Brand new day, brand new forum.
Steven L. Taylor
Monday, April 13, 2020
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
Hawt Damn! I finally did it! I beat Bill posting the headline of the day!
US’s global reputation hits rock-bottom over Trump’s coronavirus response
@Jim Brown 32: I was going to put this on yesterday’s The Six Weeks We Lost column but let’s followup here:
Trump Makes First Public Rebuke of Fauci With #FireFauci Retweet
What I want to add is that in addition to being an amateur and incompetent, Trump is worse:
He is a coward.
Say WHAT? Just wait until he tells his lawyer, he’s gonna beat you up!
Hate to break it to you donny, but there are 328,199,999 other Americans who have something to say about it too.
ETA: from the same article:
There are so many foreign policy failures: China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Europe, trade. The list goes on. Like it or not, unless we want to go into isolation and create a soviet style command economy where we make everything ourselves, multilateralism is the only way. Right now, Trump’s behavior has created a scenario where there are a lot of actors out there just ready to whack us at the right time.
@Jim Brown 32: @Scott:
You had to know this was going to happen.
@Scott: And countries that were our staunch allies because they thought they could count on us if they ever needed it? Yeah, not so much now.
The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized
The whole of it is well worth a read.
The Florida headline of the day-
South Florida Police Chief Placed on Administrative Leave After Allegedly Saying BSO Deputy Died of COVID-19 Due to Being Gay
“Apple And Google Build Smartphone Tool To Track COVID-19: “The American Civil Liberties Union has warned about using cell phone data to address to the pandemic “crisis” carries risks of “invasions of privacy, abuse, and stigmatization.”
What is that quote about freedom and safety?
I am so looking forward to this fall’s election.
Republicans Recruiting Ex-Soldiers & Cops To Patrol 2020 Voting
It is going to get worse.
That would explain why every CEO name is like James L. Johnson, Frank S. Anderson etc.
I’ve got an elderly relative who thinks that affirmative action rules the country and it’s hard out there for white people etc. and I was trying to remember the study that I read about a few years ago, where researchers made like 1000 resumes that were identical, same education, same experience, except on 500 of them they put a name like Richard Smith, and on the other 500 they put like Delonte Jackson. Richard Smith got 32 calls for interviews, Delante Jackson got 4. If somebody remembers the study like that please let me know.
Have they settled on the shade of brown for their shirts?
@Teve: The “whitening of resumes” is a well known practice for black professionals, going so far as to not mention earned scholarships received from civil rights organizations and trying to obscure attendance to HBCUs. I read of one study that showed it was easier for a white man with a *criminal record* to get an interview than a black man with a clean record when all other things were equal.
**i forget what crime was used, probably something white collar.
I’ve been wondering when Tara Reade’s story would be reported by a mainstream media outlet. The evidence appears thin. When most of the people you claim you talked to don’t remember any such conversation, and the few who do say you told different stories to different people, it makes your claim hard to verify.
nice time! Virginia gov northam goes all general sherman on confederate monuments
@Kari Q: I think the New York Times said they spent several weeks trying to verify that and just didn’t get anything.
Hey, man, some of us need all the help we can get!
And: you are correct about the resume study and the effects of names.
@Kathy: I’ve noted before that commenters at The American Conservative have improved. A year or two ago it seemed a lot like RedState or FOX comments. About 80% of the comments on that article agreed it was a horrible idea including one suggesting brown shirts for these guys.
@Kari Q: Yeah. I fear my reaction was Republicans would cheerfully pay ten million for a Biden scandal and this is the best they can come up with.
Pater Navarro to 60 minutes: “Show me episodes during the Obama and Bush administrations that said the global pandemic was coming, and then you will have some credence in attacking the Trump Administration.”
60 minutes: here you go, bitch
Here’s a nice article in The Lancet from 2007, talking about real-life pandemic lessons that could have been learned from the “Corrupted Blood” incident in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game “World of Warcraft”. Rather prescient, as it turned out.
@Teve: “Kick me.” he said, turning around and exposing his bare buttocks, “Go ahead, kick me. I dare you.”
And they did.
The amazing thing is not that this is true, but that there are still people who don’t get it. You would think that after The Meritocracy Myth and Piketty and Malcolm Freaking Gladwell putting it front and center, it would have sunk in by now…
…Which just confirms that people are strongly invested in disbelieving these truths. If you were to believe that equal opportunity is a thing that needs to be fought for, rather than an axiom, you might be inconvenienced…
We got a different kind of boiled, shredded chicken for samples recently. This one felt more compact, but until I opened one I didn’t find out it was actually properly shredded chicken, with no liquid used in the packaging.
I used it in a stew, which I wouldn’t have if I’d known what consistency it had. But it came out very well, and now I know I can use the considerable stash I procured for enchiladas or chilaquiles.
I remember that! It was such a good example of an unexpected crisis that unfolded in real time, with players not understanding what was happening at first and thinking it might even be intentional. When it became clear it was detrimental to the player (in-game economically and IRL time, money and effort), social distancing and quarantining naturally happened because you didn’t want to lose what you’d spent hours of your life to achieve. Players understood the game would be unstable if they didn’t do what was necessary to stop the spread – you can’t play a game with a destroyed infrastructure, no other player and constant corruption.
It happened rather organically as well, with individuals figuring out the same basic strategy of social distancing/quarantine without needing to be told. Communication between certain player groups is impossible by design (Horde <=> Alliance looks like gibberish when typed) to prevent hostilities/flame wars so getting the word out required creativity in-game (giant corpse piles were a fav) and thus limited misinformation spread on purpose. You couldn’t call it fake news, spread conspiracy theories or blame the other side for your failure to act. A player that deliberately acted in a harmful or detrimental manner got quickly ostracized and aggro for being an existential threat on purpose. You choose to risk your game and save data being stupid, fine. You try to risk someone else’s? Bye-bye, no one’s gonna miss you.
It shows how effective our current tactics would have been if implemented correctly and completely. Instead, we did it slap-dash with incompetent leadership actively sabotaging the process and more concerned with selfish concerns then solving the problem. The system can’t stabilize and go back to normal if people keep re-introducing the destabilizing element.
@Kari Q: So, should there be any debates between Biden and Trump, I fully expect the Trump campaign to hold a press conference with Reade before the first debate and to make sure she is sitting in the front row during said debate…the Biden campaign should return the favor and fill the front row(s) with all the people Trump has screwed over, both literally and figuratively…there wouldn’t be any room for anyone else to sit in that section…
READ THIS ALL YOU STATE’S RIGHTS ADVOCATES!!!
@gVOR08: ” I’ve noted before that commenters at The American Conservative have improved.”
Meanwhile most of the writers are now wannabe National Review Trumpists.
One of them, Peter Van Buren, is now on his 3rd redacted and disappeared article. He published garbage, is shredded in the comments, and pulls it.
@They Saved Nixon’s Brain says::
…but when the President does it, that means it’s not illegal…
What’s he going to do? Send troops to forcibly pull people out of their houses and drive them to work?
LOL. Yes, it’s the Feds decision as to what states do at a state level and it is your
KingPOTUS who tells you what to do, not the elected head of your local government. However, POTUS cannot fail – only be failed. Should this decision proved disastrous, it’s not his fault because it was on the advice of those irrelevant Governors so it’s their bad. Henceforth and forthwith, let it be known by all – Rhyme and ReasonIrrationality and Incompetency reign once more, Sense and Sanitythe Stock Market will prevail!!
** virtual cookies to whomever gets the reference
@Teve: here you go: https://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-study-suggests-researchers-look-more-closely-at-connections-between-names-and-race
In Catch 22 Lt. Scheisskopf, now a Col., wants to order parades. His superior, Gen. Peckem says they don’t have the authority to order parades, but has him send out notices cancelling parades. No one objects, as no one objects to not having a parade. This gives the appearance Peckem wants, that maybe he could order a parade.
Trump will preen and posture that he has the authority to lift the shutdowns, that he didn’t order. But he’s not dumb enough to actually try it. If even partially adhered to, he’d be responsible for the consequences. No way he’s going to step up and accept any responsibility.
@OzarkHillbilly: here’s the criminal record study: https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2015/04/03/race-criminal-background-and-employment/
And the criminal record was for non-violent drug offenses.
@Steven L. Taylor: Middle initials also distinguishes you from someone else who might share your first and last name.
This is also why the media includes the middle name of most notorious killers (e.g., John Wayne Gacy, Lee Harvey Oswald, etc.) — to hopefully protect anyone who shares their first and last names.
@Mister Bluster: The “stay home” rules were adopted in our county about two weeks before the governor acted. The rules are very similar. As far as stores go, there is no stipulation of how far or how many times a week. Because of empty shelves, we are having to go to more stores than we normally do.
At least the local leaders are accessible, like two of them live on our street and I can walk down and talk to them in person. They tend to be more responsive than state leaders, but I talk to them on the phone a lot.
A group of the local city council and county commissioners are going to the capital to have a meeting with the governor and try to get some sort of timetable down.
@Kathy: The obvious thing is that the administration will withhold aid payments to states until the various shelter-in-place and restrictions on businesses are relaxed. Also withhold small business assistance unless the businesses are open. Even assuming the Supreme Court is not willing to reverse itself with respect to the constitutionality of the Impoundment Control Act, there’s no telling how voters in many states are going to respond to a “Let John Roberts enforce his decision” moment.
Not a surprise. I’ve visualized this for myself as a Venn diagram with four fields – DNA, Environment, Free Will and Random Chance.
Each overlaps to various, shifting degrees, and none is entirely discrete. For example, DNA is the hand you’re dealt, but it is influenced by your parent’s decision to procreate, and the luck of this or that gene combining with other genes to produce a talent. The entire human race developed in part because of ‘lucky’ hits by gamma rays or other radiation on the genes of our ancestors.
Americans hate random chance most of all – it flies in the face of the loner archetype we admire, and it undercuts punitive moral codes. They love free will. An American will tell you that life is 90% free will. DNA they credit for eye color and height, but we must never suggest that DNA is the basis of IQ or talent, that is anti-democratic and subverts the myth of all men being created equal. (Which was meant to apply to the law, and as a counter to noble birth.) And environment (which encompasses all the events of your life post-conception) can only be used to blame parents.
@Tyrell:..A group of the local city council and county commissioners are going to the capital to have a meeting with the governor and try to get some sort of timetable down.
Partly it will depend on how much popular support there is for lifting the current restrictions. Lots of time between now and May. If some red states begin to see a major increase in cases, then suddenly health will be far more important than the stock market for some reason.
There’s real concern with keeping the economy partly shut down for much longer. We need to produce in order to live, and people need to work in order to get money. I’d argue the current situation is ample proof for the need for some kind of universal basic income.
New Yorker has a long but very good article by Jane Mayer on Mitch McConnell. After the Charlottesville march and Trump’s “good people on both sides” comment, McConnell made a statement about the KKK and neo-nazis being unwelcome. That drew a tweet from Trump and eventually McConnell’s approval in KY dropped 17%. McConnell learned his lesson and fell into line. And he brought the GOP establishment, and their money, with him. She points out that McConnell took the lead in opening the door for the current flood of money, being willing to oppose reform when other Rs wouldn’t, knowing reform was popular with their constituencies.
She cites a forthcoming book by Hacker and Pierson disputing that the GOPs are “riven between global corporate elites and downscale white social conservatives. Rather, they argue, an “expedient pact” lies at the heart of today”s Party – and McConnell and Trump embody it.” They call it “Plutocraric Populism”. (Why this is a surprise to anyone but inside the Beltway pundits escapes me.)
Interesting research on tuberculosis vaccine BCG as a potential way to fight/lessen the effects of covid-19.
You beat me to it. Good for Bernie. I hope his supporters follow him.
This is the quote I love from Bernie:
‘Today I am asking all Americans, I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans, to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse,’ Sanders said to Biden on the split-screen, as both men were broadcasting from their homes.
You can’t be more direct and forceful than that. Good for Bernie.
@Jen: BCG is also what they’re using to treat my Mom’s bladder cancer. It’s in pretty short supply, even in Phoenix they are splitting one dose between three people. We can’t even get it here at our closer, but much smaller hospitals, that’s why she went to Phoenix to stay with her brother and sister for the treatment course.
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island are forming a regional council to manage strategy for reopening:
Governors Form Joint Reopening Task Force as Curve Flattens Further
All hail Mid-Atlantis!
@Jax: They’re also testing it against a host of autoimmune disorders. I’m fascinated that a 100+ year-old TB vaccine would have so many (potential) applications.
In addition, here is another drug that is apparently in short supply:
TRICARE is the military health insurance system
@Stormy Dragon: Likewise, the governors of WA, OR and CA have formed a Western State Pact with the same purpose.
The CA website says, “While each state is building a state-specific plan, California, Oregon, & Washington have agreed to the following principles:
-Residents’ health comes first
-Health outcomes & science, not politics, will guide decisions
-Our states will only be effective by working together”
Yesterday the hospital doctor I spoke with over video-conference told me she thought my symptoms were subsiding (finally, after three weeks). It didn’t feel that way to me–my symptoms have remained remarkably persistent, albeit mild, especially the aching in my chest–and I became alarmed by the fact that in the past few days the aching started to be concentrated on my left side. There isn’t much of a history of heart problems in my family (one of my grandfathers had a mild heart attack when he was old, and that’s about it). My mother has asthma, and I had an isolated asthma attack when I was 6, so I wondered if that was what was happening. But the hospital doctor–as well as my cardiologist uncle–think the chest pain is just a Covid symptom.
Today, for the first time in a while I woke up feeling no symptoms at all, beyond maybe very, very mild congestion, and I coughed a few times later on. But I just read a story about a guy who thought his Covid had gone away, only to have it return stronger than before. So I’m not taking anything for granted.
@Kylopod: Good to hear you are doing better. I’ll keep you in my thoughts for continued healing.
@Scott: I ordered a three-month supply of inhalers for my daughter and me just before everything shut down. I’m really glad I did.
I had alway believed that people who used their middle names were just more likely to be murderers. Just like how anyone in DC comics with a novelty name is going to become a novelty criminal with a theme based on their name.*
A search for “John Wayne Gacy signature” shows that he mostly did sign with his middle name. Or at least often enough that there are plenty of images of it.
*: The exception being King Faraday, whose backstory is that he is always mildly annoyed that his father thought it would be funny to name his kid roughly “king for a day”
@Kylopod: A lot of people get a recurrence after the symptoms go away for a bit, so… yeah, you’re right not to assume you’re out of the woods.
Hopefully if symptoms recur they will still be mild. Good luck. Stay on the mend.
I’m reminded of the Tick villain “The Deadly Bulb” who had a pig for a leg and was upset that just because he happened to have a pig for a leg people kept expecting him to theme his villain persona around it.
There you go again arguing that everybody should benefit. When are you going to finally figure out that “my” benefitting is the only benefitting that really matters? 😉
Glad to hear you are doing a little better. I’m sorry your recovery is so painfully slow.
@Tyrell: “Your freedom takes second place to my safety” or the other one? Society is a constant balancing of freedoms that we value less subordinated to securities that we value more. Considering the amount of privacy that we have given over to data miners in order to have free email and web surfing, it may be a little late in the sequence to bring up this concern now.
Every second you use the internet, you are the product, not the customer.
@Kylopod: Thumbs up and hope you continue to get better. Rest as much as possible and please don’t strain yourself–I think it’s people who think they’ve “gotten better” who try to go back to “normal activity”, strain their systems, and then relapse. Eat a lot of comfort food and watch all the Marx Bros. movies again.
@Kylopod: Yeah. With asthma also, muscular ache on the left side is often more pronounced. I’ve never quite figured out why, but I know the phenomenon. And if you’ve been short of breath and struggling to breathe, relief from the pain and aching will lag behind your overall improvement because of the stress on the muscles just related to breathing at all. Keep getting better and being cautious is not a bad thing in this case.
Get well soon.
Trump’s daily episode of Grandpa Ranty’s Poop-Flinging Extravaganzzzzza! is apparently especially shitty today. Networks airing it cut away suddenly when he started playing what was essentially a campaign ad on the TVs in the briefing room. CNN’s chyron read “ANGRY TRUMP TURNS BRIEFING INTO PROPAGANDA SESSION.”
@Kathy: As some others have noted, there are already some geographic patterns starting to emerge. The governors of the three Left Coast states have indicated they will work together to try to develop a plan for reopening. Another group is in the Mid-Atlantic area. I suspect there’s a bunch stretching across the South and then the stack above Texas who will jump at a chance to follow a Trump order to open the doors again. At least at the state level. I don’t know if, for example, the State of Texas can control Dallas and Houston.
@Stormy Dragon: @Monala: So the D governors (of the states with most of the population and GDP) are going to run the country and leave Trump and the GOPs to play their games. Works for me. After all, it’s literally a matter of life or death, and the Feds can’t be trusted to do anything useful.
A couple days ago a few commenters here were predicting a new secession movement with red and blue states separating. I don’t think it will come to that, but this would be a push in that direction. If it were to come to pass, some states would have difficult decisions, and I’d probably have to move back north. How’s the rent in Virginia?
Hopefully by Nov 4 we will see another way forward.
A few times (too many times?) I’ve listed out the inevitable phases of Trump schemes, and pointed out they all have the same progression. But I think I’ve usually caveated with the observation that the he can’t pull off the last step as President: storming off and sulking for a couple of years once everyone has started laughing at him. I’ve always thought this would be the most dangerous part of his Presidency. Given what just happened at the latest briefing, I think we are there.
@Monala: Thank you.
Yes, they most certainly do. What I found most interesting was that the studies showed that random rewards resulted in the best results, not just for the individuals but for society as well. (i know, same thing).
You actually popped into my head when reading the article.
Always best to remember: Trump is as dumb as a box of rocks. People who can’t see that are, perhaps, dumber. Don’t listen to them.
Really complex and ambiguous news on the immunity and vaccine front.
@MarkedMan: Ironically enough, the owner of the clinic that I use was touting the “great news” about how promising hydroxychloroquine and something else were as a cure for Covid-19 today on his announcement before you get to the phone tree.
Fortunately my primary care practitioner at the clinic is not a RWNJ and has a good hold on how medications work both for and against you. On the negative side of the ledger again, the owner of the clinic is close contemporary of mine (a year or 3 older) and doesn’t have an heir to take over the clinic (his son is a physician’s assistant), so it will be interesting to see how the drama plays out over the next few years. The clinic is too large to simply dissolve away–he has 1o or 12 PAs and RNPs working for him–but I don’t know who would take it over. Hopefully, I won’t have to care.
Food for thought
You keep us sharp and contained.
We need you.
@Kathy: Very tasty and nutritious food…thank you for sharing…