Tuesday’s Forum

No time for shades of gray. What do you really think?

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

Comments

  1. Bill says:

    The headline of the day-

    Groundhog filmed eating pizza right outside Philadelphia woman’s door

    This leaves many unanswered questions. Why isn’t this groundhog not in Punxsutawney? How did it get to Philadlphia (over 200 miles east), did it take the Pennsylvania Turnpike and was Bill Murray driving? Why pizza and not Chinese food?

    Somebody needs to send out investigative reporter at once!

    Is it obvious I am still on my first cup of coffee.

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  2. Bill says:

    The real headline of the day-

    WHO head warns worst of virus is still ahead

    So why are we talking about re-opening the country? Because we have a stable genius for President that’s why!

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  3. Teve says:

    The Hill, Monday:

    The world can thank President Trump for the oil deal

    Bottom of the story:


    Editor’s note: This piece has been updated to reflect Monday’s crash in oil prices.

    link

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  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: NEGATIVE $37.63 per barrel. Greatest deal maker ever. So much winning.

    Pretty soon they are going to be paying me to drive.

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  5. Teve says:

    I mean, apparently the weirdo prices yesterday had to do with expiring futures contracts and oversupply and the shortage of storage, but usually when somebody praises trump it takes more than a fraction of a day for them to be utterly humiliated.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today, from The Dept of Unintended Consequences: Coronavirus-driven CO2 shortage threatens US food and water supply, officials say

    The document, a Covid-19 situation report produced by the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), contains a warning from the state’s office of drinking water (ODW) about difficulties in obtaining CO2, which is essential for the process of water treatment.

    The document says that the ODW is “still responding to [that day’s] notification of a national shortage of CO2”.

    It continues: “Several [water plants] had received initial notification from their vendors that their supply would be restricted to 33% of normal.”

    It further warns: “So far utilities have been able to make the case that they are considered essential to critical infrastructure and have been returned to full supply. However, we want to ask if CISA [the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] can assess this through their contacts, if this is sustainable given the national shortage.”

    Asked to clarify the nature of this problem, ODW director Mike Means said in an email that his agency had first learned of potential problems when Seattle public utilities were “contacted by their vendor Airgas who supplied a copy of a Force Majeure notice”, warning them that their CO2 order would be reduced due to pandemic-related shortages.

    ……………………….

    The main reason for national shortages, according to the CEO of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), Rich Gottwald, is a ramping down of ethanol production.

    “Back in the summertime, the [Trump] administration exempted some gasoline manufacturers from using ethanol. Then we had Russia and Saudi Arabia flooding the market with cheap gasoline. All of that led to an oversupply of ethanol,” Gottwald said. “As ethanol manufacturers were ramping down because there wasn’t a market for their product, along comes Covid-19, which meant people weren’t driving anywhere”, he added.

    This led to plant closures, including among the 50 specialized plants that collect CO2 for the food and beverage market.

    Ooopps.

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  7. sam says:
  8. Scott says:

    @Teve: The Hill has the best comment section. Goes downhill after about 1-2 entries. Unreadable.

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  9. CSK says:

    @sam:
    You just know whoever wrote that sign voted for Trump.

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  10. KM says:

    @Bill:

    So why are we talking about re-opening the country? Because we have a stable genius for President that’s why!

    Because conservatives have gone full death cult in public. Many have blatantly stated it doesn’t matter how many Americans die, the financial cost isn’t worth it. They’ve been lying about this virus for months, downplaying it’s severity and medical impact. Of course they can’t justify keeping people safe instead of the economy – keeping them safe from what, a “minor illness” that’s “like the flu” and doesn’t kill or hospitalize as many as liberals and scientists tell you? What’s 3% of America dead if it means you can get your hair done whenever you want and people are free to go to their cottages up north? Hey, let’s have 3% of schoolchildren or their family get sick or die so the school year can open on time – that won’t affect their ability to learn at all!

    Notice they don’t even talk about the unemployed but rather the businesses and services they’re unhappy they can’t access right now. They talk about their freedoms being curtailed but those are trivial at best and many can still be performed in an abrogated fashion (you can’t sit down at a restaurant but can get takeout). They don’t care that it’s setting us up for a ruinous rest of the year if they re-open too early; by god, they “want to work”- not get paid so they can eat, not be productive in a time of crisis but “get back to work” and be good little drones. They are literally asking people to die so they can not be inconvenienced.

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  11. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I tried to read that article from The Hill, and managed to skim from top to bottom twice. Two thoughts: First, Soviet era Pravda level of sycophancy (“Thanks to the continued foresight of Comrade Trump, tractor production has reach an all time high and regional committees strongly commit that the Siberian wheat harvest will exceed plan!”). And second, where the heck was the correction or edits? It still reads as if Supreme Leader Trump had magnificently solved some problem with plummeting oil prices and now they were stable. Are Republicans so feeble minded they aren’t able to connect the cloying praise given for success to the historic debacle that is the reality?

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  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Yorkshire Museum@YorkshireMuseum

    MUSEUMS ASSEMBLE! It’s time for #CURATORBATTLE!

    Today’s theme, chosen by you, is #CreepiestObject!

    We’re kicking things off with this 3rd/4th century hair bun from the burial of a #Roman lady, still with the jet pins in place…

    CAN YOU BEAT IT?

    Ifn’s any one is bored.

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  13. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: i’m willing to bet the second paragraph bullshit excuse was changed. Or added.

    Since Monday morning, U.S. oil prices have dropped significantly, in large part because of decreased demand and storage issues. But that doesn’t change the larger point: President Trump’s oil deal may have bought the industry a little time — and only time will tell if it’s enough.

    “Sure, the evidence immediately and overwhelmingly contradicted what I said, but I’m still right and you’ll see later on.”

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  14. Teve says:

    @KM: someone told me the Amway people were funding a lot of that bullshit. It wouldn’t surprise me if rich people are demanding their serfs get back to work filling their dividends and trust funds. Who cares if some of the surplus population dies, that’s not going to affect us here in Connecticut.

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  15. Kathy says:

    Wouldn’t a good negotiator gather together a big market of 325+ million buyers and use that to get a really good price from suppliers of PPE, testing reagents, cotton swabs, ventilators, etc.?

    A crappy negotiator would throw away his purchasing power advantage and tell each group of people, some of whom are small and many of whom are smaller than many countries, to go out and compete in the open international market.

    Which one do we have occupying the White House right now?

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  16. Michael Reynolds says:

    Scotland has canceled The Fringe and Germany has canceled Oktoberfest. In news of less importance to anyone but me, my wife’s book tour is also canceled.

    We’ve been in self-imposed lockdown for 47 days with only two brief excursions to CVS. Yesterday I had to pick up a non-deliverable pharmaceutical and discovered actual toilet paper just sitting on a shelf. It was an emotional experience.

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  17. Kylopod says:

    @KM:

    Because conservatives have gone full death cult in public. Many have blatantly stated it doesn’t matter how many Americans die, the financial cost isn’t worth it.

    The most striking thing about it is how self-defeating and self-destructive this notion actually is. Sure Trump doesn’t care how many people die—that’s a given. He’s a pure sociopath. But he’s also delusional if he believes that letting people die from the virus is going to help the economy. Part of it’s due to a failure to think long-term—it’s kind of like someone who neglects to get much needed surgery out of fear of the pain. But it also goes back to the way Trump views everything as zero-sum. He thinks of the crisis purely in terms of making a choice between containing the virus and saving the economy, not understanding that the two go hand in hand. The central irony is that he’s quite literally sacrificing the lives of millions to save his sorry ass, without realizing that in doing so, he’s only making it worse for himself.

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  18. Bill says:

    @Bill: Due to lack of caffeine I missed a great opportunity this morning

    Why pizza and not Chinese food?

    Why didn’t I write flapjacks instead of Chinese food? 🙁

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @KM: As I have oft stated: Pro-Life my ass.

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  20. Kathy says:

    We all know that RINO means Republican In Name Only. This definition has lots of problems, not the least of which is that Saint Ronald of California would be considered a RINO by all his Republican worshipers.

    So for Trump I got a better appellation:

    PITO: President In Title Only.

    A side benefit is that in Mexican slang, the word “pito” is used to refer to the phallic male appendage (the formal definition of “pito” is a whistle or a simple flute).

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  21. Bill says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Scotland has canceled The Fringe and Germany has canceled Oktoberfest.

    The Royal and Ancient cancelled the Open Championship aka British held every July. Nevertheless the PGA Tour in the United States is planning to re-start play in June. All because that organization’s obsession with its Fedex Cup.

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  22. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Maybe she can do a virtual tour, if she likes.

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  23. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona too, if the tweet I read can be believed.

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  24. Tyrell says:

    I hear a lot about testing, but everyone seems to have different ideas. The local doctor here said only if someone has symptoms. Okay, but how often? I could test negative today, but positive next week. And there’s the antibody test also.
    Just what does a sensible testing program look like like?
    And as far as some sort of tracking app or bracelet, forget it.

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  25. KM says:

    @Kylopod :

    Yep. I keep thinking that this is false hope at best and deliberately poisoning the well at worst. So you re-open and you get to go back to work at a restaurant…. only nobody’s coming in to eat, takeout and delivery are still king. You get laid-off/ let go again, maybe permanently this time since the company can’t handle a second shutdown. Oh, your lawn business or hair salon opens again but your workers get sick and your insurance skyrockets. Whoops, there goes the business and everyone’s out of work again. Not to mention what happens if lawsuits start up – since re-opening right now is an ill-advised choice, if someone gets infected from your stupidity you might be liable. Insurance companies might start dropping risky customers and that’s a blow most companies can’t afford. People are still going to be cautious, *especially* when they see in a week a huge spike this madness hath wrought. Sales will be down, foot traffic would be ecstatic to see 50% of normal.

    Your employees get sick at work – that’s on you. That’s your reputation and if it gets out you’re a plague spot, bye-bye business. How many will quit because they won’t take the risk you’re playing with their lives? How many will no-show when you need them and ruin you? Even if nobody quits, there’s sick time (official or just not coming in) and grieving that needs to be accounted for. Lots of funerals, family in the hospital and illness all around means shift schedules aren’t happening. The internet is forever – who wants to be known as the heartless company owner who got their employees killed, only to fold shortly thereafter from lack of business? You’ll still lose everything only now you’ll have a harder time rebuilding.

    Smart businesses don’t want to be destroyed – they understand re-opening too early is just as deadly for them as staying closed now. It’s just pushing the end out a few weeks. Until the public feels comfortable enough they won’t get sick and die, they can’t begin to recover.

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  26. An Interested Party says:

    Notice they don’t even talk about the unemployed but rather the businesses and services they’re unhappy they can’t access right now. They talk about their freedoms being curtailed but those are trivial at best and many can still be performed in an abrogated fashion (you can’t sit down at a restaurant but can get takeout). They don’t care that it’s setting us up for a ruinous rest of the year if they re-open too early; by god, they “want to work”- not get paid so they can eat, not be productive in a time of crisis but “get back to work” and be good little drones. They are literally asking people to die so they can not be inconvenienced.

    The world’s biggest and most aggrieved victims, dontcha know…

    And second, where the heck was the correction or edits?

    Remember, this is the same rag that ran columns by a Trump bootlicker

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  27. gVOR08 says:

    A few weeks ago I had a hobby horse about one Richard Epstein making a complete fool of himself with a piece at the Hoover Institution website predicting 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the US. Well, he’s baaa-aack. He apparently thinks he still has some shred of reputation left to destroy. This only matters because Epstein is one of our most respected and influential conservative legal scholars. And he’s demonstrably an idiot. (For details, see comments on his article.)

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  28. KM says:

    @Tyrell:

    Okay, but how often? I could test negative today, but positive next week.

    This is a new right-wing talking point. It’s also a major DUH moment and not the gotcha they think it is. A test is snapshot of that moment in time’s health; today’s results reflect current exposure, not future ones. Of course you will need to be tested more then once as it’s not one-and-done. You will need to get tested as exposure and illness dictates. Ideally, you should be able to be tested whenever you pleased. It’s been months so there’s no excuse for such a shortage to exist. It’s a testament to this failure of an Administration that we cannot mass test regularly. The doctor is saying “only when you have symptoms” because he doesn’t have a lot of tests and is running triage.

    A sensible program is everyone gets tested *at least* once regardless of illness status – that’s your baseline. After that, it’s on you to track your exposure risk. If you are exposed, you should be tested again in a week. If you are staying at home like you should be, your risk level is low so maybe even two weeks. If you are high-risk (essential workers, etc), it should be every other day for at least a month. Once we get an idea of who’s infected and who’s spreading it, we can start targeting who needs to stay in isolation till they’re no longer contagious vs who’s had it and can go back out.

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  29. Jon says:

    @KM:

    If businesses can legally open but employees can’t/won’t work they can get fired for cause, which means they won’t get unemployment.

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @CSK:
    Oh believe me the requests for virtual events is insane. We’ve actually had to buy studio lights and we’ve set up two corners of the house as mini-sets. I get warnings to, ‘not do anything embarrassing because I’m taping.’ As you can imagine this is a severe test of my self-control.

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  31. KM says:

    @Jon :
    Good point and leads me back to the lawsuit angle. Businesses cannot force employees to work in unsafe conditions. Does your business have the right to fire you for your objection to workplace safety in a pandemic? With this Administration, I normally say business is a surefire win but if it happens enough, they may have to carve out an exception. Too many Trump voters aren’t going to like having to choose between illness and employment for them to not act, especially if we see a devastating second wave in red states screaming for #ReOpen. I would expect to see an pandemic objection amendment to unemployment rules floated in the next few weeks. In fact, if they’re smart they’d have that as part of the plan to open back up as reassurance to the public.

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  32. Tyrell says:

    @KM: That is good informstion, but there would need to be home tests. We have one doctor and it would not be practical for people to go there and stand in a long line two or three days a week. I most likely won’t be going back to work until mid- September, so I would probably get one until then if even needed for work.
    I would be interested in the antibodies test because I think I was exposed to a family member who had symptoms back in January that went on for four weeks.
    I had a very serious strep infection some years back. I have not had nary a cough since. My problem is vertigo – I am working on over coming motion sickness through certain movements.

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  33. Jon says:

    @KM:

    I would guess that the state telling businesses that it is safe to open gives them the cover they need to avoid lawsuits.

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  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    @Kathy, yesterday you were wondering why they don’t just shut down the oil wells, the Times touched on that this morning in a good summary article.

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  35. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Kathy:

    So for Trump I got a better appellation:

    PITO: President In Title Only.

    A side benefit is that in Mexican slang, the word “pito” is used to refer to the phallic male appendage (the formal definition of “pito” is a whistle or a simple flute).

    CHANGE APPROVED !!!

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  36. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Here in Colorado…

    Gov. Polis is moving from a “stay-at-home” order to a “safer-at-home” order.

    He doesn’t want people to go out, most places are still closed down, social distancing is still in place, masks are mandatory if outside and there is no question that you are safer at home than out and about.

    So: Those that choose to be the willing (ie: morons) in Colorado will be allowed to test the second wave of C-19 infections. (A thought: when the ever-more-so-deplorables start to drop, let’s see what happens when Trump realizes that his base is being eliminated via “liberation”)

    https://coloradosun.com/2020/04/20/colorado-safer-at-home-period/

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  37. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Thanks!

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  38. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: this is probably the scariest article I’ve seen.

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  39. Bill says:
  40. Stormy Dragon says:

    De Blasio is like is Michael Scott got elected mayor

    BREAKING: Mayor de Blasio announces when #NYC finally reopens … there will be a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for Health Care Workers and First Responders #nbc4ny pic.twitter.com/T8rtq0i5JY— Steven Bognar (@Bogs4NY) April 21, 2020

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  41. Kathy says:

    The airlines are not about to make any friends with the public and taxpayers.

    United pretty much has stated they’ll begin layoffs in September, when the protections for salaries in the bailouts run out. Jet Blue is finding runarounds to pay their staff less money right now.

    Meanwhile in the UK, the government ins’t too keen in loaning Sir Richard half a billion pounds (Sterling) to keep Virgin Atlantic afloat. Sir Richard is worth over $4 billion. It doesn’t help his case he resides in the British Virgin islands, where he pays no taxes.

    He claims he doesn’t have the cash to bail himself out. He’s offered a private island as collateral.

    Well, granted the market for private islands is not ideal right now, you’d think some billionaire might appreciate one to shelter in while the pandemic rages on.

    Complicating the matter, 49% of Virgin Atlantic stock is owned by Delta, which has already been bailed out (by much more than half a billion Sterling, BTW).

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Leaving aside that De Blasio is an idiot, he has a point the healthcare workers should be honored, but by the time it will be safe to have a parade…

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  43. Kathy says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    @Sleeping Dog:

    Granted they all deserve recognition, but how about a raise instead?

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  44. Michael Reynolds says:

    Link:

    The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the fourth volume of its report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which focused on a December 2016 intelligence community assessment provided to President Obama.

    Why it matters: The bipartisan report affirms the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election to help President Trump defeat Hillary Clinton, noting that the assessment “reflects proper analytic tradecraft despite being tasked and completed within a compressed timeframe.”

    Could I be any less surprised?*

    *Watching a lot of Friends lately.

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  45. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Also notable in this report: contrary to the pronouncements of Trump and his coterie of brain-dead lickspittles, the Steele Dossier was not material to the initiation of the investigation. The only reason it was included at all was because President Obama had directed the investigators to include everything the intel community had, and it ended up being included only as an appendix to the most highly classified version. From the report:

    The Committee reviewed the debate over whether and where to include the
    Steele materials with all participants to the drafting of the ICA. In the first meeting of the
    Committee with Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division (AD/CD) of the FBI, he
    articulated the FBI’s concerns. First was the directive from the President to include all the
    information the IC had on Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, and this
    included material that FBI held. Even though the Assistant Director suggested that “the FBI
    didn’t want to stand behind it,” it qualified for this directive. Second, the question immediately
    became how to handle this information in the drafting of the ICA. This was ultimately resolved
    by including the information as Annex A, a two-page summary attached only to the most
    classified version of the ICA (i.e., the “Memorandum to the President” version). FBI officials
    told the Committee that they “would have had a major problem if Annex A had not been
    included,” and that FBI believed they “had to put everything in.”

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  46. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Hazard pay. What a concept. The military does it. Hell’s bells, the cable company my wife works for gives hazard pay (25%).

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  47. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Doctors, nurses, orderlies, technicians, and even janitors who work in areas with COVID-19 patients in Federal government hospitals in Mexico, get a 20% bonus on their salaries.

    When this is over, if they haven’t by now, people ought to realize which workers are essential, what they get paid, and what benefits they don’t have. Not to mention how many of them caught COVID-19.

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  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bill: A real prince of a guy, but what does one expect from a white supremacist asshole who has his name changed to Augutus Sol Invictus*.

    *That HAS to be a name change, has to be.

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  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    And there’s this:

    The anti-malaria drug flogged over and over again by President Donald Trump as a coronavirus treatment didn’t help veterans who got it, according to a new government-funded study.

    The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed but was backed by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Virginia, is the latest evidence that hydroxychloroquine is not the magic bullet that Trump and his allies have suggested it is.

    “In this study, we found no evidence that use of hydroxychloroquine, either with or without azithromycin, reduced the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with Covid-19,” the authors wrote.

    In fact, the analysis of data from 368 patients at veterans hospitals found 28 percent of those who got it died—compared to 11 percent who received the standard treatment. And 22 percent of the patients who got hydroxychloroquine plus the antibiotic azithromycin died.

    This is surprising news since I understand Jesus himself told Trump this would work, and he was backed up by Doctors Phil and Oz.

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  50. Slugger says:

    Oil prices are down, and rig counts are down too. While it is in my personal interest to have low fuel prices, I don’t believe that all the lifeboats should be reserved for me. Should our government extend some help to the oil patch, or should we allow some Schumpeterian creative destruction to occur?

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  51. Tyrell says:

    @KM: Every other day for at least a month? The only doctor here is open 8:00am – 4:30pm Mon-Thur, close at noon on Fridays. So workers would only be able to test if at home tests are available. The nearest other doctors or clinics are around forty minutes from here.
    I probably won’t start back to work until mid September so I will see then.

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  52. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    A wonderful idea, but they’re being laid off instead

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @Mikey:

    Remember, Steele Dossier = SQUIRREL!

    @Slugger:

    Let the oil industry fend for itself. Timely viewpoint on this here.

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  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    Hi Steven or James, can you release my comment from moderation purgatory?

    Thank you

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  54. Bill says:

    I’m getting a little annoyed with my dermatologist. I go back for three-month checkups. The last time I was seen was November 11th.

    I had a February appointment that was cancelled because the doctor had an emergency c section
    That was changed to March 19 but I postponed it to April 27 in order for it to be when my wife could come
    Then the coronavirus lockdown happened and there was my hospitalization too for pulmonary edema.
    The April 27th appt has been cancelled. When I see the doctor next is unknown.

    Most of the above don’t both bother me except. Why did the doctor’s office send a text message to me

    1 For a teledoc appointment next week
    2 When they aren’t doing full body exams by teledoc appointment
    3 When my appointment for next week is cancelled
    4 And text me a phone number at the same time to call to set up the appointment
    5 And they sent me a phone number to call that wasn’t the number to speak to anyone about for any visit to Dr. Damse.

    My wife said the text message and phone conversations today were almost like a scam.

    23 years ago I quit a dermatologist because of the stupidity of his office staff. He doesn’t write down in the chart I have to return for followup (I already had four malignant melanomas at that time in my life) and MM patients always followup with a dermatologist but the doctor’s office staff wouldn’t work with me to get the necessary referral because the doctor hadn’t written down I had to come back. Faced with such raging stupidity, I never went back to that doctor. My next dermatologist had the bedside manner of a 400 lb gorilla and I’m being unfair to the gorillas. After two years of enduring that, Dr. Harold Rabinovitz who is a pioneer in working with MM patients, was recommended to me. For 20 years beginning in 1999 I saw Dr. R and we had an excellent relationship. Dr Rabinovitz retired July 1, 2019.

    Now what do I have?

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  55. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Have you paid the indulgence? 😀

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  56. Teve says:

    @lisang

    I’m quite disconcerted by these epic think pieces in the liberal US Media about how shocked –shocked!– the writers are to discover there’s a failing State around here. I mean, really? Where have you been living and what have you been reading? Surely not any of these books: nickel and dimed, evicted, the color of law, we live in the shadow, the working poor, the rights of the people, power for profit, piketty’s capital, winners take all, the big short. The list is very long and these are not obscure academic books. They were all front and center on the display tables at the entrance of your local book shop independent or franchise. Really there’s no excuse for this blindness. Sorry to scold, but honestly!

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  57. Jen says:

    FDA has authorized an in-home test–healthcare and front line workers first, but this is a good step.

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  58. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    His real name is Austin Gillespie.

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  59. inhumans99 says:

    @KM:

    And this is why we need to tell these folks to eat a bag of dicks. No one I know wants to risk getting sick to put a smile on President Trump’s face.

    Also, Politico had a story up noting that President Trump oddly stopped pimping hydroxychloroquine, and then today a story is up that a VA study indicated more Vets died taking the drug than lived or got better. I bet when our President’s handlers got wind of this story ahead of publication they yelled at President Trump JFC stop talking right this second about hydroxychloroquine, and Politico notes that Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham also oddly stopped pimping the heck out of this drug. I bet Fox execs yelled at them in an email to shut the f up about this drug.

    If there is any justice the family of the vets who died will sue Tucker and Laura into financial oblivion, or keep them so busy having to suppress lawsuits against them that it leaves them no time to do their day job. Even if folks are told ahead of time that lawsuits will be considered frivolous and tossed due to no chance of winning I hope folks decide to proceed anyway.

    Just utter irresponsible a-hole journalists, Tucker C and Laura I tarnish the hell out of the image of great journalists. Not every Conservative can be a Teflon Don so I hope justice befalls these two clowns.

    The U.S. Military has to be a bit peeved that we experimented on Vets and it was a big fail.

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  60. Teve says:

    @KM: @inhumans99:

    Meme I saw on Facebook:

    GOP response to woman in difficult pregnancy: Tough Luck! Every life is precious!

    GOP response to man inconvenienced: open everything back up! I need a haircut! I need new tires! some of y’all are going to have to die and that’s just how it is!

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  61. Bill says:

    The double entendre sports headline of the day-

    Brooks Koepka on no fans at PGA Tour events: ‘Guys are going to lose balls’

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  62. gVOR08 says:

    @Slugger:

    Should our government extend some help to the oil patch, or should we allow some Schumpeterian creative destruction to occur?

    Will the oil evaporate if we don’t bail them out? Will the rigs rust to uselessness in months? Will all those grasshopper pumps be stolen and sold for scrap? Will the access roads become covered with drifting sand? The terminals lost off the maps? The tank trucks and pipelines and ships repurposed for milk? Energy is capital intensive, not at all labor intensive. We would be saving managers and share holders, not jobs, or the industry. So yeah, Schumpeter them into oblivion. Last I heard the bankruptcy courts still function.

    I should say we will be saving, not would. They have lobbyists and we have Republicans.

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  63. Kingdaddy says:

    And now William Barr says the DOJ wants to join lawsuits against state shelter-in-place orders.

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  64. Kingdaddy says:

    Not only does Ron DeSantis not know how to use gloves, he’s equally inept at using masks.

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  65. Jax says:

    @Bill: It’s odd that you mention that about your dermatologist….I had a one time appointment three YEARS ago with one, and the last two months have been non-stop spam emails and text messages from her office. There must be a marketing company dermatologists have signed up with.

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  66. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    I did, the other day 🙂

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  67. Kathy says:

    About testing, a good start would be a fully at home antibody test kit. Something like a home pregnancy test you can do with perhaps a drop or two of blood, at low cost.

    If it’s negative, then you likely don’t have it. repeat the test a couple of days later.

    If it’s positive, take the virus test at a lab or testing station. If that comes back negative, then maybe you’re over it, but you should do another antibody test a few days later and watch out for symptoms. If it comes back positive, then you know full well you do have it, so now there can be contact tracing and isolation in order not to spread the virus around.

    I’m not holding my breath. It will take time. Things will get a lot worse before they get better.

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  68. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Tyrell: I think you may be missing a part of the “bigger picture” aspect of this whole testing thing. In order to have a “sensible” testing program, you need to have enough access to tests and lab space to test whoever you decide to as opposed to our “don’t do anything that might *waste* a test on someone who is not infected” current regime.

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  69. The Q says:

    FYI, everyone on Spotify, a new group called “Social Distance” has the #1 song called “I Don’t Want To Hold Your Hand”.

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  70. Mister Bluster says:

    bears repeating:
    don’t stand so close to me
    the police

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  71. Kathy says:

    I’ve made a few observations, thinking back on how the current pandemic unfolded. I don’t have either authority or influence, of course, but I want to share them.

    1) No one reacts promptly enough to a disaster. In fairness, for a pandemic it may take time for the full gravity of the situation to be grasped. Therefore it’s essential to have a plan ahead of time, and to put it into effect at the first sign of trouble. 99 times out of 100 this will constitute an overreaction. The 100th time, it will save thousands of lives. And it will be nearly impossible to say which is which.

    1.1) We need to find a way to be okay with this.

    2) This may seem flippant, but names do matter a lot. If instead of “novel coronavirus” or merely “coronavirus,” we had call this thing “Super SARS,” or “Deadly Dangerous Virus,” or something along those lines, perhaps people would have taken it more seriously from the start.

    3) We need better everyday interpersonal hygiene. I don’t mean to do way with handshakes, or hugs, or pecks on the cheek (though I would dearly love that), but to make an effort to not do any of that in cold and flu season, and much more so when even the hint of a new bug is out there.

    4) Paid sick leave, but above that the understanding that even a cold or the flu warrants a few days off. Sure, a cold is nothing serious, the flu isn’t very dangerous to most people, but what if it’s something else? I really wonder in China, in the US, in Europe, how many people showed up to work with COVID-19 symptoms? either because they couldn’t afford to lose a day’s pay, or because cultural norms are to work through a minor illness, or both.

    There’s a great deal more, like what should plans look like, and putting politics aside. But above all, I think we need to educate people on epidemics, how they spread, how deadly they can be, etc. I’d like to say that living through a deadly pandemic like this one should imprint all of us with this, but even now a great many people make rather light of the situation. If we must die, let it not be of our own stupidity.

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  72. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    I really wonder in China, in the US, in Europe, how many people showed up to work with COVID-19 symptoms? either because they couldn’t afford to lose a day’s pay, or because cultural norms are to work through a minor illness, or both.

    Not in Europe. There are exactly 3 OECM countries that do not have nationally mandated paid sick leave for all: the US, Canada, and Japan.

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  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Slugger: Looking at this question from a slightly different perspective:

    Should our government extend some help to the planet Earth, or should we allow some Schumpeterian creative destruction to occur?

    By all means, help the people, but maybe this is an opportunity to make at least some of the necessary changes and we should forgo the urge for a return to the status quo?

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  74. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Should our government extend some help to the planet Earth, or should we allow some Schumpeterian creative destruction to occur?

    Using the word should when talking about this administration is an exercise in futility.

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  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kit: 1st, there is an election in 6 and half months. 2ndly, when talking about what this admin should do but won’t, which is what we spend 90% of our time here doing, what other word should one use?

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  76. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Don’t look at me, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the lockdown, but I feel myself growing increasingly grumpy. All the arguments, all the logic, all the calls for basic humanity have zero effect on the Right. I’m starting to boil over.

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