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Trompf from Here on Out (16)

5-25. Memorial Day. On this national holi-day, we enact one of our most humanizing traits, individual and communal memory. Individually, as families, and as friends, we celebrate the lives of our beloved who have died before us; and as communities of all sizes up to the whole nation we honor persons who have given their lives for our democracy and general wellbeing. This year our dead include victims of pandemic, and we are expressing our gratitude to persons who are risking their lives to treat our sick and to maintain essential services.

Our Pr*sident is observing the occasion with a weekend of golf and rage-tweeting. Is there, out there somewhere, a final straw that will break the elephant’s back, and break the spell that this madman has cast upon the most gullible, hateful, and cowardly among us? Could it be that historians will remember this unholy pr*sidential weekend as that straw?

5-17. Woke at 3:30 this morn and thought, Madness, Horror.  I mean this has gotten serious.  I signed on to this gig to narrate a novel that pretty much would write itself, and now the plot has gone double villain by crossing fascist narcissist with novel virus—Pan-demic, the worldwide nightmare god, weighing on our chests.  I’m so bummed that I haven’t even written long patches of the plot.  

Lying there, I got an image of blood seeping out of my eyes.  This was not a dream. Nothing wrong with them, no scratches or anything, just blood oozing up, all along the bottoms of my eyeballs, over the brims and down my cheeks.

If I called 911 I couldn’t get an ambulance.  They don’t send ambulances for narrators who can’t prove that they have been in contact with a proven person.  But proven of what?  Patience?

At 4:01 I had to get up to pee, so I opened my eyes.  No blood anywhere.  Yesterday Trompf televised a brag about his new Space Force, with apparently a new rocket bomb that flies 17 x speed of the old.  The implication is that nothing can stop him from killing.  He has to.  No choice, he said.   « I call it my super duper missile. »   He’s a deadlier agent of death than the virus.  He thinks he’s Shiva, a great trickster; but the joke’s on him.

And it seems he’s on speed.  I suspect that as he spins increasingly out of control, as his chaos overwhelms even his whirling brain, as doomsday approaches, things are speeding up.  He announces Project Warp Speed; a vaccine by the end of the year.  Everything is a war for Trompf, and everything takes place in the vast fantasy space inside his head.  But “vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back.”  Schools will reopen in the fall.

Meanwhile nothing can kill him.  For the screen image, everybody around him must wear a mask, while he performs bare-faced.  We are so fragile, so limited.  But He is invulnerable, our invincible lord and savior.  

Yet it appears that He can feel the walls closing in around Him.  If He is the Republican nominee, He will not be re-elected, even by the Constitutional Electors.  Barr will not be able to excuse Him.  McConnell will not be able to protect Him, and indeed will wash his hands.  He will not be chosen by the Supreme Court.

Pan-ic attack.  “OBAMAGATE.”  His enemies are the most corrupt in history.  But that’s okay because he has disinfectant.  This is the straw floating on the waves, that the drowning man grasps for. This is the Grand Delusion, the End Game of Herr Trompf’s insanity, that his mother and his father prepared him to create.

The Horror is that in His Madness, and ours, he has become a Jim Jones.  When it is clear to him that he is going down, that he cannot escape except through a miracle of death and promised resurrection, he will call upon us all, to show faith in his vision of Himself by gulping the bleach.  Children first.

He must not die!  He cannot die!  Live in Him!

Hey! Don’t drink that!

Oh, btw, Obama has not been a major character, but I think his carefully modulated criticisms of T recently are a turning point in the plot line. His two online national commencement addresses yesterday were, in tone and content, a comforting and encouraging addition to our struggle to maintain sanity and overcome fascism and the cumulative errors of our past since 1980. He called directly for a new-generation hostile takeover (reminiscent, for me, of “Don’t trust anybody over 30.”) I have predicted that Bernie and the rest of us Progressives are going to make sure that Biden is elected. (It’s absolutely necessary, although far from sufficient.) We can add the Obamas to that cast.

[Previous page of this episode. Next page.]

Dream: A Fecal Crisis

Late yesterday afternoon, I updated a page of narration with the shitty matter of Herr Trompf’s murderous insanity, in general and specifically re the pandemic.  In the evening my yoga teacher, JF, had begun the lesson with comments about having experienced distressing dreams because of our stressful viral/political situation.  She reminded us that our practice would be about mental and spiritual health, as well as physical.

At around 3:00 (probably) this morning I was sleeping well, but woke just enough to realize that I might have to head for the bathroom soon.  I felt that I had been constipated for some time, with a resulting build-up of solid matter in my lower intestinal area.  As activity began to return to normal, I could feel a large turd now just beginning to emerge.  Still mainly asleep, but alerted to the impending crisis, I could feel, and vaguely see an image of, the turd beginning to protrude, to stick out.

Evaluating the degree of urgency, I was confident that when the time came to wake up enough to get out of bed and make it to the bathroom in time, my brain would produce exactly that response.  So I lay there for awhile, monitoring the situation.  I became slightly more awake, with the sensation that if this were happening during the day, out in the world (where I have not actually ventured since early March), I would be looking for a public restroom, so as not to do something deeply embarrassing.  However, my sense of urgency, my feeling of bowelful readiness, did not increase, nor did my wakefulness, and slowly I returned to a deep sleep.

At around 6:00 I woke up. Lying there comfortably, I remembered the idea of the crisis in the night.  But I had no sense whatsoever of any such physical condition.  I did not feel any sense of having been constipated, or of any need, or of having had any thought of any need, to hurry out of bed.  My entire waste disposal plant was simply humming along, as usual (good fortune in my old age, for which I am grateful).

Rather, I had my usual sense of having dreamed during the night, a series of dreams, short or long, of which one was particularly memorable.  I doubt that I had partially wakened.  I think I dreamed (exactly as I had dreamed recently of a journey) that I was partly awake because of a developing fecal crisis with potential for social disaster, which required my personal response.  I dreamed that my brain was alert to it and was appropriately working on it.  Ever the optimist, alas.  As they say, it will all come out all right in the end.

In fact I read, just a couple days ago, that health scientists in Paris were measuring the incidence of this new coronavirus by measuring its residue in fecal matter in the Parisian sewer system. That’s interesting, but not to the American Pr*sident.

To close the yoga session, J had shared a beautiful poem by Stanley Kunitz, “The Layers.” As he commented (noted on this page with the poem), he wrote it in his late seventies, after losing some of his dearest friends. The two lines that begin the poem “came to me in a dream, spoken out of a dark cloud.”  He closed the poem with what to me seems an affirmation in his “darkest night”:  “I am not done with my changes.”  It’s an elder’s dream, and its theme is an elder’s take on one of the great realities and principles of accurate thought.  It’s meaning is always the same, yet always a little bit different, changing as we change.  (He went on changing for more than 20 years!)

Trompf from Here on Out (15)

5/5 This movie might be “Son of Strange Love.” Trompf is no doctor, but as the virus rages, and Trompf rages, he’s considering disbanding his Pr*sidential Pandemic Task Force. This is madness, and this is murder. He’s gonna get us all killed.  Or at any rate all the old folks like the author of this tomb.  Which means that I’ll be out of a gig.  I wonder if there’s a Fund for Unemployed Narrators (FfUN).  Meanwhile, I’ll be watching the red numbers.  GA, FL, IN, TN for example. 

4/27 Enemy of the People. And Insane:  The current pr*sident of the United States is a maniac in a position of great power, who enjoys nothing so much as using his personal power to dominate and destroy other people, individually or en masse.  That’s his mania. In this interview (by Chauncey DeVega for Salon), the psychologist, John Gartner nails Trompf’s psychopathic personality derangement. If it comes to it, T will commit what Gartner calls “democide.” Here’s the last Q and response:

What do you think Donald Trump will do if, shortly before Nov. 3, it appears clear that he is going to lose the election?

Rather than making a prediction as to Trump’s specific actions, it is more helpful to describe the type of actions he will take. Rather than trying to say, “This is the move he’ll make.” Like in a relationship, Donald Trump is the abuser. He is the husband or father who is abusing his partner or children or other relatives. The American people are like a woman who is leaving her abuser. She tells her abuser, “That’s it! I am done with you!” She has her keys in hand and is opening the door of the house or apartment to finally leave. What happens? The democidal maniac Donald Trump will attack us, badly. Make no mistake. Donald Trump is going to find a way to attack and cause great harm to the American people if he believes that he will lose the 2020 election.”

Every action by Herr Trompf can only be understood on the basis of his underlying (barely) malignant narcissism (as explained by Gartner). The pr*sidency has not been a good thing for him, personally, and by now he is thoroughly enraged, with the worst yet to come.

4/23 How many times have I said, this is it, people will see that T has lost it, gone round the bend, off the rails, only to be wrong? This time, might I finally be right? During a pandemic press briefing, he recommends ingesting or injecting disinfectant, or maybe somehow UV rays (and suggests that his medical advisor, who is sitting right there, has told him it’s worth researching). This is it, dear reader. At long last, this is it. Everybody sees it now, and many are daring to admit that they see it. It’s undeniable, T is a dangerous madman. (Take E. J. Dione’s word for it.)

[Previous page of this episode. Next page.]

Bernie Suspends

The Text of His Announcement to His Supporters (Youtube)

I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping to create an unprecedented grassroots political campaign that has had a profound impact in changing our nation.

I want to thank the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who knocked on millions of doors in the freezing winters of Iowa and New Hampshire and in the heat of Nevada and South Carolina – and in states throughout the country.

I want to thank the 2.1 million Americans who have contributed to our campaign and showed the world that we can take on a corrupt campaign finance system and run a major presidential campaign without being dependent upon the wealthy and the powerful. Thank you for your 10 million contributions – averaging $18.50 per donation.

I want to thank those who phone banked for our campaign and those of you who came together to send out millions of texts. I want to thank the many hundreds of thousands of Americans who attended our rallies, town meetings and house parties from New York to Los Angeles. Some of these events had over 25,000 people. Some had a few hundred and some had a dozen. But all were important. Let me thank those who made these many events possible.

I want to thank our surrogates, too many to name. I can’t imagine that any candidate has ever been blessed with a stronger and more dedicated group of people who have taken our message to every corner of the country. And I want to thank all those who made music and art an integral part of our campaign.

I want to thank all of you who spoke to your friends and neighbors, posted on social media and worked as hard as you could to make this a better country.

Together, we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of country we can become, and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice.

I also want to thank the many hundreds of people on our campaign staff. You were willing to move from one state to another and do all the work that had to be done – no job was too big or too small for you. You rolled up your sleeves and you did it. You embodied the words that are at the core of our movement: Not me, us. And I thank each and every one of you.

WE HAVE WON THE IDEOLOGICAL BATTLE

As many of you will recall Nelson Mandela, one of the great freedom fighters in modern world history, famously said; “It always seems impossible until it is done.” And what he meant by that is that the greatest obstacle to real social change has everything to do with the power of the corporate and political establishment to limit our vision as to what is possible and what we are entitled to as human beings.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to health care as a human right, we will never achieve universal health care.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to decent wages and working conditions, millions of us will continue to live in poverty.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to all of the education we require to fulfill our dreams, many of us will leave school saddled with huge debt, or never get the education we need.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world that has a clean environment and is not ravaged by climate change, we will continue to see more drought, floods, rising sea levels and an increasingly uninhabitable planet.

If we don’t believe that we are entitled to live in a world of justice, democracy and fairness – without racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia or religious bigotry – we will continue to have massive income and wealth inequality, prejudice and hatred, mass incarceration, terrified immigrants and hundreds of thousands of Americans sleeping out on the streets of the richest country on earth.

Focusing on that new vision for America is what our campaign has been about and what, in fact, we have accomplished. Few would deny that over the course of the past 5 years our movement has won the ideological struggle. In so called “red” states, and “blue” states and “purple” states, a majority of the American people now understand that we must raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour; that we must guarantee health care as a right to all of our people; that we must transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, and that higher education must be available to all, regardless of income.

It was not long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe. Today, they are mainstream ideas – and many of them are already being implemented in cities and states across the country. That’s what you accomplished.

In terms of health care, even before the horrific pandemic we are now experiencing, more and more Americans understood that we must move to a Medicare for All, single-payer system. During the primary elections exit polls showed, in state after state, a strong majority of Democratic primary voters supported a single government health insurance program to replace private insurance. That was true even in states where our campaign did not prevail.

And let me just say this: In terms of health care, this horrific crisis that we are now in has exposed how absurd our current employer-based health insurance system is. The current economic downturn we are experiencing has not only led to a massive loss of jobs, but has also resulted in millions of Americans losing their health insurance. While Americans have been told, over and over again, how wonderful our employer-based, private insurance system is, those claims sound very hollow now as a growing number of unemployed workers struggle with how they can afford to go to the doctor, or not go bankrupt with a huge hospital bill. We have always believed that health care must be considered as a human right, not an employee benefit – and we are right.

Please also appreciate that not only are we winning the struggle ideologically, we are also winning it generationally. The future of our country rests with young people and, in state after state, whether we won or whether we lost the Democratic primaries or caucuses, we received a significant majority of the votes, sometimes an overwhelming majority, from people not only 30 or under, but 50 years of age or younger. In other words, the future of this country is with our ideas.

THE CURRENT CRISIS

As we are all painfully aware, we now face an unprecedented crisis. Not only are we dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken the lives of many thousands of our people, we are also dealing with an economic meltdown that has resulted in the loss of millions of jobs.

Today, families all across the country face financial hardship unimaginable only a few months ago. And because of the unacceptable levels of income and wealth distribution in our economy, many of our friends and neighbors have little or no savings and are desperately trying to pay their rent or their mortgage or even to put food on the table. This reality makes it clear to me that Congress must address this unprecedented crisis in an unprecedented way that protects the health and economic wellbeing of the working families of our country, not just powerful special interests. As a member of the Democratic leadership in the United States Senate, and as a senator from Vermont, this is something that I intend to be intensely involved in, and which will require an enormous amount of work.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

That takes me to the state of our presidential campaign. I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth. And that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible. So while we are winning the ideological battle, and while we are winning the support of young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful.

And so today I am announcing the suspension of active campaigning, and congratulate Joe Biden, a very decent man, on his victory.

Please know that I do not make this decision lightly. In fact, it has been a very painful decision. Over the past few weeks Jane and I, in consultation with top staff and many of our prominent supporters, have made an honest assessment of the prospects for victory. If I believed we had a feasible path to the nomination I would certainly continue the campaign. But it’s not there.

I know there may be some in our movement who disagree with this decision, who would like us to fight on to the last ballot cast at the Democratic convention. I understand that position. But as I see the crisis gripping the nation – exacerbated by a president unwilling or unable to provide any kind of credible leadership – and the work that needs to be done to protect people in this most desperate hour, I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour.

But let me say this very emphatically: As you all know, we have never been just a campaign. We are a grassroots multi-racial, multi-generational movement which has always believed that real change never comes from the top on down, but always from the bottom on up. We have taken on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and the greed of the entire corporate elite. That struggle continues. While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.

Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The fight for justice is what our campaign was about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about.

And, on a practical note, let me also say this: I will stay on the ballot in all remaining states and continue to gather delegates. While Vice President Biden will be the nominee, we should still work to assemble as many delegates as possible at the Democratic convention where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform and other functions.

Then, together, standing united, we will go forward to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history. And we will fight to elect strong progressives at every level of government – from Congress to the school board.

As I hope all of you know, this race has never been about me. I ran for the presidency because I believed as president I could accelerate and institutionalize the progressive change that we are all building together. And, if we keep organizing and fighting, I have no doubt that our victory is inevitable. While the path may be slower now, we WILL change this country and, with like-minded friends around the globe, the entire world.

On a very personal note, speaking for Jane, myself and our entire family, we will always carry in our hearts the memory of the extraordinary people we have met across the country. We often hear about the beauty of America. And this is an incredibly beautiful country.

But to me the beauty I will remember most is in the faces of the people we have met from one corner of this country to the other. The compassion, love and decency I saw in them makes me so hopeful for our future. It also makes me more determined than ever to work to create a country that reflects those values and lifts up all our people.

Please stay in this fight with me. Let us go forward together. The struggle continues.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

Dream: Journey

I (but not really very particularly me) was driving a flat-bed truck, with a companion in the cab, from some place to some other place where we were supposed to take something.  We remarked that, well, we could have taken the route “over the hump,” meaning up and over the mountaintop.  But we knew that we had chosen the better route, down the mountainside and along the valley.

We came to a place where we could see that, ahead, the road T’d at another road, onto which we would make a left turn.  We saw that, almost immediately, that road was intersected by a river that was flooding so high that the road went down a gentle slope and disappeared into it, and then emerged, 50 or so feet farther on, and proceeded up a gentle slope on the other side.

A vast procession of people, essentially humanity, was walking the road, in the same direction we would go, right to left.  They were probably going to the same place we were going.  We watched, as people arrived at the water, and just kept walking, at a steady pace, deeper into the water, until even their heads disappeared.  Then there was just the expanse of empty surface of water, flowing very slowly away from us, out into the valley landscape.  Then heads appeared again, and bodies re-emerged, as people walked on up the sloping road.

[This comes as no surprise, since I’ve been reading from the book of flowing water, the Tao Te Ching, every morning for at least a month.  It’s a good dream to have.]

Viral in Seattle

[Posted also on Facebook.]

Dear Friends.  As you know, turns out I’m living in the city where we first learned that America was joining the World Viral Alliance.  Since the Seattle Experience is still a preview of coming detractions for much of the country, I’ll offer a few local thoughts.

First:  Everybody stay well!  Do what it takes, including social distancing. (At about 9 last night I was making my regular promenade in my very normal neighborhood.  Nobody else out, no cars passing by.  A man walking his dog approached.  We were closing at about 3 ft/sec.  At 20 ft he swung way out into the street.)

In my isolation, I’ve been rereading Camus’s The Plague (actually this time, La Peste, reading out loud to myself, as part of my study of French).  A few days ago, at the end of Part I, the mayor issued the order to close the city (“Fermez la ville”).  Seattle is still open; but in many ways living with the virus here (unless Trump cancels social distancing to try to save his assets) is noticeably like life in Oran.  So it occurred to me that you might find it interesting to get an occasional report from this ville.

Vastly unlike Camus’s narrator, I have no expertise; and rather than being at the center of things, I live near the southern periphery of Seattle; and while Dr. Rieux is out and around, risking his life to aid his concitoyens, I’m aiding my community by keeping to myself and just trying to stay alive.  I do have a family friend, G, an anesthesiologist and medical ethicist, who is in the thick of things.  Yesterday we asked (by text) how she’s doing.  Reply:  

“Lots of admin stuff as we get ready to surge in about 2 weeks. WA is doing much better than New York. But we are doubling about every 5 days in deaths and cases (over 2200 cases today and totally of 110 deaths) to put in perspective, in 2 weeks that would translate to 17,000 cases and about 900 deaths and about 3500 hospitalized in WA alone if we don’t slow down. Damn how I wish the [navy hospital] ship was coming to us instead of LA. The virus is still moving too fast. But at least we’re not NY. New York alone now has 22,000 cases, more than France or South Korea, and 157 deaths (up 38% from yesterday).”

I’ll post more, soon, about family and city.

3/25 This will help understand the response Heidi got re. her serious symptoms:  On March 20 our friend G (anesthesiologist, medical ethicist) shared this letter, about Seattle health care resources:

The hospital situation is concerning.  We are not in a panic yet.   Here is the somewhat sobering message I sent to Todd yesterday, which is worth repeating.  Bold text shows where I am updating it for today:

“Seriously, no need to panic, but social isolation is important, not just to prevent YOU from getting the illness and spreading it or dying from it (and here’s the bad news–the latest wave of statistics say that younger people (20-60) are the biggest risk for requiring hospitalization and/or critical care than any other group.  Over 60 is most likely to die if they become critically ill, but serious infections seem to be very high in your age group), but also to slow the epidemic.  Texas by the way, is one of about a half a dozen States that have done the LEAST amount of appropriate measures and restrictions.  so hang on to your hat, Texas. 

Why is social distancing important?  let me give you an example using Washington State (my numbers come from yesterday, by the way, and are already outdated, but here goes);

Let’s suppose that ultimately Washington state alone develops around 30,000 cases (it will be at least that–we are at about 1400 (this is increasing by about 50% every 24 hours at this time—yesterday was 1200 at end of day) confirmed cases and 74 (was high 60’s yesterday) deaths as of last night).  From China, which did a slightly delayed, but excellent job of lock down, the rate of serious infection needing hospitalization was about 15% (many if not most requiring intensive care), and death rate about 2.5 percent (I’m averaging a lot of reports).  Those numbers appear to be holding true for us, too.  That would mean in Washington state alone, there would be 4500 hospitalizations and 700 deaths.  How many ICU beds are there in Washington state?  Less than 1500 total.  (total hospital beds in Washington state are 10,231 as of this year) i.e. there will be no way we can take care of even 1/3 of serious cases if the epidemic “dumps” those cases all at once or over a short period of time–which it will do and in just a couple of weeks from now if we don’t move quickly–it may already be too late.  Since recovery time is about 3 weeks for hospitalized patients (and that is just an average–some take 6 weeks and months of rehab) then we cannot afford to see more new cases than “recoveries” come in over that period of time or hospital beds will be completely overwhelmed.  And that is presuming that no one else needs or gets a hospital bed for a non-corona related cause (god forbid you have a heart attack or cancer during the pandemic).  That would translate to maybe only about 3 new cases per day per ICU MAXIMUM.  Guess how many patients we have at my hospital and affiliate 2 hospitals in Seattle right now with COVID?  about 40, around a dozen in the ICUs.  Most of those arrived in the last 3 days.  And this is very early days of the appropriate measures.  The engine is just starting to rev, and soon it will roar.  Starting to get the picture?  We are already running out of protective equipment at the very beginning of the epidemic.  People are stealing masks from hospitals that they can’t even use.  We have had 2 doctors critically ill in ICUs in the Seattle area.  One of our most famous epidemiologists died Wednesday of COVID.  (he was retired however, and got it in the community).  

So we need to slow things down primarily so that the cases come in don’t flood the hospital beds (we’re at near capacity now), and don’t deplete us of needed medical supplies and protective equipment (we are running short now).  The pandemic, if we take our lessons from China, will continue apace for another 3-3.5 months, and then if we are diligent and do appropriate lock downs now (hey Texas, get with the program–there’s a pandemic going on), we may be able to ease restrictions in about 4 months.  (I know the media and the government are reporting a much shorter period, but trust me, it will be longer.  Inslee has already extended our lock down times for several weeks and he will have to do so again.  At the moment, our hospital is projecting a peak ((hopefully)) in about 3-4 weeks, after which we will be looking at minimum of 3-4 weeks for those cases to recover and new less serious cases will still come in for a while.

If.  

What measures are we taking in our hospitals?  We are screening every person who walks through our doors.  We don’t allow visitors in.  Period.  If your relative gets sick you will have to say goodbye at the door.  We are cancelling ALL elective surgery and procedures, ALL, which means all patients get screened to see if their care can be postponed.  We went from 80 cases per day here to 17 starting last Monday.  We are self-isolating exposures, testing, and home quarantining anyone who is positive.  We are donning expensive and very limited supplies of protective equipment when we have to take care of a COVID positive patient.  This includes full showers for the anesthesia staff after anesthesia or airway care in infected patients.  This all takes time, and resources.  And yes, it is exhausting.  

We are looking at methods to change visits to Telehealth.  Which requires education of our providers and installation of equipment that permits visual contact with patients.  That will take time.  We are looking at whether with reduced surgeries, if ICU cases continue to surge, anesthesiologists can be cross-used as intensivists and empty ORs used as extra ICU beds.  The Washington State Dept of Health in conjunction with the Wash State medical societies is outlining a plan for rationing of care in the event of an overwhelming need. Meaning not everyone will get extensive medical care if they are not expected to survive.  The President has just today enacted emergency powers to command that manufacturers divert resources to produce protective equipment (masks, gowns, etc) and sell them to the government for emergency dispersement to hospitals.

And just to be clear.  No chloroquine was not just released by the FDA, it was released years ago.  And no, studies are not very promising that it will treat COVID.  But it is early.  There are some triple antiviral therapies that actually have shown some promising results, but those drugs are pretty toxic in some people and we need more info.

All while Fox News announcers have it a hoax, our congressional representatives have been using inside information from their security briefings to avoid losses on the stock market, and idiot preachers decide it is there “right’ to have large gatherings, thus generating new cases and accelerating spread.  I will have a serious ethical problem on my hands if any one of these guys and gals presents to me and asks me to risk my life to take care of his/her COVID infection.  Maybe they should be allowed to compete instead for a Darwin Award.

Here’s the good news.  98% of us will be fine.  The problem is that the other 2% represents about 6 million people for the United States.

The skies are turning blue in Wuhan, for the first time in decades

The dolphins swim in Venetian waters again.

As I said before, Mother Nature loves the COVID virus, even if we don’t. ”

Thanks, G!! As of this morn, of 2469/123 confirmed WA cases/deaths, 1277/94 are Seattle metro area.  I’ll add that COVID-19 is one of the “10,000 things.” [2 b cont]

Trompf from Here on Out (14)

3-24-20  So I’m predicting that this is the moment when the Republican Party breaks in two.  I can feel it in my bones.  I hope they’re right, for a change.  They’re certainly due.

This is happening because the virus pandemonium is exposing Trompf’s demonic insanity (the whole kit-and-caboodle of syndrome), with its resulting meanness of spirit and deadly incompetence.   The virus is attacking his vulnerability and sapping his power.  Soon he’ll be drowning.  Elected Rs will realize that he cannot guarantee their victory, but furthermore he might cause their defeat.  The most vulnerable senators standing for re-election, for instance, and candidates running for the first time, must figure that they can’t win with him, so they might as well try to win without him (but they’re going down anyways).

Romney will emerge as the head of the Reform Rs, the Corporate (Personhood) True Conservative party.  T will continue to carry the flag of the fascist People’s Republican Party, but he won’t be running the show.  The fascists will coalesce around Jivanka.  The very wealthy owners of the current party also will split.  The R presidential nominee will be either Romney or Pence.  McConnell will try to save his ass by buying the loyalty of senators, with support by his PACs, but he’s finished.

I ran this past the author and he said, Hey, go for it.  It would not surprise him if I’m right, this time.  He pointed out, however, that my bones tend to tell me what would happen logically if there were a just and loving God.  I said, So if I’m right, does that prove that there is such an one.  No, says he, it only proves that there exists a just and loving moral arc of the universe, which powers the illusion of such a supremacist image.  Then I said, So if I’m wrong, does that prove that there is no such arc?  No, says he, it only proves that the supremacists are profoundly deluded in their sick imaginations.

Not being a person, myself, I don’t take the image personally, one way or the other.  I just want Trompf out of my narrative.  

3-14-20 Here’s an excellent exposition, by Peter Wehner (Atlantic), a Never-T Republican, of how/why Trompf has succumbed to the virus (RIH).

I have predicted that he will not be the R nominee.  I did not imagine a public health crisis being the cause of his demise—i.e. His presidency, of course.  I thought his insanity would be enough, quite possibly mortally exposed by a foreign relations crisis.

Now I’ve made a bet on it, with the author.  He thinks T will be the nominee (but lose the election—and the Rs will lose their Senate majority) .  

And as I’ve said, if by August, at the R Convention, they are willing and able to stand him up, or prop him up, in spite of all, my lost bet will simply be conclusive proof of how thoroughly fascist the morally bankrupt R Party has become (and how desperate, and furthermore how fkkkt America has become.

You might wonder (or not) what the author is thinking.  Well, as best I can understand:

The presidential shots are now being called by Ivanka, Jerad, and Stephen (Miller), with an administrative staff and cabinet that is increasingly reinforced with psychophants who can be depended upon, to the political death—except they actually believe that they can win.

They thought they would win on the basis of the economy and stupidity, plus all the fascist ploys of fear-hate-anger, racism, xenophobic nationalism, etc., plus smearing the D, plus manipulation of the election, plus Putin for good measure.  Now, with the economy shot, they will simply double-down on all the rest.

That strategy will draw a lot of voters to them, because America is now a house divided.  In one wing dwell Ds 

In the other dwell the Rs, who are a mixture of 1820-60 militant white Christian fundamentalists and anti-democratic owners, 1920s plutocrats, and 1930s America-first isolationists.   

They can not sit down to the same table.  Each wing lays claim to the entire table, indeed the entire house

In the campaign, the Rs will blow up fear of The Other (Asians, Islamic terrorists, Europeans, and Mexicans; POC, especially black; uppity elitist women; coastal city elitists, corrupt politicians, and lazy takers) large enough to darken the heavens like an alien invader.  They will point out that the two, leading Dem candidates for leadership of the Democrat party were put in place by black people and commies.

They Ds will risk losing by offering anti-Trompf nostalgia, easy-fixes, and niceness.  They will win, nevertheless, because progressives will be presenting a Dem message of hope, based on the genuine prospect of major changes for social justice.

If Trompf declines so much that he simply cannot wave the flag of a viable campaign, they will replace him with the closest replica that they can get, who will campaign as a surrogate with Trompf’s and God’s MAGA blessing.

3-13-20 Okay, this is really it. During the last few days, Herr Trompf lost his chance of being re-elected.

He is a piece of burnt toast with orange mold growing on it.  If his disastrous botching of Covid-19 doesn’t bring him down, in flaming disgrace, absolutely nothing can.   It’s true that many of his supporters don’t see his incompetence, his insanity, or his evil as a problem, because they think his rule is God’s will; they like eating burnt toast, because it is bitter and because it is their toast.  But everyone except his psychophants and dead-ender racists can see how globally dangerous he is, at least in his incompetence and gross negligence.

Here are (among many today) columns by Waldman and Zakaria (WaPo) that sum T well, and a tweet by George Conway (article in HuffPost) that admits that T is mentally ill (and rightly places the blame for this disaster on the heads of the Republicans).  But what does it say about American culture that for all these years his illness has worked as a means to his prosperity?

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