All entries by this author

A defining moment

Mar 13th, 2020 10:19 am | By

When Trump attempted to Address the Nation:

In the most scripted of presidential settings, a prime-time televised address to the nation, President Trump decided to ad-lib — and his errors triggered a market meltdown, panicked travelers overseas and crystallized for his critics just how dangerously he has fumbled his management of the coronavirus.

He always does decide to ad-lib. I guess that’s because no words written by mere Someone Else can ever match the divine elixir of what spills out of his golden head.

Even Trump — a man practically allergic to admitting mistakes — knew he’d screwed up by declaring Wednesday night that his ban on travel from Europe would include cargo and trade, and acknowledged as much

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And another

Mar 13th, 2020 8:52 am | By

Meanwhile up north

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest in a string of high-profile individuals to become infected with the potentially deadly pathogen.

The issue isn’t “high profile” so much as “head of state or spouse thereof.”

On Thursday, the prime minister spoke by telephone with President Trump and the two leaders discussed efforts to respond to the pandemic, with nearly 135,000 known cases globally and nearly 5,000 deaths from the virus.

That is, one of them did that and the other babbled incoherently.

In a readout of the call, the prime minister’s office said: “The two leaders discussed the steps they are

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Mar 13th, 2020 8:43 am | By

A kind of divine justice

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, Brazilian news outlet Jornal O Dia and Fox News reported Friday.

Bolsonaro was tested Thursday after his press secretary Fabio Wajngarten, who also met with Trump, tested positive for the virus. Wajngarten’s diagnosis was confirmed by the president’s office.

So Trump has had contact with at least two people who have tested + for the virus. If nothing else we can be confident he is not happy. I want him to be not happy.

Bolsonaro and Wajngarten were part of a delegation who traveled to

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His overwhelming selfishness

Mar 12th, 2020 4:35 pm | By

Julian Borger spells out why Trump is – as we already know – the worst possible person to be in charge during a pandemic.

Trump in a time of coronavirus is a lethal combination. Everything about the president – his reliance on his gut instincts in place of expertise, his overwhelming selfishness, and his unfailing tendency to lash out at others when things go wrong – make him the worst person imaginable to hold the world’s most powerful job in the face of pandemic.

Also his ravenous ego, his sadistic bullying, his frivolity, his stupidity, his recklessness, his indifference to anything and anyone but himself, his conceit, his ignorance, his fucking stubbornness…it’s hard to draw up a complete list.… Read the rest

Name any group you’d speak to as you do women

Mar 12th, 2020 3:51 pm | By

More responses to Billy Bragg’s attempt to tell women what to do:

And from the other direction…

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Every one of you chose to risk today happening

Mar 12th, 2020 2:29 pm | By


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Careful of the blasphemy

Mar 12th, 2020 2:10 pm | By

I can only roll my eyes.

It would be blasphemous to think that Holy Communion could spread viruses, but people were free to choose whether they want to receive it, the Church of Cyprus said on Wednesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Holy Synod argued that receiving Holy Communion from the same spoon as hundreds of others was safe for believers.

“It would be blasphemous to think that the body and blood of the Christ could transmit any disease or virus,” it said.

Well maybe so but it isn’t the body and blood of Jesus so……………..

“Christianity’s centuries-old experience has no single incident of such transmission to display.”

As if he could possibly know that. … Read the rest

Nothing very unusual

Mar 12th, 2020 10:09 am | By

The news outlets are reporting it now. CNN:

Fabio Wajngarten, the press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, two sources have told CNN. Bolsonaro’s health is being monitored.

It comes just days after Wajngarten met US President Donald Trump in Florida.

Bolsonaro’s aide posted an image of himself standing with Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend.

Trump is calm.

Trump said he was aware of the aide’s diagnosis during remarks in the Oval Office on Thursday.

“We did nothing very unusual, we sat next to each other for a period of time,” he added, referring to Bolsonaro.

Well, yes, and that’s one way the virus can … Read the rest

Just nine hours

Mar 12th, 2020 10:00 am | By

Peter Baker in the NYT:

On Wednesday night, President Trump implored the nation’s political leadership to “stop the partisanship” and come together to confront the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday morning, he woke up and immediately issued partisan attacks on Democratic congressional leaders.

You’re thinking that’s inconsistent, aren’t you. Nah. He told other people to stop the partisanship. He’s not other people.

Mr. Trump’s call for a suspension of partisanship lasted just nine hours, at least some of which he was presumably asleep. While some of Mr. Trump’s allies and advisers have urged him to stop fighting and assert more national leadership, the president made clear that it does not suit him.

He made clear that rules are for other … Read the rest

Aw yeah, gas prices

Mar 12th, 2020 9:07 am | By

Hmmyes definitely, because gasoline is most people’s main expense, right? It takes a far bigger bite than housing, food, health insurance – everything, in fact, apart from taxes. No question.… Read the rest

Another vector

Mar 12th, 2020 8:57 am | By


So that’s twice we know of that Trump has been in the vicinity of the virus – at CPAC and at his Florida golf resort.

Which will now have to be closed for some weeks, right?

Updating to add:

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We’re not clear

Mar 12th, 2020 7:47 am | By

Trump said words last night.

At 9.02pm, Trump began as presidents so often do: “My fellow Americans.” But in the next breath, he reverted to his familiar us-versus-them nationalism, referring to the coronavirus outbreak “that started in China” and is now spreading throughout the world. “This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.” Not just a virus. A foreign virus.

The president touted his own sweeping travel restrictions on China and, far from expressing sympathy and solidarity with allies, argued the European Union “failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were

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Removing the ship’s hull mid-crossing

Mar 12th, 2020 7:38 am | By

Judd Legum of Popular Information reminds us of the backstory.

In 2018, the Trump administration ousted Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer, who served as the Senior Director of Global Health Security. Ziemer was a member of the National Security Council, where he was responsible for coordinating “responses to global health emergencies and potential pandemics.” Ziemer was lauded as “one of the most quietly effective leaders in public health.” His work on Malaria during the Obama administration helped save 6 million lives. 

“Admiral Ziemer’s departure is deeply alarming,” Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) said in May 2018. “Expertise like his is critical in avoiding large outbreaks.” Beth Cameron, who served on the National Security Council in the Obama

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How will he know which ones are predatory?

Mar 11th, 2020 5:10 pm | By

Point entirely missed.

No. That is not what people are concerned about. Of course trans rights are human rights, and of course no one is saying trans people shouldn’t have rights. The issue is special new and frankly peculiar rights, that conflict with other people’s rights at many points. Trans rights can mean the human rights that all people, including trans people, have, or it can mean new invented “rights” that no … Read the rest


Mar 11th, 2020 4:39 pm | By

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Save the narrative first

Mar 11th, 2020 3:59 pm | By

Trump doesn’t want to declare an emergency because that would make it too obvious that he has his head up his ass.

President Donald Trump is reluctant to declare an expansive emergency to combat the escalating coronavirus outbreak, fearful of stoking panic with such a dramatic step, according to three people familiar with the situation. Instead, the president is expected to sign within days a more limited designation to allow the federal government to cover small business loans, paychecks for hourly workers and delay tax bills, the White House said Wednesday. An emergency declaration would go significantly beyond that move, bringing in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and freeing up funding and resources for states struggling to contain the

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The level of certain physical attributes

Mar 11th, 2020 11:58 am | By

When it comes to pay, we are told that women athletes are worth less because men are better. When it comes to men athletes who claim to be women so that they can compete against women, we are told that men are not better at all and who ever said they were?

On International Women’s Day in 2019, all 28 players on the top-ranked U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) alleging gender-based discrimination and arguing for equal pay. Now, eye-opening court documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles reveal the grounds on which the USSF is arguing the lawsuit should be thrown out.

One of its arguments is headlined: “WNT

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The P word

Mar 11th, 2020 10:37 am | By

It’s on.

The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

“This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

As he announced the ratcheting up of a health emergency to its highest level, Tedros also said there is hope that COVID-19 can still be curtailed. And he urged countries to act now to stop the disease.

“WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases,” Tedros said. “And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell

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Open up ALL the toilets

Mar 11th, 2020 8:40 am | By

So about that dopy Zoe Williams piece telling feminists to be more embracey

I have written nothing on trans issues for seven years. A now-familiar row had broken out in the feminist movement back then, and I assumed that feminism would soon re-orient itself away from which body parts define a woman and whether or not the word “womxn” signified an assault on our sense of selves, and towards what I thought was obviously the more fundamental question of the movement: who has it worse? Feminism, in my life’s experience of it, takes the side of the oppressed. That is our raison d’etre.

You see what I mean by “dopy.” Of course that’s not feminism’s raison d’être – why … Read the rest

Define “rights”

Mar 11th, 2020 7:57 am | By

The latest captive:

Lots of people are finding Billy Bragg’s lack of compassion for the female community troubling. He seems to have no concern about what might happen … Read the rest