First Day of October Forum

Welcome to Thursday.

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

Comments

  1. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:
  3. CSK says:

    According to Gabriel Sherman at Vanity Fair, the Trump family is concerned that Brad Parscale will start talking.

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: Gee, Brad Raffensperger is a Republican. Not like he doesn’t have an interest in pushing the false accusation of voter fraud or anything. Not like his predecessor at all. Yeah, I want to see the “evidence” before I take this as anything more than the outright BS it most likely is.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The EU has launched legal action against the UK after Boris Johnson failed to respond to Brussels’ demand that he drop legislation that would overwrite the withdrawal agreement and break international law.

    Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, announced that the UK had been put on formal notice over the internal market bill tabled by the prime minister last month.

    Brussels had given Johnson until the end of September to ditch the contentious clauses in the draft legislation, and Von der Leyen said the deadline had lapsed.

    By seeking to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement signed last year with Brussels, the UK had failed to live up to its obligations to act in “good faith”, Von der Leyen said.

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  6. sam says:
  7. charon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    By seeking to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement signed last year with Brussels, the UK had failed to live up to its obligations to act in “good faith”, Von der Leyen said.

    BoJo/Tories really are a bunch of Trump/GOP mini-mes.

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  8. Northerner says:

    @charon:

    BoJo/Tories really are a bunch of Trump/GOP mini-mes.

    Are they trying to get rid of the British public health system? Allow armed police shoot anyone who has a 10% chance of being a threat? Are they suggesting increasing the size of Britain’s nuclear forces? Trying to get rid of abortion rights? Get rid of gun control? Introduce creationism into the British school system? Deny global climate change? Are they for the death penalty? Are they against same sex marriage? They’ve still got a very long way to go to match the GOP.

    The gap between American conservatives and conservatives almost everywhere else is huge. What is normal for American conservatives is bat sh*t crazy radical for most other conservatives. There really should be a different word for American conservatives — for one thing they don’t seem to be trying to conserve anything, but want to move to some imaginary past.

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  9. Jon says:

    @Northerner:

    There really should be a different word for American conservatives

    We have one, “Assholes”, but for some reason the media won’t use it.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Northerner: There really should be a different word for American conservatives —

    N… N… N… Na… Na… Na… Na… Dammit, it’s right on the tip of my tongue.

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  11. mattbernius says:

    @Bill:

    Inquiry shows 1,000 Georgians may have voted twice, but no conspiracy

    This shows the issues with focusing on headlines and not clicking further. I gave the article a quick scene and here are high level points:

    1. This happened in the 2020 Primary. So not in a general. That said, Georgia is an open primary state.
    2. It was a low percentage of the overall votes – 0.04% of all 2.4 million votes cast in the primary.
    3. It was largely folks who sent in absentee ballots, though some folks did attempt to vote early and then again on primary day.
    4. It was not restricted to primarily one party or the other. The split was approximately 60% voting in democrat primary and 40% voting in republican primary
    5. Some people voted twice to “test the system.”
    6. There is a good chance that most of the double voting was due to… drum roll please… the President casting doubt on the validity of mail-in voting — who would think
    7. They are updating the system to better guard against double voting in the general

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  12. CSK says:

    @sam:
    Thank you. That was great.

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  13. Scott says:

    Study Finds ‘Single Largest Driver’ of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump

    Of the flood of misinformation, conspiracy theories and falsehoods seeding the internet on the coronavirus, one common thread stands out: President Trump.

    That is the conclusion of researchers at Cornell University who analyzed 38 million articles about the pandemic in English-language media around the world. Mentions of Mr. Trump made up nearly 38 percent of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic” — falsehoods involving the pandemic.

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  14. Scott says:

    Talking Out of Both Sides Department:

    White Supremacists, Domestic Terrorists Pose Biggest Threat Of ‘Lethal Violence’ This Election, DHS Assessment Finds

    As the Trump administration continues to publicly downplay the role of the far-right in inciting violence, a recent Department of Homeland Security assessment leaked to The Nation describes “lone offender white supremacist extremists” as posing “the greatest threat of lethal violence” in the 2020 election.

    DHS Memo Told Officials to Make Comments Favorable to Kenosha Shooting Suspect

    Federal law enforcement officials were directed to make public comments sympathetic to Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager charged with fatally shooting two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to internal Department of Homeland Security talking points obtained by NBC News.

    In preparing Homeland Security officials for questions about Rittenhouse from the media, the document suggests that they note that he “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners.”

    Another set of talking points distributed to Homeland Security officials said the media were incorrectly labeling the group Patriot Prayer as racists after clashes erupted between the group and protesters in Portland, Oregon

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  15. Michael Cain says:

    @mattbernius: I stand by my prediction that there will be a couple of states that are trying to go from small percentages of vote by mail to large percentages that are going to have disasters. GA was on my mental list of possibilities, as are MI and PA. The biggest risk in all of them is a late rush of mail ballot requests that simply can’t be processed in a timely fashion.

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  16. mattbernius says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Honestly, I would put just about every state on that list (with the exception of the States who have been actively doing Vote By Mail for years). Our election infrastructure is an absolute shitshow and experts have been warning of this for years.

    Even looking at this Brookings chart (https://www.brookings.edu/research/voting-by-mail-in-a-pandemic-a-state-by-state-scorecard/) I see a lot of “B” states, like my own New York, that are already experiencing issues with a system that was not designed for this sort of load.

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  17. BugManDan says:

    @mattbernius: Some of the people also checked the website that tells if your ballot has been received or not and found that it said that it had not and because GA is a state that requires all ballots to be received by the end of election day, they decided that they needed to go to the polls.

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  18. Jen says:

    Someone went through our little hamlet and stole/destroyed yard signs for Democratic candidates last night, and people who disagree with Chrissy Tiegen’s political views are trolling her on social media after *she lost a child.*

    People are horrible and I just don’t feel like dealing today.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: Maybe this will help:

    Tia A. Ewing@TIA_EWING

    This made my day!

    dakara_spence
    So I just hired this young girl and this was her response.

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  20. Michael Cain says:

    @mattbernius: I believe that NV is an exception. But in NV, the legislature held a special session and put in a real vote by mail system for this year. They changed the important dates, they made the critical decision that all registered voters would receive ballots by mail without requesting one, and they provided a bunch of additional funding for counties to acquire necessary equipment and services. I expect their election will go smoothly. And I expect that during the next session, the legislature will make the arrangements permanent. Certainly the experience in other western states has been that once you give the voters a well thought out VBM system, it is so popular that taking it back is politically impossible.

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  21. Kathy says:

    Breeze airways, the latest brain child of David Neeleman is set to begin operations in 2021.

    This is the most secretive publicized airline launch I can recall. The announced business model is for point-to-point flights between smaller, under-served markets, but there’s no info on which these cities/towns are, nor any scheduling information. Speculation is that it will be like Allegiant, but with better seats.

    What is notable is Neeleman intends to make it, eventually, an all A220 airline. They’ll begin flying E-195s acquired or leased from Azul, another of Neeleman’s children, because it will be some months before they begin to even get any A220s delivered, and years before they form a fleet.

    Neeleman has been very successful founding airlines, like WestJet, Jet Blue, and Azul. Given his track record, he’s worth taking seriously.

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: The announced business model is for point-to-point flights between smaller, under-served markets

    Color me skeptical.

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  23. KM says:

    @Jen:
    So much for pro-life. God, the asshats that worship MAGA really love letting their inner jerk free, don’t they? Ginsberg wasn’t dead a day and they were slandering her and hawking merch ripping off her legacy for the crisis they plan to cause. It’s like they have no real respect for life or people in general…..

    Sincere thoughts and prayers for their loss. No one deserves to have their pain mocked and the loss of a child is one of the worst things a parent can go through.

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  24. CSK says:

    Candice Parscale is now denying that her husband hit her. She says she was “misconstrued.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/2020/09/30/brad-parscale-stepping-down-trump-campaign-424069

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  25. KM says:

    @CSK:
    Isn’t she on bodycam or the 911 (both?) call stating he hit her? You can def see bruises on her in the video they’ve released of his takedown – I mean, she’s in a bikini and they’re in plain view!

    Wonder who decided to lean on her and make her try to change her story?

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  26. Scott says:

    Here’s a headline that made me laugh:

    Irish court rules Subway bread is not bread

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  27. CSK says:

    @KM:
    I’ve been wondering the same thing. She may have had some pressure applied to her to stick with her husband and retract the story about Parscale striking her.

    I don’t know anything about Florida domestic violence law, but if she refuses to testify against her husband, there may not be much the authorities can do.

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  28. CSK says:

    @Scott:
    I agree with the Irish court. It’s Styrofoam.
    Subway = The World’s Worst Sandwiches.

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  29. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That was adorable, thank you for sharing!

    @Scott: The Irish court is correct. Subway’s bread is gross and has a strange smell to it.

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  30. Kathy says:

    Remember those positive for COVID-19 Titans players and staff? This has led to their week 4 game against Pittsburgh to be postponed for Monday or Tuesday.

    We’ll see what happens if more positive cases turn up.

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  31. charon says:

    @Northerner:

    It’s the attitude and ethics that are similar. As you point out, they are working within a different system, different environment.

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  32. charon says:

    @mattbernius:

    Even looking at this Brookings chart (https://www.brookings.edu/research/voting-by-mail-in-a-pandemic-a-state-by-state-scorecard/) I see a lot of “B” states, like my own New York, that are already experiencing issues with a system that was not designed for this sort of load.

    I don’t know how realistic the other scores are, but a grade of “C” for Arizona is outlandish.

    In 2018 roughly 74% of all ballots in AZ were vote by mail.

    In AZ, there is a website where you can be put on the PEVL – the Permanent Early Voting List, which means that 30 days before every election you are automatically mailed a ballot, I have been getting them and voting by mail for many years now.

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  33. CSK says:

    Trump is requiring the food aid boxes that go out to needy families include a letter from him claiming credit for the program.

    If one can be simultaneously pathetic and loathsome, he is.

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  34. Kathy says:

    Moderna says its vaccine won’t be ready for mass distribution until Spring 2021.

    IF it proves to be safe and most important IF it proves to be effective.

    I seriously doubt even Trump will dare announce an effective vaccine if one isn’t available. But then, he’s the guy who promoted hydroxychloroquine as a cure (it isn’t), and made a very big deal about convalescent plasma (it’s unclear yet how much or whether it helps). So he may just push some kind of saline solution and claim it’s effective.

    Of course, there are other vaccines in Phase 3 trials. But Moderna’s and Oxford’s (with Aztra Seneca) are the ones most advanced as regards testing in trials. If those won’t be ready soon, neither will the others.

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  35. inhumans99 says:

    @CSK:

    Profoundly sad that she is stuck in the battered wife loop w/her husband. FFS they have her on video and camera and even the police immediately noticed the bruises. It will be made even worse because the soulless GOP will try to claim that Democratic efforts to hurt Trump via Brad and his wife failed, but the real victim in this is Brad’s wife and I just have to put the depressing thought out of my mind that down the road she may end up being part of a much grimmer news story.

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  36. MarkedMan says:

    Just in case you have any questions about who the proud boys are. It’s not just Trump who supports them. These are the groups all the Republicans are talking about when they start going off on how “conservatives” are being censored by social media.

    And the OP makes a scary point: those of us old enough remember the last time the Republicans embraced these thugs. That was in the 90’s and they called themselves militias and it ended up with two of them blowing up a building full of men, women, children and infants in Oklahoma City.

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  37. Michael Cain says:

    @charon: Yep, I thought the same thing about Arizona. Permanent mail ballot list that covers ~80% of voters, plenty of experience doing heavy VBM… I’d give them at least a B. I’d only give Nevada a B myself. They put in a well-designed system and funded it, but this is their first general election and they started late (compared to HI, who started over a year ago).

    Edit to add: Similarly for Montana, where there’s a permanent VBM list with >70% participation, and NM who doesn’t have a permanent list but still routinely has >60% VBM.

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  38. Kathy says:

    Like many others these days, I’ve been thinking about immunity a lot.

    I think we’re making a mistake talking about the immune system. Evolution proceeds by random mutations and natural selection, and this includes the immune “system.” All descriptions of how the body’s defenses against pathogens work, tend to anthropomorphize cells and tissues and proteins, IMO. As when you read that an infected cells puts out chemical signals to ask for help, and then killer T cells rush to destroy the cell.

    We should think more of random adaptations that worked well enough to be passed on through reproduction. So if an infected cell, for whatever reason, does release X chemicals, then those people whose T cells destroy them are more likely to survive an infection, and thus more likely to be alive long enough to reproduce, etc.

    I’ve often thought if/when we learn to effectively manipulate genes and other bodily control mechanisms, one goal should be to build a better set of defenses against pathogens, a true immune system. A real mechanism with set goals and actual cooperative functions. This is not quite what we have, as can be seen with autoimmune disorders and allergies.

    For instance, what if your immune adaptations could tell between foreign cells that are attacking your body, versus ones that are helping it? Suppose, for example, it were smart enough not to attack a transplanted organ, or a peanut protein.

    You could go even further. Suppose your immune system knew what levels of glucose are too high, or what levels of cholesterol are harmful, and were capable of removing the excess? That would require some sort of CPU to coordinate things, hardly something that occurs organically in nature.

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  39. CSK says:

    @inhumans99:
    I’ve seen a few Trumpkins try to blame Candice for making up the story on the grounds that she’s “bitter,” but most of them seem to be avoiding it entirely, instead sending their prayers to Brad for his “healing.”

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  40. al Ameda says:

    @Bill:
    Okay, so now DeSantis can file for bankruptcy protection, right?

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  41. Jen says:

    @Kathy: There is a lot we don’t yet know/understand about how immunity works. First, we now know there are two immune system responses, innate and adaptive. There’s also considerable evidence beginning to mount for a separate gut immune response that has a lot to do with the bacterial communities we provide homes for.

    We continue to find more out about how DNA affects responses too, such as this article about Neanderthal DNA playing a possible role in poor covid-response cases.

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  42. charon says:

    @Kathy:

    You could go even further. Suppose your immune system knew what levels of glucose are too high, or what levels of cholesterol are harmful, and were capable of removing the excess? That would require some sort of CPU to coordinate things, hardly something that occurs organically in nature.

    The brain and gut control glucose but insulin resistance can impair the control. Substances like cholesterol and Vitamin D are controlled also.

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  43. inhumans99 says:

    CSK, someone should ask them if they think Candice made sure to apply makeup that made it look like bruises on her body, and if she had a script all set up to help make sure her panicky words to the police came off sounding like the right things to say in the situation she found herself in.

    I am trying to say that the Trumpkins you are speaking off make it sound like she is as devious/diabolical as the woman in Gone Girl (never read book, but watched the film a couple years back and it was great) which is just nuts. I would like to think we have reached peak crazy with the GOP’s embrace of Trump but I am not so sure that is case.

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  44. Kingdaddy says:

    @CSK: Seems fair…As long as every member of Congress gets to include a letter in each food aid box, too.

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  45. CSK says:

    @inhumans99:
    In order to be a true Trumpkin, you have to be like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland and be able to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

    Sure, it’s entirely possible that Candice painted the bruises on herself and drew up a script based on a false narrative of abuse. She’s probably a Democrat plant.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    Oh, no. The credit belongs entirely to Donald.

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  47. KM says:

    @CSK:
    The problem the “making it up” crowd has is she’s clearly injured and the cops visibly react to the injuries. If they’re not a result of recent DV, then how did they get there? Bruises like that on a woman’s upper arms are almost universally a sign they’ve been grabbed / assaulted – it’s really hard to whack yourself there and even then the bruises will look different then one inflicted by another. I can attest to this as a female epeeist; I’m constantly ending up with wicked dark bruises on my upper right arm and they look nothing like an accidental brush-up with a door or cabinet. They look like someone hit me (technically stabbed but ymmv) because somebody *did* and have gotten me questions about DV before. I suppose you could claim she was hit by a third party and Brad’s drunken antics are unrelated but that’s quite the stretch given there’s no other evidence to support a 3rd party’s existence in this scenario. Cops on scene clearly came to the same conclusion that Brad smacked her around so Occam’s Razor is in play here.

    What’s she supposed to be “bitter” about anyways? Are they ascribing a cause or the general bitches-be-lyin’ excuse?

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  48. CSK says:

    @KM:
    I think they’re so eager to see Parscale as a hero instead of just another shady operator that they’ll blame anyone, even his wife, for his problems.

    But, as I say, this is only a few Trumpkins. The rest are ignoring the whole issue of spousal abuse, because they probably know it’s true, but they can’t bring themselves to acknowledge it any more than they can acknowledge that Trump is a self-confessed serial pussy-grabber.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Oh, sure. What we don’t know and/or understand dwarfs what we do know or understand.

    What is amazing is how much we’ve learned in the last 300 years or so. But for all that, we’re just getting started.

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  50. Jen says:

    OMG.

    Kaleigh Maca-ninny said today of Coney Barrett “She is also a Rhodes Scholar.”

    Amy Coney Barrett did not receive a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford, she went to Rhodes College in Tennessee.

    These people.

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  51. Kathy says:

    @charon:

    The brain and gut control glucose but insulin resistance can impair the control. Substances like cholesterol and Vitamin D are controlled also.

    The problem, if we can label it such, is that our environment has changed faster than we have evolved. So what we eat and drink is not what the body has adapted for. Worse, since we control the environment, we keep changing it to suit our tastes, regardless of what it does to our health, even when we’re aware of it.

    I don’t buy the notion that our bodies are 100% the same as those of our remote hunter-gatherer ancestors. Not after millennia of agriculture. Nor is genetic evolution the only type of adaptation (see how the human body attempts to adapt to weightless conditions in space).

    But for all that, there is way too much glucose* in today’s diet which we’ve not adapted to. Innate control mechanisms don’t always cope well enough.

    *Try as an exercise to read the ingredient labels in packaged foods. you’ll find sugar, corn syrup, fructose, and other such things even in things you’d swear need no sugar, such as hot sauce.

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  52. Gustopher says:

    @KM:

    What’s she supposed to be “bitter” about anyways?

    Her husband beating her…

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  53. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    As is often the case, a thought-provoking comment. You’re right, the ‘system’ is more like random platoons and brigades fighting a war enthusiastically but without coordination, strategy. Imagine how much more effective it might be if all those disparate forces had a good general.

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  54. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy

    Just for you: The special in the deli today is “Tater Tot-chos”. Nachos made with tater tots. 😀

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  55. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I wonder how she’ll explain away that one.

    @Mu Yixiao:
    My stomach heaved when I read that.

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  56. Mu Yixiao says:

    Yesterday I saw this sign in the window of a business in town.

    Governor Evers issued an individual mask mandate on July 30th, 2020 requiring that masks be worn inside all public buildings as of August 1, 2020 at 8:00 am.

    If you are not wearing a mask when you enter, we will assume you have a medical reason for not doing so.

    Federal HIPPA laws and the 4th Amendment prohibit us from asking.

    PLEASE make every effort to stay safe bysocial distancing, sanitizing often and washing your hands.

    (emphasis in original)

    This business is owned by a WI state representative.

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  57. Jen says:

    @CSK: She shrugged and said something along the lines of “my bad,” and then I think I also heard “you got me.” She didn’t really seem to care.

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  58. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I’m not entirely sure that’s accurate. I believe private businesses can, in fact, ask for documentation of a medical condition if an individual is seeking an accommodation based on that–most common example is bringing a service dog into a location that serves prepared foods, like a restaurant or grocery store.

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  59. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    But for all that, there is way too much glucose* in today’s diet which we’ve not adapted to. Innate control mechanisms don’t always cope well enough

    For which see @Scott:. Staple foods, such as bread, are exempt from the Irish VAT. Subway bread contains so much sugar it’s classed as a confection, not bread.

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  60. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Is the misspelling of HIPAA in the original as well as the emphasis?

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  61. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    I’m not entirely sure that’s accurate.

    It’s entirely wrong. That’s my point.

    Covered entities under HIPAA include health plans, healthcare providers, and healthcare clearinghouses. Health plans include health insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, government programs that pay for healthcare (Medicare for example), and military and veterans’ health programs.

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  62. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Gustopher: That would be my fault. 🙂

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  63. Barry says:

    @KM: “I can attest to this as a female epeeist; I’m constantly ending up with wicked dark bruises on my upper right arm and they look nothing like an accidental brush-up with a door or cabinet. They look like someone hit me (technically stabbed but ymmv) because somebody *did*….”

    Been there, had those bruises.

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  64. Mikey says:

    @CSK:

    My stomach heaved when I read that.

    Seriously? Nachos made with tater tots sounds FUCKING AWESOME.

    I mean, I can feel my arteries clog just from thinking about it, but still.

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  65. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Ah, got it. I was trying to be delicate, as I couldn’t tell if this was being presented as brilliant or bullsh!t. 🙂

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  66. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    She seemed to blame the error on her briefing material. I guess she, like her boss, doesn’t read what she’s given before she goes public with it. Either that or she’s lying about the briefing material.

    No wonder she works for Trump.

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  67. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    I’ve never liked Tater Tots. Shoot me.
    P.S. I do love nachos.

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  68. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    Ah, got it. I was trying to be delicate, as I couldn’t tell if this was being presented as brilliant or bullsh!t.

    It’s particularly problematic because it’s not a case of some schlub being uneducated about HIPAA and 4A. This is a guy who helps write state laws–and he’s pushing blatantly incorrect information about the law.

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  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: @CSK: This is a not at all uncommon story in domestic abuse. Abused women go back to their abusive husbands far more often than they finally leave for real. There are as many reasons for going back as there are women who do, but all of them start with fear. Fear of being alone to face the world at least as often as fear of facing the husband.

    I doubt very much anybody had to lean on her.

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  70. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There’s also much we don’t know well about evolution.

    As I recall biology high school class, first photosynthetic bacteria evolved (cyanobacteria?), then non-photosynthetic bacteria evolved to prey on them. And then, somehow (the part we don’t know well), these bacteria began to gather together (it’s assumed they lived in colonies) and specialize in different things, evolving into multicellular plants and animals.

    These very remote ancestors needed, and evolved, means to fight off pathogens (those regressive bacteria and then viruses that evolved later). This evolution has been going on for billions of years, and continues to this day (there is no end to evolution save for extinction). They’ve gotten better at it, in some way, but so have the pathogens.

    They remains cells which are part of an organism without an effective central command and control mechanism.

    I also keep falling back on an observation made by Bill Bryson in “A Short History of Nearly Everything”: The purpose of DNA is to make more DNA. that’s as close as a goal as there is to evolution.

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  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Head? Meet desk.

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  72. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: If somebody comes into my place of business, I can ask. They can refuse to answer. At which point I can refuse to serve them and throw them out.

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  73. Mikey says:

    @CSK: You could possibly substitute another crispy fried shredded potato dish for the Tots and then slather the whole mess with Nacho toppings.

    Damn, I’m hungry all of a sudden…

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  74. DrDaveT says:

    @Jen:

    Amy Coney Barrett did not receive a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford, she went to Rhodes College in Tennessee.

    Similarly, I am proud to be a Fields Medal winner. I was once awarded a medal in a field.

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  75. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    Call me weird, but I don’t like cheese on my potatoes. Gravy on mashed, yes. Butter and sour cream and bacon on baked potatoes, yes. French fries? Ideally, those should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and need nothing but a sprinkle of salt. Roasted? Pan-fried? Just a bit of salt for both. Hash browns? Just salt. Boiled? Butter, salt, and parsley.

    I love cheese. Just not on potatoes.

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  76. Mikey says:

    @CSK:

    Call me weird, but I don’t like cheese on my potatoes.

    You’re not weird. De gustibus non est disputandum! I’ll just enjoy Tater-Tot Nachos for the both of us. 🙂

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  77. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    Call me weird, but I don’t like cheese on my potatoes.

    You’re obviously a barbarian heathen. There is nothing cooked or baked that can not be made better by the proper application of cheese.

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  78. Jen says:

    @Mu Yixiao: This is a very Wisconsin take. 😀

    (I happen to agree, and think that virtually any food can be improved by adding one of the following: butter, cheese, chocolate, or wine.)

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  79. CSK says:

    @Mikey:
    Thank you. Happy eating.
    @Mu Yixiao:
    So true. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats a slice of smoked provolone on lemon meringue pie.
    @Jen:
    My list is olive oil, garlic, cream, and dry vermouth.

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  80. wr says:

    @mattbernius: “I see a lot of “B” states, like my own New York, that are already experiencing issues with a system that was not designed for this sort of load.”

    New York voting has been screwed up for years — on purpose. The corrupt Republicans who held the senate for so long refused to do anything to make voting easier or more modern because they knew the represented a minority, and the more people who voted, the smaller their chances of holding on to power.

    Those days are finally over, and now that the Dems have the senate, changes are happening. Like early voting for the first time, and no longer requiring a “reason” to vote absentee.

    But I’ve got to say that when I moved here from California — where registering and voting are made as easy as possible for every — I was shocked to find that in some ways I was living in Kentucky.

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  81. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Northerner: I would disagree. Conservatives in the US are very interested in conserving their authority as a recognized aristocracy. It’s what all the focus on “those people” is about.

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  82. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    So true. Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats a slice of smoked provolone on lemon meringue pie.

    That would be an inappropriate application.

    A lemon meringue pie could be enhanced with a thin layer of cream cheese between the crust and the lemon filling (add a touch of sweet to offset and highlight the tartness)…

    …or a light sprinkle of Grana Padado or Parmesan over the top (adding saltiness to bring out the tart and enhance the flavor).

    As for cheese on pie: Hot apple pie needs a slice of sharp cheddar on top. “Apple pie with out cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze”.

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  83. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: …and walked into a door and slipped on some stairs and tripped on an area rug and the cat…

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  84. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Hey, you said anything cooked or baked. A lemon meringue pie is baked. And you didn’t specify what kind of cheese. Don’t move the goal posts.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Yeah, something like that.

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  85. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: @CSK: I must be very lucky because the bread at the Subway shops here is always fresh and innocuous tasting. But I usually get the multi grain bread and have only veggies and cheese on my sandwich with oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Most of the meat products there strike me as pretty sketchy–but that’s a problem in every sandwich shop (and grocery store deli section, as far as that goes).

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  86. Kathy says:

    @Kathy:

    The Titans vs Steelers game won’t happen on week 4.

    Two more infections were detected, for a total of 11, 5 of them players.

    I seriously hope that’s the end of it. I guess we’ll see.

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  87. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    Hey, you said anything cooked or baked. A lemon meringue pie is baked. And you didn’t specify what kind of cheese. Don’t move the goal posts.

    Goalposts remain unmoved.

    There is nothing cooked or baked that can not be made better by the proper application of cheese.

    You can’t just slap cheese on something willy-nilly. That’s dairy abuse and will result in a visit from the cheese police. You must respect the power of the cheese and never use it for evil (or bad taste).

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  88. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Why would it not be possible for Trump to be pathetic and loathsome at the same time? They’re both innate with him. Bone deep.

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  89. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Now you’re really moving the goalposts.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I agree heartily. My sole trepidation? I feel sorry for pathetic people, and I can’t bring myself to feel sorry for that malevolent s.o.b.

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  90. @Kathy:

    IF it proves to be effective.

    I slogged thru both the Moderna and the Pfizer protocols that were published last week (or so).

    Regarding Efficacy: Results are dependent on the number of participants who contract COVID-19. The timing of those results is how soon participants contract COVID-19. (the ironic part of this is that, in the race to get results, each company is hoping that participants get the infection, and the sooner the better.

    Regarding Immunogenicity: Results are dependent on the titer of antibodies measured at defined intervals after immunization shots. Unfortunately, the appearance of antibodies by itself does not confer long-term “protection”. The conclusion of this aspect (effectiveness to provoke self-sustaining antibody production) will not be occurring for two years.

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  91. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: I absolutely read Mu’s statement as: for anything cooked or baked, there exists a cheese that in some non-zero amount would improve it.

    Apple pie needs cheddar.

    Every other dessert is better marscapone or sweetened ricotta. Etc. Maybe cream cheese frosting.

    My father’s wife’s horrific tuna covered in Red Lobster Brand Seasoning and then smothered with Vegan Parmesan needs a 50lb block of something to cover it and seal in the stench. Perhaps a nice Brie?

    She is fond enough of the smell of Red Lobster she wanted to take it home. She’s not a bad person other than that, but that’s a big other than that.

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  92. Jen says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I make my own bread and have for years and am admittedly a total bread snob. I think the Subway bread is cottony and weird.

    It’s soft and “fresh” because it’s loaded with sugar and fats, both of which help to keep it soft. Sugar is hygroscopic so breads with sugar in them will stay soft longer. This is particularly true for the multigrain breads, to which sugars are added to counteract both the bitterness that is sometimes present in wheat bran, and to provide more food for the yeast, making it rise higher.

    The issue the Irish had, that has relegated Subway bread to being reclassified, is that there’s so much sugar in it, it falls into a “dessert” category (as noted above, “confection”).

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  93. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    God, what does she do to the tuna initially?

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  94. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Mine too, but I’ve worked in a restaurant and at a snack bar, so I know what “natcho cheeze sauce” is made from. Cool Whip is more wholesome. 🙁

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  95. Kathy says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    (the ironic part of this is that, in the race to get results, each company is hoping that participants get the infection, and the sooner the better.

    That’s why many have proposed human challenge trials. That is, deliberately exposing those inoculated to the virus to see what happens.

    Given the high and unpredictable mortality rate, coupled with the lack of an effective treatment, human challenge trials are unlikely.

    Now, I assume they mean infections mostly among the control group, right? If both the controls and those who got the vaccine get infected at the same rate, then the vaccine effectiveness, as regards prevention, is close to nil. Follow up would tell whether it works at ameliorating the symptoms, preventing death, etc.

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  96. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: And I remember when Luddite’s organic chem teacher held up a Cool Whip tub and note that everything including the label could be made from the contents of a barrel of crude oil.

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  97. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That sign is posted in almost every privately owned business in the town I live in. It’s a Red State thing pwning the libs.

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  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: The two features cancel each other out. No trepidation necessary. 😉

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  99. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Gustopher:

    @CSK: I absolutely read Mu’s statement as: for anything cooked or baked, there exists a cheese that in some non-zero amount would improve it.

    Correct

    Apple pie needs cheddar.

    Sharp Wisconsin Cheddar. But the 4 year (or more) aged cheddar is best left to Wisconsinites.

    My father’s wife’s horrific tuna covered in Red Lobster Brand Seasoning and then smothered with Vegan Parmesan needs a 50lb block of something to cover it and seal in the stench. Perhaps a nice Brie?

    In that case, the appropriate application is to waft the aroma of the abomination at a nice blue cheese for 30 to 45 seconds–and then just eat the blue cheese. Anything with “vegan paresan” ceases to qualify as a food.

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  100. Mu Yixiao says:
  101. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: Yes, I’m aware of all of that, and the Republic government is correct in it’s assessment. I used to bake bread, but I didn’t really acquire the touch for it and don’t have enough patience. I still bake–actually make farls in a cast iron pan–soda bread though.

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  102. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh! Someone help me! Teve will be after me for my typo! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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  103. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mu Yixiao: In what sense is “vegan parmesan” different from “salt?” (And yes, I have vegan friends and have had vegan parmesan-flavored imitation cheezie-like product.)

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  104. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    In what sense is “vegan parmesan” different from “salt?”

    By being a seditious liar and pretending to be cheese.

    On a side note: I’m always amazed at how hard vegans work to get food that tastes like meet and cheese.

    “Meat is murder! Oh… can I have extra vegan bacon on my vegan cheeseburger, please?”

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  105. wr says:

    @Mu Yixiao: I get — and sometimes share — the desire to sneer, but there are plenty of vegans who don’t refuse to eat meat because they don’t like the taste but because they don’t like the killing of animals or the effect on the economy. So if they can find something that has the taste and mouthfeel of bacon, why shouldn’t they want it?

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  106. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    The future of meat and dairy probably lies in plant-based convincing imitations, like the Impossible burger, and in lab-cultured tissues.

    There are many advantages to that. It should be more sustainable, reduce green house gas emissions, and best of all, IMO, eliminate the massive use of antibiotics in animal feed. If it’s also cheaper, there’ll be no stopping it.

    If you’re sold on the consumption of dead animal corpses*, you may find it of comfort that the switch, if it happens, will take several decades.

    *That’s an in-joke at work, coming from a quality control person who made a point to note in a memo to a customer that beef is a piece of cow cadaver.

    There are perhaps worse processes in natural foods. Honey starts being made when a bee ingests nectar, then regurgitates it…

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  107. flat earth luddite says:

    @sam:
    better than my usual 3 fingers of Scotch. Thanks!

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  108. flat earth luddite says:

    Thought for the day, from the captain obvious folks at Above the Law.

    The president of the United States pays the tax rate of a preteen paperboy because he is worse at making money than a preteen paperboy.

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  109. Teve says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @wr: I’m eating meat and burning gasoline and just enjoying being a spectator to The End. You’d have to be retarded to think humans would do anything other than drive it off a cliff.

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  110. Kathy says:

    Just came across this on CNN.

    Essentially, over 200,000 people are dead in the US, because Trump was more focused on optics than substance.

    Add those in countries like the UK, Mexico, India, and others who followed Trump’s lead on what they can get away with.

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  111. JohnSF says:

    @Northerner:
    Hey, give us time!
    The GOP has a good head start, but the Tories are nimble; they can yet catch up!

    Our Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously voiced support for the death penalty (though she now claims she was “taken out of context”).

    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was co-author of a policy pamphlet calling for the “current monolith” to be “broken up”

    Conservative peer Lord Lawson has been a prominent “climate sceptic”; other prominent Tories including former ministers have records of opposing climate change measures e.g. Peter Lilley, Christopher chope, John Redwood, David Davis, Douglas Carswell.

    IIRC some 90 Conservatives voted against ending the abortion ban in Northern Ireland, and about 60 against the NI ban on same-sex marriage.
    And Cameron’s support for same-sex marriage was a key part of the Tory Right’s hatred for him.

    To be fair, the Conservative mainstream is as yet relatively sane.

    But there is a lot of cross-over between UKIP/BxP and Conservative right activists and “active supporters” (nicknamed “BluKip” or “KipperCons”), and the “Kippers” were full of hard-right idealogues.

    No Conservative MPs voted against the bill that enables breaching international law.
    Only 20 (including Teresa May) abstained.
    I fear the poison may be in the bloodstream.

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  112. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Upon occasion, I have taunted biology students by asking them in what way humans fall away from/do not meet the description/definition for parasite.

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  113. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Kathy:

    Now, I assume they mean infections mostly among the control group, right?

    To follow up, the Pfizer success criteria is much easier to follow than Moderna’s (Moderna states the interim “success” criteria in a rather complicated formula, whereas Pfizer reduces their calculation to numbers)

    So going with the Pfizer protocol: their first interim Vaccine Efficacy (VE) evaluation occurs when 32 cases are reported. At that point those participants are unmasked (that is, revealed to have be in test group or the control group). If 6 or less cases (of the 32) are participants who actually received the test vaccine, that will be deemed a “success”. They call that a 76.9% success rate.

    Pfizer has an additional 3 Interim VE evaluations, occurring at 62, 92 and 120 covid19 cases. The “success” thresholds for each of those evaluations is 68 %, 62% and 58%.

    Finally at the completion of the trial, in October of 2022, they will declare the vaccine a success if the VE is greater than 52.3%.

    Yes, you read that correctly anything greater than 52.3% is a success !

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  114. Northerner says:

    @Kathy:

    Add those in countries like the UK, Mexico, India, and others who followed Trump’s lead on what they can get away with.

    I suspect you’re overestimating the influence the American president has outside of America, both the good ones like Obama and the idiots like Trump. Every country has its own problems and politics, and despite what some might say (mainly American conservatives) say, most aren’t interested in following American examples (which explains why for instance so many countries have public health care systems and at least a partially effective social welfare net).

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  115. Mu Yixiao says:

    @wr:

    There are plenty of vegans who don’t refuse to eat meat because they don’t like the taste but because they don’t like the killing of animals

    I’ve never met a single vegan who was vegan because of taste. Vegetarians, yes. Vegans? No.

    I’m calling out the mild hypocrisy of “meat is murder” combined with “I want to eat things that taste like murder”.

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  116. CSK says:

    Hope Hicks, who is very close to Trump, has tested positive for Covid.

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  117. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    The future of meat and dairy probably lies in plant-based convincing imitations, like the Impossible burger, and in lab-cultured tissues.

    A dairy cow produces about 12,000 liters of milk in their life. How much land will need to be cultivated–and what resources used–to equal that nutritional value? That same cow will then result in over 400lbs of beef. How many acres of soy to get that much protein? And is it the right protein? Do we get the same nutrition from it?

    And what will replace the scores other products that come from cows (and other meat animals)?

    Leather can be replaced by…. plastic. What’s the impact of that? Plastic is petroleum. What’s the environmental cost of a vinyl jacket vs. a leather one?

    What resources need to be used to produce the other things that are made from animal byproducts?*

    What’s the impact of using chemical fertilizers for rather than manure? (BTW, the honey wagons are out this week; the countryside is… aromatic). How does all that tilling of extra land impact the ecosystem? (mono-culture eco-systems vs. natural ones). How does all that extra tilling and fertilizing impact soil erosion and chemical runoff into the waterways?

    A large portion of the beef-only herd in the US grazes on land that can’t be cultivated (it’s scrub and/or federal parkland). How much arable land will need to be taken away from other uses to produce the nutrition gotten from grazing cattle? And how will that be affected by global warming?

    Lab grown? What resources (power, chemicals, structures, containers, etc.) will be needed to replace the 76.2 billion pounds of meat America eats in a year?

    There’s certainly a growing market for vegetable-based “meat-like” products–and I think that’s great (despite my propensity to mock vegans who want bacon). But people don’t realize the full cost of meat vs. veg.

    Meat isn’t going anywhere.

    * 99.44% of any food animal is used for something.

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  118. Jen says:

    @CSK: And was with Trump on Air Force One on Wednesday, apparently.

    Oh, to be a fly on a wall…

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  119. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    And in the helicopter…he must be raving like a maniac.

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  120. Kathy says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    Yes, you read that correctly anything greater than 52.3% is a success !

    There are three things to consider:

    1) The FDA said they’d approve any vaccine with a 50% effectiveness.
    2) All these vaccines have been produced in record time
    3) A 50% reduction in infections and contagion, along with continuing masking and distancing* would go a long way in ending the pandemic. It’s also not a bad holding measure, more than a stopgap, until a better vaccine, if any is possible, comes along.

    *I know. That’s why I put it in italics.

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  121. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    How does all that tilling of extra land impact the ecosystem?

    What extra land? We’re pretty much already cultivating all the land that’s suitable for cultivation.

    As to the rest, I’ve no idea.

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  122. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Oh no. that’s too bad. I hope she didn’t infect her boss. (she said mechanically with no expression whatsoever)

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  123. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Maybe she can drink some bleach. Her boss says that works. Right?

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  124. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Kathy:

    Agree with all your points. However, the President has portrayed the vaccine as the panacea. His followers (something like 45% of the country) will treat the 50% vaccine as a panacea. Even those who aren’t his followers, but are just tired of mitigation will treat it as a panacea.

    I am oh so hopeful that if a more effective vaccine becomes widely available (say) six months after I have recieved the less effective vaccine, that I will get approval take that on top of the 50% version.

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  125. Gustopher says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    A dairy cow produces about 12,000 liters of milk in their life. How much land will need to be cultivated–and what resources used–to equal that nutritional value? That same cow will then result in over 400lbs of beef. How many acres of soy to get that much protein? And is it the right protein? Do we get the same nutrition from it?

    How many acres? Less than is required to feed the cow during its lifetime. Cows do not photosynthesize and generate energy from light and air, so there will be a significant loss when converting cow food to food cow. We refer to that loss as cow shit, among things.

    How much did that 400lbs of beef shit as it was getting up to 400lbs? More than 400lbs. Much more.

    You can plow the cow shit back into the field as fertilizer, but that just cuts the loss.

    As to nutrition, b12 remains a problem for vegans. But it’s not insurmountable.

    I think the will get to vat grown meat relatively soon, as it can be a lot more efficient than cows (your racks of cow muscle won’t need brains, plus we have the option of panda or Sean Connery)

    But that will likely be for ground meat and sausage, and probably have a weird texture as we improve. Steaks will take longer, as there is more structure.

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  126. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: well first you let the tuna steaks sit in the fridge for a few days so they aren’t so bland.

    Then it’s easy — cut some potatoes and green beans and spread them in a Pyrex dish, place the tuna on top, cover it with red lobster seasoning, and then foil and then toss it in the over until it is very thoroughly cooked. Add vegan Parmesan, preferably avocado oil based, and put it back in the oven until it begins to brown.

    It’s a one dish meal, and there will be plenty of leftovers.

    Oh, god, I can smell it. Just typing that brought back the memory of the stench.

    It’s just as good with salmon steaks or mahi-mahi.

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  127. Gustopher says:

    Trump claims that he tested positive for Covid. But he lies about everything so who knows…

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  128. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher: CNN reports he and Melania both. Maybe he should have worn Biden’s big, ugly mask. Gonna be an entertaining morning. More 11 dimensional chess, he’s taking the debate out of the news.

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  129. Kylopod says:

    @Gustopher:

    Trump claims that he tested positive for Covid. But he lies about everything so who knows…

    It occurred to me that maybe he was saying this as a way of getting out of the remaining debates (which are now nearly certain to be canceled). But then I realized he also can’t hold any of his precious rallies. So I think it’s real.

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  130. DrDaveT says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    A dairy cow produces about 12,000 liters of milk in their life. How much land will need to be cultivated–and what resources used–to equal that nutritional value?

    As @Gustopher notes, you seem to have forgotten that cows eat and excrete. The nutritional value of what you harvest from the cow (milk, meat, organs) is far less than the nutritional value of the food the cow ate to produce those things.

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  131. Kathy says:

    Sometimes bad things do happen to terrible people.

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  132. Kathy says:

    I reserve any thoughts and good wishes to the crews of Air Force One and Marine One, as well as White House employees and assorted people who may have come into contact with the Covidiot In Chief.

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  133. PJ says:

    @Kathy:
    I wish the covidvirus inside Trump well on its journey.

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  134. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: You’d have to be retarded to think humans would do anything other than drive it off a cliff.

    No, you’d just have to be a parent……

    Wait a minute…

    ReplyReply
  135. MarkedMan says:

    What a day not to have an open forum!

    ReplyReply
  136. Mu Yixiao says:

    @DrDaveT:

    The nutritional value of what you harvest from the cow (milk, meat, organs) is far less than the nutritional value of the food the cow ate to produce those things.

    Most of what the cows eat has zero nutritional value for humans. Especially if you’re talking about grazing beef cattle. They’re eating grass. For dairy cows, a major part of their diet is silage–corn silage up here–which is both of no nutritional value to humans, and is a waste product of the corn and peas that are actually of some value to humans.

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  137. CSK says:

    @Gustopher:
    Well, that sounds repulsive.

    ReplyReply

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