Monday Open Thread

“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

–Plato

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ParkHill says:

    Heather Cox-Richardson on Lost in the Friday, Dec 31 news hole: "Two important stories"

    There were two stories that dropped late on Friday, December 31, New Year’s Eve, that reflect on the ongoing story of the attempt to undermine our democracy.

    First, former New York City Police commissioner Bernard Kerik, a high-school dropout who began a meteoric rise to prominence after working as Trump loyalist Rudy Giuliani’s chauffeur and bodyguard, delivered documents to the committee. Convicted in 2010 of tax fraud, ethics violations, and making false statements to loan officers and the federal government when being investigated for government positions, Kerik has been fiercely loyal to Trump, who granted him a full pardon in February 2020.

    The documents Kerik’s lawyer delivered on Friday included a 22-page document titled "STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS PLAN—GIULIANI PRESIDENTIAL LEGAL DEFENSE TEAM.” Its subtitle was “We Have 10 Days To Execute This Plan & Certify President Trump!”

    And also:

    Meanwhile, the Big Lie behind this document—that our election system is hopelessly corrupt and Trump was cheated—continues to be proved false. Also on Friday, the first piece of the audit of the 2020 election in Texas, launched in September after former president Trump demanded that Texas governor Greg Abbott investigate the election in the state, came out. Friday’s report said the investigators found nothing out of the ordinary. 

     

    • kwtree says:

      While Texas Governor Abbott continues to try to break democracy by suppressing voters and auditing the 2020 election, and tries to break the civil court system by pushing vigilante “justice” for abortion helpers, and broke his state’s COVID response by outlawing mask and vaccine mandates, he is now pleading for federal help for his state Covid crisis.

       He’s asking for more tests, more vaccines, more treatments, and  more nursing staff to help his overwhelmed hospital system.

      Texas has a 26% positivity rate on Covid testing, and over 5,500 hospitalized covid patients in the state.

      • davebarnes says:

        Testing is a waste of time/money.

        Only hospitalizations and deaths matter.

        • kwtree says:

          Testing, if used as a barrier to spreading the disease, is not a waste of time and money. 
          Early in 2020, entire football teams, plus elderly coaches and teachers of players, were all quarantined because of one stupid Covid—infected player. Testing, as all athletes must do now, could have prevented both infections and quarantines.

          The people who cut and pack our meat are all tested or have to show proof of being fully vaccinated these days. When those precautions aren’t in place, the industry ( any industry) can come to a screeching halt. 

  2. ParkHill says:

    Long Supply Chain Article from Noah Smith. Who could imagine how interesting Supply Chain is?

    N.S.: What should the Biden administration have done to overwhelm supply chain bottlenecks early on in the crunch? What should the administration be doing now?

    R.P.: I think many of us imagined that we live in a world where there's a wizard behind the box. That there's actually somebody in charge of all of this, and that that somebody must have made a mistake. And of course, it must be the president of the United States. But that's not actually the world that we live in. It's a market-based system. We're lucky to live in an economy that's built on the principles of free enterprise, and so while it's easy to cast blame and point fingers at the administration, we have to recognize that they're not really in charge of all of these things. They didn't create this situation and I'm not 100% convinced that they're the ones that are going to be best equipped to solve the problem.

    That said, there's a very clear role for our government to intervene in markets when you have systemic failures. 

    • harrydoby says:

      Here is one of the better explanations about the Supply Chain snafu — "The Bullwhip Effect"

      That happened because consumers shifted their spending toward physical goods and away from services, and government support kept incomes stable, preventing a collapse in overall demand.

      The result: an economywide occurrence of the “bullwhip effect,” a phenomenon from the field of operations management in which small shifts in demand ripple through supply chains to cause wild swings.

      The complexity of modern global supply chains and the fact that this bullwhip effect has played out across countless industries has made it a fiendishly difficult problem to solve. The issue is not just a shortage of semiconductors, or shipping containers, or any other single item. It is shortages of all these things crashing together in ways that make the feeling of scarcity and shortages more intense.

  3. harrydoby says:

    Finally, Trumpers are putting their talent for paranoia, ignorance, hatred and greed to good purpose — tearing down each other.

    After months of failing to disprove the reality of Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss, some of the Internet’s most popular right-wing provocateurs are grappling with the pressures of restless audiences, saturated markets, ongoing investigations and millions of dollars in legal bills.

    The result is a chaotic melodrama, playing out via secretly recorded phone calls, personal attacks in podcasts, and a seemingly endless stream of posts on Twitter, Gab and Telegram calling their rivals Satanists, communists, pedophiles or “pay-triots” — money-grubbing grifters exploiting the cause.

    The infighting reflects the diminishing financial rewards for the merchants of right-wing disinformation, whose battles center not on policy or doctrine but on the treasures of online fame: viewer donations and subscriptions; paid appearances at rallies and conferences; and crowds of followers to buy their books and merchandise.

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