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.
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.”
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.
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?* […]
“We’ve already seen how he did, how he acted, the week after impeachment. Can you imagine this man after re-election?”
— Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor to Pres. Obama and author
If impeachment taught us one thing, it has to be the importance of flipping the Senate from Republican majority to Democratic majority. Had Democrats controlled the Senate during the trial, evidence would have been pursued, witnesses would have been both called and believed, and Donald Trump would have been held accountable for his naked power grabbing.
Likewise, even if Donald Trump wins in November, with a Democratically-controlled Senate joining the Democratically-controlled House, he will get nothing done. He will be rendered the ineffectual red-faced crybaby that he is if he has no enablers to make his dreams reality.
Not convinced that the Senate races are more important in 2020 than the presidential contest? The next president will almost certainly get to nominate two Supreme Court justices — but those people will have to be approved by the Senate. We’ve already seen who Republicans approve. Having two more justices like the first two will change life as Americans, particularly progressive Americans, know it. […]
You know what bothers me about the Biden electability argument? Numbers.
The last time Biden was on a ballot by himself was his 2008 Senate re-election campaign. Biden was running in Delaware, the country’s 46th state in population, against Christine O’Donnell. You remember Christine O’Donnell:
Biden triumphed over O’Donnell with 65 percent of the vote. You could not be blamed for wondering, what with people’s witch lineage in question, why that percentage wasn’t even higher. He was an entrenched incumbent running for his sixth term and 35 percent of Delawarians voted against Biden in favor of someone who paid for an ad to tell them she wasn’t a witch but was in fact them.*
“If Mr. Mulvaney had information that contradicts the consistent and incriminating testimony of numerous public servants, Mr. Mulvaney would be eager to testify, instead of hiding behind the President’s ongoing efforts to conceal the truth.”
— CNN, quoting a statement from an official involved in the impeachment inquiry.
When a less chewed up and spit out Jeff Sessions vacated his Senate seat in 2017 to become Donald Trump’s first U.S. Attorney General, it forced a special election in Alabama to replace him. And that’s about the only way a Democrat like Doug Jones was ever going to win in that state.
Reading isn’t Trump’s greatest strength but in his speech addressing the two-for-one mass shootings inspired by his recent campaign trail red meat, he recited the words like a man with a gun to his head. Which is appropriate since, statistically speaking, as an American, he is likelier than citizens from any other country to be near a gun.
But no amount of banned video games or advances in access to mental health treatment (both initiatives which have been blocked repeatedly by conservatives, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) could make up for the sheer numbers of guns in America. Residents of the old Wild West would be afraid to live with what you and I are facing. […]