Trump’s big coronavirus giveaway in Tulsa: Open thread

Have some delicious coronavirus!

An open thread to discuss Trump’s big rally/coronavirus giveaway in Tulsa. And whatever else you want to discuss.

No trolls!

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197 replies on “Trump’s big coronavirus giveaway in Tulsa: Open thread”


If you had a test for mental fitness to be POTUS, you’d need to be very careful to design it to be resistant to abuse. Say, for example, you have the candidate examined by three independent specialists. They could all be bribed, or threatened. You could slip each of them $100M, and probably still turn a profit within four to eight years.

How about: a pool of hundreds of specialists, from which three will be randomly drawn and the examinations performed almost immediately afterward? Now, there’s no time for the bad guys to cut deals with the three between when they can know who the three are and when the examinations have already taken place, and the larger pool is too large to economically suborn (and large enough that the probability of a whistleblower among them approaches 1).

Of course, “between examination and report” remains a risk, but one could sequester them, like a jury during deliberations, or just have them give the upshot (a simple thumbs-up-or-down) immediately and write up a more detailed rationale later (if even needed).

As for the possibility of tampering with the random selection so as to know in advance who’ll get picked, they trust those ball bouncing machines that pick lotto numbers with controlling the fate of prizes up to the hundreds of millions of dollars, where there is a comparable huge financial incentive for someone to try to cheat. If they’re tamper-resistant enough to be trusted there then they can also be used to pick the examiners.

And finally, to avoid putting the examiners in the position of being able to decide the election, it would make sense to do this early in the primary campaigns, say a month or two before Iowa, giving the parties plenty of time to replace any disqualified candidates. Evidence of a candidate’s condition deteriorating as the general election approaches could prompt a re-examination. And a sitting first-term president would not be exempt, unless having already decided not to stand for reelection. Late joiners of the primary contest would need to be examined to qualify (think Bloomberg).

Forget dementia: I’d like to see political candidates everywhere face a written test of their knowledge relevant to the job, and Gary “what is Aleppo” Johnson would fail this as much as someone with dementia. It’s just that this would inevitably be gamed.

I’d suggest having members of the opposition party/ies and/or people from the media choose some of the questions, but then we’ll have simply reinvented the election debate, won’t we have?

Perhaps the debates should include a section specifically geared to testing the general knowledge of candidates, in addition to sections covering specific issues du jour such as climate change and gun control and generic sections on “what will you do?”


There are so many other things to call him out for about his character and actions rather than his ramp walking ability.

Yes, but most or all of those count in the “plus” column with his base. Failure to be a tough, strong, macho sort of guy, on the other hand, might not. So perhaps the hope is that kicking up a fuss about such things might peel away at least a few of his supporters who wouldn’t be persuaded by arguments about his moral character (what moral character? Exactly!) or his racism, etc.

I must confess, from across the pond, it seems a bit weird that Presidents have to make their health details public.

I mean I can see all the arguments for it as have been raised here; but it’s just a little incongruous to me. I just can’t see that the health of politicians is anyone’s business but their own.

But I’m probably being Brit-centric; and it’s less of an issue here where our Prime Minister is just leader of the party with the most seats, and parties can change leaders at their leisure. So there’s not the constitutional issues.

Predictably, the RCMP are claiming that the killer definitely had nothing to do with them.

Which is pretty much a surefire indication that the RCMP did, in fact, have a lot to do with him.

@Alan Robertshaw
It seems fairly likely Trump’s physician is lying about his height (and likely other things), seeing as Trump’s listed height seems to have increased between the 1990s and now. This might be to alter his BMI, or maybe just to make him sound taller and more dominant.

Speaking of shitty leaders and coronavirus, the Brazilian government is now withholding food aid and medical treatment from indigenous tribespeople unless they abandon their land and move on to reservations.

They’re claiming it’s for ease of administration.

@ naglfar

maybe just to make him sound taller and more dominant.

Well I suppose they might subscribe to that idea that the taller candidate always wins.

Although a quick google shows Mitt Romney was taller than Obama and G W Bush was shorter than his opponents both times.

The height thing is absolutely about stupid dominance games. Remember Trump’s ridiculous handshake bullshit? He has an insecure teenage boy’s ideas about how to establish dominance.

@Alan : one of the french president, M. Mitterrand, lied about his health and the last part of his presidency had him under heavy medication to survive. He died almost immediatly after tha presidency, and good thing he was mostly a figurehead for the last two years of it.

I am not convinced it’s a good thing to have a president hide that he is dying just so that he can satisfy his pride and stay in power. It’s a difficult duty with responsability after all.

His successor (Chirac) also seemed quite weakened by the end of his second term, and clearly had dementia several year after. I don’t know it impacted him during his presidency ; since it was a very gradual process and since he too wasn’t much in control toward the end of his presidency, it’s hard to say.

Both are shining example of why electing 70+ year people isn’t wise. Even if they are in perfect condition when elected, they are at an age where they can degrade very fast, and it seem pretty hard to make an health check that cannot be abused. (even if it might be possible, as Surplus make a case for)

@Alan Robertshaw
It does seem like most presidents have been taller than average. The only one markedly shorter seems to have been James Madison, who was 5’4” (163cm). Average height was lower then, but previous president Jefferson was almost a foot (30cm) taller.

Sadly, many grown men feel that way about dominance as well.

@ naglfar

I believe Lincoln was pretty tall; although that might just have been the hat.

In the Palaeolithic, the average height for men was 6’4″ and for women 6′ 2″. We’re shrinking!

There’s also that amazing analysis of the 20,000 year old footprints in Australia. One guy was running at 37 kph. That’s faster than Usain Bolt.

@Alan Robertshaw
Lincoln was the tallest president at 6’4” (193 cm). Despite this, he was said to have a high pitched nasal voice.

Interesting re: human height in the Paleolithic, seeing as it seems the trend has been the opposite way from the Industrial Revolution to the present, as human height in Europe has increased about 4 inches (10cm) on average since 1850.

I’m a bit surprised people were taller then—one would think that during the Paleolithic food would have been scarce and it would have been more beneficial to be short so as to require fewer calories.

It’s quite straightforward. The principal predictor of adult height is protein consumption in childhood. Paleolithic societies had varied diets fairly egalitarian food distribution. Preindustrial agricultural societies tend to feed people mostly on grains, which haven’t any complete proteins in. These people trend short, often with exceptions for aristocrats who got lots of meat. These days, there’s loads of agricultural and pastoral products of all sorts available all over the place in the industrialized world, so in places that aren’t the US with its batshit agricultural policies the average height trends back up. Although it won’t anymore, 6 feet and change is pretty much the upper limit for human hearts to work right.

@ moggie

I’m not sure it counts if the extra circumference is bits of bone sticking out.

My wrists are different sizes. I’ll just have to hope women only approach from one direction.

How tall are you and what is your canthal tilt? I hear those are also important for Chadliness.

Moggie & Masse Mysteria:

One of the “revelations” in Bolton’s book is that Trump was unsure whether Finland is a country

It was not great to hear that Trump maybe thought he was in Russia when he was in Helsinki.

To be fair, he reportedly made this “is it in Russia” check when his team was planning for the Helsinki meeting.

Incidentally, I heard back in early June 2018 that Trump admin had gotten around to nominating an ambassador to Finland. It’s some businessman donor named Robert “Bob” Pence – no mention if he’s related to the VP. (Trump admin has been generally notoriously slow to build up diplomatic networks after they slashed down all of Obama’s people.)

As it later turned out, this was about when Trump and Putin’s teams were considering Helsinki and Vienna as possible venues for their nothingburger summit. I presume our president Sauli Niinistö has been quite actively lobbying behind the scenes for just these kind of hosting opportunities. He’s a firm believer that almost any publicity is a good thing for small countries. He calls this summit business “advancing the dialogue”.

Niinistö already made a brief courtesy visit to the White House in 2017, though obviously you wouldn’t expect something like that to stick in Trump’s memory. (Same goes for when Trump personally visited Finland once or twice for his business errands long time ago. This was something that members of Finnish business elite remembered and brought up when Trump became president.)

Niinistö’s office has pictured Niinistö as building a close relationship with Trump, even successfully lecturing him about climate issues. I think what really happens is that he’s just maintaining the US state department’s general awareness that Finland is indeed a country. As a byproduct, Trump himself is occasionally/barely made aware of this.

@Dallilama : not just the heart to boot. the taller you are, the most likely you are to be injured if you trip on your own feet. Among other problems. People 2m20 or more have an impressive list of potential health problems.

That being said, modern healthcare could make thoses giants significantly more viable. On the other hand, I suspect even if it’s for the good of the children there would be a ton of social pressure against preventing excessive tallness in children, since unlike dwarfism gigantism is actually something appreciated.

6 feet and change is pretty much the upper limit for human hearts to work right.

Hah. I’m 6’6” and I’ve indeed sometimes had problems with low blood pressure in the brain.

Also, my shipment of Tall Guy Stacies appears to have been lost.

most likely you are to be injured if you trip on your own feet

*Raises hand, shows scar from orthopedic surgery*


no mention if he’s related to the VP

He is not related to Mike.

Also, my shipment of Tall Guy Stacies appears to have been lost.

Did you check your canthal tilt? Wrist circumference?

O/T, but this is probably the most appropriate place to put this since it’s an open thread:
Graham Linehan momentarily lost his blue tick mark (though it reappeared moments later). That happened to Katie Hopkins shortly before she was banned, so maybe Graham is about to get banned. Expect a lot of really angry TERFs after their favorite man gets banned.

@Lumipuna, you can have my wrist circumference Stacies when they arrive: I have no use for them. Everything I’ve read from the manosphere suggests that Stacies are fungible, so you should be ok.

As this is an open thread…for any Ontario mammotheers it’s now illegal for you to report any instance of animal cruelty or disease outbreak on a farm or whilst animals are in transport or at slaughterhouse. Also applies to farm workers. Farm owners have been empowered to arrest people who do so. Police can also arrest anyone suspected of doing so without a warrant.

Ugh, that’s horrible. Can’t say it’s surprising, given the government that’s currently in power in my province.

I’ll send my MPP an email about it.

TERF and former cop Fred Sargeant (or someone connected to him) has now created a fake account impersonating Malik Jackson’s aunt. Malik Jackson may have been murdered by Tony McDade shortly before cops killed McDade, so it is a tragedy he was murdered and awful that Fred is using this as an excuse to deadname McDade and farm transphobia from the family’s suffering.
More on it here.

Nor sure of this is O/T or not; but just having a discussion elsewhere about our current relationship with the planet and got reminded of this.

Always seemed prescient, but now it’s almost creepy.

Hmm. That’s written to be all about ‘protecting the animals’, but yeah, as you note, it’s really all about protecting the farms. There are exceptions for people authorized to do inspections, of course, but there’s never enough inspectors to actually do spot checks, so a lot of stuff like that only ever gets checked if somebody else reports a problem, which this bill can prevent from happening.

It’s one of those situations of ‘if the regulators were actually able and willing to do their duty, this law wouldn’t be a problem’. (And quite likely wouldn’t be needed.) But it’s exactly the sort of people who do ignore the rules anyway that this could give legal cover to.

Working in computer security can be an interesting entryway into legal analysis, because in both cases one of the first questions to ask is ‘how could somebody who knows the rules use them against us’.

Since this be an open thread … 😛

Rarely make a movie suggestion, since I tend to watch movies uncritically, but if you’ve not seen it and get the chance, give Never Rarely Sometimes Always a go.

It’s good. Very good.

@ jenora

That’s written to be all about ‘protecting the animals’, but yeah, as you note, it’s really all about protecting the farms.

Ag-Gag legislation is always couched in animal protection terms; most of the laws actually use the same template. As you point out though, it’s bollocks. It’s about protecting the industry and shielding the truth from the public.

What is especially egregious is they specifically exclude a ‘public interest’ defence. That’s nearly always available in confidentiality cases.

But note that the law also covers disclosure as to disease outbreaks and contaminated food. Can see why they want to keep that quiet. We’re aware of several really serious ones at the current time. Ironically the COVID-19 lockdowns have helped mitigate those presently. But there’s a new strain of H5N1 that apparently has 60% mortality rate. If that gets into the human population it’ll make C-19 (0.66%) look positively pleasant by comparison.

@Alan Robertshaw
A major difference between H5N1 and coronavirus is that H5N1 is very rare in humans (~700 cases since 2003) mostly due to the fact that it is very rare to be transmitted between humans as it requires prolonged contact unlikely between strangers in public, so it generally stays in family clusters. Previous H5N1 outbreaks have had roughly the same mortality rate yet did not kill nearly as many people due to the lack of person to person transmission, so this probably isn’t something to worry about just yet unless you are spending lots of time handling dead chickens.


@ naglfar

Yeah. We’re quite lucky I guess with viruses. It’s not in their evolutionary interest to be both highly contagious and incredibly deadly. So there’s a sort of built in negative feedback mechanism. Like how ebola kills you before you can get to an airport.

The current coronavirus is probably near the top end of what an epidemic can do : very easy to spread, actually pretty high mortality, and heavy secondary effects. Hard to see a virus happening naturally that would be significantly worse.

Smallpox was worse back in its heyday. Way, way worse. Disfiguring, debilitating, 30% mortality, highly contagious, and caused recurrent epidemics for centuries. And if you include non-viral epidemic-causing pathogens the Black Death easily takes the cake. Basically bacterial Ebola, and much more easily spread.

@Surplus : remember that without solid hospitals, the death rate of COVID would be 30+% too. It’s 0.75% because we litteraly have machine that make people breath ; all the guys who go to the hospital would be dead if it was two century ago.

Basicaly all the diseases you cite are scary, but would not do *that* much more damage than COVID with modern infrastructur.

@ surplus

the Black Death easily takes the cake

I went to a lecture once and one of the arguments was that the Black Death was ultimately responsible for the creation of the middle class.

The lecture was about collective employment law. The premise was that with a loss of 30% of the workforce this ended feudalism and fiefdom as serfs just abandoned the land they had been tied to and offered their, suddenly in demand, services to the highest bidder. And that lead to the creation of guilds etc and those evolved into trade unions and also the self employed artisan class. It seemed plausible the way it was presented.

And supposedly that’s also the reason there’s a higher natural resistance to HIV in the countries historically most affected. The Black Death resulting in evolutionary selection pressure for some genetic combination that provides immunity to some modern pathogens.

I was chatting to an archeologist friend about whether the current pandemic will show up in the record. She thinks there might be a noticeable uptick in burials and cremations, but the most obvious feature may be deposits associated with the disposal of PPE.

@Alan Robertshaw

the most obvious feature may be deposits associated with the disposal of PPE.

Has anyone thought about making biodegradable/recyclable PPE? I understand there may be other more immediate concerns, but the amount of waste generated is also an issue.

@Alan Robertshaw
Hopefully his bad luck with courts continues through the rest of his term.

I don’t expect the book to sway many voters though, as most Trump supporters probably won’t read it and will block out anything which doesn’t correspond to what they think. 40% of the country will vote for him no matter what, it’s about getting the rest of the country to vote.
Republicans are getting very nervous right now, even Tucker Carlson acknowledged that Trump may lose in November.

@Alan Robertshaw
How the mighty have fallen…
Where’s he going to go for people to ramble about how great he is and bash anyone to the left of him?

Ohlmann: Covid is far below 30% mortality without hospitals. Only a single-digit percentage get any modern health care in that roughly 1% infection fatality rate (eg in NYC, about 20% of cases hospitalized, but cases were about 10% of all infections).

If there were no hospitals, only that single-digit percentage would suffer worse outcomes.

By far the determining factor in how many people for isn’t health care, it’s infectious disease control. Health care can save some fraction, maybe half or two thirds, of those who would otherwise die. Disease control can give you several orders of magnitude improvement.

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