A Monday Forum

The workweek starts anew in the era of Covid-19

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. 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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Citing a threat to Israeli democracy, opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Supreme Court on Sunday to block what they described as a power grab by the caretaker government under the guise of combating the coronavirus epidemic.

    The petitioners asked the court to restore the full powers of Parliament, which has been largely blocked from functioning by a Netanyahu ally, Yuli Edelstein, the speaker. He has claimed public health concerns. A new Parliament was sworn in last week, but among the key votes Mr. Edelstein has prevented is one on replacing him as speaker. The paralysis in Parliament has only compounded the country’s political deadlock and chaos in the wake of three inconclusive elections in the past 12 months.

    Mr. Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, has every interest in remaining in power, if only to gain leverage in negotiating a plea deal after being indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The coronavirus outbreak has provided him with a new opportunity to try to maintain his grip on power.

    Though his right-wing-religious alliance narrowly lost this month’s election, the prime minister is reluctant to give up his bloc’s control of Parliament. Mr. Netanyahu has been trying to push his main rival, Benny Gantz, of the centrist Blue and White party, to join him in an emergency unity government that might prevent a fourth election.

    But Likud officials said Sunday that ousting Mr. Edelstein would eliminate any chance of a unity government.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    STL and STL county are in shutdown until April 22. Jefferson, Franklin, and St Charles counties probably will do the same in a few days. Fortunately, ST Louisans have their priorities straight: St. Louis Liquor Stores Deemed ‘Essential’ During Lockdown, Thank Christ

    Good news for fellow drunks: St. Louis-area liquor stores have been deemed “essential” by St. Louis-area officials and will be exempted from today’s “stay at home” order that will force businesses across the region to close in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

    The stay at home order, which goes into effect Monday in both St. Louis city and county, essentially strongly encourages people to leave their house only if absolutely necessary and mandates that businesses whose services are not deemed essential — tattoo parlors, movie theaters, playgrounds, bowling alleys, etc. — close their doors to the public for the time being.

    But there are exceptions for businesses that provide things that the public needs at this time. That includes health care facilities, of course, as well as grocery stores, farmers’ markets, produce stands, gas stations and the like.

    And, because the ability to get blind drunk in our homes in the absence of anything better to do is truly essential in these trying times, it also includes liquor stores.

    It’s just common sense.

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  3. Kit says:

    The start of Week 2 of my self exile on Main Street. I’d always felt a bit guilty at never having run off to the woods, Walden style, to live deliberately and to front only the essential facts of life. I’m feeling less guilty on that score.

    Now that I’m taking more care in washing my hands, I’m also now realizing just how much I touch when I walk through the door on the way to the sink:
    * keys
    * door handle (inside and outside)
    * coat & hanger
    * wallet
    * phone
    * light switch
    * faucet handle

    Reminds me of this bit by Jack Handey:

    You can scrub the crabs off your body, but what are you going to do about your bedsheets, or your sweatpants? Wash them, too? You could drive yourself crazy.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mike Bloomberg is transferring $18m (£15.5m) from his presidential campaign to the Democratic National Committee in the largest single such transfer ever made.

    The largesse is the latest sign of the billionaire businessman’s continued involvement in the presidential race since ending his own campaign this month after a lacklustre showing on Super Tuesday. In the 3 March primaries the former New York city mayor won only one US territory.
    ………………………….
    The Bloomberg campaign, which hired a staff of 2,400 people across 43 states, will also transfer its offices in six pivotal states to the Democratic parties in those states, to help accelerate their hiring and organising. Those states are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

    So far, so good.

    Former Bloomberg campaign staffers in those offices will continue to be paid by his campaign through the first week in April and have full benefits through the end of April. After that, they could in theory offer the state parties a trained and ready pool of potential hires to build out their operations heading into the November general election.

    Bloomberg had promised staffers when they were hired that they would be paid until November, but earlier this month most of his campaign team was told they had been let go and would be paid until the end of March.

    Ah yes, the empty promises of a rich man, true to form.

    Since exiting the race, Bloomberg has contributed $500,000 to Voto Latino to help register Latino voters, $2m to the group Collective Future to help register African American voters, and $2m to Swing Left, a group focused on electing Democrats in swing districts.

    Still, credit where credit is due.

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  5. Teve says:

    The New York State Office of the Attorney General has told Newsmax TV host Wayne Allyn Root “to immediately cease and desist from making misleading claims” after the right-wing host touted alkaline silver as an important product for people who are concerned about coronavirus.

    Root is the host of The Wayne Allyn Root Show on Newsmax TV, a cable news network that “reaches over 70 million cable/satellite homes and subscribers.” The network has positioned itself as an aggressively pro-Trump voice and recently began airing a program featuring former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former Republican National Committee deputy communications director Lyndsay Keith. Its CEO is Christopher Ruddy, a Trump friend and adviser.

    As Media Matters first reported, Root used his March 11 program to downplay concerns about the coronavirus. He then addressed people who were concerned about the virus by directing them to watch an ad touting a suspect silver product. Root stated: “‘My Doctor Suggests’ message is next. You fear coronavirus, here’s a very important message now.” Newsmax then aired an ad for MyDoctorSuggests.com featuring Gordon Pedersen, who claims to have an “all-natural solution” that “destroys” things like “viruses.” (The advertisement also touted a promo code specific to Root.)

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  6. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: Whenever I hear about this kind of thing, I’m always reminded of an early scene from the (largely forgotten) Danny Kaye movie The Inspector General:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1yM2babqZs

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  7. Tyrell says:

    Denny Hamlin edges Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win Homestead-Miami NASCAR race.

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  8. Mu Yixiao says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    They’ve already closed our bars in Wisconsin. If they close our liquor stores, they’ll have a full Cheesehead Rebellion on their hands.

    “You can have my brandy when you pry it from my cold dead hands–assuming my wife hasn’t already nabbed it.” 🙂

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  9. Scott says:

    So. What is the safer practice in coronavirus prevention and social distancing?

    Teleworking at home with teleworking wife and two telelearning college kids?

    Or

    Going to work at an office that was empty for two full days and where my nearest co worker is at least 20 feet away?

    I chose to go to the office.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod: I always think of this: “How’s it work on stains?”.

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  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    My wife was commenting on that the other day, when she saw a list of what are deemed essential businesses and noted the inclusion of liquor stores. Also saw that there has been of surge of customers at the pot shops in Mass.

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  12. Mikey says:

    A brief but very interesting interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A long and difficult read from the NYT:The Accusations Were Lies. But Could We Prove It?
    When the university told my wife about the sexual-harassment complaints against her, we knew they weren’t true. We had no idea how strange the truth really was.

    At the end of July, we settled our lawsuit. Per that agreement, we can write or say anything we want about what happened. We can tell the whole story, using any and all of the facts. But we made one major concession: We cannot use J.’s real name.

    At the time, the concession seemed worth it if it meant ending a story we needed to stop. But in the weeks and months since, I’ve wondered if we made a mistake. I think about all the people — friends, colleagues, students — whom J. will most likely continue to fool. I think how we never really know who is behind anything we read. Unless we have a physical person to pin it to. But then I realized this story isn’t about J. It’s about us.

    If I could return to that job interview from more than three years ago, to that moment when I was asked about my responsibility as a creative-nonfiction writer in the post-truth world, I know what I would say now: Our allegiance as nonfiction writers is not so much to truth as it is to honesty. Because truth can be spoken into a void, while honesty implies an audience, a reader, real people to whom you commit to tell your story as accurately and truthfully as you can so that they can then differentiate for themselves the facts from the lies, the truth from the fiction.

    I’ve done that here. Now the story belongs to you.

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  14. Liberal Capitalist says:

    In Colorado, the resturants are take-out / delivery only. All resturants that serve food that also have a liquor license can now include alcohol delivery.

    Kind of amazing in a state that still sold 3.2 beer until 2019 has gone quickly this route.

    Gov. Polis is doing a good job here with the C-19 response.

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  15. Kathy says:

    I’m listening to a podcast about the Cold War. Too much Reagan hagiography, but it got me nostalgic:

    Remember when the worst thing you had to worry about was nuclear war?

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  16. MarkedMan says:

    @Tyrell: Wait a minnit. They are still holding NASCAR races? Could they do anything more to promote the stereotypes?

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Michael Reynolds has had this exactly right since the beginning: the MeToo movement will eventually self destruct, just as all such absolutist movements do. However, if we are lucky, the improvements and benefits will remain.

    A number of years ago there was a similar movement concerning child abuse. “Believe the children! Children never lie about these things!” It turned into a witch hunt with a lot of lives destroyed. Fortunately the very real problems were not swept aside or ignored in the aftermath. We have many more safeguards in place and there aren’t a whole lot of people left that would pooh-pooh the idea of a doctor or priest molesting children.

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  18. Kingdaddy says:
  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Reagan probably did more to stoke the corruption and decay of the Republican Party than anyone else until Gingrich came along. Still, the total damage done by Reagan exceeded Gingrich because of the idol worship he instilled in a generation of followers.

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  20. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog: My son did a semester in Madrid last fall. Made a lot of European friends. I asked him he was in contact with any during this pandemic. He commented that while we have lines for toilet paper, his Amsterdam friends were in lines at the pot shop. Made me laugh.

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  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: I’ve been trying to get as much social distance as I can between me and him for 4 years. No matter how far I go, it’s never enough.

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  22. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: It’s called iRacing. It’s some sort of computer simulation thing.

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  23. Kathy says:

    OMG! One of the people who asked me a few weeks back whether the coronavirus was real, just asked me whether I think there’s any truth to this pandemic thing.

    Seriously, what the f**k is wrong with these people? Isn’t it enough to see cities, provinces and even whole countries locked down? Isn’t it enough to see hospitals overwhelmed with critical patients? Isn’t it enough to see thousands dying of COVID19?

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  24. Teve says:

    @VeggieFact

    isn’t it weird that people living paycheck to paycheck are supposed to have months worth of savings for emergencies while billion dollar corporations are so poorly managed they’re on the brink of bankruptcy after a week of reduced profits

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  25. Kit says:

    @MarkedMan:

    the total damage done by Reagan exceeded Gingrich because of the idol worship he instilled in a generation of followers

    The Right latches on people, seemingly at random, to represent the conservative id, be it Trump, Palin, Reagan, the Founding Fathers, or Jesus. The actual historical details of the chosen one are inevitably ignored.

    While I agree that Reagan has plenty to answer for based on his own actions, I hardly think that the excesses of today’s Republican party can be laid at his feet. Given the opportunity, I’d push America hard to the Left, but that’s meant to be a course correction, not some kind desire for an eternal march ever leftward. Today’s Democrats are fighting for control of the steering wheel, while Republicans are fighting to floor the accelerator. I’d like to think that Reagan, simpleton though he was, would be horrified.

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  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Kit: You speak truth there. Reagan as a man doesn’t matter. Maybe he’d be a RINO now, but that difference does that make? To the right he’s a plaster saint, St. Ronald of Bel Air. In the real world he was the avuncular face and pleasant voice of modern conservatism. A hideous philosophy that would not have succeeded without him.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: Thank the lord…

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  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Fortunately, ST Louisans have their priorities straight: St. Louis Liquor Stores Deemed ‘Essential’ During Lockdown, Thank Christ.

    California at first was going to deem marijuana delivery services unnecessary. And by God they stuck by that decision for. . . what is the shortest possible measurement of time? The term Planck Time comes to mind.

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  29. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: The definition of the Modern Republican is that the government cannot be expected to provide services, that it is only a corrupt scam and therefore you should elect Republicans who will try to drown it in a bathtub and do nothing to improve it. Ronald Reagan took that as his mantra.

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  30. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    You should see the one in Salisbury.

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  31. gVOR08 says:

    Mann and Ornstein have a column about trying to get congress to do something about functioning remotely or with too few functioning members to form a quorum. They’ve tried and failed every year since 9-11.

    Having read Dr. T for the last several years I’ve been of the opinion the House should be much larger, proportionally elected in multi-member districts. From there it wold be natural for the House to use 21st century tech to meet in regional centers, and/or teleconference from their homes or offices.

    s As for the Senate, it doesn’t work anyway. Could they maybe pass a rule, without getting into the Constitution, that any House bill forwarded to them is automatically approved if the Senate can’t manage a quorum? /s

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  32. Bill says:

    Just here to say hello this morning. I have only had eleven visitors to my room since 6:30 this morning. Should I give a door prize to #12 if they come before lunch time?

    On a funny note- ME TV had this Honeymooners episode on last night where Ed Norton (Art Carney) impersonates a doctor and says this very funny line which I imitate sometimes-

    “Don’t touch me, I’m sterile.”

    I would have DVR it if I had been home so I could show the wife. Not wanting to invoke her anger I didn’t call her at 10 thirty last night to tell her this episode was on. Since she is normally asleep by 9 thirty.

    Last night I discovered I could download a sample of Frederick Forsyth’s* The Fourth Protocol. Which I did in anticipation of buying it. Unfortunately US Amazon isn’t selling this. So why are they providing downloads?

    Curiously, some of Forsyth’s books (FP, The Negotiatior, The Deceiver) aren’t available at US Amazon kindle store but are at UK Amazon. I don’t live in the UK** and can’t buy them. I wonder why they aren’t available in the US. Some wise person out there may have a guess at why.

    Time for Price is Right if there isn’t any Corona coverage going on.

    *- I have all of Forsyth’s books that are available for sale at US Amazon kindle with the exception of The Afghan and The Kill List both of which I consider to be terrible.
    **- Dear wife aka Leonita stood in the Q for the Loo around Windsor Palace and got to shake the hand of the Duke of Marlborough when we visited London and surrounding areas in 2000.

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  33. Bill says:

    @CSK:

    You should see the one in Salisbury.

    Isn’t that where my dinner tonight is coming from?

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  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    Charley Baker just ordered a lock down in Massachusetts. Not sure if he deemed the pot shops and liquor stores essential.

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  35. Slugger says:

    As I write this, the Dow-Jones is down again. However, it has been rising at a rather dramatic rate recently from being just under 20,000 in January 2017 to above 28,000 a few weeks ago (the good old days.) During this time, GDP grew slightly less than 3% per year. Can anyone explain this? Can America’s companies increase in value faster than the value of the stuff America makes? Were the last three years of the stock market hype, a trap for suckers? I am looking for people smarter than me.

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  36. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod:

    the (largely forgotten) Danny Kaye movie The Inspector General:

    Forgotten!? Blasphemy.

    …And so we drink! But first… we sing. (Zuuuuuuum. Schtock-schtock. Ha ha ha.)

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  37. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Slugger:

    Stock value is mostly tied to profit rather than revenue, so a if your costs are stable, a 3% growth in revenue could be a much larger growth in profits (e.g. if you have a 5% profit margin, a 3% growth in revenue is 60% growth in profits).

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  38. KM says:

    @Kathy:
    I get flak for saying it but it remains sadly true: some people need to end up the burn ward to understand fire is hot. They play with matches because it’s fun and fire is pretty and because they know the fire department down the street will show up if it really gets out of hand. That’s what taxes are for, after all. They ignore warnings and don’t listen to the news when they say there’s budget cuts and the fire department’s running at full capacity. Someone’s always come to save them from their stupidity and they listen to the their friends / media tell them there’s no problem, our great system will take care of it because we’re #1!!!! Damn liberals just want to take your matches and freedom, that’s what! Who’s ever heard of a fire department that can’t stop all these house fires; it’s not like it’s a wildfire area or something. Plenty of water (stores out but whatever, go early) and the neighborhood is *fine*. Look around – do you see anything wrong, hoaxer?

    But now they hear of a house burnt to the ground downtown and wonder…. nah, it’s fine. It’s downtown, not their problem. Why should they stop partying and deny themselves a good time? On the way to get more matches from the (closed for days) store, they notice several houses aren’t where they used to be. Are those ashes? Can’t be – where’s the fire trucks then? Must be imagining things. Why aren’t stores open anymore – don’t they know it’s no big deal? Where is everybody? ….. and why do they smell smoke???

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  39. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Baker okayed medical marijuana stores to stay open. Recreational have to close. I think the one in Salisbury is recreational, but I’m not sure. It’s mobbed on the weekends.

    Bill, if you’re lucky, I guess. And it’s open.

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  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Slugger:

    There are many who believed the market was overvalued and was due for a serious correction, not ~8000 points but a couple of thousand anyway or an extended period of flat values allowing a return of balance to stock prices and earnings. Remember the Trump tax cuts were a huge Keynesian stimulus that pumped up values.

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  41. Sleeping Dog says:

    Tiny’s magical thinking is on display again with the reports that he wants a return to normalcy after the current Federal emergency period ends. The economy is not going to come roaring back on his whim.

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  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:
    McMartin Preschool has been in my mind ever since I saw the hashtag #BelieveAllWomen and similar. The sexual panic around McMartin had far-reaching effects, some of which was personal: from the start I’ve established a hard rule that I am never alone in a room with students, not even for a second, not even a schoolroom with windows all around. That’s all well and good. But I also minimized physical contact – hugs, kisses – with my adopted daughter, and that was maybe not so good.

    Absolutism is self-discrediting and, absent physical force, government repression, destroys itself. #MeToo, a cause I wholly support, is not #BelieveAllWomen. The one is a drive for truth and justice, the other is the death of truth and justice. McMartin raised awareness of molestation which is good; but it did a great deal of damage at the same time. The sequelae of #MeToo would inevitably have left a similar mix of good and bad effects, but the impatient switch to the absolutist ‘All’ ensured that the ratio of good to bad would contain more bad than would otherwise have been the case.

    Bottom line, #MeToo strengthened the cause of equality for women, #BelieveAllWomen weakened it.

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  43. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Slugger:
    Keeping in mind that a stock price increase or decrease does not actually bring (or decrease) revenue to a corporations, but rather reflects what the market demand is, my stock market attitude is one more likened to gambling or wagering.

    The key to “success” is knowing when to step away from the table, because, until you actually cash out – the profit or loss is just paper that has symbolic value – but doesn’t buy groceries.

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  44. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Michael Reynolds: For at least the last ten years, our kid’s martial arts class has had a hard and fast rule of two adults (at least) present with kids. Sometimes when the other instructor is running late, I will ask a parent to stay around for a few minutes.

    This well predates #MeToo. I take no credit for it, it was a policy formulated by an acquaintance in our national organization. At first read of this policy I was disappointed and unhappy at not being trusted, but soon I realized it was better for everyone.

    The issue of how much touching between father and daughter is complex. I’ve raised two, it was a difficult space to navigate.

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  45. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Kit:

    Now that I’m taking more care in washing my hands, I’m also now realizing just how much I touch when I walk through the door on the way to the sink:

    How many of those things are touched by people other than you though? Coronavirus doesn’t spontaneously generate, so worrying about getting it from, say, your keys is probably letting your anxiety get to you rather than a legitimate concern.

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  46. inhumans99 says:

    Not sure if this has already been mentioned but it is official that the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games are postponed and will most likely take place in 2021. We all knew this was coming but it still makes you go wow! now that it has happened.

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  47. Tyrell says:

    @Kingdaddy: One problem that everyone is complaining about is the shortages of basic thing: paper towels, soap, bottle water, milk, cereal, peanut butter, ground beef, eggs. Why is this? Panic buying? Probably. But one report was that the stores do not have enough workers to stock. Many workers are staying home with their kids because schools are closed.
    Farmers are out of work because of restaurant closures.
    How can factories make masks, shields, and other medical supplies if their workers are having to stay home? They will need truck drivers to deliver that stuff. The trucks must be kept running – by mechanics and parts stores. The “ripple effect”. Doctors and hospitals themselves require a vast and varied support of several industries from cooks, helicopter pilots, to plumbers. Especially plumbers.
    Most people feel that two weeks is too short, but this talk of several months? Forget it. The people won’t support that. Maybe a gradual phase in starting late April. States with consistent low numbers could maybe begin first.
    There is an excellent article in the NYT: “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease? ” (David Katz) Focus on the people who are at most risk. Continue with common sense habits that many people do during every flu season.

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  48. Kathy says:

    @Slugger:

    Looking at rational aspects only, the Dow index measures only a few companies that are listed in the NY Stock Exchange, and the same goes for indexes like NASDAQ and S&P. Supposedly they are representative. Reality might differ.

    But also not all businesses do well during good times, nor all badly during bad times. For example, if Walmart grows by expanding its number of stores, then many smaller stores may go out of business. The latter are not listed in any index, Walmart probably is.

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  49. Kit says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Coronavirus doesn’t spontaneously generate, so worrying about getting it from, say, your keys is probably letting your anxiety get to you rather than a legitimate concern.

    I have zero anxiety. But if it makes sense to wash your hands, then it makes sense to wash the objects that your hands come in contact with. I think the train of events was first reading something about how a phone will only be as clean as your hands. Then I saw a video here someone put some power, that was only visible under a special light, in a few key spots and then watched where it got to by the end of the day. Interesting!

    I think the take away is that self isolating probably requires a bit of paranoia for those at high risk.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    Not exactly the attitude in Mexico.

    You know, it reminds me more of those people who claim(ed) HIV does not cause AIDS. That one has a long incubation period, often as long as years. So those who test positive might see they’re feeling well. This does not happen with coronavirus, as people who contract it stop feeling well after a few days.

    BTW, the company does provide us with hand sanitizer. But it’s too thick, sticky, and does not smell even faintly of alcohol. It does contain some alcohol. I know because once when I used some after getting a paper cut, it did sting. But whether it has enough is another matter (it should be no less than 60%).

    I decided to get some plain rubbing alcohol to mix into it. Surprise, there was no alcohol to be found at the store. Not one bottle.

    There’s till plenty of hydrogen peroxide. I got some, as I don’t expect there to be any next week.

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  51. Kathy says:

    On non-COVID19 developments, I made enchiladas with pasilla chile sauce. This time I toasted the dried chiles rather than hydrating them. I don’t think I’m supposed to do this. Anyway, they crumbled like antique paper does in movies. Cool.

    the sauce tasted just fine, if a bit mild. I probably needed more chiles. I did remove most of the seeds, but not the veins.

    Also, I’v decided for the duration of the epidemic (one can’t just get away from it) not to eat raw vegetables. So instead of grating a bunch of carrots, and getting a bag of spinach and some alfalfa sprouts and onions, I cooked shredded cabbage with sliced carrots, ginger, onions, and soy sauce. I had cabbage leftover, so I cooked it with some soybean sprouts and soy sauce, as a side dish.

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  52. MarkedMan says:

    Add this to the “Shitty People With Shitty Values” column: The Trump state department, led by uber Republican Mike Pompeo, recalled every single Peace Corps volunteer and then promptly fired them when they landed back in the US.

    As a former Peace Corps volunteer I can provide a little background. Peace Corps is a two year stint and while in country you receive housing provided by the host country and a modest stipend provided by the Peace Corps,calculated based on the cost of living of your host country and sufficient to buy food and a modest amount of clothing and other staples. As an example, in 1990 I received roughly $100/month in Ghana. I, like almost all volunteers, quit my job, gave up my apartment, and sold my car and other major belongings.

    Pompeo brought them home in a chaotic and ill planned evacuation and then promptly fired every single one of them. They get a small transition payment and two months of health care and then they are on their own.

    Republican leadership normally demonstrates horrible values but I often hear that rank and file Republicans don’t share the same ethics. Why then, do they keep blindly supporting these dirt bags?

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  53. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    The issue of how much touching between father and daughter is complex

    Not for this lad of Irish descent raised in the Midwest. Whether it is nature or nurture there isn’t a whole lot of room for physical contact there. I think I started shaking my son’s hand as opposed to a hug when he was about 12. My daughter still gets the “Irish hug” – basically an awkward hug with minimal contact. I love them to pieces but just not a hugger.

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  54. de stijl says:

    @Bill:

    Supply and demand is an actual thing.

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  55. Mikey says:

    Gov. Northam just ordered Virginia’s schools closed for the remainder of the academic year.

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  56. CSK says:

    Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, was published today by the Skyhorse imprint of Arcade Books.

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  57. Bill says:

    @de stijl:

    Supply and demand is an actual thing.

    Now you’re being cryptic. Is this in reference to the availability of Forsyth’s books on kindle?

    My 12th visitor, the person with my tuna salad sandwich for lunch, arrived after 12 noon. So she didn’t get any door prize.

    My only visitors are hospital staff or doctors. Zarah, a CICU nurse and friend of me and my wife, stopped by last night after her work shift was over. She stayed about 2 minutes.

    This CNN news article makes you wonder about China’s zero new cases. Coronavirus is flaring up in Hong Kong.

    I’ll end this post on a humorous note. For some reason while I was waiting for lunch, I recalled the Airplane! scene ‘Pinchhitting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota…Mota….”

    So I went to youtube and found a video of it. I also found this tribute* to Mota with a very interesting announcer.

    This hospital should think about restricting their male cardiac patients access to You tube.

    *- Don’t worry, it is safe for viewing.

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  58. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I need an off sale twelver of Pabst to go.

    In small town Wisconsin bars that makes perfect sense. Totally cromulent ask.

    If they do off sale, that is.

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  59. Kathy says:

    The UK is locked down.

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  60. de stijl says:

    @Bill:

    No worries. You were either clearly on the morphine tip, or the coolest sober person I know. My bet is on the former.

    It was a funny read.

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  61. Mikey says:

    @Kathy: Meanwhile America’s “leadership” is trying to figure out how many Americans it’s OK to have die so the stock market can recover.

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  62. de stijl says:

    What the fuck happened on the Rand Paul thread?

    That was illustrative in the bad way.

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  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: That’s funny, I thought MeToo had very little to do with it. Also, nobody had their reputations smeared in public, the system worked as designed* and they were exonerated within a few months.

    Are you sure you read the same story I did?

    *as designed sucked donkey dick and those poor women went thru a fearful hell. Was it fair that some asshole was able to game the system in hopes it would help him? No, but I’ve never yet seen a system that couldn’t be gamed by some imaginative prick.

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  64. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    Did you ever hear about Camilo Mouriño?

    I thought not. He was a cabinet secretary in Mexico, who got involved in improprieties that rose to scandals. Me, I did not think at the time there was too much of a much to the accusations, but he acted improperly. The opposition parties just went on full assault mode on him, and through him on the president.

    Then he was killed in a plane crash, along with other people on board and some on the ground.

    And the frontal assaults and flank attacks stopped.

    Why? The charitable interpretation is out of respect for his grieving family. The political cynic in me says it’s because he was dead, and he couldn’t be taken down.

    About Rand Paul, meh. I don’t have any desire to see him suffer and die, but I wouldn’t care even a little if he did die. I’d care about any people he might have infected while refusing to take precautions.

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  65. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    I did a red curry earlier.

    Appreciate that you chose to do a distraction comment. We need more. Things are getting weird.

    When I do a curry, there are at least a dozen compnents. You have to focus. Last time I went too hard on the ginger and that sort of overwhelmed everything else. I just eyeball it and taste: not a precise recipe.

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  66. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The crucial part to me was that as soon as another anonymous accusation was raised the clock was reset, every time. As long as another accusation came, no matter how unlikely, a new investigation was required. The reason it ended was because this particular bottom feeder was traceable because he wanted the woman’s job and she was willing to spend many thousands of her own money. But if the guy had been some random incel who picked her name out of the hat? It would never had ended.

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  67. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump just praised Asian Americans and said that the virus is not their fault. He did not call it the Chineese Virus.
    He also said this will all be over sooner than anyone thinks.
    I’m still wondering if he thinks this is still a Democratic hoax.
    He did say that it would disappear like a miracle.
    Of course if it is all a hoax there is nothing to disappear.

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  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: In the case of the Peace Corps, it might well be that the rank and file agree with the RWNJ types who would advocate that we shouldn’t be going into those sh!thole socialist countries in the first place. Let them fend for themselves!

    (And I would know, because I was one of those RWNJs in a past life. 🙁 )

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  69. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    it’s because he was dead, and he couldn’t be taken down.

    [Ding, ding, ding] We have a winner.

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  70. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Is it necessary to include “but I wouldn’t care even a little if he did die”?

    What does that add?

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  71. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump just said “It’s not going to be 3 or 4 months.”
    Not sure what he was commenting on since he babbles so much.

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  72. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I use fresh ginger when possible (hint: when I don’t forget to get it at the store). I mince it, too, rather than grate it. How much I use depends on how big a decent piece I can find.

    BTW, I learned just yesterday that a teaspoon peels ginger better, and more easily, than a vegetable peeler. I just chop off the ends and protruding bits, and off I go.

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  73. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I think it was necessary.

    What does that add?

    You know, I’m not sure. I’ll get back to you on that.

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  74. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: Among the many, many contemptible things this shitty administration has done. I am furious about the way those young people have been treated. My best friend served in the Peace Corps, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience for her.

    I spend so, so much time angry that it cannot possibly be good for me.

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  75. Tyrell says:

    @Kathy: Ginger is very good for upset stomachs, nausea, motion sickness. I have had some ginger drinks that were really hot.

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  76. Kylopod says:

    In the thread from a few weeks ago announcing the lung cancer diagnosis of the guy who once claimed Michael J. Fox was faking his Parkinson’s, if I had popped into the thread and said what I really felt, I would have risked being banned.

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  77. Kathy says:

    Those looking for a distraction, here’s an article about theft in hotels.

    A very close (as in genetically close) relative of mine is one of these petty thieves who asks for extra toiletries and brings them home. I won’t name names.

    I have taken toiletries from hotels, but only those provided. For instance, I take one (1) moisturizer if one is given. Just one. It’s for use on the plane ride back. at the Holiday Inn Express I’d stay at in Morelia and Guanuajuato, they had exfoliating soap with grit mixed into it. I’d take one, just one, and use it at home to wash my face in the shower.

    At one time, too, I collected airline soap. I mostly asked my parents for it, sometimes they brought one or two back. If I was flying, I’d tell a flight attendant, “I like the soap in the lavatory. Do you know where I can buy some?” Nine times out of ten, the FA would go into the lavatory and get me one.

    I recall having bars, wrapped individually, from Pan Am, Mexicana, Aeromexico, Continental, I think Texas International, Eastern, Western, El Al, Air France.

    Today there’s either a lone bar of generic soap, unwrapped, or a liquid soap dispenser. In the old days the individually wrapped, tiny bars were on a dispenser in the lavatory. The idea being you could grab one if the current one ran out.

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  78. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Kathy:

    I use fresh ginger when possible

    Have you sliced ginger thin, put it in a pot of water, boiled and made tea? My wife made it, and it won me over.

    Hot, it is great if you are not feeling well… Cold from the fridge, refreshing. Makes the house smell great as well. Cost? Like NOTHING!

    How many slices? How much water? That’s to your discretion. You’ll know how much next time after you take a sip of the first batch. More is always better!

    Side comment: Ginger is awesome. Vernor’s. “Deliciously Different.” Like Texas and Dr. Pepper, Vernor’s is Michigan. You can tell it’s a relocated Michigander when they are asking the local grocery store to order some 12 packs and 2 liters. (And Diet doesn’t even taste diet!)

    … yeah, I know, now owned by Dr.Pepper/Snapple of Plano. Those Bastards! 🙂

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  79. Kathy says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Have you sliced ginger thin, put it in a pot of water, boiled and made tea?

    I’ve never tried that.

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  80. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: @Kathy: Ginger tea is good for digestion and upset stomach, too.

    ReplyReply

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