So This is What Living In a Failed State is Like

Marc Maron

I know most of you realize, I don’t need to tell you, that obviously we are living in a failed state.

And that our government’s reaction to this was too late, and that it was not enough. and a lot of what the federal government is supposed to do they’re not doing.

Because over the last few years — but certainly over the last 20 — whenever possible, Republicans tried to dismantle the government, everything they see as non-essential. And some of that being what was needed to respond to this properly.

So this is the goal: the failed state. This is the Republican vision. Let private enterprise take care of it. Great. So now we have people who need ventilators and masks and there’s a bidding war going on over who is going to make a profit on those items and which states they’re going to sell to. It’s all working out.

— Marc Maron, speaking on his WTF podcast about the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of Adam Schlesinger from the disease, the consequences and reality of running government like a business, and the catastrophe that is the Trump administration.

Keep Talking Trump. You’re Getting Less Popular Each Day

From RealClearPolitics.com

New polls are showing the limits of Americans rallying around their leader in times of crisis.

The more Trump crows during his daily free TV rally that his poll numbers are excellent, the more they show signs of declining. After Trump tweeted a New York Times quote that said, “President Trump is a ratings hit,” Never Trumper Rick Wilson responded:

“This is what you are to him, Americans. An audience. Not his constituents. Not the people who hired him. Not even humans. You’re boxes in a spreadsheet of his Nielsen ratings.”

[…]

The Ad Trump Doesn’t Want You to See

In this hard-hitting ad released earlier this month by Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC, a graph showing the rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases is superimposed over video clips of Trump repeatedly downplaying the spread of the pandemic.

In an apparent effort to help publicize the ad, a pro-Trump group is suing Priorities USA, claiming that the ad is “patently false, misleading and deceptive.”

Their quibble is a clip of Trump at a rally in South Carolina on Feb. 28 in which he says, “The coronavirus … this is their new hoax.”

[…]

Contrasts with South Korea Show How Badly Trump Team Failed at Early COVID-19 Efforts

There are facts that won’t change as the COVID-19 virus spreads, and the bungling of the crisis by the Trump Administration is etched in stone.

A story by Reuters contrasts the South Korean response with that of the United States. It ain’t pretty for the U.S. Both countries discovered their first cases on the same day but South Korea acted decisively, pioneered drive-through testing, and slowed the spread of the disease.

South Korea’s swift action stands in stark contrast to what has transpired in the United States…the Koreans have tested well over 290,000 people and identified over 8,000 infections. New cases are falling off: Ninety-three were reported Wednesday, down from a daily peak of 909 two weeks earlier.

The United States, whose first case was detected the same day as South Korea’s, is not even close to meeting demand for testing. About 60,000 tests have been run by public and private labs in a country of 330 million, federal officials said Tuesday.

As a result, U.S. officials don’t fully grasp how many Americans have been infected and where they are concentrated – crucial to containment efforts.

Read the whole Reuters special report.

The Surest Way for Us to Lose is to Vote Based on Who We Think Can Win

Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

Update: In light of the 60 Minutes interview with Bloomberg and the announcement by Buttigieg that he is dropping out, I’m switching my vote to Bloomberg.

“At a certain point, we have to stop backing away from Trump and turn around and start walking toward the America that we want to create. That’s the problem when the only political goal is defeating Donald Trump. All you’re doing is fighting a vendetta, you will literally accept any kind of foul evil as long as it’s not the specific evil that you’re fighting…

“People say, ‘Well HE can defeat him. THIS is the guy that can defeat him, or no, Biden can defeat him, or a moderate can defeat him, or a leftist can defeat him…’ Nobody knows who can take it so you might as well vote for the America you want to see, not the America you’re afraid to let go of.” — Moshe Kasher, comedian and writer

I live in a state that doesn’t vote until two weeks after Super Tuesday. A lot of tea leaves will have been read by the time I vote. The conventional wisdom will be set in stone and my state’s decision will be an afterthought.

And I am still going to vote for who I’m going to vote for. Pete Buttigieg has impressed me from the beginning. None of the other candidates feel right to me. I’m voting for Pete no matter what I’m being told by St. Patrick’s Day about who can win. I’m voting for Pete because he’s who I want to see in the White House in January.

The truth is that nobody knows who can or will defeat Trump. The truth is that most voters are not pundits. The truth is that by trying to be pundits, by voting based purely on who you think everyone else will vote for, you end up with a candidate that most don’t hate but no one loves. How did that work for us in 2016, 2004, and 1988?* […]