Patterico's Pontifications


Listening to Reason

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:55 am

I don’t necessarily agree with all of the opinions underlying this video, but anyone can appreciate the humor. From Reason:

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:33 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few news items that caught my eye. Please feel free to post any other news items that you think might interest readers.

First news item

NYT opinion editor James Bennet says paper solicited op-ed from Tom Cotton because of his tweets:

When asked about the senator’s claim that the Times approached him to write the op-ed, Bennet admitted that the opinion page had seen Cotton’s tweets on the subject and “we did ask if he could stand up that argument. I’m not sure we suggested that topic to him but we did invite the piece.”

Bennet didn’t read the op-ed before publication:

When asked why he did not personally read Cotton’s column before publishing it, Bennet said it was “another part of the process that broke down.” He added, “I should have been involved in signing off on the piece… I should have read it and signed off.”

Second news item

Justifying one, not the other: George Floyd protests called for social distancing, protests to reopen economy did not:

…some commentators, inside and outside of public health, are questioning the wisdom of these anti-racist protests, concerned they will increase the spread of COVID-19 and worsen existing racial, ethnic and economic inequities in COVID-19 deaths. Some even compare these risks to those posed by the anti-lockdown protests against COVID-19 regulations.

As public health professionals with expertise in infectious disease epidemiology, social epidemiology and public health and clinical practice, we categorically reject these false equivalencies.

Protesters are in the streets demonstrating against police brutality and white supremacy not because they are indifferent to the risk of COVID-19. They are doing what they can to protect themselves and their communities precisely because the institutions that are supposed to protect and serve them have been killing black people in this country far longer than the coronavirus has.

Third news item

Reporting from protest in Utah:

Fourth news item

GOP convention woes:

…Now, after a high-stakes and public feud with Democratic officials in a state he won four years ago, Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee are moving to largely shift convention proceedings, including the president’s acceptance speech on the final night, out of Charlotte. After a call with the R.N.C., state chairmen officially told delegates that they should hold off on purchasing airline tickets to Charlotte for the late-August event.

How the convention unraveled two years after Charlotte was selected is the story of an uneasy partnership between Republican officials and mostly Democratic leaders in North Carolina; a president who coveted a coronation and delivered an unyielding imperative to the state’s governor; and the extraordinary disruption from a global pandemic that transformed public life in the country. Once it became clear that health concerns over the coronavirus threatened the possibility of a full-throated celebration for the president, the fragile alliance buckled under the weight of partisan acrimony.

Fifth news item

Barr begs to differ, says he didn’t give order to clear protesters:

Attorney General William Barr says law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived there Monday evening, and he says he did not give a command to disperse the crowd, though he supported the decision.

Barr insisted there was no connection between the heavy-handed crackdown on the protesters and Trump’s walk soon after to St. John’s Church. The attorney general said he had learned in the afternoon that Trump wanted to go outside, and said that when he went to the White House in the evening, he learned of the president’s intended destination.

Sixth news item

Door closing on hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 treatment?:

major clinical trial showed the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine had no benefit for patients hospitalized with Covid-19, likely closing the door to the use of the highly publicized medicine in the sickest patients — a use for which it was widely prescribed as the pandemic hit the U.S.

The results come from a study called RECOVERY, funded by the U.K. government, that sought to randomly assign large numbers of patients to multiple potential treatments in the country’s National Health Service. The goal was to rapidly get answers as to what worked and what didn’t.

“Today’s preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial are quite clear – hydroxychloroquine does not reduce the risk of death among hospitalized patients with this new disease,” University of Oxford epidemiologist Martin Landray, one of the study’s leaders, said in a statement. “This result should change medical practice worldwide and demonstrates the importance of large, randomized trials to inform decisions about both the efficacy and the safety of treatments.”

Seventh news item

Commander of the Pacific Air Forces tells us what he’s thinking about. Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. is expected to be confirmed as the next chief of staff of the Air Force. He will be the first black service chief in U.S. history:

Have a good weekend.


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