The White House is delusional

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has just issued a press release. You only have to read as far as the first highlight to earn a rueful laugh.

Trump has ended the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s not what the informed authorities are saying.

Nationally, surveillance indicators tracking levels of SARS-CoV-2 virus circulation and associated illnesses have been increasing since September, driven primarily by activity in the Southeastern and Central parts of the country. COVID-19 related hospitalization rates and pneumonia, influenza and COVID (PIC) mortality for the most recent weeks may increase as more data are received.

The Trump administration wasn’t even able to contain the outbreak in the White House.

More personally, about 10% of my cell bio class are currently under quarantine (none diagnosed with the disease fortunately).

Has anyone out there noticed that the pandemic is over? Not me.

Democrats need fire in their bellies now

There is a good collection of hard-hitting political videos at this independent site. They go for the gut, punching hard at how awful Trump’s policies are, and where his decisions are taking us.

Why aren’t the Democrats fighting as fiercely as the people they expect to vote for them? I just can’t picture Pelosi or Schumer campaigning for their party with this same anger; I can’t imagine Biden doing it either.

One more week, maybe

Chuck Wendig makes his election predictions for next week. Spoiler: he has no idea.

Neither do I, and that’s the terrible thing. I’ve been through awful elections, like when Reagan was anointed as president, and while I was disappointed and unhappy, I knew one thing about election day: the election wouldn’t be a problem. Voting would go smoothly, ballots would be counted, and on election night, you’d get the results and one party would concede and the other party would celebrate. That ended with Bush/Gore. It’s much worse now. We have early voting in some states, and the lines go on for blocks, because the Republicans have been killing polling places; we have swarms of people, like me, voting by mail because we have no confidence in our voting booths any more. That’s tragic for a democracy. You’d think we’d look at absurdly long lines for voting and realize there’s something fucking wrong with the system, and do something about it, but for some reason we’ve turned a blind eye to this failure of simple voting mechanics.

I’ll be braver than Wendig and make some horrible predictions.

  • There will be incidents. Armed yahoos will try to intimidate voters at multiple polling places. The police will do nothing about them.
  • There will be no resolution of the election on the night of 3 November. Or the 4th. Or the 5th. It will drag on interminably. Even if there is a clear Democratic winner, the Republicans will find reasons to waffle about, calling into question any and all results.
  • If the Democratic candidate does not have a strong majority, and the Republicans whine a little bit, the Democratic party will collapse like a ripped bladder and concede.
  • The Supreme Court will find a way to interfere.
  • If he actually loses, the Current Occupant will continue to hold rallies and incite his followers right up until 20 January. There will be more violence.
  • I have no idea what the USA will look like on 21 January. The Occupant could be dragged out on meathooks and the Republic will persevere a little longer, or the entire country could be reduced to burning rubble with us civilians fighting it out for scraps.

I will not be watching the news next week at all. Leave me a comment if civil war breaks out so I know to bunker up and seal up all the windows and doors.

Yeesh, but I detest Collin Peterson

Collin Peterson does not belong in the Democratic party.

It’s an election year, so naturally I’ve been flooded with Republican attack ads against our local representative, Collin Peterson. He sides with Nancy Pelosi 4 out of 5 times! He’s too liberal! It’s the only reason I voted for him this time.

I wish I could retract that vote, and I’ll never make that mistake again. Peterson has come out with a rebuttal ad, in which he touts how truly conservative he is: he voted against the Trump impeachment! The NRA loves him!

Fuck Collin Peterson. I’ve got no shortage of Republicans to vote for, and if I wanted to vote Republican, I wouldn’t have voted for his lying ass.

Is there something about playing Dracula that makes one a total badass?

I knew that Christopher Lee was a tough and scary dude, but Bela Lugosi? That old guy with the accent who was in Plan 9 From Outer Space? I did not expect this, but man, I’ve got to admire him now.

He fought in WWI, he was a Communist leader and union organizer, he was antifa.

By World War II, Hungarian dictator Miklos Horthy allied with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. In opposition, Lugosi helped form the Hungarian-American Council for Democracy, calling for “Nazism to be wiped out everywhere.”

As a member of American-Hungarian Relief Inc., Lugosi was a keynote speaker at an Aug. 28, 1944, rally in Los Angeles. He demanded Washington rescue Hungarian Jewish refugees, pressure Horthy’s Nazi-puppet regime and easing immigration restrictions.

Dr. Rafael Medoff and J. David Spurlock wrote, “He may have portrayed savage villains on the silver screen, but in real life Béla Lugosi raised his voice in protest against the savage persecution of the Jews in his native Hungary.” (Jewish Ledger, Jan. 3, 2011)

Damn. Respect.

Creepy ol’ Uncle Rudy

Project Veritas should pay attention. James O’Keefe keeps setting up these pathetic stings that only succeed because his gullible right-wing wants to believe, but Sacha Baron Cohen goes extreme and sets up these unbelievable scenarios that we can’t believe anyone would fall for, and we all say “NO!” when some idiot actually falls for them. The idiot this time is Rudy Giuliani, a big fish in the Trump circle of friends.

So apparently Sacha Baron Cohen is playing his character Borat, which is the first thing that had me shaking my head. Really? Doesn’t everyone recognize him yet? Isn’t the Eastern European yokel schtick all played out? I guess not, since Giuliani got played, falling for Borat pretending to be a Kazhakh diplomat bringing a bribe to the Trump campaign — a bribe which happens to be the opportunity to have sex with his 15 year old daughter. I would have told him to take a hike at the word “bribe”, and would have called the cops when he offered me a child.

Not Rudy!

In the film, released on Friday, the former New York mayor and current personal attorney to Donald Trump is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of the actor playing Borat’s daughter, who is posing as a TV journalist.

Following an obsequious interview for a fake conservative news programme, the pair retreat at her suggestion for a drink to the bedroom of a hotel suite, which is rigged with concealed cameras.

After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Guiliani has excuses — he was just tucking in his shirt! — but seriously, he’s fallen for a Borat skit, willingly went into a young woman’s bedroom, and flopped down on the bed. Give up.

Of course, he’s a Republican, so there will be no consequences. Rudy will still be Trump’s incompetent consigliere, he will still get invited on CNN and Fox to rave, no one will care.

Are you ready for disappointment and betrayal?

Even if the Democrats win the election, don’t expect much of a change.

Joe Biden’s transition team is vetting a handful of Republicans for potential Cabinet positions — despite doubts it will win him new support from the right and the risk it will enrage the left.

Reaching across the aisle to pick senior members of his administration could shore up Biden’s credentials as a unity candidate, a message he’s made a cornerstone of his campaign. Past presidents including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all done the same. But that tradition died with President Donald Trump, and liberal Democrats are already warning that a Republican pick, even a moderate one, could sow distrust within the party before Biden even takes office.

It’s bad enough that we’re settling for a tepid centrist Democrat, but if he caves to that degree, I hope he’s ready to be primaried so hard and to be a one-term president.