Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A Failure to Lead

Here's the Vice President of the United States of America, out and about during a global pandemic, ordering food in a restaurant that is half-assing its way into oblivion.

Not only is this irresponsible and reckless and a demonstration of Pence's incompetence, it's also ridiculous to the nth degree. There are almost 100,000 dead Americans who would love to be eating out today, but because of Pence and his boss, they'll never get that chance. There are countless Americans who are wearing masks and staying home and doing the right thing. Pence has set such a poor example for them that you can't help but wonder how much more crazy people will get when they go out into public places and run into any kind of pushback for failing to wear a mask.

It's nonsensical to expect any of them to "get it." They won't perform the mental gymnastics necessary to understand the need to sacrifice something personal for the common good. They won't arrive at a common sense moment, ever. You don't wear the mask for yourself. You wear it to minimize the possibility of infecting someone else. That's because the experts have told us that this is one way to return to social interaction with some degree of safety.

Fuck it, they say. No egghead is going to tell me what to do! And then they drown in their own liquified, blood-soaked lungs. Down comes the curtain! No learning necessary. On to the next human tragedy.

The default setting for those who take their cue from Pence is, "I will do whatever I want and fuck you if you die because I'm not giving up my freedom."

Pence is a lickspittle and a toady, and that will never change.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Trump is Destroying Our Customs and Traditions

No one really pretended that George W. Bush "liked" the Clintons. The scene shown above is from the summer of 2004, and the supposed niceties of this event were probably strained. We know that Bush hated to be managed in these types of events. The impeachment of President Clinton was probably fresh in everyone's minds, and neither man was a big fan of Al Gore.

Trump will provide numerous exceptions going forward. He is actively trashing the spirit and the letter of the office that he holds. I sometimes wonder how badly he and his "family" will leave the facility when they are hurled out of office. Will they smash things and leave shit stains on the carpets and soil whatever they cannot steal?

And I can say that because all of the norms, all of the customs, and every single tradition are just things that can be destroyed to further his ego:
It's been a White House tradition for decades: A first-term president hosts a ceremony in the East Room for the unveiling of the official portrait of his immediate predecessor that will hang in the halls of the White House for posterity.
Republican presidents have done it for Democratic presidents, and vice versa — even when one of them ascended to the White House by defeating or sharply criticizing the other.

"We may have our differences politically," President Barack Obama said when he hosted former President George W. Bush for his portrait unveiling in 2012, "but the presidency transcends those differences."
Yet this modern ritual won't be taking place between Obama and President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. And if Trump wins a second term in November, it could be 2025 before Obama returns to the White House to see his portrait displayed among every U.S. president from George Washington to Bush.
Trump is unconcerned about shunning yet another presidential custom, and he has attacked Obama to an extent no other president has done to a predecessor. Most recently he's made unfounded accusations that Obama committed an unspecified crime.
Obama, for his part, has no interest in participating in the post-presidency rite of passage so long as Trump is in office, the people familiar with the matter said.
How would you like to be the White House employee who has to tally up the damages when the Trumps are flushed out of the place? How would you like to go around after his vicious, howling people are finally removed? I fully expect half of them to show up the next day thinking that the Biden people will want to tap into their expertise and seek out their advice. How many armed men will it take to extricate these goons? You gotta break some eggs if you want to have a Fiasco Presidency like Trump's.

Anyway, ceremonies and portrait unveilings are supposed to relieve us of our concerns and show us examples of how normal things should be. It should reassure the American people to see these figures pretending to smile and get along even if there are underlying hatreds and grudges. It really was extraordinary to see things go from the Elder Bush to Clinton and then to George W. Bush, all in the span of an eight year presidency that was marked by witch hunts that flew in the face of the reality of the peace and prosperity that Clinton delivered. Were it not for the debacle of the second Bush presidency, we might have been comforted by that example.

Instead, we get to wonder what Trump's demise will look like. Hey, they might even cover it in the papers.

Monday, May 18, 2020

When a Morbidly Obese President Takes Unapproved Drugs

I could watch this again and again all damned day long.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) described President Donald Trump as “morbidly obese” during an interview Monday night with Anderson Cooper on CNN. Asked by the anchor for her reaction to the news that the president is apparently taking the unproven anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic against COVID-19 against the recommendations of the FDA, Pelosi said, “I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say. So I think it’s not a good idea.”
The funny thing is, we're now going to be treated to a litany of comments from Trump and his surrogates that will try to deflect attention and change the subject and keep people from paying attention to the fact that someone in the White House has a massive pant load of dough that he's been walking around with since day one.

When you can stand next to John Daly and look like the lazy out of shape one, there's a problem.

The real scandal here is that the medical personnel who are supposed to treat the president are, essentially, paid liars who cannot be trusted and have no credibility. We've been subjected to several years of outright lies and obfuscations that cannot be allowed to stand.

I mean, this is ludicrous and isn't worth the paper that it's printed on:

We need someone, when Trump is finally hurled out of office, to take a look at his medical records and own up to the fact that the office that treats POTUS should be independent and above reproach. It should be made up of a rotating team of doctors from the military whose first oath is to the country and not someone's vanity. And when the president is on medication, we need to know what it is and why. It's a national security issue, through and through.

Anyway, what a stupid time to be alive. Get ready for weeks and weeks of White House comments along the lines of "look how fat Joe Biden got in 2007" and "Biden is the real tubby tubby in the race" because there's no way this will fail to provoke a tremendous amount of rage.

And let's dispel the notion that you can't fat shame Trump. There's no way to shame him, period. He doesn't register that human emotion. Republicans tell us that he's the manliest goddamned man on the planet, and I just can't process that, given what we've seen with our own eyes.

In other words, fuck this fat boy. Nancy SMASH! wins again.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

All the People Who Did Not Need to Die

A comparison of deaths between the United States and South Korea is a way to frame the debate as to what's happening in this country right now.

We are witnessing one of the greatest crimes of neglect and incompetence in American history. Tens of thousands of Americans have died because the Trump Regime did not properly develop a way to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was not a matter of making overly cautious decisions that did not pan out. It was not a matter of moving resources to the wrong place or of making a choice between two different paths.

Trump turned to the worst possible people in America and empowered them to deal with the crisis.

They did nothing.

They worried about the stock market instead.

They realized their error and then moved to enrich people "friendly" to Trump's re-election.

This failure of leadership abandoned the idea of acting for the common good and replaced it with a brokedick version of disaster capitalism.

It's that simple.

All those people did not need to die. They could have been saved. If there had been someone, anyone in January willing to marshal the resources of this country, shut things down, and move to a strategy of testing and contact tracing people, an untold number of Americans could have been saved.

Trump did the opposite.

At every juncture, he went with the worst possible choice and the bodies piled up.

Trump fired the professionals who could have helped. He switched out people who were competent and replaced them with children. He got rid of his Acting Chief of Staff and brought in a bawling sycophant. He listened to his worthless son in law and he ignored common sense advice. He watched his own friend die, and that's saying something because it is hard to imagine Trump ever having a friend. Let's call the wealthy acquaintance of his in New York something more human, such as a former associate of the criminal occupying the White House. He has fired Inspector Generals and relieved people who know how to make things work. He has berated those who could have helped and acted like a toadying jackass in front of a bunch of clueless businessmen.

His briefings confused the American people, empowered an untold number of defiant buffoons, and left the public uninformed and adrift. He has complained more about how this has affected him than he has ever expressed condolences to the people who lost family members. It has been a non-stop pity party for the president of butt-hurt feelings and pathetic self-aggrandizement.

If someone were to tell you what the 2020 election should turn on, it should be a referendum on Trump's inability to lead the country and tell the goddamned truth.

You've heard it before, but, yes. It is that simple.