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Jeez, Calm Your Tits, America

There is no civil war. Nobody is out to get you. You don’t need to do a pre-emptive strike against people who don’t look like you.

This is the second time in a couple of days that I’ve seen guns pulled on people who were just walking around.

This is not The Purge. And no matter what some right winger media types would have you believe, it is NOT OK to treat people like this. That means black people, women, LGBTQ and liberals. It’s ignorant. We will not excuse it.

So knock it off back there. Don’t make us liberals buy guns.

I’ve heard that this woman has been arrested. Good. Hope she brought her face mask.

Covid-19 PSA Sing-a-Long

Thanks, Randy!

Why are Americans putting up with this?

WaPo has an editorial this morning about how poor leadership has allowed the virus to flourish, necessitating more lockdowns and layoffs even though the country has already done this once at great sacrifice.

The road back will be even harder now than it was in March. The United States is experiencing multiple outbreaks from California to Florida that will seed more infections in the weeks and months ahead. The hope that summer’s warm weather would help, that the sacrifices made in March and April would be sufficient, that a miracle cure would arrive — all have been dashed. The United States faces a crisis unseen in recent generations, and if it deepens, the pain won’t be only in illness and death but also in education and economics.

Yesterday, the European Union told us that Americans are not welcome.

I’ve been an American all my life and this is not what I signed up for. We are supposed to be the most developed of developed nations. We were supposed to be better, stronger, than the old world. We were decades ahead of China and the rest of Asia.

All that is gone in the span of 3.5 years. All gone.

Don’t bother defending Trump and the Republicans. They did not rise to the occasion. They did not show their can-do spirit. They didn’t use the ingenuity and resources of the federal government that we all pay through the nose for.

All they did was beat their chests, whine about their freedom and stop local officials from enforcing mask requirements.

There’s something profoundly shameful about putting your own selfish individualism above the needs of others during a pandemic. But there’s no looking away from where we are as a nation. The rest of the world looks on with horror and the innocent among us can’t leave. They can’t leave their houses let alone the country. Now our chances of getting the virus from a once weekly trip to grocery story are even higher than they were in April.

Well done. Can you feel my revulsion and disgust? Interpret that any way you want. I’m not defending myself anymore. That applies to anyone of any party who is shocked and appalled by what we are witnessing. That number irrespective of party, is growing.

If you still support the “president”, you need help.

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

Put this in the category of “thinking five impossible things before breakfast”:

I’ve been trying to figure out why the administration is so hell bent on dismantling Obamacare during a pandemic. Count me as not one of Obamacare’s biggest fans. I am securely on the side of the hard working working class, gig workers, self-employed and those unfortunates between jobs who get stuck in that no man’s land where part time employment makes you too rich for Medicaid but too poor for a subsidy. Yeah, wrap your head around that. I had to one year and it was ridiculous.

But I digress.

So, why would you want to get rid of the only lifeline some Americans have to health care, no matter how flawed, during a pandemic?

Well, leave it to the Russians paying the taliban to pick off American soldiers and the president doing a shrug to make me have an even more disturbing thought about this.

If you are the powerful who have a country in your jaws and you don’t like the idea of contributing some of your dragon hoard to universal healthcare, there are a couple of ways to make sure the pool of people you are mandated by law to cover is low:

1.) you can get rid of the mandate.

2.) you can make sure that a convenient pandemic gets rid of as many elderly people on Medicare and as many people with pre-existing conditions as possible who take advantage of the ACA protections. That right there will save you soooooo much money. Lots of old people dying along with the morbidly obese who tend to have a lot of expensive problems. And don’t forget the cancer patients who just might survive with the pricey chemo.

The pandemic can look like a budget measure if you’re in that psychopathically wealthy and powerful category.

I’d let it rage through the country and take out as many inconvenient people as possible. What do I care? I’ll have myself and my staff tested everyday, have my own stash of PPE and hide away in my mountain lodge somewhere west of Boise.

I can just hear you saying, “that’s f{#%ing crazy RD. It’s evil. No one would be stupid enough to try something like that and get away with it.”

Yeah, probably I just need more coffee.

Probably.

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

So I started to look around for locations west of Boise where I might hide my mountain lodge compound and stumbled upon Joseph, Oregon, which looks gobsmackingly beautiful:

I have to check the National and state parks in the vicinity… since I can’t take that walking tour of Scotland this year. 🙄

McGrath wins the primary in Kentucky.

All of the absentee ballots are in and Amy McGrath beat Charles Booker in the Democratic primary for Senator in Kentucky. Booker was the candidate supported by the Justice Democrats (AOC, Ilhan Omar, etc). Booker also got a nice push by the BLM protests.

But even though many of us were encouraged that so many voters were for him (we can debate new ideas without becoming pinko commies), his chances of winning in Kentucky against Mitch McConnell were infinitesimal. McGrath’s chances seem to be a bit better. She’s a veteran and not afraid of guns. We’ll see. If it looks like the Republicans will lose the senate, what would be gained by re-electing Mitch who would immediately become a back bencher?

I’m kind of sick of the sports contest approach to covering political campaigns. It starts way too early and too much emphasis is placed on personal quirks and words taken out of context. Sure, journalists need to make a living but I wish they’d cover this stuff more responsibly. Anyway, I’m kind of burned out on this whole election year already. November can’t come soon enough. Let’s get this over with.

Nevertheless, McGrath vs McConnell could be very exciting. That’s the one to watch.

Supreme Court Watch -Tax Return Edition

There are still two more rulings pending from the Supreme Court I think. They are whether Trump has to turn over his tax returns. One case was filed by the House against Mazars, the accounting firm that has the tax returns in conjunction with Deusche Bank. The other was filed by the state of NY pertaining to an investigation involving Trump.

They waited until the very last day, didn’t they? Is that so they could beat a hasty retreat afterwards?

Roberts hands the decision to his clerk. “We’re out of here. Wait 45 minutes before you give it to the press. It’s been nice knowing you. Good luck with the rest of your career”.

No matter what the answer is, someone isn’t going to like it.

The article linked above says the state of NY case is more likely to prevail. If it does, the grand jury will finally be able to see the returns. The concern is that there may be leaks about the contents but that is unlikely to happen.

If there’s something very damaging to Trump in returns and the USSC says turn them over anyway, the reaction from the White House will tell us how bad it is. Stay tuned for a mega tweet storm to break all previous records.

Or a primal scream from the Oval Office.

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

Does anyone else get the feeling that something big is about to happen? Like the GOP is finally beginning to realize that Trump isn’t going to moderate his tone or get a feel for this whole presidenting thing and something has to be done about it in the next couple of weeks.

I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. It’s just that this time feels… different.

Am I imagining that?

Bounty Hunters and Resignations.

I’ve been listening to the news off and on all day today and the story about how Putin offered the Taliban money for killing US soldiers is dominating the news. The Supreme Court cases that are also big news are getting buried by it.

The press secretary says Trump knew nothing about it. Or maybe he wasn’t paying attention. The former intelligence analysts turned pundits are getting more and more agitated with every new twist while White House allies are busily kicking sand in everyone’s faces.

So what is the truth? I don’t know except this side story I have picked up that seems to be, let’s say, interesting.

Supposedly, the whole thing started to come to light back in January. Now, January was a busy month for everyone. That’s when Covid started taking off in China and the president was impeached. There were a couple of other things that happened as well.

The national security council’s Russia expert was abruptly escorted off the White House grounds due to “security matters”. His name was Andrew Peek. Here’s the article on his quick resignation and a little bit about his background at the State Department:

While at the State Department, Peek served as a deputy assistant secretary focusing on Iran and Iraq.

Prior to this, he was a US Army intelligence adviser to now-retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who commanded the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan at the time.

Not much was written about Peek’s quick departure at the time. It’s almost like no one wanted to shine a light on it. That should be significant because Peek’s predecessor was Tim Morrison who resigned on October 31, 2019. And what’s special about Morrison is he took over from…

Fiona Hill.

Yes, that Fiona Hill of the thick Northumbrian accent and the no-nonsense just the facts testimony on the Ukraine matter.

So, to recap:

Fiona Hill was the NSC Russia expert until July 2019.

Tim Morrison was NSC Russia expert from July 2019 to October 2019.

Andrew Peek was NSC Russia expert from November 2019 to January 2020.

And Tom Williams was acting NSC Russia expert from January 2020 to June 2020. Yep, he just resigned. No reason given. He just left to return to his job at the Pentagon about a week ago.

In less than a year, the NSC has had four Directors of Europe and Russia. For some reason the last three abruptly resigned. Morrison had a job lined up before he resigned but it was still sudden.

Who knows what’s been going on in Afghanistan. The smoke has yet to clear and more smoke is being generated hourly. What I’m interested in is what is going on with the Russia experts at the NSC. Four of them leaving in less than a year is something you can’t make up, folks. If I were an intrepid reporter into Russian intrigue, I’d want to find out why they’re all leaving. .

I’ll bet it would be very clarifying.

Who is more important?

The story about how Trump probably knew about the money Putin was offering the Taliban to pick American soldiers off in Afghanistan has quickly displaced the video Trump posted yesterday, as it should. The media iz learning.

Is it true? Did he know? Probably. It would explain why his Russia expert at the National Security Council abruptly quit recently. He was the third or fourth person to hold that job in the White House since Trump moved in. Oh, well, there’s more where he came from, right?

And that possibly explains Trump’s indifference as well towards the soldiers being picked off. There are a LOT of them. We have whole battalions. If we lose a few, NBD.

But there’s only ONE Putin, who is shortly to become “dictator for life” and he owns a whole country that’s bigger than ours.

I’ll bet it doesn’t go any farther than that in his head.

Are these tirades staged??

Here’s another woman losing her s#%^ in a grocery store. She actually has a mask but chooses to violently abuse an innocent basket of groceries rather than put it on.

The mess is right near the cash registers, it’s going to take a while to clean it up and her string of obscenities has got to have parents with children rattled.

Yesterday, a witness to the meltdown in Trader Joe’s said the woman walked into the store with a mask on. No surprise there. She probably couldn’t get in without one. But she took it off and prowled around the aisles for awhile until a store employee asked her to put her mask on. The witness said it looked like this person was waiting for it because her hissy fit was planned.

Is it possible this is another planned event? The girl has a mask. She’s not wearing it. And she’s close enough to the exit that she can make a hasty retreat before anyone can stop her.

Who are these people? What is it they’re trying to do?

And who is paying them?

Did he really do that??

I guess he did.

Trump tweeted a video of some of his supporters in The Villages, FL. One of them sped by on a golf cart shouting “White Power!”

His account has deleted the tweet but too late! When you have a lot of followers on Twitter, someone is gonna take a screenshot.

Jake Tapper asked John Bolton about the tweet. Bolton says Trump might have been aware of the entirety of the clip including the white power part or he may have just seen the pro-Trump signs on the golf cart and reflexively tweeted it because he doesn’t pay attention to a lot of things.

Well, that’s a comforting thought.

I think there’s a third option. This tweet is the shiny object that the media will go chasing. It was put out there to distract people from his catastrophic handling of the Covid19 pandemic, the imminent crash of the economy and his inaction regarding Putin offering a bounty on the heads of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

It’s pretty bad when you think a video supporting white nationalism will preserve your image.

Data Data Data

There’s never enough for STEM geeks, amirite?

Even most people in the US understand that putting a barrier between your respiratory system and someone else’s will very significantly reduce your chances of getting sick or getting someone else sick.

But for some ridiculous reason, people who watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh are getting a different message. WaPo has some disturbing news on this front:

Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread.

Dangerously duped.

The studies “paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others,” wrote my colleague Christopher Ingraham in an analysis last week.

Here’s the reality, now backed by numbers:

Those who relied on mainstream sources — the network evening newscasts or national newspapers that President Trump constantly blasts as “fake news” — got an accurate assessment of the pandemic’s risks. Those were the news consumers who were more likely to respond accordingly, protecting themselves and others against the disease that has now killed more than 123,000 in the United States with no end in sight.

Those who relied on Fox or, say, radio personality Rush Limbaugh, came to believe that vitamin C was a possible remedy, that the Chinese government created the virus in a lab, and that government health agencies were exaggerating the dangers in the hopes of damaging Trump politically, a survey showed.

Of course you only believe the research if you trust the source, right? And who are you going to believe? The Washington Post that has one of the best reputations for journalism in the world or a blonde flanked by two beta males that look like they’re going to do a threesome after the camera is off?

The huge number of papers that say that hydroxychloroquine is quackery and that remedisivir and dexamethasone are the only modestly effective treatments for COVID-19 or an irreverent, obscene and psychopathic radio show host without a life sciences degree who is pushing vitamin C?

I guess that it’s up to each individual to determine but if it were me, I’d be pissed to find out I’ve been “duped”.

Your mileage may vary.

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

Two things:

1.) Minority governments no matter how “duly elected” by an electoral college and not by the popular vote are congenitally unstable.

2.) REAL Republican conservatives are not Trump lovers and do not defend him.