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. Bob@Youngstown says:
  3. Bill says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    U.S. Virus-Death Rate Is World’s Worst Among Developed Nations

    The proportion of Americans dying from coronavirus infections is the highest in the developed world, according to a study of global mortality rates that shows the U.S. pandemic response left citizens exposed to the lethal disease.

    Early in the outbreak, the U.S. mortality rate from Covid-19 was lower than in many other hard-hit countries, including the U.K., Spain and the Netherlands, according to the report Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But as spring turned to summer, the U.S. largely failed to embrace public-health and policy measures that have helped other countries reduce death rates.

    If U.S. deaths after May 10 had occurred at the same pace as in Spain, the U.S. mortality rate would be 47% lower, with 93,247 fewer people dying, the report found. More than 100,000 fewer Americans would have died if the U.S. had the same mortality rate as the Netherlands. Sweden’s mortality rate was 22% lower, though it took fewer steps to curb the virus’s spread.

    The U.S. leads the world in total coronavirus deaths, with 214,776 as of Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Brazil ranks second with 150,488 deaths.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:
  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    ‘Jet fighter’ godwit breaks world record for non-stop bird flight

    A bird said to have the aerodynamic build of a “jet fighter” has been tracked flying more than 12,000km (7,500 miles) from Alaska to New Zealand, setting a new world record for avian non-stop flight.

    The bar-tailed godwit set off from south-west Alaska on 16 September and arrived in a bay near Auckland 11 days later, having flown at speeds of up to 55mph.

    The male bird, known as 4BBRW in reference to the blue, blue, red and white rings fitted on its legs, also had a 5gm satellite tag harnessed on its lower back to allow scientists to track its progress. It was one of four to leave together from the Alaskan mudflats where they had been feeding on clams and worms for two months.
    …………………………
    Dr Jesse Conklin, from the Global Flyway Network, a consortium of Dutch, German and US scientists studying epic migratory journeys, said: “They seem to have some capability of knowing where they are on the globe. We can’t really explain it but they seem to have an onboard map.

    “They are flying over open ocean for days and days in the mid-Pacific; there is no land at all. Then they get to New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea where there are quite a few islands and, we might be anthropomorphising, but it really looks like they start spotting land and sort of think: ‘Oh, I need to start veering or I will miss New Zealand’.”

    It is not certain but it is believed the birds do not sleep on the journey during which they flap their wings most of the time.

    “They have an incredibly efficient fuel-to-energy rate,” Conklin said. “They have a lot of things going for them. They are designed like a jet fighter. Long, pointed wings and a really sleek design which gives them a lot of aerodynamic potential.”

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  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A feel good story for the day: Peru opens Machu Picchu ruins for one tourist

    Peru has opened the ruins of Machu Picchu for a single Japanese tourist after he waited almost seven months to enter the Inca citadel, while trapped in the Andean country during the coronavirus outbreak.

    Jesse Katayama’s entry into the ruins came thanks to a special request he submitted while stranded since mid-March in the town of Aguas Calientes, on the slopes of the mountains near the site, said the minister of culture, Alejandro Neyra, on Monday.

    “He had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter,” Neyra said in a virtual press conference. “The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.”
    ………………………..
    Katayama, his entry ticket on hand since March, entered the ruins of the citadel built more than 500 years ago on Saturday, and became the first visitor in seven months to be able to walk through the world heritage site. His original plan had been to spend only a few days in Peru to take in Machu Picchu.

    “This is so amazing! Thank you!” said Katayama in a video recorded on the top of Machu Picchu mountain.

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  8. sam says:
  9. CSK says:

    @Bill:
    Is he still hopped up on steroids?

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  10. Scott says:

    First it was Fauci’s image and words being used without permission by the Trump campaign, now an even worse example:

    Top general did not give his consent to be used in Trump political ad

    President Donald Trump’s campaign is running an online political ad that uses an image of his vice president, his Pentagon chief and his most senior military adviser watching the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from the Situation Room on Oct. 29, 2019.

    But the campaign didn’t seek approval from Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to use his image in the ad, a defense official said. “This photo, like many others, was not used with [Milley’s] knowledge or consent,” said the official, who requested anonymity to speak about a sensitive topic.

    The military has strict rules against uniformed service members participating in political campaigns, and the ad is just the latest example of the president or those around him pulling the nation’s highest-ranking officer and other Defense Department officials into the political realm.

    Combined with multiple unapproved uses of music by the campaign despite cease and desist letters, it appears that this Trump campaign is just as rogue and out of control as Trump himself.

    I would be incensed at this but not being a lawyer, I have no idea what the recourse could be.

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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: Tar and feathers come to mind.

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  12. MarkedMan says:

    A quote worth thinking about:

    Cynthia Miller-Idriss, a sociology professor at American University who specializes in extremism, said there’s a reason Emily feels like she can’t get through to her parents. “You can’t fight conspiracy theories with logic or reason,” Miller-Idriss says. “It’s very difficult to get people to come back from. Even talking about the theory can reinforce it.”

    It’s worth remembering that some people crave certainty as if it was an addictive drug. How could a hysterical mish mash like Qanon provide that fix? Because it never expresses uncertainty. Sure, there are things that haven’t yet been revealed, but there is a leader who knows all, who is supremely confident, who never is bothered by the doubters. And the more someone casts doubt on that leader, the more a true believer gets validation by repudiating those doubters. (For an example, look at our resident Trumpers. They charge in here with their ridiculous “facts”, little more than a cartoon sword, and run away feeling like they have heroically slain the dragon. It all takes place in their own head, not in the real world.)

    And when someone believes in Qanon, or Trump, or crystal healing, or the power of quack medicines, there is little you can do to convince them otherwise. They didn’t reach those beliefs by logic, but by emotion. You may as well try to convince someone that there are logical reasons they shouldn’t be in love with that boyfriend/girlfriend that is only going to cause them grief.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Astronomy photographer of the year (2020) winners – in pictures

    This one… Skyscapes winner: Painting the Sky by Thomas Kast (Germany)

    The photographer was searching for clear skies in Finnish Lapland to capture the beauty of a polar night and could not believe his eyes when he saw what was waiting behind the clouds. Polar stratospheric clouds are something Kast had been searching for many years and had seen only in photographs until that day. He took his camera on to a frozen river to get a good view and started to take photos. The clouds slowly changed their shape and colours to create a painterly image

    Wow. Just Wow.

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  14. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Dazzling. Thanks.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It’s worth remembering that some people crave certainty as if it was an addictive drug.

    Seems like an explanation of religion.

    It’s seemed to me this is true. If you want to feel you understand the world you can, like many in these threads, read widely and listen and discuss and think. And in the end you have a lot of uncertainty and questions. Or you can just get Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I’d argue that an inability to deal with ambiguity is a characteristic of conservatives. A corollary of Reynolds’ view that conservatives lack imagination. Seems like this need for certainty is something I’ve seen stated in books or articles, but I don’t know any particular authority to reference for this view. You have anybody?

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: but I don’t know any particular authority to reference for this view.

    Some godless heathen, no doubt.

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  17. KM says:

    Ah, Amazon Prime Day. I haven’t been awake for more then an hour and already 3 purchases under my belt. Wishful things – stuff I could have gotten at any time but for some reason is $50-200 dollars lower today. If you just priced it like that in the first place, you’d probably sell a ton more but capitalism decrees we must save bargains for the ass end of the year instead of spacing them out more reasonably. I’m sure there’s an economic reason but during a pandemic, it seems like your stuff should be on sale more often so people with less money can still fuel the consumer machine……

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  18. KM says:

    @sam:
    Since they clearly have nefarious plans for the boxes, how can it be “dubiously” legal? Any and all ballots they collected would have to be sent to the appropriate parties with no data stolen or altered and the ballots in their care unspoiled. A 3rd party collection can’t promise that – especially one that have definitive motive to have some go “missing” or be changed.

    They’re literally stealing votes. I wonder if someone could prove they dropped it off with this box and their vote wasn’t counted/ went missing later, if they could sue the GOP big time. It’s CA so a few blue votes sacrificed to take down the GOP in the state might be worth it……

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  19. Teve says:

    @gVOR08:

    It’s seemed to me this is true. If you want to feel you understand the world you can, like many in these threads, read widely and listen and discuss and think. And in the end you have a lot of uncertainty and questions. Or you can just get Rush Limbaugh on the radio. I’d argue that an inability to deal with ambiguity is a characteristic of conservatives.

    Before he died last year, I had a Rush Limbaugh-listening relative who, if I ever had to explain anything from a scientific point of view, would accuse me of “trying to make things more complicated than they really are“. Complexity he didn’t understand made him feel insecure, and he responded to that by getting hostile.

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  20. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The male bird, known as 4BBRW in reference to the blue, blue, red and white rings fitted on its legs, also had a 5gm satellite tag harnessed on its lower back to allow scientists to track its progress.

    And it even carried a payload!

    good job.

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  21. Mu Yixiao says:

    Wow.

    Libertarian candidate (a prison chaplain) is polling 38/49 against Tom Cotton for his senate seat.

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Claire McCaskill@clairecmc
    This is a picture of voter suppression. Why do Americans have to wait in lines this long? This is the line in Suwannee Georgia today to vote.

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  23. Kathy says:

    The election is only three weeks away.

    Here’s hoping our long, global nightmare will begin to end on Nov. 3rd.

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  24. Teve says:

    @johnfugelsang

    The only promise that Donald Trump kept was that he’d run the country like it was one of his businesses.

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  25. CSK says:

    Funniest headline I’ve seen today:

    “Trump Is the Integrity Candidate.”

    It’s the title of an article in American Greatness (sic) by convicted felon Conrad Black.

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  26. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Heck of a job, Trumpie.

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  27. Sleeping Dog says:
  28. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: @gVOR08: @Teve: One of the elements of this rock-hard certainty we see in conservatives is the belief that liberals are not just wrong, they’re ridiculous. It’s one of the most pervasive messages in conservative media, and it’s one of the essential mechanisms for sealing their mind off from the slightest shred of doubt. We saw it yesterday when Keef linked to that Zerohedge article and then completely dismissed the concrete, evidence-based rebuttals some of us offered. Keef was coming here not to start a conversation with us, but to laugh at what clowns we are. It’s the same attitude at work when Sen. Inhofe brings a snowball to disprove global warming.

    It’s why conservative “humor” seems so bizarre to us–it’s built on these assumptions of the self-evident laughability of their opponents that they never question. Do liberals ever do the same thing in reverse? Just laugh at what they think conservatives are saying, without considering that they may be caricaturing the other side? The fact I’m even asking this question illustrates the difference, since it shows I’m actually being reflective–a concept very alien to most conservatives. They never lose sleep wondering if their arguments might be wrong or if they may be being unfair to the other side–in fact they’d take what I’m saying as evidence of the strength of their own positions. Doubt to them implies weakness. Now look at the way actual liberal humorists talk. Here’s Al Franken in 1996:

    You know what I dislike most about these guys? They’re always so certain. They’re always 100 percent sure of what they’re saying. Even if it’s wrong. It must be a great feeling for a guy like Rush Limbaugh. To be able to sit there and say, “There are more Indians alive today than when Columbus landed,” and really believe it.

    This is why I like being a Democrat. When we see a complicated, seemingly intractable problem, we have the only really genuine, authentic human reaction you can have: we’re confused….

    I am not talking about stupid, uninformed confusion. I’m talking about intelligent, over-informed confusion. The kind you get from watching MacNeil/Lehrer, C-SPAN, and Nightline, listening to three experts from the Cato Institute, four from the Heritage Foundation, two each from the Urban Institute and the Progressive Policy Institute, then reading eleven different newspaper accounts that cite six different polls and four studies. And after all that, you still don’t know what to think about grazing fees on federal lands.

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  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Keeping America Great! Four more years!

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  30. Sleeping Dog says:

    David French Fears a Secession. Is He Right to Worry?

    A review of David French’s “Divided We Fall“

    The United States of America, French writes, can exist only as a pluralistic liberal democratic republic. The country does not have and never has had a common religious, political, or social bond, and so this commitment to a constitutional ideal is the binding which holds it together. Without this commitment, French provocatively claims, “the continued unity of the United States of America cannot be guaranteed.”

    The bumper sticker review of French’s book is that culture warriors, left and right will destroy America.

    This leads to political tribalism. Flaws on your side are exceptional, whereas flaws on the other side are emblematic. French refers to the habit of “nutpicking,” a termed popularized by Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum, where we tend to pick out the most extreme examples of our opponents and hold them up as representative. Every Trump supporter marches under a tiki torch chanting racist slogans. Every Trump opponent cheers on the burning of small businesses in Portland. And so on. French cites survey results where Republicans thought 38 percent of Democrats were gay, lesbian, or bisexual (actually 6 percent are) and Democrats guessed that 44 percent of Republicans make more than $250,000 per year (actually 2 percent do).

    That sometimes happens here at OTB.

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  31. Kathy says:

    Some random fundamental principles to always keep in mind:

    There is a downside to everything.
    Everything goes somewhere.
    Everything has a cost (though many things don’t have a price)

    Surprisingly these correspond to thermodynamic laws:

    Entropy always increases.
    Conservation of matter/energy.
    You cannot obtain more energy from work than you put into it.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    not to start a conversation with us, but to laugh at what clowns we are.

    I think this is correct, but doesn’t get to the heart of what motivates our resident Trumpers to keep coming back. The commentariat here is giving him exactly what he craves: he gets a rise out of us. That’s all he’s here for, to get a response. In his head he imagines how brave he is for rushing into the foe’s den and telling them off right to their faces and, man, did you see how they reacted! He fantasizes about how all the other cool kids would approve of his toughness and bravery and the way he got the monkeys chattering.

    Anyone who doesn’t realize he is not even processing what you said, is just kidding themselves. Arguing with the crazy lady on 5th Avenue who thinks all the spider-people are hiding behind the buildings waiting to attack her when she stops looking doesn’t do any good, and most likely does harm by validating her world view.

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  33. Northerner says:

    Flaws on your side are exceptional, whereas flaws on the other side are emblematic.

    That sums things up right now pretty well. Though I suspect it’s always been true (in war, politics and religion in any case).

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  34. Northerner says:

    @Kathy:

    I always remember the laws from Ginsberg’s Theorem:

    There is a game.
    You can’t win.
    You can’t even tie.
    You can even get out of the game.

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  35. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I gotta admit when I read the headline I thought this was going to be a fluff piece but I was glad I clicked – really interesting perspective and history. Here’s the beginning:

    Broadly speaking, U.S. politics has had six party systems—that is, distinct eras in which party competition was somewhat stable, both in the relative balance of power between the parties and in the types of issues that the parties fought over, such as the role of government in the economy. These eras roughly covered 1796-1820, 1832-1856, 1868-1892, 1896-1928, 1932-1968, and 1980 until now. The transitions between each system were generally led from the top down, through rifts and realignments in elite coalitions and ideologies, typically catalyzed by societal crises. The first five party systems lasted, by this count, 24, 24, 24, 32, and 36 years—a certain regularity, with the length expanding as people lived longer. By this pattern, the current party system should probably be collapsing about now.

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  36. Northerner says:

    @Northerner:

    Need an edit function — the last line of Ginsberg’s Theorem should be:

    You can’t even get out of the game.

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  37. Jen says:

    The news to me here is not simply that Barrett wrote the opinion, it’s that it was unanimous. I genuinely don’t understand how this isn’t considered a hostile work environment for a Black employee.

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  38. Kylopod says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    French refers to the habit of “nutpicking,” a termed popularized by Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum, where we tend to pick out the most extreme examples of our opponents and hold them up as representative. Every Trump supporter marches under a tiki torch chanting racist slogans. Every Trump opponent cheers on the burning of small businesses in Portland.

    And that just gets to the asymmetric nature of this situation. I haven’t read French’s book so I don’t know if he acknowledges the asymmetry or not–but the above certainly makes it sound like both sides do this to an equal degree. Not every Trump supporter marches with tiki torches, but Trump did praise the “fine people” at the rally with the tiki torches. Neither Biden nor any other Democratic leader has praised the burning of small businesses.

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  39. Joe says:

    One of the elements of this rock-hard certainty we see in conservatives is the belief that liberals are not just wrong, they’re ridiculous.

    It seems to me, Kylopod, that this is an equally apt view of how liberals – including many of we commenters here – view conservatives or certainly Trumpists. In this regard, I think Sleeping Dog‘s post is dead on.

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  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:

    …he gets a rise out of us.

    Yup, we’d be better served by ignoring them.

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  41. Kylopod says:

    @Joe:

    One of the elements of this rock-hard certainty we see in conservatives is the belief that liberals are not just wrong, they’re ridiculous.

    It seems to me, Kylopod, that this is an equally apt view of how liberals – including many of we commenters here – view conservatives or certainly Trumpists.

    You’re confusing the conclusion we’ve reached with the process of how we got there. We call conservatives ridiculous because they parrot the claims of charlatans peddling nonsense like that Covid is no worse than flu, global warming is a hoax, and Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile ring. They think we’re ridiculous because that’s what the charlatans tell them to believe, based in large part on the misinformation they peddle.

    You can clearly see the divide in the thread from yesterday: Keef posted from a right-wing conspiracy site that misleadingly quoted a scientist out of context, we offered a concrete, fact-based rebuttal, and Keef just ignored our arguments and insulted us. We made a serious effort to engage, Keef just dismissed us at the outset. This is not an equal situation.

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  42. Mikey says:

    The Washington Post reports the domestic terrorists who plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer also discussed a similar operation against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.

    Trump specifically tweeted “liberate Michigan” and “liberate Virginia” but that’s just a coincidence, I’m sure…bahahahahahaha…

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  43. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @Sleeping Dog: @Joe:

    It’s not so much that conservatives–by which I mean avid followers of Rush Limbaugh, not anti-Trumpers such as Tom Nichols and Rick Wilson–think liberals are ridiculous as much as they think they’re crazy.

    Limbaugh started this ears ago by declaiming that “liberalism is a mental illness.” Since then, his groupies have been repeating this phrase mantra-like. At least once a day (it could be more; I haven’t the desire to check) one of them comes out with this saying.

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  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I agree with the broad point that US political parties realign on a rough schedule, what I can’t get my head around is what that looks like in the current environment.

    There is general agreement that the structure of our government leads to a party duopoly, but a logical realignment would point toward a 3 or 4 party structure. A rump R party comprised of racists, nationalist and fundamentalist Christians won’t survive an election cycle as its financial backers will demand change to broaden the parties appeal. So a structure where Dem and Dem leaning is ~75% of the voters and the rump R’s are ~25% won’t happen.

    Any party that incorporates the rump R voters will look a lot like the R’s in the 21st century. I also can’t imagine a return to the days when there were liberals in the R’s and Dems absorbed an equal share of the white nationalists.

    I do hope that I’m still around to witness the realignment and have the cognitive ability to understand it.

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  45. Scott says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I agree with the broad point that US political parties realign on a rough schedule, what I can’t get my head around is what that looks like in the current environment.

    There is general agreement that the structure of our government leads to a party duopoly, but a logical realignment would point toward a 3 or 4 party structure.

    Going back into recent history, during the last realignment there was an intermediate transition stage where there was a sort of third party. That was the George Wallace insurgency where he ran in the Democratic primaries but was basically a proto-Republican in the sense that his supporters are now ascendant in the Republican Party.

    So I wonder if there is going to be a third party like intermediary for the next alignment and what will that look like.

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  46. sam says:

    @Kylopod:

    “We call conservatives ridiculous because they parrot the claims of charlatans peddling nonsense like that Covid is no worse than flu, global warming is a hoax, and Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile ring.”

    Why isn’t that nutpicking in the sense described above? I mean all folks in the Lincoln Project are conservatives, but I’m wouldn’t ascribe belief in that stuff to any of them. And I wouldn’t hold up Drew-sorry-Keef as emblematic of conservatives. The guy is so thoroughly confused as to defy categorization.

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  47. sam says:

    @Kylopod:

    “We call conservatives ridiculous because they parrot the claims of charlatans peddling nonsense like that Covid is no worse than flu, global warming is a hoax, and Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile ring.”

    Why isn’t that nutpicking in the sense described above? I mean all folks in the Lincoln Project are conservatives, but I wouldn’t ascribe belief in that stuff to any of them. And I wouldn’t hold up Drew-sorry-Keef as emblematic of conservatives. The guy is so thoroughly confused as to defy categorization.

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  48. sam says:

    Oooo. The edit function double-posts. Bad edit function.

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  49. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    I haven’t read the book either, but found the review interesting. From reading the review and several of French’s columns at the National Review and the Dispatch, I don’t believe that both-siderism is the core of his argument, but an acknowledgement that culture warriors exist on both ends of the political spectrum and for one side or the other to prevail in a culture war, would be to destroy the pluralism that he cherishes. Of course, French himself, has been under attack from the Christianist right, see Sohrab Ahmari, for his defense of free speech and the rights of the individual. While he won’t address the question, there have been rumors that the reason he left the NR was the magazines surrender to Trumpism.

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  50. Kylopod says:

    @sam:

    Why isn’t that nutpicking in the sense described above? I mean all folks in the Lincoln Project are conservatives, but I’m wouldn’t ascribe belief in that stuff to any of them. And I wouldn’t hold up Drew-sorry-Keef as emblematic of conservatives. The guy is so thoroughly confused as to defy categorization.

    He has said nothing here that Trump himself hasn’t said. Please tell me which Democratic leader has said the equivalent of Covid-is-no-worse-than-flu, global warming is a hoax started by the Chinese, or praising the QAnon people.

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  51. sam says:

    No Democratic leader has said that. But that is nonresponsive to my point: Not all who call themselves conservative ascribe to those views you set out.

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  52. sam says:

    subscribe not ascribe.

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  53. Kathy says:

    @Northerner:

    But you can get out of the game, I think, by suicide.

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  54. Kylopod says:

    @sam:

    No Democratic leader has said that. But that is nonresponsive to my point: Not all who call themselves conservative ascribe to those views you set out.

    Not all. However, you have to admit the crazies absolutely dominate the movement in a way that is simply not the case on the liberal side.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    I wouldn’t be surprised if French left because of NR’s surrender to Trumpism. Jonah Goldberg left NR as well, and he’s certainly no Trump fan.

    I recall when NR published an “”Against Trump” issue.

    William F. Buckley thought Trump was a buffoon.

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  56. MarkedMan says:

    @sam: That’s exactly right. “Conservative” and “Liberal” are just labels plastered on such a wide range of people as to be useless. And they most certainly don’t represent whether those people actually endorse conservative (tending to maintain a real or imagined system, or changing only gradually if needed) or progressive (belief that significant and relatively fast change is needed) policies.

    And I differentiate between people who will vote for Trump and the significantly smaller group within that that I refer to as Trumpers. A Trumper is someone who is active and engaged in politics and seeks out information but nevertheless comes to the conclusion that Trump is a great and good man, a stable genius who built himself up from nothing to run one of the biggest business enterprises ever. And it is Trumpers who I think are unreachable, not worth engaging with. I don’t know how someone who is reality based can have a useful interaction with someone who looks at all the evidence and concludes that he has a magic leprechaun living in his arse$hole that lets him fart pots of gold.

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  57. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    But you can get out of the game, I think, by suicide.

    Likely, but not proven. See Shakespeare:Hamlet:Soliloquy.

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  58. sam says:

    @Kylopod:

    ” However, you have to admit the crazies absolutely dominate the movement in a way that is simply not the case on the liberal side.”

    Sure. And Sure, again. But I don’t think Trumpism, the movement, which is what we’re talking about, is conservative. There’s nothing moderate, cautious, or incremental about Donald J. Trump. We need an Aristophanes to do justice to Trump and Trumpism.

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  59. KM says:

    @Jen:

    I genuinely don’t understand how this isn’t considered a hostile work environment for a Black employee.

    Because they’re contorting themselves into knots to say that while the N-word is a Bad Thing, you must mean to be a Bad Person when using it or it doesn’t count. It’s the same logic that states that unless you are a cross-burning proud KKK member, you can’t be a racist. It ascribes that only the stereotypical loud racist counts and is a Bad Thing; therefore, if you are anything less than a flaming caricature, you can claim to be Not Racist and not have it have a Bad Effect on the workplace.

    They acknowledge this is a problem in theory but in theory only. In practice, they will use reductio ad absurdum to render any real life example to Not Count. ACB is using that tortuous logic now: just because a Bad Thing was said, you can’t prove it was a Bad Thing because it wasn’t said by a Bad Person intending Bad Effects. Thus, no hostile workplace as no one was being hostile!

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  60. CSK says:

    It’s certainly possible for cultists to transfer their worship to a new leader. The Cult of Palin became the Cult of Trump.

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  61. EddieInCA says:

    Anecdote:

    Two friends of mine in Atlanta, African Americans both, who have never voted before, stood in line for 4.5 hours yesterday to vote.

    Texting with them, I asked why they finally voted THIS time? Their answer surprised me.

    “The NBA players messages over and over again the last few months.”

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  62. Gustopher says:

    @Kylopod:

    We call conservatives ridiculous because they parrot the claims of charlatans peddling nonsense like that Covid is no worse than flu, global warming is a hoax, and Hillary Clinton is running a pedophile ring.

    I don’t call those people conservative — or at least I try not to. I slip a lot, because they call themselves conservative* and people here call them conservative. But they’re not conservative. I try to call them Trumpy or something like that.

    James Joyner is conservative.

    Our friend Drew is something else entirely. And not our friend.

    ——
    *: It’s like pronouns for trans folks. Generally the right, kind, and appropriate thing to do is call people by what they want to be called, and only deviate when it is strictly necessary.

    Are transwomen women? I don’t know, gender is complicated and words have many meanings, but they’re people and they deserve respect and part of that is by calling them what they wish to be called.

    Latinos are whatever they want to be called (Latino, Hispanic, is Chicano still a thing or was that a slur?). If someone really wants to be called Latinx, fine, but that’s more of a social marker than anything.

    Pro-life rather than forced-birth. Etc.

    But this weird angry, spiteful, revanchist segment of the population? They’re not conservative, and it does harm to lump actual conservatives in with them.

    Also, if someone identifies as an Apache Attack Helicopter, I try to use the appropriate pronouns — he/him/his are replaced by fuckwad, fuckwad, fuckwad’s. It’s a linguistic oddity that the possessive pronoun has an apostrophe.

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  63. Kylopod says:

    @sam:

    But I don’t think Trumpism, the movement, which is what we’re talking about, is conservative. There’s nothing moderate, cautious, or incremental about Donald J. Trump.

    Fine. Substitute the words “right-wing” or “reactionary.” The point doesn’t change.

    Let’s not lose focus on what we were discussing: you accused liberals here of “nutpicking.” If so, you are misusing the term as it was defined by Kevin Drum: he was talking about seizing on something marginal and implying it was evidence of something broad. As he put it back when he coined the term: “if the best evidence of wackjobism you can find is a few anonymous nutballs commenting on a blog, then the particular brand of wackjobism you’re complaining about must not be very widespread after all.”

    The nutty ideas I’ve been discussing aren’t just widespread but absolutely dominant within the Republican Party and the broader right-wing world in this country. Pointing to beliefs advanced by the president of the United States isn’t “nutpicking”–it’s describing the fact that the president of the United States and all those who follow him are nuts.

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  64. sam says:

    Season 5 of The Expanse is coming December 16.

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  65. Scott says:

    Does everyone love Shohreh Aghdashloo as much as I do?

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  66. JohnMcC says:

    @Scott: A pivotal book in my own political evolution is Kevin Phillips’ ‘The Emerging Republican Majority’ from (trusting memory) 1968. He demonstrated to my satisfaction back then that ‘third parties’ are a product of the forces that lead to realignment of American political parties.

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  67. sam says:

    So bloody was the march of the revolution, and the impression which it made was the greater as it was one of the first to occur. Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed; struggles being everywhere made by the popular chiefs to bring in the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Lacedaemonians. In peace there would have been neither the pretext nor the wish to make such an invitation; but in war, with an alliance always at the command of either faction for the hurt of their adversaries and their own corresponding advantage, opportunities for bringing in the foreigner were never wanting to the revolutionary parties. The sufferings which revolution entailed upon the cities were many and terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, as long as the nature of mankind remains the same; though in a severer or milder form, and varying in their symptoms, according to the variety of the particular cases. In peace and prosperity, states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men’s characters to a level with their fortunes. Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and the atrocity of their reprisals. Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected. To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries. In fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended until even blood became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such associations had not in view the blessings derivable from established institutions but were formed by ambition for their overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime. The fair proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence. Revenge also was held of more account than self-preservation. Oaths of reconciliation, being only proffered on either side to meet an immediate difficulty, only held good so long as no other weapon was at hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence. Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues clever than simpletons honest, and are as ashamed of being the second as they are proud of being the first. The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities, each provided with the fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for ascendancy engaged in the direst excesses; in their acts of vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour. Thus religion was in honour with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation. Meanwhile the moderate part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to escape.

    Thus every form of iniquity took root in the Hellenic countries by reason of the troubles. The ancient simplicity into which honour so largely entered was laughed down and disappeared; and society became divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow. To put an end to this, there was neither promise to be depended upon, nor oath that could command respect; but all parties dwelling rather in their calculation upon the hopelessness of a permanent state of things, were more intent upon self-defence than capable of confidence. In this contest the blunter wits were most successful. Apprehensive of their own deficiencies and of the cleverness of their antagonists, they feared to be worsted in debate and to be surprised by the combinations of their more versatile opponents, and so at once boldly had recourse to action: while their adversaries, arrogantly thinking that they should know in time, and that it was unnecessary to secure by action what policy afforded, often fell victims to their want of precaution.

    Thucydides: III 69-85 The Civil War at Corcyra

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  68. Jen says:

    @KM: Thank you for walking me through that. I still don’t get it (meaning, it defies logic to me), but at least the thought process has been explained.

    If this is what we have to look forward to… :-X

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  69. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    French refers to the habit of “nutpicking,” a termed popularized by Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum, where we tend to pick out the most extreme examples of our opponents and hold them up as representative.

    One wonders whether French realizes the Republican Party picked its own great, extreme nut as a candidate for the presidency in 2016, and have stood by him ever since.

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  70. Monala says:

    Virginia Voter Registration Website Goes Down on Last Day to Register

    Virginia’s Citizen Portal has gone down due to a cut fiber on Tuesday, preventing people from registering to vote online on the last day of voter registration before the Nov. 3 election, the Department of Elections says.

    Residents can still register to vote by mailing in or dropping off paper applications.

    Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax said that outages are reported statewide and called for the voter registration deadline to be extended beyond Tuesday. However, the Board of Elections hasn’t announced plans to adjust the deadline. A spokesperson didn’t immediately reply to an inquiry about whether the deadline would be extended.

    My emphasis added. “Accidentally” is trending on Twitter because of this story.

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  71. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Oh indeed he does. French and Goldberg were the henchmen behind the anti-Trump issue of the National Review. My reading of French is that he is/was an R because that party was the closer fit to his political philosophy. Unlike, say the Lincoln Project folks, who one can accuse of being mercenaries, French fancies himself as a political/legal philosopher with a defined ideology. He’s definitely an anti-trumpist that believes the R’s abandoned him, but unlike the LP folks, could never find a home in the Dem party.

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  72. Teve says:

    @AmityShlaes

    I still believe in markets. Markets do not fail us. We fail markets.

    linky

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  73. Kathy says:

    I’m half-following the Amy Covid Barret hearings on The Guardian’s live blog (I’m also supposed to be working).

    It strikes me that future nominees for the Supreme court ought to be allowed to answer “I respectfully decline to answer this question, on the grounds that it might torpedo my confirmation.”

    Also, however much time each Senator is allowed for questions, they should forfeit all of it if they don’t actually ask a question inside of the first minute (pleasantries and greetings like “how are you today?” don’t count as questions), or if they go as long as three minutes afterwards without asking a question.

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  74. KM says:

    @Kathy:
    “I don’t know” and non-answer variations need to be banned or limited. You are allowed to not answer a question 3 times over the course of the nomination , otherwise you need to repeat a specific phrase that indicates you are being deliberately non-compliant because you object to the question. 3 of those and it’s an automatic disqualification. Part of being a judge is the ability to use your words to convey meaning, subtle and overt; if you can’t even dodge a question without it being insanely obvious what you’re doing, you are don’t belong on the bench.

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  75. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I see the political parties in the US as essentially empty vessels that are filled with whatever ideology proves most popular to the current followers of each party, and this evolves over time*.

    Right now the GOP is for white supremacy, big business, small government (let’s see that applied to the military!), even smaller taxes, etc. in Lincoln’s time, under Lincoln at least, it was completely different.

    Sometimes they can harbor opposing views on certain things, or rather no one view or ideology dominates, like when Southern states elected Democrats who were different from the Democrats in the Northeast.

    Well, this has been pointed out and discussed here very often.

    My point it French can try to carve a home in the Democratic Party, if he were so inclined, if he thinks the GOP is a lost cause. He can also try to stay int eh GOP and change it, or parts of it.

    * The PRI was the single governing party in Mexico for about 70 years. Their ideology was to do what was necessary to retain power, which is not a defined ideology at all. Their new ideology is to do what’s necessary to regain some power; they managed in 2012-2018.

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  76. In case you haven’t seen it…here is a link to Senator Whitehouse’s 30 minute dissertation on how Republicans have turned the court system against the American people and into a tool for a powerful few.
    Because the nominee is refusing to answer questions he spent his time going off.
    30 minutes…but masterful.
    Please watch.
    https://twitter.com/KatSmith310/status/1316070765180092416

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  77. Sleeping Dog says:

    Covid reinfection potential – not what we want to hear.

    The Lancet

    Summary
    Background
    The degree of protective immunity conferred by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently unknown. As such, the possibility of reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 is not well understood. We describe an investigation of two instances of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the same individual.
    Methods
    A 25-year-old man who was a resident of Washoe County in the US state of Nevada presented to health authorities on two occasions with symptoms of viral infection, once at a community testing event in April, 2020, and a second time to primary care then hospital at the end of May and beginning of June, 2020. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from the patient at each presentation and twice during follow-up. Nucleic acid amplification testing was done to confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection. We did next-generation sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 extracted from nasopharyngeal swabs. Sequence data were assessed by two different bioinformatic methodologies. A short tandem repeat marker was used for fragment analysis to confirm that samples from both infections came from the same individual.
    Findings
    The patient had two positive tests for SARS-CoV-2, the first on April 18, 2020, and the second on June 5, 2020, separated by two negative tests done during follow-up in May, 2020. Genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 showed genetically significant differences between each variant associated with each instance of infection. The second infection was symptomatically more severe than the first.
    Interpretation
    Genetic discordance of the two SARS-CoV-2 specimens was greater than could be accounted for by short-term in vivo evolution. These findings suggest that the patient was infected by SARS-CoV-2 on two separate occasions by a genetically distinct virus. Thus, previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 might not guarantee total immunity in all cases. All individuals, whether previously diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, should take identical precautions to avoid infection with SARS-CoV-2. The implications of reinfections could be relevant for vaccine development and application

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  78. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Hmmm. David French as the standard bearer of the right wing of the Dem party and Bernie on the LW. There aint’t enough cotton in Egypt to stitch together a tent large enough to cover that spread.

    Most likely French mostly votes for Libertarians and in elections where one of the major party candidates is particularly awful, for the other MPC.

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  79. Sleeping Dog says:
  80. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Do you suppose there’s enough popcorn, then? 😉

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  81. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    Mostly I feel offended at the disingenuous approach, with the nominees kind of painting themselves as an expert system running Microsoft Constitution 10 dispassionately, as though their own biases, opinions, and ideologies don’t matter one bit.

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  82. Jon says:

    “I went through it, now they say I’m immune,” Trump said at his Florida rally on Monday night. “I feel so powerful, I’ll watch into that audience, I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women.”

    So just to clarify, *all* the guys but only the beautiful women?

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  83. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Eh. This comes up every election from the opposition party. There are lots of ways to figure unemployment, and that particular one will always report a higher # than the official rate. Has for decades.

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  84. JohnMcC says:

    Two news items that popped up have made me feel a bit less anxious the last day or two: Politico has named Mr Biden the likely winner of enough states to exceed 270 EC votes. And PA has been polled and found to favor Biden/Harris by 2 points by the TRAFALGAR GROUP.

    Maybe pour a little stiffer bourbon than usual tonight.

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  85. Barry says:

    @Kathy: “My point it French can try to carve a home in the Democratic Party, if he were so inclined, if he thinks the GOP is a lost cause. He can also try to stay int eh GOP and change it, or parts of it.”

    At one point he talked about the sane wing of the GOP regaining control, but there is no sane wing of the GOP. At best there’s a sane fringe, hunkered down and hoping to survive.

    The only thing which has a hope of reforming the GOP is a sustained multi-year drubbing, which is unlikely.

    David is in the position a decent German would be in back in the late 1930’s.

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  86. Teve says:

    @JohnMcC: 270 to Win projects that even if you don’t call Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, Biden has 270.

    Nevertheless in nine days when Florida’s early voting starts I am going to be there with bells on.

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  87. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I could have done without hearing that.

    Lately the count of confirmed, documented reinfections stands very low, fewer than a dozen people. That’s too small a sample from which to generalize. From this latest info you quoted, it seems like there are two distinct variants of SARS-CoV-2, and that the immune response to at least one does not guarantee protection from the other (we can’t say from one case whether the reverse is also true; did smallpox confer immunity from cowpox?).

    I say “it seems” because there may be other explanations. This is one case, and it may boil down to something specific to that patient. That’s not at all likely, and we shouldn’t hang our hopes on this.

    I don’t mind wearing a mask for another year or two, if that helps end the pandemic (there’s no set duration for a pandemic, it can go on for decades). But we can’t get everyone to mask up now, imagine a year from now without respite.

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  88. Teve says:

    @Barry:

    At one point he talked about the sane wing of the GOP regaining control, but there is no sane wing of the GOP. At best there’s a sane fringe, hunkered down and hoping to survive.

    You can’t get a David French party with Sean Hannity voters.

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  89. JohnSF says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Thanks for that link.
    Amazing imagery.

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  90. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: Implicit in your statement is that the most important thing about a political party is its philosophy. But isn’t the most important thing about a political party is the ability to govern? Isn’t it about keeping the roads paved, and our faucets filled with clean water, and the scam artists locked up? Isn’t it about insuring that the weak and powerless have a voice on par with the wealthy and the corporations, who can buy as much voice as they need?

    Political philosophies are an argument about how best to achieve these ends. We don’t need a theoretical argument if we have practical results by which to judge. Who the heck cares what the Libertarian Philosophy is? We know that the most powerful people who espoused that philosophy came together in Kansas, spending obscene amount of money to the remake the infrastructure of state government along those libertarian philosophical principles… and failed miserably. What more do we need to know?

    One of the problems the modern Republican Party has is that they actually attempt to have a philosophy. They don’t – there isn’t a member in the leadership in the past 40+ years who could even articulate a philosophy, much less act on it. But the very fact that they feel they need one is an excuse to let the Billionaire Hobbyists provide them one wholesale.

    It may be useful at some level to have a political philosophy, but I don’t see it. What a party needs is a clearly articulated statement of values, simple and direct, and a dedication to achieving those values.

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  91. Kylopod says:

    @Barry:

    At one point he talked about the sane wing of the GOP regaining control, but there is no sane wing of the GOP. At best there’s a sane fringe, hunkered down and hoping to survive.

    There is one thing I’d add here, and that’s that even people like French are only “sane” in relative comparison to other Republicans. For example, he has questioned the science on climate change.

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  92. Mister Bluster says:

    NBA Memories
    Go Bulls! My Team…Go Warriors! My West Coast Team…Go Rochester Royals! My First Team

    When I was in grade school my dad was the Sports Editor for the Eastman Kodak Company newspaper Kodakery in Rochester NY. He got two tickets to every sporting event in town. Can’t say how many Rochester American (The Amerks) minor league ice hockey games he took me to between the fall of 1955 when the Rochester Community War Memorial opened and 1961 when our family relocated to The Prairie State. There were a lot. This was before players wore helmets and goalies wore masks.
    Saw many Rochester Red Wings games. They were a farm club for the Saint Louis Cardinals.
    My earliest memories of attending sporting events were the NBA games. I know we went to see the Rochester Royals at the 4200 capacity Edgerton Park Arena. The latest I could have been there was the spring of 1955 when I was 7 years old as the Royals moved to the Rochester Community War Memorial for the ’55-’56 season. We went to games there too. The Royals played one more season (’56-’57) in the Flower City before they moved west. I remember my dad mentioning the names of the Royals Bobby Wanzer, George Mikan of the Minneapolis Lakers and Bob Cousy of the Celtics. I might have even seen them play. It was likely the reason he took me to those games. I also remember him talking about the shot clock like it was a new thing. Turns out it was!*
    The Royals won the the NBA title in 1951. Ultimately the franchise moved first to Cincinnati, then to Kansas City (and Omaha) in 1972 where they became the Kings since the American League KC franchise was already using the Royals name. Then in 1985 the team moved to Sacramento where they play today. The 1951 Championship is the only NBA Championship Flag they have. I have often wondered if that banner hangs in the rafters of the Golden 1 Center 69 years later. Maybe someday I’ll make the drive and check it out.

    *

    It was in Rochester, on the night of Oct. 30, 1954, when one of the most important innovations in basketball, and for that matter, sports history, debuted at the Edgerton Park Sports Arena.
    When the Royals hosted the Boston Celtics in the season opener, it was the first game in which the new 24-second shot clock was used, and the estimated 1,700 fans in attendance saw Rochester, behind 25 points and 11 assists from Bobby Wanzer, pull out a thrilling 98-95 victory that wouldn’t have been nearly as exciting without the clock.
    Source

    “In Rochester’s Edgerton Park Arena, players charging down the floor on a fast break had to be ready to stop on a dime. For those who couldn’t manage the tricky maneuver, the Royals had volunteers stationed out of bounds at both ends of the court. Their job was to open a door just beneath the basket. The overzealous players had to make a quick decision—smack head-on into the wall or take the open door.”
    Source: ClutchPoints

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  93. Gustopher says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 showed genetically significant differences between each variant associated with each instance of infection. The second infection was symptomatically more severe than the first.

    The two distinct strains sounds very bad, since that means we know it isn’t a matter of false negatives.

    And since vaccines work by boosting our own immune response, if covid is changing enough that you get reinfections… I don’t look forward to an annual covid vaccine that is as frequently ineffective as a flu vaccine — guessing the dominant strains is hard.

    I don’t see anything about which strains these are — at least nothing I understand. We do have the original Wuhan version, and the more dominant European version* in the US that have quite different binding proteins (if I have any of that right)

    Hopefully this ends up being a one-off with a uniquely vulnerable individual.

    —-
    *: White Supremacists should not only note the origin of the original virus, but that the European variation is now more dominant! That’s superior European culture and genes for you!

    (I really have no idea how to meaningly distinguish between the two variations that we have other than by location)

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  94. JohnSF says:

    @Kathy:
    @Northerner:
    These remind me of the joke:
    Optimist is walking down the road, sees Pessimist sitting on a bench, head in hands, weeping
    “Hey, what’s wrong?” asks Optimist
    “Oh, things just can’t get any worse!” replies Pessimist
    “Cheer up, mate,” Optimist says, “Of course they can get worse!”

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  95. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: I thought you were in Portland by now.

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  96. JohnSF says:

    And I really did not want the reinfection news to prove that.
    But so it goes.

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  97. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: it’s been up and down. I worked for a nationwide company and I was trying to transfer to one of the 10 stores in Portland, when we got a new manager who was both mean and an idiot. And I’m not saying that out of animosity, I mean she was literally equal parts mean, and dumb as shit. Well, she started blaming all the sales people for the numbers being below projections, although the projections were made before the pandemic, and since the pandemic, foot traffic was down 25-30% year-over-year. There’s no way we could’ve hit those numbers. After blaming us for several months and chewing us out on a daily basis, she started filing the written paperwork to document our poor performances so she could fire us and prevent us from getting unemployment. At that point I decided that the money wasn’t enough and I quit.

    Right now I’ve got a few thousand in the bank but not enough to move somewhere like Portland, so I’m thinking about liquidating my 401(k) and getting on a plane, JAX to PDX. I want to do it, but I’d be moving to an expensive city without a job in hand, and I’ve got some anxiety about it. But it may happen in the next three weeks.

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  98. JohnSF says:

    Really interesting bit of polling analysis by Nate Cohn in The New York Times.
    Which, of course, I like because he agrees with a conclusion I came to while back 🙂
    i.e. this is not just a turnout game; Biden is shaving vital, if slim, percentages away from the Trump vote, including his presumed “core vote” of older non-college white males.

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  99. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Barry:
    @Kathy:
    @Kylopod:

    Leaving French aside for a moment and looking at whats left of the R’s. About 40% of the voters ID as R and at least 60% of those are crazed, white supremacist. The remaining 40% are the But Gorsuch R’s, they may dislike Trump, but they like the results. Then consider the R’s that are voting for Joe and voted for Dem congress critters in 2018. I contend that those R’s are more R by habit than ideology. They like the low taxes and are indifferent, but not hostile to concerns of poverty, lack of healthcare etc. Mostly they are financially comfortable burghers for whom life is good and they never really saw the need to vote anyway but R until Trump.

    Those folks aren’t going back to the R’s, they’ll become Dem leaning independents until something happens to have them look at whatever the R’s become post Trump. In local/state elections, they’ll likely vote R, but in congressional and presidency they’ll vote Dem.

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  100. Mister Bluster says:

    Screwed up the link for the block quote in my recent NBA Memories post.
    This is the link that references the NBA Shot Clock item.
    Remarkably the EDIT function was working. I just didn’t catch my error in time to fix it. I still advocate that the EDIT function for any post should should work till the end of the day.

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  101. teve says:

    Lol yard sign in Trump campaign colors:

    #CHINGATUMAGA
    PENDEJO
    NO MAS NARANJA

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  102. Teve says:

    Matt Yglesias:

    Biden has won (sic) a good campaign, but the attacks on him have also been a bit oddly inept focusing almost exclusively on things that are patently false and just reenforce the reality that he’s a moderate choice.

    In other words there are true things you could say about Joe Biden to paint him in an unflattering light, but Republicans have focused almost exclusively on “he’s a senile puppet of Ilhan Omar” which is transparently absurd.

    Trump could make hysterical claims about Hillary because there was a large number of conservatives who had been trained over 25 years to hate her and consider her evil. The same doesn’t apply to Biden.

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  103. flat earth luddite says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I do hope that I’m still around to witness the realignment and have the cognitive ability to understand it.

    I used to share this hope. Now I simply hope that I’ll be valued by my neighbors for more than my ability to knap flint and make black powder (and non-recreational pharmaceuticals). Although that hope is rapidly fading, along with my ability to jump through the hoops. Now I’m largely reduced to hoping you youngsters can avoid the iceberg.

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  104. MarkedMan says:

    @teve: That was way beyond my Spanish ability (i.e. if it doesn’t appear on the menu of a TexMex chain restaurant, I’m lost). Translation?

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  105. Teve says:

    Despite the facts, Barrett is claiming that her faith and her family are being attacked. These people’s fake martyrdom just doesn’t quit.

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  106. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Fuck Your MAGA
    Stupid
    No more orange

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  107. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Implicit in your statement is that the most important thing about a political party is its philosophy. But isn’t the most important thing about a political party is the ability to govern?

    Perhaps it’s not the most important thing, but it’s the one thing that readily identifies a party. Leaving aside pure ideology parties, like communist parties, most parties have some regular, identifiable ideology, though it tends to change over time.

    How a party governs may have a lot to do with its ideology, too. A small government party is likely to let things slide because to address them would mean to grow the small government, for example.

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  108. Mark K Logan says:

    @MarkedMan:

    “Go #%@$ your MAG(M)A, Dip$%#! No more orange 2020”

    ReplyReply
  109. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:
    @Teve:

    Well, the first line is a pun. I’ll try to convey the feel:

    The equivalent to f***k your mother in Mexican usage is “Chinga tu madre.” So the wording CHINGA TU MAGA” works better.

    The second line I’d translate more like a**hole.

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  110. Teve says:

    JCisnorosTX

    Under “originalism,” Amy Coney Barrett wouldn’t have had the opportunity to become an attorney or judge, much less be a SCOTUS nominee.

    She’s not what the forefathers intended, so she can see herself out.

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  111. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: eesh.

    Moving across country with very little savings, and no job lined up seems … brave. Let’s go with brave. On the other hand, if you don’t do it now, then it might get put off for years.

    Portland is nice, by all reasonable accounts. I’ve never had a good time there, but it’s never been Portland’s fault.

    (My best trip there, I twisted my ankle so badly I could barely walk. Then there was the time I was covered in an itchy rash head to toe. And the time some friends decided to crash my vacation and then didn’t want to do anything…)

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  112. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Some of the most convincing analyses I’ve seen indicate the white supremacist hardcore is lower than that.
    Though quite bad enough. Polls I’ve seen suggest around 15 to 25% the Rep. base is “white supremacist” (one such survey at Slate). Depending on terms and questions.

    Though a much larger percentage are what might be termed racist as in “racially fearful”; enough to put up with supremacists on their “side”.
    Polling by Public Religion Research Institute (website ; I’ve lost the links for the actual polls, dammit) indicates 76% of Republicans agree “the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence”; 61% that “impact of the USA becoming non-white by 2045 will be mostly negative”.

    That’s a major problem, because if a partisan core is shifted to an ethnic rather than ideological basis you are into zero-sum game territory; and if the numbers indicate you are on the losing side of such a competition, and you have an “epistemic closure” against contradictory evidence plus “grouping” of a tribal idea-set, then there is perilous driver to abandoning pluralistic politics for authoritarian pseudo-populism.

    There is a classic example from commentary here by good old andros of fond(ish) memory

    “flooding the country with unskilled, impoverished migrants, with a view to creating a permanent Democratic majority?”

    Justifying dubious tactics by Trump and the Republican Party; trouble is this reasoning can lead to justifying almost anything for the cause…

    And if demographic shifts are inevitable, what price democracy if it means “real America” is sidelined.
    The “Flight 93 Election” thesis taken to it’s (il-)logical, lunatic, conclusion.

    Parties that are not inclined to be overly selective about membership are prone to “activist takeover” in such circumstances.

    See also the UK, where the Conservative party base in many constituencies has been captured by the crazies due to back and forth flow of an increasingly radical (and nutty) minority between Conservative, and UKIP/BrexitParty.

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  113. MarkedMan says:

    @Mark K Logan: Hah! Having been away from this thread for a bit, I had forgotten asking for a translation of that sign and came back to find your comment. “Man!”, I thought “Why is this guy swearing at me!?”

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  114. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    what I can’t get my head around is what that looks like in the current environment.

    My take was that the reshuffling, if you will, was more in the lines of a hope or an aspiration with the concluding sentence of the article noting that if nothing happens, America may well reach game over.

    But my reading may be too cynical and is certainly jaundiced by my lack of faith in the basic goodness of humankind and exceptionality of America.

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  115. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    it’s the one thing that readily identifies a party… most parties have some regular, identifiable ideology

    Really? I think parties have certain values but a political ideology? I can’t think of a party here in the US that gets more than 1% of the vote that ever expressed a coherent ideology. The Libertarians come closest but even that is a kind of broad brush painting of an ideology, with no real content or specificity.

    I’m fine with that. I don’t want my plumber or my brain surgeon to be distracted by ideology and I don’t want the people tasked with running our cities, states and country distracted by it either. Tell me who you are working for and the outcomes you are working towards and leave the Marx, Smith and Voltaire to the eggheads.

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  116. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: Yeah. I’ve had an occasional double post, too. I assume that it’s because my tremor has reached a stage where I occasionally tap the post button twice before the system realizes it has already been tapped.

    I could also be imagining things about the powers and abilities of my tremor.

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  117. JohnMcC says:

    @Teve: On Nov 3d I’m going to be the tall baldheaded fellow standing in the line outside my precinct wearing the ‘Truck Fump’ shirt.

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  118. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: There’s no “surrender to Trumpism” at the National Review. Writers such as Joan Didion left the National Review years ago over the same types of crap as now. I didn’t find it doing a Cortana search, but an article that I encountered a few years back had Buckley himself lamenting the “betrayal” that he suffered at the hands of Joan Didion and (I believe) James Fallows and Philip Agee leaving the National Review and going liberal.

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  119. Mister Bluster says:

    Hold Your Nose and Count Your Toes

    Supreme Court Lets Trump Officials End Census Count Early

    Supreme Court temporarily allows Trump administration to end census head count

    Two headlines on the same matter. Can’t figure out what is temporary about item.

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  120. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: I can see both her point and the point of her opponent’s objection. But at least as I see it, we fail markets by ascribing more power to them then they actually have. Markets are great at clearing product overages and addressing some supply shortages. Not so great at picking products, encouraging greater prosperity, expanding production (PPE being a possible example of a market failure related to production lag), leveling the imbalances between more and less solvent participants, equalizing distribution of goods, and other socially valuable inputs. Markets simply can’t do everything capitalists believe they can do. That’s our capitalism’s failure.

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  121. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: It also would seem to show that the virus might well be mutating faster than we realize or that multiple strains are currently present in some locations. IANAE(pedemiologist) but am compelled to think that’s not good news at all.

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  122. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Really? I think parties have certain values but a political ideology?

    Are you asking me what you think? 😉

    Don’t confuse a consistent, narrow ideology with ideology at large. All parties have one, no matter how broad.

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    (PPE being a possible example of a market failure related to production lag)

    You know, the market is chock full of cloth masks, quasi-surgical masks, and mostly Chinese-made KN95 respirator type masks.

    What I don’t find anywhere are US-made N95 masks.

    So, it seems a peculiarly American market failure.

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  123. Teve says:

    @CBSNews

    Barrett is asked if she believes a president should unequivocally commit to a peaceful transfer of power

    “To the extent that this is a political controversy right now, as a judge I want to stay out of it, and I don’t want to express a view,” she says https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/amy-coney-barrett-supreme-court-senate-confirmation-hearings-2020-10-13/

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  124. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Skimming the articles and Sotomayor’s dissent, it looks like the issue is meeting a deadline. She feels accuracy of count is more important than meeting a deadline. A majority apparently felt otherwise. If this is how the Court will rule on other issues, the administration can get out of doing anything by slow walking it. This may be practice for stopping vote counts. Meeting a deadline was a factor in Bush v Gore.

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  125. Bill says:

    I saw my dermatologist yesterday. He removed two more moles for biopsy.

    They are-starting weekly bingo and movies in the senior community I live in. Social distancing will be practiced, but I’m not going to start doing these activities again till next year earliest.

    My next writing project- A Cold War story set from about 1975-1985* that I shelved about 15 years ago. I will be writing this for a year in all probability.

    *- It is alluded to in my espionage ebook I published in 2019.

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  126. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Yeah, but where are you going to find anyone who will go with the Axios article definition. In part because “If you measure the unemployed as anybody over 16 years old who isn’t earning a living wage, the rate rises even further, to 54.6%. For Black Americans, it’s 59.2%” makes a skewed measurement since surely not every 16 year old and older is looking to earn a living wage but you also cannot establish how many would if adequate numbers of living wage jobs were available. Only in a hypothetical “all things being equal” world with living wage jobs available for everyone who wants one will you be able to determine whether Wright’s theory of industrial hypochondria even exists. We may have come close to seeing that hypothetical world during WWII in American industry, but racism still factors in even with Henry Ford’s son deciding to hire black workers at the same wage as white workers (or so the story goes). We don’t know that every company followed suit.

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  127. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy:

    What I don’t find anywhere are US-made N95 masks.
    So, it seems a peculiarly American market failure.

    From what I’ve read, ramping up production requires a significant investment, and the market will drop back to normal once we’ve distributed an effective vaccine which looks to be mid next year. This is the sort of thing the government can easily deal with by providing the capital or guaranteeing a minimum market. But we went to Jared.

    (Not being familiar with Mexican TV, I should perhaps mention that there is a large jewelry chain named Jared and they ran a bunch of commercials with the tag line, “He went to Jared.”)

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  128. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    (Not being familiar with Mexican TV, I should perhaps mention that there is a large jewelry chain named Jared and they ran a bunch of commercials with the tag line, “He went to Jared.”)

    I’ve seen the commercials in NFL Network and CNN. Also more than a few times when I had the TV on while on vacation in Vegas.

    But the market doesn’t need government. That’s the fundamental tenet of free market extremism, isn’t it? The companies that make PPE (and I assume it’s more than just 3M), could easily have figured out a way of solving the shortages and ensuring a profit for their investment. Hell, given N95 respirators ought not be washed, they could have developed an at home UV sanitizing kit, or a contact-free subscription service that delivers sanitized masks and takes dirty ones away, or a dirt-cheap N90 disposable mask for general use.

    Then they could get mad at Trump fro driving down sales by not endorsing masks, because all that government does is ruin markets by messing with their freedom.

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  129. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I think parties have certain values but a political ideology? I can’t think of a party here in the US that gets more than 1% of the vote that ever expressed a coherent ideology.

    I joke here that Republicans don’t have a political philosophy, they have a business plan. They do what their rich and corporate donors want and the donors give them enough money to buy elections. I regard it as a good joke in that it’s true. Many of the GOP donors claim to be Libertarian, but that’s just a cover for self interest.

    Democrats could be labelled as Liberal, and that’s fair. But I more and more see “Liberal” as not an ideology. Is seeing a serious problem and thinking we should do something an ideology. Is the majority of the country thinking the country should be run for the benefit of the whole country an ideology? I’m beginning to view “Liberal” as just default normal.

    This was brought home to me again this morning reading a conservative author saying conservatives have a theory of interpretation, “originalism”, but liberals have no comparable theory. But “originalism” was defined as a conservative opposition to pre-existing normal, which had no name, it was just normal. A few years ago I saw a comment thread, perhaps here, in which a conservative bragged that they have a canon; Burke, Kirk, Hayek, whatever, but liberals don’t have a canon. Someone sensibly replied liberals do have a canon, it’s called Western Literature.

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  130. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: yeah, how can we not have a canon if all of academia are a bunch of Libtards? 😀

    I’d argue that insofar as we need a canon there are philosophers like John Rawls we can point to. And who gives a shit if conservatives have a canon, if they have no empathy, refuse to believe in science, transfer all the money to the wealthy, promote hatred of others, etc. Having a few books doesn’t help when you’re terrible.

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  131. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan: #F[ork]MAGA/Stupid/ No More Orange.

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  132. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    No edit for this one. I see lots of people beat me to it on #Chingatumaga. That’s what I get for coming to the party late. 🙁

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  133. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: No complaint on from this corner on that observation. It looks spot on to me.

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  134. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I can state with absolute certainty that all US manufacturers of N95 masks are working every line to maximum capacity. I have conference calls this week with three different ones because they want to squeeze more production out of our equipment. As to why you (and I) don’t see them for sale, I assume they simply aren’t selling the masks to the public.

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  135. Mikey says:

    As anyone with even a passing familiarity with the FISA could have told you would happen:

    The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Of course AG Barr has much more than a passing familiarity with the FISA, but his objective was never to find actual wrongdoing.

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  136. flat earth luddite says:

    @Teve:
    Hunh????? AYOYFM? Dude, as you know, I’m up here. Were it me, I’d not take the tax hit on cashing in a 401(k) and moving to an area known for being almost as expensive as Seattle or San Fran, without a SOLID job offer in hand, and moving expenses pre-paid. I’m retired, living in a place we own (mostly) and watching people I know (mid-late 20s/30s, with stable mid jobs), renting rooms or having roommates in order to afford 1 bed flats. In “okaaaayy” parts of town. But then again, as always, YMMV.

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  137. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Fair enough. But there’s no additional production capacity, right? 3M did sell N95 respirators in hardware and home improvement stores to guard against dust, sandblasting, etc. That seems out of stock now.

    Not to knock on the companies that make them, or the people who work for them, but this illustrates, IMO, the limitations of free markets during an emergency. Without government help, they can’t produce enough in the short term, and all emergencies are of limited duration.

    BTW, bad news on the reinfection front

    From the CNN piece:

    The woman was not tested between infections, so researchers have no confirmed negative tests. However, upon examining the samples from both cases they found the genetic makeup of the two viruses to be different.

    Emphasis added.

    So, yes, like the old joke has it, there’s two of them.

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  138. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    The companies that make PPE (and I assume it’s more than just 3M), could easily have figured out a way of solving the shortages and ensuring a profit for their investment.

    I don’t see how they could have figured out a way. To add significant capacity normally takes a couple of years. To halve that would probably require 50% or more increase in cost. At which time they would be selling the masks for, what, three to six months before we go back to pre-pandemic volume? They then have a huge capital investment with no return. The investors would start muttering about inefficiencies and the CEO would be out of a job.

    The way this is normally handled is that the government agrees to buy a certain volume for a certain duration. That never happened here.

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  139. Jen says:

    @Teve: My favorite (by that I mean horrifying) moment from today was Klobuchar’s question about voter intimidation.

    I kept thinking during Barrett’s answer “what is she going on about?”

    The answer, quite simply was “yes, Senator, voter intimidation is against the law.” Instead, she droned on and on about not answering a hypothetical–but, there WAS NO hypothetical.

    Simple question begat a ridiculous answer, rather than a simple question getting a simple answer.

    I don’t care how “brilliant” she is, she doesn’t deserve to sit on that Court. At least not yet.

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  140. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    this illustrates, IMO, the limitations of free markets during an emergency. Without government help, they can’t produce enough in the short term, and all emergencies are of limited duration.

    I agree 100%

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  141. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Sorry, I was being sarcastic, mocking the conception that the markets are perfect in every situation, and the government serves only to screw things up.

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  142. keef says:

    Democrats are bat shixt crazy:

    Nancy Pelosi accuses CNN of always repeating Republican talking points. Uh, right.

    “Sen. Mazie Hirono asks ACB “since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?””

    Uh, truly weird.

    Your party, people. Its your party. Mentally balanced, and Classy.

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  143. Mikey says:

    Did someone fart?

    Oh, wait, it’s just Keef posting a comment.

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  144. flat earth luddite says:

    This evening’s chuckle from my email.

    Your Apple ID has disabled: Security setting has been changes,

    Grammar aside, I don’t have an Apple ID. Nice to know the GOP aren’t the only trolls out to reach into my pocket today.

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  145. Teve says:

    Republicans are jealous of the ‘RBG’ thing so they’re trying to make their own with ACB. It’s as embarrassing as Chuck Grassley trying to Tweet like the Hip Cool Kids

    @ChuckGrassley

    .@realdonaldtrump I suggest u use pocket card at podium w 5 short sentences on what u’ve accomplished 5 things that differentiate u from Biden 5 things u will accomplish in next 4 yrs Focusing on these simple highlights will help ur msg &only take 5mins then say whatever u want

    Radical to the Max! LOL 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

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  146. Teve says:

    @flat earth luddite: when I worked in cell phones it was a daily occurrence for an elderly person to come in and chew us out for screwing up their payment, and it turns out they were reacting to a spam that was trying to get them to follow a link to like somewhere in Russia and submit their credit card payment.

    During that year of my life I became convinced that you should have to pass a test before you’re allowed to get a smart phone. And if you can’t tell the difference between an email and an app and an SMS, sorry, here’s your Jitterbug.

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  147. Gustopher says:

    @Teve: I’m on Barrett’s side on this one… after all, “whether or not to kill yourself is one of the most important decisions a teenager can make”, and I assume whether to peacefully step down from power is similarly one of the most important decisions a president can make.

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  148. Teve says:

    @Gustopher: what?

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  149. Gustopher says:

    @keef: Hey, hedgemonger, there are some responses to your out of context shitposting yesterday that you haven’t gotten to.

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  150. Kathy says:

    This is good, a tweet from Biden doing to Trump what Trump did to Dr. Fauci, only more so:

    Donald Trump in his own words.

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  151. DrDaveT says:

    @Northerner:

    There is a game.
    You can’t win.
    You can’t even tie.
    You can even get out of the game.

    I thought those were the 3 laws of thermodynamics, plus an assertion that it isn’t all an illusion…

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  152. DrDaveT says:

    @gVOR08:

    A corollary of Reynolds’ view that conservatives lack imagination. Seems like this need for certainty is something I’ve seen stated in books or articles, but I don’t know any particular authority to reference for this view. You have anybody?

    George Lakoff

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  153. DrDaveT says:

    @Teve:

    You can’t get a David French party with Sean Hannity voters.

    More to the point, there simply aren’t enough plutocrats and UChi economists in the US to elect a David French party candidate to any office at all. That has always been the GOP challenge — how to get large numbers of non-wealthy people dependent on government services to vote for policies that help the rich and reduce government services. What has worked has been:
    1. Jingoism, painting the opposition as un-American
    2. Libertarianism, painting the opposition as freeloaders and communists
    3. Racism, painting the opposition as brown

    The result is people who won’t vote for Joe Biden because “he’s a Socialist”, but who would be horrified and furious to lose their Medicare, Social Security, or free public education. Sigh.

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  154. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Political philosophies are an argument about how best to achieve these ends.

    That used to be true. I am convinced, however, that it is no longer true — an in particular that “conservatives” no longer disagree about the means to the ends, but rather disagree about the ends.

    Ask a conservative whether they would vote for a policy that would make everyone better off in the end, but that would permit some number of undeserving immoral people to share in that increased prosperity. If they’re honest, they will admit that no, they would rather hurt everyone than permit free riders. If they’re dishonest and say “yes, I would”, point out that this is what legal abortion does, and ask again.

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  155. Kylopod says:

    @DrDaveT:

    2. Libertarianism, painting the opposition as freeloaders and communists

    I think anticommunism is a lot broader than simply libertarianism. For much of the Cold War, it was a glue holding together virtually all the strands of conservatism: the libertarians, the war hawks, even the Dixiecrats (supporters of integration were often tagged as commies). It gave them all a common enemy. I actually think there’s a case to be made that the Cold War saved conservatism from being forever linked to plutocracy, a fate that essentially killed it during the Depression. Ever since the Cold War ended, it’s been coasting, unable to find a central organizing principle. It was around this time that they started using the metaphor of the three-legged stool (usually described as encompassing fiscal conservatism, a strong defense, and values issues–or as Michael Reynolds puts it, money, bombs, and Jesus), which was a cute rhetorical way of trying to avoid dealing with the lack of clear ideological unity.

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  156. DrDaveT says:

    @Kylopod:

    I think anticommunism is a lot broader than simply libertarianism. For much of the Cold War, it was a glue holding together virtually all the strands of conservatism: the libertarians, the war hawks, even the Dixiecrats

    That’s a fair point — I had sort of lumped that version of anticommunism under Jingoism in my head, but that’s not really accurate. The successful identification of any genuine social contract with Soviet- or Mao-style communism was a huge part of how conservatism stayed viable after WW2.

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  157. Mister Bluster says:

    @flat earth luddite:.. chuckle…

    I have received similar eMails with a toll free phone number to call. I do have an Apple ID. I think the only time I use it is to reset the clock on my MacBook Air when the time changes.
    Fall back…Spring ahead. It’s nothing to check and see if it is still good.
    Same kind of eMail from phony Netflix. Account compromised or some such nonsense. I had just used my Netflix log in information the day before. I called the Netflix Contact Us toll free number and was quickly connected to a real human who let me know there were no irregularities associated with my account.

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  158. Teve says:

    BTW, if you have an Apple ID, write the password down and keep it safe somewhere. Working in cell phones, if a customer insisted they Must transfer everything from their old phone, to their new phone, and I asked them what their Apple ID password was, and they said, “I don’t know, you deal with it.” I knew I was in for at least a bad 2 hours.

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  159. Teve says:

    Early voting numbers this year are not just beating, they are annihilating, previous records.

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  160. Teve says:

    Wow. Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory that three members of the CIA kept bin Laden alive in Iran and moved him to Pakistan for Obama’s show killing.

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  161. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Kylopod: In my opinion–liberals actually invite these kinds of engagements. These are not people you argue or debate with–they are not engaging to discover new information or understand you. Know your audience.

    There is an improv technique called ‘acceptance’–where you take on the premise of the scene.

    “Look! There is a spider with 7 legs!”

    Of course, the liberal launches into a fact-based explanation of arachnids and how a spider can only have 8 legs–etc. WRONG–

    With these types of people–you have to roll with their bullshit and double down on it–while recasting it to make them look ridiculous.

    “Holy shit you’re right! I told the poor bastard Trump motels were expensive–”

    You really have to have fun with these people because they are not engaging to be share information–they are engaging to highlight to you that you are an idiot. The best play is to beat them to the punch and get a good laugh at the same time. Of course–if you’re dealing with a witty Trumper–they will accept and recast as well. It’s like ping pong but more fun.

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  162. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @keef: Yeah but not as weird as Trump wanting to don a Superman outfit when leaving Walter Reed– That ass–in tights? Admit it you’d touch yourself.

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  163. Teve says:

    Wow. Amy Covid Barrett refused to say if banning IVF would be constitutional. She’s just not answering anything.

    Biden’s going to need to add 4 more justices.

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