Twitter Revokes Diamond And Silk's Immunology Degrees

All they did was suggest people go get infected with Rona for good health. Is that wrong?

Fox News hangers-on Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, who have Dunning-Kruegered their way into the rightwing punditocracy as "Diamond and Silk," briefly had their Twitter account locked Wednesday after they tweeted a call for COVID-19 quarantines to end so that everyone can get healthier. It was, as you'd expect, a supremely bad take, salvaged somewhat by the elegant framing of this person who got a screenshot before the tweet went bye-bye:

So yeah, that's Dr. Diamond and Dr. Silk explaining how the human immune system works:

The only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment. Quarantining people inside of their houses for extended periods will make people sick!

That ... is not how immunity to diseases develops. You could look it up, or just click the linky there. Twitter locked the account and said the tweet was "in in violation of our COVID-19 misinformation policy" and would have to be removed for the account to be reactivated. So now the tweet's gone.

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2020 Congressional Elections

GA Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumps All Her Stocks Like They’ve Got The Rona

Polls show Loeffler looking like another McLoser.

Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, a loyal Trump stooge, desperately wanted to fill the retiring Johnny Isakson's US Senate seat, but the GOP establishment instead rallied behind gazillionaire Kelly Loeffler, whose prior political experience involved donating sacks of cash to Republicans, including $247,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Gov. Brian Kemp had nothing but the best motives, we assume, when he picked Loeffler. It's hard to beat her “I'm filthy rich" qualifications. She could even self-finance her election campaign in 2020 and save the GOP money for other races. But like most other dreams, that ended with COVID. It turned out that Loeffler and her husband, Mr. Also Richer Than God, dumped a bunch of stock after an “Oh Shit!" coronavirus briefing in January. She underplayed the threat for weeks afterward like a good little Trumplican.

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fox news

The 565,286 Worst Lies Fox News Is Telling Your Nana About Coronavirus RIGHT THIS SECOND

It's bad, y'all. Watch your Nana close.

Put on a mask of some sort and bring Purell, as we're about to dive into all the conspiracy theories and lies Fox News has been spreading about coronavirus the last 24 hours. You ready? Because it's bad. As in, if you have loved ones who are brainwshed by Fox, you need to monitor them extra close right now, for their protection, so they don't go out and get themselves and/or others sick, because of what Fox News has been telling them lately.

Again, it's BAD.

Let's take a look:

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Gavin Newsom Has HAD ENOUGH

Gonna make sure EVERYBODY gets masks.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom went on the "Rachel Maddow Show" last night and made some news: His state has joined with a consortium of nonprofits and manufacturers to make sure the state can get its hands on 200 million medical masks a month — mostly the top-quality N95 masks that are needed to protect doctors, nurses, and other medical workers from the novel coronavirus. Here's a guy who's committed to making sure his state — and smaller states, too — have the equipment necessary to get caregivers and patients through the outbreak.

Newsom: California Has Deal For 200 Million Masks Per Month | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

We've been competing against other states, against other nations, against our own federal government for PPE — coveralls, masks, shields, N95 masks — and we're not waiting around any longer.
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Wisconsin Speaker Wonders Why Everyone’s So Mad At Republicans For Holding Death Election

It’s not like the Democratic governor tried to stop it ... oh wait, he did.

Wisconsin going ahead with its election Tuesday was a public health disaster that will likely bear deadly fruit in a couple weeks. There were long lines of people spreading coronavirus and not even having a fun Spring Break (I saw no keg stands). Everyone's horrified and angry but the true tragedy, according to the state's Republican Assembly speaker, Robin Vos, is that people are blaming him and other Republicans for the lethal shitshow and not Gov. Tony Evers, who's a Democrat and everything.

Well, Einstein, this isn't the governor's fault because he asked the Republican-controlled legislature to postpone the primary, preferably at some time when it's safe to leave the house. Voters literally defied a statewide “stay-at-home" order when they showed up at their polling place yesterday. Evers also suggested mailing absentee ballots to every registered voter in Wisconsin. That seems very safe and smart, but the Republicans rejected the proposal after mulling it over for literally 17 seconds, like they were a Jim Crow-era jury sentencing a black man to death for ... whatever the crime was.

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Oh Nikki Haley Wants To Be Trump's Veep So Baaaaaad

Maybe press secretary. Oh wait, he already has one of those.

Nikki Haley is continuing her audition for Donald Trump's next top Mike Pence. She has absolutely no shame in her game, and she dropped a steaming load in the New York Times today defending her former boss. (Before we proceed, let's remember that when Haley resigned as UN ambassador she laughably saluted Jared Kushner as a “hidden genius." Yeah, that genius is very well hidden.)

HALEY: Overheated critics of President Trump accuse him of being an authoritarian. Of not caring about checks and balances, civil rights, and constitutional limits on executive power. And yet, today, many of these same critics demand that he nationalize supply chains, deploy the military on our shores and shut down every town in America. It's a curious thing.

It is curious how we want firefighters to douse our homes with water only when they're on fire. If fire trucks just soaked houses randomly for kicks or in childish retaliation because people weren't nice enough to them, we'd all protest like ingrates. Trump declaring a national emergency to pay for his stupid, racist WALL was a shocking power grab designed to sidestep Congress after Nancy Pelosi laughed in his dumb face. Yet he dithered over declaring a national emergency for COVID-19. Trump's “Department of Justice" sued states over their own sanctuary city policies and threatened to withhold law-enforcement grants if they didn't follow his xenophobic orders. Now, Trump claims he's just “backup" to states' efforts to fight the coronavirus.

Haley insults our intelligence when she plays to the stupidity of Trump supporters. This president was impeached for abusing his powers. That doesn't mean his liberal critics oppose the president having any powers at all. As a less fictional president said on "The West Wing," “There are times when we are 50 states and there are times when we're one country and have national needs." COVID is a national threat that doesn't respect state borders or petty political grievances.

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2020 presidential election

Bernie Sanders Peaces Out

It was a good statement. Joe's was good too.

Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign today, announcing that he recognized there wasn't a "feasible path" to the nomination. In a brief speech to supporters, Sanders took credit for the the wave of progressive ideas that have gained popularity since his 2016, and vowed to keep fighting for social and economic justice. He didn't quite endorse Joe Biden, but made clear that he eventually will — but for now, wants to keep influencing the shape of the party platform for 2020.

Here's the video; Bernie's little sigh before launching into his "Good morning" is one of those very human moments of campaigning that's going to stick with me.

Bernie Sanders Speaks After Suspending Presidential Campaign | NBC News

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How Is King Trump More Dangerous To America Than Coronavirus Today?

You can't stop paying attention just because of a pandemic. Sorry, but we don't have that luxury in Trump's America.

There's rumors out there on the internet that Dear Leader Shitlord Donald Trump is making more moves to use the distraction provided by the coronavirus pandemic to consolidate his kingly power and place himself (more) above the law. Yes, after Trump fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, in obvious retaliation for Atkinson refusing to participate in his Ukraine crime cover-up; and after he fired the acting inspector general of the Pentagon, Glenn Fine, in order to hide from oversight of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill; the rumor is that he has a bigger massacre up his sleeve, and is preparing to knock out a total of SEVEN inspectors general. Trump hates inspectors general, because they are non-partisan actors whose job it is to watch out for crime and fraud and waste and grift and graft — in other words, all the things Trump loves even more than grabbing them by the pussy.

There hasn't been that much reporting to confirm this scoop from Real Clear Politics, but read this thread from RCP White House correspondent Susan Crabtree and afterward we'll see what we can suss out:

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Trump Will Vote By Mail. The Rest Of You People Can Vote By Dying.

Trump opposes safe, sensible vote-by-mail for all the wrong and obvious reasons.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a new plan Tuesday with the stated goal of “Protecting Our Elections During the Coronavirus Pandemic." It's all good, sensible stuff that you can read here. Specifically, Warren argues that because in-person voting on Election Day — yes, even in November — could pose a public health risk, we should finally get around to doing what we should've done long ago and shift to a vote-by-mail system. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar have also introduced a federal bill moving all 50 states to vote by mail.

Warren proposes that the next coronavirus recovery package include provisions for safe, accessible voting. This includes requiring that states mail a ballot to every registered voter with a prepaid return envelope and providing states with $4 billion in federal funding to help them transition quickly to vote-by-mail. Warren also wants to stop states from pulling a Brian Kemp and removing voters from registration rolls willy nilly Jim Crow like. States would have to actively prove someone has moved or died because voters will find it difficult to reregister during the pandemic.

This is all great so of course Donald Trump just hates it. He's already confessed on live TV that if more people vote, fewer Republicans are elected. Yesterday, during his Jerry Lewis lie-athon press briefing, he claimed — without evidence — that voting by mail is “corrupt."

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Mike Pence Gonna Pay Pastors As Small 'Businesses' Because Isn't That What A Church Is?

Good thing there's a $100,000 limit per employee, or you might be on the hook for Kenneth Copeland's $760 million.

Remember how Republicans shrieked that Democrats were trying to sneak a big pile of Liberal Agenda into the $2.2 trillion stimulus package? Well guess what else is in there? There's a big fat fuck you to the First Amendment, in the form of making churches eligible for taxpayer money to pay pastors idled by the social distancing orders that have shut down weekly services. Under the portion of the bailout package aimed at helping small businesses, the Trump administration is clearing the way for direct government funding of religion, because what is the Establishment Clause anyway?

NPR explains this is all part of the administration's efforts to expand public funding of faith-based organizations; in 2018, for instance, FEMA decided churches and other places of worship could get disaster funds.

The new SBA program, however, takes federal funding of religious institutions significantly further. Under the new Paycheck Protection Program, businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including faith-based organizations, are eligible to receive loans of up to $10 million, with at least 75% of the money going to cover payroll costs. The loans are in large part forgivable, so churches and other houses of worship won't have to worry about paying all the money back.

Truly, it's a great victory for all those loons in the Religious Right who've insisted that since the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" isn't actually in the Constitution, then the concept isn't either.

This isn't any accidental loophole, either; as RightWingWatch explains, it was largely the result of lobbying by rightwing Jesus botherers who know they have a friend in St. Donald of Gilead. In a March 20 conference call with pastors, organized by the Family Research Council, Trump

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State/Local Politics

Be Very, Very Quiet: Georgia Republican Paul Broun’s Hunting Black People

Broun hopes to ride Georgians' dystopian fears back to Congress.

Former Rep. Paul Broun hopes to return to Congress in the seat that incumbent Doug Collins is vacating in Georgia's uber-conservative Ninth District. Broun had previously represented Georgia's 10th District, which includes the classic city of Athens, from 2007 to 2015. He was your standard evolution-hating Republican who thought Barack Obama was Stalin in blackface. He also confused the IRS with al-Qaeda, as one does. He doesn't appear to have gotten less performatively stupid over the years.

Broun released a new campaign ad this week, and wow, is it racist! Broun's a medical doctor, and in the age of COVID, you'd think he'd play that up more, but instead the spot features the 73-year-old roaming the woods with an AR-15. It's the end of the world as we know it, but you'll feel fine with an assault weapon by your side. In these “uncertain times," you never know when you'll have to kill zombies or black people.

BROUN: In uncertain times like these, the right to defend yourself, your property, or your family could not be more important. Whether it's looting hordes from Atlanta or a tyrannical government from Washington, there are few better liberty machines than an AR-15.

Looting what from where now? Broun's campaign is based in Gainesville, which is an hour outside of Atlanta. Gainesville is majority white. However, it's still Georgia, so 15 percent of the population is black. Atlanta is crazy black though, with my people making up 51 percent of the population.

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Goodbye, A-Hole (Acting) Navy Sec Thomas Modly, Goodbye!

He is also in coronavirus isolation now, almost like there was coronavirus on that ship where he told the sailors to get fucked and called their captain stupid. HUH.

Hey everybody, (acting) Navy Secretary asshole Thomas Modly resigned! And why? Because he sucks and because shame works.

Also military people were so pissed at him for firing beloved Captain Brett Crozier, and then flying all the way to Guam to call Crozier stupid in a speech broadcast to the sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, that there was pretty much no way he could credibly lead the Navy at this point. After all, Captain Crozier was the only person who actually seemed to give a shit whether the 4,000 sailors on the Roosevelt lived or died of coronavirus, and if the letter Crozier wrote made the Trump administration look bad, oh well, fuck 'em.


In his final memo to the Navy, Modly said he "lost situational awareness" when he walked on the Theodore Roosevelt and spoke to the crew members "as if I was their commander, or their shipmate, rather than their secretary."

"The crew deserved a lot more empathy and a lot less lecturing—I lost sight of that at the time and I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they were spread across the media landscape like a wildfire," Modly added. "I had hoped to transmit a message of love, and duty, and mission, and courage in the face of adversity. Those words are in there, but they are now lost, because of me, and I will regret that for the rest of my life."

LOL whatever.

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2020 presidential election

Tom Friedman Wants Biden Cabinet That Looks Like Inside Of Tom Friedman's Head: White And Mostly Irrelevant

This is some insane blather right here.

Is Tom Friedman a real person? Or is he a simulation? Are he and David Brooks mere subroutines dredged from the source code of the late David Broder? Whatever the case may be, Friedman has perpetrated another New York Times column, and for my sins, I was sent to read it. You'll never guess what it's about!

It's about leaving behind "hyperpartisanship." They're all about leaving behind hyperpartisanship.

Only this one is about how Joe Biden can really prove he's a leader worthy of taking on Donald Trump. Because this is a time for leadership, and a time to leave hyperpartisanship behind once and for all. Friedman notes that Joe Biden, not being actually in charge of anything except his own campaign at the moment, has a bit of a problem showing he's a leader right now, but he could easily demonstrate what kind of leader he would be, ideally by getting all his ideas from Tom Friedman.

Jesus, Tommy, we thought you wanted to beat Trump.

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Which Inspector General Is Trump Saturday Night Massacring This Lovely Tuesday Afternoon?

Probably ALL OF THEM KATIE before this is over.

Donald Trump, wannabe authoritarian shitheel, really hates inspectors general. They are, by definition, nonpartisan watchdogs of the various federal agencies, and it is their job to root out fraud, waste, grift, graft, and any other criminal behavior they find. Also they just tell the agencies where they have room for growth and opportunities for improvement. For all these reasons, they are Trump's natural enemy.

Friday night, Trump fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, for the crime of following the law when a whistleblower came forward to report that Trump was using Ukraine to try and steal the 2020 election. Today, Trump fired Glenn Fine, the acting IG of the Defense Department who was supposed to be overseeing the funds in the $2 trillion coronavirus bill passed by Congress.

To be clear, Fine is highly respected. He's been an IG approximately forever, he is super non-partisan (first strike!), and he has all the experience he needed both to be (acting) IG of the Pentagon, and also the guy overseeing the coronavirus relief funds.

The Pentagon explained:

"Mr. Fine is no longer on the pandemic response accountability committee," Defense Department spokeswoman Dwrena K. Allen said in a statement. He will, however, continue to serve in his current position of principal deputy inspector general at the Pentagon. He had until now held both the acting and deputy positions.

Of course Fine was doing both jobs, as the Trump administration isn't known for things like "staffing" or "best people."

Don't worry, though, it's not like the top IG position at Defense is just going be held by an "acting" like it has been for four actual years, since Trump never bothered to nominate anybody for the confirmed role. Trump has at last nominated a highly unqualified idiot, Jason Abend from Customs and Border Protection, to be the Pentagon's official for real IG. Abend has zero experience that would suggest he should be IG of something like "Pentagon," so if confirmed, he'll fit right in with the rest of Trump's political appointees.

So What The Hell Just Happened?

So, OK. This is a lot of bureaucratic bullshit, so let's see if we can 'splain you what just happened here.

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White House Econ Loon Peter Navarro Wants To Be The Good Guy Here. NOPE.

Mighty convenient timing on those leaked memos, and New York Times for the assist.

With the bill coming due for the White House's spectacularly botched coronavirus response, the leaks have begun.

"Don't blame me," Trumplanders text frantically to their favorite reporters. "I tried to tell the old man what was coming, but no one would listen." And when that call comes, you know Maggie Haberman is there. In today's Edition of NOT IT, memos from White House economics crank Pater Navarro warning of the coming coronavirus pandemic magically found their way to Haberman and Axios's Jonathan Swan.

First, credit where it's due: Navarro seems to have grokked before most of the Trumpworld goons that COVID-19 was about to be a big fuckin' deal. In a January 29 memo to the National Security Council, Navarro postulated that "We face two stylized outcomes: A relatively modest, 'seasonal flu-like' outcome with relatively low rates of transmission and mortality versus a more deadly 'pandemic flu' such as witnessed with Asian, Hong Kong, and swine flus." While Trump was telling HHS Secretary Alex Azar to quit yammering about "caronavirus" and bring back those tasty mango Juul pods, Peter Navarro was warning that a highly contagious virus coming might cost the US economy $3.8 trillion and kill 500,000 Americans in a "No Containment/Pandemic scenario."

Unfortunately, he buried it in his usual annoying jargonese, and proposed the same ONE WEIRD TRICK he prescribes for every other problem on earth.

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Hooray! Feds Rush Medical Supplies From China So States Can Over-Pay For Them!

If they can get 'em at all.

As we keep pointing out, Americans aren't just struggling with a deadly pandemic, we're also suffering because our more-or-less elected government keeps botching the response to COVID-19, especially when it comes to obtaining and distributing scarce medical supplies. Last week, we learned a little more about how the federal government is "helping" to get more medical supplies to the states and hospitals that need them the most: by helping big medical supply companies fly the supplies in from China and then sell them to the highest bidder. Remember this guy, Rear Admiral John Polowczyk? He's in charge of FEMA's "Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force," and he explained to CBS reporter Weijia Jiang last Thursday that the government isn't about to go interfering with the commercial supply chain apart from making it move a little faster:

Why do states have to bid against each other? Easy, says Polowczyk: The flights involve "commercial product that would enter the commercial system" and then be sold however it would normally, so "I'm not here to disrupt a supply chain." If that means states have to fight each other and drive up prices, that's the breaks.

And now here's the New York Times with a story on the chaos resulting from handing FEMA the job of "distributing" medical supplies. The takeaway is that FEMA has added one more source of disarray to an already insane market, in which the administration has spent weeks insisting that states have only themselves to blame if they're short of supplies, because it's not the federal government's job to manage a national emergency. But then on top of that, FEMA's new involvement may actually mean that states that were working to secure their own supplies find them being grabbed up by FEMA instead. Hell of a way to run a pandemic response!

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