TODAY IS INSTAPUNDIT’S 19TH BLOGGIVERSARY. Celebrate as seems appropriate.

HARSH, BUT FAIR:

HARSHING THE NARRATIVE: NYC Councilman Paul Vallone credits Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 recovery.

HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE? Marijuana may harm heart, experts say.

YOU’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BLOG: DHS Dispels Three Myths About the Riots in Portland.

WHAT NASA DOES NOW INSTEAD OF BUILDING MOON ROCKETS THAT WORK: NASA: ‘Certain Cosmic Nicknames’ Are ‘Actively Harmful,’ Will ‘Reexamine’ Their Use.

UPDATE (From Ed): America’s Newspaper of Record is already on the case:

I assume it’s only a matter of time before the increasingly “woke” NASA goes full O’Brien, and argues the stars don’t really exist.

(Updated and bumped.)

TRUMP ORDERS $400-PER-WEEK UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENTS AMID COVID CRISIS, HITS DEMS FOR STONEWALLING: “Acting unilaterally has its limits and could prompt legal challenges. Trump’s orders are narrower in scope than the trillions Congress is mulling for a massive stimulus to the virus-damaged economy. Congress controls new federal spending. Trump already predicted sidestepping lawmakers will have lawsuit consequences but dared opponents to deprive Americans of relief. ‘If we get sued, it’s [from] somebody that doesn’t want people to get money,’ Trump said. ‘And that’s not going to be a very popular thing.’”

WHAT’S FUNNY IS, BIDEN COULD HAVE WON THE PRIMARY AND SET HIMSELF UP STRONG FOR THE GENERAL BY RUNNING AS THE ANTI-WOKE TRADITIONAL DEMOCRAT: Joe Biden’s Capitulation To The Crazy Left Is Alienating Democrats Like Me.

But it’s not as if Biden is calling the shots here, any more than he would be as President.

HMM: Mysterious ‘fast radio burst’ detected closer to Earth than ever before.

I’m not saying that it’s aliens. But it’s aliens.

BABY PLEASE COME BACK, SAYS ANDREW CUOMO:

This week Governor Andrew Cuomo begged New York City residents to return to the city in the most shameless act of wheedling by a New Yorker since Mars famously importuned Nola, in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, “Please baby, please baby, please baby, baby, baby please.” Used to live in NYC but have lately found the suburbs, or points south, more congenial? Andrew Cuomo will cook you dinner if you come back.

“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house and I say, ‘You got to come back!’” Cuomo said Monday. “‘We’ll go to dinner! I’ll buy you a drink! Come over, I’ll cook!’”

“I’ll buy you a drink” is the cringiest of those promises since Cuomo has been closing dozens of bars for not complying with his arbitrary virus-related diktats, which include requiring tipplers to order food in accordance with some known-only-to-him provision of the coronavirus that confers immunity via purchase of a Caesar salad. But he’s probably right about one thing: All of the people who are eager to move back to New York City could indeed probably fit in his dining room right now. It has finally occurred to Andrew Cuomo that the months-long electronic tongue-bath he received from media outlets such as CNN, which in the midst of the carnage pushed forward his own brother to serve as his interlocutor/publicist/comedy sidekick, has not fooled New Yorkers of means. Scads of the wealthiest have fled, and they are in no rush to return.

As Glenn wrote last month, “It’s fine for you folks to flee, but don’t vote for the same bunch of anti-American commies who ruined New York. It’s really time for my Welcome Wagon project.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT-RUN CITIES SUCH CESSPITS OF RACISM? Seattle ‘Respects’ Black Voices by Slashing Black Police Chief’s Salary in Retaliation for Criticism. Racism, straight up.

TROLL LEVEL: POTUS DJT. Trump defends gathering at Bedminster golf club as ‘peaceful protest.’

President Trump defended a gathering of members of his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club as a “peaceful protest” against the media.

“To me they pretty much look like they all have, pretty much all have masks on,” Trump said, who said the Friday gathering was not in violation of Garden State social distancing regulations.

“You know you have an exclusion in the law. It says peaceful protest or political activity, right?” he added.

“I call it peaceful protest because they heard you were coming up and they know the news is fake, they know it better than anybody,” Trump continued.

As Andrea Widburg writes at the American Thinker, “Whether he’s studied them or not, President Trump is a master at cutting leftists down using the Rules for Radicals that Saul Alinsky drafted to help further a leftist agenda. At a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump showed his mastery of Rule 4 (‘Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules’), Rule 5 (‘Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon’), and Rule 6 (‘A good tactic is one your people enjoy’).”

NOT A WACKY CORONAVIRUS STORY: 5G Just Got Weird.

HARD TO BELIEVE WE’D LOOK BACK AT THE 1990s AS THE GOOD OLD DAYS. Memorable moment in an exceptional year: The Netscape IPO of 1995.

CROSS-IMMUNITY: Common Colds May Have ‘Primed’ Some People’s Immune Systems For COVID-19. “A cold you got years ago may prove helpful if your body has to fight the new coronavirus. According to a study published Tuesday, some people who’ve never been exposed to the new coronavirus may nonetheless have T cells that react to it. Scientists think that’s because those cells previously learned how to identify and fight coronaviruses that cause common colds. . . . Two other recent studies offer even more evidence for this conclusion. The first, published last month, found that among 68 healthy Germans who’d never had COVID-19, more than one-third had T cells that reacted to the virus. The second, published in the journal Nature, found that more than half of a group of 37 healthy people who had never gotten COVID-19 had memory T cells that could recognise the new coronavirus. The Nature study also examined 23 people who’d survived SARS – which is a coronavirus, too – and found that they still had SARS-specific memory T cells 17 years after getting sick. Those same T cells could recognise the new coronavirus as well.”

LIONEL SHRIVER: Never has a virus been so oversold.

I’m currently in New York, where the medical paranoia is sustained, and social life is nearly nonexistent. This week, a rarity, a couple came inside our house. They didn’t sit down, didn’t stay long, and were careful not to touch anything. When they left they were clearly relieved, and immediately doused themselves in hand sanitizer. I don’t think it’s going to be any different next summer. Google, for example, has already advised its employees to work from home for the next 12 months.

The graph of new cases in the UK roughly leveled off throughout July — but it has not plateaued at zero. The PM gives every indication that only zero will do. Thus as long as the coronavirus persists, the fearful prophylactic measures will continue. In trade for this valiant vigilance on our behalf, we merely have to sacrifice: our friends. Any new friends. All live performance — music, plays. Restaurants. All occasions, like proper weddings, funerals, birthdays and extended-family celebrations. Travel. Colleagues. Any search for love. Any moving communal experience, like festivals. Dentistry. A functional National Health Service. Oh, and the economy — and in case you need translation, that means the country, full stop.

Boris’s ‘nuclear option’ of another total national lockdown remains on the table. Why on earth? The one constructive conclusion to draw from this debacle is that long, indiscriminate national lockdowns to suppress infectious disease are a catastrophe. Yet the most horrifying consequence of COVID-19 could be that lockdown — which once applied only to prisons — becomes officialdom’s established knee-jerk response to any new contagion.

There will be a new contagion, too, and a new one after that. How many times can you send the national debt soaring, devastate small business, paralyze government services — including healthcare — and cancel for months on end the civil liberties of an erstwhile ‘free people’? In preference to this repeated carpet-bombing, a literal nuclear option might at least get the agony over with fast.

Hopefully that’s a Biden-style “literal” unless Shriver is going full Gen. Jack D. Ripper, which I doubt. Which is why, Virginia Postrel warns: Depressed Now? Just Wait for the Rest of 2020:

Last year, more than 55 million Americans traveled at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving. The most traditional Thanksgiving songs are “We Gather Together” and “Over the River and Through the Woods.” It is a holiday celebrated by coming together. Its meaning depends on gathering around a festive table.

Not this year. “This will be the first Thanksgiving in 20 years that we don’t fly to Maryland to see my family,” says an L.A. friend. “That’s particularly hard as this will be the first holiday season since my dad passed. It’s depressing, honestly.”

When Walmart and Target recently announced they’d keep stores closed on Thanksgiving, they weren’t signaling a more meaningful, less materialistic holiday season. They were anticipating the exact opposite: a lonely fall and winter, devoid of the rituals and gatherings that give the season its emotional resonance.

Black Friday is more than a retailing bonanza or consumerist frenzy. It’s a celebration. For many Americans, it’s a way to get into the seasonal mood — to go out in public with friends and family and anticipate Christmas.

Covid-19’s medical and economic impact is notoriously uneven. Its psychological toll is less so.

Even if you’re a healthy, highly paid online worker with a big house, a surging financial portfolio and no homeschooling duties, you can’t host a big dinner to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, visit your extended family for Thanksgiving, or attend a Lessons and Carols service on Christmas Eve or a performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” All that singing is dangerous.

No matter how insulated you are from the medical and economic effects of the pandemic, you feel its social repercussions.

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbles Jo in the opening line of “Little Women.” This year, Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presence.

It’s gloomy stuff, straight with no chaser, and was too much for at least one person: Postrel published a “Redacted version of the weirdest hate mail ever” on her Facebook page.

SO IT’S BASICALLY THREE OR FOUR TIMES AS BAD AS THE SEASONAL FLU: U.S. could see 300K COVID deaths by December, model shows. Assuming the model’s correct, which flies in the face of past models’ performance. . . .

TWEETED IN HASTE, REPENTED IN LEISURE: ‘Yikes!’ Was the Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine 2016 ticket this forgettable? (NYT Opinion deleted the tweet, but here it is):

That’s a quote from the first published version of Maureen Dowd’s latest article: Wow! What a blunder in Maureen Dowd’s new column!

And Hillary (and/or the person who ghost-writes her tweets) is not happy. Maureen Dowd may be sleeping very lightly for some time to come:

Layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors. Or as “Comfortably Smug” tweets, “The NY Times was better when Tom Cotton owned it. New management has run it into the ground.”

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: New gonorrhea test identifies patients who will respond to oral antibiotic.

GERMAN MAN GIVING FLORIDA MAN A RUN FOR HIS MONEY THESE DAYS: German Nudist Chases Wild Boar That Stole His Laptop.

I HAVE A PIECE ON LIBEL REFORM COMING OUT IN THE TENNESSEE LAW REVIEW THAT I THINK IS PRETTY INTERESTING. You can download it here. It was inspired by Clarence Thomas in the McKee v. Cosby case, and I expect the Supreme Court to revisit New York Times v. Sullivan in the not too distant future.

Download it early and often!

UPDATE: Is this some sort of academic coup-counting, people ask. Yes. I need about 300 more downloads to get me into the top 10 list on SSRN.

MOSTLY PEACEFUL WAR ZONE: Antifa Rioters With Shields, Body Armor Turn Residential Portland Into a War Zone.

THE TRUE STORY OF THE LEGENDARY SAM’S BAR-B-QUE: Tracing the history of the East Austin institution, which has survived two fires, a gentrification buyout offer, and Midland.

Lost forever in the fire, though, was memorabilia from the joint’s most famous customer. Autographed photos from legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan were destroyed in the blaze (although Mays has a few at home). [Business owner Brian Mays], who was a pallbearer at Vaughan’s funeral after the fatal 1990 helicopter crash, says that his mother, Erma Mays, had made Vaughan—a Dallas native—a part of their Austin family. “She adopted Stevie Ray as her son. Not by blood, but by love,” Mays recalls.

Vaughan chose Sam’s as a frequent backdrop for band photos and even had Sam’s barbecue delivered to a New York recording studio while he was working on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album in 1982. As Edi Johnson, who worked for Vaughan’s management company, remembers in the book Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Stevie called me and said, ‘We need some real barbecue here. Go over to Sam’s and send it up.’ They packed it in dry ice, and I drove it to the airport.” A few years later, Vaughan was interviewed at the Lone Star Cafe in New York. “Sam’s Bar-B-Que is the most incredible barbecue in the world,” he says to the camera before saying hello to Erma Mays. Vaughan’s advocacy for the place certainly helped raise the profile for Sam’s, which was the subject of a 1982 story in the Statesman and was given a two-and-a-half star review the same year by restaurant critic Mark Hanna. He wrote that Sam’s “is not a place to go before the symphony. It is simply a bit of Americana which offers no modern-day frills and a lot of old-time flavor.” Little has changed about Sam’s charm.

Vaughan’s connection to the place made the recent controversy between Sam’s and the band Midland even more of a head-scratcher. Musicians claiming allegiance to Texas should crave the association with the legendary barbecue joint, but in a band photo taken outside Sam’s, the label replaced “Sam’s” on the sign with the title of one of Midland’s songs. Mays said they’ve since come to an agreement. “We’re all right,” he said, referring to the payment he received from the band as part of Midland’s public apology.

Here’s the image that Midland Photoshopped out Sam’s name — and the Washington Post ran to accompany their profile of the band in their magazine section last month.

THE POWER LINE WEEK IN PICTURES: Joementum Edition.

“WOKE” IS PRETTY MUCH A SYNONYM FOR “STUPID.”

BRYAN PRESTON: Did Every Village Elect Its Idiots to City Council and the Mayor’s Office…or Just Democrats?

Bryan’s article is just for our VIP members; please use the discount code LOYALTY if you’ve been thinking of becoming a supporter.

AMERICA’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD IS SAVAGE: Biden Tells Staffers To Pick Any Black Person For VP ‘Since They All Think The Same Anyway.’

UNEXPECTEDLY. Rasmussen: More Than a Quarter of Homes With Guns Bought Them Recently.

KANYE WEST’S 2020 CAMPAIGN PLATFORM IS NOW ONLINE.

AT AMAZON, WD 12TB Elements Desktop Hard Drive, USB 3.0.

WORST. WHITE SUPREMACIST. PRESIDENT. EVER. Black Employment Rose Faster than White Employment in July, Black-White Jobless Gap at Historic Low.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Clemson prof: Trump and ‘anyone who still calls themselves a Republican’ is ‘racist.’ For an engineering school in South Carolina, Clemson has a surprising amount of PC idiocy.