Tuesday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:
  3. sam says:

    Chris Murphy@ChrisMurphyCT

    Don’t be afraid, says the guy with a team of a dozen doctors, access to experimental treatments that no one else gets, a four room hospital suite, who lives in a house with top doctors on site 24/7.

    All of which is provided to him for free because he refuses to pay taxes.

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  4. CSK says:

    I see Tim Miller at http://www.thebulwark.com agrees with me about Trump’s ultra-bizarre performance at the White House upon his return from Walter Reed yesterday evening.

    And may I say that never have I witnessed a more blatant display of phony patriotism.

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  5. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: I’ll go with Michael Beschloss.

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  6. CSK says:

    According to Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Melania Trump once referred to Stormy Daniels as “the porn hooker.” Given that Melania herself once posed nude for a soft-core lesbian s and m portfolio, isn’t the pot calling the kettle black?

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  7. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    God, that’s perfect.

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  8. Sleeping Dog says:

    UNH professor on leave after allegedly posing as immigrant woman on Twitter

    Whatever happened to on the internet, no one knows that you’re a dog?

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  9. KM says:

    @CSK:
    I almost felt bad for him watching that; he’s such a slave to his own PR he’s hurting himself. He’s trying *so* hard to live up to his insane fan’s hype, a hype he loves and shamelessly promotes. They call him God-Emperor and what God-Emperor gets felled by a cough? He’s standing so rigid and you can *see* him fight back the coughs – his lips were trembling, face contorting regularly and the shoulder hunch was so rhythmic you could set a watch to it. His little “look at me, Mr. Tough MAGA Alpha” was so forced because he knows he can’t be seen as weak. The façade must hold.

    Too bad he’s just set an impossible bar for himself now. If he’s anything less than what he just showed the world for the next month, he loses. He can’t cough, can’t wheeze, can’t pause for breath. Any backsliding shows him a fool to leave the hospital early and a liar that COVID’s NBD. He could barely hold the coughs back for 5 mins but he’s got to go back to screaming pedagogue? Idiot should have just stayed an extra day or two and faked better “work” pictures…..

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  10. Kathy says:

    So, the 2020 Nobel prizes for physics and for medicine or physiology have been awarded, and Dr. Trump was snubbed, despite having developed the hydroxychloroquine and bleach cure for COVID-19, and his development of the super-duper missile.

    The Nobel Peace Prize gets awarded Friday, Oct. 9th, and I don’t think Donald I King fo the Covidiots will get it.

    Better luck at the Noble Prizes, Donnie.

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  11. Joe says:

    @KM:

    screaming pedagogue?

    Bwahahahahahahaha.
    Autocorrect, I assume.

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  12. CSK says:

    @KM:
    The sad–though totally unsurprising–part is that Cult45 seems to be buying the act hook, line, and sinker. Over at Lucianne.com, the comments are along the lines of:

    1. “It’s great to have our LEADER back!”
    2. “Unafraid to lead!”
    3. “He is magnificent!”

    @Sleeping Dog:
    You beat me to it. I was going to post that and call it to your and Jen’s attention. 😀

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  13. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: He’s being brought down by his own stupidity. Seems very Greek.

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  14. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    the progression is interesting. I’ve said he first gambled the pandemic wouldn’t be so bad. he lost. next he gambled a vaccine would be ready before the election. He will lose that one as well.

    The odds for the first were unknown. the odds for the second were heavily against him, even if vaccines were developed in record time.

    All along he gambled he could remain uninfected without taking all due precautions. Odds sucked for that one and he lost again.

    Now he’s gambling he will not die of COVID-19, or that he’ll beat it without need for major medical intervention, like an ICU or a ventilator. The odds are hard to estimate, but don’t seem to be good for someone his age in his condition. there’s the Regeneron antibody wildcard, though. That may really help, but as we saw in the video, he’s suffering from breathing difficulties.

    His betting record on COVID-19 isn’t good.

    Notice, too, that all these gambles were 100% unnecessary. He didn’t have to stake a position, he didn’t have to maintain that position at all costs, and he could always change course. But that’s not our Boy Trump, is he? He has to take a position and he won’t back down.

    It’s as though he’s on the top floor of a building when the fire alarm goes off. he’s been gambling there’s no fire, the fire will not spread, the fire will not reach him, and the fire will not kill him. he could have evacuated when the danger as slight, or he could have done it when the danger was moderate. Now he’s trapped and surrounded by fire, and telling the people about to be burned alive not to fear the fire.

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  15. Jax says:

    When are people going to stop taking James O’Keefe and Project Veritas seriously?!

    https://www.fox9.com/news/subject-of-project-veritas-voter-fraud-story-says-he-was-offered-bribe

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  16. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: I think he’s got a good shot at the Noble Prize, especially if he goes the way of President Cartre.

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  17. Northerner says:

    @Kathy:

    The prizes are more interesting than Trump in any case — and except for the peace prize, surprisingly non-political.

    I doubt Trump’s even heard of either black holes or hepatitis C. And possibly not physics either.

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  18. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Well, want a short-lived quickie conspiracy theory?

    No? Too bad:

    If Trump dies at the latest by Thursday Oct. 8th, and the Nobel Peace Prize goes to anyone else, his cult can claim he didn’t get it only because Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously.

    I assume they will even quote fictitious Swedish* academics, politicians, and diplomats to that effect, and how much they admire Herr Trumpf. Then they will rant and rave, if anyone still pays them any mind, when the actual recipient does not dedicate their Prize to Trump, nor even mentions Dear Leader in their acceptance speech.

    *Yes, I do know the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee appointed by the parliament of Norway.

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  19. Kathy says:

    @Northerner:

    I doubt Trump’s even heard of either black holes or hepatitis C. And possibly not physics either.

    That’s because Trump has the best hepatitis, only A+, not C like a commoner.

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  20. KM says:

    @Joe:
    Yep. Perils of phone typing and no edit function. My autocorrect is now offering wonderful options in multiple languages because walking, drinking coffee and spelling do not mix

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  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    I saw it last night and saved it for today’s forum.

    At one point in college, I considered following an educational track that would have led to becoming a college faculty member, but chose another route. I’m so, so glad I did. I wouldn’t have survived what academia was 20 years ago, much less today. Though by now I’d be emeritus.

    I do say that I admire our gracious hosts here at OTB for operating in that milieu with good cheer.

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  22. Jen says:

    @Kathy:

    Nobel prizes are not awarded posthumously

    It was, once! The committee had awarded the prize but had not yet announced it, the recipient passed away but it had not been made public yet.

    Interestingly enough for this discussion, he was one of a trio of scientists working on immune system research.

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  23. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    @CSK:

    The story was on NHPR over the weekend. Still wondering who it is…

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  24. Christopher Osborne says:

    @KM: this reminds me of Danny Dravot from the Man Who Would be King. Of course he wouldn’t remember the words to The Star-Spangled Banner…

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  25. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    It’s a guy named Craig Chapman, a chemist in the College of Engineering.

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  26. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I spent most of my adult life at Tufts and then Harvard. It had its moments.

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  27. charon says:

    Thread on respiratory distress:

    https://twitter.com/Caerage/status/1313345159577448449

    I watched the video of Trump on the balcony.

    Here is what I saw:

    -Extra-respiratory muscles to breathe.
    -Visible chest wall rise.
    -Open mouth breathing at times.
    -Rapid shallow breaths at roughly 25-30 breaths per minute. More than twice normal.

    And a whole thread on this.

    Here is a lengthy piece on T’s timeline, it’s a link I am saving:

    https://thebulwark.com/the-truth-about-trumps-covid-test-timeline/

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  28. EddieInCA says:

    A few interesting polls out today:

    CNN National Poll: Biden up 16
    Michigan: Biden up 9

    I expect this to be a 10-15 point race by end of the week, just based on the trend. This weekend certainly was not good for Trump.

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  29. sam says:

    @CSK:

    “I spent most of my adult life at Tufts and then Harvard. It had its moments.”

    I recall one of those moments when Barnum Hall burned down and all that was left of poor Jumbo was his toenails.

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  30. CSK says:

    @charon:
    Trump lies reflexively, and surrounds himself with the kind of people who will lie reflexively on his behalf. This is just further proof of that.

    I do find it curious that so many people would be willing to jeopardize their own lives to enable him.

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  31. CSK says:

    @sam:
    That was before my time, but I understand the some of the ashes were preserved in an empty peanut butter jar on the athletic director’s desk.

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  32. inhumans99 says:

    @CSK:

    They may be saying all these things at places like lucianne but well…oh, I see as I am typing this out that EddieInCA beat me to the punch, I was going to say that these folks say one thing but they can see the numbers like everyone else and Biden continues to pull away from Trump and is now up 16. I will not be shocked if he ends up around 20 points ahead of Trump as we close out the month.

    Even if a lot of President Trump’s diehard supporters do not want to admit this his having Covid has made him tainted goods. The only thing the GOP should truly focus on is holding onto the Senate while putting on a nice dog and pony show for the base so it looks like they are trying hard to get Trump re-elected but all the hard work taking place behind the scenes is geared towards making sure Lindsey Graham holds onto his seat and others Republicans who are arguably in for the first real competitive fight of their political lives get the help they need from the RNC.

    Many members of the GOP have gotten lazy not having to fight hard to keep being re-elected in the past so this year might be a wake up call that many GOP Senators need to do more than just smile and look pretty for the cameras to get re-elected.

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  33. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:
    @Jen:

    My defense would be one of two tacts.

    1. It was one of my other personalities who was tweeting and I should be reinstated because of my disability, that hasn’t hampered my past work and teaching.

    2. I am developing a plot for my first novel and the twitter avatar is one of the characters.

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  34. Northerner says:

    @Jen:

    It was, once! The committee had awarded the prize but had not yet announced it, the recipient passed away but it had not been made public yet.

    Makes sense. So does not giving them out posthumously — in the case of physics for instance they’d still be in the 1800’s (having gone through Archimedes, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton etc).

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  35. CSK says:

    @inhumans99:
    Well, Cult45 claims that all those polls that find Biden miles ahead of Trump are Fake Polls engineered by the Fake News.

    Maybe they believe this. Maybe it’s just bravado. I’m inclined to think it’s bravado.

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  36. Sleeping Dog says:

    Saw this yesterday:

    Trump’s touting of ‘racehorse theory’ tied to eugenics and Nazis alarms Jewish leaders

    Someone should explain to him the concept of regression to the mean and how that effects breeding. — Never mind, he wouldn’t understand.

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  37. @CSK:
    It’s probably because they know 16, or even 20 points isn’t enough in the face of the massive cheating that Trump is doing, and is going to do.

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  38. Joe says:

    The only thing the GOP should truly focus on is holding onto the Senate while putting on a nice dog and pony show for the base so it looks like they are trying hard to get Trump re-elected but all the hard work taking place behind the scenes is geared towards making sure Lindsey Graham holds onto his seat and others Republicans who are arguably in for the first real competitive fight of their political lives get the help they need from the RNC.

    I haven’t been looking very hard, inhumans99, but how are the Dems doing in the Senate? I consider McConnell essentially unbeatable and assume incumbents like Graham are still likely to win close elections. Are there probable flips? Likely flips? Where are we?

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  39. Jen says:

    @Northerner: I listen to the TED radio hour (they take TED talks and adapt them for radio). The one about that story really stuck with me.

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  40. Sleeping Dog says:
  41. EddieInCA says:

    @Joe:

    Are there probable flips? Likely flips? Where are we?

    538 now has it at 66% chance of Dems flipping the Senate. That’s up from 30% not too long ago.

    As of right now, and it could change:

    Toast R’s: Collins, Gardner, Tillis, McSally

    Toast D’s: Jones

    R Held Tossups: Ernst, Daines, Perdue,

    R Held Lean R: Graham, Loeffler, Kansas Open Seat

    D Held Tossups: None.

    The R leaning R races are all super close, with Graham actually trailing in a few polls.

    If this holds, Dems would end up with 51-53 seats.

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  42. Monala says:

    @Sleeping Dog: this is definitely something infecting academia—white professors pretending to be people of color: Rachel Dolezal; the GW professor from Kansas who pretended she was a Latina from the Bronx; another white professor who pretended on Twitter to be a Native American scientist (and then “killed” her alter ego with Covid when someone discovered it); and now this one. But usually they’ve done it from the left as some sort of performative “wokeness.” In this case it’s the opposite: from the right to attack those fighting for racial justice.

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  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Tillis may have gotten a reprieve as Cunningham appears to have allowed his dick to lead him around.

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  44. inhumans99 says:

    Hi Joe, I tend to occasionally obtain this information from sites like Politico instead of directly hitting up the sites that obsess over the numbers but the last time I checked Graham’s opponent was at one point within 2-3 points of breaking even with Graham (so with the margin of error there were times that Graham is basically tied with his Democratic opponent).

    For a GOP that has held so much water for their President you would think their guy in the White House would make it easier to get re-elected.

    Wait, the new message is that President Trump getting Covid will clear the way for a GOP sweep of the board in November, almost forgot about that. I guess the GOP does not have to stress out about the election after all.

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  45. Michael Cain says:

    @EddieInCA:

    If this holds, Dems would end up with 51-53 seats.

    Then the next question: given where 10-12 of those Senators will be from, can Schumer — even if he personally wants to — come up with 50 votes (plus Harris) to kill the legislative filibuster, pack the courts, approve PR and DC statehood, have the federal government restructure both redistricting and voting methods for federal elections, and pass the more extreme parts of the Green New Deal?

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  46. Neil Hudelson says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I mostly agree with your assessment, but quibble on a few. As @Sleeping Dog mentioned) we don’t know how this sexting scandal is going to play out in NC. For now I’m considering it an R-held Tossup. I believe we’ll probably better know the impact of the scandal next week.

    I’m also a bit more bullish on the South Carolina seat, and rate it as a toss up. No polls that I can find have had a margin greater than 1 point since mid summer. And, polls are tightening there in the Presidential race. SC will still go for Trump, but this summer Trump was polling +10. Now it’s closer to +4. His coat tails are shrinking, and that’s going to hurt Graham to a degree.

    The Mississippi Senate seat needs to be on everyone’s radar. Light polling, but Esper is running within 3 to 4 points, and I think less than a million has been spent on the race.

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  47. Teve says:

    Joe Biden tweeted an image of himself wearing a mask and Trump not, with the caption

    wear a mask
    Masks matter
    masks save lives

    In response, Tomi Lahren tweeted:

    Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe

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  48. Teve says:

    most hospitalized Covid patients have neurological symptoms, study says

    The symptoms range from mild to severe, and can include headaches, dizziness and altered brain function, according to the study in the journal

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  49. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    What a tedious little twit she is.

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  50. sam says:

    Speaking of the Nobel reminded me to check this year’s ig Nobels. I refer you to the link for the list, but this one did stand out for me:

    PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [CANADA, USA]
    Miranda Giacomin and Nicholas Rule, for devising a method to identify narcissists by examining their eyebrows.
    REFERENCE: “Eyebrows Cue Grandiose Narcissism,” Miranda Giacomin and Nicholas O. Rule, Journal of Personality, vol. 87, no. 2, 2019, pp. 373-385.

    Not a word about whatshisname, but then, does he have eyebrows?

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  51. EddieInCA says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    I agree with pretty much everything you wrote.

    I also think Ernst is in more trouble than the current polls show, just based on Trumpy distant relatives I have there. The Covid outbreak in Iowa is pretty bad.

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  52. KM says:

    @sam:
    Wouldn’t artificial or dyed eyebrows lean heavily towards narcissism anyways? There’s grooming and then there’s vanity; he bleaches his eyebrows to the exact shade as that rug on his head and since we know the hair’s fake, the eyebrows’ have been the shop as well.

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  53. Teve says:

    @KFaulders

    Wow — A U.S. official confirms that all the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are quarantining at home after a positive COVID test for Admiral Ray, the Vice Commandant of the US Coast Guard, per @LMartinezABC.

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  54. Teve says:

    @KM: I do my eyebrows about every 3 weeks. Clip with a #2 guard and dye with just for men medium brown.

    I’m 44 and in sales, you think I’m going to walk around with big bushy grey eyebrows? Get the fuck out.

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  55. inhumans99 says:

    @Teve:

    And your post is proof as to why the GOP is going to take a beating at the ballot box (even thought we still don’t know how bad of a rebuke they will receive from the average voter), she is trying to make what she thinks is a funny joke while everyone else is startled that the GOP does not seem to understand the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in. Their top guy comes down with Covid and it is still all jokes and attempts to own the libs for lulz while most people, even those with a bit of trains occupying space with their brains in their head are going holy hell why is the GOP not taking the pandemic more seriously than before.

    For the most part folks are not arguing that this will hurt the Republicans in November it is just maddening to not have a clearer picture as to how much pain will be inflicted on the GOP in NOV due to how cavalier they are about the pandemic.

    It still remains a very real possibility that they hold the Senate when the dust clears, and possibly even the White House (I would not bet my house, maybe my car…maybe, that Biden will be our next President).

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  56. charon says:

    @Teve:

    Trump, already has plenty of neurological issues: gait, balance, arm jerking and other muscle spasms e.g torso, head etc. Memory issues also, so should worsen with COVID-19 aftereffects as a comorbidity.

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  57. charon says:

    @inhumans99:

    Masks are for sissies seems to be the current GOP message, Pence and Trump are doing it also.

    This is a message I would expect to offend more voters than not, especially with Trump and the White House COVID-19 hotspot as an example of where being macho about masks gets you.

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  58. BugManDan says:

    @Neil Hudelson: The GOP is worried about Graham. They have poured a bunch of money into his ads, and my friends that still watch local TV say that it seems to be every other commercial. I suspect that R voter turnout will be the deciding factor here in SC, and possibly in NC after the sexting stupidity.

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  59. keef says:

    LOL

    You guys are batshixt crazy. Where do you get this stuff?

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  60. gVOR08 says:

    Paul Campos at LGM has a take on why there isn’t more public discussion about the Electoral College. 2020 would be pretty boring if we elected the prez by popular majority, it would have been clear for months that Biden would win. But with the EC it’s still a horse race, on which they can fill miles of column inches. He suggests maybe an unconscious bias on the part of the MSM, not explicit policy.

    My own feeling would be that if this is real, the effect would be small compared to the effect of the remaining Koch Bro and the GOPs in general recognizing that the EC is, for real, right now, allowing minority rule. They’re quite aware that their plutocratic policies cannot win a popular election. I skim FOX only now and again so I can’t say for sure, but I doubt they’ve spent much effort decrying the EC. Also Sinclair, the WSJ, and the rest of the Conservative Echo Chamber. A quick search of FOX turns up a few articles opposed to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact as a power grab by big states.

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  61. gVOR08 says:

    @Teve: Lahren’s audience think it’s manly to carry a gun everywhere as protection against the very low probability of being mugged or something, but it’s femmy to wear a mask to protect yourself and others against the very real probability of contracting COVID.

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  62. inhumans99 says:

    @keef:

    Dude/dudette…you are not even trolling correctly. If you say that someone said something batshit crazy then you should be prepared to make your case. Are you saying the news reports we are referencing in this thread are fake news? If so…well, you know why no one is willing to seriously engage with you on this site.

    You have to put in some effort to show folks you can have a discussion, even a heated one, in good faith.

    As it is you might as well do a hit and run post that says Trump rulz, Biden drools and even that would be more effort than you are willing to put in as we could see it as an attempt on your part to make a funny. Just saying we are crazy or copy/pasting from sites that ignore that folks like John Solomon are discredited journalists does nothing to help you with any points you are trying to make when you post on this great site.

    Try harder my friend. I have confidence that you can put together a post that draws from your own thoughts about the subject or subjects at hand without having to practically parrot what someone else already said about the subject. Put some thought into your posts and you will find a home to discuss stuff with many of the regulars on this site.

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  63. Monala says:

    Why can’t I post anymore?

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  64. Monala says:

    Trying without links:

    There’s a Fox News graphic being shared by Trump supporters on Twitter that shows every age group surviving Covid at rates greater than 99%, except the oldest, which drops down to 95%. Except that’s not what the CDC’s data shows. Folks in age groups up to the 40s do survive at rates of 99% or greater. But in the 50s it drops to 98%, then to 92% for folks 65-74, 83% for folks 75-84, and 72% for 85+.

    Now, some on the right claim that older folks would have died anyway, but they don’t realize how much that attitude is hurting them with older voters. Likely voters ages 65+, whom Trump won handily in 2016, are now supporting Joe Biden over Trump 52%-47%.

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  65. Kathy says:

    @inhumans99:

    I offer a hypothesis:

    For much of the Republican Party, the real damage from the pandemic consists of the economic losses incurred by large and small businesses due to lockdowns, restrictions on capacity, and general reluctance by a large portion of the population to engage in activities like shopping, travel, dining out, drinking at bars, going to the movies, etc. Maybe a secondary consideration is the money being spent on increased medical care.

    But the lives lost are a mere blip. Plenty more people where those came from.

    Lives can be replaced. Money lost is gone forever.

    This would explain the pathological need to make people believe the COVID-19 virus is not so dangerous, no worse than the flu and so on, as well as the repeated urging to reopen everything. Now they’re moving onto a phase of forcing people to live with the virus, as the Super Spreader In Chief has declared, the better to get the money flowing once more. Besides, it hurts brown and black people more than whites. No big deal.

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  66. Teve says:

    @Monala: it’s also misleadingly binary. It’s not just ‘death’ versus ‘perfect recovery’, of course.

    I’m 44. My risk of dying from it is 1/200. But I’m scared of heart damage, brain damage, lung damage.

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  67. Monala says:

    @Teve: Recovery with lingering health issues is a huge concern. But the stats about death rates shared by Fox being passed around are flat out false.

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  68. Mikey says:

    @Teve:

    it’s also misleadingly binary. It’s not just ‘death’ versus ‘perfect recovery’, of course.

    This, x1000. It’s not like catching a cold and then recovering and you’re back to how you were. Tens of thousands of COVID-19 survivors are experiencing post-COVID syndrome. Many thousands of others have recurrent COVID-19 symptoms for weeks and even months. Others who appear fine will still have lifelong damage to their lungs, kidneys, and other organs.

    And of course if the GOP is successful in eliminating the ACA’s protections against denial of insurance for pre-existing conditions, millions of Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 will not be able to get treatment for those after-effects, nor for after-effects yet to be discovered.

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  69. Jen says:

    @Teve: THIS x 1000.

    I don’t understand why more people don’t get this. We have a lot of information that is increasing practically daily that somewhere between 30-50% of those who recover from covid show evidence of heart and lung damage that could well be permanent. This disease shreds up your blood vessels. It can affect your eyesight, your gut–anywhere that you have blood vessels, problems from covid can reach.

    Those people are now at higher risk for all kinds of things, including death from flu. Not dying from covid is of course a plus, but even having HAD it can lead to problems, some of them permanent. This isn’t a f*(^#ng cold, for crying out loud. I don’t know if people are being intentionally dense or if reading comprehension in this country is so poor they don’t understand, but oof.

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  70. Teve says:

    @cushbomb

    lol Guiliani is on Fox News coughing his ass off this is like the first act of The Stand.

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  71. dazedandconfused says:

    @BugManDan:

    Re: SC, voter suppression

    The Supreme Court just issued a stay on the court’s requirement of witness signatures on absentee ballots in SC.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20a55_dc8e.pdf

    I don’t know how many votes this will disqualify but certainly some. Having to go find someone to “witness” one’s vote seems unconstitutional to me, I thought it was guaranteed somewhere there’s a right to a private vote for individuals, but what do I know compared to John Roberts? It’s fair to predict our new Supreme Court is going to kill the Voting Rights Act, one bite at a time.

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  72. KM says:

    @Jen:

    I don’t know if people are being intentionally dense

    Denial’s a hell of a drug. What, you want them to admit a deadly pandemic we can barely treat is running rampant with no signs of stopping and this might just be life from now on? That an innocent person can be infected and die through no fault of their own and there’s no safe place? That we don’t understand what that means for survivors 5 years out, let alone 50 and we could see people dropping dead before their time for the next half century from COVID damage? That this will have a cultural and economic impact for decades?

    That’s terrifying. That’s existentially, viscerally terrifying if you contemplate what that really means….. so they don’t. Better to just pretend it’s a cold, a one-and-done, the world’s not permanently changed, everything’s FINE damnit! We’ve not had a proper plague in ages; even the modern scourge AIDS was something you could avoid if you didn’t do certain things. Societies used to be built around the idea that mass illness happened and here’s how you proceed – we don’t have that tolerance or mindset anymore. Our great-grandparents would have been familiar with shutting things down for polio or measles; people being quarantined or sent away because of TB or whooping cough. Modern society simply can’t handle it because we’ve taken out many of the apex diseases that used to instill a healthy fear of infection. We no longer fear the germ; merely get annoyed when it makes us ill. We’ve victims of our own success and now that it looks like we might be creeping back towards that old mindset, people just take a cruise up Da Nile rather then deal with a world transformed.

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  73. Mikey says:

    This has been overshadowed by the rest of the shit-sandwich-in-a-dumpster-fire of the last couple days, but America’s trade deficit–which has been one of Trump’s big issues–has hit its highest since 2006.


    US trade deficit in August was widest in 14 years

    So much WINNING!

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  74. Mikey says:

    Hundreds of millions of Americans are suffering economic hardships and this is what just happened.

    MSNBC
    @MSNBC
    BREAKING: President Trump says he has “instructed my representatives to stop negotiating” for a new coronavirus relief bill “until after the election;” says he has asked Sen. McConnell to “focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee” to the US Supreme Court.
    2:55 PM · Oct 6, 2020

    Another day where I woke up thinking I couldn’t hate him any more, and another day he proved me wrong.

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  75. DrDaveT says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    At one point in college, I considered following an educational track that would have led to becoming a college faculty member, but chose another route. I’m so, so glad I did. I wouldn’t have survived what academia was 20 years ago, much less today. Though by now I’d be emeritus.

    I lucked into what turned out to be the best possible career path for me, though it would never have occurred to me in advance. I did my five years of academia, failed (spectacularly) to get tenure, worked for a high-end engineering consulting company for five years, then moved to a non-profit, where I’ve now been for 20+ years.

    The stint in academia was wonderful, and I’m both glad I got the opportunity and glad I didn’t stick there forever. The stint in private industry was wonderful, but ditto. And both of those developed skills that have turned out to be invaluable in my current job, which is what I want to be doing.

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  76. Scott says:

    Someone else who we will miss.

    EDDIE VAN HALEN
    DEAD AT 65

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  77. Jen says:

    @Mikey: So, the president is holding the coronavirus economic relief package hostage, with McConnell’s blessing/cooperation, until after he gets his nominee confirmed/finds out whether or not he will be in office come January?

    I continue to be astonished (in a bad way), by this president. People are at the cusp of eviction, we are soon to face a wave of homelessness, and…this…is his priority?

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  78. Mikey says:

    @Scott: FUCK 2020 FUCK 2020 FUCK 2020 FUCK 2020

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  79. Jen says:

    @Mikey: My favorite responses to this…almost incomprehensible move, even by Trump standards:

    Via Twitter

    I think he’s finally come around to the obvious conclusion that Donald J. Trump is a terrible president who should not be reelected. Welcome to the Resistance, Don!

    (And)

    This is demential chess.

    Not dimensional chess.

    (And)

    The third dimension of chess is eating the board and setting yourself on fire.

    Trump has the worst political instincts I’ve ever witnessed. These comments were all in response to Nate Silver’s astute observation that:

    Wait, so Trump not only rejects stimulus funds that would probably have helped his re-election chances, but *also* does so in a way to make sure that he personally will take blame for it?

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  80. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Trump is not terribly intelligent, is he?

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  81. Jen says:

    I don’t remember which commenter was making fun of me about home improvement projects and long queues at the paint counter when the pandemic began, but I feel somewhat vindicated by this piece in The Atlantic.

    Why Americans Have Turned to Nesting: If we’re going to be inside, it might as well be the inside we want.

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  82. grumpy realist says:

    @Jen: especially since the Dow reacted by cratering 300 points.

    But I guess that’s all “fake news”, anyway.

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  83. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott:
    Yeah. Fucking cancer. Easily Top 10 rock guitarists, ever, and nearer the top than the bottom.

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  84. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Silver shouldn’t be so surprised. Donnie did the same thing with a government shutdown once already.

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  85. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Teve: Yeah…well a purse is cheaper than Remdesivir

    COMMON SENSE! VOTE!

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  86. JohnSF says:

    @keef:

    Where do you get this stuff?

    Hey, you just have know a guy who knows a guy, y’know.

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  87. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    For much of the Republican Party, the real damage from the pandemic consists of the economic losses incurred by large and small businesses due to lockdowns, restrictions on capacity, and general reluctance by a large portion of the population to engage in activities like shopping, travel, dining out, drinking at bars, going to the movies, etc.

    That. Except I don’t think they really care much about small business. Chuckles Koch has to have hated the drop in oil demand. Don’t people understand that every revenue stream is precious?

    And they really do think they won’t get COVID. Scott Lemieux has a good post at LGM, REPUBLICANS CAN’T BELIEVE ELITE IMMUNITY ISN’T COMPREHENSIVE,

    Elite Republicans, by contrast, are typically correct to believe that they are insulated from the collective costs of plutocratic capitalism. Mitch McConnell will not die for want of health insurance. Rush Limbaugh’s drug arrest cost him $30,000 but zero years in prison. Most of these well-heeled senior citizens will succeed in keeping the consequences of climate change quarantined inside their television screens until they pass from this mortal coil.

    But even the rich can’t buy themselves entry to an America where COVID-19 does not exist.

    And you’d think they’d worry about climate change and their grandchildren.

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  88. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    From the link: “Amy Covid Barret.”

    That’s obvious, childish, and very clever and fitting 😉

    I want to add one thing. there are other countries, too, where the elite tend not to wear masks. I’ve mentioned my boss and several managers in my department. I try not to get into other areas, more people there, but I do see the executives from time to time. Few wear masks. they’re not militant about it, they simply don’t wear them.

    And there’s His Majesty Manuel Andres I, Wannabe King of the Covidiots, who ostentatiously flouts all the rules, be they masks or even shaking hands. I seriously hope his aprty will get trounced in next year midterms.

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  89. Monala says:
  90. Monala says:

    @Monala: Now I’m waiting for Barr and McConnell. And Giuliani was apparently coughing up a storm during an interview with Fox today.

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  91. Gustopher says:

    @Monala: I was worried that I would take pleasure in another human being’s suffering when I clicked that link, but there was a big picture of Stephen Miller, and I was instantly reminded of the John Prine song “Some Humans Ain’t Human”

    Fine, I’m still a bad person. I shall attempt to be more mindful.

    Just sittin’ here mindfully hatin’ that horrid little white supremacist and hoping he gets it bad. Examining how the hatred makes me feel, and the physical affects it has on me to think of his suffering. It’s a very different smile than that half smile I get while meditating, for instance.

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  92. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    Sometimes, bad things happen to terrible people. rarely do they happen to so many terrible people.

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  93. Teve says:

    @steventurous

    The year 2072:

    “What did you study in college?”

    “I majored in October 1–8, 2020.”

    “That seems really broad. Did you focus on anything within that?”

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  94. JohnSF says:

    Kurt Schlichter on twitter:

    The press is just mad that @realDonaldTrump conquered COVID thanks to his incredible potency.
    They resent and fear his strength, yet they are tantalized by it.

    Totally not a cult.

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  95. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:
    Up until Trump won the primaries, Schlichter was one of his harshest critics. Then Trump became the nominee and Schlichter worshiped him.

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  96. Moosebreath says:

    @Monala:

    “Top White House aide Stephen Miller tests positive for Covid-19”

    As John Cole put it, thoughts and prayers…

    for the virus.

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  97. Teve says:

    @green_footballs

    Conspiracy theory currently rocketing up the right wing charts (aka Facebook): the Democrats must have planted COVID among Republicans because there’s no other way to explain it. LOL

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  98. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: They imagine that their grandchildren will be blessed with the same immunity from the consequences of those grandchildren’s actions granted to them now. They really DO live in a different world than the one you and I occupy.

    (Additionally, wouldn’t be surprised that they either have no children–ala el Rushbo–or have such poisoned relationships with those children that they may not even have ever met their grandchildren–although I admit that’s a tad hyperbolic.)

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  99. Flat earth luddite says:

    @Teve:
    I’m 65. Chemo from 2011-15, between surgeries. All hair gone except the Tufts growing out of my ears. When hair grew back, I showed up for oncology with my hair dyed Smurf blue. Told nurses it grew back that color. Good times.

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  100. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    Conspiracy theory currently rocketing up the right wing charts (aka Facebook): the Democrats must have planted COVID among Republicans

    So, how exactly would they do that? Deliberately get infected, then go breathe only on Republicans? It’s not like it comes in spray cans at WalMart…

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  101. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT:

    So, how exactly would they do that? Deliberately get infected, then go breathe only on Republicans? It’s not like it comes in spray cans at WalMart…

    It reminds me of the old urban legends where someone goes to a club or bar and gets surreptitiously pricked with an AIDS needle.

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  102. Monala says:

    From the Lincoln Project:

    Don’t cry for me, White House staffers

    “I broke my promise
    Won’t keep my distance.”

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