4/03/2020

Fuck Jared Kushner

There's a certain kind of Ivy League college graduate who is just a total wad of fuck. Usually, they come from inherited wealth, are legacy admissions, and barely had to do any work the entire time they were in school because they have never had to any kind of work. I've had my run-ins with these louche fucks who believe that every word out of their inbred idiot mouths is a gold coin of wisdom and not a dingleberry of nonsense.

I'm remembering a Princeton microbiology major at an Atlanta pool hall telling me how the way I was doing archival research was wrong. I asked him if he had ever crawled around an attic at a local library, opening boxes that hadn't been opened in decades. That didn't matter, he said, because it was much easier than his work so my problems were easy to solve and I should just listen to him. It wasn't worth arguing with the cockflea, whose advice was worth a cockflea's piss. I ignored him until he tried to convince my date to leave with him and then there was a fistfight and then we got kicked out of the pool hall and when someone told me he died of a brain aneurysm a few years later, I said, "Guess his work was too hard for him."

This is a long way of saying, "Fuck Jared Kushner. Fuck him hard. Fuck him with his Harvard degree. Fuck him with every implement available to fuck him with and then invent a few more and fuck him with those."

Donald Trump's wan, soft-voiced, soft-skinned, creepy-as-fuck and evil-as-hell son-in-law, who probably describes boning Ivanka in detail for Trump, either gets tossed into whatever issue Trump is too paranoid to actually ask an expert to get involved in - Israel/Palestine peace negotiations, the opioid crisis- or, more likely, he's gotten a whim about something and thinks he can solve it. More than probably, he's figured out an angle on how to profit from it.

So when this ghost of a serial killer showed up at yesterday's daily Trump circle jerk in front of the media, it was to get tons of shit wrong, belittle people who know better than him, and actually drain whatever remained of hope in this hopeless age. By the time he was finished with his brief spiel, you could sense the coronavirus itself licking its lips at all the Americans it was going to get to kill.

Here's what Kushner said about his job on the coronavirus task force: "What the President asked is that all of the recommendations that we make be based on data." That seems like as innocuous a statement as one could make, but think about it. Were they not making recommendations based on data? What the fuck were they making recommendations based on? I think they are actually this stupid, all of them, everyone remotely fucking associated with the Trump family, all mutated by privilege and a false sense of their own intelligence and general worth as human being.

Why are we putting up with this? Why are Democrats not shrieking with outrage, "What the fuck does a shitty real estate developer know about epidemiology?" The reaction to Jared Kushner being trotted out to throw in some corporate bullshit-speak should have been for Benjamin Franklin's skeletal corpse to show up and beat him with a femur right when he said, "The President also wanted us to make sure we think outside the box." Motherfucker, we're dying here. The box is a goddamn coffin.

Kushner blathered on with cliches about "innovative solutions" and, really, "leave no stone unturned," and he turned to the real villains in the alibi the Trump administration is coming up with for its criminally-cruel abandonment of its basic duties to protect Americans: It's those motherfucking governors' fault. They're out of their league. They don't understand their jobs. He said that some governors "don’t know what’s in their state" when it comes to medical supplies and ventilators, an accusation that he offered no support for.

Then he tossed in, "What a lot of the voters are seeing now is that when you elect somebody to be a mayor or a governor or a president, you’re trying to think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis.  This is a time of crisis, and you’re seeing certain people are better managers than others." This brainless dipshit has no idea how much he was talking about his hulking, moronic father-in-law who still thinks people give a single rat fuck about his popularity.

Then he accused governors of "asking for things that they don’t necessarily need at the moment," which, no shit, bitch. That's called "planning ahead," something the Trump administration didn't fucking do at all. And Kushner said about the Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies: "the notion of the federal stockpile was it’s supposed to be our stockpile; it’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use." Or "Fuck you. Buy your own shit, blue states."

So, just to get this straight, it's up to the states to solve the problems, but if the states want materials from the National Stockpile, they shouldn't get it because that's "our stockpile." Putting aside that it sounds like Trump is hoarding shit for him and his awful family, it seems like Kushner is saying that the federal government will decide who gets it, but that would seem to require that the states have a say, except that they don't, although they are on their own. Or something.

By the way, the website for the SNS used to say, "When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency." After yesterday, it was Jared-ized to say the stockpile "is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies. Many states have products stockpiled, as well."

Every time it seems like Trump couldn't make things worse, he makes them worse. He has the worst, most incompetent fucknuts around. And they all believe that they are smarter and better than they are. Their failure to see what failures they all are is literally killing us now.

And fucking Jared is now in the middle of it. Jared Kushner is a pile of shit who thinks it's a man, and until someone steps on him and wipes him off their shoes, he'll always think he's more than a foul lump of excrement.

3/31/2020

Trump Must Resign or Be Removed from the Presidency

Something kind of extraordinary happened at Monday's White House coronavirus task force press briefing. It happened when President Donald Trump asked Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Seema Verma to say a few words. She stepped up to the microphone and said, "Let me start by saying, I want to convey my deepest sympathies to those that have lost loved ones to the coronavirus.  We’re all thinking of you."

What was extraordinary was that it was the first time in at least a week, if ever, that anyone in the Trump administration recognized the families of the dead and offered any condolences. I have gone through days of briefings and Trump appearances, searching for some sign of compassion for the suffering, and this was the only example I could find.

That's right. The President of the United States has not once sent his sympathy or conveyed any emotion at all about the sick or about the families of the dead, including grieving children and grandchildren. Think about that for a moment. It could have been so simple - a couple of words at the beginning of his opening remarks at one of the more than a dozen briefings he's done. But he didn't because that shows an acknowledgement that something's wrong. It moves the deaths from the abstract numbers he tosses around and gives them meaning in flesh and blood. Or maybe he's just utterly incapable of feelings beyond rage and pride and self-pity. Sociopaths aren't noted for their ability to empathize.

Here's what Trump said on March 13, one of the earliest briefings, in a strained attempt at leadership and compassion: "To those families and citizens who are worried and concerned for themselves and their loved ones, I want you to know that your federal government will unleash every authority, resource, and tool at its disposal to safeguard the lives and health of our people."

Here's what we know as of tonight: We know that Trump has just barely put into action the Defense Production Act for coronavirus assistance, despite his administration having used it literally hundreds of thousands of times for things like lasers (really) and Border Patrol protection.

We know that Trump isn't going to allow for a special sign-up period for Obamacare coverage despite the fact that millions of Americans don't have health insurance and will have to pay for COVID-19 treatment out of pocket or not go to the hospital at all, which will prevent some sick people from getting treatment and will thus help spread the virus. We also know that several states, with the Trump administration's support, are continuing with their case to have the Supreme Court overturn the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, including its pre-existing condition coverage mandate, which means that people with longterm coronavirus effects could lose their insurance.

We know that, despite Trump's constant assurances, the medical supplies and equipment that states are begging for are not getting to the places in the greatest need. We know that Trump told governors on March 16 that they were on their own, that the federal government would not act as a middleman to get them what they needed, thus leading the states to have to bid against each other for lifesaving items like ventilators. We know that states that supported Trump in the 2016 election have received more supplies than they need while states that didn't support him have received far, far less than they need. We know that large shipments of medical supplies were being sent to other countries from the U.S., even after the states started begging for masks and gloves.

So we know that Trump didn't "unleash" much of anything until absolutely pushed into a corner to do so. We know that he flatly refused to heed the advice of anyone back in January or early February, when senators were telling the administration that their states weren't ready for a pandemic. We know that Trump didn't want to hear it because it killed the high he got from his rallies.

We know so many things since March 13, like that Trump didn't really take the death toll seriously. On March 23, a week after the Imperial College report came out predicting up to 2.2 million deaths in the United States, Trump said, "You know — and again, I say we have a very active flu season; more active than most.  It’s looking like it’s heading to 50,000 or more deaths.  Deaths, not cases.  Fifty thousand deaths, which is — that’s a lot. And you look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about.  That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody, 'No more driving of cars.'" For the record, for the last few years, the number of Americans who died in motor vehicle accidents is around 37,000. The number of people who will likely die of this single strain of coronavirus will exceed the deaths from multiple strains of influenza (which is what we mean when we say "the flu") and the number of motor vehicle deaths combined.

But Trump was playing games with numbers, again failing to acknowledge the human beings behind any of the numbers. Even today, when he finally admitted that at least 100,000 people, maybe as many as 240,000, maybe fewer, maybe more, were going to die in this country, most in the next few weeks, he painted it as a victory that he was leading because it wasn't a million, ignoring that that it could have been far, far fewer had he just acted like a president instead of preening and prancing for his followers before heading to Florida to golf and schmooze with donors and hangers-on, some of whom became infected with the virus.

While some newspapers have called out Trump as being entirely unsuited to this moment in history, of failing not only to rise to the occasion, but to drag us all down with him, they have mostly said things like, as the Boston Globe did, "Come November, there must be a reckoning for the lives lost." But we can't wait until November, or, really, January for Trump to be out of office. It must happen now. It should have happened a month ago (and, yes, it should have happened as soon as he was inaugurated, but it didn't).

While I have not previously been one of the liberals calling on the invocation of the 25th Amendment, which allows for the removal of a president who is unfit to do the job, physically or mentally, I wholeheartedly advocate for it now, as Mehdi Hasan does in a recent piece. Trump can't do what needs to be done. Call it mental illness or some other cognitive impairment or whatever you like. He only thinks in transactional terms about what benefits him, and we don't have time for that anymore. Frankly, at this point, I'd be willing for someone to offer him and his terrible family immunity from prosecution in exchange for leaving office. Trump and his dreadful children will face an angry New York justice system when he's no longer president. Give him the "get out of jail free" card if we can save some lives now.

Pundits and politicians keep saying that they want Trump to act like we're in an emergency. Except Trump is simply too feckless, too narcissistic, and too arrogant to even pretend that it's an emergency. Even today he was talking about a "very, very painful two weeks," as if this is still going to be over in April. He hasn't faced the full force of reality because to do so would mean having to admit failure, and admitting failure means having to say he's wrong. He will not do that.

We have witnessed betrayal after betrayal, and we have heard lie after lie. We need to act like it's an emergency. We need to act like it's life and death on the line.

So he needs to be asked to leave or be removed. I know the likelihood of this is slim to none. But the idea should be out there. The calls for his resignation should be screaming from every newsroom and every media outlet. Democrats should be demanding he step down. He is not a president. At best, he is an accessory to murder. At worst, he's holding the knife and standing on a pile of bodies.

3/25/2020

Trump Doesn't Care About What You Have to Lose

It would have been so easy, so unbelievably easy, for Donald Trump to have been the hero when it came to coronavirus. He had his chance, his bullhorn on the wreckage, his "tear down this wall." And it would have been with absolutely minimal effort. With a wave of his hand, the signing of a couple of documents, and a speech to the nation, Trump could have so easily done what was needed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 before it started its snowballing rampage. He could have quickly hired a pandemic team, as he said he could, then ramped up testing early, used the Defense Production Act to produce what's necessary if the pandemic got out of hand in the U.S., and instituted a national lockdown policy. If he had told his MAGA hordes to stay at home, they would have done it in a heartbeat and thanked him for his wisdom. Fox "news" would have extolled him for his powerful foresight. Much of the country would have looked at Italy and Spain and breathed an enormous sigh of relief that Trump had listened to the scientists and acted.

At so many points along the way to where we are now in this increasingly dire situation, Trump could have acted to mitigate the shit-twister that's about to engulf us. But he didn't. He didn't and now we're sitting here like people in the basement, hearing the horns and alarms, and watching all the idiots in our town run around and tell us it's all fine, come on out. And we're wondering when the shit-twister is gonna hit and knowing that even if it doesn't wipe out our house, it's gonna fuck up a lot of other places and leave it all covered in shit.

Instead of action, we get Trump's entire mobster ethos on steroids: threatening anyone who crosses him and lying about everything in order to make him look good. We know that Trump inflated his worth when it benefited him so he didn't seem like a broke loser to lenders. We know that Trump lied about how much his properties were worth when it came to real estate taxes. We know that Trump lied about his investment in properties that he hadn't invested in at all. We know that Trump lied about how many units were sold at developments. He lied about the quality of his fuckin' steaks. He's a fucking con man, always trying to get people to buy into the grift.

We know that. It just had always been about money until now. That it's actual life and death at stake during our COVID-19 pandemic makes his response that much more flagrantly callous. At his fucked up hate rallies, Trump is fond of saying to African Americans, "What the hell do you have to lose?" when it came to voting for him, as if electing a president ought to be a roll of the dice at a ten-cent table at a cheap casino. Now he's saying it when it comes to using drugs that aren't proven to be effective on coronavirus patients. At one of those worthless press conferences he has daily, he said about the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, "Let’s see what happens.  We have nothing to lose.  You know the expression: What the hell do you have to lose?  Okay?" Except, you know, for everything they have to lose.

Back when it was money, people could sue him and his bullshit corporation, but he could tie shit up in courts until they gave up. Now, the people affected are dead so...no lawsuits. It doesn't matter if he doesn't know anything beyond what he's seen on Fox "news" or its inbred, mutant offspring, One America News.

And when he's cornered or threatened or even contradicted, Trump has two responses: brutish denial (as in his response when asked about firing the CDC's pandemic task force) and brutish bullying. Trump sees the Treasury of the United States as his piggy bank and the agencies of the United States as his Mafia. Quid pro quo-ing like a champ, Trump said of governors who ask for help, "It’s a two-way street.  They have to treat us well also.  They can’t say, 'Oh gee, we should get this, we should get that.'" Why the fuck shouldn't they? Why the fuck shouldn't a governor advocate for their state? Why should they have to pleasure the king to get what they need? Motherfuckin' New York has been propping up the country for decades now, sending far more income tax money to DC than it receives in benefit. Fuckin' Alabama would be a graveyard and a parking lot without New York (and other states that give more than they get).

You know what this savage cockflea of a fake president probably thinks? Right now, most of the states with the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases are led by Democrats. That's gonna change when Texas and Florida explode and Tennessee and Georgia peak, but right now, New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, Michigan, and Louisiana are where the highest numbers of cases are, all with Democratic governors. He can blame governors for now because he's just draggin' the Dems.

And look at the way he talked about the Defense Production Act: "Private companies are heeding our call to produce medical equipment and supplies because they know that we will not hesitate to invoke the DPA in order to get them to do what they have to do.  It’s called leverage.  You don’t have to use it from the standpoint of — actually, it’s been activated, but you don’t have to use it.  But the threat of it being there is great leverage.  And companies are doing as we ask...We didn’t have to exercise or utilize the DPA in any way.  The fact that we have it helps, but we didn’t have to."

The DPA is not a threat. It's actually a guarantee to companies that what they produce will be purchased. It's a help, not a hindrance. And this fuckin' cut-rate Corleone is wielding it like a knife at the throat of the children of CEOs. That's why governors are confused by Trump's refusal to put the DPA into action. It's not a negative thing.  And the reason is that it's more important that Trump look like a tough guy who can cajole and make deals than that he's just fuckin' following the law.

This gets us to the delusional idea that the country will be able to get back to normal on Easter. It's purely marketing. This week, Trump has been on a phone call with "religious leaders" and another with "conservative leaders." You know these fake Christian motherfuckers wanted to have a branding tool, like "America will be resurrected just like Jesus" (which means somehow they'll blame the virus on the Jews). And this also taps into Trump's usual con: his promising of something amazing - a wall built by Mexico, for instance, or an incredible health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act  - that will never happen, but it convinces the dumbasses who believe in him that he's magical and mighty.

It won't matter that, come Easter, we won't be crowding into the streets to watch bonnet parades or into churches to celebrate when Jesus fucked a bunny into laying eggs or whatever happened then. And, like he did today in goddamn tweet, Trump will blame the media and the Democrats, and those same people who believe him now will believe him then. We better get used to the idea that hundreds of thousands of MAGA idiots could die from coronavirus, and the rest will still fucking love Trump.

Fuck, I hate this motherfucker.

Honestly, if I saw a grizzly bear raping Donald Trump, I'd give the bear Viagra.

3/19/2020

Why It Matters That Trump Is Calling COVID-19 "the Chinese Virus"

Let's get a couple of things straight right off the bat regarding some virus names:

"Zika" and "West Nile virus" were named before 1950, when things were even more racist-y than they are now. "Ebola" got its name because scientists, including ones from the Centers for Disease Control, decided to name it for a river near the village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) where the first case was discovered. They didn't want to name it after the village because they didn't want to stigmatize the people living there.

MERS, or "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome," was named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which has a Coronavirus Study Group and works with the World Health Organization and researchers. Originally, the name contained "SA" in it because the first reported case was in Saudi Arabia, which pissed off the Saudis (and, it turned out, the real first case was in Jordan), so it was changed.

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) got its name from the WHO because "we didn’t want the press or some other group to name it with a stigmatizing name." H1N1 is a shortened version of "A/H1N1pdm09" and, yes, it was nicknamed "swine flu" because it originated from human contact with pigs. The WHO has guidelines for how this shit is done, and now they specifically avoid animal and location names because it gives the wrong idea about the virus. "Swine flu," as you might imagine, caused people to stop eating pork because people are fucking idiots.

The coronavirus we're fighting now was given the name "COVID-19" by the WHO. It's got a damn name. But it originated in China, so, of course, conservative media started calling it the "Chinese virus." And, of course, that meant President Donald Trump, who loves racism as much as normal human beings love babies and puppies, started calling it that.

And, of course, that means that all of MAGA-world, who are loyal cumgobblers anxiously awaiting with open mouths for the next ejaculation from their orange jizz master, will repeat it and justify it and stand by it and fight for it and shout about it and insult anyone who defies them or their orange jizz master and accuse us of loving commie China, and they'll do that until we all just give up saying that it's wrong or Trump stops saying it and then says he never said it and that the media is just out to get him and the cumgobblers will tell us we're liars for saying what's on video for everyone to see. Repeat endlessly with a new load.

It's not a distraction that Trump is calling COVID-19 (which isn't that difficult to say) the "Chinese virus." On so many levels, it's significant. It gives fuel to rising anti-Asian hate crimes and attacks. It allows Trump and his assorted douches and dicks to deflect blame for the Trump administration's catastrophic fuck ups in preparing for and dealing with COVID-19 onto China. At today's petulant press conference, he said, "[I]f people would’ve known about it could have been stopped in place. It could have been stopped where it came from, China." Except, of course, that "people" did know about it for over a month before Trump took any action at all beyond closing the border to people coming from China (which Italy did before us and then they never saw COVID-19 again...oh, wait). And who the fuck is defending China?  Someone ought to say to Trump, "Motherfucker, you're the one who always talks about how good you get along with President Xi. What did that get you?"

So, sure, in many ways, the whole "Chinese virus" bullshit is of a piece with Trump's refusal to accept responsibility for anything and his use of racism to keep his white troglodyte minions all hot and sweaty and ready to fuck some shit up.

But I think something else is at work here. It's also part of his anti-immigrant rhetoric, that Stephen Miller crap that has created a humanitarian nightmare at our southern border that is going to turn into a catastrophe. If you keep telling people that invaders from the outside are harming us, then you better be able to fuckin' prove that. Caravans of brown drug dealers? You fuckin' bet. Virus-ridden yellow menaces? Hell, yeah. Fuckin' stop that shit cold. Once this real and frightening crisis is over, if not before, Trump is likely going to use it to institute even more draconian policies on immigration. If you don't think that's possible, you haven't been paying attention. What better way to get his base all ready to fuck when it comes to the election in November than to tell them that they are battling to keep diseased foreigners out of our precious white America?

Coming to Trump's defense today was the white nationalist/conspiracy mongering One American News Network (motto: "Fox 'news,' but dumb") and reporter/insane person Chanel Rion. She really asked Trump, "Do you consider the term Chinese food racist?" Believe it or not, Trump doesn't think that's racist. And he's right, unless you're being a racist while saying it. Then Rion, who is oddly allowed in the same room with actual reporters, really asked, "Major left wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives, and they are claiming you are racist for making these claims about Chinese virus. Is it alarming that major media players...are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicalism, Latin gangs and cartels, and they work right here at the White House with direct access to you and your team?" Honestly, that's not a dog whistle. That's a full-fledged racist blow horn.

Trump answered, in part, "Well, I think they do. I mean, they are siding with China. They are doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. They’re siding with many others. China’s the least of it."

We'll be lucky if this doesn't end with them rounding people up and turning them into soylent green. Hell, he'll rebrand it soylent Trump: "Only the best people."

3/14/2020

Trump Vs. the Virus Is Really Trump Vs. Us

I've been trying for the last couple of days to wrap my head around, well, fucking everything. Yes, there are the ways the coronavirus pandemic affects me personally and professionally (I'm not just a tenured liberal professor; I'm the tenured liberal chair of a whole goddamn department).  But I've been trying to get used to the idea that if this turns out to be even a fraction of the crisis that it may very well turn out to be, the ignorant, barely literate goon in charge is going to make it far, far worse.

To say that Donald Trump has been flailing about like brain-damaged squirrel is an insult to all those brave squirrels with brain damage. After lying about COVID-19 for weeks, his speech on Wednesday night was the rhetorical equivalent of a shitty older brother being forced to apologize to his little sister for ripping the heads off her dolls. He doesn't mean it, he doesn't really give a shit about her feelings, and, given the chance again, he's gonna rip off more heads, but, hey, fine Mom, here's an apology: "I'm sorry and go fuck yourself." (Trump would never utter the words "I'm sorry," but go with the analogy.) The cascade of lies and misstatements was so reprehensible that I've actually heard from people that some of their MAGA cretin relatives have finally lost faith in their Orange God. But, then again, they've been gobbling shit from his bleached anus for years now, so I don't trust a fucking word from their brown-stained mouths.

And then at his press conference yesterday, he uttered perhaps the Trumpiest line ever: "I don’t take responsibility at all." It was in answer to a question about the pathetic failure of the United States to start widespread testing until now. He continued, "We were given a-a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about." And that's just another fucking lie. It's been three and a half years since this bitch lumbered into office. It's been two years since he shitcanned the officials who looked out for pandemics and such, which Trump pretended he had nothing to do with and knew nothing about (which, if true, is even more damning than having done it). The only way Trump could be more responsible for the situation the United States faces is if he went around personally infecting everyone, which, at the rate he's prancing around in public and shaking hands and more, he may very well be.

There was always going to be some reckoning for the American conservative philosophy of "Government is bullshit." Republicans spent decades tearing down and turning enough Americans against the very things that could help us - a national heath care program, a fair taxation system, family and medical leave, and so much more. Now you can add into that a cruel immigration system that discourages millions of people in the country from seeking medical attention for fear of deportation. This was always going to happen, like a cataclysmic earthquake on the west coast, and that inevitability shows just how fucking idiotic that ideology of individual over society has been, how deadly it has always been. The coronavirus response has been like our gun policy: we're watching other countries take logical steps that will reduce deaths and suffering, but, fuck it, we're not doing it because America or some such shit.

There is a rage that I can't get past here. I'm trying. Really. It's not just a rage at the Trump administration, which is as blitheringly incompetent and dangerous as we always knew it would be. No, it's a rage at the people who voted Trump into office. Seriously, at this point, if you still support Trump, you are a savage, deranged idiot who needs help. It's gotta be madness. It has to be some kind of mental illness when you keep believing that someone is good when they are trying to kill you, like some kind of dissociative disorder. Diagnose this shit and get them some help. Oh, wait, we fucking can't because we don't have a health care system that could handle it.

And I'm just fucking embarrassed for this country, ashamed of how we have mistreated our allies, how we have isolated ourselves from the world in order to feed the ego of this sniveling mancunt who forces people to praise him endlessly, who sees himself as impervious to everything: sickness, responsibility, the law, and whose very affect and tweets demonstrate that he couldn't give a single dry rat turd about the lives of the people he allegedly leads. He's fucking golfing as I write this. Don't say a goddamn word about him unless it's preceded with, "Fuck that guy. Fuck him with every dick everywhere."

We don't know how fucked we're going to be by the coronavirus. But we know, with absolute clarity, that those we depend on fucked up the response. We know that Democrats are saving our asses again with the bill that Nancy Pelosi got through the House (after Republican fuckery weakened it) and that Trump has said he would sign once Mitch McConnell gets his saggy ass back to DC to pass it in the Senate. We know that Democrats are once again going to have to clean up the wreckage that Republicans and their fucking mindless voters have created.

It's what we're damned to do.

Trump isn't really fighting the virus. Trump is fighting with us, the people in this country, for demanding that he do a job that he simply can't do, for asking him to feel things like empathy that he is incapable of feeling. He's never had to give a shit about anyone but himself, and now he's found himself in a situation where he has to. He's a fish out of water or, more appropriately, a cow drowning in a flooded stream that gonna drag him away.

(Note: If you want to know more about the shit I've been dealing with as my college shuts down, it'll be up at the ol' Patreon page, but you gotta sign up and become a donor. Hey, you've got extra time and some money you're not using on movies or concerts or dinners out.)

3/10/2020

Trump Vs. the Coronavirus: Which One Is the Worse Disease?

It didn't have to be like this. If Donald Trump ever truly gave a damn about being widely beloved instead of just being worshipped by a brainwashed cadre of farting goons and foul geeks, he could have stepped up his game (or, you know, started his game) once the first hints surfaced that the coronavirus was going to head to the United States. He could have risen to the severity of the occasion and demanded that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention start testing people immediately. He could have...oh, wait, no, never mind. He couldn't have done any of that because he had already gutted the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services of the staff and funding it needed to control and prevent diseases and provide health services to humans. So fuck that. And fuck us.

Instead, Trump has taken the truly deranged position that everything is just fine and that COVID-19 can't do dick to Americans and, besides, he'd sue it for slander if it made him look bad. He told us that it was no big deal when it was 15 cases in the U.S. He waved off any idea the virus is that much of a threat when it was 240 cases. And, today, he said, really, "As you know, it’s about 600 cases, it’s about 26 deaths, within our country.  And had we not acted quickly, that number would have been substantially more." Except back when it was 15, he said, "[W]e'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." It's like he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about.

He's not just dangerously unreliable. He's dangerously dangerous. More people will die from coronavirus in the United States because Trump is president. It's truly that simple.

So what's the goal here with this unmerited optimism? With this lowballing of numbers and touting of action that objectively did not happen (Washington doesn't even have enough tests to deal with the single nursing home and its staff where the virus exploded)? I have a dumb theory, and, because it's fuckin' Trump, it's probably dumb enough to be true.

I think Trump's banking on coronavirus doing like the flu and sharply decreasing in severity when warm weather hits. By this wishful thinking, the number of cases will plummet and he can prance around like toddler prince in fancy new breeches, demanding our admiration for his rightness and his prowess at rasslin' a virus.  He's thinking he'll be viewed as the motherfuckin' hero. He would hope that victory lap could last until the election, just as the flu season is kicking into gear and, possibly, the coronavirus resurgence. But the scientists who know things (no, really, they do) think pinning hopes on summer is a fool's game. So, of course, it's Trump's.

So we're forced to endure this mad dance of false competence that the White House puts on several times a day, with event after event to reassure us, to tell us of things happening that we already fucking knew and to take credit for shit that they really had nothing to do with. Today, at a meeting with the leaders of various health insurance companies, Vice President and loyal ass remora Mike Pence said, "I’m pleased to report, as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here — either today or before today — have agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans." The implication here is that the insurers agreed to do this because wise ol' President Trump asked 'em to. Except that's not what happened. For instance, when Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and AmeriHealth announced no co-pays for testing a couple of days ago, there was no mention that this was done at the behest of the White House. They did it because it's one way to not seem like the predatory monsters that they are.

By the way, the number of times that Pence and others have praised Trump at these events is fucking embarrassing. Pence said Trump is responsible for directing the federal government to produce "helpful information for every American family," and that Trump said it should be a "whole-of-government approach" to the virus, as if that is something special. Except you know Trump didn't do shit but sit there like largest carbuncle in history, wondering if it was Friday so he could fuck off back to Mar-a-Lago where he could golf and bitch about how his hotels might lose business and how he needs a government bailout.

It's just fascinating to see Trump insist, as he did again today, that "when people need a test, they can get a test.  When the professionals need a test, when they need tests for people, they can get the test." That is objectively untrue. And even if everyone could get tested, it doesn't matter if there aren't enough places for the tests to be completed. As Jake Tapper reported today, in Kirkland, Washington, the first responders who were tested after contact with the patients at the nursing home there now have to get tested again because the samples were kept too long without being processed.

And once we are testing at the levels of other countries (in the U.K., for instance, over 25,000 people so far), the number of patients is going to skyrocket. That's pretty much guaranteed. But the systemic failures of this administration, its delay in reacting, and its abdication in responsibility for the health and well-being of the nation, that shit ought to be impeachable. It ought to at least lose you an election. And any asshole who stood by Trump during this should be tainted forever with his flop-sweat stink.

3/07/2020

What Did That Dumb Orange Motherfucker Say Now? (CDC Visit Version)

So it was that our hairless yeti of a president lumbered into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta in order to show that he can pretend to be interested in what's being done to slow the outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus that is breeding exponentially and spreading with seemingly little pushback in the United States, sort of like Trump's lies. Of course, he ended up doing what he always does, bullshitting, lying, and self-fellating, all while wearing a stupid fucking KAG hat because he's always campaigning.

Trump repeated something that ought to be utterly soul-shreddingly shocking. In his continuing effort to dismiss the coronavirus as essentially the flu (which it decidedly is not), he said, "[L]ast year we had approximately 36,000 deaths due to what’s called the flu.  And I was — when I first heard this four, five, six weeks ago — when I was hearing the amount of people that died with flu, I was shocked to hear it. " You got that? The motherfucking president of the goddamned United States just heard a few weeks ago that tens of thousands of Americans die of "what's called the flu." (Note: It's called "the flu" because it's the fuckin' flu.)

That level of giving a shit about the lives of ordinary Americans is, to use a phrase he would understand, par for the course for Trump. In the same response to a reporter's question, he then bragged about the ratings for his ludicrous Fox "news" interview. No, really, he totally did: "I heard it broke all ratings records, but maybe that’s wrong.  That’s what they told me.  I don’t know.  I can’t imagine that." You can imagine that on a regular basis some groveling toad tells Trump that something he did is the biggest or best, and reality can go fuck itself.

And then he literally repeated, "Over the last long period of time, when people have the flu, you have an average of 36,000 people dying.  I’ve never heard those numbers.  I would — I would’ve been shocked.  I would’ve said, 'Does anybody die from the flu?'  I didn’t know people died from the flu — 36,000 people died." Just to repeat myself: The President. Of the United States. Didn't know that people die from flu. That's not just sheltered or ignorant; that's "I live in a cave that only shows me Fox and reruns of The Apprentice" level of ignorance."

When asked about the effects on the economy, he bragged about the latest jobs numbers and said he liked that people are staying and spending their money in the United States. Which just makes you want to scream, "What about all the people who aren't traveling from other countries to here?" And then he fucking said again that he was too fucking dumb to know that flu kills people: "You know, they were telling me just now that the common flu kills people and old people is sort of a target." Asked about any concerns about his Nuremberg rallies, he bragged about the size of the crowds and offered this regarding catching coronavirus there: "It doesn’t bother me at all and it doesn’t bother them at all." Of course not. Because they're already sick and damaged if they're going to a Trump rally.

Regarding the ship that's near San Francisco, Trump expressed concern not for the sick people on the boat but for how that would make his coronavirus stats worse: "I’d rather have the people stay, but I’d go with them.  I told them to make the final decision.  I would rather — because I like the numbers being where they are.  I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship." The number did go up and not because of the pathetic cruise ship passengers. And then he lied about the availability of tests.

Every fucking thing got turned around by him so he could say how awesome he thinks he is. Asked about cooperation with South Korea, he weirdly said, "We are working very closely with South Korea. As you know, we’re allies.  Even though they’ve made much better trade deals in the past than we did, we’re allies with South Korea.  You have heard that, right?"

The two absolute weirdest moments were, first, when Trump once again brought up his goddamn uncle who worked at MIT and used that to assert his superior intelligence: "I like this stuff.  I really get it.  People are surprised that I understand it.  Every one of these doctors said, 'How do you know so much about this?' Maybe I have a natural ability.  Maybe I should have done that instead of running for President."

I can totally imagine a scenario where Trump walks into a lab and picks up something and says, "You know they call this a test tube? Imagine that" and everyone compliments him and tells him they didn't know that and thank him for sharing his knowledge, fearing he'll go into his gorilla rage if they contradict him. It's why everyone has to suck his dick.

The other weird beyond weird moment came not when Trump insulted Washington Governor Jay Inslee for not properly kissing his ass. No, it was when Trump stood there like a petrified lump of shit and compared the test for COVID-19 to other stuff: "The tests are all perfect, like the letter was perfect.  The transcription was perfect, right?  This was not as perfect as that, but pretty good." Yep, the word "perfect" tripped something in his deformed brain and he had to bring up other things he's called "perfect."

It was all a goddamn embarrassment and a clear demonstration that we are on this road by ourselves. The federal government took so long to get its shit together that we are going to be hit harder than we would have by the coronavirus. We're fucked in that uniquely Trumpian way that we've been fucked. It's not just incompetence and ignorance; implicit in Trump's "understanding" of the medical science is that he doesn't fucking care about any of us, certainly not the people who voted for him who live in states without a Medicaid expansion. That idiot horde bought the ticket to ride this locomotive that's run on bullshit. Take it all the way until you run out of track.