Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

When we were young, we knew that the answer, my friend, was blowing in the wind. Now that we are old, the virus is Spreain’ Though the Air.

As the virus keeps on spreading wildly out of control, Orange Man can only say, Que Sera Sera.

Finally, in our last musical offering for this evening, we learn that when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s when you recognize He’s a Moron.

L’Affaire Postale: The Insanity of It All

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 9.42.11 AM

This weekend, we Americana are all abuzz about what President Obama rightly termed Trump’s “kneecapping” of the Postal Service, in an effort to keep mail-in ballots from being delivered—and the wicked, treasonous nature of Orange Man’s behavior.

I second those emotions. But the thing that strikes me is the batshit insanity of it all.

One. How Testing for Covid is Like Counting the Ballots

Here is a point that seems obvious to me, though I am not aware that anyone else has addressed the issue.

Trump says that you only have covid cases because you test for covid cases. One is reminded of the question about the tree that falls in the. forest, where no one can hear it. Trump has a positive, definitive answer for that one: no, it doesn’t make a sound if no one hears it.

Trump’s view on ballots appears exactly the same: if I can somehow prevent the votes for my opponent from being counted, not only do I claim victory, but I actually do win the election.

But, as someone pointed out, if a woman chooses not to take a pregnancy test, that doesn’t keep her from being pregnant.

Trump’s beliefs are batshit crazy.

Not only that: he shares his batshit crazy beliefs with the rest of us, on the insane assumption that we will see this insanity as self-evident truth.

Two. Energizing the Democrats

See, for example, WaPo, Trump’s assault on the U.S. Postal Service gives Democrats a new campaign message:

Those most affected by reports of slowdowns in delivery services include veterans, senior citizens and rural residents who have long voted Republican, arming Democratic challengers and incumbents with a salient campaign issue. Democrats are already blanketing the airwaves, latching on to the opportunity to highlight support for an institution that has a 91 percent approval rating, according to an April survey by the Pew Research Center.

Three. Driving Down His Own Support

As has widely been reported, Trump has done a good job of sewing distrust of mail-in ballots among his own base, thus tending to drive down voting by his side.

Four. Forewarned is Forearmed: An Effort Doomed to Futility

Very simply, if I know the mail is an untrustworthy means of getting my ballot where it needs to go, then I can find other means of getting the ballot there. Delivery direct to an official dropbox. Taking it to a designated office. Whatever. And if I don’t drive, the Democrats have ample time to organize ways to get the ballots in.

It’s sheer madness.

As Far as I Can Tell, This is not a Joke

BBC, US calls for shower rules to be eaqsed after Trump hair complaints:

The US government has proposed changing the definition of a showerhead to allow increased water flow, following complaints from President Donald Trump about his hair routine. 

Under a 1992 law, showerheads in the US are not allowed to produce more than 2.5 gallons (9.5l) of water per minute.

The Trump administration wants this limit to apply to each nozzle, rather than the overall fixture.

Consumer and conservation groups argue that it is wasteful and unnecessary.

The changes were proposed by the Department of Energy on Wednesday following complaints by Mr Trump at the White House last month.

“So showerheads – you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair – I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect. Perfect,” he said.

Andrew deLaski, executive director of the energy conservation group Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said the proposal was “silly”.

With four or five or more nozzles, “you could have 10, 15 gallons per minute powering out of the showerhead, literally probably washing you out of the bathroom,” he told the Associated Press news agency.

“If the president needs help finding a good shower, we can point him to some great consumer websites that help you identify a good showerhead that provides a dense soak and a good shower,” he added.

David Friedman, vice president of advocacy at the organisation Consumer Reports, said showerheads in the US already “achieve high levels of customer satisfaction”, while saving people money.

The proposal could face court battles if it advances, Reuters news agency reports.

I get by with a little help from my friends. Thanks for this to old friend Penelope in Massachusetts

The 2020 Lawyers’ Enrichment Executive Order

wealth

Washington Post, Trump signs four executive orders after economic relief talks with Democrats collapsed

I do not know how the courts will ultimately deal with all of the aspects of Trump’s latest effort this afternoon to garner unconstitutional power unto himself.

But I am sure that this afternoon’s development will do much toward enriching lots of members of the legal profession beyond the dreams of avarice.

 

Wrong Again

This afternoon, David Brooks sucks his thumb at almost interminable length on the topic of the future of the Republican Party. Will Trump stick around after he loses, bigly? No, David allows: “My guess it that if Trump gets crushed in the election, millions of Republicans will decide they never liked that loser and jerk anyway.”

Nope. Wrong guess.

Proceeding from that incorrect premise, Brooks reasons his way to the conclusion that the “ intellectual future of conservatism will be wrestled over at a series of forums at the Center for Social, Cultural and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.”

I kid you not.

David is a nice fellow. Dr. Aardvark and I look forward to his weekly appearance on the PBS Evening News.

He’s so nice, in fact, that I’m not even going to try to sell him the Brooklyn Bridge.

deed

Baghdad Bob Keeps Telling His Peeps to Behave Like Jerks; His Peeps Keep Behaving Like Jerks; The Virus Keeps Spreading

This afternoon, the Washington Post lets us know that,

A new report suggests the summer’s surge of covid-19 infections and deaths has knocked the U.S. economy off its tentative path to recovery. Hiring slowed dramatically in July, according to an estimate by ADP, as businesses added fewer than 170,000 new jobs compared to some economists’ predictions of more than 1 million.

President Trump showed no sign of admitting the magnitude of the crisis. In wide-ranging, frequently erroneous comments on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday, he claimed covid-19 was spreading in a “relatively small portion” of the country (it is spreading nearly everywhere); said children are “virtually immune” to the virus (they are not); and once again insisted the outbreak will “will go away like things go away.”

Saving Lives is Verboten

The truth is forbidden. See John Cassidy in The New Yorker, earlier today:

On June 3rd, according to a running tallymaintained by the Times, the seven-day average for confirmed new cases of COVID-19 was 21,958. On Monday, August 3rd, the seven-day average was 60,202. That’s an increase of about a hundred and seventy-five per cent in two months. Since early July, as the virus has spread across the country, the number of deaths from COVID-19 has more than doubled. Even after a welcome decline during the past few days, the weekly average is still more than a thousand a day.

Confronted with these developments, Trump has become even more brazen in promoting an alternative reality. On Monday, he lashed out at Deborah Birx, the response coördinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, tweeting, “So Crazy Nancy Pelosi said horrible things about Dr. Deborah Birx, going after her because she was too positive on the very good job we are doing on combatting the China Virus, including Vaccines & Therapeutics. In order to counter Nancy, Deborah took the bait & hit us. Pathetic!”

The President was referring to an interview that Birx gave to CNN’s Dana Bash over the weekend, and if you watch it, you’ll see that she didn’t “hit” Trump or his Administration at all. To the contrary, Birx defended the White House task force, saying that it had shifted course more than a month ago: after it became clear that the pandemic had entered a new phase, the task force adopted a more granular approach, providing individual municipalities and counties with the support and guidance they needed to address the rising number of cases, she said. She also pointed out that, in some places where they have been introduced, mitigation efforts seem to be having a positive impact. In hard-hit Arizona, Florida, and Texas, and in a half-dozen other states, new-case numbers have declined somewhat in the past two weeks, the Times’ interactive guide shows. (Case numbers are still rising in fifteen states and Puerto Rico.)

What was Birx’s offense? She openly acknowledged that the virus is spreading, and she warned people in Trump-supporting areas of the dangers that this presents. “I want to be very clear,” she said. “What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as [well as] urban areas. And, to everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus.” Birx went on to say that people living in rural areas need to socially distance and wear masks—including at home, if they have potentially vulnerable family members. In other words, Birx used her media platform to try to save lives.

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

 

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.”

The Witch Doctor

Oh, And Then There’s the Part About Illness Caused by Having Sex with Demons

From the—I kid you not—official White House transcript of last evening’s “briefing”:

Q    Mr. President, the woman that you said is a great doctor in that video that you retweeted last night said masks don’t work and there is a cure for COVID-19, both of which health experts say is not true.  She’s also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens, and that they’re trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, maybe it’s a saying, maybe it’s not.

Q    So what’s the logic in retweeting that?

THE PRESIDENT:  But I can — I can tell you this: She was on air, along with many other doctors.  They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine, and I thought she was very impressive in the sense that, from where she came —

Q    It’s misinformation.

THE PRESIDENT:  — I don’t know which country she comes from, but she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients.  And I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her.

Q    But she said masks don’t work.  And last week, you said masks —

Yeah, go ahead.  Paula.

Q   Last week —

THE PRESIDENT:  Go ahead.

Q    Well, real quick.  Last week, you said masks —

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.

END

The National Association of Manufacturers Would Like You to Know That It’s Getting Out of the Clown Car

clown car

He’s killing off his base. But, that aside, here’s the real problem: he’s causing a big economic problemas for the National Association of Manufacturers.

And that is something up with which they will not put.

The Association writes,

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers was joined today by several prominent business organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, TechNet and Intrax, in filing a lawsuit in federal court opposing President Donald Trump’s proclamation suspending new nonimmigrant visas.

“These overreaching, unlawful restrictions don’t just limit visas—they will restrain our economic recovery at a time when the very future of our country hangs in the balance. Manufacturers and program sponsors are going to court because these restrictions are far outside the bounds of the law and would deal a severe blow to our industry. We cannot let this stand,” said NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly. “Our industry should be laser-focused on leading our recovery and renewal, but these visa restrictions will hand other countries a competitive advantage because they will drive talented individuals away from the United States. These restrictions could harm every corner of our economy, as evidenced by the broad coalition that has come together to oppose them.”

“Our lawsuit seeks to overturn these sweeping and unlawful immigration restrictions that are an unequivocal ‘not welcome’ sign to the engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses and other critical workers who help drive the American economy,” said U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “Left in place, these restrictions will push investment abroad, inhibit economic growth and reduce job creation.”

“Innovation is absolutely key to surviving the economic crisis currently facing our nation, especially for retailers who’ve seen their stores forced to close and scrambled to find new ways to sell and deliver products,” said National Retail Federation Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Stephanie Martz. “This proclamation is meant to protect American jobs but instead it threatens the millions of rank-and-file workers whose jobs rely on experts coming up with the latest technology to keep retail moving forward. Advanced computer and IT jobs are already hard to fill, and retailers need to be able to bring in talent from wherever they can find it. This sweeping measure could have a significant negative impact on their abiity to do that.”

Fox News Wants You to Know that God’s Chosen One Wants You to Wear a Goddam Mask

life or death

Fox News, Trump says coronavirus crisis will ‘get worse before it gets better,’ pleads with Americans to wear masks:

In his first official press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic since April, President Trump on Tuesday admitted that the public health crisis is likely to worsen as cases surge across the country and asked all Americans to wear masks in public.

While Trump hailed his administration’s response to the pandemic and the work toward developing a vaccine, he bluntly disclosed what many Americans already know: that the crisis is likely to spread more before it can be contained.

“It will get worse before it gets better,” Trump said of the pandemic that has infected close to 4 million Americans. “That’s something I don’t like saying but it is.”

Trump’s comments come after weeks where he either downplayed the virus’ continued spread or focused on other issues – from unrest over racial injustice in American cities to the removal of Confederate statues – despite cases of COVID-19 surging, particularly, in parts of the south and southwest.

Noting the concerns among many of his supporters that facial coverings impinge on their personal freedoms, Trump pleaded with Americans to wear masks out in public to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We’re asking everybody when you’re not able to socially distance to wear a mask,” Trump said.

While his comment falls short of a national mandate, it is the strongest endorsement yet from the president who until recently had questioned the efficacy of masks.

He added: “Whether you like masks or not, wear a mask.”