Thursday, September 3rd, 2020


The Shot Clock

I am not throwin' away my shot / Hey yo, I'm just like my country / I'm young, scrappy and hungry / And I'm not throwin' away my shot. That said, I'm not young, scrappy, and hungry enough to actually inject my shot until I'm reasonably sure that my shot won't harm me because it was rushed by politics. I am not throwin' away my shot / Hey, yo, I'm not given up my life either. "The rush is putting pressure on state health systems already strapped for resources – and appears out of sync with the progress of ongoing clinical trials for coronavirus vaccines, which are still recruiting volunteers who will test the safety and effectiveness of the drugs." 'Urgent' request sent to states in push for coronavirus vaccine delivery by Nov. 1. (Shot or no shot, I'm gonna already be lined up at my polling place Nov 1.)

+ Anthony Fauci (remember him?): "I would look at the data and assume that a vaccine would not be approved for the public unless it was safe and effective. And I keep emphasizing both safe and effective. If that's the case, I would not hesitate for a moment to take the vaccine myself and recommend it for my family."

+ In the meantime, these 4 Midwestern states are seeing worrying Covid-19 spikes. And take it easy this weekend. WaPo: First covid-19 death linked to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally reported in Minnesota. "The case, involving a biker in his 60s, is one of at least 260 infections traced to the event last month where many declined to wear masks."


Double Take

After Donald Trump encouraged supporters in North Carolina to both mail in ballots and vote in person, the state's Board of Elections issued a statement Thursday telling voters it is illegal to vote in an election twice. "It is illegal to vote twice in an election," said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Bell said state law made it a 'Class I felony' for a voter, "with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time ... in the same primary or election. Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.'" Seriously, at this point, what's one more Class I felony?

+ When asked about Trump's comments, Enabler General William Barr "said he didn't know the specifics of the state's voting laws — and then agreed with Trump's claims that states that are moving to vote by mail are enabling voter fraud." He also made up some stuff about Jacob Blake and backed up the conspiracy theory about the imaginary people dressed in black flying around on planes to create chaos. (60 days until the election).

+ Joe Biden began a visit to the battleground state of Wisconsin on Thursday by meeting with the family of Jacob Blake.


Grub Snub

"In the pandemic economy, nearly one in eight households doesn't have enough to eat. The lockdown, with its epic lines at food banks, has revealed what was hidden in plain sight: that the struggle to make food last long enough, and to get food that's healthful — what experts call ‘food insecurity' — is a persistent one for millions of Americans." NYT: America at Hunger's Edge.

+ NYT: Minivans at the Food Pantry: Meet America's New Needy.


Social Distortion

"The social network, in one of its most sweeping sets of election actions, said it planned to bar any new political ads on its site in the week before Election Day. It said it would also strengthen measures against posts that try to dissuade people from voting. Postelection, Facebook said it would quash any candidates' attempts at claiming false victories by redirecting users to accurate information on the results." NYT: Facebook Moves to Limit Election Chaos in November. (Remember when we invented social networking and we discussed how a single platform could ultimately hold the keys to American democracy? Me neither...)

+ "Campaigners have to teach a machine they can't fully understand (because no one can) how to find their tribe. Then that machine finds people who seem similar, in ways nobody can identify, based on factors that no one knows. Then it interprets bids and places ads based on even more ultimately untraceable factors." The Atlantic: How Facebook Works for Trump. (Pour in money and wait.)

+ You know the vitally important story about Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done in a salon in SF? Well, yesterday, it represented 13 of the top 25 stories on Facebook.


Rent Controlled?

"The CDC wrote in its remarkable and seemingly unprecedented order that 'housing stability helps protect public health,' later adding that the convergence of flu season, a still-raging pandemic, and a potential rise in homelessness made the immense use of federal power 'a reasonably necessary measure.'" Vice: The CDC Just Blocked Evictions. Here's What That Means for You.


Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

"I turned around and saw my son Wyatt sitting down between two boulders in a fast-moving stream of water. I yelled at him to get out. He yelled back something that I couldn't hear, and then he disappeared over the edge." Rachel Martin in The Atlantic: A Stranger Helped My Family at Our Darkest Moment. (It turns out there was some light too.)


Met Life

"Nicknamed 'Tom Terrific' and 'The Franchise,' Seaver was a five-time 20-game winner and the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year. He went 311-205 with a 2.86 ERA, 3,640 strikeouts and 61 shutouts during an illustrious career that lasted from 1967 to 1986. He became a constant on magazine covers and a media presence, calling postseason games on NBC and ABC even while still an active player." Tom Seaver, Hall of Fame pitcher and Mets legend, dies at 75.

+ "But even acknowledging how the passage of time can idealize most hero stories into the stuff of legend, make no mistake: The legend of Seaver's exceptional mastery needs no exaggeration."


I Ain’t Got No Worries Cause I Ain’t in No Hurry At All

"First, by worrying about something, we are more likely to think of reasons to take action and be motivated to do something. Second, worry acts as a reminder to do things – in effect the unresolved uncertainty or concern keeps coming to mind as a mental process to make sure we try and tackle it… Third, worry can involve effective preparation, planning and problem-solving." BBC: The surprising upsides of worrying. (This makes 2020 my best year ever...)


Mob Deep

"Instead of being lost in projection and lost in regret and lost in all these thoughts and distracted by them, what we're going to do is watch those thoughts and watch the mind and become aware of them. Which brings us to a good question. What is the mind?" GQ: Inside the Zen Mind of Michael Imperioli.


The Bottom of the News

"If people are going to continue to have sex with strangers, as public health officials have ample reason to believe, glory holes may be among the safer venues." Slate: The Glory Hole Reopens. (In the age of Covid-19, this is technically safe sex.)