Welcome to onfocus—a weblog by Paul Bausch where I post recommended links, my photos, and occasional thoughts. Subscribe here if you like RSS.
The Atlantic
"In 2016, voters disliked both candidates, which is why so many were persuadable in late October. In 2020, voters dislike Trump, and actually like Biden..."
This article helped my election anxiety a little. But that 2016 pain is still real and people still need to show up and vote.
MIT News
"But it seems those who are asymptomatic may not be entirely free of changes wrought by the virus. MIT researchers have now found that people who are asymptomatic may differ from healthy individuals in the way that they cough. These differences are not decipherable to the human ear. But it turns out that they can be picked up by artificial intelligence."
Whoa if true. This is some living in the future stuff.
BuzzFeed News
"Which leads us to the most important — and maybe the hardest — thing of all to remember: Be patient. When the polls close on Nov. 3, voters will have already decided the election. We just have to wait it out while the process of uncovering who they’ve elected unfolds."
Nothing like the anxiety of a critical election to instill patience in the electorate. But yeah.
Politico
"But there are no results to ‘flip’ until all valid votes are counted. And nothing could be more ‘suspicio[us]’ or ‘improp[er]’ than refusing to tally votes once the clock strikes 12 on election night. To suggest otherwise, especially in these fractious times, is to disserve the electoral process."
The idea that we have election results on election day is a TV invention that the Supreme Court is now using in arguments. It’s going to be a long week and an even longer post election time.
New York Times
"The same Constitution that says Republicans can confirm Barrett weeks before the election, that allows them to retroactively impose a new and novel partisan requirement (same-party control of the Senate) on judicial confirmations, also says Congress can add as many seats to the Supreme Court as it wishes. It says Congress can strip the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction to hear certain kinds of cases. It says the judiciary is as subject to “checks and balances” as any other institution in American government and that the people through their elected officials have the right to discipline a court that works against their will."
With any pretense of civility gone, maybe the majority can make real progress toward majority rule.
Slate
"That’s where the fight lies. In understanding that however systemic the suppression of truth and trust might feel, there are still more of you than there are of them. The effort to say you are nothing and deserve nothing isn’t actually erasure. It’s actually their fear showing. And that fear in turn suggests that you still have more power than you may know."
The cruelty is the point.
NBC News
The U.S. leads the world with 8.5 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, and this week Dr. Jay Butler, deputy director for infectious diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported what he called a “distressing trend” in which coronavirus case numbers are “increasing in nearly 75 percent of the country.”
Covid-19 is still what everyone should be focused on right now. I’m tired of restrictions. I’m tired of thinking about it. But it’s still a deadly virus that we need to work harder to stop.
An orange and red leaf on cement
One Down
A hand holding a fallen leaf with a long stem
Found Leaf
Trees with fall colors along a curved street
Fall Color
The Atlantic
"If Republicans keep the White House and the Senate, many will conclude that Democrats lost because people did not vote. But if that happens, it’s likelier that Democrats will have lost because people who wanted to vote could not vote."
Great summary of voter suppression efforts across the country. By the way, we should get rid of the electoral college.
New York Times
"The president’s aides appeared to be giving wealthy party donors an early warning of a potentially impactful contagion at a time when Mr. Trump was publicly insisting that the threat was nonexistent."
These are just the worst people.
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