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October 02, 2020

Comments

Welcome back, Ugh.

Full stop.

Thanks John.

In my dreams, Trump and Pence are both incapacitated on ventilators, and Nancy Pelosi gets to nominate a Supreme Court Justice.

The pair recover just in time to be decisively defeated in the election. Trump's lenders abandon him, he is bankrupted and indicted for some fraction of his many crimes. He flees to Moscow, where Putin grants him a small pension and a correspondingly small house in Novosibirsk.

"[Trump] flees to Moscow, where Putin grants him a small pension and a correspondingly small house in Novosibirsk apartment with balcony, on a high floor, where we can soon find out if Trump is a 'flight risk'."

All excellent scenarios.

Meanwhile, and since this is an Open Thread and we all deserve a laugh, I thought you ought to know that there are increasing rumours that BoJo has already separated from Carrie Symonds (mother of new baby) and is having an affair with a Russian violinist.

Continuity experts have been flummoxed by internet rumours that the Prime Minister may have already moved onto his fifth wife; skipping over number four, various plot twists and all sense of propriety. Instead, Mr. Johnson is on the verge of creating a space/time paradox where is he is in a constant state of divorce and marriage.

Referred to by scientist as ‘Schrodinger’s horny tom cat’, Mr. Johnson is simultaneously in a box masturbating, while having an affair with your wife. Some in the UK are suggesting that information of the affair is hidden behind a super-injunction, while others suggest it is just super-gonorrhoea.

Fans of the ongoing saga of Mr. Johnson’s love-life are concerned that key episodes, DNA tests and subsequent child support payments may have been missed. His new paramour confirmed: ‘I am dating the PM – but quite frankly, who isn’t these days? He told me that he loved me but that was full five minutes ago, so he may have already moved on’

And on the "we all need a laugh" front, Schrodinger's horny tom cat did it for me.

Quoting from here:

Gonna be like an October Surprise Advent Calendar

Is this year over yet? I'm not sure how much more fun I can take.

Later in the script, Trump is put on a ventilator while in a medically induced coma.

Pundits breathe a sigh of relief and opine that "at last, Trump has become Presidential".

I'm hoping that Trump decides that he has to spend the rest of 2020 being dead, for tax purposes.

What happens if Trump is incapacitated or dies before the election? Two separate questions I guess. I mean does his name stay on the ballot?

I suspect Pence would have a better chance. What Republican opposition Trump has is mostly due to his personality. Not sure Pence has any.

The White House super-spreading event for Amy Coney Barrett:
https://twitter.com/mattmfm/status/1312060939101929475

What happens if Trump is incapacitated or dies before the election? Two separate questions I guess. I mean does his name stay on the ballot?

The RNC chooses a new candidate. Most deadlines for certification and passed and many ballots have already been printed, so he probably stays on the ballot in most states.

Then Electoral College electors either do or don't adhere to the RNC's choice depending on factors.

What happens if Trump is incapacitated or dies before the election? Two separate questions I guess. I mean does his name stay on the ballot?

Yup, ballots are locked down at this point. If Trump were to die, but win the Electoral College vote, then Pence (who would already be President) would continue in office for the new term.

If Pence had also died, and the office passed to Pelosi? Not sure what options the "electors pledged to Trump/Pence" would have.

The ones required by state law to vote for whoever won there would quite possibly be stuck. But the others might be able to decide to vote for someone else. However, judging by the current state of the race, that would (again, if Trump won) probably mean nobody had a majority in the electoral college. I think that kicks the election to Congress.

Don't know just how well Pence would do with the GOP, actually. The last survey I saw around the time of the conventions had the favorability ratings for Pence and Harris among GOP voters close enough to fall within the margin of error. Also, Pence's favorability with women in the GOP is 10 points lower than his favorability with men.

Looks like the same problem with the suburbs for the GOP ticket no matter which of them is at the top.

The big question for me is about the baked-in chauvinism of the independent swing voters.

Lawfare just posted a bit list of "election law" info for a variety of states.

There's been those rumors of R states just "having the Legislature pick the electors!", but it turns out that there's a FEDERAL requirement that state law that is in effect 6 days *before* the election should govern.

And if they want to change that law, they'll also have to get a governor's sign-off, assuming that there aren't state constitutional complications as well.

All of the states surveyed by Lawfare, with the exception of SC, did not give the legislature or Governor the power to do more than "replace an elector with another pledged to the same candidate" in case of vacancy, and mostly it was the electors themselves that had that power.

So, the lawbreaking necessary to evade state vote outcomes would be much more than is otherwise hinted. Not that it wouldn't be tried, of course.

Thanks for all that, Snarki. Some of the discussions of contingency options have been downright bizzare.

President Troll trolls again.

Does anyone know if the President has started his hydroxychloroquine treatments yet? (Or maybe bleach cocktails/injections?)

No, he got the experimental Regeneron antibody cocktail.
Which is possibly quite effective:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/provocative-results-boost-hopes-antibody-treatment-covid-19

But it’s just the flu!

I think the proper answer is not "thoughts and prayers," but "I don't really care do u?"

Remember all the times Trump told Americans that all they needed was access to emergency helicopter transport action to a military hospital so they could get experimental drug cocktails -so get back to work!?

Hoax!

FOAD GOP

transport action is iPhone for transportation

Biden speaking so impressively from Grand Rapids earlier. You get a sense of what he is capable of when not hectored and interrupted. He's in a delicate position, obviously. It's going to be hard to campaign on the state of the nation without insulting/blaming Trump in a way that would alienate Americans given the understandable feelings of instability about the POTUS being flown to Walter Reed and put on experimental treatments. On the basis of this speech, he's up to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRhEbxh9vdI

BBC correspondent just said that Biden's speech from Grand Rapids got a tremendous amount of coverage across the US networks "coverage that Biden doesn't necessarily always get". Good. It was excellent.

So first he was going to spend his convalescence at the White House according to the official statement from his Doctor but, whoops, off to Walter Reed with you.

"Shanna, he made his COVID decisions, he knew what he was getting into. I say, let him-"

Leading one to wonder if the "mild symptoms" are quite so mild after all.

It's not like this White House has much of a reputation for candor. In fact, if the news about Hope Hicks hadn't broken, you get the impression they would have tried to avoid admitting anything at all.

The video he tweeted of himself reminds me of Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House

Actually more of a Saddam “look how okay these horrified hostages are” video actually

Trump arriving at the debate "too late" to be tested, then standing there yelling in Biden's direction, when he knew he had Covid-19, should be considered an act of attempted assassination.

Suppose you were one of the marks donors who Trump met with after testing positive. But without wearing a mask or telling them. Would you be looking to stop payment on your check?

Trump has tested positive for covid, and now is a good time to practice what I learned as a adult. If you can’t say anything nice, write it down so you don’t forget and tell it to a friend you trust and laugh your ass off.

— John Cole (@Johngcole) October 2, 2020

OK, give the scriptwriters credit for this one. It's starting to look like the superspreader event may have been the nomination announcement festivities last Saturday for Judge Barrett. So, if enough Republican senators come down with covid-19 as a result, they may not have the (healthy) votes to confirm her. Not before the election. Maybe not even after.

Some plot twists really are pretty neat. If you can pull them off.

So, if enough Republican senators come down with covid-19 as a result, they may not have the (healthy) votes to confirm her. Not before the election. Maybe not even after.

Thom Tillis and Mike Lee have both tested positive, both are on the Judiciary Committee.

Grassley isn't getting tested because reasons, though he's been at meetings with people who have since tested positive. My theory: he figures that if he gets tested and is positive, he'll have to isolate, and he apparently thinks that's worse than the risk of getting COVID and having a serious case.

I.e. if he has it and is asymptomatic or only has a mild case, then he might even be able to keep it secret, and won't have to isolate. Never mind how many other people he might infect along the way.

He's 87.

Can we put these people in jail yet?

“Shit show” is insulting to shit at this point. We need a new term.

if he has it and is asymptomatic or only has a mild case, then he might even be able to keep it secret, and won't have to isolate. Never mind how many other people he might infect along the way.

He's 87.

Can we put these people in jail yet?

Given his risk factors, it may be more a matter of him (and them) putting themselves, and each other, in the morgue instead. It's not like nobody's been telling them the risks.

may they all have a speedy recovery, and then go the hell away.

Kelly too

I’m actually a little bothered by this. It’s weird and kind of mixed up. I know part of it is just the instability that it represents, but I surprisingly feel some kind of worry for Trump. When Herman Cain died, it was a little weird that I felt sadness, but I still got why I felt that way. I’m at a loss as to why I give even a quarter of a rat’s ass about Trump. Trying to be coldly rational, I don’t think he deserves my (or any?) concern.

hsh, you're a nicer person than I am. My feelings about this situation aren't the mix I would have predicted ahead of time, but worry for Clickbait is not one of them.

From Twitter, via a BJ commenter:

23 POSITIVE COVID TESTS:

1+2. President & Melania Trump
3. Bill Stepien, Trump campaign mgr
4. Hope Hicks
5. Kellyanne Conway
6. Sen. Mike Lee
7. Sen. Thom Tillis
8. Ronna McDaniel
9. Notre Dame Pres. Jenkins
10-12. Three WH reporters
13-23. Eleven staffers frm Cleveland debate

I would add to the headline: "...so far."

Maybe the weirdest thing about this outbreak is that it didn't happen sooner. They've been begging for it for months. If only the virus would just stay within the circle of malevolent idiocy!

https://www.vox.com/2020/10/2/21498587/supreme-court-voting-rights-act-amy-coney-barrett

I don't wanna wait and I don't wanna see.

"If only the virus would just stay within the circle of malevolent idiocy!"

The odds are even that the list of the malevolent are more dangerous alive than dead.

But I fear their malevolence reaches from the grave with malign grasping claws.

"When Herman Cain died, it was a little weird that I felt sadness, but I still got why I felt that way."

Understandable in the land of the normative, the regular human being. Ya know, most people.

But, Herman Cain would have counted you as one less Biden voter had you succumbed to the pandemic.

If Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid instead of Trump, and in addition tested positive for store-bought processed ham and Wonder Bread, think of the malevolence that would be issuing forth from all points vermin fascist conservative at him and his family.

We are dealing with murderous EVIL.

But low taxes and stolen voting franchises, healthcare insurance removed from the pre-born and the post-born and a gun pointed at the crotch compensate in full of fucking shit conservative movement America.

Everything is a nihilistic subhuman transaction.

Bob Gibson is dead.

Fuck 2020.

Amen Brother.

RBG and Bob Gibson?

... not to mention 1 million of my fellow humans...

This year is bulls***.

I read yesterday that Judge Barrett had Covid-19 earlier but recovered. Could that have been a deciding factor in choosing her over the other contenders, i.e. assuming that she is now immune and not at risk to 'create another vacancy at an inconvenient time' so to speak?
Would be quite ironic, if a GOP nominee would catch it at the very hearings from an unmasked GOPster.

Listening to the news this evening, I find myself apparently out of phase with my fellow citizens. The term that was getting used, repeatedly, was "crisis". And I kept wondering: What crisis?

To my mind, a crisis is when there is imminent danger that something bad will happen, or it already is happening, and it isn't obvious how we as a nation get out of it without major damage. But we don't have that.

What we have is a President moved to a hospital temporarily. From which he can do pretty much any of his official duties.** (And even the tweeting that actually seems to mostly occupy his waking hours.) Especially at a time when there aren't any visible international issues. There's the economy and covid-19, of course, but he wasn't doing anything there anyway.

Granted, he can't go around fleecing marks schmoozing donors and holding campaign rallies. Which might be a crisis for his reelection campaign, but hardly for the nation. To get to a national crisis, you'd have to believe that his reelection was a) critical to the nation, and b) on track, until this happened. Make that zero for two.

So I'm just not seeing a crisis. Tough times for him personally. But at least he's got top notch medical care available.

** Unless his condition is far worse that reported. Which, given the demonstrated veracity of this administration, it might be. But any reporter making that assumption should be saying so.

Could that have been a deciding factor in choosing her over the other contenders, i.e. assuming that she is now immune and not at risk to 'create another vacancy at an inconvenient time' so to speak?

There is apparently some question as to how reliably, and for how long, the virus produces immunity. Of course, knowing that requires more attention to science that many of those involved generally show....

Also, she is being reported as "testing negative." But depending on which test was used (i.e. what it tested for), someone who had previously had the virus would have tested positive. At least, that's what the test I have gotten was supposed to report -- it looks for the antibodies to the virus. So if you "test negative" that means you don't have the antibodies present any longer. Which (I am not a doctor) would appear to mean that you are no longer immune.

Who the hell would want to be campaign manager now ?
You either end up in jail or with Covid.

Never mind not wanting to wish anyone illness or death, what really worries me is that this will add to the election chaos narrative that Trump is so eager to create. And if the Democrats win while Trump is more or less incapacitated there will be no end to the challenges to the legitimacy of Biden's presidency.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/02/michigan-supreme-court-rules-against-whitmer-emergency-powers/3596332001/

My son is in Michigan among murderous republican predators.

All of us are.

You're wrong, John Thullen. I am not in Michigan!

hsh, on your 11.58: I think I understand this. I had something of the same reaction when BoJo had it, and was in ICU. Now admittedly, I did not have quite the depth of justified disgust and contempt for BoJo that we all (or almost all) have for Trump. But I definitely thought very, very ill of him, and the effect of his machinations on this country. But there was something, I suppose a sort of atavistic fear of chaos combined with a kind of human sympathy. And in the case of Trump, there is in addition of course the fear of what this will do to the race. So, a bunch of emotions, hard to disentangle, and easily interpreted as a worry for the POTUS's health...

Well, succumbing to Karmavirus while running a high fever is a type of DIAF.

Needz moar dumpster, tho.

Thought this tweet, by Carole Cadwalladr, was food for thought

A reminder to all Americans that the net effect of our prime minister catching COVID-19 was that it prompted a surge of patriotic support. From which he emerged with renewed popularity. Which enabled him to tear up key functions of the state

It also silenced press & parliament at key moment in crisis from asking critical questions. And when it was announced he was moving to intensive care was moment of national shock. Everything about this is rocket fuel for ‘patriotism’

— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) October 2, 2020

Yup, although I don't think it lasted among those not originally susceptible to that particular brand of the "patriotism" virus. And it did make him more reasonable about Covid in the aftermath. I hope (and pray - thoughts and prayers) that attitudes to Trump are sufficiently advanced in the US that it won't have the rocket fuel effect, but it is true that in general Americans have much more reverence for the office of leader than us cynical Brits.

Trump has made it easy to distinguish country from government

wj on blatherers blathering about a "crisis" -- with notable exceptions, the media is worse than useless. Not going to elaborate, except to say that the level of analysis and thoughtfulness is far higher on the handful of blogs I read.

*****

BoJo/Clickbait: Take this with a grain of salt, because I watch/listen to very little of either of them, the latter on purpose because it makes me ill to listen to his voice, and former because I don't actually do a lot of viewing, I mostly read.

But my impression is that their public personas are not alike at all. BoJo presents himself as a kind of lovable bumbler, right? (Maybe lovable is too strong, but in that direction.) Clickbait...well, someone else can try to sum up his schtick in two words, I'm not going to try, but it isn't lovable and it certainly isn't bumbler. So hsh and GftNC's urge toward compassion (?) notwithstanding, given Clickbait's track record and his own words, attitudes, and actions, I don't think his illness on the face of it will move many hearts, or votes, in the way Cadwalladr says BoJo's did.

However, what is going to be a huge problem is the effect on the framing of the campaign. Per random BJ comments (which I take with a large grain of salt), this is already going on. Biden suspends negative campaigning, Biden, Obama, and the Clintons all issue well-wishing messages, the Rs continue on their merry way, pumping out vicious nonsense about the Ds, including Obama.

At least for a while, and depending on how sick Clickbait is, the Ds will act like decent human beings and the Rs will go on being what they are. Which I think will be a hard needle for Biden/Harris to thread in terms of campaigning.

That's the crisis, if there is one. Not in Clickbait's inability to do his job (he has never been able to do his job), but in the cynical manipulation of people's notions about the election.

E.g. this, although it has the added tang of being from a non-American.

Absolutely right on the (entirely cynical and misleading) nature of BoJo's image, which made it easy to have compassion for him for people who hadn't seen through him, and (maybe) even a little for people like me, who had.

Apart from that, I largely agree with this:

At least for a while, and depending on how sick Clickbait is, the Ds will act like decent human beings and the Rs will go on being what they are. Which I think will be a hard needle for Biden/Harris to thread in terms of campaigning.

Hopefully they will be able to thread that needle. The extraordinary circumstances of Trump's initial (and long-lasting) behaviour on the pandemic, combined with his current karmic comeback, combined with the number of Americans who have died, will I hope render it possible.

Funny, there suddenly appear in my mind some literary examples of sympathy given to unsympathetic characters when they're sick, injured, or dying. Rogue Riderhood in Our Mutual Friend, the horse Epic Steam in Jane Smiley's Horse Heaven......

The aftermath, at least with Riderhood, is that everyone goes back to disliking him once they see he isn't dead after all. With Epic Steam it's a little more complicated.

;-)

I bet there are lots more examples, but I'm going to go out and enjoy what there is of the fall color.

I don’t think the polling really bears out Cadwalladr’s claim about Johnson. At best there was a minor bump.

And ‘rocket fuel’ is a wild exaggeration.

Trumps dr just said he was diagnosed 72 hours ago. That means he knew he was infected Wednesday. And then he did two days of events.

Psychopath

Nigel, I agree with you, though BoJo's Covid came at a time when, in hindsight, there seemed to be a lot more potential for things to happen, at least from where I'm watching it from. And from that same view, Janie is right that BoJo plays the game a different way from Trump, so the parallel is not exact.

Well, not quite outside yet. But am I the only one who didn't know this fascinating factoid? Per Wikipedia, concerning Clickbait's grandfather:

The family story of his death is that "on May 29, 1918, while walking with his son Fred, Trump suddenly felt extremely sick and was rushed to bed. The next day, he was dead. What was first diagnosed as pneumonia turned out to be one of the early cases of the Spanish flu, which caused millions of deaths around the world.

You'd think someone with that family history would have taken "it's just the flu" in a different light.

Psychopath

That just about covers it.

the Ds will act like decent human beings and the Rs will go on being what they are

So be it.

I don't have a problem with Biden pulling the negative ads. Some of it is surely calculated and some it is likely... decency.

Which is kind of refreshing.

Let Trump et al be Trump, and let Biden et al be Biden. Let the differences between the two be drawn as sharply as possible.

At least for a while, and depending on how sick Clickbait is, the Ds will act like decent human beings and the Rs will go on being what they are. Which I think will be a hard needle for Biden/Harris to thread in terms of campaigning.

I'm not sure it will be that hard a needle yo thread. It's a great set-up for focusing the campaign on covid and how to deal with it. Something Trump has been frantically trying to avoid. Don't even have to mention his name, just keep up the drumbeat about how to deal with the virus and the economy.

Not running negative ads about Trump doesn't seem like that much of a loss for the Biden campaign. a) Most people's views of him are already locked in. b) There are still folks, like the Lincoln Project, who can run negative ads. And c) it frees up money for other things.

Open thread. Closed on our new townhouse in Fort Collins, CO yesterday. Smoke from the two large-ish fires was thick enough that the first range of foothills were invisible at three miles distance. We're not as bad as the worst parts of California. Looking at the air quality map, where the scale is usually green-yellow-red, they've added some purple (very unhealthy) and brown (hazardous) markers in California.

You'd think someone with that family history would have taken "it's just the flu" in a different light.

You'd think that about someone with vaguely normal psychology. And vaguely normal family dynamics. Not to mention that it's always questionable whether Trump knows anything about history, even family history. If he didn't experience (or fantasize) it himself, it just isn't real to him.

E.g. this [suggestion to delay the election], although it has the added tang of being from a non-American.

Perhaps the fact that it's from a non-American explains something about why it's so detatched from reality. American elections aren't flexible the way those in parliamentary systems typically are.

1) The date of the election is set by Federal law. It could, theoretically, be changed by Congress passing a new law. But the logistics, both for passing the new law and for actually holding the election, are a mess.
2) Not least because the Electors still have to be chosen, and vote, before January 20th. On that date, if they haven't, Trump (and Pence) is out and the Speaker of the House becomes President. Changing that requires amending the Constitution. Good luck doing that in 3 months, if it can be done at all. Ratifications by a sufficient number of states, which are rolling over their own legislatures this election as well**, take a lot of time. And would enough states be willing?

** And changing the dates of their election, no matter what Congress might do with the Federal election, would be an additional challenge.

Shorter wj: the guy's an arrogant asshole. ;-)

(Club of Rome, what do you expect?)

Sorry, wj, my cynicism about that kind of thing knows no bounds. It's kind of a "smartest guy in the room" phenomenon -- he's so fucking rich and important, and that apparently makes him think we want to hear him shoot off his mouth even though he doesn't (if you're right) have the remotest clue what he's talking about.

Maria Farrell at Crooked Timber wrote a related post recently.

russell: Let Trump et al be Trump, and let Biden et al be Biden. Let the differences between the two be drawn as sharply as possible.

As I have often quoted before, Macaulay on Julius Caesar's following, "the finest sentence ever written":

I triumph and rejoice that my action should have obtained your approval. Nor am I disturbed when I hear it said that those, whom I have sent off alive and free, will again bear arms against me; for there is nothing which I so much covet as that I should be like myself and they like themselves.”

Caesar of course cared about how he would be perceived by history. Trump, perhaps, not so much.

Add Chris Christie to last night's list.

I think Clickbait cares a lot how he's perceived by history. It's just that he's so detached from consensus reality (and I say this advisedly, Marty's FB friends notwithstanding), he doesn't realized how history is going to see him. I think he imagines history is going to see him the way his cult followers do now. Like that sign in the yard of a little house in western NY state that I know I've mentioned before, that I drove past on one of my Ohio trips: "Trump is love."

He added "LOVE!!!" at the end of a tweet last night. I said on BJ that it's a wonder he didn't melt like the Wicked Witch of the West when he tried to type that word. ;-)

Regarding BoJo: ironically the die-hard Tories writing and reading the Telegraph are furious with him ever since he got Covid and has finally taken it more seriously: even though their average age is probably at least 60 and they are likely overweight etc. they detest anything that might inhibit their precious 'freedoms'

I think Clickbait cares a lot how he's perceived by history.

Well, for sure in the Ozymandias self-aggrandising sense. But any action which could contribute to a favourable historic verdict (even if he recognised that - which is doubtful) would take last place in the moment to considerations of self-enrichment, base-pacification, and grift-concealment.

So hsh and GftNC's urge toward compassion (?)

In my case, I’m not sure it’s compassion. The more I think about it, the more it seems to be a matter of not wanting to experience the death of a sitting president. It’s dreadful and dark.

I just want him sick enough to learn something

I'm not sure such a "sick enough' exists. But sick enough to minimize the damage he can do between now and January? That's a worthwhile, and not entirely unrealistic, hope.

Well, for sure in the Ozymandias self-aggrandising sense. But any action which could contribute to a favourable historic verdict (even if he recognised that - which is doubtful) would take last place in the moment to considerations of self-enrichment, base-pacification, and grift-concealment.

This is what I mean about consensus reality. This is how it looks in your mind, but do you actually think that in his mind he thinks he's making a choice between a favorable historic verdict and any of those bad things you listed? He does not do bad things! Clearly you have been deluded by fake news and the evil socialist Ds!

I think he's constantly making calculations about self-enrichment, base-pacification, and grift-concealment, and has knowingly been doing so for decades (base-pacification only since he was POTUS). I think he's always known that he has to talk up all his businesses, and that over-the-top PR is totally necessary for his money-making activities, whether true or not (and it doesn't matter which). As for the historic verdict, I kind of believe that on one level he thinks the world ceases to exist when he dies, so it doesn't matter too much. Apres moi, le deluge

I think he's constantly making calculations about self-enrichment, base-pacification, and grift-concealment, and has knowingly been doing so for decades (base-pacification only since he was POTUS).

I didn't say he wasn't, and so what! Those things aren't wrong! They're what you have to do to win, to not look like a loser or a sucker (like all those people buried in those cemeteries in France, or John McCain, who got captured).

And looking like a winner is all that matters, and what both life and history [and above all the demons in your own psyche, but that's *my* gloss, not his consciousness saying that] will reward you for. He's not making a choice between those things and history's verdict, because there's no conflict. Those things are what get you the correct verdict!

Would Poe rewrite his Masque of the Red Death looking at the current WH and its inhabitants? ;-)

The only one wearing a mask in the WH seems to have been involved in giving Jabbabonk the infection.

I'm rather fascinated to see that Trump's doctor is a "doctor of osteopathic medicine". In the UK, osteopaths are regarded as New Age cranks by the medical establishment, with a possible exception made for their physical manipulation to treat musculo-skeletal pain. I see from looking it up that in the US doctors of osteopathic medicine are held to have equivalent expertise to MDs, and have to complete equivalent training. We are lucky enough to have a few lawyers who weigh in occasionally on legal matters, but if we have any medically qualified lurkers who can give an opinion on this issue, or if any of our regular commenters know anything about this, I would be fascinated to hear. I have a particular (but admittedly hardly benevolent) interest in non-scientific magical healing systems.

My niece's husband is an OB/GYN whose medical accreditation is as an osteopath. The content and duration of his training was the same as for a regular MD, and his practice includes a lot of surgery.

I cannot speak for Trump's doctor. :)

In any case, probably different between the US and the UK.

I have a particular (but admittedly hardly benevolent) interest in non-scientific magical healing systems.

There's reiki, which some would call magic (but I would not).

A good friend healed himself of a fairly aggressive bladder cancer with diet and weed. Another good friend healed herself of cancer with herbs, plus she stopped exposing herself to toxic materials (she had been a fine art printmaker).

I did know a man who was healed of Parkinson's disease, apparently from prayer and the laying on of hands.

Life can be mysterious.

Far be it from me to inflict my views on you, russell :)

wrs.

"Life can be mysterious": corollary, whatever works.

My PCPs (primary care physicians) have been a mix of MDs and DOs. I couldn't even tell you which were which; they function the same.

I have also seen, on and off, two people whom I teasingly call "voo-doo" practitioners. I can't even remember what they call the modalities they use (nothing famous, like reiki), but they're both conventionally qualified as well (one as an occupational therapist, one as a PT) -- which is partly why I like them -- they have a foot in both camps and can think flexibly.

Story, partly told before: 20 years ago I was diagnosed with an auto-immune skin condition. The dermatologist said that as with most auto-immune diseases, they don't know what triggers it and there's no "cure." But -- he said -- there was some suspicion that diet played a role, and he gave me a long list of foods and substances that *might* trigger outbreaks (including NSAIDS and food dyes, besides a list of foods that I don't remember, but it didn't include wheat).

That's when a friend recommended the first of my "voo-doo" people, who said, among other much easier things to follow up on, to stop eating wheat.

I've written about that before, but suffice to say that except for one springtime outbreak (when I had been eating M&Ms for months as my daily chocolate fix -- food dye, take note), after I quit eating wheat, the skin problem went away.

Recently I've had to break in a new dermatologist for a new problem. He's young, I like him pretty well. When he asked about my history I told him about the skin condition (call it X) and the wheat. He said, "Well, I doubt it has anything to do with diet, X just burns it self out sometimes."

!!!

Not being quick on the draw with verbal rejoinders, and not knowing him well, I didn't say what I wish I'd said, which is "Wait, theorizing about diet is unscientific [which was his implication], but you want me to believe in something called 'burning itself out'?!?!?"

As we've discussed more than once, people can be smart in some ways and not so smart in others. Medical education -- well, there's a topic.

There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy

corollary, whatever works.

Indeed.

As far as I can tell, there is no set of assumptions about the world that explain everything that actually happens. No theory, no collection of axioms, no system of beliefs. There's always something that falls outside the lines.

You can either pretend that those things don't exist, or you can accept the limitations of human understanding.

And then, go with whatever works.

:)

Can't argue with that, at any rate!

but you want me to believe in something called 'burning itself out'?!?!?"

It's a highly scientific term.

As far as I can tell, there is no set of assumptions about the world that explain everything that actually happens.

Entropy shall prevail.

Go forth and laugh...heartily.

... Recently I've had to break in a new dermatologist for a new problem. He's young, I like him pretty well. When he asked about my history I told him about the skin condition (call it X) and the wheat. He said, "Well, I doubt it has anything to do with diet, X just burns it self out sometimes."..

The interactions between the gut (in particular the bacteriome) and the immune system are a very active area of research. I have a family member with SIBO (which the average MD isn’t even aware of), and that very definitely has immune system effects.
Thus far no one really knows anything particularly useful, other than... it’s complicated.

A post by Bacevich. He is holding his nose and voting for Biden.

I agree with 3 of his 4 policy recommendations at the end. I don’t agree with the concern about the debt. Not now anyway.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/after-trump-the-gop-can-still-be-saved-from-itself/

Biggest nonsense in the Bacevich article: suggesting that Biden is comparable to Harding as a pick. He seems to have missed the detail that, until Trump, Harding ranked as our most corrupt President ever. That one just brought me up short.

If I were going to attack Biden, I would do it differently. But I think Bacevich just meant Harding was seen as a mediocrity.

In my current mood where I’m not going to pick on Biden until after ( I hope) Trump’s defeat, that’s all I will say on that. I thought the author was being silly in even hoping that the Republicans will take up any of his four proposals. They might pretend to care about fiscal discipline if a Democrat is in, because that has always been what Republicans do. But it’s all fake. And in fairness to Bacevich, I don’t think he expects Republicans to reform.

“I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M.,” Trump tweeted. “Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. ... I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

Meanwhile, seating is sold out:

https://wtop.com/dc/2020/10/empty-chairs-sit-on-ellipse-near-white-house-in-remembrance-of-those-who-died-of-covid-19/

Trump is down with dead fucking others:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzxuknbQ5VY

Do not dare place a chair in that memorial representing any of the Trump murderers, now infected, deliberately, by their fellow vermin, who may die of the virus.

Instead, replace EACH of the dead with 1000 heavily armed gunmen and gunwomen to wreak vengeance.

Then America can feel good again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPgmIO_73DU

"In my current mood where I’m not going to pick on Biden until after ( I hope) Trump’s defeat, that’s all I will say on that."

My only complaint about Biden is "that ham sandwich needs more mustard."

that's what the [hundreds of] other Dems are for.

I was very moved to read this about an army of RBG's clerks maintaining round-the-clock vigil by her coffin.

I feel better than I did 20 years ago!

That'll be the steroids talking. ;)

oh look, 94% of Republicans approve of Trump.

but don't call it a cult!

That'll be the steroids talking. ;)

Back when our kids were little, my father already had significant problems with arthritis. When we went to visit, his arthritis doc was willing to prescribe 10 days worth of pretty potent steroids so that he could enjoy the kids. He sometimes remarked to me how different it was to wake up in the morning and nothing hurt. Of course, the down side was that he had to spend another 10 days tapering off of them.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/ammon-bundy-refuses-to-wear-a-mask-ruins-high-school-football-game

Bundy compares himself to Jews in Germany and black people in the Jim Crow South.

But that comparison is just a LITTLE off because as a Jew in 1930s Germany, the football game would merely have been interrupted for a bit while they beat the shit out of him and shipped him off to a concentration camp for slave labor and then gassing, and in the Jim Crow South, again, the referees would have called a brief time out while they lynched him from the goalposts and then the game would resume on third down and goal.

But as a confederate racist piece of dog shit AND a Nazi, he would know that.

Obama made his biggest mistake by not calling in an airstrike on the Malheur National Refuge Office Building and the Bundy Ranch and killing all of them.

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