Thursday Open Thread

“He who uses the office he owes to the voters wrongfully and against them is a thief.”

–Jose Marti

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    While some countries clap for doctors, health workers in Russia face open hostility

    Frontline medical workers in the US, the UK and elsewhere may face major risks in their efforts to battle the coronavirus pandemic, but they’ve also seen an outpouring of public appreciation. In Russia, health workers say they face fear, mistrust — and even open hostility.

    Tatyana Revva, an intensive care specialist in the central district hospital of the city of Kalach-on-Don in southern Russia, shared a video in late March about equipment shortages with the Doctors Alliance, an advocacy group aligned with Russia’s political opposition. After the video went viral, she said, she was summoned by local police about it.

    Rumors and conspiracy theories abound in Russia about Covid-19: that the virus was invented by doctors to control society; that medical workers are hiding the true extent of the casualties from the public; or that medical personnel are falsely attributing deaths to Covid-19 to receive more money from the government.



    Any bets on how far we are from  “Fire Fauci!” becoming “Lock Him Up”? It is clear our favorite president is now completely off the rails and imagining all the things he can do to punish anybody who fails to idolize him and compromise their integrity to defend him. He has been studying Putin and Kim and Duterte and Erdogan. He will make them proud.

    • MADCO says:

      Steve Saeger , 9News

      Posted on NextDoor – some community engagement thing 8News does with ND – about the suggestion for restaurants expanding into yards or empty lots.

      The conspiracy driven and fake news detectives are all over him.

      It's Darwin vs 2A – only if they haven't already trained the next gen

  2. davebarnes says:

    Some people, many people are saying that The Dumpster® killed Carolyn Gombel.

    Why are the lamestream media ignoring this?

  3. ParkHill says:

    Climate WOTD from asdf at Vox: "Net Zero by 2050"

    Standards: Electricity, cars, and buildings

    But it is vitally important that the US make rapid progress in those sectors where clean alternatives are available and just need to be scaled up. Primarily, that means electricity, cars, and buildings.

    Together, those sectors make up close to two-thirds of US emissions. The core of any aggressive 10-year mobilization on climate must be to target them, not sideways through a carbon price, but directly, through sector-specific performance standards and incentives, to drive out the carbon as quickly as possible.

  4. Duke Cox says:

    Each morning, as we take stock of our situation, it is our custom to watch the local, broadcast news out of Grand Junction. They relate to us a series of essentially meaningless numbers that tell us one thing. Mesa county has a disproportionately low percentage of Covid-19 cases, according to the local health department. When questioned about this, the local HD director attributed it to some thin “plausible deniability” worthy reasons. 

    My curiosity piqued, I was just looking around for verification when I came to this site:

    This is the site for Johns Hopkins Covid-19 data. When you look at the map up close, you will see no information button on Mesa county. In considering why that might be, I chalk it up to one of two things. The most likely answer is that I have missed something. That happens. The other is that Mesa county is not sending its info to Johns Hopkins at all. 

    Every surrounding county is reporting far more cases, per capita, than the most populous county (by far) between Denver and Salt Lake City. Curious…don’t you think?


    • MADCO says:

      Turkmenistan and NKorea have zero Covid cases and zero covid deaths.
      GJ seems at least as good as them.

    • kwtree says:

      I’d suspect bad data practices, like not counting nursing home deaths, or recording deaths  as “pneumonia” or “respiratory distress” instead of covid19. Do you trust your county coroner?

      Do you all have high density, high poverty work places like meat packing plants? Jails and prisons? If you do, but inmates aren’t getting tested, that might account for it. 

      New York Times has the most detailed county by county data I’ve seen, and Mesa does look relatively low. So maybe y’all are just doing what you should to contain community spread?


      • Duke Cox says:

        They also report a pretty substantial number of uncompleted tests. Are they picking and choosing?

        As to intent…remember about whom we are talking. We watch the daily reporting. The numbers seemed to rise like everyone elses' at the start…then they just stopped climbing. There IS more than one way to accomplish that. I am interested to hear Gerties' take .

        • gertie97 says:

          A few thoughts, Duke: Our testing rate in Mesa County is abysmal. Even now, no one can be tested without exhibiting symptoms. Early on, when the ski counties were getting slammed, it was next to impossible to get tested. That's when I suspect we had quite a few but no way to know it.

          We have a higher-than-normal population over 65, partially the result of the shameless of commerce and realtors marketing the place as a retirement community and partly because it has been for many years the retirement choice of mountain town oldsters weary of shoveling snow and driving to Grand Junction to see their doctors. Those of us over 65, even most of the Republican persuasion, have been sticking close to home. Most of the masked fit the demo. A friend of mine observed that about a third of people in stores wear masks–approximately the same ratio as Ds-to-Rs.

          The numerous assisted living spots, rehab joints and nursing homes locked down tight very early in the game and remain that way. None of the four hospitals is allowing visitors.

          The sheriff is a straight shooter and with the judges reduced the jail population by half. Despite the poor rate of testing, there appear to be no cases there. I still have a couple of sources despite my retirement from the news biz in recent years and would have heard otherwise.

          We also got very lucky, except for those in the mountain biking industry. Things nationwide went into hunker down mode in March so the tourist season never hit the spring rush.

          All that said, is there reason to suspect bullshit? Of course. You know our lord high commissioners, ''led'' by Scooter. Jeff Kuhr, the county health director, has been a straight shooter but his job security rests on the clowns. The new coroner I don't know. He's the first in some 30 years not to be a forensic pathologist. Mesa County's first reaction to just about anything is to say nothing and keep a lid on it.

          Finally, unless you've grown absolutely desperate for entertainment, spare yourself the teevee ''news'' in GJ, one of the tiniest markets in the country and staffed accordingly.

          Stay well, my friend. One of these days we'll manage to get together for a beer.


          • Duke Cox says:

            Thanks, Gertie.

            As is often the case, there is little information you can trust coming from Mesa County. Nor is that a new circumstance. I am quite sure the danger to the community is irrelevant to the Commissioners, there being more important political ramifications to consider.

            As to the local broadcast media…the level of talent and expertise evident across the local industry doesn't even approach mediocrity. One station has a handful of experienced people, but the other stations have a revolving door emitting a steady stream of children, many of whom are functionally illiterate, to say nothing of their fashion sense.

            I finally got my wi-fi hotspot set up so I now don't have to rely on the KREX/KJCT Follies for news. It has been good for my blood pressure.

            Looking forward to that beer.smiley

          • MADCO says:

            thanks for that

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Mesa County’s COVID-19 dashboard [ ] says there have been about 2,600 tests: 53 positive, 219 pending, 2,320 negative.  Population is 154,210, making the testing rate 1.73%.   53 cases, no one currently hospitalized, no deaths. Mesa County’s case rate of 33.2 per 100,000 is the lowest Case Rate Per 100,000 in the state among the 60 counties that have had any cases. Surrounding counties Garfield (225/100000), Delta (216/100000) and Montrose (385/100000). 

      Colorado’s equivalents are 160,796 tests, 24,767 positive.  Population of 5,758,736. Testing rate is 2.79%. 24,767 cases, 362 current hospitalizations, 1,135 cumulative deaths.

      Maybe peach orchards have some positive effect on coronavirus. 

      • harrydoby says:

        Likewise, Florida with its elderly population and high count of nursing homes and assisted living centers, crowded beaches etc., has a miraculously low COVID-19 death rate.  It's amazing the healing powers of a spreadsheet!

        As the firing of Dr. Rebekah Jones made clear, Florida has only continued to hide and alter more information over time.  

        And it seems there really was something to hide. Multiple tweets have pointed out that Florida is one of several states where a particular category of deaths that have happened in 2020 represents a sharp increase over past years. That category is deaths due to “flu or pneumonia.” As compiled by the CDC, in the first six months of 2020, Florida has logged 5,248 deaths due to pneumonia. Of those deaths, 960 were identified as being connected to COVID-19. That leaves 4,288 pneumonia deaths which were reported, but not logged against the COVID-19 deaths. Looking at the period between 2014 and 2018, Florida has averaged 2,870 deaths from pneumonia … over an entire year. 

  5. Whoever had the bright idea that the emergency might allow the Legislature to bypass TABOR, thanks. The JBC apparently decided that the Constitutional provision they're willing to override is to reallocate gaming money away from the gaming counties. You know, Gilpin – the nationally acknowledged hardest-hit county in the nation.

    They did it without consultation, and they passed it out of committee for an apparent floor vote before the county had a chance to provide input. A few Democrats are no longer on my happy list.

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    At least he's not your state representative #SouthDakota #sayingthequietpartoutloud

    South Dakota lawmaker starts down slippery slope to segregation

    He’s a Republican, of course.

    Meaning South Dakota state Rep. Michael Clark. On Monday, Clark, being presumably of sound mind and body, suggested on Facebook that maybe racial segregation wouldn’t be such a bad idea. A businessman, he wrote, “should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants. If he wants to turn away people of color, that’s his choice.”


    • MADCO says:

      Lots of pseudo-libertarion republicans say that claiming it's libertarian econ 101 not racist.

      When pushed – they are not libertartian , but they are still racist.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      It is a somewhat old story – 2018.  With a Colorado connection. 


      South Dakota "state Rep. Michael Clark, a Hartford Republican" — oddly, that is just west of Sioux Falls, and on Interstate 90, to boot.  Not one of the rampant West River Republican districts. 

      In 2018, he was a Representative.  He was elected in 2016, served 2017-2018, then lost the 2018 election. He was 3rd of 4 candidates, behind by 67 votes to lose to a Democrat (according to Ballotpedia). 

      [yeah, SD Leg is weird — 2 Reps per district, and the top two vote getters are elected.]   

      In 2020, he's running again.  Currently, 1 Rep (2018 top vote getter) and 1 Dem (2018 #2) serve; and both are running for re-election.  A second Democrat is set for the general election ballot. 3 Republicans, including the incumbent and Clark, are in a primary now set as June 2.  Two will be on the ballot.

      In 2018, he apologized.  Sort of.  

      "I made some comments here on Facebook, defending a Colorado Baker decision not create a cake for a Homosexual [sic] wedding," he wrote in a post on Tuesday. "The comments I made were very racist. I would like to apologize for those comments. Businesses should not be able to discriminate solely based on race, sex, national origin, age, or handicap."

      "My comments were made in haste, with the belief that businesses should be able to operate with fewer constraints of a heavy-handed government," he wrote. "Of course, I was wrong, all business should serve everyone, equally."


    • kwtree says:

      I was intrigued by this, wondered if Clark was the rep for my ex-daughter-in-law in Sioux Falls. ( He isn’t). He was, incidentally, born in Denver.

      But the story of how someone with obvious knee-jerk prejudices became a legislator is an interesting one. Clark was not appointed to the first seat he tried for; then

      I waited to see who else might run, but many other candidates were either running for different office or had other commitments. It was like going to a ball game and there being no players on the field, everyone was on the sidelines waiting to see who would run out and pick up the ball.

      Clark was elected to be the District 9 rep, and the Koch Brothers recognized a candidate friendly to their interests. In South Dakota politics, being an open racist isn’t necessarily a problem, as long as Native people are included in the scorn. There just aren’t that many black people in the entire state. So Clark could have a big political future if not for his unfortunate tendency to blurt out racist ideas.

      He will have some difficulty keeping that District 9 seat; The political blog “South Dakota War College” lists 3 Republicans and two Democrats vying for it. But where other candidates have filed with the Secretary of State, Clark has “announced it on Facebook”. Strictly amateur hour.

      So once again incompetence derails malevolence, and the people win, or at least don’t lose as badly. 


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