Monday, March 30, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(We will always give a bowel movement about you,)

     This is Trump's government in a nutshell:
     HHS makes it more difficult for people to stay healthy.
     HUD makes it more difficult for people to find affordable housing.
     The Department of Education wants to phase out public education.
     The EPA exists solely to deregulate the world's biggest polluters.
    The Interior Dept. and Bureau of Indian Affairs want to respectively sell public lands for oil drilling and fracking and to make entire Indian tribes disappear.
     In other words, Trump's right wing stooges in the government are there to actively undermine the missions of the departments they supposedly "lead".
     In political science, we call people like that 5th Columnists. Subversives. Traitors.
     We used to execute traitors. Why aren't we, any more?

     Remember when Trump said Saturday he was locking down part of New York State? Yeah, forget he said that.
     Trump's literally at war with his own home state.

     We should all be saying this about all our infected lawmakers, starting with Rand fucking Paul, who faithfully voted to deny the rest of us the health care he gets from the American people for free in every one of the 50+ times it was up for vote in the Senate.

     Someone spent Happy Hour with Larry Kudlow. But Fox has a ready-made excuse for Judge Jeanine doing her show drunk Saturday night: It was her first home telecast. Right.

     Things are getting so bad in Washington State, hospital officials are asking nurses to make out their wills.

      As I said in a recent post, Trump will give them death and they will love him for it.

     These poor old boys in Ohio were abandoned by their owner's family after he died. Now they need a home.

     Trying to cut the CDC's budget by 18% was certainly a step in the wrong direction.

     "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on it was Death."

     This is a John Carpenter movie come to life. This is ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.

   More states ought to be doing this. We HAVE no leadership or guidance from the federal government.

     Meme intermission.

    Oh, THIS is rich, considering they're the assholes who gave us this brain-damaged stooge in the Oval Office.

    President Hatbox Head just said in his very finite and fact-starved wisdom that health care workers are stealing and selling respirators. Perhaps, as usual, he's projecting onto others what he and his larcenous spawn would do,

     Yeah, Hobby Lobby's not closing down because wifey heard a voice in her head.

     This coronavirus shit just got a little more real. John Prine's now on a ventilator with COVID-19. I used a line of his from "Illegal Smile" in my novel, AMERICAN ZEN. He's the reason I made my character Rob Svenson an insurance salesman. Please get well, Johnny boy.

     Stupid is as stupid does.

     From the, "But it looked great on paper!" files.
    They honestly don't know the most rabidly motivated customers of gun stores are anti-government types?

     Stopped clocks and all that.

     Good. More biscuits, gravy and pork rinds for the rest of us.

     Yeah. Sure. Impeachment. That's what it was.

     If this virus decimates our country, you can blame Republicans and their employers in corporate America for literally nickel and diming us to death. Some examples:
     "Workers walked out at a Fiat Chrysler truck plant in Warren, Mich., because there was no hot water for washing up."
     "Cooks and cashiers who walked out at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Jose, Calif., said they didn’t even have enough soap to clean their hands, and were not provided with gloves, masks or hand sanitizers."
     Meanwhile, the multimillionaire executive cunts who run these corporations get to work safely from home, if what they do can accurately be described as "work."
      Maybe more of us should go into the pitchfork and torch business.

     “A person familiar with the Stop the Spread campaign said that several corporate executives who had been willing to contribute to the effort earlier had backed away for fear of ending up becoming targets for Mr. Trump.”
     Way to go, Donnie Dumbo. Have a cookie.

     So, in Trump World, if only 100,000 people or fewer die from COVID-19, he can afford to do a victory lap. And finally...

     At one Brooklyn hospital, an assembly line of human bodies streams out to be loaded into refrigerated trucks.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(If you piss us off, we'll cough on you.)

     30,000 new cases and 200 new deaths had popped up between Tuesday and Thursday.

     Now Boris Johnson and, ironically, his own Health Minister have it. This shit just got a whole lot more serious.

     As usual, we're lagging behind the rest of the world.

    How could this happen in a health care facility, of all places?

    This is a touching human moment in the midst of a growing nightmare. We need more of this and people like Hoda and Drew Brees.

    When is sexual assault permissible? Asking for an electorate.

   This is how we ended up with a game show host as "president." Because Hillary-supporting centrist assholes in the DNC and the electorate thought handing the nomination over to the Super Delegates was a fucking corker of an idea.

    Guy who gouges the Secret Service for top dollar rates at his resorts complains GM is shaking down the government.

     Our government's unraveling in real time. This is not good. We need reassurance that our elected officials are up to the various challenges they face. This is not reassurance.

     Why haven't we been grounding flights like other countries? The airline industry's screaming for a bailout even though they're making money and putting their employees' lives at risk.

     RIP Mark Blum.

    I'm sure some of you remember reading something about the NYC Draft Riots of 1863. New Yorkers who couldn't afford the $300 opt out fee were literally up in arms over Lincoln's draft and they lynched & torched black men, blaming them for the Civil War, although I'm sure not a single one had any say in the matter of human bondage.
    We've come no further in our evolution. And if the COVID-19 virus really explodes as it's projected to, I fully expect my stupid fellow Americans to go full-bore Nativist against Asian Americans in their unfocused, incoherent rage. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.)

     I am so sick and tired of this petty, snarling sociopath who's obviously willing to see Americans needlessly die just so he can get back at a Democrat.

     Oh, NOW he wants ventilators fast. Isn't it time someone told this right wing douchebag you can't invoke a federal law on social media?

     Yes, Trump just told Sean Handjob on Fox that hospitals usually have just two ventilators. Does he know what the fuck a ventilator is?
      This is the guy to whom hundreds of millions look to for guidance during a pandemic, people.

      Even an idiot like Trump recognizes McConnell is just a human sawhorse.

     This is a planetary emergency. We need to get rid of this pre-pandemic for-profit way of thinking and start saving lives.

     Meme intermission.

     Erica Jong's kid is at it again. I loves me some Molly Miranda.

     Am I a horrible person for chuckling about this? Oh, speak of the Devil...

     And another one is culled from the herd.

    Some people want to blow up hospitals like a bargain basement Joker, others leave $10,000 tips to restaurants about to close. As always, emergencies and disasters bring out the worst, and best, of humanity.

     Yes, Kaiser Permanente thanked a woman for making a supreme sacrifice that she never intended to make by withholding a medication that hasn't been proved as effective in fighting coronavirus.

    I was joking about it Wednesday on this blog but I don't think anyone's seriously asked the question of whether Trump's a carrier of COVID-19.

     As the old saying goes, trying to deal with Trump is like trying to play chess with a pigeon- He'll knock over all the pieces, shit on the board then strut around as if he won.

     Taking this line of "thinking" to its logical extent, the entire 1% would be quadriplegics by now.

     Because, you know, Canada's 4000 cases could endanger our country of nearly 105,000.

    These Russian cocksuckers did the same exact thing after Chernobyl blew in '86. They sent in hundreds of firemen who were untrained in dealing with a nuclear meltdown and without proper PPE into a radioactive inferno from which none survived. Same fate for the helicopter pilots who flew overhead building that concrete sarcophagus around Reactor Four. Then the Soviet government denied Chernobyl even blew up.
     Looks as if Trump's boss has dusted off the old Soviet playbook of implausible deniability. Now they're calling for whistleblower doctors to be investigated. Fuck you, Putin, I hope you're the next one to go.

     "Mr. Trump has told people he wants his signature to appear on the direct payment checks that will go out to many Americans in the coming weeks, according to an administration official."
      Still campaigning 24/7, eh, douchebag?

      Now Donnie Dumbo thinks he has line item veto powers.

    Republican scumbaggery in action- Trying to steal our healthcare during a global health emergency.

      As usual, I'm deeply ashamed that journalists in the UK have to write articles such as this.

     Yeah, and Hannity's saying pretty much the same shit. So why didn't he get shitcanned? How come the woman got the axe? (Another tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.)

     "This is the country we live in, folks. 'Fifteen, and it's going to zero,' was how Trump described the number of coronavirus victims just a month ago. Today we're at 104,000 infections, 1,700 dead and counting. Please, someone deliver us from this monster — not from the deadly virus but from our even more deadly president."

     Just yesterday alone, 22,000 more were in infected in the US and we lost 400 more Americans. And finally...

     Billionaire sociopaths (pardon the tautology) like David Geffen just made Tiki torch and pitchfork sales spike through the roof.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(2020: The year people on social media went from showing pictures of their dinners to their toilet paper scores.)

     This is from two days ago from the CDC's own website. Forget it. The United States now has over 81,000 cases of coronavirus and COVID-19, more than any nation on earth. A little over two weeks ago, we had 800.
     That’s over than a 10,000% increase in confirmed cases in just 14 days.
     But, sure, LET'S keep pretending this is an ordinary flu bug and, fucking A, why don't we reopen America on Easter Sunday, while we're at it?

     So, this is the guy Trump was so scared of that he committed impeachable offenses? Imagine how scared shitless he is of Bernie.

     There will be "suicides by the thousands" if he gets reelected.

     Uh, excuse me, but in what alternate universe was this, again?

     Prince Charles now has coronavirus.

    This is Trump's FEMA Director. Typical deer in the headlights interview with another Trump flunky. Forget James Lee Witt. We should be thinking nostalgically at Michael Brown.

      Why isn't the word "billionaire" isn't officially a synonym for "sociopath"? Case in point...

      Meme intermission.

      60% approval rating, huh? I've said it before & I'll say it again- We are the stupidest nation on the planet.

      "A senior Health and Human Services official told me that if they could do it all over again, they would have engaged the private sector to ramp up medical manufacturing in mid-January — about two months earlier than ended up happening."
      In other words, Trump should've invoked the Defense Production Act the month before last, not the week before last, then actually used it.

     The MO on Planet MAGA: If you don't like the message, kill the messenger.

     "In the 1944 case Prince v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court stated that ‘the right to practice religion freely does not include liberty to expose the community…to communicable disease.’"
      In other words, this sick fetish for "freedom of religion" will get even more of us to the Pearly Gates before our times. And, like sociopath billionaires who are snarling for us to get back to work to save an economy of which we're only a microscopic part, they'd be perfectly happy with hijacking non-believers in their sick Rapture endgame.

     Trump tried to dig up dirt on Andrew Cuomo instead of doing his job and protecting the American people. Oh, and he cited as his source material a right wing blog post by the Gateway Pundit.

     No, Digby, we DON'T have to feel sorry for "President" Trump. He's getting people killed with inaction and spreading false information.

     My, my, my, how quickly the worm turns, eh, amigos?

     You KNOW where this bullshit came from.

     So, the closer you are to Trump, the faster you get tested. I think to this, Mulvaney would say, "Get over it."

    So, Donnie Dumbo, you want to reopen the country by Easter, eh? Well, here's what would happen...

     Yes, Brit Hume said this,. Of course he did.

     The SPCA in Florida is looking for emergency foster families.

     I thought my landlord was a scumbag (Actually, he is), but this takes the cake. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.)

     Douche D'Souza & Danny Bongos are at it again.

     Welp, looks as if Trump's getting one less vote this November.

Remember this when you go to the polls on election day- The party that broke its collective neck to bail out Wall Street and oligarchs who aren't financially stressed barked about the unemployed getting a little extra money.

And the provision Democrats included to block government officials and their families from getting bailout funds might not apply to Kushner, The Times reported. It only applies to individuals who “directly or indirectly” control 20% or more of a company, and since the president’s son-in-law typically shares ownership with his parents and siblings, he rarely owns that much of his family’s businesses.
Also tucked away in the fine print was a provision that would allow a company with multiple hotels to qualify as a small business, even if it has more than 500 employees. Though the provision excludes large brands like Marriott and Hilton, it could reportedly benefit the Trump Organization’s small six-hotel chain in the U.S. Several of the company’s hotels are members of a trade group, which heavily lobbied for the provision.
     Typical right wing, pork barrel legislation. Lobbyists shouldn't have gotten anywhere near this, ESPECIALLY Trump's lobbyists.

     I can't possibly imagine Joe Biden fighting this hard for us as Bernie is. Knowing him, Biden would try to cut unemployment altogether.

      Oregon's PPE stockpile's almost depleted and they haven't even been hit hard by the pandemic, yet. And finally...

      It seems the wrong people are coming down with COVID-19. Take this asshole, for instance...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Everybody Was Kung Flu Fighting...

(By Cyril Blubberpuss, Conservative-American.)
Aloysius Blubberpuss had more balls than all of Wuhan combined!", I yelled after a fake coughing fit as I waddled out of a Chinese restaurant with $98 of takeout. For you uninitiated regarding our family tree, Aloysius was my grandfather and a personal friend of Fred Trump, the president's own venerated grandfather. Both men were good friends and knew each other during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and we could learn a lot of lessons from my grandfather's example of manliness.
     Now, the father of my sainted father Ambrose did not shirk from danger and that included giving the bird to whoever the Governor of New York was after being told that he should quarantine himself. Aloysius was never one to take orders and why should he have? He was the first millionaire in the history of the Bronx and he proudly made his fortune selling pieces of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges.
     So one fine day early in 1918, Grandfather was taking a constitutional with Frederick and his namesake, President Trump's father. Frederick was complaining about feeling under the weather but Grandfather Aloysiu, as stated before, was never one to take no for an answer and he'd come to depend upon these constitutionals with his good friend. "No, I feel unwell today." "No, I'm a married woman." "No, you cannot sell a bridge that you don't own!" No is for the poors, not us Blubberpusses!
     As it turned out, Frederick barely made it home and after saying he felt sick, he walked upstairs to take a nap and it was during that nap that day that he got his Great Reward. The way Grandfather Aloysius told it, it was the poor lad, Fred, who'd found his father's body then asked his weeping mother if they could read the will that day. Say what you want about my father's old friend, but the boy was a go-getter!
     As the year stretched on, it seemed everyone with whom Grandfather Aloysius came into contact contracted the Spanish Flu and died or almost died yet Grandfather had suffered no ill effects and seemed to live a charmed life. The same apparently goes for Frederick Trump's grandson, the current President. Even though Mar a Lago, aka the Winter White House, has been shuttered due to coronavirus precautions, it seems everyone the President meets winds up coming down with coronavirus. I guess the secret is in having good genes.
     So, I'm getting sick and tired of this poppycock and twaddle about other businesses shuttering and closing their doors and how we should be staying sheltered in place. Why, if it wasn't for that infusion of $2.2 trillion, a paltry half a trillion going to job creators like me, Wall St wouldn't be enjoying the surge it is today (1,100 points and rising).

     Our family had to also weather a similar scare back in the 80's when HIV/AIDS was sweeping across the world's homosexual communities. Now, my kid brother Cecil is not made of the strong constitutional stuff as Grandfather Aloysius and he'd sheltered in place for years, even though HIV/AIDS was killing off the homosexual community of which Cecil was never a part. But he was just doing the commendable thing and that scare and his self-quarantine actually gave him the idea he'd bring to fruition by the early 90's when he conceived the idea for, the world's first internet sex chat room.
     And now my kid brother Cecil, my baby girl Bertha and I are all sheltered in place and wondering if Grandfather Aloysius didn't have the right idea 102 years ago. Since we're now one big, somewhat happy family in our Upper West Side townhouse, we're getting to learn about each other again, such as Bertha's delightful and adorable bouts of Hide and Seek with our terrified maid Rosita.

Good Times at Gotham City

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Let's Try Not to Get on Each Other's Nerves

     As it always happens during times of crisis, we see the best and worst of humanity. For every video we see of women fist-fighting over toilet paper, we see a story about a family somewhere giving away free rolls. For every time we hear some sociopath billionaire or another snarling at us to get back to work, there's another voice of reason telling us to do sensible things like shelter in place and observe these emergency measures for the common good.
     So I don't see humankind descending into the Randian nightmare of Objectivism, where people act purely out of self interest. I've been saying for many years that we're one blackout, one server crash, one pandemic away from resorting to barbarism and immediately sweeping away all the accrued generations of civilization that came before us. But we're not all like that.
     And while it's tempting to take notes while watching the current season of The Walking Dead, we can greatly minimize a slide into barbarity and selfishness into which we are not fated or predestined to slide. We can and should still take care of our own while practicing random acts of kindness or leaving the door open to doing so. Today, I just happened to show up at the local Walgreen's at the perfect time and scored a 24 pack of toilet paper for our house. But if one of my neighbors timidly knocks on my door and asks me if I have a roll or two to spare, especially if they have kids, of course I'll give it to them.
     Little mercies and acts of kindness such as that are exponentially magnified the worse times get.
     The great and the ordinary, the rich and poor and all those in between, have been struck with this damned virus. It is not a bioweapon, it was not created by China to spread to the Western world, our government did not engineer it. It developed on its own and does not give a damn how rich, famous or powerful you are. Prince Charles has it. Rand Paul has it. Playwright Terrence McNally just died of it. Justin Trudeau's wife has it as does Idris Elba, Tom Hanks and his wife and too many other people to mention. We've topped 300,000 cases globally, and are coming up on 1000 deaths just in the United States. And it will get worse before it gets better.
     How much worse it spreads is up to every single one of us. But coronavirus doesn't give a shit how much money you have, how famous and powerful you are, or about your economy, your religion, political stripe or your political ambitions. Maybe someone should tell that to Trump. Maybe, as in the days of ancient Rome, we should appoint someone to stand at his shoulder and whisper into his ear, "All glory is fleeting."
     But, at the risk of sounding like a libertarian, I have to caution each of you to realize that, unless you're a major corporation with your hand out, do not wait for the government to bail you out. Especially this government. The stimulus bill being debated on the Senate will give you, at best, a onetime $1200 check that for all of you won't even come close to supporting you for a month. It'll take care of your most pressing bills... maybe. Your unemployment, if you can get on it, will be extended for just four months, And the Democrats had to fight the Republicans tooth and nail to get just those wishy-washy stopgap measures into the bill.
     The rest is up to us. If you have food and water to spare for those less fortunate, share it. If your Governor tells you to shelter in place, please listen to him or her. If we remain selfish and look out only for ourselves and let this become a dog-eat-dog world, we are simply not going to survive this, Humanity survives, and thrives, only when humankind pulls together for a common goal for the common good.
     And if you think that smacks of Socialism, then you're the problem as much as our dysfunctional government.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(Our two step plan to save America: 1) Bailouts for American workers. 2) Gofundme for Wall Street.)

     The rich aren't like you and me. For starters, they have bomb shelters. Luxurious bomb shelters with 18 hole golf courses, retail shops and armed security.

     And yet, some people still wonder why the South will never rise again. I give you Florida Woman.

     At least the coronavirus news isn't all bad.  Still, I have to wonder. How did Harvey Weinstein get a test, in prison, and the rest of us can't get one.

     Over 15,000 dead all over the world and his feelings are hurt.

    This is my idea of a leader. All you Biden bots- Where's your guy? He hasn't been seen in A WEEK.

     Meanwhile, Trump's base springs into action.

     Man making hundreds of millions off presidency whines about losing billions he never had.

     In short, bailing out my hotels is capitalism. But using the Defense Production Act to make much-needed medical supplies is a Socialist takeover of private industry. Gotcha.

     Meme intermission.

     Can you imagine what a total disaster this clown would be if he actually was a wartime president?

     So, you're willing to die for the economy, Patrick? Sure, let's put that to the test, asshole.

     Oh yeah. NOW he wants bipartisanship. This is the same asshole with 400 House bills on his desk that STILL haven't gotten a vote.

     This is what happens when you to work for a shitty Republican mayor whom you think would be a great Democratic president.

     When even Fox can't keep ignoring Trump's incompetence.

     Christian superhero wants to reopen businesses on Easter.

    Well, isn't this nice? Pampered billionairess playing at Education Secretary is offered a softball interview on Fox "News."

     The WH Correspondents Dinner was just postponed.

     Ann Coulter proves the Master Race isn't quite so masterful in basic math.

    "Trump told the Fox News town hall that he has no intention of signing the bill that Democrats and Republicans have worked for days."
    In other words, he wants you to die quickly and quietly and in a way that doesn't hurt his reelection chances.

     I'm wondering if this is the same factory that Jack Ma, Asia's richest man, gets his ventilators made. I read a couple of weeks ago that Ma was donating half a million ventilators and a million test kits through his charitable foundation.
     After that, I heard nothing. As poorly-supplied as our hospitals are, and as widely-spread as the disease is here in the US, half a million N95 masks would be a major boon to our health care system. So why am I seeing tv interviews from a Georgia hospital CEO complaining a Mexican company is gouging him for $7 for a mask that used to cost just .58 cents a unit? Why am I reading stories of US hospitals having to accept costumes and props from tv shows or nurses having to sew their own masks?
     We know Trump rejected test kits from the WHO so it wouldn't surprise me to learn Jack Ma's proferred gift was also refused by the same racist asshole who keeps calling this disease "the Chinese virus."

      Personally, I can't think of a more appropriate day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ to kill lots of people with a plague. And finally...

       Acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally just died of coronavirus.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Can an Entire Road Be Cursed?

     I've read stories or have heard accounts on Youtube of whole roads and streets that seem to be cursed. Many of therm involve ghosts. This is not one of those stories.
     Rather than merely driving through a full body apparition of some lady in white looking for her dead child or for whatever such spirits search according to local legend, this is about my inability to drive on Villa de Porto Blvd in Hudson, MA. Two years ago this June, I got T-boned there in an accident caused by a woman driving on a dark grey rainy night with her headlights off and I got blamed for it (My so-called insurance company found me at fault, now I'm paying over $1000 a year for the next six years for compulsory insurance).
     Today, I left the house at three PM to get a few things. I didn't get home until almost 5:30. My battery kept dying even after I got a jump start by a friendly guy and another from the AAA guy the cops called who wasn't so friendly. So in just two hours, I burned up half my roadside assists that AAA reluctantly gives you for your $85 annual membership.
     But the first guy who came said that my alternator was shot, which is strange considering I was driving the van around town all day yesterday looking for water and toilet paper and I had no problems. Today was a different story.
     So there I was on Villa de Porto Blvd, again, stranded in the middle of a blizzard (Yeah, there was that to contend with, too, and not knowing I'd get stranded and be in the middle of traffic for two hours, I didn't dress for the occasion). I'm on the phone with AAA three or four times trying to get someone to tow me home, even though I lived just 150 yards from where I'd broken down again.
     Now, I'm faced with the prospect of burning my next-to-last roadside assist to have the car towed to the nearest garage so I can replace the alternator. The last time I had a job like this done was on my old Ford Taurus (the one that got T-boned) a decade ago and that job cost me $375. I'm guessing, with the price of labor skyrocketing, that's got to be closer to $500 these days.
     Obviously, I don't have that kind of money lying around unless I spend the rent money that's due in a little over a week. I have a little over $100 in the bank, another hundred in the Paypal account and I'm going to need to get this thing fixed by the end of the month. Thank goodness I had the foresight to do some shopping yesterday while the van was still running and before the blizzard hit, But I don't want to wait until we start running out of essentials before I fix this.
     We need help now. And I can't wait until Congress stops dicking around with this stimulus bill that just failed earlier today for the second time in 24 hours. And even if we get a $1000 check and Trump signs the bill, remember what I'd said in a recent post: During the 2008 crisis, two months had passed between the time Bush signed that stimulus bill into law and when the checks hit the mail. And, again, this stimulus bill is still being gridlocked in the Senate. We're well-provisioned for now but we're going need to get our van running before long.
     I know many of you are quarantined or sheltered-in-place and some of you are taking hits financially. And if you cannot help, that's perfectly fine. No one owes me anything. But if you can spare anything, anything, it would make a world of difference. Because the most frightening place in the world to be right now is stranded at home with no means of driving anywhere during an exponentially expanding pandemic when basic necessities are nonexistent to begin with.

"Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste."

     I keep going back to what Rahm Emanuel, the former White House Chief of Staff, Mayor of Chicago and professional stiff prick/DINO, said once: "Never let a crisis go to waste."
     And the reason I keep going back to it during this pandemic is because it seems right wingers are really fine-tuning their neverending capacity for exploiting a crisis to their own ends. A quick trip through the archives of Raw Story, for instance. will show you what I mean:
     Texas bans abortions during coronavirus pandemic to ‘expand hospital bed capacity’.
     Republican calls for a ‘State Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer’ to repent for sins that brought on coronavirus.
     Christian journal claims government has forced the Church to worship ‘the false god of saving lives’.
     Nuclear industry effort to exploit coronavirus crisis for backdoor bailout decried as ‘disaster capitalism at its worst’.
     Americans rage against #GOPSlushFund and #TrumpSlushFund as stimulus bill fails for second time.
     Stock-dumping GOP senator faces brutal backlash after accusing Dems of undermining country’s ‘health’.
     Trump refuses to promise his own company won’t get a taxpayer bailout: ‘Let’s just see what happens’.
      GOP’s coronavirus bill offers billions in government loans – but bans nonprofits likely catering to low-income people.
     Trump-loving pastors are telling their followers they can physically heal coronavirus with the power of prayer.
     Trump accused of using global health crisis to ‘settle a score’ with people he dislikes.
     White supremacists are encouraging members to infect Jews with coronavirus: FBI.
     That's just on Raw Story, going back only 10 hours.
     So TV and screenwriters who show us scenes of religious nuts and hate groups capitalizing on a pandemic in one dystopian show or another have these people pegged. Whether you're talking Republicans, evangelicals or corporate types (and increasingly, we're seeing them all rolled into one on Capitol Hill), one thing is for certain- These so-called public servants and stewards of our souls and economic system will always use an emergency to fatten their bottom lines, settle some scores or advance their religious/social agenda.
     Now, back to the rest of the news:
     Alex Jones Is Told to Stop Selling Sham Anti-Coronavirus Toothpaste.
     Missouri Sues Televangelist Jim Bakker For Selling Fake Coronavirus Cure...

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Gotham City Digest

(We should put these on bottles of Ensure.)

     I'm getting sick and tired of these nasty, vicious men o' God telling us we need to keep coming in to church even during an exponentially widening pandemic. Copeland is just more nakedly avaricious than most. And he wants that money to keep flowing in, or else.

      I hate right wing assholes. You couldn't pull a pin out of their asses with a tractor.

    It's up to four senators now who'd dumped stock, including Feinstein. Typically, they're all snarling they've done nothing illegal.

    You can always count on Uncle Sam to do the right thing in a pinch, like dump his stock for millions before the market crashes and then try to steal your only way of feeding yourself.

     Don't forget, the GOP is the party of smaller government that works only to lower taxes and deregulate corporations that keep them in power. Republicans are purely and simply 5th columnists. It utterly escapes me why more people don't call them this.

      They were dissuaded from taking the test by the government because there WERE no damned tests.

      It's not often you see a scumbag breaking a campaign promise AFTER suspending their campaign yet here we are.

      Do the right thing, get hit with a $35,000 hospital bill. Now she can't move to DC to start a new job so she can pay it off.

      Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the very few people in our government still capable of feeling shame.

     How much you wanna bet these new fascist censorship rules automatically won't apply to Trump's Twitter feed o' bullshit?

      Starbuck's isn't essential, true. But coffee is, especially if you're a writer.

      Jennifer Senior tore Trump a new one in Saturday's column.

      Early yesterday, Victor Blackwell interviewed national security expert Juliette Kayyem and she pretty much nailed the specific deficiencies in Trump's and the entire government's response to this pandemic.

       This is what anarchy looks like.

        Meme intermission.

      Our front line warriors in the health care field are using improvised masks made of torn bed sheets and Coke bottles. Hospitals in the US are accepting donations of costumes and props from the set of Grey's Anatomy.
       This doctor is right. This government's (non)response has been criminal. That tRump now has a 55% approval rating for it is incomprehensible and maddening. If Trump spent the time and energy attacking this virus as he does the media, our problems would be cut in half.

     There is NO excuse for this. Absolutely none. If there were so few test kits, then the lab shouldn't've been that swamped.

        Trump knew about the coming pandemic, then ignored it. Since January. And even after the first confirmed US case that month, it still took him a month and a half to do something.

      Of course the GOP stimulus package threatens Social Security. It's what these right wing scumbags do.

      To paraphrase John Stuart Mill, not all sociopaths are Republican but it sure seems all Republicans are sociopaths.

         Lucky kittie.

         Why hasn't this animal been turned into a Disney character by now?

        I haven't decided if this move on the DOJ's part is Orwellian or Kafkaesque. I'm leaning more toward Kafka.

        The Republican Party's symbol, slightly updated.

       Remember when Russia had fires and Trump offered to help Putin while California burned? Well, it shouldn't surprise you to learn Trump's offered North Korea his help with coronavirus. Considering how brilliantly he's handled it here, I say Kim should accept.

         And then there's this...

        These fucking withered zombies follow this loser all over the country like he's Jerry Garcia and the fucking Grateful Dead. Which may be an apt reference to make because Trump will give them death. And they'll be grateful for it.
         You ever read the story about the guy who strenuously avoids news about Trump?
      I'm rapidly getting to that point. I'm getting psychic nausea writing about him during this pandemic. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC.)

        I'm with John Oliver. I literally trust the TicTok hamster more than our so-called "president."

        Is anyone really surprised at this?

        You can always count on capitalism to do the right thing, especially in bad times.

        The Headline: Senate Coronavirus Relief Bill Blocked by Rand Paul.
        The karma: Senator Rand Paul Tests Positive For Coronavirus.
        Aqua Buddha, meet Hindu karma.

     Speaking of Pre-Cambrian America, aka Kentucky: Maybe, with a bit o' luck, all these evangelicals will Rapture themselves out of our lives for good. And finally...

       Of course Republicans would prefer to bail out corporations that don't need it during a pandemic. It just amazes me that people continue voting Republican, which is the same as punching yourself in the face.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

I'd Say You're a Shitty President

 “If someone wants to blame someone or complain about someone, blame me. There is no one else who is responsible for this decision.” - New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
I don’t take responsibility at all.” - "President" Donald Trump
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
I'd usually say, since it's often the case in this rolling dumpster fire of an administration, this is what anarchy looks like. And, really, I think those of us who still have cognitive functions left after the daily Koolaid parties of the past week presided over by Russian Vice President Donald Trump can agree that, at least in an academic sense, this is anarchy. There is plainly no leadership at the top of the trash heap of future history. But this isn't mere anarchy. This is something worse:
    This is anarchy masking itself as authoritarian control, just nasty enough and with just enough snarling to keep some of us in line and give us the illusion that, if not a president guided by democratic principles, at least we have a strongman in charge.
     We. Do. Not. It's a projected image, little better than a hologram.
     We used to make jokes about Michael Bloomberg during his "Torpedo the Socialist" presidential campaign that he didn't really exist outside of a television screen, a right wing Max Headroom minus the funny glitches. But these days, we're all Michael Bloomberg. For now, only news anchors and skeleton crews of technical staff are allowed on network sound stages and quarantined guests are doing their segments in their own homes. Stephen Colbert is doing shows from his own home and it's excruciating to watch him trying to get laughs without a live audience to laugh at the punchlines.
     There's nothing much to laugh at, these days. The scenarios we used to watch for entertainment in dystopian and post apocalyptic science fiction movies are coming true- Washington DC, the nerve center of our government, possibly the most powerful and valuable real estate on the planet, is slowly turning into a ghost town before our very eyes. This is what may be referred to in the future as the "Before Times" when future archeologists or alien visitors pick through what was left of our homes and see cases of putrid spring water and palletes of toilet paper stockpiled in our basements and garages.
     This is the legacy we will leave behind for the future.
     Because in the "Before Times", we had no leadership. And because during this time of anarchy masquerading as strong leadership, the guy nominally in charge had an approval rating of 55% because he waved phantom $1000 checks under our noses and gave us, as with everything else he's done, the illusion that something was being done.
      And that's what Donald Trump is, an incompetent, more umber version of David Copperfield, the man who's making coronavirus disappear with a Google system for drivethrough testing that doesn't exist, by invoking the Defense Production Act that was never followed through in a Phase Two and a vaccine named chloroquine that hasn't had many trial tests. You don't have to squint to see the piano wires.
     Meanwhile, he's snarling at the press, as usual, telling NBC's Peter Alexander, who'd yesterday asked Trump what he'd say to a frightened American public, "I'd say you're a terrible reporter." As if impugning the media and personally insulting a journalist was a credible response aimed at allaying a nation's justifiable fears.

     His so-called Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, an anesthesiologist who has no more experience in dealing with infectious diseases than the CDC Director Robert Redfield, which is to say absolutely none, a week ago castigated the press and told them what types of stories to write and not write. "No more bickering. No more partisanship. No more criticism or finger-pointing," he said to Jake Tapper, apparently forgetting that Trump spent time at the CDC a couple of weeks ago calling Washington Governor Jay Inslee, "a snake." (Incidentally, it ought to be mentioned here that Vice Admiral Adams used to be the public health commissioner for Mike Pence, who proudly put the axe to a needle exchange program that immediately resulted in the worst HIV/AIDS outbreak in Indiana's history.)
     Meanwhile, our frontline warriors in this health care crisis, our nurses, doctors, EMTs, nurse's aides, orderlies and other support personnel, have little to nothing with which to fight this double-headed dragon called coronavirus and COVID-19. Medical TV shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Station 19, The Good Doctor and The Resident have cleaned out their costume and props departments and donated their inventory to hospitals. Yes, some of our hospitals are using Hollywood costumes and props. Meanwhile, Pence is apathetically promising masks to hospitals in weeks. They're out now. (For a more visceral and hands-on assessment of this emerging crisis, read this article by Dr. Dipti S. Barot.)

A Tale of Two New Yorkers
As of yesterday afternoon, while Trump was holding court in Washington, New York City had reported 5,683 cases and 43 deaths. New York State accounts for just 6% of the nation's population but accounts for about half of all confirmed cases of coronavirus in it. One of the nation's most important and populous states needed leadership and they got it.
    And more.
   As well as announcing a clampdown on the state, telling New Yorkers to go out only when absolutely necessary and shutting down non-essential services and businesses such as bars and restaurants, the governor had this to say about us then his quarantined daughter:
“People are in a small apartment, they’re in a house, they’re worried, they’re anxious. Just, be mindful of that. Those three-word sentences can make all the difference: ‘I miss you.’ ‘I love you.’ ‘I’m thinking about you.’ ‘I wish I was there with you.’ ‘I’m sorry you’re going through this.’ ‘I’m sorry we’re going through this.’
“To tell you the truth, I had some of the best conversations with her that I’ve ever had. She was alone for two weeks. We talked about things in depth that we didn’t have time to talk about in the past or we didn’t have the courage or the strength to talk about in the past — feelings I had, about mistakes I had made along the way that I wanted to express my regret and talk through with her.”
    Andrew Cuomo at that moment wasn't Governor Cuomo, he was a Dad who had had a little reckoning with his daughter, apologizing for the mistakes he'd made, that we all make as fallible human beings, strengthening the ties that matter and setting one's emotional affairs in order... just in case.
     Compare that to Donald Trump's, "I don't take responsibility at all" and giving his response "an A+" when asked what grade he'd give himself for it. Trump and his costumed rodeo clowns are giving us empty promises, lies and half-truths while people like Gov. Cuomo, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau (whose wife has the coronavirus) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, all three unsurprisingly among Trump's biggest antagonists, are giving their people the facts they desperately need.
     Trump's daughter Ivanka, out of camera range at stage left yesterday, isn't quarantined and, even if she were, it's laughably impossible to imagine Trump having his own reckoning with his eldest daughter, or any of his offspring, much less taking blame for any mistakes he'd made, much less apologizing for those mistakes. While Andrew Cuomo may be privately confronting the possibility of never seeing his daughter again (as many of us with far-flung family are, as well), Trump is sunnily looking forward to Election Day and the prospect of getting reelected as "a wartime president" who beat an invincible enemy such as COVID-19 with props, costumes and empty promises.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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