Saturday, May 2, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 47: Trump Tries to Silence Fauci and a New Trumpian Star is Born

Dear Diary,

If there's one thing Trump hates above all else, it's the truth. 

Simply because it's usually contrary to what he says and does. That's why Trump has decided to stifle Dr. Fauci's efforts at spreading the truth about the current state of the pandemic pounding our nation.

Dr. Fauci was supposed to testify before the House Appropriations Committee regarding the White House's COVID-19 response, but Judd Deere, a White House deputy press secretary claimed it was counter-productive to have members testifying right now...because they're so busy.

Apparently the same flawed logic doesn't hold true for the Senate, which has scheduled Dr. Fauci, and other administration officials, to testify before the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on May 12th.

The bottom line is Trump has had it with Dr. Fauci. His truth telling during press briefings has made Trump look stupid (well... even more stupid) and is a big part of why Trump's approvability ratings have sunk into a swamp of lies.

Speaking of lies...

A new star in the Trump universe is born! 

For the first time in over a year (417 days), there was a press secretary giving an official White House briefing.

The first thing Kayleigh McEnany promised the assembled press was, "I will never lie to you."

The next thing she did...was lie. I'm sure Trump had to be proud of his new propaganda puppet who bobbed and weaved with the truth like an experienced boxer.

McEnany artfully dodged questions by misquoting an FBI agent's handwritten note about former national security advisor Michael Flynn, claiming he was the victim of a conspiracy.

She lied about the outcome and cost of the Mueller investigation. She lied about Trump being totally exonerated in the Russian investigation.

She lied about Trump's tweets regarding Michigan protesters by suggesting he was talking about all Americans having a First Amendment right to protest. Actually, he was defending the armed militia members crowding into the State House in an attempt to intimidate lawmakers.

I think my favorite overt lie was when McEnany said Trump was in agreement with the intelligence community assessment that, "The COVID-19 was not manmade or genetically modified."  

In true Trumpian fashion McEnany defended Trump's statement that there was proof the coronavirus was developed in a Wuhan laboratory, without blinking an eye.

Her ability to flip from fact to fiction must have had Trump applauding as he watched his new minion lie her ass off in her first appearance before the press.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Rain today - we certainly need it. I recently read a report on how Oregon is part of an ever increasing drought zone on the West Coast.

**Gov. Kate Brown unveiled new initiatives and details on re-opening the state yesterday.

**Current COVID-19 stats - There was another death last night bring the total to 104 cases in the state. The known cases climbed to 2,579 as of today.

**I'm finding out that there's no end to projects inside and outside the house. My beautiful brown-eyed wife is making that point every time we complete a "project," and another is magically waiting impatiently for it's turn!

I know that it's important to stay busy as we're cooped up, but my idea of staying busy parts somewhat from Shirley's thoughts on the subject.

As a candidate for the laziest man in the world, this sudden surge of honey-does is harshing my high! 

Quote for the day; "The liar's punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else." -George Bernard Shaw 

Friday, May 1, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 46: Testing...Testing... Trump's Latest Lie Didn't Fool CEOs

Dear Diary,

Trump plays with statistics like a child does with Play-Doh.

He stretches them until they please him. He loves throwing out ridiculous statistics like the country is ready to do five-million tests a day...soon.

The experts response, "Not on this planet, with the rate we're testing right now."

A majority of healthcare officials have called bullshit on that testing claim so many times Trump finally backed off Wednesday, and said someone else used that figure and he was just repeating it. 

Don't bother asking, "Who?" 

Rather, watch a couple of past videos where Trump touts America's amazing testing capacity versus reality. And how we're leading the world in testing (which is patently untrue per capita) and other countries are just in awe of our testing abilities.

The brutal fact is the USA trails most industrial nations in the world in testing it's citizens for the coronavirus.

In a recent White House meeting with corporate executives Trump repeated his conspiratorial suggestion that the media is talking about a lack of COVID-19 testing to try and damage him politically.

How was that claim received? The CEO sitting next to Trump made it clear that his claim was nonsense! Oh, yes he did!

Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of the Hilton hotel company, made it clear (without directly confronting Trump) that testing is essential to his company's future and without mass testing he couldn't open for business.

And, there's NOT enough testing being done right now for that to happen. Checkmate on Chump's media assertion. Another conspiracy crushed by reality.

Despite the fact that the CDC's reopening guide says that "reopening the country strongly relies on public health strategies, including increased testing of people for the virus," and the White House's own reopening guide prominently mentions the importance of testing... 

Trump is still trying to convince people that what they see, and hear, isn't true. That he knows more than the experts, even after they correct him.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

Quarantine Wine!
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis launched a "Quarantine Wine from Oregon vineyards as a COVID-19 fundraiser for relief efforts.

Oregon is known for it's excellent pinot noir.   

**Amazon began a pilot program to test some of its warehouse employees in Troutdale, Oregon, for the coronavirus this week, part of a bigger program to address the outbreak.

**Latest COVID-19 stats- 103 dead, and 2,500 known cases according to officials.

**Oregon's state parks have extended closures through the end of May. The animals are probably loving it!

Quote for the day; "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed." -Adolf Hitler

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 45: Rich Man, Poor Man: Trying to Jumpstart an Economy at the Risk of Worker's Lives

Reintroducing a new Gilded Age Under Trump and Cronies

Dear Diary,

Trump and the CEO's of America have conspired to make workers go back to work during a pandemic that is still raging across the country. Even though it won't be safe (workers too close for comfort) - despite claims that companies will protect them.

If that were true then why has Trump signed an executive order to absolve those same meat companies from any liability that may come with more worker deaths and sickness?

The corrupt and wealthy in this country have decided to sacrifice the hoi polloi to get cash flowing back into their coffers. Trump's goal goes beyond money, however.

He wants re-elected and he sees the economy as his key to four more years.

To that end, Trump has ordered all meat packing plants to reopen immediately. Including the ones that have already had deadly outbreaks where workers died.

As of yesterday, the Governor of Iowa declared that when she opens up the state that all workers who were laid-off due to COVID-19 MUST go back to work. Again, even if the workers don't feel safe.

The CARES Act did put a provision that people should still get unemployment benefits (up to 13 weeks) if they're concerned about returning to unsafe conditions. I predict the powers-that-be will do everything they can to run an end-run play regarding that provision.

America today, during this pandemic, is a story of Rich Man versus Poor Man with a predictable storyline; the poor suffer to make the rich thrive.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**I've been speculating for weeks about what Oregon has been doing about testing and reporting coronavirus cases. Thus far, I've been giving good grades to what little I've personally seen being done in my community.

But an article I saw in The Oregonian yesterday (by Andrew Theen) gave me pause. It seems Oregonians have died at a rate well above the national average since mid-March. The tie to COVID-19 is also unclear according to state data.

Basically, the stats leave a lot of unanswered questions about what has been killing Oregonians recently. There is some good news however.

The stay-at-home policy has been paying dividends. While some states have seen dramatic upticks in deaths and devastating levels of COVID-19 fatalities. Oregon is one of the nation's lowest per capita COVID-19 rates.

**Pet and Animal news- The first dog to be diagnosed for COVID-19 in the U.S. is a pug named Winston. Our pug, Molly was horrified to hear about it. Thankfully, Winston only had a mild case is now doing well.

Healthcare officials have also found two housecats, seven tigers, and one lion with COVID-19. In all the cases experts say the humans spread the virus to the animals.

**On PTSD - this is the worst time of the year for me (pic left) - it's an anniversary date of something that happened in Cambodia while I was serving as an Army grunt.

When I read about a nurse who committed suicide after weeks of seeing daily causalities, it broke my heart. 

Watching those frontline workers in hospitals hanging in there during the human devastation they're witnessing reminds me of another war that I still haven't come home from.

Quote for the day; "No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has." -Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 44: Trump's Blame Game is Running On Empty

Dear Diary,

Trump has never taken responsibility for anything in his life.

He's been pampered since he began toddling about in his parent's mansion.

That explains why Trump thinks it's a fair tactic to blame everyone else for his stupidity. He's convinced he's a stable genius. And the Chosen One. 

At least that's what he wants us all to believe. His actions over the past three years and four months, have convinced a majority of Americans of one thing, he's an imbecile

After suggesting Lysol injections could cure COVID-19, CDC phone lines across the nation were ringing with callers who wanted to know if they should follow Trump's advise? There was at least one report of a man who ingested Lysol and was in critical condition.

When a reporter asked Trump if he took responsibility for the chaos his advise had caused, he fired back "NO I DON'T!" When pressed about people taking his advise his reply was... HE WAS NOT TO BLAME.

Since the day Trump slithered into office with the help of the Russians (see latest Senate Intelligence report confirming that as a fact), he has not taken the blame for any of his presidential actions.

Instead, he counters everything with an alternative reality that gets exposed by fact checkers daily. How's that blame game working out for Trump lately?

Consider this: Like presidents in the past who have faced national emergencies, the country rallied around him and his approval numbers went up for the first time in his reign. Briefly. 

The gain was short lived. As of this entry, he's not only lost that short burst of popularity, but his ratings have been plunging every week.

The blame game is running on empty.

Trump's going to have to come up with another approach, which I sincerely doubt he will do. He can't help himself. He's a coward. A bully. And a liar.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**The sun came out yesterday and it was 80 degrees! Today, however, the clouds are back and so are scattered showers. It's been an erratic spring in an erratic year.

**Some good news - The Oregon Humane Society is distributing 50,000 pounds of pet food statewide for those impacted by the coronavirus.

**No reported COVID-19 deaths yesterday (still 92 confirmed). Confirmed cases of coronavirus rose slightly to 2,402. 

**More good news: Oregon began accepting jobless claims from self-employed and gig workers yesterday! Self-employed workers and contractors usually don't pay into the unemployment benefits program and historically have not been eligible for claims.

But Congress changed that with the passage of the CARES Act that broadened eligibility during the pandemic. Oregon has been struggling to adapt aging computer systems to accept the expanded benefits, but is online today.

Quote for the day: "Character-the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life-is the source from which self-respect springs." -John Didion

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 43: The Check and Propaganda Are in the Mail

Dear Diary,

In retrospect, historians will marvel at the size of Trump's ego.

His world class narcissism will be studiously charted by researchers as they document his rise to power.

His id, an enormous Mt. Everest of self-love that future psychologists will ponder in medical journals.

Trump's legacy is one of a con man who hit the jackpot at just the wrong moment in American political history. He's done, and is doing, whatever it takes to massage that lumbering ego using government resources and his bully pulpit.

The latest example comes alongside stimulus checks with Trump's name on them (something no president has ever done to promote himself) to struggling Americans.

In a separate mailing (at taxpayer expense) the check recipients got a propaganda letter praising Trump with a replica of his two-and-a-half inch high letters (a generous interuptation of what looks more like a graph on a heart monitor).

I'm not sure how people felt when they received that letter. My guess is most threw it away when they saw Trump's name on it. Or burned it, after soaking it in Lysol. 

But, I'm sure there's some morons who framed the letter and went around telling their mentally deficient buddies it was personaly signed by Stump himself! Our world is that polarized.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Daily test results reached a state record high as confirmed virus cases climbed to 2,354. The death toll is now 92. Thus far, more than 51,000 Oregonians have been tested for COVID-19 since the state confirmed it's first case on Feb.28.

**Ahhhh choo! Allergy season has come early this year. Very few April showers. I do like the current cool weather we're enjoying however.

**A note of hope - When I awoke yesterday morning I felt great. As I've documented in earlier entries, I was fighting a vertigo-like thing. In other words, I was dizzier than usual! All kidding aside, I've been weak as a kitten for 15 days and suddenly... it goes away overnight.

When the still-unknown malady first hit me it was like a thief in the night. I woke up feeling like hell! To have it exit in the night is alright. I'm not complaining.

But, I sure wonder just what I had... you know, for future reference.

Quote for the day; "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." -Albert Einstein 

Monday, April 27, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 42: Everyone Has Advise for What To Do During These Dark Times

Dear Diary,

A plethora of sages and fools alike have been giving the public advise on how to cope with the pandemic.

Most of the "advise" coming from the Coronavirus Task Farce is toxic... and ill-informed; with the exception of a couple of healthcare experts who are challenged daily by Trump if they tell the truth about what's really happening around the country.

Then there's the celebrities and wealthy who are experiencing a different coronavirus reality than the majority of the country where citizens are struggling to survive the devastating effects of being jobless, and unable to properly keep a safe distance from one another due to crowded conditions.

Unsurprisingly, those elites in our society are giving advise on how to raise children at home. In their strata of society, the elite children get the very best online tutors and have access to resources the poor can only dream about.

It's strange to see billionaires talking about how "we are all in this together" and giving advise to the legions of the unemployed about how to pass their time in quarantine.

By now, the majority of the country knows Trump's advise is absolutely worthless, and dangerous. Governors are giving advise that is sometimes heeded, and at other times blatantly ignored.

It's difficult to take advise from anyone these days because it's filtered with politics and then served up piecemeal by less than trusty messengers. Advise from medical/healthcare professionals is like gold during these dark times.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**The Oregon Health Authority reported 58 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday bringing the total known cases to 2,311. Officials also reported four new deaths attributed to the virus in the state, bringing the number of deaths to 91.

**I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop when we start testing more (and accurately), and the numbers of cases skyrocket. It's going to happen. Hopefully, we'll get through these dark times and develop a cure for COVID-19 in the near future.

Quote for the day; "But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 41: A Funny Look at Last Week's Bigly Briefing

Dear Diary,

I'm still laughing after Trump's (now infamous) Lysol cure briefing. 

It was a comedy classic in the style of Commedia dell arte, with Trump as Pantelone.

 A performance worthy of the Theatre of the Absurd shocking medical experts and whoever else witnessed the one-act play. 

The Accolades roll in daily

"A clowning achievement." -Rand Paul  

"Move over Bozo! Trump's in town!" - Matt Gaetz

"Our president's finest moment." - Kellyanne Conway

"Being a stable genius, Trump could be a doctor if he wanted to." Kevin McCarthy

The latest reports about the supposed leader of the Coronavirus Task Farce, Mike Pence, have been about Pence losing his voice during the briefings.

Insiders know it's not permanent because Pence can't go a day without praising Trump.

Quote for the day; "I love'd people I can't stand!!" - Charles M. Schulz

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...