The Tussle in Tulsa: A Retrospective

I had been worried about the risk of violence in Tulsa this weekend given Trump’s tweet bordering on incitement ahead of his rally.

Fortunately my concern was for naught. Didn’t see a single Hawaiian shirt cross my Twitter feed while watching the lead up to and after the event, not a one in the approximately 6,600 attendees.

But the event itself didn’t live up to other expectations.

I have to believe Brad Parscale will be looking for new contracts. Or perhaps he’ll be retained just to keep him from mucking things up further somewhere else in the election cycle food chain.

He’d claimed 800,000 had reserved for the event, a number which seemed wholly unrealistic considering the population within a four-hour drive of Tulsa and the advertisements placed for non-white attendees. We know now a confluence of activist engagement via social media platform TikTok, K-pop fans, and mounting concerns about COVID-19 contagion as well as risk of violence may have artificially boosted reservations and kept attendance down.

Parscale’s claimed this morning that protesters blocked access to the venue, pointing to an AFP photo of a gate with a couple handfuls of protesters and what looks like an equal amount of media.

Unfortunately for Parscale, AFP took a photo of another gate with red-hatted, pale-skinned, maskless attendees streaming through the gate.

And other media outlets took photos outside the venue showing an awful lot of pavement.

The speech intended for outdoor overflow audience was cancelled. Wouldn’t even need a sound system to speak to this few people.

The big feat of the day: one-handed drinking.

Attendees were subjected to a 20-minute ramble about the “fake news” from his Westpoint speech last weekend after which he had difficulty walking down a ramp.

What a perfect example of the cobra effect — trying to defuse a problem but only making it worse. But Trump is too much of a narcissist to allow criticism of his person to go unanswered.

The lowest point in Trump’s speech yesterday was his remarks about COVID-19 testing.

He’s made comments before about the number of tests correlating to the number of cases. Comic Sarah Cooper has famously riffed on this.

But this time he’s expressed an intent to withhold health care from the public for personal aims — to keep the reported number of cases artificially low, without regard to the effect this would have on actual reduction of COVID-19 cases.

Aside from revealing again he’s so utterly toxic, this statement needs investigation. It’s impeachable if he both demanded a reduction or slow-down in tests, especially if he did so for the purposes of improving his polling numbers.

None of his efforts skewing reality have paid off as he’d like. We can see the tangerine emperor’s ass.

And nothing he’s done will make this grim number go away.

This is an open thread.

171 replies
  1. madwand says:

    This from Business insider, credits Tik Tok Teens, K Pop and Mary Jo Laup a 51 year old grandmother. “Laup told CNN last week she had worked on Democrat Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign. It was Trump’s initial decision to stage the rally on Juneteenth (a decision that he later reversed), the date marking the end of slavery, that inspired her to act.”
    You have to love it, this would under any “normal” circumstance send Parscale to the showers. One can only hope.

    • dmbeaster says:

      Keep him in there where he can do the most damage to the campaign. Do not send him to the showers.

      • Tracy Lynn says:

        There is a school of thought that implies Brad Parscale isn’t the genius that everyone thought he was at the end of 2016. I’m trying to find more info about that–his hyping the “millions” of people who contacted the campaign for tix for the Tulsa rally doesn’t jibe (IMHO) with the genius moniker. Particularly since it seems the campaign got played.

    • Mart says:

      Think Digby noted the K-Pop Tik Tok teens also have a shitload of Hillary eating babies in the basement of Comet Pizza followers. Because of course there is. Lack of critical thinking and the internet will be the death of us all.

  2. Raven Eye says:

    Speaking of the Emperor’s Ass, we may be spared the expense of adding Trump’s to Mt. Rushmore.

    A Google search for “natural formations that look like a butt [images]” reveals that there are enough examples already out there. The only cost would be for signage.

  3. mvario says:

    I would think that making people agree to a waiver not to sue should they get infected at the rally didn’t help either. I suppose they will be offering free pizza at the next rally.

  4. laura says:

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at the White House today as the family gathers together to celebrate dear old dad. That klusterfail was so pwnd by the youngs and the Kpop stans and the vast expanse of empty seats was there for all to see.
    I can smell the stank of flop sweat, stale hamberders and loser all the way out here in Sacramento.

    • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

      My poor fading republic…only 70 years from fireside chats to toilet-bowl tweets. This traitorous ignoramus is the last call for democracy. If we can’t learn from this horrific don the con shit-show, there is no future.

  5. BobCon says:

    I have long felt that a lot of liberals have fallen for a simplistic story that equates Trump voters with Trump’s base. There is, of course a lot of overlap, but I think Clinton’s widely mocked statement about deplorables was about right — half of his voters belong in that category.

    The problem with that simplification is that it led to a lot of doom and gloom about electoral prospects — moaning about the electoral college and gerrymandered districts that treated an uphill climb as a 1000 foot sheer cliff, suggesting we’d all be better off hiding in a basement.

    And on the pundit and press side, it led to a lot of policy timidity — they simply could not imagine that massive Black Lives Matters protests would actually strengthen liberals instead of solidifying Trump’s grip.

    The national establishment and the Democratic Party establishment piece is going to draw the wrong lesson from Trump’s struggles. They are going to push for big tent incrementalism that gets hung up on short term projects tilted toward established elites. But what needs to happen is a major breakup of that mindset.

    Liberals need to come to terms with half of Trump’s voters being deplorables and turn the tables on the GOP — push them into an ever tightening embrace of absurdity while standing up for compassion, inclusiveness and rationality.

    • Sixsmith says:

      Re: hiding in a basement. Secretary Clinton is a politician, so her bold statement was still very diplomatic. She placed half of Trump’s voters in the basket of deplorables, because as a politician during a campaign she wishes to own up to failures of communication, including her own, that could have led some of that other half into Trump’s camp. I am not a politician, so I’ll lay it down– both halves of Trump’s voters are deplorable. The fact that even a single American cast a vote for that jackass is deplorable. If a Democratic candidate makes a conciliatory move toward people who voted for Trump, I’ll still vote for them. But I’m hoping, and working, for an election that will make our national conversation *a lot less inclusive* and *a lot less tolerant.* Our fling with kakistocracy at the federal level is *over* as of November 3– I just pray we don’t decide to marry it.

    • William Bennett says:

      I belatedly weigh in to suggest once again that the real problem with HRC’s formulation as a communicative act was not so much “deplorables” as “basket.”

  6. Peterr says:

    From Politico:

    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said Sunday that President Donald Trump was only joking when he said he asked his administration to slow down coronavirus testing for the sake of optics.

    Speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,“ Navarro repeatedly said, “Come on now, Jake. You know it was tongue in cheek. Come on now. That was tongue in cheek,” cutting off Tapper as he repeatedly asked about the president’s remarks.

    “I don’t know that it was tongue in cheek at all,” Tapper retorted.

    “That’s news for you, tongue in cheek,” Navarro said with a dismissive laugh.

    Ah, the eternal conservative response to having said something racist/sexist/homophobic/utterly stupid in the presence of non-conservatives: “I was JOKING!” (Which then inevitably leads into the eternal next question: “Why don’t liberals have a sense of humor?”)

    • BobCon says:

      Why was Navarro on there in the first place?

      And if he was going to be on, the interview shows Tapper was completely unprepared for Navarro’s gaslighting.

      I realize Navarro wouldn’t show if he thought he was at serious risk of accountability, and having a show that holds these people to account means losing guests. But to paraphrase Thomas More, “Why, Jake, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. But for Navarro?”

    • MissingGeorgeCarlin says:

      I feel incredibly safe knowing a dim-witted teenager with an assault rifle in Oklahoma will “defend” my rights. Nothing more for me to ever worry about! :)

  7. rosalind says:

    a story that did not get nearly the attention it deserves this week, and a cautionary tale of what evil Corporations can wreak with access to our personal info: 6 employees at Ebay were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses, including the Senior Director of Safety (an ex-cop) and the Director of Global Resilience.

    Their targets were a couple who publish a tech blog, who covered Ebay and wrote about their business practices and executive compensation. The highest level (CEO) went beserk, and essentially ordered “a hit” – they terrorized the couple, anonymously sending them live cockroaches and spiders, a bloody pigface mask, a preserved pig fetus and a funeral wreath. They sent porn to their next door neighbors but put the victim’s name on the subscription. They faked attendance at a Boston conference then staked out their home, planning to break in and install a tracking device on their car. Again, this is at the direction of the highest levels of Ebay.

    One of the most incredible things to me is reading the text chains and emails in the complaint is how run-of-the-mill the blog posts were, this was not a couple at war with Ebay, simply reporting on their way of doing business. If this type of action is taking place at one Silicon Tech Co., I can only imagine the hell the larger ones can (and have?) unleash on those citizens they deem “the enemy”.

    • Chetnolian says:

      Correct. This needs publicity. But the detail is half way between scary big business an Keystone Kops. Even if ebay manage to keep themselves formally clear of this, it shows the sort of people they employ.

  8. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. Speaks Volumes.

    John Aravosis on Twitter: 10:55 AM · Jun 20, 2020
    Trump rallygoer sans mask: “We had a friend who died from Covid, and his son was on a ventilator, he almost died. So we know it’s real, but then at the same time you don’t know what the facts are, you feel like maybe one side plays it one way and the other side plays it another.”

  9. Ern says:

    The trick those youngsters pulled on attendance at the Tulsa Klan rally has to be one of the best large scale practical jokes ever pulled.

    OT, but all players in the English Premier League games this weekend have Black Lives Matter printed on their jerseys. Incredible how quickly this has become an international thing.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s because it is an international thing, like imperialism. In the UK, you could summarize it with a score of phrases, such as Notting Hill or Empire Windrush.

      • Ern says:

        I knew that Brazil and the Caribbean got a lot of the total, but I had no idea that North America was less than 5 percent.

        • dmbeaster says:

          The real rise of slavery in the South was after the revolution. The British then shut down the slave trade in international waters in 1807. The US banned the importation of slaves the same year as the population of 4 million slaves in the South was self sustaining. Some southerners joined with northerners in voting for this ban, which would have been impossible 20 to 30 years later.

          There is a reason the founders thought it likely that slavery would die out in 1789. It was dying out in the North (all 13 colonies allowed slavery at some point in time).

          Slave labor was pretty minor in the US until the last quarter of the 1700s. What really got it going was the cotton gin invented in 1793.
          Much of the colonial labor before that time was supplied pursuant to indentured servitude by immigrants.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The cotton gin and the enormous increase in cotton production it led to, created the modern world’s commodities trade. (Sugar and tobacco predated it, but were not traded at the same scale until the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.) The Southern plantation – and the slavery that was its social and economic foundation – expanded around it. The manufacture of cotton goods, along with the steam engine, created and were created by the industrial revolution, then centered in England.

          The expanded cotton trade resuscitated a Southern society founded on slavery. It made slavery more fundamental to Southern wealth, social relations, and political life. (Tobacco was an important commodity that also depended on slave labor. But its global trade exploded about a century later, during the Jim Crow era, with the invention of high-capacity cigarette rolling machines, and the introduction of sugared tobacco, which produced a less irritating, inhaleable smoke that led to more rapid addiction.) Despite the passage of legislation, the “shut down” of the slave trade was far from complete for nearly a century.

          Indentured servitude was a fundamentally different economic and social phenomenon. Indentured servants were poor whites, they were often mistreated, but they had some rights, their contracts were limited, and they were not considered property of their masters.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Jerry Nadler’s taking a lot of deserved heat for dismissing the notion of impeaching AG Bill Barr for obvious and serial abuses of his power. We heard his rationale for months, in the run-up to Nancy Pelosi’s belated impeachment of Donald Trump: McConnell’s Senate will never convict and remove, so an impeachment would be a waste of time and scarce House resources. It’s one thing to manage expectations about what can be done in a short amount of time about serious abuses of public power. Refusing to do anything at all, however, guarantees further and greater abuse.

    We’ve discussed before how Jerry Nadler’s position – really, Nancy Pelosi’s – seems to be an example of how generals are always fighting the last war, not the one they’re in. (Here, the impeachment of Bill Clinton.) But he ignores the other purposes of impeachment proceedings: documenting the public record, to assist in later voting, prosecution or legislative reforms; setting a bar to protect the public interest, below which a senior public employee may not go without risking their standing, position, and career. When Jerry Nadler says No to impeachment – or other legislative oversight – he is saying No to public accountability. That does not bode well for the progressive agenda after 2020.

    • P J Evans says:

      I don’t know what Nadler’s problem is. You don’t impeach only when you’re sure they’ll be convicted. You impeach when they’ve committed “high crimes and misdemeanors”, and that describes Barr (along with nearly every other cabinet member). There’s enough evidence to do it.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        As bmaz would say, I think the issue is Nancy Pelosi, her strategery and her priorities, more than Nadler.

      • paul lukasiak says:

        not impeaching Barr isn’t the problem. Its telling Barr that regardless of what crimes he commits in the future, the Democrats won’t even bother to begin impeachment proceedings. You don’t give someone like Barr carte blanche in this fashion, because he will certainly abuse it.

    • Lena says:

      You can be sure that Jerry Nadler as well as Nancy Pelosi know what they are doing. Only things are not discussed in pubic does not mean they aren’t happening.
      Btw, we had more than enough evidence against that idiot-in-chief and he is still in office because the cowards in the senate did not remove him.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The point is that removal is not the only, or at times, most important function of an impeachment inquiry or Senate trial. I suspect the greater fear is that competent Congressional oversight, publicly documented, would reveal serious problems requiring much time and political capital to fix. Those things are also what keep in check a more progressive agenda.

        Fundamentally, public oversight – Congress doing its job – opens the door to more representation in government. By extending knowledge about what needs to be done, you extend the reach of who can participate in and determine what should be done. That is unwelcome by the establishment. The last time Congress did that in any serious way was in the wake of Nixon’s resignation, Vietnam, and the civil rights and sexual revolutions. Successive House and Senate hearings also revealed decades of serious abuse by the CIA. The disclosures were as shocking as what they revealed.

        The establishment, including the NYT and WaPo, collectively shuddered, and expressed disdain for too much democracy. Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington and others, writing in 1975 for the newly-formed Trilateral Commission, described the expression of democracy as The Crisis of Democracy. That is, a crisis for the establishment’s hold on democracy. It vowed never to let it happen again. It hasn’t.

    • BobCon says:

      Under the GOP the US House became reduced to essentially the model of a small state legislature — a low profile, part time operation — along with a Glengarry Glen Ross style telephone sales office where members make endless fundraising calls all morning, complete with quotas and prizes as they troll big donors for dollars.

      It’s completely incompatible with the aggressive legislative and oversight model of the House in the 1970s and 80s, which of course is why Gingrich and Boehner and Ryan loved it. Pelosi refusing to fix it is a really troubling sign.

      Powerful independent House chairs in the post Watergate reform era did great things — they enacted major governmental reforms, John Dingell led impressive oversight during the Reagan years, and the House moved all kinds of important legislation under both Republican and Democratic presidents. Carl Albert and Tip O’Neil were strong speakers, but they didn’t have a problem with allowing independent authority to exist below them. Pelosi can’t figure this out.

      As a result, she has a problem where the weak committee structure means that chairs can’t deliver votes, and she is forced to whip every important vote with limited leverage. Vacant agendas for committees means that members have little of substance for their records, and it means that Democrats lack deliverables for their key constituencies.

      One of the key sources of tension between Pelosi and AOC is that AOC has publicly rejected the fundraising model in the House, which has become almost the only method for Pelosi to maintain loyalty in the House. Nevermind that it also fractures loyalty, with members beholden to the demands of narrow special interests who donate money, rather than deliver votes.

      Pelosi is a masterful tactician, but her strategic sense is abysmal. She cannot think more than a couple of months ahead, she has no capacity for contingency planning, and her concept of risk management is all about risk avoidance, which is a completely different thing. And perhaps worst of all, she has failed to build the institution of the House, including rapidly expanding the staff to a level which will give the House the ability to stand as an equal to the Senate, let alone the executive branch and the armies of lobbyists in DC.

      And so Nadler has the equivalent impact of a first term member of the House during the days of Emanuel Celler or Peter Rodino, despite chairing the entire committee. It’s embarassing, and it bodes poorly regardless of what happens in November.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I would say Nancy Pelosi is adhering to an older strategy rather than a short-term one. I think she is upholding the priorities of Huntington’s, The Crisis of Democracy, which is about how to suppress it in order to control it for the establishment’s own ends. In that, she would, indeed, fundamentally disagree with AOC and Young Turks like her.

        • BobCon says:

          I think when you look at the two big crises of the past eight months — Ukraine and Covid 19 — she’s been caught flat footed and unprepared. I see that as symptomatic of greater management problems on her part above and beyond her interests in throttling progress.

          Sam Rayburn was deeply opposed to moving progressive measures, but when major crises such as WW2 and the Korean War broke out, he had an organization at his back that could respond. There was a sense that even though he didn’t know what surprises might arise, he could plan and act in response.

          Even when Pelosi has full measure of what she’s facing — Trump was there for two years when she took over — she can’t handle a response when events outstrip the innate wish for inaction.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Since they’re not legislating or committing oversight, House Dems must have nothing to do but to campaign and raise money. That upsets no one’s apple cart. It does, however, put the brakes on the tumbrels of those committed to change.

            • BobCon says:

              I think that’s a fair reading of her approach.

              The issue I’m trying to raise is that the captain of the ship who drops anchor and furls the sails is no longer captaining rhe ship when the anchor chain snaps and the wind starts blowing the ship this way and that.

              She is acting like a captain, giving commands, and looking through the spyglass. But it’s only an illusion at this point. There is no connection between the drift and the planned course of action any more.

    • fikshun says:

      Is it possible that Nadler is backing off because he doesn’t want to do anything that could make voters have any sympathy for Trump? Biden’s starting to pull away from Trump in the polls. Why rock that boat?

      • BobCon says:

        The only way that is true is if the Democrats have so badly hobbled their own ability to pull of a basic investigation that they will look like dopes if they try.

        Which is to say, that may be the surface intention, but it hides a much bigger problem.

  11. paul lukasiak says:

    I think that the Tik Tok thing is being grossly exaggerated in terms of its effectiveness — but highlighting it is a brilliant way to troll the Trump campaign, because any attempt by Team Trump to rebut the claim has them discussing the abysmal turnout numbers.

    In fact, there was never that much enthusiasm to begin with. Last night, about an hour before Trump was scheduled to give his speech, I checked hotel prices in Tulsa. While a few places (mostly higher end) were sold out, there were lots of rooms in reputable national chain hotels (Doubletree, Wyndham) for under $90. And Tulsa’s Red Roof Inn was going for $47 a night — and if there was ever a “Red Roof Inn” crowd, its the kind of people who attend Trump rallies.

    Parscale had to have known this, yet he told the city to expect upwards of 100,000 people….

    • Ern says:

      You are right about the effectiveness of trolling. Apparently, trump spent several minutes explaining why he walked down the ramp slowly and hesitantly. Preaching to the choir. No one else believes that crap.

      Absolutely hilarious that he only got 6200 registered attendees. Our Old Tulsa Dude can confirm that he is worshipped in Oklahoma. They will drink gallons of his snake oil.

    • Yohei72 says:

      I have a similar sense about the Tik Tok story, and I’m a bit annoyed by its prominence (amusing as it is on its own terms). It really doesn’t make sense if you look at it – the tickets were given out free on a first-come, first-served basis, and they were perfectly willing to give out way more than they had seats for in the stadium, right? So it isn’t possible for a group of trolls to hog all the tickets and leave none for the real Trump fans, which is one version of the story that seems popular. With the Tik Tokkers not actually showing up, there were plenty of seats for real Trump fans… who didn’t show up, either.

      What the Tik Tok army DID actually do, arguably, is spur Team Trump to vastly overestimate the size of their audience, which is the whole problem for them. If they’d been modest about expectations going in, the relatively low turnout wouldn’t have been that big a deal (6,500 people willing to cram into a stadium at close quarters to see you in the middle of a pandemic is nothing to sneeze at – so to speak).

      I can’t be the first one to think that this progressive urban legend could backfire a little – it’s practically handing Trump and his fans a ready-made conspiracy theory for why more people didn’t show up, even if it doesn’t make any sense.

      All that aside, when I first read how low the turnout was, I immediately though, “Dang, I’d love to be a fly on the wall after this rally when Trump goes on a ‘who the fuck let this happen?!’ rampage.” So I enjoyed reading this:

      https: [ ] //www.

      • P J Evans says:

        They don’t care if more people show up than they have room for – they do that all the time. That’s why tickets are “free” – the purpose is to get their contact information for the campaign sucker list.
        Even if they give out more tickets than the place can hold, they can find excuses to turn people away at the door. That’s been the GOP practice for the last 50 years.

  12. prostratedragon says:

    There really must be a virtual room somewhere in which we all meet. In recent days I’ve been using President Bugtussle as one of my interior epithets for hwsnbn.

    • Sonso says:

      Hwsnbn? Do you mean Doltemort? And the PPP that shall not be overseen? We’ve seen this tape before…🙀

  13. Badger Robert says:

    The conduct of non Trump Tulsans was magnificent. Trump was looking for an excuse to start a riot. The Tulsans out smarted him and his co-conspirators.
    It was comparable to the end of slavery. No uprisings, no murders, people walked away when the got within range of the US Army.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    By any measure, the Trump Tulsa gig was a bust. Brad Parscale is taking heat for it, which seems natural, as he organized and promoted it. But he did it according to a Trump model and Trump’s expectations.

    So, I think it’s hilarious that Parscale is being criticized for overselling and underperforming. Donald Trump is the avatar of overselling and underperforming. He’s done since he was old enough to steal his brother’s dimes. He’s done it to his bedmates, wives, children, business partners, reporters, customers, employees, vendors, lenders, prosecutors, tax authorities, zoning authorities, and the American public. Brad Parscale would not be working for Trump if he did it any other way.

    • Marinela says:

      Strange times when we are considering 6200 people attending a Trump rally a bust (good thing) because there were not as many as registered.

      The fact there are 6200 Americans that decided to show up in a pandemic as support for Trump, because Trump told them they are needed, is terrifying.

      Needed for what?

      To show up support for a racist, crooked, illegal, corrupt, incompetent president with authoritarian tendencies. And they know exactly why they are showing up at a Trump rally.

      Trump, after 3+ years as president, should not get these many people at the rally in a pandemic. What is wrong with these people?

      • P J Evans says:

        A lot of them are cult members. Some may have been there because it’s a rare opportunity to see the President.

      • vvv says:

        I watched this yesterday, twice, and it’s weird and informative:

        ht tps://

        I think some people just commit, rationalize their position, and can’t let go.

        • BobCon says:

          The irony is that CNN contributes to this kind of density. Van Jones himself, with his superficial horse race narratives, contributes to it.

          A self aware network would be asking itself on air why their group of supposed sometimes Democratic voters is showing no sign of leaving Trump — is it possible the diner safari model they’ve been using has been broken all along? Is it possible their diner safaris have contributed to the phenomenon all along?

          CNN won’t ask those questions, of course. Jeff Zucker still has a job despite fumbling the opportunities if the past four years.

          • Marinela says:

            Watched the video. The questions they asked the Trump voters were weak.
            Didn’t see any questions about how Trump presidency changed their life, made any positives in their life. They all claim the reason is economic. I can’t see any economic improvements for these families, is probably worse for them.

            As far as questioning, junk in, junk out.

            On the other hand, these voters are not going to change their minds, but at least make them answer some hard questions, so they are out of their media bubble for a minute.

            • BobCon says:

              You’re right about the weak questions, and it has a lot to with the fact that they parachuted a national reporter into the segment and he and his producers are clueless about anything on the ground where the interviewees are living.

          • Rayne says:

            Zucker still has a job because he’s a whore for Trump, from his stint at NBC and now CNN. He’s used Trump as a replacement for fresh in-house produced content which costs more money than simply following Trump. It’s even cheaper than The Apprentice because production doesn’t require director, line coach, writers, other cast, so on.

            The problem is the public which consumes this crap without demanding more from Zucker, the way they sucked down Nancy Grace’s bullshit for years.

            • BobCon says:

              I think that’s true, but it also underlines the fact that this isn’t really a business in the traditional sense.

              There is no rational economic argument for not, at a minimum, replacing Zucker with a cheaper suit, or dumping Wolf Blitzer. If entertainment media followed the CNN model, David Schwimmer and Matthew Perry would be A list stars and Mad Men and Game of Thrones never would have hit the air. CNN doesn’t even make sense in terms of simple audience numbers, because the public has been voting with their feet, er eyes, for years.

          • e.a.f. says:

            In my opinion, CNN is as “big a problem” as some of the other networks, such as Sinclair and Fox. they are not doing their jobs or rather they are in accordance with the orders issued from some one higher up the food chain.

            As I like to say, don’t know what happened to the Anderson Cooper covering Katrina, but the one covering the Trump shit show ought to retire. CNN no longer does “serious” news. CNN reminds me of “both sides do it”.

      • Rayne says:

        There’s some question about the makeup of the 6200 attendees — that as much as 2/3rds of the crowd may have been paid seat fillers, campaign staffers, security personnel and others, and only 1/3 may have been registered attendees.

        Media’s problem: failing to ask crowd members anything about their registering for the event and if they were paid to be there. Would be nice if a media outlet or two scanned the faces in photos using Google Photo facial recognition to identify people who are likely locals and those that aren’t.

        • P J Evans says:

          I read about one woman there who travels all over the country to go to Trmp’s rallies. Kind of a professional attendee, I think.

          • Marinela says:

            Ya, I see same repeat people at different rallies, so you know they are doing the circuit.
            Not sure they are being paid or doing it on their own time and money, could be both.

            If they are not paid, must be expensive as far as taking the time off, traveling, staying in line for days to get in, and the rest of the traveling expenses.

            What a waste.

              • Vicks says:

                Yep and it should be easy to locate the campgrounds or parking lots where they were hanging out.
                Most events have deals with local hotels that give event goers special pricing yet there was no reporting of the trains planes and automobiles bringing these people in to town or how the “millions” were being housed or fed in advance.
                There are dozens of ways a decent reporter could have figured out that this rally was not going to meet expectations yet It wasn’t until Trump’s team cancelled the overflow events that they started speculating out loud

                • P J Evans says:

                  Mostly road, I think: you’d fly in via DFW, usually, and the nearest Amtrak stop is OKC.

          • Rayne says:

            Wonder if it was the woman in the bright pink shirt I saw in several different photos taken by different photographers. Hmm.

          • Rayne says:

            True, and yet there are other tools which can be brought to bear if a media outlet does the work. Get someone on camera answering the question — then use Google Photo to see if there’s a publicly available photo of that person doing similar work, just for starters.

            Lack of imagination is the biggest hump we need to get over. We can see from the Project Lincoln and Meidus attack videos that fresh vision can make a critical difference especially in the way it can encourage unforced errors by Team Trump.

            • Marinela says:

              I see what you mean. The MSM is stuck in a feedback loop of it’s own with respect to dealing with Trump havoc, and unable to cut thru the propaganda machine.

              • Alan Charbonneau says:

                Exactly. Almost all of the articles I read about Biden leading in the polls includes a statement from the author referencing 2016 and saying “there’s a long time until November.“ The MSM is hung up on 2016 and seem to believe that Trump has some magical ability and will pull off another upset. That is just bullshit.

                2020 is not 2016. Biden is not Hillary. Trump doesn’t have a message or a “lock her up” meme.
                There’s only 19 weekends until the election—that isn’t much time to recover from this size of a deficit, especially for a candidate and a campaign that is self-destructing.

                I live in Austin and though I expect Texas will go to Trump, the fact that Biden is within a point of a Trump here is a telling sign that 2020 is going to be worse for the GOP than 2018.

                Trump is going to lose bigly and I fully expect the Senate to flip.

              • vicks says:

                Yep, Trump and republicans deliberately trigger primal fears and stoke emotions that live in places pretty low on the thought chain, IMHO Trump’s rhetoric and style is designed to keep them there as long as possible.
                Perhaps it is why they are so easily duped when it comes to just about anything surrounding these topics?
                Dems keep trying (and trying) to use science and logic to change minds that have already been blown.
                It’s hard to watch.
                The Lincoln Project and others fill a sorely needed gap in messaging against Trump and his administration.

        • BobCon says:

          The thing that’s really been bugging me is that lots of empty seats is nothing new at Trump rallies.

          A quick search shows on the scene reporters have noted it at previous rallies in Texas, Ohio and New Hampshire.

          But we’ve been fed a running narrative of “but his base” stories by the higher level anchors and commentators for years.

          They have been pushing a horse race storyline that inflates Trump’s popularity for years, and maintaining this illusion has been a key part of the GOP’s strategy for boosting their turnout and deflating turnout for the Democrats.

          It’s not that Democrats can take anything for granted. But this kind of thinking has fed the risk averse, stand for nothing approach that has actually been self defeating.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I hope the Tulsa venue and the city’s first responders were paid in advance. The Don has spent five decades not paying his bills, campaign venue bills, in particular. He’s a cheat, a liar, and a con, and the Teflon is wearing thin.

          • Rayne says:

            We’ve been seeing empty seats since the 2018 mid-terms. One of his campaign rallies in MI in district which flipped had a lot of room to roam.

            What made this particular rally different was Parscale telling the media there were 800K reservations. This isn’t just a vague “Oh we’ll have a nice crowd, big turnout” claim. It was specific and it begged for attention making the blank space all the more obvious.

            You may be unhappy with Dems’ risk aversion, but look what just happened to Parscale’s dick swinging. Tell me who expected the TikTok+K-pop army and you’ll name the one person who’s nailed risk management.

            • Tom says:

              I think there’s a boredom factor at work too. Trump can’t reinvent himself the way a popstar can; he’s permanently stuck at the overweight Elvis at Vegas stage of his career. And previous rallies took place before the pandemic struck and before the economy imploded. People have died and are dying in the tens of thousands, millions are out of work, and all the President can do is show people he can drink a glass of water. People know that these are serious times requiring a serious person in the White House, and they know Trump ain’t it.

            • BobCon says:

              He’s been shamelessly fluffing his rally numbers for a long time, by a factor of 10 or more, and the press has ignored opportunities to play the failed expectations game.

              I think a good comparison to the media coverage of his Tulsa flop is the recent coverage of his health.

              There is finally something of a harder line by the press, which doesn’t really match a major change in reality. As you’ve documented extensively, something has been deeply wrong for quite some time. His ramp walk was not a radical change in his condition.

              Maybe the politics desks are feeling pressure after this year’s extraordinary events to lower the BS level. Maybe it’s a symptom of personality clashes with the Trump campaign, or lingering anger over their treatment of reporters. It could also just be smelling blood in the water.

              • Rayne says:

                A big problem is editing. Okay, a HUGE problem. There’s a bias to show stuff, any stuff, in photos, versus empty space.

                I just went looking for photos of events Trump attended in 2018 in Michigan for benefit of former rep. Mike Bishop and senate candidate John James and I came up with photos in newspapers of rallies with Trump in center of frame with lots of people behind him. No photos of the rest of the venue, which I recall from watching my Twitter feed showed big empty spaces.

                And Bishop’s seat flipped blue in 2018.

                It had to become almost inescapable for the media to begin showing the damned problem — like the walk down the ramp — but we’d already had 2-3 years of inability to drink water except with two hands and difficulty navigating stairs. I wonder if until recently media had been worried about access and perhaps even threatened by White House press office, not unlike McCain’s campaign used to do if a reporter showed any inkling of writing about McCain’s health during 2008. Did the assaults by police of journalists during anti-racism protests since May 25 finally shake some sense into the media? Have they finally realized the empty spaces they’ve failed to show us are the places which represent the survival of the First Amendment and their livelihood?

        • Quake says:

          Question about paid attendees: I haven’t looked, but apparently there are always lots of ads for actors on Craigslist whenever Trump has a rally. Is it established that these are real and not just random pranks?

          • P J Evans says:

            They show up, and then people start saying they’re pranks, but I’ve never seen proof either way.
            But we know his campaign has paid people to show up at his wingdings before, including the escalator one at the very beginning.

        • Vicks says:

          Seems like it would be a hard secret to keep, people that would go stand in line for $15 or whatever an hour would probably be glad to talk about it for $25 an hour, but if ever there was a time they would try it, it was be after the fiasco in Tulsa.
          If they were smart (I know, I know) they would tell the hired fans NOT to wear pink or anything that would have the cameras single them out in a red hat crowd

            • Vicks says:

              Nah there were a bunch of others pulled down in Tulsa
              Like I said it would be pretty hard to get away with actually paying people to attend. If they are doing it it has to be more covert than a Craigslist ad.
              All a reporter or any interested party would have to do is call the number and get imbedded in the operation if it were true.
              I’d set up the cameras at whatever spot they are told to meet to pick up their signs and MAGA gear.
              Most of those posts turn out to have fake phone numbers and get pulled by craigslist which leads me to believe they are put up by anti-trumpers hoping to stir things up.
              That’s not to say they aren’t doing it in other ways, but a bit of reconnaissance in concessions lines or bathrooms would be the best places to spot any hired help breaking character.

  15. skua says:

    Next Trump rally should, if run by competent propagandists, be available only by (OAN?) supplied video feed with digital crowds pasted over all the empty seats.
    Prepared (faked) crowd zoom-ins showing minorities and beautiful rich young adults enjoying being at the rally would feature.

    • MB says:

      Bill Maher has been doing this with his post-pandemic shows the last few months during his opening monologue – splicing in shots of various enthusiastic audiences splitting their sides at his jokes. His live audiences are generally more muted than these spliced-in crowd reactions, but I think that’s the point.

      As far as diehard fans following Trump around from rally to rally in different cities, I’m reminded of Grateful Dead “deadheads”. Except these people probably are driving around in oft-repaired Ford Falcons rather than colorful hippie buses…

      • vvv says:

        I submit, however, that in a certain intellectual sense, the label, “dead heads” is a far more accurate description for the trump camp-followers …

  16. Vicks says:

    Brad Parscale was the “web guy” before he was heralded as the gurú that carried the campaign on his shoulders by his use of “micro targeting”
    I’m sure it’s easier for the Trump campaign to call Parscale a genius and let him exploit his status then let reminders of companies like Cambridge Analytics and Manafort handing polling data over to the Russians muddy the “win”.
    IMHO Parscale is an idiot and was given assistance or taking direction from someone else during the campaign.
    6200 scanned tickets to a rally Parscale claimed had a million rsvp’s just adds to my suspicions.
    I initially assumed that the millions of people that rsvp’d were mostly Trump fans trying to make their fella look good,
    Either way, kids pulling a prank or fans trying to show their loyalty, anyone with experience planning anything would have known to audit the responses before going to the media, and before they built up the expectations of the man child in White House.
    IMHO the fact they weren’t even curious about where all the interest was coming from (much less be suspicious and start cross referencing) as they were planning the event, shows that they may have no clue of how to use data in straight up ways or perhaps the data is not available for Parscale to use.

    • Badger Robert says:

      I agree. Shear incompetence. And building up the expectations of the current resident, was the most critical error.

      • vick says:

        Ego stuff makes them blind to the obvious as well.
        Parscale thinks he is a marketing genius so he didn’t look to hard to find proof he wasn’t, and why would Trump doubt millions wanted to attend his rally?

    • BobCon says:

      I think a large part of their numbers were actually self generated, rather than people trolling.

      I also think a major part of the reason for Parscale pumping up the alleged big data stuff is that it is vastly easier to run grift operations that way than with traditional mail and media buys with results measured by polls.

    • Rugger9 says:

      I did see a report where the Parscale team identified the bots and not-likely attendees, and winnowed it down to 200 k or so. They figured that 60,000 would be the floor and didn’t crack 11% of that number. Maybe, the waiver scared people off too.

    • Tom says:

      I love even the appearance of Parscale’s grand “Death Star” operation coming off like a kid’s 4th of July sparkler just because a bunch of teenagers booked tickets to Trump’s rally and then sent their regrets because, as one young girl explained in a video clip I saw, “My dog’s goldfish died and I have to go to the funeral.”

    • P J Evans says:

      They use those ticket requests to build their list of potential suckers donors. Parscale was crowing about how many names they’d gotten, when they were still thinking it was going to be an overflow crowd – saying the quiet part out loud.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thomas (What’s the Matter with Kansas?) Frank has a nice analysis up on, What’s behind Joe Biden’s mystique? He tries to assess what’s attractive about Biden, comparing what he was in the decades before he became VP to what he is now, and whether that will be enough to defeat “Trump’s malevolent incompetence.”

    The old Biden was a straight-up consensus guy. He rocked few boats and rarely the ones used by big capital. His sexism, support for the racist war on drugs, the carceral state, gutting bankruptcy protections for the middle class, neoliberal trade policies, and anti-deficit spending were all inside the Beltway consensus positions. They are no longer. When those “laws were being made, Biden was a different person: the cops’ and the bankers’ best friend. We got empathy; they got the power.” Has Joe moved with the times?

    Biden is the product of a completely different world than the Ivy League meritocracy that has taken over the Democratic party. He is an unapologetic child of an industrial [ghost] town and a [disappearing] middle-class society, and in this sense, he is a relic of an older, warmer kind of liberalism….Catering to society’s well-educated winners is no way to run a party of the left: Biden seems to be one of the few mainstream Democrats to have grasped this.

    Maybe it is “the right moment for a man who promises fundamental decency and little else.” Frank hopes, as do I, that Joe, the “old-school Delaware pol,” remembers the democratic value that brought him to the party: solidarity. Because the new consensus is that we need progressive change and we need it now, as much as we need to rebuild after the decimation wrought by Trump and the GOP’s “malevolent incompetence.” The answer to what’s behind Joe’s mystique we’re likely to find when he hires his top aides and department heads, because personnel is policy.

    • MB says:

      He’d better not hire folks away from Goldman Sachs for this Treasury picks…are his Delaware credit card company connections still intact?

    • e.a.f. says:

      what people see in Biden? Well he isn’t Trump. When he was V.P. I just kept looking at him and Obama and kept thinking, boy those two guys are hot and lets not forget Canada had Trudeau at the same time, so hot was still hot even if Biden was older

      Both Biden and Obama came with wives who were smart and attractive and when I look at male politicians I also look at the wives. Smart men who marry smart women, give them a second look.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If Biden is the candidate, I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat. Trump’s reign of malevolent incompetence and intentional destruction needs to end with a single term. But progressives need to fight for what they want throughout Biden’s administration, because there are lots of folks who would be happy not to change a thing.

  18. Yohei72 says:

    Will the Tulsa Metal Detector Blockade go down in history alongside the Bowling Green Massacre? Only time will tell.


    The Wall Street Journal editiorial board’s spin on the Geoffrey Berman fiasco:

    -“So here’s the plan. We need to remove a U.S. Attorney because he’s investigating associates of the President. Let’s wait until four months before the election, and let’s do it on a Friday night so it looks suspicious and the guy can refuse to step down and make himself a martyr to the Resistance. Yeah, that’ll fool everybody.
    “That’s what the media and Democrats want everyone to believe about President Trump’s weekend dismissal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman…”

    Aha, it’s the old “this looks so obviously suspicious it must be innocent” defense. Many a defendant has walked out of court a free person using THAT one.

    In a way, it IS kind of ingenious. This is an administration who are constantly doing obviously suspicious things – it kind of comes with the territory when you’re both corrupt and bungling. So if obviously suspicious things are, paradoxically, plainly innocent, then – PRESTO! – everything the Trump administration does is magically innocent.

    They also describe Berman as “grandstanding.” That criticism coming from defenders of Donald J. Trump… well, it really needs no rebuttal.

  19. vicks says:

    It looks like 2 more staffers campaign staffers tested positive today, they worked the rally but “wore masks”
    I am speechless.

    • P J Evans says:

      If they tested positive today – they had it and were spreading it last week, along with the ones that tested positive two days ago.

      • vicks says:

        I got a call from an employee Saturday who’s roommate tested positive.
        He was on his way to get tested himself.
        I did not have to tell him that the procedure in this situation was, regardless of what the test said, was to self quarantine until 14 days after the last day his roommate could have been contagious.
        More than likely these Trump things were in close contact with the other six that tested positive yesterday.
        Same situation as my guy and they go work an indoor rally.
        No way those waivers are going to hold up to deliberate/obvious negligence like that

    • MB says:

      I was very disappointed not to see gigantic plexiglass splashguards installed in front of the speaker’s podium. There were a few semi-sensible Trump supporters who wore masks and sat in empty areas in the balcony seating.

  20. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A decade ago, Alfred McCoy’s, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, The Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State (2009) came out. In it, McCoy forecasted what American domestic policing might soon look like, based on his research into how America governed the Philippines, one of its few explicit colonial territories. He was eerily correct.

    A decade later, Shoshana Zuboff’s, The Age of Surveillance Capital, gave us the financialized, private sector version. Both are important reads about where we are and where we’re going.

  21. e.a.f. says:

    Even if the K poppers, etc hadn’t played an active role in the rally, in my opinion, there would not have been a big turn out. I don’t know much about Arizona except a lot of Canadians go there in the winter. However, it never impressed me with having a large population so holding a rally there didn’t make sense. Not enough people around. Now it may be Trump and his gang wanted a “white” area, but then I’m not sure what the actual demographics are but I thought it might be over whelmingly “white’.

    some people may have stayed away due to concerns regarding COVID 19. Enough people are dying in the U.S.A. from it and medical coverage is not free. People don’t have jobs, so without medical coverage some of them might have decided to take a pass on a chance to get sick.

    when you look at rock stars or country and western singers, etc. they maintain their fans by brining new material to the stage, they tour, they bring fresh presentations. if they don’t fans don’t come and they slip off the charts, unless they have immense talent and can be dead for decades and still make the charts. If we viewed the Trump shit show in those terms, there was a lot lacking in the show. A few die hard fans and that was about it.
    Wonder if he’ll bring a rock band next time, na they’d up stage him and he just can’t take that. It was the same old stuff. all of it is the same old stuff. About the same old stuff I’d go see is if Paul Newman came back from the dead and yes I would walk through a COVID crowd to have lunch with him and his wife. Trump isn’t anywhere near that and never will be.

    • MB says:

      Perhaps related to a demonstration next to Lafayette Park tonight where protesters were attempting to tear down an Andrew Jackson statue, but were repelled by police with shields and pepper spray?

  22. Eureka says:

    Attention Jim and bmaz, Floridians, Arizonians (though the following resource is of national interest):

    Weekend local news segment on the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) COVID forecast singled out Florida as the next epicenter, with AZ not far behind. (Obviously not earth-shattering news, but notable for the specific mentions.) CHOP’s model is mostly used by states and other policy makers, but they have some nice four-week forecasts (look up by county) for R, etc., play around with tabs here:

    COVID-Lab: Mapping COVID-19 in Your Community | PolicyLab

    Somewhat addressed in a blog entry last week (may have been updated since last visit):

    Blog | PolicyLab

    I haven’t looked much under the hood, but one salient (different) feature of their model is that they incorporate weather (as I recall from misc. news items, PA Dept. of State didn’t rely on this model in their reopening decisions, instead leaning on Carnegie Mellon’s, but other states/orgs have done so).

  23. Eureka says:

    Per this thread, Parscale won’t be so quickly ousted because he’s got a laundromat to run (sound familiar?):

    S.V. Dáte: “Because he continues secretly paying the wife of one Trump son and the girlfriend of another $180,000 per year using campaign money funneled through his personal business. “They can’t fire Brad,” the adviser said. “He’s the paymaster.””

    • Eureka says:

      Dáte’s article from April 17, 2020 (links a less-specific March NYT piece on the same topic):

      Trump Campaign Secretly Paying $180,000 A Year To His Sons’ Significant Others

      WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump’s campaign is secretly paying one Trump son’s wife and another one’s girlfriend $180,000 a year each through the campaign manager’s private company, according to top Republicans with knowledge of the payments.

      Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of eldest son Donald Trump Jr., and Lara Trump, wife of middle son Eric Trump, are each receiving $15,000 a month, according to two GOP sources who are informal White House advisers and who spoke on condition of anonymity.

      They were unsure when the payments began but say they are being made by campaign manager Bradley Parscale through his company rather than directly by either the campaign or the party in order to avoid public reporting requirements.

      “I can pay them however I want to pay them,” Parscale told HuffPost on Friday, but then declined to comment any further.

      Critics of the arrangement, including Republicans, said the setup was designed to get around Federal Election Commission rules that require campaigns, political parties and other committees to disclose their spending in detail.

      Internal links removed.

      • vicks says:

        Not really fair that these women are only getting 180K a year for their relationships with Trump scum while Kushner is getting millions for Ivanka.

      • Tom says:

        $15,000 a month. Isn’t that what Omarosa Manigault Newman claims she was offered to keep her mouth shut after she left the White House? Ditto with Trump’s former bodyguard, Keith Schiller? As cover, they were supposed to be doing some sort of consulting work in exchange for the money, but it was pretty obvious what was expected of them. See story by Aaron Blake in The Washington Post for August 11, 2018.

        • Eureka says:

          Yep — and for the money deals, they make it easy to remember: it’s either “15k/month” (the NDA signatories) or “300 million” (Trump Tower Moscow, another Trump Tower abandoned adjacent to the Great Recession, other “projects” I forget at the moment).

          Adding: another amusing detail recounted in HuffPo (from NYT):

          The existence of the payments, but not the amounts, was first reported by The New York Times, which recounted a scene in which Guilfoyle confronted Parscale about why her payment checks were always late and Parscale responded that he would look into it. That incident took place June 18, 2019, at a Trump reelection rally in Orlando, Florida, suggesting that payments to Guilfoyle had been taking place for some time.

          LOL. Tardiness not acceptable.

        • Vicks says:

          Forgot all about my wild hair that Trump started his re-election campaign and gave Parscale the title of big cheese to keep not just Pascale quiet but to offer no show jobs for those willing to sign another nda after leaving the White House

    • Eureka says:

      Further sampling the circling drain, a reminder of CNN’s reporting from last summer — here, by Vicky Ward, August 30, 2019:

      Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action paid thousands to firm owned by Brad Parscale – CNNPolitics

      (CNN) A company that President Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, says he owns has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the President’s flagship political action committee, which is barred from coordinating with the campaign.

      Federal Election Commission records indicate that Red State Data and Digital has received  $910,000 from  America First Action,  the super PAC formed in 2017 to support the Trump-Pence agenda and  fellow Republican candidates.

      After CNN initially published a story about Parscale’s wife, Candice, being an owner of Red State, her husband contacted CNN and acknowledged he owns the company even though she is listed on legal paperwork. “I am the owner of Red State,” Parscale told CNN.

      Parscale said he hadn’t originally wanted to disclose his ownership publicly because there are no available records connecting him to the company.

      • P J Evans says:

        Yet another case of someone with very minimal ethics, being involved with this maladministration.

    • Eureka says:

      This February 2020 CREW report, and April 2020 MoJo (long form), explain the links between some of the Parscale entities and Trump campaign entities outlined in the HuffPo and CNN articles above (and then some):

      Pro-Trump Groups Pay Firm Owned by Brad Parscale Much More Than Previously Known

      Inside Brad Parscale’s 2020 Plan: Reelect Donald Trump. Make Money. Maybe Not in That Order.

  24. Eureka says:

    June 22, 2020: updated story about the Oregon Pentecostal church outbreak:

    Everything we know about the eastern Oregon church at the center of state’s largest coronavirus outbreak –

    The Oregonian: “At least 236 coronavirus cases are tied to Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, near La Grande in Union County. The number of cases in Union County increased tenfold, from 22 to 240, in three days after the outbreak came to light. (2/10)”

    From a June 17th thread by the author of the current story:

    Celina Tebor: “A now-deleted Facebook post from late May explained that the church was going to continue its services in response to Donald Trump demanding that states allow churches to open over Memorial Day weekend.”

    ““In accordance with President Trump, Lighthouse Church’s sanctuary at (address) will be open. We will be having regular services as of Sunday 24, 2020,” the post read.”

      • Eureka says:

        What do you think of CA overall/ do you feel things are going well in your neck of the woods? Every time I see their big fluffy daily cases graph I don’t know how that math adds up to A-OK.

        • P J Evans says:

          There are some officials who seem to think that it’s nothing to worry about, and won’t enforce the mask orders. I think a lot of the growth is in more rural counties, which tend to be more conservative, especially the white population. (Like rural counties all over the country.)
          It’s easy to wear a mask, even if some people don’t understand *how* to wear one.

          • Eureka says:

            Yeah I really believe our mask mandate back in early April saved our asses, and like you say good compliance here but not so sure about out in the country.

            Sometimes with mask-wearing misses I have thought it would be nice to have t-shirts with pix/ instructions on the back; maybe people would read them waiting in the grocery or something.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Donald Trump claims that Dr. Fauci “is with us in all ways,” by which he means that whatever political lie Trump gins up, he’ll support.

    If Dr. Fauci is actually devoted to facts, science, and public health – and is past retirement age, but could get a job at almost any medical institute or faculty in the world – should he not demonstrate, when asked, that Mr. Trump is a liar?

    • P J Evans says:

      Fauci testified that the plan from the medical people is to increase testing. The political appointees were trying to avoid saying anything definite about anything.

    • Eureka says:

      I find some of his statements (on Trump-appeasing topics of ‘promise’) to be lacking adequate care, context, or conditionals– especially on vaccines (and end-of-year/early 2021 timing). Today he was clear about the “risk” or rushing being financial, in terms of investments to quickly roll something out, but no one who knows anything about vaccines seems to believe that whatever’s first out of the gate will be sufficient, given history.

      And if I recall the (incompletely stated) details correctly, the one he spoke of that’s about to enter Phase 3 trials is Moderna’s mRNA one. We have never had an mRNA human vaccine make it to market (unless something has changed in recent weeks); second, that one requires *dry ice* — not just refrigerated storage (and even the latter would be a limiting problem).

      Further, there was just another report last week (in Nature Medicine) of antibodies waning by two to three months in significant proportions of cases, especially asymptomatic ones (to what effect, per usual, we have no clue).

      Adding: good write-up which links the antibodies study:

  26. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The good readers at nakedcapitalism are agog over Hunter S. Thompson wannabe, Matt Taibbi. They seem to think he can walk on water: he’s “excellent,” “clairvoyant,” a “national treasure.” Then, again, they and NC seem to agree with Taibbi, Greenwald, and Mate that Russiagate is either a hoax, over-hyped, or a distraction from important things we should be spending time on.

    NC’s article was about this piece – – from Taibbi, claiming that The American Press is Destroying Itself. With his usual exaggeration, Taibbi argues, in effect, that political correctness by the so-called progressive or new left has gone rogue, destroys the values it claims to honor, and is hypocritical as hell.

    Taibbi considers more sympathetic cases, such as Lee Fang’s at the Intercept, but he seems most interested in claiming that the NYT’s wildly overreacted following its inexplicable publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s incendiary op-ed. Cotton – Harvard magna, Harvard Law, extreme conservative, and a presidential wannabe – knew exactly what he was doing, even if the NYT did not (an out I would not concede).

    Hysterically, Taibbi claims that MSNBC’s coverage of an issue promoted by the now-disgraced Michael Avenatti was “a crucial factor” in Susan Collins’s vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the S.Ct. A stunning and incomprehensible misreading of Collins’s voting record. I find nothing here that’s excellent, clairvoyant or a national treasure. It’s just bug juice with no water and too much sugar.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Wouldn’t Maggie Haberman make a better Lady Macbeth than little Matty Taibbi?

      Something about brief candles . . .

      And spots that won’t come out, either . . .

  27. Eureka says:

    This might be what’s known in the stenography business as trebling down. Get a look at this (wavy gesturing at the whole damn thing), which is why “Rod Stewart” is trending:

    Maggie Haberman: “Trump is “the Rod Stewart of politicians — he may keep coming up with new material but deep down he knows his fans just want to hear ‘Wake Up Maggie,’ so he keeps playing the same tune because he can’t stand the thought of them not loving his performance.” [links to NYT, apparently not (even) MH’s byline, but I wouldn’t know for sure because aint clicking this ish]

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