Patterico's Pontifications

2/8/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:23 am



Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start.

First news item:

Government orders roundups in Wuhan:

China’s central government has ordered Wuhan to round up all suspected coronavirus patients as well as their close contacts in mass quarantine camps.

The country’s Vice Premier Sun Chunlan called on a ‘people’s war’ against the fast-spreading epidemic, which has killed at least 638 people and infected more than 31,520 globally.

She demanded Communist officials of all levels take active lead in this ‘wartime condition’, or face being ‘nailed onto the pillar of historical shame forever’.

The city has around 14 million residents, but it remains unknown how many people would be quarantined or where they would be kept.

Wuhan officials are now carrying out door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who would need to be isolated.

Meanwhile, the first American has died from the coronavirus in Wuhan.

Second news item:

A beautifully written essay on what it’s really like when a soldier returns home from war:

I’ve been a military spouse for 17 years. I know reunions very well; they are a tangle of sometimes conflicting emotions. Can I tell you what a military reunion is like for the person at home?

You wait. For weeks, you wait. The reunion date shifts. It’s a moving target. You get your hopes up, and then flights get canceled. You pray that he will just get out of the war zone. You bargain. You want him home as soon as possible, but you don’t mind him getting stuck for a month in Germany, or Ireland, or Dubai, just so long as he’s not somewhere with rocket attacks and IEDs. You add an extra week, maybe two, to the calendar your kids use to count down the days, so they won’t get their minds stuck on a certain date.

And then the day comes. He texts you that he’s flying out of the war zone. You’re so relieved, but you don’t let yourself hope, not yet. Your breath still catches. The base could still get rocketed. The enemy could still attack. Nothing is really okay until he’s out of the airspace, and even then, he’s on a plane, and planes crash. You can’t afford to be optimistic. Not yet.

[Ed. Was I the only one cringing when the soldier was brought out at the SOTU to be reunited with his wife? All I could think was, this is such a private and intimate moment, does she really want this to happen in front of the nation? Clearly, the husband knew what was coming and agreed, but the wife???]

Third news item:

Fourth news item:

This is so Elizabeth Warren:

At tonight’s Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren once again slammed her competitors for taking money from billionaires — including those who are supported by the unlimited spending of SuperPACs and the self-funding billionaires like former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg — but then surprisingly told CNN in an after-debate interview that she would personally be fine accepting donations from Bloomberg.

[…]

“…I believe is that we should not be selling access to our time. You know, this isn’t for special meetings and listen to my little issue. This is about how our democracy should work. I get it, rich people can own more shoes than the rest of us, more cars than the rest of us, maybe more houses than the rest of us but by golly they shouldn’t own a bigger share of our democracy. And that is why, for me, I think we should not be doing these campaigns either letting billionaires finance themselves, or using unlimited spending through SuperPACs which everybody on that stage was using except Amy [Klobuchar] and me. I fund my campaign grassroots, why every chance I get I say if you think that’s the right way to do it go to elizabethwarren.com and pitch in $5 because our democracy is at stake here. If we’re going to be a country, if we’re going to be a Democratic Party, where the only way you get the nomination is you either are a billionaire or you suck up to billionaires, then buckle up because we’re going to have a country that’s just going to work better and better for billionaires, and leave working people and everyone else behind.”

Fifth news item:

Matt Welch wants to know:

Now that Democrats have failed in their attempt to remove the president from power, it’s worth asking why they haven’t seriously considered the reverse: removing power from the president.

[…]

For anyone who would like to once again see an independent legislature, the 99% partisan impeachment process in both chambers of Congress is cause for despair. As is the Democratic presidential field’s will to executive power. If ever America is to get off the populist seesaw, we’re going to need to root less for politicians, and more for the rules and mores than can restrain them.

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

183 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (aaddb1)

  2. Now that Democrats have failed in their attempt to remove the president from power, it’s worth asking why they haven’t seriously considered the reverse: removing power from the president.

    This is an excellent point, and it has come up on a few other threads recently.

    It seems pretty clear to me that the president has accreted too much power to act without any check.

    1) He can do whatever he wants with the military
    2) He can usurp congress’s power of the purse by reallocating funds essentially at will
    3) He legislate with executive orders
    4) He can ignore any laws he doesn’t like, with impunity
    5) He can block all oversight of his own corrupt acts and silence witnesses to them
    6) He is (by declaration of his own appointee) immune to criminal process
    7) He appoints the people who interpret the law
    8) He can tamper with elections by using the powers of office to recruit foreign governments into his service

    and on top of this, in recent history he is often elected without the support of a majority of voters, and sometimes without the support of even a plurality of voters.

    As David French writes in an excellent article “It’s good to be king”.

    Good for His Majesty, anyway. Not so good for America.

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. Funny how Trump thought a horrendous report on Omarosa from her superiors shouldn’t count against her because “she said GREAT things” about him. It’s delusional to think that Trump’s objection to the Vindman brothers was based on work performance.

    Meanwhile, Trump apologists claim that the Vindmans are simply being reassigned in a routine shuffle. But the “routine shuffle” theory doesn’t jibe with Trump’s cover story. And does a routine reassignment usually involve being visibly escorted out of the building?

    Radegunda (5ab384)

  4. #2 — The Trump faithful have essentially taken the position that everything on the list is just fine, as long as Trump is in charge, and that any effort by elected representatives to check his actions or hold him accountable is an assault on the presidency, or part of a “soft coup.”

    Of course, they had a very different view of the matter when Obama was president. A “Trump intellectual” argued that Trump was just the person to restore Article 1 powers to Congress!

    Radegunda (5ab384)

  5. Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about “First Lady” Melania Knauss as though I should think only how wonderful she was. Actually, I don’t know her, never spoke to her, or met her (I don’t believe!) but, she was very insubordinate, reported contents of my “perfect” calls incorrectly, &…

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    ….was given a horrendous report by her superior, the man she reported to, who publicly stated that Melania Knauss had problems with judgement, adhering to the chain of command and leaking information. In other words, “OUT”.

    nk (1d9030)

  6. I didn’t watch the recent Dem debate, but from what I’ve read, Klobuchar turned in another impressive performance.

    She alone raised her hand when the moderator asked if anybody on the stage had a problem with a “Democratic Socialist” being on top of the ticket. And she gave a good answer as to why:

    “But I think we are not going to be able to out-divide the divider-in-chief,” she said. “I think we need someone to head up this ticket that actually brings people with her, instead of shutting them out.”

    She also smacked down Buttigieg for playing the Trump-y “I’m not a Washington insider” card:

    But what you said, Pete, as you were campaigning through Iowa, as three of us were jurors in that impeachment hearing — you said it was exhausting to watch and that you wanted to turn the channel and watch cartoons.

    It is easy to go after Washington because that’s a popular thing to do. It is much harder — as I see Senator Shaheen, in the front row, such a leader — it is much harder to lead, and much harder to take those difficult positions. Because I think this going after every single thing that people do, because it’s popular to say and makes you look like a cool newcomer — I just, I don’t think that’s what people want right now.

    We have a newcomer in the White House, and look where it got us. I think having some experience is a good thing.

    Amen.

    My primary vote will be for her or Bloomberg, if they’re still in the race, or (shudder) Biden otherwise.

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. And I wish you a great weekend too, Dana.

    nk (1d9030)

  8. Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 9:12 am

    Interesting, let’s see where this goes.

    He can do whatever he wants with the military

    He can do a lot but not whatever he wants. Do you want to revoke the AUMF? Any plan to deal with the WOT?

    He can usurp congress’s power of the purse by reallocating funds essentially at will

    Obviously he can’t do it at will. Other than a routine colonoscopy of executive agencies by congress, which I would wholeheartedly approve of, what else needs to happen?

    He legislate[s] with executive orders

    Completely agree. I’d love to hear a way to stop these.

    He can ignore any laws he doesn’t like, with impunity
    He can block all oversight of his own corrupt acts and silence witnesses to them
    He is (by declaration of his own appointee) immune to criminal process

    These are just talking points. They do more to undermine this entire argument than anything.

    He appoints the people who interpret the law

    Ah, so you aren’t really serious and now you aren’t even trying. Exaggerations and misrepresentations aren’t going to unwind real problems.

    frosty (f27e97)

  9. PS. Thank you for all the great posts.

    nk (1d9030)

  10. Hey #NeverTrump, try not to let the mask slip too far.

    Former senior Trump-Russia prosector Andrew Weissmann says Democrats should mimic Italian politics for the way to “get rid of” President Trump, whom he called a “demigod” and “amoral.”

    Conservatives say Mr. Weissmann’s advice on MSNBC reveals what his goal was all along as a senior prosecutor on the staff of special counsel Robert Mueller.

    Mr. Weissmann, a Democratic Party donor and one of 18 Mueller prosecutors, also lamented he could never get Mr. Trump to sit down for an interview where a slip up could have resulted in federal perjury charges.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/feb/7/muller-prosecutor-weissmann-says-look-italian-mode/

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  11. Thanks, nk.

    Dana (aaddb1)

  12. Few things which might have warranted their own thread:

    Trump acquitted
    Democratic debate in NH
    Carville telling Dems if they go hard left they’re insane (yet saying he’ll vote for Bernie if he’s the nominee).
    AOC, with geometric logic, disproving the ‘bootstrap’ theory
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  13. Jonah on Trump and Romney…

    Besides, what came after was so much worse. One of Yuval’s core arguments is that Trump rejects the character-molding of all institutions, most importantly the presidency itself. He wants to be bigger than the job, unconstrained by the tethers of decorum or decency we have traditionally expected from our presidents. I know enough history to know that he is not the first president who sought to be unbound from such conventions. But no president has been so grubby and shameless about it and no president has had so many enthusiastic enablers of it.
    The president opened his talk at the National Prayer Breakfast and many of the pastors and politicians who claim to hold it sacred chuckled approvingly as he openly rejected the core of Jesus’ teaching to love your enemies. At the White House a few hours later he held another triumph in which he apologized not for his role—his obvious and damning role—in the tribulations of impeachment but for the evilness of others and the toll their “bullshit” (his word) took on him and his family. He denounced those who claim to pray for him and ridiculed those who do “wrong”in the name of God. The latter would be a worthy target of ridicule were it not for the fact that, in his mind, doing wrong is staying loyal to an oath or telling the truth under one. Loyalty to him, and him alone, is how one stays on the right side of things. Let me hear no more about “situational ethics” from his Praetorians.
    I have criticized—and defended—Mitt Romney many times. But the effort, admittedly mostly from the worst goons, buffoons, and satraps of Trumpism, to describe him as a person of low character in defense of President Trump is one of the ugliest political spectacles I have ever witnessed. Has Romney at times been calculating? Of course. He’s a politician. But the suggestion that he is not an honest or decent man because he was “disloyal” to such a profoundly dishonest and indecent man is an exercise in mobbish immorality and the madness of crowds. And by the way, all of these gibbons and poltroons yammering on about how he was disloyal never seem to dwell on the question of why Trump should demand his loyalty in the first place? What does Romney owe Donald Trump? What trust or bond has he “betrayed”? Romney wasn’t elected because of Donald Trump.
    If you honestly would prefer your children grow up to be more like Donald Trump than Mitt Romney, I don’t know that there’s anything left to talk about. Watch his actual speech on the floor. I have no problem with people who disagree with his reasoning. But to come away thinking he’s anything other than a man molded by charactering-building institutions (his family, his church, the Senate itself) who is trying to do right by them strikes me as a kind of Trump-personality-cult derangement.
    And speaking of the d-word, last week I noted the effort to bend all of conservatism and the Republican Party to the cause of personal loyalty to Donald Trump was a form of intellectual corruption. This week we saw it could actually get worse. The hysterics insisting that Romney must be kicked out of the GOP—an effort Mitch McConnell sees for the idiocy it is—are in effect arguing that you can vote for all of Trump’s judges and the vast bulk of his legislative initiatives and it counts for nothing if you don’t accept full baptism into his cult of personality.
    I’ve been saying for 20 years that the cult of unity is a poison and that the hero in the American political tradition is not the mob, but the man who stands up to it. This week there was one hero and it wasn’t Donald Trump.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  14. Our President –

    Denigrates a Gold Star family

    Pardons a War Criminal

    Humiliates a soldier who has served with distinction for over twenty years and has a purple heart to show for it

    and feels he has been treated very unfairly.

    John B Boddie (286277)

  15. Yeah… the superior Vindman was given terrible reports by was Trump. Nobody gets to Vindman’s position if they have actual terrible reports on their record.

    Nic (896fdf)

  16. John B Boddie (286277) — 2/8/2020 @ 11:44 am

    A gold star and purple heart aren’t impervious immunity shields that let you walk into the political fire w/o getting burned.

    frosty (f27e97)

  17. This is the guy that likes to get on twitter and tweet about peoples’ appearance.

    JRH (52aed3)

  18. It looks like something took a dump on his neck.

    JRH (52aed3)

  19. that was out of line sorry.

    JRH (52aed3)

  20. The post is 12 years but this economist asks: Does the quality of blog comments deteriorate?

    1. The truly smart people only like to make smart points on “fresh” posts. For instance more people read the comments on fresh posts (but why?), so the benefit of a quality comment is lower as the post becomes older.
    2. As time passes, the chance that a warring twosome find each other, and take over the thread, increases.
    3. There is a tendency to attack or respond to the stupidest or most controversial thing said, and the longer the comments thread runs for, the stupider this will get.
    4. As the number of comments multiplies, so does the number of independent discussion threads and the optimal number of threads is exceeded.
    5. (Addended) As one (early) commentator notes below, the simple fact of diminishing marginal utility.

    I would add a #6 to reflect the 2020 political environment: The slew of adoring Trump loyalists who defend Trump no matter what, and who get upset at other commenters for “disloyalty” by opposing or disagreeing with Trump.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  21. Mike (Mr. Smiley-face) declares we are all Keynesians now.

    And, like any good BIG GOVERNMENT flack, promises “we’ll do it right this time”.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  22. nk (1d9030) — 2/8/2020 @ 10:01 am

    This afternoon I am listening to the new recording of Handel’s Agrippina with Joyce DiDonato, which is based, very very loosely, on the historical Agrippina’s schemes to make her son Nero emperor, and had a sudden vision of Ivana and Melania scheming against each oth er to ensure that it was her offspring and not the other’s who would succeed to Trump’s empire.

    Kishnevi (dbdcc5)

  23. RIP Orson Bean. Traffic accident. Struck by cars twice. 91 years old.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/08/us/actor-orson-bean-dies-91/index.html

    Simon Jester (9ac1a0)

  24. He can ignore any laws he doesn’t like, with impunity
    He can block all oversight of his own corrupt acts and silence witnesses to them
    He is (by declaration of his own appointee) immune to criminal process

    These are just talking points. They do more to undermine this entire argument than anything.

    What if I was talking about Obama and Clinton? (Which I was, but not exclusively)

    Would you agree then?

    He appoints the people who interpret the law

    Ah, so you aren’t really serious and now you aren’t even trying. Exaggerations and misrepresentations aren’t going to unwind real problems.

    So who does appoint federal judges then? The Tooth Fairy?

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 1:37 pm

    What if I was talking about Obama and Clinton?

    They couldn’t ignore any laws they didn’t like or block all oversight either. Whether different administrations have seen the same level of oversight is another issue. I didn’t limit my original response to Trump. What? Was I supposed to start backpedaling and harumphing, you’d call me a Trumphumper and feel morally vindicated? My point was you exaggerated and it undermines your argument. I’m willing to agree that all presidents have too much power. But it’s not accurate to say they can ignore all laws and block all oversight.

    So who does appoint federal judges then? The Tooth Fairy?

    Well,

    He shall have power … and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint … judges of the Supreme Court

    if by the Tooth Fairy you mean the Senate then yes, the Tooth Fairy.

    frosty (f27e97)

  26. Erik Wemple reports on a brutal takedown of FoxNews, by FoxNews, more specifically by their “Brain Room” (so that’s where the brains are kept):

    The Brain Room report bears the name of Bryan Murphy, a senior political affairs specialist at Fox News. It also bears this withering assessment of John Solomon, former opinion contributor for the Hill who is responsible for setting in motion faulty story lines regarding Ukraine: “John Solomon played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.” Another part of the document provides this assessment of Solomon: “Focus on stories from disinformation campaign, non-disclosure of conflicts, use of unreliable sources, publishing false and misleading stories, misrepresentation of sources, and opaque coordination with involved parties.”
    That says it all. Even as it levels that critique, the Brain Room document discloses that Solomon is a “Fox News contributor.” Indeed, though Solomon appeared as a guest frequently on “Hannity” throughout the Ukraine story, he left the Hill in fall 2019 and was hired as a contributor at Fox News in October.
    Not only does the research paper pummel Solomon, it cites a statistic that Solomon, over six months in 2019, “published 45 columns aimed at discrediting the Russia investigation, 12 of which focused primarily on Ukraine.” Where did that statistic come from?
    Media Matters for America! Yes, Media Matters for America, the organization essentially built to take down Fox News. Media Matters for America, the organization routinely slammed on Fox News’s air. Media Matters for America, the organization that essentially forced Glenn Beck from Fox News.
    It’s a stunning juxtaposition — one that speaks to the integrity of the Brain Room report. Other faces of the Ukraine issue that surface in the report include Giuliani, the ringleader of Trump’s effort to secure an announcement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of an investigation into the Bidens, who is described as having: “High susceptibility to disinformation” from key Ukrainian actors, according to the document. Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, a Trump-supporting husband-and-wife legal team, receive this evaluation: “Non-disclosure of financial motives and representation of [Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro] Firtash while spreading false and misleading stories.”
    Note: Giuliani, diGenova and Toensing appeared on “Hannity” with regularity to take the president’s side on Ukraine. All that explains, perhaps, why Hannity is making noises about a “new” deep state.

    And there you have it. Hannity was purveying lies and disinformation to loyally defend his master, Donald J. Trump, and fact-checked by his own employer. I’ve written before about the shady connections revolving around Toensing-DiGenova. They legally represent Firtash the corrupt oligarch, John Solomon, two corrupt Ukrainian ex-prosecutors (Shokin and Lutsenko), and they hired Parnas-Fruman to work for Firtash, and they’ve done legal legwork for Giuliani, and they’re big gushing fans of Trump, and their son works for AG Barr.
    It all stinks. The irony is that Giuliani claims to be looking for corruption from the Bidens, when the reality is all the corruption is sticking to him and his sketchy comrades.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  27. This is the guy that likes to get on twitter and tweet about peoples’ appearance.

    He claims it’s photoshopped!

    Except it’s not, of course.

    Dave (1bb933)

  28. China’s central government has ordered Wuhan to round up all suspected coronavirus patients as well as their close contacts in mass quarantine camps.

    At this point is this the best approach? Up until now, I think they were under martial law with limited ability to leave their homes for necessities. Moving everyone together seems like it all but ensures the suspected turns to confirmed.

    Wuhan officials are now carrying out door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who would need to be isolated.

    That’s not creepy at all. Given who we’re dealing with I’m not sure health check and isolation mean what we think it means.

    frosty (f27e97)

  29. I just watched Trump after watching Tucker and commented to my lady that Tucker’s toupe is a hell of a lot better than Trump’s. She reminded me that it’s a combover.

    Well, it’s an awful one, we can all agree, but hey: if he’s vain about his hair, I can live with that.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  30. They couldn’t ignore any laws they didn’t like or block all oversight either.

    That’s odd, because I’ve heard the exact opposite claimed by many #neverobama types in regard to DACA, Holder subpoenas, etc.

    But let’s not get lost in the weeds by re-litigating the last 11+ years.

    There are precious few checks on the president’s power – in practice.

    Elections are intended to be the primary means of conferring the powers of the presidency. Three of the four cases of impeachment (or near impeachment in Nixon’s case) involved the use of presidential power to tamper with elections in one way or another. A recent innovation is the solicitation and/or tacit acceptance of foreign government interference in the presidential election, which if not prevented places the integrity of those elections in doubt.

    Congress can take the ultimate step of impeachment and conviction, but only with a majority in the House and a super-majority in the Senate. Impeachment has never been used successfully. The looming threat did force Nixon out of office, but only because he lost the support of his own party. Senate super-majorities that do not include the president’s party are historically very rare.

    Congress can pass laws over the president’s veto, but only with a 2/3 majority in both Houses. Laws ultimately only have effect when enforced by the executive branch, though.

    Congress can refuse to pass a budget, but budgetary brinksmanship has not proven to be an effective political weapon.

    Congress can subpoena officials to testify, but generally can’t enforce those subpoenas in the face of a recalcitrant executive. And the subpoenas do nothing to change any facts on the ground, they simply raise the profile of an inter-branch political dispute.

    Congress can sue the President. This process is slow and unreliable, and since the courts are unelected, it also tends to be viewed as illegitimate by the losing side. As the other avenues listed above have progressively broken down in the face of executive intransigence, this has become the sole remaining avenue where the executive has neither tried to compromise the process nor refused to accept/implement the outcome. (Lincoln actually did do this during the Civil War, when the capital was in danger of being occupied or cut-off by hostile forces.)

    In the past, the executive’s own willingness to exercise a degree of restraint has been decisive. But that “honor system” has broken down completely with a president who proudly proclaims that he recognizes no limits to his power whatsoever (“I have an Article II where I have the right to do whatever I want as president”).

    It’s an iron law of politics that power works like a ratchet: whatever one president gets away with, the next will try to exploit further.

    Dave (1bb933)

  31. “Except it’s not, of course.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 2:09 pm

    Trump is way too dumb to know what exact software was used. Or, he LIED!

    In a statement to DailyMail.com, Moon admitted that he had altered the photo, saying: ‘The picture was never photoshopped, but used the Apple smartphone’s photo app to adjust the color of the picture.’
    News photography experts from DailyMail.com reviewed the photos of Trump that were posted to Moon’s Twitter account on Friday, one in color and one in black and white.
    They concluded that both had been through several steps of software editing to alter the color balance and contrast, steps that are generally considered inappropriate for news photos.

    Sums up the anti-Trump psychosis pretty well.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  32. Trump is way too dumb to know what exact software was used. Or, he LIED!

    Why can’t both be true?

    News photography experts from DailyMail.com reviewed the photos

    ZOMG ANONYMOUS SOURCES!!1!!!!!11!!!

    They concluded that both had been through several steps of software editing to alter the color balance and contrast

    Phone cameras do that kind of thing automatically, so that Joe and Jane Sixpack get something that looks presentable. All the guy says he did manually was desaturate (i.e. convert the colors to grays) the b&w version.

    steps that are generally considered inappropriate for news photos.

    LOL.

    Dave (1bb933)

  33. Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 3:11 pm

    That’s odd, because I’ve heard the exact opposite claimed by many #neverobama types in regard to DACA, Holder subpoenas, etc.

    The problem is with the blanket statement. They all sounded ridiculous too, or I should say partisan. I absolutely agree that DACA was overreach but congress should, and could, have dealt with that.

    Laws ultimately only have effect when enforced by the executive branch, though.

    Your #4 was vague. I read it as the executive could ignore laws that applied to them. Not enforcing laws is a separate issue.

    Lincoln actually did do this during the Civil War

    Lincoln straight-up broke the law, full-on unconstitutional acts. I’m not going to complain about it this late in the game.

    I’m not sure where we disagree. Congress is delegating or shirking its duty. You’re exactly right, if you give POTUS power he will us it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  34. MSNBC’s Katy Tur asking if gerrymandering was the solution to too many Republican senators was lol.
    _

    Kyle Drennen
    @kjdrennen
    .
    @KatyTurNBC
    worries about “gerrymandering” helping Republicans get elected to the SENATE, Washington Post’s @pbump has to awkwardly correct her
    __ _

    Rusty
    @LieutenantRusty
    ·
    Remember, folks: @KatyTurNBC believes she knows enough about this stuff to tell you what you should think.
    __ _

    ArdvarkMaster
    @ArdvarkMaster
    ·
    Didn’t know redrawing state lines was an option. /s
    __ _

    Eric Lopez
    @ericplopez
    ·
    In all fairness Democrats want to gerrymander Mexico into the voter pool.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  35. Why fight when there’s a video? Not safe if you’re eating something or are otherwise easily nauseated. Poor Melania, is that what she wakes up to every day?

    nk (1d9030)

  36. “Phone cameras do that kind of thing automatically”

    LOL. It was a perfect photo, says Dave.

    In photography circles, I think it’s called a schiff filter.

    Munroe (861db5)

  37. Poor Melania, is that what she wakes up to every day?

    Women must hate waking up beside the most powerful man in the world.

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793)

  38. Didn’t know redrawing state lines was an option. /s

    Mary Jane heard about the VA counties wanting to succeed and join W.VA. She laughed and laughed. If they could succeed why not make their own state and pick up the two senators.

    frosty (f27e97)

  39. David French constantly claims to be a “Conservative”. I’d love to see an analysis of his writing over the last 3 years. How times has he attacked Trump on a stand alone basis vs. attacks on Pelosi or schumer on a standalone basis.

    You’d think the default mode for a “Conservative” would be to attack Leftists and liberals. But french seems to be the reverse. His default is to attack Trump and the Right, and only attack the liberal/left by saying “both sides” are wrong.

    And no, its not about “speaking truth to power” because the D’s have had plenty of power during the last 3 years. And how often has David French attacked the NYT or WaPo? How often has he attacked the 4 liberals on the SCOTUS? How often has he attacked the MSM?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  40. nk (1d9030) — 2/8/2020 @ 3:54 pm

    Make America Ordered Again (23f793) — 2/8/2020 @ 3:56 pm

    I’d be surprised if they slept in the same room. Does the Secret Service even allow that? Not to mention he probably keeps odd hours. My spouse wouldn’t tolerate it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  41. They’ll need Virginia’s permission. Without Virginia’s permission, it’s rebellion and insurrection against Virginia, and the federal government is Constitutionally bound to send federal troops to put it down.

    nk (1d9030)

  42. Jonah Golberg seems to be the same way. As far as I can tell Jonah only says three things:

    1. Trump is terrible
    2. Both sides are wrong
    3. Pass the Spaghetti.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  43. RIP Robert Conrad

    harkin (d6cfee)

  44. If you had ANY intellectual integrity, you’d get off your dead ass and do some research instead of just throw accusations and innuendo.

    That’s IF…

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  45. Jonah Golberg seems to be the same way. As far as I can tell Jonah only says three things:

    Apparently you don’t/can’t read.

    Same advice as above; get off your dead ass.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  46. Women must hate waking up beside the most powerful man in the world.

    I can think of several who were less than thrilled in the specific case of Duh Donald, since you mentioned “women”.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  47. rcocean (1a839e) — 2/8/2020 @ 4:02 pm

    David French being part of the insane clown posse has nothing to do with him not attacking Pelosi, the left, etc. It has everything to do with him being an insane clown. Even if he were attacking leftist it would probably be disjointed and illogical. In the article posted above, he doesn’t actually make any sort of conservative argument.

    frosty (f27e97)

  48. In the article posted above, he doesn’t actually make any sort of conservative argument.

    …you have the snap to see.

    Some the best conservative writers write about subjects ranging far and wide. Some of the most disgusting T-rump suckage sites have nothing to contibute to conservative thought.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  49. @37 I imagine that if you are the sort of woman to be dickering over price, you wouldn’t necessarily mind as much. But otherwise Chris Evans would be better by any other unit of measure.

    @39 People are often more disappointed at their own family behaving badly than their across the street neighbors. The teenager playing his music way too loudly 10 feet away is more a problem than the one playing his music way too loudly 100 yards away.

    Nic (896fdf)

  50. So, there’s this Trump nominee to the Federal Reserve, Judy Shelton, who wants to put the US back on the gold standard and end deposit insurance. No doubt both are libertarian dreams. But if Trump picked her, she has to be bad, right?

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  51. But if Trump picked her, she has to be bad, right?

    Why? Some T-rump picks have been quite good. Several had to leave when they found out who they were dealing with, but the picks were good.

    I don’t know that reimposing the gold standard is possible or even necessarily a good idea, but I’d be happy to hear it debated (NOT demagogued).

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  52. But if Trump picked her, she has to be bad, right?

    Yes, she has to be. Lemme splain why. Trump wants a weak dollar and increased inflation. Why? So he can pay off his long term debt with dollars that are worth half of what they were when he took out the loans (and he now has twice as many of them). Powell has held fast against that. Dis babe, she sound to me like her only qualification is that she will do what Trump wants, and is unqualified (and dangerous) in any other respect. Libertarian dreams aside, do you want a weak dollar and increased inflation, Kevin?

    nk (1d9030)

  53. David French constantly claims to be a “Conservative”. I’d love to see an analysis of his writing over the last 3 years. How times has he attacked Trump on a stand alone basis vs. attacks on Pelosi or schumer on a standalone basis.

    How many times have you yelled at your kid in the last year?

    How many times have you yelled at your neighbors’ kid in the last year?

    Do you love your neighbors’ kid more than your own?

    Which problem would you focus on:

    Your kid brings home an F on his/her report card, or
    Your neighbor’s kid brings home an F on his/her report card?

    You’d think the default mode for a “Conservative” would be to attack Leftists and liberals.

    There’s your problem right there.

    But french seems to be the reverse. His default is to attack Trump and the Right, and only attack the liberal/left by saying “both sides” are wrong.

    If you’ve ever played in a softball league, whose play did you put more effort into trying to improve – your team’s or the opponents’?

    None of my examples are exactly analogous, of course, but you seem to see the people like French as nothing more than cheer-leaders.

    But French (and other political writers worth reading) are critics (or coaches, if we stick with the sports analogy) who think independently, not cheer-leaders.

    Much of the criticism of Patterico, for being insufficiently deferential to Trump and his sycophants, also seems to be based on the same misunderstanding.

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 4:58 pm

    It’s interesting that this type of thinking never applies to critics of NeverTrump. Anyone challenging NeverTrump is automatically pro-Trump.

    frosty (f27e97)

  55. Yes, she has to be. Lemme splain why. Trump wants a weak dollar and increased inflation.

    The gold standard is DEflationary – VERY deflationary. In its purest form, it freezes the money supply completely.

    And DEflation kills an economy much quicker than INflation, just ask Herbert Hoover.

    What could be bad about falling prices, you ask? Plenty.

    Deflation means it’s better to hold off on any spending you can, because your money will buy even more tomorrow. It likewise kills borrowing, for the same reason that inflation discourages lending. Under deflation, the dollar you borrow today needs to be paid back next year with a dollar (plus interest!) that would buy more.

    With deflation putting kibosh on demand, two things happen. First, inventory piles up, requiring cutbacks in production (job cuts, reduced hours, less demand for raw materials). Second, to attract buyers, suppliers have to lower their prices even MORE, leading to a deflationary spiral.

    The gold standard is the dream of Ron Paul Area 52 whack-jobs. Anybody who advocates it shouldn’t be let near a lemonade stand, much less the Federal Reserve.

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. Anyone challenging NeverTrump is automatically pro-Trump.

    No. More just a bleeding ass-boil on a 1000 mi. drive.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  57. “If you’ve ever played in a softball league, whose play did you put more effort into trying to improve – your team’s or the opponents’?”
    Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 4:58 pm

    Judging from some here, if you’re disappointed in the play of your teammates you quit the team in a huff and repeatedly make sure everyone knows about it even years later.

    Then, you show up in the opposing grandstands and heckle your former mates.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  58. Dave, IIRC Milton Friedman suggested that the money supply be set at a given level, with a provision that would allow it to increase a limited amount each year, with the exception of, say, a real war.

    Again, I’d like to see these ideas publicly fleshed out.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  59. It’s interesting that this type of thinking never applies to critics of NeverTrump. Anyone challenging NeverTrump is automatically pro-Trump.

    Not sure I follow.

    Being “left-wing” makes it pretty likely that you oppose Trump, since Trump is a grotesque caricature of “right-wing”.

    But (rcocean’s flawed logic notwithstanding) opposing Trump does not necessarily mean you are “left-wing.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  60. Judging from some here, if you’re disappointed in the play of your teammates you quit the team in a huff and repeatedly make sure everyone knows about it even years later.

    Nah, I was perfectly happy with the play of the team, but then they hired a manager who’s a loudmouth, vulgar assh0le, doesn’t know the rulebook, and likes to cheat.

    Since you ride pine if he takes a dislike to you, most of my former teammates learned to suck up to him, and now they’re almost as bad as he is.

    Sad, isn’t it?

    Dave (1bb933)

  61. Crazy people with crackpot theories (which they might simply just be making up cause they’re ignorant) can also be Mr. President’s handmaidens to do what he wants them to do in exchange for their cinchy jobs, Mr. Dave.

    nk (1d9030)

  62. Dave (1bb933) — 2/8/2020 @ 5:31 pm

    If you’ve ever played in a softball league, whose play did you put more effort into trying to improve – your team’s or the opponents’?

    In this situation, you criticize your own team. But for team NeverTrump any criticism of itself can only come from a Trumphumper. It criticizes tribalism but is tribal. It criticizes loyalty tests but requires complete loyalty. Anyone pointing that out is immediately suspect.

    frosty (f27e97)

  63. https://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2020/02/congress-put-end-state-union-good/

    Here’s an idea I’ve been promoting for a decade or two.

    Just stop it. It’s a disgusting, anti-republic circus and we’d all be better with it.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  64. But for team NeverTrump any criticism of itself can only come from a Trumphumper.

    Untrue.

    Depends on what the criticism is.

    Very often (see rcocean for numerous examples), the criticism is “You criticize President Trump too much and never criticize “.

    That, indeed, is the argument of a “TrumpHumper”.

    But there are others who criticize me (and Patrick, and other Trump critics) who do so on the basis of *what* we argued, not who we did or didn’t criticize. Sammy F, KevinM and JVW are examples of people who frequently critique arguments made against Trump on the merits of the argument, not because any criticism of Trump is ipso facto evidence of bad motives. And they are not branded TrumpHumpers (occasionally a particular argument might be criticized as tribal).

    It criticizes tribalism but is tribal.

    Nope. We don’t have a tribe, unless Mitt Romney, all by his lonesome, counts as a tribe.

    And similarly, for me, there only irredeemable villain in Washington (and if he actually made an effort to be a decent person and a responsible leader, I would embrace him in a heartbeat, but we all know that’s not in the cards, sadly).

    The Democrats believe a lot of silly, stupid and sometimes immoral things. And increasingly, Republicans defend, and claim to believe, a lot of silly, stupid and sometimes immoral things.

    It criticizes loyalty tests but requires complete loyalty.

    Nope. I don’t know where you get this idea.

    Anyone pointing that out is immediately suspect.

    Again, the nature of argument matters.

    Anyone who says something to the effect of “Your criticism is bad because you shouldn’t criticize our guy Trump” is making a tribal argument. It happens endlessly here.

    Anyone who says something to the effect of “Your criticism of Trump is wrong because you claimed X but this factual source shows Y” should be taken seriously and engaged, and would be, by me at least, as long as “Y” isn’t an obvious falsehood or debunked talking point.

    Dave (1bb933)

  65. Due to my forgetting that you can’t put un-escaped angle-brackets in a comment, that should have read:

    Very often (see rcocean for numerous examples), the criticism is “You criticize President Trump too much and never criticize “<insert name of someone or something Trump doesn’t like>”.

    Dave (1bb933)

  66. David French being part of the insane clown posse…

    I get that French is in a new “posse” at The Dispatch, but where exactly in his body of work is the “insane” and “clown” part?

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  67. It criticizes loyalty tests but requires complete loyalty.

    Well, if you mean loyalty to honesty, reason, and acting in a morally good way, then, yes, “neverTrump” is guilty as charged.

    Kishnevi (9605e1)

  68. So, there’s this Trump nominee to the Federal Reserve, Judy Shelton, who wants to put the US back on the gold standard and end deposit insurance.

    It doesn’t matter who picks her. She’d be a terrible, stupid choice whoever does it, and if Trump wants to be terrible and stupid, then so be it.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  69. Ragspierre (d9bec9) — 2/8/2020 @ 6:01 pm

    From the linked snippet:

    Trump’s reality-TV-style giveaways — a scholarship, a medal, a family reunion — had me wondering if, a la Oprah, he would dish out new cars at the end.

    LOL.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. New cars for Roberts and the 52 GOP senators who were voting to acquit him the next day, Rodney Dangerfield style (“Keep it fair, keep it fair…”), would have been EPIC.

    Dave (1bb933)

  71. Trump’s reality-TV-style giveaways — a scholarship, a medal, a family reunion — had me wondering…

    I know, right?

    And it can only get worse from here, regardless of who’s in office.

    Let it die…!!!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  72. R.I.P. Robert Conrad

    R.I.P. Orson Bean

    Icy (6abb50)

  73. Nancy Pelosi
    @SpeakerPelosi
    The Tuskegee Airmen bravely fought enemies abroad & racism at home. Our nation is forever grateful for their heroism, fighting for the values of America: equality, justice & opportunity. #BlackHistoryMonth

    __ _

    ‘cleanup, aisle five’
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  74. The Chinese government is herding anyone they even suspect of having the virus, which is a great way to spread the virus to people that don’t have it yet as well as panicking the rest of the populace.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  75. Astronaut Christina Koch, who just set the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, is back on Earth after 328 days in space.

    I remember in the 1990’s I was having lunch at CERN with our little group of a dozen or so American expats. My friend Lucy, who had a bit of a feminist streak, was reading the International Herald Tribune.

    “Oh…they sent a woman up to the space station,” Lucy said somewhat cheerily.

    Down at the other end of the table, my friend Hal (who had dated Lucy at one point, but they were now just friends), dead-panned “What, did they run out of monkeys?”

    Dave (1bb933)

  76. The thing about coronavirus mortality is that there’s a delay between onset of symptoms and death. So, when they say that there are 31K cases and 800 deaths, and suggest this gives a mortality rate of 2%, it’s either incompetence or lying. The 800 deaths all came from cases where symptoms showed up some time ago. A better measure would be current deaths versus cases a week ago, or 800/10K, or 8%.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  77. Who set the record for the longest car ride by a toddler between the ages of two and three, boy or girl?

    nk (1d9030)

  78. @78 You’re right but the Chinese numbers are garbage. They’re reporting from a formula.

    So far the US has it contained, or it appears so. The incubation period means it might be to soon to tell.

    But if you want something scary to think about take a look at the most recent WHO world map for the spread. Anything jump out at you?

    frosty (f27e97)

  79. You have a friend named Hal, Dave? Not a a 9000 model that escaped decommissioning, I hope.

    nk (1d9030)

  80. Belated R.I.P. -10/11/19; Alexi Leonov
    Russian cosmonaut, first man to walk in space.

    Artist, competitor– and a class act.

    Ad Astra Alexi.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  81. Daisy, Daisy,
    Give me your answer, do!
    I’m half crazy,
    All for the love of you!

    Dave (6ed7b7)

  82. Dave…?

    What are you doing, Dave…?

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  83. Just a reminder for anyone dreaming that they could support Biden, go watch Justice Thomas’s documentary to remember what Biden tried to do to him and who Biden truly is.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  84. I always wondered if jordan petersen was a dope or on dope. I guess I now know.

    boswel (d0b715)

  85. Justice Thomas is the greatest American of my lifetime. And Biden should be jailed with fagspierre.

    mg (8cbc69)

  86. The first outbreak of influenza in 1918 killed 50 million people in six months. That’s three times the number of people killed in WW I. The flu killed 8,000 people in the US alone last year.

    Highly contagious, it’s an airborne virus. A cough, a sneeze, or simply breathing, and anyone around you could be infected, but the most common vector, believe it or not, is by hand. The flu spreads by close proximity among people in confined quarters, such as buses, trains, planes, and ships. Mass transportation is what made it a pandemic. An infected person goes to work, and soon everyone in the office is infected. They all go home, and soon everyone in their family is infected. Once it gets into the schools, it’s all over the world. Millions die every year from the flu around the planet, and thousands die every in this country.

    So, yeah, the Chinese government desperately wants to contain this coronavirus outbreak. Going door to door and testing everyone inside is a good idea. But rounding up people suspected of being infected is a bad idea. Some of them may have the virus, but many of them may not. If you quarantine them all in a confined space, the virus spreads from the infected to the not infected. (That’s how a totalitarian government deals with political dissidents–round them up and confine them to infected camps.)

    That said, we know very little about this virus. We don’t know its vector, or it’s mortality rate. Apparently, the infection is asymptomatic for days, weeks, possibly months. So an infected person could be walking around, travelling, infecting other people, and not even know it.

    From what I’ve read, this virus does not appear to be airborne. It’s vector may be fluid, mucus or saliva, or hand, but we just don’t know yet. It may be a mutant variation of the SARs virus, which killed thousands, but we just don’t know yet.

    I can’t think of a more horrible situation to be in than being quarantined on a cruise ship with an infectious disease aboard.

    The same thing, in a different way, happened to our personal assistant; she, her husband and young daughter took a cruise ship to New Orleans. And what happened? Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. The ship was docked off the coast of Louisiana for ten days. The passengers were told they could debark, buy an airline ticket or rent a car to return home, but if they left the ship, they wouldn’t be allowed back on.

    Amy, her husband and daughter stayed on the ship. It’s not like they had any choice. They paid for this tour and now were stranded. Neither her or she could return to work, so on top of what they paid for the cruise, they lost salary, because they couldn’t return to do their jobs.

    Cruise Ships are disasters waiting to happen. If it’s not an outbreak of disease, it’s a hurricane. Book one at your peril.

    I’ll never board a cruise ship.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  87. In the words of Caesar “alea lacta est”.

    mg (8cbc69)

  88. Gawain’s Ghost (b25cd1) — 2/9/2020 @ 2:47 am
    Forty years later, world-wide fear of the Spanish flu was still persistent and pervasive. My parents and grandparents had a living memory of the devastation. I think my first words were “la gripe.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  89. 80, guess Brown dont Frown and Black dont Crack were getting old as go to silver lining mantras. But, in a more serious vein, you could deduce that it could have been engineered by a adversarial actor in the no-cases regions specifically to target certain populations. Also, those countries might turn you around at the point of a bayoonet or euthanize you after 7th sneeze.

    urbanleftbehind (28aa70)

  90. New NH Poll: (h/t: HotAir)

    Sanders 30, Buttigieg 20, Klobuchar 13, Warren 12, Biden 11

    Since yesterday, Sanders has lost one point, Buttigieg has lost four points, Klobuchar has gained four points, Warren has gained one point, and Biden has held his support.

    Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, explains the changes: “Both Sanders and Buttigieg received a bounce in our poll numbers since Iowa, but it looks like the debate on Friday may have stymied momentum for the front runners. The candidate who seems to have been able to take advantage of the event is Klobuchar who gained four points.”

    Go Amy!

    From Ragspierre’s Axios article:

    The big picture: Bloomberg’s campaign has repeatedly said its will spend “whatever it takes” to defeat President Trump. There’s nothing stopping Bloomberg from topping $2 billion.

    With 2,100 paid staff, Bloomberg has three times as many as Trump, five times as many as Joe Biden and more than twice as many as Elizabeth Warren, according to data the campaigns provided to Axios.

    He pays his staff more than any other 2020 Democrat’s campaign and offers housing if they have to move to New York City, according to a campaign official.

    Wow.

    By the numbers: In just over a month, Bloomberg spent more than the top 2020 contenders spent for the whole final quarter of 2019 combined, according to Federal Election Commission data. He also outspent the entire RNC and DNC.

    Wow.

    While (like all the Democrats) Bloomberg takes positions I don’t like, if he did somehow become the nominee, he seems better placed than the others to actually win in November.

    Bloomberg is an unabashed capitalist who actually earned his wealth by creating and marketing a useful product people wanted to buy, rather than inheriting it and selling snake oil. He’s a smart, business-savvy guy.

    His “other” Super Bowl ad and his “State of the Union” ad were both powerful attacks on Trump’s fecklessness and incompetence.

    And finally, the man is a bona fide philanthropist, and I think that speaks well of his character. Some of his donations have been to gun control and climate change groups, but a lot has also gone to education and public health.

    From what I’ve seen, at least some of the gun control positions he advocates look relatively moderate and sensible. Of course, if one takes the position that any effort to reduce illegal gun violence is unacceptable, then his proposals will be unacceptable. He does want to ban assault weapons, which I don’t support.

    Dave (1bb933)

  91. It won’t be repeated in Nevada because they cancelled plans to use that proprietary software. Now maybe they have o substitute.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  92. Michael Bloomberg is running a commercial that males it appear that he is being endorsed by Barack Obama. He already did one commercial that used an Obama clip, (and that on;y was the topid of half the commercial) but this one looks like an outright endorsement.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  93. fagspierre?
    Seems like a moderator ruling should be made.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  94. Lindsay Graham on Face the Nation about the untrustworthiness of information coming out of “the Ukraine” and also Rusy Giuliani and Hunter Biden,

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  95. How this mighty socialist has fallen in one short two-year term, from introducing the huge Green New Deal to b*tching about the lack of a “good bacon, egg and cheese” in DC.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  96. Plus, AOC, BS in economics, introduced us to Milton Keens.

    Amazzing.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  97. Rusy Giuliani

    Sammy, I have no idea if that was intentional, but I’m stealing it!

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  98. Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4) — 2/9/2020 @ 8:02 am

    Lindsay Graham on Face the Nation about … “the Ukraine”

    Missed it. Is he advocating clearing things up with more investigations or just moving along?

    frosty (f27e97)

  99. Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4) — 2/9/2020 @ 8:00 am

    I’ve seen the one on youtube that’s 100% statements from BO. I wonder how that will play with Joe asking to not be endorsed.

    frosty (f27e97)

  100. go watch Justice Thomas’s documentary to remember what Biden tried to do to him and who Biden truly is.

    … but the documentaries and stories reporting the cruel things that Donald Trump has done to people are all completely irrelevant, according to Trump apologists.

    Trumpists have been adamant that nothing Trump did before getting the presidency matters, except that he made money and put his name on things.
    They’ve taken the position that it’s wrong to care about “who Trump truly is,” how he talks and behaves, because only a hater does that.

    Different rules.

    Radegunda (5ab384)

  101. what Biden tried to do to him and who Biden truly is.

    “He fights!!”

    Radegunda (5ab384)

  102. “Different rules.”
    Radegunda (5ab384) — 2/9/2020 @ 9:28 am

    I wish someone, somewhere, in the media and blogosphere would focus on all the bad things Trump did before getting elected and tout their relevancy. Just once.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  103. 106. Vera Coking and Michael Forbes stand out in my mind as two very good reasons not to support Donald Trump with my vote. You don’t see much about either of them in the media these days, and I don’t remember seeing a lot of coverage of them in 2016 either.

    Gryph (08c844)

  104. Good job trying to run interference for Biden Radegunda, but whataboutism isn’t particularly relevant when I’m referencing one of the greatest Supreme Court justices ever and how Biden tried to stab him and Bork him.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  105. Now that Democrats have failed in their attempt to remove the president from power, it’s worth asking why they haven’t seriously considered the reverse: removing power from the president.

    Why? The answer is as obvious as the nose on Matt Welch’s face.

    Because the Dems want the office presidency to have as much power as it can, so when their guy is in, he can use that power to maximum possible effect. See the last president, who bragged, “I’ve Got A Pen And I’ve Got A Phone.”

    It’s all about power, not the best distribution of power in a Constitutional Republic.

    What has been lost for a very long time on both sides of the political spectrum is the notion that we want the principle that we can live with if the other side gets in power.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  106. ll the bad things Trump did before getting elected and tout their relevancy. Just once.

    But we’ve just been told that a bad thing Biden did thirty years ago is disqualifying. Because Biden was mean, apparently, and we can’t have a mean person in the presidency, can we?

    I wish that Trump apologists, just once, would judge others by the same standards they apply to Trump, or vice versa.
    Back in 2015-16, the line was that what Trump had said or done a year or two earlier didn’t matter – only his campaign rhetoric mattered. Since then, Trump apologists have often retorted “That was before he was president!” as a defense.

    They also insist that nothing he does wrong in the presidency should be held against him. And bad things he does are often said to be good, because “He fights!”

    Donald Trump is still the same grossly dishonest, self-centered, erratic, ignorant, vindictive bully he always was. He still believes that nothing he does to benefit himself — such as using his office to steer money into his businesses — could possibly be wrong.

    Good job trying to run interference for Biden Radegunda,

    I’m not running interference for Biden. I’m making note of the stunning double standards by which Trump always gets a pass — while everyone else must be judged punctiliously.

    Radegunda (5ab384)

  107. … using his office to steer money, including public money, into his businesses.
    Trump has spent about 1/3 of his time at his own properties, where he charges rather high room rates for the Secret Service to stay.

    His boosters told us that he was totally incorruptible because he was already rich, and that he was making a huge personal sacrifice (“He bled millions to get Kav and Gorsuch on the Supreme Court!”) because he loves America so much. Even though he had never shown any inclination to sacrifice anything for anyone.

    Radegunda (5ab384)

  108. What has been lost for a very long time on both sides of the political spectrum is the notion that we want the principle that we can live with if the other side gets in power.

    Indeed.

    And the same argument applies to both sides’ obsession with judicial appointments and attempts to politicize the courts.

    Dave (1bb933)

  109. Some of you could benefit from the following story/parable, which my mother (who is an immigrant from another country) told me was popular there years ago.

    The dogs had a convention, and one of them complained. “Every time two dogs meet, each sticks his nose in the other’s rear end. That is really so undignified! We should, rather, greet each other by meeting our noses. That is what wolves do, and it is so much more noble. Let’s do that!”

    “Great idea,” barked all the other dogs. “Let’s do that from now on.”

    Next day, two dogs meet on a street corner. One starts to bring his nose to the other’s nose. The second one says, “Hey buddy, don’t bother. I know you are a dog. You can just stick your nose in my rear.”

    Sometimes you need to use a dog, not a wolf. Doesn’t mean you are fooled, it just means that that is what you have to do the job.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  110. China’s central government has ordered Wuhan to round up all suspected coronavirus patients as well as their close contacts in mass quarantine camps.

    I think the government of China may be secretly killing corona virus patients.

    There is a massive death toll, which is being covered up, and it can’t be from this virus, which is not so deadly outside of China. People are not being allowed to visit patients, so they could be doing this, injecting them with some variety of fentanyl of which there is plenty of in China, or with the anesthetic propofol or whatever is available.

    The Chinese government is both ruthless and stupid enough to do this.

    They can very well be periodically clearing out the “hospitals” because they can’t build any more.

    Another idea could be that there is a second pathogen, which is more deadly, which so far has not made it out of China. And both of these things could be true.

    A death toll could also be explained by poor, or nonexistent, treatment, heavy air pollution in Wuhan, and poor nutrition as well as quarantine or hospital conditions that cause people to infect each other, but there should be people who recovered. Do we hear of any by name?

    And a 33 year old doctor should not have died.

    The creatmatoria are working full time, but if people were all dying of natural causes, the death toll should be either going on or down and they’d either be sending less or have bodies pilig up while they scramble to dispose of them. One crematoria manager told a Hong Kong reporter that normally his 24 ovens work 4 hrs a day 5 days a week, but now they are working around the clock. Wuhan is now a very big city so the 4 hrs a day 5 days a week may represent a normal death rate, but now in thsi place they’re dealing with 168/20 of 8.4 (nearly 8.5) as many death as usual. A good approximation of a to be expected death rate is 1% a year (populations tend to grow and have more younger people than older and China has not yet grown old) so we are talking of a death rate that would work out to 7.5% a year. Per day that’s about 0.02%. In Wuhan.

    The government is, of course talking nonsense everywhere, and giving a death rate of 2.1% of diagnosed cases. That hasn’t changed since January 30 not even by one tenth of one percent. A lot of the advice and instructions the Chinese government is giving is also nonsense and it’s also causing some people in the United States to buy masks, causing maybe a shortage of masks where they are truly useful.

    face masks are maybe useful to prevent people who have the virus from infecting others, but mostly a waste to prevent a person from catching it, and if t were used for such apurpose it would need to be thrown out after every trip outdoors.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  111. Interestingly, President Xi Jinping is not connecting himself with the efforts against the disease (something that President Trump here in the United States hasn’t noticed because he expressed confidence in his ability to contain the disease.)

    This could be because there might be a big scandal that emerges in the future (like possibly periodic “culling” of patients and sending them to crematoria) and Xi doesn’t want to associate himself wth the efforts against the diseases.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  112. Ed. Was I the only one cringing when the soldier was brought out at the SOTU to be reunited with his wife? All I could think was, this is such a private and intimate moment, does she really want this to happen in front of the nation

    Didn’t this sometimes used to happen on television all the time? Now what show? Who started these surprise reunions?

    https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/shows/this-is-your-life

    This is Your Life was the creation of host Ralph Edwards, who was also the host of radio’s popular Truth or Consequences. In a 1946 radio broadcast of the latter program Edwards presented a capsule narrative of the past life of a disabled World War II veteran who was having difficulties adjusting to post-war life. Edwards received such positive feedback from this show that he developed the formula for a separate radio program called This is Your Life. It began airing on radio in 1948, and became a live television program in 1952, running on the NBC network until 1961, and reappearing in syndicated versions briefly in the early 1970s and 1980s (during this last period, it was hosted by actor Joseph Campanella).

    If the husband hadn’t agreed, he wouldn’t have come home.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  113. @109 What, exactly, makes Thomas one of the best Supreme Court justices ever? As far as I can tell, he almost never asks a question. He doesn’t even seem to be the best conservative judge he’s served on the court with, much less one of the best of any judges across the entire history of the Court.

    Nic (896fdf)

  114. As far as I can tell, he almost never asks a question.

    He reads the briefs. Trust me, they get thought about and edited before they’re submitted to the Supreme Court. He listens to the oral arguments.

    He’s explained why he doesn’t ask many questions.

    Make America Ordered Again (adac13)

  115. frosty (f27e97) — 2/8/2020 @ 3:01 pm

    Moving everyone together seems like it all but ensures the suspected turns to confirmed.

    It’s a good way to ensure that every potential case gets infected.

    Wuhan officials are now carrying out door-to-door health checks to identify potential carriers who would need to be isolated.

    That’s not creepy at all. Given who we’re dealing with I’m not sure health check and isolation mean what we think it means.

    They may be attempting to eliminate the disease by extermination.

    Like they do with chickens or pigs.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  116. A LOT of appellate judges and justices think that oral argument is generally a waste of time. Thomas is so well briefed on a case, and has kicked it around with his colleagues enough that he feels asking questions would simply be showboating on his part.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  117. Here is a survivor, but he’s not in Wuhan:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-virus-survivors-tale-of-crossing-china-in-the-early-days-of-outbreak-11581245096

    Given the all clear on Feb 4 and even then told to stay home.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  118. What makes Thomas unpopular in some quarters, I think, is that he is still stuck on his high school Biology from way before there were iPhones even. He doesn’t know that the human race has evolved and that women now have testicles and men have uteruses. Oh, well, what can you do with an old fossil like that?

    nk (1d9030)

  119. @120, 122. This still doesn’t tell me what makes him better than Scalia or Alito, or Roberts, or even Kennedy, much less every other judge in the history of the Court. I haven’t heard that he makes brilliant legal arguments, or ones uniquely founded in originalism.

    Nic (896fdf)

  120. “ There was so much scummery to avenge: from Chris Matthews on MSNBC suggesting Sanders wouldn’t stop his car to help someone injured on the side of the road, to CNN running a late-breaking story that the DNC was employing “troll fighters” to combat a Russian “disinformation” campaign (presumably to help Sanders), to the DNC changing debate rules to allow billionaire ex-Republican Michael Bloomberg to buy his way in, to an $800,000 attack ad campaign from former Democratic strategist Mark Mellman, to reports that at least some DNC members were contemplating a return of superdelegates to stop Bernie.”

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/iowa-caucus-democrats-disaster-trump-sanders-949655/amp/
    _

    But hey, they were completely on the up&up regarding impeachment.
    __ _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  121. I haven’t heard that he makes brilliant legal arguments, or ones uniquely founded in originalism.

    Well, you wouldn’t hear Scalia make any arguments as an originalist, either. He claimed to be a textualist. And he adamantly considered those very different things.

    I’ve heard idiots claim that Thomas was prevented from writing for the Court. Truth is that he’s one of the most prolific writers in history.

    That his opinions are brilliant is something you heard here, from me.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  122. @127 Thank you. What makes them uniquely brilliant? (IANAL)

    Nic (896fdf)

  123. Nic, I suggest that you read, dude.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  124. At The Unz Review, Lance Welton reported that everyone who has died from this virus, including the one American, was ethnic Chinese (“Do You Know All Coronavirus Victims Appear To Be Chinese? Thought Not!” and “STILL No Non-Chinese Deaths from Coronavirus, But the WASHINGTON POST Wants You to Rat Out Your Neighbors Anyway”).

    Does anyone know anything about that?

    Considering the outbreak is centered around Wuhan where China has its only BioSafety Level-4 lab, this makes me think bioweapon, possibly one targeted at their specific genes (although I suppose it could also be a coincidence it centered on Wuhan and was just a natural variant that somehow affects them more).

    I’m not saying they released it on purpose on themselves. They may have been studying how to defend against bioweapons, given their huge and tightly packed population… then F’d up, big time.

    If the Chinese government don’t care so much about every individual citizen, they must be loathing the effect this has on their economy.

    Make America Ordered Again (adac13)

  125. Oh, well, what can you do with an old fossil like that?

    Borrow his copy of “Long Dong Silver’s Greatest Hits, Volume 7″?

    :)

    Dave (1bb933)

  126. @129 I do, in fact, read. The conservatives I read mostly have been more impressed by Scalia, not Thomas and no one I have read who is not quite conservative thinks that Thomas is more than marginally legally competent. If the answer is that he makes/agrees with decisions that match conservative political policy, that’s fine, but IMO it doesn’t make him the best judge to ever sit on the Supreme Court.

    Nic (896fdf)

  127. Does anyone know anything about that?

    What I can find in a quick search doesn’t have the sort of detail that would allow someone to say true or false. One American who was already in Wuhan died, but it doesn’t say what his name was, nor any clue to his ethnicity. Twelve Americans evacuated from China seem to have it, but again no indication of their ethnicity. One Japanese citizen living in Wuhan has also died. Again, no indication whether he was ethnically Chinese or not. From the same source (Washington Post article)

    The Japanese government has also been evacuating hundreds of its citizens and their family members from Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province. Of the 565 Japanese evacuated, nine have tested positive.

    There are another 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus, including in 13 Americans, on the Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored off the coast of Japan, with 3,200 people onboard.

    Doesn’t say if any or all of them were of Chinese ancestry.

    Even if the claim is currently true, it may merely reflect the fact it originated in China, that it has a relatively long incubation period, and the death rate so far is actually relatively low.

    After analyzing 17,000 cases provided by Chinese health authorities, World Health Organization epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove said that they found that 82 percent of the cases were mild, while 15 percent severe and only 3 percent were critical. The death rate stands at less than 2 percent, she told reporters in Geneva. By contrast, SARS had a fatality rate of 9.6 percent.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/coronavirus-china-live-updates/2020/02/08/4fcbd584-49f5-11ea-9164-d3154ad8a5cd_story.html

    kishnevi (496414)

  128. kishnevi, your analysis makes sense, including that, if true about only ethnic Chinese dying thus far, the ethnic makeup of those who’ve so far succumbed to novel coronavirus could be coincidental because it originated there.

    What I can find in a quick search doesn’t have the sort of detail that would allow someone to say true or false.

    That’s one of the author at Unz’s points, that the media will report on nationality, not race. Nationality is definitely relevant; however, medically one could see where one’s genes could be important in different response rates to a new illness. If it’s true, it should be reported on so people understand it better.

    Make America Ordered Again (adac13)

  129. On Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Ukraine Corruption or lack thereof:

    I’m not opposed to being corrected if he/they are innocent and, for example, Joe didn’t get an investigation into his son’s company to protect his son stopped.

    However, just a few minutes ago I was watching a video (“Rudy Giuliani lays out the Biden’s corruption in Ukraine” on Fox News’s YouTube channel today) of Rudy Guiliani saying he’s found a February 16, 2016, document from the prosecutor whom Biden got fired, written in the same month he was fired, talking about corruption at Burisma.

    I don’t see how this squares with those above claiming there was no ongoing investigation (it may not have been a literal active status, but the prosecutor was clearly interested and the investigation had not been closed), Joe’s intervention didn’t get rid of a relevant prosecutor and pertinent investigation, etc. Mayor Giuliani lays out the case better than I can. If Guiliani is out to lunch, does anyone care to debunk him?

    Because it looks like Senate Republicans are going forward, have asked Secret Service for records on Hunter Biden, and this thing ain’t over.

    Make America Ordered Again (adac13)

  130. @132 There are a number of reasons I’d rank Thomas as my favorite and obviously many of them will be subjective. But the main one might be that his opinions are very well written. By that I don’t mean that I agree with them or that he’s a wonderful conservative. I mean that in my opinion one of the purposes of a SCOTUS opinion is to resolve and clarify a legal issue. Thomas does that. I may not always agree but he doesn’t hide the ball, he doesn’t spend pages after pages with dicta, etc. He doesn’t write to show you how awesome his is. The clarity of his writing does that for him. In his opinions you know what the issue is he is addressing, attorneys and judges should know how to use it, what it does and doesn’t cover, etc.

    This is one of my complaints against Scalia. There are a couple of opinions he has where I might have agreed on the outcome but the reasoning was ideological or otherwise flawed.

    Obviously, some of the people who disagree with Thomas try a lot of things, in addition to directly challenge him. But to the degree that anyone says he’s ignorant or unintelligible they are wrong.

    frosty (3b63d3)

  131. @132 One of the reasons some conservatives might not like Thomas is that he doesn’t always give the response most useful to conservatives with an agenda.

    frosty (3b63d3)

  132. IANAL, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and speculate that the fundamental reason anyone thinks a judge is good is because they agree with his opinions.

    And with the same caveat that I don’t have training in what makes a good or bad legal argument, from the few opinions of Thomas’s that I’ve read, he writes in a very concise, direct, focused style. He isn’t as colorful or entertaining as Scalia sometimes was, but he seems good at focusing on and developing what he considers the essential points.

    I do have some training (and recognition) in technical writing (which law is, to some extent) and the ability to organize one’s ideas and express complex reasoning succinctly and understandably is the hallmark of a good writer.

    Going a step further and trying to rank the technical quality of his opinions among all justices in the history of the Supreme Court is obviously a project that few, if any, here have the background and time to credibly attempt.

    Dave (1bb933)

  133. “I own buildings. I’m a builder; I know how to build. Nobody can build like I can build. Nobody. And the builders in New York will tell you that. I build the best product.”

    Mother Nature: 1.

    President Donald Trump: 0.

    That’s the scorecard from the southern border after gusts of wind of up to 37 miles per hour took down a section of the president’s much-vaunted border wall in Calexio, California.

    Dave (1bb933)

  134. @136, 138. Thank you! I can see where the ability to write clear, direct, comprehensible opinions would be appreciated.

    Nic (896fdf)

  135. When Jorge Ramos is teed off, you’re probably doing something right.

    Mexico is now the wall. President Trump got his wish.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/opinion/international-world/mexico-migrants.html?0p19G=2870

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  136. ….. You’d think the default mode for a “Conservative” would be to attack Leftists and liberals.

    There’s your problem right there.

    If this were true, the editorial pages of the WaPo would be filled with screeds against Bernie et al. They aren’t, which means either than no one else operates as you say, or the WaPo is filled with conservative columnists.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  137. That’s the scorecard from the southern border after gusts of wind of up to 37 miles per hour took down a section of the president’s much-vaunted border wall in Calexio, California.

    Built by the government, using union labor at “prevailing wages.” AKA “Close enough for government work.”

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  138. If Trump had been building that wall, it would have stood up to anything and cost half as much. Less still in actuality as his construction company would have gone belly-up and stiffed all the sub-contractors right after buying some failed company off of Jared.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  139. Ad Astra Alexi.

    Indeed. Say what you want about the Soviets, their cosmonauts pushed back the envelope.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  140. If this were true, the editorial pages of the WaPo would be filled with screeds against Bernie et al.

    There’s a “screed” just today about how liberal all the Dem candidates are, all of them more to the left of Obama.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  141. I can’t think of a more horrible situation to be in than being quarantined on a cruise ship with an infectious disease aboard.

    The toilets could all stop working. There; more horrible.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  142. SF:

    Lindsay Graham on Face the Nation about … “the Ukraine”

    frosty (f27e97) — 2/9/2020 @ 8:47 am

    Missed it. Is he advocating clearing things up with more investigations or just moving along?

    I’ll get the transcript – I didn;t hear iit from beginning to end,- but he seemed to think that Giuliani should go wither to the Justice Department or the Senate Intelligence Committee because there there are people expert at detecting forgery – Giuliani had lots of documents, bt anything coming out of Russia or the Ukraine cold be Russian propaganda. He said people were being lied about – he himself had been lied about by Giuliani’s assistant, Lev Parnass, who said he met with him – he did not. And he’s not going to let that happen. Something like that.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  143. Bloomberg is an unabashed capitalist who actually earned his wealth by creating and marketing a useful product people wanted to buy, rather than inheriting it and selling snake oil. He’s a smart, business-savvy guy.

    And he’ll be the first to tell you. Also he’ll tell you that most people are too stupid to understand the concepts that he deals with regularly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfzmXyqxW30

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  144. Dave–

    Bloomberg is a petty statist when it concerns the diets or travel or beliefs of the common folk, a libertarian where common folks are the ones doing the tolerating, a gun-grabber pretending to be reasonable (he’ll meet us halfway as many times as necessary) and a man perfectly fine with making omelets for the greater good.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  145. And a 33 year old doctor should not have died.

    Why? The Spanish flu mostly killed the young and able, as deaths occurred due to immune system overrepsonse.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  146. That his opinions are brilliant is something you heard here, from me.

    But sadly, pearls before swine.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  147. Going a step further and trying to rank the technical quality of his opinions among all justices in the history of the Supreme Court is obviously a project that few, if any, here have the background and time to credibly attempt.

    Simple test: compare Thomas with Souter or Sotomayor. I have read a number of opinions by Scalia and find that he is MUCH misunderstood. His 4th amendment work, for example, has redefined search and seizure and greatly expanded that protection. I’ve not read a lot of opinions by Thomas, but his more frequent dissents are short, pithy and generally on the point.

    Kevin M (8ae2cb)

  148. 130. Make America Ordered Again (adac13) — 2/9/2020 @ 1:05 pm

    this makes me think bioweapon, possibly one targeted at their specific genes

    It;s not possible to do such a thing, although there are differences in HLAs – which affect what kind of antibodies are created first. For this to be the result of Chinese biological research program, that killed on;y Chinese, they’s have to have mistaken belief that some vulnerability was common to everyone, when it was on;y Chinese who were missing something. Nothing like this is the explanation. It would be the victims are at least ethnic Chinese, because it would have to go through more people to get to someone who wasn’t.

    I am thinking more and more that the high death poll, which the Chinese government is concealing is mainly because the government if China has taken to murdering people in the new “hospitals” with the idea of containing the vorus like they do with chickens and pigs – and they’ve gone crazy with pigs/

    (although I suppose it could also be a coincidence it centered on Wuhan and was just a natural variant that somehow affects them more).

    Wuhan has had an enormous population growth

    https://www.macrotrends.net/cities/20712/wuhan/population

    going from about 1 1/2 million in 1950 to 2 million in 1970, maybe 3 1.2 million in 1990, really shooting up in the 1990s to over 6 million, and now it’s a little over 8 million, although a Wikipedia article says it is 11 million now. It’s the most populous city in central China )9th overall) and was targeted by the government for population growth. You maybe could call it the Chicago of China. It has severe air pollution, although not the worst in China,

    https://grist.org/cities/chinas-smog-city-what-wuhan-looks-like-with-20-times-the-u-s-dust-limit (a day in 2012)

    and the conditions for all food isn’t that guarded against infection, as is probably true for a lot of places in China. China doesn’t do sanitation very well – they kill animals instead.

    If the Chinese government don’t care so much about every individual citizen, they must be loathing the effect this has on their economy.

    Oh, yes.

    And that could cause them to murder the victims in an attempt to contain it.

    The Nazis sometimes did the same thing – although with prisoners, not people they regarded as citizens.

    When I read about so many people going to the crematoria in Wuhan, and no independent verification of what they died from, and nobody seeing them while they’re in isolation, and a 33 year old doctor dying (whom the Chinese government would not have been at pains to keep alive) that’s what I think.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  149. “ Mexico is now the wall. President Trump got his wish.”

    Canada’s been using us as a wall for decades.

    harkin (b64479)

  150. Kevin M (8ae2cb) — 2/9/2020 @ 6:07 pm

    The Spanish flu mostly killed the young and able, as deaths occurred due to immune system overrepsonse.

    I think it had to do with them not being exposed to the flu of 1891.

    This article says people born in the 1880s and 1890s would have been exposed to a different flu.

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/276060.php#1

    They actually died mainly from secondary bacterial infections.

    But so far we don’t know that this corona virus works this way – that it kills people in certain age groups.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  151. 141. Mexico is now the wall.

    Obama had the same policy.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  152. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/business/china-pigs-african-swine-fever.html

    To halt African swine fever, as the disease is called, the authorities must persuade farmers to kill infected pigs and dispose of them properly. But in China, officials have been frugal to the point of stingy, requiring farmers to jump through hoops to seek compensation from often cash-poor local governments.

    As a result, Chinese officials are not reaching farmers like Peng Weita. When one of his pigs suddenly died three months ago from swine fever, he said, he quickly slaughtered his other four dozen before they could fall sick as well. But he buried them and took a big loss rather than reporting the deaths to the government for compensation.

    This could relate to Wuhan disease in another way as people started looking for other animals to eat.

    Chinese people avoid mass production becaue they don’t trust it.

    https://fortune.com/2020/02/06/coronavirus-disease-outbreak-china-why

    Beijing promoted buying food from supermarkets after the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged from an animal market in Guangzhou. After an avian influenza outbreak in 2013, the government tried unsuccessfully to ban wet markets altogether, but was forced to reopen many of them when more dangerous black markets popped up in their place.

    But scandals involving deadly infant milk powder, fake seaweed, and fraudulent shrimp have undermined the modernization efforts by compromising consumers’ confidence in mass food production. Chinese consumers continue to go to wet markets in cities across China to access fresher, cheaper meat and produce, according to Si Zhenzhong, an expert in food security and safety in China at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  153. RIP Mirella Freni
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/02/09/renowned-italian-soprano-mirella-freni-dies-age-84/4709107002/

    There’s a fairly high chance that if you ever saw an opera broadcast on TV or heard one over the radio in the 70s or 80s, she was in it.

    Kishnevi (e3cbf2)

  154. RIP Orson Bean (at age 91, hit by a car while crossing the street in Venice. California.

    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/02/08/comic-actor-orson-bean-91-struck-killed-car/

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  155. A coronavirus for me is when there are no more Corona Lights in my fridge.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  156. The big question in Wuhan is, what is going on with the crematoria:

    https://moneymaven.io/mishtalk/economics/wuhan-crematory-127-yesterday-this-is-4-5-times-normal-rate-hcpFWN-1pEKCzCo26oPXLA

    Chinese crematories are operating at 4-5 times the normal rate, minimum. Very few are listed as coronavirus deaths.

    Here is a translation from China Press on Worker Burnout at the Wuhan Crematorium.

    The site does not allow capturing text so I made this image clip.

    Only 8 of 116 Counted as an Official Death

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  157. Being Chinese has always been a precarious existence going back to pre-history when the rulers would put down social unrest by the simple expedient of destroying the malcontents’ food stores, crops, and arable land, and just hunkering down until they all starved to death.

    nk (1d9030)

  158. Conflicting reports about how many crematoria there are in Wuhan – 14, 24 or 49?

    Lots of lying going on in any case in official Chinese outlets:

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/china-state-media-false-coronavirus-hospital-image

    Chinese state media and a government official spread a false image they claimed showed a newly constructed hospital building in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The image actually shows a modular apartment building more than 600 miles away in Qingdao, China, and was taken from an online listing.

    The out-of-context photo was shared in tweets from the verified accounts of Global Times and People’s Daily, both of which are state media outlets, and was tweeted by Lijian Zhao, deputy director general of the information department in the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Global Times also published an article, archived using Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, featuring the photo.

    Lying by other people as well:

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/janelytvynenko/coronavirus-disinformation-spread

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  159. @162 Even if Chinese officials wanted to be honest with the numbers I’m not sure they can be accurate. What’s the math on how many people they can confirm in a day? We’re only going to see “related” estimates long after this is over.

    Officially, I think we passed SARS over the weekend.

    frosty (f27e97)

  160. Rare and endangered animal may be the source of the virus

    https://www.sciencealert.com/the-pangolin-is-now-a-suspect-in-the-coronavirus-outbreak

    And of course this would have happened because the Chinese government killed so many pigs.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  161. Most upper respiratory diseases are coronaviruses. I wonder how accurate their test is for this specific one, and how many poor people are locking up for a simple, good, old-fashioned head cold.

    nk (1d9030)

  162. *they* are locking up

    nk (1d9030)

  163. R.I.P. Kevin Conway

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  164. “We’ve found our Scarlett!”

    Joaquin Phoenix auditioned to play Trump in the movie at the Oscars tonight.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  165. nk (1d9030) — 2/9/2020 @ 7:32 pm

    I think the test consists of pointing one of those IR thermometers at them and if the number is too high off they go. It might be more scientific than weighing them against a duck but not by much.

    frosty (f27e97)

  166. Yes, that’s how America’s two fattest governors, Christie and LePage, locked up that nurse for Ebola that she did not have, a few years back. Boy, did I find out who the “libertarians” really were on this site at the time. 😉

    nk (1d9030)

  167. It’s interesting, because a few days ago I was looking for the transcript of Arthur Brooks’ speech, the guy who spoke right before Trump at the National Prayer Breakfast, and I couldn’t find it, but here it is and it’s worth a full read (link).
    The gist of his speech wasn’t just about loving our enemies, it was about the concept of contempt.

    The problem is what psychologists call contempt. In the words of the 19th-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, contempt is “the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.” In politics today, we treat each other as worthless, which is why our fights are so bitter and cooperation feels nearly impossible.

    And this was his prescription.

    First: Ask God to give you the strength to do this hard thing — to go against human nature, to follow Jesus’ teaching and love your enemies. Ask God to remove political contempt from your heart. In your weakest moments, maybe even ask Him to help you fake it!
    Second: Make a commitment to another person to reject contempt. Of course you will disagree with others — that’s part of democracy. It is right and good, and part of the competition of ideas. But commit to doing it without contempt and ask someone to hold you accountable to love your enemies.
    Third: Go out looking for contempt, so you have the opportunity to answer it with love. I know that sounds crazy, to go looking for something so bad. But for leaders, contempt isn’t like the flu. It’s an opportunity to share your values and change our world, which is what leadership is all about, isn’t it?

    That was his suggested way to follow Christ’s teachings to love our enemies. Here’s how Mr. French described it (link):

    And note that throughout the entire speech he does not once urge any Christian to relent in the quest for justice. We can and should fight for the religious, cultural, and political values we hold dear, but as we seek justice we must also love our enemies. We must also bless those who persecute us. These are not tactics. They’re commands.

    What was Trump’s response right after?

    “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you.”

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  168. “ “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you.””

    I disagree with him but I don’t really see what is so remarkable about implying he’s had to embrace the forcefulness of purpose of his enemies.

    Maybe he’ll cut them some slack if their derangement ensures his re-election.
    _

    harkin (b64479)

  169. “That was his suggested way to follow Christ’s teachings to love our enemies.“
    Paul Montagu (ae8832) — 2/9/2020 @ 9:16 pm

    How many here among us are following that directive?

    Raise your hand.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  170. How many here among us are following that directive?

    It’s a good thing that those who accepted Christ are forgiven for trying but falling short.
    And it still remains that I’ve never heard Trump say an actual prayer or that Christ is his personal Lord and Savior.

    Paul Montagu (ae8832)

  171. I’m thinking this story of large numbers of bodies being shipped to crematoria is a hoax spread by people who want to make the death toll very high.

    As I said the death toll cannot be so much higher in Wuhan than anywhere else, so the explanation I came up with for the large numbers of bodies being sent to crematoria, was that the Chinese government was murdering patients with fentanyl or some other drug.

    But there’s a simpler explanation: That story is simply not true (although authorities may have designated one or two crematoria as the one where to send the bodies (which get different treatment: No funeral ceremonies, and otherwise they would get some.)

    This could only happen in special hospitals, but not regular ones with their usual staff of doctors and nurses. There don’t seem to be mass transfers.

    In addition, may patients are, or were, not accepted by hospitals because they have no room and they had to stay home or just outside the hospital.

    What’s actually happening is that Wuhan virus is not being diagnosed because they use DNA tests to do it, and there i shortage of kits and it also takes time. Many people are not getting any kind of treatment at all.

    Here is some New York Times coverage:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/world/asia/coronavirus-family-china.html

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  172. frosty (f27e97) — 2/9/2020 @ 7:17 pm

    @162 Even if Chinese officials wanted to be honest with the numbers I’m not sure they can be accurate.

    They can’t be.

    Here;s an article abuot this:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/09/world/asia/china-coronavirus-tests.html

    What’s the math on how many people they can confirm in a day? We’re only going to see “related” estimates long after this is over.

    One report, which may be accurate, estimates that 116 extra people were burned in one crematorium one day. Of them, 8 were diagnosed with the virus, and 43 were listed as suspected, and the rest hadn’t even reached that point and were assigned other causes of death.
    nk (1d9030) — 2/9/2020 @ 7:32 pm

    Most upper respiratory diseases are coronaviruses.

    No just one quarter of them. They’re four of them quietly circulating in the world, with nobody going into a panic.

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/04/two-scenarios-if-new-coronavirus-isnt-contained

    … “I can imagine a scenario where this becomes a fifth endemic human coronavirus,” said Stephen Morse of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, an epidemiologist and expert on emerging infectious diseases. “We don’t pay much attention to them because they’re so mundane,” especially compared to seasonal flu.

    Although little-known outside health care and virology circles, the current four “are already part of the winter-spring seasonal landscape of respiratory disease,” Adalja said. Two of them, OC43 and 229E, were discovered in the 1960s but had circulated in cows and bats, respectively, for centuries. The others, HKU1 and NL63, were discovered after the 2003-2004 SARS outbreak, also after circulating in animals. It’s not known how long they’d existed in people before scientists noticed, but since they jumped from animals to people before the era of virology, it isn’t known whether that initial jump triggered widespread disease.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  173. The idea of Coronavirus deaths being high in China, but not in the United States, is not contradictory or mutually exclusive. Cholera had a similar origin in east-Indian wet markets, and there was a massive panic in Victorian London during an outbreak, until the disease was traced to a single centrally-located public water source. Since then, though we haven’t eradicated cholera, western ideals of sanitation have made all the difference in containing its spread. The Wuhan Coronavirus could end up being the same in that regard.

    Gryph (08c844)

  174. One quarter of all colds the article says.

    nk:

    I wonder how accurate their test is for this specific one,

    It’s extremely accurate. They’re only using nucleic acid PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) tests (in China)

    You could call it “DNA” although its actually RNA.

    There’s now a shortage of test kits in spite of attempts to increase production. There’s actually waiting list to get tested, and days to get results. Although just recently doctors in Hubei Province have been told to treat and isolate people after CT scans..

    Anybody that doesn’t get a positive result is, or was, usually not treated. They don’t even get old fashioned tests for serious infections.

    and how many poor people are locking up for a simple, good, old-fashioned head cold.

    Outside of China, most suspected cases (and cases are only suspected when there’s been a connection to travel in China) are not this.

    One problem with this and with colds: Immunity fades.

    The Wuhan virus appears to be stable, like SARS was, and does not mutate like the flu. It’s just that there’s no herd immunity, making it easier to get to a new–infections-per-case ratio of more than 1.0. It’s hitting an immunologically naïve population.

    Having this become endemic doesn’t cause great problems except that there’d overall be more sickness – a lot of asymptomatic individuals, some mild cases, a few serious, some in hospitals and some of them in intensive care and even some deaths from respiratory infections: Something we obviously don’t need more of.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  175. 180. Sanitation, or more space per person, maybe could explain some difference in the infection rate, but t seems to be above a new–infections-per-case ratio of 1.0 absent srecial precautions.

    Differences in treatment could explain adifferece in the death rate.

    I think this is anything similar to cholera, where transmission can pretty much be stop and which we now know ow to treat (saline solutions to main electrolyte balance)

    Cholera, in 1849 killed ex-President James K Polk and in 1850 Zachary Taylor (perhaps he was deliberately infected by someone from the south who was up on the latest developments in England) his death made possible the “Compromise of 1850.” It, of course, wasn’t arsenic.

    Sammy Finkelman (8e96a4)

  176. Item Five:
    It would take an Earthquake of Biblical proportions to elect majorities in both the House and Senate that would attempt to claw back the power they have extended to The Executive and restore The Legislature’s prerogatives. Not only would they have to fight the political establishment represented by The President, but they would have The Deep State laying traps for them on a minute by minute basis.

    askeptic (2b0ece)


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