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March 24, 2020


GftNC, yay for your friend!

McKinney (at 10:40 above): Six months from now, people will be telling the rest of us how all of this was eminently foreseeable and that if we had just done X or Y at the federal level, much of what we are currently experiencing would have been significantly mitigated.

Actually, they are saying it now. Certainly the "eminently foreseeable" part is well documented. Whether X or Y would have mitigated the impact will, I think, be a matter of comparing our experience to that of countries which actually did X or Y at their national level. (Not that such a data-driven approach will be convincing for some. On either side of the argument.)

Comparing different US states may also serve the purpose (no need to look at furrinas! We're merkins!).

But there may well be different equally valid ways to deal with the problem and definitely different ones dependent on the state of the crisis. So, public-private partnerships may work well in one place but not in others. Where there is an actual sense of community some measures are probably superfluous that are inavoidable where the crisis is seen as an opportunity to achieve selfish goals (price gouging, self-dealing, scapegoating, malthusing, terrorism etc.).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone that deeply grooving on the cowbell.

Makes BÖC look like amateurs. It's approaching Peak Cowbell.

Early Chicago has been a bit of a revelation for me. My late brother had a bunch of their albums in his collection and I heard them enough growing up that I never really *listened* to them. Then after he passed, I really wanted nothing to do with any of those songs for a long while.

Coming back to the early stuff without any of those filters has let me actually listen for the first time. They could really cook, especially when Kath was rocking out on his guitar, and Cetera was playing some serious bass while singing as well.

Chicago was a really good band. Great rhythm section, really good part writing for the horns, good singers, and good songs. The early stuff has tons of energy.

Cool video!

GFTNC, so glad to hear about your friend.

McK, I think we'll find that which countries handled things well and which didn't has less to do with what kind of economic system they have, and more to do with whether they just generally had their shit together, whatever kind of economic system they have. That's my thought, anyway.

There are lots of examples like HEB, they should all be applauded.

Thanks all for good wishes. Let's hope we and ours all manage to get out alive.

And maximum numbers possible of everybody else too, of course, with the possible exception of those who kept saying this was an anti-Trump hoax.

Early Chicago has been a bit of a revelation for me.

same here.

a lot of bands went embarrassingly commercial in the 80s, but none more than Chicago.

but those early records cook.

Perhaps it isn't money so much as it is competence.

competence without the means to implement is preaching to the wind.

Trump has shown negative leadership here. he spent months treating this as nothing more than a threat to his own electoral welfare - as he does everything. and so his statements have been wrong, misleading, deceptive and racist as he tries to deflect blame onto others and attract glory to himself. his incompetence and vainity is killing people. he could have taken this seriously a month ago, but he didn't. he, and the entire GOP bullshit producing cartel, was telling people it was no big deal, a hoax, a cold. and they listened.

and here we are.

as always, he is the absolute worst person possible to be in the WH.

and everything that's getting done is being done at the state level. and they're doing it despite Trump, sometimes despite Trump personally (as he tries doing some more "i'd like you do me a favor, though" to help himself look better.

this is what he has reduced the country to, during a fucking pandemic:

At first, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tried to play nice. He limited criticisms of the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and asked for medical supplies through official channels.

But nothing came, so he went on television. The first-term Democrat blasted the Trump administration Sunday on CNN for failing to help states obtain masks, gloves and other protective gear.

It got President Donald Trump’s attention. After a Twitter feud and some mudslinging (Pritzker compared Trump to a “carnival barker”), the two got on the phone Monday, and Trump promised Illinois 250,000 masks and 300 ventilators.

Facing an unprecedented public health crisis, governors are trying to get what they need from Washington, and fast. But that means navigating the disorienting politics of dealing with Trump, an unpredictable president with a love for cable news and a penchant for retribution.

Republicans and Democrats alike are testing whether to fight or flatter, whether to back channel requests or go public, all in an attempt to get Trump’s attention and his assurances.

it's not enough that their people are dying while coughing pink foamy shit out their mouths, Governors have to waste energy trying to figure out how to appease this goddamned toddler.

clean your house, GOP.

On the fact that he wants the governors to be "appreciative", it's almost as if he's never heard the expression quid pro quo

So how about that "PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES FOR AMERICA" postcard that seems to have gone out to every mailing address in the US? Should we treat it as a vector for the MAGA virus, use it for toilet paper, or what?

I suppose the Deep State professionals at the CDC had to shrug their shoulders and slap the Great Orange Satan's name on the thing in order to get the mailing out. Alternatively, the White House Mafia wanted a campaign ad for the Capo di Tutti Capi and ordered the CDC to slap something on the back of it, even if only a rehash of already widely publicized prescriptions.

The fact that both samples of the "postcard" I have seen consist of two pieces of paper glued back-to-back seems consistent with either hypothesis.


qpq is sooooooooooo 2019.

and since the GOP Senate has absolved him of all his sins, he's free to start running up the tally. he knows his base will defend him, no matter what.

Trump is already using the sweet-talking that governors have had to resort to in ads praising him for his leadership.


"conservatives" are going to keep defending him.



[edited for clarity]

So how about that "PRESIDENT TRUMP'S CORONAVIRUS GUIDELINES FOR AMERICA" postcard that seems to have gone out to every mailing address in the US?

I still suspect that the reason Trump's name got slapped on it was that the folks putting it out thought that nothing else was likely to get his cultists to do the right thing and follow the guidelines. Probably didn't even bother to ask Trump first -- if only to avoid having to try to make a case for how it would aid his poll numbers and/or reelection prospects.


every thing Trump does is to boost his image. and there's no chance at all his campaign team didn't design that mailer.

One of the most amazing concerts I ever saw was The Beach Boys with Chicago at the Cotton Bowl in 75. Each played and then they played together, no one sat down the whole show. I'm pretty sure no one.

First time I ever had a woman get a crush on me at a concert, she had just gone for the concert. Alas,after a month or so that wore off.

It's gonna' be a tough spring.

Hunker down. Do the right thing. Hang in.

Talking with friends tonight, discovered that two folks at two degrees of separation from me have died from the virus. A third, the wife of one of the deceased, is on a ventilator.

A good friend of my wife and I works at a senior level doing strategic planning for a company that owns and manages nursing homes, In that capacity, she is in contact with the CDC more or less daily, and participates in / has access to models of the virus' progress. MA, where I live, is apparently about 3 weeks out from the wave cresting. Hope we're ready, don't know if we are.

Stay on your toes, y'all. Gonna get worse before it gets better. Stay positive but stay vigilant.

Better days soon come.


Not positive. But Dylan.

I wonder when the other side will consider it their turn.

One of today's little acts of cruelty: the Secretary of the Interior has ruled that the Wampanoag of eastern Massachusetts, though they are still a federally recognized tribe, are not to be allowed to establish a reservation:


Why not? One theory says: because part of the deal that got the Wampanoag their federal recognition was the changing of state law to allow a limited number of casinos in Massachusetts--because at least some of the Wampanoag wanted to have a tribal casino. But they cannot have a tribal casino without a reservation, so by denying them a reservation, we make sure that the Massachusetts casinos will all belong to...you know, the right sort of people. White people.


Well, it's not nearly so complex as being racist. It's more purely corrupt. The Twin River casino is 2p.1 miles away and is owned by a close friend of Trump. And it's a horrible excuse for a casino, the Wampsnoag casino would likely put it out of business.

There is not much to be against other than pure cronyism. It's a perfect spot, good access, the local area would benefit a lot.

The Wampanoag should be ok with another delay though, they dont have the best claim so the real risk is that it will get challenged in court, again.

I know a few contractors who had approved bids for site work 2, maybe 3, years ago. It would really stimulateocal recovery if it got kicked off.

20.1 miles

I suck at typing on my phone at the best of times. Three fingers of don abraham on ice a few times and the midnight hour turning over really means I shouldnt try any more tonight.

That is in way of apology for the last comment. Be safe.

Marty, I'm astounded anyone would even try to type more than about 2 sentences on a phone. If I try, only auto correct (irritating as it can be) will keep me from a bunch of errors. If you only had the one, across 4 paragraphs, no reason at all to apologize.

OK, so since I've admitted (on the other thread) to being a halfwit for not imediately getting Amy's joke, now that my halfwittedness is out in the open, I have been looking at russell's 10.46 mentioning two degrees of separation and I confess that when I told you about my friend who was in ICU on the ventilator, I wanted to use "degrees of separation" to indicate exact amount of closeness, but wasn't exactly sure how it works. That man is a friendly acquaintance of mine, and my co-godparent, but a very close friend of some very close friends of mine. I wasn't sure if that was a close friend at two degrees of separation, or one.

I know that mathematicians who collaborated on papers with Erdos (the one who called God the Supreme Fascist) say that their Erdos number is 1, and people who have collaborated with them on papers say they have an Erdos number of 2, and so on. If the principle is the same, my friendly acquaintance who now breathes by himself is a close friend at two degrees of separation. Is this right?

And, frighteningly, I have just read in the Guardian that of people who get as far as the ICU, only 50% survive. I'm glad I didn't know that before, and hope I don't have (close personal) reason to know it in the future.

as I understand it:

Somebody you know personally is one degree. Somebody they know personally, but you don't, is two degrees.

A friendly acquaintance of yours would be one degree.

If my understanding is correct.

The people in question in my case are colleagues of a friend of my wife and I, and a family member of the girlfriend of a young woman we know.

We're all going to know people with the virus over the next several weeks.

Stay safe everybody.

Thank you russell.

Stay safe everybody.


A nurse-practitioner friend shared this with me. It raises some interesting questions. One I've been thinking about for some time is the number of people who are or have been infected without knowing it, who will recover or have recovered without seeking medical attention or being tested. I'm left wondering about this because the wealthiest nation in human history lacks a rigorous testing regime so far.

Anyway, I guess we'll see how Sweden's approach works out.


And will there be a test that can detect people who had Covid-19 and have fully recovered?

FWIW, apparently BoJo's initial "laidback" response (I think it was wj who said this, but obviously lots of people and media were criticising it here) was completely science-led, and then the advice changed with the situation.

this man was an uncle of a friend.

One caveat on degrees of separation: it is to some extent context driven. Thus russell's explanation fits normal usage. But for virus purposes, a store clerk you buy from, but only ever see that once (i.e. you don't actually know him) is still at 1 degree of separation. And the cook who made his delivered dinner the night before is at 2 degrees of separation from you.

That is, for virus transmission purposes, degrees of separation are how many pairs of hands touch. Whereas in normal use, all of you would be at 1 degree of separation from me, even if we've never been within a thousand miles of each other (or anything touched by the other).

hsh, that would be the test for antibodies, showing that you either have the virus or had it not too far in the past (assuming that there is no permanent immunity)

I did see yesterday that one of the drug companies has a blood test for antibodies developed and becoming available.

I suspect pretty soon if you go for blood work for anything that will be a standard test.

I did see yesterday that one of the drug companies has a blood test for antibodies developed and becoming available.

There are several US academic labs and medical companies developing antibody tests. At least two are currently selling such tests outside the US. AAUI, the FDA has waived most of its usual procedures for approving such tests. Still have to find someone who's willing to pop for a million or so of them and fund the sampling program (it's not that much; Bloomberg or Gates would never notice).

Still have to find someone who's willing to pop for a million or so of them...

Related remark: One of the companies that makes medical ventilators has stated publicly that they could expand production quickly. That came with a caveat that they had received too few additional orders to justify doing it. That came to mind while Trump and GM were going back and forth this week. Sure, GM may be able to build ventilators. Who's going to order ventilators from GM? Who's going to take care of the training and maintenance needs for those? Is there even going to be training and maintenance programs?

pretty soon if you go for blood work for anything

Conditions may be different in different places, but I don't think many people will be going for blood work anytime soon.

Liberty University Brings Back Its Students, and Coronavirus, Too:

The decision by the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., to partly reopen his evangelical university enraged residents of Lynchburg, Va. Then students started getting sick.

Headline in the NYT today. It's possible bc might think we're foolishly believing "breathless headlines". But personally, I'm prepared to treat the NYT as a paper of record, and while I don't actually wish Covid-19 on anybody, I do think this falls again into the Instant karma's gonna get you category along with the dead pastor, because as the NYT piece reminds us, Jerry Falwell was saying less than three weeks ago:

“It’s just strange to me how many are overreacting” to the pandemic, Mr. Falwell said on “Fox & Friends” on March 10. “It makes you wonder if there is a political reason for that. Impeachment didn’t work and the Mueller report didn’t work and Article 25 didn’t work, and so maybe now this is their next attempt to get Trump.”

Too bad the students have to suffer for Falwell's hubris, ignorance and blind toadying.



Conditions may be different in different places, but I don't think many people will be going for blood work anytime soon.

Well, except for those of us going in to donate blood. Which, from the entreaties arriving in my email, seems to be in shorter supply than usual. They'll have to test it all anyway, of course. I'll be amazed if they don't include the results, along with stuff like blood sugar and cholesterol levels, in the report they routinely send donors.

From GftNC's NYTimes piece

“If he had purely political motives, he’s being way more conservative than even Trump is being right now. Trump is at least allowing doctors to say their piece. Jerry is not. It kind of shocks me at this point.”

With condolences to wj and bc, I'd just point that the speaker is beginning to realize that 'conservative' and 'behaving stupidly in a crisis' are starting to mean the same thing.

I'll be amazed if they don't include the results, along with stuff like blood sugar and cholesterol levels, in the report they routinely send donors.


I don't recall ever getting a report after donating blood. A cookie and an apple juice, and you're on your way.

Is this something relatively new?

In any case, thanks for the reminder to donate blood.

lj: exactly. Point well made.

Marty: thanks. I've gathered how highly so many of you value John Prine, so here's hoping he does OK.

Perhaps other blood donation organizations do things differently. The one that collects around here (Vitalant) sets up all donors with a login for making our appointments. And filling out the pre-donation questionnaire online. Then, a couple days after donating (yes, we get juice and snnacks at the end) we can log in and see various test results. Including looking back at previous donations' test results.

It's been that way so long, it didn't occur to me it wasn't general practice.

Perhaps other blood donation organizations do things differently.

I've always just been a walk-in at Red Cross events. I don't remember even giving them my name, to be honest.

My comment about blood work was more about how basic primary medical care has kind of come to a halt. GP's are mostly not taking appointments for much of anything. Specialists are doing phone interviews in lieu of in-office visits.

I guess if somebody ordered a blood test, the lab at the hospital would do it, and the ER's are open for urgent care. But in general it seems like medical practices are actively discouraging people from coming in.

No doubt there are blood tests that somebody somewhere can run to see if you've been exposed to COVID-19 and have acquired an immunity, but it seems unlikely that anything resembling "routine blood work" is on offer. Or will be, for some time to come.

Lock him up!

It seems the wheels of justice are grinding for Senator Burr (he of the million dollar, insider stock trades)

the stuff on John Prine's first record are among the first that i can remember being my 'favorite'. i didn't get much of what he was singing about, but i really loved his melodies.

Seems to me this might be problematic:


John Prine's favorite John Prine song, apparently. Probably mine, too.

There is a sweet spot in songwriting, where the most careful choice of word and phrase sounds like folks just talking. Where a candid understanding of the inherent difficulty and sadness of life is presented without self-pity. And where the simplest pleasures of everyday life are captured with affection and humor.

John Prine owns that spot. He is one of the very best we have.

Hope he hangs in there, I'd love to hear the next 100 songs he writes.

Are Sweden and Japan crazy?



i'm not sure what to make of the allegations against Biden. if more evidence comes out against him, we'll have something to talk about.

but i'm certainly not going to help the GOP (or the anti-"establishment" left) run yet another fact-lite smear against him, while shrugging off Trump's entire life.

Seems to me this might be problematic

Against a different opponent (say Pence), maybe. But against "pussy grabber"? Hard to see it hurting him. Even if there is confirmation, it seems unlikely to rise to the level of tapes of Biden boasting about it. Let alone documentation of him paying off those making the allegations.

Let alone documentation of him paying off those making the allegations.

I would not count on this one. Lots of important people over the years have paid to have embarrassments, of varying credibility, just go away.

i'm not sure what to make of the allegations against Biden.

I'm pretty sure they're spurious considering the source. That said, investigating would be fine, as due process is important for the accuser and the accused. The fact that the investigation of Blasey-Ford's allegations weren't conducted with any seriousness made her testimony seem (to me) all the more credible. So if anyone (including the "Justice" Department) wants to proceed, should do.

Some info about Japan's decision


As Bannon said, Abe was Trump before Trump

I agree that such allegations should be investigated, although I also agree that he'd have a way to go to match Trump's record.

Further to which, Alex Salmond, the ex-leader of the SNP, was accused by 10 women of improper advances, assault and rape, and after a trial was (a couple of days ago) completely acquitted. I didn't follow the evidence closely, but I find it very hard to believe that 10 women would lie about this, especially since all (or maybe almost all) are from his own party. To me, like the Blasey-Ford experience, it just looks almost as if the cards are stacked in favour of the patriarchy. Who could have guessed?

On the Swedish experiment:


I'm on blood thinner so I have to go in for lab work for monitoring purposes every 4 weeks, it's just a finger poke to produce a few drops. Went in last week and there was literally no one else in the front waiting room (so the "Social Distancing" signs on every other chair were unneeded), one other patient waiting in the back hall for lab work. I hadn't known what to expect, and was relieved to have little company.

The Biden allegations are being treated with seriousness, but there's really nowhere to go with them unless someone else has any credible information or can corroborate her account. If this is something that she has not mentioned to others before, then it's hard to know what to do with that.

It's not a cover-up, it's just very little to go on for a story.

And it's motes and beams for anyone from the right who's hoping to try and make more out of this.

i'm not sure what to make of the allegations against Biden.

My first observation is that the article, titled 'why has the media ignored ... claims against Biden?', contains five links to reporting on the issue.

Nothing from the NYT or WaPo, so I guess no 'mainstream' media. Or insufficient 'mainstream' media.

My second observation is that this election cycle is going to be a blizzard of BS the likes of which we haven't seen since maybe the election of 1800.

I'm not in the 'yeah, but Trump...' crowd because I'd rather not have Trump be the standard of what is or is not acceptable in public behavior. Reade deserves to have her claims heard. She deserves the opportunity to bring whatever evidence she has before us all.

If there is a credible claim that Biden assaulted her, he should not get a pass. If he is shown to be guilty of assaulting her, he should be held accountable.

If not, move the hell on.

The hypocrisy of the (R) party should be enough to shame them out of existence, but apparently it is not. The rest of us seem to be willing to put up with it so far, but I wouldn't push my luck.

(twas time for me too say that too at last)

I was also BANNEDFORLIFE for disrupting the the conversation.

Go on over to TakingItOutside, where you are free to say anyfuckingthingyouwant, even Jesurgislac

cleek, BACKINTHEDAY you could walk into The Green Mill and for $15 see Chevere (diChicago) with arguably the worlds best harmonica player, Howard Levy - think seeing Toots Thielemanns live.

Howard Levy is one hell of a harmonica player.

Assembly language rules!!!!
as well as FreeScale 68HC16

Sweden's curve.

Janie, I note that some comments on the twetter thread ASSUME that getting the virus once confers some meaningful kind of long-term immunity. Even though our experience with the usual seasonal flu in that it mutates enough the immunity doesn't last a year.

I wonder how much of that particular piece of wishful thinking "informs" some of our government's "planning" for the virus going forward.

Margaret Thatcher's approval ratings surged by about 35% in response to the Falklands War. Dubya's by about 50% in response to 9/11.

Both of these crises were partly the leaders' fault, but that made no difference.

Trump's approval ratings have risen by about 3% in reaction to the pandemic.

Other national leaders' approvals have surged by much more during this crisis. So the difference in Trump's gain isn't due to it being a different kind of crisis.

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