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    • Open Thread & March 28th US Covid Numbers Update
      As usual, use this for topics unrelated to recent posts. Since the blog has been all Covid, all the time this last week, this is a good place to discuss other issues. The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE […]
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Today would be a good day for Bernie to drop out.

The gaming of the primaries has begun. He can’t win the General Election in this environment. For the good of the country, I want him to step aside.

He needs to sacrifice his ambition. It’s the right thing to do.

A promising sign

Read this tweet:

You might think that is depressing. Yeah, yeah, let’s wrap this up. Nothing to see here.

But why are they so anxious to acquit Trump and get it over?

It’s because the trial is calling attention to his guilt, their complicity, and affecting their elections.

The longer this drags on, the worse they look. We’re all watching. In a way, Alan Dershowitz did us a favor. His extremist thought experiment is uncomfortable for almost everyone but the most dedicated, cult addled Trumpist and Alan himself admits that if you give him a couple of weeks (and probably a few million more dollars in the retainer), he’s likely to change his mind. What he’s doing up there is taking Trump’s deeds and acquittal to their logical conclusions and presenting the nightmare scenario to us and we are all paying attention now.

The McSally’s of this country know that it’s going to hurt them. They just want to stick their fingers in their ears and go “LALALA! I can’t HEAR you.” Witnesses will prevent them from moving on, schmoozing with the donors and scaring their constituents with horror stories of a cradle to grave national health care policy.

The other freak flag that’s flying is: they are still genuinely worried about losing their elections. Maybe they’re worried about primary opponents from the right, though if they vote to acquit Trump, there won’t be anyone more righter. But it’s the general election that suggests that at this moment at least, the election is still winnable by someone else. Welcome Senators Kelly and Hickenlooper!

So, what is it they are getting from Trump? Well, they’re not getting any rock hard assurances that they’re going to be re-elected if he’s acquitted. Either they haven’t gotten that memo or they don’t think it’s possible to rig it in their favor. They’re actually going to have to campaign and meet some very angry voters.

And that’s a encouraging thought.

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

We need a wizard:

And having Trump fall into a boiling volcano wouldn’t hurt either…

This sounds hinky

So, if he decides to give the Russians the keys to the voting machines and says “Make it so I win”, that’s ok?

What if he decides to send campaign ads as Presidential Alerts to our phones?

What if he decides that WordPress or Twitter is seditious for anyone not on his donor list? Can he shut down our voices if he decides on his own that he’s the best guy to be president indefinitely?

I only ask.

I keep coming back to the viral mutation hypothesis. They’re going to mutate themselves into extinction at the rate they’re going and the whole world is watching.

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

More and better examples:

This is what Putin does. This is what Yanukovich did to Yulia Tymoshenko.

Do we really believe Trump wouldn’t do this to Joe Biden if he reasons to himself that he would be better for America than a “corrupt” former VP?

This is EXACTLY where Trump was heading.

No, no, don’t you “nothing is going to change, nothing to see here” people shake your head and roll your eyes.

It happens in other countries that Trump is getting his help from. If he is not reined in, this is what he’ll be tempted to do.

Do you REALLY want to see that thought become the parent of his deeds? He doesn’t respect limits.

We have always known this destination

Simon Rosenberg at Medium has a piece on where John Bolton is going with all of his hint dropping. It’s as big as we always thought it would be:

The Washington Post reported this morning: “Bolton was regularly appalled by what he saw from the president, the people close to him said. He wondered at times if Trump was acting in America’s best interest or if he was inspired by nefarious reasons, according to a person familiar with the book.”

Inspired by nefarious reasons.” We don’t yet know what John Bolton is going to say about his time in the White House. What we’ve learned so far has been pretty explosive, and it seems likely that he will be called to testify in the Senate Impeachment trial. But if I am right, and the tale he tells is about an American President repeatedly doing the bidding of Russia to the detriment of the national security of the United States, then we are not just looking at the end of the Trump Presidency but a scandal of potentially world altering proportions.”

There’s a bit in there about Victor Orban, president of Hungary. Trump is a fanboy, probably because Orban managed to neuter his judicial branch very effectively.

There’s another piece on Bolton in The Atlantic that refers to him as an asshole, bless his heart. But after watching Bolton in action for years, it seems to me like he is the ultimate cold warrior. He’s no friend of Russia or any organization that poses any threats to the US. He acts like a mustachioed Rambo, slicing through any bureaucracy that stands in his way. His methods are raw, harsh and, yes, he is an asshole.

He’s a Republican who wanted to stay a Republican because he’s a conservative hawk on steroids. His loyalty to his country is not in question.

The thing is, he just doesn’t see Trump as one of his kind.

The Republican Party is having an existential crisis. It’s either the party of Bolton or the party of Trump. Neither one is good for the struggling middle class but one of these factions might be marginally better for America and the rest of the world.

May the best assholes win.

Logical Inconsistencies (not that this bothers anyone)

I read reviews of Alan Dershowitz’s presentation. Republican senators hung on his every word breathlessly. Alan absolved Trump of every impeachable offense. Indeed, it’s hard to believe any president could be impeached for anything. It’s astonishing that Clinton got impeached for a blow job. (Woah! That’s different.)

In short, Trump can get away with anything. He can claim it was a policy difference. As long as it’s not illegal and even if it is illegal, so what? Everyone knows you can’t indict a sitting president.

QED

Ok, let’s assume that everything Alan said is true. If acquitting is a forgone conclusion, why not let Bolton testify? Give the people the Bread and Circuses they’ve been craving. After all, according to Alan, witnesses can do no harm to Trump’s case, due to Dershowitz Predestination. Trump should consider it good ratings material. Bolton could make Trump look like a hog straddling, leather jacket clad rebel without a clause. It could improve his image and ratings, which would go through the roof the minute he is acquitted.

What better way to set an example than to stomp all over Bolton’s mustachioed corpse. Trump peers down at him through his sunglasses and stubs out his cigarette on Bolton’s back with his sharp toed Chelsea boots.

Imagine the glory, the badassedness, all that black leather.

What’s stopping him? It could be so hot.

Heard on C-Span Radio this morning

Not sure who, sounded like a Republican politician, said this morning, rather triumphantly: “Democrats had 24 hours to present their case and President Trump’s lawyers demolished it in 2 hours. DEMOLISHED IT!!”

That’s crack talking.

Sekulow and Cippilone did nothing of the sort. They didn’t dispute the facts. They impugned the reputations of the House managers, as is their familiar modus operandi.

Yet, they still think they can haka their way out of this. If they jump up and down and stick their tongues out and bulge their eyes, the rest of us will just give up and go away. Nah gah happen.

Or they think their base really is that conditioned that they can ignore the facts forever. Mebbe.

Well, at least Democrats aren’t underestimating the intelligence of the audience.

Tracking Coronavirus

Johns Hopkins University has created a tracker for the Coronavirus illness. I checked it yesterday when the number of worldwide cases was about 1400. This morning, we are up to almost 2000. That’s pretty scary.

The mortality rate appears to be around 5%, which doesn’t seem like a lot but is actually pretty high. (Epidemiologists, please feel free to correct me.) Imagine if 1 out of every 20 people you knew dropped dead. There is a possibility that a cytokine storm is triggered. That’s an overreaction of a healthy immune system. It tends to affect young adults more seriously.

There is no vaccine or known treatment other than managing symptoms. I did a search in PubMed and found several papers from a few years ago that indicate that inhibitors of the abelson kinase May be effective. These inhibitors are currently used for oncology. I’ve taken a look at the crystal structures and see some areas to target but I’d need to see a few more papers and at $8 a pop just to rent the papers for 48 hours, the cost could rapidly escalate.

Like the disease.

Here’s the tracker. (Still trying to figure out how to embed it)

Still waiting to hear what the plans are from the White House. I mean, other than throwing every Asian coming to America into a cage. Yeah, other than that.