Friday’s Forum

Time marches like a river. Discuss.

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I won’t be doing much marching today. Been awake since 11:00 last night.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ɪᴀɴ ᴍ ᴍᴀᴄᴋᴀʏ, ᴘʜᴅ
    @MackayIM

    Covid-19 is rapidly becoming America’s leading cause of death
    How does the coronavirus compare to other major causes of death in an average week?
    washingtonpost.com

    But let’s open up the economy again.

    And oh yeah, Gretchen Whitmer is a Nazi and “Stay at Home” orders are just like gassing Jews.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Coronavirus clue? Most cases aboard U.S. aircraft carrier are symptom-free

    The possibility that the coronavirus spreads in a mostly stealthy mode among a population of largely young, healthy people showing no symptoms could have major implications for U.S. policy-makers, who are considering how and when to reopen the economy.

    It also renews questions about the extent to which U.S. testing of just the people suspected of being infected is actually capturing the spread of the virus in the United States and around the world.

    The Navy’s testing of the entire 4,800-member crew of the aircraft carrier – which is about 94% complete – was an extraordinary move in a headline-grabbing case that has already led to the firing of the carrier’s captain and the resignation of the Navy’s top civilian official.

    Roughly 60 percent of the over 600 sailors who tested positive so far have not shown symptoms of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, the Navy says. The service did not speculate about how many might later develop symptoms or remain asymptomatic.

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  4. steve says:

    I reported our treatment protocol here couple days ago. We now think we have enough patients and enough positive experience, we have had good luck at keeping people from progressing to needing intubation, that we are changing our protocol. Our old protocol was everyone gets HCQ, AZ, Zinc, Steroids, self proning and some get Vitamin C. With our new protocol everyone gets steroids and self proning increased up to 12 hours as tolerated. HCQ and Zinc now optional. No one gets AZ and some get Vitamin C.

    Steve

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  5. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The only nit I have to pick with that article is its focus on “young and healthy” being the hallmark of asymptomatic carriers. The piece I shared yesterday about a Boston homeless shelter showed similar data. Of 397 people tested, 146 were positive for covid-19 and *not one* showed any symptoms. Homeless populations can be very diverse, but they are not typically described as “young and healthy.”

    The bottom line is that this disease is sneaky AF. A lot of people might contract it and fight it off without ever knowing. A lot of others will get so sick they die. That’s quite a range.

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  6. Teve says:
  7. Bill says:
  8. Kit says:

    @Teve: My favorite line from that article:

    It’s true that Senate Republicans are trying to push through an extra $250 billion in small-business lending — and Democrats are willing to go along. But the Democrats also insist that the package include substantial aid for hospitals and for state and local governments. And Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is refusing to include this aid.

    McConnell claims that he would be willing to consider additional measures in later legislation.

    Sounds good to me, Lucy! Now set up that football ’cause I’m feeling lucky!

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    I’ve started wearing dress shirts again to bring a bit more professionalism to my video conferences and I’m reminded that getting that one hanger in the far back of the closet rod untangled from all the others is an IQ test I’m destined to fail almost every day.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: SEE??? LIEBERALS HATE FREE SPEECH! F*CKIN” SNOWFLAKES!

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  11. Scott says:

    Interesting article on the Coronavirus models used and their limitations.

    SPECIAL REPORT: The Problem With Coronavirus Models Is How We Talk About Them

    Some health leaders have said that various COVID-19 models’ worst projections — such as the Imperial College London model that predicted that 500,000 Britons would die — were overly dire. That skepticism about what the models truly say will play a growing role in the discussion about when and how to “re-open” the country. But the idea that the worst of the pandemic is behind us — and that the models prove it — is misleading at best and dangerous at worst, say experts.

    What the models are, in fact, is poorly represented by the policy makers touting them. The vast majority of them aren’t built to project infection rates out beyond a few weeks, so they don’t tell us anything about the resurgences that may come.

    But the model’s creators admit to a big limitation that doesn’t make it into the White House briefings. It was originally designed only to track infection rates and hospital use through June. And while its creators at the University of Washington are constantly using new data to improve it, these updates don’t provide high-confidence predictions about the fall or next year because the number of variables is growing as new measures are implemented in lots of different ways across varied locations

    There’s a lot more.

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I forgot:

    NOW I’M GONNA GO GET MY GUN SO I CAN SCARE THE BEJEZUS OUT OF ANYONE WHO MIGHT DISAGREE WITH ME!

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  13. KM says:

    @Scott:

    What the models are, in fact, is poorly represented by the policy makers touting them.

    What a nice way to say “outright lying on purpose”. Things don’t make it into the public WH briefings because it’s inconvenient to their agenda. The GOP has made it *VERY* clear that money is more important then American lives since Day One. They’ve misused and misrepresented medical information to downplay severity (the flu comparison), used worse-case scenario numbers to make them look like they’ve not screwed up (“Trump’s saved 900,000 lives!”) and have daily speeches where they indicate they have zero idea about the facts used to generate models (“COVID-1”).

    The GOP and it’s King Trump do not care if you die of disease and that this ravages our nation in irreparable ways. They don’t care if you’re out of work or you have no food or supplies for your family. The economy must go on so they may profit. If that means “poorly-representing” data they don’t understand in the first place to convince people that early opening won’t be a disaster, guess what’s gonna happen. They specialize in magical thinking and are trying to reassure America you can wish COVID-19 away by going out to earn that green.

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  14. An Interested Party says:

    Oh look, the Trump campaign is appealing to its base with this new ad…this isn’t a dog whistle, it’s an animal shelter bullhorn…

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  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left

    SDS’ers warning the Bernie-crats to take what you can get.

    Now we fear that some on the left cannot see the difference between a capitalist democrat and a protofascist. We hope none of us learn this difference from jail cells.
    […}
    In 1919, in the midst of the brief German socialist revolution, the great sociologist Max Weber addressed left-wing students about politics. He urged upon them that the best politics must be painfully aware of the consequences of action, not just intentions. Speaking to young men, he prophetically warned them that the cost of ignoring consequences might be their deaths.

    Oh the comments… If things get bad enough then…

    The Republicans are a lost cause – lost until things blow up under their watch so horribly that they are forced to concede that we are in a Climate Crisis. If they are given 4 more years there is a good chance that things might just go quite as horribly as I and many of us in the environmental movement fear it will. Covid-19 is just the beginning of our harvest of our environmental negligence.

    Of course things have been going downhill for years and the voters continue to vote in the same patterns. Why? Each degradation is small and people adjust and there is a new normal.

    From the Left that remains in the reality based community.

    What AOC Gets that Bernie Didn’t

    To draw an analogy between sex and politics, much of the Left are masochists who revel in their suffering rather than seek a comfortable accommodation that achieves most of their goals.

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  16. Bill says:

    If not for the Coronavirus, CBS may have interrupted regular programming with this as a special report-

    Michael Cohen will be released from prison due to pandemic

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  17. Kathy says:

    I’ve changed my mind.

    Biden’s first priority upon reaching office, should be to set up a permanent, well-funded, rapid-reaction pandemic task force that can, as far as possible, prevent, contain, and treat any future pandemic.

    His second priority should be a thorough investigation into Trump, Trump’s family, and Trump’s cabinet.

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  18. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: And McConnell/Chao. In fact the House should start now to get a lever in Moscow Mitch.

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  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    Time flies like an arrow.

    Fruitflies like a banana.

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  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘It’s horrible’: how the US deep south’s prisons exacerbate the pandemic

    In prisons and jails across the deep south, America’s incarceration center, the pandemic threatens to overwhelm chronically underfunded, understaffed and significantly overpopulated facilities. In Alabama, the department of corrections (DOC) has only tested 46 inmates, with no cases confirmed. In Mississippi, it was announced on Monday that an inmate who tested positive for Covid-19 died at the state’s notorious Parchman prison. The department declined to specify the number of inmates who have been tested. In Louisiana, 60 inmates have so far tested positive.

    I think these states think “containing the pandemic” means closing their prison doors.

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  21. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Do you also read The Guardian because it’s one of a few quality online papers left without a paywall?

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  22. Kit says:

    @Kathy: @gVOR08: Biden should root out corruption wherever he can find it. And no pardons, although perhaps reduced sentences for turning in others.

    Next up, at least on my list, would be putting teeth back into regulations and taking drastic action on the environment.

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  23. An Interested Party says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Can I upvote this a thousand times? This very succinctly and accurately describes how the left should react to the Biden nomination…the worst thing for people on the left to do is to imitate the people on the right and become rigid idiots who are too pure to accept half a loaf rather than pining away for an imaginary whole loaf that they’ll never get…

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  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: No, I read them because they are a quality online paper. I really need to start contributing something to them, I can afford something.
    Somebody here (teve?) put me on to the NYT bargain basement $4/mo subscription. I think I can at least do the same for the Guardian. I keep saying I’m gonna do it, but then I forget until the next day, when I say I really gotta start contributing…

    My guilty conscience will get to me sooner or later.

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  25. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Somebody here (teve?) put me on to the NYT bargain basement $4/mo subscription. I think I can at least do the same for the Guardian. I keep saying I’m gonna do it, but then I forget until the next day, when I say I really gotta start contributing…

    I’m in the same boat. Just this morning, I brought up the Guardian’s subscription page. The tab is still open but I could not quite bring myself to subscribe for EUR 125/year. But they are my primary paper and I really should support them.

    I see that the NYT wants EUR 2/month for the first year. The price is right but then again I already have too much to read. I’ve got to sleep on it.

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  26. Moosebreath says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    “Time flies like an arrow.

    Fruit flies like a banana.”

    And horse flies like the current President.

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  27. Mister Bluster says:

    @Bill:..The role reversal Florida headline of the day-

    So if I up vote this will readers think I approve of bad parenting or will it be taken that I applaud Bill for posting about bad parenting?
    If I down vote this will people think I disapprove of bad parenting or will they be convinced that these fools are not helping any one except giving Rush Limbaugh and his ilk more fodder to feed his audience?

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  28. Mister Bluster says:

    @Sleeping Dog:..An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left

    Bad link. Must be from the Berkeley Barb.

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  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    An Open Letter to the New New Left From the Old New Left

    Try this

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  30. Monala says:
  31. Scott says:

    This is behind a paywall but you really don’t need to read much further. If the rest of us had such problems.

    For The Rich, A Dilemma: Quarantine With Staff, or Do Their Own Chores

    Peter Mahler, the head of a private staffing agency for some of the finest homes in the country, is used to dealing with the quirky problems of ultrahigh-net worth clients. But this was a new one.

    On a recent Sunday afternoon, a client, an executive with a New York financial firm, called about his vacuum cleaner. He couldn’t figure out how to remove the bag. Or where to find a new bag in his sprawling Upper East Side apartment. Cellphone pictures of the vacuum cleaner were exchanged and instructions were given.

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  32. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    To draw an analogy between sex and politics, much of the Left are masochists who revel in their suffering rather than seek a comfortable accommodation that achieves most of their goals.

    I don’t think it’s actually masochism. Not winning doesn’t make them suffer; they don’t actually want to win. If they win, they’ll have to do the hard work of actually governing, which includes dealing with their plans not working as well in practice as they hope. By refusing to ever compromise and being forever outside, they can just sit their and critic the people actually doing the hardwork and always claim their pet unicorn would solve every problem known to man.

    It’s the same mentality you see in the Tea Party types.

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  33. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    No doubt your analysis applies to some, perhaps even the majority, but don’t out everyone in one basket. Some won’t fit.

    For some it may be masochism. For others, there’s no word, but it would mean something like “deriving pleasure from being a martyr.”

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  34. Jen says:

    @Scott: Good grief. I don’t even know how to respond/react to that. At least it’s in the WSJ, where at least some of the readership will be nodding in agreement, “yes, we’ve encountered similar troubles here…”

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  35. Jim Brown 32 says:

    I think the original forecast models were irresponsible from the standpoint that “do [absolutely] nothing” isn’t realityc. Even in the vacuum of Gov’t inaction–say you have a 1000 person workcenter that has 70 get sick, 14 of those need hospitalization. People are going to naturally take action–whether its cleaning everything down a few times a day; take time off; people who down look well will be sent home, etc. A realistic model of “do nothing” should have accounted for some localized actions in response so we know the true value of how far the curve has bent.

    I think the Princess cruise ship and the Aircraft carrier, in aggregate are probably very accurate representations of how far CV19 can spread. I believe the cruise ship had a 20% infection rate and the Carrier (100% are now tested) around 12-13%. The former shows a population unaware it was being stalked until it was too late and the former shows a high density environment where social distancing was implemented rather quickly but imperfectly (like what we’ve done in the US). To me that shows that a moderate social distancing program can buy you around a 10 percent reduction–which is significant when we’re talking on the scale of million of infections.

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  36. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I couldn’t pay for content for a long time and now that I can i am buying plenty of it. Reporting is a public good and we should support it when we can.

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  37. inhumans99 says:

    Politico has an interesting article up on how Trump has been able to Houdini his way out of every negative situation he finds himself in.

    What I find interesting about the article is that beyond pointing out that water is wet (i.e., President Trump may be re-elected despite his handling of the Pandemic) is that in laying out the scenarios in which he evaded long-lasting harm due to his actions (on inaction as the case may be) it once again shines some light on why he is not to be trusted and might get slightly more folks to notice this.

    Ultimately, it hints that maybe this is the time when the saying “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” starts to come true.

    The article is meant to put liberals on notice by highlighting how we need to stop assuming it will be easy to vote him out of office but by doing so it also highlights potential vunerabilities of President Trump (noting he does always fall back on past actions that have worked but there is evidence that some of his past attempts that enabled him to wiggle out of the crocodiles jaws are not working this time around).

    Honestly, if I were President Trump I would be annoyed at this article instead of smiling when reading it and thinking you silly liberals, even this dude at Politico gets it that I am invincible.

    Rather, I bet I am not the only one who is interpreting the article as one that points out his flaws for all to see and so many more folks are seeing how much of an immature dotard he is on a daily basis that this may slowly build up to a point where enough people decide they are fed up with his shenanigans and do something about it (i.e., vote him out of office).

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  38. Teve says:

    I think the original forecast models were irresponsible from the standpoint that “do [absolutely] nothing” isn’t realityc.

    The point of those models is to show people options and the consequences. You will always have politicians who ask, “why can’t we just go about our business?” Do you want to respond, “who knows, we didn’t even think about that.”

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  39. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    If they win, they’ll have to do the hard work of actually governing, which includes dealing with their plans not working as well in practice as they hope.

    This is just compete and utter bullshit.
    I mean…it is so abjectly stupid that it doesn’t really warrant a response.
    Social Security, Medicare. Clean Air, clean water. Voting rights for women and other minorities. Unions…which have helped the wages and safety of not only their members but every employee in the nation.
    The world is a better place…safer and more democratic…because of the progressive project.
    Our economy is better when it is run by Democrats.
    The list goes on.
    Look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect, and do your best to think about it for a while.
    Fuqing moron.

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  40. sam says:

    @Scott:

    For The Rich, A Dilemma: Quarantine With Staff, or Do Their Own Chores

    Reminds me of a line in Thorstein Veblen’s The Theory of the Leisure Class. Seems there was a king who could not, and would not — he was the king, after all — do anything for himself, always relying his servants. One morning, a servant sat the king down in a chair quite close the fireplace and went off to do something else for the king. The fire was very hot and the king was very close, but rather than get up and move, the king stayed by the fire and “suffered his royal person to be toasted quite beyond recovery.”

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  41. Teve says:

    @realDonaldTrump

    Today people started losing their jobs because of Crazy Nancy Pelosi, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, and the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, who should immediately come back to Washington and approve legislation to help families in America. End your ENDLESS VACATION!

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Daryl, I believe you’re missing Stormy’s point, his comment is in reply to the articles linked to in this post . These are not about the Democratic Party, but about the behavior and attitude of the far Left in the US.

    BTW the link to the SDS article is broke, you can find that article by following this link.

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  43. al Ameda says:

    @inhumans99:

    Ultimately, it hints that maybe this is the time when the saying “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” starts to come true.

    I read the ‘Politico’ piece you referred to. What we see now is the Donald Trump that 63 miilion voters adore. They like … actually, love … the bluster and the aggression. They voted for him because they wanted him to break things, regardless of norms or laws.

    He is relentlessly himself.

    To paraphrase FDR, the only thing Democrats have to fear is those 63 million voters.

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  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    Don’t whitewash the GOP’s extremism on full display during Whitmer protest

    Except for a dismissive comment, this hasn’t been discussed. At one of these wingnut protests, one of these fools is going to get overly excited and will open fire.

    One thing the far Left doesn’t understand, is American populism will not bring a democratic socialist nirvana, but fascism. @Sleeping Dog:

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  45. Monala says:
  46. Monala says:
  47. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    To be clear, I’m not talking about the mainstream Democratic Party. I’m referring to the “Elizabeth Warren is a fascist” wing of the far-left that was being discussed in the comment I was responding to.

    And frankly, even if I were referring to the Democratic Party as a whole, it still doesn’t justify that sort of verbal abuse, which I believe is against the site’s commenting policy.

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  48. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    Revolutions tend to devour their children.

    When does Trump get eaten?

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  49. CSK says:

    @inhumans99:
    That Politico article, “Donald Trump’s Greatest Escape,” was very interesting. And depressing.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    I forgot to say:

    LIBERATE AMERICA!
    Vote Biden.

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  51. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    @Sleeping Dog:
    Admittedly…I just checked on for just a few minutes today; if I missed the overall point, because I hadn’t followed the entire conversation, I apologize. I agree with the point about the extreme left…but NOT “much of the Left”.
    Also, yes, I was a bit abusive and I apologize.
    I’m having a very hard time dealing with Trump’s total lack of a response to this crisis, and how it essentially puts the lie to the entire Republican project…and how Republicans have absolutely no interest in, or ability to, lead.
    So, yeah, I over-reacted to a…perceived…attack on the Left’s ability to govern.
    Enjoy your weekend.

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  52. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jen: I knew how to react; I laughed. On the other hand, while I was living in Korea, I had someone ask me for advice about how to wash the comforter from his bed. I told him where there was a laundromat locally (actually hard to find there as most apartments have washing machines), but I was a little stymied when he asked me “and how do I use that kind of a big machine, how long does it take to wash, how do I get the comforter to dry?” It turned out that he had never done his own laundry until he got to Korea–and he was 55 years old.

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  53. senyordave says:

    Trump’s “liberate” tweets are pretty amazing. Think about it. The POTUS is actively promoting a concept that, if successful, will undoubtedly lead to more deaths. The next time he has a briefing that should be every question from every reporter in the room. And if Fauci or Birx takes questions that should be every question to them.

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  54. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I knew a woman in college who didn’t know how to set her own hair. The maid had always done it for her.

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  55. inhumans99 says:

    So a few days back I read on Politico (yup, another mention of that blog in one of my posts, because like this one I hit it on a daily basis, and it sounds like our host also hits the site with some frequency) about how a bunch of business leaders who did not want to become President Trump’s scapegoat were surprised by the email blast sent out by the White House roping them into an economic recovery panel or something like that, and today on a Hollywood Ent. news site of all places I read a similar story about a task force being put together.

    The catch is that it sounds like this task force was carefully thought out and involves individuals who want to be on the task force (lol!), the task force put together by Gavin Newsom will include Bob Iger, Tim Cook, Tom Steyer, Janet Yellen, former CA Governors: Arnold Scharz., Jerry Brown, Gray Davis, and Pete Wilson. They will meet twice a month until at least the end of the year. Now that sounds like a competent Task Force to try and help figure out how to get CA back on track.

    Why do I get the feeling President Trump is going to concoct some baloney claim about absolute authority to force some of the above onto his team (I know I would want the folks above on my team if I were in our President’s shoes)? I bet other states are once again looking at CA and thinking…hmm, we should try to put together as best we can our own All-Star Economic Recovery Task Force.

    If you are a state like FL or TX you have to consider putting together your own Recovery Task Force and not solely relying on the President’s Task Force for advice on how to proceed. I assume that FL and TX are way ahead of me and have already put together or will have their own announcement soon.

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  56. Stormy Dragon says:

    @inhumans99:

    There’s currently 8 regional coronavirus agreements in place:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EVvtb9bUYAAwMgz?format=jpg&name=900×900

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  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @inhumans99: Me thinks you assume too much.

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  58. Michael Cain says:

    Interesting column at Talking Points Memo. The bottom line is that unless you’re a state that already does most balloting by mail, you need to make decisions this month if you’re going to have equipment and vendors lined up for November. The Brennan Center has a really nice sortable table showing percent of ballots cast by mail by state in 2018. Only nine were above 50%, all in the West.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I don’t think I’d be able to set my own hair either, but in my case, the lack is coordination. The reading the instructions on the box part, I could probably handle. Having a personal services attendant (rather than an employee of a service business) to do it is beyond the norm for most of us though.

    ETA:

    I know I would want the folks above on my team if I were in our President’s shoes

    That only shows why you’re not the President. Our President knows more than all of those people combined–because he watches the shows.

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  60. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    Why certainly. That was how Trump knew more than “the generals” about ISIS. He watched “the shows.”

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  61. Kurtz says:

    We have an idiotfor a Governor in Florida. Unlike Trump, I don’t think he’s malicious. Rick Scott is Lex Luthor.

    POTUS, Scott, and DeSantis remind me of The Springfield Republican Party. Oh look who is there via satellite.

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  62. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump Campaign Secretly Paying $180,000 A Year To His Sons’ Significant Others
    Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle are each receiving $15,000 per month through the campaign manager’s private company, GOP sources said, to dodge FEC rules.

    “A lot of people close to Donald Trump are getting rich off of his campaign,” said Paul Ryan, a campaign finance legal expert at the watchdog group Common Cause. “They don’t want donors to know that they’re getting rich. Because, at the end of the day, it’s donor money.”

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  63. An Interested Party says:

    @Kurtz: And this Scrooge expects to be reelected while being this miserly? I guess all those retirees who don’t need unemployment checks will vote for him…

    @Mister Bluster: It’s nice to know that grifting runs in the family…I certainly hope that some MAGA hat-wearing poor soul from some red state isn’t sacrificing anything from the food/medicine budget to send money to this campaign…

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  64. gVOR08 says:

    @Kurtz:

    We have an idiot for a Governor in Florida.

    Quoting the auto insurance guy, indeed. We do.

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  65. Kurtz says:

    @gVOR08:

    I googled “plain spoken politicians” and found this.

    It’s frustrating. When I listen to someone like DeSantis, I can’t help but wonder how anyone could think this guy has the intellectual tools to be the executive of a state.

    But according to the article, the plain spoken thing has been around since America’s birth. I just don’t get it. Someone like Guarneri, sure. He is voting for his bank account.

    But anyone without wealth? How do you persuade someone like that? Are they just propagandized?

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  66. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: $180K/year is rich? The superintendent of the school district makes more than that, and the town I live in has a population of 12,000 and you can still buy a house here for less than a quarter mil. The principal of the high school was making $180k when he left to become superintendent of a small district near the state capital.

    ETA: I realize that the Trumps aren’t actually rich in the conventional sense of the word, but I thought they were doing better than this.

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  67. gVOR08 says:

    @Kurtz: Last I heard he’s planning to reopen the schools, arguing young people don’t get sick. And I suspect you’re right, trying to explain a concept like “asymptomatic carrier” to him would be a complete waste of time.

    Interesting link. I’ve said for years, occasionally here, that the way one speaks and writes reflects how he thinks. Which says nothing good about Trump.

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  68. Monala says:

    This article with progressive activist Sean McElwee gets at some of the things I discussed with another commenter a few days ago, regarding why Sanders lost. He talks about how:

    1) the Democratic brand is popular with Democratic voters. Thus, you can’t win a lot of Democratic votes by crapping on Democrats.

    2) the left shouldn’t presume that because a person is working class that they have progressive economic views, nor that someone middle or upper middle class does not. By making that mistake, Sanders and other leftists often go after the wrong voters.

    3) Progressive policy ideas are very popular with Democratic voters, but primarily it’s the ones that are close to their day to day lives, not the more abstract leftist ideas. Thus, many Democrats support and will respond to appeals about universal health care, paid leave, affordable college, universal preschool, etc. but tune you out when you start railing against Big Pharma and banksters.

    4) the left really, REALLY need to learn what it actually takes to get legislation passed and enacted, and stop thinking there’s some magic trick rather than a long slog.

    He adds that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to be learning the lessons above far better than other left politicians.

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  69. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    $180K/year is rich?

    According to IRS statistics of tax for 2017 (which is the most recent year I found easily), the top 10% of income had a floor of $145,000 while the top 5% had a floor of $208,000. So, $180k (as of 2017) was somewhere around “top 7%” nationally. Does that count as “rich”? From the perspective of someone around the median ($42k), probably.

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  70. Kurtz says:

    @gVOR08:

    I’ve said for years, occasionally here, that the way one speaks and writes reflects how he thinks. Which says nothing good about Trump.

    Yup. If people really took that to heart, they could rapidly improve their worldview in terms of sophistication. But some people think ‘common sense’ actually means something other than the defense of an unexamined position.

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  71. Kurtz says:

    A picture of Michigan Speaker of the House, Lee Chatfield, standing at his window waving an American flag while Right Wingers protest stay at home orders.

    I can think of nothing that exemplifies the stupidity of those protesters more than this photo. You have an elected official, responsible for the people below, encouraging them to violate orders despite health risks.

    An ethical public official would use his position here to tell them to go home.

    An honest politician would join them, if s/he thought their act was a legitimate show of civil disobedience.

    Instead, he does the most cowardly, dishonest thing possible–he encourages them without putting his own health at risk.

    Of course, all these protests are being funded by cowardly wealthy people who won’t join them in the streets, because they won’t take the risks themselves. Useful idiot is an understatement.

    Then again, the photos found here and here come close.

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  72. de stijl says:

    Trump is still focused on Page Six bullshit which makes him a really incompetent Mussolini.

    His go to response is belittling. As the sun rises in the east. Predictable is exploitable.

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  73. de stijl says:

    Time flows.

    It does not march.

    There is no commander.

    There is no quartermaster: we come as we are.

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  74. @DrDaveT:

    According to IRS statistics of tax for 2017 (which is the most recent year I found easily), the top 10% of income had a floor of $145,000 while the top 5% had a floor of $208,000. So, $180k (as of 2017) was somewhere around “top 7%” nationally. Does that count as “rich”? From the perspective of someone around the median ($42k), probably.

    Indeed. We think about that kind of income is “middle class” (or, at least, “upper middle class”) but it strains the definition of “middle” to be honest.

    A debate about whether it ought to be more middle-ish, I suppose, leads us to a discussion of distribution (and about wages in general).

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  75. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    While a household making $180k is by no means poor, whether they’re rich or not also depends on where they live. A household making $180k in Toledo is going to be living significantly better than one making $180k in San Francisco

    We need something like PPP adjusted salaries for different US municipalities.

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  76. @Stormy Dragon:

    A household making $180k in Toledo is going to be living significantly better than one making $180k in San Francisco

    Without a doubt (although the example in question was a town of 12k with relatively cheap housing, so not a large metro area).

    But even living in NYC or SF doesn’t take away from the fact in the aggregate, $180k is in the upper echelons of income in the country. And pretending like it is “middle class” creates a variety of problems–the fact that we pretend like everyone is middle class unless they are starting (on the one end) or can buy an island (on the other).

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  77. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: Ironically, that’s kind of my point. $42k is about what I make from my combination of Social Security payment, Teamster Pension, work as a substitute teacher and a small investment account that I mostly inherited. I’m single, live in a studio apartment for which I pay $550/month (going up in June), don’t subscribe to cable, have no premium TV channels and watch my expenses pretty carefully so that I can live fairly comfortably on an income that, if I had kids, would quality them for free lunches and on which I would pay no income tax.

    The fact that a $180K/year salary might be considered “rich” is simply ludicrous. The idea that $42k/year is “middle class” for somebody other than a single person living in studio apartment is equally so. Mathematically, that’s were the center is, sure; the fact that any sane person believes this ludicrousness is part of the “what’s wrong with this picture” puzzle that America has become stymied by during my adult life. The Trumps aren’t getting “rich” off of that scam, they aren’t even getting upper middle class from it. I would be embarrassed to only be able to grift that kind of money–and out of a political campaign FFS! This isn’t even getting the change out of the sofa cushions. What kind of hillbillies did we elect that they think this is a some kind of score? It’s shameful. They ought to be embarrassed.

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  78. Mister Bluster says:

    Re: Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle are each receiving $15,000 per month through the campaign manager’s private company, GOP sources said, to dodge FEC rules.

    When I read this I did not think for a minute that this is the only source of income for these two Trumpettes.

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  79. DrDaveT says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The fact that a $180K/year salary might be considered “rich” is simply ludicrous. The idea that $42k/year is “middle class” for somebody other than a single person living in studio apartment is equally so. Mathematically, that’s were the center is, sure

    Well, there you have the problem of skewed distributions. $42k/yr might be the median income, but it is nowhere near “middle class”, because you can’t live a middle class life on $42k/yr in most places. Most of America is poor; that’s a fact that you can’t say in public without starting a fight. One party wants to fix that; the other wants to “fix” it in the other sense of that verb.

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