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      MaNdOs PoSt I have even less truck with Political YouTube than ordinary TV.  But it has come to my attention that there is someone named “Joe Rogan” who has achieved a certain level of fame and popularity by doing independent online interviews of politicians, so much so that Democratic primary candidates feel the need to […]
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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.

Correcting the President’s Lawyers

Ok, I’ll go first:

The problem with the assertion that there was a “burden sharing” conversation during the July 25 meeting is this:

Congress had already approved the funds to Ukraine prior to the phone call without the condition of burden sharing.

Come to think of it, considering that the money was already allocated and was ready to be spent by the department of Defense, assuming the Ukrainians could actually get the funds from the Germans and the French, what was going to happen to the already allocated American money at the defense department? Where was it supposed to go? Under the mattress? Whose mattress?

I only ask.

Your turn.

MAGA “Take her out” response instantly neutered.

In case you, like me, have been in meetings all day, here’s the deal:

Parnas and Furman of Fraud Guarantee were having din-din with Trump sometime in the spring of 2018 when they told him, over a beautiful chocolate cake, no doubt, that Marie Yovanovich was bad mouthing Trump, saying he was going to be impeached. (Somebody has a palantir apparently)

Unbeknownst to Trump, there was a recording device at this soirée, which suggests that there may be a LOT of incriminating recordings out there. It gives “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!” a whole new life.

The recording picked up a voice that appeared to be Trump’s saying:

“Get rid of her!” is what the voice that appears to be Trump’s is heard saying. “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/recording-appears-capture-trump-private-dinner-ukraine-ambassador/story%3fid=68506437

So here’s what’s going on in MAGA land. They are claiming that Trump can fire an ambassador at any time he wants. So, there’s nothing wrong with this.

And this is true. Trump can fire ambassadors for reasons or no reasons at all. All he had to do was call Pompeo and give the order.

Instead, he gave the order to Parnas and Furman. THEY have zero authority to fire anyone at the state department.

Yep, they are incapable of firing Yovanovich. “Take her out”? Well, that’s different.

That’s possible. But it ain’t pretty.

And the MAGA heads say… ?

Can’t wait to hear the recording and have the voice authenticated.

***********

A little more.

So, 66% of Americans want to see more witnesses and evidence.

But Americans in general give Trump credit for a booming economy. (The economy strives in spite of Trump, not because of him, but that is for another post)

The question is, if the economy is going so well, why is Trump seriously considering cutting social security and Medicare to pay for the ballooning budget deficit brought about by his lopsided tax cut?

Either the economy is great and there’s no reason to cut deferred benefits or it’s about to go pear shaped and the Republicans will finally achieve the goal they’ve had since Eisenhower to kill the social safety net that all living Americans have paid into for their entire lives.

Both things can’t be true.

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

And the government’s plan is… what, exactly?

We may have a Plague scenario developing:

Some of us have or may still have compromised immune systems. This s}#% isn’t funny.

Luckily, I bought masks last year with a virus barrier layer. That won’t help much if we should all wear spacesuits.

Normally, I wouldn’t get freaked out about this but we have a contagious illness with human to human transmission. It’s viral and we have no drugs or vaccines for it. It started in a densely populated area of a densely populated country and it’s a holiday season there. It’s spreading to other countries.

I’d like to know what Trump’s plan is to combat this. I mean in coherent sentences and where he can answer questions that indicate he understands cause, effect and the consequences of inaction.

He’s been gutting science in government so I’m concerned that we may be under resourced.

Commence the “la-la-la, we can’t HEAR you!” response from the Republicans with a death grip on our health agencies.

As Schiff asked, can we reasonably expect that Trump will do something in our interest and not simply his own?

Have Courage.

Here are the closing statements from the lead House manager about why Donald Trump is a threat to all of us. ALL of us, Republicans included:

I’d like to thank Rep. Justin Amash for standing up against your party and doing the right thing. I agree with you on almost nothing, Justin. But it must have taken an incredible amount of courage and integrity to do this. You know what is right. This is a manly thing to do.

Also worthy of praise for being men and women of courage and integrity are these Americans:

  • Marie Yovanovich
  • Bill Taylor
  • Alex Vindman
  • Fiona Hill
  • Jennifer Williams
  • Laura Cooper
  • David Holmes
  • George Kent
  • The Whistleblower

I’m sure I’ve missed a few who deserve praise.

What feats [they] did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Henry V, Shakespeare

Is there such a speech to praise leaders who hold their people in such contempt that they would convince them that they are losers? That the whole world is laughing at their manhood? That they are powerless without a villain to “protect” them? That anyone not like them are “takers”, below them and unworthy of respect? That the only way to get back what they’ve been told they have lost is to treat children badly? That would trick them into giving up their birthright as a free people and relinquish the money they have been saving for decades?

What do you call a person who coerces Americans to view their neighbors as their enemies for his own benefit?

Somebody scour Shakespeare for me. I don’t think even Othello’s Iago meets this criteria.

A couple of things

1.) Yes, Adam Schiff is brilliant. This really isn’t in dispute. I predict he will take Diane Feinstein’s senate seat soon when she retires.

2.) This. This is surreal. I missed it while I was at work yesterday but apparently Trump actually bragged that he was holding all the material (documents and witnesses) and the Impeachment managers were going to get none of it.

Article II: Obstruction of Congress.

Check!

3.) There has been some commentary that some of the senators are hearing this information for the first time. The FIRST TIME!! Reality is finally breaking through the Fox Newe filter. It is changing their perspective.

This is bullshit.

Doug Collins and Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan were present during the testimony of the witnesses and that didn’t stop them from being the biggest, loudest, most obnoxious defenders of Trump’s honor.

Sure, a couple of them might have pangs of conscience but they don’t really care about this trial as long as public support in their own states doesn’t waver. Winning is the only thing that matters to them.

As soon as public sentiment in their own states starts turning against Trump, we *might* see a falling away of a few of them. It won’t be enough to affect the outcome.

The tolerance for corruption in the Republican Party is so vast and so deep that they will excuse Trump for any reason.

The rest of us, those of us not in their states can go fuck ourselves. That is the contempt they show for the American people, the majority that got shut out of the governance of their own country. They simply do not care.

We’ll have to see if there are enough fence sitters out there who are shocked and disgusted by Trump’s gleeful crowing about holding all of the evidence to make a difference.

One other thing: it should be easy for senators like Pat Toomey to turn on Trump. He doesn’t face re-election in PA for two more years. Same with Mitt Romney who doesn’t have to face voters until 2024. Those senators should be easy to flip. The fact that they have dug in their heels suggests some darker motive.

(I think we may have an answer:

They need Trump in office to tell his base that they were suckers for not saving more all their lives. )

In fact, I wouldn’t try persuading Collins, Gardner, Murkowski. That’s a waste of time. It’s the ones who are NOT facing re-election that need to be worked on.

4.) Bernie Sanders is the Jeremy Corbin of the left. No one we know actually likes him but he’s getting crammed down our throats. He’s definitely going to lose in 2020 and will demotivate millions of voters.

This is Vladimir Putin’s wet dream and we are careening right towards it.

I want no more questions about whether I will support Bernie/Gabbard if they are the nominees. To ask that question is to normalize it. I reject that.

All I can say is he’d better not be the nominee. That’s the only response I want to see on Twitter.

At some point, the managers need to tell the Senate they’re already emasculated.

The senate can choose to acquit the president. (The Republican Senate, that is)

But at some point, I hope that Adam Schiff or Jerry Nadler point out to that Senate that they’ve been highjacked by Trump in a more important sense. That is, the Senate has the “advise and consent” powers. But many of Trump’s current cabinet and other positions that require Senate approval are “acting” appointees.

The last person I can recall going through the approval process was Barr. I think even Trump’s DNI choice was rejected before it even got to the hearing stage. So, we have an acting DNI, right?

In other words, if you don’t like who Trump wants to appoint, he’ll just leave an acting lackey in the top spot and carry on. He doesn’t need the senate for anything. That should make a lot of them very nervous. Because what if there is a line out there that Repiblicans feel Trump shouldn’t cross? There’s no way to stop him.

They should think long and hard about that.

They either want the acting directors where they are or they weren’t paying attention when it snuck up on them.

Acquitting Trump might not be the biggest mistake they will have made when this is all said and done.

Someone should tell them.