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July 23, 2020 06:36 AM UTC

Thursday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience.”

–Theodore Roosevelt


38 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. The question that nobody is asking: if Customs and Border Patrol agents are pounding on protesters in Portland, and getting ready to move into Chicago and other cities, WHO IS WATCHING THE SOUTHERN BORDER???

    Is Trump, who really is an open borders kind of guy (look at his lack of policy on enforcing visa overstays), stripping the southern border of its agents?

    Who is going to keep the caravans from crossing? Sounds like the Minutemen, Oathkeepers, Proud Boys, and other militia thugs had better drop everything they're doing and head south to protect us all from more women and babies crossing the border.

    (Thanks. My sarcasm for today. Moderatus: over to you)

    1. The Lincoln Project is doing a wonderful job with these as are several other organizations. When I watch a summary of the disaster that Trump as been on COVID-19, I keep thinking of all his enablers – not only the active enablers (the GOP) but also the passive ones (every single elected member of Congress who seems to think it's just business as usual as thousands continue to get sick and die). 

      1. I guess you are trying to criticize all members of Congress for "business as usual." 


        Beyond hearings and the House passing legislation, what do you think they should be doing? 

        1. Something besides confirming unqualified ideologues to be  judges.

          If they did the Sunday Times crossword it would be an increase in activity for them.

        2. I happen to think we are in a crisis in our executive branch under Trump. The crisis has illustrated in a crystal clear way that our presumed "checks and balances" are nonfunctional. So, I would like our Democratic and Republican well-paid electeds to at least acknowledge that it's a crisis of our democratic republic and either they're going to do something about it, or they're going to admit they're powerless against an autocratic tyrant. Instead, it's business as usual – meaningless speeches on the House or Senate floor, "appearances" back home, and a lot of blah, blah. 

  2. Colorado energy companies have a lot to learn about corporate welfare queenery. Do-it-up-right lessons begin with detailed study of electric power company FirstEnergy and the soon-to-be-former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Larry Householder (R-of course).

    The U.S. Attorney calls this mess "likely the largest bribery scheme ever perpetrated against the state of Ohio." In a state where corruption and the legislative branch mesh as naturally as inebriated hillbillies and explosives, that's a remarkable statement.

  3. A bit of hopeful news:

    Dr. David Ho, who helped stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, and is one of the premier epidemiological scientists in the world, has had excellent results in cultivating plasma cells from the sickest COVID patients as  potential treatment and prophylactic against the virus.

    It seems that people who survive the worst ravages of the disease have particularly potent antibodies. This was from Maddow last night:

    “It turns out that individuals who had more virus for a longer period of time stimulated the immune system … and in…

    Posted by MSNBC on Thursday, July 23, 2020

    I’m grateful for science and scientists.


      1. My sister, who probably had covid although the tests came back negative, was putting swabs of the fluid from probiotic-active kimchi into each nostril.  She said that her naturopathic doctor recommended it. She describes it as her "Boulder Woo Woo" treatment – but she survived a month of covid-like symptoms with shortness of breath, fatigue, etc.

        She is immune-compromised, so beefing up her immune system was going to cause flare ups with RA and Lupus. Anyway, apparently killing off the virus in the nasal cavity works fairly well for some. I did  the kimchi nostril thing for a number of weeks when I was still subbing and being exposed to god knows what, and all I can say is that it definitely cleared out my sinuses!

        1. Ummmm, . ..

          . . . OK, and you can call me a skeptic, but, I think maybe I’m gonna’ wait a little bit until someone produces a couple of legimate peer-reviewed medical studies before I sign on to start shoving pickled-fermented-anything up any of my orifices?

          . . . at least as a Covid treatment. devil

          Maybe in the meantime, we could start doing some of the stuff that’s actually been shown to work? Like in Germany? or Thailand? or South Korea? or . . .

          1. I shared the "Kimchi up the nose" as an anecdote, not as a recommendation. My sister was also social distancing, masking, and doing whatever else her doctor recommended.

            And of course, we should be emulating successful countries that were consistent with shutting down spreading sources, did testing and contact tracing the way the scientists recommended, and are now at the point where they have zero new cases and deaths from covid.

    1. Another thing I found really interesting from last night's Maddow was how the tri-state area of NY, NY, and CT have really flattened the COVID curve lately, but the rest of the nation's numbers were trending badly in the wrong way. Dr. Ho recommended nationwide curve-flattening action four months ago on Maddow's show, and did so again last night. Douglas County shrugged.

      1. Ho had a good prescription for managing the pandemic but effectively communicating the science and translating it into action across a population is a chronic challenge that science faces whether it is climate change or pandemics. 

        Ho would have had to reach a larger audience than Rachel's viewers with an effective message.

        Would a partnership w/Fauci-unleashed have helped? Could it still?

        1. No doubt Maddow's viewership is limited in size and probably ideological diversity, and communicating science to the masses is a real challenge. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I still hope for a day when voices like Dr. Ho's could guide at least mostly-unified national action, regardless of political messaging. But damnit, I know better.

          1. There was, I daresay, no subject which drew my interest in school quite like science. So much so, my college major at the outset was Chemistry/Physics. But, many of my family and friends couldn’t give a shit less how and why things are as they are. Alas.

            We need a leader who can offer a simple message of hope, delivered with clarity, designed for working Americans. A leader who will NEVER break a promise. T***p and the entire GOP is nothing BUT a broken promise.

            No one ever promised the Christian white people they could have this place and run it anyway they want. Even the Christian white guys who started it all could see that was not good. So they made laws…based on the principle of governing by consent of the governed.

            The majority, and in some cases, the vast majority of Americans do not consent to the way we are being governed today. The founding fathers were smart enough to see the primacy of law was paramount to the success of democracy. If this is still a nation of laws and not a tyrants’ private kingdom, we had better start acting like it.

            1. Uhh, your sainted founding fathers sanctioned slavery, counted its victims as three fifths of a person, limited voting to property owning white males and failed to foresee and outlaw the designated hitter rule.

              How is this consent of the governed?  It’s more like hypocrisy of the overlords.

                1. Well, at least you haven't lost your sense of humor.   Life under Trump's version of fascism is hard to take.

                  Share a bottle of wine with your cat and hold her close.

                  Help is in the way.

                  I wish it was led by someone more dynamic than Biden.  But he'll do in a pinch.

                2. Can stupid be fixed???

                    1. Michael: "can stupid be fixed?"

                      In the case of Louie Gohmert, answer is no.

      2. I am a huge Rachel fan but there is one chronic aspect of her informational presentations that nearly renders them false and misleading. She did it again last night in her runup to the Ho interview.

        When Rachel does a side-by-side comparison of graphical data she does so with different vertical scales of the two or more graphs. That serves to magnify the graph with the lower scale of e.g. case numbers of, say, positive coronavirus test results.

        I don’t want to call her dishonest but this is a common methodology of people who are.

        It bugs me to no end and for people who can’t catch it and mentally interpolate for the short time that the data is on display it can be (hopefully not intended to be) misleading.

        1. I didn't catch that – are you talking about the comparison of two approaches to covid containment: the USA inconsistent, every state on its own approach with the successful countries all-together-now approach?

          If so, it's the shape of the curves that's important – but since you drew my attention to it, I'll look at the graphs more closely.

          1. The instance that stands out in my mind from last night showed all states on the left and all states minus NY, NJ, CT on the right. The upper limit on the vertical axis for all states was twice the value of the upper limit for the vertical axis for the subset of states.

            1. @kickshot: send her an e-mail about it. Seriously. From what I've seen, she seems to accept reasonable and sensible viewer comments.

              1. I did send her an email once about the foreign ownership of the meatpacking plants (one in Greeley) where CV was breaking out on a large scale. I let her know that the owners of these plants were also large recipients of Dump's largesse wrt farm bailouts. She never mentioned it but now she knows.

                But wrt the graphs this is what I just sent to her:

                Hello, Rachel

                I am a huge fan of your show, watching every night, but I have a point to argue with your segment titled  "Dire U.S. COVID-19 death rate seen in graph excluding NY, NJ, CT”.

                The graphical data presentation in the segment shows two graphs side-by-side: ’NEW CORONAVIRUS DEATHS’ in the UNITED STATES (left graph) and U.S. MINUS NY, NJ, CT (right graph).

                Given the short amount of time that the graph is on display it is difficult to recognize that the vertical axes of the graphs are radically different. The immediate observation is that the curves presented are roughly the same shape and the same height and that can lead to an erroneous conclusion that the CV pandemic is only outside NY/NJ/CT.

                I suggest that you can avoid incoreect conclusions by not forcing your audience to quickly evaluate the differences between the plot scales by combining both graphs but plat separate 7-day moving averages. That will show the true case that initially the pandemic swamped NY/NJ/CT but currently exists primarily in the rest of the US, albeit at a lower level but on a very steep growth trajectory.

                Keep up the great, informative work. I appreciate every bit of information you’re sharing.


            2. Don't know if anyone's still reading this, but kickshot, I was probably who started discussion on these graphics, and I'd be interested in knowing if RM gave us false or misleading numerical info, or if this might have just been less-than-optimal use of graphics?

              1. IMHO it was not 'false or misleading numerical info'. The data was accurate.

                However, the portrayal of the data in this case can lead to a false impression without a closer inspection (looking at amplitude w/o regard to scales) than some will give it.


    1. Look at Trump and Vietnam. YOU go and YOUR children go while me and my family stay here, because we are better than anyone else. Man of the people.

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