Friday’s Forum

Please follow and like us:
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. OzarkHillbilly says:

    US hospitals pressure healthcare staff to work even if they have Covid symptoms

    Guidance from public health experts has evolved as they have learned more about the coronavirus, but one message has remained consistent: if you feel sick, stay home.

    Yet hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities have flouted that guidance, pressuring workers who contract Covid-19 to return sooner than public health standards suggest is safe. Some employers have failed to provide adequate paid leave, if any, so employees felt they had to return to work – even while possibly infectious.

    Many hospitals with an onslaught of patients have found themselves short-staffed. That need dovetailed with an entrenched culture in medicine of “presenteeism”. Frontline healthcare workers, in particular, follow a brutal ethos of being tough enough to work even when ill, reasoning that other “people are sicker”, said Andra Blomkalns, the chair of Stanford University’s emergency medicine department.

    In a survey of nearly 1,200 members, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Union found roughly a third of those who said they had gotten sick reported returning to work with symptoms.
    ……………………………………..
    Meanwhile immunocompromised workers at high risk from the virus have faced difficult choices, said Liz Stokes, the director of the American Nurses Association’s Center for Ethics and Human Rights. She recounted the experience of a surgical nurse with Crohn’s disease who took leave at her doctor’s recommendation but was pressured by her bosses and co-workers to return.

    “She really expressed severe guilt because she felt like she was abandoning her duties as a nurse,” she said. “She felt like she was abandoning her colleagues, her patients.”

    Money pressures are also a factor. Shenetta White-Ballard carried an oxygen canister in a backpack at work. A nurse at Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Port Allen in Louisiana, she needed the help to breathe after a serious respiratory infection. When Covid-19 appeared, she showed up for work. Her husband, Eddie Ballard, said his paycheck from Walmart was not enough to support their family.

    “She kept bringing up, she gotta pay the bills,” he said.

    She died on 1 May at age 44.

    But “Heroes Work Here,” another hollow slogan. We’re all just cogs in the big machine, of limited value, and eminently replaceable.

    3
  3. PJ says:

    @Bill:
    Republicans failed at killing bin Laden. Republicans will fail at opening schools.

    10
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A star is reborn: dust cloud blamed for dimming of Betelgeuse

    The sudden dimming of one of the Milky Way’s brightest stars, Betelgeuse, could be due to a dust cloud spewing up from its surface, astronomers have said. The mystery has enthralled skywatchers since the star – part of the Orion constellation – began to lose luminosity last October, with some experts suggesting it could herald its explosion into a supernova.

    But researchers working with the Hubble telescope now have a clearer picture, seeing superhot plasma being unleashed from the star’s surface, cooling in the outer layers of the atmosphere and eventually turning to dust.

    “The resulting cloud blocked light from about a quarter of the star’s surface,” the European Space Agency said in a statement, adding that the star has since returned to its normal brightness. “With Hubble, we see the material as it left the star’s visible surface and moved out through the atmosphere, before the dust formed that caused the star to appear to dim,” said lead researcher Andrea Dupree of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in the United States. “We could see the effect of a dense, hot region in the southeast part of the star moving outward.”

    3
  5. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Shhh… Don’t tell Tyrell!

  6. Kylopod says:

    I am optimistic that we’re going to beat Trump, despite his best efforts. But make no mistake: he is engaged in a serious and sustained attempt at a soft coup. The extent of his attempted election sabotage is getting worse every day. If he succeeds, American democracy is finished and the US will quickly transition to being an authoritarian country. I am not being hyperbolic here. It’s happening. There’s a kind of respectability politics that makes some people shut their minds down when hearing claims like that (isn’t everyone always calling the president of the other party a fascist?), but there’s nothing implausible about such a scenario–it’s happened in many other countries in the modern age, such as Orban’s Hungary. People who cling to the idea that “it’s not so bad” are digging their heads in the sand. It’s that bad.

    15
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Oooopps… Too late.

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Trump administration haphazardly gave away millions of Covid-19 masks — to schools, broadcasters, and large corporations

    Hundreds of millions of cloth face masks shipped to U.S. agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private companies by the Trump administration appear to have been allocated in a haphazard fashion, raising questions about inequitable distribution in the effort to beat back the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Under the $675 million program, businesses and other entities were provided with supplies of the free, reusable masks that in some cases far exceeded their needs, according to a STAT review of an administration document identifying more than 60,000 recipients. A charter school with roughly 140 students in Florida, for instance, received 37,500 masks. In other cases, corporations with vast resources, including a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, also received tens of thousands of the masks.

    In all, 650 million masks were ordered from U.S. underwear and apparel manufacturers as part of the program; that number of masks would have been enough to give almost every American two apiece.
    ……………………………………
    “It was always going to look like madness, especially in the early days,” said Juliette Kayyem, who was assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration and is now faculty director of the homeland security project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

    “But given the price of this manufacturing and distribution plan … if you can’t find a method to the madness a few months later, it may mean it’s all madness,” she said. “Where did those masks actually go?”

    Both HHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was involved in the allocation and distribution of the masks, declined requests for interviews on Wednesday.
    ………………………….
    The document reviewed by STAT was provided by HHS and includes the names of recipients, the sector of each, and the number of masks that were provided in each case. It is also rife with data anomalies — many recipients are listed by the incorrect state, for instance — making a detailed analysis difficult. In some cases so little information is given that it’s impossible to know who the recipient actually was.

    Some of the entities that received masks are misidentified by sector. A beekeeping company called Bonnie’s Bees, for instance, was listed as being in the “emergency services” category. A person who answered the phone at the company hung up when a STAT reporter called to ask about the 500 masks it obtained.
    …………………………..
    At least one organization listed as having been given masks is still waiting to receive them. The public works department in Carson City, Nev., applied for masks on the advice of the Solid Waste Association of North America, a trade group. The HHS document suggests the department has received 12,000 masks, but director Darren Schulz said he was still waiting.

    “We have received no masks, and we have received no correspondence other than they have received our requests,” he said.

    Schulz said the masks would be supplied to city employees, the local school district, nonprofits, and businesses if and when they show up.

    “Maybe the fact that we’re on a spreadsheet means we’re getting them soon and that would be wonderful news,” he said.

    Another fine fuck-up brought to you by the good people of Kushner’s Screw Ups.

    Many more details at the link.

    2
  9. An Interested Party says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Is there anything that the Trump administration hasn’t done haphazardly?

    1
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @An Interested Party: Even their attempts at destruction have been half-assed.

    1
  11. mattbernius says:

    Apparently, if you strike Steve King down, he’s immediately reincarnated as someone just as racist and far more conspiracy theory friendly…

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/12/politics/qanon-marjorie-taylor-greene-house-republicans/index.html

    1
  12. An Interested Party says:

    They probably won’t happen, but perhaps if bread riots did come to America, we could see some accountability for these worthless Republicans, er, politicians…

    1
  13. gVOR08 says:

    @An Interested Party: Yeah. I’m not worried about what Trump may do, he’ll shoot himself in the foot. I’m worried about what Bill Barr and others may do.

    When Barr was asked some months ago how he’d go down in history he replied that it would depend on who wrote the history, a “none dare call it treason” response. He sure sounded like a man who had a plan for his side to write the history. And I wouldn’t be confident there isn’t more to the plan than going postal. We can expect some cherry picked release from the Durham investigation, violating the DOJ rule against taking actions with political implications within 90 days of an election. We can also expect the Senate investigations to try to make something out of nothing. Barr’s plan to create some riots seems to have flopped. But what else do they have planned?

    3
  14. Monala says:

    Many of the viral anti-mask outbursts we see have been encouraged by QAnon.

    Rein Lively’s example is an extreme version of what experts who study radicalization said has become a distinct pattern during the pandemic: people with time on their hands, looking for answers, are led down a radical path by niche interests and the internet’s tendency to feed their darkest curiosities.

    Those communities have in turn been energized by the viral tantrums that now appear almost weekly, pushing conspiracy theories and talking points from fringe websites and QAnon Facebook groups onto strangers in real life.

    Link

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: We can expect some cherry picked release from the Durham investigation, violating the DOJ rule against taking actions with political implications within 90 days of an election. We can also expect the Senate investigations to try to make something out of nothing. Barr’s plan to create some riots seems to have flopped.

    I expect any such shenanigans to have very limited repercussions. Everyone knows the trump admin lies about everything and fully expects them to continue to. The lies will only be persuasive to those who want to be lied to and they were gonna vote trump anyway.

    I am more concerned with voter suppression.

    3
  16. Monala says:

    NYT writer Jim Tankersley has published a new book about the importance of shared prosperity, and admits that reporters did a real disservice by focusing so much attention on the white working class without also telling the stories of working class people of other races.

    “The sad and unfortunate product is that we perpetuated this myth that working class White men are suffering alone in America and do not have anything in common with these other struggling workers. The idea that women, immigrants or workers of color are in competition with them for prosperity is wrong. It’s not what American history shows us.”

    Link

    1
  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Bill: If DeUseless thinks opening schools is like the SEAL raid to take out bin Laden and Lou Holtz thinks having college football is like D-Day, how many casualties are they willing to take?

  18. Moosebreath says:

    @gVOR08:

    “If DeUseless thinks opening schools is like the SEAL raid to take out bin Laden and Lou Holtz thinks having college football is like D-Day, how many casualties are they willing to take?”

    And more pointedly, are they willing to volunteer to be those casualties?

    3
  19. Bill says:

    It wasn’t me.

    One lucky person won the $168.5 million Powerball jackpot announced Wednesday night by buying the ticket at a Publix in Boynton Beach.

    BOYNTON BEACH — Luis Canul regularly buys his lottery tickets at the Publix Super Market at Congress Avenue and Hypoluxo Road.

    “My store for years and I never win,” Canul lamented.

    On Wednesday, the 56-year-old Boynton Beach resident found himself in another part of town and bought his Powerball tickets elsewhere.

    That may have been a $168.5 million mistake.

    The Florida Lottery announced Thursday that the nation’s lone winning ticket in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing — a number combination of 2-6-18-36-37, with a Powerball number of 21 and a Power Play rating of 2 — was sold at Canul’s go-to Publix at 4770 N. Congress Avenue.

    As of Thursday afternoon, lottery officials had not identified the fledgling multi-millionaire.

    That’s the Publix store where Dear Wife and I have had our prescriptions filled at for over a decade.

    My wife sometimes buys a quick pick Power ball but only usually if the jackpot is a quarter billion or more.

  20. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Bill: This A-hole has no idea of the factors that contributed to the Seals success on that mission–or frankly–why all of our Special Forces have a high degree so success when used.

    I have some familiarity with how the Team prepped for that mission. It involved THOUSANDS of intel professionals gathering data so there were few surprises other than those decreed by Murphy. The shooters had hundreds of hours of practice doing the exact mission in life-sized models accounting for dozens of different scenarios. They were ready once they hit the objective.

    Is this happening in schools now? Is this what happened in Georgia? Apparently in right-wing nut land–you jump in the helios, land, shoot everything up–and ‘murca! My wife and I watched the public school re-opening hearings for our County in Florida. It is painfully clear that our schools are not prepared, have not rehearsed what to do, and are not supplied to the level they need to comply with the CDC recommendations. De-santis started out the 1st month or so sounding like he could handle things down here–the last 4 months he’s been a disaster. Screw him and the rest of the Republican Party.

    5
  21. Jon says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I am concerned with the media credulously reporting whatever Barr gives them, just how they did in 2016. They’re already tripping up on the “Kamala isn’t a natural born citizen” crap.

    ETA: And yes I know it wasn’t Barr in 2016, I am just apparently too lazy to clarify.

  22. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @Kylopod:
    I share your concern.
    When I think about what has enabled this situation, one thing I keep coming back to is the DOJs Office of Legal Counsel memo that protects the president from indictment.
    Oh, I know…. be careful what you wish for…. but seriously, a president that is credibly accused of criminality should be prosecuted, regardless of their political stripe.
    What we’ve learned with Trump is that the American voter can be easily duped into electing a con-man. The threat of prosecution ( now emasculated by the OLC memo) may be the only way to rein-in criminality perpetrated by the sovereign.

    Perhaps the Biden administration ought to consider abandoning the OLC shield, as they reform the DOJ and it’s leadership. That’s a platform plank I could really get behind.

    2
  23. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @An Interested Party: I know this is the polite discourse crowed but I’ve seen this when studying power dynamics in other countries to support counter insurgency– there are people in power than only understand boundaries in terms of the point their rivals are motivated to violence. The don’t rethink their actions until they themselves are ‘at risk’.
    Im not speaking of politicians…they are almost always puppets of real power brokers. The civil war was instigated by the South’s planters and supported by the adjacent Agricultural industry who depended on the Planter’s for a living. The conditions of today are driven by business and monied interests–people that by for themselves space from the conditions they create on the ground. Its only when that insulation fails that they re-calculated. What you’d hope is that this can be achieved peacefully–it doesn’t always work that way. Many of our labor reforms were paid for through busted head.

    I hate to be pessimistic but people need to be prepared for this dynamic to reach these shores.

    4
  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    how many casualties are they willing to take?

    Any number that doesn’t include people named DeSantis and Holtz. 🙁

    1
  25. EddieInCA says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    Jim Brown 32 says:
    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 10:56

    @Bill: This A-hole has no idea of the factors that contributed to the Seals success on that mission–or frankly–why all of our Special Forces have a high degree so success when used.

    I met six members of that Seal Team team in 2012 in FL. I can’t say how or why, but it was legit. DOD was involved to a great degree. Two things stood out to me:
    1. How freaking young they all were. Seriiously. If not for the beards 1/2 of them wore, they look like your average buff, fit college athlete. They were kids. But each one a literal. trained killer.
    2. How nonchalant they were about that particular mission. They didn’t reveal anything classified, obviously, but at one point, one of them said something along the lines of “We call a mission like that an average Thursday. No big deal.”

    Floored me.

    5
  26. Bill says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @Jim Brown 32:

    I have some familiarity with how the Team prepped for that mission. It involved THOUSANDS of intel professionals gathering data so there were few surprises other than those decreed by Murphy. The shooters had hundreds of hours of practice doing the exact mission in life-sized models accounting for dozens of different scenarios. They were ready once they hit the objective.

    Most of my time in the Navy was spent either drawing blood or telling marines and sailors to ‘take a deep breath and hold it’ but I have plenty of history concerning the planning and build up to D-Day. The original invasion plan was mostly chucked* by Monty in January 1944 and massively revised over the next 4 months while the troops trained for the invasion. Overall the allies had been working on a plan for the invasion of Northwest Europe since early 1943.

    Months or even years of work go into the planning for military operations.

    *- Normandy as the site of the invasion and the use of artificial Mulberry harbors were retained.

    3
  27. mattbernius says:

    @EddieInCA:

    2. How nonchalant they were about that particular mission. They didn’t reveal anything classified, obviously, but at one point, one of them said something along the lines of “We call a mission like that an average Thursday. No big deal.”

    Knowing a bit about the high performance mindset (and a little bit about “operators”), I suspect (at least) three things are true at once for most of that team:

    1. They have to train to treat any mission as every mission. You see the same thing in high performing athletes and the way they approach key/championship games. Phil Jackson and others have written about that.

    2. It absolutely wasn’t “just an average Thursday” and they know and in private with peers would acknowledge it was a big deal.

    3. They also know that the entire reputation of the team is in part based on portraying to the outside world that “We call a mission like that an average Thursday. No big deal.” And the reaction you had was exactly the one they were going for.

    5
  28. Teve says:
  29. Teve says:

    Oh I see that was one of the many new posts yesterday.

  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Bill: The pre-Monty plan for Overlord is something I’ve never gotten into. I should. Monty’s plan was for the British to take Caen in a couple days. They ended up destroying much of their own army stalemated in front of Caen. Then when the American’s broke through and hooked around behind Caen Monty pretended that had been his plan all along. I don’t recall much discussion of the original plan and how it might have played out.

  31. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Monala: I am convinced that QANON is a created personna by RW Information Warfare tacticians–bears most of the signatures. It’s probably a team of people that trial balloons lines of persuasion on other personas and amalgamate the most resonate ones into “Q”.

    2
  32. Monala says:

    Newsweek’s concern trolling* article by John Eastman about whether Kamala Harris is a “natural born citizen” eligible to be president, rests its case on the US v. Wong Kim Ark case. Eastman says that in that case, Wong Kim Ark was declared a US citizen because not only was he born in the US, but also his immigrant parents “had become lawful, permanent residents in the United States.” In contrast, he asserts, Harris’ parents had not yet become such at the time of her birth. Thus, she was only subject to the “partial jurisdiction of the US,” not the complete jurisdiction as the 14th amendment would require.

    Leaving aside the fact that “partial jurisdiction” in US law refers to situations where jurisdiction is split between the federal and state governments and has nothing to do with citizenship, “lawful, permanent resident” status didn’t exist in 1898 when the US v. Wong Kim Ark case was decided. That status didn’t come into being until the Alien Registration Act of 1940.

    * He says that he writes out of concern for Harris’ potential divided allegiance — to what? India? Jamaica? No! something something China and Russia.

    h/t Mike Dunford@questauthority on Twitter

    4
  33. @Monala: I have not had time to write anything on this, but Eastman inserts the word “complete” jurisdiction out of whole cloth.

    Plus, it should be noted that Eastman ran for the GOP AG nomination in 2010, the same race Harris won. He is not a disinterested actor.

    5
  34. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @EddieInCA: Exactly–these are boys. Odd fact: most spec ops guys are quite short–built like fire plugs but short in stature.

    The reason why they can be nonchalant about their jobs is because of the 1000s of ‘enablers’ who work hard to ensure they have every advantage once they hit the ground. Every mission they perform they has the equivalent of that crowd in the Verizon commercial that contributed support.

    A gun fight is a gun fight– all things being equal–it is the training and other enabling activities we do that give our boys (and now gals) the overwhelming advantage outside the wire. I love those kids which is why I worked hard at my job to give them every edge my particular talent would allow. Another little secret–quite a few spec ops kids are POC–most are in Army spec Ops however.

    6
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Put up or shut up: Trump-Appointed Judge Demands Campaign Produce Evidence Of Voter Fraud

    “Plaintiffs shall produce such evidence in their possession, and if they have none, state as much,” ordered U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan in Pittsburgh.

    Ranjan made the order in response to a request from two advocacy groups who intervened in the case, the Sierra Club and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, who said that the campaign “should not be permitted to raise such spectacular fraud-related claims, particularly in this national climate, and refuse to provide discoverable information to substantiate those claims.”

    6
  36. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: I would agree–the nation gives spec ops a very wide lattitude in legal authorities precisely because they have been good stewards of those authorities.

    They have credibility built up over decades–one high profile blunder (and certainly a series of blunders) could get the latitude they’ve earned yanked away.

    This is one of the reasons Trump interfering with the Commanding Admiral of the Seals was so damaging. He was trying to clean up their act after several high profile incidents of misconduct got national attention. Too many screw ups and the President and SECDEF no longer trust you to complete a mission without screwing up the political climate–your organization will get benched in favor of other organizations that do have credibility .

    4
  37. Joe says:

    * He says that he writes out of concern for Harris’ potential divided allegiance — to what? India? Jamaica?

    Like you, Monala, I decided to read Eastman’s article and I almost spit out my coffee when I read that divided allegiance argument. I suspect, on this basis, Eastman would argue that the Korematsu case was correctly decided. At least some of the people put in the Japanese detention camps were born or grew up in Japan.

    1
  38. Teve says:

    So this happened yesterday:

    Reporter (S.V. Dáte): “After 3 1/2 years, do you regret all the lying you’ve done to the American people?

    Trump: “All the what?”

    Reporter: “All the lying. All of the dishonesties”

    Trump: “That who has done?”

    Reporter: “You have done.”

    Trump: “Uhhh.”

    1
  39. Kylopod says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I am convinced that QANON is a created personna by RW Information Warfare tacticians–bears most of the signatures. It’s probably a team of people that trial balloons lines of persuasion on other personas and amalgamate the most resonate ones into “Q”.

    My impression (and I’m hardly alone in this) was that it started as some kind of Sacha Baron Cohen-esque prank designed to come up with the most absurd conspiracy theory imaginable and see if people fell for it–and then it took on a life of its own that even the original prankster(s) never anticipated. There’s a strong element of Poe’s Law in the movement, and that’s what makes me doubt it was created as part of some deliberate right-wing disinformation campaign–I’d think they’d have been at least a touch more subtle. But I have no doubt they’re exploiting it in that way, now that it’s out there.

    One thing that’s struck me about it is its incoherence. Most of the popular conspiracy theories, no matter how deranged, at least have a basic narrative thread that’s relatively straightforward and easy to follow. One big exception is LaRouchism. I was once approached by a LaRouchite on campus and I listened to his spiel for a couple of minutes, and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I didn’t understand it enough to even find it nuts. QAnon isn’t quite at that level. Its basic framework is concrete enough: Donald Trump vs. the Deep State. But then the theory gets lost in a labyrinth of pedophiles, Satanists, and Tom Hanks.

    It reminds me in some ways of some of the belief systems being promoted in the decades leading up to the rise of the Nazis–the apocalyptic struggle between the Aryan and the Jew. QAnon isn’t overtly neo-Nazi, though there are some anti-Semitic elements to it lurking in the background (references to the Rothschilds, for one). But unlike the Nazi theory it’s far from clear what the endgame of QAnon believers really is.

    6
  40. Teve says:

    What are these QAnon tards going to do when Trump leaves office and there hasn’t been any global pedophile cabal rounded up and prosecuted?

    2
  41. Kylopod says:

    @Teve:

    What are these QAnon tards going to do when Trump leaves office and there hasn’t been any global pedophile cabal rounded up and prosecuted?

    I imagine it won’t be too difficult for the followers. Many of the theory’s original precepts have already failed to transpire–the Mueller probe ended without Hillary Clinton or Tom Hanks being arrested. It’s like those end-of-the-world cults that keep pushing back the date of the apocalypse.

    3
  42. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: my friend Charlie had an uncle who was in one of those “the world is going to end on September whatever” groups and literally gave away a whole bunch of shit like his motorcycle and his TV and stuff, and then the world failed to end.

    I had a family member who in 1999 went on long rants to everybody about how Bill Clinton was going to use the Y2K disaster as an excuse to declare martial law and install himself as emperor and etc. etc. Years, and i mean years later, he refused to admit he was wrong and claimed that it just hadn’t happened yet.

    1
  43. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Taking a different tack, I was back at the gym last nite (0ne of about a half dozen people using half of about 5o machines 😉 ) and I saw Sean Hannity waxing eloquent about his concerns for the civil rights movement in the future considering that Biden worked hand in hand with segregationists on maintaining segregation of schools back in the day. It was very touching.

    Of course, then I had to ask myself when had Fox News in general and Sean Hannity in particular had ever given a flying fuk about people of color before. But up until then, it had been touching all the same.

  44. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’m not keeping track, does this count as another Florida story?

    Yahoo Sports
    NBA says photographer who posted offensive Kamala Harris meme is no longer in bubble
    Cassandra Negley
    Cassandra Negley·Writer
    August 14, 2020, 11:25 AM PDT
    A photographer working in the NBA bubble at Disney World was let go by the league after he posted an offensive meme about Kamala Harris, the newly announced Democratic candidate for vice president.

    Bill Baptist is a freelance photographer from Houston who has covered the Houston Rockets for a number of years and was in the bubble as an independent contractor. The meme he posted on Facebook saw a wider audience when it shared by former Houston Comets superstar Sheryl Swoopes.

    Photographer posts offensive meme about Harris
    Baptist posted a meme that included Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s official 2020 campaign logo. But instead of “Joe 2020” in the blue circle, it reads “Jo and the Ho.” He shared the photo on Facebook without comment.
    […]
    “I deeply regret posting on my facebook page a phrase that I saw and copied from others as a sample of some people’s reactions to Biden’s selection of Senator Harris as his choice for VP.

    Well yeah, we’re all sure that you regret it now.

    3
  45. inhumans99 says:

    @Teve:

    Your friend wasn’t necessarily wrong, it is just that your friend got the name of the person who is going to declare these actions incorrect, maybe your friend said Clinton when they meant to say Trump?

    Also, all this talk of special forces got me to thinking about the time my Vietnam Vet dad revealed just a wee bit of what he was doing in the military (Air Force) when he was stationed in the Middle East and at locations like Norad (as seen in the fun film Wargames). He is not generally a talker so any info he was willing to reveal was neat to learn about. He mentioned that when he was at Norad what he did was sensitive to the point where if we were being overrun by the Russians (or Chinese, or whoever) he shared responsibility to basically break the glass in case of emergency and incinerate the location he was in (obviously, he would be eliminated along with any other sensitive equipement/documents that should not fall into enemy hands).

    For reals, but of course that led me to want to ask more questions but that is all she wrote, again…he is not a talker and knowing he had Top Secret Clearance(s) that was all I was going to get out of him. Heck, my mother who was a USO volunteer and met my Dad in Turkey even revealed she had clearance to eat with the troops on a battleship (boy, that was exciting and odd to learn that part of my Mother’s past)! Her father who died before his time was an exec for Rolls Royce and I keep forgetting that Rolls Royce made engines that ended up being utilized by the military (not sure if that had anything to do with why she ended up volunteering for the USO given that she never joined the military).

    I do have to say that she has hinted that given that she was a Sicilian living in Turkey who was going to marry someone in the U.S. Military that her background was looked into with a fine toothed comb…lol.

    Sorry for the long somewhat meandering post…it is just some discussions going on in this thread triggered some things in me.

    2
  46. Gustopher says:

    @Bill:

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis likens reopening schools to killing Osama bin Laden

    So, the children are the Navy Seals, Covid is the bullets, and bin Laden is their families and school staff?

    1
  47. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I guess he’s gonna have to go out and get a real job now.

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @inhumans99: It’s an open forum. One is free to talk about anything they want, and I for one find such family stories interesting. Plus they often have blanks where the memory isn’t quite complete and I get to play “fill in the blank”. 🙂

    2
  49. Michael Cain says:

    Four wildfires burning in the state today, from a new little one to the biggie farthest west at 60,000 acres and growing. Last night’s sunset was a big red ball while still at a considerable height above the horizon. The local NWS forecast starts with “areas of smoke” for tonight and tomorrow. I don’t know if that will be better or worse than the “patchy smoke” we had this morning. I-70 remains closed by one of the fires. Reports say that Google Maps routed thousands of vehicles onto 4×4 dirt roads before the sheriff got them closed.

  50. wr says:

    @Teve: “What are these QAnon tards going to do when Trump leaves office and there hasn’t been any global pedophile cabal rounded up and prosecuted?”

    I don’t know. Maybe we should ask a Seventh Day Adventist.

    1
  51. Kathy says:

    Question: in mail-in voting states, can you send your ballot via a private courier service like FedEx or UPS? Or are you strictly limited to the post office or official drop boxes?

    If the former is valid, these companies have a once in a lifetime golden opportunity to earn massive goodwill, by offering to deliver any ballots for free.

    Sure, it’s millions of ballots, but they don’t take up much room nor weigh a lot, and they are all addressed to one place in each state. So it would be simple to set a deadline, say Oct 29th, to receive ballots, pile them up in regional centers, and send them off the next day, all at once. They should all make it to their destinations in time for Nov. 3rd easy. The post office can handle the rest.

    Of course it won’t happen. It would cost these multi-billion dollar companies money.

  52. Monala says:

    Excellent compilation of what the Democrats (federal and state) are doing to stop Trump’s sabotage of the USPS.

    1
  53. CSK says:

    President Lardass will be giving his acceptance speech on one of the White House lawns. As Lardass himself has noted, “We have plenty of lawns.”

    I hope there’s a violent thunderstorm. Maybe a tornado.

    2
  54. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: There are generally sharp limits on third-party ballot return, which UPS and FedEx would be. For distribution, IIRC, they would be forbidden from putting ballot envelopes in the mailbox, and would have to leave them sitting on the porch, wedged into the door, etc. I am somewhat familiar with the ballot distribution process in my VBM state. I have serious reservations about UPS and FedEx’s ability, if they started from today, to sort and deliver hundreds of pallets worth of ballot envelopes that do not conform to their current form factor or coding scheme, in a timely fashion.

  55. Moosebreath says:

    @Kathy:

    “Sure, it’s millions of ballots, but they don’t take up much room nor weigh a lot, and they are all addressed to one place in each state.”

    At least in Pennsylvania, the ballots are sent to the county, not the state. There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania, and some of them FedEx are in places doesn’t deliver (e.g., Tionesta, population 483 as of the 2010 Census, county seat of Forest County, PA).

  56. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy: What Moosebreath said. I am not aware that there are any states where elections are conducted by the state. All city/county/parish/borough/whatever.

  57. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:
    @Moosebreath:

    Thanks. I didn’t think it through.

  58. de stijl says:

    @Teve:
    @Kylopod:

    Maybe Ping Pong Pizza has a super-secret sub-basement. You know, below the actual secret basement.

    Psst! Hail Sithis.

    (I played too much Skyrim)

  59. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kathy:..Question: in mail-in voting states, can you send your ballot via a private courier service like FedEx or UPS? Or are you strictly limited to the post office or official drop boxes?

    I received a letter from Frank L. Byrd, Clerk and Recorder, Jackson County, Illinois
    The letter is instructions on how to vote by mail. Included in the envelope is an application to request a vote by mail ballot.

    The final paragraph of the letter reads:

    Vote and Return Your Ballot Your ballot may be returned to the election authority by mail, or delivered in person. In person delivery can be by either the voter, or by any person authorized by the voter, or by a company licensed as a motor carrier of the property by the Illinois Commerce Commission under the Illinois Commercial Transportation Law, which is engaged in the business of making deliveries. If delivered, the ballot must be received by the election authority Prior to the polls closing (at 7:00 p.m.) on Election Day. You may confirm receipt of your ballot by calling our office…

    1
  60. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Thank you. I take it that’s legalese for “yes,” at least for Jackson County, Illinois.

    There is something to be said for the extreme federalism practiced in the US, and there is much to be said against it as well. Overall, a more unified system, at least for Federal elections, might have fewer downsides.

  61. Michael Cain says:

    @Mister Bluster: Good for Illinois. What do UPS and FedEx charge currently to pick my ballot up from my house and deliver it within two or three days?

  62. de stijl says:

    @CSK:

    The derecho on Monday took out half my trees.

    Not as as in half of my trees are down totally. They are are still there, but of trees I own, half of those are gone.

    Way too convoluted. I did not lose any whole trees, but those trees are half gone. It will cost thousands to have the limbs removed. Afaict, not covered if the limbs did not damage the house.

    In and done in like 12 minutes. I walked outside and just went “Holy fuck!”

    1
  63. Mister Bluster says:

    @de stijl:..I walked outside and just went “Holy fuck!”

    I know the feeling. Sleepytown Derecho. May 2009

    2
  64. de stijl says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    @de stijl:

    I am struggling with basic English.

    All of my trees are still standing, though a few are going to have to be removed entirely. Works, I was thinking to make space for an add-on and a breezeway between.

    Those standing trees lost about half their major limbs. Just snapped off and flung everywhere. One onto a major street. Covered two lanes and the turn lane. It was basically half a tree. Crazy! The city folks cleared that out by Tuesday. I hope that is on their dime, not mine.

    My homeowner’s insurance certainly does not cover that. Time will tell.

    And it was BAM! Ten, twelve minutes and gone. Crazy. Got black as midnight at noon. Then whoosh!

  65. mattbernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I agree with all your points about special ops, especially emphasizing the amount of practice they do and the huge infrastructure they have supporting them.

    I did have a question:

    Another little secret–quite a few spec ops kids are POC–most are in Army spec Ops however.

    That doesn’t surprise me, but I’m not sure I can articulate why. Is it just a bias towards where POC serve?

    As I think about it, I grew up in a pretty mixed school district (if not mixed town), and most of the BIPoC folks I went to school with who went into the service either went Army or Marines.

  66. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: Some of it is sheer numbers–the Army is the larger service so by default they have to recruit a little wider and deeper across America to get their numbers.

    Some of it is on the Services–the Army has (historically) put a higher priority on recruiting AA and POCs. They have a wider network of JROTCs and ROTC programs in places that are predominately minority areas/schools.

    Some if it is implicitly in the recruiting process–the Navy and Air Force need more technical specialties and set their thresholds for “qualification” (i.e. GPA and standardize qual tests) at a level that is going to exclude many minorities that come from disadvantaged environments. The POC that can do well on those tests and have the GPA are probably going to go to college and not consider the Military.

    Some of it is cultural–many AA see the military as a stepping stone into the middle class and therefore want jobs that have civilian equivalents once they get out. That limits the desire to join the Marines, who have very few of those kinds of jobs, and (if you cant qualify for a technical or admin job) the navy and air force are off the table as well. Which leaves us to Army–which has lower qualification thresholds for their technical careers–and still has a fair amount of non-technical job (i.e. logistics) that POC can do and get something nice on the outside if a 20-year career is not in the cards.

  67. mattBernius says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Super insightful! Thank you for taking the time to write all that out.