Saturday Morning Open Thread: World Migratory Bird Day


Gosh, that’s a shame!

Foreign affairs…

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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Friday / Saturday, May 13-14

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I have no idea how important the Asian Cup is to soccer / football fans, but this event was scheduled for mid-2023. I can’t help wondering if there’s more to the politics than just supporting ‘Covid Zero’ a full year from now:

China has relinquished its rights to host the 2023 Asian Cup finals due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Saturday.

The event, which is played every four years and features 24 national teams from across the continent, was due to be held in 10 cities from June 16 to July 16 next year.

“Following extensive discussions with the Chinese Football Association (CFA), the Asian Football Confederation has been officially informed by the CFA that it would not be able to host the AFC Asian Cup 2023,” the confederation said in a statement.

“The AFC acknowledges the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the relinquishment by China PR of its hosting rights.”…

The Asian Cup is the latest international sporting event to be affected by China’s attempts to tackle the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Asian Games organisers the Olympic Council of Asia postponed the next edition of the multi-sport event, due to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September, until 2023…

“Data reporter @financialtimes”:
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Not the best timing, IMO:

Nine nursing home operators have sued Massachusetts over regulations against housing more than two people in a room, which were adopted around the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and took effect May 1.

Judge Kenneth Salinger of Suffolk Superior Court on Thursday entered a preliminary injunction barring the state from trying to make the nursing homes discharge any patients involuntarily to comply with the rules while the lawsuit is pending. The state did not object to the injunction.

Tracy Miner of Miner Siddall, a lawyer for the nursing homes, called the injunction a “a victory for our clients and their residents who do not want to be displaced.”…

The state’s Department of Public Health in April 2021 issued so-called de-densification regulations requiring that, from May 2022 on, long-term care homes would have no more than two beds per room. The regulations give nursing homes 45 days to comply.

The regulations did not cite a purpose for the change, but they followed public outcry over a COVID outbreak that killed 84 people at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, a state-run facility for veterans. The outbreak resulted in criminal charges, which were later dismissed, and a $56 million settlement with the state.

The nursing homes said in their lawsuit that the regulations no longer made sense as a COVID control measure, since a large majority of nursing home residents have now received vaccines and boosters. They said that the regulations would cost them, collectively, about $16 million per year, threaten their ability to operate and force disruptive changes for residents with dementia and other health conditions…

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Late Night Open Thread: It All Comes Out in the Wash


Because Murphy the Trickster God is not a subtle scripter, this news broke just as Matt Schlapp (‘the sound of two uncooked pork chops hitting a freshly washed linoleum floor’), CPAC head & generally unpleasant person, announced his latest customer-service problems on Twitter:

A certain portion of Snark Twitter hasn’t had this much fun since Todd Starnes’ principled stance against masks cheated him of a replacement toaster oven.

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‘Cringe’ Normies vs. the Pearl-Clutcher Brigades: A Handmaids Protest

Of course, Judge Comey Barrett — assuming someone told her about this protest — is probably loving it, because she’s always dreamed of being Aunt Lydia. But this mini-march isn’t aimed at her, it’s meant for all the I-don’t-pay-much-attention-to-politics voters who need to be persuaded to turn out in November.


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Friday Evening Open Thread: Jen Psaki Has Left the Podium


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Friday Morning Open Thread: When Friday the Thirteenth Falls On A Friday…


(Don’t be silly, the Eye of Sauron had a much more vertical orientation… )

Calendar note:


One minor win, already:

More about the baby formula sorta-crisis:

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COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates: Thursday / Friday, May 12-13

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(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)


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[Axios reporter Caitlin] Owens’s reporting gets into the Republican view in more detail than any previous report. One Republican concern is that the current funding strategy prioritizes access over efficiency. The vaccines are distributed in multidose vials that, once opened, must be used or thrown away, leading to some spoilage. “Republicans say the current strategy is wasteful,” Owens reports, “and it would be better to rein in accessibility so that more doses are likely to be used.”

A second concern is that the vaccines, while highly effective against hospitalization and death, are proving less effective against transmission. Therefore, Republicans don’t want to spend too much on them.

“Republicans are skeptical of using federal money to buy more vaccines that are proving not to last very long and questions remain if they will work against future variants,” a senior GOP Senate aide told Owens. “We’re saying that the current shot and boosters are reducing in effectiveness. New vaxx isn’t ready and it’s unclear where they are in the plan,” the aide added. “Since there is no plan, we don’t want to give them [a] blank check.”

The shortsightedness of this position is almost unfathomable. It is difficult to conceive of a less intelligent way to save the government money than to skimp on vaccines and therapeutics. The scale of the savings in vaccine subsidies is in the billions, and the cost of the pandemic is measured in trillions. The vaccines have probably averted more than a million deaths already. Even putting humanitarian concerns to the side, as a Brookings study notes, the economic case for funding vaccines and therapeutics remains extremely strong.

Even if vaccines can’t stop transmission, their ability to avert hospitalization, not to mention death, is an enormous cost saving. If we want to prevent continued waves of shutdowns, the vaccines and therapeutics offer the most cost-effective remedies by orders of magnitude…

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New Yorker:
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Late Night Open Thread: ‘Wrong & Bad’ Tweets


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Godsdamned Glibertarians Open Thread: Rand Paul Is At It Again

If they had any initiative, McConnell and his henchmen would take up a collection to have Rand Paul’s neighbor come back and finish the job. We Dems couldn’t get away with anything like that, but it’d be a winner for the Red Meat side…

Oh, wait — I forgot for a minute that #MoscowMitch is also on Putin’s payroll!

WYD, Kentucky?

With the inevitable honking clown on a unicycle at the end of the Repub parade…

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GOP Death Cult Open Thread: Governor Abbott *Literally* Wants Babies to Starve

Only the ‘illegal’ brown ones, of course! The one that are in the government’s custody, because pro-life!, I guess…

Today’s GOP Death Cult talking point, promoted by the Washington Examiner, sparked by a GOP rep in — you guessed it — Florida. Always remember: For the GOP, the cruelty is the point.

Pretty good explainer, set in — surprise! — Texas:

Abbott (no relation) Labs had to shut down their Michigan factory because it was the source of a bacterial outbreak that sickened a bunch of newborns and killed at least two. The company chose to put its pandemic profits into stock buybacks, rather than replacing worn-out equipment.

Democratic solutions versus GOP ‘solutions’:

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