I didn’t chuckle even once at this McSweeney’s article

But then, I’m not laughing at much nowadays.

We could have poured resources into prevention. We could’ve spent all summer enforcing mask use and social distancing. We could’ve sacrificed small pleasures for the greater good. We could’ve kept this from happening. But instead, we’re blindly barreling toward reopening even though we know teachers and students will die. We’re going to treat COVID the same way we treat school shootings. An unfortunate but unavoidable cost to doing business.


  1. unclefrogy says

    on a related note I read an expert-ed part of an opinion piece by George Conway from Washington post that calls it out similarly
    will this be enough or will he cheat his way to a win anyway that is my fear
    uncle frogy

  2. says

    All that and the Amazon is being devasted at even a faster rate than last year.

    There is no way any of this will end well the way it is now.

  3. redwood says

    I like how COVID-19 is shining a spotlight on various leaders. The good ones shine brightly while the bad ones scuttle and bumble and don’t quite know what to do.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    I understand that both the tories in Britain and the Republicans in USA must be allowed to fail, and fail hard, so they cannot bounce back and do more harm.
    But this is an “oops, I launched a nuke”- level of failure.
    Bolsonaro in Brazil has shown why the pro-military- junta loons must not be granted power. Unfortunately it has cost 100.000 lives and extensive destruction to the Amazon forest.
    Putin in Russia is showing authoritarian governments are useless. But it will cost even more lives.

  5. says

    @#7, birgerjohansson:

    It turns out that the US — under Obama — had a hand in sabotaging Bolsonaro’s opponents. “Operation Car Wash” was carried out specifically to target left-leaning government officials and create “scandals” to make them unelectable. Like the Nazis we enabled in the Ukraine and the guns we handed out like lollipops in the mideast to anybody who said they’d attack Assad, this is the foreign policy of the people who are trying to claim they’re the adults in the room and will be an improvement.

    Frankly, at this point, third-party voting is not only the only moral choice, but it’s imperative. The Democrats, like the Republicans, have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they cannot be trusted with government and ought to be facing war crimes trials.

  6. raven says

    In my local area, children 0-19 make up around 25% of new cases of Covid-19.
    This is happening everywhere in the USA.
    They aren’t going to reopen schools in any significant way around here.

    AFAICT, this school reopening procedure is going to be self limiting.
    They will reopen the schools, the Covid-19 virus will spread, people will get sick, some of them will die, and more will be permanently disabled.
    Then they will…close the schools.

    Needless to say, the people who die and are disabled will mostly not be the school kids. They will infect the teachers, staff, their parents, and other adults.
    And those are the most at risk from the virus.

  7. raven says

    It’s now well known that the best model for Covid-19 is Polio.
    It’s not a binary disease where you get over it or die.
    A lot of people end up permanently disabled due to damage to heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain.

    The numbers aren’t yet too well known but 15% of patients is a good estimate.
    In the study referenced below, half of hospitalized patients showed signs of brain damage.
    Hospitalized patients make up 10-20% of the total.
    OTOH, non-hospitalized patients can also show permanent damage.

    This pandemic is going to leave its mark on this era forever.

    55% of coronavirus patients still have neurological problems three months later: study
    Aug. 9, 2020 at 9:11 a.m. ET By Nicole Lyn Pesce Marketwatch
    Mounting evidence suggests COVID-19 could cause brain damage in adults and kids

    Now a study of 60 COVID-19 patients published in Lancet this week finds that 55% of them were still displaying such neurological symptoms during follow-up visits three months later. And when doctors compared brain scans of these 60 COVID patients with those of a control group who had not been infected, they found that the brains of the COVID patients showed structural changes that correlated with memory loss and smell loss.
    These children (with covid-19 multisystem inflammatory disorder) developed neurological manifestations such as headaches, muscle weakness, confusion and disorientation. While two of the kids recovered, the other two continued to show symptoms, including muscle weakness so severe that they needed a wheelchair.

  8. mnb0 says

    @9: “I’m sure we’ll all enjoy another 4 years of Trump.”
    So youl rather have Joe Biden in the White House instead? He voted for the second Gulf War, used to be a pro-forced-birther until recently. As for racism: “poor kids are as smart as white kids”.


    Plus of course economy first, second and third and then perhaps in his spare time he’ll do a little something about the climate change.
    Enjoy the new boss – the same as the old boss.
    At least Donald the Clown is too stupid and unfocused to start yet another war. I’m not sure at all about Joe Biden.

  9. KG says

    @9: “I’m sure we’ll all enjoy another 4 years of Trump.”
    So youl rather have Joe Biden in the White House instead?

    Yes. Just as anyone with both a functioning brain and a spark of decency would; re-elect Trump and the chances of getting another chance to eject the far right from power are almost nil. Sure, it’s a disgusting choice to have to make, but it’s like the choice the French left were faced with in the second round of the Presidential election of 2002. The slogan which kept Le Pen – the literal, actual Nazi – out of power was “Vote for the crook, not the fascist”.

    At least Donald the Clown is too stupid and unfocused to start yet another war.

    I’m not sure even Trump has ever said anything quite as stupid as that.

  10. blf says

    Please name a third party candidate for 2020 presidency which has no flaws: Even the tiniest flaw disqualifies Biden — albeit, strangely, perhaps not hair furor — hence this third party candidate must have no flaws.

    Yes, Biden not only has tiny flags, he also has Large Flaws — and hair furor has mostly GIGANTIC FLAWS. Yet, somehow, Biden is too flawed to be an alternative to hair furor.

    So, NAME the unflawed third party 2020 presidental candiate(s?).

  11. consciousness razor says

    Yes, Biden not only has tiny flags [sic], he also has Large Flaws

    Then you should just be honest about that, for the full duration of your argument. People are most concerned about the “large” flaws, not the “tiniest” ones. You have no good reason to minimize them, and there simply is no demand that a candidate must be “unflawed.”

    If you think there is such a great disparity between Trump and Biden, and if you believe that’s how voters should decide what to do in their voting booths, then you haven’t actually made that case. But if you did try to do that, you wouldn’t need to falsely claim that Biden’s nearly or practically flawless, nor would you need to make the false claim that those who have different standards/perspectives from you must be demanding a flawless candidate. Anyway, since both are false, throwing them in for shits and giggles presumably doesn’t help you make your case.

  12. blf says

    Then we can discuss her or his flaws, and compare them to those of hair furor, and those of Biden.
    Until we have a name, this is nothing more than “whataboutery”.

  13. consciousness razor says

    Then we can discuss her or his flaws, and compare them to those of hair furor, and those of Biden.

    You weren’t interested in an honest comparison before. You seemed a lot more interested in fallacies and falsehoods. Maybe that’s changed in the last five or ten minutes, but how was I to know? Anyway, it seems pretty weird to order me around with a lot of bold+all-caps bullshit. I did not say or imply anything about third party presidential candidates.

    And seriously now … you refer rather incessantly to Trump’s hair? Why? Is that a tiny flaw or one of his bigger flaws, in your expert opinion?

  14. brucegee1962 says

    The very first vote I ever cast was in 1979. (Yes, I am old.) Much like some of the people here, I thought that Carter and Reagan were equally bad, so I went for third party candidate John Anderson. He was strong on the environment, gave great speeches, and I agreed with almost everything he had to say. I even went door to door campaigning for him. He got less than 5% of the vote, still doing better than most third party candidates.
    Looking back at it now, I regret that vote. Sure, Carter was another corporatist who would have carried on the main stream of American post-war diplomacy like all the other American presidents, but he wouldn’t have laid the foundation for turning a major political party into the anti-government, anti-science, anti-environment, anti-press, anti-education shitshow the way that Reagan did. I let Anderson’s perfection be the enemy of Carter’s merely ok, and forty years later, because of Reagan’s malevolence — here we are. So like I said, I’m sorry I fell for ideological purity.
    But I was only 18, so I had the excuse of being young and stupid. And that’s where I’ll stop, before I start ranting.

  15. vucodlak says

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

    Biden has colossal, unforgiveable flaws, but 4+ more years of Trump is a guaranteed extinction event.

    With Trump, we all die. Probably not in the next four years, but the damage done by Trump and his vile cronies will ultimately leave this planet uninhabitable. There’s no question about this, and there will be no “it will get so bad that everyone will wake up and destroy the oppressive systems that brought us here” epiphany. If that was going to happen, it would have happened around the time we hit 100,000 dead and Trump started demanding we sacrifice our children to his ego. At best, 4+ more years of Trump will trigger a civil war that will almost certainly end in a global nuclear war.

    With Biden, there’s some small chance that we can save ourselves. He won’t fix anything major, but he’ll slow the hemorrhaging, and buy us time. It will be up to us to use that time constructively.

    In 2024, the Republicans will run someone even worse than Trump, and that person will almost certainly win. That must not be allowed to happen. We must get control of greenhouse gas emissions in the next few years, and the destruction of the Amazon must be arrested. If that means war, then so be it. We’re all dead if we don’t. We must stop the rise of fascism around the globe by any means necessary- no more hemming and hawing about how “violence never solves anything.” We’re all dead if we don’t. And that’s just a handful of the issues we have to get under control within the next decade.

    We have to grow the fuck up as a species, or every last human being will be extinct within a century, along with most of the complex life on Earth. Our children and their children will suffer terribly and die horrific deaths from famine, poisonous air, plagues, extreme weather, and war. Our children’s children’s children won’t live long enough to appreciate the horrors to come.

    No one is coming to save us. No magical third party candidate is going to ride in the next couple of months, win the election (despite 99% of people never having heard of them), and lead us into paradise. Our choices are between a clueless status quo warrior who will try (and fail) to drag us back to the shithole of 2016, and a thoroughly incompetent wannabe tyrant who will drag us straight into hell.

    This election is between a slim chance of survival and none. I despise Biden, but the only alternatives are all worse.

    Vote for Biden, and prepare for war.

  16. komarov says

    Re: redwood (#6):

    “I like how COVID-19 is shining a spotlight on various leaders. The good ones shine brightly while the bad ones scuttle and bumble and don’t quite know what to do.”

    It’s mostly highlighting the people who were already pretty obviously incompetent, corrupt, entirely self-absorbed or all of those things. And I really don’t like how that spotlight seems to be illuminated by a flamethrower. I think of myself as an empiricist but this demonstration of leadership or lack thereof is entirely too practical for me.

  17. says

    @mnb0 Yep, I’d rather see Biden in the White House than Trump given what Trump has already done. Do you really think things will continue to keep getting worse under Biden the way they have under Trump? You’re going to have a problematic President no matter which one you vote for, so vote for the less bad one, the one who might actually be deterred by public reactions and his own party members and cabinet.

  18. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    The strategy we really need to follow is:
    1) Get Darth Cheeto the hell out of the White House and into a jail cell where he belongs.
    2) Work our butts off to get preferential voting in place so dumbasses like the Vicar and mbno aren’t throwing their vote away. If we had preferential voting, a lot more of us would be voting third party. Dare I say fourth and fifth parties as well

    Reform the system.

  19. vucodlak says

    @ mnb0, #12

    So youl rather have Joe Biden in the White House instead?

    Yes, if only because any marginally competent leader could have handled this pandemic (and probably have prevented it from becoming a pandemic in the first place) so much better than Trump. Joe Biden is not the only person I picture of when the words “marginally competent” flash ‘cross my brain, but he’s in the top five.

    An overflowing chamber pot would have been preferable to Trump on so many things, so it’s not a high bar. Biden slightly beats out an overflowing chamber pot, because theoretically progressives in the House might get some semi-decent legislation to his desk, which he might possibly sign. I don’t think the chamber pot can hold a pen.