Trump Fired the Entire U.S. Pandemic Response Chain of Command in 2018

Dr. Nancy Sullivan of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases briefs President Barack Obama on Ebola research, Dec. 2, 2014. NIH, CC

The longer Donald Trump is in office, the greater the risk that the corruption and incompetence at the top of the U.S. government will cause or contribute to a large-scale disaster — something like a Category 5 hurricane that hits the mainland, a 7.0 or greater quake in the West or on the New Madrid Fault in the East, or, as seems to be increasingly likely, a coronavirus pandemic that could affect every state in the Union.


Maybe Republicans Really AREN’T People, Too

It is a newspaper, but it ain't the Times.
It is a newspaper, but it ain’t the Times.

In its new “Republicans Are People, Too” advertising campaign, the GOP is going to some lengths to show that party members are, variously, guys with beards and tattoos, young black women, Prius drivers and young dudes who read the New York Times.

But according to TPM, the images used in the ads are all stock photos that have been used in other campaigns or, more egregiously, show a young man holding the Wall Street Journal who is, the ad alleges, reading the New York Times. Whoops!

The Republican Party’s ad agency really is clueless, too. Really.

Kind of reminds me of a little limerick I wrote.

It’s GOP Deja Vu All Over Again

If this sounds all too familiar, it’s because Republicans were licking their wounds around this time last year after being blindsided by a presidential election whose outcome they should have seen coming a mile away. But ignorance was bliss as conservative politicians and talkers pushed bogus polls and political fairy tales to angry voters who were once again on the losing side of history. Media outlets that released polls showing President Obama winning were attacked as biased and conservatives who warned of Romney’s weaknesses were rhetorically burned at the stake as heretics.

— TV personality Joe Scarborough, in a opinion piece for Politico.

More on the Inability of Conservatives to Take Responsibility for Their Actions

There’s nothing in this for conservatives. Not even a bright or shiny object. I don’t know how you negotiate up from this capitulation. I think the long faces are a result of the realization, if not the vocalization yet, that this sets the precedent for this Congress.

— Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY), quoted by TPM, on the deal to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling.

Cook: Odds favor Dems in Budget Showdown

It’s difficult to understand why any Republicans on Capitol Hill would like their odds in any kind of budget showdown this fall that could result in a government shutdown. Very simply, they would be going into a game with an incredibly weak hand, and their odds of winning would be quite small. … While Obama’s numbers are hardly impressive, they are still much better than those for congressional Democrats, and they aren’t even in the same time zone as the bleak numbers for Republicans in Congress. This being the case, who goes into this fight with the least credibility? The answer is Republicans in Congress … It’s a time for Republicans to be realistic and for both sides to be adults — and allow a reasonable deal to be reached.

— Pundit Charlie Cook.

Scarborough Likes Winning

I like winning, I’m different. I definitely am a RINO in that respect, my dear howling friends. I like to win. In fact, I do win. That’s just what I do. I go out — I don’t know if you knew this or not — the idea in elections is to get more votes than the other side.

— Joe Scarborough, quoted by the Huffington Post reports, asking Republicans if they “ever want to be in the White House again.”

The Republican Party is Broken

I think the emphasis on partisan polarization is misplaced. There’s nothing about strong partisanship that makes effective government in the U.S. impossible… Indeed: I suspect the game theorists might actually find that it should be easier for two well-organized parties to cut those deals, even if their ideal points are quite distant, than it would be to reach a deal between unstructured, factionalized parties, even if there are no extremists among them… And yet: dysfunction, crises, threats of shutdown and irrational outcomes no one claims to want. … My conclusion? It’s not partisanship. It’s not polarization. It’s not even extremism. It’s the Republican Party. The GOP is broken.

— Jonathan Bernstein, writing in Salon.

Gallup: 75% of Americans Correctly Blame Bush for Bush Recession

From left, Bush, Leach, Oxley
From left, Bush, Leach, Oxley
According to a new poll from Gallup, three-quarters of Americans still remember that the financial meltdown happened on George W. Bush’s watch.

However, just 19 months after the second greatest economic collapse of the past 100 years — and as a direct result of Republican efforts to rewrite the disastrous history of the Bush administration — a growing number of those surveyed said they are beginning to blame the Bush Recession on Pres. Obama. According to Gallup, in July 2009, only 32 percent — roughly the same number who self-identify as Republicans — blamed Pres. Obama. Now that number has risen to 50 percent. The jump in numbers was caused by the fact that 50 percent of independents and even 26 percent of Democrats now believe that Obama, who was a presidential candidate while serving in the Senate at the time of the meltdown, caused the recession.