Patterico's Pontifications

12/5/2020

Weekend Open Thread (ADDED @ First News Item)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:18 am



[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few news items to talk about. Please feel free to share anything that you might think would interest readers. Make sure to include links.

First news item

Fix this, LA County:

A restaurant owner who was forced to shut down because of coronavirus restrictions is frustrated after a film crew was able to set up outdoor dining for its workers right across from her restaurant.

Angela Marsden, who owns Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, said her anger isn’t toward the movie industry, but because she believes restaurants are being unfairly targeted by Los Angeles County health orders.

“Tell me that this is dangerous but next to me is a slap in my face,” Marsden said. “Everything I own is being taken away from me and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio.”

Under the county’s guidelines, video and music production is deemed essential. Many production crews also test employees frequently, while under the recent Los Angeles County health order, restaurants like Marsden’s were forced to shut down their outdoor dining.

Marsden says she spent close to $80,000 building and making her facility coronavirus compliant, only to be told her doors had to remain shut for in-person dining.

“You can’t eat here, but you can walk in the same parking lot 15 feet and you can eat alfresco on a movie set because I guess COVID doesn’t go there right,” Marsden said.

ADDED: However, commenter Col. Klink provides us with this critical information missing from both CBS report (they briefly mentioned testing) and the video of the bar owner:

My one Hollywood connection…just happens to be the writer/director…of the production [that] Angela, the restauranter, is talking about. They do PCR every other day, and rapid test twice a day, plus each group of people are in color coded pods with giant ID badges around their necks and don’t interact outside of that pod. If Angela, the restauranter, wants to pay for that for her patrons, she’s free to. It costs the production company $25k a week to do it, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that she won’t be doing that for her employees, much less customers.

Second news item

Done:

California certified its presidential election Friday and appointed 55 electors pledged to vote for Democrat Joe Biden, officially handing him the Electoral College majority needed to win the White House.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s formal approval of Biden’s win in the state brought his tally of pledged electors so far to 279, according to a tally by The Associated Press. That’s just over the 270 threshold for victory.

Third news item

Where is the united front of Republican and Democratic leaders condemning this?

An Atlanta state senator has asked for police protection after people posting on conservative social media said she should be killed over her participation in hearings on Thursday about unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud pushed by supporters of President Donald Trump.

State Sen. Elena Parent, a Democrat, said she was shaken after being informed that her home address and other personal information had been distributed online and some posted in a social media thread that she should be killed.

A thread on one far-right internet message board posted photos of Parent captured during Thursday’s hearings, misidentified her as an election worker and asked users to vote on what the appropriate form of punishment should be. The most common responses called for sexual violence to be committed against Parent and/or her execution.

Fourth news item

Come on, GOP, do better!

Just 25 congressional Republicans acknowledge Joe Biden’s win over President Trump a month after the former vice president’s clear victory of more than 7 million votes nationally and a convincing electoral-vote margin that exactly matched Trump’s 2016 tally…Two Republicans consider Trump the winner despite all evidence showing otherwise. And another 222 GOP members of the House and Senate — nearly 90 percent of all Republicans serving in Congress — will simply not say who won the election.

Related:

President-elect Joe Biden revealed Thursday that “more than several” Republican senators have called to privately congratulate him on his election win, despite the fact that most of them have not publicly acknowledged his victory last month…Biden was asked how he can be optimistic about working with the Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans. “I say this tactfully,” Biden said. “There have been more than several sitting Republican senators who’ve privately called me and congratulated me.”

Fifth news item

First shipment of vaccine news:

Earlier this week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the very first batch of Americans to get vaccinated should be frontline health care workers and residents of long term care facilities such as nursing homes. Together, they add up to about 24 million people.

Federal officials estimate about 40 million vaccines will be available by the end of the month if both Moderna and Pfizer get US Food and Drug Administration authorization — only enough to vaccinate 20 million people, because two doses are needed for each person.

But even that number will fall short. Pfizer is only expected to have 6.4 million doses of vaccine ready by mid-December.

Sixth news item

Can employers require employees to take vaccine?

The news that a coronavirus vaccine could start being distributed within the next few weeks has sent stocks soaring and government officials scrambling to develop plans for the herculean task of distributing it across the country…For employers, many of which have kept workers home for months, it has opened a complex set of legal and practical issues: Can they require employees to take a vaccine? Should they offer incentives instead to encourage compliance? And what should they do if employees resist?

The biggest difference between requiring employees to take a vaccine for the coronavirus compared with the flu or other vaccines — which health-care organizations have long required — is that covid-19 vaccines are expected to first be available under an “emergency use authorization” rather than a full FDA licensure, Masling said. “To the best of my knowledge, the issue of whether an employer can require a vaccine that is still under an emergency use authorization hasn’t arose before,” she said, adding the EEOC might be “cautious about the guidance it will issue about a vaccine that has not yet received full approval.”

Seventh news item

Trump talks pardons:

President Trump has discussed with advisers whether to grant pre-emptive pardons to his children, to his son-in-law and to his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and talked with Mr. Giuliani about pardoning him as recently as last week, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Trump has told others that he is concerned that a Biden Justice Department might seek retribution against the president by targeting the oldest three of his five children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — as well as Ms. Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser.

Donald Trump Jr. had been under investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for contacts that the younger Mr. Trump had had with Russians offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, but he was never charged. Mr. Kushner provided false information to federal authorities about his contacts with foreigners for his security clearance, but was given one anyway by the president.

The nature of Mr. Trump’s concern about any potential criminal exposure of Eric Trump or Ivanka Trump is unclear, although an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney into the Trump Organization has expanded to include tax write-offs on millions of dollars in consulting fees by the company, some of which appear to have gone to Ms. Trump.

Eighth news item

More confirmation that we live in really stupid times:

The senior pastor of a church in western Michigan has encouraged his congregation to catch the coronavirus to “get it over with” and calling it “all good.”

“COVID, it’s all good,” Spencer said. “It’s OK. Get it, get it over with, press on.”

The church has been holding services in-person. Some attendees wear masks and social distance. Others don’t, according to the newspaper.

Related: 380,343 virus cases have been confirmed in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. More than 9,500 people have died from the virus.

Ninth news item

Pulling more U.S. troops:

The Pentagon said Friday it is pulling most U.S. troops out of Somalia on President Donald Trump’s orders, continuing a post-election push by Mr. Trump to shrink U.S. involvement in counterterrorism missions abroad.

Without providing details, the Pentagon said in a short statement that “a majority” of U.S. troops and assets in Somalia will be withdrawn in early 2021. There are currently about 700 troops in the Horn of Africa nation, training and advising local forces in an extended fight against the extremist group al-Shabab, an affiliate of al-Qaida…

The Pentagon said the drawdown in Somalia does not mark the end of U.S. counterterrorism efforts there.

“As a result of this decision, some forces may be reassigned outside of East Africa,” it said. “However, the remaining forces will be repositioned from Somalia into neighboring countries in order to allow cross-border operations by both U.S. and partner forces to maintain pressure against violent extremist organizations operating in Somalia.”

Tenth news item

You knew at least one of them was going to run for something:

Lara Trump teased a potential Senate run in North Carolina Friday to replace Sen. Richard Burr, who plans to retire in 2022.

“I could think of nothing greater than to represent the people of my home state, represent North Carolina,” she said on Outloud with Gianno Caldwell…

“I started Women for Trump. We had a bus tour that not only went through North Carolina but all over the country,” she said. “I spent a lot of time there, which I love doing – any excuse to go back home.”

Sources close to Lara Trump previously told Fox News that she is “interested and exploring” a run.

Have a good weekend.

–Dana

157 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread (ADDED @ First News Item)”

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (cc9481)

  2. Thanks for this post, Dana. As a business owner, I became emotional while watching Angela’s video.

    felipe (630e0b)

  3. I can’t imagine being a business owner, felipe, and seeing the rules applied so unevenly right under one’s nose. I would like to know just how frequently said testing is being done by the production company and/or studio?

    Dana (cc9481)

  4. Is the movie set’s canteen open to the general public like Angela’s restaurant, or is it only for co-workers on the movie set who will be interacting with each other all day even more closely than while having lunch?

    nk (1d9030)

  5. Good questions, nk. To me, this boils down to whether it has been proven that outdoor eateries are hotbeds of Covid spread? I found this from a few days ago regarding Los Angeles County:

    Despite orders to suspend outdoor dining in Los Angeles County amid an increase in coronavirus cases, Eyewitness News has found restaurants have been linked to less than 4% of coronavirus outbreaks in non-residential settings, according to data from L.A. County.

    The order takes effect Wednesday at 10 p.m. and requires restaurants to restrict their services to take out and delivery.

    But how much responsibility do restaurants bear for recent increases in coronavirus cases?

    Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer admitted the county often can’t say where individuals contracted COVID-19.

    “I wish we could answer this question. I think people would feel better if we could say with certainty where people got infected, but we just can’t,” Ferrer said during a Monday press briefing.

    In explaining the decision to suspend outdoor dining, Ferrer pointed to county data that indicated food and beverage establishments comprised roughly 41% of the 76 coronavirus-related citations issued in L.A. County during the first two weeks of November.

    However, more recent data from the past week indicated restaurants have made up more than half of the 1,331 county inspections, increasing the odds of a restaurant experiencing a violation.

    Despite the elevated share of inspections, restaurants were found to follow disinfection orders 96% of the time, mask requirements 91% of the time and physical distancing orders 81% of the time.

    But the 19% not following distancing rules worried officials.

    Dana (cc9481)

  6. Darn, I just got banned from Powerline. It must’ve been my comment that Hinderaker had a suck-a$$ mentality on masks.

    This is what happens when your Big Con gets its day in court, six losses in a single day. It’s what happens when your allegations have no facts but you nevertheless send our your Flying Lawyer-Monkeys to litigate regardless. Trump’s win-loss record is now 1-46.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  7. Saw this on Insta, please read:
    https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/12/04/why-trumps-america-will-live-on/

    Like many, if not most Americans, I am somewhat relieved to see the petulant, nasty and sometimes clearly unhinged Donald Trump leave the White House. Yet for all his antics and vitriol, Trump has left a legacy that will be difficult to ignore and, given the dispensation of his opponents, could shape the future for the next decade.

    Trump’s 2016 victory may be best considered a necessary colonic to a constipated political economy. He challenged in ways not seen for a generation the comfortable establishmentarian politics of both parties. Most critical of all, Trump, the scion of a property mogul, has re-established, along with his odd socialist doppelganger, Bernie Sanders, the relevance of class in American politics.

    Trump may soon be out of power, but many of his views on international trade, media, economics and immigration will continue to influence politics for the next decade. We might see the end of President Trump, but the forces and attitudes he has unleashed likely will remain with us for decades to come.

    Bye, bye kumbaya
    Trump’s challenge to the establishmentarian worldview will resonate, even after the election. His willingness to stand up to China’s trade policies violated the interests of the corporate elite, tech, Hollywood and the mainstream media, all of whom almost without exception backed his opponent. Now Trump’s nationalist approach certainly will be toned down by the ‘liberal internationalists’ Biden is putting in place to run foreign affairs .

    To be sure, China should welcome the ascension of Biden, if for no other reason than his commitment to the Paris accords which force costly changes on Western economies while giving the world’s biggest carbon emitter a free ride till 2030. Along with more ‘open trade’, Biden could prove an unwitting accomplice in China’s great ambition to replace the West, and notably America, as the heart of global civilisation.

    Yet the era of global kumbaya, ended by Trump, is not likely to return. It has become painfully obvious that ‘free trade’, as carried out by our own companies, benefited the already affluent at the expense of most people. As the liberal New Statesman has put it succinctly, ‘the era of peak globalisation is over’. The pandemic has shattered the global village, weakening both economic and political ties between countries, including within the European Union. When Trump lambasts free trade and China, he may alienate much of the corporate elite, but his message appeals to people and communities that lost, according to one labour-backed group, 3.4million jobs between 1979 and 2017 to the Middle Kingdom.

    To win politically, as former Democratic senator Evan Bayh suggests, may mean following Trump’s aggressively ‘America first’ line. If Biden hews to the establishment party line, he will face an emerging alliance between populists in both parties – Bernie Sanders and Joshua Hawley, for example. Some prominent Democrats like New York governor Andrew Cuomo joined Trump in denouncing our ruinous dependence on Chinese medical supplies and there’s growing bipartisan concern about dependence on Beijing for high-tech gear. Given the challenge posed by China, diplomats under Biden could seek not a restoration of the old globalism, but a de facto ‘united front’ with Europe, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and other east Asian countries against China.

    The great transformation of the Democratic Party
    The Democrats seem likely to give Republicans and Trump the opportunity to represent a large portion of the American middle and working classes. Today’s Democrats increasingly resemble a Stalinoid version old Republicans, who won with support from the upper class, notably on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, as well as law and professional-service firms. This year Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, raised record sums from the corporate elite, notably the tech oligarchs and their Wall Street allies. Among financial firms, communications companies and lawyers, Biden outraised Trump by five to one or more. We will see this in play again in the upcoming cataclysmic battle to win the Georgia Senate seats, which started with a big Silicon Valley fundraiser for the Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

    The oligarchal cast of the putative ‘party of the people’ exposes it to populists left and right. Biden’s natural tendency may be, like Barack Obama, to wink and nod as Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google acquire or crush competitors, continuing the erosion in anti-trust enforcement, occurring under both parties. But two thirds of the public want to break up the tech oligarchy that increasingly dominates the economy, the capital markets and information. The tech giants now account for nearly 40 per cent of the value of the Standard and Poor index, a level of concentration unprecedented in modern history.

    For these oligopolies, the pandemic shift to online, covering everything from finance and retail to gaming, has provided an unprecedented boom. Tech is no longer the dynamic and entrepreneurial industry of legend. Rather, it has morphed into a system of conglomerate control more akin to the pre-war German cartels, Japanese keiretsu or Korean chaebol. As with trade, attempts to wink and nod at the oligarchs could stir a conflict with both big-city progressives, like Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and some members of the House, along with several conservatives from the more rural interior.

    The media’s big failure
    In his usually intemperate manner, Trump accused the mainstream media of open bias and of being, in another unfortunate phrase, ‘enemies of the people’. Yet in the run-up to 2016, and beyond, there has been an odd symbiotic relationship between the two, with Trump, and hatred for him, fueling media profits and providing massive amounts of free publicity.

    In some ways the media have unwittingly undermined themselves as they worked overtime to eject Trump. Since the election, even respected papers like the New York Times (where I once had a monthly column) increasingly resembled a woke version of Pravda. Indeed, the elite media is increasingly engulfed by progressive ‘groupthink’ with ‘moral clarity’ as defined by the woke, replacing a commitment to free speech.

    The shift from journalism to ‘resistance’ has helped bulk the audience for some parts of the media, but has also made them increasingly partisan. Ideological purity has come at the cost of public trust in most large media, with the biggest declines among Independents and Republicans; the New York Times, the avatar of woke journalism, is trusted by barely 30 per cent of Republicans compared to 50 per cent in 2016. Similarly, Gallup reports that since the pandemic, the news media has suffered the lowest ratings of any major institution, performing even worse than Congress or President Trump.

    This serious erosion in public trust, according to a new Knight Foundation study, also applies to social media. Over 70 per cent of Americans, according to a recent Pew study, believe that social media censors political views, as has been demonstrated in the case of Reddit, Facebook and Google, and was clearly happening during the election coverage. This has led to something of a rush to less censorious sites like Gab and Parler. In California, the epicentre of Big Tech, people express more trust in the pot industry than the news business, according to a 2019 opinion survey.

    Some, including some at the New York Times, want to ramp up further censorship, which, as left-wing gadfly Glenn Greenwald notes, would give establishment outlets an assured greater dominion over the internet. During the election, Twitter and Facebook already showed their intent when blocking off access to an incriminating New York Post story about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, and even muting the president and his administration for disseminating alleged inaccuracies and misinformation. They did this after years of pushing often equally absurd anti-Trump conspiracies. This brazen use of power, Greenwald suggests, crosses a ‘dangerous’ line, from eliminating extremists into censoring any discordant thoughts on critical public issues, from climate change to the pandemic.

    The peasant rebellion is just starting
    Trumpism’s appeal to working- and middle-class Americans was not hurt by the opposition of a media that largely disdains them. Indeed, as Democratic analyst Ruy Teixeira notes, the Democrats have largely abandoned the working and middle class. Trump won three-quarters of the white working-class vote, down only slightly from 2016. He did best with those who work with their hands, in factories, the logistics industry and energy, notes a recent study by CityLab.

    Largely ignored by the press, these voters had compelling economic reasons to support Trump. In the first three years of the Trump administration – that is, before the pandemic – working-class Americans enjoyed the fastest income growth – better than that of the upper classes – for the first time in a generation. The pandemic-related lockdowns, strictest generally in blue states, have devastated workers in industries like hospitality and driven some eight million into poverty. Almost 40 per cent of those Americans making under $40,000 a year have lost their jobs, and they may be eager to get back to work. Yet still some Democratic advisers have urged Biden to consider imposing a strict national lockdown that would make that impossible.

    Many people employed in basic industries like energy, agriculture and manufacturing – critical to electing Donald Trump – could see their jobs disappear. Restrictions and even a ban on fracking, likely to be embraced by many close to the Biden administration, could have catastrophic effects in places like Texas, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. In Texas alone, by some estimates, one million jobs would be lost. Overall, according to a Chamber of Commerce report, a full ban on fracking would cost 14million jobs, far more than the eight million lost in the Great Recession.

    The other big potential GOP constituency may be Main Street. Businesses there have been hit very hard by the pandemic, with an estimated 100,000 small firms going out of business. In contrast, the Democrats’ Wall Street and the oligarch backers have had a good pandemic. From March to June 2020, Amazon founder and Biden booster Jeff Bezos saw his wealth rise by an estimated $48 billion to an estimated $183 billion, making him easily the world’s richest man.

    The racial component
    The soon-to-be ex-president issued statements on such issues as immigration and developing (‘sh!thole’) countries that no American chief executive should ever utter. Yet despite his characteristic rudeness, this year more minorities shifted in his favour than expected. Trump gained one third of Muslim voters and boosted his share of Jewish voters by six per cent, particularly appealing to orthodox and older members of the Jewish community. The Asian community – the country’s fastest-growing minority – raised its support for Trump from 27 per cent in 2016 to 31 per cent this year.

    Most importantly, Trump – an unpleasant, unprincipled man repeatedly labelled ‘racist’ in the mainstream media, a term also applied to any of his voters – won a significantly larger share of the Latino vote, particularly in Florida and Texas, and did better, albeit less impressively, among African Americans. Latino and Asian voters also helped shift several house seats to the GOP. Even the ultra-woke New York Times now admits, in looking at minorities, that it may have missed out on ‘class complexities and competing desires’.

    The key here is that Latinos may be ‘people of colour’ but they are also people with jobs and families. They are heavily represented in blue-collar professions, notably personal services, construction, logistics and manufacturing. They generally have done better under President Trump than under previous administrations and have been most hurt by lockdowns, high energy prices and curbs on suburban housing. Today, barely 58 per cent of all working-class Americans are white; according to a 2016 Economic Policy Institute study, people of colour will constitute the majority of the working class by 2032.

    The stark reality is that conventional blue politics, as we recently demonstrated in a new paper from the Urban Reform Institute, simply do not work for minorities, who generally do better in and are migrating to conservative-controlled states. Inner-city residents want good jobs and investment; relatively few want to ‘defund’ the police. Certainly, the ever more radical social views of the ‘woke’ left, which have been increasingly adopted by corporate America, also may not play well with many immigrants, who, according to one recent survey, are twice as conservative in their social views as the general public.

    Battles to come
    ‘Happy the nation whose people have not forgotten how to rebel’, wrote the British historian RH Tawney. And unless something is done to address growing inequality and lack of upward mobility, this rebellious streak will return from the populists both left and right. As of now, the restored establishment lacks a viable vision to improve the lives of most Americans, particularly given their embrace of green ideology which makes broad-based economic growth all but impossible.

    In their current guise, Democrats today can only offer redistribution of wealth, which itself can come in two forms, each with inherent problems. A traditional socialist approach would hardly be in the interest of the Democratic funders or the non-profit establishment, given it would involve siphoning off the wealth of people like Jeff Bezos, who expended much of his media power, through the Washington Post, opposing Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. Yet the progressive left continues to push this agenda, notably in big urban centres, a continuing challenge to more oligarch-friendly liberals.

    The other alternative would be to turn the middle and working class into future serfs – that is, people increasingly dependent on what Marx called ‘the proletarian alms bag’ (1). This ‘oligarchal socialism’ – backed by many tech oligarchs – would transfer funds, likely from the remaining middle class, to fund a ‘guaranteed annual income’ to keep hoi polloi in subsidised apartments, spending their time in low-wage gig jobs, while they play video games, smoke pot, drink and water their houseplants. It is an approach that allows the oligarchs to continue accumulating the wealth and power they see as their due, while keeping the peasants separate from their pitchforks.

    These unattractive alternatives could provide enormous opportunities for Republicans, or more traditional Democrats, if they could overcome the opposition of ‘market fundamentalists’. On the right, as the American Prospect has demonstrated, many conservative think-tanks are financed by Google and other oligopolists. The future could belong not to Trump but to more coherent Republicans like Oren Cass and his American Compass group, who reject ‘let the market rip’ fundamentalism and openly favour working-class interests in terms of healthcare, education, housing, anti-trust policy and energy.

    Americans do not want to be either Marxist or oligarchic wards. They generally desire to become more self-sufficient and successful. The attempt to implement a pilot guaranteed-incomes programme in Modesto, California, a hardscrabble Valley town of 300,000, was recently rescinded by a primarily minority electorate, who replaced a progressive Democratic with a black Republican preacher. Like most Americans, most minorities and working-class people still believe in the ‘dream’ even if they believe that it is more difficult to achieve.

    Until that quintessentially American spark is squelched entirely, the disruptive process brought on by Trump will not go away, but simply evolve and even expand. The question will be whether a more sober, less nativist, and focused populism will emerge from the wreckage or be replaced by something more troubling.

    Lots to unpack here, but I felt it was very relevant in recent posts on this site.

    whembly (c30c83)

  8. I just got banned from Powerline.

    That used to be one of my daily go-to sites. Not anymore.

    From the article about the church in Michigan:

    In a later sermon posted on the church’s website, Spencer addressed the interview with The Holland Sentinel, saying that people have a “complete right and privilege to believe whatever you want to believe.

    I thought churches generally took the position that truth is not a subjective matter, and that there are consequences for denying it.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  9. That used to be one of my daily go-to sites. Not anymore.

    Same.

    I thought churches generally took the position that truth is not a subjective matter, and that there are consequences for denying it.

    I suspect he means the government cannot enforce belief in any particular truth.

    Dave (1bb933)

  10. I thought churches generally took the position that truth is not a subjective matter, and that there are consequences for denying it.
    Radegunda (b63b53) — 12/5/2020 @ 9:42 am

    You are absolutely right, Radegunda. I took “complete right and privilege to believe whatever you want to believe.” To be a reference to free will. We are free to choose wrongly.

    felipe (630e0b)

  11. I still read and comment on Powerline, but the ridiculous pro-Trump obsessions of some readers are maddening. It just boggles the mind that every time one of the Powerline commenters says “President-elect Biden” there is the usual gaggle of hysterics insisting that Biden’s election is illegitimate and will be undone in due time. She sheer cultism amongst some commenters there absolutely depresses me.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  12. A restaurant owner who was forced to shut down because of coronavirus restrictions is frustrated after a film crew was able to set up outdoor dining for its workers right across from her restaurant.

    So Angela needs to learn some things, this is one of those situations where it’s a good story, but completely outside of what is actually happening, but…cool story bro..

    My one Hollywood connection (although I was on TMZ a few years ago with Jessica Simpson) just happens to be the writer/director, and high-school girlfriend (also named Angela), of the production she’s (Angela, the restauranter) talking about. They do PCR every other day, and rapid test twice a day, plus each group of people are in color coded pods with giant ID badges around their necks and don’t interact outside of that pod. If Angela, the restauranter, wants to pay for that for her patrons, she’s free to. It costs the production company $25k a week to do it, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that she won’t be doing that for her employees, much less customers.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  13. I read the Spiked piece and I think Kotkin gives Trump way more credit than deserved.
    The only thing Trump has been right about on China was to be more confrontational with them. His prescriptions–which were basically tariffs, followed up by more tariffs–were stupid and they cost American taxpayers more than the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese businesses. Trump’s silence on the Uighers and Hong Kong is an embarrassment.
    The only good thing he did on trade was make modest improvements to NAFTA. His bailing on TPP was stupid.
    On foreign policy, his best achievement was moving US Embassy to Jerusalem. Everything else has been half-baked to unbaked.
    He gets some credit on deregulation.
    He gets mostly full credit on judges, thanks to his faithfully working off the Federalist Society and to McConnell for confirming them.
    His immigration policy was polarizing and accomplished little.
    His dealing with the Covid is a near complete disaster. Any other president would have fast-tracked a vaccine, and any other president would have taken the virus seriously. Kotkin spent not one word on the subject, which was not intellectually honest on his part.
    Trump claimed to be for the middle class, yet his tax cuts mostly benefited the upper income brackets and would add $1.9 trillion to our debt. He presided over a good economy that he inherited from Obama. The last three years of Obama’s economy was scarcely different from Trump’s first three years, except Trump added $300-plus billion per year more in debt. Of course, Trump took all the credit for it.
    To me, there is little in Trump’s legacy to hold onto.
    America would be better served the more that Americans know that Trump is a fraud. His deep state rhetoric is a fraud. Most of his factless statements are a fraud. His incessant claims that he won is a fraud.
    His complete absence of character is a stain on the GOP and on America. The sooner my party jettisons this unfit buffoon, the better we’re all off.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  14. I was a little surprised that Powerline tolerated no dissent. Sadly, they’re just a right-wing echo chamber, like RedState, which also banned me.

    To extend my above comments on China, this story is disturbing. If I were Biden, I’d ban all STEM students who originate from mainland China and make up the difference by welcoming students from the other Asian countries.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  15. I was a little surprised that Powerline tolerated no dissent. Sadly, they’re just a right-wing echo chamber, like RedState, which also banned me.

    To be fair to them, Paul Montagu, if you did indeed refer to Hinderacker as having a “a suck-a$$ mentality” on masks, then you ran afoul of their prohibition on swearing. I know it seems a bit blue-nosed, especially from a potty-mouth like me, but they are quite strict on enforcing that rule. I believe even some of their obnoxious Trumpists have been 86’ed on that same rule.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  16. On foreign policy, his best achievement was moving US Embassy to Jerusalem. Everything else has been half-baked to unbaked.

    You don’t think the peace agreements between the Arab states and Israel have been significant? Do you think it’s a mistake to attempt to isolate Iran in that region, or do you object to Israel establishing relations with despotic states? If it is the latter, then should the U.S. also break off diplomatic relations with Qatar, the UAE, and the like?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  17. We are free to choose wrongly.

    Felipe, maybe you’re right in framing it as a free-will issue. (Or maybe it’s a case of the pastor saying he won’t act as a political enforcer, as Dave suggests.) But here the pastor seems to imply that there are no serious consequences for self or others in believing and acting upon a false proposition — and that a clergyman has no business trying to guide his flock toward the most salubrious and charitable behavior. In any case, Believe whatever you want to sounds odd coming from a pastor.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  18. His dealing with the Covid is a near complete disaster. Any other president would have fast-tracked a vaccine, and any other president would have taken the virus seriously. Kotkin spent not one word on the subject, which was not intellectually honest on his part.

    I’ll give Kotkin some indulgence for not mentioning Covid, since the theme of his article is what parts of the Trumpist agenda might be worth holding on to. But I don’t excuse the Trump defenders who take the view that Covid is something bad that happened to Trump, and that it should be left out of a fair evaluation of his presidency.

    Presidents are elected not just to implement an agenda they already have in hand, but to respond to unforeseen events. And that’s one reason that character and temperament really do matter.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  19. You’re probably right, JVW, but I’m not sure I’d last much longer there had I said “suck-anus mentality”.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  20. You don’t think the peace agreements between the Arab states and Israel have been significant?

    I do, and that flowed from him moving the embassy to Jerusalem, as I understand it. I do agree with Trump taking a harder line on the Palestinians. Their heels weren’t just dug in, they were encased in concrete.
    On Iran, it was a mistake for Trump to bail on the deal, IMO, as they were in compliance, so it’s as if the real reason for exiting was to poke Obama in the eye. There was nothing wrong with staying in the deal and sanctioning them and responding more forcefully to their belligerence and bad faith. Our betrayal of the Kurds only helped the Iranian regime by strengthening Assad’s and Putin’s standing.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  21. A thread on one far-right internet message board posted photos of Parent captured during Thursday’s hearings, misidentified her as an election worker and asked users to vote on what the appropriate form of punishment should be. The most common responses called for sexual violence to be committed against Parent and/or her execution.

    Seditious conspiracy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. @6

    Darn, I just got banned from Powerline. It must’ve been my comment that Hinderaker had a suck-a$$ mentality on masks.

    Your own fault. At the top of the comment section is this :

    Notice
    Commenters who employ what we deem extreme vulgarity in a comment — “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice.

    Marci (405d43)

  23. Bank workers could get COVID vaccines before most Americans
    ……..
    Tellers and other consumer-facing bank workers could jump ahead of most Americans for coronavirus inoculations, after vaccines receive widely anticipated emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, potentially putting those financial-industry workers in line ahead of those 65 and older, other adults with medical issues and the rest of the U.S. population.

    The American Bankers Association, which represents community banks, said it has asked the CDC to designate a narrow slice of the financial-services industry as “essential workers,” mainly adhering to guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

    The ABA said it is specifically asking for vaccine prioritization of bank tellers and employees of rural banking branches.
    ……..
    The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, an independent panel made up of health experts, recommended to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday that vaccines should first go to frontline health-care workers and residents in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

    But after them, essential workers, a category that could include those working in parts of the financial-services business, are recommended to stand second in line, ahead of those age 65 and older and adults with medical issues that could lead to severe illness should they contract COVID-19.

    The ACIP didn’t list the occupations of those who might fall in the category of essential workers, but DHS defines essential workers as those who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continue critical infrastructure operations, and have in the past included firefighters, teachers and grocery workers.

    Yet beyond those essential workers, guidance from the DHS’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency indicates that people working in financial services should be included in this category.
    ……
    Based on New York Times COVID Vaccine Line Calculator, my place in line in California is behind health care workers, essential workers, the elderly, the homeless, prisoners, young adults, children, and 8.2M “others”.

    I’ll be in line behind:

    268.7 million people across the United States.

    …….31.0 million others (in California) who are at higher risk in your state.

    ……..7.9 million others (in Los Angeles County).

    I’ll be dead of old age by then.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  24. I’ve updated the first news item with Klink’s comment at 12, lightly edited.

    Dana (cc9481)

  25. You don’t think the peace agreements between the Arab states and Israel have been significant?……[S]hould the U.S. also break off diplomatic relations with Qatar, the UAE, and the like?

    No. Bahrain and Qatar aren’t front line states, they never directly fought Israel, and they have little political influence in the region. If the states were Saudi Arabia or Syria that would be something. We’ll see how Israel and the UAE are getting along in ten years.

    And no, the US should not break relations with the Gulf States, as we have major trade, military, and political interests in the region. America doesn’t have friends, it has interests.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  26. No. Bahrain and Qatar aren’t front line states, they never directly fought Israel, and they have little political influence in the region.

    They are states which share the Persian Gulf with Iran. How is this any different from the Iranian standpoint than having Cuba or Nicaragua aligned with the Soviet Union in the 1980s was from the U.S. standpoint? Possibly because the Arab states aren’t yet belligerents perhaps, but that’s about all.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  27. I don’t care if they give 100 tests every day. We are citizens. Hollywood money doesn’t get you special privileges that don’t belong to the plebes.

    NJRob (2203b5)

  28. I thought churches generally took the position that truth is not a subjective matter, and that there are consequences for denying it.
    Radegunda (b63b53) — 12/5/2020 @ 9:42 am

    You are absolutely right, Radegunda. I took “complete right and privilege to believe whatever you want to believe.” To be a reference to free will. We are free to choose wrongly.

    felipe (630e0b) — 12/5/2020 @ 10:10 am

    (The concept of free-will is not absolute in the modern Evangelical Christian churches. Just want to point that out, but it’s a thread I have no interest in pulling at here.)

    The thing that irritates me about the pastor in question and other “Christians” making claims/directives like that (and telling people not to wear a mask because *they* think they’re pointless) is that it is very un-Christlike and hypocritical. If we are to love our neighbors, we are to care for those around us. Because the pastor was fine when he had Covid, doesn’t mean that anyone else will be. It’s utterly arrogant to make such a judgment and tell people just to get it, it’s no big deal, when, for all he knows, they might end up on a ventilator or even dead. That is not loving his neighbor (or flock). That is un-Christlike arrogance making a judgment call for people he is supposed to lead. Further, telling others not to wear a mask (as many Christians do), reeks of the same hypocrisy and arrogance. Unless that person is well-acquainted with their neighbor’s medical history and comorbidities, it’s unconscionable to be making such a suggestion. Coming from a position of leadership in the church and making the suggestion is beyond the pale. That is not loving one’s neighbor. That is not showing compassion to, or putting the needs of others before your own. That is just wanting people to believe the way you do based on nothing but, Hey, I had covid, and it was no big deal arrogance. It is the antithesis of humility before God and the flock. This is not to even mention the ignorance of the science involved…

    Dana (cc9481)

  29. I don’t care if they give 100 tests every day. We are citizens. Hollywood money doesn’t get you special privileges that don’t belong to the plebes.

    NJRob (2203b5) — 12/5/2020 @ 12:48 pm

    Is that (rapid testing) a written standard that, if met by any eatery in the county, they can continue to remain open?

    Dana (cc9481)

  30. Then again, Lord Garcetti is the same royal who just said his subjects cannot engage in “non-essential ” walking.

    NJRob (2203b5)

  31. No it isn’t Dana. They shut down all restaurants period.

    NJRob (2203b5)

  32. https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2020/12/suicide-of-a-city.php

    The madness of a leftist dominated government. If they just legalize crime, then you won’t have any crime.

    NJRob (2203b5)

  33. So there is this from the LA County Health Dept’s Reopening Protocol for Music, Television and Film Production: Appendix J:

    For Television and Film production there is regular, periodic testing of the cast and crew on a given production to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19, especially for that cast and crew that are involved in high risk scenes requiring close contact without face coverings for extended periods of time. Where testing may not be feasible for one-time productions operating under a very short filming schedule (e.g. many commercials) or smaller music recording sessions, all work should be planned to eliminate close physical contact between cast, crew and performers as much as possible. Any and all testing programs are the responsibility of the employer and should benefit from the guidance of a medical professional.

    And this:

    I. CRAFT SERVICES AND CATERING
    ❑ All actors and crew shall wash or sanitize hands before handling any food.
    ❑ No buffets allowed.
    ❑ No communal food or drink service (no coffee pot, no single service coffee maker).
    ❑ All food and drink must be single serving only.
    ❑ Craft service dining must be held outdoors.
    ❑ Sit-down meals: either require eating in shifts, or seating areas large enough to allow for physical distancing of six (6) feet or more.
    ❑ All additional Public Health Requirements related to food service must be followed.
    ❑ Any food brought by individuals should be labeled and may not be shared.
    ❑ Food and drinks may be consumed only in designated spaces to ensure that masks can be worn consistently and correctly.
    ❑ If water is served from water dispensers, then levers or buttons on the dispenser should be cleaned after each use. It is preferable that beverages are served in single use containers.

    Dana (cc9481)

  34. I don’t care if they give 100 tests every day. We are citizens. Hollywood money doesn’t get you special privileges that don’t belong to the plebes.

    Right, Tesla was open, law firms were open, electronics manufacturers were open…tv production was also open, because different businesses are different.

    One thing is not another thing, a Hallmark TV movie production is not a restaurant. I’m sure she looks out the door and is ticked off, I would be personally disappointed, but I recognize my cheeseburger is not your Buick.

    Her complaint was prior to LA’s shutdown of pretty much all businesses for in person activity, which is now in effect and that isn’t just for restaurants and bars, tv production is too. Tesla is still open, why’s that? They’re not testing, they are in a congregate setting, if anything tv production should be open, and Tesla should be closed.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  35. Kicked off Powerline? Consider Daily Kos where they have an article commenting on a recent story about Trump asking the Georgia governor to invalidate the election, call a special session of the legislature and simply award him the electoral votes.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/12/5/2000131/-Trump-calls-on-Georgia-gov-to-hold-a-special-session-and-disenfranchise-every-voter-in-the-state

    In some other year, perhaps in some other country, this might be seen as a scandal, and those who support Trump a little tainted. But we live in the U.S. and so it’s just another Saturday.

    Victor (4959fb)

  36. Kicked off Powerline? Consider Daily Kos where they have an article…

    I was kicked off Daily Kos, too, Victor. And Little Green Footballs. Funny, but I’m not that uncivil, especially with those who are civil with me.
    It is Bizarro TrumpWorld, where somehow it’s okay for Trump to politically pressure other Republicans to thwart the will of the people.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  37. Thanks for the post. The only good news item from Trump during his four years is his attempts to draw down the US military in foreign engagements. Good to see we are bringing soldiers home from Somalia. While training local authorities is important, it is really a job the UN should do.

    Drawing down more troops from unwinnable theaters like Iraq and Afghanistan is a good move. Hope to see Biden continue the trend, but probably won’t happen.

    Hoi Polloi (3bc019)

  38. Good to see we are bringing soldiers home from Somalia.

    Don’t get your hopes up:

    The Pentagon says it will “reposition” some of the estimated 700 American troops in Somalia to other parts of East Africa — likely Kenya and Djibouti — and continue to carry out raids against the Shabab and a smaller cluster of Islamic State fighters in northern Somalia from bases in neighboring countries.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  39. They are states which share the Persian Gulf with Iran. How is this any different from the Iranian standpoint than having Cuba or Nicaragua aligned with the Soviet Union in the 1980s was from the U.S. standpoint?

    Bahrain and Qatar are already US allies, and diplomatic and trade agreements with Israel have no impact whatsoever on Iran. As Arab countries, they are already hostile to Iran. The only reason Iran hasn’t attacked any of the Persian Gulf countries is the fact that the U. S. Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  40. Trump at his Georgia rally now:

    They want to take away your beautiful Christmas that we just got back

    SMH.

    And he went there:

    “Doug you want to run for governor in two years?” Trump asks Rep. Doug Collins, essentially inviting a primary challenge against Republican Brian Kemp.

    This thread covering the rally is pretty wild.

    Dana (cc9481)

  41. Was there ever any real hope that it was not going to be all about Shortfinger?

    Not that I mind. I don’t want either Perdue or Loeffler passing laws for me any more than I want Tiny Donnie signing them, and I don’t know why any Republican in Georgia would want to dignify this rigged election by voting for them.

    nk (1d9030)

  42. “This thread covering the rally is pretty wild.”

    “We’re all victims. Everybody here. All these thousands of people here tonight. They’re all victims. Every one of you.” — Trump

    Davethulhu (496a10)

  43. And now for something completely possibly different: Do not let moose lick your car!

    nk (1d9030)

  44. PCR is a scam.

    Gryph (f63000)

  45. 75 R’s in PA legislature urge its Congressional delegation to reject the state’s Electoral College votes, even though Biden’s 82,000-vote win was lawfully certified and Trump’s lawsuits over election issues have been repeatedly rejected.

    Trump asked for this, he’s getting it, and it’s being normalized. Once opened, Overton Windows are notoriously hard to close. It never occurred to me to wonder whether one day a president would make it his public mission to undermine the bedrock pillar of our constitutional republic. That so many officials from the party of Lincoln would answer his anti-democratic call to arms… I have no words.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  46. Here’s the deal: It takes a majority of both the House and the Senate to reject a slate of Electors. The House belongs to the Democrats and, even if Perdue and Loeffler are reelected, there will not be 51 Republicans voting to reject the slate in the Senate.

    nk (1d9030)

  47. What will it take before the young folks, the maskless, and the self-absorbed (birm) stop killing people?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. You know, someone, somewhere, is going to see a spouse, a parent, a brother or sister die because the hospitals are all full, and decide to go home and get their gun. Sadly, they’ll probably take it out on the hospital folks rather than the super-spreaders.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  49. @46: Charge it as sedition on Jan 21st.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. 47. I know it will fail. It’s normalizing the attempt that concerns me. What happens next time? The time after that? Treating foundational norms as disposable incidentals is a dangerous game.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  51. 50. I hope not. Encouraging sedition isn’t sedition.

    It may be that the only defense against losing something as precious and irreplaceable as democracy is the common understanding that it’s precious and irreplaceable, and it shouldn’t be screwed around with. I don’t know if it’s possible to stop a critical mass of committed bomb throwers from blowing the whole thing up.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  52. They’re small people. Looking ahead to the next election and hoping the Trumpkins will not primary them. There is no Republican Party. Just a bunch of penny-ante grifters using it as a label while scrabbling to hold on to their chintzy jobs.

    nk (1d9030)

  53. Tim Miller saw Trump’s speech on NTD News, which stands for New Tang Dynasty and is run by Falun Gong, and RSBN, Right Side Broadcasting Network. His post-speech reaction…

    Looked at one way, this is the pathetic death rattle of a loser and crybaby who is desperate for one last gasp of adoration before he is forced into an early retirement that may be marked with legal troubles.

    And it is that.

    But it is also something more.

    We cannot let the preposterous nature of this rally distract us from what it was, under the hood of the clown car:

    It was seditious incitement against the duly elected incoming president in a manner that is without modern analogue.

    It was an explicit attempt to undermine faith in our democracy and to advocate for the overthrow of an election by extralegal means.

    It was an abhorrent scam that is robbing tens of thousands of Americans of hundreds of millions of dollars in order to fund the Trump family’s travel and legal bills.

    It was a rallying cry for the very people who before the event were telling “news anchors” that they think we need a “revolution,” a “war,” and a “coup.”

    It was a wildly irresponsible gathering during the height of a contagion that is almost certain to lead to even more unnecessary sickness and death.

    Through it all, the Republican party sat silently, their souls having long ago been stolen, hoping that they could leverage all of this destruction to hold onto two Senate seats in Georgia.

    As the stirring NTD America song goes, “tyranny is at our doorstep.”

    And Republicans don’t seem to mind. Not one bit.

    Maybe we’re all just used to Trump’s outrageousness, but it is outrageous that he’s trying to steal an election while bogusly asserting it was stolen from him.

    Paul Montagu (360877)

  54. Trump is a failed politician.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/04/opinions/trump-myth-political-genius-harrow/index.html

    He’s also a failed businessman, as evidenced by multiple bankruptcies and thousands of lawsuits against him.

    The more the Grotesquely Obsequious Party supports, defends, excuses, or remains silent on his execrable assault on American democracy, the more votes they lose. As noted in the article linked above, more Republicans voted for Biden but voted for Republican representatives and senators, governors. This is a party in disarray. They can win the down-ballot vote, but not the top-ballot vote.

    Because of Trump. Traditional conservatives, classical liberals, ask for limited federal government, lower taxes, reduced spending and fiscal responsibility. But we get the opposite.

    https://reason.com/2020/10/11/debt-reckoning-2/

    The Republican party has bankrupted itself. It no longer stands for principles, only subservience, enthrallment, to Trump.

    I find that disgusting.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  55. Dana (cc9481) — 12/5/2020 @ 12:49 pm

    I agree, Dana. Your points are well taken.

    felipe (630e0b)

  56. @46: Trump asked for this, he’s getting it, and it’s being normalized. Once opened, Overton Windows are notoriously hard to close.

    Having normalized incessant lawfare, campaign surveillance, bogus evidence in FISA court, fake whistleblowers coordinating with Dem hack pols, leaking classified info to jumpstart a closed investigation, applying a defibrillator to the Logan Act, “no serious prosecutor would bring such a case”, a special counsel based on bogus collusion conspiracy theories — all because you didn’t like the result of the last election — the draft from that gaping window suddenly isn’t to your liking.

    beer ‘n pretzels (042d67)

  57. NJRob (2203b5) — 12/5/2020 @ 1:05 pm

    Thank you for that link, NJRob. The first thing that came to mind was the parable of the prodigal son. Particularly the reaction from the obedient son; incredulity and jealousy. Of course the Parable is about sin, repentance forgiveness and mercy. In that order. How does a Christian apply those principles to the criminal poor? Easy, read the bible. Just remember that Jesus, Himself, said that we will always have the poor with us.

    But the question at hand is “How does a city deal, justly, with the criminal poor?” One can evoke the unjust treatment of Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. One can contrast that injustice with the merciful treatment of Valjean by the good Bishop, who seems to skip repentance and forgiveness and jumped straight to mercy. Which is what the City Council wished to do before tabling their effort. But is it just?

    Without repentance, justice takes a backseat to leniency and mercy is mocked. Lenience never results in a cry for mercy.

    This is just off the top of my head – I haven’t really given it any serious thought.

    felipe (630e0b)

  58. beer ‘n pretzels (042d67) — 12/6/2020 @ 8:09 am

    Ouch! You have a great point there. These things are not happening in a vacuum.

    felipe (630e0b)

  59. …the criminal poor? Easy, read the bible.

    Let me criticize myself; There is no connection made between poverty and criminality in Scripture. Rich and poor, alike, are sinners. The commandments make no mention of the poor.

    felipe (630e0b)

  60. There’s lots of things wrong with the world, and Trump is one of them.

    nk (1d9030)

  61. To those who may be concerned about a vaccine having been derived from fetal tissue/research:

    My Pastor announced, today, that Catholics are urged to avoid Astra-Zeneca’s vaccine due to this issue, and where given a choice, to choose either Pfizer’s vaccine or Moderna’s vaccine. There is confusion among secular sources about this – as is always the case – so I never give them any consideration. But here is one example.

    felipe (630e0b)

  62. nk (1d9030) — 12/6/2020 @ 8:33 am

    You are being generous, I would have said “two things.” His alias being another.

    felipe (630e0b)

  63. Long a Holdout From Covid-19 Restrictions, Sweden Ends Its Pandemic Experiment
    ……….
    Like other Europeans, Swedes are now heading into the winter facing restrictions ranging from a ban on large gatherings to curbs on alcohol sales and school closures—all aimed at preventing the country’s health system from being swamped by patients and capping what is already among the highest per capita death tolls in the world.
    ……..
    As late as last month, Swedes enjoyed mass sporting and cultural events and health-care officials insisted that the voluntary measures were enough to spare the country the resurgence in infections that was sweeping Europe.

    Weeks later, with total Covid-19-related deaths reaching almost 700 per million inhabitants, infections growing exponentially and hospital wards filling up, the government made a U-turn.

    In an emotional televised address on Nov. 22, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pleaded with Swedes to cancel all nonessential meetings and announced a ban on gatherings of more than eight people, which triggered the closure of cinemas and other entertainment venues. Starting Monday, high schools will be closed.
    ……..
    Last week Sweden’s total coronavirus death count crossed 7,000. Neighboring Denmark, Finland and Norway, all similar-sized countries, have recorded since the start of the pandemic 878, 415 and 354 deaths respectively. For the first time since World War II, Sweden’s neighbors have closed their borders with the country.
    ……….
    In recent months, (Dr. Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist) predicted that Swedes would gradually build immunity to the virus through controlled exposure, that vaccines would take longer than expected to develop, and that death rates across the West would converge.

    Instead, the West’s first coronavirus vaccine was authorized in Britain last week, Sweden’s death rate remains an outlier among its neighbors, and Dr. Tegnell acknowledged in late November that the new surge in infections showed there was “no sign” of herd immunity in the country.

    Meanwhile, Sweden’s laissez-faire pandemic strategy has failed to deliver the economic benefits its proponents had predicted. In the first half of the year, Sweden’s gross domestic product fell by 8.5% and unemployment is projected to rise to nearly 10% in the beginning of 2021, according to the central bank and several economic institutes.
    ……..
    “Countries that had mandatory restrictions have done better than us,” (said Lars Calmfors, an economist and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.)
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  64. Trumpkin Mentality:
    America is walking down the street when a mugger knocks her down and runs off with her purse. That gives Trump a license to come along and run off with her shoes too.

    nk (1d9030)

  65. L.A. looking at layoffs for as many as 1,900 workers, including 951 police officers
    ……..
    City Administrative Officer Rich Llewellyn advised Mayor Eric Garcetti and members of the City Council to lay plans for deep reductions at the Los Angeles Police Department, cutting the number of rank-and-file officers by roughly 10% while also eliminating 728 civilian jobs within the department.

    If city leaders move ahead with such reductions, the LAPD could be left with fewer officers than at any point in 25 years.

    In his 144-page report, Llewellyn said the cuts are needed to close a budget gap that’s expected to reach $675 million by June 30 — a crisis triggered by coronavirus-related shutdowns that have resulted in lower than expected taxes, fees and other revenue. Because the fiscal year is nearly half over, Garcetti and the council have less time to eliminate the gap, leaving them with far more aggressive cost-cutting proposals than in previous months.
    ……..
    …….. The report also recommends the elimination of positions at other agencies, including 143 in the city attorney’s office, 45 at animal services and 27 in the Bureau of Engineering.
    ……..
    ……..[The] budget proposal is viewed by some at City Hall as an attempt to wring concessions from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the rank-and-file police officers union. Officers are due to receive a 3.25% raise next month, followed by an additional 3% in 2022, and so far the union has shown no interest in forfeiting those increases.
    ……..
    The LAPD’s budget is $3B a year, and if you need to cut costs you after the biggest budget. Also, while the LAPD’s budget represents less 30% of the city’s total budget, it consumes more than 50% of the city’s unrestricted budget, and nearly 25% of police spending goes pensions.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  66. A short note on Klink’s spelling: It’s restauranteur. I only bring it up with the best of intentions, for the site’s betterment.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  67. I’ve heard it both ways.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  68. Heh, okay, and brilliant answer, Klink, using one of my favorite shows.
    When I used “er” instead “eur” at my firm, our editor nailed me on it, and she’s a taskmaster editor, but I’m backing away graciously.

    Paul Montagu (360877)

  69. @58 –In 2016, Trump accused Cruz of cheating in primaries, and then he said that his acceptance of the general election results would depend on what the results were. He also claimed that the Emmy Awards had been rigged against him.
    Before this year’s election he said that if he lost it had to mean that Dems cheated, and he repeatedly declined to commit to accepting the results unless he liked the results.

    That attitude is not something Dems caused by being mean to him. It is the essence of Trump to believe that he should always be the winner and be glorified above all others, and otherwise a grievous injustice is being done to him.

    The push-back that Trump has gotten did not arise in a vacuum. It is not unrelated to things he has done, as he and his defenders like to believe. There are reasons for it.

    Radegunda (b63b53)

  70. @72 Can’t we all just throw up our hands and claim “A plague o’ both your houses!“????

    whembly (c30c83)

  71. RIP David Lander (73).

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  72. Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    6m
    .
    @FoxNews daytime is not watchable. In a class with CNN & MSDNC. Check out @OANN, @newsmax and others that are picking up the slack. Even a boring football game, kneeling and all, is better!

    The thread is hilarious.

    nk (1d9030)

  73. Paul,

    I was kicked off The American Conservative for suggesting to Dreher that “soft totalitarianism” had some resemblance to orthodox religion, and kicked off National Review for suggesting that Chief of Staff John Kelly was lying about something. I can’t even remember what now. It’s a cruel world of narrow opinions. I don’t actually comment much on DKos because their commenters are not usually very bright, but I do find the articles useful for highlighting some of the various crimes and misdemeanors committed by our Republican political leaders. We all look for evidence where we want to find it.

    Victor (4959fb)

  74. @77-
    Employees should be able to refuse any vaccine, just as any employer can refuse to employ them.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  75. @77-
    My favorite quote:

    “….. The 55 percent doesn’t surprise me. They’re called the Bravest, not the Smartest,” the source said

    .

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  76. Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti commented about the plight of the bar owner in Item #1:

    Mayor Eric Garcetti, who days ago announced a one-time payment of $800 to food industry workers, urged residents to support restaurants by ordering takeout and delivery but said the restrictions were necessary to reduce the virus’s spread.

    “My heart goes out to Ms. Marsden and the workers at the Pineapple Hill Saloon who have to comply with state and county public health restrictions that close outdoor dining,” Mr. Garcetti said. “No one likes these restrictions, but I do support them as our hospital I.C.U. beds fill to capacity and cases have increased by 500%. We must stop this virus before it kills thousands of more Angelenos.”

    The fact that Los Angeles deemed the movie industry workers as essential will allow them to continue serving food in location canteens, as long as they follow the stated guidelines. However, there are limits to what people are willing to put with:

    The dispute over outdoor dining is not the first time Los Angeles’s entertainment industry has created a real-life drama over coronavirus restrictions. On Tuesday, Mr. Garcetti said he would reopen a coronavirus testing site that had been closed for the filming of a movie featuring Addison Rae, a star on TikTok, after residents criticized its closure.

    Dana (cc9481)

  77. According to Trump, Rudy Giuliani has tested positive:

    @RudyGiuliani, by far the greatest mayor in the history of NYC, and who has been working tirelessly exposing the most corrupt election (by far!) in the history of the USA, has tested positive for the China Virus. Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!

    This despite taking the touted-by-Trump hydroxychloroquine as a strategy in fending off a COVID-19 infection…

    Dana (cc9481)

  78. Let’s hope that Giuliani’s flatulence isn’t a superspreader event.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  79. The film crew had all been tested for coronavirus, and were the same people. But the same people is worse! There;s a prison in Alaska that reached about 50% of inmates infected. Of course that was indoors, breathing the air exhaled by others.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  80. The senior pastor of a church in western Michigan has encouraged his congregation to catch the coronavirus to “get it over with” and calling it “all good.”

    1.7% of all people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died within 22 days of diagnosis. Of course there’s no excuse for anybody to die. Just give them the Regerneron antibodies. (if you can get it) But then they won’t have strong immunity.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  81. Farts and prayers for Rudy’s quick, compete recovery from CV19. Rudy’s reaction upon hearing the news: “Pull my finger.”

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  82. Death Came for the Dakotas
    …….
    ……. Deep into the coronavirus pandemic, when there was no doubt about the damage that Covid-19 could do, the Dakotas scaled their morbid heights, propelled by denial and defiance. They surged to the top of national rankings of state residents per capita who were hospitalized with Covid-related symptoms or whose recent deaths were linked to it.

    As of Friday afternoon, South Dakota led the country in the average daily number of recent Covid-associated deaths per capita, with three for every 100,000 people, according to a New York Times database. North Dakota was second, with 1.5.

    More than 40 percent of South Dakota’s 1,033 Covid-related deaths to that point occurred in November, according to statistics from the Covid Tracking Project, and the same was true of North Dakota’s 983 deaths.
    ……..
    …….. Of the 10 counties in America with the most Covid-related deaths per capita, three are in South Dakota.
    ……..
    The truth is that the Dakotas are as emblematic as they are exceptional, the American story — or at least a strain of it — in miniature. In resisting the lockdowns, slowdowns and sacrifices that many other states committed to, they indulged and encouraged a selective (and often warped) reading of scientific evidence, a rebellion against experts and a twisted concept of individual liberty that was obvious all over the country and contributed mightily to our suffering.
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  83. RIP Pamela Tiffin (78).

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  84. 56.Trump is a failed politician.

    Actually, he is not. He won and beat out seasoned candidates who were experienced politicians. This isn’t just a ‘talking point.’ Did a thesis years ago which touched on this. Hard data on it. Long research project involving the ‘initial elected office’ of candidates for public office at all levels from various vocations, trades and professions over the 200-plus year history of the Republic. It may seem boring and it was tedious to research over many months but the results and trends emerging were fascinating. The leading categories- Business/corporate types [aka authoritarian] vs., lawyers; rule-of-law-types were the primary conflicting trenders in the 20th century. Granted unknown variables in extrapolating the data, such as changes in campaign finance laws, changes in the media platforms, the rise in campaign costs and external events were unpredictable and so on, but w/respect to a ‘Trump’ type; to cut to the chase, the graphed data indicated a decline in IEO winners w/legal backgrounds while IEO candidates winning w/business backgrounds/experience were on the rise. The data trends showed the graphs eventually crossing and one of the major political parties would nominate a winning candidate with no previous elected office experience to the top job as their initial elected office by 2000. Trump won in November, 2016.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  85. Breaking (about 3:36 pm EST)

    Rudy Giuliani tested positive for coronavirus. No word on what kind of a case, if any, he has. Donald Trump tweeted out the information as if he was not the one to break it.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  86. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 12/6/2020 @ 3:43 pm

    one of the major political parties would nominate a winning candidate with no previous elected office experience to the top job as their initial elected office by 2000. Trump won in November, 2016.

    That actually already happened back in 1928. (Herbert Hoover had held Cabinet (Secretary of Commerce) and various official or semi-official positins before (Belgian relief in 1914, the U.S. Food Administration -> American Relief Administration under President Woodrow Wilson, which he privatized and turned into a charity – it was at that time he started the institution that bears his name at Stanford University; adviser to President Wilson at the Paris Peace conference in 1919; and famine relief in Russia under Lenin’s rule) but he had never held elective office, although FDR among others tried to recruit him for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1920 and he sought the Republican presidential nomination at the Republican convention in 1920)

    There were some generals, also but Hoover had started out as a businessman.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  87. Klink makes a good point. Having lived in the area (my block was (too) frequently used for background filming) the production companies are amazing. They have a well-oiled crews being paid about 4 times what they’d make anywhere else, doing EXACTLY what they are told ON-TIME and IN-PLACE. They all like their jobs too much to be even a minute late with that potted plant the director wants at 11:43.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  88. ….56.Trump is a failed politician.

    Actually, he is not. He won and beat out seasoned candidates who were experienced politicians.

    What he is a failed executive, unable to run the biggest corporation on Earth half as well as Jimmy Carter.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  89. Biden Picks (California AG) Xavier Becerra to Lead Health and Human Services

    Not his fist choice by any means.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  90. L.A. looking at layoffs for as many as 1,900 workers, including 951 police officers

    I am willing to bet huge amounts that not one job at LADWP is cut, and bonuses will roll out at usual.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  91. 47. nk (1d9030) — 12/5/2020 @ 8:10 pm

    Here’s the deal: It takes a majority of both the House and the Senate to reject a slate of Electors. The House belongs to the Democrats and, even if Perdue and Loeffler are reelected, there will not be 51 Republicans voting to reject the slate in the Senate.

    They have an answer for that, at least as far as the House is concerned

    The House of Representatives should vote by states, just like they do in the contingent election!

    Of course there’s no reason to suppose that that method of voting applies anywhere else.

    Another thing that’s happening is that Trump is calling up individual members of the state legislature of Georgia and asking them to vote (if they get the chance) to appoint the Electors, and some of therm, maybe flattered by the attention, are saying they would do it and Trump is citing them in his lobbying of the Governor or something like that. (The Governor, by the way, just lost a friend of the family in a car accident – a 20 year old with a family background in politics who was apparently dating his 19-year old daughter, so he must be somewhat somber. He didn’t attend the rally last night.)

    They are saying that Trump feels that if he can’t win, he still wants to bring the total of Electoral votes that Joe Biden got below the the number of Electoral votes that he got in 2016 – that is, below 306 (before faithless electors)

    Nothing will happen with any of this, given the current crop of Republican officials, but this could be a problem in future elections if this whole thing doesn’t end.

    Georgia Election Official Gabriel (Gabe) Sterling says these election fraud claims are a (game of) whack-a=mole – in other words, they’re coming up with all sorts of different ways the election could have been stolen and all kinds of different “proofs” (knock one down and they come up with another idea.)

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  92. 13. Paul Montagu (77c694) — 12/5/2020 @ 10:32 am

    Any other president would have fast-tracked a vaccine,

    I don’t think so. It was controversial. Now some other presidents could have done better than Trump. ANd Trump didn;t give nearly enough attention to the antibodies.

    and any other president would have taken the virus seriously.

    That’s true.

    Kotkin spent not one word on the subject, which was not intellectually honest on his part.
    Trump claimed to be for the middle class, yet his tax cuts mostly benefited the upper income brackets and would add $1.9 trillion to our debt. He presided over a good economy that he inherited from Obama. The last three years of Obama’s economy was scarcely different from Trump’s first three years, except Trump added $300-plus billion per year more in debt. Of course, Trump took all the credit for it.

    America would be better served the more that Americans know that Trump is a fraud. His deep state rhetoric is a fraud. Most of his factless statements are a fraud. His incessant claims that he won is a fraud.

    His complete absence of character is a stain on the GOP and on America. The sooner my party jettisons this unfit buffoon, the better we’re all off.

    But what’s going to break the ice?

    Only maybe him getting more ridiculous. But then he’ll pull back.

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  93. Sammy, Why do you say fast tracking the vaccine was controversial? It seems like a lay up for either party.

    Time123 (dba73f)

  94. @92. No, Hoover didn’t fit the model we had, Sammy; Wilkie didn’t either; nor Perot; but the trend was evident. Bloomberg, for example. I’d have to go back and review the criteria as it has been decades since reading through it but the review board agreed w/t data and analysis but the debate came over the emerging trends. The numbers showed the trend was viable but the debate came over a private sector corporatist- an autocrat w/authoritarian management skills- successfully transferring them to the top spot to govern w/corporate efficiency; ‘the he says jump and everyone says how high’ factor. The fit would be hard for someone w/no experience given how our government is structured. Particularly over issues of speed and cost. FWIW, the catalyst was the Heinz candidacy and win replacing Hugh Scott’s seat. Heinz was heir to the ketchup and pickle fortune; set for life. He had zero political office experience and more influential on the outside as a titan of business than as an insider– every reason not to get into it. Yet he did- and spent roughly $20-25/vote, in 1976 dollars, which was an astronomical cost at the time for a senate seat. We wondered why he did it; why the costs were soaring and so forth. Was he bored? Power hungry? Hence, the project began. It took nearly 18 months to complete. But the trends were undeniable.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  95. Time123 (dba73f) — 12/6/2020 @ 5:00 pm

    Sammy, Why do you say fast tracking the vaccine was controversial? It seems like a lay up for either party

    maybe not fast tracking research, but fast tracking approval.

    Just look at this:

    ttps://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-officials-say-vaccine-decisions-will-be-guided-by-science-not-politics-11599762805

    Senior Food and Drug Administration officials, bristling at criticism from some Democrats and medical leaders that the agency has been politicized by the Trump administration, took the unusual step Thursday of publicly declaring that science, not politics, will guide their decisions on Covid-19 vaccines…

    In an Aug. 22 tweet, Mr. Trump had expressed frustration over what he claimed to be FDA foot-dragging over a Covid-19 vaccine.

    “The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics,” the president wrote in an Aug. 22 tweet.

    “Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives!” the president wrote, copying @SteveFDA, the Twitter handle for FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

    You know something? That actually seems to be true.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/12/14/countdown-to-a-coronavirus-vaccine

    Pfizer and Moderna began Phase III trials on July 27th. Waiting for enough volunteers to get sick—typically the most time-consuming aspect of a Phase III trial—was not likely to take long: covid-19 cases were surging around the country. The companies’ stock prices soared as executives sold off their shares.

    Donald Trump, too, tried to capitalize on the news. By summer, he was hyping the possibility that a vaccine could be ready before the election, although few public-health experts believed this timeline to be realistic. “You could have a very big surprise coming up,” Trump said in a press conference. “We’re going to have a vaccine very soon, maybe even before a very special date. You know what date I’m talking about.”

    Around the time of Trump’s remarks, the covid-19 Vaccine Confidence Project, a nonprofit effort to advise the F.D.A., began conducting focus groups with people most at risk: workers in health care, service, and retail, and members of underrepresented communities. Many respondents were skeptical about the haste with which the vaccines were being developed. “Some of our listening-session participants noted that they would want to wait months, or even years, before choosing to receive a vaccine,” Susan Winckler, the C.E.O. of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, which is leading the project, said. In an online presentation, Winckler shared direct quotes from the respondents, a Greek chorus of worry: “When I hear the F.D.A. say they have a particular process, but then I hear the White House say they can cut that in half or negate it, it brings more distrust”; “I am suspicious that they are trying to get it out before the election”; “A lot of people don’t trust the people who are making the vaccine because they are politically motivated, and we are all a bunch of guinea pigs.”

    Bourla, the Pfizer C.E.O., had an idea to quell some of these concerns. In early September, he and Sahin, of BioNTech, flew to Austria in a Pfizer jet to visit a vaccine-manufacturing facility. During the flight, Sahin said, they talked about the issue of public trust, and the risk that the vaccines “could be politicized, and how to react to that.” Bourla suggested that all the front-runners in the vaccine race publish an open letter, reaffirming their commitment to safety, scientific rigor, and ethics. Sahin thought that this was a great suggestion.

    When Bourla returned to the U.S., he called Fauci, who told me that he strongly encouraged the pledge. Bourla rallied seven other companies, all of which were involved with Operation Warp Speed, and were likely aware that President Trump’s wish to hasten the arrival of a vaccine was creating the impression that developers were taking shortcuts. “You can feel if the public gets insecure about what is going on,” Sahin said. It seemed critical to be transparent about “the independence of this process from any political influence.”

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  96. @95. Well, see #92; that variable came up in the discussion we had of the data and trends. My argument at the time was a strict corporatist – say a Jack Welch type– would have a hard time transferring his methds to the top spot as CIC. While Bloomberg managed as mayor of NYC, arguably a difficult job in the realm of CIC, yet still faced friction — and flopped as a CIC candidate, but his previous experience would have disqualified him as a data point anyway. I fully expect another corporatist to make a run for the top spot w/no previous initial elected office experience within the next few cycles. Job performance aside, Trump broke the barrier. It’s really fascinating because we admire the success of our business and corporatist leaders yet wonder why government doesn’t/can’t/won’t operate as efficiently w/those same traits we admire at the helm. Mainly it’s because government is structured by design not to. So the argument became- does the corporatist adapt to the government norms or does government adapt to the corporatist. ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ this cycle pretty much said it. But the margin was not big. It’s a fascinating struggle.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  97. More:

    But the possibility that Pfizer might file for an emergency-use authorization before the election created more controversy. In the past hundred years, the F.D.A. has never granted an emergency-use authorization for a new vaccine. To address the public’s concerns, the agency issued updated guidelines on October 6th, asking drugmakers to collect two months of safety data following the second injection before applying for an authorization. This made the possibility of a preëlection vaccine almost nil. Trump was outraged, and attempted to block the guidelines’ release, a move that was widely condemned. In an abrupt reversal, the guidelines were cleared the next day. Still, the President tweeted, “New FDA Rules make it more difficult for them to speed up vaccines for approval before Election Day. Just another political hit job!”

    Now who was stirring up suspicion?

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/05/politics/kamala-harris-not-trust-trump-vaccine-cnntv/index.html

    Now possibly this was 100% hypocritical, and she would have done or approved the same thing Donald Trump did if a Democrat had done it. But if it is more principled, then you have to say another president might not have done it.

    The Trump Administration was still arguing with the FDA after the election:

    On December 1st, Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, met with the head of the F.D.A., Stephen Hahn, to discuss why the agency “hadn’t moved faster to grant preliminary approval,” Bloomberg reported. The next day, shortly after regulators in the U.K. granted an emergency-use authorization to Pfizer, Meadows reportedly summoned Hahn back to the White House. According to Mascola, of the N.I.H., there is a simple explanation for the F.D.A.’s timeline: Pfizer has presented “a very large and complex set of data,” and “all that information has to be reviewed.” Investigators must double-check who tested positive for covid-19, and what follow-ups were conducted to determine the severity of symptoms. “So far we only have Pfizer and Moderna’s word for it,” Mascola said. “What everyone wants is the F.D.A.’s word for it.”

    [Who is “everyone?”. I think it will have absolutely no independent effect, and especially once the UK approved it. That means a more or less disinterested party said it is OK. -SF]

    For months, hundreds of thousands of vials of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines have been sitting in a few manufacturing plants in the United States and Europe.

    You even had people tying themselves into knots to explain why the United Kingdom came in ahead by one week (assuming there will be no unexpected hitch) in approving the Pfizer vaccine: How could they avoid saying either that the UK was too fast or that the US was too slow?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/world/europe/UK-US-coronavirus-vaccine-nationalism.html

    The question of whether Britain had authorized a vaccine in haste on Wednesday, or the United States was wasting valuable time as the virus was killing about 1,500 Americans a day, has divided scientists and has also drawn in politicians. Facing criticism from American and European regulators, British officials boasted of the decision on Thursday, with one lawmaker suggesting the Europeans were “a bit sniffy” and others misleadingly crediting Brexit.
    “We’ve obviously got the best medical regulators,” Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said in a radio interview, by way of explaining why Britain had become the first Western country to authorize a vaccine. “Much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have. That doesn’t surprise me at all because we’re a much better country than every single one of them, aren’t we.”

    Those remarks drew eye rolls from British scientists, but also provoked more serious concerns that any chest-beating by government ministers risked undermining the public’s faith in a vaccine.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that British regulators had not scrutinized data from clinical trials as carefully as their American counterparts in the Food and Drug Administration.

    “We have the gold standard of a regulatory approach with the F.D.A.,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview on Fox News. “The U.K. did not do it as carefully and they got a couple of days ahead.”

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  98. Peter Principle. New York street performer plays businessman on TV, reaches his level of incompetence attempting to portray President.

    nk (1d9030)

  99. Trump was successful at politicking, DC, but he couldn’t politick his way out of the mismanagement and character hole he dug himself into.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  100. 103. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 12/6/2020 @ 5:31 pm

    It’s really fascinating because we admire the success of our business and corporatist leaders yet wonder why government doesn’t/can’t/won’t operate as efficiently w/those same traits we admire at the helm.

    Well, for one thing it’s because since at least about 1920, governments have a budget, and corporations don’t. Governments want to predict everything, or pretend to, while corporations try things out, even if they do market research beforehand. In business, there is a penalty for failure; in government often not. In business, even good ideas can fail (because of unfair competition and other companies deliberately or stupidly losing money.)

    That goes beyond basic structure (needing votes in the legislature.)

    Sammy Finkelman (2178a8)

  101. For most of his tenure in the White House, he hasn’t had the same alien symbiote on his head that he had in 2016, either, I noticed. That may have made a difference, too.

    nk (1d9030)

  102. Nobody pays attention to the organ grinder. Everybody looks at the monkey.

    The fact of the matter is that Trump’s so-called Presidency has not been his Presidency. It has been the Presidency of his parade of enablers who actually did things, a few well but mostly half-assed, while he played golf and jerked off. (Or to stick to the monkey analogy, while he entertained the crowd and passed the cup, if you wish.)

    nk (1d9030)

  103. Well, for one thing it’s because since at least about 1920, governments have a budget, and corporations don’t. Governments want to predict everything, or pretend to, while corporations try things out, even if they do market research beforehand. In business, there is a penalty for failure; in government often not. In business, even good ideas can fail (because of unfair competition and other companies deliberately or stupidly losing money.)

    That goes beyond basic structure (needing votes in the legislature.)

    That’s a simplification, governments don’t function like business, it doesn’t have profit motives. Maybe somewhat similar to a charity or non-profit, except 5 million times larger.

    A business leader may be a good president, but Trump was a terrible businessman, a terrible leader, the least likely be be good at governing that could be imagined. Trump doesn’t really prove any concept beyond a moron is a terrible option. He was a known moron, obvious moron, and he still got 22% of Americans to vote for him.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  104. Trump was successful at politicking,

    No, he was successful at campaigning. Mass-merchandising politics. He failed at politicking, which is the door-to-door sales variety. Getting people in government to do things his way was incredibly difficult for Trump, and they did not manipulate or stampede like the mob did.

    He HAD people who knew how to get this done, but Trump is a hands-on (or foot of clay-on) kind of guy, and he applied the same stupid to every problem.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  105. Klink, that “22% of Americans” thing is really a low reach for an insult. I doubt that any American president has come close to 40% of “Americans” and Washington probably didn’t get 1%. It’s really a meaningless put-down.

    Trump’s problem is that 50% of Americans have double-digit IQs, but while there ARE stupid people in government, the average IQ is much higher there, and the typical education is even better than that.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  106. Trump doesn’t really prove any concept beyond a moron is a terrible option.

    Actually, he does. Eventually ‘folks’ will see it- once they get past the personality quirks, trying to place their own set of morals on to others, the show goes into reruns and the smoke of battle drifts away and such.

    You actually heard it surface in the last debate when Biden complained about not getting things done because his party didn’t control Congress while Trump’s almost automatic response was you have to make them work with/for you. Biden’s POV is legit; yet so was Trump’s. That’s the ‘get it done corporatist’ vs. ‘the swamp system bureaucrat’ battle in a nutshell. It’s a fascinating struggle.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  107. Remember when we thought government shouldn’t pick winners and lovers. Good times.

    Guess Hollywood doesn’t count or politicians or government union members and on and on…

    NJRob (bae371)

  108. KM-
    I am willing to bet huge amounts that not one job at LADWP is cut, and bonuses will roll out at usual.
    Given that the Department of Water and Power is not funded with general tax revenues, layoffs there would have no impact on the city’s budget deficit.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  109. Arizona Legislature shuts down after Rudy Giuliani possibly exposed lawmakers to COVID-19
    ……..
    Giuliani had spent more than 10 hours discussing election concerns with Arizona Republicans — including two members of Congress and at least 13 current and future state lawmakers — at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix last Monday. He led the meeting maskless, flouting social distancing guidelines and posing for photos.

    Giuliani also met privately with Republican lawmakers and legislative leadership the next day, according to lawmakers’ social media posts.
    ……..
    Superspreader Rudy.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  110. The DWP transfers money each year to the general fund, once it cannot find any facially viable reason to spend it.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  111. In 2017, DWP sent almost a quarter billion dollars to the City. Since the LADWP is wholly-owned by the City of Los Angeles, it could require any level of cost-cutting within labor contracts and reduce the ususal excessive bonuses to provide more revenue. for the city.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  112. Should the lawyers attempting to subvert the national election be disbarred?

    Asking for a friend.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  113. Normal DWP rate hike sequence:

    Year 1: big rains; DWP bonuses
    Year 2: normal rain; DWP bonues
    Year 3: normal rain; DWP bonues
    Year 4: slight drought; smaller bonuses
    Year 5: growing drought; even smaller bonuses
    Year 6: more drought; PEOPLE NEED TO CONSERVE!
    Year 7: more drought; CONSERVE MORE!!
    Year 8: more drought; DWP not getting enough income due to all the conservation!
    Year 9: more drought; raise rates
    Year 10: more drought;
    Year 11: big rains; Bib DWP bonuese
    repeat

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  114. always a typo.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  115. Re LADWP-
    Whatever. Not living in the City of Los Angeles I don’t really care.

    Rip Murdock (74ef5d)

  116. 116. Superspreader Rudy.

    It depends on when he contracted it. A newly-infected person is almost certainly not contagious in the first 24 hours after exposure and likely not in the next 24 hours either. The virus needs to incubate and multiply before it starts shedding.

    nk (1d9030)

  117. I hope he recovers. It would be too obscene a karmic joke for him to die in what was already a bad joke of a service to the orange crawly thing.

    nk (1d9030)

  118. Besides, Herman Cain already died for that plot twist. Just because we’re getting to the end of 2020 is no excuse for the writers to get lazy.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  119. 58. Do you think it’s important to apply neutral principles to criticism of people you agree with, irrespective of what people you disagree with do? If not, what standing do you have to criticize opponents who use your tactics? If you do think it’s important, do you ever do it? And if you do ever do it, why don’t you ever do it here?

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  120. Did someone bet McConnell that the GOP could not be even stupider?

    Anti-Vaccine Doctor Has Been Invited to Testify Before Senate Committee

    A doctor who is skeptical of coronavirus vaccines and promotes the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment will be the lead witness at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday, prompting criticism from Democrats who say Republicans should not give a platform to someone who spreads conspiracy theories.

    Dr. Jane M. Orient is the executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group that opposes government involvement in medicine and views federal vaccine mandates as a violation of human rights.

    “A public health threat is the rationale for the policy on mandatory vaccines. But how much of a threat is required to justify forcing people to accept government-imposed risks?” Dr. Orient wrote in a statement to the Senate last year, calling vaccine mandates “a serious intrusion into individual liberty, autonomy and parental decisions.”

    There was a time when I thought that the GOP could be saved. Now it’s clear that it just has to be replaced.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  121. I give up. The link in 127 won’t show up, the link in 128 doesn’t preview.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  122. @127 I don’t think the party can be replaced, Kevin M, but Republicans need to do some serious soul-searching.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/12/trump-will-reign-atop-gop-until-2024/617300/

    Trump did win 70 million votes, the most of any GOP presidential candidate in history, second only to Biden, who won 77 million votes, and down ballot Republicans did surprisingly well and actually gained seats. So it appears many Republicans rejected Trump but supported the party.

    The next several weeks will prove crucial. Rage, denial, conspiracy theories, laughable lawsuits, incredulous claims of voter fraud and election theft, railing against duly elected members, inciting violence against respectable officials for doing their jobs, death threats, calling for medieval torture techniques, hangings and beheadings even–it’s all like a bad Shakespearean tragedy, King Lewd. That is not the direction the party wants to take, because Act V ends in a catastrophe.

    A lot depends on the Georgia runoffs. If Perdue and Loeffler both lose, and Democrats take control of the Senate with VP Harris as the tie-breaker, it will signal that Trump’s influence is diminishing before he leaves office. But he’s not going anywhere. He will continue to be a bother, because he has so corrupted the party. He wants to be the kingmaker in the midterm primaries and elections, and a constant problem for Biden.

    It’s rare for the party in power to make gains in the midterms. The American people are odd in that way. They really do prefer a divided government, with checks and balances. But if the Republicans follow Trump’s lead over the next two years, ranting and raving, being obstructionist, they might not like the results in 2022 or 2024.

    Once he’s out of office, Trump will be irrelevant, except in the deluded minds of his cult base. He should just be ignored as the impotent one-term loser he is. That’s what he dreads most, being ignored.

    His gullible cultists have been donating to his election defense PAC, $170 million so far. What these idiots don’t realize is that most of that money will go to paying off his losing campaign debt.

    He’s been under investigation and possibly faces prosecution in New York, as is Kushner in New Jersey. Once they’re private citizens again, all bets are off. State crimes, like tax, bank and wire fraud, are not subject to pardon. Other states, like Illinois, Virginia, Florida may follow suit, and Washington DC may jump in the game. His hotels and golf resorts are losing money, as hospitality has been hardest hit by the pandemic. He owes $460 million in personally guaranteed loans from foreign creditors that will come due within two years. That’s right before the midterms.

    I don’t see how Trump can continue to exert his influence on the Republican party. However, as you point out, calling a vaccine denier to testify before Congress is an ominous sign. It’s also asinine. These people are in complete denial. Covid-19 is now killing an average of 3,000 Americans daily. That’s like a 9-11 death count every day, without the property damage.

    As far as property damage goes, the real estate market is in the commode, flushed into the sewer. Property values are declining all over, due to the economic ruin wrought by the pandemic. You want to sell your house, maybe recover some equity? You can list it at whatever sales price you want, but good luck finding a buyer who can pass a credit check at the title company.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  123. There was a time when I thought that the GOP could be saved. Now it’s clear that it just has to be replaced.

    Better late than never. Dive right in. The water’s warm.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  124. Patterico, Please prepare a post presidential pity party post post-haste.

    Via Axios

    President Trump is considering a made-for-TV grand finale: a White House departure on Marine One and final Air Force One flight to Florida for a political rally opposite Joe Biden’s inauguration, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  125. I would enjoy seeing the President stepping from that last flight from some law enforcement officials from the State of New York to take him into custody for fraud/tax charges.

    Not going to happen but a man can dream…

    Appalled (1a17de)

  126. @102, Sammy, that’s interesting information. But I don’t see how it shows the Dems wouldn’t have supported fast tracking.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  127. I hope he recovers. It would be too obscene a karmic joke for him to die in what was already a bad joke of a service to the orange crawly thing.

    I like lawyers that don’t get corona.

    Dave (1bb933)

  128. An incompetent, pathetic coup attempt is still a coup attempt. — Gary Kasparov, 12-07-2020

    nk (1d9030)

  129. So, what do you think? Did Jenna Ellis have silicone injections to give her the appearance of high cheekbones?

    nk (1d9030)

  130. Just 25 congressional Republicans acknowledge Joe Biden’s win over President Trump a month after the former vice president’s clear victory of more than 7 million votes nationally and a convincing electoral-vote margin that exactly matched Trump’s 2016 tally…Two Republicans consider Trump the winner despite all evidence showing otherwise. And another 222 GOP members of the House and Senate — nearly 90 percent of all Republicans serving in Congress — will simply not say who won the election.

    That’s not their job. Trump is playing this out in the courts (and losing badly in the courts). Why do they need to profess their faith in a Biden election? Let it play out through the courts and the electoral college.

    The only purpose of this is to separate GOP lawmakers from their supporters. It is done all the time to the GOP – do you denounce your most extreme supporters, and is almost never done to Democrats.

    Mike S (4125f8)

  131. it’s all like a bad Shakespearean tragedy

    That would require a great man to fall. Closer to “Much Ado About Trump”, where the play is refocused on Dogsberry.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  132. *Dogberry.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  133. An incompetent, pathetic coup attempt is still a coup attempt.

    It’s so bad it wouldn’t make the cut in comic opera.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  134. @137: I was thinking anorexia.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  135. President Trump is considering a made-for-TV grand finale: a White House departure on Marine One and final Air Force One flight to Florida for a political rally opposite Joe Biden’s inauguration, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

    Running an hour late, Biden orders the plane to divert to Havana, where Trump and party are disembarked.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  136. https://campusreform.org/article?id=16341

    Speaking the truth is verboten.

    NJRob (b51969)

  137. Mike S, you are technically correct. Under the rules, the swamp critters don’t have to say who’s the President until January 6.

    It’s the lies that they’re letting lay. The “rigged election” lies and all that comes from that.

    nk (1d9030)

  138. You say kraken
    I say sushi
    Pass the wasabi

    nk (1d9030)

  139. 109. nk (1d9030) — 12/6/2020 @ 6:21 pm

    The fact of the matter is that Trump’s so-called Presidency has not been his Presidency. It has been the Presidency of his parade of enablers who actually did things, a few well but mostly half-assed,

    The question is: how did therse enablers get selected?

    The fact is Trump had afew, very simple ideas, and didn’t understand things too well. We had first, the Republican Party – therefore the judges, and we had people who agreed, more or less, with his inclinatons, or what he had picked up from commentators on TV or radio. They attempted to make more coherent what Trump wanted or felt like doing. To a large extent, they succeeded, but we possibly might be shocked at how little Trump understood of many matters. Very often, some instinct or political calculations of Trump, fit it in with more developed policy positions, somewhere
    Stay in Syria, get out of Syria, stay in Afghanistan, get out of Afghanistan, high tariffs low tariffs, there was always somebody for it. Some people made it their job to make what Trump wanted to do, or most off what he wanted to do, make sense.

    Sometimes there was a big problem, like when Trump suddenly suspended aid to Ukraine after it had been agreed to, and they tried to get it restored. Trump didn’t even really explain to his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, what this was all about, but probably it was caused by him buying into Russian propaganda, which he got mostly through Giuliani, whom some Russian agents had gotten close to by making large contributions to all sorts of Republican causes – not with their own money, and therefore illegal – and then hooking up with Giuliani, first by hiring him as their private lawyer.

    gave him two reasons for not helping Ukraine – first, a public purpose reason, that people close They to the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, were corrupt, and second, designed to appeal to Trump’s emotions, that these were the very same people in Ukraine who supposedly had wanted to prevent him from getting elected in 2016. And to this was added the accusation that Joe Biden fired the prosecutor to stop and investigation, which was helped along by a videotape in which Joe Biden took credit for firing the prosecutor, although not, Trump maybe didn’t notice, for stopping any investigation. That was communicated to him as commentary.

    When this became public, Joe Biden was in a bit of a pickle because he couldn’t set the record straight because he had made up the whole story (Version A in Aug 2016 to the Atlantic) about the flabbergasted U.S. ambassador or (Version B, in the Q&A period of an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations on Jan 23, 2018) about a cancelled or maybe almost cancelled – it’s not clear – press conference in Kiev where he was to announce the granting of $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees)

    Somehow Joe Biden managed to go through a tremendous amount of publicity without having to explain what he meant on Jan 23, 2018. No, it did not happen. Either in March 2016 (when he was not in Ukraine) or in December 2015. He only spoke on the phone with Petro Poroshenko about firing the prosecutor, and that, of course, was only one element of the changes the U.S. wanted.

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)

  140. 110. Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0) — 12/6/2020 @ 6:23 pm

    That’s a simplification, governments don’t function like business, it doesn’t have profit motives. Maybe somewhat similar to a charity or non-profit, except 5 million times larger.

    And chharities waste money or can become corrupt.

    https://charity.lovetoknow.com/charitable-organizations/facts-about-past-united-way-corruption-scandals

    Yes, without a profit motive there’s no automatic signal of whether things are working well.

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)

  141. NK – 145:

    You say they are lies, but that is premature. Trump has asserted these claims in court, and has lost on several fronts. He is spending his political capital in this effort, and if he is willing to do that, why not let him. The lie that some still cling to is that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. That went through much more investigation and adjudication than Trump has available to him in this election, yet Democrat lawmakers are not asked to denounce it.

    Mike S (4125f8)

  142. Question: What happens to Trump’s influence if his mob votes down two of his strongest supporters and hands the Senate to the Dems? In short, what use is it to support Trump only to see his mob put the knife in?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  143. NK – 145:

    You say they are lies, but that is premature. Trump has asserted these claims in court, and has lost on several fronts. He is spending his political capital in this effort, and if he is willing to do that, why not let him. The lie that some still cling to is that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. That went through much more investigation and adjudication than Trump has available to him in this election, yet Democrat lawmakers are not asked to denounce it.

    Mike S (4125f8) — 12/7/2020 @ 10:49 am

    They’re lies. That’s not hard to see.

    Time123 (b4d075)

  144. Kevin M @127 & 128. The link at 128 works; you didn’t put a link in 127.

    That doctor is not so much wrong, as out of date.

    The only argument for hydroxychloroquine is that it is available, or could be made available, and is cheap.

    It’s not the only drug on the market that has some effect on Covid – there are thirty of them that were measured to have some effect.

    And then it’s not really the hydroxychloroquine; it’s the zinc. And Vitamin D also makes adifference. All that hydroxychrlroquine does is reduce the seriousness of an infection.

    Giuliani said in October he was taking it, which could explain how he survived without getting diagnosed with Covid until now. He might have been infected a few times before now but didn;t feel bad.

    He was feeling run down on Sunday and went to a hospital. Although they haven’t announced anything * about his treatment, they probably gave him, before admitting him (protocol calls for, I think only doing this on an outpatient basis) what really works, the Regeneron monoclonal neutralizing antibodies that cured Donald Trump and Chris Christie (or maybe ones from Eli Lilly) and within hours he was much better and wanted to get out of the hospital.
    —————
    – Giuliani wrote on Twitter: “I’m getting great care and feeling good. Recovering quickly and keeping up with everything.”

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)

  145. 152. Time123 (b4d075) — 12/7/2020 @ 11:05 am

    They’re lies. That’s not hard to see.

    It could also be “willful blindness” or a hope that if he repeats it enough it will become true. Like when he says an apartment is worth $2 million – repeat it enough and it may come true. (This is not exactly the same thing, though.)

    Trump can;t be really that stupid as to believe these lies but he may be stupid enough to think he might make them stick – at least to some of the people, some of the time – and that that might matter.

    They have to be lies on the part of whoever thought them up in the first place, which would not be Donald Trump. He doesn’t know enough to invent any of the lies he’s repeating.

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)

  146. From November 2, 2020: (the day before the US. Presidential election)

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/11/02/trump-biden-election-prediction-israel-oracles-astrology

    n most countries, predicting election outcomes is the job of pollsters. In Israel, a newspaper closely aligned with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chose to consult a different cohort on the question of Donald Trump versus Joe Biden: astrologists, numerologists, and palm readers.

    Their unanimous projection was not exactly a surprise given Netanyahu’s close ties to Trump: The U.S. president will win a second term, according to the mystics, though only after a prolonged fight.

    “Trump will get reelected, but it won’t be via knockout but on points,” one of them divined in Israel Hayom, the country’s highest-circulation daily. The newspaper is owned by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and serves largely as a mouthpiece for Netanyahu.

    “The Democrats won’t respect the outcome, and Joe Biden will steal the presidency,” leading to a crisis in the United States, the astrologer added.

    Sheldon Adelson is one of the bigger contributors to Trump’s election fight vehicles.

    Jews are not supposed to pay attention to astrologers!

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)

  147. I hope this isn’t a dead thread, because this is a very interesting read.

    A Game Designer’s Analysis Of QAnon
    Playing with reality

    https://medium.com/curiouserinstitute/a-game-designers-analysis-of-qanon-580972548be5

    I am a game designer with experience in a very small niche. I create and research games designed to be played in reality. I’ve worked in Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), LARPs, experience fiction, interactive theater, and “serious games”. Stories and games that can start on a computer, and finish in the real world. Fictions designed to feel as real as possible. Games that teach you. Puzzles that come to life all around the players. Games where the deeper you dig, the more you find. Games with rabbit holes that invite you into wonderland and entice you through the looking glass.
    When I saw QAnon, I knew exactly what it was and what it was doing. I had seen it before. I had almost built it before. It was gaming’s evil twin. A game that plays people. (cue ominous music)

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  148. 156. I had trouble reading that link on my home system, and found this better one: (for at least the start)

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/11/21/1996184/-Apophenia-A-game-designer-s-analysis-of-QAnon

    Apophenia (I love learning new words) is the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.

    Well, yes it does that – I described it as codes of the type used to prove that Bacon wrote Shakespeare – but that’s just the method of arguing, not the purpose of it.

    Sammy Finkelman (190428)


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