Wednesday’s Forum

Better than a message in a bottle.

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. steve says:

    Our total number of hospital admissions for Covid is staying level, but our number of people being intubated and our numbers in the ICU are dropping. My critical care guys are convinced something they are doing is, while not curative, is keeping the disease from progressing in some people. However, they dont know which part of what we are doing is the part that is helping. Our cocktail is HCQ, AZ, Zinc, Steroids, Vitamin C (sometimes) and self proning.

    Trump just cut funding because WHO claimed China was being transparent and they should have forced China to let them in. How they do that with a sovereign country I dont know, but lets remember Trump’s own words.

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    ·
    Jan 24
    China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!

    Steve

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  2. Teve says:

    Adam Conover has a podcast called Factually and there’s a really interesting hour and a half long podcast with Rachel Bitecofer that just came out.

    If you don’t know who she is, her thesis is that political discourse in the United States as seen on the Sunday shows, CNN, the New York Times, is based on a flawed political theory.

    The mainstream theory she attacks says that there are three groups of voters, 1 reliable Republicans, 2 reliable Democrats, and 3 swing voters who go back-and-forth based on the quality of the candidates’ policy proposals. Because of the framework, candidates are evaluated and critiques based on how well they presumably appeal to these moderate swing voters who supposedly decide the elections.

    Bitecofer has a nickname for this view. She calls it, with disdain, the “Chuck Todd theory of American politics”: “The idea that there is this informed, engaged American population that is watching these political events and watching their elected leaders and assessing their behavior and making a judgment.”

    “And it is just not true.”

    Bitcofer’s contention is the imaginary moderate policy-driven swing voter of group 3 does not really exist. What’s actually happening is group 3 is a collection of subtypes, and in particular elections some subtypes show up more than others. It’s not individuals swinging for the most part, that happens but it’s a tiny percentage of people, it’s turn out among the subgroups swinging.

    I recommend the whole podcast but if you don’t have a lot of time, here’s a good article about her thesis.

    An Unsettling New Theory

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I have been thinking along those lines for some time now. It certainly was true of my sleepy little rural precinct in 2016.

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  4. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Obviously I don’t think her outlook is a perfect crystal ball for understanding everything, but the basic framework of people coming in and out of the voting population based on how motivated they are makes a lot more sense than an imaginary scenario were 30% of the population are studying the debates and asking themselves “how would they pay for Medicare for all? And is it really a good idea to have turkey in NATO?” That’s This sort of stuff the Chuck Todd class thinks about, so they project it on a bunch of voters.

    One of my favorite parts of the article:

    “She would be well-served as an analyst,” Wasserman added, “if she visited some of the counties in Iowa which voted overwhelmingly for Obama and then overwhelmingly for Trump. These are not places where turnout explains the results. She would learn that persuasion and swing voters are the dominant variable in presidential elections, particularly in those battleground states.”

    Bitecofer, as it happens, flew to Iowa for three days before and after the caucuses, a few weeks after I spoke to Wasserman—and rejects the criticism that somehow getting out in the world would improve her modeling. If she allowed personal conversations to influence her work, she said, then “I would be a god-fucking awful quantitative scientist.”

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:
  6. Teve says:

    Hillary only got about 62,000 fewer votes than Obama did four years prior. Trump got over 2 million more votes than Romney got four years prior.

    That’s not about a bunch of Obama voters switching to Trump, that’s Trump motivating a whole lot more Republicans to turn out, because they like his loudmouth racist ass a lot more than they liked that nerd Romney.

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve:

    If she allowed personal conversations to influence her work, she said, then “I would be a god-fucking awful quantitative scientist.”

    Amen, sister.

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve:

    they like his loudmouth racist ass a lot more than they liked that nerd Romney.

    That’s what happened here. Never before had I seen a crowd at our volunteer fire station but on that night? Oh yeah, loud and proud.

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  9. Sleeping Dog says:
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Preet Bharara
    @PreetBharara

    I hereby authorize the squirrels in my neighborhood to scamper across my property in accordance with Squirrel Law

    Jim Acosta
    @Acosta
    · 12h
    Trump says he is authorizing governors to make their own decisions on when to reopen. Ok.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I recall reading an article about middle-aged people down south–Mississippi, I believe–who, when they voted for Trump in 2016, were voting for the first time in their lives. No one prior to him had ever inspired them to go to the polls.

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  12. Scott says:

    @Teve: Yes, her theory is that people come out to vote against something which is why culture war campaigning is so effective. That is why it is stupid for any Democrat to campaign on guns and choice. They may have their positions and even publish them. But to actively campaign will bring out the voters who vote against them. They need to stick to universal healthcare (without getting dragged into abortion and birth control).

    Republicans just campaign on three things: guns, abortion, and grievance. Trump only cares about grievance but will con his voters on the first two.

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  13. Teve says:

    @Scott:

    Yes, her theory is that people come out to vote against something which is why culture war campaigning is so effective.

    Negative Partisanship is one part of her thesis.

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  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Now Warren is going to endorse Biden, today.
    The timing is curious. It’s essentially meaningless by now.

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US for-profit healthcare sector cuts thousands of jobs as pandemic rages

    Maureen Zeman was a registered nurse for 29 years at a hospital in San Jose, California, before she was laid off with dozens of other nurses – amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Many states across the US have stopped elective medical procedures as part of emergency shutdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, hospitals and medical clinics are implementing layoffs, furloughs and cuts to salaries and work schedules in response to declines in revenue.

    The for-profit company that owns the hospital where Zeman worked decided to shut down the maternal delivery department at the end of March. It put Zeman and many others out of a job, and left patients with far fewer options.

    “They say it’s not related to Covid-19, but it’s a huge disservice to the women of the east side of San Jose. Doing this during a pandemic is terrible,” said Zeman. “They said it wasn’t financially stable to keep the unit open, and so they’re closing. Our big concern is we’re a trauma center and there are no hospitals in this area that can take care of women and children’s services.”
    ……………………..
    “We have a healthcare system where you excel in normal times by stressing what’s needed the least, and then when we have an emergency and the need is greatest, you’re in financial trouble because you’re geared to do what’s profitable.”

    Greatest. Health. Care. in the World.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I love her but her political instincts are off by half a step. I say this as one who thinks endorsements are all but meaningless. But my political instincts are off by several steps.

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  17. Bill says:

    Florida business headline of the day-

    Winn-Dixie parent company pays for groceries of health care workers and first responders

    More than 1,000 Tampa Bay medical professionals were surprised with free food and essentials Monday night.

    That was very nice of the beef people.

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  18. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: @OzarkHillbilly: The only rationale that makes any sense is that she thought Bernie was more likely to hold a grudge than Biden.

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  19. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I read the article, or at least most of it, but kept having a disconnect. The “radical new theory” seems like what Nate Silver and others have been saying for quite a while. Maybe she was first? But it seems out that it is being portrayed as her against everyone else.

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  20. Michael Cain says:

    My state has citizen initiatives. I’ve never put in the effort to get real numbers, but my perception is certainly that there’s nothing like an initiative with strong feelings on both sides to increase voter turnout.

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  21. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I often go to a large Health Informatics trade show and it’s been interesting watching the evolution of informatics apps or services. A few years back I noticed a proliferation of a particular type of small but very well appointed booths staffed with very professional reps. It was hard to tell from the company name or the booth signage what exactly they did, but nonetheless they seemed to be having a good turnover of executive types coming in and there was something that just gave me the feel they were all in the same business. After some sleuthing I realized what they did. They helped hospitals and clinical practices identify their most and least profitable procedures, with the intention of pushing the less lucrative ones to the public hospitals.

    Best. Healthcare. In. The. World.

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  22. Michael Cain says:

    @MarkedMan: One of the things that got her a lot of interest this time around is that she was one of the few people in 2018 saying her model showed the Dems picking up 40+ House seats, and where those seats were likely to be.

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  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: That might well be what it is.

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  24. Kathy says:

    @steve:

    This would be like defunding the intelligence agencies after Pearl Harbor, because they got it wrong.

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  25. Bill says:

    The IRS doesn’t have my direct deposit information because since my and Dear wife’s 2015 tax return we have either

    1- Owed the IRS money
    2- If we were owed a refund, we filed a return asking it be applied to our next year’s taxes.

    That’s due to my ebook writing business.

    Both the news media and the IRS have been saying a web portal would soon be provided to people like myself so we could provide bank information in order to get our stimulus money direct deposited instead of having to wait for a check.

    The portal was up early this morning. I tried entering both my wife and my basic information (SS#, address, DOB) and was rejected every time. The message I received is that they had no information.

    Great!

    I just to use the portal now, but it must be overloaded at the moment by other filers because I am getting timed out.

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  26. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Cain: It was unfortunate the way the author chose to portray this. Rather than marveling at her prescience I kept feeling like she was trying to steal credit from others. But after a while I notices it didn’t seem to be her but rather the author.

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  27. Sleeping Dog says:

    U.S. Governors, at Center of Virus Response, Weigh What It Will Take to Reopen States

    Here in the north country, Maine, NH and VT are the tail of the Massachusetts dog, so whatever Charlie decides to do a day later, Phil, John and Janet will nod and say “let’s do it.” Whether any of these 3 decide to opt in the the northeast consortium will likely depend on whether participation will be a future political advantage.

    Some of the proposed groupings don’t make a lot of sense, Minnesota and Wisconsin, yes, but add Michigan? Except for the UP, which is easily geographically isolated, Michigan makes more sense to coordinate with Indiana.

    I suspect that the some states with rethug gov will follow Tiny’s lead, of course that gives them a scapegoat if the virus returns with a bang.

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  28. Bill says:

    @Kathy:

    This would be like defunding the intelligence agencies after Pearl Harbor, because they got it wrong.

    The CIA didn’t exist at the time but where would the United States be today if Joseph Rochefort and his cryptographers had all been defunded?

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  29. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: The podcast I recommended is much better, but it’s almost an hour and a half. I put in that article because it was a basic one that laid out some of what she was saying, and the most important part, which is that the ubiquitous framework the media views elections through, that it’s all all all about persuading a big group of swing voters with your best rational policies, is fundamentally nonsense. When you pick Tim Kaine to appeal to the Thomas Friedmans and Chuck Todds, most real voters don’t give a shit. Biden is going to pick a liberal woman of color, and it’s going to boost his turn out, but all the talking heads will complain that it doesn’t appeal to a white “swing voter” at the Denny’s in suburban Missouri, who was never really a swing voter in the first place. That doesn’t mean you just play to your base, but it does mean that the pool of voters who aren’t committed partisans is more heterogeneous and less moderate than the talking heads think.

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  30. Teve says:

    @Teve: and the Negative Partisanship is going to drive a shit ton of Democrats to the polls in November, which is why I’ve been saying for months that Trump doesn’t have a chance.

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  31. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @James Joyner:

    The only rationale that makes any sense is that she thought Bernie was more likely to hold a grudge than Biden.

    Or if there is something behind the scenes we don’t yet know about, regarding the VP stakes.

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  32. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve:

    If she allowed personal conversations to influence her work, she said, then “I would be a god-fucking awful quantitative scientist.”

    Does anyone ever suggest The Chuck Todds of the world pay more attention to data than to their last cocktail party conversation? Or is it a one way ratchet, like MAGA hatters never being asked to try to understand the other side?

    The current inability of so many people to grock what “exponential” means has led me to realize the innumerate, and I suspect Chuckles is one, suffer a sort of blindness, reinforced by a Dunning-Kruger sort of blindness to the existence of the blindness. On the flip side there can be a social blindness, but the current topic is Chuck Todds numerous failings.

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  33. Tyrell says:

    The WHO hassle. The US gives about $500 million to this world organization. Think of how that makes the US people feel who are out of work and face losing everything. Business owners wonder if they will be able to reopen. The WHO is ran by China and is a communist group. The WHO approved of China reopening their wet food markets where people are eating uncooked animals.
    Not one red cent of our tax money should go to the WHO or any of these world organizations.
    Buy American!

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  34. Gustopher says:

    @James Joyner:

    The only rationale that makes any sense is that she thought Bernie was more likely to hold a grudge than Biden.

    There are lots of rationales that make sense.

    She could think that Bernie has better policies but would make a worse president, so have been genuinely torn and hesitant to endorse either.

    She could have been on the phone to Bernie every three days after Biden’s victory was inevitable, saying “I love you, Bernie, but it’s time to face the facts on the ground.” Endorsing would have made that a very different conversation.

    Her dog Bailey might have eaten her endorsement speech. He eats everything… burritos, reporters notes, etc.

    Maybe she was saving the announcement to try to push Bernie out of the race if he went too negative. Keeping her powder dry, but never having to use it.

    During the decade that was March, she might have just thought that she must have made an endorsement somewhere in there.

    Lots of possibilities. Maybe her timing had less to do with maximum effect, and more to do with something else.

    Or maybe it wasn’t a playing chip that she was using for trading. Biden has already adopted her bankruptcy reform plans.

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  35. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve:

    Negative Partisanship is one part of her thesis.

    Which is why I’ve come around from wanting Warren to seeing Old Sleepy Joe as our best candidate. He won’t trigger R voters. On top of everything else, Warren, like Hillary, would trigger “traditional male” voters.

    When I say “our” I mean the front pagers and large majority of commenters here who are part of the reality based world. Bitecofer is interesting, but not new. I’ve been told for decades that people vote not on policy but on a perceived tribal allegiance. GOPs have defined themselves as the real ‘Muricans party while Ds have allowed themselves to be painted as the party of minorities and poor people. Ds have a chance here to redefine as the reality based party against the faith based party.

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  36. mattbernius says:

    @James Joyner:

    The only rationale that makes any sense is that she thought Bernie was more likely to hold a grudge than Biden.

    Or there might have been a concern about further splitting the progressive base.

    It will be interesting to see if we ever definitively learn about whether or not coordination went into the timing.

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  37. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Maybe she was first? But it seems out that it is being portrayed as her against everyone else.

    She has been incredibly strident about it, both claiming it as a new idea and claiming that it’s the be-all-end-all. It’s not just that getting your folks turned out matters more than flipping undecideds but that THERE ARE NO UNDECIDEDS AND IF YOU THINK OTHERWISE YOU’RE A FUCKING MORON.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Bill:

    The CIA didn’t exist at the time but where would the United States be today if Joseph Rochefort and his cryptographers had all been defunded?

    Small bit of trivia, since I mentioned innumeracy in discussing Chuck Todd above. The band from the Arizona were ashore when the attack hit. Some of them got assigned to Rochefort’s code breaking group as there’s a strong correlation between musical talent and math aptitude.

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Tyrell:
    That’s an excellent recitation of your Dear Leader’s talking points.
    Try thinking for your own self.

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  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    There is a lot of talk about opening up again.
    But it’s clear that we won’t have normal lives until there is a COVID-19 vaccine.
    So why aren’t we invoking the Presidential Powers Act to get to this crucial vaccine?
    It seems like every single pharmaceutical company should be focusing on nothing else, and working 224/7 on this, and I’m just not seeing, or sensing, that urgency.
    There are others here with more knowledge in this realm than I. What am I missing?

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  41. Bill says:

    @gVOR08:

    strong correlation between musical talent and math aptitude.

    Are you telling me the reason I’m so good at doing multiplication in my head is because I can play the baritone horn?

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  42. Tyrell says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Thanks for your response. Actually I got that from a local am radio morning talk show. Has WHO inspected the wet food markets of China? The US should send a team over there to inspect those markets; in which people are consuming raw animals.
    With the shambles that our economy is now in, with people out of work and watching their savings disappear; our leaders should take a hard look at every cent that goes out to any of these world organizations, or other countries. What are we getting for it? I am not saying that the whole framework and history of the WHO is bad, but until we see them distancing themselves from China, then no more money. We need to look at every way that China is in our economic structure: investments, economy, entertainment, sports, whatever. I am now checking everything before I buy it. No more supporting China.
    Thanks again.

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  43. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: I honestly couldn’t tell if he was joking.

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  44. @Teve: This is not that different than what I have been saying here at OTB for years (and often get a lot of push-back from self-identified independents).

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  45. @Tyrell:

    The WHO hassle. The US gives about $500 million to this world organization. Think of how that makes the US people feel who are out of work and face losing everything. Business owners wonder if they will be able to reopen. The WHO is ran by China and is a communist group. The WHO approved of China reopening their wet food markets where people are eating uncooked animals.
    Not one red cent of our tax money should go to the WHO or any of these world organizations.
    Buy American!

    This is ridiculously simplistic but explains why Trump thinks he can make hay by blaming WHO and pulling funding.

    WHO deserves plenty of criticism and clearly has kowtowed to the Chinese government. The notion, however, that pulling funding of a public health organization during a global pandemic is good idea is utter foolishness. And, further, if there is real concern about Chinese influence we are giving up our influence by pulling funding (funding IS influence).

    Also: if you think that money is somehow going to flow to somewhere along the lines you have described, you simply don’t understand how the budget works.

    You are allowing propaganda to influence your thinking.

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  46. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Bottom line is that vaccines don’t make a lot of money and attract a lot of attention from lunatics. It’s not an area that a company would have a good ROI if they didn’t already have sunk costs in place. So no incentive. You can talk about civic duty but that’s not what our system is based on.

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  47. MarkedMan says:

    So I go back and forth on how I think about a certain frequent poster here. For months I was certain that he was a traditional troll in that he would say ridiculous things just to get people riled up. But then in the last month or so he seemed to be just chewing the fat like anyone else. And then today he starts spouting again and just posted above with some Ken M Level sh*t. What do you guys think?

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  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tyrell: Get your head out of Hannity’s ass. Or is it Carlson’s? Ingraham’s?

    ETA:

    @Tyrell: Actually I got that from a local am radio morning talk show.

    Oh my GAWD, AM talk radio is even worse!

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  49. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Bill:

    Are you telling me the reason I’m so good at doing multiplication in my head is because I can play the baritone horn?

    No, it’s because you are a nerd.

    Am I wrong? 🙂

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  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: He is probably in quarantine listening to Sinclair AM radio 24/7 and this is what his head has been jammed full of.

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  51. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And, further, if there is real concern about Chinese influence we are giving up our influence by pulling funding (funding IS influence).

    Wikipedia claims the WHO’s budget to be around $4.5 billion. China could easily fund it for that much, scoring a HUGE propaganda victory against El Cheeto.

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  52. Kit says:

    @MarkedMan:

    What do you guys think?

    He’s been here for many years. If it’s an act, then it’s one that requires The Prestige-level dedication.

    I find it more interesting to speculate if he’s the alter ego of one of the regulars. But who?

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  53. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kit: But who?

    Not me. I don’t have that much energy.

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  54. Teve says:

    @Kit: yeah I’m currently sock puppeting on a creationist board, because the movement creationists are entertainingly clueless and stupid. I don’t have the mental bandwidth to be both commenting and sock puppeting here too.

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  55. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, but it’s good news for Tyrell. Schmuck Down is on his Friday Night must see TV list.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: This was the one thing I was iffy about with Warren. Because she’s so heavily into research first so we get the thing right, she also tends to be behind the curve. Even in consumer protection, she only seems ahead of the curve because nobody in Congress gives a fwk about protecting anything other than capital.

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  57. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Teve:
    The shock reveal of the season will be when Doug weighs in! Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?

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  58. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Would it happen to be that the east side of San Jose is also where most of the blacks and Hispanics live?

    Asking for a friend.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Please remember that all of the talking heads are white moderate to conservative and mostly male and that what they want is colored (pun intended) accordingly. The whole “pool of voters that is non partisan” thing is smoke and mirrors. They don’t care whether such a pool of voters exist or not; it’s a useful fiction–just like tax cuts for “job creation.”

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    a local am radio morning talk show.

    Which one? Dennis Praeger, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or Armstrong and Getty?

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  61. CSK says:

    If it were anyone but Trump, I’d say this would be unbelievable:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/us/trump-radio-show-rush-limbaugh.html

    I’m imagining the people who would have called in…semi-literate QAnon enthusiasts.

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  62. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I don’t think the talking heads are conniving, I think they’re just not very smart, and believing that elections hinge on well-informed white people who carefully weigh policy choices and aren’t committed partisans is how they think of themselves.

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  63. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So no incentive.

    That’s EXACTLY what the Defense Production Act is for!!!
    We should be all hands on deck trying to get to a vaccine.
    I just don’t get why this isn’t happening.
    We will not get to normal without widespread vaccinations.
    Big Pharma has been raping us for decades…time for payback.

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  64. Teve says:

    @CSK:

    On Friday, a caller from Prescott, Ariz., wondered if experts were urging the shutdown of the economy as a way to model the potential effects of legislation intended to combat climate change. “Isn’t this kind of like a dry run of the Green New Deal?” he asked.

    We can’t reason with these idiots, we just have to outvote them.

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  65. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Well, as somebody said, Trump could host an 8-hour-a-day radio program talking about the models he nailed and he wouldn’t lose his base.

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  66. Kathy says:

    really good XKCD cartoon.

    “Brains are the worst.”

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  67. Kurtz says:

    @Tyrell:

    With the shambles that our economy is now in, with people out of work and watching their savings disappear; our leaders should take a hard look at every cent that goes out to any of these world organizations, or other countries. What are we getting for it? I am not saying that the whole framework and history of the WHO is bad, but until we see them distancing themselves from China, then no more money. We need to look at every way that China is in our economic structure: investments, economy, entertainment, sports, whatever. I am now checking everything before I buy it. No more supporting China.
    Thanks again.

    So are you going to throw your phone away? Your computer? All your other tech?

    This may seem like snark, and if you choose to take it that way, fine. But the reality is that even if you move product manufacturing somewhere else, components and raw materials are going to, in some way, go through the Chinese economy.

    One more thing on this: whether it is a talk radio host or a TV commentator, their bluster about China is disingenuous at best or outright hypocritical at worst. Unless they are keeping their money in the freezer, they are in some way invested in China either directly or indirectly.

    Historically, during periods of rapid globalization, the societies that close themselves off to the world find themselves falling behind economically.

    You’re being played for a fool. Why make it easy?

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  68. Kathy says:

    Interesting news out of Italy: using plasma containing COVID-19 antibodies from people who’ve recovered, or perhaps were asymptomatic, to treat those who are ill.

    Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Of course, it will take time. Of course, it may not even work.

    And if it’s like donating blood platelets, then it’s rather cumbersome process that takes a fair bit of time and needs to be done at a hospital.

    I’ve done that twice. You get two lines, one in each arm. One draws out blood to a centrifuge-type machine, which separates the platelets, and I assume other cells and some plasma. That’s collected in one bag. The rest goes to the other line and goes back in your body (essentially you get transfused with most of your own blood).

    It’s done this way because there aren’t many platelets per liter of blood. The second time, the doctor assured me not all my blood got run through the machine. Still, it’s a bit unsettling to think most of your blood was, at different times, outside your body.

    Just don’t let the orange toddler see this. He may conclude it’s the miracle cure, and the only one, and overhype it before any meaningful results are in. I can see someone who recovered try a DIY transfusion on their sick friend or relative, and killing them because they didn’t take blood types into account, or introduced some other infection, or something even worse.

    Lastly, I wonder, assuming this works, whether it’s a one-time deal. You can donate blood, and blood platelets, many times over the course of your life, because your bone marrow makes new blood cells every day. I don’t know whether the immune system makes more antibodies for past infectious agents often, or at all.

    If not, then it’s one and done. Also, would donating your SARS-COV-2 antibodies, assuming you’ve recovered or were asymptomatic, leave you (more) vulnerable to reinfection? Or would you retain enough to keep you protected, at least for a while?

    I wonder if antibodies can be made in the lab…

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: That actually might it worthwhile to check out a creationist board…

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  70. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Oh, I should have been more clear. I agree there is no business incentive, so the DPA makes perfect sense here.

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  71. Tyrell says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I think all of those are syndicated. I seldom listen to syndicated radio programs.
    The radio programs I listen to are local.
    I do listen to NPR and Westwood 1 though.

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  72. Kurtz says:

    @Tyrell:

    I can’t speak definitvely about this, because I don’t know where you live. But the number of independent local radio stations, particularly on the AM band, is microscopic. Truly local radio is rare.

    Does that mean that radio stations are beholden editorially? Not necessarily. But lack of syndication doesn’t confer credibility on its own.

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  73. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: those boards were really roiling before 2005, hundreds of commenters, thousands of comments, a lot of activity. I hang out on the biology discussion board that I help moderate where we used to check in every day on just one particular site and it was enough to keep us entertained.

    The boards were busy because the creationists in the late 80s and early 90s hit on a new tactic. In the 1980s there were a couple of important supreme court cases (McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, Edwards v. Aguillard) that held creationism was religion and can’t be taught as science in a science class.

    So they hit on a brilliant strategy. They started calling themselves Intelligent Design Theorists, and changed everything from “Creation” to “Design” and “Creator” to “Intelligent Designer” etc. etc. and they published some books with a whole bunch of fake math showing that evolution was impossible, and created a fake science journal and everything.

    In 2005, their stupid scheme crashed and burned in a federal courthouse in Dover Pennsylvania, and now they’re a pathetic shadow of their former selves.

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  74. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: The only major intelligent design discussion board that’s really still functioning is Uncommon Descent. Most of the people who used to comment there before and up to 2005, saw the writing on the wall after the court case disaster and have bailed, but there are a handful of dead enders left who are just the dumbest motherfuckers on the planet.

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  75. Teve says:
  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I have trouble imagining that Trump has nailed enough models in his lifetime to even fill an hour of radio programming and that he’s not clever enough to adlib about it for more time.

    He might not lose his base, but his audience wouldn’t last the week. He couldn’t even hold the audience year on year for The Apprentice and that had a lot more going for it than this would.

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: You have actual live local talk radio in the mornings where you live? Color me skeptical.

    ReplyReply
  78. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yeah, I have trouble imagining him getting anything he didn’t pay for–bigly. But he’s a known fabulist.

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  79. MarkedMan says:

    From the WaPo just now:

    In mid-March, a National Security Council team rushed to address what they saw as a threat to the U.S. government’s ability to function amid the advancing pandemic: a lack of masks to protect enough staff on the White House complex.
    Alarmed by the small cache and the growing signs of an acute shortage of protective gear in the United States, a senior NSC official turned to a foreign government for help, according to people familiar with the situation.
    The effort resulted in a donation of hundreds of thousands of surgical masks from Taiwan, which had plentiful domestic production and had sharply curtailed the spread of the coronavirus on the island.

    The urgent appeal to Taiwan on March 14 highlights a stark conflict between the Trump administration’s stance then on the use of masks and the race behind the scenes to obtain them for key White House personnel. At the time, the U.S. government was discouraging the public from wearing masks, saying that healthy people didn’t need them and that the gear should be saved for front-line medical workers most at risk of infection.

    As I said on another thread, this kind of stuff motivates Biden’s base but will not demotivate Trump’s base. It’s not exactly that they find this stuff acceptable, it’s just not the type of thing that they pay attention too.

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  80. Jax says:

    Did anybody notice Trump’s hair is now grey? A lot of my hairstylist friends have commented that even Trump’s hairdresser is out of work!

    It looks better, personally, and it looks like he’s rationing his orange makeup. A bunch of the “Women for Trump” people should blow up the internet telling him how much better it looks! 😉

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  81. inhumans99 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Yup, what part of “World” Health Organization do Conservatives not understand? Multiple countries contribute to their budget and help influence their day to day operations. President Trump does this all the time…pulls out of something because Tucker Carlson or Boo Boo Bear, or whatever bobble head he was listening too on tv tells him it is a good idea and it is not a surprise that he has turned the U.S. into a country that people laugh at.

    He abandons the Kurds and any desire to keep even a token force in the Syria adjacent areas, so Turkey and Russia step in to fill the void, and then he wonders why Turkey and Russia look at him funny when he says Jump and expects them to say how high? And they would listen to Trump, why?

    He pulls out of the Paris Accords and then grumbles when other countries do not want to do the same along with joining him in ignoring the crisis that is global warming. These countries should listen to Trump, why?

    He pulls out of the Iran Peace Treaty and then wonders why Iran does not listen to him when he says stop developing nukes and conventional missiles and any military stuff. He then gets further confused when we start to poke at Iran and they poke back (bet the U.S. Military Generals are still a bit stunned that when Iran said knock off taunting us or we will push back that they actually fired missiles at our troops and seemed willing to go to war with the U.S. until President Trump said uhh…maybe we took things too far no need for us to lob missiles at each other, President Trump being clueless that Iran was serious when saying they would hit back at our provocations I understand, but our Generals really should have known better, and I bet James agrees with me on that score). Iran should listen to Trump, why?

    He goes tariff crazy and then gets annoyed when these countries retaliate w/tariffs of their own…and these countries should just follow President Trumps’ orders, why?

    He basically pulls out of NAFTA and then gets annoyed when the effected countries basically say hey dude, you better create some sort of new agreement or it won’t just jack up our economy but yours too…bigly, and so he cobbles together a NAFTA 2.0 type agreement suspiciously similar to what he abandoned, and these countries should listen to President Trump, why?

    Tyrell, I have a feeling I could hang with you IRL if me met but I definitely think the rule of not talking about politics or religion in any conversation we would have would need to be enforced. We could talk about tons of other stuff though.

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  82. Mister Bluster says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:..@Tyrell: You have actual live local talk radio in the mornings where you live? Color me skeptical.

    For what it’s worth there is a live local talk radio program here in Southern Illinois on
    WJPF 1340 AM from 6am to 9am Mon-Fri.
    Meet Tom Miller. If you are interested you can catch his shtick on the internet via
    Radio-Locator.
    Miller has been around for years. While he is of a conservative bent the interviews he conducts with local, state and federal office holders and other citizens of all stripes are dispassionate, informative and entertaining.
    WJPF call sign is Williamson, Jackson, Perry and Franklin counties with a combined population of 186,361.
    Old Studio.

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  83. DrDaveT says:

    @Tyrell:

    The US gives about $500 million to this world organization.

    Yeah, that $3 per family per year is really bleeding America dry. [Insert eye roll here.]

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  84. Teve says:

    I mean, aside from helping eradicate smallpox, the world health organization has helped reduce polio by 99% globally, tuberculosis by 50%, HIV drastically, malaria drastically, developed test kits for things like Covid-19, vaccinated literally hundreds of millions of people against rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, measles…

    Which has a side benefit, by the way, of not having a lot of the 80 million international visitors to the US every year infected with something bad and contagious.

    That $3 spent by the average American family might have the highest ROI of any money ever spent anywhere.

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  85. @inhumans99:

    He basically pulls out of NAFTA

    One correction here (but I agree with the general tenor of your comment): we ended up tweaking NAFTA and renaming it.

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  86. So, if you click here, it doesn’t work?

    ReplyReply
  87. The Q says:

    The Rules:

    1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.

    2. Masks are useless, but maybe you have to wear one, it can save you, it is useless, but maybe it is mandatory as well.

    3. Stores are closed, except those that are open.

    4. You should not go to hospitals unless you have to go there. Same applies to doctors, you should only go there in case of emergency, provided you are not too sick.

    5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster.

    6. Gloves won’t help, but they can still help.

    7. Everyone needs to stay HOME, but it’s important to GO OUT.

    8. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.

    9. The virus has no effect on children except those it affects.

    10. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested, plus a few tigers here and there…

    11. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms. Oh, my..

    12. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have on hand and it’s better not to go out, well, but no…

    13. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you get looked at very wrong when you get some fresh air, and most importantly, you don’t go to parks or walk. But don’t sit down, except that you can do that now if you are old, but not for too long or if you are pregnant (but not too old).

    14. You can’t go to retirement homes, but you have to take care of the elderly and bring food and medication.

    15. If you are sick, you can’t go out, but you can go to the pharmacy.

    16. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to have your groceries decontaminated outside for 3 hours. Pizza too?

    17. Every disturbing article or disturbing interview starts with ” I don’t want to trigger panic, but…”

    18. You can’t see your older mother or grandmother, but you can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver.

    19. You can walk around with a friend but not with your family if they don’t live under the same roof.

    20. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance.

    21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.

    22. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.

    23. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of…

    24. We have no treatment, except that there may be one that apparently is not dangerous unless you take too much (which is the case with all medications).

    25. We should stay locked up until the virus disappears, but it will only disappear if we achieve collective immunity, so when it circulates… but we must no longer be locked up for that?

    ReplyReply
  88. de stijl says:

    @The Q:

    That was a big list, and heavily editorialized.

    You are dying to go there, so just say it.

    ReplyReply

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