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:
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?
These douchebags will kill us all.
If you've got a problem, Jared Kushner can make it worse. And America has a big problem.
Vanity Fair's gossip pipeline continues to flow during the pandemic, and it traces the president's shit tweeting this morning about states who dare to "complain" about lack of medical supplies — "Some have insatiable appetites & are never satisfied (politics?)." — back to Jared and one of his infamous book reports.
"This was a total mess," Kushner told people, according to VF. "I know how to make this government run now." So Jared, who faults HHS Secretary Alex Azar for leaving Trump politically exposed with his handling of the whole ICKY DEAD PEOPLE VIRUS thing, swung into action. Never mind that Azar tried to get Trump's attention about coronavirus in throughout January and February, only to get reprimanded for letting the CDC's Dr. Nancy Messonier spook the markets with all her gloom and doom about dead Americans. Clearly this shit is all on Alex!
That's how we got Jared's shadow coronavirus task force, which looks to such trusted sources as his brother Josh's father-in-law's Facebook friends for disease prevention strategies. That's why we're all gonna die.
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:
THIS is why Nancy Pelosi wanted vote-by-mail in the coronavirus recovery bill.
"The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you'd ever agreed to it, you'd never have a Republican elected in this country again," Donald Trump complained to Sean Hannity about Democrats' proposals to ensure voter access in the coronavirus stimulus bill. Just saying the quiet part out loud about Republican vote suppression, as is his habit. HURR DURR, blarped the MAGAts in unison, LOOKIT CRAZY NANCY LARDIN' THE BILL UP WITH DEMOCRAT PORK.
Well ... meet Wisconsin, AKA Exhibit A in the "WUT DOES VOTIN' HAVE TO DO WITH THE 'RONA?" derpsplainer. Thanks to the indefatigable Ben Wikler, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, who tweeted out all the good links.
It started back in 2018, when Democrat Tony Evers beat then-GOP Governor Scott Walker in the November election, and the gerrymandered Wisconsin legislature raced to enact a bunch of laws during the lame duck session to curtail Evers's powers. Because, like Trump, the Wisconsin GOP knows that when people vote, they lose.
Wisconsin's primary is scheduled for next Tuesday, April 7, and while the presidential primaries are more or less a foregone conclusion, they're not the most important issue on the Wisconsin ballot. Control of the state's highest court is at stake, with Dane County Judge Jill Karofsky, a progressive champion of domestic violence victims, vying to unseat Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly, a Republican hatchet man.
The Defense Production Act is only for shooty stuff, not ventilators, silly.
Until last week, when he suddenly had a fit at General Motors, Donald Trump had said again and again that while he could use that Defense Production Act to order American companies to prioritize making medical supplies that are needed to fight the coronavirus, it would be a cold day in Caracas before he did socialism to America!
But you know, we're a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela, ask them how did nationalization of their businesses work out? Not too well.
Now sure, there's the teensy detail that the Defense Production Act doesn't actually nationalize anything, as the smartypants fact-checkers all pointed out. But it does allow the US government to order companies to fulfill its contracts before others, and to loan money and do other fun financial stuff to get stuff done. It can even direct companies to sell their stuff to the government ahead of other customers. But the companies are still private, and they still get paid.
And as the New York Times explains in some detail, the law has been used once or twice during the Trump administration already. Once or twice? More like it's been used to "place hundreds of thousands of orders" during the Trump years, just as it has been during every other presidency. It's so routine that the military regularly invokes it in contracts:
The Defense Department estimates that it has used the law's powers 300,000 times a year. The Department of Homeland Security — including its subsidiary, FEMA — placed more than 1,000 so-called rated orders in 2018, often for hurricane and other disaster response and recovery efforts, according to a report submitted to Congress in 2019 by a committee of federal agencies formed to plan for the effective use of the law.
Oh. Well then, guess we're already Venezuela, so let's use the law to save some lives, please? And get some empanadas too, while we're at it.
Just kidding, he would never sue a live cow. OR WOULD HE?
Donald Trump is being serious about coronavirus, finally, or at least pretending to be. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis finally put Florida under a statewide stay-at-home order, because Trump finally gave him his marching orders, we guess.
But you know which elected official is not buying into the liberal agenda nonsense, and just wants to go out in the pasture and play, and if you think he's gonna stay six feet away from each and every cow, you got another think coming, ALLEGEDLY?
cow pole dancing GIF Giphy
That's right, Devin Nunes is not havin' it.
A couple weeks ago, Fucking Devin was pretty sure when Dr. Anthony Fauci said "stay at home" that Dr. Anthony Fauci was not his real dad, so he interpreted that order as GO TO BARS. (And then got so mad when people reported on what he said.)
Now, weeks later, with the bodies piling up, in an America with more than 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and growing, with outbreaks shooting forth from all corners of the country like the country is a big udder and the milk is coming out of all kinds of nipples like WHOA HEY! — against this backdrop, Fucking Devin is doubling down.
The Trump administration's bunglefucked response to coronavirus continues.
You've heard about the cruise ships out at sea carrying sick passengers, and their pleas to let them come the fuck onto dry land, and how Governor Florida Man just doesn't want to let them, even though some of the passengers are Florida residents.
You might have also heard there's a naval aircraft carrier out in the Pacific, full of more than 4,000 sailors, with 200 or more infected with coronavirus, and its captain is having to take the unprecedented step of pleading in public with the Trump administration to fucking help them. (Remember how if Trump handles everything just perfectly, we might end up with "only" 100,000 to 240,000 American deaths from the novel coronavirus? Right.)
The letter from Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, dated Monday, which somehow made its way to the San Francisco Chronicle -- maybe because nobody has been listening! -- is stunning.
Once more, just making shit up as they go along.
As we've known from the very beginning, the Trump administration is just making up its coronavirus response as it goes along, largely because that's how it's done everything else since taking office. That would be a huge problem even if Donald Trump didn't ricochet between denying there's a problem at all and his occasional moments of acting like he knows it's serious.
The latest evidence that everything about the pandemic response is on an ad hoc basis comes in the form of a Politico report on the COVID-19 task force's decision to freeze shipments of coronavirus aid to other countries, now that the administration is slowly realizing there's a huge shortage of medical supplies in the USA. The lede gives a pretty good sense of just how chaotic the situation has been. An administration official called officials in Thailand last week to find out if that country could help send protective gear for medical workers in the US. Funny thing about that!
The official asked the Thais for help—only to be informed by the puzzled voices on the other side of the line that a U.S. shipment of the same supplies, the second of two so far, was already on its way to Bangkok.
Trump aides were alarmed when they learned of the exchange, and immediately put the shipment on hold while they ordered a review of U.S. aid procedures.
Nope, nobody had even thought about the matter prior to last week, at least not anyone who could have done something about it.
How does Florida Governor Ron DeSantis get dressed without a designated grownup to help him make the bunny ears to tie his shoes? Is there a special aide who accompanies him to the men's room to drop a target Cheerio in the water and then reminds the governor to pull his Underoos up before he goes back to work? Does his wife threaten to call Poppy Trump if DeSantis doesn't brush his teeth before bedtime?
Oh, it's funny, 'cuz it's TRUE.
As of today, Florida has nearly 7,000 identified cases of COVID-19, including a burgeoning outbreak at its 50,000-person, 55-plus community in Sumter County. DeSantis has been roundly criticized for refusing to shut down spring break, allowing tens of thousands of drunk kids to swap germs up and down Florida's coasts. And yet, the Miami Herald reports that Ron DeSantis, governor of one of the largest states in the country, is waiting for the White House to tell him if he should order people to go the hell home and stop spreading the virus.
"I'm in contact with [the White House task force] and I've said, 'Are you recommending this?'" DeSantis said yesterday at a news conference. "The task force has not recommended that to me. If they do, obviously that would be something that carries a lot of weight with me. If any of those task force folks tell me that we should do X, Y or Z, of course we're going to consider it. But nobody has said that to me thus far."
Did you watch Donald Trump's daily corona-presser on Tuesday? If the answer is "yes," we don't know why you did that, since there was a "Love It Or List It" marathon and (SPOILER) some of them loved it and some of them listed it, which doesn't matter because all that is staged and some of the couples' alleged decisions are LIES.
We did not watch it (see: "Love It Or List It" marathon) but we hear Trump was a total Serious McPresidential for once, as his coronavirus team gravely shared that if America gets its shit together, then our new goal is for only 100,000 to 240,000 Americans to die of COVID-19.
And the choir sang, "U-S-A! U-S-A!" before moving into a stirring rendition of "When they say 'We want our America back,' well what the fuck do they mean?"
Imagine if Donald Trump hadn't completely bunglefucked every aspect of the initial response to the novel coronavirus. Imagine if they hadn't fucked up testing. Imagine if he still wasn't fucking up getting states the ventilators and PPE that they need.
Imagine if Donald Trump wasn't president of the United States.
It's a fuck-you to Obama, so it must be done.
The Trump administration rolled out the final version of its vehicle fuel-efficiency rules Tuesday, meaning that Trump will finally have eliminated tougher standards put in place under Barack Obama. The auto industry didn't particularly want the new rules, and several automakers plan to support higher gas-mileage standards planned by California, but now the rules are here and they're going to make you happy if you know what's good for you. The administration has had a hard time presenting any logical rationale for the rules beyond the fact that Obama wanted to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, which of course is all the reason needed to dump his regulations.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a joint statement with the Transportation Department that the new rules delivered "on President Trump's promise to correct the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards." No, of course he didn't explicitly spell out what needed "correcting." But clearly, dirtier air is a good thing for everyone:
Our final rule puts in place a sensible one national program that strikes the right regulatory balance that protects our environment, and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry. This rule supports our economy, and the safety of American families.
The statement reads a lot more plausibly if you imagine a guy in a suit making the universal jerking-off gesture.
Trump says Big Macs are 100 calories and part of any balanced breakfast! Nine billion humans with access to Google disagree.
This morning, we talked about that call Donald Trump had with the governors, where Montana's Steve Bullock told Trump in no uncertain terms that they didn't have the damn coronavirus tests they need to avert catastrophe there. In response, Trump said he just hasn't heard anything about testing problems lately, and if he hasn't heard about it, it must not exist.
The New York Times reported on that too.
Oh for God's sake.
Thoughts 'n' prayers.
Pour one out for the Trump boys, whose hotels are even tackier and sadder with no one in them. The Washington Post reports that "seven of the Trump Organization's 10 top-grossing properties were closed" as of today, and the remaining three in Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC, were barely hanging on, with their bars and restaurants shuttered. Sadly, that band of misfits trying to dig up Ukraine dirt on Joe Biden has to meet on Zoom now that BLT Prime is closed. Because you know they're still fucking that chicken, somewhere.
The Post says that Trump's Emoluments Inn in DC, leased from your federal government, is at five percent occupancy, and "managers of the hotel have been peppering social media with promises of a comeback and thank you messages to the few guests staying there." The hotel, which has been the subject of many lawsuits because HOLY SHIT, HOW IS IT NOT AN EMOLUMENT FOR THE PRESIDENT TO POCKET MONEY OFF OF LAND LEASED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT???, functioned as the Republican center of gravity in DC until this month. GOP insiders mingled nightly at the bar with lobbyists, Sprint executives looking for a favor from the administration conspicuously wandered the lobby in branded polos, the Secret Service was parked upstairs paying top dollar, and everyone from the RNC to Attorney General Bill Barr booked events there, so as to shower Dear Leader with ever more cash.
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