Thursday Open Thread

We've now passed 150,000 deaths in the U.S. from Coronavirus. The virus is going to be with us for a long time. It's still unclear how much it will change our professional and personal lives in the future.

The virus mutates -- a new form is already spreading in Vietnam, and causing great concern. I'd like to know which of the virus vaccines the U.S. is financially backing, if any, will work on mutations of COVID-19.

Is it possible we will spend billions for a vaccine that works on the disease as it existed when the vaccine testing began, but not on the mutated disease that exists months or a year later when it's approved?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

< Trump Floats Election Delay Balloon, Sinks Right Away
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    Lincoln Project hires real actors (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 08:35:52 PM EST
    Inscribe these words (5.00 / 6) (#9)
    by Peter G on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 11:08:10 PM EST
    on your doorposts and in your heart. An essay written by John Lewis for publication on the day of his funeral.

    Morgan Freeman (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 07:36:30 AM EST
    Lincoln Project & BBC present (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 03:27:47 PM EST
    These (none / 0) (#20)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 04:04:03 PM EST
    guys continue to amaze, one of their best yet. Comedy gold really.

    Trump's Evil (none / 0) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 04:38:30 PM EST
    Hurricane Isaias (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by fishcamp on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 01:29:45 PM EST
    Is just now passing my exact latitude, however thankfully, it is about 200 miles offshore.  We will get some wind, but not until it moves farther north near Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and the wind clocks around (anti- clockwise) and the outer wind and rain bands come close to the Florida keys.  This is hurricane number 19 or 20 for me, can't really remember since they were all a blur except for Irma which was quite memorable.  There are at least two more strong disturbances out in the Atlantic now, and I hope they turn away from us.  

    Hope all goes well. (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 01:40:12 PM EST
    It's (none / 0) (#30)
    by FlJoe on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 02:08:42 PM EST
    forecast to be almost directly overhead my location tomorrow evening.

    At least it appears to be weakening and on it's present course we will be on the weaker side of the storm.


    Yes, I see that Joe, (none / 0) (#31)
    by fishcamp on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 02:20:36 PM EST
    and you are correct in saying it is weakening  and hopefully will slow even more when it moves up your way.  You will definitely get some wind and rain as will everybody along the Atlantic coast.  Good luck.

    Duck and cover (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 05:02:53 PM EST
    Looks like it's headed for New England.  The only time I was in a hurricane was Boston.  

    I guess that was Andrew. It was the last time I lived in an "apartment building".  I took the dog and went to the basement that had iron bars on the alley door and we sat there and watched trash cans and larger things flying down the alley.


    made (none / 0) (#34)
    by FlJoe on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 07:47:53 AM EST
    a beach run this morning @ sunrise/high tide. Steady wind about 20 surf about 8 feet, tide was high but just about the same as yesterday.

    The sky was mostly clear over head except for a few squalls, dark and ominous to the SE. A mid level deck started to work it's way over us by the time I left.

    The storm is still struggling to wrap the heavy convection around the top and unless it does we will dodge the worst of it.

    Unless they close the causeway or it gets really bad I will make a few more trips out to check things out.


    Just (none / 0) (#40)
    by FlJoe on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 04:28:37 PM EST
    passing my latitude right now, about 35 miles offshore. So far winds have been around 30 mph gusting to maybe 40 at the beaches.

    Had numerous short squalls with gusty winds but only sprinkly rainfall, the sun actually just peeked out for a few minutes.


    Today is the day. (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 11:32:08 AM EST
    Trump announced in mid-July that he would be signing "a full and complete" health care plan within two weeks.  During the 2016 campaign he  pledged to repeal Obamacare and replace it "with something terrific".  So this may be Trump Terrific Care.  

    Trump still has until midnight, so we should not rush him.  Will work on an analysis of the plan overnight for tomorrow's reporting.

    Seriously Doubt (none / 0) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 12:09:40 PM EST
    that you will be burning the midnight oil on that analysis.

    My (none / 0) (#1)
    by FlJoe on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 03:51:20 PM EST
    understanding is that this virus is fairly stable and any mutations are superficial, of course the science on this thing changes on a daily basis.

    This article seems alarmist, quoting "local doctors", not any kind of virologist or public health experts.

    Vietnam to there credit has done a great job keeping the total cases under 500 and this "new wave" has only 15 cases, not nearly enough to determine infection, hospitalization and mortality rates.

    Just my 2 cents.

    I thought it was from a US tv station (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:39:34 PM EST
    I had no idea it was news from the Ukraine. It did cite a medical expert quoted in the Guardian. But I have swapped it out for a New York Times article.

    Not my circus not my monkeys (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 05:35:31 PM EST
    "President Trump indicated to associates during a flight on Air Force One on Wednesday that he would not intervene in the US Senate Republican primary in Kansas despite the fears among top Republicans that the state could elect a nominee who will lose the seat and thus the Senate," CNN reports.

    "While the GOP establishment has long been alarmed by the prospect that conservative firebrand Kris Kobach could win the primary on Tuesday only to lose the general election in November, Trump has so far not endorsed its favored candidate, Republican Rep. Roger Marshall."

    Calling Kobach a monkey in the circus (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Peter G on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 02:01:40 PM EST
    is an insult to the high intelligence and community spirit of most monkeys.

    The pause (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:20:51 PM EST
    "President Trump's campaign has virtually disappeared from the airwaves as it undertakes `a review and fine-tuning of the campaign's strategy' as an official put it after the replacement of campaign manager Brad Parscale," NBC News reports.

    "With less than 100 days until Election Day, the Trump campaign spent virtually nothing on television or radio ads on Wednesday and Thursday, according to data from Advertising Analytics. And it has effectively nothing booked through August."

    That link I put in the last thread about why he might quit  hardly mentioned the biggest reason I think Trump might cut his losses.

    The pandemic.  I really think it has him cornered.  He has no idea how to react.  He is incapable of even faking the empathy and compassion needed because he doesn't understand the concept.  

    All the rest he can deal with. Not this.   I really think he is beginning to understand it's completely out of control and as it get worse so will his prospects.  That must be a truly terrifying thing for a guy who has had as much control over the news as he has had.  He now controls nothing.   But he could walk away.

    I hope he does (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:34:59 PM EST
    And I won't be surprised if he does quit saying he sacrificed everything to become President and enough is enough -- he now needs to return to the business world and his personal empire.

    I don't think his heart is in this because he isn't getting the adulation he needs from enough camps. He only gets excited when thousands of people are clapping for him and yelling things like "lock her up".

    He's just a carnival barker who wants to be Marjoe, without the religion attached. (what a throwback that reference is, but it was a great movie in its day).


    That too (none / 0) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 07:43:03 PM EST
    It's like the virus is conspiring against him.   Robbing him of everything including the adulation he requires.  And I really think he requires it.

    Why it's almost like....an act of god.


    Our numbers here in Hawaii are spiking, ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Jul 30, 2020 at 09:41:07 PM EST
    ... leaving me to wonder if the coronavirus finally overcame our firewall and has reached the dreaded community spread stage. While our total case load of 1,989 may look low right now, 567 of those were diagnosed just in the last seven days, 504 on Oahu. Anyway, we're likely within a day or two of a re-shutdown.

    Nobody in this country will be safe until everybody starts taking this pandemic seriously.

    Looks (none / 0) (#10)
    by FlJoe on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 07:11:50 AM EST
    like we are going to have a Hurricane at our doorstep Sunday morning...this demon seed year continues apace.

    The official forecast has it as a high end cat1 about 60 miles offshore, if that holds it should be no big deal.

    The best news is it's moving quickly so the waiting will not be total agony and the worst effects will not last that long.

    Also for a weather nerd like me it is a perfect diversion from the tRumpdemic.

    Remember Jared Kushner's (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:33:43 AM EST
    national pandemic response team, way back in February?  Businessman and friends of Jared surprisingly hammered out a decent plan to coordinate efforts.  However, that plan ran into Trump.  Jared agreed and that was the end of that.

     Accordingly to Vanity Fair reporting
    "The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy."

    Yes, the brain-trust of Trump and Jared, apparently, believed Covid-19 only infected Democrats and that it limited itself to Blue states, staying, say, in Illinois and never crossing over to Indiana.  But, the strategy of killing liberals must have been thought to be much better than just owning them.

    Normalized (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 12:41:58 PM EST
    Most Don't Think Trump Will Accept Election Result

    July 31, 2020 at 12:56 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 133 Comments

    A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll finds that 52% of Americans now believe that President Trump will not accept the results of November's election if he loses to Joe Biden -- and an even larger majority of Trump voters say they too will refuse to accept a narrow loss if mail-in ballots contribute to Biden's victory.

    Regarding the bold text (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by CST on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 01:35:42 PM EST
    I wonder what "refuse to accept" looks like, functionally.

    Honestly I think for most of them (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 01:43:53 PM EST
    it would mean repeating the talking points.  But there is a subset.   There is that.

    That is a remarkable number (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 12:58:14 PM EST
    If you take a step back.  More than half the country does not expect the President to accept the election results if he loses.

    And it's not really even a headline


    Well, apparently mailed (none / 0) (#25)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 08:03:23 PM EST
    absentee ballots are not suspect.

    Darren Wilson not charged... again (none / 0) (#18)
    by McBain on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 02:02:27 PM EST
    I didn't know there was there was another investigation.

    "Although this case represents one of the most significant moments in St. Louis' history, the question for this office was a simple one," Bell said. "Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law?"  
    "After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we cannot prove that he did," Bell said.

    This makes at least two investigations by the state of Missouri and one federal. I think it's time to let Wilson move on with his life.    

    Save yourself and good luck with that (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 05:20:26 PM EST
    "Sen. Mitch McConnell is allowing Republican Senate candidates to do whatever it takes to salvage their campaigns ahead of what Republicans increasingly fear could be a devastating election for their party," CNN reports.

    "In recent weeks, the Senate majority leader has become so concerned over Republicans losing control of the Senate that he has signaled to vulnerable GOP senators in tough races that they could distance themselves from the President if they feel it is necessary."

    Huge caveat: "While this may give some senators the flexibility to draw a distinction between themselves and the President, it also forces them to walk a tightrope. Trump remains enormously popular with the Republican base, and any attempts to undercut him risks alienating those voters."

    What this illustrates is our real problem.  It's not really Trump and the republicans.   They are just a symptom.

    The real problem is the so called Republican base.  Between 30 an 40% of the voting population that still - still - blindly support Trump.  After all we have seen just since January.  After being shown undeniable evidence he is a dangerous crazy person.  They are the problem.  

    And no matter what happens to Trump they ain't goin no place.

    I almost want Trump to try to pull off a literal military type coup.  

    It certainly would not succeed.

    But if that happens all his shameless supporters will be exposed with no place to hide.  It might be the only hope for shutting them up and marginalizing them permanently.

    Trumpism is a thing.  And will be after Trump.

    Yeah, (none / 0) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 06:11:56 PM EST
    these people are scary. They don't believe facts. They only believe things that are told to them by approved sources. The GOP really created these monsters with talk radio and Fox News and now you can add OANN to the mix. How you get their media to do a cult deprogramming operation is beyond me. All those operations are making too much money grifting the cult.

    Salon (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 05:07:51 PM EST
    Alan Parker 2/14/44 - 7/31/20 (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 06:13:13 PM EST
    This would be ironic if it wasn't so farcical. (none / 0) (#26)
    by desertswine on Fri Jul 31, 2020 at 09:27:56 PM EST
    The White House on Friday condemned Hong Kong's decision to postpone September legislative elections by a year because of the coronavirus, denouncing the action a day after President Trump floated the idea of delaying the U.S. presidential election in November.

    "We condemn the Hong Kong government's decision to postpone for one year its legislative council elections and to disqualify opposition candidates," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a news briefing. Reading from a prepared statement,she characterized the move as part of an effort by China to deny "promised autonomy and freedom to the Hong Kong people."

      --  Wash Post

    Sounding good (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 01, 2020 at 01:51:59 PM EST
    Just saw my governor on CNN (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 08:37:33 AM EST
    He said "in AR we are going to have expanded absentee ballot access"

    That's pretty vague but possibly meant to be.  It jives with the instructions I got from my county clerk that I left a comment about here a few days ago.

    When I asked she, to my surprise, basically told me how to vote by mail without any of the standard reasons for that.  Which is not what the law says.

    I would guess they have been instructed to make voting by mail more accessible.  Particularly for seniors.

    This governor has often found ways to work around the rabid right.  Our novel approach to Medicaid expansion under the ACA is a good example.

    This made me feel better (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 01:35:20 PM EST
    Trump is Doomed and he knows it

    I'm quite sure that McCarthy and McConnell, along with many other prominent Republicans, cannot wait to be rid of Donald Trump and are already rehearsing various death-of-Stalin monologues that range from "well, he expressed the true greatness of America but" to "honestly, I never really knew the guy." What they may discover, however, is that the Republican Party after Trump is something like John Hurt's character in "Alien" after the face-hugger falls off. He seems fine and normal! But as the robot scientist knows, he's been impregnated with something awful, and once it gets a decent feed down there in the gummy darkness, it's bustin' out.

    RIP Wilford Brimley (none / 0) (#39)
    by McBain on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 02:16:51 PM EST

    Brimley died Saturday while hospitalized in St. George, Utah, his manager Lynda Bensky told CNN. He'd been at the ICU, where he was getting treatment for medical problems and was on dialysis.

    He was 85.   I think The Thing was my favorite of all the films he appeared in.  I also enjoyed The Natural.  

    My favorite was his (none / 0) (#41)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 04:49:41 PM EST
    Attorney General character in Absence of Malice.

    He was a great heavy (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 05:20:43 PM EST
    Menacing Tom Cruise in The Firm.

    But like Joel Schumacher he won't be remember for his best work.


    I really do not understand (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 05:29:57 PM EST
    What republicans think they are doing.

    While there is enough suspense to torture the people who are depending on this stimulus to eat it would be hard to find anyone in politics who has not known for weeks that Nancy and Chuck were going to get most if not all of what they want.

    It's boggles the mind.  Not only do they look cruel and callous.  Making it clear they don't give a shi+ about what the country is suffering, doing it this way also makes them look weak and stupid.

    Next week they will be dragged pi$$ing and moaning across the finish line just like everyone knew they would.  Even most of their supporters.

    They (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by FlJoe on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 07:34:45 PM EST
    get away with it because of headlines like this
    Millions of people will see a sharp drop in their unemployment benefits because Congress failed to act
    They don't even begin to describe the fecklessness of McConnell and the Repugs until paragraph five
    Much of the recent delay, however, has actually been driven by disagreement among Republicans. Not only are Senate Republicans split over the need for more stimulus and concerns over additions to the national debt, the White House, too, has its own set of priorities.
    and even then they cannot lay the entire blame where it belongs.

    I don't think they will get away with it (none / 0) (#46)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 07:47:15 PM EST
    I don't think there are many people unaware than the house passed theirs months ago and the senate just pi$$ed away months waiting till the last minute.

    This is not some arcane difficult to understand thing.  People are following this minute by minute like their lives depend on it because they do.

    Republicans are getting hammered fir this.


    On the one hand, it's delightful to wake up to another news cycle of "Republicans in Disarray" stories. Just put that stuff directly in our veins! On the other hand, they're in disarray over the coronavirus stimulus package, and if they can't get their shit together, millions of Americans are going to lose their federal unemployment benefits. Which is not funny at all!

    But you take your joy where you can get it in this four-year waking nightmare. So pull up a chair, and let's dish about GOP senators racing out of their caucus meeting to call their own party's stimulus bill a stinking pile of dog crap.


    In plain English, we are literally nowhere with this stimulus package. Democrats want to help people, Republicans' priority is ensuring that no one gets sued for forcing employees to choose between infection and starvation, and the White House just cares about the stupid FBI headquarters -- they literally held the process up for four days to get it in there!

    And as with every other problem in Washington, Trump can and will make it worse.

    Getting (none / 0) (#48)
    by FlJoe on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 08:24:41 PM EST
    hammered by Wonkette is not exactly getting hammered by the general public, no matter how righteous it is.

    By all logic there should be a political price for them to pay and I imagine they will. However they will get away with paying much less than full price, they always do.


    I guess it depends on the price you expect (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 08:32:59 PM EST
    They should be drawn and quartered but that won't happen so we will probably have to live with them becoming a minority party for a generation.

    Call (none / 0) (#50)
    by FlJoe on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 08:53:00 PM EST
    me a pessimist but I will believe that when I see it .
    I have witnessed the "death" of the Republican party too many times already.

    The thing is in this case (none / 0) (#47)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 07:59:44 PM EST
    The 1% who usually could care less about extended unemployment benefits really want this because everyone knows it's what has kept the economy alive this far and without it we are are in for a economic screwing rich and poor alike

    They are making enemies everywhere


    Every day (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 02, 2020 at 07:34:13 PM EST
    they pretty much get on the TV and say most Americans are lazy and don't want to work. They don't even have a basic understanding of how unemployment works.