Wednesday, September 9th, 2020


All The President’s Mendacity

"You just breathe the air and that's how it's passed. And so that's a very tricky one. That's a very delicate one. It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu. This is deadly stuff." A first excerpt from Bob Woodward's book, Rage, tells us what we pretty much already knew (since it was the opposite of what Trump was saying). Trump says he knew coronavirus was ‘deadly' and worse than the flu while intentionally misleading Americans. Three quick takes. First, Trump knew what we faced and downplayed the virus. Fox News ordered its employees to stay home while telling its viewers the virus was a hoax. This is a conspiracy to commit a crime against America. What crime? Let's put it this way. If the US had Canada's Covid-19 death rate, 100,000 more Americans would likely be alive today. Second, if Trump told Woodward in Feb that he knew how deadly the virus was, are we cool with Woodward holding that info from the world until his book's September release? Think of how furious we were at Bolton for saving his impeachment testimony for his book. And while that was a treacherous topic, it wasn't one where tens of thousands of lives were at risk. Third, during the Nixon era, Woodward and Bernstein had to get the story from a secret source in an underground garage. During the Trump era, the president provided his own leaks. In the fullest actualization of his malignant narcissism, Donald Trump deep throated himself.


Darkness Visible

Record-breaking wildfires in California overwhelm firefighters, force evacuations: "I thought I was going to die. California, Oregon and Washington battle dozens of fires. Shocking Photos Show The Hellish Scenes From The West Coast Wildfires. All of these headlines are accurate. But none of them fully capture the experience of what's happening in the Bay Area right now, even far from the fires. My lights are out. It's basically pitch black in my house. And its nearly noon. (It's pretty dark 120 meters above my house too. Here are some of my drone shots.) My son, home from school because of America's unthinkable Covid-19 failure, came upstairs a few minutes ago, looked outside at complete darkness in the middle of the day and said, "Well, at least it's not boiling hot." This is what we're giving our kids.


Frying Pan → Fire

Think you're having a bad 2020? "Fires have destroyed Greece's largest migrant camp, an overcrowded facility on the island of Lesbos, leaving nearly 13,000 people without shelter. Some 40 firefighters battled the blaze at the Moria camp - designed for fewer than 3,000 people - as migrants, many suffering from smoke exposure, fled."


Cycle of Stupidity

"A study by a California research group estimates that the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota led to more than 260,000 coronavirus cases in the month following the event." South Dakota officials say that number is ridiculous. "As of Tuesday, the state reported 124 cases among South Dakota residents who got sick after attending the rally." Let's say the real number is in the hundreds. It was still stupid and reckless.

+ And there's enough stupid recklessness to go around. Adam Harris in The Atlantic: What Did College Leaders Think Was Going to Happen?


Law Disorder

WaPo: Justice Dept. intervenes on behalf of Trump in defamation case brought by woman who accused him of rape. "In filings in federal court in Manhattan, the Justice Department asserted that Trump was 'acting within the scope of his office as President of the United States' when he denied during interviews in 2019 that he had raped journalist E. Jean Carroll more than two decades ago in a New York City department store." Unbelievable. And yet, totally believable.


Not So Stat

"A large, Phase 3 study testing a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford at dozens of sites across the U.S. has been put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom." (This is how it's supposed to work.)

+ Covid-19 drug rationed in the US is plentiful in developing countries.


President of the Fan Club

"I now own three Vornados and a small army of those in-window units, strategically placed so that no particle of air stagnates in my 1,000-square-foot home. The resulting vortex of moving air eliminates any chance of particle buildup, of a heaviness of atmosphere taking root. Light a cigarette anywhere in my house, and you'll be dazzled by the flow of the smoke—up and around, through doorways, swirling toward the ceiling and then back to the floor, inscribing elegant arcs through the air—never resting until it finds its way out a window." Craig Mod in The Atlantic: How I Mastered the Art of Ventilating My Home. (I have a similar setup when I'm in an enclosed space with my two beagles.)


Prude Awakening

"The sudden retirements of the police chief, La'Ron D. Singletary, the deputy chief, Joseph Morabito, and a commander, as well as the demotions of another deputy chief and commander, came three days after the state attorney general announced that she would impanel a grand jury to consider evidence in Mr. Prude's death." Rochester Police Chief Resigns After Accusations of Cover-Up in Prude Case.


Stupid is as Stupid Dons

This one belongs in the bottom of the news, but it's actually too gross, so let's get it over with here. Don Jr. on Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse: "We're waiting for due process. We're not jumping to a conclusion. If I put myself in Kyle Rittenhouse['s shoes], maybe I shouldn't have been there. He's a young kid. I don't want young kids running around the streets with AR-15s. Maybe I wouldn't have put myself in that situation, who knows. But we all do stupid things at 17." (For some of us, that trend just goes on and on and on.)


Bottom of the News

"This show made us who we are and I will be forever in debt to everyone who played a role in shaping our careers and changing our lives forever." Keeping Up With The Kardashians Is Ending. (This is not in keeping with 2020 news trends...)

+ "In asking for clemency, he submitted a handwritten letter where he calls President Trump his hero and invoked Mr. Trump's criticism of federal investigators. 'I have seen what they do to you.'" Joe Exotic sends Trump handwritten letter pleading for pardon, calls president his hero.

+ Someone did a mashup of Taxi Driver with Taxi.