Ballot of the living dead.

Voted today. Now that Michigan has no-reason absentee, I thought why the hell not. So I headed down to city hall, which has been upended for a year now, since a pipe broke and flooded the place. It was a year ago this week, in fact, and the rebuilding is still going on. But anyway: In through the police station, down to the basement, following the signs, and waited in line behind a couple who was there to spoil their ballot, ie., revote. Why revote? Well:

What a lineup there. And as I took the ballot out of the envelope, my phone beeped with an alert: Warren is out. Well, there goes that plan. I circled my pen up and down the long list, made my choice, and left. It’ll be interesting to see the results; Bernie won Michigan in 2016, but this year is…different. If Biden gets it, it’ll mean the electorate is, shall we say, in a mood. We’ll see.

I suppose by now we’ve all heard about the president’s interview with Sean Hannity Wednesday night? No? Here’s a taste:

“Well, I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, and this is just my hunch, and — but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor,” Trump said.

“You never hear about those people. So you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population in terms of this corona flu and — or virus. So you just can’t do that,” he continued. “So if, you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work but they get better.”

The president’s comments came after the House of Representatives approved Wednesday an $8.3 billion emergency spending package to tackle the burgeoning disaster, and as California reported the 11th coronavirus death in the U.S., the first fatality outside of Washington state. But that cost to human life did not align with the WHO’s statistics, the president argued.

I just got done editing a piece on why people who are having symptoms shouldn’t go to work, but probably will, because they don’t have paid sick leave, a policy that has been resisted for years. I can’t fucking stand this. We are the stupidest country.

Have a great weekend, all.

Posted at 9:08 pm in Current events |

76 responses to “Ballot of the living dead.”

  1. LAMary said on March 5, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    I love it that people have to accrue sick days. If you just started your job and you think you might be sick you have to decide if can go without any income, and possibly without benefits since some employers have a 30, 60 or even 90 day wait until the bennies happen.

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on March 5, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    This guy takes an outbreak of infectious disease personally.

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  3. Sherri said on March 5, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    When I talk about Bernie’s inability to grasp the importance of relationships in politics and how that will make it impossible for him to get anything done, this is what I’m talking about.

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  4. Sherri said on March 5, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    In contrast, it’s things like this that made me wish for Warren.

    She sees the problem, grasps the big picture, explains it articulately, and takes the stance that helps the cause, not herself.

    Bernie did the town hall on Fox, and got rave reviews for it.

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  5. alex said on March 5, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    And surely there will be at least a clueless percentage voting for Cory, Tulsi, Marianne or all of them.

    Hell, there’s going to be people showing up for work who have the terminal squirts and chronic low-grade fevers who won’t even know if they have this shit or not and their poopy fingers on the elevator buttons are gonna give it to everyone else picking their nose. And the beat goes on. In my morning breakfast place they have a chart up. So far this year 18K people have died of influenza and as of this morning 11 have so far died of CV. But people are hysterical about it nonetheless.

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  6. susan said on March 6, 2020 at 12:05 am

    How to greet someone properly during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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  7. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 1:57 am

    A very appropriate use of that cash Microsoft is sitting on.

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  8. Dexter Friend said on March 6, 2020 at 2:18 am

    I remember stuff, so here’s what was happening in 1960 after the conventions: Much debate was over Rome. Not the 1960 Rome Olympiad, but the scare that was if JFK was elected, il Papa would then control US affairs through a robotic young Kennedy. Oh yes, this is what was going on, filling up all three networks’ pol-shows. Other angles too, like what percentage of women would get all ga-ga over the youthful JFK and vote for him based on that. That shallow thread was what filtered through the mass media: the skirts ain’t all that politically sophisticated, see? ( I also include this in tribute to Warren’s statements on misogyny today on Maddow’s show. In 1960, the thought of a future woman President seemed as impossible as a manned moon rocket. Right.)
    So my point is, I am so grateful no idiots have been able to force-feed us that the Democratic nomination fight is really a battle of horn-headed Jew versus a Pope-feet-kissing old Catholic. Thank …uh…God. 🙂

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  9. carl said on March 6, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Josh Marshall at TPM: “TPM Reader PH gives us a wild, bracing, sobering view from China. This is a must-read …”

    1st paragraph, TPM reader PH:

    I’ve been following the COVID-19 cataclysm, as I believe it is, very closely. One reason is that I had the fortunate timing of moving to Beijing from San Francisco in January 2020. I’m far from any kind of expert on China or epidemiology, but as a longtime TPM reader and Prime AF member, I thought I’d share some experiences and thoughts.

    Last paragraph:

    When I talk to people in China, the general sense is that China essentially got a pop quiz and scored a B+, while other countries are getting a take home exam and failing it. Buy into that analogy or not, if the USA and the West more broadly flunk this test, the Chinese model will be gaining legitimacy over democracy, not losing it. And that loss in legitimacy will happen everywhere, not just in China.

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  10. Charlotte said on March 6, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Health insurance is why I signed up for another year of adjunct professoring.

    I’ve not-voted for Joe Biden in what seems like every primary I’ve ever voted in, but at this point, we have a government to rebuild from the ground up, we need to win the Senate, and I just don’t see Bernie building those relationships. Warren could have brought us the structural changes I want to see *while* doing the work of rebuilding the govt, but Bernie’s burnt so many bridges I can’t see that happening.

    I also worry that Joe’s people are not going to reach out to all the progressive voters who are currently heartsick about Warren, and who will be the same about Bernie. That’s a lot of energy we can use — but like the general war on the young, I don’t see the finger-wagging older folks showing any interest in doing that work either.

    And so I go off to the university, armed with Clorox wipes, hoping they’ll cancel classes after spring break next week (if not, I’m taking mine virtual for a couple of weeks).

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  11. Deborah said on March 6, 2020 at 10:09 am

    So LB is home recuperating from her surgery, as I said yesterday. One of her friends went to get the meds that were prescribed for her recovery. There was one med that her insurance (Medicaid) won’t cover apparently and it will cost $300. I will pay for it, but first the Drs are trying to come up with a substitute which may not be as effective but may be covered by Medicaid. Today we’ll assess the best thing to do. Meanwhile LB was furious and tearful that things like this happen in our messed up healthcare infrastructure.

    With a democrats controling the White House, senate and house of representative things have got to get better for everyone.

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  12. Suzanne said on March 6, 2020 at 10:43 am

    When even the Daily Caller turns on Trump’s response to the coronavirus

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  13. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 10:54 am

    They always seem so presidential, and then, every time, like clockwork, the second they enter the race, it turns out that something is the matter with them and that a vote for them would betray the ideals I hold dearest. It almost feels deliberate and malicious on their part.

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  14. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

    It’s easy (and appropriate!) to make fun of trump for being more concerned about COVID-19’s impact on the stock market than on people, but it’s also true that we’re going to see a substantial economic hit here. There are small businesses and restaurants here that won’t survive this. Microsoft has 38K employees at its Redmond campus, who aren’t coming into Redmond now. Events are being cancelled. People just aren’t moving around like normal.

    The huge snow event last February hit these businesses hard, and now this. It’s going to be rough.

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  15. Jakash said on March 6, 2020 at 11:47 am

    That’s a swell Alexandra Petri column, Sherri. This one kinda mirrors my amazement at the developments of the last week. A liberal WaPo writer’s column that even PJ would endorse, but what’re you gonna do?

    “For a long time, I said things like ‘He is not a good candidate,’ and ‘This idea that America will just snap magically back to a time that never truly existed is not the way,’ and ‘I sure wish he’d stop massaging people’s shoulders,’ but I just remembered that, actually, he is, and it is, and he should not!

    Please don’t show me any footage of Joe Biden saying or doing things. Or of me saying or doing things about Joe Biden, pointing out what I erroneously thought were major and obvious flaws in his candidacy. I forgot: They were not.”

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  16. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    One thing is becoming clear.

    After 9/11, emergency management protocols were rewritten and restructured to ensure coordination across local, state, and federal orgs, with clear frameworks for operations, communication, management, etc. Watching the COVID-19 response, it does not appear to me that those protocols are being well followed at all. Once this all settles down, I’m curious to sit down and have coffee with our local emergency manager, who’s very experienced and I’m impressed with, and see what she has to say about it.

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  17. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Only off by six orders of magnitude.

    Kinda hard to watch this and not see a crisis of innumeracy in (some corners of) journalism.

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  18. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    University of Washington just announced that all classes will be only online starting Monday, through March 20.

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  19. Deborah said on March 6, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    This guy has perfectly captured Biden’s way of speaking, it’s funny.

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  20. Deborah said on March 6, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    I saw that clip of Brian Williams and whoever the woman he was interviewing is, obviously if you have $500,000,000 you can only give 500 people $1,000,000 each. Does Williams think that woman’s math was correct? It sounds that way in the clip.

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  21. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    Deborah, so many people had to fail for that tweet to ever make it on the air. I saw that tweet a day or so ago, and rolled my eyes, but some producer saw that tweet and went wow, let’s get this on air! Nobody along the way said, hey, this doesn’t make sense, a million divided by a million is not a million!

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  22. Suzanne said on March 6, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    I admit not being a math person. I didn’t get the error in the 500 million being divided by the US population not being 1 million per person when I ran across it. So, innumeracy for sure. Guilty as charged.

    There is a reason I am not an accountant…

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  23. Jakash said on March 6, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    That’s both mind-boggling and disturbing. The original tweet was bad enough. But there had to be immediate replies to it pointing out that it was wrong. So nobody at MSNBC even bothered to look at the replies. Plus, when something sounds unbelievable, isn’t it just common sense to make sure you can believe it? Not that this particular example required a calculator, or anything. Sheesh!

    Edit: posted before I saw Suzanne’s comment — uh, don’t know what to say about that! 🙂

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  24. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    It doesn’t help anybody like Suzanne when news source pass on things like that! This is a particularly egregious example, but innumeracy in journalism is not new and not confined to news anchors. I’ve seen stuff in newspapers, even in the days when copy editing was still a thing, that made me want to throw the paper across the room. Not understanding how percentages work is the worst and most common case. Hint: a 1% tax is not a 1 cent tax. If something increased by 100%, it doubled.

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  25. Suzanne said on March 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    Here is what I was thinking. If I have $500 and know 350 people, they each get $1 and I still have $150 left. Right?
    So, the tweet sounded logical to me. I didn’t scale it up in the millions.
    Really, I am not stupid, (well, maybe that’s up for discussion) but big numbers like this throw me.

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  26. Mark P said on March 6, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Sherri — A public health expert whose blog I read is fairly sanguine about the health effects of the corona virus, but thinks the response to it will cause significant economic problems. So, maybe Trump stumbled onto something. Nah. It’s a coincidence.

    And, in further news on the corona front, a 46-year-old woman has been hospitalized in my home town of Rome, in northwest Georgia, with symptoms and a local test showing positive and now awaiting results from the CDC testing. She went to the emergency room on Saturday with mild symptoms but her history didn’t check any boxes. She returned with more serious symptoms on Tuesday. They did more testing, including a chest x-ray, and her dr was adamant that she be tested. Now everyone who was in contact with her is self-quarantining. I believe she traveled to D.C. recently, but none of the places with serious problems. I think there is little doubt now that the virus is out in the wild and there are probably thousands of undiagnosed cases all over the country, not to mention the world.

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  27. St Bitch said on March 6, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Love the title of this post. If I were voting somewhere today instead of in Iowa, where Biden did look like the living dead, I’d be voting for him; as well as for Representative Clyburn as kingmaker, for the demonstrated vitality of the Obama coalition, for the prospect (thank goodness) of an uncontested convention, for the blossoming of optimism.

    I voted for Bernie in my caucus because at that moment he was showing the most strength. I started defending him here, not because I’m trying to justify my vote, or because I want you guys to vote for him too; but because of the reckless vitriol being slung at him that I considered to be both ill-advised and buying into the GOP smear-machine.

    No, I’m not talking about you Sherri. Your posts are thoughtful, and I actually share some of your bias against Bernie…for the same reasons I drifted away from my dad’s politics – both of them were/are extreme-wing idealists with well-intentioned but impractical agendas. Thing is, with Trump and his goon squad squatting in the White House, most of my objections have been blown away like so much inconsequential fluff.

    The attitude toward Bernie on this board HAS softened (to my satisfaction), and the question as to whether he could win the election, let alone make a good president, is pretty much moot at this point; yet I have a few more things to say on his behalf.

    David Axelrod interviewed Andrew Gillum on his podcast The Axe Files yesterday, in which Gillum describes how he grew up black and poor in Miami, what propelled him to become Mayor of Tallahassee, and how he sees the Florida Democratic landscape now. It was gratifying to hear him speak affectionately of Bernie coming to his support during his 2018 bid for FL governor. Gillum says Bernie didn’t have to do it, especially after Gillum had donated and stumped for Hillary; but Bernie showed up with his enthusiastic followers and crucially invigorated Gillum’s campaign. BTW, moderate capitalist Gillum believes the main factor in his losing that race was that the GOP effectively slapped him with the Socialist label.

    Anyway, here’s at least one example of a political relationship that looks solid, Sherri. I suspect I could find more if I was willing to research. I’m not.

    As Clyburn pointed out, Bernie’s rhetoric IS his own worst enemy. Gillum also reinforces my prediction that Bernie put his foot in his mouth and lost Florida. Revolution in terms of upending how to finance presidential campaigns with small donations is valid. Unfortunately, revolution and forcing lawmakers is so provocative that it fuels rampant fear mongering…and Bernie seems incapable of dialing it down.

    In reality, though, once the bombast is peeled away, Bernie isn’t dog whistling or making a call to arms. Nor is he proposing to circumvent the constitution or strong-arm lawmakers into submission. He DOES play by the rules.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on March 6, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Here in Orlando, three major conferences have been cancelled, but the theme parks haven’t dropped attendance a bit. It does slightly concern me that I may be getting on a plane with someone who has been exposed to the virus. Quarantining myself for 14 days when I get back would be difficult, since I’m the transportation for my mom. And yet, she’s 87. I feel like this place could contribute substantially to the spread of the disease.

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  29. David C. said on March 6, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Sherri @ 16. I bet most of the emergency management protocols were written for terrorist attacks and natural disasters without much thought that disease is also a natural disaster. It sounds like when the Ebola crisis hit, that the Obama administration had to really scramble and set up new protocols on the fly. So instead of being tightly integrated into the existing program they were separate making it easy for the trumpies to say fuck it, the black guy did it so we can ignore it. I could be completely full of it, but it sure feels that way.

    Maybe they could do like the WKRP episode where tornadoes hit Cincinnati and Les Nesman’s emergency preparedness manual was only for what to do in case of communist attack. Mr. Carlson told him to just replace the word communist with tornado. So it might work for them to replace Osama bin Laden with Covid-19 and see how that works. What they’re doing now isn’t working.

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  30. LAMary said on March 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Take a break from all this nasty stuff and look at the style section of CNN online. There’s a very cool article about architecture in Singapore.

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  31. Deborah said on March 6, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    LA Mary, that Singapore airport project in your CNN link is stunning. Imagine going to an airport that has a gorgeous garden in it, that would make my travel days so much more pleasant. The architect that designed that (or anyway his office did it) designed Habitat in Montreal many years ago,

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  32. susan said on March 6, 2020 at 5:04 pm

    Did you all see Rachael’s interview with SenProf Warren? It will make you cry. It made me cry.

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  33. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    David C, from my understanding from talking with our emergency manager, the protocols are more general purpose than just terrorist attack and natural disaster. Some of the examples she gave of when the emergency management protocol had been activated locally included when there was a huge crash in Seattle between a Duck tourist vehicle and a bus full of exchange students, and people were injured and killed. She talked us through the process of how incident command is determined, who’s in charge of determine and acquiring resources, how finances are tracked, volunteer coordination, communication, and redundancies.

    But the best protocols in the world are only as good as the people implementing them.

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  34. alex said on March 6, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    An endorsement from Bernie in Florida is the kiss of death. As far as the Cuban population is concerned, it might as well be an endorsement from Fidel Castro. Gillum should have told Bernie to keep his cooties to himself.

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  35. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Mark P, from here at ground zero, I’m not sure whether to be sanguine about COVID-19. I’m not worried personally about dying from it, but when there have been 12 deaths at my local hospital, it does get my attention. There’s a lot we just don’t know yet.

    I think the disruption is going to get worse, because I think it’s extremely likely that schools will close next week. Pretty much all of the colleges are going online only after today. The issue is not going to be the kids, it’s going to be the staff. When the direction from the county is that people in groups at risk should avoid going out, and then list people over 60 as a group at risk, well, a significant fraction of staff in schools are over sixty, when you consider paraeducators, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, admins, in addition to teachers.

    It’s a complicated situation, and I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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  36. David C. said on March 6, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    SXSW 2020 has been cancelled. Wasn’t Kate’s band supposed to play there?

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  37. Deborah said on March 6, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    We got an email from our building management that contained this statement: “As an added precaution, our maintenance staff is paying extra attention to the wiping down and disinfecting of the common areas.”

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  38. Sherri said on March 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    It’s not helping anything that tree pollen is very high here now. I’m constantly fighting a runny, itchy nose, which makes not touching your face really difficult!

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  39. St Bitch said on March 6, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Of course, the Socialist smear attack is GOP standard operating procedure…nothing to do with Bernie showing up in Florida circa 2018.

    Guess I shouldn’t be surprised your fangs would come out, dripping toxins, as the resident Bernie troll, alex. You and Pilot Joe…best not to take the bait.

    I’ve been going on too long anyway. I’ll shut up now.

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  40. LAMary said on March 6, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Same here with the pollen, Sherri. I hear sneezing all over my office and my nose and eyes are itchy.

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  41. Julie Robinson said on March 6, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Hmm, the pollen is also at record levels in Orlando.

    We went to a new musical tonight, written by someone my kids know. It was about a gay man, his loves and relationships, and how they are affected by the Pulse massacre. It was funny and touching, and had most of the audience sobbing. It’s still very raw here.

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  42. beb said on March 7, 2020 at 12:57 am

    When I was working I was sent to an emergency preparedness class one years. As I recall it was very generic, more about chains of command, how to use manpower efficiently and keep on top of things. But it did focus in security at conventions, managing traffic accidents and single incident things like that. I’m not sure where was much discussion about an on-going event like a pandemic. No wait, in hazmat situations the hazmat team too control, because they had the equipment and knew how to use it. So for an epidemic medical personal would lead the response because they had the specific training and had the proper equipment.

    It’s reassuring that according to the CDC? EPA? Common cleansers like Lysol and Chlorox are effective again the virus.

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  43. Sherri said on March 7, 2020 at 1:26 am

    He knows he can’t win Washington, so we don’t matter to him.

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  44. Deborah said on March 7, 2020 at 7:16 am

    This morning I read that people over 60 and people with chronic health conditions are cautioned to stay home. So that means me, I’m over 60 but no chronic health condition. I touch my face all the time, hard to break myself of that. Living in a high rise building with multiple units per floor and one main elevator and one service elevator might be more like being on a cruise ship than a single family home. Maybe I should go to the cabin in Abiquiu where people are spread way out? I’m kind of kidding.

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  45. Deborah said on March 7, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Also, we’re going to the symphony tonight which is predominantly attended by old people. If anyone in the audience has early stage exposure to the virus, it could wipe out a lot of Chicago’s classical music lovers, I suppose.

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  46. alex said on March 7, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Ouch. Being compared to Pilot Joe is about the worst insult anyone could lob here. Which is also why I’m going to take it as teasing.

    As I’ve said before, I’d vote for Bernie if it came to that. But now I’m resting much easier knowing that it probably won’t. And I’ve known a lot of Cubans, which is why it’s obvious to me that Bernie’s a complete nonstarter in Florida. His problem is that he’s divisive and too many of his followers are bomb throwers who aren’t interested in uniting behind a consensus candidate. I’m fully in favor of the utopian ideals of Bernie Sanders, but I don’t think he’s quite the right messenger or that the country is quite ready for Scandinavian-style social democracy.

    It would take great pragmatism and caution to dismantle the parasitic health care and insurance industries upon which millions of people depend for their jobs. Myself included. If I were a less-informed person, as so many voters are, I might very well prioritize protecting my employment over any other concerns, and a candidate who proposes to wipe it out and start from scratch would be concerning. I’m not concerned because I know that Bernie doesn’t have such power and won’t have such cooperation. I agree with the direction he wants to take things. But this is going to be slow and incremental and he is overpromising while scaring a lot of people off.

    I personally know people who became scared of Warren when she initially said she’d overhaul the health care system in ten years and eliminate health insurance. Even after she backpedaled, these folks were not reassured. I’m sure this must have cost her some support.

    The problem with proposing massive change is that you also have to communicate how you’ll accommodate those who are content with the status quo.

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  47. St Bitch said on March 7, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Ok, alex – not only do I take it back, but I’m bowing down and shutting the fuck up to give you the last word.

    Well said.

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  48. Heather said on March 7, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Oh, maybe pollen levels are high all over. I noticed the tree in front of my balcony is already starting to bud. I was freaking out a little because my asthma is kicking up a tiny bit, and I decided to get an extra rescue inhaler (which I almost never use) after reading an extremely scary math/coronavirus thread on Twitter. It can’t hurt to be minimally prepared. Having vulnerable lungs is not a fun place to be right now.

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  49. Deborah said on March 7, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Alex, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I agree with you, as much as I like some of Bernie’s “utopian ideals”, I don’t think the country is ready to vote for him.

    I also know a lot of Cuban Americans, having grown up in Miami, plus my boss at my last job before I retired came over from Cuba when he was 3. He thinks it’s ridiculous how the Cubans living in the US have continued to cling to their hatred of Castro, but alas, they have. I suppose I would feel the same way if it was personal like it was for so many families who were uprooted, their lives drastically changed. Many of the Cuban kids I went to school with had parents who were professionals, doctors, lawyers etc, but they had to get menial jobs in hotels etc to support their families until they could get credentialed here.

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  50. Jakash said on March 7, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    One thing that’s long been clear around here is that Alex and PJ are like two peas in a pod. 😉

    If there’s been much in the way of “reckless vitriol” or “fangs … dripping toxins” among the comments here, I’ve missed it. As far as I can recall, those that have expressed an opinion on the matter have all said that they’d vote for Bernie, if he were the nominee.

    It’s been good to hear your opinions, as a reasonable liberal who caucused for Bernie, St. B, but your determination to see some of the folks here as knee-jerk enemies of progressivism and people who “hate” the guy, have been surprising to me.

    Alex says: “I don’t think he’s quite the right messenger or that the country is quite ready for Scandinavian-style social democracy.” Uh, yeah, particularly given that currently the more likely outcome in this benighted nation would be enabling the downward slide toward full-fledged authoritarianism and fascism.

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  51. Deborah said on March 7, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    This guy is good, was on Chris Hayes recently, Jon Lovett a former speech writer for Obama

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  52. David C. said on March 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Lovett has a great podcast too.

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  53. Jeff Borden said on March 7, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    The coronavirus is going to keep pounding the markets and the Orange King is going to keep pushing the Fed to reduce rates because he has nothing but the economy (which he deserves zero credit for) and immigrant hate to drive his cancerous campaign. When the inevitable recession occurs, the Fed won’t have a lot of cards to play, having already wasted them to keep our hapless preznit happy.

    Chicago (like Detroit) is particularly ill-prepared financially for a downturn. We just lost the housewares show, which uses about 50,000 hotel rooms and smaller gatherings are canceling on a daily basis. Given our debt level and brewing labor issues with our angry cops –and following a public school strike that wrested a considerable amount of money in salaries and benefits– we can ill afford a crash. I love living here, but man, the politicians over the past several decades royally screwed over the future to hand out goodies during their terms.

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  54. Maria said on March 7, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Heather, I just did the same thing, only I got two extra rescue inhalers just in case they become scarce. After reading the CDC criteria for those who should stay home I freaked out a bit-I fit most of the descriptors.

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  55. Bt Bitch said on March 7, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Good clip, Deborah@51!

    I’m also a fan of Lovett or Leave It (passion with comic relief), as well as Pod Save America, which includes Lovett, along with other former members of Obama’s speechwriting and administration staff.

    You might be interested in knowing that Jon Lovett’s partner (actually fiancé now) is Ronan Farrow – spawn of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen; author of Catch and Kill, a fascinating read.

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  56. Suzanne said on March 7, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    “ Redfield wrote the introduction to a 1990 book, “Christians in the Age of AIDS,” co-written by Smith, in which he denounced distribution of sterile needles to drug users and condoms to sexually active adults, and described anti-discrimination programs as the efforts of “false prophets.”

    Now we understand why the head of the CDC, smiled and nodded while Trump blathered on about his excellent response to the virus outbreak.

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  57. alex said on March 7, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Ronan is Sinatra’s baby and you can tell.

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  58. Suzanne said on March 7, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    I just watched Rosemary’s Baby for the first time in 30? 40? years. Honesty, I am not sure Ronan Farrow has a father, he’s such a spitting image of his mother. It’s jarring. I think cloning was involved.

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  59. jcburns said on March 7, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    If you have two minutes to spare, you might want to take in this Joe Biden ad.

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  60. Deborah said on March 8, 2020 at 12:10 am

    JC, I’m not getting anything when I click on your link?

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  61. jcburns said on March 8, 2020 at 12:23 am

    One character wrong in the link. Sorry. Fixed now.

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  62. Dexter Friend said on March 8, 2020 at 4:17 am

    Ronan apparently isn’t willing to do a public DNA reveal and that’s fine with me. Hell, I do not know if he even plays the clarinet . Indeed, he looks just like Mia, so I guess we’re pretty sure his mother is a sure match.
    So in this blog populace of cord-cutters, if anyone here has Spectrum TV cable service, binge-out on Manhunt: Deadly Games, the Spectrum production of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing. Jack Huston is great as Eric Rudolph and Cameron Britton is great as Richard Jewell.
    ~ Goddam time change in on. I fucking hate it—the older I get the worse it fucks me up.

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  63. David C. said on March 8, 2020 at 7:20 am

    This time change is no problem for me. I can lose an hour’s sleep like nobody’s business. I do it at least a couple times a week without trying. Moving back to standard time is the one that messes me up. Suddenly, feeling tired and going to sleep at 10:00 becomes feeling tired and going to sleep at 9:00. Getting back to ten takes me a couple of weeks and I still often fall asleep early because it gets dark so early.

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  64. alex said on March 8, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Never realized Ronan’s paternity was in dispute. Sure looks like Old Blue Eyes to me.

    It’s been a fabulous weekend weatherwise and I undertook my first effort as the grounds coordinator for the ‘hood, transplanting a bunch of sprouting lion’s mane daffodils to the beds surrounding our entrance signs. There are no perennial plants there so it’s like working with a clean slate.

    The daffodils needed to be moved because my partner and I are about to take down an adjacent tree. What’s more, they hadn’t been divided in 15 years. We’re also disassembling our entire vegetable garden in order to fell the tree. We plan to build new raised beds that are waist-high so no more bending and stooping.

    Lot of work ahead but the results will be worth it.

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  65. Deborah said on March 8, 2020 at 10:23 am

    That is a good ad JC. We need to see more of those.

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  66. 4dbirds said on March 8, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Health insurance is totally overrated and yet essential at the same time. I have good health insurance. I am a federal employee and have what is considered the cadillac of insurance. Please indulge me while I relate my latest heath issue. As a diabetic, I’ve known for years that I needed to address the large stag-horn kidney stones that could not be passed and would eventually destroy my left kidney. I finally went in for a procedure where a laser would break up my stones and would finally free and with a medication/diet/etc life change would bend up healthy and extend my life. After the procedure, under the fog of anesthesia, I was told that they could only remove 50% of the stone because it was much larger than expected and there were more of them than the CTscan showed. So I left the procedure, went home and waited until they scheduled me for the second procedure. Except, I could not pee, I couldn’t pass urine and I didn’t feel exactly right. I went to the doctor’s office and asked to see him. I told the young lady behind the glass that i felt funny and the stent they inserted in me felt so painful that I wanted to remove it myself. I was told all of that was normal and to wait for my next procedure. I went home and felt awful. I had a couple of day where I took the morphine they gave me and just floated in a phase. Then I felt really sick. I had shivers that nothing helped. I had 5 blankets and kept upping the temperature in the house to unlivable limits. The shivers were almost like seizures. Now I know they are called rigors and if anyone in your household has them, call 911 and get them to the ER as fast as possible. Well I ended up with sepsis, two weeks in the hospital and then 6 weeks of IV antibiotics delivered through picc line. This is when I found out there are deductibles than e=then there are deductibles. While technically I have a 300 dollar deductible I also have a 15 percent co-insurance which maxes out for me (and me alone not for other family members) at $7000. I maxed it out. I now owe the hospital at least 7000 because if there are any out of network providers who treated me during that time, well my out of pocket max for them is $9,000. I turn 65 next month and I’m signing up part A and B because although I can bring my insurance into retirement, I can’t afford 10K a year in deductibles.

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  67. Deborah said on March 8, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Holy cow 4dbirds, that’s quite a story. Healthcare is so messed up in this country.

    Most of the first couple days of DST, every time I look at the clock (actually iPhone) I tell myself it’s really an hour earlier, then I forget about it and just enjoy the light later. I still love DST, even though I’m retired. I especially liked it when I worked, to have it still be light after I got out was energizing.

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  68. Julie Robinson said on March 8, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    What a horrible experience, 4dbirds. I’m glad you’re still with us; sounds like it was a near thing.

    Before you make your Medicare decision, look up your state SHIP or SHINE office and make an appointment.They will help you compare all your options without bias or trying to sell you anything. We spent a morning there this week and were boggled by the choices. What you decide now could have a huge impact later.

    BTW we now pay 15K for my coverage through my husband’s job. So our costs should go down substantially once we each hit 65 in 2021.

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  69. David C. said on March 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for pointing me to SHIP, Julie. Mary will be 65 in three years and me in 5. We knew we would need help sorting the options out, but had no idea where to turn.

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  70. Suzanne said on March 8, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    I am hearing more and more reports of people with insurance paying big bills because someone associated with a medical procedure is not “in network” although it would be nearly impossible to know that before or during the procedure. I talked a man a year or so ago who had a relative with some medical emergency that the local regional hospital couldn’t manage. A helicopter was called because time was of the essence. When everything was said and done, the patient got a $40,000 bill for the medical helicopter which, of course, was not in network, unknown to the patient who would have died had he not gotten the care he needed in a timely manner.

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  71. 4dbirds said on March 8, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks Julie,

    I am definitely looking them up.

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  72. Deborah said on March 8, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I was sorry I didn’t get the Medicare coverage for pharmaceuticals when I turned 65, I wasn’t taking any medications then and thought it was stupid to pay monthly for something I wasn’t using. Then 3 years later I needed some ongoing meds that were astronomical without insurance. So I got the Medicare coverage for medications then, I had to wait for an enrollment period and I now have to pay a penalty every month added to my regular monthly payment, the monthly penalty is not that much, like $25 but still it adds up. The penalty would have increased if I had let more time go between the time I started Medicare and finally started the medication insurance option.

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  73. susan said on March 8, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Yeah, Deborah, and you have to pay that penalty for the rest of your life. I had been in a similar situation as you, not taking any prescriptions, so why sign up? A very helpful person at Medicare warned me about that, explained the consequences, and helped me find the least expensive Part D plan.

    Our “healthcare system” is all so ƒü¢king stoopid and unnecessarily complicated and dangerous.

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  74. Heather said on March 8, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    4dbirds, glad you are OK. One hack I’ve read about is to ask for an itemized receipt for all the services/drugs/etc. Apparently this often results in substantial discounts because hospitals always pad them.

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  75. Deborah said on March 8, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    I’m still cringing at 4dbirds term, “stag horn” kidney stones, that sounds so painful. At the end of my freshman year of college I developed kidney stones which were the most excruciatingly painful condition I have ever had in my life. My stones were like burrs or small thistles that as they moved through your system scraped tissue off of the tubes they traveled through and in doing so became more sleek and rounded. So they were unbelievably painful at first but over time were less so. Stag horn stones, I just can’t imagine what that would feel like, much less what they would do to your body.

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  76. 4dbirds said on March 8, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Thanks Heather, I’m definitely looking into that.

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