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The GOP thinks we are helpless to fight China kryptonite

{{insert corny image of Superman struggling to overcome the kryptonite field}}

Are Republicans serious?? They want to continue blaming China for this fiasco of their own making?

China didn’t tell us what was going on.

China wasn’t honest about how bad it was.

China is stealing trade secrets (thank you Dr. Fauci for straightening out her ass on that one, not that it will matter to her Fox drunk constituents)

Here’s the god honest truth. News about Covid hit my radar sometime late in 2019. I got distracted by the impeachment stuff but clearly remember returning home from Ontario Canada on MLK Jr.s holiday Monday January 20 and checking the John Hopkins University Covid tracker a day or two later. That was notable to me because Toronto was already reporting 2 cases. (I wasn’t in Toronto but I saw it from my car).

By that time, I knew that China had closed a whole city of 11 million people.

Look, you don’t have to be a rocket surgeon or even particularly bright to figure out that if a city of 11 million people needs to go on enforced lockdown, the virus is pretty f{}%*ng serious. Maybe not Walking Dead serious but pretty damn close.

If some politician is trying to convince you that they had NO IDEA that coronavirus was serious after they heard about Hubei shutting down in January, then they probably also think you’ll buy any stupid ass shit they want to throw at you to deflect blame from themselves for the criminal inaction and politicizing.

But it’s worse than that.

Because they are getting all whiny that those mean Chinese didn’t like us and were all mean and made us completely defenseless to their insidious and evil scheme to take over the world.

Did the Chinese have to disclose everything to scare the bejesus out of Republicans? Must they be spoon fed everything? Talk real slow to these representatives so they understand that shutting down a city of 11 million people means we have a SHTF scenario?

And if we’re so great, why weren’t we able to cleverly out think them? Make our own PPE? Figure out a response that suited our country instead of waiting for instructions from Beijing? What ever happened to American exceptionalism? We’re the richest, smartest, baddest ass country on the whole planet- ever. Why are the Republican representatives saying we couldn’t stand up to the Chinese?

Are Republicans really trying to make the argument that after 4 years of them having a vice grip on the country in the Senate, Courts and White House, we were not able to defend ourselves against the megalomania machinations of the Chinese??

Us? THE GREATEST COUNTRY in the WORLD cringes and cries helplessly at the feet of China as it stomps all over us??

THAT’S a winning message??

Omg, please be serious. 🙄

I am really irritated today. Maybe it’s the antibiotics. Or maybe the stupidity is reaching catastrophic orders of magnitude.

Some observations on the Vaccine hearings.

  1. There are a number of vaccines in clinical trials at the present time. They use various technologies. You can get relatively easy to understand reviews of the companies, the technologies and response by checking out Derek Lowe’s In the Pipeline blog.
  2. Fauci says that there are several vaccine candidates that have produced a strong response and that the development has happened rapidly. This is very believable. However, they are still working their way through the trial phases. AND TRIALS MUST NOT BE SKIPPED. There is no shortcut here.
  3. It is unlikely that the vaccine will be ready before the election. Sorry, Donald.
  4. Fauci says the FDA commissioner, Dr. Stephen Hahn will carefully review the clinical trials before the vaccine is approved. Fauci seems to be saying that Hahn intends to resist political pressure on this. And we’ve seen how that has worked in the past.
  5. Maxine Waters says she has heard that hospitals that refuse to comply with Trump’s new reporting standards will not be receiving Remdesivir for patients with Covid. The guy she is questioning is squirming but he hasn’t denied this accusation. He’s just saying that every effort will be made to make sure hospitals comply. As Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer would say, “THERE’S your story. Write that down!”
  6. Another republican rep (female) didn’t get her name, went on and on about China and Russia stealing proprietary info from pharma companies and she’s agin’ it! Golly, lady, this kind of IP theft has been going on for YEARS. It even happened at the last company I worked for. I blame the MBA’s who think that scientists aren’t as crafty as they are and so make it easy to download s#%{ to a flash drive. In this case, it’s a fricking pandemic. There are billions of people involved. Give them the data for Pete’s sakes. Let them make their own vaccines. It’s a global emergency.
  7. Fauci is reviewing antibody response vs T cell response. I think you want both. But antibody titres diminish over time which is why you sometimes need booster shots. From the brief glance at Derek’s posts it looks like T cell response may not be robust. Fauci just said that some of us who have never been exposed to Covid-19 nevertheless have T cells to other corona viruses, possibly from past colds. Unknown if these are protective but may be.

One last thing: if you get a vaccine by the end of the year or early next year, thank the scientists. No one else should get credit for it.

Nope, don’t even. No victory laps for anyone but the lab rats.

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

Crash course on T cells. See the video below on how the immune system works with respect to T cells. T cells are not antibodies. I’ll see if I can find a video for that separately. This one is pretty visual which makes it easy to follow without a lot of jargon.

Basically, the virus invaded the cell. The cell chops up the virus proteins and send them to the surface of the infected cell to sit on your unique HLA. The circulating T cell receptors find the viral protein and start making copies of killer T cells and memory T cells.

It’s vile. Don’t ignore it.

Liz Cheney wrote this today:

That made me throw up a little. Maybe it’s the antibiotics. I dunno.

No I take that back. It’s hard to get even more enraged than we are now but this tweet really is the lowest of the low.

Some states have been fully mail-in for years. I think Oregon is one of them. Others have allowed absentee balloting for various reasons. But the only known prosecutable instances of cheating and ballot harvesting have involved Republicans. So maybe this is projection here. They know what THEY will do and they assume that we will do that too. The thing is, polls are running so strongly on our side that cheating is absolutely unnecessary.

On the other hand, if we’re game theorying this out, does an indication that the other side is about to cheat mean that both sides must cheat to achieve parity? It’s unacceptable if the end goal is to have a result that is trustworthy. So, there is no incentive for Democrats to cheat.

(Never studied game theory so I’m open to correction)

Anyway, I’ve noticed before that Republicans have this notion that they are entitled to win. Indeed, it is unacceptable for them to lose under any circumstances. Therefore, they will not allow anyone to vote them out. This would be in line with the donors who run their party who think that elections and democracy are hugely inconvenient and give the lowlifes the idea that they can influence the outcomes and opportunities of their miserable little lives.

That’s the steam that’s coming off Liz Cheney’s pile above. And it’s meant to reinforce the sense of learned helplessness.

You want mail in? We’ll slow down the mail.

You want a free and clear election? We’ll muddy it in advance so no one will know who won.

You want to protest the way we treat you? We’ll use facial recognition software and our own private army to hunt you down and shut you up.

Step out of line, we will crush you.

They’re behind. They know that if the elections are fair they are going to lose. But you don’t find any of them going before the country decrying and condemning Trump’s notion that he can change the election date. So far, they are skittering away from the light like roaches, trying to laugh it off. That’s because they think they have done enough to make sure the election is a disaster and even if Trump loses, they will somehow pull off a win or at least sow enough chaos and confusion that no one will know what’s going on. Instability is a terrible thing. We’ve given in before to avoid it.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are fleeing DC just as employment bennies are expiring and millions of children may be left stressed by evictions and hungry from lack of food.

They really are vile. Now is the time to hold them accountable. They need to be brought up by their short hairs before the election.

Don’t wait. Tear their house down now.

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

By the way, I registered for a mail in ballot for the general election. But if I have to stand in line instead to use a voting machine that now has a paper trail, unlike 2016, I will. I’ll stand there days in advance, put up a tent, walk over hot coals, crawl through broken glass, whatever it takes to vote Orange out and every member of his party that can no longer be trusted. So, either way, Republicans are not going to be able to monkey with Pennsylvania again.

Throwing Jared Under the Bus

VanityFair has a long piece about Jared Kushner’s Covid-19 task force. You probably won’t be surprised to find that it consisted of old college roommates who went into business, a celebrity, some former FDA commissioners, a single doctor from the Rockefeller foundation and a whole lotta brain trusts from Tech. 🙄

What did it NOT include? Epidemiologists, biologists, virologists, you know, nerdy people who don’t have MBA’s. What do THEY know about supply chains and contracting (probably more than you think considering how many of them have to fend for themselves to get their work done these days).

So, I guess it should come as no surprise that this happened:

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.

On April 27, Trump stepped to a podium in the Rose Garden, flanked by members of his coronavirus task force and leaders of America’s big commercial testing laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, and finally announced a testing plan: It bore almost no resemblance to the one that had been forged in late March, and shifted the problem of diagnostic testing almost entirely to individual states.

If Jared had been listening to the doctor even, he would have gotten a lecture on how you can’t order a virus to stay in the states of your perceived enemies, followed by a hard dope slap.

I think we always knew that this was the White House strategy. Now there are people in the know leaking documents and improperly purchased test kits without government contracts. You’d think they would cover contracting stuff like that at Wharton or Silicon Valley. But no, the whole shebang was done very poorly and probably illegally.

Anyway, it looks like Jared is being thrown under the bus. And I would happily be the first to back up over him afterwards if it weren’t for the fact that I can’t believe even Jared would be that stupid to not see how viruses actually travel and infect.

That there has all the grubby fingerprints of Annoying Orange.

Only in America.

Trump’s favorite new doctor is touting the miracle cure of hydroxychloroquine. She’s also a bit of a mixed bag:

Before Trump and his supporters embrace Immanuel’s medical expertise, though, they should consider other medical claims Immanuel has made—including those about alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams.

Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

Yes, but the orgasms are fantastic!

Immanuel claims to have cured hundreds of cases of Covid-19 with HCQ. This runs contrary with the many studies from here and other countries that show HCQ is ineffective and can cause life threatening heart arrhythmias. Funny, Immanuel says masks are unnecessary as well, which just goes to show that you can find someone to say anything you want them to say if you are president.

But here’s the thing I found interesting in this article:

Immanuel gave her viral speech on the steps of the Supreme Court at the “White Coat Summit,” a gathering of a handful of doctors who call themselves America’s Frontline Doctors and dispute the medical consensus on the novel coronavirus. The event was organized by the right-wing group Tea Party Patriots, which is backed by wealthy Republican donors.

Ahhh, the donors. Of course. They want the workers to be obedient, forget about their own health and get back to work ASAP. And what better way to do it than by hiring your own “expert” to tell you to ignore your lying eyes and the experiences of every other nation in the world.

Get back on the job and do it quickly before this calamity wipes out all the gains they made from their rapacious tax cuts.

Meanwhile, the GOP is in disarray in the senate over the next bailout package. Looks like Mitch is willing to just let the unemployment benefits expire and city and state assistance disappear. Never let a crisis go without getting something. What does he want?

Well, this clip from the late George Carlin gives us a clue. The guy was ahead of his time. I’m wondering what he would have made of Dr. Immanuel?

Yep

Remember this?

That’s the Michigan State Capitol invaded by these dudes who were livid that they couldn’t go anywhere during lockdown. Except for the state Capitol. With their guns. Nobody stopped them from doing that and terrorizing Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

So what’s the deal in Portland?

Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work against Covid-19

It’s not efficacious and it potentially cause life threatening heart arrhythmias. But for some weird reason, the Trump contingent is still hawking this stuff. It’s gotten so bad today that Twitter suspended Donald Trump Jr.’s account.

Here’s more on what looks like message coordination:

Ayayayay! This stuff makes me want to tear my hair out.

For the record, HCQ doesn’t work. Remdesivir and dexamethasone do, moderately. Vitamins and garlic won’t protect you. The only thing that will for certain help is not getting it in the first place.

When this is all over, there should be a law with a stiff penalty for promoting snake oil during a pandemic.

Ok, fine, if you’re a Fox News viewer, take as much of the stuff as you want. Let’s cut down on the surplus conspiracy minded population.

98 days

This has been the longest four years of our lives and we should not let the perpetrators go unpunished. McConnell and McCarthy should be held accountable for whatever has happened since March 2020. They had the power to stop it.

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

AG is testifying before Congress today. This time, he will face the House not the Senate so expect a bit of grandstanding from Democrats and complete and utter lunacy with a thick southern drawl from Republicans.

In his opening statement, Barr already indicates where he’s going to go with this:

Barr, according to the statement, will take a defiant posture as he testifies before the panel for the first time since Democrats took control of it, alleging that they have attempted to “discredit” him since he vowed to investigate the 2016 FBI probe of possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, and the media has been unfair in covering unrest.

Yes, the media has been so unfair that most of us watch first hand videos on Twitter and Youtube. And while they might lack context, they also seem to lack protestors wielding anything more dangerous than leaf blowers. But that’s not the point of his grievance filled statement is it?

The Trump die hards out there are still miffed that a “duly elected” President was impeached in order to install Hillary Clinton and that’s why all we heard was Russia, Russia, Russia for three years. That’s what they think and they’re pretty pissed off about it. (Actually, he was impeached for abuse of power and contempt of Congress or something) It’s important for Barr and the Republicans to keep them pissed off about that for the next 98 days and beyond. In fact, they will never be able to get beyond it which is why it’s so important that we have a truth and reconciliation commission after this is over so the methods of mass delusion are exposed and people learn from them.

I keep hoping that the House Democrats will take some advice from cult experts in how to terminate that message before it gets a grip. Otherwise, this is going to turn into a belligerent whine fest from Trump as delivered by his supremely unsexy AG.

Like why not say, “Can we try to get rid of him now that we know he’s a lousy president?” Then list his many flaws. F#%^ the Duly Elected meme. This is a new election year and we just don’t like him.

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

And now this:

Surgery day

Hi guys, I’m waiting in the hospital for some follow up surgery. Nothing major. It’s outpatient. I’m a lark so I had to be here at 5:30am. My favorite Republican is my driver today.

So anyway, the surgery center is like an airport waiting room.

Well, that was quick. Gowned and socked. Just settling in until the doctor gets here with his purple sharpie to mark me up.

Anyway, speaking of medical procedures, Senator Hawley (R-Mo), says lips that touch Roe v Wade shall never touch his. He is setting down a marker as a member of the senate judiciary committee:

Golly, that sure sounds like he means it.

Damn it, the court acted on its own. It had no right to decide Roe. “Roe is central to judicial philosophy. Roe is and was an unbridled act of judicial imperialism. It marks the point the modern Supreme Court said, ‘You know, we don’t have to follow the Constitution. We won’t even pretend to try.’ ”

I don’t know what this means exactly. Does he mean there is no Constitutional specification that covers it? So, he’s not really objecting to women controlling their reproductive organs? Well, that’s a relief. So we just need to find the right words written into the Constitution. I’m sure that’s what he means.

Meanwhile, Mitch says if another seat opens up, they’ll go ahead and appoint someone. Last time this kind of thing happened in an election year, the immovable obstacle to appointing Merrick Garland was that the president didn’t have a right to make an appointment before the people had their say about the next president.

But it’s ok now because the senate and president are of the same party. We will have to excuse them for sounding like they’re making it up as they go along. Calvin ball comes to mind.

I’m not sure I’d make a big deal about abortion if I were them. No one seems to want to put up with that these days. Sure there are single issue voters but the single issue this year is Covid 19.

Hawley might be righteously indignant for nothing if Republicans lose the senate. Then all of this fretting will just look like the quadrennial campaign issue. A whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Ok, IV finally in. I’m ready to roll. See you on the other side, people.

Mark Meadows is an @$$hole

That is all.

Comments?