From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
Around midnight, as Thursday became Friday, and we learned that the pandemic had reached into the administration*’s innermost inner circle, and then into The Residence Itself, these were the things about which I began to wonder.
1) If we’re serious about contact tracing, where does that leave Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was having a tough day anyway?
2) What in the hell are they going to do about the air-conditioning/ventilation systems on Air Force One and on Marine One? Those must be alive with frolicsome viruses by now.
3) How does Joe Biden feel about this president*’s having spent 90 minutes bellowing at top volume just across the stage from him on Tuesday night? In fact, how does Joe Biden feel, period?
4) Is Section 3 of the 25th Amendment being discussed anywhere by anyone? I mean, the president* is 74 and is a walking co-morbidity.
5) How many handrails do the president* and his traveling party touch over the course of the average campaign road trip?
6) Do they have to disinfect the nuclear “football”?
7) Are all the people who have to be quarantined going to be confined to the president*’s hotel in D.C, and, if so, can they get a rate?
8) Are we all spared the other two debates?
9) Does the White House have enough roosts for all these returning chickens?
The announcement that the president* and his wife are now two of the over 7 million Americans with the virus, and that top White House aide Hope Hicks not only tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, but also was symptomatic when all hands flew to Duluth on Wednesday for one of the president*’s airport wankfests, creates a possibly vast Yggdrasil tree of contagion that now includes the president* and his wife and his children and his Secret Service detail, the entire White House staff, and their spouses and their children, the White House press corps and their spouses, partners, and children, several members of the Minnesota congressional delegation and their extended families, and an entire Air Force air wing based in Duluth, and on and on and on. And if you expand the universe of contagion to include all of the Republican celebrities who flew with him to Cleveland on Tuesday, and everybody who sat next to the unmasked members of that entourage, the whole thing gets ridiculous and it makes you hide under the bed.
More, obviously, to follow.
I’m 73 and had been a widow for just a year and a half when the pandemic further upended everything. I’ve lived the life of a hermit (although a hermit with curbside grocery pickup) for the last 6+ months.
The intertoobs have been great for maintaining some semblance of human contact, but the flip side is I’m constantly exposed to the rantings of the sweaty, orange-faced current occupant of what used to be The People’s House and the complicity of what used to be the Republican party, which now resembles a cult of personality.
In the year leading up to the 2016 election, I was equally glued to the computer screen and angsted about every little fluctuation in Hillary’s poll numbers, etc. My husband warned me not to get consumed by it all because “What can you do about it? You can cast your vote and the rest is out of your hands.” He was right. As we all know, the unthinkable happened and there went a year of my life down the crapper.
If there’s one thing I hope I’ve learned from this time of reflection following the death of my husband and my self-imposed withdrawal from what used to be polite society it’s what I found on a small bumper sticker in my husband’s desk drawer: “Life is too short to argue with stupid people.”
I’m convinced Trump will win the election by hook or by crook. We already know about the voter suppression and the shenanigans at the USPS. I hope I’m wrong, but as Trump himself says, it is what it is. If the people of this country choose him again as our president, then I guess we deserve the president we get. Nothing I can do about that.
So, I’m backing off from my avid following of politics. I don’t want to spend whatever amount of time I have left on this planet in a constant state of outrage and despair. I’m only one vote, which I will gladly cast and hope it counts.
But I’m tired.
“Ninety-nine percent of [the Covid cases revealed by testing] are totally harmless.”
“We’ll be happy to debate the efficacy of masks with you when this is all over and you come in to sell your dead grandmother’s clothes. Masks required.”
— sign in vintage clothing shop in Phoenix
From Politico, on Trump’s response to the NFL allowing players to kneel to protest racial injustice and NASCAR banning Confederate flags:
“He completely missed the boat,” said Rick Reilly, a former Sports Illustrated and ESPN contributor and the author of “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.”
“It’s like somehow his cable that comes into the White House is set in 1962, he’s so far behind,” Reilly added. “This is a watershed moment and he’s lost. It’s like your grandpa who thinks Joe DiMaggio is still playing.”
THE “GOOD OLD DAYS”
The “Good Old Days”
From the Washington Post, by Alexandra Petri:
Buffalo protester shoved by Police could be an ANTIFA provocateur. 75 year old Martin Gugino was pushed away after appearing to scan police communications in order to black out the equipment. @OANN I watched, he fell harder than was pushed. Was aiming scanner. Could be a set up?
— President Trump on Twitter
KNOW THE SIGNS: HOW TO TELL IF YOUR GRANDPARENT HAS BECOME AN ANTIFA AGENT
For your birthday, she knits you an unwanted scarf. To be used as a balaclava?
She belongs to a decentralized group with no leadership structure that claims to be discussing a “book,” but no one ever reads the book and all they seem to do is drink wine.
Is always talking on the phone with an “aunt” you have never actually met in person. Aunt TIFA????
Always walking into rooms and claiming not to know why he walked into the room. Likely.
He “trips” over and breaks your child’s Lego police station when walking through the living room in the dark.
Total and bewildering lack of nostalgia for good old days.
Gathers with loose-knit, disorderly group of figures you have never met to play “mah-jongg,” governed by mysterious “rule cards” issued annually from a nebulous central authority.
Suddenly, for no reason, will appear or pretend to be asleep.
Insists on producing container of nuts whenever there is company. Why? Code of some kind?
Carries peppermints (chemical irritant?) in purse at all times.
Is taking Centrum Silver. But for what reason? Surely to build up strength for the coming confrontation.
Keeps forwarding you what appear on the surface to be emails of jokes someone has typed out from a Reader’s Digest; claims to think you would “enjoy”; must be some sort of recruitment or propaganda or hidden message.
Hired a clown for your child’s birthday — part of the Juggalo command structure?
Big tin of Christmas popcorn mysteriously replenishes itself. WHO IS HELPING?!
You gave her a Precious Moments figurine of a law enforcement officer, but she hasn’t displayed it.
Remembers things from the past in incredible, exhausting detail, but recent ones only sporadically? Cover of some kind.
She claims not to know how to use her phone, yet always appears upside-down on FaceTime, which should be impossible without hacking capabilities.
If he is to be believed, he spends hours playing bridge.
He is walking non-threateningly at a public protest.
Fun story from Texas Monthly magazine:
With Salons Closed, an 89-Year-Old Houston Woman Washes Her Own Hair for the First Time in Decades
(Note: I became a widow last year, so this hits home particularly hard.)