Millions more in poverty as elites continue to fail

Recession/Depression

It’s worth noting for the record that negotiations for economic relief for the recession or depression caused by the pandemic lockdowns are still stuck,[1] with little prospect for a breakthrough:[2]

source on threadreaderapp.com
Archived at 2020-10-15 07:31:24

Jeff Stein Profile picture

Jeff Stein

Follow @JStein_WaPo

Twitter logo

13 Oct, 2 tweets, 1 min read

Bookmark Save as PDF My Authors

A reminder that no stimulus deal at all means:

– Tens of thousands of airline workers get laid off

– No federal supplement unemployment benefits for +20 million ppl

– Severe cuts/layoffs for restaurant, hotel workers

– Checks 2.0 don’t go out to millions facing pay cuts

Pelosi insisted today to Wolf Blitzer that a deal would get done, but my sources and the sources of most reporters tracking talks are very bearish on anything happening before Nov. 3. What is Dems’ leverage after the election?[3]

Millions of people are now in poverty[4] because elites really don’t have a stake in keeping them out of poverty.[5]

Jeff Stein, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, October 13, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1316133318027608064.html

Jason DeParle, “8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up,” New York Times, October 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/us/politics/federal-aid-poverty-levels.html


  1. [1]Jason DeParle, “8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up,” New York Times, October 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/us/politics/federal-aid-poverty-levels.html
  2. [2]Jeff Stein, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, October 13, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1316133318027608064.html
  3. [3]Jeff Stein, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, October 13, 2020, https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1316133318027608064.html
  4. [4]Jason DeParle, “8 Million Have Slipped Into Poverty Since May as Federal Aid Has Dried Up,” New York Times, October 15, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/us/politics/federal-aid-poverty-levels.html
  5. [5]David Benfell, “The mysterious expectation that elites give a damn,” Not Housebroken, October 7, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/01/the-mysterious-expectation-that-elites-give-a-damn/

Leathermen?

Horse race

There is a new blog post entitled, “On ‘Unity Over Division.’

I assume none of my readers are really expecting me to comment on the vice presidential debate any more than I commented on the previous presidential debate. If any are, their expectations are misplaced. The major parties refuse to address issues of concern to me, do not earn and do not receive my vote. That one form of stupidity, the delusional raging narcissist kind, is cruel, obnoxious, and loud does not diminish the cruelty of the neoliberal kind. Neither are even remotely acceptable.


‘Proud Boys’

This can’t really be true, really?

You might recall that gay men had reclaimed the label ‘Proud Boys’ obviously, albeit not admittedly, irritating their leader, Enrique Tarrio.[1]

Around the end of the dot-com boom, I lived in San Francisco’s South of Market Area (SOMA), within, as it turned out, a block of no less than five gay bars. It was close, within walking distance, to work.

So while I would hardly claim authority on gay culture, I know that at least as of that time, a lot of gay men liked leather. A lot.


Donald Trump

Josh Margolin and Lucien Bruggeman, “34 people connected to White House, more than previously known, infected by coronavirus: Internal FEMA memo,” ABC News, October 7, 2020, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/34-people-connected-white-house-previously-infected-coronavirus/story?id=73487381


  1. [1]Alaa Elassar, “Gay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag,” CNN, October 4, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/us/proud-boys-twitter-hashtag-gay-men-trnd/index.html

Donald Trump gets COVID-19 (Update #10)

Updates

  1. Originally published, October 3, 2020, 11:45 am.
  2. October 3, 10:27 pm:
    • Reports of Donald Trump’s condition have been contradictory and sometimes misleading. White House physician Sean Conley has been evasive and I would accordingly suggest discounting anything he says, just as we would anything Trump says, which leaves us with the possibility, albeit from often unnamed sources, that this really is serious.[1]
  3. October 4, 8:13 am:
    • It appears Donald Trump has been given two experimental treatments to combat COVID-19: regeneron and remdesivir. Medical doctors are having a hard time reading the tea leaves of contradictory and omitted information but would seem to be somewhat more concerned about Trump’s condition than Sean Conley (see previous update, October 3, 10:27 pm).[2]
  4. October 4, 8:34 am:
  5. October 4, 10:26 am:
    • The Republican refusal to take COVID-19 seriously is now boomeranging on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to take Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court as at least two Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee are now in self-quarantine and unable to vote.[3] Er, make that three. Oh, and that Rose Garden ceremony where Donald Trump announced Barrett’s nomination? Looking more and more like a “superspreader event.”[4]
  6. October 4, 11:16 pm:
    • I got annoyed and dredged up my old research journal post on the second amendment. I have now resurrected it. My thinking has progressed a bit since I wrote it but the new post contains the text as it was in my research journal, with a prefatory note.
    • Donald Trump’s condition was indeed[5] more serious[6] than earlier acknowledged by White House physician Sean Conley.[7] And apparently the optimistic view that Trump might be out of Walter Reed Hospital tomorrow makes no fucking sense whatsoever.[8] So, um, Trump’s doctors and the White House can take their “abundance of caution” shit[9] and shove it right back up where it came from. Trustworthy indications will be when Trump is back on a golf course or in a casket; anything else on the record should be treated as bullshit.
  7. October 5, 2020, 9:57 am:
    • One problem with working from “live update” stories from the Washington Post, and a reason I normally eschew them, is that citation details change. Another reason is simply that it is difficult to know when you have the final version of the article. I’ve gone back and updated the citations now in the blog post and here.
    • “As of Sunday [October 4] afternoon, there are valid questions about whether anyone providing details of Trump’s health can be trusted.”[10]
    • I tweeted this before seeing the latest “live update” story from the Washington Post.[11] I must have been up later than I thought, Sunday night. I should have said today:

      Basically, we’ll know what’s going on when Donald Trump is either in a casket or back on the golf course.

    • In retrospect, it seems obvious that gay men are the rightful owners of the “Proud Boys” label. In retrospect. They’re smartasses for reclaiming it[12] and, I dare say, being really rather courageous in doing so. I’m calling bullshit on the “spreading joy”[13] shit, but I am most certainly amused.

      But Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the Proud Boys, said he doesn’t see what the men are trying to accomplish.

      “I think it’s hysterical,” Tarrio told CNN. “This isn’t something that’s offensive to us. It’s not an insult. We aren’t homophobic. We don’t care who people sleep with. People think it’s going to bother us. It doesn’t.”[14]

      Trust me. He’s annoyed. Very annoyed. And by the way, a detail I didn’t know: “Tarrio, a Cuban American, is also the leader of the grassroots group Latinos for Trump.”[15] Uh huh. I just saw a banner for the latter group, along with one for “Blacks for Trump,” yesterday in New Kensington.

    • (@NRO is the National Review online.)

  8. October 5, 11:29 am:
    • The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a challenge to Pennsylvania’s lockdown. This is a separate case[16] from the one in which a Trump appointee relying on capitalist libertarian logic struck down the restrictions[17] in a ruling that had to be stayed by the appeals court[18] and is unlikely to be upheld.[19]
  9. October 5, 2020, 10:38 pm:
    • I’m a doctor, but not a medical doctor, so treat this as a lay opinion: Donald Trump leaving Walter Reed Hospital[20] strikes me as likely having been done against medical advice and probably considerably diminishes the possibility entertained by so many for so long that he’s a malicious and compulsive liar. What we are seeing here is stupidity. It is insanity. It is delusional raging narcissism.

      One thing we can conclude so far is that the jackassery has not been diminished in this episode as Trump and fellow Republicans continue to spew bullshit.[21]

  10. October 6, 2020, 10:21 am:
    • Reportedly, Donald Trump also received the steroid dexamethasone which “is considered safe only when a patient appears to be at high risk of developing the kind of overactive inflammatory response that can lead to organ failure and death”[22] and whose side effects include “mania, depression, psychotic or mixed affective states, cognitive deficits, and minor psychiatric disturbances (irritability, insomnia, anxiety, labile mood).”[23] “If Trump’s physicians are following the recommendations from the Recovery study and giving him 6 mg of dexamethasone once per day for 10 days, his treatment could stretch to Oct. 14 — one day before the second presidential debate is scheduled to take place in Miami.”[24] I make it a rule to not watch debates, but um, I’m gonna have to think about this one.
    • Donald Trump appeared to be having difficulty breathing when he returned to the White House.[25]

Donald Trump

There is a new blog post entitled, “On wishing the delusional raging narcissist-in-chief well.”

Megan Guza And Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh doctors discuss Trump’s covid risk factors,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 2, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/health-now/pittsburgh-doctors-discuss-trumps-covid-risk-factors/

Robert Mackey, “Trump Is Hospitalized With Covid-19, Days After Mocking Biden for Wearing a Mask,” Intercept, October 2, 2020, https://theintercept.com/2020/10/02/trump-tests-positive-covid-48-hours-mocking-biden-wearing-mask/

Andrew Restuccia, “Trump and His Aides Have Long Played Down Importance of Face Masks, Distancing,” Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-and-his-aides-have-long-downplayed-importance-of-face-masks-distancing-11601655164

Associated Press, “Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 3, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/politics-election/concerning-signs-in-trumps-care-despite-word-hes-doing-ok/

Colby Itkowitz et al., “Chief of staff says next 48 hours ‘critical’ as Trump says he’s doing well,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/03/trump-covid-live-updates/

Gina Kolata and Apoorva Mandavilli, “Trump’s Covid Treatments Are Aimed at Preventing Severe Illness,” New York Times, October 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/health/Covid-trump-treatments.html

Maeve Reston and Gregory Krieg, “White House sows confusion about Trump’s condition as source tells reporters next 48 hours will be critical,” October 3, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/03/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus-walter-reed/index.html

John Wagner et al., “Trump at hospital after positive coronavirus test; Kellyanne Conway, two senators test positive,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/02/trump-biden-live-updates/

Laura King and Chris Megerian, “Trump stages drive-by for supporters after doctors disclose more serious symptoms,” Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-10-04/trump-receiving-powerful-lung-drug-doctors-disclose-revealing-more-serious-symptoms

Derek Hawkins et al., “President’s blood oxygen levels dropped twice in recent days, doctors say,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/04/trump-covid-live-updates/

Felicia Sonmez et al., “Trump returns to White House from hospital; may not be ‘out of the woods,’ doctor says,” Washington Post, October 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/05/trump-biden-live-updates/

Melissa Healy, “Trump received dexamethasone for COVID-19. Here’s what that says about his condition,” Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-10-05/trump-dexamethasone-covid-19-condition

Soo Kim, “Donald Trump ‘Gasping for Air’ Video Raises Questions About President’s Health,” Newsweek, October 6, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-donald-trump-breathing-difficulty-gasping-air-white-house-hospital-discharge-1536598


‘Proud Boys’

Alaa Elassar, “Gay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag,” CNN, October 4, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/us/proud-boys-twitter-hashtag-gay-men-trnd/index.html


Pennsylvania

Greg Stohr, “Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Pennsylvania Shutdown Order,” Bloomberg, October 5, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-05/supreme-court-rejects-challenge-to-pennsylvania-shutdown-order


  1. [1]Associated Press, “Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 3, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/politics-election/concerning-signs-in-trumps-care-despite-word-hes-doing-ok/; Maeve Reston and Gregory Krieg, “White House sows confusion about Trump’s condition as source tells reporters next 48 hours will be critical,” October 3, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/03/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus-walter-reed/index.html
  2. [2]Gina Kolata and Apoorva Mandavilli, “Trump’s Covid Treatments Are Aimed at Preventing Severe Illness,” New York Times, October 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/health/Covid-trump-treatments.html
  3. [3]Mary Clare Jalonick, “Virus spreads on panel handling Supreme Court nomination,” Washington Post, October 3, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/virus-spreads-on-panel-handling-supreme-court-nomination/2020/10/03/0c43dc7a-05df-11eb-b92e-029676f9ebec_story.html
  4. [4]Russell Berman, “Suddenly, Amy Coney Barrett Might Not Have the Votes,” Atlantic, October 3, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/10/supreme-court-trump-covid/616608/
  5. [5]Laura King and Chris Megerian, “Trump stages drive-by for supporters after doctors disclose more serious symptoms,” Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-10-04/trump-receiving-powerful-lung-drug-doctors-disclose-revealing-more-serious-symptoms
  6. [6]Gina Kolata and Apoorva Mandavilli, “Trump’s Covid Treatments Are Aimed at Preventing Severe Illness,” New York Times, October 3, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/health/Covid-trump-treatments.html
  7. [7]Associated Press, “Trump said to be improving but next 48 hours ‘critical,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 3, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/politics-election/concerning-signs-in-trumps-care-despite-word-hes-doing-ok/; Maeve Reston and Gregory Krieg, “White House sows confusion about Trump’s condition as source tells reporters next 48 hours will be critical,” October 3, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/03/politics/donald-trump-coronavirus-walter-reed/index.html
  8. [8]Laura King and Chris Megerian, “Trump stages drive-by for supporters after doctors disclose more serious symptoms,” Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-10-04/trump-receiving-powerful-lung-drug-doctors-disclose-revealing-more-serious-symptoms
  9. [9]Colby Itkowitz et al., “Chief of staff says next 48 hours ‘critical’ as Trump says he’s doing well,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/03/trump-covid-live-updates/; John Wagner et al., “Trump at hospital after positive coronavirus test; Kellyanne Conway, two senators test positive,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/02/trump-biden-live-updates/
  10. [10]Philip Bump, in Derek Hawkins et al., “President’s blood oxygen levels dropped twice in recent days, doctors say,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/04/trump-covid-live-updates/
  11. [11]Derek Hawkins et al., “President’s blood oxygen levels dropped twice in recent days, doctors say,” Washington Post, October 4, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/04/trump-covid-live-updates/
  12. [12]Alaa Elassar, “Gay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag,” CNN, October 4, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/us/proud-boys-twitter-hashtag-gay-men-trnd/index.html
  13. [13]Alaa Elassar, “Gay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag,” CNN, October 4, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/us/proud-boys-twitter-hashtag-gay-men-trnd/index.html
  14. [14]Alaa Elassar, “Gay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag,” CNN, October 4, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/us/proud-boys-twitter-hashtag-gay-men-trnd/index.html
  15. [15]Alaa Elassar, “Gay men have taken over the Proud Boys Twitter hashtag,” CNN, October 4, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/04/us/proud-boys-twitter-hashtag-gay-men-trnd/index.html
  16. [16]Greg Stohr, “Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Pennsylvania Shutdown Order,” Bloomberg, October 5, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-05/supreme-court-rejects-challenge-to-pennsylvania-shutdown-order
  17. [17]Paula Reed Ward, “Federal judge rules Gov. Wolf’s shutdown orders were unconstitutional,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 14, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/federal-judge-rules-gov-wolfs-shutdown-orders-were-unconstitutional/
  18. [18]Paula Reed Ward, “Appeals court allows Gov. Tom Wolf, state to restore covid crowd restrictions,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 1, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/appeals-court-allows-pennsylvania-to-restrict-crowd-size/
  19. [19]Jamie Martines and Paula Reed Ward, “Why the ruling against Wolf’s covid-19 restrictions faces long odds on appeal, explained,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 17, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/why-the-ruling-against-wolfs-covid-19-restrictions-faces-long-odds-on-appeal-explained/
  20. [20]Felicia Sonmez et al., “Trump returns to White House from hospital; may not be ‘out of the woods,’ doctor says,” Washington Post, October 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/05/trump-biden-live-updates/
  21. [21]Felicia Sonmez et al., “Trump returns to White House from hospital; may not be ‘out of the woods,’ doctor says,” Washington Post, October 5, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2020/10/05/trump-biden-live-updates/
  22. [22]Melissa Healy, “Trump received dexamethasone for COVID-19. Here’s what that says about his condition,” Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-10-05/trump-dexamethasone-covid-19-condition
  23. [23]Mayo Clinic Proceedings, quoted in Melissa Healy, “Trump received dexamethasone for COVID-19. Here’s what that says about his condition,” Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-10-05/trump-dexamethasone-covid-19-condition
  24. [24]Melissa Healy, “Trump received dexamethasone for COVID-19. Here’s what that says about his condition,” Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-10-05/trump-dexamethasone-covid-19-condition
  25. [25]Soo Kim, “Donald Trump ‘Gasping for Air’ Video Raises Questions About President’s Health,” Newsweek, October 6, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-donald-trump-breathing-difficulty-gasping-air-white-house-hospital-discharge-1536598

Nancy Pelosi wants ‘a strong Republican Party’

The neoliberal party

Nancy Pelosi has been catching a lot of flak for saying this:

One of my prayers is that the Republicans will take back their party. The country needs a strong Republican Party. It’s done so much for our country, and to have it be hijacked as a cult at this time is really a sad thing for America.[1]

I would have to argue that the criticism is misdirected. Yes, certainly it appears that Pelosi is seeking a party she might putatively oppose but be able to work with, or more precisely, to be complicit with (as, in fact, the Democrats really already are[2]). But the claim that the Republican Party has been ‘hijacked’ is what truly deserves criticism.

Thomas Frank has repeatedly argued that the Democrats spurned the working class and converted them into the toxic authoritarian populists we see today.[3] And while that isn’t the whole story,[4] it’s certainly the case that Republican ranks have been swelled by disaffected workers. That authoritarian populists, conflated with social conservatives and paleoconservatives, make up a majority of Republican voters and now control the party does not make that party a ‘cult.’ It reflects what Frank argues: That the Democrats betrayed workers and will never again get their vote.

Jason Lemon, “Nancy Pelosi Says America ‘Needs a Strong Republican Party,’ Not a Hijacked ‘Cult,’” Newsweek, September 30, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/nancy-pelosi-says-america-needs-strong-republican-party-not-hijacked-cult-1535343


  1. [1]Nancy Pelosi, quoted in Jason Lemon, “Nancy Pelosi Says America ‘Needs a Strong Republican Party,’ Not a Hijacked ‘Cult,’” Newsweek, September 30, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/nancy-pelosi-says-america-needs-strong-republican-party-not-hijacked-cult-1535343
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Voting for complicity,” Not Housebroken, September 26, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/20/voting-for-complicity/
  3. [3]Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter With Kansas? (New York: Henry Holt, 2004); Thomas Frank, Pity the Billionaire (New York: Metropolitan, 2012); see also Neil Barofsky, Bailout (New York: Free Press, 2012); Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Winner-Take-All Politics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010); Jason Togyer, “Fear and Loathing in the Time of Coronavirus,” Columbia Journalism Review, March 25, 2020, https://www.cjr.org/special_report/mckeesport-year-of-fear-covid-19-pandemic.php.
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Barack Obama asks, ‘Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?’” Not Housebroken, November 4, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/11/04/barack-obama-asks-why-is-it-that-the-folks-that-won-the-last-election-are-so-mad-all-the-time/

And here I’ve been, waiting for word on Trump’s alleged participation in ‘golden showers’ with Russian prostitutes

Donald Trump

Despite this, Donald Trump, whom authoritarian populists insist is such a great businessman,[1] is going broke again. He is personally responsible for some $421 million in debt, “most of it coming due within four years,” and faces the possibility of having to return a tax refund to the Internal Revenue Service, which could cost him $100 million. The report does not say to whom he owes the former,[2] but some will surely suspect the Russians.[3]

Ah, gee. And here I’ve been, waiting for word on Trump’s alleged participation in “golden showers” with Russian prostitutes.[4] Make of that what you will. I sure as hell don’t know, but I can’t even wrap my head around my own finances.

So I was wondering what the National Review would have to say about the New York Times story on Trump’s taxes. Well, um, it seems they’re all about the “golden showers,” too, or more precisely the “Russian investigation” into Trump, which Republicans insist was unjustified and possibly illegal.[5] Make of that what you will, too.

Brittany Bernstein, “Lindsey Graham Hints There is ‘More Damning’ Information about the Russia Investigation to be Released,” National Review, September 28, 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/lindsey-graham-hints-there-is-more-damning-information-about-the-russia-investigation-to-be-released/

Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and Mike McIntire, “Trump’s Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance,” New York Times, September 27, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html


Fire

Napa Valley in California is on fire and the fire spread west through mountainous terrain north of the Valley of the Moon, also wine country, in Sonoma County toward Santa Rosa, where evacuation orders are taking effect (figure 1) in areas that previously burned in 2017 with the Tubbs Fire. I keep saying it: In California, if it hasn’t burned, it will. And is.

Fig. 1. Screenshot taken by author of the Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, September 28, 2020, at 9:44 am EDT (6:44 am PDT).


  1. [1]Bess Levin, “G.O.P. Voters Think Losing $1 Billion Makes Someone (Trump) a Good Businessman,” Vanity Fair, May 15, 2019, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/republicans-still-think-trump-was-a-successful-businessman
  2. [2]Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig, and Mike McIntire, “Trump’s Taxes Show Chronic Losses and Years of Income Tax Avoidance,” New York Times, September 27, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html
  3. [3]Craig Unger, “Trump’s Russian Laundromat,” New Republic, July 13, 2017, https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate
  4. [4]Jeff Stein, “Trump, Russian Spies and the Infamous ‘Golden Shower Memos,’” Newsweek, January 10, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/trump-russian-spies-infamous-golden-shower-memos-541315
  5. [5]Brittany Bernstein, “Lindsey Graham Hints There is ‘More Damning’ Information about the Russia Investigation to be Released,” National Review, September 28, 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/lindsey-graham-hints-there-is-more-damning-information-about-the-russia-investigation-to-be-released/

A ‘vote shaming’ argument rendered moot

Supreme Court

“Vote shamers” who argue for voting for their presumed “lesser of two evils,” that is, Joe Biden, based on the opening on the Supreme Court created by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death,[1] are having their argument rendered moot as the Republicans appear able and willing to ram through Donald Trump’s nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, before election day.[2]

Anne Gearan, Seung Min Kim, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett is his pick for the Supreme Court,” Washington Post, September 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-barrett-supreme-court/2020/09/26/4a417d60-000e-11eb-b555-4d71a9254f4b_story.html


Admiral Janeway

I’ve been thinking a lot about my dearest cat, Admiral Janeway (figure 1), who, as they put it, crossed over the rainbow bridge, on February 9, 2018.[3]

Fig. 1. Admiral Janeway, photograph by author, October 30, 2017.

I remember waking up that morning, seeing that she was watching me. We gazed into each other’s eyes for the longest time, which was unusual and should have tipped me off. It didn’t of course, and I also didn’t think anything of her seeming unusually spry as we got up. Again, this was a clue I missed entirely. I went about my usual routine, I think her tail might have brushed my calf as I sat at my desk catching up on email and the day’s events, and then I went off to work.

My mother called sometime that evening. She had found Admiral Janeway in the yard, seemingly asleep but somehow slightly awry (I assume rigor mortis). My cat had likely found a sunny spot and gone to sleep there. I have been told since that this is how kidney failure gets you.

I have her ashes. They are to be spread with my own, assuming I manage to finish paying for it, at a redwood tree near Point Arena, California.

But damn, I miss her.


  1. [1]David Benfell, “On ‘vote shaming,’” Not Housebroken, September 21, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/09/21/on-vote-shaming/
  2. [2]Anne Gearan, Seung Min Kim, and Josh Dawsey, “Trump announces Judge Amy Coney Barrett is his pick for the Supreme Court,” Washington Post, September 26, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-barrett-supreme-court/2020/09/26/4a417d60-000e-11eb-b555-4d71a9254f4b_story.html; Paul Kane and Rachael Bade, “Democrats largely powerless to stop GOP from confirming Trump’s court choice,” Washington Post, September 21, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senate-trump-court-democrats/2020/09/21/12295b82-fc1c-11ea-9ceb-061d646d9c67_story.html
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Admiral Janeway, rest in peace,” Not Housebroken, February 9, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/02/09/admiral-janeway-rest-in-peace/

Discord

Polarization

There is a new blog post entitled, “On the plea for peace.”

Andrea Mazzarino, “War Zone America?” TomDispatch, September 22, 2020, http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176752/tomgram%3A_andrea_mazzarino%2C_%28un%29civil_war/


Allegheny County

Megan Guza, “Allegheny County restaurant task force shuts down 2 repeat offenders for covid-19 violations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 22, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/allegheny-county-restaurant-task-force-shuts-down-2-repeat-offenders-for-covid-19-violations/


Essential workers

Michael Sainato, “‘I cry before work’: US essential workers burned out amid pandemic,” Guardian, September 23, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/23/us-essential-workers-coronavirus-burnout-stress


Catching up

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 19, 2020, at 11:17 am.
  2. September 19, 3:27 pm:
    • I fixed those page links, I think. It seems the WordPress export/import function failed to replicate the setting for permalinks on Not Housebroken. All I probably really had to do was turn that back on. But I updated the pages, so hopefully those are right now.

So I’m catching up. The transition to new hosting was not without its scary moments but it seems my host has been to Hogwarts. His database magic is good. It does appear some page links have been broken, so I have a bit more work to do, which I’ll get to, hopefully tonight.


Pennsylvania

Jamie Martines and Paula Reed Ward, “Why the ruling against Wolf’s covid-19 restrictions faces long odds on appeal, explained,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 17, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/why-the-ruling-against-wolfs-covid-19-restrictions-faces-long-odds-on-appeal-explained/

Meghan Schiller, “Pitt Researcher: Wolf Administration’s Pandemic Restrictions Saved ‘Many, Many Thousands Of Lives,’” KDKA, September 17, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/09/17/pittsburgh-researcher-gov-tom-wolf-pandemic-restrictions-saved-lives/


Allegheny County

Paula Reed Ward, “Brentwood restaurant defies order to close for covid-19 violations, faces court action,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 18, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/south-hills/brentwood-restaurant-defies-order-to-close-for-covid-19-violations-faces-court-action/


Migrants

Tina Vasquez, “Immigrants allege mistreatment by Georgia doctor and whistleblower,” Prism, September 17, 2020, https://www.prismreports.org/article/2020/9/17/immigrants-allege-mistreatment-by-georgia-doctor-and-whistleblower/


Higher Education

Francie Diep, “More Colleges Are Responding to Covid-19 Surges With 2-Week Quarantines. Do They Work?” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 17, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/more-colleges-are-responding-to-covid-19-surges-with-2-week-quarantines-do-they-work


Supreme Court

Robert Barnes and Michael A. Fletcher, “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice and legal pioneer for gender equality, dies at 87,” Washington Post, September 18, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dies/2020/09/18/3cedc314-fa08-11ea-a275-1a2c2d36e1f1_story.html

Clare Foran, Manu Raju, and Ted Barrett, “McConnell vows Trump’s nominee to replace Ginsburg will get Senate vote, setting up historic fight,” CNN, September 19, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/18/politics/congress-fight-rgb-seat/index.html


The University of Michigan and the validity of ‘shared governance’

Updates

  1. Originally published, September 17, 2020, at 10:32 am.
  2. September 17, 11:19 am:

Higher Education

At one point I had heard that even if faculty resolutions of no confidence were non-binding, they nonetheless invariably led to university presidents stepping down, usually within a year, that is, just long enough to plausibly deny that it was those resolutions that lay behind those resignations.

Such a resolution might have passed—the question of how abstentions count makes the outcome uncertain—at the University of Michigan over President Mark S. Schlissel’s decision to reopen the school for in-person instruction despite the pandemic.[1]

I don’t know if what I heard was correct. Even if it was, the trend in higher education has been toward greater administration autonomy, unmooring institutions from the concept of “shared governance.” Something like this happened at Saybrook: Even as President Nathan Long promised transparency and stakeholder consultations, the simple fact is that the faculty there was bored with governance and surrendered it when they accepted the merger into the TCS ES system—Saybrook’s faculty senate seems now to be a rubber stamp. Long’s rhetoric merely gave the faculty the cover they needed to choose irrelevance in the face of neoliberal exigency. Faculty at other schools, like the University of Michigan, still give a damn and, at these schools, presidential autocracy remains contested.

So the story of University of Michigan is important for two reasons. First, it is part of a saga of higher education’s struggle with the coronavirus;[2] and second, because it will weigh heavily in the longer term fight over governance.

After all, if even on a matter of life and death, which COVID-19 most certainly is, university presidents can nonetheless do whatever the fuck they want, then it is clear that “shared governance” is dead.

Vimal Patel, “A Grad Strike, a Court Fight, a No-Confidence Vote: U. of Michigan Struggles Over Its Campus Reopening,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-grad-strike-a-court-fight-a-no-confidence-vote-u-of-michigan-struggles-over-its-campus-reopening

Malcolm Gaskill, “On Quitting Academia,” London Review of Books 42, no. 18 (September 24, 2020), https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n18/malcolm-gaskill/diary


Concentration camps

The allegation, strenuously denied by both U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and by LaSalle Corrections, is that a doctor at a “detention center” (really a concentration camp[3]) in Georgia run by LaSalle for asylum-seekers has been coercing women to undergo hysterectomies.[4] Twitter has been alive with accusations of social conservative hypocrisy: How, indeed, can one claim to be “pro-life” when supporting forced sterilization? To the extent that social conservatives still have a conscience,[5] the allegation should certainly be problematic, but I haven’t actually yet seen a reaction in the social conservative media and wouldn’t actually expect to see it until later today or tomorrow.

Natalie Andrews and Michelle Hackman, “U.S. Opens Investigation Into Claims of Forced Hysterectomies on Detained Migrants,” Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawmakers-seek-investigation-into-allegations-of-mass-hysterectomies-on-detained-migrants-11600291610


  1. [1]Vimal Patel, “A Grad Strike, a Court Fight, a No-Confidence Vote: U. of Michigan Struggles Over Its Campus Reopening,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-grad-strike-a-court-fight-a-no-confidence-vote-u-of-michigan-struggles-over-its-campus-reopening
  2. [2]Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga, “Trump administration backs off plan requiring international students to take face-to-face classes,” Washington Post, July 14, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/ice-rule-harvard-international-students-rescinded/2020/07/14/319fdae0-c607-11ea-a99f-3bbdffb1af38_story.html; Associated Press, “More than 200 schools, 17 states back lawsuits against Trump administration over international student rule,” CNBC, July 13, 2020, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/13/more-than-200-schools-17-states-back-lawsuits-against-trump-over-international-student-rule.html; Carl T. Bergstrom, “The CDC Is Wrong,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-CDC-Is-Wrong/249174; Bloomberg, “Harvard and MIT sue ICE to halt new student visa guidelines,” Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-08/harvard-and-mit-sue-ice-to-halt-new-student-visa-guidelines; Tim Elfrink, “‘We’ve got to do better than this’: College students raise alarm by packing bars, avoiding masks,” Washington Post, August 17, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/17/alabama-georgia-college-parties-covid/; Collin Binkley, “Trump administration rescinds rule on foreign students,” Associated Press, July 14, 2020, copy in possession of author; Lindsay Ellis, “Colleges Hoped for an In-Person Fall. Now the Dream is Crumbling,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 20, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-hoped-for-an-in-person-fall-now-the-dream-is-crumbling; Karin Fischer, “As MIT and Harvard Sue, Colleges Scramble to Respond to New Federal Policy on International Students,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 8, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-MITHarvard-Sue/249142; Karin Fischer, “U.S. Rescinds Visa Policy That Could Have Forced Colleges to Hold Some Classes in Person,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 14, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/US-Rescinds-Visa-Policy-That/249182; Michelle Hackman and Melissa Korn, “ICE Says Newly Enrolling International Students Can’t Come to U.S. if Classes Fully Online,” Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ice-says-newly-enrolling-international-students-can-t-come-to-u-s-if-classes-fully-online-11595611772; Audrey Williams June, “Over 450 Colleges Are in Coronavirus Hot Spots,” Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Over-450-Colleges-Are-in/249156; Robert Kelchen, “Colleges Aren’t Reopening in the Fall,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 18, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/Colleges-Aren-t-Reopening-in/248803; Eric Kelderman, “Colleges Are Making Late Calls to Shut Campuses. Is It All About the Money?” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 25, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/colleges-are-making-late-calls-to-shut-campuses-is-it-all-about-the-money; 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; Katherine Mangan, “Health Experts Warn Colleges Not to Send Students Home. But What if Quarantine Spaces Run Out?” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 7, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/health-experts-warn-colleges-not-to-send-students-home-but-what-if-they-run-out-of-quarantine-space; John L. Micek, “Pa.’s Shapiro joins fellow AGs in lawsuit over Trump’s foreign student rule,” Pennsylvania Capital-Star, July 13, 2020, https://www.penncapital-star.com/blog/pa-s-shapiro-joins-fellow-ags-in-lawsuit-over-trumps-foreign-student-rule/; Kery Murakami, “Fauci Urges Colleges Not to Send Students Home,” Inside Higher Ed, September 4, 2020, https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2020/09/04/fauci-urges-colleges-not-send-students-home; Notre Dame University, “Notre Dame enacts two weeks of remote instruction,” August 18, 2020, https://news.nd.edu/news/notre-dame-enacts-two-weeks-of-remote-instruction/; Vimal Patel, “A Grad Strike, a Court Fight, a No-Confidence Vote: U. of Michigan Struggles Over Its Campus Reopening,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 16, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-grad-strike-a-court-fight-a-no-confidence-vote-u-of-michigan-struggles-over-its-campus-reopening; Andy Thomason, “After Only One Week, Chapel Hill Abandons In-Person Fall Semester,” Chronicle of Higher Education, August 17, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/after-only-one-week-chapel-hill-abandons-in-person-fall-semester
  3. [3]David Benfell, “It’s time to be clear: Migrant children are being held in concentration camps and the Trump administration is fascist,” Not Housebroken, June 24, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/06/24/its-time-to-be-clear-migrant-children-are-being-held-in-concentration-camps-and-the-trump-administration-is-fascist/
  4. [4]Natalie Andrews and Michelle Hackman, “U.S. Opens Investigation Into Claims of Forced Hysterectomies on Detained Migrants,” Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/lawmakers-seek-investigation-into-allegations-of-mass-hysterectomies-on-detained-migrants-11600291610
  5. [5]Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “After Trump and Moore, some evangelicals are finding their own label too toxic to use,” Washington Post, December 14, 2017, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/after-trump-and-moore-some-evangelicals-are-finding-their-own-label-too-toxic-to-use/2017/12/14/b034034c-e020-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html