Steven L. Taylor
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
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The Florida headline of the day-
State Department of Health says school COVID-19 numbers published in error
The headline of the day-
Exxon Mobil dropped from the Dow after nearly a century
Preparing For the Vaccine Results
Iowa’s farmers count the cost of a rare storm – photo essay
‘Football is not important today’: Detroit Lions cancel practice over Jacob Blake shooting
Frankly, I’m finding it
difficultnigh on impossible to summon up much sympathy for farmers, who have become the epitome of welfare queens.
I have a good friend who owns farms and we’ve discussed the whole farm subsidy issue several times and he firmly believes that farming would be better off if all subsidies were ended and let the market prevail. It’s his opinion that this would drive the corporate farmers and agribusiness giants out as they are the ones who game the system and collect the lion’s share of government money.
Kentucky Man Accused Of Breaking Canada’s COVID-19 Rules Faces $569,000 Fine
We are never going to get rid of Covid-19:
The University of Alabama reports over 500 Covid-19 cases less than a week after classes started
On first day of classes, more than 150 Mizzou students have COVID-19, university says
but muh frreedum.
She should have her degree revoked by her college for excuse making. There’s been no mixed messaged, the actions of the students are because they believe themselves invincible.
Mindful of efforts to rehab W’s reputation compared to Trump, I found the following, via Farley at LGM interesting. Prior to the invasion, Canadian intelligence correctly concluded Saddam was not actively seeking nuclear weapons and whatever shred of leftover chemical or biological weapons he had left were probably unusable. They refrained from saying so to avoid offending the US and UK. (Being the small dog in the meat market sucks.) Through the Five Eyes program they had the same info we did, but didn’t have the political pressure to, as the Downing Street Memo said, “fix” the intelligence to support decisions already made.
While Trump has killed more Americans, Bush has a higher total body count. So far.
The principal mode of transmission is contact with infected people. Since that can happen before symptoms develop, or even with no symptoms ever developing, there’s no way to even avoid or isolate specific individuals who may be infected.
Contact here is a bit ambiguous. Many people regard contact as touching other people. Contact means being in the vicinity of someone else, even if you don’t touch them. So you wear a mask and keep a distance from others when at all possible.
If a majority ever realizes this, then we’ll end the pandemic sooner. If not, let’s hope an effective vaccine turns up soon. Because if one doesn’t we’ll need not just another lockdown, but several.
@gVOR08: I’m cringing as I note this, but Trump still has a minimum of 4+ months in office…
While I agree, Sleeping Dog, that students believe themselves invincible, they are also young enough to depend on authority figures around them not to put them into dangerous situations. If the college/university says its ok for us to “be together,” it must be ok for us to be together. We “adults” are the same ones who recently (for them) set rules for them not to play in the street. If we say the street is ok, they will play there. We “adults” know to look out for ourselves. I think we project too many of our own attitudes/experience onto college students who look like adults but really aren’t yet.
Trump joke of the day.
Donald Jr: Mom, who is that loud, orange man who sometimes shows up for dinner?
Trump himself has remarked often enough that he left their upbringing to their mothers. He said he’d pay for them, but nothing else: no diaper-changing, no feeding, no playing, no reading bedtime stories. He seemed especially appalled by the notion of diaper duty.
It’s normal for rich people to have nannies to do the dirty work for them–even Jacqueline Kennedy, frequently lauded as a great mother, probably never changed a diaper, and certainly never washed one–but Trump seems not to have wanted anything at all to do with his kids until Ivanka got old enough to be sexually appetizing to him. And what tender recollections could Ivanka share? Of being fondled by her father?
Show me the college or univ that hasn’t impressed on the students that they should wear masks, maintain social distance and avoid crowds. The students are willfully ignoring the adults. If you want to make the point that administration should not have opened campuses, at least for undergrads, I’d agree with you.
I’m not sure how I missed it, but apparently while I wasn’t looking the greatest singer of my lifetime was born in Kazakhstan, raised by professional singers, and began a career of jaw-dropping and moving performances.
I am now spending my spare time watching reaction videos of vocal coaches and professional singers seeing Dimash Kudaibergen for the first time. Spoiler: the 6+ octave range sort of takes them by surprise, but after they get over it they are blown away all over again by his artistry.
The CDC usually takes a leading role with outbreaks in the world, and didn’t this time. So, don’t just assume Trump only killed Americans.
It’s really hard to know what would have happened with a more active CDC, so I don’t think we will know how many people Trump has killed.
Had we been maintaining better relations with the Chinese, could we have gotten the CDC into Wuhan and would we have made the difference in containing it? That’s a hell of a lot of speculation.
Would the other Trump-lite world leaders, such as Boris Johnson and Bolisanaro(?) have followed Trump’s lead if Trump were more actively working to stop the virus? Maybe, but how much responsibility do we put on Trump for that, and how much do we put on them?
Another key point though, is that Trump killed people largely through failing to act, while George W. Bush went out of his way to kill a whole lot of Iraqis (estimates range from 500,000 to 1,000,000, if I remember correctly).
In the end, George W. Bush should be spending his retirement in The Hague for the crimes he committed as president, while Donald J. Trump should be spending his retirement in a state or federal prison for his corruption.
The Atlantic has an interview by E. Jean Carroll with Natasha Stoynoff, the People magazine writer who was sexually assaulted by Trump, who informed her that they were going to have an affair.
The occasion was the first anniversary of Trump’s wedding to Melania. At the time of the assault, Melania was 7 months pregnant.
Sorry I can’t provide a link, but I’ll be moderated.
@OzarkHillbilly: The author of that piece specifically mentions Guillain-Barre Syndrome as a concern with potential COVID-19 vaccines. My brother had GBS, it put him in the hospital for two months because he couldn’t walk and could barely feed himself.
Hopefully a COVID-19 vaccine won’t carry an elevated risk for GBS.
That bit is not speculative at all.
There was a CDC epidemiologist in China, if not necessarily in Wuhan, but she was withdrawn by the Trump non-administration in July 2019.
For all I know, though, other countries had such people in China and it did them no good.
The bottom line is, did the Trump government did all it could possibly do to stop this pandemic? And the answer is: No, not even close.
So, there is that. I may need to revise my previous assessment of Trump mostly killing people through a failure to act.
I can totally understand (not approve of, but understand) sucking up for Putin for business reasons, and getting money shoved his way through projects and loans.
Does the novel coronavirus have the ability to extend a line of credit? What’s the upside here?
Headline for all time: Jerry Falwell Jr. is leaving Liberty University with a $10.5 million golden parachute
This seems like the norm for the far right, i just don’t get why there is never any blowback
@senyordave: If Liberty U is $10.5M less able to finish the indoctrination of its students, I’m ok with that.
The piece also notes what I’ve been saying for a while, that the Moderna vaccine, and several others, require to doses, spaced about a month apart, in order to work. After the first does, you’re still vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2.
It also states, and I haven’t been saying this, that even after the second dose, immunity does not follow at once (if it does at all, which depends on the efficacy). It takes time (everything takes time).
As I look back on the vaccines I recall getting, mostly in early childhood, none were in the middle of an epidemic. So you got a polio shot, and a measles shot, and who knows what else, but none of these diseases were raging, nor were they particularly common (though I recall classmates getting measles and rubella and I wonder now whether they were vaccinated; I never got any of those). No one was wearing masks when going out or during work or school, and you washed your hands only after using the restroom and before every meal. So if it took days or weeks for immunity to kick in, then it did and you weren’t even aware of it, nor did you change your lifestyle.
Anyway, that’s why I intend to keep on taking all precautions after I get the vaccine. and because even with a 95% efficacy rate, you still have a 5% chance of contracting COVID-19 if exposed to an infected person.
The effects of widespread vaccination, assuming a high efficacy rate, should be noticeable. New cases should drop faster than expected a few months into the vaccination campaign, depending on how fast the vaccine ships and/or is available in a given region.
But don’t expect dramatic results. You won’t see things like a state that consistently reports thousands of daily cases to suddenly report none or even only a few dozen. Look at how new cases stopped rising and then started going down in NY, and expect it to be faster, but not sudden.
Trump the idiot is wrong. The virus won’t disappear. Rather it will fade away.
Liberty has an endowment of 1.3 billion, which puts it in the top 12% of colleges that have a greater than one billion endowment. For perspective, Harvard has a $40 billion endowment.
@CSK: in an article about Melania’s boring revamp of the Rose Garden, they posted a clip of Jackie O and her children playing in it. Maybe it was just for the cameras, but she was playing with her children.
@Gustopher: Agree. But would argue the CDC’s passivity flowed from Trump’s actions.
The CDC changing the guidelines to not test exposed, asymptomatic people is so far from my (very sparse) understanding of epidemiology and contact tracing that I assume it must be political.
And if they are making recommendations like this for political reasons, I am not inclined to trust them on vaccination.
Perhaps there is more to the guideline changes, and it does make sense and it will be explained, but I am not hopeful at present. Not hopeful at all.
Oh, I know. She did spend a lot of time with them. But unlike most women, she also had servants to do the laundry, clean up, prepare the meals, and a nanny, Maud Shaw, to mind the kids when she was otherwise occupied.
I recall reading that she’d have breakfast in bed, and the kids would be brought in by Miss Shaw to cuddle with her. Again, that would not be standard practice for most women, but a luxury.
Of course it can be explained.
There continues to be a ridiculous delay between taking the sample from a person and giving them the results. In some cases the delay is as long as two weeks. By then you’re either showing symptoms, or have not been infected, or even cleared an asymptomatic course.
The other explanation requires to imagine a very annoying, very loud voice saying “SLOW THE TESTING DOWN!!1! ALL THESE CASES ARE HURTING MY REELECTION CHANCES!!1!!!11”
Trump should be prosecuted, imprisoned, and not allowed out except feet first inside a pine box.
Always been critical of the 15 minute contact duration guidance. Realistically, my body and the air I breath can be contaminated by a sneeze that may only take a few seconds in proximity.
But on the good news front:
Africa declared free of wild polio after decades of work.
Africa has been declared free from wild polio, after decades of work by a coalition of international health bodies, national and local governments, community volunteers and survivors.
Four years after the last recorded cases of wild polio in northern Nigeria, the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) on Tuesday certified that the continent is now free of the virus, which can cause irreversible paralysis and in some cases death.
The achievement is the result of a campaign to vaccinate and monitor children in Borno State, the final front of polio eradication efforts on the continent, and the heart of the jihadist insurgency in Nigeria.
“It’s been a momentous, massive undertaking, with amazing persistence and perseverance, coming in the face of moments when we thought we were just about there, then we’d have a reversal,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Africa, said.
As someone who was raised by my maternal grandmother, who contracted polio at 17, my heartfelt thanks to all the brave people who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this. Anti-vaxxers, take that!
@flat earth luddite:
I’m waiting for the Onion article saying that Africa has successfully domesticated polio.
FDA press release:
Do you suspect the “Another Achievement in Adminstration’s Fight” phrase is a politically motivated assertion?
I’d really like to see the leadership of the CDC, NIH, etc., all stand up and tell the truth, loud and clear–and then quit, to four levels down the chain of command.
… Only to get venture capital and set up their own private disease tracking organization that sells its services to states, counties, and municipalities, along with foreign countries.
Republicans want smaller government, more private businesses, and US businesses taking in foreign money… right?
@gVOR08: @Gustopher: Speaking as someone who used to be heavily on the “Bush is still a worse president because he killed more people” bandwagon, let me say that it’s possible to get too hooked up on exact death count as a metric for judging presidents. It’s why I’ve always resisted the argument that LBJ is one of the worst presidents because of Vietnam. At some point you have to look at these presidents on balance. Moreover, I actually think motive matters. Iraq and Vietnam were disasters that the presidents should have foreseen, and their myopia was deeply costly. But I don’t think they were badly intentioned. These were, ultimately, mistakes of idealism. The presidents believed the wars would serve long-term goals that would ultimately save more lives. This isn’t an excuse for their actions, but it is a mitigating factor. All presidents are given the power and life and death, and sometimes are forced to make decisions that involve such cost-benefit analyses. We don’t blame FDR for the numerous casualties during WWII. How do we distinguish between his choice and that of LBJ and Bush? It’s because he was right about the long term, and they weren’t. But the point is, it’s complicated.
Trump’s disastrous pandemic response is of an entirely different order. There’s absolutely no idealism there whatsoever. He isn’t trying to sacrifice people in the short term for some greater good. He literally doesn’t give a fuck about people’s lives. When he pushes states to reopen, forces people back to work and school, reduces testing, pooh-poohs mask-wearing and social distancing, floats quack medical cures some of which are outright dangerous, tries to stop mail-in voting–he is consciously and intentionally endangering the lives of millions in the service of his reelection efforts. I’m not saying he necessarily wants anyone to die. I’m saying he doesn’t give a fuck. He’d try to save lives if he believed it would help him. It just happens that with his pea brain, he thinks it’s a binary choice between helping people and helping himself, and he doesn’t waste a breath before choosing the latter over the former. He’s a sociopath who literally doesn’t care about anyone in the world except himself. He isn’t someone misguided, he’s quite simply a monster of a human being–a man without the tiniest shred of a soul. And the country is at his mercy. That to me makes him orders worse than Bush or any other past president, regardless of the exact death count.
And I haven’t even gotten into the fact that he’s engaged in a serious and sustained effort at dismantling the democracy and installing himself as a dictator.
There was a time when there was a possibility that Trump’s reign would ultimately be relatively benign, despite his massive unfitness for the office. We are way, way past that point. Even if we defeat him this November, it’ll take ages to undo the damage he’s done to this country and its place on the world stage.
@Bob@Youngstown: Well, yes–if you’re sneezed on or someone nearby coughs that’s true.
But as more and more evidence has accumulated that this is not spread just by droplets but also by aerosols, and that loud talking/deep exhales can expel viral particles, the 15 minute duration has more to do with the viral load one might be exposed to when simply chatting with someone, particularly since (also discovered) people seem to be at a very high viral load a day or two prior to exhibiting symptoms.
Although he’s not in any danger of this actually happening, it speaks *volumes* to me that Ohio’s Republican Governor, Mike DeWine–one of the few Republicans who acted early and quickly–is facing an impeachment effort in his state.
There’s much speculation that everything from likelihood of infection to the severity of the disease, has to do with the initial viral dose one gets exposed to. In theory a single viral particle can attach to a receptor, enter a cell, and reproduce. After that there are many more viral particles, and an infection is on.
In practice, infection by one particle is very unlikely. It’s a bit like those videos of sperm surrounding an ovum. Dozens are trying to, and only one makes it through. Sperm are capable of self-motion, viruses are not. So the odds of even one particle infecting a cell, are proportional to the number of particles invading the body to begin with.
So the length of contact means you’re getting a larger dose. This can happen with a cough or a sneeze as well, naturally. Me, I’d get tested if I found I have been in contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV-2, regardless of whether the contact lasted one second or one hour. BTW, this is also why I try to keep any necessary contacts short as well as distant.
LGM blog brings two stories of men behaving badly:
1. First, more on Aaron Coleman, the 19-yo “progressive” sh*t who won a Kansas legislative primary against an establishment Dem (apparently by a very small margin). After it came out that he had brutally bullied, assaulted and carried out revenge porn on several girls in middle school, he withdrew from the race. The next day, egged on by bros like Glenn Greenwald (“The Dems only oppose him because he’s a working class white male!”), he rescinded his withdrawal. Since then, other issues with women have come out: him stalking and harassing the female campaign manager of the establishment Dem he is trying to unseat; sharing the personal story of a young woman without her consent to illustrate why his Dem opponent is bad on reproductive rights; and choking and slapping his ex-girlfriend as recently as January 2020 after she declined his suggestion of a threesome. She shared receipts: texts between them talking about the abuse, in which he encouraged her to kill herself. In any case, the Kansas Democratic party has renounced him, and are encouraging people to write-in the establishment Dem incumbent.
2. Jed Rubenfeld, husband of “Tiger Mom” and Brett Kavanaugh defender Amy Chua, has been suspended from Yale Law School, where he teaches, for two years due to sexual harassment allegations.
DeWine, along w/R govs, Baker, Scott and our own Sununu, have been the rare R’s who took the virus seriously from the start and took appropriate action, I wondered how long before one was punished. NH’s crazy right, has been awfully quiet through this and only because Sununu is a R.
Also, the Former Reality Show Host plans to come to Manch-vegas Friday and Chris will greet him but not stay for the rally. Guess he doesn’t want to get cooties.
@Monala: Jessica Valenti made some very good observations about Coleman on Twitter:
I’m that the RNC hasn’t asked him to speak at the convention.
This takes substantial effort, but it’s not impossible. I hope the incumbent wins.
@Monala: “Maybe it was just for the cameras, but she was playing with her children.”
To be fair, little Caroline and Jack-Jack were much more mature, responsible and better behaved during their time in the White House than Don Jr and Eric…
@Jen: IIR, Lisa Murkowski won her Senate seat as a write-in candidate after losing the primary to a Tea Party candidate.
I hate to disagree, but in W’s case I feel I must.
Johnson inherited Vietnam from Eisenhower via Kennedy. He felt obliged to stay the course to protect his right flank politically. To stop would have required clear vision, would have endangered the Great Society, and would have torched his own political career, which Vietnam eventually forced him to do anyway. While the Pentagon Papers showed the whole thing was a mistake, it’s easy to sympathize with Johnson’s reasons for staying in.
Except for protecting against WMDs, W never advanced a reason for invading Iraq that passed the laugh test. Advance democracy in the Middle East? Really, that bunch? And how’d that work out? And as noted above, the Brits and Canadians knew the WMDs were bullshit, propaganda to sell the war. If W didn’t know… well, it was his job to know. I’m sorry, I see no evidence that says W had good intentions.
@Mister Bluster:..I’m surprised…
More on Aaron Coleman: Rolling Stone interviewed him in 2018, when he ran for Kansas governor as a 17-yo. Some quotes:
His biggest policy he supported was legalizing marijuana, but also M4A and raising the minimum wage. He actually had some good things to say about improving K-12 education in Kansas, probably because he was so close to the issue. But basically a curious mix of libertarian bro and Bernie-bro (apart from being a sociopathic abuser of women, something that may not have been publicly known in 2018).
@Kylopod: Trump’s lack of idealism or any even borderline good traits may make him a worse person, but does that make him a worse president?
I think that can only be measured by the damage he does.
And with regards to Bush, he is reported to have been mocking someone on death row saying “please don’t kill me” in a silly voice with an asinine smirk.
Just registered on cvs.com for a covid swab test tomorrow morning.
Johnson misrepresented the Tonkin Gulf incident to escalate the war. That was deliberate, too.
Bush the younger has less excuse, as he ignored the lessons learned in Vietnam. Something his father did not ignore.
@Monala: “I ran out of space on my website”
To be fair, square footage on the Internet isn’t cheap.
Here’s hoping it comes back negative.
Just out of curiosity, how long did it take for Johnson to be rehabilitated for the Vietnam War (which I think caused more death and destruction than Iraq)? My guess is it usually takes about a generation (ie 20-25 years) for politicians/leaders.
@gVOR08: It’s also worth remembering that the Bush Administration’s justifications for invading Iraq kept shifting over time. WMDs, al Qaeda, democracy…They kept turning the dial.
@Kathy: according to my pulse oximeter I don’t have bad lung damage, but I could have some and I’ve got a little bit of shortness of breath, so as soon as I found out they were doing them for free with a short turnaround of 2 to 5 days, I immediately signed up.
@OzarkHillbilly: Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-yo “Blue Lives Matter” supporter, drove from his home in Illinois to Kenosha and started firing on protesters, killing two of them, and injuring a third. He walked right past police still strapped, and with witnesses telling police he was the killer, and they let him go. (These same police were caught on video handing out water and thanking white militia for their presence).
Kyle Rittenhouse was later arrested by Illinois police when he returned home.
Kenosha… By now most here at OTB know:
17-Year-Old ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Vigilante Charged with Murder After 2 People Killed, 1 Wounded During Tense Jacob Blake Protests in Kenosha:
Police have charged Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, of Antioch, Illinois, with first-degree murder after two people were killed and one wounded amid protests Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Social media photos and videos showed a young man toting an assault rifle, said by some online to be a member of a vigilante white supremacist “boogaloo” group called upon by its members to defend the city against protesters outraged by the police shooting of unarmed black man Jacob Blake earlier this week.
A reading of 95 or above is fine.
Covid updates: Europe was hit early and hard, and thus far, most of the nations with the highest death rates are in Europe. So many on the right have said that comparisons to Europe’s current better response don’t count, because European nations still have much higher deaths per million than the US.
But not for long. The Americas are close behind. Peru already has the third highest death rate in the world, and Chile (now 9th) with likely surpass Sweden (#8) in a day or two, and Italy (#7) in about a week. Coming up close behind Chile are the USA, Brazil, and Mexico. In a month, if this keep going, the nations leading in death rates by Covid will almost all be in the Western Hemisphere.
In the US, six southern/southwestern states (LA, FL, AZ, MS, GA, AL) have now surpassed NY with the most cases per million.
They get plenty of blow back.
And they love it!
@CSK: o2 sat is not guaranteed to mean absence of lung damage, but it’s usually a good indicator. High probability.
Must be having a bad day, but I have come to the conclusion that there is a very realistic path for Trump winning in Nov. Two new polls show Trump’s approval on handling of Covid-19 are highest since May. He has tightened the race in th WI and PA. How could any person with a positive IQ approve of how he has handled Covid-19? I didn’t think it was possible but people might be willing to accept 200,000 deaths. I’m still trying to imagine how bad he could be in a second term ( I work under the assumption that he is ten times worse than we know about).
I hope to hell the Democrats have some October surprises because I’m sure that Trump and his people will do anything, and that includes producing phony economic data or announce new treaties that don’t really exist or generally distort any statistics possible.
We all know you are out there JKB. You need to come forward and take credit for your clairvoyance.
As rightous as you are maybe you can improve on your psychic powers and see if you can warn the victims of the next murderous thug before anyone else gets killed.
@al Ameda: Kenosha Chief of Police gives a press conference, pointing out that the protesters were out after curfew, and if they hadn’t been, this incident wouldn’t have happened. He goes on to talk about the shooter: “A 17-year-old individual from Antioch, IL was involved in the use of firearms to resolve whatever conflict was in place. The result is that two people — are dead.”
So the protesters have complete agency for their murders – they shouldn’t have been out after curfew! But the shooter has no agency, he’s just somehow involved in the use of firearms. And two people end up dead, somehow, not because the kid did anything, even allegedly.
@senyordave: The current talking point is that authorities were predicting two million deaths if there weren’t lockdowns, so 180,000+ is actually a positive result.
Well, I can say why I supported the Iraq invasion.
Certainly not “terrorism”.
Not “re-ordering the Middle East”
Simply: the government of Iraq was in breach (repeatedly) of it’s ceasefire conditions, and conducting an elaborate “defiance dance” about doing so.
A Power does not, and SHOULD NOT, tolerate such defiance when it does not have to.
President Clinton, supported by P.M. Blair, responded with the massive airstrikes of 1998 DESERT FOX.
As this failed to prevent the Iraqi government reverting to form after a short interval, President G.W. Bush decided on an invasion.
President Bush and his officials, and Blair and his, certainly deserve blame for wishful thinking regarding post-invasion policy, and failing to “will the means” for an effective occupation.
And also for their own folly in drawing other, essentially irrelevant, matters into their making their public case.
But I still believe they had adequate cause purely and simply in the violation of the bilateral ceasefire terms.
IMO, the daily cases chart at the Johns Hopkins tracker tell the story of the pandemic per country.
You can see most Europeans countries got hit hard, then got much better with the lockdowns, then worse as they reopened, but not as bad as when they were initially hit.
Mexico started off slowly, but kept steadily if irregularly climbing in cases, and now perhaps it’s slowing down.
The US got hit hard, then got a little better with some lockdowns, then much worse than the initial hit when it reopened.
One can argue endlessly about causes, death rates, etc. but with the scarcity of understanding of the virus and disease, it’s hard to draw conclusions. One cannot argue with the numbers of cases and deaths. You do not get uninfected, and you do not get undead.
It is worth noting in the US outbreak, the death rate in the initial phase was higher than in the second one when things got worse. The reasons may be that more vulnerable people, especially the elderly, were hit in phase one, while less vulnerable people are involved in phase two. Then, too, we have somewhat better treatments, like remedesvir and dexamethasone, which were not available earlier, or had not been tested and validated.
No country handled everything well nor made all the right decisions right from the start, although new Zealand comes close. No country could, because no one knew back in February and March what we know now. But few countries handled the pandemic as badly as the US, especially at the federal level. there was no leadership, no coordination, very little help, very little guidance, and much downplaying and setting bad examples by Trump.
He may not have given the virus to anyone, but Trump is the ultimate superspreader.
NBA just postponed all it’s games tonight in response the the Jacob Blake shooting.
I don’t know that Johnson is rehabilitated to this day. I do know that he pushed through the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Civil Rights Act, blowing up the Democratic Party in the South in the process. He is recognized as having a complicated legacy, much good, some very bad.
Besides the invasion of Iraq, W did push through Medicare Part D. He’s also responsible for trying and failing to privatize SS, ISIS, the Katrina response, and running a huge deficit in good times. His legacy seems a deal less complicated.
Not the first time I’ve thought this about this “fine young man,” but boy, does he evidence white privilege. Aside from the fact that he and his daddy make an excellent living grazing privately owned cattle on publicly-owned land for minimal leases, how many non-whites could have, while armed, broken out a glass window and stormed into a legislative session without being shot?
Just for the record, I predicted some tIme ago that Trump would find an excuse not to debate Biden. And so it starts…
I found this report of the event extremely disturbing:
Ok, really guys? Active shooting, people running everywhere, and you let a man with a weapon slung over his shoulder walk away? WTF?
This may be an opportune time to point out that only Dirty Fwcking Hippies objected to Johnson escalating the Vietnam War. And only DFHs objected to W’s invasion of Iraq. Now, all these years later, Vietnam is almost universally regarded as a disaster. As is Gulf War II. Yet the DFHs are still regarded as having been somehow wrong, because … reasons. Maybe the world would be a better place if we paid less attention to old white men with seven figure sinecures, and conflicts of interest, and more attention to DFHs.
The next reporter who asks Trump the Colossal Wreck a question, better start with “Can you name a single debate-enhancing drug?”
I can’t speak to PA, but rural WI has seen very little impact from the virus. It’s quite likely that most of the state (by area) doesn’t know anyone that has had COVID or has been directly affected by it. They look around and see their area doing well. What’s happening in NY or FL doesn’t register (anymore than the issues with mad cow disease registered with people in NY or FL).
“We haven’t had any problems, so it must have been handled right”.
I live in a rural area of about 8,000 people (in a city, a village, and 3 towns). We just had our first cases of COVID a couple weeks ago. It’s just become real to a some people because “Steve and John have it”.
You also have to remember that there’s more than one issue in play with this election. A lot of rural people see the Democrats as “urban-focused” and uncaring about what happens in those “fly-over states”. I’ve seen plenty of comments on OtB where people look down on those who live in rural areas, calling them uneducated, backward, or simple. A fair number of those “yokels” are college educated and are pushing the cutting edge of horticulture and engineering.
In my little area we’ve got farmers in shit-kickers and over-alls* who have people contacting them from all over the world for advice on their techniques. Our canning company is the #2 supplier of “institutional”** peas and corn in the world. You can bet they know a more than a little about international trade, supply chains, and the need for rural jobs.
Every time you tell rurals and conservatives that they’re stupid, you just prove to them that you don’t give a rats ass about them–so why should they listen to you?
Biden’s been a bit better than most in trying to bridge the gap. And I absolutely want Trump and his posse of sycophants out of DC. But until the Democrats comprehend that they need to speak to all of the US, not just urban progressives–on a full range of topics, not just those that make the true-blues warm in their cockles–they’re going to find themselves fighting a constant up-hill battle, and frequently losing to the radical right.
On a final note…
The perennial “battleground states” are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
All of those states are primarily rural (Florida has a few big cities, but most of the interior is rural), and at least half of them are significantly agricultural. If the Dems want to seriously sweep the elections–not just in November, but for years to come–they need to start speaking to the rural populations like we’re actually people.
Now… My second scotch has kicked in, so it’s time I stop writing. And I’m not going to stick around to hear the BS that Michael Reynolds is going to spew in response to this.
* Oshkosh B’Gosh, of course!
** #10 cans (the big ones) that are purchased by schools, prisons, military bases and postings, hotel chains, and other organizations with large-capacity kitchens.
@flat earth luddite:
“He was on our side.”
Rural? You mean the people who live off of the taxes of cities?
Rural? You mean the people of Iowa who are constantly bailed out through subsidies for growing crops they can’t sell on the world market?
Rural? You mean the people who NEED the taxes of the cities that they hate?
“Rural areas cover 97 percent of the nation’s land area but contain 19.3 percent of the population (about 60 million people),”
Tell me about how urbanites need to capitulate to the rural folk? How about instead we don’t gerrymander and honestly draw boundaries. That would be swell.
I agree with you. We shouldn’t deride rural people the way we do. But bear in mind that rural people are equally derisive of urban and suburban people. We’re the evil, immoral city slickers; they’re the avatars of all the homespun virtues.
It goes both ways.
@Mu Yixiao: It seems like it is a two way street when it comes to looking down on the “others.” You really don’t have to look too hard to hear the sneering about the coastal elites. I can’t imagine anyone thinking “well, its just those blue state people who are dying of Covid-19 so who cares”. When the tornado hit Joplin, MO in 2011 my first thought wasn’t about political affiliations, it was has the Red Cross set up a fund. My niece went to Kenyon College for her first two years and the hostility toward the students from many of the townspeople was stunning. And it was definitely largely of the “liberal elite” variety.
Trump obviously has changed the landscape. In my lifetime we’ve never had a complete and total racist as a president. It is hard to not think, hey, if you support a racist maybe you are a racist when it comes to Trump supporters.
@EddieInCA: Show of hands; anybody NOT see this coming?
Or high schools are graduating too high a percentage of their student bodies and/or university admissions standards are too generous.
(But in fact, option one is the most likely. 😉 )
@Mu Yixiao: Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan and Virginia are not primarily rural states. They’re the 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 12th most populous states, and the 9th, 10th, 14th, 15th and 17th most densely populated. While some of those states have large agricultural sectors, PA and OH are primarily known for industry, and VA for government and defense industry. NC and MI have major agricultural sectors, but the former is also known for research, and the latter for the auto industry.
I grew up in the Midwest, and have lived on both coasts as an adult, and never heard the term “flyover country” until 2008, when people accused Obama of ignoring people in those areas. Yet I have heard tons of accusations by rural people (or those pandering to them) about those of us in cities and the coasts not being “real Americans.”
What do you mean by this? I mean specifically, what issues are Democrats not addressing?
I am IN a rural area in a swing state (NH). Democrats are speaking directly to issues that rural communities say they care about. What–again, specifically–do you think they are missing?
I’m sorry, but 8,000 people is how many I pass on the drive to work every day. I can’t take it seriously as constituting a city’s population, never mind a “city” and a village and 3 towns.
Did you perhaps mean 80,000?
I never call any group of people anything, because you can’t generalize what people in a group do ro think. But anyone who votes for Trump after having seen him in action for several years, is too stupid for words.
@Monala: @Mu Yixiao: Add in Florida (the only one you mentioned as having cities of any size), which is the 3rd most populous state and 7th most densely populated, and 6 of the 12 battleground states you named are more urban than rural.
@Kathy: The route of infection is certainly problematical, but inability to test efficiently may well be the biggest problem. Jim Brown 32’s link to the guy comparing Covid to TB triggered significant memories for me as I grew up in a time when from the time I was old enough to sit upright, I got tested for TB at least once a year until I was maybe 12 or older. And that didn’t count the number of patch tests we were given by the school nurse or the number of days the Tuberculosis Society (now the American Lung Association IIRC) sent the bus offering free Xrays to Seattle city streets and grocery store parking lots to screen for it.
We don’t have the capacity to do that with Covid, and lack the immediate technology to make testing quick and easy even if we had the capacity. On the other hand, by the time I was a kid, TB had been killing people wholesale for thousands of years, so our being behind the curve now isn’t all that surprising. All the same, having a kingdom of idiots ruled with a fragmented dysfunctional government isn’t helping either. 🙁
Well, “Real Americans” don’t set up government agencies to subsidize with their money the people in “Flyover Country,” do they? 🙂
The Democrats’ biggest failing is they are lousy at messaging and publicizing their real accomplishments.
Thanks. I’m Canadian, so all I’ve heard about Johnson is his part in the Vietnam War, and the protests against him. Wars tend to get more attention internationally than internal politics (and the Vietnam War was very unpopular up here). Sounds like Johnson was, as you said, a mixed bag.
Agree with your personal approach !
I recently had a discussion with a 30 something that said that his interpretation of the CDC guidance is that it was perfectly OK to go to a local bar or party and chat up the girls, laugh and sing with his drinking buddies, without regard to physical distancing or wearing a mask as long as he didn’t interact with a person for more than 15 minutes.
I said he was crazy, but on looking at the guidelines, I can see where he could draw that interpretation.
It’s not what Democrats are missing, it’s what they stand for:
2. Baby killing
4. Sexual perversion
@CSK: Kevin Drum just said:
How can liberals expand their reach.
@Kathy: True enough, but “no, not even close” is the answer to almost (???) every question that starts “did the Trump government do everything it could.”
No LBJ hasn’t been rehabilitated and likely won’t be due to Vietnam, but his defenders are correct when they point out his accomplishments in the areas of civil rights.
Richard Nixon, won’t and shouldn’t be rehabilitated, but during his administration greats strides were made on environmental policy beginning with the EPA.
@Gustopher: Whatever loss of ability to indoctrinate fundy/evangelicals is lost in Liberty U’s payout to Falwell, Jr. is not even a blip on the radar of that particular network of indoctrination. It does call for a thorough examination of the organization’s not-for-profit status, though, in my less than humble opinion. Where does an NPO get that kind of money to throw at this kind of a problem?
@CSK: Okay, that explains where the money comes from and if Liberty’s donors are willing to pay for this type of stuff (or any other word of your choice that begins with “s”) I’m willing to bid them “go in peace and serve
mammon… er… the Lord.”
Thank you. I had no idea there were that many rich and stupid evangelicals.
@Teve: The wild thing is, many of the things they label as “depraved” are common among conservatives, too. How many “paying for a mistress’ abortion” stories have we heard about conservative pols? How many sex scandals, many of them involving gay sex? How many of them regularly violate the standards of their religions? Abortions is nearly as common in red states as blue ones, and divorce is more common. And red states sure do love their socialism, as long as it’s for them.
But they hold on to these things as beliefs, even while they live in opposing ways, because at least with the beliefs intact, they can say they’re superior to liberals. A recent article about the Qanon phenomenon made this point: with Donald Trump so obviously depraved, the only way many on the right could rationalize their support for him was to imagine that liberals are even more depraved (cannibals and pedophiles!) and make it out to be some sort of righteous cause that Trump is fighting for.
@Teve: In addition to the point about 95 being an acceptable score for O2, check different fingers for different readings. Yesterday on my left hand, my reading was 93 with a pulse of 73 and on my left hand 98 with a pulse of 80. That’s not uncommon for me, YMMV
My high school in Los Angeles, in 1978, had 6,000 people. The building I worked in in 1981 had more than 18,000 people in it daily. More than 400,000 people travel on the 405 daily, pre- and post- pandemic.
@Teve: I wouldn’t use it as anything beyond the most cursory indicator for lung damage. I’m 68 years old, have had asthma for all 68 years, was preliminarily diagnosed with COPD in 2003 (the diagnosis confirmed by a spirometry test in 2017), have x-rays that show extensive scarring of my lungs, a most recent spirometry exam showing lung function of 34%, and can STILL score 99 on a pulse oximeter if you choose the correct finger and have a device with a fresh battery in it.
Even in April and May when my seasonal asthma is at it’s highest level and I’m using 3 different asthma control medications to keep breathing well enough to show up for substitute teaching jobs, my pulse oximeter score is 96 when I go for my INR/protime test.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: good point.
@JohnSF: I’m sorry, but if you believed that the overthrow of a stable (albeit despotic) government in the absence of a realistic opposition to replace that government made a situation where
made for an acceptable policy decision…
…well there’s a term for that, but the site has a comment policy, so I’ll just go quietly. (For a change 😛 )
@Just nutha ignint cracker: COPD is a known oddity with the o2 sat, and I have none of it. Some healthcare people consider O2 sat to be a fifth vital sign. Of course I’m not depending on it, which is why I’m taking the Covid swab test tomorrow morning. It’s one more data point.
@Kathy: “Well of course, I’m not a doctor, but a lot of people are saying…”
I’ve lived in The City and County of San Francisco. Population 700,000 (1974).
Have lived in The City of Carbondale IL for the better part of 52 years which at its peak was 22,000 plus another 20,000 college students.
When I lived in The City of Murphysboro IL (Pop. 5000) I worked at the Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant.
Their shit stunk just like everybody else’s.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Meanwhile, I’ve been chugging along with a 96 on a good day, and more likely a 92-3. Big ol’ pulmonary embolism a decade ago might be the reason, or lungs covered in cat hair from living with my two beloved allergen factories.
Or I just have thick skin.
Spo2 points towards problems, but people’s baselines can vary for all sorts of reasons.
I assume I am dead if I get Covid though. I worry about the little allergen factories though. Can cats get Covid from eating a dead person with Covid?
@Gustopher: cats get colds and flu, but they are different strains than colds and flu and humans. Same with dogs.
@Teve: let me try that again.
cats get colds and flu, but they are different strains than colds and flu in humans. Same with dogs.
@Kathy: Yeah. While I lived in Korea, I spent a year in Yong-in–described by Korean friends as a farming community out in the countryside away from Seoul–with a population of 875,000 and 4 significant sized universities (student populations above 4,000) within walking distance of my house–which was, in fact, on the outskirts of town on the campus of the smaller university at which I taught.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
I was wrong.
I still think it was acceptable as a cause.
But not acceptable as a policy, in retrospect.
Plenty of wars have been embarked on (ie not in response to direct attack) in the past without post-victory plans, and are not necessarily the worse for that (e.g. UK/France 1939, USA 1917, etc etc. etc)
But, as the attack on Iraq was intended to replace, not just punish, or weaken, a regime, plans for that were crucial.
My mistake (and one shared by a lot of others) was assuming that proper planning had/was being done for the post-invasion stage.
I remember my sinking feeling when it was declared that the 4th Division, unable to transit via Turkey, was not re-routed for occupation duties.
Then it turned that, even worse than no plan, there were multiple incompatible plans from Defence, Army War College, CENTCOM, CIA, State, CPA, NSC and no executive determination to pick one, develop it and implement it (not even “in, wreck it, out”). And various individuals were mulishly reluctant to develop plans (notably Rumsfeld).
For all of this, President G.W. Bush deserves blame.
But those who, like me, supported the policy deserve a share too.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
I don’t know about the O2, but the difference in pulse suggests either a bit of an adrenaline going between hands, or a problem with your device. I’m guessing adrenaline, which would account for the change in O2 too.