Monday, July 20th, 2020


Cleanup on Aisle WTF

The largest retailers in the country are finally making mask wearing a requirement for entry. The list includes Walmart, Target, CVS, and Walgreens. (It took this long for pharmacies to require masks in places people go when they get sick.) While a movement is afoot, there are outliers, including one of the largest grocery chains in the South. WaPo: Deep South supermarket Winn-Dixie takes a stand: No masks required. Phil Lempert, editor of Supermarket Guru, calls the decision "one of the stupidest moves I've ever seen a grocery store do. They are going to be out there by themselves as all other major retailers require masks ... If you look back a couple weeks ago, when Aunt Jemima and Eskimo pies came under fire [for their cultural insensitivity], people were calling for Winn-Dixie to change its name. This is tied to that. Their core audience is Trump supporters." Winn-Dixie's parent company explained that "stores would not be requiring masks from customers because it did not want to cause undue friction between customers and employees."

+ It turns out, conflicts between customers and employees are not just isolated incidents that make viral video fodder. The Daily Beast: Walmart Workers Are Terrified of Enforcing Mask Rules. "Even in a time of record unemployment, some of Dan's colleagues at an Indiana Walmart have walked off the job. They aren't quitting over fears of catching COVID-19, he explained. They're quitting because of customers who become abusive when asked to wear face masks. 'A lot of our people have been verbally harassed to the point of breaking down and just quitting.'"


The British Are Coming

"The study of 1,077 volunteers was described as promising. The report in the British medical journal the Lancet suggested that the vaccine appeared safe and was able to conjure a promising immune response. A second report in the same medical journal on a Chinese vaccine said it also showed positive results. At this early stage, neither vaccine has proven itself to protect people from infection or illness." Oxford coronavirus vaccine safe and promising, according to early human trial results. (The Oxford vaccine is named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. I would have gone with Covfefe, but go, man, go.)


Federal Judge’s Family Targeted

"The deceased suspect was an attorney who had a case before Judge Salas in 2015, sources said. A FedEx package addressed to Judge Salas was discovered in the car, sources said." Judge Esther Salas' son shot and killed, husband injured in attack at their NJ home. (There were a lot of theories related to many of Salas' cases, including an upcoming one that involves Deutsche Bank and Jeffrey Epstein. It's understandable that the public would race to conclusions. It's critical that the media doesn't.)

+ "The gunman suspected of killing the son and wounding the husband of a federal judge in New Jersey before taking his own life in New York's Catskills has been identified as lawyer and men's rights activist Roy Den Hollander, federal sources said. Hollander — whose website details 'anti-feminist cases' and calls for clients to 'help battle the infringement of Men's Rights by the Feminist' — was found dead in Rockland County, NY."


Fire, Meet Gas

"The fumbling of the virus was not a fluke: The American coronavirus fiasco has exposed the country's incoherent leadership, self-defeating political polarization, a lack of investment in public health, and persistent socioeconomic and racial inequities that have left millions of people vulnerable to disease and death." The crisis that shocked the world: America's response to the coronavirus.

+ Remember, when it comes to a fumbling this remarkable, it takes a village. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is doing his part with his comments on opening schools. "These kids have got to get back to school. They're at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they're not going to the hospitals. They're not going to have to sit in doctor's offices. They're going to go home and they're going to get over it." (This is absolutely correct ... as long as those kids who get Covid drive themselves home from school and live alone.)

+ In other news, Trump says he'll resume coronavirus briefings. (Shit, I just disinfected my brain from the earlier ones...)


Trump’s Mommy Issues

"Viral videos and photos on social media showed around three dozen mothers — dressed in white and wearing bike helmets — linking arms and chanting, 'Feds stay clear! Moms are here!' and 'Leave our kids alone' at a protest outside a federal courthouse." Buzzfeed: A Group Of Moms Formed A Human Wall To Protect Portland Protesters From Federal Officers.

+ "I stood there with my hands down by my sides and they just started whaling on me." Navy vet recounts beating by fed officers.

+ Homeland Security is making plans to deploy some 150 agents in Chicago this week, with scope of duty unknown. (I've seen a lot of reporting about the agents in Portland increasing the chaos and violence. It's seems to me that this is feature, not a bug. And it's coming to a city near you.)


Hong Gone

"The UK fears the arrangement - which has been in place for more than 30 years - could see anyone it extradites to Hong Kong being sent on to China." BBC: UK suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong.


Herbstreit Cleaning

"Late one night in March, appearing on a little-discussed ESPN radio show, Kirk Herbstreit dropped a bombshell. 'I'll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football' ... College administrators were petrified of other prominent figures joining Herbstreit in deeming this year's season a lost cause, fearful it could speak their worst-case scenario into existence. If no one thinks football will happen, they worried, why would anyone buy season tickets? Or donate money? With revenue streams already disrupted by COVID-19 and athletic departments facing potential financial ruin without football, there was no incentive to publicly project gloom and doom. Even if they knew better." Inside college football's coronavirus information war. (The entire American virus response has been an information war. And when people are overwhelmed with information, they throw their hands up and don't know what to believe. Hence, our current disaster...)


Astro Naut

"The game in Anaheim might well have had the loudest pregame boos in modern baseball history. Thousands of vengeful Dodgers and Yankees fans even bought blocks of tickets to join the company." ESPN: What we lose when we can't boo the Astros on Opening Day. (We'll all be sending them a secret signal from home...)


He Saw Dead People

Haley Joel Osment "had to get into the right mindset, fast. The young actor threw himself against a door, again and again, until he was sufficiently shaken. 'If they'd known I was going to do it, they probably would have stopped me,' he says of Shyamalan and the other adults on set." I grew a beard to try to hide in public': Haley Joel Osment on success after child stardom.


Bottom of the News

"More than a handful of current NBA mascots have trainers and dieticians working to keep them on the court and off the training table ... while teams play only 41 regular-season home games per year, mascots log hundreds of additional events — community outreach opportunities, internal holiday parties, hospital visits, fundraisers, weddings and funerals ... More than one said they had been asked to serve as a pallbearer." For Aspiring Performers, The NBA Is The Best Place To Be A Mascot. (Bonus: The job comes with a friggin mask.)

+ "LA: "She emerged as an apparition from clouds of tear gas as federal agents fired pepper balls at angry protesters in the early Saturday darkness. A woman wearing nothing but a black face mask and a stocking cap strode toward a dozen heavily armed agents attired in camouflage fatigues, lined up across a downtown Portland street." And then she struck a very unique version of the warrior pose.