Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Trump Lies About Everything

 

One of the standout lies from last night's disastrous presidential debate was when Trump made the claim that 308,000 veterans died waiting for care because of something that President Obama and Vice President Biden somehow didn't do.

We all know that Obama and Biden inherited two wars and an avalanche of claims from veterans because of the way Bush and Cheney ran the government. They started those wars and failed to anticipate the results. Thousands of our troops died and many times that number came home wounded and injured. The relentless deployments left far too many men and women with the after effects of multiple tours of duty overseas. Blaming them for what happened with the VA system is ludicrous, especially given the fact that the GOP blocked funding for Veterans as often as possible.

I mean, honestly. What can you do with lies like this?

President Donald Trump’s allegation at Tuesday’s debate that former Vice President Joe Biden’s policies while in office killed hundreds of thousands veterans rests on a five-year-old inspector general report that found widespread problems with Veterans Affairs record keeping but does not directly connect deaths to delayed care from department officials.

The report — compiled in the wake of the 2014 VA wait time scandal where numerous hospital administrators were found to cover up wait times at their medical centers — drew headlines at the time as another sign of incompetence and mismanagement at the embattled department. 

[...] 

Biden disputed both allegations. Trump’s campaign team tweeted out news coverage of the 2015 report in support of the president’s attack just minutes after the debate remarks.

In the report, the VA Inspector General looked into reports of nearly 900,000 pending enrollment applications within the department’s health care system as of September 2014. However, investigators “could not reliably determine how many pending records existed as a result of applications for health care benefits.”

Trump will lie about everything he can come up with. We have never fully appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Obama/Biden administration to solve problems that were dumped on them and exacerbated by Mitch McConnell's obstruction policies. 

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Trump's Campaign Managers Are Always in Trouble


The most dangerous job in America is being Trump's campaign manager:

President Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was taken from his Fort Lauderdale home by police Sunday afternoon after his wife reported that he was armed and threatening suicide.

The police, called by his wife, went to the house in the Seven Isles community, an affluent area in which houses have access to the water. They made contact, “developed a rapport” and negotiated his exit from the house, the police said in a statement. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center under the Baker Act, which provides for temporary involuntary commitment.

Parscale has millions and millions of dollars that he was able to extract from notorious tax cheat and deadbeat billionaire Trump. He probably took that money out of the campaign that Trump is pretending to run for president but which actually serves as a massive slush fund for all the crimes we don't know about yet. 

Let's hope Brad gets the help he needs before he goes to Federal Prison for fraud and other alleged crimes.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Brutal Nightmare of Conservative Media


This is one of the top stories at Tucker Carlson's shitpost extravaganza, otherwise known as the Daily Caller (no link because fuck them).

It's like a descent into madness. Here we have a white nationalist publication that supports the white nationalist president currently leading an entire nation to a suicidal stand inside of the Fuhrer bunker. It's a story written out in near-perfect tones of derision and outrage, signaling that we will soon have a new FBI Director.

Conservative crying bitch Mark Meadows is handling the dirty work today. He is forced to prop up the absurd claim that mail in ballots are anything other than a great idea in a time of global pandemic. This is because, as soon as a majority of Americans vote, Trump and his criminal enterprise will fall back under the jurisdiction of a Biden Justice Department and then everyone's going to jail. Wheee! 

It's not going so great. FBI Director Christopher Wray would very much like to avoid having to go to jail so he is, more or less, just trying to do the job he was handed without getting too deep into the weeds with QAnon and Trumpism. This means that a lackey like Meadows is going to have to stick the knife in his back. The fact that he is using Tucker's white nationalist website to do it is one thing. It's entirely another thing to see the White House Chief of Staff attack the FBI Director who was appointed by the WHCOS's boss in a conservative media outlet.

We are witnessing a circular firing squad. Instead of attacking the Democrats, they're going after each other. I mean, talk about your brutal nightmares. If it wasn't so entertaining, I'd say we need less of this and more of the conservatives just going after the Never Trumpers. But, no. We now get three or four layers of outright fratricide to watch and read.

You hate to see it.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Distressed


Once a fixture at the administration's coronavirus briefings, Dr. Deborah Birx has confided to aides and friends that she has become so unhappy with what she sees as her diminished role as coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force that she is not certain how much longer she can serve in her position, sources familiar with her thinking tell CNN. 

Birx has told people around her that she is "distressed" with the direction of the task force, describing the situation inside the nation's response to the coronavirus as nightmarish. 

According to people familiar with her thinking, Birx views Dr. Scott Atlas, a recent addition to the task force, as an unhealthy influence on President Donald Trump's thinking when it comes to the virus.

In other words, "I would love to resign on principle but that ship has sailed."

Monday, September 21, 2020

We Do Not Have a Functioning CDC Right Now



This is bullshit:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday abruptly reverted to its previous guidance about how coronavirus is transmitted, removing language about airborne transmission it had posted just days earlier. 

 "A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency's official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted," Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesman, said in a response emailed to CNN.

The guidance had been quietly updated on Friday, according to the CDC's website. CNN was first to report the change on Sunday. The CDC responded to CNN just before noon on Monday to say it was reverting to the previous guidance.

Despite several studies that have shown the novel coronavirus can spread through small particles in the air, the CDC page now says that Covid-19 is thought to spread mainly between people in close contact -- about 6 feet -- and "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks." This is the same language it posted months ago.

There is no way to say this without sounding shrill. The CDC has stopped functioning as an agency. It is now an arm of the Trump Re-Election Campaign. It is no longer a Federal agency devoted to protecting the American people or using science to advance our understanding of diseases.

People need to start walking out the door. I understand that there are no more whistleblower protections in place. Hell, there aren't many Inspectors General left either. But, damn. We are in a terrible place right now and people are dying.










Monday, September 14, 2020

Mass Hysterectormies Performed at ICE Facility in Georgia


There is an ICE facility in Ocilla, Georgia that is run by a private company called LaSalle Corrections. It is being used to house immigrant women who have been detained by the United States government. Here's what we know so far.

Female detainees were given hysterectomies without fully understanding why they needed to have them.
Several legal advocacy groups on Monday filed a whistleblower complaint on behalf of a nurse at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center documenting “jarring medical neglect” within the facility, including a refusal to test detainees for the novel coronavirus and an exorbitant rate of hysterectomies being performed on immigrant women.

The nurse, Dawn Wooten, was employed at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Georgia, which is operated by LaSalle Corrections, a private prison company. The complaint was filed with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by advocacy groups Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, and South Georgia Immigrant Support Network.
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.
How do you find the words to explain how unthinkable this is? It is an evil that has infected our society in a way that all but guarantees that we have failed to stop it from taking root in the first place. I mean, there's no hyperbole here! This is cruel! It's inhuman! It's the exact opposite of everything this country is supposed to stand for!

That's Trumpism for you. It never fails to attain a level of viciousness that would never have been believed just a decade ago.

The party of life, my ass.

UPDATE:



Saturday, September 12, 2020

No More QAnon Bullshit


This has to stop:
Police and local officials on the West Coast are battling multiple raging fires. They're also fighting a wave of misinformation from false rumors spread in neighborhood Facebook groups and on far-right websites that antifa activists were setting the blazes.
At least six groups have issued warnings about the false rumors, including some pleading with the public to stop sharing the misinformation.

“Rumors spread just like wildfire and now our 9-1-1 dispatchers and professional staff are being overrun with requests for information and inquiries on an UNTRUE rumor that 6 Antifa members have been arrested for setting fires in DOUGLAS COUNTY, OREGON,” the Douglas County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
The false claims also became fodder for the now-sizable online QAnon community, which began amplifying various false reports earlier in the week.
Whatever needs to be done to regulate the flow of misinformation and put a stop to it has to start with understanding that it affects public safety. People are dying because they are being mislead intentionally in order to spread a dangerous conspiracy theory/ideology through mass hysteria. This is the kind of actual hysteria that kills people. QAnon is the asshole who yells 'fire' in a crowded movie theater, laughs when people are trampled, and gets away with it because Facebook says its alright to do these things.

This is unbelievable. This is what law enforcement has to deal with? Seriously?

This is a form of domestic terrorism. Not only is it being used to ratfuck an election, it's a threat to public safety.

The attorneys general for these Western states need to have a quick confab and begin with putting together a lawsuit against any social media company that actively entertains and spreads QAnon information. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Fox News -- they are all liable for this. Any Republican spreading it should be liable as well. Start with massive fines and criminal prosecutions for disseminating threats and information that deal directly with public safety considerations.

Once the fines hit, and once these companies realize that they need to de-platform the people who spread QAnon misinformation, it will probably take years to deprogram the acolytes of stupidity. And if this was just about wacky hats and memes on comment threads, that would be one thing. We have individuals with guns ready to shoot people because they are inundated with bullshit that isn't true. Someone better do something fast.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Understanding the Meltdown


I don't know about you, but when I go looking for a diversion, I really don't need to hear more bad news on top of all the bad news we're faced with each and every day. However, the need to understand what's happening in our world takes precedent. As Antarctica goes, so goes the whole planet.

Scientists may just have identified Thwaites Glacier's Achilles heel.

This Antarctic colossus is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tonnes of ice in the ocean every year and pushing up global sea-levels.

Now, a UK-US team has surveyed the deep seafloor channels in front of the glacier that almost certainly provide the access for warm water to infiltrate and attack Thwaites' underside.

It's information that will be used to try to predict the ice stream's future.

"These channels had not been mapped before in this kind of detail, and what we've discovered is that they're actually much bigger than anyone thought - up to 600m deep. Think of six football pitches back to back," said Dr Kelly Hogan from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

"And because they are so deep, and so wide - this allows a lot more water to get at, and melt, Thwaites' floating front as well as its ice that rests on the seabed," she told BBC News. 

If you need some good news, think of the dedication of these scientists. They may not be able to solve the problem but the fact that they're working on it is worth praise.




Tuesday, September 8, 2020

You Planted Those Seeds, Dammit


I did warn you:
In late July, America was briefly enthralled with “Unsolicited Seeds from China,” which started showing up in mailboxes in all 50 states. These mystery seeds prompted warnings from the USDA, which said people should not plant them, and should instead alert their state agricultural authority and mail them to the USDA or their local officials.
Many Americans heeded this advice. Many more decidedly did not.
You stupid sons of bitches, what am I going to do with you?
Based on documents I’ve read, the scale of the mystery seed operation was much larger than I had originally suspected and than was originally reported. Conservatively, it is safe to say that tens of thousands of Americans received what they perceived to be Chinese mystery seeds in July. Some states, like North Carolina, had more than 1,000 people contact the department of agriculture having received unsolicited seeds. Others, like New Mexico, had roughly 100 recorded seed receivers. Many of these seed receivers, regardless of location, panicked.
"About a month ago, I did receive seeds from China. I guess China because it looks like Chinese writing. I thought, 'Oh cool, maybe Burgess seeds or one of the seed companies send me some seeds.' And, umm, like a dumbass, I planted them, not knowing there was a problem," a woman in New Mexico said in a voicemail left with the state's department of agriculture in late July. "And now, I've been battling this for a couple weeks. Now, where I planted them, and I remember where I planted them, everything that's in the garden where I planted them are having a hard time and are starting to die … I really don't know what to do at this point, so could somebody call me back and give me a little bit of direction about this? I know I'm a dumbass."
America, we had a good run. The decline is real, and the fall of this great nation is at hand. But, then again, maybe we'll just sacrifice some boats and keep on truckin'.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

No Love For Trump in the Ruins of Kenosha


This is an example of deliberate misinformation and manipulation.
US President Donald Trump has visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, to back law enforcement after the police shooting of a black man sparked civil strife.
The Republican president sought to blame "destruction" in the Midwestern city on local Democratic leaders.
Kenosha was rocked by days of violence after Jacob Blake was shot in the back by officers.
Opinion polls show Mr Trump is cutting into his Democratic rival Joe Biden's lead ahead of November's election.
The president is pushing a strong "law and order" message ahead of the vote. Mr Biden has accused Mr Trump of stoking racial division.


Trump does not care about the people of Kenosha or anything that resembles "law and order." He cares about being photographed in the "ruins" of a city that is run by Democrats so that he can scare enough people into voting for him.

If he can persuade people that things are really out of control he can win a handful of people over to his cause. The thing is, there is no cause! There's nothing that Trump stands for except producing more liberal tears. So, fuck this guy. He represents a nihilism that is almost unimaginable in modern America. He can't bring jobs, reform, or a cure for COVID-19 so he's going to bring what he has left--fear.

His campaign is a weaponization of fear and manipulation. That's all it is.

And this will work with low information voters, it really will in this day and age. There are far too many people who believe that Trump is looking out for them when all he's trying to do is survive for another four years and continue stealing as much money as possible. The good news is that there are fewer and fewer low information voters because, well, when you're getting hammered economically, you tend to wise up. Tens of millions of Americans are now radicalized to vote Trump out of office. This is no small thing. Contrast that with the Biden candidacy, which is an emphatic rejection of fear and intolerance.

A "law and order" president does not go through as many lawyers, judges, and Attorneys General as this one.