Wednesday’s Forum

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

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Garrett M. Graff
    @vermontgmg

    Wow. This letter is an incredible testament to vaccines and vaccine mandates. Out of 3000 cases at United, zero hospitalized. Before, one employee a week dying. Post-mandate: Eight weeks, zero deaths.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Edward Luce
    @EdwardGLuce

    America generates a quarter of world’s daily Omicron infections and a quarter of global deaths – and both are rising. This really shouldn’t be happening.

    The US has 334 million people out of a world population of 7.9 billion. If my math is right, basically 4% of the world population. Thanks to you GOP, and all your propaganda outlets.

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  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My youngest and his wife both have covid, who knows which type. He suffers from asthma so we’ll see how it goes for him

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: vaxed? Either way, I wish them the best.

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  5. Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Hope they both recover without consequences. Having my wife just go through a bout, I know it can be stressful.

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  6. CSK says:
  7. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    My best to them both for a quick recovery.

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  8. Jen says:

    @CSK: That was painful to read. He’s such a clueless dolt.

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  9. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I wonder why he agreed to do NPR after all this time. Does he think he could convert the typical NPR listener to his side?

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  10. Jen says:

    @CSK: My hunch is that he or someone in his orbit assumed it would go exactly as it did. His minions will take this as evidence of how he really sticks it to the liBeRaL mEdiA.

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  11. Sleeping Dog says:

    Ted Cruz’s teen daughter comes out as bisexual

    She described herself as bi on TikTok and said she “basically disagrees” with the far-right Senator on everything – from politics to her clothes.

    And fathers, throughout the world, regardless of politics, sigh, nod and have their first and only flicker of empathy for Cruz.

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  12. Scott says:

    @CSK: Is there a trend here?

    A couple of articles seem to suggest that even Republicans are turning on Trump. Will his cult wane?

    Top Republicans stand up for Rounds after Trump’s attack: He ‘told the truth’

    McCormick MAGA-proofs his Senate campaign after dissing Trump

    Time will tell.

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  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Both are fully vaxxed, not sure about boosted. Their 10 month old daughter obviously isn’t. It was inevitable he’d get it, as he’s a waiter at Mulate’s in NOLA.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Not me. I’m only sorry she didn’t come out as trans for the full Wingnut Wurlitzer effect.

    There comes a point in every father’s evolution where one just has to let go and just be there for them when the road inevitably gets rough.

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  15. Scott says:

    Fauci commits a Kingsley gaffe:

    ‘What a moron’: Fauci argues with GOP senator over financial disclosures

    In response to Roger Marshall’s questioning, the NIAID director and top White House medical adviser said his disclosures had been “public knowledge” for over 30 years.

    It really is over the top when our highest elected officials attack career civil servants for crass political reasons.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Scott: I think you meant Marshall committed a Kinsley gaffe.

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  17. KM says:

    @Scott:
    The simple fact is MAGAism cannot survive attached to Trump the Man, only Trump the Figurehead. All men die but myths lie forever. The later lets them project whatever they want onto him while the former just keeps putting them in uncomfortable positions. Several prominent MAGAts have started to “speak” for Trump like MTG, using his hypothetical authority without bothering with the useless person behind it. He’s old, getting more senile by the moment and not playing ball on command – they need to be able to divorce him from power while still retaining his mantle.

    What we are seeing is MAGA trying to keep the myth while starting to try and put grandpa in a home. Whether it works remains to be seen.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect us within 20 minutes of becoming airborne – with most of the loss occurring within the first five minutes, the world’s first simulations of how the virus survives in exhaled air suggest.

    The findings re-emphasise the importance of short-range Covid transmission, with physical distancing and mask-wearing likely to be the most effective means of preventing infection. Ventilation, though still worthwhile, is likely to have a lesser impact.

    “People have been focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission over metres or across a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think still the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re close to someone,” said Prof Jonathan Reid, director of the University of Bristol’s Aerosol Research Centre and the study’s lead author.

    “When you move further away, not only is the aerosol diluted down, there’s also less infectious virus because the virus has lost infectivity [as a result of time].”

    More about the study at the link.

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  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via commentor germy over at Balloon Juice:

    David Hobby
    @strobist

    Twitter, explained in 15 seconds

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  20. Jen says:

    West VA Governor Jim Justice has tested positive for covid and feels “extremely unwell.”

    He’s a Republican who has been a vocal advocate for vaccination, and he was vaxxed and boosted.

    I wish I could say that because he’s vaxxed and boosted things will turn out fine, but unfortunately, the anti-vax crowd will turn this into “vaccination doesn’t matter–see, he had all the jabs and still got sick.”

    Sigh.

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  21. JohnMcC says:

    @MarkedMan: (Obviously is for Ozark) Joining the voices hoping all is well, stays well. My granddaughter who (w my daughter) lives with me has had a cold, passed it to her mom and now is positive. I have no symptoms at all. They are better. All have all shots. Crossing fngers this is as mild as O is s’posed to be.

    If I’m not heard from for a few days, I’m probably taking my quarantine with backpack in woods.

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  22. CSK says:

    @Scott: @KM:
    Speaking of which, Marjorie Taylor Greene told Sebastian Gorka yesterday that we (us patriots, she means) may have to use our Second Amendment rights to protect ourselves from tyrannical Democrats.

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  23. Kylopod says:

    @Scott: I don’t think it’s a Kinsley gaffe because I don’t see it as a gaffe at all. (A lot of those caught-off-mic moments are like that. I think about that incident from Obama’s presidency where he was “caught” dissing Paul Ryan, and it was so awesome that at the time I refused to believe it was really accidental.) I mean, seriously: is there anyone who was like, “I liked and respected Dr. Fauci until he called Senator Marshall a moron. How unprofessional! Now I’m going to start sniffing bleach.” Note also that Fauci had pretty much already said it out loud (“You’re so misinformed, it’s extraordinary”).

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  24. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    You think that’s bad? They’re saying that Betty White and Bob Saget were murdered by the vaccine.

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:
  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Landmine-hunting hero rat dies in Cambodia after stellar career

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died.

    Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000 square metres of land – the equivalent of 42 football pitches – over the course of his career. After detecting more than 100 landmines and other explosives, Magawa retired in June last year. Magawa passed away “peacefully” this weekend at the age of eight, said the Belgian charity Apopo, which trained him.

    “All of us at Apopo are feeling the loss of Magawa and we are grateful for the incredible work he’s done,” the group said.

    Because he deserves it.

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  27. Scott says:

    @Kylopod: Yeah, maybe it wasn’t an accidental telling of the truth. Regardless, I get the impression that Fauci is done with these fools. At 80, I wouldn’t be able to hold my opinion back. Seems to me that witnesses should have the freedom to fight back against these grandstanding Senators. Especially when they play this dishonest “I don’t know for a fact this is true but people of saying” game. Borders on sheer libel.

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Wishing them the best.

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  29. CSK says:

    Rick Wilson just called Donald Trump “a gibbering Mar-a-Lago hermit living with his lurid election fraud fantasies.”

    This was in response to the NPR interview.

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  30. CSK says:

    This is a longish read, but it’s pretty funny:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/i-kept-and-read-every-trump-campaign-email-heres-how-they-shake-people-down

    I love the “official impeachment defense member” card.

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  31. KM says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    My sister shared that. She’s donated to the charity that trains them many times as it’s a cause dear to her heart. Kick Apopo some bucks if you can – they truly save lives from a forgotten but still deadly threat. Also, the dogs and rats can be trained to detect diseases like TB!

    Cheers Magawa – may the other side of your rainbow bridge be nothing but treats and warm snuggles for your service.

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  32. Sleeping Dog says:

    MTG was prattling on yesterday on how the patriots should use the Second Amendment on Dems. She should ask her colleague, Steve Scalise, how that can work out.

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  33. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Thanks, have not read the entire study yet.
    But my immediate reaction is, if all aerosolized covid19 viruses become substantially inactive after 5 minutes at STP conditions, then the magnitude of Omicron “carriers” (exhaling active virus) is immense compared with the prior variants “carriers”.

    I seem to think that previously studies suggested that 20 minutes was “safe” to inhale air from a virus cloud left by a transmitting infected person.

    BTW, my general practitioner tells me that in March 2021 he was seeing about six persons a day with Covid19. In Dec 2021, he is seeing 30/day. My pulmonologist will not give a office visit to regular clients without a PCR negative and a rapid test within 12 hours. All other clients are required to be seen in hospital.

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  34. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Scott:

    “Senator, have you no decency?”

    A well placed reply that puts it back on the interrogator is what it takes.

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  35. Jen says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: This was roughly my line of thought on that report. The article suggests that an over-emphasis has been placed on ventilation, but I think that’s not entirely the case, depending on the use/traffic within the space. A poorly ventilated room + high traffic will yield one kind of environment, versus a poorly ventilated room that isn’t used by many, versus a well-ventilated room that is packed full of unmasked people…and so on.

    The Chinese bus where one passenger ended up infecting multiple people was largely attributed to the way the air was circulated by the A/C system. People fairly far away from the infected passenger caught covid because the air handling system was dumping infected air elsewhere in the bus.

    I think the study is interesting and useful, and helpful to our overall understanding of what constitutes a risky-ish situation. It certainly helps alleviate concern over fast trips to the grocery store, but I’m afraid people will think this is a green light for certain activities/settings when it isn’t.

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  36. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    There’s an article in today’s Atlantic, by Olga Khazan, contending that if you’re vaxxed, boosted, and using an N95 mask, you’re protected.

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  37. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    IMO, one thing to understand is the virus is, or may be, active and highly contagious for only about 5 minutes, every time some gets exhaled out of an infected person. Not that an infected person is only contagious for five minutes. Sucha person breathing and talking for an hour, is shedding virus all that time, not just the first 5 minutes.

    Also that you can still get infected after 5 minutes, only it’s less likely. Not that it’s completely safe after the virus has been exposed to the air for 5 minutes.

    We keep getting back to the same thing: masks, distancing, hygiene, and vaccines.

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  38. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That’s not going to work where it’s obvious to everyone that they don’t have any decency whatsoever. That moron would probably say no just to score points.

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  39. Monala says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: sending healing vibes for your loved ones

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  40. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    There’s an article in today’s Atlantic, by Olga Khazan, contending that if you’re vaxxed, boosted, and using an N95 mask, you’re protected.

    Well, yes. But what does “protected” mean here? (I’ve run out of Atlantic articles, so can’t read the piece).

    Protected against severe disease and death? Yes.
    Protected as in “you won’t catch covid, I promise”? No, because there’s never a 100% chance that one is always perfectly protected. (I still see people rubbing their eyes while wearing a mask–yes, covid is airborne, but it’s still possible to infect mucosal membranes.)

    I’m not saying that the study isn’t useful, it absolutely is! I’m just concerned that people will take the wrong lessons away from it. If there’s one thing that has become abundantly clear to me during this pandemic is that people do not handle nuance or uncertainty well at all.

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  41. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    One of the doctors Khazan interviewed, a Covid and ventilation expert at Harvard, Joseph Allen, said the risk was “de minimis,” which in legal terms means “too trivial to consider.”

    That’s with vax, booster, and N95 mask. The risk increases somewhat with a surgical mask.

    I wonder how many of us (vaxxed, boosted, and masked) have contracted Omicron and been unaware of it?

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  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Beth:

    That question began the fall of one Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

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  43. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Sorry to hear that, here’s hoping for mild cases and quick recoveries for all.

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  44. CSK says:

    The Mar-a-Lago sritzer, consisting of white wine, grapefruit juice, and soda, costs $29. The Flotus, consisting of white wine and gin (gag me with a spoon) is also priced at $29.

    As the author of the article points out, Melania consuming a white wine and gin libation on a regular basis may account for her lack of activity in the White House.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/12/trump-bar-manhattan-new-york-45-wine-and-whiskey

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  45. Monala says:

    @Kathy: that’s right, each COVID breath might only be infectious for 5-20 minutes, but an infected person is continually exhaling.

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  46. Beth says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    That question began the fall of one Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

    Ahhh, the good old days. There’s no way that question would topple either McCarthy now or any of the loons on the Right. Decency is looked at as weakness by them.

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  47. Mu Yixiao says:

    Quick health updates:

    Someone who was at my New Year’s Chili Feast tested positive later in the week. I grabbed a home-test kit from work (they’re handing them out for free). I either don’t have COVID or I’m not pregnant. Either way it’s good.

    Yesterday I went in for a steroid injection in my shoulder (big needle between bones looks really neat on the X-ray screen). While it takes 2-6 days for the steroid to kick in, the local anesthetic they gave me was working all evening. It was so amazing to be able to move my arm! If this works, I could be pain-free for about a year before they need to do it again. This will then be the regimen for the next decade or so until it’s time to become a cyborg.

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  48. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    As the author of the article points out, Melania consuming a white wine and gin libation on a regular basis may account for her lack of activity in the White House.

    Of course being married to TFG it may have come down to white whine (rim shot) and gin or heroine.

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  49. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Well, I suppose she had to occupy her time some way whilst she was sulking in her bedchamber day and night.

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  50. Jen says:

    @CSK:

    I wonder how many of us (vaxxed, boosted, and masked) have contracted Omicron and been unaware of it?

    I’ve been wondering about this too. I doubt I’ve had Omicron–it was just starting to spread up here when we decided to significantly dial back our “anything out of the house” activities–but I do have several meetings coming up that I have to attend in-person (thanks, Gov. Sununu, for not extending the executive order that would allow public meetings to be held over zoom, super helpful of you/s) so am wondering when I’ll end up being exposed.

    NH has mostly been dealing with delta cases up until very recently. Not sure exactly why, but omicron was slow to reach here, last week it was accounting for roughly 30-40% of cases but now is at 90%.

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  51. @CSK:

    I wonder how many of us (vaxxed, boosted, and masked) have contracted Omicron and been unaware of it?

    Well, my wife and I were vaxxed and boosted and ended up with it. We are currently quarantined at home with mild symptoms. We thought she had a sinus infection (classic symptoms). I have felt like I have a mild case of flu (since Monday): body aches (especially my back), fatigue, fuzzy-headed, and a little upper-respiratory congestion (but not a lot).

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  52. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    At those meetings, put on your mask and don’t remove it. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. 🙂
    @Steven L. Taylor:
    For someone claiming to be fuzzy-headed, you seem pretty darn sharp to me. 🙂 My best to you both for a speedy recovery.

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  53. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: One thing that makes it tricky for me is that I have certain ongoing health issues that happen to be among the symptoms of omicron. I have chronic congestion in the throat which sometimes leads to coughing (but not a dry cough), I frequently have a runny nose; I get occasional headaches for various reasons. Over the years I’ve usually felt I know when I’m getting sick with something. Frequently it starts with a lump in the throat or just an overall “sick feeling,” which is hard for me to describe. I had that feeling when I first contracted Covid in March 2020. I haven’t had that feeling since then, apart from when I got the three jabs.

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  54. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    This is a real problem, given that most of the Covid symptoms are identical to symptoms of other ailments. I well recall your siege with Covid, and I’m sympathetic to your situation.

    Anthony Fauci said, very recently, something to the effect that we’re all going to get Omicron sooner or later.

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  55. Scott says:

    @Kylopod: @CSK: Yep. My wife came down with fever last Thursday with sore throat, body aches, etc. all of which were gone by Monday morning. Since she works in the schools, she decided she needed to know for sure and got a PCR test. Why I didn’t come down with it is beyond me. I may already have had COVID but with little or no symptoms. It is allergy season here in South Texas with mountain cedar pollen and high mold counts which gives me a runny nose and headaches. Added to the little cough I get from the lisinipril that I take. But it would not shock me if I tested positive also. But since I’m home and feeling fine for the most part, it doesn’t seem necessary to run out and test.

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  56. Kylopod says:

    @Scott:

    Why I didn’t come down with it is beyond me.

    Progressive commentator David Pakman spoke the other day about how his girlfriend got Covid, but somehow he didn’t. He sounds as baffled as you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp9qpe3mZns

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  57. JohnSF says:

    If anyone is interested, the buffoon Johnson may be in serious political trouble.
    Goes back to repeated rumours, reports, and finally, proofs of various parties/get-togethers in Downing St of senior staff and advisors during lockdowns.
    The real problem is that Johnson relatedly tried bluff, bluster and bullshit his way out, as per normal.

    His characteristic tactics of lie, deny and delay have this time blown up in his face, because the story has kept on being re-fuelled by leaks, and because the topic really annoys a lot of people.

    It has the potential to erupt even further if rumoured video footage emerges, if the investigator report dumps on Johnson, or if the police are forced to abandon their stance of “passive cooperation” with the government.

    At any rate, even normally friendly areas of the media are becoming Johnson-sceptical.
    And some recent polls are showing marked fall off in his appeal to even Conservative voters.
    42% of con voters think he should quit in that one.
    47% in another.

    If that translates into actual votes come actual election, in the light of recent by-election results, and the improvement in Labour standing and leader Starmer’s ratings, the Conservatives are looking at big losses.

    Possibly larger in the “Old Tory” seats like the by election losses, especially where there were sizable Remain votes.
    And where in quite a few the combined Lab/LibDem vote, in event of tactical voting and a significant swing, could take Tory scalps.

    The comfortable, traditionalist, rather stuffy middle classes in the Conservative coalition (voters and even some “One Nation” centrist members) have long shown indications of not being over-fond of the whole “Boris” schtick.
    It actually tends to play better with the “Red Wall” upper working class Leave-voting defectors from Labour.

    Point is, that many MP’s have little respect and less regard for Johnson.
    He is too serially disloyal to evoke loyalty, too blatantly self serving to inspire affection.

    Even the Brexiter ERG who were his key allies in gaining power know he is no “true believer”; he uses them, they use him.

    Goes double for the still dominant careerist/moderate/party loyalist groups.
    If his polling threatens their seats, they will pole-axe him without a moments regret.

    As with the British people generally: a blundering but affable PM my be put up with, especially in normal times, and given an effective Cabinet.
    A dislikable but effective one may win a grudging approval (see eg Lloyd-George, Thatcher).
    Arrogant incompetence is intolerable.

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  58. JohnSF says:

    @JohnSF:
    And there are also a bunch of other issues emerging to plague Johnson and the Tories: economy, inflation, especially domestic gas prices, rifts in the “Conservative coalition”, policy delivery problems.
    And the old tunes of Brexit seem unlikely to play well umpteenth time around, for a mix of reasons.

    If further big shocks come soon, he will probably be forced to resign.
    Even if he avoids that, if the Tories melt down in the May local elections, he’s toast IMO.

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  59. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: A good friend of mine and her son both got covid very early on, in March of 2020. While they isolated as best as they could, everyone in the house assumed that her husband and other son would also get it. Neither did–at least, neither one came down with any symptoms. (This was well before home test kits and vaccines, etc. and they certainly weren’t testing people who didn’t have any symptoms.)

    I’ve since heard of a few other cases like this. I think I mentioned here that my hair stylist’s son contracted covid right after school started (he wasn’t eligible to be vaccinated yet). She was vaccinated and took test after test, including 2 PCR tests, and never tested positive (she was vaccinated but not yet boosted at the time).

    It’s all so interesting. There’s probably a mix of immunity from vaccinations and asymptomatic cases etc. at work, but who knows.

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  60. Jen says:

    @JohnSF:

    “Arrogant incompetence is intolerable.”

    You are ahead of us then. We had four years of arrogant incompetence and apparently some folks just cannot get enough of it.

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  61. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    I wonder why he agreed to do NPR after all this time.

    Probably because he hasn’t been getting enough attention lately.

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  62. Kathy says:

    We had an antibody test sometime in the Summer of 2020. A lot of people at my department were sure they’d come up positive, because they thought they’d had a very mild or asymptomatic case of the original COVID strain.

    Why they thought this is beyond me. Maybe because that’s when discussion of asymptomatic and mild cases was taking place in the public debate. In any case, there were no positives at all (and antibody tests weren’t very reliable, and I’ve no idea whether they’ve improved).

    I last had a cold in March 2020, and it lasted over two weeks. Given COVID was not in wide circulation, and cough and fever were the most common symptoms, I thought it unlikely it was the trump disease. Most likely, I caught a second common cold virus before I was over the first.

    I’ve been free of common cold, flu, and particularity COVID since then. I plan to keep on wearing a mask when any respiratory bug is making the rounds, even the common cold. Not having a nose irritated by the constant use of tissues, and not waking up parched from stuffed sinuses every night is more than worth it.

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  63. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: How common are false negatives on the antibody test?

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  64. just nutha says:

    @Kylopod: But Fauci did inadvertently tell the truth, so it may qualify. But I see your point; he really didn’t say anything he hadn’t already said, albeit less bluntly.

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  65. Kylopod says:

    @just nutha: And when you get down to it, what he was “caught” saying was pretty mild. It wasn’t like he said “fucking shit-for-brains” or something even stronger.

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  66. JohnSF says:

    @Jen:
    Oh, there’s still plenty lap it up.
    The good old “deplorable quarter” LOL.
    The die-hard Brexiters, the populist right, Johnson’s personal fans (an odd and masochistic lot IYAM 🙂 ) and the Party loyalists.

    Thing is, unlike in the US, they don’t have the same grip on the Conservative Party as Trumpkins do over Republicans.

    No primary elections; and party affairs are the business of members not supporters, and recalcitrant members can be kicked out.

    Given that, MP’s are are more concerned with winning the voters in the general than wooing the headbangers.
    That means appealing to traditional voters (many of whom are “respectable” Tories and a bit suspicious of “proletarian enthusiasm”: the British class system is ALWAYS in play) and to “centre ground likely voters”, the core “swing” segment.

    This has been modified a bit by the rise of hardline MP’s (the ERG) and the more revved up UKIP/Con crossover activist Right.
    But self preservation tends to win out.

    With Corbyn gone and both Labour and LibDems pushing in the polls, Conservative MP’s first thoughts will always be of their own seats.
    If a leader doesn’t win for them, he’s a dead man.

    See e.g. how fast Conservatives dropped Thatcher once they decided she had become a liability; or how rapidly they dropped leaders who failed as PM or in opposition.

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  67. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Ick! A white wine and gin cocktail doesn’t sound like it would be good, no. On the other hand, I’ve seen what alcoholics will drink and have heard Luddites amazing stories about fermented crushed grapefruit subsequently distilled, so this combination isn’t beyond the pale (although it probably should be).

    And for the record, I’m not implying that FF (former FLOTUS) is an alcoholic. But…

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  68. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I’ve no idea. I stopped following developments and news on antibody tests when the vaccines came out. By then, we’d all test positive afer vaccination.

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  69. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy: Yes, my dad tested positive when going to red cross shortly after getting vaccinated, and as far as he knows he hasn’t had Covid.

    I remember a doctor telling me in 2020 how the PCR tests more often produce false negatives than false positives, but the reverse is true about the antibody tests. But I don’t know the percentages; I do know that false positives on the PCR are rare.

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  70. just nutha says:

    @Kylopod: Same here. Chronic asthma (turning into COPD) and rhinitis. My only reliable markers would be fever and loss of sense of taste.

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  71. Kylopod says:

    @just nutha:

    My only reliable markers would be fever and loss of sense of taste.

    Few people are reporting loss of taste or smell with omicron.

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  72. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnSF: I spent yesterday fuming at Boris and the Brexiteers. Starting January 1, 2023, Great Britain will no longer accept the CE Mark which indicates compliance with applicable standards and is required before you can sell a product into Europe, and accepted by other countries around the world. On top of that, the US and Europe/GB have spent a huge effort in the past couple of decades or more to harmonize standards. GB has been a big part of that. And, as far as I can tell at this point, there are no actual differences in the standards required for UKCA as opposed to CE. But for every one of our products we will have to do a review and write a justification for why our testing and design standards are acceptable for UKCA, and that’s a time consuming process.

    Quite honestly, I’ve never seen such a low volume of discussion and support from certifying agencies about how to comply. I honestly think that the whole standards driven world is thinking to themselves, “We have a pandemic and heinous supply change issues and a dozen other crises to deal with and this twat Boris and his need to wave his d*ck around. What a stupid, pointless, annoying and total 100% waste of time. F*ck the Brits!”

    I know my default position is that it’s time to kibosh the small amount of manufacturing we do out of our UK facility, 95% of which is sold within the UK. I would be astounded if the technical file for those products meet our current standards (we bought that company and so inherited their CE mark), and I’ll be damned if I spend engineering time on products that bring in little revenue and we only make to interface with certain British facilities.

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  73. Jen says:

    @Kathy: There’s actually a way to distinguish between vaccination and prior infection. I donated blood in July, and Red Cross was conducting antibody testing on donations. My donation tested “reactive,” which in the literature they provided meant that I had antibodies generated by vaccination, rather than positive (antibodies generated by a prior covid infection), or negative (no antibodies generated–so, no vaccination/no prior infection).

    I found it interesting that they could detect that.

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  74. JohnSF says:

    @MarkedMan:
    🙁
    That comment really sums up the sheer pig-headed pointlessness of Brexit.
    But try explaining that to a Leaver and 9 times out of 10, they just don’t get it and start on about “sovereignty” and “we take back control!”.
    Or else, “if it stops imports that’s good for us innit, right”.
    *head-desk*

    This may well hit us when we come to get replacement components for some German sourced hardware.
    They are not mass produced, mass market items, so it’s going to be down to the supplier if they reckon UKCA is worth the hassle.
    If not, a few years down the line we are going to be looking at a lot of expensive kit becoming unusable. (Unless they licence out designs, and someone in the UK takes it up, AND they are affordable, all of which is highly unlikely).

    I have heard that UKCA is going to allow self-declaration of conformity in a lot of areas.
    But details still a bit iffy.
    IANAL, and not directly in the chain managing this. Just relaying the despairing wails of colleagues who are.

    If they have any sense, by mid this year govt. will declare that anything that has CE approval can be self-declared as UKCA compliant, job done. And the Leaver loons will probably never even notice.

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  75. CSK says:

    @just nutha:
    You’d have to be drunk 24/7 to live with Trump.

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  76. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    I know that at a molecular level there’s a lot of subtlety and detail.

    Antibodies are complicated, to boot. B cells don’t produce neutralizing antibodies only, but other kinds as well. This may be the result of a system that just throws everything at the wall, or they may serve some other kind of function (for instance, to signal other types of immune cells).

    There’s much we don’t know about the immune system.

    Then, too, the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and those of its variants, are similar to those on other members of the coronavirus family. You may recall findings in 2020 that prior infection of SARS-CoV-1 provided a good immune response against the new virus, but so did recent infections with common cold types of coronaviruses.

    BTW, just now the boss went on a rant about people not taking precautions against COVID, remarking he spent days at the ICU last year (pre-vaccination), and that he has other risk factors.

    He’s not wrong, but he also doesn’t wear a mask. he hasn’t from the start, when masks were first made mandatory at work. This gave license to all others in the department who didn’t feel like masking, too.

    Unfortunately I can’t call him out on his hypocrisy. He does speak English, so I’d better wrap this up.

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  77. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bob@Youngstown: My tech knowledge is not anywhere near sufficient to judge the study. Still, I found it interesting. I did wonder if it was pre-omicron or not and how much it applied to present day covid transmission.

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  78. Jax says:

    @Mu Yixiao: Ha! Neither Covid nor pregnant, I laughed. 😛

    I got a shot in my knee Monday. It was the first night I’d been able to sleep uninterrupted by my knee hurting every time I moved in MONTHS. It’s really strange putting weight on it….I can sorta feel where it would normally be hurting, but the pain isn’t really pain anymore. Hard to describe.

    Hope it lasts for a while for both of us!

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  79. flat earth luddite says:

    @just nutha:

    I’m not implying that FF (former FLOTUS) is an alcoholic.

    If she wasn’t before, I’d suggest marriage to him would be an end result.

    And yes, to anyone here who’s an unbeliever, I can testify as to what you’ll drink inside. “Hey, Luddite, over here! Got a fresh batch of fermented grapefruit and oranges that we’ve run through Jerry’s still in his cell. Whoooee dang! Good stuff, Maynard!” And oh gods, it was as bad as you can imagine. I’ve drunk bad ‘shine that was better. Hell, MD20/20 was better.
    OTOH, it had been a long 45 days in solitary, but that’s a completely different story.

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  80. CSK says:

    Mike Lindell speaking of “election fraud,” on something called Real America’s Voice, today:

    “And you talk about evidence We have enough evidence to put everybody in prison for life, 300 and some million people. We have that all the way back to November and December.”

    So…he wants to incarcerate the entire U.S. population?

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  81. Jax says:

    @CSK: That must be that “tweaker math”, didn’t only 150 million people even VOTE in 2020?! 😛

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  82. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    So…he wants to incarcerate the entire U.S. population?

    No.

    Just over 90% of it.

    But I thought that was the aim of the criminal “justice” system.

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  83. dazedandconfused says:

    @Kylopod:

    Spouse test neg while you test pos? Been there done that and got the Delta t-shirt.

    Doc said the most likely explanation is she gave it to me and her system cleared an asymptotic case before my mild symptoms appeared, which prompted testing.

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  84. CSK says:

    @Jax: @Kathy:
    Who the hell knows? It’s long past the time when this clown should have been institutionalized. He seems to have forgotten the 74 million Trump voters.

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  85. Jax says:

    Call me petty, but I freakin love this! That’s right, jerks, two can play at that game!

    https://www.rollcall.com/2022/01/12/republicans-stung-by-a-change-they-made-on-judicial-picks/

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  86. dazedandconfused says:

    @CSK:
    Lindell has a new lawyer.

    The Dersh has gone full wingnuts.

    To think this guy was, until very recently, a trusted legal expert for cable news stations…

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  87. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Tyranny: when someone takes a rule you made and applies it to you.

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  88. Kylopod says:

    @dazedandconfused: Dersh has been on Lindell’s legal team for a while. The only thing that’s new here is that it concerns the Jan. 6 investigation, whereas previously he was representing him in the defamation suit from Dominion. I wrote about it in the summer:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/tuesdays-forum-69/#comment-2636252

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  89. Mu Yixiao says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Starting January 1, 2023, Great Britain will no longer accept the CE Mark which indicates compliance with applicable standards and is required before you can sell a product into Europe, and accepted by other countries around the world.

    That has never even come onto my radar (but I’m hoping it has for people higher-up in our company). We manufacture entirely in the US, but sell all over the world. The UK is a big client (we have a major branch there for sales and support). If the UK stops accepting CE certification and requires their own, that’s going to be a huge deal.

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  90. CSK says:

    @dazedandconfused:
    I really don’t know why Dershowitz has gone full Trump, unless Trump has something on him.

    Possibly he’s hoping for a big pay-out from Lindell.

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  91. Kylopod says:

    @CSK:

    I really don’t know why Dershowitz has gone full Trump, unless Trump has something on him.

    Dersh definitely has skeletons in his closet. But he’s been on a rightward slide since the mid 2000s or so. The first sign (for me at least) was when he started defending torture; and during the Obama years he kept engaging in apologetics for the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, all the while claiming to still be an Obama-supporting Democrat.

    And to me, it’s not just the shift in his politics that I find so irritating. It would be one thing if he shifted to the right and admitted it. There’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed among certain Jews who moved toward the GOP in the 2000s over Israel, or national security. For example, the late actor Ron Silver (the guy who played Dersh in Reversal of Fortune) was once a liberal, and he ended up speaking at the 2004 GOP convention. I disagree with him, obviously, but at least he had the courage of his convictions. What Dersh does is way more insidious: he presents himself as some kind of neutral arbiter who is compelled to defend Republicans only because his unshakable commitment to civil liberties forces him to.

    And when you get down to it, that’s something he’s been doing for decades to some extent, going back to the days of Claus Von Bulow and OJ. It’s always an ego-boosting exercise with him, where he makes it sound like he’s the only unbiased person in the room, and tries to hide all his own conflicts of interest.

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  92. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kylopod:

    Dersh definitely has skeletons in his closet.

    Yup, they’re all female and under 18.

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  93. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I think you’re right about the ego-boosting.

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  94. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Well, Dersh lobbied Trump to grant Ghislaine Maxwell a pre-emptive pardon, so…

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  95. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK:

    Who the hell knows? It’s long past the time when this clown should have been institutionalized. He seems to have forgotten the 74 million Trump voters.

    Crazy. Maybe. But I bet he’s selling a lot of pillows.

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  96. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Jax: I’ve gotten so many steroid shots in my shoulders for the bursitis, they no longer work for me. They are a small miracle, for a while anyway.

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