Friday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    To @Gustopher et al.

    Kokopelli Face Tattoo by AJJ (fka Andrew Jackson Jihad)

    Absurdist lyrics. Oblique mention of a face tattoo.

    Best version is off album Christmas Island 2014.

    I like the FolkPunkLyrics version cuz same audio plus lyrics, duh. All the live versions are acoustic guitar only.

    If Blink 182, Arlo Guthrie, and William Burroughs had a baby raised by godfather Phillip K. Dick.

    I know my place.

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  2. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve been increasingly optimistic about what can be accomplished by the Dems now that they have given up the lost cause of bipartisanship. Here’s a good example: a bill for unconnected rural and inner city areas that does for the internet what Rural Electrification did for power hookups in rural homes in the 30’s-60’s. This type of bill has been talked about for decades, since Al Gore was a Senator, in fact. But Republicans blocked it at every turn because “The Market Solves Problems, Not the Government!” I imagine even Manchin will put his finger in the wind and find some way to avoid giving the Republicans veto power (i.e. the filibuster). After all, his state has a high percentage of rural residents with crummy internet connections. And if the Dems can pass it, I would love to see the 2022 campaigns: Dem: “We are bringing you better internet connections at reasonable prices. Your current Senator says you don’t deserve that and fought against it every step of the way.”

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  3. Kurtz says:

    I don’t know if anyone looked at the Gallup poll linked by @Mu Yixiao. I noticed one interesting tidbit:

    The survey asked Republicans and Republican-leaning independents what direction they would like to see the party move in the future. A 40% plurality want the party to become more conservative, while 34% want it to stay the same and 24% to become more moderate. While Republican identifiers are about twice as likely to say the party should become more conservative than moderate (44% to 21%), Republican-leaning independents are split, with 36% wanting it to move further to the right of the ideological spectrum and 30% to move toward the center.

    Assuming this poll is truly reflective of the broader GOP electorate, I have a few things to consider:

    1.) 44% of Republican ID want it to move further to the right. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I suspect the bulk of those are pro-theocratic forms of governance.

    2.) “Independent” GOP-leaners–36% want it to move to the right. I am curious about the voting habits of these folks. Do they sometimes vote for the Constitution or Libertarian Party? Do they still pretty much vote for the GOP?

    3.) Is this due to electoral messaging replacing reality and reason? Is it a result of media outlets that function as ideological agitprop?

    4.) I’m guessing that respondents who ID with the out-party (mostly President) are more likely to say yes.

    I was a little irritated when Mu responded to Eddie that he “thought [Dems] were the party of science.” Polls point toward an area to look at, but they don’t put an X in the exact spot.

    There is a perspective of historical fiction that the stories told are much more about the time in which they were written rather than their temporal setting.

    I think this kind of question is like that. It may be a way to express dissatisfaction with the direction of the party they identify with rather than an actual desire for a third one.

    I also think it reflects a widespread lack of understanding of how the political system works.

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    There is a perspective of historical fiction that the stories told are much more about the time in which they were written rather than their temporal setting.

    I read a fair amount of historical fiction and definitely agree. I actually have grown to prefer an otherwise accurate story where, say, women can be strong and powerful characters, and the infant death rate isn’t 50%.

    This happens elsewhere too. There is a mystery/espionage series about an art restorer/spy. (What can I say, even my trash reading is geeky.) One of the things I liked about it was learning about the art world along the way. One really fascinating tidbit (that I hope is correct) is that, at least before high tech entered the verification process, forgeries that seemed perfect at the time are often seen as obvious fakes even a few decades later. Current fashions, not just in clothing but also in the way subjects hold themselves, look at each other, and interact with objects, tend to subtly influence the forger. People of that era don’t notice these subtle out-of-time elements, but those of later ones feel that something is off.

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  5. Teve says:
  6. sam says:
  7. Sleeping Dog says:

    Trump may be in real trouble from new civil and criminal cases

    Let’s hope these two are right.

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  8. KM says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Now that work from home is becoming more acceptable in the business world, poorer and rural states like WV have a shot at getting themselves out generation poverty cycles if they embrace the internet. Nobody’s gonna built a fancy new plant or data center in your tiny holler because it’s too expensive and there’s no support system….. but a couple of employees could be hired to do work if their homes could support the bandwidth. Residents who before who have to leave to find work can now suddenly compete in markets they never had access to and bring in needed revenue to dying towns. As long as they can do the work and the connection is good, does the company care where you are located if they’re not footing the bill for office space?

    Manchin would be wise to see just how profitable this could be for his constituents. “I got you wifi and a decent paying job you can do from your living room instead of driving to the next state. You’re welcome – vote Joe!”

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  9. CSK says:

    @KM:
    That’s a great idea, but the problem with it is that virtually all work that can be done from home is work that requires white-collar skills. Not that there aren’t plenty of white collar workers in WVA, but they’re probably already employed, at home or on-site.

    Someone with a ninth grade (if that) education living in a holler is unlikely to have the skill set required of the kind of person who can productively work from her or his home study.

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  10. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Jim Brown got his first dose of Pfizer on Tuesday–no issues besides arm soreness and loose bowels the following morning. Shot site is still sore but otherwise fine by lunchtime on Wed.

    My wife on the otherhand got her second shot of Moderna on Wed. By Wed night see was knocked on her ass. Temperature spiked to 101 Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon she was feeling pretty good but Thursday night she was knocked on her ass again–this time with finger numbness. I dosed her up good with some Tylenol PM and a couple of Melatonin and she woke up this morning yelling at me for not washing the dishes last night–so she’s fine. 36 hours of moderate reaction to dose 2.

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  11. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Glad to hear it.

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  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    I had a slightly less annoying reaction to Moderna 2 than your wife did, 24 hours of slightly elevated temperature rather than 36. My wife sailed through with nothing but arm soreness.

    And now I laugh at death. Hah hah hah!

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  13. Long Time Listener says:

    @Jim Brown: The second Pfizer will kick you in the pants, as well. Not to the extent of finger numbness, but it packs a punch. I had body aches and a 102 fever snuck up on me, after 12 hours, and ran for about a day. Theraflu and mint tea helped (for me). Your own mileage may vary….

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  14. Teve says:

    Just something I was reminiscing about. This probly happened around 1998 or thereabouts.

    I spent 10 years living in Raleigh, Durham, then Chapel Hill. Cosmopolitan places, most people were educated, etc, I knew people from exotic countries, I heard unusual languages like Wolof, I knew the best Lebanese food, etc. A friend of mine lived in Charlotte. I was at NC State, then UNC, he was an IT professional. We’d been living in our respective places for several years and it so happened that I was without a car one weekend he wanted to hang out so he drove over to Raleigh and picked me up. Pulled over to get gas somewhere outside of Siler City. Across from us pulls in a 70’s Datsun. The girl who gets out of the car and starts filling it up was probably about 15, was barefoot, and smoked a cigarette the whole time. She saw us in a fairly newish Mitsubishi Eclipse and made a suggestive face at us.

    “Oh yeah,” we realized, “we’re still in *North Carolina*”

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  15. Teve says:

    I was in traffic this morning and some douche had a big stylized “FL” on the back glass of his truck, and I wondered, WtF is that about, and then his tailgate said FREEDOM LIFESTYLE and my brain went exactly where yours just did.

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  16. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve been increasingly optimistic about what can be accomplished by the Dems now that they have given up the lost cause of bipartisanship.

    But they’re not going to get very far passing much else in this session along party lines as long as Manchin et al oppose ending the filibuster. Reconciliation can only be used three times per year under narrow criteria defined by the Senate parliamentarian.

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  17. Joe says:

    @Jim Brown 32: My second Pfizer made me a little fragile from hours 20-40 after receiving it. No big deal, just a little chill and a little tired. I have heard experiences all over the map. Good luck.

    My girlfriend and I are headed out on a little “vacication” this afternoon. We, both fully vaccinated, will be visiting her father, vaccinated to take him to meet up with her sister, vaccinated and, on the way back, stopping to see my son, first shot and his wife, fully vaccinated. We will otherwise wear our masks and keep our distance, although I told my son we will be wearing our masks as chin straps and waiving our vaccination cards at people who don’t care to see them.

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  18. Teve says:

    A friend of mine is a hospital administrator and she got 2 modernas, and said the first was a light slap and the second was a punch to the face.

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  19. Jax says:

    @Joe: Ohhhhhh, that sounds fun! Enjoy it! 🙂

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  20. Jax says:

    Where you at, Kathy? How are you feeling today?

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  21. Teve says:

    Adolescent Teve, who still imagines himself 29: punch, kick, body-slam, you comin’ off the top ropes, LETS DO THS

    Real Teve: is my spine still doing the itchy thng?

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  22. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Long Time Listener: Thanks for the warning. I’m scheduled for Dose 2 on a Tuesday but after seeing my wife–I might just wait til Friday so I don’t have to interrupt my work week

    @Michael Reynolds: I can’t wait for 2 weeks after Dose 2 to lick the face of random strangers–while also laughing at Death. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha #SendBail

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  23. gVOR08 says:

    I had the same reaction to my second Moderna as to the first. Slight ache in the shoulder briefly and stiffness the next morning until I’d moved around a bit. That’s it. I almost wish I had more evidence it’s working.

    We’re waiting a full four weeks, then we’ll loosen up a little, maybe even go to the local German restaurant. But we’ll still mask in public. There is the possibility we can still transmit and we feel we should encourage mask wearing. Also, as someone said in an anecdote, I think here at OTB, we wouldn’t want people to think we’re Republicans.

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  24. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Joe: After the nightmare of this past year–we all need a Vaccication. Enjoy yours!

    Im busying fighting family vaccine hesitancy (which is the primary reason I took the vaccine) so its going to be a little longer before we can do family get togethers. Im hoping we can get all our elderly family members to agree to get vaccinated before 4th of July so we can have a gathering.

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  25. sam says:

    @Long Time Listener:

    The second Pfizer will kick you in the pants, as well.

    It had no effect on me save some arm soreness. Bu I’m 80. Maybe age makes some difference.

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  26. KM says:

    There’s growing evidence that women are experiencing slightly worse side effects from the shots then men. Based on personal and anecdotal evidence I can concur- all the ladies got worse arm soreness and fatigue symptoms from #1 and #2 but the men seem to have a slight arm ache from #1 mostly. That also seems to track with OTB commentator experiences as well. Wonder why?

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  27. @Jim Brown 32: Good deal.

    I felt like I had the flu for three days after my second Pfizer. My wife had zero side effects (apart from the sore arm).

    Both my parents got their second Moderna this week and they, too, have had no side effects.

    It’s a little crapshoot just to make an interesting year a tad more interesting…

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  28. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    No side effects for any of us so far from Moderna, Pfizer, or J&J, no matter whether the recipient was male or female.

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  29. wr says:

    @CSK: “That’s a great idea, but the problem with it is that virtually all work that can be done from home is work that requires white-collar skills”

    First counter-argument that pops to mind is call-centers, which can be virtual, work from home spaces.

    Also, a lot of WV is very beautiful. If it becomes possible to have a white collar career working from home while living there, you might find people from urban areas relocating there — and bringing with them a need for goods and services.

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  30. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Methinks Tucker Carlson is gunning for the displaced Limbaugh audience. He’s gone full Troll

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  31. CSK says:

    @wr:
    I know it is quite beautiful. But having skilled urban people relocating there wouldn’t furnish jobs for the people already living in the area, would it? I’m assuming those are the people to whom KM was referring.

    Of course, an influx of skilled urban people would bring with it improved services, which would ultimately benefit the people whose families have lived there for generations. But that wouldn’t solve the immediate crisis of finding jobs for the longtime unemployed residents.

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  32. CSK says:

    Cyrus Vance, Jr. is stepping down at the end of this year.

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  33. KM says:

    @wr:
    Indeed. I was thinking basic data entry jobs as well – the kind you start out on when you have no skills but quickly gain what you need to be valuable to the company via osmosis or internal trainings. Things like LinkedIn Learning that offer free or low cost courses to people and are encouraged by businesses to gain valuable skills. Add in some gov cheese to encourage that kind of thing and you’ll see a hiring boom. Another thing to think about is younger generations are naturally more tech savvy then their elders so give someone deprived off good internet speeds or decent hardware a chance and they will bloom quickly as they likely already under the basics by living in 2021.

    If your job didn’t tie you down to a specific place, where would you choose to live? A low-cost rural area might be ideal for someone just starting out. Housing is cheap and if you don’t need to commute, all that really matters are schools and services – things that will adapt as needs grow. Railroads did the same thing generations ago so why not wifi?

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  34. Kathy says:

    It looks like the urinary catheter is coming off soon. It’s odd how the world’s been reduced to that as far as I’m concerned.

    I’ll have full details tomorrow if I’m discharged an go home. The laptop was a bust.

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  35. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I’m glad the catheter is out. I hope they cut you loose tomorrow. Sorry about the laptop.

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  36. Jax says:

    @Kathy: My Mom said the catheter was the absolute worst part of the bladder surgery she had to have done last year. Absolutely miserable. Hang in there!!

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  37. Slugger says:

    The randomized trial results of the Moderna product is available:
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389
    Sore arms, a bit of fever, some achiness are fairly common.

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  38. Jax says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Did you see the headline about the press release from the Department of Defense? “Press Secretary smites Fox News host…..”

    I got a good chuckle out of the use of smite. Downright biblical. 😉

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  39. MarkedMan says:

    Yesterday there was a discussion on whether or not it was an exageration to say the Trump administration had no plan for vaccine rollout. As near as I could tell those defending the Trumpers accepted the assertion that the “plan” was to let the states handle it. I suppose if you think that qualifies as a plan then so be it. In any case, coincidentally, Josh Marshall weighed in on it today. Here’s an excerpt:

    Where things change dramatically is on the distribution front. It’s not too much to say that the Trump White House had literally no plan to distribute the vaccine at all beyond the small but critical subgroup of assisted living facility residents and staff. This isn’t even a criticism. It was a point of principle with them. It was their ‘plan’, such as it was.

    The federal government’s role – all the stuff about getting the military involved to bring their logistics expertise to bear – was to drop off pallets of vaccine at major airports in each state. And then it was up to the states. Critically, it was up to states and municipalities which were already in acute budgetary distress because of the pandemic.

    This is one thing that had people spooked in the fall. The administration had a system and funding for getting assisted living facilities vaccinated and I believe also health care workers vaccinated. But that program and funding was designed to run out at the beginning of February. And that was it. So it seemed almost intentionally designed to get everyone pumped up about getting vaccinated and then have all the plans and money run out about one week after Biden’s inauguration. So a pre-planned train-wreck on Biden’s watch.

    In any case, point being, all the stuff the Biden folks said about showing up and realizing the Trump administration had no plan is 100% true. They just rebranded no plan as their ‘plan’. Sort of like they did with testing.

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  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    Lil’ Marco endorses the Bessemer Amazon union effort.

    Sen. Marco Rubio: Amazon should face unionization drive without Republican support

    There are the obligatory slaps at Dems and progressives, as well as a bit of tortured rationalization, but it is surprising.

    Guess Marco has decided that he can’t win Trump voters by being the former guy’s mini me and is striking out for a different edge. This will be interesting to watch play out.

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  41. KM says:

    @CSK:
    We can teach the folks already living there white collar skills. It’s really not that hard. Yes, there will be cultural resistance from “damnnit I’m a miner like my grandpappy” but not everyone is stupid. Offer $15hr to sit and answer phones? Learn a specific computer program they’ll probably have to learn in training anyways? Basic data work like collections or healthcare billing is something a teenager can do right out of high school. You learn the specifics of the job on the job or you take a class online – something you can do now that the internet is available to you. Manchin could push for funding for this sort of thing as job creation.

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  42. Andy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Yesterday there was a discussion on whether or not it was an exageration to say the Trump administration had no plan for vaccine rollout. As near as I could tell those defending the Trumpers accepted the assertion that the “plan” was to let the states handle it.

    Presumably, I fall into your “Trump defenders” camp. That’s a pretty annoying characterization and not an accurate one, IMO.

    The thing is the facts matter. And you and now Josh Marshall do not seem to understand how the system was actually setup to work. It’s hard to provide cogent criticism of what the Trump administration did when one is misinformed about how the process was setup and how it actually works. And it’s also important to note that the Biden administration hasn’t done a 180. they’ve taken the tools and processes developed since last summer, have been more hands-on, and changed some of the guidance and criteria. The system for allocation determination and distribution remains largely unchanged.

    And this is where Josh Marshal is just plain wrong.

    The federal government’s role – all the stuff about getting the military involved to bring their logistics expertise to bear – was to drop off pallets of vaccine at major airports in each state. And then it was up to the states. Critically, it was up to states and municipalities which were already in acute budgetary distress because of the pandemic.

    I do think that the Trump administration didn’t give enough support to the states, most of whom lacked the expertise and resources. But the idea that having the military drop off pallets at airports is just fantasy. The logistics are and have always been handled by Fedex and UPS working directly with the manufacturers and shipping directly from factories. And that part of it has been working just fine.

    And this:

    In any case, point being, all the stuff the Biden folks said about showing up and realizing the Trump administration had no plan is 100% true. They just rebranded no plan as their ‘plan’. Sort of like they did with testing.

    Again, that is just wrong. The logistics, IT and other systems set up by the Trump administration are still in use by the Biden administration. Whatever you think of Trump, the idea that his administration had “no plan” doesn’t square with the fact that his administration went from zero to 1 million vaccinations a day in the span of a month. That doesn’t happen by accident.

    The actual limitations have been:
    – Not enough vaccine to meet demand
    – Issues with distribution at the “last mile” stage – ie. at the state, locality, and individual hospital/clinic level.

    I think that a valid and fact-based criticism is that the Trump administration did not provide sufficient support to states and localities that didn’t have the tools, expertise, and IT systems to handle the tasks at their level. The Trump administration also didn’t make a common vaccine registry data portal. Palantir developed Tiberius over the summer, the administration should have contracted with them or someone else for a common and simple registry system for state and local officials.

    And I find it curious that Tiberius has pretty much been ignored – surprising considering it’s the lynchpin of the whole system.

    But anyway, there are plenty of other criticisms of the Trump adminstration’s planning and execution. But the idea that there was no plan is just factually untrue. I get annoyed when I end up de facto defending Trump because of strange criticisms that don’t seem based on reality. Operation Warp Speed was one of the few good things (maybe the only thing) the Trump administration did when it came to coronavirus. The effort to make it seem like it was “no plan” is bizarre and not accurate when one looks at the actual facts.

    And even Trump’s senior Covid official agrees:

    Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to the White House’s Covid team, on Thursday credited the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed for spurring the development of a Covid vaccine at an unprecedented pace.

    “We’re grateful for the work that came before us and are doing the best we can to continue it and accelerate it,” Slavitt said on Fox News. “I would absolutely tip my hat. … The Trump administration made sure that we got in record time a vaccine up and out. That’s a great thing and it’s something we should all be excited about.”

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  43. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    I know it is quite beautiful. But having skilled urban people relocating there wouldn’t furnish jobs for the people already living in the area, would it?

    As you note, not immediately, but it would furnish jobs locally. The skilled immigrants would bring paychecks from out of state into WV, or wherever. They’d buy, improve, and maintain houses on the local economy. They’d buy and service cars on the local economy, along with groceries, clothes, healthcare etc.. Remember all those claims you’ve seen that that industry, or company, X supports Y jobs? Actually they lie, if you took them all and summed Yn across all Xn you’d end up with a number far larger than the labor force. But they do support some substantial number of jobs, many local.

    It’s a separate issue, but WV should receive sales tax money from whatever Amazon et al sell in WV. And enforcement of national anti-trust laws would support local businesses.

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  44. gVOR08 says:

    @Andy: I lack detailed knowledge to arbitrate whether whether there was no plan, no very useful plan, or a plan the Biden people could build on. But I will note your quote from Andy Slavitt has to do with vaccine production, not distribution. I’ll also note that Marshall’s crack about dropping pallets at airports was specific to the claimed military role.

    As to whether it’s fair for Biden to dismiss what Trump did and claim credit, my answer is, “Who cares?”. Trump took credit for the Obama economy right up until the Trump recession.

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  45. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: Housing is cheap and if you don’t need to commute, all that really matters are schools and services –

    Schools in rural areas generally suck due to low revenues, everything from resources to teachers get shortchanged. As for services, they are sparse as well.

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  46. Northerner says:

    @CSK:

    That might be a fairly short lived problem (say a decade or two). Much of white collar work (along with much of blue collar work) will be handled very efficiently by AI, making workers in both largely redundant. I’d argue that’s an excellent case for some sort of universal basic interest (something interestingly enough that both some progressive and some conservative economists — Milton Friedman for instance) have advocated.

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  47. Kathy says:

    Biden joke of the day:

    Q: how many times does Biden laugh at a joke?
    A: three times. when he first hears it, to be polite. When it’s explained to him, to be polite. and a half hour later, when he gets it.

    Q: how many times does trump laugh at a joke?
    A: just once, to be polite. he’ll be annoyed when you explain it, and he never gets it.

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  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: That 2nd joke falls flat. trump has never cared enough about another human being that he felt the urge to be polite.

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  49. Monala says:

    So still no shot for me. It’s really hard, because my kid has experienced so much loss over the last few years: her dad, grandma, several aunts and uncles, a couple of her childhood friends, and then the loss of our home and all our possessions. I’m the only parent she has left, and I don’t want her to lose me, too.

    I work in human services, and we’re considered essential workers–we never closed down during any of the shutdowns, although we modified our schedules so that staff take shifts being in the building and dealing face to face with clients, while working from home to do meetings, paperwork, and phone calls. So I am face to face with clients twice a week, many of them vulnerable people (homeless, etc.). Yet human service workers are on none of the essential worker lists for getting vaccines, unless they work in congregate settings such as shelters.

    I’m over 50 and raising a child solo, but because she is my own child, and not a grandchild or niece or nephew, I don’t qualify for the “over 50 multi-generational household” eligibility.

    So maybe there is hope on two fronts: first, WA state announced that April 12th opens up eligibility for people over age 50 with two or more risk factors for Covid, as designated by the CDC. The problem is, I don’t have anything on the first list (definite risk for severe Covid) such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. I have several risk factors from the second list (possible increased risk for severe Covid), such as overweight and asthma. So will WA state allow people on the second list to get shots or just the first? Don’t know yet.

    The second hopeful factor would be if Biden is indeed able to open up eligibility for all adults by May 1st.

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  50. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I was just about to make the exact same observation. Trump has no sense of humor, anyway, unless you count making fun of the physically disabled as a sense of humor.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    But they’re not going to get very far passing much else in this session along party lines as long as Manchin et al oppose ending the filibuster.

    FWIW, there’s been a lot of discussion of what Manchin means by “oppose ending the filibuster”. He has made it clear that he is open to changing the definition, requiring the senator doing the filibuster to declare themselves, perhaps having to actually do something such as be present during the entire filibuster, etc. There has even been a discussion about putting a time limit on it.

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  52. CSK says:

    @Monala:

    I’m in awe of your strength. Your daughter is a very fortunate young person to have you as her mother.
    Would that fact that you are your child’s sole parent and her only means of support be a factor in helping to move you up the list?

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  53. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I would love to see the 2022 campaigns: Dem: “We are bringing you better internet connections at reasonable prices. Your current Senator says you don’t deserve that and fought against it every step of the way.”

    Yes, it would be really nice to live in a world where that ad resonated with voters, wouldn’t it?

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  54. wr says:

    @CSK: “But having skilled urban people relocating there wouldn’t furnish jobs for the people already living in the area, would it?”

    Of course they would. Skilled urban people want to live near restaurants, shops, theaters. They need mechanics and plumbers and electricians and babysitters and landscape designers. That furnish job after job after job.

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  55. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “Trump took credit for the Obama economy right up until the Trump recession.”

    You mean “the Obama/Biden recession,” don’t you?

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  56. Grewgills says:

    @Teve:
    Second Moderna was a knuckle punch in the arm for me.
    For some of my colleagues it had stranger symptoms. Many of them had a sort of brain fog and some dizziness and a few had fever, some with feelings of burning in their ears and/or eyes.

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  57. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    FWIW, there’s been a lot of discussion of what Manchin means by “oppose ending the filibuster”.

    Yes, he may vote to reform it. But the bottom line is that as long as Manchin is an essential part of the Dems’ razor-thin majority, it’s not likely there will be very much legislation passed on party lines during this Congress. It’s not a matter of whether the Dems want to be appear bipartisan; they don’t have much of a choice at this point.

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  58. Monala says:

    @CSK: all the scheduling software has gatekeeper questions, and if I’m honest, it tells me I’m not eligible. For instance, the question of whether you’re over 50 and a caregiver for a child, you’re eligible (but not if it’s your own child).

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  59. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy:

    Presumably, I fall into your “Trump defenders” camp. That’s a pretty annoying characterization and not an accurate one, IMO

    That’s fair. I apologize. However much we disagree about this one issue I recognize you have never been a Trump apologist.

    And you and now Josh Marshall do not seem to understand how the system was actually setup to work

    I can’t speak for Josh Marshall but I do understand how the system was set up to work. I just think it was criminally negligent to do nothing to change that system given the immense task ahead. That’s our disagreement and it’s not based on my lack of understanding the system.

    As for the Trump administration getting to 1M shots a day, that is giving them credit for what they explicitly had no plan for and no intention of having a plan. They delivered vaccines to the States (without reliably telling them how much they could expect and when, BTW) and then walked away. They admit that. They bragged about it. You find that acceptable and I don’t.

    It’s like FEMA after a local disaster. 99% of the boots on the ground are going to be local people. The county and state know the area much better than FEMA and that’s vital to the effort. But that doesn’t mean that the planning, coordination, logistics, experience, guidance and ability to use Federal law to unstick processes and resources isn’t vital. In Trump’s version of COVID FEMA, they dumped building materials at the airport and said, “you are on your own”.

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  60. CSK says:

    @wr:
    I was looking at the shorter-term prospects. All those possibilities would indeed come about, but it would take a while. And a fair number of people won’t move to a place without good schools, good medical care, and amenities such as grocery stores already in place. Young families in particular want good schools for their children now; they don’t want to wait for those schools to be built.

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: For the first time since this whole shirtshow started, I’m encouraged that such a directive is meaningful and possible. The school districts for which I work have been encouraging “qualifying” teachers (quite a significant number in our districts–lots of old teachers) to get vaccinations and directing us to links where the message perpetually reads “we have no appointment times available now, please come back at a later date.” Just this past week 1) the governor shifted policy to add teachers and other people who have been going to work all along to the list of “essential workers” and 2) there has been a eruption of links to actual live working sites with calendar programs that have available dates and times on them offering vaccinations. Just yesterday, teachers were linked to a system looking to fill 75 vaccination appointments–the 4th such link in as many days. I hope other states are doing as well.—–

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  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m absolutely and completely fine, I said to my editor, when I told him what I’d write about instead. Really, it’s just – [don’t say “part of life”, don’t say “part of life”] – it’s just part of life! I told him the truth, that I genuinely forget about these things soon after they happen. Except I’m writing this stupid record of this one now. Should have just tied a weight round it and sent it to sleep with the fishes, with all the other ones. The healthy option. But please, I said to him, please tell me if it comes out wrong. I never say that with any other column, but of course we ladies worry about telling our own stories wrongly or unsuccessfully.

    Anyway, I’m walking to collect one of my children after school yesterday, down the street I always take. It’s never lovelier than now, when all the magnolias are coming out. He stares hard, passes. Stops.

    Behind me: “What are you looking at?”

    Honestly? The end of the street. How is it that the end of this empty London street, where there’s a busier road and then a square, has suddenly stretched to a point somewhere just beyond Moscow? What happens to time and space when these nothings happen? This whole nothing is going to take five minutes, yet feel so long it’s like I could have learned Mandarin, or written a novel. You absorb every incidental detail. Just in case! And in every split second, you’re somehow able to consider multiple possible theories as to what is, or isn’t, happening.

    “I’m talking to you. Fucking turn round.”

    I suspect it’s hard for most men to understand what it’s like to navigate this world as a woman. It’s damned near impossible for me.

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  63. MarkedMan says:

    @Andy:Re: this quote

    Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to the White House’s Covid team, on Thursday credited the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed for spurring the development of a Covid vaccine at an unprecedented pace

    This is obviously untrue. Many countries did the same thing. If the US hadn’t done a thing it wouldn’t have affected the schedule of vaccine rollout.

    Bottom line, all they did was guarantee purchases if the vaccine was viable. That was good, because otherwise we wouldn’t have any doses at this point. But every other developed country did exactly the same thing.

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  64. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    trump has never cared enough about another human being that he felt the urge to be polite

    My recollection was that Trump, while always a clown, was very different in the eighties and nineties. It’s hard to describe but he seemed to be in on the joke a bit, and at least gave the impression that he didn’t take himself totally seriously. He could be charming and entertaining in short doses. I don’t see that at all any more.

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  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: Thank you for noting that “vaccinated” really only means “potential asymptomatic vector” until most of us are vaccinated. And for more good news, check out https://newrepublic.com/article/161669/covid-2022-pandemic-end?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tnr_daily which includes speculation from some that the virus may become endemic rather than pandemic. More fun on the way folks. 🙁

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  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: Which is as it should be given that he will be 67 in June (exactly 30 days before I turn 69, in fact). If we’ve been paying attention to such details (HAH!), the person who succeeds him will be capable of continuing where he left off, more or less. If we’ve been acting as we typically do, the SDNY will turn into a shirtshow. (No need to wonder about my guess.)

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  67. Stormy Dragon says:

    Phase 1b and 1c essential workers are kinda getting screwed over, since it looks like we’re going to jump directly from “you can’t get it because you’re less important than retired seniors” to “you can get it because everyone else is taking all the doses”.

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  68. Gustopher says:

    @Monala: You might want to try to check with the constituent services for your Representatives (federal and state). There is every chance that the rules are more like guidelines.

    Are we vaccinating the vulnerable populations you work with yet? That might be another way in. I have a friend who teaches at the VA, and everyone there gets vaccinated. Makes the Vets less hesitant to see everyone else get the shots.

    If you help get other people to vaccination sites, there might be a shot in it for you.

    Good luck.

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    More on the “Trump gets credit for vaccine rollout” issue. Anyone bored to tears by now should make free use of the scroll wheel.

    It turns out that the Josh Marshall blog post was in reference to a lengthy and very well researched and reported piece at TPM. I don’t know if it is behind their paywall or not so I’ve included a chunk of the introduction below

    With the COVID-19 vaccines starting to bring the pandemic to an end, former President Trump has stepped in to take credit for the feat.

    What’s surprising is that he’s been aided in this by the Washington Post and New York Times, both of which have run articles this week arguing that the speed-up in the vaccine rollout under President Biden only builds off of a plan put into place by Trump. In short, they contend that Trump is right: he had a plan to distribute the vaccine that Biden was lucky enough to inherit.

    That’s flat wrong. A look at what actually happened in the Trump administration’s last weeks shows that the White House lacked a plan for the “last mile” of distribution, leaving that to the states while lobbying Congress not to pass much-needed funding that would spur state and local governments to get the vaccine into arms.

    On its own terms, the Trump administration did not have a plan to distribute the vaccine to Americans en masse beyond “let the states figure it out.”

    What the Trump administration left the country with was a partnership with pharmacies to vaccinate nursing homes — the only real footprint of a federal plan to deliver vaccine into people’s arms. And even that foundered amid allegations of inefficiency compared to states that opted out.

    What’s more is that that one plan only covered the first phase of distribution: nursing home residents and hospital workers, who received inoculations from the medical facilities at which they worked. It set the Biden administration up for a “vaccine cliff,” an outcome that was avoided in part due to the outcry over the sheer ineptitude of the effort’s early stages.

    No Plan

    The question here is simple: what did the administration plan to do to get vaccines into arms? After the vaccines got to the states, what was the plan for the last mile?

    The answer is that there was none. The vaccines were dumped onto the states, without any real push to coordinate how they would go from federal custody into the arms of Americans.

    That so-called “last mile” is crucial, as the U.S. learned in December and January, when shipments were missed and vaccine sat unused — or ended up in trash bins.

    There were two main, limited ways in which the Trump administration used federal power to plan for this so-called “last mile.”

    One took place in September, when the CDC asked states to provide plans for how they would prioritize distribution. But what to do for the last mile — actually designing and implementing the distribution — was left to the states.

    The one program that the Trump administration oversaw to directly deliver vaccine to Americans was its nursing home partnership with CVS and Walgreens. That program did succeed in vaccinating the country’s nursing home population — an achievement marred by the program’s extreme inefficiency compared to states that rejected it.

    Some state governments eventually dropped the program midway through because coordination was so poor.

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  70. wr says:

    @CSK: “And a fair number of people won’t move to a place without good schools, good medical care, and amenities such as grocery stores already in place. ”

    True… and yet gentrification happens. Often the artists come first, looking for cheap space for studio space — fine arts, music, theater, whatever — and once the artists are established restaurants start to pop up. Then other people start hearing about this hip new place… and boom.

    It’s not just Brookly. Santa Fe, San Rafael, Napa… these were all low-cost hippie hangouts until money followed the hippies.

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  71. flat earth luddite says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: SWMBO’d musing about friends’ varied reactions to their shots, “well, it can’t possibly make you as sick as chemo did!” Thanks, sweetie.

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  72. dazedandconfused says:

    @wr:

    Gentrification has been mostly, but certainly not in all cases, the slow un-winding of red-lining.

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  73. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl:

    Kokopelli Face Tattoo by AJJ (fka Andrew Jackson Jihad)

    I think changing their name was a good idea. Andrew Jackson is a bit problematic.

    The song is great. I know of AJJ from YouTube recommending everything popular on TikTok to me*, but it’s a limited bit of their catalog. “Body Terror Song,” “Brave as a Noun,” and “People II: The Reckoning” are all I really know.

    “People II” has a wonderful nod to Simon y Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”

    So here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
    People love you more, oh nevermind (Oh nevermind)

    In fucking fact, Mrs. Robinson
    The world won’t care whether you live or die (You live or die)

    In fucking fact, Mrs. Robinson
    They probably hate to see your stupid face (Your stupid face)

    So here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson
    You live in an unforgiving place

    —-
    *: I have the best YouTube recommendations. One of my friends gets guinea pig video recommendations, which is also pretty good.

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  74. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    To fit in? To pretend to be polite? To show he can laugh better than anyone?

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  75. Monala says:

    @Gustopher: Yeah, in the last few months I reached out to my reps to try to recover documents lost in the fire, an easy process for myself, not so easy for my kid. I haven’t heard anything to my email, phone calls and letters. So I’m not too optimistic that I’d get a response for Covid questions, which I’m sure they’re swamped with.

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  76. DrDaveT says:

    @CSK:

    Someone with a ninth grade (if that) education living in a holler is unlikely to have the skill set required of the kind of person who can productively work from her or his home study.

    Which is yet another reason to support Khan Academy and its goal of making a world-class high school education available to anyone with access to the internet. Get ’em the internet, and they can get the needed skill set.

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Pre 2016 I never paid any attention at all to the clown known as trump. I’ll take your word for it.

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  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: To fit in? To pretend to be polite? To show he can laugh better than anyone?

    All of which have as a prerequisite the actual desire to please other people. None of which I have observed in trump in the last 4-5 years, taking note as I did with MM above that I paid absolutely zero attention to the empty suit before 2016.

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  79. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @OzarkHillbilly:
    In 1987, Trump began dropping hints about running for the presidency in 1988. He didn’t, of course, but interestingly, it was the same bluster about America being a loser on the world stage that he spouted in 2015 and 2016. He didn’t quite say he alone could fix it, but that was the implication. At that point, he was still riding high on the success of The Art of the Deal..

    He was a loudmouthed fool and churl even back then, but you may have had to have been from the northeast to have heard of him in those days.

    Once a malevolent buffoon, always a malevolent buffoon.

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  80. Kathy says:

    Good news, I just saw the surgeon and he agreed I should be discharged tomorrow.

    I won’t say I had a terrible time. The nurses were professional and very nice. But today I got so bored, I literally couldn’t take another day.

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  81. @Kathy: Excellent news!

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  82. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Boredom is a sign of healing. Seriously.

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  83. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Jax: Unserious people deserve a little poetic wordplay. I found it amusing to say the least. LoL

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  84. Matt says:

    @Jim Brown 32: That’s a fairly typical response to the second moderna dosage based on my limited pool of people who have taken it.

    Second dose is always worse.

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