Monday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
    @ashishkjha

    Because at this point in the pandemic the shortage is not ventilators or ICU beds. The shortage is in doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare workers. So field hospitals won’t help. And we can’t conjure up more doctors and nurses in short order

    Dom Narducci
    @dnathe4th
    · Jan 8
    Replying to @ashishkjha
    If hospitals are being overwhelmed, or are endangered being overwhelmed, why isn’t there as much conversation as there was early pandemic around field hospitals and standing up temporary ICU wards?

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  2. Scott says:

    The latest COVID surge is wrecking havoc on our schools. About only 60% of classes have a teacher. Administrations are pulling staff (many are certified teachers) out of the offices and sending them to run a classroom. Student attendance seems to be running about 85% or lower.

    This was an interesting few days. Thursday night my wife (elementary school counselor and one of those filling in as a classroom teacher) developed a fever and body aches. Friday morning took a rapid antigen test. Negative. Hopeful. Maybe it was just a normal virus carried by the little disease vectors.

    It should be so easy. Apparently, the antigen tests are not that reliable in the early days of symptoms. Takes about 2-3 days after symptoms show up to get a positive result.

    Drove down to local military hospital where we got in the car line for a PCR test. It was pretty efficient for how many were seeking the test. Took about an hour. Six hours later, results show up. Positive. So it’s 5 days at home (starting Saturday) if symptoms go away and then five with mask at school.

    As of this morning, there are just minor residual symptoms, so she is on the mend. My daughter and I have none so far.

    Everyone is vaxxed and boosted so we’re keeping fingers crossed.

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  3. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott: Best of luck.

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  4. Kathy says:

    Yesterday the Raiders played the Chargers in a decisive game that would see the winner advance to the playoffs and the loser go home.

    Except due to earlier results during the last week, and given NFL rules, a tie would have seen both teams advance*. This is a rather uncommon situation.

    It brings up a question: would it have been unethical for the two teams to agree to tie the game?

    Surely there must be a rule in the league against fixing games, so it would have been illegal. That’s not my question. It would also have made for a tepid game, far removed from the do-or-die moment it was promoted as.

    *In curious symmetry, had the Steelers tied with the Ravens, both teams would have been eliminated from the post-season.

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  5. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    This is what the anti-vaxxers are refusing to understand: there’s only so many butts to fill seats and not every medical professional can do the same job.

    An anesthesiologist and critical care nurse are not interchangeable in the same why a electrician and mechanic aren’t; just because they know the bare bones basics of each others job doesn’t mean they can effectively function as the other in prolonged crisis. Yes an anesthesiologist can stitch you up and give you an IV like an electrician can add windshield wiper fluid but do you want either of them doing serious repair work to a damaged vehicle?

    What good is “having plenty of doctors” when that staff is a ton of dermatologists not doing much in closed clinics? We needs specifically trained people that are burning out fast. It takes years to train people and frankly we’re seeing a drop in people willing to step up. This pandemic is going to go on for YEARS at this point (thanks antivaxxers!) and it looks like an endless miserable thankless slog to potential students.

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  6. Mister Bluster says:

    Dwayne Hickman
    1934-2022
    RIP
    The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

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  7. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:
    There are lots of reasons for the players and coaches to not try to fix the outcome. Off the top of my head… It’s an inherently dangerous game. Not playing hard is an easy way to get hurt, or get someone else hurt. There may be current season individual incentives on the line. For example, two more sacks may get the defensive end a half-million dollar bonus. There are always future incentives (ie, contracts) involved. A backup who gets a chance to play is auditioning for a position/contract on either the current team or a different team for next season. The same for coaches, who shuffle around a lot.

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  8. @Kathy: It was quite a game.

    @Michael Cain: They could have kneeled it out there at the end. Indeed, if the Chargers had not called time out (for reasons I cannot comprehend) it seemed likely that time was going to expire before anyone else could score.

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  9. grumpy realist says:

    Another report from the front lines of COVID.

    The hell with it: if you haven’t got yourself vaccinated so far and you show up with COVID, treat yourself at home. Doctors and nurses don’t have the time or effort to handle your problems.

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  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    This weekend I was determined to learn some new (to me) music that wasn’t part of an animated movie soundtrack. I let spotify’s algorithm do it’s thang, with some gentle nudges from me, until it landed on about an hour of 80s and 90s alt-country and power pop. Most of the alt-country I already knew and loved, but so much of the power pop list were bands that had just passed me by, being popular right when I was born or was a young kid–Teenage Fanclub, the Posies, Big Star, the Afghan Wigs, etc.

    I spent some time on Big Star’s 3 albums, and I get why they are considered so visionary–I was often checking to see if spotify had switched to the Jayhawks or Wilco only to see that, no, this song was from 20 years before the Jayhawks existed. But, for all that, their sound has been copied enough that, though not their fault, it sounds tired.

    Then I found Jellyfish. Man, how did this band not make a bigger splash? Beach boys and Queen vocals with jangling harpsichord, 90s ear worms, psychedelic-flecked guitar riffs, and a propensity to end every third song in a collapse of noise. Phenomenal.

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  11. Mu Yixiao says:

    Chinese online educator cut 60,000 jobs in 2021.

    Yu Minhong, founder and chairman of the Chinese tutoring giant, revealed in a WeChat post over the weekend that the company dismissed 60,000 workers in 2021 and saw revenue fall 80% after ending all K-9 tutoring services following Beijing’s overhaul of the the $100 billion after-school education sector last July.

    On Dec. 31, local regulators in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai unveiled their pricing standards for nonprofit K-9 tutoring, signaling that a relaunch of online classes could be imminent. Fees for online classes are guided at 20 yuan per session, with companies allowed to charge a premium of no more than 10%.

    20元 (at current exchange) is $3.14 USD.

    China is absolutely destroying their own economy–slowly but surely.

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  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Oh, oh, de stijl bait 🙂

    I’ve a similar experience, there was a time in my life that with regard to music it was a silo and the only performers outside the silo, who found their way in, were local acts that I could trip across at a local bar. Then 30-40 years later…

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  13. Michael Cain says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    The Raiders’ interim head coach wants the job next year. Kneel and take the tie is not a good look when you want to convince the boss that you can win close games. So everyone knew that the Raiders would attempt the field goal. San Diego called a timeout to put in the personnel they thought would make the attempt as long as possible.

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  14. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Some stand up had a bit about the frustrations of having no one to discuss an old movie when you’ve just watched it for the first time. “Have you guys seen this ‘Body Heat?’ I tell you, that Kathleen Turner’s gonna have quite the future.'”

    Where else am I going to be able to discuss the joys of discovering a 30 year old rock band with all of two albums, including their demo?

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  15. Mu Yixiao says:

    Get out the popcorn!

    New York City will allow legal but noncitizen immigrants to vote. “The measure applies to legal residents, including those with green cards and so-called Dreamers who were brought to the country illegally as children but were allowed to remain under a federal program known as DACA,” reports The New York Times. It’s expected to allow more than 800,000 noncitizens to vote in New York City elections.

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  16. Neil Hudelson says:
  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: good luck.

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  18. gVOR08 says:
  19. @Michael Cain: I did not expect them to kneel it out (I was just noting it was possible at that point). I do think that they would have let time expire. Taking that team to the playoffs after the Gruden debacle was all he needed no matter how they got there. Indeed, risking a block or some other bad outcome was foolish.

    Run the clock out was guaranteed playoff berth.

    The FG, while it worked out, presented a nonzero chance of not going to the playoffs.

    He would have been seen to be an idiot if the Chargers blocked the kick and ran it back for a score.

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  20. @Mu Yixiao: My immediate response to this is that it is foolish given the current political climate and will fuel nativists.

    I will note, however, that this is not unique. As per Ballotpedia:

    Fifteen municipalities across the country allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections as of December 2021. Eleven were located in Maryland, two were located in Vermont, one was located in New York, and the other was San Francisco, California.

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  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    @Steven L. Taylor:

    One either believes that a community should have a degree of home rule or not, and that home should extend to deciding, without discrimination, who can vote in local elections. If that offends some nativist in TX or Amsterdam, NY, well F-em. It is the NYC community and their government, why not let them decide.

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  22. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08: Mother Mother, apparently I could have been enjoying this amazingly catching thing for a decade.

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  23. just nutha says:

    @Scott: My first class today was ~50% attendance with one identified Covid absence. The second was close to normal. The prelims on the third show about 8 or 10 out of 30 will be gone. Fun times.

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  24. CSK says:

    Thomas Welnicki, 72, of Rockaway Beach “expressed interest in Trump’s demise” between July 2020 and December 2021. He also promised to “acquire weapons” and “take [Trump] down” if the latter refused to leave office.

    His defense attorney, Deirdre von Dornum, said that Welnicki “intended no harm to anyone” and was merely “expressing how distraught he was at what he saw as the threats to our democracy as posed by former President Trump.”

    Well, that’s one old white guy who wasn’t a Trumpkin.

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  25. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..And Cat Ballou.
    I know that I have seen Cat Ballou. It was along time ago. Forgive me if the only name I remember from that film is Lee Marvin.
    I heard that Lee Marvin gave his Oscar to the horse that he worked with in this movie.

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  26. @Sleeping Dog: I actually have not strong views on the subject but lean towards allowing local jurisdictions to do what they want in this regard and an amenable to arguments that residents, regardless of status, should have a say.

    That being said, we are in a precarious moment and so am concerned that such a move will just help fuel nativists in a way that I am not sure is wise. The whole “voter integrity” crowd already believes that the goal is to allow foreigners to come in and vote.

    I don’t typically take the position that reactions to an action should dictate whether it should be pursued or not, but this does give me pause. It is a cost/benefit reaction in the midst of truly precarious times.

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  27. Christine says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    One either believes that a community should have a degree of home rule or not, and that home should extend to deciding, without discrimination, who can vote in local elections. If that offends some nativist in TX or Amsterdam, NY, well F-em. It is the NYC community and their government, why not let them decide.

    How is this any different than a ‘state’s rights’ argument when it comes to another constitutionally protected right, e.g., abortion?

    Citizens only, anything else is a slippery slope.

    It’s nonsensical to not have some uniformity in our voting laws. I get that there is not just one election, that there are thousands on Election Day. Another imperative to have consistency.

    That Democrats have sat on this for so long (then again, I don’t think we all expected the GOP to completely abandon the Voting Rights Act of 1965…) I can’t see how they will fix it at this point. We have 2 Senators that will not play ball.

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  28. Christine says:

    @Christine: oops messed up the block quotes…

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  29. Gustopher says:

    @Scott: Oof. I hope your family is ok and only gets a minimal discomfort.

    The reports out of the schools are awful, and stupid (no reason to have in-person classes if the kids aren’t learning anything because there are no teachers), and if schools are getting overwhelmed… hospitals are likely to be in a lot of trouble.

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  30. JohnSF says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Afghan Whigs Gentlemen is utterly brilliant.

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  31. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Christine:

    How is this any different than a ‘state’s rights’ argument when it comes to another constitutionally protected right, e.g., abortion?

    Cities and towns exist entirely in a franchise provided by the state government. If state says that a city or town can’t do something, there is no recourse beyond getting the law changed. This is entirely different than the federal arrangement between the Federal government and the States embodied in our Constitution.

    Citizens only, anything else is a slippery slope.

    Why? Slippery slope is a lazy argument.

    It’s nonsensical to not have some uniformity in our voting laws. I get that there is not just one election, that there are thousands on Election Day. Another imperative to have consistency.

    We don’t have any continuity in our voting laws now, except those that are imposed by the Constitution and those laws promulgated by the Federal Gov effecting the election of Federal offices. Today we conduct elections under 50+ different rules, that a municipality wants somewhat different rules to meet their unique situation, why shouldn’t they? NYC only effects municipal elections and not state or Federal.

    That Democrats have sat on this for so long (then again, I don’t think we all expected the GOP to completely abandon the Voting Rights Act of 1965…) I can’t see how they will fix it at this point. We have 2 Senators that will not play ball.

    Sorry, I don’t understand your point

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  32. EddieInCA says:

    Pure anecdote:

    A good friend of mine in Atlanta, female, 41, fit as hell, gorgeous, runs triathlons and Spartan races, vaxxed, boosted, taking it seriously, received a positive covid test last Tuesday after feeling flu symptoms.

    Been in bed last three days with 102.5 fever. Friday was taken to the hospital with 104.2 fever. Shakes. Chills. No appetites. Horrible stomach cramps while throwing up 2 times per day. Currently, she’s on an IV at home, making sure she stays hydrated.

    Her words to me this morning: “Vaxxed or not, you don’t want this”.

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  33. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: If I remember correctly, the Xi government is discouraging people from learning English, a huge reversal of a 30+ year policy. When I was there English language learning was by far the biggest enrollment for the private tutoring companies. In fact, there were huge companies whose only offerings were English.

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  34. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The James Webb Space Telescope is now fully deployed and is close to it’s final parking spot, which is almost a million miles from Earth.

    Thanks to the great distance from the sun and a sunshield, Webb will work in the darkness required for heat-seeking infrared observations. Infrared wavelengths will allow the telescope to peer through dust to look at objects such as young exoplanets, or the interior of distant galaxies, all on its quest to understand the universe and its evolution.

    It is designed to provide improved infrared resolution and sensitivity over Hubble, viewing objects up to 100 times fainter[12] and will enable a broad range of investigations across the fields of astronomy and cosmology, including observations up to redshift z≈20[12] of some of the oldest, most distant, events and objects in the Universe such as the first stars and formation of the first galaxies, and allowing detailed atmospheric characterization of potentially habitable exoplanets.

    There are probably others here who know much about it than I.
    I just wanted to note that our late friend and science geek, Doug Mataconis, would have friggin’ loved this story.

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  35. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Christine:

    With regard to your Citizens Only point. Can’t a municipality decide on who is a citizen of the municipality in conformance with state and Federal laws?

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  36. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    @Neil Hudelson:

    Oh, oh, de stijl bait

    Or JohnSF lure!
    I haz a list as long as your arm of late 80’s/early 90’s music sadly forgotten by most.
    (He threatened 🙂

    One of the best IMO: The Belltower Popdropper
    e.g. their single Outshine the Sun

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  37. just nutha says:

    (no reason to have in-person classes if the kids aren’t learning anything because there are no teachers)

    The counter point to this argument is that for significant numbers of students, education happens only in classrooms and we can’t have those students falling behind further. Alas, that counter point has some legitimacy. Particularly when paired to the argument that the state’s obligation to educate ends at age 18.

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  38. JohnSF says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    If you aren’t already aware of it, webbtelescope.org is great for keeping up with the Webb on the web 🙂
    I keep peeking at it to cheer me up.

    Current status is mirror now fully deployed.
    Next step is mirror segment activation and alignment, then switching on the instrumentation.
    13 days and roughly 190,000 miles to L2 destination.

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  39. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: First, I hope she’s back to 100% very soon.

    Second, this terrifies me a bit. My husband has a pre-existing condition–he’s vaxxed and boosted, and is set to travel for work soon…within the next couple of weeks. You know, right when omicron is set to peak.

    A good friend of mine is a teacher. She’s vaccinated and boosted, and caught covid right around Christmas. She had multiple negative tests after starting to feel yucky, and thankfully she decided against joining any holiday festivities with her older parents because about 5-7 days AFTER she started feeling symptoms, she tested positive. For her, in her early 50s, it was (her words) a minor annoyance. She had very mild symptoms, but the cough has lingered for a couple of weeks after she got her all-clear test.

    The sheer randomness of severity of this disease has always been the most perplexing thing to me. How some people can have almost no symptoms and others get walloped despite being vaccinated is just so strange.

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  40. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Yeah. I did the teaching gig for 4 years (adults, not kids), and people were paying good money to learn. The mall where our (small) center was located, was also also home to at least 3 others (all of which were big chains).

    But my understanding of the situation I posted isn’t about English, per se. It’s a two-pronged attack. The first is that Xi is cracking down on companies that make big profits. Essentially, any serious capitalist endeavors are now being seen as “against the interests of the CCP” (which they sort of are, in that the more prosperous people become, the less use they have for the CCP).

    The second prong of the attack is “preserving and promoting Chinese culture”. Which means “none of that western stuff”. The list of things that are being censored in entertainment is rapidly growing and includes BS like “effeminate men”. They’ve limited online gaming for kids to 3 hours per week, and only during certain hours of the day. Entertainment companies are freaking out.

    This is essentially becoming a soft reboot of the Cultural Revolution.

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  41. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    The randomness isn’t just the most perplexing aspect; it’s the most frightening. It’s also a very good reason to keep observing the precautions.

    My best wishes to your husband.

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  42. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Cain:..San Diego called a timeout

    I know it’s hard to let go but the Chargers have been in Los Angeles since 2014.

    (Believe me. I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan when they crushed my 9 year old heart and moved west after the 1957 season. The pain still lingers.)

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  43. Gustopher says:

    @just nutha:

    The counter point to this argument is that for significant numbers of students, education happens only in classrooms and we can’t have those students falling behind further. Alas, that counter point has some legitimacy.

    Except the students aren’t learning anything in the classrooms without teachers.

    It’s not a situation with good outcomes either way, but at least you can avoid creating super-spreader events. Be flexible, have in-person learning when there isn’t a massive spike, and be willing to shut down in-person when you cannot sustain the primary function of the school — education.

    If you’re going to take a risk, at least make sure there’s a payout.

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  44. Jen says:

    @CSK: I really hope they unravel that aspect of it at some point (preferably soon).

    I saw this report in the journal Nature and found it interesting. Apparently, B+ blood type appears to offer some protection against serious disease/death:

    Our model shows that the frequency of “B+” in the population is an important predictor of the TDPM in June, September, and December 2020. A multivariate linear model confirmed the significance of the “B+” frequency predictor as protective against death by COVID-19. The “B+” is protective because it is negatively correlated with the TDPM as displayed in Fig. 2. RF outperformed the linear model as it can be deduced comparing Tables 4 and 5, which proves the existence of a complex (and not just linear) relationship between the input features and the outcome variable. Other factors emerged also as important to predict the TDPM although the model found them less important than frequency of “B+” and also their ability to predict the TDPM was not consistent over time: “Diabetes prevalence” and “Cardiovascular death rate” were important in June but not in September and December, in September frequency of “A−” switched from being tentative to being important, and stayed important in December together with “O−”, the ratio “Rh−/Rh+”, “Percentage of female smokers”, and “Population density” .

    Most of the analysis is way over my head, but interesting nonetheless.

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  45. Kathy says:

    I tried posting earlier, but something went wrong.

    Pfizer is making Omicron-specific vaccines. the info is rather sketchy, but apparently these need to undergo clinical trials. They say they’ll be rolled out by Fall.

    I wonder. A Delta-specific shot rolled out by Fall last year would have arrived just in time to see the rise of Omicron. Maybe the Omicron shot will see the rise of the next variant. On the other hand, as Delta was more like Alpha and the original strain, maybe the next variant will be more like Omicron.

    As usual, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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  46. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Thanks; I’ve saved that to read later.
    @Kathy:
    I read today that, according to the head of Pfizer, the Omicron-specific vax will be ready for roll-out this March.

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  47. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Ideally Covid variant specific boosters should roll out similar to the flu updates do with a shortened trial cycle.

    @CSK

    Sign me up

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  48. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Pfizer’s Alfred Bourla says that the company is already manufacturing does of the Omicron vax.

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  49. just nutha says:

    @Gustopher: You seem to have finessed by a key point in my argument “[P]articularly when paired to the argument that the state’s obligation to educate ends at age 18.” Personally, I like how you think in linking the actions to the comparative payout. Beyond that, I’m sure that many on the right will agree with you about keeping the schools closed (especially for “those” kids) and support you with a cheery “if they couldn’t keep up with the system that we had, well fwk ’em!” as they toss the kids out the door at 18. I wish that “close the schools when it’s unsafe” matched “achieve the same outcomes for each kid” (the current incarnation of PL 142-92 which mandates a “free and appropriate education” for every student).

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  50. flat earth luddite says:

    From this morning’s Axios bulletin in my mailbox:

    Former President Trump said he’ll never endorse Sen. Mike Rounds after the South Dakota Republican defended the integrity of the 2020 election.

    Ok, SD GOP, time to bring the lunatic fringe to the table, just like the Oregun GOP!

    (as always, my lack of faith in Google, while disturbing, prevents me from attaching the link. YMMV)

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  51. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: Interesting. I’ve always wondered why there were still different blood types in the population. Considering parents have to be checked for compatibility lest it cause terrible problems. I figured there must be some benefit to the various types or it would have disappeared due to natural selection.

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  52. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    The info is sketchy, and there were contradictory dates ann ambiguous terms for such a short piece (one reason I didn’t link to it). I’ll await developments.

    @Sleeping Dog:

    And risk inferior internet reception in variant specific shots?

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  53. Kingdaddy says:

    Tim Miller’s piece about a week listening to Steve Bannon’s podcast, which reaches a very big audience, is horrifying. It’s further documentation of how anti-democratic forces have been working hard in the last year. And it’s right out in the open, so it’s our fault if we’re surprised by any of this.

    https://www.thebulwark.com/i-spent-insurrection-week-listening-to-steve-bannon/

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  54. EddieInCA says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    Sorry Mister. Even to LA fans, they’re still the San Diego Chargers.

    In 2019, while playing at Dignity Health Park (home to the LA Galaxy), they rarely sold out the statidum with home fans. In fact, most games there were road games for the fans, as Raiders, Chiefs, and Broncos fans often overwhelmed the smaller Chargers fan base.

    The Los Angeles Chargers will play their final game at Dignity Health Sports Park, formerly knows as StubHub Center, this Sunday when they take on the Oakland Raiders.

    After moving from San Diego in 2017, the Chargers used the stadium in Carson — which seats 27,000 and is home to the L.A. Galaxy — as their temporary home for three seasons.

    But the stadium didn’t seem like home for the Bolts, because the stands were flooded with fans of the opposing team and the seats were filled with colors other than blue and gold. Their cheers outnumbered those of Chargers fans, and they quite often booed the Chargers, too.

    Season-ticket holders made a habit of selling their tickets for profit. It’s been tough for the Chargers to build a market because the Rams arrived in Los Angeles in 2016, and before that the city had no team after the Raiders and Rams both moved out in 1995.

    For many of the players and coaches, they’re ready to start a new era when they move into SoFi Stadium in Inglewood with a capacity of 78,000, which will be shared with the Rams starting in 2020.

    “I’m pretty excited for the new stadium to open up. Look at the game last week [against the Minnesota Vikings] — 90 percent purple, maybe. That’s tough,” guard Michael Schofield said. “Hopefully when we go to the new stadium it’s a lot better. Hopefully we have a decent fan base, a decent following.”

    Coach Anthony Lynn compared it to a high school football stadium in Texas, while punter Ty Long felt like it was similar to the stadiums in the Canadian Football League, where he played before signing with Los Angeles.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    CBS, NBC, CNBC, and Fox are reporting March as the launch date for the Omicron vax.

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  56. flat earth luddite says:

    @just nutha:

    “free and appropriate education”

    Oh, you mean the one where the “good folks like us” from the elite get the learning, while the poor/undeserving/* get to keep doing what they’re suitable for?

    *(Nope, not today. Not gonna go there, despite the temptation)

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  57. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @just nutha: I wish that “close the schools when it’s unsafe” matched “achieve the same outcomes for each kid” (the current incarnation of PL 142-92 which mandates a “free and appropriate education” for every student).

    I just have to point out that achieving the same outcome for each kid has never been the goal of public education because the definition of a free and appropriate education was entirely dependent on where one grew up.

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  58. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @flat earth luddite: Beat me to it.

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  59. Kathy says:

    It seems Musk’s Starlink internet service has just met an implacable obstacle.

    We know how this will end up. Musk should quit now.

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  60. Mister Bluster says:

    @EddieInCA:..they’re still the San Diego Chargers.
    You sound like my brother who has lived in Southern California for at least 45 years. Including what passed for cheap housing in LA when he first got there in the ’70s. He is a Bears fan at heart and has never had a good word to say about Phillip Rivers or the rest of the squad.
    Coincidently he works for a firm and had a hand in designing the sewer plan for a new LA Stadium and Entertainment Center at Hollywood Park. Could this be the new So-Fi Complex?

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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: (you’re not supposed to realize that 🙁 )

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  62. Michael Cain says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    I know it’s hard to let go but the Chargers have been in Los Angeles since 2014.

    You’re absolutely correct. Brain cramp on my part, influenced by living in the KC Chiefs’ television footprint for my teenaged years, and then Denver from 1988. Rumors that the Bowlen family trust will sell the Broncos soon. Pat famously removed the “D” from the logo when he was fighting about a publicly-funded stadium in the 1990s.

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  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Beyond that, (approximately similar) outcomes for each student is not a global goal, it’s an aspiration that (in the original case that prompted the law, in fact) your district will not be declaring some students uneducable so that they don’t have to spend money and time trying to teach them but can ship them off to “a special program” somewhere out of sight.

    The fact that any given district will have programs that diverge dramatically from those of other districts (for example, the Virtual School in Kelso, Washington has about 1o or 15 times the number of students that the one in Longview has, whereas the Alternative School in Longview is roughly 20 times the size of the one in Kelso) is simply the wonders of our system of state sovereignty writ large to effect the miracles that are America–the Greatest Country on God’s Green Earth [tm].

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  64. Michael Cain says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    There are probably others here who know much about it than I…. I just wanted to note that our late friend and science geek, Doug Mataconis, would have friggin’ loved this story.

    I have asserted for some years now that the day is in sight when Big Science will say, “We need $X billion dollars to build the equipment for the next round of experiments/observations,” and the US voters will say no. No money for the follow ons to CERN, or ITER, or the JWST. Nor will the private universities with the big endowments (Harvard, Yale, Stanford) be willing to risk several billion each of those endowments.

    In an interesting bit of foresight, early in the James Blish Cities in Flight novels written in the 1950s, the government had to bury huge amounts of money in a black budget in order to conduct the experiments to verify a faster-than-light spaceship drive.

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  65. Michael Cain says:

    @Kathy:

    Pfizer is making Omicron-specific vaccines. the info is rather sketchy, but apparently these need to undergo clinical trials. They say they’ll be rolled out by Fall.

    Always useful to remember that before the swine flu scare in the early 2000s there was no EUA for vaccines. FDA approval of a new vaccine took two or three years. Can’t imagine McConnell and Trump backing a major new regulatory initiative in 2020 to create EUAs.

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  66. Christine says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Residency to vote in same municipality sure but the first prerequisite should be US citizenship IMHO.

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  67. EddieInCA says:

    Dear Dr. Joyner –

    Sorry. But it was a good season for Alabama football. Unfortunately, with what Saban has created, the Alabama faithful will be unhappy, yet again.

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  68. Gustopher says:

    @just nutha:

    Beyond that, I’m sure that many on the right will agree with you about keeping the schools closed (especially for “those” kids) and support you with a cheery “if they couldn’t keep up with the system that we had, well fwk ’em!” as they toss the kids out the door at 18.

    Unfortunately, the current approach will be to infect the kids and staff, and fail to teach, and toss the kids out the door at 18 with whatever long term effects a novel respiratory/vascular disease has. And using the schools as superspreader centers when the hospitals are overrun.

    I’m willing to be Machiavellian with the little rugrats if it leads to the greater good, but this is just an own-goal.

    Unless there is someone watching a collection of worse variants pop up and is thinking “this is as good as it’s going to get… if people won’t get vaccinated, infect everyone with this, it might give them protection from Omega.”

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  69. Flat earth luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Gotta be quick to beat this over fed, (formerly) long haired, leaping gnome to the edge of the platter, Ozark!

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  70. de stijl says:

    So I got back home after 10 days or so and my furnace is kaput. It’s 39F inside my house. This is bad.

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  71. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @EddieInCA: Just as the Battle of Britain wrecked the myth of Luftwaffe invincibility, this season (2 losses to former Saban assistants) has wrecked the myth that Nick will always beat his many former assistants.

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