists are going to know more than politicians and the epidemiologists’ best guesses will be better.

    This is what I was trying to get at yesterday, in the discussion about the less educated. There is a time and a place for listening–and prioritizing the voices of–experts. A public health crisis is a perfect example of a situation in which a disdain for the educated is kicking us in the butt.

    I don’t care what Average Person thinks/wants to do in this situation. I want to know and follow experts.

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  45. Kathy says:

    My latest worry scenario goes like this:

    Biden wins the popular vote by an even larger margin than Clinton did, say 5-7 million, but loses in the EC by the smallest margin possible, coming down to very close contests in one or two states. Again there’s justifiable controversy over some votes, perhaps not counting absentee ballots delivered on time, and the recount(s) gets stopped by the Supreme Court. Much like 2000.

    But in 2000 Bush the younger was an unknown quantity. He hadn’t governed the country for a whole term, and he wasn’t obviously unqualified, having governed a big state for several years. People could accept his win, even if holding a big grudge for years.

    With Trump the King of the Covidiots, things are different. He has shown himself inept (to be charitable) at even pretending to govern, out for his own benefit only, contemptuous of a large part of the population, hostile to a large part as well, damaging domestic and international institutions, etc. I don’t think, therefore, defeat would be accepted in any degree.

    If the above scenario happens, I anticipate massive protests in major cities, even in some red states. If an opposition can be organized, even calls for a general strike. There may be massive unrest as well, which won’t stay peaceful for long.

    Past that, I don’t know what happens. It depends on what the Covidiot-in-Chief does, and that’s not something I care to predict. Nor what consequences there may be. Suppose he sends troops, actual Army troops, to quell the unrest. Will they obey? Would some rebel?

    One thing I can predict, not a single GOP politician would stand up to Trump.

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  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: If by the 4th quarter of 2021, we’re not doing okay just on general principles, we’re probably at “stick your head between your knees and kiss your a$$ good-bye” levels of fukt.

    ETA: And it’s way, way more likely that the water stopping the tailpipe will cut off the engine before it shorts out.

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  47. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I’m not sure that equal time is always a bad idea. I think the US dropping it’s fairness doctrine in the 80’s is a major element in the increasing polarization and information bubbles we live in over the last few decades.

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  48. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    I don’t care what Average Person thinks/wants to do in this situation. I want to know and follow experts.

    Yes, but there is a place for politicians to listen to feed back from the public and make some minor tweaks–not in what we do, but in how we do it and how the rules are applied.

    Michigan allowing people into hardware stores, but forbidding them from buying paint was rightfully criticized.

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  49. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Mikey: Yeah, my father, a WW2 POW, was a real loser.

    Fncking moron.

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  50. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    having biologist Smith on stage with Ken ham for an hour and giving each of them 30 minutes creates an impression that there’s an open argument among scientists.

    Not long ago I watched the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on Youtube. It took place at the Creation Museum around 2014. From my perspective, Nye absolutely crushed it: the most powerful moment came when each man was asked whether there was conceivably any evidence that might come along that would change his mind on the evolution/creation debate. Nye said there was, Ham said there wasn’t–his views were simply true by definition. He didn’t quite say it that way, he equivocated a lot, but that was the strong implication.

    Of course I’m looking at it from the non-denier, pro-science perspective. I don’t know how actual creationists would react. I doubt it would change the minds of most, but it stands a potential chance of peeling off at least a few. And I’d be surprised if any “evolution believer” was converted to creationism from watching the debate. But none of that matters. The fact is, the event gave a burst of publicity to the museum, aiding in its fundraising. Ham wasn’t being stupid; he was being shrewd. Nye probably thought he could reach some young people, and maybe he could have and did, but I think that if he was going to have such a debate at all, at the very least he shouldn’t have agreed to it on their home turf.

    Deborah Lipstadt who has spent a portion of her career writing about Holocaust deniers has a longstanding policy of refusing to debate the deniers, for the reasons you bring up: she doesn’t want to give them the credibility of being another “side” in a debate.

    There is a point when a pseudoscientific or pseudohistorical viewpoint gains enough of a hold in the mainstream of society that there is no choice but to confront it. But it isn’t always easy to determine when that threshold has been reached. It’s a Catch-22: ignore them and their claims will go unanswered, refute them and you risk giving them credibility as another “side” in a debate. Global warming denial has reached the threshold where ignoring it is simply not an option–though a big part of the reason it reached that point in the first place was the mainstream media’s choice to treat it in that way.

    Creationism is kind of the in the middle of those two extremes. It isn’t as marginalized as Holocaust denial, it’s widespread among certain groups of Americans, though it hasn’t acquired the kind of mainstream respectability that global warming denial has. And I think, to a large degree, the scientific community has been largely successful in marginalizing it. I think it’s also somewhat a reflection of the fact that it’s concentrated among the uneducated, whereas global warming denial is a view held by many in the elite, leading the corporate media to give it far more respect than it deserves.

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  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: Just remember that inhaling chlorine gas at the levels that will kill Covid-19 virus will kill you first, so I’m not sure what your point about the chlorine level in the pool is.

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  52. Phoebe says:

    @DrDaveT: There is actually a (somewhat old) plan to use the Postal Service to distribute and administer the vaccine. But I believe under the circumstances mentioned in this plan, we are under a much more severe lockdown.

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  53. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: I wondered why there would be an atomic energy museum in Nevada, since they’ve never had a commercial reactor. The test program is why two-thirds of Nevadans today oppose ever opening the Yucca Mountain spent fuel repository.

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  54. wr says:

    @Tyrell: Kicking your feet and screaming “You’re not the boss of me” when you can’t have whatever you want at the moment you want it is fine for unpleasant toddlers. Adults all over the world grow to understand that sometimes the think you want at this very moment need to wait because there there are more important issues that conflict with it.

    “Conservative” Americans refuse to believe that there is anything more important anywhere that could ever be more important than whatever it is they’ve just decided they want. People like you choose to call that “Freedom,” when it is mere childishness.

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  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: If there were public health experts telling the state that selling paint constituted a Covid-19 health risk, the problem may be in what Michiganders call public health expertise. That one looks more like government overreach than what Jen was talking about. (And like something that Tyrell would use as an example of why not to listen to the experts and/or obey the law about being in public.)

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  56. Gustopher says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: And all the “Heroes” in “Hogan’s Heroes” were losers.

    (I suspect “Hogan’s Heroes” is one of those properties that is not going to get a reboot anytime soon…)

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  57. Gustopher says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: The paint thing is about Michigan allowing hardware stores to open and sell “products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and basic operations of residences”

    This is mentioned in one of the first articles I found googling for “michigan buying paint covid”

    https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/what-michigans-new-coronavirus-stay-home-executive-order-means

    Yes, as you draft rules there will be cases that you don’t think of. This seemed to be aimed at “repair things, but don’t invite contractors in your home to renovate”, but instead leaves unpainted drywall.

    It’s not an absurdity demonstrating government overreach by jackbooted thugs who are either fascist or socialist.

    No human endeavor is going to be perfect on the first drafting, and sometimes there are more important concerns. The ability to buy paint, or not, was probably towards the bottom of the list of priorities in cleaning up the rules.

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  58. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    If there were public health experts telling the state that selling paint constituted a Covid-19 health risk, the problem may be in what Michiganders call public health expertise. That one looks more like government overreach than what Jen was talking about.

    I think we’re talking past each other here.

    “Listen to the experts”. Yes. But the interpretation and application of that information comes primarily through the politicians. We can’t have everyone doing it in their own way, we need clear rules that make sense in the context of the environment (again, you have to treat Manhattan and Middleville differently–even if they’re following the same rules–because the environments are so different).

    For example: church services aren’t going to be as significant an issue in urban, left-leaning environments. In rural, conservative environments, they will be. It’s important to let people worship (and I still cringe at the government saying “Nope. You can’t worship.”), but it’s also important to follow the guidelines set out by the medical experts.

    That’s where feedback and tweaking comes into play.

    Where I live, the various church hierarchies immediately said “Don’t come to church until we figure out a way to do it safely”. Nobody had much of an issue with that (and they quickly moved to in-car services and online services).

    In other areas, attending church services is a very important part of their lives. The state & local governments need to listen to the people about this, and prioritize ways to allow them to attend services while following the rules and protecting themselves, their neighbors, and their loved-ones.

    In areas where the people are saying “Hey. I don’t like these new rules.” the government can’t just say “I don’t care. Follow them!” It has to listen to the feedback and work with community leaders to find ways to make following the rules more palatable.

    A lot of the “I’m not going to follow your stupid rules” attitude is because those rules were enforced from above without allowing for any feedback. Of course people are going to fight back. That’s an inherent part of the American culture.

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  59. Roger says:

    @Kylopod:

    Creationism is kind of the in the middle of those two extremes. It isn’t as marginalized as Holocaust denial, it’s widespread among certain groups of Americans, though it hasn’t acquired the kind of mainstream respectability that global warming denial has. And I think, to a large degree, the scientific community has been largely successful in marginalizing it.

    I’d love to believe that’s true, but the last Gallup poll I saw on this, conducted last year, showed 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years. That included 23% of college graduates. If this is marginalized, it’s a set with pretty big margins. It may not have “mainstream respectability” if by that you mean it’s not an idea that you’d want to advertise if you were looking to get hired at a research university, but it’s plenty mainstream and plenty respectable in much of red America. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it’s interesting to me how the percentage of Americans who believe in a literal Garden of Eden creation event tracks the percentage who support Trump come hell or high water.

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  60. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Gustopher:

    That same group of rules for Michigan included “You’re not allowed to travel to the isolated cabin you own in the North Woods where you’ll be miles away from other people and seriously socially isolated.”

    It also included “You’re not allowed to be in a boat by yourself in the middle of Lake Michigan where you can’t even see land, much less any other people.”

    Governor Whitmer tossed down some seriously idiotic edicts, and didn’t listen when people pointed out that idiocy.

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  61. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Again, it depends.

    I’m not sure what the logic was there, but I can see a few scenarios:

    1) It was done to help hardware stores. With staff limitations and restrictions, having someone leave the cash register to go staff the paint counter might be an issue
    2) Everyone stuck at home=more time for home projects. They didn’t want massive lines at the paint counter, where people have to stand and wait for their order.
    3) Hardware stores have a combination of essential and non-essential items. They wanted to keep the focus on making sure people could get batteries etc.

    I genuinely don’t know what the reason was, but just because YOU don’t think it’s logical, doesn’t mean there wasn’t logic behind it. I heard much of the same about liquor stores being considered essential, but again, there was a reason for that–cutting alcoholics off cold turkey could have resulted in them ending up in the hospital, right when that would have been a bad thing to have happen.

    We’re all flying a bit blind in this thing (covid), and that was particularly true early on.

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  62. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Again, just because you don’t see the logic in those, doesn’t mean there isn’t logic to apply.

    On the cabin: They didn’t want people from populated areas with high levels of virus to take it to more remote areas, where hospitals weren’t as prepared–or able to handle ICU cases.

    On the lake: This one is easy–people on boats means people acting stupid on the water–they didn’t want to stretch emergency services.

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  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: The #1 reason being that he is a pathological liar. Even when he tells a truth he has to embellish it and that truth is told in service of a lie. Trust me, I lived with one for 5 years. They are all the same in this.

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  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: Under trump the Feds are only capable of fucking up a wet dream.

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  65. sam says:

    Guy commented on this: How’s a mom and pop tire shop supposed to compete?? Defund Amazon!!

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  66. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    Again, just because you don’t see the logic in those, doesn’t mean there isn’t logic to apply.

    On the cabin: They didn’t want people from populated areas with high levels of virus to take it to more remote areas, where hospitals weren’t as prepared–or able to handle ICU cases.

    On the lake: This one is easy–people on boats means people acting stupid on the water–they didn’t want to stretch emergency services.

    You’re stretching it. Especially since Wisconsin–which is as comparable as you can get–didn’t implement these restrictions. To the contrary, they encouraged people to get out on the water.

    Cabin: COVID-19 isn’t like a heart attack. It doesn’t happen suddenly. Anyone experiencing symptoms “up north” is a couple hours from a metropolitan area with appropriate resources.

    Lake: What resources would be stretched? The MI DNR patrols the lakes. They have zero crossover with hospitals. With COVID-19, there’s no tourism, so the number of people on the water is going to be drastically lower than in normal years (the east bank of Lake Michigan is a popular destination for Chicagoans)

    Paint: People repainting the dining room is going to cause massive crowding? But people looking for masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies isn’t? But… hey. Maybe you’re right. ‘Cuz nothing says “Y’know what? I think the dining room would look better in a mint green” than a global pandemic.

    The fact that 49 other states didn’t implement these restrictions leans quite heavily towards the “this was bullshit” side of the argument.

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  67. KM says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    A lot of the “I’m not going to follow your stupid rules” attitude is because those rules were enforced from above without allowing for any feedback. Of course people are going to fight back. That’s an inherent part of the American culture.

    Feedback from who – Joe Idiot? Seriously, are we supposed to consult every moron for their opinion in an emergency and treat it like it matters just as much as facts and science?

    Americans don’t like being told what to do because Americans think they are the smartest person in the room and that their ignorance is just as valid as someone’s data. Being stupid and stubborn goes right back to 1776 and before. THAT is an inherent part of the culture but it doesn’t make it right, understandable or justifiable. Americans like rules for others, not for themselves. You don’t have have to understand or agree with them for them to be valid because that’s not how the law works.

    It takes a special kind of arrogance to look at well-meaning but imperfect rules meant to protect the public during a deadly pandemic and go “yeah, that’s dumb imma do what I want cuz.” It’s even more arrogant to get pissy that nobody asked for your opinion during an international crisis when you had zero interest in ever doing anything but act like nothing’s wrong. To quote the kids: ain’t nobody got time for that sh^t.

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  68. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    On the lake: This one is easy–people on boats means people acting stupid on the water–they didn’t want to stretch emergency services.

    Not to mention the agglomerations of people on the shores, and that some would go to smaller lakes. And all those people moving around back and forth from home to lake.

    Even if that doesn’t lead to a spike in cases, it may go slippery slope and escalate. That defeats the whole purpose of a lockdown.

    However,

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Where I live, the various church hierarchies immediately said “Don’t come to church until we figure out a way to do it safely”.

    That is a good point, but it means “get the church officials to back you up,” not “carve an exception for religious services.”

    It was common during plagues in Europe from ancient times to modern ones, for people to cram temples, churches, sanctuaries, etc. to pray and make offerings fro protection or healing. That just helped to spread the pathogens. SARS-CoV-2 won’t observe religious exceptions.

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  69. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: NH is similarly situated. We have lakes, and rural areas.

    Our governor didn’t prevent people from going, but BOY, were our rural hospitals clear that they didn’t want people relocating to their vacation homes. It was widely discouraged here.

    Hospital beds are determined by the year-round residency numbers. Small, rural communities did not want an influx (here, particularly from New York) of people who a) were coming from covid hot spots; and b) who would stretch available resources–from grocery stores, which had shortages, to hospitals, which didn’t want excess people in the area, etc., etc.

    If you don’t have lake rescues, boy are you fortunate. We have plenty here, and they aren’t cheap or easy to handle. We also have mountain rescue efforts in the White Mountains, which also presented problems.

    I think that most of these orders were developed under what if/worst-case scenarios. We had some that didn’t make sense to people, but I genuinely don’t care. It was only for a couple of months. People need to grow up and realize that being asked to do something, even if it doesn’t make sense, for a short time is a minor and frankly unimportant infringement.

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  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    “You’re not allowed to travel on public highways for hundreds of miles, stopping for gas and at restaurants along the way and spreading covid all along the way to the isolated cabin you own in the North Woods where you’ll be miles away from other people and seriously socially isolated.”

    You missed the important part on that one. As far as being out on the lake, again there are many opportunities to pass on the covid on the way to the lake and at the marina and the bait shop.

    Yes, there are many sensible and not at all difficult ways to ameliorate the possibilities of spread (wear a mask wear a mask wear a mask) (6 feet apart, 6 feet apart, 6 feet apart) but if you look around you you will no doubt see many people who are not sensible and/or too lazy and/or too stupid to engage in the simplest of acts to contain the virus.

    Remember, Michigan is where a bunch of white folks with guns, lots of ammo, and armored vests showed up without masks to protest their inability to get a haircut.

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Where I live, the various church hierarchies immediately said “Don’t come to church until we figure out a way to do it safely”.

    Where I live, they threw open the doors and said “C’mon in! Gawd will protect you!”

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  72. EddieInCA says:
  73. Kathy says:

    Trump the illiterate asks “what’s in it for them?”

    This:

    Then out spake brave Horatius,
    The Captain of the gate:
    “To every man upon this earth
    Death cometh soon or late.
    And how can man die better
    Than facing fearful odds
    For the ashes of his fathers
    And the temples of his gods,

    “And for the tender mother
    Who dandled him to rest,
    And for the wife who nurses
    His baby at her breast,
    And for the holy maidens
    Who feed the eternal flame,—
    To save them from false Sextus
    That wrought the deed of shame?

    “Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
    With all the speed ye may;
    I, with two more to help me,
    Will hold the foe in play.
    In yon strait path a thousand
    May well be stopped by three:
    Now who will stand on either hand,
    And keep the bridge with me?”

    Then out spake Spurius Lartius,—
    A Ramnian proud was he:
    “Lo, I will stand at thy right hand,
    And keep the bridge with thee.”
    And out spake strong Herminius,—
    Of Titian blood was he:
    “I will abide on thy left side,
    And keep the bridge with thee.”

    “Horatius,” quoth the Consul,
    “As thou sayest so let it be,”
    And straight against that great array
    Went forth the dauntless three.
    For Romans in Rome’s quarrel
    Spared neither land nor gold,
    Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life,
    In the brave days of old.

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  74. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Jen:
    I’ve no dog in this dispute, however I wanted to add this tidbit.
    My Michigan relatives were distressed that they couldn’t buy pain at the local hardware store, so they called to complain (to the store). The proprietor explained that he’d be very happy to sell paint to my relatives, but the stipulation was that they would have to select the color (from a color cards). Here’s the key (and perhaps a clue to the logic) the relatives would have to be outside the store rather than at the paint counter while the paint was being mixed. He would have an employee deliver the requested paint either to the sidewalk outside the store or to their car. (in other words much like restaurant curb-side service)
    The same was true for buying garden supplies like seeds – make your selection and we’ll deliver it to you.
    When I suggested that perhaps the proprietor was “bending the law”, if their understanding was that paint was a forbidden product. The relatives responded that other store owners were also doing the same thing.
    It made a difference if your transaction was taking place inside the store or on the sidewalk outside.
    (I don’t actually know what the MI law says about paint sales and if the location of the transaction is really what is at issue.)

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  75. Tyrell says:

    @Gustopher: There was an interesting interview with Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink) some years ago. He said that “Hogan’s” reruns were getting more viewers now than when it first ran back in the 1960s. I wonder if his family is receiving any money from that show now. The only surviving cast member is Robert Clary – “Lebeau”. When it first came out, there was some criticism of its comedic treatment of the German camps and WWII. But Robert Clary defended it, himself a concentration camp survivor.
    It was a big hit with viewers back then, but when they put it in a time slot opposite Disney’s show, that ended it.
    Of the big thirty-minute comedy shows of the 1960s, today it is still considered excellent in viewership and requests. (Analytic)
    I wish some channel would reboot “Kung Fu”.

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  76. mattbernius says:

    And Fox News just confirmed the Atlantic’s story:

    https://twitter.com/JenGriffinFNC/status/1301975321495973889

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher: I didn’t say anything about jackbooted thugs and the government is capable of overreaching without them. The example you cite being near the Platonic ideal of the concept.

    @Mu Yixiao: Probably. It seems to happen a lot here.

    @Jen: Good reasoning. I can see the point now. Not sure that I buy it, but that’s another question altogether–and just me, so it can be safely ignored.

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  78. EddieInCA says:

    @Tyrell:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_(2021_TV_series)

    The company I work for is rebooting Kung Fu. It would have already been on the air, if not for the pandemic. Keep up.

    Kung Fu is an upcoming American martial arts action-adventure series that is set to debut on The CW in the 2020–21 television season. This version is a modern-day adaptation of the original version of Kung Fu and the third television series after Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, and as with the aforementioned programs, it is being produced by Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Christina M. Kim (the creator of the updated version), Ed Spielman (the creator of the original series), Greg Berlanti, Hanelle Culpepper, Martin Gero, and Sarah Schechter.

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  79. EddieInCA says:

    @mattbernius:

    How are Redstate, The Federalist, National Review, Hot Air, et al, going to spin this now that Fox has confirmed it? All of them printed stories earlier of how crazy this story was, how fake it was, how illogical it was.

    There will be some serious spinning going on tonight.

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  80. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    All of them printed stories earlier of how crazy this story was, how fake it was, how illogical it was.

    Two out of three ain’t bad?

    It just happens to be true.

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  81. EddieinCA says:

    @Kathy:

    I see what you did there. Well played, madam, well played.

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  82. mattbernius says:

    @EddieInCA:
    Fox Editorial Personalities are simply ignoring the reporting and saying the thing is a “hoax.”

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  83. DeD says:
  84. Kylopod says:

    @Roger:

    I’d love to believe that’s true, but the last Gallup poll I saw on this, conducted last year, showed 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.

    That’s an important point, and I should clarify what I meant by using terms like “marginalized” and “mainstream respectability.” Creationism has been marginalized in the media and academic institutions in a way that global warming denial has not, yet it’s actually far more widespread in the population. It’s been legally barred from public schools due to the church-state issue (probably the main reason it’s faded as a political issue), but it’s still taught in private schools and homeschooling. It’s backed up by churches, other religious institutions, and whatever alternative media is used by fundamentalists.

    Why do I mention all this? It has to do with the question of how these belief systems should be addressed. Even though global warming denial may be less common than creationism in the general populace, it shows up much more in the centers of power in society. You turn on any major news outlet, even Fox, you’re much more likely to be exposed to global warming denial than you are to be exposed to creationism. And while there are still an alarming number of politicians who express doubt about evolution, the influence of global warming denial on public policy right now is a lot more pervasive. That’s why there’s more of a need to address it in order to debunk it. I’m not sure what the solution is to the fact that there are so many creationists in the country, but I can tell you, going to the Creation Museum for a formal debate isn’t the answer. Yet there really is no choice but to confront and refute global warming deniers.

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  85. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “I still cringe at the government saying “Nope. You can’t worship”

    Gosh, did the government tell people they couldn’t think little thoughts in their head and pretend they were going right up to Sky Daddy? Well, no, they didn’t tell anyone they couldn’t “worship.” They told people they couldn’t cram hundreds of people together with no room for social distancing.

    Seem to recall that Jesus said something about not needing a church to worship God, but who listens to that old commie when there are pastors who need jets?

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  86. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “A lot of the “I’m not going to follow your stupid rules” attitude is because those rules were enforced from above without allowing for any feedback”

    Yes, much better would have been to send social workers out to every American to poll them on exactly how they felt about each and every regulation before enacting it. I’m sure the virus would have been happy to wait for every gun-toting “freedom”-loving real American to think it all through and come to a reasoned decision before going ahead and killing 200,00 people if only we had asked nice.

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  87. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: “Governor Whitmer tossed down some seriously idiotic edicts, and didn’t listen when people pointed out that idiocy.”

    Not even when they pointed automatic weapons in her face? The nerve of that woman!

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  88. wr says:

    @Tyrell: “He said that “Hogan’s” reruns were getting more viewers now than when it first ran back in the 1960s.”

    Since he’s been dead for twenty years, I really doubt he had much to say on the subject of how many viewers it was getting “now.”

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  89. Mister Bluster says:

    The last time I remember getting a Nielsen survey in the US Mail to fill out and mail back was almost 40 years ago. I remember where I was living so it had to be early ’80s. It was a survey of my radio listening habits as I recall.
    Today I receivd a U.S. CONSUMER CONFIDENCE SURVEY, Your Opinion Counts! addressed To The Consumer At (my PO BOX address).
    Inside the envelope were the survey booklet, an addressed postage paid return envelope and two crisp $1 bills!!!
    Fat City!!!

    The questions were all multple choice and pretty generic.
    1. How would you rate the present general business conditions in your area?
    Good Normal Bad

    1a. SIX MONTHS from now how do you think they will be?
    Better? Same? Worse?

    I had to ponder this question as I have lived here for 52 years. It has always been economically depressed. Conditions have always been bad, which is normal. So normal is what I checked.
    Six months from now? Same…bad as always.

    I answered the political affiliation question Democrat instead of Independent which is my usual reply to internet surveys I occasionally reply to.

    The only essay question read:
    During the past month, what would you say has impacted your view of the U.S. economy?
    My reply: Donald Trump is the worst president ever. No good for the economy.

    The final item was a request for my eMail address as I might be eligible to participate in a paid survey for up to 12 months @ $15/month.
    Of course I signed up. Bring it on Nielsen!

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  90. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: Tyrell lives in a perfectly constructed world. Note “constructed”.

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  91. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Paint: People repainting the dining room is going to cause massive crowding? But people looking for masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies isn’t? But… hey. Maybe you’re right. ‘Cuz nothing says “Y’know what? I think the dining room would look better in a mint green” than a global pandemic.

    Genuine question: did you not have/witness a huge jump in people tackling home improvement projects during the first part of the shutdown?

    It absolutely was a “thing” here in NH. Almost every one of our neighbors went into overdrive on some project, mostly landscaping. A friend of mine who works at Home Depot in Texas said they were incredibly busy with people doing DIY renovations. Heck, the whole reason the “waiting at the paint counter” scenario occurred to me was that I considered it. My freelance work slowed briefly, and I thought about painting several rooms that needed it. Ultimately I decided those weren’t essential services, but this isn’t exactly outlandish.

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  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DeD: Use the rule attributed to someone (can’t remember who anymore but he died doing an imbed journalism job in Iraq, I think) about Bill Clinton–every word that comes out of his mouth is untrue including “a,” “an,” and “the.”

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  93. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “Tyrell lives in a perfectly constructed world. Note “constructed””

    I tend to believe that Tyrell is actually a benign troll collective. I can identify three different personalities in his posts — only one of them right-wing political — and he seems to change at random.

    I guess this would be a kind of performance art. I don’t really get the point, but that goes for a lot of things…

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  94. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod:

    Creationism is kind of the in the middle of those two extremes. It isn’t as marginalized as Holocaust denial, it’s widespread among certain groups of Americans, though it hasn’t acquired the kind of mainstream respectability that global warming denial has.

    Holocaust denial is marginalized because of organized Jewish opposition and the clear cut moral issue. Creationism is less mainstream than AGW denial because the Koch Bros and Exxon haven’t pumped millions into creationism.

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  95. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    If there were public health experts telling the state that selling paint constituted a Covid-19 health risk, the problem may be in what Michiganders call public health expertise.

    Maybe they’re going too far, but no one is saying paint causes COVID. They are saying transmission is too high and personal, including retail, interactions cause transmission. The stated goal is to cut non-essential activities. Hardware stores can open, along with grocery and drug stores because a plumbing or HVAC problem can be pretty essential, and urgent. Painting, not so much.

    On a personal note, if I didn’t have my little projects, all of which require hardware and some of which require paint, I’d be going up the walls.

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  96. Roger says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    someone (can’t remember who anymore but he died doing an imbed journalism job in Iraq, I think)

    Mike Kelly?

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  97. EddieInCA says:

    @Roger:

    David Bloom – NBC News. He was reporting in Iraq at the time of his death. Ironically, he survived reporting from the front lines in Iraq but was killed by a blot clot.

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  98. Teve says:

    @o2bnobox

    It’s 2:45 am and the retired Marine who lives behind me just took his Trump sign down, walked it to the street and threw it in the garbage.

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  99. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Roger: @EddieInCA:
    Michael Kelly died in Iraq as well when his Humvee came under fire. The driver took evasive action and the vehicle ended up in a canal. Kelly had been reporting for the WaPo at the time. He had formerly edited The Atlantic and The New Republic. He was the first correspondent to die in Iraq.

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  100. Teve says:

    Many moons ago people said would you take a Trump vaccine, I said if the mayo clinic and Harvard medical school said take it, i would take it. The same applies.

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  101. Christopher Osborne says:
  102. Tyrell says:

    @EddieInCA: Can’t wait! Thanks for the information.

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