Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Grandma, What Did You Do During the Pandemic?

There's an absurd unreality show going on out there. This is a contestant who wants to "Make a Deal" for Trump as Monty Hall's* future behind door number two. But you know what? It's going to be more COVID-19 and more dystopia. Also, she has balls on her face.

There's something weird about the mostly-female phenomenon of "Karens Gone Wild" that bothers me: they do get filmed, and they seem to rather like it. Like the ladies getting their turn on what should be a "Walk of Shame" are acting like they passed their "Star Search" auditions. They are happy to get stared at, and I don't get it. I guess it isn't just middle-aged biddies who are doing this foolishness. (Disclaimer: I am a white lady who just turned 48 myself, so I consider myself at least a young biddy.) But I have to assume they like it like that. Because until you go be legendary, who even are you?

And this is where I am going to be mean: worse, but with people watching! And while many people on Twitter will deride, there's a certain martyrdom available to people who are willing to fuck it up for ideology. (This woman violated the privacy of a customer and claimed victimhood and welp! she got it.) There will always be an audience for people who want to spectacularly represent, even if their point is a little weird or misguided.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Tempting Us With A Good Time?

My gut tells me we wouldn't be so lucky as to actually see the back of Trump straightaway once he's lost because I don't believe Trump will actually acknowledge that he has done so. But if the "mute button" was just on him? If he just....mattered less? Solace.

UPDATE: This morning, Trump speculates to Fox & Friends that Justice Ginsberg's last request is a hoax cooked up by House Democrats. If he doesn't want to honor her request, fine (I mean, it's not her call TBH) but why calumniate other than from sheer fuckery?

Sunday, September 20, 2020


1) As with all things Trump, it is likely that he is projecting and in fact, is using a lil' something-somethin' to keep himself chipper, although I was assuming he blew it up his face and that's what made his lips so numb. (Poor slurry, sniffy Biffy!)

2) Is he for real then about doing a drug test, since he can't be bothered to do a cheek swab for his defamation trial? (Apropos of which, did you notice another accuser came forward this week? We should not ever become numb to this.)

3) It might be fun to speculate what's being injected in anyone's ass, but considering that Fox News, congressional Republicans, and the entire MAGA Mouse Fan Club are holding parties in his, I'll assume the party favors are amazeballs.

D-O-N (EEEEEnnnnyone believing this guy?) A-L-D (He's a real D bag!) T-R-U-M-P. (Flavor-Aid! Hydroxychloroquine! Bumps of Comet!)

4) He also said Biden is going to end God, so that's pretty trippy. I would not call what he's on "performance-enhancing" though.

5) There is nothing natural about any of this, but the idea that the current president is accusing his challenger of being on drugs because he shows up informed and capable of speaking reasonably at a townhall (which Trump um, totally did not) suggests that Trump is not only wary of elites, but actual competence. Is this why he doesn't show any?

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Farewell, Justice

Ruth Bader Ginsburg later in life acquired the nickname "Notorious RBG" (which had to be explained to her as being a take-off on the deceased rapper, Christopher Wallace, AKA Biggie Smalls or Notorious B.I.G.) because she was gangster in her dissents. In her dissent to Shelby vs. Holder, she lit up the premise of the decision, rephrasing MLK Jr.'s comment that the arc of the universe was long but inclined towards justice with the addendum that there must be a steadfast commitment to do the bending. In other words, it inclined towards justice because good people worked to do that. And had to keep doing that work. (And she was right, and that decision was wrong.)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg did that work. When she was one of the very few female law students at Harvard in the 1950's, the Dean asked her what she was doing there, taking a man's place. That same man, Erwin Griswold, later described her work on gender equality by comparing her to Thurgood Marshall. She was a champion of equal protection under the law.

Her business was justice: even when dealing, as she did for decades, with the disease of cancer that took her mother from her when she was still young, and her husband after many years. She kept her spirit and her drive to do the right thing up to the end.

I don't care to blog right now about her replacement, because there are some people who in reality are not replaceable. She supported the rights of people whose marginalization made their rights subject to being disappeared. Her belief in equality under the law for everyone made her a champion for the disabled and for minorities, for women and LGBT people. She stood in the gap for folks to keep the idea of equality alive. She wanted the feet of government off the necks of people living their lives.  Her career and her life need to speak for themselves, without the spotlight of electoral politics for the moment coloring her magnificent career.

She was a person so deserving of the title "Justice". May her memory be a blessing.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The 2020 and Beyond Project

The 1619 Project is a work of journalism showing the throughline of race relations from slavery to the present in the US. It's not a curriculum or a hitjob on the American experiment, but rather a reconciling of the parts of history that aren't emphasized and the stories of those who were unstoried. The kneejerk assumption that this counternarrative is meant to indoctrinate rather than supplement the history people already are taught seems to me to be rooted in an ideology that doesn't concern itself with historical facts qua facts, but sees the narrative of history as being about the "winners", as if history was a zero-sum game where one story needs to gain prominence and others need to be denied breath. And if some other story exists, then?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Herd Mentality

I guess what made me chuckle the most about this one is thinking back on all the times Trump's anti-mask followers insist that mask wearing was for "the sheeple". Trump's townhall for "undecided" voters was really a vision to behold, and you know this much is true, because Fox News is already spinning it as an ambush, because I guess he was not informed that there would be questions? Because you know, exactly the thing you want in a president is a guy who can be caught off guard by regular folks asking him questions about things that are happening right now.

Except does Trump even know he's president? I mean, he blamed Joe Biden for there not being a national mask mandate, and Joe Biden is (sorry to this woman, who also does not seem to know) not currently the president. But I'm starting to feel good it about it happening one day! Because Trump also seems to not understand that all the times he said the coronavirus was a hoax with his own mouth were anything but "up-playing" the virus.

It isn't just performances like this entire shitshow that made Scientific American break a 175 (!) year tradition and endorse Joe Biden, but it does help you understand that Trump is so exceptionally stupid that he finally scared the shit out of scientists. (This is not even the first tradition breaking non-endorsement this guy has gotten--see The Atlantic four years ago, who endorsed Clinton when they had only endorsed candidates two times before in their 150ish year history. And for a similar reason: he's an "enemy of fact-based discourse.")

Trump's grotesque mental deficits have been on rare display this week, from his discussion of exploding trees to his insistence that "science doesn't know" about climate change because it will start "getting cooler". Who knows what the latter thing is even supposed to mean with Trump--that it will be fall, and wildfires will go away with the cold like COVID-19 was supposed to go away in April when things got warmer? Scientists have of course heard of the change of seasons (see: every conversation ever had under the heading of "climate is not weather" and "Yes, it still snows, Virginia") but take note that when Trump was encouraging things to open up after Easter regardless of whether or not the virus had gone away with the warmth of spring, he was also telling Bob Woodward what a killer it was.

Trump is audaciously ignorant, and the results have been disastrous and there is no reason to believe this will improve. I do not expect such warnings to penetrate with his biggest fans, whose herd mentality is that he is a great white Christian businessman come to rescue them from the raging barbarian hordes of foreigners, libertines and book-learners, but if anyone is even a little bit undecided, let his being a whole dumbass stand out as being a great reason to not vote for him.

This is guy who talks about windmill cancer and being injected with disinfectants. I don't know how how much dumber he needs to be to scare everyone else off. I'm not even sure I want to know that.

UPDATE: It's also pertinent to note that per Worldometer, the US is at over 200,000 COVID deaths. It is projected we could see 200,000 more before the end of the year. Herd immunity would mean 2-5 million US dead over a period of the next year or so, providing we do not have an effective vaccine. Unlike Trump, I do not prefer to behave as if an effective vaccine is already on the table. Given what we don't know about the long-term health of COVID survivors (lung, neurological and cardiac health, etc.) herd immunity is a bitter pill that should never have been made a necessity. But after a certain point of loss of control of testing/tracking, becomes a default, I guess. Which is absurd and painful and reminiscent of the idea of climate "tipping points". )

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The State Has No Right

The implication here are gut-wrenching:

Multiple women came forward to tell Project South about what they perceived to be the inordinate rate at which women in ICDC were subjected to hysterectomies – a surgical operation in which all or part of the uterus is removed. Additionally, many of the immigrant women who underwent the procedure were reportedly “confused” when asked to explain why they had the surgery, with one detainee likening their treatment to prisoners in concentration camps.

“Recently, a detained immigrant told Project South that she talked to five different women detained at ICDC between October and December 2019 who had a hysterectomy done,” the complaint stated. “When she talked to them about the surgery, the women ‘reacted confused when explaining why they had one done.’ The woman told Project South that it was as though the women were ‘trying to tell themselves it’s going to be OK.’”

“When I met all these women who had had surgeries, I thought this was like an experimental concentration camp. It was like they’re experimenting with our bodies,” the detainee said.

The treatment of human bodies in US immigration detention is historically bad (and was wretched under Obama as well, who gets no velvet glove treatment from me over his administration's negligence in health care, deportations, and placement of unaccompanied minors in the hands of unaccountable people) but this looks like more than mere gross criminal negligence. It looks like a plan to punish women for their fertility and prevent their making reproductive choices that might result in their children being a part of the United States citizenry.

It smells like ethnic cleansing. It is a human rights violation.

This is in line with other recent stories of ICE violations of human dignity: the continued separation of families, complicated by coronavirus.

Stories about US interest in migrant fertility aren't new. But this seems horrifying and deliberate beyond mere negligence, carelessness and cruelty. The bodies of these people were harmed and their choices taken away from them. It is both grotesque and yet not out of line with our darkest history.

UPDATE: It's also a reminder of one of the harshest things to consider about the Trump Administrations: The cruelty is the point. Even the most outlandish things, make perfect sense when you keep in mind that Trump is a sick little boy pulling the wings off of flies. Of course he invites his own followers to big old disease-spreading rallies. The death toll fascinates him, and the zeal.

Nothing good comes from misunderstanding this. Also, Caputo is a Renfield, but he isn't crazy. The invitation to insurrection in Trump's honor, following after Roger Stone, is the real message.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Gaslighting by the RNC

I'm pretty sure Ronna (Romney omitted) McDaniel knows perfectly well that Donald Trump is the current president of the United States and has been during the entire time that COVID-19 has been here, probably since December, at which point Trump's Chinese transportation ban (which still let like 40,000 people or so through)  was fine (and no one really complained about it) but fell short of what was needed.

We needed a national testing strategy, and allocation of PPE to the regions that needed it most. Trump sent care packages to other countries, but when blue states needed federal assistance, he told them they were on their own. This year may have felt longer than most, but a lot of us can still remember things that only happened a few months ago.

Joe Biden was running a primary campaign at the beginning of this year, but identified the problems that needed to be taken care of and leveled with the American people that this was going to be hard, and we needed to be prepared. Donald Trump, unfortunately, was running a country, badly. He did not level with the American people, and pretending he was trying to avoid panic is laughable at best. From "American carnage" onward, spreading panic and dividing people have proven to be his favorite things.

And now, Trump is running his 2020 campaign (let's face it, since being sworn in, he never wasn't) and is holding an indoor rally in Henderson, NV with very little mask-usage among the folks. You know, the way the campaign did things in Tulsa, only, from all appearances, more well-attended.
Does it seem like at even this late date Trump is doing anything to mitigate the disaster? How in the world is someone who is not president supposed to be more responsible for current events than the person in the White House? How does Ronna McDaniel square the 195,000 deaths with "good performance" on Trump's part, and why the hell would she want that record to prevail?

I can't answer that. Maybe she could answer that. But she better also explain why she thinks it's ok to gaslight people who have already been lied to by a Republican president with disastrous consequences.

But here she was earlier today:

Testing isn't killing people. The coronavirus is. We are testing more because we have had more infections, and more people are dying.  She's repeated what Trump always says, but what Trump says makes no sense. She could do better, but doesn't dare. She's not stupid, she's just morally compromised and scared shitless of the party's mascot.  So she lies for him, even though people are dying. Even though it's Republicans at Trump rallies that could be dying.

Hey, I don't expect her to care if nasty old liberals like me bite it. But she, like Trump, doesn't care about anyone. At all. Over her current RNC chairpersonhood. That's some amazing privileged bullshit.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Throughline

 Paul Krugman made a mistake on Twitter today in suggesting that the US did not panic after 9/11--we entirely did. It might not have looked like an instantaneous paroxysm of broken glass and flaming mosques all over the US, but it happened, sporadically, over the course of years. People who were visibly different, like Sikhs, were certainly attacked for their cultural difference without regard to whether they had any culpability. And after so many years, the damage accumulated

The Patriot Act got passed and ushered in an era of surveillance and profiling of people based on their origins and affiliations. We sanctified a shakedown of people not based on their activity, but their identity. People like Michelle Malkin, who advocated internment, and Pamela Geller, an eliminationist,  became mildly lionized. 

So, let's try and think about how Geller leads to an Anders Breivik, right?  How this has ripples towards Christchurch and Squirrel Hill? Because it ascertained that "foreign" is bad because some foreigners believe their religion a bit different than you do. And related that difference as being the reason behind murders based on--bigotry related to religious difference. 

There's a throughline.