Dr. Fauci Has No More Fucks Left To Give

This point was always going to arrive. An actually educated and aware specialist trying to deal with an obtuse oaf.

“The impact of a vaccine, he said, would depend on both its efficacy and the proportion of people who take it. Fauci cautions that, even if scientists release a vaccine by the beginning of next year, people will likely still need to carry out public health precautions into next fall and winter — including wearing a mask.
“This is the United States of America, the technologically most advanced country in the world,” he said. “We can make a test with a piece of paper that you stick into a little cassette for $1 that does it in five minutes that’s 98% sensitive. You can’t tell me that we can’t do that.”

The next year will continue to not be pretty or easy. The Donald is blowing smoke, desperately, with his “rounding the curve” bit of Coronavirus rhetoric.

There are indeed places in the world where the rosier view might be true, mostly led by sane women like Jacinda Ardern. But it is not true as to the US under the obese and obtuse oaf of Trump. Turns out people appreciate competent governance.

136 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    Donald Trump rounds more curves than a NASCAR driver.

    Pro tip: it’s kind of hard to get anywhere when you’re driving like that.

  2. Spencer Dawkins says:

    It is AMAZING that Fauci hasn’t resigned. I guess after he saw Birx cross to the Dark Side and Atlas arrive, he figured out he could at least testify about what happened, but this is such a hostage situation.

    • Peterr says:

      I suspect he’s getting a lot of quiet and personal support from his colleagues at NIAID, as well as researchers at the NIH, CDC, and elsewhere in the government’s scientific community.

      And it’s not like this is entirely new to him. He came to his position in 1984, and took on the AIDS research wars under the Reagan administration. He knows all too well what it means to deal with folks who think more in political terms than scientific. In a sad way, that experience is serving him well today.

    • Terry Salad says:

      If he resigns (the honorable thing to do in his situation), he knows he is handing NIH to a Trump sycophant. That would literally end up killing people. Fauci is brave and doing his job to the best of his ability. He deserves better. He won’t resign. Trump doesn’t have the guts to fire him.

    • Ed Walker says:

      I think he won’t quit because he knows he pisses President CovidSpew off and he can’t be fired because he’s much more popular and trusted than Trump.

  3. harpie says:

    Trump’s den of dissent: Inside the White House task force as coronavirus surges
    Oct. 19, 2020 at 6:00 a.m.

    Here’s an good annotated thread about the article [via Laura Rosen]:

    8:38 AM · Oct 19, 2020

    This WP investigation, based on inside reporting, finds that Trump and like-minded advisers — in particular, Scott Atlas — have abandoned the war on the virus. They’ve decided to accept mass infection, and they’ve undercut measures to stop the spread. /1 [THREAD]

  4. BobCon says:

    The reference to the quick and cheap test is intriguing to me, because I am guessing Fauci isn’t just handwaving toward a prototype but has a good idea of how such a test could be manufactured, distributed and administered, and what the issues around funding and licensing and training are.

    If he was truly free he could speak about what is holding it up and who is responsible. If we’re lucky the floodgates will be open soon.

    • Mart says:

      Wife fell asleep w/CNN on last night. Went to shut off and Tapper was hosting an “Insiders” show where a bunch of ex-Trump admin folks bitched about what a dumb ignorant POS he is. If you try to fact check Trump, he just goes booby booby I can’t hear you, my gut knows more than your experts. Aside from Bolten at the end, Tapper had some interesting folks. Tapper almost seemed reasonable.

    • peternz says:

      Testing is only a part of the battle.
      You will discover who is positive and that person will need to be isolated for at least 14 days.
      Their close contacts need to be isolated for 14 days.
      Contact tracing has to be done to find other people exposed to the original infection and all these people need to be tested.
      When all this has been achieved everyone has to be tested negative before being allowed back into the community..
      It requires buy in by the whole community..
      From my observation i am not sure the USA can make this chain of events happen at present.

      • Tarkeel says:

        Testing is only the first (and probably easiest) part of the trifecta: test-trace-isolate. It’s hard to see how you can get effective isolation going in a country where it’s hard to get even unpaid medical leave. I credit a large part of the successfull crackdown in my own country (Norway) to an early announcement that anyone forced into quarantine would be eligible for (state-funded) paid sickleave. We had to modify this later on when people would willfully go shopping in Sweden and get (in their eyes) a free 10-day stay-cation out of it.

  5. Raven Eye says:

    Tragic is that so many people are clinging to the herd immunity “solution”, while we know so little about post-exposure immunity from this virus. When vaccines do start getting approved, “jab day” will be zero day for whatever individual immunity results…We we won’t really know how long that immunity will last until we can begin seeing the different vaccines becoming less effective. Anti-vaxxers are going to demand their right to refuse, enabled by the willful ignorance that abounds among elected officials. Last month, in Jackson County, Oregon, a county commissioner stated in an open meeting, “A vaccine protects you, not someone else.” Watching the proceedings on Zoom, I was stunned.

    And (my personal soap box) I have yet to hear any politician express concerns about the long term impacts to those who survive the infection. We will be dealing with those for the rest of the century. Think about how we’ve had to learn about and deal with a population of Americans affected by Agent Orange. (More to the point, think about how many people Vietnam has to deal with over the long term.)

  6. skua says:

    Allowing a natural equilibrium of infection to be reached from a brand new human disease which has some known serious effects and consequences in some and worrying changes of unknown consequence in some asymptomatic cases, might be the best available approach for a subsistence-level community.
    For a modern country it would appear very risky.
    On economic grounds alone the effect on an economy of, for hypothetical example, having a 15 year long stream of 80% sterile females would need to be considered carefully.

    • PhoneInducedPinkEye says:

      Wonder if Donald would have taken it more seriously if he knew it can also affect the testes.

      Which I learned here from Rayne gleefully pointing out the contradiction in these faux-masculine he-men (well Ben Garrison thinks so) getting hit where it hurts through their calculated ignorance.

  7. Wm. Boyce says:

    China, with 1.5 billion people, has had about 5,000 coronavirus deaths.
    The U.S., with 330 million people, has had 220,000 counted deaths, and certainly a lot more than that uncounted.
    China is an authoritarian-governed society, but tell me who’s handled the outbreak correctly?

      • QuietLurker99 says:

        They have not kicked out all the many foreign people still living and working here in China.
        Regardless of any opinions about the CCP and their initial missteps with the virus, they have handled it remarkably well considering the sheer numbers of people involved.
        Things here have been back almost to normal for several months. There are still some simple precautions – wearing masks in public buildings and on public transport, temperature checks at the entrances to public buildings, travel history checks from mobile phone account information – but factories, shops, restaurant, bars are open and yet there is no significant new transmission of the virus.

    • tmooretxk says:

      No one outside believes they had 5,000 deaths. But even many times that would be far better than our experience.

  8. harpie says:

    [from various reports] Trump on campaign call this morning says:

    1] people are tired of hearing from FAUCI and “all these idiots.”
    2] “He’s been here for 500 years,”
    3] “Fauci’s a disaster.”
    4] every time Fauci goes on TV it’s a “bomb,” but it’s a “bigger bomb if you fire him.”

  9. madwand says:

    Herd immunity equals a lot of fucking dead people and a lot of hospitals reaching peak capacity. It also amounts to governments, state and federal, giving up on containing the virus. A comparison of Kristi Noem’s South Dakota Population roughly 884,000, 33,000 cases, 323 deaths or Jacinda Ardern’s New Zealand population 5 million, 1,886 cases, 25 deaths certainly illustrates a difference in approach. In SD freedom means the ability to infect others rather than inconvenience yourself, in NZ it means responsibility to your fellow human beings. It also points out the difference in responsible leadership, of listening to your scientists, rather than disparaging them. Kristi should get on a flight and spend an hour with Jacinda, it wouldn’t take more than that.

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        I love listening to Feynman. I used to listen to a cd of his lectures while I was driving. Even though much of the physics I didn’t understand, it was still fascinating listening.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Wouldn’t give much weight to this report. The methodology used is an economics model that has not been validated for use in epidemiology. (My view, the San Diego economists are good and earnest people who don’t understand the issue and should stay in thier lane. Bad studies are more harmful than none.)

        Multiple poorly validated assumptions form the bases for the calculations, in a structure where small initial errors can expand to critical flaws.

        Importantly, the report assumes a smoothing of infectious spread while we know it is punctate, and assumes that current testing methods and infection reporting are accurate and reliable when we know they are not.

        Sturgis certainly contributed to spread, but the total is unlikely to be anywhere near this report.

        An informed critique:


        • vvv says:

          Thanks, that’s interesting.

          My conclusion is, “Sturgis certainly contributed to spread” – my question now is, “how much?” and if the original paper is inaccurate as alleged, there’s still nothing more accurate and the rally was still entirely ignorant, stupid and worthy of censure. It would be interesting to know just the medical costs assumed by the public.

          I’ll further note that, as a PI att’y who has worked motorcycle death cases, I feel that way about motorcycle use in general (as admittedly fun as bikes can be).

          Riding a bike to a superspreader event kinda seems like doubling up on the death wish factor.

        • graham firchlis says:

          Death wish, vvv, or death defiance? Two sides of the same coin?

          Tough to beat the rush of endorphins and the wind on your face, but age is a thief and as my reflexes diminished the scooter had to go, so eventually did my downhill boards and running whitewater. Miss it all. Reduced now to taking occasional risks with my walker, I still intend to die by my own hand doing something “stupid and worthy of censure” without harming others.

          We will never know the true effect of Sturgis, or of so many such events, because our test and trace public health capabilities have been deliberately crippled by the VRWC, for whom ignorance in the populace is a tool of tyranny.

          • vvv says:

            Agree about the Sturgis and related stuff.

            Just feel the need to make the point that, death wish or death defiance, “without harming others” too often doesn’t apply in motorcycle cases.

            • puzzled scottish person says:

              If I have you right, you regard motorcycle use as: ‘ignorant, stupid and worthy of censure’.

              I read once (I think in the London Review of Books but I can’t find the specific reference right now) that the RAF, or it might still have been the RFC then, used to have an interview that consisted of two questions.

              1. Have you ever ridden a motorbike.

              2. Do you still ride a motorbike.

              If you said ‘Yes’ to Q1 it indicated that you had the courage to be a pilot.

              So far so good.

              If you answered ‘Yes’ to Q2, it indicated that you hadn’t learned from your mistakes and you were out the door.

  10. harpie says:

    Jane Mayer:
    8:04 AM · Oct 19, 2020

    Report: Covid Denialism- brought to you by the folks who sponsor Climate Denial— including Charles Koch- they downplay any scientific problem requiring government response [link]

    Links to:
    Climate Science Denial Network Behind Great Barrington Declaration
    Nafeez Ahmed 9 October 2020

    Documents seen by Byline Times confirm that the Great Barrington Declaration advocating a ‘herd immunity’ approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has been sponsored by an institution embedded in a Koch-funded network that denies climate science while investing in polluting fossil fuel industries.

    On 3 October 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), a libertarian free-market think-tank in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, hosted a private gathering of scientists, economists and journalists to discuss responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them was the distinguished Oxford University epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta, among the most vocal proponents of a ‘herd immunity’ strategy. […]

    • harpie says:


      The claim that “thousands of scientists” are supporting the Barrington Declaration was reported far and wide by major media outlets from the BBC to the Daily Mail. But when I attempted to check how the signatory process works, I discovered that there was no vetting procedure in place for signatories – anybody could become a confirmed signatory of the Declaration and be categorised as a scientist or medic by falsifying entry information and ticking a box. […]

  11. harpie says:

    On 60 Minutes:

    FAUCI: [Trump] "sometimes equates wearing a mask with weakness.
    LAPOOK: Does that make sense to you?
    FAUCI: No, it doesn't. Of course not.

  12. puzzled scottish person says:

    Two people, two oaths. Fauci swore to ‘do no harm’. The Orange One had his fingers crossed behind his back or just didn’t care what blurted out of his puckered little sphincter.

    I don’t know where that leaves the world come election day but I thank Marcy and Co for trying to make sense of it all :-)

    • ducktree says:

      As a government employee/officer, Fauci also took an oath to protect and defend the constitution (as I did when joining the USAF, heck even two times when I was working for the State of California).

      So, I guess both of them are tied two for two: T with his oath of office and his oath of omerta to the Trump Organization.

  13. mass interest says:

    Off topic, but does anyone here know what Bill Barr’s been up to recently? Haven’t seen/heard anything from him in real time for at least a week or so.

    I saw somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where) that he tested positive after the BarrettClusterCovidFuck at the White House.

    • harpie says:

      As Hasen explained a couple weeks ago:

      The final argument that Republicans are advancing is the boldest and perhaps most dangerous one. The argument is that when state supreme courts apply their state constitutions’ provisions protecting a right to vote to loosen voting rules in a pandemic, these state courts are usurping the power given by the Constitution to state legislatures to set the manner for conducting presidential elections. The argument echoes an argument that three conservative justices on the Supreme Court accepted in the 2000 Bush v. Gore case ending that presidential election. It’s a dangerous idea that a state court applying a state constitution is taking away legislative power, particularly in states like Pennsylvania where the state legislature has itself approved the constitutional provisions being applied.

      With Barrett on the Court, there will be THREE justices who worked on that GOP Bush v. Gore case sitting on the SUPREME COURT.

    • harpie says:

      1] Mark Joseph Stern:
      8:36 PM · Oct 19, 2020

      Ian is right—tonight’s order from the Supreme Court is terrifying. Four conservative justices supported a radical theory that would empower state legislatures to violate election laws and engage in voter suppression with impunity. Only Roberts balked. [Document link]

      2] Ian Milhiser:
      [link above]
      7:56 PM · Oct 19, 2020

      I just filed my piece on the really scary court order we just got from the Supreme Court. But let me just say that, if Democrats win this election, and they don’t pack the Supreme Court, they could very well never win a national election again.

      3] Leah Litman
      8:47 PM · Oct 19, 2020

      overturning state courts’ interpretation of state law is necessary to enforce the voting rights act

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Scuttlebutt has two variations on where Trump is going – other than to hell. One is that – convinced he will lose yugely – he’s trying to tank his own race, just to prove he controls his fate and can achieve what he sets out to achieve. Actually, it’s what a lot of CEOs do – define superlative success as whatever they can do, while ignoring everything else.

    The other meme is that when Trump loses in 2020, he will immediately start running for his 2024 comeback. Forget that Trump will be radioactive as soon as he leaves office. Forget that in 2024, Trump would be 78, and that, given his co-morbidities, 2024 might well be beyond his personal event horizon. Consider that Trump did the same in 2016: days after allegedly beating HRC, he launched his 2020 campaign. The benefit for Trump – apart from keeping his name in lights – is that it’s the perfect way to take gobs of money – Sen. Dirksen levels of money – from other people and spend it on all sorts of shit. Winning needn’t be part of the picture.

    Personally, I was hoping that Trump would try to leave the country, only to find that some prosecutor had had his passport held, or that he traveled to somewhere besides Israel, only to find that half a dozen foreign public interest groups sued him on the spot. It didn’t succeed with Pinochet, but it kept him, in effect, under house arrest and otherwise complicated his life for a couple of years.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It’s a good indicator of how far right Republicans have succeeded in moving the Supreme Court when the conservative John Roberts becomes the swing vote.

    The 50-yard line is already at the 20. With ACB’s appointment, it will be at the 5, and make the “swing” vote useless. It will remain that way – causing untold legal, social, and political damage across the country – until the Democrats do the responsible thing and expand the Court or until a couple of Republicans shuffle off their mortal coil.

    • Epicurus says:

      I’ve always wondered why the Founders left the Constitutional decisions at simple majority. Maybe they didn’t expect the Marbury decision. For example if Congress can overrule a Presidential veto by a vote of 2/3ds, as a balance of power constraint on the Presidency, why wouldn’t they have required a judiciary majority of 2/3ds? Simple majority decisions seem to beg for illegitimacy and eventual noncompliance, just the opposite of what a perfecting Constitution should be seeking. I don’t know how one would go about this Constitutionally.

      • graham firchlis says:

        Barrett’s confirmation will serve as a demonstration of what a 2/3 majority can accomplish, perfecting-wise.

        One more Republican Senate/Presdency combo and they will dominate across the federal appellate courts.

        Reworking the Constitution is a heavy lift. The Radical Reactionary (Dumhoff’s Power Elite m/l) approach shifted to control of the judiciary. Subverting the Constitution away from the interests of the people to those of capital through a haze of “originalist” seance spiritualism serves two purposes.

        Accruing ever more power in the hands of the few is obvious. The knock on effect is a rapidly growing level of desperation amongs the people and greater willingness to embrace Constitutional reconstruction. Carefull what we wish for.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I would call the Constitution a corral for overambitious horses, each of which wants to lead the team. Its aim is workability, not perfection, which is why it is filled with compromises and imperfections, as is any working polity. Majority votes are the norm, because supermajorities – except in special circumstances that promote unusual levels of agreement – are damn hard to come by.

      A two-thirds majority is required, for example, to override a presidential veto. The Constitution imposes that higher hurdle where Congress alone imposes its will, in the face of overt opposition by the president. But that level of agreement would be unworkable and unnecessary where the president and a simple majority of Congress agree on something.

      By definition, the Constitution would have to be reinterpreted as times, society, and notions of political purpose and compromise change. Textualism or originalism pervert that workability.

      • Rugger9 says:

        In CA we had Prop 13 in the ’70s which among other issues imposed a 2/3 requirement to approve a new tax as opposed to a 50% +1 for a change in the general tax. It also imposed a 2/3 requirement to pass a budget in the state legislature, which led to years of holding the state hostage to the GOP minority demanding austerity measures that never worked and basically caused all sorts of economic havoc.

        CA survived that and had modified the budget requirement when it was clear the GOP weren’t going to cooperate. CA has an economy that is diverse and creative, as opposed to Sam Brownback’s KS which fell apart.

        The reason this is relevant is that stuff like this really favors the minority. In the case of SCOTUS and the expanded number of Circuit courts, it makes perfectly good sense to have one justice for one circuit. I see that the Ds are finally pointing out that the GOP has been packing the courts for decades, so this is really about balance.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        A two-party system requires agreement between the majority and minority about fundamental aspects of governance. That starts with having some minimal respect for the opposition, and acceptance of the idea that majority and minority can legitimately exchange positions, based on the popular vote.

        Today’s GOP rejects the multi-party state. Following Newt Gingrich’s perverted lead, it practices a ruthless, all-or-nothing politics. When in the majority, it ignores the interests of those not slavishly following them. When voted into the minority, it claims the election was corrupt. It rejects bipartisanship the way the Roman church rejected heretics, and replaces it with active sabotage.

        Sen. Diane Feinstein is the avatar of those Democrats who fail to acknowledge this reality about today’s GOP. After Lindsey Graham’s atrocious and infectious hearings for ACB, she turned and gave him a full hug, and said they were the best hearings she had ever been a part of. If you don’t understand the problem, you can’t fix it.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I don’t blame Schumer for not saying more: that sort of talk is best held behind the woodshed. Dave Weigel also mentions the Schumer-DiFi chat, but he misses the mark in explaining her unsuitability to run the SJC next term. https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/1318901483560194048

          Weigel claims the “dump Feinstein” movement is only “superficially” about the ACB hearings. It is really about her willingness to honor blue slips, which give Senators a veto over federal judicial appointments in their home state. Returning to the blue slip era with Moscow Mitch would be an own goal, and paralyze Democratic efforts to reform the federal courts before they start.

          Feinstein’s longing for an anachronistic comity is one of many reasons not to appoint her to head the SJC. But Weigel’s preference for the blue slip explanation changes the subject from DiFi’s profoundly flawed performance at the ACB hearings. Weigel dismisses it with the observation that the Dems never had the juice to stop ACB’s nomination, which repurposes the reductionist argument used to dismiss the Democrats’ handling of Trump’s impeachment.

          By that standard, the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae should have gone home: they were never going to stop the Persians. But they did delay a vastly superior force, demonstrate what it took to defend their country, and motivate their countrymen to oust the invader. DiFi would have hugged them and offered them comity. She is not up to this fight, and so will claim it is unnecessary. Perhaps she should not travel with Louis and Rick, but stay in Casablanca. and wait, and wait for Lindsey and Mitch to return the hug.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I do blame Schumer and Feinstein, Chuck & Di, for this shambles of a Coney Barrett hearing generally. Their “business as usual” approach legitimizes the illegitimate, drives away Democrats, and props up a declining Republican Party.

          If Democratic leadersheep insist on leading a Do Nothing party, they will soon have nothing to do but watch Republicans turn the US into a one-party theocratic state.


    • Marinela says:

      Reading these comments, reminds me about what Steve B. said immediately after Trump election. He said that “they” will be holding power for 50 years.
      His comment in the context of talking about the Trump movement.
      I’m thinking that the “movement” had something to do with tilting the Supreme court and Judiciary all the way towards the right.

      Democrats need to prioritize their political capital when in power, if they are going after enacting policies, the plan is for Supreme court to strike all liberal legislature signed by democratic Congress.

  16. gmoke says:

    Of the actual medical experts who appear regularly on TV, I suspect Dr Peter Hotez is going to be the first one to go televisually ballistic. Last time I saw him on the box he was looking extremely close to the end of his rope with this collective stupidity. Dr Ashish Jha looks progressively more tired and Dr Fauci is probably the most expert bureaucratic in-fighter I’ve ever seen. He’s still cool and working hard, not overtly offending any conceivably possible ally as he does his work.

    I wish his old AIDS adversary and then friend Larry Kramer were still alive to have his back as I’m sure he would.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, both Jha and Hotez do look pretty frustrated. Still smooth enough on the surface, but you can darn near see the slow boil going on in their heads. Even Sanjay Gupta looks close to the brink. If we could all meet at a bar for a beer, likely all would erupt.

  17. Stephen Calhoun says:

    Lawrence Walsh’s Firewall comes in a little shy of 600 pages. How long will the book be which documents January-May 2020, the period when scientists and charlatans ‘fought it out’ in the highest reaches of Trump’s administrative state? Any book will of course start the story earlier with Trump’s dismantling of all things Obama.

    The charlatans won, and, we still don’t have federal resources lined up to get us through what will be a brutal third wave.

    The history books will be savage.

    Dr. Fauci knows administrations of various competencies comes and go, while he remains. Still, what stories might he tell?

  18. Raven Eye says:

    The degree to which Trump verbally abuses Fauci nudged my mind towards looking at this in the context risk management (as a practical approach, not as a pseudo religion). First, some precepts:

    1. Risk management is just (good) management with a four-letter word in front of it.

    2. As a colleague of mine reminded me recently: “Every risk treatment becomes the source of future risk.”

    BLUF (bottom line up front): Trump is intellectually and behaviorally incapable of applying any sort of risk management process to the pandemic. Aligned with this, neither are any of the sycophants who choose to work closely with him.

    In a functional leadership and management environment, the President might ask someone like Fauci: “If your goal was to stop this virus in its tracks, with no restrictions, what would you do?” The answer could likely be draconian. But it would be on the table, and then the other risk vectors would reveal themselves: Infrastructure risk, risk to international trade, public safety (fire/rescue, law enforcement) risk, health (mental, emergency medical, other diseases, routine health) risk, political risk, financial risk, food risk, supply chain (including critical products) risk, etc., etc., etc. A lot of different risks.

    The task would be to whittle down the draconian approach with an eye towards achieving some kind of balance — finding an acceptable degree of risk for all the risk elements identified…An easy sentence to write, but a real grind of a job. This is where both management and leadership both come into play — qualities we have never seen in Trump. His approach is to show up at the coliseum with all the proponents down there on the sand. Trump, surrounded by those people mentioned above who chose to work for him, commands the melee to commence. Trump’s attention span is notoriously short (Squirrel!!!) and He’d be distracted by His sycophants.

    So regardless of which process played out — A lot of information presented by a lot of experts and practitioners, or just a six-year-old in an old man’s body reacting to the last suck-up who talked to Him — we’d be in the same spot we are in now. Give Him the best information available, and a crew to put it together, and He wouldn’t know what to do with.

    Would this risk management approach take a lot of time? Yes. People would get pissed off and complain. It might have taken almost the same amount of time that Trump wasted in February and March. But in addition to the big picture, there would have been quick wins no matter what the final package looked like, since some actions would support any likely master plan: Defense Production Act, testing, tracing, PPE and other behavioral recommendations (tied to enhanced levels of support to states that adopted them), Presidential messaging, etc.

  19. harpie says:


    Revealed: ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse
    Wed 21 Oct 2020 05.00

    […]“The basic premise of everything at the People of Praise was that the devil controlled everything outside of the community, and you were ‘walking out from under the umbrella of protection’ if you ever left,” said one former member who called herself Esther, who had to join the group as a child but then left the organization. “I was OK with it being in a tiny little corner of Indiana, because a lot of weird stuff happens in tiny little corners in this country. But it’s just unfathomable to me – I can’t even explain just how unfathomable it is – that you would have a supreme court justice who is a card-carrying member of this community.” […]

    Perhaps Barrett, too, “had to join the group as a child”,
    [her parents were early members, maybe even organizers]
    but did NOT leave,
    instead becoming a LEADER in the organization.

  20. BobCon says:

    I think we can all agree that First Amendment absolutists have gone too far and this — THIS — is the price we pay.

    PS — Sacha Baron Cohen can rot in hell. Some things cannot be unseen. Time to bring back the National League of Decency and start up the Blacklist again.

    • vvv says:

      Not sure what “THIS” you reference but wanted to say I saw the *Borat* flick for the first time last week and it was funny and disturbing and had at least one disgustingly funny and disturbing scene, but it was no *Pink Flamingos*.

      But I liked it, look forward to the sequel.

      I also note that the current Pope seems to be changing the definition of “hell”? Good for him and his flock, says I.

  21. harpie says:

    GOP VOTER SUPPRESSION continues apace
    [Roberts JOINS other conservatives on this one.]:

    1] https://twitter.com/steve_vladeck/status/1319072235454402561
    8:25 PM · Oct 21, 2020

    By a 5-3 vote, #SCOTUS has put Alabama’s ban on curbside voting back into effect, staying a district court injunction that had temporarily allowed localities to pursue such accommodations. Justice Sonia Sotomayor penned a five-page dissent: [joined by Kagan and Breyer] [link]

    There is no explanation from the majority for *why* it voted to stay the district court’s injunction. But we know the vote was 5-3 because it takes five Justices to grant a stay, and three Justices publicly noted their dissent.

    2] https://twitter.com/ChrisMurphyCT/status/1319047968402644992
    6:48 PM · Oct 21, 2020

    All his life, Doug Jones just did the right thing. Prosecute the 16th St Church bombers no matter the backlash. Run against Roy Moore no matter the odds.

    Now WE need to do the right thing. He can win. But he needs $100,000 more for his ads. Donate here: [link]

    • harpie says:

      8:31 PM · Oct 21, 2020

      There’s a lot that’s wrong with #SCOTUS’s shadow docket. But perhaps nothing is more troubling than the fact that significant decisions affecting how we vote are handed down with literally *no* explanation — even when, as here, multiple Justices dissent
      https://supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/20a67_3e04.pdf /

      Also, just incidently…
      the GOP Senate nominee in Alabama is Tommy Tuberville, who has been endorsed by Trump and defeated Sessions in the primary.

      • Eureka says:

        Whenceforth you remind me that Jones went viral on football twitter a few Saturdays back for running an anti-Tuberville ad *on The SEC Network* during college football (i.e. he is taking no prisoners).

        For anyone considering Murphy’s suggestion to send this man his ad money, seems it would be aggressively and cleverly spent.

        Roll tid–al blue wave!

      • BobCon says:

        We’re going to see increasing amounts of this garbage as the radical right justices decide it’s easier to just cause havoc by issuing emergency rulings without any kind of opinion.

        The point won’t be to create a line of reasoning for lower courts to follow over the long run. It will instead to make the Supreme Court a quick stop for other members of the radical right to gain an easy rubber stamp for whatever authoritarian measure they want to use, or else to block liberal and moderate legislatures from adopting any law, or liberal or moderate executives from taking any action.

        They want to create a vacuum and void which they will only allow radical right officials or corporations to fill.

      • P J Evans says:

        The thought crossed my mind an hour or so back: maybe McConnell doesn’t expect to live more than a couple three more months, so he’s trying to solidify the GOP-T hold while he still has power. Because srsly, he looks really bad. I’ve seen people who looked far better than that at 100.

      • P J Evans says:

        There’s a bandage on the back of he left hand, but not his right hand, which is the one that looks like it’s half-dead already.

        • Eureka says:

          There’s also a bandage on the back of his right hand — a steri-strip (over venous drainage to the cephalic v.*) — besides the one on his right thumb. As Dr. Choo says, looks like he’s a hard stick (the hand is not the ideal site in adults; in older or sicker individuals they take what access they can get; no one knows what he may or may not have experienced over time, and over how much time, such as multiple tries in multiple places (and both hands) — to particulate what would be the inference from both her comment and what is observable in the images).

          *this anatomy would also explain the discoloration extending into the wrist/dorsal/radial forearm (a blown IV site — or other source of venous rupture in the dorsoradial hand — in a vein draining to the cephalic, now ‘loosed’ in a broader compartment).

  22. harpie says:

    TRUMP v. STAHL [cont’d]
    8:05 AM · Oct 22, 2020

    I will soon be giving a first in television history full, unedited preview of the vicious attempted “takeout” interview of me by Lesley Stahl of @60Minutes. Watch her constant interruptions & anger. Compare my full, flowing and “magnificently brilliant” answers to their “Q’s”.

    I wish someone would do some creative thing about this crew called

    • puzzled scottish person says:

      ‘full, flowing and “magnificently brilliant”’ could become my favourite Trump line after ‘very stable genius’, lol :-)

      It does have a certain ‘fast and bulbous’ ring to it.

      Hmm, a musical ‘THE SWHINING’ in which Trump meets Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa and is forced to perform the entirety of Trout Mask Replica on his own (whilst wearing the smelly fish mask from the sleeve photo) in front of a panel of musicians whose music he has used without permission at his rallies?

      Needs a little work but I feel some poetic justice would be served.

  23. harpie says:


    1] https://twitter.com/BBuchman_CNS/status/1319036435698225152
    6:02 PM · Oct 21, 2020

    The Trump administration’s failure to consider the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in a recent assessment of the harm offshore drilling could do to endangered species triggered a lawsuit from a slew of conservationists Wednesday.

    2] https://twitter.com/JaneMayerNYer/status/1319083272069144578
    9:08 PM · Oct 21, 2020

    Amy Coney Barrett could become a pivotal block to climate progress in the the US: ICYMI from Bill McKibben [link]

    Links to:
    There’s Nothing Sacred about Nine Justices; a Livable Planet, on the Other Hand . . .
    [link in next comment]
    Bill McKibben October 21, 2020

    […] My guess is that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island, probably explains such evasiveness best. After years of tracking the influence of dark money on the courts (as he demonstrated at Barrett’s hearings), he was one of nine Senate Democrats who last week released a vital report. Titled “What’s At Stake: Climate and the Environment,” it explains the legal doctrines that the courts will likely use to make the regulation of greenhouse gases more difficult (unitary executive theory and the non-delegation doctrine chief among them, which Abbie Dillen discusses in an interview below). Whitehouse’s bête noire is Charles Koch, who has reportedly spent millions of dollars backing Barrett’s nomination, and who is among the nation’s biggest oil and gas barons. […]

    • harpie says:

      [Sorry, I put this in the wrong place below]
      Link for McKibben article:

      Mark Schmitt [via Laura Rozen] [I added the numbers]:

      9:37 PM · Oct 15, 2020

      1] Barrett’s father was a lawyer for Shell Oil.
      2] Brett Kavanaugh’s father was a lawyer and lobbyist for the cosmetics industry, mother also a lawyer.
      3] Neil Gorsuch’s father was a lawyer, mother a lawyer & Colorado politician, later the notoriously anti-enviro head of EPA under Reagan.

      • BobCon says:

        The interview doesn’t mention unitary executive theory, and if Biden wins I have no doubt that goes down the memory hole.

        The extreme power that Trump had over immigration will suddenly become incredibly weak under Biden. The ability of a president to interpret any ambiguity in the wording of a law in any way he wants will flip, and an ambiguity in a phrase will become grounds for voiding an entire law.

        I think it is a mistake to think too hard about any legal theory these freaks will use. They are just going to make it up as they go along, and the counterattack needs to be about their intellectual bankruptcy, authoritarianism and partisanship, not their theory.

        • BobCon says:

          It’s a weak line of attack, that’s for sure. The focus should be on their very distubing philosophy and inconsistencies instead.

          Have you been following the NY Times attacks on Doug Emhoff, the husband of Kamala Harris?

          They had this big front page article last month based entirely on crazy speculation that if Harris becomes VP, Emhoff might somehow violate ethics laws and continue to advocate for clients of DLA Piper.


          The article, cowritten by Ken Vogel of course, notes that he has already taken a leave of absence from his firm, but then goes on and on and on about hypotheticals about what if he continues to represent clients.

          In theory, his firm could sign up to defend Trump and he could start writing op eds in the Daily Caller accusing Hillary Clinton of being behind a witch hunt,

          But the reality is that he and Harris aren’t stupid and he will probably do something like write a book or tutor low income college kids who want to go to law school.

          Likewise, this article notes his leave of absence but then pointlessly speculates on the scandal that would arise if he didn’t step away from his job.


          It’s embarassing stuff for the Times.

      • harpie says:

        Evidently, they went straight to a vote while ignoring committee rules for a quorum, …not that it’s surprising:

        [from screenshot] […] 1. Seven Members of The Committee, actually present, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of discussing business. Nine Members of the Committee, including at least two Members of the minority, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business.


        • bmaz says:

          The majority can change the rule, and they did. It is the least surprising thing ever. And the dumbs stunt by the Minority Dems to not appear was just pathetic and stupid. What a clown show, the Dems are just embarrassing.

          • graham firchlis says:

            In what way were committee rules changed?

            As harpie cited above, the absence of a quorum must be formally suggested and roll call requested. No Democrats were present to do so, no Republican did, so the Chair gaveled the committee to order and transacted business unopposed.

            Democrats could have sent one member to force a quorum vote, then force Graham to have his BFF Feinstein hauled handcuffed to the meeting. Would he dare?

            Of course the Republicans can do the same in future, and Barrett full confirmation appears inevitable, so is this sort of theater worthwhile?

            I think they should have shown up, had thier say and voted for the record, but I’m not privy to inside polling and strategy around tight Senate races so maybe a broader strategy is at play.

            What would you have had them do?

            • bmaz says:

              I would have them show up and do their damn jobs. And, no, the hearings demonstrated beyond question just how pathetically feckless the Senate Dems, especially on SJC, really are. They did NOTHING, and Barrett came out with a far better approvability for the effort.

              • Raven Eye says:

                What kind of alternative reality are the Dems on SJC playing in? Just another take on self-abuse.

                If you step back a bit (and I mean barely step back) Barrett has already shown herself to be a political animal — walking into this process with a bias. Else why would she not have thanked the Trump sycophants for the honor of placing her name in front of the President, but ask that further consideration be deferred until after the election. In addition to all the other baggage she will carry, add being a token; only there because of Trump’s pandering to women voters — a class he is much more comfortable insulting.

                • bmaz says:

                  I…..Have no idea. It was obvious that ACB was the choice while people were still twiddling their thumbs about who the nominee might be. Frankly, she almost was over Kavanaugh, but there was a real bet that RBG did not make it and they wanted the perfectly evil opposite woman from RBG. I have heard rumors that Barrett was literally held in the pocket for just this.

            • bmaz says:

              The majority makes the rules. Irrespective of that, who cares? McConnell could have taken it straight to the floor by my understanding. It really does not matter, and it has not from the time she was nominated. Am not positive on all this, but it is my understanding. And, again, what in the world does it matter?

            • graham firchlis says:

              There was no vote to take, in terms of proceeding with business. If someone had, by point of order which the chair must recognize, suggested the absence of a quorum, the chair must order a roll call and proceed from there. If, as happened here, no one raises the question, then the presence a quorum is assumed. Schumer raising it on the floor after the fact was just a stunt.

              (And yes, the Senate majority leader can bring any bill, resolution or nomination directly to the floor if they so wish. Been that way forever, and no new majority leader will ever give up that power.)

              These rules were set at the start of the session by the majority. Always are. Nothing was changed or evaded. The majority sets the rules in both chambers. If you don’t like the rules, blame the voters who put Republicans in control of the Senate.

              Simply blaming the Democratic caucus for failing to stop that over which they have no power to influence is itself pointless, and potentially harmful to the extent that voter apathy ensues.

              Constructive criticism is of course helpful, so I ask: What should the Democrats have done differently, and how would the change have affected either the Barrett process or the election?

              (And no, 83 year old Feinstein shouldn’t have gotten all gushy in public over her favorite “still single” colleague, but she’s always been huggy and in general it hasn’t caused any real harm. She won’t run again, and hopefully we can upgrade instead of another corporadem. Most of the current internal D caucus fussing is about leadership struggles, far more than policy or who hugs whom.)

              • Epicurus says:

                I think the second question – how would what Democrats may have done differently affected the outcome or election – is the correct one. I think the answer is no effect. McConnell is laser focused on this one issue and he has control over the process. I think of him as Santa Ana at the Alamo. Take no prisoners. I think the answer to the first question – what should the Democrats have done differently – is to create real doubt as to Barrett’s allegiance to the Constitution first and foremost principally because her allegiance is not to the Constitution first and foremost. There were ways they could have done that but they chose not to use them.

          • harpie says:

            And the Majority does say no worries…it’s all good!

            10:31 AM · Oct 22, 2020

            Republicans say today’s Barrett vote was in line with “longstanding precedents” allowing the Judiciary Committee to report nominations as long as a majority of members are present, even if two minority party members aren’t there per the written rules.

            As far as them not showing up…I guess I really couldn’t care less. I do hope all the Dems will be there to vote NO when Barrett’s confirmation actually comes to the floor, causing the phrase “confirmed by the Senate 53-47” to be attached to her name for all eternity….not that it makes ANY DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER…and it’s way immature…but that’s where I am right now.

            • P J Evans says:

              Pretty much “We’re cheating and we dare you to do anything about it”. It’s still a violation of their own rules, and the Dems might could notice that and make sure it’s in the record.

            • harpie says:

              This is via Chery Rofer:

              2:25 PM · Oct 22, 2020

              .@SenSchumer made a point of order that the Barrett nomination shouldn’t be placed on the Executive Calendar because it was reported in violation of Judiciary Committee rules. The Chair ruled against it. Sen. Schumer appealed the ruling. The Senate is voting on the appeal.

              2:55 PM · Oct 22, 2020

              The decision of the Chair stands by a vote of 53-44 .@SenSchumer’s appeal was not agreed to.

    • harpie says:

      Mark Schmitt [via Laura Rozen] [I added the numbers]:

      9:37 PM · Oct 15, 2020

      1] Barrett’s father was a lawyer for Shell Oil.
      2] Brett Kavanaugh’s father was a lawyer and lobbyist for the cosmetics industry, mother also a lawyer.
      3] Neil Gorsuch’s father was a lawyer, mother a lawyer & Colorado politician, later the notoriously anti-enviro head of EPA under Reagan.

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