Monday, March 30, 2020

Grab Bag of Irritation

Folks, I’m long overdue for a good old fashion rant. The past few weeks of the global pandemic has brought out some things that have really irritated me to no end. Here they are.
The Action-Adventure Story Teller 
Suddenly every media writer and every social media post is filled up with breathless stories of how they or someone they knew suffered through Covid-19. “My chest was caught in a vice grip” is a line I’ve seen over and over again. Or subheadings like “Day 5, The Worst.” It honestly reminds me of a paperback I’d read in the checkout line at the grocery. I guess trying to be an “influencer” extends to global pandemics too. Not only are these not helpful to people who experience anxiety, but they also incite panic AKA what we don’t need now. Social media is an awful place for something so private. Why do they feel the need to tell their illness stories? How does that help? It really, really doesn’t, assholes.
”We will never be the same again.”
This line has to go away forever. It’s so fucking played and not really special just for this occasion. Isn’t this true of ANY life experience? Or, perhaps, something positive that happens on a worldwide level? Where is the wall to wall coverage of rising life expectancy in the world that has made us “never the same again?”
Insanely Negative People
I had someone tell me the other day that my son won’t get to play baseball for the rest of the year. And that all sports everywhere is done for the year because of how awful this is going to be. First of all, thanks for the positivity, fucknut. Second, how the fuck do you know? No one really knows what’s going to happen so being dire, again, doesn’t help people (like me) who dread excessively. Far too many normally negative people are feeding on this. They love how miserable everyone is. Let’s not let them do that.
Insanely Positive People
Donald Trump is an example of this. This is not going to be done by Easter. It may be that parts of the country are going to shift back to normal but some may need longer amounts of time and testing.
The fucking toilet paper thing
Seriously, why? And I’m also tired of the psychological explanation that “people need to control something and feel comfort.” Barf. This is a great example of how dumb people can be. TP is what you need for this pandemic? Really?
Imperial Declarations of Certainty in Uncertain Times
I’ve seen this a lot from the overly positive and overly negative sides of the issue. Everyone is basically guessing right now how this will play out. You can’t look to Italy and say that it’s going to happen here. Our country is so different and more spread out. Some areas might be the same. I heard one of my favorite pundits say, “By the time this is over, every American will know someone who died from Covid 19.” Really? I don’t know anyone who has died from the flu. I know one person who died in a car accident. Many more fatalities from that over the years, even with the direst predictions.
Gleeful people who “saw this coming.”
I like the U’s, Mike Osterholm. He’s a much-needed epidemiologist that is largely helpful right now. But he seems a little too happy about this. So do some other health care professionals and analysts. So do doomsday preppers. This isn’t “cool,” guys, and you being right makes this a tragedy, not an accomplishment. Osterholm is fond of saying “Hope is not a strategy.” Ok, but can we work on strategies that give us hope?
The doom and gloom from the media
Why aren’t we seeing recoveries listed along with deaths? They are showing this in Minnesota, thankfully, but I don’t see it anywhere else. Many people are recovering. Let’s fucking celebrate that as well as mourn the deaths of those who we have lost.
As we move along through this, more rants could be in the future😎

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Trump's Re-Election Bid Even Dimmer

Rachel "The Doc" Bitecofer has released her latest model for the 2020 election and it looks even worse for Donald Trump in November. As Biden locks up the nomination (and promises to pick a woman for his VP), it's hard to see how Trump, who basically drew a straight flush and barely won in 2016, can win in the fall. Why?

As Bitecofer notes in her latest projection and her piece for the New Republic, the last three election cycles have shown that white, educated voters, especially those in the suburbs, have deserted the GOP. One wonders why they elected to ignore their 2008 election post mortem and simply shoot for short term goals by appealing to old, uneducated white voters. Our electorate is becoming more diverse and younger with around 80 million people under the age of 40 set to vote this fall. The one thing they all have in common?

They hate Trump and want him gone.

We know that Republicans always vote and do so at a clip of 83%. They are very reliable voters. But their numbers simply don't match liberals and lean left independents who are very afraid and angry about a second Trump term. Even in 2018 when Republicans turned out in higher numbers than ever to support their guy, the Democrats still claimed 42 seats in the House.

Turnout in primaries has been very high in the states that have gone thus far. The base is energized, despite a worldwide pandemic.

All of these facts seem lost on folks like Kevin Baker and his followers who don't really seem to be paying attention to what's coming. They live in a very strange reality where 2016 will somehow be repeated, there are secret Trump followers everywhere, the election of 2018 never happened, and Virginia (a great indicator of what's to come for them) didn't just turn entirely blue and pass a whole slew of new gun safety laws.

Perhaps they should pay more attention to the Doc...:)

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Trump Kills Arizona Man

Well, Donald Trump's "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters" moment has arrived. Someone did what Trump suggested and died:
An Arizona man is dead and his wife was hospitalized after the couple ingested a form of chloroquine, a chemical that has been hailed recently by President Trump as a possible "game changer" in the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to the Phoenix hospital that treated the couple.

Banner Health hospital said in a statement that "the couple, both in their 60s, ingested chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks." The aquarium additive the couple ingested is not the same as the medication that has been used to treat malaria.
Of course these people were idiots for listening to Trump. Anyone who believes a word he says is a sucker. Trump is a puerile moron who lies constantly and says whatever he thinks will make him look good. Of course any medical advice he gives will be terribly wrong: he thinks exercise is bad for you. He also said he didn't know people died from the flu, even though that's what killed his grandfather, and every flu season they tell us to get the flu shot because people die from the flu.

His chloroquine comments have sparked a shortage of the drug, which some people actually need to treat malaria, lupus and arthritis. Which means that even people who don't listen to his nonsensical blather will suffer and potentially die because of him.

Trump is clearly more worried about how the state of the economy will affect his reelection chances than the hundreds of thousands of Americans who will die or suffer permanent lung damage from COVID-19 if he gets his way and "restarts" the economy.

And, again, Trump's huge conflicts of interest prove how unfit he is for the presidency. On Sunday he tweeted "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF". He just shut down six of his seven major clubs and hotels because of the virus. It's a tossup: is he more worried about getting reelected or his properties losing millions of dollars? Clearly he doesn't care if Americans die.

Estimates of the number of deaths if we follow Trump's "what me worry" strategy range from 200,000 to 1.1 million, and 2.4 million to 21 million could require hospitalization. And people who aren't infected will die because they can't get necessary treatment, such as heart transplants, because the hospitals are totally clogged with coronavirus patients.

Well, Trump, how much is a human life worth? The EPA estimates the value of an American life is $10 million. If a million people die from the coronavirus that's $10 trillion in lost lives. In addition, the cost of treating tens of millions of people for the disease will cost trillions more, and people who suffer permanent lung damage will require untold billions more for treatment every year.

Trump keeps making comparisons to the flu, which is totally wrong because no one has immunity to the coronavirus and there is no vaccine.

The only person in the entire Trump administration with any credibility is Anthony Fauci, and reports are that Trump is growing "impatient" with him. Yes, we all know how much Trump hates people who are smarter than he is, which is why he's fired so many aides and cabinet members. He hates being made to look stupid: if he would just shut up he would only look stupid, instead of opening his filthy gob and proving just how idiotic he really is.

Come on, Republicans! You've got know-nothing Trump and dunces like Rand Paul -- now tested positive for coronavirus -- who knew he had been exposed but still went to the Senate floor to vote and the gym to work out and swim while awaiting his results. And Paul is a doctor!

Apparently this is how Republicans think: money is more important than American lives. Getting reelected is more important than American lives. Getting a morning swim is more important than American lives. The greed and selfishness are appalling.

This is what happens when you put people who hate government in charge of it: sheer incompetence and malfeasance.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

He IS That Fucking Bad

People criticize the president because he actually has been that fucking bad on this. Haul out the “orange man bad” troll at your own risk. People are dying because he failed in his job. Here is the evidence in his own words.

I am grateful, however, that he and the rest of the GOP admitted failure in their political and economic ideology and went (once again) to the successful and functional models of stimulus and government intervention.

You’re welcome....again. Maybe next time STFU with your petty, adolescent feelings about government.

Friday, March 20, 2020

COVID-19: The Best Argument for Going Vegan?

First, let us acknowledge how incredibly stupid Donald Trump is. Just yesterday, months into the broadening pandemic, this clown said:
Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion. Nobody has ever seen anything like this before.
Oh, really? What about the Spanish flu from 1918? What about the bubonic plague? No one has ever seen anything like this before? What a moron.

And just last year Trump's own Department of Health and Human services ran a pandemic simulation called "Crimson Contagion" that showed how completely unprepared his administration was for this outbreak.

That was after Trump sacked the people in the National Security Council who track threats exactly like this.

The outbreak is the first real disaster that has hit Trump that was not of his own making, and he has done an absolutely abysmal job. I can't understand why anyone thinks this guy is any more useful than a doorstop.

So what can we learn from this?

The COVID-19 virus appears to have originated in bats and may have been transferred to humans through wild pangolins sold at a market in Wuhan. This article in USA Today shows that many of the epidemics in recent years have been caused by consuming bushmeat, including SARS, HIV and Ebola.

Other diseases have been caused by domesticated animals, included the Spanish flu (Kansas chickens), MERS (camels), Swine flu (hogs), etc.

Finally, repeated E. coli outbreaks from tainted spinach and lettuce are almost always caused by cattle manure spread on fields or E. coli-tainted water used in irrigation.


In China people eat wild animals because they think they have some kind of mystical properties. This has got to stop.

In Africa people eat wild animals because they are poor. We need to help poor countries feed their own people better.

The USDA needs to clean up factory farms. Instead of just pumping more antibiotics into their animals, they need to give them more living space and keep their enclosures clean. They also need to destroy sick animals, rather than send them off to market anyway.

In the long run we need to encourage development of alternate sources of protein instead of slaughtering animals. And it's not just about disease: growing cattle for beef is ridiculously inefficient, in terms of the resources used and carbon dioxide emitted.

Meat substitutes like Beyond Meat and lab-grown meat are the wave of the future. In the meantime, if most Americans stopped eating Big Macs and Whoppers our collective life expectancy would go up five years through the reduction in obesity...

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How To Test For Covid-19

Here is a great piece on how South Korea kicked our ass in Covid-19 testing. Essentially, they took it seriously (unlike our president), were proactive, and weren't hampered by bureaucracy.

During World War II, General Motors turned out a plane an hour 24/7 until we won. This is what we need right now. Every American needs to be tested, especially in the hotter spots. Those hotter spots need to shelter in place now. We must have a clearer picture of this and people need to change their behavior otherwise our hospitals will be overrun.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

How Hysteria About The Deep State Has Murdered Americans

Back in 2018, when he took over as National Security Advisor, John Bolton and Donald Trump disbanded the pandemic response team headed by Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer. This was done because it was too "deep state-y" and cost too much money. Now that Covid-19 is spreading around the United States and likely going to adversely affect our nation for the next few months (at least), this decision was clearly a complete catastrophe.

Worse, it was all done because of that same, irrational ideology we've heard from the right for years. The federal government is evil and can't be trusted to do anything right. They are all plotting against ordinary Americans to take away their guns. Civil service employees are lazy and all bought off due to patronage.

Well, now that fucking insane bullshit is coming home to roost as we can clearly see the damage it has done to this country. Had that team been in place (along with these other programs he cut ), we would have fewer Americans die because of this virus. Instead, the blood (literally) of US citizens is being shed because a collection of adolescents has mommy and daddy issues.

These same idiots are still squawking about how Covid-19 is a hoax, perpetrated by the liberal media and other elites to bring this country down. I heard one such ass hat the other night when I was listening to Coast to Coast AM. If you want to get a good idea of how just cult-like these psychos are, listen to L.A. Marzulli's comment at the start of his segment.


We are in a state of emergency, folks, and our "dear leader" has failed. Donald Trump has done a terrible job as president, this current health crisis being a great example. He's inept, out of his depth, confused and weak. He was exposed to COVID 19 on at least two occasions and still was shaking hands with people during his press conference yesterday. His ideological view of less government (or at least what he pretends it is) led us to a poor response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump supporters, rather than own up to his mistakes, are gaslighting, using the "orange man bad" deflection. Essentially, they are placing the blame for Trump's errors on his critics, pretending (in a very trollish way) that they are the problem, not Trump. This is also known as the "Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?" defense used by Groucho Marx.

It's really simple, folks. He IS that bad. No amount of pretending is going to make this less true. His presidency is over. It's failed. He should quit (along with Pence) and let Nancy Pelosi run the country until the fall election.

It would save lives.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Trump's Coronavirus Conflict of Interest

Even as Donald Trump's campaign has canceled a bus tour due to coronavirus concerns, and four Republican congressmen who attended CPAC are under quarantine, the entire country of Italy has been locked down, and dozens of senior Iranian political figures are sick and several have died, Trump himself is trying to downplay the outbreak. Crazily, he still plans to hold large campaign rallies, even as members of his own party have been exposed to the disease.

His CDC advisors advocated for telling the elderly to not to travel, but Trump refused to do so.

Why? Partly because he wants to pretend that everyone is just fine and life should go on as always so that the economy doesn't tank. The stock market is taking a huge dive, and Trump has been taking credit for the meteoric rise. Now that it's crashing Trump is blaming everyone else, but his lies and deceptions about the outbreak aren't fooling the market -- they're making it worse because this is a problem he can't brag or lie his way out of.

But, again, Trump has tremendous conflicts of interest. He owns or has stakes in many businesses involved in luxury tourism -- hotels, golf courses, etc. If everyone stays home for the spring break vacation season, Trump stands to lose a ton of money.

If Trump cancels his campaign rallies he'll miss out on boatloads of cash these events generate.

What if one of those mouthfoaming conservatives attending a Trump rally has the virus and gives it to everyone there? What if an infectious traveler -- a typhoid Mary that doesn't show any symptoms -- stays at a Trump hotel and all those rich Republicans trying to ingratiate themselves with Donnie are infected?

Trump's greed, selfishness and narcissism are going to get someone killed.

Hmm. Maybe that's why he put Pence in charge of the epidemic response. What do you want to bet that when it blows up in Trump's face, he'll blame it all on Pence, and kick the VP off the ticket?

Saturday, March 07, 2020

Election 2020

Rachel Bitecofer was on Bill Maher last night and that made me very happy. Follow her on Twitter for all of her latest analyses. Her model is looking very good for Democrats with Biden as the nominee, especially given the massive turnout on Tuesday.

Of course, the Biden hand wringing has already begun but his deficits (gaffes, Burisma etc) don't really matter. Democrats fear Trump winning three times more than dying so they are going to vote in the fall for Biden. Black voters are going to vote for Biden. The suburban white voter is gone for Republicans and will vote for Biden. And the Bernie voters are going to go for Biden in greater numbers than in 2016 because we live in an age of hyper-partisanship.

The Senate also looks better now that Steve Bullock is in the race for that Montana Senate. Republicans can kiss Maine, Colorado, and Arizona goodbye. That puts us at 50-50. With the Alabama race now at a runoff for the GOP and black voters highly motivated in that state, Doug Jones keeps his state. North Carolina is looking more positive, Iowa is in play, and Mitch McConnell is even looking like he might not make it. Could the Dems flip and make it a 53-47 advantage?

Yes. Yes, they could.