Friday, July 31, 2020

Cover Of The Week

Today's New York Daily News cover:

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Michael de Adder, Toronto Star)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

(Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Inquirer/ Daily News)

(Kevin Necessary,

(Stuart Carlson,

(Clay Jones,

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Mike Thompson, USA Today)
(John Cole, Scranton Times-Tribune, PA)

(Chris Britt,

And, finally, since Dr. Anthony Fauci was given his own baseball card by Topps, it's only fair Trump gets one for himself:

(Tim Williams,

He Went To Jared (And The Economy Collapsed And 150,000+ Died)

Vanity Fair seems to have the goods on the COVID-19 testing debacle that pale Peter Principle princeling Jared "Mr. Ivanka Trump" Kushner was heading up.  Jared seemed to have a testing plan ready in late March:
The plan called for the federal government to coordinate distribution of test kits, so they could be surged to heavily affected areas, and oversee a national contact-tracing infrastructure. It also proposed lifting contract restrictions on where doctors and hospitals send tests, allowing any laboratory with capacity to test any sample. It proposed a massive scale-up of antibody testing to facilitate a return to work. It called for mandating that all COVID-19 test results from any kind of testing, taken anywhere, be reported to a national repository as well as to state and local health departments.
But, then came April and the sense that political advantage could be gotten by certain malevolent sociopaths:
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
On April 27, Trump stepped to a podium in the Rose Garden, flanked by members of his coronavirus task force and leaders of America’s big commercial testing laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, and finally announced a testing plan: It bore almost no resemblance to the one that had been forged in late March, and shifted the problem of diagnostic testing almost entirely to individual states.
The entire article is worth a read and belongs near the front of any retrospective on how the Trump regime criminally bungled the COVID-19 response, resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths and economic devastation.  These bastards need a serious reckoning some day;  fumigating them out of the White (Supremacist) House starting November 3 is the starting point.

Trump's "Popularity" Question Answered

The sociopathic Whiner-In-Chief asked the question, and MeidasTouch answers:

BONUS: Then there's this new ABC / Ipsos poll which shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans disapprove of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, of race relations and inequality, and of relations with his home office, Russia.

Weekend Music

The classic Marvin Gaye song "What's Going On," recorded in 1971, has obvious resonance in these times.  This is an official Gaye video that was done last year, showing images of Detroit and Flint, MI, and the social, political and ecological issues faced by people in 1971 and today.  Since this was shot before the COVID-19 pandemic and George Floyd murder, maybe someday the producers will update it again. You can read more about the making of this updated video here.

The song itself -- co- written by Gaye, Motown songwriter Al Cleveland, and the Four Tops' Renaldo Benson -- was cited by Rolling Stone magazine twice as "the fourth greatest song of all time." We won't argue with that.  Hope you enjoy.

White (Supremacist) House Undercuts Moscow Mitch

In the ongoing fight to get economic relief to suffering families and local communities, one of the sticking points that corrupt nihilist Sen. Moscow Mitch McConnell has insisted is a provision barring employees from suing their employers if and when they get sick with COVID-19. We've seen the horror stories of the meat packing plants and other industries that have offered little or no safety protections against the virus' transmission, forcing workers to show up or face dismissal so that the industries can maintain their profit margins, boost the economy, and donate to the Republicans.

Now, in a development that highlights the chaos in the Republican political establishment, the White (Supremacist) House is indicating Moscow Mitch's pet provision is not important enough to scuttle the relief package:
"One of the people familiar with the administration’s thinking said the measure was 'considered important but not absolutely essential.' 
The dealmaking flexibility conflicts with the ultimatum McConnell has given Democrats that any congressional stimulus package must make it significantly harder for workers and customers to sue employers and businesses for damages related to the coronavirus."
Forcing workers back to work as the pandemic rages while not allowing them to sue if their employer is negligent in providing protections is classic e-coli Republicanism: cut regulations that protect the worker and consumer, break their unions and undermine their ability to sue, and pad the profits of the employer / donor. Dems can now apply greater pressure on this issue, so we'll see if Moscow Mitch gets rolled this time.

(photo: The Turd and the Turtle. Susan Walsh/AP)

Louie Gohmert's New Nickname

House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Trumper-CA) just coined a new nickname for dimbulb Rep. Louie Gohmert's (R-Loon):

McCarthy himself is one of the worst of the worst.  But we'll accept his characterization of "Congressman COVID" Gohmert (btw, thoughts and prayers!).

Thursday, July 30, 2020

President Obama's Eulogy For John Lewis

In case you missed it earlier today.

QOTD -- Redeeming The Soul Of Our Nation

"Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it. [snip]

"Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

"When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide." -- Rep. John R. Lewis, in a posthumous op/ ed published today in the New York Times.  As President Obama said in his fiery eulogy this afternoon, "Someday, when we do finish that long journey towards freedom, when we do form a more perfect union... John Lewis will be a Founding Father of that fuller, fairer, better America.”

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

(Kevin Kallaugher, Baltimore Sun)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Ed Hall,

(Michael de Adder, Counterpoint)

(Chris Britt,

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

 (Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Rob Rogers,
(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

COVID Claims Mask-Shunning Herman Cain

Former Rethug Presidential candidate and right-wing Trumpist Herman Cain has died after being infected with COVID-19. Cain was seen without a mask among a number of other Trumpists at the ill-fated, poorly attended rally for demagogue and sociopath Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump in Tulsa on June 20. Cain had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since shortly after the rally.

The vast majority of the 6,000 attendees to Trump's Tulsa rally, which was predicting a ridiculous 1 million attendees, were mask-free. The rally was likely responsible for a surge in COVID -19 infections in the weeks following.  Also Cain tweeted around the time of a Trump event in South Dakota (the tweet has since been expunged): “Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”*

Is it too soon to be on Screwy Louie Gohmert watch?

Live by tribalism, die by tribalism.

*BONUS:  Here's a screenshot of that deleted, prophetic tweet --

(photo: Cain was thinking that no virus is going to get him. Oops.)

Trump Floats Election Delay Shiny Object

Today's distracting, shiny object from a lying shitgibbon who knows he's going to get buried in the November election:

A law on the books since January 23, 1845, tends to differ.  The Great Depression, World War II, 60's civil unrest, etc., also tend to differ on being able holding elections in extraordinarily difficult times.  The Twitterverse reacted with appropriate anger but no great surprise at this latest attempt at distraction/ subversion.  Even one of the Trumpiest Republican Senators quashed the idea within hours. (Others, not so much.)

So, no, the idea may bounce around in Trump's empty, fevered head for a while, but there's going to be an election on November 3 come hell or high water.

So, let's stay vigilant but move on.

Historic GDP Contraction, Unemployment Claims Rise

As COVID-19 continues to spread unchecked and deaths approach 154,000 (conservatively), the U.S. gross domestic product for the second quarter (April- June) contracted at an historic 9.5 percent (annualized rate of 32.9 percent), the worst plunge ever recorded based on data compiled since 1947.
The U.S. economy shrank 9.5 percent from April through June, the largest quarterly decline since the government began publishing data 70 years ago, and the latest, sobering reflection of the pandemic’s economic devastation.
The second quarter report on gross domestic product covers some of the economy’s worst weeks in living memory, when commercial activity ground to a halt, millions of Americans lost their jobs and the nation went into lockdown. Yet economists say the data should also serve as a cautionary tale for what’s at stake if the recovery slips away, especially as rising coronavirus cases in some states have forced businesses to close once again.
GDP shrank at an annual rate of 32.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the agency that publishes the statistics on quarterly economic activity. While it usually stresses the annualized rate, that figure is less useful this quarter because the economy is unlikely to experience another collapse like it did in the second quarter.
Another surge in unemployment claims completes the COVID/ GDP/ unemployment trifecta:
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week, as the economy stalled amid surges of the coronavirus, and extra help from the federal government came to an end.
A total of 1.4 million people filed jobless claims for the first time as businesses given a green light to welcome back customers shut their doors again to slow the spread of COVID 19.
The latest tally means that in less than five months, a stunning 54.1 million have sought unemployment aid for the first time.
Also keep in mind, while this is happening in the real world, the Republican Senate and Trump regime dither and find new ways to make the economic suffering worse for average Americans with their criminally irresponsible "Shitheels Act" (billions for a new FBI building and F-35 fighters, though!).  So far, by refusing to extend enhanced unemployment benefits, these well- heeled, cosseted sociopaths threaten to push the economy even further down the chasm they created.

That it all can be traced back to the mind- numbing inaction of a self- serving, incompetent "president," abetted by a rotted- out party and its media mouthpieces makes this yet another inflection point for the existential need to rid ourselves of these destroyers.

Psychiatrist: Trump A Danger To Our Democracy

Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at Yale University's School of Medicine was interviewed in Salon about the observations Dr. Mary Trump, herself a clinical psychologist, made about her uncle, sociopath and mentally unstable Donald "The Chosen One" Trump in her best selling book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man." Dr. Lee's views align with those of Dr. Trump, as she elaborates:
"[Donald Trump] is likely frantically trying to convince himself that he is mentally fit. This is because the now-removed White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, falsely used the 10-minute cognitive screen — which has nothing to do with fitness and which researchers have found full-blown Alzheimer and hospitalized schizophrenia patients to 'ace', by the way — to declare the president 'fit.' The president is resurrecting it to try to use it to the same effect, but of course he only gives himself away. We know what he thinks of himself by what he says of Joe Biden. Projection is a way of disowning what you cannot tolerate in yourself by attaching it to others, and since his case is severe, what he says almost has nothing to do with Biden but is a very accurate portrayal of himself. [snip]

In February, I warned that the very delayed impeachment and subsequent acquittal would powerfully inflate his delusions of grandeur and impunity, such that he was now likely to thwart the electoral process and use force to remain in office. The pandemic has accelerated this process. For this reason, I have been advising activist groups not to wait until after the election — and so there should be notices about nonviolent action sooner. If he succeeds in forcing a second term, he will likely use it purely for revenge, and I agree with Dr. Trump that our democracy and our nation as we know it will not survive." (our emphasis)
As a mentally unstable authoritarian without any moral compass or scruples, Trump will do everything in his power to disrupt and rig the election to remain in power and out of prison, especially since polls show him trailing former VP Joe Biden substantially. Be prepared, organize, volunteer and VOTE.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"This Is Not A Test"

New from the DNC on the Trump/ Republican rush to reopen schools.  Sharing is caring!

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(Bill Day,

(Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News)

(Dave Granlund,

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Rick McKee,

(Clay Jones,

(Stuart Carlson,

(Michael de Adder, Counterpoint)

(Kevin Kallaugher, Counterpoint)

Tweets Of The Day -- Stormtrumpers Leaving Portland

Yet another Trump political gambit that blew up in his face?



Mid-Week Songs: "Taylored" For You

Her acclaimed album "folklore," which was released last Friday, was admittedly our first in-depth introduction to singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's music, and what an introduction it was. Certainly, we've heard her best selling pop tunes everywhere over the years, but her latest work is a departure, and is eye-opening. Bon Iver's Justin Vernon joined her on a couple of tracks, and while the Americana / new folk feel of her songs is clear, her interpretations are just uniquely lovely. That she composed the songs in virtual quarantine during this pandemic is all the more remarkable.

Aside from being a superb singer-songwriter, Swift is deeply involved in progressive social issues, supporting LGBTQ rights, voter registration, women's reproductive rights, gun safety measures, and the Black Lives Matter movement, to name a few. She calls former First Lady Michelle Obama her role model, and has been outspoken about the current administration's abuses. She has star power and uses it to do good.

Here are two tracks from "folklore," already downloaded / streamed worldwide in record numbers.  Enjoy.

Gohmert Tests Positive For COVID-19

In a magnificent piece of schadenfreude, Texas' gift to satire, far-right Rep. Louie "Screwy Louie" Gohmert tested positive for COVID-19 today, according to sources. Gohmrt is one of demagogue and con man Donald "Disinfectant Donnie" Trump's most rabid defenders. He participated in yesterday's Judiciary Committee hearing that saw Dems defenestrate corrupt Trump consigliere William "Low" Barr, so he may have passed the virus on to his Rethug colleagues as a special gift (ed. -- please let it be Low Bar and crazy sex abuse witnesser Rep. "Gym" Jordan, among others):
"Gohmert's positive cast immediately led to new criticism on Capitol Hill directed at those who do not wear masks. Gohmert's positive case came a day after he attended a hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr and other colleagues. 

Gohmert, 66, has spoken about not wearing a mask.

'I don't have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I've never had it. But if I get it, you'll never see me without a mask,"'he told CNN in June. 

Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Barr will be tested today. 

On Tuesday, Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Gohmet walked around his colleagues in the hearing room and outside it without a mask." (our emphasis)
Now, Screwy Louie can follow the advice of his Dear Leader for treatment. Let's see, injection of disinfectant, sticking lights where the sun don't shine, pray for a miracle....

BONUS: Reactions to Screwy Louie's predicament:

(photo: "Say whut?" Patrick Semansky/Getty)

QOTD -- "A Fury Is Building In Middle America"

"... A fury is building in Middle America that has nothing to do with Russia or impeachment or “Access Hollywood.” It’s rising among people who managed to look past all of that to find something they liked about the president. And now he’s repaying them with a stubby middle finger in their faces. [snip]

"... [T]hey see what the president thinks of them and their concerns. Here, you dupes and dopes, Trump says — here’s a video from a woman who believes in demon dream sex. Or here’s one from a washed-up game-show host who says covid-19 is an election ploy. Or how about this idea: Drink some bleach.

"They’re worried and suffering, and their president might as well be saying: I don’t care if you live or die. And it’s coming through loud and clear. The political center is slow to anger. It’s also slow to forget."  -- David Von Drehle, in today's Washington Post.  His op/ ed is a good read, with righteous anger about the situation we find ourselves in, with the subtext "this is what you voted for." 

Trump: I Never Brought Up Bounties On Troops With Putin

In this interview yesterday with Axios' Jonathan Swan, Putin puppet Donald "Person, woman, man, camera, tv" Trump is asked about confronting his puppetmaster over reports of Russian bounties on American troops in Afghanistan.  Listen to his meandering, mind- numbingly pathetic, treasonous response:

We're not sure what's the worst part:  claiming the intelligence never reached his desk (because he doesn't read his PDB?), that he never asked Putin about it, or that he seemed unconcerned Russia was supplying weapons to the Taliban.  We wonder what he has been talking to Putin about -- how to stoke violence in American cities as a pretext for martial law?  Exile in Russia after he's booted from office? 

If clips from this aren't in a dozen ads from now until November, it's political malpractice.  He's a treasonous incompetent who endangers our country in every way, every day.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Person. Woman. Man. Shuffle. Stroke?

Should we speculate? It would be wrong not to:

Please speculate:

Let's see if the stellar Beltway media picks up on this and investigates fully. Nah, just kidding!

Trump's Quacks

In an act of public safety, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube took down a video providing wildly misleading and dangerous medical "advice" that was shared by moron vector Donald "Person, woman, man, camera, tv" Trump Monday night:
The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, featured a group of people wearing white lab coats calling themselves "America's Frontline Doctors" staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
President Trump shared multiple versions of the video with his 84 million Twitter followers Monday night despite the dubious claims running counter to his administration's own public health experts. Spokespersons for the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.  [snip]
During the press conference, a speaker who identifies herself as a doctor makes a number of dubious claims, including that "you don't need masks" to prevent spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are "fake science" sponsored by "fake pharma companies."
"This virus has a cure, it's called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax," the woman claims. "You don't need masks, there is a cure."
The claims run contrary to multiple studies on the anti-malarial drug and advice from public health officials to prevent spread of the virus.  (our emphasis)
Breitbart, huh.  Are those fascist, Russian intelligence useful idiots still around? 

And just who are "America's Frontline Doctors," who obviously take to heart the main principle of the Hippocratic Oath -- first, do no harm:
According to the website for America's Frontline Doctors, the group is led by Dr. Simone Gold, a Los Angeles-based emergency medicine specialist who has previously been featured on Fox News for her views that stay-at-home orders are harmful. Gold told the Associated Press in May she wanted to speak out against stay-home orders because there was "no scientific basis that the average American should be concerned" about Covid-19.  (our emphasis)
She sounds reasonable and mainstream.  It seems the "news conference" they held was sponsored in part by the (wait for it) Tea Party Patriots (are those fascist, fill- in- the- blank useful idiots still around, too?). 

Here's more on some of the quacks who were also part of this dangerous nonsense. Let's dig a little deeper and focus on one of the stars of this show:
A Houston doctor who praises hydroxychloroquine and says that face masks aren’t necessary to stop transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus has become a star on the right-wing internet, garnering tens of millions of views on Facebook on Monday alone. Donald Trump Jr. declared the video of Stella Immanuel a “must watch,” while Donald Trump himself retweeted the video.
Before Trump and his supporters embrace Immanuel’s medical expertise, though, they should consider other medical claims Immanuel has made—including those about alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams
Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.
She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens(our emphasis)
She also sounds reasonable and mainstream. And a "minister" and a "doctor"!?  That's so convenient!  She can officiate at the funerals of parishioners who follow her "medical" advice! 

Facebook didn't like the harmful, bogus crap she was posting, so they put the kibosh on her.  Then,


Her Twitter profile includes this: "Entrepreneur, Deliverance Minister, God's battle axe and weapon of war."  She's comes across like a battle axe, and she's a weapon all right -- of disinformation, dystopia and death.  Fits right in with the Trump regime death cult.

"Lying Trump" Ad Is No Lie

The progressive organization ReallyAmerican is one of several putting out compelling social media ads on sociopath and con man Donald "Rump" Trump's many, many failings and abuses (Meidas Touch is another). Here, they look at his prolific lying about literally everything, including the howler that he'll always tell the truth. (See also this post about Trump's chronic "fulfillment problem.")

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Kevin Necessary,

(Ken Catalino, 

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe)

(David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Jen Sorensen,

(Kevin Kallaugher, Counterpoint)

(Joe Heller,

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Stuart Carlson,

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)