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April 13, 2020

Comments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbTmjCUJaVk

just because

'Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.'

More generally:

Those who do not learn from the example of others are engaged in willful stupidity.

For fast adoption in the West (perhaps elsewhere, but definitely here), don't get experts to explain why it's a good idea. Make it a fashion statement. For getting people to wear face masks, the most effective strategy would have been to get an endorsement from Coco Chanel and Madonna.

I think provincial narcissism is an ok description, in kind of the least positive way of looking at it.

I think it leaves out a few things.

First, China wasnt a trustworthy example, to this day it isnt clear how effective their response was. Red scare is perhaps more valid simply due to the lack of trustworthiness of the government there in general.

Second, South Korea was more inclined to take dramatic action as it had taken significant criticism for its response to MERS only 5 years ago. So they didnt need an approved test, they were willing to use whatever test was available and deal with its limitations.

Third. MERS never got here. Creating the opposite inclination at all levels.

Fourth, just geographically it seemed pretty remote when there was an outbreak in Washington State that seemed fairly isolated. So it was late February before it became a real, now, threat.

That gets us to the response, where I would be interested in lj's expanded views on the cultural/political limitations. For example, the CDC felt it had the basics for atest it could approve and roll out quickly.

That failure, not a particularly egregious decision as the CDC had done this before, was a critical limiting factor in the response.

Making the South Korea response unavailable. In fact, making the challenges of tracing almost irrelevant. But the additional challenges of tracing and then branding the people electronically with a bluetooth beacon is still problematic here.

Abd that's not narcissistic it is cultural. We dont trust the government, or anyone else, to broadcast our location after capturing every place we've been in the history on our phone.

I'm not sure culturally why that seems ok to South Koreans. That's not a criticism, I just dont know why. It seems unbelievable to me.

just geographically it seemed pretty remote when there was an outbreak in Washington State that seemed fairly isolated. So it was late February before it became a real, now, threat.

It was a real, now threat far earlier. In late February, it ceased to be possible to bury one's head in the sand any longer.

As a side note, for a lot of us, Washington state isn't that far away. Nowhere near as far as New York, or even Chicago.

No wj, even California, who reacted pretty early based on the Governors estimate and the proximity of Washington, didnt issue a statewide shelter in place until March 20.

The narrative that the country would have accepted a shutdown much earlier is not accurate.

The issue isn't whether T* should have talked about a shut-down in January or February.

The issue is that, having disbanded the Pandemic Task Force, and having fired the pandemic early alert office that was in China (established for the precise purpose of tracking the emergence of new respiratory viruses), T* got rid of the very things that would have been invaluable in detecting, analyzing, and making recommendations about, COVID-19.

The issue is that, had T* paid attention to what HIS OWN ADVISORS were telling him in January and February, he could have started getting ready: stockpiling PPEs, telling the CDC and FDA to get cracking on tests, calling up governors to start establishing lines of communication for when the virus hit.

The issue is that he did none of that.

It never even occurred to him to do any of that.

And then, THEN, when the pandemic was already in progress... when any President with any shred of intelligence, foresight, and cognizance of how National Emergency powers are supposed to be used (as opposed to the cruel and rapacious way he had been using them)... would at least at that point coordinate supplies with the individual states who needed them.

That's what Emergency Powers are f*cking FOR. Responses to natural disasters, pandemics, and suchlike.

But T* did not. He said it wasn't his problem, that he wasn't a shipping clerk or delivery boy. He said he took no responsibility.

He told the states they were on their own. He left the states in the position to bid against one another for vital medical supplies.

And then - THEN! - he had the Federal Govt bid against the states. Then - THEN! - he had supplies that states had purchased seized upon delivery and diverted those as well to himself.

And then he gave the supplies - which the other states had paid for, mind you - to states where he is popular. Or gave them to cronies to resell, it's not clear which. But what is clear is that T* seized materials which states had purchased and paid for and diverted them away.

There really aren't any excuses. T* is a horrible, horrible President, a ghastly travesty of a human being, and practically, if not actually, a solipsist in his utter disregard for anyone or anything other than himself.

There is culture sprinkled throughout this, I don't deny it. I don't believe, however, that the generous hindsight afforded by Marty to the response (and notice that name Trump never appears in Marty's comment because I assume Marty wants to suggest that he just doesn't matter) is at all justified, and is more the typical 3 card monte he plays here, even if he doesn't realize it.

Perhaps Americans could not do what the South Koreans did. But they/you didn't even try. That's the pity.

For a nanosecond late last night - and this is the honest truth - I thought:

Wow the Telegraph has published a culturally sensitive think piece in a cosmopolitan spirit!

And then I came back to reality.

[For the non-British readers: the Daily Telegraph is also called the Torygraph and is basically the Daily Mail with coherent sentences, i.e. parochial, chauvinistic, tribal and cruel - I don't think there's a widely read equivalent in the US).

"The narrative that the country would have accepted a shutdown much earlier is not accurate."

Yes, I would have.

Fuck the word "narrative".

As CaseyL points out, the choice in January was not between a shutdown and nothing. It was between preparation and nothing.

Trump chose "nothing."

To explain this, if you argue that the US is better than China because of its support of WHO, and that support suddenly becomes conditional, doesn't that mean your thesis is shot?

i'd say it means that we take for granted that institutional inertia will keep things like our support for WHO intact. but Trump apparently gets off by finding and changing things that he can change - maybe for no reason other than it gets him attention.

pretty much nobody in the US would have been mad if we'd just left the WHO funding alone. Donald Trump, the petty and narcissistic god-king of the GOP, wants to put his greasy little thumbprint on everything, though.

CaseyL: He told the states they were on their own. He left the states in the position to bid against one another for vital medical supplies.

And then - THEN! - he had the Federal Govt bid against the states. Then - THEN! - he had supplies that states had purchased seized upon delivery and diverted those as well to himself.

And then he gave the supplies - which the other states had paid for, mind you - to states where he is popular. Or gave them to cronies to resell, it's not clear which. But what is clear is that T* seized materials which states had purchased and paid for and diverted them away.

The whole comment is a brilliant summation. The Sleeveless Fucking Jackass formerly known as Clickbait is a vicious excuse for a human being. There really are no words that quite grasp how horrible he is. (Fran Lebowitz does a pretty good job, I have to say.)

But hey, better death than socialism.

Marty has half a point.

One of the reasons S Korea did so well is that they were lucky enough to run a full scale national coronavirus pandemic exercise. only a month before the real thing happened...
And Taiwan likewise had a coronavirus epidemic respone plan in place - and an epidemiologist as Vice President.

But his excuses for Trump are risible.

There is, absolutely, a cultural exceptionalism at work. I do not expect it (except perhaps in parts of the US) to survive this pandemic.

Finally getting a chance to write a bit, lots of online stuff and various bits and bobs.

I first have to apologize to Marty, he did ask a question and I don't want him to think I am dodging it. I do react pretty viscerally to his idea that Trump is just a poor unfortunate soul who is trapped in a situation not of his making and that any previous president (or god forbid Hilary) would have exactly the same problems. I don't know if he believes that or not, but it seems so obvious a misrepresentation that I think it is a troll. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but I (and probably several others) will react to it is if it were.

But your question was about my expanded views on the cultural/political limitations. I think they are there, but you aren't going to find them if you don't try. And I also think that role modeling is a powerful tool. We now have a situation where Democratic governors like Kentucky's Bashear are taking concrete steps which are being resisted by Rand Paul and Thomas Massie. In another reality, those two gentlemen might have realized the threat of the virus, but it is clear that Doctor Rand Paul thinks that he's better than the virus. There are multiple examples of public figures failing to lead, I just don't understand why one party seems to have a monopoly on them.

I tell my students that they won't know until they try, which is my take about the cultural/political limitations. They are there, but you won't know about them until you try. And the absence of any attempt to try should be hung around the neck of everyone who defends this president. Which means you, if you choose to take that role on here.

This article by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar points out what was done by the NBA. There was no reason that other entities like that could have done the same. Trump could have spoken to groups like MLB, network television, etc and asked that they set an example. Instead, the examples came piecemeal. So my take about cultural/political limitation is that they are moot because no one even came close to coming near them.

As far as what people will accept, as of the first week of March, there were something less than 10 reported cases of COVID-19 in Boston.

On March 10, Gov Baker declared a state of emergency in MA. School closings in Boston began on March 11. Non-essential businesses were shut down, state-wide, on March 23.

Different parts of the country are different. People in my general area have pretty much been willing to comply with public health initiatives around COVID, including shelter at home. I can't, and am not interested in, speaking for other parts of the country.

Big country, different values. We don't all agree about what things are good. All I ask is that, if you have spent time in the company of dozens of your random friends and neighbors in the last month or so, over there wherever the hell it is that you live, stay the hell out of my state. Don't come here. We don't want to get sick so that you can exercise your personal sovereignty and sacred liberty. Do all of that on your own dime. Thank you.

To Marty's point, no doubt the vast majority of Americans would resist letting information from their mobile phones be used to track where they had been and who they had contacted. Also no doubt our COVID response would be improved if we were able to track all of that, through whatever means.

So, people will probably become ill who otherwise would not have, and some percentage of those people will die.

Hardly any point in arguing if that's "a price worth paying", because the alternative is not on offer.

I'm sure the South Koreans think we're nuts. I'm sure we, at least some of us, think they are willing slaves of the oppressive police state.

All of which is, if I'm not mistaken, lj's point.

The NBA suspended games the day they had an infected player, a good business decision but simply a business decision.

I am not going to tit fo tat on Trump. He is not good at playing with others, he is viciously narcissistic and accepts no responsibility.

There are individual points that I disagree with in the narrative that has been constructed that are either worth discussing or not.imp failed, so did 50 Governors who reacted too slowly by different measures, some better some worse.

I think the cultural differences were interesting to examine without cluttering the conversation with wwhat Trump said or did on what date.

This side by side comparison, of Ireland and the UK

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/14/coronavirus-uk-ireland-delay

Amazing that the Irish love of craice bowed to the necessity of curve flattening, but the English reserve failed. Which may hint that cultural patterns and limitations are not destiny.

I am not going to tit fo(r) tat on Trump.

(...)

(Trump) failed, so did 50 Governors who reacted too slowly by different measures, some better some worse.

Which is it?

The governors aren't the ones who are supposed to address national emergencies like this. They don't have direct access to the intelligence sources the president does. State health departments don't have the international reach that the CDC does. Don't you think they would have acted on the state level sooner if pushed to do so by the president?

Is every governor perfect? Of course not. Would they all have been better with some kind of national leadership from the White House? Yes. But they didn't get that. They were on their own. To a large degree, their "failures" (with quotation marks) flow directly from the president's failures (without quotation marks).

He's bungled this from the start, and it's no surprise.

the Irish love of craice bowed to the necessity of curve flattening, but the English reserve failed

You are unlikely to find an Irish person in a position similar to PM espousing the idea that "there is no such thing as society". At least, that is my impression.

Craic is good fun, but it's what happens when the chips are down that show the true character of a community.

I think the cultural differences were interesting to examine

They are, but not in the service of deflecting or diminishing blame and responsibility. And counterfactual claims about how people couldn't do something because of them are just smokescreens.

FWIW, a professor of epidemiology on the comparisons between the UK and Eire:

https://twitter.com/TomChivers/status/1249652177355919361/photo/1

without cluttering the conversation with wwhat Trump said or did on what date.

I think we'd all be happy to ignore what Trump says or does, on any date at all. Unfortunately, he is incapable of engaging in any issue without making it all about himself. Also, because of the office he holds, anything he says or does has consequences for all of the rest of us.

The man is a fucking failure. His administration is a shambles. His handling of the COVID pandemic is a three-ring trainwreck.

IMO that pretty much sums it up. And with that said, it's fine with me to put the topic aside.

"Yeah, but the governors" does not count as "putting the topic aside". FWIW, some governors are doing a great job, and some are utter crap. And you can more or less tell which are which by the prevailing social culture of the states they govern.

People are entitled to believe what they want to believe, and to live however they want to live. And, they will inevitably bear the burden of the consequences of all of that.

Horses, water.

So no we got want to bitch about Trump. 27 paragraphs of Trump sucks and there were no other factors. Got it.

"So for all the attention that yesterday's presidential temper tantrum is getting, it's simply Trump being Trump. Perhaps more importantly, it directs attention away from the ways in which governors are themselves acting as petty tyrants, shutting down all sorts of basic economic activity for no good reasons at all. They are the ones who are most acting like Captain Queeg, the battle-fatigued commander in The Caine Mutiny whose erratic behavior and monomaniacal fixation on missing strawberries has become a shorthand for insane leadership that should be removed from power."
While Trump Rants, It's Governors Who Have Gone Full Captain Queeg: Don't let states and cities get away with onerous rules that in no way help to contain COVID-19

Factor this:

Your Governor DeSantis just declared live Worldwide Wrestling events in Florida an "essential service".

Apparently they are not even going to prevent asymptomatic fat fake wrestlers from being thrown into the second row of fans, spraying Covid cooties all over the place.*

Look, when you witness a catastrophic train wreck up close, you are going to get 27 paragraphs, at the very least, about catastrophic train wrecks, especially if in quick succession the train wreck sets off catastrophic wildfires in a nearby forest and takes out a nearby power station causing the nearby city to go dark and just by coincidence an aircraft bomber carrying megatons of nuclear weapons happens to run out of fuel over the nearby city and has to crash land the thing in front of city hall's daycare center.

I can go back and string together 27 paragraphs or yours from years ago regarding Obamacare and the catastrophes Obama and Hillary beset you with, not the least of which was while unemployed and down on your luck you were given access, too expensive, I understand, to healthcare insurance.

THAT was a fucking tragedy.

27 paragraphs about this lout are nothing.

I've self-censored and deleted 227 more paragraphs that you'll never see.

You are welcome.

*I wish. There will be no live audiences. It was either that or allow live audiences who would die two weeks later. I checked the facts on account of both sides do it and because the deep state asked me to.

DeSantis also declared prostitution an essential service, but then ruined the whole thing by outlawed all touching by and of the service providers. No one except for Rush Limbaugh, the doormen at Mar-a-Lago, and DeSantis' wife are disappointed at that last proviso, though their regular call girls and boys are ecstatic.

Reason Magazine.

A bunch of asymptomatic libertarians attempt to reason with a libertarian virus.

I suspect they've forced themselves to hire some underpaid front line workers to deep clean their business offices.

The order probably went from the higher ups over ZOOM.

Rabid dogs.

Reason doesn't have much in the way of offices. They've been doing the whole work from home thingy for decades.

DeSantis is a douche, that's a quote from one of my friends who is an ardent Trump supporter.

It's hard to be worse than Trump but he manages. But really hes a chickenshit, scared of the blowback from his financial supporters.

Must be a body odor thing.

Five more paragraphs:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/04/republicans-used-the-coronavirus-bill-to-give-millionaires-a-90-billion-gift/

I fully endorse Marty's two paragraphs at 1:49 PM.

Here are five more paragraphs about Vlad Putin, whose government will be savagely overthrown and everyone in it executed.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/04/the-russian-infodemic-is-about-more-than-just-elections/

A coupla-few bonus paragraphs, my last of the day:

Putin's pro-Covid-19 propaganda is word for word identical to Limbaugh's, Bennett's, FOX News, OAN's, Breitbart's, 25-some red state governors, Reason Magazine, ALL rightwing radio and TV shit-talkers, the White House's and 60 million fake death-loving Christians in America.

The word "coincidence" will join the word "irony" in retirement, but more importantly, what are we going to do with and to these traitors on Putin's payroll?

I guess Castro had John Kennedy shot in Texas, and in return grateful conservative Texans jumped at the chance to join the KGB payroll.

Why can't we just let Covid-19 wash over the conservative movement in America, a subhuman asked just recently, but misidentified the desired victims?

But, millions of paragraphs through the decades will tell you Martin Luther King was a Communist and Bernie Sanders is a Socialist, though pro-gun.

Don't waste your time looking under your beds.

The mortal enemies of America are standing right in front of us.

What shall we do? They want to kill us.

I, for one, am at a loss.


So many paragraphs, so little time:

https://prospect.org/coronavirus/banks-can-grab-stimulus-check-pay-debts/

Sex workers over here are in trouble too. While it is not per se banned, the limitations make it difficult for those officially registered as a business. And the streetwalkers are victims of reverse price-gouging, i.e. the customers force the prices down without shame.
And many that only work here but are not German citizens risk termination of their residence permit. Those playing by the rules will get hit hardest.

Putin's pro-Covid-19 propaganda is word for word identical to Limbaugh's, Bennett's, FOX News, OAN's, Breitbart's, 25-some red state governors, Reason Magazine, ALL rightwing radio and TV shit-talkers, the White House's and 60 million fake death-loving Christians in America.

For the last couple of weeks, we have been getting The Epoch Times delivered to our door. Didn't ask for it, don't want it, it goes directly to recycle. And, after touching it, we wash our hands.

It's full of crap like this. Not exactly what Putin says, but the differences are just a kind of Mad-Libs substitution of one Evil Foreign Power and/or Billionaire Schemer for another.

Bill Gates, you will be interested to know, is seeking to de-populate the world by developing a "vaccine" that will, instead, kill us all. Gates' upside in all of that is unclear, but no matter. A person I know, who to all appearances is not psychotic, presents this argument on FB as if it is a fact.

People fill their heads with the vilest bullshit they can find, and then wonder why everything is going to crap around them.

I feel like I'm living among the pod people. It's impossible to even have a conversation about this stuff. There is no entry point, no basis of shared understanding.

"Moon men are trying to poison us with toxic Easter peeps so they can take over the world and steal our underwear. Prove I'm wrong".

It's like that.

Looking forward to better days, whenever they get here. May it be sooner rather than later.

"Moon men are trying to poison us with toxic Easter peeps so they can take over the world and steal our underwear. Prove I'm wrong".

I laughed out loud.

But this...

I feel like I'm living among the pod people. It's impossible to even have a conversation about this stuff. There is no entry point, no basis of shared understanding.

...is unfortunately not funny.

Then again...

Millions of people believe that the son of the one true god died and arose from the dead three days later. When I was a kid being raised Catholic, I consumed, every Sunday, what I was supposed to believe was literally that son's body and blood.

I was taught that the omnipotent, omniscient creator of the universe cared so much about my behavior, some of it the essence of being alive, that if I didn't take care, he (of course it was a he) would consign me to an eternity of unimaginable agony in the fires of hell.

Are moon men with toxic Easter peeps really so outlandish, considering?

[Edited to remove dangling thought train...]

For the last couple of weeks, we have been getting The Epoch Times delivered to our door. Didn't ask for it, don't want it, it goes directly to recycle. And, after touching it, we wash our hands.

I've noticed their ads popping up when I'm listening to music on YouTube, too. It's such obvious bull. Well, at least I don't have to wash hands afterwards. Just clear cookies.

Falun Gong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Epoch_Times

So, I'm listening to a YouTube playlist that my sister sent me. An ad pops up in between each video.

The ad playing, as I write this, is for... The Epoch Times.

Are moon men with toxic Easter peeps really so outlandish, considering?

Certainly not. But luckily for non-toxic Easter peeps NZ PM Jacinda Ardern on April 6th declared the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny "essential workers". Sorry if someone else already posted this, but speaking for myself I really welcome evidence of sane world leaders. For historians of social media in the future: it's a long story.

Unarmed black kids get shot in the back for nothing.

Conservative Corrupt Law and Order Republicans don't.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/richard-burr-dc-townhouse-stock-holdings-coronavirus

Time to flip the script .. forever.

So no we got want to bitch about Trump. 27 paragraphs of Trump sucks and there were no other factors. Got it.

Better than making 27 paragraphs about how you suck, don't you think?

i can think of at least one good way to help make it so we never have to talk about Trump here again...

i can think of at least one good way to help make it so we never have to talk about Trump here again...

Done. Thanks, cleek!

I guess this would make the 28th paragraph

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/live-blog/trump-white-house-coronavirus-briefing-authority-total-reopen-economy

I say we give the guy $10 billion dollars to resign and go away.

Just fucking go away. Please.

Don't be fooled, and let there be hope.

"Governors will be the ones to decide about when to reopen their economies".

Standard Trump con. Take no responsibility and set it up so as to avoid any possible blame if things go to shit.

Paragraph 29, (if we are just counting from me, don('t know how we should count the others) Just got this from an acquaintance who works for WHO here in Japan...

If my contract ends at the end of May with today’s news about the States to halt funds for WHO...

What he says has consequences. Words cannot describe my disgust for the man.

China and Russia should immediately replace vermin American dollars and fund WHO to the hilt. Other countries as well.

Further, WHO should embargo fuck Republican Trump America from receiving all disease and contagion data and medical research findings.

Foreign drug companies who develop anti-Covid-19 vaccines should refuse to sell and export those vaccines to American consumers.

Further, all countries in the world must close their borders to American tourists and business travelers, shutter and deport all international subsidiaries of Amercan corporations, nationalize the assets, and refuse all American exports, including oil, liquid natural gas and all other energy
by-products. America, under subhuman republican fascist rule is the new oil cartel. Destroy it.

I guess my dreams of traveling parts of the world I've haven't seen like a normal fucking person are over, but I should be made to pay that price for not overthrowing the criminal republican conservative filth destroying our country, the world's entire trading system (these animals are using the pandemic, as they tell their rube vermin base that there is no pandemic, in the very words Putin is also telling them via his client traitors in the White House, the subhuman republican majority in the Senate, and his KGB controlled Vichy right media media machine infesting our country to carry out their ultimate malignant goals), and the entire international order constructed to keep the peace since World War II.

All hospitals, clinics, medical practices and health insurance entities in this beknighted land must demand voter registration cards marked Democratic for entry and treatment of Covid-19 detection and infection. Also demand proof of religious affiliation, with the usual vector conservative Christians turned away and then forcibly quarantined in camps so they can spread the contagion among themselves and stop fucking with the rest of us.

Triage republican animals out of our fucking medical care system

We can't afford them.

I have more. You don't want to hear it.

The stimulus checks are being delayed because the republican shit placed in power by our usual suspects requires his signature on each one. I wouldn't be surprised if he is demanding to sign each one personally in crayon.

I wish the monster writer's cramp, spinal stenosis, kidney failure and brain liquidation, not to mention fungus on his tiny testicles. A sudden flare up of spontaneous combustion and lead poisoning from every grassy knoll in the country would be goddamed good start to the return o civility in this barely sentient polis.

The late Lindsay Graham said the other day that there will be civil unrest son if this stimulus process does not go smoothly.

He has no idea of the FURY that will be unleashed. It will not be civil and he will receive no rest as he seeks his hides hole from vengeance.

https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/04/14/gaslighting-coronavirus-julio-vincent-gambuto

First the unremitting cleansing fury against the bullshit gas lighting.

Then, maybe, when the 49%, the gas lighters are shut up and gone, vanished, maybe, the rest of us can return to some kind of normal life of goodness toward each other.

But the thin soporific gas emitted by the American gaslighting industry, its biggest, most lucrative enterprise, is already returning us to our slumber.

I see it in the stock market. I especially see it in so called business journalism, which of all journalism, is the most biased and captured by those who should their subjects, not their captors.

Conservatives say they hate bias in the press.

They are fucking liars.

They love their own biases in the press.

Typing on an iPAD sucks.

You know, if we could return to handwritten communications exclusively, the Internet would be a better and quieter place.

I look forward to Internet traffic resembling traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge today with only virtual coyotes spotted now and again.

I would certainly post less if like a letter sent off by Jane Austen to, say, Boston, it took three months to arrive via steam, sail, horse drawn wagon, and by foot, and the reply the same amount if time and effort in reverse.


You know, if we could return to handwritten communications exclusively, the Internet would be a better and quieter place.

For 30+ years I have wanted an i/o device, or even an entire computer, that could do a good imitation of a pen and pad of paper. We are finally starting to see some at a sort-of reasonable price.

Don't be fooled, and let there be hope.

Posted by: bobbyp | April 14, 2020 at 10:17 PM

*****

https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/04/14/gaslighting-coronavirus-julio-vincent-gambuto

Posted by: Donald | April 15, 2020 at 09:13 AM

*****

Great minds think alike. I wonder how many platforms that essay was published on.

I read that over the weekend at the source bobbyp linked to. It's kinda-sorta along the lines of what I was getting at a week or so ago regarding how much of the US's or the world's economy is low value (in long-term human happiness?), regardless of the value of the financial transactions involved.

Maybe someone with more ambition than I have will write the book:

"Novel Coronavirus Lays Bare the Great Economic Circle-Jerk."

Rush Limbaugh sez that when the first death occurs from Covid-19 AFTER trump reopens the country, trump will be blamed.

I will blame trump for the second,third, fourth and ad infinitum deaths from the trump virus, but if Rush Limbaugh, that mistaken misbegotten freak get of poisonous protoplasm from a forlorn, desperate egg and a mis-shot limping sperm issued by a half-drunk piece of shit on a day when the condom stores were all out of product, is the FIRST corpse gathered up by the death wagons, despite the jagoff having been quarantined and social distancing these past months from behind his hospital and broadcasting booth air locks in order to safely broadcast his tripe urging his scumbag audiences to NOT quarantine and social distance, then I believe trump should receive the Medal of Fredom.

THEN, we can hang the murderer for the second death, while retiring the forever beshatupon medal of freedom from service.

Wait, I thought Kitty O'Meara had it right?

Trump doesn't have the constitutional authority to reopen the country. Just as he doesn't have the authority to close it down. He can only make requests to the various state governors.

At some point soon things will have to start opening up again in spite of there being additional deaths. Otherwise, we will reach the point of, "Great! We beat the virus. Too bad we have no money, no food, no gas..."

Speaking of the cultural norms preventing a more robust response, try this on for size.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEHP56kMrcs

He can only make requests to the various state governors.

I expect ultimatums: Rescind your shelter-in-place and essential-businesses-only orders, or I'll sit on the aid to your state and local governments. Get your cities in line, too. If the guesses about the size of the hole in my state's budget are accurate, it will be hard to refuse.

The Impoundment Control Act has never reached the Supreme Court. The Court today seems generally inclined to favor the authority of the executive branch. Even if the SCOTUS were to upheld the ICA, it sets up a "John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" moment.

I expect ultimatums: Rescind your shelter-in-place and essential-businesses-only orders, or I'll sit on the aid to your state and local governments.

The problem with that is likely to be that it's the deeply pro-Trump states that will be just (slowly and reluctantly) starting to do shelter-in-place. Because they will be starting to get hit so hard that all but the most rabidly libertarian among their governors will have finally realized that they have no choice.

Even if the SCOTUS were to upheld the ICA, it sets up a "John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" moment.

At which point, he discovers what the real deep state is: a whole lot of people who respect the rule of law. And who don't propose to go to jail (under the next administration) for defying a Supreme Court order. Which such an action would make sooner rather than later.

George Conway needs to social distance his genitalia from this ignorant STD-ridden trumptart:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/conway-mistakes-19-covid-strain-virus-accuse-who-not-knowing-facts

Get the children out of that home, too.

She's a carrier. A vector.

At which point, he discovers what the real deep state is: a whole lot of people who respect the rule of law. And who don't propose to go to jail (under the next administration) for defying a Supreme Court order. Which such an action would make sooner rather than later.

One of those things that I feel like I should know -- having been a budget staffer for a state legislature for a while -- but don't is exactly who has to sign off on a billion-dollar transfer to a state government. I suspect it's all Cabinet-level signatures, and until those happen there's no money for the lower levels to distribute. As best I recall, the ICA is not a criminal law; it's a directive to the President, and there are no explicit penalties.

Sometimes, rather than a clash of civilizations, we have a clash of a civilization with the uncivilized.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/coming-to-your-1200-relief-check-donald-j-trumps-name/2020/04/14/071016c2-7e82-11ea-8013-1b6da0e4a2b7_story.html

Of course, to add the signature of someone who is not legally empowered to sign checks on the US Treasury, computer code must be changed to include the president’s name, and the system must be tested. Which takes time, of course. All to gratify someone's fragile ego.

"their governors will have finally realized that they have no choice."

Your day might come, wj, when these people see the light ... finally.

But I doubt it and certainly not now. Not enough dead Americans to their Christian death cult satisfaction yet.

They are General George Custer and they will be wiped out, to a man, and scalped. Maybe we'll kidnap one woman, like the Comanche did, and raise her to be a human being.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nm-supreme-court-sides-with-gop-in-fight-with-clerks-over-covid-19-mail-in-voting

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2020/04/14/south-dakota-refused-to-shut-down-now-faces-one-of-the-largest-coronavirus-outbreaks-in-the-country/

There was no voting, no elections by mail or not, at the Little Big Horn.

Only total, final vengeance.

Every time I read a conservative or libertarian about this pandemic, I feel like a Native American being handed sketchy blankets by the fork-tongued, pale-faced, rapist, two-faced, treaty-abrogating, land-theiving invaders of my country.

exactly who has to sign off on a billion-dollar transfer to a state government.

As I recall, there's a group of civil servants at the Treasury who have the authority to sign checks on behalf of the US. What I'm sure of is, it's NOT the President.

I wonder how they're going to get his orange thumbprint onto the electronic transfers....

Here's an idea.

Limbaugh will be dead soon, so go for it.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a32156406/trump-coronavirus-radio-show-rush-limbaugh/

He should set up a WWE wrestling ring in the Oval Office too and fake take-down each of his staff members too one at a time, like he is the champion at all of his golf courses, maybe leaping off the ropes and pile-driving Kellyanne as Mike Pence solemnly masturbates, with deadly righteousness, that's gotta hurt, Gene play-by-play over OAN (Onanistic Assholes Network), which is probably funded by Falun Gong too.

Look what you have done to our country conservatives for your fucking tax cuts and your crazed unqualified, fake law degree judges.

LOOK! Rub your faces in it and get a good taste!

And then get the fuck outta Dodge.

Run.


Done.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/04/who-couldve-known

America is a pariah.

It's about as much of a superpower as Bolivia, which by that way has installed its own Christian murder squads in power.

Trump's endgame is totally reneging on the US Government's debt and a three-way nuclear Holocaust so he can brag about all he learned about nuclear weapons during that 90-minute ... read two-minute .. read "fucking liar" crash course he gave himself, like an enema.

Personally, I see both the Chinese and the American governments, very similarly and conservatively non-transparent in their fascist tendencies under current imposed leadership, being overthrown and a period of worldwide, savage, and goddamned deserved chaos ensuing.

Fuck you, conservatives.

Your day might come, wj, when these people see the light ... finally.

That's the thing about reality like this. When their own constituents start dying, even idiots can get the message. (Well, unless they are among those dying, I suppose. Because, unlike Trump, they are probably credulous enough that they aren't having everyone who comes anywhere near them tested first.)

That's the thing about reality like this. When their own constituents start dying, even idiots can get the message.

Hope springs eternal, eh? As I've said, there are two groups of people in the Republican party, the ones who take this seriously and are just following Trump cause of convenience (Ted Cruz frex) and the ones who are seriously stupid and woulld follow Trump off a cliff (DeSantis). The smart ones are hanging back, saying just enough to cover their asses and are looking for a chance to stick the knife in if they have to, the stupid ones, well, they are doing what Trump does.

i suspect that message isn't going to be "Trump sucks", but rather "Thank goodness Trump is President!"

that's the (exact) message we got from my mother-in-law, anyway.

Some people have entered the popularly used political version of "epistemic closure" on Trump. I might be one of them, just not on the support side. Or maybe the evidence just keeps piling up against him as being a remotely good president or human being, and I'm simply willing to see it. Who knows, right? You can't be in epistemic closure and know it. It doesn't work that way.

This is the conservative movement:

https://www.mediamatters.org/jim-hoft/coronavirus-conspiracy-theorist-jim-hoft-publishes-then-deletes-false-report-about

Why is he not under lock and key and scheduled for the death penalty?

...and the ones who are seriously stupid and woulld follow Trump off a cliff (DeSantis).

DeSantis would probably jump first.
While encouraging friends and family to accompany him.

The right wing fake religious trump fanatics are trying to kill us.

Fight back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7XHygPKbYI

They are everywhere. They never stop stalking us, those trump vermin republicans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCFjnF1ArAI

The man with the plan holds a bedside press conference consult today to talk about our prognosis moving forward:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylwMWpbv5Fks

Diptheria, polio, malaria, tuberculosis....

Bring it on, motherfuckers.

America is now a genocidal mass murderer. The world must take collective action against me, the American.

Kill me before it too late.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a32160723/michigan-protests-coronavirus-lockdown-conservatives/

Money quote:

We do not have a constitutional right to not get a virus.”

Answer in the former sane, human world that is now just a memory: To the extent that the virus curtails or ends my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Answer when being murdered by fanatical American killers:

My little god-bothering twat, there is nothing is the Constitution about the right not to receive a bullet.

Ask any black person in this country, dumbass.

The first link in 8:44 pm should be this:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a32160396/trump-halt-who-funding-coronavirus/

But the second link stands as well.

Also finish the sentence ending with "pursuit of happiness", by adding "I declare the right not to get a virus an originalist interpretation."

Last week, a fat Texas chick who had railed against the restrictions forced on her by gummint to stop the spread of the virus, up and died.

She's now in a body bag, dead from Covid-19.

Pat Robertson is silent on the issue of God's wrath in her pathetic dumb republican case.

May the contagion catch up with all of them.

It may be that the virus enters their big mouths when they are talking shit out their asses.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/15/1937519/--When-it-s-my-time-to-go-God-s-going-to-call-me-home-Trumpites-organize-to-defy-quarantines

It's your time, Covidiots!

"Covidiots"
What a brilliant coinage!

I find myself at a loss lately. It feels like it's been months and years of one wave after another of stupidity and malice. And now COVID stretches out in front of us for some indeterminate length of time.

It's very discouraging.

I wish all strength and health to the people who are out there doing their best to keep the wheels on. I hope that whatever tiny contribution I can make toward that end is useful.

But mostly it just feels like I'm keeping my head down and waiting for the crazy to burn itself out. I have no idea if it will.

This stuff is wearing me out. And I'm sitting on top of the world, by any reasonable definition.

Good night all. Wash your hands, wear your masks, take care of yourselves and those around you, and stay safe and healthy.

Better days soon come.

Thanks for speaking for so many of us, russell. As always.

Thanks too for speaking for another side of us, John Thullen.

Covidiots!

I stole it.

I merely add the spleen.

WRS.

In order to lower the bar of the general conversation* further:

Hálfviti djevel TRUMP

Viele mennesker sehn med avsky (Many people see with disgust)
McConnell’s neue Graulenpest (McConnell’s new dread-pest)
Hálfviti djevel TRUMP hast komt nu (Halfwit fiend TRUMP has come now)
Ist er sulten på penger vår (He’s hungry for our money)
Ruvende fett über Fox & Friends (Towering fat over Fox & Friends)
Er legger flatt både fjern og nær (He gets into everyone’s pants far and near)
Faen ist hans eneste formål undt er krenket alle levende (To fuck is his only purpose and he insults all the living)
Lagd av gamle storslått parti, Trump ist full av Scheißendreck (creation of the GOP, Trump is full of crappy dirt)
Skumme skitt er kann nicht stoppen (slobbering/foaming shit, he can't stop)
Er ist mange drittsekkens far (He's the father of many assholes)

Jabbabonk er kommt nach dich ja (He's coming after you)
Jabbabonk er will grapschen dich an (He wants to grope you)
Jabbabonk er ist eine dreckiges Sau ja (He's a filthy pig)
Jabbabonk er kåt hat keine stopp (His lewdness has no end)

Er hatte stor munn undt er hatte stor sult (He has a big mouth and he has big hunger)
Er hatte viele Bigmac in sein Vom (He has many Bigmacs in his belly)
Er können sikle und er können smatte (He can drivel and he can smack)
Er hatte blodårer fyllt med lett-coke (His veins are filled with Diet Coke)

Oo-Hey!

Jabbabonk er kommt nach dich ja (he's coming after you)
Jabbabonk er will grapschen dich an (wants to grope you)
Jabbabonk er ist eine dreckiges Sau ja (he's a filthy pig)
Jabbabonk er kåt hat keine stopp (his lewdness has no end)

Mongo: Kom igjen alle sammen, spy med meg nå... (Come altogether, spit/vomit with me now)

Jabbabonk...

Modelled after this Trollfest piece
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvDWpBPT7lg

*not aimed at anyone here

Dr. Oz, deadly quackery and now .. cannibalism.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/16/1937803/-Dr-Oz-says-reopening-schools-is-an-appetizing-opportunity-because-only-2-3-will-die?utm_campaign=trending

If you wrap the body of a dead child in a shroud of kale and the child does not rise on the third day (they never do) you can eat it for lunch the very next day and your little dog Toto, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXhaBHGhUOI

So, for the past week of teaching I've been sending out all work for my classes both by regular email and through the course management system because those of my students who have returned home to China (or been dragged home by parents that are worried about the poor US response) are having to access the material through at least two VPNs, through security filters with spotty access from their quarantine hotels. So I've been spending a lot of time shuttling files across the various systems just to keep things going.

My work load has gone up by 50% and my teaching effectiveness has probably gone down by a similar measure -- not, I should add, exclusively due to the students taking courses from across the Pacific. The Fuck-up Fairy has been liberal with her blessings and everyone has been even more distracted than usual.

But I have a job and can work from home, so that's all to the good.

My Fall classes are scheduled. We're all planning for remote teaching again then, and unsure how enrollment will be affected by all of this.

And if we are worried in the UC system, I can only imagine what it looks like at smaller state schools (and smaller-state state schools) and small privates that were already on the ropes.

Dr. Oz, deadly quackery and now .. cannibalism.

"But Dr. Oz was not describing a death toll in the millions. He said the cost could be "2–3 percent in terms of total mortality," not among all school-aged children or the population at large.

That Lancet article argues that school closures may not be a particularly effective social distancing measure. It cites modeling from Imperial College London that estimates the U.K.'s school closures will reduce overall deaths by about 2–4 percent. In other words, if there are 100,000 COVID-19 deaths despite the schools being closed, having had the schools open anyway would have yielded 2,000–4,000 additional deaths. That's thousands, not millions."
No, Dr. Oz Didn't Say Only 2–3% of Children Would Die of Coronavirus If Schools Reopened: Dr. Oz deserves criticism, but he was clumsily referencing a real—and actually encouraging—scientific study.

Well, so hors d'oeuvres rather than a banquet for the cannibals.

This is what we have in Colorado at the moment:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/jewish-colorado-gov-tears-up-at-comparison-of-covid-19-order-to-nazi-germany

I'll leave it unremarked. Because to say anything more is useless.

Republicans: The Party of Personal Responsibility:

Except when it comes to the people who are the luckiest people, the corporate Jesus.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/04/the-bait-and-the-switch

Not sure where to put this, maybe shove it up my ass:

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-army-gave-firm-569-million-border-wall-gop-donations-2020-4

We will blow that wall up and cart the rubbish away and dump it on the front lawn of the White House and the Capitol and mail what's left over piece by piece via the bankrupt U.S. Post Office to every subhuman Republican in the country for you fuck conservatives to feed your children.

Then we are going to turn this country upside down and shake it with a perfect 10 on the Richter Scale earthquake, and the bottom shall be on the top and the top shall be on the bottom and the first shall be last and the last shall be first for a good long vengeful dark interlude of disorder.

Calls for savage violence against Americans from the President of the United States inside the White House:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-call-liberate-michigan-virginia-minnesota-governors-protests-supporters

Whaddaya gonna do conservatives?

The fence will not be a safe place to sit and rest those thumbs up your asses.

Pick a side.

Read the last paragraph. It's like an echo:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/04/trump-never-wanted-total-control-over-the-pandemic/

He wants violence against liberals and all of the other Americans who republican vermin hate in blue states.

Prediction: Trump is hoping, indeed, planning for a recurring spike in Covid-19 infections this Fall, (thus the dragging of the feet on testing and the hoarding of supplies (.. ventilators being sent to Russia now to keep them out of hands of inner-city hospitals ...) to disrupt the election and keep his enemies in their homes without access to mail-in ballots while infected and armed zombie republicans overrun polling places and vote his EVIL back into office.

You can count on it.

You heard of Jordan and Peele's Obama Translator?

I'm Trump's Know it Before He Thinks it Nostradamous.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a32187223/american-southwest-drought-climate-change/

Hmm. Mercury.

Sounds like a dessert topping for republican children.

The DeVos family is funding the armed insurrection in Michigan.

You know, the Education Secretary of the Pigfucking United States and her brother, who plans to bring his genocidal show home from murdering foreigners overseas to butchering Americans?

Yeah, them.

You can buy an F-35 fighter jet from the Amway Ponzi scheme. That and some Spot Shot with mercury in it.

Istanbul is Constantinople. Predator smart is animal cunning.

Trump sez "they are adding".

https://seekingalpha.com/news/3561767-stanford-study-points-to-far-higher-rate-of-covidminus-19-infection

If they are Chinese of course, he sez "they are subtracting"

His two road rage middle fingers, which he uses for counting and beauty queen exploration, equal three.

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