Wednesday’s Forum

Look out, here comes tomorrow.

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

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    Honestly and without exaggeration if someone over the age of 18 tells me they think Trump is doing a great job handling the pandemic my opinion of them will be the exact same as if they told me they had sex with a ghost.

    -Adam McKay

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  2. Teve says:

    20 years of Vietnam killed 58,209 Americans.

    COVID-19 killed 58,760 Americans in April.

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  3. Teve says:
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    A prosecutor in Georgia said on Tuesday he would ask a grand jury to decide if charges should be filed against a white former law enforcement officer and his son in the fatal shooting of an unarmed young black man as he ran through a small town.

    The shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery outside Brunswick, Georgia, in February was captured on videotape and posted on social media on Tuesday, stirring outrage over the reluctance of prosecutors to file charges against Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis.

    The video footage, which was taken by an unidentified witness in another car, shows Arbery jogging down a narrow two-lane road and around a white pickup truck stopped in the right lane, its driver’s door open.

    As Arbery crosses back in front of the truck a gunshot is fired. Arbery is then seen struggling with a man holding a long gun as a second man stands in the bed of the truck brandishing a revolver. Two more shots are heard before Arbery stumbles and falls face-down onto the asphalt.
    …………………………….
    According to a police report obtained by the New York Times, Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and district attorney’s investigator, told investigators the incident began when he spotted Arbery from his front yard “hauling ass” down the street.

    McMichael told police that, because he suspected Arbery in a string of recent neighborhood break-ins, he summoned his son and the two men gave chase in the truck, Gregory McMichael carrying a .357 Magnum revolver and Travis armed with a shotgun.

    Gregory McMichael said Arbery began to “violently attack” his son and fought over the shotgun, prompting Travis to open fire. It is not clear from the police report or the videotape if Gregory McMichael also fired on Arbery.

    According to a letter obtained by the Times, the prosecutor in Brunswick argued there was not probable cause to arrest the McMichaels because they were legally carrying firearms, had a right to pursue a burglary suspect and use deadly force to protect themselves.

    A legally sanctioned lynching. Jim Crow is alive and well.

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  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Teve: Pro-life my ass.

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  6. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They are very, very concerned with protecting lives. Unless protecting those lives causes Fuddruckers to be closed another two weeks, then fuck it.

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  7. Kit says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    they were legally carrying firearms, had a right to pursue a burglary suspect and use deadly force to protect themselves.

    Is there any time limit for the use of deadly force, or does one burglary suffice for a lifetime?

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  8. Scott says:

    VA coronavirus deaths skyrocket as department revises its records

    The number of deaths from coronavirus connected to the Veterans Affairs health system rose more than 80 percent over the last week as department officials updated their public accounting of cases of the fast-spreading virus.

    As of Tuesday morning, at least 770 patients had died from complications related to the illness, an increase of 346 cases from April 26. One month ago, on April 5, VA had reported only 103 deaths connected to coronavirus.

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  9. Scott says:

    @Teve: Republicans will run on the same three things they always run on: Guns, abortion, and grievance. And Trump only cares about grievance.

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  10. MarkedMan says:

    For those who truly want to understand the actual fatality rate of C19, the NY Times has an informative article. (For others: no, it doesn’t explicitly deal with the theory that cities like NY, with a normal death rate from all causes of 20-25 per day, suddenly has hundreds of people a day blowing their brains out or beating a spouse to death, day after day, for months, and no one has noticed.)

    BTW, NYC numbers look different than other areas because they have been trying to identify the actual cause of death for those fatalities that weren’t tested for C19 when they passed. They have since reclassified over 4600 as due to the virus. (And in fairness, I should note that they didn’t look at the political affiliation of the coroners and so didn’t absolutely rule out that these 4600 had beaten each other to death but instead classified them as C19 because they hate Trump. So there’s that. )

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  11. Kit says:

    @Teve:

    They are very, very concerned with protecting lives. Unless protecting those lives causes Fuddruckers to be closed another two weeks, then fuck it

    I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say that I consider Republicans to be the party of death. True, they take great interest in the period between conception and birth, and the final moments (hopefully agonising) before death, but otherwise they are locked, loaded, and ready to kill with glee.

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  12. Mike says:

    @Teve: Fuddruckers; good selection.

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  13. Pete S says:

    For some reason an article that appeared on March 2 in Business Insider quoting the Surgeon General and Vice President that wearing masks INCREASES your chance of catching the virus, is now making the rounds on Facebook. And was liked by one of my family members so it showed up on my feed. Are people really this stupid? I understand that Republicans are engaging in what Kevin Drum calls social Darwinism but why on earth are the subjects of the experiment helping out?

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  14. Tyrell says:

    The Pentagon/military has declassified more documentation in its “slow” release of top-secret ufo material. These are videos of a ufo incident that occurred off off the coast of California. They had already been released by a private company and had made the rounds on several information sites.
    Senator Warner expressed concern about these incidents and how they have been handled by the military.
    As these slow releases continue, it just is a matter of time before actual objects are revealed to the public that the military has kept in secrecy at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. These will amaze and shock the public.
    “Pentagon releases UFO videos for the record” (BBC 4/28/2020)

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  15. Jon says:
  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Pete S: Are people really this stupid?

    Yes.

    SATSQ.

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  17. Teve says:

    “This is what happens when dumb dumbs who don’t give a shit are put in charge of the most complicated, important tasks in the world.”

    -Mike Rubens

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  18. Teve says:

    @Jon: back when almost nobody had a camera on them at any given time, we used to get a few blurry, unclear, distorted pictures of UFOs. But now that 1 billion people are walking around the earth all night and day with handy high-definition cameras, we get a few blurry, unclear, distorted pictures of UFOs.

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  19. Mikey says:

    @Kit:

    True, they take great interest in the period between conception and birth

    They don’t actually care about the unborn child, they just use it as a tool to control the woman. As soon as the baby comes out, it can rot in squalor or die in a hail of gunfire for all they care.

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  20. Teve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    @jelani9

    Not long ago I mentioned to a group of white people that I never run at night because of the dangers of being a large black man running in the dark. I instantly knew they thought I was being extra. Turns out I was being understated. Ahmaud Arbery was running in the daytime.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    Exactly. The cell phone camera proved two things: Cops beat black men and there are no flying saucers.

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  22. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    According to a letter obtained by the Times, the prosecutor in Brunswick argued there was not probable cause to arrest the McMichaels because they were legally carrying firearms, had a right to pursue a burglary suspect and use deadly force to protect themselves.

    Unfuckingbelievable. Only in America can some good ol’ boys conclude any random black guy jogging down the street is a burglar and murder him in broad daylight and get away with it.

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  23. Kit says:

    Anyone have recommendations for comfort films that deserve to be better known?

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  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Kit: “Zero Effect” which is a modern retelling of the Sherlock Holmes / Irene Adler story that never explicitly mentions Sherlock. Ben Stiller As the Watson character, Bill Pullman as the Sherlock and Kim Dickens as the Adler. Manages to stay true to the intent of the story while still bringing a lot of originality to it.

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  25. drj says:

    @Pete S:

    quoting the Surgeon General and Vice President that wearing masks INCREASES your chance of catching the virus

    There is a decent chance this may actually be true.

    Wearing the wrong mask, or wearing the right mask wrongly or without sufficient discipline is likely to be riskier than engaging in social distancing.

    Effective misinformation generally contains a kernel of truth. People who produce and spread misinformation know this.

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  26. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: Ebert liked that movie, but despite being a Sherlock Holmes nut I’ve never seen it. Checking to see if it’s on Netflix now.

    By the way, for anybody who hasn’t seen them, the BBC Sherlock is excellent. Andrew Scott’s Moriarty is malevolent.

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  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: This has become my go to reason for why I very much doubt that there are aliens flying around. But my secondary one has become even more powerful in the age of Trump.

    The idea that the US Military has had bodies of aliens and wreckage from flying saucers since the 1950’s and has successfully kept it secret for all this time presupposes that not one President ever gave into the temptation to make the speech that would dwarf any other recorded speech in American, or even world, history. “I come before you today to tell you that we are not alone in this universe…”

    This was ludicrous before Trump, but the idea that a grandstanding moron like him could keep such a secret puts us into farcical territory.

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  28. Kathy says:

    The logic behind reopening is that people are staying away from businesses due to the lock down orders only. If this isn’t so, then when bars, restaurants, theaters, etc. reopen and not enough people show up, it will be bad economically.

    Small businesses won’t get any more support. Employees refusing to go back to work won’t get unemployment payments. So we may see some of these businesses shut down and people out of work, without any outside government support.

    I don’t suppose it will be all or nothing. People getting take out will surely continue to do so, for example. If things reopen and cases of COVID-19 don’t skyrocket, more people will start going out (big IF). On the other hand, if cases go up sharply, many will be scared back into isolation again, in particular those who can work from home, or who can otherwise weather a few weeks without a paycheck (who are very few).

    I’ve no idea what plans and means are in place for testing and contact tracing. A good effort there may control the epidemic. An indifferent, bad, or no effort will kill tens of thousands.

    I guess we’ll see.

    It all seems to trace back to Trump, who surely believes a good economy is essential for his reelection. He has reason to think so, but given the stock market turmoil, the many deaths, the lock downs (yes), and other things like low oil prices, and severe reduction in travel, plus restrictions at varying levels within and without the US, a good economy seems as likely as a blizzard in July in Death Valley.

    I truly think he’d had a better chance tying the economy to the pandemic, making his base forget he ignored it for weeks, or that he told people to dose themselves with bleach(*), and making a supreme effort to deal with the crisis.

    But he’s not a grown-up.

    (*) I still find the bleach and light incident rather hard to believe. Not that he’d think about them (I have), but that he wouldn’t 1) know the difference between external and internal use, 2) consult a doctor before making a statement in public, and 3) would make such a statement in public.

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  29. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: pfft. Obviously the Cigarette Smoking Man wouldn’t tell Trump about the aliens. 😀

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  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I can honestly say it’s my favorite Holmes movie, one of the first to bring in humor without disrespecting the characters. I’ve always envisioned Conan Doyle’s Doctor Watson, as a writer, to be tremendously British in understatement when it comes to the difficulties of interacting with Holmes. The recent BBC Sherlock, the Downey/Law movie series and the TV drama Elementary do a good job of that, but “Zero Effect” was the first time I saw it explored.

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  31. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: honestly my problem with modern Holmes stuff is it’s just gotten fantastical. The genius criminal Moriarity always has to be there. And Sherlock’s even supersmarter brother Mycroft is always there, and the last season of the BBC series topped even that with an additional superhuman character. It’s like an Avengers movie with tea service and tasteful wallpaper.

    I just want to see a basic plot where a bank manager has murdered his brother-in-law who was blackmailing him for some reason, and Sherlock has to figure out what happened.

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  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: I hear you. The concept of “fan service” has ruined a lot of movies in the past twenty years.

    No Mycroft or Moriaty in “Zero Effect”. I don’t recall if there is a mention but if so it would be incidental.

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  33. Polimom says:

    Hunh. In light of the Never Trump Republicans (former Republicans?) floating around in here, I thought you guys might find this article from FiveThirtyEight pretty interesting.
    How ‘Never Trumpers’ Crashed the Democatic Party.

    I was particularly struck by the implications for the public at large by below paragraph. Over-representing this very small faction likely causes some folks to think Trump has less support than he actually does.

    But while this hard to prove conclusively, anti-Trump conservatives are arguably way overrepresented in elite media, at least compared to their numbers in the general population.

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  34. Teve says:

    “I don’t look at Donald Trump as a break from the past, but as the natural conclusion of 40 years of Republican rhetoric”

    Michael Lewis explains why we should have seen the pandemic coming.

    A year and a half ago Lewis published a book called The Fifth Risk about how Trump was wrecking important government bureaucracies to the point that if we had a serious problem they wouldn’t be able to handle it.

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  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy:

    (*) I still find the bleach and light incident rather hard to believe. Not that he’d think about them (I have), but that he wouldn’t 1) know the difference between external and internal use, 2) consult a doctor before making a statement in public, and 3) would make such a statement in public.

    Let’s roll the tape again. Who you gonna believe, trump or your lying eyes?

    Here’s what happened:
    1) He got a briefing.
    2) He wasn’t really paying attention and/or heard something he didn’t quite understand but because he didn’t want to appear stupid he did not ask for clarification.
    3) He gets up in front of the mic.
    4) and he performs. Ad lib.

    The whole world is his stage and he’s the star of the show. He’s just a really bad actor/writer/director/producer.

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  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    SW Georgia:

    By nearly every measure, coronavirus patients are faring worse in rural Georgia than almost anywhere else in America, according to researchers at Emory University in Atlanta. Rural people and African Americans are more likely to work in jobs not conducive to social distancing and have historically less access to health care. Georgia has lost seven rural hospitals in the last decade. Nine counties don’t have a doctor, according to the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. The same places have higher rates of chronic diseases: In the southwest region of Georgia, 16 percent have diabetes, twice as high as Atlanta.

    At first, Benjamin Tolbert just felt a malaise; he had no appetite. Within a couple days, he could barely stand. His son, Desmond, took him to the hospital. Benjamin’s wife, Nellie Mae, who everyone called Pollye Ann, got sick the next day.

    Everyone in town knew Benjamin, 58, as a hard worker. He had worked for 28 years at a Tyson Foods plant. He and his wife had been together 30 years. He was mild-mannered, but she found a joke in everything. She was a minister, sang gospel and danced, wildly, joyfully. Benjamin would hang back, but Pollye Ann would pull him up and he’d dance along with her, said their niece Latasha Taylor.

    Both were diabetic, Pollye Ann had had heart valve surgery, Benjamin had been on dialysis. Pollye Ann’s sister, Katherine Taylor Peters, often got dialysis treatments with him. They were a close-knit family: Peters lived just blocks away. Shortly after the Tolberts got sick, Peters did too. They soon sedated her and put her on a ventilator.

    Much of the rest is a blur for Desmond and Latasha: calls from doctors and nurses, begging to see their parents but being told it was too dangerous.

    “I couldn’t see them, I couldn’t talk to them,” said Desmond, 29.

    Desmond was on the phone with a nurse as his mother took her last breath. Two days later, the call came from his father’s caregivers. They were apart, far from home, without their son at their sides.

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  37. An Interested Party says:

    …had a right to pursue a burglary suspect…

    I can’t imagine what it was about Arbery that caused these oh so noble citizen warriors to consider him a “burglary suspect”…

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  38. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I’m not a fan of Holmes (never read a single story), but I want to say “Mycroft” sounds more like what the illegitimate son of Bill Gates would be called 😉

    BTW, I read somewhere that “House” was supposed to be a take on Holmes, with Wilson the oncologist playing the part of Watson, but it didn’t work out that way.

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  39. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I find the disinfectant incident difficult to believe, too, but it was clear from what Trump said that he truly doesn’t understand the difference between external and internal use. If it kills germs, what the hell. Right?

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  40. Teve says:

    @Kathy: Arthur Conan Doyle kinda based Holmes on two brilliant doctors, Joseph Bell and Henry Littlejohn. Supposedly Bell could glance at a patient and tell people where he was from and what his occupation was. “House” = “Ho(l)mes”. Drug use. In one of the episodes, Wilson gives House a book written by Bell. It’s definitely influenced by the Sherlock Lit.

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  41. Kingdaddy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: During the infamous Clorox press conference, Trump did not need to interject at that point. Even if he had an idea that he thought might work, he could have waited until after the press conference to discuss it with the team.

    Instead, because he is a malignant narcissist, he had to take the microphone and tell the world what a great idea he had. He also needed a public show of pressuring task force members into agreeing with him, yes, that’s worth looking into. He could have just let one expert finish a briefing, and another start the next one. Instead, Look at me! Watch me push around people!

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  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @An Interested Party: A black man running has to be up to no good!

    @Kingdaddy: It’s always all about him, he can’t ever let others take the lead.

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  43. Kit says:

    @MarkedMan: Thanks for that! Now let’s see if I can find it…

    @Teve:

    Checking to see if it’s on Netflix now.

    Is there any service that will tell you where to find a particular film? As for Netflix, they are not showing that one in my region, nor is Amazon Prime.

    @Teve:

    By the way, for anybody who hasn’t seen them, the BBC Sherlock is excellent.

    What wouldn’t I give to be able to watch my favorite three or four episodes of BBC Sherlock for the first time. The one with the Adler is far and away the best of the best, however. The woman!

    @MarkedMan:

    I’ve always envisioned Conan Doyle’s Doctor Watson, as a writer, to be

    Watson always seemed to come off as an old fart, and it wasn’t until I saw Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes (2009) with Jude Law as Watson that the character made sense. Why would Sherlock hang around with anyone? More modern takes seem to have realised that. That film, by the way, is a guilty pleasure.

    @Teve:

    honestly my problem with modern Holmes stuff is it’s just gotten fantastical

    I suspect that the BBC Sherlock never expected to go past two seasons, and plotted accordingly. But then they found that they would need to constantly up the wattage with each new season. While the writers managed it well, on the whole, I too would much rather have human-scale dramas and mysteries. Same with the modern action film.

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  44. Kit says:

    My long comment on Sherlock has been put in moderation… 🙁

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  45. Kingdaddy says:

    On the topic of Kushner’s ignorant volunteer army wreaking havoc with the medical supply chain, we’ve seen this before. During the occupation of Iraq, the US government had people — the kind of young interns or aides you see throughout Washington, DC, working in think tanks, PACs, and other organizations — occupying important reconstruction roles. Echoing what’s happening now, this cadre was equally unqualified for important roles helping the Iraqis rebuild their government and economy.

    One of them, Simone Ledeen, daughter of neoconservative “thinker” Michael Ledeen, contacted me through the comments section of the national security blog I was writing at the time. She was outraged at my criticism of her and her peers in a post on the subject. We went back and forth for a while, but the gist of the conversation, which went nowhere, was the following:

    Me: Because you’re occupying your current job, someone vastly more qualified isn’t doing that job.
    She: But good intentions! Hard work!

    Reliance on these sorts of people is the hallmark of bad leadership. You’re so insecure, or such a lickspittle of the insecure and powerful, that you’d rather have an eager, unqualified youngling in the role than someone who can actually do the job. (Unless, of course, the job is VIP service to fellow travelers, in which case, it seems that the Kushner brigade did a great job.)

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  46. Kingdaddy says:

    @Kit: Agreed, the last season of Sherlock was awful, and awfully disappointing. They should stop.

    For some reason, when thinking of underappreciated movies or TV shows, I can’t get vampires out of my brain. I’m actually not a huge vampire fan. For some reason, I went right to the vampires. Can’t imagine what in the world might be inspiring such thoughts.

    Anyway, here are a few under-appreciated vampire stories:

    Ultraviolet, a British series starring Idris Elba.
    Near Dark, a Texas vampire tale starring half the cast of Aliens. Bill Paxton is especially good. Warning: gory.
    Innocent Blood, in which a well-intentioned vampire makes a really bad mistake. Some gore.
    A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, a kinda Western-motif story about an Iranian vampire.

    Also, not vampire-related, but on the weird side, The Hidden. You might skip reading the description and just watch it, if you don’t want to spoil a big part of the fun of the movie. Warning: a couple of disturbingly icky scenes, not exactly gory.

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  47. Stormy Dragon says:
  48. Kathy says:

    @Kit:

    Is there any service that will tell you where to find a particular film? As for Netflix, they are not showing that one in my region, nor is Amazon Prime.

    I find Just Watch useful in that regard.

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  49. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @CSK:

    Some products marked for external use only are not toxic. Hand sanitizer, for example, can be ingested with no ill effects (I’m not suggesting you should). But the effect inside the body is not the same as that outside. Ingesting hand sanitizer is like drinking bad booze.

    For most purposes, the topmost skin layer can be regarded as inert (it’s not*), capable of taking on abuse the rest of the body cannot. simply contrast washing your hands with soap to washing your mouth with soap.

    Even then, bleach should not be touched.

    Still, this is so elementary a fact, that I’m astonished a man who’s lived as long as EL PITO doesn’t know it, and further suggests drinking or injecting poison, not just in a public meeting, but one televised nationally (and internationally). It really boggles the mind.

    (*) the very top layer of skin is mostly dead skin cells, which after being shed also constitute a fair part of household dust. Skin is mostly impermeable, but allows some water to seep in, and other substances as well. the deadliest nerve agents used in chemical warfare are absorbed through the skin, ergo the rubberized chemical warfare suits, or the full body hazmat suits for other such substances.

    Skin won’t absorb viruses, but a cut on the skin could let them in. You wash your hands because viruses can cling to them, and then you can let them into your body by eating, touching your face or ears, sniffing your hands (more common than you realize), and other means.

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  50. gVOR08 says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    You’re so insecure, or such a lickspittle of the insecure and powerful, that you’d rather have an eager, unqualified youngling in the role than someone who can actually do the job.

    You misunderstand the nature of the job. In Iraq the job was to implement a capitalist Utopia. Who you gonna get to sign onto that except a bunch of idiot kids steeped in FOX “News” and Ayn Rand? Kushner’s job wasn’t to get and distribute PPE, but to put on a show. Who else is he gonna get? If Kushner’d put together a group of government and private logistics and medical experts they’d have just been arguing with him all the time.

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  51. Stormy Dragon says:

    @gVOR08:

    Kushner’s job wasn’t to get and distribute PPE

    Oh it was, but only so they could be used as political leverage and as a source of profit for the family businesses.

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  52. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Yes, it is elementary–to you and to me. I would think that the extreme hazards of drinking bleach would be clear to everyone past early childhood, but obviously they weren’t to Trump. The only explanation for this I can think of is that no one ever told him not to ingest household cleaners, and that his life was so protected that the opportunity for him to do it on his own never arose. But even that explanation stretches credulity.

    I suppose the totally self-absorbed bubble in which Trump has always existed is even thicker than we imagined.

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  53. mattbernius says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Agreed, the last season of Sherlock was awful, and awfully disappointing. They should stop.

    I enjoyed the first episode — I was waiting for the end of Mary’s (?) story so they hit that beat from the orginal stories. But after that, I fully agree. There was a certain sense of “we’re intentionally breaking all the toys to ensure we never can do another series” feel to it.

    Also big +1 to the Zero Effect. It’s a great and understated movie.

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  54. Kit says:

    @Kingdaddy: @Kathy: Thanks!

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  55. Teve says:

    @Stormy Dragon: here in Florida, Governor Skeletor and the Republitards passed some kind of rule that any state researcher making any claims about the impacts of sea levels, flooding, etc, could only use historical water level data, no future projections.

    And people wonder why unlike 50, 60, 70 years ago, scientists are now 90% Democrats.

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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yeah! And what’s this sh!t about not being able to get an Ultimate Baconator at Wendy’s anymore? What kind of a Communist hell hole did Obama turn this nation into anyway?

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  57. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: The Seven Percent Solution, based on the Nicholas Meyer novel, is my favorite Holmes movie. But I did like Zero Effect.

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  58. Bill says:
  59. Teve says:

    If the unlikely event of secession happens, Florida is going to split in half, and South Florida will join the United States, and North Florida will be part of Jesustan.

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  60. Bill says:

    The Florida ‘I wonder how the judges scored this one’ headline of the day-

    Driver falls out of pickup truck; vehicle crashes into Ocala building

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  61. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I put it down to cognitive decline or dementia. I recall my grandmother, towards the end of her life, often said things along those lines.

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  62. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mikey:

    Unfuckingbelievable. Only in America can some good ol’ boys conclude any random black guy jogging down the street is a burglar and murder him in broad daylight and get away with it.

    Why would that be unusual? This situation was the status quo in a lot (most?) of the country from about 1870 to 1970. Why would that have changed? It’s almost like you’re trying to convince us that we’ve grown as a society. We should know better.

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  63. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Could well be. I have no personal experience with senile dementia, since my grandparents and parents were sharp as tacks when they died. But yes, your explanation is probably the correct one.

    I find that quite alarming. Kim Jong Un was righter than he knew when he called Trump a dotard.

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  64. Stormy Dragon says:

    @CSK:

    I would think that the extreme hazards of drinking bleach would be clear to everyone past early childhood, but obviously they weren’t to Trump.

    I saw a post somewhere pointing out that Trump has probably never had to do his own laundry even once his entire life, and may not actually know what bleach is. =)

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  65. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: @Kathy: Some years back I encountered a fellow at a Toastmasters meeting (a popular club where people practice public speaking) who admitted he was a doctor who had lost his medical license. I later looked up his name online to find out why. Evidently, he’d been injecting cancer patients with hydrogen peroxide and vitamins.

    I somehow got on his mailing list, and I didn’t immediately cancel my subscription, since I was morbidly curious about the sorts of things he was going to say. One day he wrote a piece extolling the virtues of ingesting colloidal silver. He cheerfully said he took it himself.

    My impression of the Trump bleach thing is that it wasn’t just some random insanity from the recesses of his disordered mind, but had its origins in some of the quack medical info he’s being influenced by.

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  66. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Sure, but many people are similarly privileged. I’m fairly sure Queen Elizabeth never operated a Maytag, but I’m damn sure she knows not to drink bleach.

    ReplyReply
  67. Mister Bluster says:

    To any and all who claim that outerspace aliens exist I have a clear request:
    BRING ME ONE!

    ReplyReply
  68. Kingdaddy says:

    After recommending various disturbing and weird movies, I feel obliged to throw in my go-to movie when I need something gentler, sweeter and life-affirming. In other words, something that might be better for the moment we’re in:

    Local Hero

    Love this movie.

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  69. Teve says:

    @Kylopod: check out this insane snake oil:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_Mineral_Supplement

    Literally everyone involved in promoting and selling that should be put in jail.

    ReplyReply
  70. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Maybe he’s taking advice from Alec Jones. Trump did, at one point, praise Jones.

    Who knows? If you think about it, it’s nuts that we’re sitting around trying to figure out a reasonable explanation for why a president of the United states could promote drinking bleach.

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  71. gVOR08 says:

    @Kylopod: There was reporting at the time that bleachgate was preceded by a letter from some quack who does tell his followers to ingest dilute bleach.

    ReplyReply
  72. Mister Bluster says:

    @Kylopod:..My impression of the Trump bleach thing is that it wasn’t just some random insanity from the recesses of his disordered mind, but had its origins in some of the quack medical info he’s being influenced by.
    You mean like this:

    Where Trump’s “Disinfectant” Comments May Have Come From
    Days before President Trump announced during an April 23rd press conference on SARS-CoV-2, “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute. One minute!” he was contacted by the leader of a company, Genesis II, that sells chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle solution.” Mark Grenon markets the bleach solution as “Miracle (or Master) Mineral Solution,” and claims without proof that it cures 99% of illness.

    Whenever the leader of the Republican Party makes statements like this. We must remember:
    “Republicans will do what is morally right without regard to party.”
    95South said so.

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  73. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I’ll give it a try. I read the book many years ago. If I recall the 7% solution refers to Holmes cocaine habit, which he injected? And was it also the authors submitted for inclusion in The Baker Street Irregulars? I wonder if that group is still active?

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  74. Jen says:

    @Kingdaddy: Ach, I love that film. Scotland is one of my favorite places on this planet, and I think watching that now would make me melancholy. I am desperate for a vacation (a long-planned one was canceled by corona), and would love to see Scotland again soon.

    ReplyReply
  75. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I lived in Edinburgh for four years. I’ll always think of it as one of the most beautiful cities on earth.

    ReplyReply
  76. JohnMcC says:

    Two small aspects about this ‘ingesting bleach’ and ‘really strong light’ business kind of under the heading of: It’s better coming from me. Because some RW nutcase is going to bring it up.

    First, really bright lights are routinely put into people. When I was working (I’m a retired ICU nurse) one of the most amazing things was to see an emergency Gastroscopy. The Dr would hit the camera and a slender person would light up so you could read the newspaper. So it could have become an anti viral Rx if any potential existed.

    And bleach is routinely put into water tanks on boats (and I suspect RVs) used as homes off the grid. I’ve drunk lots of water treated with Chlorox; one cup or less would disinfect 80 or 100 gallons.

    Been thinking that some doofus would come along with some version of those two items and haven’t seen it yet. But wanted to toss ’em out there.

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  77. DrDaveT says:

    @Kit:

    Anyone have recommendations for comfort films that deserve to be better known?

    Hopscotch. Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Ned Beatty, a very young Sam Waterston. Spy caper flick. The interplay between Jackson and Matthau is superb. My family used this as the “vetting potential significant others in front of mom and dad” flick for years.

    What’s Up Doc? Barbara Streisand, Ryan O’Neal, introducing Madeline Kahn. The best screwball comedy made after 1970.

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  78. Tyrell says:

    @Teve: Thanks for your attention to the article. I have high confidence in the abilities and skills of Navy pilots.
    I remember much of the furor and attention that the UFO phenomenon was getting back in the mid-’50s and ’60s. Watch “Project Bluebook”. The more famous was the “attack” on Washington DC, the Kecksburg Incident (military takes over a small town), and the Roswell Incident (no one bought that phony weather balloon story from the start). That was the golden age for science fiction movies. My favorite is still “Thing From Another World” with James Arness. Friday night late shows were science fiction movies.

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  79. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Maybe it’s the post surgery recovery Oxy, or my 8 year old sense of humor… but I like this SO much:

    The Novel Coronavirus Praises The Plan to Reopen America

    The following is a transcript of a press conference given by the coronavirus earlier this week.

    Thank you all for joining me today. I just wanted to tell you all what a great year it’s been and what a huge success I am. When people were downplaying my importance back in February, I worried about making a splash in the greatest economy on Earth, but I never had any doubt it would be big.

    In spite of those who ignored me, I’ve literally grown from zero to a million cases in two months – I’ve basically gone platinum.

    And people can’t get enough of me! Now Americans are cramming into state capitols, shopping malls, and public parks to lobby on my behalf! Some people are actually bringing guns to protect their right to pass me around from person to person. A literal armed militia has risen to defend me!

    And I’ve been able to achieve all this with 95 percent of the media against me. Seriously – how many pro-COVID-19 stories do you see? Nobody has been treated this unfairly since the Spanish Flu.

    The fake news media aren’t giving me nearly enough credit. Even your president, Donald Trump, called me a “very brilliant enemy” and said I was a “genius!” Sure, I’m microscopic, but I have a very big brain.

    Just think of all the wonderful things that have come about since I showed up. People are baking bread and sewing masks and playing Monopoly and talking to their children. Nature is healing!

    And just look at the ratings I’m getting! I’m not saying this, but I’ve heard other people say, that the press conferences the president is holding rival those of the Bachelor finale and Monday Night Football!

    And just think of all the things I haven’t done. I haven’t suggested people drink bleach (I don’t even have a brain and that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard), and I haven’t Tweeted well wishes to Kim Jong Un. That guy’s an asshole.

    Anyway, it’s clear the people want more of me. Some of the president’s favorite supporters have tweeted that the states’ stay-at-home orders are like “slavery” and that they’d refuse to take any vaccine once it’s developed. In the meantime, I can get millions of dollars’ worth of free public relations. Name someone else born from a medium-rare bat that could achieve that!

    See, Americans love an underdog – I’m like the nerdy kid that catches the game-winning touchdown in that Charlie Sheen movie Lucas from the ‘80s. (Shout out to Charlie Sheen – a big supporter of the anti-vax community.)

    What can I say – I agree with Donald Trump’s optimism that great times are ahead. Re-opening America is more than any infectious disease can ask for. All I ask from America is that you keep manufacturing phony drama between Doctors Birx and Fauci and Trump – getting rid of the experts will be the viral equivalent of sending me out on tour.

    In closing, I would like to thank all the impatient Americans for their support. If anyone ever challenges you on your love of the virus, just compare not being able to eat in a restaurant to Japanese internment camps during World War II, yell “herd immunity!” and run out of the room.

    I have provided a complimentary Clorox smoothie for all of you on your way out.

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  80. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    If you think about it, it’s nuts that we’re sitting around trying to figure out a reasonable explanation for why a president of the United states could promote drinking bleach.

    Yes, it’s nuts, because the man is nuts and has no restraint. But that’s even more nuts, is this doesn’t make most of his base question his fitness.

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  81. Michael Cain says:

    @Stormy Dragon: The Arizona situation, and the way quotes were phrased, has all the earmarks to suggest federal agencies have made timely release of aid moneys dependent on the state blessing the FEMA forecasts. “Blessing” used broadly enough to preclude state university researchers making public statements that conflict with FEMA positions. This is a federal government whose top people model themselves after NYC organized crime families as portrayed in 1970s fiction: “Nice state you’ve got there, with lots of lovely retired folks. Be a shame if your federal aid dollars got caught up in some sort of unfortunate problem that delayed them for a couple months.”

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  82. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Oh I definitely think Alex Jones is one of the sources Trump is getting his crackpot medical assertions from. Even before bleach-gate, Jones was hawking colloidal silver as a cure for Covid-19. That was the first connection I made with that disgraced physician I met at Toastmasters all those years ago.

    I had never heard of colloidal silver before, but even with my limited medical knowledge I had an intuitive sense that ingesting metal, in any context, sounds nucking futs.

    It’s almost like the crazier the notion, the greater a capacity it has for being pushed as a miracle cure.

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  83. CSK says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:
    Yes, I snickered my way through that one. Priceless.

    @Kathy:
    Since I haven’t seen anyone over at Lucianne.com mention bleach ingestion, I’m assuming that the Trumpkins are doing what they usually do and serenely ignoring any crackpot suggestion Trump makes.

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  84. Jen says:

    @Kylopod: You’d think that at some point we’d logically get beyond that sort of nonsense, but nope.

    I was gobsmacked when reading The Radium Girls that *radium* used to be marketed as basically a vitamin/health supplement. RADIUM.

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  85. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Cain:

    If it was a generally blue state, I might agree with that assessment, but given that Doug Ducey is a self-professed Trump supporter, I doubt any pressure was required to make this happen.

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  86. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    Well, I just Googled it, and yep, Alex Jones was claiming that the colloidal silver toothpaste he sells kills the coronavirus. The FDA has warned him not to do this.

    ReplyReply
  87. Teve says:

    @JohnMcC: i think it’s more like 3 tablespoons for 100 gallons. A cup of bleach is a lot.

    ReplyReply
  88. Teve says:

    @CSK: The classic xkcd. Anytime somebody tells you that such and such kills a pathogen in a petri dish, just remember, so does a gun.

    ReplyReply
  89. Teve says:

    @PostOpinions

    When this pandemic is over, let’s avoid the partisan blame game, Mitch Daniels writes

    After I got drunk and ran over that school bus with my semi, all the cops and parents want to do is play the blame game. We need to look forward, not backwards.

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  90. wr says:

    @Kit: “Is there any service that will tell you where to find a particular film? ”

    There area few of them. I just Google [name of film/series] streaming and they pop up.

    If you’re looking for comfort movies, by the way, you can’t do better than Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero. Oil exec Peter Rigert is sent by boss Burt Lancaster to buy a small Scottish town for the site of a refinery — and lots of things that are simultaneously predictable and not take place. Odd, warm and funny, with a great score by Mark Knopfler.

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  91. wr says:

    @Kingdaddy: Beat me to it!

    ReplyReply
  92. Kit says:

    @DrDaveT: @wr: They are all going on my list. Thanks!

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  93. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kit: Not much of a movie guy–don’t have the attention span for movies unless I’m trapped on a plane or something (and there’s nothing shorter to watch), but I’ve been slowly working my way through the television show Route 66 from the early 60s. It’s kind of a hoot because a lot of the episodes were written by Sterling Silliphant and the characters are all speaking in Zen koan most of the time.

    Currently, I’m watching it on Tubi. I’ve gone so slowly (just under 140 episodes, I guess) that I’ve had to find it on three different streaming services over 2 or 3 years.

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  94. Kylopod says:

    @Kit:

    Anyone have recommendations for comfort films that deserve to be better known?

    Jump Tomorrow (2001). This highly obscure indie flick was something I stumbled upon by accident many years ago, and I found it utterly charming. Every single person I’ve recommended it to has had the same reaction. It’s basically an old-fashioned rom-com with some more modern indie elements. It was based on a short film the director made in college (which I subsequently saw). The lead is a Nigerian-American named Tunde Adebimpe, who is primarily famous not as an actor but as the frontman for the indie-rock band TV on the Radio. I’m surprised he hasn’t acted more, as he’s very good–a very natural comic actor with a strong screen presence. Even though the film is from 2001, it treats the subject of interracial romance in an entirely casual manner; it pays some attention to the characters’ nationalities but not their races.

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  95. Stormy Dragon says:

    @wr:

    Have you ever seen The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain?

    ReplyReply
  96. CSK says:

    The “Mourning in America” ad that so enraged Trump has apparently raised almost one million dollars for Project Lincoln since yesterday. It was the project’s biggest day of fundraising so far.

    ReplyReply
  97. CSK says:
  98. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I never have, but since I’ve had a crush on the Tara Fitzgerald of that era for many years, I know I should!

    ReplyReply
  99. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: You know, this kind of thing would be totally trivial if not for the fact that Trump is such a gargantuan narcissist who has built his entire public image on fraudulent claims about himself. If it ever came out that Obama was lousy at basketball or golf or whatever, no would give a flying hockey puck–least of all Obama himself. That’s why it’s so amazing to remember that Republicans tried to paint Obama as a raging narcissist. Perhaps Trump’s greatest achievement is how completely he has exposed the idiocy of that delusion.

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  100. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in public life as desperately needy as is Trump. I’ll never forget how he went around the table where all his cabinet secretaries and advisors were gathered and more or less forced them all to say how wonderful it was to work for him. Just pathetic, the desperation.

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  101. Teve says:

    @CSK: I was curious, so I looked it up, and good hitters at the high school level can have .300, .400, .500 batting averages. Trump’s was .138? And he said several pro teams were interested in him? I could probly jog 3 miles to the local High School and have a shot at beating .138 and I’m 43. 🙂 😀 🙂

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  102. Bill says:

    @Teve:

    I was curious, so I looked it up, and good hitters at the high school level can have .300, .400, .500 batting averages. Trump’s was .138?

    My father was a part-time baseball scout sometimes called a ‘bird dog.’ He worked for the Philadelphia Phillies* for over 35 years**. Sometimes I accompanied Dad as he did his scouting. A .138 hitter would go down as NP. NP= No prospect.

    *- Dad grew up a New York Giants fan and after they moved to San Francisco, he was a Mets fan.
    **- Dad had worked almost 30 years for the Phillies when the team won the 1980 world series. He got a ring which is now in my safety deposit box

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  103. inhumans99 says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Yes, The Hidden has long been considered a cult classic film. If anyone is a fan of action films or science fiction they have to see this film. It came out on Blu Ray a few years back so it is relatively easy to purchase for ones viewing pleasure.

    There are some action sequences that are extremely well-done.

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  104. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    I’m sure you could. This is just another in the never-ending series of Trump’s demented attempts to exalt himself.

    ReplyReply
  105. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Kit:

    Anyone have recommendations for comfort films that deserve to be better known?

    The Postman

    While it is know, it is not well viewed. Corny in so many ways, but you get all the tropes tossed into a bag and it seems to work.

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  106. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Still, this is so elementary a fact, that I’m astonished a man who’s lived as long as EL PITO doesn’t know it, and further suggests drinking or injecting poison, not just in a public meeting, but one televised nationally (and internationally). It really boggles the mind.

    Here’s the thing: He has zero experience with these products. Has never used them, never touched them, never purchased them, never never never never.

    That’s what the help is for.

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  107. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kit: I got one for you, don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner: 2nd Hand Lions. Michael Caine, Robert Duvall, and Joel Osmont. 2 retired old guys in Texas flatlands get kid dumped on them by his useless mother (their niece). Light fare, corny as all get out. plenty of camp, and lots of fun with laughs aplenty. Almost like an old Disney film.

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  108. Kingdaddy says:

    @Teve:

    I was curious, so I looked it up, and good hitters at the high school level can have .300, .400, .500 batting averages. Trump’s was .138? And he said several pro teams were interested in him? I could probly jog 3 miles to the local High School and have a shot at beating .138 and I’m 43.

    He really wants to be leader of a country like North Korea, in which the Dear Leader can make claims about superhuman achievements and no one around him will contradict him. Kim Jong Il claimed, the first time he ever played golf, he shot 11 holes in one. Right now, you can hear in your head Trump making the same sort of claim.

    ReplyReply
  109. Teve says:

    While the writers managed it well, on the whole, I too would much rather have human-scale dramas and mysteries. Same with the modern action film.

    Sometime around the time the Nicolas Cage movie The Rock came out, or a bit before, action movies had gotten so Jerry Bruckheimer /Michael Bay that the action didn’t feel tense. You couldn’t put yourself in it, it was too ridiculous. It just got worse. The Rock doing a backflip out of a Ferrari that’s jumping over the Statue of Liberty while he shoots terrorists with An Uzi and a helicopter blows up and…

    It got so blah that I stopped watching action anything, and years later I just happened to watch daredevil, and holy cow. There’s a fight scene in a hallway where after lots of kicks and punches the good guy and the bad guys start gasping and panting and can’t move very fast, and struggling, and it was tense. 70 seconds into the fight the guy is winded. 90 seconds in he’s leaning on the wall. You could feel the guy being tired and not wanting to lift his arm, but the bad guy is coming at him,…

    I still go to YouTube every now and then and watch the fight again.

    https://youtu.be/B66feInucFY

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  110. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    As I’ve said, even people who’ve been surrounded by servants since birth know that you don’t ingest bleach.

    ReplyReply
  111. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    On TV now and then you see bleach used to kill people.

    I’m sure he’s watched TV

    ReplyReply
  112. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    I think your explanation, that Trump is suffering from senile dementia, makes the most sense. I’d also say that the dementia is exacerbated by his character flaws and deficiencies.

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  113. Monala says:

    I’m still reading analyses of why Sanders lost the primary to Biden. This interesting take is from Amanda Marcotte: sexism. Of course, many comments argue that she thinks everything is sexism, and Clinton was a bad candidate, etc., but they miss her main point: the voters that sent Biden over the top weren’t just the black Southern voters on Super Tuesday. In fact, black voters voted for Biden in similar proportions as they voted for Clinton, and Sanders actually did slightly better among black voters in 2020 than in 2016.

    No, the real change was among white voters, and specifically white men, who switched from voting for Sanders in 2016 to Biden in 2020 by more than 20 points in many states. If these white voters were really drawn to Sanders for policy reasons, why the switch?* As Marcotte points out,

    But Michigan and Missouri were a neat scientific experiment all the same. Sanders did remarkably well in both states in 2016, and argued that his economic populism rather than his gender was the reason. We got to re-run the experiment in 2020, but with a more conservative male opponent this time. The result? Biden did way better than Hillary Clinton, despite being clearly more conservative, in the same head-to-head match-up.

    =====
    * I always find it interesting how white leftists love to blame black voters when they dislike an electoral outcome, and never want to look to white voters for the reasons. So Trump won in 2016 because black voters didn’t come out in numbers as large as they came out for Obama, not because white voters across virtually all demographics voted for Trump in large numbers. And this year they claim that Biden beat Sanders because those black Southern voters are just too darn conservative, not because many of Sanders’ 2016 white voters abandoned him in 2020.

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  114. Kathy says:

    The COVID-19 figures for Mexico don’t make much sense. Officially there have been 26,000 cases, of which 16,800 recovered and 2,500 resulted in death, leaving only 6,700 active cases (all numbers rounded).

    The Johns Hopkins map doesn’t say, but according to yesterday’s paper, there were around 100,000 tests total. That’s not an outrageous lack of testing, it’s a joke.

    Officially, the health secretary has said the number of cases ought to be multiplied by 8.2 or so. I multiply it by ten, so we’ve had just over a quarter million total cases. I do think the deaths are more accurate, as most who’ve died in hospitals were tested, but still under-counted. So let’s say between 5 and 10 thousand deaths.

    I don’t know what to make of active cases. That is the number that matters most, as it would let you better estimate the risks. But a recovery rate of 65% or so seems way too high, especially as the virus arrived later in Mexico than it did in the US.

    BTW, our president, Manuel Andres I, is much worse than I thought he’d be, and he wasn’t this bad when was mayor of Mexico City.

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  115. DrDaveT says:

    @Kit: A couple more that other suggestions prompted me to remember:
    King of Hearts (Le roi de coeur). Alan Bates, Genevieve Bujold. In WW2 France, a kilted Scottish private who cares for the messenger pigeons is sent by his commanding officer to disarm a bomb placed in the town square by the retreating Germans. As the fighting comes closer to the town, its inhabitants—including those who run the insane asylum—abandon it. The asylum gates are left open, and the inmates leave the asylum. Our hero mistakes them for the regular townspeople… at first. Funny and poignant. (And, according to Wikipedia, even more obscure than I’d realized.)

    Our Man Flint. The perfect James Bond parody. James Coburn’s best role.

    Fly Away Home. I saw this in a real theater when it came out, and people of all ages were crying and laughing and cheering.

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  116. Bill says:

    @Teve:

    Sometime around the time the Nicolas Cage movie The Rock came out, or a bit before, action movies had gotten so Jerry Bruckheimer /Michael Bay that the action didn’t feel tense. You couldn’t put yourself in it, it was too ridiculous. It just got worse. The Rock doing a backflip out of a Ferrari that’s jumping over the Statue of Liberty while he shoots terrorists with An Uzi and a helicopter blows up and…

    I have avoided action films for the same reasons. The ending of MI 2, The James Bond film* Die Another Day, with their preposterous CGI action just bores me.

    While I was in the hospital over a month ago, I watched Angelina Jolie in Salt. It is available for Netflix subscribers. Talk about preposterous. Jolie’s character whipping trained FBI, military over and over again, and she is all of about 105 lbs . Her jumping from one moving vehicle to another, walking around window ledges in heels, please……

    *- Die Another Day was horrible but I still have a fondness for Bond films though Spectre was almost as bad.

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  117. Kathy says:

    @Bill:

    Talk about preposterous.

    You’re not suggesting they used a stunt double, are you? 😉

    Since we’re joking, at least I am, and levity is sorely needed in times like this, here’ s a joke:

    One fine day in the campaign trail, before the pandemic hit, Joe Biden gets to an event in Iowa held in an open field. His handlers realize, too late, that there’ no podium or stage.

    Biden tells them, “No problem. I’ll stand on that pile of manure over there. Just put a board over it and gather everyone around.”

    His speech goes over well. Afterwards a citizen tells him “I’ve never seen a former Vice President give a speech before.”

    Biden answers, “Thank you. I must admit, I’ve never given a speech on a republican platform before.”

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  118. CSK says:

    @DrDaveT:
    King of Hearts played at the Central Square Cinema in Cambridge, MA. continuously from January 10, 1971 to April 13, 1976.

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  119. Bill says:

    @Kathy:

    Since we’re joking, at least I am, and levity is sorely needed in times like this, here’ s a joke

    Kathy,

    Here’s one for you. It comes from a one man show about FDR.

    FDR is telling a tale of New York Governor speaking to a crowd of prisoners.

    Smith :My fellow convicts.

    Realizing his mistake, tries correcting himself

    Smith:My fellow citizens

    As convicted inmates serving time, those listening to Smith had lost their rights as citizens. Smith tries again.

    Smith:In any case, I am so glad to see so many of you here!

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  120. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: ” (And, according to Wikipedia, even more obscure than I’d realized.)”

    It’s so strange for me to think of King of Hearts as obscure. Growing up in Berkeley in the 70s, it was a movie everyone had seen. And then I moved to Seattle for college and I think it had played in one theater forever, possibly on a double feature with Harold and Maude, another movie that has grown obscure over time. (And King of Hearts played for five years straight at one theater in Cambridge…)

    But the grad students I’m teaching have never heard of Nashville, let alone Brewster McCloud, and if they know Altman at all it’s because of The Player.

    And then there’s El Topo… back from the days when films still had the power to shock.

    Got to stop now — I’m beginning to sound like Tyrrell.

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  121. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “Our Man Flint.”

    Even better as James Coburn spy parodies: The President’s Analyst.

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  122. Mikey says:

    I decided to engage some of the right-wing COVID disinformation a former coworker posted on Facebook. I was quickly reminded what a futile exercise that is. Back to cat pictures.

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  123. Bill says:

    @wr:

    But the grad students I’m teaching have never heard of Nashville, let alone Brewster McCloud, and if they know Altman at all it’s because of The Player.

    I’m a movie buff and I’m well acquainted with Altman. He’s an acquired taste IMHO and I haven’t cared all that much for his movies. Brewster is actually one I like, Images too, MASH is a flawed chaotic movie that has its moments, McCabe and Mrs. Miller*, Buffalo Bill and the Indians are poor and Quintet is an wreck of a movie. I’ve seen Nashville a long time ago, 3 Women, Countdown, Popeye, and some other Altman works (but not Player) but I don’t recall these films at all today.

    *- A big problem this movie has is the soundtrack is just horrid and it is almost impossible to follow what characters are saying at time.

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  124. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    Even better as James Coburn spy parodies: The President’s Analyst.

    It’s a classic, but that one doesn’t fall into the “comfort film” bucket for me. 🙂 Also, I suspect you had to live through that era to appreciate it…

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  125. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    It’s so strange for me to think of King of Hearts as obscure.

    Yeah — but then I work with multiple people who had never heard of Monty Python. If the past is a foreign country, I’m an immigrant in the present.

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  126. mattbernius says:

    @wr:
    Honestly wr in “Tyrrell?!” is a one man show I would definitely but tickets to.

    Two other late film recommendations:
    1. Most Bizarre Sherlock Holmes film: “They might be giants” with George C Scott as “Holmes” is a wonderful art house take on LA before art house cinema was a thing.
    2. “Brick” which is film noir in High School and brilliant. Also on that note from the same general period, I also recommend “Moon” for very good low budget Sci-Fi (but cannot be discussed without ruining it) and “The Brothers Bloom.”

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  127. Bill says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Even better as James Coburn spy parodies: The President’s Analyst.

    It’s a classic, but that one doesn’t fall into the “comfort film” bucket for me. Also, I suspect you had to live through that era to appreciate it…

    I remember the President’s Analyst. The phone company was the bad guy and Pat Harrington was in it. I never watched the Flint movies.

    I had no life* for much of my teens and early adult years. So I stayed up late watching movies, and then after purchasing a VCR in 1984 for around $500, then I’d tape things in the middle of the night instead of staying up till 2 a.m. in order to watch movies like Day of the Animals, The Gumball Rally, Tokyo Joe, Advise and Consent, That Man from Rio, Lord Jim, and Fire Sale. You know the year 1964 saw the President of the US portrayed in at least 3 major films. Fail Safe and Seven Days in May, which are both excellent. The less said about Kisses for my President the better.

    *- I didn’t date in high school, only went to the senior prom because my mother arranged a date for me. Other than one young lady I saw for around a year 1983-84, I had no girlfriend till I met my future wife in 1988. So I had lots of time to watch movies.

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  128. DrDaveT says:

    @mattbernius:

    I also recommend “Moon” for very good low budget Sci-Fi (but cannot be discussed without ruining it)

    If you have seen Moon and are spoiler-proof, one of my very favoritest websites of all time is the extremely intermittent blog Typeset in the Future, which explores sci-fi films through their use of fonts and graphic design. Moon was the first film he analyzed.

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  129. DrDaveT says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Moon was the first film he analyzed.

    Oops. The second film. The first one was 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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  130. Gustopher says:

    Various fun movies I have rewatched and still love:

    Time After Time (1979): Malcolm McDowell as H. G. Wells pursuing Jack the Ripper to 1970s San Francisco.

    Seems Like Old Times (1980): Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Charles Grodin.

    Closely Watched Trains (1966): Czech. Adapted from the book by Bohimul Hrabal, and a darkly funny story of a boy who suffers from premature ejaculation and thus joins the resistance against the Nazis.

    Edward Scissorhands (1990ish?): I still cry at the end, every single time.

    And one that I discovered doesn’t hold up…

    Silent Running (1972): Bruce Dern in Space! Botanist on a ship with the last plants, and three awesome robot sidekicks (played by midget amputees… so you don’t recognize the human form). The corporation that owns the ship wants to blast the last plants into space and nuke them (its a metaphor). There’s an unfortunate Joan Baez song that goes on forever, and then… well… the ending. It’s actually great up until the ending.

    I watched it with friends a few years ago, and other than the Joan Baez song everyone really liked it, and then I remembered the ending. And then I had to sit there and not spoil it, and let it spoil itself.

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  131. wr says:

    @Bill: It’s interesting to see McCabe and Mrs. Miller listed with a couple of what are generally considered Altman’s best films — many people consider it one of his best. Buffalo Bill, though…

    One thing about Altman — the experience of making the film seemed to be at least as important to him as the finished product. So he’d assemble the people and the script and then throw it up in the air to see what would happen. Sometimes it fell together magically, as in Nashville (which is really worth your time to revisit). Other times, not so much.

    His approach was much like Chaplin’s or that of the Nouvelle Vague filmmakers — keep making movies quickly, knowing that some will fly and some will crash, never spending too much money on any one project so that you could afford to keep taking risks.

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  132. wr says:

    @DrDaveT: “It’s a classic, but that one doesn’t fall into the “comfort film” bucket for me. Also, I suspect you had to live through that era to appreciate it…”

    You could well be right — it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. Still, “Canadian Secret Service” continues to crack me up, and I find comfort in the image of Coburn, finally having had enough, turning a machine gun on the bad guys and shouting “Take this, you hostile sons of bitches!”

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  133. wr says:

    @Gustopher: “There’s an unfortunate Joan Baez song that goes on forever, and then… well… the ending.”

    It’s a hard call which endless Joan Baez movie song is worse — this or the one (written by Ennio Morricone) from Sacco and Vanzetti.

    Somehow movies and Joan Baez were not made to go together.

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  134. DrDaveT says:

    @Gustopher:

    Time After Time (1979): Malcolm McDowell as H. G. Wells pursuing Jack the Ripper to 1970s San Francisco.

    It was especially amusing to see Malcolm McDowell play the nice guy in this one, after A Clockwork Orange and Caligula. I always wondered whether someone had somehow gotten the casting backwards on the first day of shooting.

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