COVID-9-11

If the president is going to compare COVID-19 to the 9/11 attack then I would like to propose that we start counting all mass deaths in units of 2,977. The one good thing about this idiotic metric is that’s since this is how many people died on 9/11 and 9/11 is one thing the American people can all agree was a national tragedy worthy of collective action it seems perfectly safe to assume that any event with a 9/11 sized body count should be taken just as seriously.

So let’s look at some other major tragic loses of life:

TragedyDeathsIn 911’s
Afghanistan24400.82
Hurricane Maria30571.03
Iraq44241.49
Covid-19 (May 1st 2020)7434724.97

Using this handy chart (I got the numbers from the google knowledge panels) we can see that Afghanistan, Iraq and Hurricane Maria are all in the same order of magnitude as 9/11 while COVID-19 is in the order of a month of Hurricanes or a century of war.

Hurricane Maria isn’t there by mistake. I will loop back to it a the end.

Think of what we were asked to do to prevent another 9/11 and how little we are being asked to do to prevent the deaths of our families and friends now. We were asked to endure security theater at the airports. The USA PATRIOT Act. To rally behind an idiot president and pretend he wasn’t exploiting a tragedy. DHS. The creation of ICE. These are all things we as a nation did. Gladly. We sacrificed blood and treasure. Our sons and daughters lost lives and limbs.

As a nation weren’t asked to do anything on the scale of 9/11 for Katrina or Maria despite tragic deaths on the same scale as 9/11. No national commitment to rebuild and restore. There were no national movements to lessen the harm from future storms. No calls to sacrifice to make us all whole again. Nothing even close to the 9/11 scale at all. And why? Why is it so easy to call on Americans to support destroying another totally unrelated nation and so hard to call on Americans to save lives of fellow Americans right here at home?

Benghazi is dwarfed by the other tragedies, why did it get so much more attention than Katrina did? It’s almost as if the republican party is willing to exploit national security for its partisan policy goals.

After 9/11 we were willing to join together, to act decisively, as we were reminded non stop for years following. What is happing now is nearly a month of 9/11s. We should be treating this far more seriously and the call for action should be far greater. We should not be finding a way to “9-11” the COVID response into a an excuse to exploit national security concerns for partisan policy goals, which is what this administration is doing in comparing COVID to 9/11. We should be looking to treat all tragedies seriously, learn from out mistakes and prevent future tragedies as best we can.

That the republicans are more focused on exploiting tragedy than learning from it should be a bigger story.

This post is a puzzle, can you figure it out? The Case Against the Democrats

 

This article is a trick but you consider it a puzzle. Read it carefully and see if you figure out what is odd about it. 

 

“However remarkable its catalogue of successes in the past—and the party has thrived on factionalism and controversy (with notable exceptions, such as the quarrel over slavery)—it is apparent that the party is and has been for some time in a bit of a fix. The trouble, moreover, is not just a matter of a few mischief‐makers in the back room obstructing the leadership—it is a failure born of far deeper frustrations:

  1.  inability to bring the executive and Congress into an effective working relationship;
  2.  lack of success in persuading the business community that the party is not ready to do it in if it can;
  3.  reliance on the cult of personality;
  4.  conspicuous failure in governing our cities;
  5.  a fitful, faltering approach to solving the great problems of readjustment of our cities and states within the federal system: and
  6.  exalting the group instead of the individual.

NOT since the first term of Franklin Roosevelt has the Democratic party leadership managed to reassemble the scattered limbs of government into a working whole.”

Did you figure out what the trick is?

It was printed in the NY Times back in  1964.

From: nytimes.com https://www.nytimes.com/1964/01/12/archives/case-against-the-democrats.html

The reality is that the narrative of “Democrats in disarray” has been going on for at least a half century at this point.

Trump always puts Trump first, not America, and this will never change.

Trump saying he should not talk to them if they don’t “treat you right.

Anyone who has been following Trump the past few years might still be shocked by this but I am not. To quote Adam Serwer in the Atlantic:

There are not many Trump scandals. There is one Trump scandal. Singular: the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability.

I call this the Single Scandal Theory. This is just the most recent instance of the scandal. This is exactly the same as the attempted shakedown of Ukraine he was impeached for. This is exactly how he plans on running the post COVID-19 stimulus.  It’s all the same, it never changes.

From Trump admits telling Pence not to call governors – CNN Video

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/03/27/trump-pence-governors-call-coronavirus-sot-vpx.cnn

They never thought it would effect their lives. So Foxlandia dismissed as a hoax. Now that it may effect them, they call it a crisis.

“Fox News personalities such as Sean Hannity and Laura In­graham accused the news media of whipping up “mass hysteria” and being “panic pushers.” Fox Business host Trish Regan called the alleged media-Democratic alliance “yet another attempt to impeach the president.”

But that was then.

With Trump’s declaration on Friday that the virus constitutes a national emergency, the tone on Fox News has quickly shifted.”

If you don’t understand why the GOP base was able to flip the script from hoax to crisis it is because you don’t one of the most basic truth about the right. Problems that do not effect them, do not exist. They never thought COVID-19 would effect their lives, so Foxlandia dismissed as a hoax. Now that it may effect them, they call it a crisis.

From: washingtonpost.com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/on-fox-news-suddenly-a-very-different-tune-about-the-coronavirus/2020/03/16/7a7637cc-678f-11ea-9923-57073adce27c_story.html

Mitt Romney knows there is an infinite supply of dirty socialist money whenever the Republicans want to spend it.

“Every American adult should immediately receive $1,000 to help ensure families and workers can meet their short-term obligations and increase spending in the economy”

Mitt knows there is an Infinite supply of dirty socialist money when the Republicans want to spend it. The only time you ever have to worry what something costs or who is going to pay for it is when “those people” may get some benefit that republicans do not think they deserve.

I fully support doing this. As well as fully funding the other services that will be needed. This is exactly the type of crisis where government needs to step up. But let’s not ignore the fact the in 2012, when a Democratic candidate was in the Whitehouse Romney was totally ok with  letting Detroit Go Bankrupt because there is never money for those people. Our wars. Our natural disasters. Our industries. Our people.

From: cnn.com

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/politics/coronavirus-romney-proposal/index.html

NPR Story on botched COVID-19 demonstrates the Single Scandal Theory of the Trump Administration

From NPR’s Fresh Air

“Secretary Azar has not always given the president the worst-case scenario of what could happen. My understanding is he did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that’s partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear – the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall.

Meanwhile, Seema Verma, since being added to the team, has announced all kinds of actions that could be seen as cracking down on the problem – dispatching a team of investigators to Washington state, where there has been a major outbreak of corona virus, predominantly in local nursing homes. But I’ve talked to officials who say that Seema Verma, in an effort to show that she’s cracking down, may actually be creating more problems by having her investigators demanding paperwork, demanding answers at a moment when these nursing home officials are just trying to provide basic patient care to people who have been infected by coronavirus.”

This isn’t a new Trump scandal. There isn’t a string of unrelated scandals with a new one piled on each news cycle. There is only one which has been going on for three years now. To quote Adam Serwer in the Atlantic:

There are not many Trump scandals. There is one Trump scandal. Singular: the corruption of the American government by the president and his associates, who are using their official power for personal and financial gain rather than for the welfare of the American people, and their attempts to shield that corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, or legal accountability.

I call this the Single Scandal Theory.

From: npr.org

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/12/814881355/white-house-knew-coronavirus-would-be-a-major-threat-but-response-fell-short

Republicans love Socialism almost as much as they hate Americans

All the current discussion about Coronavirus bailouts for hotels, hospitality,  skittish markets and the energy sector reminded me of this chart from a few weeks back.

Trump’s signature domestic policy is a big government socialist wall built on confiscated private property just like Khrushchev built. His signature economic policy is tax payer funded subsidies to guarantee equality of outcome for farmers hurt by his anti-market policies. Nothing about that should surprise you, the GOP has made it perfectly clear that this is an endless supply of dirty socialist money for the demographic that votes for, fights for and funds the campaigns of the Republican party. Everyone else can drop dead.

If you have trouble understanding the process that leads the GOP to defend 19 billion for farmers to not sell food while cutting 2.5 billion in food stamps for people who would like to buy food then just think back to these core narratives of the 2016 campaign:

  1. Poor white people in the rust belt are poor because of Mexicans and China and bad trade deals. They need a person to put them first and act on their behalf to correct this injustice that others have done to them. People who disagree with this are commies/hate America/are out of touch elites.
  2. Poor people of color in urban areas are poor because they are lazy and have a bad culture, they have a victim mentality. They need to learn to take care of themselves, stop claiming victim status and expecting other to fix their problems. People who disagree with this are suffering from white guilt/being politically correct/are SJWs.

So it doesn’t count as socialism if the people getting the redistribution are white Republican voters in red states. Or industries that fund Republican campaigns. And as sure as the sun sets in the west; every time a tornado, hurricane or flooding ravages a deep red state you can count on the same GOP that blocked money for injured 9/11 first responders to trip all over themselves to air drop money into rural white communities to make them all whole again.

Republicans love socialism. For themselves. Everyone else can drop dead.

Rubio's Statement on the President’s Impeachment Trial is Incoherent Nonsense

“ultimately, voters themselves can hold the President accountable in an election, including the one just nine months from now.”

If Rubio really wanted to voters to hold the president accountable he would have asked for documents and witnesses so the voters could get the full story and make their choice as informed citizens.

By allowing the president to block all documents and block all first hand testimony, Rubio is actively preventing the voters from making informed decisions. Instead, the voters will hear a he said she said debate without all the relevant facts and be unable to hold the president accountable for his actions.

Let’s apply this simple test: If Rubio’s goal was to get voters to vote without knowing what the president did thereby being unable to hold the president accountable; is there anything Rubio would have to do differently?

From: medium.com

View at Medium.com

I think I know why 70% of Republicans want Bolton to testify.

The gap between GOP voters who want John Bolton to testify (70%) and GOP senators who want witnesses (somewhere between zero and 4/51) can be completely explained once you consider that GOP voters think Trump is innocent because they believe the Fox news version of events and GOP senators know he is guilty because they actually know the actual truth.

This also explains why right wing media has turned on Bolton.

“New poll says 82% of all Americans want John Bolton to testify for Trump’s removal trial, including 70% of Republicans,” Scott Dworkin, co-founder of the Democratic Coalition, tweeted Wednesday morning, using the trending hashtag. “So the GOP Senators have a choice to make. They can side with the American people, or they can be traitors for life and side with Trump.”

From Newsweek  #WeWantWitnesses Trends After Report That Mitch McConnell Doesn’t Have The Votes To Block Witnesses In Trump Impeachment Trial

Never Trump Jurassic Park

I find myself warning my liberal friends about Never Trumpers too often. I am imagining myself as a tour guide at a Jurassic Park themed Sunday talk show, calmly warning my liberal friends to keep a safe distance from those Never Trump Raptors knowing damn well my liberal friends are being fooled by the Raptors feigned timidity just enough that we are all in danger of being eaten by those same Raptors when we least expect it. That will be during the next mid term, we have all seen this movie before.

We all want to believe that there is some common ground that supersedes the GOP desire to run up the deficit and gut social security and medicare. We have all convinced ourselves that there was common ground not that long ago. But we should never fool ourselves into thinking that the Never Trump Republicans represent a way forward to a return to common ground. This just isn’t the situation we find ourselves in today.

Case in point:

Chomp chomp chomp. See what Raptor Evans is doing? He’s trying to divide someone from the pack before going for the throat.

False equivalency aside, I don’t particularly dislike Evan. My biggest issue with him is his complete shock and dismay that his party would jeopardize national security for political gain. Well, Evan, a quick look at your bio shows that you were in the CIA in 2003. That is the same year Valerie Plame’s career in intelligence was destroyed to settle a grudge with Ambassador Joseph Wilson after he exposed George W Bush’s lie about Yellowcake Uranium from Niger during the build up to W’s disastrous Iraq war. All of this happened when Even was serving his country in the CIA. Did he not notice that his party jeopardized national security for the sake of political gain while he worked on behalf of out national security? No one talked about this around the CIA water cooler?

Every single Never Trump Republican, minus a few here and there who were too young; were part of the Bush years. They saw the exact same culture of lies, of foreign policy disasters. They all saw an aircraft carrier turned into a backdrop for a campaign commercial. The torture memo. This simply can not be stressed enough: they were all totally ok with it.

This gets me to the bigger point here. As much as Evan might dislike Trump, there is no reason to think Evan or any other never Trump would be happy with any Democratic candidate. As soon as a Democrat is in the Whitehouse, those Raptors are going to be much less timid. They’re all going to discover the deficit went up. They’re going to decide that we need a grand bargain. Do you think they’re going to be in any way open to the idea or working with Bernie or Warren or anyone on improving services? Or bringing the troops home? Or doing anything that would help a Democrat win a second term?

When looking at a never Trumper, always ask yourself “What side of the containment gate are they?”