LU. NA. TIC.
DO NOT take medical advice from this guy! Do not take medical advice from the White House's pet economics crank Peter Navarro. Do not take medical advice from Fox News. And for the love of all that is holy, do not take medical advice from Donald Trump!
REPORTER: And would you also weigh in on this issue of hydroxychloroquine? What do you think about this and what is the medical evidence?
TRUMP: You know how many times he's answered that question?
REPORTER: I'd love to hear from the doctor.
TRUMP: Maybe 15. 15 times. You don't have to ask the question.
REPORTER: He's your medical expert, correct?
TRUMP: He answered that question 15 times.
In his ongoing effort to gaslight the country into believing that COVID-19 is NBD and he's got this pandemic shit on lock, Trump is putting all his chips on the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Which is why he threw himself in front of the mike and started screaming at the reporter who dared to ask Dr. Fauci about the supposed "miracle drug" hydroxychloroquine that the wingers are touting as the cure for COVID-19. It's a cool trick because, if he can succeed in getting half the country to take it, he can then take the credit for saving 330 million people from coronavirus.
Never mind the fact that many of those people would have either avoided getting sick or recovered anyway. Never mind that the clinical trials haven't proven that it's effective for coronavirus patients. Never mind that it hoarding it for COVID is already depriving lupus patients, for whom it has been proven to work, of access to medicine they need. Never mind that the drug can cause permanent heart arrhythmia. Never mind that it might be toxic when combined with a common diabetes medication. Never mind that Trump's pals at Novartis will make bank on it as the government's source for the drug.
Forget all that. The important thing is to turn this into yet another culture war issue, pitting conservatives who demand "lifesaving treatment" against those dirty, liberal experts who are hellbent on denying it to them.
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:
It's your Sunday show rundown!
The US Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, made dual appearances on NBC's "Meet The Press" and "Fox News Sunday" to inform the American people of the newest recommendations from the CDC.
On "Meet The Press":
ADAMS: Here's what's changed. We now know that about 25%, in some studies even more, of COVID-19 is transmitted when you are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. And so the CDC has now recommended that people wear cloth face coverings when they're going to be out in public and they can't be more than six feet away from each other.
ADAMS: Well, the reason why we're saying, "Make a homemade one," is because that's effective in protecting you from me. Remember, I'm wearing a mask to protect you, Chuck, and you're a wearing a mask to protect me. That is what you need. We want to make sure we're saving the medical masks for the health care workers, and we still wouldn't recommend that people wear an N95 even if we had enough.
Oh ok, I get it! The wearer of the mask does it to protect others, in case they are asymptomatic to COVID-19, rather than to protect themselves. Well, as long as WE ALL take part everything is gonna be...
We're fucked. Not just from the incompetence of leadership from the top, but the sycophants of this idiotic narcissist who will follow his lead. Currently there are nine states STILL refusing to issue "stay-at-home" orders and they all have a common theme: They all have Republican governors. So while we all need to do our Rosie The Riveter part, as Vice Admiral Adams has said, the failure of Trump to put out a national order puts us ALL at risk.
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.
Don’t pull this crap in Atlanta unless you want a fight.
So, I guess we've gotta talk about that burning cross in Erick Erickson's yard. It's not a literal burning cross, and if it was, it's not the sort of thing you'd put up in your own yard, unless it's yet another one of Candace Owens's desperate cries for help.
It's important to point out that this was seemingly a well-intentioned, decent act that Erickson utterly ruined. His kids' classmates built some crosses and sold them to other God-adoring people ahead of Palm Sunday, which I always forget is a thing. Yet it is! They're using the proceeds to support local hospitals fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Erickson lives in Georgia, a state that has Brian Kemp as a governor and could use all the help it can get right now. I'm not going to knock the kids' efforts. It's just unfortunate that Erickson, the apparent star of “My Sitcom Dad's A Moron," thought he could improve on the kids' work: “I added the lights." Then the genius posted photographic evidence of his cluelessness on Instagram and Twitter. This — and Erickson's general obnoxiousness — is probably why his black neighbors don't invite him to their cookouts.
They have a 50/50 chance! Hooray!
Fox News "medical expert" and expert terrible person, Dr. Nicole Saphier, phoned her “Fox & Friends" Sunday from the comfort of her self-quarantined home studio where she has a copy of Gray's Anatomy prominently displayed on a shelf because she's apparently a doctor. Dr. Saphier suggested a couple months ago that universal health care makes everyone less healthy because they can see doctors whenever they want, which as we all know is so much fun you just can't stand it. Now she's arguing that medical care turns sick people into leeches, sucking up oxygen from ventilators as if they're suffering from some insidious upper respiratory disease.
Dr. Saphier told the "Fox & Friends" panel that we're going to see more coronavirus deaths next week, which is terrible news, but the bright side, she insists, is that the rate of hospitalizations is decreasing. OK, that's marginally better news in a time where good news is scarce, but we probably shouldn't gloss over all the deaths or just record them all as fatalities from the previous quarter in the fiscal year.
Dr. Saphier explained that the death count is going to spike because of COVID-19 patients who've been on ventilators for several weeks. Their free oxygen train is ending.
DR. SAPHIER: At some point, they will have to come off the ventilators.
Uh ... why? Can't we just pretend they're all Terri Schiavo and keep them hooked up indefinitely?
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.
Wake us up from this nightmare!
"The notion of the federal stockpile was it's supposed to be our stockpile," Jared Kushner said during yesterday's coronavirus MAGA rally. "It's not supposed to be states' stockpiles that they then use."
"WHO THE FUCK IS 'OUR'?" screamed America in unison. If it doesn't belong to the states, is the stockpile the property of DC, Guam, and Puerto Rico? Or does Jared think he and Vanky own the nation's stash of medical supplies and can dole them out as they see fit?
That's a joke, because, DUH, of course he does.
"The Strategic National Stockpile is the nation's largest supply of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out," according to its website. "When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile assures that the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency."
Oh, whoops! Looks like that's not the case anymore. Since Jared's star performance at yesterday's presser, that language has been removed from the web. Now it says that the president owns those ventilators and masks and can hand them out to red states that might vote for him in November, because, HELLO! read your Constitution, people!
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.
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.
Nobody could have seen that coming.
Donald Trump is currently attempting the Candide defense for condemning Americans to mass death and economic ruin. The president insists that he did “everything right" in response to the coronavirus, and this is simply the best of all possible worlds. Sorry your aunt is dead and your small business is shuttered. There was never any other way, and according to Mike Pence, it's China and the CDC's fault that other ways didn't exist.
However, a source close to the White House coronavirus task force firmly and anonymously disagrees. The source claims that tougher measures implemented earlier “might have made a difference." Well, duh. While Trump was diddling around in January, the first confirmed COVID-19 case hit Seattle, Washington. Trump didn't ramp up testing but instead dismissed any dire warnings about the virus.
In February, Trump said something pretty stupid that we sort of shrugged off but it turns out it might've been an actual strategic decision.
DR. TRUMP: You know, a lot of people think [the virus] goes away in April with the heat as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We're in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.
What the hell? Did Trump believe the the virus was an Arizona snowbirder? What's strange is that, as someone who lived in Seattle for a while, I can confirm that it doesn't get exactly virus-killing hot in April. The average high is 58 degrees. It still rains a a good deal. The city can't really fool people — especially Southerners like myself — into thinking it's livable until July.
LUV 2 B governed by a fucking Twitter troll, especially during a pandemic!
The Trump campaign is "testing" Twitter by posting lies in an effort to "prove" the platform's pro-Biden bias.
That's it. That's the tweet.
OH, DON'T WE WISH. No, the reality is much, much stupider, so QUICK! jam a finger in your ear so your brain doesn't leak when we 'splain it to you.
It started last week when Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC, released this terrific ad attacking Trump for his spectacular bungling of the coronavirus response.
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.
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