Category Archives: COVID-19

Guest Post: A Postcard From Sonoma

One of the many unfortunate consequences of the Dipshit Insurrection is how it has overshadowed all other news since Twelfth Night. The pandemic has worsened dramatically since the beginning of the year. New mortality records have been set almost on a daily basis.  It’s a fucking mess, y’all.

In his second post for First Draft, my old friend Shapiro ponders the pandemic’s impact on his town, Sonoma, California.

-Adrastos

A Postcard From Sonoma by Shapiro

A tractor trailer rolled into my town last night.

My town is Sonoma California. To many of you that name conjures up images of vineyards and wineries, rolling hills in the distance, warm summer days followed by cool summer nights. A visitor once said to me he couldn’t even see the word Sonoma without imaging a wine glass in his hand.

In many ways Sonoma is just a small town like so many other small towns across America. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a guest tell me “It’s just like Stars Hollow!”, the fictional TV home of the Gilmore Girls.  We have a town square, historic in California as the spot where the Bear Flag Revolution began, the place where Californios, the Americans who came to Spanish, then Mexican Alta California, rebelled against the Mexican government who said they were not allowed to own land unless married to a Mexican. There is a large statue dedicated to those men, but most visitors pass it by as they head to picnic tables, laden down by wine purchases from nearby tasting rooms and emboldened by the fact it’s legal to consume alcohol within the square’s boundaries. During the summer, the square is the sight of a Tuesday night Farmer’s Market. Sonomans gather, folding chairs and tables in hand, picnic baskets filled, to see and be seen, to gossip and kibbitz, to lay down the workday and remember why we live here. Kids play on the swings, unbothered by helicopter parents, an admonishment only to be back when the streetlights come on. Occasionally people will wander over to the farmer’s stalls and pick up a few things or maybe get a churro or an Indian dish from one of the food trucks.

Across from the square on the east side is the Sebastiani movie theater, a single screen, real popcorn covered with real butter, first run, old fashioned movie house that on occasion will quietly show a new Pixar animated feature for a week before it’s official premiere since the guys who run Pixar, some of whom grew up in Sonoma, like to see their movies the way they grew up watching movies. Some nights the theater is given over to lectures or musical performances and, in the spring, it is the center piece for the Sonoma International Film Festival (SIFF). The big movies get shown there, smaller ones are shown at the Arts Center around the corner, the Veteran’s Hall down the street, and some are even projected onto an inflatable screen set up on the runway of the prop plane airport over on 8th street.

Neat little shops line the four legs of the square as well as restaurants, bars, and even an upscale sausage emporium. The ice cream shop proudly advertises its strawberry ice cream is made with not just local berries, but exactly which local strawberry patch provided them. Early mornings are accented with the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread from the Basque Bakery. The ladies clothing store competes with the thrift store, modern versus vintage, each holding their own against the other. The jewelry store owner proudly will detail how she was once Bob Hope’s girlfriend and you smile and nod your head, indulging the elderly lady her stories until she points to the pictures on the wall of her and “Bobby” at the Brown Derby and the Biltmore Hotel. There’s even a store selling old fashioned candy and games you played as a kid on long car trips, shoved into your hands by parents who tired of the eternal question “are we there yet?”.

Just off the square are neighborhoods filled with houses, neatly tended gardens watched over by large dogs who lay in a corner, raise a head, and pant a smile at those passing by. It seems as if every house has a story connected to it. It was built by a winery owner for himself or it was built by a winery owner to house favored employees or it was built by a San Franciscan who came to escape the big city willingly or not. Occasionally as one walks down a street of 1920’s California bungalows, an Amberson like 1880’s mansion will rise from behind a row of immaculately tended hedges to remind the street of a more elegant if less technologically advanced time.

A tractor trailer rolled through those neighborhoods last night.

It’s no secret things haven’t been usual the past nine months. COVID came to America through the West Coast which might be why California initially responded so furiously. San Francisco and Los Angeles locked down early, the state prepared to turn convention centers and sports arenas into makeshift hospitals. Fortunately, we never needed them. The people of California, for the most part, accepted the idea of lockdowns, quarantines, and face masks, hoping the combination would get us at least to the point where science would come through with a vaccine.

And we believed. We believed the doctors who told us this was worse than the flu. We believed the public health officials who said wash your hands, don’t touch your face, keep your nose and mouth covered. We believed the government officials when they said how important it was to have ventilators and PPE and intensive care beds at the ready. We battled the federal government’s non-response, their non-belief, and got prepared. The virus came and we were ready for it.

In Sonoma wineries closed their tasting rooms, restaurants went to takeout only, the square was empty on Tuesday nights, the film festival was cancelled. A summer came and went with few out of town guests, but we kept telling ourselves do this now and maybe by the fall things will start to get back to normal. Maybe we can at least have a family Thanksgiving became maybe we could at least have a family Christmas which in turn became maybe next year we will get back to normal.

But they haven’t gotten back to normal.

Things didn’t get back to normal because while we prepared for the worst, the rest of the country debated if the virus was even real. While we politely told visitors to wear a mask, yahoos proclaimed that their freedom was infringed being told to wear one. Even when their Yahoo in Chief waddled out to a helicopter to be whisked to the most intensive of intensive care facilities his followers refused to take the simplest of precautions. Predictably the virus grew stronger, the toll became higher, the deaths piled up. Just when it looked like we might be able to open up a bit, the door was slammed shut again. Last Friday Sonoma announced the tough restrictions would have to remain in place for at least another month because even with all our precautions, all our mask wearing, all our hand washing, all our businesses shut down and our lives disrupted, even with all of that intensive care bed space was at 3% and projected to hit zero within a matter of days.

So last night a tractor trailer rolled through Sonoma on its way to the county seat of Santa Rosa. There it dropped its refrigerated trailer, doubling the county morgue’s capacity.

Shapiro Out.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Great White Nope edition

Well, folks – looks like the Freeperati have their backs against the wall for sure.

Fortunately, they have the man who can never say no to The Darnold, waiting to pull that rabbit out of the shat for them – MIKE (mommy told me not to cum) PENCE!!!!

LEGAL FILING — Mike Pence refused to sign on to plan to overturn election…
Citizen Free Press ^ | 12/30/2020 | Kane

Posted on 12/30/2020, 7:06:48 PM by Beave Meister

Lawyers representing Louie Gohmert and a group of Arizona Republicans disclosed in a court filing Tuesday that Vice President Pence rejected their request to join their attempt to block electors.

Gohmert and 11 GOP “alternate” electors from Arizona filed suit against Pence on Monday in an attempt to argue that the vice president has sole authority to determine which presidential electors Congress will count when it certifies the results of the election. The suit essentially asks the court to grant Pence the authority on Jan. 6 to overrule the results in swing states such as Arizona and have Congress count only pro-Trump electors.

In new court filings made public Tuesday, the plaintiffs disclosed that they had reached out to Pence before filing their suit in an attempt to join forces but that their talks did not reach any kind of agreement.

“In the teleconference, Plaintiffs’ counsel made a meaningful attempt to resolve the underlying legal issues by agreement, including advising the Vice President’s counsel that Plaintiffs intended to seek immediate injunctive relief in the event the parties did not agree,” lawyers for Gohmert and the electors said in the filing. “Those discussions were not successful in reaching an agreement and this lawsuit was filed.”

***************

I have a bad feeling in my gut about this. Pence is our last line of defense…
1 posted on 12/30/2020, 7:06:48 PM by Beave Meister
Oops.
To: Beave Meister

I think Pence was one of the leaks all along at this point.

10 posted on 12/30/2020, 7:15:14 PM by ZULU (Impeach John Roberts for corruption. SOROS IS “SPARTACUS” BOOKER’S LANISTA.)

Mike Pence – derp state operative!  (I told you that circle of trust would eventually shrink down to only The Darnold and a few of the Freepers)
To: Beave Meister

Pence was never going to do anything to upset the Deep State.

25 posted on 12/30/2020, 7:26:14 PM by ducttape45 (“Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34)

I’m getting a feeling here…..
To: ClearCase_guy

Pence is Swamp. Half of his staff who have left have become never-Trumpers.

34 posted on 12/30/2020, 7:33:03 PM by Reverend Wright (Biden is like Robert Mueller: a senile frontman for radical left interests)

To: Beave Meister

I knew it. I knew this guy could not be trusted to do the right thing. He’s a weakling.

53 posted on 12/30/2020, 7:55:29 PM by Robert DeLong

To: Jonty30

So he’s looking after his own interests rather than the constitution and the people who had this election stolen from them.

Sqwew him. I’m going back to being a Palin fan.

78 posted on 12/30/2020, 8:41:28 PM by Kevmo (I’m in a slow motion Red Dawn reality TV show. The tree of liberty is thirsty.)

To: Mr. K

I think the election is gone, and the March on the 6th is for naught, but I’ll be there..we are grasping at straws now..slim pickins

96 posted on 12/30/2020, 10:23:35 PM by aces (and )

.
More good news after the Read More-a-lago!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Fixing Schools

I got mad sometime in 2004 or so, when the war in Afghanistan became less about KILLING OSAMA BIN LADEN and more about “let’s paint some schools there to show ‘them’ Americans, despite dropping bombs on them for decades, are nice people they should love and emulate right down to endless re-runs of ‘Friends.'”

I got mad because on a near-daily basis I spent time in schools that had literal holes in the roof and doors that wouldn’t stay shut unless they were padlocked, where in one classroom kids wore parkas and another the windows were open in January because the heating was just … like that.

Why can’t we paint THOSE schools, I would ask, and silly girl. Honestly.

We can wrap our heads around charity far, far away, much more easily than we can here at home. This gets to some of why:

This story, which I read years ago and never forgot, gets to the rest: 

Winfrey, who devoted five years to creating the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls outside Johannesburg, also said of the assistance she has given at home, “I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there.”

In America, she says, “If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school.”

We have this idea that there’s a way people should behave, properly grateful for the things they should get, and when we’re confronted with the fact that people are PEOPLE, and messy, and don’t act like we think they should, we throw up our hands and throw in the towel.

Forgetting that, of course, we owe one another not just our resources and our care but also our absolute understanding that once something leaves our hands it’s not up to us anymore what people do with it.

If we see the same panhandler on the corner every weekend looking drunker and twitchier no matter how much money we give him, we start to think he’s just spending our money on a high. But if we give to the faraway, if we do the mission trip and come home and only see the newsletter the mission sends which is designed to make us feel good and keep giving, well, then we know our time was well-spent.

These are both assumptions, and they’re dangerous and damaging, as is the constant drumbeat that “government” wastes our money on “welfare” and “those people,” superimposed over images of a Black person somewhere, sometime, breaking something. In other words, the entire Fox oeuvre. The church missions are to the Developing World, not down the block. We are conditioned, by now, to make those assumptions, to see in care for others the faces not of our friends and neighbors but of an “other.”

And while I’d like to believe the pandemic would change that, any relief money received is likely to be accompanied by a flood of those same FOX NEWS WATCHDOG INVESTIGATES stories about “people” spending it on jewelry or something, sourced to an anecdote from an anonymous Costco employee in, say, Ohio.

The needs are real, just as real as any “for pennies a day you could save a child” commercial: 

The pandemic is giving us an opportunity to make a pivot that we should have made long ago. We have been on a treadmill of short-term fixes, pretending that if we just get the right test, the right incentives, put the right pressure on teachers and students, they will achieve what is good for them, like it or not. But we are realizing what we should have known all along: that you can’t widget your way to powerful learning, that relationships are critical for learning, that students’ interests need to be stimulated and their selves need to be recognized.

If we’d had a real functioning government we’d have spent this year doing unsexy things like upgrading the HVAC systems in every school in the land and doubling the pay of every custodian. Making sure the windows all open, and are screened.

But it’s hard to make that glossy enough to goose donors for cash. We can’t have a conference about it and design software and metrics. And the kids it’ll benefit likely won’t even notice except that they’ll, you know, still be alive and healthy, so you can see why it’s far more attractive to parachute a pallet of cash into someplace far away and never ask where it really ends up.

A.

The Stories We Choose to Tell

I’ve written before about the individual shaming, around COVID particularly but in general, but as we go headlong into what is about to be a cold and lonely winter I’d like to encourage us all to stop elevating the stories of assholes:

This whole thing was the internet piñata for the day, and I understand why people are angry with this family, with everyone they hear about going on a vacation or everyone they see hanging out at a restaurant. I haven’t seen my friends in months and I worry about ten people I know who are struggling every single day, and hearing about some giant house party or live indoor concert makes me crazy too.

It’s useless, is the problem.

I think a lot of people who are flouting rules are dickheads, and public shaming only hardens their resolve to continue to act like their heads are made of dicks. This is already a demographic — mostly white, well-to-do, temperamentally inclined to yell at the Starbucks girl — that enjoys feeling persecuted by being taught any new thing. Protesting their weddings and bar mitzvahs just confirms for them that they are correct.

I also, though, think a lot of people who have followed the rules, who have done what they were supposed to do, for a long-ass time, who homeschooled their kids and shut down their lives and ordered takeout and Zoomed with Grandma are UTTERLY LOSING IT IN THE FACE OF GOVERNMENT INACTION AND INEPTITUDE and are just like look, if nobody behaves then it doesn’t matter if I do. Which is exactly the conclusion you come to when you have the leadership we have.

The entire point of our leadership should be to tell us what we’re all goddamn doing here. What are we a part of, what do we all believe? Jesus, even the GOPers whose messages were small and mean had a message that wasn’t just SCREW YOU THIS IS WHO YOU SHOULD BE MAD AT. It was like massive bullshit all the time but at least it was a message.

Without that, without a voice of calm and decency telling us that what we are doing takes courage and kindness, that it is worth it, that we will get through, that everything will be okay, that we have faced hard times before and will manage them again, you wonder if your sacrifices are worth it. If all you hear is the rule-breaking and the belligerence and the hate of our fellow jackasses, if all you see is the angry mob and not the nurses and doctors fighting this every single day and sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing but every single day getting up and trying again, if you fill your head with poison and hopelessness and anger …

Well, we’ve seen pretty well these last four years what that leads to. Think about all the people you know who are constantly mainlining stories of liberal depravity, of Democrats secretly molesting and killing children, of secret microchips and controlling the population. Think about what it does to every cell in your body to spend all your time in a frustrated rage.

Then think about the people who put signs in their windows at the start of this, that are still there months later: WE’VE GOT THIS. WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER. HAVE HOPE. The scavenger hunts and the handmade masks, the donations, the phone calls, the “what do you need” and the “I have one of those, you can have it for free” that have sustained and uplifted us all.

At the dark and dead end of the year, on the days when it seems like the whole world just might stop turning and we will live forever in the night, I want us to turn our attention to the stories of people whose lives have honored the dead and not those who’ve disgraced them.

I want us to spend a fraction of the time we spend freaking out on social media about somebody not behaving properly elevating the stories of those who have. I want applause — and MONEY — for teachers doing the most, for delivery drivers working triple-shifts, for the researchers who found the vaccine, for the coffee shops keeping them all going. I want our attention on THEM, and not on some puds who needed to have a wedding.

That wedding is over. We have a winter to get through. We need to hold on.

A.

Who Says Rudy Isn’t Powerful?

Team Trump may be 1-36 in the courtroom, but the artist formerly known as Mayor Combover is a powerhouse in reverse:

Arizona’s entire legislature will be closed this week after Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who socialized with GOP state lawmakers mask-less several times last week while trying to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The Arizona Capitol Times obtained an email from the Senate Chief of staff Wendy Baldo informing all senators that “due to COVID-19 concerns and out of an abundance of caution,” the chamber would be closed the entire week.

House Chief of Staff Michael Hunter also told lawmakers that the House building would be closed for a week starting Monday, per multiple local news outlets.

Giuliani’s diagnosis came less than a week after he and fellow Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis spoke at informal hearing in Phoenix on November 30 with nine GOP lawmakers on the committee who were holding the hearing, which attempted to falsely “prove” that the election results were fraudulent. Other Republicans were also reportedly seen in the audience. Giuliani did not wear a mask, and neither did many of the GOP lawmakers in attendance.

The attorney then had a private meeting with Republican leaders on the following day.

On Sunday, Trump announced that Giuliani had tested positive for the coronavirus. The lawyer confirmed his diagnosis later that night, tweeting he was “getting great care and feeling good.”

Giuliani, who is at high risk for the virus due to his age of 76, was taken to Georgetown University Medical Center for treatment, according to the New York Times and ABC News.

I ordinarily wouldn’t make fun of someone who just checked into the hospital but there’s an exception to every rule. Make that a loophole since this involves Trump’s head shyster. He’s also the man who puts mouth into mouthpiece.

It’s hard to nail down the exact number of Trump associates who have tested positive but it’s north of 50 and may be as high as 100. It’s what happens when you sneer at this lethal virus. Here are two numbers we have a firmer handle on: 14,600,000 and 282,000. Those are the total number of American COVID cases and the number of deaths as of this writing. Thanks, Donald.

Everything President* Pennywise touches turns to shit. The same goes for Rudy Giuliani. They’re both malevolent clowns playing on the public’s fears. Their clownish behavior regarding the pandemic shouldn’t be funny but it is. I apologize for my sick sense of humor but it’s keeping me sane in these crazy times.

I’ve long thought that Graham Nash’s King Midas In Reverse is a brilliant song. It applies to many situations. This is one of them. The last word goes to The Hollies:

 

 

 

 

The Lame Duck & The Quack

Scientists were dancing in the streets when they heard that Trump’s pandemic Svengali, Dr. Scott Atlas had resigned. It was a hiring that would have been unthinkable before Trump. President* Pennywise saw Atlas on Fox News, then hired him for the COVID task force. Atlas proceeded to put the farce into task force by implicitly endorsing the concept of Herd Immunity in public while arguing for it in private.

Now he’s gone after a flurry of unhinged interviews in which he pandered desperately to his boss. That’s how Atlas got the job in the first place: telling Trump what he wants to hear. Team Trump has perfected sucking up to the boss and refusing to tell him the truth. The truth can be painful. It certainly is when it comes to the pandemic, which is raging as I write this. We seem to set new records every day and they’re not the kind that end up in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Atlas had no qualifications for his post. He’s a radiologist, not an epidemiologist. He hasn’t even practiced for many years instead becoming a health care policy analyst at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. The university finally distanced itself from Atlas’ extreme views, but only because he urged an uprising against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. According to its web site, the Hoover Institute remains dedicated to developing public policies to advance “principles of individual, economic, and political freedom.”

Freedom, man.

On the surface libertarianism sounds good. Who’s opposed to freedom, man? But as expounded by one of its prophets, Ayn Rand, it’s really a rationalization for “rugged individualism” which is a euphemism for selfishness. It’s fitting that Scott Atlas name evokes one of Rand’s book titles: Atlas Shrugged.

Freedom, man.

You know what they say about lame ducks. If it walks like a lame duck and quacks like a lame duck, it’s a lame duck. That applies to the quacks who serve the lame duck.

This scene between Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny sums up my feelings about both the Lame Duck and the Quack:

The nightmare is nearly over. Help is on the way.

I bet you saw this coming. The last word goes to the Kinks:

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Oprah Winfrey edition

.
(edited to add)
Of course, as soon as I finished this post, I got the news that Adrastos’s wonderful Dr. A tested positive, but this post is NOT about people who take precautions and get infected anyway – it’s about the deniers/flubros at Free Republic.

*******************************************************************************

*******************************************************************************

Well, Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity’s lawsuits are getting shot down like Zeros at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, Georgia just told The Darnold to go subpoena himself, it’s not like things could get any worse for Team Drumpf…..

Florida Sen. Rick Scott tests positive for COVID-19
nypost ^ | 11/20/2020 | Lia Eustachewich

Posted on 11/20/2020, 10:10:18 AM by ChicagoConservative27

Florida Sen. Rick Scott has tested positive for COVID-19, he said Friday, as he advised Americans to “wear a mask.”

The GOP lawmaker said he was diagnosed with the bug Friday morning after several negative tests.

“I’m feeling good & experiencing very mild symptoms,” he tweeted. “I’ll be working from home until it’s safe for me to return to DC. I remind everyone to be careful & do the right things to protect yourselves & others.”

1 posted on 11/20/2020, 10:10:18 AM by ChicagoConservative27
To: Williams

Seriously!
Why have NONE of the Ds had covid?

12 posted on 11/20/2020, 10:19:00 AM by a real Sheila (Epstein didn’t kill himself, but Hunter probably will.)

Maybe because (unlike the Republicans) they actually take this shit seriously, wear masks, socially distance, and avoid church services and MAGA superspreader events?
.
Just a thought.
.
And the crazy gets even crazier :
.
To: ChicagoConservative27

Another case of COVID-19. So what? On the positive side, common cold and common flu have been eradicated by COVID-19. All tests point to COVID-19. Silver lining to that there COVID-19 cloud.

39 posted on 11/20/2020, 11:13:26 AM by lakecumberlandvet (Appeasement never works.)

Meanwhile:
.
Chuck Grassley ‘Symptom-Free,’ Feeling ‘Good’ After Testing Positive for Coronavirus
Breitbart ^ | 11/18/2020 | Kyle Morris

Posted on 11/18/2020, 3:35:29 PM by ChicagoConservative27Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Wednesday he is “symptom-free” and feeling “good” after he announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus on Tuesday.

“I remain symptom free & in isolation. I continue to feel good Thx for all the messages of encouragement & prayers,” 87-year-old Grassley wrote in a tweet.

To: ChicagoConservative27

Should have retired 12 years ago, what is it about politicians who think they have to leave the senate in a casket?

5 posted on 11/18/2020, 3:38:48 PM by Trump.Deplorable

And all this time, I thought it was just a “Democrat hoax”?
.
It’s almost like the “hoax” is gaining impetus, isn’t it?

BREAKING NEWS: Don Jr tests positive for coronavirus and is in quarantine: Trump’s son becomes latest in the president’s inner circle to get infected Daily Mail ^ | Nov 20 2020 | Emily Goodin Posted on 11/20/2020, 5:26:10 PM by Alter Kaker

Donald Trump Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining at his cabin.

1 posted on 11/20/2020, 5:26:11 PM by Alter Kaker
Oops.
More below the folderino….

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday Odds & Sods: This Wheel’s On Fire

Tragic Prelude by John Steuart Curry.

It’s been a difficult week in New Orleans. Dr. A tested positive for COVID and we’re under quarantine. Mercifully, we’re both asymptomatic.

This is an excellent example of how contagious COVID-19 is. As a scientist, Dr. A is careful and cautious in dealing with the virus. She caught it at work, not socializing. If you’re thinking of having a normal Thanksgiving, please reconsider. Anyone can catch this virus if they let their guard down. Help is on the way but it’s going to take time to vaccinate the entire population. Please be careful out there.

This week’s theme song was written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko in 1967. It was first recorded by The Band on their debut album, Music From Big PInk. It’s been covered by a wide variety of artists over the years and was the theme song of the OTT British sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.

We have four versions of This Wheel’s On Fire for your listening pleasure: The Band live, The Byrds, Julie Driscoll, and Guster.

I have a confession to make. I’m a hardcore fan of The Band but I’m not crazy about Big Pink. It’s a brilliant collection of songs but they don’t swing like the Band did live. Hence the live burning wheel. I hope this won’t consign me to rock hell as the CW on Big Pink is that it’s one of the greatest albums of all-time. I like it but don’t love it.

Another song from The Band with Rick Danko on lead vocals:

Now that we’ve walked that highway til we die, let’s jump to the break.

Continue reading

Thanksgiving With Scott Atlas

The Invention Of Thanksgiving by Rui Tenreiro.

Trumpistan’s favorite doctor Scott Atlas is at it again. There seems to be a disconnect between his brain and his mouth. In short, he’s a blurter. That’s probably why the Impeached Insult Comedian likes him so much. As long as he’s useful that is.

Atlas is, of course, an exponent of Herd Immunity and freedom, man. He kicked over a holiday hornet’s nest the other day with these comments:

During an interview on Fox News, Atlas bashed the notion of staying away from elderly relatives during the holiday to protect them from the virus.

“This kind of isolation is one of the unspoken tragedies of the elderly who are now being told don’t see your family at Thanksgiving,” the doctor told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. “For many people this is their final Thanksgiving, believe it or not. What are we doing here?”

He argued that “we want to protect the elderly, but we cannot lock down.”

Freedom, man.

It sounds like a recreation of the first Thanksgiving: deadly viruses spread to the indigenous population. Guns and plenty of them. A gun horn of plenty. Sounds plenty plentiful, y’all.

I suspect Scottie agrees with young Charlie Kirk:

I’m on the record as loving Thanksgiving as does Athenae and the rest of the First Draft gang. What’s not to love about gluttony, drunkenness, and football?

In recent years, we’ve played a double even triple header on Turkey Day but not this year. Large gatherings during the pandemic are dangerous. It’s worrisome that up to 40% of Americans plan a large traditional Thanksgiving gathering. COVID fatigue and denialism are a toxic combination. A reminder that 249,000 Americans have died of COVID as of this writing.

Scott Atlas is a dangerous man who only has 64 days left to spread lethal medical disinformation from his White House perch. He will not be missed.

The last word goes to Mary Chapin Carpenter:

It’s All Over But The Pouting

Image by Michael F.

I’m still batting away coup chatter like a cat with a cornered cockroach. If someone wants to claim there’s a coup, I tune them out. I’m not even sure if many people who use the term even know what a coup really is. It’s certainly not what’s going on right now, which is driven by presidential * payback, petulance, and pouting.

Here’s what’s going on right now: President* Pennywise is pouting. One man’s petulant refusal to accept reality is slowing down the transition of power. Making matters worse are his GOP enablers. That’s the real problem right now, not a golpe de estado, which is Spanish for coup d’état. A real coup would make us all golpe, I mean, gulp…

President* Pennywise walked up to the edge of admitting defeat last weekend but couldn’t quite get there. A concession would be nice and good sportsmanship, but this guy is never going to concede. He’s incapable of doing the right thing. It’s not in his DNA. Instead, he pouts.

I have long thought that playing team sports is good for the participant even if they’re no good at the sport. I was a terrible Little League baseball player and an even worse church league basketball player. In fact, my father was the Holy Cross church hoops coach and he taught us the virtue of good sportsmanship and the vice of sore loserdom.

Trump claims to have been the best high school baseball player in New York state in his day but it taught him nothing about being a good sport. His claim is, of course, a lie. He played ball against future Hall of Famers Jim Palmer and Rod Carew. I think they were a smidgen better than the Impeached Insult Comedian. The only thing this asshole could have led the league in was trash talking. That he’s good at. And he excels at pouting.

Back to the transition. It’s being blocked by the Trump regime’s GSA honcho, Emily Murphy. She’s trying to score points with the boss when he only has 65 days left in office. She’s going to be replaced by Team Biden after this stunt, so she might as well go out in a blaze of glory by authorizing the full-blown transition required by law. Trump would fire her, but such a firing might help her employment prospects after the Kaiser of Chaos is out of office.

Perhaps a musical interlude will encourage Emily Murphy to do the right and legal thing:

The pandemic is the main reason the transition is so important. Team Biden is concerned that Trumpist recalcitrance will make the distribution of any vaccines problematic. Incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain put it this way:

“We now have the possibility — we need to see if it gets approved  — of a vaccine starting perhaps in December, January,” Klain said, appearing to refer to Pfizer’s recent announcement that early, independently reviewed data suggests that its COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing infections. “There are people at HHS making plans to implement that vaccine. Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th.”

Klain stressed the urgency for Biden’s transition team to get the ascertainment from Trump’s GSA chief so that it can begin its plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What we really want to see this week is the General Services Administration issue that ascertainment, so we can start to do the kinds of things you and I talked about a few minutes ago,” Klain said. “Meet with these vaccine officials, kind of get the intelligence briefings for the president-elect, the vice president-elect. That’s really the measure of how this is moving forward this week, I think.”

Unfortunately, neither Trump nor his party gives a rat’s ass. The GOP is the party of COVID denialism, which is not a good place to be as the virus surges. They seem to think that, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, if they click their heels together three times COVID will magically disappear. Freedom, man.

I think that Trump and other GOP bigwigs should be forced to wear this hat seen on last week’s Shark Tank:

There’s no doubt that COVID denialism and false claims of a rigged election are hurting the country. It’s what they do. Everything Team Trump has done since day one has hurt the country. They’ve graduated from owning the liberals to reckless disregard for human life during the pandemic. In many states, reckless disregard = manslaughter. That’s some serious shit. The GOP should care but they don’t. Freedom, man.

At some point the transition will kick into high gear, a rising body count may force the GSA’s hand. As to President* Pennywise, he can go fuck himself. All his lies and conspiracy theories don’t change the fact that he lost the election.

Putting Rudy Giuliani is charge of the post-election litigation is a sign of desperation. They haven’t won a single court case and the Million MAGA March flopped. So much for the civil war and coup chatter. The MAGA Maggots are pussies. They should grab themselves.

This whole mishigas reminds me of the venerable expression: It’s all over but the shouting. The Trumpified version is: It’s all over but the pouting.

The last word goes to Bobby Womack & Bill Withers, The Rolling Stones, and Grateful Dead:

 

Grown-Ups Are On It

God, it’s amazing how small a move this actually is, and how great it is at the same time: 

Today, I met with the co-chairs of the transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. David Kessler, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.

They briefed me on the accelerating public health crisis. The facts they presented were alarming. Our country is experiencing surges in reported infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities all over the country, with virtually nowhere getting spared. Our doctors, nurses, and other health care workers are under enormous — and growing — strain.  This week’s news on progress toward a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is positive, but it will be many months before there is widespread vaccination in this country.

This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response, which has been woefully lacking.

Here in Illinois we’re on the brink of another total shutdown, and all our extracurricular activities got axed this weekend, closing the park district fieldhouses and all the programs that were keeping us sane. I am pricing out ice rinks for our backyard, but somehow I’m still less panicked than I was back in March, because: in 8 weeks this will be run by adults and not a bunch of idiot reptiles.

Adults we may give a hard time to, adults we yell at lot, adults who might not do everything right the first time around but goddamn, adults we can trust to return a phone call and give a shit when somebody — millions of somebodies — is sick and dying.

I mean, read that over, above, and keep telling me both parties are the same. One has … scientists, that they’re listening to, and a plan to get things under control that will actually be carried out without constant drama. Another has Marjorie Taylor-Greene out here screaming about the tyranny of closing down Crossfit, what the actual fuck, government shutdowns are not causing these problems, A QUARTER OF A MILLION DEAD PEOPLE AND TEN MILLION CASES of a preventable disease are causing these problems.

And if I read one more op-ed citing “personal responsibility” and “local control” for a disease that cannot be prevented by either one, that crosses state lines and doesn’t care who your fucking mayor is, I’m going to lose my mind in several languages. There are things that are so big we can’t do them alone, people. That’s what a system of government is for.

We’ve spent the past four years in an experiment that says we don’t need a federal government. We’ve spent the past four years without one, actually, without any national leadership on anything at all. It’s not just that that leadership has been dumb and bad; that we’ve seen before. It’s that we’ve taken the GOP at its word, that government is useless, and we’ve erased it entirely.

It’s very clear now that there are times we DO need to be one country. When we do need to give California and North Dakota the same thing, which is a rule to wear masks and money to keep people home and out of the shopping mall hacking germs all over each other. When we ARE all affected equally by the actions of others, and there is no reason to pretend help has to stop at the state border when the problems don’t.

No one state can do this without closing its state borders. We almost did that last spring, and had we kept it up I doubt Illinois would be as big a trash fire as it is, thanks a lot Indiana and Wisconsin, but this is the point. We CAN’T close ourselves off from one another or the world. We have to be responsible for Indiana and Wisconsin even as they’re led by absolute nuclear-grade jackwagons. Our fate is your fate. There’s no other way to do this. We don’t have any other choice.

And in eight weeks we’ll have leadership that understands that, that fills jobs that need filling, that can distribute any vaccine in a coordinated, reasonable, scientific manner. And yes, the screaming Trumper morons we’ll always have with us, but remember the way you feel whenever a new announcement comes out of the Biden team. Read that statement up there. Think of what it will be like when the loudest voices in the room aren’t the morons anymore.

Hold fast, help one another when you can, and whatever you do, hold on. We’re almost there.

A.

The COVID Factor

The presidential election hasn’t even been definitively called and the circular firing squad is already forming. One could call it 1984 and 1988 in reverse. After those defeats, moderate and conservative Democrats turned on Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis for being too liberal.

In 2020, some are turning on Joe Biden for being too moderate. A reminder that Team Biden worked closely with the Sanders and Warren people to produce the most progressive platform in party history. I, too, am disappointed in the result but there was a big turnout, which theoretically should have resulted in a blue tsunami instead of a close presidential race and disappointment down the ballot. As I said yesterday, we’re a Fifty-Fifty Nation.

I’m convinced that COVID is the primary reason for our electoral issues. Not using it as a club to beat the Impeached Insult Comedian with, that was the right thing to do. I’m referring to the severe impact the pandemic has had on the country and how we vote. Two of COVID’S effects are to the Democrats credit and one was out of our control.

We’ll do the sub-header thing today.

Canvassing: Since Democrats believe that COVID is real and easily transmissible, our GOTV efforts focused on early voting and mail-in ballots. In 2008 and 2012, waves of Democratic canvassers hit the streets in the last week before the election. That didn’t happen this year because of COVID. That’s to the Democrats’ credit: we don’t want people spreading or catching the virus via canvassing.

Republicans were not similarly inhibited in their canvassing or campaigning. President* Pennywise held a series of super-spreader rallies and GOP door knockers hit the streets. This is to their discredit, but it helped them at the polls. Freedom, man.

COVID Denialism: The central theme of the closing days of the Trump campaign was COVID denialism. Since *everyone* is tired of the pandemic, it was an easy sell with the science-hating GOP base. Freedom, man.

Joe Biden told the painful truth about the pandemic.  That was the only responsible course of action but it probably cost the Democrats votes. I’d rather lose votes than lives.

The Count: States with long experience of mail-in ballots obviously handled the count with more aplomb than states new to the process. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, Democrats attempted to pass legislation to allow the sorting and counting of mail-in ballots on election day. Under the influence of Team Trump, Republican leges rebuffed these sensible attempts. Once again, this is to their discredit.

It’s hardly an original observation to say that 2020 was a weird election. America has held presidential elections during wartime in 1864, 1916, 1944, 1968, and 2004. The 2020 election posed a more immediate problem: voting safely because of a public health menace. Most of us did the best we could with a terrible situation. The Republicans chose to pretend it was no big deal whereas Democrats acknowledged how bad the situation was as records were set on the COVID front nearly every day before and after the election.

Democrats have gotten used to cleaning up Republican messes. The post-Trump mess is the biggest by far. It’s complicated by the likelihood that the GOP will continue to hold the senate. The Senate elections were both disappointing and weird: some excellent candidates were recruited but lost close races. They were swamped by the enthusiasm on both sides this time around. That’s a rare occurrence.

Here’s the deal: Democrats have done the right thing regarding  the pandemic. It may have cost us at the ballot box, but our candidates told the truth instead of peddling lies and fantasies like Republicans. This is an explanation, not an excuse.

It’s extremely difficult to defeat an incumbent president for re-election. It’s only happened four time since 1912. It’s slowly happening as I write this. While many chased white whales, Team Biden focused on rebuilding the blue wall. The 2020 campaign has also transformed Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina into battleground states. It’s time to break up with Florida and Ohio. The former will always be close but it’s a heartbreaker for Democrats.

Democrats should hold our heads up high and celebrate the fact that Donald Trump’s shitshow presidency* is about to become a sideshow, not the main event. That’s a tremendous accomplishment. We should follow Johnny Mercer’s sage advice and Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive. Mister In-Between can go fuck himself.

The last word goes to the late Johnny Mercer from the new swing state of Georgia:

 

Essential Worker Or Hoosier Typhoid Mary?

If anyone doubted if Mike Pence is as horrible a human being as his boss, those doubts should be gone. Pence’s staffers are dropping like rona infected flies. Their boss should be under quarantine, but he campaigned yesterday and will preside over the Senate vote to confirm Her Illegitimacy, Amy Coney Barrett. I always thought Typhoid Mary was an Irish cook from New York instead of a pompous German Irish Hoosier.

The White House claims that Mike Liar Liar Pence On Fire is an essential worker. Say what? He’s Vice-President fer chrissakes. I can think of only four Veeps who had any power or influence whatsoever: Mondale, Gore, Cheney, and Biden. And both Gore and Cheney were sidelined in their second term. Most past Veeps agree with Cactus Jack Garner who said, “This job isn’t worth a bucket of warm piss.” The quote was cleaned up for many years with spit replacing piss. It was still an apt analogy.

In the 19th and early 20th Century, being Veep was hazardous to your health: seven died in office. Before the 25th Amendment was enacted, the office was vacant for 37 years and 290 days. And that doesn’t even include the four years J. Danforth Quayle was Veep.

Because the Current Occupant is mentally ill, recent discussion of the 25th Amendment has focused on the removal process. The primary reason the amendment was thought necessary was because Lyndon Johnson’s backup for 15 months was House Speaker John McCormack who was a 216-year-old drunk. I exaggerate slightly: McCormack was 72 when JFK was murdered but he looked three times his age.

Past Veeps would be dazed and confused by Pence being dubbed an essential worker. John C Calhoun resigned the office and Andrew Jackson barely knew he was gone. How’s that for a terrible ticket? Wilson’s Veep, Thomas Marshall, wasn’t even sure what his boss was sick with: the Spanish Influenza or a stroke. I could cite equally awful examples for hours, but I won’t.

The Trump regime’s recent pandemic related actions show why they’re losing the election and know it. Pence is running around infecting people and Mark Meadows is waving a white flag and admitting that their policy is herd immunity without uttering the words. It’s time for them to go.

The good news is that Joe Biden was treated so well by Barack Obama that Kamala Harris’ name will be added to the list of influential Veeps. That’s another reason to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Harris will be a dramatic improvement over the Hoosier Typhoid Mary. When she was in contact with infected people, she left the trail for two days and they weren’t as close to her as Pence’s Chief of Staff and body man are to him. I suspect that famous fictional body men Charlie Young and Gary Walsh would prefer Harris over Pence any day. Kamala is bound to be easier to work for than Selina Meyer, after all. Then again, who isn’t?

I keep expecting Senator Harris to adopt a new slogan:

It’s a winner, I tell ya.

The last word goes to Harold Lloyd hanging on for dear life in Safety Last:

Since we have a voting season now, I decided I should modernize the tick tock. Now that I think of it, Team Trump’s slogan should be SAFETY LAST.

That is all. I promise.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – “I FEEL ‘APPY!” edition

[clang]

Bring out your dead!

CUSTOMER: Here’s one.

CART MASTER: Nine pence.

DEAD PERSON: I’m not dead!

CART MASTER: What?

CUSTOMER: Nothing. Here’s your nine pence.

DEAD PERSON: I’m not dead!

CART MASTER: ‘Ere. He says he’s not dead!

CUSTOMER: Yes, he is.

DEAD PERSON: I’m not!

CART MASTER: He isn’t?

CUSTOMER: Well, he will be soon. He’s very ill.

DEAD PERSON: I’m getting better!

CUSTOMER: No, you’re not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment.

DEAD PERSON: [singing] I feel happy. I feel happy.

[whop]

*******************

OK – a bit of an explanation. Labour day weekend, I noticed a cut in my upper lip from the electric razor I use to trim my mustache was red and getting redder. Two days later, it was spreading fast enough to scare me, and prompt me to head for the local Doc-In-The-Box on Labour day. They gave me oral antibiotics and told me to come back the next day. It was getting worse rather then better, so I headed for the E.R.

After a six hour wait (the admissions room seemed to be filling up with people who were coughing for some reason), they admitted me, diagnosed cellulitis, and started me on a triple regimen of I/V antibiotics. I was there for a whole week, then discharged and told to go see my PCP. My PCP prescribed two of the heaviest-duty oral antibiotics made, which I stayed on for two weeks. VERY slow recovery. My face no longer looked like something Tom Savini slapped together during his lunch hour, but the brain fog from the antibiotics has made it impossible for me to concentrate on anything. I was trying to figure out how many more days worth of Clindomycin I have left to take, and had to ask Barbara how much 14 plus 56 are. Really.

I told Barbara “Remember when you were a young mom with two little girls in the back seat yelling, fighting, and kicking your seat back while you were trying to navigate a complex intersection you’d never driven through before? It’s like that, only a little worse.”

At the same time, Freeperville was coming apart at the seams like a “Made In GYNA” MAGA hat. I felt like Mike Joy being asked to turn around and sign autographs while a 40-car pileup was occurring on the Talladega speedway.

So – I’m back. I’ll be assembling “Obsession” posts about reactions to events of the last month, in chronological order, and there’s a buttload of them, so bear with me.

It’s not like all that much has happened in the last month anyway, has it?

Has it?

PRESIDENT TRUMP SAYS HE IS GOING INTO QUARANTINE WITH FLOTUS MELANIA
breaking 911 ^

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TWITTER FEED: POTUS AND FLOTUS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

President Trump’s Twitter feed ^ | 10/1/20 | President Trump

Posted on 10/1/2020, 11:59:49 PM by Yossarian

To: Yossarian

Holy crap.

2 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:00:38 AM by deadrock (<img src=”WIDTH420WIDTH420.jpeg” width=”420″>)

To: Yossarian

Holy sh*t

3 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:00:44 AM by Sarah Barracuda
To: Yossarian

SH*T!

11 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:04:02 AM by nutmeg (Mega prayers for Rush Limbaugh)

Don’t worry – it’s just a hoax.
Oh – and Limbaugh’s fucked, too, while we’re at it.
To: Yossarian; All

The President took Hydroxychloroquine as a preventative. I guess so much for the effectiveness of HCQ.

8 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:02:41 AM by Kenny
To: krogers58

He was talking to hannity earlier seemed fine

17 posted on 10/2/2020, 12:04:59 AM by Sarah Barracuda

I’m sure Hannity wasn’t concerned even in the slightest.
Heh.
More goodies after the break…

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Two Weeks

Two weeks, cats and kittens. Increasingly I have nothing, due to the sheer avalanche of bullshit and my own pressing need not to lose my grip on reality. Clench your fists, sharpen your teeth and get ready.

 

In no particular order:

  1. If we want everything to get back to “normal” we need to close down stadiums, restaurants, bars and performances, and pay all those people what they’d be making anyway. I don’t give a fuck, okay, about the owners of restaurant chains but if it takes a giant bailout for whoever owns six IHOPs to pay the people who clean those IHOPs then fine, do it.
  2. If we want schools to reopen then game this out for me: However much it would cost to send, basically, the Army Corps of Engineers to every school in America tomorrow to install state-of-the-art rich-lady-hospital quality HVAC with UV filters or whatever the hell in every single school in the land, we should pay that. It’ll have the added benefit of schoolkids not needing to wear parkas indoors and/or suffer heatstroke in June, but mostly it will help ensure kids can go back to school safely. Because …
  3. NOTHING gets better until the kids go back to school full-time. I’m sorry, childfree people, I was one of you and it blows to be held hostage to breeders like this, but our entire lives depend on doctors and bus drivers being able to work a full day. You can’t do that with part-time, hybrid, half-the-week-here, half-the-week-there schedules that throw everything into chaos. Kick’s school district keeps sending out emails that are like “what about a rotating once-a-full-moon day in class” and that’s fine for me, but a firefighter can’t just, like, blow off the rest of the shift and work from home and I’m pretty sure they don’t let kindergarteners actually ride in the ladder truck.
  4. NATIONAL MASK MANDATE. I don’t know how “staying alive by wearing a small piece of cloth over your face during the time you have to leave your house” became something only liberal pussies do, I really don’t. It’s not that hard to rally America to do something. The GOP managed to do it for two unwinnable wars and the election of Donald Trump, you’d think they could get their own feral caucus under control on the side of “even if we hate the governors of blue states we can work with these dicks just once so that our voters survive.” It’s not like they even have to stop being pricks. Be as mean as you want, wear a mask that says “Hillary’s a cunt,” that’s your free speech, just wear a mask so you don’t get any of it on me and mine.
  5. Once and for all time we are one country, not a collection of safe areas and danger zones. I can accept there are things Colorado has to deal with that Florida doesn’t and vice versa but if we all have a disease that crosses state lines we need solutions that do, too. This shouldn’t be complicated. This shouldn’t be hard. And the people who are making it difficult need to be identified and voted out.

So like this is the shit Joey B. Shark has to deal with on day one. Which necessitates the Senate, and not just a one- or two-asshole majority in the Senate. If Joe Manchin or some other dickhead can hold the whole place hostage every time someone doesn’t give him a rub and a tug just right then that’s not a majority, not the kind we need. Joe is 77 years old, I know Kamala’s right there but we do not exactly have a lot of time for the kind of cheap shit that went on during Obama’s two terms. Vote with your caucus or GTFO.

THEN we have to fix literally every agency and re-hire all the civil servants who quit, if they even want to come back, like would you. That’s if we have a clear decision on election night and a peaceful smooth transition STOP LAUGHING IT’S NOT FUNNY.

If, in two weeks, the cities are on fire and Trump is declaring victory, well, then, we will still have to do these things, and then I don’t see any way out of this that doesn’t involve jail time. I said this in 2004 and I meant it then, but I really mean it now, we’ve got two weeks. Whatever you’ve been doing, do it more.

A.

Republicans In Disarray: They Know They’re Losing

It gave me great pleasure to write that post title. I’m still gazing at it with affection after all the ‘Democrats in disarray” headlines in Politico and elsewhere over the years. As Athenae pointed out yesterday, the elite political press has been in the bag for the GOP since the Reagan years. They should get out of the bag and wake up and smell the coffee.

Republicans are not only in disarray, they’re in denial as this WaPo report from the capitol of wishful thinking, the Trump White House, indicates:

Trump’s team spent much of its time in recent days trying to position itself for a 2016 repeat, scouring the electoral college map for what advisers concede is a shrinking set of potential paths to victory and looking for voting populations that could still be swayed by the campaign.

<SNIP>

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans have urged the campaign to focus on messaging that would help senators in difficult states, such as Arizona, Maine and North Carolina. But Trump has argued to McConnell and others that the senators would be doing better if they were more supportive of his agenda.

Multiple people involved in the Trump effort said the Thursday meeting at the RNC led to agreements on the way forward that have ended, for the moment, a mood that has at times grown grim inside the Trump operation, with finger-pointing over who should be responsible for a potential loss — and whether it should be attributed to an undisciplined message, the coronavirus pandemic or campaign spending and choices made by former campaign manager Brad Parscale.

See what I mean about denial? The incumbent president* is still trying to run an insurgent campaign; an effort that’s doomed. He has an indefensible record to defend. His disastrous handling of the pandemic had led to an economic crash much worse than in, say, the European Union. They took COVID seriously and dealt with it early. The pandemic, however, is so bad that countries such as France are *still* having a second wave. Imagine Team Trump trying to cope with a second wave here. I shudder at the thought. Herd mentality. Freedom, man.

The WaPo article also discusses Team Biden warning its supporters to keep their foot on the gas pedal or as an American naval hero once said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” It was fun to quote Admiral Farragut’s disputed quote. It fits the moment.

Team Biden’s warnings are precisely how a winning campaign approaches the home stretch of a campaign. They cautioned against complacency in the face of great polls but remain confident in their approach to the campaign. I wrote about the distinction between confidence and cockiness in June. It applies to complacency as well.

The reason I’m confident in the outcome is that Republicans know they’re going to lose. This quote from the Denver Post illustrates the extent of their disarray:

“There is no reason for either side to put another dime into this state. It’s over,” said David Flaherty, a Republican pollster in Colorado who predicts “historic” losses for his party Nov. 3.

“It is undeniable. The train wreck and implosion of the president will bring a historic number of other Republican candidates down, and if you don’t believe that then you have your head in the sand,” he added.

Senate races in Colorado and Arizona show the importance of recruiting strong candidates: John Hickenlooper and Mark Kelly appear headed to victory. I’m feeling good about Maine and Iowa as well. Many of the other races depend on a strong showing by the top of the ticket as happened for the GOP in 1980 and the Democrats in 2008. A 7 to 10-point win will lift other Senatorial boats; a reminder that Democrats won the 2018 mid-terms 53-45%. That depends on a strong turnout focused on defeating a horrendous president* and horrible senators. The term “throw the bums out” was never as salient as it is in 2020.

The original focus of this post were the Republican rats fleeing the sinking ship by saying publicly that Trump is going to lose and drag his party down to defeat. It’s another reason for my confidence in the outcome. They know they’re losing.

Among the Republican grandees who think the Kaiser of Chaos will lose in a landslide are Rupert Murdoch, Ben Sasse, and Ted Cruz. I have no compassion for any of them. A venerable aphorism comes to mind: “You made your bed, now lie in it.”

Texas Senator John Cornyn has issued a milder rebuke. He compared his relationship with Trump to a bad marriage. I am not making this up.

Sasse and Cruz are among the GOPers who have long understood what a loathsome human being their party’s nominee was and is. Now they’re worried about a “bloodbath.” Poor babies. #sarcasm. In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones:

Senators such as Sasse and Cruz sold their souls to President* Pennywise in exchange for tax cuts and judges. Cruz, who is almost as horrible a person as Trump, should have known better. I don’t know about you, but I’d never forgive the man whose henchmen were behind this:

I love re-posting that image. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Democrats should be relentless in the last two weeks of the campaign. Joe Biden has been an excellent and surprisingly disciplined candidate. He’s focused like a laser beam on the intertwined issues of the pandemic, economy, and health care.  He has refused to rise to the Republicans’ bait on culture war issues. He’s waved them off with a laugh and a grin.

Mockery is always the best medicine against the Impeached Insult Comedian. He’s a bully who can dish it out but can’t take it. Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

As long as Trump insists on focusing on his “miraculous recovery” from COVID, he’s destined to lose. A clear majority of the country think his handling of the pandemic has been a disaster. Hell, even Moscow Mitch believes in masking up and social distancing. It’s a pity he seems on the way to winning his race, but Turtles excel at self-defense unlike cartoon villains.

The last word goes to The Beatles with a song dedicated to Republicans in disarray:

Saturday Odds & Sods: Wang Dang Doodle

Brownstones by Jacob Lawrence.

We’re not playing hurricane dodgeball this week in New Orleans. It had to happen. In fact, we’re experiencing what some observers insist on calling a “cold front” but I call a cool front. As always, it’s likely to lead to an orgy of overdressing by locals desperate to wear non-summer clothes. My coats will remain in the closet. I might, however, be daring and wear a long-sleeved shirt. That’s as rad as I’m gonna get for now. It will be back in the eighties next week.

Willie Dixon wrote Wang Dang Doodle some time in 1959 or 1960. The chronology is almost as fuzzy as with this week’s Friday Cocktail Hour tune. Here’s how the songwriter described what the title of  this rollicking song means:

 In his autobiography, Dixon explained that the phrase “wang dang doodle” “meant a good time, especially if the guy came in from the South. A wang dang meant having a ball and a lot of dancing, they called it a rocking style so that’s what it meant to wang dang doodle”

We have four versions of Wang Dang Doodle for your listening pleasure: the original recording by Howlin’ Wolf, Koko Taylor’s hit version, the Pointer Sisters, and the good old Grateful Dead who performed the song 96+ times. All night long, all night long.

Now that we’ve pitched a wang dang doodle, let’s jump to the break.

Continue reading

The Campaign As Science Experiment

We begin with a few words about the featured image. It comes from a season-one episode of MASH: Yankee Doodle Doctor. Hawkeye is channeling Groucho and Trapper John is making like Harpo. Honk, honk. That’s a bit too highbrow for the Trump regime: they’re more like The Three Stooges or The Bowery Boys. For all we know, Donny from Queens could be Huntz Hall’s evil twin…

In the immortal words of REM, “let’s begin again, begin the begin.”

The Trump regime has openly joined the herd immunity stampede. Quack medicine is in the saddle at the White House and on the campaign trail. It’s well and truly Midsommar In America.

Herd immunity has been White House policy since Dr. Scott Atlas Shrugged became the head wrangler of the dormant COVID task force. They’re finally admitting it now that the Impeached Insult Comedian is holding swing state super-spreader events. He’s making bizarre claims of immunity and supernatural health. He’s not immune and he’s certainly not Superman.

We need a double-barreled musical antidote to the mishigas coming from Team Trump:

Long-time readers know my motto: there’s a Kinks song for every occasion. Thanks, Ray.

Mockery remains the best medicine when it comes to Team Trump, but this latest nonsense is deeply disturbing. They’re putting public health and safety at risk with their rallies, which pack unmasked Trumpers in close proximity to one another. Then there are the vague pronouncements on Trump’s health by his lackey, Dr. Sean Conley who should be investigated by whatever licensing agency he answers to.

The herd immunity stampede appalls Dr. A’s homey, NIH director Francis Collins:

“What I worry about with this is it’s being presented as if it’s a major alternative view that’s held by large numbers of experts in the scientific community. That is not true,” Collins, the NIH director, said in an interview.

“This is a fringe component of epidemiology. This is not mainstream science. It’s dangerous. It fits into the political views of certain parts of our confused political establishment,” he said. “I’m sure it will be an idea that someone can wrap themselves in as a justification for skipping wearing masks or social distancing and just doing whatever they damn well please.”

That’s the sound of mild-mannered Dr. Francis Collins boiling with righteous indignation. What does he know? He’s only one of the most eminent scientists in the world. Who needs experts when President* Pennywise’s gut instincts are in charge?

In other campaign news, the Kaiser of Chaos’ support among senior citizens is slipping. That could cost him Florida. He’s been trying to woo them back then he tweeted this out:

The picture is obscured. I don’t want to let them off the hook so here it is:

 

Mocking seniors strikes me as a weird way to win their votes back. But the Kaiser of Chaos is a weirdo.

Joey B. Shark struck back with a blunt attack on his opponent:

“You’re expendable. You’re forgettable. You’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors,” Biden told a crowd of senior voters on Tuesday. “The only senior that Donald Trump cares about — the only senior — is the senior Donald Trump.”

The 2020 campaign has become an ordeal thanks to the incumbent. They’re conducting a weird science experiment on the body politic. It will be interesting to see if President* Pennywise gets it right this time and calls it herd immunity, not herd mentality. Either way, it’s insanity.

The last word goes to Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and my homey Kris Kristofferson:

 

 

 

 

Yet Another Mystery

But why, why do all these assholes keep voting for Trump? 

One of the evergreen thought exercises of the Trump era has been trying to guess what it might take to finally shake the faith of his most devoted supporters. “We’re always asking, ‘What would it take to break the camel’s back?’” said former Representative Tom Rooney, Republican of Florida, who withdrew his support for Mr. Trump in 2016 after the release of the “Access Hollywood” video.

“When the losers-and-suckers thing happened, I asked a friend of mine if that bothered him, and he said, ‘Nope,’” Mr. Rooney told me.

All that mattered to his friend was that he thought Mr. Trump was a better bet to keep his taxes low. “That was it,” Mr. Rooney said. “End of discussion.”

Look. This isn’t complicated. Before the pandemic, it was safe enough for rich white people to laugh along with the bully because the bully wasn’t going to hurt them. It was safe enough for middle-class and poor white people to egg the bully on, and use the bully’s name to commit their own acts of aggression. They could do that, even nervously, even reluctantly, and know that whatever horrors Trump visited on poor people, immigrants, liberals, anyone a fraction more melanated than himself, they would be shielded from it.

The joke is ALWAYS funny when it’s not about you. I was taught that most of our elite reporting class went to prep schools. Could they really have learned so little about playground dynamics? Were there no scholarship kids there for them to beat up on? Jesus, the innocence they pretend to.

But now? Now that people who denied the seriousness of the virus and laughed at people wearing masks are getting sick and dying? 

“I just want to punch him,” Schultz said. “I always had to keep my politics to myself, but from where I’m sitting now? Those days are over.

“I shouldn’t be here.”

Trump, he said, should have been more upfront with the public from the beginning about the dangers of the coronavirus, should have acted quicker, promoted wearing face masks. If he had, Schultz believes, maybe the pandemic would not have struck his community so hard, might not have wound up at his door.

Now it’s a lot less funny. They thought he would hurt other people. He ran, explicitly, on hurting other people. A lot of people heard him talking about manufacturing jobs and sticking it to The System and they thought he was their friend. But anyone who’s ever known a bully knows that the bully’s only friend is himself, and he will cut down with furious anger anyone who threatens him no longer how much they think he’s on their side.

A.

Debate Roundup: Return Of The Fly

We’ll call this semi-instant analysis as I wrote most of this post after the Crack Van closed. It was a bumpy ride and Scout could not get that pesky fly off the ham no matter how hard she tried. It kept coming back “more horrific than before.” The same goes for the unctuous soon-to-be former Veep.

Is it just me or did Mike Pence look ill during the debate? It’s unclear if the man even had a pulse, his performance was so low key. He appeared to have pink eye, which is a malady that hangs out with the ‘rona. He has been exposed repeatedly to folks who are COVID positive, after all. The man needs a quality PCR test pronto.

Then there was the real star of the evening, the fly on Pence’s head:

He never once shooed the damn fly away. There’s no way I could let a damn fly stay on my head unmolested for several minutes. It runs in the genes: my father could never let a fly go unswatted. He was known to chase them about the house in his pajamas and slippers. I am more dignified than that. I let the cats chase flies. They’d do it anyway. Thanks, kitties.

I plead guilty to being captivated by the fly on Pence’s head. I’d also never noticed what beady, shifty eyes he has. I don’t trust people with beady, shifty eyes. Never have, never will.

I’m biased but I thought Kamala Harris won the debate on both style and substance. She was lively and decidedly had a pulse. She hit all the major points that the campaign needed hit and she did it with passion and eloquence. To paraphrase Pat Benatar, she hit us with her best shot.

In contrast, Pence is a champion mansplainer. He talked over both Senator Harris and moderator Susan Page. He spoke without inflection or passion. He knows that they’re losing, which is one reason for the low wattage performance. Lordy, he was boring.

Pence was so laid back that I halfway expected him to take a cat nap. Perhaps he was channeling this song written by fellow Hoosier Hoagy Carmichael:

Wherever his debating style came from, he was condescending and patronizing to both his opponent and the moderator. Harris’ new catch phrase is: “I’m Speaking.”

Harris did what she had to do last night. Pence did not.

Let’s return to the fly. Imagine finishing third in a debate to your opponent and a fly. Sigh, Mike, sigh.

There are now 26 days until the election. Tick tock, motherfuckers.

The last word goes to Curtis Mayfield: