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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 168,228

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At a time when unity is the only thing that can save us, all Trump knows how to do is divide


At a time when unity is the only thing that can save us, all Trump knows how to do is divide
Kerry Eleveld for Daily Kos
Daily Kos Staff
Saturday March 28, 2020 · 2:00 PM EDT


Americans are hungry to hear this message and many would be eager to embrace it, even from a leader they disliked, if it bore any relationship to their experience of this moment. Unfortunately, we have a leader who is too delusional to be grounded in the realities of this disease, too sociopathic to feel the fear of the nation he leads, and too broken to know how to bring the country together around the shared goal of winning this war. He is a self-declared wartime president without the vision, the prowess, or the humanity to rally the troops to defeat our common enemy. In fact, Donald Trump is almost bizarrely—indeed grotesquely—unfit to rise to this political moment.

Trump has insisted on blaming the novel coronavirus on someone. It was the Europeans at one point, but then he settled on calling it the "Chinese coronavirus." Naturally, Trump’s framing played to the worst instincts of the xenophobic white nationalists that are among his staunchest supporters. Over the past week, Asian Americans have reported at least 650 racist acts directed at them to the new online reporting site Stop AAPI Hate. That's just within the first eight days of the site’s launch.

Even Trump himself appeared to acknowledge the problem during Thursday's White House press briefing, saying, "We have to protect our Asian Americans." But when he was asked how, all he offered was, "I don't know,” adding that Asian Americans in the country are "doing fantastically well." Trump also previously insisted that explicitly labeling the virus "Chinese" isn't racist to its core. And so, the racism Trump helped stoke against a group of American citizens will surely continue unabated.

But it's not just race where Trump has stoked division within the U.S. His aspiration that America get back to business as usual by Easter right when nearly all scientists and medical professionals are begging us stay home is pitting those that adhere to science against science deniers. In addition, Trump's elevation of the economy over the safety of Americans has created a mind-boggling rift between those who treasure the economy versus those who value the sanctity of human life, particularly the lives of older Americans in this case.

Trump's failure to lead from the top has also left state governors competing with each other for life-saving resources like medical gear for front-line health care workers and ventilators for the sickest victims of the disease. And Trump's latest proposal to reopen some parts of the country while others are still fighting this disease tooth and nail is not only idiotic and shortsighted, it also would slice and dice the country region by region. Apparently, dividing the states amongst themselves wasn't enough for Trump.

And so it goes, at a time when a call to unity could help heal our many divisions and unite Americans behind a common goal, instead Trump gives us the federal government vs. the states, state vs. state, governor vs. governor, region vs. region, science vs. non-science, economy vs. life, sick vs. well, and citizen vs. citizen. There will be more divisions to come because it's the only way Trump knows. And instead of emerging from this horror show with a national sense of pride and resolve and shared experience, our country will instead be left hanging in tatters by the most incompetent, insensitive, and unfit president in American history.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 02:44 PM (1 replies)

Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has died


Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has died
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Updated 11:07 AM ET, Sat March 28, 2020

(CNN)Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn died at his home Saturday, according to a statement from his family. He was 72.

"Tom A Coburn, MD, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home this morning surrounded by his family," his family said in a statement. "Because of his strong faith, he rested in the hope found in John chapter 11 verse 25 where Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, will live, even though they die.' Today he lives in heaven."

A memorial service for Coburn will be held at a later date and will be announced, the family said.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 11:43 AM (14 replies)

Blueprint For A Genocide: A President At War With His Own Country

Blueprint For A Genocide: A President At War With His Own Country
Mar 27
Written By Jared Yates Sexton


One of our major problems as a society in our inability to move beyond preconceived notions and definitions. Our myths about authoritarians have left us unable to recognize one in our very midst. Our devotion to the myth of leadership and the solidity of American government has prevented us from seeing Donald Trump as a despot-in-the-making. And our misplaced optimism and faith have allowed creeping authoritarianism to destroy our institutions one at a time.

Now, as we stand on the precipice of what could be a historical atrocity, we rely on dated and limited definitions of genocide to hide our fear of a storm that is set to rage and kill an untold amount of Americans.

Let us be clear: genocide does not require violent, hands-on killing. Guns are not necessary. Mass death camps are not necessary. Simply holding back necessary supplies and aid for political purposes constitutes genocide and has led to some of the most tragic moments in human history.

We’ve seen it with Stalin, with Mao, with Pol Pot, with the British Empire in India, in colonies around the world.

In the United States with the systematic eradication of the Native People.

What we see coming at this moment is a textbook genocide, a targeting of individuals for purposes of political retribution. Trump has already said as much, laying out a requirement that governors and citizens praise him in full and worship him relentlessly should they want the help of the federal government. His plans to “reopen” the country draw a clear distinction between liberal hotbeds like New York, California, and Washington and “the Bible Belt,” as he called it, and what former Vice-President candidate Sarah Palin infamous referred to as “Real America.”

It is a quiet genocide. A slow-moving genocide. But it is as brutal as anything anyone can imagine. People who die from coronavirus suffer terribly as they gasp for air and as they are kept from their loved ones and denied even the most basic human connection. As Trump makes his decision he is undoubtedly keeping an eye on the electoral map from 2016 that he always has at his ready. He is callous and irredeemably broken enough to let such superficial things influence his judgment.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 11:25 AM (3 replies)

President Trump asked Alex Rodriguez for advice on fighting coronavirus


President Trump asked Alex Rodriguez for advice on fighting coronavirus
By Nick Stellini
Mar 27, 2020, 10:10 PM EDT

Noted sports fan Donald Trump reportedly reached out to Alex Rodriguez to seek advice on the fight against coronavirus. No, seriously.

CeFaan Kim

Multiple sources tell @ABC Pres. Trump turned to former Yankee Alex Rodriguez for advice this week. A source close to Rodriguez described the call as “pleasant” adding that Trump was seeking thoughts from ARod about the coronavirus response.
9:42 PM - Mar 27, 2020

A-Rod, who is not a medical professional, spent a long chunk of his career with Trump’s beloved Yankees and has become a fixture in the New York business scene when he’s not busy broadcasting games on national television. Rodriguez, who has never gone to medical school, has also been catching the camera’s glance on the arm of his better half Jennifer Lopez.

Why President Trump decided that Rodriguez, who is not an epidemiologist, would have answers on how to best curb the spread of COVID-19 is beyond me. It probably has to do with the fact that A-Rod, who does not own a doctor’s white coat, is wealthy and frequently on television. One can only hope that Rodriguez, who does not have a medical license, told the President that invoking the Defense Production Act to force manufacturers to make ventilators and PPE was a good idea.

Rodriguez, who is not a doctor, donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.

You can file this one under “Headlines I never thought I would ever write.” Good lord.

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 11:07 AM (7 replies)

The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life

The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life
The president was aware of the danger from the coronavirus – but a lack of leadership has created an emergency of epic proportions
by Ed Pilkington and Tom McCarthy in New York
Sat 28 Mar 2020 04.00 EDT
Last modified on Sat 28 Mar 2020 05.01 EDT

When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus.

On the very same day, 5,000 miles away in Asia, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea. The confluence was striking, but there the similarities ended.

In the two months since that fateful day, the responses to coronavirus displayed by the US and South Korea have been polar opposites.

One country acted swiftly and aggressively to detect and isolate the virus, and by doing so has largely contained the crisis. The other country dithered and procrastinated, became mired in chaos and confusion, was distracted by the individual whims of its leader, and is now confronted by a health emergency of daunting proportions.

Within a week of its first confirmed case, South Korea’s disease control agency had summoned 20 private companies to the medical equivalent of a war-planning summit and told them to develop a test for the virus at lightning speed. A week after that, the first diagnostic test was approved and went into battle, identifying infected individuals who could then be quarantined to halt the advance of the disease.

Some 357,896 tests later, the country has more or less won the coronavirus war. On Friday only 91 new cases were reported in a country of more than 50 million.

The US response tells a different story. Two days after the first diagnosis in Washington state, Donald Trump went on air on CNBC and bragged: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 06:30 AM (20 replies)

David Corn: Beyond Narcissism, Trump's Other Personality Flaws Are Putting Americans at Risk


Beyond Narcissism, Trump’s Other Personality Flaws Are Putting Americans at Risk
His obsession with revenge and his fatalism are endangering the nation.
David Corn
Washington, DC, Bureau ChiefBio | Follow

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, critics of Donald Trump have repeatedly referenced his profound and outrageous narcissism. It was partly this pathology that led Trump to downplay the threat and resist widespread testing for weeks. An honest acknowledgement of the mounting problem and a rising number of positive tests would inconvenience his reelection prospects. For a narcissist, the most immediate personal need is the most important one. So Trump viewed the burgeoning crisis as a threat to him, not the nation, and he took the steps he usually does in so many circumstances: He denied the threat, claimed he knew better than the experts, and relied on bluster and BS. He did all that instead of adopting early measures that could have slowed the transmission of the virus.

But beyond the narcissism, two other fundamental elements of Trump’s character are likely shaping his response: his obsession with revenge and his sense of fatalism. And both are exceedingly dangerous for the American public.

Trump has long acknowledged his love affair with revenge. Before Trump ran for president, he often gave speeches sharing the supposed secrets to his success. At the top of that list was his devotion to retribution. In 2011, he told the National Achievers Congress in Sydney, Australia, that there were several lessons not taught in business school that successful people must know. And one of those lessons was this: “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that.”


In a 2004 interview—again with Playboy—Trump was asked, “Do you think Trump Tower and your other buildings will bear your name a hundred years from now?” Trump’s answer was chilling: “No, I don’t think so…I don’t think any building will be here—and unless we have some very smart people ruling it, the world will not be the same place in a hundred years. The weapons are too powerful, too strong.” The odds are, Trump was saying, that the world would be destroyed.

That’s Trump on the subject of nuclear war not a global pandemic. These remarks, though, do suggest Trump nurtures an overall sense of doom. And might that influence how he views the crisis at hand? In recent days, he has blithely talked about soon encouraging people to return to work and normal life, even though public health experts say this will lead to a greater spread of the virus and tens of thousands additional deaths. Trump, however, has raised this troubling notion with a que-sera-sera attitude, insisting this course of action would be best to rescue the collapsing economy. His message has been a fatalistic one: Hey, we just have to accept this tremendous amount of death so we can start working and shopping again. If you believe the world won’t survive another 100 years, that could well make sense.

Trump asserts he is a “wartime president.” But an effective commander in chief at war needs to possess certain qualities. He must be able to put national interests ahead of his own. He must unite a nation and transcend political rivalries. He must motivate the citizenry and inspire bravery, resilience, and hope. A narcissist fixated on revenge who holds a dark and apocalyptic view of the future is not the man for the job. Trump does not have the necessary psychological tools for this mission. To the extent this nation survives the coronavirus attack, it will be because governors, mayors, other local officials, and courageous first responders and front-line health care workers beat back the virus and save those American lives they can. Trump cannot be the wartime president Americans require at this horrific moment. He’s not that kind of human being.
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 06:01 AM (3 replies)

Biden Leads Trump Nationally


Biden Leads Trump Nationally
March 27, 2020 at 7:32 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

A new Fox News poll finds Joe Biden is up by 49% to 40% over President Trump, a lead that is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Another 11% would vote for someone else or are undecided.

Interesting: Biden’s advantage grows to 25 points, 57% to 32%, in close counties (where Hillary Clinton and Trump were within 10 points in 2016).
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 05:50 AM (1 replies)

Trump chips away at Congress' role in coronavirus relief oversight

Trump chips away at Congress' role in coronavirus relief oversight
The $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill establishes a "special inspector general" to review and investigate loan decisions made by the treasury secretary.
03/27/2020 08:15 PM EDT

President Donald Trump intends to ignore provisions in the newly passed $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill intended to shore up Congress' oversight of the massive rescue program.

The legislation establishes a "special inspector general" to review and investigate loan decisions made by the treasury secretary as part of the coronavirus relief effort, an accountability measure that was a central part of Democrats' demands to shore up transparency in the bill. The provision requires the inspector general to notify Congress if he or she is "unreasonably refused or not provided" any information.

But in a signing statement issued shortly after he approved the bill, Trump says he'll be the last word on whether this provision is followed.

"I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required" by Article II of the Constitution, Trump said in the signing statement.

Trump also indicated he would treat as optional a requirement in the bill that key congressional committees be consulted before Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development spends or reallocates certain funds.

"These provisions are impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement with respect to the execution of the laws," Trump says in the statement.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 28, 2020, 05:37 AM (4 replies)

There's no joy in saying, "I told you so!" to a corpse @spockosbrain


There’s no joy in saying, “I told you so!” to a corpse @spockosbrain
Published by Spocko on March 26, 2020

Soon we will have data on states that did NOT keep people apart and did NOT issue stay at home orders. I will share that data with a plea for people to act appropriately. Here’s what I will do and not do when it comes:

I WILL NOT gloat that Fox News watchers died. The network they followed featured Trump’s “hunches” instead of pandemic experts.

I WILL NOT cheer when people in Red States get sick. Even those who voted for Trump and kept supporting him.

What will I do? Keep pleading for them to listen to healthcare experts.

I want them to change their actions in order to save their lives. If they don’t, they might get sick and die. Part of that change is for them to understand that what Trump is saying and doing has made the situation worse.

Will they stop supporting him and change? Yes. Some will. I will welcome them to a community who believes in science. But some won’t.

If I’m wrong and they are right how will they respond? By mocking me. “See? I told you it wasn’t that big of a deal. I didn’t social distance and I’m fine! You lot destroyed the economy for nothing!”

I’m not sorry I tried to save their lives. I’m glad that they were lucky because of their remoteness or other circumstances that prevented them from getting sick. Maybe the actions that I took in my city and state early prevented them in their location from getting sick. That’s the prevention paradox.

If they are wrong and I’m right they will expect me to act the same way towards them as they they would. But I won’t. Why? Because I don’t care about “winning” the argument they set up. I care about saving lives. I can logically prove I was right but it’s a hollow victory, especially if the people who I’m arguing with are no longer alive to concede. My human side knows the sadness of being right on this topic.

There’s no joy in saying, “I told you so” to a corpse.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 27, 2020, 02:36 PM (3 replies)

Four dead on cruise ship heading to Fort Lauderdale


Florida coronavirus updates: Four dead on cruise ship heading to Fort Lauderdale
By Marc Freeman and Lisa J. Huriash
South Florida Sun Sentinel |
Mar 27, 2020 | 2:03 PM

Four passengers have died aboard a Holland America cruise ship that soon may make its way to Port Everglades, the liner announced Friday.

Holland America said “four older guests" died on the Zaandam, but didn’t say whether the new coronavirus was the cause.

The ship has nearly 140 people become sick, including some with respiratory symptoms. On Thursday, several were tested for the coronavirus and two people tested positive. The company didn’t say whether the two who tested positive were among the four passengers who died.

A Miramar couple aboard the ship adrift at sea said the captain also announced the four deaths.

The ship was prohibited from disembarking in Chile and is now seeking to make its way to Fort Lauderdale. That plan has drawn the wrath of Broward’s county commission, which is considering turning it away.

Cliff Kolber and his wife Doris, who left on their South America cruise in early March, said the captain on the Zaandam said at 11 a.m. that healthy people over age 70 will be evacuated to a second cruise line. Nobody is allowed to contact guest services to ask about themselves, the couple said.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 27, 2020, 02:16 PM (36 replies)
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