…let me count the ways [DOT 7/8/20]

or do I mean weight the count...

…once upon a time a long, long time ago…there was a show on tv that some people thought was kind of a big deal…& kind of a big point was made about how the protagonist was more than “a number”

…actually…go ahead…knock my ass out & wake me up on mysterious but socially distant island…that doesn’t sound all that bad right now?

…meanwhile…back here in dreary old reality…sometimes being a number is the better way to go

Don’t Fall for Trump’s Census Bait-and-Switch


By his calculations, the fewer people of color and noncitizens who are counted, the better.




…mind you…history tells us that sometimes the numbers are not in your favor…& that fighting the fact doesn’t do you many favors

Who Was Behind the Largest Mass Arrest in U.S. History?

…& times when you’re better off not being part of the statistics to begin with

Violence at Rikers at an ‘All-Time High’ Despite City’s Promise to Curb It


Scientists Uncover Biological Signatures of the Worst Covid-19 Cases

…& then there’s numbers you pull out of your ass that turn out not to be worth the paper they could have been printed on

A 4th Presidential Debate? Commission Says No to Trump

…& despite what the president who put the petty in pettifogging is wont to believe in some instances bigger is not necessarily better…also…climate change is when aspects of the climate behave in a way that they didn’t used to…so…do the fucking math already

Scientists at NOAA updated their prediction for the 2020 hurricane season, and now expect as many as 25 named storms.


…& speaking of stormfronts building up all over the place

The Paycheck Protection Program provided respite for hard-hit small businesses, but it is ending soon. With no word on further government help, owners worry about their fate.



…not to mention

“It’s been nearly a year since we served our subpoena,” Carey R. Dunne, a senior official under Mr. Vance, told the judge, “and this lawsuit’s been very successful since then in delaying our ability to gather the central evidence.” That delay, Mr. Dunne added, made it “ever more likely that the grand jury will be prevented from evaluating the evidence before the statutes of limitation expire.”


…& none of this shit happens in a vacuum

Millions of Americans in trouble can’t wait while lawmakers take the rest of the summer off.
Businesses Thought They Were Covered for the Pandemic. Insurers Say No.

Could My Symptoms Be Covid-19?

The Unique U.S. Failure to Control the Virus
The Covid Drug Wars That Pitted Doctor vs. Doctor


A professor at Arizona State University does not exist.







Trump Targets WeChat and TikTok, in Sharp Escalation With China



…so here’s a sobering thought or two

Intelligence agencies are scrutinizing whether the kingdom’s work with China to develop nuclear expertise is cover to process uranium and move toward development of a weapon.


…close to 160,000 US citizens have died in connection to the pandemic…that’s likely more than were killed in the blast at Hiroshima


…unbelievably it is factually accurate to say that dropping a nuclear bomb on a US city might have killed less citizens than one overweight, over-indulged, over-reaching & underachieving asshole being nominally at the helm when the iceberg struck





Another Inspector General Resigns Amid Questions About Pompeo


…so when it comes to having it where it counts


…maybe don’t forget what worked out in our favor before

How expanding opportunity for women, immigrants and nonwhite workers helped everyone — and why we need to do so again.

…& I know we kind of got into some of this stuff yesterday but all the same



Two investigations appear to be potential fodder for pre-election political machinations.

…& for today’s game…who would be your pick for the worst of the worst

Donald Trump’s Worst Cabinet Member. The competition is intense this year. Some days it feels as if everybody in the administration is trying to grab the grand prize. That they’re running around with a list in their pocket titled Things to Screw Up.

…still & all…there ain’t no stoppin’

…bring on the weekend?



    • You mean because social should be an adverb, socially? I don’t know. “Angry crying” doesn’t seem that bad. In “South Pacific” there’s a lovely little tune called “Happy Talk” so the people are happy talking. The character who sings it is not a native speaker of English, or is speaking a variant of English, which is part of its charm/possible offensiveness to modern sensibilities. 
      I’d lay odds that social distancing is going to be some dictionary’s term of the year for 2020. I’m just glad to see the back of “out of an abundance of caution.” That was everywhere when this whole pandemic fiasco began and was a weaselly way for organizations to say “we are not doing this anymore for now and don’t bitch at us.” I heard it recently, probably from someone in the de Blasio administration, and my right eye started to twitch.

      • Yeah, that’s more or less what I was thinking.  When “distancing” is a noun, then “social” is okay.  But doesn’t “distancing” become a verb in my example?  So, “We are observing social distancing” is  correct, but it should turn into “We are distancing socially.”  I dunno. 

        • I agree it sounds weird, but it’s not the first time this kind of phrasing is used. “We are spring cleaning” is common, for example.
          It may be because people think of the words “social distancing” as a unit and there is no other kind of distancing, in the same way that nobody really talks about summer, fall, or winter cleaning.

    • I don’t know. I can’t find a more succinct alternative. 
      We are all socially distant. Shorter, but more suggestive of mental state than physical. 
      We are all observing social distance. Longer, but more accurate and I think it sounds better. Nonetheless, it’s not going to catch on. 
      We’re giving people space. Short, but doesn’t necessarily suggest disease prevention. 
      We are following the distance rule. Eh. 
      Get the fuck away from me. I like this. 

  1. I woke up this morning to reports that Joe Biden had made this big gaffe and I was ready to be angry, but then I heard what he said in context and it kinda made sense?
    Granted, he said it in probably the worst imaginable way (he is Joe Biden, after all), but like…he’s not wrong? Like, black people are fairly uniform on where they stand with the big issues, which isn’t to say there aren’t conservative black people or outliers on individual, or that the black vote is a monolith. But it seems for the most part that as black people our vote points align more closely together.
    Latino voters are so diverse and come from so many different points of origin that its hard to put a pin in what issue moves the community as a whole. I know a lot of anti-immigration Latinos who feel like “I entered the country the right way and so should this other group, regardless of if they fleeing their country”. A lot of Latinos loved Bernie but just as many weren’t down with a socialist candidate. Their viewpoints on abortion and gay marriage and tons of stuff vary wildly. So its hard for a campaign to get a message to a broad coalition of Latinos without pissing off or turning off another group.
    So yeah, I get what Biden meant. I hate that he said it that way, but I think the fact that its getting picked apart kinda shows how much the media culture wants something, literally anything else besides another Trump fuck up to talk about. Biden has his gaffes down to at least one or two every couple of weeks and that ain’t good for ratings.

    • You’re right, a big part of the problem with reaching the Latino community is that it literally doesn’t exist. I worked in South Florida for several years and trying to lump all Latinos in a single category is impossible. You can generalize based on country of origin (Cuban-Americans skew Republican, for example) but that’s not the case with Mexicans, Panamanians, Columbians, Argentinians, etc. They also have a … wide variety of interesting viewpoints about each other that I found fascinating. So no, you’ll never find a single issue that will unite them all. Even the Spanish they speak (unless they’re Brazilian) has significant differences. 

          • “He’s against energy, our kind of energy”

            …am I missing something or is that just outright gibberish standing in for “I feel the same fear you do & hate the same things, not like Joe who likes *those* people”?

            …I know I shouldn’t expect coherent meaning from the man but things-my-opponent-is-against = stuff-you-like might be a pretty standard approach but once you’ve skipped from guns to god “energy” could be anything from spiritual to electrical to an obscure bid to start in on that clean coal thing again & yet somehow the shittiest answer always seems to be the most likely?

            • Gibberish, but not complete gibberish. His followers know he’s saying “Joe’s a Papist who took second seat to a BLACK guy, and wants to give your hard earned money to lazy black people, and let brown rapist, drug dealers and terrorist mooslems into our country to murder and pillage the suburbs!

              • …it reminds me of the brexit stuff…all about letting people tell themselves they’re hearing what they want to but few of them able to agree what it was

                …but it’s not even up to the standard of a half decent cold reader?

      • The level of racism that exists just between Latinos from different countries is a thing I don’t think the Democrats will ever be able to bridge the gap on to build an actual coalition of Latinos. It’s why viewing them as a homogenous is a doomed tactic.
        Like, I had to convince my mother-in-law that the majority of “illegal” immigration occurs when people overstay their visa after flying into the country. She looked at me like I was fucking nuts. She insisted that they pay the “coyote” to smuggle them across the border, which…I mean, if that ain’t a Trumpian talking point, I don’t know what is. But she fucking can’t stand Trump. How the fuck do you come up with a coherent immigration strategy or path to citizenship for “illegals” when people have spent hundred or thousands of dollars to “do it the right way” and don’t want to feel like people are trying to skip the line?
        Like, you can’t. At all. 
        That’s what Joe is getting at. And unless you spend a lot of time around Latinos, you don’t really get the idea that there’s so much diversity of thought. Like, I feel like when I’m talking to another black person, it doesn’t take long for me to figure out if that black person is on the same wavelength as me. And I’d say the same thing for Africans, who kinda have a similar worldview that’s different from African-Americans, but distinct amongst themselves.
        Latinos are all over the shop, and I never know what side of the spectrum they land on until there’s a conversation about it.

        • When I worked for Maryland DOC they had concentrated a lot of their Latino inmates in one prison to make it easier for the INS.  But they had a lot of problems there, because they didn’t realize how much Mexicans didn’t like Salvadorans, etc.

          • It’s an aspect of life in America that no one gets unless you live in it someway. Like, it’s so bad with Latinos that parents will get upset if their daughter from Nicaragua dates Salvadorian. Words in Spanish mean different things (never say “necessito una bolsa” to a Hispanic person in a store, it can mean A LOT of different things).
            I saw The Root’s article about this and it made me cringe, because, like…it’s so obvious that they just don’t fucking know, ya know? Like they didn’t even attempt to understand what Joe was saying and kinda fell into the trap of slamming Biden for something when what he said was fundamentally right, even if it wasn’t worded the best.

            • …it certainly seems like there ought to be an uncontroversial way to say that between two groups of people it’s possible to say that opinion on a number of subjects is more divided in one case than the other…but to just go with “diversity” rather than diversity of opinion/view/whatever seems like a particularly ill-advised way to attempt it?

            • I find The Root to be incredible informative, but I also find some writers to be a little reactionary.  But then I start to wonder if that isn’t my whiteness.  Maybe it isn’t always?

          • I have a Central American relative by marriage and can confirm that many feel about being lumped together with Mexicans the way Canadians feel about being lumped together with the US.

      • The Marielitos? They were part of the mass exodus from Cuba in the 1980s, the Mariel boatlift. Yes, most hate socialism in every form, which tends to align with GOP ideology. Plus they usually want the US to invade Cuba to get their home back. There are … problems with that plan, as you might imagine. 
        If memory serves, they were granted expedited processing. Of course the Haitians arriving at about the same time were not given the same consideration. I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine the difference between the two groups. 

  2. Seriously, Republicans are pinning their hopes on Kanye? I just can’t with this shit. 
    KC observed yesterday that Republicans seem to have decided that they have to steal the election, and are working backwards from that conclusion. I’d suggest that that conclusion is accurate. Bush v. Gore, Trump v. Clinton, numerous down-ticket races (see Georgia and Florida governors) rested on legal chicanery and voter suppression. As noted sage Donald J. Trump pointed out, universal vote by mail would completely wipe out the Republican party. They can’t win unless they cheat. And they are well aware of that fact. We’re going to see every half-baked scheme they can concoct between now and November. 

    • It’s staggering to me that all the Republicans had to due was be even the least bit functional during this pandemic and they’d probably cruise to a second term based on Democratic apathy, but instead these jabronis are just flat out trying to steal the election in public.
      It’s proof positive that Republicans have no actual desire to govern and simply want to make lots of money for themselves and for their like minded peers. Anytime something happens that requires a government response, the GOP looks completely out of their own depths. This is the party that spent a decade claiming they were going to repeal Obamacare and then found out when they were finally in power that they couldn’t actually find a way to do it.
      Even the latest round of stimulus talks is struggling because a bunch of vulnerable Republicans want to pass something to have anything to show their constituents and a bunch of other Republicans are concerned that showing the government actually can work will invalidate their entire reason for existing are worried about the debt. 
      All these fuckers had to do was show up and not look like douchebags until a vaccine is ready to be mass produced. Its like the dumbasses had never even considered not looking like stupid, crass, insensitive assholes might work.

        • Same reason Trump did. For the title. For the easy access to well monied people. Because they didn’t pay attention in social studies and don’t know how any of this works.
          I mean…I’m sure there are Republicans who actually do want to govern on some level, but because the party itself allows basically zero wiggle room and there’s no sort of spectrum, they can’t buck conventions without their colleagues and their constituents getting pissed at them.
          I wouldn’t want to get a job I didn’t want to do, but an easy paycheck to show up and shout bullshit at the people who do actually want to work would be tempting. 

        • They don’t hate government. That’s just a facile lie to tell the poors to get them on board. Just like they don’t actually give a shit about abortion. It’s just a smokescreen to get poors to vote based on emotion and not on facts. 
          What they hate is taxes for rich people, and regulations that stop rich people from getting richer. They’re fine with poors paying taxes, because then they can steal that money. Which is why the majority of them run for office, to steal or allow their friends to steal. They’re fine with paying for police and military, because that keeps the poors in line and protects them from the poors. Plus they get to line up at that trough. They’re not fine with social services, health care, or any sort of program that actually benefits the non-rich. Because that’s money they can’t steal. 
          All of their scams revolve around taking money from the poor. Health insurance, privatizing Social Security, military spending, you name it, it’s money going from the poor to the rich. 
          To sum up, for the GOP, government is fine if it fucks with you, but not if it fucks with me. But that’s not a winning slogan. 

    • Bush v. Kerry.  There were a lot of shenanigans in Ohio and other places.  Republicans have basically stolen three out of the last five elections.
      And don’t forget, in conservative lore black voters will vote for the black man, regardless.  Hence, the hope pinned on Kanye.

        • I wouldn’t go down that road during that era. Even many Democrats agreed (privately) that Kennedy stole the 1960 election. It’s where the term “the Chicago graveyard vote” entered the lexicon.
          Richard Nixon, one of the most vindictive men alive and a very skilled lawyer himself, let it slide “for the good of the Republic.” He was playing the long game. It did a lot to rehabilitate his reputation for shadiness. He ran for Governor of California (his home state) and lost in 1962. He reverted to type and gave the “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore” speech/sound bite, and became a Park Avenue lawyer. The rest, as they say, is history.
          I think this is like my third comment slamming the Kennedys in the last week. Honestly, I have nothing against them. But I read widely and deeply in all sorts of Presidential histories.
          Nixon knew that Kennedy had appeal but he also knew that he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He no doubt knew about his many health problems, the drugs, and the womanizing, even there was a bipartisan consensus that certain things were not spoken about in the respectable media. Kennedy actually had kind of a disastrous Presidency, save for the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was not one-sided in the making. Nixon probably thought that Kennedy would be a one-term President. There were rumblings that the various Democratic party machines wouldn’t even renominate him and would go for the far savvier and combative LBJ, Kennedy’s VP.
          Then, of course, came November 22, 1963. JFK is elevated to secular sainthood, Jackie and the Kennedy family (lots of mutual loathing there) latches on to the Camelot myth, because apparently she and Jack used to relax by listening to the Broadway soundtrack LP together, which…come on…
          I’ll stop there. I really need to get a life. I may get one soon enough. I’ve been working the phones like an especially aggressive telemarketer but it’s all friends, colleagues, former clients, people I hired, and I have a few nibbles. Maybe this economy is picking up a little.

  3. I’ll say it again, but if the GOPers and Trump Fatuous Administration actually got their shit together instead of their usual incompetence buffoonery then THEY DON’T NEED TO DO ANY OF THIS!
    They would have already won.

    Instead we’re watching a Greek Tragedy of Hubris in real time. It wouldn’t happen to “better” people, but a lot of people have died and are going to die in the process.

  4. Trump will either win the election of find some other way to cling to power.  It’s cute that everyone thinks this strategy or that won’t work for him but the cumulative effects of all these strategies will allow him to hold power.  The Kanye thing is a distraction.  Fucking up the post office, not counting votes, purging millions of voters, disinformation campaigns, voting machine tampering, Trump’s personal soldiers intimidating voters, etc. will all be used.  He knows he will go to jail if he loses so he will not accept losing.  We are in for a very long bumpy ride and I have zero faith our government will do the right thing and not allow this to happen. 

    • …to me the Kanye thing comes off at this point as an attempt to throw anything at the wall that might shave a few points off the spread?

      …it seems a lot like he’s trying to muddy the waters in the hope that the margins by state/electoral college votes will be small enough to let him fuck around in the courts for long enough to at least let some charges expire even if he can’t hang around for round two…& that’s enough to make me worry

      …but if voters get the message & the margin by which he (& hopefully the GOP all the way down the ticket) loses is big enough to remove any ambiguity I don’t think he’s smart enough, resourceful enough or possessed of enough…let’s call it brio…to actually try for squatter’s rights to the White House?

      • That’s basically it. If they can shave off even a few votes, they’ll try it. Remember, a lot of these elections have come down to a scant handful of votes, and then it’s up to Republican-dominated courts. 
        The classic GOP mistake here is to use Kanye, assuming that any Black man will do. I’m surprised they didn’t prop up poor Herman Cain and try to reenact “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Black voters won’t fall for this.
        If they’d really wanted to do damage, they’d need to have set up a credible candidate months ago. But a credible candidate might have damaged Trump much more than Biden. So they’re scrambling, and taking advantage of a sick man with bipolar disorder.
        Like I said, we’ll see more and more of these Wile E. Coyote schemes during the endless slog to November. It’s all sheer desperation, but if enough of these tactics take hold and divert 10K votes here or there, they could actually tip things IF the race is close enough. We have to hope it’s not close.

        • Like, who do they think is gonna vote for Kanye? Black folks ain’t fucking with Kanye like that. The amount of votes he gets is going to be a blip on the radar.
          I keep on saying this, but shit like this is why I don’t think the GOP can repeat 2016, and goes to show just how flimsy all their attempts to steal elections are. They rely on what amount statistically anamloies, and while yes, occasionally that works, the bottom line is that it’s basically a coin flip.
          If the GOP was interested in winning fairly at all, they could probably successfully court the black evangelical vote or latino vote with any number of socially conservative moments. If they were willing to soften on immigrations at all, they would put a serious dent in Democratic votership. Instead they’ve decided to stick with a predominantly white, straight votership that s shrinking, no matter how hard they cheat.
          Winning fair is a simple as saying “maybe we should be slightly less racist and homophobic”. Then the Democrats would be fucked. Instead they’ve declared everyone who’s not straight and white is an enemy, and then realized there’s not enough of those votes to ensure they stay in power, so they have to suppress the vote. But now they’re making moves that will suppress their own damn voters on top of everyone else, so for every vote they skim from the Democrats they might be skimming two from the Republican column.
          It just makes no sense. It’s like cheating on a test that you know the answers to and getting mad when you fail.

    • The issue is that Trump is increasingly finding himself in a position wherein his various attempts to cling to power won’t stand up to any legal scrutiny, even with a conservative Supreme Court. The corruption is not only obvious, but completely surface level.
      Trump wants to day the Election? He literally has no authority to. And yes, even a conservative majority on the Supreme Court ain’t about to completely upend the constitution to allow him to set the date.
      He wants to curb mail-in voting, but he’s chewing into his own base because old Republican love mail-in voting, which is why Trump did an about face and has changed to “well the Republican states are actually great at it, not the Democratic states”, which puts the onus on his crack team of lawyers to prove that there’s a discrepancy between the two.
      He wants to stay President, but the Constitution says his power officially dies on Inauguration Day in 2021, regardless of what he says.
      It’s not that I don’t think Trump can steal this election. It’s that the way in which the Republicans and Trump are attempting to steal it are so ham-fisted and obvious that they 1.) are polarizing and mobilizing people like us to counter act that, 2.) are turning off members of their own base who would rather just not vote at all than vote for Trump, 3.) won’t stand up to basically any sort of legal challenge, even for a Conservative Supreme Court, and 4.) might not even matter because Trump still looks to be heading for a sizable loss that would invalidate basically every claim they’re making. Not to mention that his entire plan hinges on him torpedoing the company and somehow not bypassing a Democratic House and a potentially Democratic Senate.
      There’s just too many Jenga pieces that have to go right, and it contributes to the idea that Trump and the GOP are top level master planners instead of just lucking into the right circumstances. Trump’s election just so happened to work, but now they’re swimming against the tidal wave of his shitty positions. I’m not saying it’s not possible he could steal the election, I’m just saying they’re making it almost impossible to do so in a way that gets them what they want.
      And I really do sincerely doubt that the idea he could actually go to prison affects anything Trump is doing. He’s skirted by avoiding any sort of jail time for this long, and he has zero self-awareness, and so “I could go to jail” seems at the bottom of the list. Trump just doesn’t want to lose because he doesn’t think he’s a loser. 

      • I totally hope you are right.  I don’t think Trump or anyone in his hand picked group of idiots could pull this off but if you watched the video I posted, the Republicans have been doing this for a long time.  Bill Barr knows exactly what they can get away with and how to cover it up.  The billionaires behind the scenes as well as Putin know how to get this shit done and keep Trump out of the loop so he won’t fuck it up.  My greatest hope is that he pisses off enough of the other Republicans that they rebel against him but that would shock me at this point.  We are getting close to finding out but I won’t be surprised when we attack (insert country here) in October or an executive order comes out to give everyone in the country a $10,000 check signed by your favorite president.

        From Greg Palast:

        I’m watching CNN right now and they’re telling me that Trump doesn’t have the authority to delay the election.

        They are missing the f**king point.

        Trump doesn’t have to delay the vote. In America, elections aren’t stolen like they’re stolen in some right-wing fever dream of a movie. There’s no military junta marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, no back alley assassinations like in an episode of House of Cards, no Russians needed.

        They’re stolen in the back rooms of power by men in Brooks Brother suits, they’re stolen using Excel spreadsheets, they’re stolen by votes simply not being counted.

        • You know those touchscreen voting machines that have no paper trail?  All they have to do is program them to turn every 10th Biden vote into a Trump vote or whatever.  The software is proprietary.  No one knows how they work except the companies that make them, and there is no oversight or accountability that I know of.  People have to start demanding paper ballots, and in the meantime, under normal circumstances, absentee voting is another good way around this……so they’re trying to sabotage that, too.

          • Which is why the only real solution is to vote in numbers too easy to manipulate.
            And also to demand Democrats starting working on a new Voting Rights Act, which…CHRIST, I don’t know why only Stacey Abrams has been singing that tune, Democrats should be screaming that from the roof tops.

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