Mossy Character writes:
2016: Much of 'Trump country' was in recession during 2016 campaign: data*
2023: China's Sluggish Property Market Drags Down Global Digger Sales
*This in lieu of a thing I can't find now about how some Midwest county got fucked because Caterpillar closed a plant. Or a bunch of polsci papers I don't have the fortitude to read. Or find.
Heebie's take: I think Trump Country has been in a recession since Roger and Me.
It is impossible for me to say, "Trump will not win the general," without hearing myself - equally confident - say the same thing in 2016. But genuinely, I cannot fathom how he could win.
A thing I think about fairly often is the peak-end rule, which came up in Thinking Fast & Slow. In terms of the end, January 202
01 is going to stick with people. Even if the details fade, the general vibe of mayhem and unraveling leaves a residue. I'm not sure what exactly is the most salient peak, and I'm sure it differs from person to person, but my guess is something about March 2020 and everything shutting down. Even if Trump's covid-related blunders aren't the most salient part of March 2020 for a low-information voter, it hardly leaves an impression that you want to return to.
Add onto that all the things that will push moderately informed voters towards Democrats - namely, abortion, stability, and a sense that we've come out of the highest inflation period, and I think that right now, Biden is on a promising path.
I absolutely must have a paper calendar/planner, and I have very strict parameters for it, and the planner industry is getting noticeably worse every year. Is it really too much to ask for an 8x10 academic year, bookbound (NOT spiral), monthly+weekly planner, with all the months gathered in the first part instead of integrated with the weekly pages, and a ribbon bookmark, with not super cheap paper, and not too sickeningly cloying or preachy? I'm even flexible on the bookmark and cloyingness. For the past few years, I've used Eccolo brand, but they seem to have discontinued their large planners.
One problem is that online, you often can't tell if the monthly pages are gathered together or integrated throughout the weekly pages. I went to multiple stores in person, so that I'd be able to detect this. They had tons of planners, but NOTHING suitable.
I ended up compromising on size and buying this one. It arrived a few days ago. It's gorgeous. Then I opened it up, and the squares to write things in were pitifully small.
So then* I went back to Amazon, and found that in the meantime, my old planner had been restocked. (You really can't get this planner at the worthless Eccolo website or in a non-Amazon way.) It's not very cute, but it's cute enough, and mostly it has all my essential features, and I'm extremely happy. (It has been updated to include a habit-tracker, which is dumb, but I can live with that.) My long national nightmare is over!
*In my head, I'm saying this the way Garth Algar drags out a story.
E. Messily writes: It's that time of the year again! The semiannual raising of funds for Montana Family ASL is here! Your donations this spring/summer will help with costs for events around Montana- snacks, venues, interpreters, travel & housing stipends, and art supplies. Donations through our hosting organization, Conservatory ASL Northwest are tax deductible. If you're into it, I've set up a Facebook fundraiser. Facebook takes care of the donation processing with no fees. You can also donate in a non-Facebook method, at the CAN website.
Many of you have already donated and as always I am SO GRATEFUL to the Unfogged community. Thank you!!!
Heebie's take: DONE. Your turn!
Also, if you're using the second link, just scroll down to donate. (Don't use the green button in the corner.)
I miss reading. I hate that I struggle so much to engage in reading books anymore. My scope for what I'll continue to read has become impossibly narrow. And what's more, I can't even articulate what the difference is between a book I fizzle out on and one that I manage to get immersed in. My attempts to figure it out mean that I've gotten absurdly picky, trying to figure out what will engage me, and end up picking nothing at all.
It's almost like I lost the ability to suffer through the boring parts, due entirely to reading on my ipad where I can just click back to the internet. Obviously the solution is not to keep my ipad next to my bed and force myself to read a hard copy, but I read at bedtime when my discipline is at its lowest, and at that point, I don't really want to condemn myself to suffering through the boring parts.
I was part of a book club for about a decade, and that was enough to keep me regularly suffering through boring parts, so that I didn't build up such an aversive response to them. But that fizzled out over Covid. What I wish I had was an extremely reliable book-recommender whose taste was sufficiently on the nose that I always had a list of good books to choose from. I suppose to do that, you have to invest time in GoodReads or something and find someone compatible. When I read through something like NPR's Summer Reading List, they're probably all fine. (For the record, from that list, I adored Warmth of Other Suns after recommendations here, I tolerated and finished The Interestings, and stalled out on My Brilliant Friend.)
(I hadn't really put my finger on it until writing this post, but it's the end of that book club that's really been the catalyst. And then Reddit filled the vacuum. And I don't actually begrudge Reddit, but I want a little more balance.)
On a different note: Holes by Louis Sachar may be the platonic ideal of a children's book. Obviously them's fighting words, but it really is wonderful. I'm scared to read the sequel with the kids lest it fail to maintain the magic.
During Covid's worst phases, the total number of Americans dying each day was more than 30 percent higher than normal, a shocking increase. For long stretches of the past three years, the excess was above 10 percent. But during the past few months, excess deaths have fallen almost to zero, according to three different measures.
That's a good thing!
Most immunocompromised people are at little additional risk from Covid -- even people with serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or a history of many cancers. A much smaller group, such as people who have received kidney transplants or are undergoing active chemotherapy, face higher risks.
I get the impression that there is no longer any active debate around protective measures that are not intended to be permanent. In other words, people might advocate for masks in certain situations, but they're not saying "...until Covid gets better." They are making the case that it should be the new normal.
Anyway, it's here! The new normal!
We watched Airplane! with the older two last night, and the old normal holds up pretty well, too. I tried to explain to them that I saw it in 6th grade, and it blew my mind with how much funnier it was than anything I'd ever seen before. They explained to me how much funny stuff they've seen. But still, they laughed a lot at it.