Connecting the dots

Dr. Trump is back!

Dot #1 (Emphasis mine):

President Donald Trump deployed some bizarre, backwards logic to try to explain away the country’s global-leading number of Covid-19 cases in a Tuesday afternoon speech at Allentown, Pennsylvania.

“Don’t forget, we have more cases than anybody in the world. But why? We do more testing,” Trump said, before completely botching the public health argument for how and why countries test to find out who has the virus, which does involve avoiding testing for fear it will discover too many positive patients. “When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing we would have very few cases.”

“They don’t want to write that,” Trump then claimed, alluding to the media, before matter-of-factly adding: “It’s just common sense.”

KJ Edelman @ Mediaite

Dot #2:

F.D.A. Halts Coronavirus Testing Program Backed by Bill Gates

The program allows people in the Seattle area to easily take a coronavirus test at home. Researchers say such testing is essential for future monitoring of the virus.

SEATTLE — An innovative coronavirus testing program in the Seattle area — promoted by the billionaire Bill Gates and local public health officials as a way of conducting wider surveillance on the invisible spread of the virus — has been ordered by the federal government to stop its work pending additional reviews.

The program involved sending home test kits to both healthy and sick people in the hope of conducting the kind of widespread monitoring that could help communities safely reopen from lockdowns. Researchers and public health authorities already had tested thousands of samples, finding dozens of previously undetected cases.

Mile Baker @ NY Times

Covid-19 has a new BFF: Dr. Trump.



    • Trump and his people are idiots or looking for ways to fatten their pockets but Covid-19 along with all of the other misteps have put a glaring light on their misdeeds and incompetence. The election will be one of division an us against them and right now it seems there is a lot more of us (not supporters of Trump) and a dwindling but very vocal number of Trump supporters. The GOP is fighting for its political life as the country is moving center left.

      If Biden wins, he will because the country doesn’t want a repeat of the previous 4 years nor does it want a revolution but it wants to get back to an old normal and not the new normal that TV anchors keep mentioning. Biden will spend his term fixing the things that were broken by his administration. I suspect government hiring will go through a boom as concerned, skilled and qualified citizens will give up their private lives to go into government work to fill the various positions Trump and his administration fired or never filled.

      Yes, I’m fearful of Trump and his ilk getting a second term because some kind of cheating but I feel that I must be hopeful as I believe in the country’s people and most of them are good people and know that government is a reflection of who they are. Capable of good works because of good intentions.

  1. Romney put it well by noting that the US has been forced into doing the numbers of tests it is doing now because Trump and his cronies refused to do testing earlier:

    Romney’s own record isn’t great, but he’s at least somewhat rooted in reality. And as long we keep undercutting what we need to do, the level of testing needed to catch up will only grow.

  2. Blame Obama!

    I’ve read several articles lately that Trump is bored with the coronavirus. He just wants to move on to something else, which, yeah, I would too if I was being hammered on my poor response on the daily.–just-as-it-hits-swing-states/

      • Because Trump absolutely needs a boogeyman. He HAS TO HAVE ONE. His lame schtick just doesn’t work without one, and Hillary isn’t enough any more. I read John Rogers’ blog Kung Fu Monkey religiously (pun intended) back when he used to write it, and one of the many things that stuck with me was the phrase “hard done by.” Here, it’s easier to let him explain it:

        …because one of the great secrets of human nature is that the one thing people want more than love, security, sex, chocolate or big-screen TV’s is to feel hard done by.

        Why? Because being hard done by is the shit. Feeling hard done by is the sweetest of drugs. If you’re being persecuted — it must mean you’re doing the right thing, right? You get the mellow buzz of the moral high ground, but without arrogantly claiming it as your own. You get an instant, supportive community in a big dark scary world of such scope it may well literally be beyond rational human processing. When you are hard done by, you get purpose in a life where otherwise, you’d have to find your own. And when you ride that high, then no amount of logic, no pointing out that in actuality you and your beliefs are at a high point of popularity and influence for the last hundred years — is going to pry that sweet crack-pipe of moral indignation from your hands.

        Rogers was talking about fundamentalist Christians (and describing a persecution complex), but hey, the Venn diagram between them and MAGAs has … significant overlap, shall we say? And the one thing Old Yeller has managed to do right is that he co-opted one of the great cons of the last couple of centuries (fundamentalist Christianity) and fueled his misbegotten political career with it.

        One thing that Biden is actually doing right (maybe inadvertently) is not engaging with Trump. There’s a technique for dealing with toxic narcissists called, I think, the grey rock technique. And what you do is when they attack, you acknowledge and ignore. You say “Huh…” and you do. not. engage. This deprives the narcissist of the “in” they need to continue the attack. (My family employs this with my mother-in-law, in case you’re wondering.) Biden is depriving Trump of the “other” that he needs to fuel his attacks.

        So Trump needs to use another boogeyman. Hence, Obama. But even that tends to make Trump look foolish and ineffective, because it’s been three. fucking. years.

        • yes, ignore the bastard. don’t play his game. don’t give him an in. will biden have the discipline to keep at it? I sure hope so.

          another good article on the trump-obama dynamic was linked yesterday by splinter:

          Tara Setmayer, a former Republican communications director on Capitol Hill, said: “Donald Trump always needs a foil. This riles up his base because they cling to anything that diverges responsibility for anything from Donald Trump over to someone else. And in this case Barack Obama is the boogeyman of the month.” [month? more like decade!]

          Beyond political expediency, there is a more profound antipathy at work. From the Iran nuclear deal to the Trans Pacific Partnership, from environmental regulations to the Affordable Care Act, Trump has always seemed to be on a mission to erase his predecessor’s legacy. With few deep convictions of his own, Trump found a negative reference point in Obama. Between 22 November 2010 and 14 May 2020, he tweeted about Obama 2,933 times, according to the Trump Twitter Archive.

          There are a few reasons, argues Setmayer, host of the Honestly Speaking podcast. “First off, Donald Trump has a problem where I think he’s just jealous of the fact that President Obama is still so admired. Number two, I think he has a problem with people of color who are in authority that don’t do the kind of song and dance that he wants them to do.

          “Barack Obama is not a ‘shuck and jive’ person of color, and those are the kinds of people that Donald Trump seems to be attracted to if you look at who he surrounds himself with as far as minorities are concerned.”

          Third, Setmayer points to the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where Trump sat stony-faced and humiliated as Obama lampooned the Celebrity Apprentice host’s nascent political ambitions. Obama even pointed to a photoshopped image of a Trump White House with hotel, casino, golf course and gold columns.

          “A lot of people think that this is where this all started,” Setmayer continued. “President Trump does not have a sense of humor, he’s not self-deprecating, and the White House correspondents’ dinner is a fun event where people make fun of each other, especially in politics.”

          Michael D’Antonio, a political commentator and author of The Truth About Trump, said: “There’s so much that separates them, it’s hard to imagine two presidents more different. It’s very obvious Trump is continually comparing himself with Obama in his own mind. Obama’s over his head, over his shoulder, always looming as the guy who could speak in paragraphs and juggle more than one thing at once and deal with them effectively.”

          • more on biden (link from the dot)

            Biden’s advisers, aware of what Trump is preparing to fire at him, describe themselves as dead set against being triggered by his provocations or engaging with him on his terms. Voters will decide the election, they believe, in response to the crisis now engulfing the nation, not the spectacle of Trump’s Twitter feed.

            The most explosive Trump volleys have been dismissed by them as distractions — so far at least — even as Trump’s attacks on the former vice president’s competence and economic record stir more concern and response.

            “The context of this race is different than anything anyone has experienced since probably 1932,” said Anita Dunn, a senior strategist for the Biden campaign. “The question that the American people are going to be posed in 2020 will be: Who do you trust as we enter this new phase of this nation’s history?”

            Some of Biden’s top advisers have gone even further, predicting that Trump’s tactics of embracing false conspiracy theories and stirring up hurricanes of controversy could backfire, given an unemployment rate approaching 20 percent and a viral pandemic that has already killed nearly 90,000.

            “The public is really focused on what matters in this election. And they’re not being dragged into side issues and they are not being dragged into manufactured issues,” said Mike Donilon, the Biden campaign’s senior strategist. “It’s just too serious. So I think Trump is risking a real problem in trying to push the conversation to a place where the country knows that’s not what’s at stake.”

            Many Democratic strategists, including those outside the Biden campaign, have warned that the attacks are tangential and should be ignored. “Vote,” tweeted former president Barack Obama in an apparent one-word rejoinder to the attack, which Biden echoed with the phrase, “What he said.”

            “If I were them I would be as quiet as a church mouse,” said Jefrey Pollock, a Democratic pollster who has been working with independent groups to help defeat Trump. “Engaging with an arsonist will only light your house on fire.”


    • Whenever it comes to Trump, I keep reminding myself to not attribute to cunning what could easily be attributed to stupidity. Trump’s not trying to develop a cunning strategy to shift the discussion back to the economy and re-opening in a bid to get re-elected and working all the dumb marks; he’s just fucking bored of the coronavirus, doesn’t really understand it, and wants to talk about shit he thinks he knows about.

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