The Rose Goes In the Front, Big Guy

If you had to take municipal government where I went to college, I hope you had Gargan.

What a funny man. Middle-aged, always sporting Dockers that he was treading water in, funny looking mouth, cheap eyeglasses, and one of the most lasting impressions I had of college. Because on day one of his class, Gargan, who lectured in a spinny sort of Socratic method of his own device, laid out the thesis statement of the rest of our semester. He spoke of salience and made sure our young wet minds had a grasp of the word’s meaning. Ahem:

the quality of being particularly noticeable or important; prominence.

Then he went on to argue that people, Americans, tend to obsess incredibly over the goings-on of the federal government but pay little attention to what’s going on in Columbus or Albany or even in what they’re doing in your township hall down the street. Gargan argued that this was backward because, in truth, what they’re doing in that dingy little gymnasium, where they discuss the state of the roads and the water treatment plant, those government activities actually possess more in the way of

salience.

This particular lecture and its substance has always since girded my thinking about such matters, though it clearly does not affect my actions much because I could not tell you a single detail about how government works in Albany.

Regardless, the seeming counter-intuitiveness of this idea, I think, can also be turned on its side be 45 degrees to provide an interesting benchmark, almost a measurer of quality to some extent. I mean, ideally, then, the machinations of the federal government should capture as much awareness to you as, say, the new Hobby Lobby down the street (that’s right, gang, come on down, we got us a Hobby Lobby!).

By this mark, then, as by many others, the Trump Administration is an abject failure.

By its inaction to contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the federal government stopped being a faraway distraction of defense budgets and tax cuts and jumped right into your fucking lap. There is nothing right now that could possibly affect your individual life right now than the fact that you cannot freely walk about the country, you are reluctant to see your loved ones, and if you do, you are unable to give them hugs, or at least, you sure shouldn’t be. Me and Dad just do the ol’ hi sign.

President Obama’s presidency was pretty boring, I mean comparatively. I think that is one mark of a good presidency: When Obama did things like this

it made the White House Press Corps oooooooh and ahhhh (I think there was a WHOOOOOOO in there) and made their flashes shutter like crazy. I mean, they *applauded*. This asshole (I am referring of course to Impeached Preznit Carnage Meat LaLoosh himself) pulls this move every fucking day, at least when he’s not out holding massive covid-spreader event himself all over the country.

My point: That Donald John Trump is in our faces all the time is not a sign of a good presidency. It is, in fact, terrible. He should not be on your television screens more than Ryan Seacrest. He should not be tweeting more than @aplusk. And, certainly, his horrible nasty no good failure to rise to the current occasion should not be sitting in your lap like a bucket of plague.

Impeached Preznit Carnage’s salience to your life right now speaks volumes of the depths of his failures as Preznit.

Dude’s goin’ down.

See, Look. It’s a Snowball!

California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot: From our perspective, there is an amazing partnership on the ground, and there needs to be. As the Governor said, we’ve had temperatures explode this summer. You may have learned that we broke a world record in the Death Valley, 130 degrees. But even in greater [Los Angeles], 120-plus degrees, and we’re seeing this warming trend make our summers warmer but also our winters warmer as well. But I think one area of mutual agreement and priority is vegetation management. But I think we want to work with you to really recognize the changing climate and what it means to our forests. And actually work together with that science. That science is going to be key. Because if we ignore that science and put our head in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together on protecting Californians.

Trump: Okay. It will start getting cooler. You just watch.

Crowfoot: I wish science agreed with you.

Trump: I don’t think science knows actually.

QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded

From Gregory Stanton at Just Security: QAnon is a Nazi Cult, Rebranded

We have

covered this

previously

and now, it is even more relevant. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a hardcore QAnon um, I don’t even know what to call them, person, is likely to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District in the next session of Congress. There are many others who support or defend this stuff, as CNN reports.

This is happening. This is happening now. And the Republican party is dry-humping QAnon.

It’s The Pandemic, Stupid

In the spring of 2016, Ronald Klain—chief of staff to two vice presidents and White House Ebola response coordinator in 2014-2015 wrote an article titled “Confronting the Pandemic Threat” (Democracy Journal).

Klain’s observations were based on experience. In 2014, during a world outbreak of ebola, the United States experienced 11 cases, only two of which were documented as locally transmitted, and they were nurses who treated Patient Zero.

The Obama administration had also dealt with the H1N1 pandemic, which, between April 12, 2009, and April 10, 2010, caused 60.8 million illnesses, 273,304 hospitalizations and 12,469 deaths in the United States, according to CDC estimates. (But please understand that infection and fatality rates are much worse for SARS-CoV-2 than the swine flu ever presented.)

Among other points, Klain, recommended that the new administration escalate the pandemic danger to the same level as one would consider global terrorist threats. He argued that there is a natural overlap between these dangers, and that a global pandemic should also be viewed as a national security issue.

Klain recommended appointing a cabinet-level position proactively, from day one. He recommended a new, specialized federal agency to more nimbly be able to handle the logistics of a breakout, as well as to build on institutional efforts that had gone before. He recommended continuing efforts of reform at the World Health Organization. He recommended a global infrastructure for the distribution of vaccines. And, in a recommendation he marked as “most important,” he recommended a continuation of President Obama’s Global Health Security Agenda.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology endorsed at least one of Klain’s recommendations, that an assistant to the president for pandemic prevention and response should be part of the National Security Council staff. This advisory group and other agencies, including the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council also created a “Playbook for early response to high-consequence emerging infectious disease threats and biological incidents.”

Politico made this document public in its March 25 article, Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook. You can go read it. Isn’t the Internet wonderful?

In fact, among the questions raised in the Playbook is this, which might seem rather helpful and relevant these days: “What are the key services and critical infrastructure that need to come back on line for society to return to normal?”

So. You’ve heard that the Trump administration ripped down a lot of these efforts. What, exactly, did they do?

Well:

  • Trump immediately scuttled the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, I mean he ripped them off of the White House website he day after he was inaugurated.
  • He left the Office of Science and Technology Policy sit without a director for two years, and since, he’s demoted that agency from cabinet-level access and has cut its staff dramatically.
  • He reconstituted PCAST, mainly with cronies, and its February 2020 minutes show no discussion of COVID.

And that was just to start. For instance, the first case of COVID was diagnosed in the United States on Jan. 20. Jan. 22, Trump says, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.” Feb. 2, Trump tells news reporters, “We pretty much shut it down, coming in from China.”

Also in February: “The 15 [cases in the US] within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.” “We’re going very substantially down, not up.” “This is a flu. This is like a flu.” “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

Do I have to continue this litany? Do we have to get up to the day he bizarrely suggested using disinfectant or light to treat a case of COVID?

This guy had a guide book. He was briefed. He was warned. Yet, he failed and has continued to fail on the coronavirus. He bizarrely keeps calling it the “China Virus,” hoping it will stick and Americans will blame anyone but him. Mister Impeached Preznit, stop trying to make “China Virus” happen! It’s not going to happen!

Do you like the sense of doom you feel when you need to make a grocery run? If you’re a parent, have you enjoyed the additional anxiety you’ve experienced about getting your children to school? Have you or have people you know lost jobs and livelihoods over this? Have you lost any loved ones to the COVID? How do you feel about any vaccines released while Trump is in office?

Combatting this pandemic in the United States requires national action and leadership. Trump has failed. He has not done his job. Based on this issue alone, you gotta vote Biden/Harris in 2020.

Drip, Drip, Bang

As I write this just before morning, the same Punch and Judy show that’s been happening in other metropolitan centers is happening in mine. Protesters and cops are going at it in downtown Rochester over the newly revealed death at the hands of cops of Daniel Prude, which apparently happened in March. What a bizarre, sad story. This guy wasn’t even in town for a full day before his lynching happened. Isn’t there a better way to subdue a person? Or, maybe, here’s an idea, don’t subdue them?

Maybe talk to them first?

Anyway, safety and peace to everyone downtown tonight. Keep Rochester weird.

*

So, regarding our man Impeached Preznit Carnage Washington Carver the Third. Wow, what a banner day for him.

I’ve been thinking about this, though I didn’t think it was going to start happening until one of my predicted scenarios—which I have yet to discuss here out of deference to the whatever from high atop the thing, but now I think I gotta—happened. Because I think the end result I have believed would happen is already not collecting moss.

I know this doesn’t seem all that revelatory, but my number one prediction for 2020 is that Biden wins in a landslide. I mean, I’m with new Biden believer George F. Will, I think we’ll know by 9:45 p.m. eastern who the winner is, and it will be Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.

Either that or Trump squeaks by with a win. I know this is not the tidiest punditry in all the land, but I do not recall promising you a rose garden.

My point, though, is in what happens after. And I think it’s happening now.

You know, many have expressed concern that if Trump loses, he’ll somehow simply refuse to leave office. Others have said that he’ll certainly make it a bumpy ride from the time the networks declare winners until the electors vote on 12/14/2020.

If scenario 2 is breached, then my prediction goes into severe overreach on the part of the Great Impeached Hairball, in which case, the great peeling-off will begin a bit later.

But it will begin, is what I’ve been saying. In either scenario, a Biden win or a Trump win followed by egregious overreach, you’ll see loyalties burst. Support from this sweaty megalomaniac will fall in like my old bed. The tell-all books will burst the dams. The leaks will counter those at some of Papa Trump’s slum apartments. The tales that come forward will paint ugly, blotchy portraits of an ugly, blotchy man. It will be beautiful and it will be only the start, as support among Republicans in Congress wilts like that spinach you left out overnight.

It will be beautiful. And I think it is already happening.

You have a new book out by the former senior to the First Lady, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, which adds a focal point to the matter of hey, where did all that inaugural munny go anyways?

Now today you have a seriously damning piece in The Atlantic, which reveals more bare the bizarre attitude Trump has toward the military. Here’s an excerpt, which just happen to be the first two paragraphs:

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

That’s just the lede.

The reporter on this story, Jeffrey Goldberg, is an award-winning, prestigious reporter and also happens to be editor-in-chief. Of course that didn’t stop Impeachio tonight from disparaging The Atlantic and claiming it was fake news and he loves our troops and he even has some black friends. But we have confirmation of the story from the orange laser beam himself. Like when he claimed John McCain was not a war hero because he was captured. Like when he went after Khizr and Ghazala Khan. This deranged person has some weird attitudes about the military for a guy who is supposed to be Commander in Chief.

All this story does is to fill in some of the blanks.

The leaks. The tell-alls. They are breaking the dam, folks. People who have been holding it all in to hold this impeached moron up have surveyed what four more years of this would be like, and they have decided to take action like Boz Skaggs does the Lido Shuffle.

C’mon, everybody. If you got a whistle: Blow it.