Saturday, September 19, 2020

Saturday Night

Rock on.

Also, Chuck

He is the Minority Leader, but any senator can throw sand in the gears of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body even without whatever the "filibuster" is these days.

Power

A very frustrating thing about engaging on The Online Discourse over the past year and a half has been the resistance to the notion that the Speaker of the House has any power that she isn't choosing to use.

It is quite possible that the course she has plotted is the very best one. That's an argument to be made. Watchagonnadonothingtobedone is not an argument.

THIS IS THE LAST STRAW

I hope this is a promise, and not just lamenting the fact that the Senate gym won't be as pleasant until a couple of months from now when everyone has moved on.

Use The Power You Have

I don't claim to know what the best ways to exercise power are, but I can list off a bunch of possibilities. So when the "oh well nothing we can do" excuses start, usually combined with "MR. MCCONNELL SIRRAH I BESEECH THOUETH TO DOETH THE RIGHTETH THING BECAUSE THE NORMS!!!!", know that it is bullshit.

Welp

The writers are just throwing everything into this season. Don't think walking and talking is gonna be enough to get us out of this one. Nor is turning it into a debate about whether Mitch McConnell is a big lying hypocrite (spoiler: he is) in order to get a ruling from the referees and and intervention from the hall monitors.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Friday Night

Rock on.

Trump Cards

I tire of lol Trump is dumb posts, but lol Trump is dumb.
The drug companies would spend $150 billion to address out-of-pocket consumer costs and would even pick up the bulk of the co-payments that older Americans shoulder in Medicare’s prescription drug program.

Then the agreement collapsed. The breaking point, according to four people familiar with the discussions: Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, insisted the drug makers pay for $100 cash cards that would be mailed to seniors before November — “Trump Cards,” some in the industry called them.

Happy Hour

Get happy.

Not Hard

Without even getting into What "We"Should Have Known And When, I think it's pretty obvious now that what has to happen nationally, and certainly anywhere with rising cases is:
1) mandatory mask wearing
2) shut all unnecessary places where people gather and breath on each other without masks, like bars and restaurants.
3) anyone and everyone who can work from home should be encouraged to do so as much as possible
4) institute and maintain reasonable distancing protocols everywhere else

I think schools (and universities) especially are the tricky bit. Perhaps there is no good answer, but, well, nobody said a pandemic would be easy!

Obviously in my fantasy version everyone is given free money and "mandatory workers" are given even more money.

Also in my fantasy version there is universal on demand testing and a reasonable tracking system, as least once cases drop and that would be actually useful.

Disruptive, but not society destroying! Unlike, you know, a raging pandemic.

America's Worst Fact Chucker

Glenn Kessler.

Lunch Thread

I said lunch, not brunch.

Time For Brunch

I don't like how old political hands are constantly invoking past elections and events as if they have established some iron clad rule about How Things Are, but still there are always lessons in the past, and one is that if you disband the people who do the work while the people at brunch sneer, there's no one to help you win that 2010 midterm election. Something like that, anyway. David Brooks doesn't do any phonebanking.

Can't BeIieve I'm Losing To This Guy

Biden isn't losing at the moment, or doesn't appear to be, and I'm not saying he will, but I do think that one answer to the question of how is Trump still so popular (he isn't, but 40% instead of 32% approval), is that the people you need to reach - people who are reachable - don't actually know about things like this. Not just the "wow Trump is gross" or "wow this Covid thing seems bad" or even "wow Trump's a big gross liar (like all politicians)" but the real corrupt shit and the real specific "policy" choices.
A heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections, according to several people familiar with the matter as well as internal documents obtained by The New York Times.

The guidance said it was not necessary to test people without symptoms of Covid-19 even if they had been exposed to the virus. It came at a time when public health experts were pushing for more testing rather than less, and administration officials told The Times that the document was a C.D.C. product and had been revised with input from the agency’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield.

Harvard's Finest

Truly a wonderful meritocracy.
The same attendee explained that although he believed in open markets, he feared that the system was breaking. As evidence, he pointed to a CNN report about New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his desperate call for supplies.

“That’s the CNN bullshit,” Kushner snapped. “They lie.”

According to another attendee, Kushner then began to rail against the governor: “Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state…. His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”

“That’s when I was like, We’re screwed,” the shocked attendee told Vanity Fair.

The group argued for invoking the Defense Production Act. “We were all saying, ‘Mr. Kushner, if you want to fix this problem for PPE and ventilators, there’s a path to do it, but you have to make a policy change,’” one person who attended the meeting recounted.

In response Kushner got “very aggressive,” the attendee recalled. “He kept invoking the markets” and told the group they “only understood how entrepreneurship works, but didn’t understand how government worked.”
His view of "the markets" is funny. You "pound the phones" with the unlimited budget of the federal government, just handing out checks to your friends until one of them maybe comes through.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Thursday Night

Rock on.

And He Was So Happy At CNN For Years

Always like to remind people that several Fox news people where happily employed at CNN (in this case Bill Hemmer), back when conservatives loved to call it the Communist News Network.

Disgusting People

Wow seems like Trump is bad!!!
At one coronavirus task force meeting, Troye claimed that Trump suggested "maybe this Covid thing is a good thing."
"I don't like shaking hands with people. I don't have to shake hands with these disgusting people," Troye claimed Trump said at the meeting.

Happy Hour Thread

Get happy.

Level Up

If he has round 2, Trump will have learned that he can do more than steal the couch quarters.
President Trump’s luxury properties have charged the U.S. government more than $1.1 million in private transactions since Trump took office — including for room rentals at his Bedminster, N.J., club this spring while it was closed for the coronavirus pandemic, new documents show.

The documents, including receipts and invoices from Trump’s businesses, were released by the Secret Service after The Washington Post filed a public-records lawsuit. They added $188,000 in previously unknown charges to The Post’s running total of payments to Trump’s properties related to the presence of Secret Service agents.

In Bedminster this spring, the records show, Trump’s club charged the Secret Service more than $21,800 to rent a cottage and other rooms while the club was closed and otherwise off-limits to guests. The documents don’t give a reason for these rentals. Trump didn’t visit the club while it was closed, but his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her family reportedly visited at least once.

Vaporware Or Malware

Are they making this up entirely, will they be injecting something damaging into people, will they line people up for shots of nothing, or will it just disappear like most everything else Trump promises.


"Having 100 million doses of an actual functioning vaccine by the end of October" is not actually on the list of options.

Tyranny

Looking at the national case numbers slowly rise again, it's worth remembering that the best case scenario - President Biden in January - will be met with almost every Republican governor and B├╝rgermeister in open rebellion against any sensible public health measures. The Tea Party, but for wiping out the species.

And that's the best case scenario.

US is gonna be under global (mostly) quarantine for a long time.

He means bad slavery, which might affect white people, not the good slavery, which didn't and is missed.