I’ve got the coronavirus blues

“We have contained this” doesn’t work.

coronavirusI’ll admit that I am now terrified about the coronavirus spreading in the United States. But it’s not just the unknown nature of the disease. It’s the abysmal United States strategy in dealing with it from the very beginning.

The administration has known about coronavirus since at least December 27, 2019. “It did nothing until January 29, when the White House posted a memo announcing President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force.”

Then Vice-President Mike Pence adds top economic advisor Larry Kudlow and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to the Task Force, making clear what the actual goal is. That is to spin the news so that the stock market might be bolstered.

At the CPAC conference, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney Accused the Media of Hyping Coronavirus to Bring Down Trump: ‘That’s What It’s All About’.

Junior’s rant

Trump Jr. Accuses Democrats of Hoping Coronavirus ‘Kills Millions’ to End President’s ‘Streak of Winning’. THIS is why I’m worried about the potential pandemic. The people in and around the administration seem more obsessed with the politics of the issue than of the health concerns.

To DT Jr.’s idiotic comment, let me make it clear that I don’t want “millions” to die in order to make anyone look bad politically. I want a robust response from the medical community, bolstered by the government. I’m not seeing that yet.

Here’s an economic truth. If we actually contain the coronavirus virus, the stock market, which tanked all last week, will rebound. No spin from the White House will work.

“In a muddled, dishonest, rambling news conference from the White House press briefing room…Trump…lied. He twisted the truth, [and] displayed little grasp of basic facts.” As usual, “he didn’t let the experts run the show. He instilled no confidence Wednesday night. The markets on Thursday rewarded his efforts with the DOW posting the largest single-day loss in history.”

Hey, I want the market to keep going up. I’m a retiree. My 401(k) took a bath at the end of February. But trotting out Larry Kudlow to say “we have contained this” doesn’t work. When he lies, “I won’t say ‘air-tight,’ but it’s pretty close to air-tight,” it creates greater fear, not less.

Dismantling units designed to protect against pandemics

This is a government that has regularly shown it doesn’t believe in science. In fact, according to the hardly-liberal Foreign Policy site from late January, the current administration has sabotaged America’s coronavirus response. “As it improvises its way through a public health crisis, the United States has never been less prepared for a pandemic.”

If Bush (either one), or Obama, or Clinton (either one) had been in charge, I wouldn’t be nearly as nervous. Meanwhile, A Guide to COVID-19 for Public Libraries.

“God is a capitalist” and other heresy

‘May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle.’

While I tend to believe in the broad diversity of expression within the Christian church, and honor it as a good thing, occasionally I find a version so utterly toxic that it irritates me greatly.

Such was the case when I read about weekly Bible studies held by members of the regime’s Cabinet.

“Ralph Drollinger’s own ministry declared him ‘not biblically qualified for spiritual leadership.’ And yet, he leads the… study group, organized by Vice President Pence and faithfully attended by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, CIA Director [now Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, among others.”

The Message is that
Governments and leaders “must send a constant message that sin will be punished”
Entitlement programs have no “biblical authority”
Liberal Christians aren’t really Christians, they’re “simpletons”
Catholicism is “one of the primary false religions in the world”
“Radical environmentalism” is a “false religion”
“God only hears the prayers of leaders and citizens who are upright, who live righteously through faith in Jesus Christ”
“God is a capitalist” and because of excessive environmental regulations in the U.S. “the economic benefits God intends from private property ownership have been greatly diminished”
“Righteous” people with government positions should not “compromise Biblical absolutes” and should hire only other “righteous” people

I could argue against each of these, some on First Amendment grounds, others as gross distortions of Biblical scholarship, but suffice to say that the exclusivity of this mindset of the faith I find disturbing.

Oh, and Franklin Graham states that Trump stopped sinning when he became President. I was looking up the Ten Commandments. There’s one that reads: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” Given his propensity for prevarication, one must assume that he has sinned at LEAST once in the last 15 months.

Meanwhile, lame-duck Speaker of the House Paul Ryan forced out House chaplain Patrick Conroy, though he was soon reinstated. Daily Kos cheekily wrote, it was reportedly for being way too Christian, unprecedented in House history in the middle of a session.

“In the prayer he gave back in November on the first day of the mark-up of the tax scam bill [he] gently nudged members to think about the meek.

“‘May all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great Nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle. May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.'”

Speaking truth to power – wasn’t that part of Jesus’ message? On this day of Pentecost, which makes the church the church, it will be interesting to watch which strains of the faith are considered genuine over time. I certainly have MY theories.

May rambling #2: a controlled descent of a vertical drop


Online Privacy Guide for Journalists 2017

How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind

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Voting Rate for the Non-Hispanic Black Population Dropped in the 2016 Presidential Election

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vlogbrothers: Your Neighborhood, Your Life Expectancy

Cartoon: Freedom to be screwed, 2017 edition

Are we monsters?

Quora: Before Obamacare, when insurance companies denied people for pre-existing conditions, did that mean people who had them couldn’t get insurance? (The short answer is “yes”, over and over.)

Climate of Propaganda

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Net Neutrality II; last 4 minutes are true about people on the Internet

The statement issued by 50 prominent Republican national security experts in August 2016 pointing out that a man who would not, under normal circumstances, ever be given a high-level security clearance was unfit to be President

#37 counsels #45

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality” – Dante

“Closer Look” with Seth Meyers, maybe the sharpest political comedy on TV these days

The 5 Worst Dressed Men on Capitol Hill

Narcissistic personality disorder

He is what he appears to be

Pence embodies what’s wrong with Washington

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Danth’s Law is an Internet axiom which asserts that if a person has to insist that he or she has won an Internet argument, it is likely the said person has lost

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Find Percentage With Percent Increase Online Calculator ; I’ve had to use this to explain a point this year

50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

Word of the week: An abseil (/ˈæbseɪl/ or /ˈɑːpzaɪl/; from German abseilen, meaning “to rope down”), also called a rappel after its French name, is a controlled descent of a vertical drop, such as a rock face, using a rope. Climbers use this technique when a cliff or slope is too steep and/or dangerous to descend without protection. Pronounced AB-sale. As seen here.

The Mystery of the Mysterious Glass

Now I Know: The Self-Aware Conference Call Line and The Off-Color Golden Arches

The sandwich alignment chart

MUSIC

Walter O’Brien: The Man Who Never Returned by PETER DREIER and JIM VRABEL. “In 1949, the Boston People’s Artists wrote ‘MTA’ for a left-wing candidate. The song became a hit — the man behind it disappeared.”

Visions, by Jules Massenet

Baltimore – Audra McDonald

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Julie London singing Cry Me A River and…

The great songs: Time Is Tight by Booker T. & the M.G.’s

Meet the critic who panned ‘Sgt. Pepper’ then discovered his speaker was busted; he’s still not sorry

TheDowntown.church, Springfield, MO