Thursday, April 30, 2020

The perfect team.

 *
 So the NFL draft is behind us.

 As an Eagles fan I am not a happy camper. I am still trying t figure out what our GM was doing with the picks for my birds. Still, it could have been worse, we could have been like the Cheatriots and selected an alleged white supremacist (kicker of all things) to our squad.

"After getting selected by the New England Patriots on Saturday (April 25), their new kicker Justin Rohrwasser said he would cover a controversial tattoo on his left arm – a logo of a right-wing organization.

Rohrwasser said he got the tat back when he was a teenager, USA Today reported.

"Obviously, it evolved into something that I do not want to represent and when I look back at it, I should have done way more research before I put any mark or symbol on my body," Rohrwasser stated in a conference call with reporters. "It is not something I ever want to represent, so it will be covered.”

Rohrwasser’s  tattoo is described as showing the Roman numeral III surrounded by stars, which is a symbol of the Three Percenters."  [*The "Three Percenters". Hmm, weren't they the ones who worked security for the Nazis in Charlottesville?*]  


Here is the thing, the Cheatriots are free to draft who they want, and this young man is free to sport whatever tattoo he wants to on his arm. This is America. But watch all the comments you will see from certain folks about his right to wear what he wants, his freedom of choice, blah blah blah.
These are the same clowns who vilified the aforementioned Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. You see how this works?

The hypocrisy in this country when it comes to racism is so funny to watch and sad at the same time.

Now, of course, this alleged supremacist will pretend that he didn't know what he was representing all this time, and he will now cover his tattoos and be a good teammate with all those Negro players the league. The right- wing writers  and media will blame it on the "woke" crowd and liberal hysteria, and some will chalk it all up to youthful indiscretion and a lack of personal growth. It started already.

The problem is, of course, that you can cover or even remove your tattoos, but that doesn't necessarily change what's in your heart. 

Go Eagles!

*Image from The Daily Mail. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

This "genius" is very unstable.

A Warning': Trump Is Stupid, Crazy and Dangerous | DCReport.org

The following is an essay from the New York Times by Matt Flegenheir.  

"President Trump’s self-assessment has been consistent.

“I’m, like, a very smart person,” he assured voters in 2016.
“A very stable genius,” he ruled two years later.

“I’m not a doctor,” he allowed on Thursday, pointing to his skull inside the White House briefing room, “but I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”

Mr. Trump’s performance that evening, when he suggested that injections of disinfectants into the human body could help combat the coronavirus, did not sound like the work of a doctor, a genius, or a person with a good you-know-what.

Even by the turbulent standards of this president, his musings on virus remedies have landed with uncommon force, drawing widespread condemnation as dangerous to the health of Americans and inspiring a near-universal alarm that many of his past remarks — whether offensive or fear-mongering or simply untrue — did not.

Mr. Trump’s typical name-calling can be recast to receptive audiences as mere “counterpunching.” His impeachment was explained away as the dastardly opus of overreaching Democrats. It is more difficult to insist that the man floating disinfectant injection knows what he’s doing.

The reaction has so rattled the president’s allies and advisers that he was compelled over the weekend to remove himself from the pandemic briefings entirely, at least temporarily accepting two fates he loathes: giving in to advice (from Republicans who said the appearances did far more harm than good to his political standing) and surrendering the mass viewership he relishes.

Some at the White House have expressed frustration that the issue has lingered. “It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, told CNN on Sunday, adding, “I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that they need, when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night.”

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican who has been willing to speak skeptically about Mr. Trump’s virus leadership, said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that it “does send a wrong message” when misinformation spreads from a public official or “you just say something that pops in your head.” Asked to explain the president’s words, Mr. Hogan said, “You know, I can’t really explain it.”

No modern American politician can match Mr. Trump’s record of false or illogical statements, which has invited questions about his intelligence. Insinuations and gaffes have trailed former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dan Quayle and Joseph R. Biden Jr., now the presumptive Democratic nominee, among many others. But Mr. Trump’s stark pronouncement — on live television, amid a grave public health crisis, and leaving little room for interpretation — was at once in a class of its own and wholly consistent with a reputation for carelessness in speech.
Still, for weeks, the president’s political team has been strikingly explicit about its intended messaging against Mr. Biden: presenting him as a doddering 77-year-old not up to the rigors of the office — and setting off on the kind of whisper campaign that does not bother with whispers.
A Trump campaign Twitter account on Saturday celebrated the anniversary of Mr. Biden’s 2020 bid by highlighting all that he had “forgotten” as a candidate, with corresponding video clips of momentary flubs and verbal stumbles: “Joe Biden forgot the name of the coronavirus.” “Joe Biden forgot the G7 was not the G8.” “Joe Biden forgot Super Tuesday was on a Tuesday.”

On Sunday, the Trump campaign made clear that the disinfectant affair would not disrupt its plans. “Joe Biden is often lost,” said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, “losing his train of thought during friendly interviews, even when he relies on written notes in front of him.”

T.J. Ducklo, a Biden spokesman, called this approach “a distraction tactic — as if anything could erase the memory of the president suggesting people drink disinfectant on national television.”
Carlos Curbelo, a Republican former Florida congressman who clashed at times with Mr. Trump and did not vote for him, said the president’s comments on disinfectants were likely to resonate precisely because he was running a race premised largely on Mr. Biden’s mental capacity.

“Given Joe Biden’s gaffes and mistakes, I think the Trump campaign had a strong narrative there,” he said. “At the very least, that advantage was completely erased.”
Mr. Curbelo said a friend had suggested recently that Mr. Trump’s toxic virus idea was “the craziest thing he ever said.”

“I said, ‘I don’t know,’” Mr. Curbelo recalled. “‘Maybe. I’d have to look back and check.’”

This history, of course, is the argument for Democratic caution. The list of episodes that were supposed to end Mr. Trump — the “Access Hollywood” tape, the “very fine people” on both sides of a white supremacist rally, insulting John McCain’s service as a prisoner of war — is longer than most voters’ memories.

The president can register as more time-bending than Teflon. Plenty sticks to him; it just tends to be buried quickly enough by the next stack of outrages, limiting the exposure of any single one.
But if most Trump admirers have long since made up their minds about him, recent polling on his handling of the crisis does suggest some measure of electoral risk. Governors and public health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci are viewed as far more trustworthy on the pandemic, according to surveys.

Lily Adams, a former aide on the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris, who is now advising Unite the Country, a pro-Biden super PAC, said that swing voters in focus groups were especially dismayed at Mr. Trump’s refusal to listen to experts.
“Any person who has ever done a load of laundry, or installed a childproof lock on a cleaning supplies cabinet, or just looked at one of those skulls on the label, knows it’s an idiotic idea,” she said.

Even some of the president’s reliable cheerleaders at Fox News have not tried to defend him. And recent visitors to the Drudge Report — the powerful conservative news aggregation site whose proprietor, Matt Drudge, has increasingly ridiculed Mr. Trump of late — were greeted with a doctored image of “Clorox Chewables.” “Trump Recommended,” the tagline read. “Don’t Die Maybe!”

For Mr. Trump, such mockery tends to singe. Since long before his 2016 campaign, few subjects have been as meaningful to him as appraisals of his intellect.

It is a source of perpetual obsession and manifest insecurity, former aides say, so much so that Mr. Trump has felt the need to allude to his brainpower regularly: tales of his academic credentials at the University of Pennsylvania; his “natural ability” in complicated disciplines; his connection to a “super genius” uncle, an engineer who taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
When Rex Tillerson, the president’s first secretary of state, was reported to have called Mr. Trump a “moron” in private — one of several former senior administration officials said to have rendered equivalent verdicts — Mr. Trump challenged him to “compare I.Q. tests.” A favorite Trump insult on Twitter, reserved for Mr. Biden among others, is “low I.Q. individual.”

“He doesn’t want to feel like anybody is better than he is,” said Barbara A. Res, a former executive vice president of the Trump Organization, who recalled Mr. Trump bragging about his college grades. “He can’t deal with that. I can see it now with the doctors, and that’s why he dismisses them. He used to be intimidated by lawyers. Anyone who knows more than he does makes him feel less than he is.”
Steve Schmidt, a former Republican strategist and prominent Trump critic, said the president’s meditation on disinfectants stood apart from a trope that Mr. Schmidt came to recognize as an adviser to conservatives like Mr. Bush: “that the conservative candidate in the race was also always portrayed as the dumb candidate.”

“But a caricature is distinct from a narrative,” Mr. Schmidt said. And Mr. Trump’s reckless medical fare, he reasoned, had given adversaries a narrative by confirming a caricature.

The president’s own attempts at damage control have been scattershot. First, his new press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, accused the news media of taking Mr. Trump out of context. Shortly afterward, he undercut her case by saying his comments had in fact been a sarcastic prank on reporters, an explanation even some supporters found implausible.

He left his Friday briefing on the coronavirus without taking questions. By Saturday, when Mr. Trump tweeted that the events were “not worth the time & effort,” his opponents conceded this much:
The president had probably done something smart." [Source]

"I'm like a very smart person"

Mr. trump, how smart can you be if you don't know that the prestigious Swedish prize awarded annually to outstanding individuals in various fields is spelled, Nobel, after the person for which it is named, and not Noble? 

He will never get one ( a Nobel prize) now for sure. Not that they were going to give him one in the first place.

Just another reason to hate Obama.   

*Image from dcreport.org.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dallas Labradoodles, disinfectants, heat, and almost 50,000 dead.

Image result for conroa virus images deaths

While a deadly pandemic was heading to the Unites States, the trump administration wanted to fire one of the leading officials at the CDC, because her sounding the alarm about the pandemic was causing the stock market to tank. As it turns out, he did later on force out Dr. Rick Bright, who was a deputy assistant for preparedness and response, because Dr. Bright would not endorse an unproven drug that Mr. trump was peddling to the American people. 

As if all that isn't bad enough, we are now learning about the actions of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, who hired a man whose job it was to....well...I will quote a portion of an article from The Independent here.

"Azar is a Republican lawyer who once clerked for the late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and counts current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a friend. Under George W. Bush, Azar worked for HHS as general counsel and deputy secretary. During the Obama years, he cycled through the private sector as a pharmaceutical company lobbyist and executive for Eli Lilly. After Trump’s first HHS secretary was forced out in a travel corruption scandal, Azar stepped in, in January 2018.

Two years later, at the dawn of the coronavirus crisis, Azar appointed his most trusted aide and chief of staff, Harrison, as HHS’s main coordinator for the government’s response to the virus.
Harrison, 37, was an unusual choice, with no formal education in public health, management, or medicine and with only limited experience in the fields. In 2006, he joined HHS in a one-year stint as a “Confidential Assistant” to Azar, who was then deputy secretary. He also had posts working for Vice President Dick Cheney, the Department of Defense and a Washington public relations company.
Before joining the Trump Administration in January 2018, Harrison’s official HHS biography says, he “ran a small business in Texas.” The biography does not disclose the name or nature of that business, but his personal financial disclosure forms show that from 2012 until 2018 he ran a company called Dallas Labradoodles.

The company sells Australian Labradoodles, a breed that is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. He sold it in April 2018, his financial disclosure form said. HHS emailed Reuters that the sale price was $225,000.

At HHS, Harrison was initially deputy chief of staff before being promoted, in the summer of 2019, to replace Azar’s first chief of staff, Peter Urbanowicz, an experienced hospital executive with decades of experience in public health.

This January, Harrison became a key manager of the HHS virus response. “Everyone had to report up through him,” said one HHS official.

One questionable decision, three sources say, came that month, after the White House announced it was convening a coronavirus task force. The HHS role was to muster resources from key public health agencies: the CDC, FDA, National Institutes of Health, Office of Global Affairs and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. "

This would be funny if almost 50,000 Americans have not already lost their lives. If you have been watching trump's nightly coronavirus briefings you have got to be terrified. Rather than let medical professionals take the lead, Mr. trump has made himself the center of attention, and has told lie after lie while promoting himself and treating each briefing like it was a reelection rally.

Tonight, incredibly, Mr. trump seemed to suggest that we could kill the virus by simply treating it with heat or light, or, just as astonishingly, inject the human body with disinfectant to kill the virus. (Yes, he really did that.)You now have to wonder how many of his not too bright supporters will now start scooping up Clorox bleach and needles to start shooting up themselves. He also brought out one of his sycophants to try to sell the American people on the fact that warm weather will kill the virus.  It was all so bad that when he asked the Scarf Lady to back him, she could not. She had to protect whatever shred of dignity she had left.

It's a sad thing when a megalomaniac's need for loyalty extends to scientists and those who are charged with saving our lives. Sadly, this is where we are with Mr. trump, and this is the last thing that we need right now.

*Image from wjtv.com






Tuesday, April 21, 2020

"Pandemic-ing While White"

White woman surrounded by other white people. Holds sign reading “I need a haircut.”

"@jmjafrxSomeone on here said, these protestors don't just want freedom. They want the access to other people's labor; services and pleasures they think they are entitled to. Mastery at any cost."

So that was an interesting tweet, and considering the nature of some of these protests from trumpland against staying safe, you would have to say that there is some validity to it.

Just look at the lady above. She wants her haircut. The scary thing is that she and her friends will have their way, because the governors of states that are beholden to trump will not want to rock the boat and piss off "Dear Leader" in an election year.

 This is Tim Wise's take on the state of affairs in some segments of White World:

 "I get it.

No one enjoys having their freedom constrained.

No one likes being told where they can go and what they can do.

Ya know why?

Because humans are fundamentally social creatures. We are not, contrary to popular American belief, merely rugged individuals. If we were, we wouldn’t mind isolation the way we so obviously do after a month or so of sheltering-in-place and following stay-at-home orders amid a global pandemic.
Even the most self-directed and introverted among us, who often revel in a bit of alone time, have limits.

But responding to this extraordinary moment, during which we are being asked to physically distance, and — for those who can — stay home while the curve of infection flattens, by picking up guns and heading to the state capitol to protest “tyranny?”

That is not merely indicative of a healthy human desire for connection. Nor is it a reflection of freedom-loving people, driven stir crazy by the overreaching hand of some nanny state.
That is something else.

Specifically, that is some white shit.

By which I mean the privileged move of (overwhelmingly) white people, who think that not being able to get their hair cut, or get seeds to plant flowers in their gardens for spring is tantamount to fascism. Yes, that’s a thing:

Or the stupendously Charmin-esque quality of standing with a protest sign that says, “Let My People Golf.” No, for real, that’s a thing:

Only white people — and not particularly poor ones at that — could manifest this kind of mentality in numbers this large. Only people for whom daily life is pretty easy could believe that the closing of bars, gyms, restaurants, and sporting events was a precursor to the gulag.
Ya know who doesn’t think that way?
Black people.
Well, I mean, black people other than Diamond, Silk, Candace Owens, and MAGA grifter, Terrence K. Williams, who cons white conservatives into getting his name trending every few months by insisting liberals are threatening to kill him.
Which is actually pretty funny, because despite how much Terrence K. Williams clearly reveres white people, he also knows something unflattering about us: namely, that many of our tribe will fall for anything.

It’s true, we will.

Like thinking vaccines are a globalist plot. Or that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.
Or that Anthony Fauci is a deep state operative and that Donald Trump is on the verge of busting up a pedophilia ring run by Hillary Clinton. Or like the idea that Elon Musk — who was born white in apartheid South Africa — is self-made. Because gullibility is also a privileged move. People of color rarely have that same luxury, at least not at this high a level of dosage.
They don’t typically have the privilege of thinking it’s oppression if you can’t go to the beach or get on a pedal tavern in Nashville with your bridesmaids and exercise your way around town while drinking beer: itself the absolute whitest pastime ever invented.
They have police to worry about, and not because the cops might give them a hard time for being less than six feet apart from someone else in a public park. Rather, because the cops might presume them criminal — even for merely wearing the same kind of face covering we’re all being encouraged to use — and toss them out of a store. Or, if history is any guide, worse.

Folks of color are facing anti-immigrant hysteria and disproportionate COVID death thanks to racial inequity that has left them at higher risk. And of course, for anyone of Asian ancestry, there is the specter of rising hate crimes directed at them as the supposed source of the present danger.
Meanwhile, white folks never have to worry about something like that.

When the CDC determined that the H1N1 flu in 2009 had its origins in North Carolina hog farms, white farmers weren’t worried about being blamed, let alone physically assaulted. Nobody boycotted Jimmy Dean sausage.

Because privilege.

And now, screaming about totalitarianism, the same kind of white folks who protested the Affordable Care Act — because some of them would rather die than get health care from the black guy, or from a program that might also help some black people — have taken to the streets yet again.

They have dusted off their Gadsden flags, or their Confederate flags (like I said, white people), added anti-vaxxer placards (again, mostly white people), and are presently ranting about stay-at-home orders being communism, or perhaps Nazism. They don’t know the difference and don’t care. To them, oppression is such an apparent abstraction, actually knowing the proper taxonomy of whatever awfulness you’re protesting doesn’t matter.

Because this isn’t about logic.

This is some white shit.

As is saying, “Jesus is my vaccine,” which vanilla stupidity featured prominently on a truck that drove through the anti-lockdown protest in Pennsylvania this week. Thinking Jesus is all you need to get through danger and difficulty is something only white people can generally swallow. Black folks know from lived experience that faith without works is dead. Oh, and also that medicine works and things like measles are dangerous, so they’ll readily take the shots that millions of white folks fear because noted scientist, Jenny McCarthy, insisted they were poison.

Still more whiteness: “Economist” Stephen Moore suggests these protesters are the moral equivalent of Rosa Parks. It is almost comically difficult to imagine saying something whiter than this: to believe that protesting government actions intended to keep people alive is the same as protesting government actions designed to treat millions of people as second-class citizens.

Difficult, but alas, not impossible. As it turns out, the competition for gold in the Whiteness Olympics (which by the way are never canceled) is fierce. To wit, the late entry from Idaho state legislator Heather Scott (R-UzBeckystan) who notes that closing down businesses deemed “non-essential” is “no different than Nazi Germany where you had government telling people either you were an essential worker or a non-essential worker, and non-essential workers got put on a train.”
Yes, because Pilates instructors and vape shop employees are literally headed to Auschwitz if the liberals get our way. Had it not been for this damned quarantine, we’d have already fired up the ovens. Trust.

I’m not sure if that’s insane. But I know what it is.

That is some Miracle Whip wingnuttery. Some albumen asininity.
Indeed just showing up at a state capitol with loaded guns and camo, screaming about tyranny is white as fuck. I fantasize about black folks doing that, or Muslims doing it, to protest the stuff they have to deal with on a regular day, no pandemic required.

Or rather I would fantasize about this, but I don’t, because I know what would happen. They would get shot, or at the very least arrested en masse. And they wouldn’t have the president saying they seemed like “responsible people,” or signal boosting their message on his Twitter feed.
Because whiteness lets people get away with this nonsense.

Just like how, during the Obama years, it covered for overcompensating firearm fetishists who regularly gathered, strapped to the teeth, to protest what they just knew were pending gun grabs from the Gay Kenyan Muslim in the White House.

Just like it protected rocker Ted Nugent when he called Obama a “sub-human mongrel” who can “suck on my machine gun,” and then did the same for Sean Hannity when Hannity was asked about Nugent’s hateful, bloodthirsty rant and refused to criticize it, insisting that Nugent was “a friend.” Naturally, Donald Trump has hosted Nugent at the White House, because they both take the white part to be about more than paint color.

And of course, whiteness insulated the Teabaggers who surrounded members of Congress during debate on the Affordable Care Act and screamed at them, cursing them for daring to support Obamacare. Because they were convinced it would lead the government to let old people die rather than shoulder the expense of their care. As a side note, these are the same people now screaming that we must let old people die rather than shoulder the expense of a largely shuttered economy.
Because apparently, irony is also ivory.

These people don’t care about big government. They don’t care about tyranny. They support a guy who proclaimed, before he backpedaled in the face of the plain wording of the Constitution, that he had total authority to override state lockdown orders. They said nothing in the face of this declaration of dictatorial power. Because it isn’t government they hate, or authoritarianism. It’s government in the service of the wrong people. Or in the hands of the same. So long as government is being used to “own the libs,” punish the poor, and deport or incarcerate the black and brown, they’re fine with it.
Because America is on some white shit.

And there are an awful lot of folks determined to keep it that way, even if it kills them.

As indeed, it might."

Yes Tim, but when you have a president who is more concerned with his television ratings and beating out The Bachelor in the midst of a deadly pandemic, than the welfare of the American people, what do you expect? 

Oh, and for the record, Tim Wise is white.  
 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

They want liberty from the virus, but there is no one to lead them.


It's not so hard to figure out why trump and his supporters are suddenly pushing to open up America. It just happens to coincide with all these new studies saying that blacks and other minorities are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. 

Remember when that wasn't the case? We were quick to shut everything down, weren't we? Not any more. Now, trump supporters are taking to the streets and demanding that we open things up. Their "Dear Leader" is telling governors of states who care about the well being of their citizens to free them and let them go back to normal activities and infect themselves and the rest of us. (What's with all the  guns? Are they going to shoot the virus?) As Rick Wilson said, the man would literally start a civil war to cover up his immense failures when it comes to the handling of this epidemic. 

At a time when the country needs leadership, the president sits on twitter all day and attacks his political opponents and every perceived enemy both real and imagined. It's a rather sad and pathetic spectacle, and I suspect that it's having a very negative effect on the country's psyche.

When he (trump) is on television doing his nightly propaganda and campaign rally style briefings, he is blaming everyone but himself for this terrible state of affairs. It's the Chinese fault, it's Obama's fault, it's the W.H.O.'s fault, it's young people's fault, it's the governor's fault, it's the media's fault, and on and on it goes. It's everyone's fault but his own. This is not leadership.

Sarada Peri writing for The Atlantic sums things up perfectly:

"Between the 2016 campaign and now, Trump has gone from “I alone can fix it” to “I don’t take any responsibility at all.” Both those statements reveal Trump’s profound misapprehension of what the presidency is all about. It is not a dictatorship—however benevolent—that can single-handedly solve people’s problems in exchange for fealty. Nor is it a figurehead atop a loose coalition of competing states. It is a position that wields hard and soft power on behalf of the American people—and it must be held by someone who understands that in a global crisis, everyone, including markets and states and ordinary citizens, relies on the federal government to guide a response. If the conductor doesn’t raise her baton, the orchestra slides into chaos.

Laying out a strategy, using federal authority to align the private sector’s capability with the public’s needs, guiding state responses, publishing reliable data and information, setting a tone both measured and optimistic—that is the president’s job. Despite the purported breakdown of the liberal international order, the world still sheepishly glances in our direction, hoping that a steady hand might convene the alliances that exist precisely to grapple with, say, a global pandemic."

Trump is no conductor of an orchestra, he is more like the captain of the Titanic. His minions and the sycophants in his party are the orchestra, and they will just keep playing while the ship goes down.