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Bring your own bomb

Did any of you out there hear the Coronavirus Task Force press conference today? I listened to it as I was pouring over a hot keyboard. Pence refused to promote wearing a mask at Trump rallies right after he spent half an hour telling everyone that the young were irresponsible for going to bars.

But before I get to that, here’s the exchange du jour that everyone will be talking about. Watch it and then we’ll break down why you’ve had to check your brain at the door if you fall for this:

Here’s the rub: if you go to a presidential campaign rally, you will need to be searched before you get in the door. That’s right, you’re not allowed to bring your own bomb. Hey, the second amendment says you have a right to bear arms and bombs are arms, aren’t they? Of course they are. But for some capricious reason, the secret service doesn’t want you carting them into a campaign rally. That would seem to be a violation of your constitutional rights. No one said you were going to use it. They just don’t want it going off accidentally. Your bomb could hurt someone. So they make you leave your bombs at home. Same with guns. You 2A people should be livid. You can’t take your guns to a trump rally? I know right? It’s ridiculous but there you are. Freedom doesn’t pass the secret service test.

But that’s not the amendment that Pence is referring to in the above video, is it? No, he says the right to peaceably assemble is being violated if social distancing rules and mask wearing is compulsory.

How does that work exactly?

Can you still go to a rally? Yes. Can you still peaceably assemble with whatever conspiracy theorists are your favorite flavor of the month? Yes! Yes, you can! Si, se puede!! Your constitutional rights of free speech and peaceable assembly are not in jeopardy. Maybe your unsolicited noise is muffled a bit but going to a Trump rally wearing a mask is not the same thing as being sentenced to a gulag.

Wait, maybe it is the same… I guess it depends.

Now that we’ve dispensed with the notion that your constitutional rights are violated (hey, go look up Typhoid Mary if you want to find out about real rights violations – and they got away with it. They didn’t mess around with infection control at the turn of the last century because they didn’t have modern medicines to treat them. Sort of like what we have here with coronavirus).

As I was saying, young people. Yeah, they’re the ones getting the crappy deal here. It’s the summer, classes should be done, some of them are essential workers or working from home. They should be out on the weekend mingling with friends and getting stupid at a bar. It’s called socializing. It’s good for their mental health. If they hook up (I don’t judge) that satisfies their skin hunger. It’s all very normal and healthy.

Now, imagine you’re a 25 year old and some white haired bible thumping politician who calls his wife “mother” gets on a platform and tells you to behave and not be irresponsible by hanging out at bars and cafes but if you do, wear a mask and practice social distancing. But wait! It gets better.

This is the same guy who tells you 5 minutes later that he’s not going to let any viral pandemic interfere with his base going to a rally with thousands of other out of shape MAGA heads without masks and in close proximity to each other because freedom!

I’d. Be. Livid.

That’s some serious chutzpah there. Don’t hang out at a bar with your friends because you might end up killing grandma! But you Arizona college students who came to the rally on Tuesday without your masks and standing cheek to cheek can go forth and be fruitful and multiply that retrovirus all over the place. It’s your right.

And how did we get to this place? We got here because the Trump administration fired the pandemic response team, failed to act quickly to implement widespread testing and contact tracing, forcing the governors of many coastal states to enforce a lockdown, sending many people into unemployment and ruining the economy.

There has been so much incompetence and bungling and defiance of public health advice that it’s criminal. Now the southern states are getting slammed because their governors felt it would be better if people died for the economy. So what if most people get infected?? Most people will survive.

But what about the car crash victims? The heart attack sufferers? The cancer patients waiting for surgery? Well, I guess they never really thought about that even when the whole world was running around with their hair on fire telling them to make people wear masks and bring your infection rate down to insignificance before they opened.

Some states made it impossible for local officials to enforce mask wearing and social distancing. Florida and Mississippi come to mind. Today, Florida had 8000 new cases. Yeah, a state filled with old people is going to go through some things in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Fauci has finally given in to despair. There is no possibility of contact tracing anymore. We have passed that benchmark. When the virus is this widespread in the community, your chances of getting it from multiple sources is increased. Once it was the brother of your cousin’s wife. Now it could be anyone.

If you didn’t like social distancing before, you’re going to like it less now. There may be MORE lockdowns. MORE unemployment. MORE food bank visitors. MORE evictions. MORE loss of healthcare. MORE businesses shuttered against their will. And all because a bunch of diehards have a misbegotten notion of what it means to have their “freedom” taken away from them. All because to be disgusted with the way Donald has been screwing this up makes us haters, not merely citizens concerned about our lives and livelihoods.

Welcome to the American Gulag. This is an indefinite sentence.

The most powerful person in the world is Mitch McConnell.

Trump is going to do Trump until we vote him out in November. By the time Election Day comes, I’d be surprised if his popularity doesn’t sink below that 30% mark. Make it more like the mid-20’s. But as Adam Schiff said back in January, how much damage can Trump do until Election Day? A LOT.

So, let’s review what’s going to happen next week.

  • Federal funds for testing will run out.
  • PPA will run out for many small businesses
  • The cases of coronavirus in at least Arizona, Texas and Florida are going to reach catastrophic levels.
  • The governors of those states are going to have to lockdown.
  • More people will lose their jobs, this time without any pay at all.
  • The Trump administration has requested that the courts end Obamacare. (I’m not a fan but some people actually can’t live without it)
  • Food banks will start to reach a crisis point.
  • The number of cases will become uncontrollable. We won’t know where they are and the chances you’re going to bump into one is going to grow exponentially. Everywhere. That’s how pandemics work.

But as far as Senate Republicans are concerned, there’s nothing to worry about. They haven’t yet felt the bite of the election, it’s still five months away and they can do A LOT of harm in the meantime.

In particular, they can pack the courts with more Trump appointed judges.

They could bring the economy to its knees and essentially take it hostage in order to extract unthinkable demands like dismantling social security or ending Medicare.

Oh, they wouldn’t do that, you say. Really? What’s to stop them? Elections? Senate Republicans don’t work for us in the first place. They work for their donors. If they lose their seats, they’ll still end up in comfy positions elsewhere.

But WE will have to live with these judges for decades.

If you can’t retire, too bad for you. YOU should have planned better.

If you get sick, tough luck. They’ll be shrieking about the deficit that they allowed to balloon because they would not get rid of Trump.

In a snap of a finger, this Trump administration could be over. All Mitch has to do is give the Democrats the sign that they’ll vote for new articles of impeachment. So, you have to ask yourself why Mitch is allowing this destruction of our country to continue.

If I were a journalist, I’d be asking senators this very question day after day. Why does Mitch have his knee on our necks? People don’t do things without a reason. Either he’s a true blue Trump sycophant and he thoughtlessly takes orders from Trump, or there is some benefit to Republicans to see the country destroyed in this manner.

I’m going with the latter.

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

This is interesting. Can Gov. Phil Murphy put Trump into quarantine? I’d like to see what happens.