Linky Friday: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures, Or Something

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonderandhome.com

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  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    LF7: I’m sure folks would be protesting in the streets, but there is a stay at home order in place, doncha know. And even NPR is “All Corona, All The Time”. I can’t even listen to it right now because I am so sick of hearing about yet another tale of woe from one of the people who caught a bad case of it.Report

  2. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    I wonder what is going to happen in red states when COVID numbers sky rocket in 3-6 weeks.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Probably the same as the millions of dead in Georgia since that states reopening…Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Kristin Devine
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        says:

        Honest answer — it’s very hard for me to feel any sympathy for the “raving trumpaloo” set. They support a wannabe fascist goon. They seem to not only tolerate his worst impulses, they thrive on them. Furthermore, the people pushing the wackadoodle conspiracy theories are worse than anti-vaxxers. They are an active menace.

        It’s like that “woman who voted for the leopards eating people’s faces party” meme. I can’t muster up much sympathy for people who supported terrible things, and then suffering the results of those terrible things.

        What you reap, you sew — it’s karma.

        HOWEVER…

        The virus doesn’t care if you support Trump. The virus doesn’t care if you’re an anti-vaxxer or if you think the earth is flat. It only cares if it can get into your body and thrive there. When we see the “red state numbers,” we are not only seeing those who supported an irresponsible policy, we are also seeing their neighbors who now suffer as a result.

        So no, I won’t drool.

        I hope very much we don’t see a dramatic rise in the numbers. I hope people continue to practice social distancing, even if their state “opens.”

        For me, the biggest problem with “open” is the incentives it creates for workers. Without “opening”, they are eligible for unemployment. It isn’t enough. In fact it sucks. However, it exists. If they are forced to go to work in unsafe conditions, many will make that choice and be exposed to the virus. I can’t blame them for going to work. The social pressures are strong.

        People make choices within a context. If that context is busted, then their options are often entirely bad.

        The virus lands heaviest on the most vulnerable. It’s awful.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d
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          More on this: for many of us (including me), it is very tempting to focus on terrible people, which is why so many of us spend so much time watching videos of the trumpaloos waving guns and protesting. When we follow are worser instincts, it easy to imagine them suffering the consequences of their actions. By contrast, when we follow our better angels, we might imagine a “redemption arc,” where they grow and change.

          There is a problem here. Specifically, we are focusing on the wrong people. The trumpaloos are going to do their trumpaloo shit. There isn’t actually much we can do about them.

          So why even think about them at all, besides the basic understanding that they exist and they are terrible?

          Instead, we should focus on the vulnerable who get hurt.

          What about the poor person, who lives in a crowded apartment with six other people, who has to choose between privation and working in a deeply unsafe environment? What are they supposed to do? Should they just accept getting sick? Should they accept the fact they will spread it to their household?

          What choice do they really have?

          I detest the trumpaloos. I loathe them. But this isn’t about them. We center them in this story, but we shouldn’t. Instead, we should center the vulnerable who suffer.Report

        • Avatar Swami in reply to veronica d
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          says:

          I would guess that if your concern is the workers, that the virus would need to be substantially more dangerous than let’s say…. driving to work. But with a death rate for younger people without health issues in the .0001% range, I would think the chance of dying would be orders of magnitude higher for driving to and from work. Hell, I think the odds are worse for a young person dying in the bathtub, getting clean for work.

          If this perhaps leads to a state sponsored exemption for going back to work for those with serious health issues, then so be it. I can also see regulations on clearly dangerous places such as those stupid poultry assembly lines (their employers should be sued). But this exaggeration that healthy young people are risking their lives to work as a cashier is preposterous.

          By the way, I don’t even know what a “trumpaloo” is. I have never heard the term. It sounds like you are too involved in politicizing everything and following the partisan politicized news (which is bad on both sides).

          Honestly, you and Saul seem to me to be as deranged as those on the other side. You guys need an intervention.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Swami
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            Even if the worker remains asymptomatic, the others living in the same apartment might not, nor those who share mass transit, etcetera. Furthermore, poor people often have more “risky” medical conditions. Diabetes is widespread, as is obesity. Those people count.

            The comparison to driving is facile, and in a very obvious way. If I get into a traffic accident, no one is at risk other than those in that accident. Even a terrible accident, one that involves several cars, will only endanger a handful of people. By contrast, being infected with corona virus endangers everyone who shares space with you. In turn, it endangers everyone who shares space with them. Etcetera.

            It’s a pandemic. This is not about “every person for themselves.” It’s about protecting the community.

            Like seriously, other people exist.Report

            • Avatar Swami in reply to veronica d
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              says:

              Well, you said you were concerned with the workers, I responded that “if your concern is the workers”. So can I assume we are in agreement that the risk to healthy young people of the virus is negligible? Good. Let’s now move forward.

              I agree that the other members in the household who might be old or at risk are indirectly exposed. This shifts the problem to finding ways to isolate or quarantine those at risk. Again, this is what I have argued for from the beginning. BTW, it is exactly the same problem those at risk have faced all along from the majority of workers who have always been considered necessary, including baggers at the grocery store and the guys that repair roads and the ladies who give tickets to people who park at the beach.

              Stay at home indefinitely has always been silly. I thought it was reasonable for a few weeks to flatten the curve. Beyond that it becomes economically disastrous. I would argue for social distancing protocols, closing dangerous businesses and protecting those at risk from exposure.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Swami
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                says:

                I guess I’ll say this: I’m discussing COVID-19 in the United States, not how it might play out in Narnia or Oz.

                First, there seem to be two basic positions here in the US:

                1. Open now. Open everything. The government cannot order closures.

                2. Open slowly. Wait for the science. Wait for widespread testing. Ensure the infection rate in the community is sufficiently low that opening is safe.

                I’m arguing that #2 is wise and #1 is idiotic.

                #####

                Not all “workers” are young and healthy. The “working poor” include quite a few people who are older and who struggle with poor health. For example, diabetes and obesity are quite common. Those people matter.

                The idea that the virus is “low risk” by looking only at the current death count is ignoring that many people are getting seriously ill, but who currently haven’t yet died. For many people, recovery does not happen quickly, nor do we really understand the long term issues they will face. They linger in sickness. Their organ function is degrading.

                Again, this will land harder on the shoulders of the poor, making them even poorer. It will linger in their communities. The effects will be felt for their entire lives. Even if they aren’t sick long term, members of their family will be.

                Our society has proven we don’t care about the poor. Those who suffer long term effects will place further demands on our struggling social safety nets. The pain will be generational.

                We can reduce this, if we act now.

                Likewise, the idea we can quarantine those at risk is fine, but we’re not going to do that. First, the states can’t afford it. The federal government wouldn’t fund it. Second, it would be an enormous logistical nightmare. We can’t house them in barracks, or else we’d create the same problem we currently have in nursing homes, but on a larger scale. I’ve seen suggestions we put people in hotel rooms, but how do we actually do that? Who takes care of those people? They’re poor. They depend on living among close family. It might sound nice as a debating point, but it isn’t going to happen.

                No one wants to stay closed “indefinitely.” No one likes it. (I mean, sure, some random person somewhere might like it, but I haven’t met anyone like that.) However, we need widespread testing and tracking before we reopen. We need to get the numbers down. We need to get a handle on this.

                So far we’ve had zero effective federal leadership. States are struggling, with various degrees of competence and responsibility. “Reopen now” is an easy and temping answer. However, the cost will be very high, and it won’t be born equally.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to veronica d
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                However, we need widespread testing and tracking before we reopen. We need to get the numbers down. We need to get a handle on this.

                What’s the timeline for that?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Dark Matter
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                What’s the timeline for that?

                It will depend on how quickly public health officials can implement test and trace, plus then measuring the results of that. I don’t think we know enough now to give a firm timeline.

                I know this: we’ve wasted a lot of time so far. By (say) mid February the federal government should have been mobilizing the public health infrastructure to get widespread test-and-trace in place. To a large degree, they did not. They mishandled it, and now we’re paying the price.

                That said, we need to continue mobilizing the public health system now in preparation to reopening.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
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                The FDA has been doing more harm than good for a while.

                We need to limit its jurisdiction.

                Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                One would hope that during a crisis the federal government would respond better. They have not.

                I expect that no matter what, there would be failures in any government response, just as there would be failures in any organized response. People are dumb. Organizations are clumsy and follow busted incentives. That said, leadership is a real thing. Over the years, I have worked in both well managed and poorly managed situations. The difference is usually pretty obvious.

                Right now we have absolutely terrible leadership. We can see the results.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
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                The wacky thing is that the FDA has been screwing up in a very particular way:

                It has been telling people who have the capability to help to not help.

                My preferred solution to problems of this nature is not to replace the leadership with less dumb leadership, but to take away the ability of the FDA to say “stop helping”.

                They should be limited to offering a seal of approval or not. They should not have the power, absence evidence of harm, to prevent stuff like tests.

                You hope for better leadership for the clerks denying the use of the tests.

                I don’t see a need for leadership at that level at all. I appreciate the leadership found at the level of the people creating the tests and find that much lower level of leadership sufficient.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
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                My understanding is the FDA currently is showing a lot of good judgement and is under good leadership in terms of fast tracking approval on pretty much anything covid related.

                I’m hearing all sorts of workplace conversations on how things that should take months are taking days or weeks.

                That’s both the good and the bad news.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
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                Yeah there really should be political leadership at FDA and above pushing crisis measures at this time. No joke. Very serious. So how has Jared been and the guy Azar appointed to lead the HHS response who was a dog breeder and R lawyer.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                I don’t think we know enough now to give a firm timeline.

                I’m good with a non-firm timeline, I’d just like to know if we’re talking about days, weeks, or months. If you can’t narrow that down then “indefinite” is a good way to describe the amount of time desired.

                I don’t expect the government to suddenly become ultra-competent and for everyone to consent to letting themselves be tracked. If you want to wait for those things then we’re going to wait a long time.

                We’ve had a lot of time to get our act together. What we’ve got right now isn’t great but it probably is what “having our act together” looks like in this country.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Dark Matter
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                We’ve had a lot of time to get our act together. What we’ve got right now isn’t great but it probably is what “having our act together” looks like in this country.

                If this is in reference to test and trace – ha yeah right.

                Take testing. The WHO comes to the US in what, February, and says here’s a basic but working covid test that we have deployed around the world to help get countries going. Take it for free, use it while you sort your own house, you’re welcome. WE TURNED THEM DOWN.

                Then US labs rush to retool from other medical testing to covid – labs that are FDA certified to do medical testing, labs at vet schools even, and they FDA does nothing to speed up their recertification for covid because there’s apparently no emergency. And then it turns out we are under utilizing the capacity we have (https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-testing-capacity-is-going-unused-11588152602).

                And as to tracing – yes it takes time to train contact tracers. But hell, we have 36 million people out of work right now. We could have started hiring those people and training them in March to contact trace now which means they’d be making money, floating the economy AND fighting the pandemic.

                Did we do any of those things? NO we didn’t. We DON’T have our act together. And we won’t because the President has pivoted back to the insane notion that the ONLY way he gets reelected is to drive the stock market back up. As opposed to retooling the economy and the public health response, and saving lives.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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                Then US labs rush to retool from other medical testing to covid – labs that are FDA certified to do medical testing, labs at vet schools even, and they FDA does nothing to speed up their recertification for covid because there’s apparently no emergency.

                Yes. This is the government in action. Micromanagement. Too many gate keepers, too intrusive regulation, paperwork being more important than anything else. The FDA has been accused of that for years.

                So let me guess, clearly the answer to this problem is… more government?

                And as to tracing – yes it takes time to train contact tracers.

                My statement was more along the lines that people aren’t going to be cooperative with having all their actions monitored and traced.

                We DON’T have our act together.

                We have more protective equipment.
                We have far more vents and can use them better. This includes using one vent for two people.
                We have the ability to test at much larger scale than before.
                We’re more educated in terms of what is going on. Social distancing and wearing masks in public will reduce the transmission rate.

                This is not perfect, but you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wished you had.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to veronica d
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                I’m arguing that #2 is wise and #1 is idiotic.

                First, I’m not disputing that. But second, I am asserting that to implement #2 will require printing and distributing trillions of dollars. Or at least, that’s the simple way to implement it. I’m serious when I say “print”. The bill the House Democrats passed last week would push the total deficit for this fiscal year and the next to something over six trillion dollars. We all know that most of that will never be paid back by raising taxes and sucking the money back out of the economy.

                That may well be the smartest thing to do. It’s also incredibly hard to do in the US today.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                I agree. This will be incredibly expensive. We’ll be paying for it for a generation at least.

                But that is true no matter what we do. It’s a question of who pays and in what form. Illness is a cost. Organ damage is a thing in the world, which by the way, I don’t think you can measure in dollars.

                In my view, economics is poorly suited to really measure this stuff. It’s a kind of “seeing like a state” situation. We have a particular kind of model, and that’s all we have. We use it to “sum up” human suffering.

                Prediction: the degree we depend on economic models is the degree will will favor moneyed interests at the expense of the poor, and in this case their health.

                Nothing prevents us from doing that, of course, but we’re fooling ourselves. Nature doesn’t care about our models.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to Michael Cain
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                Or at least, that’s the simple way to implement it. I’m serious when I say “print”. The bill the House Democrats passed last week would push the total deficit for this fiscal year and the next to something over six trillion dollars. We all know that most of that will never be paid back by raising taxes and sucking the money back out of the economy.

                Those of us who made the same argument about the last two tax cuts – which add trillions to the debt as well – were laughed out of the room as not understanding basic economics because surely THIS TIME companies would do the right thing and increase salaries and innovate creating more well paying jobs. And when that didn’t happen we were told the tide was still rising and somehow inexplicably all boats would still be lifted.

                My point is its become easy to add to the national debt if the “right” people benefit. We have been doing it since Reagan. This one should be just as easy since everyone benefits.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
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                …surely THIS TIME companies would do the right thing and increase salaries and innovate creating more well paying jobs. And when that didn’t happen…

                I’m not sure where you’re getting this from (links?).

                Before the virus; salaries were increasing, at an all time high and we were at full employment.

                This one should be just as easy since everyone benefits.

                It isn’t, shouldn’t be, and we don’t.

                “Easy” isn’t the word when the next payment in this mess is 3 Trillion dollars and that’s not even close to the last payment. These are eye watering numbers even by the standards of the tax cuts.

                Further, “everyone benefits” also isn’t right. Veronica is correct. The people who are going to disproportionately suffer are the already-sick, already-unhealthy, the old, the poor (for multiple reasons), and so on.

                If you’re young-ish, well-off-ish, and can work from home then it’s in your best interests to open up the economy so you’re not paying off as much money in the future and the risk you’re personally running from the disease will be slight to extremely slight.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Put in a pin in this. I imagine we’ll want to revisit it.Report

    • Avatar Swami in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      They (the states) flattened the curve, as we were broadly convinced was necessary. First mission was accomplished, and hospitals were not overwhelmed for 99% of the country.

      Now they are going back to less restrictions, as promised. My expectation is that higher short term rates are quite possible, based upon moving the curve up a bit with less severe distancing. Again, this is exactly as I understand the process was supposed to work. My question is who agreed to giving Governors full control over the economy until the virus goes into remission. Certainly quite a few of them assumed this level of authority. Next thing you know I can’t paddle a board alone in the ocean and couples can no longer watch the sunset and church goers can no longer attend services from inside their car.

      The good thing about the whole enchilada is that we will get lots of natural experiments on what is and is not working (as it is indeed possible the rate will “sky rocket” or not) so we can be more informed going forward.

      My guess is that the contagion has a bit of a negative feedback effect built in. To the extent people see lots of cases, they naturally and wisely increase distancing. This reduces spread, albeit with the kind of delays often found in feedback systems. I certainly see the value in government playing a role at coordinating our responses, but the whole thing is now getting destroyed by partisan insanity and media exaggeration.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Swami
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        My question is who agreed to giving Governors full control over the economy until the virus goes into remission. Certainly quite a few of them assumed this level of authority.

        In a nut shell the President. Time and time again in his now curtailed daily news briefs he’s said the state should lead – even as FEMA and the FBI are allegedly picking winners and loosers but seizing PPE and test kits the states pay for and distributing them to other states. He does this because he believes it will insulate him from negative blowback (which I think is a stretch).Report

    • Avatar Dave in reply to Saul Degraw
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      The same exact thing that happens in NJ when the beaches, hotels and other facilities start to re-open – not much and likely not enough to turn the red states into Manhattan.

      One side makes idiotic appeals to tyranny and liberty and uses dumb ass terms like “lock down”. The other either assumes people are so f–king stupid that people can’t act responsibly or nutpick the idiots and assume that people are going to act in the worst way possible.

      They better get the god damn gyms open because it’s obviously that no one even lifts. Pathetic.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      It hasn’t been 3-6 weeks yet. But it’s been two weeks. 90% of COVID cases are in full bloom after 10 days. Do we have any numbers yet?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      Okay. It has been about 5 weeks since this comment was made.

      How are the numbers doing? Not so good.

      We will definitely want to keep an eye open and keep watching this.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Okay. It has now been six weeks since Saul predicted that the COVID numbers would sky rocket.

      It turns out to have been a pretty good prediction. You can go here and look at the numbers by county.Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine
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    says:

    [LF6] I keep telling myself that one day I’ll dig into this Stacey Abrams person to see what she’s all about politically… but not today. Not today.Report

    • Avatar Kristin Devine in reply to Marchmaine
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      The best thing about Stacey Abrams is that she writes romance novels in her spare time, and even though I differ from her politically I can’t help but love her for that https://www.harpercollins.com/author/cr-104432/selena-montgomery/Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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      Are you familiar with Avril Lavigne’s song “Sk8r Boi”?

      Well, think of Biden as the titular character and now you’re pretty much caught up as to who Stacey Abrams is.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine
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      Oh great… now not only do I know nothing about Stacey Abrams, it appears I know nothing about Selena Montgomery and Avril Lavigne which I’m now required to know in order to understand Stacey Abrams.

      You’ve effectively tripled my assignment.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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        Okay. Here is the short version:

        Back in March 2019, in the beforetime, Biden said something to the effect of “I’d love to have Stacey Abrams as my VP!” You can read about it here.

        Her response was not “Golly! What a great honor!” but “If I’m going to enter a primary, then I’m going to enter a primary. If I don’t enter a primary, my job is to make certain the best Democrat becomes the nominee and, whoever wins the primary, that we make certain that person gets elected in 2020.”

        Seriously, read the story. You can just see it glisten with the knowledge that the nominee is not going to be Biden.

        Avril Lavigne’s song “Sk8r Boi” is about a skater boy and a ballet gal who had crushes on each other, maybe, but she listened to all her friends about how “he wasn’t good enough for her” and now she’s sitting at home, a single mother, and the skater boy is now headlining a rock and roll show… one that all of her friends are going to. Avril Lavigne is now dating this guy and she’s mocking the other chick for having misjudged the current vs. future values of the skater boy oh-so-long ago.

        Anyway. the main thing that irritates me about the Stacey Abrams stories that breathlessly talk about whether she’ll be picked as VP is that she slapped him down back when they were in high school and before he won the battle of the bands and nobody remembers that.

        Biden will now pick Klobuchar or Warren or Harris and his new pick will sing:

        o/~ Sorry, girl, but you missed out
        Well, tough, luck that boy’s mine now
        We are more than just good friends
        This is how the story ends
        Too bad that you couldn’t see
        See the man that boy could be
        There is more that meets the eye
        I see the soul that is inside o/~Report

      • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Marchmaine
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        Only if you think it worthwhile to do all that work just to see if there’s a there there.Report

  4. Avatar Free Speech Forum
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    Americans scream tyranny makes you safer, but actually the police state actually increases danger.

    Now instead of worrying about criminals, you also need to be avoid the Gestapo and terrorist bombings that are a response to tyranny.

    Americans do not seem to understand that tyranny leads to having a dictator because everyone who is a danger is killed off.Report

  5. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    LF7- I want to hold you personally accountable for the possible loss of IQ points from making me read that excrable Nation article, Andrew. The linked Time article not have a quote about postponing the elections (!) but the quote in that magazine was so ambigous as to be essentially meaningless. This is the reason trust in the media is at an all time low.Report

  6. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    Another reason “All Corona, All The Time” is bad, the senate just expanded warrantless searches of browsing history.

    Not sure if the House will be able to kill it, but I recommend everyone learn how to use Tor.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      Considering how few senators voted against this (and that it was bi-partisan), I doubt that the house has any desire to kill it. Sadly.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      eh

      this is one of those whole things where there is a whole lot of sharing-of-the-headline going on and the actual story is more like “yeah they were always gonna do this and they’ve actually done this exact same thing several times now”

      I guess the big news was the attempted amendment but that doesn’t mean the powers are expanded, so much as “not as restricted as they might potentially have been”?Report

  7. Avatar PD Shaw
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    LF-1: I remain amazed by legal arguments that when the legislature grants emergency powers, the limits on those powers can be ignored in an emergency.

    I understand there is a political argument, the legislature of Wisconsin should return to business, just like the legislature of Illinois should. But the limits on government power is not entirely partisan, it was a Democratic judge in Illinois that ruled that the Governor’s emergency order were limited to a single period of 30 days.Report

    • Avatar PD Shaw in reply to PD Shaw
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      says:

      There are also prudential reasons — the emergency orders appear to include things like mandates to insurance companies and liability protections, all of which lapse from having legal effect when the emergency is over. If you want people to do things and arrange their lives with a longer view than the end of the week, these things need to be in legislation.Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
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    says:

    The ACLU vs. due process. If you were looking for more evidence that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been losing its principled approach to civil liberties, look no further: The group has filed suit to thwart Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s recently proposed reforms to bolster due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct.

    “DeVos has discarded decades of [the Department of Education’s] experience addressing sexual harassment and assault by promulgating regulatory provisions that sharply limit educational institutions’ obligations to respond to reports of sexual harassment and assault,” wrote the ACLU in its lawsuit. “If allowed to be implemented at educational institutions nationwide, these provisions will make the promise of equal educational opportunities irrespective of sex even more elusive. This is true for all students, including students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with and without disabilities, in grade school, high school, and higher education.”

    The lawsuit frequently asserts that marginalized students will suffer under the new rules, but it never acknowledges that students of color were disproportionately harmed by the old rules. White woman accuses black man of rape; black man is expelled was a distressingly common series of events under the old regime—one that might have invited sympathy from an older model of the ACLU, given the organization’s historic concern that racism in the criminal justice system has led to disparately harsh outcomes for black people.

    https://reason.com/2020/05/15/aclu-betsy-devos-title-ix-rule-due-process/

    Universities have been getting sued to the bee-geesus over the revised TitleIX, and it is extremely sad to see the ACLU fall into the black hole of this lunacy. When a supposed civil rights organization sues against due process, we are truly in a bad space.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
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      says:

      Isn’t attendance at university “at will”, meaning a university can discipline or expel any student any way it wishes?Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
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        says:

        Perhaps so, but the students are free to sue the university into oblivion for damages for doing something a university shouldn’t be doing.

        The equivalent, for those on the left, would be like allowing corporate HR departments to accuse liberal “troublemakers” of sexual assault and embezzlement, via a purely internal “legal process”, and make sure it sticks on your employment record so as to destroy your career and employment potential – forever.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          This is exactly the world we live in.

          Any employee can accuse any employee of anything, and HR can simply conduct a kangaroo court, or no court at all, and dismiss the employee without any hearing at all.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            HR isn’t allowed to conduct legal hearings. An employee isn’t forbidden from getting a lawyer. If a company tells other companies not to hire someone, they can face legal action for it. In fact, we have a whole legal branch dedicated to handling workplace actions in court, and lawsuits often fly back and forth in front of judges and juries. Hollywood even makes movies about the cases.

            What was happening in the universities is that people falsely accused of sexual misconduct weren’t allowed to present a defense, weren’t allowed to question witnesses, and the university would make sure that no other university would admit them, quite effectively banishing the student from all higher education institutions.

            That’s why there losing multi-million dollar lawsuits filed by the affected students.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
              Ignored
              says:

              I’m honestly curious- how would they “make sure no other university would admit them”?Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You mean other than telling other universities that their kangaroo court found reason to kick him out?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                How is that different than dismissing someone for cause, and speaking that truth when asked for a reference?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                An employer can be sued for “speaking that truth” when asked for a reference. Your local late-night TV runs ads from lawyers who would love to take your case, and will examine whether you have grounds to sue the prior employer for defamation of character, retaliation, or other such things. Employers are allowed to give their opinions, stated as opinions, but if they falsely present opinions as facts they can get into serious trouble. An employer has to be careful that they say “He was dismissed because so-and-so thought he was stealing” is very different from presenting the theft as a fact when there was no actual conviction in a court of law.

                When a university uses the results of its rigged Social Justice court to sabotage a student’s admission to another university, they are presenting opinions as facts. That’s one reason they lose multi-million dollar lawsuits filed by students.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Over my entire work history, the large companies I’ve worked for will only confirm dates of work because they can be sued.

                “Speaking the Truth” does NOT mean you can accuse someone of rape and then reference yourself when you’re asked why they left when the legal system thinks nothing happened.

                Another issue is you can get a job without references, you can’t transfer grades without the original U being involved.Report

              • Avatar Ozzzy! in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You are correct. Firms can be held liable under the law for saying anything more than ‘yes they were employed here during such period’.

                Anyone who thinks otherwise has never dealt with a legally cognizant HR department.

                Proving they did so? Harder to do unless all calls are recorded to see if you spoke with someone who had covid. Maybe that is a good idea? Workers across the board would be treated much better if all HR conversations are recorded, and are discoverable. Think how many baby lawyers could have jobs!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                So what I am hearing makes me conclude that we should treat students like at-will employees, where they can be expelled for any or no reason, but the transcripts be treated like HR files, and any suspected violation of law be reported to law enforcement immediately.

                Which I would support!

                Or we could treat students like unionized civil servants who can only be expelled upon investigation and all sorts of due process.

                Which I would also support!
                But only if university employees are afforded the same protections.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, employees did not have due process rights taken away from them via Title IX, no matter how hard you try to spin this. They have, and always had, the ability to call a lawyer, ask for all relevent documents, and are otherwise afforded all protections relevant. But these were removed from students, not by law, but by “nudging” via the Dear Colleague letter. Please, educate yourself before further embarassment. Lawyers on this very forum are pointing these things out, specific points are being shown in how these things affect the accused’s civil rights, but you blithely keep going back to the well of ignorance.

                If you can show anything, anything at all, giving examples of how univerisity employees are systematically having their rights taken away, we can and should discuss that further, and how this ruling effects that. But until you show some sign of proof, one can only conclued you are trying to muddy the waters, and act only out of bad faith.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m just saying that if students can’t be expelled without due process, why shouldn’t we extend that to employees as well?

                Doesn’t that seem fair?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe we should offer students tenure.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Who’s paying whom? Students are not employees, and vice versa. Different relationships at play.

                And as others have noted, the issue is not so much about dismissing students, it’s about effectively blacklisting the student.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                So it really is just the blacklisting issue?

                If this is the case then it could be solved by making transcripts private.
                Done!

                But I’m not hearing that is is “just” blacklisting. I’m hearing this pitched in terms of due process and rights.

                So I keep asking, what “right” does a student have to attend university, at all?

                Do these rights change depending on whether is it public California State University, or private Liberty University?

                If the student is paying the university, does he become a customer, and if so, what “right” does a customer have to be served?

                See, when people start banging the drum of civil rights and due process, those are terms that by definition apply to all persons.

                Over the years, our society has made up all sorts of rules based on moral and logical tests of where and how rights are applied and when they can be narrowed or restricted.

                And the current status quo is that for private sector employees and customers, your relationship can be severed at will, without any sort of due process at all.

                So what would be a moral and logical test that would say that Chad can’t be expelled without a hearing and witnesses and counsel, but Jose the cafeteria dishwasher is not entitled to the same protections?

                Why is due process applicable here but not there?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If this is the case then it could be solved by making transcripts private.

                Transcripts are already private. That’s why I can’t just look up Obama’s college records.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Transcripts have to be limited to academic records only. If private Uni A decides to star chamber a student, that’s fine; but if they, in any way, communicate to a school requesting transcripts that they expelled the student through some non-judicial process (not related to academic performance), that should be actionable.

                State schools should not have a choice, if it’s worth expelling a student, it’s worth handing it over to the police.

                Also, absent a criminal conviction, any non-academic expulsion should include a full refund for the semester.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                So I keep asking, what “right” does a student have to attend university, at all?

                To attend? None. That’s why U’s can refuse to accept a student for any reason and it’s fine.

                To continue attending probably enters into the realm of accepted contracts but that’s not really the point.

                The problem comes when the U makes a determination that you’re a sex criminal and should be treated as such.

                At least one of these places has a “conviction” rate of 100%.

                So what would be a moral and logical test that would say that Chad can’t be expelled without a hearing and witnesses and counsel, but Jose the cafeteria dishwasher is not entitled to the same protections?

                “Expelled” here means “is labeled a sex criminal and gets to enjoy the problems which come from that label”. Being expelled for GPA doesn’t stop you from going to a lesser U.

                If Jose is labeled a sex criminal to every potential employer, then yes, there are already protections.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                So its just the blacklisting thing.

                So lets say that Chad and Jose exchange words in the cafeteria and scuffle.

                They are brought before the dean who expels both of them on the spot, no hearing or anything. Then keeps the whole thing private and off the transcripts.

                Would this be an injustice?

                I’m trying to move this out of the realm of sexually based offenses, to see if there is some broad principle at work, or if this whole “due process” thing only comes into play when it concerns sex.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Would this be an injustice?

                Depends on whether they get their money back.

                This is the whole “contract” thing. They’re paying money to be there. They’ve also likely entered into other contracts based on the U following through on their contract.

                Now if we assume the U refunds their money, at least for the current semester and related issues, then we’re probably close to fine… but I’m not a lawyer and there could be things I’m missing.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s an example of some of the protections that exist for professors at Stanford.

                Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                If Chad and Jose have a punchout in the quad, then the colleges honor code (or whatever their uni calls it) comes into play, wich would be something that all students argee to adhere too. Whatever punishment is listed in that would be appropriate, as it presumes that it has happened in the quad, there were witnesses and nothing was in dispute. However, if said punchout happened off campus, or with no witnesses, and Chad is claiming that Jose is punching him, and Jose says it didn’t happen, but the uni decides to eject Jose with out letting Jose see any evidence against him, or being able to ask Chad any questions, nor is allowed a defence attorney for what is essentially a criminal complaint that should be handed over to police… Now do you see the difference? Because that is essentially what is happening here, and what the ACLU is sueing to uphold. Kangaroo courts. Loss of due process.

                The fact that you keep going back to things like blacklisting shows that you are completely missing the point, and are actively acting as if civil rights in and of themselves are meaningless. The whole point is that the students have rights. And that the state, in the form of colleges here, is deneying them rights. Just because the current frame work centers around sex, and is the specific cause of the abuse, doesn’t mean that they only have rights at that time. But, the action that is in question is whether or not the campus can remove rights that are held at all times and at all places.

                This specific set of actions were predicated around sex, and it was the callus disregard of the students rights in that particular field that has caused the current set of issues, but if it was free speach that was being curbed at a non-private college, or to use the example above, false accusations, then that would be the set of rights to uphold. But here it was colleges creating kangaroo courts centered around sex, and while in the process of utilising these courts both overstepping their authority and in that process denying peoples rights.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                If an employee is accused of any bad conduct, criminal or not, on campus or not, an employer can simply fire them without any process at all.

                They can’t publicly defame them, or spread rumors.

                But they can simply say “We no longer want you to work here, for our own reasons.”

                There are some laws protecting workers from being fired – anti-discrimination laws, laws protecting whistleblowers, or labor organizers; But those laws are few, and don’t cover the example above.

                So no, at-will employees like Jose are NOT entitled to due process rights.

                Are you proposing that they should?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip, this is about students and Title IX. Shifting goalposts constantly holds no intrest to me, has no bearing on what the ACLU is doing, and shows a marked lack of intrest in the civil rights being talked about.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                The original goalpost was “Why are students entitled to due process if employees aren’t”?

                If Chad is entitled to due process as a student, then graduates and becomes an adjunct professor or clerical employee, is he still entitled to due process, or do those magically disappear?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                But they are not employees, and if Chad and Jose are workers X uni, and they get involved in a fight (to use your example) at Bobs tavern, then the uni has zero ability to discipline them. And it becomes the taverns problem. They don’t lose rights as employees, they have a diferent relationship to the uni, fall under a different set of rules (employment contract that they agreed to) and so on.

                You keep assuming that employees don’t have rights. But you aren’t showing that they don’t, just asserting it. They might have conditions YOU don’t like, but that isn’t the same thing.

                Its an oranges to avocados situation.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                30 seconds of Googling:

                Labor Code section 2922 establishes the presumption that an employer may terminate its employees at will, for any or no reason. A fortiori, the employer may act peremptorily, arbitrarily, or inconsistently, without providing specific protections such as prior warning, fair procedures, objective evaluation, or preferential reassignment. Because the employment relationship is “fundamentally contractual” (Foley, supra, 47 Cal.3d 654, 696), limitations on these employer prerogatives are a matter of the parties’ specific agreement, express or implied in fact. The mere existence of an employment relationship affords no expectation, protectible by law, that employment will continue, or will end only on certain conditions, unless the parties have actually adopted such terms. Thus if the employer’s termination decisions, however arbitrary, do not breach such a substantive contract provision, they are not precluded by the covenant.[7]

                Tl;Dr
                Chad the university clerk can be fired for any behavior that happens off campus, without warning or reason and is not entitled to any sort of due process whatsoever.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And has no bearing on Title IX and what is the root of the lawsuit. Also shows no loss of rights at any pointReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Chip,

                In the grander scheme, I agree that a private Uni should be able to eject a student for whatever reason, as long as the refund the tuition and keep the reasons to themselves, same as an employer does.

                But Aaron is right, in that Congress has decided that students at adult education institutions have rights with regard to school administrations, and thus we should not be allowing those schools to play fast and loose with those rights.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Which once again brings me back to my original question:

                Why should students have due process rights, while employees don’t?

                If it’s a violation of rights to dismiss Chad the student without cause, why isn’t it a violation of rights to dismiss Chad the clerk?

                I’m open to someone crafting a utilitarian or moral argument for this disparity, but I’ve not seen one yet.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m open to someone crafting a utilitarian or moral argument for this disparity, but I’ve not seen one yet.

                Because we treat investors who have serious skin in the game differently from employees who can find another job.

                Because it’s economically a problem for every effort to fire someone have the same amount of effort and overhead as a rape case.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Also with firing someone blame isn’t assumed.

                It is reasonable and common for someone to be fired for no fault of their own. The company no longer needs them. Their personality clashes with someone else’s.

                Jobs are not permanent.

                All of this “there needs to be a complex process to assign blame to end a job” is a good way to make companies gun-shy at creating jobs.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Because congress said so.

                Roll back Title IX and the problem goes away.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes we could do that.

                Or, and I’m just spitballing here, have the Dept. of education write a “Dear Colleague” letter that gives them advice on how to handle such events.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                have the Dept. of education write a “Dear Colleague” letter that gives them advice on how to handle such events.

                That’s how we ended up here. The weird part is there’s a group of Dems who want auto-conviction. The big losers in that system are poor minority males.

                And after the Dems get the WH back, there is a good chance they move us back to accusation equals punishment.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Not at all.

                Democrats are very enthusiastic about providing due process rights to any worker accused of misconduct.

                Even cops.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                (Does Chip know that universities have tenure? I mean, I know that it’d be a mistake to bring up tenure if we were talking about corporate America or something, but we’re specifically talking about universities…)Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                His “janitor” example is pointless because the U presumably sub-contracts that.

                However he’s correct in Adjuncts and administrators can simply be fired at a whim, thus my wife and some of her friends have lost their jobs because of Covid.

                Now having said that, the U isn’t making any effort to make sure they never work again so there’s that.

                Also they’re losing their jobs, not their investments, so it’s an employment law thing and not a contract law thing.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, when they signed the employment agreement (as every worker in every industry does) they agreed to the conditions of employment, including at-will or represented. Adjuncts are typically contracted to teach classes, and are not full-time employees. If there is too low of an enrollment, they can get cut. Admin are typically full-time employees, and thus have all the rights, benefits, and risk that full time employees have, but most of the lower level ones are represented, usually by AFSCME, but if a speciallist field than by some one else; IBEW, IATSE, etc.

                And janitors are usually full-time represented employees who specifically work for the uni, and are not subcontracted out. Much of that is a legacy of how unis feel about there place in the local economy/society.

                Bear in mind that all of the info I posess is about public unis, having amost zero contact with the private schools.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        Whether or not someone is “at will” they still retain all of their civil rights. Denying cousel, not providing possibly exculpitory evidence, inablilty to confront ones accusers and not refering actual defined crimes to law enforcement are all loses of civil liberties. TitleIX guarentees equal access for both sexes. Both.

        Seriously, this isn’t, and can not be, in any way a zero-sum game.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David
          Ignored
          says:

          So like, are the university employees like janitors and also covered by these rights?

          They can’t be fired without due process protections?

          I’m not saying this is a bad thing, mind you!

          I’m just trying to figure out which Americans get rights and which don’t.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
            Ignored
            says:

            At least to the extent we’re talking about public schools there are indeed constitutional constraints on what they can do to students (and employees too).

            Of course that conversation misses the much stranger thing, which is that there are in fact people out there who want college administrators being the sex police, conducting investigations traditionally done by law enforcement, adjudicating violent felonies in strange and superstition driven subconstitutional processes…Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              Which is why I compare universities expelling students to employers dismissing employees.

              There are no “University jails” where students are imprisoned. The most any university can do is expel a student. And they can pretty much do that now for things like rowdy drunkeness or whatever.

              I agree that a lot of what this is about- things like rapes and assaults- are things that should immediately be turned over to the police, rather than being done in house.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you’re pretty grossly understating the stakes. It’s still a government institution making a determination of serious criminal conduct without any of the processes we use to do that. I don’t see the parallel to an employment decision at all. Losing a job sucks but it rarely makes someone a pariah.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Exactly! What on earth are colleges doing when they presume to render judgement in cases like these? It’s a police matter, and should be handled by the police and the courts. Expulsion, or not, can be handled after justice has been handed down.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    Trump’s meltdown might break twitter:https://time.com/5832306/barack-obama-commencement-2020/Report

  10. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    [LF3] Joe Rogan was, like, the sixth-funniest person on NewsRadio. Wake me when Steven Root or Dave Foley has something to sayReport

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Mike Schilling
      Ignored
      says:

      C’mon, he was like 4th funniest: Root, Hartman, Foley (as straight man), Rogan/Dick (toss-up).

      What I find kinda cool is the it turns out Rogan was playing himself… but we didn’t know who that was until after the show.Report

  11. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    One of the best articles I have read in a while. Taibbi and I don’t arrive at the same place, but we are seeing the same thing.Report

  12. Avatar Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    [LF9] Shurer’s tale of heroism in combat is inspiring. From what I read that operation was a cock up from the get go. I wonder if any higher ups suffered any repercussions.Report

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