It’s Going to Get Worse

Boxers

I will apologize in advance if I am telling you things today that you already know. I try to focus on things you might not know, or on insights that might possibly have eluded you. But sometimes one needs just to sum up the lay of the land.

The lay of the land is not good.

The Pandemic. I sat this morning, drinking my last cup of coffee, thinking of the Boxer Rebellion—a time during which the “Fists of Righteous Harmony” indulged the belief that they were immune from bullets.

Despite their fervent conviction of their bullet immunity, repeated empirical experiments, I am sorry to say, proved them to be wrong.

Now, before we go on, let us all please have a good belly laugh at the expense of the Boxers. What silly people! If anyone deserved to receive Darwin Awards on a massive scale, surely it was the Fists of Righteous Harmony.

Ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha.

Now, let us fast forward to August, 2020, a time when, as I previously reported, 11 percent of our adult population proudly proclaim that they do not wear masks. A time when 32 percent of our adult population claim to believe that Orange Man is doing a wonderful job dealing with the pandemic. A time when 154,471 of us have died of the pandemic. A time when pandemic deaths are surging in the Midwest. A time when we are on track to grow the death total to multiple hundreds of thousands.

The Boxers had nothing on us. Only about 100,000 people died in the Boxer Rebellion.

So, one might say, the joke is on us.

Or, to be more precise, the joke is on folks who would laugh at the Boxers and their bullet immunity while gaily waltzing down the street in Mississippi or Arkansas, maskless, still believing the malarkey that falls from the mouth of God’s Anointed One.

Depression Looming. As Reuters tell us, U.S. second-quarter GDP falls at steepest rate since Great Depression.

And that’s with the pandemic costing about 150,000 lives. Imagine how the economy will respond as we double and triple that number.

And, as Republicans in Congress keep looking for that phantom “V-shaped economic recovery”—a mirage as elusive as the Boxers’ bullet immunity—Congress dithers on a new recovery package.

The Mad King. One could go on at great length. For me, Exhibit A is how his calumnies against mail-in voting are wrecking his own slim chance at reelection. See, for example, thehill.com, GOP fears Trump attack on mail-in vote will sabotage turnout; Politico, Trump’s assault on mail voting threatens his reelection bid.

So, to Review the Bidding.

Mad King, utterly delusional.

Delusional minority of our population—who make the Boxers look fairly sane by comparison.

Looming loss of life on a scale yet unheard of.

And a new Great Depression on the way.

Multiple Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths

black death

Washington Post, Coronavirus threat rises across U.S.: ‘We just have to assume the monster is everywhere’

A lengthy—and terrifying—article, published this morning, has lots of news, none of it good:

The coronavirus is spreading at dangerous levels across much of the United States, and public health experts are demanding a dramatic reset in the national response, one that recognizes that the crisis is intensifying and that current piecemeal strategies aren’t working.

This is a new phase of the pandemic, one no longer built around local or regional clusters and hot spots. It comes at an unnerving moment in which the economy suffered its worst collapse since the Great Depression, schools are rapidly canceling plans for in-person instruction and Congress has failed to pass a new emergency relief package. President Trump continues to promote fringe science, the daily death toll keeps climbing and the human cost of the virus in America has just passed 150,000 lives.

“Unlike many countries in the world, the United States is not currently on course to get control of this epidemic. It’s time to reset,” declared a report released this week by Johns Hopkins University.

Another report from the Association of American Medical Colleges offered a similarly blunt message: “If the nation does not change its course — and soon — deaths in the United States could be well into the multiple hundreds of thousands.” …

An internal Trump administration briefing document prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and obtained Friday by The Washington Post counted 453,659 new infections in the past week.

Alaska is in trouble. And Hawaii, Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma. Those are the five states, as of Friday, with the highest percentage increase in the seven-day average of new cases, according to a Post analysis of nationwide health data.

“The dominoes are falling now,” said David Rubin, director of the PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which has produced a model showing where the virus is likely to spread over the next four weeks. …

The coronavirus has always been several steps ahead of the U.S. government, the scientific community, the news media and the general public. By the time a community notices a surge in patients to hospital emergency rooms, the virus has seeded itself widely.

Meanwhile, as the article lays out, authorities in a number of states continue to embrace ideologically driven misunderstandings of epidemiology and to reject scientific advice.

Welcome to the New Middle Ages.

 

A Guest Post from Coaling Forest

whuppin

Apropos of Trump’s suggestion of election delay, Clarence Darrow, writing from deep within Coaling Forest, explains it all in this here guest post.

He knows he is in for an ass whuppin’. His people have told him as much.

His reptile essence is hunting for an escape. Cancelling the election is the natural response for him and his ilk.

He may have sense enough to know that even his asswipes in the Senate won’t go along with that. (Even they, I believe, badly want this episode over so they can slink back to their old more comfortable ways.)

Upon an impending defeat or, less likely, after one, he will quit and take his band of prehensile tail dragging fans with him—thereby sealing the vault of the GOP grave.  

These are some possible other signs to watch for:

    • he will replace Pence with Haley and scapegoat Pence for the virus fuckup;
    • he will not attend any of the debates (of this I’m quite sure), and
    • he will abandon his adopted party at the worst possible time for it to try a recovery in time for November.  

Look what he’s up to in Kansas with Kobach and McConnell.  

In fact, his vitriol toward the GOP will be worse that his venom toward the Dems.

sore loser

 

The Cake Appears to be Baked

baked cake

A new national poll, released today, asks this question:

Which of these statements describes you best? [I support President Trump, and there’s almost nothing that could change that/ I support President Trump right now, but I’m open to changing my mind if things change later/ I neither support or oppose President Trump/ I oppose President Trump right now, but I’m open to changing my mind if things change later/ I oppose President Trump, and there’s almost nothing that could change that/ Unsure]

and gets these answers:

Support Trump, won’t change 34%
Support Trump, could change later 8%
Neither support nor oppose Trump 2%
Oppose Trump, could change later 3%
Oppose Trump, won’t change 53%
Unsure 1%

So, almost everybody, even the lip readers, has an opinion on Trump.

A decisive majority of the country has made up its mind to vote against Trump.

And 42 percent of the country support Trump, but a fifth of those folks say they could see changing their minds.

Some of Us are Turning a Little Bitter

stupidity

Just heard from an old friend. Responding to my death by stupidity post, my friend allowed as how it is unfortunate that Louie Gohmert didn’t manage to get on the plane with Trump, and attend the Texas virusfests yesterday, because “Gohmert could have had such a ‘positive’ influence.”

As I said, some of us are turning a little bitter.

Among those apparently reaching the end of their tether is Margaret Sullivan, media colmunist for the Washington Post, who just wrote This was the week America lost the war on misinformation:

Some new research, out just this morning from Pew, tells us in painstaking numerical form exactly what’s going on, and it’s not pretty: Americans who rely on social media as their pathway to news are more ignorant and more misinformed than those who come to news through print, a news app on their phones or network TV.

And that group is growing.

I will leave it to Ms. Sullivan and the Pew Research people to speak about any general trend toward willful ignorance. As to the specific question of wearing face masks, the data seem to indicate that the message is getting through, except to a diminishing hard core. Typical is a Wall Street Journal article yesterday reporting that “only” (my term) “11% of American voters say they rarely or never wear a face mask.”

Of course, the diminishing hard core are not randomly distributed throughout the country, but are concentrated in rural areas and in the South. They are destined to greatly prolong the pandemic misery.

Keep Calm

Call Batman

Politico, Trump floats delaying 2020 election

Jim Swift, Where Does Joe Biden Go to Get His Apology? The right mocked Biden for correctly predicting Trump might seek to delay the election.

Washington Post, McConnell and other top Republican officials rebuff Trump suggestion to delay the Nov. 3 election:

President Trump drew immediate rebukes from Republicans and Democrats alike on Thursday after floating the prospect of delaying the November election and claiming without evidence that widespread mail balloting would be a “catastrophic disaster” leading to fraudulent results.

The suggestion represented Trump’s latest, and most dramatic, attempt to undermine public faith in U.S. elections, which have grown more regular as polls have shown his political fortunes declining. The president has attacked mail voting nearly 70 times since late March in interviews, remarks and tweets, including at least 17 times this month, according to a tally by The Washington Post.

Thursday’s tweet came on the heels of a devastating report showing that the economy shrank nearly 10 percent from April through June, the largest quarterly decline since the government began publishing such data 70 years ago.

Senior Republicans, who often refuse to weigh in on President Trump’s controversial tweets, overwhelmingly rejected his idea Thursday that the election be postponed because of the risk of fraud.

“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a television interview with WNKY of Bowling Green, Ky. “We’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3.”

“Though I am Gone, I Urge You to Answer the Highest Calling of Your Heart and Stand Up for What You Truly Believe”

John Lewis’s last message:

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.

Louis Gohmert is Infected, Herman Cain is Dead

999

CNN, Louie Gohmert, who’s refused to wear a mak, tests positive for Covid-19

Washington Post, Herman Cain, former Republican presidential hopeful, has died of coronavirus, his website says

As you will remember, he made a point of attending Trump’s Tulsa virusfest and defying the disease.

Cause, meet effect.

The coroner ruled it was death by stupidity.