Friday, April 10, 2020


My next newspaper column:
Anyone having any two of five human senses operating at fifty-percent capacity or greater recognizes that Trump’s government is a kleptocracy. The latest of many examples: Rudy Giuliani bought $2 million worth of stock in Novartis, the company that makes the malaria drug he began hyping as a miracle cure for Covid-19 immediately after the purchase. Trump, Inc., has a stake, too. 
Trump’s “administration” purchased a million doses of the unproven drug, with our money. Anyone surprised? Remember that Novartis paid Michael Cohen $1.2 million for access to Trump. It’s all of a piece with several Republican Congress-dwellers cashing in by buying and selling related stocks right after being briefed on the coronavirus, before the rest of us knew anything. 
Serving in Vietnam, I took the Trump-drug as malaria prophylaxis. Despite seeing several cases while there, I stopped, because it made me sick. That it’s innocuous is another of Trump’s endless lies. Is it effective for coronavirus victims? We don’t know. But the studies touted by such unreliables as Rudy and Trump and Fox “news” fabricators and, unbelievably, Trump’s second-most egregious groveler, William Barr, are equivocal at best, and they’ve been the opposite of scientific. Either way, Trump will take credit for everyone who recovers after taking it, true or not.  
Fear of truth is why Trump fired two inspectors general this week and last, and attacked the integrity of another who’d accurately reported that hospitals across the country are in desperate need of protective equipment. Trump assumes his followers will believe him when he says everything is fine, because he’s done a “fabulous” job. It’s not, and he hasn’t. 
Our hospital, where I’m assisting in surgery, is in better shape than most. Still, PPE is under strict control. Having changed masks between cases for my whole career, it’s now necessary to reuse them throughout the day. Other locations are facing far worse.  
The first I.G. Trump fired was the one who fulfilled his duty by informing Congress of the infamous whistleblower complaint. Informed. Didn’t opine. Informed, as required by law. Trump’s vilification of him was as illuminating as it was disgraceful. The second fired Inspector General was chosen, independently, by IGs from several agencies, to oversee the dispensing of the trillions of taxpayer dollars in the rescue package. A respected, reportedly “dogged” inspector, fired summarily. Has it anything to do with Trump’s hotels’ eligibility to cash in?  
The thievery isn’t just about our money. They’re stealing elections, too. Wisconsin’s this week was the Party of Trump epitomized, demonstrating the ways by which democracy will die they’re allowed to pilfer another four years. Which is, explicitly, their goal.  
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has a majority of unqualified rightwing ideologues, selected by no-longer-governor Scott Walker, whose “conservative” policies, like Brownback’s in Kansas, ruined his state’s economy. One of those judges is up for election, facing a credible Democratic opponent. Like the national Republican Party, Wisconsin’s is desperate to keep its compliant court majority. Because of Covid-19, far more people than usual requested absentee, mail-in ballots. Surprise: the state was slow in delivering them, especially to minority areas. Days after the election, some still hadn’t gotten theirs.  
To allow time to receive late-arriving ballots, in consideration of the pandemic, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor ordered a delay. Republicans ran to their reliable judges, who invalidated the order. SCOTUS, predictably 5-4, upheld the invalidation. Issued remotely so as not to endanger themselves in person, their decision forced thousands to endanger themselves in person. Trump, who voted by mail in Florida, “because I’m allowed to,” says mail-in voting is corrupt (it’s the least corruptible, as Washingtonians know). He also lied about when and why Wisconsin Democrats requested the delay.  
In cities most populated by Democratic constituencies, polling places were drastically reduced. Milwaukee, which has the highest black population, a demographic hit disproportionately hard by the virus, went from one-hundred-eighty to five. Choosing democracy over threat to life, people waited in lines for hours, just as their Republican legislature wanted, though they must have figured more would stay away.  
A political Amber Alert, Wisconsin warns of nationwide voter suppression, ideologically activist courts, disregard for public health, disadvantaging minorities. With more Democrats voting but Republican-controlled, by virtue of gerrymandering sanctioned by their corrupted court, Wisconsin is Trumpism’s future America. 
Like Wisconsin’s, Trump’s judges won’t protect voting rights or democracy. Absent massive, united Democratic turnout in November (Trump/Russia is already sewing dissension, effectively) it’s over. 
[Image source]


  1. Probably your best article ever (OK, a choice among more than a few).
    Just part of the Bill-ionaires takeover of our country. We get the freaks first, to be replaced by those who seem seemly.
    In the meantime, Joe plays the game of "which woman?", and tantalizes the public with his death while in office. And I play with the notion I've played with before, that Michelle O should have just run against the current occupier last time around, or this time around, so we could get rid of what is driving my Democratic Party currently, the whacko notion that certain things are "owed". Induced "fear" as policy, marshaled by the true creep$ of the world. They just run from one topic to another, in control of the channels by which we communicate.
    I keep looking for who will come to the forefront to stop this lunacy. There are many possible choices, but no one talks about them, and they certainly don't bring themselves forward, do they?

  2. It's pretty disheartening, all right, ks. What needs to happen is as obvious as the fact that there's no way those things can happen. Our last best hope, as I wrote, is a massive turnout of the like-minded, including those who'd have preferred someone other than Joe, not only to rid us of Trump, but of McConnell, Graham, et al.

    I don't kid myself that the D party is all-wise and capable, but the idea that there's really no difference between them and the Rs is demonstrably insane.

  3. It's pretty much clear our choice will be Joe this November.
    I just wish he would choose without theatrics, as he doesn't need to do that. The strategists, however, must think it necessary.
    I'm also impressed with Jay at this point, though that will be 4 years from now, provided he's allowed to be a proper candidate. Perhaps a few more years at Governor will affect that. We'll see if Kerry visits again.

  4. > Anyone having any two of five human senses operating at fifty-percent capacity or greater recognizes that Trump’s government is a kleptocracy.

    Considering Trump's Charlie-Foxtrot handling of the coronavirus situation, I don't think "kleptocracy" goes far enough. I nominate "dolofonocracy". And if that's going too far, then "anthropoktonocracy".

  5. You're Inflicting Surgery in the middle of a pandemic?!? Why not do something safer, like ride a motorcycle(another example of Lefty discrimination, with brake/throttle on the right)or smoke...
    Hey, I remember the Malaria meds too, for some reason they gave me Rocephin and Doxycycline, never did understand how the mosquito bit me where he did...
    But I did fine, not a drip, I mean, side effects...
    and hey, my bad, checked out Sleepy Joe's webcast, he's not in Wayne/Garth's basement, he's got that fake library from PBS's "Masterpiece Theatre" (they should do a remake of "I, Claudius" with Sleepy Joe as Claudius)

    Frank "6 light year distance please"

  6. Yep, still doing certain cancer surgery, Frankie, and emergencies. And stuff that could do harm by putting it off.

  7. I'll stay on my side of the Brain/Blood Barrier, thank you...
    Caught a rerun of "Hammerin" Hanks 715 "Tater", hit of Dodger Southpaw(naturally) Al Downing, checked out his stats, Dude had
    see, in baseball, there used to be this thing called a "Complete Game" in which the starting pitcher would pitch the entire game(and in the NL, AKA "Real" baseball, would BAT) had a career 3.23 ERA, heck, if they were still playing, he'd get a try out...

    Frank "Lets Play None!"

  8. C'mon, Frankie, can't you convince your wife to let us resume our email conversations? A lot of inside baseball, as it were, going on here.

  9. There are a couple of baseball witticisms in the current Reader's Digest:

    - Baseball players are smarter than football players. When was the last time you saw a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?

    - Baseball statistics are like a girl wearing a bikini: They reveal a lot, but not everything.

  10. seeker of wisdom and truthApril 11, 2020 at 2:19 PM

    Dr. Schwab, once again you reveal the absolute truth concerning the tragedy being perpetuated on our great democracy by this evil regime occupying the White House. Honorable leadership has been replaced by a willful tyrant with no credible qualification to be in that most powerful office. Hillary referred to it as being supported by "deplorable" people. I prefer to identify them as misguided and uninformed with unworthy motivation.
    It shouldn't have been unexpected to have resulted in the dark deep hole they have dug themselves and the rest of us into today. The daily press conferences are puke inducing self-promoting pep rallies. FDR's fireside chats were inspirational and hopeful in contrast.

  11. seeker said ...
    > The daily press conferences are puke inducing self-promoting pep rallies. FDR's fireside chats were inspirational and hopeful in contrast.

    I looked up Queen Elizabeth's recent speech to the UK on YouTube. Where impactfulness of words is concerned, the Queen said more in four minutes than the Orange-Haired Doofus has in weeks' worth of press conferences.

  12. Thanks for the reminder, Mythigator. I had missed the Queen's speech and she most certainly did.

  13. Power is being consolidated as we speak.

    If we can't get vote by mail done, we as a country are done as well.

    If they will try to suppress the vote by insisting on in person voting. We need to use that same reasoning to mail in votes.

    If the confederacy won't oblige? We need to pass voting rights act #2 and demand securing proper service of the people. Get them their ballots on time and allow them to be mailed postage free.

    We need to treat the US Postal Service like a business! We need a bailout like the banks and the cars. Force a complete USPS infrastructure overhaul into this new century. If Amazon can do it? We can damn sure copy it!

    The post office will be the backbone of mail in ballots and we CAN NOT allow a private company to run it. Stopping the privatisation of the government is how this stops. Reversing and diversification of some government depts. Goldman Sachs running the treasury for starters.

    Joe better start sounding a lot like Bernie and the sooner the better or we are in real bad shape.

  14. Here's a take on the solution needed to move on from here.

  15. >

    Adam Driver man crush aside, John Oliver puts together a pretty good video. I got the impression that the Adam Driver thing is a longtime running gag ... ?

  16. Paul Krugman's column from yesterday offers some additional insight and criticisms that are consistent with the general theme of your column, Sid.

    "Republicans Don’t Want to Save Jobs"
    Billions for oil, nothing for nurses and teachers.

  17. It's official...Obama's 2 cents is in...

    Also...The FBI is stealing states PPE shipments ...still....

  18. More steaming piles of depressingly evil crap...

  19. Off topic, but I'd like your opinion. How do you read his self-embrace posture? To me he looks insecure as hell - possibly he is afraid his lies are in danger of imminent eruption? Either that or his girdle is on the point bursting.

    P.S. Never went away, just haven't had much to say.

  20. Hey, welcome back, Eugene. I'm not much of a body language interpreter, but I have no doubt, based on what he says -- his lies, his bragging, his demanding of praise -- that he's a very needy, insecure, damaged person.

  21. Hi Everyone! Hope you are all well and healthy.

  22. Glad to see you here, Mary Ellen!

  23. For giggles, since it's Thursday... (it will either be allowed by Sid or not :-)
    A letter writer to The Herald today challenged a previous letter writer about 14% general tax increase by our Governor. What's funny about it is today's letter writer lives in a house in a very expensive tax area that has a property tax exclusion due to his wife's aged mother, and pays a mere $350 per year!
    The writer he complained about pays $5,800 per year, as his property tax increased from $4,100 per year since only 2016.
    Further to the funny, the writer of the previous letter in style and personal circumstance is likely one of 'our' fellow commentators in times past. He's a former Marine, and one who challenged another former Marine over certain things.
    Sid certainly knows, as I do, that property taxes for extravagant and normal properties have increased actually doubled in the past very few years, mine since 2015!
    And, further to the funny, is the previous letter writer is selling what is an astoundingly beautiful house. I won't know if his predicament is like mine, but I've been granted respite by the state in the form of I can apply for my own exclusion due to age, since I now live on **urp** managed income (I can manage it any way I like until I move away.
    And, final further to the funny, the previous letter writer is also an author, like Sid, though not as persistent perhaps.
    He seems like a great guy, one anyone would like to know as a friend!
    Looking forward to your next article Sid. I hope THEB realizes that, and reviews their policy again as they did before. Perhaps things would be different in the next cycle, perhaps not. :-( Hope you and yours are well, as with all others who post here!

  24. Why did you think I'd not post your comment, ks? Nothing offensive, although your due diligence is, well, very diligent.

  25. => Why did you think I'd not post your comment, ks?

    Let's just say I've been accused, rightfully so at rare times, of diversion of topic. Mostly it's because my thoughts are clinically scattered, I have amazing peripheral vision, both physically and in thought. Almost incapable of staying on a single point with people who need a single point to focus on in conversation. Like Oscar Robertson, I was able to see 220+ degrees of the court, and did very well in point guard and the other guard in my playing career.
    My connection for coming up with the above was simply a kumbaya of old friends at Sid's blog, I didn't expect to find a former commenter when I searched on a person who would think property taxes didn't go up as much as a mere 14%, when everyone I know have doubled since 2015, plus all their neighbors, and, quite literally, everyone I search on. Congratulations to the few that has happened to :-)
    This is what I do to pass the time until the inevitable (when I'm not on my daily long walk that is). Am glad to read that you still involve yourself with your great skill, and hope for you that continues as long as possible. While I achieved certain things in my career, pretty much everything I ever did has been replaced and/or thrown away. I still know the Science involved, but they are the things for the young now.
    My favorite type of "science" these days, one you might have seen from your porch, was when the Everett based carrier went South in Puget Sound. At 1,000 ft. long, when it passed Edmonds, which is the deepest point of Puget Sound at 936 feet, that if the carrier were to nosedive and plug into the bottom it would extend 60 feet above the surface of the sound. At yet, when I was a diver, even going 60-80 feet needed to be planned for carefully.
    Again, and only, because it's Thursday and the new article will be out soon. Thanks for doing the things you have done and still do. Always.

  26. What happened to Harry-O and Centerfire? I pounded them so hard the last couple of years ....and even got them to actually reveal their true nature....I thought they (the powers that be) closed me out of the blog permanently...or is the Everett Herald dumpster-fire blog still going on with Harry and Center flouting God and guns in every paragraph? I like this level of sanity much better!

  27. Here's my opinion on "level of sanity/insanity" here vs. there.

    3 main reasons...

    #1: It's well moderated.

    #2: It's moderated well.

    #3: Reasons #1 and #2 are done well.

  28. Harry is still posting in the forum. I've looked in there a few times, and it's mostly a cesspool of MAGA drones.

  29. FYI I've noticed Harry 904 is also posting at the Seattle Times. A VERY brief review of his posts there reveal them to be just as annoyingly ubiquitous and maddenly specious as they were on TEH.

    He is utterly convinced of his own delusions.

  30. I am also enjoying this forum as a means for expressing my fallible opinions without being subjected to the static from delusional wordy blathering. I miss the posts from Morgan Davis who was a prolific contributor of logical and interesting comments in the Herald opinion comments arena.


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