Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 21, 2020

Is Trump Finally Getting It?

U.S. President Donald Trump has finally recognized that his reelection is in danger. The most obvious cause for that is the pandemic which  is spreading uncontrolled throughout the United States.

When the pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, the U.S. did not take it seriously. The reporting in most main stream outlet was concentrated on maligning China. No danger for the U.S. was anticipated.

A small early outbreak in Washington state was soon brought under control. Trump thought that the pandemic was not going to touch him. It was - in his view - like Russiagate and Ukrainegate just another fake scare that the Democrats were using against him.

Then Italy was hit as well as other European countries. That was a bit of a warning but still not serious enough to take countermeasures. Then came New York and finally it dawned on everyone that the U.S. was unprepared.

Trump recognized that he had to do something. A chaotic White House started to buy up everything - masks, ventilators, drugs - that would be possibly needed. A nationwide lockdown was implemented. The stock market crashed but Trump threatened the Fed until it saved the markets and his bacon. Every day he held widely noted press conference about the pandemic and his 'wonderful' response to it.

The casualties in New York turned out to mostly black lower class people. Only few in Trump's social circles were affected. The numbers in New York came down but the economy still lingered. Against the opinion of every noted specialist Trump declared that the pandemic was over.

He stopped the press conferences and urged that the lockdowns be lifted. There was an election to win and an economy that had to be revived to make that possible.

But the virus had different plans. Trump's June campaign event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a flop. Too few people attended. Especially the elder people who usually attended such events stayed away. At the beginning of July Trump stopped live campaigning. Then came the big pandemic waves in states that had voted for Trump. Suddenly it was no longer the black underclass of liberal New York that was dying but the elderly white in Republican states who had voted for Trump.

The mood in the country had turned against him. Trumps poll numbers are down. The economy is still flatlining. The people are afraid and want reassurance. Sunday's Fox News interview (transcript) during which he was called out was a mess for him.

Yesterday Trump, who hates masks, tweeted this:


The tweet has more than 100,000 retweets and nearly 300.000 likes. Trump also announced that he will again hold daily press briefings on the pandemic.

Did he finally get it?

Those leaders who had their countries successfully counter the pandemic, Xi in China, Moon in South Korea, Merkel in Germany, have all profited politically from their countries' performance. Even Boris Johnson who messed up in Britain did not lose much in the polls. He at least seemed to care for his people.

If from now on Trump plays it right the pandemic can still win him the election. He must show empathy. He must let the (selected) experts speak. He should comment as little as possible on the detailed points they make and stick to the generalities.

The daily face time on TV will be great for campaigning but will not be enough to lift him in the polls. For that he needs to show that he cares.

To tell the people that there is no need to fear the pandemic is wrong. He must acknowledge that the people are afraid and he should assure them that they are not alone in it. Only after he has done so can he appeal to them to go back to work, to again send their kids to schools and to behave reasonably by wearing a mask and by keeping social distance.

Is Trump capable of doing this?

I have my doubts about that.

Posted by b on July 21, 2020 at 17:16 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Spoiler alert: No, he’s not capable. He’s botched it. 140,000 dead and he now wears a mask?

All Biden has to do is win WI, MI, and PA. Trump won each by less than 1% in 2016 or 77,000 votes total. He’s underwater in the polls. He never expanded his appeal. All three of those states have Dem Governors and Secrataries of State who’ll do everything they can to make voting easier. Trump knows this and is already screaming fraud.

If Trump loses Florida, he has no path either.

His campaign has spent $983M since 2017 to be down in the polls. Just think about that failure and corruption.

This not 2016. An incumbent President should never be down by nearly an average of 10 points nationally.

Posted by: Faazzlaa | Jul 21 2020 17:27 utc | 1

[...]Moon in South Korea, Merkel in Germany, have all profited politically from their countries' performance. Even Boris Johnson who messed up in Britain did not lose much in the polls. He at least seemed to care for his people.

If from now on Trump plays it right the pandemic can still win him the election. He must show empathy. He must let the (selected) experts speak. He should comment as little as possible on the detailed points they make and stick to the generalities.

The daily face time on TV will be great for campaigning but will not be enough to lift him in the polls. For that he needs to show that he cares.

Spoken like a true Roman senator from the Late Empire.

This is what Western liberal democracy has come to, folks. The oligarch just need to pretend he cares about the people.

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2020 17:34 utc | 2

Is Trump Finally Getting It?

Trump will never "get it". Trump and the US Deep State have their own Agenda. That is their priority no matter what the circumstances.

I think it's a mistake to focus on Trump. He's meant to be a lightening rod.

I think it's a mistake to focus on a tweet and ignore Trump's recent interview where he denies that his Administration has failed in any way wrt coronavirus. He's not in denial, he's in full-on propaganda mode.

I think its a mistake to believe that Trump has changed because of a tweet that includes "China virus" and depicts masks as nothing more than a patriotic show.

I think it's a mistake to think that Trump is even capable of compassion.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 17:35 utc | 3

Not going to happen. I mean Trump will try, sure, he knows, like you say, but it will seem fake and he will feel fake doing it, it's a totally un-Trump-like thing to do.

At the moment, I think we are looking at Biden in 2021, it's Biden's to lose, and who knows what that will be like?

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 21 2020 17:35 utc | 4

I am gobsmacked at your posting b.

Yes, it is interesting to see Trump changing course on covid but what is more interesting to me and what you didn't comment on was the part about it being a CHINA virus

Trump is building nationalism to counter China rather than responding humanistically to covid

Humanity is in a civilization war about how the lifeblood of economic interchange is to be controlled going forward.....private, like in the West, public like in China or somewhere in between....or maybe extinction is our future.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2020 17:37 utc | 5

I'd expect Trump to start a war or a domestic crack down (both which would backfire spectacularly) before I'd expect the ultimate paragon of Amerikkka to care.

Posted by: dimitrov | Jul 21 2020 17:41 utc | 6

"The tweet has more than 100,000 retweets and nearly 300.000 likes. Trump also announced that he will again hold daily press briefings on the pandemic."

C'mon b, so what if he gets that level of twitter response? It's baked in and doesn't show a shift in reception. His press briefings will allow his inability to sustain a more humane, contrite stance to shine forth. Meanwhile more and more people within his "red" strongholds will get sick and become economically moribund. You yourself have seen this coming.

Posted by: dadoronron | Jul 21 2020 17:41 utc | 7

b - you need to rewrite this - "finally it daunted to everyone that the U.S. was unprepared." - i think you mean - " finally it dawned on everyone that the U.S. was unprepared."

interesting flip flop on trumps part... not unusual for a gemini to change his mind!! i think he is smart to take this different tack.. embracing the mask is a good idea... at least this way he can give the appearance of 'caring' or having some empathy and compassion for others... the line about some say it is patriotic to wear a mask and so i am wearing one is an interesting approach... smacks of political positioning more then anything else...

regarding the election - why is it the dems are running biden, such a piss poor choice at this point in time?? the whole thing looks rigged to give the election to trump as i see it.. i don't really believe trumps cares about much other then his own ass... of that, i am sure he can posture any which way he wants so as to get what he wants, and maybe a number of americans will be fooled by it... never underestimate the ignorance of an american seems to be an ongoing theme that the media would have us believe... frankly americans are between a rock and a hard place with biden and trump as probably two of the absolute worst choices they could have here.. it is truly patthetic..

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2020 17:47 utc | 8

Trump may throw Melania on the forefront to show a compassionate image in front of the increasing deaths of American lifes, but will Melania accept to play that role?

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 21 2020 17:49 utc | 9

For even Trump to be "in power" shows the failure of late stage capitalism.

What is the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jul 21 2020 17:55 utc | 10

Many of Trump's rabid fan base have been daily ranting against masks on social media. I'd like to see how they're going to spin this, now.

About other leaders, Boris Johnson mostly gets a pass and hasn't totally plummeted in the polls because, totally unwillingly and unwittily, he put his skin in the game and, according to himself, nearly died of it. That's why people don't call for his head on a pike. On the other hand, other idiots in his staff, like Cummings, deserve to be sacked and tried for criminal incompetence.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 21 2020 18:06 utc | 11

He was begged by his advisors on the mask issue. But you did not mention the "China Virus" from the tweet.

Trump is trying to start a Cold War against China, Russia, Iran, EU and others with the aim of subjugating and exploiting the world under a US Empire. He is trying to attack everyone.

Make America Great Again means destroy everyone else again so that USA is the last guy standing.

He is an unpopular president that is trying to make more and more enemies and hatred against himself.

Therefore, politically speaking, he does not get it. He is trying to attack everyone internally and externally and make everyone hate him.

Therefore he is a retard and he will be wiped out by the widespread synergy of hatred that he is creating against himself.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 21 2020 18:11 utc | 12

Even his GOP "friends" are against this "'Should Tell You All You Need to Know': Trump Attempting to Block Billions in New Funding for Covid-19 Testing". Then there's the ongoing push to cut Social Security:

"Progressives are pushing Democratic congressional leaders to forcefully oppose the Senate GOP's coronavirus stimulus legislation after new reporting Monday revealed the package is likely to include a payroll tax cut, a reduction in enhanced unemployment payments, conditions on school funding, and little aid to state and local governments.

"'After weeks of sitting on their hands and doing nothing while infections and deaths rise and tens of millions of people fear an imminent economic catastrophe, the reported plan Senate Republicans put out today would be laughable if it wasn't so outright shameful and harmful,' said Care in Action, Community Change Action, Indivisible, MoveOn, and Greenpeace in a joint statement Monday."

GOP thinking on the issue was revealed as "Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, was among the few Republicans who publicly voiced skepticism Monday about the payroll tax cut, calling the proposal a 'public relations problem' for the GOP.

"'Social Security people think we're raiding the Social Security fund,' said Grassley, to which Social Security Works executive director Alex Lawson responded:

"Because they are planning on raiding it. They are going to take the dedicated revenue away from Social Security, the definition of raiding."

It ought to be very clear by now to those watching as to which party is against helping people and which is trying to overcome their Barbaric opposition and its leader. How much of this and other information is being seen and understood by the citizenry nationwide is unknown. But if the nation is ever to be rid of COVID so that it can resume some semblance of normalcy, it must get rid of Trump and GOP control of the Senate as the first article above ought to make abundantly clear.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2020 18:17 utc | 13

A small early outbreak in Washington state was soon brought under control. Trump thought that the pandemic was not going to touch him.

This is demonstrably false.

Congressmen and other officials were warned that a pandemic in USA was likely. One Senator passed on this warning to his favored constituents. And NYTimes described how US health officials refused to allow testing for community spread in Washington State. And when it was found, demanded that testing be halted.

Trump down-played the virus spread and the virus effects for as long as he could. It's very difficult to not see that as deliberately allowing the pandemic to gain a foothold and cause a CRISIS! that Trump/Deep State could use to further their agenda. Trump used the CRISIS! to bailout Wall Street and then Boeing. And his Administration's seemingly inept actions have been a boondoogle for Big Pharma.

Trump has deflected blame for his seemingly inept handling of the virus to China. This has furthered the Deep State's anti-China agenda and largely given Trump a 'pass'. Biden and the Democrats have little to say about this maneuver because the Empire is a bi-partisan affair.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 18:23 utc | 14

"Is Trump capable of doing this?"

Bwahahahahahahaha! You're a real kidder, b!

Seriously, only if he listens to his campaign advisers - and they aren't complete morons. Neither of which fits Trump's M.O.

Also, don't forget the other side of the coin: the protests and his obvious intent to crush them by using Federal agents - and I wouldn't be surprised if he threw in the National Guard and the military at some point. That's only going to make things worse for him, as Portland is demonstrating.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 21 2020 18:23 utc | 15

Hi, I've been a huge fan of moon of Alabama I have never posted before but have been reading this blog for years. I'm surprised that B has never written about the numbers coming out from the US and the UK. There are many reports on how many states in the US have been lying about cases and deaths and have been caught, Texas had to adjust there numbers and remove 3000 cases from there totals. What I'm trying to say is why is everyone here buying these numbers? It's a election year and we know that if covid 19 cases are high it hurts Trumps chances. It's just surprises me that B has not brought light to this in his blog.

Posted by: Connie | Jul 21 2020 18:23 utc | 16

@ jackrabbit.. i think that is another typo on b's part - washington dc, as opposed to washington state?? bottom line, i don't know what that is referencing..

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2020 18:29 utc | 17

Directly relevant to this post. And apparently it was because his aides and allies pleaded with him to do it. But they also note it might not last and might not matter - damage might already be done. The GOP Convention might not even happen due to the pandemic. Can Trump resist forcing the Convention to happen?

The Note: Trump changes course as COVID-19 response faces critical tests

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 21 2020 18:31 utc | 18

Richard Steven Hack @Jul21 18:23 #15

... as Portland is demonstrating.

He's getting his ass kicked in Portland - and rightly so.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 18:35 utc | 19

B is right. And his analysis does not equal advocacy.

Trump in a landslide.

Re: Portland.

During the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover by right-leaning libertarian bumpkins in Oregon a few years ago, the governor then begged the Fed to get involved.

Now, when the urban leftists are attacking federal buildings and federal officers in Portland, the leftist leaders are quiet and decrying the presence of feds on the street.

Does anyone not see how politically hypocritical these leftist leaders in my PACNW are behaving?

Most Portland people who are working right now, and its commuters in the metro area are genuinely tired of these rudderless and clearly political exhibitions.

Although Oregon will of course go blue, I expect to see a good showing for Kanye.

But, yeah...Trump in a landslide.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 21 2020 18:45 utc | 20

Posted by: Tommy Apeiron | Jul 21 2020 19:00 utc | 21

NYC's ready for Trump's Goons. De Blasio:

"'From my point of view, this would be yet another example of illegal and unconstitutional actions by the President, and we have often had to confront him in court, and we usually win', the mayor added."

I've been writing about the duites/obligations of Citizens to hold power to account. Check out this excellent example of that in this short Twitter vid while also noting age, ethnicity and numbers.

Nemisis Calling @20 is again spreading FUD--As for the Malheur occupation--those goons took over Federal property located on BLM land which made it necessary for federal intervention. The citizens in my state are doing exactly what citizens should have been doing 40+ years ago--pushing back against abuse of power as is their duty. But it seems not everyone knows what their duty is as a citizen as exemplified by yourself.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2020 19:08 utc | 22

Just an idle thought, both candidates are lousy - what if the "plan" is that neither one is to be elected clearly.

Explanation : The financial situation of the US is wall-to-wall debt. The military situation is "all the earth stand to attention when we speak", sanctions for ever, regime change if the natives get uppity (even "friendly" natives like the EU). All roads and pipelines lead through Washinton etc. The "civil" society is no longer civil at all and in fact is downright rude. Gender is confused. Congress and the senate are new forms of retirement homes.(Speaking of which, retirement homes and Covid go together like apple pie and custard) - - and so on and on.

Wouldn't this be the exact time that a "Technocrat/Finance/Military" order (Government substitute) declare an "emergency" and take over control? "Bring Peace to all gender sensitives and wokers" or something along those lines.

Oh, they might leave a bittytype or tweetytype to distract the masses but without any executive power, and they will surely try to get everyone APED (Access Personal Electronic Data) obligate a cashless negative rate Banking system (chips with everything), and finally vaccinate with soporifics. But the real power will pass to the Oligarchic families.

The next (s)election could easily be the ultimate moment for regime change in the US and to get rid of that outworn "democracy" thing. Bring back the aristocrats. Marie Antoinette can have her cake and eat it.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 21 2020 19:09 utc | 23

Trump impersonator Sarah Cooper: Trump expressing sorrow.

(Notice that she replaces the picture of the loved one with a dollar bill.)


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 19:15 utc | 24

@1 Faazzlaa

All Biden has to do is win WI, MI, and PA.

Not even. Florida by itself can decide the election if Republicans lose it, which is what the situation is on track for now. Unless new infections there drastically fall in the next couple of weeks, there will be enough COVID impact in the pipeline to last thru the fall, and I think this will flip more than enough of the retired vote in FL who would otherwise vote for Trump simply because they don't like Democrats.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 21 2020 19:40 utc | 25

On Covid-19 and Trump's Dilemma...and Masks

China certainly has modern scientific abilities and the capacity to plan ahead. There can be no doubt that both China and Russia both know they are targets for takeover and control by certain "Western" interests...and that only the threat of China and Russia together as allies has so far prevented takeover by open warfare; that warfare would succeed if only 1-at-a-time could be attacked, not both.
China has war planning to prevent any sudden, overwhelming attack of any kind, including biological and chemical.

China's response to the onset of Covid-19 disease was deliberate because the virus had alarming characteristics, such as rapid contagion/spread, physiological effects heretofore unseen ["ground-glass " obstruction in lungs], low oxygen transfer to blood heme despite deep breathing [pressure/ventilation], iron-free heme in blood, "cytokine storms" of diverse biological signals, etc.
Thus came the decision that the virus was POSSIBLY biological warfare and, within perhaps 1 week, the choice was: act now according to Plan A ...or lose the war by further delay.

Plan A for bio-attack is EMERGENCY RESTRICTION of human interaction , which is the most reliable way to stop the spread and BUY TIME for further analysis and effective response...before going to World War 3!
Is that a workable plan, or not? Anyone have a better one? protect >1 billion citizens?

Whether or not Covid-19 was accident, leak, deliberate, or even who is responsible took a back-seat to SURVIVAL.

Now to M. Trump. The US President lives in a bottle infused with National Security considerations that dominate all communications. There are both real and imagined National Security considerations at play. There are also false and hoax NatSec uses.

The President is captive of the rules and twisted laws that dictate ONLY people with proper NatSec Clearance can be involved in NatSec commumication. Thus the Pres is surrounded ONLY by pre-selected persons with whom he can seek counsel. I.e., the Pres can NOT double-check the data he is fed from the pre-selected companions, by comm with his own trusted friends, because the latter do not have NatSec clearance! He is in a cage of sharks.

Mr. Trump is not in a good place. We are not in a good place.

Communication is blocked. Thus the mixed signals over masks. The sense and nonsense of masks... even which kinds of masks are suitable and will be of real help. The data is known, but no credible "leader" or "authority figure" has been allowed to address the nation and SIMPLY and CLEARLY explain the matter with excellent communication skills like, say, Ronald Reagan..and he was only a Class B actor.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 21 2020 19:51 utc | 26

There really is no comparison with Malheur! The NATIONAL wildlife refuge is Federal land. The people of Burns wanted these Koch funded yahoos out. The refuge provides a lot Of money and work to the local community, and these clods were running around threatening anyone and everyone in and around the refuge with guns. Big difference in Portland where the biggest weapon is a can of spray paint. Further more they are not occupying the federal building as much as the streets and parks around the federal building. Disruptive really! Have you really been in Portland? Cause down town is as busy as anyplace during covid. Restaurants are open, businesses are open lots of traffic flowing. From 10pm on the four square blocks around the court house are blocked, it make absolutely no difference to anyone. What does make a difference is the jackass from DC sending in thugs. I can tell you it has given the people renewed energy. If you want to compare something compare this to Waco where the feds just had to go in, and and the liberals were all for it and the right was all against it. This is the same oligarch bullshit and the same power play by a 1 party sick government.. The right leaning kiddies are bought and owned by the koch brothers who are pushing to get the feds to give our federal lands to the states, who they well know do not have the capacity to care for them so guess who steps in! That’s right the koch brothers, the Soros of the right.

Posted by: Susan | Jul 21 2020 19:53 utc | 27

Trump will not be able to make rational decisions nor to take rational actions toward reducing or stopping the Trump virus.

I think I know why; I had an acquaintance some time ago who, unknown to me at the time, had been diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). Believe me, you do not want to be involved in any way with anyone who has that disorder. Once I became aware of it, and did some research, I realized that there were many striking behavioral similarities between that individual and Donald Trump.

Here is a list of behaviorial symptoms of HPD:

“In many cases, people with histrionic personality disorder have good social skills; however, they tend to use these skills to manipulate others so that they can be the center of attention.

“A person with this disorder might also:
Be uncomfortable unless he or she is the center of attention
Dress provocatively and/or exhibit inappropriately seductive or flirtatious behavior
Shift emotions rapidly
Act very dramatically—as though performing before an audience—with exaggerated emotions and expressions, yet appears to lack sincerity
Be overly concerned with physical appearance
Constantly seek reassurance or approval
Be gullible and easily influenced by others
Be excessively sensitive to criticism or disapproval
Have a low tolerance for frustration and be easily bored by routine, often beginning projects without finishing them or skipping from one event to another
Not think before acting
Make rash decisions
Be self-centered and rarely show concern for others
Have difficulty maintaining relationships, often seeming fake or shallow in their dealings with others
Threaten or attempt suicide to get attention“

The list is from this web site –
– which also contains a lot more information on the disorder.

For anyone who's interested, here are two more sources:

Others commenting here will, of course, draw their own conclusions about my conclusions about Trump and HPD, and comment accordingly.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 21 2020 19:55 utc | 28

I'd like to offer an alternative perspective on Trump's mask: that Trump is going to win over voters by winning against Canada, specifically against Canada's PM Trudeau. Trump's mask is an American version of the black Canadian mask that Trudeau has been wearing lately.

Just because of geographic proximity, the leaders of each nation tend to get compared to each other (although a fairer comparison would almost certainly be Prince Charles and the POTUS. Let's not go there. :-)

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 21 2020 19:57 utc | 29

Here's another good one re: Trump winning over Trudeau's Canada:

Mask image in middle of article.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 21 2020 20:00 utc | 30

@23 karlof1

Hey, pal, don't feed the trolls, remember?

And it's nice that you are adding your take on Portland from your coastal hamlet, three hours away.

What do I know? I just labor in this city day in and day out.

Spare me your grandstanding. To reiterate my point: when federal land was infringed upon it sit. A, Governor requested federal assistance ASAP. When federal land is infringed upon it sit. B, Governor decries federal intervention.

How can anyone not see the hypocritical politics of such a sequence if responses?

Evidentally a politically-charged, retiring leftist.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 21 2020 20:03 utc | 31

To win, Biden must be alive. Her seems to be standing down as Her is only barely alive. Trump looks like a heart attack waiting to happen, he remains the fittest of the known candidates.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 21 2020 20:07 utc | 32

@ Susan 28

See my response to Karlof1.

I am not arguing the difference or the morals of the two different situations.

I am only pointing out the political hypocrisy of the Oregon Governor for requesting fed response in one situation and decrying in the other. In both instances, federal land and property was being infringed upon.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 21 2020 20:07 utc | 33

Note to Karlof1;

Best not to feed the troll at comment #32.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Jul 21 2020 20:07 utc | 34

Yes, if the election were today Biden a decisive winner. Of course. But Election Day isn’t until 11-3-2020. We will have much political theater between now and then.

COVID-19 may be under control and we will have learned to live with it. Biden eventually must come out of his shelter and face unscripted moments in the glare of the spotlight. No matter who he picks for VP expect drama. His party, appearing to endorse looters and rioters by silence will be asked what it is about private property rights that makes them appear so timid in their defense.

One should not underestimate the Democrats ability to alienate the voters they will need to win.

Posted by: dbrize | Jul 21 2020 20:14 utc | 35

Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 19:15 utc | 25

she is great, now whenever I hear Trump's voice I imagine Sarah.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 21 2020 20:15 utc | 36

Neither Trump nor Biden care. Neither have one jot of compassion.
They are both turds floating on the top of their shithole country.

The sooner people flush their entire political class, the better.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2020 20:19 utc | 37

No comparison. No one is occupying the Federal court house but the federal thugs. The thugs in Malheur were holding the refuge hostage threatening citizens in Burns and surrounding area as well as federal employees with guns. FYI Burns is about as right wing as you can get and they voted twice for these thugs to leave! The protestors are threatening the militarized police and feds with MOMS oh my. And inconveniencing you so sad.

Posted by: Susan | Jul 21 2020 20:20 utc | 38

There's only one way for Trump to crush the opposition. And, that's to come clean, to admit he's been duped by the Gates/Fauci people, and forced by a corrupt media to take ownership of the plandemic. Yes we have a corona virus problem, but no one is speaking the real facts behind it, it's all fear porn. Trump's in tough right now, and only the truth, and a few arrests, may save him.

Posted by: joetv | Jul 21 2020 20:22 utc | 39

Very kind of you, B, to tell Tronald what to do in order to help him to culminate the mess he made in his term. Let's all hope he does not read it...

Posted by: Pnyx | Jul 21 2020 20:23 utc | 40

james | Jul 21 2020 17:47 utc | 8

b - you need to rewrite this - "finally it daunted to everyone that the U.S. was unprepared." - i think you mean - " finally it dawned on everyone that the U.S. was unprepared."

I'd second that and then there is another malapropism
in most main stream outlet was concentrated on malingering China. No danger for the U.S. was
This should be maligning China. malingering is pretending to be ill when you are not. Particularly in a military setting.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2020 20:43 utc | 42

Trump is done. He has been under assault since he started running for President, constantly under fake investigations and even impeachment (about the time covid-19 in China) appeared. Activist judges overturned his executive orders. The CIA/FBI/ Justice Dept slow-walked all his investigations. He and his people are totally incompetent and have "awoken" an Establishment that will soon retake control.
BUT as Gov Cuomo correctly noted when President Trump tried to shut down the spread of the virus from the tristate (NY/NJ/Conn) epicenter March 28 ( TRUMP HAS NO AUTHORITY to impose Public Health decisions on the states.
“A lockdown is what they did in Wuhan, China,” Cuomo said. “We’re not in China, and we’re not in Wuhan. I don’t believe it would be legal. I believe it would be illegal.“
Cuomo said he does not believe that Trump intends to impose a sweeping quarantine of the region but suggested he could sue if the administration did follow through.
“I’ve sued the federal government a number of times over the years. I do not believe it’s going to come to that on this,” Cuomo said. “This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war.“
Trump is not a GOVERNOR. GOVERNORS control Public Health in the states. Trump is just a cheerleader, beyond military and federal lands and facilities, when dealing with an epidemic. This is not Germany or some country where a President is involved in public health DECISIONS. He only has an advisory role; it's bad enough we have incompetent governors, we don't need Trump involved.

Posted by: michael888 | Jul 21 2020 20:53 utc | 43

@ 43 foolishman.. ditto that as well!

hey susan - thanks for articulating the scene in portland... i love portland and have visited many times.... a great place filled with lots of great people and things to do!

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2020 20:53 utc | 44

james | Jul 21 2020 18:29 utc | 17

@ jackrabbit.. i think that is another typo on b's part - washington dc, as opposed to washington state?? bottom line, i don't know what that is referencing..
No that was not a typo, there was an outbreak in an old peoples' home about 50km from one of the bio-war labs (I forget its name) quite early on, before Wuhan, anyway, hence the ban on testing! Similar to the "Vaping" disease that appeared only in the USA and disappeared as soon as covid-19 started.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 21 2020 21:00 utc | 45

@ foolisholdman.. if you mean fort detrick - well that is next to washington dc... not washington state, as b states!!

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2020 21:03 utc | 46

Moon of Allemagne has the same drunkards here every day. Feels like the economist comment section. Smarty people with big words. Enjoyed the Boeing articles and Middle East writings, but the rest lately is entertaining.

Its simple and obvious the mask wearing is political. Look around how many are wearing masks and how many are not. That is your answer. Trump will win. Masks were never the answer and those with common sense know it. This will become quite clear to those smarty folks who will change their tune and blast us all again with such expert advice. So what if mask wearing lowers R0 rate?, stop the whole world for a bunch of diabetic obese 70 year olds. Quite amazing all the stories with no statistics or base lines to be found, just numbers, meaningless numbers. No body bags in the streets, corupt healthcare administration tests getting gov money (of course they want positive results)... Covid kills twice as many as the flu according to the cdc, its here to stay, get used to it. Stay healthy, just stay at the bar for a couple of comments then go outside for some fresh air. What B should be writing about is what civil war would look like in the U.S. Only 5 or 6 missed meals away before all hell breaks loose. Why not write about how Obama's adminstration bought enough ammo for a hot war on us soil that could last 20 years going by the amount of ammo used in Iraq? Write about ID2020, not masks every other day.

Posted by: nero | Jul 21 2020 21:08 utc | 47


Hello Nero the Troll

Posted by: smartypants drunkard | Jul 21 2020 21:20 utc | 48

or... he thinks the virus is pretty much over, that he is damned if he lets the Dems take credit by saying they pushed masks, and he wants to take the credit himself.

Not that this is a consideration b could take because he still hasn't worked out the worst case scenario of Covid-19.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jul 21 2020 21:22 utc | 49

Indeed, many excellent points.

It should be remembered that initially, the mainstream press was also insistent that COVID19 was not a threat. Remember all those accusations that Trump's plan to limit flights from (then) hotspots like China, was 'racist' because the virus was clearly not a threat? Trump was not the only one downplaying COVID19 initially...

For me, Trump is Bozo the Clown, but Team Biden is Caligula. I'll probably vote for Trump just because he's not going to start some new wars (though he's not going to end any ongoing ones), he won't flood the country with hundreds of millions of new third-world refugees (at least, not on top of all the ones we are taking in now), and he doesn't obviously hate white people. Thin gruel, to be sure, but this is how low we've sunk.

Posted by: TG | Jul 21 2020 21:28 utc | 50

Pnyx @Jul21 20:23 #41

b isn't helping Trump. He's writing about a change that Trump has decided to make (after urging by his advisers). See this story for more:

The Note: Trump changes course as COVID-19 response faces critical tests.

I think b might be trying to be sarcastic, but English is not his first language and he gets some factual info incorrect so he winds up striking a sympathetic tone.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 21:29 utc | 51

So you're an objective observer, are you, b? I'm not objective at all. I declare myself a principled individual and I will not engage in political analysis of the prospects of an unindicted criminal for political success. I hate this bilious fool. That he is president reflects poorly on the character of the American people and their electoral system. His handling of the pandemic is typical of his handling of everything else: incompetence mixed with a relentless and consistent stupidity guided by sleazy opportunism that is an embarrassment to those still capable of feeling shame. His failure as a human being to give a shit about other people disqualifies him to be president. I devoutly hope those who fell for his bullshit have repented their own gullibility and will monitor the electoral system and make sure their vote against him is counted as cast. If we as Americans cannot be sure that out votes are counted as cast, then we deserve Trump and much worse for our failure to support democracy.

Posted by: jadan | Jul 21 2020 21:31 utc | 52

Consider the alternative. A contest between a war mongering Alzheimer's patient or the devil you know.
If people are willing to take to the streets to protest police violance, why aren't they mobilizing against a sham election where at least one of the candidates stole his delegates and the other is driving the country off of a cliff?

Posted by: Carol A Davidel-Wall | Jul 21 2020 21:33 utc | 53

@39 Susan

I see you are that poor of a reader to think that I supported the Federal Wildlife Reserve occupation when I said nothing of the sort.

Indeed, you have a political axe to grind, just as the former poster I addressed. Incapable of seeing hypocrisy even when it is clearly pissing on your shoe laces.

...and, no, Portland is not rip-roaring. Restaurants are still closed, Burnside is all plywooded over, Powell's books is closed and wondering what to do, the city is a ghost-town during the day, and my coworkers and I remark how quiet the streets are during the day as we putz about on our daily route.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 21 2020 21:36 utc | 54

Thanks foolishman,
I love Portland as well. I love Oregon and have now been all over it and met amazing people of all strips. From radicals in Portland and eugene to ranchers on the Idaho Oregon boarder To Klamathfalls . I have been to several marches in Both Portland and Eugene and have been amazed by some of the young activists. One protest in Portland was all high-school kids, who were unbelievable in articulating history and current issues. Oregon has a extremely racist past and both police departments in Portland and eugene like to shoot homeless and people of color. Both department have a history of playing footsie with racist groups. Portland is no different today then it was before with the exception of boarded up windows because of the 1st night of real riots, and some major graffiti on the state and federal buildings. This protest is a reflection of what America is, a capitalist country who uses people or countries that are poor to mine resources. Slaves, chinese indentured servants, Indian lands , Haitians slave state, Libyan slave state And All the countries we have bombed and droned and done renditions and torture in. We have also done to our own people. The reality is these young activists get this connection better then my climate friends do.

Posted by: Susan | Jul 21 2020 21:37 utc | 55

>>Is Trump Finally Getting It?

Trump Administration just sanctioned Ramzan Kadirov, his wife and his daughters. There goes the Russia reset.

No, he is not getting it. He is just looking to make more enemies everywhere, like the ignorant idiot he is.

Too bad for those who fell for him. I did that too, but for a very short time, unlike others.

In foreign politics especially, he is massively damaged goods and can't do anything else but making more enemies and making the whole world hate him even more.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 21 2020 21:56 utc | 56

@51 TG
Trump shut down travels from China early, but for foreign nationals only. Americans can still return from Chinawithout even facing airport screening. Later on, Trump took too long to shut down travel from Europe. Majority of cases in NYC, then hotspot, were found to be from the Italian strain. If that is not racism, I don't know what is.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 21 2020 21:57 utc | 57

Well what are the big donors saying? If they start shifting to Biden Trump will take notice and I read that a slight shift like that is happening.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 21 2020 22:07 utc | 58

Ouch. Nice burn:

Fate of Qing Dynasty offers some lessons for UK

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2020 22:23 utc | 59

How can judgments on your performance managing a real life crisis directly affecting people’s lives be altered at this point? Especially after it wrecked the economy you were taking credit for.

I realize firing watchdog inspector general’s of government agencies, Secretary’s of Defense, attorneys investigating your administration and then discovering you can sanction whole nations at a time and threaten people with dogs if they should decide to protest, instills a sense of confidence you can get away with anything you like and there are no consequences for any of this behavior but erasing the damage you self inflicted on a sick nation is not happening. No purgatory exist for the loss of life and time wasted from this administration.

Posted by: George | Jul 21 2020 22:26 utc | 60

A piece on a lung transfer patient being discharged from hospital. His lings were destroyed by coronavirus.

China like Russia has now successfully completed first stage trials of a vaccine.
US, that couldn't even make a simple test kit accuse China of hacking its coronavirus research.
"An indictment said two Chinese hackers had researched vulnerabilities in the computer networks of companies publicly known for their work in developing vaccines and treatments in recent months.
The news came as US officials escalated warnings about foreign government efforts to steal American innovation."

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 22:29 utc | 61

The decisions are not Trump’s to make. Lockdowns, testing, and masks are the purview of state governors, county commissioners, and city mayors. Trump can cheerlead and bully, but he can’t order anything or anyone.

Posted by: bob syskes | Jul 21 2020 22:29 utc | 62
"The unbridled acts of the US makes China's response more complicated. It's impossible for China not to retaliate, otherwise it will indulge Washington's bully tactics. But if China takes "reciprocal countermeasures," the China-US struggle will fall into the battlefield preset by the US.

We must counter US provocations in a way that best serves China's interests. As the US has taken a whole-of-government approach to crack down on China, we need to explore strategies that will hurt the US more than ourselves."

This will be interesting. China knows that it is not just the Trump regime but the US political and deep state establishment that has turned its sights onto China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 22:46 utc | 63

I am politically on the old fashioned anti war left and although Trump ‘S economics do not please me, and I dislike the Cuba blockade, JCPOA withdrawal, Munro doctrine coups, I do give Trump credit for not actually starting new wars and for winding down the repulsive policy of funding terrorism in Syria. I do not have Trump Derangement Syndrome.

But when I look at Trump’s handling of the pandemic, it looks to the outside observer like a deliberate policy to spread the virus as much as possible. Discouraging mask wear and slowing down testing, opening schools without social distancing. In my experience of life it generally pays to assume that if it looks like someone is doing something with a foreseeable consequence, that the consequence is intended; especially after it is repeatedly demonstrated to the actor what consequence flows from the action.

So the question for your barflies, a varied and disputatious but often knowledgeable lot, is this: is Trump indeed deliberately propagating the contagion, and if so, why? It does indeed appear to this OO as though there are significant numbers of the US population that celebrate and enjoy the contagion. Is Trump simply pandering to the anti maskers, or something more in play, and if the latter, then what?

Posted by: Outsideobserver | Jul 21 2020 23:09 utc | 64

Nemis you and I both no that those places are closed because of Covid and Powells is open but you have to do your biz on line. They are as open, I said as any city with Covid. I never implied anything about your support or lack there of but regardless they are not comparable for all the reasons I stated the comparisons to Waco or branch devedians Would be a better argument, not Malheur.

Posted by: Susan | Jul 21 2020 23:15 utc | 65

The Invisible China Virus? lol...what a tool.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 21 2020 23:32 utc | 66

Outsideobserver @Jul21 23:09 #65

is Trump indeed deliberately propagating the contagion, and if so, why?

He sure is.

As for why, the answer is here and and here.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 23:44 utc | 67

Haven't yet read comments, but I'd say, b, no way Jose! I'm not even sure Biden can win, but Trump's toast. If we could have got a handle on things after New York hit the roof and then was able to claw its way back - a clear indication that it can be done, maybe yes, he'd still have a chance. But that misread on top of the many to begin with was the straw that broke that poor camel's longsuffering back.

All the same, I certainly hope he can go out in a better way than he began this sorry chapter. That will count for much as far as his legacy is concerned. Asking him to apologize for mistakes is probably too much to hope for - if he just can do the right thing from now on, that's all I'll ask on behalf of my children and their children. Please, at least that.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 22 2020 0:11 utc | 68

Yesterday I saw an excerpt from the Chris Wallace interview with Donald Trump, in which Wallace confronted the president with the latest totals of Covid cases and deaths in this country. Wallace insisted these figures were the highest in the world. Trump challenged him immediately, and said he had seen figures that showed US death figures were the lowest in the world. An aide was standing just out of camera behind Trump's right shoulder; and as soon he asked for the contradictory figures the piece of paper was handed to him. It was a kind of orchestrated buffoonery that we have seen before. The reporter then laughed softly and meekly but still insisted that his investigations turned up the opposite result and that he was confident in the results. Trump immediately accused him of being fake news.

I am reminded of an old Groucho Marx joke:

"These are my principles...if you don't like them I have others".

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 22 2020 0:11 utc | 69

After five months of sheltering at home, I admit I have caught Biden/Trump Derangement Syndrome. The USA is a failed state. It is too polarized. It has dumped science. It can’t fight the pandemic. It is competence incapable. Unless Constitutional Democracy is restored, a break-up is inevitable when virus free areas enforce quarantines of infected states. I would not be surprised if the protests in Portland and Seattle are based on the need for Cascadia, a government run by and for the people.

You’ve drunk the Kool-Aid if you think that a Hillary Clinton Administration would have shut down all flights from Asia (let alone Europe), the only way to prevent the spread of virus into the USA which would have screwed Boeing, the Airline Industry and the economy (which happened anyway except much worse and longer). Only the propaganda would have been a little more coherent. This is a bipartisan debacle.

The bottom line is the only way to control the pandemic at this late stage is to spend massive amount of money to make testing universal and fast, contact trace all infections and isolate all possible super-spreaders, require masks in public, and prohibit crowds of more than five people, feed the people and keep them housed.

American Elite bet the house on a safe effective for-profit vaccine being available within a year when none of the other four common colds have a vaccine.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jul 22 2020 0:12 utc | 70

Outsideobserver 65

I doubt a deliberate policy for the purpose of spreading infection. No gains to be made in that direction. Trump I think intends for herd immunity like Boris at the start and Bolsonaro. But then he comes under pressure with death rates skyrocketing and there's a few half hearted lockdowns. Its a total mess but not a planned mess.
An empire passed the stage of decadence and now into the stage of decline and collapse.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 22 2020 0:16 utc | 71

Outsideobserver @Jul21 23:09 #65

is Trump indeed deliberately propagating the contagion, and if so, why?

I agree with Jackrabbit that he is and it is part of whatever strategy the global financial elite have to stay in control like they have been for the past few centuries.

I see what is going on as America's Shock Doctrine event that will both lower US global consumption rate and further enslave the public. Covid is being used as an excuse to further prop up the facade of economic growth and increase the rate of wealth transfer to the top one percent.....Treasury debt increase of 5 trillion is last bit.

The effect on the other nations of this reset of Western economies will either further enslave them or drive them into the China/Russia axis. This presages some sort of global "debt settlement"/Reserver Currency status change events that lead to war for enforcement or other sort of social adjustments.

Humanity is in a civilization war about how the lifeblood of human interchange is controlled going forward.

I hope to live long enough to see some of the above play out.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22 2020 0:25 utc | 72

I have heard for so long that Trump's dumbfuckery is less bad than Clinton's malfuckery - in that less wars have been started - that it just now got me thinking.

Suppose Hillary Clinton had won, or suppose that Biden does win. Can we really think there would have been, or will be, new wars because of this?

Can we really celebrate the fact that Trump has caused no new wars, and shudder at the thought that others in his place would have caused new wars?

Putting the point bluntly: could anyone have started new wars, regardless of who they were, during the same period of Trump's recent tenure?


Should we anymore even ask this, when we know precisely what the Pentagon says to all of these political grandstanding feints towards wars?

What the Pentagon says is...NO!


We could, instead, see the recent fact of no new wars as a function of the decline in US power. It doesn't have to come from the policy of the figurehead who enjoys the role of helmsman of the US, especially as we see how little power this role actually enjoys.

The US is on a slide downhill, and even Hillary on that slope would have found it hard to escalate in Syria or Korea or even Lebanon. Each move was checked by the countervailing forces we speak of here every day, and the Pentagon has been very clear on this at every turn - because the world is becoming stronger than the US, even as the US is becoming weaker than the world.

If you're a politician, you're going to advocate for war. But if you're a war monger, you're going to ask the Pentagon for the green light. And the Pentagon says no.

The Pentagon says NO! at every turn, to every request, because the business of the Pentagon is to make money and the business of the Pentagon is NOT to lose regional conflicts anywhere in this world.

And there is no region left in this world in which the Pentagon can win a conflict.


Friends, this is the age we live in. Surely we can afford to notice this, and to adjust our measures on this scale accordingly? Apples are no longer to apples, when the oranges of the downhill slide in US power are accounted for.

This is a factor we could start to include in our thinking.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 22 2020 0:33 utc | 73

Outsideobserver @65: "But when I look at Trump’s handling of the pandemic, it looks to the outside observer like a deliberate policy to spread the virus as much as possible."

Sure, to outside observers that is what it looks like.

But just suppose for a moment that Trump knew the virus was not a threat to the US. Suppose someone like "Bloody" Gina Haspel assured Trump that ducks and children had died in Salisbury the virus was no threat to the US because it only infected Chinese people. Suppose, as our host suggested, that Trump only started to suspect danger after the virus had mutated and begun to ravage non-Chinese people in Italy. Maybe Trump likes to call it the China virus because he thinks the Chinese tweaked it and sent it back to where it came from, with a detour through Italy. This explains Trump's early dismissive attitude towards the virus without having to assume he was deliberately trying to kill Americans.

The rest of Trump's missteps are easily explained by electioneering guided by delusional wishful thinking along the lines our host detailed.

Trump is an oligarch, and as such he doesn't really care much about the welfare of the common man. It is probable that he cannot even comprehend what life is like for common people. That said, he is also not one of the crazy Malthusian type oligarchs that dominate among the big finance capitalists. Trump is among the oligarchs that still see a need for producers and consumers to make their riches from. Killing off too many producers and consumers is bad for business. Since business is very important to Trump, I really doubt he wants to deliberately kill so many of the people that businesses need to make money from.

There is one other possibility. Had things gone according to plan and the virus had run rampant in China but not spread outside their borders, then it would have forced "decoupling" and isolated China. Since China defeated that bioweapon, but the weapon mutated to ravage the US, it might be possible to get the same effect of isolating China if China stays pandemic-free but the rest of the world is infected. It could be that Trump is trying to hurry along the virus becoming endemic in the West in the hopes this will force China to isolate themselves. If this is his plan then I really doubt it can work out as he hopes.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 22 2020 0:44 utc | 74

Grieved @ 74, in my book the idea of no wars thanks to Trumpas was cancelled out when Sulieman and the Iraqi generals were so mercilessly destroyed and Trump boasted about it. Up till that point one could argue that he'd made his warlike moves as more showman than otherwise, (the tomahawk missile incident being the one we analyzed here early on.) This killing, however, was so horrible an action and it so increased the possiblity of planetary destruction, that it obviates any claim for his desire for peace. He went too far.

We have Iraq to thank, not Trump, that we are all still here.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 22 2020 1:02 utc | 75

Sorry, meant to say "Iran" above, but I will include Iraq also, as they had extreme forebearance at the time, since the atrocity took place on their soil.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 22 2020 1:03 utc | 76

@Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 17:35 utc | 3

He just has to show compassion, not have it.

Watch for the most compassionate deep fakes ever seen!

Posted by: Just Me | Jul 22 2020 1:04 utc | 77

What does China do these Corona days? July 22: China repeats claim on Bhutan’s east

That is land very close to India's "chicken neck", ~90 km from the other border - Bangladesh, the ideal spot to cut of India's North East, with zero defensive value.

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 22 2020 1:06 utc | 78

@ 65 outside observer... i mostly see it like peter au and william gruff... i don't believe his buffoonery on covid is intentional..

@ greived / juliania re trump and war - i agree with juliania - that was basically the same thing... regardless the trump fans will sell trump as a non war pres... i still think trump gets in this coming november... that is what it looks like to me here..

Posted by: james | Jul 22 2020 1:12 utc | 79

@76 juliania

You demonstrate my point. In fact we have the Pentagon to thank that we are all still here. We watched in real time - with hearts in mouths - as Iran punished the US for Suleimani's murder and threw itself into the existential void wherein it didn't know if it would love or die by morning, and yet was prepared dto fght to the end through the night - for principles.

And the Pentagon said no. The Pentagon advised the dotard that tyhe US could nbot recipriocate aginst the Iranian mui=issilesa but the Iranians - starngley - wer behaving like true human bwings nd chosing to honor tbheir principeslsm even at the coist iof liof - perhaps especially at th ecost of life.

And the Pentago n honore dits principles and eclined to fight the moral adversary. Because it knew that in all such battlesm the moral adversary causes far more damage tiot he immoral aggressor than can be accounted for i nth eldger of profit.

And the nouthpiecvem the dotard in chioefm was advised tro stand downm, si ge tweeted aordingly

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 22 2020 1:14 utc | 80


Hemingway said that the first version of everything is shit. Clearly true. So here's a more polished version of #81 (I was multi tasking with one hand, and hit a keyboard combination to post, apparently):

You demonstrate my point. In fact we have the Pentagon to thank that we are all still here. We watched in real time - with hearts in mouths - as Iran punished the US for Suleimani's murder and threw itself into the existential void wherein it didn't know if it would live or die by morning, and yet was prepared to fight to the end through the night - for principles.

And the Pentagon said no. The Pentagon advised the dotard that the US could not reciprocate against the Iranian missiles but the Iranians - strangely - were behaving like true human beings and choosing to honor their principles, even at the cost of life - perhaps especially at the cost of life.

And the Pentagon honored its principles and declined to fight the moral adversary. Because it knew that in all such battles the moral adversary causes far more damage to the immoral aggressor than can be accounted for in the ledger of profit.

And the mouthpiece, the dotard in chief, was advised to stand down, and he so tweeted accordingly.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 22 2020 1:26 utc | 81

Your coverage of masks is masking a very important issue. This pandemic exists ONLY because the media and politicians keep it alive. If there is no mention of Covid-19 or corona virus, people will never see anything odd happening around them. They won't see people suddenly falling sick more than usual. They won't see people falling down dead in the streets. There will be absolutely no change to the way life was going on. The lock-downs will look like a bad dream. If there are no more tests, no more Covid-19. If people get a fever and/or cough, they will go see a doctor if they needed. If people get pneumonia, they will go get treated for pneumonia.

Posted by: JP | Jul 22 2020 1:27 utc | 82

Government of National Accord

In October 2015, the UN envoy for Libya, Bernardino León, announced a proposal for the House of Representatives to share power with the rival Islamist-led new GNC government, under a compromise prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj. However, the terms of the final proposal were not acceptable to either side, and both rejected it.[19] Nonetheless, the proposal did spark a revised proposal put together by Fayez al-Sarraj and others, which was subsequently supported by the United Nations.[20] On 17 December 2015 members of the House of Representatives and the new General National Congress signed this revised political agreement, generally known as the "Libyan Political Agreement" or the "Skhirat Agreement".[21][22] Under the terms of the agreement, a nine-member Presidency Council and a seventeen-member interim Government of National Accord would have been formed, with a view to holding new elections within two years.[21] The House of Representatives would have continued to exist as a legislature and an advisory body, to be known as the High Council of State, would have been formed with members nominated by the New General National Congress.[23] On 31 December 2015, Chairman of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa declared his support for the Libyan Political Agreement.[22]

As of April 2016, the Libyan National Elections Commission was still considering its recommendations on legislation to implement the next election of the House of Representatives.[24]

A new round of talks that started in October 2017 in Tunis broke down a month later without a deal. On 17 December 2017, general Khalifa Haftar declared the "so-called" Skhirat agreement void.[25]
[emphasis added]


As signed on 17 December 2015

Government of National Accord

Article (1)

1. The formation of the Government of National Accord comes at a time when the country is experiencing exceptional circumstances. It derives its strength from being the culmination of the Libyan political agreement. Its success requires continued support from all parties to enable it to perform its tasks properly.

2. The Government of National Accord shall be established on the basis of competency and equal opportunity. It shall be assigned to exercise the tasks of the executive authority. It shall consist of a Council of Ministers chaired by the Prime Minister, and the membership of two Deputy Prime Ministers and a number of ministers. Its main headquarters shall be in the capital, Tripoli and it can perform its functions from any other city.

3. A Presidency Council for the Council of Ministers shall be established and chaired by the Prime Minister with the membership of the two Deputy Prime Ministers and two Ministers, one of whom shall be for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and Legislation Affairs, and the other shall be for Specialized Councils Affairs. Any decision shall require unanimity of the President of the Presidency Council of the Council of Ministers and his two deputies.

4. The term of the Government of National Accord shall be one year as of the date of granting it a vote of confidence by the House of Representatives. In case the constitution was not finalized during its term, it shall be renewed automatically for one additional year only. In all cases, the term of the Government shall end immediately after the formation of the executive authority as per the Libyan Constitution or the expiry of its specified duration, whichever is earlier.

5. The House of Representatives shall only consider the request to withdraw confidence from the Government of National Accord by a written request signed by 50 of its members. In this case, the House of Representatives shall consult with the State Council in order to reach consensus before proceeding with the withdrawal of confidence actions. The state Council has to provide its opinion within a period no longer than fourteen (14) days as of the date of addressing it. In this case, withdrawing confidence from the Government of National Accord requires the approval of 150 House of Representatives members. [emphasis added]

Posted by: p | Jul 22 2020 1:29 utc | 83

#84 posted on the wrong site. My bad

Posted by: pogohere | Jul 22 2020 1:36 utc | 84

Friends, this is the age we live in. Surely we can afford to notice this, and to adjust our measures on this scale accordingly? Apples are no longer to apples, when the oranges of the downhill slide in US power are accounted for.

This is a factor we could start to include in our thinking.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 22 2020 0:33 utc | 74

Nailed it! A timely and well stated view of the present reality of the U.S.

Posted by: V | Jul 22 2020 1:41 utc | 85

VietnamVet @Jul22 0:12 #71

American Elite bet the house on a safe effective for-profit vaccine being available within a year when none of the other four common colds have a vaccine.

AFAIK there is still no vaccine for SARS/MERS despite years of research. So all vaccines candidates are really just experiemental.

Here is a good summary of the vaccine candidates:

Coronavirus Vaccine Update, July 7

And this article describes the leading candidate for a vaccine:

Oxford University’s timeline for a COVID-19 vaccine is shorter than previous estimates

The researchers were able to move swiftly because they had already developed a vaccine candidate for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), a virulent respiratory disease caused by another member of the coronavirus family. Last year they showed that the vaccine was safe in people and prompts an immune response that lasts for at least a year. In January, the group began adapting the technique to create a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.

To create their vaccine, the Oxford team genetically engineered a virus that is harmless in people to carry genetic material from SARS-CoV-2. The virus they chose, which belongs to a family called adenoviruses, causes a common cold in chimpanzees. The researchers modified the virus so that it could not replicate in people; this approach has previously been used to test vaccines for more than 10 different diseases, though none has made it to market.

Before a vaccine can be licensed, its creators must show that it is both safe and effective. Normally, this involves first testing the vaccine in animals and then performing three rounds of clinical trials in people—a process that can take 10 years or more.

Oxford -AstroZenica is expecting to have the first doses of this vaccine available in September.

I think the timetable is aggressive. And first vaccines will go to those on the front lines. A vaccine for the general public seems unlikely before the end of the year.

Leaving aside the failure of our governments to explore HCQ+Zinc treatment, I think there's a question of how long vaccine protection might last. There are reports that natural immunity doesn't last.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2020 1:42 utc | 86

"The thugs in Malheur were holding the refuge hostage threatening citizens in Burns and surrounding area as well as federal employees with guns. FYI Burns is about as right wing as you can get and they voted twice for these thugs to leave!"

Yep, I'm with Audubon in Bend, and Malheur is one of our most visited sites.
These idiots even had Burns upset (actually Burns has some environmentally friendly and conscious people).
These clueless thugs are tools of our rightwing sociopaths.
The vibe has changed at Malheur-----

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jul 22 2020 1:49 utc | 87

401(k)">">401(k) Plans No Longer Make Much Sense for Savers

Posted by: vk | Jul 22 2020 1:52 utc | 88

Outsideobserver @Jul21 23:09 #65

... is Trump indeed deliberately propagating the contagion, and if so, why?

I see that the links I provide @Jul21 23:44 #68 are not working well. So I've replicated the comment below.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Why is there an organized effort to spread SARS-COV-2?

  • Capitalism:

    - The sooner that older people die, the less money government has to pay.

    - fat profits for Big Pharma.

  • Racism:

    Blacks and latinos die in relatively greater numbers.

  • China smack-down:

    - USA allows lawsuits against sovereign nations. There are lawsuits against China from American companies. It's likely that Trump will freeze Chinese assets (esp. $1 trillion in Treasury Bonds) at some point soon.

  • - Causing a large number of deaths but blaming China can be turned into a propaganda victory for USA/Empire that strengthens their rule and justifies hardships that result from conflict with China (and all nations allied/associated with China).

  • Illusion of Democracy:

    Supporting Trump via excusing his Administration's failure to protect American lives. (In fact, USA Deep State is anti-China and they're calling the shots - Trump, like Obama before him, is merely their front man.)

  • Oligarchy:

    'Herd immunity' protects the wealthy and powerful much more than any 'at-risk' group. These people have the resources to isolate themselves (comfortably!) until the dumbass sheeple attain 'herd immunity'.

    "Herd immunity" = you go first.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2020 1:56 utc | 89

Looks like the pandemic will indeed saves some lives:

Boeing 737 MAX may stay grounded much longer as FAA reviews changes.

Posted by: vk | Jul 22 2020 2:15 utc | 90

To add to my comment @86;
The infrastructure of the U.S. military is noteably in decline; naval vessels failing, an unusually high number of fighter-jet crashes lately, along with a very defective F-35, and covid-19 sweeping through the ranks, which the military doesn't want reported.
The once vaunted aircraft carriers, now reduced to multi-billion dollar sitting ducks, for hypersonic anti-ship missiles...

Posted by: V | Jul 22 2020 2:22 utc | 91

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 22:29 utc | 62

This has nothing to do with IP stealing, and everything to do with China destroying their biotech industry's profit incentive, since China has already vouched their completed vaccine would be offered internationally as a low cost public good.

In short, socialism is hated for being better than capitalism.

Posted by: J W | Jul 22 2020 2:29 utc | 92

Good points, b, but a couple of quibbles which others may have already mentioned. I didn't read all the comments.

There was no nationwide lock down ordered by the administration. Trump passed that off on to the states while discouraging such a move and the governors who were Trump sycophants refused to lock down their states, or issue mask mandates. Some did, but mostly they re-opened too soon.

Although Trump has criticized the Fed from Day One, he didn't need to threaten the Fed to support the stock market. Congress passed a bill authorizing the Fed to provide several trillion dollars for the purchase of corporate bonds, municipal bonds, stocks, and other securities. This injection of massive amounts of money into the securities markets is what brought the market back and has continued to sustain it.

And, no, Trump is not capable of doing anything to ameliorate the situation.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | Jul 22 2020 2:29 utc | 93


Don't underestimate the enemy. I suspect the passenger plane was payback for the missiles. It hurt Iran far more than any military strike.
US had every asset in the air on Iran's borders. They would have mapped and identified every radar. Radar operaters were reporting cruise missiles that turned out to be ghost images. At a critical point, comm's to the Tor unit were cut. Perhaps it was just a mistake under pressure by the Iranians, but I believe they were deliberately set up to make that mistake.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 22 2020 2:29 utc | 94

Elite Republican Guard to the rescue

1. Calling not to renew the $600 unemployment benefit, a capital gains tax holiday, and eliminating the payroll tax to destroy social security and to create jobs.

2. Start a war with China or Iran for hacking our vaccine research.

3. Streamline tenant evictions and eliminate rent control to unleash the free market to handle all the new demand for housing from all the jobs created by the first two items. Theme: running against socialism, what are we Venezuela? (heard Hannity say that today, must be great to know everything and never be wrong)

Obvious sarcasm here. I read Republicans call for eliminating school liability for those that open in the fall. They are not trying to figure out how to make the schools more safe, just how to avoid lawsuits when people do get sick.

I loved the Wallace interview

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 22 2020 2:36 utc | 95

J W 93

I take all US/UK propaganda as projection. Whatever they accuse their targets of is what they themselves are doing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 22 2020 2:42 utc | 96

This nonsense of Trump being "antiwar" based on a few of his more random comments during his election campaign in 2016 keeps raising its head.

Trump couldn't care less if there is a war. What he doesn't want is to be *blamed* for a new war - especially one that goes bad before he gets re-elected. In this, he is just like every other President (except Bush who had a casus belli to "justify" his war that had been in the planning for at least a year before." Obama ruined four more countries than Bush (Libya, Ukraine, Syria and Yemen.) Trump was ready to bomb Iran after the drone shutdown, but Iran told him it would be a full-scale retaliation if even one US missiles fell on an empty beach.

And I don't know how many times I've asked the obvious question: Even if Trump doesn't want to start a war before the election, what about *after* the election (assuming he wins - and he probably does assume that)? Invariably I hear crickets from that point on from people who fantasize that Trump "doesn't want war."

And as I've also asked many times, what happens if Israel or the CIA or whoever sets up a situation in which a significant number of US casualties are (allegedly) caused by Iran or a significant damage (however that is spun by the US) is caused to US assets? Does Trump simply set there and say, "Well, I don't want war, so I'll just negotiate this incident with Iran"? Does anyone seriously contemplate that is his reaction? That he wouldn't immediately set himself up as a "war President" and initiate hostilities - and then stonewall Congress if Congress attempts to hold him back? (Assuming the Pentagon goes along - which depending on the circumstances probably would because otherwise they get fired.)

Anyone believing Trump "doesn't want war" is as afflicted with cognitive dissonance as the anti-maskers and pandemic deniers.

Trump is a *narcissist* - possibly the worst one ever, certainly higher on the scale than Obama. He doesn't want to be *blamed* for anything - which is why he is lashing out now because people are blaming him for both the pandemic and the economic collapse. He can't do much about China other than bluster because they have nukes, as does Russia. He can't attack Iran because Israel won't let him until Hezbollah is taken care of and they also don't want to be blamed for starting the war (overtly, at least.) So he stomps on protesters because a lot of them are black, or "progressive" (whatever the hell that term means), which means they're the "little people" that someone like Trump can't understand or approve of. So he gets to rant and rave and act like a tough guy, which is what his supporters want (witness the trolls here.)

But he can read a poll number. So when his aides keep showing him falling poll numbers, he decides to make a few token gestures. Just like he makes his tweets - randomly, with no organization or plan or even conscious thought. It's just expansive hand-waving, with no actual context or content - just like his tweets. Just like all his statements. Read his Cabinet meeting notes - this guy can't put two words together to make a sentence, rational or not.

People need to understand that Trump doesn't "want" anything - he just "does" (like the Joker said, "I just *do* things...") - whatever comes into his head. As Mary Trump said in her book, as someone noted earlier, he exists in an alternate reality, magical thinking. Anyone looking for "principles" from this guy is delusional. He only understands two things: the amount of money in his accounts, and who is standing in his way to get more.

Trump is like every President - he says whatever he wants, because he *knows* that *none* of you can do anything about *whatever* he says. Except vote for his opponent - which is a direct threat to his continued exercise of power. But he knows he got elected once - so he can convince himself he'll get elected again, as long as he "stays the course." Add that to his preference for magical thinking, and I can't see him seriously changing his approach, not until it's too late - which it might already be.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 22 2020 3:20 utc | 97

naw trump isn't winning, it's too late, which means we get the senile husk of joe biden, a corrupt warmongering corporate tool, and whoever is going to manage his presidency till he starts forgetting his own name in public. he went all in on 2 failing policies--minimizing and ignoring the pandemic, which mostly kills seniors,maybe his most crucial demographic, and an overtly authoritarian response to the protests. his much vaunted political instincts failed him, and he can't self correct, or listen to his advisors for long. all he had to do was let fauci run the virus response, appear presidential and concerned about it like obama (obama's specialty was appearing presidential and concerned)and use the bully pulpit to force a shutdown for a few weeks immediately, with masks and social distancing, and he would still be leading biden.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 22 2020 4:22 utc | 98

I'd say this puts an end to this thread about Trump "getting it"... Like I said, he just says anything that comes into his head.

Trump wishes former Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell 'well' as she faces charges of enticement of minors

"I just wish her well, frankly," Trump said during a White House press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump acknowledged that he has met Maxwell "numerous times" over the years, but said he hasn't been following her case.
The President was also asked whether he believes Maxwell will turn on powerful men, including Prince Andrew, who has faced public pressure to explain his relationship with Epstein and one of his accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre has alleged that she was forced into sexual encounters with the prince while she was underage.

Trump replied on Maxwell, "I don't know. I haven't really been following it too much. I just wish her well, frankly. I've met her numerous times over the years, especially since I lived in Palm Beach. I guess they lived in Palm Beach. But I wish her well. Whatever it is. I don't know the situation with Prince Andrew. Just don't know. Not aware of it."

That's all on this topic, folks. Say good-night, it's done for.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 22 2020 4:26 utc | 99

As a matter of interest, the New Zealand government has booked thousands of motel rooms, studios and apartments across the country as temporary accomodation for homeless people. Their cars are choking the car park.

This is a continuation of the long established government 'temporary' housing policy. For example the entire Bluewater Motel in Napier, the art deco city, is booked out until Christmas. Great views of the sailing club and lots of action and happy people at the many nearby bars and restaurants.

Now, perhaps if uncle Shmuel hadn't wasted the US peoples money on endless wars, the possibilities are ?


Posted by: Paul | Jul 22 2020 5:18 utc | 100

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