It’s comforting to know that we have some of the dumbest, most ill-equipped people in our entire country leading the fight against coronavirus

Continuing our conversation from yesterday about how woefully ill-equipped the current administration is to deal with something as complex as this current public health emergency we’re facing, I think it’s worth mentioning that our Director of Homeland Security is apparently relying on data concerning the spread of the virus from the Johns Hopkins public website.

As Senator Chuck Schumer said yesterday of Ken Cuccinelli’s reliance on publicly available data, “This is towering and dangerous incompetence.” But it’s certainly not surprising. When asked yesterday about the mortality rate for those infected with coronavirus, Department of Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf told Congress that it was similar to that of the flu, and that both had a mortality rate of about 2%. This, however, was incorrect. The mortality rate of the common flu is closer to 0.1%, meaning that coronavirus is actually about 20 to 30 times more deadly.

Meanwhile, in the fantasy world of Donald Trump, everything is fine. The President yesterday complimented his administration for doing “a great job” at combatting the public health emergency, adding that the disease is “going to go away” soon, and that a vaccine is “close.” There is no evidence, however, that any of these things is true.

As for why Donald Trump would lie about something so serious, my guess would be it’s because he’s concerned about the prospect of a recession, knowing that, if one hits, he’ll likely be swept from office, and forced to answer for the rampant criminality of his administration. And that, in my opinion, is why, absent any evidence, he said yesterday, “The stock market starting to look very good to me!,” instead of taking the opportunity to talk with the American people about the very real danger that we’re facing as a nation.

The bottom line is that this administration not only lacks the ability to combat this budding pandemic, but their primary concern is protecting themselves. And that, I’m afraid, is going to prove to be a deadly combination.

And here’s another great example of that.

Here’s the truth, though. Coronavirus is not “contained,” as Kudlow and Trump would have us believe. And, as Foreign Policy reports, “the United States has never been less prepared for a pandemic.”

update: Trump says public health emergency is “fake news.”

update: OK, you can all rest easy. Mike Pence, who has no health care experience, is now in charge! And, yes, that’s the same Mike Pence who once said, “Despite the hysteria from the political class, and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”

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88 Comments

  1. EOS
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    The coronavirus has a mortality rate of 2% only because most persons have mild symptoms and aren’t tested or reported.

  2. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    What can we here do to get HW, FF and EOS appointed to cabinet positions? Regardless of our disagreements here, I’m sure we can all agree they’d be a dramatic improvement over what we have in the Administration currently.

    We wouldn’t have to be without them for long I’d guess, as they would soon be labeled as “Never-Trunpers” due to their occasional competence and sense of responsibility. They’d be kicked out in a few weeks.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    EOS is likely correct.

    The true mortality rate is likely lesser than reported, as it seems now that it is possible to be infected and show no to very little symptoms and still be infectious. Right now there is only limited true testing capability for the virus, and only those that are overtly symptomatic are being tested. Additionally, more and more cases are being labeled positive without definitive testing, based on a clinical scenario and radiographic findings consistent with infection. Of course, all other severe viral pneumonias, including flu, look the same, so there is also unclear data there. Also, children and younger adults (< 50 years) don’t seem to be the ones getting really sick and dying.

    I’ll go out on a farther limb and speculate that the reason we don’t see SARS or MERS is not because those viruses disappeared, but because those viruses mutated to a less virulent form so that the symptoms are lost in the background of other common cold and flu infections, so we just aren’t testing for it. That’s what successful pathogens evolve to. Killing the host is evolutionarily undesirable and selected against. COVID-19 will be lost in the background next year and the efforts for a vaccine and response to it will not be directly productive. It would be a better use of resources to direct these efforts to Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, as they are more complex, mutate less frequently, and thus will remain lethal. Paradoxically, it’s that lethality that makes it easier to recognize and contain.

    Remember that Mother Nature is not out to get you; she just really doesn’t care.

  4. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Trump is ultra-competent. PEACE is breaking out. He is wielding a magic economical wand according to Barack Obama himself. Have some proof pudding: somehow the Trump economy dispelled the 2019 recession we were promised.

    A pandemic could put a severe hit on the economy. Do you think it will be enough to stop the good things coming our way? You can blame Trump’s handling but will enough people buy into the narrative? You’re gonna throw the kitchen sink at him now huh? Desperate

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    If Mark starts to feel the beginning tickles of a sore throat, then I say we impeach the motherfucker.

  6. Sad
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    FF why do you hate Mark Maynard so much?

    Especially considering the platform he has provided you to get your rambling nonsensical thoughts out to the public.

  7. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Do we have a plan in place which is to be put into action if Mark is stricken with COVID-19. Is the Mark puppet standing at the ready to assume his duties?

  8. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Sad, FF is just an asshole who freaks out when he disagrees with someone like Mark. You haven’t figured that out yet? He almost never has anything to say that is worth listening to.

  9. Sad
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    FF would just continue his take over of the site through the comments.

    I wonder what he would go on about if he were able to decide the subject instead of always reacting to someone else’s opinions?

  10. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I am more worried about fear of this illness than the illness itself.

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t hate anybody, Sad. But I also don’t think people who control platforms for speech should somehow be above being ridicule and above confrontation. They should receive ridicule and confrontation wherever it is due. You seem extremely passive and not too curious about much of anything, Sad…. A lot of people do not choose the same route as you have chosen. We are in a war of ideas. I don’t think you even understand the ideas being thrown around. Excuse me if I don’t find it interesting when Sad does not find something interesting.

    I asked you in the papadopoulos thread: What exactly do you think we should not find interesting about the article which suggested that it is highly likely exculpatory evidence was left out of FISA applications for Papadopoulos?

    I know that might be a frustrating question for you but in my mind if Sad is going around saying something is not interesting then Sad should be able to explain why a thing should not be considered interesting.

    Could it be that Sad is not in position to understand why something ought to be of interest?

  12. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    If I get it though I am going to go to every MAGA rally I can and I won’t wash my hands or cover my cough either!

  13. Sad
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    FF we already agreed the Russia thing was a bust. No collusion.

    Move on.

    I think you’re projecting with your accusations of passivity.

    You remind me of Don Quixote.

  14. EOS
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Lynne,

    Why would you want to harm others?

  15. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    FF,

    We’re still just working on baby steps with Sad. We’re happy just getting him out of the house, even if it’s just to go to the mailbox. Sad’s been down in the dumps. His get up and go has got up and left him.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Rush Limbaugh: “It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump. Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. … The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

  17. Sad
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I am a little depressed that everyone hasn’t fallen for Mayor Pete .

    I was so hopeful for a bit.

    Oh well.

    I’m trying to feel the Bern.

    I am.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Sad,

    It is interesting to me in terms of the Horowitz findings and toward getting a further understanding of 1)why crossfire hurricane started in the first place; and, 2) why the Mueller investigation lasted so long.

    It seems like you think people should not have an interest in preserving due process generally…But I am the strange one. Sad, this particular issue transcends right and left. There are certain people , like you,who don’t seem to understand why it is important piece of info and something to track. There are other people, like Mark, who are so blinded by hate ( of Trump) that they a) refuse to entertain the idea that there is something of interest there; and b) are willing to use propaganda and innuendo against innocent people in an attempt to damage Trump by any means necessary.

    Read Lynne’s latest comment. There is a degree of antisocial mental illness happening. I see you as someone who sort of in between and unwilling to take a stand. I think you have a lot of untapped power. You need to make a decision on what is good and right if you want to give your life a fuller meaning.

    I apologize for offering my unsolicited opinions to you, Sad. Mock me if you want. I really believe everything I just said to you and say it without mean spiritedness.

  19. Sas
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    A have been thinking I could use a little more meaning in my life.

  20. Sad
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I have been thinking I could use a little more meaning in my life.

  21. Hyborian Pudlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Donald told the Indian people he was going for a nice steak dinner after his speech. You gotta love the guy..

  22. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Bob’s gotta be feeling pretty good today. Bernie was attacked by everyone last night in Charleston, and still polls show viewers thought he did the best job in the debate. How many Pączki did you down in celebration, Bob?

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Bernie benefited from large numbers of GOP voters crossing over to vote for him. LEt’s think about that for a while…

    Lots of arm-waving, overtalking and spitting going on last night. It was ugly. All around honestly. Pathetic. But Bernie was the worst.
    “Look” “Listen” “Let us be clear” “End of Discussion” #Berniewords #BernieSanders #mywayorthehighway #antidemocratic #berniesplaining

  24. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    SAD– my belief is that FF is one of those oppositionally motivated people. He could go a million places and find validation for his thinking, but those are all partisan sites. He comes to a liberally oriented blog in order to feel that his perspective is non-partisan. And yet he never puts forward an opinion that is not partisan. And if he paid attention here, he would find that many of us have spirited disagreements within the left. There is no one narrative. If FF even paid attention to conservative never Trumpers then he could have an engaged conversation about POTUS based on core conservative principles. He comes here, BECAUSE we are going to ignore and dismiss his points. He finds that validating.

  25. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I may be forced to abandon Tulsi and vote for Biden by the time we get to primary day here in Michigan. At the moment, it looks like the Democratic Party will be nominating a socialist for president. That’s going to be a tough sell to moderates. I wonder how many new and inactive voters Sanders can activate in November.

  26. Sad
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Biden?

    Really?

    That’s Despicable .

  27. Hyborian Pudlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Ms Henry is pretty stealth like with her anti-Semitism

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Ha! Nice try HP. In my experience, old hippie dudes waving their arms and telling me what to think and when to stop thinking are not exclusively of any religious or ethnic persuasion.

    What are you suggesting?

    https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/02/25/bernie-sanders-support-urged-by-sc-republicans-ahead-democratic-primary-election/4866493002/

  29. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Aloha iRobert, Bernie is not advocating anything that was not part of the Democratic platform before the “ 3rd Way” Clintonites took over the party with exception of Green New Deal—the Reason why so many Democrats eagerly embrace his campaign.
    Dont give up on Tulsi, she has picked up Yangs/McGovern call for UBI. We will need her at the convention to take on the Carvels and other Clintoites who want a Republican-lite party tied to the military industrial complex.

    The viruses mortality rate is much higher among older smokers. The Spanish Flu had a mortality rate of about 2%, killed about 1.7% of human population 1918-1920–took out one of my grandmothers.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

  30. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    EOS, just a joke but I could ask anyone who voted for Trump the same thing. They have harmed others far worse than someone with a virus walking around at a rally ever could. So tell me EOS, why do YOU like to harm others?

  31. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Yup. I think Jean has FF figured out!

    iRobert, huh? Biden? Ok, vote for who you want! Primaries are the best time for that but I will not even pretend that I understand why you would make that choice if you are aligned value-wise with Gabbard.

    As for the cross-over voting, I find it predictable that the Bernie Bros aren’t up in arms about it as they would be if their candidate weren’t benefiting. I accept it as a possibility and it is one reason why I am ok with super-delegates. I also am ok with making nominations at state conventions which Michigan already does for most offices.

  32. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Aloha iRobert, Sanders is just pushing ideas that used to be part of the party platform (with exception of Green New Deal) before the 3rd way Clintonites took over the party. A return to its roots is one of the reasons Bernie has such an enthusiastic base.
    Don’t give up on Tulsi. She has picked up the Yang/McGovern call for UBI. We will need her at the convention to fight the Carvels and other Republican-lite demos.

    The virus has a much higher mortality rate among older folks with compromised respiratory systems ie smokers and ex-smokers
    The Spanish Flu had about a 2% mortality rate and killed about 1.7% of the human population (approx. 30 million) Took out one of my grand-mothers in 1920.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

  33. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    So, do we agree Hyborian Pudlord is Bob?

    Sad,
    I know. It hurts to be left with Biden. I don’t dislike Sanders though. If he’s the nominee, I hope he can mobilize that massive turnout he suggests he can.

    FF,
    Jean does seem to have a good question there. What is it exactly that makes you waste your time with Mark and the rest of us here? You have to admit, it’s a bit mysterious that you do. I mean, HW clearly enjoys beating up on us, and EOS is here to save our souls. But what is your angle? Is it possible Jean’s assertion has some merit? Are you avoiding more like-minded people so as not to face how counter Trump is to your and their values?

  34. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m here because I have no social life…just for the record.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe Bob is clever enough to be Hyborian Pudlord.
    It’s not like Bob is the only dude who targets me for invective and insinuation around here.

    I have actually had to think about my dislike for Sanders in light of the possibility of latent antisemitism. I have had conversations with friends about it because I really dislike the guy. It was something worth thinking about. I have been guilty for years of underestimating the breadth and depth of anti-semitism that remains in this country, so it’s something I look for in myself and others more often now.

  36. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree, Pudlord does not seem like Bob. I guess I’ve usually thought Pudlord is Pete Larson.

  37. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    How do you feel about Larry David, Jean?

  38. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    iRobert– his use of formal address for me is very Pete these days. I don’t know though and don’t care. If people hide behind monikers I assume they either have good reasons or are cowards. Either way, why want to know? I have made exceptions, even recently, just to legitimize important information and when it was obvious. I’m inconsistent I know, but at least I’m inconsistent under my own damn name.

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

    If I were to use an alias, Hobgoblin would be a good one for this site.

  39. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    iRobert. That is interesting because I am here too and I have a pretty active social life. I am online in general because I find that it is useful as I am working out where I stand on some things plus I think there is some value in having one’s ideas challenged. This site used to be better for that though. Now, there is no one with a good understanding of reason or logic to challenge my views so I have to go elsewhere for that.

  40. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I have a longstanding and stubborn crush on Larry David, iRobert. Decades-long. I do like a cranky man. I prefer neurotic to lecturing, however. In fact, when the debates were bothering me, I switched to the latest Curb last night. It was amazing. Larry David is a happy hater. Having a crush on a Jewish man who is an imitator of and cousin to Sanders does not mean I’m not an antisemite, however. All sorts of serial misogynists get crushes on women.

  41. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    “Now, there is no one with a good understanding of reason or logic to challenge my views so I have to go elsewhere for that.” — Yes. Excellent.

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    When Larry David imitating Bernie Sanders went after the bros on SNL, that was hot.

  43. Bob
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I’m the real Pudlord
    But only when I’m mad bored
    It couldn’t have been more obvious
    Like Jean, the one-note blunderbuss
    Her barrel is short with an extra large muzzle
    Her cut and paste factoids are always a puzzle

    But my real muse is Warlord
    Our favorite Q-addled, empty gourd
    He’s so damn stupid I fear he had a kink in his umbilical cord

    But that’s no joke
    Nothing to be laughing at
    He’s down in mom’s basement
    Where the meatloaf slabs are fat

    He’s got his heavy metal
    And a Risk game setup on the dryer
    If he only had a friend to play
    He says he does but he’s a liar

    He thinks Loverboy rolls
    And Damn Yankees rock
    He’s gonna flip the tape over
    After he knocks one out in his sock

    Is this my last rhyme?
    I’ll guess we’ll have to see
    Warlord wants to sue me cuz art ain’t free

    So I’ll tip the fuck out
    See ya down the road
    Better double up that sock HW
    Cuz you got a heavy load

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I underestimated you, Bob. Apologies, if only for that.

  45. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Exerting any amount of effort on something like that sucks. I don’t spend time trying to burn you. It just happens naturally. Doesn’t take much effort to burn an internet pussy anyway.

  46. Bob
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    You aren’t burning anything HW. I hate to break it to you.

  47. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Call it what you want. You’re my bitch. You proved it yourself. I didn’t even have to do shit but call your bluff.

  48. Bob
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Don’t make me rethink my retirement Warlord. You should know when to quit I’ve got so much good stuff on you

  49. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    What do you think it does to say random shit that never sticks? Everyone knows for a fact in real life you are a wannabe bully and a coward. When I offered the opportunity to cash in on your threat you had a bad case of shut the fuck up and have ever since.

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Zero cases in of Coronavirus in Washtnaw County as of today. Updates can be found here:
    https://www.washtenaw.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=800

  51. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s ironic the only thing you and Jean have been right about is each other being a piece of shit. Psychic shit-twins! I think you should hook up. You deserve each other.

  52. Bob
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m actually a lover. And a freestyle God.

  53. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    “Morally, the best any person can do is a C-“
    Ha!
    This goes out to FF and HW with their relentless spurious claims of lying lying liar and superiority in relation to any truth. And to Bob just for being a douche.

    https://www.instagram.com/tv/B9DNCMoDVfx/?igshid=yyf2h40jnngj

  54. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Spurious? I have easily wasted you with facts hundreds of times since 10-2016. You haven’t got one thing correct.

  55. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have to call you a liar. The facts belie you. You run your mouth and then have to scramble to back it up and never can.

  56. Judd Legum by proxy
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Trump fired the actual experts in pandemic response two years ago and doesn’t trust anyone with actual expertise so now Mike Pence, who wrote columns doubting that cigarettes caused cancer, is in charge of the coronavirus.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    HW– do you never bore yourself?

  58. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Never thought about that. Why be bored in a world of knowledge?

  59. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s boring repeating myself to someone like you but it reinforces the destruction of your LIES so it’s probably worth it.

  60. Lynne
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I think Bob should speak in verse from now on. :)

  61. Elizabeth Warren by proxy
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Tomorrow, I’m introducing a plan that takes every dime Donald Trump is spending on his wall, and diverting it to fighting the coronavirus.

  62. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Pence’s plan is “just don’t ever be alone in a room with the coronavirus.”– Samantha Bee

  63. John Harwood
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Dow futures turned from positive to negative during Trump’s coronavirus news conference

  64. Anonymous
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Imagine an alternate universe where we have President Cruz or President Romney or President Perry. Would the Supreme Court and lower federal court appointments be any different? Probably not. Would the changes in tax policy allowing the wealthy to pay less taxes be any different? Probably not. Would the weakening of explicit legislative support against discrimination of minorities and LGBT+ people be any different? Probably not. Would there be a significant increase in the amount of federal budgetary support spent on social services and education? Probably not. Would there be substantial change in regulation around gun ownership? Probably not.

    I think the only significant difference would be in the foreign policy and trade arena, as well as the appearance of decorum, intellectualism, and respect for establishment rituals. America has historically been biased against intellectualism. Get over it. We are a nation originally made up of outcast religious zealots, surplus criminals, and profiteering mercantile businessmen. For those of us that are the direct targets of the more overt current public expression of xenophobia, it’s not a big shock. It just takes us back to the way things were twenty years ago. We’re not happy about it, but not surprised either. Those of you that are mortified that this is coming out and is a “bad look”, you have our permission to not feel bad about it. Tolerance is an internal personal thing and cannot be legislated. Meet new people. Try new foods. Travel to new places. Do new things.

    If you are unhappy with Trump, then you are really unhappy about current government policies. And if you are really unhappy about current government policies, then you are really unhappy with the Republican Party. So vote.

  65. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    ANONYMOUS– Is way off in putting forward the all GOP are the same thing. It would be impossible to detail all the things the Trump administration has done that were unprecedented even by GOP presidents, and they are by no means not all realting to foreign policy. To say so greatly minimizes the fundamental shift this administration has had on US governance. I find it surprising that anyone reading this blog would think this administration is in anyway normal or that our objections to it are as shallow as concern about appearance and reputation. It makes me think Mark has not wasted his time here detailing all the ways Trump has pushed the envelope on executive power and violated emoluments clauses or separation of church and state or any number of bellwethers for our democracy. Being an idiot about foreign policy is just one piece of it. It also happens to be the piece most people here and on the left agree with. What Mark has discussed but less so. is the effective dismantling of the state department, the EPA, the judicial branch, the Department of Interior, HUD, social service agencies, the intelligence agencies, etc etc being firings and failure to fill empty positions. These departments can not do their daily tasks, Anonymous appears to not value the function of government or the daily work of government workers, who whether he is on the left or the right, he probably calls bureaucrats. (I’m going to assume gender here, because a non-gendered 2nd person would be confusing, and because this kind blunt object to the establishment mode of thinking feels oh so culturally male).

    HAd another GOP person been in they would have been more cautious of the normal functioning of democracy and appointed judges who were ABA qualified, even if conservative. They would have a functioning state department. They would not have stripped regulations to the bone by not just removal of the regulation but by non-enforcement. I coulkd go on and on but the difference between Trump and another GOP president is the difference between a functional organization with which we disagree and one that cant perform basic tasks. It’s the height of privilege to think those basic functions of government don’t matter or that a politicized, anti-science, command-control federal government is no big deal.

    And we haven’t even begun to talk about our treatment of immigrants. Other than A few of the worst of the GOP, most Republicans were willing to say one thing and do another on immigration. IT was a laissez-faire and extra-legal system, that at minimum let workers in and let businesses benefit. It was enforced selectively and mostly without physical.violence. I would encourage anyone who can’t see the difference to talk to anyone theyknow engaged in immigration to talk about the situation. In many ways Obama was worse than Bush because he enforced the rules as an intended path to GOP cooperation on immigration reform. The GOP never gave him that, which allowed them to say they were tough on immigration while actually doing nothing, which is a lot better than what we are doing now.

    Trump is popular in large part because he is doing what the GOP said they would do but did not. They did not do it because those things, which they were happy to run on, are incredibly racist, cruel, unconstitutional and economically unwise. The GOP base are thrilled because the GOP politicians lied to them for years, and now they are finally getting what they want.

    If you don’t know anyone working in immigration, try schools, housing, climate action, the EPA, National Parks, Clean Water…. they all have tales to tell. It was bad before but this is so much worse and yes that has an impact on regular people’s lives. We have had many GOP administrations. This is worse. Hard to believe after GW’s foreign policy.

    For those who do not believe this presidency is exceptionally cruel and incompetent and dangerous, I suggest they make a regular practice of reading Amy Siskind’s weekly list of thing the President did that are unprecedented. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/

    I would also add that a President who lies is not unusual (it’s part fo the job) but a president who lies compulsively and without consideration of consequence is. And that distinction holds as a pattern throughout his administration.

    I can’t believe anyone on the left would say anything so idiotic, Anonymous. You stun me.

  66. EOS
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Best President in my lifetime even with his flaws. I’m very happy that the Dems have no viable alternative.

  67. Anonymous
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    You are right, the Republican party said one thing but did another. And now they are being held accountable for what they said. Their actions are outrageous compared to before. So what? I’ve been voting Democratic ever since I could vote, and will continue doing so, as the general interest of the Republican Party is not aligned with my own interests as a citizen. My vote for a Democratic president is not a anti-Trump vote. It is a pro-me vote. There are no more bipartisan Republicans. There are no more politically reasonable Republicans. As long as it is the stated goal of Republicans to vote as a single block to support the extreme positions of the party in response to an extreme loyal base holding them accountable to what they are running on, I cannot vote for them. I don’t care that you knew, and now still know some very nice people who are Republican. So do I. I work with a lot of them. They are nice people. I don’t hold it personally against them that they are Republican. They are voting pro-them.
    Is this not the party whose purported aim was to reduce the size of the federal government so that it could be drowned in the bathtub? Is this not the party that said that one of the worst things to hear is “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you”? I think it”s disingenuous to say that Trump is the root source of all things terrible. He is a symptom, not a cause. If not Trump 2016, it would be somebody like Trump in 2020 or 2024. Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me thrice?

  68. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    My issue with your comment, Anonymous, is not that you are being mean to conventional GOP; it’s that you are normalizing a tyrant.

    Amazing that you do not understand that these are extraordinary times.

    PS I don’t give a fuck who you or anyone votes for. I have no idea what you think I was saying…

    It matters what kind of rhetoric one uses to support one’s positions in these times. Calling all GOP the same is grossly irresponsible. Not because of where they are now(totally lost and not even conservative anymore) but because of how it conveys Trump in the light of other GOP presidents and statesmen. Normalizing autocratic methods (happens left and right) is how we get to tyranny. And tyranny (left or right) has generally not worked out well for the people.

    Read your Arendt. What a load of ahistorical bullshit.

  69. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Trump is a symptom. All tyrants are symptoms of larger vulnerabilities and failure within democracy. And the ways of enabling them are complex and are not exclusive to one political position. I hear as much autocratic tendency and deriding of democratic institutions on the far left as I do on the right. I may agree more with their reasoning but that doesn’t mean they are being incredibly and dangerously foolish in their positions. I trust the broader progressive movement to keep that burn it down crap in the can and work within restorative justice models.
    But minimizing what has happened to our nation only emboldens the biggest maciavellian assholes on left and on the right.

  70. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous– Are you one of those leftists who think Trump is fine because he accelerates the oncoming revolution? Because your rhetoric makes you sound like one.

  71. Sad
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    If anyone can play the system to steal the nomination from Bernie I think it will be Mayor Pete. A lot of people are scared by the idea of a revolution. They’re never pleasant.

    I’m sure Pete’s working closely with the CIA now to wrap things up and foil Sanders.

    The deep state will be back bigger and better than ever.

  72. Anonymous
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Trump is not fine. He has autocratic tendencies. This is not normal. The office of the President itself has accumulated too much influence through the use of executive orders, temporary appointments not subject to legislative vetting or approval. I don’t want everything to be torn down, because as a visible outsider, I would be disproportionately negatively affected. I too wish for a more normal body politic, but I have also noticed that this story of populism and authoritarianism is not uniquely American at this time. Kvetching about events one has no control over is a waste of time, which is something else I have a diminishing amount of. My DeLorean’s fusion reactor is not functioning properly. I am looking forward to my next window of useful action, which is voting. If you consider that normalizing tyranny, so be it. I don’t.

  73. Anonymous
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2002106

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous– At what point did I suggest that voting was irrelevant? Not only can you cote bjt you can also helo get out the vote in many different ways. Voting is only one piece of effective political action available to average citizens.

    Again my objection was to your equating Trump to all Republicans. If another Republican were President, we would in fact be in a less dangerous position and the GOP would have continued on being only marginally effective at meeting their platform agenda. The danger Trump poses is to our democratic system itself, because a functioning Republic prevents such rapid change. It dulls down the extremes. It demands compromises. It blocks change more easily than it creates change. Our democracy is no longer functioning.

    And yes there are many Trump-like leaders elsewhere in similarly compromised democracies as well as full-blown autocracies. Leaders like Trump get elected when people get frustrated about the pace of change and decide to speed things up.

    Here are your own words. They are inaccurate at best. Please read them again and try to understand my objection:
    “Imagine an alternate universe where we have President Cruz or President Romney or President Perry. Would the Supreme Court and lower federal court appointments be any different? Probably not. Would the changes in tax policy allowing the wealthy to pay less taxes be any different? Probably not. Would the weakening of explicit legislative support against discrimination of minorities and LGBT+ people be any different? Probably not. Would there be a significant increase in the amount of federal budgetary support spent on social services and education? Probably not. Would there be substantial change in regulation around gun ownership? Probably not.”

  75. Anonymous
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Senator Chris Murphy

    President Obama set up anti-pandemic programs in 47 vulnerable countries, as a way to protect against something just like Coronavirus breaking out across the world.

    Experts begged Trump to keep them open.

    He closed 37 of them.

  76. Anonymous
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Only the Best People.

    From the Washington Post: “A complaint alleges that staffers from the Department of Health and Human Services were “improperly deployed” and were not trained in wearing personal protective equipment before they assisted Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, and quarantined on military bases. The whistleblower is seeking federal protection because she says she was improperly reassigned after raising concerns with the office of HHS Secretary Alex Azar.”

  77. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Well there you go Anonymous. (Not sure if the above is the same one. Doubtful) What was GW’s record like on public health?
    Here is a bit. https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/homeland/pandemic-influenza.html

    Also worth noting that GW started the electronic health records system. Still far from perfect but a step in the right direction.

    So maybe all GOP aren’t the same? Maybe Trump is in fact exceptionally dangerous.
    Maybe Trump is the cause as well as the symptom of a whole host of problems.

  78. Jean Henry
    Posted February 27, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant.
    https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/mike-pences-coronavirus-prevention-tips

    “Mike Pence was criticized for his handling of Indiana’s HIV outbreak. He will lead the U.S. coronavirus response.” — The Washington Post, 2/27/20

    “Mike is going to be in charge and Mike will report back to me. But he has a certain talent for this.” – Donald Trump

    – – –
    Viruses are not cells but rather a strand of genetic material within a protective protein coat called a “sin.” A virus is just your body’s way of telling you that your soul is damned. Why do you think the coronavirus has a little halo? With that in mind, here are some tips for maintaining spiritual and physical purity in the face of a global, J-Lo-and-Shakira-Super-Bowl-halftime-show-level sin outbreak:

    Avoid contact with people who are not your spouse, priest, or the guy who lathers you head to toe in Pledge every morning.
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, you trollop.
    Avoid touching your genitalia while using the bathroom. The leeches should suffice in removing waste, temptation, and ill humors.
    Wash your hands for 20 seconds with holy water. Any longer than that, you’re just playing with yourself.
    Drink lots of fluids. I am partial to creamed corn.
    Do not wear a facemask. Masks are for cowards, the Antifa, and superheroes who wish they were Cyclops.
    Do not sneeze. A sneeze is one-eighth of an orgasm. Can you imagine?
    Stockpile a two-week supply of canned ham, shredded wheat, and repressed sexuality.
    Do not frolic or play with a canine as if it’s a human member of your family. Most likely, it is a trickster demon seeking to amplify its influence via your Instagram page.
    Get plenty of sleep, ideally during all the science mumbo-jumbo.
    Stand for the national anthem, even if it’s being sung by a homosexual.
    Hover your hand over your heart during the anthem. If your palm touches your chest, you’re just playing with yourself.
    Stay physically active. I recommend corporal mortification.
    Do not make eye contact with your reflection in a mirror, windowpane, or bowl of creamed corn. (That last one is three cardinal sins: pride, gluttony, and lust.)
    Do not play cards to pass the time. Today it’s solitaire; tomorrow it could be tarot.
    Do not smirk in the moonlight as if hiding a little secret behind your lips. Mother and Father are watching.
    Don’t even think about seeing that new version of Mulan.
    Pray the pandemic away, but only a few minutes at a time. Any more than that and you’re just playing with yourself.

  79. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 28, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Question asked by iRobert:“What is it exactly that makes you waste your time with Mark and the rest of us here? You have to admit, it’s a bit mysterious that you do. “

    Mark Reliably distills the important propaganda of the day into his posts. It is far easier to listen to MM than to track the many false-narratives of CNN, MSNBC, NYT, Vox. Mark does a good job of fetching the important “stories” for us.

    My interactions with Jean and Lynne are especially combative so I think the charge that I am an oppositional voice is valid to some extent. Who cares though? I like to debate. I think debating is good.

    My interactions with other people here involve a mutual exchange. I like that too. There are a lot of smart people here. You are smart. I don’t agree with you about everything but you are smart and funny so it seems worth it to interact with you.

    Sad makes me laugh sometimes too. Quite a character and seems like a good person….

    The thing that I find hilarious is that Jean thinks her psychological theories are valid. Based upon what sample- size? Jean pretends that she has some insight into my other online interactions and real-life interaction as a whole? Really? Jean has a history of telling me what I ought to discuss, at what rate and now she thinks she has insight into patterns of my browser history and interactions with other people on the web and in real life? Huh?

    MM is interesting to me because it generally is a voice occurring from inside of a bubble. It is some pure shit! I wanted to somehow answer your question using Brando’s “horror” monologue from apocalypse now but the analogy didn’t quite fit so I decided to not do it out of fear that it would be confusing. Generally though, I think a deep truth is on display here. It is unadulterated by self-awareness. A shameless expression. It is not a pretty truth but it is real, dangerous and it needs to be tracked.

    Fuck it. Just for fun. And because I like the line: “there is nothing I detest more than the stench of lies.” Here is the Colonel:

    https://youtu.be/LD0rU6-7sKs

  80. iRobert
    Posted February 28, 2020 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    I guess I can understand that motivation, FF.

  81. iRobert
    Posted March 3, 2020 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Is Trump setting Pence up as te fall guy so he can dump him from the ticket at the convention?

    Is Trump going to replace him with Nikki Haley?

  82. iRobert
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I thought Trump should have assigned Paula White the duties of COVID-19 prep and response coordinator.

  83. iRobert
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    From what I’ve heard about Nikki Haley, I can see why Trump might want to bring her on to the ticket and into the White House.

  84. Eel
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Do you need an eggplant emoticon, iRobert?

  85. iRobert
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Yes! Can you make that happen, Eel?

    I have been thinking about asking Mark to grant me the power to post little emoticons here. My comments would make so much more sense and impact.

  86. iRobert
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Stormy Daniels should have forgone the lawsuit and the book, and just asked Trump for a cabinet appointment. She would have gotten it.

  87. iRobert
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I didn’t want to say “cabinet position” out of respect for the office.

  88. iRobert
    Posted March 4, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Liars know the way to beat lie detection is to artfully avoid actually lying while at the same time seemingly to dispel the accusation.

    Haley said, “I am never alone with him.”

    Who said she’d have to be alone with him while performing the services she was well known for in South Carolina politics?

    Haley said any speculation was “disgusting” and “highly offensive.”

    We’d all agree, Haley. But did you do it?

    Haley denies rumors of an affair.

    Haley’s reputation in South Carolina politics wasn’t that she was handing out “affairs” like candy.

    If this were a criminal interrogation, the detective would be confident he had his culprit.

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