Monday’s Forum

Eight days a week.

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. Bill says:
  2. wr says:

    Eight Days a Week? Seems a little less subtle than the earlier clues… and now it’s stuck in my head!

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    Does Steven ever reveal the theme? I don’t remember seeing it…

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A small distraction: Game of Thrones ‘Mountain’ Hafthor Bjornsson breaks world deadlift record – video 1,104 lbs (501 kg)

    It’s only 54 seconds, but they are trump free seconds.

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  5. Scott says:

    Veterans Affairs adds 2,000 new coronavirus cases in five days, deaths top 500

    Currently at 538 deaths . More deaths than 32 states.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    More distractions: Sport documentaries: readers recommend their favourite films A bunch that I’ve never heard of but all sound intriguing to me. Too bad I can’t stream.

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    From Andy Slavit:

    If you look at the country minus NY, from April 25 to May 1, cases have GROWN from 24322 to 28437. So outside of NY, positive cases are increasing by 17%/week.

    EVEN IF CASE GROWTH DOESN’T GO UP, that would put us over 50,000 new cases every day outside of NY by Memorial Day.

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  8. sam says:

    @Bill:

    “The Appointment in Samarra”

    The speaker is Death

    There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions, and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture. Now lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

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  9. MarkedMan says:

    NY State appears to be having C19 fatalities at roughly 1.8x the official rate, based on excess deaths. The Washington Post did an analysis for the whole country and came up with a 1.6 multiplier.

    This means that we likely passed 100K fatalities this past weekend. As of midnight last night there were 67,222 official C19 fatalities. With a 1.6 multiplier that puts us at 107K this morning.

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  10. Kylopod says:

    A couple of Washington Times articles over the past few days:

    “Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history”

    “COVID-19 turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media”

    You know, it’s occurred to me that the very phrasing of these sorts of claims hints at how hard a time they’re having at spinning what’s happening. It doesn’t make much sense to refer to “hype” as a “hoax.” That’s not what the word “hoax” ordinarily means. Y2K was overhyped, but it was hardly a hoax. (And of course, the fact that not much happened doesn’t mean the fears were unfounded, as one of the reasons not much happened was that people actually took the time to get computers up to date.) Ron Paul’s Covid-19-denying piece from a few months ago had the same tenor: while the title of his article used the term “hoax,” when you actually got to reading it you quickly discovered he admitted the virus was real and dangerous. You saw the same thing with Hannity and other Fox hosts.

    It’s almost like they want to claim outright that the virus doesn’t even exist, but know they can’t. So they retain the language of total denial while awkwardly trying to shoehorn it into the reality of what’s actually happening.

    It’s one of the reasons I’ve felt like this whole crisis is a shark-jumping moment for the American right: a crisis so visible and obvious that the normal tools of denial are failing them, and they’re unable to stick with the extremism of their own rhetoric. They end up with the worst of both worlds, as they are still severely denying reality, but are unable to completely wish it away.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: A headline I could have done without seeing: South Carolina woman charged in hand-licking incidents (from a link posted at your Fla article)

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  12. sam says:

    Secretary Pompeo after speaking with Martha Raddatz now in contention for Fastest 180 in Politics award.

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  13. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod:

    It’s almost like they want to claim outright that the virus doesn’t even exist, but know they can’t. So they retain the language of total denial while awkwardly trying to shoehorn it into the reality of what’s actually happening.

    I think it’s much simpler than that. Trump called it a hoax. Then, when called on that, he retconned that to having said that the hype was the hoax. That’s not what “hoax” means in English, but Trumpish is not English. Now the enablers are stuck with pretending that’s a comprehensible use of the word “hoax”.

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  14. Kathy says:

    Warren Buffet’s investment company sold all stocks it held in airlines, for an estimated $2 billion loss.

    The consensus is that Buffet sees no profit in airlines in the next few years, meaning it will take a while for travel to fully recover.

    On the meantime, Jet Blue and United have found loopholes to pay some of their employees less, while taking the bailout money Congress gave them. Basically they changed their full time jobs to part time, so now they earn less but at the same pay rate.

    Isn’t it time for corporations receiving government bailouts to stop adhering to the letter of the law while raping its spirit?

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  15. Kathy says:

    @sam:

    So now the federal government is going to waste time, money, human and other resources chasing a figment of Trump’s imagination, just to be able to misplace the blame on someone other than El PITO.

    Trump should really save everyone the trouble. Even if Xi developed the virus himself in his secret basement lab, Trump royally f***d up the initial response, ignored the problem for weeks, and made everything much worse.

    He wasn’t the only one to eff things up, but he was one of a few who didn’t even try to do much about it until the corpses started piling up.

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  16. DrDaveT says:

    So it turns out that ex-cons are getting left out in the cold by the PPP, deliberately. Because nothing could be better for society than giving reformed criminals a powerful motivation to turn back to crime, presumably…

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  17. Teve says:

    @DeAnna4Congress

    In 100 years, people are going to want to go back and live through the Trump era.

    The fact that we’re blessed to be witnessing this incredible time in America’s history live is just such a blessing.

    Do you agree?

    @sun_cel

    In the same way people want to go back in time and meet Hitler.

    But not for the reason you think.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: I am wondering why anyone would want to revisit a Dunning-Kruger induced genocide.

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  19. @wr: I figured it was time to see if anyone was paying attention. 😉

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  20. wr says:

    A brief note to those commenters here who said last week that Biden should refuse the nomination because he talked to a fourteen year-old girl about her breasts at an event a dozen years before she grew up to be a Republican operative:

    Fox News now confirms that Biden was not at the event where this atrocity was supposed to have happened. Apparently he was undergoing surgery for a deviated septum at the time.

    Now you have two choices:

    You can insist that this really happened and that the Republican operative somehow mistook the event in good faith. Or:

    You can finally understand that the Republicans are going to be sending out a constant stream of smears against any Democratic candidate, and it would be best for you to learn to ignore them until they are proven to be both true and consequential.

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  21. Teve says:
  22. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: Republicans: “Gore/Kerry/Obama/Clinton/Biden have terrible flaws.”

    Suckers: “There is so much talk about these character flaws, there must be something too them. Oh, if only we had nominated someone else there would be no talk of flaws! Whoa is us!”

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  23. Teve says:

    @wr: i missed anybody here saying that. Who fell for that nonsense?

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  24. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Linky no workee.

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  25. Kathy says:

    What the whole world is experiencing with the SARS-COV2 virus, is similar to what the native population of the Americas went through after the Europeans arrived and brought their diseases.

    Similar, because back then they had little idea of the cause, or how to ameliorate the various diseases that plagued them. We’re also not facing hostile invaders intent to conquer our lands.

    Estimates of deaths in the Americas due to disease range up to 90% of the existent population. Let’s try not to match that number.

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  26. Tyrell says:

    “Glendora police arrest, release man 3 times in 1 day under new CA zero-bail policy
    Glendora police arrested and released a man three times in one day, blaming California’s new zero-bail policy for their inability to keep the suspect behind bars.” (ABC News 7)
    This has to be frustrating for the California police.
    Also, see: “Says a California surfer was “alone, in the ocean,” when he was arrested for violating the state’s stay-at-home order” (PolitiFact)
    So you have a surfer arrested (in California of all places!) while the prisons are setting criminals free!
    “What is it with you people out there, too much sun?” (“Coogan’s Bluff”)

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  27. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Huh. It works fine for me. Anybody else having problems? If you are just go to YouTube and search for Mourning in America. It’s bruuuuuuu-tal.

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  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Tyrell:
    Well, us people out here, despite having been hit early, despite no help from the federal government, despite San Francisco being as mass-transit dependent as NYC, have a lower infection rate than: NY, NJ, MA, RI, CT, LA, DE, IL, MD, MI, PA, SD, CO, IN, NE, IA, GA, MI, VA, WA, TN, NH, NV, NM, KS, FL, OH, UT, AL, ND and VT.

    So how about you shove your good ole boy, city folk hatin’ bullshit right up your ass?

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  29. KM says:

    @wr:
    Just posted on this on the other thread. Even if we grant that the young lady had an older man make an inappropriate comment on her form (sadly, extremely likely at a political gathering like that), you’d freaking remember if it was the VP of the United States!!! It’s very, very unlikely this teenager had multiple meetings with Biden considering she was (1) a teen (2) her family’s GOP-affiliated and at the time her aunt was running against Biden in DE and (3) her family was D-list at best and not going to be scoring lots of one-on-one time with the future VP.

    Let’s say she had an extremely unlikely 5 run-ins with Biden during her teen years. She cited a very public and likely one that her family doubled down…. only to find out he wasn’t there when she claimed. Now the dates are getting fuzzy (2007? early spring?? sometime-ish??) because even FOX smells too much BS to successfully shovel. If this had been a thing, Christine O’Donnell would have ABSOLUTELY hammered him with it to try and win that seat. That woman is shameless and wouldn’t have hesitated to drag out a young niece to prove what a perv her opponent was.

    I believe some older man said something to her to make her uncomfortable. However, it was highly likely to have been GOP big wig or donor and she’s now trying to pin that on Biden. I’m sorry someone pervved on her but you don’t get to weaponize it against someone nearly 3 decades later with blatant lies because it suits your political again.

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  30. Kit says:

    @Teve: It worked for me, both to show the video as well as to snuff out the hearty laugh from that Trump/Hitler joke.

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  31. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I figured it out over the weekend, but it didn’t seem appropriate to mention it in JJ’s Beatles-free forums!

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  32. wr says:

    @Teve: “i missed anybody here saying that. Who fell for that nonsense?”

    There was some serious concern. Nothing as egregious as, say, Bernie-she-bro Elizabeth Bruenig in the Times, but definitely some calls to replace Biden as candidate. And not just from Tyrell…

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  33. wr says:

    @KM: “I believe some older man said something to her to make her uncomfortable.”

    I’ll go with this simply because of the odds that any young woman has had some older man say something sexual to her at some point in her life. That doesn’t mean I believe any such thing happened necessarily at this or any other political event, or that she is conflating a bunch of different things in her mind. I believe she is flat-out lying. The only surprise to me is that she didn’t go bigger and claim that Biden tied her up and molested her in a basement, then made her eat the flesh of babies.

    Hey, it worked with the McMartin teachers…

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  34. @KM: Again, as a point of clarification: he wasn’t VP at the time of the allegation.

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  35. @wr: More than fair enough. I had meant to get posts ready for the weekend but failed to do so.

    So, you win that round!

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  36. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Woo-hoo!

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  37. Kit says:

    I was wondering about this: https://grist.org/climate/the-world-is-on-lockdown-so-where-are-all-the-carbon-emissions-coming-from/

    No good deed goes unpunished:

    In a sad irony, the decrease in air pollution may make it even hotter. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, explained that many polluting particles have a “masking” effect on global warming, reflecting the sun’s rays, canceling out some of the warming from greenhouse gas emissions. With that shield of pollution gone, Ramanathan said, “We could see an increase in warming.”

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Kit: The particulates eventually settle out. The CO2 is forever.

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  39. mattbernius says:

    Thanks for our daily dose of fearmongering @Tyrell. Yes, someone took advantage of bail reform and was arrested multiple times for non-violent crimes. That same law has done far more good in keeping CA jails depopulated during a pandemic — keeping communities safer and helping save the state money.

    At some point, this type of “find an exception and then tar and feather something I don’t understand” fearmongering honestly crosses over into a banal form of evil.

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  40. Kit says:

    @gVOR08: How long before the Right starts arguing that 2020 proves that we are not responsible for global warming, and that nothing can or should be done?

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  41. MarkedMan says:

    So, Steven, do you ever reveal the themes? If so, when and where?

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  42. CSK says:

    Don Shula has died. He was 90.

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  43. gVOR08 says:

    @Kit: I expect it’s already happening. @Kylopod: and @sam: demonstrate that words and logic mean nothing to these people.

    This does remind me of a column in an LA based car magazine, IIRC, Car and Driver, years ago. They had consistently, and stridently, opposed all regulation of cars for pollution controls. Then one day their editor wrote a column noting that he’d been looking at the Hollywood Hills on his drive to work and apologized. Admitted they had been wrong.

    If any new regulation is proposed, the industry automatically claims it will bankrupt them. What they never admit is that while it would bankrupt an individual firm to voluntarily comply, the regulation is industry wide, puts no one at competitive disadvantage, and passes the cost to the consumer. As would be the case if we clamped down on meat packing plants.

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  44. Michael Reynolds says:

    @gVOR08:
    I was living on Cape Cod when Massachusetts endured a libertarian freak-out over seatbelt laws. One of the arguments was that car manufacturers would be hurt by increasing emphasis on safety. No one cared, seatbelts, airbags, pshaw.

    Now of course there’s intense competition to deliver the safest cars. If a car isn’t an IIHS pick I won’t even consider it.

    Every new suggestion for improving lives is instantly, reflexively opposed by the stubbornly stupid. IOW Republicans.

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  45. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Don Shula…RIP…
    One of the only men, in my lifetime, that intimidated the fuq out of me.
    ’72 Dolphins…Perfectville…Population One.

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  46. Jay L Gischer says:

    California-bashing is a favorite sport of conservative writers. Things must be terrible in CA because they are liberal! Look at those dumb things people in CA do!

    Of course, there are roughly 40 million people living here. Some of them are going to be dumb, some are going to be crazy. Some are even going to be famous conservatives. You know, like presidents and stuff.

    This is one of the worst things that happens on the internet and it happens in all political persuasions. Find some joker who’s done something stupid and tar the whole group with it. Some say “that’s how politics is done”, but I say its bearing false witness against my neighbor.

    Please don’t do it. Even more, don’t participate in it unknowingly.

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  47. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Not quite.

    CO2 doesn’t react much with anything, which is why it’s used in fire extinguishers, but it does react with some things. Some will be taken by plants, which grow more with excess CO2 (this is not a good thing*). Some will add acidity to the oceans

    (*) It sounds good for plants to grow more with excess Co2, yes’ more food, more trees. But other nutrients don’t increase, and therefore are diluted with more plant biomass. So for example fruits and vegetables will be less nutritious in some respects.

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  48. Kathy says:

    @CSK:
    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Most wins in the NFl, over 30 years coaching, the Perfect Season, a life well lived.

    I saw him coach once, at the only Football game I’ve ever been to. It was Miami vs Seattle at the old Orange Bowl, divisional playoffs Dec. 29 1984.

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  49. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yep. Quite a guy.

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    Trump is pushing reopening while the CDC is forecasting 3,000 deaths a day by early June. That’s a 9-11 every day. James is going to need a new metric.

    But most of them will be people of color and/or in nursing homes and prisons. So they’ll be out of sight to the base. And the economy will be recovering. And don’t think for one minute the GOPs haven’t made exactly that calculation.

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: One of the oddest things is how often people from failed Trump states will say something like “Everyone is moving out of NY/CA/WA because it is so expensive there because of their high taxes.” Yet the average house in a decent state goes for two to four times the average house in a Trump state. It’s like saying Rolls Royce shouldn’t charge so much for their cars because the price is driving people to buy ten year old Chevys.

    There’s a reason why most people don’t migrate to Florida or Arizona until after they have finished working and their kids are out of the school system. It’s the same reason some people retire to third world countries. They can take advantage of the low wages, poor education and terrible prospects of the locals to make their own dollars stretch farther.

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  52. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: Another strange situation: Trump state policies have resulted in closing dozens of hospitals in rural areas. This means that when someone gets really sick they get evacuated to a large regional hospital. When grandma gets C19 because her descendants were out protesting face mask orders she’ll get sent to a hospital in Nashville or Atlanta, depriving a local resident of a bed.

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  53. Mister Bluster says:
  54. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy:

    Even if Xi developed the virus himself in his secret basement lab, Trump royally f***d up the initial response, ignored the problem for weeks, and made everything much worse.

    SHHHHHHHH!!!!!! They’ll hear you!

    (Not that they’ll actually CARE, of course. 😉 )

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  55. Jay L Gischer says:

    @MarkedMan: I can understand someone wanting to move away from here. It’s crowded and very expensive. Surviving can mean a 2 hour commute both morning and evening. That takes a toll. I get it.

    I would probably move elsewhere (for the above reasons) if I didn’t have so many social ties here. But taxes don’t figure in at all. And, ahem, I pay more taxes than most of the people complaining about them.

    But that’s different from “they let criminals roam the streets in CA” or “San Francisco is covered in poop” or even “everyone surfs in CA”.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DrDaveT: Anyone who’s ever been incarcerated for longer than a few months knows that one’s “debt to society” is never really paid, so this move is a natural as fresh air and as American as Mom’s apple pie.

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  57. EddieInCA says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    This! One of the smartest things Gavin Newsom did early on was leverage the power of California’s economy and ignore the federal government. I’ve long advocated for California to take Federalism seriously and act as a nation/state – cutting out the Federal government unless it absolutely neccessary. After all, California has the 5th largest economy in the world, above even the entire UK. (FYI, California has 42 million people. The UK has 66 million people). So why not use that leverage?

    1. United States $19.391 trillion
    2. China $12.015 trillion
    3. Japan $4.872 trillion
    4. Germany $3.685 trillion
    5. California $2.747 trillion
    6. United Kingdom $2.625 trillion
    7. India $2.611 trillion
    8. France $2.584 trillion
    9. Brazil $2.055 trillion
    10. Italy $1.938 trillion
    11. Texas $1.696 trillion
    12. Canada $1.652 trillion
    13. New York $1.547 trillion
    14. South Korea $1.538 trillion
    15. Russia $1.527 trillion

    https://www.businessinsider.com/california-economy-ranks-5th-in-the-world-beating-the-uk-2018-5

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  58. EddieInCA says:

    @gVOR08:

    . And the economy will be recovering.

    I doubt it. Until people feel safe, they’re not going to go out and spend money like they did before?

    Until there is a treatment and/or vaccine, it will be hard to get enough people spending money to get anything close to a recovery. Alot of people are going to die from suicides when things get worse, which they will.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:
  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: I take it that you would prefer that he be thrown into a pit full of Covid-19 infected people?

    ETA: Or are you going for shot “resisting arrest?”

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  61. Teve says:

    get a load of this.

    the city of Milwaukee Wisconsin just passed a law that said they’re going to mail an absentee ballot to every single registered voter in the city, postage paid.

    If the Republican areas don’t follow suit…

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster: You’re missing the bigger picture–increased impact on black and Latino American families is a feature.

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  63. 95 South says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: There’s no middle ground? Every law California has enacted is perfect in scope and enforcement?

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  64. MarkedMan says:

    On another thread there is a debate that devolves to, essentially, whether it is creepy for an older man to refer to the way a younger woman or a girl looks. Not just in a suggestive or leery way, but in any way whatsoever. This conversation made me realize just how much things have changed in my lifetime. Years ago it was perfectly normal to say to a young girl, “My, you are getting more beautiful every day”, or “Your daughter is turning into a beautiful young woman”, but now that just seems somehow off to me. It’s true when talking about older people too. In decades past it would not be unusual to refer to “the good looks of Paul Ryan”, or “the vivacious Kamala Harris”. I bet if you went back to the 1959-1970 you would be hard pressed to find a commentary about Jack Kennedy that didn’t mention how handsome he was.

    Times have changed though and I suspect such comments today would get you the side eye from a lot of people. Even fairly mundane things seem inappropriate now. As I think about it, it would not have been unusual for me to comment on a colleague’s shirt or another’s dress. “Nice shirt” or “That’s a nice dress”. But now I wouldn’t make those comments to anyone but a close friend, unless they were a colleague about to give a big presentation and then it would be more like “Hey, you’re looking professional”, something that would reassure and give them confidence.

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  65. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South: Yeah, that was kind of the complaint I was making about his comment. I guess my snark setting was too high. Sorry you misunderstood. (Or were you making assumptions about other people [me, in this case] and their attitudes? 😉 )

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  66. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan:

    NY State appears to be having C19 fatalities at roughly 1.8x the official rate, based on excess deaths. The Washington Post did an analysis for the whole country and came up with a 1.6 multiplier.

    In other words, not C19 deaths.

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  67. 95 South says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Would you mind explaining? Tyrell’s comment didn’t say Calif was always wrong, but the replies suggested that any criticism of Calif is wrong.

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  68. gVOR08 says:

    @EddieInCA: Correct. I could have phrased that more precisely. By saying their calculation is that they’ll get a recovering economy in return for other people dying, I meant to say that they’re evil, not that they’re smart.

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  69. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    It depends so much on tone of voice, wording, and demeanor. Few people are offended by a sincere compliment delivered by someone who clearly isn’t leering or smirking or salivating. But I agree that one has to be more careful nowadays.

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  70. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    this type of “find an exception and then tar and feather something I don’t understand” fearmongering honestly crosses over into a banal form of evil

    One of the themes of C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) is that all evil is essentially banal. When I first read them as a teen, I thought that was dumb. I later changed my mind.

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  71. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT:

    I think it’s much simpler than that. Trump called it a hoax. Then, when called on that, he retconned that to having said that the hype was the hoax. That’s not what “hoax” means in English, but Trumpish is not English. Now the enablers are stuck with pretending that’s a comprehensible use of the word “hoax”.

    That may be part of it, but I don’t think it’s the whole picture. For one thing, Ron Paul is not really a Trump sycophant. And I think there’s something more to all these arguments equating Covid-19 with seasonal flu (as Paul did) or even more absurdly, to drownings and car accidents (as Dr. Phil did). The implicit assumption in these arguments is that all those “regular” bad things are so banal we barely have to pay any attention to them. I can practically see the shoulder-shrugging: “Eh, it’s just like the 60,000 dead from flu in 2017. What’s the big deal?” They usually are quick to add that a death is a tragic thing, but there’s a distinct overtone that these are problems we can safely ignore in our daily lives.

    The problem with that framing is that it’s simply not accurate, even for those examples. Take car accidents. Put aside for the moment the obvious point that you can’t “catch” a car accident the way you can catch a virus. Car accidents are a real issue that our society has spent a great deal of time, money, and political capital confronting–through seat belts, air bags, speed limits, drunk driving laws, and more. (Many of those regulations are opposed by libertarians, but I digress.) It’s just that it’s an ongoing problem, rather than some new crisis that popped up last week, or one where there’s an endgame such as the development of a vaccine.

    These analogies seem idiotic to us because they lump completely unlike things together. But what makes these arguments compelling to people within the right-wing bubble is that they attempt to turn Covid-19 into a non-crisis by pretending all those more familiar problems are themselves non-crises–which isn’t actually the case. They’re just not new, so we as a society have grown somewhat used to them and take for granted many of the measures we’ve enacted to deal with them. The right wants to make the Covid-19 crisis disappear not by claiming the virus itself doesn’t exist but by making it sound so normal it effectively disappears from public view–even though that shows a blinkered and inaccurate perception of all those “normal” problems.

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  72. DrDaveT says:

    @95 South:

    In other words, not C19 deaths.

    Not exactly.

    We’ve been over this. For some purposes (e.g. professional epidemiologists and clinicians studying the characteristics of the new virus) it is important to distinguish who had COVID-19 and who didn’t, and whether having COVID-19 was a proximate cause of death.

    For other purposes, such as understanding the impact of the disease on public health and the economy, all that matters is “how would things be different absent the virus?”. In that accounting, it makes perfect sense to attribute the extra lives lost to untreated heart attacks and strokes, or to MRSA infections acquired while hospitalized for COVID-19, or to suicides by stressed-out nurses, to the novel coronavirus. (It also makes sense to net out the lives not lost to automobile accidents and being hit by lightning on the golf course, too.)

    There are various other purposes where the correct accounting lies somewhere in between. But if you want to know how many people the pandemic killed, the net difference from normal mortality is the best measure.

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  73. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South:

    In other words, not C19 deaths

    I suspected this would be the talking point for the Trumper and the Trumper-adjacent. If there hasn’t been an actual test demonstrating C19, they don’t “count” as C19 and Trump and his fan-boys will claim they are just inexplicable. This is as macabre as it is childish. Actual leaders who are trying to do something about this situation have to deal in reality. In the meantime the entire national Republican Party deals in legalisms and infantile gotchas.

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  74. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod: I agree with most of what you said, but I want to pick at this bit for a second:

    Car accidents are a real issue that our society has spent a great deal of time, money, and political capital confronting–through seat belts, air bags, speed limits, drunk driving laws, and more. (Many of those regulations are opposed by libertarians, but I digress.) It’s just that it’s an ongoing problem, rather than some new crisis that popped up last week, or one where there’s an endgame such as the development of a vaccine.

    I think there really is a good analogy here. Car accidents are a beautiful example of where an equilibrium has been reached between public health and libertarian aversion to rules. There could be an endgame that all but eliminates the problem, by restricting driving rights and the capabilities of cars. As a society we aren’t willing to go there, because it would mean giving up privileges (I refuse to call them ‘freedoms’) that we value. Things like being able to drive a private car at lethal speeds pretty much anywhere, even if you suck at it.

    The compromise we’ve arrived at is not the public health optimum. It’s also not independent of other decisions we’ve made, such as our transportation “infrastructure” that makes a car essentially necessary for most people to hold most jobs. And it changes over time as technology improves — airbags and crumple zones are less intrusive than seat belts, so we don’t mind them as much, and the additional cost to the consumer is invisible because you don’t have the option to buy the car without them.

    The opposition by libertarians is not a digression — it’s why the equilibrium is where it is. Without that opposition, cars would go slower and would all have their bumpers at the same height and would only be driven by people who could pass regular recertification testing — and highway fatalities would be a small fraction of what they are today.

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  75. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    Few people are offended by a sincere compliment delivered by someone who clearly isn’t leering or smirking or salivating.

    I suspect we have moved away from this. I’m not saying people are offended, just that it now seems out of place. If a friend told me that my daughter had turned out to be a beautiful young woman I wouldn’t be offended, but rather make a mental judgement that the person was talking like an old fogey.

    I remember having a conversation with someone (my kids?) ten years ago or so, in which I commented that they would never make a joke about someone being gay, but it was still perfectly acceptable to make jokes about people being fat. A mere ten years later, does anyone still think it ok to make such jokes?

    I also challenge them from time to time as to what attitudes the young’ns twenty or thirty years from now will berate them for. So far it’s not even registering with them, but I’m waiting for the day when they get lectured by someone half their age because “your generation” was so wrong.

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  76. 95 South says:

    @DrDaveT: I know we’ve been over this because I raised the issue and was the first one here to use the phrasing you just did, comparing data that benefits epidemiologists versus policy advisors. If you read MarkedMan’s comment though, he said “NY State appears to be having C19 fatalities at roughly 1.8x the official rate” as if the disease is killing more people than the government is letting us know. They’re not C19 fatalities, fatalities due to C19 complications, or fatalities in which the victims were infected with coronavirus. They’re fatalities related to policy, not virology.

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  77. mattbernius says:

    @DrDaveT:

    So it turns out that ex-cons are getting left out in the cold by the PPP, deliberately. Because nothing could be better for society than giving reformed criminals a powerful motivation to turn back to crime, presumably…

    This is a huge issue and one that people on both sides of the aisle are fighting to change. And you are right, the issue here is that this type of ongoing punishment — even after successful completion of sentences — makes reentry harder and increases the risks of recidivism.

    One of the greatest concerns those of us working in the criminal justice reform space have is that we are about to see the modest improvements of the last decade overturned in the coming recession. We are doing everything we can to prevent that from happening.

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  78. mattbernius says:

    @95 South:

    Tyrell’s comment didn’t say Calif was always wrong, but the replies suggested that any criticism of Calif is wrong.

    Tyrell used a classic “Willy Horton” strategy to make a shallow argument that California’s bail reform is “wacky.” Its an intellectually weak argument (choosing a single exemplar) and an easy type of talking point that ultimately harms overall discourse.

    Also, he demonstrated he doesn’t understand the criminal justice system when he writes ignorant:

    So you have a surfer arrested (in California of all places!) while the prisons are setting criminals free!

    Bail is for *jail* i.e. pre-trial holding, not prisons. The individual in question had not been convicted of anything.

    I’m not saying that policies cannot be improved. But Fox-News style fearmongering isn’t the way to accomplish that type of dialog. And at some point we need to call that out.

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  79. KM says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I think more people are aware that comment on one’s looks carries judgement and connotations that may not intend and so are more careful. For instance, men back in the day noting Robert Redford or Rock Hudson was handsome may have thought they were just stating a fact; today, a man noting another man’s kinda hot carries implications that you care about men’s attractiveness and thus might be gay. Much like in my great-grandfather’s generation, men could hug and touch other males without it being sexual and my grandfather could get into another man’s personal space or room with other single men without it being weird. My father’s generation was where they started to notice gay people existed and OMG maybe that person you know might be one if they act this way.

    Really, it seems it was the sexual revolution that seems to have made people in America hyper-aware of their bodies and touch. We seems to be unable to separate out affection from attraction, basic paying attention from biological interest. We’re also far more aware of the seedier side of life; that abuse is more prevalent than people are comfortable admitting and that comment from the old gentlemen to the young woman may have more weight then it seems.

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  80. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: This is just bizarre. Tens of thousands more actual human beings have died because of C19 and your response is to play the clever 13 year old? “Well, they didn’t technically die of C19 because they had a heart attack at the end instead of surviving to die of suffocation.”

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  81. mattbernius says:

    @mattbernius:
    Put a different way, the same people — like Tyrell — who are concerned about Statewide shelter-in-place are an overreaction and that schools should reopen because there’s little chance of kids catching C19 and it will help with immunity, also appear to lose their minds when you find out that someone was arrested for multiple non-violent misdemeanors on the same day and clearly society must be protected against those dangerous criminals at all costs.

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  82. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: I agree entirely with your comments above, so consider this an addition.

    In 2008 when racist Republicans were attacking Michelle Obama, I was a bit startled by how many of my female friends made a point of calling out how attractive she was as part of defending her. Even back then it sounded wrong. If she had been ugly as sin it wouldn’t have mattered one bit in terms of her intelligence or character. I suspect part of my response was due to my working as an exec in a modern industry and having been through fairly continuous training on what is permissible and what is problematic. Since any equating of worth with attractiveness is out of line in that venue, I think it gradually just became part of my world view.

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  83. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I think the defense of Michelle Obama as attractive was a direct response to the attacks on her looks by the racists, which were unremitting throughout the eight years she was first lady. She was called “The Wookie,” “The First Linebacker,” and a female impersonator, among other ugly things. She was derided for being tall. Someone transposed her features onto those of a chimpanzee. It was appalling.

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  84. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    I spent a significant portion of 1999 ticking off boxes.

    Back then, I worked at a major bank.

    My purview was not at risk. All dates were stored and typed as date/time and in the current versions of the DBMS. (Does Sybase still exist, btw?)

    All the downstream systems were jake. No DBM would store a date as text. Ever.

    The only possible issue were the old school backbone systems.

    I used to sit next to a COBOL dude who managed data acquisition for us. He had a very clever solution to identify and capture deltas (i.e. things that have been updated since last we checked.)

    There is no need to churn through 3 million accounts when you already know which 11000 had an update between yesterday and today with a flag. That guy was genius and had really cool daughters and a bad ass wife.

    This was the same time everybody got hepped up about data cleansing. It seems like a good and valid thing.

    Identifying obvious false records and updating it to what we predict is more likely to be true. Replace $13,000 with $130,000. Replace Jhon to John.

    We had big sets. It was way more effective to disallow obvious outliers rather than to smooth them.

    You are using your base to predictively update the outlier. Which will now fall within the predicted range.

    If you have a statistically significant amount of junk records, maybe it could make some sense, but if you use the trusted to cleanse the distrusted to look exactly like the valid, you get no marginal analytical gain.

    Way easier to identify and sequester the junk elements.

    No marginal utility and a quite substantial overhead for zero insight. If 2.999 million don’t allow an analytical finding, the “cleansed” .001 will not add anything.

    I did get to play with FOCUS and DB2 though.

    Data cleansing was a well intentioned initiative that provided next to no benefit.

    Midnight came and went and nothing broke.

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  85. Kari Q says:

    @MarkedMan:

    In decades past it would not be unusual to refer to “the good looks of Paul Ryan”, or “the vivacious Kamala Harris”. I bet if you went back to the 1959-1970 you would be hard pressed to find a commentary about Jack Kennedy that didn’t mention how handsome he was.

    Times have changed though and I suspect such comments today would get you the side eye from a lot of people. Even fairly mundane things seem inappropriate now.

    I immediately thought of the time Obama apologized for complimenting Kamala Harris’s appearance:

    After his remark that California’s Kamala Harris was the “best-looking attorney general in the country” sparked controversy, President Obama apologized for what some deemed to be a sexist comment, and what others argued was a dumb, but harmless, compliment.

    I miss the times when something like this would be a top story.

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  86. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    One can note Michelle Obama is beautiful and object to lookism simultaneously.

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  87. EddieInCA says:

    In another few hours, we’re going to pass 70,000 reported deaths from Covid-19. Remember when it was expected we’d top out at 40-60K? I miss those days. Kushner called it a success.

    What will the administration call it when we pass 100,000 deaths in mid to late May and 150,000 deaths by July 1?

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/495971-trump-administration-projecting-3k-daily-coronavirus-deaths-by-june

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  88. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Whoa, wait. Are you saying the excess deaths are people who had coronavirus? Is that what you mean by “they had a heart attack at the end instead of surviving to die of suffocation”? The article isn’t about that. If you really made that mistake it points out the importance of clearly distinguishing what’s being measured in a statistic.

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  89. Sleeping Dog says:

    @gVOR08:

    When the regular participants at this forum have the discussion of who is the worse president in history, someone is a hold out in declaring Tiny the worse. His/her reasoning is that due to the Iraq war, the blood on GW’s hands make him the worse. The way we’re going Tiny will eclipse Bush.

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  90. de stijl says:

    @Kari Q:

    I miss competence.

    Competence evinced over years.

    Now, when I wake up, I check CNN and Memeorandum to find out if Trump fucked up again since last night. Went on some ignorant Twitter rant.

    That he did is sort of guaranteed, but how bad? Is it fixable come January 2021?

    What did McConnell say? Did the SC invent some Scalian nonsense yesterday to screw us hard for the next 30 years?

    I really do miss competence.

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  91. Matt says:

    @Kylopod: Y2k was only “overhyped” because the hype got companies to take the shit seriously finally. It was a well known problem for years prior and everyone was dragging ass on fixing it. “oh we’ll replace the software by then anyway”…

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  92. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: I suppose there is a chance that you mean this seriously. Here’s a question:

    NYC typically sees 20-25 deaths per day under normal circumstances. On a specific day in late March or early April they had roughly 475 deaths, of which 250 were confirmed as caused by C19. Here’s my question for you: On that day, roughly how many of those 475 were caused by C19?

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  93. EddieInCA says:

    As I mentioned in a previous thread, my aunt died a few days ago. She was positive for Covid-19, and rushed to the hospital as a Covid-19 patient. She died suddenly. Her actual cause of death was a stroke while in the hospital. But our family has no history of strokes. She ran a 5K in under 50 mins at 87 not seven weeks ago.

    Is she a Covid-19 death? Our family thinks so. Her doctor says so. Will she get counted as a Covid death? I have no idea.

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  94. de stijl says:

    @95 South:

    Woah, wait.

    Are you arguing that excess deaths are not attributable to C-19?

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  95. KM says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Condolences. Considering the growing body of evidence about COVID-19 and blood clots, it’s a near certainty. A lot of the “those deaths don’t count” crowd are still treating as a purely respiratory virus when it’s *not*. Hell, even “asymptomatic” people are people not showing respiratory symptoms, not things like throwing clots when they shouldn’t!

    Blood clots can cause heart attacks, strokes, PEs and other deaths we’re seeking spikes of. If you refuse to accept that COVID-19 is a new beast and kills in ways we don’t really understand or have fully cataloged yet, of course it’s easy to pretend the numbers are inflated. When this is all over and we’re got the benefit of years to see the damage it’s wrought, people who whine the numbers are too high are going to sound like someone bitching cancer-related deaths like Kaposi sarcoma shouldn’t be tallied with the AIDS death count because it’s a “blood disease”.

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  96. de stijl says:

    @Matt:

    The ratio of actual remediation to ass-covering was tiny.

    During that era, no one I dealt with ever had to fix or remediate anything. It was CYA bookeeping.

    I asked my peers at other companies. Nothing.

    Perhaps I was incredibly lucky.

    Y2k was not nothing, but it was way over-hyped.

    This was a big ass bank. Maybe smaller companies had more issues.

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  97. 95 South says:

    From the WaPo article:
    “Those excess deaths — the number beyond what would normally be expected for that time of year — are not necessarily attributable directly to covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. They could include people with unrelated maladies who avoided hospitals for fear of being exposed or who couldn’t get the care they needed from overwhelmed health systems, as well as some number of deaths that are part of the ordinary variation in the death rate. The number is affected by increases or decreases in other categories of deaths, such as traffic fatalities and homicides.
    “But excess deaths are a starting point for scientists to assess the overall impact of the pandemic.”

    Anything beyond

    ETA: Accidentally clicked “submit”. Will finish the though in a bit.

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  98. Matt says:

    @de stijl: It was very serious for me and my peers but we’re in different areas (I was not at a bank nor were my friends). It frustrating to point out for years that we needed to fix this shit only to have the uppers go “oh we’re going to migrateblahbalhblahidon’tknowshitlolsux2bu”… Then turn around and go “OMG HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS Y2K THING?? WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING!!”… So in my experience and the experience of my friends in the field was that the hype was needed to get the idiots moving on the problem and to properly fund fixes… It was kind of cool to be a COBOL programmer back then..

    Everyone had different experiences though so your mileage may vary. You’re not the first person I’ve ran into who didn’t experience it the same way as me. The banking industry didn’t really seem effected by it.

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  99. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I am so sorry.

    I was joshing with you yesterday about golf and darts. Had I known, I would taken a much more somber approach.

    I am truly sorry. Be well.

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  100. 95 South says:

    I don’t know what the cause is of the excess deaths. That’s the definition of the category. We don’t know how they died. We can all pretend to be experts, but the only way you get in the “excess deaths” category is to have died and not been confirmed to have coronavirus. If we’re studying coronavirus, we want to know how many of those are actually infected. In public policy, we’re interested in the total excess deaths. If you want to say the excess deaths are caused by coronavirus indirectly, OK. But they’re not known to be caused by coronavirus directly.

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  101. de stijl says:

    @Matt:

    That was not my experience.

    Sorry I downplayed yours. I meant no offense.

    I am curious. What were the issues and how did you address them?

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  102. Teve says:

    W/r/t the OECD countries, the US is approximately 23rd in terms of per capita testing.

    I’ve tutored high school and college math for 20 years, but you really don’t need partial differential equations to figure out that if there is an enormous number of excess deaths and insufficient testing for a new lethal virus,…duh.

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  103. Teve says:

    @Matt: I have lots of scientist and mathematician and programmer friends scattered throughout the country, and literally 75% of the ones I randomly know worked on Y2K. The estimate is that we spent $100 billion fixing the problem. When people observe that you get credit for responding to a crisis, and no credit for averting a crisis, I really understand what that means.

    ETA: I know a retired programmer named Claudia who lives in South Florida now, who was offered $100 an hour by a bank to fix their COBOL problems. The amount of work they did was tremendous.

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  104. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: This will be the Trumpian response. Unexplained death rate at 9x normal during the pandemic but we cannot know if those were caused by the pandemic or just came out of nowhere.

    Two generations ago Republicans abandoned the goal of governing effectively and so they are free to indulge in ludicrous explanations and dream worlds. They switch immediately from fantastical promises to searching for someone to blame when they are in power.

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  105. Jen says:

    @95 South:

    as if the disease is killing more people than the government is letting us know.

    No. This is not the correct characterization. It’s not that the government isn’t “letting us know” it is that we lack the tools and data to pinpoint precisely the number of deaths caused by C19, because of how we track that information. If someone dies in their home and a coroner determines the death was caused by stroke, are we ALSO testing the deceased for C19? Because if not, there’s a significant chance that death was in fact caused by covid, as stroke is part of the picture.

    They’re not C19 fatalities, fatalities due to C19 complications, or fatalities in which the victims were infected with coronavirus.

    And you know this how?

    Car fatalities have dropped in some areas by more than half, but the death rate is higher. Unless we test every single corpse for C19 (note: this is not being done due to a lack of tests which are more effectively deployed among the living), you do not know this.

    The fact of the matter is this: despite a major drop in traffic fatalities, the death rate is considerably higher than the seasonal average. Any reasonable person can determine that a part of that is DIRECTLY due to covid-19, and part of it is INDIRECTLY due to covid, such as people not wanting to go to the hospital.

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  106. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South: Ah, so you were commenting on my comment. Fair enough.

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  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Works now. All I got both times I tries before was a blank page. Thanx.

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  108. Kathy says:

    If the Trumpistas succeed in convincing everyone that all those additional deaths were not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, will all those deaths never have happened?

    Either people are dying in great numbers in a pandemic affecting the whole world, or the US is somehow immune to it and tens of thousands of people are dying of unrelated, unknown causes, and El PITO is not doing anything about it.

    Either way, he’s the wrong person to have in the White House during a major crisis.

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  109. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    When the regular participants at this forum have the discussion of who is the worse president in history, someone is a hold out in declaring Tiny the worse. His/her reasoning is that due to the Iraq war, the blood on GW’s hands make him the worse. The way we’re going Tiny will eclipse Bush.

    If we use the excess deaths metric, the Iraq War killed 1.1 million. And, none of those deaths had to happen. Not one.

    Now, let’s compare to Covid-19 — we have an uncontrolled pandemic, which will kill large numbers of people. It’s harder to figure out which deaths Trump is responsible for — definitely some, but unless you believe that the US could have helped contain this virus before it was a pandemic, not all — so we would need to establish a point of comparison to craft a baseline. It will be a very fuzzy baseline. South Korea seems like an aggressive baseline, as they had experience with SARS, and are a much smaller country with a stronger federal government. Canada or Germany might fit the bill better. Or a blending of the three.

    I’m hoping that we never get to the point where it is clear that Trump has more blood on his hands than George W. Bush.

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  110. Gustopher says:

    I’m not defending Trump in any way, I think people forget just how much blood is on George W. Bush’s hands, since so much of it wasn’t American blood.

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  111. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy:

    Either way, he’s the wrong person to have in the White House during a major crisis.

    He’s the wrong person to have in the White House during a minor crisis too. Or just a random Tuesday.

    I suppose he could be in the White House but not be President. A janitor or something.

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  112. reid says:

    @EddieInCA: Perfect? /snark

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  113. gVOR08 says:

    @Gustopher:

    I suppose he (Trump) could be in the White House but not be President. A janitor or something.

    He doesn’t have the skills or the work ethic to be a janitor.

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  114. Kathy says:

    @Gustopher:

    It’s hard to say what would have happened in the US, and to some extent in other countries, with leadership from the White House (even incompetent leadership, as Trump has provided none). Prior epidemics like H1N1 and SARS, were different. SARS wasn’t as contagious, the Swine Flu wasn’t as deadly (and there was a treatment for it*).

    We can say Hillary Clinton might have provided competent leadership. She certainly wouldn’t have had Trump’s pathological need to deny the existence of a pandemic, or to make sure whatever the result to claim it was the very bast anyone could have done, nor would she have focused on what ratings her briefings had.

    * Tamiflu worked against the H1N1 flu more or less like how Remdesivir seems to be working, we hope, against SARS-COV2. It sped up recovery and reduced the mortality rate. Against viral diseases, that seems to be as much as we can hope for.

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  115. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM:

    cancer-related deaths like Kaposi sarcoma shouldn’t be tallied with the AIDS death count because it’s a “blood disease”.

    Unfair! I see the logic of the claim–just because 99.9% of all current Kaposi sarcoma patients are HIV positive doesn’t mean that you can prove that AIDS plays a role in the disease. It pure conjecture. 😉

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  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @95 South: Keep haulin’ that bucket! Your DJT signed declaration as a “Hero of the Coronavirus Flu” outbreak is on it’s way. I promise!

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  117. Jax says:

    @Kathy: And you can guarantee that if HRC were President during this, Republican’s and the Right Wing Hate Media would have an updated death count daily with which to hang around her neck like an albatross. There would already be Congressional hearings on her handling of the matter. It would look nothing like this “Oh, those 70,000 (and counting) unnecessary deaths? I take no responsibility!”

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  118. Michael Reynolds says:

    @95 South:
    You’ve been corrected repeatedly, so thank you for making my point: you’re either a moron or a liar.

    I’m going with liar. You are here to lie. That will be your purpose whenever you show up.

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  119. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Please don’t do it.

    You know what? I say fuck that shit. Tar every single white resident of the state of Mississippi with every stupid thing white people in Mississippi have ever done. After all, if I have to bear up under the load of stupidity of white Miserians, Mississippians should have to do the same!

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  120. Liberal Capitalist says:
  121. Liberal Capitalist says:

    not surprisingly, in moderation.

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  122. @Liberal Capitalist: Welcome back. I hope you are on the mend.

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  123. Teve says:

    @Michael Reynolds: it’s telling, that Trump defenders can’t make an honest or smart case.

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  124. Mike says:

    @EddieInCA: interesting. For some reason I didn’t think Japan was that large. Time to read up on Japan. Lots of quarantine wickipedia. Thanks

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  125. Teve says:

    @joshtpm

    If you wonder how the White House had an economist build its COVID model and how that model shows no more people will be dying in about 11 days you should know that that economist’s main claim to fame is writing a book called Dow 36,000 in 1999. In other words, three crashes ago.

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  126. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Teve:

    it’s telling, that Trump defenders can’t make an honest or smart case.

    With a background in Sociology, I have always been fascinated by mob behavior. But now it’s not even a mob, it’s lemmings.

    Lemmings, rushing headlong together, over the cliffs, to their death.

    Madness, driven by profit over life. A willingness to die to prove their superiority over a virus.

    Virus wins.

    Lemmings.

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  127. DrDaveT says:

    @95 South:

    From the WaPo article:
    “Those excess deaths — the number beyond what would normally be expected for that time of year — are not necessarily attributable directly to covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

    Emphasis added. You apparently missed that word.

    I’ll second @MarkedMan‘s question: how many of those excess deaths are you claiming were NOT directly attributable to COVID-19?

    Keep in mind, the most obvious mechanism for excess deaths is people who died of COVID-19 but were never tested, because they died at home, or of heart failure (now known to be a potential side effect of COVID-19), or of other organ failure. If you have an alternative mechanism for all these excess deaths that you’d like to propose, unrelated to COVID-19, I’m sure we’ll all be fascinated to hear it.

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  128. DrDaveT says:

    @95 South:

    Whoa, wait. Are you saying the excess deaths are people who had coronavirus?

    That’s the null hypothesis, yes. Do you have any evidence at all for an alternative hypothesis?

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  129. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Welcome back. I hope you are on the mend.

    Thanks Steven… I am surprised by my mortality. I could have sworn that I was 30 just yesterday.

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  130. grumpy realist says:

    @95 South: If the “excess deaths” aren’t dying of coronavirus, then what are they dying from?

    And considering the number, why isn’t Trump doing something about it?

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  131. Mister Bluster says:

    @grumpy realist:..And considering the number, why isn’t Trump doing something about it?

    Witch Doctor Trump has already prophesied “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”
    This is all his lickspittles need to hear no matter how long it takes.
    “One day”
    He just didn’t say which one.

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  132. Gustopher says:

    @Liberal Capitalist: Glad you’re back, healthy and doing better than your gall bladder.

    And yes, the world has gone to shit in the past 5 days. Exponential growth of shit does that.

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  133. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist: If the “excess deaths” aren’t dying of coronavirus, then what are they dying from?

    Complete and utter stupidity in the White House?

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  134. Kit says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If the “excess deaths” aren’t dying of coronavirus, then what are they dying from?

    I don’t follow the RWNJ sites, but here’s how I’d attack that question were I being paid to write Trump’s speeches:

    What are people dying from? The are dying from all the stuff that kills people when they cannot get the services that our fine hospitals typically provide. The best hospitals in the world, I might add. Your grandmother, God rest her soul, needed a tweak for her condition. That’s what people her age need. Tweaks. Change the dose, maybe get a shot of vitamins. But she was too afraid of going to the hospital and maybe catching the new flu that she’s heard so much about, this COVID thing. Or maybe she came down with a cold but the hospital wouldn’t take her. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. Now had she fallen ill a month before or a month after, she would have been treated in two minutes and been back home to celebrate a happy Black Friday. But she’s been sacrificed by the media and the blue states, and that’s what we call access deaths.

    Game over, bitches!

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  135. 95 South says:

    @Jen:

    They’re not C19 fatalities, fatalities due to C19 complications, or fatalities in which the victims were infected with coronavirus.

    And you know this how?

    You’re right. I’ll put my apology and correction on today’s thread so it doesn’t get lost in the archives.

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  136. mattbernius says:

    @Matt:
    FWIW, your experience matched mine at a Major Corporation at the time. It was a LOT of work and definitely very serious.

    It also matches what I am currently seeing in the CivicTech space where legacy systems are everywhere.

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  137. flat earth luddite says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    And for those of you who don’t believe this, remember, if you have a felony, of any kind, of any age, you will find it nearly impossible to
    1. Get a job in most states,
    2. Rent an apartment, buy a house, or live in a nursing home/assisted living facility
    3. Buy a house (HOA/neighborhood rules prohibiting same)

    Do the crime, do the time? Yep, but the time is the rest of your natural life. Steal that loaf of bread, Jean Valjean!

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