Linky Friday: Hangovers, Black Friday, and Better Days Edition
[LF1] Something that has suddenly become rarer than undercooked T-Day bird, President Trump appeared before reporters
The president finally took some questions from reporters:
President Donald Trump said for the first time Thursday he will leave office if the Electoral College votes for President-elect Joe Biden but made clear he’s not prepared to concede.
“Certainly I will, and you know that,” Trump said when asked by a reporter about leaving the White House if Biden is declared the winner on December 14. “I will and, you know that.”
“It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud,” Trump said without evidence.
“As to whether or not we can get this apparatus moving quickly — because time isn’t on our side, everything else is on our side, facts are on our side, this was a massive fraud.”
The President falsely added that if Biden is declared the winner, the Electoral College, “made a mistake, cause this election was a fraud.” Pressed on his comments, Trump snapped at the reporter. “Don’t talk to me that way. I’m the President of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way,” he said.
Thursday was the first time Trump has taken questions from reporters since the election.
As we discussed earlier in the week, the thing to watch for here is the president continuing to bloviate about election fraud, while quietly doing the bare minimum required for the transition before leaving office on 20 January.
[LF2]The reviews are in for Hillbilly Elegy
Speaking on behalf of the Ordinary Times hillbilly contingent, we will be glad when the recent renewed attention to the pride of Middletown, Ohio, one JD Vance, has once again subsided. But this review at least gets to the core problem with the discussion surrounding both the book and the film: It was never about Appalachia, or poor people, or Trump voters, or society, or whatever other “deeper meaning” folks tried to shoehorn into the memoir to start with. It has always been about mythbuilding the legend of JD Vance and selling it to folks as broader insight.
But maybe rattling off statistics and inoffensive truths about the power of intact families is easier than accepting your own damage as distinct and your champions as limited people who may have done you harm as well as good. (The movie strips away this historical and sociological context, leaving a Lifetime special behind.)
Mamaw, the most sympathetic figure in Vance’s life in both the book and the movie, in which she’s played movingly by Close, seems like a more complicated figure than either Vance or Howard can really grapple with. Repeatedly threatening to murder someone on your grandson’s behalf may make your grandson feel safe and loved. It also means he equates safety and love with lunacy and fear.
Not all trauma can be turned into something meaningful, and not all adaptations of once-hot books make for good movies. But finally seeing “Hillbilly Elegy” for the painful, personal story it is, rather than for the series of prescriptions it was made out to be, would be an overdue reckoning.
[LF3] The Kraken is released?
Not sure which part is funnier/sadden/more likely to get sanctions from the bar: the wackadoo accusations, the typos, the legal errors, or the fact that while called a “legal filing” it has not, apparently, been actually filed:
Just before midnight on Wednesday, Sidney Powell finally “released the Kraken,” filing lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia that allege “massive electoral fraud” in both states.
But both filings are mainly rehashes of previously debunked claims mixed with some new allegations of voter fraud which are once again not backed up with any real evidence.
Possibly the most egregious part of the lawsuits is the spelling.
Within the first eight words of the 104-page document detailing allegations concerning Georgia, Powell had spelled the word “district” wrong — twice, and in two different ways.
Screen Shot 2020-11-26 at 13.00.36.png
Powell and her team also managed to spell the name of one of their key witnesses — his name is William M. Briggs — wrong twice and again in two different ways — Williams M. Briggs and Williams Higgs.
One of the other expert witnesses listed in the lawsuit is Ron Watkins, who has been the administrator of fringe message board 8kun where the anonymous leader of QAnon supposedly posts updates.
The lawsuits are filled with incomplete sentences, groups of words that make little or no sense, and logical fallacies so big you could drive a bus through. Powell also repeats baseless claims that Trump’s electoral loss was a global conspiracy involving China, Iran, and Venezuela’s long-dead president Hugo Chavez.
Much of the filings are taken up with already debunked claims that Smartmatic and Dominion software and voting machines were rigged to switch votes from Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden.
Seriously, did they file an actual motion for an emergency temporary restraining order yet? Otherwise, this lawsuit would take weeks to begin under the existing rules. https://t.co/l0KSj8cZC2
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) November 26, 2020
[LF4] Zombie Covid culled minks, and all that implies…
A rushed cull of Denmark’s mink over concerns about a coronavirus mutation has left the country facing a new horror, as cadavers of the animals re-emerge from the earth. The macabre phenomenon was observed in a military training field outside the western town of Holstebro, where thousands of mink had been put into an improvised mass grave.
The carcasses rose to the surface, lifted by pressure from gases released by the decomposition, according to local police.
Major fur auctioneer to shut down over COVID-mink link
The environment ministry said mink should be covered by at least five feet of soil, but according to public broadcaster DR they were only buried about three feet deep in the field outside Holstebro.
“The authorities are playing with our environment and using it as a dumping ground,” Leif Brogger, a local politician, told the Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
[LF5] Meanwhile, back at the pandemic…
Speaking of Covid, there’s good news and bad news:
In the week before Thanksgiving brings thousands of Americans through airports and travel stations and into multigenerational indoor gatherings, U.S. states have reported more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average for new cases has more than doubled since the beginning of November. The number of people currently hospitalized with the virus in the United States hit nearly 90,000 on Wednesday, breaking the national record for the 16th day in a row. As hospitals fill up across the country, deaths are also spiking. For the first time since May 7, daily reported deaths exceed 2,000 this week, first on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.
In better news, growth in the number of new tests this week outpaced the number of new cases for the first time in two months. The increase in the number of reported tests may have been driven in part by people getting a COVID-19 test before traveling for the holiday. (In related news, Quest Diagnostics this week said turnaround time for lab results was rising because of the latest surge. The company also said that because so many tests are coming back positive, it is relying less on pooled testing, the practice of combining several test specimens into a batch and testing the resulting sample.)
[LF6] All quiet on the Penn’s woods drinking front, but not by choice
The Thanksgiving hangover was missing the hangover part for Pennsylvania:
Lauren Hess and Melissa Stoker wanted to take a stand.
The co-owners of the Intoxicology Department in Berwick decided to defy the state health department’s ban on alcohol sales for the night before Thanksgiving.
“We believe that it’s a choice and that we deserve that choice. (PA) Governor Wolf gave us less than a 48-hour period; we’d already spent thousands in inventory, we’d already advertised, we booked a DJ,” said Hess. “What about the big box stores? I can still serve food, but no alcohol? Why?” Their social media post about the decision, which has since been removed, received a lot of attention — people either praising the pair or condemning them.
“We’re not taking COVID lightly. We’re not hoping anyone gets sick from this. That is so not what this is about. And a lot of the backlash was assuming that we don’t care about that. That is not the case at all. We care about surviving as a whole, not just our business, but all the small businesses around that are being targeted,” said Stoker.
The owners say after they received threats to not only their business but to their families, they decided not to stay open for Thanksgiving Eve.
“It’s sad. It is really sad that people were wishing that we lost our livelihoods that puts roofs over our families’ heads. How do you wish that upon someone?” said Hess. “We would lose everything by closing down,” said Stoker.
Hess and Stoker say although they backed down on this particular battle, they are going to continue the fight to keep their business standing. “If they’re going to close us down, they need to have a plan in place to help the businesses that they’re closing down,” said Stoker. “And make rules and structures that make sense. The no alcohol after 10 p.m. – why? The rules need to make sense for us to respect them in order to believe in it,” said Hess.
[LF7] Diego Maradona has died
One of the all time case studies of athletic brilliance and personal madness encapsulated in the same human being is gone as Diego Maradona has died:
He lived a life of excess, very much in the public eye. Stories of drugs, prostitution, paternity suits, evenings spent in hot tubs with mobsters — you’ve likely heard them all, and they’re probably all true. He sucked the marrow out of life. He ascended as high as you can without losing the surly bounds of Earth, and he also spent more time crawling in the gutter than most.
Maradona did it all, and what’s more, he paid for his transgressions. That moment at the Azteca was one of the few instances when he got away with something. Health issues (both emotional and physical), a sense that high-level football passed him by (witness his disastrous stint as Argentina manager at the 2010 World Cup), the realisation that his achievements on the field could never be matched by anything he did off it … he took all the blows.
You should leave comparisons with other GOAT candidates to the side. Different eras, different game. (For a start, he might have starred in the original viral video; if somebody attempted it today, you’d imagine it would be slicker and decidedly less organic.) But if you do get drawn into the most pointless of debates, please note that he achieved greatness on two different continents. Please note that he never received the protection from vicious fouls that are part of the game today. Please note that he played on cut-up, divot-heavy pitches, not the putting greens of modern soccer. Please note that there were limits on the number of foreigners each team could field, and therefore he never enjoyed the stellar supporting cast (or the cannon-fodder opposition) today’s stars enjoy. And please remind yourself of what he did to his body along the way.
[LF8] Everybody hurts, food edition
The holidays are usually a boon for the food industry, but like everything else these days, Covid has changed that:
Restaurants remain some of the hardest hit businesses. Lobbyists for the sector have pressed Congress to provide a separate relief fund for struggling restaurants, or to at least replenish the emergency loan programs for small employers by the end of the year. But lawmakers and the White House have failed to make progress in stimulus negotiations since the summer, and a breakthrough isn’t expected until 2021.
Major distributors are also making significant changes. Foodservice supply chain giant Sysco this month said it would scrap its minimum limits for restaurant orders to help stores that are struggling to stay afloat.
Looking ahead, the broader food industry and labor advocates are now pushing government officials to prioritize essential food and agricultural workers when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, after health care workers and others on the front line.
With a new administration taking over in Washington, there’s also interest in establishing more permanent resources and policies to help supply chains adapt more quickly to events like the pandemic, and to avoid another complicated patchwork of federal, state and local measures that comprised the coronavirus response.
[LF9] Purple Friday, trending towards blue…
Purple Friday, and not because of the bruises from the brawling that usually lights up the internet on the craziest shopping day of the year?
Local business owners are worried that COVID-19 could turn Black Friday into a bust.
If this were any other year, stores and shops would be bracing for a rush of Black Friday shoppers who, for well over a decade, have made the day after Thanksgiving the busiest shopping day in the United States. Bargain-craving buyers would be lining up outside stores, waiting for the doors to open, just itching to dash inside and grab a discounted flat-screen TV or PlayStation console.
But this is 2020 and the pandemic has turned life upside down. Retailers who normally rely on the in-store holiday shopping rush to bolster their bottom line are expecting smaller crowds and fewer sales this year as the virus casts a pall over the county.
“I don’t think anything that happened in 2020 is typical or standard for the retail world,” said Graham Hueber, co-owner of Surroundings Gifts & Home Décor, which opened in Camarillo a year ago. “It’s not easy as a new business, but people’s safety is more important than anything. . . . It’s been a slow holiday season for us, but I know why and the reasons are perfectly valid.”
This year the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, announced that 60% of consumers plan to shop online during the pandemic. Nearly half of people surveyed also decided to begin their holiday shopping earlier this year to avoid the crowds.
[LF10]It’s a little hard to explain, you had to be there…
Will posted it yesterday but it’s just too good to not enjoy again. Hope y’all had a great holiday.
The Great Cincinnati Turkey Offensive of ’78:
In Case You Missed Them from Ordinary Times:
Thankful Just to Be Here by Merrie Soltis
There’s nothing like a near death experience to fix your attitude on life! This year, I have SO MUCH to be grateful for.
A Mostly Peaceful Transition of Power By Andrew Donaldson
Many will be disappointed, but history tells us exactly what President Trump will do from here on out. And it doesn’t end in a bang.
Tamir Rice: The Cost of a Second in Time By Old Shoe
Republishing Old Shoe’s 2015 essay on Tamir Rice
Turkeys of the Year and Golden Drumsticks For 2020 by Michael Seigel
Turkeys of the Year for those who exemplify silliness & stupidity and Golden Drumsticks for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere.
Leave Baby Yoda Alone! By Kristin Devine
Imposing a monoculture on a diverse ecosystem? That’s the way the Empire thinks.
A Not-So-Minor Issue of Distinguishing Rain From Territorial Urine Markings By Andrew Donaldson
The “massive election fraud” case has been heard, both in court and by the American people, and been found wanting. Laughably wanting.
Sunday Morning! Hammer City Records by Rufus
In reality, it was never much of a record shop. But, for many of us, Hammer City Records was home.