I’m grown tired of the Daily Outrage stories. “Trump said this! What an asshole!” “McConnell did this! What an asshole!” There’s just so fucking many of them, each of them more shocking and morally reprehensible than the next. Honestly, if you made me king for a day, I’d channel Travis McGee, who had similar thoughts (from The Empty Copper Sea; go read the quote): I’d go through the land in disguise, rewarding the good and lopping the heads off of the assholes. By the time I was done, the place would look like a macabre bowling alley. I have violent thoughts, I know. Usually, I just move them aside and try to continue conducting myself in a civilized fashion. Who knows what lurks inside the hearts and minds of men, indeed? But this one is special. This guy…well, I honestly don’t know what we, as a civilized society, should do with this one. Pennsylvania State Rep. Andrew Lewis (R-Plague Rat) is a special kind of asshole. On May 27, he announced on his Facebook page that he had been “secretly self-quarantining” for a few days after being tested positive for COVID-19. He began feeling ill the second week of May, was tested on May 18, and told he was positive on May 20. He chose not to go public “[o]ut of respect for my family, and those who I may have exposed.” He said in the comments on his Facebook post that he privately told family members and some who might have been exposed, and said members of his staff “who met the criteria exposure was immediately contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of possible exposure.” At least one fellow Republican, and possibly two more, were advised that Lewis may have infected them, and they should self-quarantine. Bad enough, right? He decided who he should and shouldn’t know about him breathing the Coronavirus on everyone and everything he encountered. But it gets better. Lewis told his Republican caucus’s Human Resources Department. He did NOT tell any Democrats. Neither did the GOP caucus. So the House Democrats who came into contact with him didn’t know he was blowing his Corona breath in their faces. Democrats found out…yesterday. Yesterday. No one told them. For almost a week. Like many in the Rattus Norvegicus Caucus, Lewis didn’t participate remotely in legislative business, and he refused to wear a mask. The idiot who was told to self-isolate, Russ Diamond (R-Sewer Rodent) has openly boasted that he goes in public without a mask. Apparently masks are for sissies. (No word if Macho Man Russ Diamond is currently battling a scorching case of COVID-19 as you read this. He says he’s fine, and intends to keep showing up, unmasked and apparently untested.) Democrats are not happy. Democrat Kevin Boyle, who chairs a House committee that both Diamond and Lewis breathe all over, says he is outraged that he and his fellow Democrats were not told. Most Republicans, he says, refuse to wear masks in the committee. “Whoever knew this in the Republican leadership and did not inform the broader membership and staff, they need to resign immediately. This is outrageous and immoral.” Boyle intends to get tested within a day or so. Boyle’s committee has been at the center of a pitched […]
After 3 1/2 years, this sequence should be as regular as a person full of bran. 1) The Trump administration does something stupid, and a scandal ensues. 2) The Trump administration tries to obfuscate and bullshit their way out of the scandal. 3) The media uncovers facts that cut through the Trump administrations bullshit. 4) The Trump administration throws a bright, shiny object into the air to distract the media and the public, while they try to hose away the previous mess. 5) Before the bright, shiny object hits the ground, a new Trump administration fuck up explodes, fixating the media’s attention on it instead. The Trump administration followed this strategy to a “T” in the current coronavirus outbreak. First they bullshitted about it, calling it the latest Democratic hoax, and disputing facts as they came out. Then they tried to obfuscate around it, by dragging out tame “experts” and other GOP shills to try to hammer home the Trump administration point of view. Then they tried to blame the governors of individual states, mostly blue states, for bungling their own response to the crisis, and making it worse. After more than two months of getting his ass kicked, Trump decided it was time for the bright, shiny object, and Boy! this time he has a doozy. Trump arbitrarily decided that it was time to reopen the United States for business again, and the consequences be damned. This glowing ball actually served two purposes of distraction. First, it is designed to move the coronavirus off of the front page, as the media covers the various states reopening, and the success or failure therein. And second, if in fact the stock market rebounds to an appreciable extent as more businesses reopen, it will once again allow Trump to flagellate the deceased equine about how his economic genius saved the country. But the simple problem is that this time, the ploy won’t work. It won’t work because the coronavirus is not a political scandal that can be easily hosed away or cleaned up, it is a public healthcare nightmare. The coronavirus isn’t going anywhere, and while the media will certainly cover the effects, pro or con, of stated reopening for business, the coronavirus will remain as the dominant topic in the news throughout the summer. And depending on how it assays out, the bright, shiny object that Trump threw up into the air to distract the media and the public, the reopening of the American economy, may be a dominant feature of his defeat in November. For months now, one of the Trump administration’s favorite harbingers of all things coronavirus has been the University of Washington coronavirus “model.” As Rachel Maddow showed tonight, the model is handy not only because it tracks and predicts the spread or lack thereof of the virus, and not only because you can look at individual states, but also because the model actually adds dates that allow states and other agencies to predict when cases will hit peak, plateau, and decrease. The Trump administration loves the UW model because of it’s sunny predictions regarding the death toll in the United States from the virus, and in fact the CDC gas a link on the main page of their website taking readers to the UW model. But it turns out that there […]
The 2020 presidential election will decide either the life or death of America. — John Gartner I have a list of things I fear — death by fire, a decline into dementia, Pop-Tarts — but I have never feared Donald Trump or his goose-stepping minions. I loathe and despise them, and I fear for the people whom their policies actively hurt (most all of us, really), but I don’t fear them. Neither should you. However, I do feel a deep apprehension for what Trump might do if and when he loses re-election in November. We all think, hope, pray and anticipate him getting his ass dragged around the block by Biden in November, but there’s a question: what will Trump do in the event he loses? Psychologist and psychotherapist John Gartner, a specialist in borderline personality disorders, has those same worries. And he feels Trump will go out swinging. Trump’s bagman Michael Cohen said in Congressional testimony in February 2019: Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power. I’m not worried about him not leaving the White House, as some do. It doesn’t matter if he acknowledges the loss or not. If he loses in November, his presidency ends at noon on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, no matter what he and his idiot brownshirts say or do. I like to think that, given Trump’s penchant for belligerent, bullying behavior towards his “inferiors,” there will be plenty of Secret Service agents who are waiting for 12:01 pm on January 20 to put him on the ground and arrest him for trespassing. (Or just beat his flabby ass and throw him out of the front door. I’m good either way.) Former US Attorney Barbara McQuade agrees, writing for The Atlantic: “[T]he newly minted president would possess … presidential powers. If necessary, [Biden] could direct federal agents to forcibly remove Trump from the White House. Now a private citizen, Trump would no longer be immune from criminal prosecution, and could be arrested and charged with trespassing in the White House. While even former presidents enjoy Secret Service protection, agents presumably would not follow an illegal order to protect one from removal from office.” She doesn’t say anything about the Secret Service beating the brakes off him in the East Room, but I think privately she might get a chuckle out of the idea. Nor can he just cancel the election. If he does something insane to disrupt the election to the point where it cannot be held, then on 12:01 pm of January 20, 2021, Nancy Pelosi becomes president. Boy, would he hate that… What Gartner fears is the motivation for vengeance an infuriated Trump would feel in the days and weeks after the November election, should he lose it. You can forget about W’s being pried off keyboards. Trump is psychologically capable of far worse than that. Since Trump has taken office, he has performed not one action that was taken on behalf of the American people. Not one. He started by lying about the size of the crowd during his inauguration and attacking the media over its inauguration coverage, and in the last several days has recommended that Americans inject themselves with disinfectants to battle […]
Late last week, Donald Trump decided to practice for a possible role as Kim Jong Un’s successor by cancelling the West Point virtual graduation in favor of a live event. This is in contrast to a decision made recently by The Naval Academy. The Air Force Academy sent its underclassmen home, locked down its seniors and moved up its graduation ceremony. The event respected the Doctrine of Social Distancing and the featured speaker was Mike Pence. It seems that Trump, not to be outdone, wants all the graduates packed closely together to worship him and continue the tradition of flinging their hats into the air in a “Thank God, it’s all over” moment at the end. From what I read, it seems that all the graduates will be tested before leaving home and will be quarantined in dorms (either alone or in pairs) for two weeks. I understand that a further quarantine will be imposed when they return home afterwards. When I completed my university studies in 1964, students had the option of graduating “in absentia” in exchange for a small fee and receiving their diplomas in the mail. Sadly, since money was tight, I decided to attend. It was arguably the most boring day of my life. Watching paint dry is exciting by comparison. The only fond memory I have whenever I look at my framed but faded diploma ( that I still can’t understand ‘cause it’s in Latin) is that mine was the last year they were written by hand on genuine sheepskin. Of course, West Point graduates don’t have the choice of opting out. If they try, it is likely their careers will end before they even start . Moreover, if they fail to meet their service commitments, they may be on the hook to pay back the entire cost of their programs, which I believe is about $400,000. After I read about all this, I asked myself “How can the (not so) Esteemed Leader of the Free World be stopped”? The first idea that popped into my head was to suggest that the mainstream media (other than Fox News) be convinced to boycott the event-or at least refrain from quoting, or even mentioning, Trump’s speech. I think that idea has some merit if any of you reading this have the necessary media connections. Then I thought of something else. I am not a lawyer, although I have practiced and taught tax law for almost 50 years. I like reading legal novels and, like many people, I’m familiar with the term “Reckless Endangerment”. Since the proposed graduation ceremony is slated to take place in New York State, I researched their definition of this crime: “A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person. Reckless endangerment in the first degree is a class D felony.” All that is required is the creation of “grave risk”. No one necessarily has to die as a result. We all know that Coronavirus can kill. Is it likely Trump would be found guilty? Here is an expanded definition from LegalMatch: “It must be proven that the defendant intended to commit the act giving rise to the charge. Further, it must be shown that the defendant knew […]
Brett McGurk served as special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. As somebody who worked for Donald Trump, in addition to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, he knows what it’s like in the trenches. Trump thinks nothing of touting unproven chemical cocktails as the cure for COVID-19. HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2020 On April 5, at his presser, Trump got into full pitch man mode. What do people have to lose? How about their lives? And you know he’s making this up, because the tell is, “a lot of people are saying.” “What do you have to lose? And a lot of people are saying that when — and are taking it — if you’re a doctor, a nurse, a first responder, a medical person going into hospitals, they say taking it before the fact is good. But what do you have to lose? They say, ‘Take it.’ I’m not looking at it one way or the other, but we want to get out of this. If it does work, it would be a shame if we didn’t do it early. But we have some very good signs. So that’s hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.” NPR reports: A panel of experts convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends against doctors using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 patients because of potential toxicities. “The combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin was associated with QTc prolongation in patients with COVID-19,” the panel said. QTc prolongation increases the risk of sudden cardiac death. “Sudden cardiac death” vs. “What have you got to lose?” The real question is, who do you want to listen to, the medical community or Dr. Trump? It’s no wonder that against this backdrop of sheer irresponsible lunacy that a former official who served in the Trump asylum for a time kicked in these words of experience. Watching this clip of Dr. Birx, five of my own observations after serving in the Trump administration: 1. You can’t stay above crazy: On any issue, the crazy will catch up to you 2. There’s no policy: You’re always a Tweet away from all going sideways https://t.co/GmWvO5Pkzs — Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) April 24, 2020 The crazy has now caught up to our public health institutions in the middle of a deadly pandemic. It’s hard to think of a worse case scenario. — Brett McGurk (@brett_mcgurk) April 24, 2020 That is a chilling bottom line. I have nothing to add.
Today this tweet popped up. Dear Cabinet Officials: Today’s #coronavirus briefing went from bad to worse. Deeply troubling. Some people are saying it may be time to invoke the #25thAmendment. Thoughts? — Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) April 18, 2020 So, why should we give a damn? This is probably the millionth time someone with sense has called for Trump’s ouster via the 25th Amendment. And Pence, who is the only one who can trigger it, will never, ever do it. Why is this important? For the simple reason that Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, one of the main players in the House impeachment proceedings, and a House Democrat close to both Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff. He’s a rising star in Democratic politics, and a powerful voice in the black and progressive Democratic communities. And, most importantly, because Jeffries, a member of the House leadership, would have never issued such a damning tweet if Pelosi and the House Leadership weren’t behind it. I almost titled this “House Leadership Calls for 25th Amendment Invocation,” but that would be going further than Jeffries went. But not a lot further. In short: Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leadership are calling for the White House to consider kicking Trump’s ass to the curb via the 25th Amendment. So what in Bog’s name did the stupid son of a bitch say this time? Well, I didn’t watch it. I don’t watch any of his stunt “briefings.” The media pays people hazard pay to stick their heads in that rhetorical sewage pipe every day and extract…something…out of it. Here’s what I’ve gleaned from today’s Two-Minute Hate: I challenge you to try and make sense of this Trump rant pic.twitter.com/4umIOeHle2 — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 18, 2020 I tried. I really did try to listen to all 39 seconds of it. I felt a blood vessel over my eye start to throb about ten seconds in, and I ceased-and-desisted. He told a blizzard of lies. Nothing new here. CNN has a breakdown of Trump’s daily breakdown. Apparently he tried to claim that having less casualties to COVID-19 than we suffered during World War I is a good thing. Or something. Trump left the poduim at 6:16. (No one reported if he left a trail of diarrhea leakage behind him as he stalked off the stage.) Jeffries posted his tweet 33 minutes later. I have no idea what specifically prompted Jeffries to issue his call to consider a 25th Amendment remedy for Trump today. Maybe Pelosi just had as much of his vitrolic spew as she could handle. Maybe Jeffries just threw his hands up and said “Fuck it, let’s light this candle.” Whatever it was, I guarantee he ran it by Pelosi before posting it. Twitter is a truly ephemeral flavor of social media. 99% plus of all tweets sink without a trace within minutes. This one may well sink right along with the rest of them. But I think it may not. It is a shot fired across the White House’s bow by the House Democrats. For the first time that I’m aware of, a senior member of the House Democratic leadership publicly suggested that the 25th Amendment — the removal of the sitting president because he is mentally unfit for the job — […]
But what if it wasn’t accidental Scully? What if the government actually knew what was happening? Fox Mulder The X-Files If you spend as much time as I do in the company of CNN and MSNBC, you might have noticed a subtle, yet discernible shift the last couple of days. As the desperate situation in New York finally appears to be stabilizing, and possibly even easing slightly, and as more American cities appear to be getting a better hold on the coronavirus, the media coverage is shifting slightly. There is a little more time for news not expressly dealing with the death and devastation of the viral outbreak. And if that trend continues, the next Trump administration mega scandal is simmering quietly away, just waiting for the lid to be lifted. With the initial coverage, it began almost as a joke, although a joke in bad taste. But when you’re dealing with El Pendejo Presidente, almost every administration action or policy undertaken is a joke in bad taste. It began last week with a segment on The Rachel Maddow Show, later retold by yours truly, about the somewhat unbelievable situation of the federal government sending the FBI and DHS to confiscate shipments of medical supplied and equipment purchased privately by states and hospitals, and adding them to the FEMA national stockpile, presumably under the Emergency War Powers Act. The story seemed too ridiculous at its face to be true. The federal government refuses to supply hospitals and states with emergency equipment, telling them to fend for themselves in a series of endless bidding wars, and when the states comply, the federal government swoops in with a series or armed, strong arm hijackings, and confiscates the shipments under the War Powers Act that the administration refused to implement to boost domestic production and distribution. That is, until Illinois Governor JB Pritzker appeared on Rachel’s show to outline the Len Deighton spy novel shit he had to pull to keep the FBI and DHS from hijacking his own shipment of supplies. But here’s the real scandal of this whole thing, and whether it’s the media that twigs to it, or whether it comes out in some kind of after action investigation, it’s going to come out, and it’s going to be ugly. The federal government left the states and hospitals to fend for themselves in order to obtain this equipment, correct? Then how, pray tell are the FBI and the DHS coming by the information of these shipments created by private transactions? Look, at their inception these are private, presumably e-mail or phone conversations between private hospital administrators or official emissaries of the governors offices, and private businesses, often foreign. How in the ever living hell is the federal government obtaining the information that these contracts are being negotiated, finalized, and fulled? How is the federal government managing to get their grubby little mitts on the shipping and arrival information? Is the Trump government illicitly monitoring private communications between governors offices and hospital staffs to private foreign companies? What kind of surveillance, electronic? Wire tapping? If surveillance is being used, is it authorized with a valid court order? And if it is, what possible justification could the government be using for said illicit surveillance? There has to be some form of intelligence gathering going on here, because states and hospitals have […]
Maybe the Trumps are from a different planet. That would go a long ways towards explaining how totally out of touch and tone deaf they are. Scout Mistress Barbie decided that she would share a nice, wholesome Saturday night activity for the family with us plebes, and it took no time at all to blow up in her face. pic.twitter.com/q0aebkhsxt — proof (@xproofx) April 19, 2020 BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Oh my God, I love it! This is vintage Ivanka! She thinks she’s going to share some totally cool cultural experience with us (as if shadow puppet books aren’t a dime a dozen) and she goes right on her ass. I really appreciate the subtle undertones of a smirking, sinister aristocracy that complement her wholesome Gilded Age content. If her posts had a scent, it would be vanilla and fresh blood. — Bridget Phetasy (@BridgetPhetasy) April 19, 2020 Speaking of puppets: pic.twitter.com/gY2aoHZ1lb — Jodie Moss (@JodieMoss76) April 19, 2020 How did we make it before Ivanka was here to tell us how to be in the world? Anybody remember?
I suppose it’s not too extreme that Donald Trump doesn’t know the population of the country that he is the democratically-elected head of. Or, perhaps he’s so used to exaggerating his wealth by adding on zeros and going from millions into billions, that he just did it today with the population as well. “Millions” sound trivial when you’re Trump. In all events, Trump stated, once again, that it’s a great thing if only 60,000 people die and in fact, he has saved “billions” by ending flights from China. "It could have been billions of people if we had not done what we did" — Trump absurdly claims that his move to restrict travel from China saved a billion or more lives pic.twitter.com/GbkI4ozs8F — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 18, 2020 This is no small feat to save a billion Americans, especially since the population is only 328 million and some change. That means that every single one of us has been saved more than three times. But this is a guy who will tell you that he “fucked every supermodel in Europe” and he’s a “very stable genius” so take it with a grain of salt. Wild exaggeration and disregard for common sense, let alone the truth, is the norm for him. And actually, listening to him dissemble is better than listening to him threaten a constitutional crisis or abuse a reporter, so we should be grateful, maybe. After all, we’ve seen much worse.
History is being made every day of this sordid debacle of a Republican administration, but Friday, April 17 will unquestionably be tagged in the history books under sedition. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only time in American history that a sitting president has called for the violent overthrow of a democratically elected state government. I’m no virologist but encouraging civil unrest during a pandemic seems ill advised. pic.twitter.com/UxwpHFtqFH — Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) April 17, 2020 Molly Jong-Fast is Editor of the Daily Beast. David Rothkopt is the author of “Traitor: A History of American Betrayal From Benedict Arnold to Donald Trump” Of course, this will get people killed. Not necessarily in insurrections but because he is making pretending a deadly disease doesn't exist a centerpiece of being a MAGApublican. They will ignore the quarantine. And they will get sick. And some will die. Because of Trump. — David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) April 17, 2020 Here’s the bottom line: Donald Trump wants to win reelection at whatever cost. He is oblivious to reality and the cost to America in what he is trying to do. He doesn’t care. He will do anything to stay in power. To that end, early afternoon EDT, the Trump campaign released their weekly email/fundraiser, accusing Democrats of stealing the election via “ballot harvesting.” Trump is calling for insurrection with reference to guns at the same time his campaign is falsely claiming that Democrats are trying to “steal” the election. This is what despots do. It’s dangerous. He’s laying the groundwork for his supporters to reject results and use violence. pic.twitter.com/pNCeqq0Phz — Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) April 17, 2020 And this batshit tweet was written just three days ago. GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE USA MUST HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN HONEST COUNT! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020 Trump is referring to absentee ballots, and the sublime irony of this is that the only case of “harvesting” absentee ballots was on the part of a Republican congressional candidate in 2018, Mark Harris, North Carolina District 9. Huffington Post, February 19, 2019: …investigators had evidence that McCrae Dowless, a political operative working on behalf of the Harris campaign, filled out and mailed in incomplete or blank ballots from both his office and home. She said Dowless paid people in cash to collect requests for absentee ballots and the ballots themselves. The state board also has evidence, she said, that Dowless paid people to falsify signatures on absentee ballots indicating that they had witnessed those ballots being filled out (North Carolina requires two witnesses to someone filling out an absentee ballot). It is not illegal to help someone request an absentee ballot in North Carolina, but it is illegal for anyone other than a close relative to take custody of the actual ballot. [Kim] Strach [Board of Elections Director] said Dowless took several steps to conceal the fraud. Those measures included using the same color ink as the voter who filled out other parts of the ballot, mailing the ballot from a post office close to the voter and placing the stamps on the envelopes in a certain way not to raise red flags. And don’t forget the story of the campaign worker in Florida changing voter registrations […]