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September 05, 2020

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My physician friend tells me that the younger doctors are more likely to look at the computer displaying the patient’s chart than they are to look at the patient. They treat to the chart, and don’t pay enough attention to symptoms the patient may be displaying right in front of them.

my GP will easily spend half the appointment time clicking around on the little laptop everyone in the practice has to carry.

my wife and i go on an annual beach trip with friends. the past few years, i've become very disappointed at how much time people spend on their phones. at first i tried to gently nudge people to maybe put the phone down and look out the window? it's the beach! but the reply was always "This is my vacation. I'm just doing what i want to do!" well, ok. but you could have saved several hundreds of dollars playing on your phone at home instead of renting this giant beach house....

In the past the doctors looked at the papers, now they look at the screen. Looking at the patients has gone out of fashion somehwere mid 20th century or so. Patients lack the professional training to talk about symptoms and the like properly and humans are unreliable anyway, so what would be the point asking them?

Leaving aside a novella-length rant about phones:

I learned a lot from this book: When Doctors Don't Listen, by Leana Wen and Joshua Kosowsky.

One big thing I took away from it in time for my last ER adventure (14 months ago) was to take someone with you for serious medical appointments if possible. It can make a huge difference to have someone in the room who knows and is in sympathy with your own outlook on tests, medications, end of life stuff, etc. And who, at any given moment, isn't unconscious, or addled by extreme pain, or whatever.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande, isn't directly about talking to doctors, but there's a relevant story in it about three surgeons (Gawande and both his parents) getting two separate opinions about a tumor on Gawande's father's spine, and choosing one path and not the other. Great book, IMO.

I'm beginning to think that, with the refusal to accept government solutions and accept expertise, individualism will be the poison that kills the US.

I'm basically watching my country of birth lose it's mind.

Two camps, divided by a complete lack of common understanding of reality. Bands of provocateurs exploiting legitimate grievance and protest to engage in pointless acts of vandalism. Bands of heavily armed self-appointed "protectors", accountable to no-one, inserting themselves into volatile situations and threatening civil war, often with the tacit support if not actual collaboration with police. Some of them not just threatening, but actively seeking to provoke civil war through acts of terroristic violence and murder.

A virus infecting tens of thousands of people a day, killing a thousand people a day, and nobody can get their shit together to address it in anything like an intelligent and co-ordinated way.

A corrupt and malicious president who deliberately incites and encourages division and violence to further his own political fortunes. And who has the enthusiastic support of almost half the country.

I've probably missed some things, but that's the gist of it.

This country is falling apart. Is there even a center to hold? I'm not seeing it.

I'm beginning to think that, with the refusal to accept government solutions and accept expertise, individualism will be the poison that kills the US.

Give the stumbling, bumbling, fumbling, and lying at various levels of government and experts, I could just as easily say, "I'm beginning to think that, with the refusal to accept government solutions and expertise, individualism will be the curative that saves the US."

Or, "I'm beginning to think that, with the willingness to accept government solutions and expertise, collectivism will be the poison that kills the US."

I've probably missed some things, but that's the gist of it.

This country is falling apart. Is there even a center to hold? I'm not seeing it.

It's bad. But I confess I've seen worse. In the late 1960s.

Same fracture of world views. Same exploitation of protest demonstrations by those who just want to loot and those who just want to break things. (With assists by those who think it will allow them to generate a revolution of their choice. Some of them with foreign backing.) Same examples of police taking sides.

And yet, we came out of it. Gives me hope that we will come out of it again.

Some of them not just threatening, but actively seeking to provoke civil war through acts of terroristic violence and murder.

aaah-yup

Except, wj, it seems the current wisdom on the right is that Nixon was a coward for letting little things like protocol and the constitution get in the way of sovereignty and will to power. The right seems to have lost its instinct for preserving institutions altogether.

True. In the 1960s the contempt for institutions was far stronger on the left than the right. And the left didn't, then, have any significant power in government the way the right does now. (Not thinking of Trump so much as the legislative branch.)

Like all analogies, it is far from perfect. But for me it gives grounds for hope nonetheless.

The right seems to have lost its instinct for preserving institutions altogether.

authoritarian personality cult dislikes remnants of old regime.

It's bad. But I confess I've seen worse. In the late 1960s.

Yes, I was alive then. It was bad.

There are similarities, but it's not exactly the same.

What strikes me, among other things, is that the late 60's had the Vietnam War as a focal point - a large and obvious issue that people differed about.

What is the equivalent now? Black Lives Matter?

I'm often hard pressed to understand what people are angry about now.

I have to be allowed to carry a semi-automatic rifle anywhere I go, to defend my right to carry a semi-automatic rifle anywhere I go? Who's the real racist?

Things seem less focused, and more kind of vaguely and generically "culture war" oriented now.

We'll see how it turns out.

the late 60's had the Vietnam War as a focal point - a large and obvious issue that people differed about.

What is the equivalent now? Black Lives Matter?

Perhaps. But I think it may actually be Trump himself that's the focal point.

People demonized LBJ over Vietnam. But those same people frequently were enthusiastic supporters of his civil rights stuff. (And vis versa, of course, especially in the South.) Whereas with Trump views are very much "all bad" or "all wonderful".

Yes, to some extent, it's genetic culture war stuff. But only look at how drastically Trump has reshaped what his fans claim to support. Which is part of why I think that it's him. (No doubt the massive narcissist would be pleased to know it's all about him.)

Marketing has improved since the 60s. Modern industrial Conservative philosophy-analogue is much more profitable than the homespun conservative pablum of yesteryear.

I could just as easily say, "I'm beginning to think that, with the refusal to accept government solutions and expertise, individualism will be the curative that saves the US."

Of course, if you said
"I'm beginning to think that, with the refusal to accept government solutions and expertise in this fight against COVID, individualism will be the curative that saves the US."

you'd be really wrong. But if you want to keep channelling Chris Cillizza, go for it!

But I think it may actually be Trump himself that's the focal point.

A fair observation.

I don't know if things are better, worse, or not really comparable to the late 60's.

We could just as easily compare it to bleeding Kansas, I guess. And we "got through that", and the aftermath, one way or another. Hard to say if we've ever gotten over it, though, at least some of us.

I don't know where this is all heading.

I'd like the anarchists to stop setting fires and throwing stuff at cops, because it doesn't accomplish anything useful.

And I'd like people to leave their f***ing guns at home, because people are getting killed.

And I'd like people to believe black and brown people when they say they aren't treated the same as other folks. Just get that freaking far, right? Just extend the benefit of the doubt and believe them when they say they experience a lot of fear and pain, just living in this country.

You can throw poor folks in there, too, Marty, if that makes you happy. And we can start treating poor folks well by paying them enough to live on. Even the janitors and people who stock shelves.

That's my wish list. I put my odds at somewhere between slim and none.

This is a very rich country and we have a lot of guns, pointed both at each other and at every other place on the planet. We're not about to totally implode, and we're not about to be invaded and overrun.

It's just becoming an increasingly hostile and toxic place to live. And we can't get anything constructive done.

How does all of that get resolved? I don't know. I don't see a clear path.

The nation is inflamed with 100 varieties of outrage. Looks like it's just gonna be that way for a while.

We'll see what we have left to work with when it dies down.

"I'm beginning to think that, with the willingness to accept government solutions and expertise, collectivism will be the poison that kills the US."

Charles, I suspect you been thinking that for a long, long time.

What happened after the '60's was that people got really bored with the constant instability. I suspect that might happen again, although it certainly would be nice if when it does happen, we have a competent, honest government, with compassionate people in charge, and people take an interest in keeping it that way.

If I'm going to hope, I'll hope bigger than that, but that's the very least I hope happens.

We're not about to totally implode, and we're not about to be invaded and overrun.

I'm not at all sure of this.

we can start treating poor folks well by paying them enough to live on. Even the janitors and people who stock shelves

The first step will be getting C-Level managers' pay down to something sane.* How do we do that? Come up with a non-financial dick-measuring scheme for them to compete on.**

At 20x the pay of their workers, they'd have more money than they could spend -- see the situation in the 1950s. So you could just slap a 100% tax on income beyond that level. But, IMHO, they'd still compete for ever higher pre-tax income . . . unless we provide a different criteria for them to compete on.

* After which we do something on income generally. Including the usual suspects: interest, dividends, capital gains. You can argue that people won't invest unless they have the prospect of getting rich. But the number of people who invest in, for example, starting a restaurant gives lie to that thesis.

** Of course we could just go with a literal contest there. But that's obviously sexist (duh!), so we need something else. Something that they can, with effort, increase -- just so it's unrelated to money, or stuff money can buy directly.

We're not about to totally implode, and we're not about to be invaded and overrun.

I'm not at all sure of this.

Agreed, we're not about to be invaded and overrun. No matter what the RWNJs think. But implode? Probably not, but definitely a far higher probability.

One way to bid up the wages paid for low skill labor and bid down the wages of C-Level managers and other middle-class jobs is a K-12 school system that educates people to something close to their maximum ability.

That's a necessary part of the solution but not the solution itself.

By "invaded and overrun," I'm thinking about international crime mobs, led by a certain white supremacist foreign dictator.

"One way to bid up the wages paid for low skill labor and bid down the wages of C-Level managers and other middle-class jobs is a K-12 school system that educates people to something close to their maximum ability."

Oh, like a meritocracy?

It's really cute that you think that's an available option.

perhaps we do have a meritocracy, but we're all confused about what it is that we consider meritorious. as demonstrated by how we reward things, we don't really value intelligence and honesty and productivity. the things we really value are much more venal and destructive.

we don't really value intelligence and honesty and productivity. the things we really value are much more venal and destructive.

What we, as a society, value are
1) wealth, and
2) fame.

You can get those by constructive and virtuous, as well as venal and destructive ones. Although more easily by the latter. And we focus on the ends; not the means by which they were achieved.

For example, William Hewlett and David Packard were constructive, and by all accounts, good guys personally. Mark Zuckerberg, not so much.

I suppose we should be thankful that we don't (so far) venerate the guys who got rich as drug lords.

"I suppose we should be thankful that we don't (so far) venerate the guys who got rich as drug lords."

With the possible exception of pharma czars.

Should have said "explicitly illegal" drug lords.

"I suppose we should be thankful that we don't (so far) venerate the guys who got rich as drug lords."

Should have said "explicitly illegal" drug lords.

I

wouldn't

be.

too

sure.

But hey, how wealthy families got started a couple hundred years ago doesn't matter now, right?

[Edited after the fact for clarity.]

ObWi -- come for the politics, stay for the history. ;-)

The author of the article linked by wouldn't seems to have mixed up his Roosevelt's.

Why, just yesterday ...

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-sackler-family-money/

The author of the article linked by wouldn't seems to have mixed up his Roosevelt's.

Hey, it's The Harvard Crimson, early journalistic home of Ross Douthat, in case you thought they had standards.

(And you seem to have a surplus apostrophe. We could all benefit from on-demand copy editing, proofreading, and fact-checking services. ;-)

https://englishcode.wordpress.com/2019/09/17/sacklerstrumps/

Deep-sixed by the Deep State, we'll learn soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayCLE_ctpYg

This week Trump will issue an Executive Order making it a federal crime to equip all ocean going and freshwater craft of all tonnage with life preservers, life rafts, ship to shore radio, running lights, emergency flares, shark repellent, foghorns, buoys, anchors, and depth survey navigation devices, in the all-American interest and pursuit of freedom from water safety at the hands of landlubber bi-coastal elites.

The U.S. Coast Guard will be instructed to ignore May Day emergency events and remain radio silent, especially when subhuman libertarian and conservative boaters come a calling.

The Coast Guard will no longer carry life lines, but will be instructed to launch anvils at drunk American shitheads who are swimming for it after their craft go down.

The US Navy will remove all bulkheads from its fleet, including from submarines.

Any Naval Officer who uses the term "sea-worthy" in public will be court martialed as an anti-American sissified bureaucrat.

"Man Overboard!" will become the proud slogan of all pro-Trump filth and their anti-regulatory dupes and traitor enablers.

The National Weather Service and the Coast Guard will cease issuing all weather and storm advisories and will in fact encourage obese conservative men to stand up in their dinghies and head for the center of hurricanes.

The Bermuda Triangle will become a prime cruising destination for American asshole conservative and libertarian dick-measuring louts.

Cruise ship operators will now be permitted to fly the Jolly Roger and hold "Walk the Plank" parties on the upper decks of their vessels.

All cruise ships will be required to pass through Arctic and Antarctic seas filled with global-warming-calfed icebergs on the way to their destinations.

The term "Sink or Swim", coined by lickspittle tough guys everywhere will amended to read "Sink, Losers".

Engine rooms will be deliberately flooded mid-ocean to give fuckwad Americans a taste of the terror-ridden freedom of the Titanic's passengers on that fateful voyage.

Republican conservative men will still be permitted to dress as women so they get first dibs on the lifeboats the vessels no longer carry.

The ships' pursers will be placed in charge of deciding whether the conservative-republican man boys are legitimately transitioning to becoming women, or instead just faking it to save their own white skins, as usual, the cucks.

The Zone is flooded worldwide with stinking all-American evil shit:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/09/the-cult-is-metastasizing/

Ion sure the marxists are behind Trumps appeal to anti-Semitic German far right groups.

Or maybe it’s mainstream Dems’ fault for picking someone as devisive as the most admired woman (17 years in a row) woman among Americans.

Or maybe it’s mainstream Dems’ fault for picking someone as devisive as the most admired woman (17 years in a row) woman among Americans.

Thus demonstrating that it is possible to be simultaneously the "most admired" and the "most disliked."** Which probably says something about our fractured culture, but there you are.

** Something which doubtless applies to Trump's selection as (tied with Obama for) the most admired man in America.

The National Weather Service and the Coast Guard will cease issuing all weather and storm advisories

At least that IS an official goal of the GOP, although for different reasons. It's a scandal that the service is for free instead of for hefty fees by a privaze entity (which in turn is of course to be provided for free by the government with the data).

You want free weather and storm advisories?

You get a moron with a sharpie.

Trust NO conservatives:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNvuYPpX0C0

weather forecasting is a liberal plot against hard working American farmers

everybody knows there won't be any storms if you don't look for them.

JDT, that Lincoln Project bit was pretty funny, and true enough. But their ads are pretty good, and in the hope that they move some of the people who need to be moved, for the moment my enemy's enemy is (sort of, temporarily) my friend.

There have been concerns expressed that Trump is trying to cut short the census in order to teduce the numbers of minorities. Fun fact for the day: self response rates are especially low in the rural South. In other words, Trump may be hurting his base with this. Probably just an expectable occurrence in an administration noted for incompetence.

Put together the Laffer Curve, the Bell Curve, and dumb white conservative gun Curve and you get deliberate genocide:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/09/sturgis-covid/

In Senegal, smart black/brown societies win by valuing human life:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/09/this-could-have-been-us/

Why shouldn't the Sturgis filth be shot in their heads on sight for bringing pandemic death, sickness, and hospital bills back to their white vermin conservative homelands and their deplorable families?

The Republican Conservative Death Cult.

Sacramento this weekend:

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2020/09/08/ca-state-capitol-prayer-rally-sean-feucht-bethel-church/

Thousands pack in maskless to protest public health restrictions as a public plot against Christian worship.

Madness.

From nous' link: "Dr. Blumberg says he would not recommend testing for those who attended Sunday’s worship event because there is still limited capacity for testing in California." And why waste testing capacity on people who are deliberately putting themselves at risk?

They probably wouldn't belief a positive test result anyway. Just let them sicken and die on their own -- their hero Trump will appreciate them not adding to the covid case and death stats.

Is Kali, Shiva's consort, now the perverted crypto death-loving super spreader mess that the so-called American Christian personal Jesus prosperity gospel money grift has become?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/167548048620235662/

I was raised in a nominally Christian and republican family and there was none of this dog shit.

American Christianity is now a pandemic disease unto itself.

Rod Dreher is making lots of money scaring Christians into believing we Godless fag socialist hordes are coming for them in post-Weimar America.

Yet these so-called Christians are armed worshipers of the new Hitler .. Donald J. Trump.

Keep this antisocial killing shit up and we will come after all of you.

Natural selection works in mysterious ways

Just adding this to the pile o' woes.

In Israel it's the ultra-orthodox Jewish community that is primarily responsible for COVID-19 spreading, and their behaviour closely matches that of their Kristian(TM) US counterparts.

And equally convinced that their country should be run their way, for their benefit. Without reference to anyone else living there.

Today's Dilbert https://dilbert.com/ is a must see.

So now we find out that Trump knew, from the beginning, that covid-19 was extremely deadly. But he deliberately downplayed it "to avoid panic" (of the markets). And Bob Woodward has him saying so on tape. Not that his fans will believe it, of course. But it clarifies that the whole fiasco wasn't merely ignorance and incompetence -- it was flat out deliberate.

Not that his fans will believe it, of course.

His fans will believe it, and will believe that downplaying it was the right thing to do. And then, lying about downplaying it was the right thing to do.

We keep talking about some hypothetical scenario where Trump supporters somehow stop being Trump supporters. Not gonna happen.

40% of the population reliably supports Trump. Maybe 5 or 10% of that 40 are lukewarm, but they're still gonna get his back because it pisses off liberals.

The other 30-35% are solid. There is not a damned thing the man could do that would change their minds.

wrs.

There are [Clickbait]-Pence signs all over central Maine; if anything, there are more than in 2016. There is nothing Clickbait could do that would alienate these people, and they are numerous, out, and proud.

Signs aren't votes, I know. But all things considered, I wish I had bought property on Cape Breton when they made that website four years ago "in case Trump wins." Of course, Canada wouldn't let me in now, for various reasons. Oh well, one bad decision after another.

But all things considered, I wish I had bought property on Cape Breton when they made that website four years ago "in case Trump wins."

Because ..... ???? Canada is immune?

Time to fight for our country. Now, and for as long as it takes. Are we long in tooth? Better to bite them with.

Canada is immune?

We have 8 times Canada's population, but 20 times their covid deaths. Just one clue that, for all their problems (and let's face it, everywhere on earth has problems of various kinds, including racism), they are better off than we are. Admittedly a low bar, but still.

Because ..... ????

Because that's how I feel about it. I don't have to justify it to you in relation to racism or anything else.

Time to fight for our country. Now, and for as long as it takes. Are we long in tooth? Better to bite them with.

Maybe you should just speak for yourself, but if there's a "we" that's following you into battle, as you seem to imagine with these late night pep talks, I'm not in it. Your opinions about what "we" should be doing do not factor into my decision-making.

Health?

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/09/republican-staffer-accidentally-tells-the-truth-about-republican-health-care-policy

I have more, but Homeland Security is listening.

Christian meets QAnon to plot out the murder of the Other:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mike-pence-qanon-fundraiser-montana

Here's your grifting subhuman republican Secretary of Housing and Urban Homelessness taking time off from f*cking those in low income housing to cage a little dirty money in the side:

https://neuro-times.com/v2/Todays-News/brain-health/MindTech/Carson

Next up, dick pills.

THAT is a link if I ever saw one.

wj -- fixed it. I think

Looks like an advertisement masquerading as a news article. If you can't work up the nerve to take a sketchy brain booster, you may want to take a Tylenol first.
www.sciencealert.com/the-most-common-pain-relief-drug-in-the-world-induces-risky-behaviour-study-finds

You broke it. Now I can't post a comment with a link in it. :(

wj - Nope, wasn't him. Just something about your link that the blog software doesn't like. At least as a link. I put it in flat, so people can at least copy it into their browser, even if it isn't a link.

This whole QAnon thing has me shaking my head. Someone invents a preposterous conspiracy theory and then people manage to create a real life conspiracy to fight the fake conspiracy. It's the second coming of the Satanic Panic, which was the second coming of the (second) Red Scare.

Amygdala meets apophenia.

The cult that rages against postmodernism is deep in its grasp.

Perhaps the Salem Witch Trials are not as far in our past as we had liked to believe. At least, the mindset is still alive and flourishing.

wj, thanks.

The link works. But, because it has a non-standard ending I'm guessing, the comment software blanks out the whole comment.

contrast Trump and the general RW media choosing not to scare people over C19 while doing everything they can to scare people over:

[x] - ebola
[x] - the caravan
[x] - black people
[x] - anarchists
[x] - socialism

actual threats to the US: not scary
minor threats that rile the GOP base: very scary

Pretty much where I am.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/09/trumps-corrosive-values-will-spread

Donald, that Current Affairs piece is pretty good. I'm particularly impressed by the way that his (and your, in fact) moral purity/perfectionism (e.g. severe condemnation of Obama) is open to compromise, in the face of the overwhelming threat Trump and Trumpism represents to the world. And, FWIW, I have in the past slightly comforted myself that BoJo is no Trump, despite his obvious failings, but his actions in the last few weeks have in fact supported Paul Waters-Smith's point about moral, or rather amoral, contagion.

i do have to argue with:

If he is re-elected, it will become much harder to argue that his worldview does not represent the nation.

Trump was elected by the Electoral College, not "the nation". fewer than 19% of Americans voted for him, and his opponent received millions more votes.

he does not represent the nation, so much as he represents an over-represented subset of it.

in other words: don't blame us, we mostly voted against him.

Donald, that article hit some nails on the head.

Let's reminisce:

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/03/early-warnings-how-american-journalists-reported-the-rise-of-hitler/254146/

Hitler too was thought to be little more than an over the top vaudeville act by serious people, but at the same time his directness .... his charming lack of hypocrisy in a hypocritical age ... Rod Dreher's post-modernist, Enlightenment-ridden Weimar America ..... riveted other serious people.

Why, that man looked you in the eye and with a firm handshake and told you to your face, time after time, that he would invade Austria and Czechoslovakia and he would remove the Jews from the Earth and assert Aryan dominance over the latter's birthright and, by God, he marched right out and did it, and really, the verve and the nerve of it IS rather laugh-inducing in an admirable gasping take-your-breath-away demonstration of absolutely non-hypocritical behavior, after all the shilly-shallying around during the previous decades.

Really quite American, or at least the kind of values many Americans want in its direct, brutal honesty as compared to the yeah-but mealymouthedness we're used to from the experts, the politicians, the elites.

Hitler kept his promises. Now, that's a man you can depend on. And he had the rare humor of a guy who would make blunt promises and yet string you along with a zone-flooding wall of shit as he lied about making those promises, and the next thing you know, you are heading East in a cattle car and are happy to have a little fresh straw provided by trump.

How do you stop a demagogue and his righteous knowing dupes except by savage, unending violence?

Perhaps we make deals with those who set the table for his rise and victories and now, after 40 years of ratfucking onslaught against us, decide that, well, they don't much care for the immoral "manner" of his victories, so tell you what, we'll work with you to topple the Evil, and THEN we'll still take your Social Security and Medicare away from you.

He's not leaving. And neither are they, by any normative means written in disappearing ink on a`piece of paper two and half centuries ago.

The problem with Trump’s controversial comments is not that they violate the “norms” of polite society. Politeness is overrated. The problem is that they serve to justify horrific actions and reactionary policy carried about by his office and countless others who wield power. They send a nihilistic message that will reverberate around the country, telling people they no longer need to care about anyone else.

yup

/fuck_your_feelings.jpg

contrast Trump and the general RW media choosing not to scare people over C19 while doing everything they can to scare people over:

You missed that he didn't say he was trying not to panic people over covid-19. He was trying not to panic the stock markets. He cares about them; people, not so much.

Really quite American, or at least the kind of values many Americans want in its direct, brutal honesty as compared to the yeah-but mealymouthedness we're used to from the experts, the politicians, the elites.

As in my favourite (and much linked) cartoon from before the 2016 election:

https://www.justpo.st/channel/i+am+going+to+eat+you

FWIW, I have in the past slightly comforted myself that BoJo is no Trump, despite his obvious failings, but his actions in the last few weeks have in fact supported Paul Waters-Smith's point about moral, or rather amoral, contagion.

Which leaves BoJo pretty heavily invested in Trump. If Biden wins, a lot of the assumptions underlying BoJo's plans (e.g. a US-UK free trade deal) may be off the table. After all, Biden might well be more interested in a deal with the EU, to provide more support to NATO. Which, in turn, makes a no-deal BREXIT even more problematic.

With our government's recent actions, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of a trade deal, whoever wins the Presidency.
https://twitter.com/robertmooreitv/status/1304083512602120192

From Donald's link:

It is impossible to argue against someone whose “philosophy” is that they are going to destroy you by any means necessary and do whatever they please no matter what the consequences are.

By the way, I just wanted to say that in all the furore surrounding Woodward's revelation (and proof) that Trump "knew" about the severity of the Covid threat in February, I keep wondering about the use of the word "knew". My point is that he constantly says stuff, and then contradicts it later, to the extent that I wonder whether his "knowledge" of the threat can be considered a stable, continuous thing. The state of his brain, and consciousness, is sufficiently opaque to me that I wouldn't be at all surprised if he "knows" something one day, and then doesn't "know" it two weeks later, even sincerely (if you can use that work about him) in his own mind. Doesn't alter the issue of his unfitness, in fact if I'm right it makes him just as (or more) unfit, but in a different way. Not that any of this gets us any further forward, of course.

word, not work.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if he "knows" something one day, and then doesn't "know" it two weeks later, even sincerely (if you can use that work about him) in his own mind.

Possible. But in this case, Woodward has him knowing it repeatedly several times, over the course of weeks. Weeks during which he was saying something very different.

he's a bullshitter (to be generous) and a liar. seems like the only thing he believes in is that he deserves all the candy - everything else is in service of getting more candy.

Yes, I understood that. And it seems clear to me from listening to bits of the recordings that he is trying to impress Woodward with his "with-itness". But my point holds (at least to me): I don't think it's certain that he has any consistent, continuous grasp of reality, but certainly an ongoing, consistent sense of manoeuvring to gain advantage.

Yes, I understood that.

Refers to wj's 01.28

it's a neat dilemma, GftNC - how do you distinguish a demented person from a dedicated gaslighter?

Realize that someone can partake of both?

His malicious enablers surely know the truth, and they carry on, so I'm not sure why we think he's unaware of reality. In any case, I'll wait for his criminal trial to think about his state of mind because it really doesn't matter to his victims.

it matters a little. if he's gaslighting, there's a chance for more Woodward-like revelations where there's solid evidence that he knows he's lying to the public.

if he's gaslighting, there's a chance for more Woodward-like revelations where there's solid evidence that he knows he's lying to the public.

Perhaps I misunderstood, but I took Girl from the North Country's comments to mean that she doesn't accept Woodward's revelations as solid evidence. Which is why it doesn't really pay, IMO, to try to figure it out.

perhaps i also misunderstood.

or maybe i'm lying!

or maybe i'm lying!

Somehow I think you're still with it enough to know for sure, cleek!

RudyG works with Russian agents to smear Biden.

"conservatives" yawn and mumble about Marxism and tyranny.

Maybe I'm misreading this. But it appears that the Trump News lead cheerleader has decided that it's time to trash Senator Graham. Perhaps the Democrats' slim-but-possible chances to winning that Senate race just took a step up. Considering that Trump's fans, like their Dear Leader, never forgive a perceived betrayal.

Just a thought.

there isn't a lot of polling for Graham's race. but the latest on RCP (from early Aug) shows ... a tie.

oh what joy if Trump pulls Graham down with him.

oh what joy if Trump pulls Graham down with him.

I was about to say "What a coup that would be!" but it's too easy for folks to take that literally these days.

oh what joy if Trump pulls Graham down with him.

Amen. Joy to be exceeded only if he also manages to take McConnell down as well.

Perhaps I misunderstood, but I took Girl from the North Country's comments to mean that she doesn't accept Woodward's revelations as solid evidence. Which is why it doesn't really pay, IMO, to try to figure it out.

If I'm not being clear, it's probably because I find this a complicated concept myself. But: I accept Woodward's revelations that that is what Trump said (obviously, there are tapes), and I'm guessing he believed it when he said it, or at least believed that was what smart people were saying. What I wonder about is what he believed when he was saying the other stuff (down to zero, it'll go away in the summer etc). I just think that one way to explain his constant lying, and/or contradicting himself, is that he himself does not have a consistent grasp on what is happening, and what he believes. I think he's got a phenomenal instinct for the most divisive or inflammatory stuff, or the most placatory stuff, that is likely to find favour with his base, but as to what he actually believes or remembers from one week or month to the next, that's another matter. Even if he is delusional, or disintegrating, of course, none of this detracts from what we know, and have always known, his essential character to be.

At some point he apparently believed it was a serious threat. And, at that point, he did not address it.

I know you're not trying to make excuses for him, I'm just shutting the door on any such excuse anybody else might care to make.

The man doesn't give a crap about anything but his own interests. He's not a good human being, and he's not a good leader for this country or really for anything.

You bet I'm not making excuses for him. Even if he just believed that smart people thought it was a serious threat, and that parroting that would make him sound smart to Woodward, the fact that he then behaved the way he did shows how little he understood, or cared, about the possible consequences. Nothing, and nobody, is real to him, or matters, except him and (to some extent) his children (or at least Ivanka).

He's not a good human being, and he's not a good leader for this country or really for anything.

I completely agree.

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