Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Cartoon Tells the Truth



There is a long list of hypocritical GOP Senators on this: Graham, Cotten, Grassley, McConnel, Blunt, Cruz. None of them were concerned with there only being eight judges on the Supreme Court in 2016. When it appeared that Hillary Clinton might win, Cruz vowed not to confirm a single nomination she made, even if the Court went down to five judges.

So now there is a big rush.

One thing is clear: There is not a single Republican politician whose word can be trusted on anything.

Including this guy.

NB: All "whataboutism" comments will be slagged.

The Pentagon is Still Corrupt As All Fuck

A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used for making things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.
I guess they needed those fancy dress uniforms for going to funerals of soldiers who died of Covid? The Pentagon took the position that it could claim any need it desired was due to the pandemic and then spend money on it.

It's just fucking corrupt. And it's just business as usual under Trump.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Three Americans Who Killed the Largest Number of Americans

The Fatal Three are: Jefferson Davis. Robert E. Lee. Donald Trump.

Yet Trump has no regerts.

It didn't have to be this way. Not one fucking bit. Trump opted for division over leadership. Instead of mustering a national program, one that real experts had drawn up, he chose to play Culture Warrior and let the Jared Prince of Merde fuck it all up.

If there was a mistake to be made in handling an infectious pandemic, Trump made it. Other than completely burying his dead in the sand and refusing to do anything at all, it's is hard to see how Trump could have made things worse.

It didn't have to be this way.
Trump was not called to greatness. He wasn’t even called to above-average competence. He was called to implement a game-plan we’d already written with a disease control bureaucracy that was the envy of the world, the administrative infrastructure and personnel of the world’s most dominant and powerful state, and a practically bottomless well of resources. (None of our peer countries has the massive advantage of minting the world’s reserve currency.) If Trump had merely said, “Tell me what to do!,” had done it, and otherwise had stayed out of the way, I believe it’s almost certain that at least 100,000 dead Americans would now be alive.
How many people would still be alive if Trump had even marginally attempted to do his job, you might ask. This many:


In other words, about thirty-five 9-11s. Or every American who has died in combat in the last 75 years.

But just as there are still people who believe in the goodliness of Jeff Davis and Bobby Lee, there are people who can look past the awful death toll Trump has wrought and they still think he's doing a good job.

It's incomprehensible.

How to Get Back to "Legacy" Blogger

This will tell you how to make that happen.

It works. I'm writing this post with it.

Super!

Your Sunday Morning Jet Noise

Sumdood built his own jet engine, complete with afterburner:


I don't know if he flies it. I don't really want to know.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Caturday

Insect edition--

A caterpillar (we had to cut town the olant to get rid of the aphids):


A Monarch in her chrysalis:


Drying out her wings:


Going through preflight motion checks:


It's late in the year; she'll be one of the ones who migrate back to Mexico. It'll be her daughter or granddaughter who will be here next year.1
________________
1. Don't tell Stephen Miller

Friday, September 18, 2020

CDC Bangs a U-ey on Testing

 The CDC has reversed the testing advice that was inserted by the Trumpist appointees who were more concerned with following the diktats of their Orange Overlord than recommending what was grounded in medicine and science.

This comes after the New York Times story dropped about how the political appointees, including, apparently, a certain nutbag, changed the guidance.  The story went on to describe how the Trumpanzees at the Department of Health and Human Services have basically been vandalizing the CDC's website to ensure that it is in accord with Trump's propaganda, rather than disfavored things such as "science" and "facts". 

It's gotten to the point that all I can muster the energy to do is point out the stupidity of the Trump Administration and its evil machinations.  Outrage will have to be presumed.

Speaking of outrage, the AP has identified who ICE's Dr. Mengele is.

L'Shana Tovah

 


May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet year.

(I wished that for everyone last year; how'd that work out?)

What Trump Could Do If He Loses the Election

As it has been eminently clear for decades, Donald Trump is a petty and vindictive man.  So if he loses the election, especially if he loses bigly (to use his word, he has the best words), what single thing could he do to fuck over the country, short of starting a nuclear war?

This would have to be something that is within his power as the president.  It has to be something that is beyond the power to review of the Congress or the courts. It has to be something that is immediate.

This is what I came up with:  Issue a pardon to everyone who has been convicted of, or who has been charged with, a Federal crime.  Between those sitting in some sort of Federal stir and those facing charges, that's probably something like 200,000 people.  Add in those who have served their time and are now free, the numbers might be in the millions.

Now, to be fair, some wouldn't walk out the gates.  For example, The Asshole Who Shot Up a Church in Charleston was also convicted on state charges, so he'd go from Death Row to the state pen. 

Reichsfuhrer Stephen Miller might ask Trump to only pardon American citizens, in order to reward Miller for his loyalty.  But loyalty to Dimbulb Donnie is very much a one-way street, so Trump would probably tell him to fuck off.

Every federal prison, including Guantanamo, would immediately be emptied out.  Tens of thousands of prison employees would be furloughed.  Judges and prosecutors would be sitting in their offices, surfing the Internet for porn or taking long lunches.  

Everyone who was pardoned, at least those who didn't have state felony convictions, could walk on down to the local gun store and buy a gun, as well as register to vote.  Those who lost their parental rights as a result of being sent to prison could petition to reopen those cases.  Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen could move into a dacha outside of Moscow next door to Trump's place.

The resultant chaos could be epic.

Which would be Trump's goal.

Trump's Dementia is Getting Worse

 This was Trump at the ABC Town Hall:

BARD: Yes I did. The wearing of masks has proven to lessen the spread of COVID. Why don’t you support a mandate for national mask wearing? And why don’t you wear a mask more often? 
TRUMP: Well, I do wear them when I have to and when I’m in hospitals and other locations. But I will say this. They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it. And a good question is, you ask why Joe Biden -- they said we’re going to do a national mandate on masks. 
STEPHANOPOULOS: He’s called on all governors to have them. There’s a state responsibility… 
TRUMP: Well no, but he didn’t do it. I mean, he never did it. Now there is by the way, a lot of people don’t want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good. And there are a lot of people that as an example you have… 
STEPHANOPOULOS: Who are those people? 
TRUMP: I’ll tell you who those people are -- waiters. They come over and they serve you, and they have a mask. And I saw it the other day where they were serving me, and they're playing with the mask...I’m not blaming them...I’m just saying what happens. They're playing with the mask, so the mask is over, and they're touching it, and then they're touching the plate. That can’t be good. There are a lot of people. If you look at Dr. Fauci’s original statement...you look at a lot of people, CDC, you look at a lot of people’s original statement, they said very strongly, George, don’t wear masks. Then all of a sudden they went to wear masks. The concept of a mask is good, but it also does...you’re constantly touching it, you’re touching your face, you’re touching plates. There are people that don’t think masks are good.
That is a lot of craziness on full display.  First off, Trump seems to be confused over who has the power to set national policy and who does not.  A reasonable person would have understood that political candidates don't set national policy.  But by Trump's reasoning, everyone has the power to set national policy, so I guess that Trump would say that it's my fault there's no mask mandate?

OK, here it is:  

By the Power Vested in Me As a Barely-Read Blogger, I, Comrade Misfit, Hereby Decree That Everyone Shall Wear a Fucking Facemask When They Leave Their Abodes.  Those Who Refuse to Comply Now Have Their Legal Middle Names Changed to: "The Asshole".  (Example:  "Donald The Asshole Trump, Jr.")

OK, that's done.

Next, note that Trump is letting waiters set national policy.  The pandemic will be prolonged, more people will die and restaurants will be closed longer because waiters don't like wearing facemasks?

That's just insane. 

There was more insanity:  Trump thinks that Winston Churchill was standing on top of buildings in London during the Blitz.  He claims to have a health care plan "all ready", but he's been in office for three-and-a-half years and he's not done shit about bringing forth any sort of new health care proposal.  And he thinks the coronavirus will be stopped by "herd mentality".

Trump's persistence in magical thinking, his continuing belief that he can bend reality to hs words, was on full and nauseating display.

If anything, Trump showed that his choice to run on the matter of who is more mentally fit was a foolish one.  His nickname should be Dimbulb Donnie.

Dear Google: You Guys Suck

They've "ugraded" the blogging interface. It is harder to use all around. For instance, I could just hit the enter key to insert line breaks in the HTML editor, because that was a choice that could be set. They've done away with that. 

 I don't know what idiot was in charge of this. But he (or she) needs to be fired so they can go fuck up Facebook.

Because It's Friday

Tornado at 100mph (or 270,000flpfn):

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Oopsie

Negat my last.

(I already did, this is to just clean up the entries in other people's blogrolls.)

Catching Up on This

This is a little more entertaining than watching the babblings of our Ignoramus-in-Chief.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

If You're Thinking of Sitting This One Out

Or, even worse, voting for a third party, please, go read this.

A Quibble

Regardless of what you think of Trump's diplomatic achievement in the Middle East today, keep this in mind:

It is not a "peace accord".

Peace agreements are made between warring parties. Israel, the UAE and Bahrain were not at war. This is a deal that establishes diplomatic relations with countries that did not have formal relations.

Calling it a "peace deal" is Trumpist hype that has the effect of diminishing what was actually done. And it is not exactly small beer. It further cracks the myth of Arab solidarity with the Palestinian cause. It is a signal that the Arab world is done with tying its future to the Palestinians.

It's also a diplomatic deal that could not have happened without the tacit approval of the Saudis.

But a "peace deal"? Only in the minds of Trump and his posse of zombified followers.

My suspicion is that it also opens the door wider for Iranian power with respect to the Palestinians. It may have the effect of making terrorism more likely. But that remains to be seen.

Trump-- Support the Red Army! Make the USSR Great Again!

From a story forwarded by SD, a frequent flier here:

(OK, I added the captions)

What the hell is wrong with those people?

Heckuvajob, Trumpie

Among First World nations, the US leads in coronavirus, with 20,366 cases per million people.

Here's one interesting statistic: The Canadians have had 243 deaths per million people. The US has had 601 deaths per million people. So if we had handled the pandemic as well as the Canadians, instead of 199,000 dead from Covid-19, 80,500 people would have died. That's tragic enough, but that's still over half fewer dead.

Do you know of two people who have died from the virus? If you were in Canada, one would be alive.

Canada has had a case rate of 3,650 per million people. So if you know three people who have had Covid-19, two of them would not have had it if they lived in Canada.

That's Trump's legacy: Cemeteries full of people who didn't need to have died and wouldn't have if he hadn't willfully closed his mind to what was going on. Because it's clear from Bob Woodward's reportage that Trump chose to ignore the pandemic and pretend that its going away, which he is still doing.

This was Trump in February. I've edited his blatherings, but you can read them in toto if you click on the link:
As most of you know, the — the level that we’ve had in our country is very low, and those people are getting better, or we think that in almost all cases they’re better, or getting. We have a total of 15. ... So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.
It is now beyond dispute that Trump was lying as hard as he ever has when he said that. We know that Trump told Woodward that he had received a briefing from his National Security Adviser on January 28th that the coronavirus was the biggest national security threat that Trump would face.

And what did Trump do? He lied and has kept lying. Trump deliberately chose to let over a hundred thousand people die.

That's the difference from Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina: Bush shanked the response to Katrina out of sheer incompetence. Trump's response to the pandemic has been deliberate indifference.

Look at the obits. See two people who died of Covid-19. But for Trump, one would be alive. Trump, by his inactions, his trying to defeat the pandemic by tweeting and ignoring what was happening, has been responsible for more Americans being killed by Covid than were killed in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Heckuvajob, Trumpie.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hopefully, I'm Only Going to Have to Say This Once

If you are getting your news from Facebook sources, you are soft in the head.

In the 1940s, Doing This Sort of Shit Got the Perpetrators Executed

Apparently ICE hired Josef Mengele's grandson as a contractor:
Several legal advocacy groups on Monday filed a whistleblower complaint on behalf of a nurse at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center documenting “jarring medical neglect” within the facility, including a refusal to test detainees for the novel coronavirus and an exorbitant rate of hysterectomies being performed on immigrant women.

The nurse, Dawn Wooten, was employed at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company. The complaint was filed with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.

Multiple women came forward to tell Project South about what they perceived to be the inordinate rate at which women in ICDC were subjected to hysterectomies – a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed.
...
“When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies,” the detainee said.

According to Wooten, ICDC consistently used a particular gynecologist – outside the facility – who almost always opted to remove all or part of the uterus of his female detainee patients.

“Everybody he sees has a hysterectomy—just about everybody,” Wooten said, adding that, “everybody’s uterus cannot be that bad.”
This is the sort of evil shit that the Chinese are doing to the Uighurs.

Of course a private prison company is involved in this shit. There is nothing good that has come out of private prison companies. They should be legislated out of existence most rikki-tik.

The Trump Administration is almost as evil as the Communists. No doubt that Stephen Miller is creaming his jeans on this.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Trump Alarms


Trump's forecast for Hurricane Sally's landfall is: "Calm seas, not much rain, little wind, no reason to panic."

A little automotive humor:

Hurricane Sally-- Here Comes the Water, NO, LA

Look at the forecast map for rain amounts:


That is a metric-buttload of rain.

Trump Crowns Himself "Mister Galaxy"

Sure, there's no such award, but what the hell, that's never stopped him before. He claims to have been awarded the Bay of Pigs Award, which doesn't exist.

It's not the first time that Trump has babbled on and on about receiving a nonexistent honor.

That poor man is not quite right in the head, bless his heart.

(H/T)

Let's Buzz the Tower

A true story:

What the Hell Was Trump Talking About?

He said this on Thursday:
If Bob Woodward thought what I said was bad, then he should’ve immediately, right after I said it, gone out to the authorities so they can prepare and let them know.
What "authorities" does he have in mind? The Inter-Galactic Overlords? The International Criminal Court?

He's the fucking president, for the love of Your Dear and Fluffy Lord.

Now, as for those who are blaming Bob Woodward for this, I am going to copy this from Balloon Juice:
Nobody with a firing brain cell did not know the truth about the deadliness of the Coronavirus when these conversations were being taped by Woodward.

The only people who refused to believe all the scientists and doctors and the smart people and deny all the images of death and grief and destruction on the screens right in front of their faces were die-hard Trump Culters or Republican sociopaths who short-sightedly valued the “economy” over the needs of Americans. (Which tanked even worse than it could have. And those people actually took plenty of precautions because, fuck, dying from COVID is what the little people do.)

At some point, we have to hold The Stupids accountable for choosing to ignore what the vast majority of the rest of us decided was the right thing to do. Trump included. THEY caused the deaths of many, many innocent people and even now are persisting in places like ND/SD, not because Bob Woodward didn’t immediately release his tapes in March, but because they are fucking, God-damned stupid people.

I love what we do in NM with these folks: tell them to STFU and put on the mask or GTFO of my business, restaurant, gym or clinic. We fine or shut down businesses who give the Gov’s orders the finger. We’re persisting with our rules even though were at an R0 of 0.75. Mostly because we’ve got the whiny Red parts of our state acting like this is either a hoax or the fucking end of the world because they have to wear a mask to Walmart, so Gov. Lujan is being absolutely merciless in her refusal to release restrictions. I. LOVE. IT.

At some point a few weeks ago, I just stopped agonizing over what this Governor or that Legislator or those cities did or did not do in response to the Coronavirus and focused on what my community and state was doing. Because I don’t give any more fucks about these people. What kind of “Rugged Independence” is it that you’ll literally do a 180 degree reversal your beliefs just because the Great Orange MAGA Man has declared it to be the New Truth?

Every step of the way on Corona, Trump has revealed himself as the complete and utter failure we all knew he is. Every stupid decision, every news conference where he told people to inject bleach, every loud mouthed demand for a state or a city or a sports team to “OPEN NOW!!” has led to the giant lead in the polls for Biden, and in a sad, tragic way, it had to happen for us to get rid of this demon. God forbid he’d have done a marginally decent job and just let the smart people handle this, we’d be looking at a shoo-in this fall.

The rest of us are the sane ones. They’re the minority. Fuck them. We owe them NOTHING. And when this is over they should get absolutely NO MERCY. Their party needs to be run so deep into the ground it never finds its way out of the swirling hot magma at the center of the Earth.

Hurricane Sally-- Batten Down, New Orleans

Look that the latest forecast map:


If the forecast holds, it's going to be moving very slowly when it comes ashore. That may mean that there's going to be a shitload of rain.

Your Sunday Morning Rocket Noise


That went over a third of the way to the Karman Line. Not bad for an amateur.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

I Will Not Take Trump's Vaccine. Not Until There is an Ocean of Proof That It's Safe

This is why:
Political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have repeatedly asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to revise, delay and even scuttle weekly reports on the coronavirus that they believed were unflattering to President Trump.

Current and former senior health officials with direct knowledge of phone calls, emails and other communication between the agencies said on Saturday that meddling from Washington was turning widely followed and otherwise apolitical guidance on infectious disease, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, into a political loyalty test, with career scientists framed as adversaries of the administration.
The Trumpanzees in senior positions are cooking the books so that Trump doesn't look as bad as he really does. They've brought in some quack from Canada to try and push Trumpifying the science through.

You can tell that HHS spokesweasel Michael Caputo is operating with less than a full cortex when he says this like this:
Caputo doubled down in a statement to Politico by insisting that the HHS was reviewing CDC reports to “make sure that evidence, science-based data drives policy through this pandemic — not ulterior deep state motives in the bowels of CDC.”
Anyone who babbles about "the deep state" should be tossed into a locked ward and put on a heavy dosage of lithium. (Yes, that includes The Donald.)

There's just no way, now, be be certain that any vaccine approved this year hasn't been rammed through the process by a Trumpist bureaucrat, who views his or her job as serving Trump, not the American people.

Trump Country Burns, Trump Doesn't Care

Trump's relative silence on the West Coast wildfires is a little puzzling. He probably doesn't care because they're blue states.

But the thing is, they're blue because of their urban and suburban populations. The rural areas are Trump country. And those are what's burning. But their votes won't change things, so Trump doesn't care.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Trump Country:
Coronavirus infections in the Dakotas are growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, fueling impassioned debates over masks and personal freedom after months in which the two states avoided the worst of the pandemic.
...
South Dakota has also posted some of the country’s highest positivity rates for COVID-19 tests in the last week — over 17 percent — an indication that there are more infections than tests are catching.
They could be breaking out in pustules and eating their neighbors, but they'll still vote for Trump, so he doesn't care about them, either.

Caturday

Priss the garden cat:


To be clear, Priss is not our cat. She's her own cat. We feed her, as do others. Some nights she sleeps in the garage, where there is a cat bed, a litter box, food and water. Other nights, she stays in a neighbor's garage or under another neighbor's house, or Bastet knows where else. Sometimes she'll deign to let me pet her, other times, not.