New York Attorney General arranges a massive fundraising boost for the National Rifle Association

National Rifle Association

I predict a huge fundraising bonanza for the National Rifle Association. Because, yes, that’s exactly how this works.

As for the lawsuit[1] itself? We’ll see. There’s a gaming aspect to court proceedings that reduces to a contest to see who can get what rules applied that leads me not to trust that even well-founded cases (which it sounds like this is[2]) will prevail. And we haven’t seen the NRA’s defense yet.

Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing,” Washington Post, August 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html


Ridesharing

Preetika Rana, “Uber Ridership Fails to Recover as Pandemic Drives Another Big Loss,” Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-ridership-fails-to-recover-as-pandemic-drives-another-big-loss-11596744389


  1. [1]Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing,” Washington Post, August 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html
  2. [2]Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, “New York attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA in suit accusing gun rights group of wide-ranging fraud and self-dealing,” Washington Post, August 6, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-lapierre-ny-attorney-general/2020/08/06/8e389794-d794-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html

Enough with the warnings

Allegheny County

There is a new blog post entitled, “Regarding the planned ultimatum by southwestern Pennsylvania bar and restaurant owners.”

Tom Wolf has not responded directly, but shortly afterwards, posted,

We have to do everything we can to keep our communities safe and healthy, including wearing a mask and following mitigation orders so our businesses operate safely.

We continue to work closely with commonwealth agencies and local officials to enforce public safety orders.

The following groups are authorized to enforce business closure orders and safety orders to the full extent of the law:

⚖️ Local officials and law enforcement
🚨 @PAStatePolice
🚑 @PAHealthDept
🍽 @PAAgriculture
💼 @PALaborIndustry
🍺 Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

Here’s how Pennsylvanians can report #COVID19 health and safety violations:

📱 Contact your local health department or law enforcement agency.
💻 Fill out this form: on.pa.gov/2A8GlK8
⛑ If in violation of OSHA guidance, file a complaint at OSHA.gov.[1]

I hope that enforcement will be vigorous. Enough with the warnings: These assholes know damned well what they’re doing.


Ridesharing

IMG_20190414_135906
Fig. 1. Photograph by author, April 14, 2019.

For anyone curious, I do not expect to benefit from this lawsuit, which relies on AB 5.[2] Gavin Newsom signed the bill on September 18, 2019; it took effect on January 1, 2020.[3] I left the state on April 14, 2019 (figure 1).

Andrew J. Hawkins, “California labor commissioner sues Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft,” Verge, August 5, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/5/21356096/uber-lyft-california-labor-commissioner-lawsuit-driver-classification


Century III Mall

It’s really quite remarkable: Not far from my apartment is a nearly entirely shuttered shopping mall[4] that apparently was once “the place to go.” There is a neglected roadway, named “Century III Mall,” that is pockmarked with potholes and in fact unfit for traffic: It should be repaired or closed, not simply left to deteriorate as it is.

But to drive down that road is to gaze, carefully, while slowly dodging potholes, to one side and to see relatively modern buildings, certainly more modern than much to be found in surrounding neighborhoods (where many houses are probably something like 80 or 90 years old), left to rot, mostly fenced off. It seems, for now at least, the epitome of abandonment.

I said “nearly entirely shuttered.” One store, even in bankruptcy, remained, JCPenney.[5] Now, it too is closing.[6] It really is bizarre that they clung to this location for so long; I don’t think I ever took anyone there and I doubt I’ve had more than two pickups there.

Jacob Tierney, “Century III Mall’s JCPenney to close,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 5, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-malls-jcpenney-to-close/


  1. [1]Tom Wolf, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, August 6, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1291345691936198657.html
  2. [2]Andrew J. Hawkins, “California labor commissioner sues Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft,” Verge, August 5, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/5/21356096/uber-lyft-california-labor-commissioner-lawsuit-driver-classification
  3. [3]John Myers, Johana Bhuiyan, and Margot Roosevelt, “Newsom signs bill rewriting California employment law, limiting use of independent contractors,” Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-18/gavin-newsom-signs-ab5-employees0independent-contractors-california
  4. [4]Sam Bojarski, “Century III Mall boarded up; only JCPenney remains,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 5, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-faces-uncertain-future-with-one-tenant-remaining/
  5. [5]Sam Bojarski, “Century III Mall boarded up; only JCPenney remains,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 5, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-faces-uncertain-future-with-one-tenant-remaining/
  6. [6]Jacob Tierney, “Century III Mall’s JCPenney to close,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 5, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/century-iii-malls-jcpenney-to-close/

Wanted more evidence that capitalism is irredeemably evil, did you?

Pandemic

Restaurant and bar owners just keep on offering evidence that capitalism is irredeemably evil and must be abolished.[1] They get to pay their workers a mere $2.83 per hour (Pennsylvania tipped minimum wage).[2] They’re capitalists. They exploit their workers. They took a RISK. That’s all part of capitalism. And that RISK means when they lose, they lose.

They deserve to lose especially when they get to pay their workers nearly nothing. Put anybody who defies health orders out of business permanently. Throw them in prison and throw away the key.

Dillon Carr, “Restaurants and bars banding together to give Gov. Wolf an ultimatum,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 4, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/restaurants-and-bars-banding-together-to-give-gov-wolf-an-ultimatum-thursday/


Recession

Regina Garcia Cano and Michael Casey, “Wave of evictions expected as moratoriums end in many states,” Associated Press, August 4, 2020, copy in possession of author


  1. [1]Dillon Carr, “Restaurants and bars banding together to give Gov. Wolf an ultimatum,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 4, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/restaurants-and-bars-banding-together-to-give-gov-wolf-an-ultimatum-thursday/
  2. [2]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779

If a civil war were to occur, it might be between neighborhoods

Horse race

I expressed my initial reaction to a suggestion that states might secede if the Democratic Party forbade Joe Biden from conceding defeat[1] in a tweet:

But in earlier thinking, first looking at county electoral results,[2] and later from Sonoma County, California, over at California’s own “bible belt” in the Central Valley, I’ve noted that dividing territory between ‘red’ and ‘blue’ would not be simple,[3] and this is a point Rod Dreher at The American Conservative makes, except he thinks the conflict would even be between neighborhoods.[4] That’s a point I’ll readily concede.

In any event, I still can’t imagine the Democratic Party refusing to concede. It’s clear that Barack Obama, who refused to prosecute Bush administration war crimes[5] and who refused to prosecute bankers for their acts of fraud leading to the financial crisis,[6] is calling the shots in the Democratic Party.[7] Even assuming that mantle passes to Biden, whose mental faculties should be in severe doubt for this even if no other reason, he imagines Republicans will be reasonable.[8] These are not people who would ever even in their wildest dreams contest an election result.

Rod Dreher, “Is A New Civil War Possible?” American Conservative, August 4, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/is-a-new-civil-war-possible/


Isaias

This morning it looked to me like the remnants of Isaias had passed through central Pennsylvania into New York, but this afternoon, we saw some rain, heavy at times and in some places.
ecan


  1. [1]Henry Zeffman, “US election war game sees states ready to secede if Trump is sworn in,” Times, August 4, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/us-election-war-game-sees-states-ready-to-secede-if-trump-is-sworn-in-zmzddmf9k
  2. [2]David Benfell, “A national divorce,” Not Housebroken, September 8, 2015, https://disunitedstates.org/2015/09/08/a-national-divorce/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Endorsing Cascadia secession,” Not Housebroken, August 22, 2017, https://disunitedstates.org/2017/08/22/endorsing-cascadia-secession/; David Benfell, “The morality of polarization,” Not Housebroken, September 21, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/09/21/the-morality-of-polarization/
  4. [4]Rod Dreher, “Is A New Civil War Possible?” American Conservative, August 4, 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/is-a-new-civil-war-possible/
  5. [5]Glenn Greenwald, “Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers,” Guardian, August 31, 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer; Elizabeth Holtzman, “Statutes of Limitations Are Expiring on Some Bush Crimes,” Nation, March 20, 2013, https://www.thenation.com/article/statutes-limitations-are-expiring-some-bush-crimes/; David Johnston and Charlie Savage, “Obama Reluctant to Look Into Bush Programs,” New York Times, January 11, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/12/us/politics/12inquire.html
  6. [6]Jason M. Breslow, “As Deadlines Loom for Financial Crisis Cases, Prosecutors Weigh Their Options,” Public Broadcasting System, January 22, 2013, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/untouchables/as-deadlines-loom-for-financial-crisis-cases-prosecutors-weigh-their-options/; Jason M. Breslow, “Too Big To Jail? The Top 10 Civil Cases Against the Banks,” Frontline, January 22, 2013, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/untouchables/too-big-to-jail-the-top-10-civil-cases-against-the-banks/; Jason M. Breslow, “Were Bankers Jailed In Past Financial Crises?” Public Broadcasting System, January 22, 2013, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/untouchables/were-bankers-jailed-in-past-financial-crises/; David Dayen, “Wall Street wins again,” Salon, February 13, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/02/13/wall_street_wins_again/; Frontline, “Phil Angelides: Enforcement of Wall St. is ‘Woefully Broken’,” Public Broadcasting System, January 22, 2013, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/untouchables/phil-angelides-enforcement-of-wall-st-is-woefully-broken/; Frontline, “Ted Kaufman: Wall Street Prosecutions Never Made a Priority,” Public Broadcasting System, January 22, 2013, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/untouchables/ted-kaufman-wall-street-prosecutions-never-made-a-priority/; Office of the Inspector General Audit Division, “Audit of the Department of Justice’s Efforts to Address Mortgage Fraud,” U. S. Department of Justice, March 2014, http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2014/a1412.pdf; Barry Ritholz, “Why Prosecutors Whiffed on Subprime Crime,” Bloomberg View, March 14, 2014, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-03-14/why-prosecutors-whiffed-on-subprime-crime; David Sirota, “Are banks too big to jail?” Salon, January 23, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/are_banks_too_big_to_jail/; David Sirota, “Barack Obama, Wall Street co-conspirator,” Salon, January 29, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/01/29/barack_obama_wall_street_co_conspirator/
  7. [7]Glenn Thrush, “Accelerate the Endgame’: Obama’s Role in Wrapping Up the Primary,” New York Times, August 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/us/politics/obama-biden-democratic-primary.html
  8. [8]Moira Donegan, “What does Biden have in common with Trump? Delusional nostalgia,” Guardian, June 21, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/21/joe-biden-trump-sexism-delusional-nostalgia; Matt Ford, “Someone Please Tell Joe Biden That Bipartisanship Is Dead,” New Republic, June 12, 2019, https://newrepublic.com/article/154183/someone-please-tell-joe-biden-bipartisanship-dead; Paul Waldman, “Joe Biden still hasn’t learned the lessons of the Obama presidency,” Washington Post, December 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/06/joe-biden-still-hasnt-learned-lessons-obama-presidency/

‘Efficiency,’ at the U.S. Postal Service, is defined almost exclusively in terms of labor costs

U.S. Postal Service

I’m catching up here, but there is a new blog post entitled, “A neoliberal crackdown at the Postal Service should support all our suspicions about the November election.”

Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Jacob Bogage, “Postal Service backlog sparks worries that ballot delivery could be delayed in November,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/postal-service-backlog-sparks-worries-that-ballot-delivery-could-be-delayed-in-november/2020/07/30/cb19f1f4-d1d0-11ea-8d32-1ebf4e9d8e0d_story.html

Veronica Stracqualursi and Jessica Dean, “New postal policies that are slowing service may affect 2020 mail-in voting, union leader says,” CNN, July 31, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/politics/usps-mail-in-voting-2020-election/index.html

Jessica Dean, Jessica Schneider, and Caroline Kelly, “Postal Service says it has ‘ample capacity’ to handle election after Trump casts doubt,” CNN, August 3, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/03/politics/postal-service-ample-capacity-election-trump/index.html


Being a man means making everyone around you sick

Horse race

Henry Zeffman, “US election war game sees states ready to secede if Trump is sworn in,” Times, August 4, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/us-election-war-game-sees-states-ready-to-secede-if-trump-is-sworn-in-zmzddmf9k

Pandemic

So my mother sent me a New York Times article reporting that there was opposition to wearing masks in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic[1] similar to what we’re seeing today.[2] There’s still no real explanation for the phenomenon. Which means we’re left with Priya Elan’s claim that somehow masks seem to threaten masculinity: “It seems that in certain circles,” Elan writes, “wearing a mask has been conflated with the kind of archaic, knuckle-dragging rhetoric that casts wearing pink or having a cat on a dating app as effeminate.”[3] Which is to say that being a man somehow means making everyone around you sick. Spare me.

Christine Hauser, “The Mask Slackers of 1918,” New York Times, August 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/us/mask-protests-1918.html


Isaias

It’s just remnants now.
eusgm


  1. [1]Christine Hauser, “The Mask Slackers of 1918,” New York Times, August 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/us/mask-protests-1918.html
  2. [2]Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity; Griff Witte, Ariana Eunjung Cha, and Josh Dawsey, “At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks,” Washington Post, July 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/at-the-heart-of-dismal-us-coronavirus-response-a-fraught-relationship-with-masks/2020/07/28/f47eccd0-cde4-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html
  3. [3]Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity

Some people might, after all, really be immune to COVID-19

Pandemic

Some folks might have a T-cell response that protects them from COVID-19 and this may mean that “herd immunity” isn’t quite[1] the mirage it’s been made out to be,[2] and some of what’s described in this article, frankly, sounds a lot like me and to the extent it does apply to me, I might not after all be at risk of exposing others. But if I understand correctly, T-cell response stems from previous exposure to a pathogen or a similar pathogen.[3] My deal seems to be that I just never come down with this shit—any of it—in the first place.

But one thing that occurs to me is that if antibodies are different from T-cells, and it seems they are,[4] then antibody tests will fail to detect all the immunity that’s already out there. And how much of it is indeed out there matters a lot for how we come through this, whether in fact there is, after all, “herd immunity.”[5]

This is the first good news I’ve seen in this pandemic. The trouble is, it won’t be good enough news for far too many people, only some of whom have already died.

Sanjay Gupta and Andrea Kane, “Do some people have protection against the coronavirus?” CNN, August 2, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/02/health/gupta-coronavirus-t-cell-cross-reactivity-immunity-wellness/index.html


Recession

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman write for the Politico “Playbook” newsletter,

WE ARE MOVING INTO the phase where serious progress has to be made, or it may be time to reconsider who’s at the negotiating table. [emphasis in original][6]

When you’ve already got the people with authority to make a deal at the table, who would reconsider? Who else would have that authority? These are words that sound right and may even be right but fail to reach the practicalities involved, let alone the heart of the problem.[7]

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman, “Will they ever get a deal?” Politico, August 3, 2020, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2020/08/03/will-they-ever-get-a-deal-489957


Isaias

eusgm


Higher education

Vivian S. Lee, Vindell Washington, and Robert M. Califf, “The Bad Science of Reopening,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 28, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/the-bad-science-of-reopening


  1. [1]Sanjay Gupta and Andrea Kane, “Do some people have protection against the coronavirus?” CNN, August 2, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/02/health/gupta-coronavirus-t-cell-cross-reactivity-immunity-wellness/index.html
  2. [2]D. Clay Ackerly, “My patient caught Covid-19 twice. So long to herd immunity hopes,” Vox, July 12, 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/7/12/21321653/getting-covid-19-twice-reinfection-antibody-herd-immunity; Christie Aschwanden, “Sorry, Immunity to Covid-19 Won’t Be Like a Superpower,” Wired, April 16, 2020, https://www.wired.com/story/sorry-immunity-to-covid-19-wont-be-like-a-superpower/
  3. [3]Sanjay Gupta and Andrea Kane, “Do some people have protection against the coronavirus?” CNN, August 2, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/02/health/gupta-coronavirus-t-cell-cross-reactivity-immunity-wellness/index.html
  4. [4]Sanjay Gupta and Andrea Kane, “Do some people have protection against the coronavirus?” CNN, August 2, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/02/health/gupta-coronavirus-t-cell-cross-reactivity-immunity-wellness/index.html
  5. [5]Sanjay Gupta and Andrea Kane, “Do some people have protection against the coronavirus?” CNN, August 2, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/02/health/gupta-coronavirus-t-cell-cross-reactivity-immunity-wellness/index.html
  6. [6]Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman, “Will they ever get a deal?” Politico, August 3, 2020, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2020/08/03/will-they-ever-get-a-deal-489957
  7. [7]David Benfell, “We need to do everything different,” Not Housebroken, July 30, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/30/we-need-to-do-everything-different/; David Benfell, “The mysterious expectation that elites give a damn,” Not Housebroken, August 1, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/01/the-mysterious-expectation-that-elites-give-a-damn/

Over the cliff we go, again

Updates

  1. Originally published, August 1, 2020, 10:26 pm.
  2. August 2, 10:07 am:
    • The politicians failed and people are feeling the consequences.[1] The thing to understand is that it isn’t just the people now immediately affected. It’s everyone who relies on their cash flow: Even the landlords who evict people will need to find tenants to restore their own cash flow. As the economy shrinks because so many people are destitute, even more will be laid off and, having no margin thanks to neoliberalism, themselves become destitute. This is another downward spiral, another destabilizing feedback. And the politicians have done nothing to arrest it; there is no stabilizing feedback in sight.

      The potential consequence here, if destabilizing feedbacks continue to outweigh stabilizing feedbacks, is system change, and while I know how I’d like that to come out,[2] the simple truth is that no one knows how it will. We are in unpredictable terrain.


Recession

There is a new blog post entitled, “The mysterious expectation that elites give a damn.”

Eli Rosenberg, Erica Werner, and Jeff Stein, “30 million unemployed lose extra jobless benefits, as talks between Congress and the White House are at an impasse,” Washington Post, July 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/07/31/congress-bailout-unemployment-insurance/

Paul Kane, “Congress deeply unpopular again as gridlock on coronavirus relief has real-life consequences,” Washington Post, August 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/congress-deeply-unpopular-again-as-gridlock-on-coronavirus-relief-has-real-life-consequences/2020/07/31/6d2f10c4-d36a-11ea-8c55-61e7fa5e82ab_story.html

Kyle Swenson, “Ten bucks left, no place to go: How the pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives,” Washington Post, August 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/coronavirus-unemployment-delays-dc/2020/08/01/50016264-c522-11ea-8ffe-372be8d82298_story.html


Horse race

My inclination is to suspect that if Donald Trump loses in November, it will be because not even the Democrats can manage to lose to the pandemic. But for me, the Lincoln Project bears watching: Can neoconservatives actually swing a vote?[3] Can they, in fact, push Trump so far over the edge—as if he wasn’t so far over the edge already—that he defeats himself?[4]

Maybe, but I still think it’ll be that even the Democrats can’t manage to lose to COVID-19. But god knows, they’re trying.[5]

Roxanne Roberts, “The Lincoln Project’s plan for preserving the union: Drive Trump out of office by driving him nuts,” Washington Post, August 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/lincoln-project-george-conway-ads-trump/2020/07/31/e9542a6a-d278-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html

Richard Wolffe, “Could this anti-Trump Republican group take down the president?” Guardian, August 1, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/01/lincoln-project-donald-trump-republicans-campaign-ads


  1. [1]Paul Kane, “Congress deeply unpopular again as gridlock on coronavirus relief has real-life consequences,” Washington Post, August 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/congress-deeply-unpopular-again-as-gridlock-on-coronavirus-relief-has-real-life-consequences/2020/07/31/6d2f10c4-d36a-11ea-8c55-61e7fa5e82ab_story.html; Kyle Swenson, “Ten bucks left, no place to go: How the pandemic and a broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives,” Washington Post, August 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/coronavirus-unemployment-delays-dc/2020/08/01/50016264-c522-11ea-8ffe-372be8d82298_story.html
  2. [2]David Benfell, “We need to do everything different,” Not Housebroken, July 30, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/30/we-need-to-do-everything-different/
  3. [3]Richard Wolffe, “Could this anti-Trump Republican group take down the president?” Guardian, August 1, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/01/lincoln-project-donald-trump-republicans-campaign-ads
  4. [4]Roxanne Roberts, “The Lincoln Project’s plan for preserving the union: Drive Trump out of office by driving him nuts,” Washington Post, August 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/lincoln-project-george-conway-ads-trump/2020/07/31/e9542a6a-d278-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html
  5. [5]Eli Rosenberg, Erica Werner, and Jeff Stein, “30 million unemployed lose extra jobless benefits, as talks between Congress and the White House are at an impasse,” Washington Post, July 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/07/31/congress-bailout-unemployment-insurance/

Reopening schools is asinine

Updates

  1. Originally published, July 31, 2020, 12:31 pm.
  2. July 31, 10:48 pm:
    • I hadn’t realized just how poorly paid restaurant workers are, on a tipped minimum wage. They say they’re bearing the brunt of the reopening[1] and I have to say, a couple times I ate at Burgatory, and I was seated at the bar, immediately across from where a worker washed dishes or prepared drinks. We weren’t even close to being properly socially distanced and it isn’t permitted under the present orders but do I believe the accounts in this story?[2] Hell, yes.

Pandemic

It’s still mostly bars and restaurants where most people are getting infected with the novel coronavirus in Allegheny County, but private parties are increasingly cropping up in contact tracing efforts.[3] From what I can see, driving by, people flatly are not social distancing at these events and are not wearing masks. Period. And hospitalizations, the count of which lags behind that of cases, seem to be spiking.[4]

And as for that insanity about opening schools?[5] Forget it. This is a really, really bad, asinine idea. Because whatever previous research says, you know the research I said to treat with caution,[6] it’s looking more and more like children might be able to spread the novel coronavirus[7] and it’s crucial to remember first, that we aren’t just talking about the kids themselves, but everyone they come into contact with, at home, at school, or anywhere else, inevitably including people who are vulnerable; and second, that if we can’t even get adults to wear masks[8] and socially distance, then we sure as hell aren’t going to be able to get kids to.

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779

Apoorva Mandavilli, “Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds,” New York Times, July 30, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/health/coronavirus-children.html

Teghan Simonton, “Allegheny County data shows parties becoming a growing source of coronavirus,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-data-shows-parties-becoming-a-growing-source-of-coronavirus/


Pennsylvania

Nice to see we have adults in the Pennsylvania legislature.

Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf, GOP critic spar over social media post parroting health secretary’s LGBQT comments,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-gop-critic-spar-over-social-media-post-parroting-health-secretarys-lgbqt-comments/


Recession

Heather Long, “This recession is already deep. If Congress fails to act, a lot of damage could be permanent,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/30/economists-favor-big-stimulus/


  1. [1]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779
  2. [2]Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh’s restaurant workers say they are bearing all the brunt of the region’s coronavirus spike, but are seeing little benefits,” Pittsburgh City Paper, July 29, 2020, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburghs-restaurant-workers-say-they-are-bearing-all-the-brunt-of-the-regions-coronavirus-spike-but-are-seeing-little-benefits/Content?oid=17722779
  3. [3]Teghan Simonton, “Allegheny County data shows parties becoming a growing source of coronavirus,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-data-shows-parties-becoming-a-growing-source-of-coronavirus/
  4. [4]Steven Adams, “Allegheny County sets record for new coronavirus hospitalizations; sees triple-digit cases for 8th straight day,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/allegheny-county-sees-triple-digit-coronavirus-growth-for-8th-straight-day-record-hospitalizations/
  5. [5]Justin Lahart, “Kids at Home Could Put the Economy in Detention,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/kids-at-home-could-put-the-economy-in-detention-11595583001; Laura Meckler, “With pressure and threats, Trump pushes to fully reopen schools. Schools say: Not so fast,” Washington Post, July 8, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/trump-schools-cdc-pence/2020/07/08/8a52d400-c14b-11ea-b4f6-cb39cd8940fb_story.html
  6. [6]David Benfell, “Could alternative schools offer an answer?” Not Housebroken, July 24, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/24/could-alternative-schools-offer-an-answer/; Peter Dockrill, “Older Kids May Transmit COVID-19 as Much as Adults Do, New Evidence Shows,” Science Alert, July 20, 2020, https://www.sciencealert.com/older-children-transmit-covid-19-as-much-as-adults-do-new-evidence-suggests; Benjamin Lee and William V. Raszka, “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame,” Pediatrics 146, no. 1 (2020), doi: 10.1542/peds.2020-004879
  7. [7]Apoorva Mandavilli, “Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds,” New York Times, July 30, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/health/coronavirus-children.html
  8. [8]Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity; Marc Fisher, Clarence Williams, and Lori Rozsa, “Will Americans wear masks to prevent coronavirus spread? Politics, history, race and crime factor into tough decision,” Washington Post, April 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-masks-america/2020/04/18/bdb16bf2-7a85-11ea-a130-df573469f094_story.html; Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux and Likhitha Butchireddygari, “For Black Americans, Wearing A Mask Comes With Complicated Anxieties,” FiveThirtyEight, June 30, 2020, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/for-black-americans-wearing-a-mask-comes-with-complicated-anxieties/; Griff Witte, Ariana Eunjung Cha, and Josh Dawsey, “At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks,” Washington Post, July 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/at-the-heart-of-dismal-us-coronavirus-response-a-fraught-relationship-with-masks/2020/07/28/f47eccd0-cde4-11ea-bc6a-6841b28d9093_story.html

Poor Donald Trump. Nobody wants to delay the election.

Horse race

Donald Trump’s idea to delay the election[1] landed like a cold turd in Congress. It very much appears that this was another step in a plan to discredit the election before it even happens.[2]

One of the most dramatic critiques of Trump’s tweet came from Steven G. Calabrese, a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society, who wrote in an opinion piece published in The New York Times Thursday that the idea was “fascistic” and “grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment.”[3]

I’ve said this many times and I can’t stress it enough: The many refutations to what Trump says, in this case,[4] and in every other case, are irrelevant. He speaks to his largely authoritarian populist and social conservative base and not to anyone else. They listen to him and not to anyone else.

Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, “Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-floats-idea-of-delaying-the-november-election-as-he-ramps-up-attacks-on-voting-by-mail/2020/07/30/15fe7ac6-d264-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html


Pandemic

I guess it’s time for Allegheny County COVID-19 cases to start surging again. University students are moving in for fall semester.


  1. [1]Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein, “Trump floats delaying election despite lack of authority to do so,” CNN, July 30, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/politics/trump-delay-election-no-authority/index.html
  2. [2]Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, “Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-floats-idea-of-delaying-the-november-election-as-he-ramps-up-attacks-on-voting-by-mail/2020/07/30/15fe7ac6-d264-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html
  3. [3]Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, “Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-floats-idea-of-delaying-the-november-election-as-he-ramps-up-attacks-on-voting-by-mail/2020/07/30/15fe7ac6-d264-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html
  4. [4]Amy Gardner, Josh Dawsey, and John Wagner, “Trump encounters broad pushback to his suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election,” Washington Post, July 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-floats-idea-of-delaying-the-november-election-as-he-ramps-up-attacks-on-voting-by-mail/2020/07/30/15fe7ac6-d264-11ea-9038-af089b63ac21_story.html