Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Which Of These Countries Is Not Like The Others?

New Cases         July 7    July 8    Cases/Million
Germany        -     298       410        2,372
Denmark        -      10        12        2,227
Norway         -      11         3        1,651
Sweden         -     271       302        7,312
United States  -  55,442    61,848        9,542

With New Virus Cases At An All-Time High, Trump Wants Schools To Open With No Plans To Do So Safely: "Because, You Know"

US, To Reach 1,000,000 Cases: 99 days
US, To Reach 2,000,000 Cases: 43 days
US, To Reach 3,000,000 Cases: 28 days

New COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing across the United States.

Only two weeks ago (June 24), the single-day high for new cases was 38,412. Every single day since then has had more than 40,000. The five days with 50,000+ new cases during the pandemic have all occurred within the last week. Yesterday, the US topped 60,000 in a single day for the first time.

Donald Trump is pushing for schools to open across the country. Yesterday, without evidence, he said:
We want to reopen the schools. Everybody wants it. The moms want it. The dads want it. The kids want it. It's time to do it.
On Wednesday, Trump criticized the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines for safely reopening schools as "very tough & expensive ... We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools."

Trump threatened to "cut off funding" for schools that do not reopen. (He has no clue that most public school funding comes from state and local governments, not the federal government.)

Trump also said, without evidence, that some schools will stay closed "for political reasons", meaning they will not open for the sole reason of hurting him politically. Because everything is about him. He previously said the only reason people were wearing masks was a statement against him.

It has been eight months since Trump was first warned about the virus and he still has no plan to deal with any aspect of the pandemic. No medical plan, no economic plan, no national testing strategy ... nothing. All he has done is mention every few weeks (since February!) about how it will magically vanish very soon!

Trump was asked yesterday to outline the specific steps he is taking to make sure schools open safely. He refused to answer the question.
I would say that when we talk about the fall, that seems like a long time. It's a long time. ... We're going to see. Well, we have a long time to think about the school stuff. Because, you know.
Some schools are scheduled to open in August. ... Next month. ... Not "a long time" away.

From CNN:
31 states have showed an increase in new cases of 10+% over the last seven days:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
Florida: 56 intensive care units and 43 hospitals are filled to capacity and another 35 hospitals have fewer than 10% of ICU bed availability.

Georgia: Became the ninth state to report 100,000 cases.

California: Nearly 6,000 patients are hospitalized, the highest number since the pandemic began. The number of patients in ICUs is also at an all-time high.

Texas: Reported 10,000+ new cases yesterday, the highest single day total. Medical staff at Houston's United Memorial Medical Center are working 16-20 hours a day. In Weslaco, a hospital has set up a tent outside to help deal with the overflow of emergency room patients.

Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina are also overrun by the surge of cases.

An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House is now forecasting more than 208,000 deaths by November. (Like every other forecast made by anyone during the pandemic, this one will likely be shown to be extremely optimistic. The US will likely pass 208,000 deaths in September.)

Immediately After Trying To Cancel Publication Of His Niece's Book, Trump Speaks Out Against "Cancel Culture", Which He Calls "The Very Definition Of Totalitarianism"

In addition to fighting the removal of monuments to the Confederate States of America and vowing to protect the Cristo Redentor in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro*, Donald Trump has emerged as a strong warrior against "cancel culture".

(*: A new Trump campaign ad features a photo of the famous statue, promising supporters: "WE WILL PROTECT THIS." ... Hoo-kay. ... Does anyone in the Trump circle understand the statue is not in the US? The Daily Beast: "There's no indication that the 125-foot sculpture, which sits at the peak of Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio, is at risk of vandalism or removal. It's also not clear how Trump ... might go about protecting it if it were threatened, which, again, it does not appear to be.")

Trump is hot under the collar about "left-wing radicals":
One of their political weapons is 'cancel culture' – driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.
CNN's Daniel Dale calls this "a curious argument, to put it mildly", since Trump has:
tried for years to get people and entities punished or banished for what he considers objectionable words and acts. Trump has explicitly advocated cancellations, boycotts and firings on numerous occasions – often simply because he doesn't like something his target has said.

We made a list of such occasions. Don't bother telling us it isn't complete; there are so many examples of Trump playing canceler that we're sure we missed some.

And we deliberately omitted cases in which Trump as President fired officials or called before his presidency for political officials to be fired for political reasons. Though definitions of supposed "cancel culture" vary, those cases, in our view, just don't qualify.
Trump's most recent attempt was last week when he called for a halt to the publication of Mary L. Trump's (his niece's) book about her extended family. And, as Trump always does, he failed.

Dale's incomplete list for the "tl;dr" crowd:
Black journalist Touré, MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Glenfiddich whisky, HBO, Rolling Stone magazine, New York Magazine, CNBC, a headline writer at an Oklahoma newspaper, Mexico, National Review writer/editor Jonah Goldberg, Univision, Macy's, Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, National Review editor Rich Lowry, CBS News journalist Sopan Deb, NBC/MSNBC journalist Katy Tur, Apple products, Republican strategist Karl Rove, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, the Wall Street Journal's pollster, Megyn Kelly's Fox News show, the Dallas Morning News, the Arizona Republic, USA Today, NFL players and other athletes who don't stand for the National Anthem, NBC broadcast license (on two separate occasions), the broadcasting licenses of other networks, CNN, Harley Davidson, AT&T, actor Debra Messing, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Twitter, NBC's Chuck Todd, Mary L. Trump's book about the Trump family and Donald's myriad dysfunctions and mental abnormalities.
August 2012: Trump says Black journalist Touré, then a co-host of the MSNBC show "The Cycle," should be "forced to resign" for comments in which Touré uttered a variant of the N-word while arguing that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was using racially coded language to try to make President Barack Obama seem frightening. (Touré had apologized before Trump's demand.)

November 2012: Trump suggests the firing of then-MSNBC host Chris Matthews for saying, on the night of Obama's victory, that he was "so glad" Hurricane Sandy had occurred, because of its political impact. (Matthews had apologized before Trump's suggestion.)

December 2012: Trump calls for the firing of Vanity Fair magazine Editor Graydon Carter, with whom he had feuded for years, over what he declares the magazine's "worst ever issue."

December 2012: Trump says "Scots should boycott Glenfiddich garbage" because the whisky brand selected Michael Forbes, a farmer who refused to sell his land to make way for a Trump golf course, as "Top Scot" of the year.

March 2013: Trump says, "Everyone should cancel HBO until they fire low life dummy Bill Maher! Get going now and feel good about yourself!"

July 2013: Trump asks people to "boycott & cancel subscriptions" to Rolling Stone magazine because of a cover featuring Boston Marathon terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

October 2013: Trump urges "everybody possible" to "cancel their subscription" to New York Magazine over an insulting tweet about Trump's marriage from Dan Amira, who was online editor at the time.

March 2014: After Trump is left off a CNBC list of the most influential business leaders, he says, "Stupid poll should be canceled—no credibility."

May 2014: Trump calls for the firing of, or at least an apology from, the person at The Oklahoman newspaper who wrote a headline calling then-Oklahoma City Thunder NBA star Kevin Durant "Mr. Unreliable." (The newspaper had already apologized.)

June 2014: Trump says people should "Boycott Mexico" until a Marine reservist who was jailed for crossing the border with loaded guns is released from prison. (He was released later in the year.)

April 2015: Trump suggests that conservative writer Jonah Goldberg, then a senior editor of National Review magazine, should be forced to resign for writing that Trump had been "tweeting like a 14-year-old girl" in response to another conservative writer calling Trump a clown. Trump also suggests Fox News anchor Bret Baier should stop having Goldberg on his show.

June 2015: When Spanish-language television network Univision severed its business relationship with Trump after his campaign launch speech, in which he labeled Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, Trump tweets, "Anyone who wants strong borders and good trade deals for the US should boycott @Univision."

July 2015: Trump calls for a boycott of Macy's after Macy's discontinued its business dealings with him over those same comments about people from Mexico. Trump also tweets "Great" when someone tells him that people are canceling their Macy's credit cards.

August 2015: Trump calls for the firing of the late conservative writer and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, a regular Trump critic.

September 2015: After National Review editor Rich Lowry argued on Fox News that rival Republican candidate Carly Fiorina had "cut off (Trump's) balls with the precision of a surgeon" in a primary debate, Trump says: "Incompetent @RichLowry lost it tonight on @FoxNews. He should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him!" (Lowry responds, "I love how Mr. Anti-PC now wants the FCC to fine me. #pathetic.")

December 2015: Trump calls for the firing of then-CBS News journalist Sopan Deb and NBC/MSNBC journalist Katy Tur over reporting he disputed about how he handled protesters during a rally speech.

February 2016: Trump says people should "boycott all Apple products" until the company stops fighting a government request to break into the cell phone of a deceased California terrorist.

February 2016: Trump says Fox News should fire Republican strategist and commentator Karl Rove for being insufficiently positive about his victory in the Nevada caucuses.

February 2016: Trump calls on the Wall Street Journal to fire its editorial board, which had criticized him, and its pollster, which showed results he didn't like.

March 2016: Trump proposes a boycott of Megyn Kelly's Fox News show, complaining that it is too negative toward him.

September 2016: After the Dallas Morning News and Arizona Republic newspapers endorse Hillary Clinton for president and USA Today declares Trump unfit for the office, Trump says, "The people are really smart in cancelling subscriptions to the Dallas & Arizona papers & now USA Today will lose readers! The people get it!"

September 2017: Trump tweets that NFL players and other athletes who don't stand for the National Anthem should be told, "YOU'RE FIRED." He says in another tweet, "Fire or suspend!" And at a rally, he says, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired, he's fired.' "

October 2017: Suggesting he could use the power of the state against media entities he dislikes, Trump muses about challenging the broadcast licenses of NBC and other networks over their news coverage. (He again broached the subject of reviewing NBC's license in September 2018.)

November 2017: Trump calls for a boycott of CNN.

August 2018: Trump tweets, "Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors."

June 2019: Trump suggests people stop "using or subscribing" to AT&T to pressure the company to make changes at CNN, which it owns.

September 2019: Trump suggests that actress Debra Messing should be fired for calling on a news outlet to publish the names of people attending a Trump fundraiser and for a tweet promoting a church sign that said "a black vote for Trump is mental illness." (Messing had apologized for the tweet about the church sign.)

January 2020: Trump says The New York Times should fire columnist Paul Krugman, a winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, for having incorrectly predicted a global recession after Trump's victory in 2016.

May 2020: The day after Twitter appended a fact check link to dishonest Trump claims about mail-in voting, Trump threatens to shut down social media companies: "Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."

May 2020: Trump seeks the firing of Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," for the show playing a misleadingly shortened clip of comments by Attorney General William Barr. (Todd apologized, saying it was an inadvertent mistake.) Again broaching the power of the state, Trump tags the accounts of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates television, and its chairman, Ajit Pai.

Family History: Who Is My Paternal Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather?

I began researching my family history in the mid-1990s, shortly after turning 30. In addition to basic genealogy, I tracked down and interviewed people who had known my parents either when I was a small child or before I was born (I'm the oldest of three children).

In researching the Wood line back into the past, however, there is a troublesome brick wall that I have been unable to break through for years.

In August 1794, my great-great-great-great-grandfather Ebenezer Wood bought a plot of land in northwestern Vermont, in the town of Georgia, from Richard Sylvester, one of the first white settlers in the area. Ebenezer's 17-year-old son Sardius witnessed the signing of the deed. The family moved from Pelham, Massachusetts, to Georgia, Vermont, and are listed as living in Georgia in the 1800 US Federal Census.

During his younger years in Massachusetts, it appears Ebenezer's last name was Woods. He married Sarah Williams on July 9, 1772, in Easton, Massachusetts. There are records of a daughter and son born (in Easton) to the couple, in May 1773 and December 1774, respectively, but I have found no other evidence of either of them.

I have information on eight additional children born from 1777 to 1789 (the most recent five, at least, born in Pelham, Massachusetts), and I can trace each of their descendants with varying success.

The Mystery: Who are Ebenezer's parents?

Ebenezer Wood died in Georgia, Vermont, on December 1, 1815. The information on the card registered by the Town Clerk is frustratingly scant, listing only his first and last names, age, first name of his wife, date of death, and where he is buried.

I have been to the Georgia Plains Cemetery and his gravestone offers no other information:

Families of Georgia, Vermont, a 900+-page door-stopper includes trees for 86 families, including 17 pages of "Wood" genealogy, but nothing before Ebenezer, who is listed as being born circa 1741 (taken from the gravestone info, I'm sure). I have found no record of a Massachusetts birth to match either 1741 or 1742.

I have a thick folder on possible parents, web printouts and numerous pages of my scratchy handwriting, with twisting lines connecting various people and dates. Over the years, I have ruled almost all of them out. I'll spare you the tedium of hearing how I narrowed my possibilities and simply present the evidence for a possible match:

1. As mentioned, on July 9, 1772, Ebenezer Woods and Sarah Williams, both of Easton, Mass., were married.

2. On January 1, 1778, Joseph Woods and Susannah Williams, also both of Easton, were married.

3. Sarah Williams and Susannah Williams were sisters, two of Silas Williams's daughters.

4. Joseph Woods was the son of John Woods and Priscilla Tinkham, of Bridgewater, Mass.

5. John Woods and Priscilla Tinkham had a son named Ebenezer, born in 1745, in Bridgewater, Mass.

6. Bridgewater is only about 10 miles east of Easton.

Also: The first recorded child of Ebenezer and Sarah was Susannah, possibly named after Sarah's younger sister, who may have married Ebenezer's younger brother seven months later.

This all sounds extremely plausible – brothers from one family marrying sisters from another family was probably fairly common in rural communities nearly 250 years ago – but that would mean Ebenezer (or his widow) misjudged his age (or the year of his birth) by four years. That seems like a lot, to me. But perhaps not.

My father's father, at a certain point in his life, began lying about his age. He was a local celebrity in Vermont, known for his rapid-fire delivery in television commercials for his three grocery stores. He was also in the newspaper for numerous infractions involving automobiles (speeding, clipping light poles, driving into parked cars) and boating accidents (crashing into rocks (possibly twice)).

In the 1960s, newspaper accounts (relying on information he gave them (or the police), no doubt) consistently underreported his age by at least five years. (One article shaved seven years off his age and eight years off my grandmother's age!) Although he died in 1967, his fibbing continues to this day. His gravestone lists his year of birth as 1913. He was actually born in 1908.

Ebenezer was probably not as concerned with appearances as my grandfather, but who knows?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Book Describes Trump As Having The Mind Of A 3-Year-Old: "Incapable Of Growing, Learning Or Evolving, Unable To Regulate His Emotions, Moderate His Responses, Or Take In And Synthesize Information"

The explosion of Donald Trump's head will be happening earlier than expected.

The release date of Mary L. Trump's book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man has been moved up to July 14 (next Tuesday!).

Details are spilling out, as media receive review copies. From the book's cover:
Today, Donald is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in and synthesize information. His father, Fred ... firmly believed that dealing with young children was not his duty . . . From the beginning, Fred's self-interest skewed his priorities.
Mary Trump is a clinical psychologist and she states that Fred Sr. "destroyed" his son Donald by short-circuiting his "ability to develop and experience the entire spectrum of human emotion".
Donald's pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he'll never sit for. ...

Donald is not simply weak, his ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be.
When she writes about Fred Sr. that "the cruelty was the point", it sounds exactly like Donald Trump:
One of the few pleasures my grandfather had, aside from making money, was humiliating others. Convinced of his rightness in all situations, buoyed by his stunning success and a belief in his superiority, he had to punish any challenge to his authority swiftly and decisively and put the challenger in his place.
Which makes you wonder what the hell was done to Fred Trump Sr.?

The Washington Post shared some of the contents:
She describes Trump's father, Fred, as not just domineering but a "sociopath." He was verbally abusive to his children, especially Fred Jr., insisting that they become "killers" unhindered by emotion. "Fred perverted his son's perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it," she writes. ...

When Fred Sr. died, Mary was told his estate was worth only around $30 million; the portion of that figure that became her inheritance was the subject of the dispute that led to a financial settlement and her NDA. She later gave Fred Sr.'s business records to the New York Times, which published a blockbuster story showing that the patriarch had transferred over $1 billion to his children (a scheme mostly carried out after Fred Jr.'s death), potentially defrauding the U.S. government of half a billion dollars in tax revenue.

On a trip to Mar-a-Lago when she was 29, Mary came out in a bathing suit and shorts. "Holy shit, Mary. You're stacked," her uncle said to her, with all the grace and sensitivity we've come to expect from him.

For a time, Trump hired Mary to ghost-write his book "The Art of the Comeback." At one point a Trump employee sent her some pages of material Trump wanted to include in the book. "It was an aggrieved compendium of women he had expected to date but who, having refused him, were suddenly the worst, ugliest, and fattest slobs he'd ever met," including Madonna and Olympic figure skater Katarina Witt.

At a White House dinner in 2017, the president gestured toward his son Eric's wife; the two at that point had been together for eight years. "I barely even knew who the fuck she was, honestly, but then she gave a great speech during the campaign in Georgia supporting me," Trump said.

"Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-Un, and Mitch McConnell, all of whom bear more than a passing psychological resemblance to Fred," Mary writes, "recognized … that Donald's checkered personal history and his unique personality flaws make him extremely vulnerable to manipulation by smarter, more powerful men."
If Donald Trump ever possessed any virtues as a human being, his niece writes, they were eradicated by a cruel father who saw apologies as a sign of weakness.
Fred hated it when his oldest son screwed up or failed to intuit what was required of him, but he hated it even more when, after being taken to task, Freddie apologized. 'Sorry, Dad,' Fred would mock him. Fred wanted his oldest son to be a 'killer' in his parlance (for what reason it's impossible to say — collecting rent in Coney Island wasn't exactly a high-risk endeavor in the 1950s), and he was temperamentally the opposite of that. ...

For some of the Trump kids, lying was a way of life, and for Fred's oldest son, lying was defensive — not simply a way to circumvent his father's disapproval or to avoid punishment, as it was for the others, but a way to survive. For Donald, lying was primarily a mode of self-aggrandizement meant to convince other people he was better than he actually was.
While Donald was constantly verbally abused, Mary Trump writes:
his personality [also] served his father's purpose. That's what sociopaths do: they co-opt others and use them toward their own ends — ruthlessly and efficiently, with no tolerance for dissent or resistance. By limiting Donald's access to his own feelings and rendering many of them unacceptable, Fred perverted his son's perception of the world and damaged his ability to live in it.
Donald Trump has claimed for many years that his admittance to the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania was proof that he was a "super genius". But Mary Trump reveals that Donald's oldest sister, Maryanne, "had been doing his [high school] homework for him" and when it was time for his SATs, Donald "enlisted a smart kid with a reputation for being a good test taker". (The Wharton admissions officer was a close friend of Fred Jr. and he saw no evidence of a "super genius" when he interviewed young Donald. Also, how many MENSA members threaten to take their high school and college to court if they release their "super genius" transcripts?)

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that she had not yet seen the book has no idea what a book is, but she said this one is most certainly "a book of falsehoods".

Trump, As US Death Toll Soars Past 134,000 (And 3+ Million Cases):
"Will Alabama Be Playing Some Great Football?"

Remember How Great We Did With the Economy? (45 Million Out Of Work)

How Amazing It Was When We Re-Opened The States? (Skyrocketing Numbers of COVID Cases & Overcrowded Hospitals)

Well, We'd Like To Work The Same Magic On Your Children. ... What Have You Got To Lose?

Monday, July 06, 2020

White House Claims Trump, Who Is Currently Strongly Defending Confederate Monuments, Has Absolutely No Opinion About The Confederate Flag

The Trump administration was gaslighting the US months ago, but they have gone so far in that direction, they have broken through to the other side. Extreme gaslighting has flooded the engine of the country's minds.

I can't imagine how anyone other than the cult's thirstiest koolaid drinkers are taking what is coming out of the White House seriously. (But I've been wrong before.)
As a raving, tapioca-brained maniac once sputtered: "Truth isn't truth."

Two WaPo headlines from Monday:

"McEnany Defends Trump's View On Confederate Flag By Claiming He Doesn't Have One"
Toluse Olorunnipa, July 6, 2020:
After multiple attempts to explain why President Trump appeared to defend the Confederate flag while attacking the only top black driver in NASCAR on Monday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany settled on arguing that Trump was speaking only in the abstract.

"The president has made clear he was not taking a position one way or the other in that tweet," McEnany said Monday when asked for an unequivocal stance on the Confederate flag.

As institutions across the country, from NASCAR to the state of Mississippi, take steps to remove Confederate imagery and other symbols of racism from the public square, Trump and his White House allies are struggling to mount a defense of increasingly antiquated views. Their latest argument is that Trump — who has expressed views on topics from "Saturday Night Live" to horse racing controversies to the weekend lineup at Fox News — is opinion-less about the Civil War's most controversial symbol.
"McEnany Butchers Her Defense Of Trump's Bubba Wallace Tweet"
Aaron Blake, July 6, 2020:
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was pressed Monday on President Trump's tweet that NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace should have "apologized" for his handling of an incident in which a noose-like rope appeared in his garage at a race.

In the process, though, McEnany misstated several key facts about the situation and offered an implausible argument for Trump's motivation to tweet it. ...

McEnany went on to claim that the FBI said something that it did not state. "And in fact," McEnany said ... "it was concluded by the FBI that this was, quote, 'not an intentional racist act' — for clarity." That quote does not appear in the FBI's statement on the matter. ...

McEnany's most strained defense of Trump on this count, though, pertained to the last portion of Trump's tweet. ... "That," Trump said, referring to the Wallace situation, "& Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!"

The "Flag decision" was an obvious reference to NASCAR's recent decision to ban the Confederate flag at its events — a significant moment in the history of the flag in the United States, given its prevalence at NASCAR events.

To hear McEnany tell it, though, Trump wasn't necessarily expressing support for the Confederate flag — despite his recently expressing support for keeping Confederate monuments. He was merely stating a fact about NASCAR's ratings, apparently.

"I spoke to him this morning about this, and he said he was not making a judgment one way or the other. ... The president said he wasn't making a judgment one way or the other. ... The president was noting the fact that, in aggregate, this notion that NASCAR men and women who have gone and who are being demeaned and called racist and being accused, in some venues, of committing a hate crime against an individual, those allegations were just dead wrong."

So the president was just tweeting about the banning of a flag hurting someone's ratings ... because he was just stating a fact? That seems a conspicuous inclusion — especially given Trump's recent track record on commemorating the Confederacy.

It's also extremely conspicuous for the White House press secretary to completely misstate what the FBI and NASCAR actually said about the larger portion of his tweet — the one she argued was actually the important part.
I actually expect this to be true very soon:

Trump has also prevented Dr. Anthony Fauci from being interviewed on television for the past three months.

Global Times, the Chinese state-controlled newspaper, describes the COVID-19 pandemic as a "U.S. epidemic" and warned that Trump's failures pose a threat to the rest of the world. An editorial published on Friday stated (quite accurately) that the US outbreak is "completely out of control". Two days ago, Trump claimed his administration had "made a lot of progress" controlling the virus, but on that day, the seven-day rolling average of new cases set a record for the 26th straight day.

Trump Celebrated July 4th At A National Monument Carved By A Bombastic, Egotistical, Money-Loving White Supremacist, A Cocky, Fame-Seeking, Klansman With Delusions of Grandeur (How Appropriate Is That!)

Donald Trump's Fourth of July Confederate White Supremacy Spectacular could not have picked a more appropriate location than what is known as Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota.

The carving of the four presidents*, which began in 1927 and was completed in 1941, was overseen by Gutzon Borglum, the son of Danish Mormon polygamists and a deeply racist sculptor with strong ties to the Klu Klux Klan.

(* Two of whom owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves over the course of his life. Fun Fact: In 1824, Jefferson proposed a national plan to end slavery by having the government purchase enslaved infants for $12.50 each, raise and train them in various occupations, and then ship them to Santo Domingo.)

In the 1880s, Borglum traveled to Europe to study sculpture and became fascinated with works "on a grand scale with nationalistic subjects, which suited what many described as his bombastic, egotistical personality". John Taliaferro, the author of Great White Fathers: The Story Of The Obsessive Quest To Create Mount Rushmore, says Borglum was imperious, cocky, and prone to angry outbursts. Others faulted him for "disloyalty, offensive egotism and delusions of grandeur", as well as an excessive concern for money and notoriety. [Does that sound like anyone else to you?]

Many years later, in 1915, the Atlanta chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy approached Borglum about the construction of a monument to the Confederacy on Stone Mountain. Borglum immediately accepted. At the same time, "Birth of a Nation", D.W. Griffith's infamous film about the Civil War and Reconstruction, in which the Klan are the good guys, reclaiming the South from white carpetbaggers and freed slaves, was a nationwide hit. Its success inspired a resurgence of the Klan, which became a major financial backer of Borglum's memorial.

Taliaferro writes that while Borglum worked on Stone Mountain, he became intensely involved in Klan politics, attending rallies and serving on committees, and seeing the Klan "as a promising grass-roots movement with the potential to reshape the political map of the nation". In a letter Borglum wrote to a friend in the early 1920s, he described the Klan as "a fine lot of fellows" and said "if they elect the next President, by gosh I'm going to join 'em."

Borglum was always a big-time racist, referring to immigrants as "slippered assassins" and moaning that the United States was becoming an alien "scrap heap". In another letter, to his good friend, the Grand Dragon of the Realm of Indiana, he opined: "While Anglo-Saxons have themselves sinned grievously against the principle of pure nationalism by illicit slave and alien servant traffic, it has been the character of the cargo that has eaten into the very moral fiber of our race character, rather than the moral depravity of Anglo-Saxon traders."

After 10 years of work, Borglum was fired from the Stone Mountain project after annoying everyone around him. Fortunately, he had been contacted several months earlier by South Dakota's state historian about sculpting a tribute to the American West. The original plan included American explorers like Lewis and Clark, as well as Native Americans, including Sacagawea. Borglum convinced South Dakota to go in another direction.

Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, recently called for the removal of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. On June 29, 2020, he issued a statement:
Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise of treaty then the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States calls Mount Rushmore. The United States of America wishes for all of us to be citizens and a family of their republic yet ... Lakota see the faces of men who lied, cheated and murdered innocent people whose only crime was living on land they wanted to steal. ... This brand on our flesh needs to be removed, and I am willing to do it free of charge to the United States, by myself if I must.
Last month, Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner said Mount Rushmore is a "great sign of disrespect" and also believes it should be "removed".

In 1868, the Treaty of Fort Laramie granted the Black Hills to the Oglala, Miniconjou, and Brulé bands of Lakota people, Yanktonai Dakota and Arapaho Nation in perpetuity. Only eight years later, however, the United States violated the agreement by illegally seizing the land after gold was discovered. The US used the "Sell or Starve" Act, which cut off provisions to the Sioux if they refused to cede the land.

Several battles were fought between the US Army and the Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne, including the Black Hills War (1876-77), the Battle of Little Bighorn (known to the Natives as the Battle of the Greasy Grass) (1876), and the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890), in which hundreds of unarmed Sioux men, women, and children were slaughtered by the US Army.

(In 1980, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Sioux's land had been taken illegally and they were entitled to compensation. However, the Sioux refused the payment (more than $1 billion), demanding the return of their land.)

The National Park Service's website describes Mount Rushmore as "a symbol of freedom and hope for people from all cultures and backgrounds".

Sunday, July 05, 2020

FEMA Refusing To Help Phoenix & Other Cities Overwhelmed With New COVID-19 Cases

COVID-19 cases in Phoenix have - like so many places across the United States - doubled in recent weeks. On Saturday, the city set a record with 3,182 new hospitalizations and on Sunday hit a high mark of more than 3,400 cases.

Mayor Kate Gallego says that testing sites in her city and surrounding Maricopa County are completely overwhelmed. She has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help. FEMA has refused.

Gallego has been desperate for more testing resources since April. She noted that FEMA has set up testing sites in Houston and Los Angeles. "We are the largest city not to have received this type of investment. And you can see it in the increasing rate of positives."

More than 20% of all tests in Arizona are coming back positive. According to public health officials, when the proper amount of testing is being done, the positive rate should be around 2%.

Mike Pence was in Phoenix last week, lying through his teeth, claiming that tests were easily available to anyone who needed one. That was nothing more than spitting in the face of extremely ill people he has knowingly abandoned.

Gallego said she would like Donald Trump to see "people fill[ing] their cars with gas so they can wait in lines for eight hours, while they're sick and it's 110 degrees outside" to get a test. "This is not just a Phoenix problem. I think many communities and people across both parties would like to see the federal government play a role."

She said the Trump administration is "declaring victory while we're in crisis mode".

The federal government has not so much declared victory and shrugged its shoulders and walked away, utterly disinterested.

But all is well in the Land of the Trump Death Cult.

Trump's Message re SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: "Learn To Live With It"

After ignoring the warnings to minimizing the threat to downplaying the risks to promising a miracle to describing it as harmless to predicting it would vanish one day to stating warm weather will kill it to ridiculing the media fuss as a hoax to promising "the problem goes away in April" to doubting hospitals needed the supplies they were begging for to demanding that governors publicly kiss the president's ass to hyping unproven drugs (that govt. officials owned stock in) as a cure to accusing nurses of stealing and reselling equipment to predicting "packed churches all over our country" on Easter to vowing to "WIN THIS WAR" to abdicating all responsibility to insulting (usually female) reporters for asking basic, common-sense questions to hijacking life-saving equipment meant for states with Democrat governors and redirecting that equipment to states with Republican governors to praising the virus as a "brilliant genius" to stating "by Memorial Day weekend" the epidemic would be "behind us" to playing golf to suggesting that drinking bleach or injecting Lysol would keep you safe to pronouncing the country would be "really rocking again" by July to touting a gain of 5 million jobs (after losing 40 million jobs) as a breathtaking success to redistributing billions of dollars of taxpayers money not to taxpayers to help them survive but to multi-national corporations to claiming that testing is bad because then the number of cases increases to refusing to set an example and wear a mask to lying constantly about every single thing possible to lie about to actually coming back around and stating with a straight face to "stay Calm" because the virus will simply go away one day to diverting attention from 130,000 American corpses by teargassing and shooting protesters and defending the Confederacy to . . . telling Americans "Look, our worthless ideas turned out to be worthless and we don't want to pretend to deal with this shit anymore. Just fucking deal with it on your own. Goodbye. #MAGA" ... It's been a hell of a six months.
Heather Digby Parton, Hullabaloo, July 5, 2020:
"We need to live with it"
After several months of mixed messages on the coronavirus pandemic, the White House is settling on a new one: Learn to live with it.

Administration officials are planning to intensify what they hope is a sharper, and less conflicting, message of the pandemic next week, according to senior administration officials, after struggling to offer clear directives amid a crippling surge in cases across the country. On Thursday, the United States reported more than 55,000 new cases of coronavirus and infection rates were hitting new records in multiple states.

At the crux of the message, officials said, is a recognition by the White House that the virus is not going away any time soon — and will be around through the November election.

As a result, President Donald Trump's top advisers plan to argue, the country must figure out how to press forward despite it. ...

"We have to get back to business. We have to get back to living our lives. Can't do this any longer," Trump said in an interview with Axios last month before his campaign rally in Tulsa, where almost no one socially distanced and few wore masks. "And I do believe it's safe. I do believe it's very safe." A number of Trump's own campaign staffers and Secret Service agents contracted COVID-19 in Tulsa.

Eager to move forward and reopen the economy amid a recession and a looming presidential election, the White House is now pushing acceptance.

"The virus is with us, but we need to live with it," is how one official said the administration plans to message on the pandemic.
The countries that drove the cases down very low established a serious testing and tracing program to stop any flare-ups before they get out of hand. ...

We didn't do that and apparently, we are not going to do it now. So, it will likely be surging out of control someplace for the foreseeable future.

It helps so much that the president is saying that 99% of cases are no big deal, giving permission for all of his cult followers and many others who don't care about politics to throw caution to the wind. The number is ridiculous, of course. People get very sick and die from this thing and nobody knows if they are going to be that person. It's playing Russian Roulette with your health. And then there is the fact that these people are spreading it all over the place to vulnerable people.

I don't know if this is a problem of basic education ... or if it's a problem with brainwashing. But I do know that our government has failed spectacularly and continues to fail. I don't see any way out.

Kansas GOP County Chairman Defends Cartoon Equating Being Told To Wear A Mask For Public Safety To Extermination In The Holocaust

Michael Levenson, New York Times, July 4, 2020:
The governor of Kansas has called on a Republican county chairman to remove a cartoon from his newspaper's Facebook page that invokes the Holocaust to criticize her order requiring Kansans to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The cartoon, posted on the Facebook page of The Anderson County Review, shows the state's Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, wearing a mask emblazoned with the Star of David against a backdrop of people being loaded onto a cattle car.

"Lockdown Laura says: Put on your mask … and step onto the cattle car," reads a caption on the cartoon, which was posted on Friday, the same day an order by Ms. Kelly went into effect requiring Kansans to wear masks in public spaces and in places where social distancing is not possible.

The Anderson County Review is owned by Dane Hicks, the chairman of the Anderson County Republican Party. Mr. Hicks defended the cartoon, which he said he had made himself and planned to publish in the newspaper ...

"Apologies: To whom exactly?" he wrote. "The critics on the Facebook page? Facebook is a cesspool and I only participate to develop readership." He added that he "intended no slight" to Jews or Holocaust survivors. ...

Ms. Kelly said the cartoon should be taken down. ...

The Kansas Democratic Party also denounced the cartoon. ...

Rabbi Moti Rieber, executive director of Kansas Interfaith Action, said ... "Kelly is taking action to save lives, so to compare it to mass murder is odious."

Saturday, July 04, 2020

On US's Independence Day, Trump Expresses Unambiguous Support For The History, Founders, Heroes, And Values Of The Confederacy (An Enemy Of The US)

Pulling down statues of men who were traitors, guilty of treason, owned slaves, and murdered Americans in war ... renaming places previously memorializing these slavery-supporting traitors ... forbidding the display of the Confederate flag at public events ... protesting the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children by police ... protesting the police's commission of myriad non-lethal crimes, such as rape, sexual assault, various forms of terrorism, destruction of personal property, stealing personal property . . .

Donald Trump sees all of that as:
a merciless campaign to wipe out OUR history, defame OUR heroes, erase OUR values and indoctrinate OUR children ... tear[ing] down statues of OUR founders, defac[ing] OUR most sacred memorials ...
In this context:
"OUR" history: The Confederate States of America

"OUR" heroes: Slavery-supporting men who seceded from the US to preserve slavery, declared war on the US, and killed US soldiers in battle in a defense of slavery

"OUR" values: Slavery, lynchings, genocide, etc.

"OUR" founders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, etc.
Trump is exalting a sworn enemy of the United States in the hopes of inciting his followers to commit acts of violence against peaceful Americans.

Trump is doing so on the day the US celebrates its independence and in the wake of reports that he has been silent for 18 months after being told Russia was paying cash bonuses for the murder of American soldiers.

I find it both shocking and typical that the Democrats do not believe Trump's actions (which also include numerous crimes regarding the coronavirus) rise to the level of impeachment. Yes, he can be impeached again.

More than 100 newspapers demanded that Bill Clinton resign after he spoke one lie about his sexual activity in the Oval Office. Not one US newspaper has called for Trump to resign, despite Trump committing numerous crimes far more serious than Clinton's every single day.

Trump will be in office for nearly seven more months; that's if he loses in November. He could do an incalculable amount of damage in seven months (think of all that has happened since December 2019). ... The Democrats don't seem too concerned.

He's as dumb as a fucking post.

The number of cases will be the same at any given moment whether you are testing or not. Testing shows you what is happening (so you can see the problem (what a concept!)) and fix it. Not testing simply means all of those existing cases are unidentified and unknown. The ONLY reason thousands of new cases are being identified is because thousands of new cases exist!

I'm sure Trump is not pretending here. He is truly this stupid ... but it is still difficult to fathom.

I wish someone would ask him:
Sir, have you considered telling the police to stop arresting people? According to your logic with testing, if the police never arrest anyone, crime would no longer exist. You would be responsible for getting rid of all crime!
But I'm not holding my breath.

Also: No one should ever get screened for cancer. Those tests cause the cancer to appear. #Bad

"We are now in the process of defeating ... people who in many instances have absolutely no clue what they are doing."

In A Fair Election, Yes. But Those No Longer Exist.

Exceptional (& Disturbing)

A Very Bad Night At The Star-Tribune's Headline-Writing Desk

An Amusing Thread

Trump, On Why Lincoln Was Successful: "Numerous Reasons ... He Was A Man of Great Intelligence ... He Was Also A Man Who Did Something ... A Very Vital Thing To Do ... 10 Or 20 Years Before, No One Thought What He Was Doing Was Possible ... He Did Something That Was A Very Important Thing To Do, Especially When He Did it"

In 2016, Bob Woodward of the Washington Post asked Donald Trump a question:
Why did [Abraham] Lincoln succeed? Thought about that at all?
Trump's actual answer:
Well, I think Lincoln succeeded for numerous reasons. He was a man who was of great intelligence, which most presidents would be. But he was a man of great intelligence, but he was also a man who did something that was a very vital thing to do at that time. Ten years before or 20 years before, what he was doing would never have even been thought possible. So he did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time. And Nixon failed, I think to a certain extent, because of his personality. You know? It was just that personality. Very severe, very exclusive. In other words, people couldn't come in. And people didn't like him. I mean, people didn't like him.
If you read all of that, your IQ is now 10 points lower.

Let's review:
Lincoln succeeded for numerous reasons
He had great intelligence
He had great intelligence
He did something
It was vital
Before he did something, no one would have thought that something was doable
He did something
It was very important
Richard Nixon [???] failed because of his personality
It was that personality
Very exclusive
People couldn't come in
People didn't like him
People didn't like him
What the hell does Nixon's personality have to do with "Why Lincoln succeeded"? Nothing!

Was Trump talking about Lincoln's personality and using Nixon's as a contrast? No.

Does Trump know anything about Nixon's personality? No.

Does Trump know anything about Lincoln's personality? No.

Does Trump know a single thing Lincoln did that might have made him successful? Perhaps.

Does Trump agree with that successful thing Lincoln did? It's doubtful. On June 11, Trump told Fox's Harris Faulkner that Lincoln "did good", but "it's always questionable ... the end result". Ending the Civil War was questionable? Ending slavery was questionable? Getting assassinated was questionable?

In 2017, Trump explained that he saw "no reason" why the Civil War needed to be fought:
The Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don't ask the question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?
People don't ask the question, because it's a stupid fucking question. Everyone with a non-rotted brain know the reason why the Civil War was fought - it rhymes with "blavery" - and they understand the war was unavoidable and necessary.


On July 2, The US Had A Record-High 57,232 New Cases Of A Deadly Virus (More Than Any Country Has Had In A Single Day), With Its Death Toll Over 130,000 (In Only 4 Months), And The President's Biggest Concern Was . . . The Broadcasting Schedule Of A Network He Claims He Never Watches Because It's 'Fake'

Bayonets Were Issued To Be Used Against Peaceful Protesters

European Union: 446 Million
United States: 328 Million