I'm sitting at my desk waiting for my work laptop to finish updating, a process now in its 24th minute, with "Working on updates 25%" on the screen for the past 5. Very frustrating; I have things to do today; and if I'd known how long it would take (I'm looking at you, help desk), I would have started the update when I left this evening.
So, all right, I'll read a few things:
My laptop has rebooted three times now and appears to have gotten up to 83% complete. I may in fact get something done today.
There's a lot going on today, what with the Republican National Convention celebrating the apocalypse they desperately want, but a few things outside of that also happened:
Finally, only a few blocks from my house my neighbors have set up a Wee Free Library...of sticks...for dogs.
This is my 55th post this month, and the fifth month in a row in which I've posted over 50 times. That brings my 12-month total to 581, the third record in a row and the fifth record this year. I guess Covid-19 has been good for something.
Here's what I'm reading today:
I'm excited to add a notch on the Brews and Choos project in a few hours. Check back tomorrow.
First, this chart:
And yet, there are so many other things going on today:
- NPR has the clearest take-down on the president's election-postponement trolling I've seen today, noting in particular that "Trump's tweet came about 15 minutes after news of the worst-ever-recorded quarterly performance of the American economy." Josh Marshall just says "don't cower."
- Republican political consultant Stuart Stevens believes people like him "lost the battle for the Republican Party's soul long ago:" "I feel like the guy working for Bernie Madoff who thought they were actually beating the market."
- Politico's Shia Kapos and Tina Nguyen explain why allies of the president want to inflict Federal troops on Chicago.
- TNR's JC Pan outlines how increasing inequality, particularly between the top-20% and everyone else, continues to shape our pandemic response.
- The Atlantic's Derek Thompson says "hygiene theater is a huge wast of time."
- The City of Chicago will start fining people up to $500 per day for failing to self-quarantine after entering the city from any of the 22 states now on the list of places where disease incidence has exceeded 15 per 100,000. And with Illinois heading into that zone, our governor has cancelled most school sports for the fall.
- Mercy Hospital, one of the oldest and most-needed medical facilities on the South Side, will close by May 31st.
- The US Trade Representative, for no reason I can see, wants to increase tariffs on European whiskies, wines, and other spirits, in some cases to 100%.
The one bit of good news? Evanston-based Sketchbook Brewing, who make delicious beers and whose taproom inspired the Brews and Choos project, will open a huge new taproom in Skokie tomorrow evening. And guess what? It's only 4 blocks from an El stop.
It has cooled off slightly from yesterday's scorching 36°C, but the dewpoint hasn't dropped much. So the sauna yesterday has become the sticky summer day today. Fortunately, we invented air conditioning a century or so ago, so I'm not actually melting in my cube.
As I munch on some chicken teriyaki from the take-out place around the corner, I'm also digesting these articles:
Can you believe we're only 99 days from the election? How time flies.
I was in meetings almost without break from 10am until just a few minutes ago, so a few things have piled up in my inbox:
And no matter where you are in the world, you can attend Apollo After Hours next Friday at 19:00 CDT / midnight UTC. It's going to be a ton of fun.
Tomorrow a good portion of the United States will celebrate our independence from the UK. NPR this morning reminded me about the portion of the US that Frederick Douglass described in his speech to the Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y., on 5 July 1852.
I think everyone should take 15 minutes and listen to it. Or read it, in full here. Or watch James Earl Jones read part of it here:
As I take a minute from banging away on C# code to savor my BBQ pork on rice from the local Chinese takeout, I have these to read:
And today's fortune cookie says: "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst in bed."
Need another reason to vote for Biden? Slower news cycles. Because just this morning we've had these:
So, you know, nothing too interesting.
This morning, President Trump re-Tweeted a racist video that included a supporter yelling "white power," thanking the elderly Florida gentleman in question for his support. Even though that would end most other presidencies right there, it turns out that this weekend has seen even worse behavior throughout his administration:
Five months after the novel coronavirus was first detected in the United States, a record surge in new cases is the clearest sign yet of the country’s historic failure to control the virus — exposing a crisis in governance extending from the Oval Office to state capitals to city councils.
President Trump — who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, sidelined experts and misled Americans about its dangers and potential cures — now finds his presidency wracked by an inability to shepherd the country through its worst public health calamity in a century. The dysfunction that has long characterized Trump’s White House has been particularly ill-suited for a viral outbreak that requires precision, focus and steady leadership, according to public health experts, administration officials and lawmakers from both parties.
A similarly garbled message for the country has also been put forward by the president’s top aides and other senior administration officials, who contradict one another on a daily basis. On Friday, Vice President Pence used the first White House coronavirus task force briefing in almost two months to praise Trump’s handling of the virus and cast aside concerns about a record spike in new infections.
“We have made a truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward,” Pence said, a few minutes after announcing that more than 2.5 million Americans had contracted the coronavirus. “We’ve all seen the encouraging news as we open up America again.”
Later Friday, the United States recorded more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases — its largest one-day total.
As one political scientist observed, "We're the only country in the world that has politicized the approach to a pandemic."
We need to get rid of these clowns on November 3rd.