Michael Atkinson has a few more things he'd like to say!
Friday night, in a late news dump, we learned that Donald Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, because we guess he was having a little shithole authoritarian temper tantrum and that was the only thing that would make him feel better. Yes, Trump did this in the middle of a pandemic that he is so serious about that he's obsessively trying to make Americans ingest an unproven drug that may or may not be effective.
Atkinson's sin, obviously, is that he protected the whistleblower who made America aware that Trump was trying to steal another election by actively extorting Ukraine to announce fake investigations into Joe Biden in exchange for military aid that Congress had already appropriated and was desperately needed by Ukraine in its hot war with Russia. Atkinson also made Congress aware of the whistleblower complaint, which is what he was supposed to do according to the law. And yes, that includes Adam Schiff, because he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
In other words, Trump fired Atkinson for doing his job, exactly as we'd expect an un-American barely elected president with authoritarian tendencies to do.
Atkinson has responded to being fired, and it's quite a statement, albeit an extremely professional one:
It is hard not to think that the President's loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General, and from my commitment to continue to do so.
Yep, that's what happened! Here is the full statement:
Why do evangelicals worship such an asshole?
Whenever there's a natural disaster, very stupid people will argue that it's a deliberate act of murder and mayhem from a homicidal and petulant God we should still worship for some reason. Rightwing fundamentalists can't imagine a God with the sense to just drop a large boulder on an abortion clinic or a gay wedding. No, this so-called “supreme being" prefers to express His pique with an elephant gun.
Evangelical leader and rightwing hack (but I'm repeating myself) Franklin Graham was a guest on “Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday and, boy, if there were ever two less-qualified people to discuss something as serious as the coronavirus, they'd be on another Fox News show.
Jeanine Pirro posed Graham the remedial Sunday school question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?" The typical Sunday school answer is “SHUT UP!" but if you've actually read the Bible, the obvious answer is that God is a petty, vindictive asshole who literally tortures people to prove how much they love Him despite all the torture. People who are confused by God's motivations probably also scratch their heads after watching The Godfather and wonder why a nice man like Don Corleone put a dismembered horse in someone's bed.
First to secede, last to shelter in place isn’t the best bumper sticker.
South Carolina is where I was born and raised, but don't hold that against the otherwise charming state. Please also don't be the kind of liberal who trash-talks South Carolina as full of backwards rednecks and klansmen who somehow deserve their fate. My family, who is black, lives there. A lot of black people live in South Carolina, as Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar apparently discovered the day before the state's Democratic primary. I also grew up with a lot of so-called “rednecks," who are often grossly called “trailer trash" because many self-proclaimed liberals still hate poor people. Yeah, some of those folks were racist and unpleasant, but so were a lot of the country club bigots I met outside the South. There are a lot of really great people of all races and income levels in my home state, and they are currently at the mercy of idiots.
Despite COVID-19 getting its General Sherman on throughout the southeast, South Carolina is the only state that doesn't have a stay-at-home order in place, which is strange because it was the first Southern state to issue a stay-at-home order for its enslaved residents before the Civil War. Gov. Henry McMaster argues that the state is “unique," and I agree. That's why I don't want everyone choking to death in the streets like in The Omega Man.
Jobless Floridians Will Starve Because Rick Scott Spent $77 Million On A Crappy Unemployment Website
It’s a shame lynch mobs violate social distancing guidelines.
Donald Trump's re-election prospects are grim and growing grimmer. He absolutely must win Florida and the state's 29 electoral votes to remain in the White House, stinking up the joint. That's hard to do when his bungling response to the coronavirus is leaving a pile of bodies across the sunshine state.
Florida currently has 9,585 confirmed coronavirus cases with 1,215 people hospitalized and 163 people dead. Republicans consider that a big problem because Republicans run the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis was trying to depict the virus as a New York problem just last week. But New York liberals didn't make him refuse to close the state's beaches or futz around before finally putting a stay-at-home order in effect Friday. That was his own dumb ass.
Unemployment is also hitting Florida hard, and thousands of jobless workers are struggling to apply for help through what passes for Florida's system. In fairness, this is an unprecedented surge in jobless claims that would tax even the most competent system, but Florida's system is grossly inadequate by design. An adviser to the governor calls it a “shit sandwich," and former Republican governor, Rick Scott, now their senator, is the turd chef.
And then the murders began.
"Fox & Friends" has been trending on Twitter today, as it often does. Usually we don't pay that much attention, because we figure Brian Kilmeade probably just somehow managed to accidentally get an opossum glued to his penis or something, and ain't nobody got time for that.
But today, it was because Dr. Anthony Fauci went on for an interview with the idiot couch, and oh boy, did he make them uncomfortable.
Fox News idiots have been pushing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for the novel coronavirus for a while now, because Donald Trump has been pushing it as a miracle cure, while acknowledging that maybe it won't work. This led a couple in Arizona to eat fish tank cleaner with a similar name, and the husband died. The FDA has approved hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat coronavirus, but not in the "this is the cure!" kind of way. What they approved was prescribing it "off label," which means it's a drug that's approved for something else (in this case it's an anti-malarial that's already been proven effective for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), but they're saying it's OK for doctors to try it to treat coronavirus.
Which brings us to this morning's "Fox & Friends." The "Steve Doocy" dipshit referenced a "worldwide study" that found "37 percent of doctors" believed hydroxychloroquine was "THE most effective treatment against COVID-19." And just an hour ago, Doocy said, Dr. Oz was on "Fox & Friends," and let's play a clip of known World's Best Doctor Dr. Oz asking Dr. Fauci to say his opinion about a Chinese study on the wonder drug!
Fauci asked with a straight face, "You want my response to that?" OH YES HE DID. Because really, you want Dr. Fauci to respond to a medical question from Dr. Oz? Goddamn.
And then the murders began.
Trump can't do anything right or decently.
Presidential historians will likely agree that Donald Trump did fine work taunting his political enemies on Twitter, but he was less successful at the whole “leading the country" part of his job. The president's response to the coronavirus outbreak has only generated more chaos, a chief export of the Trump administration.
Governors are begging the federal government for much-needed help, and while Trump gets off on the begging, he's useless on the follow through. He thinks the states should fend for themselves. Instead of “The Buck Stops Here," his presidential motto is “Get Your Own Damn Ventilator."
From the New York Times:
"Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves," Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times. "We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself."
That is not more direct. This is a national public health crisis, and it requires a coordinated response from the federal government. Forcing governors to mud wrestle for vital supplies isn't ideal. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the situation as "being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator."
And now CBS says it's worse than we knew.
GOP Missouri Gov. Will Protect Your God-Given Right To Shoot At Coronavirus, With Your Hidden Penis-Gun!
He's not gonna make you stay at home either.
Today, let's visit with Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who just does not think he should tell the state's residents to stay at home and try not to die of coronavirus:
Republican Gov. Mike Parson said he was not inclined to "make a blanket policy," adding, "It's going to come down to individual responsibilities."
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and take some individual responsibility! What, you cannot do the bootstraps thing because you are coughing too hard of coronavirus? Oh well, hopefully some healing will trickle down upon you! Mike Parson does not fuckin' care.
The Missouri State Medical Association has been pleading with Parson for a statewide stay-at-home order. The pediatricians have been pleading. The nurses have been pleading. The mayors of the large cities have been pleading. But no dice yet. (They're reviewin' it, though! Maybe he will announce one late this afternoon at his briefing?)
On Thursday, Governor Parson did issue an executive order related to coronavirus. He just wanted to make sure that if your concealed-carry permit expires during this harrowing time, you will not get a fine for failing to renew it in a timely manner.
And people say GOP governors ain't on top of this!
Rollout of ‘Paycheck Protection Program’ expected to be a disaster.
Small businesses struggling to survive during the current economic crisis were promised relief through a $350 billion lending program, but like all promises that come from the Trump administration, you really need to check the fine print. Poor, put-upon banks are already sounding alarms that the "Paycheck Protection Program" (or is it the "Payroll Protection Program"?) is not dressed for success. The brain trust surrounding Donald Trump haven't come through with clear guidelines for the program and have set loan requirements that are simply “unworkable." (Having read the 31 pages of "guidance" from the SBA: They're actually not. All banks have to do, at the outside, is verify payroll reports for companies that have them, or revenues and expenses for sole proprietorships or self-employed people who don't. That's it. And they stand to make a killing.)
Ami Kassar, CEO of small business loan advisory firm MultiFunding, told CNBC Thursday that the banks just aren't ready for the program's launch on April 3, which is today.
KASSAR: I think it's going to be a mess for weeks.
JP Morgan Chase already informed customers Thursday that the bank "will most likely not be able to start accepting applications" on Friday. Get lost, deadbeats!
Oh, was that harsh? File a fucking complaint with Wonkette's chain of command.
You knew it was coming, even though the Navy's top officer, Admiral Michael Gilday, said on Wednesday that they certainly were not going to "shoot the messenger."
For some reason, US Navy Captain Brett Crozier felt the need to take a bold step to protect the 4,000 sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, the site of the US military's largest coronavirus outbreak (so far). So he wrote a four-page letter up the chain of command that might as well have said, "Hey, just do what I am fucking saying right now! Evacuate the ship! Ever tried to social distance on an aircraft carrier? IT IS NOT A THING. You don't even have to make a plan, because I made it for you! Fucking do it fucking do it fucking do it!" And that letter somehow made it to the San Francisco Chronicle, and PRESTO CHANGE-O, the Trump Navy finally said it would do what Crozier was saying, to protect those 4,000 sailors.
Shame works. But in the Trump administration, whistleblowers must be punished, for exposing the incompetence and/or criminality of the Trump administration, so they relieved Crozier of his command, because of course they did. Because he was trying to save his sailors' lives, which is fine according to the (acting) secretary of the Navy, except for he tried to save their lives the wrong way.
We need to point out something right now: We don't have a confirmed secretary of the Navy, because Trump fired that guy for refusing to follow an illegal order. Just feel like this news should be viewed through that lens.
Did the Founding Fathers believe in germ theory? THEY DID NOT.
Ammon Bundy, leader of the Y'all Qaeda militia that took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016 to preserve liberty and get lots of attention for fringe radical groups that want to overthrow the government, just wants you all to know that there is no "public health" in the US Constitution, just as there is no "public land," either. That's why last week Bundy held a "town hall" in a commercial building he owns in Emmett, Idaho, to announce that Idaho Gov. Brad Little's stay-at-home order was unconstitutional and very bad. And because it's Ammon Bundy, you know damn well he promised to get the ol' Vanilla ISIS dildo militia together again and lead an armed resistance to defend anyone who wanted to defy the order, too. But that would only be if the government forced him to, by doing something he didn't like.
UNFAIR, House select committees are for investigating Hillary Clinton!
Often when there is a 9/11-grade event, afterward comes a commission or a select committee, to investigate what went wrong, and what could be done in the future to prevent or mitigate such a disaster. (Sometimes they do select committees to find out if Hillary Clinton was alone the whole night she did Benghazi with her emails, or if she was in the tub with Huma at the time. But that's when Republicans are in charge.)
Donald Trump has fucked up America's response to coronavirus to the point that we now have twice as many confirmed cases as either Spain or Italy, almost three times as many as China ever had, and probably millions more undetected. Therefore, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that she is creating the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn. For now, it will oversee the ongoing federal response to coronavirus, and then afterward, once shit settles down and the world is not quite as completelyfuckingonfire, it will investigate where everything went wrong. (SPOILER: It started going wrong when James Comey sent his letter 11 days before the 2016 election, and when Russia helped the Trump campaign steal that election by a handful of votes in three Rust Belt states.)
Secret Service renting golf carts, because Dear Leader needs his 'me time.'
Donald Trump was elected by Americans who couldn't stand Barack Obama and his terrible abuses of office, like telling innocent children to work hard in school, killing grandma by giving people health insurance, and worst of all, golfing all the damn time, even during a health crisis. Because there is a tweet for everything, here's Trump complaining about Obama golfing while Ebola was not ravaging America at all:
There was no "outbreak" of Ebola in New York City, it was one doctor, Craig Spencer, who was diagnosed with the disease after returning from treating patients in Guinea. Spencer recovered, and recently made it back into the news after detailing on Twitter how stressful the coronavirus outbreak — which really is an outbreak — has been for doctors in New York.
And to bring things full circle, the Secret Service seems to be gearing up for a busy summer of Donald Trump golfing, as the Washington Post's David Fahrenthold reports. The Secret Service signed a contract this week to rent a whole bunch of golf carts in Sterling, Virginia, which happens to be where Trump's "Trump National Golf Club Washington DC" is located. The contract, for $45,000, will cover a fleet of golf carts through September, which the agency said were needed to protect a "dignitary," but that probably means Trump anyway.
Someobdy must have hit his reset button.
Give Donald Trump a trophy, because he was serious about coronavirus for about nine seconds earlier this week, which as far as we can tell is a personal record. Don't worry, he's back to his old fundamentally unserious and criminally stupid racist self.
Trump did one of his coronavirus lie-pressers yesterday, where he demands his servants perform corona-lingus on him on live TV. We didn't watch it live, because nobody watches them anymore. The networks are increasingly not carrying them, at least not in full, because they are full of lies and public health risks. It's especially pointless after Trump said the quiet part loud a few days back and bragged about the ratings for the pressers. Fuck that.
Aaron Rupar over at Vox is still live-tweeting them, though, so we can see the important information we missed. Like for instance, that Trump is not only number one at global pandemic counts, he is also number one at Facebook, at least according to him:
We're all going to work for Jeff Bezos now.
The Labor Department announced Thursday that more than 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week. That brings the two-week total to almost 10 million. It's a stunning, heart-stopping, stomach-churning, unprecedented number. Prior to the coronavirus shutdowns, the worst week for unemployment filings was 695,000 in 1982. The outbreak has erased more jobs than the grimmest months of the Great Recession.
The economic damage is spreading as quickly and viciously as the virus itself. Tourism, hospitality, theaters, and restaurants were the first to get hit, but now other industries, some of which normally weather economic downturns, are feeling the pain. Loss of revenue has caused so-called “white collar" employers to lay off workers at law firms and tech start-ups.
From the New York Times:
"People are being way too sanguine about a lot of the white-collar industries," said Martha Gimbel, an economist and labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative. "This thing is going to come for us all."
Trump: 10 Million New Jobless Will Get 'Something Much Better Than Obamacare'. Someday. When He Invents It.
Why would he okay a special enrollment period? Only Democrats and some Republican governors and the insurance companies are asking him to!
The Trump administration has looked carefully at the needs of the American people and decided against reopening enrollment for Affordable Care Act insurance plans. Reopening the Healthcare.gov website just isn't a thing that's needed, for some reason, even though new unemployment figures released today show another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, doubling the already record numbers from the previous week. Politico reports that it "wasn't immediately clear why the Trump administration decided against the special enrollment period," although we should probably note it may have something to do with Donald Trump's desire to eliminate everything Barack Obama ever did, and why would he change that just because millions of people are losing their jobs and facing a terrible illness?
There is slow on the uptake, and then there is Brian Kemp.
Well by God, sounds like a couple of southern GOP governors found Christ yesterday. Mississippi Governor Tater Tater Tater Tater Tater, after struggling mightily with the issue, waited until the very last minute possible and handed down a statewide stay-at-home order. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis did the same, finally, because Donald Trump gave him the order, finally, as he runs the state where the coronavirus pandemic is in the process of exploding (the current confirmed cases are 7,773). Don't worry, DeSantis made an exemption allowing Floridians to get coronavirus at church, as is their religious freedom. Texas Governor Greg Abbott made the same exemption.
(And some Democratic governors have done so too, though each state's framework is different. Some of those Democratic governors went early, though, and might want to think about amending their orders. The cool thing about God is that you don't have to go to church to see Him, as He is always riding on your back, according to the famous "Footprints" poem, isn't that the coolest thing ABOUT GOD?)
Georgia GOP Governor Brian Kemp has found Jesus as well, in a state where the number of confirmed cases is set to cross 5,000, over 150 have already died, and outbreaks are happening all over, especially in rural areas. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, those numbers are way behind the real numbers, and they're not just talking about how America's testing regime is a fucking joke and nobody knows how many millions of people have been exposed at this point.
What changed Kemp's mind? Oh, well, what happened was, it was the darnedest thing, but there was a GAME CHANGER! If you live in Georgia, you are going to be so glad Kemp almost certainly stole that election from Stacey Abrams when he was the secretary of state overseeing his own gubernatorial election, because would Stacey Abrams even have known what to do with this GAME CHANGER?
Kemp explained during a press conference on Wednesday announcing his stay-at-home order:
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