0

Gee, Ya Think?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) admitted Friday that he reopened bars too soon in the state as cases continue to surge.

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars now seeing the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spreads in the bar setting,” Abbott said in an evening interview with KVIA in El Paso.

The lesson Abbott said he learned is that “a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic.”

Duh.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott: Bars must close at noon.

3

The Vice President Says He Didn’t Wear a Mask So That He Could Look People in the Eye

 From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you.“—Mike Pence at the Mayo Clinic

Yes, that is the vice president* of the United States, and the White House point man on the greatest public-health crisis in a century, admitting that he doesn’t know the difference between a mask and a blindfold. It makes a public mockery of everything Pence and his task force allegedly are doing. It makes a mockery of all the people who have upended their lives on his advice.

OK, so Mike Pence is a bag of hammers. We’ve known that for years. But it’s hard not to conclude that his boneheaded recklessness on Tuesday was prompted by Pence’s desire to prove to the president*, who’s already said he won’t wear a mask because it poses a danger to his perpetually threatened manhood, that Pence is on the team. In other words, Pence didn’t have the simple decency to appear masked in a hospital clinic in the middle of a pandemic because, in this administration*, simple decency is an act of courage beyond Mike Pence’s capabilities. He has the gallows in one eye and Nikki Haley in the other.

3

Imagine Running Public Relations for Lysol Right Now

From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:

The President* of the United States said the following at Thursday’s episode of the Five O’Clock Follies:

“The disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. It gets in the lungs.”

This spasm of thought-like activity was occasioned by a report delivered by Bill Bryan, the head of the science and technology division of the Department of Homeland Security. Bryan mentioned that, yes, disinfectants like Lysol are effective in killing the coronavirus on things like playground equipment, handrails, and doorknobs. Bryan also reported that the virus seems to die in bright sunlight and in warmer and more humid weather.

Then, with every spark gap in his mighty brain sizzling and cracking, the president* launched into the above improv while, over on the sidelines, Dr. Deborah Birx suddenly found herself in a thousand memes, looking as though she’d been hit on the head with a polo mallet. El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago was really rolling, folks. He was one step away from advising Birx to go out and find a virgin to toss into a volcano.

Dear America,

Lysol should not be taken internally. Also, half-mad, malignant television personalities should not be elected president.

God help us all.

Sincerely,

The Management

2

Give Me Liberty and Give Me Death!

Satire from the Washington Post, by Alexandra Petri:

Yes, I would like things to be worse, please. I do not think things are bad enough, and I would like them to be worse. I look at the number of people who have died in this great state, and I think, frankly, it is a little low. People, if you want to be technical about it, who will never see their families again; people who were not done living; people who cannot be replaced and whose absence will bore an echoing hole through countless other lives — but what is that, weighed against my own convenience and my sense that things should be open rather than closed?

I look at the strain on our hospital system and I think: It could be greater. I see ambulances going past and I think: They are too unimpeded and will get to the hospitals too quickly. I look at the people in charge of my state who are trying to minimize the cost to human life and I say: Why, though?

I am here to make my voice heard. I am not actively in favor of the virus, but I think there might be good people on both sides of this people-virus question. So I am going to assemble in such a way that my leaders will have no choice but to listen and that through my negligence, more people will die. You might say I’m doing my part. Thankfully, at least, the president agrees.

The problem? On the grounds that there “is a pandemic” and it “is not safe,” I have been briefly deterred from going about my life in exactly the manner I would like. Can you believe this? No, I will not hold. I am here, banging on the window, like the heroes in a zombie film. Listen, I know my rights. I know that among them is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but I don’t care about the first one.

Given the choice of saving thousands of lives, including, possibly, my own, or getting to buy a can of 730C-2 Sandstone Cove paint now rather than later, I will not hesitate to choose the latter. Do not ask me how many lives I would trade to avoid minor inconveniences, or you will see what a sea of bodies I would be content to wade through to my morning coffee. If I’m willing to die, that should be enough for everyone. No one — as I have established during COUNTLESS interactions with customer service professionals — is worth more than me.

I just want nothing about my life to change, including my indifference to the lives of others. So please stop demanding that I bend to the will of the people or their elected officials. The last time I checked, this was a democracy.

Have you considered that, actually, I don’t want to be safe? You think you are protecting me, but whom are you really protecting? Others? If I am willing to take this risk for myself (my top favorite person!), why do you think I would not be willing to take it for “others,” many of whom I don’t even know personally and some of whom are the very people who once asked me to escort myself out of a Red Lobster because I was making a scene? No, I don’t understand how the transmission of disease works. Does anyone? No, I don’t understand that it is not only my life that my choices are putting at risk!

It’s time we were liberated! Set me free from this prison (not a literal prison, where people are currently trapped and dying, but a metaphorical prison, where I am being asked to remain safely in my house and not buy potting soil specifically today)! If my wishes conflict with the wishes of a majority of people, that is TOO BAD! I do not understand that there are insides to other people, so my wishes are the only wishes that matter.

There is nothing beyond me and I refuse to accept that I share the universe with others. If I am willing to die, then that ought to be good enough for everyone.

Ohio zombie protester photo: Photojournalist Joshua A. Bickel ...

 

3

Trump: “Not a Shipping Clerk” and Now This…

From CNN:

Trump said Wednesday it was governors’ responsibility to improve testing in their state, shrugging off responsibility for enacting the type of nationwide testing system he was touting only last month.

“We want the states to administer these tests, for the most part,” he said. “We want them to do it, we’re not going to be running a parking lot in Arkansas.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Parking lots in Arkansas are probably better run than this administration.

 

Michelle Goldberg: Of course Trump deserves blame for the ...

2

Socialism? Well, We Can’t Have That! Let Them Wear Trash Bags.

From the Washington Post:

Washington state Gov. Inslee called on Trump to use the Defense Production Act to order private companies to produce items such as masks and ventilators, a step the president has resisted after announcing last week he would invoke the federal law. Inslee, citing the dire situation at Washington state’s nursing homes, called on the Pentagon to press defense companies to produce lifesaving materials.

Trump responded defensively, two of the people said, and told Inslee that he and the federal government have already done much for Washington and other states in recent days, ticking off several initiatives.

Though the president has faced mounting bipartisan calls to use his powers to compel private companies to help, he has said he is employing the law as leverage to win voluntary cooperation. His campaign on Thursday tweeted a list of major corporations, including 3M, that have said they will increase production of such supplies.

Behind the scenes, business leaders have lobbied Trump not to invoke the law and conservative advisers have warned the president that doing so would draw a backlash and could cut into his argument of running against socialism in the fall, said two administration officials.

On Thursday, a union leader representing health-care workers, Lee Saunders, said the impossible situation has already occurred, noting that some health workers in New York have donned garbage bags because hospitals are short of protective gowns.