Weekend Open Thread

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.”

–Francis Bacon

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28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. kwtreekwtree says:

    BREAKING NEWS: COVID-19 is all over the White House.

    1⃣ Trump’s Personal Valet
    2⃣ Pence’s Press Secretary
    3⃣ Ivanka Trump’s Personal Assistant
    4⃣ 34 Secret Service Agents

    The White House has the best safety precautions on Earth. So why does anyone think Trump can keep US safe?

    — Seth Abramson (@🏠) (@SethAbramson) May 9, 2020

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      Your last point:  Secret Service / Homeland Security report says

      "11 active cases at the agency as of Thursday. On top of those currently infected, another 23 Secret Service members have reportedly recovered from coronavirus. Another 60 employees are allegedly self-quarantining. "

      They are loathe to report specifics of who, where, and when.

      Secret Service has multiple responsibilities spread among 40-some domestic field offices, some foreign offices, and headquarters.

      approximately 3,200 special agents, 1,300 Uniformed Division officers, and more than 2,000 other specialized administrative, professional and technical support personnel.

      Case rate of 0.48%.  Below Denver's equivalent case rate of 0.55%. 

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    As Cadet Bonespurs works to infect real veterans who served, and unleashes his army of petulant nitwits on state capitols, this article from a week ago somehow escaped the attention it deserved:

    Tom Ridge: Selfish protests against stay-at-home orders dishonor America’s veterans

    Bennie Adkins died the other day. The retired Army command sergeant major was 86 and had fought a 23-day battle against the coronavirus. A little more than 50 years ago, halfway around the world, Bennie’s heroic actions at the battle of Dai Do in Vietnam resulted in his being awarded the Medal of Honor.

    In recent days, we have seen images of Americans carrying weapons as part of their protests to immediately reopen society. What are they planning to do, shoot the virus with their AR-15s?

    These self-absorbed and selfish Americans complain they are irritated, anxious, bored, upset — unhappy that their lives have been affected by this temporary restraint on their freedoms. Some have even gotten into confrontations with nurses and other frontline health-care workers who believe now is not the time to resume normality.

    https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/coronavirus-covid-tom-ridge-pennsyvlania-veterans-20200501.html

    “War on coronavirus”??? . . . 

    . . . I can’t help but thinking that if Ttump would have been President instead of FDR in 1941, he likely would have abandoned America’s war effort and been sending love letter to Hirohito by February of 1942; and, been working on negotiating a “economic recovery deal” with Hitler for a few hotels and golf resorts in Europe by that April? . . . 

  3. kickshot says:

    Weekend reading:

    Two great editorials linking coronavirus, re-open protests, ahmaud arbery, 2A protests, open carry protests and racism:

    The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying
    The pandemic has exposed the bitter terms of our racial contract, which deems certain lives of greater value than others.

    The Anti-Lockdown Protesters Have a Twisted Conception of Liberty

    Their notion of freedom derives a lot of its power from the enforcement of racial hierarchy.

    And, if I may add, this culture of unending war has expanded the range of this country’s racism to nonwhite populations in other parts of the world and elevated gun violence here at home even higher.

     

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      “this culture of unending war…..” Yep, the far right wing; the real “deep state;” needs an “enemy” to keep the base angry and stirred up.

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      I popped in to see if anyone had posted a link to the piece from the Atlantic yet. It explains very well why Yammie-pie's lost interest in the virus.

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    COVID Mantra from 9News (TV) in Denver: “we’re all in this together.”

    Not necessarily. I’m not “in it” with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, QAnon conspiracy “theorists,” armed far right wing militia thugs, or Christian nationalists & dominionists.

  5. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    A Minnesota utility is partnering with a Bill Gates start-up to provide 'dispatchable wind'.  It's exactly these kinds of technology that threaten the very future of coal-fired utilities like Tri-State Generation and Transmission.  #adaptordie

    Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 Hours

    Minnesota utility Great River Energy confirmed Thursday that it will pilot Form's technology, identified for the first time as an "aqueous air" battery system. While it's common for lithium-ion batteries on the market today to discharge their full power capacity for up to four hours, Form's 1-megawatt project will do so for up to 150 hours, an unprecedented achievement for the storage industry.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    Making America . . .

    . . . pitiable

    McDonald’s Workers in Denmark Pity Us

    [Danes haven’t built a “socialist” country. Just one that works.]

    So, here, grab a Danish, and we’ll chat about how a [expletive] progressive country performs under stress. The pandemic interrupted my reporting, but I’d be safer if I still were in Denmark: It has had almost twice as much testing per capita as the United States and fewer than half as many deaths per capita.

    Put it this way: More than 35,000 Americans have already died in part because the United States could not manage the pandemic as deftly as Denmark.

    Denmark lowered new infections so successfully that last month it reopened elementary schools and day care centers as well as barber shops and physical therapy centers. Malls and shops will be allowed to reopen on Monday, and restaurants and cafes a week later.

    Moreover, Danes kept their jobs. The trauma of massive numbers of people losing jobs and health insurance, of long lines at food banks — that is the American experience, but it’s not what’s happening in Denmark. America’s unemployment rate last month was 14.7 percent, but Denmark’s is hovering in the range of 4 percent to 5 percent.

    —————

    Covid-19 will not last forever, and skeptical Americans may think that [expletive] Denmark coddles workers in ways that hobble economic dynamism and ultimately hurt workers themselves. I raised that argument with a McDonald’s worker I met in Copenhagen, Muhammad Abu Sayeed, a Bangladeshi immigrant. He looked at me quizzically.

    Starting pay for the humblest burger-flipper at McDonald’s in Denmark is about $22 an hour once various pay supplements are included. The McDonald’s workers in Denmark get six weeks of paid vacation a year, life insurance, a year’s paid maternity leave and a pension plan. And like all Danes, they enjoy universal medical insurance and paid sick leave.

    One reason Denmark was more effective than the United States in responding to the crisis is that no Dane hesitated to seek treatment because of concerns about medical bills.

    ——————-

    Danes pay an extra 19 cents of every dollar in taxes, compared with Americans, but for that they get free health care, free education from kindergarten through college, subsidized high-quality preschool, a very strong social safety net and very low levels of poverty, homelessness, crime and inequality. On average, Danes live two years longer than Americans.

    A Big Mac flipped by $22-an-hour workers isn’t even that much more expensive than an American one. Big Mac prices vary by outlet, but my spot pricing suggested that one might cost about 27 cents more on average in Denmark than in the United States. That 27 cents is the price of dignity.

    Americans might suspect that the Danish safety net encourages laziness. But 79 percent of Danes ages 16 to 64 are in the labor force, five percentage points higher than in the United States.

    Danes earn about the same after-tax income as Americans, even though they work on average 22 percent fewer hours; on the other hand, money doesn’t go as far in Denmark because prices average 18 percent higher. My own rough guess is that the top quarter of earners live better in America, but that the bottom three-quarters live better in Denmark.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/08/opinion/us-denmark-economy.html

     

  7. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    So when did Ken and Perry Buck part company (per this morning's front-page story in the Post)? The Coffmans' split made such a splash, I guess I missed this one. 

  8. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

     

     

    South Dakota governor tells Sioux tribes they have 48 hours to remove Covid-19 checkpoints

     

    The governor of South Dakota has given an ultimatum to two Sioux tribes: Remove checkpoints on state and US highways within 48 hours or risk legal action.

    Gov. Kristi Noem sent letters Friday to the leaders of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe demanding that checkpoints designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus on tribal land be removed, the governor's office said in a statement.

    "We are strongest when we work together; this includes our battle against Covid-19," Noem said. "I request that the tribes immediately cease interfering with or regulating traffic on US and State Highways and remove all travel checkpoints."

     

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/09/us/south-dakota-sioux-tribes/index.html

     

     

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      Good luck with that, Kristi. Tribes are sovereign nations. And feel free to eventually take it to the SCOTUS, where Justice Gorsuch has already ruled in favor of tribal sovereignty in a couple of cases. In one, he was the deciding vote in a 5-4 decision supporting hunting rights of the tribes on the Wind River Reservation in WY. 

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      A tribal chairman responded to Noem:  Chairman Frazier to Noem: We will not apologize for being an island of safety in a sea of uncertainty and death

      The tribal leader also referenced Article 16 of the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty which “stipulates and agrees that no white person or persons shall be permitted to settle upon or occupy any portion of the same; or without the consent of the Indians first had and obtained, to pass through the same.”

      The chairman then shared that coronavirus does not discriminate between tribal members and non-members, saying that the Tribe is obligated to protect everyone on the reservation.

      “We invite you to join us in protecting the lives of our people and those that live on this reservation. I stand with our elder Councilman Ed Widow that the purpose of our actions is to ‘Save lives rather than save face’,” said the tribal leader.

      The article also links to the full statement of Chairman Frazier.

  9. kickshot says:

    Just for a change of pace from the rawdogging WH personnel

    Traditional Thai dancers wearing protective face shields perform at the Erawan Shrine, which was reopened after the Thai government relaxed measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Bangkok on Monday.

    Traditional Thai dancers wearing protective face shields perform at the Erawan Shrine, which was reopened after the Thai government relaxed measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Bangkok on Monday.

  10. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    This is too good not to share. Riffing off of MY favorite movie "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.": https://www.newser.com/story/290628/trump-2020-chief-says-campaign-is-like-death-star.html?fbclid=IwAR0HPyCeSFQ34eFiSAP9iiopUP2CmFJib0Q0BEpPuVPucjt5WKonZn4CyqE

  11. Diogenesdemar says:

    “1.7 million N95 masks per week?”  

    “Nah.  Know anything about making MAGA hats?” . . . 

    In early days of pandemic, U.S. turned down offer to manufacture millions of N95 masks in America

    [On Jan. 22, weeks before the crisis sent the government scrambling for masks, Texas manufacturer Prestige Ameritech offered to restart four mothballed production lines. Federal officials did not take the company up on it.]

    Read in The Washington Post: https://apple.news/ATK0-2qqgRQe-cQhPRxnHAw
     

  12. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    John Mitchell and Alberto Gonzales got nothing on William Barr:

    “History is written by the winners,” William Barr, the attorney general, said Thursday when asked how he thought future generations would assess his decision to drop all criminal charges against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, who had pleaded guilty twice to breaking the law. “So it largely depends on who’s writing the history.”

    In service to Mr. Trump, Mr. Barr is abusing his power not to write, but to erase, some of the most important lessons of American history.

    Between an amoral and unfit President and an absolutely corrupt Attorney General, we are faced with a crisis over whether we will remain a democracy.

    Democratic self-government is premised on the expectation that the people’s representatives will not wield the immense powers of law enforcement for their own personal ends, without oversight by the other branches. The nation’s founders did not wage a war for independence from a tyrant who considered himself to embody the law so that the republic would tolerate another executive who considers himself above the law.

    It’s up to the American voters to ensure that Mr. Trump and Mr. Barr do not write the history of this terrible moment.

  13. kwtreekwtree says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Especially today, I’m remembering  “essential” and healthcare workers who may be separated from or risking bringing the infection home to their own kids. 

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      Happy Moms' day to you and all the Moms, everywhere. 

      I miss my mother every day. 

      Call your Mom…write if you can't call. 

      JUST DO IT.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        We’ll call my mom later today. She’s only out in Aurora, but she’s 89, so no visits from any of us. We sent her a bamboo plant, though, and she loved it. We’ll call Karen’s dad later, too, Her mom passed in ’16, but we always call Dad, anyway. No visits from Karen’s sibs, either even though they’re close by. He’s 93. 

  14. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

     

     

    Bill Barr accused by ex-prosecutor of a "big cover-up" in Flynn case to keep him quiet about Trump

     

    Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy" on Sunday morning, former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks called out Attorney General Bill Barr for intervening in the court case of former Donald Trump adviser Michael Flynn, saying it appears to her to be a cover-up because Flynn might have had more to offer on Russian involvement in the administration had he seen what his time in jail might look like.

    Speaking with host Joy Reid, bluntly called the Justice Department's actions under Barr a "cover-up."

    Noting that Flynn had already pleaded guilty and the trial was in the sentencing phase, the former prosecutor stated that whole situation reeked of corruption at the highest levels.

    "This is a clear cover-up," Wine-Banks insisted. "It is because probably Flynn knows something that Trump does not want revealed, and he's trying to protect him. This is a big cover-up. It should be one of the biggest scandals of this administration and because of COVID-19, we're not hearing enough about it."

    https://www.salon.com/2020/05/10/bill-barr-accused-of-a-big-cover-up-in-flynn-case-to-keep-him-quiet-about-trump_partner/

     

  15. kickshot says:

    I saw the panel that Wine-Banks was on & heard her assertions. She sounded confident in it.

    But that makes me wonder what she knows & how she knows it. Is it more than the DC rumor mill? I have entertained the same thoughts and the question has always been out there about why in f*** Flynn lied.

    It is probably safe to assume that Barr knows and certainly Dump knows. Will we find out through investigative reporting? Will Flynn finally confess when he sees himself as clear?

    What is Sullivan going to do? Dismiss w/prejudice? w/o prejudice so that Flynn can be prosecuted again? Would that force a pardon in exchange for silence? Will Sullivan dismiss or let the charges stand and then proceed to sentencing?

    What of Manafort?

    We live in interesting times?

  16. gertie97 says:

    I live in a sea of dumbshits here in Mesa County. My hubby went to Walmart this afternoon to pick up a prescription refill. The greeter was offering masks at the door; few takers.

     

    Freedumb, I guess.

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