White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany appeared on state media to share with the good comrades on "Fox & Friends" her insights into state and local guidelines for doing Thanksgiving while also preventing the spread of illness. She said that many local commissars had issued doubleplusungood orders that threatened freedom and liberty here in Airstrip Two. In fact, she said, they were downright "Orwellian."
Here, watch this Telescreen snippet, while it watches you:
I think a lot of the guidelines you're seeing are Orwellian. Let me start by saying the CDC has put out considerations as we prepare to go about Thanksgiving, about socially distancing, wearing masks, doing what you can. There's a whole list, a page of very good considerations, and in that, they say, "We're not recommending a certain number of people, but we are giving considerations that you should put in place."
And I think that's the Oceanian* Way, the Oceanian* people know how to protect their health. We've dealt with Covid for many months. But it's Orwellian, in a place like Oregon, to say, "If you gather, in numbers more than six, we might come to your house and arrest you and you get 30 days of jail time? That's not the Oceanian Way, we don't lose our freedom in this country, we make responsible health decisions as individuals.
At the risk of being accused of Thoughtcrime, we'd like to say McEnany's claims are weaker than Victory Coffee. And she certainly shouldn't be putting George Orwell's good name in her filthy lying mouth.
That emoji where it hugs itself, with hearts!
The Senate yesterday put the kibosh on Donald Trump's nomination of rightwing economist Judy Shelton to a position on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, voting to keep her and her fringe views far away from any influence on US fiscal policy. Shelton is an oddball who has in the past advocated returning to the gold standard and wearing onions on our belts, and is one of two nominees Donald Trump made last year to fill vacancies on the Fed. That's after his earlier Fed picks, economic brain-trusters Herman Cain and Stephen Moore, withdrew their nominations.
As David Frum points out at the Atlantic, it's pretty telling that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to try to push through Shelton, who's "widely regarded as a hyper-partisan extremist," and not Trump's more conventional nominee, Christopher Waller, research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, after both were advanced by the Senate Banking Committee. Just a bit of lame-duck fuckery that might create trouble for Joe Biden. There's your Coming Distractions preview for the next four years.
Fine, fine, Biden didn't say fire him.
After Donald Trump's COVID-19 whisperer Scott Atlas called this weekend for people in Michigan to "rise up" against new public health orders put in place by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Washington Post published an editorial yesterday calling for Atlas to be fired, because the man poses a direct threat to Americans' lives: "As President Trump's leading adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, he continues to make statements that will cause more illness and death. He ought to be fired immediately."
It wasn't only the call for people to "rise up" against Whitmer, which Atlas later insisted he meant only in terms of voting (Whitmer isn't up for reelection until 2021) and "peaceful protest," not another kidnapping and murder plot. It's also that Atlas appears to have already convinced Trump that doing nothing to contain the virus counts as a "policy": Let's just let everyone get it, and after a couple million or so die, then we'll have some kind of immunity. Oh, yes, we'll protect "the vulnerable," remember to protect the vulnerable, sure. (We aren't doing that, either.)
Like a nuclear football, you know.
Donald Trump still won't talk about conceding that he lost the election two weeks ago, but he just might leave behind a very special gift for Joe Biden: a shiny new conflict with Iran over that country's nuclear program. The New York Times reports that in a meeting Thursday, Trump asked his senior advisers whether he had options to attack Iran's main nuclear site. The advisers, fortunately, "dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike." Perhaps they pointed out that it's more traditional for departing presidents to leave their successors a letter of advice, rather than a war.
The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran's facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump's presidency.
Not sure that would really be much of a disincentive for Trump, because after all, it wouldn't be his problem any more. Biden thinks he's so smart, let him figure it out.