Tuesday Open Thread

“There is no education like adversity.”

–Benjamin Disraeli

45 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from James Fallows at the Atlantic: "This Is How It Looks When You’re Not Afraid"

    This is a great article for a number of reasons. James Fallows asks whether Anthony Fauci will be fired. It would not be so easy, as he is not a political appointee, rather the director of the NAIAD at NIH. 

    The common theme that connects these people is that, one way or another, they have seemed afraid of Donald Trump. I am sure they would deny that if asked directly. But their actions are consistent with their being fearful of what would happen if they don’t do what Trump wants, or tell him what he so desperately wants to hear.

    They may be afraid that he will attack them in a tweetstorm. Afraid that he will support a primary opponent. Afraid that they will be cut off from the social connectedness and the economic benefits of being a long-term part of the Republican team. Afraid … of something. Donald Trump is very obviously not a well-informed person (“A lot of people don’t know this, but Abraham Lincoln was a Republican”). And he would fail most tests of evidence-based logical reasoning. But he has a natural talent for sizing up people, in a Who is the alpha dog? sense. Just as he clearly feels that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the alpha dog, to Trump’s own beta, Trump can sense the submission from everyone around him in GOP politics. They may “privately” have contempt for his judgment and principles. They may call him a “moron” behind his back. But he knows that, if he’s in a snarling match with one of them, the other will be the one to back down.

  2. ParkHill says:

    WOTD2 from Ian Millhiser at Vox: "Auditioning for the Supreme Court under Trump".

    Inside the Conservative judge creation industry.

    Auditioning seems to be an increasingly widespread practice among Trump judges with Supreme Court ambitions, and why wouldn’t it be? By selecting Gorsuch, Trump signaled that he is prone to reward judges who display their most conservative views like a peacock seeking a mate.

    There are also some signs that the youngest group of these judges are combining a writing style more typically associated with conservative media with their ostentatious displays of conservatism. Gorsuch is often derisive of his colleagues’ views in his judicial opinions, but his writing style is fairly academic. Indeed, shortly after he joined the Supreme Court, his turgid prose inspired the mocking hashtag #GorsuchStyle.

  3. unnamed says:

    I don't know if anybody was paying attention, but they counted votes for the election forced in Wisconsin last Tuesday.  The Democratic aligned candidate won, and it wasn't even close.

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/04/13/wisconsin-supreme-court-election-results-daniel-kelly-vs-jill-karofsky-conservative-liberal/2983933001/

    • Duke Cox says:

      The best part is, this election was forced by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. They were apparently convinced that pushing the election would put their ally, Daniel Kelly, on the bench with them. 

      The best laid plans, as they say……surprise

      • DENependent says:

        Half well laid at best. Certainly they tried all they were competent to carry out, but Republicans tend to rely upon their “gut” to tell them what will work. They want to be the subtle masters of the dark arts of voter suppression just like their hero Putin. The thing is that Putin actually trained at this stuff and hires experts. Republicans generally are not ex-CIA/NSA agents (though I am sure they love to think of themselves as Jack Ryan) and they hire the son of someone they know. Sometimes that works, but just as often it blows up in their faces.

        • Duke Cox says:

          There is a thread that runs through the foundation of Republican organizations (and I will add, corporations in general) at all levels that make them believe, mistakenly, that victories they have won because they have gobs'o'money were actually accomplished because they are soooo smart.

          Anyone who witnessed the dismantling of the Oily Boyz in 09 by the The Tres Miguelitos, knows better.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Karma just bitch-slapped the WI Republican Party. 

      • DENependent says:

        I would characterize it as just a slap. Not even that hard of a slap. They retain control of the state supreme court and given the 63 to 36 majority (!) in the State Assembly there it would be pretty extraordinary if they lose control in the fall. Not impossible given the strange times, but..

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_Wisconsin#2000–present

        • Duke Cox says:

          It gets better…

          From Puddytat at Daily Kos:

          Former Governor Scott Walker (R-I take care of my donors) who lost his own bid for re-election in 2018 just keeps on losing. 3 of his hand picked judicial candidates lost in last weeks election in Wisconsin. The ballots were counted today because a court order delaying the vote count was still in effect.

          Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judges Paul Dedinsky and Dan Gabler were both defeated in their elections and State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly lost his election to Jill Karofsky. All 3 were Walker appointees to the courts. 

          Risking their lives to vote in person and by absentee (breaking self-isolation to get a witness signature), Wisconsin has once again showed that there are consequences to screwing around with peoples votes. Even with less than 1% of the polls open statewide due to the pandemic, people made a huge effort to show up.

          This has made my heart very happy. Schadenfreuden is sweet.

          More in November, please.

          https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/13/1937005/-Ohhhhh-My-3-of-Scott-Walkers-Hand-Picked-Judges-Were-Defeated-in-Wisconsin?utm_campaign=trending

          • ajb says:

            Did it not occur to the brilliant minds of the conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court that their most likely supporters are also most at risk of dying from C-19?

            • Duke Cox says:

              The curse of short term thinking. Gingrich taught them to play the long game but they seem to have forgotten , I guess.

              • MichaelBowman says:

                Didn't the thrice-married philanderer whose mistress-turned-wife-turned-Ambassador-to-the-Holy-See refer to *rump yesterday as a modern-day Teddy Roosevelt? 

              • ajb says:

                @Duke, I'm thinking short term here. How many grumpy old white guys are going to stand in line and risk death just to keep some dude in office? 

                As for the long game, I'm surprised that RWNJs haven't accused Bezos of creating the virus in Soros' secret lab to attack Trumpers. 

                • Duke Cox says:

                  I think a substantial number of T***pians will go down in the second wave. 

                  It is truly nauseating to listen to his verbal sewage. he will eventually get around to blaming Bezos. He is blaming anyone and everyone  in sight. 

                  "I take no responsibility"

                  "I have total authority!"

                  cheeky

                   

  4. davebarnes says:

    Biden 2020
    A leader, not a liar.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    #MAGA

    These Photos Show the Staggering Food Bank Lines Across America

    “We’re looking at an increase of 17.1 million people over the course of the next six months,” Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, one of the country’s largest hunger-relief organizations, told NBC News. Babineaux-Fontenot highlighted a 98 percent increase in demand for free food and Feeding America, expects to lose $1.4 billion trying to survive.

  6. Duke Cox says:

    I just watched Chris Christie on "the View"…

    I thought about it… I asked my Cat for her reaction…I thought about it some more…and the only word I can use to describe his response to the ODs' performance yesterday is "craven".

    Is there a more weasel-tongued, mendacious, sniveling, sycophant than the guy who wanted Mike Pences' job?

  7. DENependent says:

    The other day Pols compared Weld County with Denver given that Weld is currently number one for Covid-19 caused deaths. The even better comparison would be Larimer County. Both in in Northern Colorado, similar populations. Both with college towns.

    Larimer County had a total of 9 deaths as of April 13.
    Weld had a total of 53 on the same day.

    Larimer County Population 356,899
    Weld County Population 324,492

    Not all of this is down to differences in leadership. Some of it is the bad luck to have cases arriving early, but Weld County leaders have almost certainly made it worse.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Some day, if there’s ever another some day after all this, I suspect that in addition to the response-time correlations, that we’ll undoubtedly see some studies that point to a high correlation between air quality (particulates, carbon monoxide, ozone, VOCs, etc.) and coronavirus deaths — even when adjusted for population. (Not that it will make any bit of difference to those Ttumpettes left alive. But, then, what would, anyway?)

      Then again, the crappy air quality could also be mostly symptomatic of root idiocy and science-denying stupidity . . .

      Trump EPA Declines to Tighten Soot Pollution Standards

      https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2020/04/14/us/14reuters-usa-epa-soot.html

      • Denver Yankee says:

        Link between air pollution and coronavirus mortality in Italy could be possible: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200406100824.htm

         

        A group of scientists has found another small piece in the puzzle of understanding COVID-19. Looking for reasons why the mortality rate is up to 12% in the northern part of Italy and only approx. 4.5% in the rest of the country, they found a probable correlation between air pollution and mortality in two of the worst affected regions in northern Italy.

  8. allyncooper says:

    Many in the GOP are pushing back on Trump's assertion he has "absolute power" to force states to with draw stay at home orders. Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney, the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House stated, "The federal government does not have absolute power," before quoting the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. 

    The states have acted under what is known as the "police powers of the state" for the "health, safety, and welfare" of the people. Zoning and building code laws are derived from such powers for instance. The federal government has no authority to void the police powers of the respective states. Any attempt to do so is arbitrary, capricious, and unconstitutional.

  9. MichaelBowman says:

    Oh the webs we weave.  Paging Ben Kuck….

    Pork industry projects $5 billion loss from COVID-19

    Hog producers are asking the Department of Agriculture to provide a direct influx of cash without eligibility restrictions as the industry expects to lose $5 billion for the remainder of the year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Without eligibility restrictions may well open the door for Smithfield Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China's WH Group, to receive these benefits.  

    Pork is the most popular meat in China, so it wasn’t a big surprise when Shuanghui International bought Smithfield Foods for $4.7 billion in cash.

    Shuangui, now the WH Group, was the largest pork producer in China before buying Smithfield Foods. Now, the WH Group is the largest pork producer in the world with a reported revenue of $22.38 billion in 2017.

    I'd like my Congressman to remember these days for the next go-around on the Farm Bill when the social justice community has to fight for every scrap that falls from the SNAP program into the mouths of the elderly, the disabled and impoverished children.  

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      This is exactly the kind of necessary corporate “bailout-mentality” that Ken will run, not walk, to get quickly behind . . .

      . . . after all, every right-thinker knows that corporations aren’t people, especially when it comes to having immunity from dependency and moral hazard!

      Sweet Prosperity Jebus Easter eggs for Ken!!
       

       

  10. Diogenesdemar says:

    It’s sure to be a Ttumptastic Presser this evening:
     

    COLORADO CASES

    Updated Apr 14 at 5:51 PM local

    Confirmed

    7,941

    +250

    Deaths

    329

    +21

    Recovered

     

    UNITED STATES CASES

    Updated Apr 14 at 5:51 PM local

    Confirmed

    612,196

    +26,805

    Deaths

    29,768

    +6,244

    Recovered

    47,455

    +4,074

     

    GLOBAL CASES

    Updated Apr 14 at 5:51 PM local

    Confirmed

    1,970,879

    +57,956

    Deaths

    125,678

    +6,712

    Recovered

    472,948

    +24,895

  11. Voyageur says:

    The Imbecile-in-chief has cut off U.S. Funding to the world health organization.

    This is not satire.  The imbecile-in-chief has actually done it.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Authoritah!

    • The realist says:

      Every day he doesn't start a nuclear war is a "good" day – it's all relative, right?

    • Duke Cox says:

      I have been watching as much of Donnies' Blame House as I have been able to stand which, admittedly, isn't that much. Enough though to be infuriated, nauseated, agitated and mean…(a song title, perhaps)

      As my bile rises and my blood pressure surges I begin to see T***pians more and more like orcs. Vile loathsome creatures, they are, with no soul in their baleful eyes, lips dripping with ichor from devouring the hated librul lefties. 

      I look to the rising sun…but still no Gandalf. Oh, my. 

  12. harrydoby says:

    In a pitiful cry for attention, the man-child scrawls his name on the ransom note

  13. Duke Cox says:

    deposited here without comment. Oops, sorry, Harry. I didn’t see your link.

    Treasury Dept. orders Trump’s name to be printed on coronavirus stimulus checks

    A Treasury official told the Post that the decision regarding the new checks was communicated to the IRS’s information technology team on Tuesday. Adding Trump’s name reportedly involves altering computer code that could delay the payments, the official said. 

    The $2 trillion economic relief package Trump signed last month was aimed at helping American workers and small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Under the legislation, Americans who made up to $75,000 in 2019 are eligible for the full $1,200 payment. Couples who filed taxes jointly and have an income of less than $150,000 can receive $2,400, with another $500 per child. Checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts last weekend, the IRS said

    Trump in early April denied wanting to sign the stimulus checks being doled out to Americans, following reports that he had expressed interest in doing so.

    “Me sign? No,” Trump said during a White House briefing April 3. “There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative. But do I want to sign them? No.”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/492861-treasury-dept-orders-trump-name-be-printed-on-coronavirus-stimulus

    • MichaelBowman says:

      So they’ll be signed by the same dude who signed Stormy’s ransom check? Cool.  I thought maybe he’d go with David Dennison? John Barron?  
       

      Many people are saying…”

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