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Member since: Mon Jul 15, 2019, 06:26 PM
Number of posts: 1,800

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About the Stupid Meme Of The Day, and How Long This Crap Is Going To Last

All y'all have seen whatever stupid meme of the day that seems to be going around. Yesterday, it was "My boyfriend's sister's uncle's ex-wife, who I know is TOTALLY a reliable source, has seen tanks running in the streets in <insert city just close enough that people seeing the meme won't go personally look>." The day before, it was "OMG, what will be do when the trucks stop running?!?!?!?" (Pro-tip: they won't.) Fundamentally, we have a lot of dumb and/or scared people, and they let that anxiety out by telling each other scary stories. Today's has been, "OMG, we're realistically going to have to do this for a YEAR!"

No. No, we're not. First, please stop making up scary stories. Second, if you think this social distancing/lockdown crap is going to last a year, you aren't thinking straight. Here's why.

1) We're all going to get COVID-19. The game we're playing is to kill as few people as possible, quell dangerous hot spots, and remove reservoirs for this virus to play in. Mathematically, the first wave is about 24 days (based on infection, days until symptoms become apparent, and then either getting over it or dying in the hospital). If we all do this distancing for 24 days, we will stop the majority of the epidemic, just like China and South Korea. There will be a smaller wave, so add up to another 24 days to that, because we will have smaller case groupings - unfortunate medical personnel who are going down themselves even as the initial hospital hit dies down, and people in other necessary jobs who get unlucky with the wrong person coming face to face. Most of us won't get it, though, until (a) the initial waves are down, and (b) hopefully there's a vaccine or an antiviral available to make the course milder or virtually undetectable.

2) In that reality, we're all planning to survive. Most of us will make that goal. Civilization has high hopes of surviving. But if civilization is to survive, this level of containment must end about the time of the first waves, say 48-60 days from now. Simply put, this virus will get anywhere it isn't right now, in that time. There are no places and no industries that will be untouched. Governments MUST shore up their people's ability to buy food and survive NOW, but if it keeps up more than about 60 days, it won't work. Governments can basically print money, but that's about how long they can keep it up before creating runaway inflation because there are just not enough people working, and not enough economic activity, to keep up the pretense that the money means anything. Bread that costs $1,000/loaf in monopoly money won't be feeding the vast majority of the people. The joke is, some nearsighted analysts are urging people to buy health care stocks. Do they really believe that in 60+ days, that industry isn't going to be flattened by unpaid bills that NEVER will be paid? So, after the initial waves, people and businesses and entire economies are going to have to get back to it.

3) That means we're going to lose a lot of businesses, and change a lot of industries, in the near term - say 1-3 years. We're going to be doing a lot more telecommuting. A lot of malls will close - permanently. Much of our buying will remain online. Restaurants, bars, libraries, schools, and smaller festivals and venues will cautiously reopen. Larger ones may not, say state fairs or the largest music festivals, for at least a year. When festivals and concerts restart, possibly even when mere theaters reopen, it will be with additional rules and security. Rather than the foolish current security theater of cursory bag checks, there will be contact questions and fever checks. The airline (and travel, generally) industry will be the last to crawl out of the rubble. I don't think we're going to be flying domestically or internationally in any number until at least 2021 (assuming the current timelines for a vaccine and other trials), and even then it will look a lot like flying post-911. It'll look rather like the hodgepodge of additional security checks from place to place, but rather than pat downs it'll be the same questions and tests as going into a large venue, plus reporting requirements if anyone gets sick.

Bottom line: we are not going to be in lockdown for some long, indefinite period. We may see some returns to more stringent distancing measures before we all fight to get the vaccine, much like we saw in the 1950s.

Which brings me to this: We know how this works. This is NOT unique. The Spanish Flu epidemic, by the way, is completely the wrong analogy to COVID-19, except to the extent that we can take direct lessons from the spread in areas that distanced, versus those that didn't. No, to look at COVID-19, we have to take our lessons from Ebola. That disease was fully capable of going worldwide, highly contagious, and not susceptible to seasonal cycles. (The big difference is because Ebola kills so thoroughly and so fast, it had a self-limitation built in.) Unlike the situation in Africa, most people around the world have been quick to ditch the "It's a hoax!" stupidity, and to stick pretty decently to quarantine principles. Also, look to the waves of polio in the early 1950s. Like COVID-19, there were multiple strains, but only 1 strain caused severe and deadly response. About 1% of victims died or had permanent disability. Polio tended to be seasonal, because of higher levels of the virus in sewage in the summer - which led to some permanent changes in how we deal with sewage. But more importantly, there was a short-term protective effect discovered, with gamma-globulin, that could provide some protection, and then the Salk vaccine in 1955. If you look at the history of how the vaccine was created, we are literally years ahead of that process, in a matter of 3 months.

We're going to have a lot of changes for now, but not as drastic as people think, and not as long. But we do have to stop scaring each other, and ourselves. We need to fight back against all the tall tales on the Internet. If you see something, say something, to borrow the odious phrase. If there's a scary tall story, call it out. If there's outright misinformation like some of the sites touting gargling with salt water, report it, get it taken down, scrag it with fire in the comments, whatever you need to do. And above all, spread both truth and kindness to people who are in desperate need of it.

President Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' policy blocked in federal court

Source: Washington Post

A federal appeals court in California halted the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy on Friday, a blow to the president’s restrictive immigration agenda that cripples one of the government’s approaches to curbing migration across the U.S. southern border.

The program — officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP — called for pushing asylum seekers back into Mexico to await their U.S. asylum hearings, part of an effort to limit migrant access to U.S. soil and to lessen a record migration surge among Central American families. More than 470,000 parents and children crossed into the United States last fiscal year, and most were quickly freed into the country to await U.S. immigration court hearings after they claimed asylum.

The Trump administration has claimed that the migrant families have been exploiting loopholes in U.S. law to secure their release, knowing of the court-mandated 20-day limit for detaining children. The MPP program was designed to prevent families from entering the United States and later skipping their court hearings to avoid deportation; instead, families have been sitting on the Mexico side of the border.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 to uphold a lower-court’s injunction on MPP, saying that the policy “is invalid in its entirety due to its inconsistency with” federal law, and “should be enjoined in its entirety.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/trump-remain-in-mexico-halted-federal-court/2020/02/28/87bbf85e-e481-11e9-b403-f738899982d2_story.html?fbclid=IwAR0lbOcHN16KJHrPeRfdHjmyIJm1i_k0XBqnn8-R0psO4B4aNDbkYwpalZQ

End this fetishization of "unity."

The Democratic Party is not "unified" behind a candidate after 3 state contests.
The Democratic Party has half a dozen candidates still in the race.

This is literally how it's supposed to work. Unity comes from testing candidates across all the primaries and caucuses, until the convention. If only one is left standing much earlier, fine. If not, fine.

You can not cause people to "unify" behind one candidate by begging for unity. The magic wish fairy doesn't do political races.

"Unity" is a hypocritical dog whistle.

A plea for "unity" actually means, "OMG, I can't stand candidate X, but my second and third favorites are Y and Z. But a lot of people like candidate X and **I** WON'T UNIFY BEHIND X! I'm going to try to get people to abandon X for Y or Z, asserting that, like, *EVERYONE* won't unify behind X... like me." It's childish, not to mention selfish.

If you don't like a candidate, argue about why you don't like what they stand for. Moaning about "unity" means you have nothing better to argue. Or, you don't want to reveal why you really hate candidate X. Hmm.

We unified pretty early in 2016. You know who didn't? The Republicans. A huge slate of candidates nigh unto forever, all of them hating Trump. All of their supporters hating Trump. The bloviating, demented bankruptcy-monkey reality show rapist was the most divisive they'd had in forever. Guess who won? Guess who unified themselves into insanity?

Unity is a double-edged sword. Pressure to unify on a plan leads to groupthink as the plan starts going awry but the united can't let go of the plan because... unity.

So let unity happen as it will. Stop begging for it, threatening for it, fetishizing it. It's not the end - it's a means.

In the spirit of honesty, who will YOU, PERSONALLY not unify behind if they became the nominee?

Analysis of why picking a moderate candidate is anything but safe.

The prevailing argument about “electability” is all wrong. Dems win when they fire up their base, with people like Obama (and this year, Liz or Bernie). They lose when they try to aim for the meek middle, believing they can pick up swing voters, while deprecating the issues that excite people and bring them to the polls (Kerry, Gore, Hillary).

As she sees it, it isn’t quite right to refer to a Democratic or Republican “base.” Rather, there are Democratic and Republican coalitions, the first made of people of color, college-educated whites and people in metropolitan areas; the second, mostly noncollege whites, with a smattering of religious- minded voters, financiers and people in business, largely in rural and exurban counties.

“In the polarized era, the outcome isn’t really about the candidates. What matters is what percentage of the electorate is Republican and Republican leaners, and what percentage is Democratic and Democratic leaners, and how they get activated,” she said.
[S]he maintains that actual swing voters are a small percentage of the result, even in counties where the vote swing is as large as Wasserman describes. Don’t talk to people in the bleachers of rallies; check the voter file, she says. “It would be one thing if that county had 100,000 people in it who voted in 2012, and then it was the same 100,000 who voted in 2016, but that is not what is happening,” she says. “The pool of who shows up changes.”
But still, the results bore out her theory: For Democrats to win, they need to fire up Democratic-minded voters. The Blue Dogs who tried to narrow the difference between themselves and Trump did worse, overall, than the Stacey Abramses and Beto O’Rourkes, whose progressive ideas and inspirational campaigns drove turnout in their own parties and brought them to the cusp of victory.
“I am arguing radical shit, OK?” Bitecofer told me over a series of phone calls over the past several weeks in her Virginia office. “What I am saying is that almost all of this shit is set in stone for three years, that almost none of the shit that people are hanging onto, in terms of daily articles, or polls, or the economy or incumbency or ideology is really worth that much.”


The Robert Hyde story is important - but not for the reasons most people are talking about.

DU and social media are on fire this morning about the Robert Hyde story, talking about how the Dump administration was involved with stalking and maybe even putting a hit on Marie Yovanovich via Rethug PR guy and wannabe CT congressman Robert Hyde. Half are talking about his communications with Team Rudy, and the other half are complaining that this isn't the top story of the day. But all this chatter is missing perhaps the only ultimately important issue - the mentality of Team Rudy and, by extension Team Trump.

For the probably 3 people who haven't heard this part of the story yet, Hyde was dragged out of Trump's Doral roach motel for a psychiatric hold for 9 days in May 2019. The details can be found at:

This was likely an acute psychotic episode, shortly after his stalking and "hit job" communications with Lev Parnas in March/April 2019.

While some people are putting this together to mean that Hyde was actually having Yovanovich followed, etc., then had a breakdown, possibly fueled by his cloak and dagger misdeeds in Ukraine, this is at least somewhat outlandish. In all likelihood, Hyde was already having issues with reality 1-2 months earlier.

Of course it all needs to be investigated regardless of Occam's Razor. HOWEVER, these are the important issues that are being lost in the noise:

1. Hyde is RIGHT NOW running as a Republican for the 5th district House seat in Connecticut. He is being backed by the Rethuglican Party. Absent even knowing all the rest, the Rethugs are trying to get a dude elected who recently spent 9 days in a psych ward with paranoid delusions that the Secret Service was hacking him, and the Doral landscapers were actually there to monitor/harm him. Only after he made a much more public idiot of himself in December 2019 with a repugnant tweet about Kamala Harris, did a few Rethug politicians suggest he end his campaign. What does this say about the GOP?

2. Whether or not the information and comments Hyde was feeding to Team Rudy in March 2019 was all a fabrication of a busted brain, Team Rudy kept him on the team, and was acting at least in part through him and based on that information. Rudy is a former federal prosecutor. He know damned well that language like "They will let me know when she’s on the move… They are willing to help if you/we would like a price....Guess you can do anything in Ukraine with money… what I was told," is an invitation to commit a crime. Legitimate actors, especially ex-prosecutors, would have immediately triggered to that kind of language. An honest one would have reported the communication to the FBI and immediately cut ties. A somewhat less honest but competent one would have immediately cut him loose for being an overly talkative and incompetent goon, and told him never to contact him again... and by the way, forget the political aspirations and any help you might get from us YOU DUMBF***. That Team Rudy just kept running with this incompetent, dangerous, possibly nuts guy speaks volumes about Team Rudy, and of course Team Rudy's bosses. RUDY is the one who needs a lot more investigation.

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