Even Fox News is having a hard time with nutty Republican congresspersons

Even Fox News host Neil Cavuto is having a hard time dealing with the idiocy of Trump-supporting Republican congresspeople like Andy Biggs of Arizona who are angry that the infectious disease specialists on the Coronavirus Task Force like Anthony Fauci and Dobroah Birx, who are issuing warnings about the need to take measures to combat the resurgence, are contradicting Trump’s relentless and evidence-free upbeat assertions about how well things are going. Biggs says that Fauci and Birx don’t know what they are talking about because they do not deal directly with patients and should be fired and the Task Force dismantled.

He is saying these things just as Arizona is one the states experiencing the worst rise in cases, when it needs all the best expert advice it can get.

And now, the Cleveland Indians think of a name change

After the announcement yesterday that the Washington DC football team (under strong pressure from public opinion and their sponsors and advertisers) is ‘considering’ changing the name of their team, the Cleveland Indians baseball team also reports that it is ‘considering’ a name change, something that has been demanded from them for the longest time but they have refused, insisting in the face of evidence to the contrary that the name and the racist mascot of Chief Wahoo were meant to honor Native Americans. While Wahoo was removed from team uniforms a few years ago, it remained on the merchandise that is sold to baseball fans.

While both teams have only said they are ‘considering’ name changes, that is likely just face-saving language because to later announce they are retaining the names would cause another round of negative publicity. I think the changes are a done deal with the only question being what the new names will be.

I notice that the football team majority Dan Snyder, who liked to play the tough guy and delight in thumbing his nose at those who wanted the change and enjoy the attention it brought him, is still in hiding and has not spoken publicly to the media about this reversal, leaving it to team spokespersons to issues statements about his capitulation. That is always the case with people like that.

A solution to the pandemic?

H. L. Mencken famously wrote that, “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong”. That serves as a warning to anyone who thinks they have come up with a solution to a problem that has defied the best efforts of experts in the field. I come across such ‘solutions’ all the time from people who think they have solved a complex problem in physics. These are usually those who have done just a smattering of reading in that field,
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How the mighty are fallen

I wrote last week that the walls were closing in on Dan Snyder, the majority owner of the professional football team associated with the city of Washington DC that has a racist name and logo. Snyder is an awful person who had said in 2013 that he would never change the name despite decades of criticism. He seemed to delight in rejecting the calls for changes, even calling the team’s name a ‘badge of honor’, as if he thought that it made him look tough.
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The Ghislaine Maxwell puzzle

There is one thing that puzzles me over the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s one-time lover and later friend, business associate, and allegedly the chief procurer and groomer of underage girls to have sex with Epstein and his friends, and that why she stayed in the US at all. She was arrested in a secluded mansion that she owns in New Hampshire and is being held without bond in that town pending her transfer to New York City where the charges were brought against her.
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Ghislaine Maxwell arrested in Jeffrey Epstein case

Maxwell was Jeffrey Epstein’s close associate and sometime lover and was accused by his victims as being the person most involved in procuring and grooming young girls to be abused by him. Geoffrey Berman was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York who arrested Jeffrey Epstein and he had said that Epstein’s death in jail while awaiting trial did not mean the end to the investigation. But when US attorney general Bill Barr fired Berman last month for reasons that are still murky, it was not clear what would happen to those investigations. Now Berman’s replacement Audrey Strauss has ordered the arrest of Maxwell and charged her with conspiracy to entice minors to engage in illegal sex acts and also with perjury. Berman had refused to resign as demanded by Barr until he agreed to appoint Strauss, Berman’s deputy and a respected career prosecutor, as his replacement. (You can read the 17-page indictment here.)
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More changes caused by the recent demonstrations

One of the things that struck me about the recent moves to remove monuments honoring leading figures of the confederacy is how many such symbols there are all over the country, especially, of course, in those states that formed part of the confederacy. It is encouraging that even deep Republican states are reconsidering their identification with such symbols. A good example is Mississippi where I was surprised to learn that the confederate flag forms part of the current state flag. But this solidly Republican state has just voted to start the process to remove it.
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Jon Stewart talks about the current unrest

In an interview about his new film Irresistible, Stewart gives his opinion on the current situation.

Early on in the interview, he addressed the police killing of George Floyd: “I’d like to say I’m surprised by what happened to him, but I’m not,” he said. “This is a cycle, and I feel that in some ways, the issue is that we’re addressing the wrong problem. We continue to make this about the police — the how of it. How can they police? Is it about sensitivity and de-escalation training and community policing? All that can make for a less-egregious relationship between the police and people of color.”

“But the how isn’t as important as the why, which we never address,” he continued. “The police are a reflection of a society. They’re not a rogue alien organization that came down to torment the black community. They’re enforcing segregation. Segregation is legally over, but it never ended. The police are, in some respects, a border patrol, and they patrol the border between the two Americas. We have that so that the rest of us don’t have to deal with it. Then that situation erupts, and we express our shock and indignation. But if we don’t address the anguish of a people, the pain of being a people who built this country through forced labor — people say, ‘I’m tired of everything being about race.’ Well, imagine how [expletive] exhausting it is to live that.”

Yep, that’s right.