Thursday, March 19, 2020

Good News/Bad News

My next newspaper column:
First, the bad news: Trump is still president. Two months after lying that everything was “under control,” finally acknowledging the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis, which he’s now calling “the Chinese virus” because he never misses an opportunity, he’s still getting it wrong. Focusing first on the stock market, for continuing the Obama recovery of which he took unwarranted credit, and which has lost all post-election gains, he wanted spending where it’s least needed. 
What if his first economic move had been getting money to people losing jobs, small businesses losing customers, hospitals running out of protective gear and beds. What if he’d listened to experts, instead of Jared Kushner? Imagine him having the leadership instincts of this man 
Trump still looks for people to blame (Obama, the Chinese) and credit to take. On a scale of one to ten, he awards his initially irresponsible, belated, and inadequate response a ten. Now he’s saying “I always knew” how serious it was. Then why did he waste weeks saying otherwise? Incredible. 
The words by which history will remember this “president” are those he uttered when asked what responsibility he takes for the lack of testing and other missteps: “I take no responsibility.” That’s Trump, encased in his own words like Han Solo in carbonite. It’s his “Ask not what your country can do for you…;” his “… of the people, by the people, and for the people…,” and his “… a day that will live in infamy.” Plaster it on billboards and write it large: “I take no responsibility.”  
Oh, but now, like George Bush, he says he's a "wartime president." How'd that last one work out? 
Suddenly socialist, Trump is okay with giving struggling Americans a thousand bucks or two. Consider again that $1.5 trillion to bolster stock markets. Divide it by the number of Americans who are and who’ll be in need, and get it to them. There’s the economic horse we need, not the cart Trump put before it. The stock gains about which Trump had baselessly bragged are wiped out. Lies aren’t soothing markets, nor are the incompetents and yes-men with whom Trump has surrounded himself.  
More bad news: Moscow Mitch McConnell is still Majority Leader. While Nancy Pelosi worked out a rescue package with Trump’s people, Mitch left town. When the plan was made known, he dismissed it as a “liberal wish-list,” and engineered severe dilution of paid sick leave. Now, as even Republicans are agreeing to massive critical spending, the stupidity of Trump’s unnecessary tax cuts and trillion-dollar deficits in a time of prosperity, emptying the treasury, becomes obvious. This is the time for deficit spending, not then. The price will be enormous. 
The good news: Fox “news” screamers flipped like a switch when Trump finally woke up, never acknowledging their prior politicized attacks. Maybe their viewers will realize they’ve always been lied to. Also, people like Alex Jones and Jim Bakker, soulless scammers of bogus cures, are being told to shut up.  
The best news: notwithstanding examples of the worst, we’re also seeing humanity at its finest. For everyone selfishly hoarding goods, fighting over remainders; for every scalper, every paranoid deplorable buying guns and ammo, there are hundreds looking out for their neighbors, shopping for them, sharing what they have. 
If the corporations Trump wants to bail out (socialism!) are refusing to provide help for their employees, many small business are; and they’re finding ways to supply their customers at a distance. A distillery in Portland (hippie libtards!) created a hand sanitizer and is giving it away. Zoos and museums and teaching institutions (educated elitists!) are offering free online teaching. Celebrities (Hollywood liberals!) are giving free online concerts and donating money. Conservatives, too. 
People are hosting video gatherings to help parents do creative, fun, and educational activities with homebound kids. Shuttered schools are still providing meals to students who’ve counted on them.  
Hilarious videos of dealing with social isolation are being posted online. Around our country, governors have filled the federal leadership vacuum with reality-based, tough-but-wise directions which, except where ignored by Trumpists who can’t believe Trump finally told the truth, will help curtail the spread. Generous countries are donating supplies to others.  
Humor, community, and creativity will get us through. Now, perhaps, people will see that “government is the problem” only when people like Trump and McConnell are running it; and that ignoring the least of us endangers us all. Maybe they’ll even resume appreciating reporters who pursue important stories despite being called enemies of the state. 
[Image source]


  1. "I take no responsibility.”

    The Trump virus is going to stick on him like bad orange makeup and stupid hair. The Trump virus is producing a gold mine of clips, claims, lies, deceits, and astounding failings that ought to fill the bill to a "T" for Bloomberg's money and machine in service to Biden this Fall. They won't have to break a sweat. I hope to hell they hammer him!

    I can barely listen to the daily briefings, usually looking for any reason to leave the room. My gag reflex continues to assert itself with all of Trump's and Pence's puffery and self-congratulatory chest beating and backslapping. That's at least half of the program right there. Then there's the 30% of landfill plus Trump flappin' his lips just to hear himself. That leaves 10-20% potentially informative or even useful material — but that all depends on who's delivering it. The unprofessionalism is astounding. I know that the staff behind him are trying to do their best. But the ringleader is the clown. And you know what you're going to get and it's bad. Always bad.

    On one of my walks this week, I retraced the path of another who had passed by me 20 seconds prior. With the air in my face as I walked though his fading steps, I just kept imagining viral particles entering my lungs.

  2. Sid Sid Sid Sid Sid....

    missing the point as usual (like most surgeons, narrow focus, closed minded, reminds me of.....
    "Me" HT Doc Holiday)

    you know this is all Putin's master plan to re-elect PGICOTUS..
    just follow me
    1: "Chinese Virus"?(it did start there, to be honest), Mother Russia's historic enemy to the East...
    2: Hmm, funny, no panic in Russia, almost like they have hmm, what was that word? "Immunity"

    OK, doesn't explain my 10 year supply of MRE's(forget the 1992 expiration date, they're still good!)

    Frank "where's the toilet paper"

  3. My beautiful 15 yo daughter was adopted from China at the age of 1. She has been the target of "Chinese Virus" comments from some of her "American" peers. I don't know what to say to her...

  4. > Suddenly socialist, Trump is okay with giving struggling Americans a thousand bucks or two.

    Really bloody magnanimous of him, considering my 401k took a $2000 hit thanks in large part to him running his mouth. I'd like to take the loss out of his hide, but I'd probably have to stand in a long line.

  5. @skyriver —

    I am so sorry to hear that your daughter is being called out, skyriver. That's really cruel and pathetic.

    High schools have always had their full measure of jerks and idiots, but the fact that Trump doesn't give a <----> that he's the reason Asian Americans are being attacked by MAGAheads and some of the refuse that marches to their drum is just sick. Trump is a four letter word.

  6. My Chinese friend calls it the Wuhan Virus. I don't know where she's from, but her close relative is from Hong Kong.
    If your daughter is not from Wuhan, she may understand this, and can tell the bully she's not from that part of China.
    Just as the bully is not from New York. Or Texas. If the bully can't or won't understand this, it may be important for your daughter.
    We should study China, since we as a nation are so ignorant of it.

  7. That's awful, skyriver. I've said many times, humanity would be a lot more admirable without the people in it.

  8. Thanks Sid, in this case it was an informal text "chat" group from school. Only one kid made a jerk remark, but no one else called him on it; they just ignored it. She's blocked them all.

  9. Sharing an excerpt from the the April's Atlantic alarming cover story, "The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions". The excerpt pertains to the Justice Department, but for me it illustrates just how much of an insidious, destructive freak our "leader" is:

    "Newland and her colleagues were saving Trump from his own lies. They were using their legal skills to launder his false statements and jury-rig arguments so that presidential orders would pass constitutional muster. When she read that producers of The Apprentice had had to edit episodes in order to make Trump’s decisions seem coherent, she realized that the attorneys in the Office of Legal Counsel were doing something similar. Loyalty to the president was equated with legality."

  10. Sorry to hear that skyriver :O(

    I can see this is going to turn into a cesspool just like at the Herald.

    Deflect to "Wuhan" is the racist bent FOX 'news' has been pasting onto the virus. Anything to shield Drumpf from responsibility and distract by blaming it on the Chinese.

    Drumpf gutted the Govts. response, not China. That's why we lock in place. We don't have enough test kits.

  11. Not gonna be a cesspool, Smooth. I let that one by Frank pass, but I've deleted several others from him, including another today.

  12. In case some of you have not already seen this...The TV shows are playing old clips etc.

    Something lighthearted in this serious time.

  13. Thanks for the grins STO. Brings to mind the phrase "Against stupidity, the very gods
    Themselves contend in vain."

  14. THIS.. a thousand times this. Thanks, Doc.

  15. Don't much care for Google accounts, and won't allow Google/Atom to install an app on my computer -- don't want it, don't need it.

    As usual Sid, you hit the nail on the head.

    Bye all (I think Sid may have blocked me on Facebook -- but okay, I can live with it -- PNWBlunt -- 2 -- Some Jarets love you Sid.)

  16. Trump is taking credit for the State Governors who have deployed the National Guard. And his supporters believe it.

  17. Of course he is, and of course they do.

    I haven't blocked anyone on FB; I closed my account. Gonna take a break from it for a while. Didn't permanently delete, just whatever the term is for freezing it for now.

  18. Ummm. Sid, up until today, I have been posting comments on your Surgeon FB account, with your picture and family. Either someone is spoofing your Surgeon FB account, or FB just removed access today.

  19. It was me. I'm taking a break from FB for a while, as a mental health effort. I temporarily deactivated the account.

  20. Another video from Chris Hayes:

    The foolishness from the GOP is utterly mind-boggling.

  21. Mind-boggling indeed, Mythigator.

    Is there no bottom to the pit into which the GOP is willing to sink to support the moron and their grip on power? 10,000 lives? 100,000 lives? A million? A small price to pay to secure four more years! /sarc

  22. I finally figured out how to participate in this blog comment section. I'm happy to see that many of the Herald readers are continuing to share their support for "the resistance" movement. Our "voice" Dr. Schwab, thankfully offers us a forum to vent our revulsion concerning the Impeached-One's regime of terror on our beloved country.

  23. Frank said ...
    > you know this is all Putin's master plan to re-elect PGICOTUS

    PGIC? Plutocrat Gork In Charge?

  24. Amazing how popular the comment section has become of late! Still good to read ya Sid. I dumped FB and Twitter and I'm so much more happy for it. However, I do kinda miss the humor on Twitter.

  25. Once again der Furor has been insisting our house is not on fire (well, maybe a little) and our ship is not sinking (well, we haven't taken on much water and the hole isn't very big ...yet)

    At this point, the fire is accelerating and the hole is expanding geometrically. If we are not extremely lucky (yeah, right), there will be a significant death toll. The chaos and suffering will be too blatant for even the most diehard COTers to ignore. When you are coughing up your lungs while burying mom and dad, maybe reality will finally trump your politics.

  26. BTW it's great to see many of the old THE people here. Welcome, Jack, Yank, STO, PNWB, DrS and anyone else I missed!

  27. Good clip Mythigater...

    I've been making this argument for years. Alan Grayson did it as well "The GOP wants you to die, and die fast." It's the same logic no matter where you apply it to GOP thinking/policy making. Remember, half the country or more want slave states. They think of people as property. They want to take up arms against their own people. Half the country!

    I make the same cases that gets removed from comments and then lo and behold, it's said by the administration out loud.

    We are all gonna die from one person's stupidity. Whether that one person thinks what someone said is 'mean' or 'sadistic' or 'senseless' or 'nobody thinks that way' or any other utterly stupid thought. Some people are able to see. Some are able to understand and extrapolate. Those are also "god given" talents. Listening to them is critical whether they are believed or not.

    Here's the truth...

    People in rural areas/FOXbots...Have a smaller chance to catch the cooties than does city dwellers. The rural areas have utter contempt for city dwellers. The city dwellers just wish the rural folks would come to their senses. I have not heard a single city mouse wanting to shoot country mice. It's the other way around.

    I assure you...More dead people is what the alt right is hoping for. Smashing the economy is the goal.

    Why? Because those wealthy people will then buy up all the scraps. (remember the housing crisis) and the wealthy will get bailed out by the govt. The wealthy got 1.5 trillion for doing nothing. Corporations threaten jobs and get billions. Amazon pays NO taxes.

    Wanna know how stupid we are??? We are THAT stupid.

  28. Smooth,

    You're welcome for the clip. But a good chunk of the credit is actually yours for cluing me in about Chris Hayes in the first place. He's definitely one of the people with skills for understanding and extrapolation that are all too needed, yet all too rare.

    > We are all gonna die from one person's stupidity.

    That, not politics, has been my objection to Trump's election from the very beginning. If he wants to be a CEO with a history of turning one venture after another into bankruptcy, that's his business. And that of anyone unfortunate enough to get caught in his wake. However, that number of unfortunates becomes chump change compared to how many people could be adversely affected by Trump's being the USA's Chief Exec.

    Twitter feed well worth following: @duty2warn. This is the group that put together the book The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. This same group is also working on a film, titled #UNFIT, which from the group's description seems like it's going to speak along the same lines as the book. However, the film hasn't been released yet, and I wonder if that's due to production issues or to Trump's continually giving them new material. :-/

    There is a Kickstarter page for the #UNFIT film which includes a pretty good description and a teaser or two. Here's the link:

    Be prepared to be shaken up a bit, though. The book certainly wasn't light reading, so I'm not expecting the film to be light viewing.

  29. Thanks for the link, Mythigator. I checked it out. I note the last updates are over a year old, and I've seen nor heard anything about the status of the film. Wonder if it's still a thing.

    Maybe the fact that he survived impeachment made them think there's no point? A labor of love and commitment, obviously. But perhaps reality caught up with them. Still, it wouldn't hurt to see it arrive before November.

    It's a little like my column, though, in the sense of preaching to the choir. The only people who'd bother to see it are already convinced.

  30. Dr. Sid,

    The film's Kickstarter site has a message board about the film's status. Not being a financial backer, I can't read the posts, but the latest update was just last month.

    I think the film is still worth releasing for the benefit of people whose learning style meshes better with video than with the printed page. And Dangerous Case isn't just any printed page. As a collection of 27 mental health professionals' articles, it's a pretty scholarly tome. And at nearly 400 pages, it's weighty in size as well as meaty in substance. I ate it right up (although it took on the order of a dozen reading sessions), but I think a lot of people will get the points better with a video. Again, worth releasing. I just hope the release timing doesn't turn into a photo finish with the election.

  31. A sign, perhaps? Well, maybe a small one...

    Today my wife's brother, a lifelong Republican and an ardent Trump supporter, declared that he's "... had enough of Trump and the Republicans!" He voted for Bernie in Wisconsin's primary. The family is happy but still in shock.

  32. Well, Doc SL, I saw on a Yahoo comment forum (Yep, massive FWIW disclaimer) a post from a person in Kentucky that said she was so cheesed at Trump and the GOP that she was going to vote against both Trump and McConnell, both of whom she had previously supported. FWIW.

    Since coronavirus came on the scene, I've talked to my dad in Montana a couple of times. He's 72 and has health issues, so he's definitely part of the vulnerable population. He voted for Trump in 2016, and he already knows my opinions about Trump run about as high as the Dead Sea. Dad's already having a hard enough time dealing with things (I definitely inherited coping skills from Mom!), so I've been resisting the temptation to ask how he feels about that vote now. ;-)

  33. It’s good that you're not pressing your dad, Mythigator. I’m sure that he'll open up at some point and come closer to your assessment of our miserable president.

    Did you happen to watch the 11th Hour on MSNBC this evening? They played a new commercial that attacks Trump's judgment and handling of the virus crisis and the commercial is deadly: Trump clips and quotes while a graph of the number of infected slowly grows in the foreground. Hard hitting! I can't find it online tonight but I'm sure that it will be all over the news tomorrow.


  35. The commercial:

  36. I think that's the commercial about which Trump's campaign issued a "cease and desist" order. Dunno if it's being ignored. But, given the fakery they've used with Biden clips, this one is pretty legit.

  37. Morning Joe had the commercial on. Accompanied by real time fact check from Joe...They were talking about Drumpf filing a lawsuit over the PAC funded commercial.

    They played the commercial 3 times in a row...lmao!

    Time to troll Drumpf, and not a moment too soon.


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