fwiw, I wrote about why these comparisons are worse than useless. foreignpolicy.com/2020/09/21/cou…
assessing deaths and damage on the scale of Bush and Trump is virtually impossible. and trying to do so erases the ways that Bush and Trump are part of the same GOP project, and were terrible for the same reasons. foreignpolicy.com/2020/09/21/cou…
we don't know the full extent of Trump's failures even yet...and some of them are arguably the result of weaknesses left over from Bush (including the GOP turn to authoritarianism and refusing to question executive authority no matter what.)
if Trump wins reelection 1 million US dead unnecessarily is a real possibility, horrifyingly enough. maybe more.
and shenanigans with vaccines could kill a lot of people overseas too.

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More from @nberlat

19 Oct
at grammy dot com I wrote about the nuts and bolts of how Black musicians in the 50s and 60s were screwed out of their royalties, health insurance, and pensions. grammy.com/grammys/news/d…
this piece is based on an interview with scholars Olufunmilayo Arewa and Matt Stahl, who have been researching contract and accounting practices in the music industry. which are quite opaque! grammy.com/grammys/news/d…
the super short version is that record companies kept the records of how much they owed artists, and no one really audited them or had the power to audit them, and so they screwed artists over for decades. and never really stopped! grammy.com/grammys/news/d…
Read 5 tweets
19 Oct
so one thing is that we may already have hit 300k. excess death totals are the best measure; they were already at 266k at the end of September.

400k by the end of the year would be more like 1600 a day when we're maybe averaging 1000 a day now by excess deaths...
I think there's some hope we don't hit that for sure, but it's not ridiculous to think it's a possibility, unfortunately.
and also covid can create terrifying spikes, as we've seen. if there's another New York-like event thousands of people can die very quickly.
Read 4 tweets
19 Oct
The Jill Lepore article's point is that you don't need truth and reconciliation commissions in a functioning democracy, the problem here being that trump is a big sign that our democracy isn't functioning.
we need some sort of evaluation of and acknowledgement of catastrophic failure. how do we hold people accountable? are our institutions resilient enough to do that as they stand?
Lepore thinks they are. I wish I was as certain...
Read 6 tweets
19 Oct
people who broke the law and undermined US democracy should in fact be afraid. we want people to be afraid to do this again. Image
people in power are virtually never held accountable. the vague suggestion that maybe people who collaborated in torturing children in concentration camps should face consequences sends these assholes into a spiral of self-justifying indignation.
maybe don't be evil pieces of shit is a message worth trying to enforce.
Read 5 tweets
19 Oct
gave up on black sails. promised queer content didn't really materialize and plot never really set sail (as it were.)
instead we watched the Devil's Backbone which waspretty good!
Black Sails felt like it should be good; lots of interesting characters, acting was good. but seemed to have trouble figuring out who was actually worth spending time with. (Vane, Max, Anne Boney) and instead we ended up with Flint and Billy who I didn't really care about.
Read 4 tweets
18 Oct
people who thought Biden should be doing attack ads instead of ones like this were pretty confused I think.
it sort of says it at the beginning of the ad. Trump leaves a ton of room for a politician who can just not say grotesquely cruel and inflammatory shit for 2 minutes.
like there's nothing to stop trump doing an ad about how he loves dogs and how he proposed to his wife except for the thing where he just can't even pretend to care about anyone or anything else for 10 seconds.
Read 4 tweets

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