Wednesday, April 08, 2020

More lies.

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“The code of the con is to know just enough about everything so you can lie about anything." ~E. Tancarville~ 

I know I shouldn't be watching Donald trump's nightly liefest and propaganda filled news conferences to the nation, but it's like a car wreck on the highway, I find myself unable to turn away. Honestly, they don't need to bring SNL back, because the comic relief this guy gives us night after night is better than anything that they could ever write on one of those shows.

It's sad, too, because the purpose of these press conferences is to give the nation a daily update of what is going on with the deadly coronavirus. But sadly, night after night respected doctors and health professionals have to stand aside and listen to this egomaniacal buffoon tell one glaring lie after another. 

These press conferences have come to take the place of his rallies, because he no longer can meet with large groups of his cult followers to soak up the glow of adoration they pour on him.  And so, at least for now, these press conferences will have to do.

The poor journalists whose job it is to ask questions, are finding out they they are the villains in his sick game. If they dare to ask a legitimate question, he lashes out and calls them fake news. If they attempt to fact-check him, he openly and brazenly lies, because he realizes that he will not be fact-checked in real time. In that room, it's just their word against his, and unfortunately for them, the bully pulpit always wins.

Last night was no exception. trump told lie after lie about his response to the virus, and added yet another scapegoat for his missteps: The World Health Organization. He even threatened to pull funding from the organization. Imagine that, pulling funding from an organization that is responsible for monitoring the state of the world's health when there is a global pandemic raging. 

He kept touting a drug that has not been proven to cure the coronavirus, and like a true conman, he had an example of a woman who had miraculously been cured after taking his magic drug. The lady in question was African American, and he made sure to let us know that. ("She spoke so well. It was unbelievable!" You know, cause black folks are not expected to speak well. Shades of Joe Biden and his Obama articulate gaffe.) The drug in question is now in short supply for people who really need it, and this is a direct result of trump's actions. But hey, in the con game, only the present matters. 

We did learn one thing from this press conference and the medical experts last night, and that is that blacks are being more effected by this virus than all other segments of the population. They said that they are still trying to figure out why, but there is no need for that. I will tell them why: It's because blacks are the ones cleaning in environmental services and working on the front lines in hospitals, as well as other essential service industries. It's because black folks can't afford to take off from work and "social distance". They have to decide if they want to take a chance and die from hunger or the virus.  It's because blacks continue to lag behind the rest of the population when it comes to having proper healthcare and access to proper nutritional foods. It's because regardless of what you might hear, when it comes to healthcare- like so many other aspects of American life- there is no true equality in this country.

trump, of course, had a lie for that as well. "We are going to take care of the African Americans".  

Those words should terrify every African American in this country.

Image from UPI.com


Monday, April 06, 2020

Trying to find trump's soul.

TWEET ME The following is just the latest in a growing list of articles documenting Mr. trump's mishandling of this coronavirus pandemic. It's from Frank Bruno writing for the New York Times, and it might be the best of the lot. 
.
"Do you remember President George W. Bush’s remarks at Ground Zero in Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks? I can still hear him speaking of national grief and national pride. This was before all the awful judgment calls and fatal mistakes, and it doesn’t excuse them. But it mattered, because it reassured us that our country’s leader was navigating some of the same emotional currents that we were.

Do you remember President Barack Obama’s news conference after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people, including 20 children, dead? I do. Freshest in my memory is how he fought back tears. He was hurting. He cared. And while we couldn’t bank on new laws to prevent the next massacre, we could at least hold on to that.

One more question: Do you remember the moment when President Trump’s bearing and words made clear that he grasped not only the magnitude of this rapidly metastasizing pandemic but also our terror in the face of it?

It passed me by, maybe because it never happened.
In Trump’s predecessors, for all their imperfections, I could sense the beat of a heart and see the glimmer of a soul. In him I can’t, and that fills me with a sorrow and a rage that I quite frankly don’t know what to do with.

Americans are dying by the thousands, and he gloats about what a huge, rapt television audience he has. They’re confronting financial ruin and not sure how they’ll continue to pay for food and shelter, and he reprimands governors for not treating him with adequate adulation.

He’s not rising to the challenge before him, not even a millimeter. He’s shriveling into nothingness.
On Friday, when Trump relayed a new recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all Americans wear face masks in public places, he went so far out of his way to stress that the coverings were voluntary and that he himself wouldn’t be going anywhere near one that he might as well have branded them Apparel for Skittish Losers. I’ve finally settled on his epitaph: “Donald J. Trump, too cool for the coronavirus.”

This is more than a failure of empathy, which is how many observers have described his deficiency. It’s more than a failure of decency, which has been my go-to lament. It’s a failure of basic humanity.
In The Washington Post a few days ago, Michael Gerson, a conservative who worked in Bush’s White House, wrote that Trump’s spirit is “a vast, trackless wasteland.” Not exactly trackless. There are gaudy outposts of ego all along the horizon.

When the direness of this global health crisis began to be apparent, I was braced for the falsehoods and misinformation that are Trump’s trademarks. I was girded for the incompetence that defines an administration with such contempt for proper procedure and for true expertise.

But what has taken me by surprise and torn me up inside are the aloofness, arrogance, pettiness, meanness, narcissism and solipsism that persist in Trump — that flourish in him — even during a once-in-a-lifetime emergency that demands something nobler. Under normal circumstances, these traits are galling. Under the current ones, they’re gutting.

I don’t take responsibility at all.” “Did you know I was number one on Facebook?” To bother with just one of those sentences while a nation trembles is disgusting. To bother with both, as Trump did, is perverse.

He continues to bash the media, as if the virus were cooked up in the bowels of CNN. He continues to play blame games and to lord his station over those of a lesser political caste, turning governors into grovelers and suggesting that they’re whiny piggies at the federal trough.
He continues his one-man orgy of self-congratulation, so that in the same breath recently he speculated about a toll of 100,000 deaths in America from Covid-19 and crowed about what a great job he’s doing.

And he continues to taunt and smear his perceived political adversaries. Last week, on Fox News, he called Nancy Pelosi “a sick puppy.” This is how he chooses to spend his time and energy?

At those beloved daily briefings of his, where he talks and talks and talks, he sometimes seems to regard what’s happening less as a devastating scourge than as a star-studded event. Just look at the nifty degree of prominence it’s conferring on everyone and everything involved! He has mused aloud about how well known Anthony Fauci has become. He has marveled at the disease’s celebrity profile.
“Become a very famous term — C-O-V-I-D,” he said on Thursday. Was that envy in his voice?
He leaps from tone deafness to some realm of complete sensory and moral deprivation.

“I want to come way under the models,” he said on Friday, referring to casualty projections. “The professionals did the models. I was never involved in a model.”

“At least this kind of model,” he added. No context like a pandemic for X-rated humor.
It’s an extraordinary thing: to fill the air with so many words and have none of them carry any genuine sadness or stirring resolve.

I can hear his admirers grumble that he doesn’t do camera-perfect emotions, that Obama was just a better actor, that Trump is the more authentic man.
To which I answer: What’s the point of having a showman for a president if he can’t put on the right kind of show? Performances count, even if they’re just performances. And Trump clearly isn’t averse to artifice. Just look at his hair.

A cheap shot? I’m feeling cheap. A loss of life and livelihoods on this scale will do that to you.
As of this writing, at least 9,600 people with the coronavirus have died in the United States. That’s more than three times the number killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. New York State alone reported 630 new deaths on Saturday. No school shooting has taken even a small fraction of as many lives.
And while I’m not looking to Trump for any panacea, is it too much to ask for some sign that the dying has made an impression on him, that the crying has penetrated his carapace and that he’s thinking about something other than his ratings? I watch. I wait. I suspect I’ll be doing that forever." [Source]

My only problem with Mr. Bruni and others who are now writing these brilliant and thoughtful essays is this: Where have they been all along? Nothing about Mr. trump's modus operandi has changed. He is who he has always been, and we allowed him to get this far.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Caption Saturday.

Image result for Trump corona virus images 

I need a caption for this picture. 


*Image from phuketnews.easybreanches.com

Thursday, April 02, 2020

The blame and distraction game.

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Imagine being the leader of a country that could possibly have 200,000 of your people die from a pandemic, and in an address to those people you brag about being number one on facebook. 

First, it's a a lie (both former president Obama and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo have more followers), but it also shows just how much of a narcissist, and ego- driven the individual charged with leading us is. Just watching him up there day after day gives me no confidence that he will be able to handle what we are facing.

We used to be able laugh at trump's buffoonery and his gross incompetence, but given what we are all going through, it's just not funny anymore. Now, more than ever, America needs someone in charge who knows what they are doing. This is trump's first government job, and it shows. The scary thing is that the people around him who might ---and should-- know better are afraid of him, and so they act as sycophants instead of being real advisers.

Sadly, we can't even count on these news conferences to give us information anymore. Yesterday, rather than give us an update on the virus, trump and his political team held a press conference (complete with Bill Barr standing behind him) to tell us what the administration was doing to fight the war on drugs and the Venezuelan President. Yes, that's really what they led with. At this point I am quite sure that must Americans could give a damn about the war on drugs. In fact, quite a few of us are probably saying give us more drugs not less. Lord knows we need something to take us away from this craziness.

Here is the thing, our government is supposed to be protecting us from the scourge drugs, that's kind of their jobs. We need to hear about what's going on with this pandemic that is killing people and making them sick, not the war on drugs. 

But we know why they did it, to create a distraction, because they STILL can't give us any concrete answers about this crisis and how to fight it. It's like Groundhog Day with these people.

Now, predictably, they are blaming everyone else for us being in this predicament but themselves. Yesterday Mike Pence blamed it on the CDC, and Donald trump has blamed the nurses, doctors, the governors, the Chinese, President Obama, and President Bush. 

"The wartime president Harry Truman used to keep a sign on his desk that said: “The buck stops here.” Trump, however, seems eager to wash his hands of the matter, if not actually wash his hands. “Yeah, no, I don’t take responsibility at all, because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time,” he said. “It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about.”'

So much for leadership.


   

  

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

When the sucker is the American people.

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"There's a sucker born every minute" ~ P.T. Barnum~

In keeping with my effort to educate you about trump's handling of this coronavirus, I give you the following article from S.V. Date writing for the Huffington Post.  

"Having sold himself as a great business and military leader despite bankrupt casinos and bone spurs, President Donald Trump faces his greatest challenge yet: making Americans forget the two months he dismissed concerns about a deadly pandemic as a “hoax.”

If recent polling showing a significant bump in his approval ratings is any indicator, though, Trump may well be succeeding ― setting himself on a path to reelection.

No question that the president’s job approval has increased as a result of his handling of the coronavirus crisis,” said GOP pollster Neil Newhouse. “Already about topped out among Republicans, President Trump has made gains among both Independents and Democrats.”
To make this work, Trump has been pushing the biggest lie of his adult life ― a revisionist history in which he did everything correctly, that nobody could have anticipated such an outbreak, and his leadership alone is saving millions of lives.

“It’s hard not to be happy with the job we’re doing. That, I can tell you,” he said last week.

“Nobody could have predicted something like this,” he told Fox News Monday morning.

“I can’t tell you what the unfortunate final toll is going to be, but it’s going to be a very small fraction of that,” he said Tuesday afternoon of expert estimates of 2.2 million dead if the country had done nothing to stop the virus. “So we’re doing an awfully good job, I think, with what we’re doing.”
Each of his claims is false. Trump scrapped the pandemic response team that President Barack Obama created after the 2014 Ebola outbreak, part of an overall effort to undo everything that his predecessor had accomplished. Trump ignored warnings from his own intelligence community that China was covering up the severity of the coronavirus epidemic in the city and province where it originated. Trump even ignored a step-by-step pandemic “playbook” the Obama administration had written.

Instead, Trump discounted the threat the virus posed from Jan. 22, when he told CNBC that “we have it totally under control,” straight through until March 15, when he called it “a very contagious virus” but again claimed it was one “that we have tremendous control over.”

Trump had based his re-election campaign on the strength of the economy, and feared that worries about a pandemic would hurt the stock market. “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” he wrote in a Feb. 24 tweet. “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Nevertheless, thanks in part to his ability to command a nationwide audience in press briefings broadcast live each day, Trump has been able push his new message to replace the old one.

“History shows that it takes a personal experience of catastrophe to see that the leader has been telling lies,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, an authoritarianism expert and history professor at New York University. “In this case, Trump has artfully ‘dosed out’ reality, telling people everything is fine, then gradually telling them it’s not, with lackey medical professionals to back him up. So he may weather even this crisis.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham did not respond to a query about Trump’s new messaging. Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh cited China travel restrictions that Trump imposed at the very end of January as showing he took“decisive action” from the start.
“Throughout this crisis, the president has always sought to keep the public calm, but has listened to his medical and scientific advisors in making firm decisions about keeping the country safe,” Murtaugh said.

Key to turning Trump’s actual performance in those critical early weeks into electoral success likely hinges on two efforts underway.

First is redefining success. Trump early on promised Americans that he had “stopped” the virus from spreading in the U.S. through his ban on foreigners who had recently been in China from entering this country. That morphed into claiming that those few cases here were rapidly shrinking to zero, and that the virus itself would disappear on its own with April’s warmer weather.
Those goalposts have now been moved clear across the planet. From the Feb. 26 boasts of having only 15 cases and zero deaths, Trump this week said success would mean hundreds of thousands of dead Americans.

“If we can hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000 — that’s a horrible number — maybe even less, but to 100,000; so we have between 100- and 200,000 — we all, together, have done a very good job,” he said Monday at a press briefing in the White House Rose Garden.

And if Trump’s past is a guide ― he has claimed that running his casinos into bankruptcy starting in the early 1990s somehow represented a business success ― he will keep claiming he handled the crisis well, regardless of how many Americans wind up dying.

“I think he can move the numbers as high as he needs to with his base because he has primed them to accept whatever he tells them and to disbelieve everyone else,” Ben-Ghiat said.
The other piece of Trump’s strategy is relentlessly attacking those who point out his previous statements. Trump has done this repeatedly in his daily briefings, attacking reporters when they read his earlier remarks back to him verbatim.

“Instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question,” he said to a journalist Monday.

His campaign, meanwhile, had set upon the mission of trying to block Trump’s most egregious downplaying of the pandemic: His Feb. 28 description of the coronavirus fears as “a hoax” ― the most recent in a line of Democratic attempts to hurt his presidency.

Campaign officials, realizing the seriousness of Trump’s riff at a rally in South Carolina that evening, soon afterward began attacking journalists who described Trump’s use of “hoax” as misrepresenting what he said.

“Will she apologize for lying?” wrote a Trump campaign staffer on March 23 after Washington Post reporter Ashley Parker accurately described Trump’s use of the word in an NBC News report.
The campaign has even threatened to sue TV stations that were running an ad by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA that used the audio clip of Trump saying “hoax” in a montage of his statements downplaying the virus.

“We will not stand idly by and allow you to broadcast false, deceptive, and misleading information concerning President’s Trump’s healthcare positions without consequence,” the campaign said in a letter.

Of course, the response to that letter may foreshadow the steep hill Trump faces more broadly in re-writing the history of his coronavirus response. According to Priorities USA, not a single TV station complied with the campaign request to pull the ad, and the super PAC recently released a revised one, using the much higher number of coronavirus cases.

Indeed, while Trump may be enjoying a bump right now in the public support, that newfound popularity could fade as his repeated lies about his performance come up against the reality of the coronavirus’ lethality.

Trump confounded the political class in both parties in 2016, seeming to suffer little consequence for repeated and readily disproven lies about himself, his opponents and the world at large.
Trump falsely claimed he had built “a massive empire,” a “phenomenal company,” starting with just a “very small loan” from his father. He boasted that he knew more about war than “the generals.”
In fact, Trump lost millions of dollars running an airline, vastly overpaid for a midtown hotel he wound up losing and bankrupted his casinos ― a near impossibility, given their business model ― nearly squandering the fortune his father had left him of nearly $1 billion in today’s dollars.

And when the prospect of serving in the Vietnam War presented itself, Trump claimed the ailment of “bone spurs” to avoid the military ― even though he later could not recall which heel had suffered the malady.

Trump countered endless media “fact checks” of his dishonesties by attacking the media instead ― a strategy he openly admitted to in an interview with Lesley Stahl of CBS News in 2016. “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you,” he said.

Yet Trump was able to get away with all those lies, as well as a torrent of fresh lies since becoming president, because they did not directly affect the lives of most Americans, NYU’s Ben-Ghiat said.
That will not be the case with the pandemic. In a span of just 30 days, 3,440 Americans had died by Tuesday afternoon, with 1,000 of those happening in the past two days. Which means that even Trump’s most loyal supporters, who crave his professional wrestling-style attacks on Democrats and the news media regardless of their accuracy, are likely to wind up personally knowing someone who has become gravely ill or died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“The ‘Big Lie’ is not applicable in this case,” Ben-Ghiat said, referring to the maxim that people are more prone to believe a massive falsehood than a smaller one, because they do not want to accept that their leaders are capable of telling consequential lies. “For example, saying the virus was a hoax, because people will personally get sick and communities will be devastated.”

She said she believes Trump can continue to hold his base supporters by gradually increasing his assessment of the pain and loss it will cause ― but she and others doubt that his message will fly with anyone beyond that group.

“At some point, reality intrudes on the ‘Big Lie.’ But at this point we don’t know when,” said Norman Ornstein, a scholar with the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute think tank. “One interesting part of this is that the people who bought into the hoax idea, who are still resisting social distancing, are in the red states and in red areas in other states. They may be the ones who will really catch a wave that overwhelms them, especially in rural areas, with the virus a little bit later on.”

If that happens, Trump could quickly lose the “rally around the president” lift he has seen in recent polling. That boost has helped other presidents ― from Jimmy Carter in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 taking of American hostages in Iran, through Obama in 2012 with the landfall of Superstorm Sandy in the northeast. But it can fade away if the president is seen as failing to rise to the challenge.

“Read these polls with a most careful, cautious eye. They reflect the present in a time of crisis,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart about Trump’s higher numbers, pointing out that Carter wound up losing in his reelection bid in a landslide. “The election is far ahead of us, but the challenges facing Donald Trump are as formidable as those that faced Jimmy Carter in 1980.”

Newhouse, the Republican pollster, agreed that Trump’s improved numbers now do not guarantee anything. “As others have said, we are in the early stages of this fight against coronavirus, and the president’s approval score will continue to reflect his handling of this crisis,” he said. “Unlike the recent impeachment inquiry, this crisis is likely to have a significant impact on the November election.”[Article]


*Image from WBUR





  

Monday, March 30, 2020

The Grifter.

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If you watched Mr. trump's daily propaganda "Dear Leader" hour yesterday, you were treated to quite a show.

I think it's safe to say, that given all that's at stake, yesterday's performance was a new low. And when it comes to trump that's saying something. There doesn't seem to be any bottom with this guy.

Mr. trump spent most of his presser bragging about his accomplishments, bashing the governors of two of the states hardest hit by the virus, bashing the free press, bragging about the ratings of the press conferences (which is silly, because most Americans tune in, not because of trump, but to know just what it is their government is doing to stop this pandemic), and making racist and condescending remarks to a black journalist who was just trying to do  her job. It was a sad and pathetic display that was not befitting of the office he holds. But it gets worse. Incredibly, Mr. trump suggested that the healthcare workers, and those involved with hospitals in New York might actually be stealing supplies.

"Donald Trump has accused hospital workers in New York of stealing and possibly selling face masks “out the back door” during an astounding press conference on Sunday evening.

Standing in the White House’s Rose Garden the president asked reporters to look into the supposed illegal activity but provided no evidence to back up his claims aside from increased demand for supplies from hospitals swamped by the coronavirus pandemic.

“For years [suppliers] have been delivering ten to twenty thousand masks. OK, it’s a New York hospital and it’s packed all the time but how do you go from ten to twenty thousand to 300,000?”
“Something’s going on and you ought to look into it as reporters.
Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? And we. have that in a lot of different places so somebody should probably look into that because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible.”' [Source]

If you are a healthcare worker in New York, going to work everyday, and risking your own life to save the sick dying, that could not have sit well with you to hear those words coming from the president of the United States. And yet he said it.

The president also declared that 2 million people could die, and keeping coronavirus deaths to 100,000 or less would be a "good job".  Remember when he said that there were only 15 or so people with coronavirus  in the United States, and that it would be down to zero, soon? I do.
Now he declares that were it not for his leadership two million people would have died.

This, my friends, in the grifter game is called the switch.  And no one is better at this game than Donald J. trump.


*Pic from Mother Jones. 


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Thursday, March 26, 2020

"Dazed and Confused."

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The following article is from Aaron Rupar writing for Vox.

"One moment during President Donald Trump’s Fox News appearance on Tuesday served as the starkest example yet of how much he does not understand the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic: He urged Americans to flock to churches on Easter Sunday, just 19 days away.
Trump told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer he selected Easter as the day he wants businesses to reopen, saying he’d like to see “packed churches all over our country” — the exact type of large gatherings that the CDC, the WHO, and Trump’s top health advisers have all urged suspended to help stop the spread of the virus.

I would love to have it opened by Easter,” Trump said, speaking about when he sees the country returning to normal life.“That would be a great American resurrection,” Hemmer replied.

Since Sunday, Trump has repeatedly indicated he plans to recommend that the White House’s social-distancing guidelines be relaxed and Americans return to work, even though experts say the country hasn’t yet experienced the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s televised briefings, tweets, and appearances on Fox in recent days raise serious doubts about whether the president understands the threat of the coronavirus or how to best slow it down. As he spreads messages at odds with public health experts, he’s putting real lives at risk.

During Tuesday’s Fox News town hall — which took place a day after the US recorded its highest single-day death toll amid the coronavirus crisis so far — Trump rested his case for relaxing social distancing by comparing possible exposure to the coronavirus with unfortunate things that we just take to be facts of life, like the flu or car wrecks.

Here’s what Trump had to say in response to Hemmer’s question about why resuming something approximating normal American social and business life as soon as possible is a good idea (the video follows):
Look, we lose thousands — I brought some numbers here — we lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off. Now, when I heard the number — you know, we average 37,000 people a year — can you believe that? And actually this year we’re having a bad flu system. But we lose thousands of people a year to the flu. We never turn the country off. We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn’t call up the automobile companies and say, ‘Stop making cars. We don’t want any cars anymore.’ We have to get back to work.
 Already facing a difficult reelection campaign before the outbreak of a deadly pandemic his government was unprepared to deal with, it’s understandable that Trump wants to stabilize an economy decimated by the social-distancing measures meant to stop the spread. But his comments ignore two big ways in which the coronavirus can’t be compared to the flu or car crashes: It’s far more contagious than either, and far more deadly.

One reason the coronavirus is so concerning is how contagious it is. Without social distancing, experts believe one infected person could infect up to 2.5 other individuals.
Because the coronavirus is so contagious, it could easily overwhelm America’s public health system, leaving hospitals too full to properly treat patients and equipment in short supply. That’s already on the cusp of happening in New York state, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo pleaded with the federal government earlier Tuesday to provide more medical gear, including much-needed ventilators to help patients with severe Covid-19 cases breathe.

Car crashes, of course, are not contagious, nor are there so many of them that they overrun hospitals or threaten the nation’s supply of medical masks and ventilators. That’s also the case with the flu. According to epidemiologists, an individual with the flu is at risk for spreading it to up to 1.3 people — about equal to coronavirus’s contagion level with strong social distancing.
Despite this, Trump insisted the flu is more dangerous and singled out Cuomo for criticism. The president blamed the governor for a problem he’s powerless to solve, saying, “He’s supposed to be buying his own ventilators.” (Cuomo and other governors argue it’s suboptimal for states to bid up prices by competing against each other for supplies, and that those purchases are best made by the federal government.)

At another point, Trump attacked Cuomo for not doing more on his own to prevent travel from China as the virus spread there. Experts, of course, argue that at best, travel bans like the one Trump instituted at a national level buy time for governments to act — time Trump failed to use. At worst, they’re useless.

The whole point of the “15 days to stop the spread” campaign that Trump embraced just nine days ago is that strict social distancing is necessary to “flatten the curve” of cases and make sure hospitals aren’t overwhelmed. But Trump encouraging people to go back to work runs the risk of allowing the virus to spread out of control at a time when places like New York are already struggling to contain it.
Trump, however, clearly views the situation primarily as an economic crisis (and thus, for him, a political one) instead of one in which preventable deaths can be avoided." [Read more]

Ans that's it in a nutshell: The thing that bothers trump about this crisis is not how many lives will be lost, it's how much money Wall Street will lose, and thus, how his chances of getting reelected will be affected. 

With Mr. trump, it is always about HIM. If you don't believe me just watch his meandering vacuous, and propaganda filled Dear Leader press briefings from day to day. They have gotten so out of hand that major networks routinely cut away from them when trump starts with his lies and pointless bloviating. 

There is a  recently released video that was put out by Priorities USA. trump's campaign team has sent a Cease and Desist letter to television stations airing the video. Don't worry, the letter is not worth the paper it's written on. 

You can watch the video here. 


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The return of Logan's Run.

Logan's Run
The next time you see right-wingers getting on their soap-box to preach about the value of life, and the pro-life movement, and true believers shout with righteous indignation against the pro-choice movement,  you might want to remember what happened last night on FOX VIEWS.

"As the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States, forcing people to stay in their homes and causing an economic downturn, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, joined Tucker Carlson Tonight where he made headlines by suggesting we get back to our normal lives to save the economy even at great risk to the country’s senior citizens. Patrick, who turns 70 next week, believes it’s up to older Americans to take that risk.

“Tucker, no one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in,” Patrick said, later adding, “My message is, let’s get back to work. Let’s get back to living. Let’s be smart about it, and those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves.”

Sorry grandma and grandpa, you have lived your life, it's now time to take one for the team. Forgetting, of course, that thousands and thousands of you are raising your grandchildren. But hey, businesses comes first, and we have to get the economy back open and running again. (Remember when the right was up in arms about  imaginary Death Panels?)

This narrative from Lt. Governor Patrick is now manifesting itself because the president of the United States said yesterday that he wants the country open for business again. This pesky virus is hurting his election chances and he is getting claustrophobic sitting in the White House and not being able to go golfing and holding his rallies with his MAGA cult members.

trump declared that he disagrees with the doctors about how long we should be locked down and staying way from each other, and he believes that we can all go back to business as usual. He believes that we should just be careful about how we interact with each other. trump even believes that there is a miracle cure for this virus, and not surprisingly, the medical professionals disagree with him about that as well.

The scary thing about trump's declarations and his ignorance, is that a man has actually lost his life because he listened and believed in trump's pronouncements. 

It's sad, but the Lt. Governor of Texas would call what happened to the poor man in Arizona a useful sacrifice.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

No end in sight.

Image result for coronavirus trump images virus

I am watching yet another trump press conference that is supposed to calm our fears about this virus, and once again I am left wondering how we elected this man to be the leader of this country. He seems to be way over his head, and his meandering tortuous delivery is not helping me to feel any better about where we are.

In in his earlier press conferences he claimed that he knew that there was a pandemic before everyone else, and just yesterday he said that it (the virus) just kind of snuck up on us and no one saw it coming. He just said in the conference going on now that this type of pandemic is unprecedented and no one could have seen it coming.

Someone should remind him that the Obama administration tried to warn his transition team about this very scenario when they prepped them about what to expect. The trump folks, in classic trump fashion, ignored them and actually cut funding to programs that were meant to fight pandemics such as this.

A reporter just asked trump to give the bottom line number of how long we can expect this to drag out. His answer was the one he has been giving us all along: "We should know something shortly."

Heaven help us!

Oh and before I go, does anyone know of any good movies on Netflix or Prime that I should be watching? This shelter in place edict is starting to get to me. 


*Image from The San Francisco Examiner. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

American Nero.

Image result for coronavirus trump images

America is now firmly in the grip of the coronavirus and all the trouble that it brings.
The president of the United States finally stopped lying and pretending that there was nothing wrong, and he finally started telling the American people what they are dealing with. Finally.

Of course he might be the reason that we are here in the first place. His leadership in this time of crisis has been severely lacking, and he has ignored all of the dire warnings from the former administration and health care professionals. His fragile ego and limited capacity to grasp the big picture just would not allow him to come to grips with what we were facing. Thankfully, he seems to have finally gotten it. Only time will tell how much damage his inactivity and lies will cost the American people in the long run.

The following article is from David Frum writing for The Atlantic. 

"At every turn, President Trump’s policy regarding coronavirus has unfolded as if guided by one rule: How can I make this crisis worse?

Presidents are not all-powerful, especially not in the case of pandemic disease. There are limits to what they can do, for good or ill. But within those limits, at every juncture, Trump’s actions have ensured the worst possible outcomes. The worst outcome for public health. The worst outcome for the American economy. The worst outcome for American global leadership.

Trump’s Oval Office speech of March 11 was the worst action yet in a string of bad actions.
Here are the things the president did not do in that speech.

He offered no guidance or policy on how to prevent the spread of the disease inside the United States. Should your town cancel its St. Patrick’s Day parade? What about theatrical productions and sporting events? Classes at schools and colleges? Nothing.

He offered no explanation of what went wrong with the U.S. testing system, nor any assurance of when testing would become more widely available. His own previous promises of testing for anyone who needs it have been exploded as false. So what is true? Nothing.

Layoffs are coming, probably on a very large scale, as travel collapses and people hunker down at home. Any word for those about to lose their jobs? Only the vaguest indication that something might be announced sometime soon.

It’s good to hear that there will be no co-pays on the tests nobody seems able to get. What about other health-care coverage? Any word on that? Nothing.

The financial markets have plunged into a 2008-style crash, auguring a recession, perhaps a severe one. The Trump administration has had almost two months to think about this crisis. It has trial-ballooned some ideas. But, of course, fiscal policy would require assent from the House of Representatives. Trump is still pouting at Speaker Nancy Pelosi. So—aside from some preposterously unconvincing happy talk about the economy—again: nothing.

There was one something in the speech: a ban on travel from Europe, but not the United Kingdom. It’s a classic Trump formulation. It seeks to protect America by erecting a wall against the world, without thinking very hard how or whether the wall can work. The disease is already here. The numbers only look low because of our prior failure to provide adequate testing. They will not look low even four days from now. And those infected with the virus can travel from other countries and on other routes. Trump himself has already met some.

The travel ban is an act of panic. Financial futures began crashing even as Trump was talking, perhaps shocked by his lack of an economic plan, perhaps aghast at his latest attack on world trade. (The speech seemed to suggest an embargo on European-sourced cargo as well, but that looks more like a mental lapse of Trump’s than a real policy announcement. The ban on cargo was retracted by a post-speech tweet, although the ban remains in the posted transcript of the speech.) Among other things, the ban represents one more refutation by Trump of any idea of collective security against collective threats. While China offers medical assistance to Italy, he wants to sever ties to former friends—isolating America and abandoning the world.

This crisis is not of Trump’s making. What he is responsible for is his failure to respond promptly, and then his perverse and counterproductive choice of how to respond when action could be avoided no longer". ....{Article}

Trotting out Mr. sycophant, Mike Pence, daily to praise dear leader might be good for trump's ego, but he has been doing nothing for us. We are still not where we should be with getting people tested, and we continue to get mixed messages from the healthcare professionals and the incompetent lemmings in the trump administration.

I, like most Americans, will have to change how I live my life for the next few weeks. I am pissed, because I happen to love my life, and this is not cool. 

It's not cool, but I get it, it's necessary. If only the president had gotten it months ago. 

*Image from the washingtonpost.com