Later Peeps, nothing on the schedule today so I'm spending extra time in gym as my stress reducer today...

That and taking @Finnegan recommendation to not hit links to dildo sizing sites...

Biden is a man who doesn’t do culture war, who will separate the cultural left from the political left, reduce politics back to its normal size and calm an increasingly apocalyptic and hysterical nation.

The Democratic Party is an institution that still practices coalition politics, that serves as a vehicle for the diverse interests and ideas in society to filter up into legislation, that plays by the rules of the game, that believes in rule of law.

As Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution has noted, the G.O.P. is no longer a standard coalition party. It’s an anti-political insurgency that, even before Trump, has been elevating candidates with no political experience and who don’t believe in the compromise and jostle of politics.

Right now, Republicans are a culture war identity movement that suppresses factional disagreement and demands total loyalty to Trump.

David Brooks in NYT with an incredibly valid point about our two political parties...

If you ask whether the Democrats shifted too far left, my answer is: The party has gotten more ideologically diverse, but there is a large, strong center that will keep it in the political mainstream.

You might have thought that the Democratic and Republican Parties are different versions of the same thing, but that’s no longer true.

So his latest ploy is an attempt to convince people that the Covid-19 threat is over. But widespread mask-wearing is a constant reminder that the virus is still out there. Hence Trump’s renewed push against the simplest, most sensible of public health precautions.

As a political strategy, this ploy probably won’t work. But it will lead to a lot of unnecessary deaths.

After all, there’s something very wrong with any definition of freedom that includes the right to gratuitously expose other people to the risk of disease and death — which is what refusing to wear a mask in a pandemic amounts to.

And it’s probably too late to change the views of the majority of voters believing that he has given up on fighting the coronavirus.

Just hours passed between Redfield’s declaration, in congressional testimony, that masks are “the most important, powerful public health tool we have” in fighting the pandemic and Trump saying that “there’s a lot of problems with masks.”

You sometimes see people suggesting that wearing face masks is somehow inconsistent with America’s individualistic culture. And if that were true it would be a condemnation of that culture.

Paul Krugman in NYT...Trump is killing us

In other words, we know what works. Which makes it both bizarre and frightening that Donald Trump has apparently decided to spend the final weeks of his re-election campaign deriding and discouraging mask-wearing and other anti-pandemic precautions.

Trump’s behavior on this and other issues is sometimes described as a rejection of science, which is true as far as it goes.

Catherine Rampell in WaPo on Trump's super secret, super hotshit health plan...

Meanwhile, Trump has asked the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare, including its protections for those with preexisting conditions. The court is scheduled to hear arguments a week after the election.

Maybe by then we’ll have seen Trump’s replacement plan. Or maybe he’ll simply claim he’s already signed it into law and hope no one notices. Placebos sometimes work, you know.

For now, the objective remains removal of Trump and obliteration of a party that has grievously betrayed democracy and abandoned simple decency and honesty. Whatever alternative to the toxic waste dump of the Trump GOP arises to replace it may be worth considering — but only if it embodies the most basic American creed (“We the people. . .”) and abandons veneration of authoritarianism.

The Tea Party in 2010s tried to resurrect it. But all that the angry and bitter zombie Reaganites of the Tea Party ultimately accomplished was making conservatism look obstructionist — and, with the ascension of Donald Trump, they have turned into zombie Buchananites. To the extent that the mindless mush that is called “conservatism” today is in obedient lockstep with Donald Trump, it is nationalist, hateful, intolerant, and unpatriotic.

They will accuse you of Trump derangement syndrome and dub you a “fake” conservative. Well, they have a point. Because conservatives no longer seem to champion any of those positions (or free trade or American international leadership or NATO), it is hard to say I fit in any longer.

So yes, conservatism is dead.

Jen Rubin no longer a conservative...

If you say you are a staunch defender of the rule of law, that you are devoted to ending systematic racism, that you are an advocate of legal immigration, that you believe in objective reality (including climate change science) and that you think illiberal regimes such as Russia are our greatest foreign threat, the party of Trump will lash out at you.

Really, we should thank Trump for awakening us to this brand-new scientific methodology. With this technique, he has found a way to show just how much the well-being of this country is being dragged down by disparities. Do we really need to care about those poor-performing states, anyway?

We’re really at a very low level. But some of the states, they were blue states and blue-state-managed.”

We could apply such logic to lots of diseases. But, in fact, the covid-19 trend goes in the opposite direction from most of them. So if we want to brag about U.S. public health across the board, what we actually want to do is ignore red states.

Robert Gebelhoff on where we are...

And this after 3.75 years and he still doesn't get that President is for all America, not just the places he likes...

President Trump has discovered a brand-new way to improve health metrics in the United States: Just ignore the parts you don’t like!

As he put it when discussing covid-19 deaths at a news briefing Wednesday: "If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.

which means they are not being used to track potential outbreaks or to inform state or local policies.

“I think the holidays are going to be a hard, lonely time for a lot of people,” Dr. Jha says. “But I also think, hopefully, it’s a time when we will start to see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Janeen Interlandi, NYT Ed Board member, with a great piece on where we are with the Pandemic...

And why are there still such gaps in service...

On the other hand, we’re failing to make almost any use of the testing data we already have. As The Atlantic recently reported, “thousands if not tens of thousands” of rapid antigen tests are almost certainly being administered every single day, but almost none of them are being logged in any public health database, ...

The amount of criticism Trump has faced from former aides is unprecedented in the modern presidency, and it could pose a political risk to his reelection campaign as some of the aides who have spoken out are pressuring other former colleagues to join them.

"The mask issue was a critical one. If we would have gotten ahead on that and stressed the importance of it, we could have slowed the spread significantly,” Troye said.

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